A blogging lull

My month in Eorzea ended recently, quite uneventful. I managed to get my Relic Weapon, the bow for the Bard – but I even forgot the name. It’s iLevel 615 and looks ok.

Other than that I’m hardly logging in to WoW, basically trying to earn a little money with missions and waiting for the expansions, rarely leveling my last 4 chars – but I have 2 weeks left, even a little more.

My time is spent mostly with EVE, but not much to write about.

Minion Masters

Probably gonna jinx it by posting about it, but I’ve started playing Minion Masters last week – it’s free to play with ingame stuff, no clue if it’s pay to win, so far I haven’t felt the need to buy anything. I’m only like 20 games in (2 hours) but it’s fun for a few minutes per day. Of course there’s free login stuff and small quests like “Win 3 matches” but also neat stuff like rotating free heroes (I think LoL also has this) and then some “Win 5 matches with the rotating heroes”, and several different tournament and ladder modes.

Oh, what kind of game? I’d say it’s realtime Magic: The Gathering. Two opponents face each other, you play the cards from your hand (mostly creatures, some spells), those run towards the enemy and hopefully kill their minions and then life pool. If it has strong MOBA vibes, I am not feeling them. It’s quick and fun and nothing of the annoying weird stuff, but I’m way down in the league. Anyway, fun game – recommended.

Random bits about games

Currently a bit meh on everything gaming wise. Retail WoW is ok, but also not perfect, detailed post probably incoming soon.

I’m feeling the urge to play something Diablo-like, but not the same old Diablo 3 again. As I wrote, unfortunately I couldn’t find a lot of fun in the Torchlight Infinite Beta. I thought about Path of Exile, but as one of my main points atm would be co-op, and my wife wasn’t enthusiastic about returning to it, that’s a no. (“How about PoE?” – “Nah, I don’t like it” – “Steam says you played it for over 250 hours” – “Yeah, but maybe I didn’t have fun for the last 50 hours” – “…” – “…”).

Then I saw that Darksiders: Genesis was on sale and people described it as Diablo-like, so we tried that, but both didn’t really get to terms with the WASD movement and some research yielded: click to move doesn’t work, also in general some keybinds seemed to be “play this with a controller or GTFO” – so that was the first game in a combined ~20 years of Steam that was returned after 30min. (Only bought one copy and both tried it).

So, I also didn’t like Torchlight 2 (she did) and so I’m not fond of trying Torchlight 3 and that’s that. Maybe we should try Grim Dawn or Victor Vran after all.

Then there’s also the loose end of Guild Wars 2 where the bugged multiplayer story missions annoyed me so much that I completely stopped playing in July, also I don’t really want another WoW-like MMO atm, I want some ARPG. Maybe we should actually go back to Diablo 3 and I’ll just not take a Demon Hunter…

But I also played a little bit of “The Bridge”, a puzzle game I found in my Epic library, it’s really cool.
Then I tried out Solitairica which is kinda cute (but the sound effects are a little annoying) and I think it’s a good game if you enjoy Solitaire or Rummy or such things. I found it a little too luck-based and slow.

Then I also finally gave Prison Architect a spin, a game I’d had wishlisted for quite some time and then somehow got it, maybe also for free via Epic, but I noticed I don’t like it. Like, I was impressed with what you can do and it looks enjoyable enough.. but it simply didn’t click with me but I can give no objective criticism except one time in the campaign I had to let the fire brigade try to extinguish a fire and for some reason that burning tree would not stop, no matter how I positioned four firemen around it, moved them around, tried auto aim and manual aim. Had to restart the level, which was no problem, that were like 3 minutes lost, still weird.

Torchlight Infinite Impressions

When I saw Connor’s post about Torchlight Infinite I was interested and wanted to give it a try. We played the original Torchlight for quite a bit in this household (Diablo-style ARPGs are usually very popular) and while I didn’t really get into Torchlight II, my wife really liked it and also played a lot.

So, beta it is. The graphics are awesome, I love Cel Shading and it looks nice. After playing for just shy of 2 hours that’s unfortunately everything positive I have to say. It kinda feels clunky (maybe also because it’s a mobile port to PC), the UI is not great, but mostly… it just doesn’t seem to be fun for me. I tried all the classes, some are better than others, but overall there’s a complete lack of this “I just started and I want more” feeling that these games usually evoke. One more mob, one more level, one more map. Nope, nothing. It feels kinda slow, the mechanics feel weird to me and then there are the little things. The minimap is on the upper left and I always want to look to the right (very minor detail), I didn’t yet try to rebind from Q W E R + D F, but I can’t hold shift to stay still, I need to only right click attack. Yes, this sounds a bit like “I want Diablo” but those controls make sense for me, these don’t.

I guess it’s absolutely worth a try if you like these sort of games, but it’s not for me. Watching a Level 30 Fire Mage destroy stuff looked kinda fun, but I’m not feeling like putting even 3h in to continue. In my opinion they need to work on the first 20 minutes of gameplay.

Now it’s a day later and I continued to play the Melee Warrior type class a bit and it was actually a little more fun, interesting how a single skill can change everything. Also my wife agreed that the dual pistol class I originally started with is not fun. Maybe I’ll sink some more time in after all, now that I didn’t hate it.

Torchlight Infinite Beta – standing in town

Diablo Immortal

Everyone knows (I hope) that mobile games have a bad reputation for being money sinks, but if only half of this is true (and I have zero reason to think that not everything is true) then Diablo Immortal might be the worst pay2win/money grab I’ve ever had the displeasure of hearing about:

“Preach Reacts to Bellular’s Diablo Immortal Video”

Also small disclaimer: Usually not a huge fan of reaction videos, but in this case it’s kinda “watch one video and get the opinions of three people I value without having to watch several videos”.

Wow, it’s bad.

On Being Casual

For some reason I had the idea that getting back into Guild Wars 2 would be fun on the weekend, not in a “let’s start and play a bit” but more “would I be willing to invest some time again” – because I think I was in a FFXIV duty roulette queue at the time and of course I can’t just stare at the screen for those 15 minutes…

I asked on Discord if my gear was still ok (or even good) and several people reassured me that nothing had changed in GW2 and my Level 80 Ascended and Exotic pieces were still completely fine.

Tessa remarked “Yeah, one of the reasons why Gw2 is casual friendly. Take 6 years off and your gear still holds up.” and that got me thinking a bit. What does playing something casual mean anyway? Our FFXIV static was formed to raid savage at our own pace, and originally once per week (we did add an hour for reclears on a second day meanwhile) but we’ve not yet skipped a week I think, and it’s savage – so ist that even casual? My WoW guild is strictly limiting raids to 2x2h per week, very rarely do we spend 5 minutes extra on a pull. We managed AOTC in 9.1 and before I joined they managed AOTC in 9.0 as well, and I think they’ve been doing that for many expansions. Despite taking everyone in the guild above a certain token item level and even getting them through heroic (unless someone actually sabotages a single fight) I wouldn’t call that casual. Non-hardcore raiding, yes – but casual?

On the other hand I guess my adventures in SWTOR are actually casual, it’s just that I spend a lot of my time there when I am playing. But apart from the launch raids in 2011/12 I’ve not raided progression and I only joined farm raids 1-2 times. I don’t do dungeons, I basically just level toons and get some gear and achievements. So that’s casual I guess. TESO is complicated, I think if you’re just starting a game and never coming close to max level or any real goal that might be casual by a proper definition, but I’d just call it being a beginner. So, GW2 then. I heard there are raids, but I don’t know anyone who does them. Most people also weren’t keen on fractals, maybe this game’s goals are actually more aligned to casuals overall.

Oh, and Diablo 3 – is it casual if you start a fresh season, grind yourself to max level and then through the rifts and Paragon levels until you lose interest? Do you actually have to be good (compared to others) to not be casual? Or is being invested (time) and progression-focused enough to temporarily not be a casual?

I don’t know. I guess my definition of being casual stops with having an organized scheduled group to focus on a goal that’s non-trivial (or pugging that stuff that’s usually done this way), so that would be raiding Heroic in WoW (but I guess Normal also counts) but in FFXIV I’d draw the line at Savage and EX because Normal Asphodelos is no comparison to a Normal WoW raid. You can have 2-3 of 8 people never being there, needing 2-3 rezzes each, and still winning in a reasonable time. Good luck with 5 of your 20 people dying early in WoW.

But back to the original question. I made a spreadsheet for my three main GW2 toons with their gear and plan to investigate if I can craft or otherwise get some upgrades before I actually plan to play, so maybe I really suck at casual gaming.

Trying out Lost Ark

This is a draft I found, I originally wrote this a few weeks ago and really wanted to have a second session with Lost Ark but it hasn’t happened yet and I’m not hopeful, so here it goes:

After postponing it for a while while a good chunk of people were raving about it, another part was lamenting the queues and a small minority was like “Why the fuzz, it’s not a new game”, I was standing at the side lines and waiting. A while ago one night I started the download while doing something else and then gave it a quick spin.

The character creation is kinda nice and yes, the randomizer gives you more hilarious options than any other game. I’m not a fan of gender-locked classes but it’s not a big deal for me personally. I love how they made this “try out the class in a short battle” before deciding, that is a really great idea.

I went with an Assassin (not-the-sword-spec) first but I didn’t really like the combat. Oh, and I kinda hate the controls in a “why different buttons to move and attack, this should be like Diablo” way. Need to check if I can change that but I only see “left to move, right to attack” and “right to move, left to attack”. Hmm… Also one of the attacks has a horrible sound effect.

The voiceovers are kinda terrible but the graphics are really pretty. When it comes to cutscenes it’s a little meh but that might be because they’re overdoing the effects. Yes, female characters walk ridiculously. Later I also tried a Warrior (Berserker) and I think I might enjoy this one more, that’s why I didn’t claim all the stuff on the Assassin yet.

I wrote that it’s inferior to Diablo 3 in every aspect except the graphics, it’s a whole lot of meh – but this was my first 100 minute impression, I definitely want to give it a second chance on another day and actually progress more than the prologue + first city, BUT if the combat feels bad at the start already, or the controls, is this salvageable? I also found myself skipping the cutscenes very quickly because I’m not anticipating a great story anyway.

Games I played for 500 hours – part 2

Back in January I wrote about games I sunk 500+ hours in but didn’t have numbers for a lot of them. Today I checked GW2 because someone asked, I am subscribed to WoW now anyway, and SWTOR is patched up at least

Ok, so:

  • Guild Wars 2 – 589 hours
    • Warrior 226h
    • Guardian 103h
    • Thief 89h
    • Ranger 70h
    • Necromancer 56h
    • Mesmer 32h
  • WoW – addon says 717 days = 17000 hours
  • WoW TBC Classic – 3d + 8d 18h + 4d 20h + some lowbies = ~17d = ~400h, so no
  • SWTOR – at least 50d = 1200h
    • Sage – 16d 18h
    • Commando – 4d
    • Scoundrel – 5d 10h
    • Operative – 4d 6h
    • Juggernaut – 7d
    • Powertech – 14d 5h
    • 5 more at 75 that were mostly just leveled up

Unfortunately EVE Online killed the possibility to look at your /played in 2020.

The Daily Routine

I brought this on myself but currently there’s GW2 to log in for the daily login reward, then there’s EVE with all the accounts which grant a daily login award after 13:00, SWTOR (which doesn’t remember the password and needs the 2FA code) after 13:00, then I can do a few dailies and World Quests and progress the story a bit in WoW, and then I haven’t started with FFXIV.

On logging in my 3-4 retainers are waiting with their finished 18h Venture, there’s Expert Roulette for a few days to cap my highest-tier tomestones, the MSQ is too good on EXP to not queue up with a non-max level job (but at least I can browse or chat during the cutscenes), then sometimes I feel like doing the other roulettes, Trial or Level or even 50/60/70/80 (but not PvP). Then I still have some Beast Tribes to do. Pixies are really quick for good EXP on a 7x char, I started Qitari recently and want to finish Namazu – and don’t forget to check Grand Company turnins for some quick wins.

And that’s without the weeklies. Wondrous Tails, the 4 wings of Aspho on normal (especially the 4th one, but they are kinda quick), then Custom Deliveries as long as my DoH jobs are not at max level (missing Goldsmith and Leatherworker atm, both at 83ish) and maybe I even forgot something. Oh right, the Fashion thing and Cactpot. I totally gave up on Mini Cactpot, by the way.

On the other hand I feel like I’m progressing at a nice pace – all of the jobs I wanted at 90 are at 90, gear is shared inside a role (which is awesome) and I feel like I could skip most daily things if I lacked the time, which isn’t the case at the moment.

I guess it makes sense to not play too many MMOs when just one can absolutely fill your daily gaming time even if there’s plenty of it.

Speaking of WoW, I must have missed the reason why we went to Zereth Mortis, or it’s not such a cool thing that I forgot already. The zone is… ok I guess? I am completely happy to focus on just one character (which I already did in 9.1) and ignore the gear threadmill for now. I’m still at 240-241 iLvl and Sepulcher will drop 252 on normal. I am not running M+ but I’ll see that I get the World Boss done every week. Also maybe the Cypher will provide an upgrade or two, when I spent enough research.


It’s a weird month. Lost Ark launched and I wanted to take a look. Today SWTOR’s new expansion Legacy of the Sith launched and I actually patched, logged in, and tried out the new character creation. We got a date for WoW’s 9.2 patch and I’m unsure if I want to get back and raid.

All this and I’m kinda busy with FFXIV. We seem to have added a 2nd (short) raid day without me really noticing and hardly anyone needs any drops from P1S anymore on their main class. We made some good progress on P2S already and maybe Sunday we’ll succeed… at least my EVE sub lapses in a few days, so I’d technically be free to pay for a 2nd MMO again (with my self-imposed limit of a maximum of 2 concurrent subs).

The question is if I want to. Maybe I’ll manage to find out if I can get by on my Preferred SWTOR account and have a meaningful peek without having to sub right now, then give WoW a chance for a single month, and then see how I feel about either of them…

Bad timing, this month is too busy.