Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Orcs Must Die in Project Gorgon #Blaugust2021 Day 31

How's that for a deceptive clickbait title? No, while Project Gorgon has match 3 play and a little text adventure minigame you can play inside of it, there is no Tower Defense here ala Orcs Must Die . . . at least yet. (I'm just going to subliminally drop that in there in case one of the devs ever reads my blog.)

In actuality, the orc areas of Project Gorgon are still a work in progress. The word from the developers seems to indicate that eventually you'll actually be able to play as an orc, but it will be an advanced race where you complete quests to unlock the ability to play the race . . . similar to how the Fae race works currently. 

As it is now, the Orc areas of Project Gorgon are deadly locales deep in cold zones, and I have a legitimate problem. I'm addicted to killing them. I really have no reason to kill orcs, but I thoroughly enjoy it for some reason.

It's a quaint town full of death

Deep in Gazluk is a giant orc town. When you're inside the town, you're safe from the cold environment around you, and it's always vacant. In all my times of grinding orcs, I've never seen one other person killing orcs in this town. Not once. I'm sure when level 70 was the max level, this place was probably like the Fae Realm is now, You'll always see a player or two out farming mobs for experience.

It could also be that this place can get really nasty, really fast. The orc archers are the culprit here. They tend to stick in one place and call for help from the orc mages, soldiers, and other archers hanging out in this town. I'm getting better at clearing this place out and have learned how to not leave as many tombstones around as I used to. Don't get me wrong though, I still die -- there's only so many orcs I can take on at once.

Fox and Mouse vs. orc and orc and orc and orc and orc and orc

If I'm feeling especially brave, I'll sneak into the entrance of Gazluk Keep within this town and test my metal against orcs that are tuned for group play. It's pretty satisfying to down an enemy with 5x the hitpoints, and typically the loot is of a better quality, which is also satisfying, but ultimately it's just vendor trash. I made a quick video this morning getting back into the groove of this . . . it's been a bit since I soloed the entrance. It's really all about the single pulls. I'm not prepared to handle two at once just yet.

The real find with orcs are their manuscripts that teach you how to read orc. Back when I was playing Knife as my main skill, I was all hot and bothered about trying to learn how to read orc since there was a synergy level associated with learning how to read orc and using the knife skill. Anyway, I remember thinking, man, no one is selling these orc manuscripts in the player shops . . . and that's when my fascination with killing orcs really took off.

Currently situated in vendor stall B-9

My vendor's tag line in Project Gorgon is "learn to read orc! It's fun!" And selling orc manuscripts from farming orcs kind of became one of my things. I price 'em relatively cheap and people learn how to read orc . . . it's a win win. It's definitely not a good way to get rich though. Killing orcs is more of a passion project if you get what I'm saying.

I don't know if I'll play an orc when the race finally makes an appearance in Project Gorgon, but I'll be interested in seeing how this changes my old farming spot.

Happy Dueling!

Monday, August 30, 2021

Good Golly Miss Gyrocopter! #Blaugust2021 Day 30

Had a great weekend in 7 Days to Die, friends! Lessah dropped by and then ruined and rebuilt my batcave, organized my loot (aka the Good Lord's Work), and drove me up north in the truck to dig a coal mine and kill cougars. While we were up there, we also ended up clearing out a football stadium (full of zombie cheerleaders) and a Preschool (full of administrators . . . and loot . . . but strangely, no kid zombies).

We had such a great time that Lessah even got in trouble with her girlfriends because she almost missed her weekly podcast date. We were happily driving around with a solid goal in mind, having a blast, and whoops . . . where'd the time go? You should check out their podcast if you haven't. The Damsel's of DDO is a fun listen. Episode 153 hasn't been posted to their blog yet, but Sahba Jade gives Lessah a tongue lashing for her lateness . . . pretty funny stuff.

Anyway, now that I've plugged Lessah and the Damsels, on to the real meat of the blog post here . . . after hanging out with Lessah, I finished off a successful hoard night on the 91st day of the apocalypse, I said to myself . . . self, shall we just peek at that recipe for the Gyrocopter? I peeked and what I saw was that I had the ability and everything I needed to craft 4/5th of the recipe.

All the stuff needed to make a Gyrocopter!

Lead Battery? yup, I have a rank 5 battery ready to go.

Engine? Yup, easy. I get one like every other car I take apart.

3 Wheels? Thanks to that coal mine we dug, I totally could make 3 wheels.

Gyrocopter Chassis? Neat! The requirements for building the chassis on a gyrocopter was actually easier than what you need to build for the truck! I had all the Forged Steel I needed, which is the hardest part.

Gyrocopter Accessories? *record scratch* Ohhhhhh . . . dangit. To forge the accessories I'd have to do some special training and find a book that taught me the recipe.  Ahh well, it was a nice dream, and then I actually thought to myself . . . hmmm . . . I wonder if the trader will ever sell this item just like the truck chassis?

Sure enough, guess what showed up in the trader the very next day. It's like the game knew I wanted to spend all my dukes. It was not cheap. All I had left was 500 dukes when all was said and done. I went back home and BAM! Several minutes later I had the power of flight. 

Oh dang! Someone's going flying!

I'm definitely going to waste some time flying around in this thing trying to get used to the controls. I hear tell that if you press E while in mid-air you launch rockets! Just kidding, I hear you plummet to your death as you "E for Exit" out of the gyrocopter.

Flying around in my Junkcopter

Is flying around like this considered end game? This feels like end game. I keep waiting for the quest to kill the Ender Dragon to show up. :) With the power of flight, I might just be able to take him down!

The only thing stopping me from landing on the top of skyscrapers is my lack of piloting skill

The truer statement is that PvP is most likely the end game, and I'm sure to many people 7D2D without PvP is like cake without frosting.  I may need to start looking to mods soon . . . like Darkness Falls.

Happy Dueling!

Sunday, August 29, 2021

In like a Lamb and Out like a Lion - #Blaugust2021 Day 29

Well, well, well . . . here we are. It's late Sunday night, and I haven't written a blog post yet. In fact, we've arrived at the final three days of Blaugust! It's the home stretch! 

The theme from this week is "lessons learned" from participating in this Blaugust, so let me think a bit here and see if I can impart any pearls of wisdom.

1- August goes in like a lamb and comes out like a lion . . . for me at least. This happens every Blaugust and it's the one thing I kind of cringe about every time I take the challenge. At the beginning of August, I have TONS of free time in the mornings, and I love to use that in entirely selfish pursuits like videogame blogging and writing music. By the time August is over, the kids are all back in school and my morning free time has shrunk by a couple hours, which makes finishing Blaugust always a little hectic.

my brain on Blaugust

If I was smart, I'd write a big backlog of blog posts at the beginning of August, but that's not gonna happen! When else am I going to also play games to write about? I suppose just knowing what I'm committing to makes all the difference. Accepting that the tail end of August will be busy is probably enough.

2- Rotate the diamond to see the facets. I had a great time writing a couple of short musical YouTube intros for a friend's kiddo yesterday. I won't name names, but he's trying to motivate his son by allowing him to upload videos to a YouTube channel based on good grades. I don't know if I would have been his first choice had he not been reading along with my blog posts this month where I shared my musical history. 

Writing a quick 10-20 second intro

I'm happy I spent the time to write that out. A lot of people probably didn't think of me as being someone who is involved in music and songwriting, and instead maybe narrowed me down to "dad who plays video games" or "game designer who likes to write" or "Old Wizard101 fan/dev that writes about games," which are all totally fine labels with me. Sometimes I just need to be a bit more forthcoming with information about my life instead of being so timid about the reception.

3- Your time and attention is a gift. Can I just say how especially awesome my fellow Blaugust contributors have all been? We had a great set of participants this time and I've loved reading what I could from this massive amount of collective blog posts.

I do feel like I need to name a few names in particular: Tipa from Chasing Dings, Nimgimli from DragonChasers, and Aywren from Spot of Mummery (and Gaming and Geek Life Blog) have all been consistently favoriting and retweeting my posts on Twitter. Of course, everyone has been really great, I have the best followers and y'all really make me feel supported, but these particular Blaugust contributors made me really feel part of a community for Blaugust. It was greatly appreciated.  I wish I was as supportive as they have been. They're great examples.

Thank you all for the good impressions!

4- People are strange when you're a stranger -- I love writing about games that are outcasts to society. Games like Project Gorgon and 7 Days to Die are so easy for me to write about because I feel like a reporter diving in to a strange game with interesting rules that most people aren't familiar with or have simply forgotten exist. I love playing travel guide to games like this. I wish I could approach all games with this mentality, and I do to some extent. 

I have several mobile games that I love that I'm pretty sure most of my game buddies have never tried before. I even like  . . . wait for it . . . a few NFT-related games. 

Hanging out in editor mode on the level I made in Blankos

Y'all remember when Blankos got destroyed at E3? It wasn't pretty in the Twitch chat. Embracing that is . . . uh . . . scary, but to be honest, this is totally the type of game I'd write about because, games are strange when you're a stranger.

So there you go! Thank you all for reading along. Y'all rock. 

Happy Dueling!

Saturday, August 28, 2021

It's a Mothergrubbin' Truck -- #Blaugust2021 Day 28

 Ahhhh yeah! I kind of turned a corner here in 7D2D and I'm making all kinds of cash. It's enough that I just casually bought a truck chassis yesterday from the trader. It's legitimately the hardest part of the truck crafting puzzle to create, and then it was off to the races!

Boom! It's a truck!

Not only is this thing a truck, it's a total "apocalypse-ready" truck, with blades on the front just meant for running over zombies, dogs, cougars, wolves, zombies, and even more zombies!

It all kind of started with me thinking to myself ". . . dang, I've got a lot of stuff in my storage boxes here. I bet you I could build a truck!" So I casually looked at the recipe: 4 Wheels, a cassis, truck accessories, an engine, and a lead car battery. 

Well, I had engines and lead car batteries to spare -- Check and check.

Wheels -- Nope, so I checked the recipe for wheels and it was pretty simple. I just needed to get some coal, so I dug down deep at a coal mine and crafted 'em up without much trouble -- Check!

4x4 Truck Accessories -- I was absolutely right about having enough stuff in my storage boxes . . . at least when it came to building the accessories part. Not a problem.

Electrical Parts and Headlights? Short Iron Pipes, Springs, and Mechanical Parts? YES I DO!

4x4 Truck Chassis -- The only thing that made this recipe difficult was the 375 bars of Forged Steel.  That's a lot of forged steel that I didn't have, so I dug myself a mine and started getting the components to make forged Steel . . . what I found was that with this mine what I had really dug was a murder hole. A horde wandered by attracted by my drilling, and the zombies came just POURING down from the top of the hole.

Hi! Thanks for "dropping" in, to say hello! 

After all was said and done, I was really only about half way there to the 375 bars of Forged Steel, when BAM . . . wouldn't you know it, the trader has a Truck Chassis for sale and it was totally affordable. I'm living LARGE AND IN CHARGE in the apocalypse, my friends!

Possibly the most amazing thing about this whole crafting process was that it only took 3 minutes to build a truck once I had all the pieces. Now I'm running over ALL the zombies, like I just don't care. 3 minutes of crafting, a lifetime of zombie apocalypse bliss.

They're surprisingly durable zombies as it turns out.

Happy Dueling!

Friday, August 27, 2021

Cooking up the Crafting Caravan -- #Blaugust2021 Day 27

Project Gorgon has delayed their August update, and I was SO looking forward to blogging about it this month during Blaugust!  Well, don't worry. I'll still post about it in September (or whenever).

Instead, the developers of Project Gorgon are dropping a big weekend event on us called The Crafting Caravan! I've posted a bit about it before, but it's kind of in the middle of a post where I'm catching people up on me watching the Dragon Prince and playing World of Warcraft. (I'm still in awe of that Donner Party-esque cooking quest reward)

Dang . . . I actually ate this . . .

Here's the thing about the Crafting Caravan. As much as a pain as it is, it's also very worth it. Crafting at the high end of Project Gorgon can be a battle of inches as you creep toward a goal line where new recipes open up. It's time consuming, fills your inventory with random ingredients, and typically requires you run all over the world. It is a game unto itself. Some people love it, some people hate it. For me, it's always been a necessary evil. 

Crafting NPCs lining the walls of the Casino during the Crafting Caravan

The crafting caravan allows you to take big leaps forward with repeatable quests that give you solid experience in exchange for crafting. They also give you Crafting Caravan Tokens, which you can then turn in for rare items and dyes -- specifically Black Dye, which you really can't get anywhere else. There's a few other carrots as well, like a cosmetic pet and a special in-game title.

Keep in mind that Project Gorgon at some point is going to officially launch and then all of our money will be gone as they reset the game. Luckily, they assure us that what will remain are our characters and their skill points that we've earned up to this point, so it's not as bad. The more skills you have, the better off you'll be when they actually launch the game.

So, I've got my shopping list for the day:
  • 50 string
  • Rough Leather Shirt
  • Decent Leather shirt
  • 10 Simple Armor Stakes
  • 10 Gur Horta potions
  • 20 Chicken and Broccoli
  • 10 Chicken Casserole
  • 10 Venison Jerky
  • 1000 Basic Arrows
  • 25 Expert Metal Slabs
  • 10 Blood Mushroom Smoothies
  • 30 Disastrous spore bombs
  • 10 Boletus mushroom smoothies
  • 10 Shoddy Chairs
  • 10 Crude storage crates
It'd be a larger shopping list if I had more crafting skills where I could contribute, but MY WORD, it's large enough as it is. Consider that, if I am to craft all of those items, each of them have multiple ingredients, steps, and require time to craft. It's a solid weekend of crafting.

Since it's Project Gorgon, I'm honestly not sure if I want to know what they use string for.

Of all those listed, probably the ones that are most important to me are the cooking items. My dislike for cooking in Project Gorgon is legendary (it's my number one gripe about Project Gorgon of all time), but let me tell you why cooking is an absolutely essential skill to own. There's a complimentary skill to cooking called "Gourmand." I had to look the word up because, although it looked familiar, I wanted to double check -- The word itself shares the same word root as gourmet and basically means one who really enjoys food . . . probably too much. 

You level Gourmand in Project Gorgon by eating food. The higher your Gourmand skill is, the better stat food you can eat. This means you should EAT ALL THE THINGS, and I mean ALL . . . THE THINGS! Re-eating the same food will only give you 1 experience point in Gourmand, whereas the first-time bonus for eating something new is around 200-500 exp.

So, anyway, if the only thing I get done on that big list is making 20 Chicken and Broccoli, 10 Chicken Casserole, and 10 Venison Jerky, that'll truly be enough for me and I will call it a successful Crafting Caravan.

Wish me luck!

Happy Dueling!

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Double Punchy FTW in 7D2D -- #Blaugust2021 Day 26

The other day when I was playing with my buddy, Lessah, she showed me the ultimate 7 days to die strat -- at least for now -- against the Blood Moon invasion: Double Punchy.

Day 70, Blood Moon in full swing

Basically you build a pathway upwards to you that zombies will climb. When they get to the top, you have an impact turret punch them back down . . . preferably into a big sea of spikes.  Then all you really need to worry about is your back, which also happens to be an ocean of spikes. It worked incredibly well when she showed me, and it also worked incredibly well when I recreated it by myself.

Max'ed Intellect. Max'ed Electrocutioner, Max'ed Robotics inventor.

Since I had already gone down the Intellect skill tree to max my Stun Baton weapon skills, it also wasn't too hard to just finish out the Robotics Inventor line so I could put down two impact turrets for Blood Moon. With those and my sea of spikes, I was good to go. Double Punchy strat was all I needed to last hour after hour in the same spot.

Let's take a look at the progression of Day 70's Blood Moon in pictures.

1- 12:30am -- After a couple hours of double punchy strat, most of the spikes on the edges were completely gone. The poor hapless zombies would jump up, and either I'd shoot 'em or double punchy would knock them back down.

Come to me, hapless zombie!

2- 2:00am -- They were still coming -- it's pretty much an endless stream the whole night at this point. I had a few try to get behind me, but I didn't have a problem spinning around while double punchy took care of what was in front of me.

lemme just casually reload here in complete safety. 

3- 3:00am -- Most of the spikes were just completely munched up and the loot bags were starting to pile up at the base. Double punchy was totally fine. No repairs needed. They did all seem to be taking a really similar pathway toward me at this point.

Hey, why don't you walk up here, so double punchy can knock you back down?

4- 4:00am -- The blood moon was finally over and that sea of loot demanded I use an eye candy buff and take a look inside each of those delicious lootbags. Double Punchy had done its job to the fullest, and it was all done, safe and sound, behind their rock 'em sock 'em metal fists.

That's a lot of loot bags!

Big thanks to Lessah for teaching me the strat. I would have never really tried it on my own. Shooting down on them from above seemed far safer, but this was incredibly efficient. 

After this I finished the Tier 5 quest to cleanse Higashi Tower of all zombie life. It demanded a rematch. Come to find out the Double Punchy strat works great for dealing with the irradiated zombies as well! I was able to finish that one up, and imagine my surprise when a Rank 5 Steel Club showed up as a quest reward. That's Lessah's favorite weapon!

Rank 5 Steel Club . . . YOINK!

I think she'll be happy to see that the next time she logs in. :)

Happy Dueling!

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

My Top Memorable Locations in #ProjectGorgon -- #Blaugust2021 Day 25

 Back when I did my first Blaugust in 2015, I made a fun series of posts that talked about my top memorable locations in most of the MMOs I had some longer tenure inside.

I can't believe that was six years ago. It's so long ago that some of the videos and multimedia I linked to are now dead. Anyway, carrying on that tradition, today's Top 10 Memorable Locations have to do with Project Gorgon! I've played so much, that it's definitely worthy of a memorable locations post. :)



Staring across the mountainous death zone

Ahh Gazluk. It's a love hate relationship with me -- let's be honest, it's more of a hate relationship. After spending hours and hours there farming radioactive crystals and hunting for hidden Superb Metal Nodes, I'm 100 percent sure this is where most of my tombstones reside. I've fallen off mountains. I've frozen to death. I've been munched by polar bears. I've been impaled by orcs. I've died to world bosses. I've held radioactive material for too long.  There's just so MANY ways to die here.


Ilmari Desert

It's my own personal burning man moment

dust storms, evil cats, and lemon trees

On the opposite end of the spectrum is the desert of Ilmari, but I haven't had "as many" issues staying alive here as I had in Gazluk. combating thirst I can do. What I remember Ilmari most for are the nights spent killing manticores with my old guild and making art out of art on the vast canvas of the desert.


Goblin Dungeon in Eltibule

Entrance to the New Goblin Dungeon

The multicolored hallways of the Goblin Dungeon

This dungeon has two parts to it. The upper part, where most level 20-30 heroes grind levels, and the lower part, where an infinite spawn bug allows heroes of any level to grind levels. For me it was part of my daily run to pick up blank poetry books for use during the Poetry Jam community event that happens on Saturdays. They updated the graphics in here a year or so ago . . . looks great!


The Crypt

Enter if you dare

The first dungeon most players brave beyond tutorial island is called The Crypt. It's full of spiders and skeletons mostly, but it's also full of fun bosses that really make the lower levels of Project Gorgon interesting. Ursula being one of those. If you die to her hands, you obtain a curse that causes her to spawn randomly and start attacking people around you. Personally I've spent a lot of time here farming Deer for Anchor Runes that can be used for a powerful attack used by Animal Handlers. It's an awful grind, but you'll make some decent money here for sure.


The Fae Realm

Fae Realm at Night

Fae Realm by Day

The Fae Realm has been the top level zone in Project Gorgon for so long now that it really feels like end game; however, it's sounding like the new zone to visit with be Povus when it releases sometime later this month.  Every day in the Fae Realm, the god of trolls offers players a daily quest to kill the big baddies in the zone in exchange for councils. The great thing is that you can visit him daily and pick up a backlog of quests, so that when everyone gets together in a big group, you can take down all the baddies and make a lot of money.  


Wolf Caves in Gazluk

Pre-fox me creeping around in the Wolf Caves

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention a small dungeon that is completely over run with farmers looking for experience and profit. It's a series of tunnels in Gazluk where you can escape the cold, catch a lot of fish, and kill and skin a lot of wolves. One time I ran into a lady here who was playing as a cow. She died, and I milked her dead body. This is Project Gorgon at its finest. Mostly my memories here are farming groups of wolves over and over and over as I leveled up. This cave also contains the zone out to the Fae Realm, so passing through is commonplace.


Treasure Caches in Ilmari

Ominous hallways under the desert

Though most of the Treasure Caches in Ilmari look exactly the same, they definitely aren't. I've written up a whole guide to doing Treasure Caches, and it is hands down one of the most fun solo experiences you can have in the game. I think these dungeons are the pinnacle of what a game like Project Gorgon can bring to the table. Really the finest design work in all of Project Gorgon.



Really really think the house doesn't win when they have Mantids for Game Masters?

As I type the word "Casino" I instantly hear the zone's jazz music in my head.  This zone is the major hub of the game. If there's a good place to "bind" yourself in Project Gorgon at higher levels, this is the spot. There's a sparing pit in the middle where NPCs duel it out and you can bet on the outcomes. There are slot machines with match 3 games and Monsters and Mantids tables all over. There's even a high stakes gambling room in the back.  Here you can get daily quests, store goods, and have access to a variety of vendors.


Sun Vale

The less than friendly natives of Sun Vale

Staring down a giant coral reef in the ocean of Sun Vale

There's old Sun Vale, and there's new Sun Vale . . . and I remember 'em both. Old Sunvale had two edges of the zone that were beach themed with a giant river that ran through the middle. It was so buggy, you could literally drown in mid-air at times. New Sunvale is a series of islands in the ocean, with beautiful patches of coral and tons of sharks. Both versions also had a spot called "Animal Town" where only people who were playing animal skills could visit.  Everybody else better stay out! It's a cool scene in Animal Town.



Party time, it's excellent!

If the Casino is the hub of mid-to-late-game, Serbule is the hub of the early game . . . and truly still a hub even if you're late game. All the player vendors are there in Serbule even though the Casino has vendors, nobody really uses them . . . it's kind of weird actually. Anyway, once you're out of the tutorial zone, you're in Serbule and right in the middle is the large castle that hosts all the players. Every saturday at a specific time, the tavern turns into a party and all the players of the game gather to listen to poetry, drink free beer, and get incredibly buffed up with community buffs. There's always a raffle or two running, and it's Project Gorgon's big weekly party. Watching the virtual sunrise in Serbule will always be one of my favorite moments in game. 


And that's it . . . really every zone in Project Gorgon has something quirky about it, and even now I'm wondering why I didn't list Eltibule, Kur Mountains, Kur Tower, Wintertide, or the Rahu Desert, and the answer is that those just weren't the first that came to mind.

Happy Dueling!

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Diary Post -- #Blaugust2021 Day 24

Pardon me, y'all. I'm going to do a bit of a diary post today. Yesterday was a pretty interesting day and things are starting to get busy.

1- School has begun for all the kids. ALL the kids. The youngest is now in Middle School. The middle kiddo is a senior in High School. The oldest is in their second year of college. My job with all of this is to make sure they're up, fed, ready to go, and drive 'em around as needed. Check and done.

My dudes.

2- The Cats -- Zoodles is staging a small rebellion with her food, and Timmy is an absolute maniac. Timmy leaped all the way up on top of the countertop yesterday. Zoodles NEVER did that. Not happy with Timmy's newfound vertical freedoms, but we're adjusting.

3- Work is in full swing. I'm currently working on two games at once, and it's great! Lots of work, lots of fun. No details for the general population -- just know that I'm excited for all the stuff happening at WIMO.

4-  I played Overwatch with my buddy Mercedes last night. It was only a handful of games, but to be honest, a return to Overwatch for me is a big deal. I kinda sucked, but I tried, and we still won 3 games. Mostly it was great to talk with Merc again. If any of my highlights were even remotely worthy of showing off, I would.

Torbjorn my boy!

5- I also played Project Gorgon a bit yesterday. I sold a bunch of stuff on the Auction House and had an absolutely horrible time farming for Superb metal. Yuck. I also got sucked into a guild group to run the Wolf Caves daily mission, and it took FOREVER to complete. This tends to happen when you have groups leap frogging over each other and party members that afk.


6- Greek Food!  Uber Wife bought some frozen gyro meat and I used a sparse amount with a ton of salad and a touch of taziki sauce to make a sort of a gyro taco on a corn tortilla for lunch. Ahhh, gotta love the struggle of trying to limit carbohydrates and fat while being diabetic, but it was still good. Dinner was the left over greek salad that I used to make the gyro. :)

7- Music -- I've been working on a new collection of music, but it's slowed down a bit here for some reason. I want to blame my lack of music on the overabundance of blogging I've been doing, but it's something more. I want to write 2 more songs in this style and then edit them all down into a cohesive album of music.  That's the plan at least. Here's a small peek at a new track I've been working on.

So that's it . . . that's the blog post. I'm kind of struggling here at Day 24 to get a daily blog post out, but I'm managing over lunch and early in the morning to find some time to write. (Listen . . . it was either this post or talking about how it's the fifth anniversary of Loot Chests in DCUO.) 

Happy Dueling!

Monday, August 23, 2021

Spellbreak, a Battle Royale I could love -- #Blaugust2021 Day 23

Typically I've avoided playing Battle Royale games. I've never played Forknife. I mean, I've eaten with a fork and a knife, but I haven't played the game. (Sorry, I couldn't resist the dad joke) You can't live in this day and age and not know what Fortnite is, but my natural tendency is to have a revulsion to the super popular. I'm sure if I played it, I'd have fun with it, but up to this point, it's been more of a sport that you watch instead of a game that you play. 

A few of my peeps have even tried to get me to play it with them, but I've managed to sidestep my way out of playing at every turn. My fascination with Fortnite is merely at the successful monetization end of the equation. What game makes billions of dollars? It's insane. 

Before Fortnite, I would watch a streamer play H1Z1, and it was a lot of fun to watch. But actually playing PUBG? H1Z1? Fortnite? I don't know they're not really my cup of tea. I did play a couple of mobile battle royales, like Brawl Stars and Bullet Echo, and I really enjoyed both of those.

. . . and that leads me to the topic at hand. On my previous computer I had loaded Spellbreak because this was the one Battle Royale that actually looked really good to me. It's like you take the Wizard class based system of Wizard101, mix it with an Apex Legends style Battle Royale, throw in a synergistic spell combination complexity, but you also make it so every character plays a bit like Pharah from Overwatch. Amazing. That's exactly the battle royale I want to play.

Stingite, as a Stoneshaper

So my old self played through the tutorial of Spellbreak on my old computer and I noped out because of the lag. On my new computer, it was game on, and so yesterday I loaded up that crazy, chaotic spell casting Battle Royale and gave it a dozen plays or so.

The verdict? It was every bit of fun as I expected it to be. I even won my second game out of the gate . . . there's absolutely no way that wasn't versus bots. LOL. After this win, I started into exactly the pattern I thought I would when playing this game: generally NOT winning. Because with Battle Royales you have to understand that for the most part you're not going to win, that's just expected.

This duel didn't end well for me

I also experienced exactly what I thought I would from the game queues, which was waits of 3-5 minutes per match. From what I understand it only gets worse as you get higher rank as well. If you look at the Steam Charts for Spellbreak it paints a grim picture the past three months of downward decline  . . . and that's DURING the summer months. 

A had a couple great kills or "exiles" yesterday and a few intense battles that felt amazing. This two person kill where I flew in between a couple people battling and got a 2x kill was a really satisfying moment. Haha!

I'm happy my new computer can handle the game, and that I can finally try out the one Battle Royale I always wanted to give a spin.

Happy Dueling!

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Project Refresh in Project Gorgon -- #Blaugust2021 Day 22

Ever since getting the new PC, I wanted to try logging in to Project Gorgon to really see what the game looks like at its highest graphics settings because, as awful as the game looks anyway, my computer was so awful that I had to lower the graphic settings to not experience lag.

Me and my rat buddy hanging out in the graphically improved flowers

I couldn't really tell much of the difference in the world, but what I could tell a big difference in was with seeing other people move around in that world. Being in Serbule was a much nicer experience.

Stingite, the dancing fox with a street musician on top of a well. yup. It's Project Gorgon.

The next item of business was figuring out what to do with this incredible mess in my inventory.

What in the world is going on here?! Why am I so full of stuff?

Dealing with inventory will forever me my woe in any game I play, and Project Gorgon kind of triples down on that because your storage locations are mostly mini-banks located all over the world. Truly, the fact that you get a bump in available inventory slots is a good sales point for VIP membership.

Anyway, after dumping a bunch of stuff, the next item of business was contacting an old friend I saw online and asking if her guild had room for another, which of course it did, because my guild died a horrible death. It was one of the things that caused me to stop playing. I won't get into the specifics of the drama. Ain't nobody got time for that.

So now I'm a part of guild called Alharth Rebels. ("Alharth" would be congruous to "Azeroth" in World of Warcraft terms.) One of the first orders of business as a new member of the Alharth Rebels was running ye' old Daily Dungeon quest, which happened to be the Winter Nexus dungeon. 

Winter Nexus is a pretty quick run to kill a small handful of bosses, and it was good to flex the old fox muscles to remember how to play. It's been a hot minute y'all.

Indeed . . . just like old times

Now comes the hard part . . . finding motivation to get a goal and try to play again? The only goal I had previous to this was to just bank a bunch of money because I had maxed the spirit fox skill and . . . well . . . ok. What else is there to do besides leveling cooking. I have over 1000 hours logged into this game, and my major goals have all been accomplished.

I guess what I'm most excited about is the upcoming Animal Husbandry update sometime in August. On the official Project Gorgon message boards they shared a screenshot and the following information:

BEES! Blue Bees, Flowy-Winged Bees, and Big-Headed Bees! Hooray!

"(August update dev screenshot: Animal Husbandry/Genetics) Very advanced players can learn the secrets of genetic analysis, and can perform extraordinarily deep dives into their pets genetic potential. "

So there you go . . . I'll be waiting for the update and figuring out what to do in the meantime, but it was good to log into the game again and see what's what.

Happy Dueling!

Saturday, August 21, 2021

The Tale of Dishong Tower in 7D2D -- #Blaugust2021 Day 21

Give a good stretch, sit down, and prepare yourself to listen to my amazing tale I'm about to weave about this stupid tower -- this stupidly amazing tower -- in 7 Days to Die. Good?  Ok, here we go.

The first eight floors of Dishong Tower -- there's more

So I'm chilling in 7 Days to Die and I've just survived not only the Day 56 Blood Moon, but I just finished up a tier 5 quest that took me through a skycraper of a book publishing company. It was pretty great and I managed to finish the quest in style, so I take another Tier 5 quest because one skyscraper was fun, so why not do it again!?

That quest turned out to be Dishong Tower. I couldn't really tell the "theme" of Dishong Tower, and I don't think there was one. It was an interesting mix of office space and open floor plans.

Nice entrance way . . . this can't be that bad

So I proceeded to clear out the floors one by one, and it's a loot haven. By the time I hit the 3rd floor, I've already filled up my motorcycle's inventory and a storage crate full of stuff and it's been a solid day's worth of play, so now I'm sitting at day 60.

I continue floor by floor clearing things out, cutting my way though the maze, and being as careful as I can. Another day passes in the tower while I'm exploring and I'm up to the eighth floor or so, and now I'm haphazardly searching for loot at this point because I'm starting to feel the pressure of time on Day 61, and I'm on a quest. When you're on a quest, you can't leave the area . . . at all.  If you do, you fail. If you die, you fail. 

I should have nope'd out of the quest at this point, just like I did on the Higashi Skyscraper, but I stubbornly press on level by level. At this point I'm really just looking for food and liquid to keep me alive as I make my way up. I've scrapped tons of stuff. I've outright skipped looting tons of stuff.

Things start to get tricky from this point on because half of the skyscraper is utterly destroyed, so I'm laying down crates and building walkways. I'm fighting vultures AND zombies while the maze factor starts to intensify. At this point, the building really feels like it's more of a 4-person endeavor and I have no business being here, but I press on.

Sky high at Dishong Tower in 7 Days to Die

By the time I reach floor 13 and the top of the tower, I'm already feeling the time pinch, but I'm so close to finishing this quest! I peek my head around the side, and I see something green but human-like in the distance, so I take a long distance aim with my rifle and fire. The next thing I know, I've got what feels like a half a dozen zombies on me and they're covered in green goo like I've never seen before.

Come to find out these are irradiated zombies and they're tougher and regenerate. I tried to make my escape, but my confidence in a round of shotgun blasts into a herd of zombies was far far too misplaced, and my screen turns a disastrous dark red.

. . . and they're eating my corpse

I'm figuring I've lost all my stuff at this point, it's also late in the Day on Day 61, but I stubbornly equip a set of reasonable gear and head back to the ill-fated tower to see if I can recover my stuff.

Having a back up level 5 stun baton helps

The great thing is that I've been rebuilding the stairwell while I was climbing the tower, and getting back to level 8 of 13 wasn't that difficult. After a bit of re-running the maze, I'm finally back up to level 12 and I'm doing ok . . . it's Day 62 at this point, but it's all good.

I start breaking wooden desks on floor 12 gathering wood because I figure I'm going to sneak up by building a tower, grab my stuff, and run. Unfortunately at one point, I fall while building my tower and break my leg. Now things are dire and I've got a bit of a pit in my stomach as I realize I'm at a big disadvantage now, but I finish building the tower and lo and behold, the zombies had reset to their original positions! I can grab my stuff! OK! I'm GOOD! 

Now, a sane person would leave the tower at this point, but I'm feeling super stubborn and go take another look at Floor 13. There's a small communications tower leading up, so I sneak over to it and climb up 2 more story heights, and now I've got this amazing view of the roof of the building.

So I say to myself . . . self . . . let's try this again. If it goes south, I will take these "oh shizz drops" and jump off the side of the building. (There's a medicine you can take where you will have falling damage immunity for 5 minutes.) 

From the safety of the top of the tower, I take aim at an irradiated zombie's head with my hunting rifle and shoot. this drags 2 more irradiated zombies along with him and I start shooting down at them from my tower.

Taking aim at an irradiated zombie safely from my tower

I do this two more times, each time dragging 2 or 3 zombies to the tower and shooting them from above, but they're starting to beat the heck out my tower and I'm legitimately afraid I'm going to come tumbling down, but I make it and before you know it all the zombies on the top of the roof are dead. I've cleared the entire tower. Hallelujah. 

So I make my way over to where the irradiated zombies were standing and it almost looks like nothing's there. No loot whatsoever, but then I look down a sky-lighted roof, and there it is . . . the motherlode of loot in the penthouse suite. 

Loot view 1 -- A table full of loot and a stocked kitchen.

Loot view 2 -- A hardened chest and shelf full of books

I'm dying here because my bags are so full of loot already and I've just stumbled into loot heaven. I loot what I can, and that's mostly ammo when all of a sudden who slips into my DMs, but my old pal Lessah Ismorah. 

I relate the whole tale above to Lessah, and it's too tempting for her. She logs in and starts making her way to the tower to help me haul the loot because at this point I've got two crates down below and the Blood Moon is just around the corner.

After showing Lessah around the tower (which tbh, she's already seen before, but she let me pretend like I was showing it to her for the first time -- it's appreciated), we fill up with loot AGAIN and head back down to scramble together a Blood Moon fight (which ends up going well and she shows me a pretty good trick for efficient farming in the Blood Moon).

Double Punchy Turret for the win

Victory has never felt so bitter and so sweet at the same time in 7 Days to Die. It was by far my favorite moment in game thus far. What a great game session!

Happy Dueling!