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!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Lotro's New Expansion! New WoW Character Models!! Way too many exclamation points!!!!

First off, LotRO changes....
Oooh, lookie, talent trees! Dual-spec as default! While I am saddened by the loss of the old way (which I saw as partly giving me a guide on how to play the class a, b, or c way), I do like talent trees, and let's face it, the whole getting deeds by using class skills to get talents was a bit over-complicated and not binge-gamer friendly. Of course, it looks like I still need to get deeds by using class skills, they just give me talent points instead. Here's a couple examples of what the trees look like, I appear to have screencapped the captain and burglar ones. The numbers on the right side are to change between specs. The left buttons are class, virtue, and race (possibly not in that order)
Captain talent trees once you select a specialization

Captain Specializations

Burglar Specializations
Aesthetically I find these very pleasing, I like the clear explanations, and overall I'm happy. I'm rather annoyed that I need to remember to lay traps to get the deed for it on Nathyrra (never used 'em much), but I do understand that traps (and all forms of crowd control) are an important part of the game. Now if I could just figure out how to get to the window again, that'd be nice. I'm probably missing something, quite honestly, but a little popup along the lines of "to get to this specializations window again, hit h or x button on the menu" would be nice.

The trees really remind me of the old WoW ones, which I miss. Obviously, with my main at 50 I can't speak about end game balance, or pvp balance, so no clue on that. Oh, and I haven't bought the expansion yet (because I never really saw what it would get me that I needed right now).

I was also happy to get lots more Turbine points. I did notice my bars had fewer buttons on them, but sadly they don't appear to have combined all the hunter travel skills into one button that brings up a selection. I'd love for them to do that. Oh, and there's item levels now, so I know what level my items for dailies are without hitting the wiki. There also appear to be some crafting changes, but I haven't looked at that yet. I basically logged in, played Nathyrra for a bit (things still die when I shoot them), spec'd 6 other toons, and wandered off.

Now, WoW character models. Thank goodness. I'm not paying huge amounts of attention to them, mostly because I figure I might as well wait till they're all finalized and also, they don't appear to have released many that would affect my toons (belf, human, draenei, undead, panda, goblin, and almost all female). I do like the instant 90 idea, because quite frankly I can't stand leveling through Wraith and Cat yet again (I've done it 8 times or so, quite enough). The new expansion looks interesting, but I honestly don't know if it'll hold my interest or not. We shall see...

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

What I'm Up To

I'm no longer playing WoW (again). It just didn't hold my interest. I'm wandering into lotro every so often. But mostly, I'm not gaming.

I'm knitting (lots, see pretty shawl I made above) and reading, and I do have a couple ideas for what I want to do blogging-wise. I'm kinda writing a Fallout: New Vegas let's play, which will go here, but I want to have it mostly done before I start posting (so I don't leave readers hanging).

Whatever I end up doing, I promise to let you guys know, and I hope you have a great fall!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Wow vs LotRO, a study in simplicity vs complexity

I've just gotten my internet restored after a month away (lightning strike, AT&T complete idiocy, 4 techs, new line, big ordeal), and re-subbed to WoW. That has a lot to do with my missing my awesome guildies and friends, and also missing the ease of it. I love lotro, but I love being able to just jump a griffon/wyvern and get where I need to be quickly and easily. On the other hand, when I'm in the mood for it, wandering around trying to find the next quest hub can be a lot of fun. But when I'm not in the mood for it, and just want to get some XP (I'd like to see 50 by the end of the year), very annoying and complicated.

On the other hand, I spent about 2 hours with a friend on facebook walking me through what I should be doing in WoW. I've been away since December, and lots had changed. I had almost full bags with no clue of what to do with any of it (still haven't tackled that) and no clue on where to go.  Apparently the Isle of Thunder is my friend, and I did run through the first two scenarios to start unlocking it (which also helped me remember how the heck to shadow which is also on the complex side).

I also can't help wondering if I'd have as much trouble re-acclimating if I had a max level character in lotro. Jumping back onto the hunter or minstrel's fairly easy, but one's level 40 and one's 30. That's less than halfway to level cap, so there's far less for me to think about. I don't have bags stuffed full of transmog and cooking ingredients (and I have no clue what the heck I was doing with so many scallions), they're full of trophies, wood, random crafting things I'm saving for other toons (which go in shared storage till I wanna craft on that toon), and leather. The only complexity there is which task board I need to go to, and if it makes sense to send some of them to a lower level toon (to get more XP for the buck, so to speak).

Some of the simplicity of WoW has come as it's aged. I remember when you had to discover each flight point for each toon (which you still need to do in lotro), and when Azeroth was weird and new and I ran the length of a continent using only a speed boost in my early 20s (trick or treating all of Eastern Kingdoms) and alt+tabbing out to maps. I generally don't alt+tab out to maps in lotro unless I'm looking for something specific (ruin, quest location, that sort of thing); I can generally figure out how to get where I need to go. I like that about lotro (and I like the mithral coins option which allows you to go to any travel hub for one, just wish I got a few every month as a subber as they cost points).

I suspect part of it comes down to how I think about and play these two similar games so differently. In LotRO, the journey is the point. If I try to start power-leveling, I get frustrated because it feels so slow (the rested XP change doesn't help). In WoW, the socialization and end-game are the points, and thus I expect the journey to be fairly short (I have no idea what it will take to get Lyllea raid-ready, and honestly I'm not going to worry about it, I have enough RL stuff to deal with). If the journey is the point, I want a journey to be interesting, with nifty things to see and options for side-journeys, and I'm willing to forgive a certain amount of complexity for that. If the journey's a commute, I want simple and easy, preferably short, with as few traffic jams as possible.

I don't think one game is more complex than the other, I think they're just complex in different ways. That's good, it lets me enjoy them both, but I do wonder how much my viewpoint (very experienced former raider in Wow vs newbie with highest toon at 40) has to do with it.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Still running around Middle Earth

After a brief gaming hiatus caused by chirping capacitors (never a good thing, ever), I've been back to wandering around Middle Earth, killing things and taking their stuff. It's been quite enjoyable, even if most of the questing is of the "go kill these guys", "go gather this stuff", "collect x trophies" type. (and if you're sick of that and level 30, hit Oatbarton unless you hate hobbits. But really, if you hate hobbits, why lotro?)

I do have a complaint though. So, Nathyrra's almost 40 now, and I've been running around Everdim for well, about 10 levels. I really like the idea of helping reclaim these ancient ruins, and I love the scenery. But things I do not love, really nonobvious routes. I like randomly wandering around, seeing where I will be going next and collecting travel points, but I dislike seeing quests I have and not being able to see a clear way to get there. Here's my most annoying example...

I had quests in Rhunenlad and it took me quite a while to figure out how to get over there from Kingsfell. Looking at the map I saw two routes, going east from Melumen or going through the possible gap at the north edge of the mountains. The go east plan was foiled by a lot of giants (very powerful ones) and I was unsure about the possible gap (hence calling it possible).

You're actually supposed to go through Esteldin (a city roughly about where the second l in kingsfell is). I discovered this completely by accident while wondering where a road in Esteldin went. To Rhunenlad, as it turned out. Now, thinking about it, putting a city in a mountain pass makes sense and given that the quests in question were given to me in Esteldin, yup, probably should have occurred to me before I tried the suicidal giant run.

Thinking more about this (and yes, I've had similar problems before, this is just the most recent and painful), I like the world making sense. I like cities being on top of hills (and it makes it easy to spot them and go, ooh, what's that?) and I like the map style. Just wish the path (and if you look there is a gap path in the mountains) was slightly more obvious. But I still really love....

All those ruins/cities? I've been there, in some cases by the "ooh, what's that?" method. I love seeing stuff in game and getting to go check it out. It's the explorer in me, always wanting to know what's over there...  (these caps all taken from the top of a thing in Evendim that you get to at the end of a questline and I would remind you all that my graphics are on the lowest possible settings)