So I am a dumb-dumb.
I’ve been complaining for months now that I haven’t been able to get to any of the Witcher 3 DLC, because I started a New Game + and need to be at least level 60 in order to start the last episode, Hearts of Stone. And even though I’d downloaded the newest installment yesterday morning before leaving for work, it didn’t appear to be available when I started my NG+ save.
So I decided to back out, close out, and see about starting a New Game from scratch. And lo and behold, there’s an option to play just the DLC (as well as any non-main-storyline quests) as a level 32 character, with properly leveled equipment.
I could’ve been playing the DLC this whole time, in other words, except I didn’t realize it was an option. Or maybe I did, but ignored it (and then forgot about it), figuring I’d want to get there on my own via NG+ and such.
Unlike other RPGs where I’d find myself attached to my specific character build, Geralt is such a well-defined character in his own right that it seems completely unnecessary to bring my previous hundreds of hours along with him for a stand-alone adventure. I’m certainly not attached to any of my weaponry or armor, and I have to figure that the DLC content would drop new stuff soon enough anyway.
So, as I said before, I’m a dumb-dumb. I’ll be playing the Hearts of Stone and Blood & Wine DLCs now, and that’s pretty much all there is to it.
I don’t write about music nearly enough on this blog, and so I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out my current front-runner for Album of the Year: King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard’s ridiculously awesome “Nonagon Infinity”. One of their songs had shown up in my Spotify Discovery playlist a few weeks back and I’d thought it pretty good, and for whatever reason I decided to give the rest of the album a listen, and NOW I CAN’T STOP. Which is helpful, because the album is designed to be listened to on repeat – the last song leads directly into the opening seconds of the first song. The whole thing kicks a tremendous amount of ass and now I’m finding myself falling down a garage-rock-psychedelic-prog rabbit hole; I’ll be listening to this and Thee Oh Sees for the next month, at least.
I’m about 2/3rds of the way through Justin Cronin’s “The City of Mirrors”, aka the final installment in the Passage trilogy, and it’s… hmm. I’m enjoying it very much, though it’s paced a little too deliberately – there’s lots of short chapters with cliffhanger endings. I appreciate that he’s trying to build momentum and tension, but it feels a little artificial to me.
On the other hand, it’s very interesting to see earlier events from the previous books told through different points of view – my favorite sequence in the entire trilogy, Amy’s visit to the zoo (from the first book), is now seen through Amy’s own POV, which adds an illuminating layer of intrigue to an already spectacular set-piece. And there’s also a very long sequence detailing Subject Zero’s personal history, which contains some of the best pure writing in the whole series.
Obviously, if you’ve read the first two, you’re probably already reading this one. I’ll be looking forward to talking it over with people once I finish.