Protheus The Jerk
I’m still plowing through Skyforge, logging in at least once a day to take care of my minions (which saying so reminds me that I didn’t last night), but when I have time I am working through the story elements. From what I gather, a lot of people are running through open world zones which generally award different color Sparks and other currency needed to buy items on the market. I like the open zones a lot, but I haven’t gotten back to them unless a mission sends me there.
I had to head to Thais Temple for what I thought was another routine leg of the story mission. Thais Temple is amazingly beautiful in an already beautiful game; the designers put a lot of work into that instance. For the most part, the zone was relatively easy, filled mostly with khelps and naiads of various types. There were three stage bosses that really didn’t have any tricks to offer.
But it’s the last boss — Protheus — that’s probably the worst encounter I’ve run into in this game so far. Like a lot of the bosses, his circuit isn’t difficult to discern, but the weight of the encounter is just agonizing. Initially he hangs back and sends out khelps. Then Protheus comes out, defended by a shield, while he sends out more khelps. You can’t stand in one place because Protheus has a melee attack that will decimate anyone he targets, potentially one-shotting you unless you’ve got some shielding in effect. After the khelp are down, he drops the shield and you can take a whack at him, but he doesn’t stay vulnerable for very long.
I made it through the instance to this encounter, but had to leave since my wife came home from work and we had to deal with dinner, but even in the ten or so minutes I’d been engaged in this fight, I didn’t even manage to put a noticeable dent in this guy. I’m not entirely sure what the best strategy is for this. I might just spend some time in other zones earning sparks since I feel I’ve not spent enough time working through my Atlas and earning Prestige.
Golem Arcana is a board game that has you using a special stylus to interact with the board and figures. This stylus connects to a mobile or tablet device via BLE (Bluetooth low energy). The device is actually what’s in charge of organizing the game. It’s like a GM for the game rules, letting you know where you can move your figures, handling attacks, and keeping track of damage. I picked it up because I figured with the computerization of the rules it would be a game that’s quick to set up and easy to learn.
My weekend disaster with my HTC M7 and the upgrade to the Galaxy S6, however, has caused a snag. The S6 is listed on the game’s website as being a compatible device, but I haven’t been able to get the stylus to connect to the phone. The phone “sees” the stylus in the Bluetooth device listing, but the application itself cannot. BlueKae graciously offered to join a Hangout to help me work through the issues (as he’s a veteran Golem Arcana player), and while we were talking I tried connecting the stylus to my PC via a Bluetooth dongle. In this case, I could successfully register the stylus with the Bluetooth devices — but there’s no Windows version of the game software, so it was mostly a pointless exercise, except that I figured that since I could register with the PC, and could see the stylus on the phone, it was something about the phone or the GA software itself that wasn’t allowing the connection. I tried Bluestacks, an app that allows users to run Android apps on Windows, but Bluestacks doesn’t have Bluetooth support (despite the misleading name, which actually has nothing to do with what we’re talking about here).
As of right now, I’m not able to actually play Golem Arcana, although I was happy to see that a Twitter conversation about it was picked up by the official company account, and they said they’d let their tech folks know about it. I also posted to their forum in the off chance that someone might have some insight/might get raised internally. So even though I can’t really use the product, I’m happy to see that someone was listening (even if it was in a creepy, keyword alert kind of way).
Crossing the Streams
I’m a big supporter of Forge, the effortless streaming service, because it’s effortless. I like effortless, and I like the fact that I can use it to take screenshots and to pull out just the interesting bits of the stream for highlighting.
I’ve got this nagging in the back of my head that wants me to become more engaged with the community at large, but it’s hard to get started unless you have a large support network to help you pimp your projects to an even wider audience, and a willing cadre of folks who will actively hang out with you while you’re doing these things. Forge is kind of passive in that regard as people can stop by and watch live, but you don’t know they’re there (there’s no live interaction). Later, folks can check out your screenshots and highlight clips. It’s a nice system, but not terribly engaging.
I’ve started live streaming again beyond Forge, trying Hitbox and Twitch, and trying to get started at a predictable time every day (long about 4:30 or 5PM EDT). I’m of two minds on this. The first is that persistence is key. Always being somewhere, at the same time, maybe for about the same length of time, maybe with the same content, is a good way to show people that you’re serious about providing for their entertainment. With effort comes expectation, though, so setting up a schedule and graphics and a not-so-horrible layout for your streaming page only to not attract any eyeballs is kind of a bummer. But that’s where the second mind comes in. Why not? I mean, why not do it anyway? It’s like blogging. The best type of blogger is one who writes because they want to, because they feel like they have something to say. If no one reads it, well, that doesn’t change the author’s belief that he or she has something to say. So they keep writing, or in this case keep streaming, because at some point maybe someone will stop by and see what’s going on. That person may tell someone else, and they may tell other people, but even if it doesn’t grow like that (or at all), simply doing something that you were going to do anyway doesn’t cost any more than it would if you didn’t do it at all.
The only problem is that I can’t run OBS and Forge at the same time; they don’t play well together, and their combined might destroys my CPU (which isn’t a slouching piece of hardware, BTW). I have to choose one or the other, so recently I’ve been working Forgeless. I know that they’re working on getting live mic support set up in Forge, which will be a godsend because even if there’s no live chat, sometimes you just want to get some insight into what the streamer is thinking, or if they’re playing an unfamiliar game, why they’re doing what they’re doing. As much as I like Forge’s effortless streaming, I am looking forward to the mic update, and wouldn’t be averse to seeing some kind of “activity list” that could let the streamer know there’s people watching, or who is watching, so there could at least be some acknowledgement that there are people there.