Folks reviewing a free to play game (especially a gacha game) saying they managed to play through a videogame without feeling the need to cough up only tells me how able they are to walk past a fruit machine, not how invasive the monetisation is. Even more so in the first few weeks when the monetisation is especially light yet somehow the game is making a shitload of money all the same.
One of the things I’m realising since fucking off most social media apart from my little corner on Mastodon is just how much I’d lost the ability to clearly differentiate between “something that requires a bit of a shrug, maybe a tut or something” and “okay, this needs addressing”.
Like, I knew it was becoming a problem for me, that’s part the reason I absolutely had to step away. I really didn’t like what that made me. I don’t have the energy to be constantly reacting to something, doubly so when there’s a lot happening without trivial nonsense or gossip.
And, you know, it does take time away from stuff that needs a bit more thought put into it. That’s no good to anyone right now.
It’s been a bumpy ride so far, I’ve slipped up a couple of times. Just wanted to put this note here so that if you’re wondering why I’ve deleted a post or something, it’s because it’s a howler that’s totally failed the “who even gives a shit, bloody hell, give it a rest” test and I’m trying to avoid that.
I keep forgetting to mention this, because I’m rubbish. Also because I keep forgetting things.
I know it’s very much the in thing at the mo to have games that are built around having a subset of players catalogue their workings. I don’t particularly mind it but given my incredibly flakey memory these days, it’s definitely something that makes playing games a lot more difficult for me.
When I can’t remember where I put my phone down two minutes ago, I’m sure you can imagine how messy it is trying to remember crafting recipes or whatever other videogame nonsense I need to follow.
Take ESO, for example, when I’m doing anything that isn’t just hitting stuff or fishing for stuff, I have a whole bunch of blog posts and wiki posts open in tabs. One for survey maps, one for treasure maps, one for crafting recipes, one for blue shiny collectibles and so on.
I’ve always had a memory like a sieve! Long before the pain and brainfog made things more difficult I used to be one of those people who kept notes, drew maps and the likes. Even back in 1984, I had a folder full of notes me and mum made, tips and advice for tricky bits copied from magazines and filed. Pokes, things to avoid because oops, broke the game there. This stuff has always been a part of games for me.
Just games are really big now. Games are often non-linear, they have more things going on at any one time, more overlapping tasks, shopping lists of stuff to do, a whole host of recipes, tricks and locations and stuff. So much stuff. For someone with a shit memory, it’s a proper nightmare some days.
I guess it’s one of those things where folks take their own abilities for granted, you know? Like, the ability to juggle 30 guides, to hold a bunch of crafting recipes in their bonce without it being really stressful (or borderline impossible, depending on the day). Perhaps entirely unaware that even juggling a bunch of wiki pages can be super stressful and difficult to keep track of. It’s not just looking up information, it’s spending precious spoons.
It’s also kinda unfortunate that the games I like the most are the ones I’m likely to be unable to keep track of. Talk about awkward. Why couldn’t I just stick to flashing lights at myself like a sensible person.
Because of all this, I am extremely grateful for Kurt Louren’s Assistant For No Man’s Sky app. It obviously doesn’t solve anything for, like, any other game but for No Man’s Sky it’s been an absolutely wonderful resource having all this stuff in a findable, searchable, easy to flit through way that’s always on hand.
It’s not the first app of its type for a game, won’t be the last either, but it is an absolutely excellent one. I’m talking well above and beyond the call of duty in keeping it tidy, updated often and with pointers to other resources too.
OK, so I’m around 2,000 hours deep into the game across a couple of formats, a couple of saves. I’m very much in the endgame faffing around and doing what I want part of the game. As you’d expect from that, I don’t need the app as much as I would were I trying to plough through the game from the start. It’s still been absurdly handy, even if that’s just to catch up on where the ongoing story is up to at the mo.
There’s also no way on Molyneux’s sweet Earth I’d be able to manage the cooking (in the game, natch) without it. Juggling multiple levels of crafting just isn’t going to happen any other way for me.
There’s definitely a part of me that’s all “it shouldn’t be up to the community and audience to build this stuff” because it’s an accessibility issue full stop. Also, when the game has sold a shedload, it’s absolutely within the power of the studio to sort! That doesn’t stop me from being grateful when the community steps up to sort stuff out though, yeah? Especially when it’s so well done, and this NMS app is really well done.