Just Checking In

Grrr, I’m still locked out of my Blogger blog Atheren’s Azeroth. Not that I was writing much anyway, but it’s the being blocked thing that has finally cracked me.

Azeroth: I’m still loving the Burning Crusade Classic game and play most days. My husband plays even more than I do. What a fiend he is for materials gathering and tossing himself up against murderous enemies. In order to get money and materials.

I am currently playing my Hunter and Warlock back and forth trying to finally get us a guild bank. Since my sister doesn’t read this (hi sis!) I can say I thought that she and her husband, who are ace at using the auction house, could work with the rest of us to get a guild bank pretty easily. Then I can just pop potions, weapons and armor in the bank instead of spending all that silver mailing stuff around.

The warlock is level 45 and the Hunter closing in at level 37. I’ve been saving for about a week, just by questing, and have 50 gold. I think, I’m pretty sure, I can have the rest by month’s end. Then we’re all on easy street.

I’ve peeked into Shadowlands once or twice, and my Atherne character finally made it to Ardenweald. I just can’t stand the place. And every time I think that every single class is recommended to go there, agh. No. No.

Then I played briefly a level 3 Mage on a server far far away. She’s now level nine because I played her a little. I liked her combat animations. She’s in Westfall, however, and it is so different from the Westfall I’ve been spending lots of hours in, fighting the Defias. The tornadoes. The cracked earth. Cataclysm was release 11 years ago, and the landscape hasn’t been repaired? There are homeless refugees from Stormwind all around Sentinel Hill, all those people still hungry. Nothing ever done for them. It’s a depressing place. Perhaps one of the reasons you get shuttled now through these early levels so fast is so they never have to fix anything. Bleh.

TBC is my happy place.

Did you know you can ride into the Swamp of Sorrows via Darkshire? It’s completely overrun with Horde, no Alliance spots at all, which I hate, because it’s a favorite spot in the game. Still.

Even more mind boggling, you can get to the Badlands via Dun Morogh. It’s right there! You ride past Uldaman on the way in! Yikes! And Feralas is just gorgeous. Thousand Needles is disappointing. Even though it’s not underwater in this era, again, blah blah, it’s all Horde. No Alliance base or quests.

I have peeked into LOTRO now and then when Wow was down. It is apparently my next game of choice. The graphics are so fuzzy, though, it’s kind of unpleasant. I did find a guide to graphics settings for it that are supposed to make it look better. Haven’t gotten around to that quite yet.

I’ve no interest in New World at all. It never sounded interesting, as I can’t stand the historical period it semi-resides in. Of course Bhagpuss makes everything sound good, so I like reading what he has to say. That’s as far as that goes.

I’ve completely left ESO behind, which is so odd to me since they are doing the Oblivion game period, my favorite of the Elder Scrolls games. However, it plays to a major flaw in the game itself, having the Imperial City be a PVP zone only. Do you know how much time I’ve spent in the Oblivion game in that city, with it’s merchants, and I can never go there in ESO.

FFXIV First Impressions

My notes are scattered through three notebooks…oof.

Character Creation

I didn’t really make notes about the options here, which is unusual. For this post, I could have created a new character. However, it is really difficult (or was a few weeks ago when I started) to create a character at all, much less put them on a realm you wanted. That experience overwhelmed the usual character creation process.

From memory, the options were fine, though I noted facial options didn’t look much different to me from one to the other. Hair colors and styles had lots of options, always a plus. Pretty sure you could make a character tall or short, something I always like, so I made a Lalafel as short as possible, and an Elezen as tall as possible.

My first character was a Lalafel, and looking at the class options (go away, I’m going to call them Classes because Jobs has a bad feel to it.) Play, not work.

She’s soooo cute.

There are cute forest animals too.

When looking at the class options, somehow I decided being a Guardian fit her. Doesn’t she look like a perfect Tank, though? I like my small characters to be capable of big things.

I finally got a character on my son’s server one morning. Since he got all huffy at my first character being a Tank, and thus competing with him in dungeons, etc., I went with an Archer.

To me, the Elezen race fit my image of an Archer nicely.

The little tutu skirt is a bit odd, but I’m looking past that. I did like all of the character background choices you can make, very much like any traditional RPG I’ve played.

I also liked that you can have a first name and a last name. It gives a bit of character depth, also, it seems to me that you can get pretty much any name you like because the likelihood of someone else choosing your exact first and last name seems slim.

Gameplay

There’s an initial wagon ride for your character where a seedy looking, drink swilling old man questions you about your plans for adventure. It reminded me so much of the initial cart ride in Skyrim.

There’s also a narrator who sounds like something from a 1940s movie.

Logging in always puts you in a queue, that’s my experience so far, but there’s little time lost as you’re in game swiftly.

I have found the game to be “very talky” in each session I’ve played. This morning I wrote in my notes “frustratingly talky”. Toning down what else I wrote about that point, I did feel myself coiling inside to get away from the dialog.

On the one hand, I like the RPG feel of that, and how the story for the world and your character can be created that way. On the other hand. Blah blah blah.

You must respond to each line of dialog.

In the middle of this intro text, these guys show up ( I call them creepy mask guys)

So…off to the seventh hell so soon?

Eeew. This old lyric came into my head just now.

Hello, I love you, won’t you tell me your name?
Hello, I love you, let me jump in your game

Navigation

You start out with this character in the city of Gridania. It’s a maze with transitions between areas of the city. All you have to guide you is the radar map.

At least it gives coordinates. Full marks for that.

I’m reading how snuggly and helpful the community is in FFXIV, but when I looked up how to get a map of the area to show, the comments were on the order of “They’re just as good as any maps anywhere and why do you need so much help?” Oops. Someone did helpfully say bring up your current quest and click map, and that works.

Combat

I haven’t much to say here. It seems simple enough at first glance. Combat is always something to adapt to in any game you play. I would only seriously dislike it if I was dead immediately and couldn’t figure out why or avoid it the next time.

If you can find your way to the initial forest area where you practice your combat skills, there’s no question what you should be targeting for the quest. Each squirrel, Lady Bug and mushroom has its name in large letters and what level it is. Even doing a powerful level 4 quest, those sassy level 1 squirrels complete the quest.

Time’s Up!

My original plan was to temporarily subscribe and play a little here and there. Having spent a bit more time in the game, and having got better at navigation, I think I would come to like it. However, right now it seems too slow moving. I’ve got too many things going on to absorb the story and learn all of the quirks of the game. So we’ll let the trial expire and maybe this winter I’ll try again.

Blizzard’s Sad Story

The revelations and story playing out at Blizzard are nowhere near over. My comments are small without still knowing the depth of the problems in this apparently toxic workplace where a game I love is created. How do these things even happen in the world?

My thoughts are summed up best by Taliesin via Priest With A Cause’s Blog

http://priestwithacause.blogspot.com/2021/07/shitshow-at-blizzard.html

and, the best writer about World of Warcraft currently writing:

https://kaylriene.com/2021/07/30/the-actiblizzwalkout-and-reconciling-art-and-artist/

I agree with most of what they have to say. I’m shocked, dismayed, saddened. I did not hold any of the developers at Blizzard in any particular regard, as always, having learned from SWG not to follow individuals and creators of the games I love too closely.

I have not unsubscribed from the game since Wrath of the Lich King. I will not be unsubscribing now. I hope all of the voices are heard and changes are made at Blizzard. As a former union steward, I recommend that a union is formed. That’s how you protect your workforce, that’s how you make sure someone is looking out for everyone.

The Steam Sale: Bad Influences

I usually have a nice list of possible games to purchase in the Steam sales but not this time. I searched the Mystery, Action/Adventure and RPG categories as I do, but nothing appealed enough to purchase. Going into the last day before the sale ended, my only purchase was Mass Effect Legendary Edition.

Bad Influences=my gaming son. I thought you were interested in Horizon Zero Dawn? You’d like that. Added to pile, check.

You should try Final Fantasy Online! It’s a classic fantasy. There are dragons, quests, really good dungeons and a dungeon finder! Also…fishing! Housing! All the expansions for one low price! A Main Story that levels you up fast. This kid can make things sound so good. Happiness making! Added to pile, check.

One small game that did keep popping up while I was looking around was Little Nightmares II. I bought Little Nightmares 1 for a much smaller price to see if I liked the game play. Added to pile, check.

Of these, I’ve only looked briefly at Final Fantasy, very briefly. It was super hard to create a character, as most servers, including the one my son was on were not accepting new characters.

I will give that it’s own post.

Moria, Beautiful Moria

I was discouraged after finding I was no closer to entering Moria with my Loremaster than ever due to the necessity of gaining ten levels for her Legendary Staff. I let the game sit since my last post, then decided to find the strength and stamina to grind it out.

I only had one quest I hadn’t done in Eregion, so I did that.

Also in my log, a Chapter Quest, What Is Needed. It took my character all over Middle Earth. I am certain I used to have many of the Stable Master locations in the past, but now they must be re-built.

Ered Luin

Bree

Combe

Archet

The Shire

Esteldin

Gath Forthnir Stopped cold in the quest line here when it becomes a Fellowship quest.

Back to Eregion to walk from encampment to encampment killing everything in the path of my character till voila! The Legendary item was level 10.

It wasn’t really as bad as I thought the grind might be.

Back to the Forges of Lothlorien. Reforge Weapon. Back to Eregion.

Finally we approach a real fight with the Watcher.

I remember this fight very differently. Here, there were just tentacles popping up, easy to vanquish. It’s hard to get a screenshot that isn’t full of Swampie, who hogs all the shots.

At the the Door at last!

In we go.

The music swells! That gorgeous gorgeous Moria music.

It is odd, but this is only the second character I have gotten into Moria. I’ve been trying off and on to get her into Moria for at least a couple of years. I was so happy and proud!

The many many things you need to do and the places you need to go are almost overwhelming. Getting in that door, indescribable.

Then! A dwarf wants me to go back outside! Are you so joking! At least it was in honor of the Fallen.

I spent just a little time doing a few introductory quests, to soak up the glory of being there.

I love the maps. I think since it is easy to get lost here, I will print out each area map and make notes on it as a guide.

As I’ve been playing again, I’m remembering that I really loved the game till Moria, and it was my favorite part–after Moria the game seemed like a linked chain of goblin camps, and I never cared for it. I’m hoping going through Moria and eventually out the other side fresh, that I’ll like it more and can move beyond Moria to greater adventures.

No Moria For You, Bonehead!

You’ll be pleased to know on my second try, the Fall of Moria scenario was not buggy, and was simple. The Balrog/Ancient Evil was pretty great, though I didn’t have to fight him.

Naturally, I thought I was getting somewhere. Nope, in fact, nope.

Kill three Shadow Wargs.

Pick up some stones.

Pick up some branches.

Go back to Filgogan and see what’s affecting the local wolves.

Stop dwarves from tossing stones into the Black Pool.

Chop at a couple of stones at Durin’s Door.

The Watcher pops out, tentacles everywhere. I remember fighting this thing, then entering Moria.

But no.

You have to make a run for it and go back to the base camp for help.

Some dwarves found a cache of Legendary Weapons!

Pick one!

GO TO RIVENDELL to get help with it.

Once you’re all set up with the weapon, you’re told you can’t use it to defeat the Watcher till you gain ten levels on that weapon. You merely need to use it in combat, but what? That’s crazy. Why not let you in the door, there are plenty of things in Moria to level with.

I’m at a loss as to how I’m supposed to pass the time. I guess I’ll look it up. It’s midnight though, and zzzzzz.

Call of the Sea: Chapter 2 Looking For The Ladder

I’m really enjoying this game. The narrator, Norah is a cool, calm individual. She takes everything in stride.

I was temporarily stuck, then logged out and when I went in fresh the next time, I found five things I had missed on my first examination of the Expedition’s shacks and surroundings. That’s quite a bit to miss. A person has to slow down and do more pixel hunting to be sure to succeed in a game where clues abound.

I am now stuck in a different way, when trying to climb down a rope ladder, my character freezes. I tried re-loading but still frozen. Not sure how to get past that.

Never fear! I wasn’t actually stuck. Norah starts down the ladder and stops, but you’re supposed to inch her down the rest of the way with the S key, doh.

I’ve now made it to Chapter 3. There is so much to see, my note book is filled with drawings and notes. Not as much goes into that Journal as I’d like.

Here’s another ladder just to go with the post title:

Ha, in Chapter 3 there’s lightning and thunder, and all these lamps that look like a person in a distance between flashes. I can just imagine me screaming and boring my way right through the roof if a person does show up.

Really enjoying the game!

Failed: The Fall of Moria (after a bit of spelunking)

I thought my girl would be in Moria, by now.

Though I got lost in the Brackwater.

The map for this cave was much better than the last.

I found all the Dwarves!

I also got a Deed for killing Lizards. There are so many in here. I could see how I had gotten in the habit, back in the day, of killing everything I came across in this game. You just could not advance in any direction if you didn’t. At the end, I had to port to Echad Dunann, then ride back to the cave to turn in the quest..

Only to be sent to Echad Dunnan to talk to a dwarf there about the Fall of Moria.

So that’s never good, having the quest say “do not fail”.

Suddenly you’re Nafni, a dwarf. Running back and forth the long distance of Durin’s court. Good thing they give you sprint.

Durin must show some Elven visitors that his supply of Mithril is sufficient. Down to the caves below you go, killing a few things to show your hospitality.

Then you and another dwarf tumble down a wall to reveal that Mithril. except, its a monster behind the rock. And you’re stunned! And you stay stunned!

Then you’re popped out of the game! You try to get back in fast so the instance doesn’t re-set! No such luck.

I haven’t gone back in to try again yet. Sigh. Moria or bust!

The Walls of Moria

After methodically working through the quests in my log–including a bad moment when I thought I’d have to enter The Library at Tham Mirdain–eeek–I remember that place even now–I was finally able to enter the Walls of Moria area.

I finally have met Bosi. You know you’re getting somewhere when you meet Bosi, right?

There are Expeditions into cave quests I don’t recall, but since they need to be done before The Expedition enters Moria, I’m being a completest and doing them.

Expedition: Unwelcome In Hollin is in a super dark twisty cave. I went into Options and turned the Ambient Lighting to Max so I could see where I was going. The map isn’t helpful even when more is filled in.

Ace cave meister that I am, I eventually found Mr. Big aka Graug. Poof, I say, Graug.

As it turns out, Swampie is still the best pet for damage to enemies. He also, more often than not, can pull a single one over to fight us. So, still love you, Swampie.

Another Expedition next time called “Four Dwarves”. Progress!

The trick appears to be pretend you’ve never played at all and re-learn how to play as you go. And toss those lock boxes clogging your inventory.