Yesterday was a really rough day. It was the sort of day that makes you question why exactly you do anything. It started yesterday with WordPress indicating that I should really patch my blog to the latest version. These are the sort of warnings that I take heed, given that generally speaking the way you end up with a hacked blog is by not patching constantly. Everything seemed completely normal, and I started soldiering on with my morning post. About 90% of the way through the morning post I noticed that I was having some odd issues with the wysiwyg editor, so I decided to save a draft and reload. Upon hitting that save draft button, it cleared everything I had just written giving me a painfully blank screen. This is what ultimately lead me to post my blog broken post, because I ran out of time to write something, and I was testing to see if it was only the save draft functionality or if it was the actual publish functionality as well. So I rattled off a post really quickly, hit publish and boom… it posted only a title with no content which told me more than I knew before. It seemed like something that was interacting with the editor was causing problems. This second time around I had the presence of mind to write my post in google docs, so I was able to log in through the WordPress.com interface and try making the post there, which is ultimately what added text to my post.
After a bunch of fiddling and turning things off I found that apparently the Twitch Embed Suite that I had used for awhile to embed my twitch stream into a page on my blog, was causing all sorts of issues. So after disabling that I managed to make an update to the post, which is giving me hope this morning that all of this typing is not in vain. I’ve also already saved a draft successfully so we are in a much better place than we were yesterday morning. Unfortunately these problems didn’t stop with the blog yesterday, and my entire morning at work was spent chasing down insane issue after insane issue. One of which had been plaguing me for a few days now and over the course of six and a half hours working on the problem and trying everything I could think of it solve it… I finally remembered that about six years ago we had something similar happen and I followed down a hunch of what had caused that issue. The issue with problem solving is that often times I need to let a problem percolate in my brain for awhile before the answer presents itself… which is not exactly conducive to fixing something rapidly. So by the time I had fixed this huge issue, and a few others… it felt like I had run some sort of a mental marathon. The day improved after that… well that is until I found out that the daily heroic in Destiny was once again Lost to Light… the mission that can in theory reward the Black Spindle.
Lost to Light Sucks
Mostly I am just sick of trying for a Black Spindle. Through the grace of my friends Squirrel and Jex, I have likely put in more than twenty attempts at this thing over the course of several different occasions with no luck in walking away with one. On our best attempt we were one or two mobs away from completing when the timer ran out. Last night Squirrel was available as always and willing to help, but we struggled to find a second and Jex was nowhere to be found. So as a result I ended up trying with an old World of Warcraft friend and his co-worker. I was feeling pretty good when I heard that the two of them duoing it somehow managed to make it to the final room with a couple of minutes to spare. I thought surely with a third person in the mix that would make all the difference in the world. Unfortunately we could get to the final room with about six minutes left and from there everything seemed to break down when it came to juggling clearing the adds and also working on whittling down the boss. The closest we have ever gotten was the bubble in the middle method where we took down the boss with sword attacks and then worked on clearing the room. This time around we largely got corralled in the center corridor “safe spot” and anytime we attempted to poke our heads out either ate a sniper shot or a taken centurion ball attack. In any case this is another week without getting a spindle, and honestly I am not sure how much more I am even going to attempt it. I get my hopes up and then when I fail to get it again I just end up feeling like shit.
Now other than this little hiccup the patch has been excellent. Yesterday I had written a huge post talking about all of the things I was enjoying in the patch, but sadly that bit of prose is lost to the sands of time… or at least wherever the internet garbage collector deposits things. Suffice to say that I am enjoying the update and that it has lit a fire under my ass to go out and do things. It is not entirely as magical as I would have hoped because the confusing text blurb I have talked about before from the Bungie website was exactly that… confusing. Originally the statement had said something to the effect that engrams would now decode to at least your current converted light level. What that really means in practice is EXOTIC engrams will now decode to at least your current converted light level. I am still getting a ton of trash blues and purples, but I don’t really mind them that much because I no longer have to go through a complicated process to decide if I should break it down immediately or if I should save it for infusion fodder. The math is simply… is it higher than the light level of the gear I want to be using? If so eat it and bump up an item… if not deconstruct and get tasty materials. The awesome thing about this is that it is letting me dip into my bank and dust off items that I never actually used because the light was simply too low. For example I found this amazing Byronic Hero which is an extremely high impact hand cannon with a decent magazine size. It has triple tap, hand loaded and hidden hand giving me decent stability, better than average range… and great target acquisition with the ability to get a bonus round if I precision shot multiple times in a row.
Treasure Room Raiding
The other thing that needs to be talked about is Prison of Elders. When Destiny launched, I played for a few months and then got frustrated with my inability to improve my light level and moved on to something else. I did not return until after the launch of the Taken King, which means I largely missed both House of Wolves and the Dark Below and never actually played the original Prison of Elders. Now my friend Squirrel runs this every single week, and has for a very long time… but tends to run them on Sunday which was a lousy time for me to be doing much of anything. So when we set foot in there a few nights ago it was completely fresh and new to me… and I loved every moment of it. For years I have wanted an MMO to give me a dungeon that is a sequence of random encounters pulled from a larger pool of encounters… and that is pretty much precisely what Prison of Elders is. The first four rounds of the match take place on various battlefields themed after either the Fallen, Vex, Cabal or Hive and in new incarnation apparently each one of these has the chance of spawning in as a Taken version. The fifth round is a boss encounter and will take place on the battleground that links up to the type of mob you are facing. In the couple of outings so far I have only seen the giant Vex Minotaur and the Cabal Primus, but I believe there a bunch of options that you can end up with, as well as some new Taken versions. Your reward at the end is a trip down to the treasure room where you get to open three chests and each time through I have gotten at least one legendary engram for my troubles.
The other thing of note has been the introduction of loot boxes, for purchase from the in game shop or from doing activities. It seems like you earn a loot box for doing each type of activity per week, meaning that your first crucible match of the week, your first prison of elders/heroic of the week… and I am guessing your first raid of the week earns you a loot box. I also ended up opening several of the boxes with silver and managed to get a full set of the Taken themed gear as well as a full set of the Spectrum gear that allows you to change the color of its glow. I thought I was just super lucky, until I found out that most of my friends got nothing but Titan armor regardless of who they opened them on. There are angry threads all over the place right now talking about how crappy the randomizer is on these boxes, and folks have posted pictures of their inventory full of nine copies of exactly the same item. I guess in the grand scheme of things I lucked out because I got all of the armor I would want, as well as a white tron themed sparrow, and a really damned cool ship. Unfortunately it was not the taken themed ship that I really wanted… but I am happy enough to use it for the time being and will simply hope that my future weekly boxes end up giving me the other. In any case… I am really happy with the patch and have been slowly getting enough higher level engrams to start upgrading my gear a little at a time. I went into the patch sitting at 309 and can now hit 312 which while not a huge difference is enough to keep me engaged.