Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Long Live the Queen! Civ 6 Succession Game turns 151-160

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.

After reading Rambling Red's post, I knew he had set me up for both founding a religion and to learn gunpowder.  I spent turn 151 just looking around and understanding where things stood.  However, turn 152 was a major one since England founded the fourth and last religion with the arrival of the great prophet Madhva Acharya.  I chose Buddhism because the other religions were all western.  At that point I needed to choose two beliefs.  I chose a first that would help with culture and a second that would help with science since we were leading in science and wanted to us faith structures to help there as well.

There were also several warriors that I wanted to upgrade to swordsman so I found a Iron tile just outside of Birmingham.  There was a builder there so I was able to immediately upgrade the location with a mine.  I also killed a nearby Barbarian scout and sent the troups back to Stoke-upon-Trent, the nearby city.

At turn 153 London produced a temple and I set it to producing the Mahabodhi Temple hoping it will help spread our religion to our other cities and resist influence from the other religions.  I was also able to start a new trade route from London.  I also had Stoke-upon-Trent produce an Aqueduct to help them continue to grow.

For turn 154 I was able to add a new Wildcard policy and I chose one that would provide and extra two points per turn towards getting a Great Scientist.  Also, Stirrups completed and I chose Education as our next technology since Gunpowder was going to take significantly longer.

Turn 155 Pedro came back to declare war against me as he had on my previous turn.  I don't know why he doesn't like me.  He still isn't very close and isn't that strong militarily so I wasn't too worried.  Bristol, our remote city far to the northwest, spotted a Brazilian scout right outside and was able to eliminate them with the bombardment because our previous leaders had wisely built a city wall.  We will need to do this in other cities as well. We learned Civil Service but I decided against a policy change.

There were a crossbowman and archer in the SE corner that were attacking some barbarians.  I attacked the ones I could see but one killed my archer before my crossbowman killed him.  Then I sent my  crossbowman back to our towns, several turns away.  I also had enough funds to upgrade one of our warriors to a swordsman to better defend the empire.

The last few turns were less eventful.  We completed our research into Education and start on Gunpowder.  I decided to send our next Envoy to Stockholm in hopes of eventually having their scientists help with our research.  Leeds started building a temple to our newly founded religion and I had the funds to turn their warrior into another swordsman.  Finally our southern icebound city of Bradford started a Granary since they need all the help they can with growth.

I also wanted to mention that there is a spearman that seemed to be heading to our northern city.  I tried to take it southeast of Toronto but there was no way to go through there so I tried to take it to the west of Toronto hoping that will work.

I turn the Empire over to the very capable hands of Naithan and will look forward to the continued prosperity of the English Empire.

Horde End Game and New Goals

Kantoor at max level with goofy troll mask
I made it to level 120 in World of Warcraft (WoW) just after my last post and now I'm trying to figure out my next goals.  I couldn't figure out why Kantoor couldn't visit the Chamber of Heart so I looked it up.  It turns out that if you boost a character, you have to go through the first part of the Nazjatar questline before you can enter the Chamber of Heart.  I hadn't seen it from the Horde side, so it was actually fun even if I don't plan on spending much time there.  The questline also gave me a significant weapon upgrade, something I was looking for.  It was nice to see the characters from the Nightborne questline in Nazjatar.  Since I helped them with Kanter, I felt like they should have been in the Alliance zone there, but better to see now and it does make sense if they are a Horde race.  Once I am exalted with the Voldun, I'll do both the Nightborne and Vulpera introductory questlines and the better equipment I'm getting now should help.  I was concerned that Kantoor's iLvl was under 300 while Kanter's is over 430, but just by doing some World Quests and the Nazjatar introductory quests, it is now over 350.

I know I want to get to exalted with Voldun to be able to create the fox characters but that is dependent on world quests and will take a while with the buff.  I said I wasn't in a rush, sometime this month is fine, but I don't really have many other goals I'm working towards.  Until I get that reputation, it would be nice to have some other goals.

Legion champions at iLvl 925
For some reason I'm compelled to complete the Argus Legion Class Hall quests.  I think part of it is that it only takes a minute to start it and it runs on its own, like the Everquest 2 quests of which Bhagpuss is so fond.  It is a little more complicated in that first you needed six specific missions to get all your champions to 925 iLvl and then you need six new missions to get them each to 950 and there is no guarantee when they will appear.  I've certainly never had two at one time and they take about a day so it is at best close to a week to get the six missions completed.  Once I have them at 950 I'll only have one more mission and they will all be done.  The only thing I know I'll get out of it is a quest for the Antorus raid.

Speaking of raids, I will eventually get to the Tomb of Sargeras and Antorus raids in Legion since I can probably solo them.  I like to wait until the class hall quests are done.  Also on the alliance side I could level my new Dark Iron Warlock, but I think I'll wait until the next expansion, Shadowlands, if I do it at all.  I'd also like to level my Alchemy, but that either requires farming herbs or buying them from the auction house, neither of which is appealing to me.   I wish I could just send them from Kantoor to Kanter but you can only mail bind on account items between the factions.

On the Horde side I am doing the World Emissary quests.  I've also done some other World quests since the buff (+50% reputation) is on for this week.  I should probably also finish the Zandalar and Kiron Tor quests  but we'll see if I actually do it.  I haven't seen them before, so they'll all be new to me, but I also won't be getting any upgrades for them so that makes it less appealing.

I still have some older quests, even some from Burning Crusade, in my quest log for Kanter.  It would nice to get them done but they really won't help in any way which is why I have left them for so long.  They will probably be more difficult once Shadowlands comes since I'll move from level 120 to level 50 as part of the level crunch.

As I write this, I see I have a lot I'd like to get done, just nothing other than the Voldun reputation that is really motivating me and I don't want to grind World quests, I'd rather just do a few at a time.  It'll be interesting to see where my focus goes over the next month.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Horde Leveling for an Alliance Player

Kantoor posing with Dolly and Dot

Belghast recently posted about how he became a World of Warcraft (WoW) Horde player.  That certainly hasn't happened to me.  Until two weeks ago I had 5 characters above level 110 (the level for the current expansion), all Alliance.  However the combination of the new Allied races and an expansion, Battle for Azeroth (BfA), that is very different for Horde and Alliance, helped me decided to use one of my character boosts to create a Tauren Hunter, Kantoor.

I'm with Bhagpuss in liking to play animal races if they are available.  The only original ones in World of Warcraft had been the Tauren Bovine race.  The Pandarians were added in Mists of Pandaria and with BfA Blizzard introduced the Vulpera as an allied race.  I also like dwarfs and since the guild I decided to join was alliance, it was easy for me to pick a dwarf for my main.  My primary motivation for creating the Horde character was that I had unlocked the Nightholde race through a long interesting quest-line, and it would be good to see the transition quest that allows you to create the character of that race.  I enjoyed the one for the Dark Iron Dwarves.  However, right behind was the ability to create characters that look like foxes.

So right after my struggles with the introductory scenario, I immediately chose Voldun for questing sincee I knew that was where you received reputation for the Vulpera.  I had also heard about Dolly and Dot so it was a bonus they got to accompany on my quests.  Generally, as a Hunter, the quests have gone quick without any difficulty.  It is interesting that all the quests seem to focus on the native trolls, the Vulpera or the Sethrak (a snake-race) and there is almost nothing about the Horde.

There were several threads and I tried to do most of the side quests since many would get me more Vulpera reputation.  Honestly, I couldn't follow it all. By the time I finished the questline (Secrets in the Sands) I was level 118 and revered with the Voldunai.  In order to do the world quests which will get me to exalted so I can create an Vulpera,  I need to be friendly with the other two zone reputations.  I was able to get to friendly on the Zandalari Empire so I only have one reputation remaining.

Hopefully next week I can get to 120 while getting to friendly with Talanji's Expedition.  If needed I'll do some of the war campaign to finish up leveling.  At that point I'll probably just do World Quests in Voldun to get to exalted.  It won't be a rush, just a few every few days and making sure I get any Voldunai Emissary quests for the additional reputation until I get to exalted.  The reputation bonus ends tomorrow so I won't have that advantage but I'm not in a rush.

Maybe I'll do the Nightborne Allied race quest or maybe that will wait until after I can create a Vulpera.  I still have a few quests I'm finishing up in Legion on Kanter and I have two characters I might want to get to level 120.  Certainly enough to get another month of subscription but it'll be doubtful next month.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

The Insurrection and Nighthold Completed

Elisande insulting the elves gathered against her

With the reputation and experience bonus going on, it would makes sense for me to either be leveling my Alliance alts or new Horde character in World of Warcraft (WoW), but I was more interested in finishing the Nightfallen questline 'The Insurrection' that allowed you to create an allied race character.

As I've mentioned previously, I tend to not like elves, but I do believe this story was told in a way that encouraged you to side with them.  Elves typically are arrogant (and Elisande certainly plays that role) but they have been humilated and are trying to get back what they have lost.  Also between the Suramar questline and the Insurrection questline you build up a relationship with the Nightfallen, particularly Thalyssra, Occuleth and Valtrois.

Elven forces ready to assault Suramar

 The first part of the quest is saving some of the refugees and getting the elven forces together.  After uniting and training the forces a scenario starts of the assault on Suramar City.  The advancement goes well until you reach the center of the city when Elisande insults everyone and freezes them in place.  At that point your focus becomes to find another way into the city which is a series of quests leading to open the Nighthold raid.  

Elisande repremanding Thalyssra for arrogance
The last quest that opens the raid (or did originally) puts you at the entrance to the raid and although it isn't needed to open the Nightborne allied race I wanted to see the end of the story along with that chapter of Illidan's story.  I completed the raid in two sessions solo without much difficulty.  I did die once on High Botanist Tel'arn but didn't have the same issue when I fought him the second time.

Elisande has a change of heart once you defeat her (that seems out of character) and then you're able to confront Gul'dan.  Illidan shows up at the end and you get to see him with Gul'dan's skull as you do in Burning Crusade (no screenshot captured, but I'm sure you can find it).

Anyone for a balloon ride?  I guess not.
 There were two surprises for me at the end.  One was a ballooon appeared that allows you to get a view of Suramar without flying.  I tried but it required three people to want to ride and no one else was interested at the time.

Thallyssra and others at the Nightwell.
Arcanist's Manasaber
 The other showed up when I went back to Shal'aran. Occuleth has a new quest for me that sent me back to the Nightwell with the elves where Thallyssra decides to abandon it.  I should probably read up on why she need to make the decision but the surprise for me afterwards was a mount I wasn't expecting.  It looks nice both flying and on the ground and maybe I'll use it on my Arcane mage but more likely it'll sit with so many others unused.

Quest for the Nightborne faction
 At this point I wanted to make sure I had done everything for the Nightborne faction so I visited Ji Firepaw in Orgrimmar who had the quest waiting for my new Horde hunter.  I'll probably finish it along with the Lightforged Draenei quests so I can get those sides of the story but I was more interested in being able to create them than actually creating characters with the models.

Now I can focus on other things.  I'd like to continue Illidan's story in the Tomb of Sargeras raid but first I think I'll level my new Horde hunter to hear more of that side of the Battle for Azeroth story and take advantage of the reputation boost.  I sent Kantoor to Vol'dun since who doesn't want to have a fox character but the reputation boost is almost over and I'm not sure I'd even use the character if I created it.  He is level 111 now and I am looking forward to seeing more of the other side of the story.

Generally I am pleased with how the Legion story gave me so much content and would encourage other players to see it if they have the time.  I also feel like the Allied races have giving me more solo goals that allow players to see some additional content and rewards them by being able to customize the characters in new ways.  It's been fun but I'm probably close to the end of what I'd like to accomplish.  We'll see how this plays out over the next month.  I'd like keep a twice a week blogging schedule, Tuesday's and Friday's, but I'm already behind for this week.

Also last week was the end of Blapril and I can now officially display my silver award for 15 posts, my goal.  Thanks to Belghast for setting this up and  for all who participated and I'm looking forward to continuing the Civilization Succession Game with other bloggers.

Blapril Silver award

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Blapril 2020 - What I learned

Blapril 2020

This is last week of Blapril so I wanted to write a post about what I learned by writing for these 6 weeks.
  • I am grateful to Belghast for sponsoring a celebration of blogging.  It provides me and others an incentive to write and I have enjoyed participating and I know others have as well!
  • I can write on a pattern of two to three posts a week with my current schedule.  I made a goal of 15 posts for that reason and it worked for me.  The flexibility not to be left out because I didn't want to post every day was helpful.
  • I can write a blog with this pattern IF I'm playing an MMO.  I think the combination of the narrative with the variation of how people play is interesting and makes me think about methods of playing a game.  Other games may prompt one or two posts but I can keep a narrative with an MMO and intersperse other posts around it.
  • I learned this before this Blapril, but I think it's worth mentioning that as of now the only MMO I can play successfully for more than a few sessions is World of Warcraft (WoW).  I believe it is because there is a significant amount of time required early in an MMO and I'm not inclined to spend that much time on a new game now.  Maybe it will happen, but it hasn't in fifteen years since WoW came out.
  • There is a great community on the Blaugust Discord.  Thanks for everyone who participated there.  My participation was mainly limited to the Civilisation Succession game (shout out to Naithin) but I enjoyed reading others both on the discord and on their blogs.
  • I enjoy playing World of Warcraft more later after an expansion is released rather than early on.  Knowing that there is plenty of stuff to do solo helps me feel comfortable playing the game the way I want to play it.
  • I can play Horde in WoW.  I was always reluctant because of the potential time it will take but with the difference in the story, bonuses for experience and reputation and the allied races I have enough incentive to give it a real try.
  • I may want to play WoW Classic when Shadowlands comes out.  I was thinking it's likely I'll stop blogging when I stop playing WoW but it might be a good time to go back to WoW Classic.
Blapril post #17 and last for Blapril but hopefully not for long!

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Completing Lightforge Draenei Preparation

Kantoor posing with Nathanos in Orgrimmar right after the initial scenario

Since my last post I did world quests for two days and I am now exalted with 'Army of the Light' and confirmed the quest is available to create a Lightforged Draenei in World of Warcraft (WoW).  I only had to complete the Emissary quest for the Proudmoore Admiralty to get my reputation to Exalted so I got that out, too.  That gave me 45 exalted reputations (I don't want to think about what time that represents).

Once I completed the reputation grind in Argus, I was a little at a loss for what I should do next.  The obvious thing was to complete the leveling of my other two characters that were at level 111 but I didn't feel very motivated.  Instead I plan to finish the Insurrection line to open up the Nightborne Allied race.  But that means I'll need a Horde character to do the prerequisite quest so Kantoor in born!  As mentioned previously, I had two level 110 boosts so I plan to use one on him.  An additional advantage is that my explorer type will be able to see all new quests rather than the ones I've seen multiple times.

My plan now is to alternate between the Insurrection questline and leveling Kantoor.  I didn't have any Horde characters past the first few levels and didn't have a guild in mind so I asked my current alliance guild if they had suggestions.  They sent me to a different server and I found an advertised casual guild there.  We'll see how that goes.

My first experience as Horde was not very promising.  You are given a scenario where you are supposed to try to repel the Alliance attack on Lorderon (unsuccessfully).  It started off ok with me following Saurfang but at one point I got disconnected.  The way I experience disconnection in WoW is that I can move around fine from my perspective but no one else moves (including my pet).  After a few minutes I figured out what happened and logged off and logged back on.

However, by this point Saurfang was someplace else entirely and I had no idea where that was.   I wandered some (there were only certain open gates and I was hoping that would help guide me) and asked in group chat but I just wandering around for several minutes not able to get where I needed to go.  The Undercity of Lorderon is not the most intuitive place, particularly for someone who never played Horde.  Eventually the others in the group must have finished a task without me because it ported me to another location and I got to see the destruction of Lorderon by Silvanas.

Not a very good start either in terms of my experience in the scenario or what happened in the cinematic (though I had not control of that).  Hopefully I'll have a better experience when I have more control of the situation!

Blapril post #15 (my silver goal for this Blapril, I'll hopefully have at least one more this week including my Civilization post.)

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Long Live the Queen! - Civ VI Blogger Succession Game turns 71-80


This is a recap of turns 71-80 of our Civilization VI Blogger Succession Game.  The participants are:

  1. Naithin
  2. Rakuno
  3. Paeroka
  4. Tessa (aka Endalia)
  5. Krikket
  6. UnwiseOwl
  7. Rambling Redshirt
  8. Kanter
I have regularly played all the Civilization games started with the initial one but I had never played Civilization VI, so I am hoping I can learn from others and not mess things up too bad.

Once I ended the initial turn, I was immediately confronted with two declarations of war (see pictures above)!  This made me nervous because the cities were not very well protected but as time went on I realized that the two countries that declared war didn't have cities or armies anywhere near us, but still it made me cautious.  The next, much more mild revelation was that we researched the wheel. I made the decision to research Currency since we already had the bonus so we could research it in half the time.

Most of the turns were pretty uneventful but I we did complete mysticism during turn 75.  This gave me the option for a free government and policy change but then I determined we didn't have the prerequisites for any other governments and that we could use any of the new policies with our basic government type.

Partially for this reason, I show the Political Philosophy Civic next.  I think this also worked out well because later during my session, one of my actions cut the time to learn it in half.  I also was able to establish our fourth city.  The settler was on it's way to a suggested spot at the beginning so I just let it go the rest of the way through automatic movement.

On turn 79 a barbarian encampment showed up between two of our cities so I started making preparations to remove it.  On turn 80, Currency, which I started at the beginning, completed and I started Celestial Navigation.  It works well with Victoria's bonus and our several coastal cities but our coast is on the southern most end of the continent, closed off by land on both ends so it limits what we can do with ships.  Now it goes back to Naithin.  He'll have a very different situation from where he was on turn 10!

Blapril post #16 (published before #15!)

Monday, May 4, 2020

Lightforged Draenei Allied Race Preparation

Kanter having upgraded the Vindicaar

The Lightforged Draenei Allied Race in World of Warcraft (WoW) requires completing the Argus questline and having exalted reputation with the Army of the Light.  The questline completed with a dungeon that, again, is trivial for my character at level 120. I completed the Argus questline over two days and that put me at Revered  and almost 25% of the way to Exalted. I enjoyed the quests but they weren't great.  I think the whole dissonance of having a spaceship in a fantasy MMO is off-putting but that became part of the lore back in Burning Crusade.  The tale of returning to the place where the Draenei deserted their compatriots to the Legion is fine but I'm actually looking forward to returning to the Nightborne story even if they are elves.  Overall, I'm glad I've seen this part of the tale that I missed from Legion.

After the main quest line finishes with upgrading Vindicaar (the spaceship above) there are several more quest lines.  Most are pretty quick to complete but the Class Hall quest line requires completing Class Hall missions and upgrading your Champions that delays advancement.  I almost didn't even try but decided I might as well run missions while I'm not playing.  My reputation status was like this yesterday:

I am using World quests to finish up the original Battle for Azeroth (BfA) factions as the emissary quests happen.  Order of Embers is up now so it will be Exalted later today and then I will only have Proudmoore Admiralty left.  I don't have an inclination to work on the other BfA factions mostly because they would require extra travel and the World Quests aren't as easy to complete.

At this point I was half way through the Army of the Light faction required for the Light Forged Draenei but I have since completed all the World Quests in the Antoran Wastes and that put me at about 75%.  I'll keep working on the Class Hall quests until the World Quests re-appear (usually around 11 am ET) and will just keep doing them until I hit Exalted.  At that point I'll feel justified ignoring the reputation buff and will probably alternate between leveling in BfA and completing the Nightborne Insurrection quest line.

Blapril post #14