Monthly Gaming Update 2017.6

Current Game Plan

September is going to be a big month. In addition to multiple video games, I’ve also pre-ordered a booster box of the Magic the Gathering Ixalan expansion. Because dinosaurs. In addition to that, I’m also trying to build up my Warhammer 40,000 tabletop army. I’ve got about 1000 points, so I’ll need 500-1000 more points for a ‘standard’ size army. Plus whatever life throws at me, so money’s definitely an issue.

Creative Assembly

The new Arena bundles are the big news for Total War: Arena. You can check out my video detailing the bundles here. They range from $9.99 to $99.99 and all include beta access and premium time.

Total War: Warhammer 2 launches on September 28th 2017! I’m totally excited to start stomping out my enemies with an army of dinosaurs! Lizardmen, ho!

Other Games

Foxhole is introducing an Amphibious Warfare update! The concept art for the amphibious vehicles has been my favorite. I’m SO excited to try this update out! Look for stream and videos soon.

Conan Exiles has launched it’s first free expansion, The Frozen North. If you like the Conan universe, and lots of snow, this is now the survival game for you.

Squids from Space is getting some cosmetic updates. You can change the appearance of your character with wacky colors and clothes.

Blizzard Games

Thanks to the new Wrath of the Lich King update in Hearthstone, you can get some free card packs. Just log into hearthstone before October 1st 2017 and you will be awarded some free Wrath of the Lich King packs.

The latest World of Warcraft update looks pretty fun. High Exarch Turalyon and Alleria Windrunner are leading the assault against the Legion’s homeworld. It’s kind of nostalgic, being that their statues are the first you see when you walk into Stormwind. I can still remember the first time I walked through the Stormwind gates for the very first time. I’m toying with the idea of checking it out, largely depending on if I can find enough Alliance players on NA servers.

Games To Watch

I saw World of Castles in my Twitter feed. It’s a game of building your castle, and sieging your friend’s! Keeping my eye on it, it looks really good. It releases September 16th 2017.

I also came across the VR game Soldiers of Freedom, which releases September 9th 2017. Think the singleplayer campaigns of the Battlefield games, but in VR. Looks really interesting!

Virtual Reality Games

I’m slowly edging into VR games. So far I’ve mostly played Island 359, a dinosaur hunting game. I made it through the tutorial and tried a little of the arcade mode. I don’t think I like the arcade mode, but the base game itself was a lot of fun.

I have also just picked up Star Trek Bridge Crew! It was half off, so I couldn’t resist. If you or someone you know also has Star Trek Bridge crew, please let me know! It takes four people, and i’d really love to play it with a full group!

Content Channels

I’m actually happy with how my channels are growing. YouTube is slow, but steady. Foxhole is the top content, with 5 of the top 10 most viewed. Twitch is steadily creeping up to that 1000 follower milestone! I’m most excited about this, as I’m told it’s the first big milestone for getting recognized by developers for getting copies of the games to showcase. Foxhole and Arena are the big games I’m playing now, both continuing to bring in new followers.

A lot of the new followers are coming from people signing up for the Twitch. I think it’s a good thing overall, it’s just hard to gauge just how big a channel is. Those people who signed up may or may not come back. While it could be considered padding of numbers, it’s still an opportunity that someone may pop into the channel to see what it’s like.

August 2017 Gaming Stats

Foxhole Open World Shooter $19.99
Clone Drone in the Danger Zone Lobby Shooter $14.99
Squids from Space Lobby Shooter $0.00
Ultimate Epic Battle Simulator Lobby Simulator $0.00
PWND Lobby Shooter $29.99
Fortnite Open World Shooter $39.99
Saurian Open World Survival $19.99
Legends of Ellaria Open World RPG $19.99
Total War Arena Lobby RTS $0.00
Arma 3 Lobby Shooter $0.00
Left 4 Dead 2 Lobby Shooter $19.99
For Honor Lobby Fighting $0.00
Team Racing League Lobby Vehicle $9.99
Conan Exiles Open World Survival $29.99
Blood Bowl 2 Legendary Edition Lobby Turn Based Strategy $44.99
Beast Battle Simulator Lobby Simulator $9.99
Island 359 Open World VR $19.99
Range Day VR Lobby VR $19.99
# Games Purchased 2
Average Per Game Savings $5.80
Average % savings 29%
Total Savings $11.59
Average Game Price $23.07
Total Spent $28.39
Total Worth $299.87
Total Hours Played 127
$/per hour MSRP $2.36
$/per hour Bought Games $14.20
$/per hour Total $0.22

Making Gold For PvPers in Warcraft Legion

making gold for PvPers in warcraft

Making Gold Through War!

Daily quest hubs are officially things of the past. Thanks to Legion, we have something better, and something that will last through the entire expansion!  Still, PvPers can make decent gold with little effort.  Read on for some ideas. These are the ones I am currently using to fill my own coffers.

Queuing For Gold

You get a little bit of gold just for playing every match, win or lose. Whether it’s Arenas or Battlegrounds, there’s always gold at the end. Not really much more to say here other than mentioning that repair bills from PvP are substantially less than repair bills from dungeons and raids. While PvP rewards less gold overall, there’s less in maintenance costs to offset that a little.

World Quests

In my opinion, this is the best innovation for Legion. Who needs a daily quest hub to gank at when you have THE ENTIRE WORLD! Every zone is a world PvP zone now! Players are out and about, and the world is alive with fresh meat. The World Quest system guarantees it’ll stay that way too throughout the expansion! So while you’re out doing your own world quests, say hello to someone with a sword or fireball to the face!

Turn Marks of Honor Into Gold

Spending your Marks of Honor on PvP weapons gives a great return. Weapons always sell for a lot of gold, but the trick now is to figure out which item sells for the most gold-per-Mark of Honor spent. When looking at the vendor, sort by All in the top right corner of the vendor window.  This will let you see everything for all classes.

One thing worth mentioning is that it will take 2 hours before you can redeem them for gold.  You can keep them in your bank, or in your inventory, but your character will need to stay online for 2 hours.  Make sure you plan accordingly based on your inventory.

Order Hall Missions

Your Order Hall is going to be a big source of gold. You’ll start getting gold quests once you hit 110 on your character. As your followers ilevel goes up, so does the amount of gold rewards on the quest. It’s very similar to the system in WoD. If you manage to get the bonus reward, you can bring in a really nice haul from each mission.

Crafting Materials

While you’re out ganking people doing world quests, gather what resources you can. Everyone has personal nodes now, so it should be pretty plentiful. Additionally there are currently no benefits from crafting professions for PvPing.  Even if you only make a little bit of gold, it’s still better than nothing.  Some people will gladly pay extra so they don’t have to go out and farm it up themselves. Alternatively if you enjoy crafting professions, you can craft items to throw on the Auction House.

 arena wins for goldArena Carrying

I see it in trade chat a lot.  People paying crazy amounts of gold for wins in Arenas.  Generally this happens in the 2v2 format.  These people are willing to pay for the convenience.  Make sure you are good enough to carry in Arenas before trying this.  Otherwise you could be wasting time, and not just yours!

Moderate Your Expectations

As PvPers, we’re here to face the unknown. We’re not playing this game to compare virtual currency ledgers.  We’re here to test ourselves against other players!  If making piles of gold is important to you, then learn to work the Auction House.  That is the best way to make gold.  It can be done even as a PvPer, but it is going to take a lot of research and effort.  Meanwhile, the options above are how I pay for my WoW tokens every month. I still have enough for whatever little stuff like potions or food that I need as well.

Which PvP activity brings in the most gold for you?

My Top 5 Most Played Games

tracking time in video games

The Numbers Really Surprised Me

What would I do without Google Sheets? I’ve found it harder and harder lately to predict if I’ll like a game. One way I thought might help was to take a closer look at what games I had enjoyed the most. Perusing my spreadsheet of hours spent in various games, I was shocked. I never would have guessed #3, 4, or 5. Of course, #1 and #2 were easy to accept.

#1 World of Warcraft

wow logo

I have over 14,800 hours in World of Warcraft. I’ve never considered myself much of a fantasy buff, but I have always known that World of Warcraft was an exception. I’ve spent over 580 days in Blizzard’s fantasy world. Largely due to the people I’ve met, but if I had to pick one other thing that kept me coming back, it would be the story. Man I love that story. In fact I’m subscribed right now.

#2 Star Wars: The Old Republic

star wars the old republic logo

I’ve been a Star Wars fan for almost 20 years now. I’ve played SO many Star Wars video games, spending untold hours in them. If you counted all the Star Wars card games, roleplaying games, and miniature games, I’m willing to bet it would dwarf WoW handily. SWTOR has never felt like Star Wars to me though. That combined with it’s lack of PvP content updates has really put me off from this game. Still, SWTOR clocks in with over 3600 hours played. With the new expansion coming, there are probably a few more hours yet to come.

#3 League of Legends

league_of_legends_logo_transparent

I didn’t see this one coming. This game has done some growing up. When I first started playing, it was with a small but dedicated group of friends. I stopped for a month or 16 and came back. When I returned, I found the community much more friendly and accepting. In my on-and-off again experience with League of Legends, I’ve logged over 750 hours. It’s also one of the games I’ve spent the least amount of money on. It’s been great for the wallet.

#4 Total War: Arena

total war arena

Never played a Total War title in my life before this one. I dare say it has had a significant impact on my life. It reintroduced me to my love of strategy games, it got me started in streaming, and it put me on my first airplane. All that in just 6 short months, and over 720 hours of play time. In just 6 months time, this game became my #4 game of all time. I’d imagine it’d be well on it’s way to #2 if it was still available today.

#5 World of Tanks

world-of-tanks-logo

So the math on this one is a little iffy because I can’t track exactly how much time I’ve spent. What I can track is how many matches I’ve played in, and that’s over 5100 games. I could have been knocked out in under 3 minutes, or I could have spent the whole 15 minutes allowed. It’s impossible to say. Even at 7 minutes per match, which if memory serves should be about right, that’s over 590 hours of game time. Kinda miss playing, but never really had anyone to play with.

Interpreting The Data

Looking at the disparity between time spent in these seems like it should mean something, but I don’t know what. From 14800 to 3100 to 750 is such a huge drop, but then again WoW has been out more than twice as long as SWTOR. I also haven’t exactly stayed consistent with League for more than 3-6 months at a time. I haven’t played in years now in fact, although I’ve wanted to go back and try those ARAMs again. Doesn’t help much in the way of figuring out what I like, although it does bring up some questions that may help. Questions about MMORPG vs. MOBA and subscription vs. free. Suppose that’s a post for another time though.

What’s your longest time spent in a game?

World of Warcraft Legion Review

world of warcraft legion

Legion: A Questing Simulator For World of Warcraft

It may seem a little late for a review, but I personally find it hard to take a review seriously by someone that doesn’t have a level 110 character. How can you legitimately review a game, not knowing what the endgame is like? Well, I have two 110s now thanks to my little speed leveling experiments. I would personally say Legion is a return to the expansions of old. Warcraft’s greatest expansions. The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich king. You can see a lot of these two expansions in Legion. The environment, the music, and the meaningful storytelling.  Best of all though, Worgen have taken quite a prominent role in this expansion. Moreso than any race except humans. I think this is easily the second or third best expansion. Not without its flaws though, and man is there a big one.

Story

I think the story is what makes or breaks an expansion. A good, strong story gives the player a clear direction. Legion’s direction is a dark and serious one. So many of the characters we’ve come to know and love have been taken from us in the blink of an eye. The rivalry between the Alliance and Horde is instantly brought to the forefront in the initial assault on The Broken Shores. This, for me, is a necessity for any good expansion. Like an Imperial Star Destroyer at the beginning of every Star Wars movie, a good fanning of the flames of war is a necessity for a World of Warcraft expansion. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but I think it’s safe to recommend you don’t get attached to any NPCs. The next time you see them may be the last. Even the quests begin to reflect the mood. The world is a very dark place right now. One of the rare spawn encounters has you rescue a baby bear cub who is sitting next to its slaughtered parent and siblings in their den. Surprisingly graphic. I think Blizzard has tuned this expansion towards an older audience, and I think they’ve tuned it well.

ashmaw cub den

Order Halls

I’m kinda meh on the Order Halls. I think they’re a good idea, but terrible in execution. You get to hang out with random strangers now instead of by yourself. So it’s almost exactly the same as Garrisons in other words. I think if it served as a quest hub instead of a gathering place it’d be better. I don’t really care about the lore for my Warrior’s Order Hall, but it’s better than most. Some of the Order Halls have atrocious stories and lore, and it’s really depressing to have to play one of those classes. It really feels like getting a participation trophy, instead of feeling even remotely special or important (Poor Hunters). Blizzard continues to miss the mark in the player-housing arena, which is really boggling to me. Garrisons looked amazing, but the solo experience was pretty awful. Order Halls are only slightly less awful.

Questing

As far as leveling up, the questing is superb. Fun quests, funny quests, and some story-driven quests. I never got bored with one particular quest type. Kill X mobs, gather Y goat bladders – there was very little of that. One particular questline has you dancing your little hind-parts off! CUKKAW! You’ll know what I mean when you get to it. Another let’s you assume the role of a Night Elf wisp. I liked the variety available in quests. Quests also scale to whatever level you are. You can quest in any zone, at any time. Got a higher level friend? No problem. Mobs and Quests scale to everyone’s level at the same time. It’s like magic.

fun legion quests

Unfortunately though, the questing never stops. Ever. Want to work on your professions skills? You do that by questing. Want to unlock all the relic slots in your artifact weapon? More questing. Ready to unlock World Quests? Cool, go do questing IN EVERY ZONE. And of course once you unlock World Quests, you’ll do more questing. Blizzard has shoved questing down everyone’s throat this expansion. The continual questing is overbearing, oppressive, and the worst part of this expansion. At no point do you ever get a hint that it might be over soon either. I have never had such a feeling of frustration after hitting max level in a game. All the questing robs you of any feeling of accomplishment. I love so much about Legion, but just cannot stand all the questing. It’s a roller coaster of emotion. While I stop short of not recommending this expansion, I would seriously consider your willingness to continually quest before you buy it. Once you get 110, you literally have to spend another several levels worth of time just getting ready for endgame. It’s probably more like 112 or 113. The worst part is that it is forced upon every character you level, and the class campaigns are identical so far. Enjoy doing the same thing over, and over, and over. And over.

World Quests

I know I ranted about questing above, but I have to admit that I love World Quests. I can get my World PvP fix, as well as upgrade my gear, farm gold, and generally goof off all at the same time. World Quests are scattered across the Broken Shore. They each have different timers, and when the timers run out, they are replaced by something else. You have 3 slots on your map to tell you which World Quests you need to do. Each slot is a different faction, and is replaced daily with a new faction. You have to do 4 quests for each faction to get the reward. Some factions are tied to a zone, so you can knock out two quests at once by doing a quest for one faction, in another faction’s assigned zone. None of them are too complex, and some of them are actually fun. I actually find myself enjoying moving zone to zone to complete them when I have a backlog. You can gear up through world quests too. Some quests will offer gear, and your gearscore affects what level the reward is. The higher you go, the higher the reward goes. This implementation of questing gets my seal of approval.

 Artifact Weapons

I love the implementation of artifact weapons. They are one of the shining stand-outs of this expansion. Essentially you get a skill tree specifically for combat. It does require you to know your class very well, but a little research and extra planning time is all that is required to catch up. What I love most about Artifact Weapons is the storylines that go with them! Even the mediocre stories so far have been great. The Ashbringer, Frostmourne, Alleria Windrunner’s bow! THE SCYTHE OF ELUNE! Legendary weapons that we’ve all read about and stared in awe over, now in our hands. I’ve recorded several of them and put them on my YouTube channel, with definitely more to come.

creation of worgen

More To Like About Legion Than Not

Overall, I am excited for what’s in store for Legion. There seems to be a fair bit more lore being provided throughout, which is World of Warcraft’s biggest draw for me. Hopefully in the future they address the abusive questing. Maybe with heirlooms, consumables, or something we haven’t seen yet. The universe of World of Warcraft is alive again for me. Some of my friends are even back to share the experience. The stage has been set, and Blizzard looks to be delivering some powerful stories in the future with this expansion. I’m glad to be here to see it.

Legions of Content Coming

blades of the fallen prince

Artifact Weapon Storylines in Legion

I just realized that I hadn’t posted the content I’ve been creating for Legion here. Probably my personal favorite has been the Artifact Weapon storylines. Blizzard has done an incredible job creating stories for each and every weapon, giving players the feeling that they are on they’re very own legendary weapon quest. The Ashbringer, the Scythe of Elune, and the rebirth of Frostmourne are just a few. Even the less well known ones are given pretty interesting quests. As someone who appreciates the lore of Warcraft, I haven’t been let down yet. Initially I had no idea just how unique and fun they would be. The quests all have some built-in mechanic that forces you to be in the appropriate spec for the weapon you are trying to obtain. They were pretty challenging too. I died more than once on some of them. One final note worth mentioning is that each quest takes you into the old world. Most of these places are in the original classic World of Warcraft zones! Some places are hidden in plain site, others are quite familiar, and hold a lot of nostalgia.

You get your first weapon as soon as you make it to new Dalaran, and you can grab both of the others at level 102. I cannot recommend doing these quests enough. They are some of the best quests Blizzard has created. I still haven’t finished them all yet. For those people that don’t have active subscriptions, or don’t play certain classes, or are just plain bored, I have recorded several of these storylines. I kick myself to this day for not recording the warrior arms artifact weapon quest story. It involves the very first King of the humans! They run from 20 to 40 minutes long each. There’s going to be a lot of Legion content available on my YouTube channel over the next several weeks!