Back and Forth, With Memory Like a Sieve

13 Oct, Sat

You’d think the weekend was for focus and progress, but you’d be wrong.

  • Warframe – Downloaded patch and stopped.

Apparently, a new update – Chimera – hit. The new stuff Arbitration missions requires a completed star chart and is seemingly pitched at high level players taking on high risk missions with chances of failure.

I don’t have a completed star chart, so that’s moot. I’m not at all high level, nor with sufficient mods yet to consider venturing into level 50-60 sorties, let alone top of the line stuff. I’m honestly fairly allergic to high chance of failure in my games so level of interest in Arbitration missions is nonexistent at this stage of my Warframe gameplay.

It’s fine.  There’s so much other stuff I could be doing. Level all the warframes, level all the weapons, finish all the side quests, actually complete the star chart, work on syndicate standing with all existing factions, collect all the mods and every time I stare at the launcher, I’m reminded I really want Chroma Prime but this time I want to try the farming route instead of the straight up buy route I went for Rhino Prime.

The patch download took forever though. By itself, it was pretty big. Then it offered to clean up my missions (to the tune of 800MB or so) with a warning that it would take a while, and I thought, “It’s the weekend and the day’s just starting, why not?”

Apparently, the “why not” was because it took about half an hour and threatened to cut straight into Megadestroyer time.

  • GW2 – Killed the Megadestroyer, one more itty bitty checkbox ticked on the Astralaria III collection.

May as well get it over with.

  • GW2 – Finished the Historical Gloves part of the Requiem armor collection.

Short of 7 mistonium for the next milestone in the requiem armor collection (historical gloves), so I did Chantry and Yatendi hearts in Jahai Bluffs to buy 10 mistonium with karma.

Rode around Sun’s Refuge completely lost trying to remember where the NPC was, finally gave up and checked a guide to discover / re-remember that she was in the Durmand Priory of Lornar’s Pass instead. *sigh* The problems with continuing a quest chain interrupted by days having gone by in between.

Later, I brought an alt scourge to try and earn more mistonium for the next step. Killed the Death-Branded Shatterer since it was up, did the Chantry heart, and wore out before completing the Yatendi heart. Quit out instead to go find something more fun to do.

I don’t quite understand how some people can go through 10 alts doing the same thing in a day, just to grind up the mistonium super quick.

Still, since they’re probably the ones willing to buy my sigils of nullification at the new established market rate, I’m not complaining.

  • Opus Magnum – Finished the tutorial and 75% of Chapter 1

I’ve been eyeing this puzzle game from Zachtronics for a while now, but never really willing to bite because it’s never dropped to 75% off and I know just how long I last with hard puzzle games.

Aka I did the first few puzzles of Spacechem and then never continued; and I looked at the first bits of TIS-100 and found it interesting but brain exploding; and I may have lasted through about 20% of Human Resource Machine before getting blocked/stumped at a branching path where both puzzles seemed more trouble than it was worth to figure out.

Sorry, but if I’m going to play only 25% of a puzzle game, I’m willing to only pay 25% of the price for one.

Being in a Humble Bundle, however, changes things.

The slight problem with this one was that I already owned about 3-4 of the games in the bundle, so I had to hem and haw a bit and rationalize that the 3 games I didn’t own + Opus Magnum made the $15 USD price tag worth it.

The last work week was hard going though, so after having delayed the purchase for a week or so already, I decided to treat myself with a weekend gift.

Opus Magnum was unwrapped swiftly.

The aesthetic layer around this game is a lot more clean cut and polished, as befits some kind of story about an Alchemist creating elegant Victorian steampunk alchemical engines.

Opus Magnum - Hangover Cure (100G, 67, 13, 2018-10-14-02-16-27)

Gameplay-wise, it’s a standard Zachtronics style puzzle game. You get a bunch of parts/components, some rules and boundaries to restrict the puzzle space, an end goal and it’s your job to place / shape / program the pieces so that the end goal is achieved.

Your solution is scored, based on several factors, and a little leaderboard graph pops up, showing you if you were completely normal and figured out the most popular average solution, or if you were ahead or fell behind the curve in some way.

It even lets you create a little GIF of your engines, to show them off to others in this social media connected age.

Competitive min-maxers, I think, go crazy for this. Some get obsessed with tuning and retuning the puzzle solutions to reach ever more efficient, ever more elegant solutions…or conversely trade off astronomical sums in the other factors just to bring their one desired factor down to the absolute minimum.

This Rock, Paper, Shotgun writer demonstrates it more effectively than I can.

I’m more of a satisficer. If the goddamn thing works, and lets me click on the “continue” button, I’m done. Good enough.

I’m pleased if I fall within the average, and if I don’t, so be it, it still fucking works, in its own unique way.

Ain’t got no time for anything more than that.

  • Warframe again – Did a bunch of missions, I don’t know, it all blurred together. Titania more or less done, the 3 Forma’ed Hek seems fairly good now; Leveled up Hydroid and Oberon a bit; Tried to open some relics for Chroma Prime parts (no go); Did 2 not-yet-completed star chart missions to test out the Hek 

I got back into Warframe late at night. The reddit had clued me in that there were apparently some spoilers/lore that needed to be embargo’ed in the Chimera patch, and I was amazed that I had attempted to play it in the morning and didn’t quite get around to it until the night.

You can imagine my amazement when I finished a few hours later, none the wiser, having not at all found nor completed the spoiler laden thing.

I tried to look in the Quests section of the Codex, and saw Mask of the Revenant included (but that was something that had dropped in the last update, and anyway, my Ostron standing was below that so the quest wasn’t even unlocked, moot point.)

Then staring at my warframe in front of me reminded me that I just wanted to go ahead and level some of them. Having been slightly addicted to a daily 7 hour affinity boost that dropped a day or two ago, I waffled for the space of three minutes before rationalizing that I’m mainly playing this heavily on weekends, so a 3 days affinity booster was affordable and made sense.

40 x 4 weekends = 160 platinum, the 30 day booster was 200 platinum, and it was highly unlikely I’d get more than 12 days of benefit out of it while playing Warframe in spurts as a secondary game, and also somewhat unlikely that I’d buy a boost -every- weekend in a month.

Just… for now, since I had a couple of new warframes and weapons to level up fast.

I’m getting good at this Pay-to-speed-things-up bit.

So I took said to-be-leveled-up things into my new favorite leveling spots – a multiplayer Dark Sector survival mission where there are oodles of Infested that all run at you blindly and can be shotgunned to death with my new slightly-more-deadly kitted out Hek, and where multiplayer means increased spawn rate and the possibility of some overpowered player coming in and farming everything for you while you stand there and shoot empty air to add sound effects.

An Intensify also dropped, somewhen amidst the chaos. Since this was my first Intensify, and also the last of the Streamline, Flow, Continuity, Reach quinfecta of basic-mods-you-should-really-have-to-kit-out-warframes-so-that-they-don’t-suck,-but-are-also-annoying-to-get, this was a welcome bonus.

At some point, I got tired of the multiplayer – the draw for me is the increased mob spawn rate and how fast things die, the turn-off is the fact that it is quite boring to stand around and not really do anything if some overpowered (but immensely helpful) player is cleaning out the map for you. Enlightened self-interest and greed says that this is bloody good for really quick leveling of stuff that will take forever otherwise; while the “yo, I want to actually shoot things myself and kill things, even if it takes 4 times as long” part of me kicks up a hissy fit in the background.

So you compromise between the two and go back and forth.

I did some easy solo Alerts, a solo Lith interception to try and farm more relics (not too well), then got bored at the mob spawn rate – I just can’t get enough void reactant to open the relic by myself before the interception completes and resets the relic – and switched to my first multiplayer Lith missions.

That took care of the spawn rate all right. The choosing of the relic part from 4 players was a lot more bamboozling, given that I have very little knowledge of what’s valuable and what’s not. I ended up weighing between what the other players picked, what I already owned, and trying to frantically recall the unique color coding of warframe where (I think) yellow means the rarest to pop, white is uncommon and brown/orange is the more common.

I got bored again after a few rounds of a Limbo Prime and Saryn Prime combination that essentially wiped out the entire map for us.  Effective, certainly, but when some kind of host migration/network error booted me out after the third round, I didn’t try to rejoin.

Throughout this, I’d been rocking my newly 3 forma’ed Hek shotgun. I’d managed to fit all the decent mods I owned on it by 3 forma, so I saw no need to continue forma’ing until and unless I got better mods. Things were dying with one shotgun blast, and I’d managed to cut the original slow-as-molasses reload speed to an acceptable 1.3 seconds or so.

The real question was, did I now have a gun that was capable of taking me past the mob level (35-45) I was previously struggling at?

Prior to this, I only owned one gun, the Vectis Prime, given free during a carnival of Twitch drops with which I’d left things running overnight just to farm things, that was capable of doing enough damage. The Vectis is a sniper rifle though, so while that niche was covered, I didn’t exactly have a close range, semi-AoE option.

Hence, the working really hard on upgrading the shotgun that was commonly recommended as a decent starter weapon capable of taking a player through the star chart.

Switched back to my Rhino Prime favorite, gave him the shotty, and tried a few Pluto missions. The results were pretty satisfactory. Most died in one hit, one or two mobs took two. It didn’t quite feel like I was struggling now, though I did struggle to recall how it was really like several weeks ago without the shotgun.

So I guess I can now put “complete the star chart” back on the long term goal agenda, among all the other things…

Tomorrow, for realz, I’ll try to do that story/lore thing. I ended up opening Reddit spoilers until I actually figured out where the eff it starts. I think I know where to go now.

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