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    • I'm reaching that midway point for sure now, but I've already done the unthinkable and reenlisted for six more years, ha. I'm probably gonna wind up doing the full twenty if possible; similarly already getting bugged by the mess since I'll be eligible for the Chief exam here soon, and I'm not so sure I want to put it on. If it happens I feel it'll be a huge mistake on their part. Eventually I plan on settling down in the Pacific Northwest. All my childhood memories of that area were splendid - all the dark, rolling mists and sprawling pine forests. Beautiful. When I come back from being stationed in Japan I'd like to take shore duty around that area to get started. As far as the countries I've managed to explore, my first tour was aboard the USS Gravely out of Norfolk, so my two deployments took me to the Mediterranean and Middle East. Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, Israel, and Bahrain were some main hubs that we frequented, and stops like Croatia, Santorini, Cyprus, and Montenegro were absolute gems. Though I am pissed that after I checked off the ship they went on a NATO tour all around Europe and basically partied in each country for like a week at a time. Still, I am thankful for the sights I've seen and the memories I've made at each of the breathtaking locations in that part of the world. At the moment I'm enjoying the student life at GSM C school stateside, so it's a welcome break. Though the sub life is something foreign to me, I'm glad you were at least able to still see locales that you were able to fall in love with.
    • Just over nine years, so right about the point where the Chief's Mess starts plying you with phrases like "oh man, that's almost ten, and if you do ten, you might as well do twenty!" lol. I was attached to the Connecticut for sea duty, and its overhaul took roughly half a decade, so the most ports I got to see were Pearl and Ketchikan during Sea Trials and shakedown runs, unfortunately.  I did have a full deployment on one of the Ohios, but since their entire mission is to go lurk somewhere in case a weird world leader decides to get froggy, it was basically three months of Five Knots To Nowhere with a permanent forecast of 60°F and fluourescent, haha. But I did get to see far more of the country than most of my family or friends back home ever have or will, and in the process fell in love with the Pacific Northwest, so I count myself fortunate in that regard. How about you?
    • Thank you! I'm certainly not looking forward to the new madness that is PRTs after such a long lazy period. Congrats on making it out alive! How long were you in for? And what would you say was your favorite port while out and about?
    • Twitter tags, FB groups anything. I figured that since I don't watch anime that much any more I can at least read up on the gossip lol. 
    • Valorant Even though I think it's a terrible game I keep playing it for the sake of getting better at it. I guess I'll get better hand eye coordination though lol. The community pretty toxic though and smurfs everywhere.😫 Stellaris Super fun with or without mod. I can easily lose hours just playing, even if it's just designing ships. Debating if I should buy the DLCs. 
    • Bit of a lag, so updating with things I have played in the past while. Control – Very interesting, very well-written (in my opinion) paranormal action/adventure from the makers of Alan Wake.  I've loved weird, twisting stories ever since I watched Event Horizon and Ghost In The Shell, and Control certainly takes some oddball turns.  The Foundation DLC was decently challenging and also well-written, as was the AWE tie-in to Alan Wake (although it was a tad short, I thought). Fire Emblem: Three Houses – I sort of let this one languish a bit while I was transitioning out of the Navy because the series does tend to take a fair bit of mental involvement, but I'm picking it back up and starting to work through it again—mostly because I convinced someone I know to pick it up as well, and I need to get farther in it so they can pick my brain without me looking like a Big Dumb lol.  This one's a weird one in the franchise for me, even taking into account the absolutely heinous offenses to the title that Awakening/Fates were.  I actually like a lot of aspects of it; and I can overlook the fact that, once again, the main character is a self-insert.  The part I'm having trouble getting used to is that, after a certain point in the story, your roster is hard locked, as far as I can tell.  You still have more people available than you have map slots, generally, but recruiting additional characters is a bit of an effort investment, and after a certain point it's basically no longer possible, which ... presents some interesting tactical scenarios, I think, which is fine.  I'm just not used to having this little flexibility or depth in my bench. Edelgard is a bamf tho Endless Space 2 – Oh my god, this game is hands-down The Most Visually Gorgeous RTS I have ever played in my life.  The overall empire-building mechanics are really interesting, and include not only resource management but population-distribution optimisation.  The maps are ******* beautiful and genuinely feel enormous when you make them enormous, which is a recurring problem I've had with the Civilisation franchise, specifically 5 and 6.  The various playable species genuinely feel distinct to play, and the developers even experimented with unique colonisation mechanics: one species simply buys colonies instead of having to send a colony ship there; another has to have a specific type of ship in system orbit to initiate control and only receives partial benefits if the ship is moved; and another slowly spreads across the galaxy in a network of metaphysical kudzu vines, providing movement bonuses to itself and allies, and impairments to other players.  Each game has a campaign-style quest system that automatically progresses as the game goes on, as well as a random-event system that can affect one or more empires in various ways, and each species has its own internal campaign which can also be progressed independently of the main quest line or the game itself, and is written to the flavor of the specific species to provide additional lore about them. Arknights – It's like Fire Emblem, to me, except tower defense instead of chess.
    • Can't believe I'm a week late for this thread's one year anniversary. smh
    • Fun fact here, I just finished my enlistments two months ago.  Cropped out your rank tab, but not your surname, I see.  =P  But also, congratulations for putting in the effort to get your warfare qualification.  I know it doesn't mean as much to the surface community as the submarine warfare does to ours, but it still takes effort and knowledge, so good on you. Enjoy the new PT standards lol
    • Sixteen years later this is where I am in life. I hope everyone's been safe and well.
    • It's been around sixteen years or so since I joined. So much has changed - both here and in my life. I enlisted in the military, went around the world, lost friends and family, forged new bonds, and I never would have imagined how much I've seen and learned these long years. I sincerely hope everyone has been doing well, and Desbreko, wherever you are, I hope you're having an awesome time.
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