Some stuff’s happened.

28 08 2014

Some stuff happened. By stuff, I mean, Windows Update broke my computer. Best I can gather, KB2982791 – update MS14-045, the August 12th 2014 update, prevented my computer from booting. There was a fix, which involved booting the system either into Safe Mode (which didn’t work for me) or mounting it to another system and deleting some subset of files…but that knowledge didn’t come to me until after I’d gone forward with a format. (It was time anyway.)

It was a good (if sudden and uncomfortable) opportunity to upgrade: bigger boot drive, new video card (one of the four fans on my SLI’d cards was dying and being quite loud about it) and quieter fans throughout the case. I also got a new monitor so I could fully leverage the card I got. XCOM in 2160p looks ludicrously good. Too good.

I’m still (slowly) reinstalling software onto my system, just as I need to. I’m enjoying the extra clean Windows install for the time being.

There’s a LOT of good stuff on the horizon, gaming-wise.

Wasteland 2 is imminent. September 19th.

Civilization: Beyond Earth (aka Alpha Centauri Rebornlooks fantastic.

Don’t Starve is getting a co-op mode in the very near future.

XCOM: Long War is still intensely entertaining.

I unsubbed from Wildstar because, frankly, I don’t have time to run Fed Ex quests while I’m killing xenos.





The Long War

1 08 2014

If you still see me pop up on your feeds now and then, you probably are aware of at least two things about Thade.

1. Thade just got married; there is now a Ms. Thade.

2. Thade loves XCOM.

XCOM:EU was nearly the perfect game, improved dramatically by the EW expansion.  Often people ask me a question about XCOM, which is “Have you tried the Long War mod?” Only as of last night can I say “Yes.”

I had very little interest in using any mods because 1. I was really enjoying the core game and 2. XCOM’s mods tend to be pretty high maintenance…but now that we’re late in EW’s dev cycle (i.e. patches will be rare) and this particular mod comes with an installer, the barriers to my trying it out had evaporated.

Thade! You’re like a software programmer guy, right? Why would high maintenance deter you?

I don’t like to mix work with play. Seriously, when I get home, I just want to play. But, I’m about to break that rule too, as I’ve been reading up on how to set up customized default armor skins for my troopers, so they hit the ground looking snazzy, and I don’t need to manually adjust them after the first mission. LW gives us 24 operatives to start (as opposed to 14) so doing it manually is getting annoying.

Long War is amazing. There is a non-zero chance I’ll Youtube a bit of my yapping about it (you know, for the two of you that still know I exist) but you can skip the wait for me and watch the truly brilliant Cmdr. Beagle tear through Xenos like it’s his job. (Because, right now, it kind of is.)

Wait. You got married. How was that?

Epic, thanks for asking. 🙂 I even Rick-rolled my own wedding. It went over well. Also, we went to Kauai for a week; it was incredible. Go.

Are you still playing Wildstar?

Yes, but it’s taken a sullen back seat to the glory that is XCOM: War Within. I got to run a bit of an instance last night with two of my friends, right up until the point that it bugged out and we couldn’t proceed anymore. Early MMOs…what you gonna do? My feelings haven’t changed but they’ve tempered; especially with this new life breathed into XCOM. I should say that they really enjoy it and are urging me to stick with it…and I understand that it all is supposed to open up post level-20…and I’m lv16 now. I’ll give it a while longer, maybe a few more instances before I make another call.

Also, I drifted away from Dark Souls 2 without completing it…but it was amazing. I recommend that game, if, you know, you’re like me and you live for Ironman mode in XCOM.

Will you ever live-stream XCOM?

Nah. Well. Maybe. Will you watch me?

No.

I’m glad we had this talk.





Path of Exile is really freakin cool.

29 10 2013

Straight up, I have been utterly consumed by a new game which I’ve hesitated to Youtube for two reasons:

  1. it’s not really fun to watch;
  2. it’s so fun to play that I’ve been doing it to the exclusion of everything else during fun time.

I’m daydreaming about Don’t Starve (and still have a pending episode to encode) and just  picked up King’s Bounty on TB’s recommendation (and it’s on sale) as well as Saints Row IV (also on sale this past weekend) soooo I’ve got a lot of pending entertainment that I don’t expect to finish prior to the arrival of a certain game that I will no doubt be obsessed with. Seriously, every day I’m seeing previews and opinion pieces praising the changes made to XCOM. I am chomping at the bit to test how resistant EXALT operatives are to bullets.

That all said, Path of Exile has currently taken a hold of me. It’s the Diablo 2 successor that I wanted D3 to be, introducing some brilliant adjustments to the click-fest genre: namely the monumental customization and brilliant gearing.

The passive skill tree is over a thousand nodes and shared between the classes, and while each class has little nests of abilities that the class is angled at, you can in every single case detour around the close nests and bee line for whatever you want, building a character that’s unique to you. The entire thing is very overwhelming, but if you grow your character organically with careful forethought you can have a good time of it; and if you fail, building a new character is actually not as prohibitive as it is in previous games of this type. Their entire market is founded upon that, actually: they have these Leagues in which you create a new character that can’t share assets with your characters in the Standard league, but they Leagues have special events, mobs, drops that you can only get in there. You play the League and, after some amount of time (a number of months) that League merges with Standard and they make a new one with new content. It’s like Ladders from D2. Leveling itself is quick (at least for the first 30 levels) and fun, allowing you to prototype a new character in a few days. Skills themselves are all drops – socketable gems – that level up with you and can be linked with other gems for fun effects.

My current main is a Ranger (the archer class) that uses a 2H sword and pushes Attack Speed and physical damage, using Smoke Bombs and heavy armor to survive. (Here’s the build.) She is super fun to play because she fits my style and – more importantly – breaks the mold. I did something with the Ranger that she was not ostensibly designed for (giant sword melee combat) and it’s working very well. I’ve got her in Act 2 of Merciless mode and her hang ups right now are that only two of my three resists are maxed and being Frozen straight up murders me. (Hence my  pushing for that node cluster on the far, far right of the tree.) Smoke Bombs are a gem, and my Faster Attacks + Double Strike + Mana Leech + Life Leech + Melee Splash (all gems linked together) = I kill stuff FAST. (I swing almost 5-times a second. It’s awesome.)

Now, I say “not ostensibly designed for” when it’s obvious to me that she was tested with builds not dissimilar to mine, but I feel like I broke the mold which is the mark of a good game: this game let me go my own way, use my own approach to the game. Brilliant.

It’s a great game, which I recommend. It’s Free-to-Play and the right kind, mind you: you buy only cosmetic (glowy swords) and quality-of-life (more stash tabs) and no power at all. Try it! It’s free.





DON’T MIND IF I DO

3 10 2013

Pre-order for XCOM:EW is up. Make no mistake, I fully support TB’s view on pre-ordering games. It’s a sign of impatience and totally unnecessary; bad even, since you can’t guarantee the game will deliver on expectations. (E.G. Aliens: Colonial Marines.) That said, I Kickstarted (pre-ordered) Torment, and I pre-ordered XCOM:EU. I believe in the Interplay-in-Exile team. And I believe in Firaxis.

My money is now where my mouth is.

xcomewpreorder





This has been a Youtube-tastic weekend.

29 09 2013

Okay, so…this finally happened.

Also, more Don’t Starve.


And a really silly whim.

If none of these are good, it may be a sign that I shouldn’t do more than one in a weekend.





New XCOM Enemy Within Achievements suggest base defense and human enemies.

13 09 2013

It’s not for sure, but…well, see for yourself. There are achievements for killing enemy medics and snipers, which may describe roles for aliens and not humans…but what do you make of it? Or the Zom-B-Gone achievement?

Elite Defense and All Hands on Deck really sound like some form of base defense; maybe your Interceptor launch stations can be located and come under fire in EW.

My personal favorite is Guardian of Earth. “Designate a highly decorated soldier….” Decorated, eh? Like, with medals and accolades? I can give my soldiers medals?

Oh, and the aliens were having a mud party which I needed to shut down.





So, this happened.

11 09 2013