I was really tired last night so went to bed early, hoping I’d actually get to sleep until my normal get-up time. Nope. Awake at 4:30, darnitall! But that meant I had 3 hours to kill. Could have done some FFXIV, of course, but I decided instead that it was time to do The Park. I’m not really one to go for Horror genre of anything, so my liking of TSW was a surprise to me. The reviews I’ve read of The Park made it sound interesting yet offputting at the same time. But then again, on the few occasions I’ve seen horror movies I tend to find them funny and the “jump scares” to be telegraphed and pathetic, so…. what the heck? Fired it on up and in I went.
And it was very good. I can see why people are calling it a “walking simulator” or maybe even gracing it with “interactive story” becuz, well… yeah, that about sums it up. But what a story! And experiencing it when locked into a 1st person view… well, I actually got caught up in it, so the jump scares actually worked. And with the sound effects of unseen things walking near you, the music, the ambiance….. it worked. And then toward the end when you go through a series of rooms, then descend a staircase only to find yourself again in those same rooms, except now they’re a little different…. and then do that again and they’re a little more different…… and again……. and again…… it was a literal descent into madness, and it worked so very well. Joel Bylos, you Magnificent Bastard!
I took quite a few screenshots, and while I think they’re more-or-less spoiler-free…. they could still be spoilers, so I’m not posting them here, but if you care to click through to the imgur album I created with them, then it’s right here. But again… just becuz I don’t think they’re spoilery doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re not, so…. you have been warned!
Didn’t really play much of anything this past week. I logged on to FFXIV most evenings for my daily mini-cactpot and then logged right back out, but didn’t feel like actually *playing.* Feeling kind of apathetic — I enjoy the game when I do play it, but right now, I’m just not feeling the hook to keep playing, even though I’ve got the hook of the daily mini-cactpot. Part of that might also be that I’ve got a 6-day trip coming up this week and I game on a desktop, so it’s not coming with me, so I don’t feel like really pushing for anything right not anyway. I enjoy the leveling and also how quickly one can actually get into the i100 gear once hitting 50, but since it actually is so easy to do with a bit of weekend grinding, I don’t feel the need to push there either — I’ve already got several classes to 50, so I feel “ready” for the expansion already and thus don’t feel the need to repeatedly grind dungeons for more/better gear/tomes/whatever.
I bought a new book this week that I wanted to read and since Civ5 has a lot of downtime between turns, especially in the later game when you have city-states turned on, I fired that up and would read my book while waiting for the turns to advance. In case you wonder, it’s called “A Long Time Until Now” by Michael Z. Williamson and I quite enjoyed it. I also won handily with Venice and 41 city-states on the game that took me 3 evenings to play. And yeah, with 41 city-states, by about turn 200 the game was crawling between turns, so I had lots of time to read. I also did a game as Morrocco and managed to get a lovely start with about half desert tiles, a river, a mountain, marble, and a coastal location, so I could take the Desert Lore pantheon for an early faith boost, build any wonder, including the 2 that require mountains, and build Petra and the Kasbah improvements and make my capital into a real powerhouse of a city. I turned the city-states off for that once so that I couldn’t simply ally them all and dominate any vote I wanted so it balanced the game out a bit more. Ended up winning that one on score at turn 500, but the turns went a lot faster when I had no city-states to worry about. As it is, I’m feeling Civ5’d out, so probably won’t fire it up for another 3-4 months again.
Friday night my friend J wanted someone to buddy up with in running through Issue 9 story missions in TSW, so I told him I’d join up. when the appointed hour arrived, I sat at the pc and looked at the TSW icon and thought to myself “I don’t really want to play that right now.” Then I fired it up anyway, logged in… and had a blast. And yet… even though issue 11 is out, and I’ve seen a blogger here and there talking about it and it sounds interesting…. I’m apathetic about logging in to actually finish issue 10 and then start in on issue 11. I know I’ll get there eventually, but.. for now…. apathy.
Anyway, I hope you’re all enjoying your gaming out there!
Well, only did 3 games, but that’s 2 more than normal . . .
For Pillars of Eternity, I wandered about a bit with my monk’s group, but it was really just dinking around looking for named bandits to capture,and it got old kinda quick, so I think I need to start pushing the story forward again, else I may get bored. Which seems odd, since the game’s enough of a challenge to be intensely satisfying after every well-fought battle.
For TSW, a small part of my not wanting to log in much lately (a very distant 3rd to “skill wheel’s full” and “gear’s good enough for me so don’t care to do NM grind for better gear”) is that lately it’s been fairly laggy for me. But I’d read somewhere that using DX9 instead of DX11 can fix a lot of that, so I logged in to swap from DX11 to DX9 and…… instant 20 fps jump, and London is completely lag-free again. So I turned my settings up a bit from how low I had them before trying to alleviate some of that lagginess and went to Tokyo. And it was very jumpy there. If i stopped and let the area I was in load, then I was fine, but even trying a simple run across the zone from the Agartha Portal to the Pachinko Parlor there was a lot of stuttering that I’ve never had before, so…. looks like I need to turn some settings back down.
So far as I can tell, my ae-focused solo build has lost no efficacy in spite of the reduction in AE damage with the recent skill changes. I assume it’s due to the fact that so much of its damage comes from procs from the passives, which appear to if anything to have had their damage increased a bit. Slow The Advance has a lovely new graphical effect and a lingering dot that it didn’t used to have, so it’s a lot more fun to fire off at a swarm of mobs too. Much cooler looking. so, once I get the lag in Tokyo figured out, I’ll probably jump back in and finish up the issue 10 story and see how I feel about things after that.
For FFXIV, I did the seasonal event quest and it was every bit as fluffy as one would expect an Easter event to be. I also worked through the story to the completion of what was added in the 2.55 patch this past week, as well as doing the Letter Carrier missions. I did the LC missions as WHM to give myself something a little different, but I did the story missions as BLM. One fight was kinda challenging, but since I have sleep and could simply sleep the hard-hitting mob and heal myself back to full in the 30 seconds it bought me, it didn’t end up being a big deal. The new Trial was pretty fun. I watched a video in advance that explained the basic mechanics, but it wasn’t a “here’s the whole fight” thing either, so it wasn’t a complete spoiler. And watching a video and doing it in-game are 2 completely different things…… We failed pretty badly the 1st time, but that gave all of the newbies to the Trial a chance to see how it all worked, and we did it on the 2nd try in good order.
Thing about the story though — mild spoilers here, so you’re warned — is that according to the story I’m now persona non grata in Ul’dah, but there’s nothing in the game itself that reflects this — I can still walk freely in the city, use all the services, use the Immortal Flames area, etc. so that’s a bit of an immersion breaker — everything that happens in Ul’dah is pretty dramatic, as well as the escape from the guards, and yet after the story’s told the game itself completely ignores it. Such is life. But, I’m also very looking forward to the new areas in the expansion now as a result of how the story is set up
I ran a couple of dungeons with FC mates to help them in their moving through the story, and I even remembered to hit up the Gold Saucer and check on the Jumbo Cactpot lottery. It’d been a while since I’ve been in there, and one of these days I’ll let myself get lost in Triple Triad, but for now, the MGS is a nice side diversion, but I’m still more focused on being out in the world. For a couple of FATEs in Coerthas and one of the FC dungeon runs I played with my Bard and found myself wanting to work on it some more again, so….. I’m going to try to at least do a low-level roulette per night this week as a bard and see what that does for me level-wise. I seem to get about 1/2 a level on a roulette bonus run each day, plus several challenge log entries also give bonuses for doing 3 and 5 dungeons, plus handing out commendations and those 3 entries seem to be good for another level as well, so in theory just 1 dungeon a night could get me 4-5 levels per week without hardly trying so….. we’ll see.
Happy gaming out there! And more screenies follow and might be a bit spoilerific for the next part of the story, so… don’t scroll down if you don’t want spoilers….
Slightly spoilery post follows — you have been warned!
I got a cryptic message that I should go to the Albion Theater in London. I did so and got some nice box seat tickets. Headed on up to my seat, the overture began, the curtain raised and ….. Phoenician combat agents opened up on the audience and performers. I’m still a bit hazy as to the why, but there they were….
But of course I’m an immortal fire-wizard (or so the cut-scene would have you believe since I stood up and my hands burst into flame) so I not only survived the onslaught, but killed all the attackers. Shame about staying out of the way until everyone else was dead before jumping into action, but.. you know… story.
Some clues and a flute backstage sent me off to Venice where I went through a door, yet then got told “2 hours later” and shown crawling out of a hole into an rather intricate system of catacombs. Making my way through I discovered that playing various melodies on the flute I found in the theater makes things happen. Calls fire, calls water, makes birds sing, makes things silent, pushed things away, pulls things to me……All very useful things in order to get past the obstacles presented.
I made it to the last room and oh look! It’s Lilith/Lidiya yet again. Fought her until she ran off, then good old Saint Nick appeared to carry away the unfortunate souls of those who preceded me there. And I got a nice little goody bag and a ton of xp. Fun little mission!
Mobs have larger AEGIS shields in the new area so they take slightly longer to burn off before getting into the “real” hitpoint pool, but otherwise generally seem no harder.
You get your own AEGIS shield, but it doesn’t behave like the mobs’ shields — they appear to do both regular and AEGIS damage simultaneously, and if you have the right shield up then the AEGIS portion goes to your shield instead of your HP pool, but the amount done as AEGIS damage is so small you don’t even notice or care if you have the correct shield up.
I don’t see any way to quickly shift the AEGIS shield type without opening the inventory and swapping. I suppose I could put it in my pinned consumables bag and just right-click from there as needed. I’ll have to give that a try.
Mob density is a lot higher. It’s hard to move from one point to another without a lot of fighting, although I have found a few shortcuts over roofs or down in sewers here and there. Mobs seem to see you through the floor you’re walking on though, so this isn’t foolproof.
Love the feel of the trainyards in front of the Orochi Tower. Never have liked the fungal-type mobs though, so…. not my favorite place to actually go.
The Orochi Disruptor curio from the CE does a decent chunk of AEGIS damage to any mob, so it’s decent, but not a big deal either.
Barely anywhere along the main story as of yet. So many side missions……. 😉
All in all, a nice challenge, while still being engaging. looking forward to getting through the story and finding all the side missions!