Witcher 3 Replay.

So I got back into playing the Witcher 3 after a long hiatus (about 2 weeks,) I thought I needed a break for a bit after playing it pretty hard-core on the first play through (just around 110 hours.) The break did me good and I got back into playing today, about to get into the witcher contracts and side missions for Velen, as well as treasure hunts to get the superior griffing gear. My approach this time is a more sign based build (with a focus on Igni and Yrden, with 3 points into Axii for the Conversation power) and a secondary focus on Alchemy. I’m also playing on blood and broken bones difficulty.

As of this post, I am about level 9 with Igni as my main damage dealer, I just crafted the first tier of Griffin school gear and I’m able to destroy any number of enemies. Compared to my fast attack cat school build from my first playthrough where I had a little difficulty against multiple opponents and ranged (also on a lower difficulty, Story and Sword), I am having zero problems with groups or ranged (and I’m playing on Blood and Broken Bones difficulty.) I only see it being even easier as I level and gear for better signs with either Griffin School gear or the DLC Wolf School Gear.

I’m going to try making a couple of different choices for a few quests and a few different approaches to completing others, of which I am aiming for the Ciri becoming a Witcheress ending with a few different outcomes for quests like the Baron and few others.

Also, Gwent. Since I know how to play effectively and where to get cards and who to play, I’m enjoying this even more than the first time around. Seriously, Gwent is probably the most fun I’ve had in a mini game since FF7 and FF8. So much better than dice poker from the previous witcher games.

I am eager to see the major patch that is supposed to be up next with improvements and more fixes for things but no solid confirmation on a storage chest or a New Game+ mode. Although, according to some tweets from CD Projekt NG+ mode may or may not happen at all. I’m hoping for extra things like more Gwent things like added cards or decks, more opponents for gwent and  better stakes than 10g per win. I am also hoping for more non gwent stuff but you know only if doesn’t take away from anything Gwent related. Did I mention how much I like Gwent?

Neil Gaiman’s Neverewhere.

I just finished the audiobook for Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere and l am pleased to say that not all authors who narrate their own novel for the audiobook are bad. Gaiman’s narration was pretty good, my only other experience with authors who narrate their own work for the audiobook version is Stephen King with The Wind through the Keyhole and parts of Hearts in Atlantis which I did not like that much and only tolerate as just passable. Gaiman did a fine job and I really enjoyed the story for Neverwhere, so much so that I put the Rogues anthology which contains a short story relating to Neverwhere, titled How the Marquis got his coat back, on my audible wishlist for future pick up.

Back on topic, I loved the story and the characters. I was completely drawn into the story and liked how well-developed the story was. I enjoyed the hidden world aspect a lot and the concept of baronies beneath London. Of all the characters, I liked the Marquis the most, he had that roguish ambiguity that I enjoy in a character in a story with a lot of depth.

Actually, Rogues also has a a couple more short stories I’m interested in addition to Gaiman’s How the Marquis got his coat back:

  1. Tough Times All Over by Joe Abercrombie
  2. The Lightning Tree by  Patrick Rothfuss
  3. The Rogue Prince, or, a King’s Brother by George R. R. Martin

The other reason I want to pick it up is because the other anthology I picked up, Dangerous Women, introduced me to Joe Abercrombie and Jim Butcher. Hopefully lightning will strike twice and I’ll have another couple of authors check out and possibly add more audiobooks to my audible wishlist.

The Laundry Files series by Charles Stross.

I got another cool series to check out, after just finishing Stross’ Halting State and Rule 34, I added his Laundry Files series to my Audible Wish List for future pick up. I listened to the Audio sample to check if it was really the same Gideon Emery that does the voice work for so many games and it was. After looking up his Wikipedia page, Emery has done a ton of voice work for games and a lot of narration for audiobooks, as well as having a multitude of movie/tv roles (including Daredevil on Netflix, very impressive.)

I enjoyed Halting State and Rule 34, so adding the Laundry Files series to my wish list for future pick up was a pretty easy decision to make.

So my plan for audiobooks for the foreseeable future is:

  1. Neil Gaiman’s American Gods
  2. Neil Gaiman’s Trigger Warning
  3. Neal Asher’s Owner Trilogy
  4. Benedict Jacka’s Alex Verus Series
  5. John Scalzi’s Lock In narrated by Amber Benson
  6. Charles Stross’ Laundry Files series

Which gives me a huge amount of choice as to what to listen to, I’m heavily leaning towards Urban Fantasy and Cyberpunk as my preferred genres because my first 1 and half years on audible was mainly focused on fantasy books like Joe Abercrombie’s First Law Trilogy and his stand alone books (Best Served Cold, The Heroes, and Red Country), George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. The Dark Tower is blend of genres from Fantasy, Science Fiction, Western, so it’s a little unfair to say it’s strictly fantasy but I’m using it to illustrate how much fantasy I was reading at the time (19 books in total, unintentional Dark Tower reference FUCK YEAH.) So roughly half my of my time using audible for audiobooks was spent listening to fantasy.

So if you are the curious type and are wondering all the different books series I’ve listened to, yes that’s right I prefer audio books now, here they are, in no particular order:

So about 60 novels in total, plus or minus 1, and this does not include Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere (which I’m liking a lot so far) and Andrzej Sapkowski’s Blood of Elves, because I haven’t listened to either completely yet. I am about 4 hours into Neverwhere now and haven’t listened to Blood of Elves yet.

Audible has been pretty good with content so far, with only a couple of series I wanted to read that were not available (JK Rowling’s Harry Potter, and until recently but still not a majority of the series Andrzej Sapkowski’s Witcher series.)

Sand dan Glokta quote from the Blade Itself

“Ahhh.” Glokta cracked a toothless smile. “Hot as the Maker’s forge, Barnam, just the way I like it.” The heat was getting into the leg now, and the pain was subsiding. Not gone. Never gone. But better. A lot better. Glokta began to feel almost as if he could face another day. You have to learn to love the small things in life, like a hot bath. You have to love the small things, when you’ve nothing else.

– Joe Abercrombie, The Blade Itself.

The Bloody-Nine quote from The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie.

Logen set his jaw and clenched his fists under the rotten shreds of blanket. He could go back to the ruins of the village by the sea, just one last time. He could charge down with a fighting roar in his throat, the way he had done at Carleon, when he’d lost a finger and won a reputation. He could put a few Shanka out of the world. Split them like he’d split Shama Heartless, shoulder to guts so his insides fell out. He could get vengeance for his father, his wife, his children, his friends. That would be a fitting end for the one they called the Bloody-Nine. To die killing. That might be a song worth the singing

– Joe Abercrombie, The Blade Itself.

Logen Ninefingers quote from The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie

You carry on. That’s what he’d always done. That’s the task that comes with surviving, whether you deserve to live or not. You remember the dead as best you can. You say some words for them. Then you carry on, and you hope for better.

Logen took in a long, cold breath, and blew it out. ‘Fare you well, my friends,’ he muttered. ‘Fare you well.’

Joe Abercrombie, The Blade Itself.