A weekend in ESO

I’m not really sure how it started. A few members of combat wombat were talking about Teso (or ESO as I prefer to call it) and then the next thing I knew there were about 10 of us all playing, including myself. I’ve had my account since the game released, having done some freelance work for MetaVerse back in the day, but I had never played beyond the tutorial and my character was only level 3. I can’t even say WHY that was the case. I was probably distracted by some other shiny.

I have been having a lot of fun in World of Warcraft, but I’ve also been playing it steadily as my main game of choice for almost a year and I wanted a little break before BfA releases, and now seems like a good time. My account is still active since I’ve paid for it using gold (how I wish more games would go the rout of FFXIV where you can PAUSE your subscription and pick it up again not wasting any game time) but I’m going to enjoy a bit of a break and go back refreshed.

In ESO my character is level 11 and wandering around Stonefalls. I picked up all the crafting certification quests and now I have dailies for those, and I also started some research which is apparently very time consuming and involved. I participated in my first public quest, also called anchor quest, also called dolmen, and it was a lot of fun! Got a good chunk of xp and a nice chest of goods at the end. It’s nice and just a bit odd to be playing a game that a good chunk of my friends are actually playing, too. We haven’t done anything together (yet) but it’s nice to have the opportunity if it arose.

The game is absolutely beautiful. I went through and snagged some QoL addons yesterday and they have already made a HUGE difference in my game play. Especially the crafting / harvesting addons. I play in 10-15 minute chunks (minus when kiddo goes down for a nap or is asleep for the evening) so being able to focus is something I really need help with, especially in a game like ESO where wandering is heavily encouraged. If I have time to wander I love it, but I would never get anything done if I couldn’t also focus a bit.

I’ve pre-ordered Summerset which gave me Morrowind, and I decided to go ahead and pay for ESO Plus for the crafting space along with the other perks (crowns, so I can buy a fancy house, xp bonus, and other goodies like that) plus the ESO celebration week starts today which will grant me even more goodies while I have ESO Plus and log in daily.

It’s exciting to play a “new to me” MMO that I haven’t really delved into before. The quests and stories are interesting, the landscape new, and I’m discovering points of interest that are both disturbing and fascinating. I may only be level 11, but I’m eager to see how this goes.

As always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself! You can find me in ESO as @stargrace if you want to add me to your friends list.

Events as I recall them

I’ve started playing a little ESO, having never gotten beyond level 3 before, and having neglected my account for the better part of.. well, all the years the game has been active. Below is my Nord Dragonknight’s tale of a latest adventure.. 

“Quickly!” the apothecary screamed at me. “Use the salve you just collected for me, and apply it to the injured. We need them cured.”

I admit, I panicked. I looked at the men in the burnt down house, ran up to the closest one, and .. well. Decapitated him in one swoop of my 2 handed axe. It was like swinging through butter.

The apothecary just stared at me, mouth wide.

“What… Why.. wh… You know the guards will be after you for this now!” He screeched at me, pointing to the fellows head that was still in my hands. “You’ll have a bounty on you, and you won’t be able to enter the cities without recognition.”

I stood there not quite comprehending how things went down.

“I wanted you to heal the men OUTSIDE. OUTSIDE!” The apothecary continued to yell at me and point, obviously we were both having a bad day, but I couldn’t tell at this point which was worse. Probably the guy whose head I had in my hands. I dropped the head on the floor, kicked the body over to the side so no one would trip on it, and ran out the door with my bundle of salves, looking frantically for whoever the apothecary meant for me to heal. It didn’t take long for my eyes to adjust to the ash covered scenery and spot prone bodies laying all over the place. Realization dawned on me.

THESE were the guys I was meant to heal, not the ones inside the burned down house that were probably perfectly healthy before I .. well. Solved that.

I sighed. It was going to be a long day.

Why Knit Socks?

I’m a completely self taught knitter of 2 years now, picking up what I know from various YouTube videos and Craftsy classes. One of my goals from the start was to learn to knit socks, and I attempted that 3 months into my knitting adventure. They weren’t perfect, I had to re-do the toes numerous times, but I was so proud of them.

Knitting socks quickly became my preferred project. I absolutely love it. They’re small enough to take along with me in my purse where ever I go and living up in Northern Canada like I do, they’re functional and required.

Socks may seem intimidating, but once you learn the parts to a sock you gain an understanding of how simple they are. Since they’re also sized to your own feet (or the feet of your recipient) they’re also going to be the most comfortable socks you’ve ever worn – as long as you take care of them they’ll last years that way, too.

Taking care of hand knit socks is a bit of a pain. You’re best off hand washing them and hanging them to dry, don’t put them in the dryer or they may shrink and the size may change or they may felt. There are superwash types of yarn you can use to help prevent this, but my suggestion is still to hand wash and take care of these precious knitted garments. You’ll also want them stored properly so bugs don’t eat them, nothing worse than finding moths gnawing away at your most comfortable pair! I keep mine in a wooden box along with some lavender in a satchel.

I’ve knit four pairs of socks for myself so far, along with a pair of my son (who promptly outgrew them) – and I have every intention of knitting a pair for my more than deserving husband, though I admit I have been lax on this. Socks are a fairly quick knit depending on the time you can dedicate to them – one more reason I love these projects, if you’re the type that thrives on instant gratification, I simply can’t suggest trying to learn them enough.

Once you get over the initial complexities you realize that every single sock is made exactly the same, with a few variations here and there – but the sock parts remain constant. This allows you to branch out from creating very basic socks to more complex socks like the lace one I’ve knit above (hard to see the holes from the lace work in that picture, but they’re there)! You can switch up the heels, the toes, the leg, and create so many different types of combinations. You’re sure to find a pair that suit your creative mood.

Socks. That’s what I am happiest knitting. What about you? Let me know in comments, and happy knitting!

Happy Birthday Stargrace!

I have wanted a PS Vita for a number of years now so that I could experience awesome visual novels on the go. I do own a number of them on steam and on my PC, but reading a VN sitting at my desk is awkward and uncomfortable after some time, especially with my pregnancy.

My amazing husband surprised me with the aqua blue Japanese import on the 14th, my birthday, and a copy of Code: Realize. I was so excited! I immediately set it up, gathered together a wish list of games I want to purchase in the future (maybe one a month until I’ve caught up) and then dove head first into Code: Realize. It’s a story about a young girl who has been modified into a monster by her father. The art work is amazing, and while I’m not too far into the story yet I am certainly enjoying the writing.

I do want to get a memory card for it still, so I’ll have to be on the look out for one, but aside from that I think I’ll be set. Have any other PS Vita games you’d like to recommend as must-have? They don’t have to be VN. Just leave a comment below and happy gaming!

Archaeology Added

Wurm Unlimited (and Online) continues to be one of my favourite games of all time, and I still pop in and play as often as I can. Last week brought about a fascinating update to the game, where a brand new skill was added – archaeology. Basically players run around with a trowel active and poke around at the ground. You have a chance at discovering a fragment, different types if it’s in an area where an old deed used to be.

I think this is a case of a great idea that was implemented poorly. I spent a few hours roaming around looking for fragments, then a few more hours identifying all of those fragments (you use different tools depending on the stage the fragment is at) and then more time attaching fragments together so that I could create – welp. Not much of anything. By the screenshot above you can see I have some ribbons, bricks, branches, pegs, and other bits and pieces like ore. The thing is, after spending a few hours hunting down the components to make a lump of tin, I could have taken 10 seconds and just gone and mined the same thing from my deed.

The time required to get any type of ‘good’ fragment is too dear, and because there are so many different types of fragments you can obtain, piecing together 26 of any one type is going to take you a very long time. Now, I know we don’t want everyone running around with the best of the best and I’m not saying that’s the way this should be, but it’s a really neat idea that just is not worth the time required. At least not on the unlimited servers. I have hope that our server (Sklotopolis is where I’m still at for those wondering) will add to the base features and maybe help players out a bit with some better rewards or faster skill gains because as it is now, it’s just a waste of time. Of course it could be argued that everything one does in Wurm Unlimited is a waste of time since the entire game is built around skills that take time, but this one just sounded so absolutely amazing and I was let down.

There were other features added with this update that are also pretty neat including a new ‘place’ function for putting items down on the ground specifically where you want them to go. Wood types were also re-introduced, which affects the way dye looks on items, and the ability to dye clothing that you’re wearing two tones was added. Over all, it was an amazing update, and I’m glad to see that developer work on the game continues, even if not all of the update was exactly what I was hoping for.

1 Day Late – Humpday Addon: GSE

This is a newer addon that I just started using a few weeks ago. It’s called GSE: Gnome Sequencer Enhanced, and what it does is allow you to create advanced macros in world of warcraft. To quote the description:

GSE allows you create a sequence of macros to be executed at the push of a button.  Like a /castsequence macro, it cycles through a series of commands when the button is pushed. However, unlike castsequence, it uses macro text for the commands instead of spells, and it advances every time the button is pushed instead of stopping when it can’t cast something. This means if a spell is on cooldown and you push the button it will continue to the next item in the list with each press until it reaches the end and starts over. It comes with an editor and everything you need to get started.

I’ve been using it in some lazy situations where hitting just one button is an optimal situation for me – like when I’m using my monk to farm dungeons. I bound a hotkey to my mouse button 4 (I use a Razer Deathadder mouse so I don’t have a lot of extra buttons) and when I hold it down, it will spam the number 1 from my hotbar. In the case of my monk, that’s a macro of attacks. In specific, this macro:

Sequences[‘WW_ST’] = {
— This Sequence was exported from GSE 2.2.03.
  Author=“Flashgreer”,
  SpecID=269,
  Talents = “3,X,3,X,X,3,2”,
  Help = [[Set the Boss/Targeting dummy as your focus, to make sure you use touch of death. If Chi starved let go of macro for a sec, the resume.]],
  Default=1,
  Raid=2,
  PVP=3,
  Dungeon=2,
  Heroic=2,
  Mythic=2,
  MacroVersions = {
    [1] = {
      StepFunction = “Sequential”,
      KeyPress={
        “/cast [combat,nochanneling,talent:7/3] Serenity”,
      },
      PreMacro={
      },
        “/cast [nochanneling,combat,talent:7/2] Whirling Dragon Punch”,
        “/castsequence [nochanneling] reset=combat/1  Tiger Palm, Rising Sun Kick”,
        “/castsequence [combat,nochanneling] reset=combat/1  Tiger Palm, Fists of Fury”,
        “/castsequence [nochanneling] reset=combat/1  Tiger Palm, Strike of the Windlord”,
        “/cast [combat,nochanneling,talent:1/1] Chi Burst”,
        “/cast [combat,nochanneling,talent:1/3] Chi Wave”,
        “/castsequence [nochanneling] reset=combat/1  Tiger Palm, Blackout Kick”,
        “/cast [combat,nochanneling,talent:6/1] Rushing Jade Wind”,
        “/cast [combat,nochanneling,talent:4/3] Leg Sweep”,
      PostMacro={
      },
      KeyRelease={
        “/cast [combat,nochanneling,notalent:7/3] Storm, Earth, and Fire”,
        “/cast [@focus, exists, harm, nodead][@boss1, harm, nodead][nochanneling] Touch of Death”,
        “/cast [combat,nochanneling, talent:6/2] Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger”,
      },
    },
    [2] = {
      StepFunction = “Sequential”,
      KeyPress={
        “/cast [combat,nochanneling,talent:7/3] Serenity”,
      },
      PreMacro={
      },
        “/cast [combat,nochanneling,talent:7/2] Whirling Dragon Punch”,
        “/castsequence [nochanneling] reset=combat/1  Tiger Palm, Rising Sun Kick”,
        “/castsequence [combat,nochanneling] reset=combat/1  Tiger Palm, Fists of Fury”,
        “/castsequence [nochanneling] reset=combat/1  Tiger Palm, Strike of the Windlord”,
        “/cast [combat,nochanneling,talent:1/1] Chi Burst”,
        “/cast [combat,nochanneling,talent:1/3] Chi Wave”,
        “/castsequence [nochanneling] reset=combat/1  Tiger Palm, Blackout Kick”,
        “/cast [combat,nochanneling,talent:6/1] Rushing Jade Wind”,
      PostMacro={
      },
      KeyRelease={
        “/cast [combat,nochanneling,notalent:7/3] Storm, Earth, and Fire”,
        “/cast [@focus, exists, harm, nodead][@boss1,exists, harm, nodead][nochanneling] Touch of Death”,
        “/cast [combat,nochanneling, talent:6/2] Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger”,
      },
    },
    [3] = {
      StepFunction = “Sequential”,
      KeyPress={
        “/cast [combat,nochanneling,talent:7/3] Serenity”,
      },
      PreMacro={
      },
        “/cast [combat,nochanneling,talent:7/2] Whirling Dragon Punch”,
        “/castsequence [nochanneling] reset=combat/1  Tiger Palm, Rising Sun Kick”,
        “/castsequence [combat,nochanneling] reset=combat/1  Tiger Palm, Fists of Fury”,
        “/castsequence [nochanneling] reset=combat/1  Tiger Palm, Strike of the Windlord”,
        “/cast [combat,nochanneling,talent:1/1] Chi Burst”,
        “/cast [combat,nochanneling,talent:1/3] Chi Wave”,
        “/castsequence [nochanneling] reset=combat/1  Tiger Palm, Blackout Kick, Disable”,
        “/cast [combat,nochanneling,talent:6/1] Rushing Jade Wind”,
        “/cast [combat,nochanneling,talent:4/3] Leg Sweep”,
      PostMacro={
      },
      KeyRelease={
        “/cast [combat,nochanneling,notalent:7/3] Storm, Earth, and Fire”,
        “/cast [nochanneling] Touch of Death”,
        “/cast [combat,nochanneling, talent:6/2] Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger”,
      },
    },
  },
}
Now that might look like a whole lot of goop, but it tells me everything I need to know about the macro, including things like who created it and what talents I should have in order to perform the macro properly. Once I have the macro imported in-game, I place the icon on whatever spot on my hotbar, and then when I’m running through the dungeon I hold down my mouse button to trigger it continuously.
Macros like these are completely situational, and you have to know their limits. It’s not good for emergency situations, and it won’t keep you safe. It is great when you’re just looking to mindlessly grind away at mobs without any thought. There are all sorts of different types of macros for all classes, including macros that allow you to use toys like the loot-a-rang (aoe looting at the touch of a button instead of having to click the dead mobs) and mother’s knife, a skinning item from Legion. I look at these macros as a QOL (quality of life) change to my game play. They’re not essential and they don’t teach you very much about your class or how to play but they will allow you a bit of a breather during the more relaxing times.
I honestly have not tried the macros with any of my other characters besides my monk as she’s doing all of my farming these days, but if you have experience with GSE please feel free to leave a comment below!
As always, happy gaming no matter where you find yourself!

Blast From The Past – Theme Hospital

I’ve been waiting eagerly for the steam game Two Point Hospital to announce a release date, but so far all it continues to say is ‘2018’ – in a fit of nostalgia I downloaded Theme Hospital from EA, and decided to give that a whirl. I remember spending a few precious computer hours playing when I was younger, back when our family computer belonged to my Dad and us kids were lucky enough to use it here and there when it was free.

The sound track immediately took me back, and even though the resolution on the DOS emulator wasn’t exactly playing nice 20 years later, it was still a lot of fun. The graphics aren’t THAT bad for a game that age, either. Or maybe I’m just used to playing pixel games.

I had forgotten that there were levels involved and I made it to about level 4 in the short time I devoted to it, allowing VIP to tour my facilities as I worked on deflating gigantic skulls, and developing new research methods. My doctors were moderately happy with their pay (I hope…) and I provided a nice staff room complete with one sofa and a working television! Woohoo!

It was a really nice relaxing way to spend an hour or two, but in the end what I want is a newer version of the game, which I’m hoping Two Point Hospital will provide. Now if only they’d announce a release date.

As always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!

The Sad State of my Knitting

Here it is, part way through April, and I have completed a total of ONE knitting project in 2018, and that was actually started in November 2017 and finished January. One. Even in 2017 I managed 11 projects, and that was a crazy busy year doing solo parenting for six months of it. So what happened?

The move took a lot more out of me than I thought it would, especially since I was sick for two months straight. Being pregnant with my second child is taking its toll, and running after a toddler for most of the day. My fingers (and legs) have been so swollen that even typing on the keyboard brings discomfort, let alone manipulating knitting needles or crochet hooks.

The real reason though is that I just haven’t found any motivation or inspiration. I have all of this lovely yarn, and no idea what I want to knit. I was thinking of crocheting a beautiful blanket for Nug (baby #2) and got frustrated because even the most simple of crochet patterns appear to be over my head. I wish I picked it up as easily as I picked up knitting. For some reason I just can’t and it bothers me. I thought about working on some socks, quick simple knits that don’t require a whole lot of attention especially since I’ve knit quite a few pairs of socks but again, lack of motivation. I did end up knitting a few extra cotton dish cloths but I couldn’t even be bothered with updating my Ravelry project page with them.

I’m hoping my knitting mojo comes back soon. I have such beautiful yarns just waiting to be turned into something fancy. It’s still really cold (below freezing) where we live now, so it’s not a matter of warmer weather making me change my interest in knitting. It’s just a … melancholy type of mood that I just can’t figure out. Here’s hoping my needles see some action soon.

Battle for Azeroth – We Have a Release Date!

Today it was announced that Battle For Azeroth will release August 14th! That’s about a month earlier than I thought it would come out, just before kids start heading back to school. I’m due with Nug on July 27th, so I may even be able to get in some game time by then, though I imagine it will be greatly reduced hours.

There’s some preparation I’d like to do for BfA, especially since I’m sure they’ll be reducing the gold output from Order Halls. In no particular order, some of the things I want to finish off before BfA are:

  • All 6 110 alts to 950 order hall and collecting coin missions as often as possible
  • Professions all at 800 in preparation for BfA
  • Class mounts for as many characters as I can
  • Allied races unlocked
  • Level my final 2 characters to 110

Right now I’m working on the professions portion because it’s simple enough to do if I actually focus. I’ve swapped my main (again) from my priest to my monk, and I am having an absolute BLAST with the class. The monk is a character I boosted to 90 way back when and then I never touched. I leveled to 100 doing invasions, and then afterward (again) never touched. This time I’m playing windwalker (though I do have my tank and heal artifacts as well) and I just can’t express what a great time I’m having. I feel like I’m actually contributing to groups, and it’s fairly stress-free since I’m not playing a healer (the class I typically play). I’m not 100% sure if I’ll stick with her as a main in BfA, we’ll have to see – but for now I’m having a great time.

The two remaining characters that have yet to reach 110 are my shaman and my warlock, neither of which I am that keen on playing. I currently have:

  • Monk – Engineering / Inscription
  • Paladin – Alchemy / Herbalism
  • Druid – Mining / Herbalism
  • Priest – Tailor / Enchanting
  • Priest #2 – Skinning / Mining
  • Hunter – Skinning / Leatherworking

Then the two pre-110 characters

  • Shaman – Mining / Jewelcrafting
  • Warlock – Engineering / Blacksmithing

The only profession I have at 800 is skinning on my 2nd priest, and everyone else is hovering in the 600-700 ranges so it’s a pretty big goal of mine to get them done. Rumor is it will be harder to level up professions through the older tiers, so I really want to be able to focus on the new content.

What are you going to be focusing on for BfA? Any plans in the works? Let me know in comments, and as always, happy gaming no matter where you find yourself!

Humpday AddOn – Altoholic

The collection of addons I use is growing, and some of them are quite amazing so I thought once a week I’d take an in-depth look at one that I use, explaining how it works and what it’s used for. AddOns are not essential to any game, but they do help quality of life a huge amount, and I think there are so many options available out there it’s nice to get a cohesive list.

The first addon I’m going to talk about is one called altoholic. If you’re not familiar with how to install addons in World of Warcraft, well there’s really no excuse these days it’s pretty hands off. You simple download the twitch desktop client (previously known as the curse client) swap the screen over to mods (top left side), find WoW (make sure it’s pointing at the correct directory) and you’ll see two columns. One is ‘my addons’ and the other is ‘get more addons’. Pretty simple stuff. Then you just do a search.

Anyway. Altoholic keeps track of pretty much everything for all of your characters, and it’s lovely. It will keep track of order hall resources (and pretty much any currency you want), how many order hall followers you have, what ilevel they’re sitting at, what your artifact weapons are at as far as levels, what professions each character has and what level they’re at, bag space, and even what inventory they each have. I’ve been using this addon to monitor old WoD garrison resources so I can trade them in for craft materials to continue to level up a few characters that are below 700 in their respective craft.

It will tell you if missions are completed, how long it has been since you logged them in, how many auctions they currently have on the go, how much mail they have, how many AH bids they have, and even things like achievements.

It’s basically a one stop shop to see everything about everyone you play, and if you happen to be a collector of alts (like some of us are) it’s an addon that I really can’t recommend enough.

What I like most of all about this addon is that besides logging your characters in there’s almost no customization required. The default display is everything I need though you can customize some features and even enable account sharing if you happen to be multiboxing.

The addon is also pretty small as far as memory usage, clocking in at around 3.8mb for me personally. So far I haven’t come across a downside, but if you spot one please do share!

Next week we’ll be taking a look at GSE: Gnome Sequencer Enhanced, an advanced macro addon.

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