3 months into the year…

and my gaming trends have taken a turn.  I started off the new year playing a lot of LOTRO PvMP even though the server I was on had a noted downturn in activity.  I began the process of transfering most of my characters to new servers and that brought up some Turbine criticisms which I posted about here.  While the PvMP has been of better quality and quantity on Landroval and Brandywine and I was planning on posting something on Reaver builds,  the prevalent problems with the game itself, both pve and pvp, has been sucking the joy out of the game for me.  This isn’t anything new, the game has been losing players now for some time.  The last expansion just flopped imo and more people are leaving for greener pastures. I’m at the point where I need to stop playing for a while so that when I do come back, I have a fresher feeling about the game.

Just then, Diablo was patched and Blizzard made the game fun again!  In just a short time I had reached lvl 60 on my Barbarian and now stand at paragon level 34.  Did I say it’s fun! I’m seeing less junk and a lot more useful drops and I’ve gotten several pieces of legendary gear.  My Barb has gotten much stronger in only a short amount of time. Now, it’s still a simple hack and slash dungeon game so my advice is short play sessions with friends so the fun doesn’t get stale.  Speaking of Blizzard, I’m still playing WOW.  My Warrior has gotten up to ~lvl 87 and is questing his way through Panda land.

ESO: Now that the NDA has been lifted we are getting tons of information about this game  and while managing my expectations, I’m still excited about what I see.  I am on the PTS but I haven’t done extensive play throughs.  I’m playing a few hours a week on different characters in the level 1-10 range, getting a feel of how the game works: crafting, pve, leveling, etc. There’s already been some changes made by Zenimax that proves this is a beta for them and just not a trial.

Nope to LOTRO Update 11 and Where have you been Diablo 3

So Update 11 hit LOTRO this past week when Turbine also attempted to lotro update 11 picupdate its aging launcher, all of which promptly broke on impact.   When people were able to get in, a quest in the new region ended up getting broken and that halted your progression.   All that put together plus convulted go around fixes to the launcher just gave me zero incentive to even attempt to get in game this week. For a glimpse of this just search #lotro this week.

What I did to fill the void?  Diablo 3 came roaring back at me.  I picked up

Screenshot004this title a not too long after it came out last year and played all the way through Acts 1-4 on my Barbarian on normal difficulty and then forgot about it.  Diablo 3 has a lot of good things going for it.  It’s your classic dungeon crawl.  The story telling is there but it doesn’t force you to stop playing or bog you down.  If I want more story then I can go talk to the NPCs…I’m not forced into it.  I’m enjoying the class skills, visually its great, gameplay is entirely satisfying.  What I didn’t quite “get” back at launch was how much the game changes when you progress in difficulty.  Monsters not only have more health but they use more effective skills and I’m seeing this as I progress through on nightmare mode (the next step up after normal).  Not simply satisfied with running my Barbarian through nightmare, I tried to do Hardcore on a witch doctor but stopped after three deaths.

Screenshot002Hardcore is where you lose your character after a death…something alien to 99% of todays mmo’s.  Now, hardcore does reward you with better loot for the risk and that’s great.  Anyway, the first time I died was when I lost my connection and upon logging back in the game found out I was dead, the second time I got greedy and rushed a fight, got overwhelmed and yeah….the third time, I was with a group and got separated, Bam! dead.  Those characters were only around level 9-11 so not much was lost but ohhhh, did I learn my lesson!  You know, I can’t remember the last time a game has forced me to deal with a character death that way.  I don’t mind it at all, its refreshing and gets me to enjoy nice and slow character progression with some risk.

GW2 got some time in there as well.  Am I getting the daily done everyday, no and that’s ok.  But, when I do log in, it’s usually the first thing I do.  I was able to hang around long enough to help my guild out on a Bounty Mission and here’s the proof!   kom_zpsb7d7dc0b-1_zps6fb8f922