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!

Audio Drama Sunday: Uncanny County Season 1

Show Description: Mystical truck drivers. Robots gone haywire. Killer clown demons. And pie. So. Much. Pie. This quirky, darkly comic, Southwestern-flavored anthology brings you a new paranormal audio play every month. Sit back, open your ears, and hold on tight. Because you’re about to take a quick detour…through Uncanny County.

I’ve been digging through shows deep in my subscription list and trying to clean it up a bit. I’m constantly adding new podcasts as I hear about them but regularly only listen to the same handful. I blame the No Sleep Podcast for this…I’m still working my way through the three 3 season bundles I bought way back in 2019. I’m still only half way through season 9…

Uncanny County is one of those shows I’ve been staring at the thumbnail for years but never listened to. In fact, I think I heard about it through the No Sleep Podcast. At the time, it sounded right up my alley but never made it to the player

This week, I decided to finally press play and binged the whole first season.

Uncanny County is a horror anthology podcast. It’s more light-hearted than most horror anthologies out there. It reminds me of the Twilight Zone mixed with a bit of Goosebumps and sprinkle of dark humor on top. Each episode is voiced by a full cast and takes place somewhere in the county. The voice cast is small so you’ll hear the same people playing different characters throughout the season but they do a great job with it. With an average episode runtime of 30 minutes it’s easy to get through an episode or two while running errands or doing chores around the house.

The stories range from magical kittens to evil coffee and everything in between. Each episode stands on it’s own but characters will reference places and events from previous episodes. Sheriff Rowlands, a reoccurring character, usually shows up somewhere in the story to help out. There’s a running gag that the Sheriff’s Deputy never quite makes it past their first day on the job. All of this all helps the show feel like it’s all taking place in a specific geographical location rather than just a collection of stories.

As of this writing, Uncanny County has two seasons and 11 short bonus episodes. The lastest bonus episode was released on May 6th, 2020. The show notes on their website say that season 3 is still coming but was held up by the pandemic. A twitter update from October of last year says that Season 3 is still on it’s way.

I hope so! I’ve enjoyed every episode I’ve heard so far. At least I have a whole season to go before I’m caught up.

Here’s a few of my favorite episodes from Season 1:

Margaret and Beth have grown up with a mother who can, and does, do everything for them. They’re about to find out what makes her so capable. They’re not going to like it.

In 1938, Orson Welles terrified the nation with a false tale of a Martian invasion. One year later, after being all but driven from the industry, Orson is back on the air and about to face the most challenging broadcast OF HIS LIFE!

Twelve year old Treve wants a pet. But not just any pet. He wants something special, something unusual, something different. Because Treve’s felt different ever since his dad died two years ago. But the pet he’s chosen- well, let’s just say it comes with a price he may not be able to meet.

This Week In Melvor Idle: The Quest for Damage Reduction

As I mentioned last week, one of my short term goals right now is to obtain all of the dungeon boss pets. Currently, I have 7 pets out of 8 from the lower tier dungeons. The last pet I need is from the Dragons Den Dungeon which is what I spent most of this week preparing for.

In order to farm the dungeon without baby sitting my health bar I have to make sure my max health can withstand any dungeon monster’s max hit. To help with this, there is an auto-eat perk which can be upgraded three times from the shop. Once fully upgraded, auto-eat kicks in when your health is at or below 40% Hitpoints and the consumed food fills up your HP to at least 80%. So 40% of my max health needs to be higher than a given monsters’ max hit in order to idle the dungeon. As long as I have enough food equipped the dungeon can be farmed endlessly.

What happens when the max hit of a monster is higher than 40% of your health? There are two options, get more health or get some damage reduction. That’s where I found myself this week with the Elder Dragon boss. It’s max hit is 470 which would mean my health would need to be at least 1175 to have auto-eat kick in. The max level for HP is 99 which would leave me at 990 health without. I’d need some serious bonus HP before I could effectively farm this boss. Not to mention, I’d need to get my Hitpoints up 15 levels which would take a while.

This is where Damage Reduction comes in. Up until this point, I didn’t have any equipment that provided damage reduction so I wasn’t paying little attention to the stat. Since I wanted to take a shot at this dungeon this week I went over to the fantastic Melvor Idle Wiki to figure out where I could get some DR.

The easiest thing I could do was upgrade my armor. I’ve stubled on this option before but thought it was more of a cosmetic thing riffing on Runescape’s gilded armor variations. It turns out these provide a huge stat boost as well a bunch of damage reduction once fully upgraded. I was able to upgrade my Dragon Armor set to the (G) Dragon Armor set and my Black D-hide set to the (G) Black D-hide set. That set me up for success with Melee and Ranged attack styles. I still needed something for Magic which I planned on using for that attack style for the Dragons Den.

Unlike Melee and Range, the magic armor set with damage reduction comes from the Runecrafting skill rather than upgrading existing armor. I had three out of four pieces of the Fire Expert set and needed to hit 90 Runecrafting before I could obtain the last piece.

You might be wondering, how do you know how much damage reduction you need before you can take on the dungeon? Well, you could do the math and figure out what percentage of the max hit you need to reduce by to equal 40% of your current health. Or you can head over to Can I Idle Melvor? which does the math for you. It shows you how much damage reduction or HP is needed with your current stats and combat style for each dungeon as well as Slayer Tiers. I needed at least 25% Damage Reduction to take on the Dragons Den with Magic which is what most of the week was spent working towards.

I was able to obtain 26% damage reduction with my Magic equipment and spent most of Friday and this morning taking on this dungeon.

The Elder Dragon’s Max hit Reduced to 347 with my 26% damage reduction.

Combat Skills

Attack 82/99 (+3)Strength 95/99 (+0)Defense 77/99 (+5)
Hitpoints 84/99 (+4)Ranged 77/99 (+3)Magic 91/99 (+8
Prayer 91/99 (+5)Slayer 73/99 (+9)

Crafting a bunch of damage reduction potions was ne of my earlier ideas to get more damage reduction. After getting Herblore up to level 90 I realized I needed Large Horns for the recipe. They drop from monsters in the Desolate Plains which requires level 70 Slayer. Early in the week I decided to try get Slayer up to par to take on the Raging Horned Elites. The drop rate for horns was a little slow for my liking so I decided to pursue other options to increase damage reduction.

Over the course of leveling slayer I was able to increase my other combat stats a fair bit. Defense and Prayer I got a whopping 5 levels in this week!

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 87/99 (+2)Farming 114/99 (+3)Fletching 99/99 (+0)
Crafting 87/99 (+0)Runecrafting 90/99 (+3)Herblore 90/99 (+5)
Agility 85/99 (+14)Summoning 95/99 (+1)Astrology 79/99 (+0)
All skills over 99 are virtual levels based on additional experience gained after level 99 cap.

Agility was the other source of damage reduction I looked in to. Agility is a skill that provides bonus stats in the form of an obstacle course . Agility is leveled up by running the course which nets you a small amount of GP and XP for each obstacle completed. Unlike Runescape, you can’t fail these obstacles so it’s effectively a slow money printing skill with added bonus stats. Every 10 levels, another obstacle can be built to provide additional bonusues. Some obsacle’s provide both positive and negative effects.

Looking through my course, the Spike Trap obstacle provided two negative effects -40 hitpoints and -2% damage reduction. That whole category of obstacles only have negative effects and this one was the lesser of all evils. Getting an obstacle to 99 mastery halves it’s negative effects so my plan was to run the course until either the Spike Trap was at 99 mastery or I had enough in the mastery pool to level it to 99. I ended up doing the latter but not before gaining another 15 levels in Agility.

I continued to tweak my course where I could to either increase my health or add some more DR. My course now includes the following obstacles:

  • Lake Swim: +3% Damage to All Monsters, +1% Damage reduction
  • Raft Building: +2% damage to All Monsters, +20 Maximum Hitpoints
  • Ice Jump: +10% chance to Preserve Resources in Skills, +10% Food Healing Value, +5% Chance to Double items Globally. +2- Maximum Hitpoints, +10 Mining Node Hitpoints, +10% Slayer Coins, +5% Slayer Skill XP.

In the event I need more health, I can swap out the Lake Swim for Rocky Waters which would provide an additional +50 Hitpoints.

Pets

I unlocked Harley while writing this post! Yep, this is the boss pet from Dragons Den so that goal is complete.

Now I’ll have to figure out how to get my stats high enough to take on the Volcanic Cave. I’ll either need 37% damage reduction or 980 health to take this on. This should be an fun challenge to star figuring out week!

I also unlocked the HP pet Finn, the Cat (+10 Maximum HP) and the Summoning pet, Tim the Wolf, which provides +1 shard cost reduction when creating familiars.

Completion Log: 54.08%

Skills 91.13% (+2.72%)Mastery 30.39% (+1.46%)Items 48.53% (+2.04%)Monsters 42.59% (+3.08%)Pets 57.78% (+6.67%)

My biggest win for the Completion Log this week was getting 100% Farming Mastery. This means all items in the Farming skill have been leveled to 99 mastery rank. This is probably the easiest 100% mastery to get since Farming runs along side whatever else you’re working on. It took 238 days, 23 hours, 27 minutes, and 22 seconds to complete!.

Goals for Next Week

  • Figure out the best way to either get more damage reduction or more health to take on the Volcanic Cave Dungeon.

I’m not sure that I’ll be able to take on the Volcanic Cave this week. I have a feeling this will be more of a preparation week.

Backlogged: Omno

Platform: PC

Time to Finish: 4.5 hours (100% Complete)

I first saw Omno thanks to a demo in one of the Steam Next Fest event. The demo wasn’t very long but I liked the way it looked and played. I stuck it on the wish list where it sat for a few months. When the Steam Summer Sale rolled around this year, Omno, was a strong contender for a purchase. At the time, I was looking for more casual exploration games which Omno looked to fit the bill. When it came time to finalize my purchases I wasn’t as excited to play it over other games so I passed on it.

I was pleasantly surprised to find it in this month’s Humble Choice.

Things I Liked

The Puzzles: As I’ve mentioned before, I like puzzle games when they’re on the easier side of the difficulty spectrum. There are orbs in each level to collect that require you to solve a puzzle. These tend to be jumping puzzles which test your platforming more than your logical thinking abilities. In fact, I’m suprised at the platforming skills needed to complete some of the later levels. It’s nothing crazy but more than I was expecting from a game like this. It was fun to figure out how I was suppose to get somewhere and then figure out how to execute the platforming correctly.

The Visual Syle: The world is gorgeous. I couldn’t stop taking screenshots the whole time I was playing. Just wondering around the world I found some great opportunities to take a picture. The cuteness also provided some good shots.

I couldn’t help but notice as I traversed the world that this would look great in VR if it were first person. The art style has a chunky, cartoonish, look that seems to work well with VR titles. To be clear, this is not a VR title, but I would totally play a first person version of it in VR.

The Minimalist UI: I like a UI that doesn’t get in the way. Especially in a game like this that wants you to focus on the world around you. There are a few menus in Omno but they only appear when called up. Aside from a few interaction prompts the UI is almost non existent during gameplay. This made taking all those screenshots even easier!

Things That Could Have Been Better:

The Story Glyphs: Going in to this game, I thought it would be more like Journey. It just had that kind of look to it. Journey is incredibly good at telling it’s story through the world around it without any text. Omno has glyphs scattered around each level that are pieces a story.

The story tells of a tribe on a pilgrimage to a door of light that will lead them to a better world. It’s unclear if these messages were left behind for the player character to find or if they’re the player character’s own thoughts as they progress through their pilgrimage. They’re written in a sort of flowery, prose that I’m not too keen on.

There are also, stone carved murals throughout the game that, more or less, tell the same story but in a simpler, and in my opinion, a better way. I would have liked to see more of these as they felt like they were more a part of the world than the floating, esoteric glyphs.