Star-Fired Beef


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Sometimes I resent persistent games

When I was playing WoW, it was my main game. It was, pretty much, my only game. I would occasionally spend a couple of hours playing something else, something single-player, and something I could dip into without needing a whole session to reacquaint myself with everything going on. But that time was few and far between.

Then I finally kicked WoW to the curb. I’d been playing through habit rather than enjoyment for at least a year by that time, so I was a little reinvigorated by the prospect of all these bright shiny new games I could explore. At first, this included a variety of MMOs that were now on a F2P or B2P model (Rift, WildStar, LOTRO, TSW, GW2), and the lack of pressure to “get my money’s worth” out of a subscription was a huge attraction.

I also started devoting more time to non-MMO persistent games, like Card Hunter, Heroes of the Storm, League of Legends (briefly, I admit), and various CCGs – Hearthstone, Duelyst, Hex, and so on. This is where my current predicament lies.

Unfortunately, while I did manage to commit much more time to playing and completing the other games in my Steam library, I was conscious of that subtle pull to “do my dailies” in these persistent games. Whether they are actually called daily quests or not – login rewards, cooldown timers on dungeons/raids/spawns/other activity, weeklies, even such things as seasonal rankings that reset each month – they all have the same siren song. 

So here’s the rub. I could just devote myself to one non-MMO persistent game, and try to master it. Become the best I can be – I am sure I could reach at least semi-pro status with enough dedication. But I don’t want to. I don’t want to make one game my focus in life. I don’t want to repeat my WoW experience. I don’t want to forsake the rest of the gaming landscape in order to pursue glory in one.

And yet. These games have a hold on me. I genuinely like these types of games, but I am competitive enough to want to do as well as I can in them. I want to keep getting better at them. I want to maintain that feeling of progression. And you can’t do that with a super-casual attitude. Especially in a team environment. 

Meanwhile, in the MMO space, I am wary of those tricks like limited time events (with dailies, of course), login rewards, and suchlike, which both activate the optimizer/completionist in me and stress me out by pitting that part of me against the common situation of simply not being in the mood for that game or that activity at that time. 

That is why I resent these games sometimes. There’s no other point to this post, just complain.

And so, I rant at thee.

NiT GriT – Mechanism of Control


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Recent Loot Haul

I wanted to give a nod to the Steam Summer Sale in the title, but it’s winter here so it felt odd. And calling it the winter sale is weird too. Plus, I actually bought less games from the Steam Sale than other sources, so even highlighting Steam felt silly. Anyway…

From Steam

I managed to not go overly crazy, only spent around $25 and got some great deals. First up, I got the Forced 4-pack. I am not sure when I’ll dive into that, but it will be epiiiiiic! Startopia has been one of my sim/management must-haves for ages, so I finally snapped it up. Tomb Raider for $5 seemed too good to pass up. Satisfied my adventure point-and-click urges with the Blackwell Bundle, which contains four of the five games: Convergence, Deception, Legacy, and Unbound. Finally, picked up Polarity because a) Portal-lite, and b) it was only 19 cents, so I should make a profit on the trading cards.

Oh, and that $25 included a full copy of To The Moon (game + soundtrack) as a gift.

Bundles

Yeah, I ended up diverting Steam Sale money to a couple of bundles. I bought the Humble E3 ticket Bundle for a few bucks simply to get Wildstar, in the anticipation of having certain options already unlocked when it goes F2P. The bundle came with a bunch of other stuff I don’t care about (military shooters, cosmetics for games I don’t play, etc) or already have (Psychonauts).

The other bundle I bought was the Bundle Stars Nightmares Bundle. I am not really sure why I am attracted to some of the horror games out there, as I honestly don’t like horror very much at all. Maybe I’m saving them for a time when I have someone to whom I can turn and hide my face against. Who knows. The games in this bundle were the adventure games 1Heart, The Samaritan Paradox, and Kraven Manor; the “walking simulator”s Montague’s Mount, and The Moon Sliver; an FPS action adventure called  Betrayer; and The Path, a cool-sounding take on the Red Riding Hood tale. 

Just Call Me Sisyphus

So in a week and a half of temptation, a lot of my hard Steam Challenge work is undone. I’m finding that a lot of the games I consider the most seriously are starting to tend towards the story-heavy ones, such as adventure games and RPGs. I’ve spent a couple of hours whittling down my wishlist too, as having nearly 500 games on it was starting to become ridiculous. I’m down to under 350 at the moment, and I hope to get that under 300 before I reach the end of the list.

Warning: NSFW

The Tea Party – Temptation


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Mr DobaLiebster, Mr Bob DobaLiebster

Well I have been tagged by some very kind bloggers, namely Missy and Jasyla, to do this Liebster Award thingy. I, like Jeromai, am usually the grumpy old fart who refuses to participate in such shenanigans, but I can’t really burn that bridge until I’ve done it at least once, right? I’ll shake my walking stick at you next year!

So apparently I have to share 11 facts about myself, answer the questions posed by my sponsors, and create 11 questions to ask some other bloggers.

The Factoids

When I was a tween, I really wanted to have Jon Bon Jovi’s hairstyle. I will take cold weather over hot weather any day. I love dark, cool colours, deep blue, purple and green are my favourites. I am a dog person, not a cat person. I first read LotR when I was 11. I have been single for over a decade. I once saw a cat get run over by a 4WD and I can still remember the sound of snapping bones. I can drive, but haven’t had a car in years. I have my own spiritual belief system that I have cobbled together over the years. I like fish – usually battered and fried, but also sushi – but hate pretty much all other seafood. I dream every night, and I remember most of them.

The Questions

1. (Missy) What is your favourite game? (Jasyla) What’s the last song you listened to?

My favourite game is impossible to say, it changes over time. But I would say that the Civilisation series has been a staple of my gaming life, and I would probably choose one of those if I was only allowed one game.

I have to admit I cheated here, and listened to my favourite song just so I could list it here. Tool – Lateralus. I’ve embedded it at the end. Before that, would be…Celtic Woman – The Voice.

2. (Missy) Who is your favourite blogger? (Jasyla) When you were 10, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Garrosh Hellscream is my favourite blogger. I HIGHLY encourage anyone who has played WoW for any length of time to check his blog out. It is incredibly entertaining!

I don’t remember exactly what I wanted to be when I was 10, but apparently when I was little I was determined to play cricket for Australia. So, given that I was super into tennis when I was 10, I probably had dreams of being the next Pat Cash and winning a Grand Slam.

3. (Missy) Which blogger would you like to meet in real life and why? (Jasyla) If you could live in any fictional world (from a game, book, movie, whatever) which would it be?

I’d love to meet Mataoka, she is my closest blogger friend and I hear that she is a great talker, which is perfect as I am a great listener!

I’m torn between wanting to live in a world where magic is not rare, if not commonplace, and a sci-fi world like David Brin’s Uplift series. I honestly don’t think I’d be able to cope in a fantasy-medieval setting, so it’s really only the prospect of magic that attracts me.

4. (M) If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why? (J) Stark, Lannister, Targaryen, Baratheon, or Baelish?

I would definitely have the teleport superpower. So handy for everything!

Screw Baelish, I will never be part of House Creeper. I do like Winter, so Stark is a natural attraction, but for some reason I’ve always had a soft spot for Baratheon.

5. (M) PC or console? (J) Sci-fi or fantasy?

PC all the way. I am rather put out by the fact that some awesome games are console exclusive (Last of Us, for example).

Fantasy was my first love, but I think sci-fi offers a broader range of settings, themes and ideas. If you read nothing but fantasy, it all tends to blend together somewhat. I do like to alternate between fantasy and sci-fi, just to keep things fresh.

6. (M) Do you like to be the centre of attention, or blend into the crowd? (J) Do you finish most videogames you play (if they have endings)?

I hate being the centre of attention. Hate it.

Up until last year, I had a very strict policy of finishing every game I started, even if I didn’t really like it. But after starting the Steam Challenge to clear my backlog, I have been less tolerant of issues that prevent me from enjoying games, and so I have been much more ruthless in abandoning them after an hour or so. I don’t like having more than one “main” game on the go at once, though, so I finish one before I’ll start another.

7. (M) What would make you blush/make you embarrassed? (J) If you had a superpower, what would it be?

The best way to embarrass me is to publicly single me out for praise, especially amongst people I don’t know well. Like, I’m pleased to be acknowledged, but I hate the attention.

Teleportation!

8. (M) Weapon of choice under a zombie apocalypse? (J) What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?

I would most likely have a cricket bat or golf club.

 

9. (M) Why do you blog? (J) What food could you eat every day and never get sick of?

I don’t really know. To have some record of my existence somewhere?

I think I could eat cheese every day and never get sick of it. Then again, apparently cheese contains opioids so that might explain it.

10. (M) What is the thing you like most about yourself? (J) What videogame character do you most identify with?

I like to think that I am perceptive and have good critical thinking skills. Mostly I’m just happy that I avoid actively being an arsehole to anyone.

I know this is trite, but the character I most identify with is Dahakha, my WoW druid. Because I created him and have so much invested in him.

11. (M) Why is the sky blue? (J) In order to complete a quest would you rather use might, cunning, or magic?

Are you sure it’s not white and gold?

I would rather use magic. Because, well, I want to use magic.

The Nominees

Okay so I have to tag a few people to answer my highly insightful questions below. The winners are:

My Questions

  1. How often do you go out to a restaurant?
  2. If you could design the next playable race for an MMO (of your choice), what kind of race would it be?
  3. You have to spend the next year in a different culture. Where would you choose to spend it?
  4. What kinds of things make you laugh in games?
  5. Is freedom really free?
  6. Name a book that was better than the movie, and a movie that was better than the book.
  7. If you had no access to a computer/tablet/phone for gaming, what would you do instead?
  8. What is the best pizza topping?
  9. Do you think raiding is a net positive or a net negative for MMO games?
  10. Favourite alcoholic (or faux-holic) beverage?
  11. What is the one feature you would love to see in your game of choice that isn’t currently there?

Have at it!


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Keeping Track of My Hobby

I’ve decided that, as much as I appreciate Aywren for inspiring me to take up the Steam Challenge, it’s not enough. I need to not only play through the games that I have, but restrict my new acquisitions as well. No more snap-buying Bundles for that one game that I like – that’s how I got into this predicament in the first place. I’m already pretty good about reining myself in at Steam Holiday sales, but that isn’t my only source of new games. Way back when I first started reading Clean Casuals (before it was called that!), one post brought the Steamgifts site to my attention, and I have been a participant ever since. I’ve won 5 games from there now. If my win rate continues, I could be looking at another half a dozen games this year. So clearly that contributes to my growing list of titles. Plus, I’ve been receiving games from very generous blogger friends. Basically I’m writing this post as a record of what I am doing. Anyone who cares can follow along, though I won’t be doing any more posts about it. I’ll be putting up a page that lists all of my new acquisitions in 2015, whether I play them or not this year. Next year I can look back and compare that list to the Steam Challenge list and sigh. Will it be in satisfaction, or despair? Stay tuned!  


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2015

Well I am back from Tassie, spending time with family and enjoying the much saner summer temperatures that Hobart has compared to Melbourne. I don’t have any mobile gaming options, so the whole trip was game-free, which means I have a lot to catch up on!

While it started off well, 2014 turned out to be the lowest point in my life to date, and honestly I was not expecting to make it to the new year. So that means I am not really sure what to do with myself, and even writing a post like this feels odd. Looking forward, making plans, and setting goals for the year is something that is messing with my head – I undoubtedly have been thinking about them, and I intend to pursue them, but at the same time it kind of feels…pointless? Nevertheless, here are some general thoughts on my year to come.

  • I want to settle the question of where I stand with MMOs this year. Like Navimie, I am pretty committed to a game once I get into it, so I like establishing myself with friends and getting as much out of it as possible. But, like Syp, I am also continually drawn to new experiences in other MMOs, and would love to check out at least half a dozen games that are already released or will be decently playable this year. I’m not sure that I’ll be able to have it all, though, so I need to figure out how I’m going to come down. All I know for sure at this stage is, I’ll continue to play and adore The Secret World, mostly as a solo experience.
  • I’ll be working on my Steam Challenge backlog some more. I was satisfied with the progress I made last year, given that I only started halfway through. This year, though, I want to make sure I get through some of the “bigger” games in my library – games like the Mass Effect series, L.A. Noire, The Witcher series, The Walking Dead, Borderlands, Deus Ex, Bioshock 2, and so on.
  • Since I still have such a huge backlog to clear out, I aim to spend as little as possible buying new games this year. I managed to avoid buying anything in the last two Steam holiday sales, and although there are a good number of games that I desperately want to play, the good news is that they are almost all too much for my current rig. I don’t think there is much, if anything, new that I can play that fits my computer specs so it makes resisting the lure of new games a lot easier.
  • That said, I would like to put together a new gaming rig this year. My current computer is 5+ years old now, and it was only a cheap mid-range setup when new. I’m not even confident that I can play those “bigger” games in my backlog, despite them being several years old themselves. So it all depends on how soon I can save up enough to upgrade.
  • I stated this at the start of last year too, but I never ended up doing it: I intend to pick up my WoW fanfic project that I was doing with Akabeko. Since she is no longer blogging, I may have to move or copy all the chapters to this blog for safekeeping. Plus, it would be easier to navigate.
  • I’m still not really comfortable with blogging. I hope to find my voice a little better this year.
  • Maybe I’ll start putting music video clips at the end of each post, trying to be topical or whatnot. Because I can.

So…come along with me into 2015.

Allons-y!