Last month's journeys
were followed by an early March trip out to the east coast, so suffice it to say I've been happy to spend some time in the man cave
I manage to punctuate the trip by flinging my Nexus 6 under Jessica's car
while shuffling my things getting out of the Lyft. Goodnight sweet prince. Really, it's done pretty well for a phone I started using in 2015.
I had a pretty good cadence of PC uploads, so there wasn't much to do before kicking off a factory reset. The one leftover thing was to pull SMSes. This wasn't particularly straightforward since the data is in /data/... which is System read only (phone wasn't rooted). It's been a bit since I did serious adb-ing, but painfully the answer simply seemed to be to install an SMS backup app that would export the data to a readable directory.
Naturally, the app wanted to sign in to gdrive and probably upload my stuff to their site. Hopefully doing the process offline, removing the app, and then factory resetting the phone prevented this.
Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G
Since pretty much always, my favorite lens has been the 50mm f/1.8
. It's compact, fast, and handles low light very well. Because of this, I've always had an eye on the f/1.4. Now I have it.
I haven't played around with it much, but there are a few photo events coming up. Just taking it around the yard to see how it handles (Kafka
was curled up in some low light), I have a few brief takeaways:
- 1.4 is a pretty wide aperture. Okay yeah no surprise there.
- Minimum focus distance feels farther away. The lens says they both go to 0.45, so maybe I'm just crazy.
- Focus feels smoother, but slower. The 1.8 was jerky but quick, this one seems to drive to the focus plane with less theatrics, and maybe that's why it doesn't feel as fast.
Far Cry finale
J and I got to the end of FC5. The last bit was about what you'd expect: a somewhat difficult mission where none of the gear you've collected particularly helps. The story ending, however, was pretty interesting
. I won't ruin it, but I like that they went for a bit of controversy.
We did stop in to Far Cry Arcade
- their name for the mode where you play community-generated maps. I always liked
the map editor/publishing feature of Far Cry and feel that maybe we didn't play this quite enough. But we did very much enjoy the top rated stuff, the western-theme scenario pictured above and the Last of Us
As we've done for some years now
, J and I played a bit of Warframe between main games. It works out pretty well considering the pretty constant development that the game undergoes.
We've actually only once stopped by Fortuna - the new area/open world that's introduced by a characteristically weird video.
I finally finished the Octavia storyline
. The finale was clever but rather frustrating. Jumping puzzles are fair game in Warframe, but can still be rather painful.
And beyond that, there are riven mods to unveil and Mirage Primes to (at last) build. The Wolf of Saturn Six event has been a great way to pull down nitain extract and I'm hoping to unlock gear slots before it finishes. Also new to us is Arbitration missions: high level alerts with 300% bonuses to random gear. It's pretty neat for people that have been collecting items and frames for a few years now.
The lolbaters and even J and I played a little bit of Apex Legends
. It has a lot going for it, but it didn't really catch on. I must say though, if I never again play a game with hero selection I will be a happy man.
To play it on PS4, however, I needed to ask EA to unban my account. Seems when I had bought Andromeda
for PC and then, due to a compatibility issue, requested an immediate refund that was never fulfilled my chargeback meant I was blacklisted.
To their credit, EA quickly unlocked my account and told me not to do chargebacks any more. I could have sent them the case I sent Discover with screenshots of the unanswered support cases, but decided it wasn't worth my time.
So J and I are maining Vermintide II.
As many real reviews will probably quickly say, it's L4D2 with swords
. Like, pretty identical: 4up squads, swarms of baddies, surges, specials (duplicates of hunters and smokers and tanks). And it's a very good formula to start with...
... because they add character classes, items, crafting, specials, and a host of other mechanics that tend to work in any game. Also it has the typical well-thought-out but unapproachable fantasy storyline.
So you end up with a product that is quite enjoyable but not a revelation
. One place they really could have put some work is the graphics. The level design and variety is simply not done justice by the low poly counts and flat lighting.
On the lolbaters side, we're giving Payday 2
Squad co-op with lots of content and progression makes the game very promising. The stealth and cerebral elements may be... challenging for us, and it doesn't help that the briefings tend to be fairly vague.
The game feels like something of a sandbox, so I'm expecting really cool mission design. My only criticism is that instead of sending a few competent enemies at you, they send swarms of really dumb ones. It feels like L4D2 but instead of zombies who you'd expect to run at you or not be aware that you're standing right behind them, you have SWAT pouring in and using the dumbest of AI rules.
Due to travel obligations all around, The Unnatural Ones have made slow progress on the Gloomhaven campaign. I did manage to finish the quartermaster (Marcus Kinkaide) solo in my first try. The infinite-range utility belt looks rather useful
is back to his old self after a protracted period of convalescence.