April 20, 2016

The 28 Year Old Rookie

By Daniel

Twice the last two weeks I’ve made the big rookie mistake of train-riding. I’m currently seated on the wrong side of the train, so I either get a delightful glare from the monitor or a face full of sun. By the time I realized (about five seconds) all the correct seats were already gone.

I ended up getting a reasonable amount accomplished today. Nutanix is one staged patch away from being ready, and we have a migration plan ready for tomorrow morning. I’m working on some of those carrots that are viable now, like a new backup target for some hosted web servers. Joining a Linux machine to an AD domain is easier than ever in CentOS 7, and I left off at a good point. Tomorrow I’ll have logons restricted to a security group and sudo restricted to a different one.

I spent my lunch break remoted home, organizing my storage, moving files around to more logical locations, cleaning up names with Filebot, and generally setting this new array up for success. I also downloaded some 250 games between Steam and Origin, and boy am I happy we’re not doing data caps on residential internet yet because that was about a terabyte of data right there.

I’m going to be really happy to have the system back in a usable state. This has been quite the homework project but it was a lot of fun, too. I’m happy I’m going to be able to game again tonight. I’ve got an odd juxtaposition of game styles I want to play. I want to keep playing FIFA 15, I’ve really been enjoying it. But I also want to play something very difficult like an XCOM or Dark Souls. The thing is, they are difficult through entirely different mechanisms. XCOM uses a lot of uncertainty in dice rolls and random enemy placement; the former keeps metagaming low and the latter keeps the game feeling fresh. It can be called out as “artificial difficulty,” but it’s also more adjustable. Dark Souls is “tough, but fair.” When you die in Dark Souls, it’s your own fault 95% of the time. You mistimed an attack, you overextended yourself, you failed to plan. I find myself less rage-prone with Dark Souls than XCOM. If XCOM doesn’t make you mutter “fucking bullshit” at least once or twice a session, it’s not living up to its ancestry. Most deaths in Dark Souls are learning experiences.

In the middle of those difficulty extremes is FTL. There is a little luck involved in terms of drops, missions, hit chance, and so on. But it’s also a game made much easier with a great plan. Honestly the Borderlands franchise can end up here too. There’s luck involved in most of the drops and critical chance, but understanding how to play your character, when to be defensive and when to blitz the enemy, is critical to advancing in True & Ultimate Vault Hunter Modes.

Maybe I’m wanting to play Rogue Legacy, or the new addition to my Steam library, Nuclear Throne. I think I’m just excited to be able to game again and everything sounds good.

I don’t understand why or how you still get the taste of coffee in a thermos after washing the shit out of it like five times, but it’s crap. I want water to taste like water. Maybe I’ll switch to decaf on the way home. If you can’t solve the problems, change the parameters, you know?