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.

 

 

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.

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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