Played quite a bit of World of Warcraft this weekend.  My Hunter is 112 and I’m enjoying her, so she may make it all the way to 120.  She’s so cute.  I usually transmog the otfit of my characters to match the guild tabard.  Blackwater Raiders gets red outfits in general.



I found that a sort of pink shaded chestpiece looked good with the tabard, so I’ve gone so far as to save a Pinkie outfit.  Even the bear, Slumber from Highmountain, matches 🙂


I see the Shadowlands alpha is incoming, and I have yet to read through the information today from Wowhead, but I’m interested in the shape the next expansion will take, so I’ll try to absorb it soonish.  Then I’ll be back with my usual scintillating and concise analysis.  Right.

GameNotes March 31, 2020

I’ve played very little since last week.  When I do, it’s mostly my Blackwater Raiders Hunter who is now at level 105 thanks to the xp boost in effect.   I feel the character has been underplayed for a long time–of course she is or she’d be at 120.

Her Tradeskills are Herbalism and Skinning.  These two skills are a particularly fun combination, and skinning always suits the Hunter model as a fantasy.  I’m just questing my way around Highmountain, which is an area that suits a Hunter character as well, and not just because the Class Hall is there.

She’s a Beastmaster, and though she never feels powerful to me as a fighter, her varied pets and the self heal give her good survivability.  Which makes her appealing to play.

I’d like to be running dungeons, but the wait times are around half an hour now, and I just haven’t the patience this week to wait in a queue.


I got Feedly working again by changing to an actual Feedly account rather than living with the silly Google and their sudden inability to recognize my device.   I needed to start over with my feed list, but that’s fine, I narrowed it down a bit to the feeds I enjoy most.


Random Stuff:


You know you’re too isolated when you start trying these:

A Few 19th-Century Parlor Games to Amuse You While You’re Stuck at Home


It would be hard to mess up a Dragon’s Lair Movie, right?


The Stories that inspired Dungeons and Dragons.  I had a period where I read all the “Golden Age” Science Fiction I could find.  I’m pleased to see much of that here, plus many other great titles.

The Fantasy Books that Inspired Dungeons & Dragons

GameNotes March 24, 2020

How am I doing, you ask?


That’ll do for the personal stuff.

On a very happy note, World of Warcraft, for the first time in my memory, is giving 100% xp till April 20.   I hit the dungeons with a level 43 Warlock Friday night, and a couple of hours later she was level 51.  Boom boom boom.   So happy making!  Thanks Blizzard!

On Saturday, I moved my Hunter through Draenor and now she’s working in Highmountain.  Dungeon times were so quick Friday evening and Saturday in the day.  Then on Sunday, longer times.  I even sent my Level 116 Priest into Waycrest Manor.  It was going really well, until somehow in the basement she was separated from the group, died a couple of times, and I was so embarrassed.  I left the group but it wouldn’t let go and eep, I think she’s still in there.  I’ll try to dig her out tomorrow.

I’m loving the extra xp.  It’s like the heady old days of leveling fast with a mix of quests and dungeons.  Only better.

I like to use Feedly these days to get my gaming new.  Everytime we have Internet issues, and reset the Wireless stuff, it doesn’t recognize my device and locks me out of my gmail for a couple of weeks, then suddenly it knows my device again.  Good thing I have all those blogs on my sidebar.

Stay safe! It’s a good time to be a gamer, in worlds far, far away.

GameNotes March 10, 2020

Finally I have the pictures of my ESO Lucky Cat Landing home.  It has a really pretty outside area with views, and all of the inside rooms are like jewels, very comfortable jewels.   As always, I wish there were more lighting, but I’ll have to add that.  My khajiit loves the place so much she has not left there since I purchased it.


The Splashscreen



The Lucky Cat Living Room



The Lucky Cat Kitchen


Up the stairs to a first bedroom.

The second bedroom.


World of Warcraft

Whiplash finally showed up so Atherne has the Stormsong Adventurer achievement.

Plugging away in the jungles of the Scholazar Basin, going from one group to the next killing more exotic prey than the last set.   I only have one single part of the Scholazar achievement so far, and I feel like I’ve been working there for a year.   It’s better than Coldarra.

My Hunter just got her fishing shack, I’m loading her inventory with nice food makings.  Life is good in Draenor.


Parallel Context: One Final Lesson

Read Redbeard’s new and lively tale set in Wow Classic’s evocative Elwynn Forest called One Final Lesson.

It is a really well done story of a family being terrorized by the Defias in the early days of that group taking advantage of the unprotected homesteads.  The characters feel like people you know, and you can picture all the scenes in Elwynn and in Stormwind.

GameNotes February 18, 2020

Mysteries, mysteries!

It seems to be a Golden Age of Mystery Games.   Ever since I searched out games with mystery elements at the Winter Steam Sale, I’m seeing reviews and notes about upcoming games everywhere.  It’s so exciting!  I want to collect them all in this window of time while they’re being produced.  I read mostly Science Fiction and Fantasy, but I’ve always loved Mysteries as well.

They’re often an intellectual exercise as we attempt to solve a crime, there are puzzles to solve, justice to be meted out.   In a game environment, you step right into the shoes of the detective, you can be in danger, you must be observant, ask questions.  As a way to generate plot in a game, mysteries can be rich stories with all of humanity’s foibles and strengths portrayed.

If the game’s stories and plots and characters are engaging, you can have a series starring your detective solving cases, and enjoy a return to the world just as you do in novels.

In a recent article, PC Gamer asked Who is your favorite videogame detective?

They present some suggestions from their forums and staff, there are lots of good suggestions!   They also link to an article they did last year The Best Detective Games On PC, which has even more ideas.

There are others I’ve noted recently:

Backbone (Developer Eggnut)   Description from Adventure Gamers

The planet is sprawling with anthropomorphic animal species. Streets of Vancouver are overgrown with ivy and humongous trees, branches and vines piercing through the concrete, and huge flowers nesting on top of the roofs. Howard Lotor is a raccoon private investigator. His mundane life is interrupted with the appearance of a powerful technology that can blur the lines of conventional order and change society forever.

Visit Eggnut


From  developer Media Tonic Murder by Numbers

I saw it mentioned on Rock Paper Shotgun.

Their description:

Honor’s boss is dead and she’s the primary suspect for foul play, meaning it’s time to roll up her sleeves and catch the real murderer. Unfortunately, Honor’s no detective, she just plays one on TV.


Via Kotaku, Aviary Attorney from Developer Sketchy Logic.

Kotaku’s description:

A frog has been murdered, a cat has been arrested, and the cat’s father hires Jayjay and Sparrowson to exonerate his daughter. Bird puns ensue. Great bird puns. Then come horse puns. Jayjay uses his deductive reasoning. Sparrowson uses his tenuous grasp of how the law works.

The artwork is incredible.


Out last year on PC (but I missed it)  Draugen from Red Thread Games.

The developer’s game description:

From the studio that brought you Dreamfall Chapters, and the creative team behind The Longest Journey and The Secret World, comes a first-person psychological mystery set in 1920s Norway.

The year is 1923. You play Edward Charles Harden, an American traveller who’s come to Norway to find his missing sister. But you’re never alone: every step of the way, Edward is accompanied by Lissie: a lively and enigmatic young woman with a mind of her own.

Together with Edward and Lissie, you must explore a forgotten coastal community nestled amongst the dark fjords and towering mountains of rural Norway, and unearth the terrible secrets that lie beneath the picturesque surface. And what begins as a quest for a missing woman becomes a journey into a painful past.


Not a mystery, but looking intriguing, was a post from Rock Paper Shotgun

I love Arthurian tales, myself.

Inkle Studios did 80 Days, which I’m familiar with, and Heaven’s Vault, an “archeological science fiction adventure game”.  Sounds perfect to me 🙂

They have lots more on their page, including a beta of Inklewriter, Write Your Very Own Interactive Stories.


Atherne is back to iLevel 426 so she’s just hanging around waiting for Whiplash to spawn in Stormsong.  Speaking of Stormsong, one of her World Quest rewards there was a 420 Ring that I didn’t immediately notice had +35 Corruption on it.  I popped that thing right in the Scrapper.  I’ll have to look more closely at the item stats everywhere, it seems.

I got my Mage to iLevel 314, so thought she could handle Nazjatar.  Pretty easy for her, to my surprise, and she’s on her way.   I remember when I fist got to Nazjatar, everything seemed to hit so hard.

My Hunter, on her last Pandaria level, is doing the Nesingwary questline before leaving the area.  I’ll miss her farm (sniff).


Darkmoon Faire, Classic

It turns out I was south of Thunder Bluff and the Mulgore Darkmoon Faire.  Checking a modern map, I made my way along through a fairly thickly infested area.   Finally the Faire!

It is very small, but most of the most familiar characters are there.

It turns out you give them 5 Copper Modulators (Rinling) or 3 Toughened Leather Armor and 3 Embossed Leather Boots to earn rewards (Chronos).

I was very tired when I got there, and there was no repair, so I just talked to all the carnies and gratefully ported home to Darnassus.

No repairs, but TWO Outhouses!

All that damaged armor and weaponry only cost 8 silver and 96 copper to repair, because her stuff is no good to begin with.   There were many parts of the trip where I wished I’d brought spares of everything.

I’ll just visit the Faire when it’s in Elwynn from now on!

GameNotes January 21, 2020

Elder Scrolls The Dark Heart of Skyrim trades dragons for vampires.  Extreme cold and vampires don’t sound appealing to me at this time, but I’ll wait to see more.


In World of Warcraft my Death Knight go to level 110 and I took her immediately to Boralus, super pleased to be able to skip the Battle of Lordaeron, in particular, and all the other cinematic and scenarios that keep your character from a pirate’s life.  She headed right over to Bridgeport in Tiragarde.  That was great.


Atherne, my main character, has been working in Uldum and The Vale in Pandaria on the new content.  From Uldum an ILevel 440 bracer was the reward.  Tonight when I logged in, I noticed it looked like my character had something in her hair.

Looking at her from the front, she had blotches on her face too. Purple.

It had to be the bracers.  Sure enough, when I took them off, the effects went away.  Grrr. I can’t stand unwanted cosmetic changes to my characters.  I began muttering about sitting this next expansion out.  I’ve plenty of characters to level, plus Classic, which will never be tainted by any icky changes ( so I tell myself).

Luckily today I find you can have these items cleansed by MOTHER.  If you have five Corrupted Mementos, of which I have none.  I’m on the lookout.


I settled for taking the piece off and putting my previous bracer on.  I can still kill everything I need to, so it should be alright.  We shall see!

Yucking it up in the Halls of Origination


Ye olde lever puzzle.  I ended up just running through till I got in the gate.  I cannot resist a lever puzzle.   There was also a block moving puzzle!  Lara must be nearby!





GameNotes January 14, 2020


I’ve been knocking out Achievements like mad over the weekend in World of Warcraft.  Tonight, just ahead of Uldum getting who knows what changes, I finished the questlines there with my Paladin, who I knew was farthest along.   There were a surprising number of cutscenes, but it was all pure Indiana Jones.  I had a hard time at first finding the quests to get started, but once I had one, I got more.

There were a few maddening sequences.  In one, you killed a Guardian and looted an orb from him, except the orb never dropped.   I did the sequence several times and finally just killed him outright, then I got the orb.


There were several where you needed to get mobs to 50% or 35% health, then use an object on them before they died.  Even unequipping my sword and trying to use my fishing pole did not work, one shot and the creatures were dead.   Luckily some canny character on Wowhead offered the advice to get a toy called a Soft Foam Sword.  This saved the day, and will surely help when I get to Outlands and Northrend.

You need the mob to be stationary (hello, camels, stop for a second!), then it takes a long slow swing.  You’ve got to be quick to use your object on them before they’re dead, because it took them way way down in health.  Still, I love my new foamie and will call it George.


What the actual…on this guy.   I couldn’t get him to stay down, his health popped back up and I finally ran out of his area and he went away.   He appeared as a dragon later and was flying around in a circle. He’d get hit by fire, fall, die, pop back up.  Very creepy.


Push, Pull

Now that I’m back to adventure games, I find The Grumpy Gamer’s post  really entertaining.    He’s definitely given the way you interact with objects a great deal of thought.   It seems to me most games either have an Interact key (E) or a hand that shows up when you can interact.


87 Games

Here’s a fresh take on the “best of the year lists'”  Stephen Totilo  from Kotaku   lists the 87 (!!!) games he played last year, arranged by what platform they’re on.   It’s fun to see the variety, and there are a few games worth jotting down and looking up.


Manifold Garden

If I see the world puzzle now, I take note.  Here’s a look at Manifold Garden, Monument Valley on steroids.   The scope and twists and turns are boggling.




Stay in the light, shadows are death!   This reminds me I need to get back to Alan Wake.

It’s got a science fiction storyline, and is of course a puzzle game.


Luna The Shadow Dust

Also looking very interesting is Luna: The Shadow Dust from Lantern Studio.  It’s a point and click adventure/puzzle game that also makes use of darkness and light.



GameNotes January 7, 2020

Who would think I’d be sad to see the Wow Anniversary time go by?  I’ve never paid much attention to it, really.  It’s the Rep Grind.  I’m exalted with the 7th Legion and only have four boxes to go for Champions of Azeroth.  Then its a long slog for the Waveblades and the Tortollans.   It goes without saying Die Rustbolt, Die.

I’m turning my attention back to leveling the Blackwater Raiders characters to level 120 in defiance (defiance, I say!) of the upcoming 70 level Level Squish.   Why do they keep squishing things, really?  They’re like rats on a wheel sometimes, chasing numbers.

I’m also working on Achievements with Atherne.  As long as I’ve been playing, she should really have more.  Inching those up as well.  The idea is to start with BFA areas, then work my way downwards through the expansion areas.  Kind of a grand tour before it’s all squished irreparably.

We’ll get a look at the tone of things very soon with the next patch.

Classic mostly my Paladin still.   She’s the only one in a guild (the others poofed and I left one where the people weren’t as nice as they’d been at the start).   There seems to be a low level of activity though, and I rarely see the guild leader on, so this one may go the way of the brown mule as well.

Haven’t played any of my new things over the weekend, and have just been logging into ESO for the daily rewards.

It’s Darkmoon Faire Week.  I’m super excited for the Arcade games to come to the faire next time around (I hope).   Where might they set them down?  I miss healing the Carnies for the First Aid.  They were always so happy and grateful (sniff).


GameNotes December 31, 2019

Happy New Year!

In an attempt to do a best of the decade report, I looked at the best games of the year from 2009-2019.  In all but one year I picked a single game I have, and have played and enjoyed.   If I didn’t care for anything, I wrote None.  There are a fair few of those!

On the plus side, many of the games I bought recently and am looking forward to playing were on the top pc games lists for their years.  Good stuff ahead!

My Favorite Games 2009-2019

2009 Dragon Age: Origins

2010   Bioshock 2    and  Mass Effect 2

2011  Elder Scrolls Skyrim

2012 Torchlight 2

2013 None

2014 Dragon Age Inquisition

2015   Fallout 4

2016  None

2017  None

2018 None

2019  None


World of Warcraft, BFA

Atherne is at Exalted with Proudmoore Admiralty, Storm’s Wake and the Order of Embers.  I’m working to get the rest while the extra rep xp lasts, except for the dread Rustbolt.

My Paladin is also working on her rep and on gearing up.  She was further ahead ILevel wise than the other 120s, as I had sent her to Nazjatar at some point.    Somehow I’ve become a fan of rep grinding and can’t stop.

The third character getting limited playtime over the last week is my Hunter who is sailing through Pandaria with her trusty crab Oscar.   I took him in one dungeon, and at one point someone said “bad BAD crab!” so I guess I was not attentive and he pulled a few mobs.  Tsk.   Sorry, Oscar.

I’ve been decorating a few of my character’s garrisons for Winter Veil.  Atherne’s is the best because she has so many followers walking all around, it truly is festive.

Wow Classic

I had not played this over the holidays at all, or barely.  I’m back in working between my Feral Druid and my Paladin.

I did the Winter Veil quests only on my Paladin, who looks adorable as a gnome elf.   I fear I’m holidayed out, so a return to normal would be welcome.


More from the Steam Sale

What a fiend!

Moebius Empire Rising (Jane Jensen)

The Tesla Effect (Tex Murphy)

Shady Brook, A Dark Mystery Text Adventure

Full Throttle Remastered

Indiana Jones and the Emperor’s Tomb

Titanic Adventure Out of Time

I have a really nice list laying in wait for the next sale.  I also find myself looking at game reviews, and if they are mysteries and have puzzles, boink!   They go on my list.

So far, I’ve only looked at Bioshock Infinite, The Call of Cthulu, and Nancy Drew and the Silent Spy.

As you probably know, Bioshock Infinite and The Call of Cthulu are “hand games” with the Cthulu hands being all bloody and eeew.   As my son remined me, I did used to play these first person shooters all the time, including the much revered Half Life with its wrench.  I don’t recall the hands thing bothering me.  I did figure out why they bug me now though.  It’s all the crochet (and other)  You Tube videos where you never see the person, but only their hands.  And you notice their nails (and what’s under them eek), you notice the skin–smooth, scaly, whatever.  I kind of hate them.  So they’re what put me off the first person shooters with the gangly, bloody or claw-like hands.   There’s always a reason.

I originally played Bioshock Infinite only up to a certain point, in my first playthrough long ago. I haven’t gotten to that point again in my new game of it.  What a bizarre society.  I do like the clothes and storefronts and the floating city of a weird alternate 1912.

The Call of Cthulu is pretty grim and dark, but the lead guy is a detective, so I’ll likely enjoy it.

Nancy Drew and the Silent Spy is unexpectedly really good.  It’s relaxing, has lots of puzzles, I like the voiceovers.  The story is certainly interesting.   I like having my notebook out again for a game, taking clue notes, making drawings.


GameNotes December 24, 2019

Merry Christmas!  I hope you’ll find some good games under the tree or a Steam Sale Card in your stocking.  I looked at a few things during the “autumn sale” a few weeks ago, but nothing appealed at the time.  In a merrier mode this sale season, I had the best time reading about games I might like, looking specifically for RPGs and Mysteries, but also looking through current popular titles just in case.  By the time this posts (it was written longer than usual in advance) I will have peeked at a few of these.  I’ll save my thoughts till the December 31st game notes, so I have some interesting notes to finish out the year.

My purchases:

Bioshock Infinite (I have the disc but it was cheap and I thought it might be simple to just purchase and install on Steam)

Call of Cthulhu (While reading about The Sinking City, Call of Cthulhu kept coming up in comparison.  It also was well reviewed on Steam and came up in a few articles I read.)

Hollow Knight  (A platformer, but weirdly gothic looking and described as darkly atmospheric.  Well reviewed.  Wish me luck on the platform jumps.  Haven’t played a platformer in ages)

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter (Mystery, well reviewed, cheap)

What Remains of Edith Finch (Mystery, well reviewed, a fair few bloggers seem to have played it. )

The Wolf Among Us (Telltale Games, have never played, always well regarded. A sequel in the works. Came up in Mystery game reviews.)

Sherlock Holmes Bundle!  (This has six of the games.  I was going to try the generally reviewed  favorite The Secret of the Silver Earring, but, yo, what a good deal.)

Jenny LeClue, Detective (episode one, it seems, but a Mystery, liked by Steamers.  Cute and has an attitude. Plink.)

Don’t tell my husband I bought all this. (Elder Scrolls just popped in there…have had for a long time….)


Looked at:

Blacksad, but lots of comments about poor controls, which can be maddening.  I’ll wait for a controls fix which will hopefully come.

Cuphead   I know it’s supposed to be super hard, but I may crack yet.

Disco Elysium  The graphical style is off-putting.  It takes place in a single city block? Isometric?

XCom 2   Not what I hoped it might be.  Thought more strategic, spy like.

Subnautica    May crack. I have dubbed the first person perspective games “hand games” because all you see are the creepy hands at the bottom of the screen.  It looked pretty, was well reviewed, seems to have interesting gameplay.

Dark Souls  The title comes up a lot so I thought maybe, but nope, looks all hack and slash.  Commenters mention the awesome armor…zzzzz….

Black Mirror 1  One reviewer compared it to the old game Sanitarium.  You won’t have played it, but it was fascinating, crazy, but very buggy.  I was compelled to play through despite constant crashes.  The trailer for Black Mirror was very odd, with this long sequence showing an old man writing in his study in a tower.  There appears to be something coming up the side of the tower towards his window.  The view switches between the two, and finally, finally the window bursts open and the old man gets popped out the window.  Reviewers on Steam liked the game but many mentioned how incredibly slow the narrator and everything in the game moved, which, if the trailer sequence is an indicator, could be torturous.

Return of the Obra Dinn sounded great but whoa, black and white graphics with an odd sparkling, strobing light effect.  My eyes hurt after a few moments of the trailer.

Nancy Drew  Jury is out on trying one.  I really like the CW series and am likely to try the first couple of books in the series too.  The games? Dunno.

Outer Worlds, another “hands game” that sounds so good but doesn’t look that great in clips and there’s the creepy hand thing.  On sale again though.


Need ideas?

From PC Gamer, the Best Detective Games on PC

Games Radar  25 Best RPGs to Cozy Up with This Winter

Rock Paper Shotgun’s Best RPGs on PC in 2019, but many of these just aren’t going to run.