Both readers of this blog may recognize that I occasionally drift away from writing about EVE Online and venture into other games and genres. Never for long, no other game so far had the staying power with me but yes, I did write about World of Warcraft, Fallout 4, Planetside 2 and of course my anticipated disaster playing No Man’s Sky. Likely quite a few others but those are the ones that I remember a little more. Common to all these games is my lack of attachment, an “aloof” attitude, an unwillingness for me to get serious about the game, nothing compares to you, EVE Online in depth and complexity. Case study Fallout 4. I picked it up over the Thanksgiving Holidays and played it a ton. The captivating storyline, the excellent (in my opinion) combat, crafting and interaction system and the detailed post-apocalyptic, believable world drew me in. Its an awesome game. Last time I played? January 23rd according to Steam. Its not that I don’t like the game, I just “got it”, i.e. I understood how it works and where it will go eventually. Sure, there are mods (which I downloaded), new questions, more villages to free etc but overall, I have all the content that I wanted – (discounted) money well spent. In the future, I will likely go back and replay it in Survival Mode for the additional challenges but currently I see no need to continue.
Similarly with Skyrim. Every time I log in, I love the game, the atmosphere, the scenery. Skyrim as a game is just straight gorgeous, the quests are interesting and some are challenging. It feels like I am reading a long, deep fantasy book, something I have not done since Lord of the Rings when I was 15 or so. But I lack the tenacity to really read all about the Companions and other factions. Just to know that the lore is there if I wanted to research it is awesome but also quite overwhelming. Every time I find a lore book in the game and I read only the first sentence, I feel guilty. As if I owed the developers to read the book. I am level 38 ish in Skyrim and have many hours still to go.
Enter Elder Scrolls Online. I bought it on a whim 2 (?) years ago when it went from recurrent monthly charge to a single payment. I can get behind that model and bought it full price if I recall correctly. I bought it because I had fond memories of WoW and wanted to recreate those memories in an updated game. For a short while it worked, I even joined a guild (they were super nice on TS until I mentioned that I am an EVE Online player. Dead silence. Apparently, we have a reputation) but of course I couldn’t handle two MMORPGs at the same time and I quit soon after. However, I recently logged in again and found the game and the graphics much improved (maybe my new graphics card has something to do with this). The game looks good, the quests are interesting and deep, I have the feeling that there is a story behind every hill and the leveling is slow enough to enjoy the ride. ESO is basically what WoW should be and I am having fun in small doses – never more than 30 minutes. The crucial difference to my last attempt is that I play it literally as a solo game. I don’t group, PvP, trade or craft with others, don’t care about guilds or dungeons, leveling or being social. If I log off in the middle of a quest, so be it, no ties, no commitments.
Lastly, I had bough the indy game “Space Engineers” years ago for something like $19. Basically, its “Minecraft” in space from a small software team who – predictably – develop content much faster than help files, resulting in an interesting game that is literally choked by its own features. From reading the internet, I “knew” what amazing things you can do in this game but I had spent hours trying to connect a reactor to an engine. I really wanted to love this game, build spaceships, crash them, show them off, shoot stuff and other people but the famous learning cliff was way too steep for me. I wrote the game off until yesterday when something prompted me to log back in and give it a
second, third, twenty fifth try. And man, has the game changed since I last logged in. There are planets! There is actually a tutorial! I did the tutorial, a true mission where I have to drive, shoot and repair stuff. When the tutorial ended, I was dumped at the old log in screen, asked to fend for myself in the old system. Does this sound familiar to EVE players? Anyway, Space Engineers is back on my list.
Well, this concludes my current list of on/off games, likely taking a week break since I will be traveling, no games on the road..