Podcast Sunday: The Adventure Zone

No Audio Dramas for me this week. Instead, a friend got me hooked on a D&D live-play podcast called The Adventure Zone. I vaguely remember the show having ads at the end of Mission to Zyxx but never took a chance to listen to it because live-play podcasts are daunting to start.

D&D shows are the MMOs of podcasts. They’re large, usually with hundreds or episodes if they’ve been running for a while. They’re also quite a time investment with episodes running an hour or more. I tend to balk at any type of show that have episodes longer than 45 minutes. If you’re not caught up already it’s going to take a long time to do so.

The exception to this is Fool & Scholar’s Dark Dice where a lot of the downtime, table talk, and combat rolls are cut and described by the DM or players in post production. Episodes for this show tend to run under 30 minutes. They add sound effects too which makes this show feel like more of an audio drama which is what Fool & Scholar typically produces.

The Adventure Zone is different from other your typical D&D show. For one, none of the cast are experiences D&D players. I find this extremely relatable. Their first campaign is running in a similar vain to one of my friend group’s campaigns. In the past, I’ve played D&D with a group of people who have a massive amount of knowledge about the game and were very min/max focused but I much preferred the fun that comes with my current group that plays less seriously.

The couple other D&D shows I’ve listened too also have a bunch of voice actors playing characters. Justin, Travis, and Griffin McElroy host another podcast called My Brother, My Brother, and Me, which I’ve never listened to but have heard many a MaximumFun ad for…they’re podcasters rather than voice actors so it feels like more of a group of people hanging out rather than a stage production. Their dad, Clint, who has no previous D&D experience, also plays with them in and I find the table interactions between all of them to be one of the best parts of the show.

I’m really enjoying it but it is consuming all of my podcast time right now. This style of podcast seems to be easier to listen to while I’m working so I’m getting more time than usual to listen. I’m going to need it, the first campaign alone is 68 episodes and there’s three campaigns in total!

This Week In Melvor Idle: Entering the Volcanic Cave

Last week, I predicted that this week would be another round of preparing for the Volcanic Cave Dungeon and it almost was. That is until last night when I finished crafting the last of my Damage Reduction IV potions and decided to see how well I would fair in the dungeon with my setup

I completed all of my goals for the week which were:

  • Gather materials for the Agility obstacles I want so I can gear the buffs towards combat.
  • Get the Damage Reduction Potion to Mastery Rank 90 so I can create Damage Reduction Potion IV
  • Gather enough materials to make a lot of Damage Reduction Potion IV
  • Restock Food Supply

I knocked out a few of these easier Agility obstacles early in the week and chose ones more geared towards combat. The higher level ones require a fair bit of Slayer coins to purchase which I had used up last week when tuning the course for XP and leveling up Agility to 99.

My current Agility passives. There’s room for improvement but I’m happy with it for now.

I wasn’t originally planning on pursuing Slayer tasks this week but I’m glad I did. Not only did I acquire enough slayer coins to purchase some more Agility obstacles but I also looted a pair of Paladin Gloves which grant 4% damage reduction. The Dragon Gloves I was wearing offered no damage reduction but had a slight boost to damage stats. I figured I could take the a little hit in the damage department for a nice boost to damage reduction. This is what prompted me to try my luck at the Volcanic Cave to see if I was able to idle through it.

The Volcanic Cave Dungeon is the first of the Elite dungeons. The jump in the Highest Combat Level Monster between the previous dungeon, Dragons Den ( Highest Level 272), and the Volcanic Cave (Highest Level 677) is significant. Clearing the Volcanic Cave once awards a Fire Cape for every completion and unlocks 4 additional God Dungeons, Air, Walter, Earth, and Fire. I was surprised to find it also awards a lore book, A Tale of the Past, a future’s prophecy, which is 1 of 3 books. If you follow the wiki link you can see there’s a lot contained in that little book!

Clearing the Volcanic Dungeon 100 times unlocks the Infernal Stronghold Dungeon as well as spells form the Ancient Magicks spell book.

This dungeon is tough. With 35% damage reduction and 920 hp I was able to idle through and let auto eat heal me but just barely. The boss, Malcs, The Guardian of Melvor, has a max hit on one of its abilities that hits me for 338 health. Auto eat stops kicking in at 368 so I have very little damage reduction to spare. Malcs doesn’t have a normal attack (thank goodness because it would hit for 662!) but has two special attacks instead. There’s a 70% chance it will use Razor-Sharp claws which is that big attack that does 338 damage twice and it has a 30% chance to use Dragonbreath does 39×30 damage over 2.9 seconds. Dragonsbreath won’t out right kill me but it chews through my food supply like no other.

I was able to get away with doing this dungeon without using my Damage Reduction potions. Instead I opted for Melee Accuracy Potions so I could get more hits in and thus complete the dungeon quicker with melee. Even with the Accuracy potions, whetstones, melee prayers, and +12 attack level necklace, I only have a 53% chance to hit Malcs on every attack. As a result, this dungeon run uses up a massive amount of resources, Prayer Points and food in particular. With 100k prayer points I was only able to idle this dungeon for about 2 hours which resulted in 78 kills on Malcs and drained of 1k whales form my food supply. I’ll have to get the additional 22 kills this week to unlock the new dungeon and spells.

I opened the dungeon chests after my run last night instead of waiting until I get the pet to open all of the dungeon chests. I was hoping to get a piece of Ancient Armor to add to my melee setup. I lucked out and got an Ancient Shield which can be upgrade 3 times to the Dragon Fire Shield which offers more defense, damage reduction, +30 hitpoints, and 30% damage reduction from that pesky Dragonsbreath skill. That should make runs on the Volcanic Cave a bit easier.

Combat Skills

Attack 87/99 (+4)Strength 95/99 (+0)Defense 79/99 (+2)
Hitpoints 87/99 (+3)Ranged 83/99 (+6)Magic 92/99 (+2)
Prayer 94/99 (+3)Slayer 77/99 (+4)

There was a ton of opportunities to level up combat this week. Resupplying the food stocks required Raw Chicken which can be obtained in large quantities by running the Chicken Coop Dungeon and opening the chests. I leveled up Defense this way while I collected my chests for chickens.

I did a bit of active Slayer where I changed my equipment set to match the weakness of my Slayer task monsters. Most of the monsters were Magic based so I eventually left the Ranged set on and collected some levels there.

I needed a ton of Long Horns to make Damage Reduction potions which required killing a lot of Raging Horned Elites in the Desolate Plains. I got most of my Attack levels here this week.

Non-Combat Skills

Woodcutting 105/99 (+0)Fishing 117/99 (+0)Firemaking 99/99 (+0)
Cooking 106/99 (+5)Mining 105/99 (+0)Smithing 102/99 (+0)
Thieving 92/99 (+2)Farming 114/99 (+0)Fletching 99/99 (+0)
Crafting 89/99 (+2)Runecrafting 90/99 (+0)Herblore 96/99 (+5)
Agility 99/99 (+0)Summoning 97/99 (+2)Astrology 79/99 (+0)
All skills over 99 are virtual levels based on additional experience gained after level 99 cap.

The question for this week was how to get enough mastery pool XP in Herblore to level up the Damage Reduction potion from 1-90 without using any resources to craft them. That’s because the resources are hard to come by and I didn’t want to waste them on the lower tiers of the Damage Reduction potion. I did this by first crafting enough Herblore Potions to get 99 mastery, then used those potions to craft enough Melee Accuracy potions to get 99 mastery on that item too. Once those were done, I had enough in the mastery pool to get the Damage Reduction potion up to 90 mastery and instantly start crafting tier IV potions. Thanks to 63% chance to reuse crafting materials and the Herblore Potions which have a 6% chance to produce a random tier of the potion your crafting I turned 1.500 long horns into 5,000 Damage Reduction Potion IVs.

Completion Log: 57.82% (+2.94%)

Skills 93.54% (+2.41%)Mastery 33.13% (+0.78%)Items 51.56% (+3.21%)Monsters 53.09% (+10.50%)Pets 57.78% (+0%)

This week saw a huge gain of almost 3% overall completion. I must have fought more Slayer monsters I’ve never seen before than I thought. Also, the additional 8 monsters in the Volcanic Cave probably helped that as well. I’m guessing the item completion gains came from this as well. There was also a lot of levels gained this week across various skills.

Goals for Next Week

  • Upgrade the Ancient Shield to the Dragon Fire Shield
  • Complete the Volcanic Cave 22 more times to unlock additional spells and dungeon
  • Acquire the pet for Volcanic Cave
  • Check out the Air God Dungeon

Motivation or Lack There Of

This week’s theme for Blaugust is staying motivated. It just so happens to also be the week where I have found the least motivation. Not to the fault of anyone but my own. Posting every day is a great goal and I’ve done a pretty good job so far this month if I do say so myself. But Posting every day also takes time away from other activities. I was starting to feel like I had been posting more but gaming less and I needed a small break. So I chose to game rather than write the last few days for a bit of a reset.

This isn’t an uncommon occurrence for my Blaugust participation. The difference over the years is if I catch it in time before I lapse into not writing at all. I was feeling on the verge of one of those lapses today so I decided to sit down tonight and write something.

I think part of staying motivated is recognizing when your motivation is running dry and making a decision to do something about it. Seeing as it’s Staying Motivated week and I need some motivation of my own I’ll tell you what motivates me (which will in turn motivate me).

Let’s start with my biggest motivator: reading other blogs. It’s what got me in to this whole blogging thing in the first place. I find that, if I read enough posts, eventually I’ll get the urge to write something as well no matter how long I’ve been away from it or how little motivation I have to write. The inverse, is also true, the longer I go without reading other posts the more likely it is that I won’t write. Sometimes I find inspiration from others’ posts to riff off of but other times just the act of reading what other people are up to makes me want to knock a post or two out.

Participating in community events/ projects are another one of my big motivators. Just this month I participated in Unwise Owl’s call for Humble Choice Reviews which I hope continues! Blaugust is sure to get me to write every year to varying degrees. Some years I make the 31 posts, some years I’m done after two weeks, and some years I make a short introduction post and don’t write anything else, but I’ll always attempt to participate. Then there’s the Blogger Succession XCOM Game that’s been going on now for over a year and a half. Last year was one of my biggest blogging slumps but every time my turn came back around I knew I had to write at least one post. Nothing motivates quite like a bunch of people waiting on you to play your turn…

My last motivator is simply writing something, anything really. Preferably something that ends with a published post. Kind of like what I’m writing now. There seems to be about a three day shelf life on my own motivation. Any longer than that, and the chances of me writing decrease significantly. It really is a wonder this blog has been going for so long…

Walkabout Mini Golf: The Labyrinth DLC

Walkabout Mini Golf may be my favorite VR title. It’s simple, it’s fun, it’s a great game to show people who have never played a VR game, and it has multiplayer that just works. I dusted off the Quest 2, which I’ll admit hasn’t seen much action in a few months, to play the newest DLC course, The Labyrinth,with the squad this weekend. Yes, The Labyrinth, as in the 1986 film starring David Bowie.

Mighty Coconut keeps pumping out DLC for this game. I’ve bought every single one. They’re high quality and you get two 18-hole courses, a normal mode, and a hard mode with each one. To top it all off they’re cheap! Coming in at just $3, it’s cheaper than your average round of actual mini golf.

The squad’s all here!

I was excited for the Labyrinth course as soon as I heard about it. I love that movie. It’s a weird title to put into a mini golf game for sure and I’m suprised it was still only $3. I would think licensing a movie for a game would increase the price at least a little. Maybe keeping Jareth, the Goblin King and David Bowie’s likeness out of the course kept costs low.

I’m always surprised how big and detailed these maps are.

The course takes you through the – ehm – course of the movie. Starting with meeting Hoggle and entering the Labyrinth. On the normal course, the holes start off easy, transition into holes that are a maze themselves, and ends with some truly mind-bending mini golf experiences. If you venture off the beaten path, there are several hedge mazes reminiscent of the Windows 95 Screensaver Maze. We ran around a few of these but sadly, there was nothing to find at the end.

This was my favorite hole. And yes, you do have to take your shot at the whole sideways on the wall. It was not easy!

I’m always surprised at the level of detail that goes into the courses in Walkabout. It could be just a simple mini golf game but each course is its own little world to explore and that’s no less true of the Labyrinth DLC. If you have a VR headset and haven’t played Walkabout before I’d highly recommend it along with all of the other DLC. Even better if you have a few friends to join in!

I Guess I’m Playing Elder Scrolls Online Now?

I’ve been searching for a new game to play for a whilenow. So much so that I was going to write a whole post about the few games I was deciding between. Then Friday happened and I had to make some decisions about what I really wanted to play.

ESO was alreading on the list of games I was leaning towards. . I’ve kept it perpetually installed because it’s giant (98 GB). It stares at me from my desktop waiting patiently to be played again. Over the years, I have tried over and over to get in to it but never made it too far. The classes confuse me and the combat is weird. But I love the story teliing and the world exploration so every once and a while I will boot it up to see if this time is the time it sticks.

The ongoing Quakecon Sale on Steam cemented my decision. The Elder Scrolls Online Collection: High Isle, which includes the latest expansion and all of the previous ones, was 35% off. Sure I could have just played the base game, which I already own, but I figured it wasn’t that expensive to pick the whole game up all at once.

This also solves one of the issues I have with MMOs I’ve repeatedly tried to get into: doing the same starter zones over again. With High Isle, and the Complete Collection in general, I can start somewhere I’ve never been before. In this case, creating a new character and skipping the tutorial, something I’ve also done a few times over the years, plops you right in to the latest expansion.

I was originally planning on starting in the base game once again but, like I said, skipping the tutorial doesn’t give you a choice. I was curious about starting other places so I did go back and play the tutorial on another character. It’s completely changed since the last time I played it. For the better, I might add. At the end, you can pick to start in any of the Chapters but the character I wanted to play was already in High Isle.

That’s where my journey begins this time around. I’m helping Lady Arabell Davaux find the missing delegates to a peace conference that’s being held on High Isle. Thanks to the few times I’ve run the base game starting zones I know what the Three Banners War is which, so far, seems to be the only prerequsit to follow the story.

Starting at the end may seem like an odd choice. I was going to jump back to the base game to get the whole story but High Isle is so pretty. I wanted to get out there and see more of it as soon as I arrived.

The plan is to push through and see if I can get used to the combat enough to really get in to the game (as long as I’m having fun of course). I have a habit of jumping ship when things are too different. Sometimes I want to play a new game without having to learn something new you know? But I have also found that sticking things out for just a little bit, even if their weird, can help get me over that hump and find enjoyment. Which is where I’m heading with ESO right now. The classes and combat are starting to make more sense now that I’ve been playing for a few days.

We shall see how this goes, I could be playing for a few more days or it could become my new game. only time will tell.

This Week in Melvor Idle: Preparation for Volcanic Cave

This week was pretty boring in the world of Melvor. I decided to get Agility, one of the less exciting but extremely helpful skills, maxed and out of the way. As I talked about last week, Agility provides a huge amount of passive bonuses. At level 99, the Passive Pillar slot is unlocked which provides even more bonuses. The idea here is to customize your Agility course to maximize passive buffs and debuffs to suit what you’re setting out to do. I figured I’d get this out of the way now so I could have access to all of the obstacles and the Passive Pillar to take me through the rest of the game.

Now the trick is gathering up all of the materials again to slot the correct obstacles for the buffs I want.

Combat Skills

Attack 82/99 (+0)Strength 95/99 (+0)Defense 77/99 (+0)
Hitpoints 84/99 (+0)Ranged 77/99 (+0)Magic 90/99 (+0)
Prayer 91/99 (+0)Slayer 73/99 (+0)

I didn’t fight a single thing this week. I didn’t even Item Alchemy enough items to raise Magic up a level.

Non-Combat Skills

Woodcutting 105/99 (+0)Fishing 117/99 (+0)Firemaking 99/99 (+0)
Cooking 101/99 (+0)Mining 105/99 (+0)Smithing 102/99 (+0)
Thieving 90/99 (+3)Farming 114/99 (+0)Fletching 99/99 (+0)
Crafting 87/99 (+0)Runecrafting 90/99 (+0)Herblore 91/99 (+1)
Agility 99/99 (+14)Summoning 95/99 (+0)Astrology 79/99 (+0)
All skills over 99 are virtual levels based on additional experience gained after level 99 cap.

Agility is a necessary but boring skill to level up. To make things quicker I crafted thousands of “Performance Enhancing Potion IV” to make sure I didn’t run out before I hit max level. The potion grants -8% Agility Interval so it took 8% less time than it would have. I also equipped the Firemaking Skill Cape, Ancient Ring of Skills, and the Book of Scholars for a 16% XP increase. Sure, the Book of Scholars also gives -15% GP but Agility wasn’t going to make me a lot of money anyways.

Along the way, I tried to create a course that maximized completion time and XP. Every time an obstacle hit 99 mastery I looked for another obstacle to swap for it. Usually, this would be an obstacle with more XP and less time to complete but not always. There were some obstacles that I didn’t remove just because they are kind of a pain to get materials for.

It took me until Thursday to max out Agility. The rest of the week was spent getting enough GP and materials to buy the Pillar of Combat.

Completion Log: 54.88% (+0.8%)

Skills 91.13% (+0.79%)Mastery 32.35% (+1.96%)Items 48.53% (+1.25%)Monsters 42.59% (+0%)Pets 57.78% (+0%)

Completion didn’t go up too much this week. I did get a few items from Thieving that I haven’t found yet. The Training Shield which grants +3% Combat XP and adds 3% of my maximum hit to my minimum hit. I also found the Chef’s Spoon which grants +1% Cooking XP and Mastery XP as well as +2% chance to successfully cook and item.

Goals for Next Week

  • Gather materials for the Agility obstacles I want so I can gear the buffs towards combat.
  • Get the Damage Reduction Potion to Mastery Rank 90 so I can create Damage Reduction Potion IV
  • Gather enough materials to make a lot of Damage Reduction Potion IV
  • Restock Food Supply

Next week will be more preparation to take on the Volcanic Cave Dungeon. I don’t think setting up the Agility course will take too much time. I plan on using the Herblore Mastery pool to boost the Damage Reduction Potion up. The materials are hard enough to come by that I want to be making the strongest version of the potion right off the bat. This will probably entail creating a bunch of other potions to get fill up the mastery pool. I’ll have to figure out which one would be most beneficial to have a lot of. Once that’s done I’ll have to go out and get the materials for crafting the potion, mainly the Long Horns, the eyes are easy to come by. Finally, I’ll need to restock my food supply before I take on the dungeon. I’m running pretty low right now and I might be out after fighting a bunch of Raging Horned Elites for their horns.

Unexpected Reinstalls

I went to wake up my computer this morning and was greeted by a mouse cursor and two blank screens. I gave it a customary restart and was starting to look a little better. I got a Windows boot splash screen and a few seconds later I was back in my profile. Except, I couldn’t click on anything. Not a great sign.

I’ve worked in IT Support for last five years, four of them doing Desktop Support, so my brain instantly kicked in to troubleshooting mode. It wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do before clocking in this morning but, I knew it was going to bother me all day if I didn’t take a crack at fixing it.

At first, I was worried my graphics card was on the fritz. It’s now five and a half years old now and I’ve had to replace the fan on it twice now. Everything looked good there, even unplugged it and used the onboard graphics which produced the same issue.

Unless the board or the CPU were failing I was confident this was a software issue. Software issues are great, they usually don’t cost anything to fix – well, other than time. It was a struggle but I was able to get the task manager to open. The NVIDIA Container, which I learned houses all of the NVIDIA processes while their doing something, was pegging the CPU to 100%. The Desktop Windows Manager was taking up all of the RAM. That explained why things seemed to be working if I waited long enough for them to open.

I figured at this point it was either a corrupt driver or some corruption with Windows itself. I tried to get to the command line to run some Windows repairs but the UAC prompt would never load to run cmd as administrator. I really should turn that off….

Next, it was on to try a system restore and automatic repair. Both failed to do anything. I tried booting in to safe mode but was met with more black screens that never loaded. I’m sure I could have fought with it some more but time was dwindling before I had to be logged on for work. So I went with the nuclear option. A good, old, fashioned, reinstall of Windows

.I keep my OS on a small SSD and have separate data drives which makes a complete reinstall relatively painless. It was pretty quick too, I think it only took 20 minutes from formatting the drive to logging in to a new profile. I forgot how ugly the default Windows set up is. Who decided the Light Theme was a good choice? I changed that as soon as I could.

Firefox, Steam, and Discord all needed a reinstall but I took this opportunity to do some clean up. Before, my desktop was covered in icons for unused programs, ancient files, and forgotten games. I could have re-added my Steam Library from my D drive but I just deleted the whole thing to start over fresh. I installed the games I’m either playing with other people right now or thinking about playing on my own in the very near future. I’ll reinstall whatever other programs I hadwhen I find that I need them.

For now, the issues seem to be fixed and everything feels less cluttered. As an added bonus, I get a blog post out of it!

Making a Return to Temtem

It’s been two years since I’ve played Temtem. The last time was just after Blapril 2020. . Logging back in to an MMO after an extended period of time is always tough. I had a party full of Temtems of which I had a vauge idea as to why they were there and what they did. I had a storage full of other Temtems of varying levels, most of the lower variety, which I assumed is why they were there. I also had a log full of quests and, after looking at the map, couldn’t figure out where they were suppose to lead to or where I had to go to finish them. I made the executive decision to ignore those completely.

I spent my first few hours running around this grassfield looking for fights. Brother was the one who mentioned he wanted to play the game again and his Tems were around level 30 already. Mine were not and I had some under level 25. I catching up to do. I got most of my Tems to 30 with my water type Tem, Umishi, falling just short at 29. I put the Cowards Cloak on him which is an XP share item since most of the Temtems in the feild were Nature type. Water and Nature don’t mix.

Umishi did evolve in to Ukama at some point in my leveling. I learned that 50 SV is considered a perfect stat which can change when a Temtem evolves. Ukama ended up with 50 SV in Special Defense. I have no idea if that’s good or not but I got an achievement for it so it’s something!

One of the nice thing about co-op is that if your partner hasn’t fought a trainer yet you get to fight them and obtain the rewards again. The partner battles are interesting. Each person gets to use their first 3 Tems to create a team of 6. I didn’t realize this until I summoned one of Brother’s Tems and wasn’t able to control it the rest of the battle. You still retain your own team of 6 outside of battle and can swap out Tems that have been knocked out or aren’t looking good into the combined team for the next battle.

This week we took on the second Dojo Leader, Rawiri. This is the Fire type Dojo and much like Sophia the trainers and Dojo leader here have multiple types of Temtems. For this Dojo, eveyone had a mix of Fire and Nature types which is clever. Fire is weak against Water but Water is weak against Nature so, yes, you can bring your Water Tem out to knock out the Fire tem but it’s going to get beat up by the Nature Tem as a result. It forces you to come up with a strategy other than exploiting the type weakness to win.

My character appeared without clothes in this battle for some reason

After beating Rawiri, we continued on with the main quest. We had some technical difficulties with a cable car that was suppose to take us to another zone. Somehow I ended up spawning outside the cable car and got stuck. I rebooted my game but wasn’t able to see my co-op partner anymore. In an effort to see if we could interact at all I challenged him to a Casual Battle. It was a close fight, coming down to my final Temtem and Brother’s (PancakeJohnson above) final two. I lost but my last Temtems put up a valiant effort.

After the battle we were able to see each other again. We tore off to the next zone, anxious to find some new Temtems and explore again. We found a tube that appears to lead to a housing sector. When talking to the real estate agent they let us know that the volcano next door was currently active and they wouldn’t sell us a plot. Maybe when we get further in the story this will open up. I wasn’t expecting housing in a game like this but I’ll definately be trying it out once I have the ability, and money, to get a plot.

We did get to the zone the main quest wanted us in. There was a whole host of trainers to fight along the way and a few new Temtems we hadn’t seen yet. At one point, we ended up on a detour without a place to heal our Temtems with a bunch of trainer fights. I’m not sure how, maybe we’re still a little over leveled, but we made it though a gauntlet of fights with a few Temtems still hangin1g on. At the end of the night we rushed the detour to get to a healing station.

I’m looking forward to playing some more and seeing if I can russel up any new Temtems. I sure won’t be waiting another two years to play again, especially with the game’s launch right around the corner.

Teenagers Vs. Killer Robots

I’ll be honest with you, I have no idea what’s going on in *Generation Zero*. Part of that is my fault, I changed voice over language to Swedish for immersion (it takes place in Sweden) and then kept forgetting to read the subtitles.

From what I gathered from the opening cutscenen rouge robot war machines have been rampaging through the Swedish countryside and everyone has been evacuated. Except my character, and my three other teenage friends. No, we were on vacation in a boat in the middle of a river and had no idea what was going on until we made it back to land.

I thought that was rather silly.

We look kind of old to be in High School

Anyways, now we’re hunting down military radio relays, searching for bunkers, and shooting at every robot we come across and stripping them for parts. I’ve turned the voice over back to English so maybe next time I’ll catch up on why we’re doing all of this.

The squad jumped in to Generation Zero again this weekend. We’ve played it three times now, all to a varying degree of success. Now that we’re out of the “hitting things with bats until they blow up” phase we’re making some progress. Ok, who am I kidding? We’re still doing that but not as often.

This is what happens when you stand on a big propane tank and someone shoots it.

Last time we played, SuperToast wasn’t able to join us and we made a fair bit of progress across the map. It’s a big map so we were worried he’d have to run for a while to meet up with us. This was not the case. I think the save state of the game is based on the host so Toast was able to jump to our latest Safehouse fast travel point. He also was on all the same quests we had picked up last time.

I have some gripes with this game but this is, by far, my favorite feature Our group can’t always play together so this kind of multiplayer system makes our lives easier. No one has to play on their own just to catch up. The only downside was that Toast was down a few levels from the rest of us. It didn’t seem to matter to much.

This session we decided to clear out our side missions and move forward with the main quest line. One side mission we had missed back at the beginning of the game. We had to backtrack a little ways to complete it. The other side mission had us go to a town and clear out the robots there. There not a robot in sight when we got there. I even threw a boom box down to make some noise to attract attention but nothing showed up. They must not have liked the song.

We gave up on that mission and tried to do more of the main story. After we cleared out another radio relay our next mission was to the north on the mainland. We were currently on a little strip of land at the bottom of the map. It was a hike to our next destination so we started walking.

In fact, the majority of our play time was spent walking. Like I said, it’s a very large map and the majority of it is kind of empty. There are towns to explore, sometime you find a safe house fast travel point, but sometimes you’re walking down an empty road with a few cars to loot and nothing else in site. Every once and a while we’d stumble on a pack of angry robots but a lot of the time there was just nothing.

Surprise, surprise, this pistol was not effective

Along the way we went robot hunting. There are several named bots across the map. Sometimes you’ll get a notification that one has become dominant in an area and they even level up if you leave them too long. Kind of wonder what they’re doing while we’re roaming around the country side. Is there some sort of internal robot war going on? Some struggle for dominance? Sounds a lot more interesting than whatever we’re suppose to be doing.

Anyways, we found the biggest robot we’d seen yet in the middle of an open field minding it’s own business. We couldn’t resist engaging it. It took a whole lot of ammo to take down but it was a fun fight. Every once and a while one of us would get hit with a barrage or rockets, get thrown, a ways, and then revive at the near by church. Giant-A632 was mean but we wore him down with our never ending respawns.

It’s hard to tell if it was worth it though. Most of the time, the big enemies drop a bunch of crafting materials and we have yet to figure out how to craft anything. The crafting materials take up a ton of space in your inventory too. Inventory is weight based, one of my least favorite inventory mechanics, and crafting materials weigh a lot. There doesn’t seem to be a way to throw them in storage either so I found myself constantly dropping 10-20 pounds of crafting mats every few fights.

Maybe we’ll find a use for them and I’ll regret it but I doubt that. They seem easy enough to come by.

Planning Ahead

Blaugust is in full swing as we enter week two. It’s been great to be able to come back to the blog and get so much writing in this month. As always, it’s a amazing to see so much content in my Feedly feed too.

Every year. I’ve always felt a few days of Blaugust makes me think more like a blogger. I come up with more ideas and think about things differently. Theres also that extra boost of motivation to post everyday. But writing every day and posting every day are two different things.

Writing is more or less the easy part given that I have some idea off what I want to say and enough tine to bang it out. Editing, finding pictures, adding/fixing links, and formating is a whole other ball game that sometimes takes longer than writing the actual post.

This past week has been so busy and I found myself struggling to get posts out on time. The posts went live, sometimes at the eleventh hour, but I’m not sure I was completely happy with how they turned out.

At the start of the month I had myself a nice 4 scheduled post buffer. It was nice to work on posts a few days out, polish them up, and put them out. These last few days writing and posting on the same day has not felt quite as enjoyable.

I’ve never been one to plan or work ahead. Usually I write when motivation strikes. Probably explains the sporatic posting I’ve done here over the years.However, I’m starting to think that if I’m going to get 31 posts out this month I’m going to have to give myself some more buffers. Baby Kluwes keeps my schedule just unpredictable enough that I should take advantage of writing when I can, aka at nap time or bed time, and write multiple posts in a day.

The inportant part here is the writing. If I can get some first drafts written I can do all the polishing and bloggy bits later or on the day of if need be. Of course, life just gets in the way sometimes and thats ok too.

We’ll see how it goes!