Posts Tagged ‘gaming’


Vive talkin’

August 6, 2016

So yeah, this blog started as a gaming one. It’s time to doff my cap in that direction and talk a little about the HTC Vive our house has acquired recently. My husband had been saving up since it was announced, so we ordered one as soon as they went on sale and started to upgrade the computer to be able to handle it. We also use bluetooth headphones and are lucky enough to have a spare room to have it all set up.

I was pretty unconvinced by VR before I’d experienced it. I thought it’d make me sick as many people said the initial Oculus Rift tests at gaming cons said it did for them.. but I never even bothered to queue up to test it. As far as I was concerned, it was something my husband was interested in, in the same way as I played MMOs and he didn’t much.

But he was quite eager to get me to try the system. And of course, I was interested once it was in the house!

I started off with the tutorial, set in the Aperture Science Labs, which is always nice to see. There’s a few small games to get you used to controls, how to jump around so you can walk seamlessly even when the physical room is running out, how to shoot bows, investigate objects, pick things up, and even stroke a robot dog (highlight, of course). Got to wander around a mountain looking at scenery, shoot a bow at baddies trying to storm a keep, repair an Atlas robot with GladOS badmouthing me, and yes.. even locate some cake. I threw a lot of things around, shot an Aperture Science worker because I could.. it’s quite liberating. And then didn’t do much else for a while. I really like the immersive scenery, couldn’t spend too long on ledges of mountain as it made me feel a bit vertigo-y, which shows how realistic it can get.

Then I tried Waltz of the Wizard, which let me wander round a magician’s house and play with objects. And TheBlue, where you stand underwater, and watch stuff, including a very majestic whale swim-past. And then of course Trials on Tattoine where you get to wield a lightsaber and use it to deflect bolts back on Stormtroopers. All very short, but cool experiences.

But none of which are ‘real’ games. More like experiences. And that is one of the strengths of the Vive VR for me, it really does take me out of the room and let me just BE somewhere else, even if I don’t want to play an active game.

However, it was time to try a game. So, after the summer Steam sale, I played Vanishing Realms, which is proper little D&D game, and includes swordplay, solving puzzles, grabbing items (and yes, smashing barrels and crates) and feels very much like a real version of Knightmare, but without the actors. I haven’t played through too much, we had some computer issues which are now resolved, but I found my height was an advantage on the skeleton-killing, since I could go under their shields and stab upwards. Yes, I had to kneel to get through a knife trap, I jumped over platforms to get through a water room, and had to choose my weapon! It’s not all crazy action though, so that suited me.

And my most recent gaming has been on Audioshield which is a bit of a workout. Using music from your own hard drive, it takes songs and turns the music into a series of blobs you have to deflect with shields on your hands. Your right hand is an orange shield and your  left a blue one, and you have to hit blue and orange blobs, with the correct hand! And you put them together to deflect purple ones. It comes with 3 difficulties, 3 shield types (I mostly use gladius) and 2 stadia to choose as backgrounds. It’s not a graphically amazing game, but it’s pretty fun and I hope to do 20-30 mins a day just to get me moving on days I don’t leave the house.

I know most people would have tried EVERYTHING, but I’ve been purposely picky. I don’t want to dip in and out too much and I’m still finding what’s best for me. But I’m delighted by the Vive VR experience much more than I ever thought I’d be. And we love showing it to people, because mostly they have the same reaction – that it’s a lot better than expected.


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!


Tackling a Boss Monster

November 4, 2009

So, I decided to make a stab at tackling my Feed Reader today, in some of my spare time. I’m greatly enjoying reading everyone’s blog posts, even though I’m hideously behind with things. Haven’t finished it yet, but here’s some of the things that caught my attention:

  • Blizzard to start selling in-game cosmetic pets for $10 a pop. I’ve been playing the refer-a-friend time with Spinks of late. We’re at level 40 now and my first month is over. Might sub another month to get to 60 when the R-A-F bonus runs out. But I hate microtransations, so I’m feeling a bit more ambivalent today than I was yesterday.
  • Free Realms transforms into Fee Realms at level 5 in more microtransation news. Don’t mind this one so much as you get to dabble free, and apparently the costs are fairly small.
  • The new Siege of Mirkwood trailer is up and available and deals with the Lieutenant of Dol Guldur – the lack of a name stems from licensing issues, according to Zubon.
  • KIASA name Torchlight Diablo 2.5 in reviewlet I’m totally in agreement with.
  • Tom Chick over at Fidgit enters into a bit of a spat with Bioware over the extra storage in the $7 DLC and accuses the company of nickel-and-diming. Bioware replies.
  • The Wii is dead, long live the… ?
  • Green Armadillo takes a look at the marketing and pricing of the Siege of Mirkwood and the extension of the pre-order deals and deadline. It’s an interesting take and cites some other things to read on the subject, which I greatly enjoyed. Not sure it’s a cover up, since it seems blindingly obvious they’re taking money for what was once free to players in content updates… but valid points, nonetheless. 

More as I catch up further tomorrow!


The Painful Truth

November 3, 2009

In a few days time everyone I know will be playing Dragon Age: Origins. Deservedly so. It’s the most anticipated game of the year for my fellow RPG fans, and everything I’ve heard about it sounds pretty magnificent.

Due to some tricky financial restrictions at home, at the moment. I’ve not been able to pre-order, and it’s driving me just a little bit potty. I’m insanely jealous of being able to just go grab a game, but truthfully, I realise we very rarely buy games straight away. It may seem like small change, in the grand scheme of things, but still. I’ve been trying to put off saying this, because I desperately want things to change and for the game to suddenly appear. But it won’t.

I do intend to play some at Spinks’ and to link to some of my favourite and most mouth-watering reviews, the ones that make me want to sod finances and just go buy it anyway…

…but it’s made me feel a bit of an outsider – and deservedly so!

It launches tomorrow in the US and on Thursday in Europe. Know at least one European whose game is in the post already so might get it today. And I may even need some time offline to try and avoid spoilers (had to quit the biofeed twitter when they were doing their big contest in London because they kept talking about bits of the game!).

There’s a couple of other things playing on my mind of late too, but they’re much more personal and annoying. This is just something I should have posted the minute it was decided, but have been putting off, because it feels like a dirty secret, and because… I am a little ashamed of it.



September 11, 2009

I’ve been getting very angry lately at all kinds of minor things. I understand it’s a stage of grief, but I think I’ve now reached the end of my tether with myself. I’m not even angry half the time, I just sound it. Or I get angry for 1 min out of an hour and it affects everything. Anyway, it too will pass.

I did 4 full days of overtime, and now have a day off before I work saturday and then slip into my saturday-only pattern. Can’t wait.

Decided I’m really a one-game-at-a-time person, which is starting to affect how I think and feel about all games other than LotRO. I thought Secret World looked pretty and interesting and will definitely still follow it, but I can’t see it pulling me away from LotRO. Not at the moment. We’re starting to make headway in the current endgame raid (which we all call DN, because let’s face it, Tolkein-esque names are damn easy to misspell), and we regularly kill the Filikul Turtle (lame raid #1). I hope to return to The Watcher sometime, because I think we’re very close to killing it.

But I’ve been a bit bitchy in-game too, and moody, and absent. It’ll pass. Because I genuinely like the people and the game. But I realise most of it is me, I just can’t shake the sadness either. When my life regains some level of control and pattern, I think I’ll feel better all round.

One of the things I noticed about getting old…and no need to say I’m not, especially when people are asking what I plan to do for my 40th. Old. Definitely old. Anyway, so the thing I noticed is – change bothers me a little bit more than it once did. I like some kind of pattern to my daily life. And I’m a few days away from establishing my new pattern.

In-game I have a pattern too, I do crafting instances (and complain about why I’m doing them since I don’t need gold leaves), I chat in kinchat, but somehow don’t get involved in helping people as much as I used to. I wait for stuff to come to me and suggest itself. I know I need to motivate myself and do better. Maybe that’s the kickstart I need. I should organise some instance runs…



August 31, 2009

I don’t play many computer games. I especially don’t play many non-MMOs, unlike almost all of my peers.

I never played games much, preferring to watch skilled games-players (and sisters) play through the games. I guess I have performance anxiety!

I finally finished a game when I played Ultima 6 on an old crappy PC Spinks was given when she left one of her first jobs (and we shared a flat). I was so proud of myself, but was in my early 20s. I used to play bits and pieces, but in real roughshod manner. I then played most of the Ultima games, but not all the way through. In fact, husband had to play Ultima 9 for me cos I couldn’t be bothered with the bugs but wanted to see the story.

Then I finished Final Fantasy X and X-2 on the PS2. I played lots of games in-between, but they were mostly things like Civilization and SimCity. And Diablo 1. And then eventually Diablo 2, which I played for over a year. Seriously. I finished it long before that, but I played it lots and lots, and only a couple of times on Battle.Net.

I’ve never finished a Bioware game. In fact, I haven’t played many at all. I played some of Fallout and Fallout 2 before handing them over to husband to finish for me also. I’m a lazy gamer, what can I say!?

And yet, I have Dragon Age: Origins and Diablo III on pre-order. I have Mass Effect, Oblivion, Fallout 3 all on my desktop. I want to play Fable 2 (but can’t due to no console), I want to look at Final Fantasy 13 (see above). I want to play these games.

But MMOs are easier for me because of the social side, I guess. I have no idea. I don’t know many MMO-ers who aren’t gamers too. Or maybe I’m a bit too honest about my own inability to play through a game!


Bad at Alting

July 9, 2009

I admit it. I’m terrible at alting. I never do it wholeheartedly, which is apparently my problem with playing more than one game.

In WoW I played 5 druids, consecutively, rather than start another class.

In LotRO I’m now considering another Captain.

In WAR I stuck with healers, but never got far with any except my main – even though it wasn’t perhaps my favourite.

Is there just something wrong with me? Almost everyone I know can play more than one archetype and enjoy it. And can definitely alt a little more enthusiastically than I can.

Me, I find the class I like and play it, over and over and over. Even if that means having more than one.


As a caveat, I really enjoyed my bard/minstrel/whatever-its-called in Vanguard, and I don’t really mind any tank or dps or support class I played (loved my theurgist in DAoC). Just the melee/healer thing draws me back – every time.