Time For Pictures

Over the past several days, I kept seeing stuff about this NaNoWriMo thing on blogs and Twitter and whathaveyou. I’ve never seen this before, but there are a lot of these sort of promotion things. I figured it had something to do with writing, since it was up on blogs and author Twitters, but I wasn’t sure what it really is. Another sort of blog writing thing (didn’t we just have Blaugust?)? A generic writing thing? I was too lazy to just google it, though, so I just left it at that.

Well, I came across something else somehow, and learned what this stuff is. It’s for novelists. That explains a lot. But it definitely isn’t something for me. Not only is 50k words alone a big NOPE from me, but a novel doubly so. While it may be true that everyone has at least one story in them, it’s definitely not that they have a novel in them. Including me. I can write competently, but not in a terribly interesting manner. Or rather, not in a way that would make a book interesting; I’m much more for short-form, informational stuff, in an informal setting. Maybe; you be the judge of that.

So that’s a bust, but there is something I can do: IntPiPoMo! When I saw that, I thought it was another nice thing…until I saw that screenshots count! It’s like a blogging festival made just for me. Screenshots are a thing I do.

And the best part is, I don’t even need context! Not that that’s ever stopped me before, but it has slowed me down a tad, since I generally try to post stuff that fits first, before going to the random stuff just to break up some paragraphs. So, let’s get the show on the road, with some screenshots by Yours Truely:

A related aside: I’m a bit bummed that Steam took away that nice feature that showed a pop-up after you closed a game, where you could put your screenshots from that session on the cloud. Now it has to be done from the Screenshots section of your profile, manually. Which means I have to remember to do it.

I still use Althemia over Gleo, because many of her bones are indeed alluring.
Ok, an actual original picture: That time I forgot I didn’t have a pizza cutter, even though I was sure I actually had one.

Dragalia Lost: High Dragon Trial Update: Problem With the Game, Or With the Players?

Dragalia Lost recently had an update that adds higher difficulties to the High Dragon Trials. Said HDT’s were the game’s end-game content, so now they’re even more end-gamier. In addition, there is a time trial, with leaderboards for the top 25, and prizes depending on where one ranked in total (percentage-wise). With this update came a new tier (well, two tiers) of weapons, which required doing the new tiers of HDT’s to get the materials for.

Needless to say, people got mad. And stupid. Trouble is, until these things came out, the game was pretty easy, even at its hardest. With not too much grinding (though still too much for me, Mr. Casual), one could max out their buildings and gear, which would help trivialize most content, even the HDT’s, with just a modicum of skill. However, this update introduced the first real esports elements. Now people couldn’t have everything with a bit of effort in a short period of time (using resources they’d already stashed up), but they would actually have to put in a serious effort, and use some actual skill. This change dashed the expectation of many vocal players, but I think would be good for the game overall.

Serious lack of self-awareness, there.

Like pretty much all these games, Dragalia Lost depends on whales. But whales need reasons to whale, in this game – there’s just so much competition out there for that precious whale dosh. There are traditionally two big reasons to whale in a gacha game: esports or waifury. (I’m going to include all sorts of ‘I need this character because they’re my [X]!’, including husbandos, fujoships, etc., because the waifu man reigns over all these.) Esports is the more reliable way to whale whales, since competition is something the devs have the most control over. Meanwhile, going after the waifu enthusiasts depends wholly on the whims of the players, while the devs can only try to create appealing designs for their fanbase; the most reliable way to go after these players is to make alts of characters that have already proven popular.

For Dragalia Lost, the esports game has been severely lacking, because there hasn’t been any real, official competition in any way. Sure, you can whale, git gud, and all that, but who are you comparing your skills too? And who can you show off to? The best one could do would be upload clears to Youtube or Twitter. However, even in a coop game like Granblue Fantasy one can race other players directly in a raid, to see how much damage each person can do before killing the enemy, and it is shown immediately at the bottom of the screen. Now, with the time-trial leaderboards, good players and whales can have it all: actual hard content that uses their resources, skills, and experience; a way to compare their skills directly to other players; and a way to show off to each others and all the plebs.

Now, that hasn’t exactly gone over well with some of the non-esports players and whales. Like I said, many were used to only putting in an modicum of effort to get all the prizes. There actually is a bit of a grind to get the top-tier weapons, which requires actually completing the HDT’s multiple times. And a lot of players don’t have the skills or gear for that. Which makes them mad.

Personally, I see this as a “git gud and stop crying” situation. Lots of whiny babbies out there saying the game has gone to crap just because they can’t access everything within two or three weeks of it happening. Very entitled, and I don’t use that word lightly.

Also, people crying because they can’t pub everything. For good or ill, pubbing is a major thing in this game. If you don’t have some other way of organizing things, which is pretty hard since the guild function in this game is pretty limited, then you’re stuck pubbing. And, while there are filters to pubs, they aren’t really reliable. You’ve basically got might filtering (basically gear score), which doesn’t mean that the players actually know the fight. And there’s no way to kick players inflating might, or using the wrong gear, or whatever, so people just put up ridiculous might requirements for their rooms. Lots of people looking for carries.

Not to say there aren’t problems with the game, or this situation. I’ll point them out here:

First, the HDT’s are very punishing. They have a lot of OHKO attacks, which means that not only are runs over if anyone makes a single mistake, but healers are pretty much useless – if they’re not absolutely necessary due to ‘everybody WILL take damage’ mechanics. In this game, the trinity isn’t dps-tank-healer, it’s dps-support-healer, since tanks can’t really do anything in this game. Which means dps is all-important, which means being anything besides dps requires that unit to contribute more dps than is lost by not using a proper dps unit. Since pubs generally don’t have the eports skills to not make mistakes, this means a lot of pubs fail.

Second, Gala Cleo. It’s not often that a single unit will run/ruin an entire meta, but there she is. She’s got everything: buffs, heals, dps, debuffs. That all on its own would make her a top-tier unit, but not broken like she is. The thing is, her buffs stack with each other. Meaning, if you had a full team of Gleos, you’d potentially have HUGE buffs, or constant uptime on said buffs. On a character that already is pretty good dps, this is completely broken. Take the stacking away, and she’s merely very good. But as it is, in most any content you’d take Dark characters to (and others you wouldn’t), she’s best-in-slot, no good if you don’t have her. And it’s not like dark is hurting for good units either, but when you’re competing with BEST UNIT IN GAME BY FAR, good isn’t good enough. And it’s not like taking away the stacking buffs would be a huge nerf to the unit, pissing off the players that whaled for her, since without that she’s still one of the best units in the game.

The culprit herself.

Third, while the HDT’s are a bit of a grind…there’s nothing to do after it’s over. “Good” grinds put stuff behind RNG, or otherwise make it so even the best players have to continually run content for various reasons. If they don’t, they won’t play. They’ll play the esports content, but nothing below that. One way around that is, as mentioned, RNG for a lot of stuff, so players need to run things again and again and again to get what they want; this is the traditional MMO raid gear setup. They’ll grumble, but they’ll do it, if there’s enough incentive to do so. Another way is to have the lower-tier content give resources that are still important to higher-tier players, through trade-ins and the like. Granblue Fantasy generally does both of those: RNG to get the gear pieces one needs, and trading in lower-tier gear to get the resources needed to upgrade that high-tier gear they actually use. Dragalia Lost doesn’t do either: run the HDT’s enough times, and you’re guaranteed to get what you want, with no reason to go back later (yet).

Why is this important? (Aside from the fact that devs want players to engage with all the content they spent time on, I mean.) It’s because newer players need help going through the lower-tier stuff. They can’t learn to git gud if no one is willing to help them out. This game is a coop game, which means it needs players to coop with. As has been seen in just these past few weeks, if all the good players are doing the higher-tier stuff, because they’re done with the lower-tier stuff for whatever reason, then the low-tier stuff will not be very doable for the low-tier players. In this specific instance, there’s literally no reason to do the Standard difficulty for the HDT’s, because higher difficulties give all the same mats, in higher amounts, as well as the stuff needed to upgrade to the higher-tier weapons. So the Standard HDT’s are floundering.

All of these are things the devs can actually control. I think fixing these three items would be greatly beneficial to the fun of the game, and for the enjoyment of the people playing the game (two different things, since some people don’t like fun). Right now, a lot of the fans are crying for no reason, saying the game is dead for no reason, like they always do. But, there is truth to their complaints, and things can be improved.

Tomorrow is Halloween, so here’s some pumpkin stuff for Halloween.

September Gaming in Review, and October Plans

Another month has come and the last one is gone. Let’s see what I’ve done, compared to what I was thinking on doing. Well, I did make level cap in ESO, as expected. And I also made it to the next “content” cap, 160 Champion Points. Everything after that is gravy, I guess. I’ve also maxed crafting on all the actual crafting things (blacksmith, clothier, and woodworking), so I can make gear for my maxed-out level. I’ve gotten into The Rift in the Ebonheart Pact storyline, and am working on that.

Didn’t even boot up FFXIV, though. I’ve been so engrossed in ESO that I haven’t had time or will to even start a new sub in FFXIV, after the first month expired. Might re-sub for the Halloween-ish event, but might not. So, obviously no progress there, still at like lvl 30 or 31. I do plan on playing it again, it isn’t dropped.

In STO I did the new content for the season. Not that there was much there. And I did the daily event, every day. More or less every day. But I got the new ship a couple days ago; I don’t know if that was on Sep 30 or October 1, though. I mostly did it with two TFO’s per day; that seemed like the shortest, easiest, and most fun path. (Today I tested out said ship; more on that in a future post.)

In mobage land, I mostly did the bare minimum. I’ve been sorta burnt out on all of them; or rather, my gaming energies are fully focused on ESO, so I don’t have much spare thought for them. This recent event in Dragalia Lost was surprisingly good though (the actual event, not the anniversary celebrations, which are also pretty neato). The boss is something a little different, and actually impressive. Like, it actually looks impressive to just watch someone play; this is a rarity with mobage in general, and DL is no exception. In GBF I skipped Guild Wars, completely. I haven’t really participated more than the barest minimum in half a year, if not more, and these past couple of times I just checked out completely (sorry dancho, exams…). The recent event was good, but it’s just the same thing as far as gameplay goes, just like every non-summer event for the past 5.5 years. Since I’m at the point where these events don’t give me good gear I need, but I’m not good/dedicated enough to grind out the boxes, I’m kinda just out of it. And in Pokemon Masters, there’s a new event, but again, not really doing it. I spent money buying all the one-time crystal packs, and didn’t get Hilda. Very sad, since she’s the reason I bothered with the game in the first place. Still in chapter five or six there, too, because performance issues.

Now, for October. I expect my play patterns will mostly stay the same. There will be events towards the end of the month for all the continuing-content games I play, so I’ll participate in those as needed. But I figure it will mostly be ESO, with dailies (or less) for the rest. For ESO in particular, I’m going to finish the EP quest line, then go to the Summerset expansion, to get jewelry crafting kicked into high gear (and also the content, I guess…).

As for games coming out this month, the only one I’m really looking forward to is Atelier Ryza. I’ve heard little but good things, and it’s selling like hotcakes in Japan (well, as far as a niche series like Atelier goes, at any rate). But that’s the 31st (according to Gamespot), so it won’t really affect my October gaming much, I think. Also keeping an eye on The Outer World; while Fallout New Vegas is one of my most very favorite games, I’ve mostly lost my faith in Obsidian. But we’ll see.

An Update

I have been playing games. Really. I’ve been playing ESO almost religiously. It’s just, there’s not a lot to write about here. I’ve been mostly going through the faction story areas for the Ebonheart Pact, and am just cleaning up Eastmarch right now. Not a lot to blog about there, though I have gotten some amusing screenshots, at least. (The above isn’t mine, because I’m not at my PC, but I have one identical to it, because of course you take a screen of Naryu being cute.) I also did the Clockwork City DLC quests, which were a nice break from the main stuff.

I hit the “max level” (Really for reals this time!) again, meaning CP 160. So now I can max out my gear and stuff. I’ve been trying to improve my builds and play, so I don’t embarrass myself out there in dungeons. But I’ve discovered that I don’t really like that aspect of the game, and that the gear I can get that’s good for my build isn’t in the dungeons (there’s some in trials, and some from crafting). I’m going bow/bow, like a chump, but it’s pretty simple for my casual brain. Not the ideal setup for dps, but I like to actually fit into my role and class (which is apparently what the devs want too), and five active abilities doesn’t really do that for me. I still need a better self-heal than what I’ve got, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out.

Granblue Fantasy got a new event, and in short, it’s kino. It’s also somewhat amusing how some people miss what little subtlety and literary merit is in these mobage stories – they say it sucks, when it’s clear that they are the problem. Not to say it’s going to change anyone’s life, or get any sort of writing award, but it’s not bad in the slightest. Now, there were some missed expectations – some were hoping for an All Siegman All the Time flashback event, when it was instead the usual fujo/yume-pandering Dragon Knights event, but that should have been expected. Lancelot got another skin, but at least it’s free this time. And no deus-ex-Siegman this time (though they accomplished this by making him part of the problem…).

And the Dragalia Lost 1st Anniversary is upon us. No event at all, but lots of free stuff. Euden got the gala this time, as expected; and he’s not broken, which was somewhat unexpected: I guess Cleo was just a fluke. (Though looking at the actual history of the game and genre, that much powercreep was really out of the ordinary, and it’s kinda a surprise that she hasn’t been even slightly nerfed yet.)

Oh, and part of what kept me from writing is that I finally had my gallbladder surgery a few days ago. (I do have a picture of what they took out of me, but I’m not going to post it, since that’s probably what would be the Twitter post picture…) Probably the best-case scenario, as far as recovery goes: I was up and at ’em five hours after walking into the surgery center, and haven’t had any additional pain medication needed; indeed, I’ve actually used less (fewer?) painkiller than I normally do! Still sore – feels like someone(s) punched me in the gut a few dozen times – but not painful unless I do something that uses my core muscles. There was one uncomfortable complication, but I hear that’s normal with general anesthetic, and it seems to be resolved at this time. But this basically gave me another weekend to play games (ESO), which was nice.

Dragalia Lost: Missed Opportunities

No game is perfect. Nothing is perfect, not on this world, anyhow. But you can try your best. Or at least make an attempt at all. It can be disappointing when you enjoy a thing, but come across an example of that thing which didn’t have the effort you’d expect in it.

Just for example, I’ll use burgers. I happen to like Carl’s Jr. burgers. Like, a lot. They’re my favorite of the big chains’ burgers, for sure. I had good examples of good burgers from many different stores, across several states in the U.S., so I know a good Carl’s Jr. burger isn’t a fluke. But I’ve also had bad examples of burgers from this joint, in multiple places, some consistently. I’ve noticed it’s all about the effort put into it. You’d think that there would be a lot of standardization in a burger from a big, national joint, and you’d be right. No matter how disappointing the burger is in itself, it always has the same flavors, because the ingredients are standardized, and cooked in a standard way. No, the difference comes in the effort made to put it all together right. If things are sloppy, in a way they’re not supposed to be (“if it doesn’t get all over the place, it doesn’t belong in your face”…), the overall burger experience is significantly lessened. If all the lettuce is on one side, if the patty is a quarter hanging out of the bun, if the sauce is all in a clump in the middle, all those things can be destructive to the burger. And it doesn’t have to be. Just a bit more effort, and the product could be great, even superlative. (And it’s one thing if I’m customer #500 in the hour; I understand that, but if a store gets things wrong consistently, there’s a culture there, or at the very least a systemic problem.)

It’s the same thing with stories. I know, not everyone is a good writer. Not everyone has to be. I’m certainly not. But there’s a reason I don’t write for games – I’m certainly not paid to do it. There are so many examples of good writing, that one could expect that things might be better, in certain circumstances. Or at least that things would be decent. I’m of course talking about Dragalia Lost here: it’s in the title of the post. I’m not expecting something great here, especially from a phone game, but I’d like something that represents some effort. I know that this game can do good stuff – I’ve experienced it. But the main story, especially the most recent chapter, leaves a lot to be desired. To explain why, I’ll have to summarize the story a bit, so forgive me if you’re already familiar with it.

The story begins with the Main Character, Euden, the 7th prince and youngest heir to the throne of the kingdom. Euden has a younger twin sister, Zethia, but she’s the dragon pope, and has relinquished all claim to the throne. MC is called to adventure, stuff happens, his dad the king gets possessed and is eventually killed by the Big Bad, who happens to basically be the devil in this country’s religion; and then Big Bad possesses Zethia, who takes claim to the kingdom in her father’s place, and renames said kingdom to what boils down to Devil’s Empire, as far as this country’s history and religion are concerned. MC fortunately has a nice abandoned castle he happened to come across, which becomes the base, which is fortunate because he’s been branded as a traitor prince (as he was fighting the possessed king at the time said dies). The other heirs are out running their own thing, either as governors or generals (except the 6th prince, who fills the role of useless wastrel). Also, around this time the military teams up with the already ubiquitous monsters to basically terrorize random villages, because, you know, the Devil is Evil and all that. And we know that the Big Bad is currently in a weakened state and is looking to regain its true power.

Now, just in that, you should be able to see some interesting possibilities. How did the no-claim Zethia take over? What gives her legitimacy? What do the other siblings (and actual claimants) think about this? What do the people in the kingdom think about their country being renamed to Evil Empire? What about the other surrounding countries, what do they think of this new development? What will happen to the Traitor Prince now? And there are other things, for sure.

Now, we do get some at least partial answers to these questions. Whether they’re satisfying or not is up to the individual player’s tastes. And the situation does change over time, at least subtly (as in, the game doesn’t bring attention to the changes, they just change). Euden is explicitly tested, and develops as a ruler, as he takes his base (and the refugees flowing in from all those attacked villages) an declares his independence from the Evil Empire. Things get safer for him and his in the surrounding areas (at least when direct combat with monsters or evil troopers isn’t happening) – at first he was being hunted down in town, but later he can move about freely. He gets allies. He encounters his siblings and tries to get them on his side.

We have a complicated situation, so I expect that the writers wouldn’t go for a simple answer for everything. But that’s exactly what happened in this last chapter. All the siblings are brought together with the Devil, and they all side with the Big Bad. We already know they have their own motivations, and things might get more nuanced in the future, but for now we’re back where we were at launch: the prince arrayed against everyone else.

Now, I wasn’t expecting Game of Thrones here. I wasn’t even expecting Crusader Kings. But some depth would have been nice. Not returning to effectively the same place we were half a story ago would have been nice. Giving the siblings some better motivation to joining the actual, literal, unequivocal evil Devil being would have been nice (even if it was just “I’m afraid of that guy”). Even MC’s motivation could have been better: not just “I’m a siscon so I can go with you as long as you’re possessing my sister!”, but something even so simple as “your past actions don’t match with your present words, Satan” would have been an improvement.

Now, none of this is unsalvagable. We could be given satisfying results and explanations for all this in the future. But as for right now, it kinda sucks. And it couldn’t have come at a worse time, with all the hype that’s been built up, combined with the slow month otherwise, the low sales, and other expectations being dashed.

Mobage Update

It’s been a while since I’ve posted one of these. Things have happened. I said I would talk about past events, but haven’t. Story stuff has happened. Etc.

It’s hard for me to talk about Princess Connect updates and events. Because, despite the fact that I retweet (and occasionally post here) untranslated Japanese stuff, I don’t actually understand Japanese. Neither reading or writing. Sure, I’ve been learning. But on a scale of N5 to N1 (official Japanese language skill exam levels), I’m like a N7. Mabye N8. Not even at the “can get the rough gist of things without subs” (though good enough to tell when subs are way off). So yah. Slow going. And, as PriConn is pretty much a visual novel with a management game attached, events are hard for me to appreciate. I still participate, as much as I can, but I skip most of the dialog. Which helps, because I only have about 20-30 mins per day to play this particular game.

But there was a new event! Some character goes to school for two weeks, for reasons! Stuff happens when she is there! She makes some friends! A couple of them turned out to be really popular with the community. One of them got a new SSR character this banner, and PriConn Twitter exploded. From what I can tell, she’s not that good, but not useless either.

In Dragalia Lost…well, stuff’s been happening, I guess. It continues to have the problem of too-long banners and events. And since the last summer event, there has been nothing new. And very little hype leading up to the anniversary, which is next week (either Thursday or Friday). Even the most recent banner (or rather, the next one) is a rerun dragon banner, with none of the featured dragons being particularly good – and only one of them being good at all. The only hint that something big is happening this month is that “something big” was announced at the beginning of the month, and there have been free daily rolls for some time. But other games, even other Cygames games, have had much bigger lead-ups to their anniversary: extra crystals, free 10-rolls, extra loot drops in content, and the like. Maybe tonight’s news will have that, but I’m not confident.

At least we got/are getting some new content. Got a couple new Void raids, which are nice for casuals like me. Tomorrow I believe is the new High Zodiark raid, which is nice for esports guys not like me (I haven’t even touched the second High Dragon raid). And last week we got a new beating stick (Mercurial Gauntlet), for the whales and tryhards. And, for people that actually like story in their RPG’s, we got a new main story chapter too, to lead off into the next arc of the story.

Speaking of main story, it was a bit of a let-down. Even the boot-lickers at Reddit were upset. More of a lore/worldbuilding infodump chapter than an advancement of plot or character. Typical shounen/jrpg premature end-boss encounter, where you go into it thinking things are going to get better, but they only get worse. I’ll have more to say on this sort of phenomenon in another post, since this event made me think of it.

Granblue Fantasy also had an addition to the main story. This was better than the DL addition, though it did leave a bad taste in my mouth at the end. It ended the current story chapter, and gave a big lore dump – finally, the/an explanation for what Lyria is! And Vyrn too, I guess, though we knew most of it already. I’m not sure I trust this explanation, though – first, we never hear Mikaboshi’s explanation, just that very trustworthy devil-man’s. And a part of his lore dump contradicts the explanation of Bahamut given by Sky-Lucio in the anniversary event, and what isn’t contradictory is incomplete compared to what we’ve heard earlier. Of course, GBF’s lore has always been this way (and that’s another thing I’ll cover in that upcoming post), this kinda wishy-washy unclear mess that seems like it’s made up as they go (almost certain that this is exactly the case – not that it’s a bad thing, inherently).

But man, that ending. Way dark for this game, especially for the main story, which has been generic good-boy shounen to this point (heck, even Naruto or One Piece aren’t afraid to have people die). I guess an organization that calls itself The Society might not be entirely on the up-and-up. But can this mean that we will finally get some acknowledgement of the various side stories in the main story?

New Things! Second Impressions

Gotta say, I’m really disappointed with my new device. Well, not in the device itself. More like the things I can do with it. Maybe if I was a bit more tech savvy, I could make it sing. Like, use the linux mode to force a proper browser, instead of having to use mobile browsers. Or how to get the toolbar to show my RSS feeds. Things like that. I mean, having to use Chrome (I know, using Chrome on a Chromebook? How absurd!) is a bit of a I Hate It situation. At least I finally found I RSS reader extension that Just Werks, after like a whole twenty minutes of searching and fiddling (as opposed to the twenty seconds it took to get one for my old laptop’s Opera – Smart RSS, in case anyone wanted to know).

But the biggest disappointment is that, of the three games I wanted to play on it, two are incompatible, and for no real reason. Dragalia Lost said it was incompatible in the Play Store, but I’ve gotten that message for other things in the past, and with a simple workaround gotten around that issue. I downloaded, installed, connected to my Nintendo account, and updated, no problem. But, when I got to the point of actually playing the game, I got the dreaded 160 Error. While it says there’s a connection issue, it’s actually a compatibility issue. Or rather, it means your OS version is blocked. DL worked on Chromebooks until Feb or Mar, at which point they were blocked. Probably falls under the broad emulator block. I don’t know if I blame this on Cygames or Google. But it really pisses me off something fierce.

Also, Pokemon Masters won’t work, at all. Not in the Play Store, period. QooApp wouldn’t even let me download it. And getting the .apk directly didn’t install. That’s actually really weird. I know whoever developed the game (I don’t know if it was DeNa or Game Freak or what) really screwed the pooch on compatibility – it only works on 64-bit systems, which excludes 90+% of American phones, let alone all the phones across the world – but this is sad. I know I have a 64-bit system – I have 8 GB of RAM, so that’s necessary. But no. No dice.

I haven’t gotten around to trying Princess Connect, but I figure it will work, since that’s more platform-agnostic. I just need to get the will to open it up on my tablet, figure out the menus to get the system link, and we’re probably golden.

I also can see zero reason why Granblue Fantasy wouldn’t work, since that works on Chrome in the first place.

So yah, half the reason I got this stupid thing is out the window. I still need it, since the other half is still valid (laptop coming apart at the seams). But it’s a real drag, since I paid hundreds of dollars more for a system that could supposedly also play my games.

Oh, and also, that second look at Star Trek Online was a disappointment too, but one I was expecting. I did the new mission, and I just have to say everything STD touches turns to garbage. Even in the hands of (slightly more) competent writers, it’s garbage to the core. Even the sci-fi concepts introduced to the Trek universe are garbage. I hate the whole ‘mycellial network’ concept. You just know Kurtzman heard of one of those giant fungus bodies and thought, “What if that was, like, connecting the whole universe, man?” while doing various drugs. It’d be one thing if it were just another realm of subspace, or one of the dime-a-dozen parallel realms in Trek. But no, it ‘connects to all mutiverses’ and ‘if it gets hurt it kills all life in all realities’. And now the baddie-of-the-month is hurting it. But they got Rapp for STO, and Stammets’s whole character is >muh shrooms, so that’s what we have in STO.

Not a great start to my day.

Mobage Stuff

Stuff has been happening in the mobile games I’ve been playing, too. Granblue Fantasy has gotten its big collaboration event with the OG Love Live crew (which is linked to the 2nd gen Love Live crew event from last year). Dragalia Lost got a sequel to the previous summer event. Princess Connect has a rerun event from last summer going, but also is celebrating its half-anniversary with free 10-rolls, so that’s something too.

I have to say, for both GBF and DL I like the direction of the events compared to the previous. Both the older events (though DL’s was only a month ago) were pretty straightforward, “thing is threatening the place, so we gotta fight it”. Which was weird for the LL event, because the LL girls were entirely useless pretty much the whole time. I mean, you’d expect newbs to be useless, but they were really useless. At least the events in both games gave some character development to the main cast, but they were otherwise pretty normal, “everyone gets along to face the trial” stuff.

These new events though were a change of pace. For DL, I really liked the exploration of self-doubt and social fear on Cleo’s part, and how Siren helped her learn to cut loose and have fun, despite her own challenges (which is odd, since Cleo was all about “tanoshii pahty” back at Dragon Christmas, but whatever, I guess dancing around in a bikini on stage is different from hosting a party in a skimpy santa dress). Of course the event had a happy end, but it was nice that the “threat” was “people might not come to a concert because they are afraid of the singer for good reason,” (her name is Siren, after all) rather than some monster or another.

The LL collab in GBF was a bit more traditional in structure (there are monsters and such), but I think it utilized the LL girls a lot better this time around. Of course, it also helps that the OG LL girls are much more fully realized characters than their sequel counterparts. I’m only tangentially interested in LL, and I have to say the characters her caught me better than in last year’s collab, where it seems everyone just revolved around the main girl Chika. I gotta say, though, that Nico or Maki seem like better main character material than Honoka, but that’s probably just a LL thing more than a GBF thing. The fact that there is some conflict between the LL girls in this rather stressful situation – not much, but just a little banter and chops-busting – adds a bit of spice to what could have been a very saccharine outing.

I appreciated how the LL girls are clearly out of their depth here, but aren’t useless either. Some of them even take the time to learn some good magic stuff. And they actually utilize their skills to help the people of the town, in a way that makes sense, and is self-sustaining (or it would be, if we didn’t know what was coming). I also like that there’s an actual reason the LL girls come to the GBF world, and it wasn’t just some random thing like all the other idol collabs. There’s just a lot of good worldbuilding in this event that I like.

It’s Still Sunday In Alaska…

Hard to write about upcoming news for the day, when it comes out after midnight…Anyways, finally there’s the news of the new event + banner for Dragalia Lost. And hoo boy, folks are upset.

The event itself was pretty much a known entity, since it got datamined earlier. Typical facility event, though it looks like this time the facility boosts bow and dagger units, instead of elemental units. Certainly this is an attempt to pull these weapons out of the gutter, but it’s going to take a lot more than a damage boost to fix them (that will help, since part of the problem is low dps in a dps game, but it’s not enough).

But what has people mad is the units. Reddit, gays, and girls are mad that ‘all’ the units are again girls; and one of them is Cleo, who just got an alt (even though it’s a main-character limited after the event that heavily featured her, so it doesn’t really count). ‘All’ because, again, a guy got a summer alt too – and it’s Luca, who finally gets his first alt after almost a year. But only SSR’s count, I suppose, and Luca, like Ranzal, is only SR. People also seem to be mad about Siren getting an alt, even though she was the last dragon released. And /drag/ is mad because, like usual, they’re assuming that every unit is bad, even when it’s clear they’re not (like, Verica is a very good healer, she just isn’t necessary in the content she’s made for, so thus she SUCKS).

As for me, they’re not limited, so I’m not rolling. Yet again. Feels good being a savechad. Anniversary, here I come! Nor am I upset about the units. I look forward to Halloween Cleo, Thanksgiving Cleo, and Hanukkah Cleo.

A Little Burnout With the Little Games

Man, I’m really not feeling it, with the mobile games at least. This happens every so often; I’m sure folks who play the same type of games every day get that burnout feeling. But it’s odd for me to get it with two games at once. I haven’t really played Granblue Fantasy, in any significant amount, in like, a week; I even missed a day of getting that free 10-roll. And with Dragalia lost, I haven’t even done my dailies yet, and it’s an hour before reset.

I was wondering why. Like I said, burnout for two regular games at once is not usual for me. Partly because I don’t really go hardcore, so even on days when I’m really into a game it’s only for a couple hours, at most. But on thinking on it, I have a few ideas.

First, it’s kind of a dead period in both games. GBF has a rerun going, and the prizes are not inspiring. The game mode to get those prizes is also a bit annoying. DL has a new event, but it’s been out for some time now. One of the problems DL has, in general, is that its events go on quite a bit longer than they should. A week is a good length, I think, but DL has theirs for at least ten days. I especially think the raid events take too long to play, over and over and over again.

Next, I just don’t have anything real to work towards. Like I said yesterday, the thing I like about these games is the story, and a lot of the story is in the gacha. In both games I have quite a lot of resources saved for drawing the gacha, over a full spark’s worth in GBF (388 at the time of writing this; ten more for sure when I get the surprise ticket). Since I don’t have incentive to save much more in the immediate future, I don’t want to play.

Additionally, and maybe most importantly, I’ve got two new games I’m playing at the moment. The new and shiny has made the old and well-known (and well-worn, in some cases) games lack luster in comparison. Why play these old, simple, kinda boring games when I can play these other games I haven’t played before. During the work week I only have so much time for games, after all.

Not a crisis by any means, but just something I was thinking about. Some new event will come soon in both games, and then it’ll be back in those mines, too.