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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.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Weasly Word Find Post: My Favorite Comics

I'm in one of those odd moods I get in, where I do word finds and comics and cryptograms.   I usually don't put them here, but, I'm such a weasel, and this is one from my other blog not even a new one.





Click to Enlarge.   Tiny print! What a stinker!

Parallel Context Revisits Rift

Redbeard at Parallel Context has a great post http://parallelcontext.blogspot.com/2017/07/fun-with-mmos-rift-revisited.html      revisiting Rift.

He looks at all aspects of the game, having created new characters: one Defiant, one Guardian.   He covers the stories of the two factions, and inspects everything from character creation to the armor the NPCs wear.


Monday, July 17, 2017

PlayNotes: LOTRO The Secret Road

You've got to know when to hold 'em
Know when to fold 'em
Know when to walk away
And know when to run...


I found the Secret Road with relative ease.  It was disappointing as a Secret Underground road, just very dark and twisty.  Orvar was impressed, but I couldn't see much of anything.


Then I take on a level 60 semi-elitish thing like a scorpion without the curvy tail they usually have.  I could have beat him, but my controls froze up.   As these things go, the monster could still attack.  Then I was dead, but everything was frozen and I couldn't even get out of the game.

I finally exit and go back in, and I'm way back in the Great Delving, 860 frustrating meters away.

I'll come back to this another time.  I ported to Lothlorien, which has never looked so open and beautiful, despite the whole yellow thing.  Lovely Lothlorien.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Myndariel's 1-20 Guardian Guide (And a few Mordor Notes)

I love the Guides to Middle Earth Classes that Myndariel of Myndariel's Middle Earth has been doing, and I missed this one going by on my blogroll.

http://myndariel.blogspot.com/2017/06/introducing-guardian-level-1-20.html


This is a guide I really need!  My little Hobbit Guardian is only level 7.






With this guide, and my experiences in other MMOs, I could play this class now.  Way back when the game was new, it was only my second MMO.  I didn't understand the idea of tanks at all, coming only from Galaxies.  The idea of one player in the group trying to get all the mob attention just for themselves seemed kind of selfish, and foolish.

I don't think I really appreciated the tanking concept until playing WOW dungeons.   Then it all made sense.   Go forth and pull all the mobs, little Hobbit.


Speaking of Mordor  (weren't we?)  I have this to say:

The fine folks at LOTRO "took me in" after SOE/LucasArts broke my heart with Galaxies.  They were a revelation.  Smart, determined to build an incredible game, invariably kind and generous, they seemed to do every single thing right.

I bought three Lifetime Subscriptions at release, not easy for me to do, financially, but I really was impressed and believed in them.

Now here they are, brilliantly still standing and putting out an expansion only dreamed of by Men, Hobbits, Dwarves and Elves.

It's the Ultimate Fan Bundle for me, they deserve it, I wouldn't have it any other way.  


Interesting article and discussion at MassivelyOP (as always):

http://massivelyop.com/2017/07/14/lotro-legendarium-mordors-pre-order-is-flat-out-ridiculous/


The Ancient Gaming Noob seems ready to head into the fires:

https://tagn.wordpress.com/2017/07/13/were-on-the-road-to-mordor/


Lina's Biscuity Burrow   Has gone with the Standard Edition, and she gives a great rundown of what each package contains and how it all compares to previous expansions:

http://www.linawillow.org/home/2017/07/mordor-opens-july-31/


Ravalation looks at the reception of other LOTRO pre-orders have had

 http://ravalation.blogspot.com/2017/07/lotros-mordor-expansion-pre-order-deals.html

RIP EQ2 Fallen Gate Fury: Remember Her Thusly


In yet another bold move, I killed off the Fallen Gate version of Atheren, the Fury Who Struggled.   Here she is after her Dark Shaman experience, resting on her Frostfang rug.  

My thinking:

Fallen Gate is a slog for my character advancement, and these servers don't seem like a place to find a long lived home in the game, but more of a limited time, shared experience for veteran players.

I was duplicating my Fury character, and I'd rather have another class to play than see how one struggles, and one zooms through the world.   I was kind of feeling sorry for this poor character.

In a way, I was playing two games at once.  Same game, different game.   I don't really have the time for two versions of the same thing.

So I kill her off there, created a new Ranger on Antonia Bayle. (the class I killed off to get a character slot for Fallen Gate).

Happiness is...getting your character name.  So Atheren the Ranger now lives again, and the Atheren name is from my live Galaxies Bria Ranger Atheren, so she gets new life in a new world.

And she adventured happily ever after.

A Week of Adventure

Happy Friday!  Welcome to More Rambling Than Usual!  A one time post.  Because I'm a flibbertigibbet and can't be repetitious for long.


Rotations

I have played everything except GW2 so far this week, not necessarily in it's assigned day slot.   I find myself as I'm writing the PlayNotes, kind of becoming involved in each game and character's story, and sometimes I can't wait to get back to a particular set of adventures.

I am enjoying playing most things more because of that what happens next element.

One thing that I have learned from this is that for me, MMOs are certainly not "all the same", each game in my rotation is successful in creating a very unique world.  It doesn't matter to me if the mechanics or frameworks are similar, each is very distinct and immersive.  I've never enjoyed playing more than now, I think.

The only thing I am seeing is I need a nice grid or chart that reminds me what button is for capturing a screen, which removes UI, various basic commands like opening bags, calling pets and mounts, adding toolbars and removing skills.   I take it this is common and it is why people are always tweaking the UI in the game settings to make them all the same in every game if they can so they don't have to make the switch mentally. 

I don't do this, because early on I became very interested in how the game is built from the ground up, and I respect the choices made by those who designed the thing, and I'm going to adapt rather than choose these aspects of the game to "make it my own".


Secret World

Working on the Kingsmouth Code sequence I found myself in an Illuminati tunnel that was very familiar to me from the first go around.  I think I had a post on it whose title included the words "Don't Gas Me!"    I took the poisonous gassing at each puzzle much better this time.   Dead, dead, dead, ho hum.


I'm really pushing to get Kingsmouth finished so I can move on to Solomon's Island.  I'm up to level 14 and am working for crazy Edgar at the junkyard who has no concept of personal space and I bet he hasn't bathed in several years.   Still stuck on that Dawning of Endless Night Tunnel with the motion sensors and Cassandra, another person with no concept of personal space.  I'm going to save that till last.

I've decided not to try to work with the old game as well,  after playing SWL, it is all I need, and nothing is so different that I can't just enjoy the game as it now is.


World of Warcraft

My shining glory character this week is my low level (less than ten) Arms Warrior.  She's my first Elf who wasn't a Druid or Mage.  She's just uber lean and powerful, and is making her own finery.  She has these cool moves, that I don't notice on my higher level Warriors.




I'm working in the Dolanar area and dang, this new to me server is really high population and for the first time since I've been playing, there are a bunch of people around.  This is usually a quiet spot in Azeroth, but I actually had to fight for mobs at one place, particularly against a Hunter who tried to hit and loot out from under me every mob.  Sucker.

I hadn't started any new characters in WOW in a long time, and didn't realize that last year they stuck you in a particular specialization for your first ten levels of the game.  They used to just give you a sprinkling of the skills from the three specializations.

Cone of Alt-a-holic shame, I now have ten characters here, and this wasn't a real problem on any of the others, though I didn't care much for the Warlock assigned Affliction spec.   I got Frost Mage, which I always use, and Retribution Paladin, always my choice.

The Warrior comes in as Arms, which is what I turn out to have on my other two.  However, though they stick you in that spec, they give you a one handed sword, and Arms can't use their skills without a two handed sword equipped.   For a level 6 person, I could just buy a claymore from a vendor.

The problem came in for a new Death Knight.   They make you an Unholy, and you have a two handed sword.  I couldn't change her to Frost, my usual, because you now must have a one hand equipped to play Frost.  Quest rewards two-handed, why no choice?   She, I don't feel, could just buy a trick one handed sword from a vendor, because she's fighting all higher level stuff.  Once I was in Stormwind, I could have bought one from auction, but pricing is pretty crazy.   Luckily for me, I was long in the habit of using the Blood spec for adventuring and questing and Frost for dungeons.  Blood can use two handed.  I'm just going to run her through questing till she is offered a one hand or I make enough money to buy one (all these characters are broke).  PITA for no good reason.   At least be thoughtful of the fact that you are making someone play a particular spec, and aren't giving them the equipment they need to play it.

Everquest 2 Fallen Earth

I felt like I should try to get my level 10 Fury namesake someplace, not just let her flounder.  She didn't get the nice teleport skill or the turn into a pretty wolf spell at level 10 as did the AB character.
I'm giving it my best power leveling kill everything you come across technique, but it's crawl crawl goes the xp.

I'm having trouble finding some Young Bears for a quest so I was exploring all over the Antonica area outside the Qeynos gates trying to find them.

Criminy, out from behind an innocuous tower pops a level 16 Dark Shaman guy.


 Naturally, my level 10 Fury tries to make a run for it.   And again with the running backwards thing.  See my health bar go down as I run!  It was down to nearly zilch before miraculously he stopped chasing me.   Bonus: I found I can hit my heals while running backwards!  This is what saved me really, the ability to run and heal.  I hate when you have to be stationary to heal.   Honestly, I'd prefer you could use almost any skill on the move.



This character is on Fallen Earth, the new progression server.   I'd like her in a guild for the advice you can get, and hopefully for grouping.

Thanks to a post from the Ancient Gaming Noob, I knew you could search for a guild that was recruiting and actually talk to a person who could invite you and ask question who was online now.  Whoa.    https://tagn.wordpress.com/2017/07/05/looking-for-nostalgia-in-fallen-gate/


I tried this, but didn't see anything that seemed a good match.  But it was midnight, and I was tired and feeling tso social, so I decided to wait.

Which brings me to thought on Guilds once more.

I posted a week or so ago on guilds and what I wanted them to be.  I've left the Wow guild I was in and via a random invite almost immediately joined another.   My thought now, because I'm such an introspective dolt, is, how can I be a good guild member?  What makes you a valuable addition to a guild?   What do I do well as a guildie, what should I work on?

Being part of a group should be a whole package thing, what do they do for your gameplay, how do you contribute to the gameplay of others.

Sticking points for me:

I can't stand having a guild name over my head that I don't like.   Babsie's Bobbers, no.   Deathly Dreamers, ya, ok.

Discord      Everybody's got it.    Everyone wants you to be on it.  I honestly don't want to randomly chat with anyone I don't know.  I don't want to talk politics, or anything else that isn't related to the game world.  I'm almost always playing late, like 9pm to 1am, and zzzz you don't want to talk to me at that time of the day either.   So everyone who is all proud they've got Discord and wants you to chime in:  Gamebreaker.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

PlayNotes: Elder Scrolls Online

I spent quite a bit of time last night in ESO, but didn't write it up.  It's on my mind though.

Things began with a quest called Pickpocket the Ode to Ethrandora.   Once again I had to play the sneak thief.  Slinking up behind a busy wizardess, I attempted to pluck a note from her pocket.  There was some flashing of numbers, then she was shouting at me.   In giant letters on the screen it was announced there's a bounty on me and any guard will take me down.  Eek!


I checked how much gold I had, ran outside and gave myself up to the first guard I saw.   Whew!  9 Gold and I'm Ms Perfect again. 






I did manage to pick the note on the next try.  Apparently you have to watch for your chance to be at least 75%

While looking for the next part of the quest chain, I wandered into a quest giver outside the Matus-Akin Egg Mine.   I think I was in there for an hour or more, trying to accomplish the quests.   It seemed as if it were in the middle of nowhere, but there were plenty of people to casually run with.  

I was hitting things other people were fighting then tossing up heals, so I thought it worked great.   Others would help me if they were going by.  There was not any, "oh you're killing my mob" feeling to it, it had a nice "we're all in this together, thanks for the help" aspect.

I leveled up, got a Skyshard, loaded my inventory...

Once done, I thought dang I need to empty my inventory, but I'm so close to the quest location for the Friend In Need quest which would give me a snuggly inn room of my own.

Wouldn't you know, the place is another Delve.



I really like them, but no way I can go in without selling some stuff off.   I'll have to backtrack.

Before I wrote this I wanted to look up Delves, a very faerie world sort of name.   I didn't get the answers I want, because I'm not clear what the difference is between a Delve and a Public Dungeon in ESO, even after reading several things.   Trials I get, because I ran across one and it said large groups only, don't enter.

I did like reading that there is a Skyshard and Lorebook in each (oddly this particular character hasn't found a single Lorebook, and I didn't think to look for one here).   

Oops, I didn't realize these don't scale to your level, so here I am running in there like a yahoo, shooting at everything I see.   I should be careful.


/http://esoacademy.com/eso-dungeon-guide/



Notice I got my bear after being in the mine as well.  Yay for my bear.   While he doesn't seem to do much damage, he kept things from attacking me, which was all the extra bit I needed.

He isn't all cute and bear fuzzy as I'd like, he seems in fact a bit plastic-y.  Still, he's my buddy, my buddy to stay until he's peeled up and sailed away  (old Garfield reference).

Monday, July 10, 2017

PlayNotes: LOTRO (plus)

I'm finding my way around in Moria and navigating between the maps and the way the halls are laid out.  Less in the way of dead ends tonight.

Working on Hewers of Stone more, I found the Chamber of Wisdom with relative ease.  I was surprised how far back towards the beginning of Moria you had to go.


Chamber of Wisdom

Mining Records


I confess I keep thinking each quest turn in will send me back to the surface, but no.   Instead a new doorway leads me out into the snow.  Whipping winds, wolves, awooo.  I liked the story behind this quest, a Lost Workshop that might have papers revealing a hidden passageway.


Luckily the sojourn in the snow was short and the cave entrance was nearby.



I liked these caves.  The path was mostly straight, with a couple of places where you had to jump down.  There was just something that appealed in the design.


In The Workshop With The Orcs


Once I had the papers I sought, the doorway out sent me right back to Broin (that adventuring Hobbit) without the interlude of winter.

The next quest is called Chapter 8 The Secret Road.  I love a Secret Road!


World of Warcraft

I spent a tiny bit of time working on my almost level 105 Frost Mage and my level 12 druid (on different servers)   I didn't get any Wow time on Saturday, so you know how it is, you sneak in.

Galaxies

Working on getting good stock on my Architect vendors.  I'm working to stock everything she can make.  Oddly, things like Guild halls sell pretty well, but while I'm slowly getting a big stock of steel and ores (thanks to my spouse, the most excellent miner in any game), I need other subcomponents that I haven't stocked at this time.  

Even with that, I needed factory crates of Power Core Units, for which I need Energy Distributors, which are made by Dustbunnie, so a pause while I make a factory run of those...


Everquest 2

My Fury on Antonia Bayle and Fallen Gate is my main.  The AB one was level 9, so I grabbed loads of quests on my way out of town.  Mobs were level 7-8 on one side of the road and 10-11 on the other.

I just love the flavor of this area.

At level 10 I got the 10th Season Adventurer Achievement, plus what seemed like quite a few skills.

One that stood out was one that turns my High Elf into a beautiful white wolf (I'm guessing) but to me she is a dog, and I love dogs!  I'm trying to think if anything has let me be a pup before.  Bears, cats, they're everywhere.  Puppy!


Talk about unexpected surprises in games that make them so much more fun. 

The ability to Teleport others was also given.  I love being able to port people to other destinations,  I'm pleased to have that one too.