10 years, 10 questions

So there is a little community event going about the 10 years of World of Warcraft, started by Alt:ertnative Chat 

Nostalgia is worth quite a bit of currency for Blizzard, as we’ve seen from Thursday’s announcements concerning the 10th Anniversary celebrations. As I prepare to take a break from actual Podcasting I’m not stopping the process however, anything but. In fact, part of the reason for taking a break is so I can start preparing for a project that I’ve been planing for a while now, and which I think it’s high time to share with you guys and at the same time ask you for help. My forte has always been sound, and as a result I’ve decided to launch a Project which is nothing at all to do with me and absolutely EVERYTHING to do with you, and the memories you have of World of Warcraft over the last 10 years.
Hence the 10 YEARS :: 10 QUESTIONS project was born, and I need your help to make it a reality.
What’s this all about, I hear you ask? Well, it is very simple: I want to ask AS MANY PLAYERS AS I CAN FIND the same ten questions about their time in Warcraft. The more responses I get, the easier it will be to build a balanced and comprehensive picture of what matters to players after a decade: what they remember, what Warcraft has given them as an experience and most importantly the legacy of the game for players as we move into the NEXT ten years of Warcraft’s life. That means getting the word out everywhere: social media, other sites, and I’m not just looking for current players either. I’m attempting to contact ex-players too for their responses because this isn’t just about the people who remain, I grasp that those who have left have as much to say on this as the existing playerbase.

Here is my entry…

1. Why did you start playing World of Warcraft?
Well, my ex-boyfriend at the time was playing it and got me curious, since he knew I liked games. I made a character on his account in March 2007 and have been playing on and off ever since. Right now I’m at an extended break untill patch 6.0 hits.

2. What was the first ever character you rolled?
My first ever character was one on the account of said ex-boyfriend. After doing some research, and after him telling me not to make a Night Elf druid because he had one, I settled for a Female Human Mage. I figured it would be fun to sling spells everywhere. That character has unfortunately been lost because we broke up.
My first character ever rolled on my own account was a Female Human Warrior and she still exists on my account till this day only she is now a Female Night Elf  who hasn’t been logged for a while as you can see.

3. Which factor determined your faction choice in game?
Well, I’m not sure actually. I rolled Alliance at first because well, that’s what I got introduced to. I didn’t roll a Horde untill Wrath of the Lich King where you could have both factions on the same (PvP) server. After that I’ve played both factions but have always preferred Alliance because of Nightelves and Draenei. The Horde characters that I do still play are Bloodelves and a Panda. I like prettiness when I have to look at my characters and most of the Horde races just don’t fit that standard for me.

4. What has been your most memorable moment in Warcraft and why?
I have to say the first time I entered Serpentshrine Caverns with a full 25 man group here. It was the first time I had ever done content harder than Karazhan and I was very very impressed by how it all went. My computer was absolute balls at the time so on Morogrim Tidewalker I was literally stuck for a minute when the murlocs spawned but I enjoyed myself nonetheless.

5. What is your favourite aspect of the game and has this always been the case?
This is a tough one to answer. I am a collector in general so when achievements got implemented it was a very good day for me. I also still like to collect mounts but have dropped the collecting pets a little. The reason for that is mostly because I am not a huge fan of Wowkemon. I had almost all pets available ingame before the introduction of Wowkemon and suddenly found myself lagging behind on other collectors after the introduction. It’s then that the enjoyment of the pet collection lost it’s shine for me.

6. Do you have an area that you always return to?




One of my favourite area’s in game was Azshara, pre-Cataclysm. It had a wild feel to it with lots of secrets and mysteries. Whatever did happen to Timbermaw Hold? And the dialogue with the ghostly dragon there, if you were on the quest, was amazing. Sadly they remade the zone for Cataclysm and so I can never really return. I think if I have to pick an area where I would rest my character when the servers go offline for the last time it would probably be Nagrand. So green and peaceful.

7. How long have you /played and has it been continuous?
Seeing as I don’t have gametime at the moment I can’t really check, but assume that my playtime has been pretty long across all my characters, with my Warrior having the longest.
It has not been continuous. I have taken several breaks, starting with when Diablo III came out but also a few months after MoP release and again now.

8. Admit it, do you read quest text or not?
Yes and no. I try to read all the quest text the very first time I level/play through an area. I like lore and want to know what’s going on. Every character that follows after I don’t read anymore.

9. Are there any regrets from your time ingame?
Too many to name here. They come down to a few basic things.
I mostly regret not being able to pick a main character and stick to it. The only character I have played continuously throughout my 7 years on WoW is my warrior, but I have main switched more than I can justify. I see the same happening in other games now, I guess I’m not really cut out to just pick something and stick to it.
My other regret is letting my choices be influenced by my SO who I was playing with at the time. It led me to abandon a marvelous guild and my hunter who I loved so much back then. After that I decided not to move or do anything if I didn’t wanted to myself.

10. What effect has Warcraft had on your life outside of gaming?
Hmm. Well it has found me friends and more. I found one of my exes on the game and we were together for 3 years.
Other than that it has been my escape from a troubled home situation for a long time. Although I’d like to say it didn’t influence my school/studies, it did. I did manage to finish high school, a bachelor’s and a master’s degree, just a bit slower than I should have.
I never let the game get in the way of my social life though but there was a time where I considered myself to be addicted, especially during TBC and WotLK where I would play for many hours where I should have been studying.

So yeah this was my take on the 10 years, 10 questions. I hope you enjoyed the read 🙂

Chopping Away…

DING! 50!
Botanist level 50, I thought I would never make it. But yesterday I finally did. And I’m so happy! It’s the first class that isn’t a battle class that I managed to get to 50, and boy it has been a grind.
I used up all my rested xp, company seals, about 40 vials of cordial and 2 stacks of food (and multiple FC buffs) but it was all worth it. I immediatly picked up most of the best in slot gear and now I just need to (over)meld it to get to gathering the nodes I need to get even better gear. I hope I can make some nice money of the botanist, but I’ll have to see. For now I’m just squeeing over all the new things I’m exploring as botanist.

Struggles

This post might come as a surprise after my previous happy post full of updates and pictures, but I feel the need to put it out there anyway.

For a while now I’ve been struggling with being a “gamer”. I notice it a lot on the weekend nights, Friday and Saturday, where I sit at home and play games while I feel like I should be doing something else. Mind you, it’s not like I don’t have a social life at all. I still see my friends and am out of the house a lot, but still.
Right now I’m in the position that I still live at home with no income and with people I don’t really like. My friends have all moved away, the closest one is a 15 minute drive by car now and I’m not really interested in “bar hopping” by myself.
Thus I turn to gaming. I have a lot of “online friends” who are gamers like me. Although I have fun with these people and have some sort of bond with them, it’s not the same as having real fun with real people. And after a while I find myself shunning the group of people I usually hang out with and retreating into a depressive state where I don’t like anyone or anything.

I’ve thought long and hard about why I have these moments where I absolutely despise logging or starting up any game imaginable. Is it because I’m unemployed right now? Maybe. I have more time to play than ever and when you spend hours and hours on a game it gets boring fast. However when I still had a job I’ve had more than enough of these moments aswell.
Is it because I feel lonely sitting behind my PC every night? Maybe. I’m used to being alone, being raised as an only child, and I’ve always found ways to entertain myself so this is nothing new. However I’m actually a quite extraverted person and I thrive in social situations. I love the buzz of people around me and I’m happiest when I’m in the big city where people are lively and abundant. I like doing new things and meeting new people and that’s not really something you do sitting in your room behind a computer. I also miss the social connections sometimes. Like I said, I have many online friends, but somehow it still feels shallow compared to the rich real life friendships I have.

Gaming has long been my escape from the big bad outside world. But now that I’ve finished my university and my life is actually settling down I feel it to be unhealthy to escape to a game when I feel like shit. It’s distraction, but it doesn’t make me feel better. Actually I often feel worse when I feel stressed or depressed and I start up a game. I feel like I’m avoiding why I feel this way by escaping into a game instead of tackling the issue head on.

Maybe I’m just very very bored at the moment and is this clouding how I feel about games. I’m not sure. All I know is that I’m slowly slipping into a phase of being unhappy with what I do and that I feel like shunning games as much as I can but still returning to them because there is little else to do. Which in turn kind of makes me despise the games I’m playing, thus making me more unhappy.

Maybe I’m just whiny, who knows. When I talk to my online friends they don’t really feel the same way. They find other games to enjoy or are able to just lay the game down. I don’t want to game hop too much however, mostly because of limited finances. I have tried to quit games, restrict my gametime or just play one game for a while. And although this works for a while I find myself logging more and more hours on more and more games untill I’m back to sitting behind the PC for hours and hours every day and feeling bad about it.

I don’t know if anyone else has struggled with these feelings and how they’ve tried to fix it, but I do hope I’m not alone in feeling this way…

Updates and pictures

It’s been rather quiet on the blogosphere of late. Maybe it’s because of the holidays, maybe it’s because a lot of people quit playing Wildstar (myself included) or maybe it’s just because there is nothing to blog about.
I myself fall into the last category. Well not entirely. I have tons and tons of things to blog about, but I just can’t seem to get it in writing.

Right now however I have achieved a lot of things on Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn that I just HAVE to share it with everyone.

First off: my static Coil group has made it to turn 9. Or the Second Coil of Bahamut Turn 4, whatever tickles your pickle. Unfortunately I wasn’t there for our first turn 6 clear, but I am there on the kill screens of the turn 7 and turn 8 kills.
On the turn 7 picture I’m standing to the far right, on the turn 8 one I’m standing on the far left. And no I’m not the big burly Roegadyn 😉

I’m very proud that my team has come this far. We are currently competing over the first turn 9 clear in our Free Company with another coil group and we hope and pray that we get it first. But for that we will need some more gear…

Speaking of gear, my Animus bow is coming along nicely, I’m currently working on book 7/9 and I hope to be finished next week. After that the big grind for Novus begins, but I’ll comment about that in another post.

Speaking of gear. I have been having fun with some glamours to make my character stand out among the crowd (see above picture). You need to see glamours as a sort of transmog from WoW but a bit different. Luckily for me one of the healers in my coil group is a master crafter and had an awesome looking chestpiece “lying around”. Mind you this chestpiece is worth 1 million gil on the Marketboard so I was kind of stunned he just gave it to me. For reference, it’s the Augmented Saurian Tabard of Aiming and for anyone who plays endgame, you know how ridiculously expensive this thing is as normal quality… This one is high quality. Anyway, I do believe Sandrian looks awesome in this look so I think I’ll keep her this way for a while.

Another interesting thing that I did was finally bring Sarella over from Shiva. And turn her into a Hyur because having two Miqo’tes is kind of meh.
I’ve been mostly using her as Botanist so far, currently level 31, but main Monk on her, a class that I thoroughly enjoy. I’m currently in what I believe a very sexy gearset for botanist so ofcourse I had to share this with you guys. The set that you see here is one that I crafted myself on Sandrian and I’m damn proud of it!

For the near future I hope to level Sarella to level 50 botanisht and show off that gear and clear turn 9 and get my Animus weapon on Sandrian. Which I ofcourse will show off aswell.
I can’t make any promises about blogging more, but I will try to put an update of my activities every now and then.

The Road to Animus

Last week I finally finished the Atma grind on Sandrian. I absolutely hated every step of the way. Whoever came up with it at Square Enix can go jump off a cliff.

In theory I don’t really mind grinding FATE’s, aslong as I know there will be some sort of certain reward. Which an Atma isn’t. They drop randomly and thus I’ve spent somewhere inbetween 5 mins to 7 hours trying to get one to drop. The zone I spent the most time in was Central Thanalan and I’m pretty sure I screamed with joy when I finally saw the damned thing drop. It does make for a nice picture if you have all 12 of them though, as you can see to the left. Yes I color coordinated them to make it look pretty. Having done this once tho, I’m not very likely to do it again for a different job in the near future. Almost going insane with grinding isn’t something you would like to happen more than once a year.

But I finally got my Atma weapon, which I’m quite thrilled about. I lost the glow, but I like the colours more than the ones on the original weapon.

After I finished up my Atma I immediatly went to  Mor’Dhona to pick up my first Animus book. You can get 9 books in total, each costing 1500 tomes of mythology, and they upgrade a stat on your Atma weapon. Finish all 9 of them and your Atma turns into an Animus.
The books contain 4 pages of stuff you need to do. One page for Enemies you need to kill, one page for Dungeons you need to complete, one page for FATE’s you need to complete and one page for Levequests that you need to do as you can see below.

Personally I try to work from zone to zone, clearing out everything in a certain zone that I need to. Ofcourse this also means that I have to wait on FATE’s a lot, but I find this to be less annoying than running FATE’s in the hope of something dropping. I tend to save dungeons for last and ask guildies to help me out with them if needed.
I’ve currently just finished up my second book and am about 500 myth tomes away from buying the third one. Since patch 2.3 myth has been a lot easier to get so I’m aiming to get a book every two days, something that should be easily achieved right now.

I’ll keep you updated about my progress on this weapon and ofcourse show it off once I have it. And then the next big upgrade starts… Novus!

P.S.
I won’t be blogging about Wildstar for a bit seeing as I have no playtime and thus not much to talk about. I WILL post about FFXIV tho.

Levelling Through Algoroc

I arrived in Tremor Ridge in Algoroc before logging of from levelling Verana last time, but since it was already late then and I didn’t feel like pulling an all nighter I decided to continue levelling yesterday. And I took pictures!

Coming in from the Northern Wilds you get a bit shocked when you arrive at Algoroc. It’s prairie/farm country and suddenly a very suitable climate for short shorts and sheep!

Rowsdowers are a peculiar species to see. Spacesheep essentially. I’ve seen them already on my Aurin but not really as I’ve seen them here in Algoroc. According to game lore they appear to be quite resistant for anything so that they can be kept in hot and cold climates. They’re mostly just silly to see.

I hopped into questing straight away and was sent up a ledge to collect Loftite Crystals and discovered a camp at the snowy top! It appeared one of the spaceships crashed and started leaking radioactive material. This led to radioactive creatures which weren’t very happy to see me (maybe because I was smashing their eggs?) and some vessels of radioactive material spread out over this particular zone. And yes those did hurt when you got close to them. It was also the first bit of underwater questing I had to do there. It seems Mordesh have a bit longer before they run out of breath than other classes but even then it was nice to have streams of air bubbles under water.

After supplying Tremor Ridge with Loftite I went on my merry way to the next big town in the zone: Gallow. Where the first part of Algoroc is mostly prairie and cliffs, and apparently still some snow, the second part as you head to Gallow transforms into green farmland surrounded by woods…. With cows! Which ofcourse were under attack by wolves and predatory birds. Go figure. 
Gallow is a lovely village, probably as rural as a space village in Wildstar can get. They send you on various quests, from saving cows to tracking down townsfolk to protecting the town against Dominion forces. A small note: When it turns night in Wildstar and you are in this zone you get a very fun challenge… Cow Tipping! When I activated that I laughed my ass off while running for my life because tipping apparently makes sleeping cows angry.
Unfortunately as you try to protect Gallow from Dominion Forces a lot of innocent townspeople are killed. Even the funeral isn’t safe which leads to coffins with corpses in there just standing at the graveyard.
Kind of creepy.

I didn’t manage to do the entirety of the zone unfortunately. I was outlevelling the main story quests fast because I got distracted by many sidequests and didn’t want to be stuck in Algoroc forever. So I saw some area’s that I didn’t enter, like this mysterious arch.

The ending of the zone is quite epic and a first real encounter with the Eldan. There is this monstrous robot, the Annihilator, wreaking havoc and it’s your job to find a way to shut it down. 
Funnily enough most of my Scientist path missions were in that particular zone. So far I’m enjoying the Scientist. There is a lot of lore involved and you get to know a lot about the wildlife on Nexus aswell. It can be a bit tiresome to find all the data cubes in a zone, I didn’t find all of them in Algoroc, but apart from that it’s a fun path. 
It was a bit of a pity I couldn’t clear the entire zone though, but I didn’t want to wait to get my house and mount.

I did however get a cool hat from my Scientist path somewhere near the end of my questing in Algoroc.
So now Verana has made her way to Thayd where she started working on her house in the sky. I don’t want to spend too much money on it since I also want a mount. But a small start is there and I might do a small post about it when I get the housing plot to look cooler.
For now I’ll dive back into Nexus and will see you next time with more screenshots!

Meet Verana

I’ve been getting some more Wildstar time in and decided to roll a little alt. I wanted to try out the Warrior class, but didn’t want to play Aurin or Human. So I made a Mordesh, called her Verana and hopped into the game.

With and without her amazing hat. I like the way she looks. Kind of menacing, but pink! I have to say that I’m actually liking the Mordesh movement more than Aurin right now. It’s all a bit slower and easier to control rather than my little Aurin stalker who bounces all over the place.

I figured I would start in the Human zone for a change, Northern Wilds, and was immediatly awed by it. Yes yes Everstar Grove is bigger and very green, but all the snow was just amazing to see. You get in when there is a huge snowstorm going on.

The little dudes you see in the snow are actually Wildstar’s idea of yeti’s. I felt bad for killing them, they were so nice and furry… Also avalanches! And yes they hurt if you got caught in them.
After a while I got send to a special station, as seen below, and when I came out, the storm was gone! You can also see my trusty Data Cube on the second screenshot, I called her Dixie by the way. I’m a Scientist on this character and loving it so far.

The quests in Northern Wilds are funny and sad at the same time. I managed to rescue someone from the snow, but not everyone was that lucky.

 I also talked to someone in a bubbling pot…

All in all the zone was great. I wasn’t really taken away with the story. Sadie Brightland randomly dies (sorry for the spoiler!) and I felt a lot less sympathy for the Exiles here than I did in the Aurin Starting zone. Poor tree! Also, the rewards for questing were a bit inappropriate for the climate. I do your bidding and you give me short shorts in the snow? Silly Wildstar…

I did like the Northern Wilds as starting zone a lot. It was nice to do something different from Evenstar Grove and it’s not a huuuuuge zone to start in. As you can see in some of my screenshots I no longer use the standard Wildstar UI. I installed Potato UI instead. It seems to have helped with my FPS issues so I do like playing it more now. Unfortunately my sub runs out on July 3rd and I’m not sure if I’m in the financial position to renew it. I’ll have to wait and see.
For now I think I found my new love: Warrior. It feels very much like the Warrior I’m used to from World of Warcraft and I’ve completely fallen in love with my little Mordesh. I’m taking a lot more screenshots on her aswell (as you notice) so expect more screenshot filled posts the coming two weeks!

Annoyed At Wildstar

After reading fellow Blogger Jaedia post about her FPS issues I figured I would make a little post of my own about that and how it’s making me feel towards Wildstar as a game.

I have tried out Wildstar in beta phase and noticed that the game wasn’t optimized very well. I was having horrible FPS drops, even on Low settings, and although I did like the game play itself, the graphics made me not want to play it at launch initially.

As launch came closer I started to itch. I wanted to get on the hypetrain that was Wildstar but was afraid that I would still have graphic issues. Inspite of this I decided to buy the game after all. My fears however were justified. I still had those horrible FPS drops that I had way back in the beta. It became a bit less after removing the old roaming folder, but it was still horrible. On Low settings I would jump up to 90 FPS, but drop down to 30 aswell. On Medium Settings I’m bouncing somewhere between 15 FPS and 50 FPS. It all seems very random too.
There is a little area in Celestion where you have to do quests that require you to jump on waterspouts. Water, as animation, is very difficult for graphics cards. However I didn’t seem to have any issues there. I could just ride the spouts, land and have minimum FPS loss.

I had to land on top of a statue with the help of those waterspouts for a Settler quest. Wasn’t easy!

Moving over to the next zone however, Thayd, gave me horrible framerates. I’m not really sure if it’s the enorm amount of NPC’s there (because honestly I didn’t see many players at the time) or if it’s somehow coded differently. Either way, my graphics card chokes.

What I described above has affected my gameplay significantly. I’ve tried a few solutions to make my graphics better but to no avail. This causes me to be annoyed at the game after a while. Having random almost freezes is never fun. It’s also made me a bit reluctant to play, even though I unlocked my personal housing and mount.

Which obviously is an utter shame. I’ve already found so many interesting things in Wildstar. So much humour. It reminds me a lot of World of Warcraft from “ye olden days”. Although I find Wildstars lore not very attractive as of yet, the gameplay itself feels very refreshing. And if you encounter a tiny village full of cowering mini rabbits, who wouldn’t fall in love?

As it stands now though I don’t think I’ll go for a renewal of my sub once my first month is over. The lack of optimization of the game is driving me crazy. And unless Carbine finds a way to fix it playing Wildstar is more frustrating than fun for me.

Wildstar Beginnings

Wildstar arrived yesterday and I’ve logged quite some time on it since. Working out graphic issues, unfortunately I have to play the game on low settings, getting accustomed to playing Stalker again and trying to figure out what the hell a Settler is supposed to be doing.

I’ve taken some screenies along the way. I was still devastated that the Chua killed the elder tree in the Aurin starter zone. Luckily I managed to get a screenshot of him before his horrible demise.

Poor chap deserved better than that. But well, atleast it gives the Aurin even more of a reason to hate the Dominion. And wow… the Dominion. They seem to really go all out bad guy in this game. Their primary focus, next to conquering Nexus, is making sure the Exiles suffer. Evil right there I tell you. I have started a Dominion character on Zhur (EU) but didn’t play her much yet. You all might get a glimpse in a future post.
Anyway… Back to screenshots.

I arrived at Woodhaven… And it was just as gorgeous as on Beta. The waterfalls were still immense and everything looked much more finished. There were tons of things to do for me as Settler aswell. Apparently I’m responsible for decorating the towns with flowers and banners. Too bad that they keep respawning and are not permanent once you planted them. Next to that I’m the one in charge of the pop up HP/XP/Stat increasing booths. It’s quite awesome.
This is the point where I had to turn down my graphics aswell. I was getting major drops and almost made the game unplayable for me. So now everything looks a little bit more ugly, but atleast I can play and that’s what matters!

Also, I’ve been trying to find every bit of lore I possibly can in the big open world. Sometimes you really need to keep your eyes open for hidden datacubes or books or leaflets. Especially data cubes are fun to find because you don’t have to read, someone will actually tell you what it says! They’re just scattered in sneaky little spots, thus making some very hard to find…

At the end of my furious leveling on launch day I was a level 8 Stalker, arrived in Woodhaven and very pleased with the game so far. I like the combat system, as Stalker mind you, and Lightspire is bustling with activity and new players. I can’t wait to advance further and unlock mounts and housing, which I’m sure will take up a lot of time aswell.

Meet The Aurin

So, my copy of Wildstar arrived today and ofcourse I immediatly installed it and got it rolling.
The first thing I noticed was that damn, I still have graphical glitches when I try to play the game on High or Ultra High settings. It seems my graphics card can’t handle that. On Medium everything still looks pretty and I have a lot less graphical issues, I mostly get glitches on cutscenes and when zooming in and out on my character, so I will probably keep playing it on those settings.

In the meantime, meet Sandrian… Aurin Stalker Settler extraordinaire!

I took this screenshot on high settings, although I find it too be almost equally as pretty on medium. I haven’t found out how to hide the UI yet though 🙁 I did however scale it down to a normal size now.

So yeah, I chose to be a Stalker, the class I had insanely much fun on when I was playing Beta, and as path I chose Settler. Why? Pop up mailbox! Among other things anyway.
I have made it to level 5 right now, and level 3 Settler, while waiting for the lovely Jaedia from Jaedia’s Menagerie to log so I can add her as friendsies and join the Twitter/Blogger guild that has sprouted on Lightspire.
Other than that I’m going to look into making a Dominion character on the Zhur server where Wabbage from Wabbage’s Den plays on.
Anyway, now that I’ve given you a little glimpse of the Aurin I’m off to play some more!