As usual, it’s been a while since I posted. Mainly I wanted to call out the Solasta multiplayer patch and the pseudo-E3 events happening this week.
Crypto has crashed massively, but since I got in a bit earlier than most, I’m doing fine. I’ve bought a bit more BTC, ETH, and ALGO, but I am prepared to see a lower low at this point.
I was surprised that the launch of crypto.com and Super Bowl ads marked the top in crypto. I honestly thought those events would raise the low water mark (baseline price support) much higher.
Evidently there were big players ready to sell the news. Russian players may be a factor in liquidation. Companies are also having to sell more and more assets to pay their employees with assets that are worth less. In any case, on with the games.
Solasta: Crown of the Magister
My brother and I have really been enjoying the Solasta multiplayer, which dropped a few weeks ago along with the Lost Valley content update, which also brings a new campaign. The multiplayer is smooth, and discussing tactics with your partner is fun.
We haven’t encountered many bugs, except for a multiplying Tome of Wisdom, which gave my cleric godlike wisdom. The gameplay is great. I agree with the consensus that the plot, characters, and dialogue writing are unfortunately not so great, although there are exceptions.
You can talk your way past plot points instead of having big battles, which is a nice feature. This involves antagonist NPC’s that are reasonable, and not pure evil who attack on sight. This is good writing. This also means you don’t get the magic tome of infinite wisdom though. So.
On the other hand, why are we risking our lives repeatedly and traveling all over the darned kingdom to find a half dozen gems to stick in this random unknown crown? ‘Why not! Go for it!’ agrees the council of supposedly important but forgettable people who I don’t care about.
Solasta seems destined to not stand among the best mainly because of writing shortfalls (imho), unless they continue to improve and release these mega-updates. Maybe we could also recommend a Solasta 2.
The highlight of this spring’s gaming was Lost Ark. The game came out of nowhere for me, and I enjoyed playing up until level 50ish.
At that point, the weight of the over-complicated mobile and cash shop drains and currencies stacked up to become an annoying, unenjoyable environment to play in. I was happy as a Mokoko when I finally got into my ship. Except wait – what’s this?
The health of my ship is constantly draining off while I sail around. Really. The personal stronghold was also really big in this game, and it’s my least favorite form of gameplay. My bags also filled up with so much currency junk that the mess actually caused me to log out and not come back. I got tired of cleaning up my bags.
I could go on a while about the pros and cons of Lost Ark. Suffice it to say that, while early on I recommended Lost Ark to friends, now I wouldn’t.
I pulled the wool over my own eyes looking at the bewildering array of currencies and tokens in this game.
Really, Blizzard? After years of playing Hearthstone, the final straw was the Battle Pass and revamped rewards update in fall of 2020. Diablo Immortal features a multiple tier battle pass, plus a premium subscription service like an MMO.
(To be clear, this is a phone game, but they put it on PC also by popular request.)
Cosmetic and emote rewards are character-locked, which is a typical Blizzard move to make you spend more. And “One-time cash offers will unlock as you progress through the game.” Sounds like an annoying story experience.
There are plenty of positives. It’s a great, fun, multiplayer coop game for PC. They didn’t have to put it on PC in the first place, and originally had no plans to do so.
All classes have both genders. There are no male-only locks. Blizzard is a leader in gender equality and we shouldn’t just take this for granted, even in 2022. Also, there appears to be no premium pay-to-unlock classes up front like in some games. Classes are supposedly well-balanced and equally fun.
For a full ghoulish 40-minute discussion of this dopamine vendor shopping mall, you can watch Bellular’s review, “Blizzard’s New Game Will Completely DESTROY Their Reputation” on Youtube. Or his excellent new video on predatory F2P psychology.
“800% Extra Value.” It’s just absurd. It’s not a real treasure chest overflowing with gold in the image above, but it might be comedy gold. This game is unplayable.
Ironically, a lot of people will eat up these forgettable, disposable cash shop pixels, then go on social media and attack crypto for being a scam, a scheme, nothing but empty air. Hilarious.
I cluelessly googled E3 last week, forgetting about the whole Covid thing, and it’s cancelled, again. But again, the game companies we love are stepping up to have an unofficial promotional period. Uh, I believe that does not include Blizzard or EA.
Microsoft & Bethesda are showing up.
Apparently we’re hoping to see some solid gameplay videos of Starfield. I’m also interested in Redfall. I have to say, after visiting the Redfall website, Bethesda seems to be making an unusually good effort to create well-written, interesting characters out of their four main playable characters. That’s a good sign.
Capping off everything, PC Gamer will have another big showcase stream this year. It will be on Sunday, June 12 at 10am Pacific. It will include less well-known reveals and developer chats, etc. For a full list of events, check out the PC Gamer writeup.
I’m still interested in seeing Saint’s Row and Vampire Bloodlines 2 release soon. That’s it for now, good luck and have fun!