Converting and Corrupting Children
Things have been busy at the store with holiday shoppers, which is a good thing. I suppose it shouldn’t come as a surprise that my favorite part of the business remains the Saturday craft classes I’ve been teaching there. I’m definitely going to expand that area in 2014. I’ve introduced steampunk inspired projects and of course, fantasy themed crafts. Yep, I’m on to corrupting other people’s children like I did my own along with my nieces and nephews. *smile*
The look of cheer joy, wonder and amazement in their eyes is so infectious and heartwarming. I thought the Harry Potter inspired wands class would be the highlight of the 2013 but we topped that with a steampunk inspired Wizard’s Sanctum Shadowbox. OMG they were so excited and happy. We heard wonderful feedback from the parents about the memories their kids are making, on top of the artistic skills and new friends. This is the video I did to commemorate it, as it was the last class of the year for us.
World of Warcraft
I re-subscribed to WOW last month. My plan is to get one of my level 80 characters to the new max level and mess around with the farming. With the help of friend, Elvenmoon, I saw three of the new instances and am sitting at level 87. Elvenmoon is a well geared and experienced Discipline Priest. So much so, that we were able to duo the instances. For the most part, my Druid stayed in kitty DPS form.
The instances are well done - as ever. Pandaria is an attractive zone with as diverse a variety of quests as can be had in any MMO and is extremely solo friendly. But it’s not exciting compared to the other games I’ve played since I was in love with WOW. There’s no imminent danger and thus, questing in WOW lacks a sense of excitement or urgency. I hope to get to max level before I exit again. I’d like to be able to see the garrisons, WOW’s version of player housing, when it’s introduced. I suspect that like the farms, Garrisons will require a near max level character.
I’ve known of Steam but until recently, I’d never availed myself of its services. That changed owed to a few games sent to me as gifts from Sarzan. Of the ones I’ve played, Bastion was my favorite and the one I almost completed. The others I’ve tinkered with here and there. We also dabbled in Saints Row IV, which is one of the few multi-player games I’ve tried given my preference for full on MMO.
I had a good time in Saints Row IV but am not a fan of the movement mechanics and obstacles in setting them up in a way that was comfortable for me. For that reason mainly, I haven’t been back. I have a hard time enjoying myself when I can’t move around confidently. I think we’re going to give it another try though because it was a lot of laughs.
World of Tanks
Queue the hysterical laughter, I’ve played a little WoT. I SUCK ASS at FPS games and am not much better at shoot ‘em ups. EVE was an exception. With EVE Online’s combat, you’ve often won or lost before you undocked from the space station. It’s not twitch dependent which is problematic for me.
I’ve been kicking around from game to game with the attention span of a gnat. Figured I’d give WoT a whirl since Sarzan plays it religiously versus dragging him to another game I’d abandoned in a couple of weeks. Here again, I like the game but am not able to get comfortable with controlling the tank’s movement. I need my movement to be muscle memory, something I’m able more easily achieve in MMOs but have difficulty transferring to FPS-like games. I suppose it takes time but I hate completely failing at games. Being incompetent isn’t much fun. Still, I might give this one a bit more time to sink in.
The Sims 3
It’s been a long time since I played The Sims with any regularity. Having become a diehard MMO fan, I let The Sims 3 release pass me by. MMO-less, I returned to the scene of the crime to find a very pleasing evolution to game play.
With the addition of Lifetime Wishes and ambitions, Maxis has introduced short and long term goals into the gameplay. For people looking for a slightly more guided experience, these elements provide a focus for objectives beyond keeping your Sims alive. A good portion of them require multiple tasks be completed in a predefined amount of time and under certain circumstances, lending them a quest-like feel.
An expansion pack also added the ability to own and run hotels and resorts. You can do this passively by hiring employees, staying at your own residence and simply collecting cash OR be hands-on and work your way to a 5-star rating. I elected the hands-on route which is a blast. I setup a private studio/suite for my Sims on the premises. I have them manage the front desk themselves while hired staff deal with the cleaning and general maintenance.
I didn’t like the few hotel room facades that shipped with the game, and of which you must include one on the property. Luckily I didn’t have to use them. I found a mod that allowed a carpet to provide them features, allowing you to design your own room around it. The built in hotel rooms are only a façade (rabbit hole). I wanted rooms that I could enter and see the inside of, not a rabbit hole.
I also have family pursuing “normal” game careers. I did an awful lot of gardening which I find strange. Why on earth do I enjoy it so much in a game??? I adored Harvest Moon. TS3 gardens takes a lot of time if you have anything more than a small plot. They do however, yield a TON of cash after you unlock the uncommon or rare vegetation and are able to grow it to perfection.
More Tera incoming. I need another MMO that’s exciting! I need another MMO love! Damn you ANet for leaving GW2 end-gaming hanging in limbo with your temporary content. Ugh. Dammit! What I really want is level in new GW2 zones, while earning new abilities, weapons and traits. I suppose Tera will have to do for now.
I like Tera. I liked it the first time I played it. I think I burned myself out because I couldn’t decide on which class to play. I’m not someone who does alts very much. Repeating the first two zones 3x in close succession soured me. By the time it was all said and done, I was wishing I’d rolled a priest from the get-go. *grumble* This time there was no question in my mind about which class to play. I went straight for my priest.
Tera is less solo friendly than many of the newer MMOs. It’s better as a duo but even then, you may elect to skip quests that require killing elite mobs because they are HARD TO KILL. Elites need the sub tag ‘bad ass’ on their name plates. They take a long time to whittle down when you’re not a full party. They can be soloed by some classes such as the Lancer but you won’t be doing it very quickly if you’re the appropriate level for the content. And it doesn’t take more than a couple of mistakes to face plant you in the dirt. Coupled with an unusually fast mob re-spawn rate and mob density, you can’t lollygag in most areas. Hell, I often leave half my damn loot on the ground. I wondered why Tera hadn’t added area loot mechanic until I saw there’s an area loot pet on the cash show. Oh well, they have to make a buck.
I had cash on my account from the last go ‘round burning a hole in my pocket. Ever the dress up maven, I bought a steampunk armor skin. I’d like it a whole lot better if I HAD PANTS instead of booty shorts but whatevs. I almost bought the pirate outfit instead because it had real bottoms but I love steampunk. Guess my lower butt cheeks will just have show. *smile*
EQ Landmark Founder
Yep, I’ve already slapped down money as a founder for Landmark. The early access is nice but what I really wanted was the perk of being able to claim land first and the crafting perk from the top tier package ‘cuz we all know I’m going to craft and decorate. I might as well be real about it up front and get the little extras they’re handing out.
I expect to bail on Tera once EQL is out. Here’s hoping it and EQN have some staying power for me. If not, I’ve got nothing – nadda in the MMO space that I’m looking forward to in 2014. Ugh, that’s a grim thought.