This weekend’s surprising highlight

When I was thinking about what to do with this weekend (related to gaming, of course, not to other mostly RL stuff), I had a lot of games in my mind. Wildstar or Guild Wars 2 most of all. Some more Hand of Fate, if I can deal with the frustration of being so bad that I constantly die… :p What did not come to my mind was “Defiance”. Quite some time ago, before it had gone free to play, I had gotten a key for that game from one of Trion’s promotions. I had looked at it, played for a whole grand total of probably 15 minutes before putting it aside. While I always am looking for a science fiction game with some kind of shooter action (without being a first person shooter thanks to simulation/motion sickness) that can keep me interested, I just could not get into this game at all. I gave it another try some time later with the same result.

Defiance Colony Courtship and Hellbug Matron

Meanwhile, I watched the first season of Defiance and really loved that show. I managed to watch a couple more episodes of season 2, but not too many, as I did not like them as much anymore as I liked season one. The setting of this game – and TV show – were intriguing to me. So I decided to give Defiance another try – after watching the series as to avoid spoilers in the game.

And then Trion rolled out another cross-promotion last week. This time it wasn’t between Rift and Trove as had happened in the past, but between Defiance and Trove. All you have to do is kill 50 hellbug monarchs in Defiance to get a red Hellbug mount in Trove. The event is active only for a couple of days (until the end of the week, I think?), so I figured I would try it out this weekend. I have killed 50 of those buggers in the meantime, but I have also had so much fun in Defiance that I sticked around and plan to continue playing the game.

I don’t think it will become my “main game” or anything of that sort, but it is just fun to shoot down those hellbugs and mutants and there are some features in the game that I really like. So far, it did not matter where I went, I was always able to defeat the mobs (with the exception of mobs further down on different areas). The game does have progression, but it’s definitely not like in World of Warcraft or Rift where you gain level after level and get stronger and a mob a few levels above you kills you in one hit. Don’t get me wrong, there are mobs that killed me in one or two hits in Defiance, but that’s because I simply stood there instead of dodging away. :p Instead, it seems to be a more horizontal progression. I get “EGO units” which I can spend on mostly passive abilities. I also unlock slots to equip those abilities the higher my EGO rating goes (EGO rating is kind of like XP, I would say?). In other words, I can have a build with some chosen passive abilities.

What I like is that it feels like rifts in Rift and dynamic events in Guild Wars 2. That is, I drive through the world (yes, I drive. They gave me a runner!) and will inevitably run into an event sooner or later. Some are marked on your map even, especially the larger ones. The world feels alive and there aren’t little concentrated quest hubs where you’ll go, pick up quests, go do them, then return to that quest hub and move on to the next one.

Defiance Cruising

Speaking of runners: The vehicles in this game are so much fun! You can’t destroy them, thankfully, or I would have needed to buy at least a dozen new vehicles by now. But you can run over the mobs in this game. Especially the hellbugs… muahahah. :p Other than that, obviously, you’re much faster with your car than on foot. Bookahnerk and I spent some time together yesterday unlocking some travel points (like waypoints in Guild Wars 2) and we had much fun racing through the streets to see who’s fastest without driving against a tree or into the ocean. The travel points, as mentioned, are like waypoints in Guild Wars 2. Once unlocked, you can click on them from anywhere on the map and instantly teleport there, so traversing the map never takes too long. But with the enjoyment I get out of driving my runner, I don’t actually teleport as often as I could. There are also “pursuits” (like achievements in other games) and you can also level your vehicles (and your weapons, too!) which make them a bit faster.

There is a nice choice between different weapons. My favourite weapons are the assault rifle and the BMG (Bio-Magnetic Gun). The latter actually lets me heal which is amazing and I am not dependent on heaving enough ammunition with me.

However, this post was not meant to be an impressions piece and certainly not a review! I just wanted to note that this is a fun little game with action-oriented combat, that I almost missed. So far, I did not receive any spoilers for the TV show Defiance (although since it’s cancelled, I guess this won’t be an issue anyway for those who already finished watching all three seasons). I also really love that I do not get motion sickness from playing this game which makes me look forward to Fragmented even more now, since it looks as if it will have the same kind of “third person view” to play with.

One Day… I will play you…

I caught myself saying this very sentence several times in the last few days. I have also seen several people say that they won’t buy any more games on Steam unless they have at least played x other games that they bought in the past. How successful are we with that, eh? ;)

In my case, Trine 3 triggered that sentence, but it actually didn’t start nor stop there. The Trine series is a very odd one for me. I remember a guildie (Damagedself, actually) telling me about Trine 2 and that I should give it a try. I am not a fan of platformer games, though. Other than with the Gameboy, I never really played them. And even back then, I was more a fan of the setting, the world than the game itself. Anyway, I did give it Trine 2 a try and I clearly remember that after a few minutes, I was jumping up and down, squealing, telling bookahnerk how I needed to have that game because it’s awesome! I loved the music, I loved the art design, I loved creating boxes with the wizard, Amadeus. It was totally not the game I would usually play, but it was a game I had fallen in love with. I did buy the game not long after and even played it for a bit. I also own Trine 1. Still, up until this day, I did not play either of those games much.

The music and atmosphere in Trine 3 seem to be exactly the way it was in Trine 1 and 2. One Day, I will buy and play this game!

Torchlight I and II are also on my list of “One Day…”-games. I actually got into playing Torchlight I again recently and really enjoyed myself until that one evening last week where I bought weapons from the gambling vendor, got a really great rifle and… accidentally sold it again. I could not re-buy it anymore as the available stock had changed in the meantime. Now I’m broke and with my old crappy weapon still. But before I delve into Torchlight II together with bookahnerk, I am determined to finish Torchlight I. So… One Day…

Another recurring game on that list is “The Secret World”. I love almost everything about it. The only part I really do not like at all is the combat. Unfortunately, as with every other MMORPG out there, combat is an important part of the game (why is that, by the way? Do we really have to focus on combat so much?).TSW_scenery2

Defiance and Skyrim are on my list as well, but both are in the backseat for different reasons. I tried out Defiance, the game, before I had seen the first episode of the TV series. I did not like it too much, although I am always looking for a nice science fiction MMO to play. Then Netflix arrived here in Germany and I saw that they have the first season of Defiance available. I started watching it, more out of curiosity than anything else and I really enjoyed it and liked the world it is set in as well as some of the characters. So for this very reason, I would like to get into Defiance, the game. So far, no luck. Still, it is behind The Secret World for me. Skyrim is the game I want to love, but don’t. Mostly for technical reasons, actually. What annoys me most of all now is the clunky user interface and the lagging mouse for which I have not found a fix that works yet. I just always wonder: Is a game worth my time (especially with so many others on my list) that I cannot enjoy unless I dig through mods first? Still, One Day…


I am not alone with such a list, right? I’m pretty sure every gamer out there has games that One Day, they will get to play… maybe…, but for one reason or another, that day just keeps getting rainchecks.

Rift and Extra Life

Rift_Level 41We spent most of our Saturday and Sunday watching the Trion Worlds livestream. This was done for Extra Life. If you want, you can even re-enact the event as the twitch channel has the video for you to watch or rewatch. 25 hours should get you through the evening… ;)

The team managed to get $63,000 in donations. Those donations will go to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Throughout the 25 hours, the CMs gave away a few things to people who donated, but also to people just watching the stream. I signed up and joined the Trion Worlds team which gave me a key for their game Defiance. Now if anybody could give me tips on how to play this game, this’d be much appreciated. I managed to die. Twice. Without even spotting my health bar. I feel like such a n00b. :(

So instead of failing over and over in Defiance, I played Rift. They had game-wide bonuses enabled. One of which was an XP boost that started with 20% and through the last hour of Extra Life, it went up to 80%. I did not get to play much during this one hour with 80%, but I played quite a bit when the bonus was at 60%. Thanks to that, I got two levels. When I started on Saturday, my warrior was level 39, now she is level 41. I’m getting so close to entering the expansion zone! Of course, considering this is my first character, everything is new and shiny anyway. It just feels a bit lonely with the big zones and hardly anybody around. The other players can usually be found in the starter zone (Rift lets you downlevel your character to be at an appropriate level for the zone) and, at least that’s what I assume, at the current max level zones. Additionally, the newest expansion isn’t too far off anymore and I would like to be closer to jumping into that zone when it comes out. The only problem I have with this, and with the upcoming patch 2.5, is that it’ll be underwater content. My phobia (dark water areas plus all the icky fish, etc. that’s in the water) has actually gotten a lot better since Guild Wars 2 released, but it’s still there and I would still very much prefer not to have any underwater mobs. But oh well, we’ll see. And even if the new zone is bad, at least we’ll get new souls for the four callings (classes).

Altogether, I snatched not only the Defiance key, but a 3 day patron pass (which comes with things like XP boosts), a mount (only 60% speed, so it’s not really useful for me, but it’s still pretty!) and a screechling pet (no complaints whatsoever about that one ^^). In return, I donated some money, because I like this cause.

Rift Screechling pet

Bookahneer’s Geekwatch (November 2, 2013)

Guild Wars 2 Bookahneer's GeekwatchWelcome to today’s Bookahneer’s Geekwatch! The place about miscellaneous interesting news related to Guild Wars 2 – and on occasion, other games.

You will hear a lot more from Nerdy Bookahs this month. I joined November’s NaBloPoMo. In the past few years, I had tried to do NaNoWriMo, but always failed – at least, since I’ve started blogging and playing MMOs. ;) So when I got an email from WordPress about this event, I thought it’s a perfect alternative. I can write and take care of this blog at the same time. I can play MMOs or other games and write about them. Basically, I can do what I’m doing now, only that I try to up the frequency of writing about my adventures. :) NaBloPoMo happens every month, but November is special, because NaNoWriMo takes place as well. And let’s not forget Movember! While this is not something I can participate in, I think raising awareness of cancer – and available early cancer detection – is always great!

In addition to all of those, there is also a lot of Extra Life play sessions going on this weekend. Players sign up, play for 25 hours and people can donate for them. This money will not go to the players but to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. The exact location depends on which hospital the player chose.

I did sign up and joined the Trion Worlds team. I won’t be able to play for 25 hours, but I am also not putting my own “donation page” here. Instead, I rather want to direct you to the Trion Worlds Extra Life site. The team currently consists of over 1900 participants. I’m pretty sure that if you do consider donating, you will find one that you want to support. Elizabeth Tobey, for example, one of the community managers.

Either way, this won’t be a boring weekend. If you’re looking for people’s gaming streams, head over to Twitch as they have their very own Extra Life 2013 category!

Bookahneer’s Geekwatch (June 8, 2011)!

Pirate Asura

Welcome to today’s Bookahneer’s Geekwatch! The place about LotRO, Guild Wars 2 and any other interesting news related to gaming. E3 has brought us quite a lot of fascinating news, so here we go:

Trailer/Teaser videos: Warhammer 40k: Dark Millenium Online published a trailer which allows a tiny little glimpse into the game.

Neverwinter developed by Cryptic also shows off a trailer:

Trion Worlds, developer of Rift, is working on Defiance, an open-world shooter MMO. You can find a trailer on their website. It doesn’t show that much yet but I really love the flowers in the beginning. ;)

Last but not least: Sims Social – yes, the Sims as a Facebook game. Talking in cliches: Maybe now all those old, male MMO gamers that are still living in their mothers’ basements can actually get a date? *cough* Yes, this looks exactly like the kind of game we were missing.

Lord of the Rings Online: Rise of Isengard‘s release date was announced (September 27, 2011) plus you can already preorder it and get at least one mount and some cosmetics. There’s also a pocket item which grants your characters 25% bonus XP on killing mobs until you’re level 65. Since it’s a pocket item, you choose whether you want to use this bonus or not. If you rather want to level slowly, just don’t equip it. There was some confusion but the item will definitely work even after Isengard has launched. For more questions, have a look at this FAQ that a player composed. If you’re not sure which colour you want your armor and mount to be (if you decide to buy the heroic version), here is an overview that Rekun (Kin leader of the Shadowfax Alliance on Eldar) put up. A Casual Stroll to Mordor show pictures of a female hobbit wearing those armors.

Blur Studio doesn’t develop MMOs. But they’re responsible for several gorgeous cinematic trailers. One that a lot of you have probably seen in just recently is their trailer for Star Wars: The Old Republic. They’ve also made the trailer for Warhammer Online. Unfortunately, we know that a great trailer won’t automatically make a great game. ;) So let’s hope that SW:TOR will be more successful.

Speaking of The Old Republic: Frank Gibeau, President of EAGames, is making fans jealous by claiming that he’s playing Star Wars: The Old Republic. It seems that he’s playing a slightly different version, though, with only 6 classes. ;) On the other hand, he states that the Star Wars: The Old Republic will be released this year… while at the same time saying that they “want to ship it when it’s right”. Let’s hope both of those statements fit together.