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

So are we all ready for Wurm 1.1??

Eh? Eh? Well in my case I’m out of my house and into rented accommodation while the builders do their thang in 5 days time so I’m home getting the last of my barang packed up, getting stressy and will use Wurm shamelessly to calm me down via looong action timers, waits while things crash, a bugwatch, all the usual things that go with a version launch. If anything interesting happens I’ll post – and of course as a bonus you’ll have a blogside view of my pre-move nerves, you lucky things!

Categories: Life On Wurm, Oddments

I Think My Hair Might Be An Alien

While the rest of me ages comfortably and my brain matures to a fine cheese, the hair, ohhh the hair, the hair seems to be marching to a different genome. It is the despair of hairdressers and a barometer by which my mood can be measured. If I am harrassed it stands up straight, no really it does. Which makes my family laugh a lot, so that bit’s ok. It shows no sign of  despair unless a hairdresser gets close to it, when it sulks and goes limp and stringy. It will not take dye. (I tried to dye it purple). It will not tolerate bleach and falls out at the mere whisper of such a thing, which is bad because it’s dark brown and beginning to look silly on a person of my vintage – I would like a softer, lighter colour. I think it is just different to the rest of me.

I think it might be an alien!

Categories: Oddments

If I was PWE I would (Neverwinter)

definitely give everyone currently in Neverwinter and upset about the rollback … a cat 🙂

Categories: Oddments

Rollback Rage (Neverwinter)

Rollbacks aren’t the funnest things in the world, true – ask anyone who played Wurm over the last few years. On the other hand sometimes they are needed. You can’t have an economy run on cats :). Well, actually you can – it’s pretty classic. If a currency loses all value people will find an alternative to use.  I quite like the idea of an economy based on cats.

But back to rollbacks. So you lose things if you’ve been playing heavily and it’s rolled back. Usually there is some form of compensation, and Cryptic is going to give out something, we know not what. A rollback is not the end of the world but if you look at some of the comments on places like Massively and some of the forum rage, you’d think it was pretty bad. Insults heaped on Cryptic too. Actually Cryptic isn’t top of my list for Greedy Game right now, or anywhere near. They are middling in the moneygrabber league.

Heh. And then there’s that if you were exploiting and now lost all your “wealth” you can’t really go to a public space and yell about that can you :).  Have to find some other subject to vent about. Rollback has worked I’d say,  just judging by the volume of squeaking over something which really, honestly, isn’t that earth-shatteringly awful.

Would a complete wipe work better? Not if the aim is to pull worthless currency out fast. You only need to go back as far as the exploding cat phenomenon for that, and the exploiters are best tracked and dealt with one by one. The pressure for a full wipe couldn’t possibly be an attempt to make tracking individuals unnecessary, could it?  Hmmm? I think it could, just maybe, possibly be so.

Categories: Oddments

I’m sorry I was so resistant to Twitter!

I hope I didn’t call it the work of the devil ….errr…. yes, well. I have been using it for a couple of months now and it’s really quite sweet. It does a very nice job indeed of aggregating news sources in a superbly concise format and saves me loading sites that are heavily overburdened with ads and tracking software (not only exploitative but o so sloooooooow).

It also does an extremely good job of letting me know when something is happening, far, far faster and more efficiently than the kingmakers (our mainstream media). If there is misinformation, there is no shortage of people quick to correct – which is no surprise.  The few with a mission aside, most people prefer truth and accuracy. (Yay for people!) I don’t have any apps yet – that’s still to be explored. If anyone knows any good ones I’m willing to have a look and give ’em a whirl. The bus remains my cleanest source of news, since I can filter it via how well I know the person talking but Twitter adds a new window to the world, which is welcome.

In particular, I like the way it undermines the kingmaker-media completely. I suggest they stop believing their own selves and have a good gander at what their potential customers really think. Might find it something of an eye opener (giggle) – and a rather large clue as to why their influence is waning and their sales are foundering. Still on the subject of the kingmakers I suggest they find a personable lefty to be nice to and rather quickly 🙂 – the right, right, right and right are not grabbing the public’s imagination in quite the way intended.

I’m in such a good mood today. I really don’t mind being wrong and admitting it – it actually cheers me up, it’s just like losing a wart. Now for some more Neverwinter!

Categories: Oddments, Things In General

Freedom to protest peacefully is a rare and precious thing

So rare nowadays that there is much shock expressed that it actually happens  hahaha. I think “hahahaha” just about sums it up how I feel about a politician been heckled in Edinburgh anyway. Put away your brown-shirts nobody got hurt and no missiles were thrown, no arrests – (hahahaha!), people, (real ones!)  just, you know…. protested…loudly in a public space.  Anyone remember what that’s about or are we all so sense-dulled that a very basic human right now ‘reads’ to our brains as a “surely-it’s-a-crime?”


As I wrote before, freedom of speech is as neutral as gravity. You can say what you like, but it’s probably not a good idea to jump off a cliff. Or try to do a  PR shoot  in an Edinburgh pub – you’ll get told what people think in return,  loudly and very clearly. We also headbutt terrorists up here btw. (I’ll get in trouble 🙂 – Glasgow headbutts terrorists 🙂 is what I meant to say).

Categories: Edinburgh, Oddments

Only $ 8 billion, I’m soooo tempted!

What do you think readers? Shall I buy Activision-Blizzard?

Well who of us WoW players hasn’t fantasized walking in there and shaking the thing up? I definitely have, more often as I became more tired of some of the stupider things in WoW. I’d… separate the pvp and pve rulesets and stats, get rid of “school of hard knocks”, open the buildings in Stormwind and all the other cities,  retrieve all that content they stripped out, introduce housing –  zazz up endgame – the list goes on and on! Some fun to be had with the other assets too I have no doubt, and not to forget the satisfaction of demoting some overhyped personnel.

Well, not this year. Got other things I want to buy ( – much less costly things like  … food), but yeah it’s …tempting.

Categories: Oddments

Little Gem (Trip Through Time)

I know I now officially keep small games and unusual and old ones safely listed at the other blog where I can’t lose them, but I’m waiting for a child to arrive home (oh sorry, teenager) and came across this:


which filled the gap perfectly. (I hate that weird wait time before people arrive). It’s a simple idea, simple ideas are often The Best – plus, the sound track made me all happy!

Also unlike the 2 below it runs perfectly. You cannae fake good code


Categories: Oddments, Shorts

Virtual Party celebrating the original Newbie Blogger’s Initiative

(Started- 2 May, updating through the month and leaving sticky for May)

…And there I was casting around for something to do on here! It’s around a year since the redoubtable Syp from Biobreak set up the Newbie Blogger Initiative, and it was a good, good thing.nbimedium

It is alas no more at time of writing, but many of us have fond memories – good excuse for a party say I. So, I’ll collate anything I spot written about it recently here, and also, if you’ve started a new blog since the original NBI, or are just starting one now, do put an url and short description in my comments. I’m only a little humble blogger, but some bigger bloggers sometimes stop by and that way we’ll have a few new newbies to cherish this year too 🙂

To start the ball rolling here are three blogs that are also remembering that wonderful initiative – in fact they prompted this post:

Links to many advice posts here : http://healingthemasses.wordpress.com/2013/05/02/newbie-blogger-initiative-info-and-guides/ (this one has some extremely useful information in organised lists, I’m enjoying rereading some of these.)

9 May update: Wilhelm Arcturus has done a very thorough and cogent analysis of NBI 12 months on – http://tagn.wordpress.com/2013/05/09/new-blogger-initiative-a-year-later-who-survived/#comment-82095
plus he has a talent for making the raw numbers interesting, lucky person 🙂

11 May: Heyyy!, Ravalation has a post out: http://ravalation.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/nbi-one-year-and-week-later.html – (ha!)(ha! as in just what was needed – an old new blogger, blogging a year on)  and sent us this pic too. This post is getting festiver and festiver! Thank you!


and look what Italic Pig sent moi. Italic Pig’s first blog post reads at December 2012 which makes it a new blog then, (love to be able to publicise more new blogs, hint, hint)  http://italicpig.com/blog/. It is a nice blog, a devblog with a science bent and I’m happy to give it some air here 🙂


(I am @ Cabbidges).  Wow – thank you!!

Had a little break from the blog to do some otherstuff and now it’s 16 May, two more related posts!

http://stnylan.wordpress.com/2013/05/13/personal-blogiversary/ Another new blogger still going strong – this is so nice to see, I’m really glad it worked out. Stnylan’s posts cover quite a few subjects there (must have a read).

and The Delver has added some good and hearty advice: http://thedelver.wordpress.com/2013/05/11/newbie-blogger-initiative-a-retrospective-for-2013s-class/, woohoo!  And there are sound words of advice from Rowan here too: http://ihavetouchedthesky.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/nbi-retrospective.html?showComment=1368665777386#c3043964843924802350

And MMO meltingpot has marked the occasion too!: http://www.mmomeltingpot.com/2013/05/the-new-bloggers-initiative-a-startling-success/

17 May and A High Latency life has written http://highlatencylife.com/2013/05/17/i-feel-old/, which gives us some intriguing morsels of context and history for our lovely 2012 NBI

On we go…

Maybe we could do something every year? I’m not sure. I’ll leave such mighty decisions to Syp himself and the blogcommunity I think. But I don’t want the occasion to pass unmarked. And I definitely want to do my bitty to get others started or help them on their way. So if you’re starting out, don’t be shy!

…errr what is a pingback? ) (it ok I figured it out)

Some posts that I still remember:  Many of the older bloggers did advice posts (mine was “Curling up with a good bloog” it’s in here somewhere (and no it wasn’t a spelling mistake but  I know people pointed it out from kindness, so I like them, mwah!)). Some of the advice posts I read then, since I wasn’t a very old blogger, stuck out in my mind and I’m busy tracking them down. Here’s one:

the points about time management struck me at the time. I don’t spend as long over my posts as some people (just bat them out at a furious speed) – still. It does take time, and it’s worth figuring out how to fit blogging in amongst all the other joys of life.

And this one ha! glad I found it: http://toomanyannas.com/feature/names-dont-fence-me-in/ about picking a name in such a way that it doesn’t become troublesome, an important but easily forgotten detail.

There was another one… Yep, got it:

http://tishtoshtesh.wordpress.com/2012/05/09/nbi-for-love-or-money/ – that one’s really interesting. I don’t agree full-on because I try to keep all the parts of my life working together like a well oiled machinie, rather than partition things. So if an activity blurs into a worky thing I don’t mind. But nonetheless making a chore out of a pleasure is a silly thing to do. People do this in games all the time too, which mystifies me. People are… strange… (or it could be me…).

Categories: Oddments

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