Buzzing around

I’ve realised that lately I seem to keep getting distracted easily when it comes to games. I don’t know if it’s a consequence of playing mostly WoW for a few years, but now I seem to flit in between games very quickly. Some people tend to do this naturally anyway, but for me its not a good thing because I find it difficult to pick up where I left off.

Case in point, I still haven’t finished Dragon Age:Origins and actually haven’t played it in almost a year. I was having a good time playing it too, not like it was a boring or unenjoyable experience. Somehow or the other I got distracted (I think it was by EVE, not too sure…) and it just ended up sitting there. Before that I was starting a replay of FF7 as well, and again while I enjoyed it I simply wandered off at some point.

The list goes on and on. I was playing a bit of Mass Effect on those days when the EVE server was down, and I think I’m halfway through the game. Another great game with gorgeous graphics and a pretty good story, but I think the fact that I was playing it together with EVE kind of made me feel kinda ho-hum about it. I didn’t feel that push to reach the ending that I used to feel with games in the past.

I’m kind of at the same point with EVE now as well. I haven’t done anything in game for a couple of weeks other than updating my orders and skill training queues every day. On the bright side, Noork has now almost finished with his Rifter skill plan with most Gunnery skills up to at least 4. There’s still a lot for him to train up, including Tech 2 Heavy and Sentry drones as well as better battleship and cruiser skills. Yannie on the other hand has finished almost every missile skill to at least 4 and I’m not so sure what else to train her in. She’s quite specialised as a missile lobbing Caldari pilot so there’s no real reason for me to train Gunnery or Armor Tanking on her. I will probably go for T2 cruise and heavy missiles, which will take a long while anyway.

On the other hand, that’s the beauty of EVE’s subscription plan. My trading activities are still generating more than enough ISK to support 2 PLEXes a month, even with me only logging in once a day. So I don’t feel like I’m wasting my money and my characters are always there, improving their options for the time when I feel like returning for some spaceship pewpew.

Ironically, the game that distracted me from EVE in the first place, EQ2 Extended, is now slowly taking a backburner as well. EQ2 Extended is the Free-to-Play version of Sony’s Everquest 2, and I must say it’s the first F2P game that has really impressed me…. if I disregard the horrible technical issues with their client and launcher. The game itself has a huge amount of content that is absolutely free, although the restriction against equipping legendary or fabled gear is a big downer. On the other hand, I haven’t even seen any such gear yet anyway and mastercrafted gear is supposed to be perfectly viable. Most people obsess over getting the “best-in-slot” gear for their characters when in actual fact 1% extra stats does very very little. In the end I did pay SOE 10 bucks to upgrade to Silver from the free Bronze level, mainly for the ability to have more quests in the journal. I also got a few extra bag spaces and an extra character slot, which are nice-to-haves on their own. I guess I also felt that SOE deserved a bit of money from me, and it’s a one-time payment so not a big deal.

The name “Everquest” is really apt as there are really a HUGE amount of quests in the game. I have to keep reminding myself to get rid of my WoW mindset since I was quite a completionist and would try to finish all of the quests in every zone before moving on (except for the group quests cos I usually couldn’t be arsed to get a random group of failures together). In EQ2X this is like trying to dig a tunnel using a teaspoon, there’s just so much to do that it’s inevitable that your character outlevels the quests in the zone. Fortunately there’s a pretty nice mentoring system which lets you “level down” your character and still get some exp, so you can always go back later and experience the content.

I’ve seen advice that you should disable combat experience to slow down your levelling speed and experience more content to get more AAs (Alternate Advancement points, which are a separate form of experience used to put into talents). However, this doesn’t seem to make sense to me because disabling combat experience means I lose out on the AAs from combat too. I still get full AAs from quests, but I get those anyway even if the quest is grey. Disabling combat exp means I am able to do more quests while they give experience, but doesn’t that just end up giving me back the exp anyway?

Anyway, while I’ve been playing EQ2X for the most part now I have been distracted by yet another shiny, which is kind of the whole point of this rambling post. Minecraft! This little game has been the talk of the town recently, and is actually really cool given that it’s basically a one-man project that some Swede (I think) came up with. I’ve only played it one night so far, but it’s quite entertaining. For a little preview of what Minecraft is like, I’d recommend Ark’s videopost series on Minecraft. Hilarious commentary makes it even better. I thought my wife might enjoy this since she was playing Theme Hospital recently, but her reaction from seeing me playing it seemed decidedly meh.

Anyway, no clue how long it’ll be before I flit off to something new yet again. Maybe I’m just getting old and becoming cranky, perpetually thinking about how “games were better in my time”. I suspect that part of it is that I quickly feel jaded nowadays. There’s always an initial rush of excitement when I just start out a new game, since everything is new. Once I start to get the hang of it and become better and more powerful, the rush goes away and it becomes kinda ho-hum time to grind again.