Metacognition: Removing Monkeys

We’re back with our “thinking about thinking” series! If you’re interested in our previous deep thoughts, check out the Metacognition series.  Join us for some deep thoughts (and maybe the occasional not-so-deep thought) about gaming. If you find one you’d like to answer, you can either comment below or write a post and share the link so we can all read your fantastic thoughts!

What is a persistent problem you’ve had as a gamer?

Hoo boy.

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In a Metacognition post a long time ago, I spoke a bit about guilt and how it relates to playing games. I spoke a bit about self-care and how gaming is the hobby that gets dropped when time gets tight.

Guilt is definitely a persistent problem I’ve had when it comes to playing games. It sometimes is bad to the point I will set aside time to play games, only to feel so bad that I’ll wind up doing nothing over gaming. Yeah. Messed up.

But I’m not here to talk about that. We’ve already talked about guilt and the ridiculousness of feeling guilty over a hobby, when comparable hobbies are often considered perfectly fine to partake in.

No, today we’re going to take a slightly more light-hearted approach to this topic.

Friends, have I ever told you about the few times I dared try and play as a mage in an RPG?

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Hoo buddy. If friendly fire can’t be “turned off,” then I might as well turn off the entire game because Mage Athena is great at setting her party alight in the name of attempting to hit the baddies.

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Recently, I decided to try again during my Baldur’s Gate playthrough, which entailed me taking control of Dynaheir, only to set off some sort of fiery explosion in an attempt to keep the party from being overwhelmed, but instead just insta-killing every living thing on the screen.

I froze my Warden’s party once in Dragon Age: Origins, and watched in horror as all the companions were systematically murdered by darkspawn, and  I’m fairly certain Lightning almost killed Vanille once in some sort of electric storm that she set off.

Yeah, me and magic don’t go so well together. And as I recently found out at a blog party, I don’t think I’m the only one, which – I’m not going to lie – makes me feel a little better…

What about you? Is there a class or mechanic haunts your gamer experience? Is there a trick to being a mage or does it all come down to practice? Or should I just stick to my ranged weaponry? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll see you soon!

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  1. Mage in rear, melee fighters up front engaging the enemy and acting as a wall for ranged fighters, game usually shows you the damage radius of AOEs so…you just don’t put the damage area on top of your guys and don’t use those kinds of spells as close range attacks in general.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. On the one hand, half the fun of being a mage is setting your own team on fire. But, um, if you are concerned with their wellbeing, what Richenbaum said works.

    Also, whenever I play as a mage and the area damage increases as you move up the skill tree, I just diversify and get all of the spells!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Welcome to the official Mages That Tried So Hard And Still Failed club. There’s a roguelike I’ve played since I was 15, Ancient Domains of Mystery, where my every attempt to play a spellcasting character ended in an absolute disaster. Sure enough, mages in that game gain enormous powers when compared to other classes, but before this happens, even a particularly nasty goblin can kill you with two hits – and it’s permadeath. It gets a little better in games like Baldur’s Gate since you’re usually safe behind the backs of mighty warriors like Minsc or Korgan but still, all too often I kill my entire party with a 9th level spell gone wrong. I guess Conan the Cimmerian was my distant ancestor because I prefer cold steel to occult trickery.
    It’s funny because the only game where I had any success with playing a mage character was… a real-time strategy. In Warhammer: Dark Omen, a Fire Mage was essential for winning latter battles due to his ability to set entire enemy regiments on fire or dropping a huge flaming meteor on them. On the other hand, he wore no armour and was extremely fragile, which meant that careful unit placement, mobility and teleporting away from the enemy were crucial. Somehow I managed to pull that out while managing a dozen other units as well, despite the clumsy game interface, and even finished the game. Good times.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m very honored to have been inducted into such a prestigious club!!

      That does sound like a good time. Unfortunately my recent foray into Baldur’s Gate was when I insta-fried my team, so… oops. But I’ve never played as a real-time strategy mage, so maybe I’m missing my calling…


  4. You definitely gotta be careful with the chaotic power of Lightning or else you’re gonna get shocked ⚡

    I’m not so good at the mage thing either. For me, the squishy nature of mages doesn’t align well with my brute-force-smash-things (TM) playstyle. I like to get up close and bash things, while laughing that they can’t even put a dent in my badass armor! Pew-pewing safely from the back is kinda boring to me. 😅

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yeah, magic is all about finding the right moment, that brief window when your dudes are clear and the other dudes are not, when the chaos of battle leaves an opening for you to thrust into.

    That or just doing math and calculating how much is an acceptable loss on your side. Either or.

    Liked by 1 person

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