Monthly Archives: January 2012

Will yez all just SETTLE DOWN!

At the beginning of every year its the same. People bolt out from starting blocks as it were, panicking, running around in circles and creating a huge fuss in their efforts to Get Things Done. My postbox overflows with mailshots, the sim on my mobile clogs up, the house phone itself – thank the good deity is behind massive solid walls in another room and cannot be heard from the bath, kitchen, balcony or if I am asleep. I have no intention of moving it.

All this gabbling, mailing, and consternation usually boils down to someone trying to get me to do something they should do themselves. This seems to be the modern default – to “shed” as much as possible onto someone else. It’s usually tolerable, but at the beginning of the year, people have Plans, and so the hunt is on for someone they can use to further those plans.

This year, end of January now, the rushing around is still in full spate up yere where I live and it’s driving me pretty much up the wall. There’s a fair clutch of people who Can’t Do It until I Do Something needing to be re-educated. Our block of flats standing since 1960-something has never required a certain certificate. A big company is doing maintenance as I speak but a pair of technicians from that same company with their own agenda (a nice drive to the next job with a bacon sarnie each most likely) demanded this certificate. A visit to the housing committee & one irate phone call got my central heating fixed but they were honestly trying to tell me I’m the only person in the whole block that needs this thing. Or.. it’s a new policy and I’m the first one who gets caught out by it. Something. I stopped listening once I got them working. The only hot air I want to hear is coming through the fans.

That kind of stuff. This year I’m going to see when it subsides. When people finally realise that it’s 2012, the shine is off, they juuuuust have to do whatever it is they are supposed to do, and get on with it until almost the same thing happens mid-year, after the summer holidays when they can have another go at fishing for someone to do stuff for them or give them money.

Nope, I am not starting the new year with a sudden yen for double glazing, an itch to sort out my finances a different way, a change of heart vs any particular charity… just looking through this lot… the state is also in there with it’s latest drives/policy implementation….. “austerity” this time, we’re in the world war era again… sending the usual overnosy, overlong, overcomplicated forms… the health people are suddenly interested in my bowels and sent a kit… apparently my specs are falling apart too and I need to check in & naturally my teeth are falling out…

It is all deliberately intrusive of course – the folk yammering out there are absolutely on the hunt. People I haven’t heard of for quite a while are hoping for someone useful to them also. The unregulated, untrammelled personal intrusion that we go through (and are now used to) is hardly healthy. I always find the first month(s) of the year a time in which it is difficult to get on with anything important due to the stream of people yittering for my attention by mail, phone, email and anything else they can think of.

Getting rid of all the noise is quite a skill really – no unnecessary communications allowed here I’m afraid. Bang on my metaphorical door unannounced & you don’t get a response. Write for no good reason & it gets binned.

I do find that if you stubbornly don’t respond to anyone yelling “it’s urgent, you have to…” they calm down or go away – both are good results and I’m perfectly capable of figuring out the urgency of anything as it comes along without all the hype (mind you Reader’s Digest never did work it out).  Forms I will fill in, bills I will pay. People I like I write back to/return missed calls. The rest goes in the round filing cabinet, to be evicted when the bin collectors cometh. I have my own problems to deal with – whoever you are and whatever you want, deal with your own stuff.


Categories: Things In General

On keyboard turning

I type at 120 wpm. Wanna dance?

o ok its a lot slower now I’m not on WoW so much, fact is though I lose out moving my hands off the keyboard for any reason – dps and honor both. Full keybinding means your hands move a lot less, and – you’re very very fast. The touring warlock is quite handy – I recently realised I could be using even better fingering to turn…. muscle memory buildup is going on as I ramble through the levels, but its unpressured and when I feel like it. Nice that.

Categories: Shorts, WoW

Wurm Online – very short beginners guide by a hardened wurm

So.. trying a guide then. Actually I don’t know half the things I can do with this WordPress blog – and I’m having a break from coding while I get some hardware bits – It’s quite nice brushing up on this and that too, and experimenting.

Play it for the gorgeous babes!

*  There are a million other ways to start out this is just my take on it.

*  Press enter (to exit the chat box) and press h – voila ingame wiki (little box)!

*  The wiki and (sparse) patch notes have a complicated relationship with the truth. What you read might be true. It might once have been true. It might mostly be true. It might miss a vital detail. It might be true except the numbers have changed. On the whole it’s a good source of background information. Being constantly in development, Wurm is fluid. These hints are probably just like the wiki – I’ll try to keep them accurate. Ish.

* For how to make the  things I mention so  breezily (make a healing cover tra la la), use the wiki – honest. It will give you the ingredients/materials, tools and some notes on the item itself sometimes.

When you spawn, portable water and food are good goals to have. The bartender will feed you for a short time, and give you water. Clay is needed to make a jar to carry water, and for spare bowls. It is usually a reasonable distance from spawn. Exploration is necessary.

*  If you don’t drink enough water, you won’t be able to regenerate stamina. This is not a good thing when pausing to gasp for stamina after having been chased uphill by a bear. I found out.

*  I know it says you cannot die from starving. You can, actually, but you have to lose 97 or so fat layers first. I found that out too.  For a general idea of how fat you are, right click one of your body parts in the inventory. “Skin and bones” is not too clever. Fat is not the same as nutrition.

*  I always make my first ventures from the water that is usually at the spawn to look for another source of water. Then another source of water – eventually you should have a route that goes… somewhere. A water route to use for exploring further and further. You can use this until you can carry water yourself. I also, similarly, work out safety routes. Safety is not so straightforward. Not every spirit templar is set to attack aggressives, a gate may let you through or may not. Best bet are guard towers. Guards from towers do not automatically defend you though. Type “Help” or “Guards!” in local chat to trigger their aid. Note that if the tower is heavily decayed, there may be no guards. Guards from guard towers attack one thing at a time at the moment so no use trailing the 50 mobs you pulled running away from a troll towards them, (I found out). Guards change a lot in Wurm. “Guards!” is more macho don’t you think?

*  Spirit templars might or might not kill anacondas. You never know.

*  I find 2 jars a good travelling amount, and later you can use waterskins. The next food-and-water goal is a fishing rod.  Forage for cotton and the other necessary things (wood to make a spindle & shaft etc) as you go. Cotton is not terrifically easy to find.

*  Joining a village is insta-ez-mode when it comes to getting  skill, basic equipment, company, information – many benefits. I like to do it the hard way and solo, but village life is fun as well. I wouldn’t advise stealing on the freedom servers. It’s a small community. Also, more important: skills are your only real form of wealth. You need every opportunity you can get to raise them = making your own stuff is more efficient. Also… there’s KOS (kill on sight) . KOS in Wurm like everything else is a little different… The mayor of the village you are passing through doesn’t need to give a reason to put you on the KOS list…. If you steal or grief you will find yourself in a hostile minefield of territories after a while, or very quickly. Villages are often part of a network of allies…. you get the idea.

*  Trolls run very fast. The older they are, the faster they run – I found this out.

*  Scavenging. After you die, first you lie there handily near the thing that killed you. Nobody else can loot your corpse for a while – a day or so. After that you turn into a “pile” that people can loot. If you come across a pile and its not on a deed, you can scavenge it. Personally I look to see if any items are heavily decayed before I help myself. The owner might just be having a hard time finding or rescuing himself/herself. When you have littered the landscape with 20 or so yous trying to recover the original you that has your stuff, you might feel sympathetic toward piles. I know I do. If stuff is very valuable people often post finding it in the forums – for the reasons I just put above. A lot of people who play Wurm have Class! (not all, but a lot).

*  Your first meals aren’t very nourishing and eating raw stuff isn’t good for your nutrition. Yep, I found that out.

Cooked casseroles are the thing at first. It’s fun experimenting and you may end up eating a lot of stew. 2 kinds of meat/fish, one botanised item, one foraged item makes a casserole. (Update: err casseroles seem to have got simpler – one meat and one veg nowadays or two different meats. Hope that’s right.) Heres some good stuff to know: a fillet of fish and one of the same fish unfilleted count as 2 items of meat. When you fillet meat, decay resets to 0. Eating it hot gives better nutrition. You should now start dreaming of owning a frying pan.

* The stuff needed to organise your travelling jar & fishing rod shouldn’t be too heavy to carry, but a safe place to store things is often what people sort out once they can move about without starving or dying of thirst related stamina deprivation. The beginners guide endeth soon because after “safe place to store stuff” people start going off in their own directions. You might not even need a safe place – can just forage & scavenge your way around the world. I know people that have done that.

* If you decide to have a safe place to store things, whatever it is it will need nails and at least one lock. And nails and locks need an anvil which needs iron, which needs ore. Ore can be found in mines – it is worth asking if there is a public mine nearby in local. You can also rummage it off the cliff face. Smelt it into lumps & use your mallet to make a small anvil, then make the kind of locks/nails you need. Options for storage include – a large cart, a hermit mine, a rowboat, a hoboshack, a field with a gate (notably unsecure), there are probably more. All have their pros and cons. A hoboshack is the safest thing there is on Wurm. (at the moment). This is best researched by chatting to people and in the wiki though. I know people make large carts often as well – beware leaving this on someone’s deed.  You probably won’t be able to retrieve it until they are online.

*  Brown bears can swim. No further comment needed.

*  You do not need a deed or premium to build a hoboshack – just one flat tile on undeeded land, and the materials. Hahaha “just”.

*  The minute you nail the first plank, the shack is yours. A writ should appear in your inventory. People can get grumpy about shacks spoiling their view etc so before building it’s polite to check with people living nearby – better to have them on your side, but your call really. Wurm is pretty suburban, though lethal – true wilderness is scant. If you build in someones perimeter, being the hardass (read: annoying twit)  you are – be aware that you cannot repair the thing. They will laugh as it decays around your ears. A slow burn and very satisfying.

*  Thorn bushes can kill you.                                      It was right near The Howl…. couldn’t see what was attacking me….

*  Final words:

*  A word on travelling. Easiest ways are along the roads, travel light and run fast. Always be aware where the last guard tower and water are. You can also go along the coast – probably need to do big detours around deeds often. Be wary of griefer KOS deeds on Freedom – there are still a few that kill what they call “noobs” (might as well write “I have no status in real life” on their foreheads.) Such griefing is illegal & should be reported.  If it happens to you, you will get a yellow warning in your event window. Turn around and run the way you came. You are entitled to retrieve your stuff when you have been KOS. Report it if you cannot.

*  At first you will not have the skill to flatten many tiles. When you find a tile you can dig, spend some time packing, cultivating, flattening (rinse & repeat) to raise your digging skills. Flattening steeper tiles gets possible as your skill improves. I hate grinding but thats one worth doing, since with each skill increase your options for making your very own ideal flat place increase too.

* If you are drowning but quite near to land where you can regain stamina, right click your body in the inventory for a last burst of energy to get you to safety. They didnt used to have this feature.

* Keep the rags you spindle to heal wounds. They give a quick healing hit when applied. Also, make healing covers to carry with you and farmer’s salve for bruises. Light wounds will heal, medium ones won’t but shouldn’t get worse. Anything worse then medium and 0h dear! as I often find myself saying.

* I forgot what I was going to write.

*  Mountain lions can walk through mine doors, o joy

* Very last thing beginners should know:

*  You can kill rats!   ….. errr…. dont forget to equip your sword and shield

Categories: Guides, Life On Wurm

Woohoo lot of Wurm posts this week, I’m delighted!

Nice to see WurmOnline cropping up amongst the bloggs, it’s such an unusual game & doesn’t get huge general attention – I’m more concentrating on WoW now ofc – oooooo I almost forgot. Shocking moment! I was starting out in Anarchy Online and a personage appeared. Was it an angel? I’m not sure. It meant me no harm it said. It assured me it wasn’t an npc – it was it was…. an ARK (ArkAngel???). Shocked. Astounded. Fell of Chair. Never in all my gaming life have I started a game and actually someone dropped by to say welcome, how are ya getting along, are you stuck on anything?


So WoW, yep, am… sorting out peeveepee marcos & pets & bracing myself for that first exhilarating plunge…. straight into a graveyard no doubts heh eheh. Whatever. If you worry about dying may as well not bother isnt it. So… not much more to say about that. Today/tomorrow/soon! I’m going to try & get some screenshots done so this post might change a lot (or not at all depending). Reserved for changing text this is. And for anything else that springs into my flea-like brain. Tryouts just now… aforesaid Anarchy Online, no, you know what? I’ll keep it all as a lovely surprise, even to me. I’ve downloaded quite a few. Will close my eyes & point at the desktop, see which icon I pick.

Here goes with the screenshots:

…much loved hunting deed…. nope….

it shows in the edit but not in the actual post… (aargh!) aha!  EEW what a ghastly picture! Buuuut I did build it plank by plank from trees I grew myself from sprouts with nails I smithed from ore I mined, and – aw I’ll try & do a better picture haha. Not for a while though. This one cost numerous hs_err_pid files. Wurm has just had a client upgrade & though the new client is lovely and in all other respects runs beautifully, my ui went poof. Thing is though, when a tiny company like Codeclub AB can manage to get something running on a lapdap there is no reason why anyone else can’t. I’ve had a couple of good years of Wurming – and whats more I know that people will take the trouble to try and resolve this – not only the dev/s but the gen pub are free to chime in too (cue cries of “upgrade your rig!”)(“noooo”)(“then don’t expect to play”)(“It worked before!”)(“your Intel chipset is pants!”)(“I know!) etc. When I first tried Wurm out a good few years ago, it was all red tiles, lag and crashes. But drivers improve & if a team works at it, things get better from their side too – and I was glad when the day came that Wurm ran.

I surely hope that time isn’t over yet! The deed in the picture… it’s my favourite one. Just recently found water on it too – that’s helped a great deal. It is on the edge of the steppe half in the forest & looking out over the dunes with their mysterious herbs and fearsome creatures. It’s a nice place to be. I still want to build some more parts at the back – work is slow though… the wildlife tends to creep up on you and pounce. I keep a spooky guard for now but turned off unless I’m there and need meat. Everything is slow on Wurm – but at the Hunting Deed even slower. Herbs must be mixed and cotton grown and spindled for rags for bandages. Half the time some bit or other of me is damaged and stuck together with grass, leaves & moss but the work is also joyful and I grow strong! I’m already missing it horribly, but … well we’ll see what happens.

Categories: Life On Wurm

Back to gaming!

After… stuff, I always go back to gaming. Non-interactive entertaiment just doesn’t float my boat that much. I don’t like being told what to think about things, and directed. I can make my own mind up. So… I got this lovely new hard drive and will be able to try more games out – I also have a brief few weeks with more time. What a lovely combination. But gaming time chunks are reserved for my guild.

Mostly my games are like companions – a backdrop to the day’s main tasks and events. I do stuff. Then I game some. I like games I can pick up and drop at will or play in small chunks. That’s where the bulk of my game time goes. Then now and again I get a few clear hours, which brings me to my guild. I haven’t written about my guild here yet. I started it a few years ago with 15 good people and true – we had been abandoned by our gm. We raid, we do arena in spates. It’s built of ordinary, nice people and it’s steady. Due entirely to the members we are level 25  – they did that themselves without me nagging or pushing. People put a ton of time in. They, not I, are what make the guild. Totally.

I had the time to do that – to build and grow a guild, so I did. Then I had less time and took a break. The guild is built for people who cannot work at World of Warcraft like a job, or don’t want to – that’s probably why it’s lasted so well. There’s a ton I could write about it – how hard it was to get a stable raid going could fill a book really – but the core of it is, in the end, that it’s a bunch of really splendid people who get together to enjoy a (still) good game. We hang out together & do WoW stuff either in groups or alone – either is fine. It’s very fair to say that because we all have varying responsibilities and such different things to do in our lives we are interesting – WoW not being a job works fine. I like hanging out with my guild!

There’s no big point or moral argument in this post.

I am able to spend chunks of time guild-leading more over the next few weeks though – some things might turn up here, so a little background isn’t too out of place.

Categories: WoW

Mr Mannering vs a Dev

If I was an old fashioned bank manager, the kind that grew businesses in their local area not the kind that moves around like a policeman, I’d be sure to ask these questions of the shiny-faced bod standing in front of me before I funded any game. I wonder if todays breed of financiers ever do.

How much money do solo players (do it all themselves) pay vs people grouped into mutually co-operative entities (guilds, villages, etc) where bought resources can be often be shared and less time is taken to achieve the same outcome (eg farm 100 flasks)? Does your game encourage solos to take on multiple (paid) accounts in order to fill crafting gaps for example, or create storage guilds? Will a solo be playing longer and more loyally to achieve a minor goal given they aren’t going to be nearly as annoyed by elements of your playerbase?

Which group of people is most likely to have cash – casual players or hardcore players?

How many people have state of the art, new computers vs their old one until they can upgrade? (at this stage I go red through to purple and puff up and say “you are cutting out WHAT % of the market????)

Which is more conducive to player retention – jerks or decents.

In an item shop how many different items costing one penny each equate to one superb item costing £20 in terms of development cost & time?

How much per month does player-made content cost to maintain (servers for the landscape & props)?  How much does theme-park content cost to maintain for a month. Now subtract the cost of generating both to find out which is more profitable.

Who is more likely to stay – the perpetually irritable and angry or the calm & reasonable?

Who is more likely to stay – someone who is constantly annoyed by mechanics/design, or someone who finds the mechanics conducive to play?

Does ganking and griefing in any shape or form help retain customers?

Heh. Don’t panic Mr Mannering. STWircRoft will be the biggest thing Evah!

Categories: Game Design and Creation

The Breeding of Blue Dogs

Well now. My festive season was tranquil and calm – I hope that everyone else had a something similar maybe with a bit more excitement – I dont like excitement, so mine was perfect for me. School holidays are over & it’s back to a normal routine – gaming here and there in small doses for pleasure & self reward, when time permits. I like this. I do well on routine. In fact I’m a boring old frump – or trying to be.

With that out of the way – on WoW my tourist is fair enjoying Westfall the New, except the economic depression looks silly next to plush Elwynn – why dont they all just cross the bridge or swim the river to greener pastures, I wonder to myself as I dispatch another gnoll. Murlocs remain a joy – glad they are still around. On the main I’ve settled for Survival as second spec, (bm main Because I Can) and am relearning Survival in my usual methodical way. Did a few of the 4.3 new dungeons – always a misery while dps is low, but done. More later. After setting up the Surv spec I’ll sort out what pvp rags I have. It behooves me to do guild runs for the dungeons so they’ll be relatively painless, maybe I can pvp now & again too. Don’t know. Time…. Anyway not rushing to raid at all. Some guild stuff probably needs attending to but I have no intention of paying to work for Blizzard nowadays – the guild itself has matured into an independent entity – I just keep the lights burning & the fridge stocked with fish. All in all no hyper enthusiasm has been wasted on WoW the game, but I enjoy diving into it when I have the time.

Wurm – still the nearest contender to a main game for me has thrown up a couple of sparkles. As part of metagaming against decay my main should be free by the end of today to wander from deed to deed as a sort of superhandywoman, her old deed shrunk to a working smithy and a few tiles over some ore – and a caretaker alt being lovingly chewed by our pet bear in the process of feeding it. Travelling handywoman means I can use my ship more 🙂 Now there’s worth it. In the last throes of shrinking the deed I needed to sail to Freedom Harbour this morning – the sun was just up, gale from the west, I climbed aboard and realised that soon I shall be free to sail my corbita whenever I please. A sense of wonderful freedom & open horizons, the sea, the morning, the wind…. ahhhh.

Theres more to be done with the metagame of course, but it’s become satisfying now that I have made some progress. How many storage bins do I need? What’s not even worth making (lamps, lamps, lamps), where do things decay most….   When the reorganisation is complete I will be paying £8 a month on deeds (plus £10 when I want to premium an alt for 2 months) – that still seems stiff for the amount of gameplay vs maintenance. But I’ll see how it goes when I get there. Everything takes a long time – I have horses to move yet & fields to restructure – now that there is a point to it – i.e. being able to enjoy the game again, I don’t mind.

The other sparkle relates to moving horses – 3 at a time on a 2 hour adventure. Totally reminded me of why I play. It’s harsh – we had to run from a pack of wolves, some of the mountainous paths are still unfamiliar. Could have died at any time. Could have lost all the horses! Need to keep an eye on water, need to be extremely wary of the forests – its….. just quite nailbiting until you roll in at your destination because death can be very sudden on Wurm. One moment all seems peaceful…. And then, on the way back I came across a young blue dog – pretty creature – and managed to tame it! Well, ok it still looks like a walking compost heap only dark blue,  but hey I never had one before – and I like the context in which it was found, at the tail end of a gruelling trek (2 hours to home as well) as I made my way thirstily across the Grande Steppe toward a hot meal and a long sleep in my bed wot I made (and repair daily).  It’s a boy, the dog, so less chance (if any?) of breeding another blue from it, but I will try of course & there begins another Wurmy chapter. The Breeding of Blue Dogs – hehe.

Eq2 keeps unfolding new things before my astonished eyes and I confess to saving it for special enjoyment. My big girl has added some kind of scifi mortarboard mount to her regalia – I need to work in some screenshots I think :). When I have time I will. As its such a treat I don’t actually play it that much – and I have the deepest respect for the amount of work that’s gone into it. My, that really shows… I keep stopping to look at things – or listen to the sound track. Spend a fair amount of time perched on the rock just to enjoy the scenery too. The quests are fun! I am allergic to grinding, so I take it easy on them though. One or two per session keeps me perfectly happy – as does gathering here & there or crafting when I feel the urge too. All in all, just having a wonderful time there. I tend to reserve a few hours for it – so it is a now and then treat only. But, but, right at the end of my real day, I log on just to be in my Eq2 house for a few minutes. It’s become part of my “here ends the day” routine.

As for …. thingie (still no project name) well I got that code built yeehar (did ya doubt me?) and now am learning Blender. All those buttons! I’m in heaven!!!!!! Child and I are learning at the same time, which makes it the more fun as our first gingerbread men are almost worthy of being scary mobs. Much laughter has been caused by this particular piece of software – we’ll keep at it for sure, whether we use Blender or not in the end. It’s a creative pause in the coding – need to figure out what needs doing next & accumulate a few minor pieces of hardware, mostly storage. Huge learning curve here anyway – think I’ll brush up on a few other things while I pause & plan. I’m mosly stopped dead by needing a printer cartridge to arrive, now I think about it. I want to put our project plan on the walls for comment & amendment.

Categories: Fruit Salad, Life On Wurm

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: