May has passed us by and I don’t feel like accomplished much of anything. Losing our air conditioning has really changed the amount of time I’m willing to spend locked in a tiny room with a heat-generating PC. But I did manage to meet some of my goals for the month despite the heat.
January 2018 Gaming Goals
Happy new year! December was a month of mostly not meeting my goals. Let’s resolve to do better in 2018!
December Goals in review:
WoW: Decide on a new long-term goal. Done! I’ve been chasing old transmog sets on my priest. As an extra bonus side project I’ve been trying to go through her tailoring and craft every item she still needs the appearance for too. It’s not super exciting but it is keeping me busy.
Destiny 2: Explore the new expansion content. Sort-of. I have explored some of the new expansion, but I still haven’t finished the story or moved on to the new grinds yet.
Diablo 3: Complete the last Necromancer set dungeon. Nope.
Horizon Zero Dawn: Complete the new DLC. Nope. I fully intended to do this over the holidays but I got distracted by other things.
WoW: See every Legion raid at least once, even if it’s just LFR. The last bits of the current WoW raid will be out for the LFR crowd this month. That means it’s time for me to see them. I still haven’t finished all the wings of the previous raid yet so I’ve got some queuing to do.
Destiny 2: Finish the Osiris storyline. I’ve been working through this with the spouse on my hunter and solo on my warlock. Hopefully I can finish both soon.
Diablo 3: Finish that last set dungeon already dang it. I have no motivation to play D3 right now but this goal has been on my list for months and it would feel great to knock it out.
Horizon Zero Dawn: Start playing the new DLC. I might not have time to finish it considering all the other things on my list this month, but I would at least like to see it.
Hollow Knight: Get to an ending. I picked this one up on the Steam holiday sale and have been loving it. I have a lot of trouble with the boss fights but I like everything else so much it balances out. I doubt I’ll ever get close to 100% completion, but I hope I can progress far enough to see an ending.
Whoops! I can’t believe it has been a couple weeks since I’ve posted anything. Lately my free time has been devoted more to creative things than to gaming. This has the positive effect of spending more time with my spouse, but the negative effect of feeling quite out of the loop with my online social circle.
I have been playing tiny bits of WoW, Diablo 3, and Destiny 2. Diablo isn’t doing much to hold my interest right now. It’s just something I log in for if I only have a few minutes and need to blow off some steam killing demons. WoW is doing a slightly better job of distracting me. I’ve given up completely on keeping up with current content in any way. Since I finished my “every class mount” project I’ve been drifting around, running old raids and chasing transmog and mounts and pets. Although I’m a little sad not to be running dungeons and/or raids with my friends, I’ve been enjoying myself in the most relaxed way possible. I might even finish leveling my horde-side monk soon, if I can muster the will to push through WoD.
On the other hand, Destiny 2 has been very hit or miss for me recently. I bought the first expansion but haven’t played it enough to finish the story yet. That’s a far cry from my enthusiasm when the game launched just a couple months ago. I’m planning to run through the story together with my spouse and hoping that will pull me back into the game. I really enjoyed leveling with a companion through the main story and am looking forward to doing that again. I have played just enough to get my first masterwork item. Sadly it was a sidearm, so it is completely useless to me. Hopefully I have the chance to earn something more useful soon.
Finally, I am in full-on nerd hype mode about Star Wars. I saw The Last Jedi last night and I’m pretty sure I need more time for my brain to finish processing it but I still loved it. I have a lot of feelings and opinions, but I’ll save them until the movie has been out a bit longer. No spoilers here.
December 2017 Gaming Goals
Another month has come and gone, so it’s time to reflect on what I’ve been up to and what my new plans are.
November Goals in Review:
WoW: Get the warrior to 110. Done! I got my class mount too!
Destiny 2: Try the raid. Done! I haven’t completed it yet but I have at least seen it a few times.
Diablo 3: Finish the last Necromancer set mastery I’m missing. Nope. I did get the set farmed up on my seasonal necro, so I’m closer than I was before.
Complete the baseline chapters of the Season 12 journey. Done!
WoW: Decide on a new long-term goal. A goal to set a goal? WTF? Well after finishing up the last class story and mount, I realized I was flailing around with no direction. I need a really long-term project to chip away at every month, and I have no idea what the next one should be. It doesn’t help that what I really want to do is level a new alt to try out the new low-level zone scaling tech, but we’re not sure exactly when that patch is coming.
Destiny 2: Explore the new expansion content. I somewhat object to them calling these “expansions” but whatever. There are going to be new things to do and new gear to get. My excitement over D2 has died down but I at least want to see the new stuff.
Diablo 3: Complete the last Necromancer set dungeon. No excuses left at this point, I just need to sit down for an evening and knock this out.
Horizon Zero Dawn: Complete the new DLC. I had this preordered and I just haven’t had time to sit down and dig into it. I want to do that ASAP because I absolutely love this game and can’t wait to explore new parts of the world.
November was surprisingly productive, considering my play time has been dramatically lower than normal. Here’s hoping my December goals go well too.
Destiny 2 Settling In
Destiny 2 has been out for a few weeks now, and I’ve been happily playing at least a little bit every day. When I was preparing for the launch, I suspected that either I would be super hooked and play obsessively like my friend Belghast, or I would play hard for a short while and then bounce. What actually happened is much more interesting.
Destiny 2 is pretty great at encouraging moderate daily play. Every day there are goals that move your character forward in small doses. there are also weekly tasks with more substantial rewards, and you can usually find some overlap with the daily goals for efficiency’s sake. Sure, you can keep grinding reputation tokens and grind for the rare exotic engram from any activity at any time, but if you complete your main tasks for the week you’ve gotten most of what you are going to get without extreme luck.
What all this means for me is that I play every day, but usually stop working on my main after I’ve accomplished my daily goals or gotten one of my weekly “powerful engrams”. After that I feel free to play alts, play other games, or just do something else in general. It feels strangely healthy.
That said, I have still been playing a bunch. I even got to see part of the raid last week. I was pretty nervous because I’m not great at shooters and I worried about being able to hold my own, but it seems like I did okay. I never raided at all in the original Destiny, and I had trouble wrapping my head around what a raid in a FPS game would even look like. The encounters were more interesting than I expected, and I had a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to getting back in there this weekend.
So that’s my status with D2 at the moment. I’m enjoying it but I’m not obsessively spending every free moment with it. Hopefully that will continue for a long time.
November 2017 Gaming Goals
What is it about getting older that makes the months seem to go by in a blur? Probably the lack of sleep from playing too many games. Anyway it’s time to review my October goals and make some new ones for November.
October Goals in Review:
WoW: Level either my warrior or my horde monk to 60. Done! I did even better and got my warrior to 100 and got her artifact.
Get at least one more of the concordance pet/mount/toy rewards I’m missing. Done! I think I actually have all of the concordance rewards now, unless there’s one for warriors that I’m not aware of.
D3: Master the last Necromancer set dungeon. Nope. I didn’t get much D3 time in this month at all.
Legendary: Get a maxed-star card of every color. Done!
Destiny 2: Hit the level cap. Done!
WoW: Get the warrior to 110. This should be reasonable to do in a weekend, especially if I can catch some invasions and/or the darkmoon faire. Once I get her class mount I can call Legion “finished” as far as I’m concerned.
Destiny 2: Try the raid. I’m having a blast in D2 so far and I want to capitalize on the fact that so many of my friends are playing right now too. I still have no illusions about being hardcore or good at this game, but I’d like to at least see what a raid in Destiny looks like.
Diablo 3: Finish the last Necromancer set mastery I’m missing. I really do want to knock this out and put set dungeons behind me forever (until new classes or sets come along anyway).
Complete the baseline chapters of the Season 12 journey. I’m not really feeling D3 much right now but a new season starts soon and I want to try to get the cosmetic goodies during the initial rush like I usually do. There’s new wings this season and I don’t want to miss out on them!
That’s a very modest list for November, hopefully that will set me up for success!
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!
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!
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.
September 2017 Gaming Goals
Oh crap it’s September already! Aside from the semester starting and my stress levels kicking into overdrive, it also means it’s time for my monthly gaming goals update.
August Goals recap:
FFXIV: Level my AST. I did it! Hooray! I still can’t decide whether I like AST or SCH better though.
Clear at least 1 boss of Omega Savage. Nope. We got the first boss down to something ridiculous like 0.1%, but that group ended up disbanding. Sadness.
Diablo 3: Finish Barbarian set mastery. Nope. I’ve been super unmotivated in D3 and combined with terrible luck with drops I still don’t have the last set I need to try the 4th dungeon.
WoW: Get back to the Robo-squids project. Yes! We got through Blackfathom Deeps and Gnomergan this month. News flash: I still hate Gnomer just as much as I ever have (which is a lot).
I got half of my goals for the month done. That’s not too terrible!
WoW: Get my shaman class mount. I leveled her up to 110 in August. Now it’s a matter of gearing up and getting through the Broken Shore quests to unlock the mount questline.
Do more Robosquids stuff. I’ve been loving this project but it’s hard to find times when all 4 of us can play. I resolve to pester my friends until we get it back on the schedule. (You’ve been warned, guys!)
Horizon Zero Dawn: Finish a second playthrough to see all the updates. It’s this month’s Aggrochat game of the month so I’m doubly motivated!
D3: Finish the Barbarian set mastery. I know I can do this. I just need a push. And I really need to get it done before Destiny 2 releases on PC and starts filling the “murder monsters, get loot explosion” slot in my gaming time.
Legendary: Get a maxed-star card of every color. Legendary: Game of Heroes is a mobile game with a super boring name and very sticky gameplay for me. It’s like a much slicker-looking, slightly less confusing Puzzle and Dragons. The weekly-ish events give pretty good chances at strong cards and materials to upgrade them, so hopefully I can get a maxed-out team by the end of the month.
You’ll note that FFXIV has fallen off the list. I’m just not into it lately, and forcing myself right now is likely to end in a full stop instead of a brief pause. I do still want to try to show up for raid nights more to hang out with my friends than anything else.
I think this month’s goals are pretty reasonable. I just need to remember to play HZD for the main story and not all the side content or there’s no way I’ll finish in time…
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!