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Showing posts from April, 2020

Motivation vs. Priorities

Up to this point, I have ignored the suggested prompts for all of Blapril. Today I'm going to indulge on this week's theme of keeping up motivation because a writer writing about motivation is the craft's most common self-wank and I'm not about to miss out on that. And because finding one's motivation is such a common topic, nothing I'm going to say here is profound. I have nothing to say that every sentient being on Earth hasn't heard a million times before. But it's helpful for me to think about this stuff a lot. Maybe if I write it down I can make it stick a little longer than it usually does. Maybe if I write it down it'll help someone else too. I don't think the concept of motivation by itself is all that useful. I think it's more helpful to think of either priorities or prospective priorities. Priorities are the things we actually do in our life. Motivation is required for the things we would like to become priorities but currently

X-COM: Chimera Squad and Fake Difficulty - A Game That Finally Does It Right

I don't have a tremendous amount of Dungeons & Dragons experience. I've played one long campaign of 3.5 edition and am currently playing through a 5th edition campaign. One thing that quickly stood out to me between these two games is the amount of meaningful decision making 5th edition allows players versus 3.5. My biggest complain with 3.5 is that I would move my character, roll the dice, get a low number, frown at the dice, and then announce "And now my turn is over". This was always followed up with the DM or another player remarking how "you should roll better". At first I assumed we were all joking in jest at the absurdity of rolling dice to see if we could have fun that turn. Then I realized, they actually meant it. There were honest to god people in the world who didn't know the difference between playing poorly and rolling poorly. In the last ten years, I've come to learn that this is a widespread phenomenon. With 5th edition I'

Why do eSports streams contain so little gameplay?

This morning I decided to change up the old morning routine and have a bit of eSports on in the background. I click on a Counter Strike: GO stream, and it's three people without chemistry talking to each other about parrots. I click on a Dota 2 stream and it's two guys talking about girls in dresses. I click on an Age of Empires 2(!) esports stream and it's one guy talking to chat about Bud Light. I click on yet another CS:GO stream and it's on a 5 minute ad break. Why do eSports streams contain so little eSports? This is explicitly why I stopped watching several years ago. Every ten minutes of gameplay would soon be broken up by 20 minutes of commercials or talking heads. American Football gets the reputation for being 20 seconds of action followed by 40 seconds of standing around, but even that is superior to the equivalent of a half-time show after every match. The only streams that seem to defy this are fighting game streams, and most fighting game enthusiasts

Minecraft RTX and Ray Tracing

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Either Microsoft hands beta invites out like candy or I'm on somebody's good side, because I find myself getting email after email inviting me to this beta or that. Except for the one Microsoft beta that I actually want to be on, Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020. I'm never happy. Today's invite was for the Halo 2 beta on Steam. That's not very exciting as I was planning on playing it anyways. Might as well keep that one in the back burner until it's actually released. About a week ago I got notice that I could start playing the Minecraft RTX beta. My qualifications are the ownership of an RTX 2080 and my ability to navigate the labyrinth that is the Xbox Insider software program. I'm a poor Minecraft player. I lack creativity, patience, and am a graphics snob. Not a good combination. But the trailer NVIDIA put out for the RTX beta did look good. RTX for the record is NVIDIA's take on ray-tracing, a fancy graphical upgrade I'm not convinced

Animal Crossing: Earth Day, Dreamcast: Year One,

I've only done a bit of gaming the past two days. I've ironically been more social than ever during this pandemic. Now all of my "normie" friends are forced to communicate through voice chat, web calls, and discord servers. They are in my world now. The "Earth Day" event in Animal Crossing turned out to be a bust. It's literally one very small mini-quest a day which earns you additional Nook Miles, a currency I was already swimming in. There's an NPC that sells bushes. I can now craft shrubs. I'm not sure how one really "crafts" shrubs, but I'm a blogger, not a gardener. The weather has been great this week. In the real world I mean. The weather is always great in Animal Crossing. Which is actually a problem, because I need rainy days to fish up some of the rarer fish. I've never been happy. Dreamcast: Year One Back in the halcyon days of 2019, when I could leave the house for a coffee without relieving someone's gran

Step Step Revolution

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Today's Games: StepMania 5.0 Nintendo Account Two-Factor Authentication It seems there has been a rash of stolen Nintendo/Switch accounts, so I activated two-factor authentication as detailed here . It uses Google Authenticator, which is an app available on both Android and iOS. Since a lot of people keep their credit card information tied to their account, it's probably a good idea 2fA enabled. It's probably a good idea to have it enabled on all your game accounts that support it, considering just how valuable game accounts are on the 'black market'. I would have activated 2fA long ago if I had known Nintendo supported it. Considering the archaic nature of Nintendo's entire online infrastructure, I'm genuinely surprised they had it at all. StepMania 5.0 After waiting 24 hours for my new Dance Pad to unfurl itself , I'm ready to actually dance on the thing. But that wouldn't be much fun unless I had some software to dance along with. As far

Dance Through a Pandemic, or Maybe Stab Some Birdmen

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Today's Games: D-Force Dance Pad and Dungeons & Dragons 5e As far as exercise goes, I both enjoy running and hate it. I enjoy the accessibility of it. Put on my shoes, go outside, and run. I tend to resist activities that have a lot of initial "friction" to them. Getting in the car, going to the gym, dealing with people, swapping equipment, wiping equipment down, etc. That's really never going to happen. But running can always happen. Unless it's really cold out. I live in Minnesota so this is often the case. Thankfully, we have a treadmill. It's an older model with a plug in for an "iPod" but it does the trick. Running in place is really boring though. We have a small TV set up in front of the treadmill now, but I don't really watch much TV so that's not all that helpful for me. I'm not coordinated enough to play a video game while running, although I have been wondering if focusing on slower old-school JRPGs might be the

I'm in a Sour Mood Apparently: Final Fantasy 7 Remake and Animal Crossing

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My impromptu blogging vacation is over. I was in a bit of a pandemic rut and didn't have much to say. I was gearing up for a post a day for Blapril. But in reality I don't think that creates the quality that I want. This blog has mostly been a demonstration on what I don't find to be quality. I'm working on it. Final Fantasy 7 Remake . I'm about an hour in. It's fine to great so far. Seeing the old stomping grounds realized in 2020 graphics is nothing short of a treat. That's said the characterization of both Barrett and Jessie are just awful. Barrett's voice actor is actively bad. I'm still getting used to the new combat system. RPG developers deciding they make action games now rarely ends well, and so far the combat has been a sloppy mess. There's an ability to effectively enable turn-based combat, but it automatically drops the game into easy mode. I'll keep with it for now. Who knows, maybe the game adding even more shit goin

Blapril Day #4 - Totally Reliable Delivery Service

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Human history is filled with records of desperate humans resorting to unthinkable acts in times of great distress. On April 2, 2020, Mrs. Everwake and I were driven to an act of madness. Pushed to do so something so unthinkable that no one else as ever even attempted it. We launched a game other than Fortnite from the Epic Games Launcher. Scrolling through a list of games that were once claimed, but never installed, never thought about, lost to the obscurity of time, I chose a recent selection. Totally Reliable Delivery Service . Why? Does the hyena know why it laughs? Does the desolate night consider it's own darkness? Will Tim Sweeney ever stop lighting money on fire? Some questions are simply unanswerable. We loaded into the world and were immediately tasked with delivering a box from point A to point B. This was made difficult by the loosey-goosey controls. Left mouse button grabs with the left hand, right mouse button grabs with the right hand. 'Q' and 'E&#

Thunder Dome is the New Law

In times like these, it's important to remind ourselves of how fortunate we are actually are. I feel particularly privileged during this quarantine as I'm both young and healthy. Our jobs are not overly impacted by the crisis and we have a rainy day fund healthy to survive even the worst case scenarios of the social lockdown. But then we lost electricity to an ice storm. If you need me I'll be leading a band of Corona Marauders across the American Midwest. Mob justice is law and gasoline will be our currency. We will protect you, but we cannot save you. ... Literally as I typed this the power came back on. We are fine. I will now return to my sweatpants.

Blapril Day 3: Same Old

A little late getting this post out, but then again, not a whole lot happened on the gaming front. No D&D yesterday, the second session is happening tonight. Animal Crossing is still slowly rolling on. Recruited my first villager from the Campsite. Naithin at Time to Loot remarked on how slowly things unlocked in Animal Crossing. At first I pushed back against the idea but now I think he's right. I'm about halfway through the second week of this game and things are starting to slow down for already. Hopefully the Easter event that starts today gets me interested. And that's about it. I did play an hour of Faerie Solitaire Harvest but there really isn't anything say about that. Most of my time was spent reading my RSS Feed which has exploded as a result of Blapril. I'm gong to need to cut back somewhere, probably the more general gaming news sites like Destructoid and Rock Paper Shotgun. I think I read for 4 hours yesterday and finally emerged from my comp