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Necrophobia: A Virtual Death Dealer's Hypocrisy

I don't have much to say, as I largely wasted the last four days half-expecting that an appointment on Wednesday (yesterday) was going to result in me being the lucky 1:10,000th chance recipient of a routine medical examination gone horribly wrong.  It did not, and I am left defeated with a diagnosis that there's nothing wrong with me, so I have just been wasting my free time worrying by puttering about nervously on the Internet.  Nevertheless, something about letting the cast from Aladdin take up the first post for another day rubs me the other way, so I'll have to come up with something to discuss.
Shamelessly borrowed from some Warframe Wikia contributor.
Well, when I was not wasting my time completely, I was mostly playing Warframe.

A new player in Warframe is given a choice of one of three warframes:
  • Excalibur, a somewhat well-rounded fighter.
  • Mag, a somewhat offensive caster who can also recharge friendly shields.
  • Loki, a sneakier type who can distract with decoys or go invisible.
I chose Loki because the game describes it as, "Desired by advanced players" and I figure a fellow who plays games as much as me is such an "advanced player" that it can be considered overkill into the realm of dysfunctionality, and virtually every entry on this blog can be taken as evidence of that.

Whether or not I regret my choice of lifestyle, I have not regretted my choice of warframe: the Loki is a lot of fun, and I find being able to throw out a decoy to be somewhat indispensable.   Going invisible also turned out to be quite useful because I can apparently attack while invisible and remain invisible, even getting bonus damage for doing so, resulting in invisibility being somewhat of Loki's version of an area of effect attack as I hew down multiple enemies before it expires.  Loki's other two abilities I generally find less useful: switching place with a decoy, enemy, or another player is tough to garner much use out of, and his "ultimate" area of effect disarming ability really does not make enemies all that much less dangerous.  However, because Loki is the fastest moving of all warframes (and also the flimsiest) I feel somewhat as though I made the right choice even though I don't yet see any point of using half of this frame's four abilities.

I have upgraded my the starting primary weapon players get, an MK-1 Braton light automatic rifle, to the Boar fully-automatic shotgun.  The Braton is a pretty effective all-rounder, with accuracy and damage per second output, but naturally a more specialized weapon can be more effective, and the Boar is about as specialized as you can get at putting out a bit spike of damage at close range.  I do mildly regret investing in the Boar because, at the range that it operates, using my melee weapon seems more practical, even if the Boar's overall damage per second is considerably higher.

This was done after I upgraded the starting secondary sidearm weapon, the Lato pistol, with a slower-firing, but quite accurate, heavier pistol, the Lex.  An accurate secondary sidearm is a requirement when using the Boar as a primary weapon, because the Boar has no ranged accuracy to speak of and there are times that distant targets need to be dealt with.

I have upgraded my starting melee weapon, the Skana - a kind of katana? - with the Cronus, which is basically just a straight up upgrade of the Skana in every way.  This is one of the few such upgrades in the game as, for the most part, the weapons in Warframe are balanced with pros and cons.

None of these upgrades required I spend any real money to get them.  I bought the Lex with credits, which are earned in-game, and the rest were constructed from materials covered during missions using blueprints.  The Cronus blueprint is given to all new players, but I bought the Boar's blueprint with credits.  Though not all gear in Warframe can be purchased with credits or crafted in the foundry, most can, and this experience has left me feeling that the current store balance is quite fair to F2P players.  I have yet to obtain a sentinel, a floating little assistant robot reminiscent of the "mags" from Phantasy Star Online, but I think that would be a prudent next choice to save up credits for.

For a lark, I installed an Orokin Catalyst on my Boar shotgun, spending twenty of the precious fifty complementary micro-transaction money they give new accounts, and discovered it basically doubles the amount of mods you can install.  That's pretty cool, my Boar shotgun is only up to about level 8, and I can already install 16 levels worth of mods on it.  Having accumulated a fair amount of such mods, this shotgun is a real beast already, with +60% armor piercing and +60% base damage mods now installed.

Overall, I've had a lot of fun with Warframe, but I'm not sure I'll be playing much more of it in the near future.  I am having the same problem with it that I am with the other games I'm playing right now: even if the core game mechanic is good, there's not much to do but grind - do the same thing repetitively - until I'm bored.  Foresight can be a double-edged sword in that it both saves me from wasting too much time while preventing me from enjoying myself by doing so.

As I mentioned in earlier blog entries, I feel somewhat obligated to play both Neverwinter and Marvel Heroes because I have spent money on them.  (No, it has not escaped me that if time is money then investing time in the games is actually putting me further in debt.)  Tomorrow, Friday the 31st of May, my "premium" account head start begins in Marvel Heroes, and I think it's a fair assessment that this is where I will be spending my free time, but I understand that they are having technical difficulties, so I'm not holding my breath that it will go well.

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