Friday, March 27, 2015

Getting Started in ESO (or WTF is the minimap?)

Alrighty, so you bought the ESO box, you've installed, downloaded the 25gb or so of patches, made a toon, did the tutorial and now you're out and about and hitting m every 5 seconds because you don't have a minimap! Also, you might have some guards after you because you mis-clicked and stole something. Well, I'm here to help!

No, there is no way to enable a mini-map, you need an addon for that. But, the addon system is very user-friendly, and heck, there's even a program like curse for wow to keep track of 'em and install them for you. It's called Minion and you can find it here. It's pretty self-explanatory, go to find more to find addons, installed is the addons you already have, ect.

If you don't want an addon-manager, you can download addons from such sites as esoui (I've gotten a couple from there, no horrible doom thus far). Download 'em, unzip into Documents/Elder Scrolls Online/live (or liveeu)/AddOns  (path is for Win 8.1 and default install, your path may vary), and load up the game.

Once you've got the game going, just go to the addons option in the main menu. From there you can enable and disable individual addons, enable out-of-date ones, all the normal things. If you want to change the settings of a particular addon, you want to check in settings, not addons (that threw me a bit at first).

Now, the most important part, what addons do you want? Well, I can't read your mind, but I can tell you what I'm using, starting with the two that solve the no mini-map and stealing issues.

First off, we have No Accidental Stealing, which does what it says on the tin. Or, to be more specific, you can't steal unless you're already sneaking (and you probably always want to be sneaking and hidden when stealing unless you like running from the guards).

Second, MiniMap by Fyrakin. Yes, now you have a minimap! And you can even mess around with transparency and make it look all pretty.

Beyond that, there's a ton more. I have Foundry Tactical Combat, Esohead, Lorebooks, SkyShards, Wykkyd's Quest Tracker (love this one!), Inventory Grid View (another highly recommended one because the default inventory is not so good), AI Research Grid, and a bunch of others. See...

As you go along, you'll likely find things you think could be made easier to manage, and hey, there's probably an addon for that, just like in WoW! (And I have no economy addons because I have no reason to, not because they don't exist).

So go forth and play! After all, if you don't like the addon, you can always uninstall it, no harm no foul.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Trying ESO (again)

So, with ESO now buy-to-play, I jumped in again to try it. I had played for a while over the summer, but it didn't really grab me. There were some awesome bits (exploration, gather ALL THE THINGS), some eh bits (so many choices with skill points, so many crafting things) and some bad bits (combat at which I suck, bag issues, lack of an AH, horrible endgame (so I heard, my highest character was 10)).

But with not having to pay, I figured it was worth another try, if for no other reason that the awesome bits were really fun. And so far, so good.

I rolled a new toon to go through the tutorial again, and they've improved it vastly. The plot makes more sense and is tighter, and the combat feels much better (I will have to jump on my sorcerer once I figure out a build for her and try her, since she's the one I had the most issues with). The exploration is still great, and best of all, I can steal stuff! I had way too much fun sneaking around stealing from containers and then selling it all to the fence for a decent profit (200 gold!). You can also pickpocket and kill people, but I haven't tried those yet (I generally don't pickpocket in games and I have more sense than to try to kill anyone when I'm level 3).

So I'm having fun and would recommend it. The other people running around can get annoying on occasion, especially if you're all after the same thing, but that happens in any crowded MMO (and since this one is a megaserver one, it always feels a bit crowded to me). You can customize the interface with addons (a necessity I think, since the default interface is a bit sparse and less than useful), and it's a beautiful game with loads to do.

Sadly my old screenshots have vanished (unless they're backed up somewhere, which is possible), but here's a few I took with the new toon. This one's from the tutorial (and the minimap is an addon and I've already forgotten how I lived without it).

Here we're out and about in a starting zone (and I think I capped this because of the how to steal box, I do that so I can go back and look at stuff if needed).

And here we have the new toon crafting.

So, my thoughts thus far (summed up)...
character creator still awesome, with loads of choices (almost overwhelming, but still awesome, and realistic body types, yay)
combat feels better (and I know that's incredibly vague, sorry, but I never did nail down why it felt so awkward before other than me being not good at that sort of combar)
bag space still an issue, but that's what alts are for
there seems to be more gold rewards than I remember, which is great as both bag space and mounts are really expensive
the shop is unobtrusive and nothing in it is in any way buy to win (imho, of course).
environment is still gorgeous and exploration is still way too much fun, as is gathering

I won't be subbing at the moment. I'm already subbed to lotro, and the 10% XP bonus you get for subbing in ESO is not really worth it to me. I'm in no hurry to level up, I'd rather run around the world and explore and gather and steal stuff.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Plans going forward

I am still playing games, mostly LotRO. I'm looking forward to ESO going buy to play since I already own it and tried it last summer. I hear the Secret World has made some big changes, so that's downloading on Steam as we speak.

I've just gotten out of the habit of talking about gaming, or really much of anything that isn't me whining on Facebook about how my RL sucks (which it kinda does, I'm disabled atm and still trying to come to terms with that and figure out what, if anything, medical science can do).

So, here's the plan. At least one blog post a week. If I haven't played a game that week (which does happen), I will find something else to talk about and will do my level best to make sure it's gaming-related. I do reserve the right to talk about knitting or post pictures once in a while, since that and reading are my other two hobbies.

Now, what I've been up to in LotRO....
I'm switching mains from the hunter Nathyrra to the minstrel Aerthiel. As part of that I've been trying to get zone deeds done. I've checked off North Downs and Forochel, and the pic below is of the most painful deed I've come across yet. Not hard, just boring as heck. These ice cloud guys have 2 fixed spawn points in the entire zone, one with 3 and one with 3 and the occasional 4th wanders by. They respawn roughly every 3 minutes. I had to kill 300 or so in total and they die in 10 seconds. Not a fun challenge.
I've started on Angmar with her, I've rolled a Beorning (the new class/race), and I'm generally just puttering along. My runemaster's in Moria at the moment, Nathyrra's stuck at the last battle to unlock Mirkwood (which is a blog post in itself), and most of my other toons are growing crops for gold.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

RIP Sir Terry Pratchett

It may be bad form to resurrect a blog for this, but I don't care.

Sir Terry Pratchett, the noted author, died today. I've been reading his books for over half my life, and I wanted to say, well, thanks.

Thank you for teaching me how to laugh even in the depths of depression when I was sure everyone in the world would be better off if I was dead.

Thank you for making me a better writer.

Thank you for helping to shape my sense of humor.

Thank you for showing me the ridiculousness inherent in Life.

Thank you for giving me amazing female role models of all kinds, remarkable not because they were female, but because they were human.

Thank you for the Discworld.

I could go on and on about how your writing shaped mine, how your work made my life so much better in many little ways, and how much I owe to you, but I fear if I make this much longer I won't be able to see the screen through my tears, so....


For those wondering where to start with Sir Pratchett, I'd suggest Small Gods if you're okay with a (mostly) gentle mocking of organized religion and philosophy.  There are starter novels to the various "series", which I don't really recommend as a first Pratchett novel simply because they were almost all written early in his career while he was still honing his craft. I'd also suggest The Truth, or Monstrous Regiment. This article from io9 has a nice chart, and if you're curious, I started with Mort when I was 13 or so.

Friday, June 6, 2014


Thanks to a generous friend, I've got a weekend to try Wildstar. So far, here's what I think....
 I can make male characters with long hair (and flowers in their hair)! Yay!
 Humans of different races! (Though I didn't see an option to make Asian eyes, but I didn't play with the customizing face stuff and there is a lot of it)

 Biggest body type (based on boobs, since I couldn't figure out how to scroll out)
 Smallest body type
Notice a difference? Yeah, C cup is not what I call a small. Ever. Sigh. Boo!
 Side view of smallest body type.

 A female character running. Again, this is the slightest body type, and all female characters run in that RIDICULOUS fashion. BOO! SO MUCH BOO!

 Same character, in close-up. I was trying to make a Ridley from Aliens type, did not succeed.
 Robotic Barbie. Sigh.

 What, does this entire race start wearing corsets at birth? Her waist is smaller than her head!
 Pretty awesome-looking, right?

 Each one of her butt cheeks is the size of her head. FRACK! That shit ain't right.

 I thought I'd made an Earth Mother type. Sadly, I think this might be the closest I could get to a semi-normal body.

 Look, tons of facial customization options!
 And more facial optimization.

Wildstar's version of gnomes, sorta. Cute, but the females are just as sexualized as the larger races.

 Human female from the back. I dunno which body type this is, but butt is ridiculous. Betty Boop has left the building, y'all.
 Human male. Looks like He-man, par for the course.
The toon I liked the look of the most, except he's small (I hate playing small toons) and male. 

So, you may have noticed a theme. I'm really unhappy with the female body options. I love what I've seen of the game thus far, I like the music, the gameplay, and the story. An MMO that isn't straight fantasy? GREAT! Space Western? Even better! So why am I sad?

Because every time my female toon moves, I get reminded of how ridiculously over-sexed she is. I could not make a toon (and believe me, I spent 3 hours trying) that was female and didn't look grotesque. I've got nothing against sexy toons, I like my toons pretty. But I'm not okay with hentai levels of sexualization. I know it's a cartoon style, but you can do sexy cartoons without watermelon boobs, 20 inch waists, and dislocated hips walks. Amazingly enough, I'm not comfortable following around Jessica Rabbit or Betty Boop. 

Were it not for this, I'd be buying the game right now. But as it stands, I need to play for a bit and see if I can desensitize myself to this problem so I could enjoy the game. And I really shouldn't have to do that and it makes me sad. This looks like such a great game, but it's a game I may have to take a pass on because the designers took male fantasy and turned it to 11.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Out with the old, in with the new. Crap, I miss the old

New computer (named Maglor after one of the sons of Feanor) is here. It's running Windows 8. Never even played with 8 before.

Figuring out how to do things is a bit of a struggle (how the fuck do I right-click with this new touchpad, for example). I've also had some issues getting lotro up and running. First I forgot that laptops generally go to sleep when you close the lid (my screwup) meaning that Steam didn't finish downloading lotro till noon.

Second, the net fiasco. I try installing, Steam says "hey, you need this version of .net", I go "sure", go download it, and lo and behold it won't run. So, a bit of googling reveals that you can try unzipping the file and running the executable (no dice for me, but worth a try). Then I found out that you can enable .net 3 in the control panel and tried that. One reboot later and the launcher is now patching. It has stalled once so far but a restart of the launcher seems to have fixed it and I'm keeping a close eye on it.

I'm also having keyboard issues (this new laptop has a number pad and the touchpad is perilously close to where my palms rest naturally when typing). Also, the left ctrl is smaller than I'm used to and right next to the fn key and I don't have a mute button anymore. I do have both arrow keys and a mostly complete numberpad, but I wish the arrow keys had a nub on them so I can find them without looking. Hmm, wonder if I can put a dot of nail polish on it without damaging the keys?

I did take a picture of old and new computers sitting next to each other, and will post that once I feel well enough to find the camera cord. My body, as ever, has impeccable timing. I'm really excited about the Hobbit tonight (Thranduil's my favorite elven king), but my digestive system's currently treating all food as poison again (yes, that's about as much fun as it sounds).

Maglor is a y510 from Lenovo, and Taliesin (the old laptop) is a y550. Despite the similar model numbers, they really are quite different. For one, Taliesin (a famous bard) is much older and less powerful and likes to overheat. I'm really hoping Maglor does not because I don't want to deal with a new computer again for a bit. Yes, new and shiny, but also learning new ways of doing things, transferring files, and not just working (which is what I prefer my computers to do unless I feel like futzing with them).

I was waiting till the client finished doing data functions (I assume that's what Dat f... stands for) so I could get in and post comparisons, but that looks like it'll be a while. So, I shall go watch netflix now, and write a quick post with comparison shots later!

Oh, and here's a couple useful windows 8 things. First, the windows key acts like the button on the iPad or the N on your nook, very useful. Second, nifty keyboard commands list, if like me you prefer to do keyboard when you can. And remember, yes the Metro screen's annoying as crap, but you spend most of your time in the desktop anyway, so it's not as bad as, say, Windows Me.
Windows + H = Opens the Share charm
Windows + I = Opens the Settings charm
Windows + K = Opens the Devices charm
Windows + Q = Search for apps
Windows + F = Search for files
Windows + W = Search for Windows settings
Windows + X = Access common admin tools (you can right-click on the lower-left hand hot corner, too)
Windows + E = Launches File Explorer in the desktop environment
Windows + O = lock screen orientation
Windows + R = Opens a Run dialog
Windows + L = Lock the computer
Windows + Print Screen = Saves a screenshot to your Pictures > Screenshots folder
Windows + any of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0 = Launches the corresponding program pinned to the taskbar
Ctrl + Shift + Esc = Open Task Manager

Friday, November 29, 2013

There has been little gaming, due mostly to the overheating monster showing back up. The fan pad buys me a couple of hours of running around lotro, but that's not really enough. Nothing like laptop going black just as you're finishing up an escort quest or the unlocking of Moria to cause lots of cursing.

I have really been enjoying myself (or I was) but the shutdowns are both frustrating and REALLY annoying. I've gotten to the point that I just run around the world and try to get deeds done. Since I'm at the point where I have to level my bow to defeat the tentacle monster to get into Moria, this isn't so bad.

Since my mom's computer is dying, there is a new computer on the horizon for me. Ordered, but I won't see it for at least a month. Still, I am vaguely excited. Enjoy Black Friday, check out the Steam and Turbine deals, and try not to get killed by angry shopping mobs!