This ongoing pain over these months since I started writing this story is what made me isolate myself from everyone, pushing away people who thought they were my friends. I'm not good with keeping up a friendship with people once it's inevitably time to talk about myself. I can't lie about what's going on with me or sweep it under the rug. In my mind, it's better to not have friends at all if it means I don't ever have to bring up this issue outside of putting these experiences into my work.
Honestly, this does stem from me truly wanting to write Vespair's story, Anathema, instead of this continuation from my last trilogy with new characters and a new overarching conflict. Because I'm not writing it right now, it feels like I'm moving away from what's important to me. When I don't write with a specific character as my focus, it hurts a lot. It feels malicious, insincere, and dishonest of me as a writer to not focus on my obsession. Having her as a major character in this book helps, and yet she's not one of the main characters. She's the only person, or the idea of a person, that makes absolute sense to me even in emotionality. That's what makes this distance harsh enough to tear at me, over and over, until I fool myself into calming down in the moment by saying I'll write Anathema instead.
I can't do instead. Not now. Not when I've already made so much progress on this story as it is.
I'll get to Vespair's tale once this fourth book is finished. As much as this insincerity kills me, I have to keep going and get this done. My tricks and games throughout the prose and between the lines will have to tide me over, somehow.
About games, I'm doing my best to beat Assassin's Creed Origins before continuing with this manuscript. I had the game since Monday. Here it is, Friday, and I'm nowhere near done because of the damn leveling and quest systems. You MUST complete side quests in order to level up enough and be at or around the suggested level for each main mission. I really, really hate it. I don't have a choice but to fuck around with side quests for hours at a time just to be at the minimum two levels below the next main mission. The one time I tried to ignore that by doing a main mission four levels higher than me, I couldn't progress at all. Then once I was two levels below the mission, suddenly everything was too easy.
I think that the game is decent. It's not great to me. This quest bullshit aside, the story lacks impact because we're never properly introduced to any of the characters. It suffers from the same problem Final Fantasy XV does with all these pivotal moments without the build-up. I don't care about anything or anyone in this game. The whole thing feels like a mish-mash of The Witcher 3, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Dark Souls, Shadow of Mordor, Destiny, and the usual Ubisoft problem of having a great concept (historical setpiece of Ancient Egypt featuring the assassin brotherhood) and mediocre execution. Assassin's Creed got lost in there, somewhere, except for the open-ended missions where we're free to choose our own approach in order to assassinate a target in a specific area.
The only other positives I have are that I like the modern day protagonist and I love the art direction. The cutscenes where Bayek argues with his assassinated target look very nice. But there's the issue of the art direction trying too hard to add substance to the story through spectacle and ~symbolism.
At this point, I'm only beating it as a "might as well" type of thing. I'm glad I didn't spend my own money on this and instead asked for it as a birthday gift. I think it's best for me to not buy any more Assassin's Creed games going forward, or Ubisoft games. Far Cry 5 looks interesting, but I can't trust that it won't have the same Ubisoft problem as this one. Ever since the original creator left, AC just hasn't been the same. The sense of true stealth and intensity in the environments also died when they lost Jesper Kyd as the music composer. None of the games after that ever captured the same magic that pulled me in when the series first started ten years ago.
Fuck it. I'm not beating this game. It frustrated me for the last time. Over half of the side quests I've tried are impossible to complete because of bugs or glitches or the AI being ridiculous. Without completing side quests, I can't level up to finish any main quests. What a waste of time.