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

 

SWG – Mastery and Miscellany

This CH stuff is all from a couple of weeks ago, in fact, because times they have been pretty busy in the meantime. More on that later (briefly, as it’s mostly RL stuff).

Ysharros went out hunting with the Donkey Business crew and one of the graul mauler lairs on Dantooine spawned an elite at the end. And not just an elite, but an elite + elite baby. Said baby, a Graul Mangler, took no less than seventeen attempts to tame (and trying not to kill the damn thing every time it aggroed after a failed attempt), even with Ysh’s awesome +taming camo pants. She needs more +taming gear, I know, and some whatever-the-taming-bonus-food is. Anyway, she got him. Suggestions for names welcome.

Graul_mangler

Later that same day I hit Master Creature Handler and headed back to Theed, the home base of the Stylish Corpse alt-collective (but not for much longer). I decided to hang out in front of the spaceport a bit and show off my Master status and awesome pets (as is apparently all the rage in front of Coronet Spaceport); within a few seconds another Master CH joined me, pulled out some of her pets, and we got to talking. A couple of minutes later we had half a dozen creature handlers of various levels hanging out and talking shop, and that is exactly what I loved about SWG — the fact that hanging out and chatting with like-minded folks can trump whatever else you might have been about to do. I’m glad to see it’s alive and well in the Emulator.

Turns out the Graul Mangler baby is pretty rare. I wasn’t able to find any info on it and nobody else had seen one before. It is now level 39 (compared to the level 35 normal mauler), so not much help because you can’t pull him out with another graul since Master CH is limited to 70 levels of pets. Baby stats below. I’ll try to remember to take a shot of the grown-up stats.

mangler_statsIf anyone knows or remembers anything interesting about these guys, do let me know in the comments.

Another couple of I’m-a-Master-CH-aren’t-I-awesome screenshots and we’ll move on. Note that those maulers are baby sized; they’re about three times that now.

Graul_babies

Ysh_MasterCH

In more recent news, the Donkey Business crew has finally decided to join an existing player association, SWG-University or <SWG-U>. In an amazingly Luddite turn of events, SWG-U doesn’t have its own website *gasp!*, but they are nonetheless an excellent, friendly, helpful and fun group of people, at least the ones I met. Their basic tenet appears to be identical to mine in most respects, i.e. “Don’t be a dick” — except I’m more exclusive (Just DON’T be a dick) whereas in the EMU, SWG-U is more “Don’t be a dick with characters in our guild” — which is about all they can control anyway, so it makes sense. A few Donkeys have already moved to the PA’s town on Lok (University Campus), and I plan on doing so as soon as time allows, which should be this week because work and that pesky Real Life game are finally letting up a bit. That’s my Swordsman/Doctor to be, Heloise, admiring the Lokian night sky.

University_Campus_Lok

Speaking of Real Life, here’s one of the reasons I haven’t been able to play much lately:

Twiglet_and_CocoWe rescued two Basenji girls who had to be rehomed together as they are litter-sisters and have only ever known each other. I gather they were supposed to be breeding stock for a puppy breeding operation, but the breeder had trouble finding a male and just gave these girls to a rescue. I guess it’s good that the breeder at least decided to rehome them (she says, trying to be charitable). For those who like dogs, might like Basenjis, and might like to rescue one, here’s the link to the rescue site: Basenji Rescue and Transport (BRAT). Do your research though: these dogs are not for everyone, hence the name of the rescue org.

Because the foster-mom was unable to meet us halfway, we decided to drive up to Missouri and get them, which was an almost 2000-mile round trip and, while fun, totally wore us out. But it’s going very well so far — the new girls get on really well with our dogs but are quite wary around people, especially the black one – who as the pic shows is not easy to catch on camera.

So that’s one of the things I’ve been busy with lately, why I haven’t played much, and why I haven’t blogged much. Hopefully the next few weeks will be a bit less frenetic. I wouldn’t mind having time to log into WoW again either…

 

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?