Games

Shadowrun: Dragonfall completed

Thanks to the public holiday I stayed up until 3 am and continued after getting up, so I’m finally done with Shadowrun: Dragonfall. It’s so good! I finished it in ~18h according to Steam, which is more than twice the time than Shadowrun Returns – but I think I didn’t skip any side quest this time.
My main character was (again) a Ranged Street Samurai (this time Female Troll named Tar instead of Male Orc named Zip) and I used only Rifles (Assault and Sniper) and a Shotgun near the end. I mostly played with Dietrich (Shaman) on Support, Eiger (Sniper) and Glory (Melee) but sometimes took Blitz (Decker) over Glory. I totally didn’t see the Cyberware menu for the first ~10 hours, so only used the active stuff in the end.
There are two things I didn’t like, first of all the loading times when starting the game. At times it took 2-3 minutes to get into, this is a bit weird (but it wasn’t on my SSD, so ok). When moving from zone to zone (which doesn’t happen that often, maybe twice per hour max) it was a lot quicker, but still a bit slow. And the grand finale was just too easy. Or maybe I¬†minmaxed a little too much, but in the middle of the game I sometimes struggled with fights (had to abandon and reload once), and in the end I was just waltzing through. Didn’t even use my medkits anymore and hardly a heal. Also only used one summon out of three I had.
Everything else was basically perfect, I am so much looking forward to Hong Kong now.
I might even try to get a few more achievements out of this game and play as a non-Samurai, we’ll see.
 
But now I can finally listen to that AggroChat episode without being spoilered ūüôā

Shadowrun Returns completed

I remember buying Shadowrun Returns quite a while ago and promptly started to play. For about 30 minutes and then somehow I never came back.
Now I know that was a huge mistake. Shadowrun: Dragonfall was marked down quite a bit on Steam and I pondered buying it, in the knowledge that the predecessor still sat there unfinished. So I set out to give it another chance (because I actually love the Shadowrun world and played the pen & paper for quite a bit). This resulted in me spending most of Saturday (nearly 9 hours to be exact) playing through from 30min in till the end credits. And I can only say: WOW, it’s so good and so much fun. I think at around the 4 hour mark I alt-tabbed to quickly buy Dragonfall (which I started to play just now, it looks equally well done¬†so far)
It’s not revolutionary, but it’s a solid single player role-playing game with turn-based tactical combat. (Queue memories of Syndicate in the 90s) I think I played on normal and only had to reload once because I lost a fight and I needed to peek into a walkthrough three times. One of those was genuine (at the UB), the other too I could blame on the game itself. First I didn’t know where to go because I didn’t get that “Sure you want to leave the scene?” in combat mode is not a bad thing, just the way to the next zone. And then nothing happened where something should happen, but I should’ve just walked around a bit for a turn or two. So I don’t call those two cheating, only the first thing I mentioned (at the UB).
So yeah¬†–¬†no crashes, perfect difficulty level, it was just a bit short. According to some research it should’ve been around 10-12h and not 9, but maybe I forgot a few side quests. I am quite happy it’s not 20+ because I love to finish a game once in a while.
Still undecided if I grab the preorder for Hong Kong on Steam or if playing Dragonfall is now enough in the near future.. We’ll see.

Trine 2 (AggroChat Game Club 2)

I’m a big fan of the AggroChat podcast and when they revealed the game they’d be all playing in March turned out to be Trine 2 I rummaged around in my Humble Bundle purchases because the name sounded vaguely familiar. I was in luck, because I apparently had a key and so I wanted to give it a try after all.
So like most of the folks from AggroChat I did not finish Trine 2, but I wholeheartedly agree with most of their review points: It’s a nice platformer/puzzle game that looks absolutely fantastic. Most puzzles (up to the point where I stopped, at some point after the 2nd boss) were fair.
I did nearly all my fighting on the Warrior (with a few arrows here and there and crushing a few enemies with a box), did most of the jumping on the Thief and solved most of the puzzles as the Wizard.
I also agree on the shortcomings, meaning that “conjuring boxes” solves too many problems.
I totally couldn’t stop laughing when it came to discussing the pipe puzzles and the perceived lack of means to rotate them – like Bel I spent a minute or two on each puzzle hitting them against the assets and my character to spin them around instead of finding the keybinding to do that.
Oh, and go listen to that episode if you’re interested – I think besides the criticism of it being too easy I agree with mostly everything they said. I’m so out of touch with single player games in general and platformers especially that it was hard enough for me. But I mostly stopped for time reasons (all those Marvel Heroes need to be levelled after all…) and I’ll absolutely try to finish it at some point.
Awesome game – play it!

2014 gaming expenses

Why come up with original content when you can grab the best ideas? ūüôā
This is what I spent on games and gaming in 2014, but I’m sure I forgot somethng.

MMOs, roughly by time /played

WoW: 156 EUR
I was subscribed for 6 months in early 2014 (I think 2 of those were spent only logging in once a week and chatting to guildies, could’ve saved that) and for 1 month in December after I had bought Warlords of Draenor 2 weeks after launch, end of November. WoD was 45 EUR¬†and I also had one paid character transfer in February to the server where I was working on Algalon.
WildStar: ~105 EUR
I don’t remember the box price (around 40 EUR?) and I’ve been subscribed since launch (5 months).
Pet peeve: NCSoft always needs 2FA via email because my IP changed. Doh, I live in Germany, where roughly 75% of non-mobile users have a new IP on a daily basis.
SW:TOR: 36 EUR
I was subscribed for 3 months, January until March. If I remember correctly I was levelling my Jedi Sage to 55. No clue why I didn’t write¬†about it.
EVE Online: 48 EUR
I was subscribed until February and came back in late¬†October. That’s 4 months of subscriptions (1 discounted) and I spent 2 PLEX on dual training I had already paid for in 2013.
Marvel Heroes: 8.50 EUR
I started close to New Year’s Eve and spent money on 1000G to buy 3 heroes at the sale. Quite fun, looking forward to finishing the story mode for the first time.

Other games

Diablo 3 – Reaper of Souls: 40 EUR
Back when it launched it was fun for a while, but now awesome fun like Diablo 2 was. In the patch preceding the expansion launch and also after the expansion I played a whole lot. Worth the money, even if went a little stale after a while again.
Steam: ~30 EUR
Hammerwatch 4-pack,¬†Assassin’s Creed 2,¬†AC¬†3, AC: Brotherhood, AC: Revelations,¬†10000000,¬†Game Dev Tycoon,¬†Terraria,¬†Gunpoint
I had grabbed Assassin’s Creed 2 at a sale,¬†completed it in a few days and bought the sequels, started with Brotherhood then went to play something else. Still looking forward to finishing them.
I wrote about Game Dev Tycoon and loved it. Same for¬†Gunpoint. Terraria wasn’t really my cup of tea and 10,000,000 was a bit weird, but after an hour it was more fun than in the beginning. And Hammerwatch I only stopped playing because of Marvel Heroes. Still plan to finish it piecemeal.
GoG: 15 EUR
Heroes of Might & Magic 5 Bundle, The Settlers 4, Age of Wonders Shadow Magic, Master of Orion 1+2
After this post¬†I didn’t buy Anno, but Settlers 4. I got the Master of Orion titles because of good things I heard, but it’s a bit too oldschool it seems, I wasn’t immediately hooked. HoMM 5 got a decent amount of play time already, it looks better and plays nearly as good as HoMM 3. (HoMM 4 sucked, btw)
Humble Bundle: 13 EUR
Humble Bundle 11 and Shadowrun Returns, haven’t played any of these for an extended amount of time.
XBox 360: 0 EUR
The only topic where I can’t easily track my purchases online, because I only pick up discounted games in stores here and there, but I’m pretty sure Lego Marvel Heroes was the last one at Christmas 2013.
That’s ~450 EUR in 12 months or 37.50 EUR per month. A lot more than I had thought but still not too bad for a hobby that I could¬†spend a few hours a day with.
To reflect on what could be done to save some money:

  • only 2 MMO subs per month (should be no problem, 2014 it was 19 months of subs in total)
  • restrain myself even more at¬†sales on Steam/GoG/Humble Bundle (wasn’t too bad though) Then again I think I bought more Humble Bundles because of the soundtracks or one game than because of the majority of games in it
  • if I didn’t count incorrectly, I paid for 3 full price games or expansions (D3, WS, WoD)

Completed: Game Dev Tycoon

At today’s Steam Summer Sale I grabbed Game Dev Tycoon for around 4 EUR. I started to play around noon and just now, after 6h I am finished.
Small intermission: There’s only a handful of games I really ever completed, on the SNES I just remember one Clay Fighter title, for example – I usually give up somewhere midway, and this week I already completed 2, yay me.
So, the game is about running a small game studio from one man in a garage to being a multi-million (I didn’t manage billions) company with employees.
gdt_final
I like the art style, it’s basic, but absolutely good enough. The music is nice and did not annoy me even after 6h despite being a little repetitive. I never worked in games development, but it’s a pretty damn accurate portrayal of software development in general, just enough details to not be wrong, without needless stuff players are probably not interested in (imho).
Apparently I unlocked 15/33 (45% of Achievements).

  • I got surprisingly few things to criticize:
  • The “selected features” when creating a new game are somewhat like a tech tree, i.e. you replace “Stereo Sound” with “Surround Sound”, but the UI does not group them. So either you throw the old ones out in your new game engine (which is kind of final and you might not always want to do that) or you click around a little too much. Cheap win for UX. (nice to have)
  • Events that occur to you can’t be postponed. No problem for donation calls or something, but just at the end (without spoilering) I would have liked to send my whole team on vacation for a month before they undertook this massive event that popped up and I could just accept or decline. (Surprisingly, the only non-exhausted developer came ahead. I snickered.) (The game doesn’t punish you, but would be nice and would add depth to your decisions)
  • Game Conventions should need planning. This one G3 (hehe) is announced to be “in 4 weeks” – but I have no timetable, if I can ship my game just before. Then again the game apparently does not care if I announce Vaporware or have a fresh title. (nice to have)
  • You can speed up most info dialogs by clicking, just not the 2 of them: visitor numbers from game conventions and reviews for your game. Why, why, why? “Click for instant text and dismiss the animation after the 10th time” – this was really annoying in the end. But to be fair it made me get up every hour and fetch a drink or something. Maybe educational ūüôā
  • After playing for some hours you have just too many games and they are presented badly in the Game History. Bonus points for allowing arrow keys, but next playthrough I will open an Excel sheet on the second screen or have some pen and paper handy. I don’t miss that from the 90s games – but I think it could help, unless the Game History would be presented better (gets tedious after your first 20-30 games) for games to be grouped, filtered or sorted.
  • That’s it – not much that was not super fun.

Oh, and here are my final stats:
gdt2gdt1

Gaming plans for 2013

So, having just vented that I don’t enjoy WoW as much as i used to, what’s next?
For now I’m not cancelling my sub, just lowering play time. I’ve patched LotRO again this week and made 2 levels on my Hobbit Bard, now level 22. It’s a little weird, as usual, especially as I use a different keyboard for now, but quite fun. Need to read some guide again, though. (Yes, I’m that kind of person. Too lazy to try out all the stuff myself, too incompetent to just figure it out quickly and too competitive to not bother.)
There’s one title I’ve been anticipating a lot for a while now, WildStar, and one that I’m at least looking forward to, although not being sold entirely yet, Starbound.
And I plan on keep on ignoring these titles in the near future despite having them installed: Runes of Magic, SW:TOR and DDO.
Besides that I’m still searching for the one Roguelike I love (haven’t found it yet) and maybe I’ll finish my own game in a few years. We’ll see.

Tales of my inactivity are greatly exaggerated

Oh, it has been a while. *dusts off blog*
Mostly because I havent’t been enjoying WoW as much as I used to.
My 90s right now are Rogue, Warrior, Shaman, Hunter, Priest, Paladin and Rogue, with a Warlock at 89 and a Druid at 87. I don’t do Pet Battles, Achievement Hunting is stalling, but apparently levelling is ok again since the 5.3 XP boost. Oh, and levelling a Shadow Priest sucks donkey balls, dito instances and Disc is kind of ok, but was more fun at 80. =( Then again I’m having a blast as Affliction, I think I’ve last enjoyed my Warlock as much in TBC.
The big question this expansion will be if the 85 Mage and DK will make it to max level and whether I can be bothered to gear up any alts besides a few. I really hate LFR for being such pointless facerolling, for now my plans are to have 1-2 alts for flex raids when they hit and to really, really, really ignore the other max level chars instead of wasting time. Good old pick up alt raids on Aggramar were awesome, LFR is not.

Other Games

I’ve been reading so much about other games lately, and still I’m not so very mich interested. Maybe it’s just that I hate change. WoW and me, we’ve been good pals for over 4 years now and it’s all comfortably the same.
Fallen Earth sounded interesting, Borderlands sounded fun, I levelled a Dwarf Paladin in DDO to level 4, I still haven’t researched anything about Dragon Age: Origins. I was very interested in Aion, but since their Open Beta wasn’t open at all and I had no key, I won’t give them any money. Ever.
The only thing I actually tested and enjoyed was Torchlight. Haven’t hit level 20 on my Destroyer (Normal Difficulty) but haven’t died either and it’s fun.
Then again I hit 80 on my Alliance Rogue yesterday, ran a few Heroics with guildies and nothing today. I normally say I hate levelling, but then it wasn’t that bad in retrospect. My 6th char (Mage) is 77, and is soon at maxlevel as well, although only levelling a few hours every second weekend.