Playing games just for fun

I’m in my usual summer gaming lull at the moment, which is good as it means I’m nice and fresh by the autumn games blitz starts as there’s a hell of a lot of good games coming out later this year.

This means that I’m officially down to “pottering about” status in all my games. I haven’t actually turned on my 360 for a week, and the PS3 was only on because of the extended editions of Lord of the Rings being released in gorgeous high def. Well I say gorgeous, I have two problems. The first is that some of the special effects are beginning to look a bit dated and the other is that there’s a lot of orange and teal in places. I’m sorry if you hadn’t noticed the colour of films nowadays, if so I’ve probably just ruined nearly every film for you.

What I have been playing lots of are a couple of MMOs. Firstly there’s LOTRO, which I’ve been slowly picking away at my 65 minstrel trying to figure out what the best build is while coming to the conclusion I can be awesome in a group, or awesome solo but if I want to do both I’m going to have to respec my traits before every Monday night grouping session. Last night saw me grinding out unfinished class deeds because the gaps in my (useless to me) abilities was bugging me. I might spend the evening killing hundreds of grey mobs so that I can get some more useless traits filled in.

Incidentally while playing on Monday a few of us got the Master of Stairs deed, which you get for climbing a hill 20 times. I don’t remember doing it 20, or 10 if it counts going down as one as well and it really pointed out to me how used we are to the grind that I didn’t notice it was that many times! We also aced some 3man content due to the younger members of the group being away, and in the process demonstrated that we are really good if we have no real DPS or AOE as the game starts to run at a pace at which our aging brains can actually handle. Well until the point where we suddenly realise we need AOE or DPS to actually kill things of course.

The rest of my time in LOTRO is getting XP for about three-zillion legendary weapons that I am levelling up so that I can deconstruct them for useful bits and also farming skirmish marks for armour or, when I get annoyed, actually remembering that my soldier in skirmishes needs some skills in order to work. I’m currently running a Herbalist and going full out DPS with my Minstrel but I found I could actually die. After I actually put some points into her healing skills that soon got better though. I suspect I might have optimised the defence of the prancing pony beyond the difficulty level I’m playing it at. Time for tier 2 maybe.

The other game I’ve been playing is Star Trek Online. The upcoming release of Episode 4 this week has given me the push needed to start a static group from the start (Thursdays if anybody is interested) and I’m quite looking forwards to playing through the early content again with the changes that have been made. I’m also quite keen to actually try some of the group content as I’ve not done any before. This time through I’m going to try a science officer and use my inability to not buy ships from the cash shop to start in an Oberth. You know the ship, it’s the one that accidentally blows up in the 3rd film because it’s so weak you can’t even disable it without it exploding and making Klingon Doc Brown angry. Should be fun!

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