Wednesday, October 16, 2019

I Got Nothing

For the first day in about as long as I can remember I don't have anything I want to write about! There's nothing in the gaming news that strikes me as worth commenting on, I haven't read any posts I care to bounce off and I'm not doing anything much of interest even to myself.

I imagine some will be intrigued by Riot's slate of new titles but never having played League of Legends the news isn't really pushing any of my buttons. If they were planning on an MMORPG set in LoLworld I'd be a lot more interested but that's supposedly right off the table.

Anyway, I find it increasingly hard to work up any kind of real excitement about games that won't be available to play for several years. These days I wonder if I'll even be around when it happens. And if I am, will I still care?

Something that is happening right now is the launch of ArcheAge Unchained. I did play and enjoy ArcheAge back when it was new but the degree of enthusiasm for the Buy to Play relaunch strikes me as a little odd. I always thought it seemed like a fairly middle-of-the-road, ordinary kind of MMORPG, although I appreciate it has some potentially interesting PvP systems.

Were I in the market for a new MMORPG I would probably avoid AAU and go for Astellia, although most of the commentary so far has been the very definition of lukewarm and I notice the trickle of posts on the game has already dried up. As it goes, however, I am very much not in that particular market. I have literally more than enough games to play already.

Mostly I'm backing the old favorites. I'm doing my dailies in Guild Wars 2, often staying to spend an hour or two in World vs World. When I logged in this morning I saw the annual spookfest, rebranded for 2019 as "Shadows of the Mad King" had returned.

Please form an orderly queue. ArcheAge Unlimited is currently over-subscribed but we are expecting a new server any time now...

I read the extensive patch notes before logging in but even though it looks as though there's plenty of new stuff, when I examined the detail in game I found very little of any interest. There are two new collections but they give rewards I don't want. The coffin shield is nice but I have no-one who uses a shield and the sword is just awful.

The so-called "collections" are, of course, nothing of the kind. ArenaNet use the term "collections" as a euphemism for what every other MMORPG would call "quests" and these are particularly irritating quests at that. They require completion of content in two game modes I don't play - Dungeons (which I thought ANet themselves had abandoned) and Fractals. Even if the rewards were worth having I'd balk at those.

The event drags on for weeks so I'll probably end up doing a few bits and pieces but it feels very stale. EverQuest II, meanwhile, has its own, far superior, Halloween celebrations going on and layered on top we also have the latest iteration of Gear Up, Level Up!, a sequence of pre-expansion preparation boosts that now happen every year.

This event runs in phases. There may well be a time when I feel I need to jump in but this isn't it. The rewards are triple Ethereal Coins with additional Double Currency for Members (I thought we always got that but I may be confused). The rewards stack, so Members will get six times the regular drops of Ethereal Coins.

That's a major incentive for people who get the coins in normal gameplay, namely most people for whom EQII is the primary MMORPG. I am not one of those people so it's all a bit notional for me.

There is also another strong incentive in Phase One: "Limited Time item drops can be obtained from Chaos Descending missions crates and will grant you a bonus based off of their type, such as Research Reduction".

Don't push, please. It's strictly first come, first served.

Research reduction is also a big deal in EQII and the supposed need to buy potions from the cash shop to accelerate the speed of research is often quoted as proof the game has become "Pay to Win". If I was one of the people who believed that I might be logging in to take advantage but I'm not so I'll pass.

Other than GW2 and EQII, I'm mostly still playing World of Warcraft Classic. I haven't disinvested and my sub still has a few days to run. Whether I'll pay for another month after I go back to work next week remains to be seen. I'm still enjoying myself but it is incredibly time-consuming. I suspect it could move from being a pleasure to an obligation as available time grows short.

As for posting about Classic, even though I don't have the kind of strong feelings about it that many others do, it does feel as though there's a general agreement not to mention the game at all for the time being.

I kind of wish I'd never commented on the whole sorry farrago in the first place, although to have avoided doing so entirely would have been a statement in itself, I guess. I have other political concerns that task me far more strongly at the moment so it seems a bit strange to be discussing Blizzard's faux pas in the Far East rather than addressing what I see as far more immediate and worrying issues much closer to home.

For what it's worth, I do feel that, if we continue along this road of ceasing to engage with companies that do things of which we disapprove, it won't be too long before our entertainment options consist of
pickling, whittling and staring into space.

Maybe that would be a good thing. I already enjoy two of the three and I'm sure pickling has its moments.


  1. Inventory Full: where having nothing to say takes 1000 words and we love it!

    1. Hehe - I was going for some kind of post-modern irony there.

    2. Hehe, I was thinking while reading through this -- "This is a whole lot o' nothin'!" xD

      "For what it's worth, I do feel that, if we continue along this road of ceasing to engage with companies that do things of which we disapprove, it won't be too long before our entertainment options consist of
      pickling, whittling and staring into space."

      On this... Yes. But there is also going to be a certain threshold after which it becomes untenable to ignore and continue to engage.

      Where that threshold is or the types of things to trigger it are going to be different for everyone though I would imagine.

  2. I was betting that today would be a reaction to the Holly Longdale interview on the EverQuest show. There wasn't any HUGE revelation there, but some interesting tidbits.

    1. Well it would have been if I'd seen it! It's in my blog roll but not in Feedly and I must just have missed it. Going to go watch it now - it'll give me something to write about tomorrow!

    2. I just read the transcript (so good of them to do one - much faster than watchihg the video) and there are several very interesting little reveals in there. I have a very busy day tomorrow so it may be Saturday but I will definmitely be doing something on that.

  3. "For what it's worth, I do feel that, if we continue along this road of ceasing to engage with companies that do things of which we disapprove, it won't be too long before our entertainment options consist of pickling, whittling and staring into space."

    I'm curiously fine with this. I've been on break from games entirely for a week or three due to having my heart broken by an unrelated scandal, and it's been rather freeing. I'm not doing much more, but I have a lot more time to think about what I'm not doing.

    1. I imagine that if all electronic media sudenly stopped working tomorrow we'd all be used to the new normal in a matter of days. I have my EverQuest Roleplaying Games manuals ready for just such an occasion... or maybe I'd go back to making driftwood mirrors.

  4. Ah, but with what knife and what jar are you whittling and pickling with?! Were they, too, wholesomely manufactured and logistically delivered in a morally supportable manner?

    It’s odd. I have things to be doing in games, but increasingly and lately, the artificial treadmill nature is becoming more obvious and my willing suspension of disbelief less willing. Yet, as you say, I can’t think of anything more exciting or interesting to do anyway so it’s been a surfeit of one merely acceptable experience after another. Not much to write home about.

    1. Hehe! I did actually have a line in about the problem of ethically sourcing your pickle jars and I googled for a link to add to that idea. Only I found that apparently re-usable glass jars are pretty much considered the model of ethical and ecological perfection these days so the problem doesn't exist!

      Get pickling everyone!


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