Friday 16 August 2019

The old schemes of shattered dreams lying on the floor

Gaming life continues to tick along with little variation. There was a Steam summer sale, I might’ve bought something but can’t actually remember off hand… It was accompanied by another meta-event-thing, some odd race with convoluted mechanisms involving achievements in various games including World of Warships. I’d played a bit at launch and figured I might as well pop back for another look; it turns out that you can’t (as far as I can tell) use a Wargaming account for the Steam version so I had to start from scratch, but that wasn’t a great issue as I’d stopped playing before British ships had been added so would’ve been back to the early tiers either way. I got as far as the first aircraft carrier and found that carriers have been completely overhauled so you control the aircraft directly rather than issuing orders on a map, it was a bit of fun but I doubt I’ll keep it up.

Both War Thunder and Destiny 2 currently have events on; a while back I said that MMOGs “can expand to fill any available free time like cavity insulation foam with levels and classes”, something particularly true with additional event tasks. I still drop in for the odd War Thunder battle now and again but can’t summon the energy for the sustained grind, especially as I’m trying to tick the boxes in Destiny 2 for some shiny Solstice of Heroes armour. The first steps are very straightforward but a bit long-winded, I haven’t looked too closely at subsequent requirements and hope they don’t ramp up too much. With all the additions of bounties, quests, the Menagerie, Tribute Hall and what-not the game is getting a bit admin-heavy; rather than just heading straight for the nearest collection of Evil Alien Robot Things to administer swift rifle-based justice, sessions now start with traipsing around an ever-lengthening list of bureaucrats handing out To Do lists, then working out the optimal sequence of activities to fulfil them. Course you don’t have to, but it’s a bit galling to run through a Strike against the Scorn scoring precision kills by the dozen only to find after you emerge that a bunch of NPCs would’ve given you some minor tat for doing just that if you’d talked to them beforehand (and filled out Form 47(b), unless the Strike was on Mars in which case of course Form 47(c) and Form Gamma Quebec (section XIV) are required due to the jurisdictional transfer), and they’re all sulking now because you didn’t. Bears, bears, bears, eh? Plus ca change

It’s true of many games these days – daily rewards, missions, quests, a never-ending series of unlocks, like being in a sweet shop with jar after jar of inexpensive, even free, sweets, but most of them are Everlasting Gobstoppers. In some ways that’s a great thing, treats for all (though strictly speaking you’d need Everlasting Gobstoppers that were free and kinda tasted all right, but were much nicer if you kept forking over cash, but then the analogy starts getting a bit otter-in-a-carpet), but I miss a bit of candy floss, something light, fluffy and inconsequential that floats away on the summer breeze (and is bad for your teeth and after a while clumps together in a sticky mess that isn’t very nice and is rolled up in a carpet with an otter). Occasional rays of light pierce the fog. A Small World Cup popped up somewhere – simple, quick, very silly and strangely compelling. Mobile games can be a nice change of pace too (when they’re not the absolute worst culprits for games-as-a-service never-ending cash-wringing cynicism); I just discovered I Love Hue, a lovely little colour puzzle game ideal for a few spare minutes here and there. Maybe there’s hope; until then, only another four playlist strikes to complete to upgrade a pair of rubbish gloves into slightly-less-rubbish gloves!