Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Wow it's been a super long time

It's funny. I come visit my own blog page on a pretty regular basis, probably once each work day. Unfortunately for you ( my two readers I believe ) I have only been visiting to see if my favorite reads on the left have been updated and then visiting them if they have been updated.

Part of the problem is that my entertainment time has been severely fragmented.

I grew bored of Fallen Earth about a month and a half into my three month subscription. I feel good about giving my little part to helping a great attempt at a post-apocalyptic MMO. There were just things about the game that didn't agree with me. It felt a bit too grindy and too solo-centric so I had no reason to form any sort of connections in the game even though I tried. I had gotten involved in a guild and tried to help my guildmates out, then we had the guild passed to different guild leaders twice as the leaders moved on to other guilds.

I started playing LoTRO when it became FTP and have leveled a hunter to 20 before finding the whole thing completely repetitious with no reason whatsoever to group. I would have like to see some dungeons and instances to visit prior to level 20. Most recently I started a new Loremaster, maybe I'll find it more engaging, being a pet class.

I also got dragged into the whole Minecraft thing. I spent my 10 Euro worth of US cash for both me and my wife. We had some multi-player fun together on a home server for a while. Now I just fire it up once in a while to kill some time digging holes or trying to figure out how to build traps. The game is a nice time waster and will be going to beta soon, at which point people won't be able to get into the pay half now and get the full game deal that Notch was offering.

I have also fortunately been able to play regularly in a Pen & Paper RPG with friends. We have four players and a GM meeting one Saturday a month to roam about a post-apocalyptic western United States. It has been a nice RPG diversion but I've been getting urges to find a weekly fantasy campaign to join in my area. So anyone out there know a game in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago that meets on a regular basis let me know.

Friday, August 20, 2010

What do I do now?

I’ve just finished my extended tutorial, I’ve got my new horse, what do I do now?

In most cases there is an NPC that sends you to someone else in town to get you started, after that keep your eyes peeled for biohazard icons floating over NPC’s heads.Yel_biohaz Red_biohaz

These are your indicators that they have a mission for you or that you have one completed for them. If the npc has a mission for you to do then it the icon looks like the left one, it looks green on the mini-map but yellow in the game. If you are currently handling a mission for that NPC the icon shows up in red.

Run out and do your missions, if you decided on a tradeskill town you might end up acquiring all of the recipes you will need to start your tradeskilling career through questing, so don’t let those chips burn a hole in your pocket and buy any tradeskill book you see, wait until you’ve hit a couple of towns or decide that you REALLY have to have that book.

When it’s time to buy those books or even sell some of the garbage you got off the prairie chickens you killed earlier you visit a merchant, they are represented on your mini-map by poker chips, the standard currency of the area.


In this mini-map you can see:
  1. The name of the starter town ( Clinton FARM )
  2. a number of merchants
  3. my character position ( middle chevron )
  4. my mount ( green square at the bottom)
  5. the weapon workshop ( knife icon on the building to the top)
  6. some minerals ( orange blobs top left )
  7. the waypoint for my current quest ( red X top left )
  8. another player heading Northeast ( white arrow bottom )
  9. non-mission NPCs ( white dots )

Quite easy to read once you get used to it, but it can get busy especially in the towns that have many merchants.

Send in the clones ( lame I know )

As I mentioned a couple days ago my current playtime is being spent on Fallen Earth where my character(s) is a clone that has been taken out of storage to help some people in the Hoover Dam defend it from attackers.

The Hoover dam episode is Fallen Earth's tutorial that introduces the player to the game and its controls. Following the tutorial your clone body awakens in a LifeNet facility and you are given a choice as to which community you wish to start your new life in, you are then re-started in the LifeNet facility at that community.

Since my time in beta they have added an "extended" tutorial quest line that teaches you how to use an ability, how to gather a resource, how to manufacture an item and ends up giving you a "vehicle" in the form of an "Old Nag" horse. Due to the extended tutorial the introduction to the new world is a little less jarring, or that could have been due to my previous experience with the game. I guess the developers are going to be further extending the opening quest lines to make the introduction to the game even easier.

Once you're out in the world you get your standard "kill this guy" or "collect 10 of these for me" quest lines along with the make some of these for me and I'll teach you how to make other things quests. The "kill this guy" quests sometimes include a tracking portion where you basically follow waypoints to "track" someone out into the wastes before finding them. There are also escort missions where you go get someone who is missing or wandered into trouble and have them follow you back to the mission giver, usually getting attacked one time by whatever was keeping them from returning on their own.

Next Time:
What do I do now?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

It seems I have less and less to say….

I’ve probably started writing different updates and comments at various times but I haven’t completed them or thought them worthy of posting.  I think for this I’ll just let people know what’s up.

I’ve stopped playing WoW, it’s been over a month and a half since I’ve had my accounts active, though I’ve been asked a number of times to help my wife using her second account.  I’ve been pretty adamant about not playing unless there’s a dire need on her part.  I had already planned on quitting when the Real-ID blowup happened and that just sealed the deal. 

I wasn’t too happy about Blizzard’s requirement that your login name be an email address, I felt it was a security risk.  I think my concern was valid and believe it has been proven, though only anecdotally.  I believe they have had more account hacks than ever before, at least I hear about them more from my wife, who had been hacked herself recently. I would bet that most people are rather lax about using their email address for everything else including random WoW forums and addon sites.  Leading to an easy way for hackers to acquire valid login names.

Add to that the idea of real names being posted in forums along with an automatic association of your WoW account with your facebook account by the company that you expected to protect your personal information and I was furious.  It was after these announcements that I decided that Blizzard had become something that I never thought they would, a money grubbing corporation that only worries about themselves and not their customers.  I have read some things that attribute this to the merger with Activision and I wouldn’t doubt it.

So what am I doing now that WoW is out of my life?

Well I was sent an email from Fallen Earth for returning customers to get free trial up until August 6th without any restrictions.  I took them up on the offer and became engrossed again in the exploration and crafting aspect of the game.  I decided to support this small MMO and bought a copy of the game and subscribed and I’m currently taking 3 characters through the first “sector” of the game.  I’ve played my crafter the most, he’s recently learned how to make all the components of a dune buggy and knows how to put the thing together.  I’ve just got to save up the resources to make it, it’s over 100 scrap steel as well as other hard to find parts.  I’ll probably start posting a little bit of information about my travels in the post-apocalyptic world.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Yet another new beginning

For those few who might wonder, yes I'm still here and alive. I just haven't had much to write about.

Our regular d&d group took a bit of a break as people's lives grew busy and we didn't have what I considered to be a quorum. At the same time, in WoW I was in a 10man raiding guild that was pushing towards 10man heroics and the familiar burnout was creeping in.

As for WoW, our 10man guild that both me and my wife were in was making the push every week and managing to down the new bosses in the week they were released. I believe there was one exception with Professor Putricide where we used all 10 tries and didn't get him down in the first week. Otherwise we were making terrific progress and competing with the 25man guilds for 10man firsts, considering the gear differences and less double-dipping on frost emblems from 10 and 25 man, I thought we were doing extremely well. The stumbling block came with Sindragosa, our first 15 tries out of the 20 allowed did not go well, though progress was made. One issue in my opinion was that we needed to do tank swapping in the third phase. This phase involved intense debuffs on the tank while members of the raid had to run away from the boss to avoid freezing the rest of the raid and other members had to use the ice blocks created to drop debuffs. Our raid/guild leader insisted on having me tank the whole fight without tank swapping, claiming our heals were great and this was doable. After our 15 tries on Wednesday and an extra session the following Sunday, I looked forward to trying our last 5 tries with tank swapping on Monday. But this was not to happen, my wife and I logged in on Monday to find that we had both been removed from the guild, the guild leader citing "poor" performance for my wife and avoidance of intraguild conflict as a reason to remove her and me. His comment was that she should be healing a lot more than his logs said she was and had poor "raid awareness", and if they were going to push into heroics they were going to have to get better healing.

It would have been nice if he had brought this up earlier to try and address this, which might have been why he was asking her to go discipline a couple of weeks earlier. In both of our opinions he was wrong, he obviously wasn't aware of what she brought to the table, as well as understanding that he had a strong paladin healer that was able to snipe heals from the priest and gained the benefit of her constant use of her guardian spirit (+40% healing) for 10 seconds every minute. The only problems she had with raid awareness was the same problems everyone was having with becoming familiar with the fight mechanics and required movements.

I think our opinion that he was wrong has been born out. Sindragosa was released February 2nd, the guild finally beat her 2 weeks later ( probably by tank switching ) and have made no more progress since then. Meanwhile 6 other guilds have started doing 10man heroic encounters while my old guild still languishes in regular.

After reading what happened and how it was presented you might think that we are bitter, but this is not the case. The guild removal came when I was burning out, but was dreading asking for a break because the guild had been made to have only 10 raiders so we had to raid when scheduled. It was a breath of fresh air for me and my wife liked to pug raids so was free to do that. We aren't pushing content anymore, but then neither is our old guild, while not bitter, it's nice to have some vindication.