Welcome to the Comparative Opinions podcast! This week hosts Holly and David reminisced about their time playing World of Warcraft, and go through a list of the various considerations which go into playing another MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online Game). And by another, we mean getting back into WoW. Are you still playing? Let us know!
Having gotten past that, I’m enjoying the game far more. I’ve only really hit on one moment where my past games have even mattered – which is both good and bad. I can leave that alone for now.
So I have created two characters, so I’ll tell you some of my experiences of creating both a melee and a ranged character. I’ll also look at the party and classes, the things to do, and close out with some technical considerations. I’m only a handful of hours into the game, so if you’re looking for a fuller review of the game, I liked this one from IGN. They do a good job talking about the game without spoilers. I doubt I have many spoilers either, I’m too early on!
So a number of Steam Machines were showcased at CES recently, and I’m feeling a bit like it’s not what I was expecting, but quite a bit like what I should have been expecting. It’s far more open source, it seems, open to development. Many companies are making Steam Boxes – their similarity is they will all be running the Steam OS and be available as gaming machines that can play your Steam Games.
I’ve talked about my interested in the Steam Machines before, and I was definitely thinking of it more as a replacement and upgrade for our gaming consoles – you know, sitting in the living room, attached to a TV, using a controller, and playing your games. And I would expect and hope I could put a game in (well, buy it online) and just play it, not running into problems of compatibility, graphics cards, etc. I was also hoping for a price point that would be similar to the other new consoles, the X-Box One and PS4.
However, what this really seems like is a gaming rig, basically a PC, just one running the Steam OS, and which is designed for gaming and the use of a controller. In my mind, it makes me think of an AlienWare computer – which happens to of course be a company making Steam Boxes. Compatibility might not be an issue, but that’s more because these look like super souped-up PCs is all. So let’s look at a review of these boxes, and then join me in thinking about the Steam Box with a poll!
I’ve also talked about the fundamental question, do I buy a PC just to game with? Holly and I talk about how we have an Apple ecology in our home, and our main Microsoft product is our X-Box 360. A good one to have, to be sure, and with enough content for the moment to carry us out at least another year – and add to that the games we’re waiting to buy when the price drops, and a few remaining releases for the system like Lego Marvel Super Heroes and Lightning Returns, and what do we need a new console for anytime soon? Or the games we could play instead on a PC?
A couple weeks back, I talked about my gaming past in terms of strategy – my love of building decks, armies, and characters leading to my choice of games. There’s one game that especially gave me a world where I not only got to create my character, I got to pause the game to strategize and control what happens, and got to make choices that influenced the game that I ended up playing.
I had played games earlier that similarly had party-based control, even ones where I could pause, choose my party, most of the elements. I guess especially Baldur’s Gate 1. However, Baldur’s Gate 2 added a couple of excellent things that really pulled me in. Way more classes, for one thing. Excellent cutscenes for the moments out of our control. And what is still probably my favorite video game villain of all time (see him in a video here).
So there are a chain of related games I have played since, trying to live up to this great game. Nostalgia time: here’s some of my gaming past!