Pre-emptive Thank You
Yesterday I freaked a lot of people out by calling it the Blaugust Eve. As I have explained on twitter, I was accounting for my amazing time travelling Aussie and Kiwi friends for whom… right now IS the start of Blaugust. For the rest of us at the time of posting this we have a little more wiggle room before the festivities kick off. I have to say last year was an insane ride for me, as much as it was for the contestants. The intent was to run everything through the Blaugust Nook but that didn’t exactly happen, and it quite literally made my life hell. I ended up spending a couple of hours a day trying to sort out who posted what when and in what time zone they were posting from… and then the people who posted after midnight in their own time zone… only served to add to the complication. There were numerous times I tried to track down people on twitter or IM to ask if they meant X post to be on Y day or not.
This year it seems like most everyone has registered on the Nook which is going to help, but what is going to be even more important is advertising your daily posts there with the day number you are intending it to be. On your side that is a small amount of work, but on my side that is saving me literally hours of scouring… and is hopefully going to allow me to actually read blogs during the course of the event. As soon as things start I have to flip into book keeper mode, and while I might be “reading” posts I was not necessarily enjoying them last year because of all of the technical foibles. So I am thanking you ahead of time for complying with the list of rules, because it is going to make my life not horrible over the next thirty one days. I’ve been a fan of Anook for awhile, so much so apparently that yesterday someone thought I worked for them. I just think they do a great job of giving me guild forum like functionality but also giving the ability to interact with other gamers. I am amped this year about them sponsoring the Community Award, and we will ultimately sort out the specifics of that as the event goes on.
Games of the Week – Week 1
Yesterday we launched the writing prompts forum, and I thought it was pretty amazing that Void spent a good chunk of the day yesterday populating it with a bunch of ideas. I plan on adding a new writing prompt to this post every day during the course of this event, but I wanted to go a little bit further. Nothing makes more interesting posts than exploring a new game, or revisiting one that you have been fond of in the past. As such I plan on highlighting three free to play games a week, with an attempt to mix up the styles a bit. My hope is that if you are lacking inspiration, you can download and install one of these games and find plenty of things to write about. Lets get on with the games!
Dirty Bomb – Nexon/Splash Damage
This is a game I played a bit in beta but have not really played much after it officially launched, and I am actually looking forward to playing it some more. I have long been a huge fan of games by Splash Damage, and I spent many an hour playing Wolfenstein Enemy Territory. Hell I even joined a competitive clan while playing it, but never really did much more than scrimmage other teams. Splash Damage creates a shooter quite unlike anyone else makes, and they tend to focus on these complex objectives that require multiple classes of players to complete them. I always focused on the “Engineer” archetype because it made the game play more enjoyable for me as it gave me a higher purpose. I am not big into “death matching” but I loved rushing headlong into a firefight trying to stay alive long enough to build a bridge or repair a tank. This game is the logical extension of Wolfenstein Enemy Territory, Quake Wars Enemy Territory and even to some extent the critical failure Brink. I think I am one of the few people out there that wholeheartedly enjoyed Brink, and lately I have been feeling the itch to play some FPS action… and Dirty Bomb seems like it is going to fit that bill perfectly.
Everquest II – Daybreak Games
I will always hold a special place in my heart for Norrath, the setting of the Everquest universe. When World of Warcraft launched I was torn because part of me wanted to be playing Everquest II. Instead I went where the bulk of my friends went, but continued to periodically visit the setting of EQ2 throughout the years. It has some of the best world building I have seen in any game, and the scope of the zones just feel so massive compared to almost anything else on the market. They innovated in so many ways, and had so many rich systems like one of the best Mentoring systems out there for the time. As the years have ticked by the game has felt more and more like a dated relic, however there is a simple nostalgic charm to it that I still find appealing. They seem to be banking on taking this nostalgia to market, as they have opened a time locked progression server allowing players to go back and experience the world as it was during the early days. This is making me seriously consider re-rolling and starting fresh on this new server, but I have had so many other competing goals that I just have not done it yet. My goal is this week to roll a character and check it out, but unfortunately that means I am going to have to buy a new character slot on my already loaded account. If you are looking for a world loaded with inspiration… this is a good place to start.
Marvel Heroes 2015 – Gazillion
Another game that I really enjoy but find myself not playing a lot of right now is Marvel Heroes. This game provides Diablo II style game play, with a rich class based system in the form of all of the different heroes that you can play. One of the coolest features of this game is the way that the you pick your first hero to level. The game allows you to play a long list of champions to level 10, and then you get to unlock one of them and take it all the way to level 60. This gives you plenty of time to get a feel for how they each play and their different abilities. I personally tend to be a Captain America player, but there are heroes that fit just about any imagined play style. The other thing that I really appreciate is the way that for the most part, the game gives me a pathway to unlock the things that I might want without hiding it behind an overly painful grind. Champions are purchased with Eternity Splinters which drop fairly frequently while doing content in the world. One of the complaints I have seen from friends is that the game play is extremely easy, and this is absolutely the case while you are playing on normal mode. However after defeating the main storyline you can ratchet up the difficulty much in the same way as you can in Diablo 3. This is absolutely a really fun game and the freemium nature is not egregious in any fashion, so if you want some old school Diablo game play with MOBA inspired style character design… you might check this one out.
Since I more or less posted a series of games that I have some connection to, or would like to have a better connection with. The writing prompt for the day is somewhat connected to that.
What game that you are not playing, do you still have a deeply nostalgic connection to and why?
Let us hear what game you keep returning to even if you aren’t really actively playing it… or likely will never play it with quite the same fervor. For me personally that game is absolutely Everquest II, and I still hold a torch for it even though at this moment I have not really played it over the course of the last two years.