Page 2 of 325

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.

Noblegarden and Other Happenings

There’s a lot going on in World of Warcraft this week, and I love it. Yesterday marked the beginning of Noblegarden, an event where you can harvest some awesome eggs for a pet and mount (I know there are other things but these were the ones that interested me the most) and of course there’s temporary appearance gear like the cute bunny ears I am wearing on my Draenei monk above.

There was an invasion in the broken shore yesterday, so with some help from my husband we took my monk through them all and she reached just shy of level 105. Afterward we decided to duo one of the 98-110 instances just because, and she reached 105. I have leveled through the broken shore so many times (I have 5 level 110 characters so far) that I love finding new and interesting ways to push my characters along. Invasions are a great way to get a level and a bit, pet battles still reward a fair amount when I’m in the mood, and duoing dungeons meant for groups is always a sure winner.

I’ve also been working on my professions, but I’m not sure where I want to go with the monk. Right now she has inscription (and is my only scribe) and herbalism. I’m thinking of dropping herbalism (I have two others) and picking up engineering so she can use some of the fun toys which would come in handy for farming (like the loot a rang. There’s a draenor version that anyone can use and then there’s an engineer version that can be used anywhere). For now I’m undecided.

I REALLY enjoy the monk. I have been learning how to optimize my windwalker spec, and I want to pick up the other two artifacts and complete those so I have them on hand and so I can get down to learning brewmaster (tank) and windwalker (healer). I don’t expect it will take me too long to reach level 110 and then I can start running WQ (world quests) for gear, order resources, and all that fun stuff. It’s also my first time playing a draenei and I am LOVING the look. I may race change to a lightforged one if I can ever manage to unlock them. For now I still require a fair amount of faction. Ugh. Faction.

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

Economy Update

When I formatted my computer 10 days ago I lost all of my sales data, so I’ve started over and this information is from the past 10 days or so. In order to purchase 1 token a month to cover a subscription a player (on the North American servers) has to profit around 6k a day, anything else goes to generic purchases (repairs, etc). As you can see from the chart, I’m bringing in around 28k the past 7 days, 27k after expenses like repairs and any flips I buy. That’s a pretty nice chunk of change. I’m in game quite a bit but I tend to be AFK and I play sporadically, you can usually find me playing during my son’s afternoon nap, and the 2h period I have when he goes to bed at night. Otherwise I tend to be in front of the AH looking for things to snipe. I spent money on ghost iron ore because I turn that into living steel so long as the price still gives me a profit. My order hall nets me a huge chunk of change, and now that I have 5 level 110 characters I can start doing Argus with them and the order hall can technically pay for my token easily even if I were to do nothing else.

My latest project is a baby monk I’ve been leveling up for farming. Right now I have her at level 103. I’ve picked up some macros for her windwalker and brewmaster spec that make farming a lot easier (ie: one button commands). I’ve decided to go engineer so she has access to the loot-a-rang, and I can macro that as well.

My low population RP realm has an odd market. I’ve sold a mog or two for 10k+ but battle pets have so far been a slog to move. As is food. The funny thing is I’ve been selling darkmoon fair recipes for about 6-7k each and they only cost 25 fish.. which are around 7g right now. Patience as always is the name of the game.

I haven’t been flipping or reselling at all. Nothing has come up that was worth trying to flip, but I keep hoping to catch something big. Learning the market has been fun and interesting and I’m having fun sticking to one server instead of 4 and just learning the particulars of this one. I may not pull in hundreds of thousands of gold daily, but I do well enough for my satisfaction.

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

Movies and Games: Perfect Match

Unlike their comic book cousins, blockbuster movies based on video games often seem to struggle, not only with the critics and fans, but also with that most important measure of all—the box office take. Despite having what one would think is a ready-made audience, game-inspired titles simply don’t seem to have the same impact or appeal. So, what is the problem with game-based films, and are they always destined to fail?

The $240m made by last year’s Assassins’ Creed was a fair return on its $125m budget, but it still pales in comparison to the $853m made by Thor: Ragnarok or the $863m made by Guardians of the Galaxy 2. Meanwhile, Marvel’s Black Panther is still beating the new Tomb Raider movie to the number one slot at the U.S. box office five weeks after its release, passing the $1bn mark along the way.

BBC Radio Five’s Mark Kermode thinks that the problem is a fundamental one. “Games are designed to be played; they are designed to be interactive,” he explains. “You are not a viewer; you are a participant. Take that on to the big screen, and you are just watching someone else playing a video game.”

And therein lies the problem. The appeal of most video games is the chance to be the hero yourself and directly influence the action. Often games will echo the kind of scenes you are familiar with from a typical action film, sci-fi space adventure or war movie, but they allow you to play the lead role. When you transfer that game back to the cinema, you lose that critical first-person connection. It becomes a case of cinema imitating games that imitate cinema.

Lara Croft may have become ubiquitous, appearing on everything from backpacks and t-shirts to her own slot machine game. But that doesn’t make her any more real, and she is still just ‘us’ when we play the game. But in the film, she becomes someone else.

To be fair, the new Tomb Raider film does try its best to bridge the gap. Alicia Vikander’s version of our titular heroine, Lara Croft, is a long way from the fantasy figure that Angelina Jolie offered us. She is less invincible and more vulnerable, gets properly hurt (and even dirty), and cannot take on seventy men at a time and come out without a scratch.

Vikander’s Lara draws on her tenacity, street smarts, determination and drive, rather than impossible CGI stunts and superhuman powers. More notably, in a world stuffed with shoot-em-ups, she is moved by having to kill someone in her first fight. It’s all a far cry from the ‘wham, bam, thank you, Ma’am’ of the earlier outings, but, nonetheless, it is still a game-based film.

For all its politically-correct costumes and appropriate emotional responses, the disconnect remains, and it becomes more and more frustrating as the film goes on. Once we finally reach the tomb referenced in the movie title, the action quickly degenerates into ‘Tomb Raiders of the Lost Ark’, and you find your thumbs searching the cinema armrest for the ‘jump’ button in an effort to help Lara Croft avoid the spikey, swinging logs and spring-loaded spears.

Perhaps video games are just not meant to make the transition from the small monitor to the big screen. Perhaps even the best actors cannot make us feel as involved as we do when we take the controls ourselves. But with new Super Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog films on their way this year, a second Angry Birds movie due in 2019, and Tomb Raider all set for an eventual sequel, it certainly won’t be ‘game over’ for the genre any time soon.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén