Impressions from Foostival Germany 2016

NamensschilderAs some of you may know, I am part of the organizing team of the German Foostival. It took place yesterday, on May 7. In the previous two years, we had a location in Hamburg which is in Northern Germany. As amazing as that city is (seriously, there is no better city in Germany than Hamburg if you ask me), it’s just not easy to reach especially for residents in the southern parts. So this year, we switched and had Foostival take place at the esports bar Meltdown in Cologne.

The location was very fitting, obviously. :)

The only downside of this place was that it was dark inside while Germany is currently experiencing a very unusual early summer with temperatures up to 25 °C instead of the usual 15 °C. If we had known that in advance, we could have looked for a beer garden instead. :p  But seriously, it was a very really nice location with good drinks and the pizza place on the other side of the street even brought some of the ordered pizzas in!

What I liked more in comparison to the location in Hamburg was the absence of PCs – well, mostly. The Meltdown actually has PCs and consoles that you can play on, but those were ignored for the most part and did not play a role in our organization of the event (they were used after Foostival was over, though. Gamers will be gamers, after all!). We were also all in one room sitting around a couple of tables whereas in Hamburg, the group had been split in two rooms at times. This way, we could all be together and mingling was a lot easier. It being a bar, we could also enjoy lots of beverages including drinks like a “Headshot” or a “Stimpack”. Not that I think we need alcohol to have fun, but it was still very convenient to have drinks around. :p

So, without PCs and all of us being in one room, it was also much easier to get in contact with the others and as such, I met a lot of new people and had a lot of interesting conversations, not only about Guild Wars 2, but also about other games and “The Dark Eye” (a German roleplaying game similar to “Dungeons & Dragons”).

Once the event was over, the bar opened to the general public, but not all of us left. I really enjoyed just sitting there together with the others who had stayed behind and talking. If you ask me, we wouldn’t even need any programme, quizzes or games. I could just spend that whole day talking and getting to know the others! And as such, I hope to see them all again soon – maybe at Gamescom, maybe at the Foostival 2017! :)

Please excuse the crappy quality of the pictures. I took them with my mobile phone, but I know there will be much better pictures soon and I will of course link you to the picture gallery then!

As always: A huge Thank You to everybody who organized the Foostival with me and to all the helping hands! Foostival would not be possible without us all working together the way we do. :)

Help! I like too many MMOs…

In the past few weeks, I thought I had finally fallen out of love with Rift. It was to a point where I did not even log in anymore to get my daily artifact (they changed the system now where you get nicer bonuses for logging in, but that’s not why I went back). Then I suddenly felt the urge to continue building in my dimension. I figured that that’s something nice and since I really don’t like this “old-fashioned” combat anymore, I would at least focus on something. But then I found myself out in the newest region, the Planetouched Wilds, playing through a quest chain with bookahnerk. And while the combat really is boring, it’s just great exploring this world! Rift is one of those games with no loading screens between zones – at least those who are on the same “continent”, like in World of Warcraft. There is something amazing about being on top of a mountain and just looking down to see all the players running around or the NPC doing their daily work. In other MMOs, those mountains can’t always be used to climb on because they are there to avoid having to deal with “invisible walls” as they restrict this zone from the next and you can only switch to another zone at specific points which let you enter after a loading screen appears.

Rift Planetouched Wilds

Then poor Guild Wars 2 was on my list of games I would go on “hiatus” for a bit. There has not been any new content in quite some time and while I liked the new maps at first – some of them, at least – it felt repetitive going through the zones over and over again. While the recent patch has not given us new content (and if I interpret them correctly, there won’t be any new content until July?), they did some other much needed changes which revived the game in general for me. You can now play WvW and the Edge of the Mists and get a reward track like they introduced in sPvP. I also completely forgot that you can unlock Hero Challenges in Tyria through playing WvW which means that I can slowly unlock my alts’ elite specializations without having to visit all the PvE challenges. This alone is motivation enough for me to play the game more often again!

This leaves Wildstar and Black Desert Online. My two newest MMO-addictions. Wildstar has amazing combat and I actually prefer it over Guild Wars 2 – well, in some areas, at least. But once my medic hit max level, I actually did not really know what to do in the game. I still have much exploring to do, so that is something, but I still felt… lost. Now that they introduced the new zone, Arcterra, that’s different. I haven’t played much on it yet, but I certainly will! And Black Desert Online – it’s a bit funny, actually. My first character got this quest chain for a mount and that’s all nice, but I switched to playing a Valkyrie instead and I can’t find that quest chain for her and she’s still running around on foot and that’s annoying me enough not to continue playing the game at the moment. I want to go to the bigger town and explore that and play there and quest and level, but I also want to find out where I can get that mount. It’s not even anything great like a noble steed. It’s a donkey. But still, I want it. :(

Wildstar Arcterra

On top of that, I actually don’t have that much time for gaming! I “stole” some and ignored other things that need to be done for a day or two recently (chores mostly :p), but I can’t do that all of the time. So I guess I should decide which games I want to focus on. But they all offer something unique that I want to experience.

SAB is back!

We have been waiting for the longest time, but the day is finally here: The Super Adventure Box is back! And yes, check the day: It is still March 31. This is not an April Fool’s Joke.

Since this really does make a lot of people very happy, ArenaNet decided to give Rata Sum – or the corner with SAB, at least – a more festive look.

Rata Sum SAB is back

Now, please excuse me, I have some jumping to do!

 

Been there, done that

It took me until now to get my first character with 100 % map completion. Luckily, I did not do it so I could maybe get a legendary weapon that I like if they ever make one. It just felt as if my account was not “complete” without having at least one character with that star attached to her name and the title available.

GW2 World Completion

On the other hand, I am really not sure I will do that ever again… even though I have two main characters and it would be tempting. But was it fun? No, not really. Some maps are great, of course, and others I just immensely dislike. Straits of Devastation (the Western side) and most of all Malchor’s Leap are such maps. Especially Malchor’s Leap. When I decided to work on map completion with my warrior, I went with Malchor’s Leap first, so I could do the nicer maps later. Altogether, I had 6 or 7 maps left that were not yet at 100 %.

I did stop to smell the flowers, mine some ore, participate in an event and, of course, take some screenshots, so that it ended up feeling a little bit more like a journey instead of a “grinding task”. As usual, for me the best part of this little two-day-journey was finding some really nice corners of the world that I had not seen or noticed before. Or stepping into corners I had not been at in quite some time. Either way, it was a refreshing change from Verdant Brink and I loved that I could glide through the areas while always landing on solid ground in the end (as you can guess, I am not a huge fan of multi-layer maps).

Easter gaming holidays!

I am looking at five days without work. Surprisingly, other than an afternoon spent with my family, there are no plans at all – that I am aware of right now, at least. Which means that I will try not to act like an adult with lots of responsibilities and things that “should be done” and will try to get lots of gaming done!

The biggest question is: What do I want to play then? There are – as always – too many choices.

Throughout a usual work week, I always get the feeling that I want to play something in the evening once work is done, dinner is cooked and eaten – and then I realize just how tired I am and I end up choosing something that doesn’t require a lot of concentration. So when I now do get some time to play while my brain is working at “full speed”, I think I will rather play a game that I usually neglect. Or parts of a game that I usually don’t play.

This leaves out Cities: Skylines, Prison Architect and Mad Games Tycoon. It also means that while I’ve recently started to love working on my housing projects both in Rift and Wildstar again, I will not do too much of this either. It would seem like wasted time. It’s such a fascinating game and even though I am not sure how I feel about the “forced” open world “everybody can kill everybody” feature, I also know that there is so much to do in the game that I probably won’t even notice. ;) Let’s see if I’ll get a good enough look at Black Desert Online to post my impressions about the game here in the coming weeks.

Black Desert Online Velia

What I will definitely be playing is more Guild Wars 2 again, though. Even though I previously said that I would put aside my warrior and play my engineer instead, she recently snuck back into the picture. I just feel that the engineer would require too much of my time right now to even get anywhere near as far as my warrior. On top of that, I tried out the berserker with my warrior and I really love that specialization. To be honest, I never really played it until last week. I had just looked at the skills and figured it’s too boring. She also still needs a few more hero points to fully unlock the elite specialization and she is also very close to world completion. So maybe I will be working on that a bit more in the coming days.

It’s just nice and feels like a complete luxury to think about which games I want to play instead of worrying how much work I have left to do – yes, I have, and I don’t know how much overtime I will have to be doing once semester starts again, but for now, I will relax and enjoy Easter.

GW2 Warrior Berserker