Mudd’s Into Darkness and Beyond Pack

While I haven’t been paying much attention to STO lately, it doesn’t mean I haven’t peeked in every now and then to see if anything cool is coming down the pipe. It just so happens that the Mudd’s Into Darkness and Beyond Pack is now being offered, with still a few more days to go! This tickles my fancy a bit because I do like many of the reboot ship designs, and all of them have been expensive to get in the after-market. Not that this bundle is cheap — even at 50% off it’s a hefty 14750 Zen (regular price 29500 Zen, but never pay full price in Mudd’s Market. EVER.), so is it worth shelling out?

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In Final Fantasy XIV now!

Well guess what? I ended up buying FFXIV and subbed. Yeah, I know, paying a sub to play a MMO is something I thought I’d never do, yet here I am. I’ve been playing FFXIV solid for a month now, so it’s still have the fresh plastic smell whiffing about, but now that I had a chance to delve a bit deeper into the game beyond the pretty, shiny presentation, here are my thoughts on it as a fully-subbed player.

(Incidentally, the title image shows off my gal Faye, in her Bard attire, next to Rumble’s character Ash, in his Paladin armor).

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Sister-in-Law

My sister-in-law, my brother’s wife, died very unexpectedly a few days ago.

We are still not sure what happened. She was in the living room at night on a work call, and then went quiet. My brother went to check on her, and found her on the couch, not breathing. The paramedics failed to resuscitate her.

We drove over to my brother’s apartment and saw her on the floor. I was too shocked to be sad, and the sadness didn’t kick in until two days later. The police were there when we arrived, and we talked to the coroner on the phone. The coroner subsequently chatted with the family doctor in the morning, and as best as they could determine, she died of an unexpected heart attack.

I’m still in shock, and having great difficulty accepting this. In the last few years I’ve gone through the passing of both my parents, and my mother-in-law, but this is the first time someone of my age and generation died. I don’t even know how to talk about this…. I just know I’m already missing her so much. She was a good person, very kind and accommodating. She deserved better than this.

First Impressions: Final Fantasy XIV

For the past week-and-a-half I have been playing Final Fantasy XIV Free Trial. And given that it’s only been eleven or twelve days, I don’t have enough information to do an intelligent review. But hey, FFXIV has been around for many years now, there are plenty of reviews out there (mostly positive) so it’s easy to find one. Nope, this is just a “First Impression” post for me, which is important because it’s going to help me decide whether FFXIV will be my “go-to” MMO for the foreseeable future.

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What Games to Play, 2021 Edition

For the past seven weeks or so, we’ve been hitting Champions Online pretty hard. I certainly did a lot more than I ever did on that game before, getting multiple characters to level 40, trying Freeform builds, doing endgame content like Adventure packs and Cosmics. Character-build is actually quite a bit more complex than I thought, so there’s that. Take a look at the three “Mains” that I ultimately landed on!

Unfortunately, the fact that Cryptic more or less abandoned development of Champions Online is quite obvious in many areas of the game. Glaring bugs that never get fixed. Planned but unfinished assets and areas are everywhere. The biggest issue is “endgame content”, which mainly consists of Cosmic queues (against three giant monsters), a Lair queue (Teleios), and the Qliphothic Warzone. All of this gets repetitive and frankly, frustrating to play. They also quickly fall into the vicious cycle that made me quit RIFT way back when: you’re grinding the frustrating queues for rare currency, just to buy rare gear so you can do the queues better. At that point you’re just going through the motion of dailies — which, yes, all MMOs get there eventually, but Champions Online’s unfortunate lack of endgame options get there a lot quicker.

So with that in mind, we started looking again.

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Revisiting Champions Online

Recently I’ve been pulled back to Champions Online by a friend, and have been spending a lot of my play time there. Why? The repetitive grinds on my other games are starting to bore me (I actually stopped doing dailies and keyfarming on GW2!), and the prospect of playing with a friend and group, rather than solo-slogging, is appealing.

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Bigger is always Better?

I like Big Ships and I can not lie
You other toons can’t deny
That when a ship sails in with an itty bitty deflector
And a round thing in your saucer
You get sprung, want to pull up tough
‘Cause you notice that Ship was stuffed
Deep in the docks she’s parking
I’m hooked and I can’t stop staring.

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