Star-Fired Beef

Tuesday Maintenance: The Startening


So it seems that not only am I a bandwagon jumper, but it turns out that I like to wait until said bandwagon has done a few blockies before I jump aboard. Just to be certain that it’s not, like, one of those “free candy” bandwagons or anything. Thus, welcome to the inaugural edition of my (weekly, fingers crossed) wrap-up of what the hell I’ve been doing with my life playing. This first post will cover more than just the previous week, I’ve been dabbling in a number of games over the last month or two.

This thing

I’ve been putting a fair bit of time into Heroes of the Storm since it went into open beta (and then official launch). I am now up to player level 22, although I’ve only ventured into player-vs-AI games so far. Once I hit level 25 I will start doing full PvP in Quickmatches, in preparation for ranked play when I reach level 30. Until then I’m more interested in learning the different heroes and how they play, so I don’t go into ranked totally clueless. Just mostly.

I’ve bought most of the cheapest heroes with gold, so I only need two more to qualify for ranked play. I really want to get Nova and specialise with her, but that will come later. I am comfortable with at least one hero from each of the four roles now, which was my main concern as a beginner.

I could never get into League of Legends, which is the only other MOBA I have played, and I like Heroes precisely because it has eliminated the two things I hated most about LoL: last hitting and item shopping. I also appreciate the fact that I don’t have to learn the strengths and weaknesses of over a hundred different characters in order to feel vaguely competent. Thirty-something is quite enough as it is, thankyouverymuch.

The Spider Queen narrator is already getting on my nerves. Starting to dislike that battleground because of it.

That thing

The main game I finished recently is a great little 2.5D puzzle platformer, Rochard. It’s a very nicely polished game, and I thoroughly enjoyed every level. I’ll be doing a write-up for it sometime soonish. I’m not sure that it received a lot of hype, but it is definitely worth playing.

I spent quite a lot of time getting my Heroes of Might and Magic fix, via HOMM Online, a browser-based free to play version of the franchise. It’s faithful to the series, in the mechanics anyway – I never really paid any attention to the storylines, plus I haven’t played any of the games since HOMM 4. It’s the usual time-gated play you’d expect to find in a F2P game, but as a solo, casual player it really isn’t much of an imposition. You can group up with other players, both in open world battles and in special Raids, and I believe they have just implemented some sort of guild-exclusive feature that sounds like a private stomping ground. I’ve sated my cravings for that kind of game for the moment, though, so I’m no longer logging in daily as I used to.

Oh, and I just (like, half an hour ago) finished To The Moon – oh mah feels! Write-up for it on the way.

Those other things

I’ve been a lot quicker to drop games that I can’t see myself longing to play. Some of them, like Canabalt – apparently one of the original endless runners – I played long enough to get some easy achievements and the steam trading cards. Runespell: Overture is a lot more polished than I expected, and the combat system is an interesting twist, but ultimately it bills itself as an RPG and the story was not good enough to catch my interest. The writing wasn’t bad, just bland. I put it aside to maybe come back to later, when I have nothing else to play. (Hah. Hahahahahahahah.)

Nightsky is a great little physics puzzle game that I put some time into for a while, but have reached a tricky bit which led me to set it aside for a while. It’s just hangin’ out with the dozen or so other puzzle games I’ve got ready when I feel the need to give my brain a workout.

I finished another episode of Strong Bad’s Cool Game For Attractive People, this one being the Baddest of the Bands. I admit to resorting to walkthroughs a lot more quickly in this series than with others – mainly because the real attraction of it is the humour, not the puzzles. I do so love the Homestar Runner universe!

What else? Oh, yes, I’ve had the Nightmare mode of Orcs Must Die 2 sitting there uncompleted for a couple of years now, so I finished that off and can now set it aside as completed. I haven’t uninstalled it though, as I am sure I’ll get an urge for some mindless ultraviolence someday, and endless mode is perfect for those times. Plus, co-op is a possibility too.

Finally, I pottered around in The Secret World for a while, finishing up Egypt. It feels like I’ve been in Egypt forever, so I was super glad to get back to gloomy London. Deserts are amongst my least favourite biomes. The whole City of the Sun God storyline was really sad, which made it even harder to be pumped about logging back in regularly. I want to do a proper post about my thoughts on TSW lately so I’ll just leave it there for now. I’m right at the beginning of the first Transylvanian zone, and I am really looking forward to seeing the cool stuff that is undoubtedly ahead of me. I’d like to get to Tokyo this year.

Things to come

More HotS, obviously. After Murf’s NBI Screenshot Safari, I am developing a longing to get back into LOTRO and maybe see if SWTOR is not too obnoxiously limiting. FFXIV is still calling me, but unfortunately I am still short on the funds needed to upgrade replace my computer, so I’m unwilling to drop the $70 needed for the complete pack (including Heavensward). Even $20 for the base game is not that attractive until I have a better machine. I’m also a little nervous that I’m leaving it too late, that everyone I want to play with will be gone by the time I get in and catch up.

I said in my Wander post that I’d keep logging in regularly to see how things improved, but after getting Griffin form and struggling with the flight mechanics, I gave up. I’m still keeping an eye on updates, and I might jump in every so often to putz about, but I have a bad feeling that the changes I need to see are a long way off.

Now that I’ve finished To The Moon I will likely try to knock off a “medium” sized game from my library, but I haven’t decided which one yet. Probably Wasteland Angel, a Mad Max-style-driving-around-shooting-things-up post-apocalyptic funhouse. That’s the theory, anyway.

Architecture In Helsinki – Do The Whirlwind


4 thoughts on “Tuesday Maintenance: The Startening

  1. Aw… disappointed to hear that Wander’s flight mechanics are frustrating. That’s the one thing I was interested in trying. 😦

  2. We should HotS together: ctmurfy#1990

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