Monday, October 15, 2012

I'm still gaming

Just for the record, I'm still gaming.  Just not in the place where I use to be for the most part.  Since I've had a hard time getting friends to play with me on Xbox360 I've started getting back into my PSP.  Specifically Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions.

I've been playing this game on both the PS and PSP but I seemed to be a little further ahead on the PSP so that's where I decided to focus my time into playing the game.  I like the game because I can pick it up and play it for a half hour at a time and actually feel like I'm making progress.  In that half and hour I can win 2 battles and maybe 3 if I get to strike first with some of my heavy hitters.

One of the things I realized after I picked this game up again was that I had duplicates of some of the Zodiac symbols with some of the characters and not having characters with some of the other symbols.  Since I wanted a full and complete and balanced team that meant dismissing some of my characters that I worked hard to level up and learn things and then hiring complete noobies. 

I charted out which characters/symbols I had and which ones I needed and then make the sad choice to let some of them go.  I had spent many hours leveling those characters up and learning skills but some of them had to go.  I also spent a lot of time looking at all the options in the Warrior's Guild to find just the right Brave/Faith level character with just the right Zodiac symbol to join my team.  Once that was done I was left with a big problem.


It doesn't matter what level the other characters are on your team whenever you hire a new warrior they start out at level 1.  That means when you take them into battle you'll be fighting level 22 baddies with level 1 characters.  Do you know how many times my characters died.  Were revived.  Then promptly killed again before they could even take a turn to run away.  And if they don't fight they don't level up.  I can't tell you how many Phoenix Downs and Potions/Hi-Potions I went through just in one battle alone.  And because I had about 6 noobies to level up I had to go through this a lot. 

I didn't take them all into battle at the same time (learned that the hard way).  I would take 2 noobies, one really good healer and 2 heavy hitters.  The heavy hitters would knock the HP down to a reasonable level and the noobies would move in to finish them off (you get an EXP bonus for finishing off a character).  If anyone got in trouble my healer would step in and help out (a healer with a long range weapon is wonderful).  Even though this method worked it took a lot of grinding away at battle after battle just to get these new characters up to a level where they could hold their own in a battle and not have a healer hold their hand all the time. 

I did have to replace one of my noobies because there was something about them that wasn't working.  I don't know if it was their power or speed or whatever, but I didn't like it and it wasn't helping me.  Because I got rid of them I had to find another Zodiac of the same symbol to replace them.  Which meant another level 1 noobie.  While this last noobie is now a level 17 and the rest of my characters are in the 30-40 level range at least he can hold his own in battle.  He can take a couple of hits before he has to retreat and heal, but that means he can give a couple of hits too.  And he's not bad.  And a lot better than the wimp I let go to get him.

But during all that grinding I was getting bored.  I knew it would be for the better in the long run but fighting battle after battle just to increase the level of one characters didn't seem worth it.  So what did I do?

I started a new game.

Just to see if it would be worth it to stock my roster with the perfect team of a variety of Zodiacs right from the outset of the game I started over from the beginning.  When you finally get a squad a characters to play with I was disappointed.  I don't remember my other game starts to be witch such low Brave/Faith levels for all the characters.  Unfortunately in order to hiring better characters I need to win battles and earn money.  By winning battles and earning money I was leveling up characters I knew I wasn't going to keep.  Once I had the money to buy new and better warriors I had win battles and earn money to buy even more warriors and equipment and potions and such before I could finally get a decent team together.  And since it was the beginning of the game there was only one map point where I could get into a battle.

So in order to avoid grinding on my main game to level up characters I started a new game so I could grind and win battles to buy different characters so I could grind and level those up.  It made sense to me at the time.  Once I figured things out though, I went back to my main game.

So anyway, I'm still gaming.  Just not always on the Xbox360.  Oh, every now and then I get back on the Xbox360 to play some Borderlands and recently I've been playing some Modern Warfare 3 just for the social aspect (hell, if my friends won't play with me then maybe strangers will).  I might even turn it on to play something silly like Peggle or Rock Bank Blitz while I'm eating dinner.  Once dinner's done I'll turn it off and pull out the PSP.  Who knows, maybe once I'm done with my PSP game I might dust off my Nintendo DS Lite.  It's still gaming.


Zenra Nukenin said...

This is too weird. I haven't checked your blog in a few weeks, and when I do, I find that you posted just yesterday.

And then you mention being "just not in the place that you used to be"... Well, you might be aware of the place where I am now. I might have turned on my 360 twice since June (easy to remember since I allowed my account to expire July 4th), and I have zero interest in playing online with people anymore. You'll never see Zenra Nukenin in Xbox Live again, so I removed all of my friends. No point taking up space on their Friends Lists.

So what have I been playing the last three months (though it feels like it's been MUCH longer)? Mostly Bethesda games on my PC, but I've also been playing a lot on my PS Vita. But more specifically, Final Fantasy Tactics. As soon as Sony made it avavilable for download (about two weeks ago), I picked it up and I've been grinding away at it from the begining. But you talk of a depth that I never considered. Team mates of different zodiacs, and Brave/Faith levels? Since my original playthrough was stunted by a full team of kick@$$ nobodies that didn't leave me with the room to recruit the special characters that I came across, I've just been using the handful of people that I started with this time. Maybe I would do well to just start over again since my toughest character is only level 5 anyway. I've honestly been losing more than half of my battles anyway, and it's frustrating because I don't remember having such a hard time originally (15 years ago!).

I guess it doesn't really matter though. Jet Set Radio is supposed to release today (though I haven't seen it yet - and I keep checking), and then Assassin's Creed III: Liberation comes out Oct 30th, so I don't think I'll be playing FFT as much in the near future. Still, even though we're off of Xbox Live for different reasons, I thought it was odd how our lives have paralleled these last few months.

Kralon said...

I am still hoping for another Star Wars Battlefront to come out, or at least maybe an updated anniversary issue of Battlefront 1. I've seen you online playing Gears 3 arcade and was going to join you, but wasn't sure if you wanted the company. I am playing Gears 3 and Gears 2 trying to get them both leveled up in time for Gears 4, i hope. If you want company playing just about anything let me know.

Pengwenn said...

Zenra: I miss you. I sent you a friend's request once I saw you were off on the off chance you'd accepted it . . . even if you're never on. Friends are still friends right? I eventually cancelled it because everytime I saw it unanswered it made me sad.

When you get to a city/castle just go to warrior's guild and say you want to recruit a male or female character. When their stats come up if you don't like their Brave/Faith level or Zodia sign "don't hire" them. I won't accept anyone less than 65/65 unless I'm desparate for a specific Zodiac. You might have to go through a lot of choices before you find what you're looking for but it does make a difference on the battle field. I also won't let them earn any abilities until they've learned the JP Boost ability (third tab over on Squire class). Once they learn that and it's equiped they'll earn more JP for actions . . . which means they learn abilities faster. Give it a shot.

Kralon: I've seen you in Gears many times. I've wanted to jump in but whenever I jump into a "friend's" game unannouced there's starts to be talk about 'starting a private invite only room' which when everyone backs out to do I'm never sent an invite. I've been playing Gears Arcade because I need to play the campaign on insane and I can't do it by myself and I can't get any friends to help me out. I just randonly jump into stranger's insane rooms and hope for the best. So far I've done Acts II and IV on insane.....eventually I'll play the whole game that way. It worked for RAAM's shadow DLC.

Latest Fashion And Style said...

so nice and good job I like your work

Zenra Nukenin said...

Regarding Xbox Live: My Gold account was due to expire July 4th, but I disconnected my system from the internet about a week before then. Outside of playing Costume Quest for about an hour a few days ago, my 360 has been nothing more than a DVD player for the last four months. I would delete my profile except for all of the paid content attached to it. I've read information that makes me think that it might expire after 270 days of going unchecked, so I'm going to see what happens. I'll have to take it online again next Independence Day, and see what happens.

Regarding FFT: I knew about hiring soldiers, and I knew about the Brave/Faith levels though I honestly hadn't paid it any attention before my last post, but the zodiac signs were something that I had totally forgotten if I EVER knew about it. I still think that it's just too complicated, and irrelevant to bother with though. I dug up my strategy guide for the game and started over. I've played over 50 hours since then. My biggest problem before was that I wasn't upgrading/managing my equipment and abilities after EVERY encounter the way that I should.
Another interesting note: Just this morning, the game sent me into a random encounter against ELEVEN monks. There were only four left when I finally succumbed, but I admit that I make a few poor choices.

Regarding Star Wars: I expect that you already knew this, but I just heard this morning about the Disney acquisition, and the prospect of a new movie as soon as 2015. Normally, I'd be apprehensive, but I don't imagine that it could be any worse than Phantom Menace (IMO).