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10:22am on Tuesday, 18th August, 2020:



Here are the names of the games shown in yesterday's post.

I've played all of them.

Baldur's Gate is one of my all-time favourites, although I prefer BG2. I'm not looking forward to BG3 because I don't like mind flayers. This image illustrates the Module Information section for CE217, showing as it does a tower full of vast numbers of children of Bhaal. Why no, I am not drawing an analogy between my module as a Bhaalspawn and the university as the Lord of Murder.

Conan Exiles is a survival game. It's playable as an MMO, but I play it single-player. I've played it through twice (to the point where I left the exiled lands), most recently over the past few weeks. This image illustrates CE217's Reading List section, because it has writing on it (and a picture of people praying to a being from the past).

The Patrician III is a trading game, which is a lot more fun than the anodyne The Patrician IV. I used it to illustrate the Module Resources page for CE217. The name of the ship there is HMS CE217.

Caesar IV is a city-building game with a number of levels corresponding to the foundation of different cities in the Roman Empire. I used it for the Help Forum for CE217 for the sole reason that it has a forum in it.

WildStar was an MMO. It had a lot of great things going for it, but too many flaws to get the traction it deserved. A lot of people look back on it very fondly, but I'm not one of them: it's the only MMO I've played that I abandoned before reaching the level cap. My reason: dynamic difficulty adjustment that dynamically adjusted the difficulty so you couldn't level up as a healer. I used this screenshot for CE217's Assessment Information screen, choosing it over screenshots from other games because the text in the little speech bubble box you can't read at the top says "Now... what could you possibly want with me?" and the text in the dialogue box at the bottom that you also can't read says "Breaching Security".

Civilization VI is my least-favourite game in the series. It's lost all connection to its artistic foundations. I used the image of Queen Victoria from it for the Welcome and Support page for CE217 because everyone knows Vicky was welcoming and supportive, and not at all pompous, entitled and full of her own self-importance.

Trails of Cold Steel is a JRPG. It's like watching a movie on DVD that makes you press the play button every so often and occasionally requires you to get up and fight the DVD player. It's CE317's Assessment Information illustration, because in this scene the gang is putting on a show in a competition judged by their teachers.

Final Fantasy XIV is an MMO that doesn't take itself too seriously and doesn't keep trying to break itself (unlike World of Warcraft on both counts). I played it from January up until a few weeks ago, having also played it for a few months at the start of 2019. I used this particular screenshot for CE317's Help Forum, because that completely out-of-place yellow bird critter there looks as if it needs some assistance (although, bizarrely, it's the player character who needs assistance and the chicken-lookalike is providing it).

Star Wars: The Old Republic is two MMOs in one. It starts off as a story-driven MMO, then when you reach the level cap it turns into a standard raid-until-the-next-expansion MMO. Apparently, there are enough people who like both stories and raiding for it to remain viable. I played it averaging 6 hours a day from 1 Jan 2012 to 4 May 2012. The image is for the CE317 Module Information page, because someone is doing something to a computer in it.

Black Desert Online is an MMO with gorgeous graphics and a limited number of clothing options. It's a world-beating MMO for lovers of grinding. I happened to have a screenshot of one of my alts waving in it, so used that for the CE317 Welcome and Support image. It could be she was waving goodbye.

The Secret World is my favourite MMO in design terms. It's atmospheric and story-driven, but the story is integrated into the gameplay so there's meaning carried in the underlying procedurality. When that connection was broken, by the introduction of an ill-conceived augmentation to the combat system, the game fell apart. It was then reworked as Secret World Legends, which didn't make the same mistake but made another one instead. Anyway, the reason I used this screenshot for the CE317 Module Resources page is entirely because the wording on the sign above the door there says that the name of this bank is: "Bartleby & Daughters". It's a shout-out to me: the only one I know of in an MMO (unless Bartleby the Drunk in WoW is also one).

Lord of the Rings Online is another now-quite-venerable MMO. I used the image of the departure of the Fellowship for the CE317 Reading List section, on the grounds that it directly references an episode in the book. I particularly liked the fact that Bill the Pony appears in it, with his own nameplate hovering above him.

On the actual images as I use them, by the way, I do state the name of the game concerned. Academics should always cite their sources!

If the university changes the image size again next year, I'm just going to use screenshots chosen at random.

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