Over the weekend, I got to start checking off a few things from my “What to do in 2014 gaming” list. I have now completed all of the MoP raid instances on LFR (a low bar, I admit), as well as cleared the first three bosses in Siege of Orgrimmar with an all-guild Flex group. That second is no small feat given the general difficulty in getting any of the Cats together for an MMO over the past few years. We had a couple friends that were well-geared, but also people who were pretty fresh to level 90, and we managed to power our way through Norushen over a couple hours of fun.
The difficulty level for our group is just about dead on. It’s not like LFR where you can literally not know what is going on in a fight and still come out on top (generally speaking, at least). And, yes, I know this to be true because I was the bad that spent the whole time DPSing the wrong bosses or standing in the fire – and, sadly, still doing better damage and dying than half the group. But, in Flex, you do have to know what is going on, the void zones will kill you, and you have to do at least reasonable DPS. Or, at least, it seems that way so far. And even if it these early bosses stop providing any sort of challenge, there are 14 total bosses, so we can just keep getting better at it in our 2-3 hours per week group and add 1-2 new bosses each week, giving us a few months to get it all down. That seems just about perfect!
The other half of the checklist is a combination backlog and multiplayer game update. On Sunday, several of us got together to play Guns of Icarus Online. Not to be confused with Guns of Icarus (which was apparently the pre-Kickstarter single-player predecessor game), which unfortunately caught at least one of our group out. However, for the six of us that managed to get together, the game turned out to be a blast! It is a team-based airship combat game, with some number of airships on each side (we picked 2 v 2) and 4 people per ship (AIs can fill in each role but pilot). You pick a role for your character (pilot/sailor?, engineer, gunner) which gives you a set of options, choose whether you want to wear a TOTALLY SWEET SCARF or be lame and just use the default face, and head out into the skies to blow each other up.
We could have used a few more people because I don’t think the AIs were particularly great about gunning/repairing appropriately, but it turned out to be really awesome. After about an hour and a half of trying to figure out what the hell was going on, the Hindenburg and Mytanic managed to leverage their quick early lead to defeat the Goldfish and Not a Goldfish! It was a narrow victory, but that’s what counts in the skies.
There’s something about having to really work as a team in a squad-based PvP game that totally hits the right buttons for me. Plus, it looks and feels really unique. I have no idea what it would be like to jump into a random public game, and I’m not entirely sure I’d do it without at least a full ship crew the first time, but I hope that I get the chance to play this some more. There are lots of hats and glasses and outfits to unlock, and somewhat less interestingly (dressing up my dude is awesome), more ships, too. Including something that looks like it belongs in the Cloud City of Bespin.
I’d definitely recommend it. And if you want to see more, you can see Corr’s stream of it either on the Twitch channel or shortly on our YouTube channel. Enjoy, and I hope to see you in the definitely-not-explosive skies!