I am an avid MMO player. But sometimes, I need something a little less internet needy. You see, my provider is awful. I mean, really, really bad. Once evening hits, forget doing much of anything with net, as the latency and lag renders gaming useless, as well as making the streaming of Netflix or Hulu a nightmare. Normally doesn't phase me too much though, as I generally work during the worst hours of it. Does put a bit of a crimp in trying to do dungeons/raids with a group on weekends, but what can I do? There are no other high speed providers in my area outside of satellite, and the cost of satellite, combined with my needs, are very prohibitive. But, that's what I get for insisting on living in a rural environment with a good school system. That's enough bitching I suppose, on to my list of non-MMOs that currently hold my attention.
Crusader Kings II: I developed a fondness for Paradox Interactive titles during the last few years. Primarily their simulation games, which have a reputation for being incredibly obtuse and definitely aimed at a niche market. CKII is their latest offering in this regard. It's a medieval dynasty simulator, wherein you choose from any number of historical figures and try to cement your dynasty and spread your influence throughout Europe, Middle East and Northern Africa. You do this through diplomacy, marriage, influencing vassals, and if all else fails, war. This game consistently kicks sand in my face and makes me enjoy every minute of it. I have yet to master it, nor do I think I will for some time, but every loss teaches me something new that I carry into the next game. They've added support for playing Muslim dynasties, as well as factions, both of which add some depth. There's also a ridiculous Mayan invasion DLC which I just have zero interest in personally. Coming soon will be the addition of merchant princes, which means it won't be long before I can take control of the Borgia's, although I may just pick up the customization DLC and make my own ruler at that point.
Just a quick aside about the game, for Game of Thrones fans. There is a total conversion mod out there that basically turns the game from a medieval sim into a Westeros simulation, where you take control of any of the noble houses and can choose which era you play in. I haven't dived into it myself as of yet (I really want to master the core game first), but I have heard wonderful things about the conversion.
Endless Space: You're going to notice a trend. Endless Space is a 4X space simulation game. It's fairly new on the block, and they are constantly tweaking and adding new things to it, but it has managed to replace GalCiv2 in my heart. It's taken me a few tries, but I finally think I'm getting how the systems all work, which has just made the title even more enjoyable. Now, there are flaws. Frankly, the whole tech tree needs to be dumped and redone, and the space combat could be a little clearer less random. But I'm willing to overlook these flaws, primarily because games of this genre are few and far between, and I've been playing GalCiv2 for years now.
Civilization V: I've recently gotten back into CivV after picking up the Gods and Kings expansion during the Steam sale. Unfortunately, I think all my time devoting myself to titles like Europa Universalis 3 has spoiled me a bit. I'm finding CivV to be, well, too easy. I'm going to tweak the difficulty some, see if I can find a way to make it challenging, but with the depth offered by CKII and Europa Universalis 4 on the horizon, I'm just not sure how much longer this title is going to keep me occupied.
Saints Row the Third: I adore this game. Which is unusual, as I have a healthy disdain for the Grand Theft Auto series. But this game is just so over the top and outrageous that I find myself just enjoying it. Unfortunately, the graphic nature of the game means I don't play it around the children, so I haven't had as much time to play it as I would like recently, but with any luck I'll be diving into it again when my work hours return to normal.
There are a few others I dabble in from time to time, but these are the ones I've been focusing on the most. Torchlight 2 I'm playing simply to say I've beaten it. Din's Curse is, to me, a better game in almost every way. Drox Operative is just suffering from a lack of time honestly. I enjoy it, and if I can get it working on the work computer I'll probably get back into it.
I think at this point if you're still reading the blog, you've got a pretty good idea of my interests, at least as far as gaming goes. But, don't think that all of my entries are going to be about games. I'm a fan of cinema, and although I don't have as much time for reading as I'd like, books are always a favorite topic of mine. Feel free to chime in with comments, although you'll forgive me if I approve them before they're posted. It is my space after all. Maybe if I get popular I might loosen the hold a little, but for now, it helps ensure civility.