Dragon’s Dogma 2, videos, Fallout, an eclipse, and some other stuff.

The One With The Eclipse - April 2024 Part 1

1,525 words.

The One With The Eclipse - April 2024 Part 1

A day late because yesterday was tax day and of course, being me, a person who usually doesn’t know what day or month it is, with a particular blind spot for any kind of administrative task, I only do my taxes on or after tax day.


Syp said there was a Guild Wars 3 pseudo-announcment? If there was such a thing, I don’t see it being anything but a software refresh. Meaning: Probably the same game, just written in an improved game engine. They’ve been fairly steadfast in their vision for Guild Wars, so I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

Dragon’s Dogma 2

I got Dragon’s Dogma 2 on the PS5. It’s kind of fun, but to be honest, it’s such a carbon copy of the first game that it doesn’t feel very fresh. And unfortunately they seem to have copied all the old school mechanical bits that make older games less fun to play. I’m talking about inventory management here, of course, or what I like to call “moving little squares around a grid all day instead of actually playing a game.”

Still, Dragon’s Dogma 2 does maintain that weird and quirky vibe that the first game had, so it’s all good. It’s like playing an older MMORPG, before MMORPGs turned into factory-produced busy boxes. And, surprisingly, they kept the same covert slavery/codependency simulation system as before, too! What’s not to like?

However, I’m a bit sad that there aren’t any Pawn chatter preference settings in the new game, though. In the first game, I cranked it up to maximum so the Pawns were almost constantly talking. In Dragon’s Dogma 2, they don’t talk quite that much, but they still have a lot to say.

I was playing it so much on the PS5 that it was starting to hurt my thumb, so I got the Steam version. Then I found out that the mouse-and-keyboard controls for the PC version are fairly similar to the first game: Terrible. Surprisingly, CTRL-left mouse button is not a very good way to activate a weapon ability you want to use in a pinch, and of course they don’t allow remapping the CTRL modifier to anything more sensible (I wanted it to be V). It’s meant to be played with a controller and that’s that, says the developer secretly.

Anyway I’ve drifted away from it again over the last week.

Media Production

Dragon’s Dogma 2 is a terrible game for video production, since the gameplay is about 90% downtime, so don’t expect anything but clips from me.

I continue to record Badgerfriends mock DM sessions of Phandelver and Below, though at this point I’m about 99% certain that nothing will ever become of those videos. It’s just a learning exercise at this point, experimenting with different ways of managing combat encounters.

I slowed down considerably in the last week though because I’ve had a persistently annoying chest/throat thing lately that means every time I record it’s a long series of talk-mute-cough-unmute-talk-mute-cough-unmute operations. Some day I need to go see an ENT doctor about that.


Taskmaster Series 17 is ongoing. This time I’m just watching it on YouTube.

I keep watching the Viva La Dirt League Epic NPC D&D for some reason. I guess because it’s a good example of the kind of passive aggressive D&D that I never want to be involved with, and the kind of DM I never want to be around (or be). (The ones that are constantly talking about what clever thing they did for or to the players, or the ones that sound like they’re constantly on Reddit D&D forums debating minutia.) Still, sometimes it’s funny. But mostly it’s just noise in the background. And also I have a weird fascination with New Zealand culture lately.

Late-breaking update: I’ve been slagging off Critical Role lately but man episode 91 made up for the entire lackluster campaign 3 all in one go. It’s the first one I watched all the way through in quite a while. It’ll go down in Critical Role history as one of the ones everyone just knows the number, like C1E85.


I took a break from unscripted content to watch the Fallout series on Amazon. It wasn’t a disaster, but it also wasn’t a home run smash hit like The Last Of Us, either. There was a lot of tonal whiplash throughout. One minute it’s an absurdist comedy, the next minute it’s a horror, the next minute it’s a biting social commentary. The games had all that stuff, too, but it was consistent from one minute to the next, and you usually got to pick which one you wanted to engage with in each game session.

The show had the feel of a production where 50,000 people wanted to do 50,000 different things, but nobody was exactly in charge, and nobody really knew what they were doing. It smacked of being rewritten on the fly as they were filming, with lots of improvised scenes that didn’t quite fit but they didn’t have anything else to put in the edit. Characters started one way, then completely changed, and not in a “this is the character arc we planned” way but in a “holy crap this definitely isn’t working let’s change it” way. I actually wondered if the head-guy (a veteran actor) decided to quit the production after the first episode when he saw how chaotic it was, so they had to go with just his head for the rest of the series.

I got a bit weary of the vintage-music-played-over-slow-motion-action trick by the end. Felt like they didn’t have enough good action footage because of production problems so they had to do something to make up for it.

Anyway, it was adequate. “Good enough,” as most franchise productions are these days. It had the requisite number of “hey I remember that from the game!” moments that didn’t make any sense in the context of the show. It probably isn’t going to last.

I think a Fallout series would work much better as an anthology series, incidentally. Where each season follows different characters in different settings. You don’t really think of characters when you think of the Fallout game franchise, like you would with The Last Of Us. It’s more about the setting, and the different places in those settings.


It’s that time of year when I notice I have a bunch of Audible credits about to go to waste, so I have to get a bunch of random audiobooks I’ve never heard of, that I probably won’t ever listen to. Browsing the recommendations for audiobooks is quite depressing. There’s only two options: Something by someone mega-famous, or something by some rando indie LitRPG author who paid a narrator. The two look identical in the store, and they’re all mixed up together, right at the top of the pages. One is probably worth listening to, but the other, well, who knows? Luckily, a good narrator can still make terrible writing sound interesting.

World Context

I haven’t paid any attention to news and then I go to look for news and all I find is bad news.

  • Ecuador raided a Mexican embassy to capture political asylum-seeker Jorge Glas. Seems bad. The silver lining is that at least U.S. politics hasn’t collapsed to the point of raiding embassies yet.
  • A total solar eclipse occurred across the U.S. on April 8. After the one in 2017, which was closer to totality, it was the second one visible from Virginia in recent memory. (The only one before that was in 1970, and the next will be long after I’m dead.) Eclipse backlash mania swept the nation. (That is, everyone was talking about how sick they were of people talking about the eclipse, when in fact, I never saw anyone talking about the eclipse, only people reacting to people talking about the eclipse. Typical Internet meme behavior.)
  • Tensions between Israel and Iran rose dramatically after they traded military strikes.
  • Ongoing Trainwrecks of the Year: 2024 Presidential Election, War in Israel (since 10/2023), Nigerian Coup (since 7/2023), Sudanese Civil War (since 4/2023), War in Ukraine (since 2/2022).


Hey look, I added comments again, because it was easy and free. I don't recommend writing anything that you don't want to lose, because I don't know anything about the stability of this platform.