Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Actual sort of content! (just not about WoW)

WoW doldrums continue. In fact, I've been in far more of a reading mood than anything else lately, but this is not "the Bibliophile Noob". So, mmo content....

Lotro's doing their spring festival, just in time for summer! It broke 90F here, it's summer, darn it. Anyway, what I've done of it was fairly entertaining, there seems to be much more to do than there was during the Anniversary festival, but that also makes it much more time-consuming. Since I also want to level, this is a bit of a problem. I think I've spent 3-4 hours on it, and I've yet to do anything related to the maze or the horsefields. So, tons of content, yay, loads of travel not as much yay, but between a personal house in the elven neighborhood, a guild house (for most of my toons) in the Shire neighborhood, and hearths/milestones set to Bree, it could be worse. Plus my hunter can just port.

I did have an interesting new experience. My kinship (guild) did an official dungeon run of the Maze in the Great Barrows. Sadly, I have no screencaps of it. It was a very long slog (especially since our minstrel healer bailed on us after the second wipe without a word), and there was a lot of wiping, and we ended up having to reset the level (dungeons in lotro can be set to various levels). We'd started at 35, with a lvl 29 melee dps, me as ranged dps at 32, minstrel at 36ish I think, another melee dps at 37, and our fearless leader's in the 40s or 50s.  We ended up pulling in another captain (our fearless leader's one) in the 50s, but just couldn't down the end bosses without healing. Reset to lvl 25ish and the only one who died was me (I don't have an aggro dump yet, and let's face it, I'm really used to having one in groups).  I am trying to level my minstrel now, so we don't have that problem again, but well, slow. I'm thinking skirmishes, and lots of them. It'll let me practice minstrel healing and the mercenary/pet warrior can do more damage than me.

Also, I leveled farming.

And there was house-buying. I already owned a small house, but I traded up. The only problem I have with lotro's housing (other than one house per server) is that they only create new neighborhoods when the old ones are full. Since there's 3 types of housing (small, deluxe, and guild) and various placements in the neighborhood are often considered more desirable, I couldn't get (any of the 5) addresses I wanted in any Elven neighborhood. But I did find a compromise location, and see, it's still pretty... (the windmill on the left is my addition)

And last, but not least, here's something I discovered and found amusing while leveling farming...
Notice that green vegetable next to the Cauliflower Field entry? Isn't that broccoli? Oh, and I maxed out Expert, got Artisan past the red bar stage, and started the next level (Master?).

Friday, May 18, 2012

And now we return you to WoW

Which I have been playing, I swear. My guild's jumped back into raiding DS with plans to attempt some heroic modes, with a second raid night dedicated to LFR and alts. I should um, actually get a Horde alt to max level then, because all Lyl needs from LFR at this point is a ring (which I'll likely just buy with Valor) and DPS trinkets+ some shadow gear.

I did learn that either LFR has gotten worse, my computer's gotten grumpier, or that I need to weed out addons, because the entire thing was like a slideshow, even with my video options set to low. I'd go from 80 fps to 1-2 during fights, which means that I just spam Prayer of Healing instead of actually healing intelligently.

I also got a new trinket off Deathwing, Heart of Unliving. +286 int, plus what ends up being 780 Spirit with the "Your healing spells grant 78 Spirit for the next 10 sec, stacking up to 10 times." So far uptime has been pretty close to 100%, which makes up for losing the extra intellect on my RF Windward Heart (+406 int plus random heal chance which I never see).

Oooh, and I have fail stories! My fail, mostly. First, I organized and cleaned out my bags a week or so ago. This went well, except for selling my shadow robe. Luckily LFR was kind and I got a robe token.
Second, I completely and totally forgot that I'd won a helm the week before. Seriously, I'd even gemmed and enchanted it, then forgot about it. I've been rocking the wrong helm for at least a week ;).

Third, an LFR fail. We had two tanks, one of which was my raid leader. The other got pissy that my RL was calling things out (which oozes to kill, that sort of thing) and pulled Warmaster Blackhorn and dropped.  So, Anith of Smolderthorn, you've been reported for griefing. You don't like my RL, fine. I don't care if he was being a micro-managing asshat twit (which he wasn't at all, and I wouldn't raid with someone who was), you don't screw over an entire raid because you don't like one person.
That's been my week in WoW. I would say I'll be playing more, but between Diablo 3, LotRO, and my new "get out in social situations at least once a week" thing, I don't know how much time I'll have.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

D3, my tweets and my measured responses to them

Just to start with, I want to be very clear. Diablo 3 is a very entertaining and polished game. I've finished Act 1 with a male wizard, and am currently trying other classes before getting back to him. That said, I wish to share my tweets about the game, and then dissect them. Also there's a spoiler for the end of Act 1 at the end, in case you're spoiler-adverse.
In reverse chronological order (and 2 retweeted)....

Tried another class. Barbarian with overpowered axe is ridiculous fun. It's like playing baseball with the undead, with bodies flying!
@Vrykerion Obviously that's the problem! Blizz is trying to power hamster servers with guinea pigs! 
#fakeDiablo3errors: Error 3.14159... The pi may not be a lie, but the servers certainly are. #fakeDiablo3errors: Error (-1)^(1/2). Attempting to access the servers is irrational
strats, not stats. I need more flu meds or less fever, or both.
Error WowDS: You have a raid tonight, stop trying to play D3 and go review stats or something

D3 is a great flu game, or would be if I could get in. I'm going to curl up in bed, watch spoiler warning, and wait till 4:30
Wiz at 11, just reached the bit about the temple and the water and the meteor weapon part 2. Now rest for a while.
Wiz to level 5, not dead yet. Obviously I'm doing something wrong ;)
‏RT from @Vrykerion Blizz, let these be a lesson to you. Stop making sequels to popular franchises! #Diablo3
Yay finally in and playing my new male wiz. Just like I remembered from d2. Having fun, not sure it was worth the frustration though
very glad I didn't give Blizz money for this game now (annual pass)
so, I've now spent 3 times as long trying to get in and play d3 as I did on Cat launch night. 60 min vs 20 min

by the by, think anyone can get into wow right now? Just curious, since connecting to bnet is an issue...
I'd have no problem with this with a new MMO. But a)D3 is not an MMO, and b) Blizz runs the biggest MMO. Epic fail, seriously epic fail.
okay, only other program using the net is chrome with twitter. So, bye twitter for a bit, I leave you in hopes D3 will let me make a toon
You know, I wouldn't be so annoyed with this D3 stuff if it was an actual MMO, instead of a new way to do DRM
okay, the more I stare at the Male wizard face while trying to create him, the more he reminds me of my chemistry lab partner from HS.
and now waiting for Retrieving Hero List... shouldn't take so long since I don't have any yet. Grumble, stupid internet required, grumble
RT from @Shadesogrey Hahahaha, error 37 SAAAADNESS IS ME

Okay, I'm still annoyed about the internet required thing. I do understand that I may have a different perception of the game (based on how I played D2), and that Blizz does see it as a multiplayer game. I think the launch was not Blizz's finest moment, and my tweets reflect that. And yes, the male wizard looks EXACTLY like my AP chemisty lab partner. I applaud the character models, and except for the high heels on the demon hunter female, I think they all look great and realistic. I especially love the barbarian female, and seriously, barbarian with overpowered weapon is insane. Plus, realistic physics models on the bodies. I hit with axe, they go flying off. SO MUCH FUN! The end of Act 1 (final dungeon crawl) reminded me so much of the end of Act 1 in D2 that it wasn't even funny, but it's still darn awesome. I really want to replay D2 now, and I will forever miss "Stay awhile, and listen" man. So far, great game, worth the internet frustration. Not likely to replace wow and lotro, but fun. Pure fun, with loads of shinies.

Monday, May 14, 2012

My top 10 most played games

I know, I know, everyone's excited about D3, the Black Market AH in Mists, and the panda dances. Well, the servers don't come up for 7 hours, and I have Renn Faire flu anyway, so I'm going to talk about something else.

My Top 10 Most Played Games (in terms of enjoyability multiplied by /played)
1) World of Warcraft. Need I say more?
2) Lord of the Rings Online (still playing and enjoying)
3) Elder Scrolls: Oblivion (I played to heck and back, modded the crap out of it, then played it some more)
4)Baldur's Gate 2 (the old Black Isle PC game. God, I loved loved loved this game)
5) Neverwinter Nights (and all the expansions and the expandability of this game is near mind-blowing)
6)Baldur's Gate
7) Icewind Dale
8) Icewind Dale 2
9) Fallout 3
10) Diablo 2

Now, notice that most of the games up there can be moded or altered/expanded? That's part of why I love/loved them so much and kept coming back to them. So, I figured I'd give you a list of mods I'd want if I were replaying them (from what I can remember)

Oblivion: the easiest, since I'm reinstalling it now, and finding the mods I loved. All mods can be found at http://oblivion.nexusmods.com, and signing up for an account there is probably a good idea if you want to play with modded Oblivion, Fallout 3, or Skyrim, since the same account works for all sites on the nexusnetwork. Also, I used as a starting point this post from TwentySidedTale to remind me of stuff.
1)the unofficial patch (also get the Shivering Isles and Unofficial Official Mods patch if you have those)
2)BT mod (cause the original interface annoys me)
3)Oblivion Mod Manager
 Anything beyond this is optional, but you might want to look at Oscuro's Oblivion Overhaul. Many people weren't thrilled with Oblivion's autoleveling enemies, and this changes that. Also, mods to add more character optimization options and make stuff prettier is always nice. And last, but not least, FCOM is also one I remember playing with. Right now, I'm going to start with the 3 I listed, and see if I want to add more later.

Baldur's Gate 2: Okay, to be completely honest, I haven't played this in a long time (mostly because my discs are damaged). But here's what I remember modding...
I added classes, more character portraits, gave myself the option to skip the first dungeon, and added companions. All the mods I had came from Sorcerer's net, which still exists (wow, considering I remember downloading stuff on dialup from them over the summer while I was in college, that's a long-lived site)

Neverwinter Nights: okay, I added classes, races, feats, and new campaigns. I don't remember specific ones now, and sadly my installation and saved games went poof when my old laptop failed.

BG1 and the two Icewind Dales: not as much modding. Mostly I remember adding a class or two, and using cheat codes to create a swarm of rabid chickens. Sorcerer's Net would again be my source.

Fallout 3: GreenWorld. Makes the wasteland so much prettier. Also, I got more radio stations. I think if I'd gotten more into this game, I would have modded much, much more.

Diablo 2: I didn't even know there were mods for D2 till very recently. So, never modded it.

I tend to start with a vanilla playing experience, then try mods. It's best to keep in mind that mods can really screw with your game, and their hosted sites can go the way of the dodo, so back stuff up! Anyway, hopefully this gives you a few games to look into if you're not into D3, are bored with WoW, or just want to try a new game. These games are all quite old so you should be able to pick them up cheap (try gog.com)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

So there's this GW2 thing, and a Diablo 3 thing

GW2 hit beta, and the blogosphere's had a lot to say about it. Mostly I came away with "the overflow system stinks" from reading posts, not from beta access.  I never really got into GW1, so not really horribly enthused about GW2. Mostly I'm curious about what new things it's bringing to the table.

Also, Diablo 3 was betaing (and yes I had access in theory, just like I have access to the panda beta in theory, but I really can't be bothered to be a proper beta tester atm) and I have come away with the knowledge that Blizzard has managed to put a woman in high heels. I do have a friend who wears heels all the time and is comfortable in them, but she has very weird feet. Personally, I own one pair of heels (not high ones) that I can wear and be semi-comfortable in, but the debate's been quite interesting. My personal take (now that I googled the model) is that it's like the lack of bras in WoW, that it shows a distinct lack of knowledge/experience about what is comfortable and what is not physically comfortable for women, or to take a more sinister point of view, a distinct lack of caring in favor of male fanservice. I dislike this sort of thing because it pulls me out of the game. My nelf starts bouncing, and my first thought is OW!  (yes, large breasts bouncing are not comfortable, SHOCK!) And honestly, looking at the picture from the Diablo Wiki, all that armor makes the heels even more ridiculous and stupid. Almost no women are going to be wearing that much weight and wandering around in heels. I don't care about the oversexualization so much as I care about the absolute stupidity and lack of basic knowledge regarding what most human beings find comfortable or not. I've grown numb to the sexualization, but I've yet to manage growing numb to models that make me think OW!!!!

If you're interested in the discussion, Spinksville, as always, has a great roundup of links. Me, I think my demon hunter will be male, and his name (if at all possible) will be Captain Tightpants!
(and in case you were wondering, this is to me a far more appropriate model for a female demon hunter, while still managing to be sexy, and that's Bo from Lost Girl, and she kicks arse)

I am still playing lotro, and did some raiding in WoW (my guild wandered back to DS). More on that when I can be semi-coherant (I have an entire stats article coming once I'm done making sense of them)

(edited to add my response to the actual model as well as to offer an alternative)