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Just A Ball On Satan's Ping-Pong Table

Started by Silver Sorrow, Oct 09, 2023, 05:27 PM

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Silver Sorrow

It's how I describe what I'm doing right now, bouncing between Starfield and Phantom Liberty, and this and that thrown in for bad measure (Mystery Case Files, for example).

I'll play a bit of one, then play the other...back and forth, back and forth...so instead of keeping two threads open, I'll just combine my torment into one horrific thread. You're welcome.

All right. First off, my current Phantom Liberty woes:

None at the moment. But I'm sure I'll stumble across a few soon.

Actually, I decided NOT to screw around the normal way, just grinding my way to a high level. I know I really have nowhere to go during the day, but still: there's no way in hell that I'm gonna spend days futzing around in the desert (for example) just for XP. The thought makes me want to throw up.

So I accelerated the process. Now I'm at level 51 and I think I'll go ahead and start the Phantom Liberty questline. Gotta call Judy first, though. I'd rather stick my finger down my throat. Charming little twat.

I wonder...I think I could go back to 1.63 if I really wanted to. But, uh...once I'm done with PL, I'm probably done with the game for good. So speculation over a rollback is just academic at this point.

Okay, on to Starfield:

I decided to start over. One, I hadn't progressed so far into the game that it would be a problem. Two, I wanted to know for sure if I was right about the lack of tutorial help. Three, after the latest patch I was curious if they'd patched the exploit to get the Mark 1 suit in the Constellation basement. Four, I wanted to mess with the facegen a bit more. Five, I like making lists.

One: I was determined to take my time, look around me a bit more without letting the various pressures get to me. When going through the pirate base (you don't HAVE to go there, at least I don't think you do, but it's a good introduction to combat, lockpicking, etc.) the first time I played, I had lamented the fact that I didn't have enough digipicks to open all of the locked things. By taking my time, I found that there are indeed ample digipicks to be had. So there you have it.

Two: No, I was wrong. There is a bit of tutorial help to be had, but it's easy just to click through the popups without thinking. I had so much being thrown at me -- plus, it was something like 3am when I played it -- that I messed up. Here's an example concerning piloting the ship:

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If you opt to pay attention, your robot friend will guide you through the ship functions. So...yay.

Three: Nope! You can still get the suit!

Four: I had a bit of help putting together a new face, as I'm not conversant with all the weird little sliders yet. The guy who made the preset claims it was based on Ada Wong, so I'll take his word for it. But I made a few changes here and there to make her mine.

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So there's that.

Well, I'm done for the moment. I put the trash out on the curb, picked up my groceries, typed about a kajillion words, some of them relevant...it's nap time.

But first...my current project:

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On the way: a 16" low-volume crash (the china's nice, but it's not great for a main crash), and a good-sized drum rug (ever try to play on a hardwood floor? Slippery).

Needed: a 14" low-volume crash, a double-braced cymbal stand for the 16" (the single-braced is good for a 14"), a boom arm cymbal stand for the clamp I have by the Ride (perfect place for the China), another low-volume China (I love Chinas), a low-volume splash, and a couple thousand bucks to have all of these megalithic 90's power toms cut down to normal sizes, rewrapped (either silky or matte black), and all the hardware replaced with black-plated hardware. But I'm not that motivated.

This is not an urgent project by any means. I just add stuff when I have the willingness to do something about it. I continually ask myself: why did I choose Misty Chrome instead of black like a normal person? Or even white?

Wait...no. A white finish is a nightmare, especially when you're a 17 year old naïf, carting them in the back of your parents' Subaru to a friend's garage; you leave them for the week because by god it's a NINE PIECE KIT. You're exhausted just unloading the thing and setting it up. Your friend says, hey, leave it here for the week and pick it up next weekend. The same friend who, you eventually learn, decides that bashing the living hell out of them all week is the key to happiness.

Final Tally: one cracked Wuhan China (I loved that cymbal), one mangled 14" Sabian Sound Control Crash, one broken Pearl double-kick slave pedal, two scuffed-up high toms (fuckhead just let the hi-hats ram into 'em all week), nine batter heads beat to shit, and one hard lesson learned about trusting others with your gear.

Here's the problem with a large kit and being somewhat obsessive about certain things: I'm under the impression that my non-used toms feel left out when I go to a simple 4-piece config. "Use us!" they cry. See, this was just a bit of a lark to get my hands working again; I thought, hey, there's no need to use the WHOLE kit, right? Right. So of course I had to use every bit of it.

While I'm currently fixated on this, there's suffering and misery everywhere, unwinnable wars, famine, pestilence, lunatics in power, complete nutjobs wherever you work or play...and my neighbor is mowing his lawn. In the middle of October. (It is 74 degrees [F] out there, so why not?) I can't think of anything better to do with all these world-weary anxieties but to focus my attention on an instrument I can barely play anymore due to a bunch of ongoing physical problems.

I also found a few of my Star Wars figures from the 70's when I got my garage cleaned out last week, but that's another boring story for another dull day. Spoiler Alert: Princess Leia does not look all that great.
...there's an angel standing in the sun...

Silver Sorrow

Cyberpunk: [I'm giving this a header to keep it all straight, okay?]

The strangest thing. In the middle of my irritating convo with Skye (who is not the prettiest or nicest girl in the world), there was an explosion somewhere nearby, right outside the booth. With the flames flickering merrily just out of view, I sped through the delightful encounter, as if I needed a reason to skip through V's heart-to-heart with a rental.

So I went outside the booth to see a motorcycle stuck in the vending machine right next to the door, still burning. So in short: a motorcycle spawned inside a vending machine and exploded.

I wish I could say that was the only bug I encountered in an hour of play, but I can't. One of the...employees?...of Lizzie's was sitting in midair in the dressing room, a dumbass bug that's been around for quite a while now.

What else? Oh, everyone I interacted with is still an asshole, so that hasn't changed a lick. The door bouncer (whatsername...the plastic Asian chick), Judy's boss, Judy, Johnny, the doll in Clouds...jerks, all of them. Except for the blue hair on the desk at Clouds, who was more like a kiosk than an actual person. But then again, aren't all receptionists just kiosks, in a way?
...there's an angel standing in the sun...

Silver Sorrow

Yeah, me again. Don't you wish I was schizophrenic, just to make it interesting?

Anyway...the Cyberpunk music. I hate it. I hate the music on the world radios, the car radios, the tv ads, the menus, the combat, and the clubs. And it's the club music that brings me to this post: it's terrible.

I know in real life it's much, MUCH worse...the volume, I mean. 99.9% of all music everywhere sucks, so I won't go into the quality aspect of the club music. No, I have all music-related sliders set to 0, but the club crap persists. Maybe it's time to just grab an icepick and pop those troublesome eardrums once and for all.

"But what about the dialog?!" you may ask.

Subtitles.

Anyway, the reason I'm down on the club music is that I'm a miserable bastard. So as you can imagine, I'm in an easily-irritated state of mind at all times, and trying to comprehend the spoken dialog without squinting at the damn subtitles is, believe it or not, something I find irritating. Let me give you an example:

MUSIC: BOM BOM BOM BOOCHA BOOCHA BOM

JOHNNY: So what do you think? Cyberpsychosis?

MUSIC: BOM BOM BOM BOOCHA BOOCHA BOM

V: I don't know, it-- [inaudible]

MUSIC: BOM BOM BOM BOOCHA BOOCHA BOM

ME: Where's the goddamn ambient music slider?

MUSIC: BOM BOM BOM BOOCHA BOOCHA BOM

V: [completely inaudible]

MUSIC: BOM BOM BOM BOOCHA BOOCHA BOM

JOHNNY: [completely inaudible]

MUSIC: BOM BOM BOM BOOCHA BOOCHA BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM

ME: I'm in Hell. This is Hell. That's it. I must've died and gone straight to Hell. [looking around] You'd think it'd look different, but that's the genius of the thing, isn't it?

MUSIC: BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM BOM

And another thing: if CDPR has such a huge stick up their ass about people playing their copyrighted music in YouTube videos, why did they put the music in there in first place? Wouldn't it make more sense for them to, I don't know, NOT put the goddamn music in there, instead of telling people to turn it off before making videos?

Okay, that's it for now.

Sincerely,

A Hick In The Sticks
...there's an angel standing in the sun...

Silver Sorrow

Starfield:

I'll clarify my stance on this game: it's isn't a terrible game, it isn't even a bad game. It's just a somewhat uninspired game. I'm sure you can have mucho tons-a fun with it if you want, but as someone pointed out, you'll get the experience you most desire when going in. Meaning, if you tackle the game with expectations of a good time, you'll likely have fun. But if you go in with the idea that it'll be a 100% miserable experience, then by my great-great-great-great aunt Agatha's buckled boots, that's what you'll find. It's all about mindset.

So. I'm determined to at least give it a try and not worry about the millstone of existence dragging me downwards into entropy. Despite the fact that Bethesda insists that I need a companion for everything.

Other Stuff:

I was bored at 4am...which happens. So thought, hey, why not irritate my goofed-up back and set up my kit like I had it back in 1991? I just got my new drum rug and had 'em in disarray already, so again: why not?

One question I asked myself repeatedly as I progressed in my task: how the HELL did I manage to play like this??

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(Special cameo by my lil' Dirt Devil vac on the right...which is actually a few years older than the kit. And it still works!)

From another angle, giving a better view of one reason why my back is the way it is:

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(Another special cameo: some -- SOME -- of the huge amount of shit I pulled out of the nearby closets.)

Since I was never a fan of floor toms, the ergonomics of my right side are just fine. But I had to twist around -- painfully -- to my left to even consider my high toms. In my bemusement (it's a word) over my teenager's setup, I remembered a few salient facts (i.e., the horror of "oh jesus god it's all coming back to me now make it STOP"):

1. I had a different throne then, which sat very low; I was practically sitting on the floor. ::)

2. I had everything -- toms, cymbals, snare -- at such an odd angle; there are reasons for this, but 5 out of 5 chiropractors agree that I was an idiot.

3. Yes, I had to fix my Ride cymbal at that angle. All of the blood would rush out of my arm, but I guess it was worth it.

4. Anything for that Peart-esque round-the-world fill, huh?

5. I couldn't figure out how I managed to shoehorn my hihat stand in there without violating the laws of physics by somehow making it occupy the same space as the toms around it; my current stand will not comply! But I suddenly remembered that I solved that problem with the sheer genius for which I am known: I took a hacksaw and sawed off an inch of the main shaft, then went on to cut down the pull-rod in the same manner. So I MADE it fit!

I've had a long history of this sort of brute-force stupidity, so it shouldn't come as as surprise. It never occurred to me to reconfigure my setup to accommodate common sense.

6. Also, I believe my original Tama tom stands (R.I.P.) could be adjusted a lot higher than their replacements; plus, they were tiltable, thanks to the then-current hardware trends. ::)

7. I had a couple more cymbals back in the day, but they're not low-volume so they stay in the bag. Even so, I never had a lot; I was always tom-rich but cymbal-poor, so to speak. The trend nowadays, if you watch any current drum-related vids on YouTube, is to have 900 cymbals (many of them useless SFX oddities) and roughly four drums. But these guys are amazing players. I don't aspire to greatness, or even basic competence; I just have to get away from screens once in a while, and I hate going outside.

Now that I've had my fun (a debatable statement), I can config 'em to something more reasonable. And to do that, I'll need another dozen cymbals.


Even More Other Stuff:

Did anyone else like Ahsoka? I thought it was much better than that last season of The Mandalorian (which was incredibly stupid in many ways, but it did have Katee Sackhoff), and way more interesting than most of the other Star Wars-related dreck being squeezed out of the Mouse House's back porch lately. I mean, sure, it's not the greatest show ever, but I liked it.
...there's an angel standing in the sun...

Doc_Brown

Quote from: Silver Sorrow on Oct 10, 2023, 05:08 PMDid anyone else like Ahsoka? I thought it was much better than that last season of The Mandalorian (which was incredibly stupid in many ways, but it did have Katee Sackhoff), and way more interesting than most of the other Star Wars-related dreck being squeezed out of the Mouse House's back porch lately. I mean, sure, it's not the greatest show ever, but I liked it.
Not that Ray Stevenson passing doesn't suck in general, but it specifically blows seeing how much his character in the show was being set up for the future.  Outside of Thrawn, Baylan was the most compelling character in Ahsoka.  At least they have the option of recasting--he was, after all, a brand new character appearing in a single show.  This isn't like with Carrie Fischer, someone who'd been associated with a role for nearly forty years (though Disney's handling of that is a whole 'nother can of worms).
Roads?  Where we're going we don't need roads.

Silver Sorrow

Ray Stevenson and his character were a pleasant surprise, easily one of the most interesting things about the whole series. I was impatient for the scenes with Sabine and Ahsoka (not to mention that green block of wood with leather shorts on her head) to be over to get back to Skoll. And his padawan (notice the little braid?) Shin was intriguing as well...and Thrawn? And Enoch? And even Morgan Elsbeth? All interesting characters, as far as I was concerned.

But Ahsoka herself...? I don't know.

ANYWAY (got sidetracked there again), there's all kinds of speculation flying about concerning how they're going to deal with Stevenson's death. Some say recasting, which makes sense, some say CGI, which...if done sparingly, it could be okay. But it's not something they should rely upon. (Luke, outside of the Mandalorian's second season finale, is difficult to look at.)

Besides writing him out entirely (offscreen death, etc.), recasting would be the best choice. Speculation abounds from Sean Bean (at 5'10", he's a tad shorter), Liev Schreiber (a good choice; same height and has talent), and even Liam Neeson, someone joked.

It's a shame that the faces can't be disassociated from the characters; I sat through Solo thinking the entire time, "That guy does NOT look like Harrison Ford!" I thought the movie was okay otherwise. (Backup thought: "And that guy does NOT look like Billy Dee Williams!")

The small bits they've done with Carrie Fisher have been okay, but I think they had to get her daughter to do the actual body work (I don't recall exactly). And would she do that again? I don't think she would make a habit of it. (Although really: you could do worse than to be the permanent stand-in for your famous mother's digital face.) The worst part is that Lucas had envisioned Leia being the true Chosen One, not Luke...so to make any show or movie that has anything to do with either Luke or Leia (or others) would be a conundrum.

I know Disney has no moral or ethical compass to speak of, so you know they'd slap Luke and Leia's faces on the first extras they possibly could. But the fans wouldn't have it, and neither would the living actors and the dead actors' estates.

So this is a mess. I guess there's something to be said for animation: voice actor drops dead? Get a new one!
...there's an angel standing in the sun...

Doc_Brown

Quote from: Silver Sorrow on Oct 11, 2023, 06:51 PM(Luke, outside of the Mandalorian's second season finale, is difficult to look at.)

It still surprises me they haven't cast Sebastian Stan in the part.  Once the similarity was pointed out, it seemed like such a no brainer.  He's already on contract with Disney on the Marvel side, and fans seem to love the idea.

Quote from: Silver Sorrow on Oct 11, 2023, 06:51 PMSpeculation abounds from Sean Bean (at 5'10", he's a tad shorter), Liev Schreiber (a good choice; same height and has talent), and even Liam Neeson, someone joked.

I've seen suggestions like Graham McTavish as well, but I think Liev would be my personal choice.  He's a good fit and I've really liked him in some of his other roles.

Quote from: Silver Sorrow on Oct 11, 2023, 06:51 PMThe worst part is that Lucas had envisioned Leia being the true Chosen One, not Luke...so to make any show or movie that has anything to do with either Luke or Leia (or others) would be a conundrum.

For all the crap the The Rise of Skywalker gets, I don't see how it would even be possible to make a good movie in that situation.  Not only because Rian Johnson destroyed everything that J.J. Abrams had set up in The Force Awakens, but also because the plan was to have each film in the sequel trilogy focus on one of the classic trio, and this was supposed to be Leia's turn.  Since the higher ups decided to not write her out--and The Last Jedi would have been the perfect place to do it--or recast or Deepfake the part, the only option left was to use cut footage from the previous two films.

Can you imagine?  Write a satisfying conclusion not only to a trilogy, but the entire film series up to that point, constructed around pre-existing footage, and practically starting from scratch since the previous director trashed everything and left a mess for someone else to clean up.   I don't think any director would have succeeded in that position.

Edit: Just saw this list of Baylan replacements.  Pretty extensive.
Roads?  Where we're going we don't need roads.

Silver Sorrow

Sebastian Stan would've made an excellent Luke replacement...however, Disney has proven that they're more than willing to shoot themselves in the foot for one reason or another, so I guess it's just par for the course that they haven't chosen a sensible path.

Argument: But the fans will hate it!

Logic: The fans hate everything. Boo hoo. Recast it. PR biltz. Have Mark Hammill bless the endeavor. Recast Leia. Have Carrie's daughter bless the decision.

Disney: Not just CGI, but bad CGI! And let's put it all in the hands of people who have no idea what the whole thing's about. That shouldn't bite us in the ass.

Thinking about it, Billie Lourd may not be the spitting image of her mother, but I think she'd make a good Leia anyway.

Liev Schreiber has the gravitas needed, so let's hope -- if he is being considered seriously -- that his salary demands don't rival Rosario Dawson's. To be honest though, they could've gotten a cardboard cutout of her and achieved the same effect. ::) Save some money.

That list: of them all, I also like Gerard Butler for it. But Kurt Russell? I don't know...everytime he opened his mouth, I'd hear James Hong bark "Shut up, Mr. Burton!"

But when I'd heard of the recasting talk, the first name that came to mind was Clancy Brown. It ain't gonna happen, though; they already cast him in a throwaway role in the first episode.

BEHIND THE SCENES:

IDIOT #1: Here's an idea: let's hire the big scary guy from Highlander!

IDIOT #2: Yeah! But where are we gonna use 'im, Beavis?

IDIOT #1: Someeone who's only gonna be onscreen for a few seconds!

IDIOT #2: Brilliant! Genius! Is he gonna be a recurring character?

IDIOT #1: No, and that's the genius part of this: we're never gonna see 'im again!

IDIOT #2: And that's why I love you.

QuoteFor all the crap the The Rise of Skywalker gets, I don't see how it would even be possible to make a good movie in that situation.

No argument there.

Those sequel movies...those should never have happened in the first place. There was so much greed and incompetence swirling around that it's astounding that anything came out of it. And though I tend to grimly ignore the existence of all three, I still admire how good they looked.

I don't know. I'm just about Star Wars'd out. So many missteps and blunders...painful. I remember, back in 1987 or so, seeing a piece on the evening news about "a possible new Star Wars film?" and my hopes soaring...only to have them crushed mere moments later when they said, "nah, the technology to make 'em won't be there for another ten years or so."

That right there was my super villian moment in my origin story.

WARNING! ACTHUNG! SEGUE DIRECTLY AHEAD! MAYDAY MAYDAY MAYDAY

...and speaking of Star Wars, I'm now a Sith Lord, apparently.

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Just in time for Halloween, V roams the streets of Night City, looking for...for...just what do Sith Lords roam the streets for? And why would they be doing so on Halloween? None of this makes sense and I probably need to check my blood sugar or something.

In more mundane news, the Great Garage Purge of 2023 (or, as I refer to it with great bitterness, The Point At Which My Back Decided To Destroy Me), I found some of my old toys. It was like an archaeological dig...I found my dad's radar stuff from when HE was a kid, an owner's manual for a 1979 Grand Prix, and so on. Anyway, I found these Star Wars cuties, and I labelled them with the year of their manufacture:

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I have more somewhere, I know I do. I just haven't found them yet. But these: A stormtrooper, circa 1977 (with a strangely unpleasant greasy feel to his limbs; I have no idea why, maybe it's a plastic thing), missing his rifle. (Accessories rarely made it.) Princess Leia, circa 1977, looking none the worse for wear, and missing her vinyl cape. Cloud Car pilot, circa 1982, missing his weapons, of course. And Luke, circa 1983, missing his lightsaber and sporting a strange nose job. I have no clue why his face looks like that. I think it just hept peeling and I kept picking at it, hoping it would magically get better? I was an idiot child.

Somewhere in a box I haven't found yet, I know for sure I have: a terribly worn Boba Fett with extremely loose limbs, a speeder bike stormtrooper with a black powder burn mark on his back (hey, it was July 4th and...), a sand-pitted and paint-worn Cloud City Luke (I buried him in a sand pile and forgot about him for a while), and...maybe an Obi Wan and a possible Darth Vader. Han, Cloud City Leia, Chewie, a CP30 or two...all are possible, but unconfirmed. I had a lot of figures, but not enough, if you follow.

I grow weary of typing. I shall return anon with updated news about other things. Probably.
...there's an angel standing in the sun...

Silver Sorrow

Just what is it that Netflix (and other streamers) has against end credits? Okay, yes, I get it: binge-watchers don't like sitting through the credits at the end of an episode when they could be basking (or wallowing, rather) in the imaginary world of their currently favorite show. But I resent being forced to click the "watch credits" button; those idiots should be the ones inconvenienced, not me.

What I mean to say is that I've been watching "The Fall of the House of Usher" on Netflix. Good show. Lotta f-bombs (understatement; it's every other word) and a tendency to drag things out a bit, but that's not surprising anymore. Ahsoka, for example, could be compressed into a two-hour movie if they just removed all the conversational pauses and tightened the focus of the narrative. But no, we gotta have EIGHT 45-minute plodding, meandering snoozefests instead of perhaps four action-packed thrill rides.

On the subject of gaming...

I tried Grim: The Curse for Fallout 4 (as well as its companion ENB) and was...whelmed. Not over, not under, just...whelmed.

First off, with the ENB, it's truly a...okay yes, grim...experience. Yay, obvious. But other than that it's just really kind of confusing. The author seems to be in a long-distance relationship with the English language, but that's nothing to be embarrassed about. Some of us don't talk good 'Murkan neither.

Nah, it's just a bizarre horror-themed experience riddled with bugs, essentially. If you need help for a problem, well...good luck. There isn't a comments section nor a bug reporter on the mod's Nexus page, so tracking down what aileth my game is a matter of plugging terms into a search engine and hoping that someone out there has a solution. I found some success with results pointing to reddit and steam, but...enh.

But it's nice and atmospheric, creepy, and good for a jump-scare or two. (Although in my case, it's just a weary flinch and grumbling.) Sneaking through Lexington with the curse active caused a minor zombie apocalypse -- whoopsie! -- so I recommend trying that out, should you dare.

Yes, it's modular. You can tailor your experience to how you like it; intensity, difficulty, spawn types, etc., are yours for the toggling on or off thereof. Sounds great, right?

Well, no. It's okay, but it isn't great. Not exactly. I had a few issues.

- When you commit to activating the Curse, you're followed around by a little girl in a white dress. A companion, in essence, who periodically summons monsters for some reason beyond my ability to care why. I just know she does this but isn't malicious about it; she seems otherwise content to follow you around. (Caveat: don't try to play the MQ -- or any other quests besides the mods, really -- as things will go sideways.)

If she takes enough damage she'll turn into some sort of hostile evil form and you can kill her. This will turn off the Curse script, which you'll have to reenable to get monsters showing up again. Or at least I think that's how it was supposed to go. There must be a reason for it to work this way, but I can't make any sense out of it.

You can even talk to her, but she's less than helpful. I was finding little notes on some of the monsters' corpses with snippets of text that may or may not have been helpful taken as a whole, but I only picked up two; I kept getting duplicate spawns of those notes, which would have been a nice bug to report. But since there's no bug reporter...

- The objectives of the mod are vague enough to be described as "esoteric" if you're being kind; "friggin' opaque" if you're not. For the duration of my play, I received a couple of objectives that I had to google to figure out exactly what to do: find Black Philip, cure my insanity / find the strange lady in the woods.

Spoilers ahead:

- Black Philip is some sort of goat thing you have to jump through a series of hoops to find. I didn't even bother.

- Curing your insanity involves finding a strange lady in the woods. WHAT woods involved an interesting little trip to a YouTube clip that showed me the location exactly. Long story short: she's in a decaying house somewhere near the tracks running by Tenpines Bluff. The only (in-game) clue to her location was "trains" from the little girl. Helpful.

- The strange lady spins a yarn about you needing to find the Necronomicon (I think) in a place of books or something where "it" began (whatever that meant). The convo was interrupted several times by dozens of rude monsters attempting to invade my personal space, which made trying to sift through her cryptic nonsense a tedious chore.

- She informed me that the lift the Curse I had to kill the little girl in a *black* dress, who is the sister of the little girl in the white dress, and...

...ugh...

...so on and so on. Just when I was resigned to yet another google session, a wave of monsters showed up and I inadvertently killed a little girl in a black dress. (I have a flak cannon. I love it very much.) Whoops! Curse lifted! The skies were blue, but the atmospheric grimness was still present. A decidedly strange state of being, really.

"Is that it?" I wondered. I guess it was. Maybe. I could've probably googled to see there was more, but I'd had enough of the mod's idiocy and uninstalled it. Along with the ENB. (It did what it said on the label, but I'm not a fan of the ENB experience at all.)

- One thing that soured the experience to the point of wanting it gone, was an insta-kill encounter. The culprit was some monster with a machete who spawned behind me, shouted something, then killed me. Two slashes and I was ragdolling into a reload. (As an aside, I hate FO4's death physics. They're stupid.) I had a good amount of health and a lot of perks on my side, so this was just the author being a dick. And I hate one-shots and insta-kills on my character. They're unforgivable.

But I was determined to see a bit more of this thing, so I turned on god mode. This was before I found the odd twat in the trees (or whatever), by the way. And it was during my extraordinarily unenlightening confab with her that I was beset by at least three other similar machete-wielding immortals. No, they couldn't die. They'd disappear after a while, but...geez.

- How am I supposed to fulfill the goals as directed by the mod if I kept getting massacred by monsters interrupting the info-gathering process? "Hang on, more monsters. I'll be back." [kills monsters] "I'm back. You were saying?"

And then I accidentally lifted the Curse. So...yay?

In conclusion: I say this with all kindness, but the author clearly cannot tell his asshole from his elbow. This mod is a bag of goat diarrhea. Try out the ENB if you like that sort of oppressively grim atmosphere, though.

Now! A few words about Cyberpunk, many of them unkind. And some screenshots, probably.

- The attribute requirements for performing actions are just dumb. To force open certain doors (at level 51, this was), I needed Body at 20. 20!

A missed opportunity:

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Replacement text:

Ring, ring, why don't you give me a call?
Ring, ring, the happiest sound of them all
Ring, ring, I stare at the phone on the wall
And I sit all alone impatiently
Won't you please understand the need in me
So, ring, ring, why don't you give me a call?
So, ring, ring, why don't you give me a call?


But who has their phone on the wall any more?

Anyway.

What's wrong with this picture?

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Okay, it may not be anything wrong; perhaps it's just a sign of V's deteriorating condition, assigning reality to his "presence"...but should Johnny be casting a shadow?

A strange thing:

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On the left, the non-iconic version of Suicide. On the right, the iconic version. Note the amount of RAM needed for the iconic version...

(Also the upload time: 12.5 seconds!!)

Speaking of netrunning, Contagion is USELESS now. Only causes something like 30 points of damage for a few seconds, barely enough to deal with anyone. Thankfully, there's a mod for that.

I have nothing to say about Starfield. Haven't gone near it in days. Have no desire to do so, either.

But back to non-gaming stuff.

A cloud:

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Imagine seeing that as you're getting the mail.

Drum stuff:

New cymbals, couple new stands, current config.

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Managed to integrate all my toms into the thing. OCD appeased for now.

The new low-volume cymbals were made by Wuhan. Zildjian's L80's, which are excellent, are also THREE times as expensive. The Wuhans aren't as quiet, but they're one hell of a lot cheaper.

So with this, I've managed to demolish my Inconsequential Hobby budget for the rest of the year. Merry Christmas to me, I suppose.
...there's an angel standing in the sun...

Silver Sorrow

Star Wars stuff:

If anyone was wondering about Ahsoka, Ryan George has summarized the experience nicely, although there are serious spoilers revealed.


Elsewhere -- don't remember where -- someone delved a bit further into the stupidity of characters being impaled by lightsabers and living through it; having one's internal organs boiled in the bag, so to speak, is a totally survivable ordeal now.

Qui-Gon Jinn: What the F@$K!??
...there's an angel standing in the sun...

Doc_Brown

Quote from: Silver Sorrow on Oct 19, 2023, 06:49 PMI don't know...everytime he opened his mouth, I'd hear James Hong bark "Shut up, Mr. Burton!"

To me, McTavish sounds the most like Ray.  Schreiber has the closest match in build.  Crowe most resembles him in facial appearance.  I'm not too picky about who they choose, just so long as their criteria is more specific than 'older Caucasian man with white hair and beard.'

Quote from: Silver Sorrow on Oct 19, 2023, 06:49 PMThose sequel movies... it's astounding that anything came out of it. And though I tend to grimly ignore the existence of all three, I still admire how good they looked.

I like the first one, honestly.  The biggest criticism it gets is that it's derivative of the original trilogy, which is weird considering a major complaint about the prequel trilogy was that it felt too different.  That and being derivative doesn't automatically mean it's bad.  The sad thing is that there were several fan theories about where the story would go next--I'm thinking of three specifically, I'll not bore you with the details unless you're curious--that would have made for an amazing trilogy, in my opinion.

The second one, however, I actively loathe.  I've never seen a director so deliberately destroy a franchise like that, outside of maybe The Matrix Resurrections.  Just as being derivative doesn't automatically mean it's bad, being subversive doesn't automatically mean it's good.  I also find it weird how its defenders will blame the first film for its own problems--like how it 'had to' be an immediate sequel, or that it was hamstrung by having to answer questions like who Rey's parents were--as if these are supposed to be standalone.

The third film is more of an I'm-not-mad-I'm-just-disappointed kind of feeling.  Though I do agree with you, I love how the modern films/shows look compared to the older ones, whether it's the cinematography or just the imagery.  The original trilogy may be classics but there's definitely a sense that they can feel dated at times.  It also doesn't help that the original original trilogy is only legally available on Laserdisc or VHS, and that we're forced to make do with the Special Editions.

Quote from: Silver Sorrow on Oct 21, 2023, 05:26 AMIf anyone was wondering about Ahsoka

I'm curious where you think the series is going.  Abeloth makes a lot of sense in terms of setting up a new big bad for the franchise going forward, what with the Sith being extinct at this point (I assume her followers will all carry orange lightsabers, red being limited to fallen/dark Jedi).  Meanwhile, it seems like they're setting up Anakin as the new Father with Ahsoka as the new Daughter, but I disagree with the speculation that Baylan or Shin will wind up as the new Son, as they don't have any sort of familial relationship with him.

I wonder if they're actually setting up an evil version of Starkiller.  You obviously can't call him that--Galen, Marek, and Starkiller have all been used elsewhere--but they should definitely have Sam Witwer play him.  There's a wonderful symmetry to having a secret Dark Side apprentice to Darth Vader assume the role of the Son in order to contrast with Anakin's Light Side, Padawan/surrogate daughter Ahsoka, especially with the duality of Anakin/Darth Vader, aka the Chosen One, representing Balance.
Roads?  Where we're going we don't need roads.

Silver Sorrow

They could even pull off some sort of amalgamation of voice actor and actor-actor, like they did with Darth Maul.

(Btw, I'm still not happy that they redid Boba Fett's voice in ROTJ. Don't screw with my childhood, George.)

I'd also like to see them recast Hera with someone with more personality, but since the actress is married to Ewan McGregor, I doubt that'll happen. I admit that I'm fairly down on her, but she's so wooden. Maybe she's afraid of the lekku prosthetics falling off her head. I don't know. I'm just kind of astounded that the Rebels version is so much more lifelike and engaging than the real-life representation.

And while I'm complaining, I'd like the Sabine actress to be less smirky in the future. Morgan Elsbeth, however, was perfectly smirky-smug. She was evil, after all; Sabine has no justification for her smugness. And goddammit, Ahsoka...find something else to do with your arms than cross them at every opportunity??

Okay, okay. I'm done. Deep breath. There we go.

I wasn't averse to the first of the sequels -- it had some moments I would have changed -- but it wasn't bad as far as I was concerned. It had great potential. But...I don't know. I was hoping that some of the EU could have been used (but maybe not the Yuuzhan Vong; I was never a fan of that particular storyline, but if it were done right, then...!).

QuoteThe sad thing is that there were several fan theories about where the story would go next--I'm thinking of three specifically, I'll not bore you with the details unless you're curious--that would have made for an amazing trilogy, in my opinion.

That would not bore me at all. :)

As for the second one, they were probably trying merely to subvert expectations. And since the audience was expecting something good, then I'd say they succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.

And then the third movie: "Palpatine has returned!"

I was in a theater when I first saw it, so I restrained myself from throwing my bucket of popcorn at the screen and shouting "BULLSHIT!" I kind of wish I had, though. Maybe I could've sparked a rebellion...I would've been happy with a small riot, at least.

The thing that stands out as most dated about the original trilogy, though...is the hair. Luke's hair, in particular. You just get the feeling that's he's hittin' the local disco after they wrap for the day...

But then the Phantom Menace happened...the costume department went absolutely futuristically insane: if you can watch Natalie Portman in full Queen of Naboo regalia without cracking up, I salute you.

I think I sidetracked myself again.

Well, while I'm stumbling around in the weeds, I might as well mention that I've been spending my self-imposed exile by watching Star Wars Rebels. One thing I absolutely hate about franchises is all the godforsaken prerequisite material one has to wade through just to understand something. To me, watching Ahsoka without seeing all of Rebels first was like beginning LOTR with The Twin Towers. I had no idea what exactly what some of the significant moments meant, and I'm stubborn enough not to do anything about it when faced with such a thing. Just put your head down and gripe, boy.

But I went ahead and watched Rebels. I was a bit surprised at how good it was, actually: lots of action, lightsabers, the Force, and quite a few laugh-out-loud moments. It became familiar to the point where every episode would inspire me to slow-clap and roll my eyes while muttering "Oh, way to GO, Ezra..."

Anyway, I've just started season 4 and after that I'll watch Ahsoka again. I plan on a few pieces falling into place. Now Zeb's appearance in the Mandalorian means something other than "Oh, wasn't he a character in that show I didn't watch?"

I might go even further back and try to watch Clone Wars. I was about midway through season two but I couldn't force myself to watch any more...it just seemed to drag on and on. ("What? Only five more seasons, each with 973 episodes each? Well strap me down and insert that catheter, I'm IN!") I've read a brief summary or two of the series in general, so I know a bit about how and why Ahsoka left the Jedi and so on. Still, I should watch it anyway, as I feel like I'm missing something by skipping over it.

Anyway.

As for where I think Ahsoka's going? I like the Abeloth thing. I could even suggest, perhaps tentatively, that they should use Lucas' idea for Darth Talon as Ahsoka's counter.

...although I understand that 1) Disney probably wouldn't be too happy about an oversexed Twi'lek wearing very little on a regular basis, and 2) she actually shows up in Luke's grandson's time a hundred years or so after ROTJ, I believe? I'm not familiar with the comics at all (but I have been reading the first Doctor Aphra anthology), but even so I think it's unlikely that they'd introduce her.

I hope they could at least officially introduce Mara Jade.

Beyond that...huh. I'd like to see a complete reboot of the sequels. Disney's getting pretty nervous about the whole Star Wars/Marvel problem, with flops and bombs left and right; rumors have them selling off these franchises, etc. I would like to see Lucas regain control of Star Wars and do the sequels HIS way.

With that said, I should probably open a window. Apparently I'm not getting enough air. ;D

ADDENDUM, not that it matters: In response to my posting of the Pitch Meeting for Ahsoka, I have to take exception to the statement of Sabine "just immediately that good at using the Force." I look at it as she had a breakthrough; she's like that. She'll keep things all bottled up until she has to face whatever's bothering her and then she can move forward...saw it several times in Rebels and oh my god I need to go outside or something.
...there's an angel standing in the sun...

Silver Sorrow

I know it's completely out of left field, but...Rowan Atkinson as Baylan. It's a stupid and completely ridiculous notion, which is exactly why it just might work!

Or Bill Engvall. The first thing he does is hand Sabine a placard with "I'M STUPID" writ thereupon. "Here's your sign," he tells her. She scowls. Everyone laughs while pointing at her.

Anyway...


STARFIELD:

I can't do it. I simply cannot muster enough motivation to play this game, and I've tried, really. I think. But the interest is simply not there. Sure, I managed to make a good-looking character, but is that enough? No. So into the "Maybe Later, If Ever" file it goes. 116gb recovered.


PHANTOM LIBERTY:

Ruth Dzeng tried to pick me up at a party. I'm serious. I, as V, told her "maybe later" and went on with my evening. If there was an opportunity for that to happen, I didn't find it. Not that I was all that interested in making it happen, as I find her an utterly repulsive waste of oxygen. I think it's her hair that I object to.

So I finished the main story of PL, and let me say for a fact that it changed my life...in no way whatsoever. Still, it was an unsurprising experience with plenty of inevitable moral choices. But it wasn't too bad. It would've been better if the devs hadn't screwed up every aspect of netrunning with 2.0, but that's another bleeding ulcer for another damn day.

I was more concerned with my wardrobe, really, as it wouldn't do to become a super spy while wearing a shirt with "BURN CORPO SHIT" scrawled on the front. So I had to think about this. There are plenty of options for looking excellent in Night City, most of which involve installing a crap-ton of mods. The standard stuff is okay if you're color blind and have no self esteem, though.

Okay, let's sum up the PL main quest. It goes without saying that there are spoilers ahead, so I dunno...improvise or something. Have a friend or cherished acquaintance poke your eyes out when you suspect that your experience might be ruined. That sort of thing.


Phantom Liberty: How I Did It
by Victor von Frankenstein

First off, let me state for the record that I hate typing "Songbird". It always comes out "Sognbrid" or similar. I'm a terrible typist.

So off we go.

I was contacted by a netrunner codenamed Songbird (real name: So Mi). She needed my help in preventing NUSA President Rosalind Meyers from being captured by the minions of Kurt Hansen, leader of Dogtown, as her plane had been hijacked and was going to crash-land in that part of Night City.

Once I reached the barriers to Dogtown -- it's a small fiefdom ruled by Hansen, a Militech deserter from the last war -- Songbird muscled Johnny out of the way and took his place briefly via the Relic. Turned out she's familiar with the Blackwall and can do things like that. Johnny isn't too thrilled with this turn of events.

In exchange for my help, she told me that she knows of my predicament with the Relic and can help me 1) upgrade various components of the thing, and 2) eventually remove it entirely, thus saving my life and psyche. So I, as V, am totally on board with that.

I'm not being played by the cute Korean chick, am I?

Naaaaaaaaaaaaaah.

She tasked me with sneaking into Dogtown, avoiding Hansen's goons (calling themselves Barghest), where I was almost turned into a long red smear by the crashing plane. I reached the plane, took out a dozen or so goons, got Meyers out and led her to a safehouse (after an admittedly interesting battle with a berserk Chimera tank). Along the way, Songbird's connection was cut; her fate was up in the air. Was she dead? Was she alive? Does anyone else think of Yanni when they hear the name Songbird? Oh, so it's just me, is it? You bastards.

So with Meyers tucked away in the safehouse -- she's not a pleasant person, really -- she drafted my chromed ass into the FIA (Federal Investigation Agency...I think?) and assigned me to meet with a sleeper agent who's in the area by complete coincidence, Solomon Reed.

I met with Reed, some spy tropes were engaged in, and to sum up, he got Meyers out of Dogtown and back to Washington DC, a place where monkey's brains, though popular in Cantonese cuisine, are not often to be found. The game told me to wait a couple of days for him to contact me. In the meantime, was the implied notion at this point, I should keep myself busy by doing a couple of the local side quests.

And there were quite a few to do. For one, Mr. Hands had some chores for me (as well as a new voice actor, I believe); for another, El Capitan has a chop-shop thing going on and needed me to liberate a few cars from various places in a neverending series of radiant quests. How I hate radiant quests.

Anyway, he also has a website where you can buy the cars that were previously available pre-2.0 from the other fixers, as well as a few others. (Not including the Batmobile that you pick up after helping Panam recover her truck.) It doesn't mean you can just run out and buy, for example, the Cthulhu. No, for many of them you need a shitload of money and the equivalent amount of Street Cred.

Anyway, a couple of in-game days later, Reed contacted me, wanted me to meet someone named Alex at a bar in Dogtown. I went to the bar in question and chatted up the bartender, Daphne, a vaguely-Asian (Vasian?) lady with a oh-honey-try-these-here-chitlins-bless-your-heart southern drawl. Reed walked in, she flipped out, and her face changed into something else.

Okay, here it is: she's Alex, his former partner. He's been "dead" for seven years, or so she believed, and she's been deep undercover for those past seven years as she will inform me several times without any prompting whatsoever, to the point where I would reply to her every line with "I KNOW! Seven years! JEEZ!"

She's also been using some sort of tech to change her face. This tech will play an important part later on in the story, so...yeah.

She had her snit and went outside for a nic-fix. I talked to her, got her onboard, and things -- believe it or not -- happened from there. What followed was a story that ultimately...uh...can't think of the word...CULMINATED! Yes! It ultimately culminated in me making a choice as to what happens to Songbird. Because it's all about her, really.

As it turned out, she was alive and in the custody of Hansen. And if that seems suspicious to you, then I congratulate you heartily for being on your toes. Because all kinds of questions arise from her predicament, and she wasn't very transparent in her explanations. She was hiding something, of course. It all comes out eventually.

(Btw, there's a lot of history between Reed and Songbird, involving her setting him up seven years back; he nearly died in the process, but he understands why she had to do it. There's regrets back and forth, and so on and so on and so on.)

I finally met her in the flesh...mostly...at a party at the Black Sapphire, a hotel that Hansen had taken over as his HQ. There was a lot involved just getting in there, as I wasn't invited to the party and security was tight. I'd like to use a metaphor involving a duck's ass being watertight, but there's no time.

Speaking of water, I was assigned to go in via a toxic waterway. I was given a sweet diving suit that is all kinds of awesome. Once inside, I had to provide overwatch for Reed as he sneaked (snuck?) in. I think there's a way to get it done without bloodshed, but I blew it. Still, we both got to a laundry room and changed into truly hideous evening clothes. I felt like a cybernetic leprechaun. Maybe I'll post a screenshot later. Maybe not.

Once inside I got to mingle a bit with the crowd; this involved the encounter with Ruth Dzeng and her stupid hair. Also, I met Songbird, who looked quite a bit different from how she appeared when communicating via the Relic...yes, her virtual appearance is what she looked like before she became, in essence, a cyborg. I wondered if there was anything human left...probably just most of a brain and a spinal cord, I would guess.

The reason I was at the party, if you were wondering, is that I needed to scan and essentially "borrow" the identities of a French brother-sister netrunner team, whose names escape me at the moment. Let's go with Josephine and Napoleon. Because why not?

So I had to play roulette and spend 80,000 eddies or so to keep them busy while I scanned them. I lost contact with Reed somewhere along the way, but I got the scans. Then I was approached by Hansen. He was on to me and Reed, but he let me go with a dire warning or two. Oh, well. I met up with Reed, who looked like he'd had a rough night, and we both walked out the front door while members of Barghest insulted and ridiculed us along the way. Feel the love. One guy even stopped us outside...here, you can talk your way out of a violent encounter, if you so wish. I did so, because when I played this part my face was about an inch from the screen and I REALLY needed to get some sleep.

After that...well, it's kind of a blur. Things happened, like I said.

I was courted extensively by both sides of the team -- Alex and Reed's intentions versus Songbird's -- in the manner of what I would do when I finally reached the Point Of No Return. You see, there are two paths you can go by...but in the long run, there's still time to change the road you're on.

Sorry.

See, no one choice is actually the right choice, really. It's all morally ambiguous, with everyone having their own reasons for doing the things they do. Reed acts out of sense of misplaced loyalty (to the NUSA/FIA) and his fatherly concern for So Mi. Alex is just there (although there's a chance that, had the devs been so motivated, she would've showed me her lady parts). Songbird has her own devious machinations going on, all tinged by severe...I don't know...autism, or something. It's all spelled out in a medical report you find in the safehouse under Alex's bar. And the President is an asshole. That's never something that's ever going to change.

President Meyers, I mean.

In short, there's a lot to consider when deciding what to do next. Who's playing whom? And then there's Johnny, who is just along for the ride.

I suppose it's really up to what the player thinks is right. You can help out Songbird exclusively, effectively betraying Reed and Alex and the FIA. Later, you can even doublecross Songbird and hand her over to Reed. (Thus the "still time to change the road you're on" thing. See how that works?) Or you can betray Songbird straight up and then help her out later.

This is another layer to the thing: how can you be sure that the "right thing" is truly the right thing? I won't go any further into that just yet, as I haven't seen EVERYTHING the main quest has to offer; I've only done the help-Songbird-exclusively route, but I understand that the other side of the struggle is worth the effort.

But I opted to play this as a naïf in the woods, so to speak, willing to stumble through the pitfalls as they presented themselves without the benefit of being omniscient. In this way I achieved an ending...not an ending I liked, but one I was willing to live with. Would I have done anything differently? Possibly.

How it went:

I sided with Songbird, "betraying" Reed and Alex. In fact, I went all the way with her plot, even though I had a strong suspicion she was playing me. Why? Because backing out and turning her over to Reed was kind of wishy-washy, and not a little petty. "B-b-b-but...she LIED to me!" V might whine.

(If you're surprised by Songbird's duplicity, please do us all a favor and never reproduce.)

When I tried out turning her over to Reed (on a whim, because he flatlined me when I inadvertantly took one step too far -- literally -- when the final confrontation occurred, and I had to reload my last checkpoint), Johnny bitched about it, asking me how I was going to spend my 30 pieces of silver. Eat shit, figment.

So I went all the way with the premise and launched her sociopathic ass to the moon (again, a literal statement, in a way). You don't really get a grand "YOU DID THE RIGHT THING! OR PERHAPS THE WRONG THING!" statement. It was over, roll the PL credits, resume on a bench talking to Johnny the next morning. There was a bit of followup in the form of Mr. Hands needing me to help him install a new leader for Dogtown, as well as an invitation to meet up with Alex later (it went well). There was even a small gift from Songbird (allegedly), but really...that was it.

However...that doesn't have to be it, as I understand things. I go more into that in a moment.


The Good About *Completely* Betraying Reed/Alex/FIA:

- Alex lives.

- Songbird's out of the FIA's clutches, where they'd just use her as a living weapon.


The Bad:

- Reed dies.

- Songbird may very well become the pawn of Mr. Blue Eyes. [SEE: the Jefferson Peralta questline.]


OTOH, the Good About Betraying Songbird:

- Reed lives.

- You just might get a shiny medal!

- It pisses off Johnny.


The Bad:

- Alex dies. [If you hadn't noticed, I liked her.]

- Songbird is a cyborg WMD for the FIA and the Blackwall eventually will be breached completely and the AI will take over the entire world.

[However, seeing as how the human race is completely awful, this might not be all that bad. I wouldn't mind so much being a living battery, having my own little pod...]

To cap it off, there's even a brand new ending for the entire game, which will trigger after finishing PL, provided you play it exactly right -- it involves making sure Songbird ends up in the hands of the FIA -- and it could even be the best ending V could hope for, if you think about it.

IGN has a thorough look at the new ending, called The Tower.

So in short, there's a lot to see and do in Dogtown.

So...screenshots? Screenshots. Some of them may even have something to do with Phantom Liberty.

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Oh, yeah.

How far is TOO far?
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Did you ever hear the tragedy of Darth Valerie the Netrunner?

I mean, there's a line, right?
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I hate this shirt.

Screw the line. All I can say is: mods.
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Geishaborg at your service. I'm here to play the shamisen and kick ass...and thanks to my avoidance of big booty mods, I'm all out of ass. But my shirt has wings, sorta. There's that.

Great. I'm done typing. Now I gotta go do Real Life chore things. ::)
...there's an angel standing in the sun...

Doc_Brown

Quote from: Silver Sorrow on Nov 14, 2023, 07:22 AMAnd while I'm complaining, I'd like the Sabine actress to be less smirky in the future. Morgan Elsbeth, however, was perfectly smirky-smug. She was evil, after all; Sabine has no justification for her smugness.

Watching those scenes, I couldn't help but think that, were I the villain in that situation, I'd immediately kill someone for that attitude.  I may not be as strategic as Thrawn, but I'd like to think I'm more practical.

Quote from: Silver Sorrow on Nov 14, 2023, 07:22 AMThat would not bore me at all. :)

Alright then, there were three theories that I really wished had turned out to be true:

1) Rey is a clone of Luke, created from the hand he lost in Empire (the Y chromosome was too damaged to use, so they just duplicated the X chromosome).  That's why she's so preternaturally gifted in the Force, and as a pilot.  That's why she had such a strong reaction to Luke's lightsaber. 
And the great thing is, you can still do the whole "I'm nobody" plot thread, it's just that now the issue is everything that makes her special comes from Luke rather than being her own.  It would also work out the same in the end with her taking on the Skywalker name.

2) Snoke is Darth Plagueis, Palpatine's master, who survived his apprentice's assassination attempt (hence the scars) and has been in hiding, recuperating, all this time, only emerging now that Palpatine's been defeated to claim control over the remnants of the Empire.  I like how it mirrors the original trilogy, with Vader being the big bad in the first film only to reveal the existence of his even more powerful master.  It would have also helped make the sequel trilogy feel like more of its own thing.

3) Ben's on a deep cover mission, pretending to have fallen to the Dark Side in order to get close to Snoke.  This is what he meant about finishing what his grandfather started--wiping out the Sith.  But Snoke's no fool, and won't let him close without proof he's truly evil--kill your father.  He can't do it--"I know what I have to do, but I don't know if I have the strength to do it."--but Han says he'll do anything for his son.  So Han's the one who turns on the lightsaber, kills himself but makes it look to everyone watching that Ben did it. 

Of course, now you've got Rey, Finn, etc. all out to kill him for it, and he can't reveal the truth without blowing his cover.  Leia probably knows (as would have Han), and I'm guessing Luke as well.  Hell, the whole 'destruction of the new Jedi Order' thing would probably have been faked.  Maybe even make it so the Knights of Ren were the other students now in disguise.  Lots of interesting possibilities there; in the very least, more interesting than what we actually got.

Quote from: Silver Sorrow on Nov 14, 2023, 07:22 AMAnd then the third movie: "Palpatine has returned!"

The problem isn't even Palpatine coming back--that was the case in the old Expanded Universe--it's that it comes completely out of nowhere.  I would have been totally fine with the idea provided they'd properly built up to it.

Quote from: Silver Sorrow on Nov 14, 2023, 07:22 AMI might go even further back and try to watch Clone Wars.

The 2003 series or the 2008 series?  Because it's always infuriated me that this was the Grievous we got in 2003, but the version we got in the movie couldn't hold a candle to that.

Quote from: Silver Sorrow on Nov 14, 2023, 07:22 AMI would like to see Lucas regain control of Star Wars and do the sequels HIS way.

Until then, though, I wish he'd stop voicing his opinion on it.  You sold it, George.  For over FOUR BILLION dollars.  You signed away the rights.  You, of all people, don't get to complain about how they're handling it.

Quote from: Silver Sorrow on Nov 14, 2023, 07:22 AMI can't do it. I simply cannot muster enough motivation to play this game, and I've tried, really. I think. But the interest is simply not there.

Speaking of Starfield versus Cyberpunk 2077, I feel like you'd appreciate this.  Someone in the comments pointed out that Starfield just feels tame.  And this coming from a studio whose Fallout games would showcase slow mo closeups of gory, explosive headshots.
Roads?  Where we're going we don't need roads.

Silver Sorrow

QuoteWatching those scenes, I couldn't help but think that, were I the villain in that situation, I'd immediately kill someone for that attitude.  I may not be as strategic as Thrawn, but I'd like to think I'm more practical.

THRAWN: Kill them all...and let the Force sort them out, yes? [slight smile]

JAR-JAR: I see what yousa did there! You BIG bombad ironist!

Quote1) Rey is a clone of Luke

Interesting. I like this one. You could argue that it wasn't her parents flying off in the ship, not really...they were the geneticists who created her!

(I know, I know... But hey, it's almost dawn and I'm not at my best when I'm awake.)

Quote2) Snoke is Darth Plagueis

That would work, too. Much better than the "hE's a DEfeCtivE clONe!!!!!!" crap.

Quote3) Ben's on a deep cover mission

What? Adding complexity and -- dare I say it? -- *depth* to the usually simplistic plot structure of the SW universe? Mad, I say...utterly mad!

Running with the deep cover angle, I'd like to see something similar with: Anakin. All that pain, death, and misery just to kill Palpatine. TAGLINE: "He had to become the Dark Side to kill the Dark Side!

I'm sure I'm not the first person to speculate about that, but I'll bet no one else has come up with as cheesy a tagline for it as I have. [/severely misplaced pride]

Quoteit's that it comes completely out of nowhere.

Exactly so. I was so very confused. "Did I miss a movie, or something??" I asked myself repeatedly...

QuoteThe 2003 series or the 2008 series?

Oh, forgot about that. God, probably both of 'em, then. :(

And yeah: why was Grievous so feared, I asked myself. Answer to myself: watch the 2003 version, ya doofbag. Ohhhh, I responded to myself. I get it now! Finally, I responded to myself yet again.

I talk to myself a lot.

QuoteI wish he'd stop voicing his opinion on it.

For a few billion dollars, he could make a brand new universe that's sort of like it (see: Zack Snyder and Rebel Moon). But being original (or original adjacent) is too hard. Better to just bitch about the newly adoptive parents mistreating the baby...that he sold to them.

But if he'd just shut up and be patient, then eventually Disney will sell off the franchise (because they're hemorrhaging money like crazy) and he can buy it back for a few bucks and a promise to delete their number from his contacts.

Four Billion dollars. Jesus Christ. To quote Nicholas Cage from Gone in 60 Seconds, "There's too many self-Indulgent wieners in this city with too much bloody money!"

Then again, this was coming from a guy who, in real life, had what, nine mansions at one point?

(My evidence: I don't know. It was something I read a while ago, and all of the search engines available are absolutely terrible at fetching results that are in any way relevant to my purposes.)

Ah...anyway, I guess my advice to George is: shut up and wait to buy it back when they can't make money from it anymore. In the meantime, buy Scotland and relax.

QuoteSpeaking of Starfield versus Cyberpunk 2077, I feel like you'd appreciate this.

Oh, that's good. Why is Bethesda so out of touch? I mean...really.

Bethesda drug deal: "Hello. I would like to purchase one tiny ziplock baggie of drugs, please."

EDIT: Thank you kindly, Doc, for sharing those fan theories!

CYBERPUNK

There's a new patch. v2.1. And I just can't bring myself to care anymore. I am so very sick of this game for several reasons that I just...let it go. I might even uninstall the thing and come back to it in ten years in a fit of nostalgia...and be utterly disappointed.

(Probably because the earth will have exploded by then. Oh, well.)

Still, I should probably point out -- for those of you still playing the thing -- that there were several updates to the game's features that they are practically hailing as the gaming equivalent of the Second Coming.


2.1 patch notes

QuoteV's issue with their NCART City Pass is resolved and they can now travel between the 19 metro stations located throughout Night City on 5 different lines via fast travel or riding the train itself while gazing out the window and watching the world go by.

That sounds so awesome that it makes me want to die...of BOREDOM. There's nothing I like more than buying a decent gaming rig and then using it to sit on a virtual tram. Brilliant, CDPR. ::)

QuoteV will now be able to invite their love interest to spend some time together in any of the apartments. Hangouts are a repeatable, unlimited event that become available once the romance path with a given character has concluded.

Assuming, of course, that I want to hang out with my "love interest" after the sex scene.

This is apparently the same as an existing mod, which they probably bought. The only thing I can think of that's more boring than hanging out with Panam (for example) is riding a tram around the city.

QuoteYou can now listen to the radio while on foot (or while riding the NCART train) using the new Radioport feature.

Excellent. Yet another thing to never use.

Here's the problem with the concept: Cyberpunk's music sucks.

QuoteAvailable while you explore, it switches seamlessly to car radio whenever you get in a vehicle and turns off when quest-specific music starts playing.

That sounds like a potentially bug-free experience. ::)

QuoteIt is now also possible to adjust the volume directly in the radio window.

How about off? Is off a possibility? Perhaps even snapping off the virtual knob in a virtual way, never for it to return?

QuoteAdded replayable car races V can take part in after finishing The Beast in Me.

I hated the car races. I don't want to repeat them.

QuoteLook for race flag icons on the map and win the races to get eddies and a discount for the Autofixer website.

Goody. More icons cluttering up my map.

QuoteAdditionally, we improved the racers' AI to make them more competitive and made enhancements so that the whole experience is much more fun!

Fun for whom? The people who like the GTA-meets-Kill Bill direction the game has taken since 2.0? Well, good for them. Bad for me.

QuoteSightseeing binoculars in various scenic spots have been added as another way to appreciate Night City's vistas.

Who the hell asked for THAT to be added??

QuoteAdded an option to enable a bigger interface font.

Less squinting at the screen sounds useful. Far more useful than the horrible thing you people did to netrunning.

QuoteYou can now disable the timer in the Breach Protocol minigame.

Happily, I have a mod that disables the minigame entirely. Minigames suck. That isn't just an opinion, it's a universal truth. All who reject this truth are heretics and must be Purged.

Random Bullet Point Commentary:

QuoteV can now be pursued by gangs after taking an aggressive approach toward them during certain gigs and main quests.

Makes sense. Annoying, but logical.

QuoteGigs that involve stealing and delivering a vehicle can now turn into a car chase and a combat sequence.

If I wanted to play GTA...

QuoteDecorative vendors spawned inside some kiosks are now functional. Please note that food stands are not impacted by this change.

Who cares?

QuoteIt is now possible to sit at various bars in Night City and interact with the vendors.

And why would I want to do that?

QuoteFixed an issue where some gigs wouldn't trigger after approaching the quest area.

That sounds as if it may be useful. ::)

QuoteLife During Wartime - Fixed an issue where Panam would not get on the motorcycle when required to follow her to the gas station.

I only make note of this one because in previous versions, Panam had the nasty habit of running me down or launching me and my bike into the stratosphere if I was in her way. I wonder if that's changed...

QuoteImproved the boss fights with Yasha Ivanov, Boris Ribakov and Adam Smasher. Smasher will now be able to activate Sandevistan.

I remember Adam Smasher, but...who and who? Am I supposed to memorize every Russian name thrown at me? Or ANY of the names??

...and that's all I have for Cyberpunk at this time. I don't really care anymore. Because I'm currently playing through the Legacy version of Mass Effect.

Ha!

MASS EFFECT LEGACY

I've actually never gone through Legacy. I took a look at a few features and such, but for the actual play experience I stuck with the original games using the big mods (MEHEM, ALOT, etc.). I didn't feel the need to play through 'em again, even if they were "remastered."

I think one of my original gripes was that Pinnacle Station wasn't included and I was having none of that, lemme tell you.

I realize now, of course, that it doesn't matter one way or the other because I really didn't like Pinnacle Station in the first place. As far as I was concerned, there were only three reasons to play it:

1. You like ME's combat. (I do not.)
2. You enjoy the ultimate reward for finishing successfully, a nice home and a random high-end equipment delivery system. (The house was nice, as was the high-end stuff...not so jazzed about how random the results were, though.)
3. You needed the XP to reach level 60 (or come very close) in one playthrough. (That was a nice perk.)

So...nah. I can live without it.

But here's the deal: if you REALLY want it in Legacy, a group of dedicated lunatics (aka, modders) have ported it to Legacy. Astounding. I might even try it out eventually.

Anyway, a few of the Legacy differences have made it an interesting alternative to simply staring blankly at my wallpaper all day.

And here I'm talking about Mass Effect Legacy, as I haven't gotten to ME2 or ME3 yet.

For one thing, it looks better. That's always key. But it just feels...well...clunky, I guess you could say. Movement, I mean. I'm having a hell of a time with fine-tuning aiming and sensitivity. I don't think there really is a happy medium anymore. It seems as if the upgraded graphics make things a bit more laborious for my GPU than the original Mass Effect ever did. (Nostalgia 2007: my CPU overheating whilst running through the Citadel...ah, memories. And Blue Screens.)

Side Note...Trivia!

From wikipedia:

QuoteIn 2007 BioWare filed a patent for the Dialogue Wheel, described in official documents as a "graphical interface for interactive dialog," which was officially granted to its parent company EA International Studio and Publishing Ltd by the United States Patent & Trademark Office in 2011.

Anyway, Legacy's default female Shepard looks much better, more in line with ME3. She still appears to be dead inside, but that's just the nature of games these days.

But who goes with the default female Shepard? A lot of people, I'm guessing. But not me...but you knew that already, didn't you?

You cannot view this attachment.

The only true downside to MELE is the lighting. It's abysmal. Especially on the Feros mission, where I have to crank up the brightness just to be able to see where the hell I'm going. But that's modern gaming for you: you can't bitch about the graphics if you can't see 'em.

PLAYER: I can't see a goddamn thing!

DEVS: It's art!

PLAYER: Well, okay then! I WILL KILL ANYONE WHO CRITICIZES THE GRAPHICS!

DEVS: Excellent.

Anyway, there are a couple of other changes that I've stumbled across, as well as couple of things that should have been changed but weren't. Keep in mind that I'm extremely tired right now and I'm starting to see things.

1. The Mako. I'm still not sure I like anything about its new features.

2. Thresher Maw encounters are either far more interesting or for more annoying, depending on the mood you're in when playing. I kind of like how intense they are now.

3. The new level system is a little strange. I'm used to getting a call from Hackett (the Admiral, not Steve) around level 21 or so to kill the AI on the moon. With MELE, it's around level 12. It's relatively the same, but still... (You can stick with the original 60-level feature if you like, or you can use MELE's 30-level thing, which is more in line with the sequels.)

4. I had to use mods. I just had to. And it's pretty easy, thanks to the aforementioned dedicated lunatics. All you need is ME3 Tweaks Mod Manager, and...that's it. If you want to edit your character's attributes and the like, use the Trilogy Save Editor (which was invaluable for the hair in the screenshot above).

The only problem is that you can't install any texture mods first. You have to install other mods (set up as DLC-like packages) first, THEN texture mods. And if you have to change something like, for example, uninstall a mod because you don't like it, you have to restore your original textures first, reinstall the mods you want, then reinstall your texture mods. It's a pain, but a relatively mild pain, thanks to how the tools are set up. By setting up a backup of your game files locally, restoring the game is a breeze, really.

Okay. I see by the dawn's early light that it's time to wrap this up for now.

Note To Self: time management skills...acquire them.
...there's an angel standing in the sun...