State of the Game: Projects

Over the weekend I was able to get some gaming time in, and as regular readers will note, I jump around between titles pretty regularly. Sometimes I’ll try something out and it won’t stick, but I’ll jot down my thoughts and move on. Other times I have a bunch of games I’m interested in playing at the same time, so I’ll spend a little time here and a little time there. Recently, the games I’ve been focused on are Destiny 2, Fallout 4 (DLCs), ESO, and Burnout Paradise Remastered. There are a few other games I’ve been tinkering around with, but these are the four I’m focusing on talking about today. So let’s dive in.

Destiny 2:

I realize that I started playing this game a year after everyone else, and I realize that the only reason I’m now playing it is because it was offered for free. Still, I honestly can’t figure out why it was so universally panned when it came out. I know there were plenty of people who were still playing it regardless of the negativity, but when it comes down to it, in its current state it doesn’t feel any different than the original game. Truth be told, I didn’t delve too deeply into the first game. I had one max level character and finished up the main story plus DLC stories but I didn’t do every single quest, I didn’t play crucible and I didn’t raid. So probably I don’t know what I’m talking about.

With that said, it’s still a great game. There’s something about melding first person shooter gameplay with RPG elements. I absolutely love this style of game and I should have just picked this up way back when. I’m glad I didn’t have to pay money to play it, but I am looking forward to getting through the rest of the game and picking up the DLCs as I go along. Here’s hoping that they stretch this one out for years instead of making another numbered entry. It appears their gameplan going forward is to add at least two more DLC in the next year so perhaps there will be reason to keep playing.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In my past couple of sessions my best friend and I have leveled up to 10, and have a light rating of a little over 100. I’ve managed to grab a few blue pieces of gear along the way, and we’ve completed the main story up until rescuing Cayde and being pointed in the direction of Io. At this point there was a level gate (we were 9 at the time) so we pushed on by doing some adventures and public quests. We had been pretty much ignoring much of the side content in favor of completing the storyline, but at this point it appears that perhaps we should do a bit of everything just to make sure we’re ready for the next bit of DLC once the original main story wraps up. It’s been a blast and I find myself wanting to play more often than he is available, so I may start leveling up a Warlock on the side. We’ll see how time permits.


Due to trying to play too many games at once, my time with ESO has been sporadic. During my last session I decided to try out some PvP battlegrounds, and like my experience with Destiny 2, it sucked. I’m not nearly a high enough level or geared well enough to hang with the groups I was being matched up against. It looked like it has the potential to be a blast but I’m not there yet. So I ended up running around doing more quests and it’s been fun.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I honestly don’t really know what I’m doing most of the time save for running around following quest markers and killing shit. I guess that’s par for the course. This seems to be the same in most MMOs, so here we go. I’m more invested in other storylines at this point in time and my memory isn’t what it used to be so I tend to just take in the sights and mosey around at my own snail’s pace. Not having a subscription to this point has made it more appealing because I’m not wasting time and can play as I see fit. Perhaps once I get nearer to the end of the original game’s content I’ll think about subscribing to see more of what’s been added in my absence.

Far Harbor:

Fallout 76 comes out in a month and a half. My goal was to finish off the Fallout 4 DLC before that happened, because I know once there’s a new Fallout game I’m not going to bother with the predecessor any longer. The last time I had played I killed off a rather large Mirelurk queen as part of a side quest, and I went back to Far Harbor to turn in all the quests I had completed during that session.

During my session over the weekend, I ended up with a journal full of more side quests from those citizens, as one of the quests that I completed had the city’s leader backing me, something not easily done with “mainlanders” such as myself. I completed a couple more, when a robot appeared outside of town looking for a detective (me). I followed her to a hotel that contains an underground vault, where a murder was committed and hence why I was sent for. Upon entering, we find that all of the people inside are no longer people, and are actually “robo-brains.” This means their human brain has been transplanted onto a robot’s body. Immortal as they are now, they’re still very much able to be killed, as is evident from the crime scene I’m asked to investigate. This questline bugged out on me several times, but in the end I found out that the killer was actually masquerading as one of the other residents having killed her himself. Basically she found out about something he didn’t want anyone else to know about so he killed her then took on her identity. I also found a dead overseer in a vault-tec suit, who’s journal entries were quite hilarious (you can read those above). I have no idea how much more it’s going to take to complete Far Harbor, and there’s still Nuka World after that, but hopefully before Fallout 76 hits shelves.

Burnout Paradise:

I don’t have too much to say about Burnout Paradise, I’ve played a few more times since my initial post, and it’s been a blast. It’s truly a fun game and something I can do that takes very little brain power, so on nights when I don’t feel like diving into something with more depth, it’s relaxing to cruise around this beautiful little world. The trophies come in droves though, as evidenced by this round of screenshots:

If you were ever a fan of arcade style racers, definitely give this one a try. That’s all I have for this time. Happy gaming everyone!

Finding A Groove: ESO

For the past week or so the only game I’ve been playing on my PC is The Elder Scrolls Online. That’s not to say that I have played every day, and it’s not to say that I’m obsessed with the game, but I’ve been logging in and continuing progress and that’s more than I can say about many MMOs these days.

In an attempt to write something of substance rather than just “I did this” or “I beat this game,” I thought it would be nice to write something more in the vein of Bhagpuss, where I have some deeper thoughts about something and splash some pretty pictures in between.  A decade ago, I was living and breathing MMOs, to the point where I played every day when I could, and would jot down notes and thoughts while I was at work in order to write out blog posts about the games I was playing. It was mainly Everquest 2 back in those days, but there have been a smattering of other MMOs that I’ve played over the years, but I never stick with one title for long and most of the time I take a short tour to have something to write about and then move on.

I find that one of the biggest draws to ESO for me is the fact that its set in the same world as the rest of The Elder Scrolls series. Having familiar races and places makes a difference and makes me want to explore. Honestly, this isn’t much different than playing a single player TES RPG; you’re still the hero that saves the day and there’s still at ton of quests and places to explore.

One of the issues I took with the game back when I first played it was that it really didn’t feel like it was necessary to have an Elder Scrolls MMO. Most people I knew that had played Skyrim really just wanted to be able to play Skyrim with a couple of friends. Those I had talked to about it thought that a traditional TES game with some co-op functionality would have been better and I tended to agree with them. Having returned to the game after some changes have been made, I find that this feels like that. The game is alive and well, and I find myself running about in solo mode completing various tasks and for random people to just be in the area and helping out to take down harder mobs without the need to group up or even have a conversation. I imagine it would be just as easy to play PvP in the same way or to finish up higher level content. Now that everything scales it seems like you could literally group with anyone and do anything.

It seems though that despite the fact that what I’m doing is still basically the same shit I would be doing in Skyrim, but instead of doing it alone it’s in a shared world, it still affects my attitude towards the game. The simple fact that this is an MMO means I don’t read quest text, I just click through things and on to the next kill ten rats quest because all I care about is vertical progression and not the story. Sure, the game is beautiful and there are some great sights to see. I rather enjoy the combat (though it sucks a bit when you get some lag). There’s just something in me that says “who cares” when it comes to the story that they are pushing at me.

It doesn’t make sense, when in Skyrim I would read the quest text and be enthralled by the things I was doing throughout the game. It felt epic and felt like I was the only person in that world who could complete these tasks. In a shared world, you are still force fed this storyline where you are the “one true hero” but you also see other people doing the same thing you are and at the end of the day it feels less special. But that doesn’t make it less fun.

What I’m trying to get at here is that I’ve found a groove and I’m enjoying myself in an MMO for the first time in a long time. Despite having made a return trip to Norrath at the beginning of the year, I still didn’t really feel at home and honestly the game’s aging graphics take away from the experience. The gorgeous visuals of ESO make me want to play it more, and the fact that I see people everywhere I go makes it feel more alive than other fantasy MMO worlds I’ve participated in as of late. Despite feeling a certain way towards MMOs for the past few years, I feel like this one is getting its hooks into me, and I don’t have the guilt of wasting subscription time at this point because I’m so low level that I’m still working through original game content. I may subscribe at some point just for the perks and all the DLCs but for now I’m happy with this feeling of having something to work towards. A strange relationship I have with MMOs, indeed.

Dwaddling About: ESO

I had forgotten just how big The Elder Scrolls Online really is, especially now that it has had a bunch of DLC’s and two Expansions added to it. I originally purchased the “Tamriel Unlimited” version off of Steam at some point when it was on sale, so right around the time the game went buy to play. This was prior to any of the expansions, and it appears that the highest level character I had was a level 12 Templar. Having been away from the game for a few years, I didn’t know what to expect. I knew that I enjoyed what I had seen, but several key changes have happened that I had no experience with. First, they did the whole level scaling thing throughout the world, so now it doesn’t matter where you go, the content scales to your level. This is a boon for those that want to group, but in my case being a primarily solo player it probably doesn’t mean much. I had no idea what I was doing on my other characters (also have a Nightblade and a Sorcerer) and never really progressed too far, so I decided it was probably a good idea to just roll a new character. The new Dragonknight seems fine, and it appears that there is a new starting area, as Morrowind is part of the free content at this point.


It’s still the same sort of tutorial, but it still seemed different from what I can recall from the original game. After leaving the beginning area it seems that we are either in a Morrowind zone or nearby, I’m not really certain. The meat of the game seems to be the same but of course there are a ton of new things to do because of all the xpacks, and apparently you can access them all with the subscription fee, or purchase them in the crown store. I’m not about to spend any money at this point because I know that I have a habit of only playing MMOs for a month or so before moving onto other things, but a bunch of people in my social feeds have been talking about it and I’ve been craving an Elder Scrolls game for a while now so here we are. This will have to do until TESVI.

Dwaddling About:

I’ve been running around the beginning zone doing quests for randos and it’s been pretty fun. I do enjoy the action oriented combat that ESO brings to the table, and it still feels much like Skyrim in most ways so I’m getting the fix I’ve been looking for. The game looks even better now that I’m running it on my 2k monitor, and it’s still smooth as silk even on ultra settings. So far I’ve leveled to ~7 on the DK, and I’m just trying to familiarize myself as much as possible before I go back to some of my other characters.


Another new addition since I’ve been gone is housing. I stumbled upon this mudhouse in my journeys and popped in to check it out. Reminds me of the Inn rooms from EQ2, and I’m not even sure what things you can place in a home. I’ve not really paid attention to housing in most MMOs (save for EQ2, which was one of the best at it) so I’m not sure what will come of it but I know the housing in Skyrim’s DLC was worth having if nothing else than for storage, and also to have your wife be a shopkeep and earn you money passively. Not sure if those correlations exist here but I’ll find out eventually.

Goals for now are to just level up a character and see more of the world. I’m glad that I can play through the Morrowind areas without having to buy anything or pay for a sub, so I’m going to try and work through what I can without the subscription. If I stay hooked then I might spring for the sub just to play the wealth of DLCs, but I believe I have to pay for Summerset, so that is probably the last thing I’ll do. They did add a new race (which I’m not really interested in) and class (Warden, which I would like to try) which can be purchased in the store, so I’ll probably spring for that eventually. Or I’ll be done with the game in a week. I guess we’ll see, won’t we? If anyone is playing this and has a guild they want to invite me to or wants to do some group content let me know!

Landscapes #NBI2015Safari

Murf’s NBI Screenshot Safari is running all month, and there are several categories to choose from, so I’m sure I’ll be adding at least another one of these types of posts before May is over. The first selection I made was the Landscapes category, as it seemed the most self-explanatory. However, I was unable to pick just one, as I have a handful of really great shots here, some of which you will have seen before, but most have probably faded from memory.

I started with a pretty sunset shot from H1Z1. It almost makes you forget the zombie apocalypse is happen just around the bend.


Next up, one of the many vistas from Guild Wars 2. I still love the art style of that game.

Lastly, a gallery of shots from Tamriel, aka the Elder Scrolls Online. Such a beautiful place.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I really don’t have much commentary to add. Pictures are worth thousands of words, after all.

#NBI2015safari #screenshots #landscapes

State of the Game: Humble Edition


The line up this week has been mostly the same stuff I’ve been talking about lately, however I did try out some of the other games that came in the last Humble Bundle I picked up, which included Shadow Warrior. I haven’t actually touched that game since I wrote up the beginning of my play through for it, but I intend to get through that game rather quickly, so be on the look out for more on that later. The other games that came in the bundle that I touched on this week were Outlast, Super Splatters, Mirror Moon EP and La-Mulana. I also played more ESO, Titanfall and League of Legends.

In League, I’ve just been playing Ultra Rapid Fire exclusively. I have continuously had great games with Hecarim, but other champions are hit or miss, and Hecarim gets banned out quite often. The game mode is only running for one more day, so after that I plan to do some more practicing and then getting back into Ranked play. There’s still plenty of season left and I still want to get the hell out of Bronze. Speaking of this season, I’ve also been keeping up with the pro scene: The Spring Split is just about finished up, with Cloud 9 winning their semi-final series yesterday, and TSM picking up the win today. They are set to face each other next weekend to be crowned the king of spring, though there’s still the Summer Split to go. I have no doubt both of these teams will head to Worlds again, but who knows if they manage to make it very far from that point (they haven’t in previous years, but maybe it’s NA’s time).

Titanfall is more of the same, though with ranks earned you do start to open up some better options for building your solider/titan. This tends to elevate your game a bit, along with practice, of course. I’m rank 15 or so at this point and steadily climbing, I’ve had some pretty good games here and there. I’ve found the most success running around with the smart pistol and the rocket launcher, but there are times when sniping has been fun as well. Overall, great game and I’d recommend it to those looking for a lobby shooter that isn’t CoD/Battlefield.

In ESO, I’ve been prepping my new Nightblade for action. As I mentioned previously, I joined the guild Obsidian, and we’ve started new Daggerfall faction Nightblades to do some PvPing with. Level 10 is the minimum for PvP, and as it stands now I think there’s only a couple members who are there now, I know I still need a couple of levels to hit that mark. I’ve found that I enjoy running the bow, and I’ve started to put points into the syphoning tree just to have more ranged DPS, a little cc and a self heal. I’ve been cruising through though, it’s only been a handful of hours that I’ve put into the new toon.


He still looks like a noob, but has been effective so far. Here’s a couple other landscape shots for good measure:

2015-04-10_00003 2015-04-10_00007

Most of the other games in the humble bundle were sort of “meh.” Mirror Moon EP is one of those first person exploration games, aka a “walking simulator.” I guess there’s some puzzling aspects, but all I managed to do was walk around in circles before saying “no thank you” to more. If you like games like Proteus, then you’ll probably dig this one. I did not. The same goes for La-Mulana, though it’s more of a platformer, maybe even a Metroidvania. Just really ugly, with clunky controls and I just couldn’t be bothered with it. So both of those games are on card-farm status before being deleted.

I spent more time with Super Splatters, which is a physics based puzzle game. Basically you’re a blob of “juice” who can perform various stunts to bring your body into contact with mines. The mines will explode when enough juice has touched them, and you must clear all of them from each level before progressing. It amounts to the same sort of game play as say Angry Birds, just delivered in a different way. I enjoy it as a stupid little time waster, but it’s nothing to really write home about.

Now despite also being a Metroidvania, UnEpic ended up being a game I can get behind. The whole story revolves around your main character playing D&D with friends, taking a bio break and being transported into a D&D world. The dungeon the game takes place in seems to be rather large, and there are a number of interesting mechanics in play. It has platforming elements, tons of weapons (spells too, though I haven’t figured out any at this point), differing enemies, voice acting and most importantly, gamepad support. Platformers don’t feel right with keyboard and mouse. Overall though, it’s a pretty straightforward and simplistic game, but I still enjoyed the time spent with it. He’s a screen so you get a general feel for the game:


The last game I spent a chunk of time with was Outlast. I mentioned this in my State of the Tweet column, and I haven’t played it since, because holy hell it’s a legitimately scary game. Jump scares galore. I didn’t manage to get any screen shots of the scary stuff, but you can feel the tension in this picture:


Nothing like night vision on the camera as your only field of view. This was only 5 minutes into the game, as it basically starts throwing nerve-wracking shit at you from the get-go. I will play more of this because of my love for the horror genre, I just don’t think it will be at 3 am in the dark with headphones again.

That’s all I have for this week. Til next time.

#stateofthegame #roundup