What to read, more F:NW, and on not playing GW2

I recently finished reading Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson, which I very much enjoyed. Actually I’ve found that I like everything by Brandon to some degree, and sadly have now exhausted his works. In January the final Wheel of Time book comes out (hey, only 20 years later), but does anyone have some recommended reading before then? Looking for something similar to Warbreaker or The Mistborn trilogy.

On the gaming front, my second playthrough of Fallout: New Vegas is going well. I snuck my way up into the city itself at just level 8, and I’m doing a lot of the content I never experienced the first time. Even the stuff that I had done before is different thanks to building a different character (melee/energy vs guns, low karma vs high, bad guy vs good, female vs male), and a lot of people/places have surprising depth in terms of their reaction to you.

I’m kind of sad that more developers are unable to make these kinds of games right. So many TES clones focus way too much on combat (which often still sucks), and completely miss on creating an interesting world and memorable characters. Much like the MMO genre, I guess really making something worthwhile and with depth is hard. Go figure.

Speaking of depth, I’m surprised how little I miss playing GW2. Since hitting the progression game over screen, the game has gone untouched, and even when I have ample gaming time, I just can’t will myself to load it up and play. The game just has zero pull for me in terms of wanting to see more of what it offers (finished the story, finished Orr), and with nothing meaningful to work towards, the idea of running zones at a pre-fixed level “just because” is unappealing.

What’s interesting is I view my short time with GW2 as a complete bust, like I would in a normal MMO. Maybe it’s the lack of a sub cost and by extension Anet’s expectations of retention, or the fact that while the game is flawed by design in many ways, it not outright bad as a quick trip single player style. Or maybe it’s just that it looks good, so ooh shiny. I’m not sure, but yea, I just can’t muster up more than a ‘meh’ feeling about it, and I’m perfectly content just moving on.

 

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
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28 Responses to What to read, more F:NW, and on not playing GW2

  1. Talinine says:

    If you haven’t read “The Name of the Wind” and “A Wise Man’s Fear” yet, go now. No, you can’t finish what you were doing. Immediately go read these books.

  2. bhagpuss says:

    Did you mean “I *don’t* view my short time with GW2 as a complete bust”?

    If not, I can’t quite parse the meaning of the final paragraph.

    • SynCaine says:

      I don’t have the same rage over it as I did with, say, WAR, or even Rift with the beta-release changes and 1.2. And I think I lack the rage because, well, GW2 never really sounded like anything awesome to begin with. With WAR, and even Rift, I had higher expectations going in.

  3. pkudude99 says:

    It’s not in Sanderson’s style, being a lot more “Hard sci-fi” but you might want to give Peter F Hamilton’s “Pandora’s Star” a look. Or his older “Night’s Dawn” series (starts with “The Reality Dysfunction,” IIRC).

  4. Trippin says:

    I still play GW2 – not in the same way I play an MMO I’m really into but I do still enjoy it. I think the difference is that I think of it as an online game akin to an FPS with loads of extra bits rather than an MMO with a lack of depth.

    I should point out that only play the WvWvW (I’d decided during beta that that was the only part I was interested in – PvE is meh without any progression goals) and I stand by my estimations of it being a good fun game. A fun game in a pick up and have a blast for an hour or 4 and then put it down again for a few days kinda way.

    Depends what you are looking for I suppose.

    • I’m the same way as SynCaine. He almost took the words out of my mouth. I could still see myself somewhat enjoying the game as it is now if only ANet could fix bugs. After many patches stating they fixed various events from bugging, they still break and flip out. I’ve just lost confidence in their dev team to fix anything. The straw that broke the camels back was when I logged in for the Lost Shores one time event (Part 2) and it was bugged out. At that point I just threw my hands up and haven’t logged in since.

  5. Carl says:

    R Scott Bakers, The Darkness That Come Before series or Joe Abercrombie’s First Law Trilogy. Both highly reccomended.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I suggest Ready Player One by Ernest Cline if you haven’t read it. Interesting read for any MMO player in my opinion.

    • hevy says:

      This. If you grew up in the 80’s you will love this. Soooo many references and just a great read for anyone who plays mmorpg’s.

  7. braddollar says:

    I suggest Ready Player One by Ernest Cline if you haven’t read it. Interesting read for any MMO player in my opinion.

  8. silvertemplar says:

    Yea i kinda feel the same about GW2 at the moment, i already felt it from lvl 40 already where you unlock your 30-point elites and realise it does not actually change your gameplay or urge for a character respec or anything.

    Good single player game though.

  9. Did you play Fallout 2, what you are describing of New Vegas seems like they kept true to both 1 and 2, where although the story in terms of development was the same, meaning that the end of the story was always the same (defeating the Enclave), getting there could be achieved by any number of ways, add to that the fact that at the end it would tell exactly how your actions affected the rest of the world, becoming a member of vault city, defeating or joining the slavers, becoming a member of vault city, joining one of the crime families on new Reno or just ignoring all of it.
    If that is so, I think I’m going to give it a try, although i am not a big fan of the first person view on a “RPG”.

    I would suggest you try some of Sandy Mitchell books, most of them are ok, if not good.

    • SynCaine says:

      I did play Fallout 1 and 2, loved them both. Fallout 3 and NV share a lot with those games (including references back to events in California), and IMO the first person view is actually a boost to immersion. When the games come up for sale on Steam this around the holidays, I highly recommend picking them up.

  10. Gorbag says:

    Have you read any Iain M Banks? Player Of Games is a great jumping-off point if you haven’t. Name of the Wind, and anything by Joe Abercrombie, seconded – read them all!

    • Devore says:

      Not sure if anyone’s gonna be reading the replies to this post anymore, hehe, but I thought I’d chip in with Iain M Banks too. Player of Games and Excession were great, I’m working (ugh, yeah, working I guess) my way through Use of Weapons, and I’m not liking it a whole lot so far. I think I like the whole advanced Culture stuff better.

      My all time favourite must be the Gap series from Stephen Donaldson, starting with The Gap Into Conflict: The Real Story, but it really is a series, can’t just pick and choose volumes.

  11. JJ Robinson says:

    Assuming you’ve read A Song and Fire (aka Game of Thrones), how about a little sci-fi? Have you read the SW Thrawn trilogy (NYT selling series)? If not and you’re a SW fan they are must read and fairly easy reads, too.

    I’d also suggest mixing in something not straight fantasy, like One Day After or maybe Cloud Atlas (soon be released as a movie). I find mixing in a little change from fantasy series keeps me fresh and makes the next fantasy series even more enjoyable.

    • SynCaine says:

      After being scared by WoT, I told myself no more starting a series that has not been completed. Plus I don’t enjoy reading something I’ve seen, and since I’ve been watching GoT on HBO, I’m not sure about the books now.

      I’m not huge on Sci-Fi, but that’s more me being stubborn than actually not enjoying reading something non-fantasy.

      • Aerynne says:

        The HBO show is good – the books are better. Although I share your concern about Martin actually finishing the series – he has two more to go and he is not getting any younger.

        • Everblue says:

          Correction – the first three books are better. The first three books in this series are absolutely brilliant. The last two are really poor.

          The author has said that when he started writing the books he had the SPOILERS Red Wedding END SPOILERS in mind. Having written past that he has absolutely no idea how to finish the series. A real disappointment.

        • Aerynne says:

          I would have agreed with you after finishing Feast for Crows the first time. But I recently reread it before reading Dance with Dragons, and I discovered that once I became more familiar with the newer cast of characters who were pushed to the forefront in Feast, I really enjoyed both books. I also realized just how intricately he plotted these books and set the stage for what is now happening in the first three.

          I do think he needs to figure out what to do about Cirsei though.

        • JJ Robinson says:

          GoT is amazing and a unique fantasy series in that there is little magic. The character dev is as good as it gets and with Martin seemingly willing to throw a curve ball at any moment each page is read with anticipation. Not to mention his wit is fabulous. If you want to wait for Martin to finish the series I can understand that, but the books are absolutely 110% must reads for any fantasy fan.

  12. coppertopper says:

    Well since all the book suggestions came up, if you are craving some scifi I highly recommend A Deepness in the Sky by Virnor Vinge.

    Also on a side note, fuck you iPhone autocorrect. Gave it another shot with the latest iOS update and still spend more time correcting its corrections then the actual writing of messages. Love Siri though.

  13. Professer says:

    Chronicles of the Black Company by Glen Cook is one of the best books I ever read. Here’s a quote from the back cover by some guy: “…reading this is like reading veitnam war fiction on peyote…” or something to that effect. It really is quite deep and intricate, and that statement held up throughout reading it.

    I can not recommend these books (a series) enough. Great dark fantasy war with a real, human aspect to it. Best books I’ve ever read.

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