Instance Gratification 5: On the Road with Neverstone & Hearthwinter


Instance Gratification is the return of one of our premiere video outings. Originally featuring the cast of founder bloggers thrashing World of Warcraft dungeons and viewer runs of Dungeon & Dragons Online, the reinvigorated column heads to the realm of the Twitch channel. Come join us every Wednesday for dungeon dives, solo attempts and general loot hoarding in your favorite games.

The road to PAX Prime 2014 is a long one and I’m doing the best I can to entertain myself en route to Seattle. The limitations of the traveling gaming rig, a powerful MSI GX70, aren’t much, but streaming and gaming is an entirely different beast than simply playing one of the multi million dollar affairs. The past F2P Friday and MOBA Monday have let me determine these minor limitations and snag what was needed to make the weekly outings as homey as possible.

The Tyranny of Dragons continues in Neverwinter and we’re heading back into the Forgotten Realms. Sure the new race, the Dragonborn, and the the latest class, a Scourge Warlock, are great, but I feel like focusing on the continued development of my Trickster Rogue. Can you blame me for actually wanting to level cap? There’s so much tasty endgame for me to get to!

Neverwinter folk take notice. We’ll be giving away Neverwinter Vanguard Pack codes during your portion of Instance Gratification!

Curse of Naxxramas you shall fall to my Valeria. The Military Quarter dispatched (mostly) during last week’s episode puts me one wing closer to Kel’Thuzad. I farmed up enough gold to remain only a single week behind the release schedule. It’s unlikely I’ll go through the same win streak I did for earlier wings, but if I do there’s always the Class Challenges. They’ve been entertaining so far.

Be sure to subscribe to the channel for all our streams, giveaways and general shenanigans. Hit the jump for the livestream, which will be replaced later with the recorded edition of the show. The show will kick off around 1:00 PM EST and continue at least until the 3:00 PM hour. See you there!

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  1. Even I eventually grew tired of Progress Quest, and I was ineliitfny amused by it for a while. Poor Chirponius now languishes on the server. Sniff.I prefer a happy medium in storytelling. I can no longer stand to play games that have NO story at all – except the Sims, but that’s different. I doubt ANYONE would try to argue that the Sims is a CRPG. (I could be wrong, of course.) If there’s a minimal story at least, I can construct my character’s motivations and such in my mind (though if it’s TOO minimal I don’t want to bother).I like a general story but with freedom to do other things along the way with little bits of other minor plots contained in a large, overarching plot (like Morrowind and Oblivion and even Baldur’s Gate, I guess).However, for me the storytelling itself can be good enough to carry a game (within reason). I don’t mind a linear sort of game if the story is enjoyable, well-written, well-told, and has memorable characters and dialog. Knights of the Old Republic, for instance, was very linear (you could choose which order to visit the planets in after the first bit, but you did have to visit all of them eventually – none could simply be skipped and none were there just for variety). But the story was very well done and the characters were terrific. I really enjoyed that one.So I guess it depends on the quality of the game. :)

  2. Ah-hah! Well, now I know for sure where Kill the Foozle came from. I suspected it was you but it’s used all the time now by peploe who haven’t heard of you. Anyway – yeah, Fallout probably falls into that happy medium I’m thinking of. Ideally a game would not only allow flexibility and deviations within the storyline, but actually have the story adapt itself to the player’s actions. Within reason. It’s a bit of a holy grail, of course – something to strive for, but never to attain.Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines tried to go that direction, too. They tried to create multiple solutios for about every mission. And far-reaching consequences for them, in some cases. For example, masquerade violations could solve certain problems a little easier, but would result in the appearance of vampire hunters later. There were many times you could engage in a diplomatic solution, a stealthy solution, or a combat solution. There wasn’t a right way.Unfortunately, this was offset by mandatory combats where all the effort you put into making your character a diplomatic or stealth expert were wasted, and you had to go through an encounter made far more difficult because you DIDN’T dump all your points into statting up a straightforward combat monster.

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