Alas Troll Side

STREET FIGHTER V_20160216173430

Changed Plans

STREET FIGHTER V_20160216173430

Yesterday morning I had every intent of coming home last night and pretty much playing Street Fighter V the entire evening.  During the day I did a bit of googling and found out that Game Stop apparently carries the Hori Fight Commander 4 controller for use with PS3/PS4/PC.  The Game Stop website indicated that a store not terribly far from where I work had “limited” stock so I decided to pop by over lunch.  I’ve been bitten by the whole limited stock thing before, but since this was a wild goose chase anyway… I didn’t really mind it much.  The last time I was in a Game Stop was to snap up $5 physical copies of Wildstar to convert into play time and digital goodies.  When I got there, it took me a bit to locate the controller… and they did in fact only have one.  The goofy thing however is that it was being closed out for $20 unlike the almost $50 price tag on Amazon.  This seems like some horrible timing, considering that Street Fighter V was just released… and that folks will be seeking out fight pads…. but whatever…  their loss and my benefit.  I have to comment that this controller is really damned comfortable… way more so than the default PS4 controller when it comes to dpad and face button feel.  If you can find one anywhere near as cheaply as I picked mine up… I highly suggest grabbing it.

When I got home from work I hooked up the new controller and booted into the game, where I honestly was undecided what exactly to do.  The game reports cross console play, but as of yet I have yet to find anything even closely resembling a friends list.  There is the ability to create a custom lobby of sorts… and in theory that might be the compromise.  I know you set up a Capcom ID when you first boot the game, and if anyone needs mine it is once again “belghast” but you will have to be smarter than me in figuring out how to actually friend someone because I could not.  For the most part I started working my way through the story mode, which unlocks alternate costumes and color schemes for the various characters.  I made it roughly halfway through this when my wife got home from work with a friend of ours… and the three of us decided that the priority was to go find food.  After eating silly amounts of Mexican food, I never quite made it back upstairs once we got home.  So in theory I will pick up tonight when I first get home and continue unlocking the various story modes.  All in all I like what I have seen of the game… which admittedly is not a lot.  The game feels more deliberate and less twitchy than many of the other Street Fighter entries, so if you are someone who cut your teeth on Marvel Vs Capcom…  you might find the game a little sluggish.  For me who started on the original Street Fighter, the less frenetic pace is a big plus.

The Mission

Wow-64 2016-02-17 06-41-02-32

Last night once I got back from eating…. I was a man on a mission.  The mission was actually something that evolved over the course of the day, but the goal was pretty simple.  Help Grace catch up and level her druid on Argent Dawn.  Originally my thought was….  lots and lots of Hellfire Ramparts because well…  when I was dual boxing WoW this was pretty much the go to instance for me when it came to pouring on some quick levels.  So the first step was to hop on my Mage and port her little druid to Pandaria so she could bind someplace with portals.  From there we met up in Shattrath and I flew her on my Obsidian Nightwing over to Hellfire.  The only problem… at level 50 she could not zone in…  and this is the point at which I remembered that World of Warcraft instances have level caps.  So we ported to Stormwind since apparently they closed off the Dark Portal…  because our original thought was Sunken Temple.  From there we flew over to Blackrock Depths because in theory she should have been able to pick up several of the quests.  We proceeded to lay waste to the Dark Iron empire, and through the course of that one instance she managed to pick up three levels.  When we got down to the Molten Core gate, on a whim we tried to zone in…. and sure enough she was able to.  Thinking “surely a raid gives good experience” we proceeded to lay waste to the entire place, and I did some of my most careful pre-clearing of a zone ever…  shockingly she did not die once.  Bad news however…  she made like 2/3rds of a level in there but did manage to pick up some “moggy bits”.

From there we did in fact head towards Sunken Temple…  which is now a completely nerfed joke.  Firstly we completely missed the entrance because apparently at some point they moved it up near the top of the sunken pyramid instead of deep down inside the base.  We did two clears of the place, and I would say that both times it took well less than ten minutes to clear the entire place.  They apparently jettisoned “Troll side” of Sunken Temple and all that is actually there is the Green Dragon Flight stuff upstairs.  We also noticed that none of the events actually required you to do anything… like I remember summoning Hakkar required you to drag snakes into the braziers or something of that sort… but this was a simple “click the pile summon a boss” scenario.  From there we flew over to Lower Blackrock Spire thinking she was right about the appropriate level, and on our first clear…. I screwed up and forgot to grab the pike… meaning we couldn’t actually summon the optional boss. So we went out, reset and I managed to get that sequence of events right the second time.  All in all the night took a little less than three hours, and we got the druid a total of seven levels.  In theory… dungeon finder might have gone quicker.  I have another theory, that is my Panda Monk is just slightly lower level now than her Druid… so I am wondering if we would be better served with me going Tanky and her going Healy and getting pretty much instant queues all the way to 100.  Regardless it was a fun night… there is something relaxing about curb stomping old content and venturing back down nostalgic avenues.

Relearning to Fight

STREET FIGHTER V_20160216062116

Nostalgia vs Reality

STREET FIGHTER V_20160216062116

I feel like I grew up at exactly the right time to be a fan of fighting games.  For the most part these were what consumed my High School game playing years, well apart from a healthy dose of pen and paper role-playing and miniatures.  I remember when the local Circle K got in the original Street Fighter back in middle school, my friend and I were completely enamored with it.  Sure we had played fighting games before, but there was just something different about this one.  Then when Street Fighter II started showing up in Arcades during early 1991… it was quite literally all we could talk about.  Electronic Gaming Monthly had become our bible, and when it released full move sheets for each character, my friend Wade and I practically memorized them.  We were set on course for a wild ride over the next several years, as a new game would come along and dethrone the previous king.  I spent so much money in the arcades playing Street Fighter II derivatives, Art of Fighting, Fatal Fury, Samurai Showdown, Mortal Kombat 1 and 2….  and finally culminating for me at least with Killer Instinct.  I went off to college…. got poor…  so I missed a whole generation of the early Tekken games, finally re-entering the fighting game world with Soul Edge in the basement of the university center.  I stayed engaged for most of the original Playstation and for the first bit of the Playstation 2…  and then thanks to my addiction to MMOs…  checked out of the scene once more.

From that point onwards I have tried to poke my head in, every now and then…  even purchasing the original release of Street Fighter IV on my fairly new Xbox 360.  There is still very much a will in me to play these games… but I have had to realize that I am not nearly as good as my nostalgia believes me to be.  Generally speaking I get my ass kicked and get it kicked extremely hard when I try and play anyone with much skill.  I also have completely killed any of those key callouses that we used to need to keep from getting a nasty case of “raw thumb”.  There is something about Street Fighter V however that has reinvigorated my desire to try and learn to play Fighting games once more.  At almost 40… I simply don’t have the reflexes to ever really be “great”, not that I ever was in the first place.  I could dominate an arcade cabinet for a few hours on a single quarter during my prime, but that part of me is just no longer around.  Gone is most of that competitive spirit, and instead I just want to have some fun playing a fighting game.  So much has been added to the genre since I last played, that it feels like I will be simply starting from scratch again.  We will have to see how long the drive stays with me, but as of right now I have every intent of sitting at home tonight and trying to remember how to play a Street Fighter game.  I ended up picking it up on PS4, so my PSN id is Belghast as is my Capcom fighter tag, though I don’t expect to play against anyone for a long while.  I wish I had ordered that Hori Fight Commander in preparation of this…. because I am not sure if I can get used to hitting shoulder buttons for heavy attacks.

Goodbye Grahtwood

eso 2016-02-16 06-35-08-38

In other news… I have now finished the bulk of the quests in Grahtwood and am moving forward to Greenshade.  There are I am certain a few points of interest that I did not take care of while I was in Grahtwood, but a lot of them are simply going to wait for another level… and a fresh infusion of gear.  So many of the world bosses that I encountered were actually two separate boss mobs that interacted with each other.  I can absolutely whittle down one world boss, by simply out surviving it and self healing….  but when it comes to two at the same time my damage output is lacking.  So my hope is that when I hit Veteran 4 and can craft a whole new set of gear… that I will be able to return and kick their ass.  Right now I am largely wearing a crafted set of Veteran 1 gear… and at this point it is starting to feel a bit dated.  In other news I got this installed once again on my upstairs gaming rig, so my hope is to maybe start streaming some of my evening shenanigans.  I am not sure what it is about playing Elder Scrolls Online, but it very much feels like returning home.  Its like the world waited there quietly for me to return, and has thus far welcomed me back with open arms.  If you ever played this game in the past… you might take the bit to patch up your client and give it a shot.  I know a few people recently have restarted after not enjoying the beta testing at all… and are enjoying themselves.  The game certainly feels more polished now than it was at launch.