May 13th, 2012

Tall ships (porthole)

Induction hob

I have a new shiny toy!

I've finally gotten sufficiently fed up with the solid plate hob that the flat came with, and so have bought a single-ring induction hob. And it is so much nicer to use than the solid plate one - with the old hob, I had to try and predict what power I'd need some time in advance and if my pasta started boiling over it'd take quite a while for the hob to cool down enough. With the new one, I just turn down the power and it stops heating instantly. It responds just as quickly to applying more power, and may even be faster at boiling water than the kettle (I've not timed it, but it certainly seems fast enough). As a result elemnar has decided that I need an old-fashioned kettle with a steam whistle.

The only downside is since it's an induction hob, my nice little frying pan won't work on it (induction hobs don't work with non-ferrous pans). So it looks like I will need to get that frying pan ThatGNU mentioned several times over the weekend.
Tall ships (porthole)


They're like buses, you wait ages for a post and then three come at once.

elemnar and I were chatting about our approaches to games, and how it is that elemnar usually ends up utterly annihilating everything without appearing to even try (back in the days of Pokémon, the others at church stopped battling her after it became clear that no-one stood a chance). She mentioned how she had broken her current DS game by virtue of having characters that do massively more damage with normal weapons than the infinity plus one sword you're supposed to be using. She then pointed out how I usually end up breaking the games I play.

Wait, what?

It turns out I take a different approach. While elemnar goes more for a "ooh, shiny!" approach to levelling up and equipment, along with what appears to be a good instinct for how to set up her characters/team/whatever, I have a more methodical approach. Take Tales of Symphonia - in that, I generally paid attention to the different elemental types and set up my attacks accordingly. I also read the combat rules in the manual and so made use of them - attack with standard attack, combo that a couple of times, combo into level 1 skill, combo into level 2 skill, combo into level 3 skill, combo into unison attack for massive damage (rather than just mashing buttons until the enemy died). There was also a point in that game where it went from generally struggling through the battles to generally cruising through them - there's a particular plot point where you fight three battles in a row. You're expected to win the first, maybe the second, and very much lose the third. I lost the second one, and was rather peeved about it because of Plot and because it was rather close. So I went back to an earlier save, spent a bit of time going up a couple of levels, and went back to splat the enemy in the second battle. After that bit of levelling up the game was noticeably easier.

A different game where elemnar and I have very different styles is Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles. In that game there's several classes: Clavats (balanced), Lilties (warrior), Yukes (mage), and Selkies (thief). elemnar, predictably, went for a Lilty and proceeded to whack everything with a weapon twice the size of her character. I on the other hand picked a Clavat, and after some searching came across a couple of pieces of equipment which massively reduced the casting time. The result is that I could cast maximum-power spells much faster than the mage class, and yet actually had a decent amount of armour and a reasonable attack stat. It all came to a head for the penultimate boss, where I managed to stand in a location where the boss couldn't get me, and cast Thundarga fast enough that its minions would be paralysed in the first hit before they could get close enough, and despatched with the second hit. While maybe not as satisfying as whacking it with a Lilty-sized lump of metal on a stick, it was quite amusing to be able to take it out without receiving a single hit.

I still stand no chance against elemnar in Pokémon - her selection-by-cuteness strategy is just too strong.