Friday, January 20, 2006

Limited duration buffs make me sad

At the start of disk 2 of FFIX there's a fight pitting Garnet, Steiner and Marcus against an insane black mage. Having recently acquired protect and shell and assuming (correctly) that a huge black mage might attack with spells I decided to shell up my team. It cannot be cast on more than one person at a time (presumably I will learn shell 2 or shellra eventually) so I started out by putting it on Steiner, then on Marcus. By the time I'd cast it on Garnet the one I had cast on Steiner had worn off. Worn off! I could not have my entire party shelled at the same time! (And this was only a 3 person group, not the full 4 that is possible.)

So, from that point on Garnet just beat down with her lacrosse stick and healed when needed. It's probably all she'll ever do. Something that really frustrates me is when game designers put spells or abilities in a game that you should not ever use. Why even bother giving me the spell if it only lasts 2 rounds of combat?

Another peeve is Scan, which has missed on every single monster on which I've cast it. At least I can foresee a use for that spell... If I ever have both Garnet and Quina in my party at the same time it will make eating things easier.

Also, I managed to buy Foror's Compendium of Dragon Slaying for 1350g yesterday. Now I just need to get into a top-end guild or bum my way into an Onyxia kill.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Party in San Juan!

One of the best parts (or at least the silliest parts) of the game Puerto Rico is the little space on your play mat marked 'San Juan'. When you have extra slaves with no fields or buildings to make them work they get to hang out in San Juan. It's a party!

A spin-off game named San Juan came out a while ago. It plays similar to Puerto Rico but with a lot more randomness, a lot less predicting opponent's moves, and a shorter play time. I played a few games with Mike before Games Day got kicked off yesterday and 3 more yesterday morning on BSW.

In one of the games yesterday my opponent managed to pull two different 6 cost buildings off of his gold mine. I hate the gold mine with a passion. Of all the randomness in the game, losing to lucky gold mines is the worst. As it turned out, however, I still won that game. And by a fair margin. Zumft Hall (Guild Hall for you non early or German BSWers) plus a whole lot of production buildings was just too much.

Which in and of itself is probably the second worst part of the game. Drawing an early Guild Hall and just holding on to it while you build any production buildings you draw just seems too strong.

But when games take like 15 minutes or so to play, I don't really mind so much that sometimes randomness is the deciding factor. Heck, I don't really play non-random games anyway, so I must like randomly winning games on some level. It's the randomly losing that isn't so nice. ;)

As an aside, I'm done disk 1 of FFIX. I still don't remember too much about what will come, but I am being reminded of how much I dislike or don't care for many of the characters. It's not like other games from the series... I mean, I wasn't a fan of Gau or Sabin or Strago... But when you have Locke, Celes, Setzer, Shadow, Edgar, Mog, and Terra (to name a few) it's a lot easier to ignore the ones you don't care for. So far in IX there isn't really a character that I want to latch onto. Quina is still funny, but is more annoying this time through for some reason. Steiner and Freya are both awful. Dagger and Zidane are rather shmeh. And while Vivi is amazing he just doesn't have the mana pool to be both fun to play and fun to have on screen.

Not from this game, but important to remind you nonetheless...

Kimahri wants EXPERIENCE!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Games Night in the Lounge

Last night was our first scheduled games night of the term. We played a 4 player game of Puerto Rico (I was 4th chair, got off to a good start but then misplayed my position in midgame, allowing the boats to end up indigo, tobacco, coffee with me holding 7 corn. I ended up last with 51 points.)

Then we played a 6 player game of Apples to Apples, which is a silly fun game. Not a good game. We had some laughs though, so it's all good. After a quick trip to the local all-day breakfast diner we returned to play a 6 player game of ZOMBIES!!! It's a fun concept but it takes too long, in no small part due to the vast number of cards designed solely to hinder the progress of other players. 4 people were running for the helipad leaving Byung and myself each trying to reach the 25 zombies goal. After several turns of being prevented from moving at all by other people's cards I got annoyed and tried to help Byung kill his zombies by using my destructive movement cards to move him where he wanted to go anyway. He ended up being killed by the 23rd zombie.

To pay back that deed he spawned 10 zombies in the streets around me, giving me an actual chance to get lucky and kill them all. (Note:Spawning 10 zombies around someone is almost always very destructive in this game. It tends to result in them getting killed by zombies.) But, a combination of 3 destructive cards meant I couldn't even ATTACK them for 3 full turns, which ended up being enough time for both Mike and Jeff to make it to the helipad for a joint victory. Also a fun game, not a great game.

I restarted playing Final Fantasy IX again, as I do not remember much about it from when I beat it shortly after its release. The graphics are distinctly underwhelming at this point in time though. Gameplay is still fun.

World of Warcraft is still taking up copious amounts of my time. I made plans with two of my roommates (Pounder and Andrew) and with Byung to make a group of 4 characters to play together in instances on a new server. It should be fun, especially since I get to be the shaman. Shaman being one of the classes I have not played with much at all.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Oops! is brought to you by erasers...

Don't make a mistake without one!

Guess I failed pretty miserably at staying on an update/day pace. On the plus side I am fully moved into my new place and plans have already started for setting up a board game night for the term.

In other news this resource gathering thing for World of Warcraft is absolutely insane. It turns out that at 3.5s per bandage created it will take over a month of man-time to turn 800000 linen cloth into linen bandages. And that's totally neglecting the time needed to farm all that linen and turn them all in 20 at a time!

I've been gathering linen from underneath Orgrimmar, and the evil hordses have yet to kill me on my ventures into the dungeon there. Not for lack of trying though!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Narnian Fish

To this point I have handed in 460 spotted yellowtail, 40 purple lotus and 160 runecloth bandages. I also won an arena trinket, up to 9 now.

Went to see the Chronicles of Narnia movie last night. It's been many years since I'd read the books so I can't comment on the accuracy of the movie to the book. What I can say is I enjoyed the movie. And I think I may just read the books again.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


The 1.9 patch for World of Warcraft came out, apparently to get into the new dungeons the whole server needs to do a lot of item turn-in quests. I'm doing my part by fishing up and cooking some Spotted Yellowtails from the waters around Stranglethorn Vale. I'm also getting some good fish to sell to alchemists for a reasonable amount of gold, so it's all good. I find fishing fun, too.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Juggernaut hits!

Managed to wake up in time to get a couple games of Warsong Gulch in with my 19 Paladin. A bunch of us out in New Brunswick have created level 19 characters that were twinking out so we can have fun smashing people in the low level battleground on World of Warcraft. In the two games I played yesterday we won both, with all 6 captures for our team coming from my guild, 'The Juggernaut'.

No one can compete with my mad healing skills. I also found a Skeletal Club for sale, so now I just need to decide between Crusader and Healing Power for an enchantment to put on it.

Monday, January 02, 2006

A Lazy Monday

Other than time spent working I pretty much just play World of Warcraft yesterday. Nothing terribly interesting happened, killed Avalanchion with my brother and he dropped his ring for me and an Essence of Earth, which was nice. We also leveled our mages a little on the pirates in Tanaris. There were 2 horde mages leveling there as well, and we got killed a few times by them, the big meanies.

Applied to a new guild yesterday, I've got my fingers crossed. Wish me luck. 8)

Sunday, January 01, 2006

At the beginning with you

My New Year's resolution for this year, sadly enough, is to start a blog and see how long I can go updating it every day. I'm going to start today by laying out my rationale and ground rules I'm setting for myself. Who knows how it may evolve though.

First, a bit about me. My name is Nick Page, I'm 25 years old, I live in Waterloo, Ontario, and I am a semi-recent graduate of the University of Waterloo (B. Math, honours Computer Science, minor in Combinatorics and Optimization). I'm working a tech supportish job currently and am half-heartedly looking for a programming type job. You can pretty much sum up my life with three statements... Play games - Eat meat - Sleep.

My main goal is to write about the games that I play. I intend to write freeform, not going back over each line to correct spelling or grammar or to make sure it comes out just perfect. The reason for this is that I often spend hours and hours trying to think of the perfect way to phrase an email or a message board post or whatnot. I am going to allow myself to correct typoes in the last word/punctuation though, so while it may be a little incoherent at times it shouldn't be illegible as well.

The primary reason for doing this is so that I can reread my thoughts on things (especially games) years down the road, but there are lots of secondary reasons as well.

- I have an interest in doing serious testing, and it was recommended that working on your communication skills, for example by writing a blog, would be a big asset. I'd like all the assets I can get.

- To learn a bit about website, or at least blog, design.

- I used to be roommates with a couple people who wrote Magic:The Gathering articles for back when I was a student. I always got a thrill out of reading about the exploits of people I knew in person, especially if I was somehow involved. I expect I will often know the people I write about, and I will likely find myself involved a fair bit. And hey, maybe someone I know will stumble across this at some point and get a kick out of reading about themselves.

- I am starting to give serious consideration to trying to make money (or at least break even and have fun) playing online poker. I've seen it recommended to keep track of each session so you can more objectively approach your game. Makes sense to me, and what better way to track progress than by writing about it every day. I also figure I can do the same sort of thing with Magic Online tournaments. Up to now I've just had a vague sense that I'm winning more often than losing but I have no real concrete proof. This will at least give me some stats to (poorly) analyze.

- To attract all the cute gamer girls out there. Ok... Not all. One would be quite sufficient. The cute part is just an added frill. The girl part, on the other hand, is non-negotiable.

- Who knows, maybe some random people out there will read a post and be entertained, or learn something about something random. That would be great!

At any rate, questions and comments, now or in the future, are always welcomed. I especially welcome criticism, constructive prefered but I can learn from even the meanest of complaints.