[GW2] Where I PvP, Again

Before this I had played enough PvP in Guild Wars 2 to make it to a ways in to the Deer rank. This is very little, honestly, compared to the amount of WvW and PvE I have done. I was still okay with my necromancer, mostly in condition form, and I enjoyed watching PvP tournaments and streams on Twitch.

Then they changed things. No longer could I really hide in a server with 8-10 players on a team. Now they were getting pretty strict about PvP being a 5v5 ordeal. Being a 20%+ reason why your team lost is a lot more scary than being able to hide in a crowd.

What got me out of my shell was (1) the understanding that there are a lot of players hitting that PvP button a lot worse than I was, and (2) the Wintersday reward track being really good. So, I went in to PvP once again with a goal because, afterall, I had a carrot I had to chase. Continue reading [GW2] Where I PvP, Again

[GW2] Maguuma Wastes Review

Season 2 of Guild Wars 2 finally feels expansion-y enough to talk about in a way where I can review it beyond “this update is cool or bad”. It’s strong enough to see a trajectory in design by ArenaNet. The storytelling is different. The goals are different. And biggest and most noticeable of all, we have new zones. We have zones which feel as important as the core zones, excluding Southsun Cove. That is what I want to review. Continue reading [GW2] Maguuma Wastes Review

[GW2] Seeds of Nightmare

Back from disease and travel, Mrs. Ravious and I played through the Seeds of Truth update, which is the seventh episode for Season 2 of the Living World. In the usual Season 2 fashion (especially this second half) there is a story instance and then two action sequences. There will be spoilerosity as I want this post to focus on the story of the update. I’ll get to the other updates in the maps and what not later.

So to catch up, the story is now revolving how one of Glint’s dragon eggs can change the world. Except that Caithe, one of your buddies from the core game’s story, just up and stole it once you got it off the Zephyrite leader’s still warm corpse. That was the cliffhanger last episode, and now the Living World starts to tell us why. Or, at least the seeds of why. Continue reading [GW2] Seeds of Nightmare

[TT] Board Game Apps

I was pretty intrigued by Zubon’s discussion of Kingdom Builder. Zubon had already made me a fan of Zaccarino’s Dominion game, and I wanted to check Kingdom Builder out as well. Well, there’s an app for that.

I was on a trip down to the Gulf for a wedding, and I decided that $5 wasn’t too much for a couple hours of board game playing. The Kingdom Builder app is pretty good, with the exception of not being able to take back token placement. More importantly, I have already learned plenty of strategy from the AI, at least enough that I could wander in to a convention game and not make a fool of myself.  The $40+ dead tree version is on my Christmas wish list now.

Ticket to Ride dead tree version is also on my wish list, but straight up having never played it on app or the analogue world. I know it is an excellent game, and one touted by many as being a great Board Game entry for younger kin. I plan on getting the app this month so that if Santa Claus puts the board game box under the tree for me I will be in a place to teach others how to play.

My five year old also has been wanting to learn to play chess, and I’ve found that using Chance Chess (free online) to narrow down the moves has been an incredible teaching tool. We also taught her (and my 8yo) Monopoly last night. It was still shrink-wrapped… as a wedding gift of ours 10 years ago. That’s lasting worth, and who would’ve thought ten years ago that I’d have the beginnings of a board game family.

–Ravious

Family Sickness Fun Time

Well, it sucks I’ve been out of touch. We’re on round two of sickness in our family. Now everybody is on antibiotics. Hopefully that’ll do it. I still game. Have to be bedridden not to, practically.

Shadow of Mordor

I sold my friend on the game this weekend with the help of another one. He was interested to begin with, but it became apparent how great the game was when neither me nor my another friend seemed to agree on the best way to play. He liked doing the whole ninja thing, which I found cowardly, and I liked using the zipline shadow strike where you basically use an orc’s head to hookshot wherever you need to go. My friend said it was a waste of two arrows.

I am nearing the end of the game. My bars of progress are getting fuller, but it has never felt grindy like Assassin’s Creed often does. Less is more Ubisoft. I don’t need 20 gorram sparklies per map unless they mean something.  Continue reading Family Sickness Fun Time

Shadow of Mordor Impressions

I like these open world games, like Assassin’s Creed (AC), where I am constantly being pulled away from the main story. They feel most MMO like to me, and I like that. I’ve noticed that in the last two AC games I’ve played (AC3 and AC4), I’ve burnt out mid-way. It seems that the glow of all the objectives is too strong, and it feels like I start pixel-bitching instead of playing. Run, run, run get the objective ad infinitum. The core of the AC games is either story missions or parkour “exploration”. There are some side missions too, of course, but when I am not in a story mission it feels like I’m just running around to the next glowy point.

The core of Shadow of Mordor (SoM) is much different. SoM definitely owes tribute to AC, and it does have a few glowy point objectives (herb gathering). However, my choices do not seem to be gathering herbs or doing story missions. The brilliance of SoM comes in the orcs. Continue reading Shadow of Mordor Impressions

[GW2] Orange Halloween

A wash of orange and green has taken over ruined Lion’s Arch. Accents of the Bloody Prince’s red also sparkle here and there. The content is pretty much the same as last year. Yet, you’d think the Easter Bunny had a hand here because the biggest change to this year’s Guild Wars 2 Halloween festival is the amount of carrots. There are so many carrots to chase now, and the market is reacting naturally. Continue reading [GW2] Orange Halloween

A RIFT in my Brain

I’ve been enjoying RIFT a lot, and at the same time I’m wondering how long I will stick around. Coming back after so long, there is so much in RIFT. It could easily become my only MMO, and I would have content to chase for a long time. (I had to tell myself to walk away from fishing, for instance.) On the other hand, much like Ethic, things aren’t wholly clicking with me. I keep thinking “well, this is fun… but”. But. Continue reading A RIFT in my Brain

I Have Returned, RIFT

I think it was comments in this post about my dream MMO, again, that had me going back to RIFT. That, and it’s free-to-play now. Trion has their hands full with ArcheAge stuff, of which I mostly get the news from Syncaine’s love and hate of the game. Bhagpuss also helpfully puts his spin on that newness. I’d rather pick up a pre-GW2 game.

I had a level 46 character. I decided to completely restart instead since I had zero connection to that character or anything about her. The tutorial area was significantly cleaned up. I appreciate that although not it feels like the class system is largely behind something. I guess ultimately it’s a good thing, but I kept thinking through the tutorial area that this was not how the class system works. Basically when you level up you just press a button that auto-spends class points according to some build. It doesn’t help that useful skills were kind of hidden (like summoning a pet), and I am glad I am through that.  Continue reading I Have Returned, RIFT

MMOs – Progression or Progress?

Spinks writes a farewell to Blizzard’s publicly cancelled, unreleased MMO “Titan”. She mentions a bunch of the reasons Titan failed to see light, but the most interesting anecdote is that the biggest successor to World of Warcraft might be Minecraft.

Now we all know that Minecraft is not an MMO in large part because it is not “massive”. One could also argue the persistence of things is in question.  However, I think Spinks makes the best implicit point.

The MMO design space people should be exploring should be more like Minecraft than World of Warcraft. Continue reading MMOs – Progression or Progress?