Sunday 26 May 2024

Dragonheir: Season of Darkness

[Part of the Cursed story line.

A new "season" update has showered gifts on players with something like 100+ hero dice which net me a few more legendary ranked heroes who I immediately take my new superstars to the arena and... still get thrashed because obviously I'm not great at team composition LOL. Now also available to me is the "champion arena" which is more PvP that the other arenas where you just face preset teams of other players but don't really interact with them in any way. In the champion arena mode which opens only every few hours, you are head to head in picking your line up for battle. Again, I got thrashed there too. :P

At least I make progress against the orc invasion, basically stopping it in its tracks and then defeating the obviously evil high mage who orchestrated everything and turns into a purple dragon (that's new to me)! He's a son of Tiamat so he's kinda strong and my lev 100 fire main actually has to tank while back row Garius (90) / Ripekas (90) / Zhar'loth (90) / and Voresh (90) clinch the win. With his defeat this boss has also turned into another available weekly challenge pinata.

The adventure then leads to what I suppose is the Underdark, where we find the isolated city of Terminus inhabited by rot stricken deep elves and one of their number offers to accompany us back to the main city (breaking quarantine) via the long route - the first section of which is most exciting as it involves an undying spider that continuously pursues you once you reach its territory. You can beat it up, but it gets up after 10 seconds and the chase is on again! Ironically we ultimately escape by sending the spider falling down a deep chasm, because spiders aren't good at falling or climbing? Erm...

Thursday 23 May 2024

Gloomhaven: Voice of the Mountain

[Part of the Party Time journal

After wiping out a Gloom cult gathering (complete with zombies and demons) at their ritual chamber with only DL getting KOed, we visit the Shrine of Strength to try get stronger by standing on pressure plates while being attacked by monsters... an interesting training method for sure! I'm the one that drops in that mission while Juris gets through all the doors to get the final chest. We then go up a mountain to investigate rumors of a dragon and instead get ambushed by Inox and elementals which knock Juris out, but are in turn wiped out by the three brothers. Jim's pretty good with his heals, disintegrating ray and spider bots!

While up there we hear a strange, beckoning voice and follow it into a cave system crawling with enemies, but as the mission this time is simply to open all the doors I use my rat-ninja skills to sneak through them all while the others basically hold the first room. Once all the doors are open the voice booms and disintegrates the remaining enemies, then asks us to free it. Suuuure, before doing that we return to the city to rest up and try learn more about it. Hail suggests the knowledge we seek is in the Shrine of the Depths, so we go there next and retrieve a chest from giant crab monsters and laser shooting eye stalk tentacles. At this point we're all pretty tough now, each having maxed out  at level 9 through the course of these adventures.

Tuesday 21 May 2024

Pathfinder: The Haunted Manor

[Part of the Party Time journal

While turning in the Sanitorium owner a ragged farmer arrives at the Sandpoint garrison asking for help at the outlying farms where scarecrows have started attacking the inhabitants. The party turns down the Sheriff's offer of two extra constables and riding quickly reach the farms at night where indeed, the scarecrows (or rather, ghouls dressed up as scarecrows) are hopping off their stands and lurking in the tall maize. They can't ambush the team though, not with Ezren's owl Stolas on recon. Valeros makes good use of his shield here, and while Merisiel's anti-undead rapier and Kyra's channeled energy naturally wreck these things, so does Kyra's warhorse Shadowmist who quickly proves to be the MVP in this outdoor setting.

A pair of not-yet ghouls are rescued and returned to town where they (along with Ezren and Kyra) are cured of ghoul fever disease by local priest, Father Zanthus whom Valeros buys a bunch of cure disease and holy water from, as well as a good number of oil flasks just for kicks. Discussing the evidence found at the farm with the Sheriff next leads them to the Foxglove manor, home of that noble Aldern who was saved during the goblin raid and was crushing hard on Merisiel. Isolated on a distant cliff face, the house is both rotten and haunted with numerous ghostly BS events kicking (mainly Valeros') ass while depicting what happened to the murderous family that lived here. After Kyra holy nukes a bunch of undead crows and Ezren eliminates a joke-boss battle blind, diseased rat in a tub, the next creature they find is a female revenant locked in the attic seeking revenge on Aldern (again good knowledge checks from Ezren and Kyra).

The team get out of her way and follow her back downstairs where she smashes open a secret staircase that leads below the basement and into a really foul smelling cave system where the squad beats even more ghouls and a giant ghoul bat (who is "holy eagled"). In a back room they find a badly beaten undead Aldern, finishing off the female revenant before Merisel one shots him with Kaydara (the holy rapier). This time the team are pretty sure they got the murderer, but correspondence found on him indicates that his ritualistic killings were at the behest of someone else at the next city of Magnimar.

Before doing anything else, Valeros douses a patch of evil fungi with holy water to turn "off" the haunts of the mansion then the team return to Sandpoint to update the authorities and borrow a monk priest to take back with them to the mansion for a more permanent cleansing (apparently all the other priests are busy healing wounded from a recent ghoul attack from the ocean).

Monday 20 May 2024

Eurovision 2024: The Code (of War)

It was an interesting Eurovision this year with Sweden acting as the host. Ukraine had a better song this time around and Germany set the stage on fire, or was it one of the more eye-candy type acts? There was also a twisted fairy tale, a demon summoning, and a guy with no pants which I classify under the same theme of "horror" (though purely based on some vocals/songs more entrants could fit into this category). There was also a disqualification, and it ultimately came down to Croatia's Baby Lasagna and Switzerland's Nemo. For a change I managed to pick the winner correctly from the semi-final stage! Congratulations Nemo, not only for winning but for one of the best performances in Eurovision ever. Highly recommended you watch it. :)

Here's Raiven, fully clothed.

Since this seems to be a post about nations competing against each other let's check in on Russia's special 2 day operation to take Ukraine which is now on day... 817? It's been a long time since I posted anything about this (ironically, it was my previous Eurovision post) and in that time Ukraine was actually losing ground due to dwindling reserves of people and supply (due to other countries *cough USA cough* delaying support) and Russia's seemingly endless supply of people to take hits and further tire and disarm their opponent.

That battle continues as does the one of Israel (who actually had a Eurovision contestant this year) vs Hamas, a militant and designated "terrorist" arm of Palestine supported by Iran, who recently lost their president in a helicopter crash. President Bill Clinton tried sorting that out in 2000 but unfortunately was unsuccessful.

Sunday 19 May 2024

Physical: 100 (2 Seasons so far)

Looking for the "perfect" body...

In this Korean series, 100 athletic people from all walks of life are invited to compete to see which body is superior. I'll get my main negative out of the way now, as the first half of the first episode in both seasons is basically people coming in and saying "Oh hello," and getting a quick blurb of how they were a gold medalist / fire fighter / strong man / soldier whatever. They don't do all 100 but they do quiiiite a lot!

It picks up after all the "hello's".

With that out of the way all the cool stuff happens, which this show refers to as quests. It might be hanging from a bar as long as you can or getting the most distance running on a treadmill in x minutes - and those are just the preliminary quests! The demand for feats of physicality and tactics progressively increase with each quest and the sharp editing, constant elimination of around 50% of participants per quest and the segments where they have to team up makes it a very interesting show to watch (where was that sharp editing at the start guys?). Awesome show - highly recommend and am looking forward to watching the next one!

Thursday 16 May 2024

Shardlake and Scavengers Reign

Shows with mystery!


Named after the hunchback protagonist (played by Arthur Hughes) who works as a barrister/investigator in the 16th century, this four episode series has him sent to investigate a murder at a monastery which happens to also be flagged for dissolution by the crown. Thus his job is two fold: close the monastery and find the killer, and it's actually pretty quick how everything is wrapped up by the last episode. Decent acting, story and sets make this an alright watch, though Shardlake does enjoy talking to himself and seeing visions of dead people a bit too often for my liking. Recommended if you like murder mysteries of the English variety, and would probably watch a second season if they ever make it.

Scavengers Reign

This one season animated sci-fi series follows the survivors of a massive space ship, now stranded on a strange and alien planet with both wonderful and horrifying things to behold and experience. The story, artistry, action segments and just general cool ideas are all top notch here - my only complaint might be that the character art is more "simple" than what I'm used to but they are definitely fine. Highly recommended but definitely not one for kids! Again I'd watch a season two of this if ever it came to be.

Wednesday 15 May 2024

Dragonheir: Legendary Luck

[Part of the Cursed story line.

As grinding sucks I've also tried sneak in some exploration into the new lands which has revealed some rather adult themes. Let's just say I know how to make drugs now and I'm peddling them to the populace? WHAT? Yeah, that's a thing. Anyway, thanks to an unplanned maintenance I was gifted 100 hero dice by the system and managed to roll up Usha the knight (permanent this time) and Zhar'loth a fear inducing monster caster who replaces the under performing Gitouna.

I've also only now realized some heroes have a captain skill that you can pick from at the start of battle! By default it's always been Garius' +% defense but Zhar'loth brings a +%damage which is now my go to. Alas there's no avoiding the grinding and getting to level 100 is really a pain, but my main gets there while the other regulars are on 90. This helps me find and assist a missing princess (and her army) smash back the orc invaders and also unlocks the TEAM arena.

Team arena is almost exactly like regular arena except you put forward three teams to fight each other consecutively and characters can't be re-deployed between them. Again, finding people lower level to fight seems to be the way to go but its much harder to field three teams of heroes fully equipped with fully upgraded gear! And, once again this lets people with multiple legendary heroes absolutely trounce their opposition. Just to give you an idea, some of these guys have abilities to resurrect fallen team mates and/or self revive.

Good news though, using the camp horn feature (a free hero summon 4x daily or something) which has so far done nothing for me has today given me the Legendary Ghost Troll Ripekas who will be taking Usha's position in the rotation as he is a beast of a DPS. I just have to level him up first. Of course all new heroes start at level 1.

There's a server wide message every time someone pulls this off.