Sunday 30 October 2022

October 2022: Day 250 of the war

The Ukrainian "advance" (to reclaim territory) continues, inspiring the people of Kherson, a city captured early on by the Russians, to no longer accept their rubles. To be fair, it might just be because rubles are not worth much these days with all the sanctions.

Their opponent, President Putin, has had an explosive birthday month for after being angered by the Crimea bridge explosion on/near his birthday, his forces conducted a retaliation bombardment that took down a third of the Ukranian power facilities in two days. They also have an interesting method of recouping their lost people by sending captured Ukranian kids to be adopted by Russians, some of whom publicly stating said kids should be drowned and/or burned alive.

The Russians have also found allies in Belarus and Iran, the latter of which is doing some serious multitasking by killing protestors with religious fashion police. They're also making strides for an alliance with North Korea, who are busy shooting missiles over Japan for the shits and giggles.

In true Crouching Tiger or Hidden Dragon style, China continues to bide its time as Xi Jinping secured his third term in power. Is it worrying that they might have "police" stations worldwide where they can drag you in and beat you up? Maybe?

Germans have proven indifference is just as effective as beatings though, as these not so smart scientists discovered when they protested for climate change. They were simply left in the sticky situation they got themselves in and were proven to be the hypocritical morons they actually are.

Finally, at 50 days, the shortest serving UK PM has finished her low% speed run successfully crashing their economy. Good job?

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Thursday 27 October 2022

House of the Rings of Dragon Power?

Two fantasy prequels that are currently season one.

House of the Dragon

Set a hundred years before Game of Thrones, this fantasy series tries to emulate the original as much as possible but instead of having many point of view characters to follow each episode there's only two or three. House Targaryen rules in a time of peace with the strength of their dragons but unfortunate circumstances (and ye olde refusing to just sit down, chat and air secrets to solve everything) just continuously happens that slowly pushes the kingdom to the brink of civil war.

I'm not kidding about slowly either, YEARS pass between episodes and it's a little strange that some characters age while others seem "timeless" but its an entertaining watch regardless with decent plot, acting and CGI. Definitely recommended and looking forward to season two.

Rings of Power

A prequel to the Hobbit, this tells the story of the time before the twenty great rings were forged - when dwarves didn't yet dig so deep, elves more easily gave into emotion, hobbits were more racially diverse and humans as a whole were dirty scum. While the CGI is gorgeous and the acting is ok it's the plot and pacing that lets down this production - not helped by the main character who seems capable of cheat-code worthy feats.

Despite not being as tightly woven as House of the Dragon it is still a nice spectacle to watch and also one I'm waiting for season two. Recommended to fantasy fans, but not necessarily Lord of the Rings fans who would take more issue with what transpires here.

Wednesday 26 October 2022

Adventure Games: The Dungeon

Plays like the old school computer games!

In this 1-4 player cooperative game, you must use your wits to escape from a fantasy themed dungeon which is revealed by placing large tiles with nice artwork as you explore. The story itself is driven by the dungeon story book which feels like one of those choose your own adventure novels. Expect to do a bit of reading!

A single tile will have multiple points of interest and on your turn you get to visit one, read the entry and see what happens. Then you can also try combine two items together, or combine an item with the location. Afterwards, its the next players turn and you are scored based on how much health you have left at the end of each of the three chapters.

Now there is a "save" ability so you don't have to play through this in one sitting, but it was so engrossing that we did and had a blast doing it too! The only downside is like a few other Kosmos games this has very little replayability, but at least you don't need to destroy the components (and throw the game away after) to win it.

Recommended, but just keep in mind this is less dungeon crawl and killing monsters and more puzzle solving and story telling.

Tuesday 25 October 2022

See (TV Series)

Where everyone is Daredevil.

In a world where the majority of the people are blind and the few "sighted" ones are hunted and executed for witchcraft, Baba Voss (Jason Momoa) tries his best to keep his family safe against the forces of a cruel and insane queen.  while the story wraps up neatly in three seasons it leaves a bit to be desired and a few action scenes are hilarious. For example, there is a big battle near the start and blind people are using ranged weapons?

Or even better, the queen sends her (blind) forces out through the wilderness, forest, mountains to track down sighted people? How do they even know who can see and who can't? It's also irritating that majority of the sighted people in this story are morons. That said there are very good and brutal action sequences here and in those moments the show really shines. Worth a watch for Jason Momoa fans. Otherwise, try an episode or two and see if it's for you.

Monday 24 October 2022

Warframe: Baruuk and Octavia

The monk and the bard.


All of Baruuk's pieces are gated behind a few ranks of the Vox Solaris syndicate which by default means maxing out your standing in Solaris United before hand. This monk is worth it though as his abilities include evading projectiles as long as he's not attacking (this is his only skill that drains continuous energy), an AoE sleep fart, and to summon a bunch of daggers that both mitigate damage (10% PER dagger) and shoot out to permanently disarm enemies in range. In my build of him I have 17 daggers and the daggers can also be given to your allies, so yes he can be pretty tanky.

The strangest thing is, Baruuk is a try-hard pacifist but each of those already mentioned abilities reduces his "constraint" gauge and when you unleash him using his ultimate, he goes into exalted kung-fu mode which further mitigates damage AND is very impressive to use but requires the augment mod if you plan on actually killing things in the steel path instead of just knocking them down. Fun frame, but its another one that needs warm up before having his full abilities ready (not as bad as Nidus though).


Designated as the best Warframe available currently, Octavia's main blueprint comes from the Octavia's Anthem quest. For her other parts you'll be doing the capture mission on Lua to find all the caches and music room puzzle and the super annoying 20 minute survival on Deimos (pray to RNG). That said, she is pretty awesome! As all her abilities stem from music, she comes with a step-sequencer in which you can compose your own stuff (or steal other pop songs) and anytime Octavia uses a skill she regenerates energy (slowly) for herself and allies nearby.

She can summon a ball that distracts enemies, create a damage zone to hammer enemies (or put it on the aforementioned ball so this zone moves, and create a zone that increases all allied damage based on the noise level. The louder the party, the more the enemies will die! Her most complicated ability is the "metronome" which gives you different buffs depending on what you do in time with your music:

Jumping to the beat gives a speed buff, crouching gives invisibility, shooting buffs shooting damage and meleeing buffs melee damage. It takes some getting used to! That invisibility seems mandatory for survivability though so get your crouch practice in.

Wednesday 19 October 2022

Thor: Love and Thunder and She-Hulk: Attorney at Law

Superhero comedies.

Thor: Love and Thunder

When a serial god murderer goes on the loose it falls upon the only god in the Avengers line up (Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth) to stop him! This seems to be an odd premise to base a comedy off, but most of this classic Thor adventure is set to the tone of "laughing in the face of death" backed by classic rock tracks and dosed heavily with high quality CGI. I felt it went on for a little too long though, and that the villain should have had more focus than some of the other extra characters. Still worth a watch.
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law

When Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany) gains the power of the Hulk, she has to deal with being a female lawyer AND She-Hulk at the same time. Somehow, her strongest ability is that of breaking the fourth wall though - and it's something she does A LOT. Much of your enjoyment will be if you are ok with that, and if you dislike that trope then stay far away from this currently one season series. While the episodes are short and entertaining enough, it's also telling that episodes with guest cameos are much better than those without. Hopefully this improves in future seasons as currently She-Hulk can't stand on her own.

Monday 17 October 2022

Warframe: Gauss and Sevagoth

The Flash and Space Ghost!


To earn this speedy frame you will need to do many rounds of disruption on Kappa, Sedna - a game mode that is a hearing test, speed test and DPS check all rolled into one. On the flip side, your odds of gaining the blueprints continually increase the longer you hang around so defend at least 20 conduits before exiting. It's also more fun and faster in a team. DL actually recorded a video of this very run!

Gauss himself is all about speed. Running fast gains battery power which in turn amplifies his abilities. Good luck trying to turn when sprinting though - there's a mechanic that he creates a small explosion if he hits a wall for a reason: he will be running into LOTS of walls! Running into enemies just bowls them over.

Other abilities include converting absorbed damage into energy, doing a mild AoE blast, and "redlining" which boosts his attack speed (even if its with a gun) and causing lightning arcs to shoot out at baddies while sprinting. Very fun to use, but also very whimsical. I would have considered keeping him around if his controls were better, but I guess I just can't handle the speed!


To get this space ghost you'll need a railjack as Sevagoth's main blue print comes from the Call of the Tempestarii quest, while the rest of his parts drop from void storms in the outer proximas of Empyrean space. Much like the Equinox he comes with two modes and seven different abilities, and also like the Equinox this doesn't make him very good.

Sevagoth's ghostly shadow is his main power, and if you get downed you can play as the ghost to try revive yourself by killing others (like Inaros in his coffin, but more mobile). Switching between the two forms without dying is one of the powers.

While in non-shadow Sevagoth can also plant seeds into enemies (eww), send his shadow out as a soul eating attack (and it hurts seeded enemies more), and create a zone that slows and life steals from nearby enemies - his most useful ability and one often subsumed into different frames.

In shadow mode you are limited to using Sevagoth's giant claws, so the powers are melee focused: bring enemies towards you, rush forward to slice through enemies, and wail to curse enemies to take more damage. Ultimately somewhat complicated to use but more importantly, not fun for me. Verdict: worm food.

Wednesday 12 October 2022

Oats, Tales + Robots

It's short story time with these three anthology series.

Oats Studios

Focused on disturbing stories, this one season compilation has some notable actors and a few stories that end with the viewer wanting more. Unfortunately most of them don't have this effect and are solidly in the "meh", or "is that it?" category. If you want to just cherry pick the best ones, I'd go with Firebase, God and Zygote.

Tales of the Walking Dead

The Walking Dead universe is no stranger to short stories and spin-offs, but these ones (season 1 only as of this writing) are quite decent budget wise and ok story wise, with a few taking a wildly different approach to the zombie apocalypse (and obviously "zombie show "actually means "drama about people"). Recommended to fans of the series but again if you are just cherry picking, the first two episodes are the best for me.

Love, Death + Robots

The most successful of these three which is now renewed for a fourth season, this creative and mostly sci-fi series (with additional ranges between comedy and horror) showcases some nice graphics and decent writing most of the time. There will be lots of episodes where you'll be wanting more... recommended!

Monday 10 October 2022

Warframe: Ash and Ember

Sounds like a great duo, but they are two completely different warframes!


This old school ninja was once readily available from... I don't recall where... but now you actually need to get out on your Railjack and do defense and survival runs out in the proxima regions of Venus, Neptune and Pluto for his parts. His passive that improves the bleed proc is one of the better ones on offer so melee is his domain, but his skills almost require their augment cards.

He has a lousy inbuilt shuriken, lesser invisibility compared to the other stealth frames, and a teleport to enemy but his final ability of "blade storm" is great. It lets him first "mark" enemies (each costing more energy, but less if you are in stealth) and using it again sends shadow clones out to do multiple finishers (true damage) on ALL marked enemies which is quite impressive and most useful in sortie style missions that force your weapon type to one you don't have ranked or forma-ed. With Ash, it doesn't matter because this ability can do the killing for you, from stealth!

That last point is the sole reason he remains in my stable, but for the vast majority of missions that let me bring my Steel Path conquering weapons, I still prefer to bring my Loki, who thanks to Archon shards now has the base stats of an Inaros Prime that regenerates health.


Collected from Sargas Ruk on Saturn (shoot his glowy bits when they are exposed) Ember is quite the pyromaniac, to the extent that she gets bonus defenses and power when she sets herself on fire (and she gets more power for each enemy on fire nearby)! The hotter your gauge the better it is, unless you've maxed it out in which case your energy is going to deplete rapidly. Outside of that, her other abilities almost sound like standard D&D magic spells of fireball (which encourages spamming), fire wall (radial knockdown with armor strip) and summon meteor comet. Everything will be on fire, and it will be good.

As long as her self immolation is running, Ember is somewhat protected but its a very slippery scale and one that accentuates her thirst for energy. The basic fireball in particular, which enjoys a combo bonus if you cast it in quick succession will drain you very fast so expect to run out of steam because the flip side is holding back, which doesn't sound like what a pyromaniac would do... :P

Sunday 9 October 2022

Warframe: On call Wolf, nothing Phorid

Due to the mass demand of detonite injectors, mutagen mass and fieldrons required to make lots of gear, I've found myself camping invasions as of late as they reward said items and the poor infested invasion boss Phorid just happens to be the easiest and fastest pinata to smash to get them. Even if you don't do any other invasion type, whenever this guy shows up do yourself a favor and whack him (3 times). It's very fast (you can even kill him on his entry cutscene) and you'll accumulate a lot of Nyx parts on the side.

I've also finally gotten my intrinsic leadership high enough to summon a railjack crew member in non-railjack missions! This summon only lasts for 3 minutes (or until death) and then has a 10 minute cool down but is pretty strong when armed with my Chernobyl tombfinger pistol.

We also experimented summoning the Wolf of Saturn Six boss who is crazily tanky (good thing I didn't try this solo), and found he has a chance to not drop any reward! Given it costs Nightwave credits to buy the consumable beacon to summon him, which is not always in the shop, that's kind of annoying. Still, the on call crew member is a good assistant against him. Against anything really, so definitely worth working towards!

Wednesday 5 October 2022

Neverwinter Online: The return of Rothe can Hell Pit

Dipped my toe back into Neverwinter Online recently as the Hell Pit event is back on and has been adjusted back to levels where I can actually participate (unlike Dragonslayer, but that's currently end game so it's fine for now), which is a good sign. It had previously become too costly to be worth doing (because some moron thought the enemies needed to scale for power creep) here's hoping more things are toned down back to fun levels.

I was also surprised to find Rothe Valley had made a return having previously been removed. What's new? Other than the extra dragon area being gone and two new heroic encounters which are pretty tough, it's actually exactly the same as before - right down to the campaign path. They are getting more foot traffic through it at the moment thanks to the "battle pass" going which give some currency from those aforementioned heroics, but once that's done what are they going to do? Close the area again? Yeah, probably.