Friday, October 21, 2016

World Of Altcraft

Ah, World of Warcraft with your twelve characters per server, how do I love thee?  Enough so that  I decided to rotate all my characters on both my main servers.  Those little characters waiting in the wings now only have to wait a week or so between adventures.

I have characters spread from the Broken Isles to Northrend to one lowbie at Chillwind camp.  This has made the game so much more fun than I can say.  There's no repetitive grinding character after character through the same zones and quests.  No two characters following each other on the list are in the same place.  The two servers have a different flavor, so that makes things interesting too.

During a level, everyone works on quests, exploration, resource gathering, fishing ,cooking, first aid, archaeology, plus Class Quests for the 100+ characters.  Each character's turn goes so fast.

I find that normally I forget quite how to play classes that haven't been played in awhile, but now, they come fairly quickly and I'm right back in there.

I spent some time with Timewalking Dungeons last week.  I must whine that I kept getting the Arcatraz over and over with different characters, and every group had trouble with the dungeon.  So painful.  I finally just stopped queuing for the Timewalks partially because I couldn't stand one more run through that annoying place.    Most groups also had trouble in The Slave Pens right at the entrance to the last ramp to the last boss.  Argh people, quit pulling the whole room.

I haven't been running dungeons for quite awhile, and I could not tell if some of my own problems were because of Class changes or perhaps I've lost my Dungeon-y Edge.  I'm getting back in there.  No more Weenie Woman.

That said, I do see dungeons as a measure of how well I'm playing my characters.  Though I normally just ignore class changes and adapt to whatever the new style of play is, I think Legion has brought the most severe changes I can recall.  Some classes are so easy now, and others are a real struggle.

Stand Outs for Awesome Class Play

Feral Cat
Arms Warrior
Assassination Rogue
Destruction Warlock
Demon Hunter

Please Pick My Dead Body Off the Floor Classes

Frost Death Knight
Discipline Priest
Elemental Shaman


Beast Master Hunter
Frost Mage
Retribution Paladin
Shadow Priest

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Elder Scrolls Online: One Tamriel

I've been waiting for the October update to One Tamriel so I could create a new character in an area I haven't spent time in.  All my time in ESO so far had been in the Aldmeri Dominion covering the Summerset Isles, Valenwood and Elsweyr.

Now I have a Breton Templar in Stros M'Kai, an island off of Hammerfell (which I haven't seen yet).    I wanted to try a magic user.   She looks a bit like someone from my high school days, but I'm trying not to hold it against her.

See how different she looks in a pirate disguise:

I'm having fun working in an area where I don't know the storylines at all.  Everyone is completely dishonest, here.  I think I've only met one honest person, and he wanted me to bring him someone's head.   Yet, I feel bad that in trying to complete a quest line I chose to lie and say I hadn't seen a particular thief at all.  The impulse is always tell the truth!

...A wretched hive of scum and villainy if there ever was one....

This time around I'm reading beginners tips for the game, and trying to take it slow and build the character right so she doesn't get stuck at level 11.  In a cave.   With a boss and adds.   Dead.

Once again I have to comment how much this feels like playing a traditional Elder Scrolls game.  The world, the music, the quest system, picking flowers (la la la).   And yet, it has what you always wished the "real games" would have, other people adventuring along with you (acting as "meatshields").

I've yet to do dungeons or any of the group content, but my Breton is a Healer, so I really want to use her skills with other people, and make the world a better place.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Rift: An Intrepid Adventure

I sent my level 48 Mage into an Intrepid Adventure called Hammerknell Fortress.  It is a somehow re-worked raid that can be joined by anyone levels 10-65 via the Instant Adventure interface.

I've never raided, and at first I thought it was pretty easy.  Then this big guy popped up:

He didn't do much damage to me at my distance and though water kept splashing through, it didn't do any damage or move you around like a wave would.  He was mostly impressive for his size.

Then as we went along some smaller mobs were radiating damage even after they were dead.  Eek.  A Boss called Matron Zamira did me in (and everyone else) a fair few times.  I had to bow out for repairs.  She just cast wave after wave of damage you couldn't seem to avoid from anywhere in the room.

Most interesting.

I was unable to loot most mobs, I didn't see any reason for it, but I love my loot.   I'll have to figure out what was going on there.

I may not be ready for raids elsewhere, but I'm sure going to try this one again.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

An Engaging World

As I was writing that last Rift post, I jotted down several things that have led me to return to Rift over and over. 

I used to have a huge "this is what I require in an MMO" list that was based on everything that I'd lost when SWG went under.  Having played so many different games since then, my list is smaller, but I think for me these are the qualities I'm looking for:

Characters you like to play.  This is a combination of how they look, how well their name fits them, how successfully you are able to fight, and what abilities the class has.

An engaging world.  We're all explorers here, folks, and traveling through any world for the first time should be a pleasure and a grand adventure.  Cities and landscapes should be distinctive.  You should be seeing something you will never see anywhere else.

An interesting and useful crafting system.  There should be a treasure hunt feel to finding resources, you should be able to make decorative things for your character and their homes, and armor, potions, scrolls, jewelry, enhancements of all kind that make the game more fun to play through something you've created.

A variety of ways to level up.  Different paths through the world, extra xp from resource gathering, dungeons, public quest systems, crafting, the more ways you can make the route to the top fun, the better.

Music plays an important part in setting the mood for a world or making combat more exciting.  It should never be unnoticeable or set you on edge.  It should welcome you in whenever the game loads and become part of your memory of adventuring in imaginary lands.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Rift: I Bought All The Rugs...And a Boat

I am now totally invested in Rift, and this isn't just because I'm logging in daily and rotating characters.

I found myself working on decorating my Faen's Retreat dimension after some Instant Adventuring last night.  I have the dimension for several characters and am having them all do their decorations a bit differently.

My Breach Chamber has the most furniture, so I thought to borrow some from that and spread it around.  Then I thought, I should make some.  However, lots of the dimension goods recipes require payment gotten from Daily Crafting Quests which I haven't done in awhile, but now I'm ready to start so I can get all the recipes.

You know how it is, I was in the mood to decorate now, so I went over to the Auction House to see what was available.  You can see a preview of items in a pane on the right.  In the Large Items category there were two ships.  One was affordable so in the box it went.

Then the Household Goods category listed several rugs I didn't own. 

Ever since SWG I have a fiendishness regarding rugs for my homes.  They really make things cozy.  I purchased a Long Tan Rug,  Worn Brown Rug, a Long Red Rug.  Put them in my homes, then went back to the Auction House and bought every rug that was for sale.

I found I could not only visit my Alts homes, I could drop things there without some extra permissions being given, so I put the various rugs down and hopped between the dimensions with ease, making everything snuggly.

The ship really is big, but it rested in the pond/small lake of Faen's Retreat and I wonder if I should turn it sideways, and if I can decorate the boat too.

There I was, thinking my homes were shaping up nicely, when wondered if I couldn't get the Breach Chamber for another character.  I couldn't recall how I got it, and didn't see it on the list from the Dimension Engineer who sells these things  (it turns out if you already own a dimension it won't show up on the list of dimensions that can be purchased).

Searching, I found the site Rift Dimension Gallery, and wow, I have a long long way to go in my decorating.   The site is up to date and the homes and dimensions are spectacular.   There are some wildly creative people out in the cyberverse, making things beautiful.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

SWG: Surveying In Style

Ah, Resource Hunting in SWG.  There is currently an Unknown Metal with an OQ of 1000 on the EMU.  There's a big crowd of enthusiasts on bended knee scooping it up the old fashioned way, by "hand surveying".

I'm training a character up in Surveying using this node for practice and XP.   I'm just letting a macro run, but I check in now and then.  I thought I'd check out the other peeps.  They show just how stylin' a character can be in this older game.  Forget sliders in character creation when you can make someone tall, short, fat, thin, and yo, all the clothes still fit everyone.

You may survey again in 21 seconds....

Sixteen Characters Now In Motion

Rotating nine level 100s apparently bores me, so I now have a total of sixteen characters on two servers in the rotation.  Several are in Draenor, one in Pandaria, a couple in Northrend, and there's a new little Gnome Hunter preparing to enter the Frosthold mine.

The levels go much faster for anyone not in the Broken Isles.  I queue the Northrenders and Pandaria for dungeons, and bypass them for Draenor (the expansion that put me off dungeons in this game).  I'm planning to send each character in the required dungeons for Broken Isles quest and crafting requirements, though I don't appreciate being forced to do so.

I'm having too good a time with this rotation, I think, and it occurred to me suddenly that once all my 100s are at 110 I'll have to figure out how that works out since it becomes El Grindaroony. 

Maybe each day a different character gets a shot at World Quests and whatever else is a must do at level cap.  I can see in advance I am unlikely to do Mythic Raiding or Raids so, it might be 110 and done on those folks till the next expansion.  Luckily there are a boatload of characters in the wings.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

A Rotating Tour Of The Broken Isles

I'm reading with interest everyone's reactions to Legion.  In truth, after playing through the beta, I didn't like it, though I couldn't put my finger on why.  I'm still not sure.  I don't feel that way at all now that I'm working my way through the Broken Isles, rotating one level each for nine characters.   They get the level and I move onto the next.

I've never done that before, and I'm surprised at how much I'm enjoying it.  There isn't any burnout for me, no grind of any kind.  All of the characters play differently, have different Trade Skills, and I've placed them all over the map.

Even if two characters are working in the same area, they aren't played one right after the other, and I just send one in another direction so they aren't doing the quest lines in the same order either.  And, rather than anyone being low geared and left behind by the end, they'll all be geared and at max level pretty much together.

The Rotation

Feral Druid Alchemist/Herbalist                      Aszuna

Retribution Paladin   Blacksmithing/Mining    Stormheim

Assassin Rogue  Leatherworking/Skinning      Val'Sharah

Destruction Warlock    Inscription/ Herbalist    Aszuna

Havok Demon Hunter      Herbalist/Mining      High Mountain

Frost Mage     Tailoring/Enchanting                  Aszuna

Beast Master Hunter   Tailoring/Skinning         High Mountain

Feral Druid   Alchemist/Herbalist                     Val' Sharah

Elemental Shaman    Mining/Herbalist            Stormheim

Frost Mage Adventures

My Frost Mage finally completed the Artifact Quest Sunday.    First though, I had a wily desperate thought.   I'd see if I could just sail her off the edge of Dalaran and get to the ground below.

I slunk around the edge of Dalaran till I found what looked a good place to jump that would take me to dry land.   I got out a Goblin Glider (I'd never used one before) with its 2 minute timer --plenty of time to get to ground!  And jumped.

I kept waiting for some fakey--oops you're dead for no reason message, or the despicable "Fatigued" notice but no.

I made it!  Got out my Water Elemental and headed down the hill to slowly and patiently build up some xp, maybe get an armor drop.   That last is actually sillier than the rest. I have seen zero cloth armor drop as loot.  Leather, Plate, Mail only.

I was unable to take on more than one mob, dead.   It took forever to kill even a single mob.  Discouraging so I gave up the plan and ported out.

Around midnight, your close personal friend The Gutless Wonder went in after Badassbadoopie or whatever his name is.  He killed me once then, mofo nasty boy, he was DOWN.

The Mage Hall is right up there in coolness with the Paladin and Rogue Halls.  Lots of ancient tomes, balconies you can jump over and float down from, paintings with eyes that move.  Note the painting looks like a certain Game of Thrones character.

Transmog This Stinkin' Thing Off Me, Please

I pay no attention to Transmog, and never have.  I have a couple of nice dresses from events in the bank, that's it.  This means I hate having to go to the Transmog guy to get bovine and other headwear the heck off.   Mooooo.

How Big Is It?

I noticed a guy next to me at Darkmoon Faire with a really large fishing bobber this weekend.  Did I say Big Bobber Big _______?   No.

Nor did I say:  "My, that's a Mighty Big Bobber you have there".   Clearly I thought it, but see, this is why you don't want mic chat in games where something like that could pop out of your mouth.

I found my own Bobber Of Unusual Size at the fishing supplier in Stormwind.  They're great.

Love My Wurm

You know how it is with a Hunter, you have to get a new pet as soon as you get to a new world area because your current pet can't handle anything.   I grabbed a worm thing.  As it turns out I love him.  Great pet, looks huge compared to my dwarf Hunter, and in battle he gets bigger yet and glows like fire and looks kind of majestic in a wormy way.

The Rogue Plot Thickens

Who writes the Rogue stuff? They are just the best.   You have to investigate a report of a body in the class hall.  Yikes.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Elder Scrolls Online: Here, Kitteh Kitteh

Tuesday is ESO day.

Except for an early play through of Morrowind, I always play a Khajiit in Elder Scrolls.  That tail, swaying in the breeze!  That adorable cat face!  Love my kitty cat cat cat.

I wanted my Khajiit to specialize in Bow as a weapon.  She's a Nightblade Assassin with her bow specialty.  She isn't intrinsically built to be a powerhouse, she's built to be my adventurer in Tamriel. 

This may explain why just about every quest chain she does ends with a level 11 Boss with Adds!!!!  that I can't defeat.   I've been thinking about this and I think it is a poor idea to even have a solo quest chain at such a low level even have a Boss, let alone one with adds.  But it is what it is.

I've been trying to read up on builds and rotations and just simply combat.  It seems clear I don't understand how I should be playing this character to be most effective.  If my choices are the flaw, and the flaws are so great at this really low level, then something is wrong.  It shouldn't be possible to make such a completely bad character build.

Part of what I've had trouble getting my head around is, I have Assassination skills that are melee and I haven't a melee weapon equipped.  I found out last night though, that it doesn't apparently matter, those skills still work and they made random fights end more quickly and in my favor.

So I re-did my toolbar of active skills with a mix, not just bow skills, and fights went far far better.  I'll have to go test one on one of those bosses.

Like this guy who killed me in 2 seconds flat last night.  I bet I can take him now.  Roar!

I got discouraged after yet another bad Boss fight, and started wandering around.  Bemoaning my quest log and the like 5 quests now that ended in death and ignominious defeat of the worst kind.  There was a vague plan to look for more quests or just random things to kill to level up.  I found a ghost ship with level 10 ghosts.  Two bozos showed up out of nowhere and started killing my guys.  Sigh.

Also along the shoreline I found this pretty Khajiit.  I would have hugged him but don't know how to in ESO.  Love M'aiq.

 Pouring over my quest log, I found that the Prophet wanted to talk to me at the Harborage.  Yo, a few ez points.  Nope he had a solo instance for me to go and save Lyris, the poor woman who sacrificed herself early on to free him from the clutches of Molag Bal.   I wasn't about to pass up a chance to assuage my guilt at leaving her behind, so with my newly rearranged skills in hand, in I went.  Though I hate that both of them call me "Vestige" like I'm a greasy old rag.  Call me Hero, if you would.

 One of the skills that a Khajiit specializes in that I don't think to use much is stealth.  I decided to practice my sneakiness in the Foundry.

I made it handily through the instance.  I have much more confidence now.  I'll test it next time on my nearest previous failed Boss.

Feeling rather beat up after all my adventures, I decided to stay in town for the night, curling up in the flowers as a kitteh likes to do.  Spot the Khajiit for 5 points!

Before I head out again I'm going to try to do some cooking and potion making, it could help.


Monday, September 5, 2016

Rift Monday

Monday is Rift Day on my loosely imagined gaming schedule.   I spent some time with my Warrior and Ranger, mostly questing around the Argent Glade area.

I'm gathering resources like a fiend with both.  How I love gathering professions.  There are little treasures everywhere when you work on them. 

I'm always keeping a sharp eye out for Artifacts as well, those shiny little points of light that when put together will someday reward me with something, I know not what.  I just enjoy looking for them.

My higher level characters are currently just feeding these two potions and Silken Bags and other things I've gathered over time.   I'll get twitchy at some point and send those two into Instant Adventures.

Speaking of, I took both my level 10s into Instant Adventures last Week.  It used to be you'd get shuttled around the Silverwood area and the Defiant low level area (I can't think of its name) but nooo.  My poor things were sent to adventure in level 50 areas that my high 40s level characters have never seen.

Criminy, there they are, absolute newbies to their classes, with just a few spells/skills to cast trying to keep up with the big guys.  I needed to rest up from the IA's for a bit after that.

Rift new armor piece (or is it a codpiece?) of the week: