New Spaceships

Yesterday was a very full gaming day for me, and many others in my (admittedly tiny) social sphere. Not only was it the start of the Destiny 2 PC beta, but it was also a major patch day for WoW. They didn’t let us peasants that haven’t preordered yet download the beta until mid-day yesterday, so I had to queue up the download after I got home from work. Then I had to pause that download long enough to let WoW get patched up. I let D2 download in the background while I checked out my new WoW spaceship and headed off to another planet.

I only played enough WoW to unlock the new set of world quests on one character, but it’s been a pretty great experience so far. Argus feels huge and dangerous. The opening sequence feels suitably epic, although it still manages to have Blizzard’s trademark “lore character swoops in for the kill steal” moments. Here on the first day of the patch it feels more like a mini-expansion than a mid-expansion update. We shall see how well all of the content on offer holds up in the coming weeks. At least we are promised a bit of meaningful questing as the Argus story unlocks. Anything is better than Broken Shore favorites like “hand Dadghar some currency so he can make a joke at your expense,” and “I don’t know, just go away and kill some stuff I guess.”

Thinking about those quests makes me mad both because they felt like a waste of time and because I had to do them to unlock flying, which is now useless in the new zones. I don’t want to get in an epic rant about flying in WoW but the back and forth of having and losing flying is getting very old. I appreciate the idea that going without flying at the start of the expansion lets them design the zones and questing experience in a more immersive way. I don’t even mind that earning flying requires a bit of effort now. What feels terrible is spending all that effort to get flying for one patch, and then having it taken away again. My $0.02: If you’re going to take it away, don’t make us work so hard for it, or if you’re going to make us work hard for it don’t take it away.

Flying rants aside, I greatly enjoyed my time in Argus up until exactly the moment when the D2 download finished. Then I commenced an epic battle with error codes, graphics drivers, and windows updates until I finally was victorious and could launch the beta. It looks and feels very slick on my machine, and it played nicely with my controller. The small amount of PvE questing available was fun enough, and felt perfectly Destiny-y. I’m not sure how much the story will make sense to someone who’s never played the first game, but I expect that they’ll be too busy struggling with the controls to worry about it since there’s no tutorial of any kind. I hope the full version of the game does a better job of easing people in.

I did get the chance to try out the strike with a couple friends, and I’m glad I did. It felt fairly similar in difficulty and length to the few strikes I’d tried in Destiny before, although the last boss was more complicated than I’m used to. I’m very glad I got to do it with friends so I could enjoy the sights and not feel super rushed. I haven’t tried any of the crucible offerings yet, and I’m not sure if I will during the beta. Most likely I will make a few new characters and play through the quest sequence again until I decide between keyboard/mouse and controller, and figure out the settings that work best for me.

If you’re curious or on the fence about Destiny 2 I’d suggest checking out the beta while you can. It’s definitely not full access to all the game’s content yet, but it is a reasonable sampling that should give you an idea of whether you’d enjoy it or not. I’m definitely looking forward to being able to play the full game!

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Elf Nostalgia

As if the RoboSquids project wasn’t bad enough, I’ve gone and started some additional nonsense. I guess this happened because I was in the mood for some WoW nostalgia, but we couldn’t get the RoboSquids together to run a dungeon. Instead, one of my squid-conspirators and I randomly rolled up even more new characters and started leveling. This time around it’s not so much a coherent project with rules as it is a means of scratching the nostalgia itch. I took my freshly-minted blood elf warrior and started leveling through the starting zone with no heirlooms. I sent myself some larger bags because there’s nostalgia and then there’s pointless suffering, but otherwise I’ve been trying to pretend it’s 2007 and I’m starting from scratch again.

I suppose if I wanted maximum nostalgia I’d be leveling a paladin, since that was my first real main all those years ago, and my first character to level 70. Running everywhere on foot, chasing down lynxes for their pelts and getting distracted by copper nodes is enough to spark plenty of good memories even on the “wrong” class. My belf pally wasn’t my first character but it was the first one that stuck, the first one I ran a dungeon with, the first one that joined a guild. Since those days, I’ve become a very different person and the game has changed drastically too. But those TBC starter zones are still locked in a mostly-pre-Cataclysm limbo that lets me travel back to that time for a few hours.

I don’t know how long this mini-squids project will keep my attention. I still have goals in Diablo 3 and FFXIV that are waiting, and very soon Destiny 2 will be here and vying for all of my time. I do know that I am going to keep enjoying this nostalgia trip while it lasts.

Gaming Restless

Maybe it’s because it’s summertime. Maybe it’s the slow fade of the glow of new content. Heck, maybe the stress of work is bleeding into the rest of my life and causing problems, who knows? What I do know is that my gaming motivation is pretty well bottomed out at the moment. I have several easily achievable gaming goals dangling in front of me but by the time I’m home and sitting in front of the computer I don’t feel like tackling any of them. I’ve been logging in to do things when my friends have planned something specific, but outside of that I’ve been working on my creative projects or simply watching tv.

On the plus side, I can poke at mobile games easily while sitting on the couch. I’ve been playing mostly Legendary: Game of Heroes. That game has the most boring possible title but it’s been fun enough to keep me distracted while watching old episodes of Game of Thrones. It’s basically a Puzzle and Dragons clone, a match-3 puzzle game that fuels simple monster combat. While I enjoyed PAD plenty, once I got deeper into it I realized that the higher level mechanics and strategies for team building seemed to require a mountainous tome of eldritch lore to decipher. Legendary is much cleaner and more streamlined, has better graphics, and a surprisingly smooth power and leveling curve. I finished the entire base campaign and felt like the difficulty was appropriate to my level the whole way through. Now I have a break where I need to gain about 10 more levels before the extreme mode of the campaign unlocks, and in the meantime I can level up my heroes, farm resources, and participate in the weekly events to get cool stuff. It also helps that I can usually play for upwards of an hour without bouncing into pay walls or the dreaded free-to-play energy cap. It’s there, but it doesn’t feel punitive. It’s still a far cry from my beloved Justice Monsters V (RIP) but it has been a fun, free diversion for a while.

That’s about all the excitement there is to speak of around here. What do you do when you’re in a gaming lull?

Hunter Mount Quest

I finished this quest before my break from WoW, but only remembered to post it once I resubscribed. Whoops. My hunter was the last alt that is already 110 that hadn’t gotten her mount. My DK and shaman are 100 and 101, and my warrior is not even close, so they will all have to wait.

Hunter is in a strange place for me. I’ve always liked the class, and the archer archetype is second only to spellcaster in terms of my “player fantasy” preferences. In Legion, however, the class has seen some major changes that detracted from my enjoyment of the class. Beastmastery has always been my favorite spec, and even at 110 with all my gold traits on my weapon it still feels like something is missing. I like having pets but I don’t like feeling like I’m useless in comparison to them, and I also don’t like how much the pet survivability has been nerfed this expansion. Marksman is a nonstarter because the optimal way to play involves getting rid of your pet altogether, and while the new Survival spec is more fun than I thought it would be, I will always prefer ranged to melee.

All that grumbling about the state of the class aside, their mount quest was amazing. Unlike so many of the other class’ quests, there’s no gating, gathering, or extraneous running around. Instead you receive an invitation to Odyn’s great hunt and go straight there. The scenario takes place in the wilderness area of the trial of valor, and it’s just perfect. You get to eat and drink at a valajar feast (doing so gives you some nice buffs), and then you set out into the night to hunt the spirits of some great beasts and put them to rest. You have a few rounds of stalking around in the dark and fighting your prey, and then you get to fight the wolfhawk. The fights weren’t bad at all, even in my barely 110-for-a-week gear. If anything they were slightly too easy, but for this kind of content I’m perfectly okay with that.

The mount looks cool, and fits well with the hunter class theme. About the only thing I didn’t like about this quest is Odyn, because he’s a jerk and on principle I don’t want to do anything to help him. If you have a hunter alt laying around I’d highly suggest going for this class mount. It was a lot of fun!

August 2017 Gaming Goals

I’m a few days late with this one since I’ve been AFK for most of this week. I had set a few somewhat ambitious goals for July and did a decent job on them. Let’s see what August brings!

July Goals recap:

FFXIV: Clear both EX primals.  Check! I still haven’t done this with a FC group, but I did at least get my kills.

Advance at least one of my Anima weapons at least one step. Nope. I dialed my play time back and mostly focused on current content.

Level my AST.  Not really. I did get a couple levels, but AST is still not 70. The problem here is that they fixed some of the problems with scholar, so I felt way less motivated to have the 2nd healer job.

Figure out how to buy a house. I do know how to buy a house now so I’ll count this as a win. I haven’t actually bought one because I’m still waiting for people to move out to the new zone so I can find open property in Mists.

Diablo 3: Complete the basic season 11 journey with a necromancer. Done! I haven’t gone much past the first 4 chapters but this is still a win.

Complete the challenge rift every week. Nope. I did attempt it every week, but last week’s build was really difficult and I didn’t manage to clear it under the timer.

Master all the crusader set dungeons. Done! I was an overachiever and got monk and witch doctor too!


August Goals:

FFXIV: Level my AST. I’m so close it really is silly that I still haven’t finished this.

Clear at least 1 boss of Omega Savage. This might be a matter of flinging myself at pugs until I smash through, but I’d love to get this done.

Diablo 3: Finish Barbarian set mastery. I’ve only got one barbarian dungeon left to master in order to get my fancy wings. It might mean giving up on much seasonal progress this time around, but I can do this!

WoW: Get back to the Robo-squids project. There’s an awful lot of dungeons left for our little undergeared, underleveled, undersized group to get through, and now that the new game shine is starting to fade from Stormblood I’m ready to jump back in.


I think these are pretty modest goals for the month, and they’re all things that I really do want to get around to. I can’t wait to post about my pretty new wings!