playing with fire

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In the past week, I've spent most of my time playing SWTOR and LOTRO with a sprinkling of GW2 mixed in.

In SWTOR, surprisingly I've spent a lot of time in the level 50 warzones with my Sentinel and Smuggler. Progress wise, they are in the valor rank 60-70 range and about 80% WH geared. I'm just popping in-game long enough to complete my pvp daily which usually doesn't take longer than 1 hr. I've kept my sessions as short as possible and it has been fun but it's hard not to get frustrated with the stun wars aspect of PVP. I should say that stuns are not the problem, it's being stun locked repeatably that is the problem. SWTOR has a "resolve bar" which fills when you are stunned and when full, you are immune to further forms of CC for a short period. However, it takes little time to kill an opponent that is stunned so what happens is you are killed before the stun wears off or before you can enjoy any stun immunity. I can't mentally make the long term investment in this game as long as that is the standard pvp experience. Now, of my two 50's, I've struggled to be "effective" with my smuggler the most. This class is much more gear dependent than my sentinel so I really must pick and choose where I commit myself to fight IF I want to be successful. On my sentinel, I can just leap and sweap and I'm usually making a difference.

In LOTRO, I dinged 85 and started rebuilding Hytbold. This is the grindy endgame section where you complete up to 5 daily quests to rebuild Hytbold. These dailies increases a specific faction reputation and opens up additional dailies…all to get some shiny armour pieces for your character. My first impressions were less than kind but I've since made my peace and I'm ok with this design in LOTRO. The max number of quests you can turn in is 5 and this works out perfectly for my average gaming session, though I can see now some folks might feel like they are being held back. I think it takes 44 days if you maximize your sessions. Now about mounted combat, at first I was not a fan. I found it clunky and awkward. After trying it out, yeah, I went back to regular questing until I felt ready to give it some more time. I did the tutorial about 3x and repeated some warband fights. Next thing I know I'm starting to have some fun. In fact, I only just discovered at lvl 85 that my war horse had trait lines that I could distribute points. These trait lines opened up new abilities and improved my steeds performance…now I'm feel much more in-control and powerful on my war steed.

In GW2, I just did some auction house stuff and tried some fractals. I'm at fractal level 1…having never completed, much less attempted a fractal. So, I was determined to give it a shot and I found a group. Naturally, we failed epically and called it quits after 1 hour. I found another group but I couldn't get out of the overflow so that didn't work either. The issue is that it's hard finding a group for a level 1 fractal…a lot of the community have done some and more, and so it's not worth their time to join a group that is below their fractal level when they can progress with a same level group. Arenanet is working on this issue for the next patch/update so I'll probably just wait till then.

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