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.

Call of the Sea: A Classic Adventure

I picked this up at the Winter Steam sale and have just started it.

Norah Everhart is on an uncharted “island of death” alone, looking for her husband who disappeared in June of 1934 while on an expedition to find a cure for her unnamed disease.

Though the expedition was well supplied, she has only found small abandoned supplies and camps (so far).

In classic adventure style, she has a great journal which refreshes your story as you go.

She finds helpful notes left by someone. I liked this one so much, I put it in my own journal I always keep when playing such a game.

They might want to hire me for my drawing skillz on the next game…

My first real puzzle is this combination lock type totem. I haven’t solved it quite yet.

Simple controls:

WASD to move

Tab to open journal, up and down, left and right arrows to move around in the journal.

Move in close to get an EYE to look at items, or a Hand to interact.

Somehow I wasn’t paying attention when they said how to SPRINT. Oh well.

In true adventure game style, Call of the Sea maintains tension via the story itself, and the exploration of an unknown land where others have disappeared.