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Saturday, November 18, 2017

The Real Reason I Don't Do Voice Chat...

Are beings like this guy:




Hard to see him, I know, but he's like Insta-Death Man.   I threw about 7 characters at him today.  By the time I got to my Warlock, and was killed killed killed as soon as I was back to life, and I was swearing like I do...it occurred to me just how bad it would be for me to be heard by others during fights like this.  Tsk. 

My Paladin (lvl 108) and my Demon Hunter (who I've let flounder at lvl 104) acquitted themselves well against him.  The Demon Hunter actually got more hits in than any other character.  I'll have to move her forward.

I have to say these bosses are different than any I've encountered in dungeons.  I want to say Real Suckers, but of course I'm too polite.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Wow 13th Anniversary The Originals

The hardest part was getting overland or by portal to the Bosses, well, except that last guy was nas-tee.


Lord Kazzak





Taerar




Azuregos

Died FOUR times.  Credit for the kill though waiting for my last death to count down to rez.



Monday, November 13, 2017

Blizzcon: Opening Ceremony




I'm finally getting around to watching the Blizzcon Virtual Ticket videos.  I'll do brief notes after I see them.   Most are about an hour each, so I'm going to be spreading them out.

I'm glad to be a Virtual ticket holder for many reasons, one being not needing to try to get into panels among a crush of 30,000 other people.   The main hall was immense, yet there were people throughout the convention center and another building watching the opening ceremony on screens.  I wonder what you had to do to get into that main hall.

I only peeked at, then fast forwarded through (another Virtual Ticket bonus) an Esports video, followed by presentations on Heroes of the Storm, Hearthstone, Overwatch.  Just not interested in any of those.

Then J Allen Brack comes out and the World of Warcraft music starts, and it's the magic you're looking for.   It was fun to see him launch right into his coy presentation of the Vanilla server announcement, the crowd went wild by the time he was talking about chocolate ice cream.   I like the video for the Classic Server, and within this context it was even better watching it, and seeing all the iterations of Wow be rolled back to a time I never knew, but even the brief glimpse of the dwarf outside Ironforge looked really exciting and heroic.  I can't wait to see the old Azeroth.

The crowd received the Battle For Azeroth announcement with great enthusiasm.  I like the cinematic for it, and I admired Sylvanas in it for sheer boldness and a desire to not be defeated.  That flip over to the seige tower, yow.   Anduin has bugged me since Pandaria (selfish whiner), but the kid did good here.  There's a hero in there after all.

The other panels I've marked to watch are:

What's Next World of Warcraft
Boss Design
Live Q and A Wow
Art of Wow
Wow Gameplay Systems
Voices of Blizzard: Women of Warcraft

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Blizzcon Reveals, Initial Thoughts

I bought my first ever virtual tickets this year and was unable to watch yesterday at all, and today doesn't look good either.  At least I can still see them and catch up.

Battle For Azeroth Expansion    My first thought was "well that's the most boring expansion idea ever."  I never played Warcraft 3 or any of the previous Warcraft games, but it seems as if they may be trying to bring elements of the RTS games to WOW, which may be interesting if they pull it off. I'll wait and see how it plays out.

Classic Servers!!!!  There's the glorious reveal.  I never played a single moment of Vanilla WOW, so I don't have any expectations that it has to be some particular variant, I'm just really excited to see what earlier incarnations were like.  I've never seen Thousand Needles when it wasn't underwater.  I'd loved to see Auberdine restored.  It still makes me sad whenever I send a character through the area.

Auto-scaling everywhere.   I thought Auto-scaling would be a good thing, but in truth, I feel like I'm treading water and never getting anywhere in Legion.  I like getting new skills as I level.  Gawd, don't let there be some Artifact Weapon equivalent so you don't get to level up yourself (that's how it feels) but your boring weapon gets all the goodies.

PVP Servers gone, except now they're everywhere.  I put my characters on non-PVP servers so they don't have to be vulnerable to some nitwit with bullying issues.  I hate as it is that you can be flagged PVP under certain conditions.  In my mind, the only pvp that should occur on a non-pvp server is in instanced battlegrounds, or instanced anything not part of the general world.  If this change removes the chance of being accidentally or otherwise flagged pvp, then fine.

Those are the biggies.  More after I get a chance to watch the panels.

Side note:  I actually liked Anduin Wrynn in one of the cinematics for the first time since Pandaria when he was a selfish, thoughtless boy endangering his own people as they tried to find and "save" him.  Mass rez!

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Vote For The 2017 Golden Joystick Awards



From Gamesradar and HP, you've a chance to weigh in on a selection of games.  Awards are given out at a live ceremony November 17th in London.

I used to vote on these every year, they'll ask for your email and give you a free ebook, plus will notify you next year when the awards open up for voting again.

Even if you haven't played the nominated games, you'll have ideas for new things to play.

Golden Joystick Awards 2017 http://www.gamesradar.com/goldenjoystickawards/Voting

Wildstar's Free 50 Frenzy

Wildstar is offering a limited time level 50 character beginning "after the November 1st update".   I don't usually appreciate level boosts because I haven't any idea how to play the character.  In this case, having that character will give me housing access.



I'm such a fool, I saw this notification on Facebook, but didn't take the time to read the dates, then logged in and created a new character, but it's too early and no boost.

It was my last character slot, and I really liked the new character's looks and name, so I'll need to kill off someone else to get the boost.  Alas, for some poor doomed alt.  Isn't she so sweet?




All the details here.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Blizzcon: World of Warcraft Gets Back In the Game

I thought last year's Blizzcon schedule really shorted World of Warcraft and showed they weren't so interested in it anymore.  I think this followed a series of dev departures and promotion of Overwatch and e-sports in my mind.  You hate to think the people making a game you love are bored by it, and don't want to give it any promotion or thought.

2016 BlizzCon via MMO Champion



When this year's schedule was announced, it felt like WOW was back in the game.  Even though there are only two more panels, there are others that would be of interest to anyone-- the Designcraft, Codecraft and Soundcraft panels--I've always loved that sort of "here's how we built the game" information.  I like know how things look to developers, and how they think.


I wonder if there was some cross thinking (I'm sure I read at one point there was some competition between WOW and Overwatch devs) and the Brawls and Mythic Dungeon Tournaments weren't inspired by finding a way for the PVE player to play more competitively.  I'm all in favor of that.  There must be many more ways to allow play in groups, and to make competition and cooperation more fun.

Although Legion isn't a favorite expansion, Blizzard has kept the updates and content coming as they said they would.  That involvement lets an older game evolve and change as it should. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

On The Road

Greetings from the Road!  We've been traveling for about a week.


I loaded my laptop with World of Warcraft, Everquest 2 and Rift.  WOW and EQ2 looked great, but Rift, a beautiful game, looked sort of scrubby so I took it off.  As expected, connections on the road aren't fast, but I did manage to log into EQ2 and kill a few things.  Laggy but doable.

In case that happened, I was horrified at the idea of having no gaming time in the evenings, because I usually play every night. Loading some games from my Steam library seemed a solution if the MMOs weren't playable, reasoning I only needed to download them before leaving home, then any internet connection would be fine for playing.


After driving 8-9 hours a day, we're pretty tired by the time we find a spot.  So nothing yet.   Dept of overkill, we also brought Scrabble, Yahtzee, Uno and regular playing cards for some simple mindless relaxing play.  Unrelated to games, I brought several books and some crochet, because I have a horror of being bored.  Yes, we brought clothes too.

Edit:  Good connection tonite, World of Warcraft played fine. ^-^

Happy gaming in your snuggly high speed internet homes!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Home Game Advantage

I listened to the most recent MassivelyOP podcast last night     http://massivelyop.com/2017/08/29/massively-op-podcast-episode-133-gaming-gamescom/      and am thinking about the mailbag question on "momentum" what keeps you playing fiendishly, then you take a break of any kind and that momentum is sometime lost and you don't feel like playing for awhile, and sometimes surprisingly never again.

There's also the concept of a "Home Game" -- your main game that you play all the time and know inside and out.



Because of the small goals oriented way I play any game, I'm able to switch games pretty easily.  As I've mentioned, I'm happiest when I can play on my weekly rotation schedule, playing seven different games throughout the week.

Sometimes one game will take over, and becomes your preferred playscape, as World of Warcraft currently has for me.  As I'm working Legion, though, I'm getting twitchy, because I don't care for the areas and stories, and I feel like I'm grinding towards nothing.  In Legion crafting is just not fun.  It's like the game up through Pandaria is one game, then Draenor changes things up considerably, but all things considered, I love Draenor, but Legion...agh.   It's a fight with myself to play through it.


As this WOW adoration and exclusivity is crumbling, I've peeked back into Everquest 2,  because it is still my current second favorite world, and Ravalation's post on the character models of LOTRO   http://ravalation.blogspot.com/2017/08/lotros-first-character-update-humans.html and Myndariel's new Hunter guide  http://myndariel.blogspot.com/2017/08/introducing-hunter-level-1-20-high-elf.html   has me updating the LOTRO client as we speak. Getting the Mordor expansion as well, because maybe one of my other characters can get past Mirkwood more easily. Let's bring that Rogue forward, right?  It's silly to let one character/class get stuck, and let your whole game get stuck,  when sometimes another class can break through a problem area for you. Once you know the way, you can anticipate and compensate for the play style of your other classes.   Yay for Alt Armies.  (Bonks self on head for letting myself feel stuck here).

Having Many Places To Call Home Means You're Always Home

I do admire on occasion what people who only play one game know about a game, their expertise is great when you have questions.  If you play just one game, you can accomplish everything, which has to be satisfying.

At some point, many people are just tired of their game, and jaded, and frustrated with game changes or development, and perhaps they stop playing anything at all.  Never stop playing! Life is so rich in virtual worlds.  You can be the very best you, no limitations.  How great is that?

Playing Multiple Games 

Keeps all games fresh.

Staves off boredom or dissatisfaction with any particular game, and gives you a broader perspective of what is possible.

You can keep the game client up to date so a long download doesn't discourage you from logging in to play when the impulse hits.

Often when you've been away for awhile you don't recall how to play your class, or your inventory is packed with (stuff) you don't know what to with.  You're right up to date with game changes so it's always  a familiar place to play.

There are a wealth of games available, so may different worlds, so much imagination in creation and care by the game makers to create a place for you to wander, it's a golden time to be able to try so many styles of play.




Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Gnome A, Gnome B

Somebody recently said they never see much difference in character models when people post them to show changes.  Hmmf.   The Argus patch changed everyone to the new character models again.



Saturday, August 26, 2017

WOW Notes

I've been playing World of Warcraft almost exclusively, every day.  It's easier to write about games I'm not so familiar with for some reason than ones I know really well.

My current main character is a Paladin who has swept through the world up to Draenor without trying to complete any areas or quest lines, I've just kept her moving.  It is an appealing playstyle, but not one I could do with all of my characters.  Just getting to maximum level might be a little empty if you don't have any tradeskills (which she doesn't), and you are not up to the proper level for the area with mining and herbalism, her two professions.

It was always my plan to slow down once I got to Draenor, and do everything that can be done in Draenor (which is a lot).  I made it through each area, with every quest and Objective completed, through Spires of Arak.

You get the offer to go to the Broken Isles at level 98, and my character's gear level certainly wasn't up to going there.  Still, by the end of Arak I was level 100(?), and my habit of using this character to make money fast wasn't being satisfied by Draenor's quests, not quite.

At a still terrible item level of (eek, I know) approximately 524, I tried out the beginning scenario for Legion.  With only my character and one other person, it went pretty slow, but it was doable, no death.

I decided to get crushed by the Class Quest, but no, I steamrolled it. It was easier for her than for my main Paladin who had an easy enough time, with better gear, but not quite that easy.


Legion continues to be a struggle for me to play through, so I've been sending the secondary Paladin to Tanaan, working on Garrison Follower Missions, Naval Missions and the Fishing Dailies.  Then I send her to Dalaran to work the Class Hall missions, and out into Azsuna for quests.

As I've played through Tanaan and done quests in the Broken Isles she's now at 701 item level and is having an easier time.

It occurred to me this week she is catching up with my Blackwater Raiders characters, and could surpass them.  That doesn't seem right, does it? So I've picked my Paladin and Druid to go neck and neck on BWR towards 110, finally.

The Druid just finished Val'sharah.  Stormheim, coming up.  I have my main Paladin working in Highmountain, and I can barely stand it.  The Taurens all sound like the adults in the old Charlie Brown specials.  Wah, wah ,wah...  It's a little better as you get away from Thunder Totem, the quests less...whiney...

Sliding in for some quality crafting time is my Gnome Engineer on BWR.  My son was looking for Heirlooms you could get with certain guild achievements, so I ground her up in crafting from where she was, in the mid 500s to over 600.  I moved her through Pandaria and into Draenor to get the craft skill up.  Engineering has the BEST STUFF.   I'm not pushing her through Draenor, but am working on her Engineer Dailies there.  I really want to be able to make some of the Pandaria recipes, including a big flying balloon thing that takes a billion Trillium, which I've found none of so far in Pandaria, but I know it's in Darkmoon Crates often enough, so I'll continue her through Pandaria rather than Draenor till she gets that thing.


Blingtrons!  I love seeing them, but who knew they fight each other when placed near each other and gain some sort of points for being the tough Blingtron on the block.   I always thought people were being nice when they say a Blingtron is outside the bank, blah blah, but maybe they're fingering the little guys for some bully Blingtron to come and take them out.

Might I say I'm proud of this little gnome.  She's the first Gnome, the first Warrior, the first Engineer among all my characters to make it to Draenor and have her own cozy spot in the world.


The game has a lot of layers...

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

What Makes A "Good Player"

The ever brilliant Rohan of Blessing of Kings (my Paladin idol) has been comparing Final Fantasy and WOW dungeons and the skills of players in them. 

http://blessingofkings.blogspot.com/2017/08/high-skill-gameplay-versus-low-skill.html


SynCaine of Hardcore Casual speaks to another writer's statement that "bad players are bad people."

https://syncaine.com/2017/08/15/since-he-asked/


This made me think about what makes for a Good Player.   This is within the context of running dungeons, something I've been doing in World of Warcraft quite a bit lately, and though I finally recently earned the title "The Patient" I'd be surprised if most players have been in more PUGs than I have over the course of years. 


I've played every single role, some better than others.   That has helped me immensely while running dungeons, because I know what each class can do in their role, and I can get a sense if a player needs extra help from my characters, and I know where the points are in most dungeons where things can go south, and be hyper vigilant.

Here's what makes a Good Player

Do the best you can in your current role.  Work on a good rotation of skills, know your stat and armor requirements, carry potions to get you through bad spots.

Provide support for the rest of the group.
 
Be attentive to everything going on, not just what you need to do, but be aware of where the other players are and what they're doing to help or harm the group.

React quickly.

If you provide guidance to another player, do it in such a way that it is helpful to them, and it sticks.

Learn the dungeon/encounter.

As DPS, protect the Healer, assist the Tank.

Play all the roles so you know what is expected and possible.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

SWGEmu Update

Yay! Everything looked good last night when I logged in.  Update to Pub 9 now looking to be tomorrow.

I've decided to concentrate on my Architect and Tailor once we're rolling again :)

Took a bunch of screenshots.  All's well in the Galaxy.


Mos Eisely

 
 
Corellia Guild Hall
 
 
Ellerie's Vendors



https://www.facebook.com/SWGEmu/

Friday, August 11, 2017

SWGEmu: Jedi Break the Game Again

Publish 9, which includes the long awaited (though not by me) village quests and Jedi was out on Wednesday, but some server problems (and I don't have my own computer guru here to ask how it works)  have possibly made everything go kablooie, and there may be a wipe if there is too much corruption.

All my babies gone!  Heartbreak city, with this game once again.  I do know it is a test and planned to actually just play through till the end of the test and not re-create my characters on Suncrusher, the permanent server.

My first thought this morning is I'm done now.  Then I think, maybe I'll just do two characters instead of the appealing but hard to maintain ten.  I keep going back and forth.

You know I'd like to see my babies once more to take screenshots and say goodbye.  I dunno.

I am amazed as always at the work of the volunteer staff who made it possible for me to walk through this world once more after the original game shut down.  I have nothing but good things to say there.

https://www.facebook.com/SWGEmu

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

PlayNotes Mixed

Lord of the Rings Online

I feel a bit guilty, but after thinking of my last post, and that I've basically been stuck in the same area of Middle Earth in LOTRO since 2009.   How is that even possible?  I've gotten stuck in plenty of Action/RPGs, but an MMO?   So, I have not bought the expansion till I see if I can get out of Mirkwood, or at least advance through it.

Secret World

I'm also stuck in Secret World with those security cameras, which has been depressing.  I'm wondering tonight though, if the reason I kept failing had to do with my recent connection problems.  My computer guru spouse fixed the connection problems as far as I can see, so maybe I'll give it another try.  I will be so relieved to move on.

World of Warcraft

In WOW,  I ended up doing what I always do and have a newly established family guild on my new server.   I'm continuing to run my Paladin ahead of the rest of my characters to earn money for guild tabs, and guild repair monies, plus everyone's riding training up through Northrend.

I've gone back to rotating my BWR characters who are in their 100s, but just those.  Everything is so easy for all of them except my Frost Mage, who I have to load with potions to keep alive.  Sheesh.  My new server Mage is going Fire, a spec I've never really played much.  Early on when I played the game, for some reason, Fire Mage and Destruction Warlock seemed too similar to me, at least for the lowbies I was running.   So I went Frost.

EverQuest 2

 All  of my characters are finally working in Antonica.   I had a bad moment when I considered sending one to the Frostfang Sea instead of Qeynos just to get a bearskin rug I'd picked up on the Fallen Earth server in that area.  Bad idea!   There must be a bearskin rug somewhere else in Norrath.

I love the fighting moves of my Monk and Bruiser, and have been trying to capture pictures of them in action.   It's never easy to get a nice shot of your character in a fight because, well, dead doggie.

The Bruiser    Look at those brass knuckles!   Smoke effects, light effects!  The Froglok is on fire.













Monk    Watch out for those legs!






Been busy lately, but hope to be back on schedule for my games next week.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Lord of the Rings Online: Escape From Lothlorien

I purchased the Mirkwood expansion when it came out, played very little (as it turns out my character simply wasn't high enough level for the area and things didn't go well for her). 

I was never a fan of Lothlorien, and didn't wish to continue playing there, nor did I want to drop my main character and level through older areas, only to get here again in the future.

So I stopped playing for a few years.

Here I am, frustrated with Lothlorien still, so I thought to look at the level for Mirkwood.   61-65!  Yay!  I'm level 62.

Abandon ship, I said, find the way to Mirkwood and la la la.

On the area map, it isn't so far away.  I just need to cross the Anduin River and I'm off on new adventures.   Note my happy arrow.  Good ol' Paint.


Ride, ride ride all the way across Lothlorien to the shores of the river.    Hmm, I can see they won't let me get up on the other side from here.



Ride ride ride the shoreline.  This looks good, clearly I can swim over and climb up easily right from here.


Swim a few feet. Dead.  Inexplicably dead.  Retreat puts me back in the middle of Lothlorien.   If you're going to cause me to die bogusly, at least stick me back on the shoreline where I apparently went so foul of the river's swimming rules.

Many many bad words spoken.

I then looked up "How to get to Mirkwood for Lothlorien".    How nice, I can get a quest from Haldir (which I likely unknowing got in 2009 but hmmpf), or I can ask the Elf at the Docks for a ride over.

Nice.  The boat awaits!


I actually wasn't sure if I'd been to Mirkwood already, but I certainly had.  I had a FAILED quest in my log.  Welcome back, puny dog.   Been Here, Failed That.


Oh, man, we're bunnoles deep in ORC territory.   How I've missed them!   Hubba hubba, ORCS, I say.




Damn. I was sooo eager to reach the Orc fortress, I didn't see a Goblin in the murk.   He popped me off my horse, then completely grayed out all my skills so I had a tough time beating him, but I did get him, he's a dead little goblin.



This doesn't bode well.  Nope.  

Monday, July 24, 2017

PlayNotes: LOTRO

My goal this evening was to do as many quests as I could, to try to move on from Lothlorien.   The main set of quests took me into a sprawling orc camp, where I needed to find several locations as a scouting mission.


Way, way at the back of all the camps, there were weapon racks to destroy, a common past time in Middle Earth.

Unbelievably, when I got back to my quest giver he wanted me to go right back through all the camp locations and destroy five more weapon racks. 

You know how dogs look like they're grinning but they're really really concerned about your request?



Then the next three npcs to offer quests want me to go in several other orc camps and kill as many orcs as I can.

I had to log out.


Orcs aren't my favorite foes.

Goblins are next worst.

Middle Earth as presented in LOTRO is full of orc and goblin camps.   Way too many.

Dear Diary:  Trapped In Lothlorien, surrounded by Orcs, send help!

PlayNotes: Rift and EQ2

 Rift


And it's Rift day!  I didn't feel like dealing with The Guy On The Stairs, so I did the classic thing:  I jumped down from the area starting platform to the area below and started fighting things.

I'm pretty sure this is where my character would have come out if I'd done the more frustrating route:






Heading left, I soon found myself in my new favorite thing, a Dead End.   I fought my way through rhinos and demons to get there, dang it.  Changing course,  I kept getting further away from my quest goal, which was always above me, with no way to go up.

Luckily Staypoofed and I are serene creatures who can take a moment to contemplate our ill luck:

I've been in this area numerous times via Instant Adventures, but of course you're just on the run constantly trying to get your quest goals and you get no real sense of the layout of the area.   Try try again next time.

Everquest 2

The two games I've been playing most are WOW and EQ2.  In EQ I have all but my Froglok Bruiser off the starter island.    I thought it was time to send my main character, my Fury, out adventuring.

Somehow tonight she got from level 11 to 18.

She spent the entire time in wolf form.  It isn't one of those shape changing classes that has the use of different skills in another form.  The only difference I can see is when you hit the skill to start a ranged attack, she barks at the opponent.



Oddities in games continue.  As it turns out I'm having connection problems once again, so that explains a few things that have happened.  As I came out of Qeynos though tonight, there was this big floating wall of text, and there wasn't anyone fighting anything, and I wasn't fighting anything but there it was:



It's hard to describe the charm of Everquest 2.  I like the world, the quests, even the lovely drawings on the loading screens.  I was carefully picking up every quest I could see, and there are many.  I was thinking tonight if you are a quest lover, this is a great game to play.

I haven't selected crafts yet for my characters.  I always want characters who can make potions, bags and furniture, three essentials for adventurers everywhere.   Sometimes certain crafts go well with certain classes, but I can't tell if that's the case here yet or not.  I'm reading guides before I commit to anything, but I'm filling my bags with materials just in case.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Dear Diary...

In deference to the idea of game blogs being mere diaries:





(...didn't speak long...zzzzz, where's my pencil and eraser?)

Thursday, July 20, 2017

PlayNotes: Guild Wars 2

I was thinking I should play through a character's Personal story, which I've only done to about level 20 on anyone, then dropped it as uninteresting and causing me to backtrack too much.

I do keep thinking that GW2 always seems a shallower world than most, but if I'm not playing all the parts that perhaps are supposed to give it depth, that's on me.

I tried out a Necromancer I'd made but not played, to fill my last character slot.  I didn't care for her skills at all.


So I deleted her, and tried a Mesmer, a class I have also never played.  She wields a sword, though a skinny pointy one that is probably called something else.   I'm comfortable with sword wielders, so this went much better.


I have a Norn Warrior who seems more at home in this area.  It is sort of rustic in a woodsy, barbarian way, but the Mesmer's outfit doesn't match the bravado she presents, and her  deep voice when she speaks in cut scenes doesn't go with her movie star face.

In addition to the flouncy little skirt, she wears a mask at character creation, all three choices totally creepy.  I wonder if anyone wears them and doesn't take the "hide" option?



If she can fight, that will be all that matters, and I'll try to stick with the personal story for her to see how that adds to the game.