Thursday, October 30, 2014

Time warp

     The night (I think) after Rift's Nightmare Tides expansion had launched I logged into Daethrys for a bit for the first time in a while. I oohed and aaahhhhed over the pretty graphics on my new computer and then got down to doing a few things. I emptied his bags, put a lot of things on the auction house and then went out and did enough quests to hit level 39 and move on to the next hub. In the process of one of the quests a neat dimension item had dropped and I installed it in Falharan's workshop dimension because it fit the theme. Then satisfied with my hour or so of work I put Daethrys in his dimension and logged off.
     A few days were spent hitting 50 in Archeage and then the next day I decided to pop onto Daethrys and finally have a look at the minions system I'd missed before. My first confusion was wondering why I was sitting in Lantern Hook. I was sure I'd left him in his dimension which should have popped him out at the next hub. My next confusion was that my bags were full of the leather gear and things I remembered putting on the auction house. Then I noticed his experience bar. He'd been barely into 39 why was it so full?
     Because he was level 38 again. I looked through his things... all the quests were back in his logs, unfinished. Everything was as it had been when I first logged in that other night. It was as though my hour or so of playing had never happened at all. I couldn't understand it. I didn't see anything in the chat about it... had there been some sort of bug? Would they fix it? Should I put in a ticket?
     When in doubt I've learned, always turn to the forums. WoW's are usually a cesspit of crazy... but if something has gone wonky in the game it'll be on the forums in very short order. Rift's forums too had an answer for me. Apparently several servers had crashed probably very shortly after I logged off. And Faeblight, which is Daethrys' server was the one without a recent back up. They had to basically restore it from a point 24 hours back. So... effectively my hour or so of playtime -hadn't- happened. Only it had. I'd done it. I'd taken screenshots to prove it. But for Daethrys' purpose they were just gone.
     It didn't take me long to empty his bags onto the auction house again or quest through to the next hub where I'd been. I'm sad to have lost the dimension item drop but it's a minor thing compared to all the maxed characters who lost their levels and their crafting and apparently the things they'd used during that time as well. Still it was such a strange feeling. Oddly surreal and for a moment I doubted myself. Had I really played for a while that night?
     I can't help wondering from an RP standpoint what Daethrys would think if he remembered both times he did all those things. As it was I can only imagine him having a rather intense feeling of deja vu.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Level 50!

     Today, only partway through questing in Hasla, Aelithar hit level 50. This is a huge thing for me. This is only the second MMO that I've ever leveled a character entirely to cap. It's also the first MMO I've played since Beta. Perhaps it's silly that I get warm fuzzies in addition to a feeling of accomplishment. It's not like it hasn't taken me ages longer than many others after all. Still there he is, my level 50 paladin, fresh and new in his level. He's got a lot left to do. Needs to get to Karkasse to pick up the lower part of the last set of questing armor, needs to figure out what he's doing after that. So many quests handed to me at level 50 that I felt a little overwhelmed and wasn't sure what to do or where to start.
   So I went first with something simple. I wanted more hereafter stones, so I needed raw stone. Went over to Cinderstone and rowed out into the ocean so I could mine the stone along with Starshards to make into jewelry later. A simple thing I didn't have to be max level to do, but it was something simple and relaxing to let me figure out my center. And mining Starshard isn't -that- simple. After all Aelithar doesn't have any breathing tools, so as an elf with the swimming racial he has just enough breath to swim straight down, mine the node, and swim straight back up before drowning. Three nodes got me enough stone for three hereafter stones, enough Starshard for three ingots and burned through a LOT of labor in very short order.
    But he has enough hereafter stones to make me comfortable in heading back to Hasla later and I proved to myself that playing my paladin doesn't end at 50. I don't know if I'll shoot for the ArcheMaster title. I'm not sure I even want all the skillsets at 50. But after much debating I think Aelithar might take a short break from being called a paladin to be an Abolisher while he finishes up the Hasla quests. Why? Because that lets him level Auramancy to 50 on the backs of his Battlerage and Defense sets... and that means that if his guild needs a healer he can be a Templar (Defense, Auramancy, Vitalism) for them. And a Templar's also a pretty awesome thing to be.
     Another interesting thing happened when I hit 50. I noticed the guards started doing this:
     I'd seen them refer to other players by name before but I guess I hadn't paid attention. I thought it was something they did for the Founders and such. But I guess it's for max level characters. And I won't lie... it feels a little good to see it.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Nightmare Tides and things and I'm still here in Droughtlands

     Rift's new expansion dropped today? Yesterday? I've been getting emails about it anyhow but since Daethrys was only level 38 this isn't so exciting for me. Still I couldn't resist logging on to see if there'd been any basic changes that would make a difference for my slowly progressing Huntsman. Not really, though I'd swear there'd been a graphics change. Only I'm not really sure if it was anything the game did or just that I'd barely poked my head in since getting the new computer. What I do know is... wow the new computer lets me play with things turned all the way up and it's gorgeous. It was beautiful on my old machine, it's even better on this one.
     Just look at how pretty Daethrys is. (Have I mentioned I love Kelari men?) I played with my graphics settings some, emptied his bags onto the auction house, and then quested long enough to hit level 39. It wasn't far. Quests and killing things seemed a bit easier. Not sure if there have been changes or just reacquainting myself. Daethrys definitely makes faster work of murder in Rift than Aelithar does in Archeage.
     Archeage definitely hasn't been supplanted. I spent the morning in Erenor(I think that's the name of that world) though Aelithar's reached the rather sloggy grind stage of questing. 47 last night and maybe a quarter of the way to 48 this morning. He's left Windscour Savannah now for Perinoor Ruins which so far is an interestingly creepy sort of zone.
     My goal for myself is that if I can manage it I'd like to hit 50 before Auroria is released. Definitely before Warlords of Draenor if I can. I'm miles behind most people at leveling, I guess I'm slow at it. I don't think of myself that way in WoW where I can slog through things I've done before at a pretty good clip if I put my mind to it. Other MMOs where I'm reading every last quest and exploring things I haven't seen before, well the leveling slows down. I get distracted by random things.
     I love Archeage. This is an MMO that feels almost like it was made for me. It's got so many things I've always wanted in an MMO and even if in Free to Play I can't take part in all of them I love it for that. The PvP end game is not really my favorite thing, but oddly I find that when I'm not drastically outnumbered I'm much less terrible at it than I thought I was. I'm... actually almost having fun with the PvP sometimes. I'm not sure what to think about that. I do know that Rift will be seeing me back  at some point too, but I think it's Archeage that's my second MMO home.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Maybe PvP is okay even if I'm still terrible at it

    Level 44. Very slowly making his way there. The patch dropped in WoW. First new content in over a year so that's taken up a bit of time, but I have still been finding time to sneak into Archeage for a bit every day. Last night I logged onto a War in Rookborne Basin where he's been questing and got killed by a couple of level 50s in very short order. At the shrine there was a whole group of people from OTG and as I started to run back up to die on my quest again one of them whispered me and invited me to run with them.
     Turns out they were running around in a small warband fighting all the reds they could find. All of them were level 50 to Aelithar's 43 at that time, but I managed to stunlock a few enemies and help down them. And it was fun, though I think part of the reason I'm bad at pvp is that I can't help feeling guilty for doing the same thing to people that they've done to me. So I feel bad running with a group and help slaughtering people. Though when big groups showed up to fight us it felt pretty good. There was some dying and some getting lost and falling in rivers, but I had a lot of fun.
     I logged off for real life stuff and logged on a bit later when the war was over and quested to 44 in peacetime before calling it a night. Aelithar keeps taking his mounts into tents and inns and noble's houses. He doesn't see why not. So he and Blackthorn camped last night in a Firran tent inn.
     This morning I logged onto a zone in level four conflict/unrest and did a bit of questing alone anyhow. It was misty and beautiful but reduced the view distance a bit which made me feel both safer and more nervous at the same time. Harder for enemies to see me... but harder for me to see them too. And I have to admit that even knowing I'm going to die, there is something about questing in enemy territory in the mist that appeals to the same part of me that likes horror movies. In the screenshot above Aelithar and Blackthorn both look like they hear something, but it was a false alarm. The hour or so I was on this morning was mostly a good day not to die.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Flying High: Archeage

     Gliding high over Sandeep. I think I technically did this quest a bit wrong, but I don't care. Long glider flights are fun and that is all there is to it. I didn't realize how much I was going to enjoy the glider until I upgraded it and started using it a lot. It's fun. I'm not always very good at it, but it's fun. Flying will never not be fun. (Blizzard take notice. I don't think anybody actually wants flight taken out of WoW no matter what they say on the forums.)
      Aelithar has reached level 43. I think he might have reached 44 today if the Tahyang server hadn't been down so much of yesterday that I didn't get very much done. In fact it was down so long that I finally used the last character slot I'd been sitting on for another independent character on Calleil.
     I knew I'd be wanting a Firran. They and the elves are the races in Archeage I was most interested in playing, so this is Vahyarr. I didn't do much besides make him and level him to 5. I don't know what he'll be yet, just that archery and songcraft are involved. He won't be seeing much, if any leveling or anything until Aelithar is at least level 50, if then, or if Tahyang's down for ages again, but I'm happy to have him. He's cute.
     I don't really like the female Firran at all. Their faces are too childlike for my taste and look creepily like little girl faces stuck on adult Firran bodies. I just can't warm up to them. The male Firran on the other hand look just as they should, like fierce cat people. I like the feline cast to their faces which is very lacking in the females.
     Last night when Tahyang was finally behaving the hubby and I gave our Harani some love. Some of that included getting mentored through Palace Cellar and then riding over to Falcorth Plains to get ourselves Snowlions for that handy riding double function so Kiranai can carry Mirzai around while I exercise my google-fu occasionally. And questing, lots of questing. Mirzai is a cultist  so very much a stand in the back, cloth wearing caster which is a very unusual thing for me to be playing. I'm very much enjoying it though, even if I can't decide whether or not I like his new robes. Redheads shouldn't really wear red, I think. But the quest guys missed that memo and didn't make special blue robes for him.
     After that, last night and this morning it was back to Aelithar who finished up Sandeep and mystified poor Blackthorn with his dancing. Hey, he needed something to do while his mana regenerated and the flute hadn't cut it. Paladins use a lot of mana I'm discovering. I gave him a mana regenerating passive talent from vitalism and made a new flute this morning to help out but he still drains his mana bar like it's going out of style during anything sustained. Blackthorn's level 30 now, twenty more levels to get him to max and somewhere during the course of that Aelithar needs to make about 500 more gold. That should be a project.
     Finishing Sandeep gave me a surprise when one of the quest givers promptly sent me off through a worldgate to Rookborne Basin. Aelithar's in Haranya, which is I'll admit, a little nerve-wracking. So many red names. The local Firran don't seem to mind an elf paladin at all but those traveling adventurer types keep looking at Aelithar in ways that make him very nervous.
     I'm not very far into it, but the zone is pretty and I like the concept of the questing so far. Hoping to catch it in peace later in the day so questing can be a little less unnerving for a bit. Steadily working his way toward 50, and then I'll have to figure out what to do. If there was land available on Tahyang I'd be ever so tempted to put at least one month of patron in and try to use that time to earn the gold to buy more months with Apex. But without land available it seems like even the labor regeneration wouldn't make it entirely worth it. One of my guildies showed me his manor last night. I have to admit I've got a little bit of house envy. Maybe someday.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Archeage and a little bit of Guild Wars 2

    Aelithar has passed the level 38 hump and made his way safely (for the most part) to level 42 so far. Hellswamp was interesting, pretty yet creepy.
     But he caught a ship bound for better pastures and is now enjoying the wonders of lovely tropical Sandeep.
     Mostly it's been questing though here and there when the labor points build up high enough I feel comfortable there's been a bit of crafting. Mostly more Hereafter Stones.
     Which is what he's industriously working on here. It's no secret that Archeage is a pvp game. I also make no secret of the fact that I am bad at pvp and (probably as a result) don't particularly like it. I still love this game. I'm glad that the pvp doesn't give xp penalties, because one of the other reasons I dislike pvp (aside from being bad at it) is that pvpers for the most part seem to fight like cowards. I've been killed by several level 50s. Two at once even. And people like to wait until a mob's got my health down a good bit and then start something. But the guy today takes the cake. He was only a few levels higher but such a coward.
     Fighting mobs in Sandeep I'd just finished a couple that had Aelithar down to a sliver of health when this fellow attacked him. I fought back some but the result was inevitable. Respawned at the shrine, rebuffed, filled my health bar and then noticed the guy was just up the hill where I'd been fighting the same mob. His health was down to about half when I thought turnabout was fair play and went up to give him a go. Charge off horseback, hit him hard with my shield... out of range... what, where is he? Spin around flailing only to see him running off at top speed down the hill into the safe little no combat zone around the shrine. I couldn't help rolling my eyes.
     Finally got to try the Jury Duty thing once one morning when I logged on quickly after downtime and got a low number in the queue. It was interesting.  I'd wondered what it was like and now I know. Like a true paladin Aelithar thinks evildoers should get the maximum sentence.
     So I'm still loving this game and pvp cowards or not I'm feeling very confident that Aelithar will get to level 50. What he does then I'm not sure. Maybe he'll build a ship.

     Tonight though, a bit late I felt like logging on for something, but warzone didn't sound like fun so I thought Guild Wars 2 (which I bought at half price a while back and semi-abandoned for Archeage) might be good for just a quick session. It is.
     I'm still trying to decide on my Guild Wars 2 main. I made a Sylvari Ranger to start: Tamyrlinn Ferahn but he felt so squishy and it was frustrating. (Probably partly because mobile combat)
     So after 100% map complete in Caledon Forest and the Grove I gave him a little break and rerolled my originally Norn Guardian idea into a Sylvari as well.
     Alystaer Starleaf is definitely growing on me, though the new feature pack's changes for low level characters soured me briefly even before Archeage released. I don't like the changes, don't like the Skills on my map that I apparently just can't do yet when Tamyrlinn could before. I don't like the nagging indicator up top. But I do like Alystaer and he's definitely in the running for main against Tamyrlinn. The plan is to get Alystaer through Caledon as well and then decide who the focus is moving on. But tonight was a nice relaxing play session, which I needed. Did two hearts and an event and then completed the Grove map. 
     I do think it's a good game it was definitely relaxing and enjoyable tonight. But even as a very big noob to GW2 I can't help thinking it was better before they made it noob friendly. Still I'll be poking around in there off and on, and in a few more sessions maybe I'll have picked a main.

Monday, October 6, 2014

I'm slow at leveling

     Aelithar is level 38. I'm slowly getting there in this game, though I feel slow. Aside from the two Harani the hubby and I play sometimes, my friend SprYte and I added a pair of elves on Calleil. But mostly I think what makes me slow is that there are so many things I can keep getting distracted by doing. Some of them help with leveling like the dungeon I ran with three guildies and a random dps we picked up. That was an adventure. We were dps (and in my case rather tanky) things and we'd been hoping to find a healer outside the dungeon. Turns out the only thing we could find was another dps. As a paladin I was the only one with any Vitalism skills at all. So rather than attempting to tank I found myself attempting to heal with a grand total of two healing spells. Thanks to a well coordinated group we did finish Burnt Castle and it was loads of fun.
     I'd only intended for Aelithar to have Silverbirch for a mount. After all in a game where your mount is persistent in the world and has to be carried in your bag, collecting seems silly. But then I found out that the Lilyut Horses you could purchase on Mirage Isle not only ran faster and had melee based attacks, but also could be leveled and upgraded. Needless to say he promptly went to Mirage Isle and spent most of his gold on a foal. Raising it up was simple enough once I realized I needed a carrot and then Blackthorn got most of the way from level five to level ten simply running the longest way from Solzreed back to Cinderstone Moor.
    There is just so much about this game that's done right or at least right for me. Trade packs, farming and mount leveling conspire to keep all the zones busy and alive. (I can't be the only one riding a lot of places the long way to level up my mounts, can I?) Not only that but the world it pretty enough and busy enough to be a place I just want to be. Aelithar has several hereafter stones in his bag, but often as not traveling involves just riding because I'm simply enjoying that.
     Mounts as persistent entities in the world that you can level and gear is something I have always wanted in an MMO. Add in combat abilities for them and  they are something that I easily get attached to and that becomes part of my character's story. Battle pets are a wonderful concept as well though I've done very little to level mine. Aelithar's a paladin so for me his mount is a more important thing than his battle pet. Knights and trusty steeds and all that.
     The mix and match ability of armor and weapons is great for me too. Aelithar's been using a sword since level 20 (the same sword incidentally :P) but one of his guildies offered to make him a weapon if some of the mats were acquired and after some thought and internet research I decided the best thing for his primarily tanky build was a club. He got a new sword from questing the day the club was finished. The dps for the sword is slightly higher but the club is close enough to feel comparable when questing and his heals have at least doubled their output making him feel more like a paladin than ever.  It's great that some classes can function best by mixing armor types and possibly unexpected weapons.
     I love the way classes work as well, though I've got to talk myself out of taking Vitalism on everything. Aelithar had to have it to be a paladin, Mirzai ended up taking it because his hit things in the face partner sometimes needed healing. And Vanydor the elf I'm playing with a friend has taken it because that ended up rounding out his Archery/Shadowplay combination into something called Ranger than I couldn't pass up. I've got enough credits for one more slot, so maybe I can talk the eventual Firran out of being healer-y.
     Someday when more land is available I'd really love to go patron and make a house. I love the houses and the making and decorating them yourself part is another thing that feels great. I also think I might like a boat. A real one that's a bit bigger than the little rowboat he got from a quest.
     Something like the one he's on with his guildies here.
     I really enjoy the combat animations too. They look very dynamic. And if will admit to getting a kick out of this quest where not only were there the usual fantasy game succubi to fight but incubi too. I have very rarely seen incubi in games because they aren't sexy women so it was nice that the sort of sexy (mostly creepy) demons come in both genders for once.
     Overall I'm still loving this game. And Aelithar is 38, which is where Daethrys in Rift and Tirasiel in Aion have both ended up hitting hitching points. But right now I definitely feel like Aelithar's going to move on past and keep working toward 50.