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Elsewhere, in Gaming…

March 31, 2014

Dear Reader,

I’m actually sitting in one of my classes, now, writing this.  It’s a little shameful, I know, but it’s a “research day,” so I’m mostly just sitting, debugging their research processes.  I just helped a student find the “article request” form for the inter-library loan system, which I think’s pretty great; now that he’s done it once, he’s a LOT more likely to do it again.

Most of the others are just perusing the online article databases, finding their sources, working quietly.  I’m not a huge fan of the “silent classroom,” but once in a while, it’s good to know it’s still possible.

Elsewhere, though, in my gaming, I’ve found myself moving back to some games I’d played before.  I’m still working on gearing Stubbornly, my boosted 90 druid.  I’ve gotten all but 4 pieces of purple 496 gear, but in the last several days, no leather gear has dropped.  None.  I’ve gotten 5 cloaks now, plenty of plate, cloth, and mail, but it seems since I got plenty of leather at first that the RNG has decided to even the score.

It might not be so bad, but three of the missing pieces are my helm, legs, and a trinket, so I’m not exactly ready to start healing seriously without them.  I decided upon boosting to boost into feral so that I could more easily navigate the isle to pick up healing gear, and I’ve turned all the “first” tokens for each slot into healing gear (and thus my healing set is better), but without even green healing gear in some key places, I don’t think it’s safe to try a dungeon or H Scenario.  I’ve checked the AH, but having spent a lot of money to get my professions to a workable level (Enchanting is becoming profitable around 575, but JC is still in Cata era and hemorrhaging money), I don’t have a ton of cash to drop on supplemental gear.  Sure, a green wouldn’t cost me THAT much, but even “that” much is somewhat limiting at the moment.

So I’m progressing, but slowly.

Elsewhere, though, I’ve gone back to some previous game I’ve played.  For one, the start of the new Path of Exile season went by in the first week of this month, but I was busy playing WoW and Hammerwatch, so my buddy and I didn’t pay it much mind.  Now that we’re through with Hammerwatch, though, we’ve decided to give it another go.  He’s playing a completely new class, but I’m back to my ranger, who I enjoyed thoroughly until, you know, I died.

There’s a lot of weird new features.  Monster types are no longer limited based on boards; you could have virtually any type on any board.  Their power, of course, is scaled to the appropriate level for the board, but gone are the times when my buddy I knew where suicide bomber mobs were and thus wouldn’t worry about them elsewhere.  Now, every corner may have a suicide bomber behind it.  Additionally, scattered throughout the world are special areas, small, “extra hard” challenge dungeons.  Each one has monster modifiers and environment affects associated with it. We found two where monsters reflected about 20% of elemental damage (which was a laugh since we’re both physical damage dealers) but also had icy spots on the floor that would slow your move and attack speed.  Later, we found one where all monsters had 30% extra armor and reflected 20% physical damage.  We took that one very, very slowly.

That seems to be the biggest change, too; the game has become a little more strategic and cerebral; you have to really consider the dangers and how to overcome them.  In the “physical reflect” dungeon, we progressed mostly through my using my fire trap over and over again with my buddy occasionally finishing off a mob with a hit or two.  We had to think about what we were doing instead of just slogging through; so far, I like it a lot.

For single player, a very odd old development came up.  I have downloaded Origins, EA’s “we get to monitor your play” program, and noticed that, years ago, I had registered the old Maxis title Spore to EA online.  As a result, even though those CDs are long gone, I was able to download the game and play it.

Spore never really had a chance the first time.  I bought it while I was playing a variety of other games.  In 2008, I would have been raiding Kara or, depending on when it was released, leveling in Lich King, so I have no doubt WoW swallowed the experience for me.  I did recall it being overall enjoyable, though, so I figured hey – why not give it another run?

So I did.  It’s been fun.  I enjoy the kind of silly, somewhat cutesy atmosphere.  I also enjoy the overall less intense nature of the game.  I’ve been playing hardcore, limited-lives, or raid-like environments for a long time, so just running around eating fruits and killing other creatures (I don’t want to make things extinct, but I will if I have to) has been pretty relaxing.

So I’ve been on a bit of an old-school kickback as of late, but I’m enjoying it, which is all that really matters.  What old games would you go back and play if you suddenly found yourself with more time to game?


Stubborn (who doesn’t have more time to game)

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 31, 2014 12:42 pm

    Having done the Timeless Island token thing on, er, 30ish toons and counting, I think I have enough of an experience baseline to make some sense of how stuff drops.

    Your first day in, when you’re opening a lot of chests, you’re going to get a more than average amount of drops for your armour type… say, 50% leather for a druid, 50% “other”. Once you’re done that part, from that point on the drops seem to be fully random. Doing the chests in the cave also appears to be fully random*.

    Speaking from experience, the two slots that you want to be MOST careful with token usage are rings and necks… rings especially will be in short supply the more toons you level.

    One other tip, the generic armour tokens (the ones to give random plate, mail, etc) CAN also result in a miscellaneous slot, I believe I got a ring from one once. If you have any of those generic tokens they should be the first thing you use when a toon hits 90, hopefully you get lucky and get a more rare item from it.

    * Bit more info about that cave, it’s a lot more efficient than buying burdens or tokens with coins directly… but make sure you have enough coins to offset the RNG. I normally don’t go in there unless I have 40K+ I’m willing to waste. On average I’m getting a burden for every 10-15K spent along with 5-10 random tokens and a few pets (can’t be boxed but they can be sold to the vendor if they haven’t been used yet). Vs 50K per burden and, I think, 7500 per token, that’s a massive savings at the cost of half an hour of clicking.

  2. March 31, 2014 1:54 pm

    You could easily do both H Dungeons and H Scenarios — dungeons were tuned around having 430 unenchanted/ungemmed gear and you don’t even need/want a healer for H Scens, technically.

    You can buy for justice points for a trinket. Also can buy 522 gear with honor (convert to justice, basically 60 honor per heroic dungeon boss).

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