It’s a late post, but here are the February daily draws. Continue reading “Daily Drawing: February 2018”
Hi again. I missed a month’s update. Oops. Well, here’s my update for the last 2 months then. 🙂
June and July, the summer months that see a lot of street festivals, food festivals, and all sorts of activity in the Bay Area. I’m still recuperating from long-term illness (at least I think I’m healing. Sometimes it’s hard to tell), so didn’t partake in the outdoor adventures of my area. Really, I was looking for something relaxing that I could share with people I love as the ideal summer experience. So, after booking an extended trip home to my family, I also started hunting for local adventures we could have in the area.
A new month come and gone!
You know those moments when it seems like your body is just going “f*** you!” and tries to pile all these problems on at the same time? Yeah…. >.> Previous illness is getting under control, but now new issues arise and my body is definitely trying to war with me. Thank you…. -_-”
But as highlights of the month, GDC week was in March. I didn’t go (I’m not in games anymore), but I did catch up with some old classmates and alumni from the ETC. It was nice seeing them again, strangely nostalgic and bittersweet (as it reminded me of the joys and trials of working at EA). I got a fast forward update of the gaming industry trends of the year and #1 at GDC… was virtual reality. Honestly? I’m not too excited about this. I’ve tried Oculus and Google Cardboard equivalents from other developers and while it’s fun and very immersive to see an environment react to the rotation of my head, the motion sickness it induces really reduces gameplay to just a few minutes. So while my fantasy would definitely be to immerse in a 1st person MMO and take on dragons from the perspective of my character’s avatar, that disconnect between what I’m seeing and what my body is really doing is too jarring to endure for any long-term session. A friend of mine who works in VR explained it to me once before (something to do with inner-ear fluid motion). If these new VR models can somehow mitigate that issue, then we definitely have a game hardware revolution on our hands. But… until then, I’ll just keep watching from the sidelines…
… And play more Guild Wars 2! 😀
My friends, sadly, are not inclined to join me in my in-game roaming (they’re all committed to other titles), so I’ve started reaching out to other online gamers, namely joining a public guild (it is a game called ” guild wars”). My first encounters were a little… creepy (apparently being female in real life is a novelty worth noting and oggling in the online gaming world… which is weird to me since most of my MMO-playing friends are female), but for the most part, GW2 players are very friendly. I ended up joining a role-playing group, RPcd. I’ve never really done role play before. The closest I’ve gotten is in my game design class back in grad school where we had to design one, and a guy in my group ran us through a mini D&D dungeon, but this wasn’t quite the same since the characters were given to us and no one was really playing out their roles. This group is very light on the “role-play” part, though some do play in-character. They are an action-based guild that likes to welcome new players and help guide others across the maps of Tyria, and they are flexible about having people jump in and leave as real-life calls, so it’s a good group to just find friendly faces to play with. Honestly you have to run & fight so much that it’s hard to really stop and type out a line… so to me so far, it’s just mindless roaming and killing of things with an occasional emote about the environment or pretending to drink water from a canteen. Some of them really do get in to the role-playing aspects, and I feel a little awkward witnessing it (intimate conversations that are emoted get seen by everyone), but for me, it’s really no different than getting immersed in a RPG’s story and then saying the lines you think your character would REALLY say in that situation. I mean, when u finally beat that dragon, don’t you want to cheer with the other players?
I have not gotten that deep in to the role-playing part yet. Maybe I will in the future since I do like creative writing (and maybe not with this group, b/c I don’t think it would be very easy for me with the given pace). This is kind of like the campfires back in writing.com days, I think. 🙂
Finally, here is an image of my new level 80 Human Thief, Sonieeee wearing some variation of a medium armor outfit (or what I could remember of it). Probably somewhere in Sparkfly Fen. The blue thing next to her is called a Quaggan, which I recently got as a stuffed animal from a friend who went to GDC and knew I was a GW2 fan. 🙂
February seems to have flown by fast! It makes sense (somewhat) because of the missing days, but that really did seem to disappear as soon as it arrived.
I’m still sick, but, I think, slowly improving… I was able to do more this month than the last. I’ll call that a step in the right direction. 🙂
This month’s social activities probably had more to do with game playing than anything else.
I went to a board game meetup in Palo Alto and finally got to try out 7 Wonders… a board/card game where you compete with your neighboring players to build structures and monuments for your ancient civilization by taking and passing around resources and cards. Surprisingly fast and simple, once you start playing. Probably the more advanced players will strategize the type of cards they hand off to the neighboring player, but since we were all noobs, it was a randomization, in a way. I liked the variability. The initial cards you take and the selected civilization you play for can change the strategy you take on for point collection.
Another day, a friend had a game night at his place where I introduced a bunch of friends to Pandemic. Pandemic is a collaborative board game where you take on the role of CDC members and fight against the rapid spread of a disease. It is extremely difficult and even on easy mode, is not easy to beat. After borrowing the board game from a friend months ago, I finally was able to crack it open and get some people to sit down and play. It can be a slow game due to the potential amount of collaborative thinking required, so finding time and willing participants is always a challenge. We lost at the very end, though I think we had a good battle going while the game lasted.
I also got to try a new card game called Machi Koro while at work (a coworker of mine, also an avid board game player, brought it in for some Friday afternoon gaming). Machi Koro is a town-building game that mixes deck-building with dice-rolling. You buy cards with earned coins and roll dice to activate the purchased cards. It’s a nice blend of strategy and chance, planning out the best set of cards for bonus coin and attacks, hoping and praying for a rolled 8 (or 9 or 10) so you can collect the big money and clear the game. There are more types of cards in the box than you put on the table during a game, so each game can play differently depending on the layout.
Onwards to digital gaming! A coworker got me to take the plunge and buy a copy of Final Fantasy 14. It’s not my first time playing it, though this IS my first time creating a character on my own account. Initial reaction is still not positive. It’s very slow and full of Japanese game design choices, like excessive un-skippable dialog, silent staring, a crowded UI filled with text, and the purposely-added up-panty camera angles. The panties have lace trims, btw.
Coming from a year’s worth of Guild Wars 2 playing, FF14 just isn’t quite cutting it for me. The battle system is slow and there’s no sense of direction or purpose. I just don’t feel like I have the freedom of movement as I do in GW2. Nor the sense of an expansive open world as I did in GW2. The map is confusing and moving around in it is not as streamlined. Thus far, it just feels like I exist as a random character in this world. There’s no motivation (and I’m rather blocked by my low level anyways) to seek out some excitement. GW2, at least, made it very easy to feel drawn in with their many world events that chained with each other. The voice acting too, is very impressive.
That said, I know a lot of people like FF14 and I have more friends who play FF14 than GW2 (no one wants to return and join meeeee 🙁 ). I still have ~20 days on my subscription, so I’ll keep trying it until that expires, then likely back to GW2. FF14 just feels too much like a grindy chore.