Dynamic Duos

One of the great joys of WoW is how couple-friendly it is. My wife and I are suckers for some cooperative multiplayer, and we haven't looked back since we set up her account. We play together all the time, doing dailies, farming mobs, instancing and raiding (although we're learning that being new parents isn't really conducive to raiding, so that's trailing off). Also, leveling alts.

We have some experience leveling a number of duos.

Continue reading Dynamic Duos

The Pleasant Surprise

In The Incredibles, Dash is the young son who can run and move very very fast, like the Flash. There's a scene where he's running away from some mercenary villains, through a jungle. So he's zipping between trees and jumping over logs, but his visibility ahead is limited because the jungle is so thick. Suddenly the forest ends and there's a tiny bit of beach before a large bay of water, with him barreling towards it far too fast for him to safely turn away. Dash clenches his eyes closed, expecting to wipe out spectacularly… and then opens them to learn that he can run across the water's surface. Surprise! He lets out this mischievous, joyous, relief-filled laugh, then zips away. It's a great scene. (Brad Bird for overlord)

In World of Warcraft, my wife and I have had that laugh many times.

Continue reading The Pleasant Surprise

Game Riding Shotgun

What happens when you've got two gamers (me and my wife) who can't play a game together, but you both want to play? Someone rides shotgun. This can be due to the game being single-player, or more recently, due to the need for someone to hold an infant.

The person who rides shotgun doesn't have to focus on controls or the repetitive tasks that take up a lot of time on gaming. They focus on the big picture, missed details, and so on. If the game is something you're both interested in, you combine to become something of a superplayer. For example, I can't spot those hidden flags in Assassin's Creed for the life of me, but she'll pick out one that's under a pile of hay, which is itself under a tarp… three miles away, through dense fog, around the corner. She spots the tiny corner of that flag, and we get closer to completing the game. In Pixeljunk Monsters, I point out that she tends to stand next to mobs, waiting for them to die, when she could be three steps away, upgrading a tower while she waited. And we get closer to getting a rainbow on that level. (Yes, you can play PJM with two players–and we often do–but when I get home from work and she's playing, I don't say, "Drop that and let's play together." I fix myself a drink.)

Continue reading Game Riding Shotgun