Needless Chicken Death, Part 2

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Puncherson_64LadyBrain_64

Spoilers for the Immaculate proving ground in Divinity: Original Sin

Butch:

Note comparin’ time cuz all that was weird.

So did the levers (thanks for the hint, that would’ve taken me forever), got through, the star stone went all “Fwbong” (that’s the best heal XP noise translation I can do, you know what I mean), there was a room with pillows everywhere, talked to Loic and things got awkward.

He was all “Wait…you’re healthy? This is so weird….” and ran off. Then I had a choice with a chicken. I spared it, because I wasn’t sick. Then I got to leave, he shows up, we fight. I think, “Shit. I was supposed to be undercover. Better do that again. Sorry chicken.” So I reload. I kill the chicken. But same deal. “DEFILER OF STAR STONE!” Fight. So much for cover. And I died. So I reloaded, DIDN’T kill the chicken (cuz if there’s gonna be a fight, why kill a chicken, too?) and fought and fought until I won. This got me a couple of keys, one of which was to the hatch in his church. So I went there, and found some stuff, couple of blood stones, and a portal that seems to have taken me to the other side of the map near a marker called “star stone.”

Was all this supposed to happen? Cuz a) you had rot and I didn’t and it seemed to bother him that I didn’t and b) I know you spent a great deal of time in the desert fighting spiders and I didn’t and now I’m on the other side of the map from all that. Did my Bairdotr trick mess me up here? Why were you in the desert?

I kinda think this is ok, though, cuz the one fight I did have with spiders they were level 14 and I’m still 13.

But my cover’s blown! Isn’t it? Is it? My log says “We’ll have to keep pretending we passed the trial.” But how’s that gonna go?

Them: Hey where’s Loic?
Us: Dunno.
Them: He was down in the trial temple. Didn’t you just do that?
Us: Uh…..yes?
Them: Did you pass?
Us: Yes! Certainly. Totally passed.
Them: Oh, good, then Loic should be done. Kevin, could you run down, tell Loic we got bagels and we can start the budget meeting whenever-
Us: NO! I mean….uh….I think Loic….uh….just…..we passed!
Them: What’s going on here……
Us: Uh….it was part of the trials…helping him deal with…his thing…with..uh….gluten! Yes. He’s SO over gluten. So we’ll just have his bagels and move on….
Them: Yeah…I’m starting to think…..

Feminina:

I think your Bairdotr trick was irrelevant to the plot, because that’s exactly what happened to us, only the dramatic healing noise cured us of rot.

Which (we assumed) is what made Loic freak out with “you’re healthy, how can that be?” and run off. And then come back and fight us.

But before he ran off, I collected every damn one of those pillows and sold them to him! And then collected them off his charred corpse later and sold them to someone else. It’s a beautiful cycle.

We didn’t even bother to reload, though, because we figured our cover was busted when he ran off, and we were ready for a fight. I declined to sacrifice the chicken, which then ran around getting in the way of the fighting and was killed by one of the Immaculates’ blast attacks near the end of the battle.

Siiiiigh…I tried to save that chicken! But, like everything else we touch, it wound up dead. And then if you pick up its corpse, the description is “the corpse of a chicken that didn’t have to die.”

I KNOW IT DIDN’T, game. And if it had had the sense to stay out of the middle of the raging combat, it wouldn’t have!

Leave me alone! It’s not my fault!

Anyway, as for our cover being wrecked, I think somehow no one figured out that we were the ones who killed Loic and all those other people? Because we’ve successfully passed as Immaculates ever since. Apparently we picked up some amulets, because we’ll meet some Immaculates and be challenged and have the option to say “my amulet should prove I’m one of you” and they instantly accept it.

I’m not sure if these ‘amulets’ are actual items that we could accidentally sell, or if they’re now just kind of part of our characters (we didn’t intentionally equip anything, so maybe it’s just a magical aura?), but just in case, I wouldn’t sell any amulets for a while.

So assuming your Bairdotr trick was irrelevant and that the game intended you to be healed of rot at that altar…interesting, right? Because Loic DIDN’T expect the altar to heal you (presumably he expected to make you sacrifice a chicken to be healed), and yet for some reason it did.

So…what is that altar? Why did it heal us when it wasn’t ‘supposed’ to? There’s something going on here that the Immaculates (as well as we) don’t completely understand. Is there some power involved here that’s trying to dodge the Conduit’s influence by demonstrating itself to us in a way that’s dramatically contrary to her program? Or is it more of us being special and different, and we have the ability to tap into the same power, but without needing the intermediary step of sacrificing something?

I don’t know yet. But it’s interesting.

Butch:

Ah. Figured that might be a thing. I couldn’t tell if there was a way to Loic without going by that stone. Guess not. Or we both missed it.

That’s pretty great. I can see that.

You: Hey wanna buy some pillows?
Loic: ***looks down into the room*** Hey, now that you mention it, we do seem to be pretty low on pillows…..Better take care of that. Might not be done killing you by nap time, and the initiates get so cranky….

Dude, you are death incarnate. Even the damn chicken????

“The corpse of a chicken that didn’t have to die” is pretty fucking awesome. I kinda love this game. Interestingly, on the reload when I did kill the chicken, it didn’t say that. Just “corpse of a chicken.” He did curse me that a giant rooster would come and poke out my eyes. I kinda wonder if that would’ve happened. I guess we’ll never know.

Ooo! Good to know. Strangely, I have been wearing mine, as they give you +1 to strength, which is pretty helpful in the whole weapon department. And extra HP. So I’m good. I think.

Ooo! I didn’t even put that together about the altar!

I MIGHT have a theory on that, as I know a couple cutscenes worth of things you don’t know, but nothing that answers that. Just some stuff that would lead to WILD SPECUALTION! Very long winded WILD SPECULATION! Probably good we can’t go there on a Friday.

Though again, am I in the right place? Cuz you said you were wading through spiders, and I am very much NOT wading through spiders. Am I supposed to be wading through spiders? Where were you going in spiderland?

Cuz I’m nervous: the portal in Loic’s basement zapped me to another thing that looks like a way point but I don’t think it is. I think I need to be in Loic’s basement to use it.

I’m confused. Not that I WANT to fight spiders, but you know me: fear I’m missing something.

Feminina:

Oh yeah…the spiders were earlier for us. When we went out up there looking for that cave, we kind of got sidetracked and wandered off into the wastes. There were spiders. There was annoying, slowed fighting where we barely got any action points. There was a place where we met Zixzax and heard about an attack on the end of time. But it was all peripheral to the Immaculates thing. Don’t worry about it, you can go back anytime.

AFTER the Immaculates thing, we, like you, checked out the basement (which we had actually already checked out, because we picked the lock and sneaked down there earlier), and went through the portal, and started looking around that general area. So that is definitely the way to proceed.

Or it’s A way to proceed. You could also go back and explore the wastes and look for spiders and Zixzax. It’s all good.

Butch:

Well, am I gonna have reason to go back to the wasted later? For story themey reasons?

Have you done where I am?

And how’d you do it? I was outleveled and I’ve gotten all that mine xp!

Feminina:

Are you in the Phantom Forest? Is that where the basement portal dumps you out? Because we started exploring around the forest and that’s kind of where we still are.

It seems like there MUST be a plot reason to go back to the sandy wastes at some point since that’s where we met Zixzax and heard about the attack on time and all, which seems a bit important–but we haven’t run into that reason yet. Though there is a marker for a temple or something up there in the still-dark portion of the map, isn’t there? And where there is a marker, sooner or later there will be a quest to that marker. So yeah, it’s probably safe to say you’ll go back there at some point.

Possibly when you’re tougher and/or more ready for the end of time to be under attack.

Butch:

I don’t know! I’m near a marker called “sacred stone,” which is pretty vague. I think Bairdotr wants to go there to find her friend.

Well…somewhere I have to find that blood, right? That’s gotta be nearby…..

Ok. Didn’t notice that. Cuz those spiders sure killed me dead. That spider fight was UGLY.

Speaking of which, you should probably do the mines before you get too overpowered.

Feminina:

Yeah, we fought a few spiders OK, and then we started running into ones where we just said “OK, later legsy.” Even the ones that were our level were brutal…that poison attack, and the way they can disappear under the ground and then pop up in front of you (and then attack and disappear AGAIN–how many action points do those things have, anyway?).

So, yeah. Go back later, it’ll be fine. The blood is…more over where you are now.

Butch:

Ah. So you didn’t get to any major end point of spiderville? Good to know.

Cuz that whole “slow” thing really sucked.

Feminina:

Being slowed sucks a lot. You can’t do ANYTHING! Even ‘haste’ doesn’t help very much! I hate it, but I also have to salute it as a rather clever way of making things more challenging in slightly different way than just “tougher enemies.” (I mean, it did that too.)

And yeah, I’m pretty sure there are still some spiders out there that we need to eventually go back and fight. I’m thinking of at least one fight we abandoned.

We shall return!

Eventually.

Butch:

Sounds good.

You still haven’t even met Jahan, have you?

So much to do!

Feminina:

Oh, we’ve MET him. Several times, as we regularly go back to the library for this or that. We’ve never traveled with him, though. Nor Madora. I suggested we switch to one or both of them, just for the variety, but Mr. O’ said no, let’s try to finish up one person’s quest first. Which is not usually how it works in games, but whatever. I can’t argue with the fact that our party as established has settled in and works well together.

Butch:

He does have stuff to say.

I ran with Madora a while. She’s cool. And I imagine has a quest.

I agree with you. Silly Mr. O’.

Feminina:

She’s from Hunter’s Edge, right?

We reached Hunter’s Edge. Might have been interesting if she’d been with us…

Butch:

Well, go get her. She’s available.

Feminina:

Yeah, we could go get her…but Mr. O’ would rather finish the stories of the people we already know. I guess. I dunno, man.

We’re going to finally finish up with Wolgraff and/or Bairdotr and go back to get one of the others and it’ll be all “so I need to find”–“yup, found that” –“OK, then I must bring it to”–“Oh, that guy, OK”–“now we must locate the”–“yeah, have that”–“and that explains my anguished past!”

I imagine it will be slightly less satisfying.

Although to be honest it’s not as if there’s much sense that we’re building toward a major emotional payoff with Wolgraff and Bairdotr either, so perhaps it doesn’t really matter.

The companion quests are definitely not a huge focus in this game.

Butch:

Jahan’s promises quite a bit. Theme wise.

Mr. O’s just weird, man.

Oh–so in the hall of rot, there was a dead body. He was, I guess, a member of the fabulous five, and he had a note. But I couldn’t find whatever the note said. Did you?

On that, don’t bother buying secret maps. I did, and it led me right to something I found long, long ago. Waste of money.

It is true that if you get a companion late (say, Jahan) you do get quite the info dump. Like “First, I shall tell you my initial shit…then the stuff I would have used to increase suspense at level 7…then the reveal at level 12 oh this isn’t how I planned it at all.”

Kinda a let down.

Feminina:

Right, right, that guy in the Hall of Rot. We did find him. And no, we couldn’t find anything nearby that seemed to be his treasure. I think we poked around a bit and then figured “whatever” and moved on. I mean, we were kind of dying of rot, so we had stuff on our minds.

Maybe it’ll turn up somewhere. And yeah, I actually spent a ton of money on that painter’s maps in Cyseal, and they led us to things we had already found. Unfortunate. I suppose these maps would be good for people who don’t already poke into every corner of the map, but…we’re talking about us, here.

Butch:

I did the same thing! And I didn’t even have rot! Pretty useless. It probably wasn’t anything really earth shattering.

We are. That we are.

There should be a nudity map.

This game is starting to make Friday difficult.

There’s romance in the sequel! Lots of it! I checked!

Feminina:

Well, that’s a relief. Because yeah, things are rough here on the nudity-Friday front. Though nice work tossing it in just now.

Butch:

What’s the point of playing games, really, if we can’t do nudity Friday?

Feminina:

Well…I mean, there are the themes, and the stories, and the looting and setting things on fire. I’d still do it.

But nudity Friday is definitely up there too.

Butch:

Well, those things get days one through six of the week, that they do.

But still….

Feminina:

Oh, undoubtedly. Still.

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Don’t Cry! I Can’t Stand It When NPCs Cry

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Puncherson_64LadyBrain_64

Spoilers for the bit with the goblin and Ralfie, and for the Immaculate proving ground in Divinity: Original Sin

Butch:

Played a bit. Nothing all that themey. Ran into a goblin with an unhappy pack animal. Talked them both up, got into one of those long, garbage time fights with the goblin, who kept healing despite the fact I was gonna win. Won. So I know about spider queens and goblin totems. Stumbled on a crowd of spiders, and thought they were holding captives, but no, those weren’t captives, they were bad guys. Died.

Went to the cave instead. Fighting slowed sucks.

Got to the cave. Kept getting rot. Figured “Maybe I’m supposed to have rot!” Got to the room with the scales. Was infuriated, and dying of rot. Reloaded. Managed to get through the rot room without getting rot. Was STILL infuriated by the room with the scales. Like, INFURIATED. It didn’t help that Junior was there, and Mrs. McP came home, and they’re BOTH kibitzing all “Maybe use some cheese! Or that vase! Or or or!”

But at least I didn’t have rot.

Finished it, Junior and Mrs. McP were all “Go see what’s in the next room!” and I wanted to say “NO MY GAME MINE MINE MINE” but I did, and there were levers and they said “Ooo let’s try-” and I said “No. Not doing fucking levers after all that” and stopped. They were confused about my aversions to levers. But lines must be drawn.

But at least I didn’t have rot.

Feminina:

Dude–I’m impressed you managed to get through there without getting rot. How did you manage that? We pretty much walked in, got rot, figured “I guess we’re supposed to have rot so that we can be cured later on–must be part of the test” and pressed on. Silly us, accepting the circumstances!

But you don’t really die very quickly from it, so a regeneration every few minutes kept us in fine shape for the next rooms with the scales and the levers and what-not. Ha–those scales WERE annoying. I spent a lot of time running around, setting down pumpkins and things, picking them up, moving them around. Regenerating from time to time. At least we didn’t have O’Jr. looking over our shoulders making helpful suggestions.

We also talked to the pack animal (Ralfie! has to be related to Alfie, right? And yet it was not an option to make that connection, for some reason) and, at its request, fought the goblin.

I felt kind of bad about that, to be honest. I mean, the goblin didn’t do anything to us–he was just going about his business, with a pack animal, such as anyone might have, and we attacked him. And yes, we justified it as freeing an enslaved creature, and freeing slaves is definitely good, but if that’s our motivation, then where are our other attempts to fight for the rights of animals? Why aren’t we attacking people for selling roasted pigs? Why didn’t we attack ALFIE’s owners?

Mostly, I think, because Ralfie asked us to and Alfie didn’t (and possibly also some racial/social prejudice, since Ralfie’s owner was a goblin who was rude to us, and Alfie’s owners were human and polite). But would we by that token go ahead and murder the next chef whose intended chicken dinner says “please, save me, kill that guy”? I don’t know. And perhaps it’s rather pointed to note that in fact the chicken we saved (or not–you monster) presumably DIDN’T ask us to kill the guy, just to let it escape. (As you may recall, I didn’t have Pet Pal at that point, so I didn’t talk to it.)

Also, Alfie and Ralfie, while apparently seen as just ordinary, if unusual-looking animals by their owners, are not familiar to us, so maybe it’s easier for us to read them as “sentient being with full rights to ask not to be enslaved for someone else’s purposes,” where we would have a harder time accepting that argument from a chicken.

Is this the game not pushing us too hard on this?

Anyway, that whole event made me kind of uncomfortable–which is not really a criticism of the game. I kind of like that it’s raising, even obliquely, some shaky ethical issues. (Also, more on that theme of “are we actually good?”) If I were to criticize, it would probably be because the raising IS so oblique. Why not go ahead and present us with that chicken who asks us to slaughter the farmers who steal her eggs? Make us actually think about where we’re drawing these lines.

It seemed intentional, though, that there was no option to try anything other than attacking. We couldn’t try to buy Ralfie from him, or persuade him of the error of his ways in mistreating another living creature, or even tell him WHY we were attacking and give him the option to release the animal. You’d think “let Ralfie go or we’ll have to fight” would have been a fair warning–but no, it’s all fine and then you just attack him. The game seems to want you to be aware that you are definitely making an unprovoked attack on an unsuspecting creature, there: that’s how they’ve framed the choice.

It’s also interesting to think about how we would have approached that if we couldn’t talk to animals. We’d have literally no excuse for attacking the goblin in that case, and yet no doubt some people did, just because loot and XP. And no doubt some other people who couldn’t talk to animals strolled blithely on, leaving the goblin and Ralfie to their own devices, unaware that Ralfie wanted to be freed.

And did you have Wolgraff with you? He had a reaction to this that was also kind of interesting.

A thought-provoking interlude, for an encounter with a traveling merchant.

Butch:

I noticed the first several times I did it that Bairdotr, for some reason, wasn’t getting the rot. She has a rank in Tenebrium, so maybe she’s cool with that. I thought she was just making saving throws, but eventually I just said “Hell with it. Run, do the pyramids” and it worked. Bairdotr to the rescue!

But I think it was part of the test. Despite me getting through there unharmed, my log says “We’ve made it in but we’re infected with rot! This must be one of the burdens!” So, I think I gamed the game. But hey! I just thought it through, man!

True, it’s not lethal, but every damn minute everyone grunts and the health bars appear and that’s infuriating. Especially when trying to solve puzzles.

So annoying, those scales. Especially as there was one that I could get to 101% percent. That was just insulting. It’s another case of flaws that game puzzles make: There should be a way that, once you know what you need to do, it’s easy to do. Garbage time in fights is annoying, garbage time in puzzles is infuriating. LOTS of time saying “Yeah, yeah I get it! I know!” last night. Hate that.

Hmm. Good point about Ralfie. Indeed, even Wolgraff felt bad. He was all looking at his face reflected in the blood (eww) feeling guilty, and we had a little Scarlett/Roderick chat with him.

I don’t know. That goblin was kinda an asshole. But your point is taken. For all we know the ham people are assholes, too. And, true, Alfie’s owners weren’t all that nice to him, either. Hmm.

I’ll never know about the chicken, but that’s certainly a thing. Maybe this game was made by vegetarians. Ha.

There is that, with familiar/unfamiliar animals. And I didn’t meet any of those things when I couldn’t talk to them, so my own personal experience with them is “they can talk.” Which does imbue them with some sympathy.

And I dunno, man. I think it’s pushing kind of hard.

Well…now I kinda wish I had talked to that chicken. And maybe we will get there! I’m rather curious to meet the were-sheep.

But games are good at making us stand back and think about why some things bug us and some don’t. The only time, I mean the ONLY time a game asked me to do something that I refused to do, like turn it off, don’t save, never play again do, was a bit in Fallout 3 where you become a kid, and you have to make another kid cry. You do this by convincing him he’s going to military school because he wets the bed, or by bullying him. This is awful, and I wouldn’t do it. Now, this was 60 hours or so into a game where I killed the living shit out of everything. But I wouldn’t, WOULDN’T do that to this kid.

So for three days I looked around for ways to get out of this level without doing that to this kid. And I found one! It was, basically, ending the whole simulation, which, sadly, killed everyone, INCLUDING THE KID. Then I said “Phew,” saved, kept playing.

This, to me, was the GOOD OUTCOME.

I still wonder on that.

And this is a similar “why does that bug me and not this?” thing that games do so well. It’s one of the great things about the only art form that makes you choose.

And I don’t mind the obliqueness. That outcome in FO3? It didn’t occur to me for days after that the good outcome involved killing him. There wasn’t a “Kill/not kill” choice in the game. You don’t see him die. There was no “you monster” or “good choice” moment. It let the player let it sink in. And that’s cool.

I bet I would have walked on had I not been able to talk to Ralphie. I probably would’ve thought the goblin was an asshole, but I would’ve walked on.

Very excellent, though. This game does a lot right. It’s why I forgive the garbage time.

Feminina:

Oh yeah, that makes sense. Bairdotr and the pyramids. I don’t see that that’s even ‘cheating,’ it’s just paying attention. We also noticed that she was immune, but not until we’d gone some way into the thing. “Hey…I haven’t had to regenerate YOU…” We weren’t bothered enough by the annoyance of rot to try to think of ways to turn it to our advantage, though.

Wow…interesting callback to FO3 nightmares and ethical dilemmas. And very interesting that the outcome you perceived as “good” was the one that involved the kid (and everyone else) being dead. I mean, normally we assume kids would rather be crying than dead, but if you have to be MEAN?

That’s the thing about us and games: we hate not being NICE to people. The things that most trouble us are not the murder of hundreds of dudes, but the murder of one dude who didn’t quite get the chance to declare war on us first. That’s just not FAIR!

Or the being mean to some kid. (Which I agree, I would totally hate. I’m not trying to hassle you about your decision.)

I got so curious about whether or not the chicken in Cyseal asked you to kill the chef that I checked the internet, but I can’t find any record of what the chicken actually says in the references to that quest. (Though apparently the chicken’s name was Jack.) Somebody probably would have mentioned it, though (if for no other reason than that it would potentially involve combat), so I’m assuming Jack did NOT ask you to kill the cook.

Butch:

Oh I was annoyed. I was there trying to balance things with hams and hearing grunts and stuff. No. Just, no.

In a game where, by that point (it was late) I had done all sorts of awful things without batting an eyelash. You didn’t play it, but you’ve played enough Fallout to know they aren’t shy about violence. And FO3 made 4 look like a Mario game.

And dude, it wasn’t just mean. The whole level was in black and white, like some 1950’s comedy gone nightmare. So here’s this kid in a beanie, saying “Please don’t make me go, I’ll stop wetting the bed, I promise,” while crying. And….no. But it put you in that bind! Go with this, or kill everyone. One of the best RPG levels ever. Tranquility Lane. Google it.

God DAMN that game was good. Game that convinced me games were art. But I digress.

Oh it was wrenching. And they did everything they could to make it wrenching. And you were a kid, too! (It’s complicated). So you had to be a childhood bully! Which made it WORSE! And the “kill everyone” option, you had to find this secret place, pull back the curtain, as it were, and solve a very “normal” (for the game) puzzle. So you had to either bully a kid AS A KID, or “grow up,” act like a “grown up” and kill everyone, which really, REALLY brought home all sorts of stuff in a game about the loss of innocence both for an individual and the American dream.

God DAMN that game was good. I digress.

Huh. Well, I’m glad animals can’t really talk. I like pork too much.

Feminina:

Sadly, I think it’s fair to say I will simply never get to Fallout 3. Time, new things, etc.

Maybe in the home.

Butch:

Well, to be honest, I’m not sure it holds up. Those dated Bethesda visuals. It’s from 2008 or so, after all.

Can’t play ’em all.

Especially since Divinity won’t end.

Did you get any playin’ in last night?

Feminina:

Man, 2008. A decade is a long time in game visuals.

We did play a bit, but didn’t do a whole lot. We’re kind of looking for the last weresheep. Not because it’s important to the main plot (as far as I know), just because.

Butch:

Well, who wouldn’t? I’m gonna go find him.

Speaking of stuff on other planes, you ever figure out what’s up with that troll cave? It obviously matters, cuz I had to walk right by it.

Feminina:

We haven’t! We desperately want to get in there because we have a quest to steal some tenebrium from the troll king so that Brendan will help us learn to use tenebrium without getting rot so we can fight things that are only vulnerable to tenebrium so we can go back to places–but we can’t figure out how to get past that statue. Or what is up with all that weird ‘gray gold.’

It’s a mystery.

One of many.

This game is large.

Butch:

Ooo! That would be handy! I have that quest!

I know…sorta…how to get in, but damned if I know where to get in. That very nice troll (that I killed cuz he was an asshole) mentioned it.

Always chat dudes up before you kill them.

Yeah, rot kinda sucks.

Though I’m also not looking forward to these levers.

Feminina:

Yeah, the levers…just look around before you pull any. Look for…subtle clues. On the wall, maybe. It’s gonna be great.

Butch:

Yeah, sorta figured. It’s like the “Hall of Observation” or something.

Subtle, huh? Great. I’m too distracted by Scarlett’s outfit.

Ha.

Feminina:

It’s about as subtle as Scarlett’s outfit. You’re good. But save first, and if you pull the wrong lever, just reload. You don’t HAVE to reload, but…just reload.

Butch:

I sorta figured that out.

Remember my rant about being watched/kibitzed? They were all “What happens if you pull the lever? I want to find out what happens! Pull the lever!” And I knew something bad would happen, so I just pulled it, said “There. Bad thing. Too tired to fight. We’re done, ok?”

Sometimes you just gotta pull the damn lever.

You saying Scarlett is somehow attracting attention?

Feminina:

You said it first!

Yup. Bad thing. Thing you can’t hurt because it’s immune to everything. Thing that if you ‘flee’ from and then come all the way back through those rooms, will still be waiting for you.

Just reload.

Butch:

I HATE that. At least give us a chance.

Feminina:

Yeah, there was not much of a chance there. I mean, probably there is SOME WAY one could defeat that thing, like if you’ve done xy and z first or whatever, but…just reload.

Let’s Not Get Into Another Petty Quarrel About Who’s Sane

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Puncherson_64LadyBrain_64

Some spoilers for Divinity: Original Sin plot points

Butch:

No, YOU’RE insane! So there!

You know how the plan was “go to the plane, stern words, then truck along with things?” Well, it turned out to be “Go to the plane.”

Why? Cuz when I got there, Zixzax immediately started talking, there was a new room, then another new room, people to chat up in the new rooms, another cutscene about….things….and a bunch of new dialog options. None of which were stern words.

An hour later, I decided “truck along with things” could wait. An HOUR! And DUDE! More themes in that hour than in some whole games we’ve played and we CAN’T TALK ABOUT IT CUZ YOU HAVEN’T SEEN IT!

And to make things weirder, I STILL don’t have that “Get Icara to tell you more of her sister’s plans” thing you have (even though she has now told me to go join the Immaculates, which I guess is what you’re doing. Why she told you that before the mines is beyond me) and there is certainly not something attacking my plane. My plane is fine. Nothing bothering it at all.

So I have fascinating themes, and you have a trophy that says you’ve gotten Icara to say things she hasn’t said to me, and you have a rather laconic something kinda attacking things.

Very strange.

So how did you get on the path you’re on? Cuz it was all very linear to me.

Icara: Go to mine.
Me: Cool. (Finishes quest, triggers next dialog)
Icara: Go to Immaculates.

You know, as games do.

You obviously triggered her saying SOMETHING. How did that go? Cuz she didn’t say a damn thing about the Immaculates/joining them until the mines were done.

Feminina:

Aaaaaahhhhhh!!!! I don’t know which one of us is sane!

It’s going to turn out that we’re both equally insane, just trapped in our own delusions.

So. Lots of plot, eh? But nothing about ‘more on her sister’s plans.’ Interesting. Hm. Well, as best I recall our path was something like:

Icara: Go to the mines

Us:

  • Go toward the mines but can’t immediately figure out how to get there, take the wrong path, get sidetracked wandering around in the sandy wastes, as one does
  • Run into Zixzax somewhere out there in the sandy wastes, which apparently triggers the “end of time is under attack!!!!” part of the game
  • Reach the mines, run away from the death knights
  • Revisit the end of time on multiple occasions in between wandering around clearing the map, but fail to get the plot you mentioned because it’s under attack: at some point, pick up the suggestion to infiltrate the Immaculates
  • Go infiltrate the Immaculates
  • As a result of said infiltration, learn stuff that, I think, triggers the ‘more about her sister’s plans’ talk
  • Hear about a spell to defeat the death knights and head off to look for that

Which brings us more or less to today. Not EXACTLY linear. But we’re getting the job done! In our own, circuitous fashion.

Or we’re insane. Probably that one.

Butch:

Or both.

Probably both.

Funny you should say that about our separate delusions…… Do the mines. Get the plot I got. We’ll talk. Later.

And nope, I didn’t get anything. Well, not that trophy you have. You have a trophy called “Headlines” that says “Get Icara to tell you more about her sister’s plans.” It’s logo is a scroll thingy. I was totally expecting to get it when she talked about joining the immaculates, and nada. And no attack. Weird.

But your progress…Ah ha! Yes, I haven’t run into Zixzax in the “real world” in ages. Since Evelyn, I think.

I blame myself for your repeated failures at the end of time. But, in my defense, didn’t know the attack thing….

Ah, see, I know about that spell. And not just from a rat. I probably have the thing you don’t have, and you probably have the thing I don’t have. I think it’s one of those deals, to make sure you do both. I think. I wouldn’t be surprised.

Feminina:

Are you looking for a vial of blood, by any chance? Because we have a vial of blood. I wouldn’t be surprised at all.

I also blame myself…our end of time was already under attack when you said you’d gone to the mirror place or wherever, but I didn’t want to mention that because of spoilers. If only we’d shared notes more fully, we would have…known things sooner. Which would have…not changed anything about what we were both doing, I guess, so no worries.

I suppose we might not have gone back to the end of time quite as often looking fruitlessly for statues to talk to, but on the other hand one of the times we went back we DID get more information, so it’s all good. The only real downside was that I became slightly more convinced you’re insane, and that was bound to happen sooner or later anyway.

Because we’re almost certainly both insane, and at some point there will be no more hiding it.

Butch:

Indeed I am. Are you looking for a piece of paper to write on? Because I have a fantastic piece of paper. I wouldn’t be surprised at all.

Sigh. I hope you get all of this plot. Though, if you do get it in one big data dump, it’s gonna be hard to blog. Lots there to wade through.

Are we hiding it? I didn’t know.

Feminina:

We were probably only hiding it from ourselves. Though not very successfully even then.

We ARE looking for a piece of paper! If only there were a way to join our games together, we could get this DONE.

Man, I hope maybe we got a hint of some of the information in the data dump earlier, because you’re right, it’s hard to discuss that much information when it comes all at once.

We got a little confused even trying to work out the details of the Jake’s murder plot on the blog, and that was a (relatively) tiny little storyline.

Well, we’ll do our best. It’s what we do.

Unless we’re derailing into nudity discussions.

Butch:

Speak for yourself. I know you’re bonkers.

Well, then! That explains a lot. I didn’t know I was looking for said paper, and I found it and Scarlett was all “I could write quite the spell with this!” and I thought “Uh…you mean it’s different from…like…everything else we’ve found? There might be a quest about this….”

Yeah. Shit, just what I got last night would’ve been a lot. There’s…some hints? Kinda? I guess? Not really. There’s a lot going on.

And the Jake confusion was because we saw different things at different times. At least I know that when you finally see all this stuff I can be like “Ah, yes. That.”

We do our best. And our best is good.

Feminina:

So true! So basically, no matter what we’ll be fine.

Confused and trapped in our own delusions, but fine.

Helpful Tips, Vague Rambling, and Practical Attire

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Puncherson_64LadyBrain_64

Spoilers for some plot in Divinity: Original Sin

Butch:

LISTEN. VERY. CAREFULLY.

In the mines, there is a big door. Things will happen. We talked on that.

Then there will be a series of mirrors and jumps you can take. There are three areas you MUST visit, and they can be missed. The crypt, the library, and the high priest’s office. ESPECIALLY THE HIGH PRIESTS OFFICE!!!!!!

This is important as you must visit EACH MIRROR to see all the options, and, potentially, backtrack.

And if you go to the surface the MINE COLLAPSES AND YOU CANNOT GET BACK AND WILL MISS A SHIT LOAD OF PLOT.

Seriously.

I don’t usually warn. But this needs a warning. Cuz you can miss a shitload of plot.

I just got a shit ton of plot.

Feminina:

Thanks for the warning! Crypt, library, high priest’s office. Noted. Are you sure that was all? You didn’t accidentally miss one yourself? Ha. Sorry.

We shall return to the mines! One day.

Last night we also got some plot. Some plot of the “oh hey, here’s a COMPLETELY NEW set of players showing up in this drama from a COMPLETELY NEW place!” variety.

This game is large. We’re still enjoying it!–but it’s large. It would be one of those massive, sprawling D&D campaigns that unfolds over the course of several years. We’re just lucky we don’t actually have to schedule five different people every time we play.

Butch:

Might want to go soon. There’s….well…let’s just say I’m gonna go back and have some words with the folks at the end of time. Stern, stern words.

Plot.

Are you serious? Like, NEW new? New PLACE?

I, too, am enjoying it. I started, for a minute, to get a “deep roads” slog feel in the mines (why is it always mines?), but a) that was sorta my fault cuz I just didn’t see the bridge I had to cross and ran around in circles being stupid and b) as soon as I started to feel it I got to where I had to get, so it was a very short lived feeling.

Considering this game is large, and we’ve been playing it a long time, the fact that I’ve felt very little slog (the sneaking past goblins got a little long, but only a little) is a testament to the game, it is.

Five? We always had more than five. And, when you play it as a video game, you don’t have to stop for half an hour while everyone ponders pizza.

Feminina:

Completely new. These people seem to be from another plane/world/whatever, and not an elemental/seasonal one.

Just in case we hadn’t picked up on the multiple-worlds thing yet, after Hiberheim and the muttering dude in the prison (we went back and tried to talk to him again after Boreas was dead, but nothing), one of them basically comes out and says “we’re from the plane of [name] and we’re looking for [noun].”

So…that’s an interesting twist that we’re not sure what to do with at the moment, but that I’m 99% sure will result in us having to make a wrenching moral choice at some point.

Dudes, we were just looking for a wizard! We just want to make a spell to kill some death knights so we can…oh, never mind. Tell me about your plane and why you’re looking for [noun].

Siiiigh. We have also, in the course of our recent wanderings, come across hints of Bairdotr’s and Wolgraff’s quests, as well as a mention of Madora that would probably mean something to us if we traveled with her. Of course, nothing as straightforward as “go over there to learn about that,” but hints.

Butch:

Whoa. Just…whoa. Do you GO there? Is there a whole other map?

I look forward to themeage. And a lot more of this game.

Hey, speaking of which….

You mentioned a LONG ways back that you did something that made you feel like horrible people, a BIG DECISION. I’ve been doing all sorts of shit, and haven’t gotten one of those in some time. Did I miss something? Or is this on your different line of…well…everything?

Isn’t that how it always is? Happens to me all the time. Dudes show up all “We’re from another plane” and I’m all “Dudes, I’m trying to fold the laundry here,” and then they look all mopey and I have to put off all my chores, and then it’s Monday and the floor isn’t mopped and I have to run around all day Tuesday and really fuck those planar asshats.

Oh right! That shit! I figure that I’m gonna take Madora when/if I get to Hunter’s Ridge, cuz she’s from there, right? Wolgraff, I have no idea about anything with Wolgraff. Bairdotr’s thing has been on my quest list since I found Bairdotr and nothing has changed. And I have Jahan! Who will have a thing, I’m sure.

Though I think that when I got back to have STERN WORDS on the Shelter Plane I’m gonna give Jahan a time out and pick Wolgraff back up (unless I’m close to Hunter’s Ridge…am I?). Jahan is a death magnet, and doesn’t have any skills (lockpicking) to make up for it. Nor is he charming.

Which raises something that I would think is metaphor except it’s innate to all role playing games going right back to D&D: Intelligence is the least important skill. It SHOULD be important, right? Intelligence! We LIKE intelligence! But in RPGs, so much matters so much more. Poor Jahan.

I think it’s because no matter how we strive for immersion, intelligence is not something you can take away from the player. A number doesn’t make us any smarter or dumber. We’re gonna solve the puzzles and plan the battles no matter what the INT score is on the characters we’re controlling. And yet games ALWAYS give you the “smart” character to run with in your party. And…well….no.

Feminina:

No, we didn’t go to this other plane. We just talked to these people who told us about it and why we were there and then the conversation petered out and we said “I’ll take my leave” and wandered away. They asked us if we knew where [nouns] were, but we didn’t, and otherwise they seemed uninterested in us. And they had no money and nothing to sell. BOR-ing. Except for the whole “we’re from the plane ruled by [ruler] and we need to [accomplish goal].”

I’m sure we’ll run into them again one of these days. Possibly in less cordial (or at least semi-cordial) circumstances.

So the thing that made me feel like a horrible person…hm. That’s…over down toward the lower right of the Luculla Forest map, if I recall correctly. (Which is only about half likely, if that, given my historically limited success rate with remembering where things are on maps.) Kind of around where the orcs and goblins are hanging out. There’s a deer there that can’t talk. Did you meet that deer? I’m pretty sure you’ll know what I’m talking about when you get there.

Internet, help me out here…OK, it’s “east of the Luculla Forest – Goblin Village portal.” So I was actually fairly right.

Hunter’s Edge…we’re actually right around Hunter’s Edge now, but it’s a fairly long way from the mines. You’ll probably have to work through quite a bit of stuff before you get to it. I wouldn’t worry about going to get Madora right away.

And it’s so true about Intelligence as a stat. Because you’re right, the game can give you awesome climbing skills and make you fantastic in combat and let you sneak like you’re invisible and generally make you an awesome badass in every way, but it can’t actually make you smarter. Whatever ‘smart’ you have in your actual head is pretty much what you’re stuck with. The most common way to make ‘intelligence’ matter is to make skills and/or magic dependent on it, and in this game, where anyone can cast spells off scrolls, even that doesn’t count for all that much. I have my intelligence way up because it affects my spell reset time and some magic items require high intelligence to use…and maybe it affects how many points I can put into skills? I don’t know. Anyway, it’s my primary thing, but it’s honestly not that exciting even to me.

I think actually in D&D, where you get more languages and more spells and more skills based on intelligence, it at least meant something you could ‘feel’ a bit more. It’s very abstract in this game. (Although to be honest, all of the attributes seem to be about very small percentages of improvement.)

It would be interesting to see a game that attempted to make intelligence mean something in actual gameplay terms, but how would it work? If your character has a high intelligence, you’re given puzzles that are really simple, but if you have a low intelligence they’re ridiculously difficult? Sometimes you see that presented as basically just a skill check: “your intelligence is not high enough for this” or whatever. But as you say, that doesn’t get at the sense of accomplishment the way it does if you add some strength and can now do 10 more points damage in combat, or add dexterity and can now throw grenades more accurately, or whatever. (I got Wolgraff the talent where he never misses with grenades. Worth it.)

Oh, and I wouldn’t really call the thing that made me feel like a horrible person a BIG DECISION in terms of affecting the course of the game or anything. It was actually a fairly small decision. Which is perhaps interesting thematically.

You’ll know what I mean when you get there.

Butch:

HA! “We are travelers from another place..a place of wonder beyond description where-“
“Yeah, nice, got any charming arrows?”
“Um…no.”
“Then take it easy, man. I’m out.”

Well, haven’t gotten to the goblin village. Kinda nervous about that. I can see the portal on my map, but can’t get to it yet. I think that’s up and around through what looks rather sandy on the map. It’s past sandy stuff, isn’t it?

Scrolls and skill books, and skill books seem to be related to levels of whatever you get from abilities. (I thought three got you MASTER but NOOOOO. I bought all these books for Bairdotr and can’t use any of them. I HATE that.)

The attributes are about small percentages EXCEPT when you get something awesome and you need strength 10 or dexterity 11 to use it. Then it sits there in your inventory taunting you.

It would be damn tricky. Probably past where games are now, at least in one this big.

Feminina:

Yeah, us being in the same place at the same time didn’t last long. Even being in the same place at different times is becoming doubtful.

But we’ll get to where we’re all going. We’ll sort it out. Almost certainly.

It’s gonna be great.

Speaking of charm arrows and Wolgraff’s grenade skills, I had him throwing “love bombs” last night. AWESOME. Hurl the grenade at three enemies, charm two of them, let them fight among themselves for a turn or so while we pick away at someone else. Charm is the best.

Charm and summoned things. I LOVE to summon things. “You! Undead soldier! Go distract that guy so he doesn’t shoot at me. Sorry you’re on fire now, but better you than me. Thanks!” And I can summon four different things now, so as soon as one is down, I can bring in another.

Basically I guess I love anything that makes other people or things do the fighting while I hang back. Which is appropriate considering my frail wizard body and the enchanted robe which is all that protects me.

Ooh–Wolgraff just got the ability to summon one of those little bomb skeletons. It worked great. “Run right up to that thing and then when it hits you–BOOM!”

Skill books are the best. Except when you buy them and then realize you can’t use them yet. I have a couple of those hanging around as well. I don’t want to sell them back because I’ll lose money on the deal, plus sooner or later I probably will be able to use it, but in the meantime it just hangs out in my inventory, taunting me.

Oh, speaking of inventory, did you figure out how to get rid of the empty slots? We talked once long ago about how you have this inventory screen with blank slots scattered throughout, and have both probably solved the problem since but forgot to mention it.

Oh, and speaking of things I forgot to mention (I’m getting way far afield here, but roll with it), you always notice sound: do you sometimes notice that the sound effects cut out during combat? So that instead of the fight sounds, you just have the background music, giving a rather eerie sense of distance from the battle on the screen? Or is that just us?

Butch:

We WILL both get there! Cuz we complete things! Usually.

Ooo! I just found a couple of those grenades! Can’t wait!

Dude, Scarlett has summon undead soldier, Nick, fire elementals and….as of last night…wait for it….”Undead armored decapitator.” Decapitator! Sorry, ARMORED decapitator! I maligned him. Roderick even has Ice Elemental so I just fill the damn battlefield with my dudes.

I got some good robes, though. Like armor 60 robes. You can do ok with robes.

That’s how I feel about skill books! These ones I got for Bairdotr sound magnificent, and they were expensive, so I’ll lose a TON on the deal. I just have to remember to use them.

I like to use the “sort” option (L3). You can pick “latest added,” which is SO helpful, and then you can ignore everything else. Or “Gold value” if you’re at a merchant. So nice.

I have noticed that! There’s a lot of little touches that add to the weirdness/insanity feel. Like the very quiet “vocal” part on the tavern song. You ever hear that? I only noticed it when I played with headphones…..

Feminina:

I use “sort/latest added” ALL THE TIME. Especially when I need to find the unidentified items we just picked up so I can identify them.

There’s also that option at the bottom to “remove empty” or whatever, which tidies everything up a bit.

Definitely get Wolgraff that bomb dude. We bought it in Silverglen, from…I think from that weird lady, Vomitia (ew) who sits in that side room off the tavern. Completely worth the money. And so true, the more of you that can summon things, the more things you can have filling the battlefield and wreaking havoc among the enemy!

Neither Bairdotr nor Delios has an actual summon skill, but they both get it off scrolls from time to time as needed. Scrolls good. Delios has picked up a few for that Undead Armored Decapitator. That’s when we need the good stuff.

OK, so further about the vanishing sound…do you notice that it seems to happen particularly in battles that involve the Immaculates and/or the Conduit in some way? The first time we noticed it was in that cave when we were pursuing the Conduit, the one where we found Jake and all that. Weird, silent battles. And then a couple of times since, I think in battles that were also about following the trail of the Conduit (fighting Immaculates here or there), we’ve seen it again. I’m not sure if I’m making that up that it’s associated with the Conduit, and it’s actually just random, or if it IS associated with her, and is meant to tell us…something.

Something like “your senses can deceive you” or “things you’ve come to expect about the way the world works no longer apply,” or…something. I don’t know. Could be something, though. Keep an ear out for if it happens in some random, non-Conduit battle, which would disprove my theory.

Butch:

Ah, see, I always identify when I’m picking stuff up. This led to a bit of humor yesterday, as Scarlett was deep, deep in the mines, behind the big door, and everyone else was dutifully, safely waiting way at the entrance. I hit “Identify” and it’s all “Object identified by Bairdotr.” Like….what? Well, ok. Hell of a magnifying glass.

And, since we’re all over the place today (I blame more yesterday’s random holiday), tip: Tried to use the teleporter pyramid in the mines and Bairdotr said rather matter of factly: “That won’t work here.” And it didn’t. Weird.

Which…well…I know a tad more about those things now….

Ooo! Is the decapitator awesome? Cuz I can do that every fight now! Whoo hoo!

Another reason to do the mines. That’s a nice treat at the end.

Feminina:

Interesting about the pyramids. I look forward to knowing more. And being able to summon an Undead Armored Decapitator (he’s pretty badass–basically just a tougher version of the Undead Warrior, but he has a ‘taunt’ ability that will make people attack him specifically, which is my kind of talent for other people to have). Eventually.

I haven’t noticed the tavern song. Probably because we don’t play with headphones. You know I don’t use headphones anyway, and with two of us playing that would just be a mess.

But I’ll try listening very closely next time we go and see if I can make out anything.

Butch:

Just turn it up kinda loud. It’s not words, per se, just one of those details where they take a trope and make it just weird enough to be creepy. And subtle.

Feminina:

Interesting! I shall listen. Eventually. Probably.

Whether this will be before or after we go back to the mines, I cannot say.

Butch:

Go to mines. Split up. Be sneaky. And don’t forget about that totem!

Cuz plot!

The song is not that important. It’s just a weird little detail. It creeps me out. Like a lot of this game.

Feminina:

The thing about that is, we probably won’t split up and have one of us go be sneaky, because that’s boring for the other one if it takes more than a couple of minutes (which it sounds as if this might).

It’s all very well to leave 75% of the party relaxing with a sandwich if you’re the one controlling the single person who’s doing something, but I don’t want to be the one who’s NOT doing something for 10 minutes (which in game time is an eternity). I hate having both my characters dead in a combat, and that usually only takes a few minutes to finish (by the time we’re both dead, anyway). This, along with scheduling, is kind of a downside of cooperative playing–you have to make sure you’re both keeping busy or…yawn.

I guess maybe if only one of us could play one night…but even then, no one wants to be left out and miss what happened. I mean, I don’t and I assume Mr. O’ also doesn’t.

So probably we’ll press on with our current project of trying to find the spell to defeat the death knights, and then go back once we have it and fight our way in all together. Because teamwork! But if that doesn’t work, I am reassured by the promise that sneaking is an option.

Butch:

I’m…not sure “getting the spell” is gonna work. I don’t think. Maybe it won’t. Cuz…well…stuff.

Once you know where to go in the mines it’s pretty quick. If you win your rock paper scissors. I took too long cuz I was stupid. If you’re not stupid it’s not that bad.

Feminina:

Interesting. Well, we’ll prepare ourselves for disappointment, then.

Oh–speaking of quests, you’ll enjoy this one: we’re currently looking for well water so we can make whiskey. Booze forever!

I shouldn’t be flippant, it’s actually not all that lighthearted a tale. But the fact remains that we must make whiskey. Which, like every other thing we have to do in this game, turns out to be extremely complicated.

Butch:

Hey! We’ve met wells! Nice wells! Who ask for a LOT of money!

Booze forever!

Oh and yeah, the mines are not something to do alone. Stuff. Happens.

Feminina:

Yeah, we’ll surely talk to one of those wells again sometime. Bound to happen.

We’re both pretty into it, so playing alone hasn’t really come up. I think we’re committed to it as a joint project at this point.

It’s very romantic.

Butch:

Awww….that’s the sappiest thing I’ve ever seen between you two. You should amp it up a little. Candles, wine, extra killin’.

Feminina:

We do get out the wine sometimes on the weekend! “Hey baby…how about we stay up late…get in an extra fight with those mechanical chickens?”

I’ve rarely heard anything so alluring.

Speaking of romance, nothing in the way of banter between our characters lately at all. I’m not sure if proximity is making the heart grow less fond, or if they’re gradually realizing they’re the same person, or what. Are yours still flirty? Ours haven’t even had one of those exclamation-point conversations in what seems like weeks.

Butch:

This is generally the point in our conversations where I find myself fervently hoping we’re still talking about the same thing.

Let’s just move on here.

I haven’t had an exclamation point one in a while. Not since Scarlett hit Roderick with a nail bomb (so romantic). BUT I did have a couple of in game banter ones that were almost as awkward as flirting over mechanical chickens. Roderick gave Scarlett something from his inventory and Scarlett said “Do you want me to reach in your pocket to get it?” (HELLO!) and when we were in the mines Scarlett said something and Roderick responded “Do you want to be my canary?” which is by far the worst pick up line ever.

“Baby, you’re so beautiful, and your voice so melodious, and it would mean the world to me if you died easily so I can get the fuck out of here.”

I mean, Roderick….dude. Scarlett’s trying here! The outfit! The pocket thing! (HELLO!) And you refuse to take off your helmet and come up with lines like “Do you want to be my canary.”

Dude.

Feminina:

Ouch. Roderick! Man. That’s not how it’s done. “Do you want to be my canary” indeed. Scarlett would be better off with Wolgraff. At least he always politely awaits your query every time you accidentally call to him when you meant to be opening a chest or talking to a merchant or something. No carefully handwritten notes about canaries need apply.

Perhaps just as well our characters seem to be ignoring each other.

Butch:

I know. I’m finally getting to romance myself and I’m screwing it all up.

T SHIRT!!!!!

He should just stick to the basics: “Hey baby…let’s open the wine…get into some extra fights with mechanical chickens.”

Feminina:

Yeah! Come on, Roderick, it’s not mechanical poultry science. Stick with the things ladies love.

Fiery combat and summoning undead.

Butch:

At least he hasn’t resorted to the smelly panties.

Soup! He can do a nice soup. Maybe Scarlett likes soup!

Did you find the recipe for pumpkin soup? “It’s so much more than throwing a pumpkin in a pot! Oh…wait…it isn’t. Just throw a pumpkin in a pot.”

Oh Divinity you so silly.

Feminina:

I didn’t find that! But silly. So silly. Along the lines of the recipe for tomato sauce being a tomato and a hammer.

Make us laugh! Then confuse us. Then creep us out. That’s Divinity.

Butch:

HA! Is it? That’s kinda awesome.

I haven’t used crafting except to put arrowheads on arrow shafts (which is very, very handy), but I did make a couple pots of soup. You never know what will win the heart of a flirty, possibly crazy hottie who things leather mesh is armor. How does she get into that, anyway?

You see the screenshots? Damn, girl.

Divinity : Original Sin Enhanced Edition_20180314165054

Feminina:

Both practical and comfortable. Exactly what I wear when I go wandering in the wilderness looking for things that want to kill me.

Butch:

And when you want to be fire resistant!

I’m trying to figure out if it would be more absurd if that was ice resistant.

Horizon was pretty silly baring Aloy’s midriff in the fire armor, but at least her snow armor looked warm.

Feminina:

Very, VERY fire resistant. One opposes fire in all its forms, with that outfit.

Butch:

(I’m doing this cuz we didn’t do nudity on Friday cuz we’re off lately. It’s all for the blog.)

The fact that they did bother to give the characters feet does make the whole “heels when naked” thing all the weirder.

All I can think of is that Scarlett does seem to have very tight ankles. Did you notice that even very sensible metal boots seem to have a bit of a heel when Scarlett or Bairdotr wears them? Maybe she’d be all up on tiptoe without the heels. Which would be very uncomfortable! It’s a practical thing. Have to feel comfy in romantic situations.

You know, I wonder what Bairdotr and Wolgraff have underneath it all. I bet Wolgraff is a yellow stars guy.

Better to Friday late than not to Friday at all.

T SHIRT!!!!

Or is this early Friday? I can’t tell.

 

Are We Talking About the Same Game?

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Puncherson_64LadyBrain_64

Spoilers for plot points in Divinity: Original Sin

Butch:

I…uh…got to the mine!

You CAN give the pyramids across large spaces! I somehow gave the thing to Bairdotr despite her being on the other side of the map and voila. Still sucked. I lost everyone but Scarlett, and she only made it because she has this ability to heal if she’s standing in blood (metaphor? Perhaps) and kept making people bleed.

But I won and I’m in the mine. And I talked to a guy about large dark things that make the earth shake. This game got fighty quick. I told the guy to run. He’s likely dead. He’s dead, isn’t he?

So I’m there. But the kids are on break next week, and fuck it I’m making up game time now.

What about you? You’ve been strangely quiet about your own progress. Still playing?

Feminina:

Oh, that guy! I don’t know if he’s dead. Maybe not, because we told him to hide (thinking “there are a lot of things out there that we haven’t killed yet”), and now in our game he’s definitely dead. So it’s probable that running was the right choice! Unless there is no right choice and he’s dead either way, which would be an interesting approach for the game to take.

But yeah, the mine…fighting in the mine…watch out for the things that kill everyone, man. I’ll be honest, we ran into them, couldn’t do a single thing against them, and promptly decided to flee and come back later, but see how you do. And at least there are other things there to fight first, so you can pick up some information.

We are still playing (working on that little problem from the mine, in fact), but we haven’t done much to speak of lately. By which I mean, we can’t speak of it because you haven’t been anywhere near it yet.

But if it makes you feel any better, we still haven’t been anywhere near the face-shifting mirror or whatever. And…dude, I’m sorry, but I’m convinced you’re insane and making this whole thing up. We went back to the end of time! AGAIN! We talked to Zixzax, AGAIN. He was sitting right there in the parlor with Icara and the Weaver and Arhu–AGAIN. He did not say one word about whatever this thing is you’re talking about: AGAIN.

We couldn’t find a statue, or anyone else, to talk to, none of the portals goes anywhere we haven’t been…and I have THREE inert stones in my possession at this moment.

Do I have to have four all at the same time? Maybe inert is NOT the same as star/bloodstone? Maybe you’re insane?

The other thing is, the end of time is kind of under attack by a void dragon or something at the moment, and has been for a while (it doesn’t appear to be a very urgent attack, or to be bothering the people sitting in the parlor waiting to tell us the same things), so maybe if you don’t do whatever you did before the attack starts, you miss it?

I don’t know. Anyway, we don’t know anything about that, but we’re pressing on with other aspects of the quest, still trying to track down the Conduit and so forth. The game is large.

Butch:

An interesting approach, and yet an accurate one.

You just leave a twisted pile of bodies in your wake, don’t you? And not just Kevins.

At least you’re trucking along. Are you feeling close to any kind of end?

Ah, ok. Based on my little bit of research, and it seems that if you don’t do the stuff that I did BEFORE the attack happens, it happens after you deal with the attack. So you should get it! (Indeed, I vaguely said “Go back soon, because stuff will happen,” and now you know what stuff. I didn’t want to say “Stuff will happen, and then just sit tight until you deal with said stuff.” My bad.) So anyway, I guess this isn’t a spoiler, but eventually you’ll have to deal with that attack, and, when you do, expect plot. I hope.

It sure is large. I ditched Meatball at extended play today just so I can rest, recover, listen to silence, and play. I’ll try to catch you. Sorta.

Feminina:

Ah, OK.

Well then, we’ll deal with the attack (eventually…I mean, we’re on it kind of, but everyone is all “you need to do xyz first because right now trying to go to the place to do the thing to stop the thing or whatever will just result in your horrible grisly death,” so we’re pursuing it via roundabout means). And we’ll talk. Later.

Anywhere close to the end? Hahahaha. I mean…I guess if we figure part of the end is stopping the attack, then at least we can kind of see where it is? But that seems a long way from where we are.

And it’s so true–I keep saying, we leave a wake of death and destruction, even when we don’t mean to. Wandering animals, random passers-by, soldiers we run away from, people foolish enough to ask for our help: all will meet a terrible end. Not exactly at our hands, but it’s gotten to the point that that excuse isn’t going to keep everyone from fleeing whenever we come near.

I’m stunned Alfie and his owners survived to make it to Silverglen–presumably that was only because we were attacked within sight of the town wall, and the guards came out to help. Just the other day, a random chicken I intentionally DID NOT SACRIFICE (even though maybe I could have made a bloodstone!) nevertheless wound up dead.

Siiiiiiigh.

Speaking of death and blood, I keep looking at the “leech” talent and being tempted. Healing while standing in blood…I already have a vampiric touch spell that I quite enjoy. Also, good to have confirmation that handing pyramids over vast distances works. That certainly opens up travel options a bit.

Butch:

Well, so says the internet. Here’s hoping.

I just had one of those grisly death warnings! More in a minute…

Yeah. Game is large. Thanks, TR, for waiting until September.

Rats. I keep accidentally killing rats. And they’re so helpful!

Wait…you can make bloodstones? For real?

Scarlett was kinda born with “leech.” I think cuz she’s a “shadowblade?” All the same, it is really handy. Especially if you get a weapon that causes bleeding, cuz then you can just sit there, healing up a bit every turn. Nasty, but useful. And after a fight, you just walk around like pac man running around in the blood.

Potential metaphor? Healing with “the blood?” I digress.

Mostly cuz the themes have dried up as the game really has gotten fighty fighty, hasn’t it? Played some. Went into the mines. Found a bunch of goblins in a cell which I couldn’t open. Kept going, and found “death knights” and the game was all “You can flee, you know,” so I did. So I thought “Maybe those immaculates by the prison have the key? So I went in, charmed them, had them repair all my armor and shopped, then read a damn book and they attacked me and a fight broke out and I used their stuff to kill them. No key. A detonator, but no key. And I didn’t want to blow everyone up (especially as there’s an imp in there) until I knew what’s what.

So I went the other way, and found dudes with a bone totem. Charmed them, had them repair my stuff, shopped, then killed them with their stuff. Didn’t quite know what to do with the bone totem, so I left it alone. DID find a key. Leveled, didn’t want another fight before lunch, stopped.

Much fighty. Not many themes yet.

Feminina:

Ah yes. The death knights. Or, as those Immaculates annoyingly called them, the Night Knights. Too cutesy, my friend. Too cutesy. (Not really my friend, either.)

I don’t know if I could have actually made a bloodstone or not! I chose not to sacrifice the chicken. Probably it wouldn’t have worked anyway. Although considering the chicken nevertheless wound up dead, perhaps I should have tried. But that’s Immaculate business, you know? I didn’t want to be like them.

Other than in the sense that they, like us, leave heaps of twisted corpses behind them wherever they go.

But OUR corpses are legitimate bad guys! Or else unfortunate accidents that we sincerely regret! Totally different.

Oh yeah, the bone totem…I remember that. We didn’t do anything with it either, although we might have just found out what we need to do with it later.

I should give Wolgraff ‘leech.’ Being a wizard, I tend to try to stay out of the immediately bloody areas, but I can see how it would be useful.

Butch:

Yeah, this game occasionally does delve into the cutesy. I’ll forgive it.

Well, a bloodstone would have come in handy. I did the sneaky sneaky past the death knights and found some tenebrium weapons! Which I thought wouldn’t kill me if I grabbed them! And I got rot! And reloaded.

Ok, I just played some more, and got confused. I kept going around in circles cuz I kept not finding the bridge I just found. So then I let the goblins go and they attacked me and fuck that. So I reloaded and left them there. Why blow up an imp? So, apparently lacking anything to do cuz I missed the bridge, I broke the bone totem. It leads to some information that may well be handy.

But then I woke up and found the bridge and did the sneaky sneaky and now I’m past the bridge.

I also talked to a rat that mentioned there’s a way to kill the knights, with the “right blood and the fancy paper.” Hmm.

Feminina:

Ah, interesting–we tried sneaking by the knights, and just ran into more knights, so we decided hell with it and left. Perhaps if we’d been more patient we could have sneaked more effectively and gotten past them all to something interesting.

But yeah, we’ve got the blood and we’re on the trail of the fancy paper right now. Gonna be good! Fight us some death knights that we can’t otherwise even singe!

Rot is no fun. It’s not fatal as long as you can keep regenerating every so often, and Bairdotr is immune to it, but it’s not something we were very excited about. Interesting from a mechanics standpoint, though: a thing that’s not dramatic and doesn’t do a LOT of damage, but that just keeps quietly draining away hit points while you’re not looking. And that also sounds really gross.

Have you talked to Brandon? Talk to Brandon in Silverglen. He can give you a box to carry tenebrium weapons in so that you don’t have to get rot. You can’t DO anything with them, but you can at least carry them around so that someday in the future when you can use them, you’ll have them.

Butch:

Wait, WHAT? So what are you doing? I’ve spent my damn day sneaking past death knight after death knight, winning rock paper scissors battles to get into weird camps, and you’re not even HERE? What are you DOING?

God damn it. I thought I was catching UP to you.

So…..you didn’t go through a big door? And find…stuff? And meet…someone?

Man….I thought I was catching you.

Feminina:

Sorry man. We sneaked past two death knights and said “OK, you know what? We’re good.” Then we went off to do other things.

A big door, where we found someone? On the other side of the death knights? No…doesn’t ring a bell.

But the goblins that you let out who then attacked you, we did that (with the same result), and the Immaculate camps you charmed your way into, we did that…we left one of the groups alive, actually, just in case we might need them for something later. So you caught up to us there. And then passed us by going through a big door!

After we left the mine we went…uh…where did we go? We poked around a lot, clearing out all the dark spaces on that map that we could reach. We ran into Zixzax in a place (one of the places where the blowing sand slows you) and precipitated the attack on the end of time that is currently preventing us from changing our features.

Oh, here’s what we did: go back to Silverglen and talk to the priest, Loic. Tell him you want to become a member and he’ll direct you towards the Immaculate Proving Ground or something like that. That will lead you up along the northwest of the map where it gets deserty and full of…fun things. With legs. Have you met the fun things with legs yet?

Anyway, there’s plot in that direction, and combat, and things of that nature.

Butch:

Man….shit.

I have done absolutely none of that. Loic? Sands? No.

You just gotta magpie, don’t you? People take you to the end of time, be all “You must stop my sister IN THE MINES” and you say “Yah, maybe, but LOOT! over here!”

I can say that it is possible to sneak and stuff to the big door and do stuff. It’s not that hard once you get used to it. You likely should.

Feminina:

Oh, we’ll certainly go back to the mines one way or another. Might just wait until we have the spell to defeat the death knights, rather than sneaking (I tend to throw all my Wolgraff’s points into lockpicking, so none of us are actually that great at sneaking), but it’s on the list.

Anyway, we ARE following the plot…Icara said we should check out the mines, but also that we should try to infiltrate the Immaculates. So we went to the mines, found it overly death-knightly for us, and decided to do the OTHER thing she said. We’re not (in this particular instance) magpieing, we’re just following another thread of the plot. Which is also a totally legitimate route to finding out information about the Conduit, and which has to be done sooner or later anyway, so I regret nothing.

It’s all good. When you’re done in the mines, just go back to Silverglen, do some shopping, talk to Brendan and Loic. You’ll be fighting things with legs in no time.

Butch:

Meh. Scarlett’s only 2, and she did it fine. She split off. Sometimes a hottie in ridiculous heels has to go it alone.

T SHIRT!!!!

You have a plot thread for this? Did she tell me that? I’m not sure she told me that.

Always good to fight things with legs. Can’t wait. Gonna love it.

Anyway, not out of the mines yet. I think. Not sure. You’ll see. You’re gonna love it.

Feminina:

We are both going to love it so much when we get to where we both are!

I’m PRETTY sure it was the same general conversation with Icara, talking about her sister and how to find her, and those two things were presented.

We certainly didn’t go back to the end of time from the mines, whining “that was too hard!” and have her say “well, fine then, go check out the Immaculates.” Probably.

Although now I’m doubting myself: since there are two of us, sometimes one of us will be paying more attention to a specific conversation than the other one is…Mr. O’ is having the conversation while I sell junk in the other screen or whatever.

Hm. Maybe we did go back after the death knights and say “hey, there are these horrible things there and we can’t fight them!” and then she suggested the Immaculates.

Well, check your log. If there’s no mention of infiltrating the Immaculates, you could try the end of time first and see if she tells you to do it. Or just do it anyway and impress her later with your take-charge attitude! Because it definitely needs to be done. There’s a lot of stuff involved with that plotline.

You’re gonna love it.

Butch:

Oh dude, that’s nuts. I couldn’t do that with the multiple screens.

Of course, it avoids the possibility of something else awful that happened today: Scarlett was sneaking away, and all of a sudden my controller goes all shaky/buzzy. No idea why. Then, some time later, I notice the rest of my party is dying. Some death knight had stumbled upon them. I guess that’s what shaky controller means.

I kinda love the idea of going back to a quest giver to whine. “Like, dude, do you have an easier quest? Cuz…yeah…I’m sure that’s really important, but isn’t, I dunno, your uncle’s cheese just as important?”

In Horizon the guy would be all “What do you mean? Four rockbreakers is totally a level seven quest.”

I probably should do that. Without checking log, I did notice you got a trophy called “Headlines” that was “Talk to Icara to learn more of her sister’s plans,” and I don’t have that yet. So you have had at least one conversation with Icara that I haven’t had. All those times trying to get into that place you can’t get. Places. Plural.

But it’s not that hard to get by the knights. But if you do do the “send someone in alone” trick, just make sure you save before the rock paper scissors. Otherwise Scarlett is there, alone, being all “But I look so FABULOUS but I’m dead.”

Feminina:

We should totally have that option. “I mean, I want to help out here with the world-saving and all, but isn’t there a less fatal way I could do that?”

I guess really we DO have that option, only we don’t generally talk to the quest giver about it, we just go do something else.

“Oh, right, that’s the dude whose grandfather’s cheese is guarded by death knights, which hell no, let’s go investigate the desert for a while instead.”

Yeah, you always gotta save before rock-paper-scissors. Unless the outcome isn’t fatal, that is. I’m semi-in-favor of accepting the result you get as a general rule, but if failure means “you’re dead” a do-over is acceptable. “You’re dead and you have to sneak through three miles of corridor all over again” makes it especially so.

Butch:

Lots of corridor.

Save. Often.

Sneaking for Fun and Profit

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Puncherson_64LadyBrain_64

Some minor spoilers for Luculla Forest locations in Divinity: Original Sin

Butch:

Well, we have a good derail set up. I did play! I did! A lot, actually! But it was fighting and sneaking and generally getting us ready for Tomb Raider.

Cuz there were goblins. And Roderick was all “we don’t want to fight them all…maybe if we sneak….”

Ok, I thought. But doing that with the group wasn’t going well. So I gave Scarlett a pyramid and said “Ok, sneakin’ time! I’ll send her ahead and then zoop people there with the pyramid! When I get to the next waypoint we’ll all get together! Can’t be far!”

Can’t be far…… can it?

Sneaking went fine until I got to some place where goblins were sleeping. Could NOT get past that. Just couldn’t! There was no way to keep them asleep! So I blooped Roderick to that point, chucked the pyramid, kept sneaking.

And then I got to the ones who were all “I just don’t like standing by all this oil! A human could come and shoot it with a fire arrow!” Which was kinda funny. A nice joke on the “game giving you hint” thing.

But even with that hint, took forever. Died so very often. Steam and smoke and not being able to see is really sucky. I even zooped Roderick to that!

And then another fight, and now I’m by the mine and there’s a teramancer and shit.

What there ISN’T is a waypoint.

So I’m in a bind. Right now, it’s just Scarlett and Roderick. Bairdotr and Jahan are still on the other end of the map, chillin’ by a troll cave. I could use them in this next fight. I could have used them in the last couple fights. Scarlett and Roderick are running out of items and scrolls and stuff. But I can’t really bug out right now. If I waypoint Scarlett and Roderick away to go shopping, then I have to do all that sneaking again. I don’t want to. But I tried fighting that teramancer and he’s tough.

Can I “give” a pyramid to Bairdotr when she’s on the other side of the map? Or am I stuck fighting these guys with just two of us?

I really, really wish there had been a waypoint.

So no themes. Much fighty.

Feminina:

We also noted the absence of convenient waypoints over on that side of the map. We mainly took the approach of “nah, we’ll just fight them all,” though, so I only briefly had Wolgraff sneaking ahead. There was a lot of slaughter. Of us, but also goblins.

Butch:

I have no idea what to do now. We’re so isolated. But hey! Maybe this will bring them closer together! Nothing says romance like killing goblins alone in the woods wearing totally sensible armor!

It wasn’t bad getting all sneaky. Memories of Chloe, thoughts of Lara.

Feminina:

Sneaking is fun. And totally romantic!

I think you can actually “give” things long distance, though, so try that with the pyramid and your companions. Or send them shopping first to get more healing!

There are possibilities here.

Butch:

They have plenty of healing! And badass arrows! I didn’t think we’d be gone this long!

But really, considering how moony they’ve been together, Bairdotr and Jahan should’ve known not to wait up.

Maybe they’ll…nah. Too many issues. Jahan’s last lady was a demon and Bairdotr’s last fling was likely a hedgehog.

Feminina:

Maybe Jahan and Bairdotr are both ready to turn over a new leaf! It could happen. Although I kind of see our Bairdotr and Wolgraff getting together…he’s not chatty, which should be great for someone not used to human conversation.

Well, if they have lots of healing and arrows, definitely see if you can pass them the pyramids so they can join you. I feel like we once made it work long-distance, so it’s worth a try. There IS a waypoint over there, but it’s hard to get to and far away from everything. This whole map is a bit sparse in the waypoints–we’ve run into that numerous times while trying to get around.

Butch:

You just want to see Wolgraff find his place in the world. You have a soft spot for him, don’t you?

Yeah, this lack of waypoints is irksome. I was totally expecting one near the mine entrance. The only one I can see on the map (that remains undiscovered at this time) is “Goblin Village,” which, considering goblins, doesn’t seem to be a place I’d want to go at all…..

Why do I want to go there?

Nah, don’t spoil.

Feminina:

I do have a soft spot for Wolgraff. He’s so roguish! And his teleporting can come in so handy!

I’ve got him with the skill that lets him take half damage, which had been good for his survivability.

There really are only about four waypoints in that whole map. It’s a bit rough. Lots of walking if you have to retreat, or if you retreat intentionally and then realize you have to be back somewhere.

It’s kind of interesting as a way to make the region more of a challenge than earlier ones.

Butch:

It is. More combatty.

Is the goblin village gonna be as much of a pain in the ass as I think it’s gonna be?

Man, I wish I had Wolgraff’s teleporting last night. So much sneaking.

Which is even more ridiculous in those heels. Little heels carrying a bush. Silly.

I still don’t know what’s going on with yours. Mine is SUCH a beast.

Feminina:

The goblin village. Well…no? I mean… It’s different than you think. I think.

Go talk to them. It’s moderately interesting, although we still haven’t quite figured out where we’re going with that whole thing.

But if you mean is it going to be seven hours of fighting, then no.

Butch:

Yeah, that’s what I was asking. This isn’t a “Kill everyone, clear the bandit camp” deal, right?

Feminina:

No, not that. I mean, I guess you could try that, but it’s not the required path, or even really a very workable path.

Talking. It’s much more about talking. Brush up on your rock-paper-scissors.

Butch:

Oh that.

I’m getting good at that.

I am kinda amused when a loss end in a fight.

“You wanna fight to the death?”
“I dunno man. Wanna get pizza instead?”
“No I wanna fight to the death.”
“We did that last week.”
“But I’m not hungry.”
“Sigh. Rock Paper Scissors?”
“Cool.”

Feminina:

If I had a nickel for every time I’ve had that conversation…

I’d have easily one imaginary nickel.

Yeah, this was a pretty critical rock paper scissors moment. As in, we lost the first time and said “OK, we’re not doing that fight, let’s reload.” Somebody could probably win that fight, but we weren’t into it.

Butch:

Dude, that was me with the dude on the blanket by Evelyn’s cave. I reloaded more than once.

Though the best Rock Paper Scissors moment was…remember my troubles with Boreas? The time I tried to lure everyone into the Immaculate camp hoping they’d attack the elementals? Well, once I did that and the captain there starts a dialog. I’m all “Look, can’t we be friends?” and we end up with the rock paper scissors. Like there’s this huge battle with this king of winter going on right behind me, and we’re there all “Rock paper scissors SHOOT!”

Is this really the time? Can’t we agree this ONE TIME? There’s some shit going on here….

And I even lost and they attacked me. It was like

“Oh COME ON! Can’t you see I already have my hands full here? They’re gonna kill you, too!”
“Hey…two outta three is two outta three…..”

Appropriate Categorization of NPCs

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Puncherson_64LadyBrain_64

Some spoilers for troll encounters in Divinity: Original Sin

Butch:

To add insult to the injury of sick children, Mrs. McP has to be at work at seven and woke up the house at 4:30. I’m too tired to even be insane creatively.

But I did play some! Though mostly it was killing shit. I’m trying to truck my way towards the mines, which seems to entail going way the hell over to the eastern part of the map first. Right? Maybe not. Who knows? I’m over there, and there seem to be quite a few orcs. Is this right? They’re all level 12, and that’s where I am, so I guess this makes sense. I killed some orc that had orders to kill goblins, then take Silverglen or something, take the high priest’s (who I totally forgot about cuz Arhu told me to find the witch) bloodstone. So he’s got one! I dunno. I also killed a troll who wanted a toll to cross a bridge that was broken, and he told me some stuff about a troll king before he died.

So that was my night. Many, many orcs. And wishing I had Wolgraff back cuz I don’t think I’m using this Jahan dude correctly. Or staffs. I’m not very good with staffs. I’m a wand guy.

But I encountered a way that video game D&Desque games have an innate flaw that real D&D doesn’t have: It’s what we sports fans call “garbage time.” As you are not a sports fan, I shall define: “Garbage Time” is that time at the end of a game between when the result is essentially decided and the end of the game. A hockey game that’s 8-0 with six minutes to go, say. Those six minutes don’t matter. The team with eight is gonna win. It’s six minutes of Canadian dudes skating around, looking bored, waiting for the siren so everyone can go home.

In real D&D, when a fight is in garbage time, the DM can notice that and speed things along some, provided there aren’t terrible, terrible dice rolls.

A game does not. It’s code is gonna keep that last orc shaman fighting until the bitter end.

This happened a bunch last night. Lots of orcs, down to a couple, they had no chance. Like, no doubt I was gonna win. But they kept running off, healing, prolonging the inevitable. In one instance that would have been funny had I not been tired, my WHOLE PARTY was pinned behind all this fire and ooze I made, and, on the other side of death pool, ONE shaman was running around healing himself, being chased, fruitlessly, by Nick.

This wasted quite a bit of time. And, as we’ve mentioned, time is precious.

I’m not sure how to get around this, though. After all, in “real life,” that orc WOULD heal up. Or run. They never run.

Anyway, that’s what I did.

Feminina:

EXTREME INSULT!

Also, dude, Canadian guys skating around looking bored is the only reason I watch hockey! Just kidding, I don’t watch hockey.

So you killed that troll? The lonely troll who just wanted some company? And who didn’t even care about the toll, he was just asking for it because the king told him to? You monster!

That’s if you’re talking about the troll pretty much right outside of Silverglen there, who was all sad and mournful. There was also another troll later (he had some pet slugs that spit acid, or something?) for whom we felt less sympathy.

He did give us some interesting information about the king, though. We didn’t kill the first, lonely troll: Mr. O’ was all set to, but I was like “dude’s just doing his job, give him the money.” We disagreed, but I won the rock-paper-scissors argument, so I gave him the money.

The second, less-personable troll (who was equally just doing his job, but being more of a jerk about it), we did kill.

A sometimes-unfortunate aspect of this game is that you can’t ‘back out’ of conversations, and there’s generally no “I’ll get back to you” option when there’s a choice involved…you HAVE to choose one thing or the other. So you choose to either pay or fight, there’s no “actually, we don’t even need to go this way right now, let’s just head back into the city and think about it.”

Not that you would have said that, but hypothetically if at some future point there were a situation where the bridge WASN’T broken but you didn’t really need to cross it right then…you can’t just come back later when maybe you have the money, you have to either pay or fight once you’ve started the conversation.

And who’s going to just NOT start a conversation? No one, that’s who.

Anyway. Our broken-bridge troll is still alive, and our pet-slugs troll is dead. We later found a woman in Silverglen who agreed to befriend the lonely troll, but for a ton of money, so we’re not sure we care that much. We were thinking maybe he’d give us more information if we made him happy, but…money is still kind of hard to come by. We’ll see.

We killed a bunch of orcs down that way, too, so you’re on our track.

Butch:

Uh….wait….I….he was all “Troll toll” and I tried to just say “Yeah, I don’t really want to cross your bridge, it’s broken and all” and he attacked ME! I didn’t WANT to kill the guy! But yes, he had these pets that spit and I didn’t know they spit and that was a bad surprise.

Info about caves and entrances to same that aren’t of this plane? That info? Cuz that was good info.

I didn’t even have the choice to do that! I was just strolling along, minding my business, and BOOM. Automatic conversation, pressure to make a decision, me TRYING to be all “I’ll get back to you,” fight. What’s a guy to do?

Man….I hope I didn’t kill lonely troll. He didn’t SEEM lonely. He threatened to squish me like a yellow fruit. He didn’t MENTION lonely. Now I feel bad. Unless he was a jerk. In which case I don’t.

Been back to the end of time yet? Don’t dawdle! Other stuff…might happen if you do.

Feminina:

No, that wasn’t the lonely troll, that was the jerk troll that we also killed. Probably because he accosted us and wouldn’t let us leave without paying or fighting. Don’t feel bad. That guy got what was coming to him.

You must have bypassed the lonely troll somehow, but no worries, you’ll surely run into him one of these days. You’ll know him immediately because he’ll be much less jerky and more mournful. A pleasant sort, really.

We didn’t do anything, sorry. I blame Mr. O’, who was all tired from being home with the sick kid or whatever. (Virus onslaught lately.) He couldn’t handle your life, man. None of us could.

Butch:

Ah good. I don’t like killing sad trolls.

You didn’t play at all? Wimps.

I kid, I kid. You’re not wimps. I can’t handle my life either.

Feminina:

We kind of are wimps. I won’t deny it.

But yeah, sad, polite troll is one thing. Rude troll who starts talking to YOU, demanding you pay or be squashed…he’s asking to be squashed himself, and there’s no two ways about it. Even if it was his job. I mean, sometimes (a lot of times) the job of NPCs is to be killed by the PCs. Sucks to be them, but there it is. The troll king should have thought of that before he sent his guys out there, if he didn’t want them ending up dead.

Which for all we know he actually did. Maybe this is just his way of disposing of troublemakers! “Send that guy who keeps challenging my authority to demand tolls from people walking by the broken bridge. Either he’ll collect some money for me, or he’ll get killed. Win-win, really.”

Butch:

See, when he was talking, it said his name was Grumble, which means we now know Grumble is troll for “Kevin.”

Though…that raises an interesting question: Can Kevin be someone with whom you have dialog choices? Does that elevate him past general Kevin status? Even if his purpose is the same?

Pondering Kevin….

It’s tough being troll Kevin. At least he got to die with his pig dog slugs.

Feminina:

I thought about that! And decided not to call him troll-Kevin, because I figured a true Kevin has no dialogue options. I think a true Kevin is one of a mass of indistinguishable companions who exist only to attack you if they see you, and the only way to avoid killing them is to sneak past them.

With this troll, we could have avoided combat by giving him his money, plus he had information to offer in dialogue, plus he had a personality that was distinct from other trolls we’ve met (or will meet), plus he had an individual name that was different from other trolls we’ve met or will meet (even if I had forgotten that name)…so in closing, I would not classify Grumble the Troll as a Kevin.

Those orcs you ran into, who attacked without provocation (other than the admittedly provoking fact of you wandering around in their territory while they were trying to camp)? Sure. Kevins.

But if you can have a conversation with someone, I say they’re not Kevin.

That’s my take, anyway.

Butch:

Yup. They can have dialog, sure. Well, banter. We’ll call it banter. But that’s between Kevins. Only between Kevins.

Agreed.

Ah, but what about the last Orc there? Yes, I fought “Orc Ranger” and “Elite Orc Shaman” (or Nick did), but there was a named Orc woman there! With that whole silvery “level” thing indicating importance. I was expecting dialog, but no. Instant attack. But she had a name! And it wasn’t Kevin! But she acted like Kevin!

So confused.

Feminina:

I think name also equals not-Kevin, even if they don’t do anything special. A name in this case might have signified some special abilities, and is therefore important from a mechanics standpoint. Like, “Ah, Brunhilde, she has the extra poison attack and we’ll stick her in the cave fight” or whatever.

As to what is a Kevin, honestly, in this game I think it’s a bit harder to make that call than in, say, Uncharted, where you literally have just wave after wave of identical dudes with identical weapons (or at least, all picking from the same list of similar weapons). Even there, we’d draw a distinction between Kevin and, say, Tank Guy who’s got a big gun in a tank or whatever, because he’s outside the norm and there’s usually only one of him in any given fight. Tank Guy has the attack move “tank!” and everyone else just has “shoot with gun” or whatever.

Here in Divinity, even your average fight with 3 or 4 fairly run-of-the-mill enemies is going to feature people with a variety of different skills and attacks, because some are wizards, some are melee fighters, some are archers, etc. Heck, even wandering zombies are likely to have an Undead Priest with them or something. I think one could make an argument that there ARE no true Kevins in this game, that there’s simply too much variation within every combat to be able to say “that’s one of a faceless mass of bad guys.”

That’s a pretty strong stance, though, and I don’t actually support it–I think we could just as well say that in Divinity the term Kevin would encompass anyone with a generic title (undead swordsman or the like) rather than a real name, because the overall effect over dozens of fights is certainly similar to ‘faceless mass of enemies’ even if in practice they’re a lot easier to tell apart in a given battle than it is to tell apart a member of the hordes of wandering minions hired by the main villain who could show up in one fight in a game like Uncharted.

Although that’s likely also due in part to the turn-based combat–after all, identifying the snipers in Uncharted and going after them first is basically the same as identifying the wizard or the assassin in this game and going after them, and if we had the same amount of time to ponder each move, we’d probably figure out how to tell individual Uncharted Kevins apart more, or to say, “hey, that one keeps hitting and that one keeps missing, get the one with the higher dex” or whatever.

I guess I’d say we have to recognize that this game’s take on the Kevin is very much of a piece with its take on combat in general. There’s so much time involved! Take advantage of the opportunity to roll up a lot of wildly varying NPCs and toss them in there. But also, there are still going to be a lot of them that are just zombies, or skeletons, or bomb zombies, or orcs, or whatever.

Hm. Interesting question.

Butch:

Fair. This woman seemed to have a thingy that charmed dudes. I HOPE it’s a charming axe. That would rule. But Bairdotr changed rings and can’t identify things. I have to change her back.

Speaking of gear, you see my screenshots? Lovely.

But fair point. We do have the whole damn monster manual thrown at us. Kevin is usually pretty cookie cutter.

I still think the “attack on sight” thing has to figure in. That’s really Kevin’s main thing, isn’t it?

Feminina:

I have not logged in recently, so alas, have missed them. But I look forward to checking them out soon. Tonight I hope! Kids back at school and all.

A charming axe would be so fantastic. Charm is really the best (or worst, if someone does it to your Undead Nick immediately after you summon him).

I think ‘attack on sight,’ yeah, and also, ‘generic.’ Like, no special identifying characteristics that you could really pick out. Kevin gets away with everything, because in a lineup, he looks just like every other Kevin.

Butch:

Well, until someone slaughters him. It’s a wash, really.

And you’re gonna love them. Or Mr. O will.

I think this is it! But I need rings to prove it! Cuz she kept charming me and was just whacking!

Then watch: I’ll forget to repair it and lose it in a day.

Feminina:

Yeah…he’s gotten away with everything in his life up to now, which perhaps is what gives him the completely unrealistic level of confidence that is required to imagine he’s going to survive a battle with the PC. If Kevin had a lick of sense, he’d just bail, if not the second he heard the PC’s name (“Lara Croft, eh? I’m out”), then at LEAST by the time the 3rd or 4th batch of his co-Kevins turned up all murdered. (“Yeeeeeah…turns out I have an important job somewhere else not getting murdered, bye.”)

But he sticks it out to the bitter end, boosted by unwarranted high morale, never wavering, never pausing to contemplate the possibility of another way or wonder whether he might have made a bad decision back there somewhere.

Poor Kevin. We can but pity him, and then murder him to death.

Butch:

Wow. We get very articulate when we’re insane.

It does explain the motivations of Kevin. Cuz Kevin isn’t dumb! Kevin kills us, too! He is at least our equal!

Just very overconfident.

Feminina:

Kevin just isn’t prepared–CANNOT in fact be prepared–for our secret advantage: the ability to reload from the dead multiple times and, if all else fails, turn down the difficulty.

It’s not his fault. The deck is fundamentally and forever stacked against him. His fate was written long ago, in stars he can never hope to comprehend. No wonder he’s angry.

Butch:

YES!

“Phew! I won! And now…wait. Why I am back here? Why is other Kevin alive again? Why do I feel the need to repeat all the banter I said before? And HOLY CRAP SHE’S BACK! And I’m weak!”

Poor Kevin.

Feminina:

Poor Kevin. His is the real existential tragedy here.

Butch:

That may as be, but after this week so far, he has no sympathy from me.

Feminina:

True, at least he wasn’t stuck at home with sick children and professional days and early-rising wives for months on end.

“Kevin, would you like to emerge from this computer program and experience all the wonder and mystery of human life in the real world? The solidity of objects, the rush of air in your lungs, the magic of food, sleep, growing older, friendship, the love of another human, making your own choices…All you have to do is watch my kids for a couple of hours.”

“Well, gee, man, I mean, I’d really love to wanna help you, but…got a PC to try to kill, you know how it is…basically, I’m good, thanks.”

Announcing Our New Product Line

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Puncherson_64LadyBrain_64

Spoilers for the Alfie story in Divinity: Original Sin

Feminina:

We…well…we were in Silverglen and talked to Alfie! He seemed happier. Not having to work as hard. And those two seemed to be doing reasonably well, though it seems a bit churlish of them not to let us use their forge, after all we did for them. (That is, somehow NOT leaving them dead completely by accident, the way we usually do.) But I guess you gotta make a living.

But we didn’t get back to the end of time. Sorry.

Butch:

Yeah! I was happy for Alfie. It all worked out ok. But yeah, kinda not all that helpful, people we saved. His prices aren’t even that good! Still, happy for Alfie.

Dude, go back to the end of time. Stuff happens. Hopefully. And you can learn I’m sane, so you can convince me that I’m sane, which would kinda help right about now.

Kids, yard work, my soul is crushed.

Feminina:

Think about the booze. Calming, healing thoughts about booze. Deep, cleansing breaths. While visualizing booze.

I think we could make this a best-selling meditation manual. To go with the pear brandy! Package set!

Butch:

And the collector’s edition will have burlap lingerie! And fireproof heels. Though those might be harder to make.

Really, fireproof heels really round out the burlap lingerie outfit.

We so should’ve released that by Valentine’s day. Now, maybe, what, we aim for Memorial Day?

Feminina:

Well, people will really need this right around when school’s out, so ideally we would aim for June, although I do realize that’s a tough timeline when we’re already so busy not playing games and possibly (probably) being insane.

Butch:

Our burlap summer line. I like it.

Sadly, insanity is a full time job.

T SHIRT!!!!

Feminina:

Yes! Burlap for summer! So light and breathable!

This is going to be great.

As soon as we manage to quit our full-time crazy and put some time into the business.

Make Mrs. McP work on it. She’s the professional here. We’re just the creative talent.

Butch:

And she’s crafty! But very practical. Do we want lingerie to be practical?

It’s all a trade off.

Feminina:

Hm. Yes, it is a trade-off. I suppose we couldn’t quibble too much if she were the one making the stuff. Maybe just make sure we retain veto power in case she tries anything TOO practical.

Although when you’re talking about burlap, is practicality kind of a moot point?

Anyway, let’s not forget that since it comes with pear brandy, people will forgive a lot.

Butch:

They will. And, let’s face it, if anyone can come up with fireproof heels, it’s Mrs. McP.

Feminina:

I wouldn’t trust anyone else with the task.

Trading Notes

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Puncherson_64LadyBrain_64

Minor spoilers for Boreas’ treasure room and Hiberheim issues in Divinity: Original Sin

Butch:

Well, despite my crushed soul, played some. And did stuff!

Got into Boreas’ treasure room. This was NOT intuitive. Like, how the hell was I supposed to find THAT? I mean, without the internet.

Still, worth it. LOTS and LOTS of loot. And one of those star stones. Just sayin’. So you should probably go get in there. Cuz plot. I’ll give you my notes.

It also allows you to wrap up the wishing wells, so did that, mostly cuz I like a nice, clear quest list.

I also got a lot of VERY interesting plotty dialog from Jahan my new squadmate. You should go get him. He had a lot of surprising things to say.

Then a whole lot of futzing around with gear, because all the loot. Now Roderick looks like a big, Blackwallesque bug! You’d love him. And Scarlett? Well, this IS a game, and, yet again, the very strong, 60 armor rated fireproof armor? Skimpy as hell. And somehow the “boots of the fireman” I have are basically pieces of purple something on the front of her calves over open toed heels. Seriously. What firemen wear those? The ones in the village people? I look like something out of “Project Runway,” if it took place in a swingers bondage bar.

I’m rather curious to put those boots on Roderick to see if they look the same. I doubt they will.

But it IS good gear. I’ll give it that.

Then decided it was back to Lucella to start trucking towards the mines, which led to some magpie, as it does. Fought a bunch of drunk goblins near a poison plant, leveled, called it a night.

You?

Feminina:

We like loot! We’ll get to that treasure room someday. We tried–we collected the ‘language of faery’ book and went back, but none of the statues would talk to us. So my own attempts to cheat off the internet’s test failed miserably. We’ll try again. Maybe we had to be holding the book?

We also played a bit. Got in a couple of fights. Did some trading. Found the most sacred temple of the Immaculates. All in a day’s work.

I remember those drunk goblins! Good times.

Oh, and while we were in Hiberheim trying unsuccessfully to speak to statues, we wandered around, freed that elemental you mentioned, got that plot info from the snowmen. They did kind of have a point, but we fought them anyway. He took off, but not before mentioning that we have to find a guard’s amulet or something to get the Winter Ring from the treasure room (which we will at some point get into). Did you find an amulet anywhere?

Butch:

I did. Indeed, I found it accidentally, actually. It IS in a place, in hiberheim, that obviously contains important treasure, which is why I found it. One of those “Oh there’s GOT to be something nice in there oh look a quest thing.” You’ve seen it. I’ll tell you more if you like.

And that ring is REALLY nice. Scarlett’s sporting it now. With her otherwise understated attire. I find it brings out the practicality in her boots.

Dude, the “statue” you have to talk to is NOT one of the sentinels. It’s one of the ones that looks like decoration, built into the wall. And, to make matters worse, it’s hiding in the green stuff growing BEHIND the earth thingy. It’s impossible to find!

And the book is only for AFTER you get past the damn barrier!

Puzzles that rely on just finding something that isn’t intuitive (those statues have NEVER talked) and hard to find suck. Make it fair, game. Especially if you’re putting something important behind the barrier.

That is one knock I have on this game. Hard? I’m ok with hard. Unfair and random? Not so much.

Feminina:

Wow, OK. Behind the green stuff growing behind the earth thingy. That’s exactly the next place I was going to look! Ha.

It’s true, “we’d never survive without comparing notes” is amusing, but it’s also not necessarily a great thing to have to say about a game. Unless you MEAN for your game to include lots of random stuff that a lot of people will miss unless they check with their friends/the internet, which I guess is possible. We’ve talked about how the game feels kind of old-school in some ways, very traditionally D&D-esque (except when it isn’t), and weren’t there a ton of those Easter Eggs and random things you’d never find without cheatbooks in early computer games? Maybe they did it on purpose.

Of course, even if it is intentional, that doesn’t mean we have to think it’s awesome. “I see what you’re doing here, and I don’t like it” is legitimate commentary.

We know we’re going back to Hiberheim at some point, so we’ll poke around and see if we find the amulet. If not, I’ll come back to you for more info. Because like it or not, we’d never survive without comparing notes!

Butch:

I mean, you can’t even really see it, and I don’t think it comes up on a circle search! It’s ridiculous!

Easter Eggs? Fine. But there’s a fucking star stone back there, and, we established yesterday, you can’t get certain things without star stones. So this isn’t even a “If you stumble upon this, lucky you! Loot!” This is a “get here for things to progress” bit. And those things? You have to give the player a fighting chance of reasoning things out. I had the same problem with finding that switch to get to Pontius. Pure luck. And if they DID mean that, shame on them.

I take it you didn’t go back to the End of time.

Yup. Legitimate commentary. And consider it commented.

As good as this game is, it does have its flaws. Don’t they all?

Feminina:

Indeed–they do all have flaws. Even Horizon had wacky challenge levels and an annoying inventory system! (Although pretty much all inventory systems are annoying.)

No, we did not go back to the end of time. We started right in front of a village, so NOT exploring the village just seemed silly, and then we got distracted following up on things. We will! We’ll go back! In good news, we picked up ANOTHER inert stone in the process, so if that’s what we were lacking, we should be all set once we get there.

I hope.

Butch:

Man, me too. THough, if not, I WILL Find you a workaround! We former PC gamers always find work arounds! It’s how we do.

At least Horizon kept up the long tradition of having the fireproof armor be the one that most resembles lingerie. I burst out laughing when I saw what this armor looked like last night. Like, for real?

Not that I mind. Ahem.

Feminina:

I’ve been pretty into the long-robe look. Works well for a wizard (classic style! low encumbrance! decent AC if it’s got some magic!), and really does not resemble lingerie in any meaningful sense.

Our Bairdotr wound up in some pretty silly gear, though. At least she’s an archer? I guess? It’s even more ridiculous in melee fighters.

Butch:

I’ll send you a screenshot. If you promise not to judge. It’s pretty ridiculous.

What gear did Bairdotr get?

Feminina:

I don’t remember what it’s called, and it’s not OUTRAGEOUSLY ridiculous by game standards, just the usual exposed skin and practical high heels thing. Which, OK, I might give them skimpy because she was raised in the wild and cares nothing for human modesty, but you KNOW no human raised by bears is going to be all “ooh, toe-pinching footwear that throws off my center of gravity, let me at THAT dramatic improvement to my mobility and combat effectiveness!”

I promise I won’t judge…too harshly.

Butch:

It seems all the boots Scarlett puts on magically get three inch heels. And boobs. They have the same properties as DAO armor. Though at least DAO’s boots made sense.

Or maybe Roderick just wears them better.

Heels, though, is one thing. Open toed heels? C’mon, game.

Feminina:

I think my character’s boots also turn into high heels, but they’re usually hidden by the robes so I can pretend they don’t. Weirdly, when I was down to my underwear with Ramon, I was definitely wearing high heels (high heels ARE underwear, people!), but they weren’t part of my actual gear, they were just default shoes. Blue, like my blue starry underpants.

Because again, OBVIOUSLY stripping to your underwear means putting on your matching underwear-heels. To keep your feet from getting cold on the brothel floor or whatever. This is a public health issue! I could catch my death!

I mean, I was much more likely to catch my death from Ramon trying to kill me, but…details.

Butch:

High heels aren’t underwear? You don’t say.

I thought it might be because feet are complicated to draw in a non AAA game. But now I’m rocking the whole sandal thing. So, who knows?

Just games, I guess.

Feminina:

Yeah…feet, like women in general, are very hard to animate. This has long been known to be true.

Butch:

Ooo! Extreme callback burn!

We’re Probably Just Insane

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Minor spoilers for Divinity: Original Sin plot points and how to get said plot points

Butch:

Got nothing, what with the crushed soul. But if you didn’t, I had thoughts from a while back.

We STILL haven’t met an organized religion that isn’t evil, right? We talked on “the seven,” and it dawned on me that’s a loaded number in a game about sin. Especially a game where sin is “good.”

Whatchu make of that?

My poor soul.

Feminina:

Sorry about your soul.

We’ve got…OK, first thing is, you’re definitely insane. We went back to the end of time, talked to the imp (which was easy because he was sitting right there with the others)…nothing. No scene of us leading armies, no home, no mirror, no face-changing options.

You’re insane.

So we went to try to infiltrate the Immaculates instead.

However, I like the connection there with The Seven and the famous seven deadly sins. Interesting. I mean, seven is a popular number for cultural significance, so it’s not necessarily related, but with the focus on sin, it’s certainly suggestive.

In a meeting now, better pretend to pay attention. Good luck with that soul.

Butch:

Ok….googled. You need a star/blood stone to open each portal. I must have had four, and you must have four as well. Did you talk to the bigassed statue there that’s down the hall from where the Weaver is sitting?

I’m not sure what’s going on. Here’s what you should have:

Stone 1 (Star or Blood)
A star stone is dropped by Evelyn in Theyron’s Healing House when you make a choice to save either Boris or Steven. Alternatively, you can steal the blood stone directly from Evelyn by pickpocketing her.

Stone 2 (Star)
Found at the scene of Councilor Jake’s murder at the King Crab Inn in Cyseal.

Stone 3 (Star)
Found by the Waypoint Portal near the bridge that links Cyseal and Luculla Forest.

Stone 4 (Blood)
Found in Pontius’ Chest on his Ship

Oh, more googling. Did you save an imp in the mines? Google says he’s easy to mistake for Zixzax. Go back to the end of time. Talk to everyone. Run around, not just by the weaver there.

Nowhere did I find that this is bugged. You’re just missing something.

Yeah, I think you have the wrong imp. Zixzax wasn’t sitting. He was running all around.

Oh, and everywhere says don’t wait to do it. DO IT!

OH here’s a difference:

Have you USED your bloodstones?

Feminina:

Well, we used a bloodstone to save Alfie. That’s the only time it’s come up, I think.

And all right, fine, possibly we missed a blood and/or star stone somewhere along the way–I have no idea how many we’ve picked up or where.

But we went back to the end of time and wandered up and down all the branches and clicked on all the portals (some still inert)…I don’t recall talking with a bigassed statue because why would we, but oh OF COURSE we should always be talking to statues, how silly of us!

We talked to everyone else, including, if he’s the ‘keeper’ at the end of time, Zixzax (“this may seem like a strange question, but don’t you get lonely here?”), who was absolutely just sitting there in a chair next to Icara and the weaver, holding court at the End of Time Salon. None of them had anything remotely new or interesting to say.

Did we save an imp in the mines…I don’t think so? We didn’t actually get that far into the mines before we ran into…things. So maybe we still have to save an imp.

Man, I dunno, I’m still kind of leaning towards you being insane.

Butch:

Oh wait….you didn’t sell your “inert” stones did you? Cuz those kinda are starstones. That’s kinda a problem. I only knew that cuz I read the descriptions…. If you sold them, go unsell them.

If not, try going into the hall of heroes, then DIRECTLY back to the end of time.

Again, not a single word about this being a bug. So you’re missing something.

You’ll likely find an inert stone….soon. Or, if not, go get yours back. Or get one of the ones you missed.

Or I’m insane.

Feminina:

My money is still on “you’re insane,” but we do have an inert stone left over from when we healed Alfie. I didn’t sell it, just because you never know. I didn’t notice it doing anything at the end of time, and I think I still had it last time I looked at my inventory.

However, we actually just picked up another one last night (perhaps at the point hinted by your ellipses?), so maybe even if we missed one before, that will make enough for what we need.

I dunno, though…if that’s not enough, then I have literally no idea where we might have missed a stone, or who we might have sold it to if we accidentally sold it, so it’s kind of a matter of “go back everywhere you’ve ever been and talk to everyone you’ve ever talked to,” which I have to say does not sound appealing. If it turns out to be that easy to completely miss a critical plot point, that will kind of suck.

Still, we did just pick one up, so we’ll go back to the end of time and see if anything is different now. After we finish doing some trading at this village we just reached.

On that note, last night I did a completely pointless bit of trading. Stole a bunch of pillows from a guy’s place and then went to sell them back to him, as one does, only he had no money, so I bought a scroll from him to give him some money, sold him all the pillows, glanced through the rest of his stuff and decided not to buy it…then we got in a fight with him, killed him, and from his body recovered — all the pillows. Plus all the other stuff I hadn’t seen fit to buy before. That’s the economic cycle, churning in a muddy rut. We really should have saved time by just killing him as soon as we saw him.

Butch:

That’s kinda funny. And he never said “Hey…my pillow?” They never do, do they?

Hmm. And you kept the ones from Evelyn and the crime scene? Weird. Maybe go check that bridge again?

It seems you don’t need them ALL to see everything. But, all the same, might want to at least go there, see what’s what, and maybe go right to that waypoint by the forest bridge to look. It’s by a way point. Takes 30 seconds.

Just….don’t sell the stone. And if it’s a blood stone, use it if nothing happens.

Feminina:

They never recognize their own stolen pillows! And, yet, they are always happy to buy the used pillows offered to them by mysterious traveling weirdos, suggesting that they are aware they need more pillows.

I don’t fully understand this phenomenon, but am happy to take advantage of it.

All right, all right, we’ll return to the end of time and possibly the hall of heroes and etc. etc. But something better be there, because they were completely unhelpful last time we went.

Butch:

Just wander, like, everywhere.

Again, I have checked to see if this is a glitch, and it does not appear to be.

Unless it’s the ghost of the mayor….

Feminina:

Gods damn it, it’s totally going to turn out to be the ghost of the mayor! I just know it.

That would be kind of hilarious, if also incredibly irritating.

Butch:

It would also be hilarious, if irritating, if the reason this was all messed up was you, of all people, failing to loot something.

I’m almost sure you didn’t think to loot by that waypoint. Makes no sense that you can loot waypoints.

Feminina:

Ah, but we do tend to hit ‘search’ wherever we go, just to find bird’s nests and hollow trees and so forth, so it wouldn’t be that surprising if we found it that way.

I’m not confident we didn’t find it, although I also can’t say for sure that we did. Finding something weird next to a waypoint kind of rings a bell, though. Could have been something else! We shall see.

Butch:

You’ll get there. For bloggage!

My autocorrect recognizes bloggage. So proud.

Feminina:

So proud! No, phone, we don’t mean ‘baggage.’

Although we’ve accumulated plenty of that, in the sense of crushing insecurity and fear of missing critical plots.

Butch:

And snow days. Don’t forget that.