Real World Rifts
Yesterday I took the day off to manage getting a dumpster delivered. This was one of those odd situations where they would not really give us a time of day for it to be delivered, but instead wanted to call on their way. As a result I felt like I was pretty much in a holding pattern until that event happened, largely because we wanted it dropped off in the yard… not in the drive way. So I treated yesterday like a normal work day, except instead of shuffling off to work after posting a blog post… I booted up and played The Division for a bit. I had been months since I attempted to stream anything, and I was also kicking the tires of the new OBS Studio… which seems to obfuscate a bunch of the settings. So the first few minutes of the stream were apparently a slide show narrated by my voice. After that I fiddled with some settings until I finally landed on a combination of levers that seemed to produce a nice watchable streaming experience. The thing about The Division is that I feel like I am constantly doing something… even if it is not the thing I intended. One of the aspects of Rift that I loved was the fact that the world was constantly spawning rifts and invasions that I had to deal with. It felt new and fresh… up until the point that it didn’t anymore. The happenings in The Division are varied enough that I hope they remain fresh, but I worry that there will be a time where I start avoiding the little things going on around me… just so I can complete the thing I am actually trying to focus on.
The other potential issue due to the dynamic interactions is that most of the time I feel like I am not actually making any progress. I might set off in search of this or that… and get distracted by six things that happen along the way. For example last night I was trying to do one of those missing agent location quests, where you pick up on their trail and follow them to what unfortunately usually ends up being a log book. While on the final step of one of those chains… I also got the shout over the radio that looters were attacking a supply drop. Instead of going over and defending I tried so hard to keep following the trail of clues. All the while I was actually feeling like a horrible person for not helping those NPCs. The game makes me feel the weight of my decisions in a way that most games don’t, and I think it is because this game bridges the uncanny valley gap so damned well. The world I am wandering around feels so real to me… that I could step out of the screen and into the real Manhattan and not really notice the difference. It also makes me wonder how amazing a game like City of Heroes would have been… if it were rendered with this level of detail. Right now I am feeling so completely behind in everything I am doing, but I am currently knocking on the door of level 10, whereas lots of other folks are hitting the level cap. I am not really going to worry about grinding my way up, because really… I don’t want to burn out on this title.
The strange thing about yesterday was that I had the entire day to play The Division, but instead I largely focused on working on stuff in Destiny. I have been a slacker when it comes to completing any of the end game content, especially if it requires tedium. For example one of the big goals is collecting Calcified Fragments, and they are hidden damned near everywhere on the Dreadnaught. Most of them can be obtained “in the open” while doing patrol missions, but a handful of them are only exposed during strikes or story missions. Even others involve doing events like Skyburners Deployment Code or Wormsinger Rune. The other night while doing the Kings Fall raid, the nice folks made sure that I got all of my fragments from there, which took a big obstacle out of the way. There is a long drawn out quest called “Hunger Pangs” that involves doing a bunch of silly stuff for Eris Morn. Several of the steps are gated by the number of Calcified Fragments you happen to have collected at that point. To do the final part of the quest you have to have found 45 of the 50 total fragments that currently exist in the game. So yesterday during the day I managed to solo most of the quest line, including a rather tough version of the Undying Mind strike. I was however stuck on the final quest, which is a pretty insane version of the Phobos quest that starts the Taken King. Thankfully Squirrel and Jex helped me out last night, and I now have a shiny new Touch of Malice which will come in handy during the raid.
Since they were looking for something else to do… I coerced them into also helping me out with my Sleeper Stimulant quest. I had been on the final stage of this quest since I believe last October, but didn’t have a ready group of people to talk into helping me with it… and had zero luck pugging it. The quest requires you to run a Nightfall level version of the Saber strike, which is somewhat insane to survive given that you get bombarded by Fallen ships at the start. I had always heard that if you could simply manage to make it through the first sequence… that the rest of the strike was really not that bad. I agree at least in part, that is until you reach the final boss. That encounter was absolutely insane… but we managed to take it down pretty easily. Then feeling our Wheaties turned around and attempted the exact same strike as the weekly Nightfall. The combination of Match Game and Fresh Troops made it so much worse. Towards the end we were ping ponging around the room trying to stay alive long enough to resurrect the next fire team member, usually only ending up getting wrecked ourselves in the process. Through a bit of dumb luck and perseverance we managed to pull out the victory on our third attempt at the final encounter. After that I was needing to log, because in truth I only really intended to do the Malice event but ended up staying upstairs on the PlayStation for like three hours. Was a pretty great night and I feel better having knocked a couple of big goals off of my list in the game.