Tower Down: This is still broken?

I spent the weekend trying to finish up the core game personal story in Guild Wars 2 For the most part this was pretty painless as I was way ahead in levels for the quest line. Until I got to the quest Tower Down.

Tower Down has you run around to different Orian towers and have the explosives expert Tonn destroy them. It’s a straight forward mission, follow the party, kill the enemies, blow up the towers, done. Should take about 20 minutes or so I thought.

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See the first time I did this mission, I got to the end and couldn’t complete it. All the cutscenes played through and the quest tracker in the corner said “Talk to Tonn” as the last step. Except I couldn’t talk to Tonn. I tried a couple of times and all I got was the greet prompt. So assuming I was missing something I went to the internet to find an answer.

That’s when I found a forum thread from early last week addressing the issue. The players found a number of ways around this bug none of them included playing the mission as it was intended. Some had luck just running to the towers without killing anything and Tonn would blow them up. Another solution was to kill everything in the area before moving on to the next. I tried both to no avail. Either I’d get to the end and couldn’t talk to Tonn or he’d get stuck at the second tower and wouldn’t move. There’s a section at the third tower where your tasked with killing the undead on the beach including a veteran but if you accidentally pull the Kraits in the water out too early it will also cause the quest to bug and be uncompletable.

 

After running this mission another 4 times with no progress being made I was getting a bit frustrated. Back to the internet. I found another recent thread where the solution was to not even talk to Tonn to start the mission and instead go around and kill everything on the map and then start the mission. It was this last attempt that worked for me. I ran through and killed everything in the cave, then the third tower spawns including the kraits, moved on to the second tower, and finally took out the first and made my way back to the beginning. At this point I talked to Tonn, the mission dialog started and we palled around the map blowing up empty towers.

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In the last thread the player mentioned that there’s a work around on the wiki. The wiki points to a forum post from 2012. Now maybe I’m unlucky and not everyone has this issue with this mission but how has this bug been around for so long? It’s not like this is optional side content, it’s the main story everyone has to go through. It’s a bit frustrating that I had to spend so much time to complete a fairly straight forward mission with a not very straight forward bug work around.

The very next mission, The Battle of Fort Trinity, me and Trahearne got stuck inside a set piece. I ended up having to use /stuck to continue the mission. At least I didn’t have to start over. Up until this point I hadn’t encounter any bugs in the personal story. I’m hoping Tower Down is a fluke and the rest of the main story will be painless. For now, I’ve completed as much as I can at level 78 and now I have to get those last 2 levels to wrap everything up.

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WoW Me!

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It’s that time of year again. The tie when the blogosphere gets me hyped for a 14 year old game I’ve never played. Seriously, no matter if your excited or pretty meh, everyone is talking about Battle for Azeroth and it’s infectious.

This happens every time a new World of Warcraft expansion comes out. There’s a lot of buzz, people talk about all the good times they have had with WoW, people talk about all the changes, and I go and putter around in the free trial.

WoW has always seemed intimidating. There’s 14 years of discussion, history, and content behind it. It’s a huge game that people have grown up with, one that I grew up around  friends stories and second hand accounts. I’ve always loved the big, cartoony, colorful art and I love reading about peoples time in Azeroth but I’ve never put enough time in to say I’ve “played” World of Warcraft. I really don’t even know what the story other than Alliance vs Horde. Sometimes it can feel like I’m theres a big gap in my gaming vocabulary.

I know I’m in a weird minority of MMO players. WoW was a a lot of people’s gateway MMO. Mine was Runescape and then an assortment of free to play games.But even so, when an expansion is announced or released I get a little bit exited. That feeling usually fades as time goes on and there’s less to read about it as everything becomes old hat again. But for a few weeks out of the year I have the strongest urge to play.

That’s why I’m glad the free trial exists. It takes a while to level to 20. Just long enough, in fact, because by the time I hit level 15 or so I find myself losing interest. A part of me wants to stick it out some time and see the world I’ve spent so much time hearing about. Kind of like a curious explorer.

What is WoW like in 2018 for new players? I’ve heard a lot about what WoW was like for new players in 2004, and I’m gonna be honest guys, it all sounded a bit tedious.  Of course, over the years it’s the internet says it’s been dumbed-down to the point of being unplayable…or so I’ve heard. There seems like there is plenty to do, and a variety of ways to play, which there better be with 14 years of content to sift through. On the other hand, I have so many  games to play do I really have time to play the largest MMO out there?

Maybe my this time around will be different. I might just make a go at getting past level 20 and continuing on. Blizzard did just announce that purchasing the base game was no longer necessary. I’m participating in Blaugust this year so I’ll need something to write about for sure. In all likely hood I’ll be going through the motions of the trial again and move on to something else but who knows?

 

Getting Creative

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7 Days to Die is my second most played game on Steam sitting at just under 150 hours. Late one night me and a friend, Jay, were looking through multiplayer games and just happened to find this one. It also just happened to be on sale for under $10. Neither of us having played a survival sandbox decided to try it out. And we haven’t stopped playing since.

We get together at least once a week to fight off zombie hordes, scavange for crafting materials, and chop down trees for hours on end.  Believe it or not , that gameplay loop was pretty satisfying until recently. We’ve gone through 2 maps. The first one we played for almost 100 days and our most recent one we’ve played for about 40 days. The material grind is immense sometimes and after learning how to effectively dispatch zombies, there isn’t much of a challenge there anymore either.

So I had the bright idea this weekend to turn on “cheat mode” aka creative mode. This gives you access to the creative menu in a standard game offering every block and item in the game.  I never liked building in the normal game mode because the blocks take so much materials to made and if you misplace one you have to destroy it. Plus, how can you have time to build when there’s so much foraging and gathering to do.

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We set out to build a giant underground bunker because why not? Having access to everything makes building so much more enjoyable. Unfortunately, to make an underground bunker we had to first dig underground and hollow out a big enough space. . Once we hollowed everything out we got to work building the structure. I had a vision of a giant steril looking vault, complete with a ridiculous amount of ammo, weapons, tools and materials. A place that would have been amazing to stumble upon when we were actually playing. I must say, it tuned out quite nicely.

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I’ve been experimenting with the console commands much to Jay’s ire. Apparently filling our underground bunker with zombie vultures was not ideal.

Creative mode isn’t just great for building it’s also great for trying things you would never get to in the base game. For example, I wanted to find out if, given enough gas barrels, I could bring down a sky scraper. What followed was the longest explosion ever because setting off that many barrels at once destroyed the frame rate. I was almost certain the game was going to crash. After all of that, the building remained standing.

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Creative mode has given me a much needed break from the core game play loop while still playing 7 Days to Die. The plan for right now is to continue building and experimenting with creative until the next patch comes out. Maybe then I’ll feel like jumping back in to standard mode.

 

Something Just a Little Different

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I left the Steam sale this year with less games than the last few. I scoured through my wishlist to see if there was a burning desire to buy anything, and low and behold there wasn’t much. My wallet was happy.

There were 3 games that I’ve wanted for a while that I always tell myself the next time their on sale I’ll pick them up. I finally pulled the trigger last week and am now the proud owner of 3 JRPGS: Tales of Zestiria, Tales of Bersaria, and Legend of Hero’s Trails in the Sky. That last one is a mouthful. I used to play JRPGs all the time, I guess I was feeling a little nostalgic.

For some reason I decided I also wanted to play a pure puzzle game too. So now I own the Witness. We’ll see how long that desire lasts

I haven’t sat down to play a game by myself in a long time. Gaming is usually a social activity for me and my friends and even when I play games alone online there is still that social aspect.

I can’t tell you the last time I played an offline single player game. It’s nice to have a game just to yourself without worrying about getting people together to play with.

But these last two weeks I’ve been sucked into Tales of Zestiria. I can’t tell if it’s actually good or I’ve been away from single player RPGs for so long that it just seems that way. I find when I step away from something for a while, wethter it be books, tv, or movies, the first one back always seems like the best thing ever. Nevertheless, I’ve been enjoying it, racking up 20 hours so far.

The story is pretty simple, cliche even. Our hero, Sorey, sets out on an adventure with his best friend to stop the Lord of Calamity from taking over the world. Along the way you gather a menagerie of characters to join your party to defeat evil. It’s all really light-hearted  which is a nice change. It’s not overly dramatic or grim. None of the characters take themselves that seriously. It got a lot of charm .

Then there’s the battle system. This being my first Tales game, I’m not sure if the system has always been this confusing, but I’m still grateful for the tutorial messages that pop up from time to time even after 20 hours of gameplay. It’s a action battle system based around skill combos.  You control one character at a time and can switch between them if need be. Each character has it’s own set of skills and it’s been fun testing out which characters work best with each other.

I’ve been enjoying myself and I definitely feel like I’ll see this one through to the end. This might also be the first time I’ll beat a steam sale game so soon after purchase!