Vandal

Middle-Earth: Shadow of War • Destroy a Monument • 10G • 52.72% of gamers unlocked this

I had seen this achievement on the list a couple of times now, and the percentage of completion prompted me to assume that it would be something I stumble across during the course of my gameplay. Sure enough, my brief session this morning (with no purpose, just intended to log on and kill a few orcs) caused me to stumble across a large orc statue in the middle of a stronghold.

If I was Monty Burns, I would have rubbed my hands together and salaciously whispered “Excellent.”

There’s no pop-up or tutorial to instruct you how to actually destroy the monument. My experience of digital vandalism is largely confined to the Just Cause series, which usually involves placing explosives onto a statue and … well … pushing a button. Here, I shot arrows into the statue, detonated the nearest explosive barrel and swung my sword at it a few times, but – as it turns out – all you have to do is climb onto the head, click RB and Talion will do the rest of the work for you.

Exit, one monument.

In other gaming news, I still have no gaming PC yet, so I’m feeling a bit tetchy about all the gaming goodness I’m missing out on. It’s not like I’ve actually got any time to play anyway – but you know what they say about absence and the heart!

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Eregion Reforged

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Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor – Game of the Year Edition • Build all the Forge Towers in Udun • 40G • 8.08% of gamers unlocked this

So it seems like the solution to being able to actually use proper screen shots from Xbox on this blog is to first take the screenshot, then save it to Google Drive on my phone, then download it on my computer and then upload it to WordPress as part of preparing the blog entry.

Yeah, right. Consider yourself lucky today – this certainly isn’t going to be ‘the norm’. The easiest solution is for Xbox just to patch the App, which we’ll just keep assuming is going to happen ‘sometime’ in 2018. Mind you, I don’t know if ‘lucky’ is really the right term. This process means you only get one shot today … and it’s not a very good one if I do say so myself.

Speaking of which – whoo-hoo! This is officially the half-way mark for my Achievement a Day challenge. Half. Way. I almost can’t believe it. There’s been a few stumbles along the way, as the lure of the PlayStation calls to me – even more tempting has been a shift to PC gaming – but I’ve kept at it with my beloved Xbox, and now that I’ve hit the top of the hump, here’s hoping that I can bring it home strong. Part of these other temptations have been sated by my consideration of what the ‘next’ challenge could be. I’m heavily leaning towards PC, as I get older I can see more-and-more the appeal of PC gaming. And it’s not just cost – its permeation as a platform means that there’s a healthy dose of people to play with – even on older games which many would consider legacy or retro. There is obviously a better range – while MMOs have been doing a good job on console lately, there is still a noticeable absence of the likes of World of Warcraft there to hold down the fort. Plus, it simply has all the features that I love about PlayStation and Xbox on there now. Both Steam and GOG have achievements, Ubisoft Club and EA – with their respective platforms – both have social network integration, and thanks to this blog, I’ve come to a conclusion that it’s actually not that hard to showcase your achievements to the world. They don’t all need to be centralised, and – perhaps most importantly – not many people care that much about your achievements. It is often a deeply personal experience, and sure, you might like to share it on social media when you earn a particularly special one (PlayStation Platinum trophies in particular permeate some of my Facebook gaming groups), but by-and-large, those people who care about achievements are in it for themselves. Unless you’re going to show them an easier way to earn it, then people will keep a closed shop on the whole idea.

Today’s achievement comes from my beloved Shadow of Mordor. Yes, I know I’ve platium’d it on PlayStation, and I’ve completed everything I can on the base game, but the GOTY edition is a whole new set of achievements. I didn’t necessarily want to double-dip on an achievement if I could help it (I’ve likely done this before on some of the Minecraft achievements, so I’m not making it a hard-and-fast rule), so instead I’ve been playing some of The Bright Lord DLC which I’ve never done before.

This narrative takes place when Celebrimbor is building a Mordor-based following to take down Sauron. It doesn’t look like particularly big DLC, I have to say – but it paces the expansion by locking-away missions until you have a bigger following or a stronger presence in the region. Personally, I found it more frustrating than anything, but I didn’t make the game, so I suppose there’s a narrative or mechanic beat here that makes it necessary. Because I’m unlikely to find out what that is, I’ll just come on my blog and whinge about it.

Elsewhere on the gaming front, I’ve reinstalled Fallout 4 finally. That is a big, big game now – aside from the disc, it’s about an additional 25GB of downloads, which it did over two days for me, assuming because I have downloads turned off when the power is off. I did manage to finish the ‘Sanctuary’ achievement today though – which I suspect is an achievement that most people have (I just looked it up, 42.27% of gamers have it – I was certainly in the minority here), so at least that’s some small progress towards completion. Given the DLC packs though, I find a completion run unlikely.

Have a happy new year if you’re reading this on the Sunday, or if you’re a day or two late, I hope you’ve recovered. Thanks for meeting me at the half way point. I look forward to you joining me on the final steps!