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Puncherson_64LadyBrain_64

Spoilers for…Skellige geography? Nothing significant, really.

Butch:

Played. But went wandering. Found a bunch of fast travel points that sure looked like interesting places, but if there were quests there I couldn’t find them. I hate that. You find something with a cool name, that’s big, that’s crawling with people, that has a fast travel point, and it’s screaming “I’m here for a reason!” and damned if you can find out the reason. Found about three of those last night. So, of course, wasted time futilely finding the reason. Then I found an alchemist near a graveyard, beat him in gwent, was mad cuz he didn’t have monster eyes either. Did a question mark that was actually level appropriate (a level 15 bilge hag guarding stuff) but that didn’t have any earth moving loot. Then back to Novigrad to talk to Dandelion, but Zoltan was there first and he needs gwent cards. I HAVE the gwent cards in MY deck, but apparently that isn’t good enough. So I’ll go get them, and that’s where I am.

So not much.

But that whole “There’s gotta be something here!” thing. I know you get that, too.

Feminina:

I do get that thing, but lately if it’s not fairly evident I usually shrug, say “maybe something I find somewhere else will bring me back here later” and move on. There’s too much to do to spend a lot of time wandering around a suspiciously uneventful area. Even though I agree with you that uneventfulness is definitely suspicious and worth investigating. Unless the game is just toying with our ingrained expectations, and including genuinely uneventful locations on purpose to mess with us. Which is probably sometimes true, because CDPR.

In fact, just last night I stumbled on a location called ‘ancient crypt’, with a fast travel point and an ‘entrance’ marker. Gotta be something! I mean, it’s called a crypt! It’s probably an underground hall full of bones and loot, right?

Nope. The ‘entrance’ goes about two feet into the side of a hill and hits a wall. Nothing on witcher senses, not a wall I can aard down or remove with the illusion-destroying device, just a wall. OK. I still think there’s got to be something there, but I have other question marks to investigate, so I’ll come back later. Or not. Maybe there’s another entrance on the other side of the mountain, and I’ll stumble across it another time.

Or maybe the game’s messing with me, saying “you know, sometimes when people put things in a crypt it’s because they don’t want wandering grave robbers to take it, so they’ll put a wall there on purpose to keep you from going in. Move along, thief!”

That’s another thing about Skellige: it’s very mountainous, so half the time you’ll see a marker pretty close by but on the other side of the island that you want to check out, and it turns out you have to go around an entire mountain range to get to it. There are occasions when I just don’t have time for that nonsense.

I remember Zoltan’s quest for those cards! He probably doesn’t want yours because they’re all beaten up from you playing so much gwent, and also carrying them around in your saddlebags with your rotting trophies. “Um…thanks, man, but I actually want some NICE cards.”

That’s a good sideline to keep you busy until vacation. That, and if you finish it and DO get to talk to Dandelion, he’s got something you could do as well. Because obviously he would.

Butch:

Yeah, I keep telling myself that. I mean, it’s happened twice, recently. I wondered if I would get into that big complex estate thing (and I did, at the ball) and I had discovered the hut where you rescue Dandelion before, and, of course, there was nothing going on, and boom, here I am back there.

But given that the quests seem to be drying up around Novigrad, and I’m off to Skellige, I’m starting to worry that I’m missing stuff, what with all these places I’ll get to “later.”

Mountainous terrain? SHIT! NO! You just described Skyrim! That’s been one of the best things about this game! No pointless “how do I get up this mountain” horseshit! No no no!

Zoltan can have them. They’re shitty cards. John Natalis? Why do you want that?

Yeah, I figured Dandelion would also want me for something. I got within sightlines of the inn and two exclamation marks. Because of course.

They should know I have a date with a hot sorceress. Some friends.

Feminina:

“So, um, I know you’re supposed to meet Triss any minute now for lifesaving plot and possibly romance and stuff, but could you help me find some playing cards first? I REALLY want them.” Can’t anyone solve their own damn problems around here? I have personal stuff to do too, you know!

Skellige is definitely more reminiscent of Skyrim that way. Although more impassable. A lot of times in Skyrim you could inch-jump your way up even ridiculously steep mountains (inevitably to find that there was a nice, easy road about 30 feet away once you got to the top), but here, no. If it looks like you can’t get up, you pretty much can’t get up. I have found so far that roads going up the mountain tend to be visible on the map once you get close, so you can see if there’s a straightforward way up or over. I’ve also found that there are long stretches where there really doesn’t seem to be any way up a mountain, so you just have to go along the coast and around (or fast travel). Maybe this is why there are so many question marks in the sea…they knew people would be annoyed if they put too many of them in these impassable mountains.

Butch:

Lifesaving plot? Oh….yeah……that, too.

It is kinda funny that quest is called “Now or Never.” Should be called “Now or whenever you feel like getting around to it because you’re doing other stuff.”

Shit. All of a sudden, I’m glad I’m not going to Skellige soon.

Feminina:

Yeah, pretty much all the quests should be tagged as “Urgent! Or whenever.”

Monsters are attacking the village! You know, when you get a chance.
A grave hag is eating children! No rush, but if you happen to get around to doing something about it, that’s cool.
I have a meeting with a bunch of thugs and need you there! Tonight! Or in six weeks, whichever. They’re patient folk.

Skellige’s not that bad! It has some very nice mountain scenery. Think of it like a giant Novigrad, with lots of levels and paths up and down and blocked alleys or stretches of big buildings you can’t walk through, and you’ll be fine.

Butch:

So true of so many games.

Skyhole!!!!! But hey, go pick some herbs.
You’re friend is about to be sacrificed!!!!!! But hey, collect some gps thingies.
Hey whatever is supposed to happen in an Assassin’s Creed game is going to uh…..well…… yeah, fuck it, go collect fragments.

That poor merchant/smith dude is STILL waiting patiently at the docks. I keep running by him. I try not to make eye contact.

Oh, you mean the city where I can’t find the way into the place with the cat diagrams? THAT city?

Feminina:

Yeah, that’s the city. It’s going to be great!

I FINALLY got around to helping the swordsmith dude, after running past not making eye contact for weeks. He gave me a nice sword, which by the time I got it was already not worth trading my existing sword for. I politely took it to some other merchant instead of turning right around and selling it back to him.

“Hey, thanks for slaving away on this magnificent example of the smith’s art that you crafted just for me…could I actually have that in cash, though? I’m a little short, and I have all these swords already, you know…”

Butch:

HA! And watch, he’d give you a shitty price.

Oh MAN it’s like that, though… Though isn’t he one of the master smiths? I hear that there’s a couple of dudes that you need to “unlock” so they can make the great stuff. Maybe the reward wasn’t all that, but he can make you something awesome.

Feminina:

Well, wouldn’t you? “I poured my heart and soul into this perfect expression of my art, designed expressly for you, and you’d rather have a handful of coin? Here, take 10 gold, you jerk.”

Yes, I believe he can craft pretty much everything weapon-related. Which will be handy if I ever want anything special crafted. You never know.

Butch:

Well, I have on good authority, by which I mean that Jr. wanted to print some pictures of Geralt, that there is enhanced, superior and “mastercrafted” witcher gear, and if you want that last one, you gotta find someone who can make it. And I think that dude is one of the dudes that can.

Feminina:

Well then, I’m all set for whenever I find those diagrams/want that stuff. I still haven’t done the master armorer quest, though. I looked at it, but it was way far away from wherever I was in Skellige at the time, so I did something else instead.

So distractable. So many other things to do.

Butch:

Witchering is like that. So much uselessness. I mean, it is a job.

Feminina:

Very true, very true. A job. Full of busywork and petty looting and suspiciously uneventful days where you just know something bad is going on, somewhere out of sight.

Butch:

Beware of games with jobs for titles. Tomb raider? The drudgery. Tomb after tomb after tomb.

Feminina:

Or, you know, Rise of Tomb Raider, which is all about her getting out of bed in the morning, over and over and over. Damn alarm clock, going off just when I was getting some good sleep!

Butch:

Some game should be called “randit.”

I’d play that.

Feminina:

Yes…I’d play a game called ‘randit.’ THAT’S a thankless job…forever lurking around, guarding pathetic loot and wearing bad armor, waiting for the hero to happen by so you can attack and probably be quickly killed by him/her.

It’ll be, say, 10 hours of playing cards and boasting, followed by two minutes of fighting with the hero, followed by a reload.

Developers, get on that.

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