Heading Back to Trove

20170607160556_1

I’m back to playing Trove again this week. Sometimes I want a game I can turn my brain off and play and feel like I’m getting somewhere. It fills the same role as Diablo 3 for me, grind a few levels get some new gear while listening to music or something. I also have a group of friends who get together to run the weekly Shadow Towers, which are the closest thing Trove has to challenging content.

Lately I’ve been looking for a game I can play with no sound so I can catch up on some podcasts. Trove is perfect for this as I don’t have the game sounds on anyways because they’re a little repetitive. I think the entire soundtrack consists of 3 songs.

This week I took a break from my main class the Ice Sage and have been playing the Pirate Captain. I’ve had him for a long time and I don’t know why I haven’t played him before. He’s got a really great set of skills with parrot manned turrets, explosive decoys, and a giant cannon the fires molten cannon balls. In my adventures so far I’ve leveled him up past the 5k Power Rank needed to do higher level content with my friends. Also I got a class gem that lets me spawn 2 Parrot Turrets instead of just one. And we al know more turrents are always better.

Trove hasn’t had the sticking factor that it once had for me. Jay has been playing it every day for the last year and a half and I can’t seem to get into it for more than a month or 2 at a time. I used to really like unlocking and playing around with all the classes. When the game first launched there were new classes almost every month. As of late the class releases have slowed dramtically with the last one being released in August of last year.

Trove has been really slow with content updates as well. While there have been some major patches since the release of Mantle of Power, which came out last summer, none of them have added new features to the game and have seemed to just added more stuff to the store. In fact there was one “major update” that was just an improvement to the store UI. Apparently they’ll be adding sub-classes and a few more shadow tower bosses later this year but a release date hasn’t been mentioned yet.

I’m not sure how long I’ll be playing Trove this time around. I could be a few weeks or it could be a few months but right now I’m enjoying my time there.

 

Gaming Choice Paralysis

Screenshot (1)

Last week I built my first gaming PC. With that came a crash course in computer hardware installation and a great sense of accomplishment but also some unforeseen consequences. It ran for about 3 days until the power supply gave out causing a whole week worth of troubleshooting, researching, and more troubleshooting. But after all was said and done I was able to bring it back to life over the weekend!

For the past 8 years or so I’ve been attempting to play games on a business laptop. It wasn’t exactly an enjoyable experience. There were only a few kinds of games I could pay, Namely this came down to do I want to play a 2d side scroller, a pixelated indie game, or, if I was lucky, a game that came out 15 years ago. Other than that my choice in games has been whatever the PS3 and PS4 libraries held. While they aren’t small by any means there was always something I wanted to play but it wasn’t on the system.

Now I have all the options and I must admit it’s a little dizzying how many choices there are. I’ve already installed games I’ve been following for years but could never run well enough to play. Games like Guild Wars 2, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Black Desert Online, Wildstar, even World of Warcraft. They all run without skipping a beat, it’s fantastic.

Then there’s single player games I’ve been waiting on like Grim Dawn and Elite Dangerous. Though Elite Dangerous is set to release for PS4 at the end of the month…go figure.

Unfortunately I don’t have any really intensive game to really make my PC work hard but even my old games take on a new life at maximum settings and on a bigger monitor.

With all of these options how do I choose what to play? I find myself hopping from game to game saying “oooo look how pretty this one it” and then moving on to test another. It’s hard to pick just one to play for an hour but I can’t complain too much it’s a pretty good problem to have.

I’m Not Squishy: Back in the Saddle

gw006

Wow, I didn’t realize until I looked at the date on my last post that I had taken a 3 month break. I really didn’t mean to, suddenly it was the end of May! But fear not, I have returned with a vengeance. Alright, maybe not so much a vengeance, that sounds like a bit much.

I did a lot in over these last few months. Me and my friends tried our hands at Twitch streaming and Youtube shenanigans which has been quite fun. I went on a cruise in March which was quite an experience. Blue Skies, warm weather, water everywhere, it was great. Since March, I’ve been working a ton and always meaning to write a post and never quite getting around to it.

On the other hand I finally built myself a fancy PC so now I can play ALL the games. Seriously its a little overwhelming the amount of choice in games that have opened up to me. But that’s fine because there was only one game I’ve been waiting to play and that’s Guild Wars 2. And after sinking more than a few hours into it this weekend I have to say it’s been well worth the wait.

 

 

Now, I do have a level 80 character from before the expansion, so I’ve put some significant time into it already but I never felt like I was getting the full experience at 15 fps on the lowest settings. I’d like to say I don’t care about graphics, but who am I kidding I like pretty things. I made a new Sylvari Ranger and a lot has changed in terms of the new player experience since I’ve been gone. It’s like coming home though everything is a little bit familiar but I’ve forgotten enough that it’s not boring doing things over again.

I’m looking forward to finally be able to play some other games I haven’t been able to run like Wildstar, SWOTOR, even the Secret World (maintenance mode has never bothered me before). It’s always been a little weird for me following the news and development of the genre without actually being able to play the majority of the games I was interested in.

I’m really excited to get back into blogging. I’m going to try my best not to disappear for so long again. I think my little hiatus was necessarily but I miss writing so much and now I have something to write about again.

I hope you have a fantastic rest of your day and you’ll be hearing from me again real soon.

 

Sampling the Borderlands

20170202070338_1

For the better part of 2 weeks the only games on my gaming menu have been Borderlands, Borderlands 2, and Borderlands: The Pre Sequel. For better or for worse I’ve been bouncing between all three games depending on which one of my friends are on to play. I played Borderlands when no one was around, I played Borderlands 2 when Jay was around, and I’ve just started a play through of the Pre Sequel with Jay and CC.

I wasn’t interested in Borderlands when it first came out in 2009 on the account that I was really into the Nintendo Wii at the time and didn’t like the FPS genre all that much. I remember my friends in high school were eagerly awaiting it’s release. I didn’t even really know what it was until a few years later when I started playing it with Jay. By the time I played it with him he had played it 7 times over and new where do go and what to do andd ended up dragging me through the game. We kept restarting to play new characters and I don’t think we ever got farther than the second boss.

20170204185450_1

Fast forward to a few days ago when I decided to fire up the PC version of Borderlands I got from one steam sale or another. The game is brutal I spent more time at the revive station than actually shooting some times. By myself there’s no other focus for the enemies so I’m the one absorbing every bit of damage. It was still fun though if not challenging. It was the first time I actually paid any attention to the story and it turns out I wasn’t missing out on that much. As fun as it was I’ve made it to level 15 where we had stopped in the past and I don’t know if I’ll ever go back to finish it.

I bought the Handsome Jack Collection to play with Jay about a year and a half ago and we still haven’t beaten it. Borderlands 2 is much like Diablo 3 where I get in a mood to play it and then it becomes my main game for a few weeks until I get bored. So every few months or so we’d pick it back up and get a lot of story done and some DLC and then we’d stop.

Borderlands_ The Handsome Collection_20150926000457.jpg

It’s always been a struggle to get myself psyched to play it that first time after a long break because the co op game play is a lot of fun but the story is kinda boring even with a great cast of characters. And after a few hours the dialogue gets overdone. I love spoofs, puns, and pop culture references in games but when its all of that 24/7 it gets a little tiring.

With that being said me and Jay are currently working through BL2’s DLC Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragons Keep and it’s fantastic. I especially enjoyed a quest line spoofing Dark Souls and the whole setting of being in a tabletop game. In fact both the DLC’s that we’ve played through have been much more interesting than the rest of the game.

Borderlands: The Handsome Collection_20170207211803

Now we’ve just started the story in the Pre-sequel and it’s nothing new in terms of story telling or game play. But the Pre-Sequel, despite the story outshines the other 2 in terms of co op for one reason. I can be ClapTrap who is simultaneously the trolliest and most supportive character all in one. I can dish out tons of helpful buffs and abilities to my allies one moment and then turn us all into bouncing rubber ducks the next moment. Much to the chagrin of my friends. Since the game is set on the moon there’s very little air and apparently there’s a mechanic my friends keep talking about where they have to fill up their air canisters every now and then or they die….but I don’t really know because as a robot I don’t need air.

So after this intensive few weeks of the crash course to the Borderlands series I can say that its much more fun to play with friends than alone, the story is nothing to write home about, but the game play and co op is top notch. Your always one drop away from a gun that will change your entire play style or make you super overpowered for your level.

New Dungeon Jitters

Kluwes A'llond 02/03/2017 09:29:31

While I’ve been continuing through the 2.XX main quest line I keep getting distracted by quest that unlock things. As a result I’ve filled up my quest tracker and journal with a bunch of quests that unlock more parts of the game. Most of the ones I’ve picked up have led to unlocking more dungeons and primal fights. While a few of them have been new dungeons most of them are Hard Mode of the rest of the ARR dungeons and trials.

New dungeons are exciting but there are always those new dungeon jitters. These are so old that most of the players in the Duty  Finder have already done them many times over which results in being dragged through which isn’t an ideal way to experience new content. That’s just how it is though coming in later, which I totally understand. But I also don’t want to slow them down too much as I’m learning the dungeon.  What still surprises me is that even though these Hard Mode dungeons are being run as efficiently as possible by the more experienced players they still stop and explain things when I ask, which is awesome.

Kluwes A'llond 01/30/2017 10:34:08

In the regular story dungeons in ARR there is some skipping of rooms and alternate paths but the group typically kills everything in its way. What’s throwing me off with these level 50 dungeons is that the tank will either pull everything and their mother or just skip entire packs of mobs. It feels faster passed and more rushed than the regular story dungeons ever did.

Now I know I could possibly get FC mates or a PUG together to this stuff slower but I know eventually I too will be running these dungeons again and again so I might as well learn how its usually run.

Kluwes A'llond 01/31/2017 10:13:07

 

Other than new content I’ve been leveling up my pugilist through the daily leveling roulette. It’s going pretty well I like the class much more than I did the last time I played it. It’s fun moving around the enemies to land those positionals. It feels like a very active class. After being in greased lighting for a while and losing it the GDC skills feel like they take forever to reset. I’m also enjoying the class quest story line and Hamon Holyfist is such a delightful character.

 

 

I Risked the Rain

Risk of Rain_20170122162045A very rare occurrence happened last week. I bought a game and within the span of a week I beat it. I guess “beat” is a relative term for risk of rain because while I got to the final boss and killed him there is still a whole lot to unlock.

I’ve been eyeing this game for a long time. It’s been on my steam wish list for as long as I’ve had a steam wish list and for some reason I never pulled the trigger. Part of this was I heard it was a great multiplayer game and could never convince my friends to get it. This past PSN  Flash sale the game was a mere $4 and I thought to myself if I don’t get it now I’ll never get it. As it turns out one of  Jay and I’s mutual friend had it too so I had someone to play multiplayer with. That and the fact that it was a PS4 and Vita cross buy it was finally time to get it.

Risk of Rain_20170122161436

I knew going in Risk of Rain was a rouge like, I knew it had pixel graphics, and I knew it was highly acalimed. What I didn’t know was that there were so many classes to unlock, the difficulty increased with time, and that I would be facing a relentless onslaught of tiny creatures for an hour or more.

I really like the fact that the difficulty goes up as time goes on. It adds a little more to the rouge-like formula. You can spend time after you clear the map looking for the chests and power ups you might have missed or you can go to the next level and have a slightly easier time on the next world.

Risk of Rain_20170122180458

Playing this through in multiplayer has kind of ruined the single player experience for me. With 2 people the game is challenging but not seemingly impossible. I can only imagine how fun and chaotic three or four players would be. I played the first 2 hours in single player and only managed to make it to end of the third world. But when I was playing with a friend we beat the game twice in one night. I

Being a rouge like it has a ton of replay value that’s only added to bye the many classes available to unlock. So far I’ve unlocked 4 and they all have a unique feel to them.  also think some of the classes make more sense when playing with other people. There’s just no way I’m playing through the single player with the sniper with his single shot rifle that needs to be manually reloaded. Therese also artifacts to unlock that add interesting mechanics to the game like being able to choose which power up you get out of a chest or enemies dropping bombs when they die.

My favorite experience with it so far has been when a friend and I wentaround seeing how many drones we could collect at once. We took our massive drone army and obliterated everything on the last level just by getting close enough to be in drone firing range.

Risk of Rain_20170122150008

What I like most about the game is that there is a real sense of progression throughout the game. I think this has to do with the fact that the difficulty is always increasing and with it the number of enemies on screen as well as the distribution of power ups. In the beginning its fairly easy with low level monsters spawning leisurely. In the middle you are getting your bearings and are facing situations that get dicey. By the end of the run you’re done actively dodging individual monsters because you have so much health and can take out big chunks of their health. Until you get to that final boss fight and you have to dodge.

This was the best purchase I’ve made in a while. I’ve already gotten my moneys worth out of the game and still have so much to unlock. It’ll definitely be one of those games that stays installed on my system for a while.

 

January Recap/February Goals

2017-01-14-183823

On the FFXIV front:

January Recap

  • After about 9 months and 300 hours later I’ve finally gotten myself through ARR. It’s not that I didn’t like the content or the story but I couldn’t decide what class I wanted to play, I had to try them all and after I found one I really liked and leveled to 50 I’d find another I  liked and start the process over. I really got to know all the ARR dungeons well after leveling a White Mage, a Bard, a Dragoon, and a Ninja to 50 before I completed the Main Scenario.

February Goals

  • Finishing the 2.XX content and getting into Heavensward: Its only been 3 months since I installed Heavensward, it’s about time I actually get to play it.
  • Level Monk to 42: I keep seeing that Mantra is a good cross class skill for a lot of dps classes.While I’m not particularly loving the pugilist right now it is fun to punch things and I’ll be using my Leveling Roulettes on this.

On the Backlog Front:

January:

  • I finished 3 games this month which is more than I’ve finished in a while. I now have Final Fantasy 1, Azkend 2: The World Beneath, and Risk of Rain under my belt.

February Goals

  • Finish a Steam game: I’ve been playing a lot of games on my PS4 and PS Vita but my steam backlog needs some love. I’m not sure if I’m going to continue with my steam games organized by game length or not but there are some games on the sidebar that I’d like to play so I’ll probably pick one of those.
  • Start Final Fantasy 2