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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.


Saturday, December 3, 2016

Crypto-Questing 2



Welcome to another fine Cryptogram.  Answer up on December 10.  Best of luck.

To get started, write out the alphabet on a piece of paper and look for recurring letters in the quest text below, then make educated guesses as to what the words might be.  The words will soon form intriguing sentences.



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.
 

Friday, December 2, 2016

Dear Corpse, Thanks!

I finally got two mounts from my datapad generously given to me by The Corpse while she was in game.  It was night time so the pictures aren't so glorious, but creature pets and mounts in Galaxies are all part of the happy life you can lead in the Galaxy.


Elsinor Dustbunnie on her Cupa at last.  A merchant who sells Swoops and Speeder bikes doesn't want to be seen about town on a flaming swoop.  Instead she can trot in on her sweet mount named after herself.  It occurs to me Elsinor does not have an equivalent character in the live game.  Noone had her particular skill set.




My Architect on her Dewback named CookieeMonster.  My live game Architect meant to be a chef, so she had her Dewback named CookieeMonster to sort of RP the profession.   While leveling up the Artisan tree, she made a few pieces of furniture and put them in her house.  That was it, no more chef, Architect forever.  She loved her CookieeMonster, and she cried when she was taken away in the NGE. 

Dewbacks are a royal pain to fight in the wild because they group up on you and just pound on you.  As a mount, look at that SMILE!  They are the happiest creatures, and they bound merrily rather than running or walking.

Better pictures as we go along, and in daylight so you can see these sweeties.  I'm so happy to get them out of my datapad.

Fo' Grizzle My Shizzle

I've gotten waylayed by holidays, Darkmoon Faire and a certain other game and my World of Warcraft rotation has slowed way down.

I'm currently working in the Grizzly Hills area of Northrend with my level 79 Assassination Rogue.  Three boxes to level 80!  I have never completed the quests in this area, or (cringe/cone of shame) all of Northrend.


A goal for 2017 will be to get Loremaster for all areas of the game.  That is why I'm going to let this character get the achievement for Grizzly Hills and every other area of Northrend.  Who better to complete everything than a sneaky sneaky rogue?


As you can see, it's going to take her a few turns/levels to complete this area, let alone Northrend generally.  Since I'm already working 9 characters towards 110, I don't need these other characters to rush through content I've done so many times.  I'm going to stop and enjoy the scenery, get my trade skills to level, and go fishing as often as needed to live the fine life.  And become the Loremaster I should have been long ago.



Note: My Bartle Explorer self has done much better with the Exploration of Northrend:


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Cryptogram Answer From The Secret World

Last Week's Cryptogram is from The Secret World.   The Quest is from Dawning of An Endless Night, Tier 7  (I'm not so far along :)


Quest Text:




Whatever it was Joe Slater was talking about, a man called Beaumont seems to have it in his possession.  He stilled the song and moved the mysterious item to a safer place, but he can’t use it yet.  He called it a key, but he has yet to locate the lock, and he cursed the Illuminati and their labyrinths.

UZBKRNRE HK UBX VTR XDBKRE UBX KBDJHCQ BSTYK, B LBC IBDDRW SRBYLTCK XRRLX KT ZBNR HK HC ZHX ATXXRXXHTC. ZR XKHDDRW KZR XTCQ BCW LTNRW KZR LGXKREHTYX HKRL KT B XBMRE ADBIR, SYK ZR IBC’K YXR HK GRK. ZR IBDDRW HK B JRG, SYK ZR ZBX GRK KT DTIBKR KZR DTIJ, BCW ZR IYEXRW KZR HDDYLHCBKH BCW KZRHE DBSGEHCKZX.


It's all clear, right?  I have three more ready and thought I'd put them up every other week since they're so long.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Crypto-Questing

Inventory Full had a really great post on quests in EQ2 and GW2  A Quest By Any Other Name.  This got me thinking that I really love questing, and that some games have really excellent quest writing and some are just sort of put out by the Quest-A-Matic Machine.

If I were a serious, analytical person (which I ought to be, but dang, it just isn't me) I could write a nice post about, at the very least---my favorite quests or something. But no. I'm a buffoon from Buffoonville.

Instead, as I was working on a post on my other blog, making the first line of a book into a Cryptogram, something I used to do regularly, I thought BOINK!  I can make Cryptograms from quest text in games I play.

Not only do you, the unsuspecting reader, get to try to solve the Cryptogram, but you get to try to guess what game the quest is from.  OMG.  Laff riot!

I'm a bit stressed, and this is the sort of thing that happens when I'm under duress.  Not pretty.  I'm only drinking ice water, fyi.

Let's do this!



To get started, write out the alphabet on a piece of paper and look for recurring letters in the quest text below, then make educated guesses as to what the words might be.  The words will soon form intriguing sentences.

The Answer will be posted Tuesday November 22.


UZBKRNRE HK UBX VTR XDBKRE UBX KBDJHCQ BSTYK, B LBC IBDDRW SRBYLTCK XRRLX KT ZBNR HK HC ZHX ATXXRXXHTC. ZR XKHDDRW KZR XTCQ BCW LTNRW KZR LGXKREHTYX HKRL KT B XBMRE ADBIR, SYK ZR IBC’K YXR HK GRK. ZR IBDDRW HK B JRG, SYK ZR ZBX GRK KT DTIBKR KZR DTIJ, BCW ZR IYEXRW KZR HDDYLHCBKH BCW KZRHE DBSGEHCKZX. 

Monday, November 7, 2016

I Like Her But I Need To Kill Her

I am excited to be playing the Skyrim Special Edition.  My original game plays merely ok on my PC, but except for some odd lag, it plays much more smoothly with this Remaster.

I am really loving my Elder Scrolls Online character, so I thought I'd try a Breton Mage in Skyrim as well.  I have used a little magic in other Elder Scrolls games, but never have played an entirely magic user.  Having a Claymore at hand resolves fights so efficiently.  Run up on NPC, whack, whack, they're dead, particularly those weak magic users.

The good news is, the Mage is fun to play, though I haven't quite got enough confidence in her skills and my use of them yet.  Getting better with each encounter.

The bad news is, though she looked sort of ok on the character creation screen, my Mage is a crone like horror story.  I just can't play this scary thing.


I play third person view always, and thought she might be doable in a cowl, but no, now she looks like she'd kill you in your sleep.  Even more.


Luckily I'm not far along at all, I'm just working the Whiterun area.  Not much time will be lost starting over, but much will be gained by her well deserved demise.

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

Ok

Monk
Beast Master Hunter
Frost Mage
Retribution Paladin
Shadow Priest