Waiting For Rez: 100 Posts

This will be the 100th post on Waiting For Rez. I had completely different plans on what I was going to post today (another impressions piece for Black Desert) however realizing this post will be a kind of mile marker for the blog, I thought I would go a different direction. A little over a year ago Massively was shut down and Massively OP was born and in the middle of those two events I decided to start blogging. I was already considering it having discovered Bio Break and other popular MMO blogs but the threat of Massively going away for good was the catalyst to get me started; I wanted to continue conversing with the community surrounding MMOs.

While there was certainly a period of silence I am still blogging today and I’m proud of reaching the 100 post marker. So I thought I would provide a few links to some of my favorite posts over the last year. Most of them I like because they’re funny (or at least I think they are) but a few are significant for other reasons.

Crafting in ESO: Writ Certification Part 1

This is by far the most popular post on my blog; with the launch of ESO on consoles my daily views skyrocketed because of this post. And while I have no reason to believe that everyone who visited the site read through the post let alone anything else on my blog, I think I did a good job with this guide. If I remember correctly it was also the first post I had featured on Global Chat, a column produced by Justin Olivetti at Massively OP. Sadly there was never a part two. I meant to follow it up with a similar post on the other half of writ certification but I never did. Now I would have to read my own guide to remember how the process works!

Welcome to Coldharbour

Another post on The Elder Scrolls Online. This was just something silly I put together using some screenshots I took during a return to Coldharbour after the revamp. It really was an improvement on the tutorial experience but rather than a standard impressions piece I decided to do something a little different.

Invariably Variable

You can probably skip through most of this one. It was one of the “here’s what’s going on in my gaming life right now” posts that I referred to as the “State of the Rez.” But definitely get to the part about the Sandbocolypse and sending my grandson back in time. And the Bree-800 series cyber-economist. I should turn this stuff into a popular film series.

Movement Progression in Trove and the Value of Flight in Draenor

I think this post sums up why I loved Trove so much last year and it was also one of those moments when I really started thinking that, despite my enjoyment of the theme park model of MMOs (see Invariably Variable), there really was a lot of stagnation in the way they were designed without enough innovation that fundamentally affected gameplay rather than changes that were nothing more than grafted on mini-games.

Eleven Years, Dancing Cheek to Cheek

I wrote this post for my wife last year for our eleventh anniversary. I wanted to write down our story like my Grandpa had for his wife, kids and grandkids. The longer we’re married the more remarkable I realize she is and how blessed I am to be married to such a strong, gracious woman.

Beard and Soul

I enjoyed writing this post even more than I did making those bearded characters in the game. And while I was being a little tongue and cheek  I really was impressed with the facial hair options and the character creator in general in Blade and Soul. This was one of those MMOs I never expected to try let alone to enjoy as much as I did but it really is a great title and the more bearded men we get balancing out the number of busty women and fluffy tailed children the better.

Revisiting My Plans for 2016

It’s been a month and already my MMO plans for 2016 have changed so I wanted to revisit my gaming goals for the year and adjust them a little. And since I wasn’t sure what was going on with Waiting For Rez at the start of January, I’ll also include my plans for the blog. There’s a good chance this “revisiting of goals” will end up being a monthly review (and possibly a running joke) because as the year progresses some plans will work out while others will prove to be the wrong direction for me. Honestly, iterating on plans made for a causal hobby is not a bad thing. While I want to accomplish some goals, I also want to be flexible because it is after all just for fun!

2016-01-30_00002

The Secret World

First of all, I did decide to go ahead and purchase the Grand Master pack. While I have some concerns about long term gameplay (like what I’ll do once I’ve finished all the current issues) I still believe I’ll get plenty of use out of the subscription perks and bonus points. As for my goals in The Secret World, I’d like to complete the current story content such that I end the year up to date. I’d also like to complete the skill wheel by the end of the year; not the one for auxiliary weapons but the primary wheel. For the sake of staying invested in the game long term I’d like to find a good Cabal to join and to participate in group activities like dungeons, raids, or whatever else TSW offers.

2016-01-26_1682265

Black Desert Online

In my previous post I had mentioned The Elder Scrolls Online as a secondary MMO, one that would provide similar skill-point progression but in a fantasy setting. Once again, by no fault of its own (I really do enjoy the game) I’ve taken ESO off the table in favor of Black Desert. BDO was on my “games to watch” list but has rapidly moved into something I am genuinely excited about and definitely going to be playing. I pre-ordered the game so that I could participate in the second beta and now with the announcement of a March 3rd launch, I’m only a month away from playing the live game.

Assuming I enjoy Black Desert as much as I think I’m going to, my plans are to level a Tamer to 50 and then work on a few low level alts (Wizard, Sorceress, and Warrior or Valkyrie) to help create infrastructure for crafting and trade. I don’t know what kind of time commitment any of this will require, but I would like to focus on ship building and fishing first, and then farming and horse breeding second. All in all I think Black Desert will make a nice companion to The Secret World, each one offering what the other lacks.

Blogging

My plans for the blog are to continue writing 4-5 posts on MMOs to publish during the weekdays, each around 500 words (or less). Then on Sundays I would like to publish another 500 word post on something I’ve been reading in the Bible lately. It was always my goal with this blog to have some kind of reflection on scripture on a regular basis but while these are often my favorite pieces to write they can be the hardest to get started. Still, I have a lot of ideas written down already that I want to pursue so even if it means cutting back during the week, I want to make this a priority. There’s a reason why “Waiting For Rez” has two implied meanings after all.

Single Player Games

I’m actually backing away from my goal of working through single player games as a part of my schedule. First of all, between The Secret World and Black Desert, I have plenty to keep me busy. In addition to a full plate already, I haven’t really enjoyed my time playing through the single player games on my steam acount. Sure, it could be the particular titles I’ve tried thus far, but I think what it comes down to is that I’m not a gamer, I’m an MMO player. Of the games on my list, I definitely want to complete Life is Strange but the rest may end up as a loss.

 

So that’s it for 2016, The Secret World will still take top priority while Black Desert will be a solid secondary MMO and a strong companion for TSW. The Elder Scrolls Online and single player games are off the menu (with the exception of Life is Strange) and my blog will focus on regular, 500 word posts. I think that’s plenty to keep me busy for the year; here’s to a productive (and enjoyable) 2016!

 

MMO Plans for 2016

I’ve seen a number of other bloggers writing a retrospect of their 2015 gaming experiences and then contemplating resolutions and goals for 2016. The former I don’t plan on doing right now however I would like to take a little time to talk about my plans for 2016. None of this is ironclad, but I do have a general idea of what I’d like to be playing this year.

Goals from 2015

I didn’t set any goals at the beginning of last year, but at some point I decided to “finish” more of the MMOs I had tried and liked. Prior to setting that goal I had max level characters in World of Warcraft and Guild Wars 2 but nowhere else. This was due to indecisiveness every time I would start a new MMO and also due to how easily I was distracted by the next “shiny.” However by the end of the year I had reached max level in Trove, Final Fantasy XIV (pre-Heavensward), Star Wars: The Old Republic, WildStar and in three OARPGs.

With 2016 now here, the question I have is will I continue down this route, or focus on end game in one or two games instead? Since I have no max level characters (or the equivalent) in either of the two titles I’m currently interested in, for now I’m going to continue leveling in MMOs I have previously started but never finished. However that goal may change once I progress further in these two games.

2016-01-09_00001

The Secret World

Out of all my options, there is one MMO I want to continue playing for the majority of the year, and that is The Secret World. I bought the game for my birthday and now, about six weeks in I can confidently say that it is one of the best (if not THE best) MMO I have ever played. I would like to finish all the content currently available up through Issue #13 however until I’ve tried dungeons and raiding, it’s hard to tell whether I’ll want to stick around between Issues, or just come back for the new stories and special events like so many other people do.

Screenshot_20160109_170151

The Elder Scrolls Online

If The Secret World is going to be my three squares a day for 2016, then TESO will be my coffee break; something I look forward to but don’t spend a lot of time on. I want to sample more of this game’s story and world as well as the combat and skill system which remind me of what I like about The Secret World’s style of progression. Because it’s been a while since I last played I went ahead and started a new Sorcerer and have already reached level seven and completed Bleakrock Isle. The combat feels crude compared to TSW, but I like having the typical fantasy themed weapons and adversaries as a counter point to The Secret World’s zombies and assault rifles.

Black Desert

I’m not going to spend too much time talking about this game because I only just started researching it this past week, but suffice it to say it has caught my attention. I’m going to continue to keep an eye on it and if I have the funds available at launch I will probably pick up this game and give it a try. It fits in with my apparent Buy-to-Play preference right now if nothing else.

Steam’s Winter Sale

Believe it or not I did not regularly use Steam until after I purchased TSW for my birthday during one of their sales. Previously I had two other games on Steam, neither of which I ever played. However now I’m starting to understand the appeal, and with a gift card I received at Christmas, I made a few purchases this December that I’d like to explore. Most of them are single player titles, so I suppose another goal for 2016 will be to explore other genres besides MMOs and ARPGs.

LOTRO- this was going to be my secondary MMO and I even bought all the expansions with that in mind but it just hasn’t clicked yet, however maybe if I tire of TESO I’ll place a little more emphasis here. My kids really like it though and it’s a good introductory MMO for them so even if I don’t play much myself I’ll continue to enjoy the quality time with my kids as we read quest text in funny accents and explore Middle Earth together.

Arkham Asylum/ Arkham City- I’ve never played any of the Arkham franchise games and so I purchased these two, mostly because the stories sounded interesting. I’ve started Arkham Asylum and so far so good. It definitely looks older than the latest edition to the series, but considering the MMOs I play I don’t really care.

Fallout- Here’s another franchise I’ve never played, and I wanted to start with the original RPG. I’m really looking forward to this, however with the single player games I purchased I’m going to tackle them one at a time so it will have to wait until I’m finished wearing black tights and a cape while punching clowns.

2016-01-01_00002

I’m Batman.

 

Life is Strange- This was a last minute purchase at the end of the sale, but I’m glad I picked it up because I’m hearing good things about it from other bloggers. And I’m hoping I can talk my wife into sitting down with me to play too because I think she would enjoy the story elements and it might provide her with a different perspective on video games as a non-gamer.

That’s not really a plan, Weakness…

I know, I know. I’m not committing to any “goals” per se so much as a list of games I want to play through although like last year I expect a few months in to have a better idea of where my focus will be for the remainder of the year. If I had to make a decision right now, I’d tell you that The Secret World is going to be my permanent MMO home but with so much left to try out and no guild or community ties to speak of, I think that decision would be premature.

So what are your plans for 2016? Did you get suckered into the Winter Steam Sale as much (or more) than I did?