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MMOs, MOBAs and Multiplayer

Posted October 7, 2014

It’s been a while. I miss writing here but it’s not been on the priority list for a while. Rather than a long, thoughtful and interesting blog about what I’ve been up to since last time I posted and… well… today, I’ll just post some screens and add some mindless natter.

1

Last year in August saw me begin a long and obsessive romp through Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. Above you can see my Miqo’te, Athelisia Lumi, before I jumped into the XIV’s only end-game raid: Binding Coil.

Getting full Darklight felt like an achievement back then. Lots and lots of farming. Though I really liked the Bard Darklight gear.

2

And a screen from the end of my journey that halted mid June this year. I had much cuter hair near the end! XIV was pretty much all I played for those few months. I was hooked. I had a fun in my final guild (Wutai) on the Shiva server, and did all those basic MMO things: Dealt with drama, joined in with the community, made amazing friends, sales and secrets. It was a really fun ride.

Nearing the end of my time in Eorzea I was 99% content clear, maxed out my character and all the professions with fully slotted gear, carried people through hard content for their gil, and was on the cusp of clearing T9. Sadly my ragtag group of nerds got bored with trying to get everyone together for a good few hours of T9, and with Wildstar on the horizon, everyone was pretty much out.

Plus FFXIV’s 2.3 release was disappointing and pretty much anyone who took any form of hard content seriously had nothing left to really conquer. With people dropping left and right, and no matter how hard I tried to hold on, Eorzea’s magic was gone. I wanted to fight Ramah and (the upcoming) Shiva. I wanted to see Binding Coil 2, the new world bosses and dungeons. I really wanted to give the new PvP stuff a go but it just wasn’t the same.

3

Wanting to jump into something new and still on that MMO buzz, I jumped into a month of Wildstar. It took me a while to hit cap as I was spending hours and hours in the housing section trying to perfect a custom staircase in my large Aurin house. It was cobbled together with wood logs and took probably about 5 hours for me to be slightly happy with it.

The dungeons were quite different to FFXIV but I think I preferred the more strategic feel to XIV’s end-game content than Wildstar’s ‘stay out of the red zone’ spam. It was fun but.. just.. repetitive.

Though it didn’t take very long to get bored. Wildstar had so much going for it but there wasn’t a gap in difficulty for general players to get a feel for the dungeons. The adventures felt same-y regardless of what options you chose. and in the end I just couldn’t be bothered to spend the hours in getting attuned. Oh and SotSM with a PUG? Just no.

4

Then along came Smite. I’ve dabbled with DotA2 but found that nearly everyone on my Steam friend’s list has put over 300 hours into it and I just couldn’t compete in matches with them – plus playing alone sucks. So after a brief stint on Warframe that me and a friend picked up SMITE and the cheap god pack.

I loved it. I really enjoyed Solo or Support Aphrodite, mainly because I felt I could handle her well in both group and solo fights. I could escape easily but also save others with some smart thinking and quick places kiss stuns. I really liked Nu Wa, though her ult felt pretty cheap at times, and Artemis and Neith. I had a really insane Siege with Kali one time but I think that was pure luck.

It’s probably the most newbie friendly MOBA anyone could try. The third-person perspective gives you a familiar setting to explore the map combined with WASD movement and it felt way more reactive to my inputs than frantically clicking for hours like you do in traditional top-down MOBAs. It gave me a good insight into higher level play with these kind of games too. Which means if I ever fancy jumping back into the scary world of DotA2 – I might actually understand a bit better about why my arse is getting kicked.

5

Then along came Counter-Strike: Global Offensive with some of the funniest and insane multiplayer matches I’ve experienced in a long while. CS:GO is usually one of those shooters I kind of skip because of its notorious fan-base but I actually met some pretty amazing people while playing.

I didn’t know too much about CS:GO’s items or their value on Steam’s Marketplace but upon opening my second ever crate a cute pink and yellow Huntsman Knife dropped. I was all “oh cool” but my mate was freaking out and quickly went to find the value. While I kind of wish I kept it (because it looks cool), I managed to sell the knife for £200 and bought me and some friends pre-orders for Civilization: Beyond Earth as well as some other random Steam games.

This small prize got me hooked and I spent the next few weeks getting addicted to CS:GO. I’m still not great but I’m getting better. I’m also getting used to the game’s rather… ‘interesting’ community. They range from angry to thirsty with some generally entertaining people in-between. Plus nothing gets you laughing more than jumping into a match of 9 grown men all singing along to the Noddy theme.

 

So yeah. Sorry for the spam. Just felt like puking some words up on this blog as I feel guilty for neglecting it for so long. I’m playing Archeage a bit at the moment but I’ll try make a seperate post for that once I have my PC back up and running. In the process of moving house at the moment so everything is packed away *sad face*

We Love jRPGs! The Collection

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Posted August 14, 2013

jrpgjrpgIf there’s one genre I’ve been enamoured with since getting into gaming, it’s the jRPG. Melodramatic stories and outrageous quests set in mysterious and wondrous worlds. Whether it be buying a new sword and checking the stats, just getting to that next save point before dinner/work/school, or even wondering what kind of gel keeps my party leader’s hair in place, jRPGs have been some of the most addictive and important parts of my gaming history.

And before the current gen took hold, the good ol’ jRPG had a more regular release line. You’ll notice the majority of the titles celebrated below are from prior 2006. The golden age of the jRPG may very much be over but nothing can stop us from remembering the good times.

Check out some jRPG memories from me and my friends below and feel free to add yours in the comments below. Read more…

Protection Complex

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Posted August 2, 2013

Badgers I played a bit of Shelter’s preview build today. It’s a really sweet and frankly terrifying indie title about a bunch of badgers. Badgers. *drops mic*

In a nutshell, it’s a very basic stealth game where you care for your tiny and adorable cubs as you explore the wilderness and avoid major dangers. The cubs will follow you around and noisily squeak for joy as you knock into apple trees as well as battle frogs and foxes to feed them.

The cubs need feeding often, slowly turning from a dark grey to white the longer they’re unfed until they eventually collapse. Keeping them full ensures they’ll stay close when danger approaches. You also have to choose who to feed and be mindful on who isn’t getting meals.

It was all going pretty well when the first major predator, a giant white eagle, swooped over my cubs and narrowly missed then as we rushed into the bush for cover. With the bush being easy to reach and only tiny gaps of sprinting required there wasn’t too much to worry about. It wasn’t until nightfall where things took a more sinister turn.

While I was admiring the night sky, filled with large starts and planets, I wasn’t really paying attention to my litter, who were happily skipping around behind me. I noticed an apple tree and started running towards it, ready to feed up my tiny family, when I heard a sudden whelp from one of cubs and a horrible growl. I stopped and counted the cubs as they caught up with me and one was missing.

I panicked and ran off again into the bush hoping that whatever was behind me would stop going for my litter once we were hidden, but it was my distance from the cubs that caused yet another fatality. I stopped, counted again, and then waited to see what was attacking us to come forth. It never did. I have no idea what ate my two precious cubs but not knowing made it a whole lot worse.

This dramatically changed the tone of the game for me. It went from an almost-cheerful romp through a cartoony forest with my friends to the sudden realisation that these tiny creatures rely on me, their mother, and that the animal kingdom is indeed a cruel cruel world.

I won’t go on too much about what follows on because Shelter is definitely a game that’s all about the discovery of these dangers and to detail anymore would be to spoil it. You can check out the official Steam Greenlight page for more details and a trailer. I’m personally really looking forward to the full release.

New games and updates…

XilliaHello! I’ve not been updating this blog regularly for a while but it’s about time I pay more attention to Attack Panic because I really miss posting here. I’m trying to teach myself video editing at the moment (and I’m a bit rubbish at it) but I’ve managed to push out some rather amateur Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate tip videos. I also managed to lose some video files so I’m trying to remake a few assets to create more vids – stay tuned.

Game wise? Well I’ve been pretty busy. Just started Tales of Xillia which is out in a few weeks. I love me some jRPGs to I’m looking forward to sinking a few hundred hours in to this bad boy. I’ve also got Wonderful 101 on the way, just picked up Earthbound and have wasted my afternoons away in Animal Crossing New Leaf.

I’ve been getting super angry with Borderlands 2 on 360. That compatibility pack issue is still going strong and it’s the third time I’ve had to delete everything and download all the DLC and updates again. I’ve hardly touched the game because there always seems to be another issue when I jump back on.

My 3DS has gotten a lot of action recently. Aside from everyone and their grandma’s obsession with Animal Crossing, I’m also getting pretty deep into Fire Emblem Awakening. I’m not that great at sRPGs to be honest. I started paying attention to them when Final Fantasy Tactics first released but always found the later stages in the Disgaea series quite challenging. I’m playing it on the normal setting so my units stay in my roster even if they die in battle – I’m not ready for those kind of losses yet.

I visited YouTube with some wonderful people a few weeks ago. I was there to talk women in gaming, bullying and generally why there aren’t many ladies talking games on the platform. There are a few notable women there but I think YouTube are eager to level out the playing field so to speak. I’m actively looking for other women or women-friendly YouTubers to share their links below as we’re trying to sort out a portal of some sort that will encourage apprehensive gamers to start using the platform. We’re also working out a way to protect users from the rather difficult torrents of abuse they can find themselves in so keep in touch.

Bullying has been a hot topic recently that I want to talk more about but this post isn’t the one for it. Expect something in the future.

What else? I really enjoyed the Final Fantasy XIV beta (phase 3) while it was on. I was playing as an archer Miqo’te. The combat was a lot more basic in comparison to other MMORPGs but I really like the variety of choices you have with just one character. It’s a shame it’s a premium MMO because that really stops me from investing time into it. Their monthly charges are really high.

So that’s kind of it for now. Will try post a lot more regularly from now on but I’d also like to do some video posts. See you soon!