This morning we woke up a little bit before our alarm normally goes off, and instead of getting up and starting the morning process… I opted to simply lay there in bed waiting for it to go off. When I got up moments later to turn off my 25 year old alarm clock, I heard a loud boom and saw a flash of lights out the window. Upon further investigation there was a fire truck pulling into our neighborhood. The rain had been coming down for awhile, so I found some shoes and wandered out to see what the commotion was. There across the street from our house, the neighbors jeep wrangler was on fire with flames shooting high out of the engine compartment. At this point I am trying to figure out what exactly happened in my head, because far as I know Jeeps just don’t spontaneously combust.
I would have tried to snap a photo but I figured that would be extremely crass… and also with the rain coming down I didn’t want to endanger my phone. So many things about this weekend have been absolutely bizarre. There was a point yesterday that while driving around we stopped at an intersection. Normally in Tulsa we have a lot of panhandlers that work intersections, but I was not prepared for what I saw when I looked to my left. There standing on the corner was a man in a Leatherface mask from Texas Chainsaw Massacre and a suit with a cup out taking money. I am not sure if his shtick was working but he definitely seemed to be freaking lots of motorists out in the process. I am wondering what exactly was up with this weekend, because so many strange and unusual things happened. Is there some weird alignment of the magnetic forces going on or something… because at this point I am almost expecting a plane engine to come crashing through my roof or something.
Over Mother’s Day weekend we happened to pop into a Walgreens for something on our way out of town and my wife found these Margaritaville drink packets in Pina Colada flavor. Since my wife’s mother loves Pina Colada we picked some up, and it turns out they are pretty amazing. They taste as close as you can get to the actual thing without having the alcohol in them. A few days passed and we went right back to the same store and they had none of them. At which point we checked the other stores in our suburb and were only able to find a few boxes. These went far quicker than I had expected, and that lead to our mission from yesterday. It turns out that by our estimation roughly 20% of all Walgreens seem to have gotten this product in. We went out yesterday running from store to store hunting for the illusive product. All told we managed to gather up 16 packages of them.
That means we are okay for 96 bottles of water before we have to go on another hunt. I feel somewhat like I am in a zombie movie foraging for supplies. I would think this was absolutely insane, but I might have to start doing the same thing. I have a similar obsession with this Cherry Pomegranate drink mix that seems to have gone out of production. The grocery store around the corner from me used to stock it, and now Dollar General seems to get it in as a seasonal item. So I figure at some point soon I will be making my own trip from store to store looking for it. In both cases we have been unable to find it online to just buy in bulk. I guess in the case of the Pina Colada that is not entirely true. You can get it online for $2.35 a box… whereas in the store it is $1 a box. For the time being I figure we will continue foraging, but what concerns us is that my wife’s sister stopped at every Walgreens from South Carolina to Oklahoma and only found 8 boxes.
Laugh it up Fur Ball
I did not expect to like Wildstar very much based on my frustrating experiences in Beta, but what can I say… it has grown on me. I am finally starting to feel like I grasp the interface and especially the mapping system. I would still like to see the ability to set a waypoint similar to other games and have a little thing blink on the side of the mini-map for which direction to go. I still don’t really care for the giant temporary arrow thing… but I am getting used to using it. My army of bots delights me constantly, as does my chosen character. I feel like I tried to make as close to the traditional “Belghast” appearance as I could with a fuzzy rat thing. It is the animations and movement that makes me happy. I streamed for a bit yesterday, and you can see me constantly bouncing and double jumping around.
I have to admit… double jump is a big part of my enjoyment. It is my firm belief that every game is better with double jump. I guess this is helped by the fact that I chose the Explorer path, which is essentially the “I like jumping puzzles” path. Thankfully you get path abilities like “Safe Fall” that have already come in extremely handy as I bound off the edge of things. The other thing I am loving is the fact that I seem to be able to solo a lot of the group content with my robot armada. Sure it takes a lot of concentration, and careful use of cooldowns and stuns… but I’ve managed to solo almost all of the 2+ boss type encounters. Bascially I need to come up with a verbiage to describe them… because right now I am calling them “Angry Skulls” and “Angry Skulls with Horns”.
As much as I might not want to… I really do enjoy the over the top nature of this game. There is absolutely nothing subtle about any of it… and I feel like starting in Crimson Isle and then moving to Deredune has made all the difference in the world for me. I rolled a new Chua Spellslinger and I plan on taking it the Levithan Bay to Ellevar route to see if it is somehow better now that I grasp the game concepts a little bit better. It might simply be that I have gotten used to the visual bombardment that is Wildstar. Compared to Elder Scrolls Online it still feels like trying to make sense of the Las Vegas Strip… but I am finding it enjoyable nonetheless. I can see why people are so fanatical about this game already, because it is very much like a “better” World of Warcraft. I remember being just as fanatical with Rift proposed being the same kind of thing. Basically the real challenge is going to be getting players to stick around for more than 1-3 months, but that seems to be the same struggle everyone is dealing with. For the time being I am switching back and forth between this and ESO, and trying to mix in as many other titles as I can in the process.