We’ve had a rough go of things this past week. Our pup was diagnosed with bone cancer last month and given 6 months to live. Despite our best efforts to help with treatments and numerous doctor visits, the cancer spread aggressively and claimed our poor friend. I tell you this because I feel the need to justify why I’ve felt withdrawn from blogging, gaming, and everything else this past month (in addition to having traveled for work and being busy). We’re those weird animal people who consider animals family members, and love them as much as people — often more. I’m starting to come out of that hole, and glad games are here to help.
I’ve had some time to dabble in a few things. I want to briefly comment on them here in this conglomoblog then expound upon them in their own entries.
The long-awaited Nintendo Online service for the Switch is out now. I picked up the $20/year version. With it comes the ability to continue playing games online — a feature now restricted to the Online service — as well as an array of classic NES games on the Switch’s version of the virtual console. There are also cloud saves and that phone app no one will use. I think it’s a fairly limited program and the price is perhaps justified only by the virtual console.
Super Mario Party Switch
Graev and I both picked up Super Party Party. I’m having fun playing solo and with my wife while waiting for Graev to finish playing Valkyrie Chronicles 4. Once he does, we plan to play online together. I think that’s ultimately where my biggest gripe with the game comes in… there’s no real online play, just mini-game shenanigans. I’m also really displeased with the control setup because you have to use a single Joycon to play. Yes, that means no handheld mode or pro controller, which are both the best control beauties of the console. We’ll write more Super Mario Party soon.
If there's one thing the entire WoW community can agree on it's that the Azerite Armor system has been a complete and utter failure.
What was supposed to be a system that allowed players to farm the gear they wanted turned into a RNG hell. What was supposed to be a system that made gear more available made gear more inaccessible than ever. What was supposed to be a system that made off-specs more friendly turned into a system that was just as unfriendly to off-specs as anything else, to the point where it's faster to make a new character than to gear up an off-spec.
I've waffled so many times on the concept of world scaling that I can't really remember how I originally felt. Back in January I posted about the scaling and noted immersion and other things.
I want to make particular note of calling out that I found, even back then, the idea of wading through mobs that I should have progressed beyond to be annoying.
I think my prophetic complaints came to pass.
This weekend was pretty good for games. BFA comes out tomorrow, so I tried to to load up on a variety of games pass the time.
Graev and I are taking our time exploring. We had a minor frustrating moment when we couldn’t figure out why I had a quest he didn’t have, when neither of us has played without the other. I have an Awakening quest that says something about exploring the universe and he doesn’t. We both chose the same options. Anyone know anything about that? Also, when we both entered the first big anomaly and docked with it, I talked to the little guy and he gave me a choice for an upgrade but Graev wasn’t offered one. That was yet again frustrating for him. Would love input there from any of you vets.
Otherwise, we’re having fun exploring. It’s a bit of a slog at times to spend -so- much time gathering resources. That’s probably my biggest critique. I love flying, exploring, fighting, etc., but there’s a huge emphasis on gathering resources and not much time on using them. In fact, the very act of gathering resources leads to needing more resources to recharge the item I’m using to gather resources.
VR exploded quite a bit in the last two years. It sort of slowed a bit, probably to let the tech catch up a little, but it hasn't gone away.
The Pantheon twitter asked the following.
Virtual Reality - Which side of the fence are you on, do you think Virtual Reality is the future of gaming or will it be a passing trend?
I'm going to tailor my thoughts a little more towards MMOs, but they'll apply to gaming in general as well.
I think VR as it is currently implemented is a bit of a passing trend. Heavy helmets the current controllers aren't going to remain this way and accelerate to mainstream adoption.
My wife and I just returned from a week long trip to Arizona to visit with family. After a week of barely any internet, I can say it's great to be back in the land of the wifi and cellular connections.
For whatever reason, I really underestimated how bad the internet connections would be at both the Grand Canyon and the northern Arizona mountainous areas. Checking email was almost an exercise in futility. Thus, my grand plans of blogging and staying plugged in failed miserably.
I'm keeping things pretty simple this week. I'm dabbling in WoW trying out different Paladin specs to see how I want to level up my character. I know I'll go for holy as main spec, but it was a toss up for me if I would level as ret or prot. After the last few days of testing, I think I'll go for prot.
What are you guys playing?
So here’s a legitimate question for you guys… why is Warframe so popular all of a sudden?
I know why it’s being played by all of the Twitch streamers. They have #ad in their titles and are being paid to play.
I know why it’s being covered on some of the bigger news sites. They have disclaimers about being flown to London, and many NA-based outlets are happy to accept the free vacation in exchange for coverage.
What I’m curious about is why the sudden surge. Warframe came out in 2013 and the reviews weren’t favorable. At best it was in that “hey if you like this you might also like this” category, scraping by with 40%-70% scores. I tried it and it felt like a spaztastic shooter game with big emphasis on looting and being a fashion show. The game I tried was generic and lifeless.
This weekend was spent dabbling in a variety of games. I played Stardew Valley a TON. Probably too much. We have a ridiculous operation going of crops into wines and preserves. It’s a little obsessive.
I also played WoW a bit to work on my Paladin. And by “work on” I mean just playing some world quests trying to get transmog gear and unlock mounts. It’s a decent distraction for an hour here and there.
Graev and I are trying to find something to do (looking for your recommendations please) together. We ended up trying out some DOTA 2 on a whim. A lot has changed in the 4 years since I’ve played. A lot. Before we played I said to Graev, “You realize they’re going to crucify us, right? They’re going to reach their their monitors, grab our souls, and drag us to the depths of hell for being newbs on their team.” His reply was simply, “I enjoy watching people freak out.” So we played. And there was some freaking out. The best moment hands down was the message across the screen at the start of the match to be nice to new players and help them learn. LOL.
What’d you do this weekend?
Dauntless is in open beta. You may remember it as that game being streamed by people who were given access if they would stream it together. It quickly fizzled out into obscurity after the closed beta wasn’t well received.
Now it’s in open beta, and apparently it underwent some big changes to try and make it a little more like Monster Hunter. All I remember from the streams I watched (I have not played it myself) are the horrible sounds. I probably wrote a post about how my ears would bleed when I watched people play.
But lots of supposed good changes have made people flock to give it a shot. After all, it’s F2P. And what would a F2P game be without devs touting the registered player numbers? In case you weren’t aware, people like to try new free games.
The newness and freeness have brought about some pretty insane queues. There are 100,000 people in the queue right now. The Dauntless subreddit is basically memes about how bad things are when having to wait to play.
I’m sure those people would love to watch other people play, but since the game is so good now they’ve only allowed a handful of “partners” the right to stream the game. Those players believably love the game.
I really don’t have a point to this, other than my odd fascination with the entire process. The game wasn’t very good in closed beta, regrouped, only lets approved people show it off on Twitch, has a queue of 100,000 people, and then touts how many people are playing. It all makes complete sense.