The not-so-short “what I’m playing” update

First, thanks to most who commented in last weeks little checkup on the MMO genre, good times. I’d say lets hope when we revisit in 2016 we finally have a F2P champion to make things a little more interesting, but lets not kid ourselves, I’ll most likely just be able to copy/paste that post over and it will remain 100% accurate.

Games roundup time!

Clash of Clans: First I can’t believe I’ve been actively (every day, and often an hour+) playing this game for over a year now. The really crazy part is I’ve spent a total of $5, and I honestly feel like I should spend more, but I have zero need. Also the fact that the game just prints money (likely now above WoW-levels) means they really don’t need my wallet-vote.

Our clan is at 50 members right now, although with a group that size its fairly common for someone to go inactive. However due to our core moving up in town hall levels, at this point we really need players who are TH7+ with lvl2+ dragons, otherwise you will have a really tough time doing much of anything in a war. That said the above requirements are fairly easy (a month or two?) to achieve, and considering how awesome the game is overall, the ‘grind’ (get it) is worth it.

Boom Beach: It’s CoC with guns! Only different enough to be very interesting on its own. In a lot of ways CoC/BB are like UO/EQ1. Sure, one is better, true to what it should be, and came first, but the other still has some things going for it. Much like the lesser MMO EQ1, BB is more PvE focused, easier, and more casual than CoC. Which isn’t to say it’s ‘bleeding customers accessible’ ala WoW during the intern years, don’t worry. There is a good deal of depth, especially when it comes to force composition and executing attacks. Base design, other than lacking CoC’s base layout tool, is something that can keep you busy for a while as you tweak placement and watch replays to see the results.

The clan in BB is currently at 25/25 members. The next increase would be to 50, but I’m hesitant to pull the trigger since its a permanent increase and I don’t know that I have another 25 people looking to join. This might change in time, but unless there are a good number of requests in the comment section here or via chat in CoC, we will remain at 25 for now.

We run Operations almost daily (24hr timer on those), which are really fun “clan vs NPC super base” events. We can clear the level 4 Op, but the level 5 has yet to be conquered. This will shortly change as our members gain power and access to more and better troops, and we collectively learn how best not to run out troops into insta-death traps.

Age of Decadence: I downloaded the demo of this game, and it’s interesting. The game bills itself as an RPG, but the more I play the more I feel its a rogue-like graphic-novel style title, with heavy RPG elements. Allow me to explain. You die a lot in AoD. A lot. You could very well die after the first decision you make, or the second, less than five minutes into the game. After you die you ‘reroll’ a new character and try again. Then you die some more.

The dying often thing is very rogue-like, as is the fact that you have so little control over death. You pick a text option, the game tells you the action you selected failed (lie to someone, try to attack someone, move to a certain location, etc), and you see the ‘you are dead’ screen (which often has very comical ‘why you died’ text). Even combat is pretty simple, with you just trading blows with someone, and it just doesn’t feel like you have a lot of control over the outcome.

The game is in early access so I’m not buying it just yet, but I will say that despite the somewhat random ‘gotcha’ aspect, the demo was highly enjoyable, and the game is something different and entertaining. You can get a feel for a the game overall in just a few hours, so I’d recommend grabbing it. Just power through the initial 10-30 minutes of ‘wtf am I doing’ learning curve in terms of UI and game basics.

FFXIV: I think I mentioned the wife and I are back playing this gem of an MMO. I need to write a longer post about it, but haven’t done so yet. It’s all the great stuff of vanilla WoW, presented in a better-looking package, with (IMO of course) a better IP behind it. Not hard to understand why it’s so successful, and still growing.

LoL: Oh LoL, how I love to hate you. The seasonal ranking reset happened, and as luck would have it during my placement matches I got the derpy derps on my teams, resulting in a silver 3 initial placement (I was Plat IV last season). S3 is I believe the ELO where the average player does in fact have two hands to play with but still hasn’t fully grasped how to use them (lower silver is the dominion of the one-handed cripples, while bronze league play is mostly just animals running across the keyboard hitting keys, or so I’ve heard). Think of a newborn discovering their hands for the first time; that’s basically the skill level in S3. Mental development for the average player also aligns with said newborn.

Now the ‘fun’ part of this is that during laning, I absolutely crush whoever I face unless they also happen to be a lost soul like myself playing with the mutants. The problem is that even with one lane dominated, the fate of the game still mostly sits on the shoulders of the team as a whole. You can’t really hyper-carry in LoL by design, which while generally a good MOBA design decision, somewhat hurts in this particular situation. Long story short, the climb back to Plat isn’t as swift as it should be, especially when the promo series to just get back into gold is a best-of-five. Lots of derp chances in a longer series.

Avernum: I finished the first game, and can happily report the ending is as awesome as the rest of the game. Total playtime came in at just over 50 hours, though I did almost all of the side quests. If you skim on those, I believe you could wrap things up in under 40 hours. Either way a great way to spend some time with a great RPG.

Age of Wonders 3: Currently playing some multiplayer with a friend, and having a great time. This is another game that needs a full post, which is coming ‘soon’, but I’ll just write here that I’m pleasantly surprised by the depth, and so far its basically everything one could ask from a TBS title of this sort.

Whelp, that post got long, you’re welcome. Also if it could stop snowing that would be neat, because as fun as snow-throwing a landing strip-worth of driveway is, doing it every other day is getting a bit old. Give me a different daily quest life, the ‘grind’ of this one is too much!

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
This entry was posted in Boom Beach, Clash of Clans, Final Fantasy XIV, iPhone, League of Legends, Random. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to The not-so-short “what I’m playing” update

  1. Delpez says:

    How does FFXIV hold up while playing with your wife? I’d like to play with my wife and/or son, but most MMOs become trivially easy and not much fun when leveling in a small group.

    • SynCaine says:

      I’d say better than most MMOs, though still not perfect. The difficulty is still pretty low in terms of your average game, but its a little above the average themepark MMO. During the main quest line (which is a significant % of the leveling content) you often have to do a mini-instanced events solo, which my wife dreads because she has struggled a few times with them.

      Other than that though it handles grouping well, with nice features like when one person teleports, it asks the other group members if they want to follow. Dungeons are 4-man, the queues are very short, and so far they have been about 30-40min in length. Again not super hard, but still decent with some mechanics you need to pay attention to.

      I think my favorite part, which is also a point of contention for others, is the longer global cooldown (2sec I think), meaning combat isn’t as button-mash as other MMOs. Also things like mana aren’t a nearly infinite resource like in WoW.

      I believe the game has a free trial, which I’d say is worth giving a shot.

    • Jonneh says:

      I also love ff14, I only play it every few days and don’t really bother with max level stuff but I do enjoy the levelling.

      It’s got a really long and slow start though, I couldn’t get my gf long into it before she just turned it off (just making an account is a serious chore). The entire world is completely off it’s tits as well, for someone who hasn’t experienced final fantasy before it can seem a bit stupid and childish.

      • SynCaine says:

        Agree, while I love the IP, and FFXIV does it absolute justice (no space goats), if you don’t know anything about FF is can seem weird as hell. My wife wasn’t into FF prior to the game, and while she is warming up to stuff like chocobos and the battle music theme, initially it was very much a “wtf is this” case.

  2. sleepysam says:

    Can’t decide if I’m jealous or not of gaming couples.

  3. Mikrakov says:

    My CoC clan is, after a fairly decent stretch, suddenly sucking at wars and I think I need a new home. Your posts are what got me playing CoC in the first place and I don’t really know why I didn’t join Supreme Cream in the first place, but I should probably rectify that mistake. Do you currently have any spots opening up for a TH8 with lvl3 dragons?

  4. Rynnik says:

    Is LoL 100% scratching the MOBA itch for you? You should take a look at SMITE which just launched season 2.

    Same business model as league with F2P done right, but the different perspective alone means, for me at least, it doesn’t really tread on the toes of LoL/DOTA.

    Anyways let me know if you want a friend referral for it and we could play a few matches. Darkfall training is strangely, massively applicable to SMITE success and it is funny how quick DF players pick it up.

    That, nosgoth which is vampire CoD, and single player offerings pretty much monopolize my gaming time right now. Oh for a worth-while MMO to invest in.

Comments are closed.