This is a new thing I hope to do often going forward!
November 2019 was an interesting month for me personally, and one that marked a lot of fun milestones.
Blizzcon 2019, My Tenth: I went to my tenth Blizzcon to start the month off, which was a great experience despite some concerns about the impact of various protests and my own jetlag from returning to the country. It had a variety of new things I got to play with, including…
World of Warcraft: Shadowlands: The announcement I was most looking forward to, I was happy to see this at Blizzcon 2019, even as the game is apparently in a very early shape with a lot of endgame design still very much TBD. The discussion around the expansion is pretty promising, and barring any major shifts, I think Blizzard is on-track for 9.0 to be a successful expansion!
Diablo IV: The most obvious announcement after Blizzcon 2018, Diablo IV was a pretty solid game to run through, and I played the demo at Blizzcon twice (once as Druid, once as Barbarian). It looks really good, and the core gameplay on offer is satisfying. The open world changes and some of the discussed loot changes are possibly concerning, but I am optimistic. My one note – I was a big fan of the Diablo III demos at Blizzcons past too, because the core gameplay loop of Diablo is an easy one to mimic in a demo, but harder to master in a long-term sense. Interesting to see how it goes!
Final Fantasy XIV Patch 5.1: This patch launched while I was in Tokyo (literally the date I went to the Eorzea Cafe!) and so I didn’t get hands on it until returning home in early November. The Grand Cosmos is a solid dungeon, the Copied Factory is a solid, slightly harder than average Alliance Raid, and Ishgard Restoration coupled with the profession changes is a godsend. A great patch overall, and one that I am very happy with.
Live WoW: Not much here, just some farming of transmogs. Haven’t completed the anniversary events yet, mainly just because I haven’t logged in and felt a need to jump in and queue up. I am planning to use December to level my remaining classes from 110 to 120.
Doki Doki Literature Club: Had this one for two years, finally played it, finished it, dug into the theories and conspiracies around the game, loved it. Wrote about it too! It is a fantastic example of games as storytelling and the unique strengths they bring to the table.
Catherine Classic: I had Catherine on the PS3, but my ex-fiancee took it in the breakup, so I never really got hands on it. When the PC version was finally released this year, I saw it on sale on Steam and grabbed it, and spent around 12 hours last weekend playing through one story path in the game. I almost wrote a full post, but it is worth saying that there’s not quite as much to that as I would like to write about. I can summarize my feelings thusly – the game is a trashy delight, with two distinct gameplay tracks – a social simulator and a puzzle game – and the two rarely intersect and are often designed as gatekeepers to the trashy delights. It makes these all feel like they fit well enough together, and overall, I really enjoyed it!
Epistory – Typing Chronicles: Started this game literally today, but it is awesome! It has an incredible aesthetic (the whole game looks like papercraft) and the gameplay is very interesting – it uses typing as the core gameplay mechanic, coupled with some odd control choices. Movement using the default controls is clunky and takes a lot of conditioning to get used to, but it makes the core typing gameplay much easier. The game is fun, but I can only play it for about an hour at a sitting before my forearms light on fire and threaten to separate from my body in painful rage. So I’ve played it for about two hours so far, with a several hour break and a lot of stretching in-between!
Blogging: November 2019 was a good month for the site, with 17 posts and over 100 views per post – a higher than average read rate for the site. Blizzcon topics were the majority of views, but my most viewed post was about talent choices and player agency and how that should allow for “wrong” play. For the year, I’m sitting at 13,315 – 304% of the views I had for 2018, 519% more than 2017 (my first year), and 192% more than both of those years combined. Currently for 2019, my most read post this year remains my Shadowbringers post-MSQ breakdown, which was linked on MassivelyOP and had/still gets a lot of direct referrals via that linkage.
December is here, and with it, the end of 2019 and the end of the decade!