In My Inconspicuous Absence

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Last week was Thanksgiving week here in the U.S., and I say “week” because I had the week off from work. With my schedule so disrupted, my blogging schedule suffered, which meant that you didn’t have to. Zing.

The thing about being at work is that I always want to be somewhere else. The thing about being somewhere else is that I find — more often than not — that I want to be somewhere else. Not back at work, of course, but having near unlimited free time and a massive back-catalog of games to play sounds like nirvana, no? Instead, I got a lot of indecision and restlessness.

“Now is the time, Self!” I had said to myself. “Fire up one of those games that takes forever to learn and even longer to play!” I installed Banished and played for a while and even managed to not kill my villagers. I tried Folk Tale which is a more story-driven town-builder, but the villagers were apparently suffering from the same malaise I was infected with and didn’t want to work. I then decided to go for the jugular by installing Europa Universalis IV and tackling the tutorials. I ran a few scenarios after that (with newly acquired DLC) and learned that the Native Americans had it hard by European economic standards, and that nations should be happy that I have absolutely no power over them whatsoever.

None of those titles really did it for me, but have no fear…the Autumn Steam Sale is here! I picked up the aforementioned DLC for EUIV, but also picked up a four pack of Rocket League for my friends and I. We’d played on the PS4 and enjoyed it, and I ran a few matches on the PC. My PUG team won the first match, but another early morning (EDT) match put our team against someone marked “semi-pro”, which meant an above-average defeat for our motor pool. In a somewhat similar vein, I was granted a beta key for Paladins, a Smite-esque MOBA from Hi-Rez. I ran a training mission of players vs AI, and while we won, it wasn’t easy to try and win and learn the game. I kept meaning to get back to that title over the week, but then Thanksgiving hit and the rest of the family was out of work/school, and obligations took over.

One thing I haven’t been doing is MMOing, which is not a conscious decision. I’ve been trying to keep up with Guild Wars 2 as the guild hall needs materials for further expansion, and the least I can do is do my best to contribute even if I’m not actively in there adventuring. I played a little with the family during the week; my daughter had been playing on the free account, but liked it so much she bought the expansion (which comes with the base game) herself. Right now, though, my main character is in a tough place in Auric Basin where it seems everything is Veteran or Champion, making movement pretty tough. My next story mission has me plowing through a camp of Mordrem, so the density of targets is pretty up-there, meaning I’m going to have to be in “A Mood” to tackle that. What I did do, however, is pick up my third copy of The Elder Scrolls Online, this time for the Xbox One (thanks to cash in the bank and a Gold Member sale). Logging into my account found my PC characters waiting for me, which was a surprise: I thought that was a perk reserved for those who had pre-ordered the game before the console launch. I continued with my main character, but opted to start over in order to re-learn the game. It’s been quite a while, so the repetition value was pretty low. I also opted to stream the gameplay on Twitch, but the first time I tried the game froze. The second time I tried the chat snapped to the right of the screen made the gameplay so small it was hard to see from the couch, and since no one was watching (or sticking around once they found out I was male), I opted to shut down the stream and just get on with it.

One thing I didn’t do which I know I should have was to work on Project Universe. My vacation was a total eclipse of anything resembling work: no programming, nothing that required forethought or planning. I do regret not having done something on this, though, as I had ample opportunity.

Now that I’m back at work on my normal schedule of four days a week for the rest of the year with the week of Christmas off, I suspect things will get more regular. I’m sure I’ll be uninstalling a few things that were installed in a fit of boredom last week, and I hope to get around to picking up other things that fell by the wayside. Of course, this is all planning on a Monday morning, so we’ll see where we end up on Friday evening. 

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