Tag: W101

Wandering through Krokotopia (still)

I spent some time playing little life / storm wizard Angela Ravendust, and I’ve come to a few conclusions. First of all, being life / storm is quite painful when it comes to the later part of Krokotopia. The first section was fire, I had no issues with that, I met up with a little ice, also no real issues, but now everything I fight is storm and that’s proving to be difficult as it’s the main portion of attacks I have aside from my life attacks which are not really helping me out all that much except to keep me afloat.Lots and lots of resists.

I created a second account so I could try boxing my way through some fights, but the wizard on that account is barely level 10 so far, and I’m not used to boxing, so it will take some time. That, and the fact that I haven’t actually upgraded her account so she’s still doing the freebie areas. I will probably look into changing that today – of course the announcement about henchmen coming to the game has me thinking about whether or not I want to bother leveling up another wizard along with my main if I can just hire NPC’s – but I still think I want to.Why bother when I could just group up with other wizards to help out? Well, most of the time I’m playing Wizard 101 at odd hours, when people are at work or school and I end up finding myself running through these areas alone. I think the henchmen will be a great addition, but as Tipa mentioned they don’t fill the role of an actual person and they can get pricey. “This becomes a rather expensive way of playing Wizard101, though. Also, the henchmen apparently don’t work much on their gear, so you’ll likely end up tanking anyway”

When I got to the point in Krokotopia that I had to take a break (I’m just about ready to move on to Marleybone from what I can tell) I decided to go back and complete some of the crafting quests I still had. I managed to finish the first one in Wizard city and they sent me to Wul’yahm the apprentice crafter in the Oasis and there I picked up the first quest to create some rings. At this point I still only had one timer with an hour cool down, so it took a little while to create the items. I went back and turned them in (making a good chunk of cash) and picked up the next crafting quest for some daggers.

These ones had a far longer cool down but I was able to craft two at a time which was a huge help. Once they were done I received my apprentice crafter badge and a quest that took me to Marleybone. Problem is my adventure level hasn’t quite caught up and until I get access I won’t be able to do it. In the mean time I decided to start a small goal of picking up all of the crafting recipes that I could find, which quickly caused me to run out of gold – not that I mind in the least bit, it’s a nice goal for me.

I still haven’t adventured through very much of Grizzleheim and I haven’t touched any of the Halloween events that are in game yet – but I’m hoping to find some time this week to do both of those a lot more. Maybe I can move past Krokotopia too and onto the elusive Marleybone that I’ve wanted to play in ever since Tipa started talking about it a year ago.

Happy Gaming!

You Just Never Know Where You Will End Up

This day in age it seems that no matter where you look, you will find people talking about the negatives of gaming. Who became addicted to what and what the results of that disaster were. How someone lost their friends, family, job and even life over a video game. How we’re all making ourselves unhealthy with our play times, how being secluded in the basement is detrimental. We’ve heard all of this doom and gloom for years now and for those of us who actually game, it’s nothing new.

Everything is bad without moderation. It doesn’t matter if it’s playing a video game or reading a book or eating cheese. Do it to the point that it over takes your life and you’re going to find yourself dealing with unwanted side effects.

Instead of talking about all of this doom and gloom I’d like to focus at least for today on the positives of gaming – because there are certainly some good things about it, especially a few specifics that affect me. This post won’t apply to everyone out there as a direct example of how gaming can be good, but it should at least represent ONE example – and there are a lot more.

First of all lets get the basics out of the way. It was through gaming that I met some of the most incredible people I’ve ever known. People who are smart, passionate, and who I would not have known other wise. I have been able to learn about other cultures through these people and have come to have a deeper understanding and appreciation for all of the differences that are out there in the world. I have been able to learn through them and shared in some fantastic memories that won’t soon be forgotten. I have heard discussions over the years ranging from politics, religion and acceptance, to tv shows and movies. Opinions from the youngest to the oldest, from every walk of life. When I sit back and think about everything people discuss, and how I have been able to be involved in those discussions even in the smallest way, it’s astounding to me. These people are not just online strangers to me, they are friends and family who motivate, inspire, and awe me every single day of my life.

Gaming has given me the ability to branch out creatively, creating massive stories in my mind (and on paper and other media) as much as any book or movie would have. Games provide a setting for these stories, where I am not the only character involved. I have read creative works written by some amazing and talented people, I have seen artwork, heard music, and so much more that all derived from these video games. That motivated them. Spurned them on because it is something they feel passionate about.

On a personal note – video games have opened up a door to me that I would have never been able to get into other wise. I have the ability to share my thoughts to others through publications in a magazine, and online on this site. It is through this work that I have found some of my most memorable moments. There was the trip down to San Diego just last April to visit the people at Sony Online Entertainment. If you had of asked me two years ago if I thought that I would be interviewing the dev teams, I would have laughed. Then today came another such moment when Eric Bloom from Blue Oyster Cult called me to talk about the finer details of Wizard 101, and we talked games for a good 30 minutes. What a great way to get to know people when you have something in common that you are both passionate about.

We talked about old games, how people moved on from them, how they seem to be scattered now that there are so many choices out there. We talked about the early days of EQ2, WoW, AoC, WAR. We talked about how the term ‘gamer’ instantly bonds you as friends with strangers because it’s such a powerful connection. Even if you haven’t played the same types of games. It was just one of those moments I had to think about afterward and think to myself ‘wow, did that really just happen? Did I really just hang up the phone with Eric Bloom after we talked about pips and crafting in a video game?’

Are there nights I stay up a little too late to accomplish some pointless goal that no one will remember 5 years from now? Of course. There are. Are there days I think to myself that I’m wasting my time away playing a video game – no. Not a second. Being able to play in these worlds others have created has opened far too many doors for me in my life to think for a second that I wasted time while playing them. Of course none of this has come without a lot of hard work. I can’t JUST be playing video games, I balance it as anyone should with work (which happens to involve gaming, I realize I’m lucky that way), friends, family, and every other mundane thing out there that has to get done (as well as a few non-gaming related passions). When I look back and think about what I have accomplished through gaming, or because of gaming, or that is related to it in some way even the smallest – I am proud. Proud to say that yes, I am a gamer. I’ve played for years now, and I’ll continue to play for years – I have managed to do some amazing things in my life because of these opportunities.

Everyone has the same ability, it just requires the motivation and perseverance to get some where with it. The fact that games have inspired me to make something of myself is not offensive to me in the least bit. I just hope that the future years of playing are as exciting and profitable to me as the ones up to now have been.

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?

Proud New Home Owner – Angela Ravendust

Housing in Wizard 101 is something that I was very excited about when it first came out. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to afford a home any time soon but they come in two sizes and I knew I didn’t want to buy a small one. If I’m going to own a home why not own the biggest one! So, the day was going fairly well. I wasn’t even thinking about housing (much) and I was questing in Krokokust doing a dungeon – which I ran out of potions on and then died. Ugh! All that work down the drains. I’ve tried this dungeon a few times now and I never make it past the ice lake, or rather I make it slightly past the ice lake where I have to fight some keymaster and then I believe there’s another battle shortly after.

It frustrated me, and I decided to cheer myself up I would finally purchase that castle I had been eyeballing since housing went live. I headed to wizard city, found the nearest housing turtle I could find, and was happy to see that the forested mansion was a mere 15,000 gold – leaving me with 700 gold after the purchase.

Now, Angela doesn’t have a whole lot of house items, I’ve gathered together 20 or so and most of them have the Krokokust theme throughout. It doesn’t exactly go with the new theme of a castle. It will do for now though I suppose!

I even have my very own water fall to listen to, and birds and other creatures wander around. I emptied out my little dorm room which was getting very crowded and set my craft station up in the new house. Which reminds me, I need to harvest more supplies so I can finish that quest off one of these days. So many games and not enough time to play them all!

I set up a little bed room and a study area, planted a palm tree outside and added a flag and torch, but the rest is pretty empty. I even have my own stage, where I can be entertained.

It’s too close to dinner to do any more decorating right this moment, but I’m looking forward to yet another housing project. It doesn’t seem to matter what the game is, if there’s housing, I’m happy!

A Day of Good News and Good Games

First of all, I got confused and yesterday was apparently not Saturday at all, but Friday – so the book of the day is posted below, hope everyone enjoyed it! In the mean time, while I don’t have any solid answers yet about why I was sick nor am I feeling 100% quite yet – I am feeling better, and that is a huge bonus. In another little bit of good news, I managed to get a little promotion at work! Most readers know that I write for Beckett Massive Online Gamer, I write articles on Sony related games (EQ, EQ2, and Vanguard for the most part) as well as Free Realms, and I also write about Wizard 101, and whatever else they happen to throw my way (I’ve done a piece on Darkfall, etc).  The magazine is published in the states every two months and sold in stores like Barnes and Noble and Walmart. People can also get a subscription, and I’ve been working for them for exactly a year this month.

My new job still involves writing articles for them – but also includes working on their newly revamped web site a lot more. Posting news articles, moderating the forums and making sure things are posted there, too. It also includes a lot of public relations and promotions to the site and the magazine via twitter, facebook, and what ever other social media I can get my hands on. So from time to time you may see a post like this one trying to rack up interest. Hopefully I do a fine job (I can’t see why I wouldn’t!) and things go smooth. I’m excited!

Game wise I’ve been playing a lot of Wizard 101, I just can’t help it! My little life wizard has been having fun exploring Krokotopia, her dorm room is now completely packed with house items resembling the ancient land of forgotten treasures. In fact it’s starting to get a little crowded, and I need to move into a real house one of these days so I can move all the items out of my dorm. I have no idea what sort of house I want to purchase – I really want to purchase one of the “big” lots of land, as opposed to the smaller versions. They cost a lot of gold though – I have about 17,000 saved up.

I haven’t really gotten into crafting too much because there have been so many people running around going after the same things I needed it hasn’t been worth it. However, in Krokotopia I seem to find craft supplies galore. I’ll need to find a quiet time to finish my beginner quests one day if for no other reason then to say at least I’m working on it.

I love the newly revamped bazaar – it’s far easier now to search for items that you actually want. I don’t know that I’ll use it all too much never being a huge bazaar person myself, but one never knows!

The sword pictured above is the one from the latest issue of Beckett MOG – although if you happen to buy their Pokemon magazine you’ll also find another code! I love these little items, even if it means everyone is running by me asking where the awesome sword comes from. I’m always happy to point them towards the magazine!

Although it says little Angela Ravendust is level 23 in that picture, she’s now level 24 and part way through. I’ve been trying to take a little break here and there from the game but it’s hard, I find the card game combat exceptionally addicting, especially because it’s just so different from all of the basic hack and slash games that I already play.

I’ve been playing some EQ2 as well (of course) my little illusionist managed to get herself the wand from Crucible – of course it’s not the illusionist I have on Antonia Bayle (I’m still split between two servers, instead of four, making it much easier to handle) but it’s nice none the less. We did a few instances last night for shards and I completely forgot that the key mobs have been removed from Crucible and Scion of Ice for the time being. It would have meant two more (very useful) shards for me. I hope they get them fixed soon!

Ultann was taking his inquisitor on multiple raids yesterday which is fantastic for him. He managed to get his Thuuga update, Leviathan, and as I was headed to bed he was headed to Veeshan’s Peek – to perhaps get his final update of Nexona. I haven’t logged in yet this morning to check how that went, but my fingers are crossed! Calreth didn’t have nearly as good luck with his updates, Leviathan going horribly wrong for the evening (hugs). Fingers crossed that he’ll get his updates one of the times he’s around! I know he’s been waiting forever for it.

I hope everyone else has a fantastic Saturday, enjoy the weekend (more rain here) and happy gaming! I’ll see you in Norrath (or in Krokotopia!)

Random Game News

Well, there’s lots of news going on out there – to start things off, the newest Wizard 101 world is going live today! What a great Canada Day gift to players. I’m excited about this world for a few reasons, number one you can level up through it just as you would level up a character, so for those who have completed it all – it’s time for alts, and time to run quests for house items. It will also impliment a crafting system, bazaar, and the new 18+ chat system, and a few other goodies. Speaking of goodies, be sure to check out Tipa’s site for some wallpaper goodies! I love how fast things come out of test for players.

Of course there is also the discussion about the Chronicles of Spellborn becomming free to play – I dipped into this game only VERY briefly, and didn’t enjoy it. I’m not sure why. I don’t even think I made it past the tutorial, but maybe I just know my comfort zones, and tend to stay within.

I am looking forward to the next Aion beta weekend, from July 2nd to the 4th. I have no idea if I’ll actually manage to drag myself to the PC to play, but we’ll see. It would be nice.

I spent some time on the new EQ server yesterday, Mayong. For those who have been living under a rock, this new server is a 50/51 server – you log in and create, and achieve level 50 instantly, as well as 51 aa to your name. You also start out with all of your spells (and I do mean all) as well as some gear and backpacks (there are more packpacks waiting for your in the bank if you’re looking for them). You don’t start with any money, so you’ll want to farm some especially if you plan on using a mercenary.

The server was absolutely packed last night, I had problems moving around. It was fantastic. There were four general channels, and people were advertising for groups and guilds all over the place. PoK was packed, it was easy to tell who had been a long time player and who had returned for the free 30 days and didn’t know about the guild lobby yet.

There were of course raids also going on, and I saw a few system messages about encounters that were being taken down. I didn’t stay for too long but I did create myself a beastlord, enchanter, cleric, and bard. Whether I will actually stick with one of those or head back to Drinal I am unsure.

In EQ2 (the brief time I played) I collected some more red shiny and decided to do a little crafting and put items for sale which was nice. Not going to be purchasing anything super expensive over the next little while, but hey it’s better then nothing.

I hope everyone has a fantastic day today, it’s the first of July and thus Canada Day! Get out there and enjoy it for me.

A Little Bit of Everything

Another day of ‘not much going on in game’ since I was so busy doing other things on Friday but today should be a good day of gaming. I’ve been meaning to play a little more Sims 3, but haven’t managed to find the time (yet). Soon! I did dip into Wizard 101 for a fair amount yesterday, my Life / Storm wizard hit level 20 and did some awesome battles. I’ve also encountered a few dungeons now – that I can’t beat what so ever. It was still fun! I redeemed my facebook code and earned 1,000 gold which makes me able to afford the smaller house in Wizard City, but I’m thinking of saving up for a home of a different world. I haven’t quite decided yet. My Myth / Death wizard also managed to snag a few levels and is sitting just shy of level 10. I’ve been completing the Wizard City quests with her and she’s obtained some really awesome house items that the higher level wizard missed out on since they came after I’d completed the quests.

In EQ2 I plan on getting a few crafting levels (carpenter hopefully), doing a few instances (the boys should be around I believe, which will be great) and maybe I can finally get that transmuting up to 350+ which will let me begin to transmute T8 gear. Then it’s time for adornments!

What is everyone else up to this weekend? Any good games on the list? Once things have calmed down a little more I should have a little time in LotRO (I have a free month incoming) since that tapered down some. The game is great, but it just feels (to me) exactly like every other fantasy MMO out there, and I’m already playing three of those (EQ, EQ2, VG). I still love the look and love my character, but without an infinite amount of time to be able to play everything I want to play, something has to take a back seat.

Other then that, quiet weekend. Happy gaming and I’ll see you in Norrath!

That’s what Friends are For

I meant to mention this weeks ago but things have been a little frantic here. A little while ago Tipa brought my attention to an online contest being held on twitter. If you followed the great Merle Ambrose you would receive daily hints and clues to a puzzle he had that spelled out a word. By the final day when the flood gates opened, 100 players could enter that word into the Wizard 101 web site (log in with your account and you will see a section that says redeem card or code) and have a chance to win one of the pets they were giving away.

Well, I’ll be the first to admit that I slacked on figuring out the puzzle, but Tipa was kind enough to help me out, and so when the time came I rushed off to the web site and entered in the code, and managed to be lucky enough to find myself sporting the new death beetle pictured above. Emma is my Myth / Death wizard who I’ve been leveling up through wizard city getting all of the house items that I missed with my main Life / Storm wizard.

Now, the sad part of this story is that Tipa herself did not manage to win one of the pets. I felt absolutely horrible because she has been so kind to me and I only received one due to her helping me out, I was going to ask if there was any way I could give her the pet or transfer it to her some how.  I only have two pets in Wizard 101, and none of them were rare (though I have added a 3rd one that I will talk about another time) so while I was exceptionally excited to be able to show off the new rare pretty, I was also sad that she didn’t get one herself. She told me it was alright and she was happy that I was able to get one, but I was still disappointed.

No doubt there will be opportunities in the future, and hopefully we’ll see some more great prizes then.

As far as game play goes, the alt is reaching level 10, and owns a handful of house items now. I’m still trying to save up to purchase my first home, I only have access to the first two worlds in Wizard 101, and may have to call upon some friends (I’m looking at you two!) to help me reach the other areas. Of course until I raise another 3,000 gold there is no real rush anyhow.

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.

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!

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