The Duc needs a new clutch, a valve adjustment, and maybe some troubleshooting of the cutch hydraulics. Between that, 50k+ miles, and having my eye on the ebike scene since I first saw them at Laguna, it seemed like a good time to go for it.
Most of my time is spent within a five-mile radius that gets pretty darned gridlocked, so an electric bike makes quite a bit more sense than even what has proven to be a very reliable Italian machine. I haven't settled on Adrea's fate, but keeping her as a fun/project bike is a lot easier with a commuter on hand.
Check out that heat sink. Fit and finish seems good. They're designed in Santa Cruz, I'm not sure where they're built, but it's nice to buy local. The other player in the game, Brammo out of Oregon, was apparently bought by Polaris and then EOLed. The major Japanese manufacturers have teased prototypes for years, but remarkably nothing has hit market. Maybe the market says electric is unnecessary when you get 40+ mpg with Corvette performance.
I've always been leery of batteries. They're finicky and they wear out. I'm resting some hope in the fact that Zero has been doing this for the better part of a decade and that they provide a five year warranty.
The Zero feels a lot different from the Duc - but maybe not as much as Ty's Trimph or Rob's CB350. The torque is familiar, but the riding style is way more upright. At 313 lb, she's pretty nimble. I went with the smallest battery since it'll get me to Carlsbad and back, which is about as far into north county as I dare go anyway.
89 miles city, 45 miles at 70 mph
91 mph top speed
$0.81 to recharge, thanks employer
4.7 hours to 95% recharge
Belt drive, we'll see how that goes. The rear tire isn't especially wide - again, it's more of a practical machine.
I kind of miss shifting, but not as much as I thought I would. Not sure what to do with my left hand/foot, maybe some sort of cell phone interface?
I won't say she's the prettiest thing around, even for the streetfighter form factor. Exhibit a:
Hopefully there are some aftermarket parts available. I'd love to do some carbon to tone down that silver. Definitely going to see about fitting on a bar-end mirror and getting rid of the license plate holding monstrosity.
I was sick for a couple days recently. Whilst sucking down dayquil I pulled Rebel Galaxy out of the PS+ library. I had finished Persona 5, but wasn't in a place to take on Metal Gear or Uncharted.
The closest thing to it is Sid Meier's Pirates. You progress a career of ship's captain, upgrading craft and completing quests in a vibrant and lawless world.
The combat is actually quite similar as well. Your primary attack is a broadside, so tactics involve maneuvering your ship to unleash hell. There's no wind, but there's plenty to maneuver around.
The player is confined to a 2d plane, and while other craft are not, the game autoaims on the z-axis (like Doom). This is actually quite slick, handling 3d space would be difficult.
So you have your broadside weapons and then a bunch of turrets that primarily fire via AI. There are ones that specialize in shield/hull penetration or capital ship or fighters. Likewise, you have four quadrants with a shield and hull layer which you have to manage while lining up your shots. You also have a deflector which gives you temporary invincibility - this can help you get out of a jam and adds a skill/timing element to predicting hits.
Enemies have identical mechanics, and you can see their status in their target info.
The combat system is pretty strong. It doesn't progress too much and therefore feels a bit stale after 15 hours of playtime, but getting new mods keeps things interesting. The music rocks in a very Warp Riders way, unfortunately there aren't many tracks.
Each system has a diameter of a few minutes at warp speed, each of these have a gate to the rest of the sector. There isn't much to differentiate the systems, just enemy level and layout.
Stuff costs money. Lots of money. So in addition to completing combat quests, you can haul cargo around the sector and try to capitalize on trade rates. So what happens when you are in a system that is higher level than you but you really want to make a delivery? Blockade run:
So aside from a host of different offensive and defensive upgrade types (that unfortunately just scale I, II, III...), there are quite a few ships available for purchase.
There are a bunch of features that seemed like they had huge sections of //TBD. The merchant and mercenary guilds will take your money and give you access to a few special ships, but their interactions are limited to that.
Similarly, the unarmed transport you're shaking down or the pirate captain will let you hail them, but it's just a brief exchange of words that goes nowhere.
Conversations aside, the denizens of the rebel galaxy aren't always hostile. There are neutral traders, friendly militias, and groups that will be friendly or hostile depending on your affiliations or cargo. That's fairly refreshing. You can also find seige fleets and peace delegations - which hint at some sort of overarching political environment - but I never saw it manifest in way beyond this.
The pyrotechnics are pretty top-notch though.
The story is basically filler added to a cool sandbox world. You look for your aunt, she has an ancient alien artifact, it helps you defeat a hostile alien race. Bleh. It's too bad this game probably had little funding and a small team because they did a pretty good job with it. But if their sandbox was developed a bit it would totally graduate from PS+ free dlc status.
If nothing else, this makes me really want to play Star Citizen.
Planes of Eidolon
The big Warframe update dropped - an open world area and tons of gear to go with it. It's great to get out of the narrow confines of their classic play mode - especially given my affinity for the Kulstar.
Open roam is cool, but it seems much like the classic gameplay - play variety comes from warframes and equipment rather than missions. There is fishing though:
I did get a few hours into Uncharted 4 though. Seems like a pretty standard AAA title - over the shoulder shooting, parkour, vehicles.
The writing does stand out. I'm optimistic about the story line and being able to run through it with a high degree of casualness.
Back on the MTG scene, Corey and I each got a box of Iconic Masters. He held a ghost draft and got some pretty amazing stuff, including Mana Drain and a foil Archangel of Thune. The latter is what I opened first, so I built my draft deck around it.
In my first set I won, lost, and then had to draw on turns with Martin. He had a bunch of big stuff out, I had even more small stuff out, we'd both stalled for card draw. I went on to beat James in two games. He had some mana screw, I had some mana flood, but the renown and lifelink were too much. Lastly, I did some Trepanation Blade damage to Corey - enough so that he was almost milled out - then he sideboarded some counterspells into his deck and took the next two.