Monthly Archives: June 2012

Long live the (next) King

So my first Duke (Murchad I) lasted until the grand old age of 78, not bad even for today’s standards!  Things got extremely hectic straight after that.  This game can be both incredibly busy (thanks goodness you can pause time), or incredibly slow (but you can fast forward pretty rapidly too).

Death comes to us all

Having my first Duke die was a good learning tool for understanding the laws of succession better.  My new Duke now has a son, I have named him Frederich and even though he’s only 1 I have high hopes for him!  But first I need to get him to the throne.  To do this, I need to change the laws of succession, and to do that I need to have ruled for 10 years and have every vassal like me.  That last bit is tricky, I tried to revoke the title of the ruler of Leinster a while back (so that I could own it outright) and didn’t do a great job.  The siege ended but nothing seemed to happen, so I called peace and retreated.  Clearly I was no longer on his favourite person list.  So, a couple of years later I tried again (with a bit more of an understanding of battles) and this time succeeded.  I now have fewer vassals (by 1) and they all like me.  Once I hit 10 years, I shall change the laws and all will be good (in my dreams) :P

Another aspect to the game (which I still don’t fully have my head around) is upgrades to your county’s, such as walls, markets, harbours etc.   I’m upgrading things, but I’m just not sure whether they’re the right things. Again, more research required.

You want, we can build it, for a price.

Some games in Steam have a link to the manual on the right hand side of the library page, CK2 doesn’t for some reason, but I found it here for anyone interested.  This Wiki is also great for beginner help and strategies.

EDIT: Actually you can get to the manual from within Steam, just the store page rather than the library page.

My husband likes games that are self explanatory, where you don’t have to do a lot of research, reading, watching etc.  This is not one of those games :P

I think I’ll keep plugging away and post a summary when I’m finished.  Kind of like a mini review.  Already I can say that for a complex game, and me not being a great strategy game player, it’s surprisingly good fun and as long as you do a bit of homework first, you can jump in and at least give it a try without the game ending too fast :)

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Filed under Crusader Kings 2, Single Player

Crusader Kings 2 – 23 years on …

Yay, I survived Smallpox (meaning that I was lucky enough not to catch it) :)

I’ve played quite a lot today, but only managed to get through 23 years.  I am now waiting with a tinge of sadness for my 63 year old ruler to kick the bucket.  At least his 16 year old son will take over, and not my eldest, who is still, in my opinion, a creep.  I decided not to kill him but instead made him hate me even more by changing the succession laws to elective and nominating my second youngest son.  Lucky for me, that tactic seems to have worked.

1/3 of Ireland down, 2/3′s the go

I now have four county’s to my name, after coming to blows with a few of my neighbours, and things are chugging along nicely (for at least the last few minutes anyway).  Again, like a good book, the further in I get the more attached I’m becoming attached to my little world.

Given that there are multiple centuries ahead of me, I’m coming to the realization that these are loooong games, but for some reason it’s capturing my attention more than a standard 4X game.  I find 4X games appealing in concept but I get bored pretty quickly … not so with this game.  There are plots to unravel, people to marry, advice to give your kids when they’re stupid, armies to manage, taxes to collect, ambitions to strive for and much more.  Lucky I’m used to MMO’s :P.  But of course it also could also mean that unless I do something wrong it may well take longer than a week to complete.  I will have to start using the super fast forward button when not much is happening.

Crusader Kings 2 is very diligent about reminding you of the important things too.  There are aspects to the game, such as providing children with guardians for their education once they reach the age of six, that would be very easy (read: almost guaranteed) to forget if you weren’t reminded.

I’m slowly getting the hang of things, but need to do more Let’s Play watching.  There are plenty of times when I know ‘what‘ I want to do, but not ‘how‘.  Hopefully it won’t feel too overwhelming as I gather more and more counties, plus I’m fully aware that things could go terribly wrong very easily.

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Filed under Crusader Kings 2, Single Player

Crusader Kings 2 – First Play

I started off my first Crusader Kings 2 game as Duke Muchad I of Munster, Ireland, with the initial aim of being King of Ireland.  Let me just say from the start that this game is really out to get you!

More than half of my starting council hated me (well into the red zone).  To improve things (not knowing what I’m doing at all mind you) I decided to put on a great feast.  I invited 3 very important people, 2 of whom immediately declined.  The one that did come refused more wine, an apparently insulting gesture. Why oh why did I spend up so lavishly on food :(.

So much for a feast to improve things

Every man and his dog comes running to me to find them wives, which is quite difficult given the number of nasty traits that many of the eligible women are burdened with (including gluttony and syphilis).  But setting up these marriages was interesting, I clearly invited the wrong people to my feast because the fathers of the women I’m finding for all my relatives shower me with praise and accept the proposals (most of the time).

One of the nice things about not-always-online single player games is that some of your learning can come from saving a game before doing something big (such as attacking your neighbour).  Let’s just say that for my first invasion I was mighty glad I had a save to go back to!  No more invading for me for a while.

It’s currently the year 1072, a meager 6 years after starting.  My heir hates me and I hate him.  I uncovered his nasty plots, threw him in jail and then threw him out of the county all together.  I was hoping this would no longer make him my heir, but sadly he still is.  I’m now saving to get him assassinated because if I die and he’s still my heir I will be very sad (maybe even sad enough to start again).  I have 3 tiny children to a brand new wife (goodness only knows where this awful eldest son came from). These tiny children are all still babies (two are from a set of twins).   I just need to live long enough to see them grow up (now that’s every parents wish isn’t it :)).

So far I’m really enjoying it, and I know full well that this first game (and probably the next couple) will be filled with learnings and mistakes, it’s just too complex to know everything from the get go.

The best way I could describe Crusader Kings 2 is that it’s like getting lost in a good book, everything that happens springs to life in your imagination.  There is really very little on the screen (in comparison to other genres) other than stats and messages and maps, which I think is a good thing for immersion in this sort of game.

The in-game music is absolutely terrific too!

Did I mention that there seems to be a very infectious outburst of Smallpox? I hope I survive it …

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Filed under Crusader Kings 2, Single Player

Games to play before The Secret World

Early start for The Secret World is next Friday (or Saturday for us Aussies).  I don’t want to play any MMO’s between now and then.  It will be nice to take a very short break from them and increase the fun and anticipation of starting something new.

There are two games that I do want to play this coming week however.  The first is Gravity Rush, a new purchase for my VITA.  I downloaded the demo and played that through.  By the end I was wishing there was more, so that’s always a good sign. There are some really interesting ideas in there so hopefully I’ll be coordinated enough to get through it.  I do tend to get motion sickness playing some games (mainly first person, started with Wolfenstein way back when), so hopefully I won’t be affected on a small screen.  I was fine with the demo, so here’s crossing fingers.

My copy of Paradox’s Crusader Kings 2 has been collecting virtual dust, even though it’s been tempting me for a while. My second aim for the week therefore is to get through a full game (which could be fast if I do something silly like die without an heir).  In preparation I’ve started watching some excellent tutorial / Let’s Play videos courtesy of SeeKayEm99.  They’re humorous, informative and don’t take things too fast.  There’s a lot to this game and I want to try get my head around it all.  I love the depth of Crusader Kings 2 (or at least the concept of that much depth).  I guess the best way to learn will be to just jump in and see how I go, if it ends early at least I’ll know what not to do! I have a friend who has now reached well over 300 hours in Civilization 5, so I guess these games can get kind of addictive if your brain’s wired that way.

I shall rule the world (and then my sons, and their sons et al)!

I may even dip my toes in the 4th beta weekend for TSW, not sure yet.  I could always try PvP which is something I very much doubt I’ll look at much after the game is officially released. I could also try out some of the weapons that I didn’t get to last weekend.

Lots to do, lucky it’s the weekend!

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Filed under Crusader Kings 2, MMO, The Secret World

TSW here we come!

After reading tonnes and tonnes of forum posts last night I decided to bite the bullet and buy The Secret World.  The variety of different types of quests (puzzle ones in particular), the in-game ambiance, the combat, and other features make it a compelling game in my eyes.  As far as a sense of progression is concerned, we’ll have to wait and see…

I’m actually considerably more excited about The Secret World than I am about Guild Wars 2 now :)

Oh, another one!

And did I mention the collections and achievements?  Yay!

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Filed under MMO, The Secret World

Have I finished yet?

Oh boy, what a bad butterfly week.  Maybe it’s because I hit 75 in LOTRO, and am now hunting for the next big thing (while still exploring some of the end game content).  I don’t know.

Played a few more hours of The Secret World over the weekend.  The probability of my purchasing this game has sunk a bit.  Not because of combat, or quests, or immersion or anything like that.  It’s because I’m really not sure how the sense of progression is going to work.  The character screen on an MMO would traditionally show all your characters lined side by side, listing their classes and of course, their levels.  The Secret World has neither of these.  That in itself certainly limits rolling many alts.  My 3 standard character slots would most likely be held by me and then one for each son.

In a more traditional levelling MMO, you know when you hit end game content.  I know this goal only too well, it’s been my measure for ‘finishing’.  So how will this work in The Secret World, do you just do quests and group content until the cows come home?  How will other people know how strong you are?  Are they going to be able to see your skill tree for example?  There are probably good answers for each of these questions, but I don’t have them.  One of my complaints when I tried SWTOR was that it was like playing a 200 hour RPG.  If I’m going to play that sort of content I’d rather play a more condensed story based version such as Dragon Age or Mass Effect or Skyrim or many of the other AAA choices out there.  I suspect The Secret World may feel the same as SWTOR in that respect.

How will I know when I’ve reached the end?

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Dark Days are Coming – The Secret World – First Impressions

I’m glad this isn’t the real world!

I can already say with 95% certainty that I’ll be purchasing this game and I’ve only been playing for a couple of hours so far!

The game introduces you to it’s mechanics and story line with lots of cut-scenes, a couple of tutorials and opportunities to try out different weapons and test combat.  The world is great, fresh and modern.  The fact that it’s molded from our own little planet adds an extra layer of creepiness and I felt swiftly immersed in this land of zombies and other foul creatures.

The interface is clean and simple and the skills, crafting and questing are different enough from the standard to feel like there’s a lot to discover, and this is a good thing!

There are a tonne of quests and they’re often presented to you by the simple act of finding something lying around rather than the standard exclamation mark on the head of an NPC.  I love the fact that you can only have 5 quests at a time too.  All of the quests have multiple tiers (or stages) and feel like they’re aimed at taking you on an adventure to explore the world rather than simply being there to provide you with xp.

NPC’s can look a bit like plastic, and there are a few rough edges, but so far I’m really enjoying myself.

Travelling between various cities is an adventure in itself

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Filed under MMO, The Secret World

Time for some single player fun

Sometimes it’s nice to put your favourite MMO to the side and play a single player game.  I have many to choose from (understatement), including a new purchase, Warlock: Master of the Arcane.  I love Paradox games, or at least the thought of Paradox games.  I have Crusader Kings II and have played around with it a bit, but I have yet to complete a game.  I have pre-purchased Elemental: Fallen Enchantress and again played around with the beta a bit but have yet to complete a game.  I also have (non Paradox) Tropico 4 to play, I loved Tropico 3 so I’m excited about 4.

This is my problem, I always want to play more than one game, start one, switch to another and never get anywhere in any of them.

So for now I’m going to play Warlock and see how I go.   If I manage to complete a couple of games I’ll be happy.  Warlock is a 4x game, similar to Civ 5, but simplified in some ways and more focused on battles.  It’s also supposed to be nice and challenging.

Aint’ it pretty :)

Das24680 (an aussie :D), has a great Let’s Play of the game on YouTube, and his enthusiasm for it is contagious.

As an aside (and back to MMO territory) I held back from purchasing The Secret World, but managed to get a Beta key for the weekend.  I’m really looking forward to playing it for a few hours.  Unlike Guild Wars 2 that I already own and therefore don’t want to play too much before launch, I’ll be playing quite a bit of TSW on the weekend with a view to deciding whether or not I should purchase it.

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Filed under MMO, Single Player, The Secret World, Warlock

Ding! 75 in LOTRO

You would think that with a week off I’d be posting more and not less, but I’ve had my eye on ‘finishing’ LOTRO, that is getting to max level.  This morning I finally got there! Now I can say (fortunately) that Wow is not the only game I’ve managed to get a max level character in.

Woohoo 75!!

I’ve had so much fun in LOTRO this week.  So … in spite of my normal butterfly behaviour I’m going to keep playing for a little while.  I have a huge list of things to do, traits to get, legendary weapons to now equip and get to max level, and maybe even some raids with the guild on a Saturday night.  I have no idea how to tank on a warden, or even how to be a good DPS party member, so I need to do some research on skills, traits etc.   I also want to try other classes. I have a mid level hunter and a burgular which I could continue with.  So although I’m ‘finished’ and free to move on I’ll be staying a while.  It’s such a wonderful immersive world and I’m eager to see more.

I have also pre-ordered the expansion, The Riders of Rohan, and I noticed that my in-game map now has a larger greyed out new area.  I’m looking forward to seeing how Turbine handle mounted combat.  The journey continues …

 

 

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Filed under LOTRO, MMO

Hobbits

I love Hobbits, maybe because they’re short like me? In fact, they’re all I’ll play in LOTRO.  Of course I immediately limit the classes I can play, but I don’t care, it just doesn’t feel right unless I’m sprinting around the world as one of my little friends.

I am ‘this’ short, and he’s kneeling!

Even though LOTRO has well and truly drawn me in (for this week), I don’t role play as such.  I do however let myself get drawn in, and LOTRO does a wonderful job of creating atmosphere.  I really do feel like a hobbit while I’m out and about, and the game does everything in it’s power to embrace that.  I just love being able to wear costumes and for the current book I’m doing (Vol III, book 4), Turbine kindly provided me with appropriate prisoner gear as part of the quest rewards.

In my Isengard prisoner gear cleaning up the slops

It’s hard to imagine that not everyone playing has seen the Lord of the Rings movies, or read the books, but I guess there must be some because the one thing that really irks me is seeing hobbits in-game with ….. shoes.  Shame on them, particularly when the game provides you with a very easy way of hiding them.  I feel like telling each and every shoe wearing hobbit I see that we simply don’t wear shoes, but instead I just shake my head and run on.

Hobbits do NOT wear shoes :(

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