30 November 2018

NaNoWriMo 2018

I heard about it as early as 2009-2010. I thought about every now and then until I finally registered on the site in 2014, apparently. 2016 saw me create a book on it but not actually write anything (I deleted this and lost the badge, oh well). 2018 I said I'd give it a go, at last.

It was to be written longhand. I got really discouraged when I read that you had to validate your wordcount and I thought a damn I needed to be typing this, which I grew to hate. I like to do worldbuilding and TTRPG-writing in Word or Google Docs but not narrative writing. I like the flow of writing by hand, and I don't stop to edit every single mistake. This can really kill momentum, for me anyway.

Turns out you can validate by having a someone else count your words and I thought 'no way someone is reading this.'



Necut Six was the name of the novel this time. Main character A journeys to six points on the map of significance with a growing entourage. Main character B is under house arrest but is rescued by his estranged best friend and fellow VIP and they head off on a magical adventure. Main character C, brother of A and son of B would actually have to fight in the war while the other two avoided or tried to manipulate it. Poor bastard. He didn't even get any words written about him (yet)!

Word count by day:

1 1528
2 380
3 2549
4 697
5 -
6 1222
7 159
8 -
9 -
10 -
11 623
12-30 -

Total: 7158/50000

Not terrible! This is an ongoing project, a marathon not a sprint, and I quite enjoyed it. I burned out from matters completely unrelated to writing mid November after a series of events around the 9th to 11th. Forcing myself to write is not in my skillset, unfortunately for my wordcount. I often thought of going back but was really and truly burned out for most of November. All is well, just tired.

So that's my first actual proper NaNoWriMo attempt, I look forward to next year and having another go. I will continue with this bit of paper hopefully sooner rather than later. It really opened my eyes in a lot of ways, I can do this!

25 November 2018

Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time 3 Heart Challenge (FAILED LOL)

I don't know how many time I've played this game. I only recently (2016 or 2017) tweeted that I had completed it 100% for the first time. Actually wait, I was missing a heart piece or two but damn close.
I still have the original file my brother started in 1999 (?) called 'Eoghan.' which has 138 deaths recorded on it! He beat the first three dungeons and got the Forest and Water Medallions but then moved out I think. I played it extensively between 2002 and 2004ish and EVENTUALLY found the way to the Fire Temple and the rest fell into place.
Since then I've probably played through it at least once a year for a decade but I had reached the point where I knew exactly what to do in every situation re: puzzles and monsters etc. Also I collected so many heart containers and whatnot that I could afford to play a bit sloppily. This would bite me in the arse when I decided to do a 3 heart challenge for the first time ever:



^ The original file, my 'all Skulltalas' Yapef file and my new 3 heart challenge file under 'My dude' after the meme.


^ Let's do this! I allowed myself three bottles with three fairies as 'lives' and would later get the Biggoran Sword and Epona but avoided getting the magic meter or anything until the very late game. Not sure what else... collected about 18 skulltulas just as I went along but not much else... oh I didn't allow myself to collect the Dungeon Maps or Compasses, which actually made things even quicker as I could bypass a few rooms.


^ Did not take enough photos as usual - phone pics suck. Note that all the settings of the TV are at 100, colour, brightness etc. It's almost pitch black without them and very hard to see...


^ I think this is just after I died the first time. The two Stalfos in the Forest Temple got me. Lost one of my lives but beat them after. I read a guide that warned this would be tougher than subsequent temples.


^ Beat Phantom Ganon handily enough, it seemed easier somehow to just reflect it back at him or maybe I was just fighting for my life(s) a bit harder. No shields no nothing to assist.


^ The dreaded Water Temple. This and the Fire Temple were actually GRAND I fudged up some of the puzzles here and lost time but who cares. One thing I missed was Farore's Wind whcih you get near Lord Jabu Jabu. I use it to rapidly return to dungeon entrances or in the Water Temple to the water rising and lowering devices.


^ The last of my screenshots. Did the Shadow Temple first and died the second time, the corridor with three skulltulas got me. I think I lost my last fairy  Then I lost my last life fighting Bongo Bongo himself. I had saved mid fight so went all the way back in and lost again! And I was thinking he's be the easy one and he was but damn it when he turned his hand into a fist I was screwed.

Once the challenge was failed I just bulldozed through the Spirit Temple, dying again outside it versus those green dudes and then topping up my fairy count again before ploughing through again. Died versus Twinrova, not against the Iron Knuckles that I feared would get me. Later still, Ganondorf himself killed me - one of his blasts you need to deflect aced all three of my hearts. Managed to beat Ganon without getting a game over but still.

So it was entertaining and different besides that. I always wanted to play the Master Quest on the Gamecube but never got the opportunity. I know it mixes up the puzzles so that would be fun to play. I'll try this again maybe a year from now or so and try not to be so sloppy. When you have over 10 hearts from a few dungeons and heart pieces collected I have no problem taking damage from traps and enemies  but when you only have three jesus you need to bring your A game.

19 October 2018

Love/hate #20 Fallout 4 *spoilers* *more swearing than usual* Institute/Charisma/Guns

Intro


^ Huntress very briefly got an appearance in Fallout 4. I just couldn't get into it in August 2017 but played it around September 2018 and finally hit it off. Eventually.





^ Eoghan's SPECIAL. Read it in a guide and it largely worked perfectly, was nice to see CHA is now good and END is the dump stat!


^ It helped that I named him after me. I needed to do EVERYTHING I could to get into this.


^ I kind of didn't like that they just hand you a power armour suit early on. Funnily enough I went through the church on the right hand side there, climbed to the top, jumped across and found the suit before the quest started.


^ This guy got meme'd a LOT since 2015 or whenever. Never got it and still kind of don't I never bothered bringing him around as a companion. I hated the sound of his gun and liked having him in Sanctuary Hills, my de facto Wasteland capital city.


^ I actually liked how radiation worked in this game. Really fucked me up the first chunk of the game, possibly due to my low Endurance.


^ Kind of liked this dialogue system. There is a sense of what could have been had they run with the old system but considering everything at the end it worked. Great quality voice work too.


^ An OK companion. Not as useful as the Fable dog who didn't waste my time with junk but spied out dig spots for example.


^ It took me a long while to get decent armour together


^ None of the Fallout 4 background story lifted for me. I just could not care less.



^ Pink!


^ I pickpocketed him early on and was summarily killed. If only they were as useful against the enemy... the companions in this are just awful. Good characters and whatnot but ultimately forgettable and for all my planning that they'd help balance out my weaknesses with my high CHA it just didn't work.


^ Finding these motivated me to play on. Huntress only made it as far as entering the building where the Minutemen are being attacked.


^ There Assaultron ladies are BADASS. They kicked me around any time I fought them and I shopped from KL-E-0 many times. Mainly for shotgun shells...


^ I seemingly kept Codsworth for some time before ditching him for a returning Fallout 3 character... oh yes they're in here.


Mostly what I used CHA for... making even MORE MONEY


^ They gave her some great lines


^



^ I liked saving him from his miserable life here but when he proceeded to do nothing I was less amused.



^ MacCready. My companion for maybe the first half of the game. Got him to full relationship and got the perk but jesus he barely made any influence. The companions in this maybe just helped divide the damage taken from enemies.


^ There were very, very few glitches for me. I was shocked. Only crashed a handful of times in a 75 hour playthrough.


^ Couldn't find this little bugger for a while. I liked that there were only 20ish points to divvy out at the start plus the 7 bobbleheads and this book for 1 more point. Made it more difficult and I certainly struggled for the first few levels, more so than the other games.


^ The VATS systems was also nicely different. I seem to be liking the things they changed about the classic features of the games.



^ INT was no longer as important in this game. I think I only really levelled up the Medic perk.




^ There were some nice side quests but once you get past a few of the more unique ones many of them boil down to go there and kill that and/or collect these and return.


^ I didn't really care that she mislead me, but I read that if you side with her it slightly affected your future dealings with Hancock so I threw her to the dogs this time.


^ The Assault Gas Mask was worn maybe 75% of the game.


^ It was only when I met these Power Armor junkies that I found the Unarmed bobblehead and realised the 13 skill ones were there too. That helped my motivation to keep playing!


The Criticals system was also a nice touch. They were just random massive damage in New Vegas  but usually when you really needed it and satisfying but in a different way.


^ It was TOUGH beating most mobs with 1 END.


^ Seriosuly most encounters were entertainingly difficult and often required numerous playthroughs to get right. Kind of like a puzzle with bullets and whatnot.






^ One of the very very few glitches or bugs I witnessed. Still not quite sure how she ended up down there.


^ Spectacle Island was monstrous. It was nice to be a literal glass cannon. I've established that I was made of glass but how did I deal damage?


^ This BAD BOY. A random raider dropped an Explosive Double Barrel shotgun and I pretty much relied on it the entire game. So fucking powerful I emptied shops of their shotgun shells and gradually left all other guns at home. I diversified later but this guy who I renamed Explodey stayed.


^ The character models were pretty good in this. Not too uncanny valley.


^ There are some things about New England's influence on video games that I'll never get.


^ I stuck to that army background. Helped get me into the character.


^ I mostly played a good character who couldn't resist the lure of money.


^ One of my very few dalliances with power armor.


^ I gave it to my companions and they pretty much stayed in them forever.




^ My guy was so nice but there was no option to go through with it.


^ Aww, MacCready. Too bad it took so long to get rid of you.


^ Ghouls were great in this. Either absurdly human or these falling apart feral zombies. The human ones were nicely idealistic, which was refreshing as the ones in 3 and NV often drop their Pre War knowledge too readily without going into too much detail while the ones in this were just more focused on surviving.


^ Though it was tough for a long time it was nice to be highly motivated to get sneaky again. Often I get so good at 3 and NV I'm not bothered and just charge in with a tiny bit of sneaking... in this it was vital and got me through a lot of strongholds when my Sneak and Ninja were more advanced.



^ I actually sided with his son but I let this play out before reloading. He was impossible to kill, too.


^ I liked the random Legendary enemies but the more I saw of them and their loot drops the more I was reminded of Borderlands, particularly the second one where things started to get too modular. Eventually they stopped seeming special.




^ There were so many little moments littered throughout that just never felt satisfying.



^ I thought it would take forever to find that cat but thank god these games are so precise now with quest locations.


^ The only companion I regret not taking along at some point. Of course I liked her French accent.




^ You jelly, MacCready?



^ Again they planted all these little character seeds in this particular settlement but other than one or two quests there's not much scope to do anything with them. There were plenty of jaded people alongside optimistic people to mess with or help out.


^ Seriously these gals could fuck you up.


^ I was dressed in Vault Suit for the majority of the game but tried out a few different outfits, these army fatigues were one. A particular suit and hat I wore gradually toward the end of the game when I started to play up the CHA card.


^ Random mini nuke-dropping guy? Deadly.


^ Take the Fat Man, climb church, go onto motorway and blow up his buddies? Awesome.


^ The settlements and the nature of placing shit seemed to be the main source of these kinds of bugs.


^ Got so close then wandered off. Left this gem for later in the game.


^ Indeed, Lucy. Indeed. Gathered the harvest in a matter of seconds, the fuck they complaining for? I own this settlement!



^ The Castle. Was pretty cool and got to fight a Mirelurk Queen. One of them fucked me out of it randomly in the south before so was glad to get revenge.



^ Woah. Having no knowledge of Boston I couldn't have known. They never really drove the baseball angle down your throat, unlike the Capital Wasteland where everything was tied to great American history and the government etc. Missed opportunity here.


^ Eoghan being the good inspirational guy in this.


^ Again I should've guessed.



^ With EXPLODEY and the cover  of this little hut, the infamous Swan was not difficult.


^ They even blew the mob angle. One little stand off with a mob boss and its over?



^ Probably my fave. Should've been integral into the Institute and BoS half of the story.



^ Not all skull enemies were deadly. Deathclaws in this were suitably vicious though, feck me.






^ I had to jump into the lava here. Or molten whatever. Also I obviosuly stumbled into this halfway through as I got a Shishkebab off Jake and no idea where to go with it? It was a quest item so couldn't deposit or toss or anything.


^ I never got into the Hacking or used computers much in this more than I had to so there could be an angle for a future replay.



^ Had to go back to Vault 111 for this. Never bothered to use it but stored it away...


^ My settlements were masses of turrets. Very satisfying when they got to be used.


^ Lockpick was exactly the same as 3, NV and Skyrim. Piss easy. Also bobby pins were fairly widely available and there was no need to get the unbreakable bobby pin perk.




^ OK as a CHA 6 guy who eventually went higher, I had always intended to get into settlements. Took me a while but I was HOOKED by the idea of clearing our locations of junk, going back to Sanctuary Hills and dumping it off, then going to another. Rinse and repeat.




^ This last shot is funny as  I activated them and we were attacked by a Glowing Deathclaw. We barely managed to beat it then I accidentally shot one of them and they killed me so fast... the reload had no Deathclaw attack after I switched them on.



^ Another little bug or glitch or whatever. Again, not gamebreaking, a first for Bethesda hawhaw


^ Seriously I got addicted to just gathering junk and elevating every settlement's requirements and watching them grow. It took me even longer to figure out that wooden boxes made the settlement's 'size' increase. Weird.



^ These bois reappeared but far from being 4 unique ones in 3 and non-existent in NV they could appear whenever and where not particularly exciting.




^ I eventually sorted out MacCready but he turned me down. I left him naked in the nearby petrol station tending the weeds. That'll show him for being so crap!


^ Moments of potential awesome. Throughout. This just devolved into me running around a Chinese sub pushing random buttons or whatever the quest wanted. There was a potential evil option or something to blow it up but why... why. The reward I got seemed cool but I never bothered to use it.



^ Here's another quest that pissed me off to no end. Gimmicky and potentially likeable but the end of it was so flat... was it meant to be funny?


^ I did the main quest to find my son in fits and starts. Ha. Dog reappeared for me after disappearing when I took on Codsworth and then MacCready as Dogmeat. Why bother calling him that it's been done.


^ Valentine was great. I LOVED that he compensated perfectly for my complete lack of computer skills. His voice acting was great and he could carry stuff but sadly like all of them not too exciting or influential in combat.


^ Ugh. I was thinking about this before finally sitting down and writing this thing. Its arrival for me was so flat. I just didn't care. The main story WAS progressing but their arrival was just the BoS being their usual show-off selves. There was no story reason for them to show up and they seemed so apart from the Institute and other factions. There was no mesh. When the Enclave showed up in 3 it was at the worst possible moment and their patrols and whatnot started spawning across the Wasteland to reflect their stepping up. The Legion in New Vegas get a stunning intro in Nipton and gradually increase in importance as the Battle approaches.


^ Whatever, I kept building mah settlements.


^ Glad to see like Lockpicking these remained the same more or less.


^ The Gary reference!


^ A car killed this Behemoth...







^ BOOM! The best gun. Made better by Bloody Mess.


^ tried to get the flamethrower traps to work in Sanctuary Hills...


^ Loaded myself with drugs to fight this guy... nice touch with the Psycho.



^ This is the one in the Museum of Witchcraft. Super tough I had to abuse the scenery to beat him or her.


^ Shoving the holotapes into the Pip Boy was a great touch.


^ I think I eventually settled on his armour...




^ The ghoul farm got a nice bit of protection...





^ Exploder was the final name, my mistake.



^ The charisma costume. +3 for the suit and +1 for the hat I think it was well over 10 by the end of the game anyway.


^ Finally starting to commit to the main quest...



^ Really loved this mechanic. MORE MONEY






^ I liked this quest to get this guy's confidence up. Never really listened to the radio but heard him a few times and he was awful so yeah it made sense. I SWEAR to god when this fake fight started I had already punched him by accident mid-dialogue (skipping over text) and when it actually started he executed a PERFECT hip toss on the bad guy. The hilarity of same game engine for EVERYONE, even weedy guys like him.


^ Convincing the girl to go on a date with him.


^ Same here as the Vault settlement. Little threads that give way to nothing. If they sacrificed all the modular 'go clear out this location again' quests and replaced them with in depth shit in any of these settlements we could have had a winner.

^ demanding more money...


^ Having NEVER really got into the craft systems in Skyrim, I finally got it in this. I can go back to Skyrim and try and focus on gathering shite for blacksmithing.


^ Killed a Mirelurk Queeen much easier this time...















^ I kept inching away at the main quest and this particular sequence was good. I started to suspect that time had passed since my son was taken...


^ she DIED. I think I blew the conversation option. Oh well



^ I'm glad my character remembers this shit.


^ The dawn of Hancock. I was told there would be a journey to the Glowing Sea so he seemed perfect.

^ Completion!


^ Had to find this guy. Rare to meet a character who was recently FEV'd.

^ Apparently this armour is a big deal?



^ OK I liked a few bits of the main quest like this little hunt.



^ Some things never change.



^ Ah the occasional sarcastic response.


^ Murdered him pretty handily anyway.



^ That ONE synth you met in Fallout 3 was more relatable than all these fuckers.


^ Saw what you want they DID nail the skyline of Bawston and its surrounds. This is actually a feature of the featured location and they used it a bit. Namely, tall tall buildings. 3 was blessed with a ton of actual locations and New Vegas went a different way.


^ I didn't think I'd like them but I did. Shame how it ended...


^ I said something to her about love in the classroom at some stage and I come back later to find them getting married! Kind of fun.


^ Heh.


^ Poor guy. I asked for Sniper Fire I think but what impact did he really have?


^ LOVED this. Had no real stealth weapons but had upped Gunslinger as a pistol back up to my usual rifles and shotgun and already had tons of stealth so it was tremendously useful.


^ I went with Fixer. As in the drug in Fallout not a fixer of problems. Duh


^ Short barrel shotgun did more critical damage so happily sawed away at it. I liked how they did weapon mods in this.

^ AAAAAAND the boredom began. When I started messing around with the console I was roughly level 47 or thereabouts and maybe 50 hours played of 75. I gained like 5 levels from slaughtering mobs.






^ These were easy - the battle near Outpost Zimonja I think it was between 200 Synths and 100 Setlers plus my 20 Settlers and me was rough.


^ I spawned them near the water. Big mistake.



^ After the boredom of the Minutemen, not really meeting the BoS or the Institute the Railroad were refreshing.





^ Hmm must have been on a power armor run there...



^ Got the Minutemen, my old buddies, to help me build the teleporter thing to the institute.



^ I liked this too.I started to figure as much that time had passed there was no way a small child was going to walk out to meet me at this stage, also not too likely another me would confront me. It had to be someone older.

^ I also just had to Gun Bash him to death and reload. Too funny not too.


^ Though it was hard to think past the age difference and sheer amount of time that had passed it was an interesting relationship. Like meeting a long lost relative or adoption-like.


^ One of my experiments went horribly wrong and the battle of Sanctuary KILLS saw two casualties, miraculously no one else was hurt...


^ In a racist turn, only a useful Ghoul settler (just, Settler, to me) and the useless Vault Tec Rep died. There were dozens of Deathclaws and like 50-100 legendary raiders and only these guys died. Oh and almost all of my turrets.


^ My fake battles were AWESOME. This one at Bunker Hill sucked. I shot no one and just walked in there. All the factions ignored me and didn't hurt me.



^ All to grab some runaway synths.


^ Some of my weapons for various ammos. The Gatling Laser I picked up in the Bunker Hill quest... OH I liked the breakdown of grenades into a separate thrown category like any other FPS made more sense than having to equip them as primaries all the time.


^ My dude soon after Bunker Hill. I wasn't too worried about armour in this but it makes a HUGE difference. I knew this from the start but much later in the game I forgot to put my armour back on and waas ripped to pieces. I was wearing my charisma suit instead, which I had hot-keyed.


^ All these bits I didn't have hot keyed. The Savoldi Hat and Reginald's Suit were 9 and 0 I believe. Stimpaks were 1 naturally enough and my selection of weaponry 2 through to 7. 8 was radaway I think.


^ My perk tree. Mind only about 5 of these were guilty from command console boredom but hard earned. Who spawns 200 synths on top of himself and his poor nearby settlers? This guy! The amount of time it took it finish all them off... While we're here I liked the perk tree a lot. I got very excited about building another character in a future playthrough but that was also perhaps a symptom of boredom encroaching.


^ I loved the SM voice acting. Some of them sound so perfect.


^ Overly dramatic child of mine.


^ The suit in action. Was also big on AGI and LUC. The next character I'm thinking will be low CHA-INT-PER-END and pump up LUC-AGI and STR to a degree. Go full melee.






^ Aww. I'm not sure EXACTLY when I decided to fall in entirely with the Institute but kind of glad I did. All I ever heard about F4 was nuke Boston or kill your son. I look forward to my other three faction playthroughs. Will my all melee girl side with the Minutemen all the way? Will my fat nerd go with the BoS? Will undecided 4th character possibly with high useless Endurance perks go with the Railroad?


^ I AM YOUR GOD

^ Could not give a fuck. Let's go.


^ aww but I like the BoS... not.




^ With Rifleman and the sheer power of it, the EXPLODER made these fights mostly trivial.


^ The Deliverer was still fun for stealthy insta kills.



^ GOOD CHRIST was this meant to be easier? Close calls here.


^ C'mon random scientist dude... I loved how I had to tell the Minutemen to back off I got this before going in.




^ The speech thing was WEIRD. Like, who cares. You don't even get to see the impact of it.


^ Father I mean my son is ill so I'll be taking over...


^ I asked Hancock to leave while I destroyed the Railroad... I knew he might hate it.


^ Took some glee in headshotting Desmonda here... too easy after that.


^ Took a while to hunt down this girl from the railroad out in the field... walked it in case she got away and found her in the river? Some way to be gunned down...





^ My reaction to Liberty Prime being shoe horned into this shit. Why bother. Think of something new. The blimp was a start?


^ Time to blow this shit up. I think.



^ Ugh. You had your day in 3. Then were tragicaly killed in Broken Steel. It still hurts. Why must I kill you again?

^ The synths grew on me. I normally hate AI but I'll let these guys pass.


^ I love fucking up the BoS so this worked for me.


^ The skill books and mags were fun in this. Small bonuses and loved my guy's reactions to finding them - NICE. SWEET. YEEEEEEEESSSSSS

^ OH right the blimp was caught in that. May have started mmm-hmming my way through conversations...


^ Some sadness here. Are we the bad guys? What now? So many unanswered questions.


^ That was the worst ending ever. OK that might be an overstatement but wow a flat 30 second speech and the shitty tagline that is abused and misused by now. Then simply back to the game and I'm the Leader now?


^ Not even a Deathclaw Matriach in the middle of the Institute could cheer me up.

In sum, it was good. I feel I often give things good or great ratings but they are usually things I've already played and watched and loved. This was brand new to me. I am a big fan of the Fallout series having played NV to death and 3 almost as extensively really and a good chunk of 1 (must finish that off). This does not oust NV or 3 so slots into 3rd place.

The music was excellent btw. Holy gods when that battle soundtrack picked up it blew me away. Some of the atmospheric shit was good too.

Voice acting - superb quality. Again what could have been but maybe the next one will mix the extensive dialogue possibilities with voice acting.

All the usual elements plus newer Bethesda shit like crafting and the settlements -  good and addictive at times. You can get tired of it eventually but its a good high to be on and really helped get me into the game.

The story - eh, it rose and fell. Ebbed and flowed.  Something good was balanced by something flat or something in the gameplay would take away from it somehow. Some decent side quests but modularity of other quests (go clear out the Federal Reserve Stockpile for the 4th time (!)) took away from it.

Characters - great voice acting and some interesting folks in there. Hard to give a shit after wasting so much time on the ultimately bland MacCready.

I'll eventually go back and play a different way and see how it holds up.

NaNoWriMo 2018

I heard about it as early as 2009-2010. I thought about every now and then until I finally registered on the site in 2014, apparently. 2016 ...