Finding Love, and It Running Away From Us

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Puncherson_64LadyBrain_64

Some spoilers for romance options in Mass Effect: Andromeda

Butch:

Well, that was disappointing.

Gave Suvi her snack and got nary a smile. Or another part of the quest. Sad.

Hooked up with PB. Yet more coy Bioware sex. The box said Nudity and Strong Sexual Content. Where’s that been at? I mean, ok, good for the narrative, but dudes. This is some serious T for Teen stuff here. Two for two on that.

But seriously, I do like the idea of PB being about casual sex. She’s that sort of person. And the fact that she likely ISN’T the person you end up with DESPITE the sex, and that she seems OK with that, is an interesting wrinkle in games.

Sure, there’s been romance and sex in games. Our Fridays wouldn’t happen without it. But in such games, sex is either a product of love (you don’t get the scene until you commit to the lover you’ll have at the end of the game), something you do with someone who you damn well might love (Say, Yen in TW3. You were, magically, in love when the unicorn bit happened) or with an NPC who probably doesn’t even have a name, like a prostitute. I can’t remember a game with a character, a fleshed out, interesting, important, named character, a character you fight next to, who offers you “no strings attached” sex and seems to mean it.

I’m sure we’ll joke later, but this was, from a narrative/character standpoint, interesting.

But then the session went to shit. I said “Ok, I’ll do some STORY! Some THEME! I’ll take Cora to Eos! Do that asari ark bit!” So I did! And talked to the Asari I was supposed to talk to. Who told me to go back to fucking VOELD!

What?

And while I was there, I picked up, like 22 tasks.

What a tricky trick, game! They know if they say “Hey, come back to Eos to do 22 tasks” no one will do it. So they do the whole “Well, Kallo and Suvi say to!” and, when that doesn’t work, they bait and switch you on a character quest!

Sleazy, game.

But I was pissed so I trucked out to put that weirdo’s transponder up on a mountain or some shit, which took forever because mountain. Then I decided to go get another forward station, and, when I did, there was this rather, well, rather FUCKING HUGE Kett thing with a force field around it right there. And a quest pops: “Defeating the Kett: Get inside the Kett power plant” or some shit.

It was like the game was all “Oh you found that? Oh yeah…that. That big, obvious thing in walking distance to your outpost. Heh. Forgot about that. Uh…..this is awkward. How about…A QUEST? There. We cool?”

So I stopped because I have totally lost the thread of everything. I’ll get it back.

Feminina:

Nothin’ from Suvi? Tough breaks. I don’t even get a heart option anymore. She’s written me off entirely. I think I do have her snacks quest…but now I won’t be in any rush to complete it. Not when I have Jaal and his adoration and personal loyalty mission also waiting for my attention! At least I know he’ll appreciate it.

Or not, I guess. I mean, we THINK we know what he means by all this outpouring of “my dearest” but maybe in his mind it’s a love so pure that no physical contact will ever be needed between us.

I know exactly what you mean with that kett facility in the middle of nowhere on Eos. I also just kind of ran into it, and was puzzled. What the hell, really? I wandered off, so I actually still have to get back to that.

But right now I’m working on Cora’s quest with the asari ark, and then I have a lot of stuff to do on Aya.

Butch:

I dunno, man. It’s all good. The codex still says we’re on our way to more than friendship. The codex didn’t let me down when I was courting Mrs. McP. It’ll do right by me here. But jeez, I DID drop 10 whole credits on those. Should have at least flirted.

Either way, man, no to Jaal. I’d take chaste behind the airlock moaning over that.

What WAS that kett facility? Considering I sorta did do that whole “I’m going to drive this NOMAD where no game developer expected me to drive this NOMAD” thing because I wanted to find the mountaintop for the weirdo, maybe I wasn’t supposed to have seen it yet. I, once again, did what I tell Junior not to do: go where the game doesn’t exactly want you to go.

So maybe I insult the game. Maybe it’s not all “Oh…yeah…that…” and it’s more “DUDE what the hell are you doing here NOW? That was gonna be part of a big reveal! I bet you used to peek at your Christmas presents, too, didn’t you? Sheesh. Well, there’s the surprise. There’s a Kett thing here. You happy? Hmm?”

Shit, really Aya? Again? Really? Shit.

You didn’t do the “no strings” thing with PB, did you? You wanted strings. You have strings, don’t you?

Feminina:

I don’t have strings! No strings here. Totally stringless chaste airlock moaning.

And you’re right, we don’t usually see this in games–it’s tends to fall out as either “serious love interest” or “meaningless sex with a stranger”. This sort of casual, major character, friends with benefits setup is different.

And I’m into it! I mean, not every person who thinks the PC is kind of attractive necessarily wants to swear eternal fidelity. Some do, and there’s nothing wrong with that. People are allowed to want serious love interests. But some don’t, and there’s nothing wrong with that either. It would be pretty interesting if there was some character that we could get more into that they were into us, so if Peebee after a couple of airlock sessions were to say “OK, I’m kind of over this, let’s just be work friends,” and we’d have to deal with that. I could totally see Peebee saying that, too, actually. We shall see.

“You know what? Kinda bored now. On to newer frontiers, thanks for the memories!”

Butch:

That would be cool! And, as we’ve talked about in this game, adding to the idea that these people are people.

And it would be good to cross the final line: In games, romance is still, usually, completely in the hands of the player. Once you start down the heart road, it’s yours to complete. You never really have three successful flirts followed by a “You know? I’ve met someone else, and…well…I’m gonna need that couch back….” Even the threesome of shame was brought about by the actions of the player, so even though Yen and Triss said “Yeah…no…” the thing they were saying “no” to was brought about by the player’s choice.

Even this set up with PB isn’t there. There was a dialog choice: “I want strings,” with the heart. I didn’t pick that, but I bet if you did, you’d get strings and a different set up. Love, commitment, etc. So even this modern “Hey, I’m a rogue academic, I’m all over the place, let’s just be all netflix and chillin'” set up was STILL the player’s choice, not hers. There still hasn’t been a game where a NPC just says “I’m into you, and we can do something, but on my terms.” And there should be! That would make the characters more believable!

(In terms of “all over the place,” one of the greatest dialog cutscene shots I’ve seen in forever was the shot of Ryder listening and following PB with her eyes as PB paced back and forth from one off camera side of the screen to the other. That was just great.)

And if you have no strings either, then where’s the strong sexual nudity content? I bet it’s with Suvi. The conservative religious one. You’ll see.

Feminina:

It’s totally Suvi! Doing nude, strongly sexy things you wouldn’t believe! But we shall never know. At least, I shall never.

That would be pretty great, if you were all flirting along, and then…”no, sorry, you’re nice and all but I’ve realized I REALLY like Drack. It’s not you, it’s him. Being more attractive than you.”

Speaking of which, where is my krogan lover, damn it? Drack won’t flirt.

Butch:

Drack’s too old. Kesh is the one for you.

Suvi is always licking things….my kinda woman.

THERE we go. Phew. We were starting to worry me, there. I finally get some zero G lovin’ with a midriff baring hottie, and we were all analyzing it. Seriously analyzing it! What’s with us? I suppose it’s Wednesday, not Friday.

I should only hook up on Thursday.

Cryptic but awesome T SHIRT!!!!!

Feminina:

Cryptic is a fine quality in awesome shirts. And yes, we SHOULD only hook up on Thursdays. On Wednesday, I’m still trying to pretend to work.

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Finding Love, Running Away From It

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Puncherson_64LadyBrain_64

Vague and confusing vault spoilers, some minor character-behavior spoilers for Mass Effect: Andromeda

Butch:

Well, that didn’t lead to shooting at all!

What is it with black, glowing underground vaults and places called Meridian? I mean….shit. Haven’t we done this before?

Again, glad I played HZD first. Otherwise I’d’ve been pissed at it.

And flirted with Jaal just because habit. And now he’s all clingy. Jesus. That’s two broken hearts. Cuz I’m about to give Suvi her snack. Nudge, nudge.

Feminina:

Well, yay progress! I liked that they mixed up the vault experiences a little. Some combat, some casual strolling!

Poor Jaal. Mine is all adoring too. I dunno, I may return his love one day… After flirting with the rest of the galaxy. I mean, for science.

Butch:

Yeah, dude’s gotta chill. I mean, one damn heart response and I get a “my dearest” email. Like, dude. That’s it for you. Fuck science. Not literally. Would’ve been literally, maybe. But likely not.

Feminina:

Yeah, he doesn’t believe in playing it cool, that’s for sure.

Butch:

Never flirt with someone with no emotional filter.

Feminina:

See, that’s what I was (apparently wrongly) afraid of with Suvi! She was all “it’s so nice to have someone to talk to about faith,” and I was like “hey, too serious too soon! I fear your god abruptly revealing unto you that we were meant to be together forever.  I must back away.”

She’s been pretty chill, so that was an unfair assessment of her/her god, but I was worried.

Slow, Unsteady Progress

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Puncherson_64LadyBrain_64

No real spoilers

Butch:

You’re done, aren’t you? Don’t be done.

I’m not done.

But, as I told Buttons at some point when we last confirmed he was alive, I did Aya. I’ve made the decision to plunge ahead, as my game time seems limited going forward. In laws Thursday, then NYC. I can’t get too far behind here!

But I did Aya to the point where I’m getting on the shuttle to DO Aya. Putzed around, met dudes, decided to send the messages to the Nexus unedited in case it was a trust test, I’ll probably regret that, bought Suvi her snacks, that sort of thing. Did the “Day out with Liam” thing, and I think I missed something. I thought we were gonna grab a beer and I would break his heart, but then there was scanning stuff…I’m still not sure what I scanned there or why. What WAS that? Well, I did it, then didn’t flirt.

Basically, there’s nothing else for me to do on Aya except get on the shuttle, which will, likely, lead to things being shot and story being advanced, right?

PB is cute drunk.

Feminina:

I’m not done. Not even very close. I can see where the end is from here, but I have a ton of stuff to do before I go after it.

I did get the last of my planets to 100% viability, but I still need to do missions for half the crew.

Butch:

MAN this is a long game.

With everything going on, this leaves very little time to shoot things and flirt. I certainly hope this assault on a vault that will most likely lead to a better life for all of humanity, not to mention five or six other races, doesn’t take long, as my current priority isn’t really human survival, it’s bringing a Scottish hottie snacks.

If this were Friday, we’d come up with some dirty meaning for snacks. But it’s Monday, so I can safely go back to cleaning for my in laws.

Feminina:

Long game is right. I’ve made progress checking off a lot of the quest lists, but there are still about 50 “additional tasks” I’ll probably never get to.

Good luck with the cleaning!

Butch:

Yeah, the tasks ain’t happening. No way.

Curse You, Environmental Hazards!

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Puncherson_64LadyBrain_64

Some discussion of gameplay details for Mass Effect: Andromeda, if you find that spoilery. Also, discussion of a specific combat.

Butch:

So flophouse. Got it. Good advice. But not the advice I needed last night. No, the advice I needed last night was:

“If you’re tired, and you don’t have much time to play, and you want to do a very simple ‘Find the scientists’ quest, and, in so doing, you come across what looks so much like a metal devil you think you’re playing Horizon, do NOT try to finish the quest, do NOT get out of the NOMAD, and whatever the fuck you do do NOT attack the fucking thing unless you REALLY feel like wasting 45 minutes of your life.”

Guess what I did last night?

I mean, it didn’t start there. It started with me, tired, not much time, saying “Ok, I did all that work yesterday so I could get to 40% and set up the outpost. I’ll just do that and call it a day.” But that was easy, and didn’t take any time at all. Hardly worth turning the PS on. So I said “I’ll just pick up one more thing.” And there as the “missing scientists.” Now, “missing” whatever quests are easy. You go to a navpoint, you find the guys, maybe make a choice about something moral. You’re done. “Perfect,” thought I.

Not perfect.

And you know? I ALMOST had the fucker. I blew off three of its legs, and was working on the head when I died because I GOT COLD. Fucking LIFE SUPPORT! Having that in a level 2 hazard zone? Unfair.

So 45 minutes of real time. And I died. Of cold. And it restarted with me back in my NOMAD. Before the fight.

So I fast traveled away and rage quit. So we’re even on that front.

But at least it gave me a moment of clarity: It made me think “Why am I really trying to mop up these quests? I could be back on my nice, warm ship flirting. Fuck this planet.

And sometimes, you need that kick in your ass in an open world game.

Feminina:

Yeah, those missing scientists are still missing in my universe, too. I mean, not TOTALLY missing.

“I know they’re over there near that GIANT MONSTER KILLING MACHINE.” Freaking architects.

There’s also one on Eos (where it again springs up unexpectedly on a seemingly innocuous quest), and one on this planet I’m currently on. Haven’t defeated any of them. Haven’t even gone near the current one. I got a quest for it that specifically mentioned an architect, and was like “oh, hey, I have some infinite number of things to take care of first, but I will absolutely look into that sometime around never.”

I mean, I guess I will try again eventually. But I’m in no hurry.

Dying of cold is a low blow, too.

Butch:

Dude, dying of cold when I was THIS CLOSE. I took out every leg, and had it really, REALLY damaged. Had it saved after I took out the legs, I’d’ve so killed it. AND dying of cold because instead of opening the door that would have gotten me to safety and, probably, killing the thing, I hit triangle when I wasn’t standing in the right place and whacked it with my omnitool instead.

Fuck. That.

But I did learn two things: Sick the drone on it (really, sick the drone on anything that moves) and hide, and DUDE the infiltrator/run away profile is great. That WHOOSH when you’re invisible (and invulnerable) is key. It aims, and WHOOSH WHOOSH WHOOSH and you’re clear. And, hopefully the drone is doing the real work.

Making it hazard level two was cruel. Cruel, I say.

I’m glad I played Horizon first. Otherwise, out of loyalty to bioware, I would’ve been all “Pfft. Giant metal killing snake that can make more metal things? So been there, so done that.”

Feminina:

Oh, man. That is a cruel, cruel death, and as a fellow player of games, my fists clench in sympathetic frustration.

Noted, though: I will go back to those things once I have the drone.

Also, you’re using the ‘switch profiles’ feature? I still haven’t tried it. At this point it’s sheer stubbornness. “I picked a character type and I’m sticking with it, damn it. You can’t make me change.”

Although invisible whooshing does sound pretty great.

Butch:

It was cruel. Banging on the door with a weapon, saying “Let me IN!!!!”

Tragic.

You’re gonna love the drone.

I’m not actually switching profiles. I’ve only used this one. But I have intentionally looked to see what I have to do to get to the next level of it, and leveling IT up is pretty cool. Each one, you have to put a certain number of skill points into tech, biotics or combat. It’ll tell you “Next level: need whatever.”

But this one gives you the WHOOSH (which I rely on so much now I’m never switching out) and, if you aim at a baddie with a sniper rifle, it outlines them in red for good, like tagging an enemy in Uncharted. So even when it’s dark or sandy or snowy, there they are.

It’s pretty cool.

But switching….I dunno. Like I said, I’m so used to being able to do this stuff that NOT being able to do it, even if I could do OTHER cool stuff, would cramp my style. I’d hit circle, there would be no WHOOSH and I’d die. Need the WHOOSH.

So it’s not stubborness so much as habit. You know, you get used to something, you just do it automatically. Whatever that something is.

Feminina:

“Take that, door! Oh, damn it…”

I’ve done that many times with the Nomad, so I know whereof you speak. Amble over, plan to open the door and get in, and instead “whack! Take that, Nomad!”

Yeah, you’re right, sticking with the one profile is habit as much as stubbornness. Because like you, I have my things that I use all the time and never switch out (in my case, vortex and pull and that slam thing that knocks people over when they’re close to you ), and I’m used to them, and if I changed profiles I’d be hitting a button expecting one thing to happen and something else would happen that was cool but in a different, situationally useless way, and then I’d die.

I’d hate that.

Also, do you kind of miss the ‘power wheel’ from previous MEs?

I used to always be calling up that wheel and selecting things, and I feel like I used a lot of different powers including sometimes the weird ones that are only occasionally useful, but I swear in this game I’ve literally only ever used the three on the ‘quick bar’ or whatever it’s called, because I like the ones I have and cannot be bothered to swap them around.

It’s to the point that I don’t even bother adding new ones, because I know I’m not going to use them. I add ranks in other profiles, instead, even though I’m not going to use them either (but I try to add the triangle ones at the bottom, that give you abilities you don’t have to specifically turn on).

Butch:

Oh I’d crazy hate that. Shit, I like jumping. I jump in games. It’s efficient, as there’s always something in your way. I have played a long, LONG series of heroes who just spring though life. As such, I wear out X on the Tempest wondering why nothing is happening.

“Oh hey Liam, I’ll just jump over this couch and OUCH.”

If that happened in combat, I’d be SO pissed.

Dude, the reason I keep changing the paint on the NOMAD is to cover up the dents I’ve given it. Every time I get in HIIIIYA! and I can hear my pals mumbling “great, gonna have to paint it…again…”

And the power wheel, dude, yes. It really has trapped me in one thing. Can you even change them without a loadout? Cuz fuck that. I’ve changed them exactly once, and that was to add the drone. You MUST add the drone.

But yeah, and it means I don’t think I’ve done a single biotic thing at all, which is lame.

I, too, have plopped points into things like “Assault rifle” and all that, because, yeah, what’s the point?

And I don’t think the game wants you to do that. They want you switching all over the damn place, but between button habits and all that, who can be bothered?

Feminina:

I will add the drone! And then never change anything ever again.

I think you have to be in loadout to change them, yeah. If so, no wonder we never touch them, because, as you so eloquently put it, fuck that.

I think that’s part of what switching profiles is supposed to be good for, since they each have their own selection so you could put different powers in different profiles, but I still don’t really care about this shift from “I am one character who can do 9 different things!” to “I am three characters who can do three things each!”

Meh.

Butch:

And, as that is, like the ONLY thing you can do without a loadout, I never do it. I’ve been conditioned to think I can only do shit from the loadout screen. And shit, half the time I forget to change my squadmates. If I can’t remember that, I can’t remember anything else, really.

Feminina:

It’s true. I travel with the same people for months at a time because I don’t think to switch them out. Even though I regularly fast travel to forward stations, from whence I can readily access the loadout screen!

It’s just, “I came here to this forward station for some specific reason, such as a particular quest I’m following. What do I feel more like doing: hopping in the Nomad and driving off to pursue said quest, or standing here poking around in the loadout options?”

The answer is pretty much never “loadout options, please!”

Butch:

I just go straight to “squad.” I have no idea what I’m wearing. Not a cool sports outfit, that’s for sure.

Legend Tells of a Terrible Battle

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Puncherson_64LadyBrain_64

Some spoilers for plot points and character dialogue in Mass Effect: Andromeda

Butch:

You know how sometimes you mean to do stuff and you wind up magpieing? Yesterday was the opposite. Just wanted to chill, check some things off, and wound up with so much bloggage I don’t know where to start.

I trucked out to find an outpost for Liam. There was much driving (I’m getting good!) and I get there and….I need 40% viability. I have 35. This annoys me. But it’s cool, I’m close to a monolith. That’ll be good for 5, right? No. Did the monolith, got nothing. NOTHING! WHAT??? What’s the damn point?

So I figured “quests. Need some quests.” And that’s where the bloggage began.

Because I did the “lost scout” quest. With the scout torturing the Kett. And holy hell what a lot to unpack. I killed the kett. But there was so much MORE there. The kett being “human,” sorta. Whether it was ok to torture the enemy, who may or may not be “us.” And, of course, hope. She’s doing it because it’s her last hope, and, when I killed it, HER hope died, too. Here we go again with hope.

But I’ll let you start discussing that cuz I didn’t stop there. Why? Because that quest didn’t give me five, it gave me FOUR! And I was so pissed that I was one short that I decided to go to the kett facility.

Yeah.

And it was after, maybe, the fifth wave of Kevins and the third moving of the goalpost (SAM saying “Oh, wait, did I say do that console over there? No, you have to override it first and that’s over there….”) that something dawned on me. Something awful.

It dawned on me that my old and dear friend, Feminina O’Ladybrain, told me there would be a long, LONG fight on a icy world, and this fight would have no save points. It then dawned on me that I had not seen a save marker in some time. And it dawned on me my shields were gone and I was at 75% health. Then it dawned on me that was already about an hour and twenty into my playing session and I was tired. But DAMNED if I was losing all that effort.

And I didn’t die. No, after about what seemed like eight hours and a whole lot of swearing later, I did it. Destroyed the facility. But what saved my ass? PB’s drone, which I have put six levels into. PB’s drone pretty much drove around vaporizing dude after dude after dude. And in that end boss fight? Whenever I said “Where is the baddie? WHERE?” all I had to do was check where droney was shooting, and I could say “Ah, over there.”

I can certainly see how one would have rage quit in that one. Yes, yes I can.

Dude, the panic when it dawned on me.

Feminina:

The kett facility! How vividly I remember. Nice job not dying, though. The drone sounds awesome.

I went to level up Peebee and didn’t see it!–so there must be something I still haven’t done. Maybe I have to talk to her first and say “hey, nice drone” or something. I dunno.

That was just a mean battle, though, wasn’t it? Waves of dudes, deceptive pauses where there were no dudes and you’d think “must be saving about now…wait…” sidetrack quests to hack consoles, pauses to loot rooms, more waves of dudes. It was really just too long to go without saving.

Or not, I suppose, I mean that’s obviously part of the way they set it up to be challenging, and it was…but it was also quite frustrating, and that line between invigoratingly challenging and maddeningly frustrating is a delicate one.

As for the scout, and the torture, and the kett…yeah. Interesting moment. I also killed the kett. And the scout’s (almost certainly vain) hope. Hope isn’t always a good thing if it goes against all reason and makes us do terrible things, maybe. Sometimes we SHOULD give up hope. (Have you had that little exchange with Jaal and Lexi about the angara-turned-into-kett? Some more of this idea.)

We generally think of hope as a good thing: don’t give up hope, there’s always hope, hoping leads us to strive for better things, etc.

But sometimes holding on to hope for one thing keeps us from striving for other, more achievable things. Sometimes hope keeps us stuck in the past. Sometimes hope turns us into monsters.

Like challenges in video games, this is a delicate balance.

Butch:

Dude, when the drone is jacked up as high as I have jacked it, it is FEARSOME. It just vaporizes dudes. Chosen? What chosen? Where? Oh, they’re GONE that’s where!

And no, dude, it’s YOUR power. Under tech. It’s called Remnant VI. You don’t even NEED PB around! I was doing this with Liam and Jaal!

Way too long without saving, though. I can certainly see the rage quit potential. I probably would have. But having it dawn on you MID FIGHT that THIS was the fight you meant was horrifying.

I really wanted to kill SAM. Like, dude, I was just standing BY that console on the other side of the room! Why didn’t you tell me to use it to override whatever when I was standing right next to it?

Seriously, SAM. A great deal of that could have been handled more efficiently.

I must say, your preview and the horror that brought enhanced the whole experience. Had it not dawned on me mid fight, the fight would’ve played differently in my head. But I had this picture of you rage quitting, and telling me how awful it was, and that really did color how I approached the whole level and how I thought about it. It added some invigorating challenge! So thanks for that.

I have not had that discussion with Lexi and Jaal. But, ok, admission. At first, I didn’t kill the kett, and said “leave her there.” And Jaal was NOT happy, but not about the kett. He said “We can’t leave HER here to die.” He knew she’d be consumed by her rage, and she’d die. Jaal knew her hope was futile, but also knew someone still cared about her.

So I reloaded. Forgive me.

And ‘hope’ I certainly think is a theme in this game. Repeatedly. And, strangely, the game seems rather pessimistic.

Like, I’m playing Ryder as an optimist. Yet, there are times I think she just comes across as naive, dweeby even. And I don’t think it’s bad writing. You can see the NPCs who really do have problems and then some, thinking “Really? REALLY? Are you not seeing what’s going on here? Life kinda sucks.”

I could go deeper and say this could be representative of some Obamaesque (Hope, after all) ideal and a Trumpesque “American Carnage” pessimism, but with the long development cycle of this game, I don’t think they meant it to be that timely. And yet, it is.

Feminina:

Oh, it’s MY power! Oh. Man. OK, good to know. On that.

Although, not seeing it last time, I did kind of spend 60 skill points on other things, so I might have to wait a while to get it all awesome. On it, though!

I’m just glad my dire warnings about that fight could enhance the experience, and perhaps help keep you alive.

Here’s another helpful tip: at some point, on some planet, you will have cause to attack a “flophouse.” This will be exactly the same situation as the kett facility. Waves of dudes, pauses to go poke around, picking up new quest objectives, more waves of dudes, looting…no save points. DO NOT DIE IN THE FLOPHOUSE.

Actually, that’s pretty good advice in general. And really, pretty much always timely, no matter the length of the development cycle.

OK, But I’m the NICE Ruthless Killer

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Puncherson_64LadyBrain_64

Some spoilers for kett and Roekaar background stories in Mass Effect: Andromeda

Butch:

Ok, so I got Havarl to 100% viability! It’s home! Once we, you know, kill everything that wants us dead.

Then I scanned a bunch of planets, flirted with PB again (sassy!) and then had to decide to go to Aya (too much awkward Liam), Eos or Voeld. Had more to do on Voeld, so went there. Started an allies quest for some ally I haven’t met yet. Gonna magpie a while.

But the really interesting part of the session was the bit where you have to research big mutant things for your scientists. I thought it was going to be a silly scan/fetch mission, but then it gets cool and you have to search camps and all. Remember this?

You find out the Roekkar are trying to make mutations that can wipe out ecosystems and kill everyone in the Initiative. I decided to destroy it all.

But that’s not what’s interesting. What’s interesting is how it turns “Bad guys” on its head. See, if I said “Ok, who’s the baddie in this game?” You’d immediately think “the Kett and the Archon.” We’ve been all worried about the kett the whole damn game. The Archon is the gravelly voiced boss baddie. They’re the WORST!

Except…they aren’t trying to kill us, really. They want to HELP us in their own perverted way. The Cardinal was all “Dude, you’re gonna LOVE this.” Now, I don’t WANT to be Kett, but their hearts are, in a weird, WEIRD way, in the right place. The Roekkar? They just want to WIPE US OUT with DNA things that will starve us.

That’s just mean.

I’ve also noticed, and I’ve noticed this for a while, that the Roekkar are nastier to fight than the kett. The kett are kinda wimpy. The Roekkar have killed me far more often.

So who are the baddies? The worst of the Kevins? This is the first game in a while where that’s not exactly clear…..

Feminina:

Yay! Home!

I agree, that mutant DNA quest was super interesting. I actually saved the information and took it back to the scientists, because I was all “the love of knowledge is what brought us here! Pure information has no particular alignment!”

So we’ll see whether or not my colonies end up being eaten by mutant plants or something.

That’s an interesting take on the kett. I mean…yeeeeesss…they do mean well, in their way…but talking about Mass Effect: Imperialism, that’s the kett, isn’t it? The ultimate colonizers: YOU WILL BE US. And if their hearts are in the right place, so are the hearts of every imperialist commander out to expand the frontiers of the obviously correct and superior empire. Theirs seems to be a sort of missionary drive, so their empire has religious overtones, but that’s very common in empires.

“Look, we know the RIGHT WAY to live and run societies, and you will agree once we’ve explained things thoroughly enough.”

As for the Roekaar, yeah, they’re flat-out trying to kill us rather than convert us, but their hearts are in the right place in the sense that they’re trying to save their species as best they know how. They (understandably) don’t trust aliens, they don’t want to be colonized, and they’re resisting with whatever means they can find.

I can’t particularly fault that. I mean, I’ll kill them back when they try to kill me, but I can see their point, at least as much as I can see the kett’s point.

Butch:

But was there an outpost for poor Liam? No. Which is why I’m back on Voeld.

Ooo! Something different! We shall see. We NEVER do this!

As for the kett, yeah…Except the only Kett we actually TALKED to really did seem to like it. When, in games, have we come across a “victim” who has been all “Dude, really, this is pretty nice.” Usually, they’re getting ground up like the poor souls in ME2. I’m not saying the Kett are GOOD guys, but they sure seem less bad…or at least less destructive, than the Roekkar.

And the Roekaar, fine, they have a point, yeah, but they’re lumping us in. Why are they trying to save their species like that? What did I do to them? Saved their damn Moshae, that’s what. And their dudes from the kett. I’m not trying to make Angara human, or take their shit. Hell, we even said that we WEREN’T gonna put an outpost on Havarl because it was so special to the Angara. C’mon, dudes, we’re on your side! REALLY on your side! Not in the “We’re going to convert you to Christianity and wipe out your language cuz we’re on your side” way! Lumping us in with real imperialists isn’t nice!

Feminina:

Yeah, but do the people we’ve met who turned into kett actually LIKE it, with thoughtful, conscious intelligence, or are they just brainwashed and can’t imagine anything else?

It’s not as if we sat down for a nice long chat with that guy and he explained all the different things that are great about being kett and tried to convince us rationally to join him. Yes, he said it was great and he was totally into it and wouldn’t want to go back, but under the circumstances he could have been a ranting cult member as easily as an actual, sane being with rational reasons for feeling that way.

Being suspicious by nature, I have to wonder why, if it’s really that awesome, they can only get people to do it by forcing them. Possibly because it apparently involves torture and vivisection, which let’s be honest, is kind of a hard sell even if it is “for your own good.”

As for the Roekaar, yes, they’re misjudging us (probably), but they’ve only known us for about 20 minutes, and they gave the kett the benefit of the doubt and look where that got them.

And by ‘probably,’ I mean, they’re misjudging me, Ryder, because I genuinely don’t mean them harm and want us all to work together in harmony while singing songs of unity, but to what extent do I actually speak for the Initiative itself, with all its flawed and somewhat questionable management and antsy, desperate people, when the going gets tough?

Could I really promise them, with the strength of absolute conviction, that if it came down to “we need to settle here or a bunch of us will die,” we would politely refrain if they didn’t approve it? WOULD I even promise that, or is my first duty to the people I came here with? The Roekaar vaguely know me and my squad and some random scientists and exiles from the Nexus mutiny: they don’t know the whole Initiative, and they may be right to mistrust it for all I know (we’ve talked about how we’re not sure what its actual goals were).

Yes, it would be nice of them to give us a chance, but if they choose “we tried that once and we’re not doing it again,” I can’t entirely blame them.

Butch:

Dunno. Hopefully, time will tell if the kett enthusiasm is real. I don’t think I’ve talked to my last Kett.

And, well, granted, we didn’t ask the dudes who were about to be exalted how they felt. And really…we assume they were kidnapped, but we don’t KNOW that. People say “He disappeared.” Not “Big ships came, and we fought, and I saw him dragged off screaming.” I haven’t heard a single Angara that actually SAW anyone being dragged off. For all we know, the people who disappeared just left. Decided to try to get a better life in Kettland. Or at least try.

We’ve talked about whether we trust the motives of the “leaders.” Though, to her credit, when Addison was there all hologram, she seemed cool with cooperating. She wasn’t all “Hmm. Well…ok. But you should’ve shot them all.”

And again with the Roekaar, yes, except they have some data points. They can look, like, right on the other side of the bridge and see us helping dudes. I get the sense the kett didn’t start off being all helpful, did they? That “benefit of the doubt” didn’t last long. I mean, dudes, I FIXED YOUR VAULT and made your planet all nice. Doesn’t that count for anything? ANYTHING?

Feminina:

I definitely look forward to talking with more kett, and to them being more complicated than just “we shall destroy you because we are villains.”

And it’s true, we don’t know that at least some angara didn’t leave willingly. I mean, some of the bodies we’ve found in kett outposts, with their notes on “how much pressure will it take to remove the exoskeleton?” or “how much blood can be drained without killing this?” or whatever, make them seem pretty terrible, and strongly suggest that they’re kidnapping SOMEBODY, plus they did start trying to kill us the moment we met, but it’s still possible they mean well, in some way.

And there is a minor plot point somewhere about how some angara worked with the kett when they first arrived, to their current shame, so there was at least enough of a truce for long enough that this could have happened. Even if it was only a few days, the angara tried being cooperative! Damn it, they’re not falling for alien tricks again!

I mean, yeah, I’m not saying I think the Roekaar are totally right. Ideally, they should be able to draw distinctions, and not assume every alien species is the same. I’m trying to be friendly! I’m HELPING here!

But they’ve been burned pretty badly, and I don’t completely blame them for being really hardcore bitter about it.

Again, not that this will stop me from saying they’re ultimately wrong, or from murdering hundreds of their dudes when they try to murder me, but just as when Jaal was upset about how he’d been killing kett who used to be angara, but Ryder was all “they’re shooting at us now!” we can recognize the complexities of the history involved without deciding not to defend our own lives.

Butch:

True. The kett are testing dudes out, that they are. That’s not nice, true.

And I missed that the angara tried cooperation! Hmm. Ok. Fair enough.

Well, we also have to defend our lives because the quests tell us to.

That really was another good part of that quest. I thought “Cool, I scanned it, quest over…wait, what? More? Hmm.”

Now I kinda WANT to do tasks, cuz this one turned out to be interesting. Though the others probably won’t be.

Feminina:

Yeah, sadly, most of them are not that interesting. But you’re right, it was nice that one of them did turn out to have something more going on.

Also true, we do have to defend ourselves because the quest says so. There are certain options, like just saying “OK, fine, Roekaar, we’ll give up and go away! Surely we can find another star system!” that are not available to us.

Butch:

Once you’re a red dot, the die is cast.

Feminina:

Yeah, there’s no coming back from that. Can we be friends with people after they’ve been kett? After they’ve been Roekaar? Exile? Maybe.

After they’ve been a red dot on the map? Never.

Butch:

I try to keep them blue. I do. But no dice.

Feminina:

In the end, they must make their own decision: stay blue? Or turn red and be horribly murdered? Your call, people. I don’t know why we don’t get more takers on Option A.

Maybe we smell really bad.

Butch:

I try to let them stay blue! It’s such a soothing shade of blue! I want them all to be blue!

For someone who kills countless Kevins a day, I really am a softie.

Feminina:

It’s so true!

We want to love everyone and have them love us and we can all be a soothing shade of blue forever! But alas, dudes will insist on turning red, and then we have no choice–NO CHOICE I say–but to mercilessly slaughter them to the last dude.

I mean, if there were ever an option for dudes actually flinging down their weapons and saying “spare me, I surrender!” I would totally spare them every time. Even though I would be constantly plagued by (probably well-founded) fears that they would come back later and try to kill me again.

But they never do. Kevin is, if nothing else, seriously dedicated to his cause, whatever it may be.

NEVER SURRENDER is Kevin’s motto, and he will die to uphold it. Many times a day.

 

Another Rocket for My New Friends!

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Puncherson_64LadyBrain_64

Some spoilers for Havarl location in Mass Effect: Andromeda

Butch:

So Junior is playing Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It’s his first real serious game, and I’m using it to give him important lessons of how games communicate to the player, the language of games, if you will. I have noticed that his ten year old mind magpies even more than yours, and he is often wandering into places he shouldn’t be yet. So I tell him, over and over, “If a place looks very important, you’ll likely get a quest that will send you there. Don’t go there until you get the quest!”

I completely ignored this advice last night.

Cuz, see, I went into the Remnant abyss. First.

And holy living hell were there bad guys! SO MANY BAD GUYS! So much fighting! And then that thing called a deathbringer…I mean a destroyer? The fuck was THAT?

I killed that thing and there was a thing that looked like a gravity well. And shit, when you kill a boss, and there’s an important looking thing, gotta be important, right? Even if you don’t have the quest? So I wasted time there figuring out there was nothing I could do. Then more fighting, and found a BIG FUCKING DOOR that I couldn’t open.

Why?

Because I did not have the quest that would send me there. I went there before I got the quest.

Holy. Shit. Waste. Of. Time.

So I had to climb this tower first, you see.

And, as it turns out, you CAN get down into the chasm without falling to your death. Who knew? Oh, right, everyone knew but me.

Last night was frustrating.

But I eventually did climb the tower, which was a rather exciting bit (we’ve talked on how climbing things is good for heightening tension), and got to the sages, who THEN gave me the quest I needed IN THE FIRST PLACE.

When Ryder was all “Whatchu talkin’ ’bout? MEMORIES? From a DEAD GUY? Are you crazy?” I wanted to point out there was a memory trigger right over there. Seriously, Ryder, you’ve DONE that.

But the single best moment was right after the sage was all “This is a sacred place, where we keep out all others, where we…” and the very next thing we do is plop a forward station there.

“Oh yeah….uh…nice sanctuary, liked the defenses to keep all non believers out…very nice…you mind if I put this here? Kinda handy for a fast travel point. It’s just in the corner here…yeah…we cool? Big rocket pod? By your statues? All good?”

So once I HAD the quest I went back and got the gauntlet. I swear to God, if those baddies had respawned I would have given up video games. Especially that deathbr…destroyer. That thing sucked. Thank God for Vetra.

So now I have a glove and I have to go find dudes by that bridge.

Did a lot, should’ve done more.

Feminina:

That is good advice! Advice that I personally strive to follow at all times hahahahahaha.

I just wandered into this planet’s version of the 20-minute-no-save-points fight last night.

I mean, game…you gotta break it up. If you’re going to have a big fight and then a pause where you wander around and pick up information and NEW QUESTS, that pause should be a freaking save point before the next stage of the big battle.

I died in the next stage of the big battle, and when I saw I’d reloaded outside the gate again I just said NOPE. Not dealing with this tonight. I’ll go back again, on high alert and hiding behind everything in my determination to not die, but not tonight.

I LOVED the fact that Ryder’s immediate response to “this is the most secret and holy place of our people” is “great, forward station right over there then?” Hilarious. They didn’t seem to mind, so I suppose it was fine, but interesting timing. Also the skepticism about “retrieving memories from dead people” bit, as you say, was pretty funny. Self-awareness may not be among Ryder’s strongest character traits.

Butch:

I usually do follow that advice. Just…not last night.

Ugh endless fights. I haven’t had a rage quit moment yet. Maybe I’m just not dying?

Dude, two words: “Manual Save.” I have about 12000 manual saves in this game (well, maybe 10. I overwrite). If you’re like “Phew, a pause,” that’s a time to hit options and save.

Manual. Save.

This is twice now with the forward stations on this planet. Maybe the Angara keep thinking “Well, we’ll welcome her because she already has done that rocket thing a couple of times. There’s no way she needs another OH COME ON!”

The memory thing was SO awesome because the FIRST THING I did after being all skeptical was pick up a memory trigger.

Feminina:

Dude! You CANNOT MANUALLY SAVE during this lengthy event! Believe me, I tried. The save option is all fuzzed out, as if you were in the middle of combat the entire time.

You are not actively in combat the entire time! There are quiet moments that would be a good time to save! But no. That is not permitted.

This is my true complaint here. I’m not whining (that much) because the game didn’t save for me, but at least let me save myself!

Ha. “Surely she wouldn’t be so tone-deaf as to land that crude, alien rocket in our most holy grove of — damn it.”

Diplomacy!

Butch:

Ah, shit. It’s like that. That was true in the Abyss last night. I know because I checked every 1.2 milliseconds. But I think I saw saves there. Or it was wishful thinking.

I think there should be a rule: There should be a save point before every bigassedfucking door. Not little doors that go into science huts. Those are fine. But when there’s a door with loud things and four red dots behind it, save. Only fair.

“Ok, crew. Rules of First Contact: Do not shoot. We don’t want a fight with these kind, intelligent, alien races. Mostly because a fight would likely mess up the scenic, sacred places where we’re going to build condos and strip malls, thus lowering property values. So be careful out there! Be kind! And think of the return on investment!”

Feminina:

“Think of the return on investment” explains so much! Even all those forward stations…we really just need to have landing sites from which to show the condo developers the most promising areas we’ve found!

“So I’m thinking a three or four hundred unit set-up starting about here where this remnant junk is piled–little walking park in the center, playground for the tots to lure young professional parents, shopping plaza, maybe a small movie theater.”

Butch:

That’s it!

We show up, we find a couple of cultures are fighting and are going to wipe each other out, we come in and shoot a whole lot of them, and set up our new, gleaming, perfect society with condos and malls without any regard or thought to the sacred ways of the cultures we’re totally trying to understand so that they help us fight.

Going back to our previous post, yeah, I agree, no one would EVER play Mass Effect: Imperialism.

Feminina:

It’s going to be great! They’ll all come around as soon as they see how awesome our strip malls are, and will be properly grateful to us for elevating them from the tiresome drudgery of whatever they were doing with their lives before.

CAN. NOT. FAIL.

Butch:

I gotta get off this planet soon, as it is giving us very few reasons to derail.

It’s so serious!

I miss Suvi.

Feminina:

You mean you didn’t flirt with the hot elders?

Man, there was that whole great, awkward scene of “well, I know I’d like a crude alien in my sacred…whoa, gotta go find a path!”

You just need to be alert for the derailment points.

Butch:

And just like that you’ve saved us from propriety and staying on topic. The internet is saved.

I missed the chance, man. I just can’t get into the aliens (except Peebee). I leave it to you to see dudes who look like crosses between Egyptian art and wing backed armchairs and think it’s a chance for both love and sexual humor.

Not a T SHIRT but almost certainly a NEW SENTENCE.

Feminina:

Meh, the angara aren’t armored enough for me. And I like their lovely big eyes, but those head folds…enh.

That doesn’t mean I won’t flirt, of course. I did flirt with Jaal a bit when the opportunity arose. He got a bit moony, so I’ve been maturely avoiding him ever since.

Butch:

He finds me…interesting. With the pause. The pause is key. Women LOVE pauses.

But they dig Scottish accents more.

Feminina:

It’s true, pauses are ever so moody and angsty.

“I long for…moldy flags…to bandage the tormented soul…that hides under this heavy, heavy armor…”

[Swoon]

Butch:

See? All about the pauses.

Ironically, I have never heard Mr. O pause.

But then, Mrs. McP does not have an accent of any kind. She’s got blue eyes, though.

Feminina:

She could always dye her hair black and adopt a fake accent. Stranger things have happened.

Probably.

Butch:

If she does that, I will be far too worried about her sanity to enjoy it.

Feminina:

But just think, some Scottish guy may think Mrs. McP has an adorable accent already!

I don’t know, do people from other countries think our accents are cool, or do we just think everyone else’s accents are cool?

Butch:

Which is why I don’t let Scottish dudes near her.

Who would think our accents are cool? I think they just roll their eyes.

But then, maybe they’re just messing with us. Maybe Scotsmen all sound like Marty Walsh and when they come here they’re all “Hey, I’m gonna talk like this. Mess with them. They’ll think I’m hot.”

Feminina:

Put heavy armor on some of them and make ’em moody and prone to angsty pauses and I’ll be all set.

Ghosts of Games Past

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Puncherson_64LadyBrain_64

Minor spoilers for the Havarl location in Mass Effect: Andromeda

Butch:

Ok, fuck this planet.

It’s not even that I mind being shot at (T SHIRT!!!!). It’s that it’s a FUCKING MAZE. I’m getting flashbacks…..(cue the hazy fade to flashbacks…..)

Back in ye olden times, and I mean WAAAAY back, my parents, in an effort to encourage my interest in fantasy and computer games (they knew it would pay off and I’d be a blogger!) bought me this for the Commodore 64:

The Bard’s Tale II: The Destiny Knight – Wikipedia

Now…they meant well. They did. But here’s the gameplay for this.

You carefully made a party of six D&Desque characters. Then, your characters were loosed in a town where they had to find dungeons. “What’s wrong with that?” you’re thinking. “That sounds like fun! We did that all the damn time in college!” Yes, yes we did. But see that screenshot there on the wiki? The town….was a maze.

The dungeons were all MAZES.

So the gameplay was REALLY 1) make party. 2) get lost. 3) finally find the dungeon. 4) get lost in the dungeon. 5) rage quit.

I’m getting flashbacks. EA has given me flashbacks.

I unfroze dudes, I met the Turians, I picked up a bunch of salvage and a memory trigger, and now I’m at a point where I have to find this old remnant place where I have to take the “Remnant Highway” or something and I CANNOT FIND WHERE TO GO. The only thing I can think of is to fight towards a staircase going down, and I only think that cuz it’s lousy with remnant. It’s the OTHER WAY from the quest marker. Is that right? Is that where I should be going? Should I do that now?

I’M SO CONFUSED!!!!!

Feminina:

That sounds awesome! Getting lost in dungeons! I must see if a version is available for the PS4! That is really exactly just a maze, though, you’re right. Limited roleplaying potential, perhaps.

I..think you’re supposed to go down, yes. If I’m thinking of the same thing you’re talking about, which is at least possible. You have to go down stairs into this big canyon? And then at the bottom is–stuff. Remnant stuff. And water. It’s probably the way you’re supposed to be going.

But you met the turians, that’s good, and collected their salvage. So, progress.

Butch:

All right, down it is. They really, REALLY did not do a good job of explaining that. Channeling their old Bard’s Tale instincts.

Gotta get down there somehow. There’s stuff!

Bard’s Tale did have limited role playing potential, it’s true. What with the lack of dialog. Or options past attack and defend. But hey, man, it was 1986. We’re lucky we HAD games.

Feminina:

I think I played Pac-Man once on someone’s computer in the ’80s. Also, A-MAZE-ing. So, yeah, it was basically just mazes all the way with games of the time.

Things have come a long way. Which perhaps explains why we’re still bothering to play. I mean, if it was still nothing but mazes, would we really feel the need to dedicate 900 hours of our lives per game to these things? Probably not. I mean, I kind of hate mazes.

Butch:

Ooooo fancy! I only had a cheap knock off called “Snack Man” that loaded from a cassette. We didn’t have the actual Pac Man.

I also hate mazes, which is why I am NOT LIKING HAVARL!

It’s also why I don’t have an issue with quest markers. I know people are all “Giving you something to follow holds your hand too much” but these people do not have Bard’s Tale II flashbacks. Had there been quest markers in that, I would have had a happier youth.

Of course, quest markers that do not indicate that you must avoid four massive walls and go down stairs that are in the OTHER DIRECTION sorta defeat the purpose….

Grumble.

I miss my NOMAD.

Feminina:

Yeah, somebody had the good stuff. I honestly don’t remember who…someone we visited one time, and their kid had it maybe, and we played it for one afternoon. Yet the memory lingers! The main thing I remember is that I quickly learned that one of the ghosts would come out in a certain spot and, if you were in ‘view,’ come after you, but if you weren’t, go the other way, so you could lurk until it went the other way and then wander around in that area untroubled. For 10 seconds or whatever until another ghost showed up, but hey, it was something.

And yeah, quest markers that show you every single step to take along the way are handholding. Quest markers that show you where something is, but you still have to figure out how to get around and/or under a mountain to get there are less so.

Butch:

I don’t care. Hold my hand, game. Hold it! Hold it like Bard’s Tale didn’t!

I have enough issues.

Feminina:

Clutch my hand with the tight grip of grim death, game! Never let it go! Otherwise, I may wander forever alone in this sea of pixels!

Butch:

Like my six intrepid Bard’s Tale characters. Forever wandering the sewers of whatever that city was called.

Maybe they found their way out. In which case they are wandering around the maze of a city. Or the maze of the outside of the city.

Poor, poor characters.

We Also Have Other Interests

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Puncherson_64LadyBrain_64

Some spoilers for the Havarl location in Mass Effect: Andromeda

Butch:

Ok made it to Havarl! Met the scientists, got more quests (as one does), went over to find the dude that Jaal wanted me to find (that was a shock, that she had committed suicide…well…she did but waited until the plot oh you know what I mean), got lost about twelve million times, found the hops (and found it ironic that the fight I needed to do to GET them was so damn hard), stopped.

Man you weren’t kidding when you said lots of shooting, were you?

Ok…brace yourself. Gonna say something I never thought I would:

I miss the NOMAD.

Yes, I miss driving.

Why? Because you knew where you were with the NOMAD. You had roads (which I discovered late, but still. Roads.), and, even when you didn’t, you could pretty much MAKE roads. This? I spent SOOOO long going “Ok! I gotta go over there! Hey, what’s this wall? Ok…how do I get over the wall? Hmm. That’s not it…or that…or….wait, where am I? What are these creatures?” And then: “Ok, I think I’ve figured out that those teeny lines on the map are walls. So if I go this way….that looks like a nice road around the walls! Good. Just go there and turn right and….what’s this chasm? This isn’t a road at all. This is a chasm. Maybe I can just jump down into the chasm ok no I can’t.”

No wonder there are forward stations every 50 feet. You need them to navigate. Or to travel back to when you get lost after 60 feet.

Oh well. It is a rather nice world. No snow. And beer ingredients.

But here’s a thing: I’m very torn as to who to run with. I want Jaal, because the place is thick with Angara and stuff, I want Vetra, as I’m right by the Turian ark quest and I think she’d like that, and I want PB as the place has remnant shit every which way. I have two slots. I currently have Vetra and PB but I’m second guessing myself. But that’s cool cuz there’s a forward station every 50 feet.

I almost laughed out loud at that forward station by the scientists’ outpost. They landed it between two staircases! It comes down all flaming rockets RIGHT THERE. The poor scientists were probably all “Could you at least WARN a guy that a big rocket thing was landing? And SHIT man, that’s where we were gonna put the grill and the hostas!”

Feminina:

Wow. I never thought I would see the day that you missed the Nomad.

But yeah, Havarl is like that. “I just need to get to that spot 100 feet from here…better try going around this hill…why are all these people shooting at me?!…maybe the other way around the hill…now I’m being attacked by wildlife…wait, now more people are shooting at me…”

It’s a fierce planet, that one. I think its motto is “combat every 20 feet or your money back.”

Like you, I enjoyed that the forward station is two feet from the scientists’ working area. “You know, we could have used that space for setting up additional experiments, but I guess we’ll just take twice as long to complete our research…no big.”

I had Vetra and Jaal with me, Vetra because of the turian ark, and Jaal because I wanted to make sure he was OK with the fact that we kept shooting angara. Those Roekaar don’t mess around. He seemed completely fine with it. Interesting that this didn’t bother him, while shooting kett-who-used-to-be-angara was a big deal. I guess maybe it’s about not knowing what he was doing then, or something?

Or, I suppose, their religious idea that angara who die are reborn later in their family line, while if they die as kett their souls are lost forever.

Butch:

It’s more I miss the roads. But at least there isn’t life support to add to the getting lost stress.

See, I’m going to criticize the game here:

If you have a mechanic, don’t change it. And, while arguably not a mechanic, they’ve taught me to navigate using the map and quest markers. Now, the map and quest markers are nowhere NEAR as useful. I’m having to relearn navigation…now. That’s uncool. Don’t get a player used to something then change it so late in the game.

Combat every 20 feet, WALLS every 30. I had more trouble with the damn walls. “Ok, just on the other side of this tree there’ll be my quest marker no a wall.”

It was even more irksome that the quest marker would be all “65m” or something…on the other side of the damn wall.

Fuck you, quest marker. Fuck you, big remnant wall.

There is also the HOLY SHIT WHAT IS THAT THING aspect with the forward station. “Please…we must get them to trust you pathfinder…you are alien to them and HOLY SHIT BIG ROCKET.” Not a good sell, that.

Yeah I wondered about that. “How many have I killed?” Well, about the same amount as the Roekaar. Maybe it’s a law and order thing. The kett didn’t have a choice? Or something?

Or not. Never question what makes a Kevin.

T SHIRT!!!!

Feminina:

Yeah, Havarl is small, in terms of ‘active’ area, but it’s a freaking maze. With combat around every turn. Pretty, though!

Let’s just enjoy a nice stroll among the lush greenery, for the 30 seconds that nothing is attacking us.

Indeed, ours is not to question Kevin.

Butch:

There is no way to Kevin. Kevin is the way.

Just geeked out at the geek exhibition at the museum of science. Way too awesome.

Feminina:

Ooh, fun. I’ve just been adding citations to Wikipedia, so…that’s also geeky.

Butch:

No, that’s nerdy. Going to see a car that was used in Back to the Future is geeky.

Not ashamed.

Feminina:

No more should you be ashamed! Mr. O’ and I have a picture on our bedroom wall of the two of us sitting on a bench, with Lord of the Rings trick photography so one of us looks hobbit-size.

Now that was an exhibit.

There was a full sized “dead Sean Bean on a raft” figure. Sniffle. Boromir!

Geek pride.

Or nerd pride. I can never keep those two straight.

Play Later. Talk Much Later.

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Puncherson_64LadyBrain_64

No playin’, no spoilin’

Butch:

Haven’t said this in a while, but I got nothing. Kids were riled, I was tired, knew I didn’t have it. Havarl can wait.

Junior’s doing an overnight at Nana’s tonight, and the others go to bed at six, so Havarl ahoy.

Another plus of the kids being home all the damn time is no time to go to the store, so can be all “Well, tuna melts tonight” and I can play instead of making dinner.

Havarl ahoy!

Feminina:

Havarl is waiting! Good plan. Tuna melts are a perfectly cromulent meal. We used to eat them regularly back when I ate tuna. You got your protein, some fiber, it’s tasty and filling: all part of this complete dinner.

Butch:

And Mrs. McP loves them. Done.

Feminina:

I’m glad we had this little chat.

Go to Havarl, we’ll talk later.