While I still have aspirations to cease the swiss army posts… I guess in reality I live a fairly swiss army life. This weekend was really no different, and the one hundred plus degree temperatures just caused us to spend more time than normal indoors. When this happens I start to get a little wanderlust at least from the standpoint of what games I am playing. As a result this weekend I played a mixture of Final Fantasy XIV, Star Wars the Old Republic, Minecraft, and some Magic Duels. You can blame the podcast we recorded Saturday for the later, because both Thalen and Kodra talked about playing it. I have several assorted versions of the Duel of the Planeswalker magic game cluttering my steam account. I end up picking them up when they go on sale and then only ever playing them a few times. Ultimately part of the excitement of magic for me is playing with physical cards and opening physical packs. We have joked about it before but “that new pack smell” is really a thing, and it can be intoxicating. That little tingle of excitement as you rush through the “commons” to find out what rare you got in that pack is a thing I have repeated thousands of times over the years. So is the sinking feeling when I see that rare is a blue or a white… the two colors that I most have a negative reaction towards. The real life magic really really wants me to play White, because I have an insane number of rare angels… but all I ever really want is the dark and sinister Black cards.
Right now I am still about halfway through the unlocking story of the White deck of Gideon Jura. The game does a really cool job of telling you the story of how each of the planeswalkers found their spark, which according to Kodra is the central focus of the Origins story line. The only negative that I have so far is that you have to wade through a lot of tutorials before the game just lets you play. Normally I would say these could be skipped but the game rewards you in gold for watching them, and that is gold that you will need later for purchasing packs. Where this gets really frustrating is when a new card mechanic is introduced and it stops whatever duel you are in the middle of to show you a tutorial on how that mechanic works. I can absolutely see however how this would be beneficial to brand new players, and even for me there are card mechanics that are being called by names that I don’t recognize in spite of fully understanding the game play behind them. The other big frustration with the Duels client is the fact that it crashed on me, numerous times… so I am guessing they are still having some issues. From what I can tell you stay connected to their servers even though you are essentially playing a single player match, and if that server connection wavers your game cannot seem to recover gracefully. I figure this is going to be something I piddle with from time to time when I am not in the mood for other games.
Communing with Fae
As I wrote yesterday Arcanist has always been the class that I struggled the most in playing. For whatever reason I have caught the desire to play it, and I spent most of yesterday working my way through content doing a mix of low level roulette, Haukke Manor, and guildhests. As a result early yesterday evening I managed to push across the line and ding 30 while in one of those Haukke Manor runs. After that it was chasing down two different job quests and learning how to be both a Scholar and a Summoner. The thing that I did not initially realize was the fact that the two Carby summons ultimately become the Faerie summons. I guess this makes sense, as without them somehow overwriting those low level abilities there would be no way for the job to scale down and effectively heal low level content. The other thing that I was not really expecting was how “un-healer-like” low level instances ultimately felt. My first dungeon as a Scholar ended up being Halitali… where I have exactly one useful heal button. So instead I just made sure I was standing next to the tank and dotted everything up. I am not sure when the class feels more “healer-ly” but until then I am just pretending I am still playing an Arcanist.
The other shocker for me was just how relatively easy the Summoner job quest ended up being. As you can tell by the Summon III icon, I had to fight Ifrit and after fighting him in several different versions… I have to say it was way easier than I expected it to be. I cast dots on all of the things, and then eventually he fell over… which I am guessing is how summoners are supposed to play? This play style is just so weird to me because it feels oddly passive. Maybe a better way of putting it is it feels like I am playing a completely different game than the rest of the people in my group. Much of the time leveling to 30 was spent tabbing through targets, applying dots, and then tabbing back to the first one to reapply dots after I had finished one circuit of the mobs. This just doesn’t feel natural to me I guess because it feels like the sort of triage that I do as a healer… but to damage all the mobs rather than heal all the players. I guess the truth is that I have never really successfully played a damage over time class, and it almost makes me want to fire up and play my Warlock again to see if this new outlook makes that class more enjoyable. In any case I now have a Scholar so I can begin leveling that through the instant duty finder queue. I should try and catch up to Tzi and Rylacus and run up with them.