Finishing Heavensward

Trying to Break Me

KneeGoBoom When we planned this four day weekend of house manipulation…  I knew somewhere along the lines I would end up harming myself.  Now I have any number of minor injuries from the weekend including that time I sliced my finger open and bled all over the old PC I was pulling a hard drive from, or the time I got my arm pinched behind something and created a really strange bruise on my wrist.  However yesterday I took my self mutilation to a new level, as I was carrying the final box out to the car for the last Goodwill load of the weekend.  I went to set the box down carefully because it had something poking out of it… and I apparently lost my balance and wound up rolling down the driveway towards the mailbox.  The end result is that I have one exceptionally banged up and bruised knee that makes it hard to walk, a second banged up knee that is far better off, and a wrist that I am guessing I have tweaked a bit because I ultimately landed on it.  I am completing ignoring the piece of chat that seems to be embedded in my palm because in the grand scheme of things that one is just minor.

At this point I am trying to alternate between staying off my knee an getting up every so often and walking a bit to keep it from freezing up too bad.  At the same time I am keeping ice packs on it every few hours which seems to be helping.  The above photo is actually a massive improvement from yesterday when my knee cap itself was roughly five times its normal size.  Today it hurts a lot less to stand on my knee, but a lot more to touch it… so I am hoping that means most of the trauma is just as a surface level and not actually effecting the joint itself.  It seems like the pain in walking was mostly related to the swelling.  Today actually my bigger complaint is my wrist that hurts like the dickens when I twist it.  Thankfully nothing seems broken… except my pride.  More than anything I just feel stupid for falling.  I feel stupid that it happened on quite literally the last box… which in itself was an after thought.  I am just thankful that while I put myself in a bit of pain that it seems like I am still fairly sturdy.

Finishing Heavensward

ffxiv_dx11 2015-07-05 21-24-42-48 In similar fashion to 2.0 the end of the 3.0 story concludes in a series of group story content.  Thankfully however it seems they have learned their lesson and instead of making long eight player dungeons, they created a single four player story mode dungeon and an extremely fun trial encounter.  I won’t go into much detail about either because spoilers…  but this time around they managed to get the risk and reward equation just right.  I’ve now run the four player story dungeon I think four times, and will happily run it as many times as needed because at face value it is worth 80 Tomestones of Law, and when you factor in the “virgin bonus” as we have taken to calling it…  you get 120 tomestones for what is a relatively quick dungeon run.  Similarly while the trial only rewards 10 tomestones per run, it is fast enough and enjoyable enough that when we mentioned last night that we needed people to run it… folks jumped at the chance just to see it again.

Just like 2.0 the 3.0 credit roll resolves some of the current conflicts… but opens up just as many questions about our future.  As it stands right now I am completely amped to se what 3.1 brings, because things happened… and I am intrigued as to how they will resolve.  This is the thing that I love so much about the way Final Fantasy XIV expansions seem to work.  They end on this warm and fuzzy point… but at the same time feel like you just completed the games introduction.  You know that there is going to be twice as much content before you see the end of expansion credit roll.  The only thing I am finding myself really disappointed in is my class quests.  They felt disconnected and extraneous to the Heavensward content.  Now I hear that some quests especially that of the summoner is deeply connected to this expansion, however for the Warrior which is the class I took to 60 first…  it was a fun romp with axes but nothing more.  I remember having a serious difficult time with my level 50 warrior quests… and nothing that I experienced in this expansion class quest wise even caused me to break a sweat.

And my Axe, and This Dungeon

ffxiv_dx11 2015-07-06 08-18-55-05 At the launch of 2.0 getting Tomestones of Philosphy was a very painful grind, and as such it lead most of us to stop playing the game.  When we came back they managed to fix some of these problems and we were able to actually get into the end game content.  It seems like they have learned their lessons because the Tomestones of Law grind seems exceptionally easy.  In the very meager content that I managed to run, I gathered up the 570 I needed for my weapon.  Since I also had been running a significant number of Clan Hunts I managed to gather up the 395 seals needed to get the item to upgrade my 170 axe into a 180.  So far I am really liking the way this works, you do dungeon content to get tomestones to buy the gear… then do hunts to get the bits to upgrade them instead of relying on random chance at getting a drop from a raid somewhere.  My hope is that in short order I will be able to finish my law set and be in raiding form.  For the moment I will be focusing on my worst slots first, so that I can improve my viability the most… as quickly as possible.

ffxiv_dx11 2015-07-05 22-55-18-31 Last night I also managed to tank my very first level 60 dungeon, called the Fractal Continuum.  I have to say I like this dungeon already so much more than I liked the whole Wanderers Palace/Amdapoor Keep thing that we had at the launch of 2.0.  The other dungeon available is called Neverreap and I have yet to run it, but have heard it is similarly enjoyable.  I have to say it was plenty challenging, especially the last encounter but at this point we are in essence a raid experienced group of players and were able to rely on mechanics we learned while raiding to defeat the encounters.  I feel that the game set a pretty realistic starting gear place as well, in that you have to be at least ilvl 155 to run it.  There is a gear vendor out in the final zone that should help players “catch up” and fill out any slots they have serious deficiencies in.  I personally need to pop out there and check the vendor myself because I still have a few aging quest rewards. I feel like I am pretty happy with the state my next few months will be in as I gear out my jobs and level the ones that are not sixty.

Ding 60 Warrior

The End is Near

almostthere This morning I have places on my body that are sore that I did not even know existed.  That said I feel like we have accomplished a lot this extended weekend.  Essentially my office and my wife’s office have not seen a major clean and reorganize in over a decade.  As a result mine especially was this dysfunctional hell hole, that I simply lacked the oomph or planning to figure out how to fix.  I’ve talked about the things I didn’t like about my setup for awhile, and my wife being the master planner that she is came up with a plethora of options…  some of which we finally implemented this weekend.  Similarly she really has not used her office in a year and a half for various reasons, and really wanted to go into the new school year with the ability to use it as a functional work space.  For me I wanted the ability to broadcast easier and simply have just a more comfortable space to hang out in.

Originally the plan was to just work from Friday through Sunday… but on a whim I opted to take Thursday off as well.  Quite honestly I have no clue how I would have even come close to finishing were it not for taking Thursday off.  That was essentially the day I realized just how deep the rabbit hole went.  We’ve taken a lot out to the dumpster we rented, and we are now working on preparing our second load to good will.  But last night I managed to get the office essentially configured.  Right now there is a lot more organizational stuff to do as I box up all of the miscellaneous cables that I have laying around from tearing down my computers the first time.  Similarly there are a few places in my office where I want to add some sort of cabinet or shelving but the above picture I took last night shows the basic layout.  So far I am really happy with it, and I think it is going to work well for the long run.  The mission for today is to set back up all of my consoles and rewire them to the PC via the Elgato.

Ding 60 Warrior

ffxiv_dx11 2015-07-04 21-18-28-30 With all the activity during the day, I have to admit I have been crashing pretty early most evenings during this break.  When I logged out Friday night I was roughly a sixth of a level away from 60, and figured a couple of dungeon runs would get me there.  Through out the day yesterday there were a few times where I took a break, but didn’t want to talk as much time as a dungeon run would require.  As such I started working on my clan hunts, thinking that I could dink my way through a few creatures at a time and get some experience in the process.  Clan Hunts are worth a surprising amount of experience, so as you are leveling seriously… do not over look them.  By the time I wound down for the night and wrapped up the clan hunts I was within a stones throw of 60.  When Thalen asked if I would be willing to tank the Library for him and Solaria… I jumped at the chance because I knew without a doubt I would ding inside of there.

Sure enough on the way to the second boss I dinged and also managed to pick up a few more items including this spiffy helmet…  that doesn’t really thematically match its chest piece…  but is still cool nonetheless.  Upon getting out of the dungeon I did the last few quests that allowed me to unlock the first of the level 60 dungeons, and I am hoping to run that today.  It took me almost exactly two weeks to hit the level cap, which is pretty good as far as I am concerned.  I did not have the raw time to throw at this game that some of our other free company members did, but I still feel like I moved through the content fairly quickly.  Now I can go back and start working on leveling my army of alt jobs, so that I can be multifunctional once again.  That is honestly the thing I have missed the most while leveling… is the fact that right now I am “only” a tank.  I know I have lamented this several times, but it is my hope to at least get the dragoon up there quickly.  Now begins the fun end game gearing process that I obsess over so much.

Moogles are Lazy

ffxiv_dx11 2015-06-21 19-30-55-67 Due to the Independence Day holiday we opted to record this show a little early this week, and instead of spending Saturday night talking about games, we spent Friday night.  As a result there are several of us who were not quite to level 60 in Final Fantasy XIV but have since caught up and pushed through to the level cap.  However we spent a good deal of time not talking about FFXIV. Grace managed to finish the crazy attunement system in Wildstar and attended her very first raid.  She gives her opinion of the system and how it compares to WoW and FFXIV raiding.  Additionally we go down the rabbit hole that is the Four Job Fiesta and talk Final Fantasy V and the various group compositions fate has given us this year.  I apparently was one job off from the legendary group composition that the person who started the event go their first year:  Monk, Berserker, Beastmaster and Dancer.  Instead the gods saw fit to give me a Samurai so I could quite literally “pay to win”.

We purposefully saved our discussion of Heavensward to the end of the show because I knew that was the one thing we were all playing.  It is extremely difficult to discuss this game without going into spoilers, so there are some details that might be spoiled if you have not played up through the Aery dungeon yet.  The awkwardness of this show was the fact that Ashgar is quite a ways behind the rest of us, making it extremely difficult to add to discussions… because at least one point during the show he made a conjecture that we knew the truth about, but could not really go into it for fear of spoiling key plot points.  My theory is that once we have all finished the 3.0 story arc we will do yet another big “spoil everything” show, like we did for 2.55.  The best snippet for me was when Grace decided to talk about her new loathing for Moogles after completing the Churning Mists zone.  Moogles are in fact lazy bums.

Hell Levels

Playing with Forge

Last night I spent a good chunk of time playing with Forge.gg and in doing so I forgot the problem from before… that it ultimately broadcast all of the audio from teamspeak.  However I did manage to pull a few nifty clips from one of the dungeon runs.  The problem being I have no clue how exactly to embed them in a site.  There are a bunch of features that I would love to see added to forge, namely the ability to easily get an embeddable snippet.  Similarly I would love to see a feature like Twitch and Hitbox have to export the video to youtube.  The big take away from last night is that I need to sort out how to extract teamspeak audio from my stream.  This has been on my ToDo list for some time but I have yet to actually sit down and do anything about it.  Which is somewhat unfortunate since I have several different tools installed right now that can essentially do the same thing.  I started working through a tutorial for something called Breakaway Audio this morning, but have been running into issues…  namely Teamspeak doesn’t seem to recognize the channel I set up for it.

Ultimately it would be awesome to solve this issue because I think I would end up streaming quite a bit more.  The big thing for me is that I have to choose between being sociable with my friends on teamspeak…  or streaming what I am doing.  However if I solve this issue… in truth I am probably not going to mess with Forge that much, and simply just use Twitch.  The always on functionality is cool…  but I have to disable FRAPs to make it work which takes away my primary means for collecting screenshots from games.  Generally speaking I disable whatever screenshot functionality exists in a game, and then use FRAPs to collect the screenshots in a generic “gameshots” folks, giving me a quick place to look for something I want each morning when I work on my blog post.  To get Forge to work however I have to completely exit out of this software and it did not seem to work with DxTory either which has always been my fallback general screenshoting software.  I still feel like maybe Forge isn’t a great fit for me, but I see a lot of people using it and enjoying it.

Hell Levels

ffxiv_06302015_202922 Once upon a time in Everquest there was the concept of a “Hell Level” meaning that there were certain levels that were far more difficult to get than others.  While back then these were literal mathematical break points where the experience needed was greater than the previous levels or the levels after.  However this term has continued on into MMORPGs as a frustrating patch in the leveling curve.  Right now it feels like 58 is a Hell Level because I very quickly hit another level wall, and really did not have much in the way of experience between it and the last one.  So I am currently running around in the Dravianian Hinterlands doing quests, in an attempt to make up the difference.  The problem being at this point I have yet to even reach the halfway point through level 58.  I am pretty sure that the folks that are sixty in the guild have simply chain run dungeons.

I could do that, but in truth I would rather just wait until people in the guild actually need runs.  Like last night I helped a guildie through The Vault, which is where all the forge.gg clips came from.  There is just something more satisfying for me to be tanking for friends.  I ultimately have this protective nature when it comes to my friends and family, and this makes tanking feel more “real” I guess for lack of a better word.  The community in Final Fantasy XIV is awesome, and I have seen nothing bad to speak of with the influx of people for Heavensward.  I absolutely could queue for dungeons and be just fine, because at this point I know the fights well enough to be able to explain them to anyone.  The problem being when I am tanking for strangers,  I feel like I have to put on the mask of “super tank” and be bigger and better in everything I do.  I feel like I am on stage in a way, but with my friends I can just chill and I don’t stress quite so much when aggro twitches or I am slow to turn the mobs.  I know no matter what I do in the dungeon they are still going to love me when the dungeon is finished.

Viva La Fake Friday

Today is my “Friday” for this week!  This is because here in the United States most of us are getting off Friday for the Independence Day holiday.  I opted to also take Thursday because we have things we are going to be doing over the break.  For whatever reason my family growing up always did some project over the fourth, and recently I started talking about wanting to rearrange my office to be a better set up for gaming and streaming.  My wife jumped on this and said we could do a lot of the little things we had been wanting to do over the extended break.  This escalated quickly and now we are having a small dumpster delivered in our front yard on Friday.  As a result I am going to be flipping a lot of my posting, meaning I will be writing posts each night and working on stuff around the house during the days.  The first of these is likely to begin tonight, but to you the reader… it will appear just like any morning post.

I always feel the need to be honest with my readers about my schedule, because I guess to me staging content ahead of time…  feels like it breaks the nature of my whole experiment.  The original idea was that I would post something every morning without fail, and for the most part I have done this.  Just sometimes the writing actually occurs the night before.  I hope I survive the next few days because the whirlwind of change is about to suck me in.  My hope is that when I exit on the other side I will have a much better space to do my PC gaming in, and if I can also sort out my audio issues…  my hope is to also begin streaming a hell of a lot more.  The next few days however might be a lot less talk of gaming… and a lot more talk of my failings at doing home improvement stuff.

Content Walls

A Different Dark Knight

ShippingPC-BmGame 2015-06-24 17-38-36-07 So here is the point where I admit that I have never actually played any of the recent crop of Batman games.  I own I believe all of them other than the latest one that just came out, because I keep thinking that they are games that I would really enjoy, but for whatever reason like so many games in my Steam backlog I never end up playing them.  With all of the hype surrounding Batman Arkham Knight lately I have had this massive desire to delve into these games and see exactly what they are made of.  Last night was an odd night in that I got home relatively early, but knew I would have to leave and go pick my wife up as she was getting in from our last trip of the summer.  I knew I had an hour or so to kill so I opted to delve into this game and see how far I could get.  So far there is a lot to like but some things that are a little bit maddening at times as well.  Combat seems to take place in a three dimensional “final fight” style manner.  NPC bad guys approach you in waves and you can beat on them to turn them away from your position.

ShippingPC-BmGame 2015-06-24 18-02-56-67 The problem I have however is that the game employs a “bullet time” mechanic that I seem to have no real control over.  Sure it looks cool to zoom in as your fist cracks against the jaw of a bad guy, but it is jarring in the same way that slow motion kills in Fallout 3 were.  It pulls you out of the action and forces the entire world to slow down for a moment before unfreezing and expecting you to pick up combat where you left off.  Hopefully this is something I will just get used to, as I didn’t make it terribly far into the game last night.  I have to say the storyline and the plot are compelling enough to make me want to keep playing.  I’ve always been a fan of Batman, and the dynamic between him and joker have been the stuff that has driven me to read more Batman comics than I can recall.  Harley Quinn is another of my favorite characters in the universe, and she seems sufficient so far… but really I have not gotten to interact with her terribly much.  Yes I realize at this point that this game is pretty “ancient” but I am going to enjoy it nonetheless.

Content Walls

ffxiv_dx11 2015-06-23 21-13-11-19 I am still very much loving Heavensward but I wanted to take a moment to talk about my biggest frustration with the game so far.  This game has some phenomenal story that makes you want to push forward so that you can see what happens next.  The problem is quite frequently you hit a wall where you must be the next level in order to continue the quest chain.  The red quest icon taunts you until you have managed to push through that next level…  only to grant you access to a few more steps of story before locking you out again.  I realize as I leveled my way through the original story in A Realm Reborn I experienced this…  but it has been almost two years so I guess my memories had faded.  Partially I think this is the fault of the way that I am currently playing the game, where I mostly focus on the Main Story, hoping to leave a lot of the side questing for secondary classes to get some experience off of.  Unfortunately I think the designers intended you to do all of the new quests that open up in each area to help you push forward into the next content goal.

ffxiv_dx11 2015-06-21 17-02-44-44 Thankfully I have dungeons to augment my leveling process, and since everyone seems to be comfortable asking me to tank for them… I am getting quite a lot of access to running these dungeons with my free company.  The only problem being that I never know exactly how I want to level when I am left to my own devices… and have run out of story.  I absolutely love FATEs but the problem being that they simply do not seem to be worth the effort.  We have a running theory that they have watered down the FATE experience in an effort to force players to complete their main story content, rather than simply FATE grind their way through the levels.  The whole FATE grinding to the end thing happened a lot in A Realm Reborn, and I could see them wanting to maybe nip that in the bud at least for the early players.  The problem being that side quests, really don’t reward that much experience either.  I’ve recently unlocked the second their of Clan Hunts, so I will have to see if they reward significantly more experience than the first tier that unlocks at 53.  As it stands right now… I am hoping the first major patch gives FATEs a significant tweak as far as XP goes so I can return to doing those for my alts.

In That Old Place

Wow-64 2015-06-11 21-14-01-64 This coming Tuesday in theory marks the end of our World of Warcraft raids break, and as I find myself moving closer to that date I realize…  I am just not ready to resume raiding.  In fact I am not really ready to play World of Warcraft right now on any level.  So for the time being I will not be rejoining them in raiding, and more than likely won’t be playing at all for some time.  I feel like my primary issue right now is there really isn’t anything other than the raiding tying me to the game.  Sure I had some fun faffing about trying to farm mounts or doing old raid content for cosmetic gear…  but that ultimately has a limit to just how long I can do that without something else keeping me rooted in the game experience.  I’ve explored the new areas, and pushed three characters to the level cap in Warlords of Draenor.  While the content was extremely fun to level through that first, second and even to some extent third time… the whole experience feels extremely disposable because it is also exactly the same each time you do it.

WoWCancelledAgain2015 In many ways this expansion reminds me of the way I felt after leveling my third character in Star Wars the Old Republic.  While the individual class quests there were excellent, it was all the other content that I kept having to repeat that ultimately wrecked my enjoyment of the experience.  I thought walking into Draenor I would be awash with nostalgia about how much I enjoyed The Burning Crusade…  and to some extent that worked for a month or so.  The problem is it is like going back to your High school twenty years after you graduated…  while some of the aspects are similar it is still very much a brand new place that does not synchronize with your memories of it.  The reboot timeline just feels wrong, and with this patch and the reintroduction of Hellfire Citadel, I just find myself not caring anymore.  Arthas and Illidan were bad guys I could really get behind taking down… a constant parade of grim dark future orcs…  not so much.  I made the mistake yesterday of checking my account to see when it would renew, and when I saw September I went ahead and cancelled it.  I figure if the game has not grabbed my attention and made me want to play again in that time… it will just quietly close the door on another chapter of my own personal Warcraft timeline.

Lord of the Hive

Fears for Launch

ffxiv_dx11 2015-06-19 06-47-05-93 All in all it was a pretty great head start weekend, but there was one big problem that I fear is only going to get worse as we move forward to the official launch tomorrow.  Right now the initial datacenter login procedure is having some major issues.  What is happening is that several of the highest population servers are all on the Aether data center that I also happen to play on.  When you attempt to connect to that data center, if it cannot find a slot the client times out… throws a nasty error and exits.  This is like the worst possible way to handle this error, and my hope is that we see a patch soon at that at least takes you back to the start screen allowing you to attempt to connect again.  Normally speaking it takes a half dozen tries to get past this screen before getting into the login server queue… at which point you have won and get to play the game.  Last night I opted to switch machines and got stuck behind the login issues for roughly fifteen tries before being able to make it into the game.  If we are running into these problems on a Sunday evening… I feel like life is going to be unbearable come Tuesday for the official launch of the game.

I love Square but sometimes they just make horrible design decisions when it comes to infrastructure.  The way the client works is that you log in on the launcher, and then it launches the game passing in an encrypted token with your authentication information.  As a result if anything goes wrong with the client, it essentially crashes back to desktop and to the launcher forcing you to log in again.  If you have the mobile authenticator this means entering another one time password and beginning the entire process over again.  If you remember the above image from the original launch of the game… and all the infrastructure issues we had to deal with.  They all came from the fact that they launched the game without any form of a queue system.  The positive is that they have fixed that issue and for the most part the game has been stable if you can get past the Data Center gates.  I had some initial lag on the first day, but after that the game has been flawless…  once you get logged into it.  My hope is that with the launch of the game we see a small patch that changes how the client works, in that it no longer drops back to desktop on timeout errors, but instead allows you to attempt a reconnection.

Lord of the Hive

ffxiv_dx11 2015-06-20 20-47-42-97 Yesterday was a big day of taking on new content, and potentially there will be some story spoilers here, so apologies ahead of time.  When I wrote my last blog post I mentioned that I had unlocked the first trial and yesterday after dropping my wife off for her next trip I managed to attempt it.  Ravana the Lord of the Hive appears pretty quickly through the story as being the primal associated with the Gnath, an insectoid beast tribe from the Dravinian Forelands.  Instead of waiting around for a full guild group, I queued for it and managed to get a group relatively easily.  In the group was a paladin tank that had apparently done the fight a few times, and helped us through the various pit falls.  It was decided that I would end up tanking, since the Paladin was wearing mostly strength gear and since Ravana hits extremely hard.  This fight like so many other primals has a hard wipe mechanic that if you do not dps down the adds fast enough a saber falls to the ground.  Towards the end of the add phase he sucks the entire group up into a whirlwind and they take damage for each saber that is left on the ground in this fashion…  in my experience more than one… maybe two is a full raid wipe.

Now with the Free Company I have, my point of view on dps is a bit skewed.  Most of us rolled into this expansion in most of a full set of level 130 gear, and most of our dps do silly amounts of damage.  We were flat out failing at the dps check mechanic, so I suggested that I go into my new deliverance stance and help with the adds.  That seemed to make all the difference in the world as I was able to shred the adds pretty quickly in my new pseudo dps stance.  We made it through the encounter, but took long enough to get a limit break three, and another limit break two…  and the group was getting precariously close to a second “saber” phase.  I didn’t realize our dps was that low, and honestly I walked out of the fight thinking it was just “that hard”.  Later in the evening yesterday we walked into the encounter with seven of eight members of the group being from our free company.  We did not manage to get a limit break three at all before he died, and during the add phase he didn’t even get a single saber to hit the ground.  With that sort of dps… the fight was actually really easy, but I still am concerned about what the fight will be like on extreme mode.

Sohm Al

ffxiv_dx11 2015-06-21 16-50-14-53 The second bit of content that I got to experience new yesterday was the dungeon of Sohm Al.  You reach it very shortly after finishing the first trial encounter, and it happens to act as a gate keeper for your final Aether Current that you get upon completing the quest.  Thankfully as soon as I got there in the content I had healers and dps ready to go with me, so I was able to get a full guild group for my first experience in there.  I have to say I am really liking the dungeon design so far, in that they are extremely fun experiences to go through.  They remind me very much of the last set of dungeons that they released as far as difficulty level.  Additionally so far they seem to be dropping some interesting looking gear, that I hope to collect a full set of.  The tanky set that comes from Sohm Al looks like the armor that the Lucia wears, so it might be my next appearance set that I wear for a bit.  The new crafted gear that you get from quests however appears to be influenced from the Varlet set that comes from the previous 2.55 expert dungeons.  I’ve expanded the number of retainers that I have once more, and now I am feeling less constrained about the awesome things that I am collecting.

ffxiv_dx11 2015-06-21 17-13-47-77 When the game released originally I did what I always do in MMOs and tried to complete every single quest objective that it places in front of me.  The problem being that in Final Fantasy XIV there are a fixed number of quests available for ALL of your jobs.  This meant that after my very first job… I was forced to grind them up using FATEs and dungeons with zero quest support.  This time around they seem to be flooding us with quests, but I am tackling them in a very methodical method.  Essentially I am following the main storyline until I reach a level gate, meaning that I have to have progressed another level to get the next step.  At this point I go back and start working my way through the side quests looking for any that unlock Aether Currents, and after I have completed those, I start doing a bare minimum needed to get to the next level threshold.  The goal is that I save plenty of side quests for when I start working on my dragoon, and hopefully that eases that process at least a little bit.  Last night I hit another level gate in the story content, but thankfully I have maybe an eighth of a level to go before hitting 55 and progressing again.  I am not sure if we are going to raid tonight or not, but in any case my hope is to push through to the next level and continue the story, because it is getting really damned good.

Storm Surge

Wall Jumping

Wow-64 2015-06-04 19-41-58-49 World of Warcraft feels really damned weird when you have not logged in for over a week.  What I mean by this is that some is strange with the perspective of that game as compared to most other games.  I have noticed this a few times when swapping between the various games I have been playing, but never quite so strongly as last night.  I have no clue what it is, or how to describe it better but something is just “different” with the way the world spreads out around me.  It always takes me a few minutes to get adjusted to the perspective as my eyes freak out a little bit.  I am really hoping someone out there understands what I am talking about… because otherwise I just sound like a mad man.  Life had conspired against me, and for various sundry reasons I missed the last two raid sessions, and even more troubling was that it had been two weeks since I had actually taken a shot at Blackhand.  I would really love to be able to close the Blackrock Foundry chapter of my raiding life with a a kill, and last night we got close.

The biggest adjustment for me is the fact that we were really short on melee dps… which is an odd problem for our group to have.  This meant I got to be on the wall group during phase two.  Every so often Blackhand smashes the current tank, and the wall jumpers need to get behind the tank… but also in the circle of impact so they get knocked up in the same direction the tank is going.  This works similar to the Bladefist crowd group, and the end result being kill as many things as you can and then jump down when your health gets low or you have cleared the entire group.  In the grand scheme of things I guess I am a decent choice for the job because of my self regen and tanky cooldowns.  We have phases one and two down solidly, and right now it is just phase three where everything is falling apart.  On our best attempt we managed to get him to 11% so I am thinking next week given another full night of attempts we might kill us a Blackhand, and there will be much rejoicing.

Storm Surge

HeroesOfTheStorm_x64 2015-06-04 19-14-22-89 Since it had been over a week since I had actually logged into WoW last night, I had to go through the song and dance of making sure I had consuming and collect my “disappointment tokens” to allow me to re-roll on the loot that will never actually drop.  After doing all of that I parked my butt at the entrance to the raid and took up the offer of Damai and Mor to join them in some Heroes of the Storm fun.  Last night my quest was to play two matches as a Starcraft Hero, and at that point I realized… that quite honestly I don’t play a lot of Starcraft heroes in this game.  Probably my favorite of all of the Starcraft Heroes is Sergeant Hammer, but unfortunately I do not “own” her yet because she is a truly silly amount of gold.  Instead I have Raynor, a Hero that I played quite a bit in early alpha so I opted to use him.  The problem being he no longer plays quite like I remember him playing.  Just like my disconnect I had with Muradin, they have changed the way he feels and made him significantly less sturdy.  The end result was me taking a lot of deaths and doing a generally piss poor job playing the game.

Part of the disconnect also was that last night we were playing with actual human beings, and the night before we were playing bots.  Essentially one of our trio had been playing quite a bit that day and managed to cap out on the amount of gold you can earn from bot games, thus pushing him into the solo queue to keep slowly earning gold.  Our first match we managed to win, and then in our second match… we ended up with a team that actually knew how to play together.  This is probably a side effect of the fact that three of us queued together.  Even though we were on voice, this really didn’t make much of a difference in the outcome because we are all not exactly amazing players yet.  I took a screenshot of my defeat screen because it was my very first so far in post release play.  Unfortunately before I had a chance to switch back to my beloved Sonya…  it was time to log out for the raid.  Even though we made a lot of progress on Blackhand I have to admit I probably would have rather been playing Heroes of the Storm.

Who Needs Sleep

WildStar64 2015-05-01 23-46-03-53 Shockingly last night I did not log into Final Fantasy XIV at all, in part because of the other things I had going on like the WoW raid.  Lately I have had two real world friends of mine start playing Wildstar again, and this has caused me to want to try and sort out exactly where I was in questing.  It had been several weeks since I had logged in and I could not remember the level or even what zone I was in, so I wanted to know at least that so I could adequately communicate it.  I am apparently seventeen and in Galeras, in fact as of last nights play session I have just made the transition to the second area of the zone and have picked up that taxi point.  I want to play this game some more, and I am thinking next week while my wife is travelling I might stream it off and on throughout the week.  Last night unfortunately I managed to get sucked into questing and once again did not end up heading to bed until midnight.  I had not played the game much since the last drop, and I think a few of my addons might have broken because I was suffering from all manner of UI issues last night.

All of this aside I had quite a bit of fun running around and causing mayhem on my warrior.  There is part of me that wonders about going over and completing Celeston instead of digging too far into Galeras, but I am managing to stay a few levels ahead of my quest mobs right now so there isn’t much of a problem yet.  I kinda feel bad for joining the Black Dagger Society and then simply not being terribly active.  They seem like a really great guild lead by a great group of people.  This is the problem when you are pulled in so many different directions, and with playing a game that is ultimately not your “main game”.  Right now Final Fantasy XIV is the game I care the most about, and I am absolutely in love with the guild we have there.  They keep me logging in on an almost daily basis if for no reason other than to see them.  Wildstar I feel could be a similar environment, but with the sensory overload that is the world and the user interface… I find it exceptionally hard to follow the chat window.  There is just so much stuff going competing for my attention that I have not figured out how to dial things down enough to where I can actually watch chat.  I hope to get to know more of my guildies however because they really do seem like awesome people.

Obsession with a Skillet

To Achieve Self Sufficiency

ffxiv 2015-04-07 17-25-17-52

There are a lot of reasons why people craft in online games.  Some start down the path because there is an item that can be created that is better than something that they can get through other means.  Others start down the path to earn money, or be able to play the market.  For me I have always been the type that crafts so that I don’t have to rely on anyone else.  I have the most awesome guild in the world, and in it are a group of individuals that would drop whatever they happened to be doing to craft me anything that I might happen to need.  The problem being I hate asking people for things.  I am the type of person who would give away anything to anyone that might need it, but when it comes to me asking for something… it goes against every bone in my body to impose on someone else.

As a result I tend to level crafting so that I can make my own gems, brew my own potions and enchant my own gear.  In World of Warcraft for example I have one of every single craft at maximum or at least near maximum level.  This has allowed me to basically take care of my own needs and it makes me pretty happy.  In Rift I have the same thing, in fact I spent a large chunk of my bonus currency when they converted to free to play unlocking all of the trade skills available on my main character.  So self sufficiency is an important mission to me, and it is a bit strange that until last week I had not actually touched the crafting system in Final Fantasy XIV.  In part I had watched lots of my friends fall into the black hole that I am now in and wanted to avoid doing so until I had at least leveled one of every combat role I might need.

Obsession with a Skillet

ffxiv 2015-05-25 09-58-53-40

Like I wrote yesterday I have now left the territory of being able to purchase goods from a vendor and craft those up in rapid succession.  You can get to fifteen in a given crafting profession relatively easily.  Sure it takes a lot of time and getting to fifteen in all professions took me roughly two weeks of piddling at leveling off and on to get there.  Now however it seems like the challenge is not the leveling portion but the acquisition of items to use in crafting.  While my friends seem to think I am insane in doing this my strategy falls along the lines of picking a single item and then farming up three for four stacks of materials and mindlessly crafting a given item until I ding.  This worked extremely well for leatherworking in that I simply gathered up enough aldgoat skin and allumen to be able to craft up four stacks of aldgoat leather.  Sure it was pure tedium to craft that many items in a row, but I did so while watching television so it ultimately was not that bad.  The crafting system while more involved than just pressing a button and crafting an entire stack of items, is simple enough that you can pretty much do it through muscle memory.

Last night I spent crafting mortar by combining stacks of limestone and fine sand, both of which I mined up myself.  This pushed me from 15 in Alchemist to 21 over the course of the evening, watching Game of Thrones, Silicon Valley, Veep and Last Week Tonight for a reference in just how long it takes to push a profession.  After that I started work on Culinarian by crafting a bunch of salted fish.  I purchased three stacks of fish from the market place because it was relatively cheap, and the table salt I crafted by combining rock salt and distilled water.  I managed to make it to 16 last night before heading to bed, and as soon as I finish writing this blog post I will begin the journey once again.  Ultimately I decided to push Alchemist and Culinarian first because they are ultimately the professions I like the least.  The strange thing is… that each step I make towards 50 makes me happy because I am that much closer to being self sufficient.  While honestly I am not to the point of being able to make all that many useful things…  I know eventually I will get there.

To Lost Causes

ffxiv 2015-04-16 12-08-19-77 At this point I have 25 days to push eight professions from 15ish to 50, and I don’t feel like there is a way in hell for me to make that work.  Even if I took that month off from work and did nothing but craft full time… I don’t think I would be able to make it.  Even knowing this fact…  I am still going to try.  If I can at least get to 40 by the time Heavensward launches I will be happy enough.  There are so many other competing things that I would like to accomplish but right now I am as my friend put it past the “event horizon” and the only way out is through.  Crafting has dug its hooks into me and I am currently obsessed with getting caught up.  I wish I had not waited so long to make the push, but in the grand scheme of things I tend to only feel the drive to do something… when pushed on from external forces.  The impending launch of Heavensward is the catalyst that makes me want to do this, and for that I guess I am thankful.

Right now I am so thoroughly amped about the launch of this expansion, more so than I have been since potentially the launch of Shadows of Luclin in Everquest.  That was really my “first” expansion launch, and I was so unbelievably excited about what it might hold for me.  Everything I have seen about Heavensward is making me feel that excited about it all.  I think this expansion is going to be just as game changing, because the new content feels so vast.  The scale of everything seems to be amplified, and that makes me so happy.  The world building of Everquest embraced the feeling of everything on a large scale, and my hope is now that the team has proven their mettle with a smaller experience that we will see them branching out and building worlds on a bigger scale.  My hope is that with the introduction of flight that we will see less hard edges in the world.  I admit I am leery about flight because in both World of Warcraft and Everquest 2 it changed the way I played the game potentially for the worse.  In both cases I skipped content because I could simply fly over the top of it…  and I am hoping that Square can approach flight from a slightly different direction.

The Madness Continues

AggroChat #58 – Eight Is Enough?

This week we explore the age old question of podcasting.. just how many hosts can you have before a show descends into madness? As the title suggests we ended up with eight hosts on this weeks AggroChat and I think for the most part we exited on the other side with our sanity still in place… or what little we actually had of it to start. This week Ashgar and Kodra are both travelling, and as such I made plans to cover for them if they were unable to make it for the show. However because they are the consumate professionals that they are… they figured out a way to podcast remotely. This left me with the choice of either backing out on the folks I had arranged or just push forward into madness. Like usual I chose the path of madness.

This week we have quite possibly our longest show to date as we aske the question if Eight is Enough? This week we talk about Kodra’s trip to Canada, and his descent into Pathfinder Online. This spurs a discussion about the recent crop of MMO nostalgia titles and how they all somehow miss the boat on what made those early MMOs so interesting. Since all of us literally are playing Final Fantasy XIV we spend a good deal talking about our two groups working on turn nine of the Second Coil of Bahamut, as well as contrasting WoW and Final Fantasy raiding experiences. Grace talks about her experience leveling a ninja and how this game causes us to play things we didn’t think we would ever like playing. I talk about my complete and total embrace of the black hole that is the crafting system and how I have managed to push all classes to fifteen this week.

On top of this we talk Sword Art Online in both the Anime and Game forms. We talk a bit about how each of us is trying to wrap up our time in Shadowrun in preparation for next weeks show. We talk Mad Max Fury Road and to a lesser extent Orphan Black. Ashgar talks about his continued experiences with Radiant Historia, and Thalen ventures into Broken Age. Dallian and I talk about our experiences this week playing Witcher 3, and how the Hearthstone mobile app doesn’t work nearly as well as we would have hoped it would. Finally we wrap things up with some discussion about Moonrise and the impending steam early access. It was without a doubt one of the biggest shows we have recorded but also extremely enjoyable to participate in. It seems we somehow were able to juggle eight people on a show without complete chaos.

The Madness Continues

ffxiv 2015-05-19 19-04-12-406 The insanity that is the Final Fantasy XIV crafting system continues.  It was a rainy day here in Oklahoma so I spent most of it curled up on the couch watching television and banging away slowly on crafting.  As of yesterday evening I had managed to push every single crafting profession to fifteen, which essentially signals the end of “easy mode” crafting.  During those first levels everything you need can be purchased off of a vendor and it is simply an act of brute forcing your way through the levels.  Now I begin a trek through the dark territory that involves copious farming of materials.  Last night while podcasting I farmed up three stacks of allumen and aldgoat skin for the purpose of leveling leatherworking.  I was not sure just how much Aldgoat Leather I would ultimately need to get through to 30 but I suspected it would be quite a bit.  Towards the end of the podcast and while editing I crafted up the entire stack of materials, making some 410 Aldgoat leather and it pushed me from level 15 to level 21.

In theory if I can just find something like this to farm at each step of the way I might make it through the 50 levels of crafting with ease.  It seems that in leatherworking at least there is an item like that every 10 levels that can be mass farmed and crafted up.  The ones that I worry the most about are Alchemist and Cullinarian because they seem to be the most fiddly of the professions.  Right now I am farming up Limestone and Fine Sand to make a ton of Mortar because I actually need some to hand off to Cylladora to craft a Moogle themed wallpaper for me, for my personal room.  Yesterday in the mix of things that I ran I helped some guildies get through Good King Moggle Mog and managed to get the rare crafting material to drop.  Who doesn’t want Moogle themed wallpaper for their personal room?  Anyways I am finding the whole crafitng thing oddly soothing but it has absolutely consumed every last moment of my play time.  Now that I am having to farm up materials however I am at least venturing out in to the world some.

Poking My Head Out

ffxiv 2015-05-23 17-12-44-17 Yesterday was quite literally the first day I have done something other than craft for the last two weeks.  Maybe it isn’t quite that drastic, but the majority of my time in game has been working on some craft or another.  Yesterday I ran Haukke Manor with some guildies and got to play my rogue.  I have to say that class is just fun to play in that the animations are amazing.  While it is only 28 right now I am thinking it might be the next class that I push to 50.  A huge chunk of this desire admittedly is the fact that I have a pair of Moogle themed daggers waiting for maximum level.  Mog weapons make everything more enjoyable, as I am using the mogfork on my dragoon and mogaxe on my warrior.  Other than Haukke I ran an expert with Grace and Tam, and then later that night ran the Battle at Big Keep and The Chrysallis with guildies.  It was good to actually stretch my warrior muscles a bit after all of the crafting.  I feel like at this point I have more than I could ever actually accomplish still to do before the launch of Heavensward.  There are only twenty six days until the Heavensward head start, and there is no way in hell I am going to finish a lot of my side projects before then.

Quite literally I feel like I could take a month off and focus on nothing but Final Fantasy XIV and still have things that are left unfinished before the expansion.  Right now it seems I have opposite problems between Final Fantasy and World of Warcraft.  In Warcraft there is nothing I really want to do, but in Final Fantasy I have what feels like dozens of competing desires.  It is actually hard getting used to the notion that I will be going into this expansion with a lot of unfinished baggage, but I guess in the grand scheme of things that gives me reason to keep poking my head back in on the old world.  The things that I absolutely want to finish before Heavensward is that I want to complete the Post Moogle storyline.  I feel like I really just need a good afternoon to work through all of that content, so I am wondering if maybe that is going to be my mission on Monday.  Put on Orphan Black on the television and quest my way through to one of the coolest hats in any game.  Even writing this… I am realizing just how much content there is in this game yet to do.

Botany Mastered

A Very Cardgamey Show

It seems when I think we have nothing to talk about… we end up talking for two hours finally having to force ourselves to stop talking to close out the show.  Last night was one of those night as I was joined by Tam, Kodra, Thalen and Ashgar.  Sometimes a clear theme is presented and last night inadvertedly this happened.  As we rambled through the various things we have been playing, it turns out that a lot of us had been playing card games in one form or another.  We got this interesting peak into the secret underground gaming scene of Seatle that Kodra has now apparently gotten his ticket into.  He recorded this weeks AggroChat on a quick jaunt away from this all day gaming event that was happening in a nearby hotel.  The kind of event that isn’t advertised, and that you apparently have to know someone to get into.  This is not starting to sound like fight club at all is it?

Other than that I shift things around a bit in the show and I actually go first.  Usually by the time we get around to the games I have been playing my co-hosts are bordering on being asleep so I opted to talk about my stuff first.  Which was a large course of Echo of Souls, and beating Wolfenstein The Old Blood which is an absolutely enjoyable but exceptionally short version of the original Wolfenstein game redone in New Order style.  Machinegames has somehow created this magical mix of the glory days of the 90s era shooter mixed with the narrative power of modern gaming.  Ashgar once again is going through his DS collection and playing things that he had not beaten before, this time jaunting down a time travelling avenue.  Thalen extolled the joys of Hand of Fate, and Kodra rediscovered Heroes of Might and Magic 3.  More than that however we talked a lot about card games and board games in general.  Was a fun and chill show to record and hopefully that comes across in the production.

Botany Mastered

ffxiv 2015-05-10 10-28-39-32 Last night while recording the podcast and editing it I spent my time in Final Fantasy XIV working on Botany.  For some time I have been working on pushing up the two critical harvesting abilities Mining and Botany before actually starting the Disciple of the Hand push.  I figured having the ability to go out into the world and gather things would be beneficial when making the push to level all the other things.  The Disciple of the Land classes also gave me a bit of a buffer to psyche myself up for diving headlong into the pit of madness that is crafting.  At this point begins the money grind and thankfully I am up to almost 2 million gil to help support this push.  I guess the first order of business is to level all of the professions to 15 so that I can get the best cross class abilities to help with the rest of the grind.  My original thought was to take everything to 15 in no particular order, and then start walking them up 5 levels at a time.  So take everything to 20, everything to 25 etc.  This also allows me to convert all of the crafting gear along the way hopefully keeping my vaults from overflowing.

Another thing that I really need to start doing is working on my beast tribe daily quests.  One of the things that Ashgar talked about on the podcast was the interesting quest that comes at the end of maxing each of the factions.  There is apparently a storyline that somehow joins up all of the rebellious beast tribe factions into a “Justice League” of sorts.  I would really love to see this storyline before Heavensward launches, but at this point I have right around a month to accomplish all of this.  I am not sure if I have given myself enough time, especially given that I keep dinking around in other games at the same time.  I am starting to feel under the gun with wanting to accomplish so many things before I officially say goodbye to “A Realm Reborn”.  So far FFXIV 2.0 has been an amazing ride and I am amped about what Heavensward and 3.0 has to offer.  I guess tomorrow night the 2.57 patch will be going in, and I am wondering what exactly it will bring as well.  I would be extremely happy if they uncapped Poetics gains… but I somehow doubt that will be the case.

Bad At Shadowrun

Dragonfall 2015-05-09 14-21-57-95 Yesterday I spent a good chunk of time working on Shadowrun Dragonfall and I have decided that I need to just start over.  I spent too much of my time on my main character too focused on a specific tree.  I was planning on going all melee all of the time and quite frankly that is a poor choice to go with.  I spent most of combat running around the room chasing down mobs that would move away from me and attack from ranged.  Additionally I am going to have to throw out some of my instincts because I straight wiped my party trying to stay and fight against unwinnable odds.  All of that said there are aspects of the game I am really enjoying, but right now I am just pretty horrible at actually doing it.  I also need to learn to save far more often because this game will straight kill you at times with a smile.  It is going to be an interesting show when we ultimately talk about this game but I am really wanting to make it further than I did with the previous games.  I would love to beat this one because in many ways the gameplay reminds me of the Fallout series.

The thing is the game gives you one of every classes so I guess what you end up playing is just for flavor.  I will probably go Street Samurai once again because that was always my favorite character to play in the actual Shadowrun campaigns I have been in.  I didn’t really care that much for the little dwarf I rolled so I will probably go something more generic like a human this time around.  All in all I was a fun several hours I spent yesterday, and as it is raining insanely outside… I plan on going downstairs and hanging out on the sofa all day while watching Netflix.  Shadowrun is precisely the perfect kind of game for a day like today.  So I will either be doing that or be working on tradeskills in final fantasy.  In any case I have a gloriously lazy Sunday ahead of me.  These are the types of days that gaming was made for.  This massive lung infection has gotten me out of having to travel for Mother’s Day so right now we are planning on having a re-roll there next weekend when the world is not actively trying to kill us.  Hopefully you have an awesome day too.

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.