- Posts: 3 (Really? Just 3?)
- Games: Magic The Gathering: Arena
- Other Media:
October was my second lightest posting month and 3 in a month (along with the couple 5s I had earlier in the year) shows my inability to post consistently. Blogging is one of those things I love when I feel like I have something to talk about but struggle with when not – I would be a terrible place if I needed to have dependable, episodic content. October was about blahs and a general post, followed by a rentry into MTGA after the wipe (which I dreaded), and then an inspired post about an old gaming friend who I lost touch with – we were quite close, and he was suicidal near the end, and when we lost touch I worried about him. I still do from time to time.
In October 2017 I was playing Destiny 2 and Warframe
- Posts: 7
- Games: Perfect World, Torchlight Frontiers, Breach, Magic The Gathering: Arena, Battlefield V, World of Warcraft, Fallout 76
- Other Media:
In November I cleared out what was at the time, my last batch of Spring Cleaning blog posts drafts. It was a fun exercise. Checking recently, seems as though I may have another batch to do in 2019. We shall see. I had an Alpha based post on the 4-5 I was in at the time, as well as a great laugh at the bloopers from the Fallout 76 terrible launch (and the game continues to plague them, from what I am reading. I started playing (and being excited about) Battlefield 5(V) which I am still playing and being excited about. New free content update drops this week. I , along with many, many others groaned about the general boringness of Blizzcon this year.
In November 2017 I was playing Warframe
- Posts: 1 (FML)
- Games: Slay the Spire
- Other Media:
To be fair I had 3 weeks of vacation planned in December and that included a spill over into the first week of January – and two separate countries on two trips. Still, I didn’t put the effort in. My game of the year was Slay the Spire which my game of the year post neglected to mention (outside of the gameplay and screenshots). Never a dull moment here at IHASPC
In December 2017 I was playing EQ2, DDO, Warframe
Overall, not a bad year here statistics wise although I fell short of my 6 posts per month that I’d like to stick to. Good news is, heading into 2019 I have a lot to write about already and I only have two fears heading into February. The first is that with the upcoming Anthem launch IHASPC will become an Anthem blog for the foreseeable future. My other, bigger fear is that it will not – and Bioware will fade as my favorite gaming company.
Once again, thank you for reading, and here is to a happy, gaming filled, healthy, satisfying 2019!
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- Posts: 6
- Games: World of Warcraft. Magic The Gathering: Arena, Warriors of Waterdeep,
- Other Media / Non Digital Games: Blaugust
Summertime is more time outside time, less gaming time, and even less blogging time. I started a series about some World of Warcraft Specs that I thought would be really fun to include/play in the game and had drawn out several for several classes, but I didn’t get past one or two. (Maybe just one, will find out when I do August / September! My focus was on healing and tanking specs for every class to ensure you can play the flavor and role of class that you prefer. At the end of the month I wished the Blaugust participants good luck due to the fact I am at a cottage first two weeks of August and teaching at a hockey camp, so I don’t have time to blog at all for the most part. I spent a lot of time exploring my roster of World of Warcraft characters and tried to sort through how I would launch in Battle for Azeroth and where my focuses would be. I didn’t stick to my plan and even less did I do the armor class quests for the new races. I tried to give away Magic The Gathering Arena beta access as I had 5 keys – only two people asked. I managed to win at getting my Awesome Bear Form challenge before the deadline (And continued to use it through BFA – it is that awesome!). With my continued attention to D&D I ended up downloading a fun mobile game Warriors of Waterdeep, although I stopped playing it shortly after. Didn’t stick.
July 2017 I was playing Paladins, Fortnite, and Battletech
- Posts: 8
- Games: World of Warcraft
- Other Media / Non-Digital Games:
At the end of August I was already wondering if I should resubscribe to World of Warcraft. I did, but the fact that I had to second guess myself was telling to me of the quality of enjoyment I was having. I was enjoying the core story of Horde more than Alliance. I HAS PC turned 10 in August and as always, I reflected a bit on my 10 year journey here and what’s next for me. I looked for a guild of like minded people but wasn’t having much luck – so took random invites instead and was fine with that with my solo-ish playstyle. I found and added two new blogs that I enjoy Deez Words and Allunaria’s. I slogged through the low 100s and reflected often about my experiences as a once again, sole World of Warcraft (apparently) blog. I sourced a temp work position through the blog for a test, successfully, and I DID do a second part of my “SPEC ME OUT” series. Awesome rogue specs that I would 100% play for myself.
August 2017 I was playing Fortnite, Destiny 2 (beta), and Paladins.
- Posts: 7
- Games: World of Warcraft, Telltale Games, WildStar, Cyberpunk 2077
- Other Media / Non Digital:
I unsubscribed from World of Warcraft in September. Didn’t last long, sadly. Before doing so I grinded out Warfronts to get top end gear for basically just showing up. The ultimate welfare epics. I was sad about Telltale games – I really enjoyed a few of their titles (but the delivery did wane on me). I compared and optimistic view vs a pessimistic view on the 6 month mount subscription announcement by Blizzard. Level 120 in World of Warcraft was checking in, doing the work, but not feeling the love. Kind of like real life. I shared every post I made on WildStar and of course was sad that the game didn’t stick. Sad but NOT surprised – one of those “called its”. Finally I watched – with glee – the announcement and sharing of Cyberpunk gameplay. It was one of the PnP games I played the most in my youth (Rifts, Star Wars, Shadowrun being the other ones I spent my time on).
September 2017 I was playing Destiny 2, Clash Royale, and Fortnite
Q4 is less old but will still share, I really enjoy being able to go back through and see where my head and heart was at the times
As a Side note, WordPress has changed their base editor and the main thing I hate is that there isn’t a full justification option. And it is built on building blocks of things. Change is hard when you are used to something but sticking to it! It also seems to have changed my font which doesn’t make me happy. Ah well, will work through it.
- Post Count 5
- Games: Magic The Gathering Arena, The Show 2018, Starbound, Slay the Spire
- Other Media / Non Digital Games: N/A
April was a very light posting month for me and most of it was spent in MTG:A. The posts were heavily about the learning and luck curve in MTG:A and how I felt like I was finally getting to a place and a deck where I could win consistently. I am still playing that game frequently but will save those updates for a non-review post.
Comparing April 2017 I was playing Andromeda and Hearthstone.
- Post Count 5
- Games: Battlefield 1, Magic The Gathering Arena, Everquest 2, Lord of The Rings Online
- Other Media / Non Digital Games: Origin
May, another light posting month, saw me revisit Battlefield 1 to help me decide if I was going to adventure in the newly announced Battlefield V, and signing up for the Origin service. I revisited Beta Fatigue – a theme I have posted about before where I burn myself out on games in Beta and can’t be bothered to replay from scratch when the “live” game launches. MTG:A was nearing a reset. I jumped back into EQ2 to get a free 100 (only to not play him/her) and started levelling my dream class – the Warden – in LOTRO. Finally. And lastly, I got ranty about how everyone wants everything free and without a modicum of effort in F2P games, while I felt the pace was ridiculously generous in MTG:A – an opinion not many shared.
Comparing May 2017 I was playing Destiny, Paladins, Overwatch, Guildwars 2, The Division. Clearly May is a “play lots of things you don’t stick with” month.
- Post Count 7
- Games: World of Warcraft, Magic The Gathering Arena, Battlefield 1, Destiny 2
- Other Media / Non Digital Games: Steam, Twitter
June saw me rush back to get my bear form before it was gone – there was a limited release on the artifact skins and the clock was ticking. MTGA launched a new card expansion and much like Hearthstone, I had to change my decks and my approach because it was kicking my ass. Steam had an easy way to see how much you have spent there – forever – so I started showing mine (hoping you would show yours). Most of you did. I complained a bit that unlocking perks in Battlefield 1 required me to play contrary to how I prefer to play (which isn’t always a bad thing) and even encourage me to do things to not help my team win (which is always a bad thing) yet there I was, doing it anyway. Battlefield V has some of the same issues, except worse – they time gate it forcing you to do things contrary to the benefit of your team more deliberately and often. Twitter Snitch Tagging is a thing and I once again wonder why I bother with the site (probably will delete soon, because in 2030 the word “Thank you” will be associated with hyper privilege-ism and using it – although fine for the current time, would mean I lose my job and life in 2030 for my past politeness. Why take the chance. I got angry with Destiny 2 (again, and continue to be so – unfairly, mind you) and another ranty-ish post about people maximizing their ladder climbs in MTGA by quitting the second they think they may not win (so they can more quickly lose, meaning they can more quickly go into a game where they may win). Me? I hang around to the end and some of my best moments were coming back from a game I didn’t think I could win. I love it.
Comparing June 2017 I was playing Paladins and Injustice 2
That time of year is upon us where we look back. I really enjoyed this series last year as the memory gets worse and I get older it’s fun to see what got me excited, dissappointed, and curious throughout the year. As a longer post I am breaking it up in quarters.
- Posts – 9
- Games – Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms, Hearthstone, Dungeons and Dragons Online, Everquest 2,
- Other Media / Non Digital Games – D&D
- Theme(s) – Review posts!
I am not currently playing any of those games regularly, and still have not gotten into a proper D&D game in my area (haven’t tried that hard either – the commitment level for a multi-hour, multi-session game is really hard for me. ICOTFR (say that 5 times fast) was the first “idle game” style that I spent some time in. I didn’t quite get it at first, a game you “watch” more than play, but it actually had a fun slant – for a while. Hearthstone was to explore the new PVE versions which were fun, but ultimately didn’t keep me with staying power. I invested in DnDBeyond source and rulebooks and became very excited about the idea of playing Dungeons and Dragons PnP.
Looking back to compare January 2017 I was playing: WoW:Legion and WoW:Legion only.
- Posts – 9
- Games – World of Warcraft, Dauntless, Slay The Spire
- Other Media / Non Digital Games – Critical Role Podcast, D&D
- Theme(s) – underdogs, nostalgia
Funny that in February 2018 I went back to “finish” World of Warcraft. Flying was there finally and the game had progressed along enough that there was a lot of content for me to catch up on and enjoy. I also dabbled in Dauntless (which I spent very little time in, it was an Alpha invite and the game was very rough and without a great vision. I predicted it wouldn’t fare well due to the impending launch of Monster Hunter World a much more polished, proven game.
Looking back to compare February 2017 I was playing: World of Warcraft, Star Wars The Old Republic, and Mass Effect (Original Trilogy)
- Posts – 4
- Games – World of Warcraft, Paladins
- Other Media / Non Digital Games – N/A
- Theme(s) – Zen grinding, Gamer Skill differentiation, Lessons learned in game design
March was a very light month of posting for me and it was all about WoW with a little bit of “I told you so” when Paladins went against their community wishes and changed their game to be more lootbox based during the Battlefront 2 EA fiasco – I mean, you just have to pay attention to how the market reacted to that to not do the EXACT SAME THING. Last time I checked steam charts the game hadn’t rebounded to their high before this decision.
Looking back to compare March 2017 I was playing Andromeda, and The Secret World Legends
Not a ton of consistency from year to year (fun to be able to do that this year) . I have a lot of posts in my head and drafts but currently still on vacation (a winter one, after my beach one), so behind on gaming and writing.
Happy new year! I’ll get to the other three quarters in due course.
Gaming has been fun – but busy year end business meetings and holiday cheer, coupled with a new acquisition, coupled with year end business meetings and holiday cheer for the new acquisition, leading into a family vacation – there has been little time to write. Time zones, airports, hotels. Gaming has been great for me as down time during all of this – and while I have a good enough laptop to game I have mostly been sticking to bite-sized gaming.
I have started my Year In Review drafts and was going to wait until those were done to release my game of the year – but then I saw Zubon beat me to the punch not just by doing a Game of the Year post but by picking the same one I had planned to. And while I have only blogged about it once back last February, and a small mention again in April, Steam is quick to remind me that I am pushing the 100 hour mark. That’s pretty impressive for my gaming time on an early release game.
And full disclosure, I only bought it because Zubon recommended it in the first place. So thanks Z.
It’s a PVE card game Rogue-like. There are three classes that play completely different, all of them having their own quirks and card sets. The art is great and there are so many different ways to play and enhance your character – through cards, relics, card upgrades, potions, (etc.) that every run is very different. And there are glorious moments where you get the right card and relic combinations that things just go incredibly. The sense of accomplishment when that happens (which is a mixture of good planning, some strategy, and a healthy dose of luck) the game becomes exhilarating.
The piece that was always missing from this game was an end goal. I mean, you get to the end, damage the “heart”, see how much damage the rest of the world has done to it and then get to start all over again. But I hadn’t played in a while and this time when I beat it with “The Silent” character something new popped up at the end, an uncolored rune became colored. Again when I won with “The Defect”. Now I just have to beat it with the character I enjoy the least (but is still fun).
With that, I have been playing furiously. I have reached the end three different times with three different strategies (a Block based deck, a Strength based deck, an HP loss based deck) but have fallen short each time on the last boss. I love gaming like this when there is a clear objective, and it is easy to focus on round after round. The last, great piece about this game is that there is a “daily” challenge mode where the base rules get thrown out the window and all sort of random modifiers are added in, making it a really fun and crazy shot to play daily.
I am still doing my Year In Review posts, but no reason to wait for those. Go try this game – it’s a gem.
This series is when I get a bunch of draft posts left in the background and I feel compelled to clean them out. And by clean them out, I mean talk about what my point was when I was thinking of writing it, whether or not it’s worth continuing the thought (or not) and why, and the delete it, complete it, or leave it on the back-burner for a future date. So far in the series I have only parked one post to redo in the future and I actually want to adopt it as a pet project. But that is a post for another day.
Mad Money (12-9-2016)
I have a love / hate fascination with WoW tokens and this post was the beginnings of exploring that. Here is the snippet, which is kind of funny:
I continue to have an odd fascination with the WoW token. I understand true markets and how market forces work but continued to be confused and curious with The WoW token itself. I can’t understand what is driving the price changes. I even have a Token price tracker on my phone. Here is the history of the WoW Token by all time price.
You can see a slow climb from 20,000 gold to near highs of 60,000 currently. The dips are also particularly fascinating – prices rose steadily until Legion launch and then dropped to a new low
The funny part is the WoW token is currently at 130,000 gold(ish) down from a high of 241,000 earlier in the year. The reason why I struggle with the token in general is that because it is not regulated, there is no impetus on Blizzard to bow to true market demand / forces. They can unilaterally set the price at whatever they want, and can just create supply from thin air as need be – so I am extremely sceptical of the validity of the price and how player choice and decision can impact that. Due to the fact they have monetary value, am I incorrect? Do they have to stick to a standards as set out by the Stock market in the USA? Is there a resource on this so I can take off my tin hat and see there is some legitimacy to it? Of course, due to the date and the prices I was talking about I am going to let this post plunge like the DOW and NASDAQ will do in 2019.
Stop Me if You Think (9-6-2017)
I had to add this one, for the irony of the post title. That was it. I think I was going to do a play on a Morrissey song, but there was no finish to the sentence, no text placeholders, nothing. And just reading that is probably a good test for me. Just stop me if you think. Period. Which means I should stop, right? Melancholy-ing destroying this post as I ponder my place in the Blogosphere
Warframe – 20 Hour Impressions (10-17-2017)
I used to put a lot more text and base thoughts into my drafts to save for later and all I had included in this one was:
Codex is hidden behind scanning, of which I can’t figure out how to use on my PC – even when googling and checking out
I loved the idea of the Codex in the game but was having a really hard time sorting through how to scan properly. Until I found the right article, and I ended up getting a gadget that I could load up 200 scans into it and it would Auto scan as I fought. The only downside to this was that sometimes I would kill things too fast before it could scan, and sometimes it would run out of scan-ability that I would have to reload at the end of the mission. Warframe was a game I put a LOT of time into and loved a lot of things about it. Will be curious if Anthem can take it’s place for me. The learning curve was (is) steep and in pauses between other games I have played I did try to foray back – and hit a few roadblocks. Sad part is that I almost have completely forgot everything about what to do and where to go, and since that mountain is so hard to climb it is extremely challenging to even think about getting back into it. They just launched another expansion which makes me feel even further behind (I didn’t even GET to the last expansion planet). I still cheer for this title due to the happy balance of micro-transactions it has – its the darling of the industry for that right now. Killed, like my desire to reboot this game
Ostrich Burgers : Destiny 2 (10-25-2017)
Continuing my poor draft post design this was another little title that I think I know the idea behind the title, albeit completely misguided. And little text to support it.
The Destiny 2 PC Launch happened and the internet is breaking. Not because of how awesome the game is, but because apparently many people are getting banned, permanently, for “no apparent reason”.
This post was subsequently solved to the tune of not admitting what was doing it but I always wish that companies would call out the people who do lie on these. There have been some cases in the past where devs have done just that, and showing who is banned and why is a great step to be transparent with the community and to also build a support network around the company for when they do ban. Everyone likes bans, except the person being banned. And, I am one of those people what would err on the side of the ban being more likely to give a false positive (with a system to correct and identify quickly) than to have a system that is too lax and lets cheaters through the gates. Recently in a Battlefield 5 game there was a guy clearly using a wallhack glitch as he was 76-0 before people found out that he was shooting through walls in a very safe place. Destiny 2 is still the only game I want to play that I can’t due to how terrible the premise/story is that it is on principal now. Banning this post, and telling the world.
(no title) (10-28-2017)
I was still playing Warframe, and this was the text I had written:
Hattip to the Warframe Reddit:
Not sure if I need to say much else.
I still don’t. Meta-critic is broken as a place for people to review bomb. It’s too bad we don’t have a place to decide on whether or not to take a chance on a game… it’s the opposite of Flixster in many ways – which seems to work – as fun and blockbustery movies often get panned by the critics but fawned over by the public – and I always trust the user rating on those ones. For some reason gamers are unable to divorce a game from the social issues they may or may not feel is represented / not represented (blah blah blah). Judge a game by the game, enough already. I think I did a post about this already, so giving this post a 0/10 for it’s SJW stance.
Show and Tell : Limbo (12-05-2017)
One of the really fun things about Warframe is that your main character can control so many different kinds of Warframes that it is a very “alt-friendly” game. Since I was really enjoying the game I started doing a Show and Tell series about my favourite frames. Here is what I wrote about Limbo.
Limbo is the gentleman Warframe. It has to be true, because, well, a top hat! From my understanding he is also the only Warframe that has interchangeable hats as an option. You do need to look good while you kill, right? Limbo is a quest frame – you get him by completing a quest chain (but still need to build). I had a very strange run with Limbo leveling him – I went from complete confusion, to mild frustration, to a degree of joy in sorting through his playstyle and abilities. He is definitely Warframe that proves Digital Extremes is not afraid to try new and interesting things with their mechanics. Those mechanics, however, make gameplay a very intriguing option with overall frustration for non-grouped players – or players unfamiliar with the mechanics.
Here is his reveal video, to high level the concept before I go into greater depth.
The Rift mechanic is fun. Hitting a single key can remove myself from danger – but I am still visible. This means that when I am in the rift enemies see me, and try to attack me, but they can’t hurt me. Limbo’s abilities push and pull friends and enemies into the rift (against their will) and that is where frustrating play can happen. Oh, you just unleashed your super damaging ability on the big bad boss? Sorry – I just banished them to the Rift so that damage is wasted. But here, let me put YOU into the rift with me and we can now 2v1 him since we can ignore all other enemies.
I didn’t finish the post, or the series, but I still really loved playing his interesting Rift mechanic when I was a player. I’ll let this one rest as is as well.
That cleans out any and all drafts I had from prior to 2018 – and as with my other posts on the subjects, it feels great to have it all cleaned up and can face 2019 with only 2018 drafts to fix. Which will come at a later date. Isn’t there some saying… cleanliness is next to bloginess? Something like that?
I spent my weekend playing games I can’t share impressions on for the most part. And while people know I am in certain ones, because I announced it, I can safely group them all into “looking forward to what they do next” territory without mentioning specific features, feelings or thoughts. Wish I could share more but I do respect the alpha process.
I had a schizophrenic weekend and week of gaming. Nothing jumped out at me per se as a “must write about” but many little things. So here you get another general post hitting many topics, in particular order of importance or magnitude.
Magic: The Gathering
I am still playing this daily but due to the card rotations I have lost the core of my new favourite decks. And it is completely confusing, because they retired cards that were released in 2017. I know it is a sprawling game but the solutions I had to counter the decks I faced often were taken away, but the decks I face often were not. It is confusing to have cards that have been around from the start of beta but whole sections and subsets of cards added and removed afterwards. It makes no sense to me. The ones I miss the most are Prowling Serpopods – the only real defence against a control deck when you play green – and even then it’s a crap shoot to be able to use and utilize it – and the Walking Ballista. In fact, due to card retirements, I basically lost my favorite deck to play at all. That is frustrating as a collector. I don’t think other card games take cards away, but willing to adjust. Just goes to show MTG:A really, really needs a wildcard mode where all cards can be in play.
This fact alone makes the game less fun for me. I haven’t checked out of it yet, but am just sad and disappointed that I can’t enjoy it as much.
Secret Alpha Update
I can’t say anything here except there was an update to the Alpha. And with that update came a character wipe. Once again, I am reminded of the downsides of Alphas and how there is a correlation to the amount of time I spend in an Alpha and the diminishing likelihood that I pay for and play the game when it goes live. Where once I was a “great” alpha tester trying to break things, I am now also ensuring I am enjoying my limited gaming time. So the dozens of hours played are gone, and I get to do it all over again. If I decide to. I did take the first steps, made a character, and sat there hovering over the play button wondering if doing that was how I wanted to spend my time. It wasn’t, it turns out, but I think it was just the mood I was in with the first realization that all of the things I had done and prepped for for next steps was now gone, and back to square one. Not that I was surprised, just not ready for it.
No So Secret Alpha Update (Torchlight Frontiers)
I am still pretty sure we can’t share information on this yet – definitely not videos or pictures – but I played the heck out of it on the weekend and it was fun to see the stresses put on servers, and the parts of the development processes (patches quickly, etc.) to fix any issues and move forward, and find more issues. Being mindful of not sharing impressions of the game but to share that the development process part of being fun in itself. This is definitely one I will jump in on future tests and in the end when I CAN share things, will try to draw a line from where it started to where it launched. Will be interesting, to say the list.
Alpha I keep Missing (Breach)
It is patched and ready to go but the windows for participating have been so small – a couple hours here and there, sometimes during business hours – makes me think that this game must be in a real early Alpha state. Still, I check out announcements when I can and looking forward to playing this one too.
While many parts of this game has taken it back to its roots, I still struggle that the pace is a little too much COD for me. There are way too many times that you die too fast without a chance to react or impact the outcome of that death. That is frustrating. I don’t remember it in the old 2142 days. Seems like there is a lack of ability to control your own destiny – which may reflect the realities of World War 2 but less fun in gaming. Snipers (Recon) are a bit overpowered right now and Medics very under powered – balance patches are needed and they are coming ™, but even that won’t balance out the high tempo nature of the game that detracts from a strategic experience (vs a twitchy experience). I have almost fully unlocked the Medic tree and my Sten (primary weapon) but also dabble daily in the other classes as the daily “assignments” suggest. (There are objectives each day that reward in game currency that require everything from flying planes, to resupplying teammates. They are quick and easy but force you to try different things so I am appreciative.) I still think less “busy work” is needed in all games, but this is the new reality. I am still enjoying it and new game modes come December 6th. This game will continue to compete for my time and attention. I did, however, re-download Squad to balance a more strategic shooter against the ADHD one.
World of Warcraft
Odd how when you stop the daily chores and familiarity of the routine, you don’t really miss it. Uninstalled to buy room on my hard drive (before buying the new one, see below). Will take something big to pry me away from all the more-fun gaming going on right now.
New SSD External Drive
Black Friday sale I got a 1TB SSD external so I have more room to keep all of my games patched up and ready to go. This will make my hop in and out gaming mood and style lately even more varied. Although I am going away this weekend, so that means little to no gaming for me. I am having constant and consistent DISK WRITE ERRORS to it on Steam and it randomly will open up the drive folder on top of what I am doing – I think there is either an issue with the drive or an issue with my Thunderbolt port. I need to return it. Having to restart 12GB downloads every 2-3 minutes is not efficient. It is a Sony t5, anyone else used to having errors with it? Google has been unhelpful.
Another week in the books, and another weekend coming up – sadly out of town so little to no gaming, and next week is a bit of a writeoff as well. I can’t believe winter is here already.
*EDIT* – Video has been taken down for “copyright” purposes, by a streamer featured in the clips? Which makes this even more juicy, but I’m just sad that I can’t watch (and laugh at) the video anymore!
I am not playing this game, but the video was shared on my Discord and I was laughing like crazy. Happy Weekend!
A problem I am having with blogging and Battlefield 5 is that I play at my home laptop, and take pictures there, and then blog at work I need to change the default screenshot folder to one of my OneDrive folders so it syncs across platforms. So until then I don’t have more BF:V pictures. This will be a soulless (sans picture) post about my 5 (V?) favourite things about Battlefield 5 (so far). And since WordPress will not let me do a reverse order bullet point, we will not have a ranking, just five random things.
- (I) Squad Play is enhanced. You actually NEED all four classes, and running off on your own without them is detrimental to your game.
- (II) Scarcity of resources. It doesn’t actually feel that way when you play proper in a squad, but building off of the first point – you will run out of bullets if you don’t have a Support Class near by. You do NOT regenerate health passively – so you need a Medic nearby to regain any health. In Battlefield 1, anyone could spot and you spent rounds aiming at red circles (Because you couldn’t see people in the distance, but because they were ‘spot’ted, you were shooting at colour indicators near where people were). Only the Recon class can spot, and only with their spotting tool. It has made the game so much better to be interdependent on each other.
- (III) Dying animations. If you listen and experience it, it is actually awesome. Left click cries out for help. When you are an Axis soldier it’s hard to understand, but last night as I lied there as an Allied soldier, bleeding out I hit and held left button and my bloody hand outreached, struggling for help, and I screamed “I’m fucking dying here, please, someone help, please!”. The desperation in the voice actually made an impact that hey, this is actual war. These are lives.
- (IV) War Stories. There is not a real, single player campaign here but instead they are telling lesser known stories. The first one is about the British SBS – the Special Boat Service. I didn’t know this existed historically. How accurate it is, I don’t know, but the story mentions that soldiers weren’t put into the SBS but instead people who “got things done”. And you take on the role of an inmate, who is good at blowing things up, as you are recruited to do guerrilla warfare along the coast in canoes in small, non-unformed outfits.
- (V) Destructible / Build-able environments. Buildings you are in can blow up from tank and gunfire. And you can build them back up. We took over a small town in Conquest that was basically a barn with blown out windows, and I spent 10 minutes building sandbag walls, razorwire, boarding up the windows for protection from snipers, anti tank hedgehogs, etc. The entire area I was able to protect both of the flanks and prepare it to be attacked. It was a complete renovation. I wish I had pictures. I did find a video!
It’s amazing. A game changer.
Anyway – I still have way more to discuss about this game, but it is my early favourite iteration of the franchise. And it’s not even released to the general gaming community yet!
I am now a PC game service enabler. There needs to be a better term. I had become an annual Origin Pass member, which gives you access to 150 EA games (plus early access to new titles on a trial basis) for the grand price of $29.99. They now added a service – Origin Premier – which gives you access to all of their NEW Games (and old) including all pre-order bonuses, MTX benefits, etc. It was $129.99 Canadian. I did the math and with Battlefield V coming out (it IS out for Premier subscribers) and Anthem later in the year (Premier get early access and beta access as well) I figured I’d pre-buy the year long access for less than the cost of two games. I now have another 154 titles I could mess with if I wanted to. It’s a very good deal for me, knowing that I would have bought both anyway. Now I get a full year of access to all games they have – and that includes some I used to play but can’t bother buying these days (Madden Football, FIFA, etc.) So I can dip in and out as I wish. It’s good value.
I spent 3 or so hours playing Battlefield V, the new, WW2 inspired shooter and my first impression is this. It is gorgeous. I couldn’t hit screenshot fast enough during the introduction that gives you short stints of all parts of the game – infantry, tank, plane battles, all through a well narrated but light story about war and many country backdrops throughout. The game also really tugs on the heart strings. Instead of hardy, veteran soldiers the presented them as what many of them were – kids, thrust into battle via conscription or a sense of country and the innocence is lost quickly – along with many lives. I am looking forward to playing more.
The gun play and gameplay is amazing. It brings me back to the old Battlefield days. It’s still a bit too fast paced to be a full strategic shooter but it did slow the game down enough to be less bunny-hopping and un-immersive like the COD titles I stopped buying years ago. The maps are awesome, progression is on multiple layers and quick enough to feel fun and meaningful (early on, at least). The customisation is fitting and fun to play with from weapon skins to various clothing parts. It should be a hit. I know it is getting some negative Metacritic scores because they DARED to put a woman soldier on the primary loading screen, but that is the new normal in the PC world we live in.
Here are some shots. I’ll be covering more of this – the gameplay, the depth, the maps – in the coming days and weeks. The gallery below are parts of the opening sequence and while they will not fully capture the experience of it all – the sounds and movement are missing, of course, it does capture a lot of the beauty of the game.
Enjoy the gallery! If you have any questions about the game, send them my way. Happy to answer!
Click on any picture to open the gallery. It is not the full sequence, so reading any of the text may not match up with the text from the prior picture!
I was away for two weeks. Long flights, late nights, time zones, work, play. Good times. As always when I step away from the blog I miss writing. Because of the kind of trip I had I don’t have a ton to write about – but I did follow a lot of the Blizzcon announcements, the subsequent grumblings, and all. So with a two weeks away post you get a bullet point paragraph post!
Not surprisingly, underwhelming. Almost seems like “what’s the point” of having a convention if you have nothing great to share. A simple “We aren’t having a convention. We are going to continue to monetize existing games, and even revive an old one to monetize further! Also, we will put a game already on it’s last legs into mobile format and find new ways to monetize it!). No one is surprised.
Well, Blizzard fans are. And here is where I say “reality check” time.
Blizzard is a digital company. You should not expect them to treat you like a friend, or a loyal customer. They have spent years not treating loyal customers like most other companies have to treat loyal customers. North America is not the main focus market anymore. There is far more growth other places in the world – countries that have billions of people who game more on mobile. You should not be surprised (or disappointed). Digital companies are the worst at treating loyal fans, because fans are happy with information over incentives. Ask anyone who has a loyalty card from their favourite restaurant what the bonus is – you spend money there, and you get rewarded. The more you spend the more rewards you get.
Digital companies only take.
This is NOT sour grapes on my part. Although I have long argued that gaming companies would do well to treat loyal customers as loyal customers they continue to value the person who plays one title for ONE month as the equivalent of a customer who has played 4 blizzard titles, some for a decade (or more) as the new guy on the street. They can afford the churn and burn in the global marketplace. I am not disappointed because this is exactly what I expect Blizzard to do – make the most amount of money for the least amount of effort.
They are making mobile Diablo because they need to monetize Diablo. And a mobile game is far easier, cheaper, and faster to build than a full blown game. They have probably run the numbers and have sorted that a mobile Diablo would make more money than a full PC version of Diablo anyway. They have or they wouldn’t be doing it.
- Alpha Breach
I was invited to a second Alpha, of the technical variety, called Breach. I am looking forward to it. Right now testing seems to be focused as every time I have tried to log in the servers have been down. There are no secrets here, you can stream the Alpha, so I can talk about it all I want. Co-op, 4 player, RPG, classes. Heck, might be fun. We will see. I will share more when I can.
- Secret Alpha
The other, Alpha that can’t be named, unless you are clever like Bhagpuss, has been a fun experience. I am worried it is one of the “more fun without other people” experiences, as it is a PVP game and right now I have time and space to explore and sort things out. I can see a future of roaming gankers and no room to breathe. Yes, I know, MMORPG MEANS OTHER PEOPLE. Except when it doesn’t. Like every PVE MMORPG right now. Still, advancing and learning is fun. There is some mystery. There is a lot of work left to do. Looking forward to when we can talk about it. On a side note, am I the only one that thinks that Survival PVP games only really work on terrain that is randomly generated? (Else people just find and fight over the “best” spots…)
- Diablo III for reals
Somewhat ironically I have been playing a bit of D3 because I never did level a class on my PC version. And with the lack of a WoW sub right now was looking for games to mess around in that I already have. Which has largely been taken up by the Secret Alpha and the Alpha I can’t access yet. Still, It is fun which had me itching for a not 5 year old RPG….
- Path of Exile
Free to play, I have been trying it. It’s not so bad. I know there is a ridiculous amount of complexity to it that I am quickly picking up on the learning curve. Not sure where to stick or how long it will, but it is a time passer and fun to play back to back with D3.
Daily play, get my packs, build my decks. It’s the best card game out there. Funny on what is old is new again – when I first started I was playing a Golgari Explore deck which was ok, but not really competitive with the control decks and aggro red decks of the time. I had to build my deck to be unwieldy to ensure I had win conditions vs the decks I was seeing a lot of. Fast forward to Ravnica, and I am back to using that deck and not facing the same problems I had before as people are playing base Ravnica decks for the most part. Perhaps it is true that I just got actual experience during those hundreds of hours of play “testing”. It’s an easy and quick play to get through every day. Fun when your deck gets the right cards in the right order and things go swimmingly. I still hate the quick quitters though and enjoy playing it out to the end.
Big roundup, glad to be back – did you miss me?
I don’t like going a full week without making a post. This is more of a challenge when you didn’t really do anything or have anything tangible to write about. So, if you hate general posts about a few things, stop reading now. This is one of them.
“Not as bad as I thought”
While not sounding like a ringing endorsement, but was the general consensus about Kansas City. I have been to a lot of cities in the USA but that was my first trip to KC. It was for a conference and I spent Sunday – Thursday in the “City of Fountains” (without seeing a single one, mind you!). Turns out it is a really pretty city. Clean, good food, nice places to have drinks at night. It felt oddly empty, mind you, where we were (near the Power and Light district) and unfortunately there wasn’t a Chiefs game in town and of course the Royals are out of the playoffs. I love seeing live sporting events in new cities I visit. Gives you a real feel for it. I probably wouldn’t go back there for a straight vacation or anything like that – but if another conference pulls me there I’d definitely look forward to it. Problems with conferences is that you tend to spend 90% of your time in hotels and conference rooms, conferencing. We managed to see some of the city but not nearly enough of it.
“Do you want fries with your airmiles”
I have another doozy trip starting Monday which will also mean less posting. The first leg of my trip is to get from Canada to Perth, Australia. Which is three flight legs. And 29 hours of airports, layovers, and flying. That’s a long day(s). I get a few days in Perth and then it’s a flight to Auckland (7.5 hours), then ChristChurch, then back up to Sydney, then Vancouver, Toronto, and then home. 12 days away with a full 48+ hours in planes and airports. While I am looking forward to my destinations the journey part is going to be long and exhausting.
I do my daily quest in MTG:A and have been building up some fun decks with the pieces I get. I have been splitting my earned packs between three sets – Dominaria, Ravnica, and Core Set 2019. I have been fortunate to get some legendary cards and my Golgari Saporling deck has been my favorite so far. While I play ranked, I am stuck at Bronze 2 for the most part because I play whatever color combo the quest requires, and it takes 1-5 matches a day to complete the quest. So playing something I have zero knowledge of, like a Blue Black deck means I wing it and focus less on winning or losing and just learn as I go. I mentioned this before but the best way to learn what tools are in the standard decks are to play them (of course) so there is still value there. I play stock decks of every color except for Green / Black which is my wheelhouse. “Your Go” is one of 5 pre-set options you currently can say to your opponent. I do not understand why they don’t have full chat available, with the ability to turn it off. I’d love to chat with opponents. I know it can get dicey that way, but it takes all the social aspect out of it and with proper reporting and mute tools could be a huge boon to a casul, fun player like me. Eventually you will be able to play with friends and why shouldn’t I be able to chat with friends in game while we play? It’s a shame and missed opportunity.
“Well, it’s LFR”
I am back to my subscription countdown in WoW. I am maxxed out on my characters (even though I did start levelling more) but right now I run all LFR wings on my Paladin/Druid and still plug away at Emissary quests. My Subscription will lapse on my next business trip. I was lucky enough to get a BOE drop that sells in the high 300s so that would be 3 months of subscription time for me. It’s not selling fast, however. I will probably keep going if I sell it, or take a break if I don’t. the game is so comfortable to play and the pacing and fluidness of going through the motions is very comfortable. I do need to download an “offline only” game – probably an RPG – so I have something to do besides work on my flights. I do a lot of LFR and do the mechanics properly, and have been getting heck for it. Yes, heck for tanking right. Most people are geared enough and it’s easy enough that you can skip a lot of mechanics and still have success (Taloc Cudgel) and when saying to the group I prefer to do it right, that was the response. Hilarity. I do miss the challenge in MMO gaming and know I can still make it myself in WoW (Mythic+, Raid teams, etc.) most of that is generally out of my time reach.
You probably won’t hear much from me the next two weeks but I’ll definitely pop my head into the blogroll and get some good reading in during my down times. Bon Voyage to me.
I had a LOT of fun with the Magic The Gathering Arena closed beta but was less than enthused to restart after the wipe.
Currently, there are around 1300 unique cards and you can have up to 4 of each. By the time I was done in closed beta I had around 2600 cards – so half way there. Starting fresh, without your favorite decks, is daunting. I predicted I wouldn’t even play again but I did end up reloading. It’s free and a lot of catching up to do.
MTG:A is an amazing card game. It puts Hearthstone (and any others I have tried) to shame. Yes, there is complexity there and nuance but of course with decades old games that happens. This version is so easy to play and learn. If you ever wanted to get into MTG this is the perfect place to start.
The challenge is rebuilding what I once had. I am not entirely enthusiastic about giving them money yet – I want to see how things are structured and while they mentioned they don’t plan for an Open Beta wipe if something “catastrophic” happens they reserve the right to do so. So I am treading cautiously.
I am also playing it like WoW Emissary quests right now – something I don’t really want to do, but I have to to progress. Every day when you play a match you get a free full deck. I am not sure when this stops, but each deck has 60 cards and so far all the decks have been different. If you want to get into MTG:A just log in and play one match a day – even if you lose horribly – and you are building a collection.
There is also a daily quest (or two, or three) that you get once a day and they accrue – exactly like WoW. These also reward money (to buy packs) and pack rewards. So these also must be done. They are often “play 40 green or blue spells” or “play 25 lands”. They often force you to certain decks and colours. It is good to learn these but more importantly to see what opponents are playing.
After that, the rewards aren’t worth the effort, to be fair. So every day I log in for 1-5 matches to clear out the quests and get packs. At this rate, I will be able to play my old decks sometime in the new year. Sooner if I am very lucky (or spend a lot of money, which I won’t do in Beta state). So now between WoW and MTGA I have two daily routines on my computer. Neither make me scream GET IN THERE! but both keep me connected to the games.
And for good measure, I was just invited to a big hyped, interesting Alpha test. Which the fine print says I can’t tell you which one, although supposedly a Dev on their discord said you could say you were in or not – just nothing more than that. I’ll respect the system and not say that quite yet until I can confirm. Unfortunately it is a game mode and style I am not particularly fond of, but Alphas are always interesting to go mess around. Will see what happens.
At least there haven’t been any Hopes and Dreams style interviews yet.
I was inspired while reading Kaylriene to take an introspective look at my gaming personal life. In many ways it has mirrored my own life and friendships. I found myself getting wispy and nostalgic reading the tales of their trip from A to Z. I struggle with these kinds of posts because I feel utterly exposed. There is not much in my life that I struggle with as a mid 40s, white, cisgender male with a logical world view (albeit empathetic) and the CEO ability to compartmentalise emotions and decision making. I’m not so sure how healthy that is. In fact, I am shocked that I fully understand the seemingly overused term “trigger” that we hear a lot about these days. Because thinking about my old EQ guild is a true trigger for me. A sadness overcomes me. Now, I think I know why – it was during this time that I had a nasty drug addiction (which I kicked without help) and that experience is as much a part of the good feelings of belonging and gaming. I have always blamed this on nostalgia but I know there are deeper forces at play, but my ability to understand them – fully – or perhaps face them and put them to rest – remains elusive.
I think to better explain what I went through it would help to explain what it felt like for me to fight addiction. First, I cut off all contact with those I used with. It was the only way, I quickly learned. They were already my only support and friend group but even when I did well to avoid the drugs – just having a few drinks with them and being around access to it would make it hard to avoid using. So I cut everyone out of my life who I was close to because I couldn’t handle it. Things got bad quickly. Withdrawal is terrible. I can’t explain the feeling in words enough to do it the horrible justice it is. It’s appropriate, mind you, as a barrier if you do get through it that no high can ever balance or make worth that low. When I was fighting during my personal rehabilitation I could never sleep. My heart would race at night uncontrollably. I was so sure my heart was going to stop that I would drive to the hospital, park in the parking lot, and sleep there. At least if my heart did stop I would be close to help. I did this for months. Try to sleep at home, panic, drive to hospital, get some sleep in my car in the parking lot. Winters were cold. I lived and was alone. I probably pushed away people who could have helped.
As a gaming blog I don’t know if I want to continue too far down this path. I just wanted to explain this part as I was a heavy user, and recovering addict, during my time with EQ. The bright light around it was that I used my online friendships as support and purpose to pull me through the dark time. Having to cut out your in-life friends and being too ashamed to explain to your family is a very lonely place. I found that support in my guild. Even though THEY didn’t know what I was going through (being an addict is a complete embarrassment to me) they were always there – someone was 24/7 in game and someone or a group to spend time with, have fun with, and just not feel alone.
So yeah, that is the basis on which every time I think of my old guild, or visit the forums that still exist (they boards themselves have gone through 3-4 hosting changes and survived unscathed), I feel a deep sadness. Maybe it isn’t sadness, but the emotions are hard to explain or control. This sometimes leads me to believe that maybe I hold a depression inside, in one of my tidy and clean compartments but it is only triggered by my old guild. I log into EQ and I have characters still in that guild and I check to see if anyone has logged in. Years have passed for almost all, even decades. I don’t really play there but I can’t let go either. I stop by regularly to check and to do a /who all on the server to see if I recognize any of the names.
I am not sure if I feel worse about all of this because of how healthy my life is right now – physically, I am very fortunate. I have a great life and do not have many struggles to face “in the world” that many do. It is sometimes because of this I feel guilty for harbouring these emotional struggles. As a business leader it’s hard to show or share this because I am afraid people will not want to follow someone who isn’t “a rock”. And while I mostly play that part quite well and can inspire others to be the best versions of themselves, I have this one trigger that always pulls me back down to a weird place of happiness and sadness, existing at the same time.
Yes, writing about it feels good. That fear of someone connecting this to my real world self is cowardly but I can write under general safety of anonymity, for the most part. I am not that important for people to care either. Good thing I never plan on running for office. =)
Dagome. All of that to explain Dagome. Dagome was an enchanter in The Grove on the Testserver. His name was Wojtek. He was Polish. We were online friends and late-night grinders, often just the two of us. I was a Troll Warrior. One day he asked if he could call me – and that was strange because we had never spoken. Of course I said yes, and he did. He had a very heavy accent.
He was suicidal.
This was after I went through my challenging period and I was able to support him well on the phone. I knew the feelings he had. They were all too familiar with what I struggled with. This gave me strength, oddly enough, to be able to help him. That was the first of many calls (from what I can remember – funny how memories are), and we were great in game friends for many years. Eventually he left to a new game, tired of EQ. He was in a pretty good place when he did, again, if memory serves me correctly. We had a brief time where I joined him at DAOC but the personal ties weren’t as strong as the gaming needs. I wanted to recreate the test experience on Pendragon, which I ultimately did for several years. He was still angry about how the devs did things on Test with the wipe, and just wanted a regular life on a regular server. We both made characters on each others’ servers and promised cross play. Didn’t happen too often and we lost touch.
I had locked away that part of my life and moved on. WoW was always positive and I stopped thinking and worrying about the past, and moved on happy in life. Met a girl, married, have a healthy child. Something drew me one day to search for the Guild, and it’s members from The Grove. I am not sure what, or why, but I did find the forums. And that was when the first trigger happened. And it hasn’t stopped since. Although the trigger is still there and it always hits me when I visit, good memories and happy feelings always follow. It’s quite strange.
Sometimes I wonder about Dagome, about Wojtek. Where he is today. I tried looking for him on facebook but without any luck. I hope he is happy and healthy in life and relationships. I sometimes worry if he went the other way. I logged into my Shaman in EQ recently and she had logged out at the Lake of Ill-Omen. She was there because I would log her in to give Dagome and his enchanted goblin buffs, and log her back out to log Braack back in. We farmed that spot for hours, pulling goblins from the lake. It reminded me that that was the last in game place in EQ I spent time with Dagome in. Probably the last time I spent meaningful time with him. If you can count gaming as that.
When I was young I had a real life ‘movie moment’. I had a summer job with summer friends and for several years we spent our summers working and having fun together. Their grandparents had a cottage nearby and I was a local. That last summer we were hanging out in a bunkie by the lake after a night shift, listening to music and talking. The twins weren’t coming back to work the next summer. It was the end of a long run together. Forever young was playing on the radio. I was on the bottom bunk, one was on the top and the other on a bed by the window. We told stories and shared memories. We said we would keep in touch and always be friends. I pulled out a jack knife and carved my name into the bottom of the top bunk. I cried.
Even though I spent years there I never saw their grandparents cottage, that bunkie, or them again.
Life is funny sometimes.
My subscription lapsed yesterday and even though I have tokens in hand, there isn’t much reason for me to log in. I am fully up to date on the Alliance War Story, and fully geared as I can be as a non raider. There are no more goals to hit for me – the boring, repetitive emissary quests for Rep for items I don’t really care about are not a draw. I sitll have rep to grind to finish the war story on the Horde side but that is a week worth of “work”, and I will pick that back up when I do resubscribe.
I definitely plan on it. Whenever 8.1 hits and more story and things to do surface. I have no clue when that patch is going to drop but it is on PTR now so probably not long.
What to do until then? I had planned on WildStar when there was no end date mentioned. November 28th has been announced, and I’m now less enthused because I don’t think I can do or see the things I want to do there in that time frame. Perhaps it is best left untouched, as nostalgia often is.
I am tempted to go finish levelling in EQ2 – I had a great run there not that long ago and really enjoyed it. It did start to grind on me a bit, but I think that is because I didn’t do an 5 mans. Now I have no clue if they even have a LFG tool, and if they do, that could really open up getting to the finish line there. Again, no clue, and this is my “put out an EQ2 question to the universe instead of google” and wait for Bhagpuss to respond (as he often does in EQ2 cases). Thanks in advance.
Any PC single player games out there that are worth playing that have an ending?
This mid game Limbo is never fun, but always works out in the end. Any ideas?
Well, the Warfront scenario in Battle For Azeroth is an interesting one. It’s a play on the old RTS game, and plays out kind of like a League of Legends style MOBA with 20 live “actors”. It was kind of fun a few times, too. Challenge is that it completely negates Mythic 0 level content and below.
I find it strange in some ways and good in others. For example, you are guaranteed an ilvl 340 item everytime. There must be bad luck / duplicate protection because while I did get some duplicates I was able to get a full set of gear, plus weapons for both of my specs, in a single day. It was a slog/grind as the average Warfront seems to go 30-45 minutes but my main character is at their gear “max” for the content I do outside of doing an LFR weekly. The gear you get is also titanforgeable as I received pieces between 340 and 370 ilvl. It is a “can’t lose” scenario. You always win. There is no challenge. Yes, there are ways to optimize the experience but overall it’s just free gear.
Compare that to Mythic +0 which gives 340 gear, but does not have a LFG component and there is more pressure to perform in them. If you don’t know what you are doing you can lose those.
Heroic 5 mans give base 324 gear. Warfronts basically took away the usefulness of doing a 5 man dungeon. That is a lot of content negated so early in the expansion.
The downside? Well, it’s not really engaging or compelling content after the 10th time, and also well, just look at me.
I went from an independent hero of the Alliance – a Druid of the Cenarion circle, to just another pawn in uniform. Godawful colors at that too. Good news is that they are launching new armor sets with new Warfronts (and a Night Elf themed one is due in 8.1) but really, with the same ilvl of gear it will be a transmog +titanforge hunt at best.
With the chase for gear out of the way that just leaves the hunt for Reputation which does unlock some higher gear at exalted and gates recipes for the (mostly useless) professions. This gear up mechanism is so effective that I really am just waiting for the Horde to get it back now that my Paladin is ready to go because there is no point in chasing small upgrades when Warfronts gives you them every time. The end result will mean less tanks, healers and players in general doing 5 man content and most mass queuing up for the Warfront. Heck, with 4 days left on my subscription I started levelling my Shaman because there isn’t much point in spending time on my “mains” once the daily emissary is completed.
The WoW routine is getting set and pretty simple so far, and unfortunately not in the engaging, exciting way Legion did it. At least when you did emissary quests you had a chance for something exciting – a legendary item! Now you just get some azerite, gold or an item you already out level, and some rep. Doesn’t really scream “play me”.
In other news, I am reloading WildStar to see what I can see there before it is gone. Will be a tossup on whether or not I renew my sub for WoW or just wait for 8.1 and the new story, Warfront, and excitement that could bring.
I have really enjoyed several of their titles – especially the original Walking Dead series and The Wolf Among Us.
The company is effectively shutting down after finishing off the latest Walking Dead game.
Oddly enough, there isn’t a reason given that I have read. Mashable has a story up.
It seemed like a successful company with a lot of acclaimed titles – big names too – including Game of Thrones and Batman.
I can only guess that the cost of licencing must have been a downfall. Either that or mismanagement.
As always, best of luck to the 225 people laid off (from 250) finding work to support yourselves and your families.
A lot of fun speculation with the announcement of a “free” flying pirate ship mount if you just prepay for game time.
Optimist in me : “Guys, we have such awesome content coming down the pipeline, you HAVE to stick around and see it! Trust us you won’t be let down! Here is a shiny mount just for being an awesome, dedicated playerbase willing to hang in there while these changes come down the pipeline.
Cynic in me : “Subs are bleeding, mood out there is bad, quick, let’s lock down subs to buy us time to figure out what the hell we are going to do with this mess.
I get the feeling that depending on how your Battle For Azeroth experience has been so far, is how you respond to this announcement.
Max level in an expansion is usually an exciting place. It was fun getting both my Druid and Paladin there (most recently the Paladin, Horde side) and the differences in the campaign truly made it worthwhile to enjoy both story lines. Instead of a sigh of relief while now at the level cap it’s a sigh of boredom. There just isn’t a lot of fun feels to be had with where I am at in the game.
- Sure, I’m running my daily emissary quests, all 30 minutes for each character. The quests are the “same old, same old” of Legion.
- I did a few Island expeditions on my Druid. I need 5 “different” islands to move my war campaign unlocks around. They are boring and pretty useless. Forced advancement at it’s worse.
- I haven’t done the Warfront scenario yet, but I did do the “run around Arathi highlands killing un-challenging content and getting 340 / 370 loot randomly (high end gear). Turns out I get to do that once a week now too…
- I have ran all of the 5 mans between my two tanks. They are OK. Historically I love 5 mans, but the rewards seem to be really sparse. And with the drops from the Arathi (above) I’m better off not running 5 mans and just doing Arathi once a week, with whichever side I can.
- Alts are demoralizing. You have to grind out the same rep on each character. Hard enough the first two times. Well, not hard, just not fun enough the first two times. (And I still have a long way to go).
- While the story is great, that’s the first time. The second time won’t be. It never is.
- Professions are a waste this expansion. The mats you need to craft usable gear forces mythics. They are helping that a bit this patch with a “chance” to drop in Heroics, but those aren’t that great (noted above).
- I’m not even revered yet in my main campaign reps, because grinding out 75 per pop via WQs is not a fun way to earn 12000 rep (when the emissary grants 1500 for completion. It just hasn’t been up in several days)
- The game is too formulaic this time. Every new small quest area gives a single quest to “introduce” the area. Then they give 3 quests to do within it. Then a final quest. It’s 5 per, every time.
- This expansion was the “check boxes” expansion in every way, the way it was developed, the way it plays out.
It feels like it has no soul, if that makes sense.
I keep logging in daily, hoping something will stick. I am going to play out my month, hope the story / tasks I am asked to do jumps when I get the rep I need, and just hope something clicks. I am not confident right now. Which is sad considering how high Legion was for me overall.
I’ve read a few other “mehs” – anyone absolutely loving it? Are you raiding? Just sticking to one character? Not sure what I am missing. If I am.
I told you so.
I know that is very, very helpful. And to be fair, like many others, I am actually really sad it didn’t make it. I would often reinstall, play for a bit (I wanted to see/feel the story of Nexus), get wigged out by the colors and playstyle, uninstall. It was a slow slog, but I was getting there. And I hoped every time I logged in that it would grab me “this time”. Except it didn’t. Just long enough to see a cutscene with Drusera, run a quest hub, check out my awesome house, and leave for a long time.
I know it has been covered before – even here – but the core premise of why WildStar failed is more easily explained by watermelons. Most people like watermelons. Some like them with seeds, some like them seedless. No one likes them with extra seeds. There isn’t a watermelon company on the planet with a selling proposition saying “we have twice the seeds as the other watermelon company!”. In a MMO world that was focusing on convenience, simplicity and play-ability at the time they went the other way. It was something no one was asking for. In fact, if you had a focus group on Watermelon wants and desires I would punch the person in the face that said we need more seeds. It was that silly.
Look, the beta weekends were fun and it had a lot of good going for it. Here is my post history about WildStar and the synopsis around each:
- 2014 Content
- Post 1 – Suprised I hadn’t heard about it until March, 2014. Already called that they had to go F2P to be successful. Before the game even launched.
- Post 2 – Ratings after a beta weekend. It was a tongue in cheek rating system (yay, humour?) but did say there were good things. Even though I recommended not to buy.
- Post 3 – I rebooted EQ as a comparative to WildStar. Talked more about the good things EQ did that WildStar and WoW weren’t. Get off my lawn. This was more about EQ/WoW, but it was tagged WildStar, so it’s here.
- Post 4 – Writing was on the wall before launch. The pre-order game was discounted almost 25% off before launch. That is not a good sign.
- Post 5 – I give some credit where it is due!. Carbine shared class / race information from the beta. I think that companies should be far more open with this kind of information. I still knew it was in trouble, but at least they were good at sharing.
- Post 6 – Beta weekend two was fun. And since the game was heavily discounted, and I was bored, I did pre-order. The Medic class was a fun new take on healing, questing was whimsical, and there was a lot of things going on well to give it a shot. I also expected it to go F2P fast so it was worth a gamble.
- Post 7 – Worried that every class only having one weapon would end up sucking. You could also change “specs” between pulls, and I was worried min/maxers would spend more time changing their skills/abilities than playing. Interesting the Legion made single weapons work pretty well – but obviously not past a single expansion.
- Post 8 – Was the first time I was clear about Betas ruining launches for me. I hate building strength and power to just have it wiped out. I thought I was being clever in WildStar by sticking to only one side during Betas, but levelling to 40 in the Beta tests – well, let’s just say I never got that high again. I was basically playing the game at that point.
- Post 9 – I talked about Raids in general, and how Wildstar is better at math. They had 5, 10, 20, and 40 man content. This makes sense as smaller units can come together to tackle bigger content. Whereas WoW went 5, 10, 25. The scale was off.
- Post 10 – General housing post. WildStar was great here. I did miss shared, guild housing (DAOC) but this was something W* did right.
- Post 11 – On the eve of launch I tried to categorize what a successful launch would look like. I was optimistic. I was hopeful. Sadly, they didn’t hit a single one of the 4 points I had hoped for.
- Post 12 – I was sad I was paying $5 an hour to play I was travelling for work. I had committed to give W* 60 days. That’s an expensive per hour rate.
- Post 13 – No respecs is a dumb idea. WildStar had classes and paths. If you chose a path you ultimately didn’t like, you were denied that portion of the game (which a lot was built around). I knew already they were barely holding onto me.
- Post 14 – Documented the slow and undramatic decline of the game. So close after launch. Writing remained on the wall.
- Post 15 – I cancelled my subscription. No surprise here, but I did give it the old college try of 60 days. I did predict my return when things changed.
- Post 16 – A Rally Cap post – still wishing WildStar well, even after cancelling the sub. Wanted to be clear on that.
- Post 17 – Clarity of failure shared when the top brass at Carbine doubles down on wanting to attract the 1%. If you cater to 1% of the market,which is already a small market, and don’t get all of it, that’s a pretty small opportunity to be successful. Maths carbine, maths!
- Post 18 – The Slow and Undramatic decline became a Fast and Dramatic decline. Sadness and realism ensues.
- Post 19 – 10 ways W* screwed up. Not a slam dunk list but a good list, nonetheless. Albeit a controversial #1
- Post 20 – Oh, what could have been! Stories begin to surface about the design decisions. How it was originally tab targetting, then switched to action far too down the path. Changes too away dev time from polish. This made me sad because tab-targetting might have / would have made it a better game for the MMO crowd. Not the kiddie crowd, the old school, I will support the MMO of my choice thick and thin crowd, though.
- Post 21 – Still holding out on a failing sub model. I encourage them to figure out who they want to be, and then monetize it to be that.
- 2015 Content
- 2016 Content
- Post 24 – I unbury two WildStar posts I had stuck in Drafts. As part of a new mini-series I did to clean out my draft folder.
That’s a lot of content, hope, cynicism and realism all wrapped into a strong posting year about it in 2014. I wanted it to work badly. Most of us just knew it wouldn’t the way it was designed.
I am disappointed I won’t ever learn or experience what happened on Nexus, why the planet was such a big deal. Not sure who Drusera really was, or why the strain happened, or who wins the battle for the planet. There was so much cool about the WildStar and chalk another one up to a bad outcome of timing, decision making, and disappointing results.
Not going to say much due to hype levels – but I played this game pen and paper growing up, it’s by the team that made The Witcher series, and hype levels are currently unhealthy.
Can’t wait. The merge of FPS and RPG in this early reveal looks well done.
I hate the hype train, so going to try and forget about this for a while. No release date yet.
My subscription lapsed this morning. Since I am Canadian I opt not to buy monthly subscriptions due to exchange rate shenanigans (we are close to $20 a month here to play) – especially since you can buy three month game cards for half the price at various retailers. I didn’t have one on me, but I do have a couple WoW tokens. I still paused. Do I want to keep playing?
The fact that crossed my mind (and still is – I haven’t said “yes” yet even as I write this) is telling to me. Legion was awesome (except for the mid gear reset). Battle For Azeroth has taken storytelling to the next level for WoW. That is great. The first time through. The thought of levelling with alts through the same content is kind of putting me off right now. How did I get here?
I finally hit 120 on my Druid. While the story was good, Guardian Druids are in a most boring playstyle place – especially coming from Legion. The scaling issues and fact they are trying to tanks more like tanks meant that I could kill 10 mobs at a time, but it just took a long time. The story was great. Slogging through mindless mobs to continue the story wasn’t.
My Horde Paladin is all new content, however, so that is promising. She is only level 113 now but it is “fresh and new” – the tanking playstyle is much more fun on a Paladin but still the same M.O. Gather as many as possible, kill all slowly. Although, to be fair, it feels like the Paladin kills things way faster.
I’m already back in my Legion style “maintenance” mode. I log in, do the daily emissary quest on my max level character, and then log them off. I have a full quest log that I’m not even sure if I get rep from, so should I even bother finishing? The rep grinds to do anything else in game are real, but I am not going to bang out all the World Quests I can find to do so (especially now that they add more several times per day – you can literally play 24/7 now, just to move a bar.) It could be a shame that in an expansion that did a great job on story that it feels like WoW is a never ending to-do list meant to trap the completionist side of everyone. Maybe it was always that way.
I am pretty sure I will stay in to finish the Horde Story Line. Come to think of it, I think I am missing part of the Alliance story line too – don’t think I have rescued Jaina. Confused why that’s not front and centre…
After that, who knows. Do I “suck it up” and level an alt? Throw myself into LFR raiding? Professions are poorly done this expansion and not worth doing and all I can think of is huh, this might be a short one for me until more is put in. I might try something crazy like just levelling through dungeons with DPS classes and grinding out mats for free time – the ZEN style of it all, but right now I just don’t know of my future with BFA. Weird because of how excited I was to get to level cap, and be thoroughly disappointing that the destination doesn’t feel like it did the journey justice.
Update: I did resubscribe. I will at least finish off daily emmisaries on my Druid as I work (ugh, I said work) to complete the Horde story line.
Update #2: Glad I am not the only one feeling this way
Well, this is awkward. I forgot my own Blog Anniversary day. (Blog Birthday? Blogiversary? Whatevs…). August 27, 2008 I wrote my first post. It was short. Here is the full content to save you the link clicking.
We are all Experts! (notice the clever use of capitalization for emphasis). Surely we all are, are we not? We have blogs and a voice to share our “expert” (notice clever use of quotations) knowledge and profound experiences!
I have always been interested in blogging yet never really motivated. I scour message boards and blogs – a fervent fan – but never an author. Something about having a single place to share personal opinions, instead of having to post all over the place, is attractive. Wondering if anyone will actually read the posts, is terrifying. I refused to read any guides or posts on how to start your own blog taking my preferred approach of jumping right in. Feet first mind you, as I am still not quite sure how deep the pool is in this end.
I HAS PC – Silly name, I know. Part of it is a play on how internet society has shaped our own language, the jokes between gamers and PC enthusiasts (all ur base are belong to us – anyone? Bueller?) but the truth is, I do have a PC, and I am an avid gamer. Currently I am entrenched in MMO’s and FPS’s. Fortunately for me, I have been in many a beta test since the late 1990’s and have enjoyed an insider view on game development. A lot of what I post here will surround the games I am involved in, the groups and organizations that are built around those same games, and the friends (and enemies) that post their opinions about both. Add in a dash of general interest topics, life as a gamer with family, professional, and child raising responsibilites (and funnies when they pop up now and again – who can live without the funnies?) – and we should have a fun little rounded blog here.
We all consider our own opinions important. Heck, it is one of the few things we have that that isn’t taxed (regularly) by the government. We have an abundance of them, an endless resupply, and many outlets to distribute them. Opinions are a chicken-or-the-egg conundrum. Do our opinions shape who we are, or is it who we are that forms our opinions? Regardless, I encourage everyone to add theirs on topics brought up. One thing I have learned, is that I have grown the most from other people who enjoy discussion and have opinions very different from mine.
The look and feel of the site will evolve as I figure it out. Special thanks to GTB for setting up the initial stage for me. Comments on the look and feel are very much welcome.
Well, there we go. First post done, and in the books.
I suppose I should buy myself flowers, or a new SSD, or something, since it is supposed to be tin or aluminum (are SSDs made of either of those?). As always, I credit Kill Ten Rats for me starting to blog as I was jamming up their comments section back then with so many thoughts and opinions. I still half expect them to apologise for that to the community at large at some point.
Last year I made fun of the fact that nine years isn’t a big deal, but ten – the big decade – definitely is. I am not so sure that I feel that way still. Moreso happy to be alive I think. Both in a human, literal sense and also from a “I write stuff and some people read it – still” sense. I’m lucky to have a platform and a voice and it is something I have managed to balance the enjoyment of, and the quasi responsibility, for.
I still use too many commas. It’s my calling card I think.
Some years, on this day, I reflect if I still do enjoy it and if I should continue to write. I had taken extended breaks in the past. I don’t really feel like I am ready to be done here, despite the less than cutting edge coverage I provide, and the same, comforting games I fall back into frequently. Back when I started I felt like I had so much to say about gaming, the industry, how things should be. Now I just write on what my whims are, and am just happy to be part of a strange, mostly anonymous community that still gives that comforting feeling of belonging. Truth be told if options presented themselves I’d love a meet and greet to share stories in person, or at bare minimum, beer, but with life as busy as it is I will settle for comments, replies to comments, “likes”, and the like. It works.
Thank you for being a small but important part of my world here. It means more than you know.
Chris / Isey
I haven’t had to look for a guild in 10 years in WoW. I became a part of a guild in Vanilla, and when we went from 40 man to 25 man raiding a group of us splintered off and formed a separate guild for TBC, and I was with that guild for most of WoW. Then when I left WoW for a bit and came back to find the people I was closest with moved servers (Uldum), I followed them with a character. Then another. My play time was very sparse at this time and I’d log in for a bit for each expansion and go long stretches outside of WoW. However, everytime I came back they were there.
Until Legion. The guild imploded and scattered to the 4 corners of Azeroth.
I wasn’t planning on sticking around Legion much and I took random guild invites just to get perks and see green text, and have people to level with, and chat with. There were no applications, few discussions – just “hey, you are in!”.
I want to change that. Not that my random guild experiences have been bad at all – but just looking for like-minded people. And people who read blogs tend to be those =) So, I have 3 Alliance toons I plan on playing this expansion and three Horde. All are on Uldum. If you have a guild or know of one on Uldum (I’m not even sure how it works cross realm now) let me know – would love to get a new home for the long term.
New Blogs Added
I have enjoyed reading Alunaria over at Alunaria’s Avenue and like many things, was surprised I hadn’t run into it before. We share a lot of likes over at Leo’s Life. Adding to my fun and fancy blogroll!
The second is a huge surprise for me – Marathal has a blog! Maybe I shouldn’t be so shocked. I see M all the time all over the Blogosphere participating in comments and likes for BlogNation. Once or twice I checked here by clicking his name and it took me to a link that was dead for his blog, so I assumed he was just a mega-reader and participator / contributor through comments. Oddly enough (again, back to degrees of separation) Alunaria liked a comment I made at Leo’s, so I checked her blog, and saw she linked Marathal and I was dumbfounded I didn’t realize it! Anyway here is a link to M’s blog and added to my blogroll as well.
Happy when these things happen, and it’s a Friday. Life is good.