15 April 2014

What comes after Bajillion? Trajillion? Zajillion?

I haven't properly sat down with Borderlands 2 in a while, though I should really get into it again and finish levelling up my five other characters, since I'm having a little trouble motivating myself to level up my 62 Axton.  Why?  I feel a bit impotent.  Particularly compared to Scooty's Mechromancer, who can't aim for shit, but counters that with a respective damage bonus and homing bouncing bullets.
But that doesn't draw back my admiration for the game.  It's still a fun RPG-esque, fast paced shooter with a fun sense of Gore Comedy.  And the things I've gone through make for a phenomenal resume.
This year will be a big addition to the Universe of Borderlands, including the Tales from the Borderlands and the Borderlands Pre-Sequel.  Both games work as a .5 between major games, Tales from after 2, and the Pre-Sequel from between 1 and 2.
I'll be saving up for both of these, including expansions and their respective expansions.  The only other expansion I have to get for Borderlands 2 is a $3 Headhunter Pack "Son of Crawmerax" adventure that comes out on the 15th.  I may not get it on the 15th, but hey, it'll be a purchase that I make in the future.
Is there anything I would change?
Well, I would ask them to make more characters for the game.  They added two after the release of Borderlands 2 and left it at that.  Assumedly because they were working on the Pre-Sequel, but I don't know what happens behind doors.  Environments?  Enemies?  I don't know what else.  They're improving the way they fight simply because the pre-sequel is based around Low Gravity Environments ON THE MOON.  So apart from Utilizing that, I can't imagine what they would/could do.
On top of that, they're adding new elements to the list of weapons, which exponentially increases the amount of weapons available in this loot-focused game.
The story is the least of my worries.  Borderlands 1 wasn't fantastic.  But Borderlands 2 changed your point of view of what happened in Borderlands 1 and made it more interesting.  So whether Borderlands 1.5 will change my view of Borderlands 1 or 2 will remain to be seen, but hopefully they will.
If there was anything I would ask to be changed I would still ask for a Revamp of Borderlands 1, updating the AI of enemies and Visuals.  And why not, add in the weapon effects added in Borderlands 2, like DAHL having burst fire while Zoomed, Jakobs only firing as you pull the trigger and never building an elemental weapon, and Maliwan only having elemental weapons.  Those sort of things would be cool, but far from necessary.
This doesn't change how excited I am for the next games, though.  An awesome lead up to Borderlands 3 (if it is coming) and a Pre-Sequel to tide me over until then.
Maybe I will load up Borderlands 2 tomorrow, finish off those characters.  Fighting The Warrior is fun after all.

10 April 2014

Month One

My bags were packed with the Essentials. Clothes, Xbox, Miniatures, IKRPG Rulebook, and then all the bits and bobs I was gifting to Jenny.  Mostly various Australian Chocolates,
I left my place in a shambles.  My room was a mess, shit all around, particularly my clothes that I didn't want any more, and the dishes were left on the shelves... I wasn't going to get my bond back.
Luckily I lived with Mum, and she has a dishwasher and kids to help her drop shit off at the lifeline bin.
(I'm a terrible son.  She still loves me though.)
But I went to work, the fifth shift of the week working at the bar Cloudland, and had a nice farewell from the boys.  They said they'd miss me, and they would put the new Glassy Supervisor through the Prison Trials.
The Man, The Legend, the God, Super Dave, drove me back to mine and then to the Airport.  He's going to be in Canada in the next few years, so he's going to make a trip down to the 'Zoo one day and we're going to go out and celebrate.
Stepping onto the plane felt... emotional.  It possibly could have been from the fact that it was hitting me that I was leaving my home that I know well and love, or that everything is finally happening, that I will finally be with Jenny.  Or it could have been that I had one too many hugs with Dave as he dropped me off.
But I was leaving home to finally be with Jenny.  The first leg in a series of hours in reaching my new home, a place called Kalamazoo.
Still, after four years, it still sounds like a town from out west from Brisbane.
The flight itself was long and uncomfortable.  14 hours from Brisneyland to LAX to wait six hours before going to Chicago, a four hour flight, and a few more hours before the embarking on the final 25 minute flight to Kalamazoo.
It's still a strange sensation though to leave Monday morning at 10:30 and arrive 10:30 that night.
There she was though.  Waiting for me with a massive grin on her face.

Censorship at it's subtlest.

The month has been quite a holiday. Playing/Teaching with Taz, catching up with Mum over skype, and visiting people while making myself comfortable here in 'Murica.
The bad news?  I need a Social Security number.  For Everything.  And to get a SIN- I mean SSN - I need to get a Green Card.  Whereas Jenny and I were under the preconception that I would be able to walk off the plane and go straight into working at a Bar that'll appreciate my accent.  Sadly, the situation is not that simple.
But we're working on that.  The paperwork is going in today and I should be all sorted.
The biggest thing that everyone continues to as about is the Wedding.
The plan was simple: Wedding on the beach on St Paddys day.  We would get what we want, which was getting married on the Beach, an Australian-esque setting, and it would end up being at the closest beach we had, South Haven on Lake Michigan.  Then, instead of a normal reception, we would just go on a Pub Crawl.  And because it was St Paddys day, there would be plenty of people drinking with us, probably buying for us because we were just married.
But whenever anyone asks how the wedding was, the first thing I say is "Cold."  Y'see, the winter hadn't quite left yet.  So the beach was frozen over still, and the wind chill could force a Grolar to pack its bags and head back home.
The lead up was fun, getting me clothed and prepared for the day ahead.  My biggest contribution was my choice of tie, something that was outrageous enough to match my attitude, without completely ruining the ensemble.  And I believe I achieved that.
The lunch on the day was nice, we drove back from South Haven and dined at a lovely Italian restaurant in town, down the road from the Hotel Jenny and I would be staying at that night.
It's about now that I will say before I forget that this was all gifted from Jennys Parents, excessively generous people, if you haven't already guessed.  I can't even begin...
But the Lunch/Dinner (Lunner?) did both Jenny and I in.  We immediately were overwhelmed by that comfortable tired feeling that a pasta does when you devour it, so sadly the idea of a Pub Crawl failed to be attended by the guests of honour.
It was a good day none the less.
But now I sit here, somewhat bored by cooking, cleaning, dog sitting and playing GTAV, and wondering what kind of job I can get once I'm allowed to, while also playing in an online Bloodbowl League led by an old Warmachine Buddy, going out to have fun with Jenny and her Family, and posting funny Memes of Ron Swanson onto Facebook.
That'll change sooner or later.

05 April 2014

Grand Theft Avatar Online

I've been playing a Lot of Grand Theft Auto V lately, because it is an impressive cinematic game.  Three characters fighting together to get their ways in life without having to get screwed over by some other asshole.  Its fantastic, it's emotional, and it is more entertaining than a bag full of cats.
But it doesn't stop there.  GTAV also has an online mode which is, for want of a better description, an MMO set in Los Santos (The setting of GTAV).
In this Online mode you can do any number of things, from Holding up a convenience store, to joining a Death Match against a bunch of strangers, to racing your friends around the city, to organising heists for either the sake of hilarity or to actually attain a profit (Though those are yet to be properly implemented).
My only worry, and it's admittedly a silly worry, is that players would get bored of the city of Los Santos.  There's thousands of square miles of environment you can explore, I'm still discovering/rediscovering regions, but eventually one does run out of things to do.
So what can you do?  Why not add another city?  The setting has several environments as it is all set within San Andreas, all of which have their inconsistencies between 2D, 3D and HD universes, but that's Rockstar's problem.  That's the potential of a GTAV/GTAOnline Expansion, either reinventing old cities, or inventing new ones.  The potential is all up to the developers.
The System is what's fun though.  A very well designed Third Person game with Role Play Elements, along with a very good Vehicular system (covering anything from a push bike to a personal jet).
It's a tried and true method for a good number of years, and it makes for a really fun setup for GTA Online.
But as my train of thought moved on, it careened over to the Xbox All-stars MMO I rambled on about a few months back.
This would be a perfect setup for exactly that.  To have different regions that mimic exclusive Xbox games (or games they can get the rights to) which your player, represented by your Xbox Avatar, can roam about causing havoc or performing feats they get from whatever they have equipped, around areas that would appear in a demo levels of respective games.
I would love to jump out of a Borderlands Bandit Technical, wearing my Crysis Nanosuit, holding a Gears of War Lancer and killing a Halo Elite in a Doom Facility.  Just as an example.
Likely, Licensing and such won't allow Xbox to get that, but it's still an idea they can run with just to get some cool milage out of those charming little Mini-Me's.

01 April 2014

An Army of Four? No problem

That's right, I can use big words too
I started Xcom Enemy Within again with the sole purpose of gaining this achievement, and I was terrified that I would be in deep shit by mid-late game when the big guns began coming out.
Turns out... No. Not at all. The hardest part of the game with only four soldiers is picking what classes you don't want in your standard setup.  And quite frankly, it's the heavy.
Every other class gives you everything you need, whereas the heavy... well he gives you rockets.  Which i don't use anyway.  I probably should, but I don't.
Everything else though?  Fantastic.  Support class for the obvious healing of 10-12 damage depending on who has what medal; Assault Class for the excessive amounts of damage you can pump away, at a guaranteed chance because of either proximity or aim bonuses from medals; Sniper because of "In the Zone" which will deal with those pesky low health enemies that don't take cover and die to a gust of wind; and the MEC Trooper because of the extreme damage output with the Kinetic Fist and it's heavy weapon, the speed at which it crosses the battlefield, and the awesome Robocop voice.
And that's how I ran through Xcom: Enemy Within on Classic without purchasing a Squad Size upgrade.
No, the game did not adjust to my squad size, I still fought about 40 enemies when the HQ was assaulted, including 3 sectopods. No, I did not get overrun every time I went and did an EXALT Mission, because they just aren't that dangerous. No, I did not have any Second Wave features active.  And Yes I was reckless with my troops, especially with my MEC who was always in the middle of the enemies because his damage resistance is the best when within 4 tiles of a target... That is, if they have survived that long.

I have to be honest

I've actually been down in Venezuela saving the local populous from aliens while holding back military organizations with volunteers from Britain, Poland, and several planets with a convergent evolution to Earth that high ranking officials have the privilege of knowing.
The devastation has been largely covered up by a group effort including a hacking system to covering satellites, and generation of word and mouth stories coupled with local media setups.
The reason I'm telling you this is that you may not hear from me again as I am entering a cybernetics program to improve my battle potential, while continuing an extravaganza of social media information for everyone to continue their belief that I am still well.
I don't have long, so I'll make this quick.

This is a terrible April fools joke. I love you jenny. I'll never do this again.

09 March 2014

Farewell, Adieu, Auf Wiedersehen, and Goodbye, Australia

Today is the day I move. I leave Australia for an a long time to live with the love of my life. At the time of this post, I should be boarding onto my plane from Brisbane if I haven't already left the tarmac.
I'm going to miss Brisneyland.  The familiar rolling hills, the smell of eucalyptus that occasionally wafts through me when I'm outside, and the general comfort of knowing that I am surrounded by people I know and care for.
But time for comfort is over.  I am uprooting myself for the greater good, for a greater future for myself and Jennifer.  I have spent the last few weeks, excited and panicky, about going to the US. Getting my stuff together, doubly making sure everything is correct, and answering everyone's questions about how excited I am to see her.  That, and working my arse off over the past week. I worked right up until this morning!  I may actually be a little drunk too.  My work mates are good to me, getting me ready to sleep on that plane.
But then all my mates are good to me.  And I love that.  That they're all happy that I'm going to the US to be with Jenny, and that they'll be keeping track of everything through Facebook and Twitter.  Especially when Jenny and I get Hitched on St Paddys day.
For those who wonder what the long term goal is, it will be to return to Australia. I do love it here and, frankly, I feel much safer and I want Jenny to have that feeling too.

Until then guys, thank you for looking after me and I hope to see you all soon, whether through internet or in person.

26 January 2014

XCOM as an RPG?

My friends all play Role Playing Games. And that's fun. IKRPG, Deathwatch, Shadowrun, and even the Classic Dungeons and Dragons. We've dabbled in them all. But I had a thought.
The Lads, my older friends, all enjoy going down to Agros enormous plot and spending the day for a yuppie shoot, firing rifles at cardboard cut outs of Zombies, stapled with packets of simulated gore. What if... Aliens turned up?
The GM would suddenly be hit by a giant gob of green plasma and instantly killed. The rest of the Lads would freak out, take cover, and encounter the little grey men.
Afterwards, the remaining lads would be picked up by a proper military mob and flown back to the Headquarters for interrogation. Of which, they will be recruited as a rapid response team for Xcom.
From there play it like new Xcom, where everyone has a class and earns abilities with each Rank and few digits and stats compared to classic, and cross it with Apocalypse with a Brisbane City Layout. They'll have a main base set somewhere near Central Brisbane, and they'll get UFO Contacts and Exalt Attacks as normal, but locations based around Brisbane.
Have a UFO crash into the City Hall in King George Square; Save your Operative from Exalt in UQ; Have a Chryssalid Hive wash up in Pinkenba before calling in an Airstrike. The possibilities are endless.
Every week would have a new encounter of some sort, and rather than having behind the scenes crap for Research and Spending, it would be a general consensus each week. And everyone would be conveniently healed at the end of the week, and an operative would be sent off at the end of the second or third week. Or better yet, someone who's missing for a couple of weeks is automatically an Operative, and first night he's back he has to be picked up "because exalt have found him as he's transmitting information back to base."
I wonder who would volunteer for MEC Trooper Augmentation...