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BURGLED! and Other News

July 14, 2015

Dear Reader,

Imagine coming home and finding your house broken into.  The violation of a living space not only leaves one deprived of possessions but a feeling of safety and comfort as well.  My car was broken into in NYC once (to be fair, my wife accidentally left it unlocked after she retrieved something from it but nevertheless it was still burgled), and it left me worried and uncomfortable for a few days – and that was just my car!

Don’t worry, reader; my house wasn’t actually burgled, (and to be perfectly honest, I know I shouldn’t be making light of such a serious violation in relation to a video game occurrence), but my home in Ark was.

It appears if you’re offline for more than four days, people can destroy your structures, even on a PVE server.  My wife, buddy, and I have been busy (he just started dialysis, too, which leaves him feeling a bit wiped out), so we didn’t log on for five days.  When we did, we found all of our stuff gone.

I give the robbers some credit; they didn’t tear the entire place down to the ground.  They could have, but they made a precision entry and exit, taking only our goods and leaving everything else relatively unmolested (though my wife’s character was dead upon log-in; I wonder if they dragged her body to somewhere unsafe simply because she plays a lady toon).  Still, all of our hard-earned ore, metal weapons and tools, and armor were gone.

Ah well.  We learned a valuable lesson about PVE demolish rules with a relatively small cost, and we met another player who we hung out with for a session while we were working to recover from the loss, so it’s not all bad.  Nonetheless, it was an unexpected violation on a PVE server that rang our bell a bit.

In other news, I finished episode 2 of Life is Strange.  I enjoyed it, but not as much as the first.  The first’s novelty and prophecy is going to be hard to beat, and the somewhat lack of danger (except due to foolish antics) left the second feeling a bit like Back to the Future 2, an episode that exists to bridge two other episodes.  I look forward to playing Episode 3 soon.

My buddy and I “finished” Grim Dawn. The game itself is still be developed, but we completed all of the current content.  Well, all but one quest (which likely continues into a longer quest chain).  One of the “mechanics” of the game is a deadly poison that’s on the ground which quickly and exponentially saps your health.  That’s well and fun to play with in a non-hardcore setting where if you fail it’s not a huge deal, but in a hardcore game, if you can’t plainly see where the next “safe zone” is, then you’re really taking a huge gamble running down a long lane of the stuff.

And that’s what the quest asks to do.  As much as I enjoyed Grim Dawn, I absolutely hate this mechanic.  I did run down a lane of this toxic garbage early on and very nearly died.  Now that we’re at the current “end game,” losing a hardcore character would be a real loss of investment, and this quest asks the player to go on an act of faith that maybe the lane of poisonous death can be survived.  No thanks, and if that means not seeing all the content, so be it.  But frankly, I consider that a critically stupid design decision.

So that’s what I’ve been playing recently!  Hope you’re having a fun summer, reader!


Stubborn (and refusing to risk life and limb on a stupid, unavoidable death mechanic)

P.S. Even though I’m usually a cheapskate, I’m going to buy myself one Triple-A summer game, and I’m looking for your input: Pillars of Eternity, Dragon Age: Inquisition, or Witcher 3?  Or something else?  Why?

Leave your comments below, and thanks!

9 Comments leave one →
  1. July 15, 2015 10:58 am

    Dragon Age: Inquisition. Or better, don’t, because I’ll be so jealous!

    • July 15, 2015 1:47 pm

      Well, I just won’t tell you about it, then! 😛 Seriously, though, thanks for the input, and thanks for the comment!

  2. coppertopper permalink
    July 15, 2015 11:00 am

    I would say you can skip DA:I. The time to play it was shortly after release when the multiplayer servers were full. Now you can’t even get enough players for a full (4 person) game. Outside of that, the actual campaign was fun for the combat, but was too chopped up by instanced zones to give you any ‘in a fantasy world’ feeling. The story itself – not bad really. Maybe a little humdrum for some, but had a few twists in it to keep me interested in finishing. Side quests, very MMO quest-like (find my lost boy, collect this, ect.). The only real challenge is in killing the dragons (1 per zone). Crafting – ok? You buy or find recipes, then collect enough mats to pop the finished item out. Stat types could be customized, but overall unless you play on hardcore level it wasn’t all that necessary.

    Also, when you get your keep, the actual customization isn’t real deep. You can change drapes, stained glass window designs, and throne types, but looks-wise those were the most obvious upgrades to be made. No changing the actual building layout or design of your keep at all. If they had made personalizing your keep as much fun a gameplay element as the multiplayer (I had appx. 100hrs in MP matches alone), then that could have been another selling point.

    And the devs aren’t adding any interesting gameplay via addons. The only quest addon so far is just another zone with more of the same quest type. Then they went and added a store where you can buy the most powerful weapons and every material component, thus ruining the actual challenge of playing the game.

    So my vote Witcher 3 as the devs seem to be really behind updating and adding to it.

    • coppertopper permalink
      July 15, 2015 11:05 am

      Just looked and there is a free trial right now on Origin for DA:I, so you can check it out and form your own opinion. Definately give the MP a shot (its free as part of this trial as well).

    • July 15, 2015 1:46 pm

      Thanks for the thorough review and explanation, as well as this tip; I will almost certainly try it out. I would likely be playing single player; I didn’t even realize there was a heavily integrated multiplayer in DA:I. I’ll check it out now and let you know what I decide.
      Thanks for the comment!

    • July 15, 2015 11:31 am

      And if you approach DA:I as a single-player Dragon Age game rather than a multiplayer game? Or does that not work at all? (As I’m always too late for the bandwagon.)

    • Coppertopper permalink
      July 15, 2015 2:25 pm

      It’s a fine game if you are just interested in the single player campaign. I only tried the multiplayer at first to get to know how the different classes felt in combat. Then I got hooked : p But the multiplayer plays like a short 4 man dungeon instance. Gear rarely drops (instanced for each player) but gold currency is the real reward that you then buy chests with. The chests have a set # of random gear and potions, all shareable with any classes you create on your account. You also level from 1-20 and pick abilities from a class skill tree. So lots of good feeling of advancement for each 15-20min instance run.

    • Coppertopper permalink
      July 15, 2015 2:27 pm

      Oh and MP has no effect whatsoever on your advancement in the single player portion, and visa versa. Like 2 completely different gameplay options.

  3. Sloane686 permalink
    July 21, 2015 10:37 am

    Tough one. Id recommend DA:I i think.

    I loved DA:I a lot, but the witcher 3 is awesome so far. DA:I was the first game of its type that I ever got totally hooked on, and I will probably go back to it at some point. If ARK had come out while DA:I were new, I think I’d have still played DA:I, but I stopped playing the witcher bc of ARK.

    Then again, personal preference varies, and plenty of people disliked DA:I just as much as I loved it. If there’s still a demo, try it, and it will likely be on sale sooner than witcher is, so there’s that.

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