Archive for the ‘world of warcraft’ Category



May 10, 2010

Ok, so this was really Spinks’ triumph, I was tired – I just used it straight after she did, and then explained what it meant to the group:


Will do another word of the week sometime, busy week ahead of me so I may be a bit scarce.


Sunday Silliness – PuGs

May 2, 2010

I haven’t posted much about our adventures in World of Warcraft. I’m still a little freaked out to be playing it again, and though I really do love my Shaman, it was a bumpy start – and I’m still not really playing it on anything more than a casual level – hanging out with Spinks and some of her friends from her main server, and also my other sister and some people we picked up along the way (we’re on Steamwheedle Cartel, Alliance, btw).

We’re using the Dungeon Finder interface quite a lot, which means many PuGs. In general, they’ve been pretty good, and it’s definitely been a good way to get xp and decent gear and see the instances in the game. We’re now in the Outland ones, ones I’ve not seen before, so that’s fairly challenging/interesting!

Today I decided we need a game associated with being in a PuG, and devised one that can work across games – so feel free to spread the word and play along. The basic concept is ‘Word a Week’, where each week I nominate a word you need to slip into chat in your PuG, and then send in a screenshot for it. This week, I decided on ‘disenfranchised’ in celebration of this week’s UK election! I even used it in a group today, though not a PuG – but next sunday I hope to have a screenie of me saying it in a genuine PuG!

Wonder if anyone else will join in, but if not, this will be my Sunday posts for a while 🙂


What I’m up to

March 12, 2010

So blogging has fallen a bit by the wayside. I went to London/Reading to visit family and haven’t really got back into a schedule yet.

Add to that a bit of a turn from LotRO – I’ve been there, done that. I have 750 Dol Guldur medallions now and no weapon or emblem decent enough to spend any of them on. I can run through Sammath Gul without standing on a bone pile with my eyes closed. Volume 3, Book 1, was a small distraction – but didn’t do what I wanted it to. We’re raiding Barad Guldur, and making good progress, but raiding has diminished for me somewhat, and I think in the future I won’t be quite so gung ho to go twice a week. Ah yes, the casual vibe has started to catch me…

…I still log onto LotRO almost daily and do some of the daily quests to level up yet another emblem. They’re all rubbish. I feel, as I do it, as if I’m wasting my life. I really hate the LI lottery these days. And then I realise I’m raiding with what I consider rubbish and no-one cares, so why should I struggle to upgrade? Why pursue the Symbol for crafted 2nd Age items, when it may just be a wasted piece of crafting that someone else craves a lot more than I do?

Is it the end for me? I don’t think so. There’s plenty of people who aren’t so jaded as me, and perhaps I should spend some time helping them get to do what they want. It’s no surprise to people I’ve been logging on a lot less these days – that’s just a reflection that it’s just not as fun as it once was, though it might well be in a month or so. Lifetime sub…

But I also started a new job this week. Well, it’s the same job, but more hours, different library. So I’m out the house more. And my husband is super-stressed in the final term of his PGCE (teacher training course). He’s now teaching fulltime and doing coursework, and having to apply for jobs for September. So, we barely see one another. It’s 10 weeks of hell, because we’re not really used to these levels of organisation or stress.

And then, I turned 40. Which was cooler than expected. I got some lovely presents and went for a charming meal with co-workers, which got me out of the funk I had on the actual day (was my first day of work 9am-7pm, and I was knackered when I got home!). Someone even gave me a Starfleet Command button for my uniform ;p

And, as Spinks points out, I’ve returned to dabbling in WoW pre-Cataclysm. The idea is really just to putter about for a couple of mornings a week, play with the dungeon finder, and gather some money and resources for Cataclysm. I have no expectations for WoW. It’s just this MMO I spent time in a while ago. Having no expectations helps. I don’t care how fast or slow I level, I don’t really care what my gear is, and I’m not too bothered about raiding (see my previous point re: LotRO). So it’s quite chilled out and a change of scenery. Plus we have a little guild and they’re all very accommodating with my lame questions! Good stuff.

And I have a cold. Which is what’s contributed to this week’s slump. When it’s gone I expect to feel a good deal better about everything.

But, if, as they say, life begins at 40 – then I start mine in the firm knowledge that I have a good bunch of friends both offline and online, and that I care about them all a lot. And that good things can happen at work.


Rethinking hobbies

May 15, 2009

It’s no surprise that sometimes me & Spinks settle down to chat about some of our favourite MMO chestnuts (so to speak). This time, I actually asked her to take a look at something that I was considering and add her suggestions/comments, and we got to do a proper ol’ brainstorm, sibling-style.

The topic I was considering started at crafting, and then kind of veered off to hobbies and generalist abilities (oft-called secondaries in World of Warcraft if I’m not mistaken). Some of the problems of terminology come with the MMO disparities. In WoW fishing is a secondary, in LotRO a hobby, and in other games probably a craft. Spinks suggested I try and break down what I had, but I’m still having some trouble with that, so here’s a few suggestions we’d like to see in games. Some could be full-on trade/craft skills, some could be hobbies, some skills any class could buy, secondary abilities… some may appear in games already, I hope they do!

  • Taxidermy – let us, the player characters, make trophies for housing and/or clothing. I love the trophies in LotRO, everyone’s keen on trophies in WAR. It’s a nice customisation option which can be kept controlled and can be done. This is probably a full-on crafting skill, producing fluff items that never need to have stats but would always be desirable to sell to other players as decorative items.
  • Hunting – why should a hunter be the only class that can track beasts? Is that really a core skill. In Conan, surely anyone used to wandering the wilderness could pick up some basic tracking skills. More of a secondary here, because it should be open to every class in some way – could be seen as an extension to quest guides (or ‘red blobs’ as I call them)
  • Sailing/Swimming – would it really hurt a game to let players sail or swim a little faster if they chose to train in this ‘hobby’ over other ones? I know player-crafted boats are in Vanguard, and in DAoC you could even have a guild boat. But even in a game where you’d have to hire a boat, you could be a sailor and let it go a little faster. All games have some aspect of swimming, so a swimming skill may not be quite as useless as we once thought it was in DAoC (for everyone who didn’t play, you could up your swimming skill, but it was often cited as the most useless skill to up by players!)
  • Gardening – for games with housing, why not let us take on some landscape design projects. Also could involve collecting plants and specimens from around the world and to grow and combine them. Could work as a more tricky version of herbalism too, kind of mixing what WoW and WAR do with herbalism and cultivation, but also having a decorative side (also for floral wreaths and daisy chains for character decoration)
  • Horse-training – this one fits in the realm of either hobby or craft, depending on resale values of mounts that could be customised, either with tackle, or speed, or colour variations. If we can buy mounts, why can’t we have player-trained ones who have other skills. Maybe they can do dressage, maybe they can jump higher or run a little faster. Instead of making a better horse/mount a reward, let us buy them from other players who take the time to train them in some bizarre mini-game.
  • Farrier – taking on some of the traditional skills of the blacksmith, allow players to make things for their mounts (or to sell to other players for theirs). Horseshoes that increase speed, or add stability over certain terrains.
  • Animal husbandry – probably the one I’d want most. Games have farmers, I want to have a chicken farm, or stock cows in my off-time. I’m sure games exist that have this in them (not least Tale in the Desert), especially on the farming side to provide ingredients for cooks. As a hobby though, let me BE a crazy cat lady in game and sell cosmetic pets to my peers. Maybe I have to catch the cats, breed them, whatever… allow me to do this and I might enjoy crafting and hobbies more.
  • Falconry – a kind of mix between animal husbandry and hunting, let us have hunting birds that aren’t necessarily useful in combat but that can hunt and track and bring back food. Big training aspect to this (and I’m already dreaming of sending my falcon to loot a corpse)
  • First aid – WoW has this with bandaging. I think all games should have something similar. The first one I’ve included that I KNOW exists out there, but I feel strongly about it!
  • Brewing/Vintner – LotRO has brewing to some extent, WAR should have had it. Let us produce the crops and make the drinks. Ok, there may be problems with the under-age market, but really… wine and beer! It’s then up to the game whether these have any properties, but LotRO has shown that just giving players a drunk effect is a decent bit of fluff. Funnily enough tobacco in LotRO seems to have died more of a death, fluffwise.
  • Music – Again, LotRO has this to some extent, the ability to teach and learn instruments, form bands and play music. Definitely a hobby, as it’s hard to imagine a way to make money out of it (unless you form a skimpily-dressed girlband of course. Mindboggle)
  • Languages – Once destined for World of Warcraft, and included in EQ if I’m not mistaken (as well as DAoC somewhat), the ability to learn languages of other races/peoples – assumes a diverse culture in-game, certain this will be in SW:TOR too.
  • Cartography – Now here’s an idea for explorers. Some kind of hobbyist explorations coupled with the crafting ability to put it down on paper and teach people certain maps. I’d buy a map to an instance in-game, and off another player. It’s a bit fluff-like, but I’d put it in just because of my own love of exploration (when I have a chance)
  • Calligraphy – definitely a hobby – make in-game mails look prettier!

I know I’ll get comments telling me which games have what, and I’d welcome them. I love to think some of these have been well-implemented, and I hope, in the future, that MMOs will have the depth to give us a full in-game experience of hobbies, crafts, abilities etc.

Thanks once again to Spinks for many of the above ideas! Go read her blog!


Playing tag

April 15, 2009

That cheeky Ardua over at Echoes of Nonsense has tagged me in GirlIRL‘s meme. I don’t mind, as I planned to answer it over at Book of Grudges, but hell, thought I’d do it over here too as it’s slightly better suited on my general purpose blog, and at the moment my BoG blogging isn’t really reaching any dizzy heights of greatness (I know this people, I really do).

1. What is your current main character’s name (or names, if you play multiple games)? Explain how you chose the name.

On LotRO it’s Idris, chosen because I like the name and because I first played around with it on WoW.

On WAR it’s Kaja, picked to be Norse-y when we started WAR on a RP server. I kind of wanted either Kaya or Kaia or Kaja, but in the end I liked the j. Just noone now pronounces it right!

2. What was the name of your very first character in an MMO? Explain how you chose that name.

My very first surname was Nim Little on DAoC, and the Nim was picked as a hang-over from my MUSH days. My last MUSH post was as Changeling Wizard on Dublin by Night where we all had names from Arthurian legend. I was Sangreal when I was an Admin and then Nimue when I became a Wiz (MU* terminology with no apologies here). So when I started on DAoC, I shortened it because I didn’t want to use anything too Arthurian and because I didn’t really have a feeling about RP names, but it seemed ‘good enough’. A close friend online started called me Nimlet, so when a surname was gettable it was suggested that I pick Little (I was also a very small char), so I picked it. Plus, as I was a friar, I liked the gentle Robin Hood reference. I don’t think anyone has ever asked before.

3. Have you kept a specific name through various games, or do you tend to change your naming habits based on the individual game?

I keep a stable of names, from those I always use to back-up ones I like. But if I start on a RP server and none of my names suit, I’ll pick another (see WAR naming).

4. Do you ever reserve names, planning to use them for characters that you might play later? If so, what are they and why do you hold on to them?

I try to get Nim, but never do. My current MMO pals all know me as Idris, so I try and get that – and frequently don’t, and after that I don’t bother. If husband is playing or planning on playing, I grab Ylyana for him. Weirdly enough, there’s probably other names I’d quite like, but I’m fairly laid-back if I can’t get Nim or Idris!

5. Of the three common archetypes in MMOs — tank, healer, DPS — which is your current main character?

WAR – healer

LotRO – healer/melee hybrid (specced for healing)

6. What archetype was your very first character in an MMO? Why did you choose it?

My first archetype was a healer/melee hybrid (the friar in DAoC). I picked it because Spinks suggested I try either a Cleric or a Friar as, for some reason I don’t remember, I must have said I wanted to be able to heal. We certainly had no plans to duo at the time, so she wasn’t angling for a pet healer, I do know that. She told me how the classes were and that friars were a bit gimped but expecting a buff (she’d read all the beta forums, I did actually start the game in the first week of release), and anyway the idea of being a monk in a robe with a quarterstaff REALLY appealed. So I went with the friar and never looked back. We need more monk classes.

7. Are you usually attracted to one archetype over another, or do you play them equally? Why?

I suppose my previous answers have kind of answered this already, I tend to play healers, but healer hybrids. My only pure healer has been the Rune Priest. I do really enjoy healing, especially in high pressure environments, but I also like decent armour, so the hybrids call out to me.

8. What is your favorite feature from an MMO you no longer play?

Hrrm, a tricky one, as I don’t look back ALL that much. And while there’s stuff I miss from DAoC and WoW, I’m not sure any of them are ‘features’ as opposed to just bits of content. I miss massive free-for-all raids in DAoC, master levels, epics, Darkness Falls, battlegrounds, and relic raids. I miss shifting in WoW (I played a druid 4-5 times), again, the instances, and um.. some of the PvP.

9. Is there an MMO that you would play if it was free? Which and why?

Despite this being a love letter to DAoC, it’s too old a game for me to go back to. I’d probably play WoW if it were free, or if I’d had a lifetime sub. Purely because it’s a common denominator game and I imagine me and my friends could have fun there if we ever were in the mood to level there all at the same time, and not out of synch with one another (as has happened). I’ve said before I’d never go back, but I would, in the right circumstances, and being free to play would help those.

10. How do you measure the success of a character in an MMO (total kills, titles accumulated, wealth, rare items collected, level reached, etc.)?

That’s a tricky one, because as GirlIRL said, it depends whether I’m levelling on in endgame. I find a character successful for me if I enjoy playing it enough to not want to roll an alt within the first 10-15 levels. After that it’s probably basic stuff, like level reached and dungeons/quests achieved. I tend to take each task as it comes and try and conquer it. For example, in LotRO, I’ll feel good about Idris again when I’m Kindred with the damn Galadhrim because that’s my current trawl. Before that it was getting the Radiance gear which was tougher and more fun. Plus, if I’m finding groups and able to play through the content I WANT to play through. I rarely look at damage or healing tables. If we live and I’m the healer, that’s a success ;p

Now. Do I tag more people? Probably!

Ok, who do I want to hear from:

War of Alts – I want to know where Roo got the name and more DAoC memories

Spinksville – because I think I know the answers, but I want to test my sibling knowledge

MMeOw – let’s spread it to the LotRO blogs, and this is one I read all the time!

Only going to name these three, as I think it’ll get fairly well spread about anyway and I’m lazy!

h1 Reborn

March 20, 2009

So Blizzard is relaunching in the run-up to Diablo 3 and Starcraft 2 – and hey, you can even link your World of Warcraft account into the service (it’s voluntary right now, but is intended to be mandatory in the future). And what we knew as will become Classic.

The potential for cross-platform communications, global achievements, and actually even having multiple WoW accounts connected to one master account on is pretty appealing. And with SOE offering the Station Pass, it’s certainly not beyond belief that Blizzard will be doing something similar, especially with the release of a few high profile games in the near(ish) future.

But at least one page I read reporting this said it would soon become a Steam-like service, offering digital downloads and that’s not a horrible concept either, I’m sure many of us are converting to Steam’s service (though I have to say I haven’t bought anything via Steam, I know my husband has and likes it). 

I did, however, dislike the old, so I’m a bit nervous about a new one. I only every played Diablo II as a solo game or amongst friends over a household network, so I mostly heard horror stories and decided to avoid at all costs. Of course, this new service isn’t quite the same as before and frankly it makes a lot of sense!

I look forward to seeing where Blizzard go with this, and what kind of community features they add. Because we can be sure whatever they do will percolate to other games and MMOs.



February 19, 2009

Firstly, I’d like to say that me and Spinks were discussing some of this on instant messenger yesterday, so no, I’m not nicking her ideas!!

We’ve been discussing all kinds of things, from MMO inertia to the tribal nature of MMO players. But mostly on my mind yesterday and today has been the suggestions I’d make to the games I play and don’t play.

World of  Warcraft

You can’t help it if you’re mega-successful and that causes some bad feeling amongst other ‘tribes’ of players. Keep on as usual, please your players. And make a new server where I can start at level 50 and I might give Burning Crusade and Lich King a shot. It’d give me 10 levels to learn a class and gather up some cash and then I could try all your ‘revolutionary’ new content. Otherwise, I’m too lazy to do the levelling curve, however horizontal it is. And I don’t necessarily want to mix with really experienced players either.

Lord of the Rings Online

Argh. Release Book 7 content. Please. Really. It may be my fault for playing too fast, but I want to see Lothlorien and Moria desperately needs the planned raid. Keep putting in solo and 3-man instances – we love them for their casual nature. But don’t forget we want to see cool bosses. Also, reduce the  lockout timer on The Watcher to maybe 4 days, put in a token system and nuke Captain daggers from the legendary drops (and any other assorted weapons people don’t want). Don’t tie in new raids to full new gear-sets, the grind of the Moria instances has become annoying, though it was enjoyable to start with. Fix the damn exploits. I’m so sick of hearing someone boasting about taking out a semi-hard boss in 5 mins and knowing they exploited to do so. I don’t like being judgmental, so take away the opportunity! That’s all though, I love you really!

Warhammer Online

You have an excellent opportunity to acquire and retain some new players with the introduction of the Slayers and Choppas. Utilise it and monitor servers, allow transfers from low population ones and let’s hope the fortress system will one day be fun and intuitive. Stop over-hyping features, people get bored of it and you get the ‘cry wolf’ syndrome attributed. Also, adopt the latest Tabula Rasa device and name some drops after your influential community types. I want something of Syp‘s and he never got a Valentine’s card, which frankly SUCKS since he does more for the community than many out there. Though he’d never say it. But it’d be very easy for named items to be adopted, even if it was part of an event. Of all the games I know about, I think WAR is best-placed to put in some named items, so I’m suggesting it here.