Posts Tagged ‘Re-Subbing’

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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 IMC Strikes Back

July 29, 2013
BHship

Home sweet…ship.

In light of the success that Mercy Gaming has had with the implementation of The Secret World Mondays (it’s been our guild’s longest-running endeavor so far), a few of our members have started up similar weekly sessions for Star Wars: The Old Republic. As such, the Darths at the top have declared Thursdays to be TORsdays, and we’ll be breathing life back into our old Empire guild the Imperial Mercenary Corps.

In a way, this return to SWTOR feels a long time coming. Mercy Gaming in its earliest form was assembled around that game, after all. Over time, our gaming circle has drifted from the game and we’ve lost and gained members since.

But now that SWTOR is free-to-play and has a new expansion to boot, I like the idea of going back and revisiting it once more. Actually, this wasn’t even a game I’d wanted to stop playing in the first place, but my daughter was born about a couple months after it first launched and pretty much all gaming stopped for me until that summer. By then, our guild’s presence in SWTOR had pretty much dissolved, and people had moved on to TSW and Guild Wars 2. Anyway, that’s really just my roundabout way of saying that I’m going to take full advantage of TORsdays.

My first goal: to get my Bounty Hunter to level 50. Apparently, she was 42 when I last left her — so close and yet so far to the old cap. After that, we’ll see about getting the expansion and taking her to 55. For the time being, I’ve already committed myself to at least the next two months because I sprang for the 60-day time card. SWTOR may be F2P, but it will make your life a living hell unless you sub. It appears I’ve been dreadfully spoiled by the more forgiving F2P approach employed by Perfect World/Cryptic games.

As of now, I’m sitting at level 45 and in the middle of questing through Belsavis. It’s always a bit frustrating coming back to an MMO you haven’t played for almost a year, especially when everything has changed and you have to redo all your skill points, user interface, etc. Not to mention the biggie, which is I’ve pretty much forgotten how to play my class. Let’s just say I spent the first couple of days back in game getting my ass kicked all over the planet, and leave it at that.

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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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WoW: One Step At A Time

August 14, 2012

Archaeology – my current on-going project.

It’s no secret that I’m going to be plunging headfirst back into World of Warcraft later this fall when the Mists of Panderia expansion comes out (already preordered the Collector’s Edition), but I made my return to the game earlier than expected when I reactivated my subscription last week. I don’t plan on playing full-on until at least September, but I did want to give my guild a heads up as well as to reconnect with some old friends before coming back. Thus I’ve been casually hopping in and out of the game for the last few days, putting in some time during the day whenever I have it to spare.

I won’t lie; jumping back into WoW after a long absence is always a bit of a shock for me. As always, so much has changed and I find my knowledge of the game to be hopelessly outdated. New content has been added, and I inevitably find myself like a deer caught in the headlights, paralyzed with fear in the face of all this stuff that’s available for me to do. I’ve logged in before just to stand in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Stormwind and stare slack-jawed at the screen for several minutes. That’s how I get when I have no idea what to do with myself.

Still, that’s not always bad. I have many gripes about the WoW when it comes down to their brand of endgame gear grind, but one thing I’ve always appreciated about the game is its diverse offering of side activities and “fluff” things to do, even — or should I say, especially — on my level-capped main. When I have a max-level character, I’m generally used to trying to find activities to occupy my mind, not being inundated with them.

Here’s also where I feel obligated to bring up my love for achievements. For a completionist like me, nothing can beat the joy or satisfaction of being to knock them out one by one like items on a to-do list, so there’s that. But in WoW, I’ve found that they can also serve as helpful focus points for the times I feel overwhelmed and unsure where or how to start. They break the content up into organized and manageable chunks, and I get to work towards a doable goal. Now I log in, choose one, and off I go, while setting aside the rest as distractions (for the moment).

The fact that not all the achievements are “serious” is my favorite part about the WoW achievement system. They range from heroic challenges to stuffing yourself full with in-game candy, from catching a pile of fish to getting all mushy with woodland animals. I tend to forgo the PvP or dungeon-centric ones to tackle the exploration, crafting, and loremaster achievements, as well as the “frivolous” ones that involve in-game events or pet collecting.

The wide variety makes this game extremely attractive as a daytime MMO for me, when the availability and duration of my gaming sessions are solely determined by the sporadic napping patterns of my infant daughter. By the way, my little Princess Crank Monster hates to nap. Like, absolutely hates it. She’ll fight sleep every chance she gets, and will only stay snoozing anywhere from 15 minutes to just over an hour during her nap times in the day.

This actually makes WoW pretty perfect, because I never know exactly how long I have to play. Sure, dungeons and raids are out because as soon as the baby wakes up crying it means I’m off the game. Still, but one quick rundown of my achievement panel shows there’s plenty other things I can set out to work on and accomplish — activities I can pick up and do whenever I want, whether I’m on for five minutes or five hours. Until now, I think that’s always something I’ve taken for granted.

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Rift: I Just Can’t Say No (…Or You Make It Really Hard To Say No, Anyway)

June 7, 2012

A lot has been going on lately, but I have not been letting news of the upcoming Rift expansion escape my notice.  Storm Legion is touted to be three times bigger than what is in the game right now, adding two new continents each with their own storyline, as well as what is apparently a new player housing system.  We’re also told to expect more gear, more dungeons, more souls, more crafting. Just more more more more MORE.

When it comes to pulling off a great expansion, I have high hopes in Trion. After all, they have always churned out content faster than you can say rampaging mechanical colossus. A look at their E3 live stream today had me convinced it’s going to be awesome.

Rift, it’s not funny. I am so overwhelmed with games this year, but you make it so damn difficult to say no. Still, while extremely tempting, a resub is probably not in the cards right now. With a level-capped Cleric waiting on the sidelines, I guess I’m in no big hurry.

However, I can definitely see myself picking it up again come this fall, which is when the expansion is reported to be released. I know a few of my friends have already jumped back into Rift, and to others who have not reached level 50 yet I can see why it might be a good idea. Not surprisingly, encounters like the one we see with Mr. Gi-Mongous up there in the live stream video will be endgame content. With action and sights like that, I’d probably want to be prepared too.

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She’s Back

July 24, 2010

T'Androma, back in the captain's chair.

Yesterday, I reactivated my Star Trek Online subscription, as planned. I’d been waiting for a reason to re-sub, and Season 2 is it. The update probably won’t go live until closer to the end of the month, but I wanted a chance to update the client and get myself reacquainted with the game controls before that happens.

I hadn’t planned on logging into the Tribble test server — as much as I was looking forward to the new content, it didn’t make much sense to spoil it for myself before it even has a chance to go live — but the day happened to mark the beginning  of another Tribble Test Weekend, and heaven knows I’m a sucker for free in-game rewards. I plan to test what I can without going overboard, and hope it’ll be enough to obtain the “surprise” Tribble.

On the test server tonight, I had just enough time to start the first couple of Undine missions and fight my way to their native realm. And I have to say, I am absolutely floored by Cryptic’s take on Fluidic space — it’s beautiful, it’s enchanting…and just a little trippy. And just as I’d gotten used to the flight controls again, those sneaky “Trikes” and their new abilities give me a run for my money. I have a feeling the Undine story is going to be the most interesting one yet.

Like someone spilled a little water into sector space.

I am also truly amazed at how much the Season Two: Ancient Enemies update will be bringing to STO. Tomorrow, I plan to pop into Tribble again to try my hand at some diplomacy. There’s more to life than running into a fight guns blazing, and it’s time for Admiral T’Androma to learn something about the delicate art of negotiation.  Subtlety has never been her strong suit, so here’s hoping she doesn’t spark any galactic wars with her Vulcan candor.

Back on the live Holodeck server, I went ahead and bought the Mirror Universe uniforms (evidently, great minds think alike!) which I’d been dying for ever since I found out they were being offered in the C-Store. But oh no, it was never intended for my captain…

Looking sharp there, Sleer.

Finally, the beard and the uniform come together on the U.S.S. Taiga's First Officer.