Posts Tagged ‘games’


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 🙂


Blip, blip, blip

April 22, 2010

I’m aliiiiiive.

Or – the plagues of London haven’t kept me down too long! (I’ve been down to London a lot recently to see family. I come home each time with a cold. Or an allergy, or something that means my body does not enjoy London trips as much as I do!)

LotRO is still quiet for me. I’m slowly trying to get myself back into it, because I love my guild folk there and miss them dearly. But I’m definitely having a lull the game. Regardless, I’m raiding on sunday night, so I will definitely be on well beforehand to remind myself how to play a Capt reasonably. No-one will expect more from me! I’m kind of glad to hear WB bought Turbine outright, but we’ll see how it plays out with Codemasters and also with whatever secretive IP Turbine say they’re working with (I’m fairly sure it’s Potter, but then that might be taking Steefel’s word about it being a massive IP a little too at face value.)

I’m still playing WoW with Spinks, which is more surprising to me than anyone else. After numerous stop-and-start returns to the game, it seems the Refer-a-Friend scheme helped me get past level 40. Ok, so I was too involved in LotRO to play all the way to 60 with triple xp, you have to do that within 90 days and I played a month, left a month, returned a month, etc. But now we’re settled in, using the dungeon finder and scarily close to 60. I’m playing a Shaman, the one class I despised in my earlier trips to WoW-lands. I’m also genuinely loving it, so much so that I plan not to play a Worgen main, so I can stick with the Shaman. Maybe as a dwarf so I can play with other new-starters! The dungeon finder has helped me cut through the quests I’ve done too many times, the R-A-F scheme would have done the same, but I have better gear and more cash this way.

I’m not playing games much though, despite how this all sounds. I still haven’t finished Dragon Age for my second playthrough and refuse to play the expansion till I have, as I prefer my second char. After listening to a few podcasts yesterday, I really want to play Mass Effect. But, I’m also working more at the moment, enjoying my job and having to bring home work for the first time in years. So – not as much time to game, and that’s definitely made the biggest impact. But enjoying work is a good thing, so not going to knock that. Of course, I’m also having to apply for the extra-hours-part of the job, and may well not get it, so very soon I could be restored to my slacker-dom!

And in the meantime, all the shows I love are on-air and on-form. And taking up a lot of my reduced leisure time, because frankly, I’d rather be up-to-date with Lost than do a few skirmishes or a raid – sorry MMOs, you only have my soul until the one-eyed-god needs it back.

Which means, on the whole, that this blog is going to become more mixed. I may talk about books (my day job is in a library, I now run two reading groups, which means reading homework!), comics, my upcoming trip to Comic Con 2010, games, MMOs, and TV. And you’re all welcome along for the ride. The cats will, of course, still take pride of place. With pics!


The Name Game

January 17, 2010

LotRO has 12-person raids, on the whole. We go on fridays and sundays, on the whole.

Tonight, as our group formed, I noticed the first 4 members all had names that started with vowels. And then we started to play the name game – working out which people who raided in the kin had names that started with a vowel that we could incorporate, and whether we could get a rounded group that way.

I have a feeling I’ll be playing this and other name games all night. Next, I was thinking how another kin Captain whose name starts with a B would manage, and decided he could try for a group that had names starting A,B,C, etc.

It’s a silly thought and perhaps an odd way to return to talking about games on this blog. But I had it, so I thought I’d share.


Inappropriate Boss Names

November 10, 2009

[Inspired by the sign-up thread on my kin forums]

Please game companies, do not give bosses silly names. When we sign up to kill them we want them to sound fierce. Also assume your players will abbreviate to the first name or a description of the boss.

Examples from LotRO:

  • Nornuan – too much like Norman, we all just say ‘The Turtle’.
  • The Mistress of Pestilance – sounds ominous until you get sign-up threads asking ‘who wants to come to the Mistress on friday night’ (seriously, one day I AM going to write Carry on Raiding)
  • Zurm – an old Rift favourite, also known as Zurm the Worm, even though he isn’t ;p
  • Narnûlubat – can’t pronounce it, so he just gets called Narn-thingy
  • Thaurlach – a decent name, but will always just be called The Balrog. Until we have to fight another!

In general I’m very bad at learning names in LotRO, but that’s actually because Turbine have made the names Tolkeinesque so I approve. The Mistress just makes me laugh, and I hope we soon start to call her Miss Pestilence, MoP or something else. But let’s face it, the ‘giant slug’ will always be known as The Mistress.

I’d think of some from other games, but I didn’t raid in them much, any contributions gratefully received.



November 3, 2009

I was reading this story about the UK opening its first games addiction clinic when I came across the following quotation:

It’s not unusual for people to get so obsessed with online gaming that they forget to eat and drift towards an anorexic and undernourished state…

While I’m sure it’s true, it’s certainly not true for me! Which obviously means I’m not obsessed or addicted. Hurrah (and bring on the chocolate).


Don’t Fence Me In!

September 6, 2009

We’ve been having a lot of interesting discussions in-kin recently about various classes and their roles, which tends to be quite an eye-opener, especially if, like me, you’re a die-hard hybrid fan. So it’s made me think why I feel so uneasy when people tell me the Captain’s primary role is buffing – it’s the thing we do better than any other class.

And what have I come up with? Not all that much. Undoubtably the Captain in LotRO is the best group buffer in the game. We can raise individuals’ crit chance, their parry or their power regen. We have a group banner/herald buff that increase morale, power or agility/might depending on which we pick. And we can raise morale by 5% across the board, as well as give everyone in the group +50 to all stats. Don’t get me wrong, none of this is to be sniffed at, it makes a massive difference in group survivability. But buffing is such a passive role, compared to how I feel when playing my Captain.

Sure, people also know we have In Harm’s Way (takes 50% of group’s incoming damage and gives it to Capt) and Last Stand (invulnerability), and also that we have a bunch of on-defeat skills (incl. a group heal). I’m sure most of them know we can single target heal too. And that we make ok healers if you can’t get a Minstrel or Rune-Keeper. I say all this with a slight case of tongue-in-cheek, because those REALLY in the know understand Captains are viable as primary healers if needed and if traited accordingly. I wonder what other skills people imagine Captains use.

I wonder if anyone can name (or even guess) the other three on-defeat skills we have access to, other than the heal. If they know about our taunts and detaunts, our bleed attack, our ability to raise our own armour rating by hitting a mob the right way. And the fact that to truly play a Captain well the buffing becomes secondary, despite it being a defining aspect of the class. To stand and add buffs to people every 5 or 30 mins isn’t very skilful, even if you have to make a small choice over what to buff each class with – they’ll tell you if you get it wrong anyway! So while it’s true it’s one of the things we do better than any other class, it’s not very rewarding to do it, as a player. I suppose that’s what grates a little.

I want people to notice all the little decisions I have to make in timing my skills, when to use which of my crit attacks, how to manage my power, when to use shield-brother skills and on whom. I know some people do. And trust me, all it really leaves me with is the sense that I do the same to every other class – I think of their main skills and know very little about the other things they can do. For some classes this will always be more hurtful than for others. People dismiss hunters and minstrels quite readily as classes they can easily pinpoint. I know I rarely thank the minstrel for their in-combat song-buffs as often as I can, nor that I notice them very often. And even when I play a hunter I don’t really think about the nuances of play.

I suppose it’s just an excuse for me to write a bit more about why I love the Captain so much than no other class has come close for me in LotRO, and only a few classes in other games (friar in DAoC and druid in WoW, of course!). When I play, I want choices, and I want my choices to matter. I want to feel like I’ve mastered a class that gives me options – not just in traiting, but in every longish fight. I want timing and strategy to matter. And I think perhaps it’s also in my nature to want to feel like I play a class particularly well, whether I do or not.

I started off this post wanting to point out all the cool stuff I can do, I conclude it considering how little I know about all the cool stuff other people can do. A cautionary tale, indeed.



September 4, 2009

I knew one day all my geeky hobbies would pay off. So finding out I won a Watchmen competition over at the Limited Edition podcast really made my trip home from work yesterday a far more exciting one. Validation that reading comics is good for you! As is winning prizes!!

Anyway, if you don’t listen to the podcast, you should consider it (esp if you read this blog). They now alternate between talking about comics and talking about games (so essentially it’s two podcasts from the same stable), and even if you don’t read comics actively, the chit-chat is interesting and worthwhile. And the same goes if you don’t usually play games, but read comics instead. There’s cross-pollination and general all-round good geekery.

Check out an episode or two and see what you think. And let me know (if you remember!)