The Cause and the Cure

I mentioned the other day that I picked up WoW again. Yes, I know it’s funny because I’m basically the biggest WoW hater on the planet. Yes, it’s funny because I had pretty much sworn off MMOs altogether, as they’ve felt like the same old shit ever since 2004 when the 2nd or 3rd generation kicked off. I still feel these things, but there’s the little item we all call “hype,” and sometimes it gets the best of yours truly.

A couple of weeks before Legion launched, there was all sorts of hype being generated on my Twitter feed. I don’t blame people for being excited — for many WoW has been their MMO home, despite being tourists elsewhere. For people like me, it was another chance to maybe give a legitimate shot to an MMO that I’ve largely ignored for most of its existence. Honestly, I don’t know why I let myself get caught up in the hype, but I did. There were conversations between me and friends, guildmates, etc, and next thing I knew I subscribed.

It turns out that the last time I played the game was a couple of years ago, and I didn’t get super far with any of the characters that time around. As such I didn’t feel any attachments, so those characters got deleted. From there some of the conversations I had with others steered me towards a PvP server. I rolled a few characters here and there, played a bit and then the Legion launch happened.

I picked up the expansion on launch day, and decided that my boost would be used on a Rogue.

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As you can see, I stuck to the PvP server, this one called Tichondrius because it was high Population. Apparently there are more cross realm functions that didn’t used to exist, but PvP has always been fun to me so I knew this was what I wanted. I also created a DK, planned to make a DH as well since they are higher level and I wouldn’t have to do the slog multiple times. I did want to actually level at least one through the game though, because I’ve literally only seen Vanilla content all the way through. There’s several other expansions worth of content I haven’t, hence the creation of a lowbie Warlock.

Not wanting to avoid the newest content though, I decided to play the Rogue I boosted to check out the new expansion. I have to say, it’s pretty cool the amount of story and cutscenes that have been added in this new expansion (probably the last couple but not that I really know).

The introduction to Legion was fun. A raid style story introduction that gets you into the action without having to really understand the backstory, though I was tripped out to find a Troll Warchief rather than an Orc, and *spoilers* he gets replaced by a Night Elf. Things are afoot and I’m ignorant to the reasoning. After the introductions its time to get your artifact weapon, and that was a fun little class-specific questline that also introduces you to your new faction.

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I loved the epic weapon questlines in Everquest 2, so this was right up my alley. The weapon was  little underwhelming at first, but it seems that you’re stuck with it throughout the expansion. I stuck with Assassination for my build since that’s the default and I couldn’t be assed to go figure out how to switch specs, so I ended up with some wicked looking dual daggers:

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I’m not sure if Assassination is the best way to go, but it does some pretty decent damage. I haven’t tried any PvP just yet but I figure Rogue should be a good choice in that regard. Being stuck with just one weapon seems pretty boring but it turns out that we’ll be able to put points into it and beef it up over time, so that’s one more thing to worry about.

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It’s probably for the best since the skills have been so streamlined, there’s not much on the hotbars. This tree gives access to some extra abilities, and the weapon itself provided a new skill as well. Overall, the beginning of Legion looks good, but I feel out of place. The boost is a great concept to level an alt, but when you have never seen endgame yourself, it’s like you don’t really know the class, and don’t really know the world. That part sucks. And in a sense, it pushed me away. I haven’t touched the game in almost two weeks, partly because I’m a busy guy, but also because most nights I’d rather just play a MOBA or something I don’t really have to think about. I’m still subbed, I still own Legion, so it’s there when I want it. But that backlog comes back to haunt me and I also have such a love/hate relationship with this game that I don’t know if it will stick.

I’m going to continue to stay subbed and I think I’ll put more time into leveling a low level character. I need to bring one up legitimately, and then maybe I can focus on the high end stuff. For now, I’m taking my sweet ass time, and I don’t care. Just don’t expect lots of WoW posts from here on out, because I have way too many things I should be writing about and don’t already. Ha.

Rounding It All Up

Wow. I haven’t had a gap between posts this big in a very long time. My blog is starting to look like it did during those years when I only posted once a month. I don’t like it, and I tell myself every day that I should write something but I hate feeling forced when it comes to my writing. I enjoy having passion about what I’m writing, or at least having something I feel that needs to be said. At this point, something needs to be said so that everyone knows I’m still alive. So yes, I’m still breathing and living and going about my day to day stuff that is mostly boring but sometimes exciting. I’ve actually had plenty of things I could be sharing but at the end of the day I don’t typically feel like writing it out. Then time passes and the thing I wanted to write about loses some of its relevance and then it feels pointless to write about it. So instead, we’re doing a catch-all post, and hopefully I can get back on track with everything in the coming weeks.

Life: Real life has had me pretty busy as of late. Between work and my budding social life along with playing games and watching shows there isn’t a lot of spare time for writing and some of my other hobbies. Hell, I bought a book the other day for the first time in years, and still haven’t begun to read it. Sometimes you get home from work and just want to lay around, and that has been me as of late. I visited my mother this past long weekend and was surprised that my step-brother was also out to visit, and I hadn’t seen him in over 17 years we figured out. Was a nice visit and I hope to see him again in the near future. Most of you probably know that I’ve been single for a long time and I believe the last time I mentioned anything about it on the blog I entered into a committed relationship but that was so brief that I don’t really count it anymore. However, between then and now I’ve done more dating, had some good times and have finally come to a point that I think I’m ready to be in a monogamous relationship again. I have known the woman in question for several months now and it’s progressed naturally to the point where we feel something for each other, and I’m hoping to build upon that. That is also going to be the reason for my slacking on anything hobby related in the near future, as most can attest that maintaining a relationship takes work, and usually means putting less important things to the side. Fear not though, I refuse to let this blog die or to let my podcast die, so I’m not going anywhere. Just doing some reshuffling of things for the time being.

Gaming: Despite making it sound like I have absolutely no free time, that isn’t entirely the case. I have been doing some gaming almost daily, just not quite as much as I was doing a year ago when I was an unemployed loser with nothing but time on his hands. Lately I’ve been really stuck on MOBAs, two in particular and both of which I’ve been playing on my PS4. I’ve talked about SMITE a few times here and there, but I’ve been really focused on earning the trophies for the game. I was really bad about being a self-proclaimed “Trophy Whore” a few years back and broke myself of obsessing over it, but when it comes to a game I really like and am going to be playing anyway, I always find myself wanting to earn them all. Those included with SMITE are pretty straight forward, just taking time, and like I said I’d be playing the game anyway. Mastering gods, mastering roles, it’s been a good time. Plus I play the game with my IRL best friend so that makes it even more fun. I’m also responsible for creating his addiction to Awesomenauts, to the point where we both have purchased the game multiple times. I had it for PS3, then bought again for PC and again for PS4. He had it originally on Xbox 360, then on PS3 and now on PS4. The PS4 version has finally been updated to the point where I think it is nearly identical to the Steam version, which was good news. I haven’t really played the game on Steam lately, having burnt out on it a bit about a year ago, but having my friend to play it with and having it be basically the same thing on the console has sucked me back in. Oh MOBAs… how I love you.

I also picked up Legion. Yeah, that Legion. I resubscribed to WoW a couple of weeks prior to the launch of the new expansion, and had a hard time deciding what I was going to do. Two years ago (the last time I played) I ended up having a good time with some fellow bloggers/twitterers, but only raised a couple characters into their 30s. I found out that most of them were playing elsewhere, so I deleted those characters and decided to start fresh elsewhere. Apparently sometime between then and now, they added some cross-server tech so playing with your friends is easier to do, but I wanted to be on a higher population server than where I was anyway. I rolled elsewhere, but then had some conversations with people in my guild and ended up starting anew again. When Legion released, I ended up using the boost to get a Rogue to 100, just so I could check out some of the new stuff, but ended up feeling like I didn’t really know my class or what was going on. So I started a couple other characters and will likely level up on my own or by dungeon spamming just so I can get a better feel for the world and the class. I don’t mind the idea of a boost for someone who has played the shit out of the game, but for someone like me who hasn’t seen anything except for vanilla content (save for some other starter zones like DK or Pandas) it’s probably a better idea to level a class from scratch. Anyway, I rolled on Tichondrius which is a high pop PvP server. I also have a character on Emerald Dream, which is RPPvP. No more normies for this guy, I like me some PvP.

Really that’s it. I’ve been watching Halt and Catch Fire, The Strain, the new season of Narcos on Netflix, and hanging with my girl. It’s been tough to find the time for this, but I’m going to make more of an effort from here on out. Also, stay tuned for big news for the podcast. Yes, episode 100 should have been out already but the guests we had backed out and it ended up being delayed. Don’t think I can record this weekend either. But episode 100 will answer your questions and explain our plans going forward. Structural changes, but the show must go on! I’ll see you guys soon.

King + Blizzard: A Perfect Match

The news is pretty fresh, so you may not have heard: Activision just bought King, the company responsible for that whole Candy Crush thing. Admittedly I haven’t played any of King’s offerings, much like I ignored Zynga before them. Facebook/browser games are mostly throwaway experiences. From the variety of games I’ve experienced on mobile devices, the same can be said. Timewasters, and nothing more aside from a few rare gems.

I have however, spent plenty of time with Blizzard (and Activision) games. Call of Duty aside though, this is a post focusing on Blizzard and King, and how they are a perfect match for each other.

Unable to claim the title of “the first person to say that,” it’s pretty clear that Blizzard titles are basically accessible and polished experiences you’ve already had elsewhere. Their newest games released in the past few years are easily comparable to other titles in the genre who already had a foothold in the market. As a matter of fact, all of their titles are accessible and polished versions of established genres, but let’s start from the newest offerings:

Overwatch – FPS Arena Shooter, similar to Team Fortress 2.
Heroes of the Storm – MOBA, similar to League of Legends/DOTA2
Hearthstone – CCG, similar to Magic: The Gathering

Those titles alone are painting a picture that goes back to Blizzard’s humble beginnings. I’m sure you can see the correlation between Dune II and Warcraft: Orcs & Humans. Even The Lost Vikings is similar to other platformers of the era. The big gorilla in the room though, World of Warcraft, is similar enough in its approach to prior MMOs, but added that blizzard level of polish and accessibility.

That isn’t to say that Blizzard doesn’t make good games. I absolutely adored Diablo and still do. It still does it better than most Action-RPGs out there, and it established the “formula” despite taking elements from various action and adventure games that preceded it. We also can’t say that it isn’t innovative to build on what came before, because that’s been the formula for our entire existence. But in this era of all-you-can-eat gaming, standing apart from the pack means doing something different, and copying what is already successful and getting the perfect storm effect once doesn’t mean it will happen regularly or ever again. I think Blizzard needs to start thinking outside of the box, and this purchase could be part of that.

As I said earlier, I haven’t touched any of King’s titles, but I’ve played enough Bejeweled to know what Candy Crush Saga is all about. In doing some reading and formulating this post, I came across this article that sparked my train of thought in the first place. Go ahead and read it. If nothing else, scroll down and look at the pictures. I’ll wait.

Back? So you’ll have seen how King has been taking the Blizzard method of polishing an existing idea to a whole other level. They don’t make a genre more accessible, they straight copy games, change a few assets and call it their own. Then they monetize the shit out of it and call it a day. Their existing catalog of games are all copies of another game, or sequels to that copy. How they haven’t been sued more I don’t know. It’s as bad as the rest of the mobile games market though, in that anything that becomes popular sees a billion straight copies on the market within days. But I digress.

Does anyone else see the correlation I’m getting at thought? It seems these two companies made their fortunes off of copying others’ ideas and putting their own spin on it. It’s only fitting that they are basically the same company now.

I’m just curious to see if this makes the mobile marketplace better, or if the Kingly influence makes Blizzard a worse company in the long run.

Some further commentary from round the blogosphere:

Keen and Graev
The Ancient Gaming Noob
Syncaine

Blizzard and Me

Blizzard and I have a strange relationship. I was about the biggest fanboy you could be when it came to their early years in the 1990’s. I remember playing Warcraft: Orcs & Humans and Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness back when you still had to run them through DOS. The games were easy to learn but more difficult to master. The original Diablo was also a staple back then, but it wasn’t until Starcraft was installed on my machine that I became a fan for life. Hailed as one of if not the best RTS game of all time, Starcraft was truly a perfect storm. Competitors such as Command & Conquer held their own, but Starcraft set the bar for all RTS games to come. I fell in love with the game, eschewing nearly all other games I was playing to devote my life to it. I beat the campaigns, I beat the expansion, I played regularly on Battle.net, though I never got involved in the ladder. I used the map editor to create new maps, attempted to create a Starcraft RPG within it, and even had a webpage dedicated to it, that won an award back in the days when GeoCities were a thing. Clearly, I was obsessed.

That obsession came back when Diablo II released in 2000. I was in my senior year of high school, and thankfully was at a point where I could pretty much ignore school so my grades didn’t suffer, despite the fact that I was constantly playing it. I lamented when the computer I was using fried and I was unable to play the game after the Lord of Destruction expansion hit. I was able to play it periodically at friend’s houses, but I lost out on part of the game’s evolution for the most part.

When Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos hit stores a couple of years later, I was still computer-less, though I had a good friend who would allow me to play it when I was visiting. Eventually, I had a new computer and I purchased the Battle Chest for the game, that was packed with The Frozen Throne expansion, and ended up playing through both, along with playing the game itself and multiple mods created by the community. Never DotA though, and for that I am sad. Nevertheless, my obsession with Blizzard’s fantastic games continued.

Upon hearing of the upcoming MMO World of Warcraft, I was very excited and wanted to be one of the first to play it. At the time though, I was unemployed and was unable to afford a copy of the game let alone a subscription fee. There were also stories of huge queues and Blizzard pulling the game from store shelves, so I made a decision to stick with the original Everquest, which I had been playing off and on for years (though never very seriously).

A couple of years later, I had basically forgotten about Blizzard altogether. I was busy playing single player games, shooters like Counter-Strike and Day of Defeat, Call of Duty, or whatever was in my Playstation 2 library. Sure, WoW was a success and hard to ignore, but I wasn’t at that point of being obsessed with MMOs like I would be in the future. Eventually my Dad (who had introduced me to EQ) was telling me that he had picked up Everquest 2, and I followed suit. I convinced my roommate at the time to join us, and soon I had a mixture of friends and family that were all playing the game together. It could have just as easily been WoW, because honestly they are very similar games when it comes down to it, but we had found our home in Norrath and my obsession with MMOs had nothing to do with Blizzard. It even came to a point that from what I had read, what I had seen and what I had talked about with friends, that WoW felt like the inferior game in many ways, despite being vastly more popular with most of the world. We felt like we had made the right choice regardless, and since Blizzard hadn’t done anything with any of their IPs outside of WoW for years, I basically wrote them off altogether.

From circa 2003 to circa 2010, I didn’t play any Blizzard games. There were times I would dabble with Starcraft or Diablo II, but I didn’t feel the love for the company that I once had. It was a sad state of affairs, but it was what it was. It wasn’t until I had a falling out with the MMO genre altogether that I opened up the possibility of playing and enjoying World of Warcraft. I had spent very little time in these virtual worlds for a couple of years and had a new job where my direct co-worker wouldn’t stop yammering about the game. I finally succumbed to his pandering and bought the Battle Chest that included Vanilla and The Burning Crusade. I also picked up Wrath of Lich King shortly thereafter.

I was pleasantly surprised how much I could enjoy the game I had spent so much time trashing. So much time arguing over with friends who loved it and I was still wondering why. None of them would even give my games of choice the time of day because they felt like they already had so much invested in WoW. I don’t blame them, looking back. They were right. I was wrong. However, it seems that somewhere along the line Blizzard put all of their eggs in one basket, and forgot about people like me. People who helped them become the behemoth. Who paid their way towards making WoW which would then in turn make them the king of the gaming world.

Sure, I played WoW for about six months and enjoyed myself well enough, but the time investment I had put into Everquest 2 continuously pulled me back to that game instead. Had I started with WoW, I probably would be like most of you who are reading this post. WoW would be my game, and I’d either play it steadily or leave for a couple of months only to return when the next expansion hit. Either way, I had that relationship with EQ2, so it was easy to leave WoW to go back to that game. WoW never hooked me the way other Blizzard games did, and I don’t think it ever will.

It wasn’t until 2013-14 that I really got back into Blizzard games, and this wasn’t due to World of Warcraft. I managed to get into the Beta for Hearthstone and was rather impressed with it, and played it for quite a while. I purchased Diablo III and its expansion, and as it sits now that is currently my favorite Blizzard game, though Starcraft II has been fun as well (though no where near as addictive as its predecessor was for me). I also picked WoW up again, pre-Warlords of Draenor, but only played for a month and wasn’t hooked this time either.

Hearthstone was unique in that it was a free to play title, which Blizzard hadn’t released before. I loved the fact that it was a CCG because of my history with Magic: The Gathering, and though it was simple and still based on Warcraft lore, I was hooked for a time. I played through beta into full release, earned enough gold to buy all of the Naxxramas adventures and even continued playing after Goblins and Gnomes released. It was around this time though that I started to feel disenchanted with the game. The random effects began to get to ridiculous levels where it felt like you had very little control over what happened in a given match, and if I wanted to play a dice game I’d just go play craps. Still, it has become a steady revenue stream for Blizz, and they’ve added more solo adventures and are teasing a new set of cards coming out sometime soon in The Grand Tournament. Good on them, but it’s no longer a game that gets my regular attention.

Diablo III launched and had its issues (namely the Auction House) and I avoided playing it until after they fixed the problem with the patch 2.0. Shortly thereafter Reaper of Souls released, and along with it one of the best ideas the company had in a while: Adventure Mode. The level of replayability and the fact that patches are still released fairly regularly leads me to believe that Blizzard learned their lesson from the past. Diablo II didn’t have much added to it after LoD. Diablo III looks to have new content added regularly, and that’s good for the franchise overall. Even now, patch 2.3 is in testing and they’re adding a whole new zone, a powerful artifact, and changes to Adventure Mode.

Starcraft II was different from its predecessor in that it released only one single player campaign at a time, but has made changes through Battle.net to the multiplayer portion of the game. Mods are better supported through the Arcade as well. The third campaign Legacy of the Void, centering around the Protoss is in development now and the game has definitely lived a long life, sitting at the five year old mark already.

Clearly, Blizzard is starting to remember those of us who weren’t that taken with WoW but still love their other offerings. They’ve also started to branch out a bit by adding new IPs, such as Heroes of the Storm. Granted, this game still draws from their other IPs so it’s not entirely new, but it is their first foray into the MOBA scene and seems to be doing fairly well, though it’s not as popular as the kings of the genre League of Legends and DOTA 2. Personally this game appealed to me because I figured Blizzard would make a great MOBA, but it fell short of my expectations and I haven’t touched it since it was in Beta. Still, it’s good to see the company do something else besides make content for their MMO.

Lastly, a completely new IP called Overwatch has been in development for some time now. It’s actually showing up in the Battle.net launcher now too, though I haven’t heard of anyone getting any in-game time just yet. It’s a team-based lobby shooter, and though this isn’t a new genre in itself it’s something Blizzard have yet to do and it looks good. Hype got the best of me with HotS though, so I’m not super excited but I will try it when I get a chance. Perhaps it will exceed my expectations if I keep them low. Video of the game does look fantastic though.

Most people are in the middle of writing (or have written) posts about their predictions for the next WoW expansion which will be announced later today. The other big news is that WoW is down to 5.6 million subscribers, a low not seen since 2005 or so, yet still the biggest amount of subscribers in any western MMO at this point, with FFXIV coming in a close second. I really wanted to make some commentary but as you can see, my history with WoW is limited, though my history with the company might exceed some of yours. I’m thankful that they have done well and can potentially make more games that I’m interested in sometime in the future. But I have nothing overly positive to say about their MMO and I don’t suspect that will ever change. I’m in agreement with some members of the blogosphere that WoW is slowly being sunset and focus within the company is shifting to other projects. Honestly, I think diversification is good not only for Blizzard but for gamers like me as well.

WoW is dead. Long live Blizzard.

#blizzard #history

State of the Game: Looking Forward

Looking Forward:

My pocket book is in dire straights. Due to financial limitations, titles like Road Redemption that just released on Steam, and others that are coming, are just not going to be purchasable anytime soon. This also means, that despite having had some fun in World of Warcraft recently, that time is about to come to a close as well. I just can’t afford a subscription for the time being. When I decided to make the jump back into that game, I had some things on the horizon that didn’t come to pass, so I did think I’d be okay with a sub fee, but am not at this point. I have 9 days or so of remaining time, but I’m not sure how much I’ll play, knowing that I won’t be able to beyond that time frame. So my 30’s Priest and Paladin, along with my plethora of lower level alts will have to wait for my return. Perhaps by the time Warlords of Draenor drops I’ll be able to get back into it.

That leads me into this week’s title. Since I now know that for the immediate future I’ll be unable to buy any new titles coming out, and can’t afford to play WoW (or other subscription based MMOs), I’m looking forward to my other options. I played League of Legends and other free to play titles, along with whatever came from Playstation Plus in the past when I couldn’t really afford to game, so I know that those are still options. I was looking at my download list on PSN just the other day, and I know that I have a bunch of titles from the service that I either never played or never finished. Many of those titles are great games, but I put them off long enough that I forgot about them or just keep telling myself that I’ll get back to them. I’m not talking little Indie games either, I’m talking full-blown RPGs with hours of play time, among other series that I’d love to get down with. For whatever reason, while I’ve had the money to spend, I just keep piling on games and finishing few. Sales and Bundles are mostly to blame, as is my inability to put my foot down and just finish a game before moving on to another. Don’t get me wrong, there have been games that hooked me long enough to be finished, but it’s been few and far between for the last couple of years. Add MOBAs and MMOs and Blizzard’s other games and yeah, I just have overload.

I’m looking at this time as a way to be able to clear out the backlog and maybe get back into some of the free to play MMOs I haven’t touched in a while. Yeah, maybe I’ll even play ArcheAge some more, though I’m not waiting in fuckin’ queues, nor am I jumping on newer servers that will be dead in a few months. I’m still on the fence. You’ll recall in the closed beta I was unimpressed to begin with, then got sucked in a bit and had some fun, but lately haven’t been talking about it. Well, I’ve made some comments elsewhere, but haven’t talked about it here. I’m feeling like it’s still not the overall MMO experience I’m looking for, but I really wanted to try out the high end stuff. Just don’t care about farming bullshit and don’t feel I should have to grind to get to the open-world PvP, which is what really interests me. Being a F2P title, I might go back after they sort out these server issues, but I’m not buying the hype train. Honestly the level of polish that comes with WoW was satisfying, despite being a themepark. Just like other Blizzard games, they get it done right, and the addictive nature takes over. I’m thinking about playing Rift some more, especially since there’s new content coming and I never made it to end game. One way or the other, this is all hypothetical, since finances can change rather quickly.

I am serious about clearing out the backlog of games I’ve got on both the PC and PS3 though. Not feeling the requirement to play anything because of an outstanding sub fee or having just spent money on it will be a nice feeling. Everything I have at my disposal now will have already been paid for, or will be free so I don’t have that buyer’s guilt thing going on anymore. I think I might actually make some progress on my library. Now the challenge comes from trying to figure out where to start. Always something.

Looking Back:

I did play a little bit of WoW, getting my Paladin some skill-ups for his mining and blacksmithing skills, along with gaining a few levels. Now level 31, I also picked up his dual spec, but found that the differences between the two were underwhelming. I do miss the skill tree setups from the WotLK days. I also managed to do enough to gain a reputation rank with the guild, so Thalimoos is now a “Veteran” of the guild:

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This came after I realized that I had out-leveled yet another zone, and moved onto the next in the progression. I don’t remember that being as much of an issue back in the day either. I much rather do all of the quests (or most at least) and see the entirety of a zone before moving on, but I only got to do that with the starter area for the Taurens and Azshara. Every other zone was outleveled before I completed it. I know this is an effort by Blizzard to get you moving on to the high end stuff, but honestly it kind of bugs me. Or at least, it bothers the Explorer and Achiever in me. My Killer wasn’t really appeased much in WoW. Socializer was happy when playing my Undead during our instance group nights. But I digress. WoW is on the shelf for a while.

I started on the mission of clearing out games this week, since I was already dealt the bad financial news early on. I got on my PS3 and cleared two of the TellTale Games in my back log, and wrote a post about that experience. At that point in time, I hadn’t beaten Jurassic Park, but did the next day, and that was all well and good.

Another game that I’ve had for a while but hadn’t really played was Starcraft 2. I got the itch to play it a few times over the last few months, but didn’t because I knew that I’d prefer to play it straight through or pretty close to that, because it’s not the kind of game you want to come back to months later. Better to keep things fresh. So at this point I must say that it’s got all of the familiarity of the first game, but adds little twists and turns that add to the fun. I’ve only completed a few missions thus far, but it’s been a blast from the past. I bought the game with the add-on included, so I have two full campaigns to complete. I’ll be working on that for a while to come. I’m really looking forward to the Zerg campaign as they’ve always been my favorite, and from there I’ll be trying out multiplayer, which used to be my life in the late 90’s.

Some of the features I like best are the new ways in which you can improve your troops/base from outside of an actual mission:

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It’s also cool that there’s achievements on missions, so there’s a level of replay-ability that was missing from the first game. Also, there seems to be more “epic moments” where things happen during the missions using the in game graphics, that just weren’t possible during the era that the first game came out:

Screenshot2014-09-19 01_40_37 Screenshot2014-09-20 18_56_34 Screenshot2014-09-20 19_16_01 Screenshot2014-09-20 19_29_31

ZMR happened, and I wrote a list about why you should play it. I tried getting back into it last night but they are having server issues, and it was far too laggy to be enjoyable. Hopefully they straighten that out soon. In the immediate future, I see the above two games being played quite regularly. I also downloaded Strife, which is a new MOBA that some people in the circle have been talking about, and it looks interesting enough to give a while. I tried to play DOTA 2 again a week or so ago, and I still don’t care for it. Maybe this game will be able to hang with my current favorites, LoL and Awesomenauts. I have playthroughs of F.E.A.R., L.A. Noire, and Dead Space 3 all waiting for me to get back to them, so I’ll probably pick from that pile and stick with one. Hell, I don’t even know anymore. I’m just going to try and start knocking games off the list until the list is more managable. Wish me luck.

#stateofthegame #roundup