Cleaning Up My Act

I really need to get my life together. It’s such a mess, all over the place. And my surroundings reflect that. It’s high time that changed, and maybe things can go into reverse.

Let’s start with my room (no, I’m not posting a picture). It’s not exactly like the picture on top, but it’s not great either. The trash can is full. I have a pizza box sitting there. Models have fallen off their stands, some broken, and they sit where they fell. I’ve got the box my computer came in still up next to my bed – where I put it a year ago. Though it’s kind of an end-table, as I have a bunch of papers and such on it. Like stuff that pertains to my surgery, that I had in September. Books and disks are still on shelves sideways, that I put there after they cleaned the carpets…almost two years ago. Everything has dust. My desk has all sorts of sauce packages on it. And so on.

My computer (where half my life is) is at least in a bit better shape. My desktop is clean. My Steam library is mostly organized. But some of my pictures folders are a mess. Sometimes I’ll create a new organizational structure, but never move the old stuff to that new structure, so I have stuff all over the place. It’s not too bad, but having to organize over a thousand pictures per folder is a daunting task, and not something I want to do when I’ve got free time.

And it’s not like I haven’t done it before, so I know of that which I speak. At one time I just had a Touhou folder. That got more than a little unweildy. So I went and organized it. Once it was organized, it was fine, and adding anything I missed just required a little bit more work. But I have it worse now, with some of what I want to do, than I did back then.

That’s just the thing. In my little free time, I want to be free, not work. And I’ve got time during work a lot, but then I’m at work, not at home (and honestly, I’d just play games at home, too).

Perhaps being more organized physically will leave me more organized in mind. Or not. But at least it’d be a start. And I could walk around without fear of knocking something over, or stepping on something.

My Five Favorite Game Series

We’re going to take a bit of a break from the CKII AAR, because I have this idea now, and I’m getting further and further in my game from where I’m writing, which makes it harder to make relevant posts (this is the same thing that killed my Skyrim in-character blog, all those years ago). But I saw Krikkit’s post on this topic yesterday, and it made me think.

Thing is, many of my favorite games are a part of some series – but I don’t like the rest of the games. Fallout comes to mind: Fallout New Vegas is definitely in my top five favorite games ever, but I’m not fond of the rest: 1 and 2 are just not my genre, no matter how many supposedly great games I try; and I despise the Bethesda offerings. The Elder Scrolls games are similar: I love Morrowind, but the rest are pretty meh (and I have the hundreds of hours of gameplay in each to know!). But I’ve thought about it, and I think I can come up with five series I generally like, which have games I love.

The Legend of Zelda

I’m not the biggest Zelda fan, but I generally love this series. As I’ve said recently, Breath of the Wild is now in my top games ever, and Hyrule Warriors I also love. Ocarina of Time is perhaps the first console game I’ve adored and put a lot of time into. When I got into emulators my top playtime went to the various SNES and GB games. As I’ve said, I’m not a huge fan of the dungeon setup in most Zelda games (and many games I never finish, though I think I’ve at least tried all of them except for Skyward Sword, since I had no Wii or WiiU), but still, every new Zelda game announcement fills me with excitement.

Deus Ex

My favorite game, ever, is the original Deus Ex. This is pretty much the Platonic Ideal of “greater than the sum of its parts” – the game isn’t that great technically, or in story, or in acting, or gunplay, or any individual element. But taken all together, this is a superlative game. The sequels never live up to the original, but I don’t know if that’s even possible. Invisible War gets a bad rap, because it’s doesn’t even come close for various reasons; it’s still a decent game on its own, however. Invisible War was also good, but I think missed the point; still a game I’ve played more than once, which I can’t say about too many games. Mankind Divided is probably the objectively best game in the series…except that it’s only half a game. But besides that, great stuff.

Atelier series

This is another one of those series that get me excited every new game, though I don’t always like many aspects of any particular one. I just like the crafting aspect of it. There are so many games though, that any particular mechanic that I don’t like will go away, eventually. Or at least, there will be something else that I do like, that it makes up for it. And I love a game about cute girls doing cute and dangerous things. Even the PS2 games that had a male protagonist and tried to be a regular jrpg.

The Witcher

I love the lore in this series, and I love the games. Yes, even the first one. Perhaps especially the first one. I know it tends to rub people the wrong way, but I got along with its jank just fine. I couldn’t even get into the second one until after I played the first: it was the first that got me hooked, and gave the motivation to power through some of the harder parts of the second game. The third is one of those masterpiece games, no matter how much /v/ hates open-world games, and perhaps the best open-world game ever: I hate when scale is off for game purposes (because rendering realistic distances is a bit hard, even now), and Witcher 3 comes closest to realistic in any game I’ve ever played, while still being fun to play and having things to do (unlike Daggerfall).

Far Cry

This one came out of left field for me. I had heard these were pretty mediocre, and not too fun. Also, huge, with a beefy computer needed. Eventually I got one of those, and gave it a try. The first one, I mean. And I didn’t like it. Tried 2, couldn’t even get it to run past the first save point. The third one though, that was something special. Not only did it run, but it ran well. And it was a good, fun game. Story wasn’t that special, but it was good enough. Then I played 4, and that was everything the third wasn’t. And then Primal, which was super fun. And 5 was even better. (Not the new one though – super disappointing that they went the Borderlands route with the gameplay).

I guess the thing I really like in a series is a large scope, with quality gameplay and lots of random crap to do. I guess I learned something about myself today.

How I’m Losing It

What if I were to tell you that you can lose weight, without any (additional) exercise, and without giving up most, if any, of the foods you normally eat? You’d probably say I was crazy. But while you might be right, it wouldn’t be for that statement. Because you probably can.

I did.

That’s right, since the beginning of the year I have lost at least 20 lbs, without giving up any foods, and without additional exercise. Now, of course your mileage may vary and all that, but the principle will work, for just about anybody. And that’s because the principle is simple: to lose weight, calories in must be less than calories out. Very simple, yet some people disbelieve. “I’ve tried that!” you exclaim, “But it doesn’t work for me!”

It always works. Unless you’re literally eating undigestable stuff (which of course doesn’t have calories) that stays in your body, you will lose weight by eating fewer calories than you expend. That’s just biology. There are of course variations on the rates of loss one will experience, based on the strict difference in caloric input, fat storage efficiency, and so on, but the fact remains: eat fewer calories, lose weight.

Part of the problem is that most people don’t really know just how many calories they burn. It’s pretty easy to calculate calories consumed: just look at the box (or the internet), figure out your actual portion size, and you’re good.

But figuring out calories burned is a much more difficult thing, partially because it isn’t intuitive. First, heavier people burn more calories. That’s just physics: it takes more force to accelerate a larger mass. Second, just sitting on one’s butt (or even sleeping) burns calories: our bodies need energy to do basic metabolic functions. Just the brains being on needs quite a large amount of energy. Third, the amount of calories burned per activity is a lot less than most people think. (Just for example, it takes hardly more energy to run than to walk, for any distance.)

So, if you’ve tried calorie restrictions before, and it “didn’t work,” you were certainly doing it wrong. That sucks to hear, but it’s the truth. I know, I’ve been in that camp.

But anyways, I hear you saying that you want to know my secret do achieving fewer calories while not giving up foods. And I’ll tell you, after some background about me. For quite some time now, I’ve been more-or-less the same weight: lose a few pounds here, gain a few there. The usual story. But I would go into the doctor sometimes with various ailments, and of course got the advice of “lose some weight, you’ll feel generally better.” This is of course correct, but not something I wanted to hear (especially when I was in there for a nasal infection or something). And recently I was, very slowly, gaining weight. I was hovering between Overweight and Obese on the BMI scale. (I don’t give a lot of credence to BMI on an individual level, but I do give credence to mirrors – and they agreed.)

One day it just I was looking in the mirror, and decided enough was enough. I had to lose this fat. I don’t care much about my appearance (have I mentioned before that I’m single?), but even I was disgusted at what I saw. Trouble is, I’m lazy. And impulsive. I know how to eat healthy, but don’t want to. I like pizza and burgers and bread, not veggies and bird food. I don’t like cooking when I’m hungry, and when I’m not hungry I’d rather be doing other things besides cooking. Same thing with exercise: I don’t like taking the time I could be playing games or posting online, being outside or in a gym.

So, wut do? It would have to be something that a lazy, impulsive, kinda foolish person (me) could figure out. It would have to be simple, easy, and it would have to not take up any extra time. And I like the things I like, so no taking that out either.

Well, it didn’t take long to figure out (because simple and easy!). Since the weight gain was very slow, it meant I was pretty close to balanced on calories in vs. calories out. So it wouldn’t take much at all to actually lose weight. This is what I came up with:

First: no absolute “no”s. If someone offered me something normally off-limits, I would take it. I find that one of the most annoying things about dieting is having to tell everyone about it. Having to reject the kindness of others. So, none of that.

Second: only truly applies at home (or in the office). This way, it only applies to me. If I go out with someone to a restaurant (or their house), the diet is gone. Goes with the first one of not having to tell everyone about my diet, and not making them feel bad or awkward in any way (well, that relates to that – interacting with me is sure to leave people feeling awkward). A more social person could possibly invalidate the entire diet with this rule, but since I rarely even hang out with friends, that’s not a problem for me. It also applies for when I’m eating out alone, but I’d really rather not eat at a place by myself – that’s time wasted that I could be at home on the internets!

Third: no snaking (at home or office). From everything I’ve read and experienced, this is where many diets fail. Even if you’re counting calories, are you really counting the snacks? They are just so easy to overlook. Especially small things like crackers and chips: how much harm is in one…or two…or ten? So, no snacks at home. If I really need to stuff my gullet, I can drink water.

Fourth: only eating out (including take-out) 2-3x per week. When I go out, I tend to go overboard. I eat to taste, and there is so much tasty stuff at the restaurant. I’m talking like two entres, plus sides. An entire large pizza. That sort of situation. While I can’t quite manage anymore, I was able to (and thus did) eat like a teenager for long past when I was a teenager. But I can be satisfied with a normal portion, like what one would get in a microwaved health-food dinner. So that’s what I do: eat out 2-3x per week, then the rest of the meals are something simple, easy, and small.

Fifth: a meal is a meal, no matter what it happens to be. This goes with the third (no snacking), and makes it so I can eat whatever I want. If I really want cake, I can have cake: but that’s it, that’s the meal. Same with cookies, pie, whatever. (I never claimed this diet was healthy, just that it would make one lose weight!)

Sixth (and last): no soda. Soda is so high in calories, it’s ridiculous. It’s basically the enemy of any diet. However, the first two rules still apply: if someone gives it to me, I’ll take it; and if I’m actually eating out, it’s fine. But I won’t get it for myself; and that basically means no soda, if I’m paying: I’m not going to pay the extortionate rates restaurants charge for soda, if I’m not going to be able to drink my fill – and I’m not going to do that sitting at a restaurant – and I can’t take it home, since that counts as both snacking and soda. Now, fizzy no-calorie drinks are fine, since that’s just fizzy flavored water, not real soda.

Bonus: get the “healthy” microwave dinners. These are the Weight Watchers, Healthy Choice stuff. They run 250-400 calories (usually around 300), and are quite cheap (around $2-2.50). They are sufficiently filling, and actually generally taste pretty decent, if not good: long gone are the days when frozen dinners were barely palatable garbage. They are already portioned, of course, so you don’t go overboard and eat like 2-5 servings. And for the most part you just stick it in the microwave, stirring once (you can get some that you don’t even need to bother stirring at all, but those are usually more expensive). This is less useful if there is more than one person eating, but since I never have that problem, it works for me.

That’s it. Very simple and easy, and doesn’t cost me any additional time. Or effort/sweat/etc.! And indeed, it generally saves me money (I used to eat out at least 4x/week), which means more money for games. The weight loss is actually more than I anticipated – I would have been happy with a half-pound per week on average (at least during the winter when I knew I wouldn’t be exercising), but it’s been more than a pound per week. That’s what worked for me, and I’m sure something similar can work for you, too.

No Ideas

tfw no Zelda gf

I’ve been racking my brain for hours trying to come up with something to write about. Apparently it’s Brainstorming Week for Blapril, so that’s appropriate I suppose. But nothing’s coming. Unlike many people, I luckily still have work, which I have to go to (hard to be a janitor, even if a supervisor, and work from home, though I’m willing to give it a try!). Today an easy project turned out to not be so easy (story of my life these past couple of weeks – but the converse has proved to be true was well), and it kinda sapped my energy – especially my mental energy. (Also, it was outside – always a bad sign – so heat and my allergies flaring doesn’t help matters.)

I uploaded a bunch of BotW screenshots last night, intending to use them sometime soon. Unfortunately, they’re mostly of the above quality, more fit to be used as tweets than for blogging purposes. And I can’t really use them to illustrate my progress in that game since last time, since I haven’t made much. I mean, sure, I’m playing an average of over an hour every night (more like two), but I haven’t really been advancing the plot that much. Just filling in the map, doing side-quests, that sort of thing. Though I did at least start the Gerudo main quest line last night, getting the thunder mask (as indicated by the top pic, and what is below).

It’s just not Link if it’s not green.

But yah, no big ideas for posts. Well, that’s not true – I have ideas, lots of ideas. Even have plans. Even have hinted at them in some of the last few posts. But they aren’t ready yet. Need more things like screenshots and stuff. (Always there’s more to do…) But nothing ready for today… In fact, I think I made basically this post in August…but just have to keep writing. Even if it’s just a stream of consciousness like this.

And, now an idea has come! But this is a post already written, so this is what you get. I mean, this is the fourth paragraph already! While this might not pass the AP exam (need five paragraphs, don’t you know), I think it’s good enough for a blog.

The Month Past, and the Month Yet Ahead

It’s the official beginning of April (the 1st doesn’t count), so here I am, to describe what I did, gaming-wise at least, last month, and what I hope to do this month.

As I mentioned before, I got a Switch. A new system naturally means new games. And, as I mentioned before, I got them: Splatoon 2, Hyrule Warriors, and Breath of the Wild. I also got the cheap standard-style controller, just for fun, which turned out to be the right call, as it’s what I mostly use (I also play on TV, always, so far).

Started with Splatoon, which is a fun game, but not really my speed. I’m not all that into competitive shooters in general, nor console shooters. Once I got access to the noob roller, though, things started looking up, but I was kinda frustrated by the lack of coordination between the competitive, coop, and single-player modes. So I only played a little bit of that.

Next came Hyrule Warriors, which was a game I’ve been looking forward to for a long time. I know it’s not really cool to like it, but I did. In fact, it might be my new favorite Zelda game; it’s definitely up there, at any rate. Not just for the cute girls, either, though it does have that.

Speaking of cute girls, isn’t BotW Zelda very cute? This is a seriously fun game. Also frustrating sometimes. Like, why even have those stupid forced gyro sections (remember how I got the cheap controller?)? But still, very good. /v/ has been crapping on this game since day 1, and there are some valid criticisms there, but it’s an extremely good game.

Granblue Fantasy Vs. came out on Steam. So I got it with the Season 1 pass. $80, and it doesn’t even come with gacha game codes. Bad move, but I guess it was to prevent cheaters. Even with the simplified controls, it’s too much for me sometimes. Even in the single-player modes. I’m just not a fightan’ game guy, no matter how much I want to get into the genre.

Also did the normal stuff in the various gacha games. Granblue Fantasy had it’s 6th anniversary celebration practically the whole month, which included a ton of free rolls; those turned out pretty well for me. That anniversary event was good too; it disappointed a lot of people, but I thought it was quite good – I think it was just got overhyped, over practically nothing. (Also, fujos and yumes mad that the brute got the unit instead of the bishi.) Dragalia Lost is currently having it’s 1.5 anniversary celebration, which is cool I guess.

As far as MMO’s go, haven’t really done much. ESO is seriously on the backburner for me – too many other games I’m actually excited to play right now, rather than the inertia that drives my MMO playing.

As for next month, I plan to finish BotW. Not 100% it or anything (I’m not going to be posting videos of me doing cool stuff – I can barely handle the basics!), but I’ll finish the game to my liking. Then it will be Fire Emblem Warriors. After that, who knows?

What I’ve Been Doing All This Time

Well, it’s been a while since the (time before) last I’ve written. So, have I just been being boring this whole time? Or has stuff actually happened (worth writing about here)?

In a word, yes! Lots of exciting stuff! Well, and other things that are aggravating, too. But they caused excitement of a sort, at least.

First off, I got a Switch. I’ve been putting it off a long time, obviously. I’m not really sure what made me pull the trigger when I did. I’m glad I got it when I did: there’s been a bit of a shortage of all sorts of Chinese-manufactured stuff lately, for some reason…but I was able to get one despite that. My first two games were Hyrule Warriors and Splatoon 2. Haven’t put too much time into the latter, but the former…wow, it really surprised me how much I liked it. Liked it so much, in fact, that I got Fire Emblem Warriors, and I’ve never even really played a FE game (I think I put in an hour or two in one of the GBA games, but didn’t like it, and dropped it). Finally, I got Breath of the Wild (which is my current game). One thing that does disappoint me about the Switch is that, on the face of it, you can only share screens to some social media…and I don’t want to spam my twitter with screenshots (especially before I post them here!).

Star Trek Picard ended. Good riddance. I’ll have more to say on that at some point.

I’ve been playing my mobile games, to some extent or another. Anniversaries and such are a good time to at least log in and see what’s going on.

That’s about it, for now. Didn’t really do the Maybe In March thing. I tried some backlog stuff, but none of it really stuck. Obviously, as I’m playing new games. But at least I’m playing those new games, instead of just adding them to my backlog.

Loving The Backlog 2020

According to Later Levels, this week is Love Your Backlog week. And I so do love my backlog. I love it so much, I just keep making it bigger and bigger!

But just how big is big? Well, I just don’t know! Or rather, I didn’t know up through last night. As I mentioned I was going to do, yesterday, I went through Steam and organized what I had – this being the first time that I’ve organized anything in my Steam library. Then I went through GOG Galaxy and did it all again, because it doesn’t import your organization when it imports the Steam titles. And it doesn’t have collections at all, as far as I could tell, so I had to tag them, one at a time. And then that all doesn’t come out pretty like Steam does it, so let’s just ignore that for now.

Here’s what I’ve got on Steam, which is most of it (only have 39 total titles on GOG anyways). Most of that is pretty self-explanatory, so I’ll just go over what I count as my “backlog”:

  • Never Started – what it says
  • Significant Time Played – this is stuff I haven’t beaten, but still intend to finish (unlike “Dropped”), and that I’ve put time enough in that I figure I get the feel of the game.
  • Started – stuff I’ve started, but don’t yet feel like I’ve put time enough into to determine if I actually want to finish it or not (some of those are longer RPG’s that I’ve put a few hours into, but don’t yet feel I’ve gotten significant progress).

Adding in my GOG games, we can add another 31 to the Never Played and 3 to Started. Then, to add the console games, we can add another to Never Played, and one more to Significant Time Played. Considering all this as my backlog, I’ve got about 150 games on my backlog. Honestly, thought it would be a lot more.

Now for the interview:

A game you’re eager to play, but haven’t yet started:

Probably Kingdom Come: Deliverance. I’ve wanted to play this for a while, but just haven’t had the time, what with my other games.

I mean, just look at my last-played list.
A game you’ve started several times but haven’t yet finished:

I don’t really do this: I generally just drop games, or finish them after picking them back up the first time. The only one that really comes to mind is Radiata Stories. I’ve started this a couple of times, only to chase after a new game. My console set-up right now isn’t the most inviting (at least, not compared to my PC setup), so playing those games isn’t my top priority. But I absolutely mean to get to it some day!

The most recent addition to your library:

Looks like it’s Nelke and the Legendary Alchemists, aka Atelier Nelke, on Jan 14. I got the Dusk and Arland Atelier trilogies at the same time; this was just the last one I added to my cart.

The game which has spent the most time on your backlog:

This has got to be either Radiata Stories or Shadow Hearts: From the New World. I’m not exactly sure when I bought them – I was buying any JRPG on the PS2 I could find, between 2007 and 2012 – but I just never finished the former, and never started that latter. But I have them, and do intend on getting to them…eventually.

The person responsible for adding the most entries to your backlog:

Anon from /v/. Not only do I look to /v/ for vetting, but also just entertainment. Sometimes I’ll see things that look interesting, and get them. Sometimes they don’t add to my backlog (as I’m excited to see what this thing is all about), but it certainly doesn’t diminish it either.

#maybeinmarch

Well, looks like I might be playing one of those PS2 games. We’ll see. Might even get started tonight.

t. my backlog

Atelier Ayesha: Initial Impressions

Yesterday the Dusk trilogy of the Atelier series came out. While I’m not the type that generally gets games day 1, especially if I have any question about the quality, or how much I’d like a game, I figured by this point I know what I’m getting into. Plus, they’d have a discount, being new (but not really new – they’re PS3 games), and Koei games, especially those by Gust, don’t often go on sale, let alone get deep discounts. And, the whole Atelier series was on sale, so I picked up the Arland series (at over 50% off, which is about as good as it gets), and Nelke as well, because at this point why not? So now I have all the Atelier games that are on PC, on PC.

And I’ve been in a bit of a gaming funk recently. The mobage I play I’ve all but burned out on from all the free rolls at Christmas/New Year. I’ve finished Elsewyr and Dragonguard for ESO (right in time for the announcement tomorrow). I don’t want to get into Crusader Kings II without more of the DLC. And Cities Skylines is fun and all, but it really doesn’t provide a narrative I want. I started Blue Reflection a few weeks ago, and got to the first boss; I liked what I played, but I’m not really in the mood for that sort of story right now.

Good thing Atelier Ayesha came out. I got to play it a bit last night, and have…a few impressions. Only a few, though, since even the 90 minutes or so I was playing barely got me out of the tutorial. I guess that’s not so bad – a lot of jrpgs have longer tutorials than that. But regardless of how long said tutorial/intro was…it wasn’t quite thorough enough. If I wasn’t quite familiar with the conventions of the series, I’d probably be lost. You get the barest tutorial of the systems, while going through the intro (most of the time is actually just story intro), and then you’re on your own. I do appreciate not being babied, but it does seem a bit lacking, if I didn’t already know what was going on.

As far as that story goes, I think it does all right. There’s clearly something going wrong in the world, at least locally. Water is drying up, the ground is getting increasingly infertile, and resources are becoming scarce. Even the simple, not-that-great medicine that our protagonist makes (before even learning what alchemy is) is a money-maker for the merchants she sells to. There are ruins all over the place of a past, more advanced, civilization, that modern people don’t even understand. Monsters run rampant in the less civilized areas. Oh, and sometimes people just randomly disappear.

Which is what happened to Ayesha’s younger sister. But, at the beginning of the game, Ayesha sees her sister, who seems like a ghost or something. Luckily, an actual alchemist just happened to be around, and seems to know what’s going on. But he’s a huge jerk, and won’t tell Ayesha anything – his philosophy is that knowledge given is knowledge unearned. But, he tells Ayesha that she has about three years to get her sister back (this is your ultimate time limit, obviously).

And that’s the call to adventure. Unfortunately, Ayesha is a complete airhead, so just goes off with no idea where she’s going. Fortunately, she has a friend who’s willing to take care of her. Off they both go, to the big city (which I presume is the main hub), and from there you actually start the game.

So far so good. But it’s not really enough to know if I’ll like it much. It has the main time limit, but I’m not sure if any incremental ones will show up, like they do in the other pre-Shalie games that I’ve played. I don’t really like the time limits, but I think it’ll be fine. The main thing I don’t like (which is just part of the series at this point) is that various actions take such a long time, in relation to the time limit. Even the most basic crafting takes at least a day (and remember, there are only three years’ worth of days), and gathering ingredients from even a single node takes a significant portion of a day. (And I’m sure battles do, too.) That, in addition to the travel times (which seem excessive), makes things not quite as fun, for me. But, as I said, so far, so good.

Saturday Short Thoughts (and Pictures)

H-hayai…

I discovered something about myself lately: I only have the mental energy to be excited for two, maybe 2.5, games at a time. Since I’m currently playing five or six, I have a problem. I mean, I guess four can go into maintenance mode in my heart doing dailies and such, but what really happens is that I can barely handle five of them, and even the dailies get half-hearted. I mean, I don’t even play Dragalia Lost at (or near) reset anymore, GBF has been just login for the login bonus (not even doing the daily hards or arcanum or any of that). Even in ESO, it’s either going full-tilt into adventure, or barely summoning up the will to finish the daily writs; fortunately the weekend is almost here (I get Sunday and Monday off), and I can dedicate more time into this game. Of course, Ryza gets all my love right now.

I wonder who made those.

For some reason a Cities: Skylines video was suggested on Youtube. I started watching. Then another one. Then a challenge series. Man, now I want to play that game. But Ryza isn’t done yet…no, I have to be strong. This is why I never finished Atelier Lydie and Suelle, because I got distracted! I mentioned in one of my previous posts that C:S might be my game after Ryza, and I think that got a lot more sure.

Smaller ones. Maybe Tao’s doing it.

Speaking of Ryza, I think I’m at the point where things start to really open up. Not only are the enemies a lot harder (I’ve started dying to normal mobs sometimes, again), but I’m opening up more and more advanced recipes. I’ve now gotten all of my gathering tools combined, so I can use all at once. I do need more stuff to actually upgrade said tools to usefulness, but it’s a start. It’s slow going though, because now that I have access to everything I need to spend time doing everything. Good place to be.

That RPG feeling.

Some doofus I follow on Twitter got to go to Japan. Looking at some of his pictures, it looks like the kind of place I’d want to go. Not too foreign, but still a bit different from what I’m used to. (I’m more than a bit of a homebody, so the familiarity is comforting.) But then I see all that Japanese writing, and I’m back to being quite content with reading comics. On a scale of 1-5 descending in Japanese fluency, I’m about an 8. That, and I remember that it’s something like 13-hour flight, and I Nope right out.

Having said that, I’m starting to get that wanderlust feeling again. (I’m a deep and complicated fellow.) This summer, I had to go down to SoCal for my brother’s wedding. Going down, it was hell. I hate traffic. I hate getting delayed by cars going the speed limit – or even slower! (Three lanes on major arterial freeways should be mandatory.) I hate having to push the brake pedal for cars going 1mph slower than me! Argh, so impatient. And it was even worse going into California, because that’s when it got dark and boring. Coming back was still hell in California (actual traffic, even in the desert). But after leaving the state I went off the usual route, taking some more minor highways. Talk about a difference in stress! I think I passed maybe, maybe ten people in total (of course I passed them all); there was a stretch of maybe a hundred miles where I saw nobody going in the same direction (and like one or two in the opposite). That changed my whole perspective on travel. Trouble is, travel takes time. Time I don’t have. Well, I do have, but that takes time away from vidya! Oh, what a wretched state I’m in!

Part of the problem of IntPiPoMo right now, for me, is that of all my games I’m playing right now, only one is on Steam. These I have access to wherever I have my laptop, too, because Steam has a Linux client, and Chromebooks can do that. Not so with my non-steam stuff. So that’s why there’s a lot of Ryza pictures, and not much else (though I could have sworn I uploaded a lot of ESO pictures to my google drive recently…but I guess not).

They Got Me, Again (and Again, and Again…)

Man, I hate sales. Or rather, I love them, too much, and just hate what they do to my bank account.

Today, there happened to be a big sale on Paradox-published titles on Steam. And I, being the fool that I am, clicked on it. You know, just to see what was there. The sale advertised up to 80% off, which might be some good times, if there was something I wanted.

Now, my main problem with Paradox stuff is that the base games are OK, and often priced right, and go on deep sales frequently; but they are loaded with expensive DLC to “fix” the problems in the base game. I don’t like to participate in this gaming environment, but modders live and die by the updates the devs make, including DLC.

And Cities Skylines is no exception. I looked at C:S’s page, just to see what was going on: the base game was down below $10 (I think $7.50 more specifically), and wanted to see how the DLC was doing: it’s been a long time since I’ve played, so surely some stuff has come out. And stuff indeed has. That picture above is only the bottom of the list. But it was 51% off! Crazy deals!

Normally, such a lowly sum wouldn’t even bother me. Well, not much. But there are two things wrong: first, it’s DLC. Crazy to pay that much, even at half-off. Second, and more importantly, I’d already spent a bunch of money this month on vidya games. (I think I’ve told this story before, but…) At the beginning of the month (or the end of last month, I don’t remember), Hilda came out in Pokemon Masters. She is the FeMC of Pokemon Black/White, which was my reintroduction to the Pokemon games (having last played the original Red/Blue). She was my main interest in this game [Masters] for that reason. So I rolled and rolled, and even bought out all the original discount gem packs. I don’t normally buy gacha currency just to do more rolls (only ever having done so when I had a lot of extra money to burn and no particular expenses), so this shows my dedication. But what do I get? Not Hilda. Such is life in the gacha game. And it wasn’t a small sum, either. (Not a huge sum, since there were only a few discount packs to buy, but still a larger sum than I’ll readily admit to.)

(Even so, I lost all of what little motivation I had to even get the daily login bonuses. And to add insult to injury, I got Hilbert, the other MC of Black/White. I hear Hilda actually sucks as a unit, but I don’t care.

In an aside, I should mention that the game kinda really sucks, as a game. So much so that both producers wrote an apology letter to the players, acknowledging this fact, and promising to do better in the future. We’ll see if that’s enough to get me to come back. This is the kind of stuff that takes months to make course corrections on.)

So, I bought this stuff, when I didn’t really want to, for a game I’m not going to play anytime soon (get in line behind all the other games, chump!), and didn’t really want to pay that much anyways. But buy it I did. Not that it’s going to make any real financial impact in my life – unless my car explodes tonight or something, $50 isn’t much in the scheme of things – but it’s just embarrassing, or perhaps more accurately, mortifying (since I didn’t have to tell anyone about this), that I keep falling for this. And to fall for this in particular, when I could have used that money to buy actual, full games, and not just pieces of games I already have, that I already enjoy.

I guess I’m the type of customer that keeps these games going. Vote with your wallet, indeed.