"A video game comic and blog that would have been awesome and relevant 10 years ago. Maybe." -Famous Website
I wanted to give you a little update since things have been kinda crazy for us and it looks like we'll be on a short break~ On Wednesday evening in the middle of working on the comic we intended to post Saturday, Pie got word from her family that her grandfather was in critical condition. Since then, we were scrambling to get her to fly out to see him, as she hasn't seen either of her grandparents in several years. She has always had this underlying worry that she wouldn't have an opportunity to see them again after they left the country, so getting her out was really important.
Though Pie didn't have her passport ready, we were able to miraculously get her it secured under it being an emergency and somehow managed to find her a flight out to Taiwan. Communication has been sparse between us since she arrived, mostly due to limited availability, but I do know that she arrived there safely late Saturday evening and has been spending time with her family since. Several members of her family also flew out, many of which she also hasn't seen for many years, including her brother and sister, so this has kinda been an opportunity to see family as well since we live so far away from everyone.
Anywho...She did bring a laptop and her tablet to try and get some comic work done while she is there, but obviously, there is a chance that she simply may not have the time. Considering that she will be out there until March 28th, I don't want to assume that we can post more regularly like normal until after she is back. I wanted you all to know so you aren't left wondering where we've been~
Thank you all so much for your patience, love and support; I know Pie is really grateful for your wishes and thoughts during this time.
As I had mentioned before, we got Tales of Zestiria back in November and I'm LOVING this game! XD Yes, we're still playing it. ^^ We haven't been playing every day like we used to, but that's just life. ^^
We've clocked about a hundred and twenty hours into the game according to steam, but out of that, ninety to a hundred of the hours were probably of us just sifting through menus and planning out how we want to customize each of the characters skills, stats, and play styles.
Tales of Zestiria has a system in which character equipment come with random skills from within a set that, which if combined in specific ways, can result in very powerful combo skills that can grant huge benefits such as decreased cast time of spells by forty percent or, having a thirty-five percent chance to convert incoming non-elemental damage to one for example. I'm so happy to see that the majority of equipment skills don't simply add on passive raw stats, but instead focus on utility and gameplay.
Not only does the gear that you find in Zesteria have random skills attached to them, but the stats vary too depending on the name of the gear. You're even able to combine them to increase their base stats and change or add equipment skills onto a single piece. It's really refreshing and fun to get gear and to be curious about what its characteristics are and to know that what's out there is not always a simple over-all upgrade or downgrade to whatever you already have. -that there's a choice you can make to whether you want to turn down attack for a gear with higher or raw defense or maybe turning one down that has better starting stats for one that has a native skill that helps in your goal of creating a combo skill.
I have read people responding to the equipment skill system, saying that it's unnecessarily over complicated. I admit that it might take some thinking and a little bit of effort but it's not like it's something you really HAVE to get deep into since difficulty settings are changeable whenever you have access to your menus. It's there for the players who want to dig deeper and make the game more than a casual game play experience.
I think it's great having something like this in the game; the equipment system, in combination with the changeable difficulty setting, allows it to be enjoyable for both the casual and more dedicated crowds. For the not-so-casual players, it gives the tools to strongly personalize, customize, or grant defining characteristics to individual characters. It adds a tint of "the game outside the game", the metagame! -something that I wish I felt the excitement for more often from other games.
I know there are a lot of games out there such as the Witcher and Skyrim that present character building options, but I still can't help to feel frustrated sometimes at the idea of game development leaning on simplicity to make things more accessible to the casual crowd. I'm happy that more people are getting into playing games, but it really hurts the audience that enjoys these complexities and love system mechanics and customization.