Gaming Plans for November 2021

October was pretty much New World month for me. Other than that I spent a couple of weeks planning some future content for the blog and also sorting out a new edition of my Star Wars Galaxies book, so during that time I didn’t game at all. Still, as it happens I’ve kind of gotten myself into a new routine which has meant that I’ve had more time for gaming in the last couple of weeks than I’ve had in about a 7 years or so. As such I’m expecting November to be a pretty bumper month.

Due to the server queues I gave up trying to get into New World for the first week of the month. Thus, I headed back to Final Fantasy where I’m now just about at the end of the Heavensward MSQ. The whole dragons thing doesn’t really do much for me so I was definitely ready for something new by the time New World got itself (sort of) patched up. I’m not sure if I’ll get back to Eorzea this month, but I’m definitely not done with the game yet.

One of the games I was really looking forward to playing in October was Book of Travels. I don’t normally play Early Access titles, but this seemed like such an interesting take on the genre that I thought I would check it out. Well, truth be told I feel as though I should’ve stuck to my guns and waited until the game was released. Developer Might & Delight have pegged the EA release as “Chapter Zero”, which makes it sound a lot more like a finished product than it really is. Admittedly I only played for about an hour, but that was enough time for me to realise that there doesn’t really seem to be much of a game there at all at the moment. A pretty world sure, but I really have no idea what the heck I’m supposed to be doing in it.

One of the reasons I’ve sworn off playing Early Access titles was the terrible experience I had playing the first alpha of New World a few years back. Like Books of Travels that alpha dumped you on a beach and gave you no idea of what it was you were supposed to do. The world seemed pretty but empty and after spending an hour messing around with the broken systems you realise that there’s a reason why people get paid to do QA and game testing. After I first tried New World I lost all interest in the game and doubted whether I would even bother with the finished thing.

I’m a sucker for hype though and so, thankfully I did buy the retail game – which is TOTALLY different to the alpha I played. I don’t expect Might & Delight will throw their whole game design out the window and start again as Amazon Game Studios did after the bad impressions from their first alpha, but I do think there are some fundamental things wrong with the vision they have for the game. Still, I’ve seen some people having a great time with it so it must be resonating on some level. Might & Delight seem like they have a great team, a great idea, and are committed to it, so I really hope the game can continue development and improve over the next year or two. I can’t really see myself heading back to check it out until it comes out of Early Access now though.

Right now though New World is absolutely the only game I can think about. There’s something in the gameplay loops here which has just got me absolutely hooked. Who would’ve thought the folks at Amazon know a thing or two about how to get the ol’ dopamine rushing. My goal is to hit the level cap this month but that all depends how distracted I get as I’m running from town to town. I’m really not sure if I’ll play anything else this month except perhaps SWTOR if the new expansion gets a release date before Christmas. I’ll want to log in and get ready for the new content if that is the case, but I’m kind of anticipating it getting bumped into the new year at this point.

2 Thoughts

  1. Much though I’m enjoying the current version of New World, I loved the original alpha. It was a much more immersive wilderness experience, more of a simulation than a game. It certainly wouldn’t have been as commercial, which is obviously why they changed it, but it would have been a more original experience than the one we’re playing now.

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    1. Interesting. I probably didn’t give it enough time to judge it fairly as I was just too turned off by how very early alpha it was. I’m sure it would’ve been a decent game had it been completed. It’s always been a problem with closed alpha/beta’s long before Early Access became a thing, most people (myself included) just aren’t equipped to be game testers. Then when hundreds or thousands of such people are put in that position they’re almost always going to come away with negative feelings about the game.

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