Has it been that long? Updates on or reactions to Glitch, Glitch event planning, GW2, & Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

It has indeed been that long.  But nothing going on has been worthy of its own post.  So here’s another “what I’m doing” post.

In Glitch, I’m still mostly just grinding my way to max level.  I haven’t been in any particular rush to get there, but I’ve only got about 6 levels to go.  Of course, those particular levels are the longest grinds, so it’s possible I won’t get to 60 before The Big Update changes everything.  If not, then oh well.  I will still hit 60 one day — it will just be a meaningless indication of my total imagination and a simple step on the way to more imagination.  And I strongly believe that is the only way MMOs should be—and was reminded of this by Justin’s post on Massively asking whether I preferred endgame or leveling.  How about neither?  How about a game that actually gives me long-term reasons to stay that I can start pursuing from day one?  How about a game that doesn’t give me a game over screen then expect me to play a different game that resembles a hamster wheel in an online lobby?

Also in Glitch, the informal mining association I am part of has gone public, creating the Pollokoo Benevolent Miners’ Society and pulling off our first event.  We joined a few other groups to turn most of a region into a Valentine’s Day party, complete with a kissing booth and splanking room.  We met several, excellent, new (to us) people, and generally had a grand old time.  More parties and other PBMS sponsored events to come in the future.

In MMO news, Guild Wars 2 invited press over the weekend and opened the press-NDA today.  Most of what came out that was news to me basically were minor details, so I won’t go into it.  I will, however, note that it has brought out the usual style of frustrating commenters on the articles — apparently, doing away with the holy trinity is impossible because players will automatically assume those roles.  Never mind that I can easily imagine both mechanics that discourage the trinity and mechanics that make the trinity impossible, and never mind that the latter of these appears to be the case.  It’s just impossible to make a game that isn’t WoW apparently.  I still find the tendency to assume that something cannot work rather than to imagine what would be needed to make it work to be a sign of minimal intelligence or imagination, and I think most of these people shouldn’t be allowed on the internet.

In other gaming news, I managed to get my hands on a copy of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning via a misplaced but rediscovered gift card.  I read a review somewhere that said KoA takes what’s best from recent RPGs such as Fable and Skyrim and puts it all together in a polished package.  I can agree with that.

But KoA does one thing that is excellent that I have not encountered elsewhere, or if I have, it’s been quite a long time.  While KoA is mostly action combat (also handled well, with combos to reward players that do not just spam-click the left mouse button and instead time and consider when to attack), there is still a hot bar for selecting special attacks which are executed with the right mouse button.  But here’s where KoA shines: unlike every hotbar combat game I’ve played, including the single player Dragon Ages, KoA does not force me to stare at the hotbar rather than the combat or the world around me.  Cooldowns have animations.  After using a spell or special attack, rather than glance at the hotbar to know when it can be used again (in non-action, stand in place, tab target combat, that actually means staring rather than glancing at the hotbar), I can simply watch the animation swirl around my character and when it fades, I know that the ability is ready again, all without once glancing at the hotbar.  Even in games where the hotbar really is the only thing players have to manage (the plate-spinning mentioned by Melmot at Killed in a Smiling Accident), giving a visual representation of cooldowns so I can look at the world rather than a bunch of generic, ugly little icons would go a long way to making me able to enjoy such mindlessness again.

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