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Friday, February 24, 2017

Here Comes The Sun: Gaming Goals For 2017

It's February. Temperatures have been in the 50s and 60s!!!!!!!!!!!  The eternally sunshine drenched virtual lands can't compare to the real sun, and warmth, and a fresh breeze.  Ahhhh.  The ice is almost completely gone.  We could always get slammed with more snow and ice.  It's way to early for spring, but garden goals have overtaken game goals in my imagination in response to this late winter's gift.  I do play year around, but once I can be outside, the time spent is far less.  Maybe I should have some broader, more easily realized goals in the games I play.

I admire the bloggers who post monthly gaming goals, and find them fun to read.  MJ of MassivelyOP just posted a set of gaming goals for her EQ2 playtime for 2017.  Impressive!  It really shows the depth of the game that she can have so many interesting and deep goals for just that single game.

2017 Game Goals

World Of Warcraft 

Get my Dungeon Game back up to snuff

Seriously look at equipping my characters with the best of everything I can make for them to give them a better chance of survival if they're in a currently "off class" (one which feels nerfed to smithereens).

Continue my entertaining rotation of all characters on two different servers.

Work on as many general Achievements as I can manage, because I haven't many for as long as I've been playing.  It just hasn't been a goal.

SWGEmu

Get all characters to max, crafters first.  I have been playing this game the most, and the more I play the more I love it, as I always did.

Join the Rebellion with at least one character.  Time to stand and fight.

Elder Scrolls Online

I really need to figure out how to fight effectively with at least one character.  I think I'm doing well then blammo.

Get at least the starter house so my characters have a safe place to snooze and call home.  The freebie one will do.

Secret World

I think what has really held me back here is that I haven't taken the time to learn the crafting system, oddly enough.  I think that learning it would give me just that bit of an edge.  I don't mind the combat at all, but of course I could do better at it.


Rift

My beloved Rift!  I just stopped playing once I boosted my Cleric.  So silly, I chose a character whose combat was the most challenging for me, then raised her above the level of any area I am familiar with in the game, and I feel like I should play her, but I don't wanna.  Tsk.  Best to switch back to the Mage who is almost level 50.

Everquest II

Time to learn this game.  Had some trouble with log ins and then supreme lag the last time I logged in, trying to get my boosted character the level down thingie.  (I should have another cup of coffee, can't remember what the "down boost" is called).

Lord of the Rings Online

I really need to move my Loremaster along into Moria.  It is my favorite area of the game.  I think this is the game where I would benefit most from joining a guild and getting help with questions and getting grouping opportunities.  So, that's what I'll do.  I am pretty picky about guilds though, and won't wear a guild name over my head that I don't like, and I need people to be super nice and helpful to players of all levels.  Not so easy to find as you might think. 


With a whole year to work on these, I should be good to go, right?  

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Everquest 2: Off To The Kylong Plains

In the comments for a previous post, EQ Grandmaster Bhagpuss of Inventory Full recommended:

At 90 you have most of the game to choose from if you Chrono. You could happily start at the dock in kylong Plains, mentored to, say, 65 or 70 and then work through the whole of Kunark. Or you could Chrono to 75 or 80 and do Moors of Ykesha. There are literally dozens of possibilities.

I decided I would leave the Commonlands and travel to the Kylong Plains to see what the game is like at the top.  One of the problems with boosting a low level character in a game you don't know is that you have no clue where anything is in the world or how to get there.  

Map of Norrath


There I am on the world map but I don't see the Kylong Plains.   On Ten Ton Hammer I found  "The Kylong Plains Docks are accessible from the Antonica and Commonlands docks via boat."

Checking the Commonlands Map, I don't see anything along the coastlines I can identify as a docks.  There's a "guild bell" listed, which doesn't sound right, but I head for it anyway since it isn't far from my location.


Luckily this was just the place. 


And, yes, there was a boat to the Kylong Plains.

I'm excited to have arrived, but I have much to do before I can head out for new adventures.

I have only one toolbar row, and I'm certain I need to put the higher level skills on the new toolbar set.  I need to Google how to add toolbars, then how to get skills onto the toolbars.  You can't just drag them over and replace what's there.  You have to empty the slot, then move a higher skill onto it.  I've got quite a few new skills and advanced versions of the few I had at level 20.


I'll need to read all of the descriptions and set them up in the most useful pattern/rotation I can figure out.

My bags runneth over.  If I have some nice higher level gear I need to equip it, and sell the old stuff.  I need to dump quite a bit out of my inventory one way or another before moving on.


I better look up Bhagpusses phrase Chrono.  I was thinking before I headed out the area would auto level me down to the area like Guild Wars 2 and Wow's Broken Isles do, but unlikely. 

Still, I made it to Dreg's Landing, Kylong Plains, and Adventure beckons once I sort things out.


Don't Call Me Vestige!

I played a bit of ESO this week.  I've arrived in Glenumbra with my healer/mage character.  Who has to pop up right away but The Prophet.


This guy is starting to annoy me a bit.  First, for calling me Vestige, which is not flattering.  Why can't he call me Heroine?  Then, much like having a summons from Khadgar in World of Warcraft, he has some long drawn out task for you to do.  Bossy boyz....

I wish I'd taken more screenshots, but I did get two quests right away that I liked so much.   In the first, I followed a dog to his fallen master, getting a short but cryptic grocery list:

3 blood oranges
crescent emblem cloak
black roses with thorns

Then I needed to find the people who would know about these items.  Off on an intriguing quest line.

While looking for one of the above I came upon a beggar.  Since I'm now saving for an Elder Scrolls Online home, I didn't want to be giving coins to a beggar, but my kinder nature prevailed. 

It turns out the beggar wanted help instead with a quest called Back Alley Murders!  The Mystery reader in me was very pleased to help him find who had been killing beggars recently.  Off to look in an alley (where surely nothing bad will happen).

I love these quests, they're just so different from what you find anywhere else, except in an Elder Scrolls game.

One of my goals here is to make money so I can purchase a home of some sort to try them out.  I haven't any sense of how to make money in this particular game so I may need to look up some tips.  Iron ore can be found every 2 ft, it seems, so I grabbed a bunch of that and sold it to the npc. Cha ching.

I opened a treasure chest!  Those lockpicks just snap on me, but I got one.  Progress.  Sellable sword.

Ever fiendish about trying to complete all the quests in an area before moving on, I started an ESO notebook so I can track which I've done.

Vestige? Ha, I think not.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Afterplay...Notes From A World Of Warcraft Play Session: Frost Mage

I thought it might be fun to write up notes from a round of World Of Warcraft.  You may remember I'm rotating a large swath of characters.



Currently up is my Level 73 Frost Mage who is an Engineer.

  She's working in the Borean Tundra though she's over the level for the area.  I've slowed down all of the non 100's so they can complete areas I never finished because I've dungeoned my way past almost all of the content in the Outlands and Northrend.

I wondered about the changes to Frost Mage with the recent patch, but I didn't notice much with her because the mobs are level 69 and she's at 73 so down they go.  Her xp bar still filled relatively quickly.



In addition to leveling through the area, I have my characters go on a Dungeon run during their turn.   I skipped Magister's Terrace which is fine with some characters, but with others , there are lots of places where Things Can Go Wrong.   Since Frost Mage isn't one of my toughest characters, I wanted her to have a better chance.  Hate The Nexus.   Opening of the Dark Portal is meh.  Sethekk Halls, hmm should have marked it.


I like all the dungeons I checked off, including the Heroics which at this level never seem much different than the regular dungeons.

She got Azjol-Nerub, which I always like though some tanks who can't handle it pull too much and its cryin' time.  Excellent tank and everyone else was good so it was all smooth.  I think my Mage acquitted herself well, though I vow to make sure all gnomes carry speed potions because those tiny legs just don't get them where they're going fast enough.

I wanted to make sure each character works on their crafting, so I sent her to Stormwind to work on her Engineering.  I made a few decoys which I can't wait to try out.  I don't know if really looks like the cute little bear in the picture, but if so, I may feel guilty letting it go kablooie.



I really am pleased with these rotating character sessions, and the variety of things I cram into that single level each gets.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Where I Left Them

My plans to rotate each day between games fell by the wayside somewhere along the line, as these things do.  Checking in with them made me want to play each a bit, so perhaps I'll get my game rotation back.

Reasons You May (Temporarily) abandon a character:

You get stuck with a character and aren't sure what you want to do next.

Your character is beginning an area you know all too well and sort of dread, and you say, hmm tomorrow.

One of the games just becomes so very interesting all of a sudden, you just want to play it a bit more, and a bit more, and other games and characters don't get the play time.

It never does happen to me that I don't want to play anything at all.  There's always something!


Elder Scrolls Online

I hadn't been playing as regularly, but I wanted to peek in to try the winter festival.  How odd, not a single decoration in sight anywhere.  Hmmpf.  I decided to just go ahead and play a little and do my next quest.  Running through the world, admiring the scenery and the music, my character froze in her steps and my Anti-virus program popped up.  It's like 1 am so I sleepily said ok to the anti-virus.
BOOM.  It uninstalled a bunch of files, apparently, and I had to go in an tinker and then reinstall the program.  The servers were down when I last tried to log in.



The Secret World

I left my character just at the start of Innsmouth Academy.  I patched it today and sent her out into the hallowed halls.  I needed to get the combat down pat again before truly venturing out.  Lots of zombie students hanging around.  They all work in packs of 5, annoying to me, since I often prefer to pull one at a time.  Not here you don't.  I went through a building called The Old Block and picked up quite a few Illuminati artifacts which I haven't been able to use yet.  I'm using an odd combination of Magic and Pistols.  My inventory is about to run over, and I don't know if there's a place nearby to sell things.




World Of Warcraft

Currently up in the character rotation here is my level 82 Shadow Priest.  Hate what they've done with the class, no heals and no real dps moves either.  More lil' worgen.  I'll find a way.  She's just gotten to Aviana's Roost in Hyjal.  Went into Blackrock Dungeon with her just trying to scoot along level wise.  I thought she was doing pretty well compared to a couple from the same server who kept getting lost and dying.  But noo, they booted my poor Priest right before the last boss for not doing enough dps.  Argh.




Lord of The Rings Online

My level 49 Loremaster is working through the quests in Eregion, just outside the gates of Moria.  I love Moria so much and will be interested to see how they changed it since I last went through.  The only criticism I ever had of Moria was that there were too many Goblin camps.  One or two would have done it.  Moria is or was astonishing.  I feel as I did the first time through, I like Eregion, but really, I just want to get into Moria.  Did I mention I love Moria?



EQ II

My Wizard is still in the Commonlands.  I boosted her to 90 on a day when they were generously offering free boosts.  There is a separate post on character Boosts in the works, but should I just keep questing with her overpowered for this area self, because it is still all new to me, or should I move her forward to a level appropriate area and send a different character through these lower level lands?




Rift

My main character here was my Mage, but when I bought Star fall Prophecy I boosted my Druid/Cleric.  Maybe it was a mistake as she was a character who took a long time to kill things, I'll have to see if she's a better fighter now.  When you boost a Rift character they choose skills and weapons and Soul Tree choices for you.  We'll see.




Guild Wars 2

My main here is a Hunter, and you guessed it, when I bought Heart of Thorns I got a boost opportunity, and thought I'd like to do the Elementalist, but maybe not.  These guys brilliantly let you try out the boost on any or all of your characters in a higher level "practice area" before committing to the boost.  Unless a timer was on the process, I can try all four characters.   I had a tough time with this Salamander so, maybe yikes.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

This Isn't Just Me Being Stupid...

So, this sounded fun, and it was in an unintended way.  

http://massivelyop.com/2017/01/03/tolkien-prof-offers-free-lotro-course-starting-today/


So I sent a Hobbit running all the way from the start of the Shire to Bree.  She just made it in the nick of time.

There's all these people, and you can't see who the lecturer might be, or hear anything.   Little by little people say it's on Twitch or you can hear the lecture on Discord.

So doh, I ignored that because I'm standing right there.  Why can't I just hear or see it right there, right?

But no, as people are standing around saying where is it, where is it, someone says you have to be on a different Layer.  A what?  I don't think there were layers when I was playing regularly.

Luckily a guy invited me to a fellowship who was on the correct layer.  How did he get there? Who knows!

So there's a big crowd, but you still can't see any lecture, but every once in awhile the front rows of people pass out.  Not joking.

Other people are also asking why they don't see or hear any lecture.  All there is is a bird that keeps hopping up and down in the air.  

It turns out the lecturer is laying on the ground under the bird.  I'm dying here.



Apparently in order to get the voice portion of the lecture you need to view on Twitch or join a Discord Channel.  I don't know about layers and haven't watched anything on Twitch and don't have any Discord thing going.  So I watched the bird jump up and down on the guy for a bit, and the crowd passing out periodically, then I slunk out.

I guess I can try again on another server when the lecture comes there.  When I stop laughing.


Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 : Game Over!



2016 was a good gaming year, as it happens.  I really only played MMOs with a bit of Skyrim tossed in.  

My main goal for 2017 will be finding time to play in the many fantastic worlds I have been playing, and to delve into some of the single player games in my Steam Library.

I haven't even had a chance to look at upcoming games in 2017 to see what might be of interest.  No new MMOs, (except) I'll look at Crowfall and Project Gorgon if they're released.

Mass Effect Andromeda is coming single player wise, so I'll snap that up.



I bought an XBox One this fall, so I may find some games there I wouldn't usually see.  Who knows?

Thanks for stopping by this year, and thanks to the many great bloggers who share their gaming stories in their own blogs.  Keep reading, keep writing, keep playing!

Monday, December 26, 2016

The Journeyman Project Turbo


 From the era When Games Were Games and my computer didn't want to run many of the games I wanted to play: 

The Journeyman Project, a trip through various times that I never got to see because every click of the mouse took forever to get a response, before just completely freezing....agh.  I bought its sequel Buried In Time as well, ever hopeful.  

This is one of my first nominees for older point and click games that would be so perfect for the ipad.  I really think so many older games would be so great for that format and would do much to end the drought of awful games that are currently available.  Dream big! Dream small enough for my ipad.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Lord Of The Rings Online...At The Standing Stones...With The Eye Of Sauron?

How's that for a post title, Clue/Lotro/Daybreak Fans?  Couldn't resist!

MassivelyOP's Monday Post on Lord of the Rings Online getting it's own independent studio, called Standing Stone Games and being published by the ever mysterious Daybreak Games...Yikes!  Eyes popping out of head!  Impossible, yet, yow!

http://massivelyop.com/2016/12/19/turbine-spins-lotro-and-ddo-teams-out-to-new-studio-using-daybreak-as-publisher/

http://massivelyop.com/2016/12/20/the-daily-grind-does-daybreaks-involvement-with-lotro-and-ddo-worry-you/

http://massivelyop.com/2016/12/20/lotro-is-considering-revamping-its-character-models-in-2017/

My immediate reactions were:

WTH????

Huge relief on behalf of the developers of LORTO that they are free of the soul sucking influence that has been Warner Brothers.

Amazement that Daybreak, which has had one of the wildest rides from a once (great) studio to a total unknown quantity that could shut down any day would be the new Publisher for Standing Stones.  BONK!

Excitement for LOTRO.  A desire to fire up my characters and play the game because it was going to be run by the so dedicated, incredible development staff who really can make this game even more awesome.



Where I am today:

I fired up all of my characters this morning, all are snuggled where I left them.  Adventures await, and for the first time in a long time I really want to send them back out to the lands of Middle Earth.

I'm thinking of how I fled Star Wars Galaxies after the NGE and found the folks at Lord of The Rings Online to be so warm, friendly, welcoming.  I spent a little time on the Isengard server and got to see the development process pretty close up.  I have nothing but awe and respect for the way the game was built, and how generously the staff shared their plans and dreams and looked for and listened to feedback.

In an interesting turn, I feel like I can now go ahead and invest time in the Everquest 2 world, because this bold move feels like a company with plans for the future, and I'm relieved.

For all the time I spent hugely invested with SOE, some part of me still smiles to see their logo pop up when I log into the Galaxies Emu.

In a very odd way, having LOTRO coming together with former SOE feels like coming home.  Messed up, I know.


I'm really enjoying what others have to say:

Myndariel's Middle Earth   She's hopeful that the new studio and arrangement with Daybreak mean good things to come.  http://myndariel.blogspot.com/2016/12/update-192-yule-festival-and-future-of.html


Ravalation feels that the developers who created the world will bring about a better Middle Earth than that allowed by Warner Bros (in so many words)   http://ravalation.blogspot.com/2016/12/lotro-moving-to-standing-stone-games.html


Parallel Context  also sees the departure from Warner Bros. as a good thing.  http://parallelcontext.blogspot.com/2016/12/bye-bye-turbine.html


Contains Moderate Peril examines the business and marketing aspects of the changes in Middle Earth.    http://www.containsmoderateperil.com/blog/2016/12/20/standing-stone-games-and-lotro


Endgame Viable is cautiously optimistic that the developer at Standing Stones will be able to proceed and make a better LOTRO than has been allowed in recent times.   http://endgameviable.com/lotro-ddo-turbine-standing-stone-games/

GamingSF feels that good things can come from a smaller, more focused studio, and thinks Daybreak has done well by Everquest 2, enhancing the game greatly.   https://gamingsf.wordpress.com/2016/12/21/lotro-pre-holiday-news-avalanche/


Aywren Sojourner has a very positive outlook on the changes, and is hopeful this means nothing but good things for LOTRO.   https://aywren.com/2016/12/21/the-future-of-lotro-is-with-standing-stone-games/

Biobreak has six reactions to the news from Standing Stone, and interesting thoughts on what it means for Turbine itself going forward.   https://biobreak.wordpress.com/2016/12/21/the-future-fate-of-lotro-and-ddo/

Ancient Gaming Noob looks at the business aspects of the changes.   https://tagn.wordpress.com/2016/12/19/a-standing-stone-gathers-no-momentum/


 A small note on DDO:  I basically never made it out of the starter area.  You know what doom that spells for a game that you're not going to be playing.  I went in a single dungeon, and in the voice chat any imaginary world idea was rather ruined by my fellow dungeoneers, a woman who said she was a high school teacher flirting with the two guys who were part of the party who sounded as if they were in high school.  Yech.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Cryptogram Answer From Lord of The Rings Online

From an early quest in the game, we present the text of:


Find Malin



Your search for Addie’s missing sons found the remains of Amlach Wheatley clutching his brother’s journal.  The last cryptic entries seem to reveal that Amlach heard fell voices coming from the southern reaches of the Barrow-downs.

EHTL ZISLYJ GHL SKKBI’Z DBZZBOF ZHOZ GHTOK XJI LIDSBOZ HG SDASYJ UJISXAIE YATXYJBOF JBZ MLHXJIL’Z WHTLOSA. XJI ASZX YLEVXBY IOXLBIZ ZIID XH LIPISA XJSX SDASYJ JISLK GIAA PHBYIZ YHDBOF GLHD XJI ZHTXJILO LISYJIZ HG XJI MSLLHU-KHUOZ.


Working on these Cryptograms has me reading the quest text in every game I play now.   I'm finding that I don't appreciate the straightforward quests that say "go here, do this, come back."   There are a million of em' out there, in every game.  When I've been thinking of games that tell good stories and have good text writing, it appears I have been linking the stories they tell together in my mind to get an impression of tales well told rather than actually finding any game where each quest text is a sort of mini-gem of writing.