Such a long week at work because I was just so, mad with the wait for Elder Scrolls Online. The week was seriously not fast enough but it was still fun being wrapped up in that excitement and anticipation.
Emotionally, I weirdly had one of those breaks that sometimes happens when you’re under a bit of stress and just can’t handle it any more. It’s a lot of things at the moment: exhaustion, finances, study stuff, and some other personal things that wraps up into a big ball of mind mess where you want the world to just fuck off. All good now though thank you very much.
Now for the rest of the week, as per usual I played a far bit Hearthstone. Nothing Special to report except for making it to Rank 10 on the shaman deck, a worthy achievement I think.
While Making my way up I watched a lot of my usual shows and also finished up the entirety of Log Horizon and I have to say it’s well worth watching. It’s basically everything I wanted Sword Art Online to be and that was only partially glimpsed within a few episodes. Here it becomes the focus. It is about the lived experience of being within an online world. The daily facts of life, the usual player dynamics and the inner politics between larger forces. It’s also interesting how they show the difference between the People of the land (NPC) and the players and the interrelationship between them.
I also ended up watching most of Archer season 3 and it is extremely enjoyable as well, much better than the previous seasons. It still has the same wit and endless stupidity I find highly amusing of the previous episodes but this time there is an overarching storyline that ties the season together. It’s no longer just a bunch of disconnected boob and butt jokes but a part of a larger story of mostly boob and butt jokes. A big change but a rather good one.
I rolled up a new character in Path of Exile to play with the always amazing Doone who just so happened to call me an attentive pscho, that might not be paraphrasing. This time I rolled up a duelist and am actually having a much better time. There is something about clicking to both move and attack that annoys me as a ranged character as I’m always misclicking and getting myself in danger, at least this one I’m already in range. We mostly repeated the same content but there are also a few new additions to the game that we came across. There are corrupted dungeons within each zone it seems that are a little harder than the rest but provide better loot. They seem to mostly be a reskin of other assets but still quite enjoyable.
I played some more Hawken but I think this time it will be my last. More team deathmatch of course as it’s my favourite mode but also some of the other ones. The cooperative PvE mode is quite fun but I think the bosses are a little overtuned for pug match ups, so much health and so much damage. The way the progressively get harder is very well done as you are seeing more as well as harder mobs but in a way that is challenging, and overwhelming at times but not frustrating. You are screwed if you get an ai team member though.
The Base mode, forget the name, seems fun. There are a few different uses of a capture mechanic, one in which you collect energy to power your flying battleship and the other to control the anti air guns. These battleships slowly destroy your base if not destroyed themselves and mostly that involves capturing a centre area. These are done within the regular maps and are integrated quite well for most, some though not so much and really give an advantage to the team on the AA capture space.
The part that has really irritated me even more is the monetisation scheme they have. The level at which you gain the in-game funds that are used for both upgrading a mech with parts and buying a new, completely stripped one is just insanely slow. Over the time I’ve been playing since it released on steam I’ve only now been able to fill in all the spots on my one mech, and that’s not the better gear I would like or maybe the weapon upgrades I could get later. These upgrades make a huge difference but are completely out of reach of any normal player within a reasonable time unless you pay money, and a decent amount of it too. That’s two purchases for one mech to make it competitive and that’s not good enough. Now I would be ok with that if the rate at which you earn in game funds was reasonable, but it’s not. It just makes you feel like you are not progressing at all and that you will never gain progress without spending money all the while being destroyed by other more advance or well funded players.
Played a quick spot of Star Trek Online, completing but a single mission before I had to go on but it was a relatively long one. I’d forgotten a little how to pilot my ship as well as how to use my weapons and the strategies with them and it took a little learning again. That first enemy ship just annihilated me but I quickly remembered what to do and made it through the rest relatively unscathed. I enjoy this space combat, and even the story to an extent but my god that ground combat is annoying… and boring. If there was an option to tick, or even something in the cash shop to avoid it entirely I would so do that.
I also played a little of Mercenary Kings, a side scrolling run an gun game inspired by metal sug and co but unfortunately it is a complete swing and a miss in regards to that engaging gameplay and feel of the other titles. It just doesn’t have that chaotic and crazy flow that keeps you moving forward and killing that makes the genre so enjoyable. Here, that is just replaced with needless busy work and frustration. The maps are quite large, with multiple paths around and the missions have you trapsing around to find something or collect something within them however, you might have to go back and forth to find that item you missed and the mobs throughout continuously respawn so your left going back and forth through, mostly boring mobs that serve as filler. Add this to that they have recycled a lot of the maps, even having the same exact one for a few missions now and it leaves me bored.
The combat itself is ok, but slow. you will mostly be quite focused in your actions and defensive in your movements throughout as the enemy is already entrenched and you’re the one trying to get through. The weapons themselves are rather slow too, a certain magazine size, enemies taking multiple hits or having defensive options and a rather long reload at times. It is just not fast paced like you expect, in fact, it leaves you begging for something better. To add a sense of tension to your play each mission has a time limit to reach, or complete your objective, this doesn’t make the play tense or create flow, it is needlessly and endlessly frustrating.
It is interspersed with some good elements. The gathering and crafting/upgrading system is actually quite interesting, allowing many different options for creating a customised weapon that suits your playstyle. These seem to progressively get more powerful in the ways you want. I went from a shotgun that would blast away quickly to one that fired very quickly and they mostly had a similar kill time on them but that’s where the interesting elements kind of ends. Bad mechanics, boring gameplay, lack of any flow and the same tripe but not amazingly overdone story elements I expected. It’s an extremely average title but in the worst possibly way.
The other thing I played was ESO and OMGGGGG!!! it’s good. Loving it. I’m enthralled with the exploration gameplay and roaming around the maps, completing what I can and finding the hidden elements as well as opening every damn crate and container I can for crafting ingredients. The AVA IS just perfect so far as well. I’m probably going to write-up a little mini review/s later in the week about some of the different elements. That would be sooner but, you know, I need to play instead.
And dats all folks, and may your gaming be filled with the deaths of your enemies by your glowing, fiery claws