A thoughtful and personal exploration of games

Posts tagged “Arena Commander

It’s Been A While

Hey there folks, it’s been a while since I’ve had much of an opportunity to write. I haven’t been gaming exceptionally much of late and life is keeping me extraordinarily busy.

What I will mention is that in the last couple of months I’ve very much enjoyed the Diablo III update, the housing update to Star Wars: The Old Republic, and I’m playing Dragon Age II again.

On the D3 update: my character feels stronger than ever. My wizard is a joy to play and I’m often playing at Torment IV. The new equipment I find really encourages good strong looks at the stats and I appreciate tough decisions at high level regarding equipment.

For SWTOR: The housing system is a lot of fun. I spent an entire evening just decorating my main stronghold (the Nar Shaddaa sky palace). It’s really expensive to expand these strongholds and the Tatooine one is exorbitantly expensive. One of these days I’ll get back into it, I hope.

Tuesday, Borderlands The Pre-Sequel releases and I’m hoping everything goes smoothly regarding the free copy I got at PAX East back in April. I’m really looking forward to the story as well as the new characters and gameplay mechanics.

Later this month, Civilization Beyond Earth is dropping (on the 24th) and I’m very excited for that as well. I’m intentionally avoiding the videos and streams they’re releasing so that I can figure this stuff out on my own. Probably not the best idea I’ve had, but I don’t have much time for watching gameplay videos right now.

In Arena Commander, I’ve been spending time lately trying to improve my piloting skills. I’m pretty terrible, but I feel like I’m getting better all the time. Then again, when you’re the worst, all you can do is get better. I’m a bad shot with the gimbaled weapons removed from my 300i trainer, but I’m figuring it out. The main issue is that the Vanduul will change directions randomly after I fire, so it looks like I’m going to hit and then… nope. Oh well, like I said, I’ll figure it out eventually. I just want to get good at this game because when Star Citizen drops I want to be decent enough at it so I can get beyond the starting areas and out into the universe at large.

Speaking of universes, I’ve been considering investigating roleplaying games to see what their populations are. For example, older games, because of the limited space and capabilities of their platforms back then, have smaller observable and implied world populations than modern games. In Final Fantasy VI, there’s about 15 cities but maybe only a few hundred NPCs you can interact with and an implied few thousand actually in the world. In Star Wars: The Old Republic, there’s many thousands of NPCs and an implied number of millions or billions on some worlds thanks to the draw distance and such. I feel like saving the world or the universe is much less impactful when the world/universe isn’t very big or populated. Just a thought that’s been bugging me for a few years now.

However, it’s back to not blogging for a bit. Balancing school, work, and a social life takes up a significant portion of my time these days and I don’t necessarily have something to write about. Therefore, expect me when you see me.

Until next time!

– Thomas

P.S. “A wizard is never late, nor is he early, he arrives precisely when he means to.” – Gandalf


My New Pride and Joy

This past week or so I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about Star Citizen. Mainly, my original contribution from two years ago.

You see, I invested in the Scout package which netted me a nice Aurora MR and lifetime insurance for it. This past week, I was playing Arena Commander (formerly the dogfight demo) and felt that the Aurora wasn’t really for me. It just didn’t have the maneuverability that I like in a ship, let alone a fighter. So I started looking at my options.

Option 1: Shell out some cash for a cross-chassis upgrade to the Origin Jumpworks 300i. This lets me transfer my lifetime insurance to the new ship.

Option 2: Shell out some cash for a cross-chassis upgrade to the Anvil Aerospace F7C Hornet. This also lets me transfer my lifetime insurance to the new ship.

Option 3: Purchase another ship entirely and just cope with the fact that its free insurance will run out in 4-6 months.

At the time I was making my decision, the Hornet was available to try out in Arena Commander and I took it for a spin around the block. It was fun, more so than the Aurora, but I felt it was missing something else. I then knuckled under and did some research on the forums and on YouTube on the 300 series (as it was the only one I couldn’t try out). I finally decided (after a day or so of thinking) that I’d do Option 1 above.

Now, that decision made, was I happy with the baseline 300i model or did I want a different version? New options!

Option A: Stay with the Origin Jumpworks 300i.

Option B: Shell out some cash for a ship upgrade to the Origin Jumpworks 315p.

Option C: Shell out some cash for a ship upgrade to the Origin Jumpworks 325a.

Option D: Wish that the Origin Jumpworks 350r package was available for purchase.

Well, I exercised option D right away, but after even more research into the differences, I finally settled on the 315p upgrade. Here’s why I chose it:

– The 315p comes with a jump engine (the other variants don’t specify having one)

– The 315p comes with a tractor beam (while I could always use another gun, I appreciate the potential for the tractor beam)

The ship brochure said that it had more powerful engines and a better power plant because it was the exploration variant

– The 315p comes with a special scanner package (I think it’s to help identify new jump points or something)

– The 315p has more cargo space

Now that I’ve had some time with the 300i trainer (it’s pretty darn maneuverable and I enjoy flying it) I have a couple of things to say. First, I hope that when Star Citizen finally shows up that my ship is far less squishy than it is right now. As it is, it feels like it’s made of paper, shields and all. Second, I really hope that the racing engines that the 350r comes with will be able to mount on my 315p (I love twin engines). Third, I hope that I become much better at flying because there’s a bit of a learning curve to the mechanics.

I really like my 315p. It looks like a combination between a Scimitar and a Hellcat. I changed my desktop wallpaper for the first time since October to this lovely image of it (click to make it worth your time).

315pIf you’re interested in seeing more, here’s a floor show video of it.

I’m really proud of my purchase and I’m looking forward to flying it for real in the actual game. I’ll be okay flying the trainer in the meantime, but Star Citizen can’t come soon enough.

Until next time!

– Thomas

P.S. Here’s the director’s cut advertisement for the 300 series. See if you can spot the Wing Commander III scenes.