May 30, 2015

RTS Me This: Nervousness Towards Guns of Icarus Online


One of the things I keep stressing throughout this journey of sorts is that I'm still trying a lot of genres for the first time. When my friends and I get together for dinner and movie-binging, our League of Legends player tends to play a few matches as the rest of us fall asleep. One night, I woke up at two in the morning to write myself a blog post to find her still awake and playing.

...I wound up watching for nearly an hour. Since then, team-based real-time strategy (RTS) games have been of interest to me*. Guns of Icarus Online, by Muse Games, couldn't have gone on sale at a better time than when my Steam Wallet was running down. In all my glorious noobery, I'm sitting here on nearly ten practice matches and tutorial runs, teetering towards actually joining a match, and to go with that, I've got some to cover beforehand.


I'm the weirdo in the top hat (thanks, Fabulous Person in Yellow
for sending me this picture)
My earliest gaming experiences were in MMORPGs, like Pirate101 above. There, I was able to weave in and out of team and solo aspects, progressing at my own pace most of the time - or leveling like crazy with friends - and stumbling my way through. Now on wait for content updates, I've been picking up my controller to play a medley of Steam titles that don't necessarily require other people. Kentucky Route Zero has been a favorite, as with Dear Esther and the Portal 2 single-player. I've also found plenty of joy in multi-player opportunities like the Portal 2 co-op, Castle Crashers, and the way my friend Lilith and I were able to play one screen of Eidolon together.

That said, RTS games, like most MOBAs and other arena-based titles, have always been a nerve point for me. It's either my thought-process of needing to know the ropes before really plunging in, or my fear of letting an entire team of brilliant, talented individuals down. However, the wait has been for too long, and I've found myself starting to dive into this genre via Guns of Icarus Online, a game that's recently had a great increase in player-base from a recent Steam sale in which I as well partook. From "Fire from starboard!" to "FIRE, FIRE, EVERYTHING'S ON FIRE!", the hype and mood of this game is something that immediately took me on - Steampunk naval battle or bust!

This post interruption - yes, this one right here - is to call out to all my friends on Pirate101 that I've neglected in wait for content updates: Yes, I said steampunk naval battle.

Ignore my loadouts
What enticed me about Guns of Icarus Online was how its classes were fewer and the mechanic easier to understand for complete newbies to that kind of game. Guns of Icarus Online is played in teams of ships, four people per ship splitting three classes. A common setup is to have two Engineers running around and repairing like crazy, one gunner manning the ammunition, and the Pilot not only driving the beast, but captaining the ship's crew as well. Multiple ships make up one side of the equation, another number making up the other to duke it out in the sky.

"Who am I going to be?" I asked myself shortly after buying the game, sitting back. Engineering sounded cool, but I wondered if I'd crack under the pressure. Maybe being a gunner would be my strong point? No, maybe I'm not assertive enough... Then Piloting came up as an option. That sounds like something I'd like, but would I be a good leader? Maybe I needed more experience... Nothing seemed ideal. The lurking moral at the back of my head grew louder, though, as I kept playing through tutorials to try and hone in on my skills: Won't improve if I don't try.

"Was it REALLY a good idea to let me drive?"
Is it the glamour of succeeding as a well-oiled machine of a team that makes this game so enticing, though? Answer: Yes. While plenty daunting for me, it's something so exciting to strive for that I'm willing to throw aside my nervousness to give GoI a go.

TL;DR: Everything's going to be on fire...and I'm strangely okay with that. 

*At its core, I personally believe LoL is an RTS. Go forth and argue if you'd like. 

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