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Elovia

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Everything posted by Elovia

  1. Elovia

    Horizon Zero Dawn

    I need time to provide a proper response, and I don't have much lately. Fortunately I was able to complete it as far as I was able prior to having to set it aside, knowing the busy season would be upon me soon enough (and it is now here). As of the end of the Frozen Wilds, the game stat screen says I played 162+ hours. So I must have enjoyed it well enough to get that far. I'll draft more comments later ...
  2. Elovia

    Horizon Zero Dawn

    I appear to have completed the Frozen Wilds (FW), with exception of not finding a few scattered data points or doing the hunting grounds quests - not important enough to trigger my completion tendencies. I realize now that previous messages indicate my poor memory. The encounters in FW that I had the most difficulty with were those with multiple Frostclaws or multiple Fireclaws when they included multiple Demonic Scrappers or other Demonic machines (including the aforementioned Demonic Scorchers). Most of the non-scripted Fireclaw encounters were relatively effortless provided unassailable heights beyond the machine's ranged attacks were available in the combat vicinity (i.e., almost every one of them). A highly modded Improved Icerail thus became a sniper weapon with freezing bullets doing well over 500 damage per pop. That was, of course, not the case (or an available option) during my first encounter with a Fireclaw. Incidentally, it took me quite a few hours spanning several days to complete the cauldron portion of the quest in which that first Fireclaw was encountered. There was one side quest (or errand?) to track down a falsely accused Banuk that proved to be somewhat difficult. Fortunately, after an initial death, I learned to deploy a modest arsenal of traps around the periphery prior to engaging the scripted combat intro scene which cut down the first wave of attackers, thus leaving me to deal with the pair of more difficult attackers from a stronger position. I found it kind of humorous that the scripted visuals included the traps I'd placed exploding in the background as the first wave of attackers phased in. The intended dramatic scene was thus robbed of its harrowing effect. The ambushers became the ambushees. Immortality (and hindsight) is grand that way. So now ... after completing the Frozen Wilds, and previously completing the Main Quest, I'm sure I can comfortably set this one aside as sufficiently complete even though the game files may indicate otherwise. I don't really want to, or feel compelled to, go back through the series of Main Quest scripted events again just to do it all over again in the proper sequence. My character level is in the high 50s, and I have almost every skill except one or two that are inconsequential to my play style (i.e., mount repair+ and dismount strike). My mod inventory is completely full of purple mods that, towards the end, were weeded out of any single stat boosting ones in favor of multiple stat boosters. I did not do any loot box gambling (no need) and finished with well over 50k metal scraps (plus a full resource inventory that could be sold off for a few thousand more). I have every (known) purple outfit and weapon at my disposal. *looks around* So what's next?
  3. Elovia

    Horizon Zero Dawn

    I'll just leave this here to whet the appetite ...
  4. Elovia

    Horizon Zero Dawn

    I haven't played since last weekend, so my memory may be a bit fuzzy ... The first FW specific machine I encountered was on the path in ... a demonic scorcher, I think. I scanned it from a distance. The scan said it was tougher (i.e., more dangerous) than regular machines. And so, the coward tactician that I am, I immediately sought inaccessible higher ground (oxymoron that). So in short, having successfully risen above the fray (so to speak), I safely albeit slowly dispatched the machine by emptying my arsenal in its direction. Yes, it was tough. Death by a thousand bee stings. Most of the other machines I've run into in FW have been either regular or demonic versions of previously encountered machines. Previous tactics worked, but demonic machine versions required more ammo. During one quest, I encountered a tower with a demonic scorcher (I take it the machine is supposed to be bear-like with climbing/jumping abilities?), and the inability to combat them without getting down on level. A shadow tripcaster upgraded with three, high-damage, purple mods and capable of over 500 blast damage per wire ... was my friend. I stacked quite a few blast wires ... probably far more than necessary but enough to assure destruction ... and then popped a triple-load tearblast arrow barrage in the scorcher to get its attention. Well, the shortest distance between A and B was a straight line through the blast wires (it being A, and me being B, and the blast wires being ... you get the picture). Afterward, just I overrode the tower and proceeded like I owned the joint. Truth be told ... Elovia 1, Scorcher+Environment 1 ... the Scorcher used a ranged attack to knock me off of a high perch and down into a deep ravine. [correctional edit: the second Scorcher encountered was actually a Frostclaw, not a Scorcher as erroneously recollected]
  5. A meme after my own heart. Is it sad I understand almost all of it? Yeah, me too. On topic ... and not really my space, so I'll generalize ... At the most basic level, writing is an art form. And the point of art is to elicit an emotional reaction, whether positive, negative, or sometimes a mix of both. If the reader reacts after reading a written work, then the writer (as an artist) was successful ... at least on some level. Whether the reaction was positive or negative should have no bearing on the artist's success, because by definition, the artist was. On the other hand, specific success could be determined by whether the reviewer's response was the one intended by the artist - and the artist may be the only person who knows what that was for certain. An editorial review of a written piece (humorously noted: sometimes but not always also in written form - the mirror in the mirror) should dissect the subject piece based on facts of content, mechanics, and whether or why the subject piece was either successful or a failure in eliciting a reaction. Analogous to eating, a written work should be chewed and digested to determine whether it provided energy, lethargy, or flatulence (gotta love a good fart joke). A successful work of art needs both a creator and a consumer; the creator obviously or the art would not exist, and the consumer because otherwise it would be a waste of time and material. That isn't to say that the intended consumer could not also be the creator. But for the sake of this discussion, let's let the consumer (i.e., the reviewer) be external to the creator. The review should explain which response was brought forth from the reader, if any, and evidence of the fundamental groundwork that the artist used, or lack thereof, to bring about that response, or lack thereof. Is boredom a valid emotional response? Absolutely, although it might not have been the intended response. Whether the review is positive or negative should depend upon the artist's success, not the reviewer's reaction. But to like something, or not, is completely subjective. One man's trash is another man's treasure. Incidentally, like and hate are not opposites; both are emotional responses, and their opposite is apathy. In order for derivative consumers (by definition, a review is a derivative form of art) to establish a baseline understanding of the reviewer's perspective ... well ... a subjective review requires the reviewer to include sufficient personal background to adequately describe the filter through which the art was consumed at the time of consumption. And now the point ... Is a positive review good and a negative review bad? No. You have to re-frame the question. A successful review is one that provides sufficient perspective regarding the subjective preference for the art such that the derivative consumer may experience a reaction stimulating positive or negative interest toward the reviewed artwork itself. And now I will consider this post a success if the reader ... 1) is relieved to be done reading it, or 2) stopped reading and dismissed it as pure BS halfway through. Go me!
  6. Ah ... well ... I started playing video games on an Atari Video Computer System (i.e., an Atari VCS, what it was called before being re-branded as the Atari 2600). I then transitioned to an Apple II ... note the lack of "+", "e" or any other suffix ... even though my friends were sporting Commodores. And then I eventually bought a Mac IIci ... and yeah, games were few, but I still manged to clock a bunch of hours with PGA Tour Golf, Railroad Tycoon, and Civilization. With a DOS emulator, I could even play the first MechWarrior - albeit in slideshow mode. Hence a subsequent switch to a PC having a first generation Pentium (yes, the one with the math bug) and DOS 5.0; I was envious of the computer store's wall of PC games compared to the half-shelf of Mac games. Side note: I used PCs at work as early as 286 models, but those were not for gaming (officially anyway - although I may, but won't swear to, have seen an illicit copy of Doom floating about in the 486 years). Sometime between the initial Apple II years and the Mac IIci years, I vaguely remember spending a metric crap-load of quarters at the neighborhood arcade ... those were also the late teenage to "just turned legal to drink" years. Oh yeah, I played, and got good at, a bunch of different pinball machines, but that's another story ... I also had a Macintosh Powerbook 170 as my first laptop (you could say for gaming on the go long before the internet was a thing), followed some years later by a Compaq Armada (I don't recall the specific model number - I want to say E700 because it had a 15" screen) sporting Windows 2000. I still have both laptops in a box somewhere around here. Since then, I've had a series of custom home-built desktop PCs, including my current decade old potato. Aside from the Atari, the only other console my family and I briefly owned was a Wii - when my kid was young but old enough to introduce to family friendly gaming. So long story short ... I've abandoned far too many games to remember. And my memory isn't what it used to be due to age. GoG tells me I have almost 500 games in my library there, and that collection was started in 2013. I've probably played 99%+ of those. I have an equal number (more or less) of games on physical CDs packed away in boxes ... and my massive games collection on 5 1/4" floppies was stolen in the mid-80's. After marrying, my wife made me throw out my closet collection of obsolete computer pieces/parts (including the aforementioned Apple II and Mac IIci and all surviving software therewith - yes, a bloody shame, I know). As some people here are movie buffs, TV enthusiasts, or bookworms ... I am a computer game consumer. Asking which games I've abandoned is akin to asking which foods I've stopped eating. For the most part, I've abandoned whole genres of games: First Person Shooters, MMO games, multi-player only and multi-player predominant games, point-and-click adventures, as well as platform and twitch based games. And kale ... never started, never will.
  7. Elovia

    Horizon Zero Dawn

    Well ... maybe it was my impatience then. After the scripted feel-good epilogue, the game started rolling developer credits; I didn't watch the whole thing, so I guess I don't know whether the game continues after the credits are done. Also, as alluded to above, I wore the super suit during the final showdown. Handy, it was.
  8. Elovia

    Horizon Zero Dawn

    Such disappoint ... I completed the main quest without setting foot in the Frozen Wilds. Game over, man, game over! My bad. I thought I was supposed to finish the main quest, and then Frozen Wilds would introduce a new crisis like any good DLC should. But in hindsight, I guess the Frozen Wilds was just a side quest, and I was supposed to solve whatever problems are confined to the frozen north during the normal course of play. And yes, I finally retrieved the super suit just in time for the end. Fortunately I created a manual save before the point of no return. Muah hah hah ah ... *music swells* I have returned! ...*pauses dramatically* ... from the point ... *looks menacingly left and then right* ... of no return ... *music ends off key in a screech* <audience hisses, boos, and throws fruit> IDK whether I'll play through the final quest sequences again, but I'll spend time roaming around the Frozen Wilds for a bit and see what that's all about.
  9. Elovia

    Horizon Zero Dawn

    Yes, he can be killed ... or rather ... My play style is a mix of stealth and cheese. If I can't kill them outright from hiding and there's a good chance my hiding spot will get overrun, then I look for a unassailable place on high from which to safely rain down destruction. Yeah, I'm a bit of a coward in that respect. I haven't really practiced dodging or using my spear all that much, and my melee resistance is practically nothing. Part of my strategy has been to disarm the machine-beasts whenever possible, especially their ranged weapons, to reduce their ability to shoot back. Tearblast arrows ftw. That said ... Yes, it's a real thing. I bought it from a vendor. Daytower, I think, although others likely have it as well. You can find it in the Resources section of the merchant's inventory. It allows you to fast travel as much as you want without using any resources (i.e., an infinitely reusable travel pack). That reminds me ... I still need to go back and activate a few more campfires that show on my map but to which I have not yet been. No. I haven't done any of them, and probably won't. They don't appeal to me and are not required.
  10. Elovia

    Horizon Zero Dawn

    Oh, sorry ... didn't intend to withhold. I was out of town this past weekend, so I didn't make as much progress as I usually do. But let's see where I last left off ... Sylens had just showed up to redeem himself by rescuing me from a particular sunny, yet shadowy, conflict location; this confirmed my aforementioned assessment of his character. I certainly didn't feel like I was in any sort of bind or in need of rescue, and as I faced the beginning of combat round two, I felt I had it well under control, but regardless, he charged in like the shining knight he was to my (scripted) damsel in distress. I was severely disappointed; I coulda been a contender. Afterward, I traveled to the entrance of the Nora sacred grounds, and I stopped for the day just as I reached the gate. In sum, I've found four of the five power cells needed for the armor locked away in the ruin. A little bird tells me the last one is in an upcoming main quest location. I was there once before whilst randomly exploring (ok, not so random - I was "collecting" the vantage point in the area unknowing the main quest's ruin was also in the area), and the required access ladder was not present at the time. Go me ... I've already taken care of the scripted boss combat encounter, so whenever I get back to that area, I should be able to waltz right in. I'll then get the armor for use in the Frozen Wilds - or whatever comes after that main quest. As I recall, I'm in the mid-40s character level. I have all of the essential skills I wanted, and I am using any excess points to fill out the "override" skill line - even though I rarely use it. The scripted Corrupted Thunderjaw you previously mentioned ended in ever-flowing, gooey cheese. Yup ... I didn't even break a sweat on it. Nor on the Rockbreaker encounter that preceded it. As matter of fact, both encounters were handled pretty much in the same way ... or rather, the second one ended from the same place the first one began. Oh right ... I should probably give an update on Nils the bandit-killing psychopath. Despite his optimism and seemingly high health, he didn't make it. He brought a knife to a gun fight, and that rarely ever ends well. But good on him for trying ... I've found all of the map "collectables" ... i.e., the vantage point time capsules, metal flowers, coffee cups, and Banuk figures. As far as I know, I've also cleared all of the bandit camps and corruption zones ... not including any that may be in the Frozen Wilds. I've scanned every known machine type. And as far as I know, I've run out of side quests and errands except the hunting grounds (which I really don't intend to complete). I've got me a golden backpack, so long-distance travel is effortless. I still have tons of data points I have not found, nor do I think I'll put much effort into finding them. I'm currently just marching through to complete the main quests and any side quests or errands that I may run across.
  11. *casually points over there* Recipes, you say?
  12. Elovia

    Horizon Zero Dawn

    Sylens ... That is all.
  13. I'll just leave this here ...
  14. I understand some theaters were renting out during the pandemic to people who wanted to play video games on the big screen. Gamers had to bring their own device - provided it could attach to the digital projector.
  15. Elovia

    Horizon Zero Dawn

    I didn't no. The machines I'm certain from which you can extract heavy weapons that you can use afterward are the Ravager and the Thunderjaw. There may be others of which I'm not aware ... Corruptors? I haven't even seen one type of machine yet, so ... /shrug. Of course you can also get heavy weapons by killing elite bandits that happen to carry them. The downside is that the heavy weapons are, basically, disposable. You cannot reload them, and they're very heavy so you move slowly while carrying them ... even if you have the skill that speeds up movement while carrying them (yes, it does, and no, not enough). You also cannot jump, climb, or do a variety of other things while carrying them ... so, they're situational at best. I think I enjoy this game because I can play it on my terms, scripted encounters aside, and I'm not locked into playing it the one and only way the developers envisioned. Problem solving can be done many different ways, which is nice. And the world is very open and accessible ... meaning I can go climb over a ridge if I'm willing to put in the effort rather than walk the path around it. When you come across climb points, that usually indicates something worth finding may be at the other end of them ... and they're not always easy to see or do. I've spent a lot of time just hunting critters for their crafting components. I still need a few fish skins and bones - rats, too - to upgrade a few of my ammo pouches. As I recall from my last play session, I had run myself out of ridge wood, so I'll need to scrounge up more of that soon.
  16. Elovia

    Horizon Zero Dawn

    I made a bunch of progress this past weekend. Unabashedly, I spent a lot of hours on it. For the record, I'm playing on Normal difficulty. Nah, the Stormbird encounter I wrote upon earlier was just outside of a hunter camp in the desert ... just past the entry gates to the desert climate. Although that said, I chanced upon the Stormbird you're hinting at while doing random exploring this past weekend. I think there was a metal flower, a vista, or somesuch up in the area on which I was in pursuit. That whole area reminded me: I greatly dislike scripted encounters, especially ones that thrust you into combat unprepared. That was the first of many scripted encounters that I ran across last weekend. Repeat number 1 So yeah, I cheesed most of the scripted encounters where and as I could ... mostly by utilizing no-kite mechanics to my favor (e.g., tether ranges, mobs retreat if they have no viable attack, etc.). I was sufficiently pressed to get past the Watchers and triplet stalkers on the way to the scripted Stormbird encounter (unless I'm confusing two different areas). Stalkers 1, Elovia 3, Falling Deaths on the climb up to the area ... 2. I completed the quarry encounter you previously mentioned. Was tough but ... well ... I cheesed it, too, after I figured it out. Afterward I encountered a couple corrupted Rockbreakers out in the wild which provided a challenge. That specific corrupted area encounter was helped by a wandering group of bandits (they got summarily slaughtered, but were useful as a distraction) and, coincidentally, a Longleg and Behemoth convoy that was traveling on a path through the corrupt area. I didn't know corrupt machines would attack non-corrupt ones, but they did and in doing so helped knock off some life from the corrupt Rockbreakers while I stood back and enjoyed the show. Was just me being slow in not connecting the dots ... I knew about corruption arrows from the War bow, and have used them to satisfyingly reduce the strength of a machine crowd, but I didn't think that mechanic applied to "naturally" corrupt machines. Anyway, a nearby Ravager was also pulled into the fight, and upon its death, I was able to grab a big gun to finish off at least one of the Rockbreakers. I put off going to Meridian for a long time, and instead bought the appropriate maps and spent a lot of time exploring and picking up collectables from areas I'd previously been through but had otherwise missed. I have since been through the big city and completed at least one of the main quests there (i.e., assisting Avad with his situation), as well as a few side quests. Without logging in to check, my character level is in the mid-30s. I have almost all of the important skills that I use. I just have one more skill in the Strike line (i.e., Leader Strike) I'd like to get to flesh it out, and then I'll work on the enhanced dodge skill which has been low on my priority list; I try not to put myself in that much danger where it would be helpful. My modus operendi is primarily stealthy bow-centric with pre-laid tripwires as needed. I have the full collection of stealth weapons (that I know of), all in various states of modification ... the more frequently used ones have my best mods attached. I primarily use the (Stealth) Sharpshot and Hunter Bows along with the Tripcaster, while rotating between the War Bow, Ropecaster, and each of the two Slings in the fourth slot on a case-by-case basis. I have, but have not yet used, the Rattlegun/crossbow/wtf-it-is. I wear the Nora heavy stealth outfit with extra stealth mods; that combined with the Sharpshot bow and precision arrows allows me to kill or remove weapons from machines at extreme long ranges. This has a side benefit that, as long as I'm patient and only fire a single salvo (up to three arrows per single bow firing, as needed) while the target is unaware, I can usually remain safely undetected. However if I rush things, and fire off a salvo while the target is actively looking or is on alert, then I might get found out (unless the followup shot is fatal) ... to which I beat a hasty retreat and re-commence stalking when the target turns back from pursuit. I ran across Nil again (the creepy, psychopathic, bandit killer) at least once more, although I suspect he generally waits outside bandit camps ready to join with an available quest marker (!), but then moves on and erases the potential quest after you've commenced slaughtering bandits without his help. I noticed the marker was gone one time after I killed a few bandits and retreated to answer a RL phone call. I have not met Sylas, but I've had him speak to me through my focus a couple times. When I last played, I was currently doing the main quest up north, through the cultists and corrupted machine camp. I expect big things there. I didn't complete it before my playing time ran out, so I guess I'll get to redo the beginning part of the camp again. No worries. I don't mind slaughtering cultists or bandits. Precisely placed head shots from extreme ranges, especially if the target is moving, are just so gosh darned satisfying. I'm getting a lot more proficient killing the bigger, tougher machines. I also completed at least one other cauldron so I can override more machine types. I can now one-shot Scrappers and Watchers (well, the tougher armored ones), and take down Sawtooths with two salvos of fire arrows (same with Glinthawks and Ravagers provided I've removed their ranged weapons first). I still struggle with Stormbirds, Behemoths, and Tramplers ... because they're massive and damage sponges. Somewhere along the line I killed my first and only Thunderjaw ... although I admit I probably wouldn't have been able to do so without the help of a seemingly immortal Carja warrior that kept it distracted so I could methodically remove its weapon systems from a distance. I've found interest in reading the little lore snippets and parallel stories from collectables and data points. The Banuk toy story kind of hits in the feelz, as does the Vantage point story line at times. The metal flower poetry is /meh, but I'm not much into poetry (except for occasional naughty limericks). I recall checking my progress sometime this past weekend. The game thinks I'm a little over half done (somewhere between 50-60%). I've overridden all of the mainland Tallnecks except for the southern most one, so I have ~80% of the non-Frozen Waste map exposed - nothing yet in the Frozen Waste. I'm creeping up on almost 100 hours played (in theory) ... although I'm not sure I've actively played that long because sometimes I pause and read, but that time counts too. I'm at the point where ... the game is still fun, in general, but it is starting to feel like a slog toward the end. Rather than plow through scores of machines on my way from point A to point B, I now ask myself whether taking on combat on random machines is worthwhile or if I can bypass them for the interest of getting to my destination quicker while using fewer resources. I usually get distracted by other games long before now, so this one has captured my interest for a respectable amount of time. I'll most likely finish this game, which is an extremely rare thing for me to do with any game, and it speaks to the game's quality (at least to my subjective standards). I'd probably rate this game a high 4.5+ out of 5, but not the full score because it isn't without flaws. I've had it crash to desktop a couple times on me out of the blue. Saving only at campfires (as opposed to QuickSave from anywhere) is also a down-score point ... sometimes I have to quit without saving due to RL issues I need to deal with, and in doing so lose progress and have to repeat it again to make up. I haven't yet decided if I will spend much time playing NewGame+ on this one. Oh, I meant to ask ... What did you decide to do about Olin? Generally, the only traps I use are the Tripwire ones. I haven't yet found much use for the single, set-in-place traps. You can set one or multiple tripwires from a distance, whereas you have to partially expose yourself and/or put yourself in harm's way to set the single traps. That said, I just bought my second Shadow Sling - the one that allows launching the proximity bombs - but I have not yet played with it much. I'm waiting until I find a nice, tight cluster of machines. If it is anything like the Elemental bomb Sling, I suspect its range will be much too short for my taste. Although I do like the idea of timed sticky bombs ...
  17. Staying in this weekend (as I do most). Made a batch of Breakfast Burritos, and started a crock pot of honey garlic chicken for dinner later. The chicken dish is a trial, so I'm not sharing it yet until after I see how it turns out. Also started a load of laundry; I'm so domestic. @BrandieNoel ... love the mug. That's awesome. Coincidentally enough, the other day I was honestly considering getting this one from Amazon ...
  18. That's the problem with the word "inadvertent"; you may not know what you did to cause the condition, so you don't have any idea on how to fix it. Kind of like the chaos theory of a butterfly flapping it's wings in Brazil to cause a hurricane in Florida. What if the thing you inadvertently changed leads to no time travel AND you don't exist? That's almost like time traveling back to dinosaur days and running out of gasoline ...
  19. I've been meaning to do another "Elovia's deep dive into the archives" ... ... and so ... (spoiler for NSFW album cover)
  20. Interesting cabaret take on it.
  21. Teleportation, provided it's safe and proven. Too much risk for inadvertently screwing something up with time travel ... like finding out that you no longer exist. That would be bad.
  22. Elovia

    Horizon Zero Dawn

    Killed my first Stormbird the other night. Elovia 1, Stormbirds 4 ... and believe it or not, I'm still humble. There must have been an AI glitch to allow my success. Toward the end, the big ol' bird just stood there ... uhh ... spread-eagled without attacking. I was surprised I was able to knock it down a time or two just with pure damage arrows. Their size makes judging their distance deceptive. I also cheesed my first herd of Tramplers - from an untouchable location on high. I'm not proud of it. But it helped me get through a side quest ... or was that an errand? /sigh I need to work on a better strategy if I ever need to go ground-level with these big arrow sponges. And I ascended my second Longneck. I was worried I might get attacked by the handful of Glinthawks in the area while ascending, and luckily that didn't turn out to be the case. I fast traveled to a convenient campfire straightaway from the Longneck's head so as to avoid having to swim back through Snapmaw infested waters. Pro tip: I invested in the Tinker skill, which allows removing/recovering/replacing installed modifications; that and Disarm Traps have been QoL game changers.
  23. Word on the street is that Amazon canceled their LOTRO MMO. Nothing to see here. Move along.
  24. Just going to throw this out there ... Anchoring into studs is preferred but is sometimes difficult to achieve in reality (e.g., 16 inch stud spacing and 24 inch or 30 inch towel bar where, at most, only one end can be anchored in a stud). In that case, you may need to add blocking between studs in which you can anchor. It requires a bigger sheet rock patch, and it will result in more flexibly positioned yet firmly anchored support. I prefer towel hooks rather than bars because finding a single stud is easier than adding blocking. And substituting in hooks should solve the "Pull up bar" problem.
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