Struggling to Blog
This morning I am struggling a bit to find purpose as I sit down at the keyboard. As of last night I reached level 58 in Final Fantasy XIV on my Warrior and am not quite to the next level wall. Things are happening that are enriching the experience, but those same things are massive revelations and spoilers and I am concerned about giving too much away. As a result I am just not sure what to talk about. I could break out some more of my existential angst that I can presently only be a tank when someone in guild asks for groups. I could comment vaguely about how much I am enjoying the story, and how awesome it is going so far. Neither of which seem all that fulfilling however and as I sit here tickety tacking my keys my mind is a blank page when it comes to other things that I might talk about.
I had these grand ideas that I would stream some more this weekend, but since my wife spent most of her time downstairs… I was inclined to do the same. I don’t like streaming when I could be disturbing her, so instead I just kept playing. I really wish Forge did what I wanted it to do… namely that it would take real screenshots to a directory, instead of getting uploaded to the Forge website. The problem I have run into in the past is that I cannot run Fraps at the same time as Forge, and without Fraps I don’t have my stable source of screenshotting anything that crosses my screen. I tend to disable the in game screenshot keys and use fraps to dump all of my game screenshots into one standard directory to make pulling from it for blogging purposes easier. The other problem with forge is that the clip size was too limited to snapshot an entire boss fight. I also wish there was a way to back up my stream to youtube the same way I can with twitch. Nonetheless I might give it another shot soon.
Yesterday I spent some time in World of Warcraft, for all the wrong reasons. The night before I had left my phone upstairs on the charger, and by the time I got situated on the sofa and realized that I didn’t have my phone… and as a result did not have access to my FFXIV authenticator I could not be bothered to get up. The Blizzard client on the other hand authenticates far less often, when connecting from the same machine over and over… and I was able to get in with just my account information. As a result I played for a bit, long enough to unlock Shipyards and the first and I think second camps in Tanaan Jungle. The renovations to my garrison however that resulted in the building of my shipyard however were not quite so successful as I noticed I now apparently have a break in my wall. It was one of those things that I caught out of the corner of my eye as I rode past, and now I cannot keep myself from seeing it every time I ride to the shipyards to check on progress.
The journey into the jungle is pretty much the same as the journey out of it. You complete objectives which moves the storyline further, and unlocks an additional base camp. I am not terribly far into it at this point so I am not sure how long this mission goes. It was around the time I got to the second camp that I needed to stretch my legs… and while I was up I grabbed my phone so I could play other things. I have to give Blizzard credit because they do this moving target as you go through a zone thing really well. There were several moments like this during the leveling process, where you help this or that base to progress the storyline, and those tended to be the best part of this expansion. If they had somehow managed to create an entire expansion around moving the ball forward and delivered new content on a monthly basis I think I would be significantly happier than I am currently. As it is right now patch 6.2 just feels like too little too late for me. Other than the break in my outer defenses, the craftsmanship of this patch seems to be on par with the rest of the content they have released, so at some point I want to finish to see how things progress.
More Mobile Gaming
One of my biggest complaints this expansion has been that Garrisons turned out the way they did. I was hoping for player housing, and what I got instead was a mobile game… that was not mobile at all. All of the mechanics that go into the garrison and the shipyard as well are the same sort of ploys that go into getting people to keep playing a mobile app. I have been playing the hell out of Fallout Shelter for example, and it is the exact same sort of gameplay as you find in the Garrison. You have abilities that you use and then timers that you are waiting out… so you can do additional things… all the while juggling limited resources and trying to find ways to replenish them. There is nothing really “wrong” with this sort of cooldown based gameplay, because it seems to work phenomenally well in getting us to keep pushing buttons on our phones. The problem here however is… we are not on our phones. In fact we are having to do this sort of upkeep based gameplay on a client that requires a PC to log in and check. The end result has been me logging into my characters in the morning and in the evening for most of this expansion to do nothing but swap missions.
I think more than anything… this has been what has grated on my nerves this expansion. These mechanics place me into the game on a regular interval… but I am not actually “playing” the game when I am in it. Instead I am juggling the upkeep of a mobile game, without an easy to use mobile interface. As I have moved forward into the Shipyards it feels like they are taking the whole follower mechanic to the next level with allowing players to customize the ships… which means you need to go locate the blueprints to make various upgrades, while also locating blueprints for various ships. It just feels like this would be a really enjoyable experience had they added it to the WoW Armory app as a mini-game that you could either interface with in game… or through an easy to navigate menu on your phone. Instead the result is giving us something that feels more cumbersome than daily quests ever did, and at the same time extracting us from the game world… and keeping us holed up in our garrison scheduling this next batch of missions for our dozen alts. This experience makes me question even further if Blizzard actually understands its player base at all… and what made their game great for all those years.
Source: Tales of the Aggronaut