Weekly Hype Train! Week of 2/11/2020

Another week, and it is time once again for the Hype Train!

Ape Out: This was a surprisingly fun little game. I saw a WoW designer (Hamlet formerly of Elitist Jerks!) discussing it months ago on Twitter and really liked the visual style hook. On top of that, it is a genuinely fun little game – each set of levels is a record with a procedural jazz soundtrack that includes instrumental stings when you kill enemies. The gameplay is simple – run through level, shove enemies into walls and objects to kill them, avoid getting shot, bombed, or missile launched, make it to the end of the level, and sometimes you can pick or pull things to make use of the environment, and that is it. It is wickedly fun, viscerally satisfying, and as a jazz fan, extremely enjoyable to me for the soundtrack as well!

N’Zoth the Corruptor: Another fairly clean week inside of Ny’alotha normal, and a bit over an hour of attempts on N’Zoth the Corruptor. Probably the only actually-hard fight in the normal raid, it involves managing a lot of fairly precise mechanics and meeting some tough DPS checks, which can be rough for a group that is sometimes dragging 1-3 DPS over the finish line. Still, as with many challenges my guild faces, I think the biggest problem is execution and later attempts last week got better about managing the various quirks of the fight, so I am somewhat optimistic we can do it this week and start to shift to Heroic!

Unlocking Mechagnomes: Another 2-3 days of Mechagon gameplay and I’ll cross the finish line on this goal! I’m saving remaining Allied Race leveling for 9.0 at this point (I do not have the fortitude to go 20-120 on more characters at this point) but I want to have the unlock done so I could earnestly shift to doing Vulpera unlocking on my Horde alt.

FFXIV – Blue Mage Leveling: My last job sub-30, I’ve enjoyed running around and hitting things with Water Cannon. I need to get back to farming spells, but for right now, I’ve enjoyed the leisurely strolls through old zones and it is fun easymode gameplay for listening to podcasts or keeping up with news on my other monitor as I roll through the levels.

Building A Template Game in Ren’Py: Something I am working on doing to make the process of building a real game easier, my goal for the next month is to play with Ren’Py enough to make a basic visual novel with text, some clip art and test transitions, and play with some interactive choices that we’ve planned into our actual game project!

Digging In to Everquest II: I’ve put a few hours into the game so far for my 2020 project, and it has been a decidedly mixed few hours for me, but I always hate the leveling process in most MMOs, even the ones I like. I’m debating the merits of trying a character boost to see what more current content would look like and see how group play and the like all pan out.

Trip Planning: Between convincing my fiancee that the Chris Jericho Rock N Wrestling Rager at Sea would be fun next January, I’m also trying to see about going to NYC in August for a New Japan Pro Wrestling show at Madison Square Garden and San Diego in November for the first leg of the 2020-2021 FFXIV Fan Fests. If everything pans out, all of that and Blizzcon should be a go, but that is a big if!

And with that, hey, made it two weeks in a row! See you next week!

4 thoughts on “Weekly Hype Train! Week of 2/11/2020

  1. I’m doing a very slow playthrough of Everquest 2 myself and I would honestly suggest using the level boost and getting to max level if you’re not enjoying the leveling. EQ2 never really had the Cataclysm style revamp that WoW had and it’s questing reflects that in the older content. If you bought the newest expansion you should have a 110 character boost waiting for you. The good news is that leveling the last 10 levels is apparently super quick, and you can always adjust your level downward if any of the older content appeals to you.

    I’m jealous you get to see NJPW at the Garden. Me and the wife tried to see a show when we visited Japan about two years back but were unable to pull it off.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the heads-up! I’ve been a true free player of EQII so far, but I’m not altogether put off to avoid buying a boost or Blood of Luclin to see what it is really like. I definitely get the vibe that the early stuff is old school – it feels very much like my early attempts at getting into WoW in 2004, which I bounced off of for 6 months before finally finding my groove.

      Definitely hoping to see the Wrestle Dynasty show – I haven’t seen ticket details yet so we just did some early prep like checking for flights and booking a cancellable hotel. It would be my third NJPW show though – I got to see the G1 Special in San Francisco in 2018 and when I was in Tokyo last October we went to a show at Korakuen Hall – only pulled it off because I figured out how to place an online order for tickets using Google Translate via Lawson E-ticket website and then got the QR code to scan in-store (we had to do the same for the FFXIV Eorzea Cafe, so we had some early practice with the system!). If you get another chance to go, the shows are a lot of fun and well worth the hard bleachers that are most of the seats there. The G1 special was obviously great, but the show at Korakuen was great because it was just a conveyor belt of really good matches!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I would be absolutely amazed if you find your groove in EQII. After fifteen years it is beyond byzantine now. I still don’t really understand how some fairly significant parts of the game work and I’ve been playing it for the entire time. I would say it would take months of playing it as a main MMO to hit the point where it really started to make sense.

    As for grouping, there is a huge step at max level from well-geared solo player to basic entry point for lowest group content. I don’t think any of my characters would qualify. It’s something people complain about quite a lot although since I’ve never tried to push into group content in what I’d call the “modern era” of the game (the last five to seven years) I can’t verify that from personal experience. Sometimes these things are overstated.

    Starting from scratch in any MMORPG I’ve tried that’s launched in the last decade is much easier, I think, than trying to bootstrap yourself up in most of the earlier generations. It’s very much worth it if you can get there but I don’t see many who do. MOst seem to bounce off the early levels, which is where the content is oldest, or off the level-cap content after using a boost, which is where it is least accessible.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The more I play it, the more I come to that same conclusion. I have an intellectual curiosity to see it through for a little bit more than anything, although I did have one session where I sort of found a groove and had a decent time.

      The interface definitely feels older than I expected though, and I guess playing the WoW-killer MMO era and beyond didn’t prepare me for how much of a QoL improvement the basic interface changes Blizzard made would be. I feel like I need to see a newer zone or two and some group content for the sake of it, but I’ll admit, my studious curiosity about it is starting to wear a bit!


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