Monster Hunter Etiquette

Monster Hunter has finally come to Nintendo Switch! Before you head out in pursuit of glory, consider the following:

Don’t attack the monster while a team member has mounted it. The mounted player can bring the beast down and allow the full team to RAGE on that bitch. So wait for the monster to fall to maximize your impact.

Eat before you hunt! Eating a hearty meal boosts your stats and adds some useful abilities for the hunt ahead. Sit down to a meal with your team before you rally for a quest.

Watch your health/sharpness and retreat to heal/sharpen as needed. Your whole team only gets three KOs before you fail the quest. Sometimes fatigue can sneak up on you so run to another area for a quick potion or sharpening session. You’ll be back in the battle in no time!

Don’t spam the chat. It’s distracting. Communicate with purpose (or use discord).

Take care of your palico buddies. Don’t forget to upgrade their armor and weapons too. Send them for training and the occasional catnap.

What are your best Monster Hunter tips?

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Sunday Stats

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*Since my family first got an NES, I’ve had a controller in my hands. Exploring new worlds, meeting new characters and experiencing stories… in some ways, I’ve just connected better with the world through games. However, it’s also very important to me to be present in my life, to improve myself, to go out and MEET the people I’ve connected with online and to expand my knowledge. I spend hours in games; how do I level myself up?

In this weekly series, I’ll chronicle how I’ve improved my “stats” with completely arbitrary scoring.*

-2 Intelligence – How did I make myself a little smarter? What did I learn?
Did YOU know that the Statue of Liberty is NOT on Ellis Island?? My whole life I thought it was the same island and assumed immigrants were processed into the country in the base of the Statue of Liberty. WRONG! I took a tour of Ellis Island on Saturday and learned all about what it was really like to come over from Europe in the early 1900s.

+2 Charisma – How was I less awkward or more beautiful?
Monday after work, I treated myself to a mani/pedi with a coworker. Of course, I went for BARBIE PINK! If I’m going to do something girlie, I’m going ALL. IN. 💅🏻

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+2 Strength – New workouts, breakthroughs, challenges.
I got a lot of non-traditional work outs in this week, including climbing to the crown of the Statue of Liberty! What a hike and WHAT a view!

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+3 Defense – Where did I consciously avoid or deflect negative energy?
I hosted a goal-setting session with a notoriously challenging client this week. In fact, he had “fired” my team from one of his other projects while I was in my old, super stressful role. Facing him again spiked my anxiety in the worst way. But I knew my work was good. My bosses knew my work was solid. And before I kicked off my presentation, I said aloud “You guys are really going to like what we have to show you today.” Then, I presented more gracefully than I ever have. And guess what? He was SO excited about the work and the outcome. 🤜🏼💥

+3 Luck – Something good that happened this week.
I got to spend time with one of my best friends in the world. We met 21 years ago in advanced Spanish class and even though we’re far apart now, when we DO get to spend time together it’s just like the old days.

-5 Wealth – How did I save towards my goals?
Wedding stuff and visitors and stress spending…No Spend August was a huge failure. But I had a lot of awesome adventures, events and memories made.

How did YOU level up this week?

Which Octopath to Travel – Ophelia

If you haven’t gotten sucked into Octopath Traveler yet, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? With 8 characters to choose from, it can be overwhelming. After all, your main character is the only one you can’t switch out over the course of the journey. Let’s jump into someone else’s shoes.

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Sweet, innocent Ophelia was abandoned on the doorstep of the Church of the Order of the Flame and taken in by the Archbishop. She was raised as his own alongside his daughter, Lianna, who is preparing for a ritual and pilgrimage known as the Kindling.

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But whoops. Archbishop falls deathly ill and Ophelia starts her sister’s ritual by procuring the spark of the Sacred Flame… so now she has to finish it. So she travels to towns with churches to share the spark and reinvigorate the Sacred Flames on their altars. She spreads peace and calm everywhere she goes.

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In battle, she’s surprisingly not weak for a healer, especially if you equip her with a secondary job like Warrior. Her battle cry (“OH, Sacred Light!”) sounds a bit like she’s mid-orgasm, but Her Guide ability is a more pure version of Primrose’s Allure. Ophelia can guide townspeople to complete side quests and summon them in battle to fight alongside her.

Choose Ophelia if you:
enjoy Catholic Guilt
have religious hang ups
steal your siblings’ glory
like playing with fire

Who will YOU choose?

Animal Crossing Switchlist

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Inspired by Glux’s Animal Crossing Switch wishlist, I wanted to share my own thoughts and desires.

I first came to Animal Crossing in Wild World for Nintendo DS. I played constantly through grad school and beyond, becoming an active member of the Animal Crossing Community and hosting WiFi parties. After skipping the Wii, the promise of New Leaf ensured I preordered a first gen 3DS. I upgraded to the 3DS XL when the ACNL edition came out.

Now, Pocket Camp is keeping me mildly entertained on mobile, but I’m craving so much more. While I keep waiting and hoping for an Animal Crossing Switch announcement, I’m dreaming up things I’d love to see in a new game.

Let me have more friends over! Nintendo is clearly capable of allowing more than 4 players to connect at once. So why can’t I have up to 8 players in my town?

My Camper. Let me connect my mobile account and bring my camper into a full version of the game. It would be super cool if there was a multiplayer RV park where 8 or so friends could meet to explore each others’ campers, play minigames, and maybe even race RVs.

Better communication system. For the love of Nook don’t make me type out messages to visitors. How about putting that Nintendo Online Service/ app to use and letting me actually TALK to my visitors.

Goals. I love the goals mechanic in ACPC, and there’s tons of opportunity to apply that to a full Switch version. Show me on the map which villagers need something. Give me a daily fish/fruit/bug quota. Reward me to visiting friends/traveling. Help me earn more bells to pay off my inevitable loan(s).

New museum wing(s) for unique collections. I think there are typically new fossils/bugs/fish added to each game, but PLEASE let me hang my villager portraits in the museum! It will give me more incentive to work for those portraits if I have somewhere I can display them all! Also, a Fashion wing would be really cool. I like to collect certain outfits, but not necessarily wear them so space to showcase them would be great. Plus this would give me a reason to visit my friends’ museums to see what their unique collections are like!

Keep the market box. I’d love to be able to sell some of my items to other players, including furniture and clothes! This would be a great workaround to players agreeing to bring a bunch of bells to your town and swap for an item only to take the items and disconnect or leave without paying.

MORE events! I always look forward to holidays in Animal Crossing and I appreciate when they align to real life events, but I’d love original events and moments. We have SO many ridiculous “national ______ days” in the real world, there have to be more creative ways to party in the next Animal Crossing.

New shops. We have Brewster’s coffee shop, how about a full restaurant where we can go with friends or villagers? It would be great to meet some new NPC animals! While we’re at it, can we keep OK! Motors and the cutie penguin brothers?

What would you want to see in the next Animal Crossing game?

 

Sunday Stats

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*Since my family first got an NES, I’ve had a controller in my hands. Exploring new worlds, meeting new characters and experiencing stories… in some ways, I’ve just connected better with the world through games. However, it’s also very important to me to be present in my life, to improve myself, to go out and MEET the people I’ve connected with online and to expand my knowledge. I spend hours in games; how do I level myself up?

In this weekly series, I’ll chronicle how I’ve improved my “stats” with completely arbitrary scoring.*

+2 Intelligence – How did I make myself a little smarter? What did I learn?
At work, I’ve been super focused on creating a workshop for an internal client. I’m super proud of it. Feeling super smart.

-2 Charisma – How was I less awkward or more beautiful?
I broke a nail at the gym… So now all my nails are back to looking like stumpy little things. On the bright side, it was getting hard to type with those long nails.

+2 Strength – New workouts, breakthroughs, challenges.
I’ve had a lot more energy and much less appetite since my weeks of regular gym time have become consistent.

-3 Defense – Where did I consciously avoid or deflect negative energy?
Not a good mental health week. I’ve been questioning and doubting everything. Getting married means I’m giving up on any chance of finding someone else who might be better for me. It means I have to deal with this person and all of his flaws forever…

+3 Luck – Something good that happened this week.
No one will appreciate this more than me or understand what a big deal it is, but I FINALLY got a 2nd monitor at work. No more writing decks on a tiny screen! It’s nice to have a complete workstation.

+5 Wealth – How did I save towards my goals?
I realized that the news of my raise came less than a month after I created my money manifesting wallet! That’s no coincidence.

How did YOU level up this week?

Which Octopath to Travel – Alfyn

If you haven’t gotten sucked into Octopath Traveler yet, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? With 8 characters to choose from, it can be overwhelming. After all, your main character is the only one you can’t switch out over the course of the journey. Up this week:

Alfyn

Alfyn is a chipper, do-gooder on a mission to find and honor the man who saved his life and inspired him to become an apothecary. Along the way, he encounters moral dilemmas and probably violates his Hippocratic oath. He reminds me a lot of Zell Dincht from FF8 – loud, willful, energetic… and not very bright. I wouldn’t want him to be my doctor.

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On the bright side, Alfyn heals everyone for free. Except your party. It costs 4 SP to use his First Aid ability. Once he’s leveled up some that spend isn’t a big deal. Alfyn’s story seems to have the most holes. The biggest being how will he find a man he only saw once as a child without at least knowing his name?

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Similar to Cyrus’ Scrutinize ability, Alfyn can Inquire of the townspeople to learn information about them, get discounts or get hints about side quests.

I find him to be one of the more annoying characters, but his altruistic outlook is pretty refreshing and he combines strength with healing. So he’s one of my party staples.

Choose Alfyn if you:
hate making money
believe in free healthcare
appreciate Eastern medicine
enjoy striking up conversations with strangers

Meet Gwack Zextra

Our DM’s DM will be in town next week so he’s hosting a one-off game of Blades in the Dark for us. Today, I created my character for this new game.

BitD is a tabletop role-playing game about a crew of daring scoundrels seeking their fortunes on the haunted streets of an industrial-fantasy city. There are heists, chases, occult mysteries, dangerous bargains, bloody skirmishes, and, above all, riches to be had — if you’re bold enough to seize them.

I am Gwack Zextra (our DM taught me a ridiculous naming formula and I made it ridiculouser. Gwack is a 38-year-old male Leech, which is basically a technician, tinkerer and saboteur adept at forging criminal tools- forgery kits, lock-picking equipment, bombs, etc. Oh, I can also distill drugs.

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I like to design my characters as much as I can to help me get into their heads and understand them. Hero Forge is great for quick character design. For Gwack, our new GM sent me a shadowy reference image of a vampiric man holding a skull and it felt a bit trite, especially in Victorian times. It didn’t feel right. My inspiration for Gwack Zextra was more of a “what if Boris Karloff was cast in Twilight” vibe.

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The training required to become a Leech is rare and strange – As a sickly orphan in the city of Akoros, Gwack had to be resourceful to survive. His quest for medicine led him to a curious medical “doctor” who cured the boy with elaborate machinery and foul-smelling tinctures. Once healed, Gwack stayed on as a sort of apprentice. He learned how to build weapons, torture devices, and explosives. In his spare time, he worked out in the streets to regain his physical strength, growing in strength and formidability.

Now that he’s a double threat with strength and strategy, he prefers to use his skills for mayhem and destruction. Though he can be known to heal a lucky companion from time to time, the side effects often create their own malady.

Have you played Blades in the Dark?