Home Sweet (Hobbit) Home

I finally managed to download and patch all of LotRO, created new characters over on the Landroval server (currently I have a level 15 hunter, a 10 guardian, a 7 lore-master, and a warden) and joined up with a handful of Combat Wombat and friends from twitter. At level 15 you get the ability to purchase a house, and since I had a bunch of gold stored up on my level 44 minstrel on another account I decided to send it over and allow my hunter the ability to purchase a nice fancy home.

The location isn’t the greatest, I had to place trees in my yard to give it a bit more of a natural feel, but it’s close to the stables which makes me pretty happy, and it’s also close to the Kinship house, which has a bunch of crafting tables!

Housing has changed since last I played. Not in the method (it still uses pre-placed hooks that you drop furniture onto) but in the number of hooks, and their placements. My home used to have only a few hooks for furniture, and it looks more natural now, you can place things close to one another. It’s not the free moving housing that I love from EQ2, but it will do.

I’ve picked up some crafting on everyone, and I can’t wait to get started on that. I sent over a bunch of supplies from alts and everyone should be pretty situated now. We’ll see how long this lasts!

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

Experimenting with the Layout Editor

A little while back SOE added the ability for players to save and load house layouts, and adjust those files by hand to create some awesome effects in their homes. While players can typically ‘raise’ and ‘lower’ an item by holding shift + scroll wheel, and re-size and item by holding control + scroll wheel (I may have those backwards) you can’t normally ‘flip’ an item, or rotate, pitch, and roll it. With the ability to adjust the layout files by hand also came the ability to adjust all of these specifications. Unfortunately, it’s also quite complicated when you’re looking at the actual ‘code’ – a whole bunch of numbers that players would have to play around with in order to get the desired effect they wanted.For people like me who A) Read a lot of numbers backwards and B) Are simply daunted by something that complicated, it meant that layouts were something I’d be leaving alone for now.

Along came Jesdyr’s EQ2LayoutEditor, a program that would allow players to load the layouts that they had saved, adjust them in a far more comprehensive method, save them, and then load the saved layout in game. This program is amazing. You can find it on the EQ2Designers web page as well as on the EQ2players forums (linked above) and if you’re interested in playing with housing layouts I would HIGHLY suggest you try using this program. There are comprehensive tutorials and your imagination really is the limit with this tool.

Why would anyone want to use it? Well, it’s handy for things like placing a floor tile along a wall to create a better effect. You can place knives into a wooden block for a kitchen, you can turn fences sideways into ladders, or create an entire room on the ceiling if that’s what you wish. I personally used it to move the cloudy sky floor tiles to the walls as well as the ceiling in my green house and I do have plans to use it elsewhere, like turning the steam lord tapestry (water effect) sideways to create a relaxing pool. There are still some times glitches with SOE’s side of things, but if you check the forums there are typically work arounds for them all. For example when I raise the floor tiles to the ceiling they actually appeared to be gone completely, until I zoned out and re-set my house. Loading it and zoning in again fixed the problem and both tiles appeared on the ceiling just fine.

It is definitely a decorators dream, and if you tend to spend most of your time in game imagining your next creation, then I would highly suggest you check it out.

Happy gaming no matter where you find yourself!

Decorating, Decorating.. and yes, More Decorating

I’m still here! Ok so I’ve been neglecting posts on MmoQuests lately, but I’ve been incredibly busy in real life (gasp) – that doesn’t mean I haven’t been in game! Things have been pretty busy there too. When I left off I had just purchased a T1 hall for my latest endeavor, Dragon’s Flight. Decorating it has been a LOT of fun, although it’s only getting done in bits and pieces I feel that this is actually a preferable way to decorate. That way you don’t get burned out. I’ve been working on creating display cases (like the one pictured above) for the trophies I’ve gathered (ok, I didn’t gather them all a lot were donated, thank you Pennie and Shadowgeist) and some sort of ‘central’ area. Kasul has been busy working on the library portion as well as living quarters. The crafting area is complete, and I really like the way it turned out this time around. As for what else, well. I haven’t decided yet. Probably another stage / bar area, and I’d like an aquarium. Once the hall is completed I’llĀ  be making a video of it and posting that here for people to watch (I’ve been neglecting my videos).

Other then that, well. I’ve been leveling up a lot of characters, and doing some quests. More about that in another post though!

Happy gaming, and I’ll see you in Norrath!

Making a Game Feel Like Home

I’ve been working on my Norrathian Museum for a few years now, and one of my favorite features (which is also relatively new) is my library of player-written books. Lots of players collect the lore books that are scattered throughout Norrath, but I really do pride myself on being able to collect books written by other players. It’s just one of those ‘things’ I do in game that makes the game more ‘me’ – does that make sense?

The collection as of today consists of 249 books, written by various authors from all over Norrath. I try to post a random story once a week to this site so I can share some of the pieces of work I’ve collected, and eventually I have high hopes of even posting every single one of them. We’ll see how that goes. Perhaps I’ll start a second smaller site where I can post them all.

The point is – every game needs something that pulls a player in, and some times playing with your friends really isn’t enough to keep you there. It’s with these little tiny unique customization options that developers add to their game that make a game feel like home, and EQ2 has that in spades. Being able to decorate your home to a ‘theme’ of your choosing, whether you’re a druid worshiping nature, or an ancient warlord who thrives on blood, or a necromancer who studies death in all its forms – that is an example of what makes a game a home.

What are some other examples of how games make players feel ‘at home’ within them?

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!