Tag: Free Realms

Why so Much Emphasis?

After reading a number of early morning blog posts left over in my RSS reader from yesterday, I found myself wondering: Why do gamers put so much emphasis in what we and others are playing. Especially others. Why do we even care? Every day I read a post from one or more authors that includes some sort of semi derogatory remark condoning a group of players simply because of how they choose to spend their time. Or, to be more precise, where they choose to spend their time.

There are those who have made up their minds that everyone who plays a free to play game must be a certain ‘class’ of gamer. How dare they actually enjoy ‘the grind’ that comes with a lot of these games. Don’t they know that in the long run they’ll pay more for their “free” game then some people will pay for their monthly subscription?! Then there are the WoW gamers. Don’t even get me started on these people. I have heard everything from how close minded they are to how stupid they must be, simply because of where they choose to spend their time. It’s as though we as gamers have moved into certain categories and stereotypes not based on who we are, but because of where we play.You ask a fellow blogger their game of choice and suddenly your opinion of them shifts slightly.

So I ask again – why does this aspect of a person even matter. Why are we so keen to judge someone based on a persons decision to spend their free time where they wish. I have even heard people go so far as to say they do not like a particular person because they play certain games that they are not fond of. Really? Are we so shallow that we are now making character judgements based on video games?

I simply don’t understand it.

In my opinion it doesn’t matter where you play, so long as you have fun. In fact voicing my opinion about any other ‘type’ of gamer is a moot point because when it comes to how others are spending their time – my opinion doesn’t matter! It’s their time, their money, and what I think of the matter is completely irrelevant. I refuse to classify a person based on whether they’re playing EQ2, EQ, VG, LotRo, WoW, WAR, DDO, Darkfall, Wizard101, Runes of Magic, EVE, Alganon, Fallen Earth, Lineage II, Allods, Champions, STO, Free Realms, Aion, FFXIV, SWG, Guild Wars, AoC, or any other game.

Go play, and enjoy. Don’t like it? Move on and find something you DO enjoy. It’s a game. They’re supposed to be fun. There are SO many games out there and despite what others would say about them all cloning one another there are always unique factors to each and every game – you may be surprised at what you end up playing and enjoying. I implore gamers to make their own decisions about what they like and don’t like, and refuse to be classified into a category of gamer simply because of where they spend their time.

SOE Fan Faire Updates – 2010

Since I’m not actually at Fan Faire this year (pout) I’ve been watching EQ2 wire for their updates.

They released some of the concept art of “EQ Next” – be sure to take a peek.

Here are some key points from the Community Address that happened last night:

EverQuest: House of Thule releases on October 14th. It adds a plethora of new dungeons and content, as well as the addition of player housing.

EverQuest II: Destiny of Velious releases February 8th and, amongst other things, will introduce flying mounts in most zones. It is unclear which zones are being configured to allow this. Say what you will about Brenlo, but this was an initiative he pushed for. Glad to see it’s coming.

EQ2 Extended — Beta launches August 17th. New optional free adventure service. Live subscription remains unchanged. Yadda yadda.

FreeRealms coming to Mac and PS3 in ~2 months. Currently 13 million players (unknown how many are paying)

Clone Wars Adventures — shown at E3, targeted at FreeRealms crowd. Based closely on the Cartoon Network series and will have heavy cross-promotion.

Magic the Gathering strategy game will be something quite different. It’s not a TCG.

DC Universe Online – Releases November 2nd. PC and PS3, Action-based physics. Newsworthy bit: Pre-ordering will be huge and allow you to play as Batman, as well as get a basketful of free items. Shown the astonishingly good trailer from last week featuring Lex Luthor.

Be sure to take a peek at the rest of the SOE Fan Faire info they have posted, I’ll be taking bits and pieces and mentioning them here for readers to get the information out. Am I excited? Eh. I am VERY excited about EQ player housing. EQ2 flying mounts? Not so much. Also, after browsing through the schedule for Fan Faire, I was sad to see there are 0 panels on Vanguard. There’s a 2 hour live quest, but that’s it. Figures.

A Little Free Realms

It’s not often I get some time to play Free Realms, but I do occasionally find myself looking for something very relaxed to play for a few hours, and Free Realms certainly has that covered. They’ve just released a huge update with new pets, new housing, and their winter events so I decided to take a peek around last night with Hampooj (better known as Wpus from EQ2). I really enjoy their ‘spin’ event. When you log in you get to spin a giant wheel and have the chance to win some prizes. I actually managed to win myself a small wooded cottage, and some housing blocks for that cottage. Since I’m a member I also had a little package of furniture waiting for me to claim to put into the house.

It’s not that big, and there’s not many furniture choices (and they’re expensive I found) but hey, it’s housing and it’s pretty neat. Your pets (if you own any) roam around the property, and you can invite your friends over. Plus who doesn’t like decorating.

I like the activities in Free Realms. I hadn’t tried fishing before, so when I checked it out I was surprised that I spent so long doing it. There’s really nothing to it, you cast your rod (hopefully where fish are) and when you get a bite, you mouse click and reel it in. There are collections for different types of fish, and you can catch treasure chests with prizes inside. There were a lot of others hanging around fishing, and the area was bright and colourful with fantastic music, it was just relaxing and fun.

Free Realms is probably the only game I’ve ever played where I have no need or desire for alts. You can do everything you want on one character, no restrictions. Any class, any game, any pet, any adventure. I’ve been an alt-o-holic since the early days of EverQuest, even before that in MUDS I’d have a plethora of alts. Free Realms is the only game I’ve ever played where I haven’t made a single alt, nor do I have any desire to. I LIKE this factor, a lot. It feels great to concentrate on one character.

Before I knew it, two hours had passed by, and it was getting late. I headed to the vault cave to turn in my tokens (and picked up a few more pieces of gear) happy that I had gained a few levels in a few classes. Who says only kids get to play these types of games? I had a blast, and I’m looking forward to finding more time to play. Now I just need to keep leveling up! I think the highest I’ve reached so far is level 9 in a few classes. There’s lots more that I haven’t even tried yet (like archer, and wizard). Looking forward to some nice relaxed gaming!

WTB Some Time

I love my job, I really do. Being able to write about something I enjoy as well as something I’m passionate about is a great gift that I try to make sure I’m aware of constantly. On my web site, I write for me and I love talking about my adventures, thoughts, friends and anything else that happens to cross my mind. The only time any of this is difficult is when it all seems to happen at once. These days there are so many games out there, that I simply don’t have enough time to play everything I want. It’s a shame, because I’d really love to.

EQ2 is my ‘steady’ game even though I’m barely playing it these days (it’s due to being crunch week and no other reason) it’s the comfort game that I know inside and out, and I like that comfort factor. However. It’s not the only game I want to play and certainly not the only game I am playing.

I’ve been having an incredible urge to continue playing EQ, which I have waded in and out of for quite some time now. Problem is I don’t enjoy playing EQ alone (where as in EQ2 I have no problem wandering around on my own) and it’s difficult for me to make friends (especially when I waver to and from games). I have my 81 necromancer that I’m considering leveling a little, she’s fairly close to level 82. I’ve always wanted to hit “end game” in everquest, and with the expansion NOT raising the level cap in November, it may very well be a possibility.

Vanguard is another one of those “if I only had more time” games. I seem to be in a rut with my blood mage, and I’m slowly running out of areas where I can just dip in for an hour or two before calling it quits and feel as though I have gotten anything acomplished.

Last month I won a free copy of Age of Conan, I think I found the time to play once during the month that came with the game, and then it sat neglected. For some reason it just does not appeal to me as much as I wish it had. It may be because I’m not really a melee person, and it felt uncomfortable. Either way, it’s one of those “I wish I had more time” games – along with many others.

Lord of the rings online – I really enjoy this game, a lot. It’s familiar, it’s beautiful. I want to continue playing but for now my account lays dormant because once again the greedy time monster has taken all of my time away, and I just don’t have any to spare or to warent spending a monthly subscription for it.

So what AM I playing? Well, my current play list includes EverQuest II, Vanguard (barely), Free Realms (barely), World of Warcraft (please don’t shoot me, it’s easy to dive into for an hour and feel like I actually acomplished something), Wizard 101, Aion Beta, and some DDO.  I want to be able to devote more time to EVE, but that learning curve is so far over my head I may as well actually be playing from another planet. I’ve been having fun in Aion, but again – not enough time to play everything I want to play, and to get work done as well as real life things (plus I can’t actually sit at my desk for too long before I start to get sore from health issues).

While I am excited that there are so many games out there (don’t even get me started on console games and finding time to play those too!) there are certainly moments where I wish the selection were smaller. Am I the only one?

So Many Games, So Little Time

A full blog post just isn’t working out for me today, so I’ll keep it short (for once). I didn’t get to play EQ2 at all yesterday due to work, meetings, and other things popping up (brother came down for the day) but I picked up the daily double to do at another time since you can keep them for a number of days. Started a few new games, can’t talk about one yet but I will as soon as I can. Princess (the cat) woke me up at 5:45 instead of 5:30 today, so that’s nice. She’s resorted to chewing apart the same book instead of 20 different ones, another bonus!

Next weekend is the Medieval Festival and work deadlines, so needless to say my posts will be sporadic and disjointed at best over the course of the following seven days. Once that weekend is over things should be able to settle back down to normal, and I won’t appear so harried and frantic. We’ll see!

Happy gaming where ever you play, and have yourselves a fantastic weekend.

Information Overload

Alright, first of all WOW what a week and it’s only Wednesday. I’m feeling 95% better and after having health issues for over a month this is a HUGE deal. It’s fantastic, I’ve been so excited and energetic. Now I just have to keep it up. I’ve been following E3 updates on twitter as well as G4 Tech Tv live, and while personally I’m not a console gamer at all (even though I do own a wii, PS3 and DSi) I am excited about a few things. Kingdom Hearts, Golden sun, a new mario (or two, even though I personally did not like mario galaxy) and who didn’t think the video of The Last Guardian just looked fantastic. Then there’s Natal, and all of the other motion sensor toys coming out, and the new PSP Go. While twitter was filled with some very bitter comments, I tried to keep a positive outlook (as is my way) and remind myself that these are games.

Tipa reminded me that The Dares would be performing in Free Realms across all servers, live from E3 last night, so I quickly made my way into game and ported to her on server 4. It was PACKED. It was the first time I ever experienced lag in Free Realms and we met up with some other bloggers / twitter users which was absolutely fantastic. We danced the night away, and I even picked up one of the concert tshirts for $1 because come on now, you just have to. On the down side while twitter said they played a full set at E3 they only played one song in game, and it was cut short each time, though they did repeat it twice if you stuck around. Still, having friends there made it a massive amount of fun and it was only too easy to see how popular Free Realms had become.

I did spend some time in EQ2 but I didn’t play. I loaded it up on my laptop and hung around in the guild hall chattering to Wpus, Ultann, and Kasul while they went and did all the hard work (mostly crafting and writs) for the evening. On the PC I continued to play Sims 3, I know how embarrassing. Giving up my MMO of choice for an evening to play something as fun silly as Sims. I tried to get to sleep early, the guild is VERY close to level 40 and three more amenity which is just amazing. Ultann has been belting out the writs like they’re being removed from game in the next update (they are not, that was a joke folks).

Thanks to one very kind Kasul I am now holding a copy of Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura which is an RPG that came out in 2001, that follows the Steampunk genre. I had never even heard of it before but when I entered in NeoSteam on GamerDNA this was one of the games they suggested I may enjoy, and it just so happened that Kasul had a copy of it kicking around. Not being an avid gamer myself until these last few years, I’d never even heard of it before. He also sent a copy of Morrowind: The Elder Scrolls III which I’ve never played (despite the game sharing my last name of ‘Morrow’) so I’m looking forward to getting both of those installed on my PC. Sure these game may have seen better years, but I still play EQ happily and that game is 10 years old, so why not.

One last note before I head off to get the morning chores done – have you taken a look at these amazing tinker-themed housing items from EQ2? Holy WOW. I love the selection and any little gnome boy or girl is going to just fall in love with the set. Especially the wall dividers how amazing do those look?! The team has lined up some fantastic goodies for GU52 and I’m really looking forward to it all. I hope everyone has a fantastic Wednesday, in a week and a half the Medieval Festival will be taking place and barring any horrible weather I’ll be there taking pictures again this year – I’m SO excited.

Happy Gaming!

Weekend Gaming

Have you ever had a heart attack before? If you have, then you know how I’ve been feeling the last 8 days. There is a certain satisfaction in knowing that I actually am NOT having a heart attack or anything at all that will seriously harm me, it’s just a great deal of pain. On the health front, things are improving! What we are pretty certain I have, and have been having in little ‘episodes’ for a while now is something called “Esophageal Spasm” it’s not a condition I really have to worry about in the sense that it does not get any worse, it’s just this chest pain and it *typically* passes as it has before, this time it was a little more intense and seems to be taking its sweet time dying down. I’m just happy to be feeling relatively normal again. Last week I went in for three blood tests, an EKG and xrays. They all turned out negative which is great. On the down side this esophageal spasm deal is hard for doctors to actually figure out and notice because there’s only a few ways of figuring out if that’s what you have. Thank you those who wished me well, I appreciate the kind words. I’m sorry for having ranted about my health issues for so long the last little while, but those are the breaks when it comes to this being my personal web site.

On to gaming!

I played a little EQ2 yesterday afternoon, ran Najena’s Hollow Tower where the caster cloak FINALLY dropped for Wpus – it has an 800 dmg proc when you cast hostile spells, which is great. Proc gear can really boost your dps. Afterward we headed to Crypt of Agony to see if we couldn’t get the range item (fabled) to drop for Ultann. While the zone was fairly nice in the number of legendary vs. treasured chests we got, we still haven’t seen that item (nor have we seen the Cardiocutter which I have been trying to get for my bard). The guild has been inching closer and closer to level 30 which means we’ll be able to purchase a new guild hall. I’m excited about that. Right now we’re inching our way through level 28, which seems to be going exceptionally slow.

Wpus, Ultann, and I have been thinking about trying out a PvP server in Eq2 for a short while. While I do enjoy PvP (or at least I did in WAR and WoW) I’ve never actually tried it in EQ2. I’ve never thought EQ2 was a game that was built for PvP. It’s nice to have a change though, so maybe I’ll have something new to report on that front.

I also played some Free Realms yesterday, I play an hour or two here and there, nothing steady. Exploring along this way I’ve come up with quite a few thoughts about my game play and why I enjoy this sort of game.

I have not reached level 10 in any one skill yet, I think my highest is a few level 9’s, and I haven’t unlocked everything yet. I have not done any combat at all in Free Realms to date. I imagine I will eventually. I enjoy the mini games (even if the mining and cooking ones mimic each other) I do not enjoy pet training that much because drawing the same symbol over and over is frustrating for me. I use my wacom tablet to play instead of my mouse since I’m left handed and if I’m going to be drawing something over and over I’d rather be comfortable doing it. The tablet also comes in handy when I’m playing the mini games that require me to line up the little gems / food bits for mining and cooking.

I bought my cat Princess a little pirate vest, and I’ve been contemplating purchasing a dog but I haven’t crossed that road yet. I’ve turned in a lot of tickets (I had about 400 saved up) and got some really nice level 20 gear for when I finally make it there.

For those people who have already hit level 20 in multiple “jobs” I wonder how much exploring they did, or how much they played. I’m constantly discovering new things and I have about four pages of collections unlocked. There are LOTS of sections of the map I haven’t been to yet (in fact I think I’ve only been to the center of the map and none of the outlying places) and I’m looking forward to exploring more. I can certainly see how those who want to could rush past the bulk of the game to hit level 20 in all of the jobs but I personally think they’d miss out on so much. There’s just so much to explore and discover.

I didn’t get any W101 gaming done yesterday, but hopefully I’ll get some time in today and manage to inch my way closer to owning a house. I think right now I’m about 2,000 gold away from purchasing one. Still no idea what sort of home I want though. I’m excited!

I hope everyone else had a fantastic weekend, and that this week is also great. Monday the 18th is a holiday here in Canada (Victoria Day) and if all goes well I’ll be taking a trip out to Upper Canada Village for some photography (I know, planning weekend trips when it’s only Monday is a bad idea). We’ll see how it goes!

See you in Norrath!

Taking it Easy

Still just taking it easy while I try to recuperate, yesterday was ok until after dinner. In the mean time all I want to do is feel better and it’s been a pretty long week. Hopefully that will happen before too long.

I did play a little EQ2 in the afternoon, I started my thuuga quest on both the mystic and the illusionist. Got as far as the Fens of Nathsar quest that sends you out looking for named before I called it.

You may have also noticed that I have added a small 2 line advertisement to the “relic gems” page of this site at the top. It’s not flashy or too intrusive (I hope) and the ad pays for 6 years of this site. If for s0me reason you do find it intrusive and annoying, let me know and I’ll see what I can do. I’ve never wanted to have google ads or anything of the sort on MmoQuests, and I’ve declined more then my fair share of requests in the past. This one was different in the way it was presented to me as more of a ‘sponsorship’ then a full blown ad. I don’t want people to feel as though I’ll be covering the site with ads now, or that it is something common for me. I’ve enjoyed running my site ad-free for the last four years, but of course there is a cost (and bills) to be paid. This is just a tiny method for me to be able to continue. Edit: That ad is only staying up for 6 months, as well.

Moving on!

I did explore around more of Wizard 101 last night, my little life / storm wizard inched her way to level 19 and part way to 20. I managed to earn a few more house items (pictured above) including a palm tree and a scroll that I placed on my desk.

One thing I love about wizard 101 is their subscription plan. I don’t get a chance to play that often so I declined getting the $10/m subscription. What I can do is purchase crowns and then use those to unlock the zones for my account that I need, when I need them. Since it could potentially be months before I need a new zone this works out better for me personally in the long run. If you do end up spending a lot of time in Wizard 101, then I can certainly see how adding a subscription is a better idea, especially if you go with their family plan and you play with your children or even if you just want to have two accounts.

I’m still saving up for my first house, drooling over all of the items out there both merchant sold and dropped. I’ve been having fun adding to my collection and I don’t have the slightest idea what sort of home I want to own. Since I only have two worlds open to me right now (and I’m not even sure where the housing turtles are) my choices are limited. I may just hang tight until I can buy one of the REALLY big homes, or just buy a smaller one. I’m still trying to decide.

This weekend is one I’ll be spending inside (sighs) again. I hope everyone has a great Mother’s Day tomorrow – and before I forget if you’re playing Free Realms and are interested in cool items you can claim then don’t forget to take a peek over at Free Realms Insider who have all sorts of awesome codes that you can enter for free goodies. This weekend they’ll be giving away codes for roses in celebration of Mother’s Day, and there are all sorts of other neat items that you can claim.

New Servers up on Free Realms

It’s always nice to see growth in games – and as I took a peek at Free Realms today I noticed a choice of 6 servers rather then two. Hopefully I’ll have some friends kicking around as well if the chat servers are fixed that is.

Anyone know how the server system works? Can you see your friends online on other servers? Can you change server mid game? Or are you required to switch to join your friends who may happen to be on another server? Let me know, thank you!

Why Play Free Realms?

Perhaps a better title for this post would be – why am I playing since I plan to explain why this game appeals to me (and maybe you the reader, too). I’ve been gaming for 7 years now, not a great length of time but I’d say every single MMO I’ve played has revolved around one ‘main’ feature with little sub components tossed in. It’s not hard to guess what this is, either. EQ, EQ2, VG, LotRO, WAR, even Wizard 101. These games all revolve around a ‘hack and slash’ motive. Killing the ‘bad guys’ and leveling up by defeating encounters. Yes, there is also some crafting in there, some housing, card games, and other unique bits to each game but the main focus has been and will continue to be leveling up through defeating various encounters.

After years of playing hack and slash games I find it VERY refreshing to find a game that I (so far) enjoy, that does NOT revolve around hack and slash if I do not want it to. I can still get cool outfits, I can still feel as though I am making progress through ‘levels’ I can still explore and see every bit of the world without having to fight a single thing if I choose. No, it’s not my ideal game obviously but it’s a start. It also gives me a much needed break from the other titles that I play.

I have had comments in the past that ‘blame’ it on me being female, and adverse to blood and guts but I don’t think that’s what it is. I’ve done my fair share of ‘pwning newbs’ and raiding, I’ve cackled and felt the thrill of the chase in BG’s and Scenarios. I can appreciate those aspects of games – but there’s so much constant fighting. I’ll admit it, it gets to me after a while.

Sure, you may find that Free Realms is not challenging enough. You may think it’s aimed for small children based on the bright colours and cheerful atmosphere, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find something on some level that appeals to you just like I have. After 7 years of taking down dragons and running over orcs, goblins, skeletons, elves, and any other manor of creature I am more then ready to lay down the sword from time to time and find a new way to explore.

Sound Crazy? Maybe.

This does not make me any less of a gamer (at least, not in my opinion). I don’t want things easier, either. That’s not what I’m saying. I’m just feeling glad at the idea that I don’t have to bash someones brains in and steal their weapons in order to progress through an MMO and explore a world.

Plus, my cat Princess (pictured above) looks awesome in her new pirate gear. You’ve got to admit.

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