Monday, May 28, 2012

GameLog 251-252

Diablo III (30h) - Plays way better than the beta, but always-on has had hiccups that really, REALLY frustrates me. I know it's more like an MMO in that regard, but when you've played previous versions that didn't require constant connectivity and server stability, this one just feel wrong. Was hoping to use the gold AH for hardcore, but it looks like there'll only be one for softcore. AH is almost ruined now anyway, so I don't think it'll add up to much.

World of Tanks (20h) - Ticking over in this one requires about an hour a day though.

Stronghold Kingdoms (10h) - Maybe 1/2 hr per day now. Just popping in to keep things ticking over.

Company of Heroes (6h) - Finally let me finish Carentan, and spent the next 5 hours playing and replaying then divided road scenario. Might finally be able to move through this one.

Warlock: Master of the Arcane (5h) - Tried a one city challenge. Think I've missed my window.

Kongregate: Mud & Blood 2 (3h) - Part of WW2 LAN. Reminiscing on it made me replay it a couple of times.

Kongregate: Monster's Den Chronicles (3h) - Newest in the seeries. Getting a slick interface, but the gameplay isn't different enough for people that have played the previous versions.

Kongregate: assorted (3h) - Kongregate is feeling a little old now. I'm not sure what's changed, but it doesn't feel as vibrant as it once was. I thyink it's the move toward Facebook and iPad games that has dropped off the flash-based industry, but there's enough new stuff to wander through.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

GameLog 246-250

Another big stint without a gamelog. Getting precariously close to dropping the ball totally on them.

Stronghold Kingdoms (100h) - Finally weaning myself off this one. House 13 imploded a little just as Warlock and world of Tanks caught my interest. Still pop in once a day to pick up cards and keep things ticking over.

World of Tanks (60h) - New filler for time. Starting to get into the higher tiers where strategy and teamwork are needed.

Warlock: Master of the Arcane (50h) - Civ5 meets Master of Magic meets Majesty. Environment and random maps are awesome, but AI doesn't really match up.

Guild Wars 2 Beta (23h) - One beta weekend, but a really good feel about the open world content. Some were heralding the PvP or WvW as the shining part of the experience, but for me they felt too similar to the orinial, whereas the outside world was ahead of  other MMOs. I also really like the way it just gets out of the way and lets you play. So many little things that just make doing what you want, when you want, a breeze.

Diablo III Beta (5h) - Kept dropping every 2 minutes or so from connection issues in the beta, and was completely put off with the whole online-only mode it was offering. The recent launch issues only highlight this as an issue.

Realm of the Mad God (2h) - Multiplayer with Cam.

Terraria (2h) - Multiplayer with Cam.

League of Legends (2h) - First wins of the day when people ask me to play.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Warlock impossible win

Warlock: Master of the Arcane (or is that Master of Magic?) has been just the thing to celebrate my 40th. It has all the fundamental mechanics of Civ5, inspired my Master of Magic, and is set in the realm of Majesty. I've enjoyed all 3 games in the past, but with a completely new developer you never know what you're going to get.

I grabbed the demo and played enough to see that this was a definite purchase, but unfortunately couldn't find anyone to gift it to me with 5 hours to go for pre-order. I picked it up anyway and will work out who got it for me later on.

The main thing I enjoyed about the game is the environment. It really feels like the world is more active and agressive than Civ5, and is really interesting pushing back the shroud. Sometimes it's been rats or ogres to fight, or an NPC city, or a really good city position, or even an untimely death for the the explorers. It all makes exploration worthwhile.

Building cities to keep the economy going also feels like back in the Civ2 days where there isn't any artificial limits to stop city expansion. With the random maps and lots of different resource tiles to use, city placement is great for optimising.

In the first (normal difficulty) game I had pretty much the whole northern continent to myself, and had over 20 cities before pushing down onto one of the AIs. It looked like a foregone conclusion and moving 30+ units a turn seemed to drag down the experience.

In the second game I cranked it to impossible and once again expanded hard. I took out one of the AI's single city with the help of the other, but the 2nd remained allied with me while remaining on a single city. I'd once again built on just about every exposed piece of land, explored both worlds while settling fully one of them, before finally figuring out that I'd probably have to kill the other AI to win. With 4 paladins against a horde of skeletons, it was over in ~4 turns. Wonderful world, woeful AI. Why doesn't it expand?

I set another challenge to see if I can win it while only having one city myself. Played a couple of starts, butt just felt like the exploration part of the game suffered a lot in doing so. Do I want to spend a lot of time playing an unfun game just to beat the AI at their own game?

Next challenge was to se how fast I can beat them. They seem to be super effective early on, but then hampered by their inability to expand or tech up, so I know I'd eventually steamroll them if given enough time and gives a good expand vs fight mechanic to play with. Played a couple of games with some interesting challenges, but eventually came up with a winning strategy: summoned rats.

Starting a new game with Grum-gog and +100 Mana, I figured I'd be able to get 7 rats out (one a turn) and ignore the food cost. This was helped by a pretty decent staring position, but the rats really swamped their ability to kill enough or even fireball. Finished the game in 10 turns, but I'd say that there's another couple of turns that could be shaved off due to some agressive NPCs attacking me from the top.