Pokémon Sword

Photo by Jie

This past weekend, I finished Pokémon Sword. It was a good game. I bought the game at launch and haven’t really gotten into it until a few weeks ago.

The storyline was interesting and being able to take another Pokémon trainer from nothing to champion is always fun. Plus collecting all of those Pokémon along the way is a nice challenge. I’m glad that I finally played through the game. If you’ve played a Pokémon game before, you’ve got the general idea of what this game is about.

I have purchased both of the DLC expansion packs (The Isle of Armor & The Crown Tundra). The Isle of Armor is out now, but I haven’t started the content yet. The Crown Tundra doesn’t come out until later this year.

The game has had quite a bit of backlash against it because the developers did not include all of the prior Pokémon in the game (like other games have done). This wasn’t a huge issue for me. I’ve only ever tried to complete a Pokédex once and it just wasn’t worth it to me. It would be nice for them to have included all of the prior Pokémon, only so that I can transfer them to the game from Pokémon Home/Bank.

My Pokemon Sword Trainer Card

I’m relatively new to Pokemon games. I’ve only been playing them the last few years. I’m not some diehard fan who’s been playing since the first game. I do enjoy playing them. Besides this game, other Pokémon games I’ve played through include: Pokémon Black, Pokémon Black 2, Pokémon X, and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire. It’s really not a lot.

I skipped both Pokémon Moon and Pokémon Ultra Moon. I own them both, but for some reason, I never played through them. I do need to go back and play them. I think I need a short break from Pokémon games before I do so.

I’m not sure if I’ll play the first Pokémon Sword expansion or Moon/Ultra Moon next. Like I said, I think I need a short break before diving back in.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Photo by Ryan Quintal

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was the game to get when the Nintendo Switch launched. It was the first game I bought when I got my Switch. People love this game. It appears on so many “best games on Switch” lists that I see online.

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again. I just don’t like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. I’ve tried playing it on three separate occasions. Each time, I’ve tried and failed to get into it.

As far as I got in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

This (above) was as far as I got in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

I’ve gotten as far as freeing two of the four Divine Beasts. But I’ve never gotten further. Something just stops me from continuing it. I think my main problem with Breath of the Wild is that the weapons can break. I don’t like the idea of breaking my favorite weapon(s) and not having a backup, or any weapon at all. I don’t know why this bothers me so much. Probably because it’s just such a departure from other Zelda games. But I hate this mechanic where weapons can break.

There are parts of the games that I really enjoy. The world is huge and you can explore anywhere. The differing temperatures throughout the world are a neat addition. The crafting was also interesting. The puzzles and dungeons are fantastic.

It’s not that I don’t like The Legend of Zelda games. I recently played through The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening on the Switch and absolutely loved it. In fact, I enjoy most of the The Legend of Zelda games available. I wish they would remake more of them for the Switch, like they remade Link’s Awakening.

I’ve got so many other games that I want to play, that I just can’t justify spending any more time on it. Life is too short to play games you don’t like.

Currently I am playing through both Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order & Pokémon Sword. They are both a lot of fun in different ways. I’ll have to write about them once I’ve finished them.

Getting Out of My Technical Rut

I’ve spent about six months in a technical rut. Not really learning anything new iOS/tvOS/Swift-wise. I got a little complacent with the skills that I had.

Recently, I’ve started breaking out of that rut. At least I hope.

Over the past week and a half, I’ve made my way through Core Data by Tutorials from the Ray Wenderlich team. The Core Data book is currently on sale (50% off). It’s a really good book.

I’ve used Core Data quite a bit over the years, but I haven’t used it heavily since 2016. Since 2016, most of my professional work has been using Realm which is an alternative to Core Data.

Core Data by Tutorials was a really nice refresher on Core Data. I also learned a few new tidbits here. Most interesting chapters to me were “Unit Testing” & “Core Data & CloudKit”.

The unit testing chapter gave me some great ideas on how to improve my unit testing in various areas. I’ve been trying to get better with unit testing in both professional and personal projects. This chapter sparked some interest in that area that I’ve been able to progress with, so far.

The Core Data and CloudKit chapter was entirely new to me. I’ve had multiple false starts on getting cloud syncing working in projects. These attempts include a failed blog series called Data Sync Series. I had also made multiple attempts to get syncing into my retired app MyCntdwn.

This book has got me thinking about data syncing again. I’ve even thought about doing a few things. First, adding sync to MyCntdwn (finally) and shipping it again. Second, revamping my data sync series and actually finishing it. I’m not sure if any of this will happen. But this book has got me started down that path mentally. Who knows, maybe it will be a nice Summer project.

I’ve got my next book lined up. It’s Combine: Asynchronous Programming with Swift also from the Ray Wenderlich team. I’ve been dabbling in Combine here and there since it was announced by Apple at least year’s WWDC. It’s not something I can really use professionally, yet. Combine requires iOS 13+ to work and we support iOS 11+ at work. But Combine is something that I can use in personal projects.

Beer Style Guidelines 2020.5 Released

My latest release of Beer Style Guidelines has just gone out.

This version of Beer Style Guidelines (finally) includes a new beer style guideline. I’ve just added the Brewers Association 2020 Beer Style Guidelines. This is the first guide update I’ve done since the 2017 version of this same guide.

The other (included) guides from the Brewers Association are so old (2016 & 2017), I’ve removed them from the app. I’m not aware of many people who like to compare the guidelines from year to year. To me, it only makes sense to have the latest version included in the app.

I’ve also fixed a few bugs within the app. But the largest change is the new guide being added.

Full list of release notes: https://beerstyleguidelines.app/release-notes/2020.5.txt

Please enjoy the update.

Hearthstone: Knights of the Frozen Throne

This is another post about Hearthstone and beating another Solo Adventure. I’ve done these sort of posts before for various solo adventures (One Night in Karazhan, Blackrock Mountain, The League of Explorers & Curse of Naxxramas). This isn’t the most recent adventure, I’m really behind on completing these.

Knights of the Frozen Throne was a little different than other adventures. Instead of beating the entire adventure on Heroic, you need to beat the final boss (The Lich King) with every class in the game.

It took me a while to find the right decks for all of these classes. All of the guides out there, are very outdated and I’m more of a netdecker (finding capable decks online) than able to create my own. Some of these decks may also be outdated now. I’ve been sitting on this list for about 3 months now. I believe some of the cards in these decks have been nerfed by Blizzard since I used them. I’ve been generally lazy about blogging, otherwise I would have posted this sooner.

My reward for beating this adventure is a Prince Arthas hero skin for the Paladin class (seen below).

Knights of the Frozen Throne Reward Skin

Below are the decks that I used to beat the Lich King with each class in the game (except Demon Hunter).

The Lich King

I went through these classes in order above. You can see from this list (specifically near the bottom) where I started to lean heavily on the Mecha’thun card and mechanic.

The Mecha’thun mechanic states that when this card dies “If you have no cards in your deck, hand, and battlefield, destroy the enemy hero.” This just means you need to burn through your cards, get Mecha’thun out onto the battlefield and then kill him. If you can set it up, it’s a very easy win.

There are a few more solo adventures available since The Lich King. They are mostly dungeon run style adventures. I think I am going to jump forward to take care of the latest adventure (Galakrond’s Awakening) before going back to these. I’ve heard that the adventure is fairly easy to get through. I’m planning on going through that and documenting the decks I’ve used.

Stay tuned…