2014 in Review

Cause there’s only 1 day left, right?

Blog

Well, this year was the busiest year on the blog by a fairly large factor.  Writing more apparently helps!  I do have plans to keep that up in the new year after the holidays.  Similar to Wilhelm, WordPress’ updates are boggling to me.  The site worked fine at the start of the year and all these new interfaces have caused more problems than not. I guess it’s good for the layman but are there really that many new bloggers today?  Odd…

I’ve made some changes over the year to the blogroll, much cleaner now.  Once day I’ll get an RSS feed to work for it.  It’s been a good year for bloggers overall I should think, with a fair amount of cross-chat.  Gamergate helped that a bit, and the NotAllMen trip as well.  I mean, there’s nothing better than stupidity to get people writing after all.

I also added some new pages to the top of the site on theorycrafting, for those interested.  It’s the two fields of gaming I rather enjoy and I wanted to keep the interesting points up for those who are also curious.

Personal

Kids are bigger, so much bigger.  It’s a ton of fun to watch them grow as people and make their own way.  At 2 and 4, there’s an innocence that’s hard to find elsewhere and it’s refreshing.  Honestly, it’s the best part of my day.

Work is nearing a major milestone after too many delays.  The stress load from work is more than I am comfortable with.  Too few people to make decisions and it falls on 2-3 people, one of whom is me.  That said, it’s been great for career progression but hell on my psyche.  It’s not sustainable and I realize that.  See previous paragraph as to coping mechanism.  Crossroad of sorts.

Games

An interesting year for games…

Transistor – A rather amazing game in a small package.  You should do yourself the pleasure of playing.  Amazing soundtrack.   I’m putting this up there with Ico/Shadow of the Colossus as game art.

Elder Scrolls Online – Launched with no end game, lost a ton of people.  I can’t remember the last news package from the game which is both bad and good I guess.  I do know they got rid of their end game design for something sane.  One of the few MMOs that actively punished you for being social.  Had (really) good art and quests.  Just a multiplayer Elder Scrolls really and that’s not worth much more than box price to me.

Wildstar – had an endgame that no one wanted to play.  Seriously, there were 20(!) guilds running the 40 man raids at peak.  Do the math.  There have been updates and news about it, not all positive but at least something.  They are actively pushing lore, which isn’t what people play, so that’s odd.  I do expect it to go B2P as the components are there for it to work, similar to guild wars.  If they can figure out what they want people to do at max level that doesn’t have the word raid in it, then there’s some chance.  Combat mechanics were great, response time was fluid and art was cool.  The pieces themselves are great, it’s just the combined packages that was ugh.

WoW / WoD – Still subbed after 2 months but I think that’s at the tail end.  The most dumbed down version of the game yet, which would do well to attract people but nothing to retain them.  Hit 10+ million subs at launch, would be surprised if they retain 8 by the next quarter.  The zone quests are better than MoP…ugh…I’m trying to think of more positives here.  Garrisons can get you raid equipped?  I dunno… there’s just no reason to be social anymore.  See ESO… Also, waiting 14 months for content is a pretty big middle finger to their playerbase.  Math to me says they have 4-5 million people willing to play if there was something to do, so that’s what, $50 million they left on the table due to shitty release schedules?

SWTOR / SoR – A better expansion than the Makeb one, with a good retool of the skills and questing experience.  The dungeons and raids are good, there’s side quests and the art is still solid if you like the IP.  Strongholds are good housing and fit the F2P model well.  Conquests are a solid thing to do for guilds.  Was an overall good year after the crap of GSF that should die a slow death in a fire.  If BW can continue to release content like this, then it’s a good thing.  That said, they need to fix the rewards structure a bit.

FF14 – I decided not to subscribe here because I know the time investment and return is too high for me.  It’s the best bang for your buck mind you, with new zones, classes, dungeons, raids and plenty more on a frequent basis.  Where WoW has nothing for 14 months there were 5 (or 6?) content patches for FF14.

Dragon Age Inquisition You know, I like the game mechanics but after about 10 hours there’s too much MMO crap and not enough fighting.  I don’t want to collect herbs.  I want to fight bad guys.  There’s too much busy work and I feel like I’m orchestrating rather than actually doing.  When fights occur, they are against little peons half the time and not much fun.  The lack of healing removes most strategy as it’s just nuke as hard as you can or get an OP class to run it all.  It’s a decent enough game but I still prefer the original.

Shadow of Mordor – My pick for game of the year.  Two parts really shine.  First is the controls which pair the Batman and Assassin’s Creed series for fluid combat and parkour. Seriously, AC plays like garbage compared to this.  There’s no parry/attack here, it’s infinite moving combos.   Tons of fun.  Second, the nemesis system.  Consider this an innovation that should (will) be used for future games across the board.  Makes for tons of replay ability and personal investment.  The enemies you fight are unique to your game, which makes for so much more fun when you finally nail that one orc who’s been pestering you for hours and just won’t die.

Android Tablet – I’ve been looking for a solid game or two.  Room 2, 10000000, 1849, Darkness Reborn, Devious Dungeon, Hearthstone, Shadowrun Returns, Wayward Souls, SNES 9x are all actively used, whether Free of at cost.  Simpsons is still there too as a way to play a game without spending a cent.  Feedly and Chrome likely take up half of my time though….solid investment.  Oh, and a UE Boom is an amazeballs bluetooth speaker if you’re looking for one.

Overall

It’s been a good year.  Hoping that the same applies to all my readers.  Fingers crossed that 2015 is also a good run.

3 thoughts on “2014 in Review

  1. Pingback: Looking Back at 2014 – Highs and Lows | The Ancient Gaming Noob

  2. Did you have a look at Wasteland 2 yet? I’ve heard great things about it. Having played the first Wasteland many many many years ago, I’m curious about this one.

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    • I bought it and played for about an hour before other shiny things took my attention. It more or less drops you in the middle of things without much of any handholding. I wasn’t in the mindset for much thought at the time (what with bronchitis and drugs). Plan on getting back at it in the new year.

      From what I did get out of it, it’s a mix between Icewind Dale and Fallout. Fair amount of numbers and tactics, group based missions, skill based challenges and not enough skill points to go around.

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