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 I tell you this because I feel the need to justify why I’ve felt withdrawn from blogging, gaming, and everything else this past month (in addition to having traveled for work and being busy).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.
Got hit hard with the plague out here. Nasty upper and lower respiratory infections all around. Disgusting and debilitating, right at the launch of the Switch. Bleh.
I want to catch up on a few things I would have otherwise posted about individually in a more timely manner.
Mass Effect Andromeda is making news for all the wrong reasons. The overall impressions of the game are coming in mixed from people who have played, but the mockery over the character models, animations, or gameplay is overwhelming.[su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-msmx9yW5Q” width=”720″][/su_youtube] [su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUfZMocgHKc” width=”720″][/su_youtube]
I don’t feel like subscribing to EA access to play the first 10 hours, so I haven’t tried it myself. I’ve played all of the other installments in the series and liked them well enough, but I think I’ll ultimately wait for the reviews before committing.
A good friend of mine and I started up characters on Uthgard and I think we’re like 17’ish. We’re thinking about making to switch over the the actual DAOC servers now. I’m not sold on the idea since I can’t imagine myself competing in RvR or PvE for that matter with people who have 10+ years of no reset (hard or soft) on me.
Trying to make an account has been an exercise in futility. First I tried signing up for an account and it kept telling me my emails were claimed. Huh? Then I realized it’s linked with EA’s account system. Huh again… I thought Broadsword owned it now? Is Broadsword EA? Using EA’s servers? What’s the situation here. Then I tried to sign up for a trial and couldn’t get that to work because apparently the accounts I have — which would be used for a trial — can’t be? So I have to create another account with an email I don’t have in order to take advantage of it? Having an account that isn’t linked to DAOC was requiring a key. I got frustrated and gave up. Not great for potential players to face these struggles.
I don’t want to seem whiny or ignorant or unwilling to try, so I’ll give it another go this weekend.
I put myself on hiatus from WoW. I was down to only logging in for raids, and with my work schedule being what it is and trying to find time to do ANYTHING else with the free time I do have, I couldn’t be tied to a schedule. So I’m now officially off WoW again.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time playing up until the end there. Raiding does weird things to people and twists games into knots. We all know that, though. Raiding just isn’t for me anymore. I’ll simply have to try and remember that before I ever consider jumping in again.
I’m sorry for the record slowdown around here. This past week was crazy with a few game launches and RL stuff.
Graev and I both picked up Civ 6. I’ll be the very first to admit that I’m not as familiar with Civ as I thought I was from playing Civ 4. I get the general idea of how to play, how to take a turn, the general ideas, etc. What I don’t have down at all are the strategies or “best practices” of how to play.
My games are always SO DANG LONG. Is that normal? Right now I chalk it up to not having a strategy, therefore spending hours going in multiple directions when I should be focusing on one solid victory.
I think Graev and I are making good progress in Gear 4. We’ve come across a few major reveals in the story, and I can tell they’ve definitely set themselves up for a new trilogy.
This is one I still plan to more formally write my thoughts on, but for now I’m happy to say it’s fun and I recommend it for fans of the previous games.
KGC is still progressing in raids. We’ve moved into Heroics now, and plan to pick up the pace now that 7.1 is coming out tomorrow. I’m actually going to write another post on 7.1 here this morning.
I want to do a bit of a catch-up post to end January. Is this year really already down by an entire month? Crazy. I have had a really wild past two weeks in terms of everything I have going on. Some of you have left comments with the sentiment that when you focus on your professional lives with the same intensity as you normally would gaming, then you can see some incredible results. I can wholeheartedly agree with and say that I have seen the same outcome myself. Busy is good, but it means sometimes not getting as many posts up as I would like. I’ll figure out a balance.
Personally, I’ve not only improved the work at my day job, but also in my own personal side gig as well as my wife’s music business. I’m doing marketing consulting work on the side for small businesses. I enjoy being able to help companies realize their potential when they actively, and intelligently, properly identify and work toward accomplishing their marketing goals. As for my wife, I’ve done a bit of ‘marketing’ for her as well and she’s grown from having a little website bringing in a little bit of money to a thriving music business where her schedule is packed and she’s thriving — it’s incredibly satisfying to see that happen for her so quickly.
My gaming scene has been a little bit weird of late. I finished up all of the Disney Infinity 3.0 games, and I’m finishing up a few games in my backlog. A big part of my play time lately has been invested in Diablo 3’s newest season, but the initial surge is dwindling (thanks to deflating RNG hating me). EQ is still my big obsession. My Cleric is level 18, and I think I like playing him more than my Necromancer! Maybe it’s that I enjoy getting groups.
What I’m Playing Next
I have a few big games coming on my list that I will be writing about and making some videos to show off.[su_youtube_advanced url=”https://youtu.be/I8SM2CSLsro” width=”700″ rel=”no” fs=”no” wmode=”transparent”][/su_youtube_advanced]
The MMO ‘Drought’
It continues… really, there’s nothing out right now except for EverQuest that comes even close to satisfying a TRUE MMORPG experience. Albion Online is doing a nice job, but still in closed beta until the end of the year. I did promise Werit I would take a video of the private islands — sorry, I haven’t forgotten! I have the video and I’ll upload it for you tonight.
Crazy busy times! Holiday shopping, work, family stuff, helping my wife with her two side businesses, and gaming when I have a few spare minutes have kept me incredibly busy! I have neglected to post much here, but that will be very different this next week. I want to craft a bit of a conglomoblog to address numerous topics.
Yes! It’s finally upon us. Phinigel launches Wednesday, December 9th. I’m ready to go! My Gnome Necromancer will be moving forward full-speed ahead ready to gain levels and conquer the world of Norrath. By conquer I mean farm plat & gear and get level 50, etc. All in all having a great time in a world I can’t quite seem to ever grow tired of visiting.
Wanting to play with me and my friends? The more the merrier! Let me know and I’ll get you the details you need to join a great group. I plan to continue my “Late Nights in EverQuest” series on Youtube which was waylaid by the announcement of the new server.
I’ve been enjoying the closed beta of Albion Online. At first I was a bit rusty. You’ll see that in the video I am FINALLY uploading tomorrow morning. Sorry for the delay in that… I’ve been promising to upload that for two weeks now. I’ve spent around 10 hours farming materials and overall just acquainting myself with the game.
If you’re looking to join in on what’s shaping up to be a fun and long-lasting UO’ish MMORPG, check out the founders packs.
Remember that fun sandbox building game in space that Graev and I played in May 2014. We took a couple videos and had a blast playing with some of you. More than a year later the game has apparently developed significantly. There are now planets to explore! I’m going to dive back in and see what’s up in Space Engineers on Tuesday. Might be a fun filler game.
Graev and I have been playing several hours a week of Battlefront on our PS4’s. I recently saw that more people play on the PS4 than the Xbox One and PC COMBINED. While a little surprising, it makes sense. Consoles are the native platform for most games these days, and the PS4 is pretty much the front runner. I’d be curious to see the numbers for Fallout 4.
Welcome back! The holiday weekend is coming to a close, and that means it’s back to games and back to blogging. I think now is a good time to give you guys a conglomoblog with details on what I’ve been up to and where I see things going in the second half of 2015.
Right now there just isn’t a log going on in the MMO sphere. MMOs really are my bread and butter, but over the last two years I have really embraced other avenues of gaming. I’m hoping to see 2016 be a year for MMOs, but that’s a discussion we’ll likely have 6 months from now. In terms of MMOs, you know I am still playing on the EQ progression server and dabbling in ESOTU.
My two main go-tos right now are Assassin’s Creed Unity and Splatoon. My wife and I are playing Unity together and easily over 25 hours in with a bit more to go. She loves the history, and I love the gameplay of being an assassin in a semi-open-world. I have to say though that Unity is lacking compared to Black Flag and the Ezio series. I just bought Assassin’s Creed Rogue on Amazon (on sale for $9.99 on PS3); Rogue came out at the same time as Unity but received no marketing at all and is actually heralded by many reviewers as one of the best in the entire series. I will definitely write up my thoughts on Rogue upon playing.
Splatoon remains some of the best fun I’ve had on a console. Nintendo has provided continual FREE updates to the game since launch including more weapons, maps, game modes, and special events. The word I would use to best describe Splatoon isn’t a technical term like “FPS” or “Shooter” — Splatoon is a playful game. I hope the attention Nintendo has given to the online game here translates into their new online service coming soon.
I’ve decided just now as I write this to hold off on telling you in this post my plans. I’m going to turn that into a post for tomorrow morning. I’ll just throw a teaser in here and say it’s something I have wanted to do for some time but haven’t had the time or the freedom to do so until now.
Rumor: Google Buying Twitch?
Apparently Google might be buying Twitch for $1 billion. Strange valuation in my opinion. I think that’s 1/19th the valuation of Whatsapp (Facebook’s recent acquisition), but it’s already monetized way more and has an audience already locked in and engaged. The growth potential for Twitch is also enormous as streaming becomes an even bigger medium for gaming. Deep down I still can’t figure out if streaming will be a fad or the gateway to a whole new level of sharing and making the games we play interactive. I thought Twitch would be worth more.
Google is being smart. They’ll acquire their biggest competitors. Lots and lots of Youtube gamers have gone to Twitch, and Google streaming is/was never going to take off. Buying your competition is great for Google, but horrible for the users. I’m really big on competition being great for the consumer. Personally, I think Google has made some awful decisions in the past few years. I hate what they’ve done to Youtube, and I was convinced Twitch chat couldn’t get worse. I think their size will also hurt the streaming industry.
Hopefully this is just Twitch putting our feelers saying, “what would you give me…”
Diablo 3: Legen (wait for it) dary!
I’ve played a lot of D3 this weekend. I finally got my Mask of Jeram, and picked up some Zunis set. I’m able to comfortably solo T3 which is a huge jump considering I was barely making it through T1 on Friday.
My issue with D3 is the same issue I’ve had with a lot of games lately: Repetition. I can only repeat the same thing so many times before I need to do something else. I want my games to be more dynamic these days. That said, when I finally get an item in Diablo 3 that I’ve been wanting it’s that same feeling of finally getting an item in a MMO: It’s awesome.
Looking forward to WildStar launching soon. KGC is ready to go. Should be a fun ride. We’re recruiting so get on over to our forums and enlist today!
I keep hearing/reading that WildStar is going to be such a hardcore game not for the casual, console, [insert something with a core not hard enough] audience. Yes, there are inaccessible 40-man raids. You’re delusional if you think that WildStar is now or will ever be hardcore. Even compared to Vanilla WoW (like WildStar often is) it’s ridiculously accessible and easy to level. People were hitting 40+ in 3-4 days or less.
All it will take is a few exit surveys for NCSoft to step in and force accessibility. “We’re losing subscribers because they can’t experience the content they want to play.” It will never, ever, be more inaccessible than WoW.
Life has been crazy lately. I spend more time working on campus to finish up the last of my finals (graduating in a week!) in one day than I do sleeping and playing games. I apologize for the lack of updates around here, but it will improve in just a matter of days. After that, until I can find a job (Which I am actively looking for — anyone want a marketing guru?) I’ll have plenty of free time.
I’m also bound by a few NDAs right now. If not for forced silence, I’d have quite a bit to share about a few games. I want to talk about Marvel Heroes, for example, which is an action RPG set in the Marvel universe, but I can’t just yet.
To kill what very little free time I have, which has mostly been extremely late at night (read: after 10pm), I’ve been playing Minecraft again. Our community has another server set up, and we’re playing a mod compilation called ‘Feed the Beast’. It’s neat, challenging compared to Tekkit, and a lot of fun to hop in and build. There’s something about building, tinkering, and letting my creative (or lack thereof) manifest itself in a game. Why can’t more games be a blank canvas like Minecraft? So simple, so fun.
Let’s see, what else am I up to lately? I played a 30 minutes of SWTOR tonight. A friend of mine is playing again just to kill some time and play some battlegrounds. I had fun playing the single-player game 1-50. The game is quite charming looking once you get past the low level armor that looks like it’s painted on. Animations are extremely smooth. I love what they did with the interface changes. I hate the F2P crap, but it’s free. As I continue to play, I’ll refine my thoughts and keep you posted.
That’s all for now! Things will pick up again very soon.
I’m in one of those phases where I’m enjoying a spread of titles. There isn’t a ‘new’ MMO out capable of holding my attention right now. I’m still enjoying UO, and I craft/stock my vendors every day, but that’s slowly fading out. Our community is waiting on SWGEmu to finally be out of beta, wipe, and launch. About six members of our guild are already dedicating themselves to playing in beta to learn the game a bit more. I’m anxious to jump in and experience the crafting and hunting in a galaxy far, far, away — again.
Most of my time these past few days has been going to EverQuest Project 1999. Several of us have the EQ itch, so we created an awesome group to play together. I’m a Dwarf Paladin, and we have a cleric, druid, enchanter, and a monk (who may be a rogue or wizard or something else). We’ve been spending most of our time in Crushbone hunting orcs simply because there are so many people there with groups and people buffing. P99 in general is constantly abuzz with players — something like 800 people on every night, and it feels like more than when the game was actually in the launch era.
Something keeps bringing me back to these games. Something I can’t find anywhere else. They’re not perfect — heck, playing EQ I had to laugh tonight at some of the totally outrageous issues we didn’t even realize existed back in the day. I’ll post tomorrow outlining one of the main reasons why EQ is so appealing despite its old school issues.
Bit of a late night post tonight. We’re in the middle of transitioning our hosting to something that can accommodate our traffic. Shared hosting doesn’t cut it anymore. The whole process has been extremely taxing as I try to ensure we can afford the new solution, and make sure we provide our readers with the best experience possible. I find myself wondering where the last three days went. Honestly, I have no clue.
Tonight before bed I just want to write out a few thoughts I had on random subjects.
Rayman Legends Delayed
This is quite a massive hit to the Wii U. I’m not sure whether or not I fully buy into the reason they give for postponing launch to have multi-platform support. I don’t think the fans have as much to do with it as the Wii U does. I see this as a vote of no confidence in the Wii U’s ability to sell units. Releasing on the Wii U would certainly mean less sales, and less enthusiasm to buy a product already released for one system. They’re delaying with the hope of hitting the market all at once and seeing larger sales. Graev and I really loved the Rayman Legends demo.
Camelot Unchained – Risk Taking
Mark Jacobs has launched a media blitz with his first of many “Foundational Principles.”: The first deals with being willing to take risks. As I already mentioned in my post detailing my conversation with Mark, he’s not in this to make a game for everyone. Mark lists a few things, however, that I don’t consider risks or even far out there at all: real day/night cycles, no fast-travel, no gear grind, etc. Maybe it’s the old guard in me that finds these less risky; we see game after game being exactly the same, and failing much the same as the games before it. Being different feels less risky to me, given the current landscape.