Anna, of all people, asked me if I was going to write a weekly post about what I’ve been playing. I didn’t think she cared, this being mostly about games and all. She says it’s nice reading about what I do at this computer every evening.
It’s mostly been Guild Wars. I spent the week working through the new Winds of Change content.
(For those who don’t follow Guild Wars, ArenaNet has been creating content called Guild Wars Beyond, which along with three novels, bridges the 250-year gap between GW and the upcoming Guild Wars 2.1 War in Kryta wrapped up the story for the first GW campaign, Prophesies, while Winds of Change continues the story of Factions. How cool is it that after 6 years, ArenaNet is still releasing new (and really fun and challenging) content for this game?)
I’ve heard very mixed reviews of WoC. One flavor of review says it’s tedious and repetitive, and I might agree if it weren’t for the fact we’re fighting the afflicted. You see (and I think I’m in the minority when I say this), I love Factions and I love Kaineng City. The vastness of its labyrinth of walls really amazes me. And for such a large population to be crammed into this crowded and filthy place… it makes the afflicted quite appropriate monsters to fight here. They’ve always been one of my favorite groups to fight; they’re creepy, dangerous, and there’s always lots of them. They’ve always offered a versatile challenge, both for new Factions characters with limited skills and for fully decked-out characters.
As for WoC itself (part 1 at least). It was tons of fun. I played through on my ritualist, using a Soul Twisting build or variations of Signet of Spirits (Restoration, Spirit Leech Aura, or spirit spamming) (I hate using SoS builds, you have little control and you do nothing; leave it to the heroes). Some of the battles were an absolute mess. I played on hard mode and the afflicted, now with meta builds, hit pretty hard. Still, they were no match for my meta builds.
Now that part 1 is done, the afflicted are cleansed from the city (they don’t appear anymore in the explorable areas) and the Ministry of Purity isn’t looking so pure anymore (surprise surprise). I’m actually kind of moved by the thought that the afflicted are gone. No doubt something more sinister will take their place. My reward for all this? Now my ritualist has two fans. Not all that useful, but quite pretty.
Also been playing The Longest Journey, which has been on my list since reading about how it’s the namesake for the awesome Border House blog. I’m partway through Chapter 2. I like April’s voice. She sounds like Swoopy. I enjoy point-and-click adventure games like this, but sadly I tend to play them as fallbacks when I get bored with other games.
I read John Ajvide Lindqvist’s (author of Let the Right One In) Handling the Undead. You’d expect it to be a zombie version of LtROI, and it mostly is. In this one, the dead come back to life and are for the most part benign, but their loved ones have to figure out what to do with them, much like the French film Les Revenants. It’s set in modern-day Stockholm, so like in LtROI, the social and economic landscape of Sweden makes up a large part of the setting. And also like in LtROI, it’s the people who are the real monsters. It’s much tamer than LtROI, and much less gruesome. It’s still very dark and disturbing though. (I told myself not to spend this whole time comparing it to LtROI. Shit.)
And I watched the 5th and 6th Harry Potter movies. After being really upset with how bad the 4th movie was, I swore off any further HP movies. But the internet is once again full of all things Rowling, and I was constantly reminded of how awesome Snape is, and with Anna’s encouragement, I was tempted to watch the later films in hope that they portrayed him right. They were good. Gonna watch 7.1 and then see 7.2 with some friends. (Actually I was very impressed with the films. Unlike the earlier ones, stuff actually happens within the scenes—the characters act like people—rather than each movie being more like a checklist. The climax of 6 lacked all the the nuance of the book, but that’s okay.)
- See what I did there? “250-year gap between GW and GW2.” Har har. [↩]