I know for a fact that I am over 1,000 hours on Oblivion, Civilization 5, and Crusader Kings II. I can't really guess on how long I played games as a kid, but if you told me that I played 2,000+ hours of Pokemon Blue and Pokemon Silver, I would believe you.
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I was sceptical for the longest time, but in my heart, I always held out hope. I knew that there was a chance that this game would be great. I still believed in BioWare. I'm very excited to hear that my faith was, seemingly, justified.
Dragon Age: Origins is one of the five greatest games I have ever played in my life. I love the world of Ferelden and the old-school CRPG game design, and if they have indeed returned to what made DA:O so great, as well as learning the lessons that needed to be learned from the debacle that was DAII, then this will almost certainly be my GOTY. I'm so ready for an epic RPG to consume my spare time for weeks to come.
I've never played a MOBA, but I got way into Magic: The Gathering last year. I've been to local Magic events (Friday Night Magic), and my local play group is very courteous, polite, and friendly, if a little over-excitable. I'm autistic, so I had a fair bit of anxiety when I first started showing up at events, but after several months I feel like I'm part of the community, and now I actively try to help new people fit in, especially if they aren't especially experienced with MTG. I also always make sure that, win or lose, I shake the hand of my opponent before and after the match. I haven't made any friends that I've seen outside of Magic events, but it's nice to know that you're in a room where you share at least one major thing in common with. MTG players sort of have their own language that they use to communicate with each other, and once you learn that, it's very easy to fit in.
I haven't had too many negative encounters online - I use Magic Online quite a bit for drafting - but I don't often engage in chat when I'm drafting with strangers; I don't say anything unless they initiate a conversation. Sometimes, someone gets a little salty if I top-deck my bomb at a crucial moment or whatever, but those cases are few and far between, and I don't try to wind them up.
Don't let anybody tell you that luck isn't a part of CCGs. It is. You will play against someone and lose despite having a superior deck, because your opening hand had no land in it and after your mulligan you drew six lands. That happens. As mentioned, top-decks are a real thing. You can see this especially at the pro level, where the decks are so evenly matched and the tiniest reversal of fortune can drastically affect the outcome. Still, it's a game that is intense and skill-intensive enough that the best decks and strategies should eventually wind up being victorious, and inexperienced players can't just walk into an event and expect to have an easy time of it.
Magic can be stressful. It requires a lot of concentration, and often you're trying to anticipate the move your opponent is going to make in response to everything you do without having all the information before you. In Chess, you can see everything that's happening on the board, so you at least know what possible moves your opponent can make. In Magic, you never know what they have in their hand - unless you Thoughtseize'd them on turn one and they're playing Courser of Kruphix or whatever. Your opponent is playing Blue? Now you have to play around the counterspells they may or may not have. Opponent is playing Black or Red? Now you are in a constant state of fear that all your creatures are going to get blown up. Opponent is playing Red and White? Now you're worried about combat tricks.
Magic is a ton of fun, and you can still enjoy yourself while losing, but even at a fairly casual event like at FNM, if you care about trying to win, you have to play carefully and think everything through meticulously. You can have the spell in your hand that's going to tip the game in your favour, but if you rush to play it, you might run into something unexpected that blows up your plans. Luck is a big part of Magic, but strategy and proper deck construction is the biggest part.
I guess the last two big ones would be BioShock Infinite and Europa Universalis IV. Before that, XCOM: Enemy Unknown and Skyrim were huge hype train games for me.
I'm not really on the hype train for any game at the moment, although I really want to play The Witcher 3. When they finally make an announcement on Mount & Blade II, I'll be the fucking conductor of that hype train.
Wow, I feel like Jeff summarised my own views on this issue perfectly. There may be a valid discussion on ethics in game journalism that needs to be had, but GamerGate is not the way to do that. They've poisoned that particular well, and all "moderate" GG supporters need to realise that and distance themselves from these lunatics as much as possible. And to the people on the other side of the fence, I find it really frustrating that so many of them assumed that, as Jeff put it, silence equals complicity. People have a right to be angry about the injustices that they are seeing perpetrated, but that doesn't mean that you need to go to war with these 4chan scumbags, a war that you'll lose because the other side has all the time in the world and lacks such inhibitions as empathy and common sense.
Everybody needs to calm down and try and get through this - if we all just shout really loudly at each other over the internet, then the real sentiments being expressed, the real heart of the matter, will be lost in the noise.
Also, video games are pretty awesome. I'm enjoying messing around with the new Crusader Kings II expansion, and I've really been enjoying the time I've spent with The Long Dark, a Steam early access survival game. And I'm really looking forward to Civilisation: Beyond Earth; I am so ready for a new Firaxis game to just chew up my free time for a few weeks.
Patrick has discussed the potential of a series where he tries to work out how to play Crusader Kings II. There is no Giant Bomb content that would make me happier than if this became a reality.
As much as I miss Random PC Game, they can't do it without Dave. He was the real brains of the operation. Without him, we'll just end up looking at whatever awful and tedious FMV game Vinny managed to dig up this month. That said, any kind of semi-regular series where the crew looks back at old obscure PC games would probably be awesome. I get a little tired of just looking at old console/arcade games, which is what they do whenever Jeff has a say in it.
Also, this will never happen, but I want a series where Rorie helps Drew and Alex try and get into Magic: The Gathering, with an end goal of them drafting on MTGO on stream. An eight-player draft usually takes just over 2hrs, so someone could be playing it in the background during something like UPF, and then we can check in when something notable happens. And they can have their game industry friends who play Magic like Brad Muir and Mikey Neumann come in and help them out. But for god's sake, keep Jeff and Dan and really anyone that has a seemingly irrational disdain for card games, and Magic in particular, as far away from it as possible.
Basically, I think it'd be neat if they played more non-action games; games that use your head, not your thumbs.
I am honestly surprised that Tarmogoyf hasn't been banned in Modern yet, and yet cards that hose it like Deathrite Shaman did get banned. It's just super busted and efficient, and doesn't really do anything interesting or novel; it's just this big dumb beatstick that's defined the format for years now.
Haven't really had a chance to mess with Delve. I did terribly at the KTK prerelease running an Abzan deck with one Delve card (Dead Drop), and wasn't able to get value off of it. My LGS is drafting KTK tonight for FNM, and I'm probably going to go, and I don't know whether to plan to draft W/B to either move into Abzan or Mardu, or to draft B/G to move into Abzan or Sultai.
If you tried watching some of his videos and were going into them with the perspective of "this guys is insanely popular, and I don't know why, so I'm going to try and find out", then you're obviously not going to "get it". You'll be watching it to judge it, not to enjoy it.
Don't underestimate the power of the teenage zeitgeist. Remember what a stupid sense of humour we all had when we were thirteen, and you'll "get" why PewDiePie is popular.