Saturday, February 28, 2015

Chrono Trigger DS: Endings Festival

I finally remembered to do it on one of my Dimensional Vortex runs.  I went through and got all the rest of the endings.  "Then what's the point of all the stat maxing?"  To get stats maxed, duh.  You don't need nearly the stats I'm going for to beat Lavos, and that's really all there is about getting all the endings.

It's kind of sad, I had to load up an old post of mine to remind me when exactly I had to go beat Lavos to get each ending.  The only one I ever remember is the one you get for defeating Lavos after seeing Schala use her pendant.  That's also typically when I remembered I still needed endings in each run.

Also, there was something I was wondering about the ending named "A Slide Show?".  Aside from the name of the ending having changed to "Memory Lane" in the DS version, I've always seen the method of getting it listed as "defeat Lavos after seeing Schala use her pendant, but before powering up yours".  That's an incredibly small window of opportunity to obtain that ending.  Just to see what happens, I decided to beat Lavos before seeing Schala use her pendant, immediately thereafter, and as soon as possible after powering up my own pendant.

Before Schala uses her pendant: What The Prophet Seeks
After Schala uses her pendant: A Slide Show?
After powering up my pendant: What The Prophet Seeks

So, yes.  It does have a really small window of opportunity, on par with the length of both opportunities for the developers' ending.  I suppose that's appropriate for the ending where Crono actually talks.

As far as the stat maxing goes, it's kind of annoying having to get all the way to the end of the game for a once-per-game stat boost, but... I signed up for stat maxing, and I'm not going to rest until everything I can max has been maxed.  It came as a total surprise to me that there were additional stats that could be increased via the Dimensional Vortex areas, but since then I've gotten pretty good at speedrunning through each Vortex.  It also helps that Lucca maxes what she can max from Dimensional Vortex long before Crono or Marle will, so for the majority of the runs, I don't have to speedrun the Temporal Research Lab and do that weird bit where you have to use an alternate party.  I never did remember to change my party before getting trapped.

So, now that I've gotten all the endings, the only things left to get for Extras Mode completion are the accessories that are exclusive to Arena of the Ages, which I've been neglecting since it resets on every New Game +.  It also requires you to send your monster out, then wait ten minutes of real time for it to come back, just to raise the monster's stats and whatnot before you do fights to get said items.  So, I've been putting it off for the very end, after I'm done with the Dimensional Vortex runs.  But to be honest, it'll be a lower priority.  I still have some unfinished business in Bravely Default-land, after all.  Nope, I haven't forgotten about the SCIENCE! I wanted to do, both to compare money-making setups, and to see how one could send the best Rejuvenation possible.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Behind on Stuff

So, I've stopped watching new anime.  90% of it is either borderline hentai, fanservice drivel with a semi-decent plot that gets squandered, or idol shit.  I just don't feel like picking through the mound of shit to find the gems anymore.

Also, as my MAL signature image above would have you believe, I haven't watched or read anything since I finished Kill Me Baby on November 10th, 2014.  I've just been watching all the updates for the manga I'm reading collect in the RSS feed section of Thunderbird.  I dunno why, I just haven't felt like reading any of it lately.  I still like the things I was reading, so it's not that.

Heck, even though I compiled all of Yuria 100 Shiki into archives on MediaFire for CAINE, I haven't actually finished reading it.

I don't seem to be able to continue this post without it just devolving into random rambling, so I guess that's a sign I should just stop typing and hit Publish already.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Slight Tweaking

I tweaked the Chrono Trigger DS stat maxing table for Dimensional Vortex.  I rotated it so each character is a column rather than a row, which allowed me to make each individual stat that gets raised by the final battle of each Dimensional Vortex be a row, to more clearly show which stats get raised for which character.

To keep the table from being cluttered, I've done away with the N/A entry for stats that weren't raised for a specific character.  Those table cells are now empty.

I even came up with a neat way to apply the "this character is in the party" CSS to a column or row, that's a lot simpler than what I had been previously doing.  Here's an excerpt, the full thing is much longer.
.ctds[data-party-cols~="1"] tr :nth-child(2), .ctds[data-party-cols~="2"] tr :nth-child(3), .ctds[data-party-cols~="3"] tr :nth-child(4) {   color: #CC9900; }
The key is the "data-party-cols" attribute.  Any attribute beginning with "data-" is ignored by the web browser.  These attributes were added for the sole purpose of allowing pages and JavaScript applications to have a standards-compliant way to have custom attributes.  Here, I use it on the table tag, which has the .ctds class, to denote the column(s) that should be marked as "character is in the party", and the numbering ignores the column that contains the stat names.  The ~= operator looks for the value provided within a space-delimited string of characters, so it's really simple to specify that more than one of the columns should be marked as "in the party".  I used a similar approach with a data-party-rows attribute to revamp the table showing how many tabs I have left to get for people's tab-related stats to be maxed.

Edit (later that day): I just realized after finishing a run through each Dimensional Vortex that Crono and Marle need 10 Dimensional Vortex runs to max their Hit stat, and... I need 10 Spekkio runs to finish getting tabs.  This also means I no longer need to grab tabs hidden in the environment, or charm them.  Dunno how it worked out so perfectly, but hey, I'll take it.

Double Edit (2015-02-24): And of course I've tweaked the CSS again.  Now I can set the party in one place and the CSS tells both tables what they should look like.  It's still the same basic concept as shown in the example, though.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Chrono Trigger Grinding Script

A while ago I mentioned I'd written this, and needed to give it a once-over before making it public.

Then it sat there.

I did nothing.

And continued to do nothing.

Such is my style, you should probably be familiar with this by now.

However, I remembered about it earlier, did the aforementioned once-over, and here's the post making it available to the public.

Unfortunately, I can't just give you a file download, as it's written in PowerShell, and PowerShell is annoying about scripts you've downloaded.  Essentially, it won't let you run them.  So instead, you can harness the power of copy and paste (and save!), and do so with this pastebin link.

For the example in the Get-Help documentation to work right, you should name the script ctgrind.ps1 when you save it.

Have fun!

(by the way, the fact that I'm releasing this while still working on permanent stat boosts in the DS version means that I'm fairly confident that none of the new areas offer better grinding that still fits my criteria)

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Hiccup Cured

Went to Best Buy, got brand new 600 watt power supply, removed old one, vaccuumed out some dust, installed new power supply, computer's back up and running.

My mom, who despite having a degree in computer science doesn't know a heck of a lot about technology, was amazed at how quickly a new power supply can be installed.  It took about 15 minutes, vaccuuming included.

Anyway, it's great to have my own computer working again so I don't have to constantly borrow the other two computers in the house to get important web browsing and YouTube-watching done.  I suppose that's a point of contention, that during the death period of my power supply, I actually finished catching up on my MAGFest-related YouTube backlog and stayed current on new videos.  Go me, I guess.

For what it's worth, I actually kinda like watching YouTube on the downstairs TV, relaxing on the couch and whatnot.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Temporary Hiccup

So we had a power outage a few days ago.  Okay, whatever, right?  All my shit's on an uninterruptible power supply.

However, my computer seems to not care.  I've now lost a second power supply to a power outage, through my UPS.  I can't use my computer, so I have to play this game of using either the upstairs computer whenever my mom isn't on it, or using the computer downstairs that runs Windows Media Center so my dad can watch and record television, whenever he's not being a couch potato.

So basically, no games, no access to any of my shit, nothing.  Until I get a new power supply.

I'm typing this on the upstairs computer, in IE11 of all browsers.  Blogger does not like IE11.  Every step of the way, it pops up an error.  All the buttons that are supposed to be orange are instead grey.  The thing is, outside of that, it works perfectly.  Their own page that shows what browsers they support lists IE10, so...  I'm not sure what's going on there.

If I was permitted to install shit on this computer or the one downstairs, you bet your ass I'd install Firefox and be using that instead.  But my parents are, for whatever reason, incredibly paranoid about me installing anything on either of their computers.  To the point that I do have an anime-playing setup on the downstairs computer, that's custom-tailored to be as invisible as possible.  Not necessarily to hide it, but rather to prevent it from getting in the way of Windows Media Center's functionality.  I've left a note to my dad within the directory where I've stored all my shit that explains precisely what I did, why I did it, and where every single file I've placed on that computer resides.  So hopefully if he does discover it, he won't get his panties in too bad of a bunch.  He can just delete it, it'll be gone, and I've got a backup of the entire setup that I can easily restore.

It's the principle of "what they don't know won't hurt them", and in this case it's 100% correct.

Wrestling hopefully over

So I mentioned in the spaghetti-dumping post that I'd been wrestling with for my 2015 health insurance.

Basically the issue was that I'd made a new application for 2015 to see if I could get a plan with a lower premium/deductible/etc., since my income situation is very different from what it was before.

The site gleefully allowed me to fill out the application.  No problem there.  However, I got to the "review and sign" step, reviewed and signed, and clicked the button to go on to "identity verification".  I'd already been through that headache signing up for the 2014 plan, so I thought it would go quickly.  But no, it just unceremoniously dumped me out at my profile page, where it said "Identity Verified" under my name, and there was no button to continue going forward to the step where I actually get to select an insurance plan.  The application still showed as being "in progress", rather than "submitted" or "completed", and I couldn't go any further.

So basically, even though I'd filled out a 2015 application to the fullest extent of my ability, before the December 15 deadline, it wasn't enough and my 2014 plan got renewed for 2015.  So instead of being able to pay a nice low premium, I was still stuck paying over $200.

My dad and I wrestled with the website off and on during January, and then February rolled around.  February 15th is the absolute deadline for 2015 coverage.  You don't get it done by then, you don't get a Marketplace plan.  Simple as that.

Finally, we just had to bite the bullet and do everything over the phone, since the website wasn't getting us anywhere.  I now have a much cheaper plan that still covers just as much as what I had before.  It kinda hinges on me getting a job, so basically that's the next thing that I have to focus on.  It's been a high-stress first couple of months of 2015 so far, and the stress won't go away until I have a job.  Fun fact: your income can be "too low" for the Marketplace, and they shovel you off to Medicaid.

So basically, for me at least, the Marketplace website is completely useless and I have to do everything over the phone.  I should remember that for next year, if the Affordable Care Act is still around.

By the way, the "identity verification" headache was due to the Marketplace's dependence on a credit report to confirm your identity.  I don't have a credit card, so I don't have a credit report.  Simple as that.  I have no need for a credit card and no desire for a credit card, so nothing's changing there, at least until I need a loan or something that actually requires a credit check.  After talking to customer service representatives for the Marketplace and Equifax, and going back and forth for what seemed like hours, the Marketplace finally, and seemingly begrudgingly, revealed that there was an alternate method of identity verification that was far simpler and less headache-inducing.  Simply make a photocopy of my drivers' license or other valid photo ID, and send it to some weird address in Kentucky.  Did that, verified, headache over.  So, if you're going through a similar headache, make sure to ask your Marketplace customer service representative about an alternate method of identity verification.

Finally, don't get irate at CSRs, they don't need your shit, and it won't help anything.  They're just doing their job and trying their best to help you.  You get farther if you present the problem in a calm, collected, and civil manner, and the call becomes an atmosphere of problem solving.  It's another human being on the other end of the call.