Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Lord of the Rings Online: Escape From Lothlorien

I purchased the Mirkwood expansion when it came out, played very little (as it turns out my character simply wasn't high enough level for the area and things didn't go well for her). 

I was never a fan of Lothlorien, and didn't wish to continue playing there, nor did I want to drop my main character and level through older areas, only to get here again in the future.

So I stopped playing for a few years.

Here I am, frustrated with Lothlorien still, so I thought to look at the level for Mirkwood.   61-65!  Yay!  I'm level 62.

Abandon ship, I said, find the way to Mirkwood and la la la.

On the area map, it isn't so far away.  I just need to cross the Anduin River and I'm off on new adventures.   Note my happy arrow.  Good ol' Paint.

Ride, ride ride all the way across Lothlorien to the shores of the river.    Hmm, I can see they won't let me get up on the other side from here.

Ride ride ride the shoreline.  This looks good, clearly I can swim over and climb up easily right from here.

Swim a few feet. Dead.  Inexplicably dead.  Retreat puts me back in the middle of Lothlorien.   If you're going to cause me to die bogusly, at least stick me back on the shoreline where I apparently went so foul of the river's swimming rules.

Many many bad words spoken.

I then looked up "How to get to Mirkwood for Lothlorien".    How nice, I can get a quest from Haldir (which I likely unknowing got in 2009 but hmmpf), or I can ask the Elf at the Docks for a ride over.

Nice.  The boat awaits!

I actually wasn't sure if I'd been to Mirkwood already, but I certainly had.  I had a FAILED quest in my log.  Welcome back, puny dog.   Been Here, Failed That.

Oh, man, we're bunnoles deep in ORC territory.   How I've missed them!   Hubba hubba, ORCS, I say.

Damn. I was sooo eager to reach the Orc fortress, I didn't see a Goblin in the murk.   He popped me off my horse, then completely grayed out all my skills so I had a tough time beating him, but I did get him, he's a dead little goblin.

This doesn't bode well.  Nope.  

Monday, July 24, 2017

PlayNotes: LOTRO

My goal this evening was to do as many quests as I could, to try to move on from Lothlorien.   The main set of quests took me into a sprawling orc camp, where I needed to find several locations as a scouting mission.

Way, way at the back of all the camps, there were weapon racks to destroy, a common past time in Middle Earth.

Unbelievably, when I got back to my quest giver he wanted me to go right back through all the camp locations and destroy five more weapon racks. 

You know how dogs look like they're grinning but they're really really concerned about your request?

Then the next three npcs to offer quests want me to go in several other orc camps and kill as many orcs as I can.

I had to log out.

Orcs aren't my favorite foes.

Goblins are next worst.

Middle Earth as presented in LOTRO is full of orc and goblin camps.   Way too many.

Dear Diary:  Trapped In Lothlorien, surrounded by Orcs, send help!

PlayNotes: Rift and EQ2


And it's Rift day!  I didn't feel like dealing with The Guy On The Stairs, so I did the classic thing:  I jumped down from the area starting platform to the area below and started fighting things.

I'm pretty sure this is where my character would have come out if I'd done the more frustrating route:

Heading left, I soon found myself in my new favorite thing, a Dead End.   I fought my way through rhinos and demons to get there, dang it.  Changing course,  I kept getting further away from my quest goal, which was always above me, with no way to go up.

Luckily Staypoofed and I are serene creatures who can take a moment to contemplate our ill luck:

I've been in this area numerous times via Instant Adventures, but of course you're just on the run constantly trying to get your quest goals and you get no real sense of the layout of the area.   Try try again next time.

Everquest 2

The two games I've been playing most are WOW and EQ2.  In EQ I have all but my Froglok Bruiser off the starter island.    I thought it was time to send my main character, my Fury, out adventuring.

Somehow tonight she got from level 11 to 18.

She spent the entire time in wolf form.  It isn't one of those shape changing classes that has the use of different skills in another form.  The only difference I can see is when you hit the skill to start a ranged attack, she barks at the opponent.

Oddities in games continue.  As it turns out I'm having connection problems once again, so that explains a few things that have happened.  As I came out of Qeynos though tonight, there was this big floating wall of text, and there wasn't anyone fighting anything, and I wasn't fighting anything but there it was:

It's hard to describe the charm of Everquest 2.  I like the world, the quests, even the lovely drawings on the loading screens.  I was carefully picking up every quest I could see, and there are many.  I was thinking tonight if you are a quest lover, this is a great game to play.

I haven't selected crafts yet for my characters.  I always want characters who can make potions, bags and furniture, three essentials for adventurers everywhere.   Sometimes certain crafts go well with certain classes, but I can't tell if that's the case here yet or not.  I'm reading guides before I commit to anything, but I'm filling my bags with materials just in case.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Dear Diary...

In deference to the idea of game blogs being mere diaries:

(...didn't speak long...zzzzz, where's my pencil and eraser?)

Thursday, July 20, 2017

PlayNotes: Guild Wars 2

I was thinking I should play through a character's Personal story, which I've only done to about level 20 on anyone, then dropped it as uninteresting and causing me to backtrack too much.

I do keep thinking that GW2 always seems a shallower world than most, but if I'm not playing all the parts that perhaps are supposed to give it depth, that's on me.

I tried out a Necromancer I'd made but not played, to fill my last character slot.  I didn't care for her skills at all.

So I deleted her, and tried a Mesmer, a class I have also never played.  She wields a sword, though a skinny pointy one that is probably called something else.   I'm comfortable with sword wielders, so this went much better.

I have a Norn Warrior who seems more at home in this area.  It is sort of rustic in a woodsy, barbarian way, but the Mesmer's outfit doesn't match the bravado she presents, and her  deep voice when she speaks in cut scenes doesn't go with her movie star face.

In addition to the flouncy little skirt, she wears a mask at character creation, all three choices totally creepy.  I wonder if anyone wears them and doesn't take the "hide" option?

If she can fight, that will be all that matters, and I'll try to stick with the personal story for her to see how that adds to the game.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Weasly Word Find Post: My Favorite Comics

I'm in one of those odd moods I get in, where I do word finds and comics and cryptograms.   I usually don't put them here, but, I'm such a weasel, and this is one from my other blog not even a new one.

Click to Enlarge.   Tiny print! What a stinker!

Parallel Context Revisits Rift

Redbeard at Parallel Context has a great post      revisiting Rift.

He looks at all aspects of the game, having created new characters: one Defiant, one Guardian.   He covers the stories of the two factions, and inspects everything from character creation to the armor the NPCs wear.

Monday, July 17, 2017

PlayNotes: LOTRO The Secret Road

You've got to know when to hold 'em
Know when to fold 'em
Know when to walk away
And know when to run...

I found the Secret Road with relative ease.  It was disappointing as a Secret Underground road, just very dark and twisty.  Orvar was impressed, but I couldn't see much of anything.

Then I take on a level 60 semi-elitish thing like a scorpion without the curvy tail they usually have.  I could have beat him, but my controls froze up.   As these things go, the monster could still attack.  Then I was dead, but everything was frozen and I couldn't even get out of the game.

I finally exit and go back in, and I'm way back in the Great Delving, 860 frustrating meters away.

I'll come back to this another time.  I ported to Lothlorien, which has never looked so open and beautiful, despite the whole yellow thing.  Lovely Lothlorien.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Myndariel's 1-20 Guardian Guide (And a few Mordor Notes)

I love the Guides to Middle Earth Classes that Myndariel of Myndariel's Middle Earth has been doing, and I missed this one going by on my blogroll.

This is a guide I really need!  My little Hobbit Guardian is only level 7.

With this guide, and my experiences in other MMOs, I could play this class now.  Way back when the game was new, it was only my second MMO.  I didn't understand the idea of tanks at all, coming only from Galaxies.  The idea of one player in the group trying to get all the mob attention just for themselves seemed kind of selfish, and foolish.

I don't think I really appreciated the tanking concept until playing WOW dungeons.   Then it all made sense.   Go forth and pull all the mobs, little Hobbit.

Speaking of Mordor  (weren't we?)  I have this to say:

The fine folks at LOTRO "took me in" after SOE/LucasArts broke my heart with Galaxies.  They were a revelation.  Smart, determined to build an incredible game, invariably kind and generous, they seemed to do every single thing right.

I bought three Lifetime Subscriptions at release, not easy for me to do, financially, but I really was impressed and believed in them.

Now here they are, brilliantly still standing and putting out an expansion only dreamed of by Men, Hobbits, Dwarves and Elves.

It's the Ultimate Fan Bundle for me, they deserve it, I wouldn't have it any other way.  

Interesting article and discussion at MassivelyOP (as always):

The Ancient Gaming Noob seems ready to head into the fires:

Lina's Biscuity Burrow   Has gone with the Standard Edition, and she gives a great rundown of what each package contains and how it all compares to previous expansions:

Ravalation looks at the reception of other LOTRO pre-orders have had

RIP EQ2 Fallen Gate Fury: Remember Her Thusly

In yet another bold move, I killed off the Fallen Gate version of Atheren, the Fury Who Struggled.   Here she is after her Dark Shaman experience, resting on her Frostfang rug.  

My thinking:

Fallen Gate is a slog for my character advancement, and these servers don't seem like a place to find a long lived home in the game, but more of a limited time, shared experience for veteran players.

I was duplicating my Fury character, and I'd rather have another class to play than see how one struggles, and one zooms through the world.   I was kind of feeling sorry for this poor character.

In a way, I was playing two games at once.  Same game, different game.   I don't really have the time for two versions of the same thing.

So I kill her off there, created a new Ranger on Antonia Bayle. (the class I killed off to get a character slot for Fallen Gate).

Happiness is...getting your character name.  So Atheren the Ranger now lives again, and the Atheren name is from my live Galaxies Bria Ranger Atheren, so she gets new life in a new world.

And she adventured happily ever after.

A Week of Adventure

Happy Friday!  Welcome to More Rambling Than Usual!  A one time post.  Because I'm a flibbertigibbet and can't be repetitious for long.


I have played everything except GW2 so far this week, not necessarily in it's assigned day slot.   I find myself as I'm writing the PlayNotes, kind of becoming involved in each game and character's story, and sometimes I can't wait to get back to a particular set of adventures.

I am enjoying playing most things more because of that what happens next element.

One thing that I have learned from this is that for me, MMOs are certainly not "all the same", each game in my rotation is successful in creating a very unique world.  It doesn't matter to me if the mechanics or frameworks are similar, each is very distinct and immersive.  I've never enjoyed playing more than now, I think.

The only thing I am seeing is I need a nice grid or chart that reminds me what button is for capturing a screen, which removes UI, various basic commands like opening bags, calling pets and mounts, adding toolbars and removing skills.   I take it this is common and it is why people are always tweaking the UI in the game settings to make them all the same in every game if they can so they don't have to make the switch mentally. 

I don't do this, because early on I became very interested in how the game is built from the ground up, and I respect the choices made by those who designed the thing, and I'm going to adapt rather than choose these aspects of the game to "make it my own".

Secret World

Working on the Kingsmouth Code sequence I found myself in an Illuminati tunnel that was very familiar to me from the first go around.  I think I had a post on it whose title included the words "Don't Gas Me!"    I took the poisonous gassing at each puzzle much better this time.   Dead, dead, dead, ho hum.

I'm really pushing to get Kingsmouth finished so I can move on to Solomon's Island.  I'm up to level 14 and am working for crazy Edgar at the junkyard who has no concept of personal space and I bet he hasn't bathed in several years.   Still stuck on that Dawning of Endless Night Tunnel with the motion sensors and Cassandra, another person with no concept of personal space.  I'm going to save that till last.

I've decided not to try to work with the old game as well,  after playing SWL, it is all I need, and nothing is so different that I can't just enjoy the game as it now is.

World of Warcraft

My shining glory character this week is my low level (less than ten) Arms Warrior.  She's my first Elf who wasn't a Druid or Mage.  She's just uber lean and powerful, and is making her own finery.  She has these cool moves, that I don't notice on my higher level Warriors.

I'm working in the Dolanar area and dang, this new to me server is really high population and for the first time since I've been playing, there are a bunch of people around.  This is usually a quiet spot in Azeroth, but I actually had to fight for mobs at one place, particularly against a Hunter who tried to hit and loot out from under me every mob.  Sucker.

I hadn't started any new characters in WOW in a long time, and didn't realize that last year they stuck you in a particular specialization for your first ten levels of the game.  They used to just give you a sprinkling of the skills from the three specializations.

Cone of Alt-a-holic shame, I now have ten characters here, and this wasn't a real problem on any of the others, though I didn't care much for the Warlock assigned Affliction spec.   I got Frost Mage, which I always use, and Retribution Paladin, always my choice.

The Warrior comes in as Arms, which is what I turn out to have on my other two.  However, though they stick you in that spec, they give you a one handed sword, and Arms can't use their skills without a two handed sword equipped.   For a level 6 person, I could just buy a claymore from a vendor.

The problem came in for a new Death Knight.   They make you an Unholy, and you have a two handed sword.  I couldn't change her to Frost, my usual, because you now must have a one hand equipped to play Frost.  Quest rewards two-handed, why no choice?   She, I don't feel, could just buy a trick one handed sword from a vendor, because she's fighting all higher level stuff.  Once I was in Stormwind, I could have bought one from auction, but pricing is pretty crazy.   Luckily for me, I was long in the habit of using the Blood spec for adventuring and questing and Frost for dungeons.  Blood can use two handed.  I'm just going to run her through questing till she is offered a one hand or I make enough money to buy one (all these characters are broke).  PITA for no good reason.   At least be thoughtful of the fact that you are making someone play a particular spec, and aren't giving them the equipment they need to play it.

Everquest 2 Fallen Earth

I felt like I should try to get my level 10 Fury namesake someplace, not just let her flounder.  She didn't get the nice teleport skill or the turn into a pretty wolf spell at level 10 as did the AB character.
I'm giving it my best power leveling kill everything you come across technique, but it's crawl crawl goes the xp.

I'm having trouble finding some Young Bears for a quest so I was exploring all over the Antonica area outside the Qeynos gates trying to find them.

Criminy, out from behind an innocuous tower pops a level 16 Dark Shaman guy.

 Naturally, my level 10 Fury tries to make a run for it.   And again with the running backwards thing.  See my health bar go down as I run!  It was down to nearly zilch before miraculously he stopped chasing me.   Bonus: I found I can hit my heals while running backwards!  This is what saved me really, the ability to run and heal.  I hate when you have to be stationary to heal.   Honestly, I'd prefer you could use almost any skill on the move.

This character is on Fallen Earth, the new progression server.   I'd like her in a guild for the advice you can get, and hopefully for grouping.

Thanks to a post from the Ancient Gaming Noob, I knew you could search for a guild that was recruiting and actually talk to a person who could invite you and ask question who was online now.  Whoa.

I tried this, but didn't see anything that seemed a good match.  But it was midnight, and I was tired and feeling tso social, so I decided to wait.

Which brings me to thought on Guilds once more.

I posted a week or so ago on guilds and what I wanted them to be.  I've left the Wow guild I was in and via a random invite almost immediately joined another.   My thought now, because I'm such an introspective dolt, is, how can I be a good guild member?  What makes you a valuable addition to a guild?   What do I do well as a guildie, what should I work on?

Being part of a group should be a whole package thing, what do they do for your gameplay, how do you contribute to the gameplay of others.

Sticking points for me:

I can't stand having a guild name over my head that I don't like.   Babsie's Bobbers, no.   Deathly Dreamers, ya, ok.

Discord      Everybody's got it.    Everyone wants you to be on it.  I honestly don't want to randomly chat with anyone I don't know.  I don't want to talk politics, or anything else that isn't related to the game world.  I'm almost always playing late, like 9pm to 1am, and zzzz you don't want to talk to me at that time of the day either.   So everyone who is all proud they've got Discord and wants you to chime in:  Gamebreaker.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

PlayNotes: Elder Scrolls Online

I spent quite a bit of time last night in ESO, but didn't write it up.  It's on my mind though.

Things began with a quest called Pickpocket the Ode to Ethrandora.   Once again I had to play the sneak thief.  Slinking up behind a busy wizardess, I attempted to pluck a note from her pocket.  There was some flashing of numbers, then she was shouting at me.   In giant letters on the screen it was announced there's a bounty on me and any guard will take me down.  Eek!

I checked how much gold I had, ran outside and gave myself up to the first guard I saw.   Whew!  9 Gold and I'm Ms Perfect again. 

I did manage to pick the note on the next try.  Apparently you have to watch for your chance to be at least 75%

While looking for the next part of the quest chain, I wandered into a quest giver outside the Matus-Akin Egg Mine.   I think I was in there for an hour or more, trying to accomplish the quests.   It seemed as if it were in the middle of nowhere, but there were plenty of people to casually run with.  

I was hitting things other people were fighting then tossing up heals, so I thought it worked great.   Others would help me if they were going by.  There was not any, "oh you're killing my mob" feeling to it, it had a nice "we're all in this together, thanks for the help" aspect.

I leveled up, got a Skyshard, loaded my inventory...

Once done, I thought dang I need to empty my inventory, but I'm so close to the quest location for the Friend In Need quest which would give me a snuggly inn room of my own.

Wouldn't you know, the place is another Delve.

I really like them, but no way I can go in without selling some stuff off.   I'll have to backtrack.

Before I wrote this I wanted to look up Delves, a very faerie world sort of name.   I didn't get the answers I want, because I'm not clear what the difference is between a Delve and a Public Dungeon in ESO, even after reading several things.   Trials I get, because I ran across one and it said large groups only, don't enter.

I did like reading that there is a Skyshard and Lorebook in each (oddly this particular character hasn't found a single Lorebook, and I didn't think to look for one here).   

Oops, I didn't realize these don't scale to your level, so here I am running in there like a yahoo, shooting at everything I see.   I should be careful.


Notice I got my bear after being in the mine as well.  Yay for my bear.   While he doesn't seem to do much damage, he kept things from attacking me, which was all the extra bit I needed.

He isn't all cute and bear fuzzy as I'd like, he seems in fact a bit plastic-y.  Still, he's my buddy, my buddy to stay until he's peeled up and sailed away  (old Garfield reference).

Monday, July 10, 2017

PlayNotes: LOTRO (plus)

I'm finding my way around in Moria and navigating between the maps and the way the halls are laid out.  Less in the way of dead ends tonight.

Working on Hewers of Stone more, I found the Chamber of Wisdom with relative ease.  I was surprised how far back towards the beginning of Moria you had to go.

Chamber of Wisdom

Mining Records

I confess I keep thinking each quest turn in will send me back to the surface, but no.   Instead a new doorway leads me out into the snow.  Whipping winds, wolves, awooo.  I liked the story behind this quest, a Lost Workshop that might have papers revealing a hidden passageway.

Luckily the sojourn in the snow was short and the cave entrance was nearby.

I liked these caves.  The path was mostly straight, with a couple of places where you had to jump down.  There was just something that appealed in the design.

In The Workshop With The Orcs

Once I had the papers I sought, the doorway out sent me right back to Broin (that adventuring Hobbit) without the interlude of winter.

The next quest is called Chapter 8 The Secret Road.  I love a Secret Road!

World of Warcraft

I spent a tiny bit of time working on my almost level 105 Frost Mage and my level 12 druid (on different servers)   I didn't get any Wow time on Saturday, so you know how it is, you sneak in.


Working on getting good stock on my Architect vendors.  I'm working to stock everything she can make.  Oddly, things like Guild halls sell pretty well, but while I'm slowly getting a big stock of steel and ores (thanks to my spouse, the most excellent miner in any game), I need other subcomponents that I haven't stocked at this time.  

Even with that, I needed factory crates of Power Core Units, for which I need Energy Distributors, which are made by Dustbunnie, so a pause while I make a factory run of those...

Everquest 2

My Fury on Antonia Bayle and Fallen Gate is my main.  The AB one was level 9, so I grabbed loads of quests on my way out of town.  Mobs were level 7-8 on one side of the road and 10-11 on the other.

I just love the flavor of this area.

At level 10 I got the 10th Season Adventurer Achievement, plus what seemed like quite a few skills.

One that stood out was one that turns my High Elf into a beautiful white wolf (I'm guessing) but to me she is a dog, and I love dogs!  I'm trying to think if anything has let me be a pup before.  Bears, cats, they're everywhere.  Puppy!

Talk about unexpected surprises in games that make them so much more fun. 

The ability to Teleport others was also given.  I love being able to port people to other destinations,  I'm pleased to have that one too.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

PlayNotes: Sunday Mixed


I've been out of town this weekend so no playtime till now.  Rift is Sunday's game.
You'll recall I had two staircases to try and I went for the down one, had two problematic npcs attack, though I found out tonight it is just the second guy on the lower steps who is a problem.

Figure A Guys on the Steps

Hard for you to see, but they're there.  I decided to take them head on (note going up the other stairs was a dead end platform), just fight the fight.

First guy goes down easy.

Second guy seems to have disappeared.

Down the stairs, there he is at the bottom.  Target him, NO Target.

Go all the way down to make sure the line of sight is fine, he's inside the steps.

He can hit me, I can't touch him.

I run around the corner to check out the room and what other exit there may be.

He follows, but he's in the wall.  Needer, needer, he says.

I do spot the next doorway but there's another guy standing there and I'm almost dead.  Then Dead.

Soul Walk, come back right in front of Mr Frisky, run back up the stairs to the starting area.  He doesn't follow.

Not in the mood right now, but next time in, I'll have to lure him way upstairs as I somehow did last time and kill him off so I can advance.  Tricky.  This is all odd, I've never had trouble of any sort in Rift before.

Everquest 2 Fallen Gate

Made level 10 Friday night so I can get my Punt-Yo-Self Mount.  

I can't stand the Frostfang Sea area, so I ran to New Halas, through the Spidey Cave, to the travel bell, and voila, Qeynos and my own snuggly apartment.  I'm going to enjoy playing much more now that there isn't ice and snow and whipping chill winds everywhere.  How I do love sunshine.

Everquest 2 Antonia Bayle

I would like to join the Massively casual guild there, but the person's mailbox is full, so waiting on that tender moment when my mail goes through.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

EQ2: Fallen Gate or Bust, Mostly Bust

So, I've joined the hilarity on the Fallen Gate server.  My character is Atheren, and she's a Fury.  A measly level 5 after doing every quest on the Isle of Refuge.   I was level 7 with each character by the time I got to the Dead Canyon on the live server, but just level 3 here.  Holy Moly Rocky.

I could not do the cave, because I actually have to heal myself here, whereas my live Fury has never touched her heals.  And I died at least twice anyway in that ratty cave which was so simple on live.   I asked everyone I saw outside if they wanted to go in.  The second person said yes, so it wasn't hours or anything.

I sent my poor girl to the Frostfang Sea, where everyone else seems to be going, though it's cold and I have no shoes.  Sooooo cold.   Note the little puff of cold breath.  Can't quite get my feet close to the fire.  Brrr...

I'm available for fighting, healing, general adventuring.  Say hello if you go by!

Update:  I've made level 9, so I'm going to get my mount for sure.

PlayNotes: Elder Scrolls Online

A large volume of Adventures may be grasped within this little span of life by him who interests his heart in everything.

That's just how this evening went.   First there were ruins to visit.  Luckily it was a fairly busy place so things went quickly.  I practiced a few healing skills on unsuspecting adventurers.

I was given two maps to try to locate places in Balmora.  The first one was very distinctive, and easy to find the location.

With the second map, I just didn't see a house I thought looked quite like this, with the mushrooms growing by the steps and the distinctive tree in particular.

Once I did find this spot, there was still the matter of the hidden doorway, which was luckily given away by the quest arrow symbol nearby.

Next I was to break into a house and steal something.  How they do love breaking and entering in Tamriel.  Unfortunately, my constant snapping of lockpicks in an effort to open the simplest locks left me at the door all bummed, with "no lockpicks or key".

I couldn't find a place to buy lockpicks in Balmora so back to Vivec, where I bought ten.  Pricey!  I hope these will be enough.

Instead of heading straight back to Balmora, I sold some stuff from my inventory and looked for the guy who starts the housing quest.  It turns out my habit of grabbing every quest I come across had me already started on his quest line.

His is another quest location way north, so I decided, after looking at the map, to take the ship for the Mushroom quest, and I could do that one, then just swim over to the housing quest location.

The City of Mushrooms (whose name I clearly didn't write down) is really stunning, and full of quests I had to pick up.   I won't be swimming to my house guy for a bit.

There are also two quests involving romance, something this game includes often, and successfully, I think.  "Sunning herself in the light of a book".   I love that.