PlayNotes: Guild Wars 2

Tiny time in game tonight.  I found my way to the Harathi Highlands, my desired level zone!  I’m happier now and am ready to go forward from here.

Inventory problems. Why doesn’t it show everything I’m carrying in the Sell window?  I’d be willing to get rid of much more, if they’d let me.  Some bags don’t even show as open, and you know they’re all full.

This is another beautiful area.  It doesn’t seem to have as many places to perform deeds of derring do for the locals.   One heart in a rather large area.  Perhaps I came into the area at a less than populous spot?

PlayNotes: Secret World Legends

I wanted to get to level 10 tonight but only made level 9 1/2.   I’m killing most things as I go by them for the xp, but it’s slow going. 

Combat Crisis

I hate to say it, but combat is way too easy.  It’s almost silly easy.  I fought every “elitish” thing I came across and just no challenge.

Suzie Q
Not the Feigr Lord, nope it’s not him
The Fire Station!  The Firemen were really hard for me last time I played, they were just nasty.  Now they roll over and play dead, and are dead.
Testing, Testing, How are those Mines working?  Well, against big wave after big wave of zombies like this group, all my level, with puny effects from the mines I placed, I should have been dead.

What is happening here for me is that the world is no longer scary because nothing needs to be approached with caution.  You can just steamroll everything.

The Quests

I am being led from quest spot to quest spot.  The “mileage” type indicators were always there, but you still had to be reading the quest, looking at your map, then figuring out where to go next.   All the Secrets have been taken out of the Secret World.  There’s no mystery.  No puzzles to solve, no thinking involved.  I feel like I’m being dragged around.

Even the fact that sending the mission report gives you a reward you snap open, but doesn’t make you feel like you’re an agent in the field, just is adding to a deterioration of the scary atmosphere the game has had.  I’m not reading the accompanying text.  I just look to see if I can upgrade my weapons with what I got, and keep flying.

Bring Back the Peeps

I really really hate that there aren’t any people flying by.  The world is too empty.  Even if you aren’t chatting with people, it’s a shared experience when others are in the same game world with you.  You’re sort of all in this together, even when you’re not.  It kind of validates that this is a fun place to be.   (edit: note below the next night people were spotted!)

6/29/17 Thursday

Sneaking in again tonight since the game has been on my mind today.  A much better night, still easy combat but I got a puzzle (which I’ve solved in the past) with the quest Dirty Laundry which was written really clearly, I suspect it was more cryptic the first time around.   It’s just nice to get them.

The Dawning of Endless Night sequence is getting a bit more interesting now that Dr. Bannerman is talking to me.

I saw five real live people!!!   Thrilling!  I hugged this person.  She didn’t notice.   Lonely, I’ve beeeen sooo lonely,  wah wah wah wah….

At level 10 1/2     I can now go in the “Polaris Dungeon Story Mode.”   I think I’ll try it tomorrow night after studying up a bit.  I’ve never done a dungeon in this game.

I’m like the blabbering confession queen, so I’ll note I’m going to slide in here extra, trying not to get left behind everyone else who’s blogging about it and racing along.  Levels certainly aren’t quick, and I do every quest they let me pick up.  See you in the funny papers!

PlayNotes: Elder Scrolls Online

Tonight I went in with a small list of goals.

Get my bear out somehow.
It turns out you need a rank of 12 in Animal Companions and I was at 10.  Not there yet.

Check out a house

I became too absorbed in my quests to take the time to look.

Pick a craft.

I didn’t come across a crafting area, and again I was absorbed, so I ignored my list.

Work on quests in and around Balmora.

This is exactly what I did.  I ended up not feeling guilty about my murder for hire job.
Moral choice was still in the offing:  hand over a nasty formula to a potentially bad guy to curry favor with his faction, or, destroy it before his eyes and who knows what might happen.   I actually pondered this for a minute or two, then I did the right thing.

There was a quest requiring I sneak up on some people, listen in on their conversation, then follow one of them undetected…three tries.  On one, in sneak mode, I tripped over an npc sitting on some steps.  I wonder if I should just name my next character The Blunderer.

Unexpectedly, a quest called The Memory Stone made me cry.   It didn’t help that there was this violin music playing in Balmora.  (sob, sniff)  (Shakes fist at the heartbreaker who wrote this quest).   I had to log off after that one.

I’ll just be doing these PlayNotes as I’m inspired.   They’re sort of short and fun.  Happy adventuring. 

PlayNotes Issue 7: Secret World Legends

For the finale of the series, I wanted to wait till today and check out Secret World Legends.

I loved the changes to the tutorial area.  The scariness level was way up.  There was a floor puzzle, a sneaking puzzle and a wall puzzle  and if people haven’t played before, it’s a great introduction to those play mechanics.

Last time around I created a character who used both magic (some zappy electrical looking stuff) and pistols.  It worked well sometimes but not so much others.  I kept swapping skills around into the (still limited) slots and just couldn’t be satisfied with the fights.

This time I looked at all of the combinations and chose Warlock.   Her main skill is Blood Magic which produces a red radius of death.  I’m liking it.  The zombies still all attack in groups of five, so this covers them pretty nicely.  I’m not having to worry too much or at all about the placement of the targeting reticule.

Illustrating this weapon choice is a Book on my back.  A dang book just stuck there.  You may not be able to pick it out in the picture above, because my secondary weapon FOR HEALING is an Assault Rifle!  Bang, Bang! You’re Healed!   Weirdest idea ever.

The quests are the same as they were previously, such as this set of traps in the Mining Museum.  That went pretty well, except I’m a fool for stepping into the range of security cameras.  Oops, forgot about the explosions.  I bought Metal Gear Solid or some other stealth game on the Steam sale last year.  I should fire that up and see if I can set a record for getting caught and killed.

The first time I played through this area, Kingsmouth, every quest made a big impression on me, and I remember them well.  Except I don’t completely, so I keep going, oh yeah, this over here and it’s not.  Getting ahead of myself.

Despite the whole Book/Assault Rifle thing, the character seems reasonably powerful.  I had no trouble with the Draug at the end of the road.

If I balance between hitting the left and right mouse buttons in a fight, I’m fine.  In one fight I was just using the Blood Magic alone, and poof I was dead.

Kingsmouth is as creepy as always.  I run down the street keeping an eye on zombie groups, but sometimes it sounds like there’s one right on your tail and I find myself looking around over my shoulder frequently.

Didn’t get too far tonight, just hanging out with ol’ Shotgun Norma.

It’s a great game, with a variety of quest types and combat options.  It couldn’t have a more distinctive atmosphere.  For people like myself who have been reading horror tales and ghost stories for ages,  it doesn’t get much better than this.

I appreciate the modern setting, and like the clothes.   I need money money money to buy more.  Maybe also a Book with a nicer cover.

PlayNotes Issue 6: Guild Wars 2

My main character here is a level 35 Sylvari Ranger.  Somehow, though I’ve tried to progress logically from one area to the next, she was in a level 20 area, the Brisban Wildlands.  I needed to find my way to a level 35 area, and play from there.

I looked at the larger world map and just did not see a clear route from where I was to where I should go.  Here’s another game where I just don’t know the world well. 

This led me to wander from one area to the next, examining the creatures as I went to see if I had found a place to stay.   23, 26, 28, 20, 23…   I’ll find it eventually, though I wish the world were laid out more logically.

There are few worlds more beautiful than Tyria.  Whoever their artists are, they do spectacular work.  If Exploration is a draw for you in a world, you can’t go wrong wandering  in this game.

An Airship
A Garden Estate
In the Land Of the Undead
By the Lake
On the Open Road
A lively tavern full of conversation and clinking glasses

A Wondrous Windmill
A vendor in the middle of nowhere.  He’s big, he’s snuggly, and I want to take him home.  Look at that bandolier, with three big pockets up front and a big pack on his back.

The Conundrums of Guild Life

Guilds, guilds guilds.  If I analyze myself, I’m going to posit that I’m doomed to never be happy in guilds that aren’t like the first guild I was ever in, Galaxies Style.

It Offered:

Lively personalities, excellent guild chat.

Good Leadership (though this point varied/changed/proved the ultimate downfall of the guild along with the advent of World Of Warcraft entering the MMO scene)

A core group of about five players who were reliably on, always helpful, good at recruiting new members, always working to make a guild and ultimately a city that allowed the group to thrive and grow even more.

Regular events such as hunts or doing Rebel missions/base attacks to help people advance in the GCW (Galactic Civil War).

Anyone asking for help gets it from whoever can help.

Players who were generous with their time and crafts.

But what do I really want?

I’ve joined, often briefly, dozens of guilds from random invites.  The first things that gets me is silent guild chat in guilds with 500 members and only five ever on.

These have mostly been in Wow.   Early on, guilds that claimed they’d help you level would do nothing but direct you to Thotbott with any questions.   I want my lowbies to have someone help them with fights they have trouble with (doesn’t happen much anymore at any level, but there used to be sticking points in WOW’s terrain.) 

One of the best ways to level, and most fun for me is dungeons.  In any game, I’d like the guild to be willing to organize dungeon runs, just regular dungeons.  This not only provides, or should provide, leveling help, but it’s a great opportunity to train players in a non-harsh PUG environment how to play their classes well in a group. 

Did you see Eliot Lefebvre’s article    
This, as they say.  None of these things are helpful to anyone in the entire dungeon group, certainly not to those trying to learn skills.   Ideally, the guilded player doesn’t need to PUG, and won’t hear these things, and they are a far better player for it.

Sharing of resources:    I know Guild Bank Management can be a pain, and people toss in all sorts of stuff, trying to contribute to the group.  Most often, they have no idea what is useful and what is not.  The frustrated GB manager can often be heard threatening people for putting in useless stuff which they’re going to toss or sell soon.   This can shake newbies to the core and make them feel like fools.  How does this contribute a  sense of welcome and camaraderie?

It’s called Guild Chat for a reason!  I have hardly ever run into a player who was a motor mouth and they never were silent.  I personally don’t appreciate or take part in conversations about the real world, I’m here to leave that behind  zzzzzzzz.   I do think that players in guilds, particularly the Officers, should be in there talking to people about the game, seeing if anyone needs help, has questions.  There should be some spark of life in the place.   One of the things a guild might recruit for is personality.  Look for it, find it, encourage it.

Make newbies feel welcome.   The people recruiting should be aware of the person’s class and profession, and should help to introduce the player to the others.  Let them know who is good at a particular class and profession so the player can have some idea of who can mentor them.  Having players who will be new member mentors is guild role that can be key to a guild’s health and survival.

My Own Efforts

I don’t find these things often, and so in the past I’ve created my own guilds.  Because we have had enough family members to keep things interesting, it hasn’t gone beyond that.  Early on I encouraged everyone to go ahead and invite other players to join, but aren’t we all such introverts that we never did it.  As the leader, I polled people and it turns out they didn’t actually want strangers in the guild, making them be social and putting their mitts in the guild bank.  Rofl, rofl, rofl.

Undaunted, I really wanted to be the super duper guild leader I desired to find myself.

I created a guild blog that had tips I’d learned from voracious reading about the game, and interesting articles.  How I wanted to share!   Nobody but my beloved spouse, who generously reads all my blogs, ever looked at the blog.

I had my crafters leveling as quickly as I could and I provided potions, scrolls, armor, weapons, every single thing I could make so people could grab and go.

I put money in the bank as I could. My formula was that any of my characters who had over 50 gold would drop the “excess” in the guild bank.   Guild repair money, training money, mount money.

We did a few battlegrounds as a group.  I was awful, but I went in.  These didn’t last too long.

Guild dungeon runs started out not too bad. 

Three of us liked dungeons and enjoyed running through them whether guild or pug.  The others, not so much, but they’d do it.    For the weekly guild runs, which I loved because doh, I actually knew the people, I went into overdrive.  I created character sheets for the dungeoneers and ahead of the weekly run, checked the WOW Armory to see what they had armor wise and sent them new pieces if I could make better.  I sent scrolls, potions and jewelry for their class and level.

One person (who doesn’t read this blog) had a Paladin and Warrior for the runs but only liked cloth armor and they wouldn’t wear anything else.  This person ultimately felt I wouldn’t let them play their class as they liked because I sent things with stats that they actually needed.  On the plus side, I learned a lot about the games classes.

Only one person would tank regularly, and was that dread thing, a Draggy Tank.   Here’s where the big disadvantage comes in to a family group–nobody would ask him to slow down or talk to him in any way about the difficulty of keeping up.  Instead they complained to me.  When I mentioned this to Draggy Man, he blew it off and those who were unhappy claimed they loved loved loved his tanking and wouldn’t change a thing.  So depressing.

That whole problem eventually ended our dungeon runs.  We actually made it much farther than I imagined we ever would, up to Wrath of the Lich King dungeons.   Then kablooie.

Now hardly anyone is playing, and all on different servers most days.  I think sometimes of opening up one of the guilds to Real People (ha!) but then I have to play more, be there, find a solid core of officers.  As you can tell I’m scattered across several servers myself in World of Warcraft, and I play ten other games at any given time so I can’t the do the job right, and thus I won’t do it at all, unless something changes.

The Point Of All This

My new guild, which was fun at first, has had guild chat fall mostly silent.  Oddly if you say hi, you get a ton of responses, but if you ask a question, you’re now getting zippo.  Sad face.

It seems to now be mostly becoming a Raiding guild, and nothing else is worthy of consideration.

Guild Dungeon Runs have only ever been for Mythic and Heroic and I’m bummed because I hoped to have this guild be one where people ran dungeons together to level up.  I don’t know if I can think of a diplomatic way to see if regular runs, maybe even just once a week, could be set up for normal dungeoneering.    Why why why am I still Pugging in a group like this?

The guild bank is on major Lockdown, I don’t know what happened there, because I’m not around all the time, but every tab is Deposit Only or Locked.  Lazy dog, I hoped when I started my first character here that I could just be a gatherer and toss stuff in the bank and some sweet crafter would provide basic bags and potions I needed.

I now have my alt army in place there with all the crafts covered, but you have to level those characters too in order to get anything useful for the other alts.   There are only so many hours in a day, or night, as that’s usually when I play.

This is kind of the point at which I usually silently leave a guild all disappointed, but I think I have to hang in there, and try to talk more in guild chat myself, try to work out some of these things, because there are many many nice people in this group, they’re just chasing other goals than I have myself.

See? I do have some deep thots in my head.

PlayNotes Issue 5: Everquest 2

I was having the best time with this game, leveling several characters up in rotation, then ESO Morrowind came out, and I found new interest in World of Warcraft characters, and they fell to misadventure.

Back in tonight to work on my Monk and Conjuror, the last two in the lineup.

Although I like my Monk for her catlike grace and smooth martial arts moves, the fights seemed interminable until she got to level 6.  Then it was better. 

It felt like these spiders had to be killed one leg at a time….so slow….

By the time we got to this guy, it was all legchop, handchop, legchop, eeeeyah!

Since she was now at the desired level, I left her among the Sapwills and Defilers because I just couldn’t find some totems, and the area was pretty thick with these.

The Ratonga Conjuror coming into the same area at level two was briefly nicknamed “One Shot Willie” by me because she had no trouble in any fight.   She has a small Earthen Avatar which may be helping her fight.  He’s small and sort of weird and is always right under the Ratonga’s legs.  Except in the picture below.

Heroic Opportunities keeps popping up in fights, and I’m going to read and absorb this:

It is apparently some sort of chain thing a party can use.  Wasn’t there something like that in LOTRO?

So far I really like (because they’re tough fighters) the Conjuror, the Fury and the Warden best.  I’m not sure about the Ranger or the Monk.  I’m going to keep playing them in rotation with the others for now.

At the end of the session I went ahead and killed off my boosted level 95 Wizard, though (sniff) she had a house and everything in the City Of Hate.   I wasn’t going to play her anymore, and that opens a slot to try yet another class.

Maybe another Ratonga.  They are so adorable.   But they make me think of this:

PlayNotes Issue 4: Elder Scrolls Online

Another download/update tonight, ack!

Long load screens at login, I suppose this means everyone’s playing.

Tonight, my level 5 Warden who is doing quests from Vivec.

Going to the closest npc/quest location, I am offered a boat ride to a place I’ve never heard of, and the map marker for it is way across the land mass.  I’d rather wait till I have the quests nearby before I go off somewhere new.

Next closest is a simple one, find a stone, take some rubbings, help find the location of a lost library.

Rubbing stone

The cool thing is, this gives me a piece of a map in an Indiana Jones like display.  I get to find all the pieces. Then what happens?

It’s night time and very very dark…

Next the charming family saga quest Like Blood From Stone.  I’m to investigate a brother who may be doing something shady in a mine.  Nobody ever does anything good in a mine, particularly in this game.

You can’t get into the mine unless you lockpick the bad brother’s front door and steal the key in his house, or find the mine foreman in Balmora and pick his pocket.

I can pick locks in the Elder Scrolls games, but not here.  I snap all the lockpicks or get a couple and freak at the timer going kablooie.  I wasn’t meant to be a thief, truly. 

I had to look up how to pick a pocket in the game.  It worked fine but I felt like a real scum.  Again, not joining the thieves guild any time soon.  With a 75% chance of success, I plucked the key.

Another Night, Another Game, Another Mine 

Then I’m asked to murder someone.

This is all just going against my grain.  Hello. Good guy.  Heroine!  See me be a low, scummy killer thief instead.   I tried telling myself this was no different than any set of fetch, then kill the named npc quests in any other game.  There shouldn’t be this desire to back away and not do what is so wrong.   It shouldn’t even seem wrong.   Nice writing, if it can have that effect on me.


I should should buy a million lockpicks and pick pick pick till I am not freaked.

H calls your horse.  I found this out with quite a bit of searching.  Not intuitive.  No, not even thinking “H” for Horse.

Haven’t been able to summon my Warden Bear.   I finally find it looks like I have to slot him on my toolbar.   My toolbar with what, five slots to start with?   Other games might give you a few too many skills and toolbar slots, but this is bad, just the few given, and to use one to summon the bear, that’s pretty low.

PlayNotes Issue 3: Lord of The Rings Online

I’m pretty tired, so this is a bit hinky. zzzzzzz.

My Level 61 Hunter has a quest sequence in Moria.  This should have been easy, but somehow all my saved Stable Master locations are gone, and I spent two play sessions trying to get from the Chamber of the Crossroads or the 21st Hall (Followed the snaky road at the bottom of the map from the Chamber) to Tharakh Bazan.

It looks simple on the map.   Just go here, then over there, then take a left and a right.   Hahaha.

What looks on the map like a pathway turns into a solid wall or dead end.  The place is thick with orcs, goblins, morrovals and crows.   Every time I stop to look at my map, I get whacked by something.  It’s all ten levels lower than I am, but still, pretty annoying.  Let me read my map!

At one point I had a bad thought, wondering how the designer of this twisty maze of a place sleeps at night, knowing people are running into walls, chased by goblins, muttering “I can’t get out…”

I started at the 21st Hall tonight, because where I left my character last time.  Looking closely and reading the quest text again, I went back to the Chamber of The Crossroads and inched my way up, finally getting to Tharakh Bazan.   I remember the first time I saw this area, it was so cool to find an area of lush gardens deep underground.  Right out of Journey to the Center of The Earth.

The objective is in a twisty cave full of Globsnaga Skirmishers and Warriors.  Globsnaga?

Even more charmingly named is the Boss Grawulun the Caerog.  I had a moment where I thought I’ve come all this way and this guys going to pound me into the ground.  I will be sad.  Luckily he was EZ.

Off to the Mustering Halls for part 2 of this quest.   
I seriously have had this character all over Moria, and I wouldn’t mind  any of the exploration if my previous efforts were still recognized.  Too bizarre.