Saturday, November 19, 2016

Pokemon Is Dead To Me

I've been pretty apathetic towards Pokemon since I finished Gen IV. Gen V introduced nothing new, Gen VI introduced a new type and "Mega Evolutions" which are basically fancy-looking item power-ups, and fundamentally nothing changed. The games just kept getting bloated with more, unnecessary Pokemon who (to me) don't even look like Pokemon anymore.

I had some hope for Sun & Moon. I thought the Ultra Beasts might be Nintendo's attempt at breaking the mold and really giving us something new. Nope. You know what the Ultra Beasts are, that mystery they've been teasing us with for months? They're just more fucking Pokemon; legendaries, to be exact.

I've been saying for years, they need to stop giving us more Pokemon and start giving us new things to do with the ones we already have. If we really must have new Pokemon, fill out the evolution lines. Let us breed hybrids. But for the love of God, stop bloating the games with new characters just for the sake of having them!

I can't keep up with this shit anymore. We're gonna have Pokemon in the quadruple digits by 2020 if this keeps up, and I just can't bring myself to care about that many characters. Individual Pokemon are becoming less unique with each passing game now, it feels, and it makes me sad.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

A Brief Guide to Succeeding at Clicker Heroes

First and foremost, use this calculator. I mention this one in particular because it is mobile-friendly: all you have to do is punch in your current level of the ancient, Siyalatas. I've made more progress in two days than I previously did in two weeks since using this calculator. It really is amazing how much faster this game is when you optimize your playing style. My only suggestion is to ignore the suggestions for Morgulis; I'll explain this a little later.

My second suggestion concerns gilds. These steps will ensure that you always get the maximum DPS at all times.
  • Once you begin to pass Zone 200 without having to stop and farm, start re-gilding onto Treebeast, Ivan, Brittany, Samurai, and Seer. Use the "De-Gild" button for this.
  • After Zone 500, put all your gilds onto Samurai. You can hit "Boost" a bunch of times, but on mobile pressing the double-arrows will just move all of them at once. (I believe Shift+Click is the PC equivalent.) Re-gild to him after every ascension. (The heroes in the previous step will not be regilded until after a transcension.)
  • Keep a bank of hero souls so that you can re-gild during a run. Since you will re-gild to Samurai after each ascension, this is the only way to carry out the following steps.
  • When Samurai hits level 2500, re-gild to Atlas. When Atlas hits level 1500, re-gild to Terra. Continue moving up to the next hero each time you hit level 1500. You will probably ascend and transcend several times during this process; for the former, you will go back to Samurai and work your way up; for the latter, you will start back at the first step.
  • Eventually you'll hit Wepwawet, currently the final hero. When Wepwawet gets his upgrade for Betty, switch to her. When Betty is around the mid-9000's in level, you should be able to get Wepwawet's upgrade for Midas. Get that, and then switch to Midas. When Midas gets to about level 13,000, Wepwawet will be the more efficient hero once again; switch back to Wepwawet.
Following the calculator will assist with moving your gilds up the heroes' ranks. Some obvious benefits are the direct DPS boosts from Siyalatas, Morgulis, and Juggernaut; but other benefits are less obvious at first. You'll notice that the three gold-boosting ancients are always recommended to be at the same level. This is intentional: though Libertas is obviously the most powerful of the three (particularly with Xiliqil in play), all three boosts are multiplied by each other; that is, your total gold boost from a chest of gold is equal to Mimzee*Libertas*Mammon. Libertas may be the most powerful, but having all three at the same level  means you will always get the most gold for the least amount of hero souls. There is also Argaiv (viagrA), who indirectly boosts DPS by increasing the gilded bonus. Overall, the calculator simply ensures that you will always gain more hero souls than you spend during each ascension; and thus, more ancient souls during each transcension.

Speaking of transcension, always respec when you transcend. Unlike when you respec ancients, respeccing your outsiders is completely free. It is sometimes advantageous to lower one outsider's level in favor of another, and for the calculator's purposes this also lets you see how many ancient souls you have at the beginning of your run. The outsiders make your ancients better. In some cases this is direct, like Ponyboy boosting Solomon, or Xiliqil boosting Siyalatas and Libertas; in other cases, less so. Chor'goloth makes ancients cheaper, while Phandoryss and Borb respectively raise your transcendent power (TP) and increase your TP reward. Basically, you're getting more souls that can be spent on more ancient levels. The calculator will help you find the perfect balance to maximize this.

This brings me to Morgulis. I said earlier to ignore what the calculator says about him; this is because Morgulis' level is easy to calculate in your head. In an idle build, he should be your last ancient; in a hybrid build, he's your last one before getting the active ancients. Either way, he's not a huge priority. So what is Morgulis? He's a bank. Yes, the description says he makes hero souls more powerful, but this is incorrect: all Morgulis does is add a flat +11% additive bonus to your DPS per level. In other words, one Morgulis level is exactly 1% better than having one hero soul in reserve.

Since Morgulis is just a better soul bank, you should just put all your spare souls into him after leveling up the other ancients. Now, you will need to keep some souls in reserve for re-gilding, but if you've been paying attention to your spending habits then you know about how many you need to keep. (Personally, I just keep giving him "MAX" souls until I'm about two MAXes away from zero.) You might be thinking, "Shouldn't I be saving some of these hero souls to buy ancients later?" No. If you're following the calculator, the number of hero souls you gain should be at least doubling with each ascension. Besides, by the time you start dumping souls into Morgulis like this, the cost to purchase and level up other ancients will be peanuts compared to the amount of souls you're raking in. Besides, the extra DPS from Morgulis will let you do slightly deeper runs anyway.

One last thing: Morgulis is affected by Chor, but this will only show up when purchasing multiple levels; basically, some of his levels will be completely free when buying in bulk. This is why I always level him up with "MAX." You get tons of free levels this way; and since the number of levels bought with "MAX" increases every time you hit a new order of magnitude, Morgulis will get progressively more levels for free.

That's really all there is to say about succeeding in Clicker Heroes. Hopefully exploiting these little tricks and reaching record-high zones will tide you over until Playsaurus releases Clicker Heroes 2 (which promises to be a far more interesting game).

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Godzilla PS4 Players: Stop Forcing Us To Use Burning Godzilla

In my last post, I urged people not to use Burning Godzilla. Well, now it has come full circle. With the recent influx of newer players, those of us with higher win counts (900+ in my case) are being targeted by double-teamers who want to pad their rankings. It's to the point now where unless a high-ranking player uses Burning Godzilla, Kiryu, or Godzilla 2014, we are basically guaranteed to lose any 3-player match thanks to double-teaming jerks. It's not even just the sub-100 players now: folks with 300 wins or more will double-team us just for shits and giggles. Doesn't matter if I'm being Rodan, or Anguirus, or Jet Jaguar, or some other relatively weak monster: I will be double-teamed regardless. This is making the 3-player metagame almost unplayable for experienced players, and a lot of folks I used to see online regularly have quit the game entirely because of this.

Now, I'd love to solve this by sticking to 2-player matches, but there's a minor problem with that: almost no one plays 2-player, and the few who do immediately run to the safety of 3-player at the first sign of trouble. This means that if I want to play this game with other people, 3-player games are the only real option I have, and 3-player is nearly unplayable thanks to my win count.

This, quite frankly, is bullshit. I shouldn't be punished for being good at a game I like. If you're so worried about losing to a skilled player, then watch what those players do and apply it yourself. Don't bully us out of the game just because you don't like to be challenged.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Godzilla PS4 Players: Stop Using Burning Godzilla

You're not impressing anyone by using a broken character. We know those 1000+ wins you have are mostly owed to an attack that takes out a quarter of your opponent's health in one shot. The fact that you still manage to lose half of your health playing this guy 1-on-1 (when I can use him 2-on-1 and hardly get scratched) says everything we need to know about how good you really are at this game.

I recently passed 300 wins myself. The vast majority of those were with such monsters as Spacegodzilla, Mechagodzilla, Battra, and Anguirus. When I fought someone with more experience than yours truly, I watched how they played and learned how to either counter those tactics or perform them myself. I clawed my way up the ladder fair and square, and I am goddamn proud of it. So grow a fucking pair and do the same for yourself.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

RWBY Volume 1 and 2 in Retrospect

I've mentioned to folks in the past that RWBY often made me rage at the pacing of the show, the presentation of the characters, and their relationships to each other. I decided to re-watch both volumes back-to-back today since I had nothing else to do, and... I was actually surprised at how incorrect most of my complaints were. Do I still have complaints about RWBY? Yes, but most of the ones I used to have were very unjustified. In this post, I'm going to go through and debunk a lot of my old complaints with what I observed in this most recent viewing.

Complaint: The first two seasons have too little plot progression and can't decide which characters to focus on.

Actually, RWBY hasn't completed its first season yet. The two releases thus far have been volumes, and a typical season of anime (from which RWBY draws much inspiration) contains 3 volumes. Viewing volumes 1 and 2 as the first two-thirds of a season, they are actually paced exactly the way you would expect of this kind of show.

Complaint: Team JNPR gets way too much screen time compared to Team RWBY.

Actually, Team JNPR has less than half the screen time Team RWBY has, and much of it is actually shared with that team. Jaune in particular gets targeted with this criticism quite frequently, especially centered on the "Jaune gets bullied" arc. Cringe-worthy though that arc may have been, it's actually quite short, and prominently featured Pyrrha and Ruby throughout. Jaune is the focus, yes, but not to nearly the degree that the criticism makes him out to be.

Complaint: Jaune and Ruby should have been paired up as a couple or at least as very good friends.

This was a very particular nitpick I had since I previously felt there was little tying the two teams together to justify JNPR's screen time. In reality, Jaune and Ruby are portrayed as being very good friends, it's just that a lot of this happens in the "Jaune gets bullied" arc that a lot of folks instinctively skip. The truth is, Jaune and Ruby hit it off in the very second episode and remain quite close throughout the series.

It's actually very rare for the show to go more than about 20 minutes of screen time without these two having a moment. What was Jaune's first reaction when Ruby went to meet Yang in the auditorium? Disappointment that he'd have to wait to see her again. Who does he look to initially for support in the Emerald Forest? Ruby. Who did Ruby initially consider trying to team up with? Yang, Blake, or Jaune. Who was the first to say they were worried about Jaune being bullied? Ruby. Who was one of his closest confidants through that arc? Ruby. Who did Jaune immediately seek out at the dance when he was alone? Ruby. Who was the first person Ruby called for help from in Mountain Glen? Jaune. Not to mention many smaller moments between these. There is no reasonable argument for saying these two aren't close: Ruby and Jaune have been portrayed as being at least close friends from the very beginning. Being as they're the leaders of the two teams, of course the show is going to give team JNPR a fair amount of screen time: we need to know what Ruby's friend is doing for their moments together to have their full impact.

Complaint: Ruby is the main character, and we know almost nothing about her.

Are you kidding me? We know more about Ruby than perhaps any other character in the series. We learned almost her entire background in the very first episode, and almost the entire first half of Volume 1 is spent inside her head. Since then, we've seen how this has molded her as a person from the perspective of others, and we continue to see her grow as a character throughout. We even got a bit of bonus background when Yang tells Blake about their mothers. No other character has had anywhere near this much development. About the only thing we don't know for certain about her is exactly why she became a huntress, other than her mother having been one and her stating in the first episode that she "wants to help people," but even in that respect it's more information than we have about half of the cast.

Complaint: Team JNPR has more overall development than Team RWBY.

Again, this is completely false! The great majority of the show's screen time is spent on Team RWBY and fleshing out their characters. I paid attention, and we actually know next to nothing about Team JNPR: Pyrrha's famous, Nora and Ren are old friends, and Jaune's great-grandfather fought in "the war." Beyond that? Really nothing. They're the B-cast, when we do learn something about them it's always during a time when the A-cast is moving the plot along.

Contrast with our other characters: Again, we know more about Ruby than anyone else. We know quite a bit of Yang's story from her infodump with Blake and the campfire at Mountain Glen, and can infer other things from her actions; i.e. she is apparently quite popular, possibly a bit of a man-eater, a brilliant student (it's plainly stated that Beacon only accepts the best), etc. Weiss has stated that she grew up in a very strained environment, between her father's questionable actions and the White Fang killing or capturing family friends. Her initial demeanor, quick shift to being friendly, and short temper are, to me, tell-tale signs of someone who has never really been shown much kindness until now, and is overcompensating to try and hold onto that. Her occasional outbursts in Volume 2 show that despite being outwardly friendly, she is still very insecure and quick to revert back to lashing out at people.

Blake's character development got started rather late, only beginning at the end of Volume 1, but we quickly learn that she never really had a childhood to speak of, has spent most of her life being frustrated at everyone and everything, and is only now starting to come out of her shell. Yet, like Weiss, the change is far from drastic. Sure, she can bring herself to be sociable when she and her teammates are out doing something, but what happened right after the incident at the docks? She retreats into frustration and tries to solve everything herself. In this respect, she and Weiss are actually quite similar, if for opposite reasons.

In Conclusion

Yes, I still have some complaints. Team CFVY still burst onscreen a little too suddenly at the end for my tastes, Cinder should probably be playing a bit more active a role by now than she actually is, and Penny actually isn't onscreen enough in my opinion, considering how much Ruby's other friends appear onscreen. Overall, though? I'd say RWBY's plot progression and character development are actually moving along quite swimmingly so far. I think a lot of criticisms are not justified, and stem mainly from how the episodes were initially released in Volume 1 (which, admittedly, was one of the worst releases possible; 5-minute episodes once per week!?).

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Writing Yourself Into a Corner

Recently I started a crossover fanfiction based on the premise of Godzilla getting teleported to the RWBY universe. If you read the synopsis, you can see my original intentions for the story: Godzilla gets transported, people do shit to him, he gets high on Dust, chaos ensues. Once you read the prologue (the only part that's been posted, at the time of this writing), you can already see where I derailed my whole premise: a second monster and a human being have also been teleported, and from looking at the synopsis they apparently have nothing to do with the rest of the story. This is a problem for properly integrating them, and I'll talk about how situations like this can be avoided entirely, and possible solutions once you've gotten yourself into it.

First, you may think avoiding this might be quite easy: just plan your story better next time. The problem with this is that a scene often sounds better in your head before you actually commit it to paper. Godzilla was originally just going to wander into Tokyo and get blasted by Dimension Tide; hell, in one draft it was just going to be a straight continuation of Godzilla vs Megaguirus. The problem is that while a low-key scene like that might work okay in a first chapter, a prologue calls far a more intense scene which leads you into the story proper. No matter how you look at it, Godzilla wandering around and suddenly disappearing is pretty damned hard to make sound interesting. Looks good in the mind's eye, but it's not very compelling in writing. Godzilla needed a sparring partner, and I couldn't have realized that until I started writing.

The second way to avoid this is to run the idea by someone else. This is fairly foolproof most of the time, and is the strategy I'd recommend. The only reason I didn't do this is because the people I could talk to either aren't interested in this type of story, or were not easy to reach at the time.

Lastly, you can page-vomit some ideas before you actually plan the whole story. It lets you see which premise is the most workable, allowing you to proceed from there. This is really what I should have done, and I just kind of didn't. Hey, it's the first time in like 5 years I've actually tried to write, cut me some slack!

As far as fixing this, there are a few things I could do. The first would be to have Emi team up with the main cast somehow to defeat Godzilla. However, the story would last all of maybe two chapters if I did that, plus the RWBY characters would get shoved into the background while the entire focus is on Emi and Godzilla; I might as well set this story in Equestria for all the significance it would have as a crossover setting. Considering this story was intended to last between 10 and 20 chapters, this is clearly not an acceptable option.

Option two would be to kill off Emi and Ghidorah. This would allow the story to proceed on-track with no further alterations, and save me several headaches. Again, this has problems: Emi and Ghidorah have already been established as characters we somewhat sympathize with, and having them basically die offscreen has the potential to put a bad taste in readers' mouths as they progress through the story. It could be seen as wasted potential, and that would distract from how the story actually unfolds.

Option three is to draw further inspiration from Godzilla Neo and have Ghidorah possess Emi, making her an antagonist from this point forward. This again poses several problems: she upstages the main villains one way or another, whether by joining them or doing her own thing. That, of course, pisses off fans who may be looking forward to seeing Cinder and Roman dealing with Godzilla. Not to mention, there's the question of how Ghidorah fits back into this: if too much of the story relies on the Godzilla characters, there's no reason to set this in Remnant. A potential compromise might be to start things a little further in the past: Emi wakes up first, gets out of there, and on Ghidorah's behest ends up becoming Cinder. This has the fewest problems, and is the solution I may ultimately go with, but it is still imperfect. Doing this means I basically have to write a second prologue, and that means the story takes even longer to get moving because the story of Emi becoming Cinder is basically irrelevant to the rest of the plot. Again, there are potential solutions to that, each with their own potential problems, but listing those out would spoil things should I decide to go this route.

The big lesson you should take away is this: try not to write yourself into a corner. And if you do, pause and think about it before you continue forward, as any potential solutions may not be as clear-cut as you prefer.

Friday, April 24, 2015

I just had a moment of fridge brilliance regarding Yang's semblance

I remember reading somewhere that Yang's character takes inspiration from Goldilocks. While re-watching Volume 2, I finally made the connection.

Why couldn't Yang deal the decisive blow to Roman? Because Roman isn't a physical fighter. He's crafty, and he always has an escape plan. As Yang's semblance makes her progressively more overcome with rage, she loses focus, allowing Roman to slip away. Her semblance was burning too hot, and she couldn't muster the focus needed to take him down.

Why couldn't Yang do all that much to Neo? There's no question that Yang at full fury could wipe the floor with Neo; but Neo never did anything to light up Yang's semblance. Yang's semblance was too cold, which meant Neo could bring the blonde down to her level and beat her with experience.

Yang won't be able to decisively beat this duo until she's able to control her fury and get her semblance to a level that's just right to deal with their respective tactics.

Am I on to something, or am I over-thinking this?



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