Monday, July 31, 2017


Posting has been almost non-existent over the last couple of months. I'm not 100% sure why. I've been playing several games, I've have several ideas for posts. But I can't seem to bring myself to write anything. Oh well, maybe next month will go better.

I'm currently playing WoW, Diablo, and FFXIV. On deck are Pyre and Foxhole.

World of Warcraft

Just chugging along in Tomb of Sargeras. We're on Heroic Mistress Sassz'ine, and are having lots of trouble with her. We've beaten her once, but the fight just isn't clicking for us. I think we aren't doing Hydra Shot well, so when it's Hydra Shot + other mechanic, we fall to pieces and lose people. I really should look up some videos.

Diablo 3

I made a Necromancer for Season 11, who is currently level 68. For most of levelling I went with a Bone Armor + Death Nova build which waded into melee. For the last few levels, I've been trying a more caster-style build with Skeletal Mages + Blood Siphon.

Final Fantasy XIV

I got the expansion and finished the main story quest. It was quite good, and hopefully I will make a full post about it soon. I've grown disenchanted with tanking in FFXIV, though. I really don't like mass pulls, but if I don't do mass pulls, the DPS pulls for me and the run becomes a mess. So I've decided to level up a Red Mage, which is quite fun. Of course, as DPS, there are queues, so I'm leveling Miner alongside it.


Pyre is the latest from Supergiant Games, who made Bastion and Transistor. I pretty much bought it sight unseen, on the strength of the previous two games. I have no real idea of what it is actually about.


Foxhole is an interesting game. It's in Early Access, but is fairly polished. It's kind of like a WWII Real-Time Strategy game, only you control a single soldier.

As well, there's a full economic chain to do anything. For example, scrap has to be mined, taken to refinery and converted into building materials, then taken to a factory to make bullets, and then the bullets have to be taken to the front line. When a soldier dies, they respawn with nothing, so everyone is reliant on logistics to get anywhere. You can build buildings and vehicles including tanks.

Games are quite long (multiple days), but it isn't totally persistent as there is an eventual winner. Then a new game starts.

In some ways it reminds of Eve Online, only there are defined teams. There also is no money involved, so the logistics chain is a bit different.

I haven't played very much, but I strongly recommend trying Foxhole if you're looking for something new and different.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Chromie's Companion Tank Mechanic

In the new Chromie scenario, you have the option to make your companion Chromie a tank or a healer. The tank mechanic is particularly neat, and should be stolen by every game which uses a companion.

As a tank, Chromie loses 2% of her health every second, until she hits 50% health. But when her health is above 50%, she gains a significant scaling damage bonus. At 100% health, she dishes out crazy damage.

As a healer, this mechanic is quite fun.  Normally in games with companions, you spend most of your time acting as a poor man's dps, occasionally throwing a heal on your companion. And it generally has to be this way. If normal mobs hit the companion hard enough to require significant healing, dps characters would not be able to cope.

But with Chromie, a healer can spend most of her time healing, and this is optimal gameplay for her, as the loss of the player's dps is more than made up for by the boosted companion dps.

If you're dps, you get a tank, but one which starts with half health, pushing you to kill things faster. Though I imagine dps players would still prefer to use a healing companion or another dps companion.

I think this mechanic would be an excellent match for a game like The Old Republic in particular, where companions are an essential part of solo gameplay.