WildStar: The garage sale that is my house

toastThis is the state of my house right now in WildStar.  No, it is not clever feng shui that will make sense the more you look at it.  It is a helter-skelter pit of jumbled despair.  And yes, that’s a giant piece of toast over there because why not?

What’s actually going on here is that I’m working on designing the upstairs at the moment, so I’ve dumped these items here for the time being since all of them contribute to the housing rest bonus.

Last night I decided to hunker down and commit myself to figure out how crafting works, exactly.  I’ve been pretty confused on this point, mostly because WildStar only gives you the most casual of hints in this direction when you need a two-hour seminar that’s taught by a detail-oriented Aurin.  I guess the devs figured that crafters are committed enough that they’ll teach themselves and who needs to draw in others, really?  Like a badge of honor to unravel all of this.

The crafting is just different enough from the MMO norm that it takes a little bit of a mind-shift to comprehend.  It still has the “dump components into a recipe to get results” but there’s a pseudo-minigame to allow you to hit variations, and then on top of that is a tech tree I didn’t even see until last night that you work your way up to new recipes.  It’s actually engaging and satisfying once I’d figured it out, and I had some fun blowing through all of my saved-up crafting mats to make things like giant toast and hover hammocks.

Since I’m deep into housing (really, who isn’t in this game?) the architect makes sense to feed that decor addiction.  I just need to organize, sort, and fix this garage sale up so that my place starts looking like an actual home and not an episode of Nexus Hoarders.

WildStar: Syp vs. Bonetalon

bonetalonHaving a group quest in my log kinda stresses me out a bit, because I know that it’s not always up to when I want to get the quest done, but when the opportunity presents itself in the form of other interested players.  Usually I don’t have a problem putting a call out to zone chat, since there’s almost always a couple of people with the same quest lurking over their heads, but last night I couldn’t find anyone to fight Mr. Bonetalon here.

Fine.  I’m not going to be slave to the suggested group size, I determined.  I took out my hospital staple guns and went to town on this oversized chicken.  And it mopped the ground with my face — but only after I made a good dent in its health bar.

So I regrouped by buffing up and replacing a DPS skill for a healing one.  I came back at Bonetalon like a man possessed, dodging its telegraphs like mad, doing damage when I could, and always healing, healing, healing.  Long story short, after about seven minutes, I whittled that bird’s health down to nothing while keeping my own topped out.  That was a good accomplishment for the night.

Speaking of accomplishments, I’ve really come around on challenges in WildStar.  Sure, some are really annoying and sometimes borderline impossible, but not *having* to do them but *wanting* to do the ones I do make a difference.  I find that I really do enjoy trying my hand at each challenge as they come along, at least making bronze for a shot at a good prize.  And if the challenge ends up having a juicy loot table?  I make a note of it for the future.

I’ve worked on two quick Thayd challenges to my daily rotation, since both of them take five minutes combined and offer chances at decor and dye.  It’s how I’m ending most of my night sessions, with a quick sprint through the town and some garbage pickup.  I can see myself going back through the game later on to mop up the challenges that I missed or failed at doing.

System Shock 2: Rebuilding the Von Braun, piece by piece

(This is part of my journey playing through System Shock 2. You can follow the entire series on the Nostalgia Lane page.)

choicesExploring Engineering has added a new wrinkle to the anxiety levels that System Shock 2 produces, and that’s the lack of windows and the abundance of slow-opening doors.  I have to keep opening these doors — slowly — never knowing what’s on the other side.  And since I’m bumping into them everywhere, it adds to a closed-in feeling for this level.

My ammo levels are fine but not great.  I really would love to stumble upon a huge ammo dump, but knowing this game, it’s not going to happen.

droidsTo find a keycard that I need, I dive into this lovely room that’s full of crates and pods that have the potential to spit out an exploding droid at any time.  The whole room is a hide-and-go-seek wonderland, except that the prize for being found is death.  I don’t stick around long, if you were wondering.

runBut that keycard leads to an even bigger cargo bay — more hide-and-go-seek with angry droids and hybrids, yay — as I frantically searched for the one dead body that had a code for the room I needed back in the engine core.  This fellow above scrawled some helpful advice on the walls that I took to heart.  Nice of him, really, although what was I going to do when I came upon a dead body?  Set up shop and raise a few space kids?

My saving grace in this section is the use of a couple of speed boosters to help me blitz past the turrets, mechs, and droids so that I could find the code and get the heck out of there — with one hit point to spare, I might add.  I really need to find a medical bed.

blitzWith that one measly hit point, it takes some creativity to backtrack through a corridor with two shotgun-toting hybrids.  I manage it with the help of multiple saves and by ducking around a corner, waiting until they get caught on the geometry, and whacking them on the back of their heads.  Hey, this game doesn’t play fair, why should I?

offlineNow that I’ve gotten access to the fluidics control computer, I find that it’s… yup, offline.  Because nothing can come easy in this game!  The audio log nearby tells me that this crazy engineer yanked a circuit board and hit it in another room for some reason.  More backtracking!

circuitLots more running around the initial tunnels.  I guess it goes to show how you can get used to anything in a game, because I don’t even blink an eye when I come upon a hybrid.  I either run past or play whack-a-noodle, loot their corpse, and move on.

The good news is that I not only find the circuit board, but a few other goodies in the area.  I’m back to my wrench almost full-time now, because my shotgun’s out of shells and my pistol is in poor repair.  Might as well conserve.

Am I looking forward to upcoming games at all right now? No.

As a gamer, I have to admit that I feel pretty sated.  Even if no new MMOs came out again, I think I’d have enough variety and choices to keep me occupied until I was long into a nursing home.  Having to say “no” to games that I wish I could play but have no time for is a bittersweet part of my life.  The upside is that I’m rolling in gaming goodness, pretty much playing WildStar nonstop with some Guild Wars 2 and Secret World here and there.  I suppose that I will be getting back into LOTRO for Update 14 as well.

If I could clone myself?  Syp 2 would be all about Fallen Earth, and Syp 3 would probably do the D&D route with Neverwinter and DDO.  Syp 4 would have no problem getting back into RIFT and preparing for the Nightmare Tides expansion.  Syp 5 would do my chores, because he’s the butt monkey of the clone pod.

But with all that occupies my attention right now, there’s little left in my life to pine for something new.  Usually that happens when the regular gets too familiar and there’s a growing itch to explore fresh territory, but I don’t see that happening soon.  I hope not, at least.

Sure, there are a few titles that I wouldn’t resist playing if they were plunked down in front of me, such as ArcheAge and a fully fleshed-out Landmark, but I don’t have to worry about that right now.  Further out on the MMO front… I guess EverQuest Next has me the most excited for a major game release.  Maybe H1Z1 if there’s a PvE server.   Maaaaaybe one of the crowdfunded MMOs if the end product lives up to a quarter of the hype that the teams/community are generating.

And yeah, there are a few single-player titles that I’ll probably pick up.  Wasteland 2, definitely, that’s a high priority one.  Sims 4 and Dragon Age Inquisition are up there as well.  And really anything new from Telltale Games.

At least right now, I’m just not looking ahead to the future, but concentrating firmly on the present.  It’ll probably be another few months before I hit level 50 in WildStar anyway, and I’m already behind in Guild Wars 2′s new season.  I don’t need to be a game glutton, I guess.

System Shock 2: Freaking out at the bottom of the ship

(This is part of my journey playing through System Shock 2. You can follow the entire series on the Nostalgia Lane page.)

ss1I hate when I log out of a game in a difficult spot, because then it becomes really hard to convince myself to pick it up again.  Stuck in engineering while facing a few turrets with inadequate hardware made for a delay in my play here.

Fortuantely, after inspecting my inventory I realised I had a few options.  A case of armor-piercing bullets caught my eye, so I loaded those up and easily took out the turrets with a few hits apiece.  It took a few saves to do so, because I kept having mobs spawning behind me — and since I’m made of tissue paper, it takes just one or two whacks with their wet noodles before I went down.

ss2Is that one of the brain slugs?  It’s really hard to tell.  I’m wondering why I haven’t seen any of the parasites try to latch onto me yet.

A security station with a handful of goodies was my reward for persevering through this area.  At least I was able to raise my standard weapon skill to 4, although 6 is my goal since it’ll allow me to use the assault rifle.  Until then, I dunno, my character would probably point it at his face and pull the trigger.

ss3Crossing over into a new section, the screen whites out and I get to take a brief tour of the inside of the Many (I’m assuming).  It’s all biological and yucky, in a sharp polygon way, although the voice that calls to me is far more disturbing.  It asks why I’m fighting against it instead of joining it, why I’m teaming up with “the metal” instead of my former comrades who are now with the Many.  Maybe I’m not fighting for anyone other than myself?  Maybe I’m tired of everyone trying to kill me?  Your recruitment methods are suspect, Many, when they come in the form of lead pipes to my noggin.

I find another PDA that continues this little side story of a lovesick couple who are trying to get together since they’re on separate ships.  I’m betting that doesn’t end well for them.

Since the whole turret section took up a bunch of time, I wasn’t able to progress much further today.  Oh well, you sit tight there Mr. Space Soldier and think pleasant thoughts!