Category: my gaming

Friday quick notes

There’s a new layout for the blog and i’m looking for ways to customize it some more. My return to The Secret World was a bit confusing and Nuria killed a few Vampires in Elder Scrolls Online.

The other resolutions for 2016

Happy New Year everyone! It’s time to take a look at the rest of my gaming-related resolutions for 2016.

Keeping a budget

This sounds similar to what i posted last year- as will some other resolutions further down this post- and i failed to achieve most of them. But that’s all the more reason to try again. We all know this by now, but free-to-play and Early Access are actually quite expensive if you don’t keep your spending in order. If you simply spend money on everything that interests you, you’re going to spend a lot of money for games.

Since i didn’t keep a budget, i can only try to remember what i spent- and i think it amounts to about 1k€….and that’s really too much for someone who’s playing an hour a day on average. So this year, i’m going to cut it down and limit my spending to 300€/year, 25€ per month, give or take a few euros. This, of course, means one thing….again.

Prioritize my MMO gaming

This has been on my list since the beginning of this blog in 2013. I’m stretching myself way too thin in all those MMOs i play and i’m unable to achieve anything in any of them because you can’t play 9 MMOs with maybe 40 hours /played a month. I need to cut some of them loose. I don’t know which ones yet, but good candidates are The Secret World, SWTOR, Wildstar and i need to stop thinking about Rift, WoW and maybe even Lotro.

I’ve still got about three weeks of (wasted) subscription time on Final Fantasy 14, and i’m going to make use of them and see whether FF14 will be on my friends- or blacklist. Elder Scrolls Online is a strong candidate right now- it fits some of the criteria i’m setting for myself: it has a good business model and the subscription doesn’t even tempt me, my small guild maintains a levelling party, all active members in that community like the game and the PvP experience in Cyrodiil is actually quite good.

This selection process will be discussed in an extra post (again), but in 2016, two things are not going to happen: i will not subscribe to more than one game at a time and i will not sub for the longest possible period to “save” money. It never worked.

Spend more time in good games

This might be a seperate blog post, as well, but in general, MMOs are not “good games”. I think the big advantage of a “true MMO” is that it’s actually a genre mix- you have RPG in most of them, of course. Then, there’s the economy, the crafting, the housing/decoration/clothing minigame, small group PvE, solo PvE, instanced PvP, open PvP, the social part, the story, gameplay and more. All these small pieces in one game is what makes MMOs exciting- if you would take a look at an individual element- the RPG part, for instance, you’d find better examples in singleplayer land. The same goes for all the other parts. MMOs mix all these elements into one game and that’s what sets them apart.

Like many others’, my Steam backlog is huge. There are so many great games that i haven’t paid as much attention to as they deserve: Divinity, Cities: Skylines, Pillars of Eternity, Fallout 4, Fallout NV, Wasteland 2, Endless Legend, The Witcher 3 and many, many others. In fact, in 2016 i wouldn’t really need to buy new games or even play MMOs and i’d still be busy the whole year and possibly even well into 2017.

So this year, i’d like to play more non-MMOs instead of playing 7 MMOs in one month.

Spend more time with people / build and grow our guild

Our community is chugging along quite…ok…ish. We’re very, very small. Three active members at the moment. We don’t know how and when we’ll try to grow, but i want to foster that small community. I’d like it to have about 10 active members when 2016 will come to an end. That doesn’t sound like much and it probably isn’t, but i think a small tight-knit community that plays comes together to play once in a while instead of daily is a much better fit for me. As of right now, we have a recruitment form open and we will take applicants in if they seem to be a good fit, but sooner or later, we’ll probably close that form down and rely on direct invitations.

If we continue to be as happy in ESO as we are right now, there’s a good possibility that we’ll look into growing our guild there- at least up to ten members (to get the guild bank).

Another thing related to this- i wrote about that in another post, i want to reconnect to some people i started a community with in 2012. We had some kind of silly argument at that time and i had thought of reconnecting with them more than a few times. Now, i’ve played Rocket League with two of the three people i really liked at that time because thankfully, one person hasn’t been as much of a craven as i was. That leaves one person to go and it will be the toughest one.

Blog more often/regular than in 2015

Blogging in 2015 has been a mixed bag- i had quite active times and a long stretch of inactivity after the summer holidays. I still love the “Dual Wielding” column and would really like to give that another try this year, but it seems that Ironweakness suffered the same lull after the summer. In 2015, some times i tried to publish daily, but i’ll have to admit that i can’t keep that up for very long. My new goal would be to publish at least one post per week, but to keep this up consistently throughout this year.

Trove doesn’t count, right?

Project Trinity isn’t doing too well these weeks. I wrote about having far less playing time than i’d like to have- it’s summer, so even if there’s nothing else real-lifey going on, our 2 yr. old sleeps late. When he’s finally sleeping, i still have some chores to do, so i haven’t been able to sit in front of a pc before 10/10.30 p.m. At that hour, what game do you launch when your usual bedtime is around 11.30 p.m.? In Final Fantasy 14, an hour is basically almost nothing. Sure, you could do a quest or two, but that’s about it. In SWTOR, you could do something in an hour, but my subscription lapsed and while i plan to continue the sub, i won’t restart it on an evening when i know i’ll only have an hour to play. The Secret World would be possible, as well, but it needs attention- the strong points of that game don’t come to light when you’re just “playing around”.

Maybe i just chose “wrong” for this month- or maybe, just like the guild project i’m doing where we play a free-to-play game for a few months, Project Trinity should have a summer break. Of course i won’t give up so easily, but there will be cop-outs. Another one is going to happen tomorrow, when TERA launches a new server. Can you believe that? A 3-year old game opening another server? This is great news and TERA isn’t so bad- it’s not on my usual rotation because of the european publisher and the quite generic questing. The Steam version is the NA version, as far as i know, and i’ll join the masses for the new server to take a look- is lag really that bad? And also, launch hype- and a new server is one kind of “launch hype” makes me curious. I’ll justify that by creating a new “series” for this blog….oh right, Trove.

So Ironweaknessseries of posts regarding Trove made me curious and yesterday, when our son slept surprisingly early, i gave my possible selection of games a thought, but i also knew i was tired- so going for a story heavy MMO didn’t fit the bill. Also, i kind of hoped- it was sunday, after all, that i could meet Ironweakness in game- it would be a first. He’s my partner in writing the Dual Wielding series which proved to be great fun with the small caveat that we seem to have similar opinions on a lot of topics. Sometimes, there’s enough differences to make the reading of both posts interesting- or so i hope- sometimes, like with our 12XP post, it seems as if we were talking about the posts beforehand. We don’t.

And luckily, we really met up! He invited me to his cornerstone and we talked a bit before heading off into an adventure world and did some dungeons while he explained some of the games’ mechanics. Because, to be honest, i don’t understand Trove.

There seem to be multiple gameplay elements on focus here: the building, although your cornerstone is quite small and doesn’t really offer a lot of opportunity to build. The adventuring and exploring, where the point seems to be to enter one adventure world and explore the heck out of it- which is good, because really, there are impressive sights to be seen, but with the early worlds, you do outlevel them quickly, so maybe the exploring stuff will become more interesting later. Of course, one could explore an adventure world anyway, even when outlevelled- mobs don’t grey out, you’ll get xp just like before and of course, exploring is its own reward. And finally, there’s the crafting component. The problem is, i don’t really know where to start- there are many craftable objects which is a good thing- but it isn’t that easy to know what one should build first and where/how to get the materials for building something.

But fun it was, especially going out as a team and finally meeting up with someone who i’ve been in contact with since…well, is it four months already? Crazy! Of course we e-mailed, but chatting is a whole different thing- remember, this was the wonder of MMORPGs- that you could meet up, chat and play with people from all over the world. Thankfully, Trove doesn’t seperate players by region, so you can meet pretty much everyone without it being a hassle for someone. Usually, when you try to meet people from another continent, you’d have to join another server, which might lead to lag or time-zone issues. That’s not a problem with Trove, though. I’ll continue to give it a look and i promise to take screenshots next time- it seems there’s no keybind for that yet, and i haven’t made use of the chat command.