Last weekend I tried Fortnite Battle Royale for a second time and I haven’t played much else this week. It was a brand new gaming experience for me and that pretty much trumps everything else when I’m in the doldrums of “every game I own is boring” that dominates roughly 50% of any given year. And hey, it’s free!
Admittedly, I had more fun spectating and making videos than I did actually playing the game. Also, I kind of stopped playing already, since, being an adult, I (and my sore finger joints) can’t commit to the mandatory 500 minimum hours of practice time required to keep up. And once the thrill of discovery is over, there is not much fun in playing battle royale without the mindset of playing to win.
For the record, I played my overall 24th and final game on Wednesday night and placed 5th, beating my previous record of 6th. (In both cases, my powerhouse top-10 performance was accomplished simply by not finding anyone else for a long time.) It seemed like a good place to end my Fortnite career. (However I’ll be curious to check out the PvE Fortnite if it ever launches.)
Funny story: I put way too much effort into taking the above screenshot of that silly pinata horse from a Fortnite replay file-setting the camera up, waiting for just the right moment when I jogged by and turned to face the pinata, then grabbing the shot with FRAPS (it took several tries), then cropping it to remove all the replay HUD elements. Then minutes later I saw this post show up on MassivelyOP with the same horsey pinatas and I pulled a Darth Vader “NOOOOOOOO.” I’m not changing my screenshot!
In The News
Conan Exiles launched for real. I own this game and enjoyed it last year (despite bugs) but I don’t feel any need to play yet. Especially considering that they redid the entire combat system right before launch and I’m 100% sure the game will need significant bug fixes in its first month as a result. The kerfuffle with the PvE-C servers seems like a non-issue to me: I can’t get excited about people losing one day of progress in a game like Conan Exiles.
H1Z1 is trying to limp its way to the PS4. I mention H1Z1 only because I discovered that it’s now free on Steam, so I tried out its battle royale this week, to compare it with Fortnite’s. Let’s just say that after one game I can understand why everyone abandoned H1Z1 as soon as something else was available. I liked that it was more of a “pure” shooter instead of a hybrid builder/shooter, but it’s incredibly quirky and looks and “feels” weird. Fortnite has vastly superior shooter mechanics. I uninstalled H1Z1.
Guild Wars 1 got a graphical update. I was recording some GW1 videos last year but I’ve been on a break, considering that the difficulty of the missions started ramping way up in the Shiverpeaks. But I’m curious to see the new update. I for one am glad to see ArenaNet isn’t planning to shut down GW1 anytime soon, since I’m not done with the game yet.
Wild West Online launched on Steam. Launched for real, that is. Not Early Access. I was mildly interested in this game, but I’m avoiding it completely until or unless I hear even a single good thing about it. I’ve not been impressed by their development process, and I haven’t seen a good report from anyone who has played the game. (Kudos to them for taking less than a year from announcement to launch date, though. I wish every game did that.)
Battle Royale will be added to Trove. Of course it will. While I can sort of appreciate the battle royale formula from my forays into Fortnite this week, I don’t think it needs to be added to every single game in the universe, because at this point just the words “battle royale” sometimes elicit rather strong negative feelings. (See Twitter! :) I’m in agreement with whoever recently said that if your game hasn’t already released its battle royale mode, it’s too late to catch the bubble. (Sorry I can’t find the source to credit you.) Although: No MMORPGs have yet added viewer-friendly battle royale-style PvP, have they? Watching battle royale is (I think) what attracts people, not playing it. Maybe that EverQuest 3 thing wasn’t such a bad idea after all.
Final Fantasy XIV 4.3 releases May 22nd. That is three days after my subscription ends. I’ve not felt any desire to play since last month. I tried to kick start my interest by playing a different character, but I got to the first dungeons and I was like, nope, no thanks, not into it right now. My guess is I’ll probably unsubscribe until we get closer to the next expansion.
CNN and others have been reporting on Columbus Nova all week, so that whole Daybreak thing is back in the news. I’m not following it very closely though because I’m not convinced it relates to the gaming world except as a speculative curiosity.
SyFy announced the cancellation of The Expanse in its third season. I’m sorry to see it go, but not for the reasons you might think. I’ve thought often of writing about The Expanse, but fans of the show probably wouldn’t like what I have to say about it. I am not so much “watching” the show as I am “studying” it. My current work-in-progress is a science fiction story, and I feel like it lacks emotional punch and drama. I also feel like those things are missing from The Expanse, so I study the show to try to figure out what’s missing, so I can apply those lessons to my own writing.