Back from Vacation

My somewhat impromptu vacation turned into a bit of a communications blackout, it seems. This is what happens when I disrupt my routine. It was a much needed break, though. It gave me time to sort a couple of things out and provided some interesting perspectives.

Thanks to a kind soul on the Steam community boards, I managed to finish all the Borderlands 1 achievements. I guess I can check that off the list of things nobody should bother to do.

I found myself spending a great deal of time watching Twitch, which is a considerable change in behavior for me. I usually just use it to check out the odd potential purchase. It’s a very convenient source of actual gameplay footage. Instead I just kinda kept it open on the second monitor. Nothing overly exciting or interesting, Borderlands challenge runs and speed runs and the like, but it was a convenient source of background noise that didn’t demand a lot of attention.

I spent some time playing Borderlands 2. Doing things I never bothered with before like completing the second playthrough and all that. Not sure I’ll bother to 100% it though. Seems like an awful lot of work, but we’ll see.

I did discover that enabling the higher end PhysX settings, while graphically interesting, makes many of the established skips quite difficult or impossible. Many of them require getting on top of cloth pavilions. The advanced cloth physics make these, and sometimes their supports, non-collidable. I managed to make do with grenade jumps and the like a few times, but I assume most of the streamers I’ve seen have this on its lowest setting. I’m sure performance is a reason as well.

I also spent a fair amount of time trying to locate a GPU for my oldest child’s desktop. It continues to seem absurd to me that after a lifetime of steady price decreases for tech components, the various supply and demand pressures have reversed that trend. Motherboards I purchased for $75 years ago now go for double that, and I’ve been avoiding replacing my own GPU for much the same reason. It would appear I purchased mine right around five years ago, before things got quite so intense.

Still, my oldest was running with onboard video only, so it should be a very nice boost to performance.

I noticed a very strong presence of questionable and fake products as well. Usually easy pick out because they feature no visible branding. I’m sure that legitimate cards exist as well, but it’s one of the areas in which I’m more than willing to pay for a product with known branding. I really need to replace my own GPU as well, but not at the current market rates. It continues to amaze me that a GPU I paid $206 for five years ago is now selling new for over double that. It borders on the absurd.

Y’all take care. If you invent time travel, go buy bulk GPUs five years ago.

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