Today, we’ll finish out my yearly run-down of all the games I played, focusing on the best of the group. Each game I list today earns a 5/5 rating, and a little extra text to explain why they were so great.
So, without further ado, in no particular order:
Orcs Must Die! 5/5
This is probably my favorite game of the year. It was precisely what I wanted when I found it. It combined the strategy of a tower defense with the action of a first-person shooter with the fun of a serious challenge. On top of that, you could play solo, which many other tower defense games don’t offer, and it had a hilarious storyline. I don’t generally like anti-heroes (as in Deponia), but this one is a little more Ash (from Army of Darkness) or Han Solo than a jerk like Rufus.
The variety of boards and traps that are available also added a lot to the gameplay; some boards were about dealing with multiple entry points, others about dealing with hordes of monsters, and even others dealing with both. The traps, too, let you try different strategies. There were many classics such as spiked floors or arrow-shooting walls that could be used anywhere. Then there were situational traps, such as push traps that could push monsters into pits of instant-death lava or acid. The variety of options on how to deal with each board made the game extremely enjoyable.
Rogue Legacy 5/5
This was probably my third favorite game this year. It captured my attention and reawoke a long-dormant interest in side-scrolling platformers. I don’t think I’ve played through a “traditional” side-scrolling platformer since Klonoa came out for Playstation and changed the platformer genre (for me, at least) (oh wait, that’s not true, I did play the “divorce mode” Super Mario Brothers on Wii). The combination of the random boards, random characters, and meta-game of character development was absolutely excellent.
The random characters could have benefits or drawbacks (or something that was a little of both) such as small size, which makes you harder to hit but reduces your reach; colorblindness, which doesn’t really affect the gameplay at all but turns the game into black and white; and vertigo, which flips the game screen upside down but not the controls. I found that last one unplayable. You also have a random selection of classes, and each class has a few different abilities. The meta-game (where you spend your money) allows you to improve some of those abilities as well as base stats like hit points or attack. You can also find and craft new gear and glyphs which can pretty radically alter the gameplay. It was a very diverse and fun game.
Mark of the Ninja was my second favorite game of the year. It, like the others, was extremely well-done for its genre. It’s a stealth-based side-scrolling platformer (not a traditional one, so I don’t count it alongside Rogue Legacy). It really punishes a run-and-gun style approach and trains you to think sneakily. As you play, you get more options for stealth, too, so you don’t just have to hide all the time, but can use fear, subversion, and traps to help you.
Like Orcs Must Die!, this game provides huge boards with many options for how to approach the problem. As a result, players are encouraged to experiment with their own play style and find what fits best for them. I really enjoyed this game as a result; I even played through some of the levels more than once to test options that I’d seen but not tried. That’s pretty rare for me, so it speaks volumes about the game that I’d want to play through levels more than once.
The Walking Dead 5/5
This is my number one “interactive experience” (I can’t believe I wrote so little about this game!) Is it a game? I don’t know. You make choices, that’s for sure, but it’s more like experiencing a story – a delivery medium for narrative – than a pure game. I’d put it at the top of the list without a doubt if it weren’t for that hesitation, but even with that in mind, it’s absolutely worth every penny.
There are a few game-like elements, such as kicking a zombie in the face to keep it from biting you, but for the most part, the most game-like elements are probably the story choices being on a timer. When my buddy played through, he always chose a response. When I played through, I sometimes let my silence speak for me. As a result, we had some different outcomes, which we compared when we were done with each chapter. For both of us, it was a fantastic experience. If you haven’t played this, you should.
This deserves to be in the top 5 without a doubt (again, I wrote so little… I should go back and give both these a proper review). It was very much like Orcs Must Die, but not quite as polished. However, it’s lack of polish and very original setting and story really endeared it to me. Instead of a traditional fantasy or futuristic setting, this story was set in 19th century Canada, near a small village of (I assume) French settlers.
Each board followed the same “lay down the traps then fight the enemies” format of Orcs Must Die! (though I played this one first) but this game was more combat oriented; the traps helped you and could kill monsters, but your trap resources were more limited, so more often they provided distractions, slowing effects, or a little damage to help you on your way. I heartily recommend this game.
So those are my top five game (or game-like experiences) for 2013. It seems that games that deliver many options for exploration and differing styles of gameplay swept my “favorites” this year, so that certainly gives me an avenue for future gaming choice. If you haven’t played one or more of them, I really recommend you try to snag them during the Steam Winter Sale, which should only be a few weeks away.
I thought it would be interesting to do a rundown of every game I played this year with a few brief impressions of each. It turned out to be a much larger task than I thought; it seems I played a LOT of games this year. In fact, I think it would be fair to label this year The Year of Small Games.
I omitted a handful of games from this otherwise overwhelming list; we’ll look at those, the top 5, next time. I wanted to devote a little more time to each of those games. So, without further ado, in no particular order:
Probably the best ARPG I’ve ever played. It has a ton of convenience features, a good story, fluid gameplay, and good graphics. The only drawback is the very limited class selection, but a DLC, I’ve heard, helps with that, but I rarely do DLC or play through games more than once.
Path of Exile 4/5
My buddy and I played this in beta, but eventually he couldn’t see well enough to continue. We’ve very recently gone back to it now that it’s in full release and he can see and are still thoroughly enjoying it. I strongly suggest you play through on non-hardcore the first time, as there are bosses later in the game that have the potential to one-shot you, and if you haven’t learned them in non-hardcore, you may have to buy a new pair of pants. It’s easily one of the strongest F2P games I’ve played, and a split-hair second to Van Helsing (above) for ARPGs. If you like a lot of replay, it’d be first, as it’s got 6 free classes and a 7th for finishing the game.
Papers, Please 4/5
So dark, so basic, so grim, so fun. What an odd jewel of a game; who thought anyone would make being a bureaucrat engaging? The game goes beyond just pure mechanics, too, making the player make moral choices on a short clock, which helps reveal who the player really is (at least as a character in this game). Great for its price.
Planetside 2 2/5, but mostly because I don’t like FPS PvP
I’m not huge on PvP, but for a full-pvp first person shooter, this game did a good job. I didn’t get too far into it, but only because my buddy was totally and completely disinterested, and I don’t really see the point of PvP.
What an excellent free to play game. I cannot imagine actually completing it as its simply gargantuan, but you can’t beat its dollar value in visceral, fast-action shooting. If you like space and ninjas, this game is a great choice.
Civilization 5 4/5
I’m going to be playing this on and off until Civ 6 comes out, and I’m happy to report it just keeps getting better and better. I like the new DLC (some of the rare DLC I actually purchase), and I like being able to play alone or with my wife. It’s the perfect game for when you’ve got 12 hours to eat up and don’t feel like putting out all the Arkham Horror pieces.
I returned to Skyrim again this year determined to follow the main story to completion. I didn’t. Interpret what you will.
Card Hunter 5/5
What a surprise out of thin air. This almost made my top five, but, alas, it would be number 6. The only thing I don’t like about it is how much a factor RNG is; I can build a beautiful deck and still lose because I just draw the wrong cards at the wrong time while the enemy draws exactly what he needs all the time. Still, I like the design, the originality, and the setting – a table where you’re “playing” Card Hunter, a physical Pen and Paper game. It’s great!
Borderlands 2 4/5
The Borderlands franchise is a safe bet when you’re just looking for good FPS action. I don’t think it offers anything particularly unique, but the solid game play and entertaining cast of character (though I absolutely hated the little girl character in the most recent one) make it fun.
Endless Space 3/5
I enjoyed Endless Space for what it was; another 4x game that was supposed to be the “actual” successor of Master of Orion 2. It was well-designed and fun, but I still think Civ 5 is a better 4x game.
I also returned to Terraria this year when one of my friends started playing it. I got a lot further this time than I had the previous time, but again I hit a wall where I just wasn’t really prepared for the next challenge and didn’t want to farm forever to get prepared for it. The Wall of Flesh, which I think is where I stopped last time, defeated my interest again.
This, again, was a “safe bet” for purchasing. I like these kind of games, and its billing of “stealth done right” was absolutely true. You could, theoretically, play through the whole game without killing or being seen. Finally! If you liked Deus Ex: Human Revolution but hated the fact that DE:HR was so poorly done from a stealth standpoint, you absolutely should try this game.
Dead Rising 2 2/5
I think I played this during this year, but I’m not sure. It didn’t leave much of an impression, other than having to run around a lot.
X-Com: Enemy Unknown 3/5 (but probably it deserves 4/5)
I really liked this game up until the point that I didn’t. I acknowledge perhaps I shouldn’t have played Ironman the first time through (meaning permadeath, essentially), but I rarely play games through more than once. Then I hit a wall where the aliens got super-strong without warning, and my team got wiped out. It irritated me enough that I quit and haven’t gone back.
As its tagline says, it’s a Rogue-like in Space. It was fun. Yep. That’s about it.
Castle Crashers 3/5
A simple beat-em-up in the spirit of Double Dragon. It was fun to play with my buddy and worth the 3 or 4 bucks we paid for it, but not much more.
Another Rogue-like. Maybe I’d just had too many, but I didn’t really get into this game at all, or even really like it. My buddy did, though, and played through all the way at least twice, so that speaks well for it. It just wasn’t for me, I guess.
Another side-scrolling platformer. It reminded me a lot of Out of This World, and the barren artistic style of it served it well. The plot was terribly predictable, but the game play was enjoyable enough.
I really wish I’d played Monaco more, but I just couldn’t find anyone to play with me. I REALLY liked it, but my buddy couldn’t see and my wife didn’t seem interested. Stealth’s not her thing, and that made it hard to deal with.
Wizardry Online 1/5
Terrible. Do not play. Permadeath MMO with connectivity issues.
Seemed like it might be fun, but it never really grabbed me. Another 4x space game, but this one in “real time,” though the real time is very slow, so it’s almost turn-based.
There was so much hype about this game, but I didn’t really like it. Is it sacrilegious to say that? It was okay, I mean; I don’t regret playing it, but it was kind of slow and had very confusing overall design, which may have been a goal, but didn’t endear me.
Lone Survivor 3/5
What a bizarre game. And I like bizarre, but I didn’t finish this one. I didn’t uninstall it, either, so I may go back, but so far, there’s always been better options.
Binding of Isaac 2/5
A Zelda-like rogue-like. I really disliked it. The random elements of the game meant even if you were doing really well, you might just not get the items you need to survive later levels. I don’t like that level of randomness.
I’ve written a lot on it, and I’ve recently gone back to playing it. I like it a lot, but the other players make it frustrating and pointless. The other players are also really the only reason to play, as the best and most memorable moments of the game stem from those encounters. It’s a hopeless dichotomy; it’s pointless without the other players but evil jerks who shoot for no reason invalidate all the fun of playing.
I don’t think I need to say much about this. It’s more of a habit than a game at this point.
The Secret World 5/5
Still the best MMO I ever played. If my friends were still playing it, I would be to instead of WoW, but they aren’t.
I liked Neverwinter, but like The Secret World, not enough of my friends liked it enough to stay. I think it did a good job bridging the gap between a “forced” party system and building a game meant for parties (unlike DDO or Wizardry), and I think it did a good job making “D&D” approachable by outsiders. It just wasn’t enough to keep us around.
Like WoW, there’s not much more I need to say. I love it, and I hate it. Like DayZ, the best and worst aspects are the other players.
So that’s a majority of the list. You all should do one of your own, too, and we can compare! Let me know if you do.
Stubborn (and exhausted from all these games)
I love the yearly events; I really do. My favorite is probably… well, I’m having a hard time putting my finger on just one of them. I like Midsummer Festival a lot; I like the dungeon boss, the fires, the theme of the whole thing. I like Winter’s Veil, too; I think it does a good job of providing an Azerothian version of a real-world holiday, though I wish there were more than just the Christian themes in it. Still I’ve enjoyed it a lot.
But more and more recently, the events are getting stale. When comparing WoW to more modern games like Guild Wars 2 or The Secret World, the constantly-repeated, not-very-updated events begin to really pale in comparison. In the earlier years, there were always new aspects each year, but in the past few years, not much has changed; they’ve given the same stale junk out with little to no changes in the event itself except, occasionally, the level of the bosses.
So the world events are starting to be a bit lackluster. I realize they’re developing these amazing new expansions, planning new continents and new timelines, envisioning new lore, but the little changes throughout the year helped glue together the larger content explosions in the same way that the emerging storylines in GW2 and TSW do the same.
I realize, of course, that just asking for more and more content isn’t really “fair.” They’ve got limited staff and resources, and putting those towards new expansions benefits the wider player base than just adding small new things to the world events. Still. They used to do it, and they’re a bigger company now, and they don’t. So I don’t really feel it’s out of the question for them to pick these small additions back up and add them in. They may argue that not a lot of people do the holiday world events, but part of the reason is because we’ve done them over and over and nothing’s changed in the past few years. If things started changing, I suspect a lot more players would be involved.
Of course, they can’t please everyone all the time. People complain about the Children’s Week (another of my favorites) battleground achievements. People complain about the bonfires being all over (and the candy buckets, too). Some people just can’t be pleased, but I’d be happy with more new options whether they involved the new battlegrounds, new pets, new costumes, or new – really - anything. The same-old same-old is starting to taste a bit like stale leftovers.
On other notes, my parents are visiting, which always leads to “lively” discussions, like my father saying, out of nowhere, about 10 times now (since Monday night) that “We’re not giving up our guns.” Keep in mind this is not in response to anything anyone has said, just a verbal provocation to try to start an argument. He’s just lovely, really.
I did show my mother Card Hunter, which I think she’ll like. I showed my father, a survival nut, DayZ, and we ran around Chenarus a bit looking for food and water. I played on a no PvP server to have an easier time showing him around, and while I explained what that meant, once I armed myself with a crowbar, he kept telling me to kill every survivor I saw and take his stuff. He’d fit in well in the EVE community, I think, if he could operate a computer game.
I’ll be taking of Friday, most likely, so if you’re in a place that’s about to celebrate a holiday, enjoy it! If not, enjoy your weekend!
Stubborn (and thinking about hopping back into TSW because of Rowan’s many excellent posts about it)
Our fascination with gaming comes from many sources. We’re all familiar with Bartle’s 4 archetypes: Killer, Achiever, Socializer, and Explorer. Most players are a diverse mixture of more than one of those, myself included. I’ve identified myself as more achiever or more socializer (with a bit of both the others, as well) at different times in my gaming life, but now I wonder how that mixture is affecting my play beyond just what I enjoy doing in the games. Specifically, how does that mixture affect me when (or before) I’ve finished a game?
I have a terrible habit of not finishing games, as I’ve written here before. A game has to really grab me in one way or another to get me to finish. It may be the game play challenge that grabs me: the setbacks to overcome, the moments of revelation, the flow. It could also be meta-game aspects, such as the social aspect of WoW or the external research some games require. Whatever it may be, if a game doesn’t really grip me, it eventually slides away, either because I know I could finish but don’t want to slog through whatever’s left or simply because it falls off my radar.
I see several of the archetypes reflected there, but really, I think explorer may be the top one, if we interpret it liberally. I can live without the achievement of actually finishing when I’m 100% sure I can finish because I’ve explored the various elements of the game, even if I haven’t seen all the physical spaces. Then again, perhaps my own internal “achievement system” is all I really care about, and I’m still an achiever when I know I can finish.
I’ve been pondering this because of my very recent total drop of WoW playing. I was really pushing hard, but once I got the legendary cloak, most of my WoW playing simply ceased. I’m still firmly gripped by playing with my buddy and his friends (I suppose some are my friends now, as well) on Wednesday nights and enjoy every minute of it, but WoW beyond that has seemingly stopped. I think perhaps the “achiever” portion of my play personality stopped being interested in anything in the game while my “socializer” parts still want to hang out on Wednesday nights when people are available.
I’m not necessarily happy about that, either. I enjoy my shaman, but I just can’t seem to get into another character (though I tried), nor do I have any interest in just playing the shaman pointlessly. There’s just not much to do, so I’ve moved elsewhere. I have no doubt that if I set a goal to become a “normal” raider that I’d regain interest, but for now, I haven’t made that decision to commit. I’ve seen too much go wrong with normal raiding to want to rush back into that, especially at the end of an expansion where most of the “wrongs” start going.
I certainly saw an end to DayZ once I’d seen the whole map; that was my buddy and my last play session before my long break; we’d been everywhere and seen everything, then got killed by someone we never even saw. The explorer and achiever had been fed, and the killer side of both of us is far underdeveloped, so we quit.
I wonder now how many decisions to stop playing particular games were directly influenced by the primary archetype to which the game spoke. The list is far too long to completely review, of course, but I suspect that either the fully satiating or starving of one archetype has been the death of every game I’ve ever played. MMOs with no friends playing starves the socializer. Finishing and not replaying games that were meant to be played through multiple times (D3, for example) satiates the achiever.
I don’t think any of this is particularly revelatory, but the complexity with which the various archetypes interact is certainly much deeper than the basic 4 archetype discussion seems at first glance. It’s certainly an interesting thought experiment to try to untangle the various aspects of our game personality and see how they affect things beyond just what we do in-game.
Give it a try and tell me what you find!
Stubborn (and complicated)
I promised you more gaming news today, and I do have some, but not a lot of it. Instead, I’m happy to report that my wife was again diagnosed as cancer free, meaning she’s “cured” by medical standards. Getting cancer before she was 30 badly affected her, so having several years of good news has helped her emotionally recover (and me as well).
So, next to that news, gaming news seems relatively insignificant. Regardless, a few new records went by this week that I thought worth sharing. For one, our Wednesday night flex went incredibly smoothly; we had no boss wipes at all (that I remember), though we did have a few messy kills. We finished significantly faster than any other week; I felt like it was 30 minutes early, though the RL said only 14. It may be that he’s comparing to the night we only did two wings, but I’m happy with the progress either way.
I also progressed a little. I was no max dpser, but I did come in pretty high up for overall damage done throughout the raid (without getting in a cannon, I’ll add). Some of the bosses I did pretty well on, but others I was back down around 12th out of 18 or so. Regardless, I did better, and while I know I’ll never be in the top of the top, I’m just happy to contribute. My overall dps stayed above 200k, so I’m happy with that.
On another note, League of Legends just had a major patch update that changed the map (a little bit), a few of the roles, the talent trees (masteries), and the itemization in the game. As a result, everything was basically wiped. I had nine pages of masteries set up, and they’re all gone. I understand the need to do so since the trees themselves were changed, but man; putting them back together took like an hour of mostly guess-work.
When I hopped into the game, I immediately saw some of the itemization changes, and one of the nice new things are free wards to start the game. This hopefully will both promote personal responsibility for warding as well as take some of the financial toll off the supports. However, I suspect that they dumbed down the intermediate AI, because we had a lane of two people who were intentionally not progressing (to make more money to test new builds in an AI game with 3 strangers), and we STILL completely destroyed the AI. It seriously felt like a beginner game.
I hope that my initial perception isn’t correct, though, because intermediate AI is easy enough as it is. My wife and I are usually only challenged when we’re playing with really new or poor players and have to do more than just our role, and if the AI is further weakened, there’ll be no challenge at all, which will force me back into normal games. I’m worried about that outcome, but it’s still too early to tell with just one AI game under my belt. More on that later.
As for the “build tester,” I’m all for the experimentation; if people didn’t do that work, I wouldn’t have builds to look up for new characters. I think, however, that such an endeavor is better pursued in a custom game; expecting 3 strangers to play 50% longer (since the third lane isn’t being moved) isn’t really a good place to start. On top of that, when I downed my turret, I graciously (this is before they’d said what they were doing) went to their lane to help push there, and they yelled at me. I destroyed their turret, and they were being nasty to me about it. That certainly raised the irritation needle a good bit. I didn’t even take any of their gold by killing their creeps!
I was told, “lol Teemo go back to mid. You know, your lane.”
I did not respond very kindly to that, but I did go back to mid and left bottom lane alone. And to be fair, afterwards, they explained their pursuit, but really it was too little, too late. If you’re going to play in a weird way, you really need to let people know up front and certainly not be nasty to them when they perform their normal teammate duties. I was a bit overly-snarky after that, I admit, but it really rubbed me the wrong way to get barked at for helping them down a tower. What a couple of – not jerks, not really, but I’ll go with – uncommunicative dingbats.
At any rate, I’m looking forward to a slightly fresh LoL and continuing my progress in WoW. Now that I’m really basically done with Iambic – I only have 1 piece below ilevel 540 now (a trinket, of course) – I may start playing another toon. I haven’t liked leveling multiple toons since my 10×85, but the pally and druid are already 90, and the rogue’s been calling (especially since my NWN rogue has been so disappointing, but we’ll discuss that and how it’s being dealt with another day), so we’ll see.
Enjoy your weekend!
Stubborn (a bit overly-snarky)
I actually don’t have terribly much to report today. This week has been a very hectic, meeting-filled week. I’m getting my fingers into more and more pies (or rather, having them placed there by my superiors) in the forms of projects and committees and CIP teams (don’t ask). With increasing frequency all these activities come up at the same time, and I have a week like this one. I have only played one beginner AI League of Legends since Monday morning. I think I’m going into withdrawal.
That said, one reason I’ve had a less-than-average amount of play time is because I’m starting my new D&D campaign this Friday. As a result, I’ve used a fair share of my unusually-limited free time to brush up on the rules and create the adventure. I’m probably safe writing about my plans here, but since one of the players is an occasional reader, I’d better not go into any real detail to avoid accidentally spoiling it. I can, however, leak a few minor things, like the overall adventure arc. I pride myself in having original beginnings. The whole “meet in a tavern on a stormy night, and a mysterious old man walks in” beginning irritates me with its unoriginality, though of course I could use that and every other cliché in an ironic adventure someday.
My previous campaign openers have been at a concert, a wedding, a crashing airship (with a mid-falling fight over a ring of flying), and on a lifeboat. I’ve been pretty happy with those. This one I feel I took to the next level; it’s taking place at a multi-racial (from a D&D standpoint, so elf, dwarf, gnome, etc) child beauty pageant. I’m going to couple the madness of such an event with the dangers of an old opera house and socially contextualize it by having a poor half-orc girl wanting to be a part of it. There’s a lot to learn about the characters’ personalities and capabilities here, and I’m excited to see how it plays out.
Of course that means a good deal of planning, which I haven’t done in literally 4 or 5 years. One reason I previously preferred Vampire to D&D was the greater capability to fly by the seat of my pants since it was a much more open-ended, character-driven story. While D&D, to me, is still somewhat character driven, it’s much less so, and thus that means I have to do a lot more. It’s not that I mind, of course; I enjoy it; I’m just out of practice doing the actual planning as well as scheduling time in which to plan.
So today’s my last late day this week, and as such things will be getting back to normal before too long. I’ll have my Wednesday flex raid tonight, which I’m looking forward to (especially if that dude from last week shows up again, though of course I’m always excited about getting to raid with my buddy and his guild mates, who I think I inadvertently disparaged by being so impressed with the new dude). I’m interested in seeing what effect my cloak has on my dps, and of course I enjoy just being a part of that raiding group.
More Friday, I hope, since I hope to actually be able to play a bit between now and then!
Stubborn (and busy)
So I was worried last week about getting my 4 celestial kills. One of my commentators, Tithian (supported by R) suggested I get oQueue, and I’d like to report on how THAT worked out.
VERY WELL. PERFECTLY, REALLY.
I’m not sure why I hadn’t heard of oQueue, but I got it up and running as quickly as you’d expect for a basic add-on, and about an hour later had all 4 celestial kills (six, really, since the first two groups were supposed to do all 4, but fell apart so badly after 1 that I just dropped when there were less than 5 people left). The third group did all four as advertised, and got my cloak. I am now legen… wait for it…
At any rate, that was a nice success. I went ahead and further oQueued to get my first Ordos kill, and he dropped a neck – one of my few remaining sub 540 pieces. I jumped from – I forget exactly – but about a 535 ilevel to 548, and I moved to doing about a sustained 200k on the Ordos fight. That’s pretty crazy, though, of course, probably much less than I “could” be doing based on sims.
Speaking of jumping, I also jumped over to my buddy’s server. I really don’t know why I didn’t already, but I went ahead and did so. I already met some of his other guildies and lent a hand in an ICC 25 run for someone working on the old legendary. I also bummed around Timeless Isle a lot more than usual and just sort of saw the sights and mopped up some achievements there. It was a good WoW weekend.
I also played DayZ a bit this weekend. I had by far the best start I’ve had since coming back, finding food and a weapon in a “low-hanging” building with virtually no zombies around it. I was well on my way to getting somewhere, but the server restart came, and I went ahead and stopped to play with my buddy, whose sight after his surgery is slowly returning. We played a few games of magic, which is about all he can really handle at the moment, but he’s hopeful to be back playing other games before too terribly long.
On top of that, I played League of Legends. I stepped into an ARAM (all random, all mid) and ended up on a team with 4 melee. Not good melee, even, like Xin Zhao or Singed. The other team had 4 ranged including Sona (for heals), Ashe, Ziggs, and Janna, all characters with long range, straight attacks that make facing them in a single-lane ARAM a nightmare. We didn’t do a single point of damage to their turret. ”That’s Aram,” I guess, but it’s little consolation when you’ve truly not got a prayer from the start. The best part of the game was when someone was complaining about what they “wished” had happened, and someone on the enemy team responded, “I wish I’d been paid in gum!” It was so random, so very ARAM.
So I got my first and likely only legendary in WoW, killed a new boss, and advanced quite a bit in the story. I look forward to seeing how I do in this week’s flex, and I wonder for the first time in a while if I’ll try to jump into some normals again. Flex has been enough so far, but once all of my gear is 540 or better, that incentive is gone. That doesn’t mean too much – I’ve never cared too much about gear – rather, it’s an incentive to try a harder mode. We’ll see.