The Lich King? We Could Have Taken Him November 26, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, Instance Group, World of Warcraft.
Tags: Cataclysm, Forge of Souls, Halls of Reflection, Pit of Saron, Wrath of the Lich King
I think it is a sign that the team is happy being back in Azeroth when we all show up for group night nearly an hour early.
Or maybe we all just felt we needed some additional warm up time.
Either way, our normal meetup time is 9pm and we were all in-game by 8:10pm. All five of us and not just the three or four who could make it. It was on like some sort of plumber vs. ape event. Our official group lineup for the night was:
- Earlthecat – Level 80 Human Warrior Tank
- Skronk – Level 81 Dwarf Priest Healing
- Bungholio – Level 80 Gnome Warlock DPS
- Alioto – Level 80 Night Elf Druid DPS
- Ula – Level 81 Gnome Mage DPS
And the first item on our agenda was to finish up the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. Last week four of us delved into the final chain of three instances that wraps up the five person content in Icecrown Citadel. We managed two out of three, with the second one being a bit of a trial for us. This time around we would go for all three.
Ula, Skronk, and I got out to Icecrown Citadel and used the summoning stone to bring Bung and Earl to us. Somewhere along the line I guess the summoning stone requirements got reduced to just two people in your group being required to summon. And so, for the first time in at least two years, we were all together in a group and ready to do an instance in Azeroth.
(Humanoids in the picture above: Skronk, Alioto, Bung, Ula, Earl, Jaina Proudmoore)
We planned to run through all three. We wanted Earl to get the whole show and we figured that since we only had trouble with the final bosses on the first two as a foursome, that being a full group would speed things along. There was a thought given to trying it at the Heroic setting, but we opted for Nomal given that this was our return venture.
More after the cut due the usual verbosity and over use of screen shots in place of narrative. Plus I totally spoil the ending if you haven’t done it yet.
The Patcher of Sauron November 25, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, Lord of the Rings Online.
Tags: Helm's Deep, Talent Trees, That's Just Your Opinion Man
Is there any in this rout with authority to patch with me? Or indeed with wit to understand me?
Surety you crave! Turbine gives none. If you sue for its updates, then you must do its bidding.
-LOTRO Patcher, Lieutenant of Turbad-dûr
I might be a little down on Turbine’s patcher this week, which no doubt colors the tone of this post.
I haven’t been doing much in Middle-earth since my summer vacation there saw me through to the far side of Moria at last. I had finally made it through the first LOTRO expansion, which I purchased just five years previously. But since I owned the next two expansions already, and a third lay out there waiting for me already, you might be able to forgive my lack of excitement surrounding yet another LOTRO expansion. I am not at all likely to see any of the Helm’s Deep expansion in the foreseeable future.
However, with Helm’s Deep, Turbine was looking to revamp the classes in a way to… if I understand this correctly… make the various roles a given class can perform more distinct. Previously Turbine just heaped a bunch of skills onto a class, some for one role, some for another, and let the player sort them out, along with the various traits, to do whatever they wanted. For some classes… especially the Warden and Runekeeper… the various skills seemed somewhat comprehensible. For others, such as the Captain, skills were not always clearly role specific.
Still, with understanding and a correct application of buffs or stances or auras or whatever, the old system let you mold your character to fill a specific role. I am not sure that the Guardian was ever going to be optimal for DPS or the Captain turned into the healer of choice, but your Champion could certainly play either tank or DPS. Zubon’s recent post on Adaptation probably has some applicability here.
So while I might not see the siege of Helm’s Deep any time soon, there was clearly change afoot that would affect me. This drove my desire to log into the game and see what was up. Would this make things better or worse for me? One of my problems with the game is that, upon returning after a long absence, I often find it difficult to pick up where I left off with a class. Things often change. The spread of skills are not always clear in their use. And the skill icons, tiny and over-wrought, frequently bear only a passing resemblance to what the skill actually does. I did a post a couple years back about the icons of the Champion class, which I found more distracting than useful.
Yeah, tell me what those do based just upon the picture. I have my own guesses. So it is often easier to just start a new character and relearn the class than to pick up where I was.
I actually think that redoing the skill icons… making them larger, clearer, simpler… might have been a bigger win than revamping classes. In fact, I had half a hope that icons might be part of the revamp, making me all the more keen to see what had changed. But first I had to patch.
Oh, the LOTRO patcher.
We were going out for a bit on Thursday night and I figured I could let the patcher run while we were away. The Helm’s Deep expansion had dropped earlier Thursday, after a 2-day day delay, and should have been ready to go. I let it update the launcher itself, then started it off on its patching process before we left the house.
We got back a little over 90 minutes later and I found that the patcher wasn’t even half done yet.
Back before we upgraded to a 25Mbit connection, I expected such updates to run all night. The old ADSL connection was good for about a gigabyte an hour if nobody else was doing anything online. I used to start big patches before going to bed in hopes of finding them done in the morning.
Now, with the high speed connection, EVE Online did its 1.21 gigabyte Rubicon patch, along with the update, in about 8 minutes. So either the Helm’s Deep patch was absolutely huge, or their patcher is crap.
I’m voting for crap.
First, it does things inefficiently. It seems to go file by file, judging how many individual items it had to download. And, LOTRO has historically been unhappy about older installs. After it passes a certain threshold of updates, everything slows down, including game play. Given that my install is now over three years old, I am probably due for a “delete and install fresh” the next time I want to play seriously. Finally, sometimes the installer just gets stuck.
When the patching was done on Thursday, I went to bed. When I tried to launch again on Friday, it appeared to need to repatch all over again. And then it hung up and stopped. I started it over again and it carried on, but got stuck again. I went off and did something else.
Saturday morning I patched again and it got through this time, but then wouldn’t connect to the game. I waited a bit and tried again, at which point the patcher got stuck yet again. But at least it got stuck at something I have faced before.
I knew which files to delete and, after it downloaded them again, the patcher finally finished, the glaring eye of Sauron was finally dismissed, and I was able to get into the game. There, as expected, I was warned that I needed to choose a class specialization for my captain.
On my way at last. And I was glad to find that the specializations bordered on the obvious when it came to which role was which. For my captain, there was healing, DPS, and tanking. And it looked like I could pick two out of the three right away and have access to the third by spending some Mithril Coins.
Unfortunately, tiny undecipherable icons appeared to remain in force, so that wish fell by the wayside. And then there was the question as to what to pick. Basically, I liked my captain he way he was pre-patch, so I had to decide which spec fit that. For solo play, the red DPS spec was probably the right one, but the yellow tanking spec sounded more like what I was used to. The captain is the guy with the halberd in my book, and I always equip my captain thus, so I went for that spec.
And then I was sent to the talent tree to spend my points in something that felt like it was right out of World of Warcraft in about 2006. Here are some points to spend, here are some skills and such, good luck making an informed choice.
Now, I realize that some people love talent trees, and I am not necessarily dead set against them, but when you get options where you cannot really answer questions like, “Do I need this?” “Will that change how I play the class?” or “Does even a full 5% boost make any real difference?” then I start getting pissy. Yes, theory crafters dig this. I do not. And, given the many random specs I have seen in days gone by, theory crafters are in the minority. I want to play the game, not decipher whether or not a 1% change in something has any meaning, so the potential positives of going this route are a bit lost on me.
It doesn’t have to be this way. And it does not have to go the route that World of Warcraft chose either, which is admittedly much simplified. (And where there is still an occasional “right/wrong” choice in some brackets according to theory crafters at places like Elitist Jerks.) EverQuest II, which has a mind boggling array of options for Alternate Advancement points, has some of the best class specific choices that let you focus on what you want your character to be that can make a distinct difference in how you play your character and what skills and buff you get. And, most of all, I feel like I am given enough information in a majority of situations to make an informed choices as opposed to having to us Google to find out what the trade-offs really are.
Anyway, I won’t be playing LOTRO much in the near future. And by the time I get back to playing the game, somebody will have deciphered which choices actually impact your play and which are a waste of points. Then I will be able to use Google to make an informed choice.
EVE Bloggers Has Another New Home November 24, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
Tags: EVE Bloggers
1 comment so far
I pointed out a while back that after the tussle around who should take over the EVE Bloggers site, something that lead to there being two competing sites (and a discussion about blogging in general), both sites pretty much went kaput. When I checked on both sites a couple of weeks back, one domain wasn’t responding while the other had been grabbed by a domain camper. No winners in that race I guess.
And then, this morning, I logged in to look at my stats and I found I was getting traffic from the domain evebloggers.com.
I thought maybe Cyberin was back.
But when I went to the site, I found somebody new had taken over the domain. Fuzzysteve has shouldered the burden of running the EVE Bloggers site and has what he calls a first draft version of the site up and running.
Fuzzysteve has a post up of his own describing the situation and giving some ideas where he plans to go with the site.
We will see how it goes, but I want to thank Fuzzysteve for bringing back another EVE Online community resource.
Node Crash at E-YJ8G November 23, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
Tags: Curse, E-YJ8G, Null Sec
So, today was another 10% tidi slugfest involving a series of unfortunate escalations culminating in CCP proving once again they have almost no clue how to balance a game, let alone make it function. Over 100 hostile carriers and dozens of hostile supers escaped our thousand-strong subcap horde via a crashed node, which seems to be the only strategy the N3zis have that works consistently. As a consolation prize we got to execute about 50 or so tech 3 ships.
Original broadcast from Reagalan
On the downside, things followed the now predictable course of events.
We poured subcaps into the system to stomp the carriers. N3 dumped reinforcements in to save carriers. We dropped dreadnoughts in to push up the damage. The dropped in super caps. The numbers in local kept climbing, not helped by the fact that we’re still abusing the whole drone assist thing with our Dominix fleet doctrine. Time dilation, which wasn’t so bad when there were only 600 people in the system dropped to the usual 10% when the number passed a thousand and our Dominix fleet got on grid and joined the fight. Somewhere past 1200 people in local the system started behaving like it did at KW-I6T, with people doing things without actual result. And, well, the whole thing went poof on us.
Yeah, that is never a good sign.
Also on the downside list, just before the system went non-responsive my shiny new Dominix got called as primary by the hostile carrier FC and I started taking fire.
I actually called for armor and the fleet logi team started to reinforce me. But in the lag, it took the hostiles a while to all focus on me, so it looked like I had been saved for a bit and the logis moved on to the next call. And then fire began to rain down on me and my ship wasn’t long for the battle. Look at all those Bouncer drones hitting me.
If only they had waited another minute, because once they got my pod targeted, the system started misbehaving. My pod took dozens of hits without registering any damage.
Semi-safe and the system clearly headed for a fall, I used my remaining time to move the camera around and take screen shots. I am ever the tourist. Then the error message above came up and most of us were thrown out of the game. After that it was the wait, staring at my portrait on the new login screen, for the system to recover and let us back it.
Once in, some passer-by in an Ares popped my popped my pod, which at least saved me the trouble of flying home. Then it was time for a break at my end. Dinner was at hand and I was figuring out where to file for my reimbursement. But the fight went one, at least on a smaller scale. As noted in the initial quote, we got to pop some tech 3 ships. Then it was working on the withdrawl from Catch back to our home base in Curse.
While the result of piling people into a system isn’t much of a shock at this point… Garth was mocking null sec about it recently… I am starting to wonder if it could start being an official “how to save your tackled capital ships” strategy.
Anyway, as noted, I had time to take some screen shots. Lots of capital ships and our Dominix fleet, along with the new graphics for the various forms of warp bubbles. All after the cut.
Quote of the Day – Who is Hardcore Anyway? November 22, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment.
Tags: Quote of the Day
I think there is an antagonism from the hard core towards the casual…
-Jeff Cannata, NPR Story Hard-Core And Casual Gamers Play In Different Worlds
With the release of the PlayStation 4 and the XBox One, video games were in the news and NPR was out trying to define what a hardcore gamer really is.
Like any such query in the mainstream media, they seem satisfied with a rather simple view. They only have so much time, so they focus on hardcore console gamers. The reality is much broader. We know that. But everybody close to a given subject sighs at generalizations about it that gloss over the texture and finer details. We’re used to it now, aren’t we?
In the end though they do boil down to at least one idea we see over and over, the fervent hardcore belief that, whatever their favorite gaming segment, it is “being dumbed down, being simplified to bring in a wider audience.”
Cue the parade of a thousand blog posts gone by and the endless argument over accessibility, improvements, and who owes what to whom.
It’s why we’re all here, right?
20 Years of TorilMUD November 22, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, MUDs, TorilMUD.
Tags: Forgotten Realms
1 comment so far
Lord Piergeiron is looking for brave adventurers to fight off the trolls!
If you can help, form a group and head south.
-Town Crier, Waterdeep
I was shuffling through old posts, as I do every month to pull together the one and five years ago bits for the monthly review post, when I discovered that I wrote that post about playing TorilMUD for 15 years about five years ago… which means that I’ve hit the… wait… eighteen, nineteen… the twenty year mark since I first I first blundered into Leuthilspar and got hung up at the fence leading to Kobold Village.
It barely seems possible that I was playing TorilMUD so long ago. And the town crier has been shouting the same thing every few minutes for just about the whole time. Granted, there was a gap of a couple years in there when the game was down at various stages, but it always managed to return.
Still, I started playing TorilMUD a long while back. Twenty years ago was the era when the Intel 486 was king and the new Pentium (not 586 as so many expected) was the new kid on the block. Apple’s incredibly popular PowerBook laptops were just introducing a model (180c) with an 8-bit active matrix color screen that was actually usable. (Don’t get me started on the 165c.) At work I was just starting off on project that would end up with a five month long crunch cycle, during which NBA Jams would be our lifeline to sanity. I was playing Civilization I am sure and was running a BBS, which in a way was the spiritual successor to this blog.
You grab Piergeiron Paladinstar, Servant of Tyr in a headlock, and give him a furious noogie.
I think I may have beaten the back story of myself and TorilMUD to death at this point. I have written up posts about the history, the stories, and the influence of the game in the past. Here are a few of my favorites:
- 15 Years of TorilMUD
- How Information Access has Changed
- The End of a Trigger, The Expansion of Information
- The Salesman of Waterdeep
- The Way Questing Used to Be
- On Greater Challenges
- Echoes of a Crashing MUD
- Hauling Bronze Through Forgotten Realms
- Great Moments in Exploits – The Resurrection
- Nineteen Years Without Raising the Level Cap
- Leuthilspar Tales
There are more posts under the TorilMUD category, though that includes posts where it is referenced, but where memories of the game perhaps not the main topic of discussion.
More amazing still is that, not only is TorilMUD still there, but that it continues to be a work in progress. Bug fixes, new zones, a web client, and a conversion to a system more akin to the current Dungeons & Dragons combat model continue on. The whole thing reflected D&D 2.0 rules back when I started. The help file for THAC0 is still there.
THAC0 is an acronym for “To Hit Armor Class 0.” THAC0 is a number every player and monster has, and it is dependent on level and class. It is ranged between 0 and 20. THAC0 is the method that the MUD code uses to determine whether or not you have successfully “hit” an opponent while in battle. It is calculated for everyone fighting, for each and every combat round. For THAC0′s, the lower the number you have, the better success you will have at hitting.
For Example: let’s say your THAC0 is 10, meaning you have to roll between 10 and 20 on a 20-sided die in order to hit an enemy with an armor class of 0. If you are fighting a monster with an armor class of 1, then you need to roll between 11 and 20 to hit that mob. If the mob’s armor class is 8, you only need to roll between 2 and 20 in order to hit that monster. You can affect your THAC0 by using magical items that give a positive hitroll bonus. This bonus will enhance your THAC0 and therefore your ability to hit a monster.
The help entry for AC (Armor Class) further explains how this hit/miss system works. See also: AC
I don’t think it still applies, but it did at one time. A bit of history in the help files.
And, most important of all, people still play TorilMUD.
It isn’t the 100+ people we used to have on at once back in the day. But when I log in now and again to see what has changed, I always see between 15 and 30 people online. Enough to form up a group generally and go raid a zone now and again. As with any game based on progression via levels, almost everybody on these days is at or close to the level cap of 50. Occasionally I see somebody in their 20s or 30s. And sometimes it isn’t even an alt of a player that already has a few level 50s.
I poke my nose back in every so often. I still see people I remember. And time continues its relentless march forward.
Anyway, just to archive something away for a later date, after the cut you will find the credits output for TorilMUD. The bulk of the credits is a list of zones in the game, their level range, and the creator. That will give you a little insight into how vast the world is that has been created over more than 20 years. I started playing 20 years back, but the work started before I ever showed up.
Sure, the “world stat” command will give you the summary:
Total number of zones in world: 348
Total number of rooms in world: 65985
Total number of different mobiles: 19975
Total number of living mobiles: 46001
Total number of different objects: 19000
Total number of existing objects: 98257
Those are some big numbers. They have added something like 4,000 rooms and 29 zones since I last posted that output back in 2009. But actually scrolling through the list is more impressive.
More information can be found at TorilMUD.com.
I Haven’t Quite Crossed the Rubicon Yet November 21, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
CCP managed to deploy the Rubicon expansion on Tuesday without much in the way of issues.
And while I patched up all 1.21 Gigabytes, I have not really had much opportunity to get into the game. Work, events at my daughter’s school, and perhaps some excessive focus on another game has kept me away. Fortunately CCP Fozzie had some tweets about what was going on during the first 24 hours after the expansion dropped.
Yeah, I feel that one. Like Kirithi Kodachi, I logged in expecting to find that I had level V mastery on at least a couple of ships, outside of shuttles. Or at least a few ships at IV. But no, for combat ships my highest rating is level III. Even on my beloved Drake, which I would likely tell you in an off-hand way that I have max skills for, comes in at level III mastery.
You see, under the new certificates system, level V mastery requires that all relevant skills be trained to level V as well. So the fact that I do not have gravametric sensor compensation and the specialization skills for assault and heavy missiles trained up to V will keep me from the top mastery slot. But what is really holding me back, what is keeping me at level III is my meager training in Caldari Drone Specialization. For the Drake. That notorious drone boat. Deploying those kick-ass Caldari drones.
(Those last two sentences should show up dripping with sarcasm once HTML XX gets approved and implemented.)
What a waste of weeks of training time to work on some of those skills. But unless I do, every time I see the info page for a Drake, it will give me that sardonic look and display that level III mastery badge. “Max skills? My ass!” it will say. It is like a gun to that OCD completionist part of my brain.
So I will have to work on that drone skill, getting it up to IV at a minimum. At least it will apply to the mastery rating of all the Caldari ships.
As expected. The interceptor change, making them invulnerable to warp disruption bubbles, plus the warp speed change, means we will be seeing a lot more interceptors running about. I nearly put off my move back to Curse until after the expansion hit so I could fly out in one. I expect this alone will lead to fleet doctrine changes.
And my mastery for all interceptors is III, just like the Drake. Does that really tell me anything?
The great high sec customs office rampage begins!
And people are figuring out another new feature. As these has been pegged as a source of materials for a future expansion that will allow players to build jump gates to new regions, I expect they will get a lot of focus. Jove space of bust, baby!
The changes/upgrades to marauders in EVE has made level IV mission running fractionally easier for those already wealthy enough to have a marauder. But they still are not invincible. And the economy of New Eden keeps on rolling.
The new rapid heavy missile launcher module, nerfed down a bit to deliver high burst damage at the expense of a long reload time in order to keep heavy missiles (and the Caldari) down, is getting a workout. As originally proposed, they looked like a game changer, an organ grinder battleship module spewing out heavy missiles at a hellish rate. They were too much of a “good” thing I will admit, but I still endorse anything that validates my heavy investment in missile skills.
And then the deployable structures. In the long run I expect scanning these down and blowing them up will become a new sport. An out in null sec, the mobile siphons will likely become more of a focus. In the short term, nothing I do warrants my looking into them.
Anyway, for those wondering what I am talking about, CCP has a page up dedicated to the Rubicon expansion and all of its features. I hope to actually get stuck into some of this over the weekend. The first thing I will probably get up close and personal with is the changes to the fleet interface. We’re deployed to fight and all that, and fleet ops seem to go up every time I walk away from my computer. Given how awkward it has been in the past, I am looking forward to seeing what changed, though given CCP’s sometimes odd sensibilities, I won’t be surprised if I hate some aspect of it right away.
Always something fresh to bitch about.
I Might Have Binged on WoW Recently… November 20, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, World of Warcraft.
Tags: Mists of Pandaria
My paladin from the original instance group, the one I raced ahead with. Well he is done racing ahead for now, at least when it comes to levels.
I started him into Pandaria pretty much as soon as it became clear that the instance group was going to come back to World of Warcraft. In my first post about that the week after BlizzCon I noted that he was already level 87 and that I would be substituting another character into the group to replace him.
So, basically, I went from 85 to 90 in about a week and a half. And while that sounds very quick, I did play a lot of WoW during that time. There is no War Thunder post this week because I skipped that. I barely did anything in EVE Online except move to Curse. I did not even work on alts in WoW once I got Alioto to 80 so he could join the instance group. I was unusually focused on playing through Mists of Pandaria. I jumped right into it… which is almost literally how you start there. And I had a full ration of blue bar which, thanks to always logging out in town or at an inn, lasted nearly to the end. I did not “feel normal” until I was at half way through level 89.
I did consume quite a bit of content along the way. I finished out the quests for the story line in the Jade Forest, the Valley of the Four Winds, and the Krasarang Wilds, ending up well into the Kun-Lai Summit story line, out by the Chow Farmstead, before my experience bar disappeared. In addition, I also ran four of the dungeons as part of normal mode Dungeon Finder groups. I hit the Stormstout Brewery, the Temple of the Jade Serpent, the Mogu’Shan Palace, and the Shadow-pan Monastery one time each.
So what was it like?
It was nice. The quest lines are very much in the Cataclysm 80-85 mode, where there is an over-arcing story to the zone. There are a lot more cut scenes and, unlike in Cataclysm, where every zone had its own story, the stories merge between the zones in Pandaria. And the stories are engaging, the characters are amusing, and beer figures prominently. If you do not like achievements popping up though, Pandaria won’t make you any happier. In addition to the normal achievements for completing zone quest lines, there are progress pop-ups that tell you that you have finished a given segment of the story line. Instead of a raw quest completion count, they track those segments for the zone achievement, and you cannot turn them off.
The overland zones are still very solo oriented. There is still phasing. I am concerned at how our group will do with the overland content. But running around by myself was fun. The quests are more varied than the old days. You still end up killing 10 of this and 10 of that, but there is a mix of other non-FedEx style quests. And the Valley of the Four Winds is practically The Shire if you enjoy domestic chores and the like. And, I tell you true, there is a woman out there that will demand that you attend to her giant melons. She is quite insistent.
Also, I killed a giant bug and, thanks to phasing, it’s dead corpse is still sitting in the zone. I find it oddly satisfying to see it still there after the battle.
The instances were also fun enough. I came in as DPS via Dungeon Finder, the mode was the usual random group “run, run, run” mode, but there seemed to be a variety of different boss encounters. I look forward to actually being able to appreciate them when the instance group gets there and goes through them at a slow to moderate pace.
Pandaria is also very pretty, perhaps the pretties place in Azeroth. And the Valley of the Four Winds isn’t just Shire-like in its quests, it is also a beautiful and lush green valley. Just replace pandas with hobbits, sink a few hobbit holes, and you are set.
I was interested to see that my gear wasn’t instantly obsolete the moment I jumped into the expansion. In fact, the gear I had from trying to get into the Fall of Theramore that preceded Pandaria remained better than green drops until Kun-Lai Summit, though I did pick up some nice instance blues that were clearly a step up. Meanwhile, the numbers in Pandaria seem out of hand. It is like dealing with ISK in EVE Online, you start to wonder if you counted too many zeroes. Of course, I just came from playing in the 1-60 experience, so suddenly seeing myself do 15K DPS might just be comparison shock. Still, I see why they are thinking about doing the item squish as part of the gear revamp for Warlords of Draenor.
Overall I am having fun. My initial aversion to panda cuteness went away pretty quickly. I still plan to move forward and finish the story line, collecting gold rather than experience along the way. And there are all sorts of other aspects to the Mists of Pandaria expansion I have yet to explore.
That said, if you had any thought about this expansion moving the game back towards World of Warcraft of 2006, you will be disappointed. Overland is very solo oriented, phasing is still a thing (though it isn’t used as much as I thought it might be, every battle doesn’t go away after you finish your bit), achievements are still a very big thing, pop-culture references abound including playing with nearly every martial arts movie trope that ever was, and I do not know enough about Chinese culture to be able to draw the line between treating it with respect and being culturally insensitive. I haven’t seen any serious outrage over the expansion, but I have no idea how it played in China either. (And we’ve been okay with trolls talking about voodoo and sounding like they are from Jamaica for 9 years, so maybe that ship has sailed.)
So I will carry on, though I will probably spend some more time with alts going forward. I have that other druid in the midst of Burning Crusade content, which is where one of the unofficial guild alt groups is currently questing, not to mention half a dozen other characters at various states of development on that server alone.
And, as a wrap up, a few screen shots from along the path to 90.
EverQuest Mac Goes Quietly Into the Night November 20, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EverQuest.
Tags: Al'Kabor Server, EverQuest Mac
I missed it. November 18th was the last day for EverQuest Macintosh Edition. As noted at the one site I could find covering the topic, the Al’Kabor server is now down. But the event passed without much notice otherwise.
The EverQuest Mac forums are still up for the moment, but they will be going away soon.
I wrote a piece back in October when SOE announced that they were closing down EverQuest Mac that summarizes a bit of the story of the server, which ran for just over a decade. The final moment has passed. The game is just part of history now.
The Instance Group Returns to Northrend November 19, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, Instance Group, World of Warcraft.
Tags: Forge of Souls, Pit of Saron, Wrath of the Lich King
As has been the case for much of 2013, we could only muster four out of five of the group. Still, everybody has successfully resubscribed, patched, and logged into the game in the last week, so everybody is on board with the idea if not able to be present. We are going to take another run at Azeroth.
So it was time to get the old team out, our original level 1 to 80 instance group, and do some warm-up exercises. The planned group was:
- Earlthecat – Level 80 Human Warrior Tank (missing)
- Bungholio – Level 80 Gnome Warlock DPS
- Alioto – Level 80 Night Elf Druid DPS
- Skronk – Level 81 Dwarf Priest Healing
- Ula – Level 81 Gnome Mage DPS
However, as Earl was out of town, we had to make do.
Alioto the druid is my latest character substitution into the group. I had to change out because I ran ahead in levels with Vikund, my paladin.
Alioto is named after the former mayor of San Francisco because… well… I needed a name and that popped into my head and, more importantly on a very old WoW server, was actually available. He is one of a selection of druids in WoW that have exactly the same dual spec options and professions. I always seem to go feral for solo, healing for random instances, herbalism for harvesting, and inscription for a trade. I actually have more such druids than hunters.
But now I had a chance to change this pattern. I cleared out my healing spec on Alioto and picked up the new… well, new to me… Guardian druid spec, which is for durids wat is bare. Or bear. I pretty much had to do that because, if you look at our line up, there are not a lot of other realistic tanking options. Though, as things will turn out, the cloth wearing priest healer will do in a pinch.
The plan was a warm-up exercise to see if we could actually work as a team with the somewhat changed classes of WoW. Our target was to scout out the three final 5 player instances in Wrath of the Lich King. Those were added after we had “finished” the last instance… Utgarde Pinnacle… in the expansion.
Time to finish off what we started.
More after the break due to an excess of verbiage and screen shots.