Sep 30, 2012

[Every Game is a '3-Monther' for Somebody]

A great post from Chris over at 'Game By Night':
"Where do you find a game that’s not a 3-monther? The game with lasting power is the one where you can find a place to fit in with other players and continuously work at something. In WoW and RIFT, that’s raiding or PvP. In Guild Wars 2, it’s WvW. Maybe it’s RP for LotRO. It really doesn’t matter because the game with legs for me might be totally different for you.

No game is going to hand you the past. If you’re willing to work for it and find your niche, and can be flexible in getting there, you might just find that a game being a game is okay… and care a whole lot less when other people nitpick."
 Very true!

Related Reading:
The Cure for the 3-Month MMO Lies With Us 
Of Three-Monthers

Sep 24, 2012

[Torchlight II Impressions]

In simple list form, since I'm not feeling verbose:

- New Game+
- Randomized dungeons\sidequests
- Offline Singleplayer option
- Character/pet customization (this includes class builds/gear combinations)
- Fishing. If nothing else, because you can get permanent pet-transforming items from it.
- The Enchanting/Alchemy system... gambling for cool item buffs is a great gold sink
- Interesting item sets (the randomization of stats makes even two of the same item unique)
- The soundtrack
- The boss fights

- I wish Normal difficulty wasn't simply Easy mode with a different name. It's too easy, even for a newb to the genre like me.
- I wish there was appearance slots for gear, or the ability to pay a Transmuter to re-skin gear.
- I wish my Stash space was expandable.
- I wish you could get at least one full respec of stats/skills per character.
- I wish the story/setting was a bit better explained (How's anyone to know, for example, that the Zeraphi and Ezrohir are a race of ancient Ember-powered cyborgs unless you read the official wiki? The game sure doesn't bother to really explain who they are or why they're at war). I know that too much story exposition can bog down a game like this, but it could've used a bit more here and there... perhaps rolled into the short animated cutscenes between Acts.

Overall, I give the game 4/5 stars (for what my opinion's worth), and recommend it for anyone who likes the ARPG genre. It's a solid offering and very enjoyable.

What is it about fishing in RPGs that's so compelling?

Sep 11, 2012

[Take It Slow; Savor the Journey]

Words of wisdom about playing Guild Wars 2, from Ravious:
"I think one big issue that I am finding is start to dissipate is the freneticism of the herd. There is a drive to get to the end. I knew all along that there was no end game to get to. Yet, I still fell prey to “end game” discussions and talk about Zhaitain and final armors and weapons. It felt like I had to get there too. I really don’t… at least right away.

The other problem with Guild Wars 2 content is that it is incredibly high speed. Without having to turn in quests there is much less time to digest experiences. I didn’t realize how important this was for my 'fun' until I actually sat there watching the backside of the asura elementalist as he ran away. I wasn’t following my own advice. I need to slow down; reflect for that one moment. ‘I just did this, and it was great.’ Moments like that are not another belly-bombing slider going down the hatch."
  This observation about fully enjoying the game is very true, I've found; especially when it comes to getting the 'story' of a zone (which some have complained is lacking in GW2 due to there not being quest hubs to deliver it via quest text to players). However, the story is still there -- you just have to choose to speak to the various named NPCs and Heart taskgivers that you find, and stop a moment to listen to the banter of the townsfolk you come across rather than sprinting past (or away once your contribution reward pops). The narrative of the various maps in GW2 is not forced upon you; instead it's similar to real life in that if you are always rushing to the next goal and not stopping to investigate the world around you, it will mean you will get less out of the journey as a whole.

Something I found while exploring a random house.