Posted in Gaming, MMORPGs, WoW

Newcomer to WoW: Day 3 & 4

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Assisting Shen-zin Su

I didn’t get a lot of time to play on Thanksgiving day, but on Black Friday, I was questing as much as I could. My monk is now level 26 – I did purchase the starter pack while it was on sale. I’m happy to finally have my first mount, and to be able to claim my little flame corgi pet!

Leaving Pandaria

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Arriving in Stormwind

The end of the questline through the starting area in Pandaria was very impressive. It was interesting how they introduced the Horde and the Alliance to the player, and then provided a choice of which side to help out. I’ve never been big on playing the Horde, but they were the first I met, and were shown in a very honorable light (gotta love Taurens). In the end, though, I chose Alliance, simply because that’s what I remembered playing before.

So, I arrived in Stormwind, bested their king, and got lost in the huge city. My first annoyance with the game (I only have a few) is that I can’t find anything in the cities or towns. The NPCs aren’t marked on the map, and you have to do it oldskool – ask a guard where things are. I’ve ended up turning to Curse for add-ons to fix this, and though I downloaded Atlas and the Atlas town pack, it’s not working for me (noob mistakes, I’m sure). Not knowing where NPCs are is a major frustration and time-loss for me, so any help anyone can provide will be great! Update: Nevermind. Figured it out.

I picked up my first professions, too. I read that with the first character, going mining and herbalism was a good foundation. I also unlocked fishing and cooking, though I’m staying away from those as I know the moment I get into it, I’ll be dragged away from quests forever.

Enter Westfall

I felt a little lost once I was plopped down in the middle of Stormwind. My companions mysteriously vanished (I found them again later on a small island off to themselves), and all I  had to guide me was this “Call to Heroes” from the message board in the middle of the city. I followed that and ended up in the zone of Westfall.

I later discovered that every so often, once your character clears a certain level, you’ll get a new Call to Hero quest that leads you to the next level-appropriate zone. Once I figured that out, it was pretty clear what to do. I just had to reach that realization first.

I remember this Westfall chasm in particular from long ago.
I remember this Westfall chasm in particular from long ago.

I remember Westfall from back when I played in vanilla WoW. I remember trying to level through it and that it was pretty tough. I also remember that was the last zone I actually saw before I left the game. None of my characters made it past Westfall, so it was ironic that coming back to the game, that was the first place I picked up my journey with the Alliance.

Though the landscape and creatures are the same as I remember, they’ve definitely overhauled the questing in this area. It played out like a murder mystery where I had to assist Lieutenant Horatio Laine in discovering who killed a local farmer. The questlines became even more amusing when Laine started throwing out punch lines and putting on sunglasses like the CSI Miami “YEEEEEAH” memes. Completely unexpected, but set the stage for the kind of questing I’d be doing in this game. 🙂

So, I worked through all the Westfall quests and was pleased to see that while it led me up to a dungeon, it didn’t cut my quest line short with a forced group instance. Instead, it let me discover the place, which was a gentle prod to try it out if I wanted to. But the solo quest lines had a tidy ending, finishing up the story for the zone before I followed the hero’s call to the next zone.

Enter Redridge Mountains

My next call led me to the Redridge Mountains where I assisted the locals with a variety of issues. Like in the previous zone, the folks of Lakeshire are in over their heads… and what do they need? A band of heroes to save the day!

Team Bravo!
Team Bravo!

This zone threw me directly into an action hero movie, I swear. I became part of the Bravo team, who often accompanied me through missions, covert and not so covert. There were a lot of explosives, a quest where I killed over 200 orcs in a huge war tank in less than three minutes, and a dragon battle at the end. I mean… you can’t beat a quest named. “AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!”

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

It was quirky, it was fun, it was totally unexpected. And I even felt something for my NPC companions as the story for this zone ended. Sacrifices were sadly made, but I still wear the bandanna of the Bravo team as I make my way on through the world.

Dragonfight!
Dragonfight!

Starting Duskwood

My next hero’s call lead me to the dark forest of Duskwood. I vaguely remember this area from long ago – I might have passed through here as a terrified low level noob for some reason or another. I have a history of running through zones as a low level and somehow coming out alive. 🙂

The quests here are interesting, and I like the undead-spooky vibe from the area. However, so far, it doesn’t seem quite as cohesive as the previous areas. Maybe I just haven’t hit the point where they all jell yet. It’s fine, though, as I’m still having fun exploring and checking out the new area.

Other Stuff

I can see that the art style in the older zones aren’t the same quality as the newer zones, but it hasn’t been a huge issue for me. I think the updated character models probably do a lot to help the situation – even if the landscape isn’t so new looking, character models can help you brush over this as long as they look fairly modern.

While I was in Duskwood, I saw a Worgen druid in cat form. This prompted me to check out the druid forms of the different races. I was really interested by the colors that the Troll animal forms have, so I decided to roll a Troll for that reason alone. I’ve never had much interest in playing on the Horde side, but from the few quests I did complete with the Trolls, they aren’t what I expected (in a good way). While I want to concentrate on my Panda first (I’d like to unlock Death Knight at 55, if I can make it there), I’m interested in exploring my Troll Druid eventually!

Turtle dragon mount and corgi pet - check!
Turtle dragon mount and corgi pet – check!
Posted in Gaming, MMORPGs, WoW

Newcomer to WoW: Luv in Unexpected RP

 

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A few nights ago, I logged in to WoW for a really quick late-night bout. My goal was to finish off the level I was on – at the time, that was level 7 – and get a few quests finished up. Only, something different happened instead.

As I was minding my own business and turning in quests, another Panda bowed to me. I’d never seen him before, but being polite, I bowed in return. This apparently opened up the way for unexpected role play. He began chatting with me in character about the situation at hand (we needed to wake up the earth sprite, who was stubbornly asleep). At first, I froze up a little, because I’m just shy like that and didn’t expect to find RP in the intro areas. But then, I told myself – this is an RP server, this is what you signed on for. So I RPed back to him, feeling awkward, because my character isn’t exactly a fleshed-out character or anything.

At one point, I thought he was going his own way, so I wished him luck and continued with my quests. To my surprise, and slight dismay,  he began to follow me. I wasn’t sure how to take that at first – being a girl gamer, I’ve seen my share of rudeness. But he didn’t do or say anything crude, nor was he doing anything annoying, so when I returned to town for the turn-in and he began RPing about the quests we were on, I responded with RP once again.

Before I realized it, I had earned a RP travel companion. We spent about 30-40 mins working through quests and exploring together (though I could tell he knew where he was going, he let me lead and make my own pace). He was even patient when I stopped to listen to a local storyteller sharing lore with Panda children. In fact, he cheerfully RPed with the NPCs, and had me laughing quite a bit.

He probably says that to all the girls, but it was still pretty cute.
He probably says that to all the girls, but it was still pretty cute.

It was late for me, so I eventually had to tell him that I needed to “rest and meditate” once I arrived in the next village – RP for I needed to go to bed. He accepted this, but not before giving in to the casual flirty complement, hug, and declaration of his love for my character. It was actually cute as he stammered it, blushed and sped off over the hill as if totally embarrassed about his revelation. The whole thing was amusing and in good fun, I could tell, and a refreshing change from the toxicity I experienced in other games (AA, I’m looking at you).

Thank you, sir, for making me feel welcomed and offering me an unexpected RP experience on my second night in WoW.

Posted in Blogging

Giving Thanks

It's the Harvest Festival in Animal Crossing, but it's still a time to give thanks!
It’s the Harvest Festival in Animal Crossing, but it’s still a time to give thanks!

First, I hope all who celebrate Thanksgiving holiday have a wonderful time!

I’ll keep this post short, but I wanted to give my thanks to everyone who has been a part of this blog over the past almost-year. If you are a reader, a commentor, a fellow blogger, I appreciate all the encouragement and camaraderie I’ve found in the gaming blogging community. I really do feel as if it’s a community of its own, and it’s inspired me to keep writing, gaming and blogging far longer than previous blogging attempts in the past.

I also want to give my thanks to Almonihah for his contributions and viewpoints on various games and topics. It’s been really neat to have a co-blogger, and it’s always fun to see the topics he chooses to talk about!

 

Posted in Gaming, MMORPGs, WoW

Trying WoW – First Impressions

 

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Of all the MMOs I’ve dedicated time to over the years, WoW has not been one of them. Let me clarify: I did play Vanilla WoW right after launch for about a month. I don’t remember a whole lot other than I rolled a rogue, druid and hunter, and they were mostly all night elves. I remember fishing. A lot. I really enjoyed the fishing.

I don’t recall that I disliked the game. But I also don’t recall that I was swept away by it. That might be because I had just played EQ2 prior to trying WoW. In fact, I think I dropped my EQ2 sub to try WoW at my sister’s prodding. I don’t remember why I drifted away from both games in the end, but I did.

Here’s a secret: I’ve actually been proud that I am not a WoW player. I know that sounds silly. And it is. I mean, I don’t hold anything against WoW. It obviously must be doing something right to have so many subscribers. Maybe I just thought that set me apart from folks that seem to get caught up in WoW time and again.

I guess I always had it in my head that WoW wasn’t for me, despite me being an ultimate casual. When I think of WoW, I think of those crazy “More Dots” raiding groups. You know like…

 

However, I’ve been hearing so many good things about the new expansion, and that’s really impressive for a game of its age. After some time thinking about it, I decided to download the free trial, which now includes the MoP expansion, which was a big draw to me.

Go ahead. Point and laugh. I think the Pandas are cute, and that’s what I rolled. I also considered rolling a Worgen, but there was just a lot more Panda customization, and that drew me to my new monk. I might try a Worgen later because I like the idea of Worgen Death Knight.

WoW Noob Impressions

So, I’m pretty much a total noob to WoW. I’m not actually sure I should even try to play a brand new character from scratch at this point in the game’s development. But I figured, I might as well try the game and see what I think about it, to have that experience under my belt.

I rolled a Panda Monk, Aywren, on the Argent Dawn US server. I wanted an RP server, and AD was a name I remembered from back in the day.

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First ever screenshot!

The first thing I noticed was that character customization, compared to other games, is quite low. I’m so used to detailed sliders and such. But that’s fine, as I still created a character that I like to look at.

The second thing I noticed was that the art style of the game has aged quite well! Starting in the Pandaria expansion, I found the visuals to be colorful, vibrant, and smooth. Much smoother than I thought it would be – then again, what I remember was running off a computer 10 years ago.

The Pandas are well animated, and moved fluidly. I don’t know about older zones, but these zones are very pleasing to my eye, and I like the way my character looks. The oriental atmosphere is strong in this zone, and I’ve been surprisingly delighted by the look and feel of everything.

The game holds your hand. A lot. At first, this was great. But I don’t need it to keep reminding me to press “M” for map and press “C” to view the item I just equipt. Overall, the learning curve is low, and I was able to jump into the game without a problem. Just wish the tutorial would teach you how to auto loot – I had to Google that.

The story and quest line has been low-stress so far. I like the NPCs, and I while the story isn’t taking my breath away, some of the quests have delighted me. The world feels much more alive than I remember, seeing NPCs wandering around, some even stopping to acknowledge you as you pass through. There’s a lot of voice acting, which I like. There’s also a lot of Blizzard-brand humor, which I find amusing.

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It’s so cute!

Leveling is moving along at a fair pace. I played a few hours last night, and got to level 6 without trying very hard. Lots of equipment loot from quests is nice, and not a ton of quests throwing “!” in your face all over the place, which is good. Just a nice, streamlined momentum through the area. The quest giver even appears to move through the zone with you so that you don’t have to do the run back to turn in stuff.

Conclusion

I’m interested in what I’ve played so far, and will continue to level and quest through this zone. I have a feeling that I’ll be seeing level 20 sooner than I know what to do with. That’s where the free trial ends.

Interestingly enough, Blizzard has the base WoW game for sale for $4.99 until next Tuesday. I couldn’t have timed a sale better myself. If I still intend to play after this weekend, I’m totally ready to pick up the box and a month’s sub for $4.99 and see where it takes me.

I’ll keep the blog updated with my thoughts and progression!

Posted in 7 Days to Die, Gaming

7D2D Alpha 10 Apocalypse Release

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Everyone starts in their undies in the apocalypse!

It’s been a weekend of zombie slaying for me and my 7D2D crew. After a long wait, the Alpha 10 build dropped including a lot of big system changes. Character customization, new armor and clothing system, heatmap zombie hoard system, farming revamp, wellness system, township system, and much more greeted us with this release. As did many bugs, which are to be expected in alpha, and are currently being patched for a hotfix.

I’m not sure what it is about this game that makes it my most played title on Steam – over 250 hours clocked in so far. For alpha, this game is incredibly deep and fairly stable. It’s also come a long way since we started playing/testing it back during the Steam summer sale.

Being part of the testing effort, and watching the development of 7D2D is just as rewarding as playing the game. After putting this much time into playing, and learning how to run my own dedicated server (including tweaks to the .xml files), I have a really good idea of the ins and outs of the game. I feel like I can provide useful feedback and bug reports to the devs, who are very responsive on their forum.

The game’s difficulty has ramped up a few notches since the last update, so I’m looking forward to seeing the balancing that’s supposed to come out with the next hotfix. As it is now, it’s almost impossible to do anything in the wasteland biomes, and seeing a zombie dog rushing you is as good as a death knell.

But, while the challenge is real, it remains my favorite survival/voxel builder game due to its incredibly customizable and moddable nature. I can’t wait to see what will happen once the modding community can really get into this game!

Wait, no. I wasn’t talking about you guys!

 

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Posted in Everquest 2, Gaming, MMORPGs

EQ2: Returning to the Isle of Refuge

 

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It’s been a while since I’ve picked up EverQuest 2, and on a fluke, I updated and did some character sorting last night. Though it’s not my main MMO, it is a game that I’ve invested time (and money) into over the past 10 years.

A Little History

I first played EQ2 at launch (I remember all the zone crashes in Freeport!), and while I enjoy it in general, it’s also a game I’ve just never been able to to find my flow in.

You know what I mean, right? That flow when you’re moving through quests, from zone to zone, and enjoying the leveling process as you go. Despite the addition of the golden path a few years back, I was only able to push my main character, my Ratonga Swashbuckler Nipp, to level 55 by normal means.

I’m a soloist all the way – have never seen the inside of a dungeon in EQ2, and don’t really want to. I got stuck about that point, and just never made it beyond the mid-50s.  So when SOE was handing out free heroic upgrades, there was little debate that Nipp would be my chosen character to auto-level to 85. And I… haven’t really done anything with her beyond that. Oops! 😦

Problem With Alts

Part of my problem with EQ2 is that there are so many options that it’s very hard for me to focus on just one thing. This is probably the one game that I have the most alts in ever (aside from my two GW1 accounts). In organizing them last night for EQ2U, I discovered I had 14 characters, and it looks something like this:

eq2alts
Yes, I realize I misspelled “onomatopoeia.” It’s taken on my server.  As a plus, though, “Hovering”‘s last name is “Text”.

As you can see, I have issues getting past 20-ish, for whatever reason. You can also see that I have put a lot of effort into leveling my crafters. The reason for that? I love to fly, and it’s easier for me to binge-craft on double XP weekends with all these experience potions I’ve amassed over the years and hit 85 to unlock the flying mount quest… than it is for me to adventure to 85 for the same thing. Plus it, in theory, makes adventuring easier at a low level to have a flying mount.

I have a handful of heroic-leveled characters here, too. Not sure if I got more than one free, or just had the station cash lying around and got a good deal… or something. Don’t remember.

How did I get so many characters? Good question!

A couple of them (Zento and Nipp) were copied over to Freeport when the F2P conversion launched. Later… all servers went free to play, which was kinda blah because I paid for a transfer I didn’t need in the end. But seeing that I like the Freeport server, I can’t complain too much.

Some, like Benjamin and Zemi, were day 1 Freeport server rolls. Others I picked up from working the free station cash offers when they were available – you know the ones… fill out the survey and earn station cash? I picked up several character slots and class unlocks that way.

Some I got back when you could get monthly goodies from Legends of Norrath as a free to play player. I also got a character slot from the “We’re Sorry” package back when SOE got hacked that one time. Actually, I found out last night that I have a free character slot waiting in my /claim box from some sort of promotion, and didn’t even realize it. So I guess character number 15 will be coming soon.

Isle of Refuge = Nostalgia

In the early days of EQ2, when you rolled a new character, everyone started on a tutorial island known as the Island of Refuge. From there, you moved on to either Freeport or Qeynos. When SOE reworked the new character experience later on, they opted to start characters in racial towns, and removed the Isle of Refuge. However, fans have asked for it to return to the game ever since.

Isle of Refuge
Isle of Refuge

Thanks to the Ancient Gaming Noob, I learned that with the 10th anniversary (actually the 11th year veteran reward – don’t ask about the wonky math), the Isle of Refuge has been turned into prestige housing. You can also purchase it in the cash shop if you just can’t wait for the veteran reward to roll around.

I logged in yesterday just to see if maybe, maybe I had one waiting for me. I tend to be a bit behind on veteran rewards because I unsubbed for a long time, and SOE stopped counting unsubbed players for a bit. Again, don’t ask, I don’t remember and it’s all weird. I saw that I had the 10th year reward – something about mercenaries… though I honestly haven’t unlocked mercs yet, so I don’t know how that works – but not the 11th year reward, so I figured I had a year to wait for mine. Meh. 😦

So, instead, I decided to get all my characters situated housing-wise. EQ2 has totally redone the housing system since I last looked, with a panel just for housing, which makes it easier to return to your house from certain locations. Nipp won a free Magical Manor in Halas years ago (I think from Legends of Norrath), and while I haven’t spent time decorating it as I should, I use it as the hub between all my alts, who have Trustee access to it. They all have the Lavastorm Winter Retreat, so I made sure every alt had it claimed and had portals to the Manor. One day I need to figure out what to do with that place – lava and spikes just aren’t my thing.

I went out and purchased Elaborate Tradeskill Stations for my Manor with all the status points my crafters have been sitting on for years (all of them once were members of a guild, but a roster clean has unguilded them now 😦  ). I set it all up, along with a personal harvesting depot in the bottom room of my Manor, and have a lot of interest in working on decorating the place up with my carpenter.

My New Personal Tradeskill Area
My New Personal Tradeskill Area

I also spent time looking through all the new housing areas – some of them are very nice – with the thought that I might buy a new one if I found the one I liked. Instead, I spent a long time flying around the demo Isle of Refuge, remembering all the fun I had on that island as a newcomer to the game. I had the place memorized… and was surprised how much about it, the encounters and quests, I still do remember. I rarely left that island without making sure I had the two gathering quests completed! Oh, what a pain!

It's all mine!
It’s all mine!

Later last night, I was sorting through all the many claims I haven’t yet claimed, picking up a few things here and there, and I saw it: 11th Year Veteran Reward – Isle of Refuge pack! 

I was so stoked because I didn’t expect to see it this year, and I was holding back from buying it because I knew I’d get it free eventually! It’s only a one-character claim, but I don’t care. I have my own island now!

I just… don’t know what to do with all of it! I did find that the forest is a good place to release all my loud, wandering house pets, though. 🙂

 

Enjoying the sunset over my new isle.
Enjoying the sunset over my new isle.
Posted in Steam Challenge

Steam Challenge: SpaceChem

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Game: SpaceChem 
Time Played: 30 mins

I’ve felt a little burned on MMOs lately, so with the Steam winter sale on the horizon, I decided it was time to try to get back into my Steam Personal Challenge. The random game picker chose SpaceChem, which was a game I got for free earlier this year from a PC Gamer promotion.

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I tried. I really did.

I’ll be up front in saying I kinda knew this game wasn’t going to be for me. It seemed a little too complex for my laid-back preferences, and once I got into the game, I was right. I spent 30 mins with the tutorial video, and trying to complete the first three puzzles. After failing the third one several times – don’t laugh – I gave up and wrote it off as a game that just didn’t mesh with me.

I’m not quite sure how to describe SpaceChem. It’s a puzzle game where you design a pathway for atoms to travel from the atom’s pick up point to a drop off point. It feels a lot like a factory conveyor belt. The game says you’re working in a reactor, putting together compounds for the SpaceChem company. I suppose eventually the challenge is meeting quotas and other things as well.

I’ll note that what I found complex and annoying may be someone else’s cup of tea. The game seems to know exactly what it’s trying to do, and tries to teach you by building on each previous scenario. I’m sure for the right kind of puzzle game player, this is a lot of fun. It has a lot of positive feedback, so it must appeal to some folks out there.

I can’t give a proper review for it, but I’ll just say I gave it a try, and found it not for me. I also want to say it does have an excellent soundtrack!

 

 Recommended: 

question

Posted in Gaming

Five Nights At Freddy’s: Game Writing Done Well

fivenights

You know, when I first heard about the game Five Nights at Freddy’s  (FNAF) the last thing I thought I’d be doing is writing an article that lauds the creator’s ability to write a spine-shivering, engrossing story. I haven’t even picked up the game or played it for myself, but I’ve been pulled into the theories and imagination of the series, and spent more time mulling over it than I have most of the writing in MMOs I play. With the newest release, Five Nights at Freddy’s 2, the writer in me was fiendishly delighted by the way the story was delivered, and the response of the fandom, who continue to attempt to unravel the web that the developer, Scott Cawthon, has trapped us in.

I’ve chosen to write this spoiler-free, which is why you’ll find no specific details about the story that you couldn’t discover from reading the game’s overview. 

FNAF – An Overview

The story is so subtle, that you could almost miss it if you weren’t thinking beyond the odd, animatronic animals who roam the halls of the pizzaria at night. In these games, you are a severely underpaid night watchman. You are given meager tools to do your job, which is mostly protecting yourself from the restaurant’s mascots, including Freddy Fazbear and crew. You can’t leave your station, but you can use security cameras to monitor the behavor of things around you. You also have doors and lights (limited in power supply) in the first game, and a mask and flashlight in the second game. You’ll need all these to make it through your shift… because if one of Freddy’s friends get into your room, and you don’t react in the right way, it’s lights out for you.

This all seems simple enough. It’s a game of learning patterns, of cause and effect. If character X does action Y, then you must do action Z or it’s game over. There’s plenty of jump scares and it’s really a ton of fun to watch people play and learn the game on YouTube.

Each night, you get a phone call from an unknown fellow employee (fondly called the Phone Guy) that often coaches you on what you can expect that night. Things change as the week progresses, and the scenarios get harder. But listening to the Phone Guy was the first hint I had that there was something deeper going on under all this.

Why did these machines act the way they did? Why did they sound the way they did? Why did Phone Guy leave half-hints that sounded rather gruesome, all the while trying to pretend everything was totally okay?

My curiosity led me to forums and wikis only to discover my hunch was right. There was a lot more going on under it all than Phone Guy was willing to tell us about.

What’s so great about the writing in these games?

The creator confirms almost nothing. And that’s a beautiful thing.

It’s up to the players to discover the clues hidden throughout the game and piece them together to learn the extremely creepy history of the pizzeria. These clues are as subtle as half spoken comments from the Phone Guy, clippings of news paper articles that appear on the wall in one of the rooms, the date on a check, strange hallucinations (that the fandom still hasn’t fully figured out yet), and creepy mini-games that pop up when you die multiple times in FNAF2.

There’s nothing there, aside from the strange hesitation in the Phone Guy’s voice (as he tells you but doesn’t tell you), that screams “Hey! Look at me! Loook! Look! Here’s the story!” And that’s a beautiful thing.

It’s one of those “When you see it” moments when it all comes together. And when it comes together, there’s still swiss-cheese holes waiting for you to theorize and make your own conclusions. I have my idea of what I think happened. Someone else has theirs, too. The beauty of it all is that the game makes it so my thoughts are just as valid as the next person’s… because the facts are so vague that (within canon, of course) there’s not a right or wrong answer. Just a lot of really creepy things to make you wonder.

If the developer has these answers, he’s not sharing. But to pull off something like this, to leave hints and embed thoughts in our minds that mislead the players until the last moment, he’s gotta know the story he wants to tell inside and out. He gives us just enough to drive us nuts (in a good way), and the Theory page on the wiki is proof of this.

Final thoughts:

Sometimes a game’s story doesn’t have to be in the spotlight to be told well. So often, game writers try so hard to engage players that they force their story on us, only to fail (GW2 – I’m looking at you).

Sometimes, giving the player the burden of filling in the story with our imagination is more captivating than hand-holding and telling us everything.  This is difficult and risky, as must be done right, though. It also may not translate well for other genres.

FNAF has perfectly nailed what it attempted to do story-wise. Hats off to you, Scott.

Or… well… maybe leave it on for now.

FivengtBefreddy

 

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Runs for the Relic Returned

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Completing Amdapor Keep

About half a year ago, I finished my first relic weapon on my main FFXIV character, Zuri. Lately, I’ve been revisiting this quest line for my second relic weapon as Syn and I work our way through the quest for Zeb and Tai.

Despite the fact that I’m group-shy and avoid dungeons whenever possible, I really like the relic quest line. I think that it feels like a significantly “epic” quest that requires a bit of time and money to complete. Going through a second time is somewhat easier than the first time simply because I know what to expect. It seems like everyone’s Give-A-Care meter is somewhat low at this point, which is actually a good thing in a way, since we haven’t run into any stressed leet players breathing down the back of our necks to get everything perfect, and rage dropping when we don’t.

I also realized that I no longer get nervous butterflies when I click the Duty Finder button. For a person who was so scared to run dungeons only a year ago, and almost quit the game because of it, I think I’ve come a long way.

On the side, I’ve been running my daily hunts. The Allied Seals are going towards purchasing the ilvl 100 Ninja gear for Tai. I was really indecisive about which class to put my efforts towards with the hunts. It’s a slow, but steady, way to earn end game armor, which doesn’t require daily dungeon running. Considering the queues for DPS dungeon runners are pretty nuts right now, that’s a good thing.

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The unfinished relic is now in my grasp!
Posted in Gaming, MMORPGs

Shards Online – Backing the Sandbox

 

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Though I was disappointed in the direction that ArcheAge is taking, I haven’t given up my search for a sandbox game. Just today, I got the email that said that Shards Online launched its Kick Starter campaign. This got me excited again, because the concepts of this game, expected to be free to play, are amazing!

I mean, lead designer of UO? Heck yeah, sign me up!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1468280928/shards-online-play-by-your-rules/widget/video.html

I backed their previous Kick Starter campaign, which was launched earlier this year. It didn’t quite come through due to a lot of reasons, including not enough publicity and a really high goal for a game folks hadn’t quite heard about yet. Despite this, the team has stayed true to their vision, worked at getting the word out, and have launched their campaign again.

I don’t know all the technical details of this game, but it sounds like a sandbox that I can get behind. The official website lists:

  • Both official and community-run servers
  • Skill-based character development (no restrictive levels or classes!)
  • Own your land, build a house
  • Tame animals and creatures
  • Learn to craft unique items as you explore
  • Employ NPCs to do day to day tasks
  • Visit worlds that span many genres
  • Obtain unique armors, weapons and rare artifacts
  • Play by your own rules! Many different rule-sets to choose from
  • Create your own unique rule-sets, stories and live content on your community-run server

I really want to see games like this succeed because I feel we need more modern sandbox games. I think this could be a foundation for something really awesome that we all build, so give it a look!

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