Lets Play


My gaming these days has been restricted to wandering through the lands of World of Warcraft, completing achievements and leveling characters to 100. Last week I managed to ding 100 on my hunter, and then I decided to swap over to my alliance characters for a bit and did the same on my shaman. That brings my total characters at 100 to only 4 so far, but I’m hoping to get a few more up there too.

There has been a lot of talk this week about WildStar headed to steam, and whether or not it will be enough change to have an impact on the game and the number of people playing. I know there was also some controversy about the Madame Fay’s Fortunes changes in the recent past, but honestly I enjoy these casino-like games of chance. In Madame Fay’s Fortunes you use your currency to select three cards and flip them over to see what rewards you’ve obtained. You have to use fortune coin that is only available from the in-game store, and you can purchase it in singles or bundles. The discussion surrounding lockboxes certainly isn’t a new one in MMORPGs, it has been around for years now, and no matter your personal feeling on the matter, these games are popular. They remind of us casino games like those found at netbet.co.uk, and they’re a relaxing way to spend some downtime in between the typical MMORPG fare.

In EQ2 I’ve spent a fair amount of Daybreak cash (or whatever the term is these days) on mercenary lockboxes in order to try to get the ‘rare’ ones (they are randomly found in mercenary crates) and then sold the extras off in order to level up the guild. I’m glad that these lockboxes have a secondary use, since having a whole bunch of lower quality mercenary is not something I’m keen on collecting. I just also wish that there was a way to trade them between your own characters, or that mercenary were account wide rather than bound to the character who claims them. It makes keeping track of who has what a bit annoying.

In any case, real life has been incredibly difficult as of late, and that’s why more often than not you’ll find me playing WoW. It’s a game I can pop into no matter how much time I have left in my day and feel as though I’ve accomplished a few things even if it’s just garrison chores. Having these types of games available has meant a great deal to me over the years, and I’m thankful that as a gamer we have such a fantastic selection to delve into.

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


From Esper to Medic


I enjoyed playing my Dominion Esper quite a bit, but once I reached 50 I decided it was time to make an alt and see how the Exiles play. It didn’t take long to fall in love with them. I’ve been leveling up a human medic this time around, and I’m just about level 50 on her too. It’s easy to see why some people may prefer Exiles to Dominion, but I think in the end I like both factions. I know there’s always a lot of discussion surrounding Exiles being more popular due to the Aurin race, but so far I haven’t made one. Maybe a future alt.

The medic class is a lot of fun. I’ve kept to a pretty simple DPS spec and I’ll branch into a healing spec when I’m level 50. I’ve been questing my way through Malgrave, which is a neat zone but unfortunately the regional story bugged for me so I can’t complete it. On Monday morning I didn’t have any of the lag issues that had plagued the release, and I managed to get a few more levels. The guild experience buff isn’t showing up on my buff icon for some reason, and I miss being able to get the buff from my housing plot. I also need to figure out how to revamp my housing plot now that they’re larger. Everything is pretty bunched up in the center and I’ll need to fix that. I do like the larger plots, but wish the fabkits you place were a bit more spread throughout.

One change that came with the F2P launch that I’m simply not a fan of is the change to Challenges. These used to be little mini events that you would do and then get a chance at a random item. The basic idea of the challenge is still there, the mini events, but now when you complete them you earn an amount of points that move up a line and unlock a specific goodie bag of your choice. Once you’ve unlocked three of the smaller goodie bags via points, you get to unlock a larger one. Gone are the awesome random prizes that we used to get a chance at winning, and instead there are three very drab choices. Aside from experience and achievements, I don’t see that big of a reason to complete these challenges any more. There’s no ‘good’ prizes, and I can certainly find better elsewhere.

Not all games get a second launch, and I think it’s a mistake to see WildStar as “just releasing”. Yes, everyone is working incredibly hard to get the issues taken care of, but treating it as a “new game launch” is ignoring the fact that the game has already been released, charging people to play, in the state it was in. I don’t expect people to be quite as patient with the issues that are occurring now and I think it’s understandable that folks would be frustrated. Of course how you demonstrate that frustration is another story. It’s not a reason to go out and treat people poorly, especially when they’re working incredibly hard. Just something to keep in mind.

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


Saturday: Video Game Roundup


I didn’t get that much gaming in this week, but of course we gamers always seem to find a bit of time here and there. Without further wait, here’s what I’ve been up to this week.


Most of this week was spent playing FeedTheBeast Infinity. There are 164 mods in this pack (165 on my server as I added one I really wanted) and it’s got something for pretty much everyone. Instead of setting up a village outdoors as I typically do, I created an enormous house within a rock mountain, and carved out each room. Then as I upgraded my tools and obtained a chisel I customized the home further. The screenshot above is my crafting room. Lots of space. I’ve also created a portal to the Twilight Forest, and to The Nether. There are Runic Dungeons that I haven’t explored yet, and just so much to do. The mod I added includes a way to level up your tools and weapons so that they get better and progress. You have to upgrade them in order, and it’s just a lot of fun to add this level of customization. Of course on the downside my axe for chopping trees now smelts things it hits – and that means wood just instantly turns to coal when I cut down the tree instead of giving me wooden blocks. Had to make a new axe because of that.


Closed Beta Testing has begun and so I’ve been spending most of my time on the beta servers sending in bug reports. I copied my character over from live, and have been playing around with all of the new things that have been added. Got a few new pets and some new costumes so far, I’m really looking forward to the game moving to free to play so that more people can experience what an awesome game it is and not get hung up on the monthly price tag.

GuildWars 2

In a surprising turn of events, my mesmer managed to ding level 80 this week. In part due to crafting, and also due to those daily loot boxes you get to open every day. Today when I logged in I was given 2 ‘level’ tokens that let me climb to level 79 instantly. Now I need to finish my personal story, I’m at the level 60 ones now where the giant dragon comes down and things all go crazy for a while. I’m glad that I reached 80, and now I’m debating whether I want to level up another character right away or just continue to do things on the mesmer. I do have a few other level 80 characters but they’re on a different account, so I’m glad I managed to level this one up. I picked up some level 80 gear but now that I’m 80 I have absolutely no idea what I should be working on, aside from finishing off my personal story.

Wurm Online

A few new things have been added to the game, black sheep and some rams. I’ve been working on my priests still which is pretty slow work but I enjoy doing it. I’ve also been breeding more animals and working on meditation which is a really slow skill to try to level up. Right now I have four active accounts, but I expect that will drop down to three before too long. I have a year of premium on my Vynora priest along with my main character, Stargrace, and included a year on my Najho priest. I do have a battery that I’ve been using for the Najho, but I really don’t want to have to pay to keep them all active. That’s one of the downsides of Wurm, you have to pay per character.

That’s it for this week! What has everyone else been playing? Let me know in comments.

Lets Talk AddOns (Again)


I love games that allow players to create 3rd party addons to help enhance game play or solve UI issues I may have. In many games I prefer to load just one overall addon that takes care of everything for me, but that isn’t always how things are done. Take WildStar for example. I use a number of individual addons there, and it works out great. Sometimes people wonder if addons make games too easy, or if they’re technically considered cheating. For example in WildStar there’s an addon that lets you relax when the simon says games are going on. Those are the challenges that flash a pattern of colours like a bop-it and you need to match the pattern. The addon responds automatically, saving you a lot of potential frustration.

In EQ2 I use DrumsUI. I used to use Prophet, but it stopped getting updated. Now, Drums hasn’t been updated in quite some time either, but it’s still a working UI, and it does everything I need it to do (which is replace the entire UI for the game). I could get by using the default stuff, but after so many years it’s just not comfortable and it feels outdated.

In World of Warcraft I use ElvUI and like all addons and mods out there, some people love it and some people hate it. This UI mod has a bit of a reputation because so many players use it and it’s seen as a ‘n00bs’ UI of sorts. Despite the negative connotations that I see floating around, it works for what I need it to do as a causal gamer. I also discovered HandyNotes which is by far the most amazing addon I’ve seen so far (especially with WoD).


HandyNotes updates your map and mini-map with every named, treasure, collectable (toys, pets, etc). As you collect the items (or kill the bosses), the icons vanish from your map. This is especially handy if you happen to hunt for achievements that require you to collect everything under the sun. Now, again this addon is not going to be for everyone. Some people really love the discovery and they don’t want any help at all – but others (lets say, completionists) want the ability to finish off these items, and that’s where this addon really shines.

I also have a few pet addons, deadly boss mod because it’s awesome, and an auction house addon here and there. Nothing all that fancy, but it suits my play style.

In games where addons are an option, my decision is usually to always go with one (depending on their availability and how easy they are to install). I like to have the option, even if it’s not for everyone.

Do you tend to use any addons in your games? Would you rather not have the ability to? Let me know in comments!

Saturday: Video Game Roundup


I’m not playing nearly as many games at once as I used to play, but I still manage to keep pretty busy. I decided to do a weekly roundup of the games I’m playing with a little bit of a blurb about each one. I don’t really know anyone who plays only one game these days – so if you do, let me know! I’ve always been envious of those who were able to commit to just one game at a time. First up!


My alt leveling has been put on hold while a friend of mine returns to the game. Right now they’re making their way through Whitevale and I’ve been having a blast mentoring them. I’ve found soldier holdouts that I missed when I was passing through along with other collectibles. I’ve mentioned this a few times now, but I’m very happy that WildStar has a mentor system, and I think all games (I’m looking at you WoW) need this sort of system. It encourages me to play with friends and motivates me to explore zones I’ve already been through. I always found it sad when games give you zero reason to revisit an area after the developers put all that work into it. When a new expansion releases if you travel to the older zones they’re always empty. It just seems like a waste.

Diablo 3

Not exactly an MMO, but I’ve been playing this on the PS4 (my PSN is Stargrace if you’re looking to add me) and I’m having a lot of fun. Unlike on the PC, my hand never gets sore from holding the controller buttons down while I attack. I purchased the game some time ago but today was the first day I actually spent any time playing. I’m level 20 now, and I also had a mailbox full of legendary items for me to open. One really neat thing about Diablo 3 is that when you’re playing it you’ll occasionally get items to drop that get sent to your friends. They’re great ways to motivate them to log in! I had to be level 11 before I could wear the items but once I did mobs just melted away. I’m still trying to get a hang of the controls, but I’m not doing too bad. Since I haven’t actually completed the game on the PS4 before, I can’t play at a very high difficulty, but I’m hoping to ‘beat’ the base game and unlock the other modes. One thing that frustrates me is that this game is not cross platform, so even though I can play on the PC and on the PS4, my accounts don’t really interact together and my PC characters don’t show up on my PS4 or vice versa. I wish it were more like FFXIV in that regard.


I heard that crafting writs won’t be fixed until Tuesday and that has slowed my progression down a bit. My coercer is still sitting at level 28, and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get 29 today or not. I think I’ll attempt it, but I’m taking a much more casual approach now, so we’ll see how it goes. I did manage to level up a few of my other alts to 10 since there’s no writs to do, but I’ll hold off before getting them above 15. I may take them to Halas to do the crafting quest chain that’s available there (it gives a nice selection of rares, and the ability to purchase the 10-19 advanced books). I’m still having fun playing, and that’s what really matters.

Wurm Online

I’ve been logging my priests in to get their max allotment of prayers each day, but I haven’t done a lot else besides that lately. My Najho priests are just over 42 skill, and it’s not until 70 skill that they’ll really open up as a priest. Then I’ll be able to cast strongwall along with genesis, two skills I’m really eager for. Once I’m able to strongwall I can fix the mine that I broke over at my main deed. I ended up mining straight and creating a drop shaft instead of mining up. An easy fix, once I get the proper faith to be able to cast the spell. I’ve also been working on my animal husbandry and breeding horses / sheep / cows / bison. I’m trying to get a few 5 speeds, but since my skill is only 50 at this time (on both Stargrace and Maivis, my Vynora priest) I typically end up with 4 speeds + one extra useless trait. I know it takes time, and I have the patience to see it through.


Besides the big names at the top, I’ve also spent some time playing Tropico 5 on steam (I’m Stargrace there, too, if you want to add me). The humor just fits with my mood perfectly, and it’s very relaxed and casual. I’ve also spent some time playing Terraria, working on my home and building up a supply of components for future projects. I think I would still rather play Minecraft but since I reformatted my machine not too long ago I also forgot to save my Minecraft world, along with the castle I had built, and that really deterred me from starting all over again. I’ll probably create another world before too long just because the game is so dang fun.


That’s it! Those are the games I’m currently playing and what I’ve been up to. I hope everyone is having an amazing weekend so far, and that you find yourself with at least a little time to play a game or two that you adore. As always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!