Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Farewell, Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking has passed away at the age of 76. Think about that. He was only given two years to live and he lived well beyond those years. I am so bummed that we have lost a brilliant mind, but I'm grateful for how he expanded our minds with his passion and love for science. Farewell, Stephen Hawking. Rest well among the stars and thank you for the gift you gave us of exploring and thinking about the universe in different ways. We will miss you.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The Adventures Of Pirotess: Crafting With Weaver

Weaver was the next crafting job I tried out. Weaver is another job class that I enjoyed. To unlock weaver, you need to head to the Weaver's Guild in Ul'dah and talk to the NPC there. Once that's done you get the tools you need for Weaver, a needle and later on as your secondary tool, a spinning wheel. 

Pirotess at the Weaver's Guild.

Weaver is useful for crafting light cloth armor for caster classes as well as armor for crafting classes that enhance stats such as crafstmanship and control points. Lightning and wind shards are used for crafting on Weaver. This is why it's best to have the botanist and miner jobs unlocked so that you can gather the shards needed for crafting as well as other crafting materials. You can also buy some of the beginning materials needed from the Weaver's Guild supplier, but as you level and the recipes become more challenging, you will need to go out and forage. 

The weaver's guild will have some of the needed crafting materials.

As with the other crafting jobs, you will have a crafting log book giving you a list of items you can craft on weaver. You can go down the list and start crafting as long as you have the required materials. Once crafted, you get experience points for it and a check mark showing proof that you have successfully completed it. With some recipes that you have crafted normally you can use quick synthesis which lets you craft items in bulk. You will only get minimal experience doing this and you won't necessarily get high quality items from it and the chance for synthesis failures is a bit greater. It can be convenient if you need to make a certain number of items for quests or for selling on the market boards. 

List of items that can be crafted on Weaver.

Weaver has a set of skills that can enhance your crafting. Because I have been leveling Culinarian, I am able to craft food that also helps with my crafting such as baked onion soup which helps with my craftsmanship. Using food that enhances crafting is a great way to help crafting on weaver. Skills like Steady Hand and Inner Quiet can help make sure that your crafting is successful. 

Use your Weaver skills to help your crafting.

Light armor isn't the only thing weaver can make. It's a bit more challenging, but with craft enhancing food and armor you can craft furniture like beds, rugs, and stuffed toys. This is under the housing tab in your crafting log. Patience is a must for these recipes because the more difficult recipes will result in a lot of craft failures. Once you master it however, it gets a bit easier. Furniture also sells for quite a bit of gil on the market boards which is a nice way to add to your adventurer nest egg. 

A list of furniture items you can craft on weaver. 

At certain levels such as level 10 you get a quest from the guild master, Redolent Rose where you need to craft a specific item and turn it in. Completing these quests gives you experience points and at some of the levels you can choose armor for your weaver. You also get improved tools for your weaver as you level up. 

Pirotess talks to Redolent Rose, the weaver guild master.

Weaver is not just a useful crafting job, it's a lot of fun. I enjoyed making a variety of things for friends ranging from crafting gear to furniture for their houses. Making high quality items is a challenge, but the sense of accomplishment when I successfully did it was fantastic. Being able to make a few things for myself is also great especially when I'm having some adventurer downtime. Thanks for reading, everyone. I believe the next crafting job post will be for Blacksmith. See you at the next adventure!

Pirotess enjoying some crafting on weaver. 

*Final Fantasy XIV is available to play on the following platforms: PC and Playstation 4

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Monster Hunter World: Come For The Monsters, Stay For The Adventure

 The more I read about Monster Hunter World, the more I wanted to try it out. The day I got the game for the Playstation 4 I was excited to play. The character creation has a variety of options to choose from right down to the facial expressions. I spent quite a bit of time creating my character to the way I wanted it to look.

Designing my character.

Once you have your character design done, you can choose your default armor for the start of your adventure. Your options are leather, chainmail, or no armor. Don't worry about the armor not being so great, you do get to upgrade to better armor later.

I chose the leather armor to start. 

After that came my favorite part, designing my Palico. A Palico is your feline best friend who goes monster hunting with you and assists you with finding items, healing you, and using gadgets to distract the monster while you battle them. They are also such cute kitties! Naturally, I designed mine to look like our cat Loki and named him after Loki also. Loki remained unimpressed, but allowed it because he is a diva after all. 

My Palico, Loki.

The initial introduction to the main story introduces you to the game mechanics and gives you a few tutorials on how to choose weapons, how to train with them, and how to battle monsters. I enjoyed exploring everything. The different areas are beautiful and the real stars are the monsters themselves. There are no cookie cutter monsters here. Each one is unique and they really stand out. You also have a vast amount of wildlife ranging from insects to non aggressive monsters.

Exploring the Ancient Forest.

The game will not hold your hand completely. There will be things you have to look up or you will have to ask friends for help. Explore everything. Part of the monster hunts is tracking. The more tracking you do, the more information you will unlock about various monsters such as elements they're weak to and which parts of their bodies are breakable. You will also be able to craft weapons and armor with materials from the monsters you hunt which you get after successfully completing your quest.

You can earn armor and weapon materials from monster hunts.

This is where the main headquarters comes in. Here you will find things to help you on your monster hunts. This is the hub where you can get main and optional quests as well as events. There are vendors where you can buy items you need for crafting or ammo for weapons. There is also a botanist area where you can grow various plants for crafting items. In order to craft weapons and armor you need to visit the workshop. If you have enough of the materials needed, you can craft weapons, armor, and charms for yourself. You can also craft armor and weapons for your Palico. The workshop is also where you can upgrade your equipment to make it stronger and even add elemental strengths to it.

Build all the things in the workshop. 

Another useful thing is the canteen. An adorable team of Palicoes will cook meals for you. Eating meals before you go on your monster hunts gives you and your Palico a boost to different stats depending on the type of meal you eat like a boost to your health and stamina. You can pay for your meals with money, points, or vouchers from your daily log in bonus. Protip: If you use the vouchers everyone on your session can get a meal cooked for them for free. It's a nice way to help out your buddies.

Enjoy a stat boosting meal courtesy of the adorable Palicoes!

Choosing weapons may seem like a daunting task, but you can test them out in the training area which is accessed from your room to see how they work and decide if it's a weapon you want to use. Weapons range from light bowguns to heavy axes and more. You can change your equipment before going on quests according to which monster you're hunting. For weapons like the bowgun you can craft ammo for it. You can also craft traps, bombs, and healing items with materials you find and from the monsters you hunt. 

Using a light bowgun to hunt a monster.

You do need an internet connection to play Monster Hunter World. This game strongly encourages you to play with your friends and other players and to work as a team hunting monsters. That's not to say you can't play solo at all because you can. You can make the session private or switch the number of players on a quest to 1 and passcode it if you wish. If you're not a subscriber to Playstation Plus or Xbox Live you will be pushed to offline mode and single player as well. Personally, I like doing the monster hunts with my friends. We all have fun together, help each other out, crack jokes, and have a great time exploring and hunting monsters. This is also where the SOS flare comes in handy. If you're finding a monster hunt to be challenging, you can fire the SOS flare and other players can join your quest and help you out. To me, that's a win win.

Hunting a dragon with my good friend Sol. 

More friends means more buddies to help you out with monster hunts and vice versa. You can exchange guild cards with other players. You can edit the greeting on your guild card, choose a background setting, and choose a pose for you and your Palico. The guild cards show your hunter rank, stats, and achievements. They do more than that though. First of all, if you play with a buddy you've exchanged guild cards with you gain unity which is how much you play together. The longer you play together the higher the unity. The second thing which is pretty cool is the guild cards you have from your friends allows you to hire their Palicoes to help with monster hunts or you can hire them for Tailraider Safaris which has them going out and gathering resources for you. The current number of guild cards you can receive is set at 100. 

My guild card is humorous. 

You don't always have to go monster hunting. You can go on expeditions which aren't timed and allow you to explore to your heart's content. You can gather crafting resources, take in the view, or go fishing. There are gathering quests where you need to get certain materials in order to upgrade camps and headquarters. Expeditions are perfect for doing these. I enjoyed taking breaks here and there just to do some fishing.

Fishing time!

While the main story itself is rather light, it is interesting. The big thing about Monster Hunter World is the thrill of hunting all these monsters that are unpredictable and challenging and creating an exciting sense of adventure. Going on these adventures with your friends makes it even better. Sure it can be challenging, but it is a lot of fun rising to those challenges and exploring the incredible world that this game has created. It's worth visiting again and again.

If you're playing the game on Playstation 4, I'm on there as Pirotess. I look forward to enjoying the game with everyone!

Taking a break in my room. See you at the next adventure!

*Monster Hunter World is playable on the following platforms: Playstation 4 and Xbox One

*Author's Note: Monster Hunter World will be coming to PC in Fall of 2018

Sunday, February 11, 2018

The Adventures Of Pirotess: Valentione's Day Event

 The Valentione's Day event is in full swing and if you haven't done it yet, there is still a couple of days left to get all the event items. To be able to participate in the event you must be at least level 15 and have completed the quest It's Probably Pirates. To start the event you need to head to Gridania and go to Mih Khetto's Amphitheater. Everything is decorated for the event looking pretty and festive. After you're done admiring the scenery, you need to talk to the NPC Lisette de Valentione to start the first part of the quest called Lessons In Love.

Pirotess checks out the Valentione's Day celebration.

The Lessons In Love quest is pretty easy. All you have to do is find some missing Moogles whose locations are marked on your map. Once you turn this quest in, you receive your choice of mount: the broken heart pendant left or the broken heart pendant right. You can now do the optional repeatable quest In Fortune With The Times. To participate in this one, you should team up with a friend because it is a two man duty that requires a lot of communication and teamwork. 

Pirotess ready to participate in the event. 

The duty has two tests. The first is a maze which was frankly, a frustrating pain and definitely tested your patience a bit. You and your partner are linked by a magic chain and you have to run side by side in separate maze paths. This requires a lot of communication because if you stray too far from each other or miss a gate switch your affinity drops. Basically you have to sync your movements with your partner and make sure you talk to them all the time. You also have to dodge the Moogles who try to attack you as much as you can because if they hit you, your luck and affinity drop drastically. Luckily my friend and I were just having fun with it so there was no rush. Thank you to my friend Kat for helping me do the event after I mentioned I needed a partner to do this so I could write about it in my blog. You are awesome!

Pirotess and Kat listen to the Moogle explain the maze rules. 

The second part of the test is essentially a game of Memory with giant cards. Again this requires a lot of communicating and teamwork. You are shown only five of the cards for about one minute and you have to do your best to remember what they were and their location. You have to select a card and your partner must select another one. This is where saying which card you see helps a lot especially if it's not a match. If it is a match you get good fortune. If not, you get bad fortune and an affinity drop.
At the end of this duty, your fortune gets told about whether or not you and your partner are a Valentione's Day match. Kat and I were in the middle something we giggled about a lot. 

Pick a card, any card....

When you're done with this duty, you can turn the quest in and receive Valentione's chocolate hearts. These you can spend at the NPC vendor nearby for Valentione event items. The items you can get are: Rose Wagon, Valentione's Day Balloons, Valentione's Day Advertisement, Prismatic Heart (left), and Prismatic Heart (right). 

I always enjoy the holiday events in Eorzea because it gives everyone a nice break from adventuring and allows everybody to have fun with their friends. The Valentione's Day event this year was a lot of fun and the themed items from it are pretty nice. The event is going until February 15 so check it out and have a good time. See you at the next adventure!

Pirotess shows off her Valentione's Day poster. 

*Final Fantasy XIV is available to play on the following platforms: PC and Playstation 4

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Assassin's Creed Origins Hidden Ones DLC Review

I had been eagerly anticipating the Hidden Ones DLC for Assassin's Creed Origins. As soon as it was released I started playing. There are some new side quests in the main story areas in order to help you level because the new level cap goes up to 55. This also gives you an introduction to the Hidden Ones story which is set four years after the events of the main story. When you start this series of quests titled Incoming Threat it opens up the story and sets the scene for the events in Hidden Ones.

There are some new armor sets such as the Horus outfit and the assassin Edward Kenway's outfit. Bayek gets his own unique outfit as well. The world map now has check marks next to completed quest location and exploration areas so you can easily keep track of them. There is also a fun new mount, the unicorn camel. I found this really amusing and had fun exploring everywhere while riding it.

Behold! The unicorn camel!

There is also an interesting Final Fantasy crossover quest, Gift From The Gods. Once you complete the quest you receive the following Fantasy items; the Ultima Blade, Zeidrich Shield, and the Kweh mount. The Kweh mount looks pretty real and rather terrifying.

Terrify your enemies with the Kweh mount.

Bayek now gets to travel to Sinai for the story of Hidden Ones. While the DLC itself is short, about 3 hours of game play the story is interesting and the battles are great. There are some side quests along the way also and you get to explore all of Sinai. 

Bayek seems a little calmer here and there is less rage in him. It has been four years after all. He is smart, brave, and ready to help his allies. Aya now Amunet makes a brief appearance as well and I was thrilled because she was Bayek's equal in every way and he treated her as an equal. The bond between the two characters is so strong and it was nice to see it again even if it was brief. 

Bayek exploring Sinai and with new armor. 

The controls in Hidden Ones are still well done so battles are fun and easy to navigate. There's plenty to see and do and it builds on the main story really well while having its own small story that sets things up for the next DLC Curse Of The Pharaohs which will be released in March.

I had fun playing Hidden Ones. I loved playing as Bayek again and getting to explore more of Egypt. Hidden Ones DLC is great with more things to do and see as well as an interesting story. I am looking forward to playing Bayek's next chapter in March.

Bayek overlooking Sinai.

*Assassin's Creed Origins is available to play on the following platforms: PC, Playstation 4, and XboxOne

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

YouTube Channels, And Books Worth Checking Out

When I am not gaming or knitting, I will watch videos on YouTube that interest me or read books. These are some of my personal favorites that are worth checking out.

First up is Two Guys One Beard. These are three guys having fun while playing video games such as Overwatch and Left 4 Dead. The videos are entertaining, funny, and every now and then there are some hilarious puns. You can check out their channel on YouTube and subscribe. You can watch their latest video featuring Mega Man X here:

Two Guys One Beard also has a Facebook page which you can like and follow here: https://www.facebook.com/Two-Guys-One-Beard-532799147083324/

I'm sure almost everyone knows who Ivy Doomkitty is. For those who don't, Ivy is a prolific cosplayer and gamer. She is a person who really cares about her fans and is all about making an open armed community that welcomes everyone. She also volunteers for some great animal rescue charities like Kitt Crusaders.

Her videos on YouTube are fun and friendly updates on cosplay she's working on or Lootcrate unboxing reveals. You can check out her YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/user/ivydoomkittyofficial/featured

You can also follow Ivy Doomkitty on Facebook, Twitch, Twitter, and Instagram. You can also sponsor her on Patreon for pretty awesome rewards such as constant updates and for higher tier levels photos and merchandise.

That Japanese Man Yuta is another great channel I follow. Yuta's videos are not only interesting, they are informative about life in Japan, the culture, and language. There are a lot of interesting interview videos he does with people in public about a variety of topics ranging from music to dating. You can also sign up for free or premium Japanese lessons with Yuta. I signed up for these and they are great. You can select your difficulty level and you get an email with a video lesson. The lessons are easy to follow and they are great for helping to learn real Japanese. You can follow Yuta on his Facebook page and support him on Patreon. You can check out his YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/user/YPlusShow/featured

AWE me is one of my absolute favorites on YouTube because they create all the amazing weapons from video games, animes, and movies. They will often ask their fans what they should make next and usually the one that gets the most requests is their next project. I always enjoy watching their videos because they explain the process of the build and then there's a pretty awesome montage of showing off the finished item and slicing watermelons. It's really bad ass and fantastic. They have a Facebook page you can follow and Twitter also. You can check out all their videos on their YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/user/AweMeChannel/featured

Now, let's move on to books. Books are a wonderful thing and I have always loved curling up with a good book and reading for hours at a time. The first book is one of my personal favorites because it has such beautiful and interesting short stories. I love short stories especially stories that capture my imagination and make me see the world in a different way. Tales From The Highway by Jim Milligan is an incredible collection of short stories and I have read this book a few times already because it is that good. You can buy this book for the Kindle on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Tales-Highway-Collection-Fantasy-Stories-ebook/dp/B076V43HXJ

Haw by Sean Jackson is another favorite book of mine. It is a fantastic powerful and emotional story set in a dystopian future. It very much feels like a modern day Brave New World yet it is also its own beautiful story about the power of love, the human spirit, and what it means to stand up and fight for oneself and others. Haw is another book I have read quite a few times and every time it feels like a wonderful old friend with deep meaning. You can purchase the Kindle version or the paperback version here: https://www.amazon.com/Haw-Sean-Jackson-ebook/dp/B00YOSCQ7E/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1516755175&sr=1-2&keywords=haw#customerReviews

These are YouTube channels and books that are worth checking out because they are entertaining and great. I hope you will take a look and if they interest you I hope you will watch and subscribe or buy one or both of the books. See you at the next adventure, everyone!

Monday, January 22, 2018

The Adventures Of Pirotess: Crafting With Carpenter

Carpenter is another favorite job class for me after Culinarian. With a saw and a hammer as your tools, you can work with wood and metal to create a variety of useful items for you and your fellow adventurers. The Carpenter's Guild is located in Gridania and when you're first starting out you can buy the materials needed for crafting from the guild supplier NPC.

Pirotess buys crafting materials at the Carpenter's Guild.

As with all of the crafting jobs, you have a certain amount of control points while you are crafting along with job abilities to make sure your crafting is successful. Having gear equipped that adds to your control points and crafting abilities is quite helpful. Shout out to my friend Sekilini for crafting gear for me for my crafting jobs that does just that. This is also where Culinarian comes in handy, because you can craft meals that will enhance your crafting abilities also. 

The list of things you can craft starts simply at first and then as you reach higher levels they become more challenging. Expect a lot of crafting failures and loss of shards and crafting items with the more difficult items because they are meant to be hard to craft. Once you successfully craft those items though it's pretty awesome. 

Carpenter crafting list.

Some of the materials needed you will have to get on other crafting jobs. For example, if you need steel ingots you can get those from Blacksmith or Armorer. You can also purchase these from the Amalj'aa vendor in in Southern Thanlan. Other items like aldgoat leather require crafting on Leatherworker. Checking the market boards for items you may need is helpful as well. My advice is shop around because you want to get what you need at a reasonable price. I have actually waited a few days to see if things drop in price or if more become available for sale. There's no rush with crafting and you can take as much time as you need. 

Pirotess crafting away in the Carpenter's Guild. 

One of the fun things I liked about Carpenter was the fact that you can craft furniture. I made tables, chairs, and shelves to start. These are a bit of a challenge to make at first, but once you get the hang of crafting them, it does get easier. Just watch your control points, use your enhancing foods, and use your crafting abilities. Once you get on a roll, you can craft these things to your heart's content and a lot of the more difficult furniture items sell for a pretty hefty amount of gil on the marketplace boards.

List of furniture items that can be crafted on Carpenter.

At certain levels you will get a job specific quest from the guild master NPC, Beatin. This requires you to craft an item or a certain number of items that he requests and then you present it to him or whichever NPC is involved in the quest. Besides the usual experience points you will also receive gil and one piece of crafting gear. 

Pirotess getting a job quest from Beatin.

Carpenter is a lot of fun and it offers so many useful items. It is easy to level it up alongside the other crafting classes and you can cross level it easily with jobs like Leatherworker, Blacksmith, and Armorer. Of course Botanist and Miner goes well with it also because you will need elemental shards in order to craft. I will often switch to carpenter when I'm waiting to run a dungeon with friends or do some PVP and get a bit of crafting in. If you're interested, give Carpenter a try and make some amazing things for yourself or your friends. 

I would also like to take the time to thank everyone in my Free Company, Short Bus for always encouraging my love of crafting by making me gear that will help with it or sending me crafting materials. Huge thanks especially to my friends Sekilini, Sol'a, Snuky, and Bezra who go above and beyond crafting me gear, sending me items during their adventures, or asking if there's anything I need for crafting. I appreciate it a lot and I'm glad I have such great friends to go adventuring with. If any of my fellow gamers are ever on Lamia server, look us up and come join the fun. We always have a good time. See you at the next adventure everyone!

See you at the next adventure!