Week In Gaming 9/27/2015


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.


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.


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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.



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.