Smooth Destiny 2 Launch

Destiny 2 launched on Tuesday afternoon and by most accounts it was a success. The only problem I’ve encountered is that the Clan interface seems to be broken. Other than that I’ve seen no bugs, lag, queues, or any of the other headaches that usually accompany an online game launch. Impressive!

I’m recently back from a vacation so I can’t take extra time off to play, but I still managed to get to level 20 already. The main story of the game feels exceedingly short, but this is expected. The meat of the game happens at the level cap of course. I spent so much time running around doing public events and “adventures” that I hit 20 well before I was finished with the story. That meant I got to motor through the story in one go late last night. It didn’t have much in the way of surprises but it was fine. I don’t exactly play Destiny for the compelling story anyway. It did have a couple great cutscenes and some epic battle sequences and that made me plenty happy.

Speaking of happy, the game runs great on my machine and I’m fully converted to PC controls. When I tried the beta, I used a controller since I was so accustomed to playing on the PS4. For the actual launch, I decided to give the mouse and keyboard a try and I’m extremely glad I did. I think if I didn’t have a gaming mouse with extra buttons I probably would like the controller better, since my tiny hands have trouble hitting all the keybinds quickly. However, with my Naga I had no trouble swapping weapons and using my abilities. Since the control scheme is so different I don’t have any outdated muscle memory interfering with my progress. Now I just need to get better at aiming.

Overall my opinion of D2 is that it’s a very solid successor to Destiny. My two complaints so far are that shaders are now single-use, and that you can only infuse gear of the same item type. Otherwise the game is so similar to the original that it feels almost like a PC relaunch instead of a new game. For some people that might be a bad thing but I enjoyed the heck out of Destiny and I foresee a lot of enjoyment of D2 in my future!

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Finally Invisible

Last week we saw the introduction of “Appear Offline” mode in the newest beta of the Battlenet client. That news brought much rejoicing from me and from some of my more introverted friends. This is a feature that is standard in almost every possible messaging or social gaming service. I’ve been using it forever in Steam. Somehow it took Blizzard around 5 years to implement it.

When Bnet friends lists first became an option I stayed away. I’m extremely introverted, and one of the ways I recharge my internal batteries is to play games by myself. Having a long friends list full of people who might want to hang out with me can sometimes feel like a burden. I did eventually start adding people, because I didn’t want to lose touch with folks as I changed servers or factions over the years. However there are days where saying “sorry I don’t feel up to hanging out right now” feels like too much social interaction, and I often stayed away from Blizzard games rather than risk having to chat with one of my friends. It can be hard to explain to folks who don’t suffer from this personality quirk, but honestly the anxiety of maybe, possibly, having to turn someone down is sometimes enough to keep me from logging in at all. I actually have a second account for WoW and D3 for exactly this reason.

I think I need to be clear here that the people on my friends list are my friends. I do enjoy talking to them and playing games together. I’ve seen a lot of reactions on forums where people say things like “if you don’t want to talk to people they aren’t your friends and shouldn’t be on your friends list.” No! I love my friends! My close friends mostly know that I sometimes need to “turtle” and hide for a while to recharge. I don’t feel obligated to explain that to the various other old guildies I want to keep in touch with, or fun folks I ran a pug raid with, or various other folks that end up in my social network. Now I have a hassle-free way of making myself available when I’m feeling up to social interactions, and hiding when I just want to kill some demons in Diablo by myself for a little while.

When I found out about offline mode I joked that my friends will never see me in Bnet ever again. The truth is that they will probably see me less often, but when they do see me they can be sure I’ll be happy to chat with them, and in a good mood to hang out!

Where Would You Visit?

I got my inspiration this afternoon from the WoW blogosphere. Alunaria’s post asks “which place would you visit, if you could somehow transfer it from WoW to real life – and why? Or, if the world of Azeroth suddenly would change forever, … where is the one place you would go to, to see it one last time?”

WoWScrnShot_100217_160334These two questions definitely have different answers for me. The first one took a little thought. I suppose if I could get a potion of water breathing I would love to visit Vashjir. How cool would it be to meet a giant sentient sea creature? Or see all the strange glowing deep sea fish? I always quest there instead of Hyjal when I get my alts to Cata, partly because it is so different and partly because it is so quiet. Everyone loves to hate that zone so it’s always empty and peaceful. I suppose some of my fondness for it stems from the fact that I spent a ton of time there on my druid, zooming around in aquatic form and picking herbs for hours on end. So relaxing.

WoWScrnShot_100217_155308.jpgAs for where I’d go to visit one last time if WoW were closing or getting another Cataclysm? That one’s easy. Ulduar. The couple times I’ve thought I was quitting the game for good, I’ve always logged my priest out in front of Ulduar, riding her iron-bound protodrake. Even after all these years, some of my best memories of the game were made in that raid. I was learning how to be a hardcore raider, and I was accomplishing things I never knew I could do. At a time when my real life was in a very bad place, Ulduar was a perfect distraction. It also helped that the raid was gorgeous and the fights were fun as hell. Except XT. Eff that guy and his tantrums. As for a specific spot, I love Vezax’s room and the path leading down to it. I can still remember the first time I saw those amazing stained-glass windows.

Thanks for the blog inspiration Alunaria, and gratz on the real life level up!

October 2017 Gaming Goals

Another month, another round of gaming goals. I was surprisingly productive in WoW last month, and also knocked out one very large long-term D3 goal. What’s in store this month?

September Goals in Review:

WoW: Get my shaman class mount. Done! DK mount too!

Do more Robosquids stuff. Nope. With the GW2 expansion and Destiny 2 releases, we just couldn’t get everyone together to play.

Horizon Zero Dawn: Finish a second playthrough to see all the updates. Nope. I made a bunch of progress on it though. I’m enjoying this replay and don’t want to rush.

D3: Finish the Barbarian set mastery. Done! This is one of the most satisfying gaming goals I’ve ever achieved. Those set mastery wings were worth it!

Legendary: Get a maxed-star card of every color. Done!


October Goals:

WoW: Level either my warrior or my horde monk to 60. I’ve been bouncing between these two characters and I want to pick one and get some solid leveling done.

Get at least one more of the concordance rewards I’m missing. I’ve gotten most of the mounts, pets, and toys for the characters I have at 110. My rogue is still missing 2 mounts, and I don’t have any of the hunter rewards yet, so those are what I need to focus on this month.

D3: Master the last Necromancer set dungeon. I went digging through my achieves and realized I’m only missing one mastery for the Necro. There’s no fancy rewards for mastering all the Necromancer dungeons, but it just doesn’t feel right to leave this unfinished.

Legendary: Get a maxed-star card of every color. Wait wasn’t this a goal I completed last month? Yes but… it turns out I’ll be getting a new phone soon, and plan to switch from iOS to Android. That means starting over. Ugh. I’ve been messing around with the game on my (android) tablet some already, so hopefully in a month I can get mostly caught back up.

Destiny 2: Hit the level cap. The game launches late in the month, and I don’t want to rush myself.  I do expect to be spending a lot of quality time with it though, so I think this goal is reasonable in a week of play time.