... but of course plenty of it comes naturally. We really aren't very good, but we make not being very good look good.
We're still gunning for that full-squad chicken dinner. Previously we'd managed a few with just our resident semi-pro still alive. But in one weekend it all seemed to click and we won on both Erangel and Sanhok with only a single casualty. Erangel (above) wasn't too action-packed, but had some lulz and validated both the obscure Ferry Pier drop and the boat strategy. Really this one was about making the right decisions and having kshot land a few important AK rounds.
The Sanhok win was more fulfilling. It had four gun battles and saw substantive contributions from everyone. Here, too, I think we got our movement right from drop to the final circle.
During the Password is Taco draft Glen determined my strategy is akin to the baseball stat WAR (wins above replacement). It adds an unintended pun to d'ogs of war.
Nothing too crazy in Passwrod is Taco. I'm going a bit heavy on Raiders, but expect Jordy/Martin to boom or bust pretty early. Matt Ryan was a late pick and I'm hoping Zuerlein validates the WAR strat.
In Medieval Gridiron I kept Deshaun and went running back-heavy with Fournette and the now-#2 Royce Freeman. I didn't hedge too much and again grabbed Legatron, an early defense, and some players that may benefit from Gruden genius or garbage time.
J and I finished up Alienation. It was a solid downloadable-type title. The endgame is extreme difficulty and pvp, but we're instead going to have a go at Divinity: Original Sin.
God of War
Online gaming has definitely cut into my God of War time. I'm occasionally getting sessions in an have seen some pretty cool things like a world serpent and a blue dwarf's shop.
Heroes of the Aturi Cluster
The Brogue Squadron - now called Space Force - is quite a few missions deep into the campaign. We've gotten quite a bit better at maneuvering and drawing enemies where we want them. We refined our builds as well:
T-70 X-Wing Tank
Shield upgrade x2 for a total of 7 hp
Shield regen on green maneuvers for endless tanking
The ability to draw enemy fire once per round
A free evade action after taking damage
Any players attack on a ship in arc changes a hit to a critical
Double turret: two shots for max one damage each
Double focus and the ability to keep it between rounds
Gives focus to a range 1-2 ally after using it
Can take an ion token to recharge its one shield
A is for action A-Wing
Free boost or barrel roll with a focus action
Attacking from outside an enemy's arc reduces its agility
Double munitions: cruise missiles, harpoons, or assault missiles
The ability to take a second action in exchange for stress
Optionally attack at three to defend at two
A crewman who adds a bomb slot and lets you assign one additional damage when a bomb detonates.
Plasma bombs: AOE explosion that bypasses shields
A bomb launcher that gives the option of 1-backward or 5-forward
Torpedoes, as usual
The campaign is no cakewalk. We tried the final mission in the TIE Phantom arc and, well, lost. We also lost our B-Wing pilot so Mark had to start a new character.
Well there was a brief train trip up to Good Beer Co in Santa Ana.
J and I finished up our Destiny 2 run. It was a longer ride than the first installment, but we didn't see a whole lot going on the endgame that would warrant much replay.
We got a little taste of Borderlands-style farming. The Relics of the Golden Age quest simply wasn't going to complete itself through casual play.
We had some fun battles, but the best memories of the game are the environments:
On to Alienation. J read that it was a cross between Borderlands and Helldivers, with maybe more emphasis on the latter.
The combat is very much like Helldivers - dual stick/third person with various weapons and specials. Maybe if we moved directly to this game from Helldivers it would be a little stale, but instead it was nice to have the muscle memory to play reasonably well (once I remapped the buttons).
Randomly generated maps in Helldivers is a cool feature, but Alienation's pre-cooked worlds probably allowed more latitude in level/mission design. They are pretty.
A bit more depth in classes, weapons, and side quests.
No vehicles (so far, but probably at all), not counting the evac helo.
The baddies don't feel quite as iconic as the ones in Helldivers, where each non-squishy enemy had distinct composition and behavior.
God of War 2
I finally cracked one of my bday presents, God of War 2. Naturally, I'm a bit late to the party.
I'm still figuring combat out. There are lots of moves, attacks, and blocks, but it feels like strong smash works best most of the time. I'm hoping a more nuanced approach than button mashing will be the dominant strategy.
In some ways it feels like The Last of Us, but with bros. This is somewhat unfair because the gameplay is pretty different and it's not really derivative, if anything the resemblance gives GoW a lot to live up to. The voice acting and storytelling are very good, I was worried that Kratos would be one dimensional and maybe I still am a little.
Weeknight pubg sessions are still going. I finally put together a gameplay summary for the uninitiated:
We've moved on from cold drops and late deaths to hitting the edge of the hot landing areas and getting, uh, mixed results.
E.g. on Sanhok we like the back section of Ha Tinh. Most people drop in the warehouses and if they come over to the Sirichai shop, we're pretty proficient with the zero-skill-required auto shotty.
Pubg video editing
One fine evening a pubger named Kenny Powers dropped out of the blue and had me interested in the video replay utility.
The game stores replay data as geometry to be recreated in-engine. From what I read online, this means the only way to create video is to use the replay viewer and have your graphics card (Nvidia Shadowplay) record what you're seeing. This isn't the best, for a couple reasons:
You can't have any menus up because it takes direct screengrabs.
The "Now recording" graphic is recorded, so everything needs editing later.
Your cursor is recorded so it better be on the edge.
Sound/mic need to be set up correctly.
So basically this leaves a process of putting together a bunch of clips using Shadowplay for later editing. Of course, the benefit of the save format is that you can move and pan and hop between players using their clunky interface.