Author Archives: Ysharros

Real Blogging

Blaugust is coming. A few other bloggers have mentioned it to me, either to cruelly mock my utter inability to post anything meaningful and/or regular, or to invite me to take part in a fun and slightly challenging event, or both.

I don’t know why I have signed up to do this.

I’m lying. I totally do — and it’s mostly because this poor blog has been terribly neglected and I’m stuck in the nobody-gives-a-shit-what-I-have-to-say-least-of-all-me rut, which never bothered me before. I started blogging to entertain myself and continued blogging to entertain myself and was just happily grateful that other people also found it entertaining enough to keep coming by. But at some point and when I wasn’t watching, I starting feeling as though I had to say things of import, big things, useful things, insightful things like the real bloggers out there do (by which I mean TBFKAL*, TAGN** and other acronym or acronym-less interesting people).

And I really don’t need to worry about that kind of thing. I just need to write posts that entertain me, like I used to do, and not care so much about having anything useful to say. I spent so much time advising other bloggers not to care about what their readership thinks and wants that I didn’t notice when I apparently started caring what my readership thinks and wants. I love you guys, especially those of you who have stuck with me through the posting drought and content starvation, but I actually don’t (and shouldn’t) care a jot what you want. This blog is for me and only incidentally for you — sure, it’s public, but that’s more so I can hold myself accountable to myself and not so much because I’m an attention ho (though I suspect there’s a little of that going on too; we all have an ego after all).

So maybe Blaugust will help with that. There was a time when, like Belghast, I could sit down at the keyboard and just write away — and I want that back. And since this blog was born in August, aeons ago in Internet time, August is as good as any to try and give it a Frankensteinian jolt.

Young FrankensteinIf you’re an interesting and real blogger and want to take part, the guidelines are in the above-linked Blaugust post.

Last but not least, this post was initially titled “Bits and bobs”, but while writing the ‘bits’ part I totally forgot what the ‘bobs’ part was going to be about, so I guess Blaugust is all you get.

– – – – – – – – – – – – –

— Oh wait, I just remembered what the ‘bobs’ part was going to be, but Blaugust is coming and I’m going to save it for one of those posts. Provided I don’t forget again, of course.

– – – – – – – – – – – – –

* The Blogger Formerly Known As Lum

** Who comes up FIRST in the acronym list of the free dictionary when you Google “TAGN”, ahead of such oft-used acronyms as Triaminoguanidine Nitrate — how cool is that? Unless you meant to look for TANG-the-drink and just didn’t type it correctly, in which case it’s probably a bit confusing.

Famous TAGN

 

Synchronicity

In reply to my previous post, pskinner mentioned Trove, which apparently could be a crafter’s paradise. I saw that this morning, just before checking my mail…

In which I found this:

trove

And then I remember why I quit ArcheAge before the alpha phased into beta, and why I’m unlikely to ever pay for a Glyph game again. It’s one thing to give actual perks for subscribing; it’s quite another to offer features that nobody would want to be without. If you’re going to be free to play, BE free to play. If you’re going to be subs-only, then man up and admit that’s what you are – it works pretty well for WoW after all.

Maybe the whole ArcheAge thing just left a sour taste ($150 for the privilege of Alpha testing being the first thing, and I won’t get started on the rest or this will become a rant of epic proportions). It was my choice to spend the money, after all. Just like it’s my choice to not play any of their other games now. There’s just something too… grasping about the whole Glyph money model.

I’d also forgotten Trove is supposed to be a Minecraft-alike. If it’s very much like it — specifically with how the camera works — then the only thing that will happen is me hurling my breakfast all over the room, so that’s another no right there. I think if I want a voxel game I’ll just go back to Landmark; it’s been over a year and a great deal of water has gone under that bridge (which isn’t even a Sony bridge anymore), so maybe those pesky graphics issues — the ones where anyone with an nVidia card would crash — have been fixed.

 

You know it’s summer when…

… you think Oh jeez, I’d better log into an MMO or my harvesters/garrison/housing will go up in smoke. It’s the summer doldrums, which means that despite the lovely Steam sale and all, I’d rather be anywhere but sitting at my desk staring at a screen. I have a million games to play and nothing’s really grabbing me.

  • I haven’t even logged into WoW since the 6.2 patch, so I really should check that out.
  • My harvesters are almost certainly burning to the ground in SWG. Almost everyone from the early return-rush seems to be gone, and I’m in a really big guild (with lots of names) that has absolutely no guild chat, which I admit is a little disheartening. I don’t always want to be on TeamSpeak, dammit. (Actually these days I don’t want to be on voice chat at all. I’m having a hermit month.)
  • It’s The Secret World’s third anniversary event and there are goodies. Or it was. For all I know I’ve missed that too…
  • The spousal unit is back in EVE and making beckoning gestures; apparently it’s somewhat improved since our last foray in… (checks old posts) 2010. Eh, maybe. Maybe not.
  • Everyone’s raving about the FFXIV expansion. Eh, maybe.
  • The Repopulation has sat unplayed on my desktop for a couple of weeks. Not that I didn’t like it, but apparently it didn’t grab me. Which may have more to do with the whole summer doldrums thing than with the game itself, which is okay (up that to “pretty good” considering the development stage it’s in).
  • I’ve been a contributor to Shroud of the Avatar since, err… last year sometime? And have logged into it exactly once. I should check that out too, since I did put money into it and I love the folks who are developing it.
  • And then there’s all the non-MMO games I haven’t touched either… Sims 4, various Steam games (including Torchlight 2 and I’ve already forgotten what else), Dragon Age Inquisition (remember that first session I blogged about? Well, that was also the last session)… The list goes on.

But all I feel is meh. Meh MEh MEH MEH MEEEEEEEH. In a couple of months it’ll cool down and I’ll want to play again.

You lookin' at me?

Bored gamer is bored

The Repopulation – Hour 1

It’s on sale on Steam for a few more days. Find out more about the game here, or do a Google search you lazy bastards. Here are my very brief first impressions.

  • It’s in alpha. Read it again: ALPHA. Repeat after me: Aaaaalllph-aaaaaa. So stop crying about the bugs, the disconnects, the crashes, the bugs. (And it’s running very stably for me so QQ bitches.) If you don’t want that experience, wait a few months. It’ll be on sale again and it doesn’t launch till Q4 (that’s dev-speak, so I’m guessing May 2016).
  • It’s a sandbox. There’s a basic “here’s how you walk, talk and shoot things” tutorial and then you’re dumped in Mos Eisley one of the two faction starter-cities to sink or swim. However, NPCs are literally spamming your inbox with mission offers and the rest is pretty self-explanatory for anyone with a working braincell. Want to harvest? Find some nodes, swing that axe. Want to fight? Find some mobs, pewpew that pistol.
  • It feels a lot like SWG and the UI elements borrowed all the nastiest, clunkiest, screen-hoggingest crappy bits of the SWG UI (of all the things to copy), but it is most definitely not SWG or UO, so don’t go buying it because someone said it was. It’s ‘inspired by’ — and that’s definitely true. It’s not a clone. Your character may be, but it isn’t.
  • I’m not a huge fan of the graphics or even the art style, but that’s highly subjective. Bodies are reasonably well-proportioned and fairly realistic (moreso than in most games). The buildings in the starter cities are suitably grimy. The outside bits are suitably tree-y and rock-y… But somehow it leaves me cold. I’d almost rather SWG’s cartoonish art than this gritty, realistic and ultimately unpoetic view. So far the landscapes haven’t made me catch my breath, but I haven’t gone far. AND it’s alpha. Always remember alpha.

2015-06-19_00004 2015-06-19_00002

  • The crafting system looks complex. It may still  depend on grinding 1000 craft-foozles to master, but there’s very little way around that in an MMO – at least no fair way. I haven’t really crafted anything but I have chopped down some trees and harvested some flowers and ore. Oddly enough if it reminds me of anything, it’s Anarchy Online, simply because it’s so freaking complex and there are so many recipes and Recipe 1 depends on subcomponents A – M each of which is made by a different crafting profession…
  • However, the game does have a Work Order system, which is the only way you can make genuine crafting interdependence work. I have already sold little bits and pieces to people who needed them for whatever mysterious purpose they needed them for. I’m guessing grinding.
  • I have no idea what combat is like, other than a bit buggy. I pewpew-ed shit with my trusty handgun as needed to reach nodes. I don’t care about combat.

I have a feeling there is a LOT to discover under the surface, especially with harvesting and crafting and perhaps even housing. I will probably carry on discovering, but I doubt it’ll pull me away from SWG or WoW or my main games, not for a while.

Steam – It’s a Monster!

The Steam Monster Summer Sale, that is. Go forth and find some games!

steam summer sale 2015

It’s possible my finger slipped and I purchased The Repopulation; I don’t know much about it but I have an old friend very much involved with it and a few other friends have said nice things and hey, new MMO with SWG and UO flavour, TAKE MY MONEY I’M IN!

The spousal unit purchased the entire collection of Heroes of Might & Magic games, which I stopped caring about around number 5 (or 6, whichever one was the amazing disappointment) and got us hooked up on the family dealy so now he’s trying out games I bought on other amazing sales and have *cough* never even tried, like LA Noire.

Meanwhile the SWG honeymoon continues, perhaps fanned by the fact that there’s never enough time to play it. Absence, heart, fonder, etc. I’m logged in a lot, but mostly I’m AFK sampling which doesn’t really count as playing. When I do get to play I have fun — but not in the way I expected. Crafting is entertaining, yes, but there’s very little impetus to get up and running because the server is choking on a surplus of great crafters, largely because everyone can make 10 characters so everyone can have all the crafts. I know, waaahmbulance.

So I’ve been doing combat here and there – initially to pay the bills (which still strikes me as backasswards – I made a fortune as a crafter back in the day), and now because it’s rather fun even though the SWG combat system is probably one of the clunkiest ever. 2003 and all that.

Publish 7 went in the weekend before last and now you can no longer disrespect Imperial soldiers without having to pay for it:

poke a stormieYay! I used to slap at least one stormie a day with my Sword/Doc/Rebel back on Shadowfire, just because.

Oh yeah, and there are working droids now too. And Bio-Engineer got an Image Design makeover by a Rodian hopped-up on Skooma or something because it’s just… weird, now. It’s being tweaked, thank goodness. In the meantime master BEs are producing CL10 non-CH creatures with 9k HAM – which means nothing to anyone not playing SWG and should make SWG-players’ eyes bug out.

That’s it. I’m off to try The Repopulation since SWGEMU-Basilisk just took a nosedive. Ah, post-patch weeks. Gotta love em!

 

 

SWG – Life, the Grind and Everything

I guess May wasn’t going to be the month during which I posted every day, and apparently June isn’t either. I have a half-assed determination to do that, mostly to prove to myself that I have more to write about than just posting screenshots of my latest game, but the problem is I’m not sure I do have more to write about. A couple or three  years ago I looked up from blogging and realised I was boring myself, which is never a good sign, and that everything I could say or might say has already been said by others — much more cogently, cleverly and creatively, in fact. So, yeah. Maybe July will be my post-a-day month.

At any rate here’s your weekly-or-so post with screenshots of my latest game. I’m still playing SWG when time allows; I did log into WoW a week or so ago, sent my faithful mini-onions on missions, and logged out because I just wasn’t feeling it. I guess I’m one of those expansion/big patch WoW players now, though I do miss my friends from Icedown.

My characters in SWG have progressed a bit, at last. Ekkie is now Master Chef and Master Merchant, and will get to Master Tailor someday this year. A ONE MILLION CREDIT donation from a not-so-mysterious benefactor (named Googles in game, Gooroc outside) helped a great deal with that endeavour – not so much for the buying of resources, which I still don’t like to do, but for not having to worry about paying for my houses, factories and harvesters.

One_meelion_ekkie

Not to mention training – paying NPC trainers for a single Elite profession costs 130,000cr; and while I’ve managed to get PC training for a lot of the combat stuff, getting crafters to train you is like pulling teeth from an Ithorian. I didn’t ask for the donation but it was so kindly offered — along with a handful of harvesters and grind mats — that it felt churlish to refuse.

Ysharra is a breath away from Master Architect, will passively get Master Merchant over the next few days, and will someday be a Droid Engineer too. Speaking of Ithorians, I’m not sure I should let my Ithorian Master Tailor buddy dress my Mon Calamari character ever again. I can’t decide whether she is incredibly fashion-forward (for a MonCal), or a cross between I Dream of Jeannie and a maternity ward Santa, or both. Either way, thanks ObzzarverIs for the snazzy new threads!

Ysharra_fashion

Stylin’ and Profilin’, or Fashion Cataclysm? You decide!

Heloise is Master Swordsman, almost Master Medic, and will then go on to master the Doctor profession… and hopefully make a butt-ton of cash buffing people. We’ll see. We went to Dathomir awhile back and did some rancor hunting, and ended up with this cool or disturbing (your choice) pile of corpses.

Pile O'Rancors

Pile O’Rancors

Ysharros is still Master Creature Handler and nothing else because the Bio-Engineer grind is painful, yo.

Finally, have a picture of the moonrise on Talus, because it was purple.

Talus_moonrise

 

 

SWG – Hangin’ with my Thune and other handy slash commands

Got a little bit of time to play in between massive work-dumps, so here are some more screenshots. They mostly involve Heloise, who is going to be my swordsman/doctor and just got her AOE melee attack (also known as Spinning Attack of Massive Lair Doom). If you scroll down past all that, you might even get some useful chat commands relating to structures (houses, harvesters, factories).

Below, Ysharros hanging with her thune pet in a purely decorative role. She’s not buffed (and just got killed by gurks for being a n00b), so she’s just using her level and her pet’s level to ensure Heloise can get the snorbal missions she desires. For the uninitiated, SWG missions are level-related and although I have no idea how the details work, I do know that more levels = more money (and harder missions, but not that much harder).

hangin-with-my-thune

Hangin’ in Hispania, Lok

Next, Heloise standing in a big pile of dead snorbals. Basically, once you acquire the Spinning Attack of Massive Lair Doom (aka SAMLAD), you target the lair and just spam that one attack while the three waves spawn and stampede in to attack you. Which is perfectly justified if you ask me, but it didn’t stop me from doing my best to cause a mass snorbal extinction event. For the more uninitiated, snorbals are non-aggro, perfectly harmless elephant-type creatures. They’re good milking too, incidentally, but that day I was all about the FILTHY LUCRE. Oh hey, that might be a good character name.

pile-o-snorbals-2

GREAT WHITE ZABRAK HUNTER

In another Hemmingway moment, here’s Heloise killing a Kimogila, yeah baby!!!

…OK, it’s actually only a baby kimogila. I feel guilty about it but I did take a selfie all the same.

Kimokill

RAWR

Let’s see, what else is in the pix folder… Oh yeah, my Entertainer-to-be busting some really, really, REALLY bad moves in Mos Eisley. I’d forgotten quite how bad beginning dancers are. She hasn’t had much playtime so she hasn’t improved, and I haven’t quite made up my mind to go the AFK-levelling route yet. I did it at the keyboard the first two times, dammit, and it was FUN. And, as it happens, Mos Eisley cantina is a totally happenin’ place, so maybe I’ll give it I shot. Dunno yet. Having too much fun using the SALAD — no, wait, SAMLAD attack on snorbal lairs.

Fleurette_begins_her_career

Stayin’ alive

OK last one, just to show folks the effect of using the various SweetFX mods as well as the ClearSkies mod (direct DL link here). It lets you see almost too far into the distance, something 2003 computers probably would have struggled to do — I know mine did — but it does cut out the insanity-inducing whistling sandstorms and the incredibly thundery rainstorms. Which, since I now live on Lok as a proud member of SWG-U, does make playing a little quieter. Even if those distant mountains look a little polygon-y…

clearskies-and-Nims

Nym’s Stronghold, Lok

Now on to some actually useful stuff for other SWG-EMU players. And if you’re not playing, come join us. You know you want to.

SWG Slash commands

These are for people — like me — who don’t like using radial menus because they’re slow, clunky, slow, annoying, and slow. If you’re extra-super-smart you’ll find ways to combine these into macros, such as a harvester maintenance-adminchars-power-naming macro that lets you do a bunch of things with a single button press (in this case add money and power to the harvester, name whatever alts you need as admins, and give it a funky coloured name if you’re into that sort of thing – which I am). They won’t make coffee, select a resource to harvest, empty a hopper or decorate for you, but they are useful. Check out this page if you want even more of them, just note that not all these commands are available in SWGEMU.

/pay [amount] — e.g. /pay 1000

Adds the specified amount of maintenance to the structure you’re in, near, or have targeted. Easy enough for houses and factories, can be a bit more hit-or-miss when you have a harvester targeted but are closer to another (assuming it’s also yours). You can’t add maintenance to structures you’re not admin for, so no worries there.

/setpermission admin [charname] — e.g. /setpermission admin Ysharros

Toggle command which adds [or removes] the specified character from a structure’s admin list. This can be a house, harvester or factory.

/setprivacy (toggle)

Makes the specified structure private or public. Pretty sure this only affects houses, and it allows other people in. Or not, depending on which way you’re toggling.

/addpower [amount] — e.g. /addpower 20000

Or if you’re really lazy — like me — /addpo 20000. Adds the specified amount of power to the harvester you’re near or have targeted. Can be a bit hit-or-miss when you have a harvester targeted but are closer to another (assuming it’s also yours). You can’t add maintenance to harvs you’re not admin for, so no worries there. I think.

/structurestatus

Brings up a structure’s status menu that tells you how much maintenance is in it and other details depending on the structure.

/transferstructure [charname]/target — e.g. /transferstructure Ysharros (or to whoever you have targeted)

Does exactly what it says on the tin. I can’t remember if it works for ALL structures or just houses and factories, but I suspect all. You get a lot back and your target loses a lot (or more depending on the structure).

/createvendor

Go on, guess what it does. Useful for creating vendors without going to the structure control terminal or whatever it’s called. Vendors are created in your inventory and require a house to be public, because what’s the point of having vendors if nobody can come in? (Storage. Company. Decoration. Moving on.)

/tip [amount] [charname]/target bank — e.g. /tip 1000000 Ysharros bank or /tip 1000000 bank (with target selected)

Tips someone from your bank with a 5% service charge if you’re lacking in ready cash as I always am. I could also be wrong on this one. I always forget the syntax. You’re welcome to try it out exactly as written above if you’re playing SWG. /halo

That’ll do for now. I may turn that list into a handier and dandier reference page if there seems to be enough interest. Or maybe just to remind myself how to bank tip someone. Speaking of mundungous tips, apparently I missed out on a ONE MILLION CREDIT handout two of my fellow Donkeys lucked into the other day. Dammit.

On the RL front, the rescuees are doing well, thanks to those who have asked. :) Here’s a crappy phone pic of them enjoying some sun. It’s still extremely hard to get near the black one, but she’ll creep closer when her sister is getting tickles.

girlygirls

 

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