The current extended summer break from school, brought my kids back to LoTRO for a few weeks, so I took the opportunity to join them. With our original home, the Gilrain server, now defunct, the first task we faced was moving our toons across to a new home – we chose Laurelin. The move went smoothly, and we sorted out our family kin, plus kinship house in this new location, in good order. The following few weeks saw me dust off my level 30 hobbit hunter and head to Evendim, where old memories came flooding back. We had some fun evenings, questing together and running plenty of skirmishes, but the rekindled interest inevitably waned and LoTRO is once again an unused link on our individual desktops. It was good to go back though.
With Turbine’s licence for LoTRO up for renewal next year, there may be precious few further occasions for revisiting this creaking game, where the character models and combat system both feel more clunky as each year passes; the scenery is still stunning, mind you, and the housing, music and cosmetic systems still hold our attention. As an aside, my top level toon is still my Loremaster at 85, but I have no inclination to bring her out of retirement. That would mean first buying, and then investing time in, the Helms Deep expansion. No thanks.
Away from LoTRO, I’ve also been back to Guild Wars 2 over the summer. The ‘Heart of Thorns’ expansion was released in October last year (2015), so it’s been a time to dust of my necromancer and elementalist. I might post some dedicated commentary on this, as it’s looking interesting, thus far.
Earlier in the year (well, from last Christmas though to around Easter) I found myself drawn back in to EVE, due to the ongoing ‘New Great War’ that saw the fall of the Imperium. I joined up with Pandemic Horde and headed out into nullsec for the first time. I had fun, lost a lot of ships, and made a bit of ISK, but the length and time of the ops proved too inconvenient for me to get fully drawn in, so when my subscription ran out, I left EVE once more.
Back to now, and I’m working my way through the excellent ‘Life is Strange’. Since completing Telltale’s ‘The Walking Dead’, I’ve definitely been drawn more into the episodic adventure game genre. The female protagonist in LiS, Max, is just excellent, and the game’s ambience and pace is just bang on. My available playtime is currently way more fractured than it was even a few years ago, so the ability to dip in and out of a story like ‘Life is Strange’ is a huge benefit.
The said fractured nature of my available game-time is probably the main reason that iOS and Android gaming are now where the majority of my game hours are spent. When a gaming session can be counted in minutes rather than hours, this is inevitable. My Clash of Clans account is now at level 114, and counting, and our whole family takes part in weekly or bi-weekly clan war. Good fun for all. Boom Beach, another of Super Cell’s offerings, is another regular sink, but I hated Clash Royale which I found stressful and aggravating. Fallout Shelter had the same effect on me – too much micromanagement involved, although I appreciate it has a huge fan base. I’m currently trying out Blizzard’s Hearthstone on iOS – so far, it’s looking good.