A brief video game update

I had made it a bit of a priority to play some video games in the New Year, and for the most part it’s been working.  I’m going to take a little bit of time to talk about some of the odd things I’ve noticed with them.

I did ultimately decide to do an exploration run with the first “Hearts of Iron” game.  I started a play as Australia, which was a pretty good choice because it has just enough resources to be able to do some things like research but not so much that it was constantly having events come up and things completed so I didn’t get overwhelmed.  However, it also didn’t have any events so at times things are going slowly, so that while playing I’m more watching game shows on TV than playing the game itself, letting the game run while most of my attention is on the TV.  I thought about increasing the speed, but I did kinda like the slower approach and the game’s speed controls are not as intuitive as Star Wars:  Rebellion’s — there you can simply select a drop down and pick the level you want, while for Hearts of Iron they claimed that it was a keyboard command that I tried at one point but think changed the map zoom instead — and didn’t want to get overwhelmed if things started to happen, so I left it there.  At that speed it is kinda relaxing, and it does mean that I don’t get swamped with all of the “Country X did Y influence to Counter Y” messages.

Which raises another issue with the game.  I was in 1939 and was starting to wonder if there were any kind of events or if there was any real link to history at all, because it didn’t seem like anything was happening.  Then I happened to notice in the events status bar at the bottom of the screen that it seems like Czechoslovakia indeed had some events and choices to make, and in fact they happened to chose the option that takes the Czechs, at least, out of the game.  So, they can constantly put up meaningless influence messages, but leave the main historical events and even an event that would eliminate a player in the status window?  Really?

I also find the sliders a bit annoying, because they are a mix of absolute and total values, where you have to set those values to above a certain value to be able to meet all your commitments, but every time you change a value it automatically adjusts the others to try to accommodate that, and at times it dropped a certain slider below the line even if it could have taken the values from somewhere else, and freeing up some space so that you could use it for something else ends up forcing you to adjust all of the other sliders to try to get it right.  It’s a very painful process to adjust those sliders if you need to fine tune them to get just the right set of values so that you can do everything you want.  Right now I’m working at a level where I only need to make minor tweaks, but if I end up needing to switch from prioritizing research to prioritizing production it will not be fun.

My biggest worry right now, though, is that with my calculations on how many more hours I have to finish this run given the amount of hours I can play at this speed it looks like it will take me another couple of months to finish this run, which means that exploring this will take up much more time than I wanted.  That’s something that I’ll have to think about over the next couple of weeks.

I’ve also found that for some reason “The Old Republic” is playing havoc with my schedule because its timing is really inconsistent.  I’ve already talked about how it had extended its interlude and surprised me, but then the time left for that was much shorter than expected, but too long to combine with a planet run.  And just lately I had a planet run and interlude that were again longer than expected but then sent me to Quesh which is a shorter planet, but I didn’t have the time to finish that in that session but didn’t know about that beforehand so that I could have done the interlude along with it and just quit after the planet.  This seems to be happening more than it did in the past, although that might be because I’m remembering the late game which might be more set (although I remember having issues with that on my last run as well, which was in the late game).  It’s not really a bad thing in itself, but it messes up my schedule for the things that I’m supposed to do after that, either making it so that I have spare time that I didn’t expect or that I bleed into that time and so can’t get as much of that done as I’d like.

And for “Dark Age of Camelot”, I was quite annoyed as I headed out to Caer Ulwych and did some quests there, but forgot to bind, got killed, and ended up back in the Camelot Hills, a long way away, especially since movement speed is not quick in this game.  And then I finished off some quests and headed back, but ended up trying to go cross country, got swarmed, and died again before I could bind again.  That being said, after getting back there and binding I figured out how to split the combat and general message windows out from each other so that I could see what’s going on in each, so that’s good.  It’s also interesting that I’m still playing my human paladin and haven’t created an alt or an alt in another realm, because when I first played the game I had alts all over the place.  I think the influence of TOR plus the fact that I always have quests to do and haven’t had to grind is responsible for this.  If I didn’t know what to do or had to grind levels I do suspect that trying out another realm would be suddenly sound far more appealing.

Anyway, that’s what I’m doing with games lately.

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