Archive for the ‘Gaming’ Category


This could be your Skyrim experience…

December 26, 2013

Since Dave may well still be playing Skyrim, finding videos of this particular mod made me think of him, of course.

Been awhile since I posted anything new here, but I think a browser switch may have finally helped. Firefox just wasn’t working well here anymore, but Chrome has been an improvement.


End of the road

September 28, 2013

So, this week I wrapped up the seemingly endless quest for Shadowmourne on my hapless death knight. I had a pretty good shot at it, back when Wrath of the Lich King and Icecrown Citadel was the current raid content; I was with a hardcore raiding guild back then, and finished most of the quest line with them. When that guild burned down, fell over and sank into the swamp, I went through several raiding guilds with softer, chewy centers, and got jerked around every time. I even left the Daily Kos guild this year when their raiding officers proved to be just as cliquish and backstabbing in that regard as anyone else. Shocking?…not really. But this summer I learned how to solo more of the content, and picked up the last of my soul shards this month. After being rejected by everyone else, I just kept mugging Marrowgar until he gave me what I wanted and begged me to stop. I’d feel bad about it, except that he’s only a bunch of pixels (much like my orange axe).

I have the option to go try to whack Arthas one more time and get a chest of super-rare loot for it, not sure if I will. But since Wrath was wrapped up, I haven’t had the same urge to play and raid and max-out and test myself in the game like I used to. Having tried the hardcore thing may have contributed; more likely, it’s having been through so many raiding guilds, trying everything from no-frills raider to officer/raid organizer and back again, and always finding it unsatisfying in the end. It may also be because Blizzard has picked on melee classes forever. And it could be because my death knight’s story seems played out; even if he has gone from a Tauren to a Night Elf to an Orc in the process.

I’ve got one of every class on our server now at this point, and not being terribly interested in tanking and healing, I’ve been exploring my ranged classes. Mages are often showered with love from Blizzard, although maximizing the output of my fire mage is supposed to incorporate the somewhat puzzling Alter Time ability. Perhaps less complicated is my hunter, although he’s only level 80 now; have to see how that works later. But it’s promising. I may end up going back to the class where I started, way back in 2004, although my original nelf hunter is languishing on some other server than our ‘main’ one, Kilrogg.

Whisperclaw, contemplating the Storm Peaks on his way to 80. I’ve gone back and forth on questing vs. dungeon crawling, but lately I’ve been questing. I think questing on the wolfie was the first time I finished the dwarf questline out of Frosthold and saw the lore about Muradin. That may change as I leave the Wrath zones for Cataclysm and Pandaria, since the older xpacs are still my favorites, flawed as they were. Why, I can’t say. I suspect that I am just getting old and set in my ways, even virtually.


I know, it’s late

April 14, 2013

…but I found this in some late-night internet wandering and I wanted to share it with my pals playing the Werewolf chronicle with me.


Now I want to introduce some new characters just to poke some fun at this name list.  🙂  Ah well, too easily amused.


Nothing lasts forever

February 15, 2013


I realize that most of my writing lately has been focused on the issue of gun control, and in particular it’s been a relentless attack on the NRA. I don’t expect this to go on indefinitely. Sooner or later, something will actually happen in Congress, and either this issue will get some action or nothing will happen, like usual. Then it will be done for awhile. We’ll go on battling the NRA, we’ll go on looking for House seats and states where they are vulnerable and attack them. But the federal push must end for awhile in time. We will be lucky if the current sense of momentum lasts until some legislation gets passed – in either the House or Senate, even – much less something getting passed and signed into law by the President. I write about guns, now, partly because I have always been interested in something getting done; but partly because something could happen, right now, in a society where usually nothing (or less than nothing) good gets done about gun violence. Now is the time, to do something, and to speak out about doing something. So I write, and speak out, and more.

Life goes on, though, and there will be other things to talk about. And while WoW is once again the MMO I’m playing, I still have LOTRO and SWTOR and could get back into the Secret World anytime, since all three of them are free to play now. And I’m not even playing WoW that much. I’m having as much fun devising stories for Werewolf, and for the venerable old WoD chronicle of Morgan and Joshua, the characters Sue and I have been playing off and on since the late 90’s. Or reading and writing on Daily Kos, for that matter.

Raiding in WoW is interesting enough I suppose, and Sue and I are leveling another pair of newbies, this time to take in the Pandaren experience and some different parts of Azeroth that we didn’t check out in Cataclysm. It has its moments, but I don’t feel the same sense of connection, the drive to excel and raid hardcore and build a crew of support toons to take my death knight to the top. So instead of the usual screenshot of some dead raid boss or achievement, I have a picture of Tindalos in the goofy goblin-esque rocket (that looks more like a bomb with a seat) that he picked up off a Blingtron. It’s at least as interesting as the (looking-for-) raids and rep grinds and gear. And from the drop rate, it’s at least as rare as anything I could possibly get anywhere, so…not bad!

And in other WoW news, my poor death knight still has the quest to acquire Shadowmourne. And while the Wreck List hasn’t been much help (on their last legacy raid into ICC, I was on and they left me out), I’ve discovered that he can actually solo the first boss in ICC-25. And on my second try, he got another shard. So, hey, only 37 more to go! Off a boss with a chance to drop one for each kill, one try per week. Well, at least it’s inevitable now. It may take another year but I don’t think the game can stop me now unless they nerf DKs.

Something to pass the time.


SWTOR free to play ‘coming this fall’ finally here

November 10, 2012

As per Massively, it lands on the 15th, next Thursday. From what I’ve read, going from subscriber to free is a big downgrade – a lot of game features are lost, and some can be bought back temporarily. I’ll have to keep looking for a good explanation of all the differences, because I can easily find the basics but I keep hearing about more.

I am sure to go FTP after it arrives, not sure what we’ll do with the game after that. Sue and I have made it to 50 on our Imp mains, and I was left somewhat disappointed with the scoundrel/operative classes because they carry guns but just don’t have any incentive to shoot them. There was no happy medium.

As for where my money goes, who knows? We’re entertaining going back to WoW and buying into Pandaria, how bad is that?


Two months later…

November 1, 2012

Well, this is sad to admit, but today I dropped my Secret World subscription. Mitigating the damage to my bank account, heh. Although their servers have been affected by the big storm, that isn’t the reason. Mainly, it was running out of interesting things to do. After finishing the second quest area in Egypt and most of the third, Transylvania, I can see the end coming and it’s standing around in limbo, searching for groups to run harder content. After burning out on WoW raiding, I’m not sure that I’m ready to get back into that grind again. If I do, I think I’d rather go back to WoW. That at least I understand.

Anyway, neat game, I definitely liked what I saw. But the content to keep going doesn’t seem to be there, aside from being pushed into group or pvp play, so I’ll go back to SWTOR or find something else to do. I suppose it was worth the price for a couple months’ worth of fun.


The Secret World – digging the story

August 31, 2012

Having basically dropped SWTOR and Diablo 3 entirely, I am not sitting around playing this game as obsessively as I did WoW. But it keeps me coming back for more, and it’s not necessarily the combat mechanics or the quality of the graphics. Cloaked in the usual MMO tropes of quests and kill X beasties is a story I can get into. Which is not to say that there aren’t some interesting or innovative or simply clever uses of typical MMO features, and some problems too. Nevertheless, this is what I’m playing when I have some time to myself and the desire to sit at my computer instead of just watch TV or ride the bike.

The character concepts, to begin with – anyone who knows I liked White Wolf’s Mage game would understand why I like this game. The characters have powers, but not capes and masks. They use tools and plain old weapons, but the weapons don’t stay plain. They’re rather customizable, although I couldn’t get the look I was trying to get quite right…but it’s not bad. And although I am starting out by following some of their skill ‘decks’ for inspiration, there’s no need at all to do so or to stick with those ideas. And in-game shops offered some more options for clothes and such, and I understand they’re planning to add a WoW-style ‘barber shop’ or ‘tattoo parlor’ for changing the toon’s physical features. I’d like that, as I couldn’t quite get it to where I wanted.

It would be nice if I could reset my skill points and try new things, but as time passes I will finish my first character’s ‘deck,’ and from there I can start to branch out and experiment. He uses blades (swords) and elemental magic (lightning, fire). Even if I learn every blade and elemental skill (probably will, eventually) I should still be able to learn more in the future — learn everything, in time — and be able to do anything I feel like.

In the meantime, there are alts…there are always alts, not many though.

Crafting in the game…exists, and has helped, although not as much as it could. If my main character were a ‘tank’ he’d be a happy fella. So many of the random item drops I’ve gotten on him were tank items. Useless. Oh, crafting lets one disassemble them into parts for new items, but…tank items turn into tank-oriented parts. So, to make some new damage-dealing item I need to find damage-dealing items I don’t need. Those have been scarce. But even with the apparent non-randomness of the drops, still, it’s helped. As my main character has just left the second quest area, I was able to craft him a genuine upgrade using parts collected for, heh. Awhile.

Questing in the game…starts out tough, and often there are frustrating and difficult missions, where the mobs seem to pile on in ways that make it very difficult to finish things. Some missions I simply died repeatedly to finish. Lots of them, I just ran for it, often. But the variety of missions helps. It’s not all ‘kill X monsters’ or ‘gather X pieces/parts’. There’s a lot of puzzle solving and online research, facilitated by an in-game browser function, although at this point it’s often just as easy to find an online quest walkthrough as to follow the actual clues. It’s of no consequence. I puzzle-solve and investigate until it gets old or I get stuck, and that’s fine.

The voice acting…well, it’s odd in that the conversations are all one-sided. My character never speaks. He…interacts, a bit, but mainly gets talked to. It’s nice enough, although I can imagine skipping some dialogue on the second, or third run-through. Mainly I find it an immersion tool; talking to the quest givers lets you learn about them and the world you’re playing in, and at least I find the stories entertaining enough that I’m not skipping past them.

The intro story…well, it’s Lovecraftian and so it hooks me right off. I dig that sort of thing. Who knows what it’ll be like when I finish this three-zone quest area and move on — my main character has just hit zone three of that. But good so far. Landing in essentially Innsmouth right out of Lovecraft’s stories, with zombies and fishy mutated things and woods full of huge spiderish nasties, there’s more than enough monsters to go around. It’s not the ‘world of darkness,’ but having liked that setting this one’s not far off, with similarities I like and differences I don’t mind.

No vampires, yet. Not missing them. Hope they don’t sparkle, if they do show up. Although they may, if I shoot some lightning bolts at them.