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Puncherson_64LadyBrain_64

No spoilers, but some helpful tips on sign use

Butch:

Dude I just figured out how to use the “alternate sign mode.” Do you have that?

I’m a damn flamethrower!

Feminina:

I was looking at it the other day, but didn’t set it up. I’ll check it out again, on that recommendation. I do enjoy flamethrowing!

Butch:

Yeah, you gotta put that second tier ability in one of the “active” slots. So I did that with igni. Now, if I pull the trigger and release, it just does that FWOOSH igni that it always does. But if I HOLD the trigger, flamethrower. It’ll go in a targeted stream until I release the trigger or run out of stamina.

Cool.

Feminina:

That is cool. I’ve got to get on that.

I have a few ability points saved up, anyway, so it’s really time to look into my skill setup. I find I like to wait until there are 3 or four before I bother with spending them–that way I can decide I want to focus on something, and really make a difference on it. And since you only have a handful of slots, it’s not as if you’d automatically be benefiting from having done it earlier.

Not much play. I did a bit last night, but am still in Novigrad. There was a “meet so-and-so at midnight” bit on the main quest line, and even though I know, metagaming, that ANY midnight would do, it seemed more true to the story to imagine that it should be the midnight immediately following the conversation, so I’m sticking around to pursue that.

Butch:

There’s that about ability points. I always forget to spend a couple. But remember, limited slots aside, you can swap out what’s active. Say you juice up igni and aard. Fighting a grave hag? Go to character, put in igni. Oops, next thing is 12 harpies? Swap in aard for igni. So you can still benefit despite the limited number of slots.

I did even less play. Only had a little time, so went magpie and hunted pirates down the coast there. Wimpy pirates. But got ENHANCED devil’s puffball which is my new favorite thing ever. Esp. as the AI isn’t all that intelligent. I had this mass of pirates, so I chucked a puffball at the front. They died, and, one by one, the rest charged me…..through the poison cloud and died. I just kinda stood there, watching them come at me, patiently, until they were all dead. Simple.

Though I was churning through one question mark after another of level 3 and 4 wimpy dudes, then saw this question mark on a peninsula right south. I figure, “Hey, this is wimp coast. I’ll get that and done.” So I truck down, hidden treasure, nice, level 33 grave hag guarding it. LEVEL 33! I was like “this is the wimp coast, man, you’re lost.”

So I booked it out of there and I now stand on the portside gate of Novigrad, ready to cross tonight. Plan to start chewing through that, but then, it always takes longer than it takes, doesn’t it?

Feminina:

You do wonder about those high-level monsters in a crowd of wimps. Do they feel isolated? Left out of all the parties, because there’s no one their own level to socialize with? It also shows an interesting lack of ambition on the part of monsters generally…why hasn’t that grave hag wiped out all the other, weaker monsters and claimed the whole coast for herself? Why is she sitting around guarding one stupid chest that probably has some loot she doesn’t even care about, when she could OWN this whole region?

I suppose monsters are simple souls at heart. Much like Geralt! They just want to kill some people, eat them, and guard some loot on a nice little patch of swamp (or beach, or field, or whatever the case may be). That hag is living the dream! A quiet life: the sea breeze, drowners and pirates to eat, a chest of loot. What more could anyone ask?

I did a tiny bit of magpieing while waiting for midnight, and stole a treasure from a 23rd-level arachnid or something. Arachas? I didn’t want to get close enough to check the spelling, honestly, just dashed in, looted, and booked it the hell out of there. I’m 14th level now, and successfully defeated a 19th-level bilge hag and a nest of 18th-level nekkers (seriously flared up ogroids!), but 23 still has a red skull on it, so…nope.

Butch:

I know! C’mon, hag! Assert yourself!

Or, for that matter, why aren’t there a whole lot more dead pirates? I mean, these people have the brains to walk through a poison cloud that just killed 12 of their friends, so you’d think they’d one by one, go “I wonder what’s in that chest over there….that old lady can’t be all that tough….”

Maybe it’s like retirement. I mean, so many of these guards look kinda old. Maybe, in her younger days, she did terrorize villagers, but now the 401k has matured, the little haglets have moved out, and she just wants a nice sea view, little drowner blood to sip at sunset, maybe an afternoon golf game once a week. She probably sees all those pirates and is all “Hey guys. Yeah, in my working days, I’d flay you all alive but I am SO off that hamster wheel.”

DAMN you’re taking out 19th? Without dropping the difficultly? I am impressed.

Don’t overdo it, though. You’ll forget all the stuff I’M doing.

Feminina:

I’m a badass, man. Even without alternate sign mode! The hag did ALMOST get me, but I kept knocking her down with aard so she couldn’t splatter me with her bile as much as usual.

Of course, I then kept getting my butt kicked fighting a bunch of 9th level guards, so I can’t get too cocky. My excuse is that it was bedtime and my attention was fading. Also, they had really good armor. When you can’t kill people quickly, they keep hitting you. Words of wisdom.

And on a previous topic, I finally remembered to check the time while it was loading after I died: about 1 minute. A full minute! Buttons’ 7-15 seconds is NOTHING. No wonder I’ve been reading while I play.

Your retired monster theory makes sense. After all, it’s bound to be a lot of hard work getting to 33rd level. (I’ve certainly put in a lot of work just getting to 14.) By then I’m sure you want to settle down and enjoy life, not be constantly chasing pirates around.

“Let the young hags handle it! I’m just enjoying my view of the wrecks, and the melancholy cry of the gulls, and the drowners dragging an occasional screaming passerby into the sea. That’s the life, really, and I’ve earned it.”

Butch:

I always forget that aard trick. You are badass. Respect.

Axii for armor, man. Axii just makes all your troubles go away. They just kind of stand there waiting to die.

Yeah! 33rd level? It’s time for a sit at that point. I mean, what do you really have to prove at that point? She must’ve done so much to earn all that hag cred. Life’s too short.

She has earned her retirement, really, and I respect that. Or at least I will until I’m 33rd level and kill her for her useless loot.

We’re assholes, us.

Feminina:

I know! We’re such jerks. That hag is chilling, enjoying a hard-earned retirement out on a quiet island, and WE have to come along and kill her just for being there and having a chest nearby that she probably barely even noticed was there when she moved in, and that’s full of random junk neither she nor we care about. We suck.

Speaking of screaming passersby, I was thinking about THAT last night. Have you noticed how, semi-frequently, you’ll be walking along in a town or city setting, and you’ll hear a scream? And you look around, but don’t see anything obviously out of the ordinary, so you just carry on?

What is that about? It’s a sort of background noise, speaking to the rough-and-tumble nature of the game world, but I feel like it could also be another way of saying that you can’t tell who’s really a monster: even (or especially) in a town or city, surrounded by other humans, humans often come to harm. It’s also a reminder of the fact that even though you’re a badass witcher, you can’t fix every problem–people are going to keep coming to harm regardless of what you do, at each others’ hands if not the hands of the monsters your job it is to kill, and you won’t have the opportunity to interfere, even if you wanted to, because it happens so fast and outside your notice. (Which raises a question about the real value of your job–is it actually some great good to the world, to save people from monsters so they can kill each other instead?)

Either that or all these screams have quests attached, but I’m not pursuing them vigorously enough.

Butch:

Hey, as a two time home buyer, you have to do your homework. For example, when we moved here, we made damn sure that the farmland behind us was owned by the town and will never be developed. We checked for environmental issues, where the wetlands were, and double checked the soundness of the septic tank. We also spent the extra hundred bucks to do the survey that made sure there were no random chests anywhere on or adjacent to the property. One cannot be too careful.

So really, it’s the hag’s fault. I bet her septic tank broke, too.

I have noticed the screaming passersby. I thought that maybe they were screaming at me, part of the whole “I spit on witchers” or “Have mercy, witcher, don’t steal our youngins!” stuff. But maybe there’s more to it. I have looked. I couple that with the load screen tip that listening in on conversations sometimes reveals quests and details of quests. (That has NEVER actually happened. I still do it. Stopping every three feet to witcher sense some dudes. “Uh….don’t mind me….quest? No? Uh….this is awkward.”) Not once has that load screen tip panned out. So maybe I just have to find that screamer. We shall see.

Feminina:

Good point. It’s a lesson, really–how many retirees have had their golden years ruined through a careless or overly thrifty failure to thoroughly survey the property for witcher magnets? That giant question mark hovering overhead should have been a dead giveaway as to why a lovely island in such a desirable location was so affordable. Don’t let this happen to you!

I’ve never overheard anything useful in random conversations either. It’s always something like “should I hang out the laundry, or not?” I don’t feel qualified to advise in this matter, so I move on.

Butch:

Yeah we looked a couple of places in Sudbury that had those question marks. And don’t get me started on Lincoln. Nothing but clickers and used record stores.

And yet that load screen tip about conversations sits there, trolling us. So there’s got to be SOMETHING. Right? Right?

Feminina:

The less said about Lincoln, the better–that’s been established.

I dunno, there is that ‘tip’: “when the time of the white frost comes, do not eat the yellow snow,” and I don’t know if that’s ever going to be useful. Maybe “eavesdrop on conversations and you MIGHT hear something useful” is just to toy with us.

Butch:

All part of the cheeky load tip tradition. Civ III started this. Most tips were helpful, one was “Snacks are nice in moderation.”

I think the do not eat the yellow snow’s a joke, dude.

The eavesdrop better not be to toy. I listen a lot.

Feminina:

I know, I know it’s a joke. A mildly amusing one, too, the first couple of times, although like all load screen tips, it loses its zinginess after a few dozen repetitions. (Although you can bet that if yellow snow ever shows up in-game, and you can click X to ‘eat’, I will not do so.)

Butch:

Knowing the cheekiness of CDPR (still love the codex), it will show up.

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