Groundhog Day Friday!

It’s been a good week. Cleaned up much of my closet, and did some computer upgrades.

Placed my PS4 in my gaming area now. I hated having it in front of the TV, especially given that it’s only 720p. It was also hard to read crucial messages from that distance.
That’s not to say I hate gaming in front of the TV, I’m still keeping my legacy consoles there and the Switch.

The Switch, at least I can move to my room any time, plus I have friends who would like to play in a spacious living room. The PS4, I feel isn’t as crucial.

The setup works great, my new headphones have a Line-In and Line-Out (that automatically cuts off when my headset is on) and my monitor has an audio output as well. What I did was plug in the speakers to Line-Out, the monitor to Line-In, and the audio will switch on it’s own. Not only that, but the monitor has an input selector so I can chose between HDMI or DVI with a push of a button. Really nice!
Looking forward to the weekend. Not sure what I’m going to do yet, but still have a lot of work to go in my room.

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Cleaning the Closet

Spent the entire night yesterday cleaning my closet. What an undertaking that was, and I’m not even completely done yet.

The hardest part so far has been sorting out the clothes I want to keep and the ones I want to give away. I have a lot of nice shirts that I have no hanger space for, so I ended up putting them in my dresser, which meant I had to move my t-shirts elsewhere.

Unfortunately I put my t-shirts in a dusty bin for now, but I figure a worn $15 t-Shirt shouldn’t take valuable space from an $80 Ralph Lauren Polo.

Just like with cleaning my shelving space, I need to maintain this over time, that means going through once a week and figuring out what I do and do not need.

Tonight I plan on cleaning the other half of my closet. I have a lot of stuff to throw out, and it’s best to get it over with early. I also plan on sorting the dining area so my D&D stuff has a place to sit.

Didn’t do a lot of gaming yesterday. Spent about half an hour on Final Fantasy XIII on PC. Not a big fan of the gameplay on my last play through on the PS3 (which I never finished), but I love Lightning’s character. I hope playing on PC offers a different experience, especially since I have Japanese audio enabled (the voice actors are really good compared to the stiff American voice actors).

Also played some Witcher 3. I’ve been listening through the soundtrack in my car recently and it got me pumped up to play the game again. Such a great game, one of my all time favorites.

This morning I picked up some new Train Sim routes that I’m totally excited about. Got a couple located around Frankfurt, Germany (regional and local); one from Newcastle to Edinburgh, Scotland; and one from Paris, France. I’m going to spend a lot of hours on these routes! So excited!

Just found out Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel 2 is coming out on PC next month. I always wanted to play through the first game, but it came at the end of the PS3 lifecycle so I never got a chance to play it. Now I can play through the series, which I plan on doing soon.

This Week’s Update

I think I should label this blog as “Thoughts that are too long for Facebook”, because that’s typically what I use this outlet for.

This was another long week of room organization. I cleaned out most of the dust, I just have one shelf full of figures I’ll need to clean up. Also need to work on my window sills, since I have a lot of dusty stuff and garbage starting to pile up there. I’ll probably get some of that done tonight.

The biggest thing is the closet. It’s not just a matter of rearranging, but it’s getting rid of a lot of stuff. I have no problems getting rid of cheap Lootcrate trinkets, but sorting my clothes is going to be difficult. I love wearing polos, but I have a bit too much. What do I want to keep, what do I want to give away? I just don’t know yet…

I purchased another shelf. I replaced the glass display shelf I had previously for a matching shelf. Immediatly not only do I notice the visual change in my room (there’s more uniformity), but I also gain twice as much space, since my figures are no longer cramped into a 2×2 glass space. I went from 4 shelves being at full capacity to 2 shelves being at 2/3 capacity. I already had plenty of room before, but now I have a LOT of room for everything!

I also tried picking up a new desk, but the only one I could find was too large, and everything else seemed to have too little of a benefit to be worth the purchase. The one thing I hate about my current desk is there’s not enough space for a second or a third monitor, and the keyboard doesn’t slide out (I ended up nailing a board to hold my keyboard)

Eventually I plan to take some pics of my setup and my figure collection, but not right now, I still have much to do until I’m happy with the arrangement.

I picked up Monster Hunter World. I’m enjoying it a lot, but unfortunatly there’s a really cool event where I can pick up some Palico armor, but I need to be something like Rank 6 to obtain it. That’s a lot of hours of work, and MH is one of those games where I like to enjoy it at my own pace…so odds are I probably will skip out on that quest.

For Monster Hunter, I found I needed a headset if I wanted to do some online hunting. I had a dinky little one from the original box, but I can’t find it, plus it felt just useless. I instead used the wireless headset I had for my PC, which works suprisingly well. That meant though, that I had no headset for my PC, so I picked up an Arctis 7 from Steelseries. Amazing headset and I feel it’s a lot better than my last one. It was highly rated as well. It also has an option to switch over from the headset to the desktop speakers when the headset is turned off, which frankly was what sealed the deal (no more tinkering around with my system defaults if I want to change over to USB audio).

I figured, since I am already changing out my headset, I may as well change the weakest component of my system…the speakers themselves. I picked up a cheap set about 5 years ago for $20, and while it served me well, it was never as good as the headsets I have. But now, with the new setup I have…the sound is simply amazing. Granted, it’s not Bose quality (which would run me at least $400 and bother the hell out of the neighbors), but it’s a great setup indeed.

Another January Update

Note:

This was supposed to be posted a few days ago, but I forgot to publish it. So some stuff may be out of date 😉

It’s been a productive week.

I’ve picked up some new shelves from Ikea, which freed up a lot more space for my figures. While I was at it, I ended up rearranging my entire room, and wow…what a difference it makes.

First, I can now move around my room more freely, it looks more organized and less clustered and cluttered as it did before, and my desk area is now more open, so I don’t feel claustrophobic just sitting in front of my computer. Heck, even my Oculus Rift detects the new changes as an “Optimal Play Environment” when setting up the VR boundaries.

I still have much to do: Dust and wipe my shelves (also involves cleaning my dusty figures), clean out my closet, sort more figures, and donate a bunch of stuff to the Goodwill. With that, my room is going to require a lot of maintenance, so I plan on cleaning one portion of my shelves each week so it’s not completly overwhelming as it is currently.

I also might pick up another identical Ikea shelf to replace my glass shelf and give a sense of uniformity to my room.

Apart from that, Monster Hunter World should be on my doorstep today. I’ve been playing a lot of Monster Hunter Stories on my 3DS, and while it’s a charming game, it’s clearly tailored for Pokemon players. Still, I’m enjoying it a lot. Also got Lego Marvel Superheroes 2 on sale. I’m looking forward to playing it with my sister whenever she drops by.

Been playing Fire Emblem Warriors on the Switch and some Train Simulator on the PC. So far Train Sim is my go-to game for relaxation. While Truck Simulator and Flight Simulator can be relaxing; it involves setting up my controllers, my VR headset, updating mods, and (especially for Flight Sims) a lot of pre-planning before I even start them.

So it’s best to reserve most of my sims for the weekend. Train Sim on the other hand requires no setup, just pick a route, a train, a scenario, pop in some background music, and out I go. It gets a lot of flak though on Steam (understandably) for it’s outragous prices on routes and locos, but given I can spend something like 15 hours completing every scenario for a particular route, I think some of the addons are well worth it (when they are on sale at least), especially the Steven’s Pass route that goes from Mulkiteo to Wenatchee.

I’m watching Fate/Stay Night. It’s a good anime so far, although it’s a bit of a departure from the more lighthearted animes I’ve watched. I absolutely love Saber though, I will be on the lookout for a cool Saber figure for my collection.

Hello World!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. Good news though, looks like a change in meds really helped my moods, especially during this dark depressing winter.

I’ve been on and off as far as gaming and simulators go. I’m mostly alternating between the two. One of the big advances I made was finally learning how to fly an Boeing 737/757/767, and Airbus A320. I also did a lot of train simulation and truck simulation in the last month.

While I can’t say I’m getting burnt out, I do find that they take a large chunk of my time. Nothing worse than starting up my flight sim at 7PM and not being able to finish it until 10PM. I’ve decided to just run my simulators during the weekends, and use the weekdays for other games or TV shows I want to catch up on.

Speaking of TV, ended up upgrading Hulu with their new TV option. I really like it, and it helps consolidate my entertainment center to one device and one remote (The Apple TV). Flipping to live TV is a little confusing, but having easy access to Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Video, YouTube, HBO, and Crunchyroll on one interface is a huge advantage.

Also got back to the Nintendo Switch. I haven’t played it much since Zelda came out last year, but with it’s expanded library (with games like Mario, Splatoon 2, Fire Emblem Warriors, Xenoblade Chronicles 2), it’s definitly my favorite console…even over the PS4.

Although that’s not to say I don’t like the PS4, it’s just that I prefer playing my games on the PC. I rather use the PS4 for exclusives that you can’t get on PC (such as Horizon: Zero Dawn).

I’m planning on cleaning up a lot. It helps my mood when my house is organized and clean. I do worry about lack of space, so I’ll have to figure out a way to get rid of some clothes, useless trinkets from Lootcrates, and some old figures.

I started off with my entertainment area, which is one of the reasons I now prefer to chill in the living room instead of the bedroom. I retired my PS3, bagged up a bunch of old Wii controllers, and I’m in the process of consolidating some of my controllers to a couple areas on the TV stand by ordering some new charging docks.

I gotta say, since I started cleaning that area, it’s so nice to be able to easily access my game library. That, and having one remote programmed to control the TV and sound bar…it’s great.

Also I ordered some new accessories for my consoles: Some new neon joycons for my Switch (I originally wanted a Switch with the neon joycons but with the initial scarcity, it was lucky I even got black), a new Pro controller, and some new Amiibos I haven’t been able to aquire in the past…stupid scalpers :(.

Lastly, a lot of TV and movies to catch up on. I still need to watch Stranger Things Season 2, and the new Blade Runner just came out on rental. I’ll be very busy this weekend.

More D&D

Yesterday’s game was a success. Everyone seemed to have fun and they want to come back to their adventure.

I really like being a DM. It’s fun being able to shift the story around, play out different characters, create maps, teach the rules, help other players with their character sheets, and share lore and other information with players to get them immersed in the atmosphere is great. There was some unexpected turns that I as a DM had to prepare for (going straight to town, talking to the local jailor, wanting to undertake other quests), but thankfully the Adventure guide had NPCs and scenarios already made out for me.

I wouldn’t mind getting into some other RPGs in the future, particularly Star Wars. But the D&D universe is so expansive and endless that I’ll be having fun with this for quite some time. It helps I’m immensely familiar with the setting from playing games such as Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale, and Neverwinter Nights (and some of the 2e and 3e mechanics).

There’s some stuff with the rules I’ll need to look up, particularly with players being knocked out, some stuff on magic, monster stats, and other smaller stuff, but the flow of the game wasn’t really halted too often due to us having to refer to the manual…which is a problem I have with other game systems (especially board games) where the rules are set in stone and there’s no room for interpretation or flexibility. Because of this freedom, particularly with D&D 5E, I was able to make it easier for the Player Characters (PCs) to cover up for mistakes on both my part and theirs to ensure the game doesn’t stop due to a misinterpretation of the rules.

They also really enjoyed roleplaying their characters, even if it wasn’t officially part of the pre-made character’s “background”. I found it best to let them have fun and play as a drunk elf or as a pompous fighter. I’ll have to try my best to roleplay as well for my next session, coming up with voices, act out for NPCs, and other stuff. There’s a lot of acting involved and I’m not quite the best at it (I get nervous when I’m out of my comfort zone).

The next game I have will be on Friday, I have an Adventure’s League game going on in West Seattle that I’d like to participate in. I hope to get my character sheet up-to-date for this so I can play as a level 2 ranger.

Dungeons and Dragons

Hey guys!

It’s been a few months since I’ve posted, so it’s time for an update. Where am I at, what am I doing?

First of all, I started playing D&D. I had my first game last week. This isn’t a spur of the moment “Hey let me do this because it sounds cool!” thing, but it’s something I’ve developed an interest over the years…since I’ve played Baldur’s Gate and text-based MUDs (Multi-User Dungeons) back in 1998-1999 in fact.

The problem back then was that while I had a group of nerdy friends, we never really considered doing something like D&D, and while I was aware pen-and-paper RPGs were a thing (in fact I used to participate in a Star Wars AOL-Based chat RPG in “The Cantina” using character sheets and stuff), I never could get a group together, let alone afford the books, dice, etc to get involved in a Tabletop RPG.

Still, I fell in love with the concept and even the universe of D&D’s Forgotten Realms. Baldur’s Gate, Waterdeep, Neverwinter, the Sword Coast, and the multi-planar universe…it was all an amazing concept to me…all this lore available! Drows, Barbarians, Drizzt Do’urden…so cool!

A few years ago while I was standing watch on my ship, the Officer of the Deck mentioned he was a big D&D fan and suggested I find some groups to play. There were some on the ship in fact that played (although they were in the middle of a campaign). I put it under serious consideration, and every once in a while I’ll tell my sister “One of these days I’m going to join a D&D group”. But put that on-hold until well…last week?

I don’t know what really spurred me. I was feeling somewhat in the dumps, kinda bored with life, and thus far had a rather uneventful year and I saw the D&D Starter set for $20. I figured…why not? Worse case I’ll never find a group and I’m out $20…best case I am hooked for life and with a new hobby.

Later that day I cracked open the box, started reading the rulebook and the adventure that came with it. I was hooked, excited…if only I knew how to play I can hopefully make this adventure more accessible to some of my friends.

So I picked up the D&D Player’s Guide at Barnes & Noble the following day and poured through it. Before I knew it I was thinking of character ideas at work, looking up local group listings during my breaks, and I had my first game on Wednesday.

I played as a Wood Elf Ranger and had a lot of fun, for the most part being new I stood back and watched others play while I waited my turn. Every once in a while I’ll do something to participate, such as tying up a badguy, saving the innkeeper’s daughter from an inn that caught on fire, and lobbing arrows at hidden goblins. The session went up to 11:30 at night and I was understandably exhausted the following day for work…but I had so much fun.

I’ve invited my friends to a game that’s happening tomorrow. I really hope they can make it and they have fun. I had to pick up some stuff to “enhance” the game, such as a grid mat, extra dice, pencils, index cards, graph paper, etc. But that is all a part of the fun. I’m doing all the DM prep-work, drawing the maps, fleshing out the NPCs, figuring out ideas for the narrative, studying up on spells, enemies, combat, etc. I think they’ll have a lot of fun :).

There’s also a DM/Player Meet and Greet coming up today. I’m a bit nervous about meeting new people and I don’t know what to expect but I hope I can make it.