Autumn Games

As noted elsewhere, I like to study in short bursts, and one of the things I like to include in the mix of stuff is a game. The requirements for this are things that can sit in the background and not really demand much effort, and which I can play in short bursts. Term has now started again, so I'm trying to decide what game would suit this.

Turn-based strategy games are good, although the king of all of these, Civilisation, in whatever incarnation it is at the time, tends to be too sticky; it keeps me playing rather than letting me return to the studying. And later in the game, it's pretty necessary to keep a flow of where you are in your head; trying to pick up where you left off while not remembering is hard. But maybe there are others out there now - I hear good things about Endless Legend. But it's currently €30 on Steam, and I object a bit to spending that much on a game I can't try in advance. Torchlight or Diablo are also possibilities. I already own Torchlight, which helps.

Some MMOs are suitable for this. EVE with remote trading (which I'm pretty sure my long-neglected character has) would be good. Wurm Online might also do; I'm sure there've been lots of new developments since I last looked. Although my deed has undoubtedly vanished.WoW, the way I used to play it with the auction house being the focus of activity, would also work. And maybe even the crafting and gathering stuff in it would be interesting. I just don't remember why I lost interest last time. EQ2's crafting and housing is another possibility; I recall it was good to drop in and out of. And Neverwinter has the advantage of being something I'm playing anyway at the moment, and being very good for drop in gaming.

I would like ArcheAge to be a possibility - it has a really nice looking combination of crafting, trading, and combat, with plenty of new stuff being poured in still. But it takes about ten minutes from deciding "I will play" to having a character moving around, and the random lag - which can amount to the character arbitrarily standing still for 30 seconds - makes it hard to play at all, let alone in short sessions. Also, I vaguely resent the way in which it's theoretically free, but you can't do some of the main activities at all well unless you're a paying customer. Neverwinter works this angle a lot better; give me the whole game for free and then dangle some shiny extras in front of me for cash, and I will pay up - at least as much as a monthly subscription for WoW or the like. But overall, I don't think it'll work, which is a pity.

Neverwinter and Torchlight are currently in the lead, with EQ2 and Wurm Online trailing slightly. I shall consider further.

Posted by Drew Shiel at September 30, 2014 4:14 PM

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