Category: Of Interest (Page 3 of 14)

5th Annual Gamers Secret Santa Registration Has Started!

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It’s that time of year again! Time for the 5th annual gamers secret santa! Have no idea what that is? Well. I’ve been running it for a while now. There was the 2012 one from last year, 2011, 2010, and 2009. It has grown each year, and while it’s not the largest celebration out there, it is one I really take a lot of pleasure from. Geeky gifts are sent out all over the world, and if you would like to participate or are interested in what it is all about please read further!

What it is: Those who want to participate are more than welcome to. You can be a gamer, blogger, a member of the game industry, whatever. As long as games are some how a part of your life. I will take names / addresses, and assign everyone a ‘secret’ person to buy a small less than $20 gift for, as well as give them the address required. Send out your gift and wait for one to head your way, and that’s it. Ok, let me explain it a bit better.

What is “Secret Santa?” here’s the definition!

How:

1. Send your full name and mailing address to me at stargrace@mmoquests.com, make sure it comes from a valid email address. If you happen to run a fansite or a blog, please mention which blog you write for (if you want, you don’t have to). It doesn’t matter who you are or how involved in the gaming community you are, anyone can participate. If you’re worried that I have not gotten your email, please contact me on twitter: @stargrace. I will email you back, so make sure to check your trash folders.

2. On December 2nd I will email you back with someone else’ address.

3. The price limit is $20, don’t spend any more than that. Be creative, make something, have it be unique to your culture or your life, if you need suggestions then please don’t hesitate to let me know. Try to keep in mind that we’re all gamers, no matter where we come from.

4. Keep your person a secret! Don’t tell anyone who else you have. If you DO happen to run a fansite or blog, then when you receive your gift write about it and let everyone know.

5. If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to let me know below in comments, or email me.

ALTERNATE METHOD: 

If you live in a location where mail is not very practical and you’re worried about it getting lost, I WILL offer a digital gift exchange method for those who request it. If you choose to participate this way here is what I need from you:

Send your full name and the following: The email associated with your steam account, your steam handle, your raptr handle, the email you would like any digital gift sent to.

More Details: I understand that you may not be comfortable with me or one other person having your mailing address, so if you’re not please don’t feel pressured to participate. The idea is to share with one another and realize what a fantastic community we have, not make you feel on edge that you’re going to potentially run into issues.

If you’d like to participate but simply can not afford to no matter what, send me an email and let me know, I will do my best to help you out. I want anyone who’s interested to be able to participate in this event. I think sometimes we forget that these people we all talk to online are not just random pixels, but are actual people on the other end of those computers.

Please keep in mind that only myself, and ONE other person will have your address. It won’t become a mailing list or anything like that. If you’re only comfortable with me having it and no one else then let me know, and I’ll have your gift sent to me and then I’ll send it out to you. Anything to make sure people are comfortable and still able to participate.

YOU HAVE UNTIL DECEMBER 2nd TO EMAIL ME YOUR ADDRESS – please take your time to think about whether or not this is something you really want to do. If it is, get me your address by December 2nd so that I can give people some time to get their shopping done. If it’s a little late (the gift, not the address) that’s alright.

If you don’t celebrate Christmas but still want to participate that’s alright too! This isn’t a religious thing. There are some amazing gamers I have met from all over the world, and I think that we have a lot to share with one another.

I think that’s about it. If you can think of something I’ve missed then please let me know and I’ll do my best to answer it. I just wanted to share some of the Christmas joy that’s going to be flying around before too long and figured this would be a fantastic idea for people to experience it with one another.

Extra Life Schedule

Childrens Hospital of Eastern Ontario Foundation

 

It’s almost time! I’m still taking donations for Extra Life, which will go to benefit the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. I’ll be playing video games for 25 hours (daylight savings!) and streaming these games on my twitch channel. Interested in what games I’ll be playing? This is a very rough outline, games and times can change at any time.

4am-6am – EverQuest 2
6am-8am – Elder Scrolls V
8am-10am – The Sims 3
10am-11am – Terraria
11am-12pm – Wurm Online
12pm-4pm – EverQuest 2
4pm-6pm – Hearthstone
6pm-8pm – Civilization V
8pm-9pm – Triple Town
9pm-10pm – Faerie Solitaire
10pm-11pm – Sim City 5
11pm-12am – Rift
12am-2am – Guild Wars 2
2am-3am – Wizard 101
3am-4am – EverQuest 2

Other games I have lined up but didn’t add to a time slot include BioShock Infinite, Pirate 101, Torchlight II, Tomb Raider, King’s Bounty The Legend, and Neverwinter. I’ll be voicing during part of the stream but not all of it, and while I’ve already met my personal goal it’s such a fantastic cause that I hope I can raise a little bit more!

Happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!

Happy 7th Birthday MmoQuests

I purchased MmoQuests.com back in July 2006 and it’s seen some good years and some bad, but I always came back to writing here about my video game experiences. There have been over 2,300 posts in those 7 years, 62,896 spam comments since 2007, and 247,891 visits since 2010 (no idea why it didn’t count earlier than that). There are so many posts these days about ‘blogging and community‘ and ‘where did the MMO bloggers go‘ – well, this one is still right here. Still doing the same posts I’ve done for years now because I never went into this thinking I was doing anything more than writing about a hobby of mine, for myself. I love writing. In fact I have three other blogs besides this one, and although Nomadic Gamers doesn’t get a lot of traffic in the way of posts it’s still there. I don’t post very controversial topics but there are a few from the past. I also don’t get a lot of comments, but I never have – and I never ever let that stop me.

One thing I did do a few years ago was remove my blogroll from the right hand side column – and I want to change this and put it back. I had no reason for it other than the fact that it was a design choice I made at the time when I changed the theme around and just never added it back.

Anyhow, the point is – thank you. Every single person who has ever read this blog, ever supported me by clicking the donate button (it’s not free to host this massive blog for 7 years ya know), everyone who has put up with my rants, followed me from game to game, etc. I’ve met some very wonderful people by blogging here. I got a job writing for Beckett Massive Online Gamer (before they shut down of course) because of this blog. Will I be giving it up any time soon?

Most certainly not. Writing is just what I do.

Guest Post: Why I Love MMORPG

Massively multiplayer online role playing games (better known as MMORPGs) are an enduringly popular genre of video games. In most of these games, you choose a character with certain skills and play in a fantasy or science-fiction world completing quests and fighting enemies in order to strengthen your character. Other players populate the same game world and you can play with or against them. Some games require a monthly subscription fee while others are free to play but use micro transactions to fund them. The most popular is World of Warcraft, which has over ten million players despite being more than eight years old, but there are many other games in the genre.

Online gaming in general has become very popular in the last few years. In addition to MMORPGs, many people play online video poker, war games and free slots games. Sites like slots.com offer players the chance to play slots online, combining fun with the chance of winning a little money. The thrill of playing against real people as opposed to a computer is a big draw for this type of game. People enjoy a wager on sports, but the result is out of your control. With online gaming, you can take matters into your own hands.

Indeed, playing with others is one of the best things about online gaming and players often build entire communities around their favorite games. In MMORPGs, players can form teams, or guilds as they are known, of people who play together often. This gives them the opportunity to refine and perfect their tactics to enhance the gaming experience. Even when not playing, some people just log on to chat with their friends online. This is a uniquely fun aspect of MMO gaming.

Another reason why people play MMORPGs is for the feeling of progression. Your character continually progresses in terms of strength and abilities by gaining levels and better equipment. This allows you to take on stronger challenges and there is a real feeling of accomplishment when you are finally able to take down a dungeon boss that’s been troubling you for a while. This makes you feel like you inhabit your character and that you are growing together. Some people even play ‘in character’, assuming the traits and speech patterns of their avatar, adding yet another level of fun to the games.

As your character progresses, so too does the game world, with most MMORPGs featuring regular patches and expansions to the game. In this respect, there is always something new to achieve and the player feels like they are part of a large and developing world and that their choices and actions actually matter. A recent example of an expansion pack is Star Wars: The Old Republic’s first add-on, Rise of the Hutt Cartel. One criticism of this game has been that there isn’t enough to do, but now there is a whole new story to enjoy. Game reviews are coming in now, and IGN currently have a review in progress.

MMO games are big business and great fun to play, and the choices are growing by the day. Once the exclusive realm of those with high powered PCs, online games are rapidly moving into other arenas. War games like Call of Duty and Battlefield are favorites with console users due to their fast pace. MMOs are also moving into the handheld console market.

As the world moves further and further online and smartphones become standard with everyone, MMO gaming grows more accessible. There is truly something for everyone, no matter your interests. Whether it’s role-playing, war gaming, betting games or sports simulators you’re after, there is an online game for you. MMOs are great fun for so many reasons and now is a great time to get online before you get left behind.

The Snugg ipad Case Review

photo (1)I was sent a free Snugg ipad case to review from the fine folks over at The Snugg, and since I’ve been really unsatisfied with the $60 one I purchased from Apple, I decided to try it out. It shipped very quickly (less than a week) and came in a nice clean box with instructions on how to use it, along with a cord for recharging. In specific I decided to review the snugg ipad3 ultra slim bluetooth keyboard case. I know this probably sounds silly, but I didn’t expect the case to actually come with a bluetooth keyboard. I have one of my own and I figured I would have to slip it into the case. This case comes with one along with a USB cable so that you can recharge the battery which lasts for approx. 55 hours of use. I haven’t had to recharge it yet, and I’ve had it about a week.

The case is a hard plastic, which is much sturdier than the previous one I had been using. The ipad snaps into it easily and (go figure) snug (via the picture above).

photo (2)The case itself props the ipad open like a miniature laptop, you basically just prop it up against three small pegs at the bottom that hold the ipad in place. My only issue with the case is that these pegs don’t actually secure your ipad so if you were to use the case on an unstable surface that tilts, you could drop your ipad out of it very easily. If you’re using it on your lap and tilt the case backwards or forward it would eventually slide out. However, I don’t believe that this sort of case it meant to be used that way, so the chances of that happening are quite slim and would be something you are (hopefully) planning for. Using the case on a flat surface works best, pictured above I have it set up on my desk. I also used it just fine on the couch or coffee table or even in bed beside me.

All of the components to this case are well made which I was pleased about. The USB cord is sturdy, the case has an off and on switch for the bluetooth, and gave separate instructions on how to sync the bluetooth keyboard up to your device.

Over all I was pleased with this case – especially since the price point is lower than the apple triangle cover I had purchased with the ipad. My original case is incredibly flimsy, and gives practically no protection what so ever. As I mentioned above the only downside is that the ipad is not actually secured into the case, it’s propped up but as long as you’re not bouncing around I don’t see it being that much of an issue.

Eliza Droverson #D&D

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Eliza crouched down behind bush, waiting for the pair of figures in front of her to part. Her fingers were wrapped tightly around the smooth blade of a dagger and she held her breath in anticipation.

“What’cha waitin’ for Missy.” The sudden stench of day old cabbage and mead filled her nostrils along with the shrill voice of a man everyone simply called ‘Snake.’ Eliza’s eyes bulged and she frantically backed away from the bush hoping that the pair she had been following didn’t hear or notice her mentor speaking so loudly to her. She was never going to get promoted in the guild if this happened every time she went out on her own. “Why Snake, of all people,” She sighed to herself.

“Thanks a lot. I almost had them!” She huffed, slipping the dagger back into her sleeves.

“Oh Ya did, did ya?” Snake grinned, he was obviously having a lot of fun with her discomfort. “Well, yer parents want ya home Missy, so you had better run along now and leave the pilferin’ to those who know how to act quickly, before the next day begins.” He taunted, and before she could send out a scathing reply he turned from her and walked away.

Eliza groaned. As much as she disliked Snake, he WAS her mentor these days, and he didn’t tend to lie when it came to her parents. She began walking back to her families house in Harkenwold, a small village made up mostly of farmers, woodcutters, and woodworkers, like her mother. She was the youngest of five, all daughters, and her parents absolutely dotted on them all. As Eliza grew up it became apparent that she didn’t share the same skills as the rest of her family. She wasn’t strong enough to cut down heavy logs, and she killed pretty much every plant she ever touched, which left her father shooing her from the farm fields more often than not. While she was apt enough with her daggers and a short sword, she couldn’t use them to carve figures into wood like her mother could. So Eliza had begun training with the thieves guild, under Snake. This worked great in two respects, it kept her out of her parents hair while they decided what to do with her, and it was something that she was actually good at. So far she had done nothing more than pit herself against the simple bandits that wandered along The King’s Road to the West, but it was something.

“Eliza, you’re home!” Her mother came out of the house, brushing wood shavings from her apron. “We’ve been looking for you..” She spoke too fast, and her smile was too broad. Something was going on.

“Of course I came home when I heard you were looking for me. Why did you have to send Snake..” She frowned.

“Well, because he knew where you were of course!” Her mother didn’t look daunted at all.

“I have great news. Lets go get your father.” She started to pull Eliza towards the fields in behind their home. Her father was working with a handful of other people, taking in this seasons crops. It was never much, but it was enough to feed them and leave a modest amount to sell afterward. The real money the family made came from the miniature carvings that Eliza’s mother did. She had such talent, each piece carved with painstaking detail.

“Oh you must be getting ready to tell Elizabeth the news!” Two sisters came up behind Eliza and her mother, sounding like a flock of excited ducks.

“Tell me what! No one has told me anything yet..” Eliza was beginning to feel a bit left out. Some big news that involved her, that no one would tell her about.

“Why, that you’re getting married, of course!” One of her sisters piped up.

“I’m.. I’m WHAT?!” Eliza screamed, freezing in place.

“I KNEW she would do this!” Her father stood up with a rake in his hand, pointing at Eliza’s mother. “She’s acting as though the undead were here, forcing her into marriage with them.”

“They may as well be!” She exclaimed, still not believing the news. “Why on earth did you think I would want to get married! I mean.. Why.. What..” She floundered, unable to express herself properly.

“It’s time.” Her mother said, finality oozing over each word. “You have been running a-muck for far too long dear. It’s time you settle down, with babies!” Her mother blushed a bit, but didn’t stop her excited speech. “We had an offer from the next town over. They’ve offered a VERY nice price! The young lad is quite handsome you know, we should count ourselves to be so lucky.”

“I don’t feel blessed or lucky at all.” Eliza sobbed.

“You don’t exactly have a choice in the matter.” Her father said, the exasperation in his voice ringing clear. With that the conversation was ended. Eliza ran to her room, slamming the door behind her. Life was so unfair. She didn’t want to get married! She had heard rumors of things happening to the West. She wanted to be there, she didn’t want to be chasing after children and changing diapers and growing old. It was a life that her parents had envisioned for her from the start, she realized. The life of a daughter. “I’ll show them..” She thought to herself. She began tossing a few things into an old leather pack, planning her rout. She would leave after night fell, when the farm was silent. She would travel along The King’s Road and prove to them all that she had more potential than to simply be someones wife.

I’ll show them all..” She murmured to herself, as she waited for darkness to come.

(( A brief introduction to Eliza Droverson, my human rogue for an upcoming D&D campaign. She may seem young and naive but I’m sure she’ll come into her own as time goes on. ))

Guest Post: The Best MMO Games for Handheld Consoles

Here are some of the games that we think deserve to be in the hall of everlasting fame. With amazing graphics and extreme online multiplayer challenges, these games make it to the very top of our lists for consoles, such as the PlayStation Vita and Nintendo 3DS.

DragonQuest Monsters – Joker 2

Released by Square Enix, this is the fifth game in the DragonQuest franchise. Gamers need to explore wild areas and tame wild monsters. Once tamed, the monsters can be put to fight against others in turn-based combats. This game rocked the world of the Nintendo 3DS handhelds upon its release in 2011. The game is a role-playing game with online multiplayer modes as well. DQMJ2, on the other hand, makes great use of the Nintendo 3DS’s dual core ARM11 CPU.

The game makes use of the 3DS’s Wifi connectivity feature to connect to the online world. The gamer can play online tournaments, collectively called the Monster World Championships. Each online player has a unique code that others can use to connect to him or her.    Online, one-on-one fights or practise matches can also be held with registered buddies. Practice fights are also playable with random online players. A maximum of eight players can connect to each other.

Mass Effect 3 – Special Edition

If there is one game franchise that kept the adrenalin pumping till the very end, it has to be the Mass Effect Series. Mass Effect 3 – Special Editions for Wii U was released by Bioware, the makers of Epic games such as BioShock. Mass Effect makes great use of the Wii U’s gamepad. Complex commands can be issued at the touch of a button and the results can be quite fun to watch on the screen.

The game puts the player in the shoes of Commander Shepard, who is the only one who can save the Earth from imminent annihilation. The storytelling is incredibly interactive, and the special edition comes with some unseen new features and content to keep the gamer engrossed until the very end. The online missions are available in co-op and multiplayer modes, and allow the player to play with multiple players during co-operative missions. The gameplay can be highly customised and the Nintendo console brings out the best in the game.

With the amazing graphics and level of interactivity that consoles and handhelds have to offer, playing these MMO online games with the Nintendo 3DS and the Wii U takes the excitement to a different level altogether. In case of 3D games, one should consider the option to enjoy great 3D graphics with the Nintendo 3ds, as Nintendos are one of the best and reputed names in the video-gaming industry.

End of Holidays and Back to Gaming! #WurmOnline #EQ2 #3DS

wurm.20121224.1100I hope everyone has had a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday this year. As you can tell by the lack of posts I fully enjoyed my Christmas break, and I’m gearing up for new years (with a lot of baking involved).

In Wurm Online I’ve acquired yet another deed, this time on Independence. That brings my total up to three, one on Deliverance (lets call this home base), another on Pristine (separated from the rest of Freedom, what I consider my future vacation home) and my newest deed I’m currently setting up to be a refuge for my priests, to work their skills and hang out at.

Speaking of my priests, they’re coming along well. The Fo is not a priest yet but still only a follower, but my Vynora priest and Magnaron are both doing well. Faith gains have slowed down on both but the Magnaron is inching towards 70 faith which allows me to strongwall mines. The main reason I want this particular priest to begin with.

I’ve also been playing a little EQ2, I started up a necromancer and started leveling her through some older content. Thanks to triple station cash and a few Christmas presents I’ve got a nice stash of station cash and while there hasn’t really been anything lately that has caught my attention, I’m sure it won’t be long. Perhaps a new house or some furniture, or a mount. I’ve always loved the choices in EQ2’s station store.

I also got two new 3DS games for Christmas (and an amazing laptop that I’m completely in love with) one of the games was Epic Mickey (loads of fun, think Mario but with Disney characters), and the other is from the Professor Layton puzzle series of games. This one is my favorite so far, you listen and follow along with a mystery story while solving puzzles of various degrees. Plus I’ve just acquired a bunny that I’m training to perform, I think if the game was only that I’d still like it just as much.

So, what geek goodness have my readers gotten this holiday? Please share in comments below!

Happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself

The Month of Gaming Stuff #EQ2 #EQ #VGD #TS3 #Riftgame

Not only is NaNoWriMo going on this month (which I have been failing at, horribly), I’ve opened registration for this years Gamers Secret Santa, Rift released Storm Legion, Sims 3 released Seasons, EQ2 released Chains of Eternity, EQ1 is releasing Rain of Fear, Vanguard is releasing City of Brass, Planetside 2 is releasing, and that doesn’t even begin to touch on the other console games that came out this month like Halo 4.

What a month to be a gamer, hmm?

Product Review: UnoTelly

Note: It should be noted before I go forward with this post that I was given a review account to test this product out with, and I did not purchase it with my own money.

One of my biggest complaints living here in Canada (in regards to the internet and entertainment) has always been that I can’t access shows in other countries without having to resort to VPN changes or some other work around in order to watch some of my favorite shows. Even shows I pay for on Netflix differ from US to Canada. When I was approached in an email asked if I’d like to test out UnoTelly, I was only too eager.

The web site claimed that UnoDNS was easy to set up on every device you may possibly own, so I started out by installing their ‘UnoHelper’ on my PC, it was quick and painless and I had it up and running without any troubles. I was able to watch Hulu and Netflix.com without any interruptions in my speed, and if it were not for the small icon on my desktop I probably wouldn’t have even known it was running at all. I used it for a few hours without any of the noticeable slow downs that I’ve experienced with other VPN services, especially in prime time.

I did attempt to also get this working on my ipad, but ran into some login issues, so I wasn’t able to test it further. My only concern is that occasionally I would get a message saying my IP address had changed and I should refresh it. Being the non-tech savvy person that I am, I’m guessing this has to do with my ISP and not with UnoTelly. It was a bit distracting but nothing that wasn’t solved by hitting the refresh button. ** edit ** I just have to say again, what great and prompt service I was given during my review. I emailed support, found all my questions answered, and have no more difficulties. Works fantastic!

The product comes at a great price (thee tiers with different pricing depending on what you’re looking for) and they include channels for you to use which I found really helpful. They are right on with the speed, and I experienced no slow downs. Over all, I’m really pleased. The contact emails I’ve received were pleasant and helpful, and prompt which is something I really value in customer support.

It’s a great system, and so far I have no complaints. I’m looking forward to using UnoTelly more in the future, and hopefully it continues to work as well as they’ve suggested. Anyone else out there have any experience with UnoTelly? Let me know in comments, thanks!

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