Crusader Kings 2 AAR: Part 3

Alvydas having gone the way of all the earth, it’s now time for a new High Chief (Duke). The electors find that Alvydas’s oldest son Klukis is the man for the job. Apparently he’s a pretty good candidate, all things considered. Alvydas wanted to get a friend, but he never did. Klukis, meanwhile, already has several somehow. And he’s going to get more, because he’s got some good combat stats, both martial and personal. So we’re going to sign this bad boy up with the warrior order.

Being in a warrior order means fighting. And with good martial (16!), he can do what his father could not: expand his realm aggressively. And he needs to, too, as he starts out at age 39! While the claim on Marienburg hasn’t happened yet, something pagans can do is just declare war on someone to get a single border territory, for no reason. This is swell, so Klukis decides to immediately expand south, as it’s exploding for some reason.

Also, expanding his romantic options. A wife and three concubines not enough? How about some lovers! And, if the husband finds out (or if there is no husband), you can claim the bastards as part of your bloodline, even without officially legitimizing them. While being a dirty bird does carry some negative reputation penalties (especially with the cucked husband and your own wife), as a pagan it doesn’t do a whole lot.

Expanding bloodlines, expanding the realm, fighting in bed and on the field, all this comes naturally to Klukis. Instead of becoming more feeble with age, like most people, he instead gets stronger and stronger. He even gets that stupid territory from his dad’s old liege, that dad was never able to conquer. Expand north, expand south, expand pants, it’s all the same to Klukis.

Well, that’s going to make family diners awkward for sure. Well, must not matter too much, since he does this at least three times. But hey, when you can beat up your son quite easily, what is he going to do?

But then I notice something…interesting.

Now, when I started I had no plans for greatness. I wasn’t planning on rushing to any particular title or anything: I just wanted to see how big I could make a dynasty. I know how tricky managing a kingdom can be in this game. But…I can do it. And without gavelkind, things are a bit easier. But the trouble is, you need to have three ducal titles. I only have two. The obvious thing to do would be to take it from the guy to the north, but you have to have ten years of peace before attacking again, or be labeled a truce-breaker, which is one of the worst general opinion maluses in the game (the only one possibly worse being kin-slayer). So, looking for other dukedoms…hey, lookie there, one right to the left.

Badda bing badda boom, Klukis is now KING. At age of 61, he is king. He didn’t intend to be king, it just kinda happened. But 300 gold down the drain, and he’s king. The king of Slavonia. Doesn’t really have too great of a ring to it, but whatever. Still the king. Even if he’s called “the Blushing” because he gets flustered and angry too easily from banter.

Even from his kid he’s educating, as seen above. While educating a child can make them friends with you, it can also go horribly wrong, and they are your rival and hate you forever. Not too bad if it’s a daughter like here, especially a younger one, but it can be devastating if your rival is your heir, or strong vassal.

But Klukis’s exciting days are mostly behind him. Sure, he can still get into duels with other old men (and women), win a drinking contest (which gets him the new title of “Bottomless”), have his wife die of old age, his second wife die (of a hunting accident I guess), get a young new wife (has a hairlip, but is a princess of 17, so that evens out when you’re over 70), and try to make up with your son you cuckolded several times, but instead he becomes a bitter rival.

Yah, sure, add another territory while you’re at it, but nothing major. Also, get PTSD and deal with it through debauchery, like your father. To the south are two big, scary kingdoms of Serbia and Bulgaria. To the east are a bunch of allied horsemen. To the west are some allied Poles and Germans. To the north…well, there are options to the north. But they’re kinda boring.

But at 70+, you shouldn’t live such an exciting life. While he might have won one last duel, it was still his end. Just ending up a drunkard, after all that good life, gets you the same epitaph as some useless bum. But hey, we went from count to king in two generations. Not too shabby. And he had at least 13 kids as well, all of whom outlived their father, so what more could a parent ask?

Crusader Kings AAR: Part 2

Whelp, time to get started with actually playing. The first thing to do is to expand. Trouble is, as a count, there are not too many options. You have very little money, and very few troops. And I spent all my money upgrading my money-making buildings, so I can’t buy mercenaries to even the odds. The best bet is just to look around and see who can be bullied. My liege is too strong. But there is another duke just up to the east of him that only has two counties (of which he controls both), who I can maybe take down. It’s going to be close, but if I can manage, I can double my holdings and maybe take a duke title right off the bat.

Tribal governments allow one to do a Subjugation cassus belli once per ruler lifetime (unless you have the Become King ambition, where you can do it as much as you want I suppose, but that’s a bit much for a count right now), for free. Since I’m not going to sit here waiting to get a fabricated claim (and besides, I already my chancellor doing that on one of my liege’s counties), we’ll go for that, and hope I won’t need it in the future. Also, I got a bunch of zealots from an event, and they go away if I don’t go to war within a certain period of time, so there’s a ticking clock. I invite a bunch of random dudes to my court to get a set of good commanders, and off I go.

Well, it worked, and far better than I had hoped. The enemy leader was personally leading his forces, and got captured. That’s an immediate 100% to warscore, meaning I win in my first battle. Talk about luck! So now the chief and his wife have new hats, and a new title. Now my old liege is a mere peer, very nice. I’m my own boss, and not even three years in.

And what luck, right at the same time the first new addition to the dynasty arrives:

Sure, it’s from a concubine, but as I said before, that doesn’t matter really, especially at this stage in the game. We’re not looking at maintaining a kingdom or anything; and besides, it’s the electors’ job to chose the heir, so no one is too fussy about relative weight of claims – the electors can just choose some random bloke in the realm (I’m not sure if it has to be of the ruling dynasty or not).

But now, since I’ve already used up my one Subjugation claim, there isn’t much to do besides sit and wait for my chancellor to manufacture that claim on my old liege. Fortunately there are events, and kids get older and such. Since my dynasty is so small right now, I’m going to stick to matrilinial marriages for the girls…

…Oh. That’s not so good. First daughter, already a mistake. Well, it shouldn’t be that bad. Love is for the birds, and a person has their duty to their family, after all. Lie back and think of England Sclavonia and all that.

Well, time gets ticking, and not much happens. Not strong enough to challenge the neighbors, and no one is messing with me either. There are events and such, but nothing major.

Turns out trying to make friends is hard. It helps if they already have high opinion of you, which is what I’m trying to do with this lady here, but you really need specific events. From what I’ve seen, the two easiest ways are to be a part of a society (you can make friends in the society, and in related interests), or to make friends with your wards that you’re educating (if you have Family focus, which I do there, because of the bonus to fertility and health). Of course, there are other sorts of relationships you can pursue…

Anything to keep the dynasty growing! Of course, it doesn’t hurt to get ptsd and try to deal with it by being a drunk and a lech. But other than that, not much exiting going on. Just keep getting older, randomly get events, and then die. Unfortunately, not too much expanding to do, since a ruler’s martial score affects the army size, and when you already have a small, primitive realm, there’s not much you can do. Until one goes the way of all the earth, at least.

But, at least Alvydas managed to do one thing right : get a darn good start with his dynasty. Eight children, all of which managed to at least live to adulthood. And his children are living on in his example of fecundity. A few generations of this, and this will be one of the grander houses in Europe, if not the world! But it will be up to his descendants, especially his oldest son, to actually make that house mean anything.

Crusader Kings II AAR: Part 1

Time to start another AAR, this time for Crusader Kings II. CK2 is what I’d consider the last truly good Paradox grand strategy game, so it’s good to get back into it. My post about streaming/vod was inspired by this game, specifically Jon’s Many a True Nerd series of CK2 playthroughs. I guess that’s the point of these things – get people interested in playing them.

But I didn’t want to play vanilla. I wanted all the good stuff. So, that meant getting DLC, but the DLC is so expensive for what it is. Fortunately (or not, if you’re my wallet), they went on sale this week. I think it’s worth going over what I got; or rather, what I didn’t get.

Basically I got all the actual expansions, besides the three above (also got the collection of unit packs). “Sunset Invasion” is just a mid/end-game event series where the Aztecs invade Europe for no reason. I don’t like those sort of things, so didn’t get it. “The Reaper’s Due” adds plagues, court physicians, and hospitals…and not much else. It’s essentially just a difficulty boost – most of the mechanics are actively against you, and the ones that aren’t are just there to mitigate those hostile mechanics. I don’t have time for that sort of nonsense, that’s just not fun.

“Conclave” was the hardest for me to leave out. It adds another layer of depth to the council and law voting systems, as well as revamping the child education system. Basically it combines the council with the law voting system, and adds the fact that high vassals will want to be on your council (meaning you can’t just invite the people in the world with the best stats to your council, you have to use what you have available). This at least is not there purely to antagonize the player, as it also adds a favor system, to get people to vote with you; but you have to manage “personalities,” not just bribe people to be more favorable to you. But the thing that made me not get the dlc in the end was the education system: while it adds the ability for children to be less directly influenced by the traits and stats of their tutors, it also adds more rng to that system. That’s just annoying.

For this playthrough I want to try something a bit different from what I’m used to. We’re going to start with a count, in NE Europe, earliest start. That means starting as pagan. I actually wanted to start in Ireland, but they are Catholic, and I’ve already done a Tutorial Island start anyways. Catholic is just so boring. Pagan, and tribal to boot, have some interesting advantages and disadvantages – having unlanded sons is a big hit to your prestige, but you also have a very low vassal limit (because tribes are independent and stuff). As a pagan, you can have three concubines (well, as a male anyways), so that should hopefully help expand the dynasty, and you don’t have to deal with all that Vatican nonsense.

I know I said that we’re going to start as a count (with two counties because why not), but that says “chief”. They’re basically the same thing: count = chief, duke = high chief. What comes next depends on your culture group; where I’m at it’s king (spoilers!), but some other places it’s despot, or something else. So, we’re just going to go with this Chief Alvydas, a Prussian fellow of the Romuva religion, and a vassal of the High Chief of Pruthenia. The counties are Galindia (the capital) and Chelmno, which roughly correspond to modern MrÄ…gowo and Olsztyn respectively.

We see here that this…handsome…fellow comes with a wife and two underage children. He’s 36, which basically means he can drop dead at any time, though it’s less likely than when he’s older. His stats aren’t spectacular, but (besides martial, which is kinda bad news) he’s not too bad either; I think 7 is considered “acceptable” in this game, and being above that in three areas isn’t too shabby at all. He has no parents of note, which makes him lowborn himself, but becoming chief gives him a dynasty. Two war axes for his coat of arms, very nice. But that means this is all there is to the dynasty. The kids are 13 and 12, I believe, which means they’ll probably survive, but this is still a hazardous situation. The wife is in her 30’s as well, which is not a good sign of fertility. So, off to Family focus it is then, since that gives a big boost to fertility, to hopefully get with the baby-makin. I also gave him a Get a Friend ambition, since there was no way I was getting any of the rest.

Now, let’s take a look at the children:

Oh no. Chaste is never a good thing. Especially for the son and heir. Well, presumptive son and heir: this culture has an Elective Elder system, where the various Elders in the court get to vote for the heir. I can live with that: don’t have all the problems of gavelkind, as one person gets all the titles, and you aren’t necessarily going to get stuck with a bad heir, as it seems the elector ai is pretty good about choosing acceptable candidates, for the most part (without the favor system from the Conclave DLC, there’s a lot less skulduggery involved in potentially getting a crappy ruler). But yah, that Chaste is a problem when the dynasty is only three people.

Daughter doesn’t look as bad. She’s only 12 though, still young enough to pick up some more negative traits. Got her matrilinally betrothed to some horse kid from out east, I’m sure it’ll be fine.

Now that we’ve got the children and council sorted, time to get some concubines! While Child of Concubine is a slight malus, it doesn’t really matter much in the scheme of things, and they’re perfectly legitimate parts of the dynasty. And, since mothers don’t influence children that have tutors, their culture and religion doesn’t matter either, so we can just invite young women from all over the place; as long as they’ll come to court, you can do what you want with them. But why search out girls when you have them right here? Apparently the Spymaster is a 16 year old girl, who is single. Eh, why not? Without the Conclave DLC, courtiers will just walk up and demand a position if their stats are even one better than the person who currently holds it, even if they just became an adult. But this girl is 16, which means she has a lot of childbearing years left. (Also, it took me a while to notice she’s not actually present in my court; as she’s out doing her spying job, she can’t do her concubine thing.)

One of the bad things about starting as a primitive tribal is that you essentially start out with nothing as far as your towns go. But on the plus side, you don’t need gold to build most things: you can use prestige or piety to do most improvements. Of course, being a primitive, and a count, starting with nothing means you don’t build up resources very fast. After building that market town, the tax rate for that province went from 1.8 to 3.6, but the monthly gain is .91? I don’t get how all that is calculated. But I’m slowly investing in the territories at any rate. But with this slow gain, I’m going to need to expand to achieve anything.

So, we’ll end with that. Nothing much has happened yet, but this is just the setup. Next time we’ll see how Chief Alvydas becomes not cripplingly poor.

Breath of the Wild: A Review

Last post I was wondering if I would continue grinding out gear, or just go beat Ganon already. Well, I chose the latter. So now I can give my full thoughts in a review.

This is a great game. An absolute masterpiece. While there isn’t really any other option, it’s definitely worth paying full price for this game. Hell, it almost justifies my purchase of a Switch just by itself. It isn’t perfect, and I can certainly see why it puts off some long-time Zelda fans, but to me, this game is nearly ideal. If I had to give it a score, it’s 10/10.

As I said some posts back, this game perhaps most resembles one of those survival games that were super hot a few years back. I’ve played Conan Exiles, and this is very reminiscent of that style: not really much narrative (especially narrative pressure to keep advancing), but really you just explore and do what you want. Eventually it might be a good idea to advance the story; but if you want to get every seed, comb every inch of land and water, open every chest, that’s definitely a valid option. Or, if you just want to rush the main quest, you can do that too. Personally, I did it halfway: I explored a bunch, did about 100 shrines, got about that number of seeds I think, all the while taking my time in doing the beasts. Even took some time out to take most of the pictures for the compendium.

Personally, I am a big fan of this structure. Some folks aren’t – they want their bounds, they want that narrative push. They want that constant feed of story. This game isn’t that. You pick up bits and pieces of the story as you go. Pretty much all you are forced to learn is that 100 years ago Link and Zelda, along with four champions driving divine beasts (machines from an ancient civilization) failed to defeat Ganon, but the princess somehow managed to delay the final defeat until Link could recover – and now Link can fix things to defeat Ganon. That’s it – that’s the main story. Of course there’s a lot more to it, more to the world, but you actually have to go out and find it. Some people hate this, but I love it.

There is also a decided lack of dungeons. There are the four divine beasts, which are basically each a very small traditional Zelda dungeon. There are the about 120 shrines, which are each basically one or two rooms of a traditional dungeon. Some folks think this is very uninspired, and not particularly Zelda at all. I can see that, and kinda agree. But I don’t see that as a negative, since, honestly, I was never too fond of the dungeons in Zelda games. I really don’t like puzzles. I mostly like the combat and other gameplay of the Zelda games, but the puzzles and dungeons are not my thing. (I’m the type to keep a guide open at all times, to keep the momentum going, not stopped too hard by the puzzles I can’t figure out quickly.)

The biggest problem in this game, to me, is the weapon system – specifically the way the durability system works. For one thing, I could not see any indication of durability, until the thing was almost broken. This sort of opacity really irks me. This goes double when the absolute low durability of basically every item is taken into consideration. You really have no clue how long a weapon will last, and it of course will explode in your hands at the worst moment. And of course you have a very limited inventory, so you can’t just stockpile weapons for all occasions when whatever you’re using breaks. Against minibosses (and even some of the later mobs) you can lose several weapons, even good ones, just going against one enemy. Super annoying. Even the unique weapons will break, though there’s always a (very expensive) way to get them back. My guess is the devs were thinking that they provided the player all these weapons (you can pick up every weapon held by every enemy, with very few exceptions), so they had to give the player a reason to pick up all these weapons. Still the biggest annoyance in the game.

Second-biggest annoyance: white text without outline, so you can’t read it over anything white – the brightness is higher than portrayed in this shot.

The world is also a bit empty, even compared to other open-world games. There are some areas that are well-developed, like the Gerudo or Zora areas, while others are very underdeveloped. The world seems like it should have more than the two hundred or so NPCs that seem to exist outside of those two places. Indeed, the world seems half-finished. The Rito and Goron cities in particular, despite being associated with divine beasts, are like an afterthought compared to the other two “ethnic” towns. The Hylians don’t fare better: Kakkario Village is a proper town, but the rest are just small outposts, and one town so forgotten it isn’t even on the map. It would have been nice for these places to have been fleshed out.

But other than those complaints, I have to say this is one of my most favorite games I’ve ever played. I wasn’t expecting something so great, despite the great reviews (basically no reason to trust professional reviewers, and most people don’t share my taste anyhow), because all the complaints I heard were pretty consistent (which I agree with, if not to the same degree). To be sure, this is my new favorite Zelda game. I’m really surprised that two new additions to my top five Zelda games were on the Switch; if I knew it would be this way, I would have gotten one a long time ago. Neither is a traditional Zelda game, but they are made with the usual Zelda heart and soul (and skill), and that’s what endears them to me.

Gaming Progress This Week

I’ve been playing games recently! Shocking, I know. Thought I should write about what I’m actually doing, since I haven’t done that in a while:

Mobile crap: Been doing the events in Dragalia Lost. Thought I wasn’t going to make it with this event’s facility upgrade cap, but it went a lot faster than I’d’ve thought, and was done in an hour or two. Haven’t been able to beat Nightmare Challenge yet, just don’t have the dps. In Princess Connect, there hasn’t been much going on, but they did increase the level cap, annoyingly, so now I can’t get master coins for a while. Granblue Fantasy is pretty much dead to me right now: it’s Guild Wars, and “I have exams; sorry Dancho.”

Breath of the Wild: finished all the divine beasts. Debating whether to just go and beat Ganon tonight, or if I grind out some more armor upgrades. I finished the Sheika armor, and am working on the Ancient armor. Don’t know if I’ll bother with the rest: I don’t like collecting fish.

Great Steam Collection Game: Instead of beating down my backlog, I only add to it. In the last two weeks I’ve purchased: My Time At Portia, The Shrouded Isle, Planetbase, Elite Dangerous, and a bunch of dlc for Crusader Kings II (with witch I’ll be doing another AAR (series?), starting this weekend).

Watching Other People Play Games

When I grew up, Youtube wasn’t around. Sure, we had the internet, and we even got high-speed internet (DSL) when I was in high school. But of course Youtube wasn’t even a thing yet. Downloading video was a huge hassle at all; streaming anything just wasn’t on the table.

Then, many years later, my youngest brother is growing up. To put this into perspective, he says he has literally no memories of me before [I was in] university. So there’s a bit of a generation gap there. He, unlike me, had Youtube by the time he was caring about video games. And he didn’t have access to a good computer. Nor, it turns out, the inclination to play too much himself.

No; to my infinite frustration, he would watch other people play video games, instead. I would always wonder, why not just play the games himself? Where I would spend hours playing games, he would spend those hours watching someone else play. Now, if he were watching someone play particularly well, or someone otherwise entertaining, that’d be one thing. But he wasn’t: he was watching normal people play normally (or even badly – but not entertainingly badly). There might not even be too much commentary. And the thing that got to me: a lot of those games he was watching were games he had access to, himself. I had those games, he could just ask me. I usually played on PC, but he was mostly watching console games, especially the Zelda series.

So I was turned off to streamers for a long time, because of him. Sure, if there was a situation that I needed a bit of help, I’d look up a guide, and some of those were videos. But I didn’t just watch people play: I have games myself to play.

But then I got a job. A job with potentially a lot of time in the office, not doing a whole lot for decent stretches of time. Where I could multitask. Where I could be way more efficient, apparently, than other people I’ve replaced, but still had the same work to do. But, can’t really play games on the job, either practically or ethically. So I needed things to do. (And, when I’m eating and stuff, it’s hard to play games.)

Eventually, I found some Cities Skylines streamers. At first it was just traffic tips, or which mods to get. But then it expanded to actual gameplay. And Youtube is going to suggest things. I saw other streamers. Most weren’t for me, but I did find a few.

Just for fun, I’ll link some of the ones I watch:

Quick Thoughts: Star Trek Picard

This is going to be really short, because I don’t have the time or energy for a full review (which is coming, to be sure), nor the screenshots I thought I had. But, to be quick about it:

This show sucks. Like, seriously, it sucks.

At first I thought it wasn’t too bad. And it wasn’t. Just a bit slow, and nonsensical. But still watchable. But then it got worse.

It was never Star Trek, really. Sure, it had some characters that were in Star Trek, in the past. But the show itself is just some random sci-fi show that they slapped a Trek skin on.

And it’s not even a good random sci-fi show. The plot is so full of holes, it makes swiss cheese envious. The dialog was generally very bad, especially as the show went on. The editing isn’t very good. The effects are passable, barely, and don’t even feel Trek-like. Everything is anachronistic.

Just a sucky show.

Quick Thoughts, April 13th

  • Man, working so hard makes me have less time for blogging! I mean, sure, I have plenty of time before and a bit after, but usually I have time to think about topics, mentally organize, etc. Not today, which is the reason for this post.
  • Daily stuff is annoying in games, almost always. The only thing not annoying is just a plain login bonus. Those are fine. But actually having to do things? What is this, a job? Why not get fun things for no effort?
  • Breath of the Wild continues to be great. I’m ready for it to be over, yet I just want more.
  • I really like when the patch notes say that a problem is fixed, but the problem isn’t actually fixed. Got an afk penalty in STO for the First Contact Day stuff, but I totally did everything. Lame.
  • I really need another vacation. I just took one, but it was great fun, and I want to do it again. These games won’t play themselves!
  • Some of the cool stuff in Breath of the Wild needs amibos. I hate this. Maybe I should actually look them up (prices, availability, etc.) before I start hating. But they don’t look good enough to justify themselves.
  • I hate panty shots. It’s just so low-effort, pleb-tier, lcd fanservice. They totally ruin every good art they’re in, because they are always the focus. So many things I see on twitter are rendered nsfw because of that.
  • Speaking of twitter, I hate how people will retweet porn. Of course you can’t have the image filter, because it blocks pretty much every anime-style image. Such a pickle.

The City of Cannburg: A Cities Skylines Start

I read a tweet or a post the other day that said they wanted to see more game play posts, and I thought that was a good idea (and idea I’ve already done). So, today we’re going to start up a new city in Cities Skylines.

I have a lot of mods. This game is playable without them, but there are so many quality of life mods out there, and so many good, new assets, that it’s kinda a pain to play without them. And I have so many, I’m not going to list them. If you want to know, just search out any recent “essential mods” list, and I’m sure most will show up. As for DLC, I don’t have the recent “Sunset Harbor,” nor the less-recent “University Life” expansions. And, this is actually my first game after the “Sunset Harbor” update, so we’ll see what we can do without that, but with its ruleset (as Paradox games are wont to do).

I’m going to pick this map, which I’ve never used. Thought I’d try something different. It’s a mod map, as shown by the Steam symbol on the side. And I’m just going to go with the RNG-generated name. It doesn’t really matter to me.

Load it all up…and it’s an awkward start, as shown by the top image. One of my roundabouts isn’t even accessible! Fortunately I have a mod that lets you place certain things outside of the city (as long as they’re not zonable streets), so it’s not too much of a problem. But a bigger problem is that the buildable area is bisected by the highway, and both sides are bounded. And the top part is bisected again by a railroad.

The plan is, then, to put the industry area at top, and the commercial and residential at the bottom. That highway ramp is actually pretty good, and the highway traffic won’t interfere with the traffic between the two sections of the city. I don’t have to worry about unlocking stuff, since I’ve played this before (unlocking stuff is a major bother, so it’s good you only have to do it once – though you can turn it off in the game settings if you want to start completely fresh), so I’m just going to go at it.

I’m just going to be doing efficient grids. There’s not enough room here for anything fancy, so I’m not going to be fancy. You’ll see above that I’m making 4×4 squares: this is to get the biggest building possible to fill the space. If you just fill in the whole area with zoning, you will get random smaller buildings, which won’t fill in the whole space behind it – a waste of space. Once those squares start building up, I’ll zone in the spaces between them. Though you do have to be careful…

It turns out, unlike industrial zones, residential zone squares placed in corners will fill in houses on both streets, so you get a bunch of small houses. If you look in all the squares in the corners there, you’ll see a bunch of houses, and an unoccupied 2×2 area behind all the houses. That’s what I’m trying to avoid (also, bigger houses look better, I think). This can be avoided by not putting in the cross streets, but leaving a space for them, like so:

In the center of the picture, you can see two 4×4 squares separated by a two-width space, which is where the street directly above will connect. (You can see the same gap one block up, on the left, where a left-right street will connect.) Also, you can see that I’m not doing the same thing across from that; you can’t see it, but there’s that mountain coming in at an angle at the bottom of the screen.

You might have noticed that, in the above two pictures, I have a wide street with the side streets branching off; the green (residential) is not on the wide street, but the blue (commercial) is. This is because that wide street is a main street, so the stores and stuff go there. Commercial not only gets citizen traffic from shopping and going to work, but they also get supply trucks; you need a bigger street to handle that traffic. I have the same separation on the industrial side, but this time with nothing on the main street. Industrial zones create a ton of traffic, with supply trucks coming and going, same with workers. The trucks stop at the factories, same as the shops, but much more often; you don’t want those trucks clogging up traffic on the main road, so there are no buildings on the main road. Below, you might also notice that I have one-way roads going in and out of the industrial areas from the main road; this is to spread out the trucks, so they’re not all in the same place at once. (I say “might notice,” because there’s a grain filter in this game that I don’t know how to get rid of.)

There isn’t much else to add to that. Just place essential services around (which includes parks and schools in the residential zones). The “Sunset Harbor” DLC changes the rules for citizens aging, requiring both child care and elder care buildings; fortunately, those buildings are included in the regular game update. The nice thing about grids like this is you can just expand in all directions as needed. Bad thing is it all looks the same, just bigger.

One special thing that I do is separate out the trash area. This is not only because of pollution (so you don’t want it in your residential areas), but because there are a lot of trucks coming and going, so you don’t want them in already high-traffic areas. For this particular city, I bought the left city square to expand the city limits (and get that other roundabout), and stuck the trash stuff off one of the spurs.

Dumps are really small, so you need a bunch of them.

And that’s about it. Like I said, I was just starting a city, just to check out some of the changes. The only major difference I made after the beginning was to add some small commercial areas inside the residential areas, especially near the highways (commercial buildings are loud (sound pollution is almost as bad as actual pollution in this game), but they block the highway sounds). Looks pretty good, I’d say. If I were to give this city a story, it’d be “mining ghost town becomes a small-scale manufacturing center and pit stop on a lonely mountain highway.”

Tired of the Same Old Thing

I must be getting burned out. Or something. I just don’t want to play my usual daily games. But events and daily login stuff keeps me coming back:

  • The Jubilee event in Elder Scrolls Online has been going on the past week, and is just ending. Spent several hours doing daily quests to get those prize boxes (which you get for doing daily quests, of course). Totally forgot the whole time that I have two alts that could at least do the daily crafting quests. Oops. The Jester event was immediately before; I did one day, then just gave up; not worth it. Thinking of killing my sub, at least for a while; but then again maybe not.
  • Haven’t been doing much more than logging in then buggering off in Granblue Fantasy. Hurts that I’m drastically undergeared for my experience level, because I can’t into the grind. So basically just read the events and leave it alone.
  • Star Trek Online has the First Contact event going on. Just gather from nodes, get three things, and you’re done. It’s on a timer though, so lots of sitting and waiting. In the past you’ve been able to do nothing and get the reward, but they put on an afk penalty this year (as I learned).
  • I’m basically just gathering crystals and tickets in Dragalia Lost. There’s an event going on there too, an actual new one too. But it’s not exciting. I’m undergeared there too, but it doesn’t matter as much, as it’s a more casual game. And since it’s coop, all those well-geared folks make things really quick. But it’s another game I’m basically just doing for story.
  • I still have no idea why I keep playing Princess Connect. I don’t even benefit from the story, or even the voices (since I don’t bother with downloading them). And there are two rerun events in a row, it looks like. At least the dailies are over fast.

Mostly, I just want to keep playing new games – games that end. Like Breath of the Wild.