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Tycho / 3 days ago

The Division kicks ass. All of it. I would say, purely in the interest of bet-hedging, that the second game sorta failed on the narrative aspects up front but then began to deliver on the back as content continued to arrive. So, let's go back to the first part. It kicks ass.

You can say that you aren't interested in cargo pants as an incentive, but cargo pants are definitely not the game's marquee rewards. I got pretty cranked up off the highest level content the game had to offer, and pulling interesting traits out of gear to jam into another piece of gear made the loot chase valid and operational even when I was fresh to death, dressed to impress the rest because there was always an edge somewhere in the build I could sharpen.

Now, along with a roadmap that describes not just the future of The Division 2, The Division Mobile, a novel and a Netflix movie, there is also tucked in there something called The Division: Heartland. Set aside for the moment that The Heartland has concerns as a gameplay space. What is it?

We don't know yet, other than the fact that it's freemium, which… even by itself I don't hate. My usage pattern involved buying mad crates already when I was super into it, for a game I purchased at retail price! So, yeah. That would slot nicely. Plus, maybe if the game didn't cost anything, more people would have an opportunity to figure out how rad it is.

I think a lot of people are looking at the Call of Duty X: Annual Release slash Warzone model, and saying… I would like what they're having, which requires a level of development throughput most publishers can't match. Ubisoft can. Paul Tassi at Forbes (who I think is quite good just generally) is fantasizing about Heartland as an F2P imagining of The Division's old Survival mode, a brilliant take on the Battle Royale thing that is closer to Tarkov than the more traditional versions. It was ridiculously smart. I'd love this as a direction, especially if it's acting as a the free gateway to the core game and recognizes that I want to be a fan of both.

Shit! It's almost time for our Motorsport Manager stream! After a shocking First Place in this season's Test Track, the team was blown out of the water in the new single round Qualifying. I have no idea what these two pieces of strangely discordant information mean for today's race. Maybe you can tell us - it starts, essentially, now.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 5 days ago

Once he told me that he'd done actual online research into the nuance and mores of Gunpla - specifically around what gesticulations were required for entry into the sacred realm - I knew that's what the strip was about.

He doesn't have a lot of use for things like this generally. But when he takes up a hobby, and the hobbies he's taken to over The Longest Year are indistinguishable from kink, he is almost hyper-aware of the whorls and hidden chambers that stymie and defy the acolyte. iRacing and Gunpla - both of which have been rigorously catalogued on Twitch - are hobbies whose quadrants one may enhance almost in perpetuity. Technical, yet not without opportunities for expression, they're almost perfect hobbies for him. I had a Veritech model as a kid - not the clever Gunpla, glueless, satisfying snap kind but the very glue, novice ruins their model and doesn't return to the hobby for three decades kind. I think I would consider getting into it if I didn't find just watching him do it so satisfying. You may find this also. And now he has one of those document cameras that hooks up via HDMI so shit's crisp.

GOLGOLFA Returns today at 2pm PDT on the Twinch, we will have entire lineup in tow, and I can't stress enough that this is the first game where we will be weaned fully from Putt Preview - from witchcraft, and the hellborne elixir called Certainty. For a time, we consorted with fortune-tellers and haruspices because we were terrified of the unknown, and we clung to their prophecies as shipwrecked men might cling to a tile in the bobbing mosaic their vessel had become. Then, we used them, but only in a limited way - something with the dynamics of an Ult. We have now put away childish things. We play PGA Tour 2K1's Alternate Shot mode, a 2v2 mode that is essentially co-op golf, where you have to hit whatever your teammate gave you. It sometimes involves yelling. It's almost universally a good time.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 1 week ago

I would like to play Returnal! I think because I have been considering the ongoing plague, and also because I don't own any next generation systems, I guess I didn't know it was seventy dollars. Because of where I'm at as a person, I purchase and play roguelite deckbuilders almost exclusively, and everything else is probably played on Game Pass or free somewhere, so I hadn't really felt that yet.

Then again, who knows. Any time spent on the game's Reddit or Twitter will reveal players scourged by locks that range from soft, medium, and hard, grim prophecies about the use of cosmetics ("don't"), and other things. It hasn't broken my desire yet; I've feasted on streams, outsourcing these frustrations to others while I watch the roguelike bullet hell fireworks bloom and recede. I sort of love Housemarque; unapologetic arcade fetishism and particles dancing to form what can only be called drugs. I think I'd like the game to work, though. Maybe by the time a human being can find a PS5, such things will be a memory.

Now that the preparations are finished, the sacred oils applied, and the holy raiment of war donn'd, I can name the enemy: Gary Whitta, the one sages call Abaddon, chief of the demon locusts and sovereign of the bottomless pit. And always, always in tow: his plump cherub the Not-Smith, that unmaker of being, bobbing drunkenly in mid-air just behind. Well, no more: know that when the bell strikes at 2pm PDT this Wednesday, their reckoning will be upon them. We're also getting rid of what were called Witch Lines, the limited-use putting aids that helped ferry wayward balls to their waiting homes. In the exciting trailer version of this paragraph, this would be where we suggested that things had just gotten real.

(CW)TB out.

More Gunpla!

I love the early stages of a hobby when there is so much to learn. That’s the phase I’m in with Gunpla right now and I love it. I am watching tutorials and reading guides every day and it’s almost as satisfying as building the actual kits. I would be ashamed to say how much time I spend carefully posing and placing the little robots after I build them. I may not know all the shows and movies they are from but I know which ones look rad, and Goddamnit that’s enough for me. 

My Gunpla stream last Tuesday was a big success for two reasons which I will break down here:


  1. I had a lot of fun


  1. We had viewers. 


Honestly, even if the second had not been true the first would be enough for me to do it again. I was unsatisfied with the quality of the camera I used last week and did some research into something better suited for close up work. I ended up getting a little document camera that one reviewer said she used for her online cross stitch classes and her instructor was able to see even the smallest needlework! I’ll be testing it out tomorrow at 1:30PT over on the Twitch with a new Gunpla kit. I now have a stack of boxes here and so I let Twitter decide what we would be building on stream.

As of right now it looks like there is no real contest. The runaway winner is Gundam Aegis Knight.

Just like last week anyone who would like to follow along with the instructions can find them right here. This is actually super handy because last week someone in chat noticed I put a piece on upside down! 

See you tomorrow for chill beats and tiny plastic robots!

-Gabe out!

Tycho / 1 week ago

Kitboga is a kind of Reverse Scammer, whatever the latin is for Who Scams The Scammers, that Gabriel the Younger turned Gabriel the Elder onto. The novel bit - aside from the "characters" he takes on - is that he essentially has would-be thieves, brigands, and elder abusers connect to a virtual machine that has more or less been configured as a haunted labyrinth. Then it is up to scammers to engage in a truncated version of the Hero's Journey as they try and contend with its lessons, jukes, and intrigues. The Virtual Machine Part is very important. If you did this with just a Regular Machine you're gonna have problems.

"Taunting criminals, even remote ones, seems like a genuinely unsafe way to entertain yourself and others" is my first instinct. I feel like there's a point at which it becomes worthwhile to make it so you can't do things like this anymore…? I'm a pessimist at the best of times but the moment someone's money and pride are poured onto the calculation the outcomes become increasingly difficult to chart.

The most ridiculous, most profound sale we've ever had is on now, and you should go to this sale and put these wild claims to the test. New stuff and old, the Fresh and The Returned, plus mystery gambles on any broadly defined class of item we offer.

Motorsports Manager returns today on Friday's 2pm PDT stream, available wherever streams are sold (which is to say Twitch). The fourth season was a rough one for Gabir Motors - proud member of the Dragon Race Team China family - one that required they get their feet under them quickly as the junior member of the Asia Pacific Cup. Having gotten through by the skin of our teeth, it's not time to compound that early potential into a platform we can use to earn podiums in Year Two. Join us, won't you? These thrills are only a click away.

(CW)TB out.

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