Thursday, May 28, 2015

World of Warcraft: I Believe I Can Fly! (Sometimes)

There are so many posts and stories about the wrath of World of Warcraft of players in keeping Draenor as a No Fly Zone.

Before I write about that, let me say that I have been happy with the game and its development with two exceptions:

CRZ:  Horrible, game breaking, they should have undone this immediately as I feel it broke server populations and their distinct personalities.  Any server force paired with Moonguard being the prime example.  If they would not get rid of it under plea and protest (and they did not), they should have dumped it after the huge "server connection" project.

Cataclysm:  The damage should have been undone, areas rebuilt over time.  Wow isn't a "living world" by any stretch of the imagination, but phase the damage for people making their way through Cataclysm if you must, and repair the world. Fix it.


Flight:

I love the freedom of flight.   There are many areas of the world where you can fly.  The no fly zones that annoy me personally are Horde areas where you can't just drop in for the various holiday achievements in enemy territory. Noooo.  You must crawl along on the ground, getting popped like a weasel by those *&^%$%* Horde monsters.   :)




Draenor was designed, if you recall, with Timeless Isle in mind.  Built into Draenor are wild variances of terrain to challenge you as you seek your quest objectives and treasures.  Just as on Timeless Isle, the world of Draenor is packed with treasures for everyone to find.  Some take patience, skill, maybe Goblin flyers (?) to sail over to get.  The world was designed in a certain way.  I really enjoy that a ten year old game is trying out very different gameplay and world building options.

I've been working on completing the Nagrand Quests I didn't get on the road to 100.  I had a quest to find and kill a boss named "Dirgemeister" or something similar.   I looked in the area indicated on my map where he should be.  No sign of him.  I see above me two levels of rock plateau.  There was a moment since it was late and I was impatient that I wished I could just fly up to the ledges above me and see if he was there.  Instead, I had to slink up to those two areas via a circuitous route only to find he wasn't there.   He turned out to be in an underwater cave near where I started.  Stinker.  I wished I could fly, but I appreciate that I had to really look for the guy.

Built into the Draenor world are ground mounts in plenitude.  This includes the bonuses you gain from your Stable.  This was a wise move on their part, I think.  

They've worked to make flight paths efficient, and they are quick.  You're not in the air for long enough periods for your character to be set to AFK, here, as you can be in some parts of Azeroth.  They've also added the ability to drop off of the gryphon/taxi beast at an earlier stop if you need to shorten the journey.

One of the reasons people like to fly is to gather resources. The garrisons provide a glut of resources for the few recipes you're given to craft.  No need to sail around looking for anything. 

I think they did a good job of making it never be too far from one quest objective to another.

They set out to accomplish certain things, and succeeded.

Wildstar Free to Play This Fall!

One of my favorite newer games that I didn't get enough chance to play at length was Wildstar.  It is a science-fictional universe, populated by cartoon characters on something wild.  They SPROING through the world.
Dark Wing Duck gone insane.  Must clear hard drive space by fall...

http://www.wildstar-online.com/en/news/2015-05-28-wildstar-is-going-free-to-play-heres-all-you-need-to-know/

Written by Team WildStar on May 28, 2015
This fall will be an exciting time for WildStar as we transition to Free-to-Play.
Since launch we’ve listened to all of your feedback and worked hard to improve your game experience. Part of that goal has always been to bring more players in to experience WildStar, and that's what Free-to-Play is all about. Below you will find the valuable information you need to continue to enjoy your time on Nexus. And if you’re new to WildStar, this is a great place to start your adventure.

If you don’t see your question answered below, be sure to check out our detailed Knowledge Base article or post your question in the forums.

What does "Free-to-Play" mean?
“Free-to-Play” means that anyone can download the game and play without spending any money to buy WildStar or committing to a required subscription fee.
Is the game really free?
Players can acquire the game, create an account, login and play through everything the game has to offer without spending any money, so yes, we do mean free.
That said, we will also offer completely optional in-game purchases that cover a wide range of player services, convenience options, and cosmetic offerings.

What will happen to my account if I have an active subscription or game time applied to my account through C.R.E.D.D., or a Game Time Card when WildStar goes Free-to-Play?

All accounts that have an active recurring payment method, C.R.E.D.D. redemption, or GTC (Game Time Card) redemption when the transition occurs will be considered active. These accounts will automatically convert to Signature service, which will persist until their current “active period” ends.
For example, if an account has 20 days of time remaining through one of the methods above, those 20 days will convert to Signature service since game access is now open to everyone.
Players with a recurring payment plan for subscription service will have that plan automatically converted into a recurring plan for Signature status.
Players with non-recurring payments, C.R.E.D.D., or GTC will need to apply another payment to their account to continue using Signature service should they choose to continue with Signature service.
Active accounts will receive an amount of Loyalty Points based on:
  • The type of game box (Standard/Deluxe) added to the account.
  • The number of months subscribed through recurring payment, C.R.E.D.D. or Game Time Cards prior to F2P Launch
Additionally, as a reward to those who were continuous subscribers from WildStar’s launch until the transition to Free-to-Play, we are giving away an exclusive Ikthian Crawler mount, an exclusive DJ Caretaker housing décor item, a Disco Snoglug companion pet, a new housing music track, four months of Signature service, and two new titles: “Living Legend” and “Nexus Loyalist” - these bonuses will be granted to such players on the first day of transition.

If you missed out on launch but you’re a current subscriber and maintain your subscription through transition to Free-to-Play, you will still receive the DJ Caretaker housing décor item, the Disco Snoglug companion pet, the new housing music track, four months of Signature service, and the "Nexus Loyalist" title.

If I have an inactive account when the game goes Free-to-Play and I return to the game, what should I expect for my account?

All existing accounts that do not have an active recurring payment method, C.R.E.D.D. redemption, or GTC (Game Time Card) redemption when the transition occurs will be considered inactive. These accounts will automatically convert to Free service, which will persist until the account holder chooses to sign-up for Signature service.

Active and inactive account holders will automatically have access to the game and can play again just as soon as it is downloaded and patched. Additionally, these accounts will receive some grandfathered benefits only available to box-purchasers, which will ensure that these accounts retain an experience that most closely matches that of the launch game. These benefits include:
ItemFree PlayersBox Purchasers
Character Slots
2
12
Costume Slots
4
6
Personal Bank
2 Slots
5 Slots
Decor1000 total decor items placed2000 total decor items placed

Like active accounts, pre-existing inactive accounts will receive an amount of Loyalty Points based on:
  • the type (Standard/Deluxe) of the box
  • the number of months subscribed through recurring payment, C.R.E.D.D. or Game Time Cards prior to F2P launch
If you purchased WildStar but let your account lapse, we want you to come back and get these grandfathered box-purchaser benefits! Players who subscribe by June 15, 2015 and maintain a subscription through transition to Free-to-Play, you will still receive the DJ Caretaker housing décor item, the Disco Snoglug companion pet, the new housing music track, four months of Signature service, and the "Nexus Loyalist" title.
What are Loyalty Points?
All WildStar players will be part of our new Loyalty Program where they will accumulate Loyalty Points and achieve Loyalty Ranks to earn special items and perks. In fact, if you’ve ever subscribed you have already earned some! We’ll reveal more details on the Loyalty Program in the near future.

How much of the game is accessible to Free players?
We place no restrictions on any of the game’s content. Every zone, every dungeon, every raid, every battleground... they’re all available. All players will be able to create characters of every race, class, and path while choosing any tradeskills they like. Characters can achieve level 50 and path level 30, just as they can under the current system. There are some restrictions on services and social functions, however, as noted in the table below.
What access will Free players have to future game content?
All updates will be available to both Free and Signature players. However, we do plan to include optional purchases with all new content. We may also offer some new content and full expansion packs exclusively for purchase in the future.
What types of accounts will be offered when the game goes Free-to-Play?
There will two main types of account when the game transitions to Free-to-Play:
Free accounts get full access to the game. There is no recurring payment of any kind required.
Signature accounts get everything provided by the Free service, along with the unique bonuses and benefits detailed below. Signature accounts require a payment plan offered in 1-, 3-, 6-, and 12-month increments including C.R.E.D.D., Game Time Card, or recurring payments.
What’s the difference between a Free account and a Signature account?
There are several perks available as part of the Signature program.

FeatureFreeSignature
Auction HouseThree (3) active buy bids
Three (3) active sell lots
Thirty (30) active buy bids
Thirty (30) active sell lots
CirclesCan join one (1) Circle
Cannot invite into or create Circles
Can join five (5) Circles
Can invite into and create Circles
Circuit Board CraftingNo bonuses-15% Overcharge Risk
Commodities ExchangeThree (3) active buy orders
Three (3) active sell orders
Thirty (30) active buy orders
Thirty (30) active sell orders
Coordinate CraftingNo bonuses+10% Target Radius Size
CS TicketsNo priorityPriority Access
CurrencyEarn currency at normal ratesEarn 25% extra currency
GatheringNormal rate10% bonus material proc chance
GuildsCannot invite into or create a GuildCan invite into and create a Guild
Holiday EventsEarn currency at normal ratesEarn 25% extra currency
PTR AccessNoYes
Queue BypassNo priorityPriority access
ReputationEarn reputation at normal ratesEarn 50% extra rep from combat
Earn 25% extra rep from quests
"Wake Here" Cooldown1 hourCooldown time reduced by 50%
Rest XP1% every 12 hours, capped at 150% of the current levelEarning rate doubled, capped at 200% of the current level
XPEarn XP at normal ratesEarn 25% extra XP
WarpartiesCannot invite into or create a WarpartyCan invite into and create a Warparty

Will Signature players play together on the same realms with Free players?
Yes.
Are there any perks a Free player can get without becoming Signature?
A number of perks can be acquired through the Loyalty Program, several of which stack with (or are replaced by) the perks from Signature. These perks include:

FeatureLoyalty PerksStacks with Signature?
Auction HouseTen (10) active buy bids
Ten (10) active sell lots
Replaced by Signature
CirclesCan join five (5) Circles
Can invite into and create Circles
N/A
Circuit Board Crafting-10% Overcharge RiskYes
Commodities ExchangeTen (10) active buy orders
Ten (10) active sell orders
Replaced by Signature
Coordinate Crafting+10% target radius sizeYes
CS TicketsNo priorityN/A
CurrencyEarn currency at normal ratesN/A
Gathering10% bonus material proc chanceYes
GuildsCan invite into and create a GuildN/A
Holiday EventsEarn currency at normal ratesN/A
PTR AccessYesN/A
Queue BypassNo priorityN/A
ReputationEarn 50% extra rep from combatYes
"Wake Here" CooldownCooldown time reduced by 50%Yes
Rest XPEarning rate doubled, +50% to the capYes
XPEarn XP at normal ratesN/A
WarpartiesCan invite into and create a WarpartyN/A
We will keep this FAQ continuously updated. If you have a question not covered here, check out our Knowledge Base or let us know on the Forums so we can add it to the list.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Starlight Industries Open for Business

In Emuland, I've graduated from bazaar sales (I hope) to my own shop.  I talked with Ysharros and she has this fancy set of shops and I felt like a piker. 

Though I don't really have anything good to sell yet or any quantity of resources, I set up a vendor for my crafted goods, and one for resource sales.


I put all of the furnishings I can make up for sale (not much) and in the house so you can see what things look like.


My husband has looted various things including a Palm Frond--not an easy item to find.   I veer between wanting to check his inventory for goodies as I always did in World of Warcraft and letting him live the ez life selling to the Junk Dealer but oh, it's best not to think of what treasures he may be slipping the junkie, right?

Put out all the survey devices. Will have my tailor put backpacks and crates of fiberplast panels and other components as I can make them.  Clothes as soon as I can make something decent.  Repair kits and powerups. Foods as I can make them.  Stop by for a snack.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Galactic Diary

I made some leaps forward for several characters this week.

Tailor

I had her make one of every single thing she could make to work towards Novice Tailor. Everything in Black, that dreaded favorite of players and bane of the color mad Tailor.  I put everything on the Bazaar that I could at one time (I forgot you can only list 25 items at once on the Bazaar) for a cheesy 150 credits each.

 

Sales!  I love the fact that I can make these crummy things with no color and sell them, because Tailors who have risen in the profession are selling their items from home vendors, and they aren't a competitor at the Bazaar.  New people want to get out of their newbie clothes as soon as possible, so it's nice for them to find affordable and varied clothing, including some things just for Ithorians and Wookiees.

Architect

I made Novice Architect late last night.  I had to do some background work to get the materials I needed to grind Wind Harvesters to Novice level. 

I purchased a Heavy Mineral Extractor for 30k, and 10k worth of Fusion to power it. (lots of delivery missions there).  Even grinding the Artisan levels of Architect, Low Grade Ore has been a real problem.  I found a crummy Aggro-infested (NPCs who will come over and crush you as soon as you're in their range) area in some trees at 66%, which is not a good percent spot but I had spent an hour surveying for 4 different kinds of ore and this was the first semi-decent spot I found.

With this, and what I had already mined with my homemade Better Than Your Knee personal harvesters, I ground to Novice Architect!  Yay!  Immediately I made my Medic a Small Tatooine House (see her adventures below) and the few pieces of furniture I could put my hands on.  I need wood for plants :)

My husband mentioned he can now take on Valerians and I was pleased to see he looted two very familiar paintings from them.   The Valley View Painting and the Party Poster shown here are such common drops, but I hadn't seen had them or been able to have them on my virtual walls for such a long time, it warmed my heart to see them. I put them up immediately, placed my modest furniture, and ah, my house finally looks like a home. I have a place to sit!






The road from Novice to Master Architect is going to rely on my continuing to get materials in large quantities.  There are only a few things Architects make that need good items stats, but buildings and harvesters take HUGE amounts of resources.  I was down to my last bit of Steel grinding last night and just barely made it with like 50 units left to my name.

Medic

My live Medic really scraped to get xp until she entered a guild maybe 6 months into playing the game?  My new Medic is doing so much better anytime my spouse and I can play at the same time.  The guy is a Gold Mine of medical and Entertainer Healing xp.

I talked with Mobyus of the SWG-U guild and my Medic now has a guild, where I hope she can be helpful.  People seem really really nice.

A tip from Mr. Big that there was nice water on Talus had me send my Architect over to place three small harvesters on some of the water.  I have never seen anything like the field of harvesters placed on this stuff. Even more amazing, and just eye popping, there was an entire hill filled with people hand sampling!  JSM....My Medic was able to fill a box of XP healing some of these people.





This event, and my need to survey more area at once, led me to finally put in a macro for Surveying, from my ever handy notebooks.  It worked like a charm, and is available to all of my characters, something I didn't recall.  That will be sooo handy once I write in the Crafting Macro which is a page long in my notebook...zzzzzz......





A Note for my Ithorian Spouse who is starting his Resource Business:  

These Resources will always sell.

Hide, particularly Wooly. Don't worry about the stats at this time.

Radioactive Energy

Steel (any variety, any stats)

Low Grade Ore (any variety, any stats)

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A Trandoshan, A Wookiee And A Rodian Walk Into A Cantina: "Neverending Content"


Tobold has an interesting post on "neverending content" based on a quote from former World of Warcraft developer Ghostcrawler:

 "Neverending content leads to making things so difficult you can't progress or asking you to run the same content 100 times.".

First, I have to say “neverending content” is exactly what Galaxies provides.  Resources, skills, creatures, the entire world dynamically changes all of the time.  There are only a few scripted events in the game that will present the same challenges every time you go through them.  Jabbas Palace, The Corellian Corvette, The Warren.  These are the kinds of places most like other games where the variance of the experience depends on your character, class, weapons, and armor.

 

As I’ve said in the past, I wish, and do not understand technically why it isn’t possible for dungeons to be scalable according to group members and their skill sets.  It should look at your weapons, armor, level, class and provide loot that will be useful to and mobs that will challenge the party members. 

I’m also very tired of people running through dungeons they’ve been through a million times, “bored of this”.  In addition to the other dynamically generated features of a dungeon, I want to see the maps change and be randomly generated.   You will never know exactly where to go, what to do, what loot you may get. How hard can it be to make that work?

I’m not a programmer or anything at all but a player, but if the game can check your level and armor item level before sending you into a dungeon, it can sure check for the other things.

The randomly generated maps, mobs, loot…seems like just another set of variables to include to me.

Poof! Somebody should make it so.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Galactic Diary

Characters

Architect To Be

Working towards Novice Architect.  At Artisan Engineer Four I can make all of the small harvesters, though they are crummy.  I can't recall the Maximum Base Extraction Rate for smalls, but lolmeister, mine aren't anywhere near.  I have Wind Harvesters down and even though it is slow going, I can now power my other harvesters with what I have coming in.  Wind isn't efficient, but it is cheap.  I even put some out for sale, but no bites so far.  I'm considering putting out a few of my Crum Bum Harvesters (and I could call them that) but I am going to label them for sale as Better Than Your Knee Harvesters.  Marketing genius!

Medic

I am finding exactly the same situation for my neo-medic as I found on live. The med centers are full of Master Doctors and Novice Doctors so finding anyone to heal there is a bust. 

If I go out with my sweet Ithorian, then I get xp galore.  He wants to be on Lok and Dathomir, and though he is concentrating on a single character and his fighting skill are superior to my Unarmed 3...


Here's a tip: Snakes are bad. Aggressive. Grouped. They Poison.

I put my best Stim Bs on the Bazaar and three sold! Wheeeee.



Tailor Wannabe

Working the Novice Tailor skill box.  I have gained a bit more of a color palette but it is still pretty washed out colors and dominated by brown shades....zzzzzz

I put a few things on the bazaar and a jacket sold, stop the presses!  I'm seeing lots of Ithorians around so I'll make a bunch of that and whatever else I can do and let's see if anything goes. 

My spouse, who is waiting for me to be able to make him a hat, let me know he needed new clothes.
He had been working Entertainer to be able to fix his mind out in the wilds in a camp.  He had unequipped his back pack so he's look super good while playing. When he went to put his things back on he noticed they were zero condition.  He said he was in his white underwear and he "hid in a crevice" then made his way out to our abode to get new clothes.



I was making Fiberplast Panels individually but soon couldn't take it. I looked on the bazaar to see if I could just buy a crate to get me started. 10000 credits for a crate. Are my eyes falling out?  I used to sell them for 2500 a crate.  In desperation I looked to see what Factories cost.  Some kind soul outside Kaadara, Naboo had them for 15k.  I did Moenia to Theed Shuttle A Artisan Missions till I had the money then My Precious I brought it home and set it down.  This morning I have crates and crates of lovely Fiberplast Panels.  In went a load of Metal Fasteners.  Ahhh, bliss.

Scout

Just need the Exploration and Survival trees in Scouting.  I've made Mos Entha my base of operations because it is the only starter city that actually has creatures around it.  I recalled from my early Ranger days on Live that it was a good place to hunt from and yes, it is. 

I have yet to connect with folks from the Donkey Business Community who are Streaming the Game and working on finding a Player Association/City to Join.  I'm not sure if we are in different time zones or what. 


In the meantime, I have homes on three planets (Corellia, Tatooine, Naboo) that are bases for my characters to drop off and pick up resources.  I'm going to choose one of those locations as a shop location and am leaning towards Naboo because the Medium Naboo House is so cool as a shop.  And comparatively affordable, but not yet for me.  Still, gotta have goals.

I love this game. Nothing like it anywhere.  Big hugs to the Emu people who have made it available.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

TBT: Hoth Word Find

Tsk, running out of TBT things unless I start scanning and posting covers of the many old games hogging my shelves.  zzzzzzz too boring!  I'll have to think of another pseudo weekly feature.

Although I don't particularly like doing them, I like creating Word Finds.  Here's an oldie featuring Hoth from The Empire Strikes Back since I'm all immersed in Star Wars once more.


Monday, May 4, 2015

Galaxies Page Update: Tailor Resources

I'm adding in things from files that are useful to a Tailor In the Galaxy.  I've credited them where I have that information.   Though it will eventually get very long, I think it will be useful.  More links coming!

http://athernesadventures.blogspot.com/p/star-wars-galaxies.html

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Figure ABCD

Galaxies at our house.





Rage of the Wookies and Mustafar were digital downloads :)

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Galaxies Tailor : Basic Clothing Customization

My little Tailor only has two skill boxes filled in. She doesn't have many schematics yet.  Still, I was able to make a nice new outfit for my Ithorian sweetie (no pics).

Determined to get my Entertainer a new outfit, I sent her on a few delivery missions then went shopping on the bazaar.  There were very few items for sale, and they were all black and some other basic color.  I widened my search to the entire planet, and not a single new item came up. BOGGLE!
I had to see if there was anything I could make myself that was better than my brown diaper pants.

The crafting in this game is my favorite anywhere. Even at my low level, I can customize colors with a rather limited palette, not having to make or use dyes.


You're able to choose and preview your color choices. At this level there are 60 shades on the selection box. At Master, there are 365 colors available, with some clothing items having metallic colors and other special colors.



Notice your name as Maker is on everything you create.  You are also able to give a name to your item.  You can name it absolutely anything you wish.  I usually leave the game given name in place, in this case "shorts", and I say what color it is, in this case I called the shade "Stardust Black" which is the name, perhaps, of my future "company".



For my Rodian I went with white for the top and bottom, because she is purple and came with those lovely red shoes.  I think it is an improvement over the brown baggy...



You can't mail money or objects to another player here, so I put the outfit on the bazaar then had her buy it.  I could have set it down in our communal house, but that is 2000+ meters outside of Coronet in a slow X31 Landspeeder.