193 Posts

If you haven’t paid attention to Minecraft in the last few years, there may be a lot you may not know about. I’m going to try to cover some of those things, including things added before the current release (1.12.2).

One of the enchantments recently added is called Mending, which is definitely a game changer. It uses experience gathered and repairs an item with the enchantment. From the wiki, “when an item with the enchantment is held (main hand, offhand, or armor slots), XP orbs collected will repair the item at a rate of 2 durability per XP instead of adding the XP to the player's total. If multiple items have the enchantment, one will be chosen at random for each XP orb collected, and if the chosen item does not need repair, the XP will be added to the player's total as normal, rather than choosing another item to repair.” For more details check the wiki: https://minecraft.gamepedia.com/Enchanting

The problem with Mending is that it’s hard to find. It’s counted as a “treasure,” so you can only get it by trading with an NPC village librarian, fishing, or in a chest. The last two options take forever, but the first one seems to be the most efficient, which is why I’m sharing this pro tip!

The best way to get Mending is to find a village that has a librarian. This could take you forever on a normal world with the Java version. You could just create some worlds until you get a village near spawn, but there are some good seeds out there already. Luckily, I found one that contains a village near a ravine. There is also an abandoned mine shaft under the village well (seed# 105899026). For more details check the link: https://minecraftseedhq.com/ravine-village-mineshaft-seed/

The trick is to create your new world, go to the librarian in the village, and see what you can trade. Librarians start off offering a random enchanted book for some emeralds and a book. If the librarian isn’t offering Mending, recreate that world until Mending is the enchanted book being offered. You can make a few trades to him until he no longer wants to do the trade. You’ll probably end up being able to get enough of it for your armor and more. If he stops offering the trade, see what else he wants. Usually you can get some emeralds for paper. He’ll have some odd looking bubbles around him, green and purple I think, when he’s ready to trade again. For more details on trading check the wiki: https://minecraft.gamepedia.com/Trading

I don’t recommend enchanting a bow or fishing pole, because eventually you will get them while fishing. Fishing is a great way to get some experience, food, and items. You can get other enchantments from fishing once you get a good fishing pole (from fishing), you’ll eventually get better loot more often. While you’re fishing, put whatever item with Mending that needs repaired in your off-hand slot and continue fishing. Eventually, your Mending items will be repaired!

I still haven’t been to an Ender City, nor have I gotten an Elytra (wings), so I’m still checking out some of the content that’s been released in the last few years. There are new enchanted arrows that I haven’t messed with yet.

I like the Frost Walking enchantment, it turns water to ice, letting you walk on water. I got parrots on another world, I think the game still needs more birds. I also really love that they added an off-hand slot and shields, at least for the Java version. Now you can’t block with your sword, but you can make a shield. You can put a banner on it and it can also be enchanted with Mending and Unbreaking.

There are some new enchantments called curses. There’s a Curse of Vanishing, which makes the item disappear on death. However, this can be prevented by using the “/gamerule keepInventory true” command. There’s also a Curse of Binding, which makes it so that you can’t unequip an item, until you die. I don’t like these curses and I try to avoid them. I think I got one while enchanting something with the enchantment table, so I’ve been using my anvil instead. You can enchant items with the anvil and enchanted books.

Following the development of the game, it looks like 1.13 will contain bug fixes, but 1.14 is going to contain some new content. They’re adding more to the oceans, including dolphins and a few other new mobs.

After almost 200 hours of Civ6, I find it a good time to write more about the game. Basically, Sid Meier’s Civilization is a turn based strategy game. It’s not completely focused on combat, it’s more about growing a civilization. I don’t really like the combat part of the game, it doesn’t fit my play style and that’s perfectly ok, there are many ways to play. I like to build cities. I’m too busy building districts to worry about units, so my armies are usually very small. Unfortunately this means I’m a bit more vulnerable to attack, but I’ve been playing on the lowest difficulty level to learn the game, so I haven’t had too much of a problem.

The game is very deep and complex, there is a learning curve, but it’s not too bad now that the game has an included tutorial (you can play it in the demo as well). However the tutorial only gives you a bit of a basic understanding. The Civpedia is accessible, but not always the most appealing source. I found some good videos on YouTube including things for “complete beginners.” I learned a lot more than the game told me and I was able to get a better understanding of what’s going on.

I spent a lot of time with the tutorial. I like to play at a slow pace. My first goal was to beat the tutorial, but the only way to do so is with a domination victory. That means using a military to take over every other capital. I spent hours at this, especially since the tutorial doesn’t allow you to save. I ended up watching someone do it on YouTube and I was able to accomplish my goal. So, I moved on to the single player game.

I started out thinking big and went with the biggest maps, I struggled. I watched another video that gave some good tips for beginners that mentioned starting out on a very small map. The bigger the map in Civ, the more opponents there are, unless you modify that. Resources and civilizations get spread out more and it can be quite difficult for a beginner. So, I started doing duel maps which only have room for two civilizations. I also chose the lowest difficulty and I still had some trouble.

The learning experience is part of the enjoyment of the game. The more I played, the more I learned and when I ran into trouble I checked YouTube. This became necessary, because after a while I ran into things I was ignorant about, like the culture and religious victories. I managed to get the science victory on my own with Teddy Roosevelt, which means I survived long enough to colonize Mars.

One of the victories that caught me by surprise was when I lost to a cultural victory. I had to figure it out, so I watched someone do it on YouTube, which was, again, very helpful. Basically, you have to have the most tourists to your civilization. You can get more in a variety of ways, like building wonders, but having great works of art also generates tourism. I had previously ignored these. Other civilizations wanted to trade for my great works, and I always traded them away.

The religious victory is often the most surprising and it can be the most frustrating. I ended up losing to this a few times by surprise, so once again, I had to go to YouTube to see what was up. I found a great series that helped me figure it out. In time, I found that it was the easiest and quickest to achieve and thus how I shaped my Civ6 strategy. I won more games this way than any other.

Essentially, the religious victory is achieved by having more than 50% of cities follow your religion. You start by selecting a pantheon, which grants some religious ability. I usually go with the 15% border expansion. As your civilization generates gold, science, and culture, it also generates faith, which is mostly used to purchase religious units or structures. You are able to create your religion once you obtain a great prophet, either though building Stonehenge or great people points (choose great prophet in your wildcard diplomacy slot).

Once you get your religious structures built, you can generate more faith and then purchase units or buildings (buildings may come with religious ability). There are a few religious units and they can only interact with other religious units. Missionaries can spread religion, but can only defend. Apostles can do both and more. One thing they can do is evangelize a belief, meaning you get an extra religious ability. Another unit seems to just heal other units, I never use them. Some civilizations have other units as well.

I usually buy apostles, even though they’re about twice as expensive as a missionaries. If I get into a religious fight and I kill the opposing unit, my religion gets more influence in the area and the other goes down. Other cities will convert in time, but you can send units to a city’s capital and spread your religion. Before you use this ability, you can see a tool tip on how many of the population will follow your religion after that action. Cities with higher populations are harder to convert, so the best strategy is to go for low population cities. You can only spread your religion a certain amount of times with a unit, although this can be boosted, which is why I use Mosques.

I’ve been enjoying playing the game. I also like the historical aspects involved. I think the religious victory may be new to Civ6, but it does feel a bit OP. I have finally won a game with every civilization, finishing quite a long goal. I’m taking a break from it for now, but the new expansion arrives in less than a month (2/8/18).

Victory conditions: http://civilization.wikia.com/wiki/Victory_(Civ6)
A good Civ YouTuber: https://www.youtube.com/user/BAStartGaming

Finding out that Terraria was going to have Razer Chroma support in 1.3.6 helped inspire me to buy one of these keyboards. Although I began to realize how much I really wanted this technology a while ago. Razer is a brand I’ve become familiar with due to a friend’s suggestion of a Razer gaming headset I used for Ark. The headset was comfortable and cool, just what I was looking for, if not more.

As for keyboards, Razer has a few different models of them. The keys light up, pretty much removing that pesky accidental keystroke while gaming in the dark. The software, Razer Synapse, centralizes your Razer devices and allows you to customize them. For the keyboard, you can customize what keys light up and what color. Games that have Chroma support usually do something specifically to the keyboard. In Terraria, the keyboard will light up depending on what biome you’re in.

I admit I didn’t do much research before buying it, but I had one on my Amazon wish list for a few months. When it came time for purchase, I decided to save some money and get a different model. My first impression was how great the packaging felt, like a quality product. It surpasses my need.

My first disappointment came when I was trying to get Minecraft’s Chroma mod working. I spent hours with Google trying to see if I could get it to work. In the end, it seems that mod isn’t quite up to date with Minecraft and Forge (the Minecraft mod manager), so I may have to wait.

I really like it and am very happy with it. If you like to play in the dark, as I do, then you’re going to want something like this at least. I got so tired of playing games and hitting the wrong keys. Now I can light up my all my keys ore even just WASD or set them to a different setting. I’ve tried the 7 custom themese out already and like them. One of my favorites it’s “Starlight” where random keys light up. I also like to have it on “Spectrum Cycling,” which lights up all keys, but cycles through colors.


GregoPeck gives this a solid "Rad" on the Ghost Scale
This is fun, with very few issues, and is well worth your time.
GregoPeck gives this a "Rad" on the Ghost Scale
This is fun, with very few issues, and is well worth your time.
Aberration is the second DLC for Ark: Survival Evolved. When it comes to the game, each map is an Ark, basically a planet. When it comes to Aberration, you’re on an Ark that’s been damaged. A lot of the new map is actually underground. Apparently the surface is an extremely hazardous place to be, although I haven’t been there yet.

There are some cool new creatures. One of the main things about Aberration is that there are no flying creatures. However, there is a creature called a Rock Drake that can climb, turn invisible, and glide. Although you can find Rock Drakes in some biomes, you’ll find their nests in their own trench, which is also an environmental hazard. Their taming method is similar to the Wyverns in Scorched Earth. In order to tame one, you have to find a nest with an egg in it, steal it, and hatch it.

Another interesting new creature is called a Karkinos, which looks like a giant spider crab. It has two pairs of pincers. You can attack with one set, either using the left claw, right claw, or both. You can also grab some creatures. This is good for transporting creatures around, but you can also throw creatures quite a distance. Karkinos are really good for getting around because they can jump really high and far.

Some creatures from the Island (default game map) are included in Aberration. However, unlike their default counterparts, they have patches of bio-luminescence, which makes them easier to see in the dark. Not all of them are on Aberration though, which makes kibble taming a bit more difficult.

There seems to be a few main biomes. One is like a forest, but many of the trees are actually large mushrooms, which provide fungal wood. This seems like the safest place, however there are still dangers. There are mushrooms in the game and if you accidentally step near one, your character will hallucinate and start drowning. It’s pretty, but it’s also deadly. That’s just the effects of one of the poisonous mushrooms.

There’s another biome that I love, it’s pretty much entirely blue. Unfortunately, this area is more dangerous because of the creatures that spawn in it. However, it contains a lot of metal nodes, which are almost always in dangerous areas. There’s also a purple biome that you can’t survive in without the Hazmat suit, a new armor set in the game. Unfortunately, creatures take damage there, too, although I believe some are immune. Then there’s the surface. Apparently it has lots of metal and oil, but is also an environmental hazard. There are also some really bad things that spawn there.

Getting around the map without a flying creature is definitely something to get used to. Since this map doesn’t have flying creatures, new mechanics have been introduced such as climbing hooks and zip lines. Climbing hooks enable players to climb, but it does decrease your stamina. If you stop, your stamina will recharge. They also a durability, so you’ll need to keep an eye on that so they don’t break while you’re trying to climb. To make a zip line, you shoot an anchor onto two different places with your crossbow. The line is then created, allowing you to have a ride down. If you want to go up one then you’ll need to equip a zip line motor attachment to your pants. There is also a gliding attachment for your chest piece. It’s fun to glide around and makes it easier to get around, although it will drain your stamina.

Aberration is tough to start out as a new character. Players have to get used to new mechanics and new dangers. A new map means you need to explore in order to find the resources you need to survive. It can be tough, but it’s also fun. Aberration looks beautiful, Studio Wildcard was really proud of this DLC and I can see why. The game was delayed by a couple of months, but it was worth the wait. Although delays are disappointing it’s good to know that a game developer is trying to make the best game they can.

Now Studio Wildcard is working on a creature TLC pass in which some of the original creatures in the game are getting redesigned. The new previews look great. Other than that, we can definitely expect to see one more DLC for Ark. With the release of the game, they started selling a season pass, which is supposed to cover three DLC. I have no idea what Studio Wildcard will come up for the next DLC, but I’m sure it’s going to be pretty awesome.

Check out the TLC pass preview: https://survivetheark.com/index.php?/articles.html/community-crunch-112-and-dino-tlc-preview-r635/

GregoPeck gives this an astounding "Must Play" on the Ghost Scale
This achieves something special, and it would be a shame to miss it.
GregoPeck gives this a "Must Play" on the Ghost Scale
This achieves something special, and it would be a shame to miss it.
Months ago I began to watch one of my friends playing Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution on their Xbox. It looked interesting, so I thought I’d see what’s available for the PC. I noticed that the latest Civilization for PC was VI, so I set my sights on it, I eventually got the Digital Deluxe Edition for half price.

During this time Civ3 became free, so I thought getting a free Civilization game would be a good way to play the game and decide if I wanted to buy it. However, Civ3 offered no tutorial, so I was lost. However, I realized that Civ6 is the first of the series to offer a tutorial. Luckily, I found out that the game also has a free demo.

So, I tried out the demo. I started with the tutorial, but ran into a few problems. One of the worst things about the tutorial is that you cannot save your game. So, you either have to keep playing or lose your progress. I also thought I ran into a glitch, but I found my way around it. My next problem was that the amount of turns in the game was running out. This happens at 2050, but the game didn’t end. It continued and I built a massive force and thought I took over my opponent, but the game continued. I may not have completed the final objective (a Domination Victory) in time.

If you’re not familiar with the game series, Civilization is a turn based strategy game. The game focuses on managing a civilization, kind of like Sim City. There are many ways to play and thus many ways to win. You can work towards amassing an army, conquering other nations, and achieving a Domination Victory. You can also work towards science and eventually launch into space achieving a Science Victory. You can also work towards religion, including getting into religious wars, and achieving a Religious Victory. You can also work towards culture, generating tourism, and achieving a Culture Victory. The final way to win is with a Score Victory, when no other victory has been achieved and thus victory depends on who has the highest score.

The game reflects real world civilizations including modern and historic. There are many to play, each with their unique bonuses. I find the real world modern and historical aspects of the game to be extremely appealing.

There are a variety of ways to manage your civilization. The AI provides some suggestions, including an adviser. Each turn you research civics, like policies, and science, technologies. You can trigger eureka moments which boost research. This is done by completing certain conditions, for instance killing an enemy with a Slinger boosts the research towards Archer. When that’s complete, you can pay in-game gold to upgrade the unit or build new ones. Units also receive experience and get promotions, which includes offensive and defensive bonus trees.

I’ve only barely scratched the surface of things here, this game is deep. There is a bit of a learning curve for new players, but it's fun. While it doesn’t cover everything, it helps you get started. You will learn a lot as you play and the game includes Civilopedia, basically the game’s detailed manual. However, I’ve found an excellent “Tutorial for Complete Beginners” on YouTube (https://youtu.be/pczrASkYGSo).

GregoPeck gives this an astounding "Must Play" on the Ghost Scale
This achieves something special, and it would be a shame to miss it.
GregoPeck gives this a "Must Play" on the Ghost Scale
This achieves something special, and it would be a shame to miss it.
A few years ago, a friend let me borrow Batman: Arkham City for the PS3. I really enjoyed it, so I bought it along with the other games in the series (Arkham Asylum and Arkham Origins). Although there were moments of frustration, I enjoyed them all. That’s why I was looking forward to Arkham Knight. It was one of the few reasons I had for getting a PS4, but it came out on Steam and I picked it up on sale.

These games are essentially “open world.” That world has grown since the first game came out. The typical usual characters are in them, perhaps with some surprises. There is a lot to do, like collecting Riddler trophies. Each installment in the series seems to have improved upon the original by expanding the world, giving you more to do, or just more story. The game play doesn’t really change too much or too drastically, but it does evolve. Some battles can be tough and it can take some practice to land some perfect combos. The death penalty isn’t really harsh, you basically just get to try again. Arkham Knight automatically saves your game and often you won’t be too far from where you died.

I seem to recall the release of Arkham Knight on Steam and that it got bad reviews or many people were having problems with it. It’s clear to me that those issues have either been resolved, or non-existent in my case. This game looks great and performed quite near perfectly on my PC. It’s definitely a game that makes me happy with my PC. I love games that make it shine.

I think this is something I would recommend to fans of Batman. I think this game series is great and I believe it’s also quite popular. Since you get to drive the Bat-mobile around Gotham in Arkham Knight, I’ve often felt like I was playing GTAV again.

I also like the voice acting in these games. Most notably, Mark Hamill is the voice of Joker.

GregoPeck gives this a solid "Rad" on the Ghost Scale
This is fun, with very few issues, and is well worth your time.
GregoPeck gives this a "Rad" on the Ghost Scale
This is fun, with very few issues, and is well worth your time.
I played Legends via the Bethesda Launcher, when it was first released (before it was on Steam). I'm not sure why I stopped, but I later decided to get it on Steam. I recently thought about playing it again, so I spent some time with it last night. I really enjoyed it, even more than Hearthstone, because it has a deeper single player mode to it. In fact, there's single player story mode and the solo arena.

I was surprised, when I opened it up with Steam, that I was continuing from the progress I made from first playing it via the Bethesda Launcher. So, I didn't have to restart at the beginning. I learned a bit more about the game. In most battles there are two lanes for cards, sometimes there is only one. Sometimes they contain bonuses, for instance the right may give cards cover, so they can’t be attacked until they’re exposed. Sometimes the left lane may give cards a bonus, too. It’s interesting.

I usually won (in single player mode), but when I lost, I'd switch decks (from what I obtained) and win. I've now finished the first story and I believe I've unlocked all the modes. Now I need to earn more gold or spend real money to unlock more.

To complete some dailies, I had to fight real players. I lost each time, but some of the games were close. I didn't feel bad about losing, because my daily goal was just to play in versus mode. So, that was an easy one to achieve. In contrast, Hearthstone often has dailies that include victories, certainly not a daily I enjoy.

This game is apparently on multiple platforms, making it much more accessible. I think it’s fun and being based on TES makes it even better. It’s another free CCG and I think it’s worth playing.

It’s been two years in the making, but after a few delays, Ark: Survival Evolved has finally come out of Early Access. Since I’ve been following this game’s development from the beginning, I think I’ve been on an interesting journey. Now it’s available on PC and consoles, which gives it a wide audience. Included in this release is the new $60 price tag. Luckily, I paid about half of that during Early Access, but I still think it’s worth it. There is a season pass available, too, which seems to be $30 at the moment.

Ark has always had something to look forward to, especially monthly content updates. Last year, Studio Wildcard announced Ark’s first DLC, Scorched Earth, for about $20. This drew criticism because the core game was still in Early Access. Ark was originally supposed to exit Early Access last year, about the time of Scorched Earth’s release, but it got delayed.

This year, Stuido Wildcard has announced the second DLC, Aberration. It will cost about $20, without the season pass. Apparently, you’re on a faulty Ark in space and have to survive in extreme environmental hazards such as radiation. There are mutated creatures, even humans, on this Ark. One such creature is show in the trailer and can fly and camouflage itself, it’s like a flying chameleon. There seems to be a vast underground and caverns. It looks interesting and is due to come out next month.

I’ve spent over 2,300 hours playing Ark. I started out on my own, then got invited to an official server. I met friends in the tribe and enjoyed my time there, but I ended up coming back to the single player game. I’ve been loving it since the beginning and more content is definitely something I look forward to. I remember how exciting it was to get all those new content updates, which were more frequent early on, but slowed down to once a month.

One of the things I’ve been looking forward to most is the game’s optimization. This game helped me learn more about my graphics card, the GTX 690. I learned that it was a dual-GPU card that worked by using SLI. Unfortunately some games are only able to use one of those GPUs, until they become SLI compatible. So, I had to research the game’s various video settings and figure out what would work best. I had to downgrade DirectX to double my frame rate and get some sense of stability, which came at a huge cost to image quality. In the end, I decided to buy a GTX 980 Ti and I finally got to experience those high quality graphics for myself. Optimizations have come, even GeForce Experience has updated and can now optimize the game’s settings based on your hardware. Those settings work well for me, although I had to make a slight adjustment.

Part of what I love most about this game is that it shares some aspects of games I’ve enjoyed in recent years, such as Terraria and Minecraft. You can craft a lot of items, upgrade armor, build, and tame creatures to help you. It can be scary and fun. There is a story, but it’s not extremely apparent or in your face. You can find out about by finding the various Explorer Notes left around the Island.

If you play online on an official server, it can take a long time to build up and tame creatures, which is why being part of a bigger tribe can be important. But, if you play on an unofficial server or single player mode, you can customize a huge variety of options that can help make your game play more pleasant.

Aberration news source:

Ark official launch trailer:

So, I just found out that FFXV is coming to PC in "early 2018." I'm really happy about this, because this is one of the reasons I've thought about getting a PS4. I was hoping it would come to PC, so now I don't need to get a PS4 to play it soon. I don't mind the wait. It seems to be popular, from what I've read or "heard" about it. I did rent the FFXV movie and it was cool.

What do you think? Are you excited, too?

Watch the trailer embedded above to see the Nvidia FFXV tech preview.


I thought I'd bring it to your attention that Day of the Tentacle Remastered is the new free loot for Twitch Prime users. I loved Maniac Mansion on the NES, but I haven't checked out DotT. It's available until 8/9/17.


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