Sunday, September 20, 2020

Long Live the Queen! Civ 6 Succession Game turns 311-320

Our world at beginning and end of turn

This is a post in the Civilization 6 succession game started as part of the Blapril event.  You can see the participants and all the previous posts here.

Turn 311

Queen Elizabeth started off with offers from Gilgamesh, Katherine and Cleopatra. Well Gilgamesh just wanted something for nothing but I considered the Katherine trade to help with the relationship but decided against it all of them.  Norwich started on Sewers to help them grow.

I only used a couple builders on turn 312 but did get notification that America entered the information age.  Odd since they have so many fewer science discoveries but I'm not so concerned since we are still well ahead in science.

Turn 313

Two of our English cities do not have enough housing to grow.  This became much of the focus for this reign. 

The English Civics researchers discovered Conservation started researching Urbanization.  Hopefully both of these will help with growth and Urbanization will open up Mass Media which will be boosted.  Eridu started a builder to help that city grow.  We received additional envoys.  There were no bonuses to be gained from our existing city state relationships so we sent three envoys to Hong Kong to start our relationship with this city-state and gain the bonuses from it.  Speaking of city-states, Preslav was asking for a trade route and Stoke-Upon-Trent had one available so the route was established.

There were only builder movements in turn 314 and only the construction of a shipyard in Bradford on turn 315.  Looking at the options this would at least allow for more production when we started the space race.

Turn 316

There were two trade offers this turn.  Roosevelt offers gold for Niter, turned down.  I forgot to take a screenshot of the offer we accepted from Cleopatra for Nitre for Gold and Coffee.  I am hoping to keep relationship with her good since she is right on our border and no one else likes us. 

Bristol created the wonder of the Colossus!  The citizens started on a temple there but I wonder if we need to convert them to Buddhism.  Bristol was busy this turn with a trade route available that we sent to Paris to help with our next best relationship.  Another city started a trade route to Calais also in France.

The English science researchers discovered Combined Arms researched Rocketry for next step in Space race.

Turn 317 was actually idle and turn 318 had us gain two more envoys.  I will let the next ruler decide where to send them since there were no bonuses available.

On  turn 319 London acquired what I believe is our first  archeologist that I sent to site south of Norwich built Royal Navy Dockyard and Ur started on an Aqueduct to continue our focus on growth.

Turn 320

Pedro offered only 6 gold for a pigs which seemed almost as bad as Gilgamesh asking for gold for nothing.    Also Plymouth completed University, made Builder to continue my pattern of growth focused decisions.

Our reign ends and it returns to Naithin.  There are still 36 turns for Spaceport from Leeds but it will be built and we may have started on the second step before my next turn as consultant to the queen.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Blaugust Promptapalooza: Community Influence


Welcome to the second to the last day of Promptapalooza!  Thanks to Belghast for setting a different way for us to celebrate Blaugust.  Yesterday's post was UltrViolet at Endgame Viable.  If you haven't ready it yet, you can work your way backwards! Tomorrow return to Belghast's Tales of the Aggronaut blog for the last day of the event.

I almost didn't join.  I am on something of a hiatus, given that I've finished what I want to do in World of Warcraft and have unsubscribed at least until the Shadowlands prepatch arrives.  However, after seeing another request for people to join I thought it would be nice to participate in the community again have joined in Blapril for my first Blaugust community event.  Belghast was kind enought to put me close to the end, but here I am, writing my post, the night before it's due.  When I write, that's typically how it happens, so I guess it's only to be expected.

Speaking of communities, today's prompt is "Tell us about some community that you are part of and why it interests you or how it impacts you?"

I struggled for a while with this prompt but then I remembered a quote for an author I saw somewhere years ago (I tried to figure out who without luck) when asked about influences he said that even nothing compares to the influence his family has on his writing.

The whole reason for this blog relates to my family.  I was intrigued by MMOs but, though I read about Ultima Online and Everquest, they never looked that interesting to me.  Something changed with World of Warcraft.  I followed it before it was released, I searched for a guild and joined it during beta, I was there on day one and signed the guild charter, and I was one of the slower levelers in the guild.

But that really didn't matter.  People weren't leveling in Classic over a few days or a week like they were in future expansions.  I enjoyed being able to do silly events with my guild-mates.  I read the forum (now dead) regularly.  I occasionally went on dungeon runs with them.  And eventually I was max level and did raids with them, not in the first raid group but in a second group.  That was fine with me and I enjoyed it.

But this isn't about my guild (with whom I'm very grateful to still be a member), it is about my family. I kept with my guild but sometime towards the end of Burning Crusade I knew I needed to change how I was playing.  I was getting frustrated about being taken away from my computer by the people I love the most in this world.  So I decided not to buy Wrath of the Lich King when it came out and went on hiatus from the game.

I did eventually buy Wrath and Cataclysm well after they were released and enjoyed playing solo while still being able to chat with people in the guild.  Then, in 2012, I was trying to see if maybe it would make sense to play some other MMO and try to play it occasionally and this blog was born.   I kept reading about MMOs (on Google Reader) and Syp on Bio Break created the Newbie Blogger Initiative and I joined so I could write about how to play MMOs not in a typical way, but in a way that worked with my life and kept me engaged with my family.

So now I protect our old cat and pay attention to our dog so he does get too jealous of our new kitten who demands our attention.  I try to be a good parent to our three daughters, particularly, the oldest who has very limited speech and is about to turn 18.  I try to make sure my wife knows I love her and do what I can to support her.  And, occasionally, I still play games when the more important things in life allow it.

I'm not a very social person.  I don't need a 'community,' but I do need my family.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Finished with Battle for Azeroth

View of the Necropolis

This week I decided I was done with Battle for Azeroth (BfA) in World of Warcraft (WoW).  I completed an emissary quest and an invasion for the Honorbound and that gave me the reputation I needed for the rest of the Vol'jin quest and the Mag'har Orc allied.  I look to see how much time was left on my monthly subscription and there was a week left so it seemed like the right time to unsubscribe.

The question was what did I want to do during that week.  I knew I wanted to the Vol'jin quest so that was first on the list.  I enjoyed all parts of this quest line and as Alliance only, I never would have seen it.  It'll be interesting to see how this gets investigated more, I am assuming it'll be within the Shadowlands expansion.

Vol'jin looking into what is pulling the levers.

After the Vol'jin quest, I decided to confirm I had all the Horde allied race quests.  I decided to do the Zandalari introductory quest since I was interested to see how it was handled.  You help her with some activities to become queen and see her address the people as queen.  It was good to see Queen Talanji hold her own with Sylvanas but certainly not as interesting as the Dark Iron Dwarf quest line.  I decided the Mag'har Orc and High Mountain Tauren weren't different enough to do now.

I confirmed I had the Kul Tiran Humans, Void Elves, and Lightforged Draenai available.  Since I already did the Dark Iron Dwarf questline, that only left the Mechagnomes that I already decided weren't worth the reputation grind.  Instead of the other Allied races whose reputation quests are available as World quests in either Legion or the main BfA continent, Mechagnomes require travelling to a separate island to complete the quests and don't have any champion missions.  I don't see it as worth the grind.

Since I have quite a few Alliance characters, I didn't have much incentive to complete these quests.  I can do them any time.  However, I only have one Horde character and I had missed the Demon Hunter questline along with most of Legion so I decided to create a Horde Demon Hunter as my last task in BfA.  Odd it's a Legion task, but I have spent a lot of this end time in BfA discovering what I missed in Legion.  With the experience buff I was level 105 by the time I finished the introductory quests and got the first Legendary weapon.  The quest line was fine and a good length but would have been much more interesting while I was doing the 

As of yesterday, my access to Wow is gone.  It's a relief in one way in that there isn't much that I want to do.  In another way it's always difficult when I don't have an MMO that I'm playing.  I may join back for the pre-Shadowlands patch.  That would be nice to see an would be a good opportunity to level another Horde character (probably a Vulpera warrior) to have available for when I do play Shadowlands.  I'm going to try to wait to actually buy and play Shadowlands after the first or second major patch happens but when I read about peoples it might be difficult.  I'm not sure what this means for this blog.  I'll still be posting my Civilization turns and I have ideas for other posts but my experience has been previously that when I'm not playing an MMO I don't post.  In any case, thanks for reading and the blog will still be available for me when the urge to write returns!

Monday, July 13, 2020

Allied Vulpera and Nightborne Races

Why the Nightborne joined the Horde

I am still hoping to get to exalted with the Zandalari Kingdom.  I finished one set of emissary quests and one invasion set of quests in Zandalar.  This has put me at 18000 out of the 21000 reputation needed.  Two sets of emissary quests will definitely get me there.  I was able to get to exalted with the Honorbound which openned up the Mag'har Orc allied race.  Since I wasn't doing too much I completed the introductory quest lines for the Vulpera and Nightborne races.

I did enjoy the Nightborne quests in Suramar though the reputation grind and stealth mechanism got old at times.  I was a little disappointed how short the allied race quest was, but I guess when you spent as much time on quests to free an allied race in Legion, you don't need a long introduction.  It was one simple short scenario primarily explaining why the Nightborne are Horde and not Alliance.  I questioned that myself but I guess I shouldn't be surprised by the arrogance of elves.

Volpera welcomed into the Horde

The Vulpera quest line was longer but still pretty straight-forward.  The short version is Kiro asks to join, Blaine refuses because the Horde has too many responsibilities, the Vulpera take care of three issues with your help, Blaine realizes the Vulpera will help rather than be a burden and invites them to join.  The three questlines are pretty fun and include some more time with Dolly and Dot but nothing too exciting.  I much preferred the Dark Iron Dwarf questline but we had spent a lot of time helping both the Vulpera and the Nightborne and I guess a bigger introduction to the Dark Iron Dwarves may have been required.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Long Live the Queen! Civ 6 Succession Game turns 231-240

The World as we know it at the end of my turn

This is a post in the Civilization 6 succession game started as part of the Blapril event.  You can see the participants and all the previous posts here.

You won't be getting as many screenshots this time.  I was hitting F12 but for some reason it only took the first and last screenshot.

Pedro once again asking for something for nothing

The first thing that greeted me at the start of my turn was Pedro asking for gold.  I guess he is just one of those people who thinks it doesn't hurt to ask.  I usually don't like those people.  I also saw a notice that the City of Toronto was defeated.  I didn't see who conquered them. Our kingdom has had very good relationships with all the city-states so I disappointed one is now gone.

The Barbarian encampment to the southeast that Rambling Redshirt mentioned was an irritant throughout my turns.  I chipped away at the Musketman near Sheffield on my first turn and it was defeated after two more turns.  I started heading troups, including a crossbowman that was exploring the coast, to the encampment once the immediate threat was gone.  I also started looking at upgrades and upgraded a Spearman to Pikeman.  I made one more upgrade on my last turn but kept most of the gold we had for future needs.
On turn 232 the Exploration Civic completed. I did not change government but there wasn't anything in Economics policy, decide on Trade Confederation to help both science and culture.  We also started working towards the Mercantilism civic.

Spread Buddhism to Carthage with an Apostle.  It said it would happen in 200 turns but that seemed a long time to wait.  Bristol completed lighthouse, was going to build aqueduct to allow more growth but didn't want to destroy pasture to do it so made monument for quick culture boost.

On turn 234 Catherine De Medici asked for embassy, decided to allow since France isn't close and a war isn't likely. A settler was built in Birmingham but I didn't know where does it should go.  I started building a temple there, and sent the settler started towards Leeds and will let next leader decide where the city will be founded.  There is a favorable spot between Leeds and Sheffield so I sent it there but Naithin may have a better idea.

There were 4 Barbarian Quadriremes surrounding our Caravel. It was strong enough to pick them off one at a time, but eventually it was injured enough I sent it back to friendly territory to heal, a long way away from where it started.  I also took our Admiral to see if there is an island in the unknown area but he or she didn't find anything.  Hopefully some of the players know better how to use it.

On turn 235 a Musketman was created in Bradford and we started building monument for culture.  Leeds bombed barbarian scout.  It seems the Barbarians sent a few scouts our way but fortunately none that I saw got away. Bristol completed monument, we built a holy site.  We also sent 2 envoys to Yerevan since no Suzeain and no envoys yet.

On turn 236 Leeds completed the monument, needs to grow so decided to see if builder will help. Accepted friendship from Cleopatra (though rather arrogant way to ask).  I thought I took a screenshot but it was something about how some people would do anything for her friendship.  Research completed for Industrialization, researched sanitation since many cities limited in growth options (Bristol, Bradford, Leeds).  The water mill was completed at Plymouth, made walls in case war starts.

On turn 239 Mercantilism completed, started Diplomatic service and on turn 240 Birmingham completed a temple and started a Wat.  It wasn't a very eventful set of turns.  We still have a good lead in the Conquest and Science scores.  No one seems likely to get a Religious or Cultural victory but we might need to be cautious of Cleopatra, our ally, since she is showing very slightly ahead of us on the total score.

Now back to Naithin!

Friday, June 26, 2020

World of Warcraft Quest Cleanup

Horde pays tribute to Saufang
Horde pays tribute to Saurfang

This week I did a lot of cleanup in World of Warcraft.  First I finished the Night Warrior quest chain I mentioned in my last post.  Part of the chain was participating in the Battle for Darkshore Warfront.  I almost never participate in PvP but this related directly to the lore of wanting to take back Darkshore from the Horde.  I also saw very little of the other side.  There were goals that were either related to building things, helping NPC allies or defeating NPC opponents. It was fine, but nothing I really enjoyed so I doubt I'll participate in it again.  I saw afterwards that was a quest at the end but it didn't contribute to the achievement and seemed to just be a video that I saw outside of the game so I doubt I'll complete it.
I also finished the Vol'jin questlines.  I knew based on the previous Alliance quest that he was briefly the warchief and I know there was a book published about him but I don't know much of his story.  Since I like Mists of Pandaria, maybe I'll try to advance one of my allied race characters through it.  If I wait for Shadowlands, I could potentially see the full expansion story while leveling.  When looking up he achievement above I see that there are another set of quests continuing this story that ties with the Battle for Daza'lor raid and exalted reputation with the Zandalari Empire.  Now this reputation has gone to the top of my list.  It will also provide access to the Zandalari Troll allied race.

Interestingly, I hadn't been particularly interested in the new leveling coming with Shadowlands until now.  The issue is that if I try to level Horde characters today, I'll finish the leveling well before I see most of the story.  With the new method, it doesn't help with Alliance, but with Horde I can use a character to see the story from beginning to end without having to play a lot of content that doesn't provide experience or gear.  I was considering leveling at least one of the Allied Race Horde character to take advantage of the current experience boost.  After writing this, if I do it, I'll only do one because I would like to see the contrast with how it will be changing soon.

I finished the Horde War Campaign and the Black Prince questline up until the point where I have received the Legendary Cape.  While the Horde War Campaign was very different from the Alliance up until this final stage, this last part where the rebellious Horde and Alliance work together to assault Orgrimmar is close to the same.  It did make me somewhat interested to see the loyalist questline.  Likewise the Black Prince questline is identical for Horde and Alliance.

Items in my bank that start quests (!)

On the alliance side, as I'm getting missions for two Legion factions that are not exalted, I decided to try to clean up some of the things that have been sitting in Kanter's bags.  The image above is of seven quests items I received at one time or another and never finished, but I hate to get rid of things that I might want to do later.  I looked them up on and found that one was from Cataclysm, which was quickly done, one was obsolete and three were from Legion's the Emerald Nightmare raid.  Since I had been soloing the other Legion raids, I went ahead and did this one as well.  It was very easy on my hunter and there is definitely satisfaction in finishing the three quests and opening up three slots in my bank.

Speaking of cleaning up bank items, I have had five level three alchemy recipes in my bank from Nazjatar.  I decided I should go ahead and take care of these as well.  I was able to level alchemy from 120 to 175, through farming some of the herbs and buying the rest.  Once the Abyssal Healing potion recipe opened up, it became much easier to do the leveling. I also spent some time with Nomi working on Legion cooking but he doesn't want to give me any level 3 recipes so I probably won't continue.  It is the only expansion where I don't have max cooking but I almost certainly won't use it.

I have definitely lost some motivation this week.  Maybe I'm just tired but we'll see how long I continue.  I still expect to do the Allied Race Intro quests and I'd like to get Zandalari Empire exalted reputation but not much is motivating me beyond that.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Two Sides to Every Battle for Azeroth Tale

Anduin welcomes the Kul Tiran back into the Alliance while I watch

I just set the goal to accomplish 'Two Sides to Every Tale' a week or so ago in World of Warcraft (WoW) and I accomplished it this week.  The hardest part ended up being the Alliance dungeons for 'A Nation United.'  As I mentioned, I could solo the first two but I couldn't solo the others.  I tried to solo Waycrest manor but there was a boss that would mind control a player and would be healed once I returned. I queued for either Heroic or Normal since either would complete the ques and the Normal group I joined went pretty quickly.  

The Seige of Boralus went less well.  After trying to figure out why it kept changing to Heroic when I entered it solo, I discovered it is heroic only and so I queued for it.  The first time I joined people entered the water to make it quicker but I didn't realize there were sharks.  The second time I died someone told me it was easier with a water walking mount something that makes sense but I hadn't considered.  Someone came back to resurrect me but then I ended up disconnecting during the first boss (I have had intermittent internet issues that an electrician hopefully fixed today).  I came back after a pretty long disconnect having been removed from the instance and locked out for the day.  This is why I don't like doing pickup dungeons.

However, this prepared me for the next day and, when I was able to join a LFG instance again, everyone dutifully went back through the water and I used my water walking mount like I knew what I was doing.  It was rushed, as typical, but all went well and I was left alone at the end to watch Jana save the day.  There was one nice quest where Anduin welcomes the Kul Tiran nobles into the alliance and we learn more about one of the protagonists of the Alliance quest chains.

Three Alliance Allied Races
Three Horde Allied Races

I was also able to complete both Highmountain Tauren and Voldunai exalted status so I now have three allied races from each side ready to welcome into the Horde or Alliance.  As mentioned before, I have already completed the Dark Iron Dwarves so that leaves three remaining.  I don't imagine I'll bother to get to exalted with the Mechagnomes to add them to the Alliance.  The outstanding Horde races are the Mag'har Orcs and the Zaldarari Trolls, are locked behind exalted reputations.  Maybe I'll get there with missions and emissary quests but neither is very motivating.

I also started the Dark Elf "In Darkest Night" quest-line that I thought I might do on my Dark Elf priest.  I am realizing I might as well do the stories on my easiest characters, my hunters, since it fortunately doesn't matter who does it, you still get access to the achievement and most of the rewards.  In this case it will allow different dark elf appearances, not something I plan to do, but it is nice having more options and I am finding the story interesting.

Once that is done there will be the completion of the Horde War campaign, the Vol'jin Horde questline, The Fallen Chieftain, the next part of the Visions of N'zoth quest-line, and six allied race introductory quests and I think I'll be done with Battle for Azeroth.  At this point I am much more pleased with the expansion than I expected to be.  As I mentioned before, I think the separate areas and stories for the two sides added a lot more solo content than most of the expansions.  I am a little frustrated that the put the Alliance Nation United achievement behind four dungeons but everything else I did could be soloed (and I even soloed two of the dungeons).  I doubt I'll do any of the raids though I might go back and try to solo the Legion raids just to see them.