Thursday, September 3, 2009

Currently Playing (September Edition for Evizaer)

Here’s a content-free post about what I’m playing these days. I tend to play games that are a bit off the beaten path and every good word you can put in for them is going to make a difference for the developers, so I think a shout out is appropriate. It’s also nice to see what kind of games an eternal critic like me actually satisfies himself by playing. I don’t think I’ll be posting reviews or critiques of these games individually, but I may break down individual mechanics that I find illuminating.

Here’s what I’m playing:

I've been playing League of Legends, though I may give up on it until it is released to the public due to there being not enough low ranked players for learning the game to be anything but a ridiculously frustrating and painful exercise.

I'm playing World of Warcraft a couple of hours a night with Mot. Using the Refer-A-Friend system makes the game just barely tolerable enough to keep playing. Got a Warrior up to 51 before getting bored. Switched to a priest who is now 32. I'm having fun. I would not play without 3x XP from RAF, though.

I'm playing AI War, an indie cooperative-only RTS that is ridiculously massive. Large unit counts in multi battle-field campaigns throughout a galaxy of 10-100 (maybe more?) planets. This game is worth a look because it experiments with asymmetric AI—the AI isn’t just a dumb attempt at simulating what a player will do, the developer of AI War has designed the AI only with fun play in mind, so the mechanics the AI follows are different from the player’s mechanics in some important areas such as unit creation, tech advancement, and unit movement between battlefields and throughout the galaxy.

I just got over a fit of Armageddon Empires. It's an awesome turn-based strategy game that uses card-game elements to spice things up. If the interface weren't awful, it'd be a very good game.

I'd like to get back into Europa Universalis 3, but I don't have the time to dedicate to relearning the game. It's a difficult game to wrap your head around. And once you wrap your head around it, it's a difficult game to play well.

I bought Hearts of Iron 3 upon release to support the developers, but I knew the game would be not worth playing for months. Paradox Interactive, the makers of HoI3, have a tendency to release really complex games that have gaping flaws, then patch them into being great games over the course of 1-3 years.

I will be playing Aion later this month with Mot. Hopefully its novelty will allow it to remain engaging for a month or two. I do not have high hopes, but I am looking forward to trying a game with a heavily eastern-influenced design. I tried Ragnarok Online (on a hacked server, which I guess means I didn’t get the full experience) and some other blah eastern-style MMOs and they yielded little fun.

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