Saturday, October 28, 2017

Beware the Scarlet Strider!

I continue to have ridiculous amounts of fun playing ESO. My warden's now my highest level toon (okay, given that Cerlind, the previous record holder, was level 10, this was not a hard record to break, but still). Between self-heals, a bear, and aoe spells centered on self, I manage to stay alive pretty well even when I pull more than one thing (this happens with frequency and I have trouble keeping track of more than one mob, especially if they're charging or jumping or vanishing, all of which ESO mobs do).

So, because it's a very high pain day (and been a high pain week), I give you the continuing adventures of the Scarlet Strider, the famed successor of the Scarlet Judge! Her mission is currently to find a copy of Morality and Justice in Morrowind for Dummies, and a copy of Who's Who in Morrowind would also not come amiss. For some reason, Breton public schools, or even private academies, don't cover these things.

(Cough, Spoilers for Vvardenfel quests, cough. Also, RP because I can, WAHAHAHAH!)

Here we see my mentor. I can't help but wonder how desperate the guy must be to choose an Outlander for this. Heck, I can't even name all the houses. There's Hlaulau or something, the Telvanni aka Slaving Mages of What Does This Button Do, and the Redrums? Nah, that's not quite right. Oh well.

And they laughed at me when I said sooner or later my knowledge of the visible spectrum of light and geometry would come in handy while dungeon-delving! Well, who's laughing now? Actually, they might be, I think it's comedy night at the tavern near the academy.

Here we see a Telvanni. See why I call 'em What Does This Button Do? It's never anything good, and I end up cleaning up the resulting mess. Revus does have cute hair, I'll give him that much. It's the only reason I haven't smacked him upside the head yet.

I'm still trying to wrap my head around this political system and failing. But I guess open is good, right? Maybe?

You know, if it weren't for the river of lava flowing down the volcano in the background, I'd consider living in Balmora. It's a nice city. Vivec's not bad, I did get a free inn room, but that meteor hanging over my head all the time makes me REALLY nervous.

Someone in the Morag Tong missed their calling as a landscape artist. I'd give them a few gold for a painting of this without the arrow.

Oddly enough, I find the assassins less morally challenging than the politicians. At least you're all honest about it. Plus I really want to have a girls night with Naryu, she's just fun to hang with!

And here's my Scarlet Strider getup. No, I'm not the Scarlet Judge, that's a stupid name. My enemies take cliff striders to the face, and everyone knows alliteration's the way to go for vigilante names. Plus, it's a nice callback to a ranger I once read about and had a bit of a crush on.
Yes, I should probably have a hood, but do you have any idea how long it takes to get my hair like that? Plus, I've learned that dark elves are not so good at telling one Breton from another, so I'm not worried. Seriously, I change armor, and they have no idea where the Strider's gone.

I'm a vigilante, not a guard. I have to get my hands dirty from time to time, and quite frankly, if you're stupid enough to leave your stuff in a locked chest in the middle of nowhere, I have no problem lock-picking and claiming the contents under the ancient rules of finders-keepers. Plus, I need the practice, lock-picking's hard!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Tried ESO Again, Was Enthralled, Thrilled, and Had Loads of FUN!

I tried ESO in 2014, and while the explorer in me was thrilled, I couldn't get past the combat (and my ineptitude at same). I knew the Tamriel Unlimited thing had changed the game hugely, and likely in a way I'd like, but it wasn't until I happened to read that they were adding Morrowind that I felt the need to try again. I got the Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind in college, several months before I got a new PC that could actually play it, and I read that instruction manual (remember those?) over and over again, wanting to play it so badly! I loved it, and while I never got very far (Morrowind has some issues that frustrated me too much at the time, and since, really), that world was amazing.

So, I bought the Morrowind expansion for ESO, and jumped in last night. After a brief period of "WTF do any of these keys do?" I figured my best bet was to roll a new toon, and since Morrowind added wardens, I could try one of them too. A few minutes in character creation (and okay, an hour or so in the tutorial since I did NOT remember how to play at all), and here we are. Yes, I have a wolf and a clockwork horse. Yes, I am firmly convinced this is awesome, even if I walk everywhere.
The warden is a bit more mage than I was expecting (I think warden, I think paladin-like), but I have to admit, after many hours cursing cliff divers in the original Morrowind, it's ridiculously entertaining to use them like magic missiles against my enemies. Plus I heal with growing fungus and throw ice at people and sometimes they freeze and shatter!

I played for 6 hours and did not want to stop. So, here's some highlights...
I met a living god. VIVEC! Dude's stopping a meteor from squishing a city. Also, oooh shiny!

He also lives in a very lovely city (Vivec City, naturally). Which I got lost in. Repeatedly. In both Morrowinds.

I wandered around Balmora to store an old man's memories. I was very surprised how touching I found that quest line, it's a great one about family and love and regrets.

I became a semi-smooth criminal when I got confused about a quest and broke into a house. Since I'd already trespassed, I went for broke, snuck around, ducked into hiding places (which are highlighted when you're trespassing and sneaking), robbed the place, murdered a couple henchmen, then ran for my life/filthy ill-gotten gains back to Vivec City to get the bounty removed and my lovely new shinies sold. It was really suspenseful and enjoyable, and it was a nice break from normal questing. I still stink at the lockpicking game though. I should see if I can find an offline version to practice with...

I got my own room at an inn (aka the first piece of player housing). Yes, I had a total of one piece of furniture that'd dropped during the night at some point, and that skeleton thingy is one of the non-combat pets I have (no clue when or how I got it).

And last, but not least, even if I didn't remember to take screencaps, I went on an epic quest for pumpkins! It's part of the ongoing holiday stuff, and I haven't finished the quest yet. I'm blaming it being 4 am by that point for lack of pics, but I went from Vivec City to Stonefalls (and halfway across that zone even though it's not this toon's faction) to get a few, and then to Glenumbra (what would be her starting zone if not for Morrowind).

While I was doing this, I got REALLY fed up with the lack of bag space, and someone in the zone chat said I should sub for the crafting bag. Wow, they were right. Basically, all the crafting stuff you pick up goes in an unlimited bag shared across all characters and it is BRILLIANT. This is possibly my new favorite feature ever.

(And my apologies for the UI in every screenshot. I need to figure out which button makes that go away and add it to the list...)

Saturday, May 9, 2015

A poem, because my brain is trying to kill me again.

I got nothing. Massive depression hit, then after I started to dig out of that, I learned that a) I have major anxiety, and b) anxiety attacks make me suicidal in a "FUCK MUST ESCAPE" sort of way. Oh joy.

I was at least smart enough to get help before I did something stupid this time, so the suicide attempt counter stays at 7ish! Go me! But there has been no gaming, almost no knitting, mostly reading, and no real desire to talk about anything.

But I want to do my best as far as writing for this blog, even if I feel like screaming every time I think of it lately. So, here, I stole a poem and slightly rewrote the first stanza for you guys!

Hormones! Oh hormones! 
I hate you! You stink!
I wish I could wash you 
away in the sink, 
if only a bomb 
would explode you to bits.
Hormones! Oh hormones!
You're giving me fits!
- with apologies to Shell Silverstein!

Original Source (second poem down)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Costuming (because I haven't been gaming)

So, not much gaming lately. Between physical pain (best guess is severe internal scarring on my intestines caused by my uterine lining growing on it for 15 years and man I wish I was kidding about that 15 years bit) and mental suck (clinical depression, how I hate thee), there's been loads of knitting and no gaming. Figured you wouldn't be interested about the knitting (ooh, socks!), but I went to 221B this past weekend (local Sherlock Holmes con) and I figured I could talk about costuming! Or rather I could talk about what I end up doing costuming-wise and how I go about it.

So, here's me on Friday and then on Sat. I basically was trying for a Steampunky/Victorian sort of look, more trying to get the spirit then being historically accurate (plus I think full Victorian might make me fall over cause like 20 pounds of clothes).

First off, yes, that is the same corset both days (and if I had a full body pic you'd see the light blue skirt again on Sat with a different overskirt). A well-fitted corset should be comfortable, NOT PAINFUL. Seriously. Basic corset tips...1) you get what you pay for. That corset was around 200 bucks, but comfortable enough for me to wander around in two days straight. Also, looks cool.  2) Measurements are really important, especially if you're buying online. Make sure you know yours & pay attention to what the website says about sizing, Different makers do things different ways. 3) The corset will conform to your body over time. The one I was wearing in the pics is now curved to my body shape which makes it way more comfy (and that's one of the reasons to go for a more expensive corset if possible, the cheap ones have boning that a) tend to break and b) won't adjust over time to your body). 4) They're like bras and necklines, different types work best for different body types.

Second, you can make awesome costumes out of separates. Let's go back to Friday.... Tank top's a cheap one from Walmart that I thought looked vaguely Victorian. Shawl over my shoulders was bought at Target because I liked the color and it had hidden skulls. Light blue skirt is going to be part of a DragonCon costume. The dark blue skirt (which is actually two skirts, I put the other skirt in between them) came second-hand from a friend. Necklace is inherited costume jewelry, as are the earrings. On Saturday, that tank top (which I own in 4 different colors because I like the style) is, again, Target. The necklace is one I wear all the time (am wearing now, in fact), and the flowers in my hair were gathered from the garden before I left. Baby Groot in my cleavage (yes, that's a Baby Groot) was bought at the con because he made me happy and stuck in my cleavage because it was a safe place to put him.

I go for separates most of the time because it allows me more flexibility. I can do much more with two tops and two skirts than I can with two dresses. The tops get thrown into my normal clothing rotation and the skirts might (depends on their length and style, I wear my Renn Faire skirts quite a bit but the Rev War one really only comes out for costuming). And here's some more examples....
DragonCon a couple years back. Rev War skirt, same corset, shirt I've had for years, cloak I've had for years (and is a surprisingly practical garment for GA).

Halloween a couple years back. Renn Faire skirt (I own two and wear them frequently), Renn Faire shirt (used to wear lots, doesn't work well anymore since I lost weight), same corset and stole I designed and knit. Oh, and shoes I still live in.

Halloween 2014. Shirt from Walmart, corset's a Renn Faire one, and I have no idea what skirt I was wearing, I can't remember. This green corset actually gets more costuming wear than the brown, but I have less pictures of it for some reason (possibly because I stink at remembering to get pics of myself in costume).

All of these outfits were more or less thrown together by my looking in my closet and going "hmm, I think this might work." It helps that my style tends towards the Victorian and Renn Faire and I costume to that. I don't really do 20th century because I don't own much that works for those styles.

I guess the take-away from this rambling should probably be along the lines of the following...
1) It's way easier to come up with a con costume if you're flexible and creative. Sure, you're much more likely to get oohs and ahs with a perfect Thorin, but we're going for easy.
2) Separates are more flexible and a better bang for your costuming buck

Sorry guys, suppose this wasn't very useful for you. Um, you can do an amazing variety of costumes with one good black suit. That's all I got for you.

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.