Archives for November 2018

In My Weekend Gaming Hands

Not literally in my hands anymore, as it’s all been assembled and nestled safely under my desk but after some extensive research, I pulled the trigger on some AMD components to put together a new gaming PC. I hope to get some more posts up describing my decision process but so far, so good. Life in 1440p land is great.

So this weekend will probably involve more than PC gaming than normal. A little Destiny, maybe some Bioshock Infinite and something new, like Tokyo 42.

What are you playing this weekend?

Weekend Gaming

Thanksgiving kicks off the “Holiday Season” officially, with its extended weekend and treat-yo-self mentality that really lends itself to some extended me-time, in the form of some video games.

So what is everyone playing this long weekend? Myself, I have a handful of ideas I’d like to get to.

Most importantly is not gaming in and of itself, but a means to a more glorious form of PC gaming — the process of acquiring new components for a new PC build. Taking advantage of Black Friday deals has netted me a new AMD motherboard/CPU combo and RAM. Thanks, Micro Center!

I’ll be waiting for a couple days for my monitor and GPU to show up, so in the meantime, here’s what I’ll be playing this weekend:

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: This is the weekend it all comes together — I am finally going to finish BotW. I’ve collected all but one memory, I have crafted a huge pile of food and elixirs to sustain me during the assault of the castle and I’m coming for you, Calamity Ganon.

breath of the wild

Some of the Buttonmashing crew took advantage of the gift Blizzard bestowed on us all with a free copy of Destiny 2, so I’ll be jumping in and out of that as time allows.

Dota 2: the 7.20 game patch came out last week and all its accompanying game-changing updates. Dota 2 has an eternal place on the Weekend Gaming rotation.

What are you going to be playing this weekend?

Crusader Kings 2 ‘Holy Fury’ Expansion Released Today

At long last the latest expansion for the Strategic Medieval Life simulator Crusader Kings 2 is now available to the masses. What is undoubtedly the largest expansion to date, Holy Fury looks to integrate itself with nearly every culture, dynasty, timeline available in the game. Many of the previous expansions simply tack on their respective features, thus increasing the scope and breadth and flavor of the CK2 world. So, not owning all expansions could be considered ‘necessary’ to experience what the game can do under the hood. However, Holy Fury seeks to embed itself under all of this while also throwing in its own unique features.

Indeed. As seen from the outside looking in (I’m downloading the expansion and free base-game update as I type this), Holy Fury looks to bring Crusader Kings 2 around full circle, helping bolster what made the game unique and so dang fun to play since the very beginning. Religion now has more power and presence in the fabric of this medieval world. Dynasties and genetic traits are now more manageable and exploitable. More societies. More political motivations. More Africa. More. More. More!

With Holy Fury, nearly every culture and region now has MORE.

Back in April, Strategy Gamer posted the opinion that CK2 has lost its way; that, essentially, the expansions have watered down what made the game so special in the first place. It is a great read and wonderful food for thought. I hope to have a response post to this article, along with a review for Holy Fury within the coming days.

But until then, you’ll have to excuse me. I have a medieval eugenics program to develop.

Weekend Gaming – The Council

Praise be to a medium that has the diverse history and abundance of flavors that games of the video variety have. One of the primary reasons I have taken up gaming as a hobby is because no matter what mood I happen to be in, no matter how awesome or plaguing a week has been, there is enough of a variety that I can load up just about anything to sync with my current mood status. Even when I don’t feel like playing anything I still end up playing something.

I’m shifting gears this weekend. Up until tonight I’ve been shuffling chits in The Operational Art of War IV or creating wildly cost-prohibitive and clunky alchemy machines in Opus Magnum. Both games require an amount of patience, dirty work, trial and error, and even more patience on top of the patience already listed – mainly a patience in oneself, which, at this juncture, I am pretty much devoid of. Let us turn to matters of a more theatrical and humanistic nature, shall we?

I don’t trust George any farther than I can throw him.

Yes. The Council is an episodic adventure, ‘choices-matter’ game taking place on a secret island during the closing years of the 18th century. You play as a young potential-initiate of a secret society populated by an elite group of individuals who represent their respective countries or territories. It is on this island that these power-players discuss and initiate matters of political and social concern. So, of course in such a core setting like this there is duplicity, power struggle, side-taking, hidden meanings, and things left unsaid in the many dialogs available. Add in some occult flavor, twinning, murders and perhaps an immortal character or two, and you’ve got a recipe for an evening of fun!

Four out of the five episodes have been released, of which I left things hanging at the beginning of episode three way back in August. I feel like immersion this weekend, folks. I feel like plugging in the gamepad, putting my feet up, and parsing the dialog trees of the powerful leaders in this time of change to determine who is on the up-and-up and who is full of duplicitous crap, discovering myself in the process. Much Existentialism. Very Talking. Wow.

What are you playing this weekend?

Diablo Immortal…NotLikeThis…

The title for the next iteration of Diablo is such a contradiction, considering it might already be dead!

I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who was disappointed in what the next iteration of Diablo turned out to be. Seeing a title like, “Diablo: What’s Next?” on the schedule for BlizzCon opened up the hype gates like Tyrael parting the sky from heaven on his way down to Sanctuary to slay some demon spawn!

Blizzard even had to temper the enthusiasm from the Diablo fan base with a post because everyone was hoping for just a glimpse of Diablo 4. Just a peek would be all we needed but, alas, it was not meant to be. I’ll tell you what was next though, a big heaping pile of #notmydiablo!

If I’m being harsh it’s because I have been fan of Diablo from the beginning. I can remember playing the original Diablo over local co-op on the PlayStation with my brother, so many hours with Diablo 2 on the PC, and finally with Diablo 3 on the PC (over and over again – thank you seasons). I don’t think anyone was looking forward to a smartphone version of Diablo (if you can find someone that was clamoring for it, let me know in the comments – genuinely asking here folks).

This will be the first Diablo game that I won’t play… wow… that’s a hard one to type. I choose not to play it because it’s not the game I want and certainly not the Diablo I want. It feels like the powers that be at Blizzard (or maybe Activision) are not aware of what the fan base wants or they don’t care. Since we don’t know what the pricing is or what micro-transactions are going to be available in the game, we can’t say it was just a cash grab…yet. Whatever the model ends up being doesn’t really matter. What does matter, and I HOPE Blizzard is listening, is that they missed the mark. No amount of hype, or faux hype at the BlizzCon announcement can make a game desirable when it wasn’t wanted in the first place.

After perusing some of the Diablo 3 subreddit (I mean, where else would you go to get the pulse of a community?) I found a very concise summary to the whole thing from user j005e and to sum it up; I share it here:

Card

The phrase that I’ve seen used a lot in defense of Blizzard/Activision is, “You can’t please everyone.” and while that’s true, you could at least satisfy the Diablo fanbase. Sadly, I don’t know if any lessons will be learned or anything good will come from this whole thing. I do hope I’m wrong and Blizzard give us all a mea culpa but, what are the chances of that?