Friday, May 30, 2014

More Aion

     Last night when I meant to pop onto LOTRO for a few quick shots of my housing for a post about housing before popping onto Aion... well I got very distracted and ended up not hitting Aion at all. But this morning I wanted to see what the housing was like in Aion too. What I found was that Tirasiel needs a few more levels before he can find out.
     Since I've been having fun with him and enjoying the music now that I can hear it, I wasn't one to shy away from trying to get a few more. But as I was popping in an out of game for other things I noticed that he'd been wearing this same leather chest since the first area. Well, I thought I should probably go buy him some chain. Guess my brain was stuck in the WoW mindset and I'd actually bought him a chain top from a vendor before I realized there was a plate tab. He could wear the plate and since he's a Templar which I do at least know is the tankiest of tanky things in Aion, plate was probably a good idea. So the chain top got sold and replaced with some plate.
     Well in poking around doing some of the city quests at that point I found the crafter people. Ooo he should probably learn to make stuff. So he took up construction and then armorsmithing, only he couldn't do any armormithing because he needed iron and he couldn't get iron. I knew because I'd tried back in Moslan forest and got that... you can't do this yet message. So he went back and gathered a bunch of fish and things outside Altgard until he could gather iron.
     Mind you, Daeva don't mine, they suck the iron out of the iron with magic and then use it for their own ends. I'm not complaining, looks kinda nifty, doesn't involve toting around a pickaxe. He got lots of iron, went back to do quests, learned some things, gained some skill and then learned a recipe for new plate boots. So after training to make and then making all the components he was all set to make new boots. Only he needed Aether Powder. Back out to Altgard to fly around and suck the powder out of vortexes.
     And after all that he failed at making the boots. And didn't have enough flux to try again. I was sad but decided to pick up a few quests in hope of getting some more. He managed to do that -and- hit level 16 and then not fail at making the boots the next time. In fact he channeled through the first time and made a super nice pair. Only four or five levels until he can check out housing! Which will hopefully be slightly less frustrating than the crafting is.
     Then before I logged off I popped over to say hi to Malieth in his mixed armor. Stared at it and the vendor for a while when I realized -he- could wear cloth, leather, or chain. This time I used google and found out, rather surprisingly (but pleasingly) that Chanters rock the mail gear. So he got some, and did a couple quests before I logged for the night, partly just so I could soak in some Elyos side music.

Monday, May 26, 2014

The post in which I feel like an idiot.

     Aion takes up an insane amount of drive space, though looking at it it isn't very hard to see why. Still I'd loaded it once onto one back drive and then had to reinstall onto another with more room. But when I had gone to patch that hadn't been enough room and it had errored out. After that when I'd been playing I'd just clicked play as soon as it was available and apparently... never actually finished installing the game. I wondered why I kept seeing people comment on Aion's lovely music when I never heard any. I kept wondering how anybody put up with a launcher that was always wanting to install and never finishing.
     So last night for some reason I thought... you know... after that last error you cleared a bunch more space and haven't let it actually sit and run to its heart content since. Yeah. I left it running while I slept and overnight it entirely finished installing. The launcher is no longer obnoxious. And what's more I logged into the game and there are NPC voices and really amazing music. I'm dumb. I've played this game for probably at least 15 hours all told without having it completely installed. I like it even better now and I'd already been fairly sold on the character customization and the wings.
    In playing Aion my original intent had been to make a bunch of characters and figure out what class I actually wanted to level. The first one I made... fairly at random, was a warrior, Tirasiel. I leveled him until he got wings and picked Templar even though I'm scared of tanking stuff I don't understand. Why? Because Templar. How could I not be a Templar? And well because Shields. I freaking love them. But I figured I'd probably move on and make an archer to actually level on. Only the rogue Visiel insisted on staying backstabby and went Assassin so that plan was down the drain but there were still the Elyos guys Malieth and Salafiel I could have picked and the possibility of making somebody else to go archery or something else ranged.
     But when I logged in today what happened instead was that I logged onto Tirasiel and went from level 12 to level 14 in fairly short order while remembering what all my buttons did and enjoying the music I should have had ages ago. Tirasiel might end up being what gets leveled after all just because I got attached to him in the beginning and I can't seem to get over it.
     He left Altgard a bit today and went into the nearby forest to kill some things and marvel at the weird animals and colorful scenery. (Also to look freaking awesome with his shield.) The animations in this game are as good as the character customization, full of movement and grace and life. And now I know from having heard it that the music matches. And I think I like the Asmodeans best. They're like winged dark elves with claws... or they can be anyhow and that pretty much ticks all my little checkboxes right down the line. Tirasiel is probably here to stay.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Mostly Eye Candy

     Last night a friend and I popped onto Rift for a little bit of a change of pace after very frustrating LFRs in WoW. Daethrys was able to buy her a horse and we went off and shut down a rift before curiosity got the better of Daethrys and he went off to do a quest he'd been given with part of the Unicornalia event that's going on. (Oh how I covet those unicorns! Sadly I know I'll never manage it this year.)
     The beauty of Rift continually surprises me. Every time I log in I find something beautiful to screenshot and things that capture my imagination. Daethrys spent the day in the Highlands today (unexpectedly) working on a quest that I think ties in with the latest content. It's very good xp anyhow and the zone is just gorgeous. I wish I'd taken more screenshots than I did and think I'll have to revisit it even if it's for no other purpose than to screenshot everything.
Loved the look of this lovely but slightly forbidding bit of forest... all full of very cranky fae.
On a rise overlooking the house from the first picture.
     I wish I'd taken shots of the storm that was going when I arrived or the high rope bridges he crossed for the quest, but the zone was busy with holiday stuff today. Maybe next time.

     I spent a little time in LOTRO today too. Sadrondir has acquired all the holiday mounts he can get without me putting out some real money so you'd think I would be done. But he decided he wanted some prettier clothes than his crafted gear so he earned the leaves for that today and learned a couple of dances while he was at it.
     The new clothes suit my image of him a bit better, though he's sort of surprised me by turning out a bit different than I thought he'd be as a character, still, pretty clothes suit  him. (And I still love this harp.)
     The alts did a bit too. Curongalad finished the tutorial and took up making armor (and promptly made himself a new set. Mistelir worked the leather Sadrondir had sent him and then sent it off to Curongalad along with a club he made for him and Curongalad promptly made him a new set of clothes. They'll only be doing minimal questing and processing what they can of what Sadrondir sends them for the moment. 
     And then before I logged Sadrondir insisted on the circlet to go with his outfit.
     He wears flower wreath far better than I expected and this shot, taken in the split second when the Milestone action is finished but he hasn't vanished yet shows off the new tunic and circlet really well. And some of the other things that LOTRO did surprisingly well. The characters may be less attractive than some but the animations for some things are spot on. And he's a lovely springtime minstrel. Now I just have to talk Curongalad out of needing a fancy horse for himself...

Friday, May 23, 2014


     Playing a little more LOTRO this week. After my post last week I discovered that if I went into the graphics options and optimized the settings the game got much prettier. I feel very silly for not having considered this earlier. And though the character models still aren't as impressive as Aion or Rift's... well with views like the one above I can't say it's not a gorgeous game.
     I've had a busy week. Broke down and decided I wanted alts and wanted to use the Auction House so I dropped a bit of cash for the Samwise Gamgee Starter Pack that gives all the alts riding and a horse and upgrades the account to premium to get rid of currency limits and suchlike. It also gave me a third slot on each server which was promptly filled but there will be a post on that later. The first thing I did after that was level Mistelir (the original hunter. I've decided he's Sadrondir's little brother) the rest of the way through the tutorial and decide on a profession for him.
     And one of the people in my Kinship gave me some gold and a quick tour of housing and festival grounds. (How are people so wonderfully kind in this game? It's not that there aren't nice people in other games but I've never had quite so much welcome and affection in any other game.) The Spring festival hit the next day and my Rift plans went out the window as Sadrondir ran around hastily saving up holiday currency for horses. Because what else would one spend it on, really? Though now he's picked out an outfit he wants too. More leaf gathering tomorrow.
     He has been able to acquire the two holiday horses that take leaves to get and the one that requires flowers (and hasn't been screenshotted yet.) And then finally I gave in yesterday and let him buy a house! 6 Haven Way, Celeth Gelais.
     Here he is one of the new horses in front of the house. It's got a few decorations inside but I'll want to do more as I can. It's not quite as customizable as I'd hoped, not quite like Rift's Dimensions are, but I can put in music and that was the first thing I did. :D
     And on the second spring horse, galloping off to pick flowers to buy the third. And since he's decided on an outfit for sure it looks like I'll be playing the festival at least one more day before it's done. He wants to learn dances too after all.
     But horse and houses aside one of the most exciting things that happened was when today in the hedge maze I saw Danania ! I'd just added her blog to my blog roll and then I saw her. I waved in passing and she was nice enough to whisper and chat with me and then wave again as we passed each other in the process of getting lost. She was nice, of course. I haven't run into anybody in game yet who wasn't.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Minstrels and Horses

     There's been a lot more Lord of the Rings Online in the last several days than I anticipated. It's not a very high graphic game compared to some it's true but the next time I logged in again it was to find that I had been sent more goodies from my kind and helpful Kinship. I've never played in something so friendly! Sadrondir has been entirely outfitted with crafted armor and a nice sword, and had his bags stuffed with food by the bunch of kind people who invited him to join them. Because of that kindness I at first felt slightly obligated to log in a bit more often, but then... well something happened.
     I started to get rather attached to this silly face. I started to get really interested in the storylines he was questing through. And I started noticing that though the character graphics might not be the best there are so many little things that were done very right.
Working on his Jewelry Making. And that really is exactly what it looks like he's doing.
      He saved up the points from doing deeds to buy himself the riding skill and then finally went off to Bree on his free starter horse to buy himself a horse he can keep. He named it. (Because you can do that!) And now that he's reached level 15 he's saving up to buy himself a house. I went and looked into the elven neighborhood because of course that's the sort of house it will have to be. They're lovely, but he'll have a lot of questing to do to earn the gold to have and upkeep one.
     In Bree he went to the Prancing Pony and picked up a few more quests but even better... a harp.
     This makes me very happy, and is what I had in mind for Sadrondir from the beginning. I have a feeling this one will stay on the list for a while. And I think part of the reason for that is the story and lore. I love things where I can really immerse myself into the Lore and even more than WoW LOTRO has that. Of course, stories I can get into leads to wanting more stories of my own and several elfy alts have already sprung up in my head, though for now I'm trying to resist the urge to do much else with them.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Rift Progress

     My Rift progress has slowed down some as I renewed interest in a couple of other projects tried a few new things but I still really love logging in and doing some questing. Daethrys is making his way somewhat slowly through Scarwood Reach at the moment.
     It's an interesting storyline but more than that I like that I have to think about what I'm doing a bit harder than in a few other MMOs I've played. With stuff at his level Daethrys can manage to get into trouble if he's not careful and sometimes it's been fun being crafty and careful and using the Kelari racial to get around things. There was a long quest chain into Trollblight Caverns that I absolutely loved even if halfway through I failed to find a tunnel leading on to the next room. (Oh caves without maps, you are my bane in every game ever.) That evening I'd hearthed out without completing all the objectives and the next day I tried going overland to find what I was missing before realizing I just must have missed something somewhere deep in the troll and Aelfwar infested cave.
     The Kelari racial got a lot of use then to avoid fighting many, many things I'd already fought and finally I made it all the way back through and discovered what I'd missed. It maybe should have felt like a nuisance but I absolutely loved it.
Not the room I missed, just a really neat looking one inside the caverns.
     I think sometimes having to bee just a little bit cautious makes things feel more like a real adventure. It gives me time to think about Daethrys as a character and how he's handling stuff and I like that. And getting lost and taking unexpected turns can lead to lovely screenshot opportunities. As can climbing things you have no real reason to climb which is another thing I find myself doing a lot in rift. The lack of fall damage makes it pretty non-punishing to be just a little crazy on mountains. And the views sometimes make it rewarding. Granted I don't think any game other than Wildstar will ever feed my inner climber its fill.
    Some of the environments in Rift are just odd too. The Aelfwar in Scarwood Reach are messing with Life Rifts so there are all sorts of strange plants around them and I can't resist taking screenshots at the ones that make me stare. This will probably always be one of my favorite screenshotting games.
Daethrys' loyal pet is named Friend. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Thoughts on Lord of the Rings Online

       I'm on a bit of an MMO exploring binge. Just poking into things here and there as stuff slows down in my main game. This one was an interesting choice for me, one that was largely inspired by people in my blog list. A few years ago when it was newly free to play I had downloaded Lord of the Rings Online and decided to give it a shot. I made an elf hunter (but of course) and did approximately the first five quests of the tutorial before I uninstalled it. I apparently hadn't been impressed though I can't draw to mind now all of the reasons why.
     But I'd seen blog posts of people who loved it and for the longest time the scraps of paper with that first elf's carefully researched name on them hung around my desk taunting me. Until finally a few evenings ago I decided 'what the heck, I've got the drive space' and re installed. There was no indication of what server I'd played on before. I couldn't remember. Then I looked through the list and went 'Arkenstone, that looks like something I'd have picked.' Sure enough, my hunter was still there. But I didn't want to revisit him without having done the tutorial. I didn't remember how to play. So I made a Minstrel to take as far as the hunter had gone before switching back, if I didn't just give up on it at that point.
     Only that isn't what happened. Sadrondir got through as far as Mistelir had... and then just a bit further. This isn't so bad, either they'd changed it or I've grown more adaptable. The characters of course aren't nearly as pretty or customizable as those in Rift or Aion, sadly. But the world is Middle Earth and it's surprisingly lovely. Sadrondir kept going, I kept telling myself I should switch back to Mistelir, but the truth is almost every game has a hunter archetype and that is often what I play but it isn't often that I get to play a well done bard. Sadrondir made his way all the way out of the tutorial last night. And then ran into a lovely person in the first town in Ered Luin who stopped and invited him into her kinship.
    I didn't know what a kinship was. She told me and invited me and spent at least half an hour offering me helpful advice and tips on how to play, where to find things, crafting. Ever so warm and polite and helpful. The other person online chimed up to welcome me... and then just before I logged off I found a mailbox and found that in his silence he'd also made a bunch of food and mailed it to me to help out. I'm a little bit floored.
     My guild in Rift is also really nice if predominantly the other faction. But these were the only two people I'd met in the whole game so far and they stopped and did a bunch to help me out. Is it any surprise that this morning Sadrondir logged on to do more quests to try and earn himself enough store points for riding? And I'm told there are houses. Elf houses, that you can decorate! And Minstrels can actually stop and play their instruments, using number keys a bit like a piano!
And the game is pretty even if the characters aren't as fancy. I'm not sure how far I'll get, but for now it's on the list... and I can't help wondering what it was that I didn't like the last time.