Monday, September 29, 2014

Cannot Be Tamed Gaming Questionnaire

I'm not sure, but I believe this is what I play Pong on for my first video game.
As if often the case, I'm way behind the times, but I saw a number of interesting answers to the 'Cannot Be Tamed' questionnaire, so I thought I'd finally add my answers to the mix.

1. When did you start playing video games?
I would guess I was in 4th or 5th grade, so 9 or 10 years old.
2. What is the first game you remember playing?
I think this is supposed to be the first video game based on the rest of the questions.  My father bought us a 'Pong' clone.  I know it had pong, a hockey game (with two paddles for each side) and a game where you just hit the 'ball' against the wall and had different levels, so I think it was the one pictured above.
3. PC or Console? 
PC almost exclusively.  I played a Playstation 2 and SNES some but I'm two generations behind now.  My children are getting old enough that they are playing on Nintendo 3DS now and I'm thinking about getting a Playstation 3 to play with them.
4. XBox, PlayStation, or Wii? 
Based on the answer above it's difficult to say.  I guess since I'm more likely to get a Playstation 3 than a Wii or XBox, I'll go with PlayStation.
5. What’s the best game you’ve ever played?
Civilization 2.  I played it over and over again and the improvements over the original Civilization were significant. 
6. What’s the worst game you’ve ever played?
I'm tend to forget things that are bad (even those that are good, too, sometimes).  I also never played tons of games, so I tend to look at reviews before I get them.  I'm sure I played some bad ones, but don't remember them now.
7. Name a game that was popular/critically adored that you just didn't like.
I've tried the Elderscroll games (at least Daggerfall and Morrowind, and maybe others) and never could get into them.
8. Name a game that was poorly received that you really like.
As stated above, I tend to be pretty picky about my games and don't play many that are poorly received.
9. What are your favourite game genres?
RPGs and turned-based 4X strategy games are the ones I've played the most.
10. Who is your favourite game protagonist?
I am going to steal my answers from someone else and say myself.  Typically in the games I play, I am the protagonist.
11. Describe your perfect video game.
It would both have an interesting story and have a lot of different ways to play it so I wouldn't get bored once the story is done.
12. What video game character do have you have a crush on?
I've had crushes on people in books, but never in a video game.
13. What game has the best music? 
I usually turn off the music to keep from disturbing my wife.  I know she will always remember the music from Warlords 2 and 3 because she still repeats it to me.
14. Most memorable moment in a game:
I still remember when I participated with my guild to kill Princess Huhuran for the first time.  I never was a core raider and this is one of the only times I helped in a first kill for our guild.
15. Scariest moment in a game:
I don't usually play scary games.  I guess you can qualify those situations in question 16.
16. Most heart-wrenching moment in a game:
There have been a couple of times when I've either wiped are almost wiped a raid.  It is an awful feeling even though my guild is generally kind.
17. What are your favourite websites/blogs about games?
I still use Wowhead a lot, but I enjoy reading blogs more than any official gaming site.  May I refer you to my blogroll to the right on my blog?
18. What’s the last game you finished? 
I just recently finished a game of Civilization V.
19. What future releases are you most excited about? 
I will probably eventually get Civilization Beyond Earth, but I'll wait until it goes a pretty good sale.  I played Alpha Centauri a lot.  (Do I sense a theme here?)
20. Do you identify as a gamer?
Yes, possibly more so since it has been pulled through the mud recently with Gamergate.  I think we need to make sure it is defined in a broad sense by those who enjoy playing video games and not by a small number who want to exclude others.
21. Why do you play video games? 
It something I can do either with myself or with others that I enjoy and gets my away from my real life.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Week in an MMO Life: Done with Dragonblight (almost)

Revisiting the Kalu'ak with my Death Knight
I didn't accomplish a lot in the last week, but I did reach my goal of level 75 on my Death Knight, Kintri in Dragonblight in World of Warcraft.  Looking at Wowhead it showed that Sholazar Basin is level 75-80, so I thought I'd reach level 75, go back to Dalaran and Stormwind, level my First Aid, Herbalism and Inscription up to Cataclysm levels and then head on to Sholazar Basin to finish up my Loremaster achievement for Northrend.  I did level my professions and I always find pleasure in doing that, even if it is relatively mindless.  However, it didn't work out like I expected because when I looked up the introductory quest for Sholazar Basin (near the Flight path in Dalaran), it required level 76.  So, I've decided to return to Dragonblight this week to get to level 76.  I'm not sure if I'll start Sholazar Basin yet, but I'm pretty sure that'll be my next goal.

So what did I do?  Pretty much the quests in Star's Rest and Moa'ki Harbor.  Star's Rest works pretty well as a quest hub.  There is another confrontation with someone talking to the shadow of the Lich King, just to keep our minds on the end goal, but it was generally your regular collection of kill, gather and visit quests.

I like Moa'ki Harbor more, which is good because it was one of the three quest hubs for the Tuskarrmageddon achievement that I finished with Kanter, my hunter, so I visited it a lot during Wrath.  As a pretty regular fisherman, I coveted (and eventually purchased) the Mastercraft Kalu'ak Fishing Pole, not just for the 30 additional fishing skill, but also the ability to breath underwater.  With it and the Reins of the Water Strider and the Angler's Fishing Raft from Anglers Reputation in Mists I have the option to swim under water, walk on the water/land, or raft of the water and fish.  These little things make me happy.

There is something very pleasant for me about the Walrus-like Kalu'ak.  I generally like animal races, but, also, in all their quests they just seem very centered.  I always feel uncomfortable with the repeatable quest to gather Snowfall Glade Pups and I had to do it many times to reach exalted with the Kalu'ak.  Yes, they try to justify it with saying that they are saving the pups, but killing their elders to take them away just seems wrong.

So that was this weeks brief visit to Dragonblight.  I should reach my goal for level 76 there next week and possibly I'll start working on Sholazar Basin.  I don't mind the thought of leveling to 80 in Northrend, but the thought of getting to level 85 so I can reach max level in my professions doesn't seem like fun at all.  I guess that says something about my experience with the Cataclysm questing zones.

Monday, September 8, 2014

A Week in an MMO Life: Ready to Boost

Brief visit back to Silithus
I remember spending a lot of time in Silithus in World of Warcraft getting Nature Protection gear and gathering Silithid Carapase Fragments for our guild.  It is a zone that changed very little with Cataclysm, which gives it a stronger sense of nostalgia than many of the zones I visited. 

To go back to where I left off, I completed the demon killing quest line in the Blasted Lands which included a visit to the Altar of Storms.  I remember seeing it on flights, but I had never done this quest line, so it was interesting to finally see why it was there and overall it was fun even if there was a lot of back and forth to the quest giver in a cave.  Surwich was a very odd addition to the zone.  It added a very different appearance and a totally separate quest line about a misguided druid to the zone that had been pretty consistent up to that point.  I received my zone achievement before I completed the quests but I went ahead and completed them so I could see the end of that quest line.  I will avoid the Surwich quest if I ever come back again.

Once I finished the Blasted Lands I was almost at 60 and the easy thing to do would have been to take the portal to Outland and finish up there.  However, I decided to use my Moonglade portal (given to all druids), take the long flight to Un'Goro Crater and then run to Silithus from there.  In Silithus was nice to have the same quests and quest givers that I remembered, but the first quests are quite a grind and some people were wiping out the Twilight Geolords almost as soon as they appeared.  After a few pack and forth trips, during which I hit level 60, they left and I was able to complete the early quest lines.  Still, like in the Blasted Lands, it was nice to see a busy zone.

One thing I noticed is that when I reached level 58, Flight form appeared, but since I was still in Azeroth, it required a Flight Master's License to use it.  This is another incentive (at least for druids) to visit Outland right away, but I am still much more interested in seeing the post Cataclysm quests than the early Outland quests that I've done 5 times before.

Now I'm ready to use my Level 90 Boost, but I'm still not sure when I will buy the Warlords of Draenor expansion.  I don't particularly want to have a 5th farm and I plan to take my priest and hunter into Draenor first, so I'll keep my money until anticipation gets the best of me.

With that primary objective accomplished I started leveling my death knight, Kinter, in the Borean Tundra in Northrend so I can use his Inscription profession.  This is my fourth time doing those quests, but they are some of the best quests in World of Warcraft.  Once I hit level 73, the mobs turned green (less experience), so I went to Dragonblight, another great zones for quests.  I look forward to making it to level 75 there and then I'll be ready to finish the quests in Sholazar Basin, the last I will need for my Loremaster in Northrend.

That will give me 3 out of the six Loremaster achievements, but I don't see myself ever finishing Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms.  It says something about persistence as well as the ease of leveling that a casual player like me will soon have 5 max level characters and another in her 70s.  I have considered leveling both my shaman and a monk, since I know little of those classes, but I, like most of the other World of Warcraft players, am ready for something different now.  Bring on the Warlords.

Monday, September 1, 2014

A Week in an MMO Life: Catching up

It is nice having others playing, but can't you loot the corpses?

I haven't been posting much and I'm not sure why.  In any case, the good news (if you are me and want to write or if you want to read what I'm writing) is that I have three more posts in process.  I wonder if having more to read has meant less time to write.  In any case, in honor of the end of Blaugust (and Labor Day holidays), you get two posts in three days.  Congratulations to all those who participated!

Be the Cat

For the last few weeks my focus has been leveling my Druid, Kantree, in World of Warcraft to 60 so I use my instant 90 and have a max level Leatherworker (and Skinner) but only to do it when I am rested.  When I spoke about this last I had just started Feralas, which had been one of my favorite zones, and since then I've done the full Feralas, Thousand Needles, and Ungoro Crater zones and I'm about half way through Blasted Lands at level 58.

After being impressed with the changes in earlier zones, I was disappointed to see that the Sprite Darter quest series is gone in Feralas.  Overall, I guess there was more continuity to the zone, but that quest chain was one of my favorites and I like the old Feathermoon Island that is also no longer an Alliance town.  I spent many days fishing there in Vanilla and it's just not the same.  

Thousand Needles had probably the biggest change in any zone when the Cataclysm happened since it's flooded now.  However, I think the changes are good.  The earlier race track quests were amusing and I remember enjoying the griffin ones in the other area, but they were totally disconnected from each other and not very long.  The new set of quests gives you a boat to travel around in  (unfortuately, it only works in Thousand Needles) and I found it entertaining even if the quests were rather spread out.

The quests in Ungoro Crater seem very similar to what I remember when I leveled my warrior there during Burning Crusade.  That is probably a good thing, since they were fun then as well.  There is again a little more continuity and you get to turn into different creatures including a dinosaur (that someone used to kill one of the quest givers when I was trying to turn in a quest).  Fun zone!

I was amazed at how busy Blasted Lands were when I started questing there.  As a skinner, it was nice having all the extra skins to gather though it seemed like often times people wouldn't loot the corpses (as was the case in the screen shot above).  So far I've been enjoying it and I've been amazed it is so busy, but not so busy that it is difficult to complete the quests.  Anyone know why?  In any case, I'll reserve judgment until the end.   So far I've liked all the quest changes except for Feralas.

Death Knight Easy Mode

When I wanted to play and my rested buff hadn't built up on my Druid, I have been leveling my Death Knight, Kintri from 65 to 72.  I'd like to get her at least to 75 before Warlords of Draenor since she is my only character who has Inscription and I've built up many Inks and Herbs for her to use.  While I feel like I've learned my cat form while leveling up my druid, for my Frost Death Knight I just press one of three (now four) keys, which ever are available with an effort to hit them when they are lit up.  I guess I should look to see what they and others do, but things die so quickly with this method that there isn't any incentive to do it.

It says something that I don't remember most of the leveling I did from 65 to 70.  I did spend 68-70 leveling in Netherstorm since it is the only area in Outland that I haven't completed.  Now that I've switched to Borean Tundra in Northrend I am enjoying myself more.  I'll keep playing here until the quests or mobs turn green (less experience).  I'm not sure where I'll level except that I must do Sholazar Basin (once I get to the right level) since it is the only zone in Northrend where I don't have the quest achievement.


So I'm pretty close on my immediate goals of getting my Druid to 60 and my Death Knight to 75.  I'm not sure what I'll do next.  I might try to learn healing on my Priest, but that might be too much work.  I'm very close to having 100 mounts so that should be an obtainable goal.  Any suggestions?