Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Back to the roots yet again

Despite having had to deal with various appointments with my boys and beat the virtual crap out of unbelievably inept Canadian politicians on social networks, I did get some gaming done lately. Last week I received an e-mail about my first Quake Live account that was about to get into inactive. While I don't mind because I started a fresh account last spring that better reflects my skills (or rust) and is linked with my long-standing clan (Kill 'Em All, or KEA), the mail did send me an alarm to remind me that maybe I should log in to bring my QL client up to date and brush off a bit of rust while I'm at it. I didn't play super long because when I'm home with the boys they sometimes fight over computer time. I played two games of regular Free-For-All and two of Instagib, and I must admit that although there was some evident rust, there were a few sparks of greatness here and there. And hey I even won one of the Instagib matches! So Quake is pretty much like riding a bike; you can get rusty but you never lose it.

What I find cool - and this may freak out some "normal" parents - is that my boys, who are now 5 and 6, are starting to get the FPS vibe; I let 'em play Star Wars Jedi Academy in God mode (I've played through it literally hundreds of time; I couldn't care less anymore), and I've installed World of Padman, a stand-alone Quake3 mod with cartoonish characters and weapons with fun team modes like "Capture the Lolly" and "Spray your Color". Up until last weekend they were playing lopsided 6v1 team matches to make sure they stayed safe, but something happened after they saw me die a lot in Quake and they started playing with balanced teams, against easy bots of course. Good on them! They do try to play a bit of Quake with tournament graphics and Pro Mode, but they realize it's much faster and harder.

With Quake Live having a very active community there are always tournaments going on so of course I just HAD to show them what the real pros like Cooler, CZM and Fatal1ty can do... off to YouTube to find an epic match! This isn't hard to do because there are so many tournaments both online and on LANs that there is never a shortage of awesome matches. Well, something you get to see someone get destroyed 70 to 0 on ZTNDM1, a map notorious for lopsided matches where one player controls the key power-ups. But for every one of those there is an absolute grudge match that ends in sudden death overtime. Even though it's an eSport, I find Quake tournament play more fun to watch than hockey games these days (especially the way my team is playing... phooey!).

Apart from that I'm still very much active on Skyrim, getting close to 250 hours on it. Between my first/main character and my max-skilled mod tester I can say I've pretty much done all the quests except maybe for those never-ending radiant ones, but there's still a lot of fun to be had when you have mods that give a challenge to even a max-skilled character. Because I use Deadly Dragons sometimes the dragon fights are nothing short of epic; The character might be Level 81 with all the perks, but I didn't go out of my way to get crazy resistance and armor bonuses through enchanting. Same with the weapons. Everything is crafted using only vanilla-bonus'd smithing apparel, and improved  with a single vanilla potion. So when I meet the top level dragon called "Aspect of Alduin" which spawns Skeletal Dragons, shit gets real quick. I had such a battle right at my front door at Dovahkiin's Retreat (Hideout's little brother; awesome mod). I was on my way to do a Thieves Guild quest but the battle was so epic that when the dragon finally died I felt like nothing could top that for the night so I saved and turned the game off.

And to close this post, yes, I'm staying the course with my very-long-term EVE break. The people who love the game don't really see how I came to not love it anymore but I don't mind. As I've told a few people, it's the people interaction that I'll miss; the game to me just gets in the way too much. I'm not bashing EVE, it's just that as it is it doesn't suit ME. Although I did see a glimmer of hope and surprisingly it came from none other that The Mittani himself, who over the weekend was singing the praises of Red vs Blue and having a complete ball in Rifters. It is a possibility, true, but not right now. If I do come back as an active player that will most probably be where I'll end up because small scale ship-to-ship combat is the only thing I have an interest for in EVE. I'll pass on everything else.

And there you go, a decently sized blog update and the inspiration came back after reconnecting with my first love in gaming. If you want to try the Grand Daddy of all First-Person Shooters head on over to www.quakelive.com and make an account; no need to pay for premium or pro unless you are very serious about it. If you do or if you already have an active QL account, by all means add {KEA}CozmikR5 to your buddy list

Fly and/or frag hard!



Letrange said...

I detect reduction in frustration levels... :)

Benoit CozmikR5 Gauthier said...

Affirmative :)