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.

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Smiting Time!

I managed to avoid staying up late for the US launch of Dragon Age: Inquisition and couldn’t play it yesterday, but now I think it’s time.

LET US SMITE SOME BAD GUYS.

This had better be good. And maybe I’ll actually finish a Dragon Age game one of these days…*

And for you UK readers who are still waiting for the release: NEENER NEENER.**

Opening screen

*Note – if you’re like me and never finish a game, you can still go to the Dragon Age Keep and put in what you *have* played, or what you wish had happened, in DA 1 and 2. Thanks to The Blogger Formerly Known as Lum for the pointer.

** It’s been that kind of a day.

World of Warcraft – Garrison Love

It might be fashionable to hate on WoW, but I’m going to buck the trend and give it some love, because so far this expansion is the shiz. I came late to both Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King, so I only experienced Cataclysm and Pandaria when they first launched, and of those three this is definitely my favourite. For one thing it’s a 10-level expansion, which feels a bit more filling than the previous 5-level ones — but mostly it’s because of garrisons.

I hereby predict a LOT of alt levelling, as though there wasn’t enough of it in WoW already. As a card-carrying altoholic, this makes me very happy indeed.

It’s been all of 2 days, granted (since the FixItAll™ patch on Saturday morning), but I have been Wowcracking the whole time. And ok, that sounds even worse than I thought it would, but I’ll own it.

I’m levelling my warlock because hunter-levelling-with-friends, and speaking of which, here’s a funny that did the rounds this weekend:

level together

– so yeah, I’ve been levelling the warlock (tangent #2, can you say ‘OP’?), and since garrison development is tied to a character’s progress through the expansion content, her garrison is the farthest along at the moment.

It may not be housing, but I give you:

My very own mine - with nodey goodness!

My very own mine – with nodey goodness!

And…

My very own lumber mill, which I'm not sure what it's good for yet

My very own lumber mill, which I’m not sure what it’s good for yet

And…

My bank

My very own bank, which means that soon I’ll never need to leave my garrison and see those pesky OTHER PEOPLE ever again!! Ain’t life grand?!

I also have an enchanting building but right now it’s a tad underwhelming. I’m sure it’ll be more entertaining at max level — as always, most things in the expansion are designed for max level chars, but the getting-to-max journey is as entertaining as it ever was. If there’s one thing WoW does well it’s the levelling content, which I’ve always found weird considering it’s supposedly secondary to everything else.

Anyway, it’s been fun. And that’s all you get because I need to log on and send my mini-onions followers on some missions. Work work!

 

Choices? Choices!

There’s a lot going on in my game and MMO world right now, and in the next couple of weeks.

There’s The Secret World’s Halloween event, which I’ve mentioned with a few screenshots; I did a few related bits and pieces but they’re intended for more powerful characters (or characters with help), and I’ll get to them next time. I don’t want to get into the ‘must do everything right this second’ craze, because for me that inevitably leads to burnout. The events will be available next year.

There’s my Sims 4 legacy challenge family, which I’m playing a little less these days and which therefore has only just reached the point of conceiving generation 4. I suspect the double whammy of twins in gen 2 and triplets in gen 3 burned me out on that a bit too – it was just a LOT of Sims to keep track of, especially for a control-freak like me.

Then there’s the EverQuest 2 expansion, Altar of Malice, that launches tomorrow for super-special (i.e. subscription) people like me. I haven’t logged in to EQ2 in a couple of weeks, what with TSW and WoW and everything else. I should log in and claim my monthly Station Cash, however. And I will log in for the expansion, if not necessarily tomorrow, because the Isle of Refuge is back and anyone who played EQ2 in the early days knows what that means. I think I’m a few months off getting it as housing from the veteran reward, though buying expansions usually adds some time to one’s account, but it’s going to be awesome! (Meaning I’ll get it, plonk my research assistants down and never do any decorating, even though I’ll plan to decorate every time I log on. I predict this with absolute certainty.)

Speaking of World of Warcrack, Warlords of Draenor launches on Thursday (the 13th) — and while I’m not much of one for WoW’s endgame content, their levelling content is usually a lot of fun. It’ll give me a chance to hook up with guildies I’ve hung out with for 10 years now (and more if you count the original Asheron’s Call lot who went to WoW), and I’m also looking forward to the new garrisons. If it walks like a house and talks like a house, it’s a really laboured metaphor – but still, it’s housing.

And THEN there’s Dragon Age: Inquisition, which launches on the 18th. We’d originally splurged for 2 collector’s editions of Dragon Age: Origins, 5 years ago (man, that long already?!) but those got lost in one of the 3 moves we’ve done since then, so when the game was offered for free on Origin I went ahead and downloaded it. I’ve been playing it here and there for the last few days, just to see if I want to get DA:I when it comes out, and I think I do. I had forgotten how good some of the cut-scenes are, and how funny a lot of the dialog between Alistair and Morrigan is; Steve Valentine was truly inspired casting. I recreated Antimony, the mage I played through the Origin story back when the game launched, and although it’s not my favourite class to be playing (rogues and rangers 4 eva!), I’m enjoying the replay. Plus I think her Sinnead look is boss.

DAO Banter

It’s a good thing work is relatively light at the moment, so that I may fully appreciate the quandary of having too many fun and interesting games to play. Now if only I could stay awake enough to play in the evenings, I could get some truly epic sessions in (long story, boring, suffice to say I tend to wilt pretty much right after dinner and am good only for Netflix binge-watching). Sadly it is not to be, and I’ll have to content myself with what I can cram in during the day. Yes, it truly sucks to have so many choices and so many good games to look forward to. Life is tough.

Hype? What hype?

The Destiny hype went entirely over my head (though apparently I wasn’t the only one), but in the last few days my G+ list has been going bonkers with people enthusing about it. (People have also been enthusing about ArcheAge and I’ve been good and kept my mouth shut. Just because *I* burned out terribly in Alpha and have not-very-kind opinions about the land ownership system doesn’t mean I should bitch and moan about it on a public for– err… )

Anyway, Destiny.

Should I get it?

I don’t know if I’m into shooters much because I’ve never actually played one for any length of time, which would indicate that I probably am not. But the screenshots and comments concerning Destiny are rather enticing, and we do have a PS3. (It is out for PS3, right? Must be. I’m not buying a new console just for one game.)

We have the first three installments of Mass Effect for the PS3 and I’ve never managed to load that up even once. Mort played it a couple of times and then didn’t go back to it, although he said he was having fun at the time.

Maybe we’re just not really console people. Part of my problem is that my eyes aren’t what they used to be, and since I don’t currently have any glasses I can’t see any of the smaller text in the games we play on the console. At least I can lean in to my PC monitor and see what’s being written, which isn’t an option when the sofa is miles away from the TV. (Yes, I have contact lenses. No I don’t wear them much. Long story. Boring.) So perhaps if I could see the reams of lore that Mort was accruing every time he looked at something in Mass Effect, I would have been more sucked in. At any rate it looked as though there was a lot going on and not a lot of it involved shooting people, which is sort of my main gripe against shooters. That and the first-person thing, which I really hate.

So maybe I shouldn’t get Destiny. I’m probably not the target demographic.