Atheren’s Adventures The Year In Review 2018

World of Warcraft

The bulk of this year was spent playing World of Warcraft. Right after Blizzcon 2017, I started leveling characters so that they’d be at max level when Battle for Azeroth arrived. I found as I was doing this that I enjoyed the Class quests more than I would have guessed.

I stuck in my toe in some LFR’s, and they weren’t bad at all. I didn’t feel like there was much of a reward for participating in them, which I suppose is the point. You’re supposed to be in a Raid Guild that only let’s you go along if they’re desperate, and they sure aren’t going to let you have any gear drops, because those are for the real raiders. Pretty icky, in my opinion. At least if something is available as LFR you can just leap in there, and experience the content, since many story lines conclude in Raids, apparently. If that’s actually the case, you might want to tweak that so everyone can complete quest story lines start to finish on their own.

Only seven characters were ready when the expansion arrived, and I sent them through each area in kind of a little conga line. It was good, and then it became grindy, particularly in Stormsong Valley (which I’m still not over).

After taking a break in November/December I’ve gone back in with a new plan, an even better plan (Start the Revolution Without Me). I’m going to run characters to 120 one at a time, leading this time around with my Demon Hunter.

I didn’t realize how much I missed bouncing around on my characters on other servers, and creating new characters on new servers. Sometimes I like to drop back to simpler times in the game world. I killed off four characters I never play (still very hard to do). Whoo hoo! I now have six open character slots for creating new characters on realms unknown.

Once again I have to comment on the awful new character models. It would be more palatable if there were barbershop options to change eye size and color, and many more hairstyles and colors available.

Everquest 2

I was really enjoying Everquest 2 earlier this year, and subscribed for a time. Somehow I got caught up in trying to work on crafting for each character, and while it was interesting, it felt onerous after a bit, so I drifted away. I’m certain to return to this game in 2019 as I have some really enjoyable characters there, I like the world, I love the quests.


I participated for the first time. I was really pleased to reach my goal of posting every day, and I liked my content. What started off as a pretty convivial atmosphere among bloggers soon seemed rather clique-y to me. It also seemed to me that there was some unneeded competitiveness and bloggers taking shots at others. No need for that.

On the plus side, I looked at some games in my Steam Library, and really liked them, but need to go back and finish them.

As part of Blaugust, I dipped back into some games I hadn’t played in awhile, Lord of The Rings Online, Wildstar, and Rift and Secret World. I enjoyed my time in all of them, and was sad to see the announcement that Wildstar would close. I will try to make time for the remaining games again in 2019.

Elder Scrolls Online

I started playing this more regularly in September, logging in each day for the Reward. By October, I was playing longer sessions, had truly fallen for the game, and I subscribed. I hope to write about it more, it is so deep and rich.

Star Wars Galaxies (Emu) The other game I’ve played at almost Live Game Levels this year is Star Wars Galaxies, the Pre-Combat Upgrade version. The game remains the most absorbing, live your life in an alternate world experience ever. I’ve always hoped someone would make a game with all of it’s features, but there is still nothing like it.

Return of the The Last Chapter Blog as my Game Blog

It has been a good thing, moving back to my earlier blog. The blog was originally created to share World of Warcraft tips as I was learning them with my guild mates/family. They’re a rowdy bunch, though, and only my spouse always read it. I do like the Pages option at the top for linking to my favorite games and the sites that give guides for playing. That will need quite a bit of work.

I’ve found a bunch of new podcasts to try out, and will work on getting a updated list on the sidebar.

I miss my nice pictures to break up headings on the sidebar, so I’m going to get around that by sticking any picture I want to use on the sidebar in some selected post. Once you do that, it seems to become part of some nice picture archive you can always draw from. Work around solutions ftw.

Blogging Anniversary Coming Up

The fifth anniversary of my “real” blog is almost here.  Although it has gone through a few changes in focus, and I broke off a gardening blog from it at one time, it has remained me and I’ve posted pretty consistently on it.

My game blogs have a much stranger history.  I’ve started them, enjoyed them, then have taken them down.  One of the incarnations was actually quite successful as far as readership and posting whatever was in my head.  I honestly can’t recall what made me yank it down.

I may have had six different versions of this blog.  My guess is that my game persona at any given time might change.  Maybe I get tired of not being me.  It’s all well and good to play and take on characters, but hmmpf. 

Interestingly this version may get the least readers, and it is most like me.  Best not to ponder that too long.

Here are a few quotes from my very first game blog, which I saved to some extent for some reason in my tricksy copy/paste way.   I think my writing hasn’t changed much.

Bioware and a Star Wars MMO

Bioware continues to not say yes or no on a Star Wars MMO and LA announced a Star Wars game but gave no details, so yes yes I hope they make a Star Wars MMORPG, and even if it is space only, as long as they let me land and get on the ground sometimes I will be right there when it becomes available. Just don’t co-publish with the evil ones.

Small SWG Rant

I have been so disgusted with the SWG development and community relations staff, I had to not write anything here. Their treatment of crafters has been burning my biscuits since the NGE, but as I see people running out of resources to craft their goods with no hope in sight, and continued non-response from SOE staff….grrrr.

Their excuse of course is that they need to put their time in the professions that the most people play. They create a self-fulfilling prophecy by making any profession but Jedi (as everyone points out absent from this time period except for Darth, Luke and Yoda) absolutely useless. They force people to take the Legacy quest series because there is no other way to advance in the game, but this set of quests notoriously doesn’t update for many people or give them xp.

I have been reading old interviews and forums in other venues to try to see how they came to this point of utter hideous crap in what was a rich and deep game. What I am seeing is, they actually have always ignored all but the Jedi professions, claiming that they have had soooo many requests for Jedi gameplay.

I had one of those glimmers of hope again last week because LucasArts is doing a focus group in the LA area for veteran and new players. WOW, I thought. They want to talk to people face to face and ask some deep questions about where the game has been and where it should go. Then, I found a thread on from people who had been called to take part in the survey. It seems they only want to talk to people who have began playing in the last three months and either stayed or left. Well, well. Would this be people who have only tried out the game in the NGE time period? /bonks self on head for having any hope.

Elder Scrolls Morrowind

Another try is Elder Scrolls: Morrowind. Now that game has lots of potential. Freedom of movement, the ability to explore and examine the environment. There are plenty of people to talk to, but even those who haven’t much to say seem to enrich the story and the setting.

Elder Scrolls: Oblivion

I love this game. It has come at just the right time as I rummaged through my games looking for something that grabbed me story wise and gameplay wise. I have been having trouble getting my character the way I want, so I find myself back in the sewer tweaking her. I started out with a kajiit, and really liked my cat, but it seems the female kajiit is fatally flawed except as a mage type character. Explorer and adventurer that I am, I want to slay anything in my path with ease. So back to the sewers for a Redguard. She has done much better right off, so I guess no lovely kitty tail unless I want to play again later when I know the world better as a sorcerer type.

The character creation is really difficult. Slider bars are used which on my pc means the mouse pointer sort of floats over the slider at times. This gives either too much or too little tweaking of coloring and facial shape. The eyes…Very creepy looking on this screen. The eyes peer out like the moving eyes behind a portrait in a ghost story. Also, there are only three eye colors, and the blue is washed out, the green is an ucky flat shade that doesn’t look green and the brown looks warm but I want blue or green eyes 😦 Lets talk about the lips. You can’t really resize the lips, but you do things with the chin and cheek sliders that make your lips very very odd. The nose also cannot be made long or short or narrow or wide. You can change the nostrils. Eeeww. All of this is sort of why I made the kitty in the first place. She had lovely red gold fur, with sort of jeweled hair.

I’ve mostly run into animals and the Undead. I did stop in an inn that had an interesting mix of characters. All acknowledged my character as she came in. One referred to my character as “fur licker”.

After coming out of the sewers you are able to instant travel to your quest location, or travel overland. Luckily there is no timer on getting to the quest. So overland I go. I am finding the leveling system interesting as an idea, but it seems to me that any caves and creatures in the immediate area around the initial area should have low level stuff. I was getting whomped by the magical types with my non-magical characters.

Another try at Dark Age of Camelot

Well, since I decided to drop SWG (though I haven’t hit the button yet), I am finding to my amazement I don’t really want to play at all. I guess my methods of assuring few withdrawl symptoms are working. Hehe.

So…I thought I would give DAOC another try. In my first attempt, being a SWG-er firmly believing in the earlier version as best, I had chosen the “classic” server. Some post on made me think maybe I would see a more up to date version of the game on a “normal” server. Not the case but… Maybe I am paying more attention this time around, or maybe the “normal” gives a more helpful interface, but I was able to give a start and kill a few beasties (the go here talk to that npc task makes me nuts pretty fast). I was pleased to kill a skeleton and some little scrubby humanoid. I couldn’t figure out how to pick up the booty once I slew them 😦

I can’t help but compare any game to SWG, though so I noted that I couldn’t quite tell an NPC from a player, very potentially embarrassing. I recalled I couldn’t tell for a bit in SWG either. I found an armorsmiths store in the village, all manned by npcs and thought sadly of the fate of AS in SWG and how they are no doubt slotted to be replaced by npcs as well. The sad thought “What a dead world” came to mind, and I logged out. Still, even the command line stuff and the way the npcs talk to you about the world (the bad bad phrase “too much reading” sprang to mind) remind me of the old days.

Gabriel Knight

Ah, Gabriel! Determined to become the gamer I once was, I fired this up again and made progress! I figured out the arrow keys allow you to rotate the field of view so you can point the little arrow and make Gabriel walk to the next appointed spot. I recall back in the days when Myst was new, and games were touted for having 360 degree…can’t recall what they called it. The point being, you could see but not interact with, everything in a wondrous 360 degree environment. No more looking at the predetermined pixels!

There is this little timer and “counter” in the game that clocks how you’re doing (apparently you need to accomplish certain tasks within a certain in game time frame) and a counter for how many tasks you have accomplished. You have this running score that lets you know if you’ve found the clues, talked to the right people, hit those markers. It provides a sort of encouragement to move along through the story, which is interesting. I do like the way single player games tell a story with a beginning, a middle and an end.