… a level at a time.

Posts tagged “Holidays


I’ve decided to expand this blog beyond just a gaming blog & include a little more insight into my life… how much insight will be given has yet-to-be decided. I will continue with my thoughts & ramblings about the games I play, so don’t worry.

I added a new menu in the top right [the idea came from looking at the layout at Keep Me Running Wild]. It has a mouse-over drop down function [just for the Gaming and Life tabs: as I create more posts this feature will be more useful] that has different categories available if you would like to focus on something specific.

Still no luck with any of the mounts I was attempting to get on Deathengine. But I only tried for about another week before I went on vacation. I spent the first two weeks of July out in California visiting fiends & family. I took my laptop with me & actually ended up playing more games than I wanted to… leveling alts mostly. I also had a problem with my debit card shortly after I got out there, so I had no money to go and do anything for most of the time I was on vacation. My brother took me to the shooting range where I got to shot a few different guns [for the first time]. I want an AR15 now, heh.

I went to the beach for the first time in a long while. I love the beach & miss being able to go there regularly, I can’t wait til I can move back out to Cali.

There were many barbecues while I was out there. I had a great time hanging out with friends & family. Thankfully, I managed to make it into San Francisco one day and meet up for lunch with a friend I haven’t seen in a few years.

I played disc golf with my family while I was out there. It was, odd… but fun. After I got back, I picked up some disks so that I can play with some friends around here. So far we haven’t been able to get out and play a game, our schedules keep clashing; hopefully we’ll get a game going soon.

When my brother took me to the airport for my return flight, he kept poking at me to stay… I was almost to the point of not returning. If any of my nieces or nephew had been there & even mentioned the thought of not leaving, I probably would have not gotten out of the car & told my brother to drive back home.

Since I got back, I’ve invested more of my gaming-time into the 360 & finishing a few games that still needed work. I managed to finish Mass Effect 2. I forgot how much fun that game is, I’ve already started a second-play through. My first run I went through as a Paragon. For some reason I always play the “good-guy” when I play games that give me the option to be “good” or “evil”. My second play-through I’m playing as a Renegade… it’s time to change things up.

Two of my friends just got Borderlands, so I started playing that again, I forgot how much fun that game is. I’m debating getting new Downloadable Content for it, I already have Zombie Island. There’s a DLC that increases the level cap to 61… I might pick it up. I’ve been messing around with a Soldier and a Hunter lately, levels 19 and 26 respectively. I might wait to pick up the DLC until I get those up to the current level cap [50], or at least close to it.

I haven’t played much more of Final Fantasy XIII, I was too preoccupied with finishing ME2. Now that I’ve finished that I’m going to invest a little more time in FFXIII & get that finished up as well.

I still have to finish a few other 360 games & will be doing that over time. And other than Halo: Reach, there aren’t any more console games that I’m very interested in picking up [at least at the moment], so I can catch up on all the other ones I slacked off at.

Since I got back, I haven’t played much World of Warcraft. I’m probably going to take another small break from it again, at least until Cataclysm is released. If I don’t take a full-on-break, I’m definitely will be cutting down on my time spent in WoW. Saturday was the first time I’ve logged into WoW for more than 30 seconds… not to mention it was only the third time I’ve logged in since I got back. It had been so long since I played a computer game, let alone WoW & Deathengine that it took some getting used to again, haha. It probably didn’t help that I was really tired from spending the day walking around  Park Ave Fest.

I started doing a little more photography & messing around in Photoshop. I don’t have a ton of new stuff, but a few things, they’re up on my DeviantArt page.

It’s been a long time since I’ve done any sort of photography, photo manipulation, or digital-art. I really need to get back into it. I’m not phenomenal or anything, but I do have my moments. I’ll only get better if I practice.

I went to see Inception yesterday [now that it’s 1am] with a friend. That was an intense flick. Good thing I went with a buddy, we had to bounce ideas off each other after the film ended. One of those films that really make you think, & I love movies like that.

I also saw Kick-Ass with some other friends. That was definitely not what we were expecting. We didn’t pay much attention to the trailers or rating. We didn’t know much about that one other than the talk about how the movie was awesome and it was some sort of super-hero wannabe movie.


Spring break…? Not entirely.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Why assign projects to do over spring break? I thought the reason for spring break was to give us a break… guess not. Still working on finishing up my movie research paper, having more trouble finding articles I can use than I had originally anticipated. I don’t have a ton more to do, I’ll have it finished tomorrow. I’m definitely taking a break to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with some friends though

I did a little bit of instance grinding with Deathengine yesterday [Tuesday] afternoon. I managed to snag a few upgrades and hit level seventy-eight, go me! Since level seventy-three I’ve been strictly instance leveling with him, time between instance pops I’m spending leveling professions & generally screwing around. Cooking & Fishing are both almost three hundred, JewelCrafting is going to be a bit harder to level since I picked up Skinning as my second major profession. I can always farm up the materials I need on Texhnolyze. I picked Skinning because it’s extremely easy to level & I can use it as my gold “farming” profession. Once I get a bit of savings, I will most likely be swapping Skinning to Enchanting.

Hrm, so I started this entry yesterday thinking I would come back to this post last night before I passed out. Didn’t happen, I was out until 2AM with my two best friends… even though I had work at 7AM. It was St. Patrick’s Day though, not a regular event.

I busted out a bit more Final Fantasy XIII the other day as well. At first I wasn’t sure what I thought about the combat system. I’m really starting to like it though, it’s a bit more of a challenge than any other combat system that has been used in Final Fantasy games. One of the things that bothers me though is if the main character [Lightning] gets Knocked Out, the game ends: you are given the choice to restart the battle or quit. Unlike other Final Fantasy games, every time you win a battle, all your character’s health is returned… this is handy.

Each character has a role it plays [Commando, Ravager, Sentinel, Synergist, Saboteur, and Medic – I will discuss these a bit later]. The combination of roles you have set for characters is called a Paradigm. You can have up to six Paradigms saved and can switch between them at any point via the menu or Paradigm Shift during combat.

There is another new feature I’m a huge fan of, Stagger. On the top right of the screen there’s a bar, and two percents displayed. The first percent is based on the damage & attacks you do to your current target, the second number is that target’s Stagger point. As you do damage, the Stagger bar fills up. When no damage is being done though, the Stagger bar drains to zero. Once the target hits the Stagger point they go in to a Stagger State for a limited amount of time & the damage you do to them goes up… a lot. From what I can tell, the damage increases the higher the you get the Stagger percent to. An example of the difference in damage would be something like this; at my current point in-game, characters are doing anywhere between 50 and 150 normal damage, once a target has been staggered I’ve hit things for almost 2500.

Role Discussion:

Commando: Uses physical damage slowing the rate of Stagger decay and does a medium-high amount of damage.

  • This Role is key for building up the Stagger bar since without a Commando, the bar empties fairly quickly.

Ravager: Uses magic based attacks [Fire, Blizzard, etc] that do a low-medium amount of damage, but does a lot of percentage to the Stagger bar.

  • Very effective in building up the Stagger bar, especially when combined with a Commando’s slowing the Stagger decay rate.
  • After the Stagger point is reached, Ravagers keep the Stagger percentage going up which increases all the damage done to the target.

Sentinel: Taunt the target into attacking them while using defensive skills to take less damage.

  • Essentially the tank, they make sure no one else in the party gets hit.
  • Sentinels don’t do any damage.

Synergist: Buff the other party members with spells like Shell, Barrier, and Brave.

  • Status Buffs for party members help them absorb damage, do more damage, and other things.
  • Synergist only Buff the party, they don’t attack.
  • I wouldn’t recommend having a character set to be a Synergist the whole fight. Swap them in when your party needs Buffs re-applied.

Saboteur: Debuff the target with spells such as Deshell and Bio.

  • Debuffs decrease a target’s armor, magic resistance, or do damage over time.
  • Other than Bio, I don’t think Saboteurs do damage.
  • I wouldn’t recommend leaving them in your party after the whole fight. Swap them back in if Debuffs need to be re-applied.

Medic: Well, this one is exactly what it sounds like… the medic. they use spells like Cure, Regen, Raise, and Esuna.

  • Keeps everyone alive!
  • If needed, raises KO’d party members.

There is a different leveling system, the Crystarium which resembles the Sphere Grid from Final Fantasy X. There is no experience rewarded after battle, instead you get Crystogen Points. Every character has multiple Crystarium [one for each Role] that you can distribute points into. Within the Crystarium are different abilities/spells you can unlock as well as more Strength, Health, or Magic.

I have only unlocked one of the Summons, or “Eidolons” as they are called in this game. I haven’t gotten to use it yet though, as soon as I acquired it the game shifted from Snow back to the rest of the group.

Commando, Ravager, Sentinel, Synergist, Saboteur and Medica

Happy Holidays!

Hope everyone is having a good & happy holiday season!

Just a minor update for me today… thanks to Christmas, I’ve added a new game to my collection – Assassin’s Creed 2 [didn’t fully expect that one from my dad, heh]. Now I have to finish up the first AC so I can start AC2!