Thing that Happened
The last few days have been extremely strange for me, in that I have been processing a sequence of events. I wrote over the weekend that we had a bit of car trouble and found out there was a recall on our Pontiac Torrent related to it. In a sequence of events we also found out that an earlier repair was in fact the source of a recall as well, so in theory we should be getting reimbursed for that work also. Monday we scheduled an appointment with our local GMC dealer to get the new recall taken care of, but in the meantime my wife started looking at vehicles. Both her Torrent and my Jeep Grand Cherokee had been paid off for well over a year and we were just reaping the benefits of no car payment. Other than the recent recall however hers was in extremely good condition. Mine on the other hand had some issues. All of which were largely minor: cracked windshield, broken drivers seat, and in desperate need of new tires.
As a result I had been looking for some time and kicked around all sorts of ideas for vehicles. That said I have always been extremely happy with the Pontiac Torrent and fully intended at some point to get around to looking at the Chevy Equinox the modern cousin. In my wife’s searches she stumbled across a phenomenal deal, the kind that you can’t really say no to. So part of me felt like the time table of events was extremely quick, but by the same token I also felt like we had to jump on the deal while it was available. As a result I am now the proud owner of a shiny new 2013 Chevy Equinox with a truly silly list of amenities that I never actually expected any vehicle I owned would have. I mean this has silly things like heated seats and a backup camera that makes driving a car kind feel like an arcade game. I have yet to even figure out half of the things that are in it because I really have not driven it enough for it to feel “really” mine yet. Last night I turned over the keys to my Jeep and I admit I was a little sad to do so, mostly because I guess I was more attached to that vehicle than I realized. I think more than anything I am just trying to wrap my head around the notion that I have a new car.
Crafting to Eleven
Before the World of Warcraft raid I managed to pop into Final Fantasy XIV long enough to push Culinarian to eleven. This means I now have every craft to that tier, and can start getting rid of my early gear. In fact it just dawned on me that other than fishing I have started literally every class in the game. Right now my sights are set on pushing everything past fifteen, which is apparently where the interesting and unique abilities come into play from each crafting profession. Up until this point they have all seemed to have exactly the same things: a success buff, a durability heal, and an ability to increase quality. The positive about this setup is that right now all of my hotbars look essentially the same, so through muscle memory I can hit the ability that I need when I need it. One of the things that I do like about crafting is that your control points seem to regenerate each time you craft an item. I was half expecting them to work like gathering points and regenerate over time or per harvest. This makes crafting a much shorter game, which I like significantly better.
While I have joked for some time that crafting in Final Fantasy XIV is a black hole… I am here to report that this is actually a literal thing that happens apparently. I cannot tell you the last time I ran an expert dungeon for poetics, nor can I really tell you the last time I was in non-crafting gear. Because of the whole automobile thing, I ended up at a car dealership Monday night instead of attending our raid. So quite literally for the last several times I have played the game I have done nothing but crafting. The thing that shocks me is just how surprisingly “okay” I am about this thing that is happening. I am finding that I really do enjoy the crafting system, and there is something oddly gratifying about it. I expect by the time I hit 50 in every profession I will have a serious hatred for some aspects of it, but other than the fact that it is a constant gil sink… I am completely fine with turning money into crafting ability. I keep thinking about the final destination being an amazing place where I can craft anything I need on a whim.
Mistakes Were Made
I did a thing last night that I knew better than to do… but ultimately did it anyways. First off I feel like I need to get some baggage out of the way. The Witcher franchise and I have a very checkered past, namely I have been told by friends that I trust that it is this amazing experience… then I attempt to play it and it feels like shit. The first Witcher game without a doubt has the most cludgy controls I have ever experienced, and I quite literally have not made it out of the tutorial fight even though I have tried to play it multiple times. So I thought I would just skip the first one and start with the second… the problem being for whatever reason I cannot get Witcher 2 to load on my machine at all. It will boot up, but never actually starts and apparently this is a known issue with Windows 8 and that game. So I had planned to completely write the series off and skip the third one, given my lack of success with the previous two. Then several weeks back I ordered a new video card, and low and behold it came with a free copy of Witcher 3 delivered through the GOG Galaxy client. Of note I have to say I am a big fan of the Galaxy client so far, it is extremely clean.
Last night after the raid I decided to fire up the game, expecting to play for only a few minutes. The end result is that I played for an hour and a half without pause, and also without realizing it. The game is really good, like Skyrim good and runs beautifully on my system. There is a certain amount of narrative faffing that happens in the first few minutes of the game, but quickly you are dumped into a living world setting with only some vague suggestions on what you should be doing. From there you can choose to follow the directions on the map, or just wander off on your own finding interesting things in the countryside. Given my history with Elder Scrolls Games, I immediately hopped off the beaten path and started wandering around. I found a Wraith guarding a place of power, defeated it… claimed the power of the location and apparently earned my very first ability point. The entire sequence of events felt extremely natural and engaging. Additionally I completed a handful of quests that involved using my “Witcher powers” to find clues. Again it felt extremely nice, and I am finding myself getting enamored with the game without actually meaning to. I’ve been switch hitting between 360 controller and mouse and keyboard, and honestly I think I like the 360 controller the best so far. Looking forward to playing a good deal more of this over the coming nights.
Source: Tales of the Aggronaut
Mistakes Were Made