First Half 2016 Gaming List
Another day, and I'm running out of ideas so another list! This one will be short and somewhat comical, in that I haven't had a ton of variety in my gaming habits this year. I might have to bring in some items from late last year and cheat a little, as well as talk about new releases due in the second half.
World of Warcraft
What? Yes. I still play! And yes most people pay a monthly fee to play, but about a year ago they setup a mechanism so that people could pay Blizzard real money for gold, and then Blizzard lets other players buy a month of free time with gold. It's “market driven” but suspiciously stable at times to make one wonder a little. Regardless, I haven't paid the subscription fee with cash since last summer, which is nice. I have enough in game gold to hold me over for awhile, too.
As for the game itself, lets face it they screwed the pooch and delayed far too long between the last content patch for the current expansion and the upcoming new one (due at the end of the summer). As such, anyone who's primarily focused on doing things at a competitive level most likely quit a year ago. I'm not one of those people; I play often, but casually (which can be hard to explain to non-mmo gamers). I have one of each class max'd out to 100, including my first alliance toon to do so (the entire process was surreal, I assure you). I'm slowly working through various achievements, transmog gear work, pet battles, etc. Basically the busy work that I usually put off until the end of every expansion. Typically once a week my small guild still gets together to do a night of pvp (and sometimes old dungeons or raids for kicks). Which reminds me, I need to log on and stop talking with you people. My friends are drinking and violent (but only for alliance blood, I swear) and waiting on me as I write this.
Anyway, needless to say I'm looking forward to the next expansion, even if they're renaming my main toon's spec that he's had for almost the life of the game. Bastards.
Similar to WOW, Civ5 is a game I've played for years (and can go all the way back to Civ2). For a little while early in the year I played a lot and actually started defeating the game at the harder difficulties (Kind a few times and I think once or twice above that). After laying off for a bit, I struggled to win a recent Prince game so I've been properly humbled. Later this year Civ6 will be out with a new engine, and I'm really hoping they streamline simple things like more easily reloading the last game you played (and not have to jump through 6 menus, reload plugins, etc.). Anyway, nowadays I generally start new games with everything set to random and just give it a whirl. Sometimes I'm just not into the game and quit a few turns in, other times I get the old “just one more turn” feeling and can't pull away.
I picked up a cheesy little arcade soccer game called Kopanito All-Stars Soccer which is silly and fun, but I've only played a little so far. Similarly, I picked up Age of Mythology: Extended Edition (it might have been part of a Age of Empires sale; I have a few of them now) and played a little. The original AoM was the first RTS (real time strategy) that I liked, although I was never particularly good at it, even just against the AI. It's nice to see old school games working with updated graphics, UI, etc. At the end of last year I picked up a racing game called Distance; not bad, although a little mind bendy at times. I think I need a simple arcade racer.
I bought Transistor (a scifi rpg) last summer, but still need to try it out. It's from the same folks who made Bastion, which I liked (especially the art style).
And of course the Steam summer sale is going on, so if you have any recommendations (in particular those under $10!), lemme know.
I totally forgot; for the past couple weeks I've been playing http://factoryidle.com/ which is a simply web-based idle game (aka tinker with it periodically, not something you play for hours non-stop). Fun bits of problem solving and OCDness.
And of course I'd be remiss if I didn't mention my Sudoku variant, https://www.wetzdoku.com/. I have a windows app in the works, but for now still just the web app (mobile friendly).