Greetings gentle readers, to my first in what I hope to be a semi regularly column I am calling “State of the Nerd” where I talk about whats going on with me, my life, the site, the streams, and everything else. Basically a general overview of what I have been up to, and what I am planning. So lets dive right in!
As far as streaming goes I haven’t really done much since my Kingdoms of Amalur playthrough ended. I have not had the time, nor the energy really to get back on there. Currently I got two plans however for upcoming streams.
First is a full Mass Effect 1/2/3 trilogy playthrough with all DLC included in the game. I am going to play each game on stream, fully, with no mods, and then review them each after I finish them. My current plan is to play a Female Shepard, full Paragon (mostly), Adept, romancing no one in Game 1 and then Garrus in 2/3, with my team being and Engineer and Soldier with me (usually Garrus and Tali, best team ever). These will not be 100% runs but rather doing things as I see fit. Mostly cause I have zero urge to explore every planet in ME1 (oh god no), but beyond that I will be aiming to do every quest I come across, and all the DLC save maybe Pinnacle Station in ME1 (that has no bearing on the story FYI).
Second is my Pugmire Tabletop RPG Stream. This is going to be a once a month game, usually on a Saturday night, and feature me as the DM and my wife, Walking Virus, Saevrick, Musick Kombat, and Kraven Gaming as my players. Our Session Zero, which will be streamed, is currently schedule for 6pm EST on 11/24. It will be broadcast on my Twitch Channel so if you wanna watch and see how I run Session Zeros, and just what kind of Good Bois my players are going to be, you will want to follow me there and watch. At the end of the stream I will plan, with my players, the first actual session so that should be a trip.
Actually both things will be on my Twitch Channel. Obviously.
TABLETOP RPG STUFF
Right now I still have a review to record and put up on Youtube for both the Pugmire rulebook as well as the Heralds: Lovecraft and Telsa Savage Setting book. I am hoping to work on these reviews this coming Sunday. Beyond that I have the Pugmire game (see above) and thats really it on the Tabletop front. I find that planning or doing stuff involving tabletop takes a lot of mental energy, and sadly these days I just don’t have a lot left after my work week. I am hoping one day that will change, but I don’t see it happening anytime soon.
VIDEO GAME STUFF
On the video game front, I just recently finished my review of Cyanide Studio’s new RPG Call of Cthulhu, which you can find right here. While I am going to be streaming the Mass Effect run, I am also playing games at home in an effort to de-stress and get some content out as well. I got a couple i am messing around with.
First, the mobile game Dragalia Lost which I wrote about here. I just finished the Wind Raid (got the Dragon Reward, and most of the event quests done) but I am still trying to see how much more in the rewards category I can get before I go back to doing the story missions. The event has been fun, and for the most part has worked well, being able to play with 3 other players and take on a giant boss with MMO styled mechanics is a lot of fun, and doesn’t usually take more then a couple of minutes per fight.
I am also playing World of Warcraft Battle for Azeroth with my wife on the weekends, and on some nights when I feel up to it. Honestly though, this game has gotten stale already even a month and change after the expansion launch. Most of my issues stem from the Azerite Armor system, where each pieces has randomized traits, and sometimes really terrible ones. Its no fun getting a new head chest or shoulder piece and going “Well crap, the item level is better but the traits on it are horrible” or even worse, getting a piece you cannot use because your Necklace (the heart of azeroth) isnt “powered” enough yet. Combine that with just grind on top of grind on top of grind and the game has become a slog. I just got access to Warfronts though by hitting ilvl 320 on my Gnome Shadow Priest, and my wife seems to enjoy doing those on her Undead Hunter so perhaps that will liven things up for me. I need something that feels meaningful and lets me feel like I am improving my character, rather then playing the item lotto and hoping for the best.
Recently I picked up two games on sale on Steam: Yakuza Zero and Dot Hack GU Recode, and started playing both. Yakuza Zero is a ridiculous game that I am in love with, but I have not gotten too far in it, only Chapter 3 which is the start of Mejima’s storyline. This is the prequal game to the Yakuza series and shows just how Kiryu and Majima ended up where they are in Yakuza Kiwami. What I am liking about it is that while its an open world game, the world is not gigantic and filled with icons to visit and things to do. Its much more focused, which is nice for a guy like me. I ended up stopping with AC Odyssey despite how much I like it because every hour or so some new subsystem and activity opened up and I just got overwhelmed. Playing Call of Cthulhu was nice for that reason, it was a linear game, 8 hours long, and done. Yakuza Zero is MUCH longer (something like 16 chapters and I am on Chapter 3) but each chapter feels like a distinct entity with its own limited activities. Plus its just fun to run around in 80’s Japan and play Space Harrier in an Arcade.
Dot Hack GU Recode is a JRPG that I have had my eye on for a LONG time now, but its been $50 on steam and I just didn’t want to spend that. However, it went down over the weekend to $15 and I had the spare cash so I snatched it up. I am only 3 hours in, but I enjoy the basic gameplay of it, and I like the enhanced visuals. I did play the original Dot Hack GU Volume 1 on the PS2 back in the day, but never finished, and its just like I remember: Hasaeo is a bit of a dick, but the cast of characters who are surrounding him are enjoyable and its got some interesting systems to it. Expect a review of this one once I get through the entire 4 “Chapters” of the game (aka the 3 original games plus the new 4th mini game). I also like how it feels like a fake MMO, with me being able to read and reply to emails, get info off forums, and read about the world outside of the game from the “computer” menu. Its got a lot of charm. I am just hoping that I see some growth out of Haseo as the game goes on.
PATREON STUFF AND THE BLOG
I figured I might as well give a little update to how my Patreon is doing overall here. I have lost some patrons, gained some, had some lower their pledges, had some increase their pledges, and have thus far stayed pretty much the same for the last few months which is kind of sad I suppose. I was hoping for more growth but honestly I dont even know what I offer to people who are pledged now! I did manage to run a moderately successful Patreon Jackbox Game event, a private one in fact, which was a lot of fun.
While I may not be doing Patreon One Shots anytime soon, I will be doing more of these “game nights” or “fireside chat” type events just to interact with my Patrons more, at least once a month if I can swing it on a Sunday morning. Might even do things like a watch along for a movie or something privately, who knows. I might take some votes. I find that Patreon One Shots just take more planning and energy that I dont have right now, but game nights and things that require little prep on my part are MUCH easier.
Who knew that Tabletop Prep, even using the Lazy DM Method by Sly Flourish, can take so much energy out of someone? Oh wait, most DMs know that!
As far as the blog here, I just paid for my next year of hosting (Thanks Patrons for helping me cover that) and have been doing pretty ok. Most of my hits (At least half of the 200-300 I get a day) seem to come from the Divine Soul Sorcerer post from way back when, which makes me laugh. I had no idea so many people would search for that on Google but apparently I am one of the top results on that one. Everything else has been doing pretty ok. The CoC review has gotten nearly 100 views so I consider that a win given how rare my other posts get seen it seems. Even twitter rarely talks about the stuff I do on here.
So there is the state of the Nerd as of November 2018. Here is hoping things change in my life so I can get some of my old energy back and get to making more content like I used to. I feel really horrible and kind of a failure because of my lack of actually doing the things I used to be able to do. Which does not improve my mood. But what can you do? All we can really do anymore is push forward in our lives, and try to survive the trials put before us as best we can, and do all that we can to live and thrive.
Talk to you all later and remember to stay nerdy everyone.