MonHunLog #9 – All about that Grind

So, in November we were taking care of our feline companion in MHW: Iceborne and then I played a whole bunch of the game and had a lot of fun. Here’s another MonHunLog!

Alas, I actually don’t really remember where we last stopped playing. I did play it a bunch on Stream and made plenty of progress but I apparently may have thrashed the draft for this one and have to start a new… Oops.

Uh, last time, we did hunt Ebony Odogaron to be able to fight off Velkhana which is quite weak against Fire Damage and Elder Seals. We did it with the Nether Vajra that I crafted. It still took me two tries to actually slay it… but the Elder Seal was really good against it, blocking some of its attacks and patterns, which is quite nice. After that, we had to take care of the Seething Bazelgeuse that appeared… which took me three tries but we made it work! The Seething Bazelgeuse is like the normal Bazelgeuse: Annoying… The difference is that he’s more annoying thanks to his explosions and fire damage and the option to 100 to 0 you in seconds if you don’t watch your step. It also is beefier and flies more. Yikes.

Luckily that was over and just like in the main game, there is something wrong with the problems we’re facing right now. There are earthquakes and there is that song… and it didn’t stop with Velkhana’s slaying… Alas, we investigate different sites and find hints that three new Elder Dragons are showing up in unusual habitats while the other fleets are researching the songs and the earthquakes.

My favourite Elder to hunt is actually in this one: Blackveil Vaal Hazak!

I loved the normal Vaal Hazak already but this one’s quite a bit cooler. He’s week against Dragon damage (our Kinsect has that!) and Fire damage (our Nether Vajra has that!) and is immune to Water, and resisting Thunder and Ice. In the Rotten Vale, we fought against Blackveil Vaal Hazak and immediately got carted three times, failing the mission in the process. The problem was that we couldn’t fit in Effluvia Resistance 3 into our build (especially as I don’t have that quite yet), so our health got cut in half by its spores immediately once we got close. Nulberries helped against this but with it constantly spore-ing us, those ran out quite fast. Alas, we switched tactics and started attacking more aggressively, then using our nulberries and potions and just going back to camp to refill on items… Breaking its head actually enables it to get flashed. The other fungal patches can also be broken on its body… and eventually, we made it!

The next Elder dragon we fought was Ruiner Nergigante in the Guiding Lands. This one isn’t too different from Nergigante attack-pattern wise. It causes bleeding, which is quite problematic, and also regrows its horns faster. The biggest problem is that it can two-shot you rather easily but once we used some of our jump attacks with the Glaive, we were able to avoid a lot of its attacks and break off its horns. With Nergigante, you have to attack the white spikes as those are breakable weak points that eventually turn black and basically resist damage. When Ruiner Nergigante is enraged, the spikes just get black a lot faster, which is quite annoying. This was more of a “boost stamina and dodge a lot” type of fight. Once we’ve struck it down, it was then time to fight off the third Elder Dragon: Namielle

Namielle is incredibly beautiful and is weak against Fire and Dragon. Again, just the right type of weakness for our weapons! It uses Water attacks (annoying!) and Thunder attacks (super annoying!) in combination, which makes it rather deadly. Since we still didn’t have many health boosts, this fight was rather difficult. Luckily, we learned eventually that brightmoss is really good at draining its puddles. This is important since the water puddles basically arc the electric attacks it uses, resulting in a deadly combo. Hence, we drained those, sliced it up, brought it down, used some potions, and got it on our second try!

And now… for the last part… we realise that the earthquakes and songs are caused by the Old Everwyrm that our Handler’s grandfather searched for. Shara Ishvalda is basically a fully-grown Xeno’Jiiva and first appears in a rock-covered form that can be dealt with rather easily. The next part is the hard part, though, as it has resistances to Fire and Dragon damage and as I don’t currently have an Ice or Water weapon. I’d still like to try it with Vice+ and its upgrade but for that, I’ve got to farm up some Ebony Odogarons that are just not dropping that Ebony Odogaron Mantle for me.

Alas, I stopped playing as much MHW for now… I wanna get back into it again but the grind is just a bit tedious and I don’t have an Ice Weapon just yet, so I need to get a new Glaive for that… and I’m just a tad burned out from MHW right now, so I’ll have to continue the journey in the future again! I mean, I enjoy the grind but if the drop chances are so low, I’m just a bit frustrated with it. I wanna play more MHW in the near future tho! Just not right now!

Until then,…

Cheers!

Looking forward to LoL Season 11

Another year, another season. League of Legend’s Preseason 11 has started quite a while ago, and with 2021 being around the corner, I thought I’d take the time to write a post on it.


Just like other seasons, there has been a major change in the Rift this time around to keep the game fresh and innovative: The Item Rework!

Alas, this season brought a whole new shop system and the introduction of Mythic items that basically are supposed to be super overpowered but you can only buy one Mythic item. On top of that, they have Mythic passives that add bonus stats to all other Legendary (aka completed) items, including boots! These new Mythic items, as well as a bunch of new other items, replace about a third of the old items that got removed. Meanwhile, the last third of the items have been reworks. Generally, I feel like a lot of the items are quite strong but not too strong. There are some items that still need to get touched but I’ll talk about that later.

Before we talk about my issues with the new season, I wanted to talk about what I’m looking forward to, my champ pool, builds I’ve enjoyed, and what I’m glad about.

As a Support player, I made it to Gold last season and this Pre-Season, so I want to reach that goal again in the next season and potentially even climb past it to Platinum+ if I’m good enough. Riot changed the ranked system in a way that is going to make climbing easier, so I’m happy about that. From now on, there is no promotional series (aka “win two out of three games” to be promoted) between the ranks of one division. Instead, you have to reach 100 LP to climb from, say, Gold IV to Gold III. Once you’re at 100 LP in Gold I, you need to win three out of five games to be able to get to Platinum IV, which is a great change! On top of that, being at 99 LP is less frustrating now as a win translates into, say, +16 LP in the next rank if you gain 17 LP after your win. This is a welcome change that I’ve been asking for, for quite a while now actually. There was nothing more frustrating in League than winning a game only to gain 1 LP and to then get inters, feeders and AFKs in your promotional series only to reach the next step in your climb.

I’ve been playing a bit of ADC this season and have been enjoying a plethora of champions in that role. Alas, I’m going to go with ADC for my second role and I’ll most likely play (in this order) Jhin, Caitlyn, Ashe, and Varus. Otherwise, I obviously would also manage to trade roles or potentially pick something else to fit my team’s needs. On Jhin, I’ve been enjoying the crit builds a lot with Krakenslayer/Galeforce into Rapidfire Cannon into Infinity Edge/Bloodthirster. With Krakenslayer your third shot basically deals as much damage as your fourth shot, which is a pretty big deal. Meanwhile, you’re super fast with Galeforce and also gain a dash to get out of some peculiar situations, which is quite fun. Most of the time, though, I play a lethality build with Eclipse into Collector on Jhin, running Dark Harvest, and basically one-shotting everyone. The Collector is incredibly broken as it basically executes enemy champions at 5% of their health, which sounds like nothing… but if a Champion had about 5000 HP, they’d get executed at 250 HP, which is surreal… and a lot of fun.

But my main role is obviously Support. I’m a sucker for mage supporters and enchanters and I used to play a lot of Nautilus and Braum in the past… but tank supporters feel incredibly weak. Unless you get super ahead, you can’t get tanky enough and you can’t really set up kills either. Tank items are constantly getting nerfed when it comes to their tankiness (the part that you need) when it’s actually the damage that should get nerfed (the part that a Tank/Tank Support doesn’t need). At the same time, Tank items are extremely overpriced and you end up in this weird spot where you need kills as a supporter to make the dream possible. I wanted to try out Tahm Kench again and some other champions that I used to main, like Taric, but I’ve put it off since everything else feels a lot stronger and better in my humble opinion.

And I don’t mind that. I don’t mind that tank supporters feel weak in a tank meta. I don’t mind not having to dodge a thousand hooks in the bot lane. I really don’t. Obviously, people still play tank supporters and statistics say that Leona, Thresh and other champs are really strong at the moment… but I just personally don’t like the feel of tanks, at the moment, and alas, I go for mages and enchanters instead.

This brings us to my current favourite mages to play in the Support lane: Xerath, Zyra, Vel’Koz, Brand, Neeko, and Morgana.

Xerath and Vel’Koz are incredible at poking down enemies from afar, setting up kills or securing them when your ADC isn’t close enough yet. Both of these champions scale well into the late game but don’t need many items to burst people down. Xerath has a lot of burst damage, a slow and a stun in his kit as well as a semi-global ult and a lot of sustain through his passive. I tend to go for Luden’s Tempest into Event Horizon on him, although Liandry’s into Demonic Embrace also can work quite well on him against tanky teams. Luden’s Tempest gives you some movement speed on every proc and adds a lot of burst-damage to your abilities when you hit enemies. Meanwhile, Event Horizon adds an increase in damage on abilities that hit enemies at more than 750 range or that immobilize them. Xerath’s Q is already 750 range long when tapped, as far as I know, so this is a great item on him as well. Vel’Koz has a knock-up on his E as well as plenty of tools in his kit to zone enemies, secure objectives and kills as well as a lot of true damage to melt enemies away, which is just lovely. I tend to go for the same items on him as on Xerath. On these two champions, I tend to run Comet, Manaflowband, Transcendence/Absolute Focus and Scorch… and then I go for Cosmic insight+Cookies in the second tree or I opt-in for Presence of Mind and Coup de Grace for some extra damage.

All the other supports I mentioned have also great poke and some degree of utility to them. Zyra is incredibly nice to pick when you have an Ezreal for your ADC. Ezreal scales well into the late game and usually buys Tear for his first item, so picking up lane-dominant supports like Zyra can help him scale away without problems or maybe even pick up an early kill or two to snowball. Zyra is also great against Melee comps that are fairly tanky, as you most likely will buy Liandry’s+Demonic Embrace into Morello. The double burn procs on all of your plants which makes you great for taking Baron Nashor or for team fights. Brand already has a DoT on his passive, so obviously, you want to capitalize on that by building double burn, hence resulting in a triple burn. Brand also has a Stun in his Q when applied on a burning target as well as percentage-health damage in his passive (and if I remember correctly, the other part of your passive with hitting three abilities on one target actually does true damage!). Hence, Brand doesn’t need many items to really shine and he’s also great to take objectives or to team fight with.

And well, Neeko,… is… interesting. She never has been weak but people don’t really play her as a Support anymore. I usually go Luden’s or Protobelt on her. You can also build Night Harvester on her or go for the double burn if you want to. There are a lot of different options for her and you can easily catch people off-guard with the clones, her damage, her utility and her epic ultimates in team fights, which makes her a great pocket-pick.

As you can see these are all mages… but sometimes you just have too much magic damage on your team already, so I have two picks for that case to balance out the damage more: Ashe and Senna.

On the one hand, Senna has been one of my favourite champions to play last season. She has great scaling, great poke and a heal (that scales with Attack Damage), as well as some decent CC on her W in form of a long-range AoE root. Her E ability lets you camouflage your teammates to get away or to engage on people in a better way while her ultimate does decent damage and even shields allies at a global range! My favourite build on her is Eclipse into the Collector. I usually run either Grasp of the Undying or Glacial Augment on her, based on what I play against. The items generally are the same as Jhin’s as you’re basically doing the same thing as him… but in a less artsy way.

Ashe, on the other hand, is a fantastic pocket pick of mine that I haven’t seen too many people play as a Support yet. Essentially you run comet to poke enemies down with your W and you stack up Focus on enemies to then burst them down with your Q. Your E provides vision for your team while your W makes it easier to hit the comet. On top of that, your ultimate is a great engage/disengage tool at a global range, although I suck at landing those. As for builds, I tend to go for Imperial Mandate into Manamune into Ravenous Hydra. This build is all about your W which does more damage thanks to Imperial Mandate and Muramana (the upgraded Manamune) and which basically also amplifies your allies’ damage by a considerable amount as well. All of the items in this build have a lot of ability haste, resulting in you basically being able to spam your W while not running out of mana. Muramana also applies on-hit damage to all of your attacks and spells. Ravenous Hydra heals you and also applies some AoE damage to your volley and auto-attacks. Overall, it’s a fun build to try out into some team comps or when your team is lacking in the physical damage or CC department.

Speaking of ability haste: Cooldown Reduction has been changed. Before the change 10% cooldown reduction would allow about 11% more casts and getting more cooldown reduction would result in even more casts of abilities, which was great. Getting 40% cooldown reduction was basically what you’d want most of the time as it scales exponentially. The new system, however, is all about ability haste which stacks linearly, just like most other stats in the game. There is no cap on how much Ability Haste you can have, meaning that it’s possible to even reach 50% or 60% CDR with the new system, although you’d have to opt-in for very specific items to do exactly that, resulting in potentially losing some power as you’re not going for more damage but more tasks. This new system is actually also quite cool as it means that getting less is better compared to before.

The last category of champions that I’m playing this season is about enchanters!
I mainly tried out Nami in the preseason as well as a few others and overall, everyone felt quite neat to play. Nami, Bard, Janna, Soraka, Lulu, Sona, Seraphine, and Rakan are great champions to pick up (and yes, I count Bard and Rakan as Enchanters) especially with all the new items. Before the item rework, you’d go the exact same items on every enchanter in every game for your first three: Ardent Censer, Athene’s Unholy Grail, and Redemption. There wasn’t much variety from game to game and while I miss Athene’s Unholy Grail a ton… I’m kind of happy about the new changes. Generally, I go for Imperial Mandate on Nami followed by Ardent Censer or Staff of Flowing Water.

Imperial Mandate causes immobilizing abilities to mark enemies and deal extra damage – and allies can proc the mark to deal even more damage on top of that. Nami’s Q, E and R work great with this item. Ardent Censer is still a great item but sometimes I have to opt-in for the Staff of Flowing Water as it’s basically made for Nami… I mean, what item would be more befitting of Nami who’s already wielding the Tidecaller’s Staff? The Staff of Flowing Water grants you and your allies Ability Power and Movement Speed whenever you affect them with your abilities. The bonus MS paired with your passive works great to rescue allies in bad positions while the ability power works quite well with a lot of champions… although it’s mostly for yourself. When I play with a Kog’Maw, Lucian, Varus, Senna, or Kai’Sa this is a great pick-up as it enables them, even more, to get away, kite better, get closer, or add damage to the abilities that scale with AP in their kit. Ardent Censer, however, gives you and your ally on-hit damage and attack speed, which is also great. It just depends on the champions.

Now, this is a great change for Enchanters: You basically have your Mythic Item, your Support Item, Boots, an Enchanter Item, and potentially another… but what do you do with your last slot? Generally, you’d get more pink wards but you can only place down one at most on the map and you can only carry two at the same time. Buying an additional item results in no more pink wards for your team, which sucks. Alas, you’ll get… hear me out… the best item that was introduced this season… the Vigilant Wardstone.

For a price of only 1100 gold, you get an item that grants you the ability to store three pink wards at the same time in your inventory. Once you placed down 20 Stealth Wards (#easy #supportlyfe), it transforms into the next level of the item which basically grants you some bonus stats… and then you can also invest another 1300 gold into it to get even more bonus stats. The end result is an item that stores pink wards (that you still have to buy) but it also grants you bonus movement speed and ability haste (GREAT for enchanters!) and… it also increases the cap for stealth and pink wards placed. You can now place down a maximum of four stealth wards and two pink wards (instead of three/one) with this item.

Vision = Power

On top of that, you also have other options that you can go for as far as items go… Zeke’s procs now whenever you CC enemies, so it’s a viable option to use on champions like Nami as it doesn’t require a short ult cooldown to work efficiently anymore. Meanwhile, Moonstone Renewer is a great item for times when you need to heal a lot instead of dealing a lot of damage. Instead of amplifying your damage with Imperial Mandate, you instead opt-in for amplifying your heals, which is great on Soraka, for instance. Also, you don’t have to buy a completed Morellonomicon to have Grievous Wounds as a Mage but can instead just build the Oblivion Orb for considerably less gold. And that’s lovely. On so many levels.

Now, earlier I talked about issues with items that I have and… well,… The Collector is just unhealthy for the game. Being able to execute people like that is a bullshit mechanic to have in a game as it makes champions like Jhin, Senna, Draven and even Veigar incredibly strong with little to no counterplay. Again, 5% of your maximum health is a huge amount of health still… If they tuned it down to 2.5% or maybe just 1%, it would be considerably less strong to the point where it was useless… Alas, I’d say that the item should receive a nerf to its stats and/or its price. Being able to build this as your second item every damn game on some champions and get away with just having two items is bullshit and super unhealthy. It not only makes it easier to get kills but also rewards you a bonus of 25 gold every time you take down an enemy, which eventually pays for your next item, making you even stronger. It’s a snowball item like the Sword of the Occult, which is unhealthy for the game.

At the same time, healing is too strong in the game even though it was supposed to go down. Tanks are also too strong. It’s not the problem that you can’t kill them easily… after all, that’s their purpose: They’re tanks!
The problem is that they’re dealing a ton of damage to enemies around them. Sunfire and some of the other Immolate-Mythic-Tank-Items are way too overtuned, in my opinion, with their damage increasing based on your other tank-stats such as your health. Being tanky is good but dealing scaling damage is not so good for the health of the game. Now, I haven’t played League in two weeks so maybe there’s been another patch. Alas, I’ll hold off on this rant for until I’m home again, this Sunday. I may write about this again in the new year.


I hope you enjoyed this looooooooooooooooooong post. I wouldn’t have thought that this would turn into a post that is nearly as long as my Moonlighter review… Oh well. Personally speaking, I really enjoy writing about topics like these here with my strategies or thoughts on a meta. As mentioned before, I don’t like being forced to play tanks or whatever in a season. I play what I enjoy and this season… I can do that. I can play enchanters and mages, poke and cc, I can do all kinds of things and still have fun with the game while climbing. I’m looking forward to Season 11. And I’m looking forward to potentially writing about these topics as well throughout the season.

How about you? What champions are you going to play? What are your thoughts on any of these changes and my pool? Let me know!

Cheers!

This post originated on Indiecator and was first published on there by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.

AFK Arena exists

So, a while ago, I played Raid: Shadow Legends for the very first time and didn’t like it at all. Eventually, after that, someone prompted me to try out AFK Arena since I was talking badly about it without having tried it out at all, and… yeah, they had a point. I was talking badly about idle games and them not being my cup of tea because I just don’t like them, despite not having tried every single one of them. I tried some… but not all.

In an empiric sense, I can’t make a judgement on idle games as a whole yet. I can just say that I disliked most of them so far…

Anyways: What is AFK Arena? Well, according to the ads that I’m getting on all of my YouTube videos, it’s an animated 2D turn-based idle-game with Gacha-mechanics and you don’t have to grind to get strong. There are misleading ads on YouTube that tell you that you have choices in the game and puzzles and some weird isometric thing where a lion-character called Brutus is performing a spin-attack on a lot of enemies that all drop a lot of gold.

I couldn’t find the bad trailers but the YouTube Channel has the story trailer here.

And lately, I’ve been getting worse ads. There is a bad German dub on it and usually, you’ll see the same actors telling you about how good the common characters are that you get instead of the epic ones and how little you have to do in the game. Some ads share “tricks” to unlock free heroes. Others tell you about how video games are a waste of time and how they made them sick and how AFK Arena fixes that as you can, I guess, use your time productively? I’m getting mixed signals. Are games bad? Are mobile games not games, too? Isn’t AFK Arena also bad then if all games are bad?

Anyways, so I installed it and there actually is a story of sorts. Basically, the god of death was jealous of the peace in the overworld and hence created the Hypogeans, the main antagonist/villain faction in the game, to destroy Dura, the goddess of the Living, I guess. Dura, being super graceful and not wanting to die, sent mortals to fight the Hypogeans. That didn’t really work out since she got weakened a lot and used her last power to scatter seven divine artefacts over the world and now a lot of time passed and nothing happened but something will probably happen. Idk.

Note: I’m going to include pictures of characters from the wiki because I forgot to take screenshots. If you don’t believe me that I’ve played the game, I’ll reinstall it and shove it in your face. But I really deslike it, and here’s why.

Honestly, no clue why they created an actual alright-ish story if they didn’t plan on rebranding around it… “Legends of Esperia” or “Tales of Dura” or anything else could have turned this into some sort of Anime or show or proper game. Instead, we have AFK Arena, a game that is all about being AFK, as the name suggests.

Anyways, in the beginning, you get to chose between two heroes: Zaphrael and Lucretia, who kind of stand for a good vs bad kinda choice. Obviously, I have chosen Lucretia, the Betrayed. She’s a Hypogean character that is agility-based and does a lot of damage. Zaphrael wasn’t my cup of tea. I was hoping to get to play more Hypogean characters but haven’t encountered any at all so far really… which feels like a missed opportunity.

As time went on, we defeated enemies in combat and started accumulating more and more diamonds, gold and experience. Diamonds can be used to summon heroes (among other things) that most of the time are common, rare or sometimes potentially legendary. Most heroes can be upgraded into higher rarities, using copies of the same hero. It doesn’t have as “many” characters as Raid: Shadow Legends but it has a lot more unique ones that aren’t just recoloured, especially due to the faction-system.

There are seven different factions: Wilders, Graveborns, Maulers, Lightbearers, Celestials, Hypogeans, and Dimensionals. Having three, four or five heroes of the same faction in a team (max 5) grants your heroes up to 25% bonus attack damage and 25% bonus HP. Having three of one faction and two of another adds 15% bonus attack damage and 15% bonus HP, instead. Celestials basically contribute to this – so you can, in theory, play four Wilders and have Zaphrael in your rows to unlock the 5 Wilder bonus. The Hypogeans, however, grant you a bonus independently. Having one Hypogean grants you +30% defence, having more adds other bonuses. Hypogean heroes deal and receive bonus damage to and from Celestials.

The other four factions have an advantage-disadvantage-system similar to other games, with IE Wilders dealing more damage to Graveborn and receiving more damage from Maulers while also being neutral to Lightbearers. This adds a little bit of strategy to your game but most of the time you’d end up just playing your strongest characters or levelling up the character you like the most… and it works. Really well actually. I would have liked to play Graveborns but they just do not have any characters that I like… Wilders, however, are cute and interesting and have a lot of supportive characters that tickle my fancy.

So, there are different “classes” of characters and you get to level them up and try out different formations… so there is a bit of strategy involved in the game… Generally speaking, though, you can just put in anything and everything and it will work. While some characters are stronger against other ones, you don’t really have to care about that as you only care about having strong characters in your party. Just force your way through the game and you’ll be fine. Occassionally, you’ll notice how one character is underperforming so you replace them with someone else and you’ll be fine again. Changing the position of characters sometimes helps, too… having a healer is super important in later fights but then you’ll need to draw one from the gacha mechanic… and since luck isn’t always on your side, you instead have to level your characters until they’re overlevelled. Similarly, some characters come with only three abilities while others have four, so you eventually wanna get those with more abilities since they’re better than your normal ones. The game feels a bit pretentious as it gives you all of these classes, races, and abilities,… but in the end it’s pay-to-win anyways. The top-ranked players have put money into the game and continue to get better at the game since they have better characters. You can make it quite far into ranked against other people but generally speaking those that spend money at the game have a lot better ways of making it in the game. They have higher winrates and better success chances as they most likely have the better characters. The Guildmaster in my OwO guild approved of this statement, btw. AFK Arena’s PvP is pay-to-win-based. There is no skill needed.

Meanwhile, if you wanna play it casually, you don’t need to pay anything at all. You can grind away and chill… uh, I mean, there is no grind. Nope, no grind. Grinding is bad after all – that’s at least what the ads say! Alas, I started playing four Wilders+Lucretia for a lot of time and then eventually switched over to five Wilders because I like more damage. Then I needed to get the levels all the way up. There is a Crystal that you place heroes into, so that you don’t need to level them up. They instead take over the level of the lowest-level-character in your top five. Alas, you want to level your top-5 to be able to exachange heroes at any given time and keep the levels high. At the same time, you need good gear, and you want some of those uniques… and you also need to get missions done and use diamonds that you’re given to be able to afford the summons at the Tavern.

“You don’t need to grind like in other games”, they said. “You just AFK.” But I needed gold and experience… and the campaign wasn’t giving me enough and also was hard to get to, since you can’t target the enemies at all. Your character hit targets and if they don’t finish off the right ones, they’ll die.

“So what do you do to get stronger?”, I asked in chat.
“Just go AFK”, someone else responded.
“But can’t I just grind something to gain more levels or gold or whatever?”
“Send nudes”, responded some other person. There was no report button, so I didn’t know what to do about that creep.
“You don’t grind in this game. You just AFK.”, said yet another, and I felt as if they were just repeating words they heard in some badly mixed ad on YouTube.

In times like these, I would have loved a good grind. Like, when you want to improve your light level in Destiny 2 and farm some Strikes… or when you clear bounties to be able to get some mod for your weapons… or when you kill fifteen Ebony Odogarons in MHW and still didn’t get that Ebony Odogaron Mantle that is keeping me from posting about Monster Hunter World (there is the reason), so you go at it again in another session and kill it another five times with no drops… and then you’re tired and don’t want to play MHW again for a while so you just don’t do it anymore until 2021. It’s a bit annoying… but when it drops, it’s glorious and satisfying and you’re happy. In AFK Arena, it gets grindy inevitably. But you cannot grind without going AFK. So, if you really like the game, you don’t get the chance to play it, since you have to do something else instead. According to the ads, other games are bad, however, so… uh… mixed signals. What do I do? What do I do?

Ah, right, business! You gotta do business stuff and come back in two hours… or six hours…. or twelve… yeah, still didn’t have enough quite yet for the level ups you need… I guess I just need to hop onto two other guys’ shoulders and wear a trenchcoat in order to get more business stuff done…

Eventually, I uninstalled the game and returned it two weeks later, after seeing that Ainz Ooal Gown from Overlord made it into the game, and indeed I got gold and experience for not playing the game. It was stupid. When you want to progress and get the satisfaction of gearing up your favourite characters, you can’t because you need to wait for whatever reason. In the meantime, you’ll do nothing, I guess, or you play actual games with actual gameplay. Games where you control your characters and where you don’t just spin a slot machine to get more units to use.

Nemora, Arden, and Solise were my favourite characters by the way. I liked them a lot. I won’t miss them, I guess.

So, in the end, I kind of understood why people like the game: It’s basically a clicker game. When you’re not participating in the game, you accumulate gold, experience, diamonds, and gear by just idling. If you upgrade your characters and use them in the campaign, you get more and more gold through the AFK function. Eventually, however, it gets grindy. Which is understandable since it’s a game with a late-game at one point. But the game markets itself as this “non-grindy idle game that is a ton of fun and very strategic” when it actually is quite grindy and nothing like its premise, I guess.

And well, clicker games are great. You have to put in the work yourself at the beginning (or use an auto-clicker). Then you upgrade the different thingies to unlock more ways of clicking in the background. Then you essentially upgrade your thingies even more… and then you do it even more. And then you get bored and move on to other games because… it’s just a clicker game anyways.

Another issue with AFK Arena, however, is that it’s a glorified slot machine really… I’m not entirely sure about how I should feel about a game with a gacha mechanic when it also has cute and cool characters in it that kids could be drawn to… Like, the problem with Gacha games is that they reward you every now and then but often do not do it enough. So, you spin again and again until you get something good. You get dopamines, feel a kick, and suddenly you’re addicted. I guess it’s not that extreme in most cases but I still get a tad worried about loot boxes and slot machines and stuff in games. Not entirely sure how to feel about it, just yet, so I’ll have to think about that some more in the future. Potential writing prompt here, fellow bloggers!

At last, I don’t like false marketing.

Getting to level 100 didn’t take as little time as in the ads. There are no choices. There is little to no strategy involved. Sure, it’s free to play and there is technically no need for you to play it… but I’m not sure if those are selling points. The game doesn’t make you feel energized and healthy again. The common heroes suck.

I guess the ads don’t really have the goal of promoting the game but rather of provoking you into talking negatively about it. In one of the ads they draw ten heroes each to see who’s better at… gambling? And then someone wins because they get this overpowered character who seems to be broken… so uh, while it was about quantity of legendary heroes in the beginning, it suddenly was about who gets that broken character that I’ve never seen anyone use. In the same manner they were battling each other in a different ad, talking about how their characters are better than the other ones and then someone shows up and just brags about this max level character… I don’t know. The ads are super annoying at best and kind of want you to shittalk them because bad PR is good PR. Some of the ads want you to try out the game to see if it really is that bad after all… and some others are just weird…

I don’t think that AFK Arena is a good game at all. I kind of liked the idea of using Wilders and thinking about strategies and stuff… but once I realised that strategy doesn’t matter at all, I was quickly disappointed again.

Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk. See you next time. Happy Holidays.

Post-Post commentary:

I never really understand why games have to market themselves in that self-ironic way where they try to upset you in order to try it out yourself… or where they just lie to you in order to get you try out the game. There is an ad with an evolution-mechanic that you use in combat, which is just not true… One ad also shows an easy grind from an isometric perspective that isn’t part of the game. Generally, I feel like this is a bit of a problem with ads these days, especially on the mobile market. To get attention, you need to get lots of reviews or impressions of it… but reviews themselves mean nothing as they can be bought, while “impressions” doesn’t really describe it too well as the only relevant stat is the number of downloads.

AFK Arena doesn’t care about the player experience as long as you download the game, adding to their number of total downloads. I feel like that’s a problem of sites like the Google PlayStore and iTunes and whatever where downloads get put over average playtime and other scores. When people give it a negative review, it doesn’t really matter since at least ten bot accounts gave it five stars without writing a single word. Only caring about the number of downloads means that the same games on mobile app stores are in the top-ten, each and every year – and that’s a bummer.

At last, I don’t want to just shit on games like that. People that like the game are allowed to like it, just like how I’m allowed to dislike it. I feel like I’ve been fair about what I didn’t like and what I criticized about the game, its premise and the false marketing. If that stuff doesn’t bother you, that’s totally okay. You can enjoy the game regardless of my opinion and I’m not judging ya. It’s just an opinion that I published on my blog. So, no hate there.

If you wanna share your opinion on it or if you think I’ve been disrespectful or whatever, let me know in the comment section or hit me up via DMs on Twitter or Discord. Hope you have had some nice holidays and I wish you a great start into 2021. Stay awesome, stay healthy, and live and let live. 🙂

Cheers.

This post originated on Indiecator and was first published on there by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.

Humble Choice – December, 2020

It’s December! And that means that it’s time for another Humble Choice!

This time around it’s rather disappointing. Like, Naithin already said it earlier this month but I feel like there are other reasons for it being disappointing than just the absence of AAA-titles.

Alas, let’s dive into this: This month’s Choice contains a total of fourteen games on top of a coupon for one month of “EA Play Pro”, which is… alright. I’m not interested in EA Play Pro, so I’m not opting in for that… it’s also not a month of it but rather just a little bit off it which is super “eh”.

The games themselves are alright, I think. In this month’s Choice, there are all kinds of games available but nothing really too thematic… More about that later.

RankGameDeveloperGenre
1Children of MortaDead MageRoguelite, Action, Story-Driven
2One Step From EdenThomas Moon KangCard-based, Strategy, Roguelite, Real-Time Action,…
heck i don’t even know
3Still ThereGhostSharkPoint n Click, Adventure, Space
4Shining Resonance RefrainSegaAction, RPG
5Frog Detective 1Grace Bruxner, Thomas BowkerAdventure
6Frog Detective 2Grace Bruxner, Thomas BowkerAdventure
7Overcooked! 2 + 2DLCsGhost Town Games, Team17 DigitalCo-Op, Cooking, Simulation …Madness
8The Beast InsideIllusion Ray StudioSurvival, Horror
9Zwei: The Ilvard InsurrectionNihon FalcomAction, JRPG
10Zwei: The Arges AdventureNihon FalcomAction, JRPG
11IndivisibleLab Zero GamesAction, RPG
12Path of GiantsJourney Bound GamesPuzzle, Adventure
13StrugglingChasing Rats GamesPhysics, Platformer
14Tabletop PlaygroundPlasticity StudiosSimulation

For now, the games included are actually rather nice. Children of Morta, One Step From Eden, Still There, and Shining Resonance Refrain look really promising. Children of Morta, in particular, is something that I personally have already played (and reviewed) but I could gift it to a friend and we could play it together. I feel like that could and would be really cool as it’s definitely a title that is better with friends.

One Step from Eden is this weird mix of Real-Time-Action, Roguelite mechanics, Strategy, and Deckbuilding… and it looks like it’s just up my alley. To begin with, I love Roguelite games when done well and when they’ve got their one spin on things… so, I’m looking forward to playing this title. Still There looks interesting, especially with the Space theme. I wonder what the story is going to be like. It’s a story about grief, technical puzzles, wacky AIs, dark humour, and… coffee? Idk, I actually have high hopes for this title and am looking forward to playing it myself in 2021. Shining Resonance Refrain looks like fun but I honestly don’t know if I’ll like it or not. Like, depending on much the characters interest me, it could be better or worse. 

I love the Frog Detective series and am looking forward to playing and writing about the second game! I ranked Overcooked 2 behind these two games as Humble Choice comes with two DLCs for that game but not with friends or time. Overcooked is a ton of fun, don’t get me wrong… but you’ll need to find people to play it with and then the stars need to align and all of that… it’s a hassle. 

As far as the rest is concerned, they are alright, I guess. The Beast Inside is a game that is “eh” from what I’ve heard. The Zwei Games are from a franchise that I’ve never heard of. I’d be happy to dive into them but honestly, I’m not typically a huge friend of JRPGs. The Ilvard Insurrection seems like it has the less annoying characters in it… but not too sure if it matters too much for the ranking. 

Path of Giants and Indivisible look interesting but I’m not in the mood for another puzzle game or a platformer, so I placed those behind the Zwei series. Struggling is a Physics-based platformer, which sucks because I don’t like that kind of games usually. And as far as the Tabletop Playground is concerned, I feel like you need to use the Tabletop Simulator most of the time since it’s just more popular. Most of my friends (if not all) use TTS and not TTP, so owning TTP is a waste, really, I think. Unless you go for local sessions or unless you have a friend group that uses TTP or got this game from this month’s Choice.

Overall, this month’s choice has been alright. I’m not too bummed out by the lack of AAA titles… especially as I run an Indie blog and as some of those games have been on my wishlist actually… So, I’m getting a better deal here than at the Steam Sale right now. The issue is that I have CoM already and that I don’t care about JRPGs too much. They’ve been either hit or miss for me, which is annoying. 

I feel like there’s a bit of a missed opportunity here. The only “choice” we have is whether or not we take them all or not. I can rank them and write about it but I don’t feel like there actually is much of a Choice here. There are twelve games every time and only two drop out. As a Classic subscriber, I get all twelve of them each month. My Choice is literally “pay” or “pause”. 

Instead of giving us twelve games to chose ten out of. how about offering more games to make the choice more meaningful? Two drop-outs are nothing compared to five or ten, right? Or how about introducing a bundle system with fewer games but they’re all themed around similar topics, settings, genres, etc.? The Strategy bundle that both Nait and I would love, the Sim bundle for people that love those farming simulations, and the FPS bundle for fans of guns. Next month? Sports bundle, Tech Bundle, Roguelike Bundle. Next month? Action bundle, Puzzle Bundle, Party game Bundle. And so on.

Instead of giving you the choice to pause or unpause, they’d grant you the Choice of one of three bundles. It would be like Humble Monthly but potentially a bit cheaper or more predictable or maybe it’s just a thinner version of Humble Choice. 

Heck, you could also just create the selection using three themes and then have equal parts of different genres in there so that some people aren’t too upset about it. I was a bit disappointed at first as I saw a lot of JRPG-ish games in this choice but I still ended up going for it as I’m quite excited about trying some of these games out.

What are your thoughts? What suggestions would you have to change or improve Humble Choice? Have you grabbed this month’s Choice? 

On another note: I’m a Humble Partner and alas have this affiliate link right here: >>> Affiliate Link <<<

If you want to, you can use that link to get Humble Choice and also support me. No extra costs. It just supports me a little bit as well as the Trevor Project and it would be cool if you could consider it. There is also another deal for the annual plan and it’s a bit cheaper than usual, so if you wanna go for that annual plan… use this link here: >>> Affiliate Link for that offer <<< if you want to.

Either way, I hope you’re having a great time. It’s a bit late for this month’s choice but better late than sorry! December and 2020 aren’t over yet but we’re there soon. Hope you have some nice holidays and a great start into the new year!

Cheers!

This post originated on Indiecator and was first published on there by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.

One Year of Blogging!

On July 15th, 2019, I introduced myself as a new blogger who just started and who was planning on reviewing games on here and write about gaming and non-gaming related stuff alike. This post here is to celebrate one year of blogging… just a bit late. Uh, I’ve been meaning to rewrite this draft a couple of times and then other stuff happened. On July 14th, I published my third post on the To The Moon Play Along that Naithin organised and while this post was due on the day after that, I ended up not publishing it yet because I had big plans for it and wanted to make it as great as possible. The next post that I published was the post I did on Hyper Scape and uh… yeah, then I procrastinated a lot… and now it’s nearly 2021. 

Alas, don’t mind me as I post this post a few months late and as I “celebrate” one year of blogging… just a bit later. 

So, what happened in one year of blogging? 

Well, for the most part… Improvements! I changed my theme two times and played around with the colours and different options until I got to the blog and blog-layout that you can see today. I also started using Grammarly and started editing posts to reduce the reading time and enhance the quality a lot.

My longest post to date was my review on Moonlighter, featuring 21,897 characters and a total of 3,912 words spread across 52 paragraphs. The reason for the switch from long reviews (2k to 3k words) to short-ish reviews (~1k words, up to a maximum of 1.4k words) was mainly that I wouldn’t have lasted long if I spent more time on writing posts than on studying. I am still able to write up reviews as much as I want to but I don’t explain every mechanic, the control scheme, every detail or gimmick in the game. I end up talking more about what I like and dislike about a game instead of explaining what you, as a potential player, will inevitably see for yourself. This was a change for the better. 

Over a bit more than a year, I published 64 reviews as well as 31 posts on The Lookout Post. I also ended up going for 50 posts in the Gaming Journal, the category where I talk about other games and where I do first-impressions, and stuff. I’ve amassed a total of 87 Stray Sheep in this time as well and managed to finish nine MonHunLogs and six posts on Twitch-related stuff. I’m actually quite happy with how the reviews turned out and how much I’ve managed to write in this time.

Alas, I’ve published a total of 234 posts with 42 drafts sitting here, ready to be edited and worked on,… eventually. 

My most successful posts were the following (excluding the home page):

  1. Indietail – Fall Guys
  2. Raid: Shadow Legends and why I don’t like mobile games
  3. Unlocking Lillia’s Haiku – a quick guide
  4. Destiny 2 – Getting back into the grind!
  5. Late to the Party #2 – Asheron’s Call
  6. How to not-promote your channel on Twitch
  7. The “How are you?” controversy and Fleeksie
  8. Valorant – My First Impressions
  9. Indietail – RogueJack
  10. Indietail – Drake Hollow

There have been a whopping 347 comments on my blog that were not by spam-bots. If you include pings and answers, we get a total of 461 comments. On top of that, we hit 107 followers on WordPress with the very first follower being Naithin who followed on July 17th, 2019.

It was a pleasure to see my posts on Drake Hollow do so well, especially as I was really excited about this title!

Through Twitch and WordPress, I was able to hit 183 followers on Twitter, although most views probably come through referrals and discord anyways. I’ve been more than happy with the amount of traffic has come to Indiecator, especially as I’m only at the beginning of my journey on here. 

As time went on, I’d often start a new series or something like that and would then see how long I’d stay interested in it. My Viridi-post with different bloggers as plants and that kinda stuff ended up being well-received but I ended up not getting another post done in the series as I, honestly, didn’t find any more time to read posts. I still read posts every now and then whenever they pop up in my Twitter or WordPress timeline but lately, it’s been a bad habit of mine to not comment or like as much anymore. University’s still keeping me quite busy but I’ve managed to at least stay relevant for Google and other sites, to the point where I even got featured in some “top 40 Indie bloggers” on feedspot (spot 11!)… I need to socialize more on WordPress and get to know more people but that post ended up getting trashed.

An old relic of the blog: The ever-changing Dr Pepper header image!

As for other posts that ended up getting trashed, I never got back to my review on Ori and the Blind Forest or the series of posts that I wanted to do on Destiny 2 Raids… at this point in time, it’s probably time to delete some of the drafts as the raids in question got vaulted. 

Seeing that my post on Destiny 2 is still doing fairly good, I may post more on that topic. I have four more posts in line that have nothing to do with vaulted raids but I haven’t gotten around to editing them just yet and uh… they may not be the most relevant right now. 

My post on Self-Promotion on Twitch is also still getting traffic, so I gotta post more in the Bleeding Purple category that I set up! 

My post on Raid Shadow Legends is also doing really well, still, so maybe it’s time that I finish editing my post on AFK Arena and that I hit “publish” for once… 

My Witcher-Post was the most popular post for the very first few months but eventually… Fall Guys came. And everything else.

Either way, as for reviews (the main piece of my blog), I’d like to mention that there are still plenty of titles to go through. My Steam library alone, features 451 Indie games that I haven’t played at all yet, as well as a hundred or so that I have played already but haven’t reviewed yet. On top of that, there are some Kickstarter and EA games that I’ve backed and supported, that I need to write about in the near future before they get finished. 

My Steam library has been growing lately as well but I did manage to play through some titles in the Late to the Party category as well as on Stream and through my reviews. There are still about 942 unplayed games, though, so, I hope that I’ll have plenty of time to review games in the future as well. 

Alas, Indiecator went from “the guide through the Indie jungle” to a “weird but charming” blog where I don’t fangirl too much about Dr Pepper anymore and instead, talk about Indie games and Streaming and games in general really… It’s been a ton of fun to write about the things I love so far and I’m looking forward to getting better at it in the future as well. 

Stuff that I want to do in the next few years of blogging:

  • Review more games!
  • More franchise-playthroughs and write about those (Late to the Party)
  • Write more posts on Twitch growth and that kind of stuff
  • Meddle with video content (reviews, podcasts, etc. -> YouTube)
  • I’d love to host guest posts in the future or to finish up the guest posts I had prepared for other blogs.

I feel like that’s quite a list to go for. Maybe I’ll manage to get some of that done in 2021 already. Will have to see about that!

Cheers to one year of blogging and cheers to many more! 

Late to the Party #4 – Bioshock 1

So, it’s been a while since I last posted anything related to the Late to the Party series. The main reason for that is the fact that I’ve been busy playing games that aren’t that old On-Stream while not playing as many games Off-Stream.

Either way, in March, I started playing Bioshock 1 (Remastered) for the very first time during a 24-hour-stream (the kind that I don’t do anymore) and I really enjoyed playing it for about six hours. After that, we didn’t touch it again for quite a while since I soft-locked myself. It’s a rough time when your save file is soft-locked, no matter which save-file you’re trying to load. But more on that later.

So, what is Bioshock? Why did I want to play it? Why haven’t I played it yet?

Bioshock 1 is an Atmospheric Horror-Action-FPS game by 2K Boston in which you’re playing a man named Jack in the 1960s that is exploring the world of Rapture, an underground city, trying to find out what conspired there. You have a wide range of weapons available to you but you’re also forced to modify your DNA to become an even deadlier weapon, slinging fireballs and summoning bees and doing that kind of stuff.

But first things first, after a plane crash, we get to swim to safety to an island with a light tower where a capsule of sorts leads us deep into the sea. Once we arrive in the destroyed city of Rapture, we get to meet our first Slicers, enemies that are going crazy to receive more Adam (which is the stuff you pump into yourself to get stronger) and they attack anything and anyone. While you make your way through the world of Rapture you find out about Andrew Ryan, a businessman and objectivist, that wanted to create a utopia for society’s elite to exist outside of the government’s control and limits. Through several audio clips and tapes found in the world, we learn more about the world, while acquiring more powers (through Adam) and trying to progress further and further into the game, intending to eliminate the mastermind behind all of this!

What I really liked about the game in the first six hours of my playtime was that you were able to see that something obviously wasn’t going great with Ryan’s plan. This place called Rapture was supposed to be a utopia but ended up in ruins with flooded and destroyed areas as well as corruption, elitism, and a lot of danger. We find out more about the source of Adam, the science and research behind it, the world and what happened, as well as how the few sane people in the world are managing to come by. We go on errands, completing missions, and we can do so however we want.

I loved it.

We were able to be stealthy or more like Rambo. We can shoot our way through the game or play a spell slinger of sorts. The game gives you a lot of freedom which eventually transitions into the choices as well. Jack is trying to find a way to escape Rapture and obviously, needs to get his hands on more Adam. To do so, we need to defeat the iconic Big Daddies (that even I knew about) and either harvest or rescue the Little Sisters. Harvesting gives you more but it will kill the Little Sisters. Saving the Little Sisters grants them a life free of Adam and risks but you’ll end up with less Adam, though you may get some other rewards. This whole thing is completely optional most of the time and the morality behind it influences the ending.

But then I got stuck and didn’t play it again until October the 7th and October the 8th where I played through the game during a Spooktober stream.

The whole dark and gritty aesthetic that Rapture presents to you is just lovely and scary. I got goosebumps from some of the score’s tracks alone, while the enemies are beautifully gruesome, scary and just creative. The Big Daddies, for instance, are bio-engineered humans in diver suits while Spider Slicers jump and crawl away, shooting you from the ceiling. Overall, enemies like that seemed super fun to me and I really enjoyed battling them in most of the scenarios while using these 60s weapons, magical powers, and using a water puzzle of sorts to hack turrets, vending machines and other objects.

Now, the issue I had with Bioshock was that there’s a postal office of sorts with a hotel and stuff where I was supposed to photograph one of the Spider Slicers… but that Slicer was stuck in the ceiling, so I didn’t have the chance to take a snap from it. Alas, I needed to restart the last save file – a file from over an hour ago.

And then I didn’t play it again until the beginning of October… but when I reloaded and made sure that I’d take a few snapshots of the enemies that I needed, I actually was able to progress smoothly with only one crash or two in total. The story progresses quite nicely and while a lot of the “missions” felt like errands, I did actually enjoy the game a fair bit.

Ammunition and EVE (your mana) are limited, so you cannot always just fight everyone and everything. This made the game rather fun, especially as I was able to customize perks and skills to fit my needs!

Honestly, I wish I had played Bioshock earlier. I’m looking forward to playing the second game eventually! Bioshock is a great game and 2K really outdid themselves with it!

What has your experience been with the Bioshock franchise and the first game? Did you play the games/this game? Did you like it? Can you recommend the franchise as a whole or maybe just certain titles? Let me know!

Cheers!

I played Phasmophobia for the first time

So, Phasmophobia is a game that exists and is rather popular right now. Some friends of mine wanted to play it with me but I knew that if I were to pick it up, I’d end up playing it and then everyone would stop playing it suddenly. It’s a curse with multiplayer games that I’ve picked up in the past and hence, I hesitated on picking it up myself… but then MuddChi gifted it to me, so I played it for the first time with her and I had a lot of fun actually.

For anyone that doesn’t know Phasmophobia, it’s a game that explores the premise of investigating ghosts and paranormal activities. You take on jobs and search for clues that reveal the type of ghost you’re dealing with. These clues can range from temperature drops to it talking to you to flickering lights and other things.

For our first job, we went to a house where we found a random bone lying around. MuddChi took a picture of it while I was uwu-ing into the “Spirit Box” that allows me to talk to specific types of ghosts. We set up cameras and observed a “ghost orb”, a will-o-wisp kind of light that floats through the room. This already reduces the number of potential suspects from twelve to six! We then investigated the room more to see if we could find some fingerprints, using the UV light… nothing to be found. That means that it’s not a Poltergeist. My constant “uwu”-ing into the Spirit Box also didn’t result in any paranormal activities or other responses… the ghost must have thought that I’m an idiot. I tried asking it about its age, location, and whether or not it wants to hurt us: No response. 

We weren’t too sure if it was just shy or if it just doesn’t speak to us… but for now, we were able to rule out the Jinn, Poltergeist and Mare, leaving only the Shade and Yurei. The Yurei has a stronger effect on the players’ sanity while the Shade is really shy but apart from that, there aren’t any characteristics that would explain one or the other for now. Alas, we had to either detect Freezing Temperatures or an EMF 5 Reading… but since we couldn’t detect either and since we didn’t want to just guess it, we decided to go for a bold move: Provoking it.

Since it was in the main room of the house, right next to the door, we ended up having MuddChi check the activity while I’m throwing out insults at the ghost. The EMF reader was on the ground, giving out a reading based on nearby activity… and if it was nearby, it would either spike to a reading of 5 or I’d be able to see my breath. I decided to turn on the local voice chat and just constantly swear into my microphone, yelling “fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck” into my headset. With the crucifix on the ground, I felt safe, until the EMF reader picked up a strong signal. I tried taking a picture using my camera but was too slow. The ghost’s shadow appeared, scared the shit out of me, and vanished. I took a step back and was out of its reach – outside of the house. We got it, I thought. It’s a Shade! 

We cash in experience points and money and moved on to the next job. 

For the next job, at some small street house, we first checked out the basement to see if we get any readings or anything like that… but there was nothing. No significant temperature drops, no fingerprints, or any EMF readings. In the entryway, however, we found yet another bone and took a picture of it. There, we noticed a painting falling down and dishes being thrown around. Is this a poltergeist or does someone just not like to do the dishes?

After a while, MuddChi found fingerprints, reducing the number of ghosts to a measly five: The Spirit, the Wraith, the Poltergeist, the Banshee and the Revenant. Since the fingerprints were nearby, we threw down our tripods and cams to observe potential ghost orbs and placed our ghost journal with utmost care. No Ghost orbs meant that it’s not a Poltergeist, leaving us with only four potential ghosts! Since the Spirit and the Wraith both can be found via the Spirit Box, I tried speaking to it. The other two ghosts would need EMF readings but I already had the Spirit Box with me. 

I really wanted to talk to it and maybe make a new friend, so I stayed in the vicinity of the Ghost Journal and started asking questions. “How old are you?” got an answer: “OLD.” I was surprised. It’s either the Wraith or the Spirit. I should be able to soon see Ghost Writing or Freezing Temperatures to identify which one of the two it is. I didn’t see my breath yet and the Ghost Journal was empty. I tried talking to it again, asking what it wants to do. “HURT”, the ghost responded. Shivers went down my spine and I hated every single bit of this job. 

Why is this so scary? Why am I so scared of this when there’s really just a voice speaking to me and nothing else? “Who do you want to hurt?”, I ask. No response. “Do you want to hurt us?”, I clarify… No response. “Are you here?” – The ghost didn’t seem to like my questions as the activity went up again and as it seemed to not like answering it. “Give me a sign”, I spoke, and candles started falling down from the desk. I let out a small “Oh, fuck” only to see that the Ghost Journal was filled with something. “DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE”, it said. I was both anxious and relieved. It’s a spirit. Ghost Writing, Fingerprints and Spirit Box? Yup, a spirit. We entered the evidence into the journal, packed up and closed the hatch. Our trunk went off and we got our experience and money. It was a successful day and while it was really scary… I’m somewhat looking forward to playing another time. 

So, Phasmophobia is quite scary. It’s more about psychological Horror and you do your best to actually get the right clues and find the ghost. It’s a nice game and I hope that it gets the necessary funding to eventually receive even better and more elaborate updates! For this play session, I was joined by MuddChi who does stream on Twitch more often than not. She’s a great streamer and a close friend of mine, so I’d highly recommend checking her stream out if you haven’t already! The game itself is great but I seem to get enough of it after a job or two since it can be really scary and since I’m a scaredy-cat. 

You can find Phasmophobia over here on Steam. It’s currently in Early Access, so it’s still in development and can feature a lot of bugs and crashes, potentially. So beware of that. Personally speaking, I’d recommend it, although I’m not sure if this post gives you any insights on the game and its issues or why it’s so good, so this is not necessarily a review or anything like that. If you ever feel like playing Phasmophobia with me and some friends, be sure to join the discord and chat with us!

For now, though, I’ll try to get some sleep. I just did two jobs with a few friends and I’m actually quite scared. I hope you enjoyed this post! 

Cheers!

Edit: This post was in the wrong category and is now properly placed in The Gaming Journal instead of The Stray Sheep. Sorry for that!

MonHunLog #8 – We’re all about that cat!

Last time in the New World, we noticed that we’re a bit too weak to fight Velkhana. The goal I’m aiming for? The Nether Vajra! I need that dragon elemental damage and the elder seal to properly fight Velkhana! But first… someone else needs a powerup, and that’s our Palico, Tammy.

Tammy was rocking the Vaal Hazak armour for the most part and it looked fancy but the armour values weren’t that great, especially since it was only an HR armour set. Luckily, Velkhana dropped a few materials already when I first attempted slaying it. Hence I was able to craft the Felyne Rimeguard Mail Alpha+ already, which looks quite good as well, sadly, the helmet had to wait for a bit until my next attempt, at least.

Apart from that, Tammy has been using the Vigorwasp Spray and the Coral Orchestra for most of our journey, but I felt that I should try and get those other tools. So that’s what today’s MonHunLog is about!

At the beginning of the game, our Palico is only equipped with the Vigorwasp Spray. It allows your little furry friend to heal you, using Vigorwasps. Levelling it up increases the healing due to the proficiency increase. As you level it up, you unlock the Vigorwasp Station and the Vigorwasp Delivery. At last, it will also allow your Palico to revive you once on the spot with half your health, which can come in quite clutch!

Generally, for most of the unlocks, you’ll have to find Grimalkyne Doodles in the different areas and then talk to the Lynian Researcher. Sometimes, you’ll have to complete some quests in the area, progress with the story, unlock campsites or just recruit some of the Grimalkynes when you encounter them.

I unlocked the Coral Orchestra that I already levelled up quite a bit from a quest that the Grimalkyne in the Coral Highlands issued. We were supposed to hunt two Tzitzi-Ya-Ku as part of the quest called “Troubled Troupers”. The Coral Orchestra is similar to the Hunting Horn in that it grants you attack, defence, and status resistance buffs. At level 5, your Palico can use a wind instrument, and at Level 10, you can call your Palico to use a drum instrument. There is also the gong that essentially stuns a monster for a short duration, which can be useful, but I mostly make use of the other instruments.

So, for the Flashfly Cage, I actually had to visit the Ancient Forest again! In Area 17, you can find a Bugtrapper and by following it, you essentially are rewarded with the Flashfly Cage that basically enables your Palico to blind large monsters for a short time. At later levels, you can manually summon a Flashfly and have your Palico place down Shock Traps. It also does that on its own, although those traps seem to be a bit weaker… Overall, a nice gadget to take with you, especially since you can only carry one Shock Trap per hunt unless you restock at a camp.

Over in the Wildspire Waste, we have the chance to unlock the Shieldspire gadget. Essentially, we need to find the Grimalkyne tribe in the lower levels, near the big cave where you find Diablos. They tell you that their friends are in danger and that you need to rescue them. You then need to sneak up to them (the Ghillie Mantle really helped me) and then capture them using your Capture Net gadget. Then you deliver the cats and earn yourself the Shieldspire, a defensive Palico gadget, that allows your Palico to taunt monsters and block damage… but I haven’t levelled it up too much just yet.

Down, in the Rotten Vale, you can get the Plunderblade that my friends have been recommending to me… despite me not having it unlocked yet. So, uh, to get it, I needed to head to some semi-secret area near Area 12 or Area 13 and find a big chunk of meat that was laying around there. Essentially, the Odogaron in the area tends to carry some with it. You let them drop it off, take some of their meat with you and try to not drop it. Then you try to look for the Grimalkyne in the area who first will get lured out by the smell of your meat (heh) but who will then run away. After a while, they won’t be reachable, so essentially, you just drop some normal raw meat and wait for them to come out on their own. They thank you with the Plunderblade which is used to farm materials and items that can be sold or used for crafting.

At last, there’s the Meowlotov Cocktail (I love the name)! After unlocking the previous items, the Lynian Researcher wants you to find Gajalaka doodles and report to him. Essentially, Gajalaka are also Grimalkynes and he wants to establish a cultural exchange and friendly relations with them as well. To do that, we have to find Gajalaka doodles on all the different areas, including Elder’s Recess. For this, I just sorted through the map using the endemic life filters and searched for the spots with Gajalaka, since there are doodles nearby, usually. After visiting three locales, I ended up having enough doodles and talked to the Lynian Researcher again who wanted us to come to Elder’s Recess with him at night. There, you can see the Gajalaka dancing and you’ll have to try and sneak around them to get access to their hideout. Using a Ghillie Mantle is something that I’d recommend since it makes it a lot easier. They can’t spot you! Once you’re in their hideout, they’ll grant you the Meowlotov Cocktail which essentially deals damage to monsters that is based on the element of your Palico’s weapon. This can be really nice to add some more DPS to your hunt in case you don’t need the other gadgets…

Originally, I thought of using the Meowlotov Cocktail against Velkhana and have Tammy use a Fire Weapon (since that’s one of Velkhana’s weaknesses) while I’m using my Nether Vajra (that I still don’t have) to apply dragon damage, especially with the dragon damage bonus that I get from my Kinsect… but the Vigorwasp Spray with the extra healing and the utility seems just too good to not use in that fight. Also, I didn’t want to level up the Meowlotov Cocktail just now.

It doesn’t look too good together but this armour certainly is going to help against Velkhana… although, it’s also made out of Velkhana materials.

There is still one more Palico Gadget that you can grab after this, but I haven’t gone for it just yet and you’ll have to unlock the other gadgets first before you’re able to grab that in Iceborne.

Unlocking these gadgets granted us another two nice perks: The ability to recruit Gajalaka and specific small monsters to fight alongside you and your Palico as well as the ability to use the tailrider gadget to move swiftly across the map and visit a target monster or go to certain other points of interest really quickly. I love it. Much needed, especially with fleeing monsters or monsters that use tunnels that aren’t accessible to you.

Oooh, nice! Meow new friends!

For the next MonHunLog, I wanted to grind some Odogaron (potentially, using the Plunderblade) to get that Nether Vajra! We may also upgrade our equipment further and get some extra defence. We’ll see!

Hope you enjoyed this one. The gadgets are somewhat tricky to unlock. Most of the time, I just didn’t bother with them since I was so happy about the Coral Orchestra – but I can see that they can be quite useful for different scenarios. The Shieldspire is going to be great against Barioth, Diablos or Tigrex if I ever decide to hunt those again. The Meowlotov Cocktail might come in handy as well eventually against some monsters with multiple weaknesses. The Plunderblade is going to be great for later fights and for grinds while the Flashfly Cage is going to be useful to blind fast enemies that are more difficult to hit or flying enemies that I wanna bring down to the ground. They all have their specific uses so I’ll level them up eventually along the journey.

Onto the next quest!

Have you unlocked all the gadgets, yet? What’s your favourite gadget? Do you dislike one by any chance?

The Iceborne gadget allows you to call upon Grimalkynes to help you out, I’ve been told, so I’m looking forward to getting that one eventually! More hands are always nice to have… or rather paws in this instance.

Cheers!

MonHunLog #7 – Winter is coming to the New World!

It’s been a while since I last played Monster Hunter World and since I lost wrote about my adventures in the New World but frankly, I got burnt out from it for quite a while. I used to play with the Hammer, the Gunlance and eventually discovered the Insect Glaive. Eventually, I got bored with those, so I decided to learn to play the Horn which was a lot of fun but progressing with the story was actually quite hard using the Horn I had.

Our current equipment at the point of writing this.

Alas, what happened: Ever since we defeated Xeno’Jiiva, we’ve discovered strange phenomenon all over the New World. Something’s wrong with the ecosystem and as a bunch of Legiana stormed north, we discovered a whole new island… continent… type of thing. 

Effectively, it’s an icy world and we hunt down new types of monsters, create new weapons and we now have a whole new rank to play with: Master Rank! 

Oh, I also gave fishing a go and really liked it, to be honest!

So, uh, as a quick rundown what did I hunt so far?

Coral Pukei-Pukei! Fabulous!
  • Beotodus, an icy landshark that deals a lot of damage and is rather swift… maybe even too swift for my glaive but eventually he died as well.
  • Banbaro, an elk-like monster that is huge and didn’t pose that much of a danger.
  • Viper Tobi-Kadachi – a poisonous sub-species of the Tobi-Kadachi that couldn’t handle the heavy blows of my Hunting Horn.
  • Nightshade Paolumu, a subspecies of the Paolumu that actually puts you to sleep and is weak against Water and Fire.
  • The Coral Pukei-Pukei who was super hard for me personally as he dealt way too much damage with his hydro pump.
  • Barioth… was quite challenging as well.
  • Nargacuga – It posed no threat to us.
  • Glavenus – a monster that came back from a different generation and essentially has a blade-tail. I really enjoyed that fight!
  • Tigrex – a terrifying monster that seems hungrier than Deviljho! Hated that fight!
  • Brachydios – has exploding dick-hands and there’s not really much to that fight. You need to be careful where you step but I just flew over him with my glaive again.
Nargacuga is honestly super pretty!

Then we saw the cause for the disturbance in the ecosystem: Velkhana. It’s a new elder dragon that has an ice-armour and can create ice splitters and freeze the ground, so obviously, we need to be careful not to get hit. In the next mission, we needed to repel it, which we successfully did.

After that, we hunted a Shrieking Legiana (pain in the butt), the shocking Fulgur Anjanath, the Acidic Glavenus, the Ebony Odogaron, and eventually had to first repel Velkhana and eventually, we got “Quest 17: The Iceborne Wyvern” which basically tasks us with slaying Velkhana.

And that’s where we’re at right now. I wanted to pick up Monster Hunter World again and learn new weapons but Velkhana is just super hard to fight. Velkhana’s patterns aren’t the problem though but rather my damage. While I was able to easily hunt down other targets before, I’m now struggling with dishing out the damage in time and hence am running out of time before Velkhana’s actually dead. And that’s quite problematic. 

We’re not the only ones who’re interested in Brachydios!

Using the Hunting Horn against Velkhana was actually a bad choice (who would have thought?), so I tried out my Insect Glaive and failed again, despite having the explosion element on it that tended to be more than enough for most of the previous monsters. Alas, I then tried using the Heavy Bowgun with the flaming ammunition but despite being quite strong against it, it still wasn’t enough…

So, I actually now have to grind some hunts and expeditions to get materials for the right weapons. My weapon of choice is going to be the Insect Glaive as I’ll be able to dodge Velkhana’s ice beam rather easily using that weapon while also damaging the ice armour to eventually get rid of it. Since Velkhana’s weak against both the dragon seal and fire attacks, I thought of going for the Temptation Trident which later upgrades into Vice, Vice+, and eventually into Cruelty and the Nether Vajra. You can find that weapon in the Odogaron Tree and since I’ll need a weapon to fight Elder dragons with anyways, I thought about going for the Ebony Odogaron’s Nether Vajra.

Cruelty does have space for a gem on top of having more affinity and fire damage. The elder seal on Nether Vajra is, however, going to be a lot more useful right now as it’s going to lock some of the more annoying abilities that Velkhana uses.

So, luckily, I already had the materials ready for the Garon Rod II and only had to hunt two Odogaron for three Odogaron Shards to get the materials for Temptation’s Trident and another two for Vice. To upgrade my Vice to Vice+, I’ll need another two Odogaron Shards as well as another Odogaron Hardclaw. So, I’ll have to hunt that one again and I’ll have to carve the body out to gain the necessary shards and I’ll need to get lucky with the Hardclaws. 

Odogaron! DADAAAM!

The upgrade to Nether Vajra is going to require another Dragonbone Artifact (which I’ll just find on an expedition) as well as one more Ebony Odogaron Shard, so if I get lucky, I’ll only need to hunt one more of those… and if I remember correctly, there is an event quest where I’ll have to hunt both of them in one go, so that could actually be quite beneficial for me to save some time.

That, however, is something I’ll have to leave for the next time. It’s been a busy day in the New World and I’ll need to get some sleep in!

Hope you enjoyed the return of the MonHunLog and I hope you’re going to enjoy the next few posts that are coming out soon on MHW and my progress updates! 🙂

Cheers!

Humble Choice – October 2020

It’s yet another month and while I should’ve done this post at the beginning… I honestly didn’t have a chance yet to do it, especially as there were so many other posts that had to get shipped out before this one.

Last month, I was actually able to grab all 12 games and *being a Classic subscriber* I am able to do the same this month, which is great since there’s a whole bunch of games in this one that I like. Here are my choices!

10 – Fantasy Blacksmith

Fantasy Blacksmith is a “magically realistic blacksmith simulator” that seems like a fun idea. I’d get it for myself since it offers a lot of customization and options to play with to basically smith your own swords. I’m a bit worried though that the controls may be janky or that it’s a bit tedious, so that’s why I put it on Spot 10.

I actually couldn’t find a trailer here so I ended up instead using a First Impressions video by Splattercat – who’s one of the few YouTubers that I frequently watch currently.

9 – Basement

I thought I already owned this one but I actually don’t. It’s a strategy game where you start an illegal drug operation and eventually branch out into other territories, expanding your basement for other laboratories and facilities, eventually becoming a big mafia boss. The strategy and management aspects of the game seemed alluring and while I’m not too fond of the theme of the game, I generally think that it could be a fun idea to try out.

8 – Goat of Duty

I already own Goat of Duty but I could gift this to a friend and they could play it with me. Goat of Duty is fast-paced and silly, which is quite a nice contrast to the games I usually play. I’ve actually got a review out on this game over here if you wanna hear more about this game.

7 – Iron Danger

Iron Danger seems like a great addition to my library and while I’m not going to grab it, I’ll have to wishlist it for sure! It’s a tactical RPG where you have this mix of turn-based and real-time combat. You manipulate time and use the environment to your advantage, which is something that I really fancy. The world seems to have machines already but apparently, there’s also magic and living gods and stuff, so I actually fancy that as well. Overall, seems like a cool idea. 

6 – Lightmatter

Lightmatter is another title that I’d gift to someone else. Personally, I’ve already played through it and I’ve even written a review on it over here – but I’d still get it since it’s a great game and since I enjoyed every single bit of it. For anyone that doesn’t know, it essentially plays in the same universe as the Portal and the Half-Life games. Virgil, the boss of some corporation there, has great plans for the world as he’s found a renewable energy source called Lightmatter that is going to bring world peace to everyone. Sadly, stuff isn’t that easy as there seem to be dangerous shadows as well in the labs. The game features a lot of light-based puzzles and generally, Virgil’s commentary, the search for a cat, and the level design overall are highly enjoyable and definitely what makes this game *shine*. (Okay, I’ll see myself out..)

5 – Fae Tactics

Fae Tactics has been on my Steam wishlist for ages and it will stay there since it’s a great game from what I’ve seen. I’ve seen a little bit of it in various streams and it definitely looked like something that I’d enjoy. Turn-based tactical gameplay is just right up my alley and if you add some magic into the mix, it’s obviously the choice to go for me.

4 – The Suicide of Rachel Foster

I don’t know anything about TSoRF. It’s published by Daedelic Games, which is a studio that I personally have been a fan of for quite a while and who also published Partisans 1941! It combines mystery, thriller and horror elements with a mature and touching story. I’ve heard great things about this game. I’ll check it out for myself, eventually!

3 – Autonauts

Autonauts is a game about programming little robots to then build other robots… and uh… it’s similar to Satisfactory and Factorio in a way, I guess. You essentially can automate a whole bunch of things and programming the robots makes use of a scratch-like programming language that is quite easy to handle and makes it possible for even people with no clue to learn programming, I guess. I mean, Scratch is made for kids to learn about programming, afte rall, so yeah. It’s super cute and I would have loved to get this for myself. It’s on my wishlist, though, so eventually, I’ll get it!

2 – Tropico 6: El Prez Edition

I love the “Tropico” games. I played a ton of Tropico 3 and own Tropico 4 and 5 and will eventually play them as well… I actually didn’t know that Tropico 6 came out already… so yeah, as a fan of the franchise and as I enjoyed Tropico 3 so much (and as it only gets better, from what I’ve heard), I’d definitely grab this one for sure. If you haven’t known yet, you essentially play a dictator in the Tropico games and you govern a tropical island. You can turn it into a tourist hotspot, an industrial country or do anything else with it. You also will have to balance your relations to different countries and the needs of your people. I generally really liked Tropico so far, since you can be a very bad guy or a good guy and you can do questionable stuff that would only work in here but not in Sim City or wherever. 

1 – Sunless Bundle

I actually already own Sunless Sea and I loved it. It’s top-notch Lovecraftian horror combined with exploration-based gameplay and an intriguing story. Sunless Sea is a lot of fun and I gotta play it again to write about it sometime soon! As for Sunless Skies, it strikes a similar note but you play on spaceships in the sky and it features other systems, and grabbing both of them at the same time is great. It’s two games for the price of one choice on top of getting the phenomenal soundtrack as well and supporting the devs. Survival, Strategy, Management and Exploration type games are generally my jam, so it’s to be expected of me to recommend the Sunless franchise so much. 

As for the drop-outs: I already own The Uncertain but haven’t played it yet. It’s a story-driven adventure game set in a post-apocalyptic world, featuring Sci-Fi elements and robots and it seems to be quite atmospheric but generally, I know nothing about it apart from the Steam Store info and I’ll have to play it myself in order to judge whether or not I’d gift it to others. Also, chances are that you own it yourself if you grabbed it for free in 2017 as I did. Meanwhile Shadows: Awakening didn’t really interest me too much. Something about it just didn’t catch me in the same way that other titles did. Fantasy Blacksmith is much more interesting to me than another isometric ARPG. 

Either way, that’s it for October really. October’s Choice felt like a good mix overall. We’ve got nice story games, nice strategy games, nice action games and other adventures. I would have liked it more if there would have been more scary titles to play in Spooktober but at the same time, someone else would have hated that.

Are you going for this month’s Choice? What are your choices? Would you rank some stuff differently? Did you originally plan to not grab some game but now decided to do so after my post? – Actually, that last question may seem weird but I’d love to hear how these posts influence people’s interest in games and stuff. Be sure to let me know if you have any thoughts on that!

Cheers!

Alex Hutchinson is out of touch with reality

A lot of streamers on Twitch have been using music that they don’t own or that they weren’t explicitly allowed to use in their streams and now have to fear DMCA strikes and potential takedowns from clips and VODs that could be plenty of years old. Twitch is trying its best to mute those VODs and clips or potentially just remove it but has also handled the situation in an iffy way as it doesn’t communicate which content is problematic and what you’re getting struck for. Instead of saying that this VOD or this clip uses music by some artist who’s now claiming it, then you could delete that specific video and just not use that artist’s music, I guess…

But it’s all a rather difficult situation. Twitch doesn’t handle it well but should’ve stopped copyright infringements ages ago and should communicate it better right now… Meanwhile, labels, studios and artists are in the complete right as well to claim what they own, although the warner bros. bots are going a bit too far at times. 

But among all the chaos in regards to DMCAs and Music and Twitch, there is one man who’s completely out of touch with the world… Alex Hutchinson who’s known for working on Spore, The Sims 2, AC3, Far Cry 4 and Journey to the Savage Planet – who now is working on Google’s Stadia! 

Hutchinson’s hot take is that streamers should rather “worry about streaming the games they didn’t pay for as well” and that “streamers should pay developers and publishers of the games that they are streaming”. According to him, there should be a license “like in any real business” to pay for the content they use.

And naturally, this blew up and he’s responding to some of the comments and I’m not entirely sure if he’s not just baiting to get some attention going or if he’s completely serious about it… but it makes for a good prompt: Should streamers pay developers for the games that they make money with? Should bloggers do the same? Should I pay developers in order to acquire a license to be able to review their games, even when they sent me a copy or when I bought the copy myself? 

Well, short answer: No, that’s stupid. And here’s why:

The problem with this whole idea is that the gaming industry works in a wholly different way from the music industry. Let’s say you’re a solo developer without a publisher and you end up selling a game for 5 bucks on steam. Someone buys one copy of your game and you earn 3.5 bucks whilst Steam takes 1.5 bucks for every copy sold aka 30%. (We’ll just use the 30% cut for this instead of the actual numbers that scale with how many copies are being sold and stuff because it makes it a bit easier.)

If a hundred people buy that game, the developer will get 350 bucks while Steam gets 150 bucks and everyone is happy. Of course, there are other costs involved like advertisement and potential losses but generally, you can get “free” advertisement by giving copies to select streamers, bloggers, websites and certain people so that they can talk or write about it and potentially play it in front of a large audience. A great example for that would be SplattercatGaming on YouTube who’s doing First Impressions of games. Meanwhile, if FGSquared streams it in front of her audience, she’s showing gameplay for more than just half an hour and is able to show the gameplay quite well to her audience, encouraging them to buy it. And on another note, I do reviews as well whenever I get the time to do so – and there are developers that reach out via mail to me and that want me to review their game or at least write about it. 

Essentially, instead of investing a whole lot of money into Facebook, Instagram and YouTube ads, you can distribute review copies to people that will advertise your game for free. They earn money from YouTube ads and Subs/Donos on Twitch and uh… I don’t earn money at all apart from blogging but that doesn’t matter as you get the idea. It’s free advertisement, essentially, at the cost of not selling a copy to that one specific streamer, blogger or YouTuber. 

On the other hand, musicians earn $0.006 to $0.0084 per play on Spotify. If the streamer plays the song in front of a large audience, they earn that $0.006 from that one play. (I’ll stick to the lower number since I also used the highest cut in the example above.) If a hundred people decide to play that song one time, the musician earns $0.60 which is… not much compared to what a solo game developer would earn. And even then, I’m not sure if that musician is getting the whole 60 cents from Spotify or if it gets split up between the artist and the label/studio, etc. 

Obviously, developers will have publishers as well that may potentially take a cut as well but generally, I’d say that small developers earn more on Steam than small musicians do on Spotify. Of course, there are also sales from other music stores (like Bandcamp!) or if you buy the album somewhere else but the cut over there can be so different from artist to artist that I’m not sure if the comparison is fair.

So while the gaming industry and the music industry are completely different in that regard, at least in my uneducated and superficial opinion (prove me right if you wanna and if you know more about it), I actually do think that having licenses could be a good idea. Not for the games but rather for the music. 

In my streams, I use music by Bonaparte, Desmond Cheese and City Girl who I wrote E-Mails to in order to get permission to use their music. Whenever I play their music, it shows on screen and I tend to talk a bit more about the songs and what I like about them. I also tend to tell people to check out the links below to get to the social media pages for the different artists… and I’m also sure that Bonaparte at this point earned a lot from me alone on Spotify. 

What if there was a license that you could pay for that would support the artists that you used on Twitch? You’d essentially pay a fee every month or so and then you’re able to use select artists or playlists and the artists would get a better cut from the deal compared to Spotify… I’d like that idea personally but I’m not sure if that would ever work properly.

Btw, Twitch is now introducing “Soundtrack” now which is an app that not only allows you to use music by approved artists that gave permission to Twitch but that also separates the audio from the VOD, resulting in an easier time for you as a streamer. The overlay for it is also on the screen and doesn’t feel intrusive at all but I’ll write it about that eventually as well at another time.

As for gaming, I feel like it’s ridiculous to pay for a game again that you already bought just to be able to stream it. A revenue share is also a rather silly idea, in my opinion, as the streamers that earn money with their content don’t earn it because of the games… but rather because of the entertainment they provide. It’s transformative, in the sense that streamers add commentary and their personalities to the gameplay. It’s not about the game but rather about the streamer. 

A revenue split would not work in a way because the streamers that do it as a hobby and that don’t earn a cent from it would still have to pay to be able to stream the game they’re playing, for free…? The idea of review copies that the publishers are HANDING OUT to certain streamers would be idiotic as the streamers would suddenly have to make less money by streaming the games that they got given. 

If we take this proposal further (ad absurdum), then the pianist is going to have to pay the guy who made his piano for every single person that bought a ticket to his concert. The piano maker already got paid for the piano but suddenly, he’ll earn more and the pianist is going to have to deal with it. 

Let me go even further: The ASMR and Just Chatting streamers will have to pay money to the some state because they’re streaming and making money off words. They’ll also have to pay money to the company that made their mic, even though they already bought it. They’ll also have to pay additional money to their landlord since the rent only covers them living there but not them earning money in their flats.

On another note, a lot of athletes use certain brands as well and hence advertise those. My siblings used to play table tennis and when they followed the better players for a while on TV, they would constantly wish for a DONIC table tennis racket. The fact that the best of the best were using those, at the time, made these already worth buying in their eyes, even if they had to save up a lot for them. 

The pianist is playing his best music on a certain piano. The soccer player is using one specific brand of shoes whenever he wins a game. A member of a famous esports team is using a specific mouse in all of his games. 

The idea of marketing and free samples and review copies is something that works quite well. Streamers playing games for their audience and hence promoting it… it works and is nothing that should get changed to get even more money for Bigfish developers and publishers while small indie studios would probably not profit all that much from it. 

At last,… Hutchinson also mentioned, jokingly, that NFL and other sports organisations should maybe pay streamers to broadcast and comment on the full games… on Twitch… and that’s hilarious because while he’s mocking the idea, it’s actually a thing. Twitch does that. The NFL does that. It’s very successful actually. Hutchinson must be trolling. I don’t want to believe that someone who’s behind great titles like Spore and who’s working on Stadia is just really that out of touch with reality. Like, that can’t be…, right? 

So, uh, let’s summarise: As mentioned above, I think that the proposal of having streamers pay for games that they already paid for is stupid (I just noticed that that’s what WoW and FFOnline are doing… I’m still not a fan of paid subscription models in games that you already bought). I haven’t even gotten into tax stuff and all of that… in Germany, you’d have to pay taxes and your channel would get treated like a small business as well when you earn a specific amount of money per year. 

It’s also stupid to demand a revenue share when streamers add a lot of publicity to games, as you can see with Among Us (which was quite “dead” for two years and then blew up because of streamers) and Fall Guys (whose whole marketing campaign consisted of handing keys to streamers). It’s stupid to criticize streamers for earning money with their own content that is based around review copies handed out by publishers and developers. It’s like jumping in front of a car and then demanding that others pay for the hospital bills, not because of them running you over but rather because of them not being there for you and preventing you from jumping in front of the car. Doesn’t make sense? Yeah, exactly!

I hope you enjoyed this post. I kind of wanting to give my two cents on it and wanted to make a post while it’s still a “hot topic”. I’d like to hear your thoughts on it and see what you think of this whole ordeal. Is Hutchinson out of touch with reality or is he really just a genius that is too advanced for our current times?

Cheers!

Edit: I added “ad absurdum” to one of the paragraphs since that’s a word that I’ve been looking for while writing up the post but while it was lying on my tongue, it just didn’t come out. Now it’s there. The “to take it further” part was meant to be an “ad absurdum” mechanism to showcase how silly this idea would sound if we replace “games” and “streamers” with “pianos” and “pianists” or “microphones” and “ASMRtists/Just Chatting streamers” or “running shoes” and “athletes”. So that’s an edit I had to make to essentially just mention that it’s supposed to sound silly and absurd because it is silly and absurd in a way.

I’m not a gamer

So, yesterday, I made a post on a couple of topics, including toxicity, bad game design encouraging certain , “tryhards”, the terminology of “being a gamer”, gatekeeping and other stuff. My problem with that post was that it started with a question, then it suddenly branched out into three different topics and at the end, it concluded without ever answering the question. That’s what I’d consider a confusing and bad post. 

So, I edited the post and it didn’t help bring my point across because that post was overloaded and bad in quality. Hence, I’m splitting it up into multiple posts, each dedicated to their own topic so that I can get my idea across as intended. After all, I’m really bad at putting my thoughts into words and I should just write about one thing instead of trying to add in more and more herbs to the soup, if that makes sense.

This post is about “being a gamer”. 

A while ago, I had this experience with a German streamer who I followed for a bit who wanted to learn English. I thought that that was cute and wanted to help, so we hopped into Valorant and played a few rounds and I corrected him whenever he did use words in the wrong way, which he really found helpful.

During one of the games, he got frustrated. He was playing Jett, a duelist-class agent that has high mobility and an ultimate with some nice kill-potential. I was playing Sage, a support-class agent that has zone-control with an ice wall and a slow area but that can also heal and revive people. Sage doesn’t have any damaging abilities. Other people in our team would play Raze and Pheonix, as well, which are also duelists with tools in their kit to kill people with. Raze is also able to one-shot people with three of her abilities, which is major bullshit btw. 

That guy’s frustration came from him doing really well with 27 kills and us still losing the game. I, on the other hand, died a bunch and got a lot of assists for helping my team kill people – but I didn’t get that many kills. My KDA was, hence, not as good as his, so he insulted and “flamed” me. I told him that my or his KDA or stats don’t matter if we end up still losing the game because of bad team play. In the end, you can be the best player on your team but it doesn’t matter if you don’t win – and winning was our common goal. 

Roger said a while ago that there is always someone who wins and someone who loses in competitive games. You cannot change that unless it’s a tie of sorts… but those are quite unlikely with overtime mechanics in place and that kind of stuff. It’s a given that you cannot always win or that there is always someone better than you in any game. 

So, this guy who was insulting me on his stream also said that I’m not a “gamer” because I don’t care about those stats. And it’s true. I don’t care about stats and care more about having fun in games. Winning is also fun btw so obviously it’s not that I don’t care about winning and doing my best. I’m just fine with losing if I’m able to gain experience, practice or just have fun.

Practically, I’m really bad at FPS games and even worse in Valorant as I haven’t had any practice in it for quite some time. I also haven’t played CS:GO or any of those other games, so I’m lacking experience. The only way for me to improve would be to play more. Playing more, however, requires me to have fun as I’ll get frustrated if the game gets boring, stale or if I just don’t enjoy it. I told him beforehand that I’m not good at the game and when he insulted me based on numbers without acknowledging that him playing Solo and for his stats only in a TEAM GAME wasn’t exactly “good” either,… well…. I just didn’t wanna bother with him anymore. I felt that he was toxic, selfish and honestly quite cringy. Him throwing a tantrum over me not being a “gamer” was childish at best. Him rushing in to kill people without pinging, communicating or saying anything was really bad, actually. Him getting a kill but then dying, alone, with the spike on him, is a bad move. But that doesn’t matter apparently when you have good stats, right? Because people just look at the stats and not your individual plays or whatever.

So, what’s a “gamer” then? 

First up, I won’t include the urban dictionary definition because of obvious reasons.

Apparently, a gamer is someone who is not contempt with losing and who only cares about winning no matter what playstyle and what tool they have to resort to. Cheating or hacking is most likely not included in that definition. Ninja said that someone who is contempt with losing has lost twice and that you have to get angry and rage when you lose, to be considered a gamer – or something like that.

My problem with that sort of definition is that it is kind of wrong? I mean, it doesn’t include casual gamers, otome gamers, mobile gamers, simulation-type gamers, and other types. I’d say that a “gamer” is someone who plays games a lot. A “competitive gamer” would be someone as mentioned above who is very competitive (duh.) and who really wants to improve and get better at the game. A “casual gamer” would be someone who rather focuses on having a fun experience and enjoying their time. 

Problem is that no matter what my personal definition is, there will always be people that won’t acknowledge it. “You’re not a gamer” is a form of gatekeeping that excludes me because I’m not honing my skills in certain games. It also excludes people that play games casually and people that play other types of games that cannot really be played competitively. There are a lot of people in “gaming communities” that don’t consider Visual Novels, otome games, mobile games and simulation-type games as “games”. I mean they are games but if a “gamer” is someone who “plays games” then those people that play the game types that I mentioned above aren’t “gamers” or “true gamers” in their eyes

That’s what I noticed in a lot of places like Twitter, Reddit, Twitch, and Discord. It’s gatekeeping at its finest and I don’t like it. It’s unhealthy for communities and toxic, at best. That’s why I don’t consider myself a “gamer” because that term is just oozing with toxicity. It’s a term that people use to label others while excluding other people. A “gamer” is more often than not almost obsessed with winning or obsessed with having high stats. You cannot always do good, though, and despite what Ninja may say on the topic, losing is completely fine as long as you did your best. There is always someone who is better than you after all. In the time that you rage or insult or badmouth others, you could easily try again and get better by reflecting on what you did wrong and what you can do better. And then you get better. That’s the way it is.

So, to sum it up, there is not really any definition of what a “gamer” is that literally everyone would accept, duh. There is a meme, as Jett and Dan pointed out once in my stream, of “getting your gamer card revoked” for liking certain types of games or certain game mechanics (e.g. escort missions) – and that’s really just gatekeeping, in my eyes. People that want to belong to a gaming community get excluded for not being “gamers” because they do things differently. 

Obviously, people will always be assholes and the only real solution to that is to ignore them. If you want to be a gamer, be a gamer. Fuck their opinions, just go for it. Nobody can stop you. If you want to consider yourself a core gamer or a true gamer or a veteran gamer or whatever, then just call yourself that. 

If someone calls me a “gamer”, then I’ll politely say that I’m not a “gamer” because I don’t like the term and because I have negative connotations with it. It’s a terminology that is oozing with toxicity and that seems gatekeep-ish and that does more harm than good, in my opinion. Also, I don’t like labels like that, be it “otter” or “gamer” or “otaku” or whatever.

Rather, I’m “someone who likes to play games” or rather “gaming is a big part of my life” or a “big hobby of mine”. Terminology like that puts it better into words and really helps me because it’s not negative or positive. It’s just neutral and objective. Similarly, I like watching anime but I wouldn’t consider myself an “otaku” because I have negative connotations with the term – or rather, it’s an insult, to begin with, and I hate the anime community because of my negative experiences with a lot of people in said community. Being an “otaku” and “liking anime” are two different things for me, personally, with a very small difference.

Wearing the “same trousers” and wearing “trousers that look the same” are two things as well, btw.

Furthermore, I’d like to say that I don’t care about how you play your games. You can be a speedrunner (which is awesome btw!), a competitive gamer (I play games competitively as well, at times), a casual gamer (I mostly play games casually), a mobile gamer (it’s still a game, innit?), or anything else. You can be someone who plays games or someone who is a gamer. Whatever floats your boat. I’m not critiquing the way people play their games but rather the terminology and the gatekeeping that I associate with it.

I just wanted to comment on the terminology of “being a gamer” and why I don’t like the terminology, personally

What are your thoughts on the matter? What are statements that would “get your gamer card revoked”? Have you had any toxic experiences with gatekeeping in regards to being or not being a “gamer”? Would you consider yourself a “gamer” or rather “someone who plays games”? Do you see any difference at all? 

Cheers!

2020 hasn’t been that bad EA-wise

2020 wasn’t that bad when it comes to indie titles that left EA. While the world is going to shits, the gaming industry pumped out a fair few titles. Hence I thought I should maybe write a piece about a few of the games that reached their 1.0 his year and that I really enjoyed playing for th past couple of months.

For starters, Hades just recently got out of Early Access and its 1.0 launched, introducing an actual ending, new music, artwork, late-game unlockables, a new aspect for the twin fists and a lot of other stuff. Honestly, the last time I played Hades was in March after some update but I forgot which one it was and there have been a few bigger updates between then already. Hence, I’ve got to visit Hades again to leave Hell for good… again. Especially since achievements seem to only now have been introduced, I can’t wait to unlock more stuff. The new weapons seem really cool and the addition of Hermes and Nyx seem quite interesting, although my sources are just hearsay at this point. I just updated it and I have yet to play it, though I may do that some time this week.

Hades is one of those titles that seemingly did everything well. It’s a fun and fast-paced action-rogue-lite with nice progression, some interesting customizable parts and items that you can change each run and on top of that it’s depicting mythology more or less accurately which I really adore. The characters in the game are fun, each with their own stories and quirks and perks. The music is just awesome… but personally, I don’t like the aspect of traversing the same “biomes” over and over again, so that’s something that I don’t like about Hades, although I know that it’s hard to change that since we’re in Hell, after all, right? The switching bosses, though, with their own lines and everything are really nice and the favour system? A ton of fun to play around!

Just a while ago, on August 4th, Littlewood also got out of Early Access, adding a whole bunch of new events, new characters, new special moments, and other features and I’m quite glad about that. I started playing Littlewood not too long after it got released into Early Access and I was done with all the content after a few hours, so I decided to wait for more updates… and then August came and I spend an awful long time in this game.

The problem I have with Littlewood is that time moves a lot faster outside than inside. Just like with Stardew Valley, I ended up binging it a whole bunch for a while before eventually just not bothering with it anymore since I didn’t have the time for it just yet. Don’t get me wrong: I enjoy Littlewood and Stardew Valley to bits… but then RL stops by and you just never really feel like playing it again until you start it up, binge it for six hours, and then close it again for another few days to weeks. Oh well.

And at last, my favourite title to leave EA this year is probably Risk of Rain 2, whose 1.0 dropped on August 11th, 2020. The 1.0 added a whole new boss enemy, some new mechanics, a new survivor, and an actual ending, which I find really nice. For the past couple of days, I’ve been playing a lot of RoR2, especially as I’ve discovered a few neat builds that I do enjoy playing a bunch and especially as I unlocked some more character perks and the latest survivor, the Captain!

I’m looking forward to the updates are to come in the future, but overall, RoR2 did really develop quite nicely, from a game where the teleporter was hard to find in the swamp area and where some bosses would just oneshot you (rip magma worm) and where fire was super op… to a game where can still get oneshot (ugh, void reavers) but it got balanced quite a bit and it’s essentially a ton of fun. Right now, I’m trying to unlock all of the artifacts on top of some of the items that I’m missing… and then I’ll attempt to get some Monsoon runs going before eventually heading into the new alternative mode: Eclipse!

Either way, that’s it for today’s post. I probably forgot some other titles that came out of EA this year but these few were quite memmorable and I did look forward to their release. An honourable mention would be Factorio but I didn’t play that game at all, yet, and I’m not sure if I’ll ever get into it at all… and then there’s also Terraria 1.4, although that one wouldn’t fit the theme, would it? I mean, it’s not a 1.0 but it was as hyped up as an actual new release.

Cheers!

Humble Choice – September 2020

September’s Humble Choice is out now and this one is somewhat tricky!

The bundle contains a lot of games that I want to own… but also games that I already do own, so I’m still not sure what I’ll do about this. I think what I’ll do here is that I’ll list the ten choices I would make if I didn’t own any of these games from the 10th spot to the 1st spot!

10 – Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair 

Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair is a brand-new 2.5D platformer from some of the key creative talents behind ‘Donkey Kong Country’. With their arch-nemesis Capital B up to no good, the buddy duo needs to spring into action once again to save the day. To thwart his evil plan of using a “Hivemind” device to enslave an entire kingdom of bees, our heroes need to take the fight to Capital B’s “Impossible” Lair. Things look tough, but with the help of Queen Phoebee and her Royal Beetallion, Yooka and Laylee might just have a chance! 

While I like the idea of it being a spiritual successor to Banjo Kazooie, I never liked that game due to my hate for platformers. And I’m not going to like this one either. But it’s better than the other two remaining games and it’s probably going to be a good gift to someone who’s more fond of platformers.

9 – The Shapeshifting Detective 

The Shapeshifting Detective is a supernatural-noir murder mystery FMV game where you play as a detective who can shapeshift into other characters, allowing you to unlock secret conversations and private encounters. 

The game features more than 1600 full HD video responses, a simple questioning interface with unique ‘delete’ mechanic, and a randomly chosen murderer at the start of the game. – This seemed quite interesting but I don’t usually play games that are based on video responses made by people. Hence, this is one of those games that I’d give away to other people. 

8 – Lethal League Blaze

 Lethal League Blaze is an intense, high-speed ball game, with unique characters, outta sight sounds and none of that weak shit. In Shine City, the anti-gravity ball game has long been illegal. The group who kept playing was dubbed the Lethal League. Even now, with their sport pushed underground, players and crews compete in the League for challenge and respect.

Lethal League was quite a lot of fun but nothing I’d constantly play… Lethal League Blaze is a better version of Lethal League and I’d love to play it with friends.

7 – Golf With Your Friends

Why have friends if not to play Golf… With Your Friends! Nothing is out of bounds as you take on courses filled with fast-paced, exciting, simultaneous mini golf for up to 12 players!  

Every now and then people want to play Golf… but online… and then some people have Golf it! while others have GWYF… and I already have Golf it but don’t own this one, so I’d go for this one in case that I really wanna play Golf with my friends… through crazy Parcours and stuff… yup.

Honestly, these last four spots are just on the same level.

6 – Evoland Legendary Edition 

Evoland is a journey through the history of action/adventure gaming, allowing you to unlock new technologies, gameplay systems and graphic upgrades as you progress through the game. Inspired by many cult series that have left their mark in the RPG video gaming culture, Evoland takes you from monochrome to full 3D graphics and from active time battles to real-time boss fights, all with plenty of humour and references to many classic games.

I already played Evoland but I’d actually go for this since it includes the second game and the first game… and I have yet to play the second one. Evoland was a very cute and fun journey through the ages of RPGs that is constantly referencing and mocking stereotypes and features from other games, such as Zelda, Final Fantasy, and others… It takes itself not too serious while also providing you with a bunch of entertainment. Honestly, just great – and with the Legendary Edition, you get two games for one choice!

5 – Strange Brigade

Egypt, 1930’s. Erased from ancient history and buried in a nameless tomb for 4,000 years, Seteki the Witch Queen has risen once again. Only one troop of daring heroes can stand against the fearsome power of Seteki and her army of mummified monstrosities: The Strange Brigade! Explore remarkable ruins, solve perilous puzzles and uncover tantalising treasure while blasting your way through an array of undead enemies in thrilling third-person action that’s certain to bring out your inner adventurer! 

Strange Brigade looked interesting… it’s a Co-op Action-Adventure game that you’re able to play with up to three other players and that features Zombies – or rather Mummies! It kind of reminded me of Left 4 Dead 2 but with an Indiana Jones setting of sorts… and even if I’m not the biggest shooter-player, I think I’d enjoy myself a fair bit with this one since it, again, seems a bit similar to the likes of Serious Sam and L4D2. 

4 – The Occupation

The Occupation is a fixed-time, investigative thriller set in North West England on Saturday 24th October 1987. Your role is to uncover evidence as a journalist by sneaking through restricted areas and questioning people on their actions through a series of one-on-one interviews. All this takes place in a detailed, systems-driven world where people will react to your actions and where time is your biggest enemy. 

This title seemed really interesting to me since it fills the need for another Stealth-Adventure game that is more along the lines of an Immersive Experience. It’s also another Indie game so I may review it in the future once I’ve played it. It seemed quite interesting and has a lot of positive reviews, hence I thought I’d go with this.

3 – Generation Zero

Welcome to 1980’s Sweden. The local population has gone missing, and machines of unknown origin roam the streets. Explore this vast open world to unravel the mystery of the invaders, perfect your fighting strategies and prepare to strike back. In Generation Zero, living is winning.  

Generation Zero has been something that I have been aware of… but I never really looked into it since I didn’t want to the game for myself in case I ever play it… and well, here’s the game in the bundle. This one might very much be a reason for me to go for this bundle. It’s a Survival game that can be played with up to three friends and where you have to strategize a bit and be stealthy instead of brute-forcing your way through the game since the machines are quite strong and they do not forget!

2 – Forager

Forager is a 2D open-world game inspired by exploration, farming and crafting games such as Stardew Valley, Terraria & Zelda. 

I reviewed this title a while ago and really enjoyed myself, especially with the newer content. It’s a great game that gets you a lot of content for relatively low bucks and a relatively simple but addictive game formula!

1 – Catherine Classic

Explore the pleasures and horrors of love as Vincent, a man with a hard choice to make: marry his long-time girlfriend Katherine or move on to the incredible blonde he just woke up next to — named Catherine! But beware! Make the wrong choice, and you could end up dead. Delving into themes of free will and the delicate nature of relationships and the choices we make, this action-adventure-puzzle game is an experience unlike anything else.

This game is an all-time favourite for me. I loved it when I first played it and I still, every now and then, play through it again. I love the characters, the story, the different endings, the game mechanics. It’s a unique mix of a puzzle game and sort of an Anime Romance-Horror-story where your choices matter. The soundtrack is great, the puzzles are quite challenging and a lot of fun, and there are some interesting sides to everything in this game… my favourite part probably is the bar in the game: The Stray Sheep. There, you’re able to decide what you drink, you can get drunk, talk to others and help them with their problems, which is really cute. Oh, and then, of course, there is plenty of room for humour, philosophical themes and other lovely features, making this an excellent game that I can highly recommend to everyone that loves games where you influence the outcome and games with challenging puzzles!

Dropouts: 

  • Vampire: The Masquerade – Coteries of New York 
  • Fun with Ragdolls: The Game 

I own the other Vampire game from last month’s Choice but this one is a Visual Novel set in a universe that I have no clue about. It just didn’t feel like the right choice. Fun with Ragdolls seemed like it was a game along the lines of Human Falls Flat and some other Simulation-type games with janky controls and janky physics… and I’m not a fan of those. I get quite frustrated with some of the controls and hence didn’t go for this one.

Now, out of these ten choices, I own Forager, Catherine Classic, and (technically) Evoland… I think it might actually be worth it to go for this. I’ll be able to give Forager and Catherine Classic to friends or give it away on Stream since these are great games, and as for Evoland, I get to play the second one, which is quite excited and I may replay the first game as well while I’m at it!

Overall, this month seemed mixed a lot better compared to the other months. There seems to be something for all kinds of people but I could see how it maybe is a bit rough to choose for people that aren’t particularly into Indie stuff or that don’t know or appreciate games like Evoland or Catherine. Honestly, I’d say that Catherine Classic is a real powerhouse in this one as it essentially “carries” the whole Choice this month. If I didn’t own it already, I would have immediately gone for this Choice. In the end, I’ll probably still go for this month’s Choice due to Generation Zero, Strange Brigade, The Occupation and Evoland – and I’ll make sure to give these extra-copies to people that like and appreciate these kinds of games.

The extras include Alt254 and a sneak peek of Carto, two cute little games that I’ve never heard about. But they look adorable and I’m looking forward to playing them!

Anyways, that was it for this month’s Choice. I hope that you enjoyed this post and in case you’re wondering where I got the idea from, check out Naithin! He’s another lovely blogger and I thought providing people with my opinion on Humble Choice might be also quite good. Be sure to check out his post here! 🙂 

Cheers!

Bloggers planting blog posts

For the past couple of days, I’ve been playing Viridi while working on different stuff, which was quite relaxing. Suddenly, an epiphany came to me as I had a very good idea involving different bloggers… and these plants.

But first things first. What is Viridi?

Viridi is a chill free-to-play game that I’d like to review… but you essentially just plant seedlings and watch them grow… in real-time! This causes a problem for me. I want to take screenshots from the game… but the plants are all really small right now, so I can’t actually show much. Alas, I decided to play more of it until I can actually show some growth but it’s taking a while because the game doesn’t fast forward or anything like that. It just takes its time… just like real plants.

Hence, I thought about starting up a series of posts on this game where I talk about stuff while commenting on the plants’ growth and essentially, it’s going to be just The Stray Sheep but with screenshots from the game. Here’s the twist though: The stuff I’d like to talk about is blog posts that I’ve been reading. The plants will get named after different blogs/bloggers and if you’re interested in getting planted right here, right now, comment below and claim a plant!

Introducing to you: The Blaugust pot. [name may get changed in the future]

Currently, it’s inhabited by… 

  • a snail that is circling around the pot,
  • two Aloe Vera plants (one of them has grown a bit more than the other one),
  • three little Echeveria glauca plants that are all rather small,
  • one red Aeonium plant,
  • one gree Aeonium plant,
  • one green Pachyphytum fittkaui plant,
  • one small red Pachyphytum fittkaui plant,
  • and one even smaller red Pachyphtytum fittkaui plant.

These are the plants that are plant (puns…) to be named. The snail can also be named but I thought of maybe being the snail? Names can be up to 20 letters long, so it’s stricter than Discord usernames! And every week we receive a new seedling for free. I could also invest some money into new seedlings, but I’d have to sell some steam trading cards first for that!

The idea of naming in-game objects and entities after things and people that are outside of the game is not new at all. Despite people having done it before him, I’d still like to refer to Naithin over here who has a “blogger city” going on in Cities: Skylines with streets and buildings named after bloggers (though I gotta catch up on those posts). So check out the blogger city right there!

You can check out the screenshots of the plants throughout this post! I’ll have to water them whenever they are “thirsty” and I need to sing to them to make them grow a tiny bit faster which is something you do in the game by just zooming in on them and leaving the PC running while doing so. I’d reckon that “I’ll sing to the plants” while reading the according posts. 

Next up: Why? 

Well, as to why I’m doing this: I’d love to read more blog posts but quite often, I end up doing something else instead. Which is a bummer! By doing this series, I’ll have more of a reason to read the posts… since I’m playing the game anyways. I mean, I clocked in 72 hours already of this game… so, if I spend some of that time doing studies and working on things… but also read some blog posts and write about my favourite posts each week… I feel like that would be quite a lot of fun. 

And as to why I’d think that it would be interesting for others to “participate” in this: 

Growth, I guess? I’d link to the posts I’ve read and liked. I’d talk about different topics. It’s not a lot of growth but depending on how long we’ll do this for, we’ll end up with a few centimetres for sure! (haha) – All jokes aside, backlinks and that kinda stuff usually tend to generate a lot of traffic which then gets rated highly by Google which then results in Google promoting your blog more. It’s just like with Tags and the Blaugust Promptapalooza: You link to others and others link to you. Since the people you link to are “valid” or “legit”, you get traffic. Since you don’t get linked by a spam site, you also get traffic. It may not be much but it’s something… 

Mostly, though, it’s about Fun. I feel like it’s a fun idea and I’d love to name these plants after the different blogs and bloggers that are willing to participate! 

And next up: What other plants are to come? 

Honestly, depending on how I feel I may buy some from the steam store and add those in… Each week, I get a free seedling and I’ll be able to plant it and rename it. Therefore, there will be more plants in the future aka more spaces for more potted bloggers… and since the seed every week is random… I won’t know which ones I’ll get until I get them! 

How long will this go on for? 

No idea! Depends on how well these posts do. Depends on whether or not people are interested… Depends on whether or not I’ll ever stop playing Viridi. It depends! – For now? A long time!

Fellow bloggers, if you’re interested in “participating”, join in! 

This post is part of the Blaugust 2020 event. Wanna know more about it? Then check out my post on it or Bel’s post where he also linked everyone who’s participating! Be sure to check out the others as well!