Friday, November 08, 2013

| Who wants some fictionalized FTL Captain's Log action?

Decided it would be fun to have another go at this. I probably won't put as much editing / revision effort into it as I should, but hopefully it catches the essence of the FTL experience anyway, lol

If nothing else, it will temporarily help me keep my mind off of not-so-happy life issues.

These are the voyages of the HMS Peckerwood, on a mission to save the galaxy from Rebel scum intent on destroying the Empire. We have been tasked to deliver sensitive information and data on the Rebel flagship to the main battle group. In order to complete our mission, we must navigate through a series of jump points and Sectors to reach the Last Stand. Our home base was destroyed before we could properly outfit our ship. As an older Federation Cruiser, we will certainly need to find spare parts along the way and spend time upgrading our ship's components. We must move quickly, because the Rebels are always on our heels. Once they locate the system we are in, they will give chase and we must move with haste to escape.

Captain Arti F. Choke
Lt. Commander Notch, Human Pilot
1st Lieutenant Mort, Mantis
Engineer WaiShing, Rockman
Ensign Lisa, Engi

SECTOR 1, JUMP POINT 1: Captain's Log,

Thankfully the 'Wood still has its military grade Artillery Beam intact, even if an older model without the modern upgrades to power modulation and accuracy. Even so, the old beast can slice through shields like a hot knife through butter. Though it takes some time for the weapon to charge, the result is devastating. The only other weapon this ship is equipped with is a Burst Laser, good for peppering enemy shields and sending a quick barrages to disrupt enemy systems. The shields are thin and older tech, but functional.

The reactor is likewise not upgraded to modern standard and other sub-systems clearly are in need of attention. We will have to do better than this if we intend to make our way deep into the battle, past enemy lines to deliver our critical data. We seem to have a slight head start on the Rebel fleet, hopefully we can put that to good use and salvage parts, equipment and upgrades for this old boat that will see us through to the end.

SECTOR 1, JUMP POINT 2 Captain's Log,

Scans show a remote settlement being blockaded by a pirate ship. A moment later, while I was deciding how best to proceed, the pirate ship picks up the HMS 'Wood as well and opens comms. A strangely modulated voice screeches, “Stay out of this, or you'll be next! … Concentrate fire on...” and the line goes dead. Quickly, I snap, “We can't leave these people to be slaughtered. Alright everyone, let's do this. General Quarters!” and as they had done so many times prior, the crew scrambled to their stations to prepare for battle.

The Pirate ship is small, which will mean one or two sure hits should bring her down. However, it also means that she is likely agile and hard to hit.

Seeing our ship come around and begin powering up systems, the pirate wheels his ship and presses the attack. He is extremely quick. Before our crew has even had a chance to reach their stations, a small bomb has been teleported aboard our ship into the Shield Generator Bay. Just moments before, Ensign Jill sprinted through the shield room, hurdling bulkheads enroute to the foreward compartments of the ship to crew the Fire Control Center. From her station, she controls the weapon suite which allows for more accurate weapons' fire than the ship's automated systems. Her speed allowed her to just barely miss the ensuing explosion, which badly damaged the entire bay, taking our shields offline! This is not good. Engineer WaiShing, a lumbering Rockman, was not yet to his station in the Shield Bay when the bomb went off. Now arriving and begining the task of assessing the damage and attempting to repair the Shield Generator, he sets to work with a grunt.

The ship's emergency warning panel lights up like a Christmas tree as the damage report reaches the Bridge. I punch the comms button and order Lisa to double back to help with the repairs. Without shields, we will undoubtedly take a pounding that will produce costly repairs, or worse.

A glance over to the Artillery Beam charge indicator shows 43% and climbing, slowly. Damn! No one set the Burst Laser to charge before Lisa went running forward to the Fire Control Center. From the Bridge, I tell the computer to begin charging the Burst Laser and auto-target the Pirate's weapon control center. Hopefully a lucky burst will slow them down long enough for WaiShing and Lisa to repair our sheilds and for the Artillery Beam to fully charge. I need that bomb launcher to stop.

The Pirate ship has a small single shot laser and it charges quickly. Without shields, we are vulnerable and taking fire. An unmanned storage room is hit, followed by an aft airlock. We are not seriously hurt, but the chances of one of these shots scoring a lucky blow are increasing by the second. Just as WaiShing and Lisa report in on comms that the shields are back up, another explosion rocks the ship. The Pirate has teleported another bomb into the forward compartments. The system warning alarm is still lit up, indicating the forward Burst Laser battery has been taken down. Lisa is already sprinting through the narrow bulkheads forward to save her weapons suite, through flames and smoke, before I can even issue the order for her to do so.

Systems check. Artillery Beam at 68% charge. If we don't start returning fire soon, the Pirate ship will keep picking us apart.

Another laser shot strikes the ship, but Notch has manuevered her slightly off-beam and it glances off our shields. A third explosion now, one compartment forward of the Fire Control Room where Lisa is feverishly repairing her weapons control suite. The forward airlock. It has been hit badly and is on fire. Almost automatically, I reach for the door control switch and vent the airlock to kill the fire. Just as I am reaching for the airlock control switch, the beautiful humming sound of our Artillery Beam coming to life begins from above and behind the bridge and then jolts the ship as the beam is unleashed on the Pirate ship, scoring a direct hit and cutting easily through their shield. The powerful beam slices through the hull and damages their Fire Control, Shield Generator and crew quarters. She is hurt badly and listing slightly. But, the Pirate is not out of the fight.

The good news: Surprisingly, despite being hit by the Pirate's small bombs, we have taken relatively little damage. Lisa has repaired the weapons control suite, the fire in the airlock has been put out and the outer doors closed.

The bad news: The 'Wood's reactor has not been retrofitted for some time and lacks the power output to fully power all the systems simultaneously. With the weapons suite operational again, power must be diverted from the engines and the med bay to the Burst Lasers. This will give Notch less thruster power to maneuver, and any injured crew will need to tough it out until this is over, but it is time to put this Pirate down for good and we can't wait for the Artillery Beam to slowly charge again.

Our shield, despite being composed of just one thin layer, is deflecting the Pirate's small laser fire. They must have used all their bombs up, or the launcher was damaged by the Artillery Beam, because the explosions have stopped. The Burst Laser comes to life and with Lisa's fine tuning, all three of the bolts strike home on the Pirate ship, the first shot disrupting the shield barrier, and the follow up lasers blowing chunks of metal and panels off of their Fire Control tower. Their guns have gone silent.

The Pirate vessel opens a comms channel and begins bartering for their lives, offering fuel, missiles, supplies in exchange for their release. The decision is instantaneous. No. They will not be allowed to threaten other innocents in this system. Piracy cannot be forgiven.

A quick scan of the instrument panel shows the Artillery Beam is recharging but is only at 50%. The Burst Laser will be recharged in a fraction of the time. The order is given to Lisa to fire at will. Seconds later the forward battery is powered and the next volley tears the Pirate ship apart. The battle is won.

Salvage operations recover twice as much fuel and supplies as were being offered by the Pirates for their lives. The greedy bastards deserved what they had coming. The settlers of the remote outpost offer their gratitude and some needed supplies. While we offer to take on additional crew, they all decide to test their fate and defend their homestead against the enevitable next wave of pirates, rebels and profiteers.

We move on to the next jump point, heading in the general direction of where the exit beacon to the next system is approximated on our charts.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

| Zee Torche II

Played through it, pretty solid game. Well designed. It can get a little monotonous in that the levels are fairly similar. There is a lot more variety than the first one, with outdoor maps and whatnot. Very clicky / blow-em-up-y. Entertaining though, do recommend on sale, absolutely.

Monday, November 04, 2013

| Fez

I gotta get Fez. It's on my Steam wishlist. I think it even showed up in a Humble Bundle once, maybe as a "pay more than this, get these games" addon, and the only reason I didn't get it was I had all the other games. SOME DAY IT SHALL BE MINE!

Grabbed Torchlight 2.

Also picked up Marvel Heroes on Steam. It's a Diablo style action rpg from the lead-designer of Diablo 1 and 2, but also MMORPG-ish because there's a bunch of other players around the open world parts. It's free to play.  You can pay for diff characters and costumes, but you can also earn gils for that in game. I got to be the Thing and ali fuck shit up.

I've never seen my wife binge watch a show on Netflix like I always used to, but she made us jam thru 23 episodes of ARROW. Don't get me wrong, it's a totally fun superhero show - better than most. But I think all the gratuitous man-abs played a part. Arrow is RIPPED, yall.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Way to sell me on Torchlight II, jerks.

I've been playing Fez lately. I love this game. Played a ton on the 360, which corrupted my save file and then died, so I picked it up on Steam for sale a while back and finally got around to restarting it. It's actually a lot better on PC because it's easier to take screenshots. It's structurally a platformer, but the platforming isn't very difficult: mainly a way to pace mood and tone. There are no enemies, and dying just puts you back to the platform you fell off from, but there's still this really interesting, mysterious, sometimes unnerving and even threatening vibe, even in the peaceful places you travel through. A huge part of that is the soundtrack, which I really like. linky

Besides platforming, a lot of what you end up doing is taking note of all the weird glyphs and codes that are scattered around the place. I mean, what is this shit?

The owls are not what they seem, unless they are exactly what they seem? I'm so confused
It's not horribly confusing or anything, you can figure things out and it's satisfying. It really reminds me of playing Myst back in the day, where NOTHING makes sense at first and then it starts coming together.

But anyway, I could probably use some time in a straightforward hack-and-slash game just fighting stuff is what I was getting at thanks for reading this far guys.

PS Man, Diablo 3 was a pretty big let-down from D2, huh? Really a surprising fall from grace.

| Torchlit?

Rude - Have you played the first one?  It's pretty much the same under the hood.  A few tweaks and improvements here and there.  Male/female character choice.  More Pets!  (greatest idea ever).  The gem upgrade is now randomized (kinda forces you to use them instead of hoarding them).  Basically a Diablo 2 game in technicolor.  If you're looking for mindless clicky gaming, it works for me.

It also looks like Steam has a free demo if you want a test drive.

Minecrafting - I spent tons of time looking for mesa biomes (colored clay blocks), ice spikes and acacia trees!  No luck.  Saw tons of horses though.

| NYC Grit

I saw those pictures yesterday and said the same thing. NYC was super gritty coming out of the 70s. The trains look like something out of a third world country. Brutal.

I have been playing Torchlight II off and on, logging in 8 hours of game play. I like it fairly well. It fits the bill where Diablo III stumbled. So if you liked Diablo II, its a good proxy. If not stay away. Compared to DII, it's a little more colorful, loot is easier to rate and the zones don't refill with creatures every time you quit and restart the game (big plus). Pumpkin has also logged in some 9.5 hours, so he may have some commentary too.

Popped onto Minecraft a few times this weekend. Yay fun. Boo Carpal Tunnel pain. I have to lay low on the game time these days. The past few weeks I have been such a desk jockey, my wrist has been acting up again. I blame GTA3/Vice city and GT3 back in 2004 for wrecking my wrist.

Say, that's a nice bike eLzar.

r00d, I definitely had a good laugh at some of the real estate photos. Some were priceless with the added commentary.


| kornucopia

Elrick - how is Torchlight 2? I see you have put in 0.6 hours and while it's on sale, I must know if I should get on that. THIS IS IMPORTANT.

Did a little better in Minecraft yesterday for like 20 minutes. Collected sand and dirt and logged off as soon as the sun set. Progress!

Try out LOVE LETTER with [REDACTED]! It super duper wifey-friendly and even KID friendly. You discard 1 of 2 cards in your hand. Then do whatever that card says. That's it! Rounds are buku-quick, and you eventually remember what the card text is just by looking at the picture. I think it is a game your whole family will enjoy.

This gallery of 80's New York subway pics is gnarly! And I don't mean the sandwich shop you guys!

RE: Tim & Eric. They have a unique style of comedy. Cringe-worthy at times. Purposefully "bad". People honestly love it or hate it. I hated it forever without ever actually watching any of their shows, but I finally saw some and really got into it. Super absurd and ridiculous. I think their site has a bunch of their shows you can watch, and Netflix had their movie "Billion Dollar Movie" which I loved but I could totally see people hating.

The Eric Andre Show is another insane masterpiece of gonzo fun times. It's a "talk show" but SUPER fucking strange and wrong and messed up. I think it's worth checking out. (Also on Adult Swim)