Hunker down around the campfire, cowpoke, it’s time to discuss deliverables.
Are you a bad enough dude to?
… aa-aa-and nearly exactly two months after finishing A Realm Reborn, there’s Heavensward done!
The writing is definitely getting better, though still suffers from the problem games with unvoiced protagonists often have wherein you kind of end up feeling like a side-character in everyone else’s drama (despite doing all the “work” to fix it!).
On the plus side: flying is still awesome, and the gating requirements feel natural and manageable.1 Also I… really, really like Dancer? Like I wanted to unlock it because of (ahem) the aesthetics but I actually really enjoy how it plays, to the point where I’ve switched to it as my main (from Summoner).
And now… to slog through the 3.x content filler before the next expansion (ugh). Hopefully it won’t be as tedious as the 2.x stuff, though looking at the wiki there are still way too many Duties and way too much run-here-watch-a-cutscene-run-there-watch-a-cutscene-run-back-watch-a-cutscene.
Also: I have discovered Triple Triad. Don’t ask me why it took me this long to actually start playing it.2 I was the, like, one person who really enjoyed Triple Triad in FFVIII, and… I still really enjoy it. I’m not actually good at it, but luckily you don’t really have to be.3 So… on my way to grinding out that 100,000 MSP for those sweet sweet arch-demon horns…
- Basically, once you’re done with the MSQ in a zone, you should have done at least 90% of the work to unlock flying “naturally”, so it never really feels like a grind to get the last few pieces. [↩]
- I think the first time I went to the Saucer I got the impression it was a PvP mini game only? [↩]
- Winning is like 60% what cards you have, 30% what rules are in effect, 10% skill. [↩]
“What did you do this weekend, Alis?”
I played a video game while watching someone play a video game while my computer multiboxed a third video game. You?
First flying zone in FFXIV: Unlocked!
Also unlocked: all DPS Jobs for the base Classes, plus all expansion Jobs minus Gunbreaker and Dancer. Only five more levels to go for those two.
Grinding thirty levels for all the other starter DPS classes has reaffirmed my initial decision that Summoner is the Obvious Best Job Choice.™ I’ve also enjoyed Monk and Ninja, but was surprised how much I… did not enjoy Black Mage, which just feels like it has overly fussy mechanics for not-particularly-great damage output. I think I might like Red Mage, but I’ll need to play it more to tell, and I’m waiting for Dancer mostly because it is A Look and I’m shallow.
Also: Drama, for which a cut:
Star Wars: The Old Republic character doodles drawn during cut-scenes.
I’ve currently finished three of the class storylines:
- Sith Inquisitor (Assassin): My main, and the only class I’ve played to level cap. Class story is bananas in a good way, but was extremely meh on the companions. Played aggressively light-sided, initially romanced the padawan girl (… ick) but immediately ditched her for Space Husband Theron Shan in the expansions.1
- Imperial Agent (Operative): Story starts a bit meh, gets strong in the middle, and kind of… never really delivers at the end. The “un-reveal” of Hunter left me so annoyed I just shot the guy without listening to any of his end-game speechifying, so no idea what he wanted to try and tell me. Another (mostly) light-sided play-through, romanced Vector, gave the Codex to the Minister and remained with Sith Intelligence. As an aside, the story really, really seems to want you to be mad at the Minister for the codeword thing, though honestly I thought his rationale for it was pretty reasonable in the context of how the Empire operates. The SIS using the codeword, however, was not; I killed everyone who did so and honestly it was enough to make me regret working with them on my main. I can see why people describe this as the best of the class storylines, even if I didn’t think it qui-ii-ii-ite pushed things far enough in the third chapter…
- Jedi Knight (Sentinel): Ditched at Alderaan for Warrior (which see below). I just… couldn’t. The story is so boring and, honestly, I loathe the Knight’s voice acting.2 I can see why they chose it, but… ugh. No. Ostensibly playing dark-side for lolz, but the actual dark side choices for Knight are so boring—and honestly mostly petty and stupid to boot—compared to those in some of the other class storylines that I’m honestly struggling with it. On the plus side, I really like the aesthetics of Sentinel (setting enemies aflame with blue fire!), so… there’s that.
- Sith Warrior (Juggernaut): Giant space daddy. Class storyline is straightforward but engaging, particularly if you’re a huge sucker for Lawful Evil like yours truly. Played aggressively neutral-aligned to confuse the galaxy, which was a lot of fun. Enjoyed the companions, but all the romance options for a male PC were super skeevy so romanced no one3 and slept with every NPC the game allowed me to sleep with instead. Enjoyed the play-style more than I thought I would, too.
Currently working on the Trooper (Commando) to unlock all four buffs, and I’m actually enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would—both play-wise and story-wise—though I’m not… hugely enthused with the direction they seem to want to take with the General…
But… yeah. That’s what I did in my New Year’s break!
Also: I still need to buy a new scanner…
- He’s currently mad at me; I’m trying to betray the Empire, Theron, but it’s not like the game allows you to defect! I just wanna shoot purple lightning at my enemies is that such a crime? [↩]
- I actually re-rolled to get away from the male VA, though the female one isn’t much better. [↩]
- I’m also sensing a… theme with the whole “romance your impressionable young female padawan/apprentice/subordinate/slave” which… every class has at least one of these, so like… gross, Bioware. Gross. [↩]
Suppose the people who hate free to play games win the argument and get rid of microtransactions. Suppose they change the laws so you have to get your looter shooter Destiny/Anthem/Division dopamine drip for one fair fixed price. So you’re grinding hundreds of hours to get better armor, but you aren’t spending more money. Just time.
What is the creepy part? Is it evil to charge a dribble of money for a game so addictive it devours hundreds of hours of your time? Or is the problem making the game so addictive it consumes hundreds of hours of your time in the first place?
Jeff Vogel on.
As someone who has far more money than she does time (or, frankly, patience), I confess I do have a preference for games that sell shiny cosmetic items via microtransactions (or even macro transactions) as opposed to making me grind shitty content I don’t want to do endlessly; it’s one of the reasons I prefer Guild Wars 2 over World of Warcraft, for example, because in the former I can just buy my shiny mount then use it to tool around running lowbie alts in the noob zone rather than repeating the same single boss fight over and over and over again for hundreds of hours.1
That being said, the microtransaction/loot box culture in mobile and triple-A gaming is… something definitely worthy of critique, at minimum.2
(Also probably worth discussing: the morality of “endless” games in general…)
- Though GW2 certainly has that sort of content, too, if that’s your bag, baby. [↩]
- Or, let’s fact it; regulation. There’s no universe in which the system of lootboxes currently implemented in most games isn’t gambling which is, y’know, at minimum highly regulated—and often outright banned—in most places. So… y’know. [↩]