2012 roundup

I usually do a roundup of my gaming activities around this sort of time, I suppose I may as well this year too ;)  The 22nd of this month will also mark the 4th anniversary of this blog.  Good grief – 4 years of wittering ;)  anyway, onto the roundup…

Team Orange wearing their spiffy orange outfits ;)

Team Orange wearing their spiffy orange outfits

MMOs
I am still having a lot of fun in lotro (especially with team orange), there are niggles (store + grind) but its where my friends are and its a visually gorgeous, lore rich game.  I expect to be spending most of my MMO time there in 2013.  The only other current contenders are EQ2 and Vanguard on F2P terms.  EQ2 just holds nostalgia and a superb housing / decoration system and Vanguard, well I’d just really like to explore there more.

Single Player Games:
Spent my other gaming time either in Skyrim or Minecraft.  Both great games and this year I will probably also play some Morrowind and I’ve just found Towns (on Steam) which is a fun, addictive, city builder.  There is new content for Skyrim on the horizon and talk of Dragon Age 3 to keep my eye out for too.

The Hobbit:
We went to see this yesterday.  We really, really enjoyed it.  Yes it is a bit long and the addition of Azog did seem a bit unnecessary.  Surprise shock was that I ended up really liking Radagast – bearing in mind I can’t stand Sylvester McCoy as an actor (he ruined Doctor Who for me :P).  As Radagast though, thought he was superb.  Looking forward to the next film.

We do also have Lego Star Wars and Lego Lord of the Rings to play on the PS3 with our littlun.  Both games are a lot of fun, though Star Wars is still his favourite.  We also treated ourselves to new 23″ WS monitors for the desktops, as I was sick of the UI clutter (MMOs) taking up most of the screen.  I cannot believe the difference it has made!  As well as the UI elements taking up much less space (proportionally as well as actually), its as though we have turned the graphics settings up a notch – wasn’t expecting that difference!

Happy New Year :)

august challenge ~ part 2

Ambermist’s latest challenge and July’s recap can be found here.  The challenge is, what do you keep and why?

Part 2 ~ Collecting

As for collecting, I do…  books and bows mostly.

I collect bows as I tend to get quite attached to them, they are the defining characteristic of the type of class I play and generally the best bows available have a high level of challenge in order to get them.  Rain Caller in EQ2 was the result of a Signature quest which I managed to do on level with the help of my Guild, the Ghostly Bow of Bylze was part of an extremely long quest chain, to gain my Mythical bow Eagle’s Talon I had to raid in some very difficult and very scripted raid fights.  Obviously as you level and expansions are released you have new challenges and new bows to get so I was really happy I could make my old bows into house items and display them.  They end up being a visual reminder of past achievements which show your development and history within the game.

Collecting books in games really reflects my love of reading in real life. I would love a proper library but its not possible so I make do with virtual game libraries ;)

I sorely miss this in lotro.  I would love to be able to have books displayed in my house and weapons on the wall but its not possible with their housing system.  I have sort of replaced those with cosmetic items and horses in lotro, but its not the same and I don’t really care about it as much.

Having said that about outfits, I do collect them to a certain degree.  I generally put together an outfit which says hunter-ranger-sneak thief to me and then mostly stick with it or update within the theme.  I don’t really go for girly outfits, I occasionally stick a dress on a character for a change but it tends to be quite short lived and I go back to my favourite hunting outfit.  Even so, my wardrobe and house storage in lotro are still bursting at the seams with cosmetic items that I *might* use one day…..  When I saw my favourite outfits from the three games below, I suddenly realised that really I’m going for the same look no matter the game…

my trio of bow-wielding wood elves :

so there you have it.  A gamer with a stuffed-full inventory and a penchant for bows and books.  Could be worse I spose :D

august challenge ~ part 1

Ambermist’s latest challenge and July’s recap can be found here.  The challenge is, what do you keep and why?  I ended up writing so much, I’ve had to split into two posts :P sorry…

Part 1 ~ Inventory management

I try very hard to keep my inventory manageable in games but usually fail miserably…  Out of EQ2, Lotro and Skyrim I’ve so far found Lotro the easiest, as you have so little space you just have to be ruthless.  So what do my storage slots usually hold?

  • gear – either situational or for alts to grow into
  • consumables – food, potions, poison, temp buffs and the like
  • shinies!  (eq2)
  • appearance gear (this is my worst offender in lotro)
  • house items
  • pets (if available in game)
  • crafting mats
  • legendary items and items for blowing up (lotro) or gear to be muted/used for other crafting needs (skyrim, eq2)
  • odd, nostalgic or unique can never get again items…. like Gandalf’s pipe in lotro, Falmer eye in Skyrim,
  • *stuff* for alts

I think this is fairly standard for most gamers and managing these items in game can be pretty tricky.  It is scary if you ever have a break from a game, open up your inventory and bank slots and WTF?! what is all this stuff?!

eq2 inventory
this is *just* my bank storage in eq2… this isn’t including house storage or inventory…

In fact returning to a game and trying to sort out your inventory can be so offputting that it can seem easier to start a new character.   After putting in around 80 hours in Skyrim from Nov to Jan this year, I then went on a break from the game until a month or two ago.  I looked at my character, I tried to remember where I was up to, I looked at her inventory and wondered why I was carrying all this stuff.  I went to what I thought was her main house and found it empty.  At this point, I just thought…. no…. no…. I just cannot pick up from where I left off and the thought of trying to track down her gear (spread across 5 or 6 houses) and then figure out what to do with it was too much….  So I started again.  A new bow wielding sneak thief….  I have now backtracked and started sorting out my first character.  It turns out my whiterun house was for smithing, my riften house for alchemy, my solitude house for general loot and displayage of weapons, markarth for enchanting…  stupid stupid stupid system!!  I’ve now downloaded the mod house The Reserve which has tons of storage, all crafting needs and many display areas – in short, its perfect for a packrat like me ;)

No matter the game though, I tend to be very nerdy about it all and have different boxes, slots etc, organised by type.  I keep stuff until I don’t have room and then have a purge.  I would like to say that I only keep stuff I truly need but clearly I don’t… A lot of stuff is kept ‘just in case’, and of course I never need it…

a shout out to…

… some great sites

MMO Melting Pot:
If you’re not already reading the MMO Melting Pot, you should give it a look.  They showcase the best blog articles on MMORPGs from WOW to EVE, from hundreds of blogs you might not have heard of.  If you want to hear interesting new ideas, discover fun new blogs to read or find out what everyone thinks of the hot new issues – check them out.  They update daily.  This week they’ve covered WoW’s raiding problems and the question of whether attunements should come back, plus the question of whether Guild Wars 2 will be any good, amongst other things! (although by the time I’ve posted this, its probably within the last fortnight :P)

I really enjoy reading this roundup and I like the variety of different games it covers.

Gaming Blog Nexus:
The Gaming Blog Nexus was created as a direct result of the Newbie Blogger Initiative. It seemed common sense to have a blog aggregation service that collates all the latest posts from the best gaming blogs on the internet.”  Joining is very simple (see this page for details) and they have further information about the site here.  There is a wide range of blogs here, covering many different angles of the gaming/MMO scene, including both well known blogs (such as Bio Break, CSTM) and smaller blogs (such as mine ;))

*EDIT – knew I’d forgotten something – sorry*
Lotro Combo Blog:
This is another great aggregation site, but the focus is on lotro based sites (or a lotro rss feed if you cover lotro plus other games).  If you’re interested see the main page here and information on submitting your site here.

Podcasts:
I really enjoy the following:
Contains Moderate Peril  Too Long; Didn’t Listen  Lotro Reporter  Casual Stroll to Mordor  (Lotro Reporter and CSTM are lotro based whilst the other two are more wide ranging in their topics but do include lotro, MMOs)

Site Admin:
I’ll be putting up an index page for the Tale of the Red Maid series (will be found under the lotro tab above).
I’ve renamed my twitter account to Eldaeriel (link to the right has been updated) as well… its time to move on from the Suzita of EQ2 blogging days.
I do have a Facebook page too, if anyone prefers getting updates from there.

Is anyone linking to me and I’m not reciprocating?  Let me know and I’ll remedy asap.
Talking of the blogroll…  Its pretty unwieldy – anyone got any good ideas on how to organise?

June challenge: tell me a story

So the challenge this month is to relate a gaming related story – just about managing to scrape into June here with this post ;)  I’d been delving through this blog’s archives for some reason and I found this post.  Which, amongst other things, details our EQ2 guild’s foray into the Halls of Seeing and I killed myself laughing again ;)  so here’s a recap:

We two grouped an old content raid zone (the aforementioned Halls of Seeing) half for something to do and half to get the dragon trophy for our guild hall.   The first half was very easy and we were all drinking and dpsing and chatting and generally having a good time.  I was on my inquisitor and had been seeing how high I could push my dps but the second half of the zone was a bit trickier so I switched to healing.

It still held a challenge for us with all the stuns and adds so we had a few comedy wipes (including one where I tried to rez a stone-giant thinking it was our ogre tank Eduthooha :P)  We were all slightly squiffy by the time we got to Venekor’s room and had a few bad attempts at it and were well… dying quite a lot :P

We were all getting a bit tired and a little disheartened until Saskay commented that we could kill the mob just fine if we could JUST GET IN THE ROOM*  This had us in absolute stitches coined a new slogan – LoTW: they came, they saw, they got stuck at a door.

We did get into the room and we did kill Venekor :D

eq2 trophies, venekor

first trophy on the left is Venekor :)

*to get into the room, you first have to pull a trap mob who is just across the threshold.  If you cross the threshold at the wrong spot, you start the Venekor ring event, you get ported into the room into the wrong tanking spot, you then get kicked into adds which are dotted around the edge of the room and raidforce is wiped.  Once the trap mob is killed, you have to do a conga line to the central pillar you then veer off at a 45 degree angle to the far left corner.  If you fight in this corner you don’t get the adds.  Oh and remember to use the amulet before /as you pull Venekor as it cannot be cast in combat

I do miss those days and our old guild, we used to have a lot of fun and silliness.

NBI linkage

OK, so just how fantastic was the Newbie Blogger Initiative?!  pretty damn fantastic if you ask me :P  I would like to say a HUGE thank you to Syp for organising this, to all the sponsor bloggers for their excellent articles AND to all the new blogs who started up / got revitalised :)  I’ve found a ton of excellent new blogs to read (from both the sponsors and the newbies) and I wish everyone the best of blogging luck :)

Make sure you check out THE GAMING BLOG NEXUS.  Its a fantastic idea to keep the community created through the NBI going AND to widen your readership AND joining the site is dead easy – go join!!  and thanks to Roger for setting this up :)

Ok so here’s the linkage (directly copied from Syp’s post)

New blogs to check out:

Sponsor advice posts:

:D