The Weekend Report

Shortly after my last post, I was back in Diablo III. I figured since I was able to clear an Act a night I should be able to keep the pace, and Act IV ended up being considerably shorter than the previous Acts. The last Act was simply more epic in scope and feel, you are in Heaven, and you are destroying Hell’s elite. Bosses are everywhere. Loot drops in an abundance. And then you get to face the baddest of all badasses, Diablo himself. Herself? Hard to tell in this game. Diablo ends up being a three part fight, but still none of this was a challenge and was easily done on Normal. I was level 47 upon completion, and I’d say that’s a bit further ahead of the curve than I would have been without the bonus XP event that’s been going on this month.

Say Goodnight Diablo. Goodnight Diablo.
Say Goodnight Diablo. Goodnight Diablo.

I did take a night off from the game, but then ended up playing some more today. I’m currently level 52, and I would say a couple more sessions will get me to 60. I’m not too worried about grinding out Paragon levels, because I don’t want to burn myself out before the expansion hits. Once Reaper of Souls is out then I intend to get to level 70 and try out the Adventure mode. I’m hoping that it really creates an end game of sorts, because outside of leveling a Crusader, I don’t want to have to repeat the same content over and over. This has always been my issue with Action RPGs, once I’ve completed the game once I don’t usually want to play it over again. I’m part way through the first Act on a second playthrough, and I did ramp the difficulty up to Hard, but I still don’t want to replay the same story over really. If I would have had to grind it out several times to get to 60 I probably wouldn’t have done it. We don’t want these games to end because it is fun to hack n slash with loot progression, but they are mostly single player games that do have an end. Eventually we will move on from this just as we moved on from its predecessors. But for now, it’s fun, moreso when you can join in with friends.

Having a computer that can run most anything has been a refreshing change of pace. A huge catalog of games sits before me that weren’t available before, some I’ve already mentioned purchasing, many games are free to play. I was toying with the idea of downloading Planetside 2 or Firefall to check them out and because I have been looking for a decent FPS to play when I’m in the mood for that sort of thing. I’ve boycotted the CoD series, and despite trying I’m not really fond of Battlefield. The aforementioned titles are free to play and massive, so they are more in the Battlefield or MMO genre than being a true session based FPS (I’m primarily a deathmatch guy. Shoot some shit and then move on when I’ve had my fill). I knew there had to be more options, so I perused the free to play section of Steam. Man there are a lot of free to play games out there that I had never heard of, some that I have heard of but haven’t tried, and some that I wasn’t interested in at all. My Dad had mentioned one called Loadout to me, and it’s a cartoon like TPS that plays kind of like Team Fortress. I haven’t gotten too far but it’s in the rotation for now. The other game I tried is called Hawken, and it’s a FPS in mechs, but the controls are very arcade-y unlike the old Mechwarrior games I used to play. I actually prefer the way this game is set up, and though it is an early access game, it seemed to have a nice level of polish already. I’m definitely interested in seeing how this game shapes up.

In the past I primarily played FPS games on the computer. I was accustomed to using the keyboard and mouse, and I used to think that style of control was superior to a game pad. Early FPS games on consoles were always wonky, and I detested their control schemes. Over the years though, gamepads have improved and the ability to translate controls over to consoles did as well. For a number of years I played enough FPS games on Playstations and Xboxes to come to the conclusion that I prefer a controller to keyboard and mouse when it comes to this style of game. As such, I started doing some research and found that many games that I would be interested in playing on the computer via Steam have controller support. Unfortunately I don’t have an Xbox so I didn’t already have an accessible gamepad to use for the PC. You may recall that I was using a program to get my PS3 controller to work on the PC, but it wasn’t all that reliable and I decided it would just be better to buy a gamepad for the PC and be done with it. I looked around on the web for quite some time and asked a few friends and family members their opinions and the general consensus was to get a 360 controller because it is the most compatible with windows. I was thinking that Logitech and other companies make PC accessories that I have used and are usually quite reliable, so I looked at their selection as well. Turns out that the F310 is styled more like a Playstation controller, tricks windows into thinking it’s a 360 controller, and it was less expensive than a legitimate 360 controller. The only supposed draw back is that it is wired via USB. There is an upgraded version called the F710 that is wireless, but essentially the same controller otherwise and considerably more expensive. Longer story short, I found one at my local Staples for $25, and the guy at the register actually price matched Best Buy for me so I only paid $21. I got home and plugged it in and wouldn’t you know, it works beautifully.

Aside from the games listed above, I also wanted a controller so that I could invest in another game. I’ve been playing (and writing about) Awesomenauts for quite some time. I’ve been playing the PS3 version since day one, but I technically never had to pay for it, as it was a Plus freebie the day it released. Aside from one major patch that introduced a couple of new characters, the PS3 version was then put on the shelf and there was no further support. The Steam version however, saw several more characters released and from what I can already tell, quite a few tweaks to characters and the existing levels. Last week the new version for Playstation 4 released, called Awesomenauts Assemble, but it’s really just now up to par with the Steam version of the game. The Kickstarter for Starstorm was successful, and has been in early access mode since December, so only parts of that have been added to the Steam version of the game, but I think it was announced that those features will also be added to the PS4. Regardless, I do not own a PS4, but I do have a computer that will run the game just fine. However, being so accustomed to playing the game with a controller it was going to be hard to make that switch, hence my desire to pick up a controller. The truth comes out!

From what little I’ve played of the game so far, there are some striking differences that I’ve already sort of mentioned, but many smaller bits that I’ve picked up on as well. I plan to write up a full post about this later on. That’s all for now. See ya kids.