State of the Game: Mixed Bag

Another week bites the dust, and this time around I’ve been playing a bit of everything. Well, not everything, but I’ve dipped my toes into many different pots. Earlier in the week I covered the launch of the new Hearthstone expansion, and also the news of H1Z1 coming to Steam Early Access. That was the biggest news of the week for me, but I bounced around between finishing up some TV shows and playing an assortment of games, so let’s talk about that next.

I’ve been playing FFXIV sporadically, just enough to get a feel for the different starting areas, and the general feel of the game. I only have a handful of days left on the free trial, so I probably won’t get too much further along before that runs out. Like I said before, I could see myself playing it a bit more seriously but that would require buying the game and subbing, and with the recently announced H1Z1 Early Access, I don’t think I’ll be getting involved. As I mentioned in that H1Z1 post, I’ve been hyped about that game all year and I don’t see myself playing anything else (MMO-wise) once I get my hands on that. I probably won’t jump in on day one, but provided early reports aren’t entirely negative I think I’ll be in it sooner than later. If it is terrible to start off, or otherwise not worth it during EA, then perhaps I’ll dive further into FFXIV.

So aside from that Thurmaturge class I highlighted last week, I also made a Marauder and an Archer, both so that I could see all three starting cities. Of the 3, I preferred the Archer’s starting city, but I spent the most time with the Marauder, leveling to around 12 or so. I didn’t like the Archer at all, so I deleted that character and just played the marauder through a zone and a half of quests and content. I completed Fates (live events), duties (instanced story quests) and regular quests throughout. I’m still amazed by how beautiful the game is, and how it melds the best of computer and console RPGs into one package. Here’s some shots of my Marauder and one of the Archer who now rests in peace:

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We spent the last podcast talking about some of our favorite games of the year, and one that me and Eri both agreed on was Diablo III: Reaper of Souls. The discussion of the game made me realize I hadn’t played the game in a couple of months (or more). The more I thought about it the more I wanted to play, so before I knew it I was in the game and grinding away. I played my Wizard for a while and decided to experiment with different builds, finally settling on one that used a mix of abilities I had never used before, along with ones that I used all the time. I’m satisfied enough for now. I played through a few bounties and Nephalim Rifts and managed to get a few new legendaries, along with boosting my Paragon level to 17. I also was craving some different gameplay, so I decided it was time to play something else, and perhaps level another class to 70. I already had a Crusader who was level 25 and a Monk at level 19, and both were hardcore characters. I was torn between wanting to level one of them or start a fresh class on the normal ruleset. I like not having to worry about dying, but at the same time I like the challenge that hardcore presents; the game is more satisfying when you know death actually means something. As such I decided to roll with the hardcore Monk, and leveled him from 19-28 in a couple of sessions. I really like the Monk, more than I thought I would, and I think I’m going to try and level him to 70, while breaking things up with my Wizard. The only unfortunate part is that the Paragon levels and other goodies that I’ve leveled up in normal mode doesn’t carry over to Hardcore, which means buying all the stash tabs, leveling the crafters and getting to 70 before I get the benefit of the extra passives. That’s a bummer, but also a motivator. Anyway, here’s what the two look like currently:

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Otherwise it’s been League of Legends in a major way. I am still playing multiple games per day, and still having a lot of fun with it. Also, this weekend saw the expansion tournament for the North American LCS, because this year they are adding two more teams to the pro scene, so instead of 8 teams duking it out during the Spring Split, there will be 10. I assume that will go for the Summer Split as well. Either way, Team Coast and Curse Academy won their way in, and the games were quite exciting. I think most if not all of the players from both of those teams have been in the LCS before (albeit on different teams) so they aren’t exactly new players or new teams, but some of the teams/players that were in this weekend’s tourney were. Too bad they were all eliminated. Anyway, it wasn’t Worlds but it was still fun to watch.

In other League news, patch 4.21 came down the pipeline, nerfing Warwick (who needed it), adding the Negatron Cloak back in (we missed it!) and making a slew of other tweaks and changes. Rek’Sai also released, and I’ve seen her in action and she is a tanky, elusive, DPS powerhouse. One of the more annoying junglers in recent memory. Here’s her champion spotlight in case you missed it:

Lastly, Snowdown is on it’s way to the Rift, meaning there will be skin sales, new skins added, and probably a new featured game mode (or a rehash of an old one). This also means we’ll be earning new summoner icons and things like that. I’ll have more about that as the new stuff is announced, which should be this week.

On the TV front, I’ve watched the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead, the series finale of Sons of Anarchy, and we’re nearing the end of this season of American Horror Story. TWD had a shocking end, but I won’t give anything away with spoilers. SOA’s ending was shitty, but you pretty much knew it was coming to an end in the way that it did. I’m sad to see the show go, but the last couple of seasons were reaching a bit, and it’s better to end on a semi-high note rather than drag it out past its natural conclusion. AHS has been alright, but this season and last weren’t nearly as good as the first two seasons. I’ll keep watching but I’m not sure how long they’ll be able to keep this going without some better writing. Then again the last season started to pick up at the end so we’ll see how it goes. That’s really all I’m watching on TV, most of the shows I enjoy are either over for the season or over for good. On the horizon is the end of Mad Men, which is another show I’m sad to see go. Around that time we’ll get the end of this season of TWD as well. From there I really don’t know, as quite a few of the shows I’ve watched in recent years won’t be coming back, so we’ll see what new stuff comes out. I do see people talking about all kinds of other shows out there, but my general rule of thumb is that if it’s on the big networks (CBS, ABC, NBC — basically channels 2-13), it’s not going to be any good. They keep rehashing comic book stuff and other things that just don’t appeal to me. I’m curious to see what AMC is going to do to replace some of the stellar shows that have ended… Better Call Saul is most likely not going to be better than or even as good as Breaking Bad was, despite the tie-in. Replacing Mad Men is also going to be tough, and FX will have a tough time replacing SOA, though The Strain was a good addition. I guess time will tell. That’s about all for this week.

#stateofthegame #roundup #gaming #television

4 thoughts on “State of the Game: Mixed Bag

    • I realize that, but from a beginning perspective, it was easier to just create one of each class in different starting cities to see how each would differ.

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