Fruit Salad

Big Catchup Post (Part 2) (Fun, fun, fun!)(+ wall of economy warning)

Before that person pops up and says “define fun”, I’ll answer. “No. Here is a definition of ‘arguing definitions’ instead: Arguing definitions will approach a point in the same way that repeating decimals do, they approach closure in increasingly smaller steps without reaching it. Forever.”

This isn’t an essay on fun, but it plays a large part and I don’t want to be stuck poking about trying to figure out what fun is before mentioning it. I will write on the understanding that if you know whether you like marmite sandwiches (or anything else) your fun-o-meter is working perfectly well and you should have no trouble knowing when you are enjoying anything, and should also be able to detect whether you are enjoying something so much that it hits the “fun” calibration.  There war not a definition in sight. And with that out of the way I launch!

Fun is pretty much the thing video games exchange for money and if the studios and publishers kept that firmly in mind, along with the not too difficult concepts “many people” and “fewer people”, they would make a lot more money with a lot less effort.

Illustration no 1 : Pvp is intense fun  for many people. Hardly anyone enjoys being ganked. Gank games can only make money by providing fodder, an expensive business involving (for example) making zones which are for PvE players who must then be lured to their doom. Good (not too ganky)  pvp games live forever though. I’m back visiting WoW. Not for the (post cataclysm) dismal levelling, but to indulge in some pvp. Guild wars 1 is still going because people go and pvp in it. Good pvp is going to bring in money, long term and without extra outlay because an awful lot of people get to enjoy it, compared to only the number of people who like to gank having fun.

Illustration no 2: Many people enjoyed Wrath of the Lich King, fewer people enjoyed Cataclysm. It’s safe to guess that zerging things in WotLK was fun for more people, I should think, and performing perfectly in Cataclysm was fun for fewer. But the costs to the company of creating raids would have still been there, whether they chose to please the few (and made less money) or the many (and made more money).

So it’s a fairly simple correlation to figure out, and I’m pretty sure people making games do recognise it at first. And then. Do  they get frightened by the sneering?  “Dumbed-down”, “casual”, “care-bear”, ring any bells? (Hey I got news for all you so-called hard-nosed business people. If ya can’t stare down a sneer because you can see past it to a fat bottom line, you’re not very good at business.)

There is also the argument that a branded name of hamburger is very popular but not good quality. True. Does fun come in graded qualities? You can force some system of measurement to the quality of fun, I daresay. I think I’ll leave that for the few people who think imposing a qualitative measure on “fun” is a worthwhile thing to do with their lives. Meanwhile, here in real, popularity is a pretty useful measure in video-games of how much money they will earn, just as it is in the hamburger business.

And finally there are the infinite obstacles, small and large, inserted into gaming in the name of monetisation. Fun, pretty much, gets lost in that mix. All too often the players and the game are competing for the same resource, a competition the game will always win – zero fun in that. This is structural and I’ll do a post later on it. Essentially: all the subtle variations of buy to win. The game sellers are always going to prefer that you pay them money for something over you play for something, and are in a position to nerf gameplay in favour of a sale.

Which brings me raither neatly to the fact that we’ve been having more fun in older games than in newer ones, something I’m sure a few readers will have noticed at the end of my last post. The newer games, the 2014-ish launches are absolutely not lacking in production quality. They are fabulous from that standpoint. And fun is not lacking either, but it’s gated. And that means fewer people, and that means less sales. Which is fine. A nice “interesting choice” for the companies involved. Bottom line though we’d rather fire up Terraria  here in this house than struggle with a thin economy in ESO. We’d rather romp about in EQ2 than battle to get FABkits in Wildstar, new and shiny though it is. It’s a pretty consistent thread of preference. We’re gaming, there to enjoy, and we play what delivers.

So here’s our current “Fun List” with all the fun parts attached and some things I found interesting bolded. You never know a strolling dev might come by and find an angle!

Skyrim: No surprise I’m sure. I love this game. I log in, I lose myself completely. I’ve got things to do and NPC’s to meet. It looks fantastic! I can kill dragons. I’m not simulating me. It has weather, I own a house (or three), Lydia is quite the most interesting pet I’ve ever come across, My wealth increases as I play, plus I get to loot treasure, or steal it. It has tales of epic adventure and intrigue. I get to use all the best weapons, the best enchantments and read all the books. There is no preferred playstyle.  Anyone who logs in gets to play the full game and play for all the best shinies.

Terraria: I already bolded this for Skyrim: There is no preferred playstyle in Terraria either. That’s probably a feature of single-player games really, where basically if you don’t deliver Fun (capital F) you plotz because there aren’t any other things to distract from the “client pays money, client receives fun” transaction. Terraria is also loved because: It’s deep, deep, deep. And because it’s quirky and funny. There is much discovery and exploration. I love that I can sit in a mud hut with a campfire while zombies batter the walls futilely to get at me – such a cosy feeling (!). It has atmosphere (and achieves this with pixel graphics). Crafting is completely relevant. I’m going to do a post on crafting rather than detail here but the essential is preffered-playstyles kill it. (Because if your raiders/pvpers/guilds/whatnot are getting all the good stuff, it leaves crafted items with no value.)

I’m still playing Wildstar but pretty much on the strength of the combat now, and unsub isn’t too far off. The addon that adjusts FOV helped my headaches enough to reach level 14 and I do have a house. It’s quite nice, all presets but cute enough, but there’ll be a struggle to do anything with it. I’ll be unsubbing for almost the same reason I unsubbed from ESO – stingy economy. In this case I can trade openly which is a relief, but thar’s a big problem Huge. I think I now know where all the austerity economists are hanging out. They’ve attached themselves to video gaming. It’s the exact same thing. Inadequate earnings, unavoidable and rising expenses. Unlike in real life though “austerity” in a game can be avoided by walking. I probably will. I do enjoy the combat in Wildstar – same thing as ESO in combat I don’t move like a slug while the mobs whizz around and that’s lovely. I think this game is pretty solid really and no reason it shouldn’t do well unless it… forgets to make sure that plenty of  fun is there for the many in it’s quest to captivate raiders.

I am not sure that describing Uemeu as a game does it justice. It is more like a toolset. It has, in fact, become a tool for me. In (yet another) post already written in my head, I’ll detail where we’re at with …Thingie (our long long long-term project). Briefly: there are apps and programs we use to explore ideas and prototype. Uemeu is the fastest way I know to for example, lay out a city, or check what the physics will look like when something happens. It’s pretty amazing and I’m totally enjoying watching it develop. But the fun part: it’s so open-ended. I have fun by sitting down for an hour or two and just playing with the infinite customisation. I can literally spend a week just fooling about with one composite shape (it’s been known) or a simple shape for that matter, or a lot of both. Or a world. Or portals. Or traps. Or miniquests. Or springs. Or all of them.  Or the new things. There are always new things. In as much as it’s a game, it’s a game where you build things. Worlds can be linked, multiplayer if not already fully implemented is possible. Sometimes the team run player-sessions where you can see this in action. There’s a lot to write about on this one, and I’ll be using that new patch as an excuse 🙂

And I’m leaving Neverwinter for the next post because this one’s pretty long, and I’d like to do some detail with Neverwinter, since it is the only game I know that actually gets the time/money relationship, amongst other things. It jolly well deserves a good look and a thorough pick-aparting.

Last words: Fun is subjective. This makes people who like things in boxes, and in measured quantities run for miles and miles, screaming and waving their arms! That alone makes fun a valuable thing.

Here endeth the second wall of text.

i

 

 

Categories: Fruit Salad, Game Design and Creation, Things In General, Vague Rambly Stuff

Big Catchup Post (what I played, where I’m at) (+ a lot of rambling) (Part 1)

Some extra news: Uemeu is due to release a new patch later this week – and it’s quite a special one,  judging by this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4xA1pRIH7Y. Woh.

I have 8 blog posts, I counted them, circling in my head like aeroplanes waiting to land. But before I embark on those, which are in fact all written with only the writing missing, I am going to gather all the small, disparate bits and bobs that are also sitting in my head marked (wistfully) “blog?” and do a Blah. Here it is then :

It has been an astonishingly busy year, but not much has happened. The busy is mostly people treadmilling harder and harder to stay afloat. Much activity, hardly any movement. People want to see you more often, more forms need filling in, whatever it people do, they’ve been doing it *more* for all they’re worth. Bless. Roughly every two weeks, something has fallen apart too. Cuts in staff do that. (It has taken over a year for some totally routine passport stuff to make it’s way through a backlogged system). Having to field the problems all this causes is death to productivity but wahey everyone’s very very busy so that’s ok then. Wee grumble there. Predictably everyone is also very very tired – punchdrunk I call it. So the summer hols are rolling in not a second too late. And with the make-busies all off their treadmills or winding down, space and time have expanded, and I can blog. Yay!

As always my sanity has been preserved and protected and safely girded in the Legendary Armour of Armourness by being able to log into a game when the day’s work is done. Gaming keeps my wits in and my countenance serene in a way that passive media just cannot.  Actually the passive stuff just induces impotent fury. One thing I won’t be blogging in detail about is the Independence Referendum here in Scotland. It’s little known, but the rules regarding blogging/tweeting about it in the run up to the day are very catch-all. So far nobody has cited them, but its Power with a capital p that this referendum is about, big wheels gnashing, not everything totally fair or square. On the other hand I can’t exactly ignore something so huge, so there will be general comments.

I’m pretty sure I AM allowed to say that the debate has been amazing. The debate really has been amazing. If you give people a whiff of democracy, they perk up no end! The main media has been using the tired Tribal model to report our referendum like some sporting event, (gnnnnh ! (err that was impotent fury)). I stay away. I can tell you faithfully from here, in the middle of it, on the ground, that what I’m seeing is nothing so infantile. I see people finding stuff out, thinking stuff through, and having lively interesting discussions about just about every aspect of our governance. It’s a privilege to be here at this time, and I get more accurate news from Twitter by now anyway.

My how I used to hate Twitter. But now it’s something I don’t think I could do without. Interactive peer-reviewed news suits me perfectly well. It’s fine. And it’s weird. I did used to sit in a chair for hours, idle, passive, watching like… it’s strange to think of watching TV now. What a peculiar thing to do. I haven’t unpacked mine yet. I haven’t watched it for think 3 years or so. It isn’t missed. The set itself is ancient too (pre-switchover whatever that was) and won’t be replaced.

No, Chickens, when I want relax I go computer! And the gaming’s been great. Added to that our long-saved for computer has opened some new doors. So between Twitter and video-gaming my sanity has been perfectly safe. And now I get to write about it too – truly life is wonderful! There’s a lot of ground to cover. I have been playing new games and old games and games that are still being made. I have discovered Skyrim! And I am totally besotted with it! And as a result I’m gradually reaching a grudging state of not minding too much about Steam. Which is now having a sale, so even more games there. I’ve discovered Android gaming. It’s been wild, I tell you, wild! And relaxing 🙂

I’ll start with the new games that I don’t intend to do whole blogposts about, but “I was there at the beginning so here’s what I thought” is what I’d like to write. Those would be Landmark, Elder Scrolls Online and Wildstar.

I played a little of the alpha on Landmark, and I’ll visit again when it’s properly launched. It’s very pretty, and looks to become a nice game, but I stopped playing quite fast – two reasons. One, having to hold the left mouse button for ages to chop wood – it made my fingers hurt.  I know there was a workaround (I could have adjusted my hardware) but I wasn’t gripped enough to do that. And Two, (this is silly) my avatar’s legs reminded me of milk bottles (thin thighs, big whitish sausagey calves). The mouse problem is maybe solved by now, at least I hope so. I’m not sure I’m ever going to get over the sausagey calves but I’ll try.  (I know it’s silly, but it was that thing. Where once you’ve noticed something it keeps attracting your attention.) When I was playing all the building tools and interfaces weren’t working properly yet, though some were there. I think mainly for this game I’ll try it when it’s done. It was ok. It is a pleasant-looking world and building is right up my street. I’m not sure about the procedural generation. I have a feeling the human brain needs a lot of elements to feel interested. I climbed hills to find more of the same, but then player-made structures will presumably change that, and give places a more unique feel. We’ll see. It’s on the “try a few months later” list.

I very much liked the Elder Scrolls Online. It does not have the visceral grip of Skyrim which literally reached out of the screen and pulled me into that world the first time I played, but ESO is a fine game and there were many things I really loved about it. Yet, I hit the unsub button. The economy is thin. Players earn little ingame coin and spend much. Inventory, mounts and repairs. As in real life, if people can’t thrive and survive on what they can earn legitimately they find other ways – I’ve never seen so many bots!

Usually one would manage to garner extra ingame currency via an Auction House, trading with other players, but in this game there’s a wall. At the time I was playing I would have had to belong to a guild which could then trade with some other guilds. I read that this is some notion about localising markets. Well, they are localised right enough. To the extent that non-guilded players are barred.

Well, I am a busy woman. I do not have time to join and maintain relationships in one  guild let alone five. Which meant (at time of playing) I couldn’t do AH trade.  And that last point was the Unsub.

My self-esteem just isn’t low enough to pay full price (and a sub at that) for a gimp. I am delighted that guildy people have a guildy game, but I won’t be humbly subsidising the preferred-playstyle anytime soon. At least not on a regular basis. ESO is on the “visit sometime” list.

I do want to play this. That’s because the weather is fantastic, the lore is huge and satisfying, there are critters! and I for one liked the combat. In particular I liked this about the combat: my avatar did not move like slug while the mobs moved like quickfish. Well, it did, but the differential wasn’t as big as is usual in other games. I found, that if I had been playing ESO then played another game, it was very very noticeable that the enemy got to move normally or fast, and I was moving. in. slow. motion. The ESO balance feels far more natural and enjoyable. I like this game. Pity I’m not the kind of player they want. About that “visit sometime” list. WoW is on that list. It’s been 4 years since I played it. I’m back now having a visit. As more games appear the turnaround takes longer. The “visit sometime” list is a bit of a dusty attic.

The third new and big game I played was Wildstar. I think Wildstar is going to be a winner. I’m still subbed but I do have a problem. I’m one of the unfortunates that gets a bad headache from the display. I like the game enough to have tweaked my graphics card settings every which way and later today I’ll try the addon that adjusts FOV but I truly cannot play it for more than 15 minutes without inducing a pounding, horrid 7 hour headache. Quite bad. The plan is to limp along until I manage to get a house (at level 14 I think it is) and then make a decision about whether to keep subbed. Mostly, and all importantly, the game is FUN. It’s engaging, there is plenty to do, and the combat pulls me in. It’s like “one more chocolate”, the combat. I’m playing a medic. My progress is slow due to having to stop after 10/15 minutes, but I’m definitely enjoying this journey and if I do unsub, it will be with huge regret.

I want to add that I’m not keen on the Wildstar graphics as they are right now (on personal taste grounds). But I’m also not sure how much (or if) they contribute to the headache issue. Cartoony is fine. I am absolutely loving how I feel as if I’m playing a Pixar type movie, but the palette is very strident indeed.  A house is always an attraction for me but got to say living in a 3d-but-flatter, neon world detracts. I’m not one for going home to a road-workers’-jacket coloured garden, or acid pink anything 🙂 Well, maybe I’ll surprise myself. I’ll let you know when I get that house. My tweaked graphics save my sensibilities from luridness, for now. But it is clear that some tolerances perhaps shouldn’t be exceeded when it comes to displays – something I was only dimly aware of before. I did know that flickering in some displays can cause epileptic fits, but never realised there might be other things that could be harmful. Live and learn.

Quick note: most enjoyed and regularly played PC games right now: Skyrim, Uemeu, Terraria, Skyrim, Wildstar, Neverwinter, and more Skyrim. Yes, besotted is the word.

Here’s some of the what I call the ‘Referendum Effect’. Instead of just writing this blog I ended up having a solid think about health and safety, since two of the games are currently uncomfortable to play and would cause me harm if I continue, albeit probably minor harm.  I think Health and Safety Regulations get bad press for foolishness, but I don’t trust any company to keep me healthy and safe. I want those regulations. If they are silly, let’s change them! Meanwhile I hope both Landmark and Wildstar get more comfortable to play. (Landmark may have already sorted the hold-down-left-mousebutton-for-far-too-long thing, I have not been checking).

Going to leave it there for now because this is already a wall o’text.

(and Saor Alba)

 

 

 

 

Categories: Fruit Salad, Oddments, Things In General

Obdurate Fruit Salad (games I’ve been playing)

The games I played last year had a lot to put up with.  A moving user, patchy internet, computer crashed by some other game – but some survived! I did play some games 🙂  So here is a tribute to the toughest of the tough, the survivors, the travellers, the movers and shakers – the comfort zones that came through it all.

Top prize for sheer reliability throughout goes to EQ2. This just worked, no matter where I was or what I was doing, as long as the internet permitted. And it’s a nice, calming game. Much appreciated, good enough for a 6 month sub, steady as an oak! Late last year we got shiny new high level characters to try out and keep too. My highest self-played alt is somewhere in it’s 40s (I don’t care much about progress these days), and I wouldn’t otherwise have been able to see life at the top for a good long while (if ever). Amongst other things, my new high level person can earn the lucre for a slightly fancier house – so here it is. My real house has this kind of feel to it now that it’s had a makeover, so this is a good picture to put here. I’m also feeling very protective about EQ2, for the Massacre of the Siblings has begun over at SOE now that they want us all only spending on EQNext/Landmark – Vanguard, Free Realms, Wizardry Online, Clone Wars, we are told, are to be shut. Oh 😦

Newsur

I gotta new home in EQ2! (But how long will it survive SOE?)

Vanguard is a game I love though. It did crash my computer while I was away, causing all kinds of fankles and extra expense, so I know all is not well with it. I’ll try to be there for the sunset, which means fully backing up everything every time I want to play it. I’ll try to get OBS working (another crash risk). I’ll try to keep some record of the fun I had playing it. But it’s not good enough really. Here we are watching a new cultural form grow, one which draws in so many artists, programmers and thinkers that they can be wastefully overworked and laid off with no risk to the studio, and nobody keeps the iconic games of our era going.

But there’s more too it than just the cultural aspect. People get very attached to their pixels, and their virtual environments – ie – there is a market. This is something studios, or rather big studios ignore/don’t realise/don’t want to know. Yet for old games the assets are there, the code is there – the giant bulk of the work is done. You may need someone to curate your sunset game, or keep it running – but that’s about it. The cost-profit ratio for a sunset game is potentially far, far better than for a new and shiny one.  This would involve losing the beloved sub, I should think, but fluffy cash shop items ought to do well, or box sales. Oh well, all in all I find the way games are sunsetted profoundly wasteful as well as deeply unpleasant. From a selfish point of view, I most prefer if they go open source, allowing would-be’s to look at and learn from the code, allowing fans to keep them going, allowing them to be preserved for the future and possibly even built on. A couple I know of have taken this route, and I’m deeply grateful and impressed – Glitch and Ryzom spring to mind (if you know any others I’d be interested)

And then theres putting it in maintenance mode:

Arenanet hehehe :). Well, pleased to report that the game I played next most is GW1. (It doesn’t have housing so EQ2 got played more). On a micro-scale putting GW1 into maintenance mode has worked out well for Arenanet – our house now owns 2 copies of GW2, and 2 of GW1. I’m happy to buy more as well. It’s a nuisance when someone wants to play and we don’t have spares. And it will probably be GW1 that I buy extra of simply because GW2 doesn’t run well on all our machines, and we are sociable gamers. I would love to see more items in the shop in GW1. Seriously. It’s still a very firm favourite. During the upheavals I actually played it enough to get to Lion’s Arch (woohoo?) !!

But news on GW2 as well, once we moved back in here, to my surprise I found that the performance has improved enough for me to play it longer than a half hour without logging out on my laptop. I have barely started, nothing to write, but it’s why I bought the second copy of that. . And the same goes for LotRO which has stopped doing the foxtrot and now…runs 🙂 I have always loved the beautiful, beautiful scenery in LotRo and did used to log in, just for 5 minutes now and again to enjoy being there. Again haven’t had time to really get going, but very glad to have a whole new game to play. New to me anyway.

At first Wurm was there too. And lovely to be able to play that while my real little world was upside down. But after the crash that horrible ui flicker returned. I had the computer reformatted by a professional, and then redid it myself a few months later. The flickering stayed. This time I decided to find out what it was, and I did – or at least I found out how to fix it. But had to wait until I was back here with reliable internet to do the laborious process of elimination needed. Oh yes, forgot to say – enabling Windows Aero in the desktop stopped the flickering in the Wurm ui. It’s playable again, I’m back, and I’m catching up. Not marvellous, servers very uppy downy ever since that DDOS attack (doubt there’s a link though), GLSL shaders haven’t worked since Wurm 1 (more than a year now), (my water graphic is barely visible at the moment). For the elevated price… mmmm. But it’s the best virtual world so far, so I’m still there.

Another disappointment is Neverwinter. It’s an action game, there’s no point playing when performance is rubbish. Performance was ok when it started, but has gone steadily downhill since, so I’ve stopped playing it. I also tried out Jade Dynasty – and was having fun too, but there was an update or an expansion or something, and now the graphics are borked, so that one didn’t make it either.

Last but definitely not least I played Path of Exile a lot, a lot :). It’s that game with the truly magnificent talent tree. For an isometric game the terrain graphics are nice too, with firelight, waves in the ocean etc. Characters tend to run around in rags though. Well mine did anyway. Totally recommend for hopping on & having an hours’ fun. Love the donate voluntarily for fluff items or just-to-show-off-that-you-did system of payment (fascinating!). And the procedurally generated maps work well. It’s that wonderful thing – “just fun!” to play. (Yay for fun.)

So for having not played much, I played a fair bit, albeit this is over a few months. Now I have a tablet. And I want to write about that. Also just about all the stuff going on. Also.. yes. Think I’ve got something of a backed-up blogpipe here  🙂

Categories: Fruit Salad

HotS City, Killer Flowerpots (Wurm)

This is actually a fruit salad. I didn’t play a lot of anything in June because of the move. Only Wurm really, just to see if I could (ie check the interenet in this flat is ok). There were flowerpots to make – I managed one! And my Exodus Alliance decided they needed a challenge, so now I’m a HoTS. Which means I can write bits about PvP except everyone is paranoid about spies.

But I’ll secretly try to screenshot a tile of mycelium! Except I’ll ask the mayor first if it ok.

Categories: Fruit Salad, Life On Wurm, Shorts

In May the Fruit Salad Exploded (Neverwinter, Guild Wars 1, Wurm, CoS, PoE, Rift…)

Which was a dilemma because in May I had only a half-hour here and there to play – an hour if I was very, very lucky. I apologise – my views on the games I did play are coloured by this. Life’s like that though and gets more like that the more you progress through it and the more engaged you are. It cannot be helped. There’s money in that – if anyone ever works it out. I can’t put it more simply and I’m deaf to cries of “casual”. Games fit into life or I can’t play and won’t pay for them. Not to worry I’m not going to do any diatribes – just note which ones fitted the best. To those went our entertainment budget and the rest, along with films and restaurants got diddly squat. But I might buy a film dvd this month. Maybe.

So now I’ve done my explaining, here are my adventures:

Most time, but not most pennies was spent in Neverwinter which has the double benison of running well and being new and shiny, I get along well with Cryptic games until I hit the gates, so I only ever spend token amounts to say thanks for the levelling experience. If my alt is going to get stuck further down the line by needing a guild or whatever, I’ve no incentive whatsoever to spend money on him/her. Having said which the levelling experience contains quite a lot of solo content and will keep me occupied for a little while still. At least they made the effort. I bought a very few zen to say thanks but it can sit there in my account until doomsday for all I care, or until I get an alt with a future.

I’m not far along – my Guardian Fighter is the highest at level 24. I find it a fun class to play in tandem with my Devoted Cleric at 21. The cleric until now was somewhat overpowered and more of a tank than the tank. I also had the most fun playing her, I’m sure there’s a correllation. (That’s right, I like tanks :)) Since the patch,  the cleric is somewhat diminished – but still just fine. I anticipate playing Neverwinter through June too.

On June 20 Neverwinter officially goes live. There have certainly been a few hiccups, mostly exploit-related. Neverwinter seems to have weathered the storm though, and I’m guessing it’s pretty popular. I’m also guessing it’s popular because I’m not the only person with limited time, who is pleased to see some (limited) effort put into solo content. Or could just be that the combat is such a blast.

Next up and out of the way is Wurm which got time since I’m doing the last shuffles. That involves one last deed to shut, one last sailboat to bring home – and an attempt at earning some coin which might turn out to be more bother than it’s worth. I’m not feeling very enthusiastic about Wurm just now. But, but!!! There is my village role at Dulcinea, which cheers me up on the glooooomiest days and has saved me from that moment when I throw my hands up in the air and think “you know what, it’s a great game, but it’s soooooo worky.” I think, I seriously think, I’ve been close to quitting on more than one occasion lately. I sincerely hope that my restructured deed plus the lovely village company will keep me.  Wurm 1.1 isn’t far off, but I feel no particular urge to speculate about it. Decaying plant pots would be nice I suppose. I’m close to snap point with it though and something silly could easily cause a quit.

Third most time spent goes to Guild Wars 1 which is something of a special case. Instead of shutting it down, it has been put into automated maintenance mode. They did that just when I was thinking I might buy yet another copy! Tch. I’ll pause now and see how things look in 6 months but if it’s still going, I’m buying. It has the same replayability as Torchlight or Diablo, I suppose. Or I just like faddling with the builds. Over the years I’ve spent many hours in this game – sometimes not really playing but just wandering about dozily looking at the scenery and listening to the music, othertimes going on a personal zerg to destress from real life. I hope automated mode works out. I’d be happy to pay for a single-player of this.  Heck I’d be happy with a sequel. I know there is Guild Wars 2, but it’s too different and doesn’t have the same pull at all for me. Plus it doesn’t run well, whereas Guild Wars 1 goes like a rat  down drain while still looking absolutely gorgeous.

I’m  going to put City of Steam aside and visit later. There’s a discrepancy. I’m seeing a generic, bland, simplified, buggy browser game which runs poorly and has an overpriced in-your-face cash shop.  But when I look on the forums I can see that somehow this game has garnered for itself a devoted and loyal playerbase. I’m assuming I’m not seeing it at it’s best and that it was or could become something special. Only time will tell. I love the graphics and I think the combat is ok. But because of the bugs alone it’s not worth playing  right now. Sticking in scenery, unable to loot, unable to open doors. I did laugh – I had an escort mission at one point and the npc was rubberbanding on the spot too. Also, Unity Web Player makes my heart sink whenever I see it loading. I know it’s helped a lot of Indie games see the light of day, but it doesn’t work very well (yet). It crashes and/or stutters horribly. City of Steam hasn’t improved since my first look, alas. Maybe it will over time.

Then, Rift is going free to play. So I had a (very quick) look at that. It runs now. On low settings, and is playable but not very gripping. It got fifteen minutes or so of my time. I will investigate further maybe, but feel no pull. Same goes for SWTOR – I also had a look at that, just to check if it works for me. It does, at low settings. Nowadays I don’t think anyone is desperate enough to play with ugly graphics, but who knows. I also looked at LotRO which now runs for me. It’s a bit different to the two preceding games. It doesn’t seem to matter what how I set the graphics apart from I can’t do the very highest quality. At settings below that, no matter what, I get something like a foxtrot. Slow, slow quick-quick- slow. Somewhat quirky –  and irritating after half an hour, but pretty. And on occasion I do log in just to admire the scenery, which is beautifully done.

I spent time being killed in NeoScavenger again. Ehm. It’s totally infuriating, but quite hard to stop after one go :). Then, there’s Proteus, which I had downloaded in a bundle, looked at and smiled and forgot until a child couldn’t sleep. Well, it’s a surprise hit with the young yins. They have played it more than me. They also, for reasons unknown descended on Forsaken World like a flock of starlings. I must check to see what the attraction was. Also played by the young on their little handie-things: Loco Roco 1 and 2 and Zelda Phantom Hourglass – it was a nostalgia binge. Much moaning because Minish Cap has succumbed to chocolate in someone’s pocket and won’t run anymore.

I downloaded Dragon’s Prophet to be treated to stutter-stop views of my alt’s breasts in various settings. Quite bizarre. It doesn’t run for me, but the hookerwear looks nicely designed. Repulsively, my alt not only was compelled to look like a streetwalker, but had to perform suggestive poses too. If I was a man I’d hate to be stereotyped as a leering, dribbling, one-dimensional mark. Or don’t they notice?

More breasts, or rather nipple-covers, somewhere near the beginning of Path of Exile, Path of Exile made me laugh and it has the best waves I ever saw in an isometric game. I like Path of Exile. I’m going to keep playing it. There’s something off-beat about it which calls to me. Caveat is that I’ve only just started and simply not had the time to play it much, but on the few half hours I did play, I enjoyed this game.

There’s actually more. While the AAA scene stumbles through some slow endless foot-shooting loop, the Indie scene is heaving like a carpet of fleas with new ideas, and I… I’m overwhelmed by all the stuff there is to play!  My standbys, EQ2 and Vanguard didn’t get a look in last month but I’m beginning to miss those and will run home soon. Oh yes, I also played some STO but got overwhelmed and haven’t made a new Klingon yet. I’m totally sure I’ve forgotten some games. All played only for small bouts alas, but my goodness, I do hope things calm down a bit in June. I’ve writen all their names on bits of paper, the games on my drive, it’s got that bad – and they go in a hat when I get a bit of playtime. Seriously. It’s that good. Runescape, Jade Dynasty… basically, I just ran out of time long, long before I ran out of options.

I enjoyed Neverwinter and Guild Wars 1 the most and played those the most. I enjoyed Path of Exile. I know I’ll enjoy STO when I do get to it  (it makes me happy!). The rest go in the box marked “Interesting…”

Categories: Fruit Salad

April Fruit-Surprise Salad (Wurm, Vanguard)

Oh well, I’m kind of glad Wurm gave me a push. I’ll start with Wurm because I’ve decided to back out fast – well as fast as you can do anything in Wurm, which isn’t all that quick. I’ll contract to just paying for one premium on Celebration (plus upkeep) and wait and see what happens from there. I’ll hang on to the North Independence deed as long as I can but I think that has to go too. I am not sure why this has caught me on the funnybone – size of the price rise? Well, it’s more an annoyance than a gamebreaker. Bombshell way it was done? No, that’s normal. Wierdness of increasing prices (on a sub!) by 60% when the rest of the industry is becoming more price competitive? Nope that kind of sheer peculiar is totally normal for Wurm and even what is the word… entrancing….

A combination of constantly accelerating decay and having to log in frequently whether it’s convenient or not is much more likely to be my problem. It’s a high maintenance game! And I don’t need another job/mortgage/dependent. Anyway we’ll see what happens. I was only going to go dormant at the end of 2013. Bringing it forward feels like a relief which tells me I’m doing the right thing (for me). I hope dormant is good enough because I don’t want to quit completely. I do want to deinvest though. Some people will be extending themselves to buy extra premium and silver before May 2, I do not intend to do that. I know there’s probably some moneymaking opportunity there, but  metagaming for real profit doesn’t float my boat (tedious). Plus, when I get caught up in sweeping changes I aim at somewhere near revenue neutral and get in a position from which I can move/wait it out. The poor old Wurm ingame economy such as it is, is going to be a bit strange for a while – just guessing.

The good news is that this will free up time to finish the Begunner’s Guide and perhaps I can even do some more guide/informational Wurm posts. I’d like that. It’s such a fascinating game, and very different to anything else. Doing guides helps me see that afresh. Yes, the root of my problem is the time that maintenance demands in Wurm and that’s making me scale down – it was on the cards already. The price rise just made me do an unscheduled evaluation – and I realised I’d rather scale back sooner than later.

I wish I knew enough about Vanguard to do guides, but I definitely don’t !! (yet)  The magic persists even though the merge of Halgar and Telon servers resulted in a laggy mess. With graphics turned down it’s playable and I’m hoping things will improve.  I have no idea why Vanguard attracts me so much. The obvious things are that the classes are all distinct, the levelling is slow and satisfying, the questing is interesting, for the first time ever I’m reading the lore. I’ve thought about it a lot. And I’ve decided those things are all great but not enough to explain why I am so magnetically drawn to this game. Luckily I don’t mind not knowing things if I know I don’t know them. I am quite happily prancing about on an assortment of alts all now orbiting level 10 apart from a couple of stragglers and two that are in their teens. They do not have marvellous clothing, nor am I excited about Vanguard housing. From what I can understand it’s another one of those “you have to maintain it” deals and I think I’ve had high maintenance up to the gunnels. They are just simply fun to play. I like the new spells you get every two levels. That reward system both encourages you onward and upward and breaks up the levelling cycle. And, most importantly, those spells are often interesting and suprising – not just some stats wrapped up in some sparkly stuff. It makes a big difference.

I also like the small touches you come across here and there. Generally Vanguard is sort of empty, which I don’t mind since wide open spaces are the kind of thing I was brought up with. I like it when my eyes do not bump into stuff on their way to the distance. It’s fine and eases my soul. Where I come from sometimes the entire landscape was punctuated by only one small shrub. But in that apparent emptiness there are things to discover, and I like that too. Mysterious giant bones. Small settlements in the middle of nowhere, a pair of fighters sparring, copper pots. Just odds and ends, yet someone put them there perhaps for a reason, or maybe they were forgotten. The game feels layered and historied. It is an artefact.

Those two were the only games I played this month. Due to the people currently in charge of this country, life is unsettled and I’ve been scuttling about (like most people) getting hatches battened down for the inevitable stuff hitting the fan. Throughout the land costs are way higher than officially reported and wages (and other income) are regressed to danger point, budgets need to be rethought, but at least the unprecedented barrage of forms and other garbage has ceased streaming through my letterbox. Four months of it – unbelievable. I’m hoping I can now ignore the morass of incompetence above me for the rest of the year! I will try to anyway. But I’m not promising to play more games because things are now so peculiar in this country that anything could happen. Heh there are very much times I want to stick my head out of the window and yell “make the madness stopppppppppp so I can get back to my normal routine!! (I better not.)

There’s also that I’m enjoying PlanetGardenShed more than before now that it’s beginning to hang together, albeit as a structural prototype. It’s become more of an escape than other games – I don’t know if that will continue. I think… even just having a play-space where nobody is experimentally poking at me me hoping I’ll magically create money from nothing (or do their work for them)  is providing more relief from life than gaming possibly can. Other people’s creations are still highly intriguing, and always will be. I read more, far more blogs than I ever write posts on mine. It is like visiting other worlds, familiar, but different. I’m addicted. But just for now perhaps life’s tide is at a place where I don’t want the demands that go with enjoying stridently commercial offerings. That’s my theory and I’ll keep it for as long as it fits.

Categories: Fruit Salad

Small Frozen Fruit Salad wrapped in Fog (2013)(Vanguard, EQ2, Wurm)

Over here we saw some sun already this year but the trees are still asleep, their buds barely visible – they knew we were in for another cold spell. I’m supposed to be out and about today but happens I have a choice in the matter and I’m not stupid. So home I am, with work to do and warm, and sensible it is too plus good for the environment. Outiside is freezing fog. This won’t take long. The fallout from January continues, albeit at a slower rate and I’ve been busy with real things. I’ve played but 3 games plus Frog Fractions which I still haven’t finished even though it’s quite short.

Vanguard continues to fascinate, I’m delighted to say. It’s the game I played most. I now just about have one of everything and have managed to see Pankhor Zhi (it’s empty), and sent a Kurashasa homeward, but the Kurashasa zone is already shut off, so too late. Quite nice plinking around nearby though where there are the starter quests for another race to be had (I forget which). A little Raki made it all the way to the wood-elf starting zone, but the pics are on my zapped external hdd, and a lesser giant made it to Halgarad (hope I spelled it right). I really like the old starter zones. I don’t care about the gear, I like the variety. This is a fabulous game to solo in by the way. Nothing is too easy, which makes it all quite gripping. Slowly I’m meeting people too and it all feels very natural. I do have the secret weapon of course, I can always get a family member to group with me and tackle anything unsoloable, but so far haven’t needed to. Shark

Phew

Everquest 2 yay, played this second most much and I neglect writing about it I know. So far it’s been a total voyage of discovery and I’ve now discovered too much to catch up on is the problem. I will make a new alt and write about all the bits as I come across them is probably the best way to tackle it. And I do want to because this is a massive game with a huge amount of good stuff in it. It’s also (oddly for an MMORPG) a game in which one of the alts has a “life” of her own (the big girl). The Big Girl is a story – mostly my alts have the (soon to be devalued) clothes they stand in and a few kills, very thin, but the Big Girl is more complex and more fun. I think she has her own take on the male gaze for one thing. Hahaha!

Poor old Wurm has made it to the household chores list, the real one. At the bottom. Well…  I log in, do chores, log out and not much to say really except it’s working. Nothing has crumbled to dust and my skills are going up. I also get to chat to friends if they’re around. I don’t have the time for this game. I’m wriggling and squirming to fit it in but it’s like trying to keep an octopus in a fish tank. I’ll do this ‘improve year’, review in June and most likely go dormant in December – with real regret. I’d like to keep playing, but there’s far too much maintenance. The whole point of a virtual world is that it should exist independent of me, and I’m afraid that bargain has to include my stuff has to exist independent of me because I don’t have the time to sustain it.  So, yeah, guess decay did for me in the end. I think the decision is made really. I can’t see “dormant” lasting long either since the trader would still be needing fed. Too many, way too many chores. Sill, I’m there for this year.

Footnote: If you want to see what’s left of the starting zones in Vanguard – I found this guide helpful:

http://vanguard.wikia.com/wiki/Old_Starter_Towns_Guide

Categories: EQ2, Fruit Salad, Life On Wurm, Vanguard

Springy January Fruit Salad

It’s been a busy old week but here I am thankfully, gratefully, happily back at the dashboard of my blog, yay! There I was too, thinking this year would be all about single player games. I’ve not touched them this month though. In a surprise move Vanguard Saga of Heroes has crept to the fore and is currently main game. The one I go to when I have spare time. I am like a small child in a bath full of marshmallows, making new alts  –  but also trying out the crafting and diplomacy, exploring, just enjoying. Here below is another of the brood – a ranger:

Back

and some pretty little shiny things… I like pretty little shiny things…

I have been able to crank up my settings a little, without any problems, so the game is quite pretty now. I have only made about 7 alts so far (there are 15 classes). They take a while to level. I love that! My highest is the Necromancer (no surprise hehe) who is attempting to fly a pegasus. I think I have got the hang of it now, but its an awkward business involving a double spacebar tap to take off while moving forward and at the same time looking in the direction you want to go (as in “up”). Meh, I’m almost done the quest. Flying isn’t something I’ll be rushing to do – or swimming underwater which is even odder. I would rather lurk about in dungeons! The ranger above has been living in The Earth Den (Isle of Dawn) for a week or two. Actually I’ve finished the quests there I just like sneaking about the place, dw it’s just one of those me things, and because of the slow levelling, she still gets enough little scraps of experience to justify being there.

I’m not sure why I’m so taken with it. It may just be “new to me”, but like it I do. I looked at the matrix, very tempted to sub, but saw alas, that you get 20% experience gain. Just what I don’t want! And I mean that very much. Nevermind, later maybe. The cash shop was a strange experience with everything facing the wrong way when you preview it. When you turn things it takes ages to do, holding down mouse, drag sideways many times before a front view is achieved. Fraid I can’t be bothered doing that more than once or twice. So that will be a “later” thing too. I don’t mind not spending money, of course, but I really have enjoyed my month with Vanguard and would like to. I’m sure I’ll find a way 🙂

Wurm will get a longer post when I get around to it. I’m doing an improve year, with some mining and woodcutting. Truth be told I could do with a break from it and return refreshed, but that’s not something it’s built for. So when I do log in now and then, yes, I fix things, and improve the quality. At the end of 2013 I should have some nice skills and there’s the value. Improving things only delays the inevitable destruction through decay – there is no real point to it but the skills are worth having. I also have some bigger projects I can pick at if I have a block ‘o time and a Wurmy yen concurrently. Not something that happens very often. I don’t feel too bad about spending less time in Wurm for the now. Wurm is doing well! I have never seen so many players and the improvements keep happening. Rolf is back to coding pvp and finding new ways to crank decay up – all is well. And, a nice thing, we are getting some new tree types – one moment I’ll dig up the forum post…

http://forum.wurmonline.com/index.php?/topic/74885-a-number-of-new-trees/

Edit: forgot to add. Wurm is running very badly just now, if it loads at all, stuttering over every tile and crashing now and again. I’m sure this will all be fixed/improved but I’m glad I’m not trying to struggle through it.

Other things, EQ2 remains a firm favourite with that rhythm of go out and adventure, come home and move the furniture about – sheer genius! And a friend got me to download ToME (forgotten what it stands for)  but not had a lot of time to play it yet. That’s what I played in January, it was a very busy and somewhat fraught month, even for a January.

Categories: EQ2, Fruit Salad, Life On Wurm, Vanguard

Small Festive Fruit Salad – ((the best gifties) EQ2, GW1, Wurm, Wow) and some singleplayer games

Pressies thin out some as you get older, at least until you have grandchildren to make homemade ones, (hopefully), which I don’t have yet. So I spent Christmas play hours with the game that gave me the nicest gifts. So there.
Spiffy

The Big Girl looking unusually spiffy, (helm closed though (shy!))

It was Frostfell the first time I played Everquest II and I remember how impressed I was then. Nowadays the game runs much better and I’m still impressed. Every year more content is added. Gifts are given out daily (for quite a long time – right through early January) and accessible to f2p (and trial !!) players too. New items are added. Useful items, craftables, and decorative items. Yay! Thank you Everquest for that very seasonal and generous reminder that there can be, even in this old world, enough nice stuff for everyone if the effort is made. It does warm the heart. Hey, guess what I bought an expansion! Destiny of Velious (edit: no, sigh, I “misread”. DoV is not included. Dontcha just love advertising that makes you think something when something else is true) is now included with Age of Discovery, so it’s a very decent deal (not really so decent then) and I did want to treat myself to one game thing this year.  If it hadn’t been for their lovely Frostfell events, I wouldn’t have known that or decided to buy, so it payed off for them too. Now I can have a Mercenary – the Big Girl won’t be so lonely. You know, she’s a romantic at heart. Maybe that’s why she bought an outfit from the CS. Who knows perhaps …

Edit: So… in that case I think I’ll hold off trying out “gold”. I really don’t like sneaky stuff.

Much fun had in GW1 too. Err I never got near anything seasonal, because I got sucked into this quest about a Nornbear and then after that there was another interesting one,  and then I wanted to move my ranger out from pre-searing and so it went on. Great play, but no special gifties really. I think they go for cosmetic only, but I haven’t got anywhere near to find out.

Wurm is still settling after all the excitement of Wurm 1.0. . Here are some of the splendid (mostly hahaahaha!) things players are already making. http://forum.wurmonline.com/index.php?/topic/71682-multi-story-house-pics/ I think multistorey has already and will, bring in much revenue for Codeclub AB. The playerbase, which loyally supported the game through to release and in last months lost quite some silver(euros) through disappearing enchanted grass and horses walking through fences, was very polite about the cosmetic santa hat gift (premium players only). Wurm has a very nice playerbase. There is also some problem that makes the game begin to stutter after about an hours play (not only me)  which is a bit offputting, so I didn’t spend too much time there. Thank you for the hat.

I had a yen to visit WoW (my comfy old slipper), and thought I’d see what their free trial is like and I did see a Chrismas tree in Dolanaar. It’s the silliest free trial I ever saw. All social functions and the auction house and mail are disabled (to deter gold sellers and spammers) so you get a fast run through some tramelled, cut down and incredibly bland content on a character which has a few clunky skills. Frankly if I’d started with this trial I’d never have bothered playing it. I most certainly wasn’t going to go and read up where to go for Chrismas events, let alone trail along there – probably not available for trial players anyway. I didn’t care to find out. WoW also runs very badly now meaning a sub is forever out of the question. For my purposes, sadly for I’m fond of it, it’s pretty much become a hunka junk, and the loss of old content doesn’t help (compare to the stupendous amount there is to do in EQ2 even on the most basic account). The fund for a computer with a better graphics card has been started and is growing in tiny increments – and we’ll get there but you know what all these games you have to play on high enders also miss? Most households don’t have 4 high end machines. One good one and 3 older is much more likely, with members of the family wanting sometimes to play together. Silly game vendors. Use brain.

Must be said, once I hit Frostfell I stopped bothering about looking at other games for the presents and seasonal events. I checked Vanguard, but I’m too new in it to know where things are, and never got as far as Star Trek.

The first of the single player games were already downloaded (a pound/5 spent here and there over 2012) and fun is being had with those. FTL – wow, I really like that. It makes stories as you go – that’s a new one, not played much yet, but what I did play I very much enjoyed. Spacechem – at top of the list for everyone in family to be told about because of how it makes you think – in a way that’s going to be very useful for coding, o I am sneaky, yes. I found an infant modding Legend of Grimrock the other day. My methods do most certainly work. Dungeonkeeper II – delighted! found on Gog. Used to have this but it used to keep falling over on my old desktop, which I binned this year. Now it runs nicely and I’m looking forward to getting further than the tutorial. Gnomoria – had this for a whiley, go my gnomes… go…. build me an empire. (yes, I talk to them). NeoScavenger remains terribly addictive. I thought I was burned out on it then I played it again and woops, ahm…. yes. Only for when I have time because I can’t stop playing it at one game. Two roguelikes in that list there (FTL is the other one), and both near the top for enjoyment. I didn’t think I liked roguelikes. Now I know eh. Plants vs Zombies. Whats to say. Much loved :). Ravenhearst – I like this game, you find objects in the clutter. It’s also good for me – my eyes are slowly getting not so good and all crises are greeted with the words “Where’s my specs!” I find it handy to practice spotting things in what is increasingly a difficult to visually decipher world.

On the upside all men are handsome now.

Think that’s about it… ahm downloaded but not yet played RealMyst, and barely started playing something called Tag – the single player games fit my life well, and I’ll be sticking with them mostly as things hot up. They are also very good value, most of them well under 5 euros. No subs this year apart from, much later, see if EQII gold is any good for a month, maybe 2. Although compared to other forms of entertainment, subs are cheap, it’s the commitment and pressure they bring I don’t need, and the lack of opportunity to play other games caused by a lockdown on budgetted funds and time. One sub game is already one too much. Playtime will be for play this year, not “I payed a sub so now so I should”…blah blah blah, no tx go away. Early conclusion…. single player games by Indies are far and away the best value just now (beginning of the year) and more diverse and creative than current multiplayer offerings.

Categories: EQ2, Fruit Salad, Guild Wars 1, Life On Wurm

Surprisingly Small Fruit Salad (GW1,EQ2, WoW, Wurm Online)

So with life being very whirly and disconnected just now, there is less time to play. Plus if you remember I decluttered my hard drive and gave the laptop a new lease of life by doing a destructive restore – and I’m not in a hurry to add too many odds and ends. They’ll accrue eventually.

GW1 – To the amusement of all mum finally got a character out of pre-searing and is (4 years late) completely hooked. There are an awful lot of reasons why I like playing this. We all do.

Here are some of the reasons we like it then (trying out this blog editor at same time, Iets see how bullets go) :

it runs well

  • it runs well
  • it runs well (ok enough of that)
  • it looks good
  • the combat is fun and direct and unfussy.
  • it is immersive due to the very beautiful graphics and the music helps too
  • the story provides some extra immersion without being clumsy or obtrusive
  • I like the sense of being on a journey through strange new lands, fighting my way, that theme works!
  • there is no sub – I don’t feel any pressure to log on lest I waste money
  • there is no nagging at all in fact
  • in all the time I have attempted to play it it has always felt fresh and properly supported, if pared down
  • I am not a second class player, I am equal to all … (edit: this post is already threatening to get rather large, I’ll leave it there)

Soo what stopped me from getting more involved for four years? Believe it or not, baggage limitation. Nothing as immersion-breaking as having to stop and empty your inadequate bags too often. And no, I’m not going to pay to remove the irritant.

(Guild Wars 2 runs ok on the other machine but not well enough for anyone to want to spread. One copy will do but if it ever gets better, we will buy more. We have 3/4 copies of GW1)

And….

EQ2 – Surprise! Yes me too. I am surprised I went back to this. I can play it until the point where the in-your-face marketing gets me (alas not long before that happens).

They have only themselves to blame that I barely spent money here because this is a great game. I love the rhythm of going out and adventuring, then coming home to decorate or just mess about in my home(s) so by rights I should be playing more and spending more.

I even like browsing the cash shop and treating myself now and again but all the other constant “buy, buy, buy” stuff gets on my nerves big time so I hardly bother. (The items are really nice when I do look).

I am planning to play bronze (totally free) on one account and play Gold (full sub) on one account for a month or two (already have a silver account) in the interests of finding out if any of their payment plans are remotely coherent and/or comfortable. I doubt it. Plus, since they double-dip I will not be subbing for quite some time. The money thus saved will go to buying some not-all-that-new expansions. Only then will I do the Gold experiment. i.e. dont hold breath.

So…  their only recent sale is this:

Galeon

I may rust though.

which is rather nice, I must say, though it cries out for more holes. The inside spaces are lovely shapes. But they need windows for max atmosphere! It would also, to me have been a no-brainer for this to be able to travel, but it’s pretty good as it is. It is a house by the way. I think the carnivorous plant suffers from sea-sickness but I do have a few other bits and bobs I can use to furnish it 🙂

In its favour, EQ2 now runs very well at medium-ish settings and is still playable if cranked up, so it looks like they have worked on that part. Still haven’t managed to see through my windows in New Halas though. Hardware? Setting I am missing? Anyone know?

Wurm Online – is too interesting not to play just now, but I very soon won’t have time for Wurmstyle time-hogging. It’s a real shame that it’s so life-unfriendly. I’m not quitting but have no idea how much or when I’ll be able to play and anyway at times I won’t have internet making the expense truly worthless. If all I’m paying for is to log on when I can and repair stuff because that’s all there is time for, some hard decisions might be made. I’ll keep going for now though and see how I feel as time passes. I still just like being there, so there is that.  Much as I love Wurm I have to note the contrast with EQ2 where after a few months complete absence I could simply walk back in to all my stuff, and all the things I had made, arranged and achieved – without loss. I realise that it’s a different style of game. But a barrier to re-entry is a barrier to re-entry and padding (high proportion of repetitive maintenance tasks) is padding.

WoW – I finally dropped my sub. It’s still my old slippers though and I’ll go back now and again. Again, I’m time limited, no point in paying if I can’t play.

Categories: EQ2, Fruit Salad, WoW

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