Spoilers for the Master Alchemist quest and the ‘scare the druid into talking’ one


Ok, when a friend is saying that he’s gonna maybe do a quest with his kids watching and said quest has in it a topless succubus that just kinda pops up you might want to tell said friend that maybe he shouldn’t have his kids watching said quest.

Thank GOD I was sitting right next to the remote.


I’m sorry, I wasn’t aware you were a Puritan. I assumed that your children would be familiar and comfortable with respectful depictions of the naked human (and demi-human) body.


Sorry, I forgot that was the next thing on that alchemy quest. So did you get to finish it?

I didn’t kill that succubus either. Which means I am never getting the succubus decoction, but so be it.



And then the next day, from Jr: “Daddy, did you ever find out what was tickling that elf?”


Yeah, I finished it, and it was about as I thought it would be. Then I spent a whole shitload of money on manuscript pages and whatnot, so I am, once again, not rich. Or still not rich. Can’t tell. But I got some good bombs and oils and all.

I still don’t have the parts for killer whale.

You know what I DO need? White gull. A whole mess of white gull. Which needs some cordial that no one ever has.

I also did the “trick the druid” bit. And I didn’t feel all that bad about it, especially as I got a great card for doing it. Kinda funny.

And then I was GOING to go do another quest, but I stumbled on this abandoned sawmill. Hit save right before “Kill the Leshan,” so I gotta kill a Leshan as soon as I turn things back on.

Hopefully Leshan death tonight, maybe a side quest, and then tomorrow, without Mrs. McP, I’ll go deal with the Jarl and Cerys and shit, then main quest. That’s the plan. Which means it’ll never happen.


Yeah, you need a lot of white gull, and for white gull you have to have one of those cordials–innkeepers have it sometimes, herbalists pretty much never. Oh, and the guy across from the armorers at Crow’s Perch, he has tons of cordials. I started just buying it from him, because he always has more when you go back. If you can’t find it anywhere else, go there: he’s got it.

I basically never NEEDED killer whale, although I used it a few times just because I had it. It’s nice not to have to surface as often, but then, if you have to surface you pretty much always can. Also, as I discovered, drinking it underwater when you’re already running out of breath will not help: you have to take it first, and then you can hold more breath to start with. I guess.

I felt kind of bad about tricking that druid out of his vow of silence, especially since I didn’t care about the gwent card. Ah well. I guess he can start over again…what’s a couple of years of dedication down the drain, really?


Ah, see, I’d trick my own mother for a hero card like that. That’s a nice card!

Dude, Crow’s Perch? I haven’t been to Crow’s Perch in FOREVER. That’s so ten levels ago.

That’s a wonderful image, trying to drink underwater. Jeez…. I wonder why that didn’t work…..

Although you CAN eat while swimming. That’s pretty deft. Narfing down a ham sandwich while swimming in armor? Style.


These are the things they teach you in witcher school: swimming in full armor and eating underwater. It’s what really sets witchers apart from ordinary men, you know. The monster slaying, whatever…it’s hard, but a regular person could potentially pull it off. But swimming while encased in heavy armor? Enjoying a tasty sandwich along the way? These are rare skills. Also, you CAN drink underwater, try it sometime. Raspberry juice is delicious with a hint of sea water and siren blood.

I went back to Crow’s Perch because of the Master Armorer’s quest. Then I realized that quartermaster had all those cordials. Sold!

Also I seem to recall there was some other later quest that I had to go there for…anyway, it was worth it. Because cordials.


Know what would really round that drink out though? MANDRAKE CORDIAL or whatever the fuck it’s called.

Great. Back. Every time I think maybe, just maybe, I’m making some progress……

How come people seem to have scattered every type of booze everywhere EXCEPT the one I need? The average abandoned village is, basically, a full bar with broken rakes. Except for the one I need.


There’s a mandrake cordial and a cherry cordial. I can’t remember which one you need for white gull. But the Crow’s Perch guy has both!

Don’t think of it as going backwards, any more than you think of it as going backwards when you visit your parents’ house even though you’re all grown up! After all, if they’ve got the booze you want, and will watch your kids, it’s all progress.


That’s true…. going backwards for booze isn’t going backwards at all….

It’s more the sense of not being done with a place in a game. I mean, most games, you finish with a place, you’re finished. Progress. Level cleared. I guess it goes back to my pac man days. No more dots here, on to the next maze. This idea that I’ve left Velen and yet I KNOW I’m going back because there’s 87 quests still there and two guys that owe me money….. it makes me think nothing’s done.

Which it isn’t.


Yeah, no…this is not a level-based game, really. The fact that you have to wait for certain areas to become available does kind of make it feel as if the progress is all “finish with this place, then go to this place and finish with it, then go to this place…” and the fact that you start in White Orchard, and that you do finish with White Orchard and then almost never have to go back, definitely plays into that, but overall…no. Overall they seem to want you to be roaming all over the place throughout the whole game. White Orchard was a tease!

You’ve got to go back to everywhere you’ve ever been to finish your quests and get your money. Another theme: you can’t escape your past. You have to keep going back.

This is where you live.


White Orchard was a complete tease!

And the whole open world thing isn’t even exempt from “levels.” I mean, Fallouts 3 and NV are chock full of places where you’re “done.” Do this thing in this town/vault, then, ok, nothing more to see here. In a Fallout, or even a Dragon Age, we’d never go back to Crow’s Perch. Or anywhere else.


I dunno, you went back to a few places in DAI. Like Val Royeaux. Cities and stuff, where there could be follow-up plot or new plot or whatever. It can be kind of interesting to go back to somewhere you haven’t been in a while. And in ME, you’d go back to certain planets/stations. There are always some main hubs of activity. TW3 maybe drags you out into the surrounding countryside a little more than some of them, but even so, half the villages you wander through you’re going to do one quest and never have to go back to…it’s more a matter of degree, maybe.

On other matters, I finished Uncharted on the Vita (technically Uncharted: Golden Abyss), and started The Unfinished Swan. On the Vita. Which I only barely turned on, but is very cool to look at so far. Maybe a nice small game, good for the tiny platform. Although it would probably also look cool if it were large…


Look at you, chewin’ through games. I have Unfinished Swan, too, on PS4, so I can do that one and we’ll be all on the same page and shit if I ever finish this game which I won’t.

You’ll at least get LiS on October 20th. They announced that today. That gives you three whole weeks before FO4.

I suppose there was some backtracking in ME. Through really it was just the Citadel/Normandy… and a lot of the quests in DAI were really just “Meh. I guess I’ll go back to the hinterlands to get a couple of shards I missed….” hardly counts.


Three weeks for Life is Strange? Yeah, I can work with that.

I dunno, though…I remember going back to that damn swamp in DAI several different times for different actual quests, not just shards. And there were other DAI regions like that too. Really, I was in and out of all of them, all the time. Stuff I couldn’t quite manage the first time through, bits of companion quests, etc.

The Storm Coast! How many different times did I go to the Storm Coast? A lot. First just exploring, then for the sea battle with Iron Bull’s big decision, then for Blackwall’s moldy flags, and a bunch of other quests besides. I think DAI was a lot more like TW3 in that way than you’re remembering.


Oh yeah….the storm coast…..right. Yeah, you’re right. It just seems so very much STORY involves schlepping hither and yon in TW3.

You DO have FO4 on order, ya?


I dunno…Mr. O’ wants to play it, so I think he might have ordered it. I don’t want to double order, and I never remember to ask him. But no worries, we’ll get it.

There’s a definite theme of your work never being done in any one place. Like, you can try to clean up the neighborhood, take care of some monsters, but you go away and there are always still more monsters, more stuff waiting for you to do it, either because you hear about later, or because you couldn’t quite deal with it when you first heard about it. You have to keep going back.

Until you get to the end, and really don’t have anything else to do except play Unfinished Swan and wait impatiently for the expansion. Which IS already ordered. Finally, the neighborhood is cleaned up! Until the next thing goes to pieces, which I can’t wait for it to do because I’ll probably need the money by then.

I’m imagining I’ll burn 90,000 crowns on an epic drinking binge or something.