Tobold's Blog
Monday, July 07, 2014
What I'm playing

With over a hundred unplayed Steam games in my library, one might think that I would be playing those to reduce the backlog. But as I considered that notion, I realized that all week long I hadn't played a single game on Steam. What I actually played was:

  • Wildstar: While MMORPGs are a niche market, the people who do play MMORPGs tend to spend a lot of hours in these games. That seriously reduces the time they spend on other PC games. I am not playing Wildstar excessively, my "main" is only level 21. But I did spend several hours to switch my alt from relic hunter / technologist to armorsmith / technologist, crafting armor for my warrior main. It just isn't worth doing a gathering skill on an alt who is level 15 and doesn't go into the zone where he could actually gather interesting relics. Omniplasm is cheap on the AH.
  • World of Tanks Blitz (iOS): The good news is that made a very good port of World of Tanks for the iPad. It is reduced in size to 7 vs. 7, with only 3 nations, and no artillery. But otherwise it plays very much like World of Tanks on the PC. The bad news is that if you have both a PC and an iPad, there isn't really a good reason to play on the iPad. The controls with a virtual joystick with no haptic feedback simply is too awkward on the iPad, even if it isn't quite as bad as in the ports of other, faster shooter games.
  • Battleheart Legacy (iOS): Syp called it the mobile game of the year, and I agree. I played the original Battleheart and found it not so great, as controlling 4 characters on the touch screen was hectic and annoying. Battleheart Legacy reduces that to just one character, with more powers, and that works brilliantly. The skill system is excellent, so while I haven't finished the game with my first character yet, I already started with an alt to see how it plays with a very different build. If you are looking for a good single-player RPG on the iPad which you can play even without internet connection, I can only recommend this game.
  • Pixel People (iOS): This is one of those games some core gamers will hate, because progress is so slow. I basically finished the game now, having found all 380 out of 380 professions. But that took me months, playing a few minutes every day, usually twice per day.
So, lots of iPad games last week, which is related to the fact that I was traveling for some days. But even at home I was playing Wildstar and Battleheart Legacy rather than playing a Steam game. I find that there is a certain barrier to entry before I start a new Steam game, because it takes some time to download and install the game, and then learn how to play a new game. Coming back tired from work I frequently prefer a game I already know to a new game, just because it requires less energy.

I'm NOT playing Wildstar anymore myself. Probably the most boring MMO I've played in years. I went back to ESO and find to be much more enjoyable, even with the bugs.

I've also been staring at my Steam library, wondering when I will ever play all those great games...

Oh, and Tobold, why isn't Eve in your list? :D
I noticed all the IOS.

I am bemused whenever I see the #PCMASTERRACE meme going off against consoles. The real threat to PC gaming is not consoles, it is mobile.

People equate WoW with the company. I think CoD, Destiny, Skylanders, HotS (since MOBAs are much bigger than MMOs these days) and Hearthstone are more long-term strategic for ATVI than WoW. Hearthstone is arguable but looking long enough out, the profitability if not revenue of quick F2P on mobile sure seems preferable to a declining monetization in a declining genre on a declining platform.
I am bemused whenever I see the #PCMASTERRACE meme going off against consoles. The real threat to PC gaming is not consoles, it is mobile.

Having recently obtained an iPad, I thought the same but I'm now not so sure. The mobile market will certainly net a lot of money, but it's not in competition with PC gaming. Mobile gaming is excellent for the quick games which you can stop at any time, you're on the train/bus clicking stuff and at any time you can close the game and go back to it later.
As soon as you move to more "serious" games (multiplayer or simply requiring more concentration), then the limitations of the mobile platform stand out. I removed Hearthstone from my iPad immediately, since there's really no reason to play it on the iPad. When I play I need to focus on the game, and I cannot just close and stop it anytime, so being in front of the PC is not a limitation and a 24" screen and a real mouse are way better than the iPad.

Tobold: You should grab Dream Quest for iOS. Quite possibly my favourite game of the year even with the graphics the way they are. Pockettactics has a few good write ups on it.
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