Archive for the ‘World of Warcraft’ Category

h1

Battle Bards Episode 14: World of Warcraft

October 29, 2013

Battle Bards

This newest episode of Battle Bards was a long time coming. Our past episodes have featured music from World of Warcraft before, but now finally we give the game its own show.

Love the game, hate the game, no matter how you feel about it no one can deny WoW has one of the most expansive, diverse soundtracks out there. It’s a big game with a big track list, and it was tough but Syp, Syl and I managed to choose a few to feature out of the dozens upon dozens of tunes this game has to offer.

Fear not if you don’t see your favorites, though, as WoW is definitely a game we’ll have to do as a theme again in the future. For myself, I have so many memories wrapped up in this game; from Vanilla WoW through all the expansions to Mists of Pandaria, so many of those moments are linked to the music. So join me and my fellow battle bards, and let’s talk the WoW soundtrack!

LISTEN NOW

World of Warcraft logo

Episode 14 show notes

  • Introduction (including “Main Theme” from World of Warcraft and “Howling Fjord” from Wrath of the Lich King)
  • “A Call to Arms” from World of Warcraft
  • “Elwynn Forest” from World of Warcraft
  • “The Shaping of the World” from World of Warcraft
  • “The Sin’dorei” from The Burning Crusade
  • “Castaways” from Cataclysm
  • “Mountains of Thunder” from Wrath of the Lich King
  • “Stormstout Brew” from Mists of Pandaria
  • Mailbag: Ian
  • Outro (“Salty Sailor” from Taverns of Azeroth)
h1

The Companion Pet Haul

July 10, 2013

It’s been a busy couple of weeks at the Gamer Chick household, and you can always tell that’s the case when I’ve been light on gaming, and my blog posts when I get around to writing ’em also tend to be heavy on the pictures! Thankfully, all the things I’ve planned to do in my MMOs have been pretty accessible. This year feels like the summer of special events, events, events.

For one, I’m so glad that Funcom extended their anniversary celebration for The Secret World for a week, allowing me more time to hit all the world bosses and maybe try my luck at some of the event-exclusive loot. With my luck, I have a feeling it’s going to take a while if I want to go all completionist and collect all the companion pets and special eyepieces that drop from them. Truth is, I could care less about the gear — as you know, my obsession is with mini-pets.

Anyway, out of more than 10 boss kills so far in TSW, I’ve only gotten two. Ugh, I freaking hate this “random drops” crap. This Shem pet that looks like a pile of poop was the first I got. He’s so ugly, but I don’t care — he broke my long streak of picking up nothing but “celebration flares” and signet bags, so I love him!

Shem1

Star Trek Online is also currently running their Risa summer event, and so far I’ve been a good girl doing my “Flying High” daily every day working towards earning my Risian Corvette. Once in a while and only if the hunt is up, I’ll collect a Horga’hn or two for the hell of it — which is why I was shocked when I actually picked up an egg.

Yeah, I hatched that sucker into a Risian tropical bird pet like there was no tomorrow. I ended up with the Seaspray chick, and honestly, one is enough for me.

Risian bird

I know I’m always lamenting about my poor luck when it comes to drops, but sometimes fortune does smile upon me, and often it’s when I least expect it. I run World of Warcraft LFRs on my Monk healer once in a while, hoping to pick up some gear upgrades in Throne of Thunder. The last run I did yielded none…but the Horridon kill did leave me with a Pygmy Direhorn, which actually made me happier than any piece of purple armor could.

pygmy direhorn

h1

All My Games Are “Casual”

May 6, 2013

NW horse

Here are the MMOs I’m currently playing:

  • quite a bit of Neverwinter
  • some World of Warcraft
  • a little Defiance
  • weekly dose of The Secret World
  • a light smattering of Rift

I used to tell myself I’m a horrible juggler and that trying to play a whole bunch of games at once never works out. Indeed, given the choice I’d prefer to be able to give an MMO my full attention, do things like reach level cap, explore the entire world, finish “everything” before moving on. The “hardcore completionist” way of doing things has always been a better match for my own personality and play style.

But since the year started, game time for me has pretty much been reduced to about 2-3 hours a night on weekdays and I’ve long come to the realization that doing “The One Game” thing isn’t going to fly anymore, especially with so many new releases that look so fun and amazing, and many older titles I still want to stick with. So…unless I win the lottery or learn how to bend time: A limited gaming schedule + MUST PLAY ALL TEH GAMEZ = everything I play must become “casual”.

The great thing is the majority of MMOs on my list now are subscription-less, and are completely adaptable to my current schedule. TSW Mondays are enough for me to do grab enough AP/SP to advance each week, and I’ve always thought Defiance is the perfect game to jump in and out of if you only have an hour or less of free time. Even in WoW, the one MMO in which I’m participating in even a semblance of an endgame, is now a lot more suitable for the more casual player; through LFR I’m still able to raid and not have the encounter take up my whole night.

It does mean I don’t get to play as much of one game as I’d like each week, but on the other hand I get to experience everything I want to — remember how I almost gave Neverwinter a pass, and looking back now I see what a shame that would have been. I’m glad I didn’t; it’s been a lot of fun so far. Cramming it into an already full gaming schedule felt like a crazy thing to do, but it was totally worth it.

h1

Let’s Revive This Thing A Bit…

March 27, 2013

Okay, so my little break actually turned out to be a pretty long break. You know how it is when things get busy; you say to yourself, “All right, I’m just going to put this blogging thing aside for a next little while just until I get back on track.” Except 2013 has been crazy from the outset, so the obligations just keep piling up and before you know it’s been more than two months gone and your poor blog has gone from “on a little break” to flat-out neglected.

Well, I’m back to change that. Part of the reason for my absence also had to do with the types of games I was playing. In January and February, I used most of my spare gaming time to catch up with the Xbox360 titles, some of which had been gathering dust on my shelf, still enclosed in their original shrink wrap:

  • Assassin’s Creed II: Brotherhood (if you ask me, this game is where the AC franchise reached its peak)
  • Assassin’s Creed II: Revelations (I just couldn’t bring myself to do everything, so I breezed through it for the story)
  • Assassin’s Creed III (I had to give up on this for now, the gameplay proved to be grindier than I expected)
  • The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings (loved this, loved this, LOVED THIS)
  • Dishonored (I may be too incompetent and inept to ever become truly good at stealth games, but I don’t care what anyone says, I love my dark ending)

Um, yes. That would have been an overabundance of assassins.

In terms of MMOs:

  • Rift (Hey, I finally bought the Storm Legion expansion!)
  • The Secret World (TSW Mondays are still happening every week, and as always I am dressed to kill)
  • World of Warcraft (golden rule: when you’re married to someone who doesn’t have as much time to game as you, play what he wants to play during your mutual game time. WoW will ever be my husband’s MMO of choice, and I’ve been having a lot of fun raiding in Mists of Pandaria too, so I’m not complaining)
  • Neverwinter beta (very excited for this)
  • Defiance beta (with the game’s release right around the corner, you’ll no doubt be seeing me write about it now that the blog’s also been sufficiently revived)

It has been revived, yes? Yes. I shall endeavor to post regularly again. Thank you, and good night.

h1

My Top 5 Gaming Highlights Of 2012

January 1, 2013

Happy New Year! Here’s my first post of 2013, whose title I confess should really be “My Top 5 Gaming Highlights of 2012…And Then Some” because while 2012 was indeed a great year for games and gamers, admittedly I found myself struggling to come up with pure gaming-related entries for this list. It’s not that I haven’t been impressed with the industry’s offerings this year so much as I find myself with less gaming experiences to draw from, because the truth is I played less games these past twelve months than I have in recent years. Time has been so tight, there are so many games on my to-play list that I never even got a chance to go out and buy, let alone play. I can’t say that I’ve ever been so behind before.

Then again, so much has also changed in my life in 2012! Let’s take a look back at the memories:

5. Pet Battles and the Return of the Dynamic Duo

Pandaren

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria released on September 25th. I won’t go as far as to say it’s my favorite expansion so far, though I’m aware it is for many. Nevertheless, I’m still playing it more than three months later, which is already more than what I could say for its predecessor Cataclysm.

I will say that the new expansion has provided me more reasons to stick around, even after hitting the new level cap. For one, the companion pet battling and collecting system has me hooked — 431 pets to my name so far, and I’m still hunting, always hunting. Also, the mister and I have both taken a break from the endgame grind to work on a couple of Pandaren Monks. More than anything, I love playing MMOs with my husband. Leveling characters has always been our special way to bond, and nothing brings us closer than facerolling our enemies together with our Spinning Crane Kicks.

4. 122 Books

stats

I’ve always been one to go looking for challenges, which I have to say sometimes leads me to give myself some pretty random dumb goals.

As with most random dumb goals, I didn’t really have a reason for it, but a few years ago I just decided one day that I wanted to read 100 novels in a year.  I attempted several times, coming so close in 2011 at 83 books, and being pathetic I went and retroactively lowered my Goodreads challenge that year to 80 just so I could get the achievement badge. Well, no need to fudge the numbers for 2012; I kicked the challenge’s ass with a total of 122 novels and so you can even say I read enough to make up for last year.

Interestingly, the more I read the lower my average rating for books seem to get. I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting more critical, or that more books under my belt just simply equals more mediocre ratings.

3. Mercy Gaming

Mercy Gaming

2012 was a rather turbulent year for Star Wars: The Old Republic to say the least, and neither has it really been smooth sailing for a lot of us who kept our subscriptions going until free-to-play. I think the most gut-wrenching part of it all the worrying I did about whether my Republic and Empire guilds will fall apart. After all, I got to meet and play with an amazing group of players, and I’ll always have SWTOR to thank for that.

I needn’t have stressed myself. The Republic Mercy Corps and Imperial Mercenary Corps may be shadows of what they once were in the game, but many of our members have kept in touch. Rebranded Mercy Gaming, the guild lives on, becoming a multi-gaming community that continues to adventure together in games like Guild Wars 2, Borderlands 2, The Secret World, Minecraft, World of Warcraft, PlanetSide 2, and many many more. It’s always a party with these folks, who have all become my very good friends.

2. The Secret World

TSW

Never have I ever played an MMO like TSW. The only other game that even came close to capturing my heart and blowing my mind this year was of course Guild Wars 2, but even that gets edged out, albeit just barely. For one thing, while my playtime in GW2 has tapered off until I can find more time in my schedule, I am still playing TSW regularly each week because I just can’t seem to get enough of this game! I suppose it does have a certain je ne sais quoi that made it stand out to me above the rest, and it’s not just the unique genre or playstyle.

For one, I like that it came out of nowhere and surprised me (in a good way). In fact, months after its release it’s still regularly doing that. While it’s far from perfect and definitely not everyone’s cup of tea, it does sometimes feel like with every issue update and TSW Monday, I fall hopelessly in love with this game all over again.

1. “Baby Mogsy”

MMOGC Jr

Welcoming our first child in February 2012 definitely made me and my husband a lot busier. While taking care of a baby has left me not as free to do a lot of my hobbies anymore, I’m loving motherhood and I cherish every single moment I spend with my little girl, even though she’s probably the biggest reason why my time spent gaming has dropped so dramatically in 2012! But you know what? I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Even from the moment I found out I was pregnant, I knew I’d gladly give up anything for her.

Our daughter has changed our lives, bringing us such joy and making us feel blessed each and every day. At 10 months old now, every moment with her is like an adventure. She is just full of surprises, and I don’t want to miss a single one!

h1

The Pet Hunter Diaries: Raiding With Leashes

December 11, 2012

Dear Diary,

Hey, it’s me again. Yep, still crazy for vanity pets, and still busting my butt to expand my collection. The hunt continues, and it appears my time in the field has been extended again with the release of World of Warcraft patch 5.1 toward the end of last month. A whole slew of new companions were added, including twelve that drop from certain bosses in classic raids. Well crap, this is obviously shaping up to be yet another time sink, but if this was a Blizzard ploy to get people back into old content, I’D SAY IT’S BLOODY WORKING!

Molten Core

Given my crazy schedule in November, I didn’t get to start until last week. And I’m happy to report that the reported drop rates of “not too bad” are actually just that. I mean, 7 out of 12 for my first run-through of all the four raid dungeons is pretty good, right?

Here’s to luck this week as well when the lockouts reset.

Until next time,

MMOGC

Latest Field Notes and Recently Hunted Pets

Okay, I know I complain (just a little) but I have to admit, doing some of these vanilla raids is actually a lot of fun, especially when I’m soloing everything and feeling INVINCIBLE. Some of the bosses even present a bit of a challenge to do alone because of their mechanics, but I’m generally pleased to add this as yet another activity to mess around in WoW whenever I have time to blow — at least until I get my achievement and Mr. Bigglesworth.

Stitched PupStitched Pup

That is one ugly puppy! Simple enough to get, though it’s worth noting I had to switch to my Guardian off-spec on my druid to get past Patchwerk in Naxxramas, and since the pets only drop off the end bosses in three wings, most of my time was pretty much spent clearing the dungeon. Dropped by Gluth, and in the end he was the only boss out of the three that dropped his loot.

Corefire ImpCorefire Imp

Drops from Magmadar in Molten Core. I guess since the Corehound Pup is already a pet, they needed something else to drop off him. Anyway, he’s cute and very flexible in terms of being a battle pet. In nothing else, he’ll go well with my warlock.

Ashstone CoreAshstone Core

Kinda meh about the model on this guy. I mean, he drops off of Golemagg the Incinerator, one of the cooler looking bosses with one of the cooler sounding names in Molten Core, and it’s like…that’s it? It’s just a white, floating piece of rock. Disappointing.

untamed hatchlingUntamed Hatchling

Getting this little guy was a pain mainly because he drops off Razorgore in Blackwing Lair, and keeping that boss alive during phase 2 while adds were pummeling him was the hardest part doing this solo. The trick was to frequently come out of the mind control to clear adds, and also popping my HoTs (ah, it’s sweet to be a druid) to grab aggro. Took me half an hour just to get the rhythm down, but once I managed it, he was a cinch.

Death Talon WhelpguardDeath Talon Whelpguard

Dropped from Broodlord Lashlayer, who was such a pushover that I spent much more time getting through the damn suppression in those two rooms leading up to him than I actually did fighting. Very pleased that Blizzard decided to add a Drakonid pet.

ChrominiusChrominius

As his name suggests, he’s a mini version of the boss Chromaggus who drops him. As soon as I saw him, I knew he was going to be one of my favorites — he’s just too cool looking! I seemed to have gotten lucky in Blackwing Lair; first week and I was three for three and done.

Viscidus GlobuleViscidus Globule

Oh be still my heart, it’s yet another horrible blob pet. Terrible luck in Temple of Ahn’Qiraj. Ran the whole thing for the bosses and only came out with this guy. I’d forgotten frost oil or anything I could use to freeze Viscidus too, and being lazy I had to call in my husband the mage to bring the frost spells. He dropped the pet for me, so now I can skip him forevermore.

h1

How Do You Feel About One-Time-Only Events?

October 29, 2012

So I was fortunate enough to be online in Guild Wars 2 yesterday, waiting in Lion’s Arch, at the advertised time for the special Halloween event. And after all that build-up, all the secrecy, the “one-time-only” event that we were all waiting for amounted to a cinematic cutscene that lasted about 40 seconds.

Whether it was worth it or not is a matter up for debate, one I’m not going to get into here. Personally, I thought it was a wicked cutscene, followed by a fantastic encounter with the Mad King in his otherworldly lair, and that overall the ArenaNet folks did an amazing job bringing us Act 3. I was thrilled to have been a part of it.

But I still dislike the idea of one-time-only events.

Quite simply, they’re bad news, and hard to justify. Don’t get me wrong; I think it’s great that game designers are still freely experimenting with special events and timing, but when you’re planning an in-game holiday intended to be enjoyed by everyone, then 1) announcing a one-time-only event, and 2) not giving any details about what to expect is probably one of the quickest, easiest ways to alienate and piss off a bunch of your players.

Speaking for myself, yesterday just so happened to be a lazy, rainy Sunday and I had some free time in the afternoon. But I’m aware not everyone was that lucky. Australians and folks in Asia were setting alarms to wake up in the wee hours in the morning on a freakin’ work day, and a lot of East Coasters in the US were out shopping for supplies and preparing for the Frankenstorm. Come on, people, we’re living and gaming in an international community! There’s also conflicts and unforeseen circumstances that can always pop up! Crap happens! When you know full well that everyone and their mother is going to want to participate, why still consider one-shot events?

Not to mention how they often lead to not-so-fun problems associated with overloaded servers. If you ask World of Warcraft players present at the Gates of Ahn’Qiraj opening event, most will tell you about the horrific lag, and I still recall the long server queues being a hindrance at Rift’s River of Souls event last year. GW2’s event wasn’t perfect, but I do however have to give a hat tip to the team for the relatively smooth performance yesterday — though not indicative of everyone’s experience, I had absolutely no problems before, during, and after the wait in Lion’s Arch nor during my showdown with the Mad King. At least before the servers sputtered and died, that is.

But what does this all mean? It occurred to me that dynamic, truly spontaneous events with persisting and enduring consequences that will change the game world are still possibly a long ways off. After all, can’t an impromptu, extemporaneousness event which can cause our actions to alter our surroundings permanently for everybody arguably be perceived as a one-time-only event? As much as we ask for it, as temptingly awesome as it sounds, even if it were technologically achievable, player resistance will probably be a significant obstacle. As gamers, none of us like to be left out or miss anything in our favorite MMOs. And really, who can blame us?