State of the Game: Back to Session-Based

Another week bites the dust. So what have I been playing?

Well, the first thing you’ll probably notice is that I’ve strayed away from MMOs again. For a while there I was playing a different one every couple of weeks, and then landed back in WoW for a while. I already explained why that particular endeavor had stopped, but what about games like ArcheAge (F2P) and Guild Wars 2 (I own it, and there’s no sub)? Honestly, the more I read about AA the less I want to play it, even though I played it during the closed beta before a lot of people who have been talking about it even got the chance to try it. I just know that I was annoyed by the gating they decided to use when it comes to PvP and it seems that the crafting and economy portion of the game is more of a focal point. Basically, it’s not exactly the game I want to play so I’m avoiding it. The queues didn’t help me in wanting to jump in either. Maybe if I had a steady play group, but most of my online friends are from different time zones, so that makes things difficult.

Not impossible though. I’ve been talking with Simcha about potentially going through GW2 together, because we both own the game but barely dipped our toes into the content. I have read mixed opinions about the game from the blogosphere but I am more inclined towards it over AA. So I’ll probably dive into that sooner than later, though it might wait until Bragtoberfest is over. I’m not entirely sure yet. Moods have to be right. Still, I look forward to having a dedicated partner in the endeavor.

Otherwise I’ve been back to my single-player or session based games that I’ve written about many time in the past, and I’m sure you’re tired of hearing about. Sorry folks, such is my fickle nature. For whatever reason I find more depth in the stories of single player games, and I find that I love the competitive nature of MOBAs and other such small-timeframe games. Bragtoberfest is all about this, so it will be talked about for the duration of the month.

Watching the League of Legends championship has pushed me back into playing the game, but I still can’t seem to do much more than playing ARAMs. I just love the mode, and not having to worry about vision control or map awareness. The random champion select leads to some interesting team compositions, though sometimes it’s rather frustrating to basically lose a match at champ select. Still, I have played quite a few games over the week (and did manage one classic game with my friend that went rather poorly). You can check out my Match History here, in a newer feature that was added somewhat recently. One of my favorite games of the week happened last night, where I ended up on a very tanky team as Nautilus. I’m surprised he isn’t played more by the pros, as he can get very tanky with some decent aoe damage output, and has the anchor for “hooks.” Anyway, my score doesn’t reflect how dominant our team was, but man I kept catching one after the other with the anchor. All I could think the whole match was “My anchor brings all the girls to the yard…” as aside from Twitch their whole team was female.


The pros have been impressive so far this weekend as well. I missed the TSM vs SSW game, but they were eliminated 3-1. I watched Cloud 9’s meltdown against SSB; though they started strong they just couldn’t find a way to beat the Korean team. That almost win in game 4 was a heartbreaker… C9 had SSB’s nexus down to 1/4 health, but died as they respawned, and then SSB ran in and took out their nexus. Tough loss. Last night the battle between China’s best teams, Royal Club and Edward Gaming was the best series we’ve seen so far, actually going to a game 5. Royal club did get the win in the end, but it didn’t look good for a while, especially after going 2-0 to start. The shoutcasters mentioned that inSec, RC’s jungler had been in this position before, going 2-0 and then losing 3 in a row. He broke the curse, finally.

In other MOBA news, we had the Bragtoberfest Strife event yesterday. The games went fairly well, in most cases we were all on the same team save for one game where we split up and played against each other. I managed to be on the winning team that game, but it didn’t look good for a while. We got the early edge, but as the power differential leveled off the opposing team nearly got into our base. A well played team fight in the mid lane allowed us to push into their base and finish things off, when fighting in their base previous to that always ended in our deaths. I’ll have more details on this in my Bragtoberfest round-up post tomorrow.

Outside of MOBA action, there was a new update for Vlambeer’s Nuclear Throne, which is still in Early Access despite having had over 40 updates already. That’s alright though because each week (or nearly) they are adding new features that make the game that much more fun. This time around they added a new character, the first we’ve seen since Horror. The new character is called Rogue, and has a bunch of nuances that add to the difficulty. They did say that for now they allowed her to be chosen right off the bat so we can check her out, but that later she will be an unlockable character like Horror. I made a video last time when Horror was released so you could see what he looked like, and I decided to do the same thing for Rogue:

Rogue is aptly named because she is a Rogue IDPD agent (the police guys that spawn in later levels). As such, the IDPD now randomly spawn in every level, upping the difficulty significantly over the normal characters. This is apparently hard-mode. She does get things skewed in her favor a little bit with an assault rifle to start (rather than a lowly pistol), and her special ability is rather devastating. However, rather than being able to use it on command, she has to collect power — the radiation canisters have been replaced by a special power up for her. She can store up to 3 uses, and I’ve not seen a shortage of canisters to pick up. Also, when she is hit she emits a short range blast that will destroy terrain, so she has some pros to go with the cons. I sucked while playing as her though, as evidenced in the video.

Lastly: on Monday, as with every other week, Steam puts out their Weekly Deals and I saw a title I was interested in. I happened to have some change left on my account and plenty of cards to sell, so I farmed trading cards and sold enough to get the game in my sights: BardBarian. You’ll be happy to note that even though I have panned on mobile games in the past, this is a mobile port, and I rather like it. However, I still stand by the fact that it’s a simplistic game as mobile titles tend to be. It is fun though, and a game that can be played in short bursts and you’ll still make some progress.



The story goes that you are a Barbarian named Brad and your town is under attack. You’re tired of killing mobs and grinding exp so you decide to pick up an “axe” (guitar) and play some music. Really though, the story doesn’t matter. What does, is this is a light-hearted tower defense game where you are in control of Brad, and your minions that follow you around are the towers. Monsters shuffle in towards your tower and you run around and kill them with your minions while dodging their attacks. Killing them gets you gold, and the meta game requires you to collect lots of gold so you can open new units, upgrades for them, you and your town. It’s rather simple, yet still challenging.


I’ve found so far that my town crystal that I’m trying to defend will go down before I do. Since you can’t control what enemies your units attack, sometimes their random choices will affect the game. They’re also remarkably weak to start out, so you have to dump gold into upgrades as you go. After a few rounds I had seen new units and upgraded things all around, which made fights easier. The first boss was the first real challenge:


After I took him down there’s a checkpoint of sorts, where you can start from the wave right after him when you die. This helps keep the game from becoming annoying, as it would suck to have to do the first few rounds over and over again. However, I can’t seem to make it much more than a round or two after him either, so I know that a gold grind is going to be in order. That’s ok though as the game would be entirely too short if it was easy. There are a couple of other modes, including a survival mode, so I’m sure there’s replay value to be had even after finishing the game. All in all, it was worth the $1.25. You can probably still get it for that price too, as the new weekly deals won’t be out til tomorrow morning.

I think I’ve written enough for one day. There will be the Bragtoberfest round-up (word wall) tomorrow so I’ll see you then.

#stateofthegame #roundup