Another Gaming Post

Spent the day playing MMOs. I feel like I got much of it out of my system. Here’s my thoughts so far.

First off, after playing Star Wars: The Old Republic, I feel it’s a great game. The fact that they got rid of the grind and made it more accessible is a great point. The only thing I don’t like is the forced Pay-to-Play measures.

One of the things that bothers me about paying a monthly fee is that there’s a mental barrier, a push “If I don’t play this every day, I have wasted my money into this”. There is usually no end-game, and a push towards large scale raids, queuing for long dungeons, and so forth. Then there’s crafting and other side activities that feel like such a grind.

While I enjoy MMOs for the story, I seem to be the minority. And that’s why the pay-to-play concept isn’t really something I can devote to. MMO’s are huge commitments and that’s not something I can do at the moment.

Right now, I want to focus on quick session games and start on some new model kits. I have been itching to work on the Gundam MG Sazabi ver Ka. I got my work area all cleared out now, and hopefully I can start on it soon.

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I’ve been also dying to read some good books. I’m currently reading Leviathan’s Wake and plan on picking up Mistborn soon. My tastes between Sci-Fi and Fantasy tend to alternate, so I may just bounce between both books.

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So what games do I want to focus on next week?

I’ve been playing a bit of Diablo III. ARPGs seem to be my fallback. They are quick, not much story, and fulfill my need for instant-gratification. Instead of spending hours grinding to get that new piece of gear or to hit the next level, it takes me about 20 minutes.

I might play some Guild Wars 2 or Elder Scrolls Online. Neither have monthly fees or outrageous pay schemes. I played both this morning, and might stick with them for a few weeks.

Guild Wars 2 is good, I’m a huge fan of the combat, the cooperative questing, and the exploration-based gameplay. I’m playing as a Norn Hunter and have been enjoying it so far.

With ESO, it took a while to warm up to. I wasn’t too crazy about the non-traditional Skyrim style roleplay, but after a couple hours, it’s certainly a nice deviation from the tab-targetting 12-key rotation MMO gameplay. Also, being able to outfit my character as I see fit is a huge plus. Do I want to attack enemies with knives? Or go with a bow and arrow? How about a Great Sword? It’s all about how I feel most comfortable playing, and not about imposing certain restrictions. The biggest bummer is that I’m playing the Aldmeri Dominion (Elves and cat-people) and it looks like if I want to see Daggerfall, Skyrim, or even parts of Morrowind (no Vvardenfell unfortunatly), I’m going to have to hit max level or start a new character on those locations.

I’ve also been itching to use my HOTAS (Hands-On Throttle and Stick) on a Flight Sim. I’ve been using a Thrustmaster T-Flight HOTAS X for Elite Dangerous, and it’s a very good joystick for it’s price (I got it for $40). Compared to the higher-end Saitek X52, which looks like an amazing stick…$150 is just way too much to play just one or two games.

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It detaches at the base too! Pretty sturdy to for just $40.

Before I start talking about sims let me share a short story, I used to be a Flight Sim junkie since I was 13 or so. There was some sort of fascination I had over traveling the country, the world…and retracing some of the steps I travelled and flew over as a kid. I played nearly every iteration of Microsoft Flight Simulator since 1997, and in the process learned how to fly planes when I was a kid.

I wanted to be a pilot, but having glasses disqualified me from going into the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. Still, I simmed on/off as a hobby so it occupied a lot of free time until I started doing art and other stuff.

I’d like to get MS Flight Sim X, they have the Steam edition for $25…but the last iteration was released in 2006, so there’s been many real-world change in the last 10 years (Sea-Tac having a new runway for instance). That would mean I’d have to spend hours looking for addons upon addons (many of which are paid addons)…something I don’t really have the time or patience for nowadays. Perhaps if there’s a Steam sale I’ll get it for $5 or so.

Then there’s X-Plane 10. I tried the demo yesterday and it looks like it’s up to date so far. What’s great is that the demo takes place in Seattle (amazing coincidence), so I can gauge the accuracy. They have the new runway, included the new light-rail, and have really detailed scenery (I-5 looks like…I-5, and not just some flat texture on the road.)

My worry is that the detail wouldn’t translate to the other airports. Some of the reviews read that other locations are quite empty…yet I’m confused because the latest patches in the last 3 months show that they are adding community-added 3D airports each update. So it might actually be worth it! It’s hard to tell though, most of the videos and screens I’ve seen are usually with expensive add-on packs that I have no interest in buying.

So yeah, tomorrow is the start of a new week. I’m going to try to take it easy and not get too overwhelmed. I’ll try to post some gameplay pics later this week if I’m not too busy.

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