Monthly Archives: April 2014

Personal Stuff and a partial Mod Review [spoilers]

I’m feeling better, after two days of Augmentin. I didn’t even have to take any DayQuil today, and I can breathe! Now if I could just remember to take the stupid horse pill on time…

We had a bit of a windfall and I’m getting my Mother’s Day present early: a tablet with a keyboard and case. Yay! Now I can read my ebooks without squinting or having to turn the page every other second. (Yes, I really do read that fast. Yes, my eyes really are that bad.)

Ben is getting an adult tooth! Unfortunately, it’s coming in behind his baby teeth on the bottom, and he hasn’t lost any teeth yet, either. I have to admit it’s kind of freaking me out, because teeth freak me out in general. I wasn’t prepared last night when he came to me and asked, “What’s this thing behind my teeth?” and there was a couple millimeters of tooth sticking out! He has a dentist appointment next week, though, so we’ll talk to them about it. Ugh, though, the thought of it makes me shiver.

I’ve been playing Tales from the Burning Sands, and I think I’ve pretty much reached the end of the storyline. It is EXCELLENT, and involving, and HUGE. Tiger Manufacturing makes another appearance, although I’m not sure I’ll ever end up getting the second weapon, since I can only get it if I beat a text-based RPG, and so far, I’m not doing well at all.

The story, especially the first chapter, is really heartwrenching. On the technical side, Puce Moose has kept up his usual high standard of technical expertise, as well. And if you get stuck, he’s helpful and patient, although I can’t imagine how many times he’s answered the same question. At least in my case, though, it was just a matter of me not looking in the right places.

As a bonus, there are certain items to collect, and when you get all the Easter corn, you get to go into the Easter room! I haven’t managed it yet, although there was a very nice person on the forums who gave a list of cryptic clues that helped immensely. There are two that I can’t figure out, and then the one for the aforementioned text-based RPG, as well.

Overall, highly recommended.

The State of the Infection (Personal, mostly)

I have antibiotics, yay!! Especially since my sinus infection has been getting worse, according to the deepening shade of yellow when I blow my nose. I plan to sleep most of the day tomorrow to try to kick this thing, but we’ll see if I can. It depends on the temperature and whether or not I can breathe.

I played through most of Burning Sands today, and it’s great. I even took notes so I could remember everything I want to discuss. Hopefully I’ll finish it up tomorrow so I can write about it. I’d like to get the Fallout 3 mod I’m playing through done tomorrow, too, but I think a dialogue trigger didn’t get tripped, so I’m waiting to hear back about that before I write about that one. I added some more FNV mods today, too, so I’ll comment on those as well.

And now, it is bedtime.

Mod impressions in Fallout: New Vegas

Yes, mods for a game that’s not Fallout 3! I’ll be going back to discuss the current mod I’m playing in F3, but I wanted to talk about mods for F:NV.

First of all, I love mods. They make games new again, at least for me. That said, I will always play through a new game first without mods, unless it’s something like DSfix for Dark Souls, something that fixes something broken in the game. But since I usually get games months to years after they’re released, my games don’t usually start out broken. (I think I have a fairly flexible definition of “broken”, though.) Anyway, my point is, I love mods for replays, especially when they’re done well and really add to the game.

I want to talk here about two mods in particular: NVInteriors and Tales from the Burning Sands. NVInteriors adds interiors to buildings that were boarded up or looked like they should have been accessible but weren’t. It’s actually a fairly large project, with multiple people contributing, and the files I got have 24 new explorable buildings, plus a “find all the things” quest that’s kind of cute. It’s really awesome to wander around and find something that wasn’t there before.

Tales from the Burning Sands, however… well. Puce Moose has relocated from D.C. to the Mojave, and he brought his unique brand of quest mod with him! Seriously, this is a really good mod. The story for the first chapter really touched my heart, and the second chapter looks like it’s going to be nice and creepy. Gene-spliced animals, anyone? Plus there are quite a few “find the things” bits thrown in for fun.

On a personal note, as soon as Mar gets paid, I’m getting antibiotics for this sinus infection. UGH.

Personal stuff, probably boring. Now with links and icons!

A couple weeks ago I felt like utter crap, but I thought I’d kicked that cold, and that the congestion I’m currently experiencing was just allergies. The tree pollen is just insane. But when I blow my nose, it’s yellow, and nothing I do reduces the amount of congestion I have. It’s like someone poured wet concrete in my sinuses, even with allergy meds. It’s miserable. I’ve spent most of the day either poking at a Fallout 3 mod that isn’t working right, or reading the Dresden Files on my phone.

On the other hand, Mar is making dump cake (with many thanks to Heather for the recipe!), and we’re watching Loading Time, which is behind the scenes of making Loading Ready Run videos. I can pretty much say that their sketch comedy is our favorite; Ben’s been watching EVERYTHING IS FINE off and on all day. I highly recommend checking out any of those videos if you like funny things or food. I might go through and pick out some of my favorites sometime. Comment if that’s interesting; I’m not promising anything either way, but comments would be awesome.

Oh, and while I’m at it, have some more icons, or icon-ish type things.

look at the ash nightmare fuel pasteurized tobacco pointing fingers smoking football penguin surprised you're such an idiot

Mothership Zeta Crew [spoilers]

Mothership Zeta Crew: I installed this one on recommendation from RaffTheSweetling, and it is really good. It’s a pretty big mod, and game-changing, because you end up commanding an entire faction, comparable to the Brotherhood of Steel or the Enclave. It starts when you stumble across a group of people who are wearing Enclave uniforms, but they’re not attacking you. Ok, so let’s talk. Continue reading Mothership Zeta Crew [spoilers]

The Librarian and Nightmare Realm (also Mothership Zeta Crew) [spoilers]

I played through two fairly short but very well-done mods this evening (and didn’t get nearly as much laundry done as I wanted to… oops?). I’m working on a third, but it seems to be stuck, so I’m trying to figure out how to fix it.

The Librarian is an enjoyable story that takes you literally off the map; it’s waaaay down in the lower right-hand corner of the world map, and during the bulk of the story, you’re not even on Earth. It starts off typically enough, with a man wanting his daughter back after she ran off, but then things get interesting when you go to a new location and realize it’s aliens shooting at you. Turns out the daughter has been infected with an alien virus, and if you don’t get the cure, she can’t come back to Earth. I think it’s implied that the virus turns people into Deathclaws, but I could be interpreting that wrong. Anyway, you go to a space station, then to the Pleiades system, to get the antidote, and you end up with a new follower.

There’s also a plugin for the mod to make the East River Market more populated, and I knew I was going to download it when the author described it this way: “The aim of this plugin is to change the East River Market into an all out bazaar. Something between the London Underground of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, and the marketplace from Hellboy II is the tone I am going for, perhaps with varying levels of subtlety (and success).” He had me at Neverwhere, one of my favorite books. It really is quite a nice plugin, and there are several more that I plan to try out once I can get this other thing sorted.

I also played through most of Nightmare Realm, although I apparently missed a whole bunch at the beginning… well, sort of the beginning. It starts out in kind of the middle of nowhere, with some remaining Chinese soldiers, and then you get captured by a Mad Scientist (he has no other name, but really, that’s what he is) and he experiments on you. The parts I missed were when he first gasses you, with the help of his very own Igor, and you “wake up” on a deserted island, in the dark, in a rainstorm. Apparently you’re supposed to search the island very thoroughly, which seems like kind of an unfair supposition, since you’re only armed after you head toward the house. But anyway, there’s a whole bunch of content I missed, including something to do with the TARDIS, so I’ll probably uninstall, then reinstall so I can play that part. The rest of it lived up to its name fairly well; there were the requisite ghosts, which I figured out are more easily taken care of if you just punch them than use any kind of weapon, random creepy noises, two serial killers, hallucinations, a brain in a jar, and a Deathclaw. Eventually you get to kill the Mad Scientist, as well. The whole thing was very atmospheric and very well-done.

Right now I’m working on Mothership Zeta Crew, or MZC, since that’s easier to type. I got as far as the big teleporter changing my gender, and now it’s supposed to operate again and change me back, but I can’t get it to operate, so I’m currently stuck being male… [EDIT] User error again. I didn’t notice that I had to activate the teleporter. To be fair, I didn’t have to activate it the first time, so I didn’t think I had to activate it the second time.

Oh, and side note: If a package comes to you and it was obviously misaddressed, since it has your neighbor’s name on it? DON’T KEEP IT. Don’t open it, either. Ugh, some people are jackasses.

Running and Other Stuff

I went running today. I didn’t get quite as much distance as last time, but it was still over 2 miles. I’m happy with the run, though, because a. I did that even though I forgot to bring water, b. I managed even though my right hip was bothering me, and c. I ran for a full 8 minutes at the end. I wish that I’d been able to keep up with the training as it was meant to be done, every other day or so, but life intervenes, so I just keep going the best I can. I think I’ll still be ready for the Color Run in June regardless.

Mar went with me, but he managed about 2 miles, maybe a little less, because he ate breakfast before we went. Plus he ran fast. He could have walked and kept up with me running. (Yes, I have that slow of a pace. No, I’m not embarrassed. I’m out there doing it, which is better than not.)

Ben didn’t do so well behavior-wise in school today, but it seems like he’s not the only one. We got a letter from the teacher saying that so many kids are talking instead of listening when she’s trying to teach that anyone getting yellow or red is going to have to write sentences. (They have a behavior system based on stop lights. Green = good, yellow = trouble, red = not behaving. There’s also purple, which is above green, and means that the kiddo went above and beyond that day. He’s gotten more than a few of those.) I suspect spring has something to do with the behavior issues, though!

It looks like the rest of day will be experienced in 15 minute chunks as I do laundry. After some cookies and milk, though.

Our Easter and Star Wars Stuff

We didn’t do much for Easter. We don’t really celebrate, and Ben isn’t allowed to have candy, so he got a bag full of stuff like bubbles, chalk, a new water bottle, new markers, and a calculator. We mostly hung out, and we watched the first two Star Wars (Original Trilogy).

Ben was quite taken with them. We finished the third one tonight, and as soon as we dig out the prequels, we’ll watch those with him. It’s funny to think that if Star Wars hadn’t existed, neither would Ben.

We’ll probably be building him a lightsaber hilt soonish, and maybe replacements for ourselves. We had hilts for a while, but they got lost in one of our moves. So I guess it’s time to start brainstorming design ideas and compiling parts lists. I used to be pretty good at rotoscoping, too, so we might have some interesting pictures at some point if I can get Photoshop back. I recently got a new computer with Win8.1, so I don’t know what programs work and work well. I’ll have to do some research.

Underground City and the Heaven series

I played through most of Underground City, and it was good. Very atmospheric,  very creepy, and varied locations. It’s also HUGE. I got stuck at the end and had to run back the way I came, and holy CRAP, it probably took me ten or fifteen minutes to get back to the surface. I don’t remember exactly what I got stuck on or I’d talk about that, but it was frustrating. There is a very cool weapon in it, by the way.

I also started the Heaven series with A Quest For Heaven. This was also good and atmospheric, and it’s very puzzle-heavy, with keys and passwords and whatnot. I did figure everything out and get most of the way through the mod… but now when I try to save, the game crashes. I like the weapon, but I want to find out what happens!

I’ve had several mods recommended to me, including Mothership Zeta Crew and Nightmare Realm. As soon as I can get my game to work, I’ll see why they were recommended. Definitely looking forward to that.

Oh, and I’ve been playing Fallout: New Vegas more since I can’t get Fallout 3 to work right. Haven’t gotten to any of the DLC yet, as I just hit level 4, so I also haven’t gotten to any mods yet, but when I do, I’ll report on those, too.

More about Heritage Home, and Real Life.

I just found some areas I’d missed in Heritage Home, and I am very impressed with this mod. I thought I’d gotten to the end of the mod and that was it, but there are still two (possibly three) flamingos to find, and some mixtapes, and obviously I need to go through all the areas I’ve been in with a fine-toothed comb to make sure I didn’t miss anything else! As I told the author, this is going to be the mod I measure all other mods against. I’ve been fortunate in the mods I’ve installed so far, and I’m looking forward to Heritage Home: Part 2.

I’m still sick, but we had to get Ben’s feet measured for his orthotics today, so we did. It didn’t take long, and afterward we went to Denny’s for gaming night. (I’m a cat chick who answers to the name of Catnip. Not her real name, but it works for now. Mar’s a drow. It’s an interesting campaign setting.) It was fun, although I’m not sure I was braining enough (or able to hear enough) due to this cold to contribute very much. I actually in-game got beaned in the forehead with my own weapon at one point. We had to leave when Ben got squirrely… well, more so than usual. And now I’m about  to take some off-brand NyQuil and go to bed. Tomorrow we have a birthday party to go to, and we haven’t gotten a present yet. Maybe when I wake up things will make more sense….