Mass Effect Legendary Edition

Here we go! I’ve just begun the first Mass Effect game from scratch, and if this released in March, I should be able to see how I like the “soldier” build, and I’ll either start anew with that for this update, or choose one of the others. I had originally thought this remaster was just the first Mass Effect, but it’s the first three. Wow. Here’s my wallet, guys!


Creaks is a new platformer game from Amanita Design.   They call it a puzzle adventure.

I find the Edward Gorey like art appealing.   The character, though silent, is hapless, yet determined, so far.  I’m sure I’m still in the tutorial.  This is the first game I’ve bought not as part of a sale or an expansion upgrade in quite a long time.


Controls are the arrow keys to move and the spacebar to select/interact.   Having watched the trailer and the moves the character makes along the way, this surprised me.



Though you see small sections on your screen at a time, a scene where the character climbs down and down a ladder provides potential for a large area, perhaps.



I stopped when I saw his first potential enemy.  The look on his face.  Maybe it’s a good dog.


Two For The Show

My Warrior gained 120 and next up is my Enhancement Shaman.

Starting at level 71 earlier in the week, she’s at 84 today.  I left her behind for a long while, but she has been very easy to play.  I feel guilty for having left her behind.  Somehow in my Shadowlands strategy I want to keep all the BWR characters at the same level.

I can’t guarantee my Monk will crawl forward to 120 though.  Maybe she’s not so bad once I concentrate on learning how to play her class.   First the Shaman.

I’m pretty sure I chose to try Enhancement Shaman because I thought her totems would enhance not just her, but her fellow dungeoneers.  Nope.  Very disappointing.

Her Healing Surge is one limp heal.  Even so, sometimes it’s a teensy moment’s escape from death.

She’s doing super well in dungeons except when things occasionally go awry.

Thanks to my brother-in-law, I find myself transmogging everyone’s outfits as soon as they have a few coins.  The Shaman looked good in blue, with her ghostly pale coloring.


You’ll recall I ran a Hunter on another server to 120.  Every other character there is very low level. So no armor, potions, bags, any support of any kind from the other characters there.  Agh.  On Blackwater Raiders, every crafter is max level and can make her useful things!  It is pretty great.  Including my Inscriptionist who had the glyph for this cool Spirit Form:


I will note briefly it is depressing to look at Inscription these days.  It is so gutted of anything fun or useful.  Give me those scrolls and glyphs back! (Shakes fist)


Shadowlands in beta.  Hurry hurry to get these two last classes to max!  Don’t squish them yet!

I did not opt in for alpha, nor do do I plan to opt in for beta.  I usually crack to get a peek, but yech, this one is going to be a rough sell.  A few bloggers are getting access now so they can do the suffering and cautioning or recommending.  Popcorn is at the ready.

Even without opting in I keep checking my launcher just in case.  What. A. Fish.



Flat Atherne

There’s a ton of information out this week on Shadowlands, way to much to absorb at once.  In my own analytical way, I thought I should pare down what I think in small bits.   The part I am of course focused on, and am not happy with, is the Level Squish.  So  I was thinking of good post titles with the word Squish in  it, without having any analysis ready–lets face it , a zippy post title always comes first.

I remembered Flat Stanley, a book I actually haven’t read.  Yeah, there we go, our characters are all getting flattened.  There was a Flat Stanley Project, wherein kids could download their own Stanley’s and color them, then send them in the mail to some other kid.

So, looking at my Atherne character, I have created her as a Flat Stella (the girl version).  So like the original!   I free-handed that hammer, I’ll have you know.


With this ready to go, I can now study the Squish and report back.   I’ll be writing once a week or more, who knows, but am not doing the Tuesday GameNotes going forward.   Thanks for stopping by!

GameNotes March 17, 2020

Unexpected, eh?  I’m trying to work with Word and creating layers.  Making progress!  It occurred to me after I finished this, Goblins probably look more like leprechauns.  Oops.  Green Lepre-Orc is good enough for this year.


Atherne has moved to Ice Crown in Northrend, attempting to finish the Northrend achievement before the SQUISH, and God knows what else.  Look at poor Uldum and the Vale.

As itchy as I was to finish the Scholazar Basin, Ice Crown is really an awful place.  I played through parts of it with various characters.  Every time I log in and work on some quests, I think “this is why I skipped through this content and most of Northrend”.

I’m kind of dead meat, unless the next expansion and it’s squishiness comes out in September or further out.  I’ve only completed two areas, argh.  I’d have Dragon Blight if the quests hadn’t dried up.  I’ll backtrack after Ice Crown, I think.  Dragon Blight will look utterly charming in comparison, will it not?   I don’t mind Storm Peaks, Grizzly Hills (can’t wait for the exploding outhouse quest), and Howling Fjord.  Zul’ Drak is another grim one.  Why did I like this expansion when it came out?   It had to be the dungeons and dungeon finder.


As I’m working with my Hunter in Draenor, I’m still enjoying it.  As I do the Mission Table, and the Fishing Daily, and the Mine daily run, and try to trap animals for my Barn, I begin to see how people got a bit caught up in some of the rat-on-a-wheel aspects.  I never did, but it is my way to just play the parts I like and ignore the parts I don’t.


Not game related, but we’re all Who fans here, right?  If not Who, you know you love Oscar.  Win, win.



Be safe!  Stay out of Ice Crown!

Feathering My Nest: Christmas Garrison Decorating

I thought I had decorated more of my characters Garrisons for Christmas and Halloween (ya ya, called other things), but no. I am finding that my Atherne character is really the only one who can do the Grumpus, a 120 Gold Elite.  Everyone else’s characters have crummy item levels so the Grumplings just pound them.

Luckily Ath can just send others the Merry thingies they need, ho ho ho.  Slow but I do the love the decorations, and between turns, I’m sending everyone who has a garrison home to snuggle down and who knows, build new buildings, generally feather their Garrison nests.

Back to snoozing in her old bed.


Random Garrison NPC Glark Criswold.   He’s checking all the bulbs, seriously.

The annoying Grumpus


GameNotes December 17, 2019

I haven’t played since Sunday’s grand flight accomplishment.  Tonight I peeked in, ran a few relaxing world quests with Atherne, then sent her to her merrily decorated garrison, so full of NPCs that she adventured with in Draenor.  It remains one of my favorite expansions.  They should be adding more holiday and other décor to Garrisons, there is still time!


After all the tribulations in Mechagon, I set her down for the night at her Inn amongst the convivial company, including John J. Keeshan who is everywhere.  It felt like home.


I spent a little time doing World Quests with my Rogue.  I like doing them in most cases anyway, but she can really use the item upgrades, the gold, the War Resources.   Going forward I’ll gear up my 120s, level the others on Blackwater Raiders, and just enjoy the game.   Speaking of enjoyable, what glory to just fly from World Quest to World Quest.  What a time saver.


I made note of Ken Levine’s new studio Ghost Story Games.  I’ll have to sign up for the newsletter.   It’s always exciting when favorite developers start new ventures.  I love the name!


Happy gaming, baking, shopping and wrapping till next week!


Screenshot Sunday (IntPiPoMo)

I meant to do a screenshot Saturday, but Sunday is also alliterative and available.  I’m looking at some of my recent downloads, and through my vast screenshot archives to make a nice dent in my IntPiPoMo numbers.


Elder Scrolls Online

I’ve started the new Dragonguard quest line which should lead me to Southern Elsweyr.

It all began for my character in Auridon with a trip to Tanziwell, and a group of clues leading to a secret chamber. Kasura is your guide.


The secret chamber.


The Valley of Blades sounds pretty exciting, but I was disappointed that it was mostly a ruin.  Maybe a great deal of fighting training goes on amongst the broken pillars and fallen walls. Perhaps it’s an ideal place tactically.


Someone’s a fan of Wow’s Stormheim, I’m thinking, because you get to use a Grappling Bow, much like the grappling hook used by the Vrykul and you. I loved those hooks.


Big beefy Sai Sahan accompanies you to Wind Scour Temple, deep in one of my favorite places, the Alik’r Desert.  You’re going to look for anything that will help you learn the secrets of the legendary Dragonguard, so you can fight the dragons of Elsweyr.


Alan Wake! 

My son got me past the beginning axe man sequence, so I went in to take a look.   Being warned that you should just run when there are too many enemies right off, eek.


We open with Alan on a ferry ride.  Welcome to Bright Falls!


Alan’s wife, who is slightly creepy and none too likeable so far, asks Alan to pose with “the old man at the railing”.  He’s the local radio host who would love to interview Alan.  It turns out Alan is taciturn and none too friendly.  He says he just wants a quiet time here, but he seems to mostly be a jerk.  Just my opinion.   The character faces are a little rough around the edges though the scenery is beautiful.

Alan’s an author, and his agent plans to hound him by phone.


A stop for the cabin keys at the local cafe gives you an opportunity to meet a few locals and learn how to maneuver and interact.   Oops, the boss is in the bathroom, and Alan is too antsy to give him the personal time.  When Alan approaches the guy in the bathroom, a strange woman in a veil pops up behind him to give him the keys.


At the cozy cabin, the lights aren’t on.  Night is incoming and it turns out Alice is afraid of the dark.  Our first look at the World By Flashlight. I didn’t notice while playing but what’s with the little flashlight in the upper left of the screen? Charges? Number of flashlights?  His wife did seem to indicate she’d bought a few of them.  She hangs out on the deck while insisting Alan go to the shed behind the house to get the generator working.


I had a little trouble figuring out how they wanted to get the generator started.  There’s a circular indicator and a little mouse button picture.  In the cafe, you started the jukebox by pressing the left mouse repeatedly.  Here, it was a little different sequence but luckily the lights went on.


The nicely lit house and relaxing time with his wife was cut short when she delightedly presented him with a den complete with typewriter and paper.  She’s eager for him to overcome his writer’s block, giving him no escape from it at all.  Angry, he runs outside to be alone.  Cue all the lights in the house going out, with Alice screaming for him, then shouting get away from me.

How like me to panic immediately, get turned around in the dark, and end up by the car high above the cabin.  Sorry Alice, if you’re already dead.

So…heading back down, get attacked by a swarm of crows who have been hanging around…open door…and back up at the car.  It seems to have crashed?  Alan has no idea what has happened.  I had a bad moment the axe man would pop up but no.   Fortuitously, he’s just 200 yards from Stuckey’s friendly café.  He should go there for help, right?  I stopped at this checkpoint because I was scared and the movement of the game made me a little queasy.   The combination will have me playing in short sessions.   I do like the story of it so far.


14 pictures for IntPiPoMo in this post

Total 19


GameNotes November 5, 2019


I watched only up to and through the World of Warcraft segments.  The All Access channel presenters seemed very disorganized, and were interviewing an eSports guy at length even as the show started on the main stage.  Grrr.

My interest was as much in the mood of the crowd and how the speakers acted as in the information.

I have not cared for J Allen Brack in the past, but I thought his apology was heartfelt.  I’ve seen game staff explain the NGE and lead ups to SWTOR where you’d think someone off camera was threatening the speaker or his family.  There was  real fear in the eyes of those folks.  Brack meant what he said and took responsibility.  I would be surprised if he made all of those bad decisions on his own, but he took the shot for them, and I appreciate that.  It seems some people wanted more depth, but it’s a game convention, not the Senate, where no one ever takes responsibility for anything.

I wrote down that the Diablo 4 cinematic was long and overblown.  Still isometric but with a tiny peek under the hood from some angles.  The response from the audience to the cinematic and presentation was tepid.  There’s the guy all excited with his “we’re taking you to Hell” battle cry and I don’t feel that’s where the audience wanted to go.

Then we get Shadowlands, the leaked title of the next World of Warcraft expansion.  I was hoping it would be something else, but a leak is a leak.   Strike two on cinematics.  This was dim and dark and featured Sylvanas taking down the Lich King with her pinkie.   I thought she had a few good moments early in BFA.  Since then, her low growl and rising invulnerability make her uninteresting.  I don’t see her as any type of heroine.  She’s become soul less and evil.  She tears down the veil between life and death. Why?

This is certainly not the story players needed after being dragged through the recent war.  They needed some other adventure.  Something good for a change.

Level squish.  I’ll get over it, but I really feel unmotivated to level anyone to 120, knowing they’re going to lose 70 levels with Shadowlands.   I can see no reason for setting everyone back just to crawl back up to where we were someday, if they let us.  I think they should reconsider, and stop endlessly tweaking class skills, up 3%, down 5%, and on and on.   They should have that all down pat by now.  Work on other parts of the game. Add housing. Add guild halls. Put Guild perks back in and develop how those make it rewarding to play together.  Build a world, not just a theme park.  Take a good look at the ways people work together in Classic, not because they’re forced to, but because it’s a better, faster experience.  Because it makes you happy to help someone, and it feels good to get help with a quest that you’re chipping away at.

Cleric. So caring!  It’s the Mom Thing.



From IGN, the 21 Side Quests that are always in RPGs

They certainly have a lot of them pegged!  Of them, I actually love to get the Murder Mystery types.


The Five Games of Time To Loot

I’ll bite on this (now meme).  Its very easy!

Star Wars Galaxies Emu

World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft Classic

Elder Scrolls Online

Everquest 2



This week I struggled getting my Priest to Level 10.  Molasses is the word that kept coming to mind.  No exciting level 10 quest, they simply send you to Stormwind to talk to a Priest in the Cathedral of Light who hands you the Desperate Prayer skill.


The other character getting playtime was my Paladin.  She even went in the Deadmines!  A successful run, but not without death.  Several.  Ya, ya, still no decent pants.


I liked the way these two dead creatures looked like they were talking.



Three IntPiPoMo pics for today.  Up to four total.  I’ll have to toss in more posts to get to 50!