WoW – Random Draenor pix

Forget pepper jack, magic jack or lumberjack — all the best people use COMMANDOJACK!

commandjoackIs it sad that I take a picture of every single garrison building I complete, on every character?

GinworksRiding my Shinri “mount” in Shadowmoon Valley. I should have known that was too easy a kill to reward an actual mount (it’s a 10-second directable mount-ride useable only in SMV with a 1-hour cooldown)…

ShinriMoonrise, squared (or cubed?).

Two moons over draenorMixing our mythoses (mythiii?)…

sword in stoneAnd my warlock, Memento, made it to 100, but I wasn’t expecting it (as usual) and missed the photo-op.

 

 

 

 

 

Sims 4 Legacy Challenge – Meet Samba de Lytte

The Mirage family is on hold until a) they fix the vanishing relationships issue, which I think they may have and/or b) I decide I can handle a legacy which only produces twins and triplets. In a classic case of be careful what you wish for, it seems the karma pixies heard me when I said I wanted to try running several characters at once in a Sims game, horrid creatures that they are.

So I created a new legacy — the de Lyttes — some weeks ago, but what with Thanksgiving here in the US and other life, work and reasons stuff they haven’t been played all that much — and what has occurred has been the rather tedious (and always similar) beginning stage where the founder has nothing much with which to fill up that 50 x 50 lot.

But all of a sudden things did start to happen in the last session, so I’ll go ahead and present the founder and a few pix.

Founder Samba de Lytte

The de Lytte legacy will use the following succession laws: Equality (any gender can inherit), Modern (natural or adopted kids can inherit), and Living Will (the child with the highest friendly relationship with the current pater- or materfamilias inherits). It’s probably one of the easiest sets to pick because it allows for a great deal of choice in terms of heirs — hell, if I were that way inclined I could deliberately play whoever I didn’t want as heir as being horrible to the current head of the family, just to make sure their relationship was anything but friendly. And I may indeed do that, but only if circumstances and personalities make it a viable role-playing choice. I picked that ruleset mostly so that if I do get saddled with a bunch of twins and triplets again, I have more options in terms of which of them inherits. It might make for some interesting mini-stories and rivalries, too. (For those who want an even more mano-a-mano rivalry model, the “Strength” heir law includes an actual scrap to determine who gets to be the next head of household.)

My house rule is that family members must be named after dances. I had a lot of fun with the Mirage family card game names (poor Ratscrew!), and the dance names offer a little more variety while being a little less off-the-wall.

Active Sims love random sit-ups!

Active Sims love random sit-ups!

As for Samba, she’s Active, a Foodie, and Ambitious, and her aspiration is Renaissance Sim. The first few stages of that aspiration are easy enough to complete but the last one requires 6 skills at level 8 (or something similar) and that’s not easy at all, even for someone like me who loves building Sim-skills. She may be young, but she already knows she’s going places, even if she doesn’t know exactly where those places are. She inherited the lot from her father, Tango de Lytte — he won it in a card game years ago but kept the property as an ace in the hole and never mentioned it to his daughter. Samba’s mother, Tarantella, died when Samba was very young, and Tango disappeared from one day to the next almost a decade ago. (It’s entirely possible he vanished with his best friend and partner in cons, Jimmy Cash…)

Eventually Tango was declared legally dead and Samba discovered she had inherited a rather valuable piece of property in the up-and-coming town of Willow Creek. Having spent several years dodging all the people to whom Tango owed money and favours (sometimes literally, hence the Active trait) and occasionally being helped out by some of Tango’s more savoury friends and acquaintances (hence the Foodie trait), Samba decided that a quiet life in an out of the way part of the country might be exactly what she needed. ‘Quiet’ being a relative term – she doesn’t know what she’ll be yet, but she knows that someday she’ll be famous and so rich she can bathe in Simoleons.

Whatever that career will be, it won’t be as a chef…

Ew!

Ew!

…which apparently had hygiene requirements Samba wasn’t prepared to follow… or as a writer, which clearly bored Samba to death.

Samba bored

SNORE

What I know and Samba doesn’t is that she’s destined for a career among the stars, though not on the right side of the law – she’s going to end up an Astronaut/Smuggler branch. But that’s a story for another time, and I have some followers to send on missions in WoW.

 

BloggyXmas? Thieves, all of them!

I’m getting this whole THEY STOLEZ MY IDEAZ!!! rant in before it’s too late, just so that when I post on the 11th I won’t have to open with it. I probably will, mind you, but this way I have a choice.

You can find the bloggy advent calendar here, and in the sidebar, probably until next July because it’ll take me that long to remember to remove the widget. In case you’ve never had an advent calendar before, click on each day to reveal adventy bloggy community goodness. And chocolate.

Oh wait, no, that’s only if you get a REAL advent calendar. Silly readers.

I was going to include the daily links for the supremely click-lazy but I changed my mind, because like Mr. Burns I am unpredictable and fickle. And also because Syl deserves much click-love for the idea.

And now for something completely different: a baby platypus. Happy holidays!

baby platypus

A Very Bloggy Holiday!

Syl over at MMOGypsy has launched a fun holiday initiative which I instantly signed up for. It must have been the Belghast-assisted banner, because I’m not normally much of a joiner, but I (like Syl) grew up in Switzerland and I too remember advent calendars, street-corner hot chestnut vendors (if you don’t burn everything that comes in contact with them you’re doing it wrong), snow, lights, more snow, hot chocolate, and all that western hemisphere Holiday goodness.

bloggyxmasLet’s caveat this right now: sometimes I will say Christmas, sometimes I’ll say Xmas, sometimes I’ll say Holidays, and sometimes I’ll say Great Cthulhu’s Midwinter Brains Extravaganza. Please, please don’t be a dick — just insert the relevant holiday for you and let everyone be happy, m’kay?

Now that that’s out of the way, here’s Syl’s Bloggy Xmas Advent Calendar, which will let you find and enjoy each day’s entries. Apparently so many of us signed up that much of the month offers not one, but two daily entries. That’s how spoiled you’ll be.

There’s a clicky image linky thing over on the sidebar, too:

BloggyXmas2Oh yeah, and I’m up on the 11th, along with Contains Moderate Peril.

 

Dragon Age Inquisition – First Glance

As I should have known (and predicted), I spent the first hour or two (or three, cough) in DA:I without getting past the first two minutes of the intro.

The first character I made was Qunari and looked ok in the creator but I didn’t like her one bit after that, and not just because someone varnished her lips when I wasn’t looking. Maybe if I’d called her Maleficent (instead of Malice – close but no cigar) I’d have felt more of a bond with her.

DAI Maleficent

So I went back to the main menu and made another character. I didn’t want to remake my characters from DA 1 and 2, but the Qunari just didn’t feel very connected to the whole thing for me, so I went with an elf this time. Enter Sorrow #1.

Sorrow1Sorrow1_2

I really liked her in the creator, and she wasn’t bad in the cold harsh light of DA:I, though she did have a bit of a gormless look to her and she was made up like an Abba fan from 1981.. but then I realised that a) I hadn’t changed her hairstyle, which was clipping through her ears in a totally kickin’-it-2005 kind of way and b) I’d picked dual-wield rogue instead of archer. Had I known that the initial weapon choice doesn’t really make much of a difference I might have kept her, but I didn’t.

Enter Sorrow #2. There are complicated emo RP reasons for her name and I’ll share those with you as soon as I nail them down, I promise. (Or I just think it’s a cool name.) She’s blonde, which is a colour choice I almost never make in games, but it fit her, and I liked her feral look in the prologue (which is before the intro but after char creation).

Sorrow2_1

Giant spiders? I’ve seen CRABS bigger than you guys!

No spoilers, but the story grabs you by the hair from the first and doesn’t seem to want to let go – as far as I can tell, which isn’t very far because I’m super, suuuuuuuuper slow about new games like this. Sorrow introWhen I discovered I could run around and up hills and JUMP OVER STUFF I of course had to do that for a while, with Ms. Stickupherbutt trying really hard not to tell me to hurry, the fate of the world depended on blahblahblah.

Sorrow intro 2

It’s not YOUR hand that’s turning into Soylent Green!

So yeah, we made it past the Intro sequence without hating on the disgusting console-driven UI and the disgusting console-driven movement and the disgusting console-driven gameplay too much (seriously. I’m tired of shooting arrows at the landscape in front of me whenever I try to move by holding down both mouse buttons, and I am beyond in loathe with the ‘ping’ your surroundings mechanic. You basically have to ping your surroundings every 3 seconds if you’re like me and dread missing a piece of lore or that 138th elfroot harvest, so… anyway, tangent over).

I lied. I’m totally hating on it. The ‘tactical’ view lets you zoom out about as far as a gnat’s backside if said gnat were up your nostril, which blows. Combat is weird and not like it was in DA 1 and 2. But I’m sure I’ll get used to it soon enough and wonder how I ever did it differently, especially since for me, combat is like the 189th thing on the list of Interesting Things About Dragon Age. But it definitely is weird if you’ve played the other 2 games.

Character progression seems to be a lot like in DA2, which I can live with. The Inventory is another disgusting console-driven element and basically SUCKS for those of us who, you know, have a mouse and a keyboard and can see more than 3 things on the screen at once because we’re not sitting 10′ away from a crappy-resolution television – but I’ll probably get used to that too. It’s not like I’m playing Diablo here, and items are probably the 197th thing on my list of Interesting Things About Dragon Age.

But the graphics are pheno-freaking-menomenomenal, the voice acting isn’t bad (though the facial movements… we won’t go there), the animations are fun, combat is quick and painless if that’s what you want (which I do), and it might be worth the price of admission just for the landscapes.

DAI landscapeI doubt I’m the only one to note that DA:I has a distinctly Skyrim vibe to it, perhaps because you start out in the snow surrounded by ginormous scenic mountains, but also because the graphics for this installment are much grander and more cinematic in general. This is definitely a good thing.

DAI Landscape 3Dark corridors are actually DARK, to the point where I got all chicken and turned up the gamma a bit (it didn’t help much), and distant vistas are distant and, er, vista-like. Also good.

And finally – is it just me, or does Solas look like Arnold Vosloo? You be the judge:

Solas Vosloo