Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, Guild Wars 2, H1Z1, MMORPGs

A Very Primal Weekend: FFXIV, GW2 H1Z1

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GW2: The Big News

heartofthornsSeems like many folks were caught afire with the confirmation of the new GW2 expansion. I kinda forgot that whole thing was going on (too busy with FFXIV and H1z1), so I got my info from the blogger round-ups. Some things sound interesting to me, such as the new class, sub-classes, expanding on weapons the current classes have.

Some things, like guild halls, are two years too late – our little medium-size guild died after the release of the guild challenges when we discovered the whole system really catered to larger guilds. Just never could put the guild back together after that, and I became too discouraged with the game to keep pouring effort into it.

But there are some things that I’ve heard that I’m not a big fan of. For example, Bhagpuss noted here that:

He placed enormous emphasis on how “challenging” the new maps would be and how group-focused the expansion is.

That’s a double ew for me. I haven’t liked Anet’s definition of “challenging” for quite a while, because usually that just means annoying mechanics that hinders me from having fun (ala the Karkas and the Mordrem). Also, I’m not sure I like the whole “group-focused” thing. If this means we have open-world group goodness, such as the dynamic events we had when the game first released, I’m all for it. If this means forced grouping in the terms of dungeons, no thanks.

No new race and only one zone of jungle are disappointments considering how much GW1 could pack into a single expansion back in the days. Not interested in GvG, WvW or Legendaries.

So overall, I’m in a wait-and-see stance. I may not even pick this up on day one… might wait for reviews, patches and sales.

H1Z1

I used to be a zombie hunter, but then I took an arrow to the head... Only on PVE servers. :)
I used to be a zombie hunter, but then I took an arrow to the head…

Played a bit more in H1Z1 and still echo that it’s very very frustrating trying to regroup with friends after tragedy strikes in this game. We managed to get into the game right after the patch on Friday night, and that meant we finally scored some loot for once. After finding a backpack, knives, hatchets and all sorts of good stuff, I finally felt pretty good about my status in the game.

We were making the long trek to pick up a new fourth member of our group. Climbing a steep cliff, I came face to face with a bear at the top. One swipe of its claw took half my life. I started to run. The bear simply wouldn’t stop chasing no matter what. Eventually, I was able to reconnect with my friends, and they did everything they could to try to take the bear down as it chased me in circles around them. Finally, my stamina gave out and it mauled me to death, then turned and mauled two other members of my group before they could get away.

Okay, so I know this is a survival game. But how fair is it that a bear can kill in two hits and you can never, never run away from it because it simply won’t stop chasing you?

So we lost all we had, got scattered across the map yet again, and spent another 3 hours trying to get our group together again before we could have any meaningful play. By then, all buildings were once again picked over, and with no loot to be found, it became yet another night of fruitless time wasted.

I know they’re putting out patches to fix this. And they need to. Our H1Z1 team didn’t even meet yesterday, and I wonder if their interest is already waning.

FFXIV: Primal Time

I put a lot of time into FFXIV this weekend, continuing through the main story scenarios. While the story and language has its quirks, I still feel this has been some of the best story-oriented gameplay I’ve had in an MMO in a long time.

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Leviathan Battle

As I get closer to the newer content, it feels like the team really started to hit their stride. There’s much more voice acting. The story knows how to ramp up the tension by building a backdrop of rebellion boiling in the shadows of Ul’dah. On the other hand, the Scions are dealing with primal after primal – some more vicious than others.

We also get a lot of foreshadowing, proving that the team has known where it wanted to take the game’s development for a while. We get the first hint of the new dragon race that will be coming with the expansion, see how Mor Dohna is starting to be built up, and the logic behind the previously released rogue class, which leads to ninja. Very cool!

Moral questions are brought to light in the middle of all this. Beastmen summon primals out of fear of man and desire to be protected. Man, in turn becomes threatened by the primals, and strikes back with violence. Don’t both sides have a right to live in peace? Who is in the right? How is peace ever to be obtained if neither side tries to come to terms with each other?

And me, the Warrior of Light, continues to be put at the lead of the story as a person who stands out above the rest. Even the wisdom of Ramuh judged my character and found the truth. While other primals, such as Leviathan, simply lash out in fury and destruction without desire for understanding.

So I’ve finally beat Leviathan and Ramuh, and currently sit in the middle of the patch 2.3 content. I’m also working hard on getting pieces of my ilvl 100 armor, and slowly accumulating more atma for my weapon upgrade. I feel pretty good about my progress on Zuri, and think that I should be able to catch up with the storyline before the expansion in March.

judgement
Ramuh judges Zuri
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Posted in Gaming, H1Z1, MMORPGs

H1Z1: First Impressions & Wishlist

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While I was really turned off by Smed’s attitude (even joking attitude) towards PVEers, and the whole P2W airdrop fiasco was a bit headshaking, I got dragged into H1Z1 anyhow. I really would have rather waited until development was further along (and I could play for free), but my sister got hooked on watching H1Z1 Twitch streams, then bought the game. I knew I was probably doomed because I when my little sister and her hubby pick up something to play, it’s hard for me to stick to my guns and tell them “no.”

SO. I figure if I’m going to play it, I might as well talk about my first two nights on H1Z1.

It’s obviously early access. But at least its early access has a lot more systems in place than Landmark early beta did. There’s zombie (and PVP – depending on your server) fights with various weapons, a crafting system, a survival food/hydration/health system, in-game voice chat by proximity, vehicles, fairly nice atmosphere and… well… that’s the extent of what I’ve seen.

Romero's is my favorite supermarket chain!
Romero’s is my favorite supermarket chain!

We play on a “disgusting PVE carebear” server. I don’t find pleasure in being killed on sight and having to run away from every other player I see. So my experiences will come from that.

Most of what I did on the first night was run and run and run and run and run (seriously, hours of running) just to try to get our randomly-spawned team together in one group. I’m going to be ticked if I die and get sent halfway around the world from my folks. You don’t start with a compass or map (maybe get them later?), so all your team has to go by are the /loc coordinates. And that’s a huge pain.

Thank the devs for berry bushes! Everything was picked over when I did find a POI to try and loot. All I was able to loot all night was berries and sticks. I did what I could with what I had (made a bow and arrows), but it was rather disappointing that there wasn’t a single thing left to find. And man, I really need more inventory space. What my pants pockets and fanny pack can carry is very limited. (How do you carry arrows in your pants?)

Having to switch to the inventory screen to eat berries one at a time is rather annoying. I much prefer the 7D2D method where you can place food and drink on your main inventory bar to use them. That way, you don’t have to take your eyes away from what’s going on around you.

Zombies seemed to spawn mostly around POIs, which was good and bad. Running across country was pretty uneventful. But considering I spent hours doing that just to find my group members, I’d prefer not getting slammed in the face with zombies along the way.

Zombie battle is somewhat clunky right now. I did take a few out with arrows, and was happy to see I sometimes got my arrow back as loot.

I really like the discovery tab and how you can learn new recipes as you find new items in the world. Crafting seems like something I’ll enjoy eventually, though building looks to be contained to these little player shacks I’ve seen sitting around. At least things players make do place in the world in a consistent way.

But for a builder/crafter like me, I don’t see myself sinking anywhere as much time into this as 7D2D. The voxel mining/crafting/building aspect of that game is far more deep and enthralling for me.

At the moment, it seems the most there is to do is run around and try to loot things that are probably already looted. The world itself looks nice, and the ambiance is certainly there. It’s got promise for an early access, but it needs a lot more for those of us who easily get bored by just fighting zombies and looting buildings.

On night two of playing, I did get super lucky to find a backpack after killing a random zombie. It was one in 20-something I killed to find it. Not very good odds. But for as many hours as I’ve put into this game, finding nothing but an empty water bottle and a piece of charcoal in buildings is really off-putting. They need to do something about the lack of loot, especially on PVE servers, because there’s no reason for me to play if I can’t ever find anything to advance with.

What H1Z1 Needs (And Soon)

I hope these things are coming. They need to make it soon.

  • Friends list
  • Grouping feature
  • A way to FIND people in your group (even if you don’t have a map or compass…) I mean, really! I know it’s survival, but it’s an MMO. I want to group with my friends and not spend hours running across the map because all we have to go on are confusing coordinates.
  • A way to eat/drink without going to the inventory screen.

What I’d Love to See in H1Z1 Eventually

I have no idea what they have on the list for the future, as I haven’t read up on this game and its roadmap yet. But here are the things they’ll need to add to hook me to liking it more than its current competitors.

  • Female avatars (I think they’re coming)
  • Character customization
  • Fishing! 🙂
  • Expanded building system. I wanna build a house for my group and decorate it!
  • Farming! 🙂
H1Z1 can be quite atmospheric at times.
H1Z1 can be quite atmospheric at times.