Light and Poms

TheDivision 2016-03-20 21-11-46-04

Losing Light

This marks the second weekend of attempts to get a black spindle, and I am quickly reaching a point where I no longer want it.  The first weekend was a tale of me largely spending the entire day either waiting to get a group or making attempts on it.  For whatever reason Bungie seems to keep choosing Sunday as the day for Spindle runs… which is not exactly prime time for people playing the game.  On top of that… Sunday is normally a day that I have stuff that needs to get done, and instead for two different weekends my world has focused around trying to get a Black Spindle.  I reached a point yesterday where I wanted to reach through the internet and punch whoever it was that designed this mission.  The individual parts aren’t all that bad… but combined together is just maddening.  If you could simply respawn at a checkpoint before the 10 minute timer starts on the Ketch it wouldn’t be so bad.  I would happily grind that until we finally got it… but instead it is the frustration of having to clear to a boss… then do the run across the temple… then unlock the various chambers… then FINALLY go up into the ketch and do the “real” mission.  So you have 10-15 minutes of bullshit before you reach the point at which it is omg serious mode.

We tried several different methods of attempting to down the boss, the main one being that we jump to the middle and burn him down with swords.  Towards the end we started trying to just whittle his ass down while keeping the adds under control, and honestly neither really worked well.  Anytime we ducked outside of the entrance tunnel we would get wrecked, and almost one shot.  I guess that is the biggest frustration is that the room has no place where you can really set up OTHER than the entrance tunnel and clean out the adds.  The geometry of the room means that someone is always getting hung on something and stuck awkwardly out in the open… which means they are essentially dead.  I am not sure what is up with the mission but it felt like we did significantly worse than the last time…  and this time around I am 304 and decked out in raid weapons that deal extra damage to taken.  I know I am the albatross around the neck of the group, but I am not exactly sure what I am doing wrong there.  At this point I am not likely to spend another weekend of attempts on this stupid weapon… when I have two sniper rifles that I enjoy using already.  Sure this is the best sniper in the game, but if it quite literally makes one of my party members slam their controller down against the desk breaking it…  it is not worth the hassle or frustration.

Pom Pom Squad

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The highlight of the weekend however for me was getting a Pom Pom Beanie on Friday evening while playing Division.  Strangely enough this seems to be the chase item for most people because they are actually rather rare.  I have given food and water to every single person that I meet along the street asking for it… and have a huge amount of clothing options… and have gotten exactly one pom pom beanie.  Now these also can apparently appear on the appearance vendor that unlocks with the security tier, but I have yet to see any there.  What is awesome about mine is the fact that it fits so perfectly with the colors that I already choose…  black and green.  Other than that last night I got a string of awesome weapon drops…  and I finally abandoned my beloved LSW for a couple of ACR variants and eventually a P416…  which all seem to feel the same when firing them.  I also found an upgrade for my SRS marksman rifle but unfortunately the upgrade was only a green so it won’t last nearly as long.  That seems to be my combo of weapons of choice… a fairly accurate assault rifle that fires well in single shot/bursts and a marksman rifle for headshots.  This allows me to either spray and play, for random two mob encounters on the street… or get more strategic for larger groups.

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I am consistently amazed at the wide variety of feelings this game can make me feel.  There are moments when I feel stirrings of patriotism and sentimentality like when I come across a memorial like the one above, or improvised banners hanging out of windows that say slogans like “Can’t Keep NY Down”.  Then other times the game gut punches you with feels when it comes to finding a phone message from before the infection, or as society was crumbling.  Like last night I picked up a message from two parents that were coming into town to see their child because they missed them… and it feels all the more tense knowing that they had no clue what they were walking into.  We had a lengthy AggroChat show talking about the morality of this game… and for whatever reason it stirs something completely different in me.  I absolutely feel like the good guy, the one trying hard to bring some sort of order to a fallen city.  Sure the only thing that separates me from the looters is the badge I am wearing… but I am also saving countless random people from executions or muggings as I roam the city streets.  I might be more vigilante than righteous crusader, but I am okay with that.  I think you miss some of the nuance of the game if you are constantly focused on this objective or the next, and aren’t really participating in the events that happen on the street.  I cannot count the number of times I have rolled up on a group of Rikers with their guns drawn on a civilian, and even though it is a nameless faceless NPC…  I saved them from certain death.  Had I been a little slower on the trigger finger they would be dead on the ground, and those are the moments I feel heroic.  Those are the moments when I don’t question what I am doing in this game.

Spindle Envy

Game of the Month

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This month for AggroChat Game Club we decided to do something a little different.  This was the brain child of Tam, who wished we had the time to really dig in and explore a much larger game.  If you’ve noticed we tend to pick relatively short games for the Game Club because it gives us a shot in hell of beating it before the end of the month and we record the show.  We also tend to pick relatively cheap games, making it easier for all of us to pick the title up…  which a lot of times limits us to Indie titles.  Instead this month we are digging wholeheartedly into post apocalyptic Boston…  in Fallout 4.  Since we are hitting that time of the year when people start to have conflicts, and we have decided to make Fallout span two months.  So the plan is to have it be both the game of the month for November and December, with a bit of a preview show at the end of November to talk about our progress so far.  Then around Christmas a tell all show talking about our feelings about the game and more importantly our experiences.  This is the sort of game where everyone who sits down in front of it will have slightly different experiences, and at least to some extent I plan on trying to keep a running journal of what all I find in the wastes.

Fallout and I go far back, and I can honestly say I have been a huge fan of the series since its launch.  I remember going to the local Wal-mart to buy a copy for the PC shortly after it launched, and pretty much losing all sense of time playing it.  I wish I could say that I went as far back as Wasteland, but alas I did not.  I remember the game, I remember people talking about it… but when it existed I simply did not have a computer.  Fallout is one of those games that changed the way I felt about PC gaming in general.  In the years prior to it, I was pretty much heavily a Super Nintendo gamer…  thinking that Final Fantasy and the JRPG thing was the superior gaming experience.  Fallout, Baldur’s Gate, Planescape: Torment…  changed all of that and I started moving heavily away from the consoles and focusing almost entirely on PC RPGs and eventually allowing myself to get sucked into the MMO world.  So it is with zero hyperbole that say that Fallout shaped the way I feel about gaming, so when a new one releases…  I end up almost vibrating with excitement.  I realize in the coming months I am pretty much going to be dead to the world apart from poking my head into the occasional game here or there.  For at least the first several weeks my blog is pretty much going to be entirely devoted to my travels in post apocalyptic Massachusetts.  I am hoping that you will join me in this adventure, and we will sort out how best to convey your experiences so we can talk about them on the podcast as well.

Lost to Light

Yesterday the mission in Destiny called “Lost to Light” was the daily heroic, and as a result that meant Black Spindle the exotic sniper rifle was once again available.  I had plotted and schemed all day long about this being the night we would actually go do this.  I was so phenomenally wrong….  but we at least made an attempt.  I grabbed Carthuun and Squirrel Pope and we made a valiant attempt.  Earlier in the day Squirrel had actually managed to get through the quest with a group, and while we didn’t succeed we didn’t do that horrible in the grand scheme of things.  Basically I think we are still slightly too low light, but that seems to be the general problem…  because I have no clue how to get over 300 reliably other than run the raid.  Everything was going pretty smoothly, we destroyed the Ogre which started the sequence where we run through the hive fortress and branch off to go up onto the Ketch instead.  Once on the Ketch we did fairly well for the most part, other than the room with all the snipers.  It took us a lot longer in that room than it probably should have, which made everything feel that much more stressful.  We were sitting roughly at the 5 minute mark when we set foot into the final room to fight the taken version of Taniks.  From there… things just went bad… we died a lot… we failed to knock out one of the blights in the far back of the room… and we simply were not doing enough damage to the boss fast enough.

From there we decided to lick our wounds and head into Nightfall, because according to Squirrel it would be far easier than what we just went through.  I am not disappointed mind you in our progress…  it at least gives us a goal to work towards.  Nightfall had a few frustrating moments but we took it nice and slow after the rushed experience of trying to clear to and defeat Taniks in ten minutes.  When we finally downed Alak-Hul I got lucky enough for him to drop his unique helmet, which I am now rocking after some fiddling with it.  I really love collecting these unique items, like the arms with the chain fist from the bond brothers strike.  For the Nightfall itself I was awarded a 4th Horseman, which sadly I already had…  so it pretty much immediately became an exotic shard which is never a bad thing.  I’ve talked about this before but as far as shotguns go… I just cannot think of a situation where I would want 4th Horseman over Invective.  From there we attempted to run a few heroics… which we got through the first one without issue…  then during the second one Carth disconnected.  He has been having some internet issues lately… and I forgot to set the group to “locked” so the game filled for us…  and we ended up finishing the restorative mind with a stranger.  All in all… which we had some frustrations it was still a really fun night, and I am hoping to be able to get in again tonight and do some more fun stuff.