Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Today I Smiled: Reconnected

For those of you wondering why I missed a few days of posts, it was due to annoying internet issues. As of today though, that should (hopefully) all be fixed and I can get back into the swing of things! :)

My Dark Souls story is taking a break - but don't worry I'm sure there's more to come with that next DLC in March... haha. In the meantime here's some stuff to make you smile - like Russian Soldiers marching to Barbie Girl, or Ragnar (from Vikings) being naughty, how people can make "fake news" with a web cam, or perhaps my favorite of this lot made for John Wick fans... Dog Wick!

As usual I also have some music links for you - starting with Brian Mcknight's Back at One (Piano and Voice only), the entire Wizardry Online BGM Piano Suite, and a Castlevania Medley guitar duet (played -very- cleanly)! There's also a Castlevania 3 Medley by the same duo if you liked that.

That's it for now - I'll leave you with a question, and that is - why would a burger joint need an Ad that hits you in the feels? No idea. But I sure would like some Jollibee right now. :P

Sunday, 19 February 2017

The Legend of Drizzt (Boardgame)

Because the Underdark is... dark and full of terrors?

After completing Temple of Elemental Evil and Wrath of Ashardalon (in that order), my game group has moved on to the next of the D&D adventure system games - the Legend of Drizzt (which I'll abbreviate to LoD from here on out). I know we're sort of going backwards(?) but the general consensus is that the miniatures are getting better - which is interesting.

LoD uses the same tile and monster mechanics as the others, but now comes with twisting cavernous zones, some of which are -really- tight, and "dead end" tiles which I'm guessing are quite frequent in the Underdark: the main location of this campaign.

The tiles are more claustrophobic!

There are some strong bad guys here too but nowhere near as strong as the numerous player characters on offer - which is partly why we're still sticking with our initial Temple group. :)

There are a few variations of quests to the seek and destroy or seek and escape which is nice, but the inclusion of competitive adventures (player vs player) actually lessens the value for me. Also, since the campaign tries to follow Drizzt's adventures there are many gaps in the story where he isn't in the Underdark. For those reasons, this one only gets 4.5 driders out of 5.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Skyrim: 30 Days of Skyrim

Might as well be part of my Skyrim Adventure Journal! You can read the whole story here!

Turns out there's this "30 Days of Skyrim" challenge floating about, and since I've raked up hundreds upon hundreds of hours on the game I thought I'd give it a crack. Also rather than spread it out for 30 days I'm just going to hit them all at once. :)

Day One: Which race did you chose?
I always go with Nord. The natives of Skyrim. Which happens to be my character name.

Day Two: Mage, Warrior, Rogue or mixed class?
I always start with Rogue, then eventually mix into Warrior and only at the very end do I pick up magic skills. I don't mind worlds with magic, I just don't like being a magic user.

Day Three: Favorite Quest Line.
The Forgotten City Mod. It's fantastic.

Day Four: Favorite Quest Mission.
To Kill an Empire, and any others that involve directly slaying Thalmor or Imperial people.

Day Five: Favorite Faction.
Dawnguard. Definitely my type of crazies. :)

Day Six: Least Favorite Quest Line.
A Night to Remember (the one you get drunk). Did it for completion but it's ultimately stupid.

Day Seven: Least Favorite Quest.
No Stone Unturned. It's a collection quest. Blergh.
Also, Diplomatic Immunity because I'm not allowed to eradicate all the Thalmor in their estate.

Day Eight: Favourite Companion(s)
Serana from the Dawnguard DLC since she has the most backstory and is easy on the eyes. Brutus Brutalus [from the Summerset Isle Mod] was a real ass kicker though for whatever reason.

Day Nine: Favorite City
Whiterun, it's in the middle of everything and has a nice layout to the place.

Day Ten: Favorite Hold
Again Whiterun. I like the open, rolling, non-snowy plains. I also quite like the wandering giants and mammoths!

Day Eleven: Favorite antagonist.
Samel from the Inferno Mods. The guy just keeps coming back!

Day Twelve: Favorite Shout(s)
For a long time it was Dragonrend, but recent mods have me favoring Slow Time and Become Ethereal.

Day Thirteen: Favorite Spell(s)
None really, since I'm not a mage. I suppose the light ones are useful every now and then.

Day Fourteen: Favorite Weapon(s)
Paralyzing bows and paralyzing knives. Eventually graduated to dragon slaying katana and oblivion sword though (from the Death Mountain Mod).

Day Fifteen: Favorite in game book

This one from the Death Mountain Mod! :P

Day Sixteen: Least Favourite Creature
Slaughter fish, mainly because they are hard to target and pointless to fight.

Day Seventeen: Horder or no?
Not really items wise, but gold - wow I love gold. Despite having over a hundred thousand coins I still open baskets and nightstands to take all the coins I can find.

Day Eighteen: Favorite House.
Solitude. It's spacious and pretty functional.

Day Nineteen: Mods or no mods?
Definitely Mods. They add so much content to the game!

Day Twenty: What do hate most about Skyrim?
NPCs try to fight me when I'm clearly out of their league. They should either flee in terror at this point or simply surrender immediately.

Day Twenty One: Funniest thing you’ve done.
Chain executed maybe 20-30 enemies from the Sinister Seven Mod as they chased me through a door to a new area.

Day Twenty Two: Funniest glitch you’ve encountered
Dead dragon in Riften. Respawns dead. :P

Day Twenty Three: Favorite Song.
The dragon fighting music!

Day Twenty Four: Stormcloak Rebel, Imperial Legionnaire or neither?
Stormcloaks forever. Imperials are pussies since they lost/had to make peace with a bunch of elves. HUMANS MUST REIGN SUPREME ABOVE ALL OTHERS!

Day Twenty Five: Vampire, Werewolf or Vigilant of Stendarr?
Vigilant of Stendarr I guess, though I never really wear that title. Guess it fits somewhat though. Dislike of magic, slayer of non-humans. *nods*

Day Twenty Six: Favorite Armor set
Mastermind's Armor from the Sinister Seven Mod. The darker it gets, the faster you can move ultimately twice or three times of someone on horseback. Especially useful in dungeons where you can sprint up to an enemy (from the front) in stealth and execute them before they can draw their weapons!

Day Twenty Seven: One thing you would change about Skyrim
Let the game handle thousands of combatants in combat without crashing.

Day Twenty Eight: Who did you marry in game?
Njada, because she's a human Nord. I quite like her scars too. For me they make her look better than the ones who have flawless skin.

Day Twenty Nine: Favourite Deadra
Sheogorath. I'm biased though, since I really liked him in Oblivion and the Shivering Isles too. Still disliked his quest here.

Day Thirty:  What do you love most about Skyrim?
The dragons!

Friday, 17 February 2017

Dark Souls III: Thy place of belonging

Tales from Dark Souls - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

DAMN!

After 30 or so attempts and maybe 10 or so embers, which I'm now using as a heal item rather than a pre-combat buff, I finally win this most epic battle as the nunja does not get up a fourth time (thank god). Is it strange that I'm going to miss her now?

I head out to where the white haired prisoner girl has begun painting on a canvas and tell her of her uncle Gael's (many) deaths. She doesn't seem to mind. Instead she tells me:

Those who aren't ken to fire cannot paint a world...


Those absorbed by fire, must not paint a world.
Don't worry, I haven't forgotten, Mother...
I can hear the fire crackle...
And soon, I will see it...
My thanks, Ashen One.
I will finish the painting.
Of a cold, dark, and very gentle place.
So that it might make a home for someone, someday."

It is with sorrow that I leave her there to die as Ariandel's flames begin to consume the place. That second line strikes a chord for me though. Perhaps it's some sort of clue as to why the fire didn't get linked, and why it's best that I am fireproof.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Dark Souls III: Fighting Fully

Tales from Dark Souls - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

Rejuvenated by the victory I return to face Friede and promptly get face stomped again and again. I do improve though, up to the point where I slay her! But this is Dark Souls, that doesn't really mean I won. See by doing that Ariandel goes ape shit and revives her.

Oh, so the boss fight only starts -now-?

Now I have to fight both a nunja, and a crazed giant bird wielding a cup full of lava! Even with Sir Gael's assistance, this does not end well for me and defeat resets the fight -fully- as per usual.

I opt to head back (bonfire warp works just fine) and chat with Corynx who gives me clues where to find more Estus shards (more healing). I manage to find two more which is still not a full set but it proves to be enough to slay both Friede and Ariandel! Huzzah!

This leads to phase THREE, where our favourite nunja revives again - this time with dual scythes (I guess she killed Scythegirl too) and insane dark magic moves. Yep. I die again. A lot. And this resets the fight -fully-. :P

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Dark Souls III: Return from whence thou cam'st...

Tales from Dark Souls - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

Ariandel asks me to fetch Friede but there's no need, as she is already approaching with the exact same ice magicked scythe of the previous white-haired painting lady. It's pretty clear now that she killed her somehow and with Ariandel is now corrupting this world. I would not let that stand!

Or ... maybe I'll just back away now.

It turns out Friede is a nunja though (dual class nun/ninja) who can turn invisible and pretty easily kills me with said scythe. A few goes of this and I am so beaten up mentally I opt to withdraw first, following the suggestion of a player message to cut the long bridge outside.

This then serves as a ladder down to a root maze (guarded by two annoying great Nord archers) which reaches the frozen lake below. The area leads to a flowery valley with the bottom part of that tower where a lady with an affinity for wolves guards a curiously familiar grave.

Though not stated, I'm sure this is Knight Ciaran, especially given how tough she is (and she can somehow parry while attacking, the cheater). Worse when she summons a great wolf for aid. She's not as tough as Friede though, as it only takes me three attempts to defeat her.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Dark Souls III: Mountain of Madness

Tales from Dark Souls - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

Beyond the prison chamber is an exit to a snowy mountain pass which is heavily patrolled by the javelin dudes followed by wolves and the great Nords. In traditional Dark Souls fashion, since I was terribly outnumbered here (worse than 10:1) I decided to go to the old staple: Panic Sprint through everything and somehow it worked!

Oh yuck.

After opening a few shortcuts I found myself entering a large, smelly chamber full of carcasses - a hive of giant flies? While very yucky, these weren't that dangerous to get through since I wasn't silly enough to wake all of them up at the same time. A nearby lever opened a secret passage back at Sister Friede's chapel. How I saw what happened in a cut scene far away - I don't know, but that's not the first time it's happened either. :P

A secret passage from the hive then led to a tangle of roots down to a familiar looking circular tower... damnit. This IS the same painting that I was in before! With nowhere else to go I used a homeward bone to return to Friede and get some answers.

She just casually implied I should leave but didn't actually stop me from descending the secret steps into the large, underground sanctum. At the end was a giant bird man, peering into a golden cauldron. It turns out this is the titular Ariandel.