A Surfeit of Goals

I fear that I am becoming a very boring person.

While nearly everyone is off on their personal quest to level 100 in Warlords of Draenor, plus whatever else is included in that expansion, I’m over here playing the same old three games and veritably drowning in goals, making merely incremental progress on any of them.

Marvel Heroes is my current fling.

I’m not at all playing it seriously, just popping in for 15-30 minutes to collect stuff that’s filling up my inventory, hit some other stuff, then log off.

After a brief period of agonizing over the very tempting Black Friday sale, I decided on a compromise. Instead of greedily paying $10 for two heroes of my choice, plus two random heroes from boxes, I settled for paying the $5 I felt the game was worth (given the supremely casual way I’m playing it.)

This let me pick up the main hero I wanted, aka Wolverine.

(Yeah, I am a superhero fan of no discernment, just another Wolverine fan among billions. X-Men is pretty much the only Marvel franchise I am conversant with.

Spiderman? Nah. Guardians of the Galaxy? Dunno, haven’t got around to seeing the movie yet. Hulk? I guess he’s okay, in a brute smash sort of way, but I can’t begin to tell you about his universe. Iron-Man? Ok, I at least caught the movies for that, and yeah, the tech suits and special effects are cool.

I guess I’m ultimately more of a DC Batman dark vigilante sort of person, or an otherworldly Vertigo Comics connoisseur.)

mh-wolverine

I can’t begin to tell you if he’s balanced or not, but well, he’s in his trademarked yellow costume, he goes slashy slashy with his claws a LOT faster than Colossus’ punches, and he takes more damage than Colossus does.

Somehow, that makes the game a little more interesting as it becomes a bit more challenging to kill before being killed. I’m also a big fan of fast attacks, so he has that going for him too.

His main schtick is a bit more like a standard MMO rogue type, imo, he has some kind of fury bar that he builds up with a simple claw attack builder, and then you spend it with other harder hitting attacks, such as an AoE claw attack, or a more damaging frontal cone claw attack and so on.

The only two things that still keep standing in the way of me playing and enjoying this game further:

1) I can’t shake the feeling that it is very gear and stat based vertical progression. Obviously, if I have more armor, or more damage, or more of such-and-such stat, I am going to be able to take down this bunch of health bars more ably than without.

How am I going to get more of that? Kill stuff and see what drops, I guess. Stack on various percentages of magic item find or whatever they call it in this game. (Don’t forget the ever-present cash shop booster temptation!) Crunch numbers and work out builds. Repeat to kill stuff with even bigger numbers. Yeah, okay. We know the pattern of these games.

2) Enforced level ranges are still a massive pain in the butt. I honestly cannot deal with the current story mode. It’s wading through hordes of enemies while trying to FedEx quest something from point A to point B. Except all these hordes of enemies are some screwed up level that probably won’t match with yours because you’ve gone and leveled three times while fighting already, making them super-easy snoozefests of unspeakably crap xp.

So I go play with the terminals and go to Midtown Manhattan, or the X-Defense in the X-Mansion, or some Holosim or other. Those give me nice bite-sized action chunks of varying objectives, lots of constant fighting and rate of xp gain, with nice jackpot rewards from chests or boss defeats.

8 levels later, I look up and realize I’m even more screwed with story mode again.

It just kinda utterly confuses me as to how I’m expected to level through this game. (Given that my waypoints seem to have carried over from character to character, perhaps I just have to grin and bear it and work through one Normal Difficulty story mode and then open out Heroic mode or whatever.)

Anyway, the Random Hero Box I got to open from the Wolverine purchase netted me the Silver Surfer.

mh-silversurf

Ok, cool, I guess. He’s pretty large. I have no clue as to who he actually is, being all non-conversant with the Marvel universe, but for my purposes, he has ranged attacks, which I wanted at least one character of mine to have, so that I can have a choice of varied playstyle whenever.

With that, I’m kinda content. I expect these three characters will last me long enough till next year even, or whenever they have another one of these promotions again. Chances are also fairly high that my interest in Marvel Heroes won’t hold steady to the point that I need/want another character, so good enuff.

Minecraft: Agrarian Skies is the hobby I don’t have time for.

mc-house-front

Here’s the haphazard unfinished front of the modern house design I suddenly decided it might be a good idea to build.

It took a good hour to lay out the cobblestone island foundation it’s sitting on, plus search through all kinds of blocks looking for appropriate and cheap building materials (settled on stone bricks for flooring, paved whitestone for facade, with clear glass. Still wondering if I can find and afford really white and smooth blocks.)

In the midst of constructing the front, it struck me that I maybe should actually look for a picture of a modern house design and base it off some semblance of reality. (I found a few, but they also involve a really nice wall of alternating grey stone, or dark wooden facades – ahhh, more block hunting through the NEI!)

Then it also struck me that I needed to figure out what I wanted in the interior, in order to make it both beautiful and functional… at which point I kinda got stuck and also ran out of gameplay time.

mc-house-basement

I have this vague idea that I want the house to be wired up to an ME storage system. My present one is a little too humble and out of the way.

To do that, I need to have a constant source of redstone energy production… so I’m thinking some kind of generator in the basement… Just no clue what.

Anyway, I had to make a basement.

That involved getting around to making angel blocks, since I had to jetpack -under- the existing cobblestone island and lay down blocks underneath, and then construct a basic rectangular room for now. It’s also cobblestone, so presumably, has to be replaced by something more aesthetic later on.

mc-house-back

Here’s the experiment with a second floor of microblock panels, so as not to make it as thick and bulky as a regular one-block floor. I think there’s some promise in this.

Basically, though, I think I’m biting off more than I can chew here, and may just go back to building basic cobblestone islands and familiarizing myself with more of the mods first, since I don’t even know -what- I want to put inside this building, let alone how each component operates and how much space they need to function.

Guild Wars 2 is still my main time suck.

I don’t mind at all. After a period of nomading it through games, it’s nice to have a home game. Plus relatively stable and welcoming communities as a bonus.

There has mostly been incremental goal progress.

This week, I got around to working on the Silverwastes Luminescent gloves and shoulder collections.

gw2-lumi-shoulder

Yeah, I’ve been taking my sweet time with this.

The tendons and other stuff were collected quite early on, but I was sitting on the carapace shoulders, since the thought of completing Living Story Part 5 two more times on other characters was a lot more palatable than spending 1000 bandit crests right off the bat (given that we might need it later for the -other- wear locations.)

Problem is, most of my characters are buried over by Rhendak in Diessa Plateau… because of another Treasure Hunter collection, hoping to get lucky with a ring drop.

Eventually, I decided to pull out the thief to do the story.

I was pleased to discover that the Living Story is selectable, so you don’t have to do all the parts in sequence before getting to number 5, and that the end reward allows you to pick any weight class – so you don’t -have- to run a heavy, medium and light armor class through, unless you want to. (This spares my WvW/PvP necro, and allows him to maintain his perpetual PvE vigil at Rhendak. I suspect I’ll bring my Teq/Wurm warrior through the story next to finish it up some other day.)

I did, however, notice that I was struggling a bit more to finish Mordrem enemies on the thief than my guardian.

This is less an indictment on the class, than more of highlighting the fact that I am still utterly crap and unpracticed on a thief, and that my gear and build isn’t at all set up ideally yet.

I was running an experimental moderate toughness/vitality/power/precision build for WvW, and generally found that it was pretty much neither here nor there, PvE-wise. (It maybe isn’t that great for WvW either, honestly, beyond overall survivability and being irritatingly annoying but not very lethal.)

After half an hour of play, I was making a mental note that I needed a proper all-zerker set at some point to try that out.

So I switched to the earliest build I had ever for this thief, a condition P/D build… except that I had somehow chosen carrion stats (I’m not sure what the rationale behind that choice was, beyond survivability for WvW roaming), whereas my necro does a lot better with dire, so there was always the nagging question in the back of my mind that maybe I should try dire… or rampager… or even the new sinister stats at some point…

…and midway through struggling to maintain consistent bleed stacks on some Mordrem husk or other, I thought to check my runes and realized that he was still decked out in the old style of multiple runes for %bleed duration… except now those runes DON’T give bleed duration after the revamp.

AAAARGH. One more entry on the goals list. GET PROPER RUNES.

Fortunately, there’s not much actual fighting required in Living Story 5 – mostly running back and forth performing some kind of mechanic and being patient as hell to wait for the next buff or appropriate mob to spawn, so I got through it and got my second pair of shoulders.

That was about all the Living Story I could stand though, so it was time to switch activities.

gw2-lumi-gloves

Prior to this, I needed one more gloves box, and two more fangs – husk and thrasher.

Yep, that meant plenty of Silverwastes visiting.

I’d like to thank nostrom, who commented in a previous post that you still get the part even if your group utterly fails at killing the boss.

That suddenly made boss attempts a lot more palatable to me and got me off my arse to vary the bosses I visited more regularly.

In fact, due to the scaling, I’m more leaning towards finding a fort that is not so overcrowded now, as mobs at level 80 are very easily handled by my build and level 81 mobs are okay, whereas level 83 and 84 mobs tend to end up being much more of a pain.

I had one of the more memorable boss attempts at a non-crowded Indigo fort, where only around 3 people started with the Terragriffs (it built up to 8+ by the end.)

Things were a LOT more controlled, since it pretty much ended up with me being the only one to work down the gas bubble at the beginning, while a ranger backed me up near the entrance and helped when the ‘griffs were nearing the bubble (while the last one was chasing the ‘griffs in circles.)

They were level 80, so between the two of us attacking, we made pretty good progress with their health bars. After a few more popped in, we got the Silver ‘griff killed with a minute to go, and the Gold ‘griff was at half health or lower. It went down pretty quick too. (Sadly, the Platinum thrasher didn’t go down, so maybe the zerg was there in that map.)

I got lucky in one of the maze runs and managed to pop another carapace glove box from the Greater Nightmare chest, so phew, another 1000 crests saved.

I felt a bit guilty trying to kill the Copper husk on my guardian – burning ain’t really a condition worth speaking of – and my scepter kind of likes to AoE all the things between a sigil of fire and smite. I guess the biggest contribution I make is attracting all those little Mordrem things to my location, and running madly around trying to pull them away from the husks and the direct line of fire of the more long-ranged equipped folks, while trying not to eat too many bleeds and fall over and die – and oh, getting some scepter hits in every now and then.

But you know, I needed a husk fang, so I took a little alt vacation and brought the so-called condition thief over.

Playing the Silverwastes content on something a little less prepared and geared and naturally squishy makes me have a touch more sympathy for the average player, I guess.

P/D is very single-target, so while I was relatively pleased at how I could hold a husk’s attention and slowly melt it, I struggled with the Mordrem menders. Contrast this to my guardian, who normally just crashes right in with a flashing blade teleport and tosses them around.

I tried dagger/pistol on weapon swap to deal with them, and mostly just realized how much I still suck at the blinding powder/heartseeker combo for stealth… plus a backstab in condition gear is kinda laughable.

Eventually, I figured out that a shortbow and laying down poison fields might be more effective for a pack of Menders… but it admittedly took me a while to put two and two together. (And I still need more appropriate stats, sheesh.)

A thief is kinda cheat mode for the pac man maze though.

I ran around cheerfully abusing shadow refuge and dual/triple stacked stealth from D/P, shadowstep blinking around, plus the normal light balls. It was glorious.

The only times I got downed was me misjudging how long it would take my animations to finish before I went into stealth. That’s all me though – being inept, that is. Someone more practiced would have a much better time of it.

Anyhow, the experience does make me want to rework the gear on the thief… as well as maybe bring in other classes to see how Silverwastes plays and feels on them.

Last thing left is to attempt hard mode on Living Story 6, something I suspect I’ll get around to in the few days before the next Living Story content drop.

On the back of my mind, are the nagging ideas that I should get around to playing more of my non-80 classes and level them up.

I’ve been also considering the thought of buying a second GW2 account while it’s on 50% sale.

Multi-boxing is right out, of course, but I’m running two bank guilds and it makes me anxious to have only one account in them. If I accidentally click “Leave Guild” one day, I’m kinda screwed.

A second account would let me have effectively 5 more character slots – gasp, more storage space for non-account-bound stuff! – maybe a mesmer for simple ports so that I don’t have to rely on others being in the right place and right time for Rhendak and stuff (a hermit like me finds it easier to turn on the old computer and use a second mouse and keyboard than beg someone on mapchat) and I’d have a controllable player camera for those fancy screenshots where people bring all their characters to pose and later blend them together.

Also, it might be an interesting experiment to see how the dungeon culture has evolved (or devolved, rather), when faced with a character of low AP, as compared to my current account.

Knowing me though, I don’t know whether I’ll actually ever find the time to do all that, or if it’s all just wishful thinking and a waste of money.

We’ll see.

Anyway, the next Living Story drop will hopefully be a crunchy one.

Advertisements

One thought on “A Surfeit of Goals

  1. bhagpuss says:

    I thoroughly recommend two accounts. We bought a second account each just a month after launch (at full price) because the sheer practical benefits were so obviously overwhelming. The mere ability to mail items to yourself is worth the current 50% box fee in my opinion.

    For most of the two years I’ve also found it a pleasure to be able to do everything twice. With ANet’s incoherent muddle of Account and character based content it’s been very useful very often to be able to take a second go at things I wasn’t in a position to appreciate fully first time. That is beginning to come to an end though as much (most) of the slack I’ve been prepared to allow ANet over multiple irritating design decisions has been played out as far as it will go.

    I’m currently not bothering to complete the LS on my second account and unless they stop including what I see as childish “dungeon” content in what should be a simple narrative I may reach the point of not bothering to do it on my first account either.

    Fortunately WvW and open world play remains mostly a joy and I have by no means enough characters yet so not for the first time I’m trying hard to resist buying a third account.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s