Dino’s Journal

GameLog

In my last play-through, I made a huge mistake of not keeping my army up to date. I went with defending cities with one Legion unit. Some cities had Pikeman units, and others had ancient Warrior units guarding them. This happened because I was taking a pacifist approach to the game. I was trying to win the game through religious victory. To win with a religious victory, you have to convert all other civilizations to your religion. You don't have to capture or invade cities belonging to other civilizations. So, my army was only for defense. I never started any wars against other civilizations. After clearing out the barbarians on my home continent, I let my guard down. I didn't notice that Japan, my next-door neighbor, was amassing Samurai units beyond my borders. Their target was my capital city of Rome.

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Division 2 It's been awhile, but tried playing The Division 2 again. I initially could not play because I was getting a “Bravo-09” error. I'm not sure what caused that error, though my guess is that it was caused by switching to a new Wifi router. I tried restoring my Xbox and fully shutting it down and turning it back on; didn't fix it. The only thing that seemed to fix it was uninstalling and re-installing the game. After re-installing it, I opened the game and it downloaded a patch/update. And then I was finally able to login and play the game.

On to the game itself, the Striker Drone skill really helps when you're playing Division 2 solo. It gives the bad guys something else to shoot at. I especially like using it when I'm going one on one against an elite enemy. In this situation it will draw fire away from me, allowing me to get better shots in, all while also dealing considerable damage to the enemy.

I pair the Striker Drone with the Reinforcer Chem Launcher skill, which helps you stay alive when playing solo. It is basically used to repair your armor during battles. And since it is a skill, it simply recharges over time. So, it's not like you will run out of potions or anything like that, which is why I think it is a very good skill when playing solo. I also found out that you can use it to stop yourself from burning.

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Arcas taking a shot

In my previous PES2019 Game Log entry, I talked about contract renewals. In this one, I'll share some tips for managing your Master League lineup and keeping your salary budget in check.

Prioritize Contract Renewals on Transfer Windows

What I've started doing during Transfer Windows is before even looking to make a new signing, I try and get contract renewals for my players whose contract's are expiring within a year or two. Some players who are already old, or have already peaked, or have a lot of love for the team will be looking to extend their contracts for longer than 2 years. This is almost always a good deal as it will save you a lot of money in the long run. I was able to secure 4-5 year contract renewals from role players using this approach. This frees me up from not having to worry about them in the future, which means I can then focus on keeping or getting star players. Most star players in my experience will only extend their contracts for up to 2 years using this approach. So for those players, you will just have to wait until they ask for contract renewals themselves when their contracts are about to expire.

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Some notes I made while playing Civilization 6 on the Xbox:

  • Builders only have 3 uses or charges. What this means is that after using their “Build Improvement” ability for the third time, the unit will be consumed and will disappear. You'll have to build a new one if you want to build more improvements. This is different to the Builders in Civilization 5, which stay in play for the duration of the game and don't have a limit on how many improvements they can build.
  • Archers are pretty useful with their ranged attacks. Useful in the sense that if they attack an enemy unit 2 tiles away, the enemy units won't be able to deal damage back to the Archers. However, out on the open field, they are a little vulnerable against melee units, so it is best to have them escorted by your own melee units.
    • I have found that having them garrison in a city makes them good defenders as they don't have to venture out of the city to attack enemy units; they can simply fire away from within safety of the city walls.
  • Keep the envoys and don't send them to other city-states until you really need to. – This one is actually a tip from Coney, who has played the game a lot on the PC.
  • Focus on sending envoys to city-states that are in close proximity to your cities. This is so that if you gain enough influence on them, they will not go against you when wars breakout.
  • You don't need to build Fishing Boats to build improvements on water tiles, instead you can just use the Builders. – Wasted a lot of turns on this, waiting for the game to allow me to build fishing boats >_<
  • Astrology is the early tech that gives you Holy Sites or unlocks buildings than can generate faith.
  • Be wary of constructing buildings as some buildings can only be built if you satisfy certain conditions. For instance, some buildings can only be built on a tile that is adjacent to a river.

Tags: #GameLog #Civilization6

Contract renewals in Pro Evolution Soccer 2019 caught me off guard. I spent so much of my salary budget trying to get more players, I totally didn't expect my star players to want a lot more money on their contract renewals. Now I understand what the Sport Director means, when he says that I should consider renewing player's contracts early to stop excessive salary demands.

I think a good rule of thumb to follow, is to expect a player to demand around 30% of their market value as their annual salary. So, a player that has a market value of 30 million, would want an annual salary of around 9 million. This means that going forward I need to periodically check my player's market value, to make sure I have enough in my salary budget to renew the contracts of players that I want to keep. This also means that I can't continue going on spending sprees during Transfer Windows. Oh well.

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12/23/2019 – Monday

Started playing Deus Ex: Mankind Divided again. I've already finished this game before. This time, I'm playing in “New Game+” mode, which lets me keep all my weapons and upgrades from my previously completed game. This allows me to play the game a little differently this time around.

I started playing it again because I got tired of re-spawning in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. That game can be tough.

Funny how on my second play-through, I noticed a stash hidden in Adam's bedroom that I've never noticed before.

Also, on this play-through I'm aiming for a non-lethal approach to the game.

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Note: If you're new to the game, there might be some mild spoilers in this post that you would want to avoid. Though if you watched trailers or gameplay videos, then they might not be spoilers for you. Anyway, you've been warned.

12/06/2019 – Friday

Kashyyyk

I initially hated exploring Kashyyyk, the homeworld of the Wookies, but it turned out to be one of the best moments in the game. You get to ride the Shyyyo bird, you get to upgrade to a double-bladed lightsaber setup (ala Darth Maul) and you get a great boss battle against the Ninth Sister. It's also a really beautiful planet once you make it to the top of the tree.

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12/04/2019 – Wednesday

Played Gears 5 for the first time. It is my first ever game from the Gears of War series. Very nice game. A violent game though. It does provide the option to change the “Mature Content” settings, which allow you to dial down gore and swearing in the game. I wish more video games would add those kinds of settings. It's a really good game with an interesting story and engaging dialogue.

One thing that I don't like is the aiming. It doesn't have the aim-assist that I'm used to from games like Division 2.

In Gears 5, if you aim badly, you've aimed badly. Doesn't matter what gun you are using, you're not hitting the target with a bad aim.

In Division and Division 2, your weapon has an accuracy stat that determines how good your aim-assist is. For example, you have an enemy running across the street from you. You point your crosshair in the direction of the enemy and hit the AIM button. Your weapon's accuracy stat then determines how good the aim-assist is going to be, thereby making it easier or harder to hit your target. A weapon with very high accuracy stat even allows you to aim slightly to the side of the target's body and the aim-assist will still pull the crosshair to the middle, giving you a good shot. I like this game design because it gives weapons in the game their own distinct character. It makes for a very engaging way to play the game.

Tags: #GameLog #Gears5

I have a number of gaming journal entries scattered throughout my bullet journal. I'm going to start a “Gaming Journal” collection page to better organize them, but for now, here are the entries that I've fallen behind on.

07/06/2019 – Saturday

Physical Contact seems to be a very important attribute in Pro Evolution Soccer 2019. For defenders, it allows them to get in front of attackers just before they make a shot. The Center Back K. Manolas exemplifies this attribute a lot.

One of the biggest threats in PES 2019 is the low cross. Typically what would happen is, a low cross comes in and the opposing team's striker will seal off my defenders to allow themselves an easy volley in front of goal. I see this happen a lot when playing against elite level teams. When I finally got K. Manolas on my team, I noticed that he was a lot better at defending against the low cross. He would get in front of strikers to clear the ball away.

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I love the movie-like lightsaber fight scenes that this game, Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order, can produce. Also of note is that the graphics in this game are so much better when played on an Xbox One X.

This first video is a fight against a Zeffo Guardian and then a Scout Trooper Commander. This might be the easiest fight against a Scout Trooper Commander that I've ever had in the game.


This second video is a fight against a group of Probe Droids and Scout Troopers. Best way to handle Probe Droids is to use Force Pull and just take them out in melee range.

Normally fighting a group of Scout Troopers is tough, this one went as perfect as it could be. Almost movie-like to me.

Tags: #StarWarsJediFallenOrder #GameLog #Videos