Rotating Header Image

Video Games

Palia – Getting to Know the Locals

Now that I have a house going and some income as a farmer, the next big step in this new world is to get to know the locals. Aside from building up your plot of land, you have the nearby town full of people to build an actual plot of story. Well, “full” is kind of a stretch. There are maybe 2 dozen or so people living there each more or less with a specialty of some kind, and each with some sort of eccentric personality trait. I’m not real sure how the economy here survives, or whom is buying and eating the mountains of vegetables I ship out daily.

I am not sure what the benefit is yet, but you can level up friendship with each NPC by giving them gifts and doing quests for them. Well, I know one benefit, you get more quests by having a higher level with an NPC. You can also “go farther” with some NPCs. You can romance some NPCs (generally, anyone who is an adult). I am not sure what happens there, maybe they move in with you on your plot. You also can pick someone to be your “Shepp”. Which is like a Mentor, but once again, I’m not leveled up enough to know what that even does, if anything. I do know, from what I looked into, it does not matter who your shepp is really. So I assume that means no discounts or anything. Which makes some sense because otherwise it’s going to boild down to “Who do you want the best discounts from?”

I’m not entirely sure the intricacies of the relationships between the characters, so I’m not going to vouch for the accuracy of any of this in the long term. I am also not going to mention all of them.


I interact with Zeki quite a bit. Or at least, his shop. Zeki sells seeds and bag upgrades. He is also, inexplicably, the only cat man on the island. At least, the only one I have encountered. No one else really trusts him, he is apparently a bit of a con artist. I hope i am getting the best rates on seeds if that is the case, but buying seeds is way easier than crafting them. The Seed crafter takes an eternity to produce a tiny handful of seeds. If I could queue up several types of seeds and run it each night so my seeds were ready in the morning it would not be so bad, but the game doesn’t work that way.

Also buying from the store gives lucky coins, which are basically free loot boxes. Sometimes there is near decorations in them.


The Mayor’s wife, I think. She is generally just bitch and for that, I kind of hate her. I mean, she has not actively wronged my character really, she is just rude. She hates Zeki, and at one point I helped Zeki steal some stuff from her, which was fun. She also has a daughter who sometimes works the register at City Hall where they sell building parts and land deeds.


Almost as bad as Eshe is Hassian. Another rude dick for no reason. Fortunately, so far, there isn’t much reason to interact with Hassian. He sells hunting supplies and equipment, and more importantly, he has a dog, who is nice. I think I’ve had a few quests from the Dog so far.


Something something death by Sifuu Sifuu. I think she is Hassian’s mom. She runs the blacksmith shop and sells some mats I think. I have not had to really interact with her much, but she seems alright.


I am not real sure what this guy does aside from hang around the shrine on the edge of the map. He’s less rude and more just, a stick in the mud. I suspect he has something to do with The Order maybe. Do not trust his friendly standoffishness.


Elouisa is absolutely batshit crazy and spouts conspiracy theories constantly. Though they seem like the kind of “conspiracies” you encounter in a world like this where no one believes them, despite living in a “magical land” and they end up being true. She doesn’t sell anything, but seems to be involved in a least part of the main quest plot line. She also has a sister who may be a twin (I should probably actually read some of the text these characters spout at me). her sister is a lame prude. You want to have fun, go find Elouisa.

She is probably my favorite character aside from maybe Reth.

Reth and Tish

These two are siblings, also also two I’ve interacted with quite a bit. Everyone hates Reth for being a bit spastic and unreliable, but he seems alright. Tish is just friendly all around. Reth is basically the goto for the Cooking skill, and as Cooking is gardening adjacent, I’ve interacted with him for recipes and story points.

Tish sells furniture plans. Which you need for crafting to fancy up your house. I kind of feel bad for her a bit though. She will carry maybe 3-4 “starter plans” for different furniture types, but you only need to actually buy one plan. You will eventually learn every other piece as you continue to craft things. So, hopefully her brother’s cooking business can help keep her a float, I guess.

Also, I didn’t realize they were siblings at first and thought they were a couple. Can we say, “How do you do step-Palian?”


Palia – Getting Established

So I’ve established a house, next order of business is to fancy things up. Well, more to start, leveling up skills. In order to be able to fancy things up. One of the main aspects of this game is crafting, and almost everything you gather feeds into this. There are several different skills to work on and level, some seem to be more useful than others.

  • Tree Chopping – Almost everything needs wood or minerals to be constructed. Seems like there will be a lot of tree shopping going on.
  • Mining – Like chopping, mining is a pretty regularly needed activity.
  • Farming – As near as I can tell, this is the easiest way to make money. You put out some soil, you throw down some crops, you water them, if you check in intermittently throughout the day, you can make pretty good money each day. Also useful for Cooking.
  • Cooking – Some of the food seems to sell for a decent amount, but the real benefit here is making food to eat to fill your energy bar thingy. Doing tasks with the energy bar filled gives bonus experience on that task. It’s easy to fill too.
  • Hunting – If you want you can wander around hinting animals. This is useful for getting fur to make leather for some construction. I find it to be a little dull honestly, partly because the mechanics are so wonky. You shoot an animal and either one shot it, or startle it, which causes it to run around in this weird, too fast, sort of manner.
  • Fishing – Apparently it’s good for a quick buck. It seems most useful for unlocking a special door thing, which I’ll probably get to in a later post.
  • Bug Catching – Fishing but it’s on land, with some of the annoyance of Hunting added in.

Each of these skills has it’s own tool, and each tool can be leveled up to make the tasks easier with better rewards. One thing I’ve learned pretty quickly, make sure to keep repair kits around to fix tools. Creating and using Repair kits is way cheaper than rebuilding a broken tool from scratch, from a material’s standpoint.

The starter plot had a nice supply of rocks and trees to farm but at this point I’ve mostly exhausted what I can use there. I need a better axe to chop down more trees.

Which leads to another kind of weird frustration, I can grow trees, but eventually, they become too large for me to chop down. Fortunately, I can move planted trees, so I now have a collection of trees piled in one corner of my lot, one day I’ll be able to chop them down for profit I guess.

Not having local nodes means going out in the world for most materials, which slows things down a bit. The game definitely loads you up on early materials, but not so much on higher-level materials.

I’ve spent most of my time lately farming. I am sure there is some sort of real pattern for maximizing out the little bonuses each type of crop gives (better yield, better water retention, less weeds), but so far I’ve been sticking to doing little 4×4 plots with 4 types of crops. My main frustration is that everything grows at a slightly irregular pace. My desire to keep things organized is seriously clashing with the 4 or 5 crops each harvest that are not finished by the end.

Do I replant and just skip those spots? Do I scrap them and dig them out? i may try that actually, maybe see if I can get things to grow a bit more uniform again.

The watering can (the tool for farming) is a little odd too. The initial one does one crop at a time, the next one up says it will do 3 at a time, but sometimes it does 5, and sometimes just one, and it’s not clear how the watering works with the higher-tiered can. Also, anything being watered indirectly fills at about half speed, so it’s not like everything gets watered at the same speed.

Can I just craft a sprinkler system please?

I’ve been pouring my money into adding a second room to my house. I want to add a few more smaller ones as well. There is a sort of plot to this game, but a lot of it is centered around just, building your little plot of land.

I’ve also spent a lot of time crafting furniture. I kind of wish you could sell furniture, or maybe dismantle it to recover some of the mats or something. There are a lot of different styles of furniture, that seem to mostly correspond to different skill levels. For example, the “Log Cabin” line seems to match with level 1. Each time you craft an item from a particular type, you get the choice of unlocking a new thing to build from that line.

I’ve moved beyond the log cabin style, but I went ahead and crafted one of each item, so I could get the experience points from it. I know I’ve crafted it all because it stopped giving me the option to pick a new item to learn.

Most of the Log Cabin lines uses unrefined wood, but the higher levels require planks (crafted from wood) and often Clay or Copper (refined from ores). This means they take a lot longer to make since you have to farm these mats, then process them.

It’s not a problem, it’s just, a little tedious over time.

Anyway, my little house is starting to slowly become a big house.

Palia – Getting Set Up

A while back I wishlisted this game on Steam called Palia. It kind of feels like, Stardew Valley but 3D with MMO elements. There isn’t any combat though. It’s commonly referred to as being a chill and cozy game. This actually came off as kind of appealing in the same way Sky:CotL is appealing. It’s recently been released and I have jumped in to check it out.

The story starts out, with your character, a human, mysteriously appearing in this shrine where you meet the first of several locals in the area. You can tell they are not humans because they are all purple-skinned. Though they all kind of just, look like purple humans. After a bit of talk, it was time to head down to the town to meet more locals and get set up.

It feels a little weird from a plot standpoint. They seem to both consider you, as a human, unique, but also seem to acknowledge that humans keep popping up in this world. Like the plot is at odds with its online world nature.

Anyway, after getting set up with with a basic little plot of land in a little mountain Crater area, it was time to start my life in Palia. It almost feels like they don’t really trust me but hey, I am contained in case they decide I am not useful anymore I guess. The people also provided some starter elements for some of the basics of the gameplay loop. A basic axe for chopping trees, a basic pickaxe for mining, some plots of soil to grow plants in, a simple tent and crafting table.

Like I said, it’s kind of like Stardew Valley. You get land to build on and upgrade, and you work with a variety of townspeople to do little quests.

The starter tent is the most annoying bit here, I am not sure if it’s intentional, but you can’t place crafting equipment in the tent. Which feels like from an aesthetics level, would be the ideal place for it.

The tent didn’t last for long though, after a few quests I gained a house! Or at least, the foundation for a house. Which also lead to needing to work with some more advanced crafting like turning wood into planks and ore into bricks. After collecting the appropriate materials, and waiting 8 hours, I ended up with my first house, which is a little small and boring. But over time it will be soon spruced up a bit I hope.

What I’ve Been Playing

I’ve been, really bad about keeping up on these.

Oh well.

Anyway, let’s take a little trip down what I’ve been playing since uh… (checks notes) … wow, January. I’m definitely going to forget some things.

Horizon: Zero Dawn

I started this one a while back, then in traditional fashion, got distracted and stopped playing it. I don’t really know why, it’s quite a lot of fun. I got just out of the initial starting zone and to the point where the plot started actually moving along and just sort of, got overwhelmed, I suppose. I often try not to fast travel too much in these sorts of games, because I find you discover more by traveling, and it’s just, more immersive. But sometimes it’s useful. In this game, fast travel is a consumable item, which means I just, never do it.

Yeah, probably a bad mindset.

Notable on this game, i was playing on a controller, which is unusual for me in anything 3D, especially on the PC.


It’s worth mentioning, I am sure I probably played some Fortnite, though, I’m not positive, considering I mostly just idled for XP last season. I have not really bothered with the current greek season. I’m not big on any of the Pass Skins and I’m just, kind of burned out.

Instead of playing real games though, instead, I went back to…


Because I apparently hate myself and can’t game without playing tedious grindy games I hate. Also, there was a sweet Ramen Noodle Bastion skin in this season’s pass. I ended up unlocking it instantly because I had several rounds of “free battlepass tiers” from Amazon Prime stacked up and I used Bing Rewards points to get the pass. I have been playing a lot of, and enjoying Mystery Heroes. Anything else, not so much.

I’ve also really enjoyed the goofy April Fool’s mode “Totally Balanced Overwatch.”

I am not sure if I’ll keep going much longer. It’s getting a bit dull and regular Quickplay is annoying. Also annoying is the locked heroes from seasons I missed, though I guess they are changing that next season and just giving everyone all heroes. I didn’t get to play as Tiny Mauga in the april Fool’s mode, because I don’t have Mauga unlocked.


Sky: Children of the Light

I’ve been coasting out the last of the Season of the Nine Colored Deer. I’ve rather enjoyed this season. Next season adds player housing, which sounds like it could be quite fun, but I’m not sure yet. I’ll probably keep going and get the pass, since I have new ways to get currency and hearts. I still feel incredibly candle poor though.

Pokémon Go

One I have come back to lately, in force is Pokémon Go. The Sinnoh Event was really great. Sinnoh is my favorite region. I even went downtown and cause special Palkias and Dialgas. I’ve been doing some remote raids with Poke Genie too, which is cool, because I can get neat Pokeymans like this rocketship Pokeyman.

I am getting really close to level 40, which isn’t the top anymore, but starts some new special style of leveling, up through level 50.

What I’ve Been Playing – Idling For Hats Edition

A new year, a new time to try to build new habits. Hah ha ha, yeah right… probably. Anyway, I picked up a slew of new-ish games over the holidays in various sales, and I look forward to forgetting that I wanted to play them over the next few months. Off the top of my head, I picked up, yet to really play, Spider-man Miles Morales, Alan Wake 2 and Alan Wake Remastered, Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and Horizon Zero Dawn. Plus some cheapies in bundles or randomly, A bunch of Oddworld Games, Need for Speed Payback, Tron 2.0, Karateka. This doesn’t even include the whack of free games from Epic, though of those I only really care about Saints Row, Deathloop, and Guardians of the Galaxy.

I might be a bit slow getting going on these though as I’m doing some work-related training in the evenings 3 nights a week for most of January.

Spider-Man Remastered

I bought this one back at the start of December. I’ve since finished it. I started on some of the DLC, but I’m not really sure I’ll bother doing much more. I really enjoyed the gameplay in this one, but the combat is kind of super repetitious. It’s just the same 3 or 4 enemies in groups but in different outfits depending on the stage of the story.

The game itself is fun, the story is decent, I made the stupid assumption about the end boss not being in the game because, unlike all the other big villains, there wasn’t an explicit achievement. It did a pretty good job of weaving together several unrelated subplots all into one larger narrative. Swinging and running around the city is fun, but it starts to feel a bit slow after a while.

Spider-Man Miles Morales

If I am going to do more of the same Spider-Man, I may as well mix it up, which is why I’ve started on the “Not number 2 but still a sequel” game of Spider-Man Miles Morales. Miles shows up in the first game, and you play as him a few times, as not Spider-man. There is a subplot that sets up Miles gaining his powers and then this game lets you play as him. It’s the same map with a few changes, and the same basic combat with a few new additions, but it’s basically more of the same. I’ve only done one major mission and the game says I am 22% done with the main story, so I guess it’s pretty short compared to the first.

The first isn’t that long either really, it just has a ton of optional mini-missions you can do scattered across the map.


I decided to give Deathloop a quick try, it was a freebie from the holidays. In the 10-15 minutes I played, it kept losing the controls. Repeatedly. I don’t know if it’s something I was doing or if it’s just THAT buggy, but the experience was pretty awful.

Hogwarts Legacy

I played a bit of Hogwarts Legacy again. I really enjoy this game, but it’s taking up space on my drive, and I want to uninstall it, but I need to play up to the last achievement with a Ravenclaw character. It’s really odd just how tedious replaying this is. I am not real sure why it’s like that, but even skipping the cut scenes and rushing, I just don’t want to keep going. I think it took me like 2 hours to do this as Gryphondor and Hufflepuff, but somehow this last run is just so annoying. But I don’t want to reinstall it, I want to finish this and be done.


The game I am not playing, but making progress on. I’m super burnt out on Fortnite, but because I had a screw sub from the last season, I got this season pass. Most of the skins are pretty meh, but it has Solid Snake or will have Solid Snake. A lot of people are going crazy for Peter Griffin, but I don’t care about that at all.

I also have not written about the new Rhythm game or Race game, because both are pretty lame. LEGO is, ok, I’ve gotten a bit better hang of it, but it’s still pretty tedious. The new modes are great for leveling up though. I’ve never leveled so fast in a season ever. In Fortnite LEGO and Fortnite Festival Jam stage, you can load it, and walk away and gain about 5-6 levels a day, for EACH mode. I’m already something like level 165, but I’ve stopped for now until Snake drops. Also, occasionally I kind of need to drop in to catch up on the Weekly quests for those item drops.

It’s like back in Team Fortress 2, when you could idle for hats.

All I wan to add is the pricing on the cosmetics, especially for the new modes, is fucking bonkers nuts. You can buy a Lambo in Fortnite and play their mediocre Mark Kart clone, or for the same price you could buy Forza Horizon 4 (on sale), and get infinite Lambos and a real racing experience on a large, open-world map. The music tracks are like 3x the price of buying the track itself in MP3, and the game mode needs some tweaks to make it playable (lanes should be different colors).

Sky: Children of the Light

I’ve shifted into a weird phase with Sky. It’s brought on by the Steam version being available. I’ve now shifted to alts and mechanical farming mode. I’ve got like 5 or 6 total accounts now, one being my main account. I spend a short bit each day, generally in the morning when I would have been eating breakfast (which I am not at the moment, but that’s for a BI post later), where I’ll log into each account, send my main a Heart, and farm out 3-4 candles, to replace the candles I’ve spent on the heart. Two of these accounts have a pile of reserve candles now because the season ended, so if I am feeling time crunched, I’ll just eat into those.

Hearts are one of several in-game currencies. The only way to get them is to be sent one from a friend, at the cost of 3 candles, once per day, or to gather bits of light sent from friends, which I think takes like 60 bits. Getting these normally, is a pain, even with a lot of friends, because half the time, they don’t send you anything even when you send it to them, because who wants to spend their candles on strangers? You can only get like 20-25 candles per day, and Candles are the main currency.

Anyway, I did some rough math, to complete just the main tree, none of the Traveling Spirits trees, I need like 1000+ hearts. Even with 4-5 accounts feeding me hearts daily, that’s 200 days. You start throwing in events and Traveling Sprits, it’s easily a year of farming.

I will probably give up before I get there, but it’s a little nuts. Granted, the bulk of this is the handful of Ultimate Capes, which tend to run 100-200 Hearts each.

I may look into automating the candle and heart farming with some automation tools later, so it just sort of, happens. It would be pretty easy to use some sort of input macro tools to log in, run to a handful of regular candle sources, and send the Hearts.

Part of this exercise in creating accounts also meant running through the game some to unlock areas. Twice now, I’ve done a no cape run, once as a test, and once recorded, which can be viewed in it’s entirety below.