Post-Birthday and Games

I thought I’d get back here sooner than this, but having four days off for my birthday actually turned into doing things instead of just being at home with time to spare. Not any sort of big things; just lunch out, going to the mall to get more Pop!s with a gift card and roaming town in general, then dinner out the day of. Then random errands and Cake Night the rest of the weekend. But still, more time out than home, which means more time not on FFXV than on it.

Right now? I’m trudging through all the hunts as of Chapter 3. Even though I know this time that if I leave and come back, they’ll be there when I do, I can’t help but to clear up as many of them as possible before moving on. That means doing everything available before entering the Leville and meeting Iris, otherwise Noct’s headaches will start and the Plot will be Advanced. Which I can’t let happen, because I’m doing hunts. I need to let Brian play some anyway, though, so maybe I’ll have him do that and put off some of my game for him to have time with it instead. I’ve been trying to find stuff like the Cosmogony books and other lore online that I can drip feed him as he goes without spoiling anything; that way when he gets to Those Parts of the Game, he’ll have some background for what the hell is going on. I was able to send him most of the “ancient” history stuff without worrying about spoilers. Two of the sections needed removing, but the rest was fine. He went through those, and I’m pretty sure he has questions but doesn’t know what to ask that I won’t freeze up on and accidentally spoil by how I do or don’t answer.

Another thing that can work out if I pass the game to Brian is starting on the DA Re-Everything. The first two parts of that are books so I won’t need the game room for it, and/or I can sit with Brian and read while he plays. And, if I decide to include Gleam’s comic, that’s a third part that I can do that isn’t a game. This is probably how I should and probably will work this project out, so now I just need to figure out what kind of post format to use for it and get started. I’m going to work on that, then get a start on The Stolen Throne.

Birthday, Pillowfort, Games

My birthday’s tomorrow!  And I have a ton of time off work for it, too! Other than Cake Night on Saturday (which c’mon, that’s the important part) I’m not sure specifically how I’m going to spend the time. Games? Yep. Movie(s)? Maybe. Naps? Definitely. The only problem is that I have the massive problem of still not knowing what theme I want for my cake. Brian’s likely to kill me if I don’t pick something soon, so I’ve got to figure something out on that front. We do have new Fairy Tail to watch for my bday, though! Technically not new, but the Collection… 6? set, which is the last two eps of Tenrou, X791, and I think the start of the Grand Magic Games. We’re still catching up on re-watching the last sets though, so we might not watch the new ones right away. We’re about halfway through Oracion Seis as of last night.

Otherwise, in Bren-gaming-news, FFXV Hell is still the Thing. I’m working on general hunts and side quests in chapter 3 before I head into Lestallum with my #PrinceSpaceman New Game+. Brian’s only a little bit behind me on his save (also chapter 3, but not as many side quests done yet), which is nice, because I don’t want to get too far ahead of him as he plays. Ideally, I wouldn’t get ahead of him at all, but the only way to guarantee that is to not play at all until he finishes each chapter. And, well, I don’t want to wait.

am, however, getting closer to picking up the previously-postponed New Year Dragon Age Re-Everything. I had a dream that was kind of about my Ria Hawke last night, and so with her calling to me I think it might be time to force myself away from FF at last. Well, at least from FFXV. I’ve started playing FF Record Keeper on my phone finally, after god-knows how many times I’ve meant to play it and just never did, and I’m hooked. It’s super generous for a F2P game, and it’s absolutely adorable. Then again, give me FF6 style sprites on almost anything, and you’ll sell me on it.

…And now I’ve just had the horrible and not-affordable idea of commissioning that style pixel art of my Dragon Age girls (at least the main 4 of Warden Elissa, Ria Hawke, Mika Trevelyan, and my Inquisition Agent Vrania Amell; possibly also of my Surana as well, because while she’s not from of my canon world state, I adore her almost as much as do the others). Maybe if people don’t listen to me* and give me like, gift cards or something for my bday that I can trade for art services, I can see if any pixel artists would want a trade like that. *I’ve actually told one friend to contact all our other friends who may come by to override Brian in reference to Cake Night invitations, to tell them that if Brian said “birthday” that I don’t want people to bring stuff. I just want people to eat cake and play a few specific games with. I won’t be rude and turn things away, but presents aren’t what I’m going for. Also, when I saw most of those same friends last week I deliberately called this Saturday Cake Night and not “for my bday” so hopefully that’ll stick.

Oh! I finally got my email from pillowfort.io that their beta’s going live this week! I still don’t know how the site’s going to work overall (and a lot of that is going to depend on the dedication of the community it does or doesn’t build–it’s not all on them), but from the demos I’m hopeful for it as a tumblr/LJ kind of replacement community. I looked today and their sign-up/sign-in splash page is already live, but since it won’t officially open until Friday around 3pm EST we won’t be getting our beta keys until then. That said, I will have four extra keys, in addition to the one for myself, so if anyone’s interested just DM me on Twitter. Mutuals from Twitter and/or Tumblr who don’t already have keys get 1st priority on my extra keys, then if all four haven’t been taken then others will be up for grabs to anybody. (You can go ahead and DM me now if you’d like, but I won’t have the keys to pass along until Pillowfort emails them out to me on Friday itself.)

Once pillowfort is opened, and if the site works how I hope it will, I’ll be putting any super-fandom posts over there, with links to them here. That means fanfic, if I ever get focused enough to write it again; that means fanart both commissioned of my characters and that I just really, really adore; that means mega-meta and what-if commentaries on games. Probably/mostly Dragon Age, because FFXV Hell can’t last forever. The NYDARe-Everything will be the opposite, though, with primary posts coming here and the cross-post links going over there.

Okay, finally I do want to mention a small thing that’s not going to be part of this blog’s actual theme or primary content, but that isn’t going to be entirely invisible so I’ll mention it the once: US Politics. This sort of thing won’t be posted directly to this page unless there are some major items that I feel like I can’t not post, but the copy of my Twitter feed on the right side of the page will have quite a bit of politics mixed in with my usual posts of cats, games, and random stream-of-consciousness blather. You’ve been warned, or something like that.

*Fake edit: Coworkers have gotten me presents for my bday tomorrow. D4 got me a $25 Think Geek certificate, which I’m probably going to take to the local store of to dig through their Pop! wall. Manager got me a cute Hello Kitty top-and-shorts PJ set. They both did this after asking what I was getting, and after I answered that I wasn’t “getting” anything cause I told people not to get stuff. They don’t follow directions very well. :p

[Fandom & Personal Post] Games, Medical, Housekeeping, BIRTHDAY!

  1. Games: I’m still fully in Final Fantasy XV hell, and I don’t see myself coming out of it any time soon. The Chocobo-Moogle Carnival/January Update came out this past week, and while I do have some pictures of #PrinceSpaceMan‘s adventure through the festival I’m still working on how I want pictures formatted here. I need to find out if I can link external images into a “gallery” format post or if I have to host them locally. If it has to be local, well, we’ve got some problems. More on that later, though.
    1. I’ve also gotten kind of hooked on Final Fantasy Record Keeper, something I don’t know how I haven’t played before now. I’ve even downloaded it multiple times in the past, and when I never got around to it I would uninstall it again. It’s so much fun though, and so cute.
    2. Twitch streaming of FFXV will pick up again when I get my PrinceSpaceMan NG+ caught up to where the original save’s streams left off. I think that’s chapter 6, but I’m not sure. I need to dig through my previous clips and figure out where I was. It won’t have the fun of first-time reactions that the original save had, but at least I won’t be wandering quite so blindly.
  2. Medical: If you follow me on Twitter, then you know that this week especially I’ve been going through some of the worst migraines I’ve had in years. They’re getting in the way of a lot of things right now, and I’m trying to push through them, but damn it’s been hard. They’ve been cutting into everything, both Serious Life Stuff and Fun Relaxing Stuff. So when I have the energy, I might be whining about that a bit. If I’m not whining, I’m either sleeping or feel well enough to watch movies or play games or something.
  3. Housekeeping: Like I said above, I’m still working out some kinks of how I want to make gallery posts here. Storage on my free account is… lacking… but I’m not in a spot to upgrade that right now. So, if gallery images have to be hosted locally? That’s a problem. But if I can link them from anywhere else we’ll definitely be in business. Maybe it’ll let me host thumbnails and link those to full sized images off-site? That might be a happy medium, if necessary and allowed.
  4. BIRTHDAY! The countdown is less than a week now, and my manager gave me a 4-day weekend for it. (I was only asking for the day itself because the month-end/month-start transition is so busy, but she says she can cover it.) They aren’t free days off, of course, but my allowed time off can afford it, even with being sick this week. More importantly than birthday, though, is Cake Day. Yeah, I capitalized that. It’s an event. I told Brian to tell anyone he invites over for that the cake is all I’m worried about, and to just bring games to play and not other stuff. I have enough things that I can’t keep up with as it is.
    1. There is one birthday thing I’m getting Brian to get me: the next Fairy Tail Blu-Ray collection. It’s one of the few anime that I can’t watch in Japanese, and all of the streams for the show are only subbed now. So that means buying it, and buying it as collections instead of “Parts” gets me more episodes at a time, but I have to wait longer for them. Even though the eps are already dubbed. Funimation is dumb sometimes. (For the record the next set, the one that came out last week, should be the last episode of Tenrou Island and the start of the Grand Magic Games. After that, I have to find an excuse in March for the collection after that. It shouldn’t be too hard to justify as a single splurge that month, especially since Brian isn’t caught up to as much as I am from the manga leaks.)
    2. I’m still trying to figure out what to ask for for my cake, though. I normally have this decided months in advance for something mildly ridiculous, but this month all I can really think of are stars or the color purple. A far cry from the rainbow dinosaur cake from a few years ago, but I’m cutting it really close time-wise so I’ll take what I can get.

New Year Dragon Age Re-Everything Postponed (Last of the cross-post/archives from blogger.)

I’m not cancelling the idea, so don’t worry (as if anyone other than myself was worried :p). I’m just officially acknowledging that I need more time to get it started. The short excuse is: I fell into Final Fantasy XV Hell much harder, and for much longer, than I expected to. I finished my first save on the 1st:

 

I played on Easy (cause I almost always do) and I did pretty much every hunt available before endgame, so yeah my level was a little out of control for not being a New Game+. I’ll try and make a fuller post for the game, with spoilers, but that’ll come later. For now though, I just started my first NG+ after about two weeks of postgame. This NG+ is being documented on my Twitter with the hashtag #PrinceSpaceman if anyone wants to follow the absurdity of it. Also, I wanna give a shoutout and rec for @FFXVsnapshot for being amazing at archiving some of the amazing shots and comments that everyone’s uploading to Twitter from their games.

(As an aside, Brian’s also playing the game now, so my NG+ playtime is limited to his progress so I don’t have to start banishing him from the room again when I play to keep as many spoilers away from him as possible. I’m uploading his screen caps to FFXVsnapshot as well, with his handle in the post to separate them from my own uploads.)

But! Back to the postponed Dragon Age project, cause that was the original reason for this post. FFXV is the most obvious reason for delaying it, but I’m also trying to set up a new spot on WordPress that I’m going to move over to, instead of here at Blogger. Blogger’s been good to me, but it’s time to move along. WordPress I’m hoping will give me some more options comparatively, since everything here has become more than a bit dated. If everything works right, then brennacedria.com will redirect to there once I have it set up how I like. Some of the content here I’ll archive there, but most of it will be purged for age and irrelevance so I can start with a clean-ish slate there.

Since I don’t have a time frame for when I can pull myself away from FFXV enough to move back to DA, and since I don’t have a schedule yet for the WP either, I don’t know yet when the Re-Everything will start. But when it does, I’ll let everyone know so you can move to following there as you’re interested.

Year-End Partial Recap (Minor Non-Plot Spoilers for FFXV & Rogue One)

So, not only has it been almost two weeks since I last posted, but all those posts so far have been Final Fantasy XV and I figure it’s time for a more general update.

FFXV? In spite of some massive frustrations, it’s still going, and I technically still like the game. But some of those frustrations continue to include:

  • Load times: depending on a combination of your chosen destination and luck, “fast travel” in the game can take longer than just letting Ignis drive the Regalia on auto. Since I have the game set up now to accumulate AP and Exp on long drives, unless I’m playing online I usually just choose the latter and turn to my phone or laptop while I wait. Or, on at least two occasions, I nap between destinations, only to wake up at my end point to wonder how long I’ve been standing there. But hey, at least I get points for it!
  • Music: so, this is something that I’ve had thoughts about for a little more than a week now, it’s also and the reason for that “What Makes an FF?” poll I posted. I couldn’t say that’s what it was for at the time, because I didn’t want to steer answers, but that is what it was for. With 78 answers total (three per person who answered) most of the answers revolved around recurring elements such as chocobos, moogles, Cid, etc. (21 answers total.) But about 10% of answers did name music specifically; that’s the answer I was looking for, for comparison to my biggest complaint about FFXV: So far, at least, (tail end of chapter 8) there has been no memorable music in the game. Originally, I thought the use of previous games’ soundtracks in the car was a great addition, but by the time I found the MP3 player item to let me take those soundtracks anywhere in the game, I started to wonder why the game needed to rely on so much of the older games’ music. And the fact is, up to where I am in the game, it’s because the game doesn’t have much music of its own. That’s horribly disappointing for me, because if I were to answer my own poll, my answers would have been 1) music (this is where my emotional investment in the series is generated) 2) recurring elements and 3) character relationships. I love the boys, but without a strong supporting soundtrack the game suddenly feels horribly flat. I’m praying that this changes as I leave Lucius for the less-open parts of the game, but I’m not terribly hopeful.
  • Product placement and fan service: like a lot of players, I hate what they made of Cindy. I don’t care so much about the sexiness of her costume; it’s something, unfortunately, to be expected. I care more about just how dumb it is. Characters can be sexy, even fan service, without dressing like that. Look at the women walking around Lestallum, for instance; when walking around town they look ridiculous, with their crop tops and whatever, but when it shows those characters working they’re in full containment suits. They’re nothing like Cindy, thank god, but they’re still half-dressed when off-duty. But when they do get to work they look like they’re actually going to be working and not permanently maiming themselves while doing so. Also don’t get me started on the product placement. God, it’s making me want to cry. The camping gear I get; even without the game, there’s only one brand I could name off the top of my head, and it’s the brand in the game. But the food… oh dear god. I got a certain quest and I felt my soul shatter into a thousand pieces. You know the one. I knew it was coming. I’d seen it on YouTube. But after sitting through it I wanted to go buy as much of the product as I could find and burn it on a ritual bonfire.
  • Missing plot: this could be considered a sort-of spoiler, but I want to include it here without hiding it because it’s important. READ ANY PAPERS/MAGAZINES/ETC THAT YOU FIND and LISTEN TO THE RADIOS WHEN YOU GO TO THE DINERS.You will miss explanations for a few things, at least, without doing this. Perhaps these things will be covered directly when you get to later chapters, but these missing elements begin to affect game play right around chapter 8, I’ve noticed, and without a combo of the papers, the radio, and a little bit of online spoilers I’d have no idea what was going on right now. Also, Brotherhood and Kingsglaive aren’t necessary, but they are extremely helpful with just little bits of fill-in-the-blanks. Missing those won’t leave you without as many details as missing Dragon Age additional materials, but they do have additional context that I appreciate when I run across more vague areas in the game.
  • Endless side quests: This is more of a personal problem, and I’ve mentioned it before, but the side quests are continuing to wear on me. I’m too much of a completionist, and there are too many unimportant quests to complete. However, through one of these unending side quests I located the home of the terrifying Worst Bird. He (She?) hasn’t shown up in that specific location yet, though, so I’m assuming I’ll have to wait for a hunt to actually face it once more.

…I think that’s enough of direct FF talk, so now on to other things. As I mentioned before, my next plan fandom-wise is to do my New Year Dragon Age Re-Everything, starting approximately on Jan 1st with The Stolen Throne and continuing until everything I can get my hands on is done. I’m not going to set a specific schedule for this project so that I don’t feel rushed (like I’m starting to feel with FFXV, since I need to finish that before I start this). I’m hoping I can find a better method of streaming from my PC, since the only client I’ve managed to get working so far is horrible for picture quality; if so, then I’ll actually have all my gaming online as well as making summary posts like I will be for the rest of the media in the collection. The world state I’m using will be my canon one; anyone from Tumblr should be very familiar with it by now but I’ll spare the details for everyone else for now. If you’re super-curious, you can dig through my Dragon Age tag here for the bullet summaries for my Warden and Hawke; the newest official versions of those saves are still more or less the same as those originals, though some motivations and attitudes have changed.

Finally, I saw Rogue One day before yesterday, and I wasn’t entirely impressed until the end. The first half of the movie feels like it doesn’t know where it’s supposed to be, and then final scenes ended up playing out exactly how I’d guessed they would. Remember that thing I said in my Final Fantasy rants above though, about music creating huge emotional investment for me? That’s where a lot of my final, positive opinion of the movie comes from. I do feel that with repeated viewings the whole movie will feel more unified in the series (I was the same way with TFA; I enjoyed it but it didn’t feel connected to the rest of the movies until it was out on disc and I could watch it a few more times), but it’s going to take some time to get there.

Anyway, that’s my pre-Christmas fandom recap, I guess. I have other, more personal-and-work-related things going on, of course, but those aren’t nearly as interesting and I’ve babbled enough for one post.

Infinite Fetch Quest XV (Non-Plot Spoilers)

On our way to… I don’t even remember which quest anymore.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m still enjoying the game overall, and once I get back to real plot stuff my opinion will probably go up to loving the game. But right now, in Chapter 3 and probably continuing for the next few chapters? I feel like I’m in the Hinterlands in Dragon Age: Inquisition. If a quest is available, I have to complete it. That’s just how I am. And hey, being this way and completing all the quests should ensure that I won’t be underleveled later.

But oh my god is this tedious.

It looks like there are six trophies for side quests (with the sixth one being for 80 quests completed) and I have four of them so far, counting last night’s session. I was originally planning to stream tonight, since it’s time to fight Deadeye and get chocobos and things like that, but I’m sort of second-guessing myself now. Three hours of side quest streaming–again–doesn’t sound terribly appealing, after all. Maybe instead, I can do an hour and a half or so offline, then Deadeye and all on a stream after? That might be the best idea.

Also, I have a better way of saving Prompto’s pictures than I’d previously found searching online. I mentioned before a thread that advised full-screening the pictures and then manually screencapping them, and while that works, there’s a black frame around the photo. If you like having the frame, then this original method that I found will work fine for you. But in a different thread on the same forums, someone mentioned that you don’t have to actually upload the pictures to Twitter or anywhere else. Instead, all you have to do is get to the share screen where you pick where to upload it, then back out again. Technically, I already knew that sharing a picture saved a full-sized, not-framed copy of it to your capture gallery. I didn’t know until finding the thread, though, that stopping the upload still saved the file locally. So, yay! Upload your pics later if you want, or transfer them to USB to edit them, or whatever you want to do, without going through the nonsense of getting them back from Twitter! I know, I know, it’s a dumb thing to get excited over. But I freaking love having screencaps, and not having Prompto’s pictures automatically save to the Capture Gallery is almost hurtful.

Anyhow, have a dumb shot of the boys, since I have these pics saved now.

Overlooking Galden Quay

Best Bird | Worst Bird (Final Fantasy XV)

I was able to get another night in with FFXV last night. Spent most of it looking for hunts that were at my level, but after that I finally made my way to Galden Quay. And that was… an experience. I fished, badly. Very badly. I tried to kidnap a cat. I took pictures at the designated photo location with a gorgeous view over and over like it was a a photospot at Disney. You know, good touristy stuff.

Oh, and then I almost got eaten by a huge bird–the same one that I briefly saw on night one, when I declared, “Oh, I’m going to kill that! …or maybe it’ll kill me. Oh.”

For the record, Best Bird:

Worst Bird:

Its head has its own pair of wings for god’s sake. What the hell even is this thing?

I did finally get around to advancing the plot some, and finished up Chapter 1. I wouldn’t have noticed any different if I hadn’t seen Kingsglaive, but I love that scenes from it were added into the game. I really liked the movie, and having its events integrated directly (rather than just some re-make recap) felt very right.

Tonight (?) I’ll be heading out for at least one side quest here at the beginning of Chapter 2, then unless I find more hunts my level I’m going to do the next plot quest, which involves meeting up with a person in a place. That’s not a spoiler… right? I think I’m okay saying that much.