This weekend was largely about me trying to recuperate from whatever crud I had on Friday. I’m feeling better as a whole but still not feeling 100%. I’ve referred to this weekend as a name brand beta, because when a company throws a special test that most of the world seems to be invited to it definitely comes off as more marketing ploy than actual test of the game infrastructure. Overall the game performed flawlessly other than an apparent known memory leak bug, that I never quite encountered because I didn’t play longer than the requisite two or three hours that it takes to encounter it. The missions that I ran were rather enjoyable, and I fully expect to at a minimum play through the story content and unlock all of that. I make no guarantees about how long it will take me given that it took me a good two years before I reached maximum level in the original game.
I still question how well the game fits my play style, but at the moment I am looking at it for a purely single player experience given that I know going into it that none of the other AggroChat crew will be playing it. They all for the most part bounced off of the original Division, and primarily for the bleak story beats. I think the fact that we were effectively working for the various communities that we discover makes the flow of the story feel better. However as Kodra pointed out on the podcast, it does leave us a question of why exactly we are still an agent if there is no organizational structure left? I mostly view that trope as the lone lawman in the wild frontier sort of approach. I will say the game improved massively after I turned off the HDR, given that I was only able to SEE the HDR effect upstairs in my office and not while playing remotely through parsec… and as such it made everything extremely washed out and hard to pick out details.
The game I spent the majority of Saturday playing was Assassin’s Creed Origins and I have reached a point where I am staring down the barrel of the ending. However I am extremely frustrated by what appears to be the ending that is unfolding in front of me. Now I have said for some time that my opinion is that when this game was originally planned the ultimately design was that you could play it as Bayek or as Aya since the two characters at least on some level are interchangeable and have the same reasons for engaging in the main story plot. For sake of budget I assume they cut one character so that they would not have to animate two copies of everything, but the problem with this is… that every time you are forced to play Aya it is like stepping foot into a level one character.
What I mean by that is through the course of the game you make a lot of stylistic decisions about what weapons you want to use and what talent points to sink into. Then each time you are throw into playing Aya you are forced to return back to the character that lacks the ability to customize anything. So spoilers time… but I just went through a sequence where it appears that I am saying goodbye to my character Bayek… aka the one that I have spent the last 40 levels customizing to be exactly the way I want him to be… and being forced to do the ending of the game with Aya the level 1 blank slate. This makes me really not want to do any of the ending and just call it good enough… returning to playing through the fun part of the game which is doing random quests out in the world. Maybe this isn’t exactly what is about to happen… but it certainly seems like I am just about to be forced into beating the game as a proxy. Please note… I like Aya as a character and would have been fine playing her… if I could actually control what sort of gear and talents she had.
Lastly I spent some time playing Final Fantasy XIV this weekend and accomplished two things. Firstly I managed to get my Blue Mage to 50… which means I now need to find a party of blue mages to go collect the rest of the spells I have available to me given that everything else seems to come from a dungeon or trial. I spent the podcast grinding out mobs in Northern Thanalan and managed to push across the line solo. I also managed to get through The Burn which served as a bit of a roadblock since the final boss of that dungeon appears to be a PUG destroyer. I’ve now moved the quest line along to where I am failing miserably at a fight that is about four times longer than it really needs to be. Actually I have only failed it the one time and it was mostly because I didn’t catch on what was going on fast enough. I opted to play through the mission as a warrior instead of a samurai, but that also meant that I was not prepared for a burn phase, because I assumed I was simply trying to out survive the encounter.
I will likely poke my head back in again tonight and give it another shot. I think I am probably nearing the bridge between 4.4 and 4.5 and as such getting closer and closer to being able to understand what the hell is going on.