A thoughtful and personal exploration of games

THIS WEEK IN GAMING – The End of June Edition

I thought I’d pick a title other than “Here’s what I did this week” or “Gaming Update” or “Gaming I did recently” or whatever. Suffice to say, some games were played and I’d like to discuss them a bit.

1) Mass Effect 3 – The extended cut DLC came out for Mass Effect 3 on Tuesday (the 26th) and it was GOOD with a capital GOOD. I don’t wish to spoil it for anyone, but I chose the synthesis ending and watched the others (there are now FOUR endings!) on YouTube. They are all quality things and I feel better… MUCH better about the ending. I have no questions except “When will I get to see my friends again?” Thank you Bioware. You’re a class act.

2) Star Wars: The Old Republic – Update 1.3 dropped this last week and precipitated my Jedi Guardian, Sith Juggernaut, and Commando having to reallocate their skill points. Other than that, I’ve noticed that having 100% gamma correction has provided for an improved play experience. Oh, and I got my guild back together again after transferring servers from Sith Wyrm to Corellian Run. I think for now it’ll just be there for me and my friends as a way of supporting each other in the game. We managed to get the bank back yesterday after I filed a customer support ticket on Friday. Again, thank you Bioware. I didn’t want to spend 600k again.

3) Civilization IV – I played some Civ IV recently. Mostly because the internet was out on Saturday, and I wanted something to play. Yup. I have maybe 6 games on my computer that no longer require the internet to operate and I refuse to play Diablo II again.

4) Lord of the Rings Online – I picked this up again recently and I’ve had a great deal of fun already. I finally hit level 58 on my Captain and I’ve made almost no progress towards 59 thanks to picking up some deeds in earlier areas. I had to get my groove back with regards to what all these buttons do! Seriously, I was surprised at how quickly I picked up the game again after having been away for nearly 7 months.

5) Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 3 – This game is amazingly fun. It’s brilliantly written, it’s designed like a 16-bit RPG, and the game play is quick, fun, and quirky. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the combat in this installment over the previous ones. I’m not the best at timing and the previous games really enjoyed the mini-game fight mechanic. This episode used a timeline for every fight and everyone in the fight moved up and down it based on what was going on. I could really screw over a boss and make it so it rarely hit me… which was so cool. I can’t wait until episode 4! I highly recommend this little game as you can beat it in a few short sessions of play.

6) Star Trek Online – I’ve recently been tooling around on the Caitian Atrox Carrier (I named it Freyja after the norse goddess who had a chariot drawn by cats) and last night I finally had the opportunity to return to the Iowa. She’s still my love and it’s always a joy to guide her through the game. I’ve designated the three ships I most frequently play on as part of a little task force that my character (as a Vice Admiral) is in charge of, so I have more of a roleplaying reason for bouncing between vessels. Also, I swapped out a bridge officer power last night on the Iowa that I think works better for me… I removed Torpedo Spread II and replaced it with Torpedo High Yield II and removed Torpedo High Yield I and replaced it with Beam Array Overload I. This way in my initial salvo, I unleash three torpedoes from High Yield, one torp from the other launcher, and fire off a 600% shot from one of my beam arrays. It’s my way of saying “hello”. I think it works better that I use the torpedoes for single target “kill them quickly” damage rather than in an area of effect “hey, look over here” way. I have Beam Array Fire At Will for that and I quite enjoy the death-blossom of beam arrays that shoot out all over when I do that.

With regards to the rest of the summer, I’m very much looking forward to Star Trek Online Season 6 where they will introduce fleet starbases and a few other cool things like the Tholians. Also on September 5th, Lord of the Rings Online will launch their latest expansion “Riders of Rohan” which will introduce the land of Rohan, mounted combat, and a bunch of other things to the game. I’m iffy on getting the expansion, so I’ve put in a weekly Tuesday reminder on my phone to think about it. I have until September 4th to preorder, so I’ll take my time and consider the purchase. I’m unsure mainly because LOTRO isn’t my primary game of choice these days, but it’s still a fun game to play every now and again. Also, early October will steal me away with the release of XCOM Enemy Unknown, so I don’t know what I’m going to do.

Until next time!

– Elorfin

P.S. “Come, sir, is time really so precious? Mine isn’t. If yours is, all the more tempting to steal a little.” – Nero Wolfe


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