Category Archives: Miscellany
I had half a mind to forgo any videogame purchases this Black Cyber Fronday, because sometimes a 50+ game backlog just becomes ridiculous to consider adding to. (Un)Fortunately, the half of my mind that controlled the credit card was the other one. I picked up:
- Battlefield 4 Digital Deluxe version ($26)
- The Last of Us ($30)
- 12-month PlayStation Plus subscription ($30)
It could have been worse, of course. I did exercise restraint in not picking up Shadowrun Returns and State of Decay; not because they might not be worth it, but because I have no particular reason to have them right now. Perhaps after, I dunno, I get around to finishing The Witcher 2. And Crysis. And the half-dozen indie games I started but not finished. And…
This is post number 500. And we’re six days away from my three-year blogging anniversary: December 1st, 2010.
Included in these figures are the posts I imported from Player Vs Auction House, which was my initial foray into the world of internet punditry. If you want to count only those posts from In An Age for some bizarre, technical reason, then the starting point would be the Culpability of Questionable Design post on 8/25/2011. Which, incidentally, still feels like forever ago… probably because there are 419 posts between then and now.
In any case, thanks for sticking around. I don’t plan on going anywhere, so see you at post number 1,000 and all the ones inbetween.
My gaming time, when I actually use it to game, is all over the place lately.
While the Currently Playing sidebar is technically correct, I find myself at the end of the day spending crazy amounts of time playing an Android game called Dungeon Raid. I think the problem is that my current gaming menu is full of open-ended loot games that lack otherwise meaningful progression. While I am genuinely interested in the Tiny Tina DLC storyline in Borderlands 2, for example, I have a hard time treating it like a “normal” game. Could I plow through the story missions and call it a day? Certainly. But… it’s DLC. Skipping the sidequests feels like a waste – especially when the sidequests in BL2 proper are usually hilarious/fun – and that goes double when they are DLC quests. I don’t feel the need to find all the secrets, but the sidequests? I need them all.
Of course, not all sidequests are created equal. Spending 15-20 minutes on some boring chores saps the motivation to go further. And while I largely solved the gun issue I had earlier, I am approaching the other side insofar as I suspect I should be playing this on Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode. Which means finding a Slag weapon. Which means more grinding. Sigh.
I thought I was done with Hearthstone, but I came slinking back in a moment of CCG weakness. Finally did an Arena as a Shaman. Went 0-3. And while I was mercilessly curb-stomped in all three games, on a certain level I just had to be impressed with the thoroughness. One of the games was against a Priest at 12 HP who Mind Controlled my 6/6 creature with Windfury one turn, and then followed up the next with a temporary Mind Control on my Taunt blocker and then cast a copy of Bloodlust from my own goddamn deck. I mean, Jesus Christ, man… good job. My secret Arena MMR must be setting me up against fucking top-decking wizards whereas I never even had an epic card available to pick from.
If that is really what’s going on – as opposed to a huge coincidence of pro players after 9pm – it’s definitely a strike against what I thought was an awesome innovation in Booster Draft gameplay. You always had “that guy” in your Magic Online drafting group, but there were at least even-odds that you’d face similar players first. Scrubbing out at 0-3 when you spent four days doing dailies to get enough gold to get it is demoralizing, to say the least. Is asynchronous Booster play worth it? I’m not so sure anymore.
Card Hunter is as it was (i.e. excellent), but I can’t seem to get any information as to whether the campaign is actually any longer than it was in the Beta. Because if it just sort of peters out at where it did, then I’m not sure purchasing the 30-day subscription/buying the Treasure campaigns is worth the $20 or whatever. And as both I and Tobold pointed out, you basically need to make that decision early on, as it decreases in value/usefulness pretty quickly.
Path of Exile is alright, but after wondering whether my minions build (think Diablo 2 Necromancer) would actually be useful at the higher levels – the boss battle I did a few days ago was an exercise in frustration when she one-shot my zombies and there were no more corpses to resurrect – I more or less metagamed a bit too deep. Once you see things like this, there is no going back. Which is somewhat literally true, since I already “wasted” a lot of my talent points and PoE is “old-school” when it comes to respecing. Even my more modest goal of acquiring a Summon Skeleton gem so my Witch isn’t left defenseless during bosses appears to be best achieved by rolling an alt and completing quests in Chapter 1.
So as I muse on which game I want to play that leaves me least hollow and empty on the inside, I fill the void with Dungeon Raid. Which is a roguelike akin to 10000000 minus the assured progression. But it’s shiny, it’s on my shiny phone, and it’s goddamn addicting in that Candy Crush way without microtransactions.
Yeah, I’m scared too.
So I may or may not be writing this from a Nexus 4 (hint: I am). While these sort of updates aren’t going to be common, it’s worth mentioning because I barely know what I’m doing. In fact, this is my first smart phone. Prior to this I just had my “dumb” phone and iPod Touch.
So, basically, if you have any advice or recommendations for apps to get or things to do, let me know in the comments. So far, I just have SwiftKey and Reddit and obviously this somewhat annoying WordPress app.
P.S. I find it amusing that the swipe text feature refuses to recognise “iPod”.
Yeah, yeah, it’s a dev hack to get around the bizarre inability for iOS apps to figure out if the given device can run it. And the actual shark-jumping likely happened two years ago. But, still, it’s like… really? I’m not mad, just depressed about the first signs of the somewhat arbitrary obsolescence of my iPod touch. PvZ2 is not necessary by any means, but it’s still clear that winter is coming.
Is EA about to discontinue Origin or something? Dead Space 3 for one dollar. You would be hard-pressed to find Mirror’s Edge on sale for $1, let alone a AAA (or at least BBB) game that just came out 6 months ago. And there are like six more games! Getting BF3 or Sims 3 for ~$5 is sort of a trap, considering how much important DLC is available, but good lord.
Yeah, yeah, I know EA is handing out the first hit for practically free just to rope more people into the Origin client. But then again, A) EA is giving their share of the money to charity (they aren’t even listed as an option, actually), and B) most of the games have Steam codes in addition to the Origin codes. So you could technically sell your extra codes to other people, if they couldn’t afford to purchase the bundle themselves for one dollar.
If this is somehow the new face of EA evil… well, we’re doing pretty good for ourselves.
Someone asked me the other day what I picked up during the Summer Steam sale. So here’s the list:
- Don’t Starve (of course)
- Far Cry 3 + Blood Dragon DLC
- Surgeon Simulator 2013
- On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 4
- The Swapper
- Civ 5 (upgrade to Gold edition)
- Strike Suit Zero
- Dungeon of Dredmor (DLC)
- Rogue Legacy
- Just Cause (hey, it was $0.27)
- Sanctum 2
Altogether, that came to around $133.24. Is that a lot? Probably. Then again, that’s about the same price as Far Cry 3 and Civ 5 bought on Day 1. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself.
That, and Press™. In fact, couldn’t these just be considered business expenses? Hmm…
It’s been a while, but the follow anime have micro-reviews up:
I usually don’t bother with screenshots while watching a show, but I made a few exceptions:
Finally, here are two more from the moments when toothbrushes and staplers were changed forever:
If you want context, you’ll have to watch the show(s)!
One of the points I made yesterday regarding Card Hunter’s potential was:
1) Card Hunter is not being made by some large corporation (even if their F2P pricing is similar);
It occurred to me later though, that I never bothered to check on the actual game developers. Who are these guys and gals, and how were they able to create such a polished experience even in this Beta state? As it turns out… well, let’s just say that they have some experience in this regard:
- Jonathan Chey – co-founder of Irrational Games, director of Bioshock, producer of System Shock 2.
- Joe McDonagh – Production Director and Peggle Studio Franchise Director at PopCap Games.
- Dorian Hart – Veteran at Irrational Games; worked on System Shock I and II, Thief and BioShock.
- Tess Snider – from Trion Worlds, programmed Rift.
- Kevin Kulp – DM/game designer, worked at Wizards of the Coast, Green Ronin, and other places.
- Richard Garfield – Design consultant. Created Magic: The Gathering.
- Skaff Elias – Design consultant. Magic designer and founder of the Magic pro-tour.
So… yeah. Maybe this team isn’t so indie after all. I mean, when you have Richard fucking Garfield as a design consultant for your pseudo-TCG, that almost feels like cheating. Then again, I’m not particularly interested in having a hipster semantic war. Seven dudes with two consultants and no major publisher with suits to answer to? That passes the indie smell test for me.
P.S. For those just submitting their beta applications, it took me from May 11 to Jun 20 to get in.
…hey, Scrolls is apparently still a thing. You know, the card game from Mojang, aka the company that made Minecraft, that was sued by Bethesda due to “Scrolls” being too close to that part of the name no one uses when talking about Bethesda games. Although I suppose with The Elder Scrolls Online coming out, that could conceivably change.
The open beta for Scrolls starts June 3rd. Poking around on the site reveals that the game proper will cost $20, and while there is a RMT currency (“Shards”), according to Mojang (emphasis added):
Shards are now enabled
- Shards are completely optional. We’re never going to force you to spend in order to progress
- Every item can also be bought for in-game Gold
- A limited selection of items can be purchased using Shards
- You can now buy Shards – our secondary currency – with real-life cash
- Shards and Gold only have an in-game value
- You can’t cash out
In other words, it does not appear as though cash shop currency is required to purchase the equivalent of booster packs. In fact, aside from the cards themselves, I’m starting to wonder how like a TCG this game is even supposed to be. Scrolls isn’t being marketed as a F2P game for starters, so it’s possible that its constructed in a fashion that allows reasonable card progression just from play, e.g. it’s a normal damn game that doesn’t require goddamn graphing calculators to plot entertainment per dollar ratios. We’ll see how that all shakes out.
It is kind of amusing, how often things release is apparently independent cycles. Deep Impact came out just months before Armageddon. Dante’s Peak came out two months before Volcano. And now we have Hex, Scrolls, and Hearthstone all either releasing or hitting Open Beta in 2013. I would count Cardhunter among them, but the stingy bastards have yet to give me a Beta invite.