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161  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: My current musical obsession (metal) on: December 30, 2015, 03:39:46 AM
Vastum - Hole Below.  I somehow missed this one until it popped up on three "year end" lists.  Old school death metal that just about gets everything right.  Would definitely go in the "honorable mention" category on my Best of 2015 list.

162  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: 2016 gaming resolution on: December 29, 2015, 08:34:58 PM

Quote from: Autistic Angel on December 29, 2015, 05:10:45 PM

The best option is to find a way to exercise *while* you're gaming.  Walking on a treadmill or peddling an exercise bike are ideal activities while exploring in a game like Xenoblade Chronicles X, seeking out collectibles in an open-world game like Assassin's Creed: Syndicate, or playing through a narrative game like The Walking Dead.  This gives you something to look forward to while you're working out, and be amazed how much further you can push yourself when you have something fun to occupy your mind!

I've always subscribed to the theory that if I can do other things while I exercise (i.e. play a game, read a book, talk on the phone, etc.), that means I'm not working nearly hard enough.  I can't just do a mild walk or jog, I have to get in there and bust my ass for 30 minutes.  I think that mentality is a holdover from my soccer conditioning sessions in college, and is damn near impossible to break.

Quote
One alternative to gaming while exercising is to listen to an audiobook or podcast.  There's nothing inherently better about reading the words yourself -- it works best for some people, while others assimilate information most quickly when it's heard or practiced.  Education is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor.  For me personally, physically writing something out with a pen even once is the best way to embed it in my memory.

The only distraction I can handle during workouts is music.  I'm actually looking forward to getting back into a routine, as that's when I had a chance to listen to a lot of new metal albums.  
163  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / 2016 gaming resolution on: December 29, 2015, 06:04:42 AM
I'm anticipating that my gaming time will be significantly reduced in 2016.  I'm realizing that I spend way too much time in front of a screen, at the expense of other things.  So my goal in 2016 is to do two things:

1.  Not turn on any game until I have exercised for at least 30 minutes.  Yay for a new treadmill!  
2.  Spend 30 minutes reading for every hour I spend gaming.  I honestly haven't read a single book this year (I did listen to two audiobooks)...and that's simply pathetic.

Gaming is way out of balance compared to other areas of my life right now, and it's starting to impact my health (I've gained 23 pounds this year), my relationships (the nightly routine has simply become "Gratch goes downstairs to game while Mrs. Gratch watches TV"), and my career (there's industry things I need to keep on, and I'm simply not).  Something needs to change, and I think this is probably the best way to start.

Besides, I feel more and more that gaming is simply passing me by as a hobby.  I have zero patience to learn how to play new things, I get bored with games easily, genres that used to really interest me have become 'meh', and I just don't really have any enthusiasm for it anymore.  Maybe I'm just getting old...who knows.

So if I'm not around nearly as much, at least y'all will know why.  smile
164  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: My current musical obsession (metal) on: December 29, 2015, 01:03:29 AM
RIP Lemmy, a true metal icon.
165  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Merry Christmas one and all. on: December 28, 2015, 05:26:15 PM

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on December 26, 2015, 05:38:59 PM

the wholesale destruction of our household goods by the moving company and having to buy new stuff to replace it,

Wha?  That sucks dude.

Happy Christmahaunakwanzika everyone!
166  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Weekend playlist - Expanded Christmas edition, 12/23 on: December 28, 2015, 04:01:36 PM

Quote from: Autistic Angel on December 28, 2015, 12:08:41 PM

Quote from: Gratch on December 28, 2015, 06:39:01 AM

I also had my "once every couple years" itch to play an RTS game, so I picked up Starcraft II along with the first expansion.  While I'm still entirely overwhelmed, the campaign is pretty fun.


That's uncanny -- just last night, I installed the first StarCraft 2 release to play through the campaign.

Which expansion are you referring to?  Heart of the Swarm or are there other packs for Wings of Liberty?

-Autistic Angel

Heart of the Swarm.  I didn't grab the new one though, Legacy of the Void.  I figure $40 is a little steep for something I'll likely burn out on in a week. smile
167  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Weekend playlist - Expanded Christmas edition, 12/23 on: December 28, 2015, 06:39:01 AM

Quote from: Gratch on December 24, 2015, 05:53:40 PM

Since the holiday weekend starts today for most folks, I figure we could get a jump on the weekend playlist.  I'll be going to with some combination of:

FIFA16 (PS4).  This has taken most of my time lately, which is surprising as it's the first sports game to "click" with me in years.  I'm playing through the Career mode, and having a ton of fun.  My only issue is the seemingly neverending series of league games, cup matches, tournaments, etc.   I wish I could just see a beginning and an ending point to a season, as right now I don't really have any idea what games count for what.  Is there a playoff?  Am I trying to win the soccer equivalent of the Super Bowl?  Hell if I know...but the games themselves are a blast.  (Coincidentally, this is the same reason I can't get into soccer IRL...I can't wrap my head around how the leagues work)
Thief (PS4).  I know everyone else hated this, but I thought the latest Thief game was a blast.  Got through the first 4 levels last night.
Stella Glow (3DS).  Picked this one up right before Xenoblade Chronicles X came out, and haven't really given it the time it deserves.  Seems solid enough, from what little I've played.
SWTOR (PC).  Feeling a bit of a pull to roll up another toon and play through one of the Republic character stories.  Either that or start the post-story content with my Sith Warrior that I never got around to.
Xenoblade Chronicles X (WiiU).  Still up against what seems to be a huge grinding wall right now, and my interest has dropped to almost nil.  There's a few game mechanics that I simply can't wrap my head around (mainly dealing with Skells), and Gamefaqs has come up empty.  After a strong start, I'm not sure if I'll get back to this one or not. 

FIFA16 dominated my gaming time this weekend.  I've started to figure out how to score some beautiful goals, and the game is becoming more and more fun the better I get.

The SWTOR good:  Capped out my Sith Warrior at 65.  The SWTOR bad:  I'm only halfway through the first (of three) expansions, and now I have no additional levels/skills/etc. to gain.  Makes for a somewhat dull slog through the rest.

I also had my "once every couple years" itch to play an RTS game, so I picked up Starcraft II along with the first expansion.  While I'm still entirely overwhelmed, the campaign is pretty fun.

Didn't get arround to Xenoblade, Stella Glow, or any of the half-dozen games I grabbed/was gifted in the Steam sale. 
168  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Weekend playlist - Expanded Christmas edition, 12/23 on: December 24, 2015, 05:53:40 PM
Since the holiday weekend starts today for most folks, I figure we could get a jump on the weekend playlist.  I'll be going to with some combination of:

FIFA16 (PS4).  This has taken most of my time lately, which is surprising as it's the first sports game to "click" with me in years.  I'm playing through the Career mode, and having a ton of fun.  My only issue is the seemingly neverending series of league games, cup matches, tournaments, etc.   I wish I could just see a beginning and an ending point to a season, as right now I don't really have any idea what games count for what.  Is there a playoff?  Am I trying to win the soccer equivalent of the Super Bowl?  Hell if I know...but the games themselves are a blast.  (Coincidentally, this is the same reason I can't get into soccer IRL...I can't wrap my head around how the leagues work)
Thief (PS4).  I know everyone else hated this, but I thought the latest Thief game was a blast.  Got through the first 4 levels last night.
Stella Glow (3DS).  Picked this one up right before Xenoblade Chronicles X came out, and haven't really given it the time it deserves.  Seems solid enough, from what little I've played.
SWTOR (PC).  Feeling a bit of a pull to roll up another toon and play through one of the Republic character stories.  Either that or start the post-story content with my Sith Warrior that I never got around to.
Xenoblade Chronicles X (WiiU).  Still up against what seems to be a huge grinding wall right now, and my interest has dropped to almost nil.  There's a few game mechanics that I simply can't wrap my head around (mainly dealing with Skells), and Gamefaqs has come up empty.  After a strong start, I'm not sure if I'll get back to this one or not. 
169  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (12/22) on: December 23, 2015, 08:38:34 PM
Was in the mood for some stealth gaming today, so I grabbed Dishonored Definitive Edition and Thief for PS4 today.
170  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: I lost a friend last night. (onion cutting warning) on: December 23, 2015, 04:26:32 PM
So sorry Ron.  Letting go of furry friends is the hardest thing to do.
171  Gaming / Portable Gaming & Apps / Re: [3DS] Fire Emblem: Fates on: December 22, 2015, 05:21:14 PM
Hey, feet!  slywink

Fire Emblem is one of those series that I've just never gotten into...and have no idea why.  I always get 5-6 hours into each game and just lose interest.  Something about that particular brand of TBS just doesn't work for me.  That said, I'm sure I'll still probably buy this one. 
172  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: My current musical obsession (metal) on: December 22, 2015, 03:23:32 PM
And without further ado, Gratch's 2015 Top 10 list.  A truly incredible year for metal.

ALBUM OF THE YEAR:  Wilderun – Sleep at the Edge of Earth – I’ve been bouncing back and forth all year between Wilderun and Sigh as my AOTY.  I ended up giving the slight edge to Wilderun, as their bombastic combination of melodeath, Viking, folk, and symphonic elements is just so damn good.  It's as if someone took the best of Opeth, Amorphis, Turisas, Emperor, Nightwish, and Edge of Sanity and somehow turned them into one massive Voltron of symphonic metal.  This one came entirely out of left field…wasn’t even on my radar at the start of the year.  An absolutely wonderful album that I can listen to again and again.  Best Track:  Bite The Wound (Ash Memory Part III)

2.   Sigh – Graveward.  I adore Sigh, they may be my favorite metal band of all time.  Graveward was a delightfully unhinged album, but didn’t quite measure up to their previous effort.  Still, Graveward is a slice of complete insanity that is entirely unmatched.  The 70's zombie movie influence is front and center throughout (including in the awesome cover art), and gives the whole thing a creepy, unsettling vibe.  Best Track:  Out of the Grave

3.   Mechina – Acheron.  Even without the fascinating and compelling story that Mechina has created, this is a unique album.  An amazing combination of the Mass Effect soundtrack and metal, it’s one that I simply can’t stop listening to.  I would love for someone to take their story and make it into another medium (game, movie, etc.).  Best track:  Earth Born Axiom

4.   Nechochwen – Heart of Akamon.   This is required listening for anyone who enjoys American metal.  The Native American influences give this album a sense of power and sadness that cannot be ignored.  Best track:  The Serpent Tradition

5.   Amiensus – Ascension.  I’m a sucker for any band who can successfully combine brutality and beauty in their music, and Amiensus is one of the best at that.  Howling roars one second, lilting melodies the next, and a wonderful interplay between the two.  A hugely successful follow-up to their debut album.  Best track:  Towards Horizon

6.   Khemmis – Absolution.  Stoner doom done so, so right. Very similar to my AOTY from last year (Pallbearer’s Foundations of Burden) in that it has hooks galore and is just a blast to listen to.  Gets knocked down half a peg because the harsh vocals don’t feel like a very good fit, but otherwise, it’s fantastic.  Best track:  Torn Asunder

7.   Amorphis – Under the Red Cloud.  This is one I really thought would end up in my top 5.  It doesn’t quite reach the standards Amorphis set with Skyforger, but it’s a fun, catchy album with a ton of great tunes that will have you humming the melodies all day. Best track:  Death of a King

8.   My Dying Bride – Feel the Misery.   They've been around for 20+ years at this point, so you kinda know what you're getting with My Dying Bride.  This album was a bit of a surprise though.  It's still the same gothy gloom that they're known for, but the emotion here was front and center.  Maybe the subject matter just hit close to home, but this was a far more powerful album that I was expecting.  Best track:  A Thorn of Wisdom

9.   Panopticon – Autumn Eternal.  Panopticon is a critical darling that just never really clicked for me previously, but this one finally just brought it all together.  The bluegrass and folk elements add such a unique aspect to an already solid atmospheric black metal foundation.  It’s the perfect “walking through the woods on a cold fall day” album.  Best track:  Into the North Woods

10.   Bell Witch – Four Phantoms.  This and Panopticon were very late additions to my year-end list.  I’ve never been a huge fan of funeral doom, but this album is an absolutely crushing beast.  Not a single ray of sunlight penetrates the gloom this thing creates.  It’s one that you have to be in the mood for, but if you like music that is slow, grimy, and heavy, you don’t get much better than this.  Best track:  Suffocation, A Burial:  I (Awoken, Breathing Teeth)

Honorable mentions:
-  Enshrine – Singularity
-  Swallow the Sun – Songs from the North I, II, and III
-  Gloryhammer – Space 1992:  Rise of the Chaos Wizards
-  Obsequiae – Aria of Vernal Tombs
-  Trials – This Ruined World
-  Killing Joke – Pylon
-  Serocs – And When the Sky Was Opened
173  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Biggest disappointment/surprise of the year 2015 on: December 22, 2015, 03:02:46 PM

Quote from: YellowKing on December 22, 2015, 02:11:56 PM

Biggest Disappointment: Guitar Hero Live. I was a HUGE fan of music games in the 360 era. I owned and played almost every Guitar Hero and Rock Band title. When music games died, I was still a fan. So when they announced new music games for the next generation of consoles, I was really excited. I went with GH over RB this go-round only because the idea of a new note system intrigued me, and I wanted a new controller which I wasn't going to get with RB.

However, after only a half hour of play I was regretting my purchase. I didn't really get the new system, the soundtrack was terrible, and I just wasn't having any fun. Was it the game's fault? Not totally - the sad fact is I was outgrowing the genre. Didn't have the reflexes, wasn't familiar with the music - it was a stark reminder that I wasn't in my 20s anymore.

Thanks for the reminder on this, I had pretty much blocked it out.  I thought the new system was fun, but the soundtrack was just so, so, so awful.   Definitely #1 on my "disappointing" list.

Thankfully, Little B 6.7 likes playing, so it wasn't a complete waste.
174  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Biggest disappointment of the year 2015 on: December 22, 2015, 12:02:21 AM
Probably Heroes of Might & Magic VII.  All the hype suggested it was finally a return to the series' roots, but I found it to just be flat-out boring.  Played halfway through one of the campaigns and had no desire to go back.
175  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: GOTY 2015 on: December 22, 2015, 12:00:05 AM
I still have no idea.  If you would have asked me through the first half of the game, I would have said Witcher 3 had it absolutely locked up.  But I thought the back half of the game was boring as hell, and the uber-shitty ending I got (that I still don't even know how I got) made that even worse. It completely soured me on the whole experience.

Xenoblade Chronicles X might be it, although I've hit a huge wall about 30 hours in.  Will see how much grinding is required to get past it.

Undertale might be it, but I still have to finish it.

Uncharted 2 Remaster might be it, but I don't know if you can count a remaster as a GOTY.

FFXIV Heavensward might be it, because I spend a shit-ton of time with it and the new areas were fantastic.  The end game is still awfully lackluster though (run the same couple of dungeons over and over and over and over and over), and I'm finally burned out after 1,000'ish hours in that world.

FIFA16 might be it, as it's the first sports game that's hooked me in over a decade.

It's been a year with lots of good games, but nothing that stood out to me as being head and shoulders above the rest.
176  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Star Wars Episode VII Director Revealed on: December 21, 2015, 03:00:29 PM
Saw it yesterday, and while I have some nitpicks, I thought it was a fantastic and fun film overall.  A very worthy return for the series.

Bit of advice though, skip the 3D...it adds nothing and actually makes some of the battle scenes more chaotic than they needed to be.  My second time will definitely be regular 2D.
177  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [Wii U] Xenoblade Chronicles X on: December 21, 2015, 01:08:07 PM

Quote from: Teggy on December 21, 2015, 05:41:14 AM

Quote from: Autistic Angel on December 20, 2015, 10:27:55 PM

You may want to check your other data nodes and change any with a White Cometite potential over to mining probes.  After that, it should just be a matter of keeping your hoppers empty so the probes can do their work.  It's rare enough that even sites that have it will take time to produce, so you may want to hang out in NLA and let the game run while your minerals come in.

-Autistic Angel

Yeah, I found a second node and set each of them up with 3-chains of level 2 mining nodes and finally got 1 to drop. But I guess I'm just going to have to putz around or just leave the game running. Kind of silly.

What hoppers are you referring to?

There is a maximum level of Miranium that you can store, which can be increased by laying down a Storage Probe.  Not sure if/how that affects the gathering of items though.  Can you not get items if your Miranium level is maxed?

I've hit a massive wall with XCX around Chapter 7.  Pretty much everything I have available - both mission and exploration-wise - has become extremely difficult.  The chapter boss has wiped the floor with me three times now, and I think the only way past is to start grinding.   icon_confused  I'm also a little frustrated with Skell combat, as it's just not clicking at all.  I've watched a few videos about it, but I'm struggling to wrap my head around how it works.

Regarding Skells, I want to buy a new frame for my character, as well as get everyone else suited up with one.  However, every time I go into the "Skell Frames" section of the shop, every available frame option is red, and I get a message saying "You will not be able to use this Skell at your level" if I try to buy one.  I don't see a level indicator anywhere, how do I know what level I need to be to use it?  And how do I know if I can use it on my other party members?
178  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: My current musical obsession (metal) on: December 18, 2015, 11:24:21 PM
Year-end lists are SO bad for my budget.  A few more additions:

Panopticon - Autumn Eternal.  Unlike every other metal blog or zine in existence, I didn't really love Panopticon's blend of black metal and bluegrass on their previous two albums (Kentucky and Roads to the North).  There were some interesting things there, but I ultimately found that it just sounded like a chaotic mess.  Autumn Eternal is different though.  It's more focused, subdued, nuanced.  You can actually feel the emotion and follow the larger musical themes rather than trying to pick out the (admittedly) really good bits and pieces through the noise.  Much like Nechochwen's Heart of Akamon, this effort from a band I really wanted to like finally came together for me after a few misses.


Alkaloid - The Malkuth Grimoire.  The best mix of progressive and death metal I've heard in a long time.  It grooves, it crushes, it riffs, it's melodic...ticks off all the boxes for my personal tastes.  Reminds me of a much heavier version of Tool.


Elder - Lore.  A great bit of stoner doom.  70's-era Sabbath sensibilities with 2015 flavor.


Bell Witch - Four Phantoms.  Continuing my previous trend of doomy gloomy, this one is a soul-crushing monster of an album.  Have to be in the right mood for it, but if you are...oof.


Horrendous - Anareta.  I finally broke down and grabbed this since it's showing up on practically every year-end list.  I'm not sure I get what all the fuss is about...sounds like straight up, no frills death metal to me.  Giving it a few listens over the weekend to see if I can figure out what I'm missing.


Alda - Passage.  As I'm writing today's update, I stumble across the "best of 2015" list from Panopticon's Austin Lunn.  One of the albums on there, he describes as:
Quote
Alda are one of the finest metal bands America has to offer. This album is such a moving, beautiful record… in the first moments of “The Clearcut”, the music, lyrics, and vocals are so honest and beautiful… it brings the images of the song to mind. This record is exactly the kind of music I am constantly searching for… fragile yet fierce, raw yet clear, emotional and artistic. This is a perfect album, in my opinion.

After listening to one song, I realize I can't really pass this one up.  Sigh...
179  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: This Is Fun Pt 3: This Time It's Personal! (possibly NSFW) on: December 18, 2015, 03:19:59 PM

Quote from: farley2k on December 15, 2015, 10:03:10 PM



Reminds me of my favorite Mel Brooks joke...one that could have very well slipped right past most folks.

Oedipus:  Hey Josephus!
Josephus:  Hey Motherfucker! :gives high five:

180  Gaming / Portable Gaming & Apps / Re: iPhone/iTouch app and game thread on: December 18, 2015, 05:39:42 AM
Finished all 16 seasons and 320 stages of Score Hero today.  There's an achievement for "Completing 600 Stages", but I have no idea where people are getting additional stages from.  I've completed everything I can see is available.

Easily my mobile GOTY...nothing else comes close.  Might be my all-time favorite soccer game on any platform, to be honest.
181  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: My current musical obsession (metal) on: December 17, 2015, 01:51:17 PM
I'm in DC today, and guess what pops up on my FB feed.  "Get your tickets to see Babymetal in Silver Springs today!"

Goddammitsomuch
182  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: My current musical obsession (metal) on: December 16, 2015, 09:38:41 PM

Quote from: pr0ner on December 16, 2015, 07:12:01 PM

I just bought tickets to see BABYMETAL in concert in Silver Spring, MD next May.

YYYYYYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS.

You're dead to me.  Dead.
183  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: My current musical obsession (metal) on: December 16, 2015, 03:28:06 AM
I was feeling in a festive mood as I (most likely) closed out my 2015 purchases today.  slywink

Swallow the Sun - Songs from the North I, II, and III - Yes, that is actually a triple album...with nearly three hours of music.   eek  My first though was "wow, pretentious much?", but this thing is actually really damn good.  Disc i is the most accessible, with the melodic death/doom that Swallow the Sun is known for.  Disc ii is a mostly acoustic voyage, with clean vocals.  Reminds me alot of Opeth's Damnation, actually.  Disc iii is just a heavy, slow, absolutely soul-crushing piece of doom metal.  The variety between the three discs is impressive, and while I'm guessing disc i will be the most popular, the other two are well worth a listen.  May end up on my year-end top 10, which I though was locked in ages ago.


Shape of Despair - Monotony Fields.  If you like funeral doom, this may be the best release of the year.  If you don't, it's not likely this will change your mind.  Regardless, it's a wonderfully heavy, sad, gloomy listen that fit my mood perfectly today.


Mulling revisions on my top 10 for 2015. 
184  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [Wii U] Xenoblade Chronicles X on: December 15, 2015, 03:24:15 PM

Quote from: Teggy on December 15, 2015, 03:17:28 PM

Quote from: Gratch on December 15, 2015, 03:13:01 PM

Quote from: Teggy on December 15, 2015, 03:06:27 PM

I haven't noticed the battle music (too much going on, probably) but holy hell the music in town drives me up a wall. The overworld music is nice and orchestral but once I walk into town and that drum machine starts up, ugh.

So I have a question - it took me forever to get 15% map completion to advance the story because it seemed I had to run over the map activating nodes. Now I've read through the manual a bit and it turns out clearing the activity on any hex will contribute to map completion. But I don't understand how to find the other activities be it tyrant or treasure box or whatever. It says you can sometimes get clues added to the map if you talk to people in town but I don't seem to have found those clues. Any hints on how to find these things?

Look for people in town who have a yellow dialog bubble above their head, instead of the standard green one.  When you pass by one, they will give you a short bit of info and you'll see a message that says something like "New Segment info in Primorida".  Look for the "new" marker on your segment map and tap on it.  It will then show what the specific task/collectible/tyrant is for that sector.  Once you find/kill the objective, you'll get a gold "complete" shield and it will increase your completion percentage.  Just be aware that sometimes the thing it unlocks won't be doable until way later.  Got two new ones last night...one for a level 58 tyrant (I'm level 28) and one that required a level 5 Mechanical field skill.

I've found that finding the yellow dialogs sometimes requires you to run around town at different times of day and in different weather conditions.  Went to the residential district at night in the rain, and it unlocked three of them that previously weren't available.

OK, I've definitely gotten some of those, I'll have to look more closely at my map.


Took me forever to figure out that you actually have to tap where it says "new" on the touchpad before it actually tells you what the objective is.   icon_redface
185  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [Wii U] Xenoblade Chronicles X on: December 15, 2015, 03:13:01 PM

Quote from: Teggy on December 15, 2015, 03:06:27 PM

I haven't noticed the battle music (too much going on, probably) but holy hell the music in town drives me up a wall. The overworld music is nice and orchestral but once I walk into town and that drum machine starts up, ugh.

So I have a question - it took me forever to get 15% map completion to advance the story because it seemed I had to run over the map activating nodes. Now I've read through the manual a bit and it turns out clearing the activity on any hex will contribute to map completion. But I don't understand how to find the other activities be it tyrant or treasure box or whatever. It says you can sometimes get clues added to the map if you talk to people in town but I don't seem to have found those clues. Any hints on how to find these things?

Look for people in town who have a yellow dialog bubble above their head, instead of the standard green one.  When you pass by one, they will give you a short bit of info and you'll see a message that says something like "New Segment info in Primorida".  Look for the "new" marker on your segment map and tap on it.  It will then show what the specific task/collectible/tyrant is for that sector.  Once you find/kill the objective, you'll get a gold "complete" shield and it will increase your completion percentage.  Just be aware that sometimes the thing it unlocks won't be doable until way later.  Got two new ones last night...one for a level 58 tyrant (I'm level 28) and one that required a level 5 Mechanical field skill.

I've found that finding the yellow dialogs sometimes requires you to run around town at different times of day and in different weather conditions.  Went to the residential district at night in the rain, and it unlocked three of them that previously weren't available.
186  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [Wii U] Xenoblade Chronicles X on: December 15, 2015, 12:54:34 PM
I'd say it took a good 3-4 hours before I started warming up to it.  It's a slow starter for sure, and the layers upon layers of complexity don't help that any.  Have patience though...once it does get a hook or two in you, it's awfully tough to stop playing.  smile

Quote
-Awful battle music. What is that rap-esque gibberish in battles, anyway? Does that continue during the entire game? I think some intern at the development house was trying to mimic the Persona RPG's soundtrack, but hired a tone deaf friend to get the job done.

It mostly stays the same, but I find that my battles very seldom last long enough to get to the rapping part. 
187  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Final Fantasy VII remake for PS4 on: December 14, 2015, 02:56:13 PM
Once you get past the "holy hell, these guys have waaaaaay too much time on their hands" feeling, this is a pretty cool (and crazy in-depth) breakdown of the new FFVII trailer.
188  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Weekend Playlist -- 12/11/15 Edition - Pre Star Wars Mania!!! on: December 14, 2015, 01:50:26 PM

Quote from: Gratch on December 11, 2015, 01:58:23 PM

All Xenoblade Chronicles X all the time for me.  It has become a strong GOTY contender.

A productive weekend in XCX.  Got my Skell (mech), mastered one of the class lines, finished Chapter 6, unlocked two new playable characters, and did a shit-ton of quests.   thumbsup
189  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [Wii U] Xenoblade Chronicles X on: December 14, 2015, 12:33:46 AM
XCX really excels when it's in "mission" mode.  When you have specific objectives and you have to traverse the huge world to find them.  There are few games that do it better.

Where it really bogs down is when it goes into full-on "guessing" mode.  It gives you certain items to find/gather without the slightest indication of where to do so.  You can thankfully ignore most of these, but the guessing game does creep into regular missions as well.  I've got six character missions in my log right now that require me to find random items, and I don't have a clue where to start.  It's hugely frustrating when the only hint they give you is that they're "in Primordia".  Great, thanks...that narrows it down to approximately 17 square game miles to search.  slywink
190  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [Wii U] Xenoblade Chronicles X on: December 13, 2015, 05:04:42 AM
And just got my first Skell (mech suit).  This thing is glorious.   drool
191  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [Wii U] Xenoblade Chronicles X on: December 12, 2015, 03:21:56 PM

Quote from: Autistic Angel on December 12, 2015, 01:52:58 PM

Yes, you want to rotate your squad mates to keep them all leveling up.  Many late-game missions require specific party members, including one mandatory story quest which requires Gwin.

By the way, since you wound up going with the physical version just before launch, did you remember to download the optional content packs that greatly speed up the load times?  I forgot to ask during all the excitement.

-Autistic Angel

Thx.  I had heard about Gwin, will plug him into the rotation.  While I don't think I'll be able to keep up all of them, I'll at least start to mix it up and not just use Lin, Elma, +1 for everything.  Maybe rotate at least a half dozen or so.

I downloaded everything but the Skell pack, mainly because I knew I wouldn't need that one for 30'ish hours.  I'm getting to that point though...just started Chapter 6.  Will do the Skell license stuff once it's done, so it's probably time to grab it.  Hoping I have room for it on the internal drive.   icon_confused
192  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Weekend Playlist -- 12/11/15 Edition - Pre Star Wars Mania!!! on: December 12, 2015, 12:48:42 AM
I just played Xenoblade for 90 minutes, unlocked two data probes that I previously couldn't find, took down two new tyrants, completed three missions...and forgot to save before I powered down the Wii.

Dammit.
193  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [Wii U] Xenoblade Chronicles X on: December 11, 2015, 03:59:42 PM

Quote from: farley2k on December 11, 2015, 03:15:12 PM


I'd say that's a pretty accurate review, and it mirrors my feelings closely.  As I ran around Noctilus last night searching for a way to get up a cliff to a specific resource point, it struck me that in any other game, that would have been an annoying and frustrating task.  In XCX, however, it's somehow just...fun.  I've spent multiple hours doing nothing but simply running around the world, exploring nooks and crannies, and enjoying exploration for exploration's sake.  That's never really happened before, and is a testament to how well-designed the world of Mira really is.  Now that I've wrapped my head around the systems, I find that there's always something new to do, new to see, new to gather, or new to explore.

My biggest challenge now is determining which companions to use.  You can bring up to 3, and two of them - Lin and Elma - have (so far) been required into include in the party before accepting story missions.  This leaves only one additional slot, but I have seven recruitable companions at this point (Doug, Gwin, L, MT, Irina, Lao, Boze) with at least another 5 still to get.  Problem is, companions only gain levels when they're in your party, so whichever companion(s) I don't use regularly will quickly fall behind.  I don't know if it's better to try and level everyone equally, or if I should stick with a standard group of 4 and let the rest just dwindle off.  I'd hate to get to a level 40 mission which suddenly requires me to use a specific person that is still level 15 because I haven't bothered to use them.
194  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Weekend Playlist -- 12/11/15 Edition - Pre Star Wars Mania!!! on: December 11, 2015, 01:58:23 PM
All Xenoblade Chronicles X all the time for me.  It has become a strong GOTY contender.
195  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Star Wars Episode VII Director Revealed on: December 10, 2015, 04:50:58 AM

Quote from: YellowKing on December 09, 2015, 03:37:35 PM

My job is going live on a big project and currently I'm scheduled to work next weekend on 12 hour shifts.  icon_frown Depending on how it goes, I may also be on call in which case I won't go and risk being pulled out of the theater at some point due to an issue.

My biggest fear not seeing it opening weekend is that avoiding spoilers is going to be nearly impossible, especially when I get back to work on Monday. We have one huge Star Wars fan guy in our department that talks EXTREMELY LOUDLY and has no concept of spoilers. He has ruined countless TV episodes and movies for me because he talks so loudly on the phone you can't avoid hearing him. It's so bad I literally thought about seeing if I could work from home Monday to avoid him.

I'm in the same boat.  I'll be in client meetings in DC on release day and the day after.  That Saturday is the Utah/Duke basketball, Utah/BYU bowl game, and our family Christmas party.  Best case scenario is that I get to see it on Sunday, but that's iffy as well.  If not then, it may be until after Christmas.  frown
196  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [Wii U] Xenoblade Chronicles X on: December 10, 2015, 02:55:14 AM

Quote from: Dante Rising on December 09, 2015, 07:44:34 PM

glad to hear it is moving in the right direction for you. In the forums I frequent, people are very divided on the story. I wonder if this is simply a matter of how far along they are in the game.

The story isn't great by any means, but it's at least elevated past "OMGSOBAD"
197  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [Wii U] Xenoblade Chronicles X on: December 09, 2015, 05:37:36 AM
20 hours in, and I feel like I should retract most of the negative first impressions.  If you're willing to stick through a few hours of frustration, this game really starts to shine.  The story has gotten better, the combat is always interesting and fun, the affinity missions are great ways to fill in character backstory, and the exploration might be the best of any game I've ever played.  The pace of progression is so well done, and it feels like every time I play, I'm learning something new or some game system is starting to click.  Tonight was all about figuring out how to set data probes to maximize both mining resources and profit.  Sounds dull, but a previously entirely baffling system turns out to be fascinating.  

My only real gripes at this point are not being able to find some of the data probe locations (they're nearly impossible to find if they're in a cave), and feeling a bit overwhelmed on how to progress my character.  There's a seemingly infinite number of arts, skills, and augments to upgrade, but only a limited pool of BP to do so.  A little nervous that I'm going to gimp myself...we'll see.

The game does certainly have its warts, but has started to become a fantastic experience.  Will be very interested to see if that holds up.  If it does, I could easily see this being GOTY material.

One of my biggest tips would be to ignore about 90% of the missions from the terminal.  Trying to find all the collectible doo-dads the game has you looking for can be maddening, and the rewards are fairly minimal.  Focusing solely on tracking down those collectibles is probably the quickest failure path in the game.   Instead, just go explore while trying to finish the affinity, story, and random missions you pick up around town, and you'll progress just fine.  The collectible and bounty missions can be turned in at any time if/when you stumble across the items they're looking for.  Also, don't be afraid to hit up Gamefaqs or some other resource to find where things are.  I suppose you could blindly stumble around looking for them, but I get at least a general location from an online resource anytime I find myself item hunting for a story mission.  I see now where the reviewer that talked about "keeping a notebook handy" was coming from.
198  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: This Is Fun Pt 3: This Time It's Personal! (possibly NSFW) on: December 08, 2015, 02:42:03 AM
Those are great.  Pretty sure the Wonder Twins 2.6 managed to do/think/say all of those tonight.
199  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [Wii U] Xenoblade Chronicles X on: December 08, 2015, 12:13:35 AM
A couple little tidbits I discovered this afternoon, thought I'd share:

-  If your segment map (on the gamepad) has a "New" indicator in a segment, tap on it and it will show you what the "new" mission/teammate/etc is.  I was going nuts trying to run around the entire segment looking for something I'd missed...turns out I just needed to tap the touchscreen.
-  Once you've discovered them, tapping on the gold shields on the segment map shows you where recruitable teammates can be found.  Gives a message something like "Doug is likely to be found here".
-  When you've accomplished all the requirements for the next story mission, a small "Start" icon will show up in the top right corner of the gamepad display.
-  Everything I've read says to upgrade your Arts at least to level 3, then wait to invest more until you know for sure that you're sticking with that one.
-  In regards to my earlier question about reporting tyrant kills, there isn't actually anything to turn in for a reward.  The game wants you to "report" them to the other members of your squad (a quasi-guild that you join every time you log in) by using the keyboard icon on the touchpad.
-  Fun fact:  All of Lin's hair clips are the Monado (from the first Xenoblade)

Nearing the end of Chapter 4.  Struggling a bit with the boss (she's beaten me by a hair twice now), so I'm going to grind out another level.  Maxed out my first two classes, and am starting on the third at level 15.  At the risk of jinxing myself, it's finally starting to click.  
200  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Final Fantasy VII remake for PS4 on: December 07, 2015, 11:32:58 PM

Quote from: farley2k on December 07, 2015, 09:15:46 PM


Good piece. 

The more I think about it, I realize that if there's one game that I could handle episodic delivery, it would be this one.  Mainly because I already know the main story components and probably won't feel like I have to go back and replay the previous releases each time there's an update.
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