I feel unprepared for it to be November already! I think that I willed October to go by faster because all of the good stuff seemed to be at the end if it, with Halloween being the focus event of the month.
Let’s take a look back and what happened over the previous month and then consider what upcoming options are going to be grabbing my attention in November.
During the first week of November, Halloween events will be wrapping up in the various MMOs. I didn’t really participate at all in Guild Wars 2’s reprise of “Shadow of the Mad King” this year – there wasn’t really anything new, so I decided to focus on some other games that had brand new stuff for Samhain 2016.
The Elder Scrolls Online introduced its new annual Halloween event, the “Witches Festival”. It wasn’t a complex affair – you basically do a short scavenger hunt, get a reusable glamour which gives you a skeleton costume and you go around basically playing the game as normal, getting double XP and a special “plunder skull” loot bag from boss-level enemies (such as those in delves, open world bosses, dolmen bosses etc). I tried it for a while, but the special Halloween loot from the plunder skulls didn’t really grab me as worth grinding to collect it all. I made some good progress on getting through Greenshade on my main quest to complete Cadwell’s Silver, though.
On the opposite end of the spectrum from ESO’s simple double XP event, The Secret World had an ambitious new community-wide investigation to solve, involving the appearance of a mysterious horseman (of the apocalyptic variety). It was interesting watching the players scramble to discover what layers the event had to offer during the first couple of days. There were also a few troubles which arose from the nature of the event, but overall it was where I chose to spend most of my Halloween because at least the developers were trying something new out; also, because of my obsessive need to collect every new event cosmetic and pet item I can get!
Unexpectedly, I also got to spend a week of October playing Star Citizen. Someone told me about the “Fall Free Fly” event they were running allowing prospective players to download the game and give it a spin. It’s definitely at an alpha stage of development, but I did find it well worth checking out and will probably follow news about it more closely now that I’ve experienced it.
So what will I be doing in November? Two MMOs are on my list to jump back into.
On 15 November, Eve Online is introducing a new free-to-play mode in the form of “alpha clone states”. These will be characters you can play without subscribing, but with limitations on skills and ships available to fly. The ability to dip into Eve Online without the barrier of having to subscribe may make it far more accessible to the masses, along with a revamped story-based new player experience launching at the same time. I’m wondering if I can make enough ISK (in-game currency) on an alpha character to buy a PLEX (month of play time purchaseable with in-game currency) to reactivate my main character?
The other thing is happening at the very end of the month on 29 November – early access to Star Wars: The Old Republic‘s next story expansion series: “Knights of the Eternal Throne”. I think they’re going a bit overboard on using the word ‘knights’ in all their new expansion names! Nevertheless, I feel like I should give my best shot at completing the current storyline in “Knights of the Fallen Empire” before the new one launches, or I’m going to fall even further behind in the ongoing story developments.
It’s finally here – The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition appeared in my Steam library during the last week of October. The remastered game was given out for free on Steam to people who already owned the original version and all DLC packs.
It will be nice to get back into an immersive single-player game again after spending the majority of October in MMOs. This will also be a fresh start – I managed to partially get through the original game as a Breton who completed the Thieves Guild storyline, but I have yet to experience the main quest and the rest of Skyrim and what it has to offer. I’ve lost too much of my connection to that old playthough and feel like it would be best to restart from scratch and relearn the game.
I just need to install it, create a new character and prepare to fight dragons…
I was pleased to find that even my vault dwellers in Fallout Shelter were getting festive with Halloween themed decorations in the vault and some spooky costumes appearing in all-new Halloween quest chains. I hope the developers have something similar planned for other events, like Christmas, as it keeps the game fresh and entertaining.
I managed to begin my new playthough of Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars Director’s Cut on my iPad. I played the original version of the game on PC back in the 1990s when it was released, so it’s a strange mix of a nostalgic and an all-new experience playing the Director’s Cut version, which has new content I’ve never seen before and interacting via the new touch-friendly interface.
So far, I’ve only completed the new prologue which starts you off as Nico Collard investigating the assassination of a media tycoon. I’ve just reached the original start point of the game where George Stobbart is introduced. I wonder how much of the game and puzzle solutions I’ll remember, given that I last played it 20 years ago?
I actually went out to the cinema and watched a movie in October! Such rare occurrences only happen for must-see films, and in this case it was for Doctor Strange, the latest entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I very much enjoyed Benedict Cumberbatch’s performance in the titular role, and the special effects were most impressive.
The holidays are coming
I feel like I’ve got enough things to keep me occupied during November and hopefully I can get through everything I want to before the next big distraction on the horizon arrives… Christmas!