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SWG – May the Fourth be with you

I had to.

The screenshot has the UI in it so SWG-oldies can see nothing has really changed. Which is both good and bad. Remember the auto-targeting?

Fourth

Got some playing time in during the weekend, even if it was less than I would have liked because I’m still sick and yes Mum, I’m going to the doctor tomorrow. (At 7:30 in the morning. Who DOES that? Military doctors, that’s who. Ungh.)

Ysharros is now 4-4-2-4 in Creature Handler, while my crafty characters have done exactly nothing other than leech all Ysharros’ hard-earned credits. Making money as a crafter is going to be difficult on a server where everyone can have 10 characters and some of the older players probably do. You don’t see 2-4 vendors in most houses, you see 5-8, and the malls have over a dozen. The South Eisley mall has so many vendors in the guild hall main room that you can’t even tell what their names are. Doesn’t help that they’re all identical, which wasn’t a style call I would have made, but other than that it’s an impressive shopping venue — and for all I know, it’s all run by one player.

So for the time being, Ysharros is the money-maker, which means there isn’t much money floating around because I only have a very small capacity for fighting things just to be fighting things. Instead, I spent my buffs going to Endor and taming everything that moved, which included a cowardly gurreck, a couple of mereks (nasty male drow looking things, spiders with humanoid torsos and heads), and a mantigrue. No real gurreck and no bluurg – yet. But anyway, I’m not making money very fast because I get distracted and/or have to quit and go lie down.

But hey, who cares. It’s SWG. :)

Last but not least, for those who want to come back and take a look, check out Obzzarver’s site. It’s where we’re hanging out. We’re currently trying to decide on a guild to join because who knows how long the nostalgia kick will last for any of us, so making our own is not the best idea.

SWG – The Week in Pictures

Weirdly, I actually played for hours this week — or rather, I had 2 clients running for hours this week, but most of what was happening was that my crafty characters were sampling resources while I was either working or sick in bed. None of which is worthy of pictorial comment.

I did get a little creature handler play in, though, and spent most of it taming any cat-shaped mobs I could find.

Soon there will be three!

Soon there will be three!

At master you can call three pets at once as long as their combined CL is under 70. Three Greater Sludge Panthers adds up to 66. They may not be uber, but they look it and that’s all that counts.

Wrix

The wrix is the smaller cousin of the Endor-dwelling Gurreck, which I shall head out to tame as soon as I am capable… but if memory serves, the Gurrecks are around CL50 and Ysh may not be able to tame them yet; she certainly can’t control a CL50 pet until she gets a few more CH boxes. But it might be worth a shot anyway — it’s been a decade since I went to Endor. All I remember is that the ewoks are nasty little blighters. Hrm. I wonder if Endor is where I got my bluurg back in the day… (Yes, I could look it up but it’s fun to be vaguely noobish.)

Kima baby

The kima isn’t technically a cat, I don’t think, but it looks like the love-child of a cat and a gremlin and it’s huge fun sending three barely-visible critters after fambaas or other large animals. It’s like they keel over from a case of spontaneous dying if you aren’t sharp-eyed enough to spot the three Mogwais gnawing at their legs. What can I say – I’m easily amused.Theed2

And last, a few of Theed from the Spaceport entrance. That SweetFX makes the game look rather nice for its age.

SWG – poor me

I’ve been sick as a slicehound all day today. Of course I have, it’s that MMO gaming rule again: I made time to play last night and the server crashed. Made time to play this morning and spent it wanting to pray to the porcelain god instead. All the fun of being drunk without the drinking part. Ho hum.

Nonetheless, Ysharros the Mundungo-Creature-Whisperer-to-be got lucky in the couple of hours I did manage. As soon as I got in I headed to Mos Espa on Tatooine — I have no idea why, it’s just where I felt I should go to look for critter-babies. And indeed as soon as I step out of town the first creature I see is a baby mynock. TAMED!

mynockbaby

Mynock baby!

 

A little further on I spot a Rill baby… TAMED!! Actually, that one was harder. It was more wary of me, possibly because I killed its parents before I noticed it was in the group. Ahem. /mask_scent to the rescue!

Rillbaby

Rill baby!

It took me 2 seconds to remember the commands I used to use for attack, follow and store (shockingly they are attack, follow and sleep (which I preferred back then and don’t mind now)). Getting xp through combat was going to prove something of a challenge, however, given that these babies have a whole 33 hit points…

But then I spotted a bio-engineered non-CH pet store… And then I spent ALL MY HARD-EARNED MONEY on a bio-engineered bluurg. Because I used to have one and this guy looked just like him. TAMED!!! He lost most of his stats, of course, but I’d never have been able to tame a bluurg at this stage even if I could remember what planet they come from.

Boozy beggar

Vegas baby!! (Also, Boozy beggar.)

I’m thinking of going with philosopher names for my pets this time. One needs a theme, and given how I felt today it seemed appropriate — I intend of course to be guided by The Philosopher Song for my selections. I can’t actually name them in-game yet (need a fourth command and eleventy-zillion CH XP), but we’ll get there.

Last but not least a comparison of the client graphics with SweetFX and without. Looks better don’t it? The backpack and hair textures are pretty good.

SweetFXNow back to feeling sick and sorry for myself.

SWG – Poor Jaxes

And I say I want to be a creature handler. Clearly I have no shame.

jaxes

Carnage. Oh, and can I tame you?

My fighty-character Ysharros just made novice CH, in fact, thanks to the company of some great people. Any of my friends and readers who are back in SWG or thinking about going back to SWG should consider registering on Obzzarver’s site. There’s no commitment to anything other than not being a douchecanoe, which nobody here is, and it’ll give you access to the super-seekrit (not really) TeamSpeak server where people from Europe, the US and South America (and probably the other continents too) hang out while playing.

Depending on how well you know me, you’ll know my sociability can be an odd beast – sometimes I am, sometimes I’m not. Fortunately the motley Donkey Business crew is very non-demanding. Socialise on TS if you want, or don’t if you don’t want. And we’re finally mostly old enough and mature enough that nobody says “OMG YOU’RE A GIRL IRL!! WITH A BRITISH ACCENT! THIS CANNOT BE! SPEAK MOAR!!” — or anything of the kind. It’s a very comfortable and friendly place.

We’re very disorganised. We have no idea if we’re making a PA in SWG or whether we’d rather join an established one (preferably with a nice city). We have no plans. Everyone does what they like and helps out whoever and whenever if they feel like it.

It’s pretty much the perfect gaming setup, in my variably-social opinion.

So if you end up in SWGEmu, on Basilisk Server, and can’t remember how to walk, talk, chew gum or even turn your character, give me a holler. I currently have Ekkie, Ysharros, Ysharra, and Calliope’, two of whom haven’t even been played yet — but with the 1 per 24 hours server rule I’m making characters just to have them if I fancy doing something with them. I’m an altoholic — OF COURSE I’ll fancy doing something with them.

I’d post more screenshots but I’m having too much fun to remember to take any. In between bouts of furious work (RL work that is) to catch up and/or get ahead so I can play some more. And/or faceplanting ridiculously early because allergy season and because Benadryl.

That’s it for now. I have a shuttle to catch.

Sims 4 Expansion Goodness

The whole Sims franchise is like a well-oiled juggernaut of simmish addiction, at least for those of us who play. Every new version of the game launches with a very small set of features compared to the mature (and much-expanded) version it’s replacing, and then feeds us expansions and stuff packs several times a year to keep our enthusiasm whetted and our wallets empty.

Or maybe it’s just me. I didn’t play the Sims 1 or 2 very much at all, but 3 hooked me at launch in 2009 and is the single-player game I go back to the most frequently. Or was, since it’s now been replaced by the Sims 4. Which launched its first expansion — Get To Work — this week.

I haven’t had a chance to explore absolutely everything or even a small fraction of everything, and if you want that kind of coverage you’re probably already reading Carl’s site. (I can’t imagine being a Sims player and not knowing that place. It’s like being a WoW player and not knowing WoWHead.) But what I have tried out is surprisingly fun, even if the novelty is likely to wear off in about 6 months… Just in time for the next expansion. Like I said, well-oiled machine.

All I’ve tried so far is the Detective career, which is pretty much like any procedural you’ve ever watched on TV complete with clue analysis, crime map, and good-cop / bad-cop suspect interrogations. It’s fun. It won’t be fun forever, but it beats watching the clock roll round while you wait for your Sims to emerge from their career rabbit-holes. The only thing that worries me a bit is that there appears to be almost no career progress when you don’t accompany your Sim to their ‘active career’, but I guess that’s the downside to what appears to be slightly quicker progression than the standard ‘vanish off to work’ careers.

Working DetectiveGiven that I tried what I thought would be the least fun career first (the new ones are Detective, Doctor and Scientist) I’m hopeful the other two will be quite entertaining and perhaps a little less repetitive. The major problem with the detective career is that it’s not exactly demanding of the little grey cells, at least as far as the player is concerned. But then again, the Sims was never conceived to be demanding in that particular sense.

The other thing I’m trying out is Retail, where you can open (or buy) a store and sell pretty much anything you can think of that’s buyable in the game. Old Sims 2 players apparently really missed that feature, and I can see how it would be fun, but I haven’t been able to do much with it yet. It requires a fairly sizeable cash investment even if you’re building your own store rather than buying an existing one, and if you don’t use cheats (which I could have, I suppose, but it didn’t occur to me in this case) it takes a while to build up that kind of money. And it really makes the expansion earn its title, because one of your Sims has to be in the store to manage it when it’s open, so my current household of two roomies who each have a ‘real’ job have been spending their weekends at the store, wondering what happened to their already-precious free time.

My wannabe retail mogul is Yvana Trumpe, because Yvana Sellyoustuff seemed a bit tacky. There she is eating one of the first meals she ever made, which looks disturbingly like Soylent Green.

Soylent Green is people!

Soylent Green is people!

She’s also an author, but her real aspiration is to have a pool filled with Simoleons that she can bathe in. That’s on hold for a bit (I’d forgotten Sims can change their aspirations whenever they want if you’re not playing under the Legacy rules), but it’ll be back. Someday that store will make money, and Yvana will have an army of children lackeys to run the store for her while she bathes in bills.

(I lie. Yvana is really nice, and her roomie Rebecca is really nice too. I can’t play nasty Sims. I tried locking them in their original basement room by deleting the stairs out but I couldn’t stand their piteous mewling for more than a Sim-hour. I’m weak.)

(I lie twice. They didn’t mewl. They turned on the boom-box and danced, and I still felt bad and let them out. I even let them live above-ground now.)

 

Toss another game on the play pile

HarbingerZero just posted something about STO that suddenly made me wonder why I let the game pass me by when it launched can’t-be-arsed-to-Google years ago. I know a bunch of other bloggers enjoyed it, and some are still noodling around with it now and then, so — and because I certainly don’t have enough games on my plate already — it’s sort of whispering at me to try it.

I think I’m being lured by the free T-shirt.

It's only a paper world*

It’s only a paper world*

I’ve always liked Star Trek but I don’t think I’m a Trekkie (unlike a few of my friends) (and besides, I thought all serious Trekkies wanted to be called Trekkers. Or am I being way too 1998?). I’m of the ST:TNG and DS9 generation, though I didn’t particularly care for Voyager and whatever the recent revival was (Enterprise?). I could answer a few ST trivia questions but would probably stumble on the more obscure ones, like who was the sexy green alien Kirk got off with in episode 23. No, not the first sexy green alien – that second one from the planet Murgatroyd.

So I’m not sure I’m the right material for this recruitment drive, but I like the package on offer and I also like the idea of leveling with folks who have been through it all before. The oldie/newbie teaming could be fun, provided the oldies don’t mind repeating content, and the newbies can know ahead of time what disastrous choices to avoid.

The drive doesn’t begin until April, which could be a good thing or a bad one. We’re kind of instant-gratification here in Gaming World, on the whole… But it does give me a month to mull things over and wait for my crappy internet to download the game.

– – –

* I’d link to the episode but all the ones I checked either stop short of the free T-shirt moment or mysteriously lose the sound right around the 14 minute mark. So those of you who watched Animaniacs can be smug and know the reference, while the rest of you will have to feel silly and under-pop-cultured.

 

(Also, and à propos nothing at all, the WordPress “Improved Posting Experience” is basically just like the SWG “New Gaming Experience”. It’s a steaming pile of useful-element-free “clean UI” bullshit. I don’t want to pretend I’m using an iPhone, I want to craft a bloody post.)

Too much of a good thing

Sometimes, like today, I’m almost nostalgic for the days when I only had one or two games to choose from. I’ve got no work on today and likely none over the weekend either (yay!), and I’m faced with so many games I don’t know which to choose.

There’s World of Warcrack, and the expansion remains highly entertaining. I’ve got 4 level 100 chars with garrisons to manage and stuff to accumulate, which is always fun, even though it sucks up time like a black hole. Eventually I’m sure the luster will pale but nothing beats WoW for simple, mindless levelling joy. I don’t dungeon, so my go-to in WoW tends to be to find (or make) an alt and just quest for a few hours. It’s relaxing — and that’s why I play WoW. It’s also where I hang out on Vent with old WoW and Asheron’s Call friends and get my dose of socialising for the month week day.

Drood hanging out

Then there’s Elite: Dangerous, which is exactly the opposite. I did get it installed and I did get in to play, once, but that was over a week ago and, I’ll admit, I’m super intimidated by the game. No game has ever made me feel quite as noobish and useless as this one does. I don’t even know how to fly the ship. I didn’t expect flying the beginner ship would be quite that difficult (and I’m not the only one*). I actually expected that I’d be able to pick it up in a half hour or so and then start doing the trading and possibly mining thing, which was why I bought the game. Instead I feel like a noob, in a bad way, and I’m not sure I want to try again. But I will, if only because $60 for a half hour of entertainment is not really good value… and because I fully expect that eventually — provided I play enough to feel comfortable with the controls — I will love the game and play it to death, because it’s exactly the sort of thing I enjoy.

I also picked up Civilization: Beyond Earth during one of the (many, thank god, because I suck at catching them) Steam sales for that game. Don’t believe the people who tell you it’s only superficially like Civ — it’s 110% Civ, just Civ in space with aliens instead of barbarians and a revamped tech tree (it’s a wheel now). However, that’s not a bad thing in my book and the new tweaks in the game are a lot of fun. I tend to play this on the non-nightmare modes and I prefer non-military victories, so it’s another relatively mindless exploration and building game.**

Sims 4 is of course still kicking around, though I don’t think I’ve fired it up in most of a month. I think I’m holding a grudge with the bugs that hit my Mirage legacy, not to mention the fact that none of my Sims are able to have children without having twins or triplets. It’s amusing to write about, but it gets real old real fast when you’re trying to play. Less is more in this case. I guess I could go with adoption… I dunno. I’m still a little narked about the whole thing, so I’ll pretend the Sims 4 aren’t in my game case for a few months and then go back to it. As far as single-player games go, the Sims is one of the most enduring for me so it’s a fair bet I won’t ignore it forever.

I also picked up Theme: Hospital by accident on Origin the other day, mostly for nostalgia’s sake and because it was a freebie. Memory served up this image of people chain-vomiting in the halls and that sounded like fun in the middle of flu season, but I haven’t had time to fire it up yet. Still, it should be good for a few hours of remember-when fun.

The Secret World keeps looking at me sadly because I update it and then don’t log in. Again, I think right now I want mindless from my games, and TSW requires a little more attention than I’m willing to give. Which is a shame, because as far as atmosphere goes it’s probably my favourite MMO ever (and the one in which I take the most screenshots).

And then, in no particular order because the post is getting long, the other icons on my desktop include Diablo III (never made it past level 15 or so), Landmark (haven’t logged on in months because it gave my gfx card fits), EQ2 (still haven’t bought the Altar of Malice expansion, though I’m sure I will sooner or later), and Shroud of the Avatar (ditto the not logging on in months, though really I put money into it to support the development, not to have it wtfbbqNAO). Oh, and all 3 Dragon Age games, of course. I barely played DA2 and only spent a couple of hours in DA3 (not even sure I made it out of the first section), and I’m sure DA3 is worth some more intensive play. I can’t be arsed to link all those, so let your fingers do the Googling.

It’s actually a great thing to have a butt-ton of games to play and not know which to pick. I tend to default to WoW at the moment because I can pick it up and put it down easily and it doesn’t have the “just … 5 … more … minutes!” hold on me some of the other games have, which is helpful these days because on the list of useful and/or productive things to be doing with my time, games are not anywhere near the top, nor should they be.

But still, sometimes I kind of wish I only had one or two games to pick from. It would mean less time wasted gazing at my desktop and wondering which flavour I’m in the mood for today. #firstworldwoes and all.


 

* Ermahgerd, a pingback circle jerk! That’s just so wrong.

** You may be sensing a theme here. Yes, I prefer my games to not engage my adrenal glands too much. For one thing, adrenaline and I don’t get along all that well (I am the exact opposite of a thrill-seeker), and for another I play games to unwind, which for me means generally laid-back and not requiring an excessive amount of thought. Oh god, I’ve just branded myself a disgusting casual carebear player. However will I cope with the stigma?

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