May 08, 2019

Looked down, and a month went by

Still having plenty fun in Azur, in GBF, and in GFL; each one wears on me in turn but rotating over to the others keeps me from burning out. Weirdly, playing gacha games seems to cost me a lot less than conventional gaming does (though I would not try this stunt with FGO!)

Decided a periodic update would be easier than the daily "nothing much happened" minutia, but then of course the trick is remembering to do the update.

GFL's Deep Dive event went well (need to make at least one more good run at the ranking map; my first effort netted me 43%, just outside the range I need for the exclusive equipment for 9A-91 that I was shooting for... but I can probably squeeze out some more points if I take it seriously...) They have their first anniversary going on, and in about an hour they'll start a week of increased success in building... time to take these hoarded resources and fling them away like I'm at a strip club. Already got Groza (and the True Core Mask might as well be labeled "press this button and collect SAT8"...) so I'm quite content as it is; everything from here will be icing, so I hope to pig out until I'm sick.

Azur Lane's Kizuna Ai event's petering out - was fun, not deep even by the extremely limited standards of Azur storytelling, but the music was pretty good. The disturbing advent of "extra loli" versions of ships I could have done without (the more so because, somehow, I ended up with all of them!) For even more fun, the first tier of the World of Warships collab hit the English server, so I get to have fun grinding for shipgirls corresponding to ships that never got built; heh, why not? Monarch looks good in a qipao skin anyway.

GBF is extra GBF-y at the moment. Just a little bit away from recruiting old man Al-Anon, an "evoker" whose skills are oriented toward coming in to fill a hole left by someone who dies in your front line; how convenient that I'm playing fire Beatrix, who trades a fierce attack buff for a crippling, nigh-suicidal defense and aggro penalty. Fire up Beatrix, collect huge damage, have her catch something hideously damaging, and Alanaan comes in to bring the Sun. And then I can pick a second one to start working on, for a months-long project; probably Maria Therese (whose story is, basically, "I am a Habsburg"... in the middle of our game of impossible floating islands and airships, yet.)

Real life isn't too bad - been sick off and on, but nothing too nasty. Dad's got his first cyborg surgery scheduled, so that should be fun. Need to plan some kind of vacation this year...

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April 04, 2019

Gaming journal 4/4

Quiet week in Granblue. Finished with the current event and clearing up some miscellaneous tasks - the pile of fate episodes really stacked up with all the leveling I did over the anniversary event. Probably won't have anything significant going on until the guild war event next week, though it's a good time to work on some random raids.

Azur's on maintenance tonight - adding in submarines. Because, of course, they didn't have enough lolis with the Japanese destroyers running around in literal kindergarten uniforms. Oy vey. I've got a pretty thick callus on that from all the years I've worked on anime, but I don't exactly need more of it.

GFL's going well - the new boss bully event yielded a gold scope and I lucked into building a second one. Those were very high on the list of "things I need a whole pile of". Another friend is trying the game out as well, so that's always fun too. Did enough missions to hit the daily minimum to get the daily rewards, but that was enough to get Thompson up to level 80.

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April 02, 2019

Gaming journal 4/2

GFL has a maintenance tonight, so I'll worry about it when I wake up tomorrow.

Had fun in Azur Lane instead. No notable ship drops, but I did clear 10-1 and got a win on 10-2. The boss fleet didn't have any trouble, but the clearing fleet took a pounding - no casualties but the vanguard was mostly under 20% HP and burning. Seriously thinking about dropping one of my fleet carriers and bringing Unicorn along (though she's just a little under 100 still...)

In Granblue, I finished up the full uncap of my first Nibelung Horn (axe weapon, big bonus at near full HP plus crit). This puts earth right up near light for "strongest grid", though light's still probably stronger for practical purposes (two limited characters plus a 5* Eternal will do that). Feels like some progress, though.

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April 01, 2019

Gaming journal 4/1

Granblue's April Fools' was... I hate to say "disappointing" because they put some work into it, but the new stuff was limited to a couple of costumes and a series of "puzzles" done in conjunction with an escape room company. Not my cuppa, but eh, it's easy enough to look up the response and scoop up the loot. Did get one of Alexiel's axes to drop, so that's good for the earth weapon grid.

Azur Lane has a very quiet sort of 4/1, with not much beyond a two-page back-to-the-future comic and a pixel-art login page. They announced the release of submarines (lots of calls of "they're not actually that great!" from experienced players from the CN/JP side). Cleared 10-1 a couple more times, 1 more before 10-2 unlocks.

GFL... a 5-star AR build! Annnnnd it was FAL, who I finished 5x linking last night. (Adding a "dummy link" takes either extra copies of the character, or "dummy cores" you get by scrapping high-rarity ones you don't need. I didn't have any spare FAL, which meant I spent 45 cores last night... and the one I built tonight would have been worth 15 of that. But scrapping the now-surplus-to-requirements French AR only netted me 5... ah well, it's 5 I didn't have yesterday.) I did also get a gold AP rifle ammo as a consolation prize.

Not actually done for the night yet, since Granblue has a final part to its puzzle stuff that doesn't unlock until 7 PM JST... or, in other words, 5 AM CST. And it'll end at midnight, so 10 AM CST. Would be mos' inconvenient for those of us who don't roll out of bed until noon, but fortunately because of that I can deal with 5 AM pretty easily...

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March 31, 2019

Gaming journal 3/31

The month-long Granblue anniversary event finally petered out, and we have a new event - a comedy with the Lowain brothers and Tyre. These events do a great job of taking what would be some fairly one-dimensional characters and putting extra flesh on them - Tyre didn't previously get much beyond "I'm way too serious and have the hots for Vira the uncomfortably yandere!" As for Lowain, he runs away with the show as usual; I enjoy the performance so much that I forgave his VA, Minoru Shiraishi, for all that pain and effort subtitling those Haruhi and Lucky Star extras.

A friend of mine is also a big fan of the bancho stereotypes, so the onna-bancho delusion chapter will have her rolling. I got a good laugh out of it too.

Event itself is pretty normal ("fight some bosses, earn tokens and points for the usual loot".) The usual event summon inflicts Petrify; seems to good for an event hand-out, maybe the chance is really low? Worth experimenting on. Anyway, the real fun starts tomorrow, we'll see what crazy stuff they've come up with for April Fools'.

Sunday in Azur means all the daily quests are open at once - between the three rotating types, the level cap daily, and the usual three clears a day of a Hard Mode map, that's 15 fights. Did those (3 gold destroyer retrofit blueprints, unlikely/good result there!) Managed to put in one win on map 10-1, but having Washington on the boss fleet there is hurting me (as a US BB, she only has 5" secondary guns and 10-1 is Home of the Suicide Speedboat Conga Line) - I may swap in Tirpitz for that map.

GFL... finished leveling the third AR/SMG team. One more to work on, but this one's a collection of odds and sods - Thompson and Suomi tanking, G41, SOPMOD attacking, and M16 doing her weird hybrid tank thing. If it wasn't for M16 being in the squad, I might want to work on leveling others instead, but I really do need to get her up to 90 or 100 so that she can help when it comes time to level the assorted handguns and etc. that I've run across.

Downside is the dummy core cost, as usual - though I have enough to upgrade Thompson for free and one duplicate of G41 as well, that still means I'll need 129 to finish the other four, and I have... 10. Might just do M16 and Thompson and leave the rest until I actually want to use them more (though G41 is genuinely good; waste not to have her out there.)

Decent night of gaming, all told.

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March 30, 2019

Gaming journal 3/30

I've been terrible about posting - things are going fairly well, but boring enough I haven't been worried about sharing. Might as well post and talk about how the games have been going lately...

GBF - nothing much today, just a couple of trains (MM HL, Metatron). Got around to crafting an Unsigned Kanehige. The 100-draw-plus-frenzy event netted me absolutely nothing new, though I got some uncap stuff (Kaguya, Rose Queen, and a Disparia). Should be fun with the comedy event kicking off tomorrow, and god only knows what 4/1 has to offer - last year they made a completely separate taiko game as a joke.

Azur Lane - need a bit more experience in Saratoga to finish her refit. Got all hard levels cleared to danger level 0, so easy farming there. Built a Yukikaze and a Mogami so there's nothing to worry about for the current event - figure I'll take a couple of weeks to work on world 10 in story missions. Should decide between the retrofit magical girl skin and the hanbok skin for Saratoga...

GFL - weekly production scored me an NS-2000 (lousy 3-star shotgun). Nothing notable from the daily builds except a gold exoskeleton. Limiting actual play at the moment to daily runs of 0-2 to get cores - I'm almost done leveling the third AR/SMG team, but with a 50% bonus experience week coming up, no reason to spend resources in advance (and I don't have the cores to support leveling the fourth AR/SMG team or anyone from the extra pile yet...) Big event announced for the very end of April, so plenty of time to bank up ammo for that.

And they announced a new Sakura Taisen, too...

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September 05, 2018

Aria stuff has arrived

Big box of happy was left at my door, and thankfully ignored by my neighbors until I arrived home. Came with a good bit of extra goodies, some of which I intend to pass on to a certain Aria fan who will remain quackless.

Watched an episode and was smiling like a loon the whole time. Genuinely quite happy with the world.

Also, I actually made it to a baseball game over the weekend, and the Astros won, so that was pretty nice too.

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August 20, 2018

Been gaming

Several gacha games, though they're doing well about getting away from the "gacha" and including a game these days.

Granblue's still plenty of fun, though mostly with friends. It has a lot of the same systems as a more exploitative game (characters through expensive gacha, energy system), but the whole thing feels like it's run by a half-senile and indulgent grandparent; it hands out free rolls like candy (like "ten a day for a couple weeks at a time"), and the "forget the energy and keep playing" items rain from the sky; realistically your limit is physical exhaustion. Gameplay's classic-RPG style with fairly simplistic controls, but advancement is less "what you got out of the gacha" and more "how much work you've put into well-designed equipment grids".

On top of that, I've been trying out Girls Frontline and Azure Lane, the latter of which came out in English last week.

GFL is, basically, Kancolle with guns instead of ships. Nicely polished, plenty of cute, doesn't rely on you bringing tons of cash to get characters, no permadeath (and the girls head for the hills when they're hurt). Some customization/leveling, but a lot less than the other two games.

Azure Lane is actually kind of a game - a shmup, even. We're not talking Touhou or anything that crazy, and by comparison the controls are a little mushy and a lot of shots you just aren't going to dodge - but the girls are fairly tanky (the heavy cruisers are slow, but -very- tanky) and so you're less trying for That Perfect Run and more just mitigating the damage. Or if you're slow, distracted, or just plain bad at it, it has an auto mode that'll half-ass things for me. Enjoyable, especially if you were kind of interested in the idea of Kancolle but the language barrier stopped you. Much more international cast, too - the Royal Navy and US Navy are there in force instead of being relegated to a couple of bonus ships, while the IJN is in the "bad guy" role at the beginning.

Life is going pretty well. Got out to visit the Lexington while I was on vacation (was nice, but take my advice and wait for winter to go!)

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January 05, 2018

Laid-Back Camp is maximum comfy




I liked the antarctic show as well, but this one should top everything for lazy enjoyment.

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September 10, 2017

I made it through the big windy rainy thing

Been quiet lately, but not because of any trouble on this end. Here's a quick recap:

-Dallas was way too far north to see any of the trouble (or even more than a little rain). My parents ended up with a few feet of water in their house, though. I spent the weekend before this one with some friends and family ripping out... just about everything they had downstairs. They're insured but the house probably won't be habitable for a while (though, miracle of miracles, the air conditioner kicked on after a few days to dry out).

Doing demo work in a flooded house is not high on my list of pleasant experiences to be recommended to friends. Live on the high ground, folks.

-Went up to DC for Otakon and to do the tourist thing, since I'd never been before. Met a friend of mine a week before the con, and we had a lot of fun going around looking at things. The convention was quite good, and extremely well-run for the first year in that location. The figure shelf gained a couple of new additions (some more of the little Medicchu Kancolle ones, Shiro from NGNL, and yesterday, a Holo!)

-Been playing a whole lot of Granblue Fantasy (a browser game in the mobile style, hosted in Japan but translated to English.) Saw the first episode of the anime a while back and went "meh, generic", but an old friend from the anime company days got me into it and it's actually got some quite toothsome crunch in there; the events also have a fun, light-hearted feel. Technically one of those "play for a while and wait for the energy to refill" types, but they hand out so many items to refill the stuff that I think I could play continuously until 2018 at this point. OTOH, it's Japanese, so the "microtransactions" if you do want to buy stuff aren't really "micro"; at $30 or so for a 10-draw, it's more of a macrotransaction. Still, if you like this stuff and haven't been sucked into FGO, Granblue is a lot of fun.

-I've also been playing FF14, since a lot of my friends got back into that when the expansion hit. I'd tried it when it first came out and it was horribad; enough people agreed with me that they ended up blowing up the world and doing it over. These days, it's quite a good game; certainly prettier than WOW by a long way, and with a much deeper crafting system, though there's also still a few design oddities. Don't know that it'll hold my interest indefinitely, but it's plenty fun for now.

-Anime this season, I'm enjoying Centaur's Life, Clean Freak Aoyama-kun, Gamers, New Game, Restaurant, and the one ep of Knights and Magic I've seen so far. I'm also watching Smartphone in a kind of enjoying-the-train-wreck sense.

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January 16, 2017

Miku Mikku'd

Low posting is a symptom of happiness and games.

Picked up the new Project Diva: Future Tone. Realized that if I put 15-16 hours of play into it, that will be just about enough to have played each song precisely one time. Holy -mackerel-. I thought that Project Diva F and F2 were each worthwhile at about $50 for 40 songs or so, and Diva X was a bit short with a bit less in the way of songs. Of course Future Tone is $60 (two $30 packs, with 120 and 100 songs), and a lot of the content is stuff from the old games... but there were a lot of good songs in those old games, so putting everything into one rolled-up package along with a bunch of stuff that never came out over here is actually pretty great.

Difficulty level is... higher and lower at the same time, I guess? The removal of the double-same-direction takes out some of the finger-fatigue, offset by the addition of mash-two-different-notes-at-once; that's taking getting used to. The standard for passing a level is much lower, but in previous outings "good" and "cool" both counted as a full hit (now "good" is worth a little less) and doing well in portions of the song could get you bonus completion percentage (now it's raw "did you hit the notes right?") Clearing a song on "normal" only takes 50%, and there are a couple that I haven't managed that on, out of the tithe of the total I've managed to play so far. I haven't even tried the really manic ones that I know I have trouble on...

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May 05, 2016

When Uncle Sugar isn't happy, ain't nobody happy

Been lazy about updating. Things going well, many fun games, much good anime, etc, etc.

Steven is pessimistic about the long-term trajectory of the US economy, given the apparently-inevitable increase in debt. Fortunately the situation is better than what he's presenting, though for reasons that aren't terribly cheery in and of themselves.

First, while his analysis isn't incorrect, it's looking at the US in a vacuum. But we're not in a vacuum - we're in a world with a significant number of other countries. And those countries have their own problems... including the same problem the US has with respect to deficit spending. But worse.

While we certainly should be worried about the rapidly-approaching tiger, in practice we don't have to outpace it - just outpace the other competitors. Whether it's Japan's huge debt-to-GDP ratio and incipient population implosion, or Europe's deficits and other issues, or China's upcoming mother-of-all-burst-bubbles, none of our major competitors is anything like financially healthy. (Germany might be, were it not shackled into the Euro. Norway is, but it's tiny.)

The collapse of any of those major competitors is bad, in the sense that they are major markets. But from the chaos would come lots of opportunities for the US as well. Our prosperity in the '50s was not wholly unrelated to the happy fact that most of the other advanced economies had been bombed into rubble while ours was untouched, after all.

Behind all that, though, is a darker reason. We haven't been entirely idle, grasshoppering away in the sun. Sure, the dollar is backed by confidence in the American economy... but it's also backed by a dozen fleet carriers and a bunch of nuclear weapons. The US's naval superiority is essentially absolute at this point (the only country within shouting range, and they'd better use a megaphone, is the UK.) That doesn't mean that we can mwa-ha-ha rule the world... but it does mean that the transport of the commodity upon which all modern industry relies, oil, moves by our leave and no others. We don't use that power - we've never used that power - but it's there, and if push came to shove, it would be done.

When you're a banana vendor in a small room with an 800 pound gorilla, and he's buying bananas, that's a good position to be in. But if he comes to you and says "hey, I'm going to need credit for bananas for a while," you're going to offer him credit... even if you don't particularly expect to be paid. Why? Because the alternative to him buying your bananas is NOT "gorilla goes hungry".

Which is to say, the world's got a vested interest in keeping the US reasonably happy, because if we're not happy, we will spread around the unhappy with a big brush.

Not precisely a cheering thought, but there you have it...

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April 17, 2012

By popular demand!

Since y'all asked...



Jessica! Whose good traits I shall not list, so as not to make the reader wonder if I've taken leave of my senses. She's great.

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April 09, 2012

Anime stuff?

Watched the first ep of Accel World. Kind of a generic shonen setup (with a male lead right out of Galaxy Express 999, except without the badassery), but it's at least got a little potential. I'll definitely try another episode and see where it goes with things.

Watched the web shorts for Nyaruko-san... ugh, so bad, save your brain cells. The actual TV series might be better (it's got, you know, at least a LITTLE budget and might actually tell a story and not just go with a setup you're assumed to be familiar with!) Even so, I'm a little worried... it could easily be very, very stupid.

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April 02, 2012

In other news...

She's cute, she's funny, she's sexy, she's smart, and pretty much all-around great.

And also a resident of Oahu...

Dammit, Andy, momma done tol' you not to get into a long-distance relationship, and just lookit what you done now!

(considered posting this on the first and then putting up a not-a-joke disclaimer, but meh. No, it's real! And I'm running around grinning like a loon...)

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March 30, 2012

So crazy it just might work



Ork kommandos are noted for their use of camouflage. This is otherwise completely un-orky (the idea that you would want to hide from a fight is just wrong!), but kommandos do it anyway... partly because sneaking up on 'umies is a laff riot, partly because it lets them plant da bommz and make da boomz, and orks love watching things explode.



They are not noted for GOOD use of camouflage. They often use bright contrasting colors for camo. Heck, the use of tiger stripes (as something that works in nature) is practically inspired compared to what an ork might come up with on their own...



But from a painting perspective it's kind of unknown - I've seen some weird stuff but not any tiger stripe camo orks before. I don't know if that's because it's just an awesome idea whose time has come, or whether it actually means I'm batshit crazy, or even whether the orange paint is up to it, so I painted up this guy's pants as a test model. Crazy? Just maybe.

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March 20, 2012

Boyz painted

Another batch complete.



All ten in their orky glory.



"Mistuh directuh, didja get my good side?"

The bases came out pretty well! Tried mixing two drybrush colors to get a little more realism (gravel is not mono-palette, after all), and it paid off. Using a nice big drybrush didn't hurt anything either.

Thought about going back and doing their nails, but that's still a bridge too far for me... maybe on the characters, not on the everyday boyz.



Got a long way to go on the freehand, but it's at least good enough to put on an ork...

Decided to do the kommandos next. They're fun models, even if the metal means they only have a few poses. At least it gives me the excuse to paint Snikrot at the same time...

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March 15, 2012

Gustatory celebration

3.14 was duly celebrated with pie. And today, 3.15? Caesar salad...

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March 12, 2012

Project planning, ork style

I'm on the downhill end of working on the latest batch of boyz (nothing left but the bases), so I'm trying to think up which ones to do next...

  • Another set of regular shoota boyz. The "responsible" option, since these are the guys I'll be fielding in the largest numbers and I only have twenty painted so far, counting the ten not finished yet. Not much opportunity to do anything fancy, aside from a checkered shoulderpad or the like.
  • The ork kommandos, with their Boss Snikrot. 13 models total, some duplicate poses, one big model. I expect to field these guys fairly often (Snikrot gives them the ability to show up on the opponent's side of the board, giving the opponent a nasty deployment dilemma... every inch from the back is an inch closer to the rest of the horde!) Fun gas masks and a couple of burna boyz.
  • An HQ figure. I'm good enough to do justice to my warboss by now, and I also have a backup warboss in case I totally drop the ball. Alternately, I could do a Big Mek - either the force field one (which is as close to auto-include as they come) or the Shokk Attack Gun variant (because who doesn't like a gun that teleports little goblins directly into the enemy?)
  • The tankbustas! Lovely models, but crappy rules means I wouldn't actually field them that often. Probably not a good choice. But hey, ork with a rokkit reload in 'is mouf...

Still mulling it over.

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February 22, 2012

Kobayashi's in a foul mood



"What do you mean, this is my ride for 2012?!"

Courtesy of the irrepressible Mikatan blog.

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