At the very least, Happy Friday to me! This is the last day of my week as we have Good Friday off tomorrow. I plan on spending the day in a near vegetative state playing Elder Scrolls Online and likely streaming quite a bit of it. It seemed like today was going to be a day I could wrap up the loose ends. I have a bunch of projects that each need a few hours of undivided attention to finish up the last bits of coding. The problem is I am constantly getting interrupted at work by “fly bys” when some random person comes by to ask a question. Looking at my calendar it was completely clear, so I thought I would be leisurely listening to the ESO soundtrack and working through the last bits of these projects.
WRONG! I generally check my work email a few times a night, and right before bedtime I noticed I had been invited to a meeting to discuss hopefully the technical details of a new project. Then I panned down and noticed the time. There is a special place in hell for people who schedule 12 am to 1 pm meetings. Sure enough this damned vendor had done just that, so now I have to give up my lunch hour to listen to some vendor do a sloppy job of trying to explain the technical requirements of their product. I hate vendors… mostly because where I work the relationship of vendor and customer seems to be completely backwards. We always end up having to jump through hoops to meet vendor needs… when it should be the other way around.
Big Dumb Broforce
One of the things that I lament about modern video game design… is the attempt to make them feel like interactive movies. While I can appreciate the craftsmanship of the Mass Effect series, it is not the type of game I want to play every single day. I like blowing things up, gibbing bad guys and generally saving the day. I have massive amounts of notalgia over the big dumb games of my childhood. Nobody really gave a shit about the storyline in Double Dragon, because mostly it was completely incoherent. However we did know the bad guys by name and enjoyed punching them repeatedly. The name Abobo still sends an irrational amount of fear through me.
Broforce is basically one of these games with a storyline that is basically an excuse to blow a bunch of stuff up. The game is very reminiscent of Metal Slug, another title that I absolutely love, with a few significant tweaks. The gameplay is very similar, go through the map rescuing prisoners of war. The twist is each time you rescue another prisoner, you gain an extra life and then transform into that prisoner. This gives the game a huge cast of characters, all of which have extremely unique abilities. In the above shot I ended up playing as J from Men in Black… known in this game as “Bro in Black”. All of the various characters have been given bro names like “Brobocop” or “B.A. Broracus”.
At the end of each sequence of levels there is a boss fight, this one is a helicopter that alternates between dropping bombs and firing a chain gun at you. What makes it difficult is that both NPC weapons and your weapons can destroy terrain. Meaning pretty quickly you are running out of places to stand. One nifty tip that I have noticed is that the platforms the flags spawn on are indestructible, meaning you can use them as a shield when the bomb phase starts. All of this said the gameplay is just infectious. I’ve played roughly an hour so far, and am really enjoying myself. The only thing that I find frustrating is that not all of the “bros” are created equal. Some of them like the MacGyver clone are extremely situational. It reminds me of playing Castlevania and getting stuck with the wrong alternate attack right before a boss fight.
The one thing that would greatly improve the experience for me is the ability to swap back and forth between the bros you have rescued. That would make the gameplay feel more strategic and less random. Even in the modern Castlevania games you got a second chance to swap back to the weapon you had before. It is bad enough that if I get MacGyver I tend to just suicide out to swap to a new character. Playing mad bomber is just not as fun as it seems… even though his bombed turkey attack is hilarious to watch. The game is available through steam early release, but it feels pretty damned complete to me. If you like mindless shoot-em-up game play, I highly suggest you give it a look.
The rest of the night I ended up working on the various quests in Rivenspire. This zone might be my nemesis, not because I don’t like it… but maybe that I like it too much. I find it nearly impossible to focus while wandering around a landscape full of vampires. I end up falling into vampire hunter mode and spending large amounts of time slaughtering the undead without really knowing I have done it again. I desperately tried to stay focused last night and follow the quest chains. I managed to ding 32 and at this point I am no longer getting drops from most of the encounters around me. It seems like if you are not within five levels of the encounter it becomes trivial and stops dropping anything meaningful.
I am however using the opportunity to loot everything I see, and feed the cooking mats to Kodra and Sylladora depending on the level of the material. I hit a lucky streak last night and managed to get both the Breton and Argonian racial motif books. The Argonian one is still looking for a home by the way if any of my guildies need or want it. A few days ago I managed to get an Imperial motif book, so they do apparently exist for everyone concerned the only way to get imperial gear was through the collectors edition. I managed to find a buyer for it and got 10,000g… which I figured was pretty damned good considering that the other motif books started out around 2,000 and have quickly dropped to 500 as the market has become flooded.
For awhile I was trying to broker a trade for either the Barbarian or Primal racial motif, however I have heard they are pretty common drops in the veteran levels. That ancient elves and daedra are far more difficult to find. I figure getting the gold while I can for the imperial book was the best course of order. Like always I am in a relative state of poor in this game, but I need to begin saving up for my fast pony. I might have to give up on deconstructing everything I see and just start selling it to make a profit. My biggest concern right now is that I am several levels ahead of the zone I am in… and this just seems to keep getting worse as I move upwards. I just find it impossible to move on past a zone until I think I have gotten everything out of it.
It seems as though I am going to be on two podcasts this weekend. I will of course be recording the second episode of AggroChat… which I am looking forward to. We have several topics that we may or may not get around to discussing. It should be a fun time for me at least either way. The second however is that I will be guesting on the Multplaying.net podcast. So keep watching their site for the file because I am sure it will be a fun time.
#ElderScrollsOnline #ESO #BroForce #AggroChat #Multiplaying