We opened our cottage this weekend. Hoping to get a couple days without rain (5/7 now, over the past 3 weeks) in order to stain the deck. We got through Saturday, but Sunday was a downpour. Fingers crossed the stain stuck!
I also spent over 2 hours getting the water pump to work. Hunched over under the cottage. In the cold. I had eliminated everything I could over that time and was left with one option – the foot valve. That’s the bit that hangs at the end of the line, deep in the water. The water that was ice last week. Sure enough, the valve was the culprit and 10 minutes later we had water. We expected an up and down, but it turns out after 8 hours of work, we were burnt. A good night’s rest at the cottage is something I had forgotten I missed. I am looking forward to the next run up.
Mass Effect 4
Not a whole lot of time for this, though I’ve now completed Eos, Voeld, Havarl, and Kadara (missing an outpost). I’ve crafted a super level 5 sniper rifle. I’ve unlocked Liam’s final skill. I guess that’s a fair chunk? 75%? Anyhow, the game still has some interesting bits mixed with some not so interesting. On PS4, I’ve encountered a half-dozen game breaking bugs – either falling in the world, the game freezing, random teleports, and some of those weird animations. The most obvious one is that the Nomad (the car) frequently stutters in it’s movement (every 2 minutes or so) and loses sound (every 15 minutes). The frequency of these last 2 makes me question the effectiveness of QA testing, in particular given that I spend so much time in that car.
I mentioned before the busy work. Given that the main quests have narrowed down, I’m chocked full of side quests/tasks. I had about a dozen or so to clear out on the Nexus. One of them ended with “go check your email on your ship”. I have a holographic gizmo that can turn into a sword, but I have to go to a specific physical location, and email? There’s also a lot of “go to this planet, and then this one, but only spend enough time there that the loading screens are longer”. Ugh. I feel like a ping pong ball, always being hit from one end to the other. The talking bits are good, but the combat/explore portions are horrible repeats of existing gameplay. Liam’s last quest was in a unique zone, so that was good. Hoping the others are the same.
The upside is that the individual quest stories are interesting. There’s one that deals with an anti-AI faction, which could have been a neat exploration of what being human means. You fake losing your own AI (SAM), and track them down. They are planning some EMP attack on the main Nexus, so you track those down. The final scene has you asking 1 question, then ordering a sniper hit in a cutscene. I am disappoint. So much potential!
It’s that potential that keeps me coming back. Like pulp fiction… if you look beyond the rough edges, there’s some good stuff to find.
Plain and simple, I put down some cash on Kickstarter for it. I am usually against these types of services, but in this particular case, it’s a re-print. The risk here is that the printing factory goes down in flames and shipping gets delayed. I can live with that. You can take a look at a game review on Ars Technica. I really love coop games, and one without dice sounds quite interesting.
Kickstart (and similar services) are a great space for board games. I picked up Shadows of Brimstome, Galaxy Defenders and a few others in the past couple years. The neat thing about boardgames is that the money is near entirely related to production costs, not development costs. The game has already been tested and refined ad-nauseum with simple stand-ins, like any true D&D player would do. Compared to PC games, where the development costs far outweigh production.