Summer Gaming Patterns and Outside MMO Impressions


Assassins Creed

I am a creature of habit.

Sometimes those habits don’t quite mesh well with my hobbies, but that’s just the way it goes. Specifically, my gaming habits change dramatically with the changes of the seasons. I’ve found that during the fall and winter (last winter we got 68 inches of snow) I tend to stay indoors and will start picking up and playing more long-term games like MMOs a lot more seriously. During the summer, though, I head outdoors. BBQ’s, bars, camping, going down the shore, baseball games, disc golf, weekly Ultimate, you name it. So in the summer, gaming takes the far backseat. Sadly, writing about gaming goes with it. When I don’t play, I don’t have a lot to say (unless you want to hear about my Ultimate and disc golf exploits? Maybe?).

Walking Dead, Season 1

Walking Dead, Season 1. Complete. Damn, Telltale really is doing a fantastic job.

I realized I had a pattern to the way I play games way back during my young days of playing World of Warcraft. Back when I kept the subscription going year round on the “hope” that I would find time to play, but never did (what a fool I was). I found, though, that I kept coming back at the same time every year. Right in the middle of the Halloween festivities.

So from October to March, I’m all about gaming. From April to September, not so much.

This doesn’t mean that I’ve stopped playing entirely. Quite to the contrary, I’ve found my tastes shift. I’ve really started getting into single player and indie games, finishing up games like Assassin’s Creed 1 and 2. Also playing a lot more mobile games like Tiny Tower, games that I can pick up on the go (Note: I use the phrase “mobile” and “games” in the same sentence very loosely, these mobile things are more like psychological traps).

Tiny Tower

Tiny Tower. Seriously, this game should come with a Surgeon Generals warning.

The latest MMO offerings this Spring really haven’t been enough to draw me away from this pattern, either. Here are a few very off-the-cuff thoughts:

Landmark – A Minecraft clone with better graphics. Pass. Sidenote: Why did they remove the Everquest title from Landmark? Are they now backpedaling, and cutting any possible link that would have existed between the two games? Sorry, just seems a little shady.

Elder Scrolls Online – Yet another fantasy hack and slash themepark MMO, wearing the trappings of Elder Scrolls, one of my favorite series. I won’t lie, the setting of a game means a lot to me. It’s why I’m still such a big fan of Star Trek Online after all this time. But when they remove the soul of the series, TESO doesn’t have much left that hasn’t been done before. The title may say Elder Scrolls, but it just doesn’t have the *soul* of Elder Scrolls and that’s a major turn-off for me. If it had been the same engine, but any other IP, I might have been more interested.

Wildstar – Looks a lot better than the others, I’ll give it that, but even the premise of Open Beta didn’t entice me. The telegraphing system looks to be just an evolution of The Secret World’s style, which is fine, but nothing drastic. The art style, though gorgeous in it’s bright colors is too reminiscent of World of Warcraft’s cartoon styling for me to not be reminded of it at every turn. Finally, the “elder game” looks to also be trying to grab that piece of the Warcraft pie, using the same raid-or-die approach. What this all says is that the game simply isn’t for me. I’ll leave all the real time-investment-heavy stuff to those of you with more time and interest.

ArcheAge – This may be the only title that has really piqued my curiosity as of late, but I’m not sure why. I don’t think sandboxes and I make a good fit. I don’t have the time to invest or the inclination to use others pre-made efficient builds, which most sandboxes require. But the whole “paying for alphas and betas” thing seems too sketchy. Pay a lot of money to be a part of a buggy experience and the chance you might get really tired of the game before it even launches? Ha! No thanks. If anything, the cost to be a part of alphas and betas should be LESS than the cost of the game when it launches. Stop this enticing with items nonsense and entice with price. I’ll wait for release, whenever that will be, to see if I’m still interested.

Octodad, Dadliest Catch

Octodad: Dadliest Catch. Not a long game, but frustratingly fantastic. Not to mention some of the awesome one-liners.

But in the meantime, I’ve heard that The Secret World’s Tokyo is right around the corner. Even though the hype of it has long since faded, I’ve read that it is still very much worth the wait. Star Trek Online has released Season 9, and has a new Featured Episode, which I hear is one of their best ones yet. My backlog is still plenty full and needs trimming, and then I’m still working on that old resolution list.

In other words, don’t mind me. I’m still here, just more in the background, getting as much out of summer as I can. Even if that means less gaming.

// Ocho


8 thoughts on “Summer Gaming Patterns and Outside MMO Impressions

  1. I’m not really big on the outdoors so my gaming schedule doesn’t actually change with the seasons. As to your list of games:

    Landmark: No appeal to me. I don’t “get” Minecraft, so having a better graphics version of it means nothing to me. My Minecraft fanatic bro-in-law though….. as of last Saturday he’d never even heard of Landmark, so I had him google up a few screenies and videos and….. he wants in big time.
    ESO: Loving it.
    Wildstar: Nothing about it has made me go “cool!” and since it’s a sub game it’d need to be very enticing to make me do that, and… it’s simply not.
    ArcheAge: I liked the idea of it when I 1st heard about it a couple of years ago, but my interest has waned considerably in the time since. The recent blog posts form people in the alpha haven’t renewed any interest in me either.
    TSW: I’m not currently playing it, but when Tokyo comes out I’ll be back.

  2. Sorry for double-post, but… I forgot Tiny Tower!

    Never played it, but I played Tiny Death Star…. all the way to completion. All levels built, every level staffed with 3 people in their dream jobs, plus an empty level that was awarded at Christmas but had no one with it as a dream job, plus my residence levels were full anyway. There wasn’t anything left to do, so……uninstalled. don’t plan to reinstall either. Fun little game to spend a few minutes here and there restocking and whatnot, but not really engaging either.

    • I was debating on Tiny Tower or Tiny Death Star when I started, and decided on the original. I “play” it, but I’m not exactly sure why. Gotta put those little guys to work and find these little people their dream jobs. Those shelves won’t stock themselves!

      The sad thing is I really really wanted to like ESO, but all ESO did was just made me want to play other Elder Scrolls games. It didn’t have that certain… je ne sais qua. That pull to play it like games normally have for me. But eh, that what other bloggers are for, so I can play it vicariously. 🙂

  3. I played Tiny Death Star, too. Right up until I realized, in the end, there are three employment slots than residences. And, thanks to the hyper elevator, I would never be able to aim my special guests to the right levels to finish all the videos. And since I couldn’t move my tenants from one apartment to another, it would be a verrrry long time before I could fill all dream jobs. Whatever, I’ve too much about it already.

    Landmark: Invested in an explorer pack, don’t like the log-in-every-5-days-or-lose-your-claim that they have (had?) going on, gave up. Plus, I’ve heard disconcerting things regarding plans for OW-PvP. Regretting the investment to some extent now, but my concerns may be ameliorated in the future.
    ESO: Pass. I heard there was an addon to fix the issues I had with the interface (was that from you, pkudude?), but it seems the ship has sailed on that at House Blaze.
    Wildstar: Scooter and I are gonna go with this one, even though it’s not super exciting to either of us. You’re right about the combat movement not being quite as innovative as they’s like to think it is, but there elements I look forward to. And the whole thing does look like fun.
    ArcheAge: I’m withholding judgement and particpation in this one, too. Leary of paying for alpha/beta after Landmark.
    TSW: I’m not currently playing it, due to computer hardware issues, which also incidentally affect my choices above.

  4. Family and work pretty much have dictated that my gaming is constant all year round…it did get a slight hit this summer when we got the pool up and running but that was exceptional and next summer we will have moved to more affordable accommodation (I hope) sans pool.

    In earlier times I led a very unhealthy life of surf n frisbee all day, Party all night and game all morning before hitting the beach again… Oh how on Earth to make this a reality again…

    I for one would love to read more about frisbee in any shape or form…yeah I know they are circular, always!

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