Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, August 13, 2019
 
Top of the Tree

I've been playing World of Tanks a lot since I came back from holidays. As a result I reached the tier X tank of the August Top of the Tree event, the STB-1, already yesterday, just two weeks after having started working on that tank line. Which is just as well, because I didn't really like any of the tanks from tier IV to IX. The tier III tank is still one of my favorites, and the STB-1 is pretty good. But I am not sure whether I will end up playing it a lot. Because I am not really sure why I should play a tier X tank in World of Tanks. I'm at the top of the tree and wonder where to go from there.

Of course the underlying question here is what your personal win condition is. Curiously the tier X tanks don't tick a lot of boxes of possible win conditions. Playing a tier X tank doesn't advance you towards other tanks, unless you pay a lot of gold to convert the xp you gain to free xp (which I admit doing). They are also lousy credit earners, you often lose money playing them, and would be better off playing a tier VIII premium tank instead. The only personal goal that tier X tanks are really good at is if your goal is to challenge yourself. The average WN8 in a tier X game is noticeably higher than the average WN8 in lower tier games. However for me that is just a reason to not play tier X games, because I am not really skilled enough for the top league. If your personal goal is to improve your WN8, you better keep out of these tier X games.

World of Tanks does a really bad job at matching people with other players of the same skill. It simply doesn't regard past performance, or how well equipped a tank is, at all in the matchmaking. As a result I am often in completely unbalanced games, where one side just roflstomps the other in under 5 minutes while losing under 5 tanks themselves. I don't find those games much fun, even if I happen to be on the winning team. I would imagine that the best players also don't find it much fun to play with mediocre players like me, or worse. So it seems that tier X developed as a sort of refuge for the better players to be able to play among themselves. But from a game design point of view that isn't optimal, because it makes a goal that is perfectly attainable for the average player, reaching the top tier, rather unattractive in the end. Why would I want to strive towards tier X tanks, if I then don't play them?

On the positive side World of Tanks has a lot of tank trees. So I can do those top of the tree events, and then move on to another tank line while waiting for the next event. The middle of the tree is more fun than the top.

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Monday, August 12, 2019
 
Tobold on YouTube?

mbp asked the interesting question "Could you ever see yourself starting a Youtube channel?" and I think the answer is long enough to justify its own blog post. Unless you just want the short answer, which is "No!".

In real life a lot of communication in non-verbal. How other people perceive you depends a lot on your looks, your body language, your verbal tone, and some other factors. While the 7% rule is probably overstating this, the influence of non-verbal elements on popularity is undeniable. With a blog you get around that; as long as the design isn't too off-putting, people only see the words, so that is all they have to judge the content. On YouTube you can't avoid verbal tone, and most YouTube content creators also show themselves, opening up a can of worms of judgment of your looks and body language. Disguising yourself as somebody young and attractive doesn't always work. But if I would put the real me on YouTube, I don't think I would have much success. I'm in my mid-50's, have just an average face, and I speak with a noticeable German accent.

Now if you are an idealist, you will probably say that this doesn't or shouldn't matter. In the real world it unfortunately does. Look at the most successful content creators, they are often young and attractive. I recently searched on YouTube for videos on 3D printing, and I stumbled upon a young Chinese lady who had accumulated a sizable subscriber base by doing her tech unboxing videos in a rather skimpy outfit. Believe me, nobody wants to see me in a skimpy outfit. :)

The other problem of a YouTube channel is identity. I have two identities on the internet. One with my real name, which I use on sites like LinkedIn, and where people searching for my name can find my scientific publications, my patents, and other work-related stuff. The other identity is the Tobold one, which is about games and other private interests, like 3D printing. While it isn't impossible to find out my real name, because I haven't gone to great lengths to hide it, the separation of the two identities is good enough for a regular Google search, which is all I am trying to achieve with it. I want my professional contacts to find my professional information, and my game contacts to find my game information. While I don't mind any more about colleagues finding out that I am also a gamer, I don't want a professional acquaintance to have that of me as first impression. Putting my own face on YouTube would link my two identities more than I would care for.

The final reason for me not being interested in starting a YouTube channel is that it requires more effort than typing to do it well. You can see the difference in quality between a YouTube channel with lots of subscribers and a YouTube channel nobody watches. You can't just turn on your laptop webcam and microphone and start blurting out content, you need better equipment, and decent skills in video cutting and editing. That is more effort than I am willing to put in these days, especially since I don't have a strong focus on a single theme anymore.

So, no, I don't think I'll ever start a YouTube channel. I feel more at ease with the written word. And I don't think I would have as much success as my blog once had if I switched to a different medium.

Friday, August 09, 2019
 
Changing the content of your channel

Yesterday I was going through the list of YouTube channels I have subscribed to over the years, and unsubscribed to those that were no longer relevant to me. Sometimes my interests had changed, sometimes the channel had changed because the interest of the content creator had changed. I actually came across one video in which a content creator explained why he didn't want to make his channel about popular Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition any more, because his personal interests had shifted towards a much less well-known and much less popular game. He had my fullest understanding. Been there, done that, went down to about 1% of the number of readers that I had at the height of this blog.

Of course the decline in readership of this blog had multiple reasons. My interests changed, the interests of my readers changed, MMORPGs went out of fashion, blogs went out of fashion, and so on. Now I produce a lot less content than I used to, and I only post what is relevant to me. Apart from coming across the occasional Google Analytics automated e-mail, I don't even follow anymore how many people read what I am writing. So while I think that I am very much the source for the decline in readership, I also think that even if I had tried to keep it up, that would only have delayed the inevitable decline. Internet fame is fickle, and not easily transferable; I couldn't easily have re-invented my blog as a successful YouTube channel with a different subject and kept my "fame".

Now luckily I avoided most monetization options on my blog. I never ran ads or posted paid-for content. I accepted the occasional review copy of a game, and put up a "pay Tobold a coffee" button, but that never resulted in much more than coffee money. As far as I understand YouTube and Twitch, monetization is more or less automatic these days, and unless you get "demonetized" for some misbehavior, you make some money from views and subscriptions. Thus for the few really popular content creators on YouTube and Twitch, the income becomes significant enough for at least a sizable side income stream, if not the main income stream.

So I would think that if you make a good amount of money from content creation on your channel on YouTube or Twitch, you would be much more reluctant to radically change that content. If you have achieved some fame for streaming game X in which you are very good, saying that you will stop playing game X, and will play game Y instead, which you are still learning, will lose you a lot of subscribers. Especially if Y is less popular than X. However if you stick with game X forever, you still risk losing your subscribers over time, either because they feel that your spark has gone out, or because their interests change over time as well. We live in a world in which games are abundant, attention spans are short, and relevance is fleeting. Me, I'm happy that I stuck with my day job, and stayed true to myself in the content I still create.

Thursday, August 08, 2019
 
World of Tanks - Czech Holidays

In order to make World of Tanks more interesting, Wargaming is running events. Permanently. You can't actually log into the game and find that there is no event going on, there is always *something*. However many of those events are kind of forgettable. You have to fulfill a minor requirement, like being among the top 10 players on your team (which, out of 15, isn't much), and get some minor reward like double crew xp for that battle. Often you get an event reward without even having read what the requirements were, because you don't have to do anything special. So in my mind events are just some free rewards added onto my regular gameplay.

But for World of Tanks' 9th anniversary Wargaming released both a big patch, 1.6, and a series of larger events, starting with something called the Czech Holidays. And that event comes with a twist: There are two different sets of event missions; one you can do with any tank from wide range of tiers, the other set requires you to play a specific tank, the Skoda T 27. Which is a premium tank, that would cost you at least €35.78 (you can buy it in a bundle with other stuff for up to €99.99). If you do the event missions with any old tank, you get some rewards. If you do the missions with a Skoda T 27, you get the same rewards plus some additional rewards which are much better. For example if you do the whole set of 10 missions in the Skoda T 27, you'll end up with a complete female crew with Brothers in Arms perk, several crew training manuals, half a million credits, and a bunch of other stuff.

After overcoming the first "I must buy this tank" reflex I looked a bit closer at the conditions, and the whole thing looks like a trap to me. Not just because I would need to buy that €35 tank which isn't actually all that good. But because the event is limited in time: Every day one more mission unlocks; you don't have to do that mission on that day, but if you skip a day, you'll need to do more missions on the later days. For the last mission you only have one day, because then the event ends and you can't complete it any more. And while the first missions are easy enough (earn 250 base experience twice), the last missions are actually pretty hard (be among the top 3 players on your team twice). Not impossible (even I am among the top 3 players on my team sometimes), but certainly hard to do with that specific tank if you aren't a really good player.

In the end I realized that the event was quite appropriately named, Czech Holidays. If I was still on holidays and could play several hours of World of Tanks every day, I would probably buy the Skoda T 27 and load up on tons of rewards which would then make it very easy to play through the Czech tech tree later. But as I am back to work, and just play a bit of World of Tanks in the evenings, I can't even be sure to be able to complete all the missions in a tank of my choice. If I tried it in the Skoda T 27, I would probably become very frustrated and bored of that tank by the end, being forced to play nothing else for hours. So I'm setting myself a goal to rather do the low reward path of this event, and my aim would be to complete at least mission 7 out of 10, not all 10 of them. As I said in an earlier post, setting yourself realistic goals is the way to go if you don't want World of Tanks to frustrate you. And it saves me €35.78.

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Wednesday, August 07, 2019
 
Open world games are getting less combat-centric

I used to have a quick way to evaluate whether I liked or game or not: I would just look at the combat. If I didn't like the combat system, I knew that the game would make me spend a significant portion of my time in combat, and so it was better not to play it. The rule doesn't apply so much anymore. I don't really like the combat system of let's say Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild; but that doesn't matter, because the percentage of time I spend in combat has shrunk, and has become more optional. I don't need to kill all the mobs, just to gain xp and loot. I can play for hours exploring, gathering, cooking, and solving puzzles in shrines, without combat being necessary. I do have to do some combat to finish the game, but I can actually get stronger for combat without doing combat, and then the fights are easier.

I just started Assassin's Creed: Origins, and it is a bit the same thing. I don't like the combat system very much. But again there is a lot of other stuff to do in the game, and you can replace some of the regular hand-to-hand combat with a different sort of gameplay, either by sneaking or by sniping. Assassin's Creed: Origins even has game settings for people who don't like combat, making combat much easier. That way you still "do" combat where appropriate for the story, without it becoming the focus of the game, or an obstacle that prevents you from playing the rest of the game.

Of course that only works for these open world games, in which there are a lot of other things to do. You couldn't diminish the importance of combat from games like League of Legends or World of Tanks or Fortnite, because the rest of the game is just there in support of the combat which is the core of the game. But the more playing a game resembles living in a virtual world, the more it becomes possible to tone down the importance of combat, and keep players occupied with things like crafting or building. People don't play Minecraft because of the combat system.

Saturday, August 03, 2019
 
Pay2Progress

World of Tanks is both an incredibly rewarding and an incredibly frustrating game, depending on what goals you set yourself. It also heavily rewards you spending money. But spending money helps very little in winning battles (although one might argue that a few of the premium tanks you can buy are overpowered, certainly not all of them); however spending money helps enormously with you progressing along the tech trees. Ridiculously so, I would say.

I am currently doing the Top of the Tree event, which gives various bonuses, rewards, and discounts if you move up one particular tech tree. This month it is the Japanese medium tanks. It is just August 3, and I am already at tier VII, because I spent some money. Normally a player who doesn't spend money gets double xp for his first win in any tank, and quintuple xp for his second win if he is playing a tank of the current Top of the Tree line. For 10 bucks I get those quintuple xp also for the third and fourth win. Plus I still had some extra "5x XP" bonuses from previous purchases. Having a premium account gives me 50% more base xp (base xp means it is then multiplied by all those 5x bonuses). And 5 times per day I can add another 3x base xp after any victory. So I had games in which as a free player I would have gained 700 xp, and because I had all those bonuses I ended up with 10,000 xp. Okay, that is only for the first handful of wins, but it is a huge boost. 100k xp doesn't look so daunting if you make 10k in a single game sometimes.

The other big boost comes from the so-called "free xp". Normally one gets very little free xp, e.g. my 10k xp game only gave 51 free xp. However any xp you make on tanks that don't need xp anymore, as in fully researched tanks and premium tanks, can be converted for gold into free xp. I always wait until there is an event on which gives a better exchange rate, 40 free xp for 1 gold, and then I spend a pile of gold. As a result, whenever I get to a new tank in any tech tree, I don't have to drive around with it stock; I can at least spend the free xp for a better track, engine, and gun, so the new tank already starts with competitive equipment. I don't spend the free xp to research tanks, but skipping the stock tank grind is already a huge boost.

Now normally with such good progress in the external rewards / level structure of a game, I should feel like a king. Instead I still feed like a n00b, after over 10,000 battles. The problem is that at the higher tiers I often get into games in which the average player has already 30,000 battles and the good players have much more. Normally in a PvP game after some time you don't feel like a n00b anymore, because there are lots of newer players that are clearly less skilled than you are. In World of Tanks there hasn't been much influx of new players, and "new player friendliness" is rather a weak point of the game. Veterans do more to scare new players away than to attract them, by farming those new players in low tier games for stat padding. So I don't often get into a situation where the knowledge and skills I have certainly acquired over those 10k battles actually lets me outplay somebody lacking that experience. It's a Catch 22 situation, because other new players certainly experience the same, that they never really progress visibly towards veteran status, and thus they leave, making the problem worse.

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Thursday, August 01, 2019
 
Third party D&D products

I just pledged $20 on Kickstarter for Out of the Box: Encounters for 5th Edition. It is a product with content for 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons, but it isn’t made by Wizards of the Coast. This particular product is from Nerdarchy, better known for their YouTube content, but there are a bunch of small companies out there that do D&D stuff. I frequently buy collections of D&D material in pdf format as Humble Bundles for cheap. But I also bought Beadle & Grimm’s silver edition of Ghosts of Saltmarsh, which isn’t cheap at all, albeit somewhat less expensive than their ludicrous platinum edition sets.

As one would expect, the quality of third party prducts for D&D varies, more than the quality of the WotC products does. But some stuff can be exceptionally good, e.g. ENsiders Zeitgeist adventure path, or it can simply be useful for a specific situation, like I hope the Out of the Box product is. Besides quality, prices also vary in a wide range, and not necessarily correlated with quality. Of course in the case of the Beadle&Grimm’s stuff, the adventure itself is a WotC product, and you pay extra for additional materials like maps and handouts, not for the writing of the adventure.

One problem with getting additional materials is the addition of shipping costs. I pledged $20 for the pdf only version of Out of the Box. The $50 pledge of the hardcover version adds another $24 for shipping to Belgium, and the $115 pledge with maps and tokens costs $70 to ship. As much as I love D&D battle maps, I think I’ll make my own in this case.

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Tuesday, July 30, 2019
 
Lowering expectations

While I haven't been playing World of Tanks during my holidays, I did watch some streams on Twitch. One of the most popular WoT streamers is Quickybaby, and what he did in July was work on the hardest series of campaign missions, which give one of the best tanks in the game as reward. That was instructive insofar as this was visibly frustrating even to one of the very good players of the game. And it made me think that enjoyment of World of Tanks doesn't necessarily come from playing well, but from achieving the goals that you set yourself. Set your goals sufficiently high, and even a top player experiences a lot of setbacks and frustration. Set your goals low, and even a mediocre player can achieve them.

Quickybaby has an overall win rate of 60%, which is about the best you can hope for if you play really, really well. But if you do a bit of basic math, 60% win rate obviously means that 40% of games don't work out as you wanted them to. And I would argue that if you have no control over the 40% of games that you lose, it stands to reason that there is a similar amount of games where you end up winning, but that win also wasn't controlled by you, but would have happened with or without you. So even a top player is "carrying" only 20% of his games. A mediocre player is rarely carrying his games, and the outcome is mostly determined by other players.

It is that overwhelming influence of other players, even on the results of very good players, that made those missions so frustrating for Quickybaby. The missions frequently required a great outcome in several games in a row. If you play a couple of great games and then fail, you need to start over. If you fail not because of your own mistakes, but because of the way your team played, that can be extremely frustrating. You can even fail because your team is too good compared to the enemy team, and the battle ends before you have reached the required number of kills or damage.

On the other end of the spectrum, World of Tanks has a lot of goals that you can't possibly fail. There are easier campaign missions, where instead of having to do let's say 15,000 damage in 3 battles, you have to do 15,000 damage in as many battles as it takes. Sooner or later you'll get there. Progressing along a tech tree from tier 1 to 10 is the same thing; it might take you a while, but as you always gain some xp in every battle and can't lose any xp, one day you'll certainly make it.

So unless you absolutely need a specific reward from a specific campaign or event, you can often just set your goals yourself at a level which isn't frustrating for your particular skill level. For example I am hearing a lot of bad comments on the current Homefront event, because reaching the top reward is hard and a big grind. For me that same event is a lot more fun, because I just want to reach tier II with some tanks and get the camo rewards. As permanent camo isn't cheap if you buy it in gold, I'd even say that those camo rewards are pretty generous compared with the effort you need to put in to get them. You need 35 division points to get that reward, and each battle gives you between 4 and 10 points. I got my first camo after 7 battles, which isn't too bad, considering the disadvantages of a late start. Getting all three Russian camos is basically just a question of showing up, and if I do well occasionally, I could get some of the American / British ones as well. Even the worst possible outcome of a battle, I lose and place last in the team, still advances me not too slowly towards my goal. So there is very little frustration involved.

Now you might argue that if you don't set yourself very challenging goal, you also don't have that much pleasure from achieving them. But I would say that I'd rather try to achieve challenging goals in real life, where the rewards are more real. As the rewards of video games are just virtual, I'm okay with just putting in some virtual effort. :) In the end the purpose of a game is to have fun, and frustrating yourself by overly ambitious goals isn't going to achieve that.

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Monday, July 29, 2019
 
WoW Classic

A reader asked me about my thoughts on WoW Classic. I'm not planning to go anywhere near it. I'm simply not interested at all. I am even convinced that a good number of players who are interested in WoW Classic will be thoroughly disappointed. Because you simply can't turn back time.

We had a great time in World of Warcraft when it was still young, 15 years ago. But we were 15 years younger as well, and very enthusiastic about this new experience, unlike anything we had played before. And that enthusiasm made us willing to do things which in hindsight are a bit crazy: playing long hours, organizing our lives around raid schedules, accepting all sorts of bugs and inconvenient game mechanics as well as weird rules on how to distribute raid loot. Today we still remember how we first brought down Onyxia, but we don't remember so well what we had to go through to get there.

I think that people will flock to WoW Classic to try to recreate those experience. Some are already planning their Molten Core raids. However for a lot of people that will end up with the realization that you start WoW Classic at level 1, and that it takes bloody forever (compared with today's WoW leveling speed) to get to level 60. Most of your friends are gone. And that even if you arrive at "putting the band back together", that band now consists of a bunch of grumpy middle-aged men, who aren't willing to take the same shit as 15 years ago.

Sunday, July 28, 2019
 
Homefront

I'm back home from holidays. Which also means that I am back on a PC and can play World of Tanks again. I deliberately didn't take a laptop on holidays, to take a break from the game, but now I am eager to return. And is if to celebrate my homecoming, World of Tanks is running an event called Homefront.

Homefront is one of the few ways to play World of Tanks against AI-controlled bots. In this particular version a team of 5 players defends against multiple waves of bots. The players don't bring their own tanks, but get to choose one of six possible teams of 3 (in a few cases 4) tanks. You select which tanks you want to start with, and when that tank is destroyed you can take another one, until you run out, or you defeated all enemy bots. At the end you get "front" points as well as "division" points for the team you chose. Collect a number of points and your division levels up, giving you better tanks and a few other rewards.

Of course due to my holidays I missed the start of the event. So now I only have level I divisions, while many other people are already at level II or III. And the matchmaker doesn't care, and just puts me into groups with players playing those higher levels. That sucks both for me and for them, as the enemy strength is based on the strength of the strongest player team. So I constantly am the weakest player against enemy bots that are too strong for me, and I'm dragging the team down. I'd rather have a slower matchmaking that puts players of the same level together.

What annoys most people is that you can't play Homefront all that often. You get only 2 fuel per day automatically (and I got them even when not logging on), plus you can earn another 2 fuel per day with easy missions, plus you get some bonus fuel for leveling a division up. Overall you can't get more than 84 fuel, so you can't play Homefront more than 84 times. And you would need to play very, very good to achieve all rewards of the event in those 84 battles. However I would say that if I had started from day one, it would have been possible for me to get all the rewards of one front, east or west, but certainly not both fronts. Being late, even that is probably not possible any more. But it should be possible to get the three divisions of one front to level II, and thus get the camo rewards.

I don't really like that you can spend gold (that is to say real money) to level a division up to level II or even III. If they absolutely wanted to monetize this event, Wargaming should just have sold fuel. The people who spent money of level III divisions early ended up being unhappy, because they were always in games with lesser level team mates, and ended up losing all the time. And because the divisions only exist during this 12-day event, spending money on that team seems a bit of a waste.

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Monday, July 22, 2019
 
DotA Underlords - Auto Battler

I recently discovered that there is a new “genre” of games called Auto Battlers. It started with a mod of DotA 2 called Auto Chess, which is funny because DotA itself started as a mod, so this is technically the mod of a mod. And like with multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games, the same formula evolved in several separate games. The most user-friendly of which is DotA Underlords, available on Steam and mobile platforms. I’m playing the iOS version, but the game is cross-platform, so it doesn’t really matter.

So what is an auto battler / auto chess game? Well, apart from some versions having an 8x8 squares board, it has nothing to do with chess, so auto battler is probably the better term. An auto battler is a game for 8 players in which each player recruits various heroes (often from the MOBA the game is based on), places those heroes on a board, and then watches his heroes battle enemy heroes or monsters. The game is organized in rounds, there are usually around 40 round until there is only one winner left. Between rounds the players can buy heroes from a random selection and rearrange their board. Every player gets gold every round, but you get more gold if you won, have a winning or losing streak, and if you have gold saved you also collect interest. Apart from heroes you can also spend your gold on xp for your player level, which determines how many heroes you can take into battle, or on rerolls, which gives you a new selection of heroes to buy. During battle players do absolutely nothing, there isn’t even chat, and so this is a multiplayer game in which players don’t interact with each other. It’s the least toxic multiplayer game I know. :)

DotA Underlords can be played not only against other players, but also against bots. Which is great for a mobile version of the game, because otherwise it is difficult to interrupt a half-hour game. DotA Underlords even allows you to gain player status xp and levels, which are purely cosmetic, while playing against the highest level of bots without the pause function. For your first games I’d recommend that pause function, because the game is rather complex, and the normal timer assumes you already know what all the heroes do.

Although the different versions of auto battlers have different sets of heroes, the game rules are nearly identical. There are minor variations on drafting heroes, but otherwise each game uses the exact same formulas for earning gold and xp, and the same heroes tier structure. So if you learned how to play one of them, you know how to play them all, you just would need to learn a new set of heroes. I guess most people will just stick to a single auto battler.

If you play without the pause function, which is the only way to gain player status, you have a limited time between rounds to make decisions. But this is in no way a twitchy game, and if that is still too fast for you, the paused version is as much fun. So this is really a strategy game, and well suited for older players with slower reflexes. Furthermore every game starts at zero, there is no “progress” carried over from previous games, so you don’t need to worry that you’ll never catch up to the people that started earlier than you. But the games have a lot of variety due to the chance involved in what heroes are offered to you, and making the best mix of heroes with their synergies determines the winner. So the battles aren’t always the same, and that keeps the game interesting.

I have no idea how the game companies will ultimately make money with these auto battlers. DotA Underlords is still in “pre-season” and not only is free to play, but there isn’t even a shop yet. I assume at some point you will be able to buy cosmetic stuff. So this is safe for you to try out, at least for your money, not your time. :)

Tuesday, July 16, 2019
 
Failed Wisdom Check

You probably know the feeling when a song gets stuck in your head, and the track plays over and over in your mind. I do get something similar with games, where I suddenly can’r stop thinking about a particular game anymore. Unfortunately in this case the game is Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the one where I forgot to pack the game cartridge for my Switch into my holiday baggage. My first solution was to watch more Let’s Play videos on Twitch and YouTube, but that didn’t really scratch the itch. And unlike World of Tanks, where I feel that watching a good player stream his games teaches me things like where to go with a certain tank type on a certain map, I didn’t feel like watching people play Zelda was teaching me anything.

The game of “Real Life” is another open world game, with great graphics but sometimes somewhat grindy gameplay. But I have been fortunate and/or skilled enough in “Real Life” to reach the stage where money isn’t a constant worry anymore. People still disagree whether that is a win condition. In any case it teaches you that in fact the problems in life that you can solve by throwing a bit of money at them are in fact the easier ones. So I decided to solve my Zelda problem with a bit of money, and just bought the game again, this time the downloadable version instead of the physical cartridge. The Switch was playing nice, and kept the download reasonable, probably because the game was already installed from cartridge.

So now I started playing Breath of the Wild again, starting over from the beginning. My plan is to follow the main story only as far as needed to get the main abilities and then to concentrate on exploring, gathering, and crafting. For example I never got all the Korok seeds in my first playthrough. There is obviously a risk that I get bored again of the game in a few days and wasted 70 Euro, but right now I don’t mind.

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