This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m once more upset with Bungie. It’s why Shadowkeep’s Seasonal Content Is Not OK!
Seasonal Content?: So let’s get this out of the way first. I haven’t played Shadowkeep, I didn’t receive a review copy and I have no desire to get back into a game that I love to hate on, unless I get asked to do so. That being said the plan outlined about a month and a half ago by Luke Smith regarding future content with Destiny 2 is completely unacceptable in my eyes. It involves limited time content that will take tens, if not hundreds, of hours of player’s time and throw it all away forever. They gave an example using the Black Armory content, where it’d ramp up over the course of a single season (about 3 months real time) and by the end of it all the main activities introduced in that season would be gone forever, including all the loot and activities. That’s not okay in a game like Destiny. Fortnite and games like it get away with it because it’s a purely PvP game at it’s core. Sure you can ignore the competition parts and go complete certain Battle Pass objectives in a match, but that really isn’t what the game is about.
Destiny on the other hand is all about the power fantasy and getting cool guns. If they remove the ability to get certain guns forever that’s not okay. People who join late, or even people who have unfortunate circumstances in their actual lives that prevent them from playing during that season like say a hurricane flooding your home, are completely and utterly screwed over. It’s a weaponized form of FOMO, or the Fear Of Missing Out, and that’s a completely predatory and unacceptable practice on Bungie’s part. It proves, at least to me, once and for all that Bungie doesn’t really care about their player base and it’s one of the biggest reasons I’ll not be going back to Destiny 2 unless I’m asked to do so with a review copy. If I had lost the ability to gain Vex Mythoclast in Destiny 1 when The Dark Below launched I would’ve been incredibly upset and I know I’m not the only one who would feel that way.
This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m back with a topic I promised I’d cover in my review of Final Fantasy XIV’s latest expansion. It’s all about Shadowbringers’ Lack of Healer!
Lack of Healer?: Yes, Shadowbringers is the second expansion in a row that Final Fantasy XIV has not had a new healer job added to the game. Many people are upset that Dancer wasn’t a healer and were very quick to blame the development team for this. It’s certainly their fault, but not at all for the reasons most people assume.
So why is it their fault?: Well first off there are two archetypes of healer that work in Final Fantasy XIV’s combat system. Adding any more to that would either dilute the given identity of the already available Jobs. This is completely on the developers for getting themselves stuck with those two archetypes as the only viable options. But to be fair the last avaliable archetype isn’t really possible in any MMO if you hope to have balance.
Archetypes?: The two healer archetypes present in Final Fantasy are the Heal over Time and Shield to Prevent Damage types. These are best showcased with White Mage being the Heal over Time type and Scholar being the Shielding type. Astrologian, is both of the two with the addition of RNG cards in the mix. However Astrologian cannot switch between the two types in combat, and lacks the fairy of the Scholar to add consistent healing. In Shadowbringers Astrologian’s utility was changed quite a bit, with every card being a damage increase to two roles, like Tank and Melee Damage Dealer. However if you were when it comes down to the basic archetype it’s nothing either of the other two jobs don’t already do. No other archetype works with the combat system of XIV, everyone already does damage, so the last archetype that hasn’t been used, the damage to perform healing archetype, is completely impossible to pull off with any reasonable balance.
So what?: Well if they were to add any other shield or heal over time jobs they’d be hard pressed to come up with an option that feels different to the current three and is still able to be balanced with every other job currently in the game. It’s just not possible unless they completely redo the combat system, and while that would be something they could theoretically do, they just can’t do it reasonably with the funding they are receiving at the moment. The higher ups at Square Enix won’t really want to fund the massive undertaking that would be needed to completely revamp the combat system, and all that entails, which includes remaking every single fight in the game.
So no more healers?: I’d say most likely not, they might add one more in the future, but honestly with Astrologian already having identity issues it’s just not an option at the moment and I don’t see how they’d pull off adding another.
This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m covering the first in another LitRPG series. It’s Io Online, Book 01 of The Greystone Chronicles, by Dave Willmarth!
Plot Synopsis: In the latter half of the 21st century, Alexander and his guild mates play Io Online for fun and to earn a living. It’s the largest VRMMORPG on the planet, and the source of income that supports families around the globe. Given the chance to test a new experimental immersion system, the friends must give up their high level characters and begin again at level one….
Plot: The plot is pretty great, in fact it’s one of the better LitRPGs out there. I’m looking forward to listening to the sequel quite a bit. While there are plenty of standard plot devices that occur, they are utilized in such a way that it isn’t grating, at least to me.
Characters: Alex is our main character and PoV for most of the story. He’s a great lead character, and while he’s not the best I’ve ever seen I found myself enjoying his story quite a bit. The rest of the cast is also pretty awesome.
Overall: A good LitRPG and one of the better ones out there. Definitely worth a read if you love games or good Fantasy.
For those who like: LitRPGs, Fantasy, Action, Adventure, Awesome Plot, Fantastic Cast of Characters.
This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m covering the third entry in a LitRPG series of a reader of mine. It’s Ghost in the Game by Christopher Keene!
Plot Synopsis: Noah has made a deal with the devil. In return for access to Wona’s inner circle, he must guard their Dream State game. It could be worse. After all, the Dream Engine saved his life, even if it ended so many others’. But his new alliance didn’t come without a cost. It turned many of his friends against him. Luckily, the company has assigned him a new team: Catastrophe. But leading Catastrophe takes a dangerous turn. At the grand opening of a new game zone, a vicious attack puts even the Wona President on edge. As Noah digs deeper, he discovers hacking beyond anything he’s ever imagined.
Plot: The plot is okay, but was also a little predictable. At least it was to me, and that’s probably I’ve because I’ve read so much. I won’t go into the plot too much, but it was a good entry in a LitRPG series that is fairly decent. It’s not the best, sorry Christopher, but it’s definitely not the worst. The biggest problem I have with the story is something that I’ve had since the beginning of this series, and that’s the use of drugs to game properly. I’m not a fan of implying that gaming is so addictive that it kills the user, which is the underlying tone that happens with this story consistently.
Characters: Putting aside the fact that all the characters are essentially drug addicts, the cast is okay. It’s not the best cast of characters, but I’ve experienced much worse characters. Noah at the start of the series was a decent guy, but it’s quickly become very obvious that he’s slowly growing into what he despised at the start of the story, a druggie. I don’t like the implications of this, not at all.
Overall: A decent entry, but I’m getting more than a bit tired of having the drug usage included in this story. Sensing a theme? I hope so.
This week for Translation Necessary Thursday I’m covering the fourth set of chapters in Crockta’s quest for answers to questions. It’s Praise the Orc Chapters 121-160 by Lee Jungmin!
Plot Synopsis: Having learned the truth behind Elder Lord, Ian has resolved to find his own path as the Orc Crockta in truth. However he still has a war to win against the Northern Orc chieftain Calmaheart…
Plot: This set of chapters is where the plot gets quite interesting, with the revelation about Elder Lord having just occurred and Crockta having to fight in the Northern war. I won’t go any further into that to avoid spoilers, but I will say that if you’ve stuck with the story though this point you are over halfway done with the story.
Characters: We get introduced to quite a few new faces, but also some old ones. Still my favorite is Tiyo.
Overall: A really solid set of chapters, Praise the Orc is hurtling to the finish line!