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Battle Bards Episode 25: The Holidays

April 15, 2014

Battle Bards

A new episode of Battle Bards is up!

Now I know what you’re thinking. It’s a pretty random time to be featuring a theme show about the holidays. But hey, it’s ALWAYS a holiday somewhere in MMO land! Join Syp, Syl and I as we talk about our favorite tunes featured in special events, from Christmas to Brewfest.

LISTEN NOW

winterhome

Episode 25 show notes

  • Intro (including “Wintersday Bell Choir” from Guild Wars 2 and “Lifeday Celebration” from Star Wars Galaxies)
  • “Winter Event” from Star Trek Online
  • “Winter Home” from Lord of the Rings Online
  • “Halloween Wonderland” from Rappelz
  • “Happy Holidays” from Project Copernicus
  • “Brewfest” from World of Warcraft
  • “Starlight Celebration” from Final Fantasy XI
  • “Missing Presumed Death” from RuneScape
  • Which one did we like best?
  • Outro (“Winter Event” from Star Trek Online)

 

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ESO: Storming Spindleclutch

April 14, 2014

whisperer

The first time in a new MMO’s dungeon is always such a learning experience — it not only gives you such insight on the play style of your role or class, but also into the game and its mechanics as well.

On Friday night my husband and I along with guildies Tententacles and Ryan ventured into Spindleclutch (with Musei cheering us on in the sidelines and Pid setting up to go next in round 2), the first instance in The Elder Scrolls Online. I hadn’t gotten the chance to try any group content in beta, so it was all new to me. First of all, four seemed like a curious number for group size, but if it worked for Star Wars: The Old Republic, no reason it shouldn’t for ESO.

spindleclutch2

Thus far I’d been leveling with a sort-of-tank-sort-of-damage build so I wasn’t sure how I would fare, but I was reassured by the fact that most group make-ups can handle the instance without much problem as long as there’s some heals. It took a lot of the pressure off and I saw it as a way to learn the ropes and practice…even if I didn’t have an optimized tank build or abilities.

Let’s just say there was definitely a lot of flailing involved on my part! But it’s so much easier once you know who to target (healer mobs die first!), when to dodge (there’s a lot of that) and for the love of the Nine Divines keep up your stamina and magicka stores for your taunt and evade abilities. Once we got that down, it was all smooth-going. Though, ah, still quite explosive.

spindleclutch3

For a first instance I was surprised to see it was pretty well balanced in terms of difficulty. I’d dreaded being in there for hours and was all prepared for wipe after wipe…but for the amount of time we were in there frustration was minimal and it was very painless. More importantly, I definitely know where my build needs work. Overall a very awesome time!

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ESO: Happy Launch Day

April 4, 2014

launch

While those who preordered have been playing in headstart, today is the official launch day of Elder Scrolls Online for PC. If you’re already in the game, I hope you’ve been enjoying the experience as much as I have.

Despite some server down times which is to be expected, the game has nevertheless been always up during prime time evenings and nights which is when I usually game. I wouldn’t say launch has been perfect; there were a couple instances of major quests bugging out, but thus far ESO has been one of the smoothest launches I’ve personally experienced. Maybe it’s because it’s high time we’ve had another major MMO launch again, or the fact I refrained from going anywhere near beta in the weeks leading up to the release date, but starting out in ESO these past few days felt fresh, exciting, and even more fun than I anticipated.

I’ve rolled a Dragonknight, because for all the flexibility in the classes available in game, I always have a soft spot for the warrior archetype. Imperial race, Daggerfall faction. Perhaps not surprisingly, I’ve tentatively decided on a tanky-type route when it comes to leveling and allotting my points. At this time, House Stalwart the new guild I’ve joined is almost 90 members strong and it’s been kickin’ every night!

dragonknight

Things I’ve been enjoying so far: questing and exploring — now that the game is live, I’m taking my time to poke around in every nook and cranny, loot every crate or barrel, talk to every NPC. Barging into people’s houses and stealing all their crap has always been one of my favorite things to do in Elder Scrolls games (oh god, you should have seen the way I hoarded in Skyrim) and I won’t even go into how often I get distracted in my adventuring by a lone trunk or urn sitting by the side of the road that I just have to stop and check out. Even if all it holds is thin broth, pathetic drippings or a bunch of stupid grapes.

And another thing I love: CRAFTING! Who would have thought? ME! The person who has always thought crafting in games was a pain in the ass, who always leaves it until level cap because before that it’s just a hindrance to questing and progressing. I don’t know why, but there’s just something about the crafting in ESO that appeals to me. It’s so layered and complex, but not so challenging either that I couldn’t be bothered to gather materials and actually try my hand at all the professions.

I love that expression...

I love that expression…

So, those are my opening thoughts. If you’re playing, how have you been feeling about it so far? I hope to get more time into the game later this month; because of my lack of time and my dawdling, I haven’t gotten very far yet. Currently my Dragonknight is at level 8 but I’m hoping to share more of my experiences as I progress further into the game and see more of its world.

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Battle Bards Episode 24: World Of Warcraft Part II

April 1, 2014

Battle Bards

A new episode of Battle Bards is live!

Can you believe also that our podcast is a year old? This week, we’re returning to Azeroth, because let’s face it, we could be covering the music of World of Warcraft with a show featuring it every year and we’ll still never be able to cover all the amazing music in this game. With soundtracks for the main game and all its expansions plus a couple more besides, that’s a lot of damn songs. We’re here with more of our favorites, and afterwards be sure to stay tuned as Syp, Syl and I recall our most memorable moments from a year of Battle Bards.

LISTEN NOW

illidan

Episode 24 show notes
  • Intro (including “Ebon Hold” and “Garden of Life”)
  • Undercity (from World of Warcraft)
  • Echoes of the Past (from World of Warcraft)
  • Totems of the Grizzlemaw (from Wrath of the Lich King)
  • Curse of the Worgen (from Cataclysm)
  • Forged in Blood (from Wrath of the Lich King)
  • Argent Tournament (from Wrath of the Lich King)
  • Way of the Monk (from Mists of Pandaria)
  • Which one did we like best?
  • Our first anniversary!
  • Outro (Argent Tournament intro)
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Making Landfall In Landmark

March 27, 2014

landmark

My closed beta email for Landmark finally arrived late last night, so it wasn’t until this morning that I got to jump into the game to check things out for myself.

So you might still pretty unsure about what Landmark really is, given its attachment to the name Everquest Next. What it is actually is a branch of the game, but also a game in itself. In a nutshell, building and creating is central to Landmark, involving the gathering and crafting of materials, then building your flag and staking your claim in the open world so you can start constructing your dream project. Some people have likened it to Minecraft on steroids, and from others’ experiences that I’ve seen, that sounds like a fairly accurate description.

As of this afternoon, I have not even staked a claim yet; most of my time has been dedicated to running around gathering materials. A couple setbacks have slowed me down, the first being that my stuff for the Founder’s Pack never did show up. I’m hoping that when I log in later today I will miraculously find those items in my bag, because a Founder’s Pickaxe should speed things along, not to mention letting me have access to higher tier resources.

landmark2

Showing that tree who’s boss.

The second setback was due to my own neglect; having found a nice copper vein in the side of a mountain, I set my mind to a-mining, and I sort of let myself get carried away with it. Long story short, I literally dug myself into a hole, but instead of using the Safe Evac option, I chose to dig myself out instead. In the face of obstacles like tight spaces and the horrific things they do to the camera, I finally managed to escape and came away with a ton of copper to boot.

landmark3

I’m okay, I think I see sky!

Despite only having scratched the surface (though that gigantic hole in the ground I made might say otherwise!) I’m finding the game very interesting so far! Can’t wait until I can make my flag, stake a claim and start my first project.

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Battle Bards Episode 23: Epic Boss Fights!

March 18, 2014

Battle Bards

A new episode of Battle Bards is up!

This is one show you don’t want to miss! If anything, you’d probably want to hear at least the, uh, unique intro. Let me just say right now, I blame Syl! The image below, incidentally, is also chosen JUST. FOR. HER.

Anyway, some of the bestest, most badass music in MMOs are the tunes that come on in-game when you’re fighting. We’re not talking just any scrub mob though, no way. This show is all about the EPIC boss fights, man! Of course, what one considers an epic boss is up for contention among the Bards, but Syp, Syl and I had a lot of fun recording this nonetheless and we hope you’ll have fun listening too.

LISTEN NOW

rags

Episode 23 show notes

  • Intro (including “Epic Boss Battle” from Elsword Online and “Boss Room 1″ from Atlantica Online)
  • “Ragnaros/Molten Core” from World of Warcraft (comp. Jason Hayes, Tracy W. Bush, Derek Duke and Glenn Stafford)
  • “Mutants of Delta Bunker” from Defiance (comp. Bear McCreary)
  • “Wizard City Boss Tower” from Wizard101 (comp. Unknown)
  • “Tough Battle” from Final Fantasy XI (comp. Naoshi Mizuta)
  • “Romulan Battle Suite” from Star Trek Online (comp. Kevin Manthei)
  • “King Toad” from Guild Wars 2 (comp. Maclaine Diemer and Leif Chappelle)
  • “Epic Raid Boss 2 / Zod” from DC Universe Online (comp. Tracy W. Bush)
  • Which one did we like most?
  • Mailbag: Scott, Thuan, and Alyndale
  • Outro (“Victory!” from Guild Wars 2)

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Battle Bards Episode 22: Guild Wars

March 4, 2014

Battle Bards

I know it’s been a while, but you can’t keep the Battle Bards away! We are back with a new episode, this time featuring the songs of Guild Wars.

That’s right, we’re talking Guild Wars the First, since we’ve already covered the soundtrack of Guild Wars 2 in one of our past shows. Join us as Syp, Syl and I see how the music of the original stacks up against the sequel!

LISTEN NOW

Guild wars

Episode 22 show notes
  • Introduction (including “Prophecies Theme” and “Resplendent Makuun”)
  • “First Light”
  • “Ashford Abbey”
  • “Over the Shiverpeaks”
  • “Under the Dark Span (Asura theme)”
  • “Eye of the Storm”
  • “Factions Theme”
  • “Festival of Lyss”
  • Which one did we like most?
  • Mail: Joseph’s speakpipe (JVT Workshop)
  • Mail: Rory’s speakpipe
  • Mail: Doone
  • Outro (“Alternate Theme”)
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