How’s It Goin’? What’s Goin’ On?

Contrary to popular belief, I am still around, although you would not know it by following this blog.  In reality, I am in that happy place where I am too busy gaming to have much time to devote to a blog on the gaming.  So I decided to use the voice recognition feature on my phone to throw together one of those “where I’ve been, where I’m going” posts before my current thoughts are replaced by new thoughts.

So you don’t have to read any more than you want to, here is what I will be covering: Where I stand with Marvel Heroes, a brief flirtation with WoW, a potential future and wild star, and my ascent to rock stardom.

Marvel Heroes Scratches Many Itches

That probably doesn’t sound good. For me though, it’s true. I love the characters and it’s a great action game. There’s nowhere else that I can jump on for 15 minutes or 3 hours and beat up bad guys nonstop. That being said, I often long for the open world, the exploration, the meaningful questing and group content. Therein lies a large part of the beauty of the free to play movement. I can turn my focus to something else without feeling like I am wasting money on a game subscription that I am not getting the most out of. Were I paying monthly for the game, I would have to consider canceling the sub and not playing at all. With Marvel Heroes, I don’t have to make that choice, and I can pick it up and play anytime I want.

What have I been doing in Marvel Heroes you might ask? Well, first I leveled Wolverine to 60, then went into the gear grind with him. He is pretty well equipped now. I then went back and leveled a bunch of other characters. Now Cyclops, Gambit, and Spider-man are level 60, Nightcrawler approaches 50, and I have a bunch in their 20s and 30s.

Doing all this levelling made me realize something: Wolverine wasn’t nearly as much fun to play as some of these other characters. So my favorite comic book character has been collecting dust for most of 2014. That should change next week, however, as Wolverine will finally be getting his character review. That is the process where the development collect info from players and revamp the hero’s powers to give them more builds, more diverse fun powers and the like. Once this lands, I will “prestige” Wolverine, which is basically resetting him to level 1 and leveling again from scratch. The reward for this – a new color for your name and a noncombat pet. That is more than enough for me, as playing a Wolverine that is as fun to play as some of the other characters will be reward enough.

Testing the WoW Waters

Looking to feed my sense of exploration and need to quest and see friends, I jumped back on the WoW bandwagon. At the time, my highest toon was still only 88, so I had seen very little of the new content. I threw of the shackles of my old server and jumped onto one where my old friends who still play reside. I thought it would be fun to check out the Timeless Isle and LFR for the first time. It was for a time. I hit 90, went to the Timeless Isle, and outfitted myself with a lot of purples.

The Timeless Isle was fun for awhile, but it really is mostly just a new spin on the daily quest. I quickly tired of it. LFR was an interesting experiment, but starting from the first tier of raids this late in the expansion meant that it was more a zergfest than anything else. My thoughts quickly became “how long can I repeat this before it becomes old?”

The answer was “not very long.” You see, at the same time I started playing WoW, most of my friends who still play WoW were checking out the WildStar beta. I was well aware of WildStar and followed it in a noncommittal, “looks pretty cool, maybe I’ll try it” sort of way. I looked into it a little more, and it started to look like the game that might scratch the itch that WoW couldn’t quite reach.

Before taking that excellent segue into WildStar, I must digress into the top of ability culling in WoW. I agree that button bloat is crazy. I disagree with Blizzard’s strategy to fix it. As a hunter whose glory days (maybe that’s a stretch) were in TBC, Wrath, and the first part of Cata, we had to manage a rotation, sometimes easy sometimes not, plus Rapid Fire, trinkets, pots, and maybe pet abilities. On top of that, you had the rarely used but situationally very useful abilities like Distracting Shot, Wyvern Sting, and Concussive Shot. In MoP, Blizzard also threw at use longer CD abilities like Murder of Crows, Dire Beast, and Stampede. These are not situational abilities but ones that have to be inserted into, and further complicate, your rotation. So, what is Blizzard’s solution? Let’s cull out those useful situational abilities that have been part of the hunter toolkit for years and keep many of the abilities that complicate a hunter’s life on an encounter by encounter basis. Don’t like, no sir.

Wild about WildStar

What can I say about WildStar that hasn’t been said more eloquently before? It does so many things right, at least for me. The style, the tone, the action combat, and the level of customization and a player freedom are all spot on. Yes, it is buggy and sometimes the game crashes on me for no reason, but that can be fixed. The game is built on a very solid foundation, and I hope people check it out and support it.

Really not much more to say than that. I will be playing at at launch, and probably for a while thereafter, assuming my friends stick with it.

I’m Going to be a Superstar!

In non-mmo news, I am also learning to play guitar. I played for a few years over a decade ago, and I got a hankerin to try it again. Part of my desire was that I learned I of a program called Rocksmith, which is a little like Guitar Hero with an actual guitar. Knowing that the program existed and reading good reviews of it, this seems like a perfect way to learn. No weekly lessons and no struggling with guitar tabs.

About 2 months ago I picked up the program and a cheap electric guitar. It was an excellent choice. It comes with about 50 songs and more that you can download. Notes fall down the screen just like Guitar Hero, and you play along with the song. The songs start simple at first, but as you get better, they get more complex.

In addition to playing along with songs, there are lessons old-school video games where the guitar takes the place of a joystick. In short, it makes learning guitar fun and accessible for a gamer.

The best part, however, is that you get rated at the end of a song. When you think you’ve killed it, but the computer guy says “average performance.” But on the other hand, when he says “brilliant performance,” I can look over to my wife and say “See, the computer thinks I’m brilliant.”

Unfortunately, the computer guy might not be the best judge of talent. After I played one song very well, he exclaimed “You’re going to be a superstar!” If any bands out there need someone to sit in front of a computer and play guitar badly, I’m your man!

Seriously though, Rocksmith has taken me from being embarrassed to pick up a guitar to having some level of confidence in about two months. I would wholeheartedly recommend it to any gamer who wants learn guitar.

3 thoughts on “How’s It Goin’? What’s Goin’ On?

  1. Wolvie is my biggest disappointment in MH – he looks and sounds right and he is a adequate adaptation, as he slashes with claws and is hard to kill. Adequate just is not very good compared to others in MH, so I haven’t been playing him.

    In fact, my luck has been bad on 52 reworks. I own 11 of 13 characters who still waiting, including most of the characters I am most excited to play (I.e. X-men from launch). The only good news is that I am getting a “new” hero I want almost every month.

    In fact this has been my first month mostly off of MH in a while. Maybe some burnout, some amount that I am running low on reworked heroes I want to play, and some waiting. I sucked it up and paid for the team-up pack because I will very likely spend more than $40 on the ones I want. Now I have more variety to look forward to, but only months down the road.

  2. I am in the middle of my second sort-of break from MH. The first was around the time that FFXIV relaunched and I tried it out. That was also probably the low-point for MH on the fun scale (the couple of months before the Asgard patch). The break now is mainly to check out WildStar and hang with the old friends who are also checking it out. The beauty of free to play is i am still able to spend a few hours in game (last night), and I will spend most of next weekend trying out Newverine. Who knows, maybe I will even drop a few $$ on Psylocke.

  3. Tried out Invisible Woman this week – I’d been holding off in part because I am running low on characters I have yet to play. I’ve been spending much of my MH time of late on characters I am less excited about (in fact, I used splinters to unlock Luke Cage and Black Panther SPECIFICALLY so that I wouldn’t be stuck with two heroes I don’t care about at the very end when I’ve done everyone else). I’d forgotten how much more fun the game is if you’re enjoying the character you’re playing. On my horizon:

    – Invisible Woman through to 50. People say she’s bad at endgame, but she has a ricochet basic, a ground AOE, and the ability to skip all of the trash ever by going permanent free invisible that does not break with her travel power – all travel powers that don’t do damage are getting buffed this patch besides. A bit disappointing that almost all of her dialog is about being a soccer mom (does almost every single thing she says in the comics relate to her having kids and a family?) but oh well.
    – Psylocke (the voice work is disappointingly not all that British but otherwise she looks and feels about right on Test)
    – Wolverine (currently parked at 30, could prestige depending on mood)
    – Prestige Gambit (the new Enhanced costume is coming for Advance Pack owners this week, never played him as ranged)
    – Possibly prestige Colossus (got his blue costume in my Advance Pack fortune cards, I played him all the way to 60 as a WW Barb)
    – Stealth theme week – Black Widow for the stealth synergy, then finish up various stages of in-progress Black Panther, Invisible Woman, and Psylocke

    I.e. it should be a much more interesting month than the month before I “quit” in which I played several disappointing characters.

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