Second Go-Round with Nioh

Ahh yes. The genuine Edo-period ‘Valve’ helm.

This has been coming for a wee while. Ever since playing Sekiro, the urge to play Nioh again has been building. Making time for it has been another matter entirely. I have been playing a bit more this month than I did last month though. Although in case you’re wondering — no, you didn’t miss the first outing with the game. Well actually you did, I guess. But it wasn’t in the lifetime of this blog.

The last time I played Nioh would’ve been the tail end of 2017. I’d somehow missed the fact it had even gained itself a PC release, but jumped right on it when I found out. I pushed through level 2 (the ‘hell level’, for new comers apparently) and a bit beyond. I’d wrapped up through most of the second area in fact. With one, significant, exception.

Tachibana Muneshige — Invitation from the Warrior of the West:
Invites you to an ‘honourable’ duel, then proceeds to cheat like nobody’s business. CHEAT I SAY.

This bugger was the true ‘hell level’ in my opinion. Stopped me in my tracks. This time through, already beaten him and on my way through the third region of the game. Even though it’d been so long since I last played, I’ve strugged far less with it this time around.

In terms of everything else going on (or not going on, as the case may be)…

Changes to the Game List

Added

  • Nioh

Remaining

  • Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey
  • Final Fantasy XIV

Nearly Removed

  • Transport Fever

Removed

  • Tomb Raider

Assassin’s Creed is in a bit of a holding pattern until the third chapter to the Atlantis DLC is out (or is to be imminently out), but the hype for that moment is still high so I’m content to hold onto it.

Transport Fever is a bit more tentative. I acknowledged in the last journal that I wasn’t really happy with how the series was going. I thought I might take to the more general, intermittent style posting, rather than attempting it as a continuous story. But since then I’ve hardly touched it.

And Tomb Raider? Well, it’s fallen onto the wrong end of the Making Time equation. I’m still interested in it, and would like to finish the series. But now will not be the time for that it seems. It’s below the waterline in terms of time available vs. prioritised list of things I want to play.

I have no doubt it will be back… At some point. :)

Time to Loot Journal: May 2019

Well… May is a month that happened. While nothing as earth shaking as March, it was closer to home. In the respect that it was both to people I knew and to a degree it was from action I was executing. I’m talking about the restructure at work.

As a brief catch-up, I decided to take voluntary redundancy but that wasn’t the end of it. With the labour cost restrictions for the coming financial year… There was still headcount compression that had to happen within the remainder of my team. One in particular took it very hard and I haven’t as yet been able to place them anywhere else in the company. Nonetheless, I’ve been able to negotiate early release for those that want it and everyone is getting to a better place.

Still it’s not over though, and I’ve been offered a few interesting potentials to get me to stay. There is a lot to unpack mentally in this though, as I do in many ways still feel it is my time to go, and seek some change. In any case, enough of that. The point is — a lot on the mind this month which has kept me from really digging too much into games or blogging (from a reading or writing perspective) as much as I would like.

Blog this Month

For all that, I still managed to publish 12 posts. But they were rather heavily weighted toward the start of the month before things got hectic. Four posts in the first week of the month, then typically only 2 after that.

There are now a grand total of 71 published posts (including this one). It also marks the 6th month of posting! … Sort of. It’s hard to count January since I started so close to the end. Even so, I think I’ll take it. ;)

Most Viewed Posts

  1. Heart of Rage: Tips for the Monitor
  2. Nostalgia and Moving On
  3. Transport Fever: Things I Wish I Knew When I Started
  4. Quitting WoW
  5. Kickstarter 10 Years Old

Well what do you know, all posts except for the Heart of Rage were actually from this month. I wonder how long before it falls from top spot though. I suspect it will last through next month, one after that I’m less confident about.

Games this Month

RankGameHours% Gaming TimeChange
1Transport Fever9.131.1%↑3
2Final Fantasy XIV9.030.9%Returning
3Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey2.910.0%↓2
4The Division 22.48.3%↓2
5Battle Brothers1.65.3%New
6Sea of Thieves1.55.1%New
7Star Traders: Frontiers1.55.0%New
8Production Line0.62.1%New
9Absolver0.62.1%New

There was a total of 29.1 gaming hours this month, down by a whopping 68.6 hours from April. Not too surprising given the context of the month, but still! The total gaming hours is not much more than half the time I spent on just AC:O last month.

Total active time on the computer was 203.1 hours, down 65.7 hours from last month. Gaming made up 14.3% of the active hours, down 22.9% from April.

Transport Fever

I played through a few of the actual gameplay sections for the Chasing Truck Fever series (including one as yet to be posted).

If not for the series, despite still enjoying the game immensely I think it would have fallen a lot lower on the list in terms of time played. The series itself hasn’t been doing super well, which I suppose isn’t too surprising given the genre itself is a bit niche. May end up putting a premature end to it in that form, with my more general intermittent update style post.

Final Fantasy XIV

Final Fantasy XIV makes a triumphant return! … Well, it makes a return at least! Despite relatively few hours in it this month, there has been a lot of progress made.

I got my Choboco. Taught it how to fight. Learnt the way of the Bard. Completed another story dungeon or two, and made it to around level 36 or 37 now. As Mailvaltar correctly pointed out in comments though, this is still a long way off being able to participate in the new expansion content when it launches end of month.

Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey

I feel like dropping only two places in ranking doesn’t adequately tell the story of just how much less played it was this month. It was almost 19x less time spent.

I posted earlier in the month when I finished the first chapter of the first DLC. Since then I’d decided to wait until all chapters of the Fate of Atlantis DLC are out before continuing. If that isn’t this month, it should certainly be the next, as Part 2 came out a week or two ago.

The Division 2

I had some hopes for the raid bringing my interest back around for The Division 2.

It didn’t, so I recently acknowledged that it was off my list.

I’m not to the point of uninstalling it, I definitely want to head back in for any additional story content they add throughout the year. But as something I regularly play, definitely done and I feel that would have been the case even without the additional context of the happenings this month.

The Others

Sea of Thieves

A few interesting titles to try this month. The XBox/Microsoft live pass thinger had a trial offer of 3-months for $1 — so why not? Gave it a go for Sea of Thieves.

There was a bit of fun to be had, but it didn’t really click with my friends or I in any meaningful way. Doubtful it will be returned to even with another 2 and a bit months on the trial clock.

Battle Brothers on the other hand, I like very much. I owe it to Syncaine for even being aware of its existence. Not quite sure how this one had passed me by for so long, but I expect when my gaming time starts returning to some semblance of normalcy it will feature more heavily. It’s a title that absolutely requires a bit of time investment upfront in learning to play, and does a very poor job of teaching necessary bits of information in the game itself.

Absolver

For Absolver… Boy am I glad I picked it up in a Monthly Humble Bundle rather than paying for it. At first I thought I might be able to click with it after all.

It seemed very responsive and I thought that the ‘lag’ issues discussed at the titles launch were either incredibly overblown or now fixed. Turns out neither was the case, there is simply a brief single-player only ‘tutorial’ section at the start. Once you’re through that, as an Oceanic player you just have no chance with half-second or more delays on input to response on screen.

Production Line I mentioned in the last journal as something I picked up alongside Transport Fever while in my tycoon craze phase. I gave it a bit of a try this month and it has a fair bit of potential. I haven’t picked up its DLC, ‘Doors That Go Like This’ yet, but I appreciate the name. Hehe.

And finally, Star Traders: Frontiers — it’s still early access and has if not weekly updates, then near enough to. It’s one I poke my head into again from time to time, but will await a 1.0 release before embarking on a full play through. Nonetheless, it’s already an amazing title well worth your time. :)

FFXIV Back Again

This month has been very light on gaming. Mostly, I think, due to the changes at work. As I mentioned in that post, there were unavoidable impacts to my team where a few positions had to be cut and I know for one in particular this has been quite a heavy and heartfelt impact. Part of it is down to longer hours at work sorting through the process, including looking for redeployment options for people in other areas of the business sure. But I also find that in situations like this I unconsciously choose to drift from gaming.

Which might be a bit of an odd reaction when you consider a large part of the reason for the hobby is as a destressor.

But in any case! Updates to the Games of Interest are afoot. As the title suggests, Final Fantasy XIV makes a return. It seems the seeds I planted in the minds of a few friends when last I was playing finally took root and sprung to life. It was a near thing though, with Elder Scrolls Online’s Elswyer expansion now out I was pretty keen to dip my toes back in there, too.

But we’re also super close to the new content of FFXIV’s Shadowbringer expansion. I’m nowhere near ready at level 35 and running through the Realm Reborn’s main story quest — a mandatory linear chain of quests which you cannot skip or otherwise short circuit by simply leveling past. *grumble*

Changes to the Game List

Added

  • Final Fantasy XIV

Remaining

  • Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey
  • Transport Fever

Nearly Removed

  • Tomb Raider

Removed

  • The Division 2
  • Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

AC:O I’ve taken a pause on while the DLC catches up. Episode 2 of Atlantis just released the other day, so roughly 5-6 weeks until Episode 3 is out concluding that series and I’ll binge through the lot. ;)

Tomb Raider is holding on for now, as I still have a clear intent to go back and finish the second and third games — whether that intent will materialise into action in the context of limited time and an MMO back on the table though… We’ll see. ;)

Sekiro should come as no surprise to be removed. It had been holding on by a finger nail for a while. While I wouldn’t say I bounced off it hard like my very first encounter with a Souls game, it failed to grab me very firmly either. I noted during the April Journal that playing it made me want to jump in Nioh instead. With Nioh 2 starting to make more of an appearance that feeling grows ever stronger. Perhaps it will end up replacing Tomb Raider? ;)

I guess what might come as a bit more of a surprise is the removal of The Division 2. I gave the raid a try in the hopes it would revitalise the game for me. It didn’t. Don’t get me wrong, the raid is well constructed and the boss mechanics are actually interesting.

It was better than I expected, speaking frankly. But the decision not to raise the ilvl from the raid’s drops struck me as odd. Although I suppose even had they raised it, it would have been a short lived extension to the game. So! Making it official. The Division 2 is off my list for the time being. I expect I will want to visit again when more story content comes though. :)

Chasing Truck Fever Part 3: Spend Less, Earn More

This is part of a series in Transport Fever to chase down the ‘Truck Fever’ achievement. Detailed first in Part 1, including a little setup on Calvin and Asher, who will be used as sort of a light story telling element alongside the game.

Setting up had been expensive. It was true you had to spend money to make money, but even Calvin began to realise that leaving not much more than a fart in the wind of their starting funds for operating expenses was perhaps… not entirely wise.

He had no interest in drawing down another loan, trading on his father’s name, but had allowed Asher to draw up the documents even so. It provided the fellow with a little peace of mind, so was worth the irritation. The hope was that in a few months the document could be ripped up.

And for a while, things were good. There was a celebratory round of drinks held as the loan contracts were torn and sent sprinkling out onto the street like confetti.

But perhaps this celebration was premature. As the wagons they owned aged, and horses died and needed replacing at ever increasing rates — the operating costs began to soar, while the income remained steady given the decision to hold off on capital expenses while a financial buffer was built.

It became clear to Calvin and Asher that it would be necessary to start a programme of work to replace the current fleet just to maintain position. After a quick discussion with the local banking office — there was some good news at least. They were prepared to tolerate a small degree of running in the red for operating expenses. Nothing could be purchased mind you without a positive balance, but there was a gentleman’s agreement in place not to come in pursuit of their assets for slight dips.

But otherwise, from there began a series of frustrations and pain. After a flurry of initial replacements — which did drop operating costs for a time — a significant advancement in how these cargo wagons are put together released to market. They could hold more AND travel faster. They required a larger horse team and so cost more to operate, but the speed and cargo increase more than made up for this expense.

Except… It didn’t. The problem was in sharing the road with the older wagons. There was no room to safely pass with the heavy stream of traffic in both directions. And so they were more often that not stuck riding at the heals of a slower traveler.

Asher tried hard to keep his worries to himself, but wore an unconscious frown more often than not. Calvin spent most nights in the bar nursing a drink. They both knew what they had to do, but struggled to put it to words.

Without additional capital, sure, they could keep this business going — but growth…? It seems they had failed at both aspects of the current plan. They were spending just as much if not more to keep the fleet up to date and running smoothly, and not earning more in turn.

Calvin downed his now mostly warm beer in a single chug and got up to leave. He wasn’t happy, per se, but at least with the decision made he could feel more resolute. Tomorrow he and Asher would take another loan and expand their area of control with all modern technology. Ideally on the power of his own name. But he had decided he would draw in his father’s if necessary.

Chasing Truck Fever Part 2: Permit to Roll

This is part of a series in Transport Fever to chase down the ‘Truck Fever’ achievement. Detailed first in Part 1, including a little setup on Calvin and Asher, who will be used as sort of a light story telling element alongside the game.

Calvin blew out an exasperated breath, stepping out from the bureaucratic prison that was the permit office. The sun rode much higher in the sky than it had when he entered that morning. Midday at least. So not years of his life lost after all. Just several hours. Asher emerged next and blew a near identical sigh. “I’m not entirely sure, Sir, whether our ordeal at sea or our ordeal in there,” Asher said with a nod back toward the ornate wooden doors, “was worse.”

A slight pause in Calvin’s step was the only sign, but Asher caught it. He opened his mouth to apologise but Calvin turned first, and with a tight smile said, “The sea. Definitely the sea. As odious as being in there was, I at least knew we would leave alive.” Calvin’s smile grew broader and a little more genuine, “I was pretty sure, at least.”

The pair walked back through the streets of Long Beach to where they had setup shop. A small office above the general goods store. Apparently Long Beach was a big town so far as this frontier land, but it was hard to avoid drawing comparisons to back home. There were almost no horse drawn carts. Porters at best had hand-wagons. Armed with the sheath of papers obtained from the permit office and a modest capital investment from Calvin’s father — it was time to get to work, building a logistics network the likes of this country had never seen.

Probably worth noting…

Time in Transport Fever is a little… odd. It’s not uncommon by any means for the genre, but time runs significantly faster than the actual distances traveled would indicate. From a story perspective, I’ll probably consider ~10 years game time to be ~1 year of passed time for the characters… Somehow. We’ll see how it goes. ;)

It was time to order construction of a vehicle depot and a few freight stations. However this didn’t completely go without incident. Asher thought it best to spend minimally and construct the passenger depot at the edge of town, with stagecoach stops in the town to cart people back and forth.

Calvin wanted to place the passenger depot in the town centre. Become part of the hustle and bustle. Sure it meant paying through the nose to take over a couple of properties, but one day that would pay back.

The conversation grew heated, but ultimately Calvin won. They called it a compromise through placing the freight depots on the edge of town in uncontested land. But the passenger depots were placed right in the middle, and Calvin wore the smile.

Then it was a matter of getting the oil line up and running. Something like this:

With the infrastructure in place and the plans drawn up for the routes. There was just one thing left to put in place.

Lots and lots of horses — pulling a variety of passenger carriages and freight wagons.

The company bank account at the end of the (game 10) year period was a meagre $17.5k, down from their starting pool of $1.2m.

It seemed to paint a poor picture. It certainly worried Asher to no end to not to have a healthier amount left over for operating expenses. Capital expenditure was all good and well, but one poor year or unexpected need for replacements could destroy them.

Calvin understood he was driving them close to the wire, but there was still demand taking far too long to fill. The balance sheets with capital expenditure removed were positive and that was good enough for him. He was beyond loathe to admit it, but in the back Calvin’s mind was always the knowledge that he could trade on his father’s name for a significant degree of local investment in the way of loans if it really came to it.

He would rather walk backwards, barefoot over coals than to do so. But it was an option. Still, it was clearly weighing on his friend. … Huh. Friend. The thought still took him by surprise at times. Asher was currently looking down at the maps in their office with the frown that had become his constant companion.

“Look Asher,” Calvin started, “We’ll slow down our rate of purchase of more horse teams. Build a bit of a buffer in our books again. But soon after,” he paused with a gleam entering his eye, “We should look to extend our reach to another town.”

Chasing Truck Fever Part 1: Planning

So uh… Here’s something I didn’t know until it was too late. Out of curiosity about what the later game technology looks like, I started a custom game in the year 2000. As the achievements started rolling in for various ‘not going bankrupt milestones’ over the years, I realised the mistake.

Unfortunately, the achievement I had been planning on aiming for (Penny Pincher) also streamed by with an automatic completion. Honestly, I felt a wee bit cheated! No doubt, it was my mistake. But I had assumed (incorrectly) that part of the achievement requirements would be not to have started in, or after, the year you had to reach for it.

Not to worry though, I scanned through the achievements yet to be earned and found the following interesting one:

I did a bit of research and despite the name, in addition to Trucks you’re allowed to use boats, trams and even air if you get that far. Just not trains.

You’re also required to have 50 million in the bank all at one time, it’s not enough to have simply earnt 50 million over time without trains.

So this will be the first goal I strive for! :)

Setting Up and Surveying the Land

I set the map to use a USA base for its generation. World size is Huge, in a 1:2 ratio of width:length, terrain type is Hilly (there is another achievement I may want to go for after finishing up with Truck Fever). The year is 1850 and the difficulty is Hard.

Might need to click through for detail.

I found a near perfect starting location. Long Beach — the centre town shown on the river bank, between the blue lines (my planned primary trucking line) — is, by 1850 standards, a monster. It has a population of almost 250 before I’ve even done anything.

First order of business will be to setup passenger services between Long Beach and the two neighbour cities. Gilbert on the left, and Green Bay on the right.

Following the purple lines I traced out, there are three more towns. Muuuch smaller than Long Beach. But could still be given the chance to grow with a passenger transit service if I can afford to set them up.

Then the green line. My plan when putting this together was to create a river shipping line from the crude oil source to the refinery, then returning with the fuel to then truck to the nearby cities with preference going to Long Beach’s development first.

I’m beginning to second guess this idea though. On the return ship with the processed fuel, the ship lines would not be directly paid. They are expensive to run and I’d still need cargo wagons to distribute. If I need them anyway, then I might just skip the ships entirely.

We’ll see. When (if) I get into a comfortable money position I might simply test it out and pull up stakes quickly if it isn’t looking like a profitable move.

The area presents other long term opportunities, even just with what’s in view of the screenshot! I can see Coal and Iron readily available for metal beams, I can use the refined oil product to create plastics and then bring these together for consumer goods.

Finding the Story’s Voice

I’ve been thinking a bit about how I want to tell this story, too.

The main idea I keep coming back to is a pair of fellows, fresh imports from Britain. One, a son of a successful Transport Tycoon. The other his manservant and advisor.

When I was going for Penny Pincher (and I still might pretend for the game’s sake I haven’t achieved it), I had thought the story to be that the father had loaned the initial ~$1.2m in capital and said no more. Failure was not an option.

Succeed or watch the inheritance go to his younger brother.

The son would be essentially a good fellow, but given to flights of fancy and ego projects if left unchecked. His name is… Calvin Carter. (Thank-you British Name Generator.)

Calvin and his manservant — Asher Morris is his name — have been together since Calvin was a young child. They are of a similar age, but have never been what you would call close. Until the journey over by ship. The seas were beyond rough. Passengers were lost.

Whether it is sheer survival of a shared experience, or that they each remind the other of a home now left far beyond, they bonded beyond class. Calvin respects Asher’s opinion and will generally at least listen.

The rest we’ll have to discover as we go. :)

Transport Fever: Things I Wish I Knew When I Started

“What the hell does the error, ‘Unable to find path to stop’ mean?” book-ended my first session with Transport Fever. I’d started play at an unwise time of night for a game I was still learning to be fair. But it was juuuust about enough for me to decide the game was ‘too quirky’ and put it down.

I’ve since come to love Transport Fever enough that it’s going to warrant a series. Considering a run at hard mode, starting in 1850, while attempting to achieve Penny Pincher, wherein you take no additional loans beyond what you start the game with until the year 2000.

I’d love for more people to be able to get on board as well, so hopefully sharing some of my early frustrations and their solutions will help, in addition to perhaps just some nice to know tips. So here’s the first of these, dealing with this blasted error!

Starting out, that little nondescript error box can become a nightmare.

Trains and the ‘Unable to Find Path to Stop’ Error

The most common reason for this is that your track isn’t actually connected like you think it is.

This will happen most often when either the angle of attack for joining the lines isn’t right. You might need to bulldoze further back where you’re trying to join to come in with a softer angle.

Even at a reasonably zoomed out view, it is possible to identify when this is happening. You’ll see far more speed indicators when it is creating a line that crosses over rather than joining. When it is ‘right’ there will be three key speed indicators surrounding the point of the join.

Here we go, this will work.

In addition to seeing only speed indicators for the track immediately before the join, at the point of the join, and immediately after — we can also tell this is right by the track positioning control doodackey being dead centre on the track we’re joining.

Unable to Find Path to Stop can Occur with Trucks, too

You might find it to be a connectivity error with the roads, but this is generally much easier to spot than the train example.

Most likely if you get this with trucks (or buses) then the line you’ve created is a complete mismatch of station/stop types.

Transport Fever does allow some flexibility here. Passengers will happily disembark at a freight station. Cargo can even be unloaded at a bus station if the catchment area includes the industry or property types that will consume it. This is actually quite useful when you’re dealing with just a small town in the 1850’s.

But passengers and cargo will never load at an incorrect station type.

After stations are placed you’ll need to visually identify them for type. Left is a small passenger stop, with seating. Passenger train stations will similarly have benches. Middle is the freight station with plenty of loading space. On the right is simply the road vehicle depot.

If you’ve inadvertently setup a passenger to passenger line, and you attempt to assign a vehicle that carries only cargo to it (or vice versa) — you’ll see your old friend ‘Error: Unable to path to stop’.

Interestingly, setting up a train incorrectly in this way will allow the train to run regardless of the type mismatch. Possibly this is because it could be ‘fixed’ with adding an additional carriage of the right type.

Signals Might be to Blame

Signals may well require a post all of their own, but your first adventures with double tracking and signals may well cause the re-emergence of the ‘Unable to find path to stop’ error.

You’ll have found that simply creating a double track doesn’t mean your line will automatically use it. You will need signals to make it operate efficiently with more than one train.

Track is correctly setup with a join at both this station and the other, but the line still wants to travel both directions up one side. Not exactly conducive to having multiple trains run the line.

Here are some things to note:

  • Transport Fever pathing prefers traveling on the right side, even if you’re playing the Britain map.
  • You don’t want to create any stops at a signal which will result in blocking other trains or traffic.
  • Without signals, trains will check the entire section of rail ahead of it is clear, up until the next station.1
  • Trains in Transport Fever will never crash. At worst, they’ll get stuck.
  • Where you have contest for right of way, generally an unsignaled train will have right of way over a signaled train. Queuing and wait rules will be smartly managed though.
This one signal was enough to update the line’s routing. But not quite enough to fix all issues!

Facing the direction of travel, I placed just one signal on the right side. I placed it far enough back that any train exiting the station still has room to get by on the left.

If I had placed the signal much further forward at the split, we could still run into situations where two trains found themselves in a stand-off and unable to move.

You need to place another signal at the other station as well to prevent the same happening there. Flip the camera as necessary to again align yourself to direction of travel and place the signal on the right side, before the merge.

This is your minimal set of signals, and this should work in that trains should be permitted to be assigned to the line. If you have simplified your signals down to this level, and you still can’t — check your joins or other sources of potential trouble again.

Signals Continued…

…I mean we got this far. May as well finish the basic introduction!

Signalling for the Train Depot

I might have to adjust this in the future if my train length grows.

Your depot may not require this, especially if you’ve simply attached it to the end of a station. But I figure this shows the principles in action again so might be useful.

The trains inbound to the depot will come from the right as we’ve discussed. I want them to be controlled off the main line and out of the way so that other trains can still carry on without interruption. To that end I pushed the signal as close to the join as I possibly could that still allows trains outbound from the depot to get by.

Similarly, trains leaving the depot should give right of way to any train already at full speed on the main line. I’m controlling them with the signal as close to the main line as possible to create space for any potential train incoming to the depot while one waits to leave.

That situation should be fairly rare, but as I noted under the image, if my trains start getting longer I’ll have to bulldoze this on/off section and rework it for additional length before the join.

Signal Pairs on the Main Line

This deals with the principle that in Transport Fever trains will look ahead at the next entire segment of track. If it has a train on it (even if they’re going in the same direction) the next train will not go until it is clear.

That is currently a huge block of track uncontrolled by signals that trains would have to wait to be clear before starting at the moment.

Fortunately, this has a simple fix. You apply signal pairs at regular intervals down the length of the track.

You don’t need them to be too close, but you will need (at minimum) one segment for every train you plan to run, otherwise eventually you will get something stuck. Being too far apart is not great either though simply due to the wait times if one section does happen to be blocked.

Here’s what I changed mine to:

Much better. Trains should be able to freely flow along this path.

And that’s it for the basics! Hopefully it helps. :D

One Final Bonus Tip on Pairing Bus Stops

Knowing that Transport Fever travels on the right (even in maps set in Britain) can certainly help when placing your bus stops in avoiding your carriages taking truly bizarre routes through town.

But you can simplify it a heck of a lot further by simply placing two bus stops together, one on either side of the road.

Transport Fever will automatically consider these as a single terminal/point for the purposes of creating your lines and will route to the correct side of the road depending on the needs of your path.

On the left, can see the bus stops have been automatically considered as a single point with two terminals. Lines using this will be free to approach from whichever side of the road is best. On the right, is a single bus stop. Lines using it from the ‘wrong’ side will need to turn around, often in a loop.

Time to Loot Journal: April 2019

April was a comparative breeze to last month. It seemed to go by so fast, too! Possibly helped somewhat by the extended break that Easter and ANZAC day allowed for by taking just a few extra annual leave days to bridge the gaps for a bit over a week off.

Blog this Month

I published 12 posts this month, settling into an average of 3 posts per week. This seems sustainable and will likely become the pattern I aim for. Looking back over April, there isn’t much regularity as to which 3 days I post, but I think that’s OK for now.

There are a grand total of 59 published posts (including this one), and at the current rate it’ll be another 4+ months before I hit 100 posts. However I have passed the 100 day mark. One of the very first milestones I knew I wanted to break through.

So Huzzah! :D

Most Viewed Posts

  1. Heart of Rage: Tips for the Monitor
  2. The Practice of Review Bombing
  3. Anthem off the Games List
  4. Gaming Outside your Normal Genres
  5. The Division 2 Private Beta – The Dark Zone

Heart of Rage tips still drives a large portion of the site’s traffic, with roughly 6x the views of the second most viewed post this month. But the significant drop-off I expected for this article last month is starting now. The overall hits for April are around half that of March where this article was performing like a monster.

In more positive news though, ranks 2 through 4 were posts from this month!

Games this Month

RankGameHours% Gaming
Time
Change
1Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey54.856.0%New
2The Division 216.216.6% ↓1
3Tomb Raider7.87.9%New
4Transport Fever6.26.4%New
5Rise of the Tomb Raider4.74.8%New
6Northgard1.71.7%New
7Overwatch1.51.5%New
8Nioh1.31.3%New
9Far Cry: New Dawn1.21.2% ↓6
10Anno 18001.21.2%New
11Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice1.21.2% ↓6

‘New’ does not necessarily mean the game is new to me (although it may). I’m not quite sure yet how, or if, I want to represent a returning game that has skipped some time from the list.

That was a total of 97.7 gaming hours, up only 4.2 hours from last month. Given there was a week off, that does surprise me a little! Although I suppose I did catch up on a fair few shows.

Total active time on the computer was 262.8 hours, up 21.5 hours from last month. Gaming made up 37.2% of the active hours, down 1.5% from March.

Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey

I’ve mentioned before, but this one coming in such a big way this month really took me by surprise.

It made a believer out of me for the inclusion of ‘Photo Mode’ in games. Something I’d been a little ‘meh’ on previously. Neither for nor against. I kind of want it in everything now. ;)

But most impressive of all, for me, is that it has carried me through to and even beyond the ‘end’. Since that post I’ve cleaned house of the Cult of Kosmos, got my way to the top of the Mercenary foodchain.1

I’ve made a bit of a start into the first DLC, with the rest to come. :)

The Division 2

The 16 odd hours I have on TD2 were fairly heavily front-loaded into the month. I’ve not really touched it in a few weeks.

I had expected to jump in with the release of the Raid, but that was delayed until next month. I’m happy with my gear setup with the context of what is currently possible already, so back to being ‘done’ until the raid arrives. Unfortunately Tidal Basin and the new gear tier from there didn’t provide much more play time for me. When next month the Raid is put into our hands on Live will determine how much time The Division 2 gets next month.

Tomb Raider (and Rise of the Tomb Raider)

The ‘planned’2 series for the month. I finished the first game of the rebooted series and made a start on the second entry.

Almost immediately I was taken by the degree of iteration and change that occurred between the entries even though they were barely 2 years apart. I still intend to finish these after I’m done with Odyssey, but we’ll see. I’ve also been on something of a Tycoon game kick lately, which leads into…

Transport Fever

Setup some basic inner city town village horse and carriage loops, with longer paths connecting the depot to another village entirely.

I’m not entirely sure what triggered it, but recently I started to get a real hankering to play a Tycoon-style game again. I went on a bit of a YouTube and Reddit Prowl and ultimately landed on Transport Fever.

It is rather aptly named I must say, I went in ‘just to take a screenshot’ for this post. Almost 3 hours later, I’m finally back. At least I remembered to get the screenshot!

Transport Fever has a number of quirks to it, and a rather arcane (at first) signalling system for trains. So I’ve been immersing myself in a lot of YT Let’s Plays and Tutorial videos as well. I have a much firmer grasp on things now, but still learning some things as I go — like what the AI people preferences are when provided with options.

Transport Fever 2 has been announced, and looks beautiful but I was really wanting something to play now so still went with the original. Didn’t hurt that it was 70% off on Steam when I was looking. To go along with scratching my Tycoon itch though, I also picked up Production Line, but haven’t yet given it a go.

The Others

Quite a few games with less than 2 hours played this month. Overwatch and Northgard I spent some time playing with my brother. Overwatch for one of the events that promoted playing of an arcade mode where the skill cooldowns were (basically) eliminated. Made for some quite intense rounds, I will say. And allowed me a Play of the Game! As Moira! xD

Northgard

Northgard as I gave him a spare copy from the last Humble Monthly Bundle. We both really enjoyed it until we came to the realisation, too late, that you cannot save game for multiplayer.

If you can’t finish in the single sitting you just have to abandon. I remember this being a thing in RTS’ of old, but I never expected to encounter it in a modern title.

Ah well.

Nioh: Midway through the first boss fight. Ultimate form incoming!

Nioh I loaded for the express purpose of checking whether it cloud saves or not. (It does, if you were wondering.) Ended up starting a new game and played through the entire tutorial area and a bit of the first mission to refresh myself on the game.

Playing Sekiro actually made me want to go back and play more Nioh instead. It probably isn’t a good sign for a game when it makes you want to play something else instead. Nonetheless, I haven’t quite given up on it yet. That may come soon, or I might surprise even myself and make some time for it. It’s been known to happen!

Far Cry New Dawn on the other hand I have removed. I acknowledged even in the March Review that I was starting to drift from it a little. In the extra hour or so I played, I simply beelined the main story and made some good progress against it as a result.

From what I understand the FCND storyline is not all that long, so just given that I may go back and finish. Will have to see.

Anno 1800 is one I’ll be back to. Although who knows when. It is a beautiful game at times, and the beginning masks a fairly deep and detailed game once you start stepping through the civilian classes, eras of technology and more. I picked it up on Steam before it left that storefront, and then just had to give it a go. :)