After 6 weeks of vacation, I’m back at work. That 6 weeks was required, pretty much out of gas on the project I’d been working on for 4 years. While July was more or less a write off, August was a lot of fun. It’s a dichotomy really, given that I really like games and I also really like the outdoors and it’s nigh impossible to do both adequately. And being a Canadian, we only have a few weeks of summer a year, so the latter passion won out.
The family spent most of the month out of the house. Either at zoos, museums, parks or cottages. My eldest really caught on to fishing this year and caught a nice walleye on her first “solo cast”. That was quite an accomplishment and given the results, I’m sure she’s going to be bitten on that for a long time. My youngest found an interesting passion in collecting rocks everywhere we went. In the middle of a conversation she’d just stop, see a rock and pick it up. Impressive. My wife is enamoured with camping fires, so we had quite a few of those. And I got my time out on the boat.
This last long weekend was the men’s family fishing tourney, so 15 of us trekked for about 6 hours to a lodge and had a blast. It was way too hot and the fish wouldn’t bite but it was still a good cap to the summer.
The odd times I was at home, I was able to get a few gaming sessions in. FF14, Diablo 3 and some Assassin’s Creed 4 were on deck.
FF14 saw me hit level 60 and in a short amount of time had enough gear at max level to call it complete. I do not have the time for organized raids, or at least a block of time that I can dedicate to it. So max level dungeons and gear runs is enough. I managed to level up my Dark Knight to about 40 though, and that was neat enough. You lose appreciation for tanking in a game with a 2.5s GCD pretty quickly until you play that role. I haven’t logged on in a month mind you and with Wildstar going F2P in a few weeks…I’m thinking of swapping back. We’ll see.
Assassin’s Creed 4 was solely installed for the pirate ship combat. I rushed through the rest of the game, made it to about ¾ of the quests done and then moved out to conquer the seas. This playthrough was rather easy compared to my previous one. I remember getting destroyed quite easily by some naval forts in the past but this run was like butter. Maybe I just took them on too early in the past. AC4 has a pretty crappy story but it does have some decent mechanics and the OCD in my liked the collection of all things. I still despise the “follow target” or the “eavesdrop target” missions. In a game where you can take on an entire army in melee combat, failing because you took a wrong turn seems asinine. Deus Ex does this part much better.
Let’s pretend for a second you haven’t ever played Diablo 3. Now is a good time to start. I have harped at length against the original launch of the game, even got a refund in the first few days because of the constant disconnects. The RMAH (and AH) were incredibly poorly thought out and had an even worse implementation. Blizzard was smart enough to fire the game director Jay Wilson, and bring in some quality members to wright that ship. There were a lot of changes in store but the real turning point was the Reaper of Souls (RoS) really turned it up to 11. AH was gone, complete rebalance of all classes and stats, smart loot (wizards would get next to no strength drops), a new class, seasons (ladders), bounties and rifts for added gameplay.
Patch 2.3 launched a couple weeks back and season 4 started last week. There are massive quality of life improvements to the game and they’ve now added another form of gambling with the old D2 cube. My monk is level 70 and missing 2 final pieces for her complete set. Even without those pieces, I can manage some T6 content. My brother is running a barbarian and when we end up in a duo, it’s just explosions everywhere.
I like the pick up and play style of game. Without the realm of trials (massive quality of life improvement getting rid of that) the process of rifting is much smoother. I can also drop out of a game without any real concerns.
Now to see if I can convert my exercise bike to hold a keyboard/mouse. Getting some exercise after a month of beer would be a good thing.