Sun Haven

A screenshot of Sun Haven, with my little winged demon character standing in front of a house and above a planted field.
Behold my kingdom! Don’t judge my disaster of a crafting area. :)

During the recent Steam sale, Mr. M bought us a new game: Sun Haven. It’s very Stardew-esque, except it has more of an RPG feel because you level up different specialities (farming, combat, fishing, etc) and you get to choose where to put your points to customize your character.

It’s awesome!

We had to go to Ft. Worth this weekend, so we didn’t get to play too much, but we’re probably ten-ish hours in and having a lot of fun. My only minor complaint—and this might not be a complaint for someone who only occasionally plays co-op—is that the main quest progresses separately for each character.

So while I’ve been moving the story forward, Mr. M has been toiling away in the mines, and he has no idea what I’m talking about. 😭

If you decide to check it out, be sure to set the day length in the options. There’s no stamina meter, so you can do as much mining, farming, and exploring as you can fit in a day. By default, days are twenty IRL minutes long, which feels a little rushed. For a more relaxing experience, you can set it as long as forty minutes, and the game will save in the middle of the day if you need to quit, so you don’t lose progress.

We were most of the way through Spring before we figured out that we could make it easier/more fun by adjusting the day length, so let me save you that pain. :)

I have a barn full of animals I diligently pet every day, and Mr. M has a field of plants, and we just killed a slime monster boss, despite being somewhat ill-equipped for such a difficult battle.

I’m also kind of accidentally romancing one of the villagers. He asked to chat with me privately, and I was like “Sure!” and then it was actually a date. Oops. This is not actually that different from how it worked back when Mr. M and I were dating, lol.

If you like Stardew and RPGs, I highly recommend checking it out!

Slow Monday

I’m off to a slow start today, partially because I stayed up too late, and partially because it’s Monday. We had a very nice weekend, but it was much busier than usual, with social things on both Saturday and Sunday.

For reference, our normal weekends involve a lot of video games and/or all-day pajamas. 😂

It was nice to hang out with friends, though, and I need to be better about keeping in touch because I get busy and then I look up and months have slipped by. If my best friend wasn’t so on top of it, I would very likely become a hermit.

On the video game front, Mr. M and I started playing Last Epoch recently. It had a lot of hype as a “Diablo killer” and… ehhhhhh. I might not be the best judge, because I played hours and hours and hours of both Diablo III and Diablo IV and really enjoyed them, even though they were both kind of panned by critics.

But somehow, Last Epoch just doesn’t have the same hook. It’s… fine.

There are a few things that are super annoying (the fog of war on the map resets every time you teleport back to town, which is infuriating), but overall it’s pretty solid from a playability perspective, it’s just not that fun, and I can’t figure out why, because this game should be my jam.

I have a whole army of skeletons that do actual damage, until D4, and even leading an undead horde, I’m still just like meh. Mr. M is playing a mage, and he’s also sort of ambivalent about the game. Maybe it’ll open up when we get to the endgame—if we get to the endgame.

Or maybe we’ll start a new farm in Stardew Valley when the new patch drops this week. :)

All Diablo, All the Time

The past three days were an all Diablo weekend around here, and since I sent my romantic fantasy WIP off to my agent on Thursday (🎉🎉🎉), I didn’t have anything super pressing on my to-do list to distract from gaming fun.

Mr. M and I are playing together, and we generally play breadth-first rather than diving straight through the main story, so we’ve been picking up all the side quests and exploring the whole map before moving on, which means were like level 51 and only in Act III.

Unfortunately, it seems that World Tier 2 gear seems to be capped below level 50, and we can’t move to World Tier 3 without completing the main story, so that’s sad, since I mainly play Diablo for the shiny new loot. When all of that loot is consistently worse than what I currently have equipped, it’s not as fun.

Blizzard, surely you knew that your players liked to actually play the game, right? Not all of us are on a mission to get to end-game as fast as possible, but I guess we’ll be doing a dash through the rest of the main quest, then we’ll go back and pick up all the side quests in Tier 3. Boo!

Overall, we’re having a lot of fun, and I’m happy we bought the version with early access, since this week we have a lot of actual responsibilities that require us to leave the house, lol. I’ll be interested to see how they wrap up the story (no spoilers, please!), because right now I’m kind of on team You All Suck.

But at least it’s very pretty. :)

I hope you had a lovely weekend to kick off June! And in just fifteen days, Capture the Sun will be out in the world! 🎉

Diablo IV Weekend!

Mr. M was off on Friday, and we made the most of it by spending basically the entire weekend playing the early beta of Diablo IV. We’re both huge Diablo fans, and even though a lot of fans hate on Diablo III, we’ve played literally hundreds of hours of it because while the story might not be the best, it’s soothing to click on monsters and have loot pop out.

So to say we’re excited for Diablo IV is a massive understatement.

And I’m happy to report, that despite the troubling rumors from development, it’s a lot of fun! There are bugs and issues, as with any beta, and I’m doubtful they’re going to get them all ironed out in the next two and half months, but it’s totally playable.

Especially after they fixed the queuing issues from Friday that saw us sitting in 70- and 90-minute queues to login. That was less fun, but by Saturday, the queues were generally less than a minute, so they either fixed the issue or threw a whole lot more servers at it, and either way, good job Blizzard.

They’ve definitely leaned in to the horror side more with IV than III. Or maybe I’m just used to playing III in adventure mode without the cutscenes, but the early cutscenes in IV were very pretty and very horrific (in a good, scary-movie kind of way). If you have a weak stomach for blood and gore, you may want to tread carefully.

We hit the beta level cap of 25 and made it all the way through Act I with one character and hit the level cap with another. I played Barbarian and Rogue, and Mr. M played Sorcerer and Rogue. Character design is still kind of limited, but it actually exists now, and look how cool I looked with just the basics!

Screenshots from Diablo IV showing a barbarian in purple leather armor with a two-handed hammer and a rogue in red hooded armor with a fancy bow.

I think cosmetics are going to be one of the real money items, and they’re probably going to get some of mine, because I do love to make my characters look nice.

I generally prefer melee characters, which is why I started with the barbarian, but the rogue was waaaaaay easier. I’ve heard that barbarian gets better at higher levels, but I felt like I was doing no damage, while Mr. M’s sorcerer killed everything in like two seconds. So most fights were me face tanking whatever we were fighting while he killed it from afar, which is our normal style, but usually I’m doing at least some damage, and it didn’t really feel that way with the barbarian build I was using.

Next weekend is the open beta, no preorder required, so we’ll see if the extra people bring back the queueing issues. They’re also opening up the Druid and Necromancer classes, so it’ll be fun to see how those play.

Since we play co-op, I usually play a paladin-type class that tanks and heals and does some DPS, while Mr. M plays a glass-cannon ranged DPS class. If you don’t play games, those words probably don’t make sense, but it basically means my character has a lot of armor and resistance, so I stand in front of enemies and keep their attention while Mr. M attacks them from a distance. He’s the one that deals most of the damage, but if his character gets hit, he dies, so it’s my job to keep the enemies focused on me. Barbarian fills that role, but it’s not my first choice, so I’m excited to try the other two classes.

This year is shaping up to be a big year for gaming, assuming the dev schedules hold, which is always iffy. We’ve got Redfall, the new Zelda, Diablo IV, and Starfield just to name a few. Are there any games you’re looking forward to this year? Did you happen to play the D4 beta? Let me know your thoughts!

Winter is Here (Again)

It’s cold and dreary today in central Texas. Freezing rain is making overpasses dangerous, so if you’re in the area, be careful out there. Yesterday was 70°F and mostly sunny, so I can’t complain too much, but seeing how this is my blog… yes I can. 😂

The cold makes me want to huddle inside and drink hot tea all day, so that’s pretty much the plan. The fantasy romance is over 30k words now, and I’m still having fun with it, so I’ll be trying to make that word count go up this week. Not having a deadline is super nice, but at the end of the day, I still need to get words on the page.

We spent the weekend playing Satisfactory, and we’re almost through all the levels again. If you’re not familiar, it’s a game about building factories on an alien planet to produce widgets for your company. You start with a couple machines gathering a few resources, then you expand as you get better technology.

Last time we played, we absolutely wrecked said alien planet with miles and miles and miles of conveyor belts and pipes running between the resources and the factories. This time, Mr. M decided to use trucks to move supplies, and it worked surprisingly well! They’re finicky to set up, but once they’re going, they’re far better than they were when we played a couple of years ago. And now I don’t have to feel so bad about destroying nature, lol.

You can also tell which factories he built—beautiful, precise, enormous—versus which I built—sort of slapdash, but gets the job done, and takes waaaaaay less time. :)

We also got to drive an Ioniq 5 this weekend, a car we’ve been trying to buy since they opened “reservations.” I’ll spare you the saga, but it’s been over a year, and I’m unhappy with how Hyundai handled the entire process. But the car was lovely! Supposedly they have one that matches our reservation coming in March, so maybe we’ll get a new car this year. At this point, I’ll believe it when I see it.

Now I’m going to make some tea and some words, and I hope that you’re warm and cosy wherever you are!