The Prestigious Endgame Viable Awards 2016

It occurred to me that the end of the year is approaching, and it’s time to do one of those year-end posts that bloggers love to do. Unfortunately I kind of hate doing them. It’s a lot of work. You have to actually look things up and think and count and multiply and divide and things like that. That goes against my normal principal of blogging by “just typing words into a text editor.”

Here are the 2015 awards. This year I’m going to award Biggest Disappointment of the Year, MMORPG of the Year, MMORPG Expansion of the Year, Game of the Year. In another post I’ll also be revealing my Most-Played MMORPG, and Most-Played Game.

2016 Contenders

As I defined it last year, my selections are based on the best game that I bought and played in 2016 which was also released in 2016. I also consider Early Access releases, to punish developers for releasing their game too early. You can have money, or you can have an award, but not both. :) Anyway since I only buy a handful of new games every year, the pool from which I can pick is often very small. Based on my extensive research of Steam emails, these are the 2016 released games that I’ve bought and played:

Battlefield 1
Black Desert Online
Blade and Soul
Civilization VI
DarkMaus
Dark Souls III + Ashes of Ariandel
Devil Daggers*
DOOM
Far Cry Primal
Riders of Icarus

* I can’t find out if there was an Early Access version available before 2016. Steam does an admirable job of “hiding” that games were released in Early Access before they were actually released.

Note: I could conceivably add The Division, but I only played an hour of open beta, so I’m discounting it. Same for Overwatch. Neither would have won anything anyway.

And these are the MMORPG expansions I’ve played this year:

Rift, Starfall Prophecy
World of Warcraft, Legion

These are some games I bought and played in 2016 but were disqualified from contention:

Bastion (Released Aug 16, 2011)
Black Mesa (Early Access Release May 5, 2015)
Immune (Early Access Release March 25, 2015)
Miasmata (Released Nov 28, 2012)
NEO Scavenger (Early Access Release Dec 15, 2014)
Novus Inceptio (Early Access Release Oct 5, 2015)
Salt (Early Access Release Aug 22, 2014)
SOMA (Released Sep 22, 2015)

On to the awards!

Game of the Year: Dark Souls III

I mean, come on. Not even a contest. Other games on the above list are play-once-and-forget-about-it games (yes, even Civ 6, in which I have not even completed a full game, and kind of wish I’d waited for a sale), whereas I could replay Dark Souls III an infinite number of times and not get tired of it. I’ve played it through at least six times already.

MMORPG of the Year: Black Desert Online

Riders of Icarus barely rates a mention. It was between Blade and Soul and Black Desert, and to me the easy winner is Black Desert Online. I had a lot more fun with BDO. I’m not sure I even made it out of the tutorial area with Blade and Soul.

MMORPG Expansion of the Year: Legion

This was a tough one because I played both Legion and Starfall Prophecy for roughly the same amount of time: Less than a month. Both expansions are basically more of the same in their respective MMORPGs. It’s a toss-up, but I gave the edge to Legion. Legion had less bugs and an impressive array of cut scenes, while Rift had more friction with some frustratingly difficult gameplay.

Biggest Disappointment Of The Year: Far Cry Primal

I was really hoping that Far Cry Primal would have more survival elements. I was hoping it would be the first AAA survival game that wasn’t just a rushed-out-the-door indie train wreck. But it wasn’t a survival game. It was a Far Cry game, set in prehistoric times. It was fun, and they have a good formula, but it was essentially “more of the same.” (I have the same expectations for Conan Exiles now: That it will be the first AAA survival game.)

Battlefield 1 and (not) Civilization 6

Fridays are the worst days of the week for me, in terms of being bored. Usually half of the workforce is gone on Fridays, so it’s abnormally quiet and I have to spend eight solid hours trying to entertain myself in library-like silence. Using only my phone, mind you, because god forbid we have access to anything “fun” or “entertaining” on our work computers. The most interesting thing I can manage on my work computer is reading Wikipedia articles. My personal favorite is the On This Day page.

And no, I refuse to think about doing work on a Friday. Come on. That’s just crazy talk.

Anyway, one other thing I can do on the work computer is write, so here I am.

bf1

I ordered Battlefield 1 a while back and pre-loaded it a couple days ago. I noticed right before I left the house this morning that it has unlocked, so I’ll be playing that tonight and this weekend. (Right after I publish this post, most likely.) I’m planning to record the single-player campaign and put it up on YouTube because why the hell not.

I learned from my Doom recordings that it’s a terrible idea to record a blind playthrough on the hardest difficulty, so I think I’ll stick to the normal difficulty this time. It turns out that repetition, such as that which occurs when you die over and over again in the same area, is boring to watch. Also kind of frustrating to play. Not to mention the challenge of thinking of something uniquely entertaining to say after the 20th time you’ve died to the same mobs. The only good option is to edit the video into an amusing death montage, but I’m usually too lazy to do that.

Anyway, as I mentioned on Twitter, my only real interest in the game is to criticize the historical inaccuracies in their depiction of World War I, the war I know the most about. If I see a French Renault tank driven by a British soldier, you better believe I’m going to have something to say about that!

Since I’ll be playing Battlefield 1, I won’t be playing what it sounds like everyone else in my circle of the Internet will be playing: Civilization 6. (Or is it VI?)

civvi
It’s VI.

I’m sure I’m in the minority here but I didn’t like Civ 4 or 5. I wanted to like them, because I loved Civ 2, but I don’t think I ever made it into the AD years. It just felt soooooo sloooooow in those initial stages when you explore with your Warriors and Scouts and Settlers. (And that exploration didn’t feel very satisfying.) It felt like it took hours and hours and hours (ie. days and days, for me) of drudgery to get to the fun parts of the game that I remembered enjoying the most. For whatever reason, I just don’t have the patience for it anymore. Still, I’ll probably get Civ 6 eventually. In a sale, probably.

But first, Battlefield 1!