A thoughtful and personal exploration of games

Posts tagged “ME3

A Little Overwhelming

Lately I’ve been playing a lot of Borderlands 2. This past weekend I added a fair amount of Mass Effect 3 multiplayer. Last night I played some Diablo III and now I’m itching for it. Tomorrow the expansion to XCOM Enemy Unknown will arrive (XCOM Enemy Within). Around the 18th, Lord of the Rings Online is going to reformat gameplay to make combat flow better and to reduce the number of skills my poor Captain has.

It feels like a lot. Typically around summertime I start wondering what there is to look forward to in gaming and I always forget that the big things happen right before the holiday season in the October-November range.

So, on the games I’ve mentioned…

In Borderlands 2, I finished the DLCs “Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep” and “Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate’s Booty”. I started in on “Sir Hammerlock’s Big Game Hunt” before I got sidetracked.

In Mass Effect 3 multiplayer, I started playing with a group of people that I met online and who are looking to have a good time. Fortunately for them, I’m pretty good at ME3 multiplayer these days, so I was coaching some of them here and there and we netted a bunch of awesome victories. It’s so much fun playing with people who really want to do well. I really lucked out here.

In Diablo III, my friend was playing a level 40 Barbarian and I happened to have a level 39 Barbarian, so I popped into his game and found myself woefully underpowered for playing Nightmare difficulty at Monster Power 10. I had to redo my build and pick up some new equipment, so we’ll see how things go there. Also, is it just me or is the auction hall more overpriced than usual these days? I hope people realize that if they price things to sell, they’ll actually sell them.

I’m planning on starting a new XCOM game tomorrow that will probably detract from all other gaming (except social gaming because I’m not about to say, “No, I can’t play with you because I’m playing with myself” because that’s totally uncool). Also, as I was writing this, a friend insisted that we hadn’t fought each other in multiplayer yet, so I guess that’s what I’m doing tonight!

Depending on the level of the change and how it feels to play LOTRO, I may stick that out longer than a day of gameplay when the changes come. I don’t know yet, but I’m hoping I’ll play it a bit more often in the future.

Anyway, that’s what’s going on with my gaming habits right now.

Until next time!

– Elorfin

P.S. “Good plan? Great plan!” – Tiny Tina

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Scraping the Sky

The other night, with the help of a friend, I managed to finish Inferno difficulty in Diablo III. About time, right?

Recently I found a build that made playing my Wizard fun again and since then I’ve been shopping for gear to make my job a lot easier. Right now though, I’m pretty much as good as I can get without grinding up millions of gold for slight increases here and there. I don’t know if I’ll see a drastic DPS increase like I did when I started focusing on Critical Hit Chance and Critical Hit Damage stats.

The only issue I really have with my current build is when I’m in Archon. As it turns out the right-click attack is an awesome super laser and I use it all the time when Archon is active. The moment Archon turns off is the moment my right-click turns into Teleport. So, if Archon runs out, I typically don’t notice it until I’ve teleported into the middle of a bunch of baddies. Very unfortunate. I tried to relocate Teleport to my left-click, but the game won’t let me put a non-attack power in that spot. Tragic, but I suppose I’ll figure it out eventually.

Last night my friends and I tackled Monster Power 7 Inferno difficulty and struggled against some really well built unique and rare monsters. Still, we made a profit even after the ridiculous repair bills. After a while only two of us were playing, so we kicked it down to MP4 and kept going. Again, the unique and rare monsters were the real challenge (also, my friend has just hit inferno, so his equipment isn’t up to par just yet and he gets one-shotted pretty regularly).

Around playing Diablo III, I’ve also been playing Mass Effect 3 multiplayer (which I’m going to do as soon as I’m done here). I’m pushing my characters up to level 20, promoting them, then spending all the money I gained getting there, then doing it all over again. It’s a surprising amount of fun now that my client-side lag issues are practically non-existent.

Anyway, I’ve got some characters to level in ME3, so…

Until next time!

– Elorfin

P.S. “To all my people in coach, and to my first class folks; We’ll show you how to scrape the sky.” – “Scrape the Sky” by Can’t Stop Won’t Stop.


Quiet Fronts – Gaming Updates

Well, the lack of obvious updates. Let me explain a bit…

Mass Effect 3 is done. There aren’t going to be any more updates to multiplayer and there aren’t going to be any more DLC packs.

Star Trek Online has constant, almost quarterly, updates but in between there’s massive bug fixes and the wait for more content feels pretty long. That said, Legacy of Romulus was HUGE so I totally get waiting a while for the next pile of stuff.

Neverwinter transitions from Open Beta to “live” on the 20th of June. We’re expecting the first module but they’ve been pretty tight-lipped about a lot of the contents. I’m hoping for the Ranger class, but honestly, at this point I’ll take any class.

Diablo III doesn’t seem to be getting an expansion any time soon, which I think it sorely needs. I think Blizzard focused mostly on porting it to console and that’s a great idea, just it feels like things are a bit lacking in the mean time.

XCOM Enemy Unknown is supposedly getting a DLC sometime in the future, but I have no idea when that would happen.

So, it’s all quiet on the western front… as far as I know.

Anyway, I’ve had a busy day recording more XCOM and messing around in other games. I’m going to get back to that.

Until next time!

– Elorfin

P.S. “They never taught us anything really useful, like how to light a cigarette in the wind, or make a fire out of wet wood, or bayonet a man in the belly.” – Soldier in the film “All Quiet on the Western Front”


Whacking Things With A Stick – Satisfaction In Gameplay

There are days where I just want to hit stuff with a stick. Seeing as that’s not entirely socially acceptable, I poke through my catalog of games to find the experience that fulfills that desire best. Sometimes I come up with a winner, sometimes I don’t. Here’s a short list of games that I find give me that great “hitting someone” satisfaction in order of most to least satisfaction.

Mass Effect 3 multiplayer – Seeing as I’ve finished the single player game, the multiplayer component provides replayability and a pile of stuff that I still need to improve upon. Oh, and my favorite weapon, the M-37 Falcon, is a micro-grenade launcher. Satisfaction guaranteed.

Lord of the Rings Online – My captain has a variety of abilities that just FEEL good. He screams and does damage, he swings his halberd and you hear the slicing, cracking, crunching of contact. Yeah, it gets tedious, but by then, my thirst for whacking things with a stick has been sated for at least a couple of hours.

Diablo III – On my Wizard, it’s just satisfying to voip people. Yes, that’s the sound things make when you just erase them from existence. That said, it’s more satisfying to do this during the earlier difficulties as Inferno has a habit of pissing me off repeatedly in a 30-minute period.

Awesomenauts – It’s starting to get up there, but there’s something eminently satisfying about playing Leon and popping out of stealth to land a killing blow on some unsuspecting ‘naut. I mostly enjoy playing Raelynn though. Sniping has never been this fun for me. It’s a bit of work and sometimes I cry out in frustration.

XCOM Enemy Unknown – The satisfaction of crushing an alien squad is quite palpable. Delicious even. That said, XCOM games are pretty cerebral and I always feel a little removed from the “satisfaction zone”, so these games (new and old) are fun, but less viscerally satisfying. Strategy games on the whole share that same removal sense, so that’s nothing new.

Star Trek Online – I don’t know what’s wrong with me these days, but I just have no drive to play this right now. I don’t know if it’s the high end grinding that’s in the game or anything, but I just haven’t been in the mood to command the Iowa lately. Thus, the satisfaction of playing has dropped. There is something to be said for lots of torpedoes, but that’s a bit of a gimmicky approach and isn’t practical in the long run (says the guy who has a character with a Caitian carrier that has nothing but torpedoes up front and turrets in the back; verdict: hilariously fun, but gimmicky as all hell).

Star Wars: The Old Republic – Right now it’s not super satisfying to play, but I’m building up a good craving and waiting until it turns into an out-and-out need to play the game. I’m thinking I’ll play a Knight soon because I love hitting things with Lightsabers, but also because the day I got the game I made a Knight and turned to my Mom and went, “Mom, I’m a Jedi Knight!” So, yeah. It’s not satisfying NOW, but it will be.

This list is forever in flux and I’ve left a few games off to help keep it short. Games will go up and down the list as my whims dictate. This is just a snapshot of my current thoughts.

Right now though, it’s the deciding which stick to whack on what target that’s the tough part.

Until next time!

– Elorfin

P.S. “Enough is as good as a feast.” – Joshua Sylvester


A Seeming Lull in Game Development

Is it just me or does it seem like we don’t have much to look forward to in the near future regarding AAA game titles?

It’s certainly understandable… this year saw the wrapping up of theĀ  Mass Effect trilogy AND Assassin’s Creed “trilogy” with their penultimate installments. Further, Star Wars: The Old Republic has just finished its first year (bumps and all), XCOM Enemy Unknown finally launched and became PC Game of the Year, and the next “super game” isn’t going to drop until 2014 at the earliest (Star Citizen).

I know we’re to look out for more in the Mass Effect franchise (a fourth installment has been announced) and I’m thinking it’s a safe bet that Assassin’s Creed isn’t entirely done yet. For me though, the near future is kind of empty on the game release front.

I’m looking forward to more SWTOR updates and I’ve already pre-ordered the expansion that’s set to drop in Spring 2013 dealing with the Hutt Cartel and adding 5 more levels to the cap and more storyline for every class. Star Trek Online has a story heavy Season 8 coming up with apparently 9 new ships ready to go by February (some are fleet variants though, so that number is probably 5 actual NEW ships).

I haven’t heard anything about the next DLC for Mass Effect 3 or XCOM Enemy Unknown, but I know they’re on the way. Further, I haven’t heard much about the game Neverwinter, I just know I’ve got beta access eventually thanks to my lifetime STO account.

It feels… quiet on the gaming front. Too quiet. I suppose every company is taking a bit of a break after they finally dropped their big titles and everything’s running kind of smoothly. Maybe.

Until next time!

– Elorfin

P.S. “The future will soon be a thing of the past.” – George Carlin


Gaming Cravings

I’ve had this hankering to play certain games but I hold off for some reason or other.

I want to play XCOM again, but I’m waiting for the new DLC which will only be playable through a new game (feels a little short sighted, but okay). So I’m holding off on starting a new game until Slingshot comes out, but they haven’t announced a release date and it’s been a month since they announced the DLC at all. No details or communication from the studio does not make me a happy camper and makes me think they aren’t paying attention to the fans. I don’t like thinking that way.

Also, whenever I sit down to play Star Wars: The Old Republic, I feel compelled to play my Bounty Hunter, Saya’fida. She’s the one I’m recording the story missions with for my Let’s Play series on YouTube. Lately I’ve only wanted to play her and when I do, I have to make sure things are set up so that I can record just in case. I have things set up in my room so I can do it in a quiet environment, but sometimes I just don’t feel like playing in my room. It’s a gamble, recording in the living room, but it’s brighter, I can keep an eye on the dogs, and it’s more comfortable. Sometimes I just stare at the SWTOR icon longingly, wanting to play, but holding off because I feel compelled to record. It’s not a bad thing though as it motivates me to push through the game faster than I usually would. I’m LOVING the Bounty Hunter storyline and the videos I’m posting are more for me than anything else because I’m really enjoying watching my own Let’s Play videos.

I caved to a craving the other day though. I started a game from scratch in Mass Effect 3. I typically don’t like that as the “default” story makes some decisions I’m not okay with… typically optional stuff. In this, they let the crew of the Normandy die, the Citadel Council died, I never did any of the DLCs like Lair of the Shadow Broker or Arrival, and so on. There’s a lot of people that just aren’t there that I’m used to seeing and it was a little difficult to push on. I’m doing this playthrough just for fun though. I wanted to play some missions and shoot some bad guys and it’s rather difficult to do so by yourself in multiplayer (I can, but it takes as much luck as skill and so forth).

Anyway, I’m really looking forward to the new Omega DLC coming out for ME3 tomorrow. I really do like Aria T’Loak.

Until next time!

– Elorfin

P.S. “Patience, n. A minor form of despair, disguised as a virtue.” – Ambrose Bierce


Looking Forward-ish

In recent months I’ve typically had a game release to look forward to. A year ago I was looking forward to Star Wars: The Old Republic, Mass Effect 3, Diablo 3, and XCOM Enemy Unknown. Now, all those games have been released and I’m looking around and wondering what to look forward to next.

Tomorrow (Tuesday, November 13th), Star Trek Online’s Season 7 comes out with a new sector block, a new mechanic (the reputation system), and a new holding for fleets.

In a couple of days (Thursday, November 15th), Star Wars: The Old Republic goes Free-to-Play. Included in this transition is the release of the Cartel Store and I’m going to get a pretty big pile of Cartel Coins.

On November 27th, there’s a new single-player DLC for Mass Effect 3 that handles the Cerberus takeover of Omega from Aria T’Loak. I’m guessing I’m going to help her get it back… which I have absolutely no problems with.

In the near future, XCOM is going to get a DLC called Slingshot which includes a short series of scripted missions and allows for earlier gain of the Blaster Launcher (an upgrade to the Heavy’s rocket launcher). They’ve also announced a second DLC along the same lines but no details have come forth.

Also, there’s the incredible Star Citizen game by legendary Wing Commander creator Chris Roberts that I’m looking forward to see through its development cycle. I would’ve contributed to its fundraising if I could have. Honestly, I would’ve thrown $10,000 at it if I had that kind of disposable funds. I’m probably going to have to get a new computer for this one, so I’m happy to wait for it.

So, there ARE things to look forward to on the gaming front, but nothing very long term. I’m pretty happy with the games I have now. I’m logging into STO pretty regularly for Duty Officer stuff, I play Mass Effect 3 to get some headway on the challenges (I finished Assault Rifle Mastery last night and I’m pretty thrilled with that), I’m doing a Story-Only Let’s Play video series on SWTOR as a Bounty Hunter, and I’m holding off on starting a new XCOM game until Slingshot comes out.

Until next time!

– Elorfin

P.S. “Can one desire too much of a good thing?” – Act IV, scene 1, line 123 of Shakespeare’s “As You Like It”