This morning I sit here typing as a truly insane torrent of rain pours down on our house. Apparently over night this massive storm system has blown in, and the deluge we are experiencing is the end result. Luckily the “T” word has not been mentioned at all, just lots of rain and the potential for flash flooding. Still instinctually I turned to channel 6 or on digital cable… 706 and have been watching it as I get ready this morning. This is a reaction to weather that is just engrained in Oklahomans from a little age… and even though I rarely if ever watch the evening news… when weather happens I am glued to it.
Yesterday I was just feeling absolutely horrible, and while I made it into work… by noon I was wishing I had not. I was suffering from what I tend to term “giblet” problems… everything just felt all wrong. So I took a half sick day, and went home after I got out of an important series of meetings. When home I pretty much went to bed, or at least laid down. I ended up falling asleep and sleeping roughly three hours, and when I woke up I was feeling a bit better.
I got up and around and checked email… remoted into work and did a few things. At this point my wife who is on summer break tells me that one of her coordinators called, and as a result she would need to go back to school this evening to pick up a text book. Summer School starts today, and she would no longer have access to her room to grab it. At first I groggily agreed, thinking man that sucks for her… then she informed me that she was wanting me to go with her.
I quickly saw my evening going to absolute crap before my eyes. I already felt horrible, but the thought of having to leave the house and go off on a jaunt just felt almost unbearable. To her credit, we had a stack of errands that needed running… and her thought process was that we could just do them on the way to or from the house. The negative part however is that her school is 45 minutes away on the exact opposite end of Tulsa. She said we would do it later, but as time ticked past… I ended up insisting that we leave as not to wreck the entire night.
Making Horrible Choices
This timing and path we ended up taking was a bad call on my part all around. We ended up venturing out into the tail end of rush hour and wading knee deep into bumper to bumper traffic. It turns out there had been a wreck in the middle lane of 169 at 51st street, and as a result traffic was backed up past 11th street. What should have been an hour and a half trip at most, ended up being a three and a half hour slog. All the while I am fuming that I even have to be doing this in the first place. My wife gets an unbelievable amount of credit for dealing with me last night at all. We bickered back and forth during the whole trip, but it could have gotten so much worse.
I was very much an asshole about the whole ordeal. I felt like crap, my migraines have been getting worse, work has been stressing me out… and adding on top of that was getting drug back into the world for something that didn’t really involve me. Had I needed to run get something from work, I would have just run in by myself and gotten it, I didn’t understand why I needed to be tagging along in the process. All of this snowballed together to turn me into a bundle of unfettered rage… or at least angry sulking. I was an absolute bear to deal with all of last night, and I greatly apologize for it. Her thought process made absolute sense, but she is the logical one… I tend to be the one driven by my passions.
Making everything worse was the fact that we were both pretty hungry at this point. She had not had any lunch at all, and the combination of both of us lead to a pretty crappy car ride. The one glowing silver lining is the fact that we got to eat at Ron’s. For those not native to Tulsa, Ron’s is this awesome chain of hamburger joints. They specialize in several things, including the sausage hamburger… but my absolute favorites are their hot and spicy chicken and cheese tots. Figuring it would put both of us in a better mood that is exactly where we went, and at the end of all the frustration it was truly glorious. I had way more calories than I would have liked, but enjoyed every bite of the buffalo flavored ambrosia.
Between waking up from my nap and after doing some work that had stacked up while sleeping, and our horrible jaunt out into the real world I sat around on our amazingly comfy sofa trying to get “ungroggy”. As a result I decided to boot up defiance and give it a spin for a few. I have been sitting on a copy for awhile thanks to my early alpha testing ways, but have not really spent much time playing the game. Honestly I had created my engineer, and gotten him to the Earth Defense force base… and that was just about it.
Yesterday I decided to start working through the first few quests. I remember thinking in alpha that this was really not “my game”. While there are definitely elements I like about it, I am just not much of a shooter person any more… and in fantasy MMOs I very rarely if ever play a ranged class. All of that said there is something undeniably enjoyable about the game. It seems to tweak what ever section of my brain that loves the Fallout series. I feel like in order to really tap into this I need to find myself a shotgun, since essentially I play every Fallout game wielding a Combat Shotgun, or whatever equivalent that game has.
I wandered around for a bit and managed to knock out one of the quests that was horribly bugged in early testing… the whole rescue men that leads to recover supplies from the hospital mission. During testing this ended up with essentially endless waves of mutants spawning on top of you until you could no longer keep up. This time around, while there were a lot of mutants that spawned… they were definitely a finite number. The gameplay feels better overall, the game less laggy and the controls more responsive.
I hope as I move further through the content that I will find myself caring about it a little more. Having watched the television show, I find myself actually caring about the game world quite a bit more. The only problem I have however is that the starting missions feel extremely uninspired. The mutants you end up fighting, seem like the most generic possible mob you could end up fighting. I don’t care that I am slaughtering them, they are completely meaningless… to fall back on the Fallout analogy… I found myself caring more about killing mole rats and rad scorpions.
There are some neat random side effects that happen, like saving EREP forces from mutants. The only problem is that this loses all sense of urgency when you realize that this spawns in exactly the same place on a pretty regular interval and almost every time you ATV through the area… those damned EREP soldiers have been captured again. I have yet to encounter an Ark Fall, so I am hoping that those will really spice up the gameplay as I love Rifts. All it all it feels like something that I will play every now and then… just like Guild Wars 2, and Neverwinter… but not a game I will likely ever get seriously into.
Reaches of Inner-Outer Space
I will admit that likely a good chunk of my bitchiness earlier, was the fact that I figured I would have lost my chance to continue on in The Secret World. That by the time I managed to get home and watching IM again… that the Elite Dungeon train would have long left the station. I really enjoyed Monday night, and was looking forward to being able to roll around as a prebuilt team of five last night. It turns out that my friends had for the most part been patiently waiting for me to show up. So as soon as I got home and fired up my laptop, they were beckoning me to join them in game. After the ball of frustration I had just experienced, I was in major need for venting it all into killing random bad things.
Much like last night we started running the next few elites all in an attempt to get Rae the achievement needed to unlock the gatekeeper fight. As a result we burned through Hell Fallen and the Facility, making short work of both. We decided to skip Hell Eternal since it is an extremely long dungeon, and make an attempt at the Slaughterhouse since it is comparatively short. I am not sure what it was… either that the fight had changed since we were last in there… or the fact that we were probably getting tired at that point… but for whatever reason we could not push through the NKL-107 encounter.
After doing some research, apparently there is a bug currently in place that causes some of the buffs from nightmare to bleed into the elite version. This also happened to us in the past when they rolled out the nightmare version of The Ankh. We went from being able to roll through that place without issue, to not being able to defeat the final boss at all. It was the same kind of feeling we had with Slaughterhouse in the robot fight. Ultimately we needed a more reliable purge, which was not something we really had at that moment. Both myself and Rae had the ability to do a 33% of the time purge, but this was just not regular enough to keep the tank alive with the nightmare buffs.
It was still a really fun time, and the best part is that once we finish these last two elites… Rae should be geared enough to face the Gatekeeper and hopefully survive. Granted getting past him was a mind numbingly frustrating experience as a DPS, so it might take her awhile to come up with that magic formula that allows her to defeat him. The fact that she picked up her 100% purge should make the fight overall easier, since I did it with only my 33% of the time purge… and it introduced a random element into my success. I really look forward to trying Nightmares again, to see if we are any better equipped to handle them than we were before.
The other awesome thing that happened last night is that I finally connected with Rylacus and got his two characters invited to the Outcast Misfits in Rift. I am sure he will appreciate having some “green spam” while he is leveling, and it will definitely be easier to determine if he is actually online… or just playing the scratchers. It is still pouring down insanely outside… and I am not looking forward to making a wild dash out to my car. However the hour is getting later, and I need to be getting on the road. I hope you have a great day… and you also can admit when you are being an asshole… more gracefully than I did last night.