Friday, February 24, 2017

Mass Effect: The Insanity Run

Welcome back, my beautiful freaks, to the Assassin's Den!

With Mass Effect Andromeda about to release on March 21, 2017 and me without the hardware to play it nor the money to get said hardware, I decided to do something special for this occasion; beat the Shepard Trilogy on Insanity.  Now, this isn't for the sake of bragging; everyone who cares about beating Insanity has done so already. Nor do I want to challenge myself; I've beaten ME1 on Insanity once before, before my first 360 crashed and burned.  No, this is me being able to say "I got all the achievements on the Shepard Trilogy", something I've been working on for a LONG time, but avoided Insanity at all costs.  But now, I'm finally at a point in my life when I can beat the games on this difficulty.

However, I'm going to make this as easy on myself as possible.  Which is why I'm importing a character into each game and then setting the difficulty to Insanity; that way, I've got a good loadout for my team and a certain build for my character. 

So, the following order is how I'll be posting the setup and completion entries on here.  I'll explain when an entry isn't so clear.

  1. Name
  2. Background-This is going to be more than just "Spacer-War Hero" thing the game gives you.  No, this is the what happened before the opening of the game.  For 2 and 3, it will explain Shepard's alignment and choices that were made in the previous game. But for one? Well, that'll be something special.
  3. Class
  4. Extra power
  5. Build-This goes into how I combine the class and the extra power, and how I plan to survive Insanity with this character.
  6. Created on date
  7. Setup-What level and gear I start the run with.  This will be more clear when I do the first entry.
  8. Companion tier-How good each companion is based on the difficulty and my build.  And I want to make things clear; just because I don't like a companion's characterization doesn't mean they're automatically low tier.  For example, Baldur's Gate 2 has an incredibly annoying character in Aerie, but she's incredibly useful due to her being able to use both arcane and clerical magic. So I use her when I'm doing a run where I'm not using Viconia, who is a pure cleric.
  9. Level of frustration-How angry I got with the BS the game throws at me.  Like I said, I'm not going for the challenge, so I'm going to get mad at the cheap stuff the game throws at me.
  10. Content completed-Basically, what DLC missions I'm doing for the run, or why I'm doing certain content in a certain order.  Some DLC has good items, but some don't have an Insanity achievement tied to them, and don't need to be completed ON Insanity.
  11. Achievements I'm going for
  12. Finish date
  13. Final thoughts-This is where I wrap up my feelings on the run.
Unfortunately, my Xbox 360 power supply died, AGAIN, so I'm ordering a brand new on online.  Won't be an official Microsoft one, since they don't make them anymore, but considering that I've had better luck with third party stuff for the 360, this one should last me.  However, I won't get it until March, and I still need to finish my setup run for ME1. I probably won't finish before Andromeda's release like I intended to.

But for now, look forward to the posts on the run, and stay beautiful freaks!

(Oh, and I'm using my sign off as the block for my referral code now. :) )

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Assassin's Den Reviews Announcement: Dragon Ball Super Funimation dub review schedule

Welcome back, my beautiful freaks, to the Assassin's Den!  As of two weeks ago yesterday (my time, of course), Cartoon Network began airing Funimation's dub of Dragon Ball Super, one episode a week.  So, I've decided that, at the end of an arc, I'm going to talk about the show based on that arc's story and the English cast's voice acting. 

Now, I need to mention one major thing, I have not seen Battle of Gods or Resurrection F, so unlike for most people who watched Super in the original Japanese, these two arcs are new territory for me.  I am going in completely blind. In fact, outside of what I've seen talked about by the people at Team Four Star, including but not limited to MasakoX, I'm going in blind with the series.  Yes, I'll keep up with the synopsis of what will come for me so I don't rehash things and muse on things that have already happened for a lot of fans, but the episodes themselves are brand new territory for me.

With that said, I'll be posting a review of the Battle of Gods arc when it is over, which should be in about a month.  But for now, stay beautiful freaks!

Check out my referral code for benefits to your SWTOR account!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

New Year's Day and why I don't celebrate it

Welcome back, my beautiful freaks, to the Assassin's Den!  Today, I talk about a strange quirk of my personality, and why I don't really care to mark something nearly everybody else does.  You see, to me, New Year's Day only marks the change in any dating I do on checks or forms.  I don't make New Year's Resolutions simply because I don't see any reason to wait to make positive changes in your life.

I've also reached the point in my life where people don't make a big deal about my birthday. Most I get now are texts from a few people wishing me a Happy Birthday, and no gifts.  Which I get; I mean, I turned 34 this past birthday, I'm not one for parties, and all my friends have kids.  So now, what I do on my birthday is different than what I used to do; reflect on what has happened, and plan for the future.  Just like what the majority of people do on New Year's.  I start making positive change then, because what else am I going to do besides working and relaxing?

I'm also a little burned out on celebrations by New Year's.  I mean, when November rolls around, we've got my oldest nephew's birthday, then mine, then American Thanksgiving, then we settle in for the Christmas season.  Lots of good food, lots of time to spend with the extended family, lot of good times.  But New Year's is just a party for the sake of a party. There's no good will, only food and booze, and I'm working on weight loss for a few important reasons that I don't want to reveal to the world.

I also don't drink.  I don't like how being drunk feels.  And while I'm tall and heavy enough to have a pretty good tolerance, I don't like the aftermath of getting drunk.  Because of this, I stand around at a New Year's party, watching people acting like drunken asses over an arbitrary change in a calendar year.

I also don't like staying up late. The latest I'm going to bed is 11pm, and that's pushing it.  I like rising with the sun, and waiting to midnight to celebrate the turning of an arbitrary number is not my idea of fun.

And this is why I'm not the guy you want at a New Year's party; I'm the wall flower who isn't enjoying the music, isn't eating the food, isn't drinking the booze, watching others making a fool of themselves, and feeling like I'd rather be asleep than standing around waiting for the ball to drop.  And I've already been working on my "New Year's Resolution" on my birthday six weeks ago.

That's not to say that I begrudge the people who enjoy the party; just those who call or text me at midnight wishing me a happy new year after I've been asleep for two hours.  Thankfully, my friends have realized this over the years and have stopped.

However, those who want to party will find a reason, and I don't begrudge them that.  So enjoy your celebrations, sleep as late as you want, nurse your hangovers and stay beautiful freaks!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Assassin's Den Reviews: Knights of the Eternal Throne

Welcome back, my beautiful freaks, to the Assassin's Den! Today, I'm going to talk about the latest expansion dropped for SWTOR, KOTET!

First off, the story.  KoTET starts off not long after KOTFE Ch16 ends; Vaylin has now taken the Zakuulan Throne, and Vitiate is now implementing his plan to take control of your body.  You have to fight off the efforts of both of them to bring about the peace the galaxy finally needs.  I actually enjoy the nine chapters of the KOTET story, and I was glad to see the majority of plot threads tied up, and the ones that weren't so good, like the Sion plotline, were abandoned.  In fact, the only thing you hear from the Sions is in an email after the story is over.

However, there are things I didn't like. For example, two big characters that I wanted to see return more than anyone did not. In fact, KoTET didn't have anyone return.  The only characters that came in for the expansion were Shae Vizla and Master Ranos, whom you only got if you got to a certain tier in the DvL event.  Something I didn't accomplish, so all I got was Shae Vizla.

I'm also not a fan of Galactic Command, since the focus after the story is over is multiplayer content.  However, this WAS a big contention point for PVP players and flashpoint/operation players, so they finally got the content they've been craving for a year.  Galactic Command gives some great rewards for people who like that stuff, so I'm glad to see them happy, even though that content is not my cup of tea.

However, we can't have an expansion without an engine change, and we got one with 5.0.  5.0's changes are all about mobility and making classes more distinct.  First off, we no longer start as one of 8 base classes; we start as what used to be specializations.  So you don't start out as, say, a Jedi Knight anymore, you start out as a Sentinel or a Guardian.  You still go through the Knight story, but your playstyle is different from the start.  Each class starts with their preferred weapon style (for example, a Sentinel starts with two training blades, while a Shadow starts with an electrostaff), and each has distinct abilities that are exclusively reserved for that class.  Also, some classes gained new abilities to compliment their playstyle; for example, a Gunslinger no longer uses Dirty Kick as a stun, because they are pure ranged fighters. Instead, they get a shot that does the same thing. Scoundrels also regain an AOE that either drops at their feet if they're not a healer, or can be sent a short range away if they are a healer.  (these changes, of course, go across the faction line; IA classes have the same changes but with different animations and names based on their faction).

On top of that, crystals were removed from the game; no more data crystals, no more radiant crystals, no more warzone commendations.  Credits are now far more valuable than they were before.  However, you still get a special currency for bounty broker missions and Galactic Command, but someone who actually does that content would be better suited to tell about that.

All in all, SWTOR KoTET and the 5.0 changes were beneficial.  Class changes make things more distinct, and the Zakuul storyline was wrapped up nicely.  The only downside, for me at least, is the fear that I'm going to be sitting for months waiting through content that I don't care for before I get more story.  But only time will tell.

But for now, check out my referral code, and stay beautiful freaks!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

DBXV Character Profiles Round 9

Welcome back, my beautiful freaks!  With Xenoverse 2 out now, on a system I still can't afford to get, I'm watching videos of it on youtube, and thus, have gotten the itch to play the first one again.  So, here's another character that I may recreate entirely in Xenoverse 2 when I finally get it.  Hopefully, the profits from the book I'm working on will let me settle a few things and finally get a PS4.  But for now, meet my new Time Patroller.

Age: 12 (Physically and emotionally, but not in terms of experience)
Gender: Female
Species: Majin
Home Planet: Earth
Profile:  Kazaa is curious about EVERYTHING.  Just barely into her species equivalent of adolescence, the world is bright and new to her.  She wants to learn and experience everything the world has to offer, and idolizes Alaka like no other.  In fact, she's figured out how to copy other people's move, just like her idol!  And while she doesn't want to copy her idol's fighting style exactly, she is doing as Alaka did in her efforts to stop Demigra; try out all kinds of moves and see what fits her best.

Personality: It's as if she's seeing the world for the first time, and that's not far from the truth.  She's the youngest time patroller in Conton City (the Xenoverse 2 hub world), and wants to show the older fighters that she's just as good as they are, all while absorbing all she can about world, both the scientific and mystical aspects of it. 
Job: Time Patroller.
Name Pun: Magic words.  And since she's supposed to tie into Alaka, her name ties into the magic word "Alakazam".

I went with Videl's clothes as a whole "young girl fighting outfit" thing, instead of the "Majin pride" thing that we see on Alaka.  Hopefully, when my book comes out and I've paid off a couple of things, I'll be able to get a PS4 and Xenoverse 2, and create Kazaa in effect there.  
And yes, I am writing a book. A work of original fiction, which is a LOT harder than I thought it would be.  I'll keep this blog in the loop in the process, but like any story I've ever written before, the start is the hardest.  
But for now, stay beautiful freaks!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

DBXV Character Profiles Round 8

Welcome back, my beautiful freaks, to the Assassin's Den!  
So, I'd been playing around with the character creator yesterday, and I realized that I'd built another human that looked exactly like Rayne, but with a change in her clothing.  So I was like "Wait, a second, this gives me an idea."  So I went ahead and deleted her, rebuilt her, and named her Rayne again.  But now, I'm giving her an updated profile, to reflect the changes she's gone through during the storyline of Dragon Ball Xenoverse. So here's Rayne's updated look and profile!
Name: Rayne
Age: 22
Gender: Female
Species: Human
Age they came from: 818
Home Planet: Earth
History: Trained in the style of the Turtle School by her grandfather Krillin from a young age, Rayne knew that she was outclassed by the alien fighters she grew up around.  And she refuses to undergo the extensive cybernetics that her grandmother went through in order to get a power boost.  To make up for these power based shortcomings, she researched different ways to manipulate ki; to poison, burn or freeze superior foes to give her a more even playing field.  And when Shenron, the Eternal Dragon of the Dragon Balls, told her that someone from a faraway land had called her, and to come forth, she happily accepted the offer, eager to see if her techniques could be integrated into Turtle School teachings for humans.
Personality: Rayne's confidence went through the roof after defeating Demigra by herself. (There's two possible endings for the main story of the game; one where, if you let your health get too low, Goku teleports in and helps you beat Demigra, with the final cutscene being you and Goku doing a Kamehameha together.  The other one, which is the only one I've gotten myself, is where you don't let your health get to that point, where you beat Demigra on your own, and you do that final Kamehameha by yourself, and get energy from the main cast.  It's a very moving scene, and I encourage you to look it up on youtube.) She still outwardly appears to take nothing seriously, always having a joke or a quip or a bit of sarcasm to offer at any moment to brighten the mood or demoralize an opponent.  But she's no longer afraid.  Rayne knows what she can do, knows that she's strong enough to defend history with her own strength without resorting to trickery.  She now relies on technique and skill, confident in her ability now.
Special: She no longer uses the Kaioken, but she's still equipped with the Spirit Bomb move. I've now modified her supers to be more unique to her, using moves that I don't normally use on my characters.
Name Pun: Rain. As in “water that falls form the sky.”  While she does not conform to the familial “named after chestnuts” thing, I figure her father has a weather type name, and the name came from there.


This outfit's called the Time Patrol Suit, which you get after beating the game the first time.  It's actually the clothes used for the promotional Time Patroller, the male Saiyan who looks like Gohan with red hair. You can also change the color of it, and this is the color scheme I like for it. I changed Rayne's hairstyle, because her original one clipped through the collar, and I thought the sunglasses fit her new look.  She's really come into her own after beating Demigra, and doing like all true masters of the Turtle School and truly making her fighting style her own.

Look forward to more DBXV/SWTOR stuff in the future, and stay beautiful freaks!

Friday, September 2, 2016

DBXV Character Profiles Round 7

Welcome back, my beautiful freaks, to the Assassin's Den!  Today, I'm posting a few new characters from Xenoverse that I've created and deleted.  And on one of them, I came up with an interesting idea. Anyway, on with the character pictures and basic profiles.

Name: Ario
Age: 15
Gender: Male
Species: Namekian
Home Planet: Earth
Profile:  Ario loves Earth. He loves everything about Earth.  The sights, the sounds, the martial arts, the clothes, all of it.  And the culture. The culture of the Earthlings (and Saiyans by proxy, since they've been intermingling with the Earthlings for over a century) that he adores. Other Namekians tell him that their own culture needs to be protected and cultivated, but why?  The Namekians lost. Their homeworld was destroyed by Mira in Age 853, and their warriors are hardly the strongest beings in the universe.  Earthlings though? They have so much opportunity to do great things, from fighting to science to philosophy.  And Ario will fight to defend the world he loves so much.

Personality: Wide eyed and idealistic.  Ario wants to do everything that the Earthlings do and take part of the world they've created.
Job: Time Patroller.
Name Pun: Like the other Namekians, Ario is taken from a slug species, the Ariolimacidae family of slugs.

I put Ario next to an in game Namekian to show how short he is. He is literally the smallest body type for Namekians.






Together, they are the Okara Squad!  A Saiyan Team who escaped left Sadala before its destruction (In all timelines, not just Peparia's), these five Saiyans found a sort of immortality in the farthest reaches of the universe, unexplored by the greater civilizations.  This immortality made it so they would not age, would not die from age, but are not invulnerable; they can still be killed by enough damage without healing, they still need to eat and drink, and they still need to sleep.  However, this immortality comes at a price; none are able to have children.

For the past 300 years, the Okara Squad has traveled the farthest reaches of the universe, bringing justice where there was none, and clashing with Frieza's Empire, and the Ginyu Force in particular.  Their main point of contention between the two teams is the symbol on their armors; to Okara and her team, the symbol represents the planet they left behind and subsequently lost, but to the Ginyu Force, it to represent their devotion to Frieza.  

However, Frieza and his empire do not see them as Saiyans, due to their lack of tails; like the Sadalan Saiyans in Universe 6 of Dragon Ball Super, these Saiyans have mastered the powers of the Oozaru, but without the need to transform. They have the 10x power boost, but without the need to use the moon to get that boost. This, combined with what the Saiyans became on Planet Vegeta, gave them more than enough reason to willingly cut off their tails permanently.

The Okara Squad are physically between the ages of 30 and 50, but due to their unaging immortality, all are over 300 years.   They have centuries of combat experience, and joined the Time Patrol after being asked by the Slayer of Demigra to lend their strength for the future.  (Alaka and Peparia in my case, but they were brought in by any future "Future Warrior" that I create. Right now, I'm trying to grind out outfits, moves and other stuff, so I'm not really focusing on a new "Future Warrior.)

Oh, and for Okara herself, the hair color's not natural.  A pureblood Saiyan's hair is black, so Okara dyes her hair every 20-50 years as a distinction as leader.  

As for my stories; I'm working on finishing Lair of the Shadow Broker, and then Arrival.  From there, I will finally do chapter 2 of Ragdat's Darkest Days.

But for now, stay beautiful freaks!