Author: stargrace (Page 11 of 323)

MMO Regrets (Inspired by BioBreak)

Syp had a great post over on BioBreak today (yes, I still read Feedly and keep up to date with posts) about MMO regrets – and this is what inspired me to make my own post. He’s right, we all have a few regrets, so what are yours? Mine are the following:

  1. Creating so many alts. I started making alts back in EQ2. Before then I never had alts and I was able to focus on a main character. Since that time I’ve never felt like I had a ‘main’ and I never felt like I actually completed all that much on a single character. Instead my characters were spread around with a little bit completed there, a little bit completed here.
  2. Buying in to so many early access / Newly released MMOs. Yes, I regret this. I know it’s great to support developers, but I’ve paid so much money for games I rarely ever played and never stuck with. Just to name a few off of the top of my head there was the almost $200 for Landmark (we all know how that one turned out), the collectors edition of BDO that I don’t play (I made it to level 15), and the top tier of ArcheAge (I think I played that one for a month or two, I at least made it to level 50). Then there’s Ark, which may not be classified under the MMO genre, but why not. I think I played that one for an hour. I stuck with Rift for quite a while before giving that one up so I don’t include it in the list but the ones listed above I don’t feel like I ever got my value out of what I paid.
  3. Being a nomadic gamer. I wish I could settle down in just one game for at least a year long stretch. It never happens. It used to happen, but now I change games more than some people change underwear. I envy people who settle down in their game of choice with a main character and are able to actually stick with it.
  4. Not playing Vanguard more before it shut down. I LOVED that game. It is my all time favourite MMO even to this day, and when they announced it was closing I was absolutely defeated. I was actually playing it at the time and gave up because I didn’t like the idea of playing a game that was just going to shut down in the near future. That game had everything for me. A vast open world, the awesome diplomacy system, complex and rewarding crafting, just to name a few. I wish I made more videos of the game and I wish I had of dedicated myself to just playing that one and writing about it.
  5. Not playing MMOs sooner (or video games in general). I didn’t start back in the ‘olden’ days. I started MMO gaming around 2003 / 2004 and so when people talk about the start of the rise of MMOs with the olden golden olden days I regret that I didn’t get to experience that, especially because I was such a fan of EverQuest. I had been playing EverQuest for a year when EQ2 released, and I eventually (I had some reluctance) switched over.
  6. Keeping in better touch with my past MMO friends. I’m pretty good about this now, I have an established group I can virtually hang out with and I like to think we’re pretty good friends. If one were to go missing I like to think I’d notice and we’d band together and track them down. This wasn’t always the case, and I’ve lost touch with a lot of really awesome people over the years. I have multi-game guilds (now), and a good group of friends on twitter. I often wonder what happened to the people I started gaming with back in 2003. As I drifted from game to game I was often kicked out of guilds for not being active enough and of course people I had been ‘close’ to in a particular game would drift out of touch. This isn’t an MMO regret per say, but it’s still something that I think about and is pretty firmly based around MMOs.

That’s my list! Thanks again to Syp for providing the inspiration for this post. What about everyone else out there, what MMO regrets do you have? Why not share them!

Unboxing Specially Marked Snacks

Every so often I’ll get an email from a company or a game representative asking me if I’d be interested in trying something out. I typically say yes, because why not, they’re usually a lot of fun. This time I was approached by a kind representative from Mrs. Freshley’s asking if I’d be interested in sharing some information about specially marked (FFXIV Stormblood) snacks, and they offered to send me a few products to try. As far as I’m aware we don’t have Mrs. Freshley’s up here in Canada, but I’ve never been one to turn down free snacks (cough) so I accepted and they arrived this week! I actually decided to make an unboxing video, my first and quite possibly my last because I had so many technical issues. Still, I put it up on YouTube for everyone to watch. These baked goods were held up at the boarder for a day due to customs (we’re really cracking down on imported snack goods eh..) but they were still delicious if you like cupcakes and cinnamon buns with a ton of icing.

I downloaded Blippar to try to scan the packages and get the code that you can then use in game – but no matter how I tried to scan or which product I couldn’t get it to work. I’m not sure if I was doing something wrong or it was my location or some other issue, but I’ll keep trying so that I can hand those codes out to readers / viewers. I’m also handing the sweet treats out to a few locals who have expressed interest. I wasn’t an enormous fan of the cinnamon rolls (personally) but the chocolate cupcakes were delicious (I basically devoured two of those off screen later). You can find out more about Mrs Freshley’s products here, and you can read about the awesome contest they’ve been holding for the past few months here.┬áIf you’ve got any tips or tricks on how I can make Blippar work properly don’t hesitate to let me know in comments!

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

Adventures in RimWorld

RimWorld is one of those games that I never get bored of and if I do, I just go download some new mods from the steam workshop and it’s like a completely different game. I’ve been playing RimWorld as my weekly stream game because it’s something that I’m pretty familiar with and it’s easy to step away from the game if I need to here and there. Things are automated, and I find it relaxing. Your millage may vary of course. Especially depending on your difficulty level.

I have been playing on the extreme setting (the highest one) with the randy random scenario, which means all events are random. In my last adventure my colonists only died because of my neglect. I was playing on tribal which is something I rarely do because I really dislike not starting with power. You spend so much time researching I feel like you can’t actually get anywhere. Anyway. I had forgotten which buildings were marked as Ancient Dangers. Maybe there’s a mod that will remind me and cause me to step away from those places. I remembered two, but ended up opening the third one – HUGE mistake.

My colonists who were of course tribal and didn’t even have power had absolutely no means to combat the mechanoids that popped out. By sheer luck we had a single gun (equipped by Scopique) and he was able to take out one of the scythes, but we still had a second one along with a centipede. To say everyone died a fiery death would be an understatement. It was carnage. There was absolutely no way to escape.

So I’ve started the colony over. This time with three crash landed survivors, which means they have power. Welshtroll is also proficient in the Force, so once he works the skill up he’ll be able to choose the light or the dark and use his powers. I’m hoping that this colony survives a bit longer so that I can show off some of the neat stuff you can do – and so I’ve bumped DOWN the difficulty level of the game in order to do that. I’ll still have some awesome events, but maybe every stream won’t end in slaughter.

I won’t be streaming today (Tuesday, October 3rd) as my little guy has immunizations, but I’ll be back at it this Thursday, October 5th, 2:30pm PDT. Catch me over on twitch, and don’t forget to give a follow so you get notifications of when I’m going live.

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

Dusting Tom Thumb

Not too long I bought my first spinning wheel. I didn’t know enough about buying them at the time, but I was impatient and bought it anyway. It was a used wheel called a “Tom Thumb” which is from around 1980, made in New Zealand. It’s missing a few parts, most notably four knobs that match the two I have. One goes to the orifice hook, one goes to the second lazy kate, and the third goes to.. I can’t remember what. The maiden head was cracked and my husband managed to sand and repair it last year. We had intended on refinishing the entire piece and getting it running properly, but then kiddo made his early appearance and it got put aside.

I took it out today to give it a bit of love, shine it up and make sure she still runs (which she does). I have it set for double tension right now, but I need a piece to hold the footman to the wheel, I’m using a paperclip right now and lets just say it’s awkward. Ideally I’d like some sort of nut or bolt along with some felt so that the footman doesn’t rub and make a lot of noise (like it does now). I also bought a new orifice hook for it, it won’t match exactly, but that’s alright. In the meantime I set out to see if I could find a woodworker who could make matching knobs for me. I’d like to restore this wheel to her former glory, it’s an incredibly solid wheel that I’m sure has seen some good years.

Ideally, in the (far) future, I’d like to purchase a new wheel. Maybe an Ashcroft Traveller. I also own a few drop spindles (one wooden and two 3D printed) that are a lot of fun to use. In order to get better at spinning you need to practice practice practice practice – and I just haven’t had the time on top of everything else. If it’s a hobby you enjoy though, to make the time and find it some where. So that’s what I’ll do. You can see the yarn I’ve spun so far over on my Ravelry page – some people have amazing yarn. That’s the level I want to get to, and I will, with practice.

Knitting Hats for Winter

It’s getting pretty close to winter here in British Columbia, Canada and my kid has out grown all of the cute little newborn hats that he got last year when he was born. I made him a handful, a little pumpkin and some plain ones. He was so small that in the NICU his hat could have been worn as clothes.

Instead of buying him a new hat that he would just outgrow in another year I decided to knit him one. Hats are fast knits and it’s rewarding to see something you’ve made being worn. He’s too young to appreciate anything fancy, so I picked a simple pattern by Tin Can Knits called Barley.

There’s an issue with the pattern before the decreases. You end on a knit row and continue with another knit row to establish the decreases when you should end on a purl row. That’s the weird wonky line at the top before the hat starts to curve. It doesn’t affect the warmth of the item at all and it’s something my kid certainly won’t care about so I decided to just leave it be and finish knitting it. It’s made from an extra soft acrylic yarn from KnitPicks called Might Stitch. The hat is (of course) too big for him but I figure he’ll grow into it. Hopefully not too quickly.

Crafting Pet Peeves

Hey, it happens. Sometimes things bug us or rub us the wrong way. Today while I was working on my scarf I came across a pretty big pet peeve. In the screenshot above you’ll see one skein of yarn that transitions between pink /purple / blue and various shades of those. It’s ‘chroma’ by knitpicks, and it also varies in thickness from thick almost bulky, to thin, almost lace. The problem is smack dab in the middle of that picture where it abruptly shifts colours with no transition even though the rest of the scarf has transitions.

Turns out the yarn was split in two places, and it threw everything off.

This is a huge pet peeve of mine. I don’t mind the thick / thin consistency as it’s advertised when you purchase the yarn, but I don’t like splits in yarn, and I don’t like the issues caused by those splits. In this case that bright pink should have slowly transitioned to a light purple and then to a blue but instead a huge chunk was missing (all of the blue, and two purple transitions). I didn’t have enough yarn to fix the problem manually so because I was already near the end of the scarf I decided to just try to ignore it and cary on.

I’ve been working on this scarf since August 19th. Scarves are a LOT of work – and this is probably the first and only time I’ll make a scarf in fingering weight (she says unconvincingly). It is much quicker to knit something in bulky weight yarn, or at least worsted. I tend to like fingering weight yarn because it’s lovely sock yarn which is my favourite thing to knit. My yarn stash has a LOT of fingering weight (you can find me over on Ravelry as Stargrace, of course). Thankfully, the scarf is now done, and it looks great on me. We don’t get a lot of really cold weather here, so I wanted to finish it in time for fall to get the most use out of it. It’s one of the only pieces I’ve actually knit for myself.

Do you have any knitting or crochet pet peeves? What do you do to combat them (if anything can be done) and how do you avoid them from happening in the first place? Let me know in comments!

Casual EVE Online Streams (Maybe?)

I love playing EVE Online, but every time I return I tend to forget whatever it was I was working on or working towards – it’s just that sort of game. I’ve been flying around in a Tengu for some time now, working on faction missions in order to be able to work with higher level agents for R&D (research and development). It’s what I’ve been working on for what feels like years now, because I tend to wander to and from the game.

Now that I’ve got a schedule set for streaming (see previous post) I felt like I could add some sporadic streams in there too, ones that don’t follow a schedule and don’t have a whole lot of hands on required. EVE Online lends itself to this very well – at least the way I intended to stream it. I did a practice stream today (you can find it over on my twitch channel along with my YouTube channel) where I don’t have my microphone active and I just fly around space looking at interesting things. It’s a relaxing chill stream with absolutely no pressure, something where you can listen to the EVE Online music (which is just fantastic) and if anyone has a question or two I’m around to answer them but things are pretty quiet. These streams are very different from my scheduled ones in which I’m doing a lot of talking and my little guy is roaming around yelling into the microphone. I can’t promise they’ll happen every weekend, but I’m hoping they do.

I noticed my computer was having issues trying to keep up with the stream this time around. I’m wondering if it’s my video card (a gtx 760) which is quite dated. The rest of my computer shouldn’t be too bad as I did upgrade it not that long ago. Video cards are pretty expensive and I can’t afford to go all out right now for one. Life is full of expenses, especially once you bring kids into the picture, and we’ll be moving in January to some where we don’t even know yet, and we have to prepare for stuff like that. Who knows how long it will take for our stuff to arrive. So I’ll have to see if I can tweak some settings and get the stream running smoother. For low intensity games like RimWorld I don’t seem to have many (any) issues, but for graphic intense games (EVE Online is an amazing looking game) I get a message from xsplit mentioning my computer is a bit strained.

Anyway. We’ll see how it goes. It’s nice to be flying again, and I’m sure I can come up with some things to do now and again. As always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself.

Crafting, and Legendaries..

There has been some discussion lately on twitter regarding legendaries and ascended bits and crafting – and it inspired me to maybe go after my own. I don’t own any of the legendaries, and the only ascended stuff I even know about is the vendor sold stuff at the laurel merchant along with the PVP merchant. I didn’t know there was crafted stuff (side note, the website is amazing).

It’s inspiring to watch other people go after these huge items – but when I look at what’s involved, it’s also completely daunting. Still.. I could use a big in-game project, no?

Have you gone after any legendaries or ascended items before? Was it as daunting a task as it sounds? Let me know in comments, and as always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!

Dreaming of a Gaming Laptop

Ever since my son was born, I have dreamed of a gaming laptop. Having a desktop is great, but the chances of me actually having a moment to sit there and use it have been pretty slim over the last year. I’m more likely to be found on the floor so I can be within easy reach of my crawling little one than sitting on any actual furniture. At night time I’m still watching over him, and the desktop doesn’t exactly lend itself to portability.

I’ve been trying to find a reasonably priced laptop for some time, but I also want to make sure it can handle a few specifics. What is it that I’m looking for?

Cost effective. I don’t want to make a big purchase when it’s just going to be completely outdated and unable to upgrade and won’t play the games I have in mind any longer. If I can’t upgrade parts of it I would like to be able to at least know it handles what’s out there today pretty well, and should last at least 5 years.

Temperature control / cooling system: I want a laptop that can actually handle games without setting my house on fire. I say this because I’ve had a laptop in the past that just got SO warm I felt like I needed to use it on a tray of ice in order for anything to work and be comfortable. The internal fans used to trigger on and it felt like an airplane was trying to take off. I wasn’t playing on high settings, either. They were pretty basic.

Where some people may care about the look and design – I don’t. I want functionality and I don’t mind paying for that functionality if I think it’s got real value to it.

Battery life is somewhat important but it’s something I can do with just an hour or two of. I don’t need something to run for 15+ hours before needing a charge.

For those of you who are gaming with a laptop, what did you find that works well for you? What are your requirements? Have suggestions / tips / hints for me (as I’m completely new to this sort of shopping)? Let me know in comments! As always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself.

A Tentative Stream Schedule

I’ve been testing out whether or not I can realistically stream on a schedule if my kid is around and underfoot. Lets face it, life happens. We’re busy people and there’s stuff going on. If I stream while he’s asleep I would have to run to and from the bedroom with many AFK breaks during the stream, not ideal. He’s not a great sleeper. Of course with him under foot and awake that presents itself with a whole new round of situations, like the fact that he typically wants to be up at my desk with me so he can see what’s going on and grab various things (microphone). I’m still currently trying to raise money for a computer chair because it’s not fun to game on a giant yoga ball and it’s awkward to hold my kid up on that, too. If you want to donate, you can do so from this link here. I appreciate it more than I can express. I’m trying to get an actual gaming chair rather than just a computer chair that falls apart after a few years. I want this one to last me.

Since my husband is still away for a few more months and it’s just me and the little guy it’s important to carve out some ‘me’ time, and that is increasingly hard to do. Streaming is something I enjoy, and I want to make time for it so this is my weak attempt. It hasn’t been going poorly, but it is an interesting situation that is pretty fluid and changes from day to day.

I’ve stuck to playing RimWorld because it’s a game I know and a game that’s easy to walk away from should I happen to need to go grab a snack for the little one or free him from some sort of trouble (he’s into everything these days). I tend to stream for anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour and I don’t typically go over the 1 hour mark since real life doesn’t exactly grant me blocks of time any larger. It’s a good balance really, not too long or too short – the problem is it doesn’t give people a lot of time to stumble into my stream randomly and start watching. If you want to watch, you’re better off having some sort of schedule. Turning on notifications from twitch helps, too.

For now my tentative schedule is as follows:

  • Mon-Tue: 2:30-3:30pm PDT
  • Thur-Fri: 2:30-3:30pm PDT

I may have to start a bit later on some days but I won’t typically start any earlier. This is a block of time that’s after the naps, after a snack, and seems to work well. This week is the first week that I’ve stuck to the schedule, and I’m enjoying my adventures in RimWorld. If you happen to miss a stream don’t forget you can watch the highlights on my twitch page, or you can catch them later on in the day on YouTube.

You’ll hear my son getting into things and being a butt on stream – but as a friend says, it gives the stream flavour. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

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