Saturday, September 24, 2016

[EMS] First Legendary Potential GET!


About damn freaking time! It has taken a lot of attempts in the past few years, but with all these fantastic new ways of cubing to make the game more accessable to more people, I've managed to craft and find plenty of Meister Cubes to get my first equip to Legendary.

Does this mean I'll finally get Self Combat Orders soon, something I have been talking about occasionally on this blog since 2014? Yes and no. First, I want to take the opportunity to make an attempt to get my Amaterasu's Gloves to Legendary soon - I can spend all those Meister Cubes on getting Self Combat Orders, but I definitely want to raise my gloves as well before I do that.

Probably getting my gloves to Legendary is as important as getting my shoes to Legendary - let's not forget that Legendary Gloves may wield Self Speed Infusion and Self Sharp Eyes at the same time! And with a Legendary Glove where the first rank is guaranteed to give out a Legendary stat, and the second two is at least guaranteed to give out Unique (and with a little bit of luck, Legendary instead), getting both should not be that hard, as far as I've heard from friends. Well, apply that with the typical luck that I have, it should be manageable right?

Assuming that getting my gloves to Legendary will take a while, I'll also take that opportunity to save up some mesos to get a temporary Nebulite for my Amaterasu's Armour, because I've invested quite some mesos recently into scrolling my Amaterasu set, which is, of course, a priority over all else (because y'know, I can get clean slates without mesos, I can cube without mesos, I don't want to Star Force yet, I already have more than 40 hammers stored, etc).

I've been wanting to get a S-Rank Nebulite for "Invincible for 3 seconds after getting hit", but because I'm not entirely certain how S-Ranks will be handled in EMS, perhaps getting the A-Rank Nebulite for a two-seconds-variant might definitely be a solid decision. Yes, I know you cannot overwrite Nebulites and you need to remove them with a 500 NX item, but I'm willing to afford the compromise just to be sure - it's better than nothing, and it's not that there's a more suitable choice for the standards I am looking for. And who knows what may happen in the future, right?

While my Amaterasu set doesn't have better stats yet, as far as the upgrading goes, it definitely looks promising and it will no doubtly be better than my Lionheart in the end. But don't forget that the moment when I have Self Combat Orders, Self Speed Infusion with Self Sharp Eyes, my Amaterasu would perform way better than my Lionheart (not per se damage-wise) - and I also will be having much more fun too. Of course I'll keep you guys up to date if anything changes soon - this is definitely some blog-worthy content that deserves some attention.

That's it for today - I'll see you guys again next post!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

[Lego] Elemental Beasts - #71313 Lava Beast, #71314 Storm Beast, #71315 Quake Beast


Oh man, this album of images was definitely a fun one to make.

The Elemental Beasts, which also goes by the name "Shadow Horde" in The Journey to One, was an army summoned by Umarak the Destroyer after he was mutated by Makuta. In order to get Makuta's plan to succeed, the Elemental Beasts were mainly used as a distraction to keep the Toa occupied.


Because we're talking about three different sets that are very different from each other, I'm going to give every single character at least some individual attention too.

=========================================================================================


Lava Beast is the one set that seems to be favoured the most out of all Elemental Beasts. While it may be your "default" Bionicle set that is pretty straightforward and is probably the safest "comfort zone" design, going safe and default did its receive well. I think it's always good to have a "comfort zone" design in a lineup of different things to offer.

Out of all the three beasts, this one is of course the most distinct purely because it uses Transparent Neon Orange instead of the "fan favourite" Transparent Neon Green that both Storm Beast and Quake Beast uses. It's also the only one of the three to have additional design around the head (in this case, horns) and it even has the fancy always-rare-to-have-posable-finger-joints (not just fingers, but even the finger joints) that is usually reserved for larger models!

In my opinion, I'm not really the biggest fan of Lava Beast. It's not because of the design (as a toy), despite that its done right in multiple ways, but because this is such a "default" set, it doesn't ignite the excitement that my inner child is looking for.

=========================================================================================


Quake Beast seems to be the "middle ground" set where the concept behind the play feature has been appreciated, but aesthetically it seems to fall short to a lot of people. I actually like the design of Quake Beast a lot - it may be very (daring and not shy to be) asymmetrical but I think that is what made the design stand out from the line up, if not, most Bionicle sets out there.

Quake Beast's right arm would probably stand out the most, as it is mainly built from large crystal shell pieces - this is part of its play feature. About nearly all Generation 2 Bionicle sets revolve around popping masks off from figures (a feature that was a foundation for the first years of Generation 1) and Quake Beast is certainly one of those sets like the Bohrok, Rahi and the Skull Army where it explores and holds onto this design philosophy.

I think that Quake Beast is one of my favorite aesthetically designed Bionicle Generation 2 sets. I also appreciate the small fingers it has so it can grab on Onua's corrupted mask that came with this set as well.

=========================================================================================


Storm Beast is an interesting set: can you name a LEGO® set where its aesthetic design has been rated poorly but where the majority of the LEGO® fans applauded its complex play feature? There are a few of them, but not many - Storm Beast may be one of those rare examples where the play feature is a stand out in perhaps the entire history of sets (not just Bionicle) but it might have sacrificed too much in its design to pull it off.

Well, to go straight off the opinion bat (yeah, a bat that has the word "opinion" printed on it I guess, don't ask me how English works), Storm Beast is one of those sets that can ignite that excitement that my inner child is looking for.

Most LEGO® sets are done right, and for me that kind of becomes boring quickly - you know you're getting something fantastic, which is probably what you want to get for your money right? That is totally fair and justified, by the way.

If you have paid enough attention to my blog if you're a frequent reader of my LEGO® related blogposts, you might know by now that I seem to have a bias and favour towards those LEGO® sets most people rate poorly, find them akward to look at, or even feel ashamed to own them in general. This kind of environment for these handful of LEGO® sets actually encourages me to give it a go to see what's the fuzz about. And often I actually seem to like it in the end - perhaps it's just a part of my character, since this also can be found anywhere else in my life (which includes a lot of my MapleStory "career" in the past almost nine years that I've been playing that game).

Putting the opinion bat back in the tool rack, Storm Beast's play feature is such an organic "marionette" style of movement in the arms, were the "strings" is its tail. The organic movement is provided by the use of multiple ball joints.

If the set was mainly built from fixed rotation points from standard Technic pieces, you would get something like the Tarakava, Cyber Strikes, Muake & Kane-ra, and Cahdok and Gahdok sets where the main axis of rotation is limited to one direction or horizon (which is a fancy way of saying you only punch or move something directly forward in the most linear way). One of the very few Bionicle sets that actually "cheats" a little bit in this rule was the Boxor Vehicle, where the vehicle would punch forward if you would lean the model (by pushing down) the opposite direction - so it kind of gives the Boxor a more "realistic" and exciting play feature by just integrating the trigger on a clever way. If only more sets could do something like that...

Unfortunately, one "design flaw" for Storm Beast is its durability. While I'm certainly glad with the posable fingers, which enables you to get some different ways of attacks when you lunge those arms forward (i.e. to grab or knock off a mask), but because it uses the default clip connection, the fingers have a hard time to stay connected on the rest of the hand. Regardless of how cool they look, if only the fingers were a bit better secured on the model, it would do the set's play feature much more justice...

=========================================================================================


That's it for this black light post! Do you guys have a definite favourite Elemental Beast? Next time I'll cover "Umarak the Combiner", a Combination Model between these three fellows with Umarak The Destroyer!

By the time you read this, I can already ensure you all that I've finished the album for the Makuta Journey to One model, so you guys don't have to stay awake worried (anymore) if you were. Probably you guys weren't anyway.
And if you were, you probably will sleep better tonight! Or tomorrow. Unless you're actually worried *when* it's going to be released - and then I'll say you gotta be patient with me as well. I'll see you guys again next post!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

[EMS] Level 214!


Sup guys! Earlier this evening I've hit Level 214!

Perhaps one unexpected milestone, so it was even a surprise for myself! In the past few weeks, Nexon Europe has been very generous with giving out 2x EXP/Drop events and free 2x EXP Coupons - we pretty much have four hours of 2x EXP/Drop every weekend and Thursdays until the end of the month. The coupons have been given out several times as a log in reward, just by simply logging into the game and receive them through the main menu. That's literally all you need to do!

So, one can imagine, if I do daily bosses, having twice the amount of EXP does help a lot. In the past few years,
I've managed to Level Up a few times each, and so I'm happy to be given this opportunity to make it four levels for 2016 like last year. If there is going to be a Level 215 soon is another question, but I don't expect it to happen to be honest because of the required EXP each level.

But one thing is for sure: every Level Up is definitely a good preparation for 5th Job. Don't forget the extra Hyper SP, AP and HP/MP too, because that is always useful to get!

That's it for today - I'll see you guys again next post!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

[Lego] Black light - #71308 Tahu - Uniter of Fire, #71303 Ikir - Creature of Fire


"Run Tahu! It's too late for me."
"No, it's not too late - for I am the Master of Fire!"
 
Wow, that actually sounds more cliché on paper than it sounded in the animated show. Hi guys!
 
Today's black light post is going to be about the beloved-red-character-that-is-always-the-leader-in-every-cliché-group-of-heroes, Tahu! This shouldn't be a surprise if you paid attention to my last blogpost, so if you waited for it, here you are! And if you didn't wait for it and expected some EMS blogpost, then you're not the only one because I'm waiting to write one as well! Back on topic, I guess.
 
This fellow has been around since the start of Bionicle, loved by many, and is the mascot of the franchise ever since. And our hothead leader is showing off with his partner Ikir, the Creature of Fire.
 
Haters gonna hate, I actually never got to own any of the original Tahu sets, whenever it's the Toa Mata, Toa Nuva, Toa Mistika or the Stars variants of him - simply because I wasn't as excited to get him as the others. Well, ironically, I do own a few different Kanohi Hau's (his mask in the first generation), but those were obtained through other sets and polybags. If I'm going to get any of the older Tahu sets is another question, but perhaps time will tell. And well, most of you frequent readers of this line of particular blogposts already know that I own both Tahu's from the second generation, although the Master of Fire was a gift from a relative.
 
Regardless of how many Tahu's I own, I do believe he is one of the better Master and Uniter sets of Generation 2. Design, as a LEGO® set and toy wise - the overall package for what you get. For most people it's hard to beat the Mata and Nuva designs, but I do think that the Uniter is probably the best looking Tahu out there. And I think that his mask design for this year really helps to stand out. I know Tahu doesn't have his signature lavaboard in this set, but even if it's a signature thing of him, he doesn't have it in all sets though... You know there was a time (read: years) where I didn't have my signature Ribgol Sword in MapleStory, right?
 
 
Ikir, the Creature of Fire, might be one of the better designed Creatures from 2016. You can really see the Phoenix-inspired theme going on. It really feels like a creature of fire, I suppose. Arguably perhaps not the best creature set parts-wise (then again, what parts you need is a really subjective manner), but it certainly has all the points of articulation you want if that's your thing. This model even has the luxury to pose all toes so the feet can grab onto things!

The gears that are used in the model for the wings are certainly going to be useful! It might not be as compact as the Slizer gear(boxes), but it is certainly more versatile to use and it uses the "rounded" style of gears instead of the "square" ones, so you can get a bit of both worlds.
 
I'm very curious on how they're going to use these in upcoming years, and hopefully it won't be one of those gear pieces that is only used for a handful of sets (I'm looking at you, Hailfire Droid wheels and redesigned Worm Screws).

And well, last and probably least, the Shadow Trap! I do certainly like the idea behind those, and perhaps I'm one of the very few who has that opinion. I'm going to give this one, which was packed with Ikir in the same set, some bonus points for using legs made out of trans neon orange to get that black light glow.

Perhaps this isn't something I have talked about before, but if there is one thing that the second generation of Bionicle (and the CCBS system in general) did better than the first, is the amount of transparent pieces included. While the Toa Inika have been one of the very few subthemes to introduce several Bionicle socket connectors in (black light applicable) transparent colours, a lot of Bionicle sets from Generation 2 included socket pieces and armour add-ons in these colours! This made a lot of the sets a lot more colourful and vibrant, in a good way. And also gives me more to cover on this blog, ha!

If only Generation 2 could also use all those fancy (black light) brain stock colours from Generation 1... it's a shame that certain colours like Transparent Neon Pink and Transparent Neon Yellow are such a rarity even if they had a short lifespan. Well, the same thing applies to Transparent Medium Blue, which is still a rare transparent colour - you might have seen it in my Nocturn blogpost, or y'know, perhaps you have a set yourself because it has appeared in plenty!

Yes, I know I forgot to add the four-length axle in one of Tahu's weapons. Apparently it probably landed somewhere in my parts supply.

That's it for now! I'm surprised I haven't done any of the obligatory Kanohi Hau-puns in this blogpost yet. Hau couldn't I make one? Puns and drumrolls or tumbleweeds aside, the next black light-related post will be about the Elemental Beasts!

I'll see you guys again next post!


Sunday, September 4, 2016

[Lego] Black light - #70790 Lord of Skull Spiders


"What is that THING?"
"The Lord of Skull Spiders - We can't outrun him."

Ah, the Lord of Skull Spiders - the villain for the start of the Bionicle Reboot back in 2015. While he was greatly overshadowed by the other Toa sets of the same year, after being neglected and the set retired this fellow ultimately became highly-sought by Bionicle fans when this Reboot ended earlier this year. Not because fans wanted all the remaining sets, but because he is a fundamental set for building the official model for Makuta - one particular build I will cover on this blog *eventually*.

By eventually I mean I already have finished this build after reverse engineering a limited number of pictures The LEGO® Company has provided to fans to recreate one heck of a clever built model. I just don't have any images ready yet - but hopefully you all can be patient with me as well because I might be as impatient and excited to showcase it as you guys are eager to see it.

Back to the Lord of Skull Spiders - man, he is one of the better Bionicle sets with Trans-Neon Orange. This is probably because he has Technic beams in this colour; it gives a good flow and balance between the neon and black. He is one of the very few Bionicle sets that looks physically better than on the box, which in a way is a shame because this sometimes occurs when LEGO® uses 3D renders on a box instead of pictures of the physical thing. Hmm, perhaps talking about LEGO® packaging in the past 25 years might not be such a boring topic to eventually cover on my blog...


I really appreciate the playfeature it has, similar to the Skull Scorpio, it has a play feature where the trigger is conventiently placed in the back of the build for easy access - it allows all the legs to move downward, giving this character to grab around stuff. However, because of this feature, posing becomes a little issue - and then you can understand why the Skull Scorpio has fixed legs, despite the negative feedback it received for having them. For the sake of capturing the images, I had to cheat a little bit by removing the rubber band temporarily, so I hope you guys don't mind that I did.

Until I cover the Makuta build from The Journey to One, I have already made a "schedule" on my archive for what's next to come. As of the time of this writing, all images are already prepared and finished except for Makuta himself. However, I will not throw them all on my blog yet - I prefer to split it and release them when I feel like to. This is also to make sure the amount of catching up for you guys won't be too much.

That's it for now - hopefully you guys are as excited as I am to see the following UV Black light posts. Of course, these won't delay any other blogposts because I simply write what and when I want to. I'll see you guys again next post!