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Flawless Raider, Part 2 : 07/28/17
howdy friends!

 

in the time since the last post a lot has happened. I went to Washington, then the San Diego Comic Con, and the Destiny 2 Beta was live. It was pretty cool to peak around the world and kick the tires of the new game. I’m looking forward to more adventures fighting back evil space monsters with my friends soon.

 

in the meantime, let me get into the finale of my “Flawless Raider” quest. last time I wrote about how this was the one achievement I was missing… and how the task was going to be hard. in fact, I was going to need to train. and train I did!

 

beating the Raid the first time took me hours of game time… spread out over two separate days. but I did it. even though I died a LOT, it still felt like quite an accomplishment to finish a 6 person activity by myself. now I just had to do it again… without dying once. *gulp*

 

I’m breaking this down in a day by day recounting of it.

 

DAY 3
cleared the Abyss first try. this part was kind funny. the Thrall have no idea I’m chilling all invisible status right in between them.

 

I was able to make the Bridge jump on the second try – as soon as I make jump, I’m good. it’s just the darn jump!
Shriekers, struggled on this. grr. took me three tries.

 

Ir Yût, – had a couple of missteps. was taking two shots on shriekers. wasn’t on Sarcophogus right. Eventually got it.
this time Crota was much quicker. my technique was fine, just execution was off.

actually my technique wasn’t good either… as I would later realized. the main issue is I wasn’t getting three sword hits in on Crota… and that was a combo of using the Telesto fusion rifle and just not being fast enough.

overall, took me about one hour. which really isn’t that bad.

DAY 4
this day started with the PSN network down! sigh. used the time to work on a TV pitch, so yay!
this was a pretty good run, I did the Abyss, Bridge, and Ir Yut all on the first try… but then died rocketing sword bearer.
Crota still took a few tries.

 

DAY 5
work up thinking about the Raid. this is starting to get bad. it’s consuming my life. what’s next, dreams?

 

the entire process was a struggle. I thought I was doing so good yesterday.

 

but I did refine my Crota technique a bit. I had in the knife through, plus a “swipe” when I jump to move me forward a bit quicker.

 

DAY 6
Abyss fine, no problemo.
but still at the Bridge I died several time.
Ir Yut paused in a weird spot and I couldn’t get a shot on her… and died.
Crota still giving me troubles. it’s hard to time the kneels right. sometimes it takes 3 shots with Telesto, sometimes 4. can’t figure out why – but that timing makes a big difference.

 

tried switching back to Gjhorn. found that 1 takes down sometimes… other times it leaves a sliver of shield. but that small amount can equal grenade or knife. so if I hit him with that first, then jump while Wolfpack rounds are still swirling, I can get in close to more hits.

 

sometimes you gotta take a break and test this stuff out… which I did

 

it takes SIX sword slams to kill this big space jerk, so can be done in two rounds if I can get my timing right… and that’s a big IF…

 

DAY 7

 

feeling good. starting off scheming. ran through the Abyss. made it across Bridge second try.
Ir Yut did something new, she was pausing on OTHER side of crystal. never seen that before. tried baiting her by window, seemed to get her in position. will try this from now on.

 

by this time I’d gotten pretty dang good at the ol “wombo comb”. watch how I knife, grenade, and headshot this entire batch of enemies in seconds.

 

Crota then… man. he was glitching! first he hid around the corner.

 

then I rocketed myself trying to kill Thrall with the sword. (note: the sword is on a timer… eventually it just disappears and you have whatever weapon you were holding when you picked it up… in this case it was my rocket and I just kept swinging… which turned into a shot… and I died.)

 

finally Crota didn’t kneel with a knife + gjally shot. wtfffffff.

 

DAY 8
today was tough. I struggled throughout.
first I fell in a hole during the Abyss.
then I couldn’t make it on the “safe” rock at end.
I couldn’t make the bridge jump.
Crota didn’t kneel right…

 

BUT, my plan to “bait” Ir Yut by going to the window worked. just by running over in that area I was able to make sure she was in the correct spot for an easy dispatching. so I got that going for me.

 

DAY 9
cruised through the Abyss… then nailed the Bridge on the first try. woohoo!

 

but then things got weird. in the Hallway a thrall jumped in front of me and I rocketed myself.

 

okay, no problem. I’ll just jump and shoot.

 

wtffff. a CABLE. you can rocket a CABLE??? I didn’t even know this was possible. #goodtimes

 

then I got to Crota… who proved to be just as much of a pain in the asteroid as the others… here’s a sweet video of him not kneeling.

 

le sigh. eventually I got him… and with only TWO swords. this was the first time I did that… so I’m getting better?

 

DAY 10
this day I had a little trouble with Abyss, I mean really? I shouldn’t be having problems here.
then on Bridge I didn’t have rockets for the Ogres. and didn’t have the right gear on… I got overwhelmed by Thrall and died.

 

after that though… clear sailing. I passed the Hallway, Ir Yut, and Crota all on the first try. and Crota with just two swords!

 

such smash much timing. very wow.

DAY 11
I did it! FRICK YEAH BATMAN!

 

…only my notes didn’t say frick.

 

that was literally all I wrote from that day.

 

I was pretty ecstatic. I’ve had a fair amount of accomplishment moments in video games, but this was definitely the pinnacle. there hadn’t been something as difficult that I’d specifically worked for so much before… and it was thrilling to get it done.

 

after reviewing the video footage I can tell you this.

 

the Abyss was a breeze.
my technique at the Bridge spot on.
I played it safe at the Hallway… and made it through.

 

then at Ir Yut something new happened. normally I use the Sleeper Simulant Fusion rifle to kill the witch… but I was out of heavy ammo. and I couldn’t take a synth. these are special “consumable” items that refill a particular ammo type… and they have a five minute timer. you can see in the video I have 30 seconds left on my timer… but only 25 seconds left to kill her. gulp.

 

there was ONE brick of secondary ammo. this gave me FOUR shots. but it would take FIVE to kill her. now… this is where things get awesome. the LDR 5001 Sniper Rifle I have has a special perk called “Triple Tap”. it means that if you get three Critical Hits in quick succession you get an EXTRA round of ammo.

 

HEADSHOT.
HEADSHOT.
HEADSHOT.
+1 Ammo
HEADSHOT.
HEADSHOT.

 

it was probably the coolest moment of my entire quest for Flawless Raider, improvising and performing the clutch… and it came at the best possible time.

 

I mopped up the subsequent adds, then moved on to Crota. my previous technique held strong and I iced him in just two swords.

 

and threw in a little t-bag action… because I’m an adult. haha

 

and the rewards, the “Flawless Raider” trophy and the “Guardian Lord” for earning all of the achievements the game had to offer.

 

 

and that was it. after 11 days of hard space-fighting I accomplished my goal… and if you want to watch the entire 30 minute final run, I’ve got it all uploaded to my “yetistache” youtube channel. thinking about putting some more gaming content up there… perhaps with Destiny 2 I’ll go crazy.

 

a few timestamps in case you want to see the parts that I struggled with earlier… and it has sound!

 

 

thanks for coming along for the journey. and if you’re on PSN, I’m “yetieque.” let’s play!

 

-Luke

 

Flawless Raider, Part 1 : 07/13/17

howdy friends!

I wrote this blog originally for the Activision blog… but since they couldn’t use .GIFs… it didn’t really work. part of the fun of video game posts is seeing the video game action, so not being able to do that meant the post just wouldn’t be as interesting. that being said, this was one of my favorite blogs that I wrote, and the first time I’ve ever “trained” for an eSport. by which I mean, I practiced and played a LOT to accomplish a very specific and rather challenging goal.

so without further ado, please enjoy this blog.

so a few months back I was looking at my Destiny trophies from Year One and realized there was just one that I had yet to earn – “Flawless Raider.” Just by the name, this one seemed near impossible. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never finished a raid without dying. and I don’t think I’ve ever been in a party that didn’t wipe at least a few times. most of the raids I’ve been on include multiple wipes… with lots of deaths in between. (“wiping” means your entire six person team dies and you have to start a section over.) just think about getting “Flawless Raider” made me a little anxious, but I still wanted to get it. it’s not that I’m one of those gamers that has to get every trophy/achievement… in fact, I’ve never done it, but knowing that this was the ONLY one I had left was like an itch that I couldn’t scratch. I needed to get it done.

my first thought was to get a group of clanmates together for a weekend attempt. everyone would need to block out the entire afternoon, commit to multiple restarts, be skilled and mellow… but people are busy and it was getting harder and harder to get a group together for a “normal” run, let alone an attempt at flawless. so it just didn’t seem practical. for a while I gave up on it, but then I stumbled upon a step-by-step guide to getting the Flawless Raider trophy by doing Crota’s End solo. yeah, solo. as in, instead of six people you do it alone.

back when we used to run this raid weekly, we’d often send a Hunter ahead to finish The Abyss by themselves while the rest of us had a dance party at the spawn. A cheap trick? Maybe… but it was no lamp-jump, that’s for sure. so I knew that part could be done by one person.

The Bridge was another story. while I’d seen people sword-swipe across the chasm, I’d never been good at this, by which I mean that I’d never been able to make it across the pit without the bridge being formed. this section required three people standing on plates plus another guardian holding the sword. I’d completed this part of the raid with only four players, but that usually meant the three that stayed behind would die, leaving the sword bearer to complete the encounter. obviously in a Flawless Raider world this would not work. this meant that having anything less than a full fireteam of six would require people sword swiping across and that just seemed like more trouble than it was worth. better to learn how to cross on my own.

after that was the “Thrall-way” I didn’t expect that to give me any trouble. then the witch, Ir Yût, who I figured would be challenging but not impossible, and finally Crota. I’d never beat Crota solo, but I’d been able to defeat Thalnok aka “Mini-Crota” in the Court of Oryx by myself many times and I was now so over-leveled (ahem, 400) that it couldn’t be that hard, right? well, dear readers, I would soon find out.

step one research. I boned up on my Reddit reading and youtube watching. these pretty much confirmed what I’d been thinking. I was impressed that there were guides for soloing with every class, but I’m a Titan guy — so that was going to be how I’d do it. I knew that it wasn’t going to be easy, so I committed to multiple days of training. my plan was to play through the raid, no matter how many times I died, until I had it down. I wouldn’t worry about starting over until I could clear every section on the first or second try.

I was ready to start, so I loaded up my Titan, leveled up my Universal Remote , and equipped No Back Up Plans. for those of you that don’t know, Universal Remote is a shotgun that fits in your primary weapon slot, and No Back Up Plans give you a force barrier on shotgun kills… I planned on shotgunning my way to glory through the waves of Thralls in The Abyss. then using my Tormod’s Bellows rocket launcher (with Tripod & Tracking) dispatching the ogre at the end.

literally my first run…

whoops

okay, so it had been a while since I’d done Crota’s End. obviously I needed to wait a bit longer for the bridge to form.

no problem. once on the ground it should be a cakewalk for a 400 level Titan like myself…

Abyss Nope

I could barely make it past the first few lamps without dying. and there are 15 of them

dang.

this did not look good.

okay, what about my Hunter? back to The Tower I went. I knew I need a few things, 1) the Mida Multitool. this scout rifle, in addition to being a brutal weapon gives +2 agility. more speed = more better. 2) a good shotgun for the Knights. no problem, I have those in spades 3) the aforementioned rocket launcher for ogre at end and finally 4) the Don’t Touch Me gauntlets. these exotic gloves give a brief period of invisibility when taking melee damage. so if you get hit by say, a Thrall or a Knight, you vanish!

perfect. back to the Moon I went!

The Blade Dancer actually has a bunch of perks that help increase your invisibility-ness. Escape Artist for panic-blink-strike vanishing, Shadowjack for longer invisibility effect, and Stalker to crouch and disappear. with all these selected I was feeling pretty good. this time I cleared The Abyss on the first try. YESSS. I was stoked.

Abyss Loadout

The Bridge however, just as I suspected was another matter. I switched to a Harrowed Doom of Chelchis scout, a LDR 5001 sniper, and the Gjallarhorn. with “yellow bar” Wizards and Ogres on the other side, I was going to need some serious firepower to kill them on my own. (yellow bar enemies are significantly harder to kill then normal bad-guys) I also took off my Don’t Touch Me’s and put on the Bones of Eao. these boots upgrade your double jump to a triple jump, so you get the “Gun Slinger” jump on a Blade Dancer and with a bit more height. the perfect thing for jumping across a giant death chasm, right? but man, I have the hardest time landing on stuff with the blade dancer jumps. maybe it’s my Titan-bias. maybe I just need to “git gud”, I dunno. either way, just getting on a pillar to shoot the Sword Bearer was challenging (and honestly I never got it down), but luckily, being my light was high enough I could kill him from the ground, if need be.

then came the matter of swiping across. as predicted was a bit challenging for me. but I found that if I headed straight, angled to the left, then at least landed on the rock, I could sword-swipe up the side of it. who knew?! once I finally made it up to the top of the platform, I was able to defeat the Gatekeeper and all the other bad guys without too much trouble. again feeling pretty good. it wasn’t long before I was at Ir Yût, The Deathsinger. she proved a bit challenging for me, but I stumbled my way through. (Naturally, the next day I read/watched a great post about defeating her solo style. I’ll get into that technique next week…)

finally, I was at Crota. And let me tell you it was really, really freaking hard. I tried a bunch of techniques. I tried Gjallarhorn, Sleeper Simulant, Dragon’s Breath… I could NOT get him to “kneel” consistently. and if you don’t get him to kneel, you can’t damage him with the sword. and if you can’t damage him, well… then you’ll never kill him.

Crota nope

was I not doing enough damage? was he glitching? what was the problem? (glitching refers to a problem with the connection or the game… as in “it’s not my fault I swear!!!!!”

I don’t know… but eventually after many, many tries I finally got him. it was a pretty good feeling to take out that giant space jerk by myself. suck it, Crota.

Hell Yeah!

but on that first attempt at the raid I’d died about a bazillion times which if you’re keeping track is about a bazzillion times more than I could. getting the Flawless Raider Trophy was going to be a bit harder than I expected…

next week: does Yeti break his controller? leave personal hygiene behind? abandon his friends, family, and career in an attempt to become legend?

find out right here… with even more awesome GIF action!

-Luke

p.s. “Yeti” = “yetiesque” which is my PSN gamertag. let’s play!

Digging Ditches & Folding Clothes : 06/26/17

greetings friends,

it’s been a while since my last edition of “Jobs I have had”. in the last one I talked about my repeating summer job of serving ice cream at the Folklife/Bumbershoot Festivals in Seattle. I continued working at Safeway up until nearly the time when I left for college… I was headed to Sonora, California to attend Columbia College.

technically I lived in Columbia, since I was in student housing at the college… but that town is so small it’s hardly worth mentioning. I mean, Sonora itself was only 4,000 people and it was the county seat! being that it was my first time away from home, and first semester at college I wasn’t in a big hurry to get a job, and I was fortunate enough to have my living and school expenses covered by financial aid and my parents, so I didn’t need to work… unless I wanted to do fun stuff like see a movie, or buy new things for my computer, or go snowboard… then I’d need to make some money.

the first job I had was rather short lived and I don’t completely remember how I got it. there was a family that lived nearby that one of my aunt’s knew… I think from Angels Camp? but really I’m not sure. at any rate, this family had a fair amount of property, and lots of grounds keeping type work that they hired people to do. they had a father & son who worked for them (let’s call them Bob, Sr. and Bobby), but it was easy enough to plug me in for some more work.

my first task was digging ditches. seriously. we had to dig a three foot deep, two foot wide, forty foot long ditch. now, “digging ditches” has always had a sort of mythical type status, in the sense that it was the worst type of physical labor. I mean, take the film “Cool Hand Luke”, where the evil Warden has Luke dig a ditch, then fill it in and dig a new ditch, then repeat. if you don’t know the film… watch the scene below.

digging ditches is freaking hard, back breaking labor. at 19 years of age, I was nice and spry—but the hard, clay rich ground did a number on me. I remember coming home from digging and my hands just ached. from holding the pick and shovels! I didn’t even know that was possible.

talk about a good motivator for being successful in school… I was darn well going to do whatever I had to in order to avoid that kind of work. after digging the ditch I got my first paid “film work” ever. the family lived at in intersection where logging trucks would merge from one hi-way to another. as they slowed they used their jake brakes. these are exhaust driven breaks that help the trucks slow, and in the process make a LOT of noise. apparently it wasn’t legal for the trucks to be using them here, so I spent the day filming license plates and trucks. not sure if they ever did anything with the tape… but it felt nice to get paid for something other than my lower back strength.

I had this pinned to my wall for much of college… (my video camera was a Canon)

the only other thing that stood out in the brief time I worked was an incident that happened mid ditch dig. the Bob, Sr. was backing up his work truck, while Bobby and I took a water break… and the guy backed INTO a old stone well, breaking it. maybe it was a fountain? it was round, and built with rocks and mortar. anyhoo–it was old and Bob, Sr. busted it up with his truck. the Home Owner was there and saw it happen. he was a bit upset, because the Bob, Sr. was just being careless. there was lots of room to back up that WASN’T the well. it was like he ran into the ONE car in an empty parking lot…

Bob, Sr. got of his truck and then proceeded to try and blame ME for the accident. which was ridiculous… he hadn’t asked me to guide him in or anything… and I wasn’t the one driving! the fact that an adult would try and blame a kid for his mistake, which was CLEARLY his mistake was dumbfounding. like, how poor was that guy’s character that would be his first instinct? the Home Owner didn’t buy it, so I didn’t have to defend myself—-but it soured me to working with them further. I was pretty certain that I didn’t want to have anything to do with a man like Bob, Sr, whose character was so lacking. and the snide part of me thought “this is why you are digging ditches as a grown man.” that thought wasn’t too charitable… but I remember thinking it. at 19 years old I had a lot to learn about grace. (something I’m still working on…)

luckily I didn’t have to work for them too long, shortly after I got a job at the clothing store Mervyn’s. according to Wikipedia, this was a “mid level” department store that went out of business in 2008… it was nice enough place. I remember shopping there in junior high… before I got into skate clothes and thrift store hunting, that is. well, I was able to get a job as an “associate” there, which didn’t really mean anything in particular. I was trained to run the register, put out clothes, and do general retail type things. I have to say, I was pretty bad at folding clothes. still to this day, I’m not good at it… but back then I was VERY bad. I remember some of the girls were really good at it… and being a little mystified by how they did it.

it’s funny looking back at having this job, because the store was located pretty far away from the college, and I didn’t have a car. I’m not really sure how I got to and from work. probably a mixture of asking friends for rides, crashing with the Turner brothers in town, and taking the bus… which didn’t run too often, but enough to help out. I do remember that it didn’t go all the way to the shopping center, so I had to do a bit of walking from downtown Sonora out to the shopping center.

now, there was a big hill that was in between the two, and it didn’t have a sidewalk and people drove FAST up it. this really wasn’t the sort of place I wanted to walk. like, ever. luckily, there was a way around it. just to the south of the hill, an old train line cut into town and then passed near the shopping complex where Melvyn’s was located. if I walked along the tracks, it would put me right where I needed to go. it wasn’t the most well lit way to travel. i.e. not lit at all, but as a scruffy young man, I wasn’t too concerned. plus I had a headlamp for the trips back.

walking along a set of train tracks through the woods is such a cool feeling. it’s a moment steeped in Americana. even though I was going to a lame job at a big retailer, when I walked along those tracks I had a feeling of openness. a feeling that anything was possible and that I was free. maybe I’m just a romantic. or maybe there’s something in our American DNA that responds to that moment. trains helped us conquer the vast distances of our continent. they symbolized the West and a trip there meant a trip to new beginnings. so being on train tracks, even on when just on foot, taps into that feeling of exploration… at least in a small way. heh. well, that’s one thought.

I think this photo, which I found randomly on Flickr was taken near where I walked…
Train Tracks

this job didn’t last too long either. soon winter was approaching, and with winter would came snow… and that meant the local ski area, Dodge Ridge was in need of workers. my best friend at Columbia College, Ryan, worked at the mountain and suggested I get a job there too. I had no allegiance to the boring world of retail, and the idea of a free season pass + ride breaks sounded pretty awesome. so I gave my two weeks notice and bid the world of clothes folding adieu.

working at Dodge Ridge would be one of my favorite all time jobs and in the process I’d form a friendship with Ryan and his family that would last to this day. but that story will have to wait until next time.

-Luke