Progression Report – March

March was definitely a low point in my 2015 MMORPG activity, but don’t panic. This is normal for me. There’s usually one or more months during the year when I end up watching television instead. Still, I accomplished a few things.

In Rift, I continued to log in every few days to collect Minion rewards and send them out again. My bank and inventory is bursting with useless junk.

In Final Fantasy XIV, I forgot to mention that I joined the cool blogger Free Company on Cactuar. Unfortunately every time I log into FFXIV I stand around feeling like I don’t have any goals to accomplish. I do have goals, but none of them are interesting to me right now, which is a shame because it’s awesome to see so many other people *cough* finally *cough* getting on the FFXIV bandwagon.

In a surprise move toward the end of March, I created a Romulan faction character in Star Trek Online and ran around for less than an hour. I could see myself playing some STO in April because it feels “new” to me right now, but historically the game has never clicked with me.

In Neverwinter, I finally put the time in to level my Great Weapon Fighter from level 59 to 60. That took about 2 hours.

In Guild Wars 2, I played about 3 hours and finished up the Echoes of the Past story. And the most amazing thing happened: I found a staff!!

GW2-Monsoon-Staff

This is literally the first staff upgrade I’ve seen since I hit level 80 like two years ago. Unfortunately it’s a stupid useless healing staff, and I normally use an axe anyway, but just knowing that it’s possible to still find gear upgrades out in the world is encouraging. But as a super casual 3-hour-a-month player, I guess I will have to wait another two years to find another one.

SWTOR held another double-XP weekend from March 27-30, which salvaged a month otherwise completely devoid of logging in. I spent 4 hours questing in Balmorra over the weekend, leveling my Jedi Guardian from 32 to 35. (Still, I cancelled my subscription which ends on April 11.)

Now for something completely different. I’ve seen a lot of people talking about how great Marvel Heroes is, so I went ahead and downloaded it. I’m not a superhero person but it’s kind of a fun game in a super-casual kind of way. I played a whopping 12 hours and after trying a bunch of heroes, went with Colossus and leveled him up to 19.

Rawr.
Colossus practicing his skiing stance.

I played nearly 13 hours of Trove in my quest to get a character up to level 20 so I can get a free Budgie mount in Rift. My Fae Trickster is now up to level 13. I typically play just long enough to fill up that bar in the top-right corner, then log out.

Topping the list for March, I spent almost 17 hours playing Path of Exile, another ARPG which arguably doesn’t even belong here. I played most of the different archetypes but I’m sticking with the Templar as my main, who has reached the god-like level of, coincidentally, 17.

I didn’t play any TSW or The Repopulation in March.

In the single-player game department, I played mainly Banished and Civ 5 with a smattering of Dragon Age II and Legend of Grimrock thrown in.

In April I’m planning to work on a story for Camp NaNoWriMo, so my gaming time might be further limited. But I hope to continue leveling my Fae Trickster in Trove, play some more STO, and hopefully get back into FFXIV. Maybe I’ll work on my Black Mage class.

P.S. I don’t know if I can keep up this pace of monthly progression reports, I might switch to quarterly. :)

Low-Energy Gaming

Real life’s been kicking me in the teeth lately–I’m adjusting to a new work role/schedule and of course there was the annoying end of Daylight Savings. So my MMO gaming (and writing, and overall mental attitude, and almost everything else) has suffered.

Oddly enough I’ve landed on Path of Exile as a mental tonic, a game which I had previously rejected as uninteresting all the way back in its nearly-perpetual beta. Now I see that it has one very compelling feature: You can play it one-handed.

That probably sounds weird, but if a game can be played with just the mouse, it’s perfect for my super low-energy playing moods. In Path of Exile, I can run around bashing things with a club and only occasionally reach for the keyboard to drink a potion. Meanwhile I can sip my coffee or munch on whatever junk food happens to be nearby, further enhancing my stupor.

PoE is a great game for what it is, although I find the loot kind of annoying. It seems that roughly 95% of it is trash and not even worth picking up, particularly since your inventory space is very limited. So far I haven’t felt any need to buy anything from the cash shop, so it’s a pretty good free-to-play model from what I can tell.

So much loot to avoid clicking on.
So much loot to avoid clicking on.

As for more traditional MMOs (sort of), the most complicated one I’ve managed lately is Trove. I figured out how to disable the recently-added “Rally” feature so that random strangers will stop appearing next to me out in the wild when I want to be left alone. (Hold down your Use button on the Rally statue at the beginning and it toggles the feature on and off. Super intuitive, right? Not.)