I haven’t been posting much at all for the past month. It’s not some sort of blog ennui, it’s just that I haven’t been gaming nearly as much as I usually do. It started with the decline in my WoW time. While I found the leveling far better than I anticipated, the rest of the expansion has been decidedly not for me.
The next drop in my game time came from Diablo 3. I was happily chipping away at the season journey, but the fuss over the announcement of Diablo: Immortal sort-of soured me on the franchise for the moment. I tried picking Torchilight 2 back up to get my action RPG fix, and I enjoyed it for a few nights, but it didn’t last. I am too excited about the upcoming Torchlight MMO to get invested in an older game.
As a distraction I booted up Subnautica, which always makes me happy in the way only a game full of weird sea creatures can. I started a new game which was probably a mistake, since I got bored of re-treading the same content and wandered off after only a few nights.
Since then my nights have been mostly filled with knitting and watching the Great British Baking Show, which makes me feel too much like an old person for comfort. The only game I am still playing regularly is Dragalia Lost. After years of playing various games on my phone, they still don’t feel like “real games” to me. Mobile games squeeze in around other things in my life, a few minutes here or there, on the couch or riding in the car. They don’t have the same weight of something that requires me to go up to my office and boot up my PC. I have this weird gamer guilt, that I should be playing something “real”, but mobile has fit my life perfectly recently. With the holidays coming my free time is getting even more fragmented, and 5 or 10 minutes of distraction is about all I can manage. This realization makes me even more excited for the new Diablo game. All the fun of Diablo without being chained to my PC. Count me in.
It’s another month and time for another round of gaming goals. September started out optimistic but I got pretty derailed from what I intended to accomplish. Luckily it’s a fresh month which means a fresh start with new goals. Continue reading
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?
The holidays are approaching fast and my brain is scattered in a billion directions trying to plan presents and decorations and cooking and travel. It is no wonder that I’ve been a bit scattered when it comes to gaming lately too. I’ve still been playing WoW. In what must be approaching a record for recent years I’ve been playing solidly since just before the pre-expansion patch. My interest is definitely starting to taper down now. The past few weeks I haven’t run any mythic+ dungeons and have barely been able to motivate myself to show up for raids. Most days I log in for my emissary quests and then wander off. I’ve gotten some mileage out of alts, but once they hit the level cap and have to run dungeons for professions quests I lose interest fast. I was hoping to get alchemy sorted on my newly-110 hunter, but the thought of having to do a quest in Vault of the Wardens stopped me cold. My next project may just be leveling things to 110 to see the class hall stories but it is frustrating that one of my key motivations for alting is so gated behind content I don’t like to engage with on alts.
What I have been playing a ton of is Justice Monsters V. This is a minigame within Final Fantasy XV, which has been given a full mobile game treatment. It’s part pinball, part Puzzle and Dragons, and entirely fun. Individual games are on a timer so at most they can take 2-3 minutes which makes it perfect for a quick distraction in between holiday chores. It has a frustratingly bad pricing scheme for in-game purchases, but I’ve been playing for almost 2 weeks straight and haven’t felt like I needed to spend any real money to progress anyway. The game starts out very easy but the tables get progressively more interesting and the enemies get much stronger so it does have enough challenge to keep me from getting bored. Like PAD there’s obviously a lot of grinding to do to be able to upgrade and evolve your monsters. Unlike PAD, the method of leveling up is way less opaque. Also, I enjoy the pinball enough that it doesn’t feel like a grind yet. I’m genuinely enjoying playing monster pinball for its own sake and I get the occasional bonus of being able to power up my monsters every once in a while. The monsters you collect are all straight from the Final Fantasy universe, and while you don’t need to know anything about Final Fantasy to enjoy this game, it is a treat to see those recognizable creatures if you are a fan. It’s not the most complex and engaging game ever, but it is quite fun in quick bursts and worth checking out for free.
We’re almost halfway through Blaugust and I’ve managed to keep up with things so far, woo! This week my play time has still been pretty focused.
FFXIV: Once again the only time I played FFXIV this week was during raid. Once again, the time I did play was phenomenal. This game’s raiding is so fun and satisfying, and even old content still requires some thought and attention. I’m just too distracted by other things right now to give it the attention it deserves.
Steven Universe Soundtrack Attack: I almost forgot to mention this one, but I was talking with the Aggrochat folks about it last night before we recorded the podcast and figured other people might want to know about it too. I’m playing this fun little rhythm game on iOS. I like it because you can create and customize your own new gem (mine’s a Ruby!), and it has music from the show. Unfortunately it moves pretty quickly from “hey this is fun” to “furiously mashing at the screen not being able to keep up.” Maybe that’s a thing this type of game does? I admit I’ve not played any other rhythm games on my phone. Some of the songs are even sped up a bit from the show. I suspect it is because they want you to watch more adds and buy powerups that let you slow down the songs. Also not all of the levels are songs directly from the show, a lot of them are instrumental tracks, so don’t expect to hear all of the songs from the show right away when you start playing. In any case it is a fun enough little game and worth checking out for yourself if you are interested, just don’t expect a lot of depth.
Diablo 3: I’m still working away at my seasonal character. I’ve completed GR60 and the view ahead is all grinding for tiny upgrades and praying for ancient legendaries with good rolls. I have no idea if I will stick around long enough to finish another chapter of the season, but I’m still having fun for now.
WoW: Once again this is where I’m spending the bulk of my time. The demon invasions have gone from fun distraction to pretty great way to level, so I’ve been trying to hit them on my baby mage whenever new ones are up. between invasions and dungeons I’ve gone from 60 to 77 while barely setting foot on outlands or northrend. I actually like both of those expansions just fine, but it is pretty neat to have an alternate leveling pathway open up like this, even if it is only temporary. I suspect I’ll have at least one more character to 100 by Legion at this rate!