State of the Game: All Over the Place

Another week down, and the month is coming to a close. I think I may have written more blog posts this month than any other month in my “career.” I’d say the NBI has a lot to do with that. Sadly, the event comes to a close today, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to stop playing games and being a community. It just means the sanctioned events are coming to an end. From here on out, it’s up to us to keep blogging, keep creating content, and keep the movement strong. I know I’ve been doing my part, you should be too.

I strayed away from my current MMO of choice, partly because none of the people I had mentioned playing with have been playing all that much, but also because I’ve been involved in playing a number of games with the NBI crew (more on this is a bit). So really the only progress I made during the course of the week was two levels on my Cleric, and a couple of levels on my Rogue. Free players are only allowed two character slots, so at least I can’t be tempted to make any more alts. The levels on my Rogue came from straight PvP, I don’t think I’m going to do any traditional questing on that character. As it is, I’m kind of doing the same thing on the Cleric, as I have seriously gotten bored with themepark questing in MMOs. I do a few quests here and there still (particularly carnage or body drop quests/major event stuff). Sadly, the kill ten rats variety is still more fun that some of the “innovative” quests that some developers try to throw at us. Speaking of which, there’s a world event going on, and it’s called Unicornalia or some such nonsense. I could give a rat’s ass about having a unicorn mount. As the MMO Troll made mention of in his latest Massive Failure podcast, Unicorns don’t belong in the world of Rift. I agree with his sentiments. However, the event had some repeatable quests (used to grind for a special currency to buy the mounts) that gave massive amounts of xp and some decent coin. As such, I spent a portion of my time doing those, along with instant adventures, a couple dungeon runs, and some PvP. The best part of the event was having to close a special rift, which was actually semi involved. Rescuing unicorns, closing fire rifts, and then killing a raid-like boss. He died far too quickly for me to get the update the first couple times I tried to get him, but eventually I took him out.

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My session-based gaming obsession continues, with the typical MOBA, CCG and Rogue-like titles filling in spaces between my more time consuming games (and real life). I spent time with Awesomenauts, League of Legends, Hearthstone, Broforce, Binding of Issac, Nuclear Throne, Wizard Wars and even Rogue Legacy.

I had a pretty awesome game in Awesomenauts the other day (several actually), and still believe that Ayla is the coolest character the title has to offer. In this particular game, I think I got the most kills in a single match I’ve ever done, along with having nearly a 4.0 KDA. Some of you PvP friendly NBI peeps need to get your hands on this game. It’s $18 to get the base game plus expansion. Think about it.

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Riot never fails to keep coming up with reasons for me to play League of Legends. They’re also pretty good at making me enjoy the lore. The fictional band, “Pentakill” whose T-shirt I wear regularly, isn’t so fictional anymore. Seriously, this music rocks. I was impressed. Another featured game mode was released this week as well: One For All: Mirror Mode. You may recall I played the original One For All, and I wasn’t a fan. This time around, I love it. There are some key differences. First, the old version was played on Summoner’s Rift. The new version is on Howling Abyss. Next, the old version made each team pick one champion for all five of its members to play. This made you have to take into account each role typically played on SR, and pick a champ that was flexible enough to do it all. The new version plays just like ARAM, but now there’s only one choice of champion period. Meaning ten of the same champ in one lane. Chaos incarnate. A hell of a lot of fun. The only flaw I’ve seen is the fact that it’s a lotto pick, based on who nominates who. Meaning if I nominate Teemo and so do the other four players on my team, there’s a 50% chance in favor of that champ being selected. However, the other five champions that were picked have a 10% chance to still be the lotto winner. I saw this happen twice last night, where a champion that had three or more nominations lost out to one that had only one nomination. That’s dumb to me. And resulted in a game where we played ten Tarics. I fucking hate Taric. Here’s one of the more memorable rounds:

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In Hearthstone it’s been more of the same: doing dailies to get dat gold to do arenas. It felt like it took forever to amass 400 dust, but I finally did and made myself a Preparation for my Rogue deck. It’s a bursty miracle design, mostly copied from the internet somewhere. I’ve had a hell of a time getting much success with it. In fact, I haven’t won a game yet. I want an Edwin and another Preparation. Here’s to the endless dust grind. In case you’re wondering what the deck looks like:

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Magika: Wizard Wars went into open beta this week. It appeared to be a fun little PvP MOBA, minus the item buying and traditional lane scheme. It ended up being less that I expected. I had a little bit of fun with it, but I can see where the cash shop is instantly pay to win. I don’t normal care about psuedo advantages, like buying packs of cards in Hearthstone or exp potions in other games. I do care when you can buy items that affect your in game performance (gear) for real cash, and the barrier to entry for someone not willing to open their wallet is extreme. Hawken was like that. You don’t see me playing that game anymore either do you? I have to much to do to have to grind in another game. Scratch this one from the list.

Broforce had an update this week, adding a couple new Bros to the force, along with a ride-able bad guy machine. I got to see that bit first hand, because the level I had left off on had one in it. It’s basically a mech with jet boots and a couple of missile launchers, but it still was pretty cool, and makes the game feel more like a Metal Slug now. However, it runs out of gas fairly quickly, and landing too hard on the ground means burying yourself, never to get out. So they’re only useful for a couple minutes. I finally opened up Ellen Ripbro (the sole female character for now), which was the last character I needed to open before this new update added two more. So I’ll comment on the new guys when I get to them.

I acquired that copy of Nuclear Throne, just like I said I would last week. I’ve spent a couple of hours with it, definitely not enough time to have beaten the game just yet, but it’s been a great time waster, and is more in line with Binding of Issac than some of the slower paced dungeon crawling ones. It’s faster paced than even BoI though. And there’s guns. And explosions. Awesome. I found out about challenges that the steam community has been running, and as a result I had to try the newest one: The Passive Challenge. The rules were simple, don’t use your character’s special ability (basically no right clicking) and you have to turn the HUD off. It sounds easy, but is harder than it sounds. Some of the active abilities are pretty damn useful, and not knowing if you’re low on health or bullets makes things tricky. I recorded a video of one of my runs:

In the other Rogue-likes (Binding of Issac, Rogue Legacy), I just played a few minutes here and there, nothing much to report, besides I still love these games and the genre.

Finally, last weekend J3w3l started up a Terraria server for the NBI, and we have had some cool adventures thus far. I only played a little bit last weekend, but yesterday I had a binge day and played for around six hours. I think the bug has bitten me, as I’m starting to understand the mechanics and systems a bit more and am hungry for more exploration. I’m sure there’s still a lot I don’t know though, so we’ll just say that I have a basic understanding and am enjoying the game. Here’s some shots from the game:

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Super Mario art by Jeromai of Why I Game
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The tippy top of the massive treehouse by Talarian of Gamer By Design
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Fighting the Eye of Cthulu with J3w3l and Doone
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My underground “Cavernous Heart” (in progress)

It’s been another crazy week. Next weekend will be here soon enough, and I’ll have more for ya then.

#stateofthegame #roundup #gaming #multigaming