I’ve been enjoying my “book writing sabbatical” perhaps a little too much. A lot of my novel has gotten done, but there have been plenty of things over the last month I easily could have blogged about.
I was almost completely by myself for three weeks as Mom and Aly went to New York for a summer music program.
I'm putting down Mario Maker 2 so I can focus on writing today, but I've been having such a great time building levels again that I thought it would be fun to share what I've made so far. If you have the game, feel free to check some of them out!
I completely skipped the Three Houses banner in Fire Emblem Heroes.
Normally I’d be writing something for the new Fire Emblem Heroes banner today, but I decided not to for a couple reasons. So here’s the Featured Image you’d see in case you’re feeling blue about my recent lack of blog writing. pic.twitter.com/v1dCw3q05M
I spent the first week or two sick in bed, and kept the sore throat for some time after.
Figured that was going to be the end of my rainy season hardships. But then it actually started raining hard in SoCal and everything fell apart again.
Just after finishing my Breath of the Wild post yesterday, I’m pretty sure I was hit with some kind of strange bug. I tried to sleep from 5:00 p.m. or so until this morning and honestly had trouble because I couldn’t warm up and all of my joints hurt.
What made it especially strange was that it seemed entirely confined to one night. By the time I woke up this morning, the sensation had passed.
Really the only effect of that brief, yet intense little cold was the fact that it sapped away all of my sleep. I’m sure you’ve all had those nights where you didn’t get any in spite of losing a number of hours laying in bed.
That was me.
Unfortunately, that lack of sleep came back to bite me in the ass this morning twice over.
First when I had to wake up extra early, around 6:00 a.m. or so, to take out the trash since Thursdays are garbage day and I happened to be so out of it that I forgot to pull it together last night.
Then when I had to re-wake up not much longer after to go to my 10:00 a.m. orthodontist appointment.
Can’t really justify forcing some poor folks to dig around in my mouth while I’m coughing and probably breathing out all kinds of nasty particulates.
Unfortunately that kindness toward the orthodontists was a double-edged sword. Apparently in the few short weeks since that bracket broke, my two front teeth have already started to drift apart. By this point the gap, as relatively unnoticeable as it is for me, was big enough to warrant not moving forward on repairs today.
Instead I’m going to wear my regular retainer 24/7 to try to bring my teeth back into place so we can seal them in place again.
On the bright side, that meant we didn’t have to pay for anything today because no work was done besides cleaning the cement where the old bracket was.
On the less bright side, wearing that thing so much after admittedly not doing so over the last few years makes for a very uncomfortable sensation in my mouth.
Thus it’s been a few days of joint pain and gum pain. As per the advertised joys of being 21.
Hopefully as the rain starts to fade into the weekend, all will start to feel better. That’s all I can ask for with school starting next week.
Which was worth watching, but probably a subject for another day.
While I’m feeling better today, I’m still not feeling better enough to go spend a whole bunch of hours at the Finals competition for the RUHS band. So I’m going to have to neg on that promise I made last week. Sorry Aly.
Thus, between bouts of sleeping and tending to a nosebleed, I figured I would finally do something fun and show you all what an obsessive freak I’ve become about Monster Hunter armor planning.
Armor planning in Generations Ultimate fills a very similar niche to Pokémon team creation for me in that it extends a game’s lifespan through a strategic planning task.
Building the full armor set for a specific monster yields skills matching their play style. For instance, the ephemeral electric unicorn Kirin’s armor applies Divine Blessing (to occasionally reduce damage) and Elemental attack damage buffs.
So if a monster matches the play style you like, or works well with one of the game’s 14 weapon types (like the hammer-tailed Duramboros armor works with a hammer weapon), it’s an easy build.
However, if you’re someone like me that enjoys a challenge and wants to build armor with varied skills for a specific task, mixed sets are the way to go.
As a Hunting Horn main, I made it my goal to create a separate set of armor for every element and status type. The actual in-game armor forge isn’t very conducive for planning, so I turned to armor listings on Kiranico and my phone to generate ideas before wasting the materials.
Here’s my written plan for the horn that would apply a sleep element:
Some key details to note. There are five armor pieces, one weapon and one talisman for each set. The armor pieces have pre-determined skills:
Talismans have random skills when you find them, so planning out an armor set is partially about luck.
Also, note the asterisks near each piece’s skill listing. Those indicate the number of available decoration slots. Each piece can have up to three slots, and I’ve indicated what decor I’m putting in the slots though the subsection.
Most skills are applied when they reach 10 points on your overall armor, with a stronger version at 15 or 20.
Here’s how the fruits of that planning labor translated in-game:
In Generations Ultimate, a feature called armor transmog was added that allows hunters to put a decorative armor on top of the armor they’re wearing.
That way you can have your cake and eat it too: Make an armor with fantastic skills that also doesn’t look super ugly.
Sometimes the armor planning process isn’t so simple. Multiple different monsters can give the same skills, and it’s important to balance that with the defense statistic, elemental resistances and the slot count.
For instance, when I recently pivoted to try out the Lance, I tried to build up an armor set that had the Guard and Guard Up skills applied. Thanks to having a few useful talismans, I wound up comparing three potential armors:
Obviously the one I wound up with had the most work put into it, as everything just fell into place.
Between those guard skills and Divine Blessing, I aimed to be more defensive for the Lance play style. Plus a status attack buff, considering all of the lances I wanted utilized those statuses: Sleep, Poison, Paralysis and Blast.
Even if Blast does not technically count as a status attack anymore and is only buffed by Bomb Boost. But I still put them together.
Here’s how the final armor came out:
This one I transmogrified using G-Rank Basarios armor. Its bulky-looking stone armor appeared aesthetically perfect for a defensive set.
Because in Monster Hunter, aesthetics are just as important as powerful skill sets.
Out of all the builds I’ve planned so far, this Status Lance set is probably one of my most immediately gratifying and successful. Having never used the weapon before, coming in with a well-designed set made the learning process pretty painless.
Especially when it allowed me to discover the best killing blow in the game:
Someone out there must have been looking out for me this morning.
I was apparently very tired, or my bed was really comfortable and warm, or I was getting ready for Thanksgiving break a little too early, or some other contrivance that might explain my behavior. Whatever it may have been, all I know is that I was cognizant enough to switch off my first few alarms at about 9:00 a.m.
But then I lost a few hours and found myself woken up at 11:30 a.m. by a call from my mom.
For once in my life I was not up into ungodly hours the night before (or morning of, as it goes), so I have no idea what messed with me and kept me clocked out.
All I know is that I usually leave for class at about 11:00 a.m., since that gives me 2 hours or so to make it from Redondo Beach to Fullerton for my 1:00 p.m. class.
So I came to the conclusion that it might just be worth skipping the first class of the day. Sensation and Perception was the earliest thing on the docket, and considering we just had our exam last Thursday I didn’t imagine anything important would be happening.
Plus I have friends in that class that I could get the notes from.
It was arguably the safest class I could have skipped, as luck would have it. My body’s poor life choices were well timed if nothing else.
But then there was a twist.
As I laid in bed sending out messages of feigned pleading to help with whatever notes I’d be missing, I started my “morning” routine by checking whatever emails I might have missed the night before or gotten while I was asleep.
While looking through my college email, I saw a message had come through from the professor of my Sensation and Perception class.
Apparently he wound up with a flat tire this morning and had to cancel class.
So, by some virtue of whatever Gods may or may not be out there, not only was my body’s messed-up internal clock timed to mesh together with a less-important class, but that less-important class happened to get cancelled anyway.
It literally became a win-win situation. I slept in and missed nothing.
My friend in that class and I laughed off the convenience.
Of course it wasn’t a perfectly timed event, because I still had to come in for my 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. block class. But at least it’s a class I really like coming to.
Also, as it happened, today was an easy day in class. We pretty much just spent the whole day watching a movie.
In fact, I wound up writing this whole thing while the movie was going because I figured why not kill two birds with one stone? Getting my blog post out of the way during an easy, chill class opens up more time for me to do other things later.
Like go to the gym.
Or finish some homework.
Or play some Monster Hunter.
Who knows what the evening will hold! All I know is this goofy little story seemed like fine blog fodder for the day.
So I hope you enjoyed the ironic conveniences of my Tuesday.
I didn’t exactly have any grandiose plans for a blog post today in the first place, but I wouldn’t expect this one to be super long or involved anymore if I were you.
See, I spent most of the day at home today, but a lot of it was while indisposed. Cleaning the house and sleeping primarily.
Sleeping a lot. I mentioned starting to be sick during my Nintendo Direct post the other day, and since then it hasn’t exactly gone away. If anything it’s shifted from being more of a stomach bug to a head cold, and I’ve been laying around coughing with a sore throat for hours.
As a result, earlier I laid down to take a two, maybe two-and-a-half hour nap. Wound up sleeping closer to five hours.
Lost a hell of a lot of time to that, which is why I’m just kind of making it up as I go along now.
Figured if I was going to talk about anything, it would be the only not sick-related thing I did: Playing some Monster Hunter.
Because what else do you do when you’re laying down but not sleeping yet.
I’ve been having a blast with the game so far, and having to play it around school starting up actually made it more feasible to spread the content around. There’s a whole lot of it, and I’m maybe just finishing up the first third of the game — if you split it between low-rank, high-rank and G-rank hunting.
In celebration of finally breaking into high-rank, I figure why not share this cool new armor set I finished? In part because I honestly don’t use my Switch photo taking ability enough.
This cool ninja outfit is the “Yukumo Sky” armor. Named after the Yukumo Region and made with hardwood from the nearby Misty Peak, this sweet gear has been outfitted with a number of decorations so that wearing it grants me ~40 percent higher critical hit chance and longer invulnerability periods when dodge rolling.
Paired with the Hidden Harmonic, a Hunting Horn made from the elusive Nargacuga, I have 70 percent higher critical hit rates and songs that provide Attack, Defense and Health buffs to my allies.
It’s one of my favorite combinations so far, a straight upgrade from the critical hit-boosting Shogun Ceanataur armor I used this horn with previously.
This kind of equipment set construction is arguably my favorite part of Monster Hunter, because it’s so much fun to beat down an increasingly large collection of complex monsters to see what sort of cool stuff can be done with their armor pieces.
However, another one of my favorite things in Generations Ultimate is just how darn pretty it looks, especially coming off of the 3DS generation.
I take some glamour shots once in a while, check some of them out:
There’s so many opportunities to do this and I love it.
Really I love this game a lot so far. After pouring so many hours into Generations on the 3DS, it’s cool seeing all of the new stuff that has been added into this version. I’m about three weeks in and still unlocking new locales.
It’s just sweet.
But that’s honestly about all I can think to write right now, because I’m still dying. Honestly I just wanted to get something out on my blog today.
So hopefully you enjoyed this goofy little thing. Maybe I’ll eventually come around to making more professional equipment set display posts one of these days.
If so, you can thank this post for being a trendsetter.