Random Tuesday Mutterings

Random Tuesday Mutterings is the perfect place to put the random assortment of what-nots I’ve got up to in games this week.

Wowsers it’s been way too long since I’ve written a random Tuesday post.

Let’s see, all my games times have been cut down a bit because I took a good look at myself and realised that a year ago, I ran a half marathon (20km/13.1miles) and now I’m struggling to run even a kilometre. So I’m back to getting up early before work and heading out on a run; at the moment it’s a very slow, short run but hopefully if I stick to it long enough I’ll be back to being able to get  in a 5km run in the mornings. The running in the mornings has meant I’m super tired by night and instead of playing as late as I usually do, I’ve been in bed hours before. RIP game time.

Having said that though, there’s still been gaming going on.

I realised while running through The Dreamgrove yesterday that I’ve filled in all the appearances in the little pond for my Resto Weapon. My favourite is still the Owl; I really need to see what I have to do to unlock the other tints before Legion ends.

I’m finding as much as I hate the resto druid spell changes, I’m loving the boomy spell changes. Celestial Alignment is gorgeous, putting a blue starry pool below my feet that trails behind me when I run.

Ok.. Argus players – tell me how those greater invasions work. I turned up to one tonight (it had globes of blood around you had to kill as stage 1) and I was the only one there despite going into the portal right behind 2 other people. I decided to bum around and kill off the 8 globes while waiting for other people and ended up getting all 8 done and it went to the next stage. A mage turned up not long after and together we filled the stage 2 bar and got up to the 3rd stage, still only the 2 of us. We decided to kill the end boss together, we were taking about 20% off his health each time before we’d both be dead so it was a slow process but we ended up 2 manning it. So lucky that when you die, the end boss’ health doesn’t reset.  So tell me, all those other ppl clicking the portal before me – where did they go? Why did no one turn up in the one I was in? In all the others I’ve done there were people and it was fast and easy.

As always, there’s also been a lot of Ark time. Best thing in Ark this week was clearing Swamp cave, the 2nd hardest land cave. Yay for my beautiful Baryonyx’s as they could just squeeze into the cave and made it a lot easier to get through.

Max level wild dinos in the game are 150, but in the Swamp cave they can spawn up to level 400,  so it’s pretty challenging. Add to that, the cave is full of poisonous gas so you have to wear oxygen tanks and masks at all times or you die to the gas, and one of the mobs in the cave spits acid at you that instantly destroys all your gear if it hits you, including your oxygen tank. First time through we took 10 sets of gear each and luckily only ended up needing 3.

The loot in the cave is amazing though and now we make a point of clearing it each day. Nerve-wracking each time we go in, but worth it for the best quality saddles and armor patterns that come out of the loot boxes.

To make it even more spooky, Megalania’s are little lizards that hang from the ceiling, and we had a  moment when we spotted one on the ceiling ahead of us, and then looked up and behind us to realise we had passed under about 4 others. Thankfully they don’t seem to aggro onto the Baryonyx’s but I’m still a lot more careful to check the ceiling as well as the floor for mobs. 

The Artifact shelf is starting to fill up now. Only 3 Artifacts to go and they’re all from really hard caves. Snow Cave where you can’t take dinos and 2 underwater caves. We haven’t started taming the dinos we need for the underwater ones so they’ll be a while away yet.

And that was my week.  How was yours?

 

 

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Day 624: Holy Heck that’s a lot of Rex’s

We’re still working towards building a dino army to be able to attempt the first boss of the Island map, and Rexs are going to form a large part, so this weekend was a Rex breeding weekend.

We started out with 13 Rex eggs but there was a slight misclick when I went to place 2 of the eggs; ‘e’ is the keybind that pretty much does every action and ‘o’ is the keybind to drop items from your inventory.. muscle memory failed me at a critical time and I clicked ‘e’ over not1 but 2 eggs instead of ‘o’ and ended up eating them /sigh. At least we still had 11 un-nibbled on eggs, and 1 egg hatched twins so we have a good start to Rex army.

Babies get hatched in the breeding room so they’re all in the one place as you have to run between them adding food manually to their inventory until they get to 10% then they can eat automatically from a food trough as long as you keep it stocked with food.

To give you an idea of size – that’s a full grown rex leg showing through the door at the back.

Once they got close to not being able to fit out the door, they got booted out into the paddock with the adults. Normally I keep the server on over the whole weekend but we’ve found that if there’s no toon active in an area it goes into stasis and the dinos stop eating, which is fine for adults who need very little food if not active, but disastrous for  babies. The first time we raised a baby we nearly lost it when we logged in the next morning and the server automatically adjusted the food levels and it was nearly dead from starvation. Lesson learnt and the server got turned off overnight.

It was awesome watching them grow up slowly over the course of 2 real days, by the end of their growing stage, I was walking through a sea of Rex legs every time I went outside. 

The plan is to have about 25 Rex’s in the final boss group and the new additions bring our total Rex count to 18, so another weekend of breeding is ahead. I think we need to come up with a new place to store them all first though, the front yard is getting a little crowded.

Day 303: A bit of colour and a lot of breeding in Ark

Something I learnt this weekend is, when running your own server, just how valuable back ups are. I’ve been in the habit of making a back up each night of the server and I was so grateful Friday night for that. My server got shutdown unexpectedly and the save file got corrupted. When I logged back in, it was to find my toon in the starting area with no house or gear and the tribe log saying it was Day 1. It scared the heck out of me! Luckily the most recent save was only about 2 hours earlier so we didn’t end up losing too much progress and could restore really easily.

I’m now 405 hours into Ark and I finally feel like I’ve got a better handle on the game. There’s a lot less screaming and crying as there was and I’m not quite as scared about everything now. As you level up, each level grants a point to spend in different stats. Now I’m sitting at level 92, I’ve got enough points into health and damage that I don’t feel anywhere near as squishy which is great and I’ve been venturing out a lot more into the world on my own.

This weekend I wanted to give breeding a go. I started on Friday night with a Sabercat and a Direbear. The babies were so adorable and so tiny! The sever crash in one way was really good because I mistimed when the bear was due to give birth and the babies only last a few minutes without food before dying, so I wasn’t there and unfortunately the baby bear died. The restore save was just before the bear was born, so I got to have a 2nd go at being there to feed it.

We did boost the server rates a bit to make the times a little more reasonable. Official rates are horribly low, so to breed something like a Rex on official takes over 4 days (real time!), so we bumped up maturation rates to happen 3 times as quickly. Even so, the Saber and Bear still took quite a while to grow up fully.

I had been storing fertilized eggs all week so figured a whole weekend should be enough time to get some of them hatched. I started with 1 dodo egg, 1 Pterodon , 4 Raptors and  a Rex egg. To incubate the eggs you need to drop them in between air-conditioners and the game auto–regulates their temperatures.

Look at the size of the Rex egg! The Pterodon egg is hiding behind it but it’s about the size of the black Raptor eggs.

The baby Pterodon was just so cute. I  forget to take photos of the raptors but out of 4 raptor eggs we ended up with 6 baby raptors! You can get twins and triplets in Ark, so I ended up with a few more raptors than I was planning.

I had to build a raptor pet after all the babies grew up because inside the house suddenly got really cramped with them all in there.

The Rex really wasn’t that little even as a baby! He ended up coming out exactly the same pattern as his mum so they make a nice matched pair.

 

Next weekend I want to try to get a few more Rex’s and Pterodon’s hatched. The Pterodon came out with really good stats so hopefully I’ll get lucky and get more like it. The Rex came out pretty average in stats but he’s still going to be higher level than the ones we have now which is good, he’ll be nice and strong to stomp through the forest on.

I finally got around to painting the rest of the storage boxes. I love how they came out and it’s so nice and bright going to get supplies now.   

Dec let me know that I could also paint my armor so I now I feel like a superhero when I run around in my gold and purple armor. The picture doesn’t do it justice at all, it’s really bright and shiny  in game.

And the best thing so far in game was finding out that if you make and use a toilet, you get extra experience every time you poop on it.  Everything in Ark poops; it normally just falls out of you with a small text on  your screen telling you when you or your mount has defecated.

You can even pick the little poos up and put them into either a dung beetle or a compost bin and it will turn into a fertilizer packet. But today we decided to be civilized and built ourselves a toilet.

I didn’t know how to time being at the toilet when your toon is ready to poop,  but Dec pointed out that your food icon, which is normally blue, turns white when you are able to poo and if you go to the toilet at that time and sit down on it, you will actually get a small experience boost which lasts for 116 secs. This is absolutely awesome and I’ve been running my toon back and forth to the loo all afternoon. You can even flush the toilet and it splashes up and washes away your poo (which will sit there if you don’t flush it /blush). Flushing adds a fertilizer packet directly into your inventory.

This game is so fascinating.

A bit of Ark and a bit of WoW

I think I’ve found a happy medium between the two games, though Ark is still getting the main played time. I’ve found myself logging onto WoW a little more this week to dip my toes into world quests on Argus a bit more.  Boy that place is confusing trying to find my way around. I’m pretty sure I’m missing something because I remember doing a couple of weeks of quest campaign and now I can’t find any follow on. It’s frustrating me a little because I’d like to see more of the story.

Playing only Boomy while I’m questing about, I decided to drop all my AP I’m collecting into my balance weapon to get it up to 60 and then I’ll probably go back to putting it into Resto.I feel a bit guilty not focusing on my resto weapon but it’d be nice to have the first row of boomy relics unlocked. I noticed the guild message of the day was telling the raiders they should have Artifact level around 67-68 this week as they’re starting mythic Avatar. Z’s resto weapon is only at 64 which makes me realize there would be a ton of catch up if I wanted to get back into raiding any time soon. For now though, I’m enjoying running around Argus as a boomy, she still has the dumb arms out to the side animation but the fights are short so I don’t notice as much and I’m usually distracted by the cool flashy lights and glowing spells that come with throwing moons and astral beams at mobs.

Playing boomy more means a whole new transmog is needed. I really don’t like the boomy scythe that much but decided to embrace the style I disliked the least and make an outfit to match it. I love the top I picked; I’ve wanted to use it for ages but every time I went to make an outfit with it, I’d try to match it with something blue and I just don’t have any blue leather that looks good. Last night, I was trying every pair of pants I had and finally found a pair I like, picking up the brown colour for a change.

Up to Day 197 in Ark and the house just keeps growing. I knock down walls and add new rooms as I go and as the dino count expands past the space we have inside.

It’s a bit haphazard but I like how it’s looking so far.Inside it’s spread across 4 different levels and still mostly wood and stone but I’m getting close to the point where all the big metal pieces of crafting equipment are made so then all the metal collected can be turned into metal building parts.

I really love the staircases that can be built and basically made a whole room just to use the staircase. It’s completely empty at the moment until I find a use for it, but I love going into the room, climbing the staircase and looking out over the river and forest from the balcony.

Early morning mist over the forest.

Taming went crazy over the weekend with heaps of new additions. My favourite at the moment is the Thylacoleo, he’s an amazing climber and in the wild they usually perch about half way up large trees in the Redwood Forest and leap out onto you as you fly past. It makes the forest really scary, you should have heard me scream when one of these leapt off a tree and knocked me off my mount and killed me on the forest floor today. Tamed though, it’s such a cool dino as it can climb up walls and cliffs and jump really really high.

Look at these cheeky little Raptors. They are so hyperactive when they’re in the wild and come in so many different colours. No surprises that I want to tame every colour way lol.

The snails can wear hats! These little guys are so cute just wandering around the place and you can equip them with hats and then put different hat skins over them. My favourite is by far the party hat one.

It’s a good mix of both gaming worlds at the moment. It honestly was the best feeling looking at my watch this lazy Sunday afternoon and realizing I didn’t have to be logging on to WoW to lock myself into Tomb for the rest of the night. Wonder if I can get through next expansion or next raid without burning myself out?

 

Day 126: Island time flies

Day 126 on The Island and so much has changed with a new house and quite a few additions to our dino family.

Once we leveled up enough to be able to tame flying Pterodons, the whole Island opened up and choosing a new house location became much easier. Flying in this game is so much fun, especially on the little Pteros. They can’t hold much weight but they are pretty fast so getting around takes way less time, and it’s much safer in the air!

This site for the 2nd house was chosen to be near all the different biomes. It’s in a slightly more dangerous area then the first house but still fairly safe enough to be kept in wood. It’s not quite in the centre of the map but it’s close enough to be a short flight to everything – snow, forests, swamp, volcano and beaches, which is handy as different dinos and resources are found in all the different regions.

I’ve been looking at really gorgeous buildings that people have made in Ark and I’m so far away from being able to build amazing structures (and I don’t think I’m that creative tbh) but I’m fairly happy with how the house is coming along so far.

It’s 3 levels inside, the bottom floor is for crafting and where the smaller land based dinos live.

The middle floor has the balcony to get outside and where the Pterodons are parked.

And the top floor is open to the air and where the bigger fliers are parked.

I got my greenhouse up and running and luckily it rains a lot on this map, so the plants and watertank stay full of water. I can’t stand gardening IRL but I love getting to muck around in the garden in Ark.

The faster you tame an animal in Ark, the better level it comes out with at the end. Each food that you can tame with, meat, berries etc have different values for taming timer but the fastest way to tame is by cooking kibble made with the different dino eggs. The first type of kibble I’ve decided to focus on comes from Dodo eggs, so I’ve been taming a collection of female dodos.

They make the cutest little cooing noise when you’re around them. I built them their own little thatch coop off the main house. It’s gorgeous to walk in there and listen to them carrying on. They are super cute (but also a bit creepy ) and they to stare at you as you walk around. You can also pick them up and run around when holding them. Dodo cuddles!

There was a level 100 Spino (150 is the max wild dino level) frolicking around in the water under our cliff tonight so it was a great chance to go get one. Next to Rex’s they’re one of the most dangerous dinos, super fast in land and water and super strong. Dec helped me set the trap up and lured the Spino in because I was being an utter chicken and didn’t want to get close to it even though it was my idea to go tame him. Even when he was in the trap and I was shooting him with Tranquilizer arrows, I was so nervous he’d suddenly break out and I was going to get munched on.

He didn’t break out though and is now guarding the front of the house when we’re not there. He ended up taming right before I logged off for the night so I can’t wait for tomorrow night to  see what he’s like to take into the water. The wild ones bounce around like crazy when they’re chasing fish in the water.

He is absolutely massive!

And saving the best for last…

I tamed a Unicorn!!

On each map, there can only ever be 1 Unicorn alive at a time so they are super rare. I’ve seen 2 before but both were in really dangerous places and pretty much were eaten not long after I saw them, but out collecting Dodos tonight, I saw it and amazingly it was in relatively safe, scary dino free area, though ages away from the base. I raced back to the greenhouse to collect carrots and flew back with my fingers crossed hoping he was still there. He was!

The tame was pretty quick  thanks to the boosted tame timers on the server but then I had to decide how to get him back to base. There was no way I was riding him back without a saddle to give him armor, especially as I had to get through the Swamp which is really dangerous. I  ended up leaving him in the middle of the closest deserted spot I could find and flew back to get the Quetz which is the biggest flier and capable of picking up horses, with my fingers even more tightly crossed this time. Amazingly nothing killed him but even flying back was a bit nerve wracking  because every time I’d have to land to get stamina for the bird, I was sure we were going to be attacked. But I got him home safely and am so excited to have my own Unicorn.

Though, given my track record with keeping horses alive, it might not be a long-lived Unicorn. 

 

Random Tuesday Mutterings

Random Tuesday Mutterings is the perfect place to put the random assortment of what-nots I’ve got up to in my games each week.

In WoW, I was running around Argus and one of the rares I killed dropped an Egg. I was quite happy to see this as I’ve heard they have mounts in them and I wanted to see what I’d get.

It was a Fel Glow Mana Ray. I’ll never say no to a free mount and I love that he looks like he has a cranky fel face on his back. That should help scare mobs away, if only I could fly him around in Argus hey.

On the Ark front, the baby pony survived!

As big as mum now!

Over the weekend Dec and I were talking about how full the server was getting. Ark limits the people that are allowed on each server to 70 but even though that number seems small it doesn’t take long for that many players to really make their mark. When we started on Scorched Earth it was almost empty and really fun to play on as there was no lag and lots of free space  Over the last few weeks more and more people were joining. The developers only released 2 oceanic servers per map and they are in peak demand. With so many people competing for dino tames and building structures which causes lots of server lag and increasing rubber banding (where you’re doing an action and you’re suddenly snapped back to the location you were a few seconds ago) the server wasn’t quite as fun.

One of the big things in PvE servers that is really annoying is that you can’t build within a certain radius from other players structures so a form of territory marking called pillering emerges as more people play on a server and they put essentially pillars down around their base and as much land as they can which limits the space available to build and just is rather frustrating and also really ugly as you can’t fly 2 spaces without seeing a landscape littered with pillers. PvP servers are much better for that as you can easily destroy other people’s structures as well as your interaction with wild dinos is a lot better as you can pick them up with your own dinos but PvP maps aren’t my thing as you can also be destroyed as easily as your structures.

So I spent a day researching how to set up my own Ark server and then went and made one. Unlike WoW, unofficial Ark servers are supported by the developers,  have thier own place on the official ark forums and you can even access them from the actual Ark launcher.

such original server naming right!

I was ridiculously happy with myself for figuring out how to do this because it meant I had to go work out port forwarding and static IP addresses and learn making batch files and scripts and all things that might be commonplace to some but was a huge learning curve for me and amazingly it finally came together and I have my own unspoiled unpopulated gorgeous server.

Dec and I spent ages just wandering around (and dying to dinos as we were in tourist mode and didn’t make weapons or  armor) just unable to get over how gorgeous the map is without other people. I feel like pinching myself when I think of all the gorgeous locations for bases I won’t have to compete with other people for and all the dinos are mine (and Decs I guess) so I can choose to tame the ones who’s colours I love the most.

My own server brings a few concerns though too, I need to remember to back up regularly and as I’m hosting it on my own PC, there’s no support if the server crashes or gets corrupted, I’ll have to either work it out or start again. But we’ll see as we go along, for now having the entire Island to ourselves with unlimited building possibilities  and no lag is too good to refuse.

I’m going to build all over this map!

The way Ark is intended to be played, is you advance through the maps, ascending at the end of each one by fighting the 3 bosses each map has. To do that you need to tame and breed strong dinos and then you can go to the next map and start again. That’s the new plan for our private Ark, stay on the Island map – breed up a few generations of strong dinos and then hopefully defeat the end bosses and move onto the next map. That should keep me busy for a few months.

And that was my gaming week.  How was yours?