Thursday, October 31, 2013

A New Daily Rotation

I've established a solid routine over the last few weeks of Spelunky daily challenges (and sometimes normal Spelunky runs). I continue to get better at the game bit by bit, and my average score and leaderboard position are still climbing bit by bit, but if I don't really focus on delving further and gaining more experience, I'll never be able to finish the game or approach the highest ranks of players on the leaderboard. So, I need to practice more during my daily sessions.

I've also gotten really into Hearthstone, and into doing the daily challenges it gives, which usually mean playing 3 to 5 matches to accomplish whatever quest they dole out. This game is just a lot of fun, and you win enough gold quickly enough to make your next turn in the arena, and your next chance at bragging rights and fabulous card-related prizes perpetually just around the corner. I am still in the process of playing long enough with every character to unlock all of the cards in the basic set. Once I'm done with that, I guess I'll pick one or two to build decks around and set about the business of disenchanting and crafting to build out my card collection to feed those. CCGs!

I am still playing Dragon Age II, but it's been a few days since I jumped in. I've been busy in the evenings to the point where I don't have much more time and energy than it takes to play some Spelunky and Hearthstone. I am still at an early stage of the game, trying to earn a total of 50 gold so I can buy Hawke and crew's way onto an treasure-hunting expedition into the dwarven "Deep Roads."  I now have Merril, Fenris, Varric, Aveline, and Bethany in my circle of adventurer friends.

I had a hankering to play some Battlefield yesterday, so I re-installed BF3 last night, and spent as much or more time futzing around with Punkbuster as actually in game. Punkbuster sucks; I can't believe modern releases are still using that trash. BF3 requires Origin--why can't EA come up with a better anti-cheat solution? I almost decided to go back and play more Bad Company 2, instead, but that's neither here nor there. It's a bummer not having access to around half of the maps in BF3, and EA is still charging $30 for Battlefield Premium to complete the set, even though BF4 is out, now. Legacy product support--EA is the absolute worst about this kind of thing. I still can't believe the hoops required to be jumped through for DLC for Mass Effect 2. Ridiculous.

On the reading front, I recently finished the Horus Heresy novel Mechanicum, and after queueing up my next 4 books on that series, I actually started two new books. The first is a non-fiction book about the ninja in Japanese history, and the second is Red Storm Rising, the only Tom Clancy novel I have not read. I thought I would check it out since I've owned it for ages and ages, and the man recently died. I'm not very far in just yet, but it already seems like a real page-turner, like I remember most of his others being. Those were a lot of fun, if a little jingoistic. I'm not sure how well they would hold up to the scrutiny of recent political and intelligence-related revelations, but hey, they were from a differenet era. The one Clancy book I read and that he wrote in a post 9/11 world was not really what he had become known for, as well. Those Jack Ryan books, and Red Storm Rising, certainly--being a tale of the Cold War going hot--are products of their time.

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