Games I’m playing these days

November 4, 2014

Little roundup of what I’ve been playing recently, because this is info you need to know.

Clash of Clans: “Supreme Cream!” has hit 50 clan member, although a few are alts as we are holding two spots for former members taking a break. Wars have been interesting and really fun, though we haven’t had a real nail-bitter in a while. We got smashed by a clan with way more TH9s and 10s during a recent war, but otherwise we have been rolling everyone rather consistently. Good times. I’m at TH9 now working on upgrades, and really enjoying the added depth at this level. Very much looking forward to TH10, although that’s still a few months off at my current farming pace.

Payday 2: Started playing this little gem again recently and loving it. All of the new additions are great, and the devs (Overkill) do a really good job of mixing free content updates with new DLC releases. Currently my favorite loadout is a heavy with two shotguns, as the new weapon and ammo options give you more flexibility while still retaining that ‘shotgun’ feel.

Civ:BE : The more I play the more I’m thinking that this game would be a blast multiplayer, but I haven’t been able to line that up just yet. Coming off the wealth of options and systems in Civ V with all expansions/dlc, Civ:BE does feel a bit too limited to play single player over and over again. Still worth the cost to play a few rounds IMO.

Endless Legend: I’m enjoying this one more than I expected, but its on the back burner right now as I do run into some slowdown on larger maps, something I expect the new machine (Xmas gift) to solve. Another title I think would absolutely shine with a second player in the game.

LoL: Season 4 has just about come to an end, and I’ll finish it in platinum in the solo queue. Watching the world championships on a big screen TV in the living room with the wife thanks to a wireless bluray player was pretty great. Speaking of Aria, she is going to finish solo queue in Gold, meaning we both moved up a tier since Season 3. Doubt I’m going to hit diamond in season 5, but you never know.

FFXIV: Subbed but not playing due to time constraints. Expecting us to get back into this in a big way after Xmas when we have two machines capable of running it maxed out. Been somewhat keeping up with the news on this game, and the new additions of late sound good.

EVE: EVE Offline’ing my main. 40 day skills never felt so easy.


Civilization: Beyond Earth – Mod or future greatness?

October 30, 2014

I fully expect to see two basic review styles of Civilization: Beyond Earth. One will lean heavily towards “its a mod/expansion for Civ V”, while the other will dig into specific changes to try and explain why it ultimately feels like a very different game. Let’s call the first one an EG-style review, just to bring back an old joke.

Anyone who has played Civ V a decent amount and plays one or two games of Civ:BE before posting impressions will likely EG it. I think the main reason for this is that you CAN play Civ:BE like you would a game of Civ V and have some success, especially if the difficulty is set low enough. Like a lot of games, if you only scratch the surface of something you might miss the good stuff a layer or two deeper.

Having dug into the game a bit, my take is that Civ:BE is the result of letting the devs spend 90% of their efforts on design and systems, with just 10% focused on the engine, graphics, and all the other superficial stuff. The game plays like a loosely focused story of space colonization, where the direction and ending of the tale is in your hands. It has more of a narrative feel than Civ V, with more focus on the mysteries of space, aliens, and how future technology might shape the human race.

I don’t think the game today is as deep and complex as Civ V after it’s expansions, but it still has plenty of interesting decisions and systems going for it. Unit variety is limited, but it does cover all the bases. Also the way units upgrade is new, ties into your overall progress, and isn’t the ‘new replace old’ system of Civ V. Your starting military unit will self-evolve (rather than require you to pay to upgrade him), and his evolution path isn’t just linear or exclusively tied to researching a technology.

It’s also painfully clear that Civ:BE is a good game, but will be a great game once its ‘finish’ with future expansions. The game needs more civs (especially civs not from earth), more aliens (along with deeper, city-state style options to become a bigger factor), and just overall more ‘stuff’. Also while the game has been technically solid, some bugs can be found and technical glitches do occur, but then it is a Civ game near release so that’s almost expected.


Patching, how does it work?

October 9, 2014

A few small items as we wait all day for Trion to apply a 150 mini-patch:

Inquisition is off to a good start in AA in terms of membership. We are averaging just under 10 people online most nights, and we will soon have people high enough to really get into larger group content. Just a reminder: we are on the Ollo server, East side factions. Come join us!

SteamWorld Dig was a fun 4-5 hours of gaming. When it goes on sale, picking it up won’t be a bad use of your gaming funds.

My Steam wishlist is getting pretty long, which makes looking forward to the yearly Xmas sale all that more exciting, though the prospect of actually digging into a lot of the games is a bit daunting, as most of them are in the “you need a solid 30-60 hours here” category. Plus the new Civ which is an easy “whelp, there goes 200 hours”.

RL has caused a pause in playing FFXIV, but the two accounts are still subbed because :wallet vote:. We will be returning however, most likely after xmas when things have settled down a bit more and we retire the now 6 year old Alienware machine that was struggling to run the game.

Only 4 spots currently remain open in our Clash of Clans… clan, Supreme Cream! Jump in now before that window closes.


What to throw money at: The next Civilization game is coming

July 17, 2014

October 24th isn’t THAT far away… right?

I never played Alpha Centari, so the Sci-Fi theme here is something new to look forward to for me. I also think the setting will allow the devs to bring in some ideas that otherwise might not have ‘fit’ into the traditional realistic setting.


DF:UW patch, Civ expansion

July 9, 2013

A new and fairly important patch has hit DF:UW today. Initial reactions are positive, which is saying something considering the link is to ForumFall. I’ve been pacing myself in DF of late; I’m currently at 57k prowess with a few feats worth 15k just about done (villains, menhirs). Still trying not to be terrible at PvP, mostly failing.

I’ve had a game of Civ V: Brave New World going most of the day (working from home) in basically semi-afk mode (no wars, little to do per turn). So far I’m really liking the new additions. They are easy to get into, but I can see how they will really add a lot of depth and unique strategy.

As for the blog itself, it’s been slow mostly due to RL being busy (which won’t get better as I’m on vacation all next week) and the above mentioned working from home thing. At home I’m more likely to have something up in the background than I am to write a blog. I’ll have to work on that, because I’m not short for topics or content, just time.

 


Civ V expansion July 8th

July 1, 2013

First, its crazy that Civ V came out in 2010. I still think of it as kinda new.

Anyway, the next expansion is coming out June 8th (already pre-ordered on Steam), and that date needs to come sooner. I want to play a game NOW, but I know if I start one today it’s going to somewhat sour starting a new one on June 8th.


Boxed in

January 10, 2013

I bet you are wondering why I’m blogging less huh? Yea, I figured you were.

Darkfall NDA is mostly to blame.

MMO genre being a pile of crap is another factor.

I mean, not only is there not a title out right now that I bother to waste time on (other than playing EVE Offline), but nothing is happening in the genre worth blogging about, and those that are blogging are not posting anything I need a response post to. It’s that bad.

So I fill my gaming time with random titles. 10 hours of FTL, a few hours of Witcher 2, beating Xcom, playing Civ V multiplayer, playing some Endor while waiting for its graphically updated version, trolling Steam in desperation, and right now, playing Skyrim again with some DLC and mods.

Skyrim is blog-worthy, but I’ve already done that, and other than stating once again that the amount of content in that game makes something as ‘content rich’ as GW2 look like pong, I don’t have much.

As for the rest? A post at most really, and I personally don’t even find those all that interesting to write or read. Just not much debate to “hey, FTL is fun for 10 hours, spend the $3”.

So while racking my brain for something to blog about, I’ve realized that if a game is not blog-worthy, it’s also not that memorable or ‘important’ to me. Take Xcom. Great, great game. I would recommend it to everyone. But I’d trade in Xcom for Heroes 6 and all its horrible flaws 10 times out of 10. Why? Because Heroes 6 stuck with me longer, left more of an impression, and I walked away with more thoughts about it than Xcom. Xcom was what it was, and I moved on.

I don’t know if that means Heroes 6 is better. I know it’s not better if judged hour-per-hour (in a pound-for-pound kind of way), but I was done with Xcom far sooner than Heroes, and in ‘total enjoyment’, Heroes wins.

And if I apply that thinking to the MMO genre, it explains why flawed yet deep games like Darkfall last for me, while ‘perfected’ shortness like GW2 is ultimately disappointing and a waste. Because unlike FTL, I’m not looking just to waste 10 hours in an MMO. That’s not my expectation. And that shouldn’t be anyone’s expectation if you are playing an MMO ‘correctly’, with a guild and digging into the social aspects and caring about the world rather than just your own person experience. For all of that to happen, you need way more than 10 hours.

Of course that last part is basically impossible in so many ‘MMOs’ today. SW:TOR is the poster child, but GW2 has a personal story as well, and so many of its praised design decisions help turn everyone into a helpful yet silence NPC/bot. Awesome for 10 hours, entirely forgettable long-term. It’s the reason the ‘new hotness’ in the MMO genre is just selling you a box. That’s all you get. The content in the box. Play it, finish it, move on. Other silent drones will replace you. Or not. It doesn’t matter to anyone but you (and the soon-to-be-laid of devs).

So until the drought ends, or the NDA drops, I don’t know how much I’ll be posting here. Dark times indeed.


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