Flieger, grüß' mir die Sonne, grüß' mir die Sterne und grüß' mir den Mond. Dein Leben, das ist ein Schweben, durch die Ferne, die keiner bewohnt! - Hans Albers, F.P.1 antwortet nicht (Adaptation in the 80s: Extrabreit)

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Holiday is already over?

Well, I already wrote about the two games which are currently holding my attention. Frontier´s Elite: Dangerous, and Bioware´s Dragon Age: Inquisition. Since my last entry here on 15 December, I have completely turned, and succumbed to, the latter. After about 200 hours in this game, I cannot help but feel a little bit addicted to it. But there are other players out there who have clocked double this amount of time, so I guess I am still ok. Terribly geeky, but ok. Happy New Year, by the way!

I had a blast in Dragon Age: Inquisition´s single player campaign, my main character being a female Elf which makes the story especially spiced with a romance affair with the most enigmatic character in your team of heroes, the Elven mage Solas. But it is especially the multiplayer part of Dragon Age: Inquisition which sucked me in. It could be seen as a counter part to what Elite: Dangerous is; it is a high fantasy setting, just three dungeons, twelve classes, a team of four versus the computer, but it guarantees fast-paced tactical fun. As if you played World of Warcraft only via the group finder. The biggest challenge and fun in these kind of multiplayer runs is to make a team of random four people from the internet actually work together to overcome some (sooner or later) very predictable limited computer scripted opponents. I have an absolute passion for this kind of tactical teamwork and the different roles you can take in such a team! The virtue is that the team roles offer a lot of variety in gameplay and you can switch character class and roles whenever you feel like.

How much fun Dragon Age: Inquisition´s multiplayer was for me can be easily seen when considering that some horrible bugs caused you to loose progress from about 50% of your game time. As such, they were and are comparable to the worst which has been thrown at us during the Elite beta stages, e.g. the time when my sessions were constantly getting disconnected. And Dragon Age: Inquisition is a fully released game! In principle, an outrage, but similar to Elite: Dangerous compensated by the high amount of fun of the game concept per se. Thankfully, Bioware announced today a new patch and at least the the horrible no-key-bug, which would prevent us from actually finishing a run and getting the according rewards, should soon be a thing of the past.

On the other end of the spectrum is Elite: Dangerous, which is a sci-fi setting, taking it slow, emphasizing simulation aspects, the amazingly well transported feeling of immersion, making you breathe in the vastness of space. In the beginning I had thought that Elite: Dangerous would also satisfy the desire for fast-paced multiplayer, e.g. instant hyperjump into a conflict zone in a wing of four players, a host of different ship set-ups (classes) to choose from, matched against some tactically challenging computer enemies. Alas, there is a reason why most of the fanbase had a good laugh at Elite´s launch trailer, as this kind of gameplay is actually not there. Yet! Frontier already has announced that the next major update will bring a vastly increased multiplayer experience. Let´s see where they are headed to.

So, while I am happy to have Elite: Dangerous on my hard drive, I am content to wait until it has evolved beyond the bare bone release canditate. The potential is tremendous, and I hope that Frontier is going to have the financial breath to fully realize it over time. I want so much to land on a planet. And then, maybe also player housing, a permanent on many player´s whishlist for MMOs, on a totally new and incredible scope, i.e. anywhere in the galaxy. And, of course, the perfect partner for this game, the Oculus Rift, is hopefully going to be for sale this summer. Ah, happy times, and I think my year is already filled up with computer games! Add to this a hopefully much improved multiplayer environment, and this year is probably going to feel like back in the old day-and-night filled days with World of Warcraft, where no other game was required for the rest of the year (I think a lot of game producers became bankrupt in the wake of WoW those days).

A little surprised I am that my blog overview still shows consistent average hits even though I did not update this site for two monthes ... moment... it feels like two monthes, but it is just one month. Well, my Christmas holiday time was very nice, a kind of feeling of being intense as well as peaceful, and this not only because I had more time for computer games.

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