Author: stargrace (Page 1 of 320)

Gaming While Holding my Toddler

My little guy is 15 months old now, and there’s nothing he likes better than hanging out with Mommy. All. The. Time. Keeping my mental health up is just as important to me as taking care of my son is, because if I can’t function like a human being, I’m of no use to either of us. So sometimes I try to get a little gaming in at my desk (we’re talking 15-20m spurts usually) and I’ve had to get creative with how I play – and what I play.

See, my little one may WANT to be sitting there with me, but he doesn’t actually. What he wants is to wiggle around and get into everything. He is pretty much never still. I have to use one hand to hold him steady so he doesn’t go tumbling to the floor, leaving one hand free for gaming (typically on the mouse, if I’m within range of the keyboard the kid is going to eat it, bash it, or want to throw it).

That’s why I’ve taken to playing games like RimWorld, where things are fairly automated and require little interaction from me – I can also play it easily with one hand on my mouse.

A friend of mine mentioned that Hearthstone just came out with their latest update – a solo dungeon. The best part about this is that you’re not timed, so if you have to randomly AFK to say, pry a lemon leaf out of your kids mouth before they swallow it, you won’t lose your game. Games like this are absolutely perfect for me, they require only one hand to pick my cards, and I don’t have to give it my full complete attention. Lets face it, there’s only so much of me to go around. I’ve beaten three of the eight dungeon bosses so far, and it’s quite fun. I’m not particularly good at Hearthstone though, I love playing card games and I hate organizing or creating decks (and I know absolutely nothing about how to produce a game winning deck). Still, it passes the time.

Gwent is another card game I’ve been playing in a solo method – but you’re still timed there, so it’s not perfect. Cities: Skylines was another game brought up, but I find I need to interact with that one quite a bit, especially if the city isn’t very well established. Sims 4 was one I was attempting, but again there’s quite a bit of interaction required for that one.

I know that all of these stages right now are short phases in the grand scheme of things, and eventually I’ll be able to game with both hands again, but in the meantime, if you have suggestions for me please feel free to comment below! I think Civilization may be another one that I could potentially give a go, I played when llama bean was first born and then stepped away because there are just so many games out there.

Our kids are important, but again, if we cannot function or take a minute or two to ourselves here and there, we’re of no use to them. It’s important to take care of ourselves, and for me, that means squeezing in some gaming here and there so I can remember that I’m more than just a parent.

Closer to Flying in Legion

Thanks to finally getting a major quest chain done, and a few weekly quests, all I really have left in order to fly in Legion is a few points in faction, and quests in two zones. My priest is sitting at a comfortable 894 ilevel, and lately I’ve been playing her in her discipline spec for both heals and DPS. Survivability in the newest zones is much easier this way and mobs are dying without too much trouble.

I’ve also been trying to work on my crafting professions a bit. This character is one I boosted a while back, and is sorely lacking. If you recall, I’m waiting to play my “actual” main until my husband is done with depot so that we can play and explore together. In the meantime though I’m still trying to keep busy while my little one sleeps (and relax a smidge). I am over 700 now in tailoring (finally) but my second profession is enchanting and that one is going much slower. I’m also working on fishing and cooking, two relaxing and fairly simple back up professions. Of course then there’s also pet battles which are some of my favourite ways to spend time in game.

I’m finding that even with my limited time, I am still accomplishing things and there’s just so much content, I love it. I don’t feel pressured in any way, which is a nice change of pace. I’d like to start running old dungeons and raids for transmog pieces, but that will have to wait. Flying is first and foremost on my list. Then leveling my druid and my paladin. Playing WoW these days? What are you up to? Let me know below in comments and as always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!

Armies of Legionfall Faction Work

I really want to fly in Legion before I level up any more alts. It makes it easier, and a lot more fun. Especially since I’ve already leveled up three times (I realize many people have done this many more times, but this is my personal experience). So I’ve been grinding away on my priest who is the furthest along with the achievements.

One of my hangups has been getting Legionfall Commander – where you need Armies of Legionfall faction. The problem is one huge chunk of this faction comes from a quest where you defeat the legionfall armies. For whatever reason Blizzard has this on a really weird schedule that you have to do on their time and being a solo mother with an active one year old who doesn’t let me game with two hands I have just not been able to meet their schedule until yesterday. The assaults take place maybe once a day, sometimes twice a day really spread out. Never more than that. They occur at odd hours, and the easiest way to see if a legion assault is going on is to check out Wowhead because it’s on their main page. At the time of this post (4:30 PT) the next assault is at 3:30pm – no way could I make that one. Then the following one is 10am tomorrow, again another one I couldn’t make, and 4:30am on Thursday. Nope. It was by pure luck that I happened to make the one yesterday. When the assault goes on you need to go to the zone it’s taking place in, and complete four legion assault world quests. Then you need to do two more smaller quests, and a scenario. you defeat a commander boss, and you get a chunk of faction.

Now you don’t NEED to do this to work on flying, but it’s the difference between 1500+ faction, and whittling away at faction 83 points at a time. It was INCREDIBLY frustrating, and I absolutely dislike this mechanic. Lock things behind time walls all you want but let it be on MY time, and not your own schedule. Or at least make them more frequent!

I am very glad I got it done. Now I just need to keep grinding away at the weekly and daily quests and eventually I’ll get there.

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

The Wombats do Fractals

I had never done a fractal in Guild Wars 2 before because it’s really hard to join up with people when I never know what my schedule will be like. Thankfully @Pixel_One_ has loads of experience with all things GW2, and she organized a night for the Combat Wombats to get together. There was only the three of us (myself, @pixel_one_ and @scopique) because @arislyn met up with some account difficulties, but that didn’t stop us!

Fractals are like mini instances. Shorter than your average one, and they scale in difficulty. We started off at level 1. The first zone involved some tribal folk being held captive by this bone guy, and we had to smush his adds while tossing boulders at him to break him out of the invulnerable shell he had. Then we had to run through the zone like Indiana Jones, dodging flaming boulders. The final fight had another flame themed boss – and most people left without looting the chest – whewps!

We decided to do one more, this one involving a crazy Asura and their zone of endless jumping. We defeated harpy after harpy while balancing delicately through the skies, or rather falling to our deaths once or twice. We had some electric beams to run and try not to get hit by instead of the flaming boulders, and our boss fight seemed pretty simple in comparison to the first fractal, we had to fight four robots that came to life one at a time, then fight them all together while trying to dodge electricity from their boss.

Another chest of fun and it was a great end to the evening. I enjoyed myself quite a bit, fractals don’t take a huge amount of time, and the lower level ones at least are not exceptionally painful, even though there were only three of us. Hopefully this becomes a weekly event for the Combat Wombats, and if you’d like to get in on it you just have to let one of us know. It was nice returning to GW2 for a bit. I had wandered off not too long after Path of Fire released through no fault of the game, my attention span just doesn’t last that long.

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

 

Nintendo Switch in the Family

I’ve wanted a Switch since they came out, but they’re pretty expensive and I already have a WiiU and a PS4 (which is basically collecting dust). I used the WiiU quite a bit until my cat chewed through some of the cords, and then I bought replacement cords and miss placed them.. some where.. I’m sure I’ll find them when we’re packing up the house to move.

Anyway, my husband surprised me this year buy making a black Friday purchase of a Switch for me for Christmas, along with Mario Odyssey, Skyrim, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. I was incredibly surprised and it got here this week – I asked first if it was OK to set it up and use it before Christmas or if I had to wait, because that’s just the polite thing to do!

He let me know I could use it right away. My main reason for wanting a Switch was because my little guy is pretty clingy and I don’t get a lot of time to do any sort of gaming because he wants to be on my lap at my desk, and occupies my hands. I’m restricted to playing games with one hand, and he gets wiggly and he doesn’t actually want to be up on my chair he just wants to be close. So I spend most of my days sitting on the floor playing with him while he roams around the baby gate area of our living room, and watching him do his thing when he doesn’t want to play with me. He’s great at playing on his own – so long as I’m within arms reach. I’m sure a lot of this is due to his Daddy not being here, he has kept me in close range ever since his Daddy left for depot back in July.

Anyway. The Switch is an amazing console and I couldn’t be more pleased. I tend to use it mostly as a handheld, and have only played it on the TV a few times. It’s smaller than I anticipated, so it sits on my mantel with no issues at all. I was concerned I’d need a second table set up and that my little guy would start pulling cords, etc. Now it’s perfectly out of reach.

I haven’t picked up an SD card yet, and I’ve been contemplating the pro controller that everyone has been raving about, but honestly the joy con has suited my needs just fine and I haven’t had any issues. What really surprised me is how incredible games look on the hand held. It’s quite a bit larger than my 3DS (the only other hand held I’ve owned) and the games are just amazing, especially Skyrim.

I’m hoping to pick up Stardew Valley, Portal Knights, and a few other games as time goes on. It depends on the budget, of course. There are quite a few games in the library now which I’m really pleased about. I do wish there were some visual novels in there because honestly that would rule out my desire for a Vita instantly. As it is Sony still holds the market for those games.

Is it worth the very high cost? Well, for my family, yes. I have already used it more than I ever used the PS4 or the WiiU. I haven’t played Mario Odyssey yet because I’m waiting for my husband to come home so we can play that one together. I’m really happy with my Christmas present though. Hopefully he enjoys my gifts just as much. It’s not as extravagant as a Switch (good thing, our budget certainly couldn’t handle that) but I got him two board games because he expressed an interest in collecting them and trying to get to know some of our new neighbours when we move in February. Hopefully this all works out.

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

Pocket Camp – Just Not For Me

I don’t consider myself a nomadic gamer for no reason, nope. I have been known to bounce around from game to game depending on any number of reasons. When Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp came out I was first in line to dive into a new AC game. I play all the 3DS versions and adore them, even to this day. I was a little bit cautious because I remember the last mobile game I played from Nintendo and that was a huge flop, but as I started playing I let the hype and excitement wash over me thinking wow, here’s a game I can play on my phone and I might actually last in it!

I didn’t even last the weekend.

Honestly, the game LOOKS like Animal Crossing, but it’s so incredibly limited and bare, that I kept wandering around looking for more. I love collecting bugs and fossils in the regular versions, but here the things you can find are pretty limited, and you have no way of cataloging them. Aside from dropping them off to NPC who give you 3 quests a day, or selling them to players, there’s no real inspiration to want to collect.

Those three quests a day from NPCs really started wearing away at me. Visit someone, give them a handful of stuff, repeat, repeat, move on to the next NPC.

As a friend pointed out, there was little motivation given to visit friends camps, you could give them kudos but that didn’t actually reward either of you with anything except complete a daily quest. Sure looking at their stuff is neat, but it just wasn’t enough.

Then there was the quarry zone. I unlocked it once using friends and even though I had more than 5 friends help me out every day after, I could never seem to get it open unless I went and used my precious leaves.

The whole thing started feeling really repetitive and boring very quickly. A big difference from how I feel actually playing Animal Crossing: New Leaf, which I still play now.

So, I uninstalled the game, and I’ll just stick with my 3DS versions, and keep hoping that Nintendo releases a Switch version. THAT I would like to see.

Meal Prep Sunday – Keto Edition

I’ve stalled out a bit with my weight loss, sitting at 191 (down from 248) and I still hope to get to 180 by January 29th so to kick start things I decided I’d try going back to keto temporarily. It’s usually a great way to get my body used to eating smaller meals, craving less carbs, and being nice and full from healthy fats.

Keto is not always the cheapest way for me to make and eat meals though, and I’m on a pretty strict budget so I had to come up with a meal plan that works for me for the week, and that sticks to my budget. Thankfully I have some ground beef and tuna so I don’t have to make a purchase there.

  • Breakfast: bacon & eggs. Add some hot sauce to spice up the eggs and I’ll be set.
  • Lunch: spicy salami stuffed with cream cheese, and tomato tuna bites. Basically you slice up a tomato, top it with tuna (a bit of mayo, salt, pepper), cover it with some cheese and pop it into the oven until it’s a melted mess. Sort of like an open face sandwich but without all the bread.
  • Dinner: spicy meatballs with a sauce, and cauliflower buffalo bites. Another really easy recipe. Simple meatballs cooked in a muffin tin with a tiny bit of sauce, and cheese melted over top. The cauliflower is just tossed with some melted butter and some hot sauce then baked.
  • Snacks: pickles and olives. You’ve gotta be a fan of these for it to work, but they work for me.

A simple week of foods that don’t have too much cooking. The total cost comes to about $40 CAD, with the most expensive item being the package of bacon – I plan on getting the good thick cut stuff. I wanted a break from chicken, I’ll probably go back to that staple next week.

We’ll see if this helps to kick start my weight loss again. In the past it has done wonders but we’ll have to see. I can’t do keto long term, it’s just not something I can ever stick with, but I do like how full I feel while on it and it does help me get back to eating smaller meals instead of trying to fill my plate with all the things.

Steam Autumn Sale

It’s that time of year, right around the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, sales. Sales all over the place. I look forward to steam sales (for the most part) and this new autumn sale that showed up yesterday was no exception. I was pleasantly surprised to see just how many visual novel games were heavily discounted. I tend to keep a nice selection on my wishlist, games that I’m either interested in but don’t want to purchase at the moment for xyz reason, or games I really want that I just can’t afford. It’s rare that I purchase a game for full price unless it’s something I just really can’t live without. As time goes on, those games have become further and further apart, especially because I know a few months down the road I can usually get it for a better deal.

In a world of instant gratification having the patience to wait until something goes on sale to pick it up is a skill I’m still working on – but I’ll get there.

Have you picked any games up this sale? Holding off for something better? Let me know in comments!

Also a very happy Thanksgiving to all of my friends down in the states, and a happy Thursday to those of us who are just having another day!

IntPiPoMo 2017 45-50/50

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IntPiPoMo 2017 43-44/50

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