Posts Tagged ‘Alts’

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A Scheduled Return To WoW…

August 25, 2014
There's always something to work towards...

There’s always something to work towards…

Ever since the announcement of the World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor expansion release date, I’ve joined the trickle of players returning to the game.

Actually, I’d planned on resubbing around the first week of September, but then I didn’t see the reason to wait anymore. I’ve been pretty busy this summer so I’ve only been really playing one MMO off and on, that game being The Secret World. And the truth is, content there has pretty much dried up despite the TSW Monday crew trying to stretch out Issue 9 and the Side Stories quests as long as we could.

So until more of Tokyo opens up, you’ll find me in Azeroth.

So, what am I doing in WoW these days? Well, mostly relearning how to play my characters, which is par for the course every time I take a protracted leave of absence from the game. There are also still a few alt stragglers languishing around level 70-80 that I’m hoping to bring to 90 before deciding which class I’ll take first into the new expansion.

And of course, each time I come back, I can also count on Blizzard having added a whole slew of new battle pets to their menagerie. The urge to nab what I can for my collection is pretty much a knee jerk reaction by now (481 unique pets and counting)!

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SWTOR: The “Real” Big Ding!

August 19, 2013
The big moment immortalized.

The big moment immortalized.

This weekend saw me hit level 55 on my Bounty Hunter in Star Wars: The Old Republic! YAY!

And I know thus far I have not talked much about the Rise of the Hutt Cartel expansion, but now that I’ve played through most of it, I have to say it’s pretty well done. The story was good, the questing zones are laid out in a nice, convenient way that actually doesn’t make me want to throw acid in own my face. The planet Makeb is also gorgeous. Honestly, I’m quite impressed with the whole package, considering the state of things when I first took a break from the game.

While I suppose gearing up should be my next step (already started on weeklies), I’m also thinking about taking my Republic character to 55 as well, for the legacy experience and, more importantly, the full expansion content. I’m told the two faction quest lines play off each other and together they form the full Makeb story. I might as well soak it all in.

And, ugh! Of course, I’m also contemplating the idea of starting an alt. I suppose is inevitable given that’s usually my regular pattern after hitting level cap, but the notion is rather appealing considering how we’ve currently revived our Empire guild, and I’ve been itching to play an Imperial Agent since, like, forever! Sexiest class in the game, easy!

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WoW: DING! Level 90

October 11, 2012

Sixteen days after the World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria release, I finally reached level 90 last night with my druid main. Given my pacing, a little more than two weeks is about when expected I’d make the new level cap. I wouldn’t say I consider this “slow” by any means, but I do know that I have been a bit sluggish compared to some of my fellow bloggers, some of whom I know hit the big ding last week.

Indeed, this is the first WoW expansion where I’ve actually taken it easy, and it has been good. I’ve been taking my time, spreading it between leveling my main and playing my new Pandaren Monk, in addition to also doing a little bit of dungeon running on the side with guildmates. If you recall, I reserved a Mage alt exactly for that last purpose, and that lowbie spellcaster I started weeks ago with my friends is now level 80. With all of us having mains from different servers, different factions and different levels, this has become a way for us to do group content together.

If you’ve seen my WoW pet hunting posts, you’ll also know that I’ve been completely addicted to the new pet system. My progress on that has been happening in the background, mostly in the afternoons when I find lulls during the day between chores and working on my commissions. As well, the baby’s napping schedule is still a little sporadic, which makes the pet collecting/battling mini-game the perfect activity, whether I get 20 minutes or 2 hours to play. It’s also essentially the closest thing to a “pause” button in this MMO; once you engage a wild pet in a fight, the whole world literally fades into the background, you can’t get ganked or attacked by roaming mobs, and the game will wait for your turn until you take it. When I need to step away from the computer in a hurry, I can do it without a second thought.

Overall, I’ve been quite impressed by MoP. Admittedly, this is the most fun I’ve had in WoW since The Burning Crusade, which still happens to be my favorite expansion. Granted, as is the case with most MMOs I play, a lot of my enjoyment has to do with the people with whom I’m playing, but a part of me is also convinced there’s something special about MoP. Contrasting it with Cataclysm, I feel that this expansion has a lot more personality and character. Don’t get me wrong, I really didn’t think Cata was that bad, but while it was an ambitious and bold move by Blizzard, I also felt the last expansion lacked a certain cogency and at times seemed like it was confused with itself. MoP on the other hand feels like it has a clearer direction and things more in check.

Cuddly!

The other thing is, I know a lot of people have put this expansion down it for its cutesy nature and cuddliness, and that’s certainly a valid criticism. I’m definitely not denying that the game has dialed up big time on the whimsy, but I also don’t think it should be the only reason to stay away. There’s just so much more to explore in this expansion that a concern like that just melted away once I actually got to play more of the expansion.

At least to me, it sure feels like there’s a lot more to do in MoP. In addition to my pet hunting shenanigans, now there’s even farming to do! And I don’t mean MMO farming, I mean the tilling, seeding, watering, harvesting kind of farming! I’m crossing my fingers here, but getting your own little farmstead and plots to grow crops in certain feels like a first step towards one day seeing player housing in WoW. If this is some sort of experiment by Blizzard, I have to say it’s proving quite successful.

I guess the point I’m trying to make here is, I’ve hit 90 and I already feel completely overwhelmed. I know there’s a lot to this expansion, but I don’t feel it so much when I’m leveling because there’s always that forward direction and an ever present goal to reach level cap. However, once I got there, it was like, where’s an Everything-You-Need-To-Do-Once-You-Hit-Level-90 checklist when you need one? There’s farming and cooking for the Tillers, fishing for the Anglers, other reputations to work on, two entire remaining questing zones to complete, professions to level, more pets to hunt…

I haven’t even thought about the dungeons I need to run yet. No doubt I’ll be doing some endgame instances real soon, but so far gearing up has been the last thing on my mind. That’s probably a good thing, since that process has always been the first step leading me to burnout in the past. We’ll have to wait and see how long MoP will keep me playing, but right now it does appear to offer a lot more to do at endgame compared to the previous expansions.

To close off, I’ll leave you with some of the gorgeous visuals I’ve come across on my adventures through Pandaria. I have to say they’ve really nailed the Eastern themes.

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Screenshot of the Day: Purged By (Growing) Pains

August 22, 2012

If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you’d probably know that I go through cycles with World of Warcraft, taking breaks and going back as I feel like it. Still, I have to say this is the most fun I’ve ever had returning to the game. I’m sure the company has everything to do with it, as I along with several folks from my multi-game guild has decided to take a casual dip back into WoW before the arrival of Mists of Panderia. We’ve all either started new characters or picked up long-forgotten baby alts, and one thing we were curious about was how we would do in a dungeon as a group of lowbies.

So, riddle me this: what do you get when you take five people, put them in an MMO that none of them have played in ages, get them on baby characters they’ve all forgotten how to play, and stick them in the Scarlet Monastery Graveyard? You get:

So okay, the first big pull ended up in a pathetic wipe, but it was caused by a confluence of unfortunate events. I think we all knew beforehand that our very first run together was either going to be really easy or really hard. Our Priest was playing healing spec for the first time, the tank would sometimes forget to be in the right stance, and we’d also inadvertently pulled the boss with Shaman totem aggro. Plus, by then I was pretty sure that anyone still left standing was giggling too hard to be really effective at anything.

And yet, it was great! For me, it was also a momentous event. Personally, I can’t remember the last time I’ve been through a low level dungeon in WoW “properly” without being powered through on an alt by a level-capped friend, or more often than not, I just skipped them entirely. It’s been years, probably not since the first time I leveled up my main. However, our humble little group has started anew, complete with a humble little guild. Luckily, since that pitiful first wipe, we haven’t had another. In fact, in the interim we’ve completed a lot more classic dungeons for our guild achievements — no reason at all, other than just for the fun of it.

There are definitely some growing pains, but in the face of disastrous early results, all you can do is laugh — because it is kinda funny if you think about it. WoW veterans, destroyed by puny SM trash. In a way, the game feels new again.

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Weekend MMOing

August 20, 2012

The Secret World

Last week I began reining in my playtime for The Secret World, but mind you, not because of a waning interest. In fact, it’s quite the opposite; by Friday night my character had made enough progress to enter The Shadowy Forest for the very first time, which is the second zone in Transylvania.

I’m slowing down now, because every step brings me closer to finishing the story line and I’m dreading the day I will reach the end. Quite simply, the story and writing in this game has blown away. I’d thought Star Wars: The Old Republic was the height of MMO storytelling, but TSW can give it a run for its money. I’m basically trying to savor it while I can, and make the experience last.

So far, the most memorable moment for me was probably immediately right after I completed the quest Virgula Divina. If you play TSW and haven’t done it, 1) you’re in for a treat, and 2) when you do receive this mission, do yourself a favor and don’t attempt it alone at night or right before sleeping. If you don’t play TSW and/or don’t care about spoilers, look up any number of YouTube walkthroughs for this quest chain and you’ll understand why I feel this is the most disturbing, creepiest, most twisted quest I have ever done in an MMO (and also why my thoughts alternated between “Funcom, you guys are so @#%&ed up” and “OMG this is the best quest ever!” while playing it.)

A part of me hopes that spreading myself out a bit better now will allow the monthly content to catch up, as well as most of the cabal who are behind me at the moment. I like doing group content in this game, and have been running Darkness War as well as The Ankh which I did for the first time last week when I went back to tackle it with my friends, many of whom are still questing in Egypt.

Star Wars: The Old Republic

I finally ended my continuous-since-launch SWTOR sub earlier this month, in order to free me up to pick up World of Warcraft again. There’s still some time before it lapses though, and it just so happened the game kicked off the Grand Acquisitions Race last week, a world event involving an interstellar scavenger hunt.

I contemplated skipping it, and almost did until it occurred that with my game time ending soon, I might as well finish off my last days in SWTOR by having some fun in it. A week long world event seemed like the perfect opportunity with just the right amount of that for-the-heck-of-it vibe to draw me in, plus BioWare had to go and say the magic words: pet rewards.

After catching wind of issues related to the crowds, I sought to avoid them by waiting until this weekend to complete the event objectives. For the most part, it paid off, though smuggler crates were still plenty scarce.

Having really no alts in this game also kind of came back to haunt me. Most of the rewards you can buy with Tokens of Enrichment during this event are bind on legacy, favoring those who can do this event on multiple characters to increase and pool their token haul. Having only two characters that are high enough for Nar Shaddaa meant that even after doing the quests on my Jedi Guardian and Bounty Hunter, I was still quite a bit shy from the 250 tokens needed for the damn Lobelot pet. Thus it came down to collecting smuggler crates for me, which like most farming stints proved to be quite a pain in the behind.

That was probably the only disappointing thing about this event, because on the whole, it wasn’t bad at all. After the bad month SWTOR has had with its restructuring and layoffs, and despite it being painfully obvious that my character did not speak or have any voiced interaction at all, they still managed to do a decent job. It’d be nice if the event would last a little longer, but a week is still much preferable to month-long MMO events that require tedious daily quest grinding. A scavenger hunt was not only quite unique, I also found it enjoyable…up until the smuggler crates. I feel that world events should inherently be about the fun; you should do them because you want to, without the element of feeling rushed or forced to grind.

In the end, I did manage to get my Hagnoffarl pet for completing the scavenger hunt, as well as the Lobelot. I even debated collecting more tokens for the mount. At that point, however, I had to stop myself and ask if that was truly what I wanted to do with my time. I shouldn’t be doing it if I’m not having fun, and sometimes I just have to step back and snap myself out of it.

World of Warcraft

WoW kept me quite busy this weekend; if I wasn’t on my main, then I was on my baby Mage, leveling with a bunch of people from my TSW/SWTOR guilds who have all started lowbie alts to play together.

On the Mage, I’ve been tearing through Azeroth with Paganrites, who started over with a brand new account with the Recruit-a-Friend invitation that I sent him. I’ve always heard from others about the ridiculous rate of experience gain that veteran and recruit get from the bonus when leveling together, but I am finally seeing this for myself. It’s actually quite disgusting how quickly we’re blowing through the levels.

I’ve given up doing heroics on my 85 at this point, with the pre-expansion patch coming in about a week and Mists of Panderia arriving in about a month. Instead, I’ve been working on dailies.

I know I’ve expressed my loathing of daily quests in the past, but surprisingly, these aren’t so bad for a couple reasons. First of all, it’s been a while since I’ve done WoW dailies so they still feel somewhat fresh, but also there are a crap ton that actually are completely new to me. For instance, I have never done the ones out on Tol Barad Peninsula until a few days ago, and I also just unlocked the Firelands dailies by doing the quest chain last week. It was one big confusing mess, but I finally managed to figure out how many of those quests I should be getting.

The other reason why I haven’t found doing WoW dailies all that terrible: there are just so damn many of them that I don’t have to choose the same ones to do every day. One day I might decide to do the ones out in Deepholme, work up some Therazane reputation. Another day I might mix it up with some cooking or fishing dailies. Sometimes I go out to Uldum to bomb some troops or bash some thieving pluckers. I have so many goals — gaining exalted rep with factions, daily achievements for rewards, getting my guild rep up, just to name a few — that pretty much anything I do will be counting towards something.

Most of these also include a pet reward of some kind at the end (Rustberg gull, dark phoenix hatchling, Pebble, etc.), so that’s extra motivation. Really looking forward to the pet battles in MoP, so I’m putting in extra effort to build up my “menagerie arsenal”.

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Rift’s Half-Birthday Party

August 26, 2011

A candle for each month.

The awesome thing about MMOs is that when they have a birthday — or in Rift’s case, a half-birthday — we’re the ones who get presents:

  • 50% favor bonus
  • 50% prestige from PvP kills bonus
  • 100% experience from kills bonus
  • 50% plaques/marks bonus chance
  • 100% planarite bonus
  • 100% guild xp bonus
  • A special “thanks for attending” gift at the end of all the festivities
  • Oh, and cake…

Last night my husband and I took our alts for a spin and gained two levels, taking them from 39 to 41 in just a little more than an hour and a half. There’s something for everyone during the celebrations, but I am most pleased about the XP boost, hoping to ride this wave as close as I can get to level 50 before next Wednesday. I say if you have an alt, take advantage of this.

Happy half-birthday, Rift. I never thought I’d still be subbed after 6 months, but here I am and I’m by no means alone judging from the healthy player population, at least on my server. After half a year, I’ve still yet to run out of things to do thanks in part to the devs adding content faster than I can get through it, and never once has the game broken on me. It’s a milestone, all right. Good show, Trion, your success is well-deserved.

Now I have to wonder, what sort of goodies will we getting on their FULL birthday? And would anyone actually buy it if I said I’m going to celebrate my half-birthday this October? Worth a shot.

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All’s Fine In Telara

August 12, 2011

Control your pet, Mage, or I'll do it for you.

I thought perhaps it’s time for an update on what I’m playing, because I wouldn’t be a very good “MMOGamerChick” if I didn’t play MMOs, would I? At this time, there are a few titles on my plate, but this summer has been all about Rift. Mostly because the devs at Trion are on the ball when it comes to frequent updates and constantly adding content.

Also, my husband’s interest in the game seems to have been renewed ever since I got him a new gaming rig for his birthday early last month. I can’t blame the guy for really getting into it again, now that he’s no longer playing on the old laptop and dealing with lagtastic combat and turned-down graphics that look like ass. It’s a whole different game once you go from “low” to “ultra”.

And as anyone who is one half of a gaming couple knows, wherever your spouse goes, you go. Still, I draw the line at being his pocket healer whenever he feels like going on one of his all-night chain Expert-T1-T2 grinding binges, so I instead settled for transferring my Rogue alt from Estrael back to Faeblight, in order to level with his new Mage.

What’s amazing to me is this new partnership is more formidable than I could have ever imagined, perhaps offering even more survivability than our past combo of Healer Cleric/Tank Warrior. With me going Marksman with some Bard elements, and him going Elementalist/Chloromancer, we essentially have two tanks and enough incidental healing to keep us all up until the end of all time. Not surprisingly, the levels have been racing by at an absurd pace.

If there’s one thing I’m looking forward to, it’s heading into Moonshade Highlands. It’s a beautiful zone, but for some reason we traded all its lushness and green for the Droughtlands on our first time through Telara. Silly us. In any case, it’s always a treat to be able to quest in a zone I’ve never done.