WRUP: The power of superheroes edition

    
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Wakanda forever.

The obvious thing to say about superheroes is that they are a power fantasy. This is mostly true, but it isn’t the whole story, because most superheroes aren’t about simply about having power but about how you choose to use it. In every superhero story, the hero is matched against someone who either has more power or somehow has another edge over the superhero. Superman is stronger than Lex Luthor, but he can’t just reduce Lex Luthor to a red mist because then he’s violating his ideals and proving all of Luthor’s claims about Superman true.

Where the real power comes from is that these are stories that make diagetic the power struggles we face in our day-to-day lives. You are not actually the last son of a dead planet… but you might feel like you are a stranger trying to help people with all your might. Or that you are part of an ancient culture most people have never seen, seeking to bring your grace and ability into the light. Or that you put on a suit to hide your weakness from the world even as your heart is breaking. These stories tell us that we can face these struggles, and even against people with more power, we can win. We can be more than we think we are.

It’s What Are You Playing. Head on down to the comments.

Bonus question: Do you find wireless keyboards, mice, or headphones worth it for your computer?

Andrew Ross (@dengarsw): Probably a little Pokemon Go for exercise motivation and some Animal Crossing Sunday night for that last batch of fireworks.

I actually tend to have everything wired. I have too much that needs to be charged and a bad habit of forgetting to charge almost anything other than my phone. I will admit I’ve been tempted by some earbuds a former coworker introduced me to, but, well, I’m also cheap.

Andy McAdams: Still putzing around in World of Warcraft. I’m excited that we have an expansion launch date finally which means pre-patch even sooner. I’m pretty excited to Shadowlands, where I wasn’t at all for Battle for Azeroth. But even BfA has been really fun at the microcosm level, even if the macro level is a hot mess (and it is). I don’t know if Shadowlands will be good or not, but I do know that for the first time in a long time, I feel like WoW cares about more people than the hardcore cupcakes.

Bonus question: Totally depends. If I’m playing on a laptop, I’m more likely to go wireless with the keyboard and mouse. Desktop it doesn’t matter as much and since wired peripherals are cheaper than the wireless counterparts, I end up going wired. When it comes to headsets – all wireless, all the way. I tend to wander away in sudden fits of fancy, I’ve yanked wired headsets out of the ports an embarrassing number of times.

Ben Griggs (@braxwolf): I’ll most likely still be grinding credits in World of Warships. I have several tech tree ships researched, but lack the funds and port slots to purchase them. I’m getting dangerously close to getting my first tier 10 tech tree ship, American cruiser Des Moines.

Bonus question: I swear by wired peripherals. When I was in networking, I worked with some old AT&T telephone company vets who lived by the mantra “if it don’t touch, it don’t talk” which explains why we so often encounter spotty WiFi connectivity. Plus, I don’t like the thought of having to schedule my gaming around recharges and battery replacements. Wired peripherals give me one less thing to worry about in an already complicated setup.

Brianna Royce (@nbrianna, blog): So I have some real-life stuff to attend to this weekend, but I also have a bunch of games I’d like to play. I’m sure I’ll be in The Sims 4 a bit, I need to swing by Star Wars Galaxies Legends (I’m not that great at breaks), I need to clean up my Lord of the Rings Online account maybe do some Farmer’s Faire if the servers are functioning (couple of weeks left on my canceled sub, so I may as well use them), and my family is back into Guild Wars 2, so I have a feeling I’ll be sucked in over there. Trying not to, though, since I still have an entire tray of new-to-me games I’d also like to try. Need more hours in a day.

Wireless keyboards and mice that actually fit my size/layout preferences tend to be poorly made and drop inputs, so after doing those for many years, now I stick to wired on both. I do use a wireless headset, though, which is why I have to tie myself down to my desk during the podcast – otherwise I find myself racing and pacing around my house. I generally hate wires showing anywhere, though. It’s a whole thing.

Carlo Lacsina (@UltraMudkipEX), YouTube): I’m going to be playing some Black Desert Mobile. I don’t really touch it so I really want to check out what I’ve been missing out on recently. Other than that, maybe make some progress in Final Fantasy XIV’s story as well.

Chris Neal (@wolfyseyes, blog): I’m not sure what I’m doing this weekend in MMO-land. I’ve got a couple things in Final Fantasy XIV to do on the RP event side, but no real long-term goals if I’m completely honest. I also kind of want to really dig in to making a character for gameplay and RP in City of Heroes: Homecoming. Really, I just want to soak in the MMORPG ambience since I was without internet for a whole week.

I have this (likely unfounded) mistrust of wireless peripherals even though I’m not the sort of person who counts millisecond timing of button presses because I’m too busy being middling to awful at games in general, so I never go wireless.

Eliot Lefebvre (@Eliot_Lefebvre, blog): Stuff, I guess? FFXIV will factor in there. I have some game stuff to review. I also want to get in some New World preview time, probably.

My anxiety about charging has mostly kept me to wired peripherals, and it doesn’t help that my computer’s layout means that all of the USB ports are in the back and don’t play nice with wireless peripherals plugged in there. I do like them in theory for fewer cords, but concerns about battery life and charging have kept me mostly just to the wireless headset.

Mia DeSanzo (@neschria): I am taking a breather between Black Desert Online seasons, planning to dip into all the games I have been neglecting, most likely No Man’s Sky and Frostpunk. (The Magic 8-ball says “Very doubtful.” It says I will play Rimworld. Again. How strangely specific!)

I am neutral on the wired vs. wireless peripherals in general. I have had mix of them at different times. The one exception might be wireless headphones when I am working. I have a tendency to try to get up and walk off with headphones still on, so wireless saves me trouble and replacement expense.

Sam Kash (@thesamkash): I got my code to access the New World beta so I’m sure I’ll be spending a good amount of time in there. Next to that I’ll continue to rack up achievements in Guild Wars 2!

I’m a big fan of wireless peripherals. I don’t really play any hard core twitchy shooters often, so I don’t need to worry about a tiny bit of latency. I’m all about what makes life and gaming easier. And that’s going wireless!

Tyler Edwards (blog): Still grinding my way through Horizon: Zero Dawn. I’m definitely coming to the bitter conclusion this game does not live up to the hype, but I want to make it through to the end. It’s not bad; it’s just… oppressively ordinary. Holding out the vague hope that I might get a late invite to New World’s not-a-test, but that hope is fading fast.

Bonus question: Truthfully I’ve never understood what the purpose of wireless peripherals is. I’ve never been in a situation where it would be helpful to have them. But then I’m usually pretty behind the technological curve. I still don’t have a smartphone.

Pierre, patron: I have finished my NG+ of The Last of Us; I really enjoyed it as the combats are much more fun with all your character and weapons enhancements available. I haven’t decided yet which game will take its place in my schedule, I will let you know next week.
I’m still going through The Last of Us Part II, also really enjoying it, but where the first part had some moments of positiveness and laughs, the sequel is a really dark piece and you must be psychologically strong to go through this somehow depressing experience. I’m really convinced it’s not a game for everyone but the experience is worth it, if you have what it takes. Final Fantasy XI is my MMO these days, even if I haven’t found a lot of time to play it recently.

Bonus question: I have Logitech wireless keyboard and mouse and they are excellent products, with a very easy and flawless pairing process. I also use wireless headphones from time to time, but it’s quite a complex setup a little too long to explain here. And you MOP readers, it would be awesome if you could let us know what you’re playing this weekend.

Every Saturday, join the Massively OP community and staff for What Are You Playing, our roundup of what MMORPGs and other games we’re hoping to play this weekend (with a bonus question or two for our amusement). Tell us what you’re up to! Go off-topic! And don’t forget to have fun!
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Malcolm Swoboda

Woops! Meant to post on Saturday but procrastinated. Well, here I am.

  • Wizards Unite – Did stupid community weekend and wrapping up doing second week of stupid ‘First Year At Hogwarts’ event. I bet they give us raid battles later this year starting with stuff like the basilisk from Chamber of Secrets (aka ‘Second Year’ of the Hogwarts, and game journey.
  • Another Eden –Logins and some veryyyy small advancement on main story.
  • Suspended: FFXIV, SWTOR, Magikarp Splash, Sub to my Adventure, Coromon
  • Logins: Magia Record, Final Fantasy Brave Exvius, Blade xLord, Villagers and Heroes, EVE Echoes
  • Sidenote: Blade xLord announced weeks ago that its going to shut down at end of September, and now Magia Record has announced the same, so if I’m going to catch up on any story content in them it’ll be in the next month! (The native release versions are still going to run, but I don’t want to read/translate Japanese.) Both games didn’t treat their global audiences very well, especially Magia Record lately, so I’m not going to be too happy about the developing/publishing companies from now on. Bright side – I can shorten this list and maybe explore other titles!
  • Last Cloudia – Completed the latest training event and a new ranking event began. So far I like this one more? I’m not wasting my time on endgame challenge battles that feel more like whalebait, but I’m getting the gist of rewards so far, and it feels like its a multi-phased event that takes a month? And I’m doing okay? I think my mood is improved because I immediately got the new featured character (well ‘shift’ version of an existing character) ‘Guardian Angel Lukiel’ on my first 10x gacha pull! Been a while since I had that luck. I just need to remember to not take ranking events seriously besides their story content and exclusive rewards (NOT top ranking, non-exclusive rewards). I’ve also been cleaning up Hard mode world map missions before I take a look at sidequests I’ve ignored.
  • Tales of Crestoria – Finishing up the gist of the ‘late-summer’ event as new stuff is about to come. Also caught up on existing storyline which introduced a new main character! God this game is lucky it has such charm because the game design and programming is HORRIBLE.
  • Distancing Hangouts – Friend visited. Partner still RTS gaming. My Remnant: From the Ashes friend group now numbers 3 and may grow to 4! Still taking my time and on the first world of four/five.
  • World of Warcraft – Checked out my previously curious Turtle-WoW private server character because they have a special leveling event and rewards for characters reaching Lv 10. The server has only 50-200 on at any one time, which is of course SUPER quiet, but they keep trucking on, basically doing Classic+ before Blizzard would ever do it, if they even will. This is growing to the point of adding new zones themed for how a Burning Crusade might be if it was just patches (High Elves and Goblin playable races and zones, Classic Outland, etc). Yeah, its custom, but I admire its gutso and Blizzlike attempts. The game also has support for custom quests by the community.

*note: in last week’s post, I said “Partner finished the Nova missions in Astral Chain”, but of course I meant Starcraft 2.

Partner is playing Zerg in Starcraft Remastered, and has reached Macalania Woods and Temple in Final Fantasy X.

The power of!… -_-, waifu.

Just… WoW
And I know its small, but I’m a bit surprised Massively hasn’t caught on to this? You cover private servers occasionally.

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Sorenthaz

FFXIV and maybe some other things. Not sure what those other things will be.

WayTooLateTV
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WayTooLateTV

Playing a lot of Final Fantasy XIV this weekend, doing the Yo-Kai Watch event and leveling up Black Mage from 74 and up. Was playing on stream last night and got a positively blazing fast Doma Castle and a positively shaky Keeper of the Lake. Tonight’s Strategy Saturday with XCOM 2: War of the Chosen at 11pm PT as per usual, so I’m going after the Hunter (pain levels willing and the creek don’t rise), IIRC, so this’ll be a fun one.

As for the bonus question: Keyboards and mice are always wired for me (Currently using a Cooler Master CK522 with red switches, and a Logitech G600), but my headset always has to be wireless because of how often I roam around the house. I use push-to-talk still, so I can’t talk while I’m afk, but I need to hear everything going on while I’m away, so the headset has to be wireless.

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Bruno Brito

New World. The feeling that i get from the game is that…i don’t know, something is off. It’s like the entire game gets the best of most other games in the market, but it doesn’t flesh out into something innovative or substantial.

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mysecretid

It’s early days, Bruno — do you think the game might get better over time? Or do you think the devs have basically finished all the core development they plan to do for now?

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mysecretid

A great column this week, Eliot. Thank you, sir!

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mysecretid

Nothing really new to talk about this week.

Mostly, I’ve been playing Greedfall on my PS4, despite the game’s quirks, because the story and the characters have caught my interest.

I picked up the first season of HBO’s Watchmen sequel series (I was a huge fan of the original comics and graphic novel), and it’s far better than I expected — but I can only watch the series in small doses right now, because a lot of its themes coincidentally match what’s going on in real life as I type this.

A wise therapist friend advised me years ago that, when life feels dark, try not to engage with dark and depressing things, because this can create a “cascade effect” where things just start to feel progressively worse and worse.

So, Watchmen in very small doses only. The rest of the time, I try to play games that give me a respite from the madness of the Orange Emperor and his hordes.

So, Greedfall and — believe it or not — The Sims 4 are on the agenda.

Take care of yourselves, and each other. It’s how we get through this.

Cheers,

Secret

Bonus Answer: I’ve never found wireless peripherals to be as responsive as the wired versions. Not yet, anyway.

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Loopy

There is something very cathartic about Sims. Being in full control of things, especially among such an uncontrollable time we live in..

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mysecretid

Absolutely right, friend Loopy. Plus, nothing terribly bad ever really happens in The Sims, and you can easily cheat-code your way out of any bad development, anyway.

If you find the cheat codes for the year 2020, do let me know — I seem to have lost mine. :-D

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Bryan Turner

I’ve been playing ESO. Wired vs Wireless, makes no difference to me from my experience.

Even though no one asked I always preferred villains over heroes, they always seemed more nuanced and you can get some great redemption story arcs; for example Magneto is my main man and I love it when he shows up as a story focus. Hickman’s been handling Magneto like a champ.

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EmberStar

One of my favorite characters from “Batman: The Animated Series” was Mr. Freeze. I’ve always thought it was very well done that you can absolutely understand his motivations, even though it’s not even a debate that *how* he chooses to do things is unacceptable.

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Bruno Brito

Most of Batman’s dialogs with Victor are him calling him by his name and trying to get him to let go. The reason why he shoves his nemesis in Arkham is because he believes they can become better with help. In this aspect, he’s similar to Flash and Supes.

A good example are the numerous chances he gives Harley to realize she can be more than just Joker’s punching bag. Her relationship with Ivy also makes them less prone to comit crimes for free.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

Quite a few of the Batman specific villains are also “dark reflections” of Batman himself. Harley and Ivy mirror his obsession. Scarecrow is his willingness to use fear, but amplified to an extreme and unfettered by any kind of morality. Two-face is the completely broken version of his own dual nature trying to balance being both Bruce Wayne and Batman. Mr Freeze isn’t looking for “justice,” simply cold, uncaring vengeance.

And aside from Mr. Freeze, I think “Harley’s Holiday” was one of my favorite episodes. Harley got a clean bill of health and earned parole. But she’s so used to being treated as the bad guy that a misunderstanding over a security tag turns into a crazed general trying to kill her, even if he has to level half of Gotham to do it.

Zulika Mi-Nam
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Zulika Mi-Nam

My honeymoon with WoW is over. I no longer feel like logging in. I made it to the current stuff in BFA, but the bugs and usual raid behavior has just turned me off.

At least my new office chair gamble has turned out well.

Bonus: I stay far away from wireless mice and keyboards. If you are using it from your couch for a TV I understand, but how far are you trying to get from your PC monitor and/or why are you moving around. I think the only things wireless HIDs add are the opportunity for batteries to fail, delay/interference, and the another open door to be hacked (I have seen this happen by accident/coincidence).

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Loopy

MSFS is an absolute blast to play, and i’ve recently discovered FSEconomy that creates a whole “mission system” around the game itself. Rent planes, carry out deliveries, earn money to buy your own and/or build an actual facility. I wish something like that existed in the game proper, but i’ll take what i’ve got.

Other than that not much else. My vacation plans for a mountain trip with the family ended up folding last minute, so now i’m sad… Damn this Covid business..

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mysecretid

“Fly Air Loopy — All In-Flight Loop-de-Loops Are Free!”

Glad you’re having fun, my friend!

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IronSalamander8 .

We’re getting close to the end of Divinity Original Sin and hope to finish it soon! Plan to get Baldur’s gate 3 which uses a similar system once it’s available.

BfN as always, new prize map in 3 days and the wildflower and TV head zombie are coming next month sometime so will be working on leveling them once available.

Also pushing through the current Paladins battle pass. It’s a mixed bag for me, Inara is my favorite character and the effects and outfit are nice but her face with the new outfit looks off, like the eyes are too far apart, the Io skins are great though.

I had a wireless mouse and keyboard once. After it went bonkers in EQ 1 and my cleric drowned at the secret passage zone line going to the Qeynos underground and the outside area (like my SK, she was a human worshiper of Bertoxxulous), and the corpse sank under the zone line and it was a bear to get that taken care of, I’ve stuck to wired controls ever since.