Archive for September, 2012

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My Panda Day

September 26, 2012

Happy pandas

Weeks even before World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria was released, I was already thinking about what I should be focusing on when the expansion went live. Should I jump right into pet battles? Should I start on leveling my main to level 90? Or should I roll a Pandaren and play around with a monk? As it turned out, I was able to fit in a bit of everything on the first day.

First things first — Pet. Battle. Trainer. Oh no, it’s all over, folks! All over! Pet battling is even more fun and addicting than I’d imagined! Within an hour I’d managed to add 25+ new pets to my collection, raised four or five different pets to level 6, and beat up several NPC pet battlemasters in the human area. And how do I feel about completely destroying a little girl and her pet rabbits, you ask? Pretty damn good, actually!

Next, I hopped onto my druid main for a couple hours of questing with my husband, heading into the Jade Forest to start on our journey to level 90. It is freakin’ gorgeous. I am also enjoying the MoP quests; so far, they feel a lot more robust than Cataclysm’s, in all sorts of different ways, e.g. story, content, impact, visuals, humor etc. (Socks!!! NOOOOO, SOCKS!)

At the end of the day, the Mercy Gaming guild got together and started Team Panda. I made my female red panda (tail and all) and named her Meilee, which is a bastardized spelling of Chinese pinyin characters for “Pretty” in Mandarin. How any and all variations of that name weren’t taken yet, I can’t imagine.

Together, we quested through the Pandaren starting area, and I finally had to put symbol markers on myself and my guildies to tell them apart from all the other big, fat, black and white pandas running all over the place. It also didn’t help that we were all monks wearing the same quest reward gear. Mint green dots everywhere on the mini-map!

I had myself a great time. While I can’t speak for my friends, I suspect they did too. The zone was visually stunning, the quests were fun and relatively unique. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who might be rolling their own Pandaren one day, but suffice to say I was quite impressed. In the end we chose to join the Horde, and our modest little guild Red Solstice on the server Silvermoon is now up and running.

The nice thing is, after yesterday’s experiences I’ve decided I’m not going to concern myself too much with “focusing” on any one thing in-game anymore. I’m not in any rush, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with sampling a little bit of everything — in fact, I quite liked it.

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The Pet Hunter Diaries: Prepared For “Pandaria”

September 24, 2012

Dear Diary,

New Acquisitions: 4
Current Total: 155

Isn’t it amazing, how sometimes, even achieving a small, seemingly trivial goal can make you feel like a million bucks? I think because of this, some part of me will always be drawn to World of Warcraft — it is, in essence, a very goal-oriented game; there’s always something to be working towards, whether you’re a hardcore raider chasing heroic achievements, or simply like good old boring down-to-earth me, trying to collect 150 unique companion pets before the release of Mists of Pandaria.

In less than 24 hours, the expansion will launch, and I’m happy to report that I’ve completed what I set out to do well ahead of time, but why stop there? I’m sure I don’t have to tell you, a pet hunter’s job is never done. I’ve always been a rabid an enthusiastic collector of companion pets, which makes the upcoming pet capture-and-battle system feel like it’s right up my alley, but it’s also very exciting to see that more and more people are beginning to discover the joys of vanity pets, particularly those who have otherwise expressed little interest before.

For the last couple of WoW expansions I played until I reached the new level cap, and then stopped not long after that. I like raiding on occasion, but I’ve always been a proponent for more activity choices for endgame. Could pet hunting and battling be the answer to my ennui? That remains to be seen, but the last several weeks of doing nothing in game but focusing on amassing my pet collection has been very enlightening. Apparently, that alone has been enough for me to feel quite accomplished. But hey — I am, after all, your average everyday pet fiend.

I think I’ve done all I can pre-MoP for now. I’m sure that after Tuesday everyone’s pet collection including my own will explode, making the 150 unique pet achievement look like peanuts, but it was fun while it lasted. Now the question is, when I sit down to play tomorrow night, do I concentrate on starting my journey to level 90, roll a new Pandaren monk, or jump right into pet hunting? Choices, choices, choices.

And speaking of choices, I should also start thinking about assembling my pet battle team. The possibilities are endless:

That last one actually might not be such a bad idea, though the thought of someone beating up my little polar bear is too demoralizing and soul-crushing to even imagine; I just don’t know if I could take it.

To my fellow pet enthusiasts, see you all in Panda Land! It is my hope to meet you one day with honor on the pet battlefield.

Happy hunting,

MMOGC

Latest field notes and recently hunted pets:

Hyjal Bear Cub

Another baby bear! After two months doing Firelands dailies (didn’t always do them every day, that’s why it took longer) finally unlocked vendor to purchase this little guy. Probably obvious why I chose him first, as he is very cute, very cool. Having to spend more than 1000 gold to buy him, not so cool. Damn you, why do bear cubs have to be so stinkin’ adorable?

Crimson Lasher

Several days later, unlocked second Firelands vendor to buy this pet. What a PITA this event chain is. Another 1000+ gold down the hatch, but now have my own little Crimson Lasher. No, definitely not feeding it any more burning scorpid gunk.

Fox Kit

Spent weeks doing Tol Barad dailies, hoping for Alliance controlled every day in order for few extra commendations. Killed every Baradin Fox I came across, but after a pile of fox corpses still no luck. Screw it, finally just spent 200 commendations at the vendor for this pet and called it a day. Totally worth it. Has great dancing animation!

Mojo

Checked AH periodically for hex sticks, buying any I could find for 5 gold or less (go to hell, sellers who list for 25g) to use on forest frogs in heroic ZA. Kitty stealth solo run ftw! Got lucky on third run, using second to last hex stick left in inventory. Finally got my Mojo!

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Sims 3 Saturday: RIP Sim, Survived By His 98 Children

September 22, 2012

Well, as you’ve probably already guessed from the title, after eight weeks of propagation madness, this will be the final installment of my blog’s Sims 3 Saturday series. As the rules state, the Family Man challenge ends when your Sim dies, and sadly (but in a not entirely unanticipated turn of events), the Grim Reaper finally got around to visiting my Sim during my last play session. Anyway, there will be time for the heartbreaking details later, but first there’s drama to be had and newborn babies to be counted.

Speaking of which, thanks to a sharp-eyed reader who pointed it out to me in the comment section, I realized I made an error last week and tallied up a total of 82 for the number of children my Sim has fathered, when the real total is actually 84! At the rate my Sim breeds, I just knew I was going to make a mistake sooner or later. So, this week, when Tracy Connor gave birth to a baby boy, that actually makes 85. Tamara Donner, the new Sim who moved in down the street, also gave birth to a boy for 86. Lisa Bunch, another new romance, gave birth to twins, making that 88. Back on track.

There’s also Jamie Jolina, the young attractive doctor my Sim met last week, who gave birth to her second set of twins for an even 90. Yeah, methinks that medical career of hers is going bye-bye for a little while, considering all that’s been on her plate lately, as evidenced by that time she came over to my Sim’s house for a quickie. Overtired, the two of them promptly fell asleep after their wild bout of woohooing, completely forgetting the fact that Jamie had brought along one of their kids when she came over. 3am and the poor helpless and neglected toddler finally keeled over from exhaustion, only to wake up on the cold floor to his crazy parents screaming down at him for doing absolutely nothing wrong!

Parenting fail.

Kaylynn Langerak, my Sim’s “official” girlfriend, also gave birth to her last child for a total of eight Sims for her household, bumping the total to 91. This latest bundle of joy was also a girl, making that seven baby girls for Kaylynn! Mark my words, that house is going to implode in a few Sim weeks, when all of them inevitably go through puberty at around the same time.

Perhaps sensing his end was near, as you’d recall, last week my Sim also resolved to be a better person. That includes being a better father. Whoever dubbed this challenge the “Family Man Challenge” obviously did it for the irony, but hey, that doesn’t mean my Sim can’t at least attempt to live up to the name!

The first thing he did was look up his eldest son, the first child he ever fathered with Fiona McIrish waaaay back in the first week. The boy that began it all, Edmund McIrish was now a teenager. My, how quickly time flies! My Sim hopes his firstborn will grow up to be a good man, and not turn out to be an insensitive womanizer and neglectful parent like his old dad.

Half-brothers and they don’t even know it.

At least things are looking good on that front, as Edmund appears to have a way with kids. He came over to the house while babysitting his mom’s friend’s son Fred French (who incidentally, if you’ll remember the Fiona McIrish/Molly French fiasco, is also my Sim’s child) and appears to be doing a much better job taking care of the little guy than a couple of the women my Sim has brought over to his house. Ahem, Jamie Jolina, I’m looking at you.

Next, my Sim decided to better get to know his children by throwing a party inviting as many of them as he could. Obviously, inviting close to a hundred kids to the house at the same time would crash my computer faster than a blimp in a hurricane, but seeing as most of them were toddlers and infants anyway, we made do with filling the guest list with about a dozen of his children who were elementary school aged or older. Since so many of them were also on the verge of aging up, it only made sense to make it a birthday party! We’ll decide who will get the honors later.

It’s a good thing all these children are my Sim’s own kids, because otherwise, an elderly man inviting a bunch of the neighborhood boys and girls over to his house for a party would be pretty creepy even by Sims 3 standards. Determined to provide a great time for his little ones, my Sim bought all new outdoor activity furniture and equipment for his backyard. A barbecue grill and picnic tables! Swings! A jungle gym and playset!

You children are creeping me out.

Well, that turned out to be a waste of time and money. All his kids wanted to do was sit inside and do homework. Oh well, I guess he can take pride in the fact that all his children are such good, studious Sims. When it came time for dinner, my Sim ordered a couple boxes of pizza because, hey kids, the only two things your old man knows how to cook are waffles and autumn salad (which doesn’t even really count)!

Finally, time to blow out the birthday candles! I randomly chose Jodi Ansari to age up. She was perhaps the third or fourth of my Sim’s children to become a teenager, but her birthday was special because my Sim was actually there to witness the transition. *Sniff*, my Sim can’t help but get a little teary-eyed. His kids are growing up!

Holy crap, Jodi Ansari just exploded into a cloud of stars!

And yet, new ones are still being born. Time for another wave of babies! Tamara had twins, 93! Jamie had a boy, 94! Lisa also had a boy, 95! Sandi French, a new romance my Sim managed to sneak in between all the partying (thankfully not during all the partying), also ended up giving birth to a boy, for a total of 96.

It’s a wonder that my Sim still had time to go out and meet new people, but he did go out for a meal one time and had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of one Blair Wainwright – a local policewoman. Maybe when she stays over, robbers will stop trying to break into my Sim’s house at night and try to steal his stuff while he’s sleeping?

Anyway, my Sim went through the motions, inviting Blair over to his house before turning on the charms to try and get her to woohoo with him. For some inexplicable reason, all this took place in his second floor bathroom. I don’t know why, that’s probably just where they happened to end up randomly, but it’s something my Sim will regret for the rest of his life…which didn’t turn out to be very long at all!

Right as things were heating up between my Sim and Blair, the Grim Reaper chose that very moment to show up! Well thanks, Grimmy, nothing kills the mood (har har) faster than Death himself knocking at the door. It was there my Sim finally died of old age, with a traumatized Blair looking on as Grims led his ghost away.

Oh look, my Sim wants to sleep. Careful what you wish for, eh?

Epilogue

Two more of my Sim’s children were born after his death. Alicia Schwab was the last woman he romanced and she gave birth to twins, bringing the final total of the number of children he fathered to 98. At just shy of 100 children, I have a new personal record for the Sims 3 Family Man Challenge.

My Sim being the only member of his household and with him now dead, I had to switch over to another active household if I wished to continue playing. I decided to choose Edmund McIrish’s household. As my Sim’s firstborn, I felt that was appropriate. The fact that he was also the first of all my Sim’s children to become a young adult helped. Because of it, I was able to move him out of his old house and into the one in which his father used to live. Edmund went upstairs where he found my Sim’s urn in the place where he had died, right in the middle of the bathroom floor. What a terrible place to expire.

There are no restrictions in Sims 3 about burying bodies in your own backyard.

I ended up placing his grave in the backyard by the garage and beside the big tree. There are no funerals in the original Sims 3, but Edmund decided to invite a bunch of his half-brothers and sisters to a gathering at the house anyway, so they could say good bye their dearly departed dad together. Many more of them have grown to become high school aged now, and despite my Sim’s efforts to get to know his children late in his life, the majority of them had never even met him and were more than happy for an excuse to skip first period.

Since this was supposed to be a solemn event, Edmund had the presence of mind to let everyone know that formalwear was the attire, but look at what some of his siblings still showed up in. Teenagers!

I also have no idea why there’s a kid walking around in his underwear…

His grave being so close, my Sim’s ghost continues to wander the halls of his old home. Even in death, he’s drawn to the bed where he spent so much of his life woohooing. Instead of getting freaked out, Edmund is totally cool with his dead dad haunting his house. Here they are, father and son, sitting and chatting on the bed together like old friends.

“I miss waffles.”

For those wondering, Kaylynn Langerak, my Sim’s girlfriend, mourned for a while but then got over it. She inherited his vast fortune, bought a large house and moved into it with her seven daughters. On the other end of the spectrum, two of my Sim’s children by Jess Eastman died not long after he did, for reasons that still remain a mystery to me! I could only guess that, due to the Eastman household of eight only having 50 Simoleons in shared income between them the last I checked, they starved to death. Very sad.

But as always, life in Sims 3 goes on…literally! The neighborhood Sims will thrive whether or not I pay attention to them when I play. All I know is, my Sim has made his mark on the history of Sunset Valley with his 98 children. Their future is in the game’s hands now, as I don’t know if I’m up to playing any of them.

However, I did recently purchase the Sims 3 Pets expansion, so there’s a chance I may go back one day to use one of my Sim’s many descendants to play around with that, like maybe buy a dog or breed some horses or whatever. But for now, my work is done. As promised, at the end of this post, you’ll find screenshots of my Sim’s ridiculous family tree, complete in all its glory. I hope you’ve enjoyed my Sims 3 saga, and thanks for reading!

The End

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The Faults Of Theramore

September 20, 2012

I’ll admit it; before this week, I knew very little about the new World of Warcraft scenarios that will be introduced with the Mists of Pandaria expansion. All right, so I don’t deny that I’ve had my head way too far up in the pet battle system to give any other upcoming feature much thought…

This changed Monday when the game went live with Theramore’s Fall, and I discovered that “instanced three-person group quest” pretty much describes scenarios in a nutshell, and no particular need for tanks or healers. The only difference is, objectives are given to you in stages, so you’ll have to complete them in order to move the story forward.

Yes, you heard that right. Story. My excitement level rose when I learned this, mindful of the rich and colorful lore behind the Warcraft franchise and pondering the many ways Blizzard can now use this new mode of story-telling to their advantage.

But days later, it appears that the Fall of Theramore scenario has been showered with rather unanimously tepid reviews. Personally, I was tempted to agree, even though the joy of being back to playing with my old WoW guild pretty much trumped every complaint I had — the fact that it was too short, not very inventive, and just in general lacked the oomph I would have expected from an expansion pre-launch event.

Still, because I’ve read Tides of War, the WoW novel that provides all the details behind this event, I didn’t notice anything amiss about the story until I saw Green Armadillo’s post, and then I realized that he’s absolutely right — if you haven’t read the book, you’ll have absolutely no bloody clue what it’s all about. So a mana bomb hits Theramore, a bunch of ships are burning, and Jaina Proudmoore’s hair is now white and she’s being scary. Okay. Since I’m Alliance, I only did that faction’s version of the scenario, but I looked up some videos of the Horde side, and things look even more confusing over there if you don’t know what’s going on.

Actually, now that I’ve taken some time to think further about it, even I’m slightly peeved at how everything in the book was hastily boiled down to a short cutscene and a couple lines of dialogue. Selling us short with explosions and cheap destruction is what this is, as so much of what made this a poignant, momentous event for Azeroth was completely left out. This isn’t fluff I’m talking about either; this is the actual whys-and-hows behind what’s happening, which you’d think would be relevant to the understanding of the story.

Also, call me crazy, but while a tie-in novel should give players more background and context into the story, I don’t think the most important and exciting scenes should be locked and hidden away behind its covers. Not to mention how people, you know, tend to get irritated when they have to shell out more money for pertinent additional story to a game they’re already paying monthly to play. (And I say this even as someone who reads a lot of game books, and enjoy doing so a lot.)

A longer instance with more explanation and detail seems to be what most players wanted out of the scenario, so if being story-driven was their goal, it’s clear that the opportunity and potential was squandered with this one. Fortunately, I’m pretty sure Blizzard is well aware they missed the mark with FoT, and hopefully future scenarios (at least ones that don’t have anything to do with limited-time events) won’t be so cut-and-dry. WoW has plenty of material to work with and now they have real way to deliver context with content; they just need to beef up the execution especially since a good story component has recently become something many gamers expect from their MMOs.

And finally, not that I’m frustrated about my bad luck of not getting anything else in my reward bags or anything, but…fireworks? Considering Theramore was just wiped off the map, a little harsh, no? Well, pretty, at least!

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Screenshots Of The Day: TSW Extreme Make-Over

September 19, 2012

If you’ve ever had the misfortune of being on Vent at the same time as me while I’m playing The Secret World, then you’ll no doubt be familiar with my oft-recurring stupid rant about hair.

I know some gamers like to model their characters after their real-life look. Myself, I’ve rarely been able to do this because in real life I have long hair which goes way down almost to the small of my back. Ironically, the only character that I can think of right now which has allowed me to do this is my World of Warcraft night elf druid! Clearly, long hair options are rare to begin with, probably due to issues with graphical glitches and clipping, so people like me are already SOL. But then to add insult to injury, why in the name of all that is good and holy do most “long hair” options in MMOs stick you that “ZOMG I’ve just had the wildest night of sex in my life!” look?

TSW I’m looking at you! Since nearly the beginning, I’ve regretted that saucy, wind-tousled JBF look my character has sported, and had no idea how much I would grow to loathe having half my face constantly obscured. For this reason, I eagerly anticipated the Digging Deeper update which finally went live yesterday. I couldn’t stand it anymore, I had to hit the salon.

Time to insert mandatory unflattering, wild-eyed, deer-caught-in-the-headlights “Before” picture here:

And now, insert new-and-improved and glamor-shot worthy “After” picture here:

Laeyn didn’t exactly get the long, long hair she wished for, but the important thing is now you can view her entire face, which was what I really wanted. Many hairstyles and makeup options/facial decorations have been added to TSW, giving the game’s character creator a much needed boost. My trip to Ockham’s Razor left me very impressed.

My options at the plastic surgeon’s, however, not so much. Unfortunately, though the update advertised new heads and facial features, I don’t think I noticed any when I went to visit the Modern Prometheus. Due to recent rough times over at Funcom and multiple delays, I’m guessing certain plans didn’t pan out like they were supposed to. Budget cuts, restructuring, and losing a bulk of your workforce tend to do that. But really, I sympathize. As far as I’m concerned, Funcom could have taken as much time as they needed with this update as long as it launched with everything in working order.

Gotta love that panicky, holy-crap-what-the-hell-have-I-gotten-myself-into look on my face.

Speaking of which, the overall quality of the update was fantastic. For instance, everything else about the Modern Prometheus was simply amazing. There’s Peter Stormare’s excellent voice performance as Dr. Anton Aldini, or the fact that he’s set up shop inside a filthy old abattoir located in an alleyway behind a dumpster. Then there’s the atmosphere, which sort of reminded me of Saw. As one of my guildies observed, the whole setting makes you kind of scared to even step in through the door.

Not that I really needed to go under the knife; other than the pesky ‘do, I was actually quite happy with my character’s look to begin with. Though, since it was free…I tweaked a few of my features, applied some extra mascara and treated myself to a healthier looking tan. Laeyn the Vain strikes again.

Oh, how convenient! You can pick up a slab of fly-ridden meat AND get a nose job at the same time!

I spent the rest of the night in TSW with some friends and was reminded of why I love this game, and I have to say yesterday’s return made me realize just how much I missed it. The Digging Deeper patch also added a whole bunch of new quests as well as a new auxiliary weapon in the form of a rocket launcher, which I hope to be checking out gradually in the coming weeks. Funcom will probably need some time to get back on track, but as long as they maintain their regular update schedule, I still plan on jumping in every month for the new content.

A guild that gets plastic surgery together, stays together.

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Read Lately: Jaina Proudmoore – Tides Of War

September 17, 2012

While I may play World of Warcraft off and on, one constant is my interest in the lore behind the game, an interest that extends to pretty much all MMOs I play, in fact. I’m always devouring every piece of lore and background information I can find, even if that means putting up with some not-so-well-written novels every once in a while. I’ve long discovered that looking for quality writing in most video game tie-in books is a lost cause.

Admittedly, I didn’t think Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War was going to pose much of problem on that front, because I’m generally well-disposed towards author Christie Golden’s works. The book’s eponymous heroine is also a major WoW character that I’ve always liked and followed with interest.

Indeed, if you’ve kept track with WoW lore and characters as closely as I have in recent years, I think some of the events in ToW will impact you in more profound ways than if you hadn’t. The story reaches back in time to touch upon several important points in Jaina Proudmoore’s history, just as it looks to the future and hints at upcoming changes in the expansion Mists of Pandaria. It lays the groundwork in explaining how the Alliance and Horde will end up discovering the new continent, and why the two factions will be battling when they do.

Unless indicated (and it’s mostly just the end of this post), I’m going to be keeping this book review relatively spoiler-free, though I suspect the majority of WoW players are already aware of much of the novel’s background. As we all know, Garrosh Hellscream is now the leader of the Orcs and the Warchief of the Horde, and he has decidedly chosen to walk a much darker path than his predecessor Thrall. The much talked-about complete and utter destruction of Theramore is his responsibility, as are many other terrible actions in this novel, so you’ll probably despise him. Still, not everyone in the Horde shares his views, and this has resulted in a clear split within the faction. Somehow, I have a feeling that this dissension in the ranks will play an important part in a future story line.

In any case, I’m aware that Blizzard has a history of altering their characters with every new expansion, but that’s not always a good thing. Female characters (e.g. Tyrande Whisperwind, Sylvanas Windrunner) especially always seem to receive the short end of the stick in this regard, so I was initially worried that they were going to change Jaina in the same way.

The new Jaina.

My concerns were unfounded. Yes, Jaina is changed, but in my opinion, for the better! I mean, she witnessed her entire city being destroyed and all of her closest friends brutally murdered; I would have been angrier and more frustrated if she’d remained the vapid and naive pacifist sitting up in her little tower sipping tea and twiddling her thumbs while waiting for the day Alliance and Horde will lay down their arms and sing Kumbaya around a campfire. Instead, she has finally taken a stand. She’s still the strong and independent woman she was before, but now with an edge.

In truth, it was actually Jaina’s reaction to the aftermath that saved this book for me. As much as I like Christie Golden, I admit her writing style can be hit or miss; sometimes she’s so over the top with her WoW novels that the prose can be so contrived to the point of being borderline insulting. ToW was like this. In my heart, I’d almost given up on the book until I reached the story’s climax. After that, I just couldn’t stop reading.

Like I said, it wasn’t the writing, nor was it really the story’s events because much of it was already public knowledge. In fact, the best part of the book was the description of Jaina’s emotions — the grief, the suffering, the guilt and the rage — all of which were very raw and believable. Though her desire for revenge was frightening and terrible, I couldn’t help but sympathize and a part of me actually rooted for her to go through with her desperate need for vengeance. I even found myself liking Jaina more when she was ruthless and cold, because that’s when I felt a real personality starting to come through. It made her more real, which also makes her more likeable (at least in my eyes).

Jaina also seems to have finally gotten over pining for Arthas. Speaking of which, there is a small aspect of romance in ToW, though I felt it sometimes got in the way of the story (like standing in the middle of the ruins of Theramore is where you choose to share your first kiss? Come on!) Regardless, I’m hoping that she’s finally found someone worthy of her, because we all know poor Jaina’s had pretty bad luck in the past when it comes to boyfriends.

In sum, writing-wise Christie Golden has delivered much better, but if you can put up with the mediocre writing that’s almost “fan-fic-y” in its hokeyness, I recommend this for fans of WoW especially if you plan on heading into MoP. I’m sure you can always get the whole story by looking up some two-line summary on some wiki page, but the canvas of emotions and feelings that you get from this novel is what makes it worth reading.

Scenarios (“short, instanced adventures for three players that directly follow the stories and events in the open world”) are also going to be a new feature in the expansion, and I’m personally looking forward to experiencing the Fall of Theramore scenario that will be available in-game starting today. I’m not sure what to expect, but after reading ToW, at least lore-wise I’m prepared.

Warning: Spoiler territory ahead
I leave some final random thoughts here because of spoilers, and also because I just don’t think I can wrap up a discussion about this book without admitting how upset I felt over Rhonin’s death; I was surprised that it affected me even more than Theramore being wiped off the map. I’ve never particularly liked the way his character was written by Richard A. Knaak, but at the same time he was always much more than just “that leader of Dalaran guy standing in the Violet Citadel.” He was a father and a husband, which makes me sad now, wondering would happen to his wife Vereesa Windrunner (and god knows that family has seen its fair share of heartbreaks) and their half-elven twin sons.
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Sims 3 Saturday: Simply 82

September 15, 2012

(Actually, 84. I knew sooner or later I would screw up the count. Thanks for the catch, Rowan!)

Welcome back to Sims 3 Saturday, as we carry on with Week 7 of our Family Man challenge. Last week, we saw my Sim’s family tree explode as he continues to go full steam on his procreation rampage through the neighborhood. We were up to 69 offspring, and this number can only go higher as my Sim begins to spiral more and more out of control with his caddish ways.

As always, we begin with the birth announcements, welcoming a wave of new babies to the neighborhood of Sunset Valley: Tracy Connors gave birth to twin girls, bringing our total up to 71. Juliet Stump gave birth to twins, making it 73. Toya Reid gave birth to a boy, baby number 74. Kaylynn Langerak, my Sim’s current sweetheart, gave birth to another set of twin girls, thus bringing the count to 76.

Sunset Valley’s women have all entered their sunset years!

The birthrate is slowing down noticeably, but it’s certainly not for the lack of trying on my Sim’s part. In truth, as fast as the neighborhood is filling up with his children, we are running out of eligible game-generated female Sims who are of child-bearing age just as quickly. Not surprisingly, we have a growing aging population. Recall that not long ago, my own Sim became an elder, so it makes sense that all his peers would be getting on in years as well.

But while we’re on the topic of neighborhood demographics, there’s a more pressing concern. On a routine walk out to the community lots to meet new people, we see that the majority of the town are elementary-school aged or younger, and they all have one thing in common — half their genetic code comes from my Sim. If we don’t get some new blood into Sunset Valley and STAT!, in another generation everyone in the neighborhood is going to be related to each other in one way or another.

Jamie Jolina, AKA Dr. Sexy, M.D.

In any case, it appears just strolling around downtown isn’t going to cut it anymore. My Sim began adopting a more aggressive strategy to meeting new people — methodically visiting one house after another, greeting its inhabitants, and allowing himself to be invited inside if there is an eligible woman in the household. Gutsy, very gutsy. This was how he met Jamie Jolina, looking bold and lively in her designer glasses. She’s a doctor at the local hospital, which probably explains her busy schedule as she seems to be constantly unavailable whenever my Sim tries to call her over to woohoo.

My Sim also met Lisa Bunch, Sandi French, and Alicia Schwab with his door-to-door propositioning. Whoa, where did all these Sims come from all of a sudden? Apparently, just as Kaylynn Langerak aged up from teenager to adult last week, so have all the other youth in the previous generation. It doesn’t even bother my Sim anymore, he’s crossed that line and is already too far gone.

Then one day, it all comes crashing down. It was a day like any other day, on a trip like any other trip to Central Park. All of a sudden, the sun stopped shining, the birds stopped singing, and the air grew cold. In the near distance, my Sim saw the dreaded figure — it was the dark shadow of the Grim Reaper, wielding his menacing scythe, headed straight for him. At that very moment, my Sim knew deep in his heart, that this was it. His time had come.

There is only one thing we say to Death: “Not today!”

But actually, no. To his surprise, Grim was actually there for another poor Sim. But for a second there, I actually thought it was the end for my Sim. After all, he’s already lived several days past the “average” Sim lifespan; it wouldn’t have been that big a surprise. Anyway, as Death led away the ghost of the deceased, I guess my traumatized Sim had an epiphany: It was time to live a better life! A more honest life! And the first thing he was going to do was tell all the past women in his life how he has wronged them!

To do that, he had plans to invite the mothers of his children to a huge outdoor pool party at the community center. Attire: Swimwear. Time: in the middle of the night. Um, are you sure about that, Sim?

As you’d expect, it didn’t go well at all. He didn’t even get a chance to make his apology speech! As soon as the first woman showed up to greet him with a scorcher of a kiss, the cat was out of the bag. All the other scandalized women at the party took exception immediately, indicated by the furious thought bubbles that began popping up all over their heads. Because Sims are gregarious and cordial by nature (or more like the game mechanics just couldn’t handle the animation of a 12-person dogpile), every one of them literally lined up in a neat little row waiting for their turn to chew out my Sim.

My Sim present at the formation of his anti-fan club.

Needless to say, it was the crappiest pool party ever thrown in the history of Sunset Valley. There was no food, no music, no swimming, but there were plenty of fist fights! By the time the last woman got done beating up my Sim, it was 2am in the morning and the event was over, and my Sim had to walk around with the “humiliated” moodlet for days. This is what you get for honesty.

Recall Iliana Langerak from last week, who is also Kaylynn Langerak’s mother. My Sim has woohoo’ed both of them, fathered their children, but they are a special case and were spared the disastrous pool party. My Sim still has feelings for Kaylynn, and was hoping to take their relationship to the next level, but this meant he had to break it off with Iliana. Since Iliana’s also Kaylynn’s mother and familial ties took precedent, he wanted to salvage what he could with the elder Langerak if it was at all possible (don’t count on it).

Things started off okay. My Sim invited Iliana over for a little chat, working up to the point where he will confess his attraction for her daughter (and I’m not even joking, there is actually an option to “confess attraction to Kaylynn.”) However, it might not have been as prudent to point out the fact that Iliana wasn’t getting any younger and that in a few days she would become an elder and wouldn’t be able to have any more children in any case. Aha! Out comes the truth of why he wants to cut her loose!

I don’t think offering her a drink is going to make it any better…

Iliana was livid and began acting strangely. Between mocking and throwing insults at my Sim, she did things like run around his house like a maniac, sleep in his bed, and rummage through his garbage! Um, I take it that means she’s breaking up with him? I’d like to think that his confession about her daughter actually caused Iliana to lose her mind, but more realistically she probably possesses the “inappropriate” trait, which causes Sims to act erratically in social situations. Damn, I really hope she didn’t pass that on to the son she and my Sim had.

Sweet, conscientious Kaylynn was certainly spared the trait. She came over when my Sim called her next (after showing her mother the door, before that crazy lady could do further damage to his house) and said yes when he proposed that they go steady! Kaylynn was so happy that she began jumping for joy and then…caught my Sim when he leaped into her arms? What a woman! However, I might point out that he did refrain from telling her about his other relationships or his six dozen or so other children that are running wild throughout the neighborhood. He may be coming around, but he’s not crazy!

“Oof! You need to start laying off the waffles!”

On the next round of births, Kaylynn gave birth to yet another pair of twin girls. That makes 78, not to mention that’s a total of 3 sets of twins for Kaylynn now, and all girls — Brook, Gabrielle, Sha Sha (eh? What kind of baby book are you getting these names from, Sims 3?), Elizabeth, Cara, and Barbara! Jamie Jolina, she of the medical degree and sexy glasses gave birth to twins too, making that 80 children for my Sim. Kaylynn’s mother Iliana Langerak also gave birth to twins — oops, I’d forgotten that she was pregnant already when he broke up with her. But anyway, that’s 82! The Langerak family tree is now looking quite odd, considering my Sim is the father of every baby and child on it:

Tracy Connor also gave birth, though it was a funny story because she was one of the women I invited to that infamous party at the community pool. She was still very angry and for some reason came to my Sim’s house — to further reprimand him, no doubt — but suddenly went into labor in the middle of her tirade! But this time, I knew enough to get him to bring her to the hospital to hopefully try and score some brownie points. Apparently it worked, because right after giving birth to another set of twins (84!), Tracy and my Sim were in bed woohooing again, and she was expecting once more!

Let’s head to the hospital in style in an ice cream truck!

Look, I know my Sim is trying hard to turn his life around, but baby steps, okay? /pun. At least he’s not spending every waking moment of his life woohooing like he used to, now it’s like…maybe half that time.

Speaking of which, a new family moved in down the street. My Sim had the pleasure of meeting one of its members, Tamara Donner. Within hours, they were in bed and trying for a baby. Ugh, he just can’t help it.

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