A Good Week
I am sitting here this morning with my writing buddy beside me. I’ve shown pictures of Allie in the past as she sits on the blanket that I have folded beside my keyboard, and once again this morning she is there purring quietly. She really is the mascot of the week I have had, because honestly other than a bit of an emotional roller coaster surrounding The Beginner’s Guide, I would say that the week as a whole has been one of contentment. I managed to accomplish quite a bit in my quest to push through all of the stories I had not seen in SWTOR, as well as made small bits of progress in Destiny. At work things seem to be largely calmed down, or at least to a manageable madness. More than anything I think it was taking Tuesday off that helped reorient my world to a much better state of mind.
Star Wars the Old Republic
This week was an insanely productive one when it came to Star Wars the Old Republic. As of last Saturday night during the podcast I managed to wrap up the Smuggler storyline, and picked up work on the Sith Warrior. With Tuesday essentially being a day where I did nothing but play SWTOR, I managed to finish up the Sith Warrior. I’ve talked about this already but I have to say at the time the Sith Warrior was one of the most gratifying experiences when it comes to giving you the control to settle all of your vendettas in one ending. Every person that you want to seek your revenge on is laid out in such a way as that you can, and the final events are so damned satisfying. Having played both Sith Warrior and Jedi Guardian… I have to say I am a bigger fan of the Warrior experience namely because it is deeply personal… and not simply the overarching events of the game as a whole.
From there I picked up on my Bounty Hunter, largely because I needed a palate cleanser from playing a force user… and having just wrapped up Smuggler I was not quite ready for another cunning class. I fully expected to not be terribly into the Bounty Hunter experience, largely because I didn’t really enjoy Trooper that much. However I am coming to realize most of my problems with the trooper was the fact that it was my third class within a few months of the launch of games to push to 50… and at that point I was simply bored to tears of all the repeated planet story content. The Bounty Hunter is quite literally the most reasonable person on the imperial side. The game gives you the ability to play the consummate business man, and that is absolutely the path I took. I killed no one for free, and kept my collateral damage to a minimum. As a result people were constantly surprised that no, I was not in fact going to kill them. Generally speaking I almost always took the option to freeze them in carbonite and return them to the client fully intact. I am guessing that quite honestly, Bounty Hunter is probably going to go down as my favorite game play experience in SWTOR.
My progression in Destiny has slowed down considerably, with the bulk of my forward movement coming from Armsday packages and any time I level up a faction like the Gunsmith or the Cryptarch. While I am playing the game of equipping my best gear before I decrypt any engrams, I am still ending up with low level blues most of the time that I turn into crafting materials. I’ve developed the nasty habit of buying shaders, emblems, and ships…. and as a result I am generally running low on Glimmer most of the time. I really need to try using some of those glimmer items that increase the drop rates while I work on bounties. My latest toy that I am enjoying playing with is the scout rifle above that came from a package when I leveled up Dead Orbit faction. I had not really played with a scout rifle much since coming back and had forgotten that it was essentially a high payload sniper rifle. Realistically I am to the point where if I want to progress I need to be running Heroic Strikes, and I simply have not messed with getting friends together yet in order to do that. Still having a lot of fun, but trying to keep it super casual so I don’t burn myself out and get bored with it.
Another game this week that I have spent some time with is Star Wars Battlefront. I pre-ordered this game through PlayStation network the moment it was announced because I am super nostalgic about the lineage of Star Wars shooters. This weekend they allowed players to download and play for free in the beta, and I have to say my feelings about it are extremely mixed. The game does an excellent job of giving you the fantasy fulfillment of playing a soldier in the Star Wars universe. Past that however… I think it suffers from the fact that I have been playing so much Destiny lately. The game handles significantly worse in the moment to moment gameplay that Destiny does. The guns feel worse, the movement feels worse, the cover mechanics… feel worse. I think if I spent enough time I could get used to it and even come to like it, but right now I am struggling with the feeling of “I would rather just play destiny”.
The Beginner’s Guide
I’ve said everything I could really ever want to say in my deeply personal post on the game from last week. Last night on AggroChat I to some extent reprised those thoughts in a much more condensed manner. The take away for me is really this. If you are not in an extremely stable position in your life, and if you are at all struggling with your own emotions… don’t play this game. Essentially there are two possible reactions… either you are going to think it is complete bullshit and it won’t effect you in any way. Or it is going to act as a mirror to show you all of your fears and anxieties about yourself. It quite literally took me a few days to recover from the experience of just watching a play through of this game, and not actually playing it myself. I am not unhappy that I went through it, but it is also not the sort of experience that I would suggest lightly to anyone. I know that sounds weird and arcane… but this game does strange things to you. This is honestly the closest thing I have seen to a real life “The Ring”, in that this game will ultimately leave you slightly changed as a result… and not always in a good way.