Monday, May 20, 2013

Oh, Right, I'm Back

In the excitement of having fully-functional internet and being able to actually use it and play games with it and the like, combined with the excitement of there being all sorts of news flying about, I never really made a "Hey, I'm back and stable" post.  Though, to be fair, I did not to jynx myself by making one since I was convinced something would wreck right after such a declaration as that is how things tend to work out.  And to further being fair, tomorrow is kind of a big deal to have internet which leaves it as prime "Murphy's Law" territory for my net shitting the bed for absolutely no reason.  Or, you know, any of a dozen other issues.  Basically, I'm just saying that it's Spring and shit happens in Spring to drive me even -more- crazy than I am dealing with the fucking heat and allergies.

Still, it's worth it to bring up that I was gone, I am back now, and I have things I can marginally discuss for now, likely to further elaborate on in the future.  Since, thankfully, I was not forced to be idle during my internet break despite, you know, not having internet whatsoever in the grand scheme of things.  My games all still worked (which I hope to hell won't become a 'Novel Concept' in the next decade) so it was simply a matter of playing them without the luxury of being able to look up a single bit of information on them (which...was honestly and unfortunately harder than you might think).  I did have the net for the majority of one day which was spent mostly as a waste which I will describe below, but that night saw its demise and plunged me definitively into the 90s existence.

I want to get into that one day with internet before anything else, however, to explain the friggin' comedy of errors that day took.  As I stated previously, I have a copy of Deadly Premonition:  Director's Cut and I was slightly worried about the framerate and such when I started hearing complaints throughout the internet of it, but I had a relatively cool day and decided it was prudent to throw the game in and give it a shot.  So my thought process was basically thus:  The game came with Pre-Order DLC, that means a Day One patch to include it, right?  That is the case in 99% of situations, so I prepared myself for this scenario.  I tried to open the Store and it claimed that there was a system update.  Fair enough, I initiated it and let it run and install with no issue.  So I try to open the Store again only to find there's an update for the Store.  Which is pretty frustrating but I would be alright with it if it improved the Store's performance.  (Spoiler alert:  It doesn't.)  Regardless, that downloads and installs and I am then afforded the opportunity to download my Espresso Suit DLC which I had assumed was...more than just that.  (I don't think it is.)

So, I downloaded the DLC and installed it, since that usually works, and was more than ready to download yet another update, this time for the actual game that this whole endeavor was centered around.  Yet, when I put the game in and started it up there was no such update that occurred, only a message telling me the Game Data was incompatible and to delete it and try again.  That confused me, but I did it anyway (The DLC created Game Data, of course) and tried again.  This time it tells me there's not enough HDD space for the Install.  Urgh.  Deciding that I can live without a few choice Game Datas for games that have even bigger patches waiting for them, I go into the game one final time and let it install.  That works.  I exit, re-download my DLC, load the game again to make sure it's compatible and it is.  Thereafter, I was more than able to play the game with the realization that I was also more than able to do so at any point in the two hours spent doing all of the above because there was no game update.

I....didn't play Deadly Premonition that day.  Though I did play it a couple days later and am happy to report that, aside from one of the hub areas, issues with framerates don't seem that bad whatsoever.  Now I just need cooler weather or a cooler environment to actually resume playing the damn thing.

As is likely obvious from the screenshot at the top of the post, I also put a good bit of time into Soul Sacrifice and have come around to seeing why some people don't like it.  It's not to say that I'm starting to enjoy it any less, but rather that I feel like my enjoyment has reached its peak and will remain a constant which, in a sense, will bring it down.  I've reached the point of the game where it's only going to get exponentially harder with every leap, as it likely assumes I'm spending the time that I'm spending grinding up Offerings (and Levels in the meantime), but grinding up Offerings....well, it gets a little rough after a while.  Especially when you're playing a Glass Cannon since you either bring along allies and merely suffer getting smacked around (thankfully for no damage) by their AOE attacks that they love to spam, or leaving the allies at home and potentially losing a 10-minute battle because of a cheap shot.

The problem is that, I'm at an area where the second-tier of spells is the normal expectancy, and getting those buffed up is not nearly as simple as it was for the first-tier since getting second-tier when you don't have a recipe means involving a lot of first-tier.  Using the above picture as an example - that's the second-tier Ice Arrow skill.  Without a fusion recipe, I can still get more Ice Arrow (M) spells because I got that one from boosting Ice Arrow (S) a bunch.  And by a bunch, I mean four levels.  Which means getting two to boost to One-star, getting two One-Stars to Boost to Two-Stars, getting two Two-Stars to boost to Three-Stars and finally getting two Three-Stars to boost to (M).  Shit is exponential.  That is sixteen Ice Arrow (S) for one Ice Arrow (M).  Which means thirty-two for a One-Star Ice Arrow (M).  It's honestly just must simpler, of course, to find a level that offers the damn spell, or to stumble across the fusion recipe, but, well, both of those require treadings into areas where I should already have the spell and it gets all contradictory there.

Still, the actual game part is still fun, which is what matters of course.  It's just that I feel myself getting more into the thought-process of playing the game rather than just playing it, which is the trap I fell into with Disgaea 3.  Though, to be fair, you have to do that with Disgaea if you plan on doing anything but stumbling your way through the lackluster main story.  Still, just because the things you have to do to conquer even little parts of the 'bonus' content (which is lined up, in my case, as the epilogue to the game and doesn't read as 'bonus' to me whatsoever) are 'extra', that doesn't mean you can do whatever the hell you want with them.  Which is something I've been meaning to bitch about, but haven't gotten quite around to it just yet.

I've talked a few times about The horrors of Mushroom Baal and the horrible grind to get close to his level, but something I've really failed to break-down here is the actual context of what's going on here.  Mushroom Baal is the last fight of the epilogue which is basically just a lot of fan-wanking as you fight a bunch of characters from the game and games previous who have 'lost' something to a 'mysterious' Overlord.  As an example of that, the last fight before Mushroom Baal is Laharl, Etna and Flonne along with a field of crazy prinny soldier things.  Without exaggeration, I could throw Dinah as she is into that fight all by herself and she would win it.  Laharl and Co. are somewhere in the Effective Level of 2000-3000 and honestly are not all that impressive.  Dinah is, of course, Effective Level 9999, but her Sum Level is 30,000 and change.  As you've seen, she comes nowhere close to the Effective Level 4000 Mushroom Baal that has 1.2 Million ATK and is the fight directly after Laharl/Etna/Flonne.  I want to make that clear.  You have normal battles against previous characters like Axel and the mentioned trio and then immediately after, NIS just decides to punch you straight in the dick with a character that you cannot kill unless you've been grinding like a motherfucker.

It is further compounded by the issues that have summarily sprung up from my plans to just raise a really good Majin for Dinah to eat for an all-around boost of no small quantity and the Evilties that come along with that.  Majins, as I have stated in the past, simply require more Experience to level up.  Why this is is entirely beyond me because restricting them strictly because they get good Evilties seems a little overboard, but at the same time, the Evilties are literally all the Majins have.  Their stats being overall the same is nice, but unless you buff them with Class World and feed them someone for weapon skills, they're not going to be useful except for in the most specific of circumstances.  There is a lot of work to put into a Majin to make it 'good' even if it didn't have the EXP restriction.  With that, it's just fucking ridiculous.  I mean, I guess the benefit of an automatic 50% boost to all stats because of an Evilty is pretty crazy, but not fifty-hours-just-making-this-asshole-useful crazy.  When all that's going to happen is that he'll end up getting eaten by Dianh for about 100,000 (MAYBE) stat points (in full, not counting HP/SP and distributed between the stats) to be added to her well, and getting the Evilties she so needs.  And I will still have grinding to do to bring Dinah up to combat-readiness with Mushroom Baal after that.

There's absolutely no getting around the stupidly long grind either.  Either I grind this method, or I hop into a Legendary Item or Weapon's Item World and do all one hundred floors of it (not counting floors I have to redo because I went into a mystery panel) all so I have the 'privilege' of trying to Reverse Pirate the item for Statisticians who are the innocents that grant you more EXP when on an item that you have equipped and are, of course, a fucking rare spawn.  Reverse Pirating, by the way, requires that I have a Pirate Ship, which I do have, but if I didn't, that would mean...being in the Item World -again- relying on random chance that Pirates will show up on one floor at some point and I can murder them for their ship.  So I do all that for Statisticians and then I go through some sort of dupe thing with a particular weapon for more of that or something (which I will have to Item World beforehand) all just so I can grind my Majin more, hoping that the statisticians bring him up to normal, if not better, EXP gains.  It's one of those things that helps in the long run, of course, since it means free EXP for anyone when I'm specifically grinding them since I can just give them the item or move the innocents, but it's so fucking monotonous that it's not worth it.

And I cannot....cannot stress enough that this is not even the biggest fucking challenge of the game, this Mushroom Baal fight.  Because it's not the Land of Carnage version of the fight.  In which Mushroom Baal has about 20 Million in most stats.  I am not doing that fight for obvious reasons.  The most obvious among them being fuck you, Nippon Ichi Software.

I just wish I was fucking done with this grinding good goddamn

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