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.

So You Want To Be a Mind Scanner

Imagine a world where your family member is being kept from you and the only way to see them again is to work for Their captors. You only get one shot, if you fail to do the job well, you’ll be thrown from the city and lose the only chance you have of seeing them.. How long until you abandon your morals? Would you “treat” seemingly healthy patients to pay the rent? Would you risk your patient’s mind to get the job done?

This is the setup for Mind Scanners. A dystopian, sci-fi, techno-therapist simulator from The Outer Zone.

In Mind Scanners, you take on the role of a Mind Scanner, whose job it is to scan minds and treat whatever insanity you discover. Or, more accurately, what your corporate overlords see fit to treat. Every day, you’ll receive new cases, travel to patients, assess them, and treat them if deemed necessary. There’s also the small matter of paying your new employer a maintenance fee to continue working for them.

A typical day for a Mind Scanner looks like this. Wake up, get a pep talk from a large, talking, tube and/or receive a passive aggressive fax from The Structure. Receive your new list of patients the system has identified as needing treatment and head out into the city. Determine which patient to travel to and eat up anywhere from 15-30% of your time per day commuting.

Arrive at the patients home and place the scanning device over their head. To the best of your abilities interpret the meaning of what they say they’re seeing in the machine from the predetermined answers the machine spits out. Better get your interpretation right or you’ll be losing time asking another question.

Once interpretation is complete, decide if your patient is Sane or Insane. No, there’s no merely a little stressed, or might have a bit of anxiety, it’s either Sane or Insane. Choose one. If Sane: close the case. If Insane: start Treatment.

Treatment consists of using devices that match the “insanity types” the mind scan has discovered. You’ll be using cutting edge technology such as:

  • The Lunasucker: Suck out the Strange and negative energy from your patient.
  • The Stroboschocker: Keep patients in balance with amplified light drawn from luminescent zycnoka crystals.
  • The Throatarizer: Transforms the insanity into frequencies and forces them out using the vocal chords of the patient.

As you can see, all very technical, sciencey devices.

Each device has it’s own, unique mini game that require a bit of practice to master. If the device isn’t used correctly you will start to stress out the patient. Treatment is over when all insanity types have been cleared or the patient is too stressed out to continue.

If you’re not careful, your patient might become a functioning husk without a personality. Sadly, many of my patients have ended up this way because I focused too much attention on clearing their insanity and not enough of their personality bar. Don’t worry, you’ll still get paid as long as you finish treatment.

The it’s off to your next patient until you run out of time for the day. Crawl back to your corporate hovel, sleep, have terrible dreams about your daughter, wake up and do it all over again.

Sounds fun, right?

Don’t forget about your maintenance fee! Just 7 kapok a day to keep your job. You make 15 kapok from “curing patients” and 3 kapok for declaring them sane…I think you can see which one The Structure prefers you do.

Oh, and if you can’t make the rent? You’re getting tossed into the Outer Zone. You can be certain you’ll never see your daughter again once you’re out there.

Mind Scanners does something very interesting with it’s gameplay mechanics. I don’t know about you but trying to learn a new mini game or think about the right sequence of insanity types to remove while a timer is ever ticking down kinda makes me a little stressed.

If you think about it, you’re playing as someone so desperate to see their daughter that their working for her captors for a chance to see them again. They’ve just become a certified Mind Scanner, they barely know how to use their tools, and their constantly having to worry about how to make enough money so they aren’t kicked out of the city.

That kind of situation would stress me out too. That’s some immersion right there.

I probably wouldn’t have played this game if I wasn’t participating in UnwiseOwl’s Blaugust Reviews: Humble Choice. I thought it would be fun to pick a game I had never heard of before to play and review. I’m glad I did. My short time with Mind Scanners proved to be quite the experience. I’m going to finish my play through and see what ending I get (there are many).

Would I pick up August’s Humble Choice just for this game? Probably not. However, if there’s another game or two in the bundle that you’re excited for give this one a whirl too!

How I Got Started in Content Creation

Well that sounds like a click-baity title….

Today, I’m writing from one of the Blaugust Prompts that related to this week’s Introduce Yourself theme. Taking a look at this list, most of these would fit the theme for this week so if you’re struggling to come up with something but want to write about yourself head over to the prompt list!

I’m working off of prompt #1: How did you get started in content creation?

I started writing on the Internet in 2014 after replying to someone on Reddit looking for people to review comic books for their site. At the time, I was just getting in to comics and thought it would be a fun way to spend my time.

There wasn’t any pay, of course, but I did get a whole slew of free comics from multiple publishers every week. It allowed me to stretch out my writing muscles that I hadn’t used since college and learn a thing or two about WordPress. It was also really cool to see something I wrote appear on a website. A novelty then and a regular occurrence now.

That project lasted for about a year. The site owners moved on to creating a Sports site which I had no interest in contributing to. The comic site shutdown a few months later just in time for me to lose my interest in comics.

A little while later I stumbled upon book bloggers. As a lifelong reader, I toyed with the idea of creating my own. Ultimately, I didn’t feel like I read fast enough or prioritized reading over gaming enough to produce a steady stream of content for a book blog. I shelved that idea but the research for it taught me how to go about setting up a blog.

It wasn’t until 2016 that I would start this blog under the name I’m Not Squishy. The Newbie Blogger Initiative was the catalyst that got me to start my own gaming blog. I heard about it through Massively OP and saw an opportunity to try something new. Up until NBI 2016 I didn’t even know game blogs existed nor the amazing community that wrote them. I had such a good time writing, reading, and meeting bloggers that year. I’ve been here ever since.

In 2017, my group of friends and I decided to start a Twitch channel. We had been playing games together for about a year at that point and collectively decided it would be a fun group project. Thus, Welpsquadtv was born.

We found some small success early on. We had anywhere from 10-20 viewers every stream. Twitch was easier in 2017.

I was really in to learning the ins and outs of OBS, tweaking my audio, and finding new technologies to incorporate into our streams. The whole affiliate program rolled out and we were affiliated within a few days. I was so excited but there didn’t seem to be anywhere to go from their. I wasn’t looking to make a living off of Twitch, we already had a small community and I had already accomplished all of the goals I set out to accomplish

That was probably about the time that my interest started waning. Streaming showed me just how much time one needs to put in to be a “content creator” on the platform. I also realized I didn’t really like the whole solo-streaming thing. Unless I was playing with a friend, I get very little enjoyment trying to entertain people and talking to a live chat.

We’re still streaming, albeit, to a much smaller audience these days. It’s mostly my friend Greg who streams these days.. I still like playing with the tech and finding fun ways to use our 4 man group streams as a shtick. My favorite implementation has been using Discord screen sharing to see all of our view points at once. But my focus and individual contributions to the channel have wound down significantly over the years.

Oh look another Blaugchevemnet!

A Major Life Change

I don’t tend to talk about my personal life here much. Part of it is because I’m a relatively private person but I also just find it hard to write about myself sans hobbies. It took me forever to write my About page when I first started blogging and I rarely revisit to update it.

I have exactly one introduction post from 3 years ago that I wrote for Blaugust 2019. That was also shortly before I changed the blogs name.

I thought using the “Introduce Yourself Week” for Blaugust as motivation to post a bit more about myself sounded like a pretty good idea.

And there is some news I would like to share with you all:

Recently, my Mrs. Kluwes and I have become new parents. The last 4 months have been a a wild ride to say the least. Baby Kluwes was 6 weeks early and thankfully had very little complications from being such an early arrival. She did have an extended stay at the hospital which was incredibly hard for us. But she was discharged much quicker than the other children and families around us and it was all worth it when we finally got her home.

3 months later and she is thriving!

We got to live that new newborn life style/sleep schedule for an extra month and a half but we’re now rounding a corner. Baby goes to sleep earlier than we do now and almost sleeps through the nights. I had just about forgotten what sleeping multiple hours in a row was like…it’s all been an amazing experience so far.

Now that everyone is in more of a routine, I find that I can eek out an hour or maybe even two of free time a day after Baby Kluwes is asleep. Being awake enough to really enjoy it is an added bonusI fill most of my new found time with gaming and writing here.

It’s funny, when I had all the time in the world blogging was just another thing I did sometimes. Now that time is limited I have to prioritize my activities. I’ve been writing here for just over 6 years now and I don’t want it to completely fall by the wayside.

Audio Drama Sunday: Bringing it Back!

Three years later this feature is making a come back here on the blog. I didn’t realize I started this during Blaugsut 2019 until I went back to look at the previous posts. It ran for a whole 4 weeks before falling to the wayside. But I’m bringing it back!

Like I said in Friday’s post, I’ve been finding more time to listen to podcasts in this post-commute world I find myself in. Today I’d like to introduce two fiction podcasts I’ve listened to recently that I think are worth a exposing your ears to.

Forest 404

Forest 404 is set in the 24th century, after a data crash called The Cataclysm. Pan, our protagonist, is a young woman with a boring job sorting and deleting old sound files that survived the crash. She uncovers a set of sound recordings from the early 21st century that haunt her.

The story follows Pan after she finds a vibrant recording of a rain forest. It’s unlike anything she’s ever heard before. Pan sets out to find out what the recording is and why she’s never heard these sounds before. All while being chased by people who would rather the recordings not get out to the public.

Following each story episode is a short talk relating to something from the episode as well as a short soundscape recording. It’s an interesting mix of audio drama, informational podcast, and relaxing sounds that I haven’t run into before or since.

Slumberland

This audio drama invites your ears to visit Slumberland, a small island town in the US. Come along with Thomas Edward M, the freelance soundman. He’s been hired to meet the locals and record their oral histories for the town’s time capsule. The unfolding history of the town mixes folklore, paranormal, mystery and humor.

Slumberland is one of my new favorite shows as of late. It’s been ongoing since 2013 and released their 99th episode in May. I particularly like the use of an oral history project as a plot device to explain why these recordings exist. I’m also a fan of the setting being somewhere in the middle of one of the Great lakes.

It’s funny, quirky, a little bit spooky, and with episodes ranging from 4-35 minutes I was able to binged it in just under a month. New episodes don’t release consistently which is a bummer now that I’m caught up but I’m very much looking forward to the next installment of Thomas Edward M’s adventures in Slumberland.

This Week in Melvor Idle: 50% Completion

When thinking of ways to get more posts out for Blaugust I thought it might be fun to track my progress in Melvor week by week. Well, fun for me at least.This gives me a guaranteed easy post topic and will fill up the pesky weekend slot on Saturday. So it’s a win-win really. Well, again, at least for me.

I’ve been playing Melvor Idle on and off for the past year and a half. Mostly off until recently when I remembered it existed again in June. As I’ve said before, idle games are my guilty pleasure and Melvor Idle is basically Runescape without having to walk around or ever log off. It’s even published by Jagex now so it’s official.

At some point, I must have started my Standard character over though I’m not sure when or why. When I came back to the game in June this new character had been sitting doing nothing but had maxed out Woodcutting and Fishing. For all intents and purposes this is a new character.

In June, I also started a Hardcore character, which gets deleted on death, and an Adventure Mode character, which unlocks individual skills with money. It’s also restricted to leveling skills up only as high as it’s combat level. I have since relegated both of these characters for now to fishing while I focus on my Standard character. The hardcore character is fishing for Leaping Broad Fish which provide a tiny amount of Strength XP. The adventure mode character is fishing for whales which are a great money maker.

The ultimate goal on my Standard character is to get 100% Completion. This entails leveling up all of the skills to max, finding all the items in the game, facing off against all of the monsters, acquiring all of the pets, and maxing out all of the skill mastery. I hit 50% overall completion this week. Halfway there!

The Mastery system adds a secondary leveling system to individual items within a skill. Leveling the mastery up on an item applies permanent bonuses for that item. It’s also the completion category that’s going to take the longest.

Here’s where I stand right now skill wise:

Combat Skills

Attack 79/99Strength 95/99Defense 72/99
Hitpoints 80/99Ranged 74/99Magic 83/99
Prayer 86/99Slayer 64/99

Non-Combat Skills

Woodcutting 105/99Fishing 117/99Firemaking 99/99
Cooking 101/99Mining 105/99Smithing 102/99
Thieving 85/99Farming 111/99Fletching 99/99
Crafting 87/99Runecrafting 87/99Herblore 85/99
Agility 71/99Summoning 94/99Astrology 79/99
All skills over 99 are virtual levels based on additional experience gained after level 99 cap.

Pets

My current project has been unlocking all of the Dungeon Boss pets. In addition to counting towards completion these pets also provide small passive bonuses. The first 9 dungeon bosses have a 1/350 chance of dropping a pet. So far, I’ve gotten the pet from the first 8 dungeons.

I unlocked Ayyden (provides +2% slayer coins) from the Deep Sea Ship dungeon on Tuesday after 454 kills. Followed by Artic Yeti (+2% ammo preservation) from the Frozen Cave dungeon after 129 kills on Thursday.

Ayyden (left) Artic Yeti (right)

Much of my leveling over the last few weeks has revolved around getting my combat skills up to snuff to take on the next dungeon. The Deep Sea Ship was my excuse to get my Magic level up. There’s a rock-paper-scissors combat triangle in Melvor where Magic does more damage to Melee monsters, Ranged does more damage to Magic Monsters, and Melee does more damage to Ranged monsters.

I could have done the Deep Sea Ship with melee combat but since it’s filled with other melee monsters I figured this was a good opportunity to start leveling Magic. Training Magic led to the need to level up Runecrafting which lead to needing to leveling up Herblore so I could make potions to more efficiently craft runes to use for magic attacks. It was a whole thing. It took about two weeks but I’m happy at where my skill levels are now to continue to take on more dungeons.

The next Boss pet I’ll need is from the Dragons Den dungeon. This is another dungeon filled with Melee Monsters so it looks like Magic is the way to go again. However, the boss here, the Elder Dragon, can dish out more damage than I can auto heal for. So unless I want to run and heal manually I’ll need to start acquiring some sources of damage reduction.

Welcome to Blaugust!

I’m going to be that guy who welcomes everyone five days in to the event. But you know what? It’s within the first week so, technically, it still counts.

If you’ve been posting everyday so far, congrats you’ve almost made it to the end of week one. If you haven’t signed up yet, no worries! There’s still plenty of August and blogging to go so sign up!

Bel posted early this week that, this year, there have been more first time Blaugust participants signing up than years past. Twenty-two in total at the time of the post. That’s twenty-two whole new-to-me blogs to add to my RSS Reader.

Over the years, I’ve really appreciated how Blaugust has morphed from a posting challenge into a replacement for the Newbie Blogger Initiative. I started my blog during the last NBI and was pretty bummed when it didn’t come back the following year. I look forward to this event every year (this is my fourth time participating!) for the new bloggers it brings out, the new-to-me bloggers I’m introduced to, and the return of some bloggers who haven’t posted in a while.

So whether you just started your blog or have blogged for years: Welcome all of you event newbies!

My plans for this years Blaugust are a very much not plans. I am striving for the whole 31 posts but at this point I’m pretty happy with my 5 post streak. I managed to schedule out the first four at the end of July so now the real fun (and challenge) begins.

One feature I’m looking to bring back this month is Audio Drama Sunday. I used to be a huge audio drama fan per-pandemic but once I didn’t have a commute I struggled to find time to listen to them. Lately, I’ve been finding a bit more time and some new activities that pair well with podcast listening. Bringing this back will be good way to fill up those pesky weekend slots and get my thoughts down about what I’ve been listening to.

Other than that, it will be business as usual around here. I might even shoot for some of those new, fancy, Blaugchievements.

Oh look, here’s one now!

The Tables Have Turned Larry

I don’t have a particular attachment to the Alien franchise. I’ve seen some of the main line movies once or twice but couldn’t tell you what happened in them. Well, except for face huggers and xenonorphs of course. Alien vs Predator, now that I’ve seen several more times than I probably should . My middle school self just thought they were so cool. I was always more of a Predator fan though.

My main exposure to the Alien universe has been through Alien: Isolation. It was the first game I used the PS4’s Shareplay feature to play with a friend who had it. The game was dripping with atmosphere and tension. I have fond memories of hiding in lockers, fearing the sight of vents, and feeling general unease every time I heard the Alien, who we affectionately named “Larry”, walking around in the walls. Every time we thought we had finished Larry off he came back even meaner than before.We never did finish it but it’s still one of my favorite co-op experiences.

Aliens: Fireteam Elite lets me enact my revenge. No longer will I cower in fear. No longer will I run frantically to find a locker to hide in. We have guns now Larry and this time and we’re here to mow down your entire family!