F.l.t.r.: Valiant Hearts: the Great War, SWTOR, Guild Wars 2, Pokémon Emerald, LOTRO
This week's Fandom Friday* challenge was themed "the five games you love to play". Now for me this was a bit of a problematic challenge, as the only things I talk about are games, so most of you guys will already know what games I play (also, the text underneath "About this blog" to the right sort of gives it away). However, I play my games in different manners: for me there's a game for each time and mind state. So in addition to providing you with an overview, I'll look into what I get out of these games as well. When do I choose to play them, and why is that so?
1) Star Wars: The Old RepublicType: MMO
Engagement level: Deeply involved
Activities: PvP, raiding
Back in January, I thought I would only write about SWTOR on this blog for now. I was (and still am) doing successful progression raiding and was enjoying the lovely company of people of my old LotRO kinship Asylum. Although I did notice I was getting bored by questing, I didn't perceive this as a problem: besides raiding, I was still enjoying grouping up with friends to do PvP in my non-raiding time.
Although I've started playing other MMOs since (see 2) and 3) ) to fulfill my apparent need for casual gameplay, I consider SWTOR my main game of which I know the ins and outs. It's the game I go for when I'm in a mood for challenging gameplay or want to meet up with my Asylum friends.
2) Guild Wars 2Type: MMO
Engagement level: Casual
Activities: Leveling, dungeons
So while I was still living in my SWTOR-is-enough-for-me bubble, Conrad and I heard of a timed offer to buy Guild Wars 2 for just 10 euros from another Asylum member that played that game. On a whim, we decided to take the offer and try it out. Although I had some reservations about my character's armour initially, I soon got hooked on exploration and the cooperative nature of the game.
I usually pop into Guild Wars to quickly do some dailies or (if I have a bit more time available) level a bit together with Conrad. Guild Wars is really my duo game: we have four pairs of characters we only play together, which leaves me with only one character to play all on my own. We really like playing together, but even for us this is quite extreme. In comparison, I have sixteen characters in SWTOR, of which only one is reserved for duo leveling.
I can really tell from the Guild Wars 2 blogs I'm following that I'm a filthy casual: I can barely understand a word of what they write about because of all the jargon!
3) Lord of the Rings OnlineType: MMO
Engagement level: Casualish
Activities: Questing, revisiting old group content
I don't think many people will claim they are diehard endgame raiders in this game, because there's currently no level cap group content apart from scaled-up old raids, skirmishes and "epic" battles. The scaled-up raids can be problematic because they haven't been adapted to extensive class overhauls that were implemented later and the skirmishes and epic battles are one-dimensional zergfests.
So, while I used to feel deeply involved with this game, I put it aside when it
went to shit became focused on casual gameplay. I've recently picked it up again because Conrad and I wanted to finish the story line and see the 'new' areas Rohan and Gondor. We ran into a bunch of old friends who enthused us to get to the level cap to join them for some nostalgic group content. Logging into LOTRO feels a bit like coming home. It provides relaxing gameplay, suitable for late nights when I'm tired. We log in every now and then to play through the new areas and show up for the occasional event.
4) Valiant Hearts: the Great WarType: Single-player game
Engagement level: Casual
Activities: Following the story arc
I have the best friends. I added Valiant Hearts: the Great War to my Steam wish list at some point because I had read such positive stories about it. Of course I forgot I had done that afterwards. A friend of mine saw it, though, and gifted it to me! That was a nice surprise. Since then I sometimes jump into Valiant Hearts to play a bit of the storyline. It's especially nice that this game doesn't require an internet connection, so it's perfect for when internet or the MMO server(s) are down.
It will never cease to amaze me how this game succeeds to mix educational facts about the First World War with engaging gameplay. Together with an amazing art style, Valiant Hearts beautifully captures the sad reality of the war.
5) PokémonType: Single-player game
Engagement level: Casual
Activities: Gonna catch 'em all
I used to play Pokémon Red, Gold/Silver and Crystal on my brother's gameboy during holidays. We'd sit at the backseat of the car, annoying our parents with the repetitive 8-bit music it was accompanied by. Needless to say, the Pokémon games occupy a special, very sentimental space in my heart.
I picked up Pokémon Crystal for nostalgic reasons back in 2013 and wrote a series of blog posts about them. Unfortunately, I had to give it up when the time system of the gameboy stopped working. Conrad encouraged me to pick up Pokémon Emerald on a PC emulator today. It's a great game for me to play when I'm ill and have to stay in bed: it doesn't require any form of mental concentration and I can use a controller so I don't need to have the laptop on my belly.
Other games I have played in the past and might pick up again in the future are: Skyrim, The Sims, Civilization, and Dragon Age.
What game I pick to play really depends on the mood I'm in and other circumstances. If I'm up for a challenge, I'll pick up SWTOR and do some raiding or PvP. If I'm tired or ill, I rather play LOTRO or Pokémon because they require less focus. Guild Wars 2 is the game I play when I only have time to hop in for a short while or if Conrad and I want to spend some game time together. I play Valiant Hearts with pretty large gaps, particularly when I don't have an internet connection.
What games do you divide your game time amongst? Do you pick them for a particular type of gameplay as well? Or do you get absorbed by one game and only play that?
* 5 Fandom Friday is a weekly event organized by the Female Geek Bloggers group on Google+.