About Me
Hello, I am

James Williams

James is a standard issue nerd, practically to a fault. He was learning BASIC while his peers were learning to throw and catch. He enjoys walking around a well-lit 3D-rendered landscape but would prefer to stay indoors. He won't dance (don't ask him) but he will /dance and /manderville all night long. If you're interested in an in-depth analysis between the command techniques of various Starfleet captains, you are going to have a great time with James at parties (this is a lie: James doesn't go to parties).

Professionally, James is a seasoned developer with nearly two decades of experience. He enjoys all sorts of different programming languages, platforms, and programming methodologies. His own personal style is a spicy mix of functional and object-oriented: he even nearly understands monads!

When he's not working, he's probably poking at his personal programming projects. Beyond that: you might find him playing a turn-based RPG (or watching a Let's Play of a more action-oriented RPG), editing pictures in Photoshop, reading a novel with a spaceship on the cover, and always always always drinking far more tea than can possibly be wise.

(The lemur's name is Gary.)

My Recent Activity

Finally finished Stormblood.

Of the FF14 that I've played, this is firmly in the middle: better than ARR; not as good as Heavensward.

The pacing of this expansion is super weird. Half of the expansion is a side-quest for the first half. And the way they split the locations so you don't fully unlock the first area until the end just left me unsatisfied.

The game is full of progress bars and number-go-up mechanics so it seems weird to suddenly have a strange non-linear thing all of a sudden.

Still, the characters were great. Some of the dungeons were quite a lot of fun (I'm glad I got to play Castrum Abania before they completely changed the Number XXIV fight this week!). And the Azim Steppe is currently one of my favorite places in video games.

So definitely something of a mixed bag: lots of good, lots of meh.

In any event: onward to the post-expansion patch content and then Shadowbringers!

About 7 hours in now. Still very early, but also...it's 7 hours in.

Still very much enjoying it. It's just so cozy and pleasant.

I don't think I care for the battle system, unfortunately. It makes a big deal out of turn order, but my characters miss so many attacks that it almost doesn't seem like it matters.

It makes the turns end up feeling random more than strategic.

Still, the dialog, characters, world, and music all continues to delight. Other than the combat, this game is just knocking it out of the park on every axis.

Still very early in the game. Did the training mission and then there was the first "real" mission.

You were supposed to go west, but I thought you were supposed to go east.

The monsters to the east hit quite a bit harder than he ones to the west, so I spent quite a bit of time grinding until I could mostly get through unscathed. You don't get money for encounters, so there's no opportunity to upgrade equipment either...so, lots of grinding.

Finally made it to the end of the path with most of my HP and EP in tact only for the guy to not let me in (apparently, the mines are closed and the moose out front should've told me).

Figured out my mistake, went west, and discovered that the so-called boss fight was very easy.

It was the first mission of the game so I doubt it was intended to be a challenge in any event. But a couple of hours of unnecessary grinding really sealed the deal.

I'm still extremely early into the game, so maybe they front-loaded all the good stuff...but so far, this is one of the best localizations I've ever seen.

The dialog is adorable and funny and the characters all have a unique voice that's just spot on.

If this is what the Trails series has in store for me, I guess I won't be sad to be playing it for...::counts games::...the rest of my life.

For reasons, I haven't been sleeping well the past few weeks. So it's not uncommon for me to want to find something a little casual, mindless, and meditative to want to do with my non-work awake-time.

Fortunately, gathering in FF14 fits the bill. So it's not uncommon for me to just put on a podcast, do a few laps of the Diadem, and zone out for a while.

Which is why I somehow now have a level 80 Miner (with a Botanist not far behind), even though I'm still in Stormblood.

It's silly since it's just an electronic diversion and I pay a subscription fee for the privilege, but...I am grateful that this game has so many ways to play and so many varied things to do.

After enjoying Eversion so much, I decided to hop right into another Alistair Reynolds book.

I've seen his name on book store shelves ever since I graduated from the children's section, but never picked up one of his books before.

That was clearly a mistake. So far, my second is already off to a very good start.