Weekly Hype Train Week of 7/15/2020!

In what is sure to be an interesting week for us WoW players, there is a decent amount to talk about, so let’s dive in.

Shadowlands Beta: Supposed to launch this week, although as of this writing it has not yet. There is a lot of indication they are preparing to launch today or tomorrow, though – launcher build versions updating and new files appearing. There’s a lot of content waiting to see a broader audience, and while I’ve seen some concerning things already, there are people projecting their negative feelings about the current game and development team onto things in a way that makes them sound worse (for example, a 62-step list of unlocking the Runecarver on the WoW forums has gained a lot of traction and been represented as “62 quests” despite the fact that well over half the steps are either traveling between points to complete a quest, setting up a new character on alpha, and the last step listed is “now you can craft legendaries”) so I’m waiting to see if I get access to the beta to play before reading too much more into things. I want to see more hands-on of the Maw, I want to see covenant questing, and I’d like to get hands-on with these things myself but I am just waiting to see!

Update right after posting: here we go!

Current WoW: I’ve been farming Blackrock Foundry for the Mythic Blackhand mount with no success, but that’s my current mount target now that I have the Felsteel Annihilator. So far this week, 4 characters, no luck.

FFXIV – Eureka, Allegory Farming, Money Making, Retainer Leveling: In FFXIV, I’m starting to hit an aimless patch of goal chasing, with no one goal exceeding the others in value. I continue to cap out Allegory tomestones and today purchased my last Allegory piece for my healers, which will then leave tanks next (admittedly, 8 weeks of farming for 7 item levels average isn’t the best, but it’s likely we’ll still have Allegory in 5.3, so there is still value to be had in that increase). I’ve been working on Eureka, deciding on Machinist as the job to use and getting a Kirin’s Osode chest armor to accelerate the process, which made Anemos far more bearable and I just now need to grind out a level or two in order to move on to Pagos. Luckily for me, MrHappy has been revisiting Eureka on stream and putting guides up on YouTube, which has been a help for getting ahead of what I’ll need – he’s already published up to Pyros, which gives me a leg up in getting ahead on logograms for when I get there. Lastly, lest I thought I was done with leveling outside of Eureka, I decided to finally fully engage with the Retainer system and send them on long ventures with proper gear to level and bring back items and gil. I’m doing it as a long-term investment to make money, which is how I justify sometimes buying gear or material to craft gear for them to keep them current and able to do their highest-level ventures. At this point, I’m trying to keep them rolling on exploration ventures, sending them out once a day while also keeping them cycling on the marketboards through my sell-able goods. Despite starting to feel a bit of choice-creep wandering in, I’ve still largely had fun and productive FFXIV sessions now that I can fully engage with the endgame in all ways!

Spyro Reignited: I never played Spyro on the PS1, short of a demo disc that came with Official Playstation Magazine that had a single hub world on it and one accompanying level, so I don’t have any great nostalgia for the game. That being said, it was cheap during the Steam Summer Sale and came bundled with Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy for the cost that one of the trilogies of PS1 remasters would normally be, so I jumped for it. My fiancee has the Spyro Reignited Switch version, so I’ve compared the two a bit as we’ve both played, and maybe it is just my PC snobbery, but the Switch version seems to be a poorly optimized version. Don’t get me wrong, I had to wire up my Xbox One controller because the Bluetooth caused slowdown in-game when I would turn around that would make my framerate eat shit for seconds, but since doing that, it has run smoothly and looks great. They’re fun but simple games, and I’m in the last world of the first game currently. Haven’t been angling to hit 120% completion (remember when platformers were just collect-a-thons with an excess of items?) but I might go back and aim for it once I finish all 3 games!

Super Bunny Man: I saw this game a few times on Game Grumps, and it looked funny and fun, but also maybe a bit too simple. However, I showed my fiancee a video, and we bought it and have put about 14 hours into it so far. It is ridiculously fun so far! The design is incredibly simple (you can only roll your bunny man left or right, jump, and grab things with your hands) but within those parameters exists a lot of strategic depth and interesting level design. Sometimes, it is frustrating, but the good thing about playing it with someone else is that the frustrating spots often lead to hilarious deaths which makes the whole thing a blur of laughter and fun. I’ve been batting around the idea of a standalone post about the game, but I think I just communicated the core message I had in mind, so perhaps not!

As for the site, well, I have the starting experience addendums coming off the backburner after the Shadowlands coverage. I also expect a lot more Shadowlands coverage (fingers crossed I get beta this week!). Rounding things out, I’m playing with a Sidenote post after looking at the reviews and coverage of Intel’s Lakefield CPUs, the first x86 “big-little” core design and how it is a cool concept even though it definitely didn’t hit the mark.

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