Self Exodus

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Here comes some random commentary.  I have for the most part been in support of the Epic Games store and snagging some of their exclusives…  like for example Hades and Ashen.  Those are games for which pre-orders had not started on any platform and announcing that they would only be available on this somewhat new storefront was perfectly reasonable.  I was largely okay with The Division 2 but I felt it was a little shady to shift gears a few months before the launch of the game.  I had not pre-ordered, and if I had been planning on doing so… I would have probably just ordered through the UPlay store to cut out the middle man.  However what just happened with Metro Exodus is in the “shady as fuck” territory, given that the game is roughly two weeks from launch and had been in pre-orders since at least E3.  That is way too late in the game to be massively shifting gears like that and THQ Nordic the sub company should have known that they would be screwing things up for THQ Nordic the parent company.

Still I am largely cool with Epic Games store as a vehicle for grabbing games.  Sure it feels a little spartan, but it is still a way better store front and client than Origin…  a point that has been reminded of late given how much I have had to fiddle with that client thanks to Anthem.  The problem I have is with the practice of taking pre-sales way the hell ahead of the games release, because frankly the term pre-order is a lie when it comes to digital software.  You are not plunking down $5 to reserve your copy of a game…  you are handing over your credit card information and often times being charged up front for the purchase.  The thing is… whenever that process starts those vendors should be locked in stone and unchanging.  If you didn’t want to support Steam six months ago…  then you shouldn’t have allowed sales of your product to begin.

In truth I don’t so much fault Epic for making offers, but the company for taking that offer in Bad Faith.  I get a regular stream of offers from people wanting me to place links on this site to whatever the hell it is that they are pushing…  often times some sort of a casino.  I don’t take the quick money because I feel like it would be violating the trust my readers have in me.  I don’t necessarily have a dog in this fight however because while I have been looking forward to Metro Exodus… it was never really a day one title for me and instead something I would play considerably after release.  However for those who were harmed by this action…  I get the outrage.  The biggest part I am confused by however is how they have stated that Steam Pre-Orders would be fulfilled and the game would be updated through that platform…  but the game itself would no longer be available there.  That just feels really odd and awful.

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As far as gaming last night… I got the Blue Mage to 40 through lots of grinding that was relatively boring and not worth talking about.  Then I swapped over and played some Destiny 2 where I completed a bunch of bounties… one of which being the weekly for Eververse.  I lucked out and managed to pull the Last Word ornament…  which will sit there waiting until I complete that quest chain.  I did manage to push through the step where you collect a bazillion hive cores or whatever it was we were collecting.  I also managed to make a little progress on the Malfeasance where I believe I am on the final step involving killing Guardians and getting invasion kills in Gambit.  I had fun… but man movement felt weird after getting used to Anthem.

Speaking of which…  who all will I be seeing in the weekend test happening Friday-Sunday?  I’m BelghastStern over on Origin so hit me up with a friend invite.

Death and Taxes

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A Very Bad Day

Tuesday night I slept fairly horribly, and spent most of it tossing and turning and unable to regulate my body temperature between too hot and too cold.  So yesterday I went into the day on a low point, with being extremely groggy and fumbling through activities.  Unfortunately this also seems to be the sort of day when something horribly goes wrong.  About 10 am yesterday morning we had a freak incident occur where a publish went wrong in the content management we use at work, that caused the entire xml cache to jettison itself and our main public facing website started throwing a “no nodes” error instead of serving content.  I proceeded to spend the next five hours trying to fix the problem by republishing every single piece of content on the site…  which is roughly 20,000 nodes worth.  We got the bulk restored really quickly, and then spent the next three hours fighting with a handful of tricky node trees, that seemed to be super picky about the order in which things were published.  By the time I exited work… all I really wanted was a drink…  or four.

When I got home however we decided to get the monkey off our backs of our taxes.  We itemize, and we also have them prepared…  not that I think we can’t do our own taxes but I will happily throw money at someone for the piece of mind that come an audit we can point the finger at someone else’s legal team to sort it out for us.  There is a level of stress that taxes invoke in me that is far higher than just about anything…  so doing them on the day I was already having a shitty day was maybe not a great idea.  Then again it wasn’t like the day could get much worse.  The problem being that as we were flailing about the house trying to gather the last two or three bits of information before going…  my wife and I were fussing with each other in a way that never really happens when money isn’t on the line.  All of the stress and anxiety, is generally for naught as we get our taxes done… and generally get back a decent refund.  The bigger stress last night was that I felt bad for missing the WoW raid… but thankfully it sounded like they had enough people to pull together without me.  I hear they even managed to down Iskar which is a brand new boss for our group.

Today however seems like it is starting off much the same way as yesterday.  I got to bed at a decent hour and it felt like I was getting good sleep… that is until about 2 am when I woke up thinking the alarm had gone off.  For whatever reason it seems like we fell asleep with the television on, and that noise made me think the alarm was going off.  In the middle of my trying to get ready, I noticed the smell of smoke.  Like enough to make me start freaking out about if the house was on fire.  So I started roaming the house to see if the smell that permeated got worse anywhere to indicate where it was coming from.  I woke my wife when I decided to leave the house and go wandering outside to see if it was something from a nearby house.  The smell was far worse outside, but once again it seemed to be diffuse without any real direction that it was coming from.  I finally hopped in the car and drove the neighborhood, and when the smell was the same up the hill from us…  I finally reached a point of solace that it was very much “not our house” and was able to attempt going back to sleep.  This morning on the news we found out that apparently there is a massive grass fire burning north of us, but still about a thirty minute drive… so that has to be one hell of a fire to generate that thick of smoke as far away as we were.

Hilt Punch

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Ultimately I ended up getting settled in after taxes and getting some food in me, roughly an hour after the start of the raid.  I could have of course logged into World of Warcraft, and gotten pulled into the raid as a late comer.  After the day I had however I was not exactly fit to be around other human beings, so instead I opted to chill out upstairs with the PS4 and some Destiny.  One of the missions that has been eluding me for awhile has been the continuation of the quest that upgrades my legendary quality sword to exotic.  There is a step early on where you need to get 50 “yellow bar” kills with the sword in PVE and 25 kills of players in the crucible.  While I occasionally poke my head into the Crucible… I am not exactly a regular PVP player.  That said last night I felt as combative as I was ever going to be… and my clan had suggested doing it on a week when Mayhem Clash was one of the highlighted modes.  Supposedly “heavy ammo drops like candy” or so someone said and in truth… sure it is more common than other modes but not exactly easy either.  There were so many times I picked up heavy ammo and instantly got gibbed by another player coming up right behind me before I could even get my sword out.  So instead more often than not I simply punched players with the empty hilt of my sword, which counts as a sword kill nonetheless.  Ironically in a lot of cases… the hilt without any ammo… still one shot players.

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Spending an hour or two doing Clash had a few awesome side effects.  Firstly I gained a fat stack of glimmer, more than enough to purchase the ship above from Petra in the Reef since I had recently reached rank 3 there.  It also meant that after bashing my face against it for a bit… I managed to get all 25 of my kills…  strangely enough the last six were gained in a single match, and single ammo pickup.  I just got lucky and managed to time my jumps just right as to slash folks as they came at me in the air.  This allowed me to knock out the next step pretty quickly, which was a special boss on the Dreadnaught.  I remember when I read up on the quest folks talking about how challenging that encounter was and that how they really needed to use sword block effectively.  In truth I would start out each foray by blocking an attack and then landing a succession of quick hits… but then would jump away and wait for my shields to recharge before repeating.  Doing that it took roughly three engagements before I had that boss down.  Now I am on a step that seems considerably more time consuming than any yet… where I need to collect special materials from the moon that supposedly occasionally drop from helium filament canisters and chests.  At the same time I need to use my solar abilities, which is pretty easy given that I am rocking the Armamentarium for double the grenades and some item that allows me to pretty much do nonstop solar punches.  Supposedly this means I need to kill 500 mobs with solar abilities and farm at minimum 100 helium fragment containers to get the drops.  My goal is to finish that part so that the next Armsday I can pick up the final piece which is the Sunless Cell strike… and convince Squirrel and Jex to help me get through that.  It feels good to get the crucible step out of the way… but I also know that next up is working on First Curse.  That said I actually really enjoyed playing the Crucible and managed to get a couple of legendary engrams out of the process and a handful of exotics including a 310 Twilight Garrison.