Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Time of Transition..



So it's beginning to look like I quite likely won't be finishing The War in Kryta after all.  It's not for a lack of wanting to -- but more for a lack of patience - on my part.  The last mission I completed, A Little Help from Above,  required a solid two to three hour block of uninterrupted time to complete.  And it took me four attempts before I got it right.  The next mission, Temple of the Intolerable, seemed like it would be a cake walk, by comparison.  But again, I've attempted it three times already, with well over an hour spent on each attempt, and so far, still haven't got the magic combination of stuff to complete it.  I probably still wouldn't mind so much if the missions were a bit more varied, but each of these missions have boiled down to use the same tactic over and over again without making a mistake until you get to the end.  It's a very old school mission design, and quite frankly I find myself increasingly inpatient with it, especially when there's so much new and exciting stuff on the horizon.



Like, for instance, Guild Wars 2!  The third and final Beta Weekend Event is this weekend, and I am stupidly excited.  If you haven't yet, you can read the full writeup here of what will be available this weekend.  But the short version is they've opened up the last of the starter zones - those for the Asura and the Sylvari, and they're deleting everyone's characters before and after the event.  In short, this weekend will be a starter zone stress test for their servers, and will  most closely test exactly the issues  they'll face on launch day.  Can you say Starter Zone Stampede?  It's okay though - I actually love this part of the game, where every zone is full of people, and everyone is equally excited and just happy to be there and be playing.  They are, for any MMO, the headiest of days.

City of Heroes continues to be that girl you call when you're in between relationships, and you just want to go out and have a great time and relax, and not feel any pressure!  This weekend was no different.  And I was just as pleased as I always am when I return at the amount of new stuff they've added.  For instance, they've added a very cool water bending blasting set, which has some great effects, and comes with some interesting mechanics as well.  They've also added a holiday task force, imaginatively billed as a Summer Blockbuster Double Feature.  It's a two-part mission, that has you filling the major roles of cheesy summer blockbuster movie.

I found the first one - Casino Heist, to be especially entertaining.  At the beginning of the mission (which is only a four player mission), each of you pick a "role" to play in the movie - the Thief, the Grifter, the Socialite, etc.  And in each stage of the mission, each of you are put in separate areas, and you have to do your part.  For instance, as the thief, I had to search the casino owner's office for some passcodes, while the grifter had to keep the casino owner occupied, while someone else had to do something else, and you get the idea.  You'd think learning to do your part might be difficult, but the mechanics themselves are very simple, and it's spelled out pretty clearly what you have to do.  Once each of you complete your parts, you're thrown back together at your hideout, where you then have to fight off several waves of badguys and some bosses.  None of it is earth-shattering, but it's a very cool and inventive use of their existing mission technology.  I had a blast!

Several of my friends picked up The Legend of Grimrock during the Steam Summer Sale, so water cooler conversations prompted me to dig back into that just last night.  There's not a lot to say about it, save that it's great, retro gaming fun, and if you're looking for some of retro-gaming goodness with a modern day look, you should definitely check it out.  I'm still not a fan of their spell-casting mechanic, but I suppose that's part of its charm - or so I'm told.  Oh and if you do play it, one word of advice - this is very much a mobile game.  And by that, I don't mean you play it on your phone.  I mean.. MOVE!

I suspect the next month will be spent in pretty much the same treading-water mode I'm in right now.  I might make a few more attempts at the crazy missions in Guild Wars, because I really do want to finish that storyline.  I suspect I'll finish Grimrock, and maybe even dabble in some other single-player diversions (I still have Uncharted 3 to finish.. Mmm..).  And I'll probably spend some time levelling my City of Heroes character to level 40.  But it's all really just killing time until August 28th.  And after that?  All bets are off baby!