There’s something about action RPGs that really floats my boat. Sure, the loot piñatas are fun but I think it has more to do with the pace of gameplay. While I certainly enjoy the more tranquil RPGs, say Pillars of Eternity or even Fallout 4 as examples, it’s the swish-swish-swish that really seems to keep me going. Well, that combined and the slower portions of character development. That difficulty treadmill is quite a lot of fun.
There are 4 that I’m tracking right now – Diablo 3, Marvel Heroes, Path of Exile and Devilian. I think I’ve spoken at length about the first 3. D3 and PoE have certainly seen the most hours from me. Both are good games but the long-tail portion is in seasons/ladders. Season 5 is starting on Jan 15 for D3, though the features listed don’t seem particularly interesting to me just yet. I don’t understand the appeal of restarting an old character at level 1 in a new season… it’s the same as deleting them and starting a new one with the same name. PoE is at the start of a talisman season, which is a neat feature. I’m certainly enjoying that portion and looking forward to the latter parts (random maps). While the passive tree is certainly intimidating, it’s the skill gem linking that’s the most interesting. Being able to have 4-5 effects work together is great. The gambling on gear sockets is less fun though. One of the best parts is that the art on the gear in my bag is the same when I equip it. I know it sounds stupid but it really reduces the guessing about what something will look like in a set.
Marvel Heroes has a new hero every month or thereabouts. I’ve maxed my crafters and 5 characters, so there really isn’t much incentive to get back in it for me. The “raid” structure doesn’t appeal to me. I’ve put a ton of hours into it mind you, as it really is a good game. The sheer variety of characters, loot, alternate advancements and the absolute best alt support is great. Just doesn’t have a hook for me today.
Devilian, I think I’ve soured on it already. I’m stuck with the same skills for another 30 levels (I think that’s about 4-5 hours) and generally the same look on the character. I’m going to fight humans, dogs, ogres, skeletons and mages. I’m going to run down a single corridor, then get to a big boss. Then I’m going to gamble on cards. I’ve played this to death on my tablet.
I’ve been keeping an eye on Grim Dawn for a while now. To be honest, I mostly forgot about it until I read a recent article. Made by some folks who developed Titan Quest (which was very good), it’s in Early Access right now with the final polish in the next couple months. They need to round out the final act and then implement the end-game. It’s more in-line with Torchlight 2 (I put a whack of hours here) in terms of design, with an off-line mode available as well. It’s far enough now I think for me to pick up on Steam. Well either that, or I put some coins into PoE.
I don’t exactly see myself bristling with free time, but there are certainly spots where I can scratch that itch.