Day of Destiny

So Much Fireteam

Pause in loading gave a rare screenshot opportunity.
Pause in loading gave a rare screenshot opportunity.

It seems my recent Destiny addiction has rekindled the fires in a handful of my friends.  As a result over the weekend I spent most of it in a Fireteam with Damai attempting to help level our friend Carthuun represented above by his PSN name Saldonas.  Saturday night my wife was freezing, so I got drafted into going to bed the moment our podcast broke up to provide “warmth”.  As a result I had to spend a good chunk of Sunday morning editing the podcast, creating the YouTube version, blogging about it and broadcasting it to the world.  After that I of course has to throw out my own Aggronaut post… which means that I was fairly late getting started on playing anything.  By the time I logged into Destiny Damai and Carth had a fireteam going and were working on the last few missions of the original storyline.  From there we pushed through The Dark Below and House of Wolves expansion content as a group, which honestly had been a bullet point that I wanted to get through at some point.  The problem is with so much new and exciting stuff  to do and gear to get… I never quite got around to making the time for it.  However with Carth leveling for the first time… all of the items you get through those storyline elements were actually relevant.  I finally st0pped grouping around 7pm when my wife got back home, and I went off to fix dinner for the two of us.  At that point I think Carthuun was sitting around the level 25 mark which is not too shabby for a day of grouping.

The big thing that I sorted was how to use PS4 party chat comfortably.  I have a Logitech G430 sitting relatively unused because after swapping to using a Blue Yeti microphone on my machine upstairs, I swapped to simply using a pair of Behringer HPS3000 studio headphones.  The sound output was better and they are nowhere near as heavy as the Logitech pair because they don’t need an attached boom mic.  Ages ago I ordered a few pairs of adapters that take a standard headset and converts it down to the single jack style input that modern phones and the PS4 controller uses.  Yesterday I took the time to dig out my G430 and one of those adapters and after some fiddling and piping all of the game audio through the headset… I finally arrived at something that was fairly comfortable to use.  I don’t seem to mind the fact that playstation chat is mono audio… when I have the rest of the game audio coming through my headphones as well.  Additionally having something other than my dedicated PS4 headset…  makes them far more comfortable to use for several hours on end.  Also this finally allows me to crank up the game audio without frustrating my wife, who has on occasion asked me to turn it down when a really crazy moment happens and the audio is booming.  Now that it is sorted I feel more comfortable using a headset with the console, and am also more likely to just hang out in party chat for awhile.  I am wondering what the upper bound on a party group is, and if you can have more than just the three fire team members.

Swapping Companions

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When I got downstairs last night to prepare for the season finale of Fear the Walking Dead, I of course booted up and started playing Star Wars the Old Republic.  Now that I have finished with my smuggler, I am picking up where I left off on my Sith Warrior.  Through the course of the evening I worked my way through the rest of the Nar Shadda storyline and just now starting on Tattooine.  I have to say it is very nice to finally have all four buffs after beating one of each base class.  I am a bit saddened however that I am finally reaching the stage of the game where it feels like having a healer is a very useful thing.  This means relegating Vette to crafting and spending the majority of my time with Malavai Quinn.  In the grand scheme of things I have no problem with Malavai, because he seems like the honorable Imperial Soldier type.  The problem being that I just like running around with Vette, because I always loved Mission Vao, and honestly for me… she was always Mission 2.0 rather than her own character.  Instead she will farm up companion gifts… that I will ultimately give to her later…  which seems a little strange?

Basically if I have a shot in hell of getting the special legacy unlock thing for beating all of the stories, that means I have to play through the rest of Sith Warrior, Imperial Agent, Bounty Hunter, and Sith Inquisitor all before the end of the month.  I am seriously doubting I will be able to do it, but…. that said if I ONLY focus on the story missions I might be able to make it.  When you only focus on the class story the early planets at least go extremely quickly and you stay at a decent level.  I might need to spend some cartel coins however to unlock more mod gear to throw on my characters.  The plan I arrived at on my smuggler of upgrading my armor every other planet seemed to work pretty well and I would really like to do that with my Sith characters.  The problem being the game is not extremely forthcoming with armor options.  There are sets available for pretty much any level range on the Cartel Market, but each of them cost a fair amount of coin.  So I guess we shall see what ultimately happens.  I guess if I got desperate I could make them wear the free moddable flight suits they give you, but that is not exactly a great option.  I might use the imperial pilot suit for Malavai Quinn however.

YouTube AggroChat

 

The funny thing about AggroChat is that in the grand scheme of things… we don’t actually get that many listeners… or at least not enough listeners to go through the trouble of some of the things that I do.  For example… our YouTube videos maybe get a dozen views a piece.  That said I like doing them, and I am not sure why.  I guess they are just far easier to link to someone when they ask you about the show than linking the actual podcast page.  Also I like embedding a youtube video far more than I liked embedding the Libsyn player.  I feel like I could probably do better about advertising our show.  I tend to do it in a rather haphazard fashion, because I feel rushed to get each show out the door and ready.  By the time I finish editing, uploading, and doing all the other things… I reach this point where I just want to be done with it for another week.  It is not necessarily the most enjoyable period of my week.  I love making the show, but the tedium that comes from doing all the fiddly bits to make it happen…  gets annoying.  So I reach this point where I just want to hurl it out into the world and hope someone finds it interesting.  The hardest part is it feels like we don’t have a lot of feedback.  Podcast listeners tend to listen silently, and while we have a few people that comment here and there…  you don’t get the sort of commentary that you do when you have a blog.  There are weeks however like this week, where I feel like we got into some extremely interesting conversations, and it is well worth listening.  I love the folks I podcast with, because ultimately they are the folks that I hang out with on a daily basis.

 

 

 

 

 

Week in Gaming 10/4/2015

Moving in Slow Motion

This morning I am having one of those days that feels like I am fighting against quicksand, to be able to accomplish anything.  It is the fitting end of the week I have had where so many issues have come up, that I had to deal with.  This week was one where my boss was out of the office for most of it, which meant I got to be the boss.  This is a concept that sounds fun on paper, but after having done it for years…  I promise it is not nearly as entertaining as it sounds.  Being the boss means you are the one that has to deal with isssues when they arrise, even when the issues are of a magnitude that makes you just want to pull the covers over your head and forget the world exists.  As such my gaming was a bit odd, because I needed to vent my frustrations in the form of shooting aliens.  There were many nights this week where I intended to do something else, but ended up playing Destiny all night.  As such there really are not a lot of individual games to talk about but here goes nothing!

Star Wars the Old Republic

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As of last night during the AggroChat podcast I have officially completed the original Smuggler storyline, and with it… I have a lot of thoughts about what I experienced.  When Kodra played through this content I can remember him being extremely disappointed… but maybe I am just more simple minded, but I absolutely loved the ending.  It is everything I expected underworld dealings would be… romance, betrayal, and getting revenge on the people who betrayed you.  It wraps up everything a good outlaw story should, and like the best ones… ends up with you on the side of justice.  Maybe I just grew up with too many westerns, but it felt like it should to me.  My character wasn’t necessarily a white hat, but he definitely was not a black hat… and at the same time I got to do enough things that felt like decisions I would make, to keep me hooked on the storyline.  Now that I have wrapped this one up, I think I am going to work up faction on Risha and see what that romance option looks like.  After that I think I am putting the Smuggler to bed for awhile, no pun intended… and moving on to something else.

While I doubt I will manage to play through the four imperial storylines before the launch of Fallen Empire, I think I am going to make a good college try to do so.  It would be cool to go into Fallen Empire with the special perk for having defeated all eight storylines.  Last night I swapped over and started working on my Sith Warrior which is the next closest to moving forward.  I have to say once I stopped doing side quests and only focused on the character story the entire experience became far more enjoyable.  Not that the side quests are not awesome… but when you have done them multiple times…  they begin to drag on.  As I play my Sith Warrior I will probably keep doing side quests because most of them on the Imperial side I have not actually seen.  I wonder how many if any duplicate between the two factions.  In any case I am still very much enjoying my SWTOR vacation and I think it has been a great way to spend the lag time between 3.0 and the 3.1 patch in Final Fantasy XIV.

Wildstar

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I have to say the disappointment of the week has been the free to play launch of Wildstar.  I guess I say “disappointment” in quotes because really… any time you do a major launch there are significant issues expected.  Wildstar relaunch has not been smooth by any measure of the word.  In theory from what I have heard if you can manage to get things are fine…  but that was not my personal experience.  I fought through the queues twice this week, and each time moments after actually getting into the game… I saw a message scroll across my screen warning me that the servers would be coming down in 15 minutes.  What does not help I guess is the fact that I am entirely focused on the Entity server, which happens to be the most populated.  At some point I will get some play time in, but at the very least I was able to go fiddle with my inventory and clear out my mail box.  I also gathered up all of my new items, and I am almost tier 6 on the Cosmic Points system.  I have premium sub time through next May so I am sure during that time I will play it quite a bit.

Destiny

Oryx is a badass

Not really sure what I can say about Destiny that I did not already cover this week in my blog post about it.  That said I am still having a blast playing, and several of my friends have also rekindled their interests in the game.  I’ve been getting snagged into a fire time quite often and as a result we are doing quite a few strikes to help my friend Damai get geared up.  Also this week Carthuun joined the game, so I have a feeling we will be doing some lower level content to help him catch up.  To some extent I have been working on leveling my Warlock other than doing my daily bounties, and enjoying replaying through the content.  This game is just so zen for me right now… nothing quite relaxes me like headshotting all manner of aliens, and in the strikes I have run I seem to get the lions share of the kills because of my focus.  I am absolutely in love with the Sunbreaker because seriously….  every game needs the ability to throw flaming hammers at your opponents.  I actually even spent some time running crucible skirmishes and enjoyed myself.  I didn’t lead the kill count for my team but I did manage to place second, and I didn’t have the negative experience some of my other friends have reported as a result.  I imagine that the community for Destiny PVP can be pretty horrible, I am just lucky that I have not seen that yet.

As far as today… I am probably going to spend a lot more of my time playing Destiny as while waiting editing the podcast this morning I managed to knock out most of the objectives.  After I wrap those up I will probably migrate downstairs and spend the rest of the day SWTORing on the sofa while watching something on the television.  Destiny has for whatever reason been the perfect blowing off some steam game for me this week.  My hope is that as I continue to gain light and gear up it will stay just as enjoyable.  I have yet to really try any of the true “endgame” content like the Raids and the Heroic Strikes, but I have to say if I have enough friends playing…  it might be interesting.  I am still just blown away by how much better the game feels to me.  Once again if you played the game at launch and found it lacking… I highly suggest you patch up your client and at least give the game a spin.  The changes trickle down through the entire game, and you should be able to see if you like the new feel before purchasing Taken King.  Thankfully there is the option to ONLY buy Taken King without having to repurchase the entire game… but those options are only available for digital copies of the game.  Not sure if you can upgrade a former physical copy or not.  The Destiny theme song however is playing in the background as I type this… so I am going to go answer its call.  Hopefully we all have an awesome week to come.

 

Alarms are Overpowered

I’m Late!

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This blog post is going to be relatively short and sweet since I may or may not have forgotten to set the alarm last night.  My life tends to revolve around rituals and when one of those rituals is interrupted I forget to do something.  It is like I have committed entire segments of my life to muscle memory, but I can only actually do the things if I do them in the correct order.  For some reason I decided in my infinite wisdom to go ahead and check the front door and make sure the cars are locked early in the evening.  This is generally part of my whole “putting the house to bed” routine, and because I ran part of it… I never actually got to the part of the segment where I check the ferrets food and water and the cats water in the bathroom… and FINALLY just before crawling into bed set the alarm.  It kinda sucks to be a slave to my own systems, and the problem is I am extremely highly functioning…  until someone interrupts me when I am in the middle of one of them.  Then like a remote control car that got knocked on its side I flail hopelessly for a few minutes until something finally helps me reorient my mental processes.

It does worry me at times that I will be sitting there lost in a process and be unable to shift gears quickly.  Like if I am thinking about one thing, and need to conjure up the name of another person not connected to the thing I am thinking about.  I am horrific with names in general, but in those moments I seriously cannot for the life of me figure out what to call this other person.  There are social skills that I have figured out that smooth these moments, like how to effectively say hello to someone… while sounding sincere… at the same time attempting to pretend that you DO remember their name and you are just a casual person that doesn’t always say names.  I think more than anything… I have some really bad indexing systems in my brain.  I can see someone in the office and remember intimate details about their wife or kids or that they like this or that television show…  but cannot for the life of me remember that name is associated with their face.  I guess I have gotten used to the handles we all use in the virtual space that ARE extremely unique to the person, and often times adequately represent WHO they are, and as a result normal names just feel like an arbitrary system.

The Unlikely Patriot

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Last night exited in two very distinct segments.  Before my wife got home I spent that part of the evening playing Destiny and made my first attempts at raising my faction with the Gunsmith by testing weapons.  Up until this point I had no clue how this worked, and I probably should have been doing this from the moment I could equip one of the weapons.  However I failed miserably and am just now getting started.  When my wife did get home we went out to eat and ran errands, and when I finally sat my butt down afterwards the evening became all about trying to make progress in Star Wars the Old  Republic.  At this point I have finished Hoth and Belsavis and am now starting my way into Voss.  One of the things that I have enjoyed the most about the smuggler missions is that they make this weird overlapping pattern, where you end up revisiting places you have already been multiple times because the storyline leads you there.  For example when we realized we needed to go to Voss, there was a problem… that it would take some time to get the right docking clearances for me to land.  As a result I was asked to go take care of an issue on Belsavis while waiting, which filled in some details that I would ultimately use on Voss.  Essentially the progression feels more significant than simply following a course of planets, each time I land there is a reason for going there connected to the larger story arc in a way that was not quite so evident when playing some of the other characters.

The other thing that I find interesting is just how much of a “manwhore” my captain happens to be.  It seems like every single conversation there is the opportunity to flirt with whoever I am talking to.  The best moments however is when he gets shut down harshly.  The expression on the characters face is like someone broke his toy.  As such I find myself using the flirt option far more often than I would on any other character because that seems to be a significant part of the smuggler experience.  The thing is… the characters in game expect it from my character.  So when I receive negative faction for doing it… it is only 2 or 3 points at a time rather than the 20-30 points you lose on say a Sith Warrior when you flirt with a character and Vette catches wind.  I find this equal parts interesting and disturbing… because it is setting up a kinda bizarre paradigm with this character.  I mean everyone thinks of the smuggler as having this roguish charm… but I guess that also means being a lush about everything?  Then again if you think about it… all of the similar characters like Nathan Drake or Mal Reynolds tend to do the same thing.  It is funny how much the “Han Solo” lovable rascal trope has embedded itself into game media… the problem being…  I’ve never actually met this character in real life.  When you meet a guy that flirts with literally everyone around them… they tend to be a complete jackass that just happens to have an overdeveloped libido.

 

 

Better Faction Systems

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Loss of Nuance

Paineel

I had this topic that I wanted to talk about this morning, and jotted it down so that I would not forget.  Then last night I suffered from a bout of insomnia.  So my hope is that even without much sleep I can still make this topic work, and devote the amount of attention it deserves.  For years I have talked about my dislike of the faction wall system that was first popularized by Dark Age of Camelot, and then carried forth into the modern genre of MMOs thanks to World of Warcraft adopting it.  For many players they know nothing different than picking a red versus blue faction and living their entire gaming life’s within the confines of it.  I think I struggle against this concept because I remember a time when this wasn’t necessarily the case.  Lately I have been spending a lot of time playing my smuggler in Star Wars the Old Republic, and yes I realize that game is a very faction locked experience.  However if you think of the Smuggler itself in the Star Wars mythos, it has always been a character that skirted the lines trying to exist in Republic, Imperial and Hutt space at the same time, carving their own path balancing between them all.

The problem is, other than the original Everquest no game really supports this notion.  You cannot live between the faction lines making your own choices, instead you are asked to choose an allegiance that is about the most impersonal experience imaginable.  The problem is that I feel no personal responsibility for choosing Horde or Alliance or in many cases Red or Blue.  They don’t represent me as a person, and as such I have no real loyalty tied to them.  However in Everquest you were assigned essentially a default template of allegiances based on your racial choice… but from that point on you could blur the lines at will.  I remember spending copious amounts of time hunting Kobolds in the Warrens off of Toxxulia Forest, for the purpose of gaining faction in the otherwise aggressive city of Paineel.  Why did I do this? Honestly for no real reason other than I could, and that I thought the city of Paineel was extremely cool in its layout.  Sure I could have simply banked and quested at the far end of Toxxulia Forest in the already friendly city of Erudin, but instead I made the conscious choice to hang out with the Necromancers.

Sapping Creative Expression

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The problem with the faction wall system is that it forces all of the players to essentially be the same person.  Later games started throwing in optional faction grinds, but those grinds are always connected to “things”.  Gain this much reputation with this faction and you will get a nifty sword, or a pretty mount…  but otherwise once the current expansion is over they will be utterly meaningless from that point on.  The problem here is that these tertiary faction choices don’t actually effect the players game experience.  They don’t unlock new areas of the world, or more so close off other areas that the player did have access to.  Granted in the early days of World of Warcraft they did manage to create a few of these Factions that did actually do interesting things.  Namely I am talking about the back and forth seesaw of the Bloodsail Buccaneers and the assorted Goblin factions.  If you were truly insane you could skirt a thin line between gaining faction with the Bloodsails but also doing faction repair work with the Goblins to make sure you were not ever hitting “Kill On Sight” status.

The problem here is… this was an isolated example that granted players access to a handful of boats in the ass end of the world.  This area was made immediately irrelevant as soon as the Burning Crusade and subsequent expansions released.  Instead as an Alliance player I always wanted to figure out a way to gain factions with the Tauren.  They were the only Horde race that seemed to cling to any ideals I could get behind, and I thought it would have been so interesting to be able to gain faction in a way that would allow you to enter the town and do commerce there.  Things are never completely black and white, and even in the lore there are characters that skirt the lines managing to be friendly to two different groups at the same time.  The entire World of Warcraft experience would have been so much richer if it allowed players through sheer will to grind out their own niche that lay somewhere between the predetermined choices.  I think it would have been interesting to allow players to create the ultimate “diplomat” that was friendly to essentially ALL of the races.

Fear for the Future

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The problem with games being iterative is that once a feature set becomes common, it essentially stays there forever.  This past weekend when we talked about Tron 2.0 in our AggroChat Game Club show, one of the lines of discussion was how the cultural norms for shooters have changed over the years.  What used to be representative of most of the shooters that were out in 2003, is no longer recognizable through the lens of the basic feature set that we now have come to expect.  World of Warcraft borrowed heavily from the games that came before it, and since it chose to go with a walled off faction system, games that have borrowed from it have essentially followed that mold.  Red and Blue factions with their own walled off areas of play have become the template for how to build a game, and right now the only real evolution has been a return to three factions instead of just two.  Sure games like Rift have torn down the wall and made faction into “fiction” but they have not really gone anywhere in the struggle of making faction a personal choice.

Now going back to the original thing that spurred this topic, Star Wars the Old Republic.  How much more rich would the smuggler have been if you quite literally could have been a freelancer in action and not just name.  The game does a decent job of making you feel like you live somewhere between the red and blue lines, and then when the second chapter happens it essentially rips all of that forcing you to align to the Republic faction.  Sure you can still play a dark side Smuggler, but these aren’t “real” decisions with any sense of “real” lasting consequences.  You can’t decide to say screw the republic and opt to live entirely in Hutt space or Imperial space.  You can’t decide to say on Alderaan or Balmorra and improve your faction with one of the leaders, opening up new questing opportunities that are unavailable to the average player.  Everquest is a game that I could never really play again, because I just can’t handle the essentially “primative” game client.  There however are still things that the game got right, that no other game that I have played have really tried to copy.  The problem is… right now I cannot see a game adopting a more real world faction system, without somehow turning it into a marketing focus and losing sight of all of the other things that have to be in place to make a game enjoyable.  Essentially I want real factions… but still be able to keep all of the things that I have come to expect from an MMO to this point.  Unfortunately I fear that the era of MMO experimental-ism is over… and at this point our feature set is locked in place just like the feature set of shooter is locked as well.  In the meantime however… I will still carry a rose colored torch for this features that I wish I could have in modern games.

 

Balmorra and Oryx

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Awesome Wife Update

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My wife is always awesome, but every now and then she does something so cool that I have to brag on her.  This weekend she was out shopping with a friend when I got a series of excited texts from her about something she found for me.  Awhile back I picked up some Star Wars shoes with this “A New Hope” artwork spread across the two shoes.  The problem being that they were expensive as shit and I hate the idea of wearing them out in my normal shoe rotation.  I wear a mixture of Vans and Airwalk slip on style canvas shoes and I seem to be able to destroy them pretty effectively.  My wife however found the above pair that is absolutely Star Wars print but not to the level that I wouldn’t want to wear them constantly.  She didn’t end up picking them up, mostly because she wanted me to try them on.  We get up yesterday and they were apparently also on sale at Target, so I am not sure how much we paid but I think they were under $20.  I just think its awesome that she saw the shoes and immediately thought that I would want them.  My wife isn’t necessarily a geek like I am, but she has always “gotten” the fact that I am and supported me in my quirkiness.  I am exceptionally lucky, and every now and then I feel like I need to acknowledge that fact publicly.

Starting Balmorra

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I had all of these intentions to make a big push yesterday in Star Wars the Old Republic, but in reality I only ended up playing it in the evening while watching television.  I did however manage to finish up all of the end of chapter one back and forth for the smuggler.  I now have Risha as an official companion rather than just someone hanging out on my ship.  Granted I will likely never end up using her, given that the Tank/Healer combo of Treek and I allows me to pretty much take on anything with ease.  Overall I do like the character of Risha and it is going to be interesting to see how the rest of the game plays out.  I figure she is going to remain being a vocal participant in the content.  Now we are going to enter into some spoiler territory, so you might want to stop reading if you have not completed the smuggler story line and intend to do so.  One of the absolute best moments in the game so far… was when I finally got to take down Skavak.  Up until this point I kept thinking to myself…  god why will this game not let me just kill this guy already!

Now that we have moved into Chapter 2 we get a new set of bad guys.  At this point I don’t really care much about this Voidwolf character, but I am absolutely all about taking on Rogun the Butcher.  Up until this point I have had him looming over my head and he has sent the occasional bounty hunter after me.  My hope is that when I finally am able to take him down it will be just as sweet as it was for Skavak.  I feel like as a smuggler I probably shouldn’t want to have a stand up fight against these Kingpins, but then again Leia did slay Jabba in rescuing Han…  so there is that example to follow.  There are moments in this game that I know are traps… but you pretty much have to go through them anyways.  The “rescue” mission on the derelict freighter for example, was absolutely going to be a trap and it was.  I did not however expect Port Nowhere to be the trap that it ended up being.   I guess it makes sense, because pretty much EVERY map you go to that is not on a main world ends up being a trap.  Looking forward to pushing through Balmorra because I can tell you right now I am ONLY doing class story quests here.  This is the planet that often kills my progress on Sith side, so will be looking forward to getting through it here on Republic.

Heroic Light

Heroic Ready Titan

Yesterday was a day almost entirely lost to Destiny.  After finishing my blog post, advertising the podcast, and finishing up the youtube version we ended up running out to Target to pick up my shoes.  We got home around 11:30 and from that point until around 3:30 I was engrossed in this or that activity within Destiny.  I wound my way through the Taken King story, largely because I wanted to open up the Dreadnought patrol zone.  I have to say Oryx was one of those fights that was probably way worse in my head than it actually was in reality.  The entire time during the fight I was tense beyond reason because I did not want to die and have to start over again.  So I spent most of my time dodging and running away while trying to regroup and get some solid shots in.  I don’t want to go into too much detail for those who have not done the fight, but there is a moment where he goes invulnerable except for a specific moment when you can attack.  This phase…  freaked me out more than anything I can remember in this game.

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I kept trying to time my sunbreaker super attack for when he was becoming vulnerable again all the while dodging taking damage.  The only negative about the encounter is that the adds definitely felt like nothing more than ways for you to regenerate your ammunition, and they were less of an issue once I realized this.  At first I kept trying to run from them and focus down Oryx, but I quickly realized that if I kept doing this I would get overwhelmed.  The big takeaway from the weekend is that I managed to hit 240 light, which is the first heroic level.  I did a couple of the Vanguard strikes on the play list, and I am going to keep trying to do those periodically.  I also started getting quests to do various “end game” content.  My main goal for the week is to regenerate enough Strange Coins to be able to buy something next Friday if Xur has anything interesting.  I am really happy that I had enough to buy Hawkmoon since I pretty much exclusively use Hand Cannons on my Titan.  At some point I plan on working my way up on either a Warlock or a Hunter, but for the time being I am really enjoying leveling Sunbreaker.  I am not sure exactly why Destiny has this renewed life for me… but for whatever reason I am grabbing on with both hands while the fun lasts.

 

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.

 

 

Week In Gaming 9/20/2015

Allergies Suck

This week has been a tale of the universe conspiring to kill me… otherwise known as horrible horrible pollen count.  When you go to one of those sites that tracks air quality, my neck of the woods has been bright red for the last several weeks.  As a result I have been walking around in a bit of a stupor.  Friday I felt like I was coming out from behind a fog, but this morning after running around yesterday I am once again feeling miserable.  Essentially it seems like my best option is to huddle inside and forget the world outside exists.  The biggest problem I have is that the only allergy treatment that seems to really work is Benedryl…  which puts me to sleep.  So as a result I take a cocktail of other medications in the hopes of blunting most of the things going on… and then combining that with copious amounts of caffeine in the hopes that somehow someway I will be able to function as an adult.  Adulting is really damned hard sometimes.  In spite of all of my time hunkered down this week, I really don’t have a wide variety of things to talk about.

Star Wars the Old Republic

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Treek is a Badass

Once again this week my primary source of gaming entertainment has been Star Wars the Old Republic.  As I mentioned last week during the recording of the AggroChat podcast I started working on my Smuggler, and I have continued that process throughout the week.  As of last night I am now on Alderaan and level 34.  The extremely level gap that I had on the content is starting to shrink and as a result things are getting more difficult.  I need to look up and see when the next upgrades are available because I am starting to feel like I need to spend some commendations on both myself and Treek to get some more gear.  I had been trying to do this every other level range, so that I skip one upgrade step but the levels have not been coming nearly as fast as they were on Taris and Nar Shadda.  I am however rolling in the commendations because they just seem to keep coming quickly.

I am absolutely enjoying the smuggler storyline because it feels so vastly different than any of the other storylines I had experienced.  The Jedi Knight and Jedi Consular stories interweave as you go throughout the game, but it seems like the Trooper and Smuggler don’t really work this way.  I am very much on my own mission through the galaxy with my own cast of characters to interact with.  I am still really happy I made my choice to go with Treek over Corso Riggs, because even listening to him running Crew Missions is enough for me.  I’ve managed to unlock three of the faction story bits with Treek and I am wondering if she has a special mission at the end or not.  She just seems genuinely happy to roam around the galaxy killing things, and I am happy to keep her in business.

Tron 2.0

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Yesterday I went through the steps outlined in this video link to attempt to get Tron 2.0 up and running on a Windows 8.1 system.  It took a little bit of fiddling but I finally managed to get things running.  I have to admit right now I am struggling a bit, because quite honestly it feels like a decade old game.  The controls are not nearly as responsive as I have come to expect from a shooter, also it returns to an area without functional auto-save.  This means that yesterday I died…  after playing the game about an hour, realizing that the last time I had saved was during the tutorial when the game specifically asked me to do so.  The combination of wonky controls, and not having auto-save to lean on… is going to mean that I have to shift the way I think about the experience.  I’ve decided already that when I restart the game I will be lowering the difficulty and skipping the tutorial since I already saw it once.  Here is hoping that I can manage to get through it before the AggroChat show next week!

Final Fantasy XIV

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This is going to be the first week period that I have not actually logged into Final Fantasy XIV.  Allergies and generally feeling like shit kept me from raiding on both Monday and Wednesday nights, which was unfortunate.  I’ve been in this holding pattern waiting on the 3.1 release to come in and sweep me off my feet with overwhelming love for the game again.  However over the weekend at the Tokyo Game Show they announced that we can expect the 3.1 patch in November.  That seems a really long ways away… considering that people are desperate for content right now.  The only thing we can think is that maybe the pet battle system might be what is delaying it… but honestly it would seem like a much better call would be to bump pet battles to 3.2 and get some fresh content now.  This is precisely the problem we went through at the launch of 2.0 and ultimately why many of us quit playing when we did.  We got tired of grinding the same two dungeons over and over.  In the mean time  I will have SWTOR and Wildstar to entertainment.  I don’t plan on quitting the game, but I will probably not be playing a lot of it until November to be brutally honest.

Disney Infinity 3.0

Boba Fett is Overpowered

The other thing that I have started playing with yet again is Disney Infinity.  I managed to catch a silly deal on the Disney Infinity 3.0 set while only spending $15 out of my pocket on it.  This gave me the 3.0 base game with five figures… the exclusive Boba Fett and then Luke, Leia, Anakin, and Asoka.  The 3.0 interface itself is much refined from the 2.0 version and features an almost MMO like feel to it where you have various hubs in a persistent main world.  Additionally there seems to be some sort of arcade feature that allows you to connect to players around the world and play with them.  I have not really explored much other than talking to each of the quest givers off the main hub, and unlocking their specific area.  Boba Fett is pretty damned overpowered as he has rockets that pretty much destroy anything they hit.  The only negative that I see so far with the Star Wars characters is that unlike Iron Man or Thor none of them seem to have flight abilities.  I halfway expected that Boba Fett could use his jet pack, but instead that is just used as a sort of charge attack.  I am guessing that also means that most of the play sets will be built in a way where they don’t need flight in any fashion.  Right now there are really only the two playsets that I have seen for 3.0 but I am sure more will be coming shortly.

Heading for a Trap

Slightly Darker Side

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One of the ways I have differed so far from my friends, is that I cannot seem to bring myself to do ONLY the class story line.  As a result I am ridiculously over leveling the content, and last night I worked on finishing up Nar Shaddaa.  I’ve been enamored with the concept of the vertical city since first experiencing it in Dark Forces.  In SWTOR Nar Shaddaa is the darker and more disturbing cousin of Coruscant and provides a very similar leveling experience.  You travel through hub sections of the city until you end up in Shadow Town and resolve the central conflict of the story and your class quest.  As a Smuggler this setting feels extremely at home, and as you might expect I do in fact get into plenty of trouble with Bounty Hunters and Hutts.  Generally speaking when I have played SWTOR in the past, I am extremely light side focused.  In fact I generally have trouble not choosing the “blue” option on any quest dialog.  As a Smuggler however…  I am finding it a little easier to choose that “red” option.

I guess I am ultimately playing my version of Han Solo… the goodnatured lovable scoundrel.  When lives of innocents are on the line, I always end up choosing the “right” option and get those light side points.  However when I am in a situation where I serve to profit greatly by looking the other way…  I find myself “playing the character” and finding it significantly easier to to take those dark side points… and console myself with a pile of credits.  Similarly if I have been double crossed…  or if someone is doing something truly heinous…  I find it oh so satisfying to take that [Attack Them] option.  Horrific Imperial Scientist gene splicing people?  Nope! Blaster to the head with you!  Try and talk my way out of a bounty hunter?  Nope! Blaster to the head with you!  My weakness seems to be damsels in distress however…  because I know right now I am walking into a big trap but I am having to play it off like my character would.  It will also likely end up giving me another opportunity for sweet sweet revenge…  which I am sure I will be unable to resist taking dark side points for.  Thankfully I have diplomacy as a Crew Skill…  and even though it is likely at the end of a blaster…  it helps to repair all those dark side points.

Cavalcade of Commendations

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One of the good changes while not playing the game, is the fact that they standardized the planetary commendation system.  Now when you complete anything you have the option of simply taking “basic commendations” instead of the planet specific ones, and at the same time they have increased the total number you get before fifty exponentially.  This means that I am constantly swimming in a good supply of them, and I could probably constantly upgrade my moddable gear…  but I am finding that I don’t really need to.  Since I am using Treek as my tank and she came with a full set of mod gear, and I managed to piece together a workable set from the GTN and the pilot packs…  it allows me to pretty much ignore every quest reward and just go for more commendations.  Since I am quite overleveled I was 21 before leaving Coruscant, at which point I went to the fleet and kitted out both armor for myself and Treek in the best modifications I could find at the time.  This rather easily carried me through until the end of Nar Shadda, at which point I dinged 30 and repeated the same process with level 29 gear.  If I can continue this process of upgrading my gear “every other planet” I should be in really good shape to have a pile of commendations for other upgrades.

Last night I spent some of my pile of credits on making myself look cooler.  At some point they added in dye slots to the gear, which allows you to “socket” a dye that comes in either single color or dual tone combinations.  Most of the really cool combinations are exorbitantly expensive, but I found one I could live with that was black and grey for roughly 40,000 credits.  Then I went searching for a really cool gun, and found this one that is originally a cartel item… that folks were selling fairly reasonably on the market.  The gun you end up with at the end of the starter zone is functional but not that cool looking… so I was more than happy to cast aside “Flashy”.  I dig the fact that it looks like the blaster rifles that some of the troopers have.  It fits my shoot first, ask questions later style of playing the “Sawbones” healer.  I have long said that “looking cool” makes your character feel cool, and I am pretty happy with my Chiss Smuggler.  I am extremely happy that I re-rolled him ages ago as a Chiss instead of yet another human.  I am starting to develop this “savior of the aliens” rep in my questing choices, which is kinda awesome since people keep pointing out the fact that I am another “alien scum”.  Still having a surprising amount of fun playing through the Smuggler storyline that I ultimately missed at launch.

A Boy and his Ship

Healers Not Required

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I have a distinctive grumpy this morning.  For starters it is raining and storming… and I cannot pull the covers over my head and allow myself to be lulled back to sleep by the rhythmic noise.  Secondly I was up far later than I expected last night. but that in itself wasn’t all that out of the ordinary.  However roughly 45 minutes before the alarm was set to go off, our kitten using some of her newly discovered jumping abilities caused an avalanche to occur sending a ton of crap falling off of a high perch.  Instead of just accepting my fate and getting on up, I did the futile thing and attempted to go back to sleep.  So I am going through that sluggish phase when you have attempted to get sleep…  but didn’t get enough of it.  As such my mental processing is a bit sluggish, but the show must go on.  Coffee is being consumed, and hopefully that will fix all the wrongs in the world… or at least lessen them.  As to last night… I was up late in part due to a bout of insomnia and in part due to doing things with friends.  I wrote the other day about my process of working through the HK-47 storyline, and over the weekend Tam managed to get caught up to the same place I was.  As I was folding laundry last night, I got a text asking if I was around but I didn’t actually see it until I was headed upstairs to wait out my insomnia.

There are a whole lot of faffing about that you have to do, which involves going to planets and scanning for HK-47 parts.  After that however you have two dungeons… the first one being a normal mode False Emperor and the second being a hard mode Maelstrom Prison.  We managed to get four warm bodies, which included a tank and three dps…  but unfortunately our only healing option had to go to bed early.  Since  all of us were between 56 and 57 in level  we assumed we would be able to do the normal mode dungeon without much issue.  While I managed to get a little low a few places, False Emperor went off without a hitch and we even managed to get a few cool cosmetic pieces.  Still feeling brave we decided to go ahead and attempt Hard Mode Maelstrom Prison without a healer… and while I took a few deaths due to my own stupidity…  we managed to make it through that dungeon as well.  So in theory…  we can likely run any of the older content without heals.  The cool thing is that while we were running the place we managed to get housing items to drop… which makes the place far more interesting for repeated running.  I think tonight I can run the last part of the HK-47 chain, which is a return to the Heroic 2 dungeon from the very first of it.  I simply did not have the oomph to remain awake last night and push through it.

A Boy and his Ship

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I spent most of yesterday chasing Skavak across Coruscant on my Chiss Scoundrel.  I am having quite a bit of fun playing the smuggler right now, and it is really the only class that I did not spend a significant amount of time playing during release.  Before leaving the game I had managed to get the Jedi Knight, Jedi Consular and Trooper all to level cap, and had several failed starts and playing the smuggler.  This time around I decided to go for the “sawbones” spec, which now does more than it previously did.  The Scoundrel subclass was a confusing mess because I personally struggled trying to figure out what abilities I should be using.  Previously you got this mix of melee focused and ranged abilities… and it seemed like a horrible idea to be a melee healer in this game.  Instead they have taken out all but the crowd control melee abilities and give Sawbones a focus on ranged damage to mix in with their healing.  This combined with switching to Treek as my tank over Corso Riggs has ended up making for a much more enjoyable experience.  Towards evening I blasted out of the space port on Coruscant headed for the wasteland of Taris.

Now that I have dinged 21, I spent some of my hard earned commendations and kitted out both my armor and that of Treek in full level 21 modifications.  I am pretty damned happy that I have orange sets of gear for both, and my theory is that I will upgrade at the end of each planet, hoping to soak up enough commendations while on the planet to be able to kit out my gear each time.  The truth is with the experience bonus I am well ahead of the curve.  Taris for example is originally intended for level 16-20 players… and I didn’t even make it onto the planet until 21.  My hope is this is going to allow me to be able to complete some of the heroic four content, and get more commendations that way.  In theory I think the heroics are daily quests, and I could keep going back to Coruscant to do those in order to soak up a few additional commendations.  In any case I am really enjoying myself, and this has been a welcome diversion.  My hope is that we can muster some grouping again over the next few days and explore some of the flashpoints that we never saw.  While this is a long shot, it would be kinda cool to be able to see some of the operations as well.  Tonight however…  we are going to work on taking down Ravana Extreme.

Something New

Yesterday I decided to try something slightly new, and failed a little bit along the way.  I had noticed that many podcasts actually uploaded their shows to YouTube, by simply throwing up a static image with the audio running behind it.  I figured this couldn’t hurt, and for some people YouTube might be a more comfortable experience than having to set up podcast software.  The first attempt however lacked any audio at all.  I was using Adobe Premiere for the first time, and as a result ended up exporting in some strange format that was a combination of a video file and a waveform audio file as well.  Windows seemed to know what to do with the file, and when I tested it… it appeared to play just fine.  However upon uploading it… I got a really long still image with zero sound kinda defeating the purpose.  The second export however made it just fine, and we now have our first YouTube show up.  We’ve already gotten a few views so we will see how this compares to the podcast.  It might also make an easier format for folks to comment on.  Let me know what you think.  I doubt we will ever do a video show like Cat Context and The MMO Show… but for the time being it gets our show in another medium.

 

Week In Gaming 9/13/2015

Very Rough Week

As you could probably tell from some of the subtext of my posts this week… it was a pretty rough one for me emotionally.  Work is still being stressful, but honestly that really had nothing to do with this one.  For our country September 11th has some pretty tragic context, but for me it has completely different issues.  Firstly September 11th was the birthday of my grandmother, and she would have been 90 this year.  I miss her an awful lot, and there are days where it is just rough to think about her.  Her birthday always brings back memories of her, which are honestly all good…  but there is a bittersweet melancholy associated with it.  She essentially raised me during the first years of my life, because she was my constant babysitter and companion.  She is also the one member of my family that really seemed to appreciate my wife being a member of the family.  If that were not enough to get me down in the dumps…  this week also marks the anniversary of a pretty horrible period of my life.  In September of 2012 I lost my Grandfather, and the day after the funeral…  September 11th… a pretty horrific event happened at my work place.   It quite literally with zero hyperbole ushered in the worst six months of my life.  Someone screwed up, and screwed up badly…  and I had to deal with the fallout and recovery.  So each time this day comes I get a little gun shy.  So this past Friday I was crawling in my skin as I waited for they day to end.

Demon Huntering

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As far as gaming this week, I had a pretty cloistered time of it.  I am still very much in my “hiding out” mentality, and I guess in part I think it was just me waiting for this week to pass me by, dreading Friday.  I spent some time working on my Demon Hunter in Diablo 3 and I think when I last played I was about halfway through 69.  At some point soon I hope to pop back in and finish leveling him to 70.  I also spent some time farming away on Rifts, Greater Rifts and Bounties attempting to get blood shards…  which I then disappointingly spent trying to get class set pieces.  I have been stuck at 3 of 4 pieces of the set I am going after on my Barbarian for a few weeks now.  I am not sure but Diablo might have worked its way out of my system for a bit.  I finished off the seasonal stuff, but as of last night Grace on the podcast talked about additional seasonal rewards.  I am just not sure if I will be willing to do any of the crazy things that are required to get them.

Star Wars the Old Republic

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The big event of this week was that I apparently have fallen into a Star Wars the Old Republic shaped hole.  I have played this game off and on since release, but this is really the first time I have felt I was actually back in the swing of things.  I’ve played alts a lot in the past, but this is the first time I have actually continued the storyline on my Jedi Guardian main.  As of last night I finished Makeb and am working through the precursor content leading up to Shadow of Revan.  My plan is to finish the story content before the drop of Fallen Empire next month.  Additionally I am taking advantage of the insane twelve times experience bonus.  Last night during the podcast I started working on my Chiss Smuggler and I have to say…  having access to Treek as a tanky companion makes that experience so much better.  Seriously… I hate Corso Riggs so much…  and was completely stalled out trying to play a smuggler because he annoyed me so much.  Treek is simply a better tank.. in that she jumps AT the mobs instead of grappling them back to me.  Who though a tank companion pulling back to the healer was a good idea?  Anyways as soon as I wrap this post I intend to go downstairs and play some more Smuggler… that was how much I was into it last night.  I may or may not have stayed up until 1:30 in the morning playing.

Final Fantasy XIV

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I am very much in a lull right now with Final Fantasy XIV.  I talked about this a bit on the podcast, but it is strange… that even while in this lull I still consider it my home base of operations.  I figure when 3.1 lands which should be soonish…  everyone will be invigorated once more and we will return to logging in every single night.  In the mean time I am playing a lot of other games as not to force myself.  I am still raiding on Monday and Wednesday nights, and this week we managed to get a few more people through Bismarck Extreme.  I really want to defeat Ravana Extreme before the new content lands, but one of the big problems we are having is… that honestly it just feels like there isn’t much content for us to be doing.  When we returned to Final Fantasy XIV July 2013 we had a years worth of content to explore since we had last played.  While we managed to slowly whittle our way through all of it… it gave us tons of small goals to work towards.  In Heavensward there really does not seem to be the much for us to work towards.  We can clear Alexander Normal in our sleep, and are pretty successful with Bismarck Extreme.  We are working on Ravana Extreme and I believe it is in our sights…  but Savage Alexander just isn’t a realistic goal, namely because I can’t bring myself to do the gear grinding that it would require to really be viable there.  I am well enough geared to do all of the content I feel like I could do… and I just don’t have the drive to push towards that bleeding edge.  So instead I play other games and wait for another content drop.

AggroChat 74 – Force Binds Us

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We start of this weeks show by talking about our continued adventures in Diablo 3, and while a some of us have slowed down our progress Grace talks about falling back into the familiar rhythm of chilling out in solo play. With the upcoming September 29th release of Wildstar Free to Play she also talks about spending a lot of time on the test server, and the recent hoverboard racing event testing. Thalen this week spent time venturing into some single player games that had never got around to playing. First we revive our discussion of Wolfenstein New Order and why you should play it for so many different reasons. In a shocker we find out that Thalen never actually played Fallout New Vegas, which spawns a discussion about our appreciation of the game.

Kodra on the other hand spent his week mostly playing a bunch of indie titles and talks about Circa Infinity and The Magic Circle. Magic Circle being the game that he spent a significant amount of time at Pax talking to the Dev about. Additionally we are all jealous of him as he talks about his experience playing Mario Maker, which is essentially Infinite Mario. This spawns a discussion about each of our early attempts at creating content for our friends to play like Excitebike, Wolfenstein, Doom and Descent. Related to Magic Circle, a seperate discussion breaks out about the Stanley Parable and what it says about gamers themselves.

Ashgar is still heavily involved in LBX: Little Battlers Experience and has even gotten in his model kits from last week putting at least one of them together. He helped to clear up some of my confusion that there is in fact a Roleplaying game there, and it is very similar to the style of game that Pokemon is. We also get into a length discussion about Pokemon Go and how the Ingress type game is likely going to change what we are playing next year. There is really no way this is not going to be a huge title, and for the most part we agree that Ingress has been a tech demo leading up to this.

Finally several of us have spontaneously gotten sucked back into Star Wars the Old Republic. Right now it is impossible to go anywhere in the world without being bombarded by Force Awakens merchandise, and after a point I simply could not resist the pull of nostalgia. The best thing about coming back to a game after years of being away is the huge backlog of content available to be played. The current twelve times experience bonus for subscribers helps as well, because you quite literally only have to focus on your class story to get leveled which was always the best part of the game. Ash, Bel and Tam are all caught in the gravity well of this game for the moment, and it sounds like some of our other hosts might have gotten the bug as well. We will have to see next week if we are still talking out it, or if we have gotten it out of our systems.

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