Week In Gaming 9/27/2015

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Week of Playstation

This week was very much a week of me waiting on something to happen on my PC while pivoted to the side and playing the PlayStation 4 instead.  The strangest thing has happened and I am not sure exactly when it did.  For years I was a diehard Keyboard and Mouse gamer… and if you suggested that I play a shooter with a controller I would give you a dirty look at best… and at worst give you a thirty minute rant about why that is a sloppy control mechanism.  The thing is…  shooters now have a significant amount of aim assist regardless of what platform you happen to be playing them on.  Sure you can get closer to pixel perfect aiming with a keyboard and mouse… but I am finding for extended gaming sessions a controller just feels more comfortable.  Destiny was essentially the game that forced me to learn how to play with a controller, and now…  I am finding myself replaying some games that I played exclusively on the PC on my PS4.  Over the week I picked up the Borderlands “Handsome Collection” because it was silly cheap on PSN, and I have to say… I am finding the game more enjoyable over there.  While I won’t necessarily say I have abandoned the keyboard and mouse…  I am finding myself equally comfortable with a controller and it seems so strange to be typing those words.

Destiny

Exotic Weapon FTW!

This week the game that I spent the most hours playing was without a doubt Destiny.  I am not sure why but the game feels fresh and new, and all of the frustrations I had over gearing for light are just gone.  Instead light has become this number based on the average attack power and or defense of your items, and seeing it climb is awesome…  but at the same time not something oppressively holding me back from doing interesting things.  I now think of light much more like a traditional gear score system in MMOs.  There is some content gated on that number, but it doesn’t feel like something that is extremely grindy to get.  I happened to luck out this week and Hawkmoon this seasons exotic hand cannon was available on Xur.  I had enough coins to buy it and bam I am now rocking a really awesome weapon, which only serves to improve my experience.  I’ve heard that you can send blue engrams to low level characters as a more efficient way of farming Strange Coins, and I might end up doing that as I pretty much depleted my entire stash on this one item.

Super Hammer Brothers!
Super Hammer Brothers!

Other than that I am slowly working my way through all of the story content that I have not played since launch.  It feels strange to be progressing in three different storylines at essentially the same time, doing whichever happens to suit me at the moment.  The big thing I am trying to work towards right now is I really need the dreadnought patrol zone opened up because I keep getting those as daily quests.  I am not sure how far into the story that happens but I keep working on creeping that storyline forward in the hopes that the next one will unlock the patrol zone.  Other than that I unlocked Sunbreaker and am completing most of my content as that, in the hopes of leveling it quickly.  There is something satisfying Fist of Havoc, but I have to say super fire hammer brothers is also pretty awesome as well.  You can whittle down objectives super quickly while throwing those hammers.  I’ve taken Taken bosses down to half health during my “hammer time” but the only problem is it essentially leaves you out in the open and vulnerable.  So I end up having to run for cover as soon as I’ve spent all of my energy.  Needless to say I am having a lot of fun with Destiny and probably going to continue playing it over the coming weeks.

Creativerse

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I’ve blogged about this game already at length this week, but I have to say I am still really liking it.  I am also digging that the company is from McKinney Texas which isn’t terribly far from me.  Not sure if I can rig this but it would be kinda awesome to go down and meet that team at some point.  I am hoping that they end up doing Pax South this year, because the game has so much potential.  I called it “Pretty Minecraft” but really that is selling the game short by a large amount.  I will say that it has pretty much killed my desire to play Minecraft at all from this point out.  I get what people say about the mods, but in reality I never modded Minecraft that much other than adding in quality of life things like a mini-map.  Regardless of how I modified the game it just felt like I was playing the same thing over and over with varrying differences.  This game however feels fresh and interesting because the world itself is something that I don’t know the formula behind.  I talked about this a bit the other day, but I think part of it is the fact that I have no real resources to rely on yet.  I can’t go on a wiki and find out that obsidian spawns between these two coordinates or if I need an item for a recipe I have to find it the old fashioned brute force way of exploration.  If you are in the mood for a building and exploration fix I highly suggest you check it out.

Star Wars the Old Republic

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Oh Captain My Captain

Last night during and after the podcast I finished up Alderaan on my Smuggler.  In the time it has taken me to get this far on my Smuggler, I found out that Tam has leveled like three characters from 1 to 50.  How is he doing it?  Well he is doing ONLY the class storyline, and I think maybe he has made a convert out of me.  I shot through Alderaan last night only working on my class storyline and gained three levels in the process.  Mostly at this point I just want to see the class storyline on several new classes before Fallen Empire comes along and changes a good deal of it.  I think the rest of the day I am going to likely work on my Smuggler and see just how close to the end I can manage to get.  My hope is that even after Fallen Empire they come up with a way to speed characters to the post 50 content.  I need to circle back around and do the Shadows of Revan content on my Jedi Knight, but honestly I am having so much fun with my Sawbones.  This is still such a great game, if you just treat it like a subscription.  The free to play options are complete and total bullshit, and feel like the most punitive way to play a game I have seen period.  If you can stomach the fact that you have to pay a subscription to really enjoy this game…  then it seems like a really enjoyable experience still.

 

 

Misery and NDAs

Broken

Game Is Still Pretty

Over the last few days I have felt run down, and I am grasping at straws to figure out exactly why.  There seems to be something going around the office, but so far I am not really showing any signs of whatever it is other than simply being exhausted.  Last night I largely struggled with a Migraine that kept me in a pseudo hibernation state, but this morning as I sit down to the keyboard and attempt to drink my coffee I am just feeling generally lousy.  One of my co-workers has been out for three days with something, so I am hoping I am not coming down with whatever that was.  Last night was the night of restless gaming.  I attempted to log in and be present in Final Fantasy XIV but only wound up AFKing outside the guild hall.  It made me appreciate just how much I love our free company house.  It really is in just about the perfect location that seems to be close to just about everything in The Mists neighborhood.  The only problem is… it is small.  We have talked for a bit about potentially trying to pool our resources and getting a bigger house, but the problem there is we would have to move and likely out of our neighborhood.

One of the things that I like the most about where we are situated is that we actually know a large chunk of the neighbors surrounding us.  While it has not been nearly as busy since the launch of Heavensward as everyone has fallen into this pre 3.1 lull…  it is still nice feeling like you are part of something larger.  While idling in FFXIV I attempted to play some Destiny and managed to complete a few bounties.  However my aim was constantly wonky, and I knew I should not be attempting anything serious.  As the night wore on the headache got worse and ultimately I ended up retiring to bed for awhile… the finally ending up on the Sofa.  I hate those days where you have the will to play something…  but cannot struggle through the “bad feels” in order to actually make any headway.

NDAs are Back

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I am using Trove as the screenshot for this little section because it was one of the first “who needs an NDA” alpha games that I can remember playing.  Everything about that game process was so out in the open that development discussions were openly happening on Reddit.  For a period of time it seemed like every new game coming down the pipe was sans NDA so that folks could stream it freely and generate buzz.  I was shocked when I managed to get into the Warlords of Draenor friends and family alpha for example… and was told that I could talk about it freely.  The problem being… this open transparency bit more than a few games in the ass.  Development is a messy time and as things are changing…  you end up with features in “partially finished” states that look like a finished product to the gamer.  The big problem with open and “pay to join” Alphas is that they no longer feel like testing.  Instead you have simply released a broken game.

As a result lately I’ve noticed a significant number of games bringing back the NDA.  Hell some of them seem to be almost unwilling to let the NDA go, as they have been in fairly prolific testing for a couple of years.  As of right now I am in a handful of NDA bound alpha processes, and each of them seems to be trying to return to the era when Alphas were actually that.  The problem with this is, I am finding myself far less interested in playing something that I can’t actually talk about on my blog.  So generally speaking I install the Alpha client and play every now and then, but I am not actually playing enough to be a proper tester.  I feel bad for this because I have always been the type to bug note the hell out of things as I see them.  While I think it is probably a good thing for Alpha processes to regain some of their previous closed nature, I also feel far less invested in a game until it is actually hatched and ready for public consumption.  So many things over the last years have blurred the lines between finished product and testing, and the current era of incessant and constant “early access” games just makes me leery to invest too much of myself in a game until I know that it is nearing its finished state.

Titans and Skywhales

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Two Worlds

Badass New Speeder and Armor Theme

Last night was a bit of a mixed night, in that I logged into Final Fantasy XIV early in the evening… and then spent most of the night with my chair turned to the side playing Destiny instead.  I largely logged in when I did to be available for any raid shenanigans later that evening and also be available for various folks who were wanting to get friends invited to the guild.  So I sat there with my headphones on attempting to monitor both games at the same time and doing a fairly poor job of paying attention to guild chat.  I gotta say I am enjoying the Titan again now that I gave up on the whole defensive thing and went back to striker.  There is something gratifying about doing Fist of Havoc in the middle of a pack of mobs and walking away to tell the tale.  Largely I spent my evening working on quests and bounties.  There are a handful that I cannot for the life of me figure out how to complete…  what the fuck is an “attachable grenade”?  I thought at first it was the lightning grenade that “sticks to any surface” but after a bit of reading this morning apparently it is the FIRST grenade option… which I don’t think sticks to anything.

Can’t Go Wrong With Black

At this point I am level 30, which I have to say really quickly how much nicer it is to have a simply leveling curve instead of that light bullshit.  Having to sift through items and find the one with the highest light amount…  was maddening especially when it often meant you were maybe turning down an otherwise superior item.  The only thing I question at the moment is the fact that all of this “leveling” gear is upgradeable…  whereas I am swapping out gear pretty much every single time I go out into the world, so upgrading it really is meaningless.  The only thing I am still holding onto right now is my exotic gun, and that is simply because I have not found anything with higher damage.  The moment I find a hand cannon with better stats, this exotic will likely get chunked in the bank for nostalgia reasons and I will happily use the next gun with better stats on it.  I am still fairly firmly attached to a Hand Cannon as my primary weapon… or as they for some reason occasionally refer to them as “Sidearms” instead.  As far as secondary and heavy… I am pretty partial to the Sniper Rifle and the Machine Gun because that combo gives me a strong way to pick mobs off at range… with a heavy with some serious stopping power.  Stopping power that you need for the Taken invasions that seem to spring up at random in every single open world zone in the game.  I stuck around on Mars long enough last night while working on a “kill champions” bounty last night, that I got to fight the same event several times in a row.  The giant Taken Vex Minotaur thing… is freaking brutal.  I don’t think it is quite as bad as a spider tank, but still pretty horrible to content with especially when there are not a ton of players around.

Taking Down Skywhales

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While fiddling around with Destiny a large gathering of folks started showing up in Final Fantasy XIV.  After a bit Kodra being the awesome person that he is, took it upon himself to try and make a group happen.  I am super thankful that he did… because I was absolutely not paying a whole lot of attention because I was busy trying to headshot Taken.  It turns out we had a few people who had not managed to get Bismarck Extreme yet, so that set our course for the evening.  Learning nights are interesting when you are teaching a handful of people a fight, because it ends up shifting the balance for the rest of the group as well.  Players who were the newbie last time, step up and become the experts and I saw that happening quite a bit last night.  Bismarck Extreme is still serious business even though we have downed it several times now, and I went into it knowing that it would take a few tries before we finally got it down.  On our first attempt we predictably missed the back on the first try, but after that we adjusted and started hitting that first hurdle pretty reliably.

The hardest hurdle as always is getting down the two snakes in time.  The challenge there was simply a matter of keeping all of our dps alive and busy killing sky snakes because during that phase if you lose a single player it is highly unlikely that you will be able to pull it out.  We are quite simply not geared enough to be able to carry that objective too hard.  In truth we downed the boss the try in which we kept everyone alive.  That just happened to be about 15 minutes before the instance timer ran out.  I think it was a pretty great night though all things consider and we broke a few more players into the rigors of end game Final Fantasy XIV content.  For the time being Monday night raids are on hiatus until November when the 3.1 patch lands, and I think in the mean time we are going to use Monday nights as a sort of “get stuff accomplished” night for whatever anyone happens to need.  I would not mind farming more Bismarck or even getting a group back into Binding Coil of Bahamut.  Cosmetic gear is always a strong draw to get me back into a place.

 

Lost in Infinity

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Upgrade Day

For whatever reason I have been putting off the upgrade to Windows 10, even though all of my machines have been asking me to do it for some time now.  Essentially I keep telling myself there is always something looming on the horizon that is way to important to risk having a machine down.  It is either the Monday or Wednesday raids or the impending Saturday session for recording AggroChat.  However this week I told myself… that as soon as I finished with the AggroChat festivities Sunday morning that I would exit out of everything and upgrade.  So roughly 9:30 in the morning yesterday I took a leap of faith and performed a Windows 10 in place upgrade.  I have to say I am shocked and amazed at just how smoothly things went.  The only major issue that I have run into so far is the fact that I had no sound… which isn’t terribly shocking because I use an Asus Xonar sound card.  After some quick digging I found out that the Unified Drivers that I had been running all along updated to fix this issue.

The best surprise however was something that I had been concerned about for some time.  The account that I use to log into windows, and have used for awhile is my outlook.com account.  I like using this… as it makes more sense than my previous windows account.  That said my Xbox 360s as well as the old Games for Windows are configured to use a completely different account that is based on one of my second gmails.  So my biggest concern was how the Xbox Windows 10 app would work.  However it seems like Microsoft has thought of this problem and allows you to sign in a different account.  When I did this bam… my Windows login account is now bound to my Xbox Live account and cross linked allowing me the best of both worlds.  I don’t have an Xbox One, but if I did I am sure it would be handy to have this set up in such a fashion.

Lost in Infinity

Asoka and Adorable Wookie Youngling

While upgrading Windows I ended up playing Playstation 4 pretty much all day long, and inadvertently falling into a Disney Infinity shaped hole.  This time around the hub world feels much more interactive than it did in 2.0.  Additionally you have all of these really cool sidekicks to collect, and I am guessing the majority of which are gained through doing side quests.  While working on the Twilight of the Empire playset I managed to find four younglings that I could then use as sidekicks when I got back to the toybox.  I of course chose the Wookie youngling because who doesn’t want to be followed around by a tiny Wookie.  I’ve spent a lot of time playing both Asoka and Boba Fett, but Asoka is by far the furthest progressed.  Namely I don’t think I have Boba Fett as an option for any of my playsets that are available yet.

There are so many aspects of this game that are absolute crack for me, like collecting bits to decorate my house.  I added on a bit to my house which is basically a combat arena that lets you fight level appropriate baddies while in there.  You talk to a tiny side kick form Agent Coulson and bam he spawns a whole bunch of stuff for you to jump down and fight.  At this point I have only actually made it through a few areas of Twilight of the Republic, but I am now on Coruscant and just checked into the Jedi Temple.  I am just shocked that I quite literally lost from about 9 am until 3:30 pm yesterday afternoon playing this game.  The gameplay is pretty damned fun, and much in the same was as I enjoyed running around in Ratchet and Clank beating things up for bolts… the same sort of mechanic is in place here for Sparks that can then be spent on items for the toybox.

Waiting for Sleep

My First Rayman Game

Last night when it came time for bed I was getting choked up again from my allergies.  So I took some Benedryl and went upstairs to wait for it to kick in.  Since I did not really feel like futzing with my PC I opted to fire back up the PS4 and piddle around on it.  Would you believe that until last night I had never actually played a Rayman game?  I mean they always looked interesting enough, but there was something about the arms and legs floating in the air that bugged me about the character.  There was a recent flash sale and I managed to pick up Rayman Legends dirt cheap for the PS4, and since I had always wanted to give it a shot… it seemed like an awesome idea.  So far it seems like a fun game, but for whatever reason didn’t hold my attention for long last night.  I made it through one level  before popping out and trying something else.

Home Sweet Tower

Instead I settled into a game of Destiny and spent my time fiddling with gear and trying to sort out the things that had changed.  It seems like most of the really cool stuff is already available to me which kinda shocked me.  I’ve not picked up Fallen King and was not really planning on doing so any time soon.  However when I started working on leveling my character with their much streamlined system… all of this loot flagged with a Taken King icon started dropping.  I spent a lot of time on Mars working on a few bounties and kept running into fallen corruption zones where corrupted Vex and Cabal would spawn in.  These things were extremely nasty but had a chance of dropping some pretty nice stuff.  The biggest thing I noticed is that it seems like the drop rates are greatly increased when it comes to pretty much everything you can do.  I walked away with more weapons than I had seen in a very long time… since maybe launch.  Also it seems like engrams are more true to their color… if I got a blue engram I pretty much got a blue item out of it.  Maybe I was just exceptionally lucky last night, but it did not seem like I was pulling greens out of them like I did before.  I need to spend more time playing Destiny, I enjoy it still and I have a lot of fun running around with my Hand Cannon.  I still have yet to play any of the expansion content, so I need to do that at some point.

 

Week In Gaming 9/6/2015

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The Long Weekend

This week was pretty crazy, and involved a whole heap of work related stress.  That said it is also the week before the labor day holiday here in the United States.  With that in mind the stresses seemed to be more manageable knowing that I had a four day weekend waiting for me.  The funny thing about doing these review posts is that I don’t realize I played quite as many games as I did until I actually sit back trying to sort it all out.  I am not sure how effective of an adult I am going to be today, because a combination of allergies and exhaustion are settling in and leaving me groggy as hell this morning.  Yesterday we did one of our whirlwind circuits of Walmart stores looking for back to school clearance… and of course for me… clearance Legos.  During the course of the day we hit six different stores in several towns just outside of the Tulsa Metro area, and I managed to get a Lego Star Wars Snow Speeder and Tie Interceptor which made me pretty damned happy.

Destiny

Bel Failing at Destiny

With all of the talk of the Destiny expansion, I decided to give the game a spin again since there are several content packs that I have yet to even touch.  That said a combination of lack of gear, and lack of skill kept me from really progressing.  I am not sure what sort of gear levels they are expecting players to have upon starting the new story content, but at 22 light it felt like I simply lacked the punch needed to chew through it.  I did have several nice weapons waiting for me when I logged in, so I guess that was awesome.  One of which was a nice hand cannon, which when I last played Destiny was the weapon I really enjoyed running around with.  I want to get in and figure out how best to increase my light score, and throw on a few levels before trying this out again.  Supposedly right now Xur has a night Titan helm available so I might boot this up after the blog post and see what that does for my total light bonus.

Grow Home

Quirky Robot Exploration Game

 

While on the subject of PlayStation 4 games, this week also saw the release of a whole batch of brand new PlayStation Plus free games.  If you own ANY Sony products… and are not a PlayStation Plus member, I highly suggest you do.  One of the big positives about the PlayStation platform is how well the various products ultimately interact with each other.  One nifty trick that my friend Ashgar showed me is that you can log in via the web interface and quickly “purchase” all of the free games even if you don’t happen to own a given platform.  So for example for the longest time I only had a PS3, but I was still picking up Vita and PS4 games every month so that when I finally broke down and bought the consoles I had an existing game library.  $50 a year ends up getting you a minimum of six new games each month.  You cannot beat that anywhere.

This month saw something slightly different for the PS+ process in that they allowed the subscribers to vote between a choice of three games for one of the September slots.  I personally voted for Armello, but it seems like the community as a whole really got behind the game Grow Home.  These is by the UbiSoft branch that does more “indie” titles, and quite honestly… it is not ready for prime time.  In my short period of time playing the game it locked up and froze numerous times on me.  It is in theory a quirky exploration game where you play a robot that has been dropped on a planet to explore it.  You collect crystals, climb surfaces, pick up items… all in an attempt to explore more.  It has some strange controls but I got used to them pretty quickly.  The only problem I have is the whole open world blocky exploration thing doesn’t quite hook me the way it used to… seeing as I have now played Minecraft for half a decade.

Teslagrad

Block Polarity for Fun and Profit

While Grow Home didn’t really grasp me…  Teslagrad absolutely did and I made the mistake of booting this up late one night…  and then ending up playing for over an hour before realizing just how late it had gotten.  The story of the game is that you live in the Kingdom of Elektropia and find yourself being hunted by the King’s guard.  You feel from them and find your way into Teslagrad the massive tower fortress of the technological wizards.  The game of course does not tell you all of this, but instead asks you to piece things together from bits and pieces of information you see in the levels of the game on tapestries and through little animatronic theaters.  The gameplay itself is simple and brutal at the same time.  The core mechanic of the game centers around polarity… hitting certain objects with your left trigger button will shift it “blue” and with your right trigger button shift it “red”.  This simply mechanic is used throughout this metroidvania puzzler to complete levels.  There is also a level of twitch gameplay as you have to use other abilities at just the right moment to get through the levels.  The challenge being that ANY damage taken will kill you.  Much like Ori and the Blind Forest the game employs a really nice checkpoint system so very rarely do you have to repeat much gameplay, allowing you to quickly learn your way through a given puzzle element through rapid succession.  The art style is this lovely hand drawn, hand painted feel that works really nicely.  I highly suggest you check it out even if you don’t have access to Playstation Plus.

Rift

Badass Flying Bike

While I did not really play a lot of it, I did spend time in Rift.  I ended up getting a code for the fourth anniversary aethercycle, which prompted me to want to return and play the game some more.  Funny how cosmetic items can do that.  I mostly spent time working on the “Intrepid Adventures” which sends you through a series of “Instant Adventure” style interactions deep within otherwise Raid only zones.  The experience was fairly slow going, but it might be an entertaining way to get to the level cap.  Right now I am 62.5 and I would really like to reach the level cap on at least one character before the next expansion lands.  I am not sure why but I have really struggled leveling in the post vanilla Rift game.

Final Fantasy XIV

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With folks at Pax Prime, it ended up being a bit strange as far as raiding weeks went.  We did not have the Monday raid and with tomorrow being a holiday I don’t think we plan on raiding that night either.  By the time we get back to work on Ravana Extreme we are going to be rusty as hell.  Wednesday night also lacked the people to meet, so instead we worked on Alexander for folks.  The 2nd anniversary event is going on in game and I highly suggest that you check it out because I think it is going away quickly.  Easily some of the most touching content I have completed in any game, because it breaks the fourth way in a good way.  Still going through a bit of a Final Fantasy XIV break, but poking my head in periodically to check and make sure everything is still going well.

Diablo 3

Greed Pays… at least when it comes to killing him

Once again this week I spent the vast majority of my time in Diablo 3.  At this point I am completely decked out in legendaries… thought not really the right ones.  I am also at Paragon 91 which makes my seasonal character far and away my most progressed character yet.  I think on the normal servers I am only something like Paragon 19.  At this point I am working on bounties and then grouping up with friends whenever folks are around, mostly for the highest chance of seeing set pieces drop.  I currently have a charge build, which helps me keep up with my wizard friends and also as soon as I can get one more piece of gear… deals a silly amount of damage.  I am having a blast, but still completely baffled that for some reason the game has just “clicked” with me where it did not for so long.  I am one achievement away from getting my season four rewards, and after I wrap this blog post I am probably going to pop in and work on just that.  It was a fun week, and I am really starting to enjoy doing these posts, hopefully you all my readers also like them.

 

 

Blaugust Games of Week – Week 1

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

dirtybomb 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.

Download From SteamDownload From Nexon

Everquest II – Daybreak Games

EQ2_000008 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.

Download From SteamDownload from Daybreak

Marvel Heroes 2015 – Gazillion

MH_SCREEN_042314_013 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.

Download From SteamDownload From Gazillion

Daily Prompt

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.

Night of Primals

Juggling Games

Wow-64 2015-05-05 19-30-34-21 One of the challenges for me during the Newbie Blogger Initiative is determining which days I should make NBI related posts and which days I should do my traditional thing.  It is a bit of a juggling act because I want to keep pumping out articles in support of the initiative but I also don’t want my blog to stop being… well “my blog”.  As always I am juggling a silly amount of games.  Right now as it stands I raid Tuesday and Thursday in World of Warcraft, Monday and Saturday in Final Fantasy XIV and for the time being I am also filling in on Wednesday nights with another free company static group.  I would not mind staying with them indefinitely but I would love to get to a point where I am more optional than the current tank role that I am playing.  Finally on Friday nights I have been trying to join in the festivities with the Black Dagger Society as I play some Wildstar.  Other than this I am also trying to juggle playing Marvel Heroes and some Rift… and needless to say I feel like there is always something I want to be playing.

Last night was a WoW night and we once again stepped into Blackrock Foundry.  I did not place the sign above but I was wondering if it was going to foretell my evening.  At the beginning it did seem like maybe it was prophecy, because we had a rough start.  We wiped several times on heroic and tempers were flaring a bit.  Our raid leader made the right call and took us back outside flipping the difficulty to normal.  From there the night got significantly better.  I was once again being frustrated by Flamebender Kagraz not dropping pants or a sword for me, but that has now been par for the course so I really wasn’t that upset.  Last week we made serious progress on Furnace encounter so I was extremely happy when our raid lead said we were heading that direction.  Apparently we had not forgotten the progress we made because in a single attempt we downed our first new boss since March 19th.  While heroic difficulty is where we will find upgrades, there is a huge part of me that wants to be able to say we cleared at least normal difficulty before the 6.2 patch.  We are now two bosses away from being able to say that.

Night of Primals

ffxiv 2015-05-04 21-02-18-84 One of the things our Monday night group has decided to do is to spend no more than two nights in a row on any one encounter.  It has felt like we have ground our faces against turn nine for awhile now, so it is refreshing to get to see something else.  Monday night was our first “off night” in this rotation and we opted to get the folks that missed Leviathan Extreme their kill.  This fight went smoothly and by the numbers and other than some of the folks who were new to the fight struggling to stay on deck, we were able to make some serious progress.  I want to say it was on attempt four that we managed to push through and defeat Levi Ex unlocking Ramuh for a large number of the folks, and getting a nifty summoner book.  From there we moved on  to Odin as our group had not actually downed it before.  We made one night of attempts but then got enthralled by the push for Turn 9 never to return.  We shifted things around a bit this time and had me tanking it and Ashgar dpsing, hoping that my insane health pool would help soak the horrible Sangital attack.

ffxiv 2015-05-04 21-03-32-20 The assumption seemed to be correct as it would take me down to around half health instead of almost killing me.  The thing is… we have gained a lot of gear since when we last tried this fight so I am pretty sure Ashgar as a Paladin would have been fine as well.  We managed to take out Odin and get a piece of the armor set.  I believe it was the gloves, but I really want to take this guy down more because I need to be a Lala-Odin.  From here we opted to take on Titan Extreme in part because it was standing in the way of us working in Ifrit Extreme and finishing the first set.  When we downed Titan before we were missing a significant number of the folks that we had on last night.  This fight has been the bane of our existence for awhile because it is precisely the kind of fight we are generally bad at.  If a fight requires us to adjust to conditions on the ground, then bam we are on top of that.  If it is a fight that requires us to do the exact same thing over and over with laser precision…  went tend to fail.  Fortunately we managed to catch up to speed quickly and on I believe our fourth attempt we downed Titan once more keying a whole new batch of players for Ifrit.  It was one of the most enjoyable nights of raiding I have had in any game, because each of the primal encounters were so drastically different.

The Old Blood

WolfOldBlood_x64 2015-05-05 22-23-01-08 This game I honestly forgot was releasing yesterday, that is until in the middle of the raid I had someone message me over the steam client asking me if I was having trouble with the game.  After the raid I opted to boot it up and give it a look see.  I have agreed to play this game in part to let Kodra know if I think he would be interested in it.  He and I both loved Wolfenstein: New Order… but completely different reasons.  I loved the game because it felt like a throw back to the 90s shooter era, and he loved it for the complex character interaction and development.  It was awesome that the game supported both things so completely, and by the looks of “The Old Blood” it seemed like the 90s shooter part.  Essentially this game is a loving reworking of the classic Escape from Castle Wolfenstein game that I spent so many hours playing during High School.  If it is nothing more than Machine Games redoing that game… I would be completely fine with this.

WolfOldBlood_x64 2015-05-05 22-13-18-63 While I have only played a few minutes of the game right now, I have to say I am amped about it.  The game is just as gorgeous as New Order, and seems to have the exact same kind of dialog between characters.  The problem being that I have a feeling there is a much smaller cast given that the entire game takes place inside of Castle Wolfenstein.  This next bit is going to include spoilers because the introduction is pretty short, but still extremely fun.  Essentially the start of the game centers around this plan between you and a British agent to sneak inside Castle Wolfenstein and steal the blueprints to Deathshead’s compound… aka that thing you are storming at the beginning of New Order.  The problem being that when you get into the offices of occultist Helga Von Schabbs, the plans are missing.  There is nothing in the safe in the wall, and you and Wesley quickly draw unwanted attention and a firefight ensues.  While trying to make your escape you are captured by Rudi Jager and thrown in the cell that you in theory begin the original Wolfenstein in.  From there you have to escape the castle… and quite honestly I did not make it much further.  The game is rather short, supposedly only two chapters, but for the price that seems more than reasonable.  I think I am going to love this game, but I still question if there is enough story in it to appease Kodra.

The Future Is Now

Other Peoples Drama

Yesterday my wife and I went on an adventure to Northwest Arkansas.  We have a deep sense of nostalgia about the Fayetteville area, because I guess it was one of the first towns we knew nothing about and wandered around together in.  This is a thing we like to do, go to a new area without any real warning and see what all we can find.  Combine this with the fact that my wife has a really awesome cousin in the area, and it is a location we try and get to as often as possible.  For whatever reason however it had been a few years since we had managed to make the trek.  I mean its not extremely far, but it still ends up being roughly a two hour journey from our home… so something we don’t exactly undertake lightly.

One of the coolest things about going up there is hanging out at our cousins place of business.  She is a tattoo artist of some renown and the shop is always an interesting place.  It gives us a window into lifestyles that are just somewhat hard to fathom.  I guess I’ve always thought it was important to expose yourself to other ways of thinking, but there are times that I just sit back and cannot quite follow the logic that lead down some of the paths.  I mean  the family is awesome, but the shroud of drama that surrounds it is one part really bad luck and one part less than stellar decisions made in the midst of that bad luck.  But what I love is just how valiantly they fight back against whatever circumstances they are thrown into.  While constantly in struggle mode, you can feel the love and the life that they embrace.

The Future Is Now

6922-walmartpickup-459 Northwest Arkansas is known for a lot of things, but probably the biggest is that Bentonville is the headquarters of the Wal-mart corporation.  As such you see some interesting machinations take root there that will likely filter out into the rest of the country.  Yesterday while roaming around town we saw something interest, a Wal-Mart Pickup Grocery.  In essence it looks like a non-descript warehouse building with a series of bright green drive in stalls similar to a drive in restaurant like Sonic.  The idea apparently is that you order your groceries online, and then pull into the stall and punch in some code letting the folks inside know you are there.  At which point they bring out your groceries and help you load them into your vehicle.

I have wanted exactly this same concept for years… and I am pumped to see that it even exists in a test market.  For years I have wanted to be able to do my grocery shopping online and simply pull up to the store and load what I just bought.  I really hate everything about grocery shopping, from the journey from cold to humid within each store, to the slow moving shoppers, to the desperate for small talk and validation cashiers.  I mean I try my best to be pleasant through the average shopping trip, and keep from biting anyone’s head off…  but it is a frustration that I would be more than happy to abandon.  The prevalence of self checkout lanes greatly improved my shopping experience, and this is just the next step.  The only thing that would improve it beyond this is maybe if robots delivered my groceries.

Playstation TV

Today I am wrapped up in my fuzzy little cocoon on the sofa, with cats napping beside me.  After two days of heavy activity, I am ready to just be mostly comatose today.  I got home late enough last night that I didn’t really get much chance to do anything.  I did take a bit and hook up my Playstation TV and so far the results are mixed.  I feel like I need to probably hard wire my ps4 into my network, so that only one of the two units is using wireless.  Playing Destiny there was a noticeable lag to the gameplay.  I mean it is probably no worse than when playing on the vita, but playing on a tiny screen with already awkward controls seems to make it less noticeable.  I didn’t experience any of the graphical glitches that Pete Smith on G+.  I am hoping if I hardwire my PS4 that it will help out the latency a bit.

I essentially need another HDMI hub downstairs as essentially I had to unplug my Chromecast to plug in the PSTV.  The other thing that I guess I was not prepared for is that I would need another Vita memory card.  So I have an HDMI hub and another memory stick on order that should arrive tomorrow.  The base unit only has 1 gig of storage so there really was not much that I could even download to play on the unit.  I will likely keep the chromecast hooked up until I get the rest of the bits to connect things up.  Thankfully it recognized my Dual Shock 4 without any issue, and was able to play using that.  The only problem I see there is that the PSTV doesn’t seem to take advantage of the touchpad at all, which makes some of the “Vita” interactions a bit awkward like the motion to “swipe away” a current application to close it is performed by holding down a button as the corner slowly peels away.  I think once I get used to it, I will enjoy it more as it will extend the PS4 to yet another television.

Blood of the Werewolf

AggroChat Episode #26


I feel like last night was a really good episode, or at least I hope it is.  It is one of those nights where the conversation flowed freely and we had way more topics to talk about than we realistically had time to do so.  Even at that we still recorded for roughly an hour and a half and it is completely packed full of stuff.  The title of the show is the “Gospel of Galaxy Trucker” and that is because Kodra has become an evangelist for the power of that game.  He has always been a big fan of the board game, and has latched onto the iOS port with both hands trying to get as many people to play with him as possible.  Problem is for me at least I don’t have any iOS devices, and I sadly doubt that android and iOS users will be able to play together….  although in Carcassonne you could play across platforms so here is hoping.

Other than that we talked at length about Dragon Age: Origin and mostly how Kodra has been getting along in the game.  He had tried to play it before in the past but was unable to get into it, so it seems as though he is at least over the hurdle.  As we refer to it “Getting Off Citadel” because that was the big hurdle of when Mass Effect 1 started to become interesting, and getting past Lothering in Dragon Age is a similar journey.  I talk at length about my issues with Destiny right now and the mindless grinding that is required to keep progressing.  I am far more grind friendly than the rest of my cast mates but even I am starting to hit my limit.  Finally we talk about the tell tale blank spots in the Blizzcon lineup and contemplate what they might be announcing.  We throw out a bunch of ideas for a new game genre for them to polish to a mirror shine.

Blood of the Werewolf

Blood of the Werewolf 2014-10-12 10-11-13-894 I picked this up some time ago on a Steam sale because it had two things that greatly interested me.  Firstly the fact that you were playing as a female werewolf looking for revenge for her slain husband was an interesting spin on the genre.  Secondly it looked in many ways similar to the original Castlevania with a series of levels that show your progression in form of a minimap.  The dual mechanics of “human” and “werewolf” modes seemed interesting as well.  So for this mornings Steampowered Sunday I decided to give it a spin and play it for a bit.  I was not really feeling up to interacting with the world so I opted not to stream it, however I did take lots of screenshots along the way.  This however is a review that almost didn’t happen because apparently this game is essentially broken without massive intervention.  When I launched it the first time I started getting C++ debug errors, and since I am programmer by trade and have visual studio installed… it kept asking me if I wanted to launch a debugger to step through the code.

It turns out this is a “known issue” and simply has not been patched.  In fact there is a “helpful” thread on the steam forums on how to fix it.  I put helpful in quotes because the “fix” requires you to edit your registry and hard code the resolution you want to run the game at.  This is a horrible horrible decision, and I damned near stopped playing the game at this point.  If you put a game on steam you should at least have a way to configure your games resolution without resorting to the registry.  Quite honestly this right along makes me not recommend this game for anyone at this point.  I feel like more than likely the current $1.04 pricetag and the regular $7.00 pricetag maybe reflects the fact that this game has some shitty development behind it.  All of this said…  the registry hack seemed to clear up my problems.

Charming Narrative

Blood of the Werewolf 2014-10-12 10-11-19-648 The art style and voice acting are really nicely done.  I maybe should have used charming in quotes… since in reality you are going across the country side on a revenge fueled murder spree.  But I guess in reality the original Castlevania didn’t give you much of a reason why you were going after Dracula…  so it works here as well.  The game is told from the perspective of the mother telling her son what she had to do to seek revenge for the killing of his father.  I am not sure if this is like a journal that the son is reading, but it seems likely.  Which makes me wonder does your character simply not survive in the end.  I have not played enough yet to really be able to determine that, nor do I know if I will play enough, but I can get into the reasons behind that later.

Blood of the Werewolf 2014-10-12 10-10-01-407 The only problem I have is that the enemies you face are mostly random monsters…  and while the rats and crocodiles and even other wolves make sense… I have no clue why there are giant fireball belching deep ones in the sewer system as well other than a faint nod to Castlevania.  I feel like the game didn’t really explain who I was fighting against other than someone killed my husband and the father of the person reading the narration.  What helps me care less about all of this is just how nice the characters and background end up looking.  It is very stylistic but at the same time still richly detailed without going overly minimalistic.

Interesting Mechanics

Blood of the Werewolf 2014-10-12 10-08-56-566 The gameplay is split into two different kinds of mechanics.  The first is that of your character as a human.  She is equipped with a crossbow and here is where things get a little wonky.  You aim your crossbow with your right thumb stick and fire it with your right trigger.  Now if you fire your cross bow without touching your thumb stick it shoots straight at, but there are many times where you will need to angle a shot.  The ability to fire directed arrows allows you to hit switches and trigger traps and angle shots just right to be able to shoot from relative safety.  All of this however in practice feels like a lot to do as something is rushing at you.  I got the hang of it as my play test went on, but it did not feel exactly intuitive at first.

Blood of the Werewolf 2014-10-12 10-24-52-241 Whenever your character goes out into the moonlight, you change immediately into your werewolf form which has a completely different set of attacks but maintains the same basic control scheme.  Right trigger to attack, right shoulder to perform special ability.  In werewolf form you get the ability to double jump, so a lot of the puzzles involve you jumping just at the right time in the middle of the air.  One of the things they carried over from Castlevania is the constant cavalcade of bats timed at just the right spacing as to make it damned near impossible to ignore them, but futile to actually try and destroy them.  Later the bats develop the same kind of loping movement as the medusa heads from Castlevania which makes them even more frustrating.

Uneven Difficulty

Blood of the Werewolf 2014-10-12 10-19-30-539  Other than the fact that the game does not actually run when you install it through steam without registry hack intervention… my number one complaint about the game is that it seems to have very uneven difficulty design in the levels.  Granted the original Castlevania had this going on as well, but it was very much not a good feature.  I feel like this game as a whole is a nostalgic nod to Castlevania in so many ways, and it even managed to carry over the same brutal and frustrating bits that quite frankly were just the product of poor level design rather than actual planning I feel.  I played the first two levels this morning, and in each of them the bulk of the level was rather sedate with logical progression gradually ramping up as you went through the play field.

Blood of the Werewolf 2014-10-12 10-18-22-570 Then they would throw you at a bullet hell section, where for the course of a single area you would have to avoid three projectiles at a time from an enemy on the far side of the room, while avoiding environmental damage form above, bats flying in from the side, crumbling tiles beneath your feet and still having to make perfectly timed jumps between ladders and platforms.  These sections are maddening but not in a good way.  They feel completely misplaced when compared to the rest of the level design.  Why should this one room be that much harder than the others, and why did none of the rest of the level really prepare you for it?  The first time you really encounter the crumbling tiles… is during one of these sections so you really have no clue what that block does until you have already failed at doing so.

Blood of the Werewolf 2014-10-12 10-34-13-316

The above section is what finally made me decide I was done for the morning.  YOu have a series of crushers that are a one shot kill.  They move in all sorts of directions, and extremely quickly.  There are status indicators above or to the side of them that show you how long before the piston fires.  They require perfecting timing to get through.  There is a moment where at two lights, you have to wait a split second before jumping.  If you jump immediately after the second light you jumped too soon and die.  If you jump as the third light is coming on, you jumped too late and die.  I could have handled one sequence of these pistons but after doing three in a row… and having a fourth one at the top of the ladder in the above screenshot…  I just said fuck it and killed the game.  I was not in the mood for that, especially when the rest of the game was actually rather enjoyable.

Rhinestone in the Rough

Blood of the Werewolf 2014-10-12 10-08-44-846

Given that it is the season of monster themed games, I figured playing Blood of the Werewolf was a good pick this week.  Now comes the hard part… do I suggest this game to others.  I can’t really say this game is a diamond in the rough, because there is quite a bit of rough that you have to deal with to get to where you can play it.  The steam forums are full of issues folks have had with this game, and apparently if you are not using an  xbox 360 controller…  you are likely going to have issues with controller support as well.  Like the subheading says this is more a Rhinestone in the Rough.  There are definitely some shiny bits that are fun, but the thing that got me was the uneven progression of difficulty.  If you really like Metroidvania style games, and there is an aspect of collecting bits that make you more powerful… and you don’t mind frustration games that can be down right unfair like say the Mega Man series…  this might be a game for you.

If you wanted a game that you could install, boot up without issue and play through without the feeling of wanting to throw your controller… this is very much not a game for you.  Thankfully like I said earlier the game right now is super cheap on Steam through the 15th for only $1.04.  At that price, even dealing with the bullshit it is probably worth it if you are at all curious.  Sadly despite its charm I will likely never boot this game up again.  I feel like Outland is better at doing the things I like about Metroidvania in every single way, so in truth you would probably be better playing it or Guacamelee.  If however you have massive amounts of nostalgia over the original Castlevania… this might be just the game you were looking for.

#BloodoftheWerewolf #AggroChat

Wrestling with DRM

Laptop Weekend

Here in Oklahoma it is a rainy nasty weekend.  I pretty much rained all day yesterday, and this morning when I went out to get breakfast I ended up completely soaked.  As such I have declared this weekend a “hang out on my laptop while curled up in blankets” weekend, and so far it has been pretty glorious.  Unfortunately a good chunk of it has been updating my laptop, since it has probably been six month since I have regularly played down here.  All in all it is not going terribly badly as I have had both my Vita and phone to play on while the laptop downloads patches and such.  I have to say I have so much frustration over allowing myself to get sucked into a mobile game.

Dragon-Coins-27 Years ago my wife and I used to play a game at the state fair that involved throwing tokens in the path of a sliding shelf that pushes coins off of the edge.  I had always enjoyed this game, and that first year at the state fair we spent way too much money getting the swing of it.  We played for hours and after about $50 spent all we had to show for it was a bullet keychain.  In successive years I got better and started learning the little tricks, like you can trade in the crappy little gifts for more tokens to collect these poker chips in order to buy bigger prizes.  That second year we walked away with a nice sized stuffed animal, and I think the third year we walked away with like five as we had figured out how to game the system.

Unfortunately Dragon Coins by Sega is exactly this game, but made even more addictive.  You take the already addictive coin pusher mechanic and attach it to a pokemon like monster collection and evolution minigame… and you have a recipe for constant mobile addiction.  Right now I am cursing Liores and Aro for talking about this game on the Cat Context podcast several times because finally I got curious enough to try it.  Now I am afraid I am hooked.  Thankfully as far as games go this one doesn’t feel too egregious yet.  There is a ton of “free” content to play and so far I have not encountered any roadblocks that absolutely required me to purchase anything.  It at least gives me something to play when I am out shopping with my wife.

Wrestling with DRM

daorigins 2014-10-11 10-25-41-983 One of the things that I spent last night installing and updating was Dragon Age: Origins.  Since I intend to be spending a bit more time downstairs I figured playing DA:O while catching up on television was a good activity.  I did not even have Origin installed on my laptop, so I went through the motions of doing that last night and then set to downloading Dragon Age Ultimate Edition.  For whatever reason the DRM on that game and I have struggled throughout the years.  It worked miraculously well upstairs when I reinstalled it a few weeks back so I thought maybe, just maybe Origin had worked out the kinks.  When I went to set it up on the laptop apparently there are still issues because while it downloaded the base Dragon Age… it did not seem to download any of the addons.

To make matters worse windows 8 does not appear to like the Dragon Age Updater program and it just simply is not running on my laptop at all.  So all of the directions from the Origin support site for restoring access to your addons does not appear to work at all.  What I finally ended up doing was manually copying all of the addons from my desktop upstairs to the laptop over the network.  Now when I boot up the game it appears to see everything just fine.  But I could see someone with less patience giving up long before we reached that point.  Dragon Age seemed to be a problem child, because I never went through any of the issues while playing any of the Mass Effect games.  So here is hoping the DRM scheme for Dragon Age: Inquisition is equally unobtrusive.

Of note for those who have not played Dragon Age: Origins before and would like to in preparation for the launch of Dragon Age: Inquisition… it is now apparently available for free from origin.  This game is well worth your time spent, and going back and playing it has made me remember just how much I loved the original game as compared to Dragon Age II.  Honestly I am not in the “I Hate 2” camp, but the first game is simply better in every possible way.  I figure just playing through the first one is more than enough to introduce you to the setting and its characters and conflicts.  More than anything that was what I was trying to do while replaying the game, is to remember all of the intricate struggles.

The Grim Dark Future has Tradeskills

Destiny_20141009231722 One of the problems I am having with Destiny is the fact that you reach this point in the end game where your entire life becomes about grinding otherwise meaningless things.  There are folks who will farm level 2 mobs over and over for five hours in the rare chance of getting drops, or return to previous content areas feverishly hunting for spinmetal or any number of other crafting materials.  Unfortunately these are not extreme players, but representative of the expected gameplay that games at the end of your twenty level story arc.  The end game of Destiny involves the collection of otherwise unimportant bits that you then use to upgrade your armor slots, in hope of getting enough “light” out of it to push yourself up yet another level.   Right now my life is about getting Spirit Bloom, Relic Iron and Plasteel… so it has me wandering aimelessly through the hunting zones in search of ground spawn nodes and chests.

My tolerance for mindless grinding is considerably higher than that of my friends, so while I am still able to find fun in this process… most of them have long since tapered off their play time.  I have managed to push myself up to level 25 after doing a ton of upgrading.  The problem is even I am not sure how much further I care to take the game when the end result is  so damned repetitive.  I suppose I could start trying to do the crucible, but I didn’t really get into this game for its player versus player gameplay.  I realize I likely expected something out of Destiny that it will never really deliver, but up until the point I hit 20 I have to say I enjoyed all of the content from that point on.  I even enjoy running the patrol missions because they give me little bursts of purpose… I just wish the patrol missions had a chance of rewarding you the crafting materials you need to progress.  That ultimately would be a massive improvement that would breathe new life into the game for me.  As of now Destiny is that game I play while waiting on something else, either waiting on my wife to get home, or waiting on something to spawn in Final Fantasy XIV.

#Destiny #DragonAge #DragonCoins