Thursday, May 31, 2012

Outside The Box

A different direction...

Last week I wrote about different directions in MMO games besides combat. This week Chris at Level Capped has a couple of great posts about the topic as well. I really think that we need more creative avenues in or MMO games for new games to really stand out. We don't need more of the same that we've been seeing over the past decade. I don't think I am alone with these feelings, people seem to be growing bored with games before they are even past the six month mark.

I'm not saying combat in MMO games is killing them, we need more interesting aspects on the side though. How many new MMO games come out with housing? Some add it in after a few years but most just skip this and go with the tried and true model. I don't want an MMO with a Facebook game feeling, but what keeps me interested is one that offers many different things to do, different directions to choose from.

More games to dabble with choices?

I've dabbled in a few games over the last few weeks, on the side. Stuff that isn't merely focused on combat. I've not spend large amounts of time in these games but I figured I'd throw a few out there with some thoughts on them. These are nothing new and groundbreaking but merely some fun and refreshing alternatives.

Glitch- Yes, I've already mentioned this in my previous posts. However, I had a chance to play around with it again recently (since some changes recently) and I found that I now have a home. Previously when I played I didn't have one and it, if I am remembering correctly, was a bit expensive to buy one. This time I could go directly to my place and pick a style of my choosing. I really liked that, more accessible in a casual style game. So if you haven't logged in for quite awhile, go check out your new house!

Small Worlds- If you ever played the Sims Social on Facebook you might enjoy this game. If you like the sims you might enjoy it, heh. I liked the FB sims game, but I often got bored from running out of energy and ended up logging in less and less. This game is very similar except you have many different places to explore and many games to play within this world. You start out with your own home which you can decorate, dress your little person and even have a pet. It is free to play with a subscription option as well. It's laid back and fun- Or so it was for me in the brief time I spend puttering around with it. Plus, it is online and you can play with friends if you're looking for a more open 'sim' world.

Kaneva- This one I thought was very cute. It is similar to Second Life but it seems to have less room for customization. The graphics are a bit old school but have their own charm. The upside is that the places you travel load to your computer before you travel, meaning you really have zero lag. When compared to Second Life it is a nice change, I really hate how SL streams everything. It isn't as flashy but it has many games to play, choices of where to go and you are also given a free apartment when you start. You can buy or make clothing and your inventory is extremely easy to access. I played a couple of fun little games and thought it was nice to have lots of activities to choose from in a casual laid back atmosphere. I went ice-skating and found snowflakes for a penguin then I busted some dance moves, thus far.

Blue Mars- This game is another virtual world similar to Second Life, it was developed with the CryEngine 2. You can register as a player or a developer. It offers housing, customization and designing. I don't know how extensive it can get but the world seemed nice, not too laggy and this is another which downloads the files before you travel to your destination. I briefly played this one but it appears to have games, places to explore and a shop for clothing and such. I haven't spent much time in it other than to look around a bit, I have no idea how many people play it but I did see a few. Inventory is pretty smooth and clean, seems to have potential but just not sure how much depth.

Anything Else?

I'll leave you with a few other options I did not have a chance to try yet. Some of them looked interesting but you'll have to decide for yourself. Different players look for different things in their games so some might not be as appealing as others.

Meez- A 3D avatar game which seems to offer games, avatar customization, housing and pets.

Whirled- This is more of a side scroller which offers the chance to play games, make stuff and make friends. It offers housing, fun games and basically you pick a look from many or you can make your own. Sort of different from the others I mentioned but still cute. It reminds me of 'The Palace' a chatroom I messed around with in 1999 or so, where you could customize your own avatars. I sat for hours creating avatars!...Okay, I logged in for two minutes and logged out, not enough time to say I played it, RL called and needed me ;)

Subeta- Another that I am very vague on which focuses on avatars and pets. It seems if you are artistic you can create your own and share with others in forums. There are games to play also. The art looked lovely, could be something interesting. I could be wrong about the direction of the game, it looks lovely though, the art style.

How about you?

Know of a great little game that you'd like to share? Something less mainstream? Please feel free to share in the comments, I'd love to hear about what you like to play or something I've never heard of.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

NBI- YOU DID IT! (Links)

NBI Bloggers! Take your award and display it proudly!

This month we've had a great bunch of additions to the gaming blogosphere with the NBI. I still have many to check out, I've just been so busy but I've enjoyed the additions thus far and look forward to going through the complete list and finding some more wonderful blogs.

It sometimes can take a lot of guts to take that leap and start writing. Keep at it, stick with it and don't get discouraged! While you may not always get comments you will generate readers as time goes. I'm probably one of the worst offenders these days, I read tons of blogs on my phone and don't always get to comment, sometimes when I do it is a day or two later. I'm like a feed reader junkie and really love reading them all, I always love finding new blogs to add to my reader.

A few years ago I cut the list down  because I had several hundred. It's grown again but this time I'm keeping them all in there, sometimes you remove a good blog and can't find it again, gah. Let the list grow! My blogroll doesn't reflect this and one of these days I need to convert it to what I actually have in my feed.

I also wanted to link all the bloggers that have joined the NBI this month, the link was shamelessly stolen from Syp . There were also many wonderful sponsor blog posts this month too, I really enjoyed reading them as well. Check the link to Syp's page for the complete list of advice blogs.

Also a big thanks to Syp for all the hard work and effort put into the project! Also thanks for asking me to be a part of this. While I wasn't as active as other bloggers, due to life getting in the way and a move, I hope I helped with some advice!

My last bit of advice and things to keep in mind:
*Try to be active, keep some sort of schedule. Even if it is one day a week, don't let your blog get too dusty. If you need a few weeks off a good idea is to let readers know- Hey, I'm not gone, just taking a bit of a break. IMO it helps. 

*Be friendly, get to know other bloggers, make friends! You don't have to be best friends, but get out there and comment. Interact with people who comment on your own blog. It really carries over. Even ask to trade links. 

* Proof reading. Skim over your posts at least. I guarantee you'll see something you could fix. I always do. Be proud of your work and presentation. Some people don't like to proofread and editing but many times you'll be really glad you did take a second look. Break things up because, especially on mobile devices, a wall of text can be hard on the eyes as well as hard to follow. 

*Don't get discouraged. We all have those days where we just feel like throwing in the towel. Think things over, the feeling usually goes away, especially if you love writing about what you do. Keep your head up and move forward! I've had a few times where I felt like it but I'm always glad that I kept at it. 

*You're pretty damn awesome! You did it! Don't second guess yourself. We're all just a bunch of gamers here writing about what we love. Take pride in what you do. I am my biggest fan and my own worst critic, don't be too hard on yourself. 

Advice Post
Checking In

If you're not a blogger, the list below has some fresh new blogs full of great reads, take a look at it! If you missed out on the NBI but you still want to have a go at it, there is a lot of information over at the NBI forums and advice to help you get started.

NBI Blog List

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I Can Has Pets (Vanguard)

I'm really enjoying the Necro in Vanguard. Over the weekend I took advantage of the double xp. I started at 16 and ended up halfway through 22. Only a few levels under my Disciple now. The Disc is a lot of fun and tough as nails, but I dunno, I think I needed a change. It's been very fun, but then again I love, love, love pet classes and I have to say this is one of my favorites. The mechanics are just right, when it comes to my play-style. I'd even go as far as say it is probably the best Necro class I've played.

My first Necro was in EverQuest and it really is a fun class there too. I loved fear kiting for awhile, aggro kiting got boring sometimes because the mobs could take so long to die and the pets didn't always tank so well- Depending on what you were killing and now if you have a merc. But it was a solid and fun class for the most part. Rift has a great Necro class but it just didn't feel too powerful and I often felt overwhelmed with it compared to my Chloro build. The pets were awesome though. Even the warlock in WoW is a close pet class to the Necro. It just wasn't 'Necro' enough though.

I love the lifetaps, dots, instant cast spells and great pets. Pets in Vanguard are able to wear grafts, which is basically pet gear. EQ is really the only other game I play where you can gear pets, but this goes a step further, the grafts stays with the pet, it doesn't poof if the pet dies. You gain more slots as you level too, love this. The way you obtain grafts is to either buy them, or have someone give you one of course, or you can also harvest them from corpses. How creepy, cool is that?!

Last night I obtained a new pet, he has a limited duration (the tall skeleton in the pic up top), but it is around ten minutes and you can call him back out without worrying about a long cool down (I think it is something like .02, basically a global CD). He only attacks when I am hit but that isn't hard to work out, with lifetaps it's cake. He taunts too which is nice and has a decent amount of hit points. I read this pet was very weak, but he is either bugged or the spell was changed over time, I'm going with the idea that it's been changed some since release. So, I'm really lovin' this pet, I now have him and my standard pet who can tank also. The character feels a lot tougher at this level too. More spells, more pets, more fun.

I've been craving a good pet class for awhile and I'm glad Vanguard is delivering with the Necromancer. My only complaint is that the feign death spell is a quest, seriously?! Ah well it is a tough one so I'll work on it in a few levels, I don't really know anyone anymore.

This is one class that started out slow and really bloomed into a fantastic class. If you want some great Vanguard Necro tips/info VG Necro is a great site, it's older but a lot of data is still very handy. Like how to rename your pet, found that there-/petname (insert name here). There is even a great list of slash commands, even if you're not a Necro it's a handy list.

That's it for today. Right now I have a kid wanting to go swimming before the sun sets! Safe adventures, all! Enjoy the pictures, I loved visiting those places!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Eye Candy

Ding 20 (Necromancer)!

Some other adventurers I stumbled across while traveling in Vanguard, lovely Shaman bird pet there!

Resting under a tree while checking the map. 


Just me and my minion, under the moon. 

Lovely cave in Second Life.

Guardians of the lake.

Twig and I exploring a new sim.

Resting at the lake.

Aw, froggies.

Checking out every interesting corner!


I hope he isn't hungry!

Me, flying as a dragon. 

Lovely sunset (my favorite sky setting in SL- you can pick your own to use or stick with the default). 

Checking someones yard out, so pretty. Kept waiting for them to say 'Get off my lawn'... lol. 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Looking For Land In Tealon

This weekend I'm in real MMORPG mood. Craving a large world to explore and quest within. Vanguard is the game for me this weekend. SOE is having a double experience weekend too, which is awesome for catching up my alt. I thought about playing some EQ2, I'm just at the point where it isn't as appealing anymore. I may login to EQ and work on some AA with my Magician.

For the most part I plan to work on my VG Necromancer over the weekend. I played my Disciple a bit but I felt I was in the mood to play a pet class, I'd have to say the VG necromancer is one of my favorite pet classes. I've already gotten her another level yesterday evening.

I wanted to explore yesterday evening, look for land for my new house. I am so excited about that aspect. So I decided to go off and look around. In Vanguard you purchase a vacant plot then build there. You have to look around different areas sometimes. A lot of plots are near guild halls, which is nice too, if you can find one near your guild.

I also used my new boat (which I dubbed 'Ducky", lol) to travel around and look at land. I didn't find the perfect plot but I found one which was nice, set off alone. I've paid it up for two weeks and I cannot wait to get a house put down there! I like the Qalia areas, those types of houses are nice. I'd like an oriental type (Kojan) but I think all of those plots are 10 gold, vs the 2.5 I paid, so maybe in a few levels I'll shop around.

My own little piece of Telon!

It does take a bit of time to travel but where is the rush? I'm not in any type of rush and it is nice to be able to drink in the scenery and music in an MMO. I'm quite enjoying exploring again. I'm glad I kept my sub going.

I need to find a new guild with my characters, each time I join one it just seems to have less and less people log in. I might look for one this evening, we'll see if there are any active casual ones I can get a hold of. Probably a great night to try, being the weekend and double xp.

The Necro in Vanguard is a really fun class. It feels 'classic'. By that I mean a caster that can't take many hits but has a lot of fun tools to use to help with that, pets, snares, fears and such. Plus the class is pretty flexible with the pet tanking and pet heals, lifetap over time spells. It reminds me of my MMO roots, playing a Necro in EverQuest, my first class in an MMO. I can't wait to get feign death! I really enjoy my Disc a lot but it is relaxing to play a caster in VG.

I'd like to work on my Shaman some but I get so antsy on her that I can't stick with it long. I want 15 for my pet but she's only 11! One of these days I'll work her up some. She's suppose to be my duo char with Dire, but his account has already expired. He's so tired lately he doesn't play much besides D3. But I don't mind, VG is sort of my game to relax and just go off alone in. It's very easy to get lost in a far corner of the world of Telon!

Hope everyone has a great weekend and safe adventures!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Daily Grind... This & That

As the week wraps up I'm level 19 in Diablo III. While some are finishing up the game I'm still chugging along. It's a great game but I play it on the side so I'm moving at a much slower pace. Grouped a bit last night but I probably won't play again until the weekend, unless my son asks. On the Diablo subject- Pando's Lighter Side of WoW blog has a really cool post up here. It has to do with rainbows,flowers, and... unicorns, lol. Thought I'd share that interesting post.

If you play Vanguard you might have noticed that the June loyalty reward quest is out but broken. I think it slipped out with the update. It isn't suppose to be out, but hey, we're getting free materials to build a house when it really is out next month! I had hoped for a flying mount but you never know what is in store ahead. Maybe the level 20 quest one will be added before the summer is over. So, I'll be hunting for a plot to buy this weekend. I want to go ahead and get a good one before everyone rushes out to buy some land, lol. My new ship should come in handy for this!

I managed to get into the final TSW beta event, but it isn't telling just when that will be. I'll enjoy checking this game out. Funcom also has anniversary gifts out for premium and free players of AoC. I received an email about it earlier, I might have to log in and check it out. Just don't know if I'll have the time. I do miss that game sometimes.

In other news EverQuest is boosting the AA modifier to around 1000% instead of the current 500%, or so I read on the forums. This won't decay around the current 2,500 AA number but instead around 4,000 AA points. So, it will be easier to catch up on this part of the game. This update is scheduled for next month. Give or take that's the gist I got from this thread.

That's it for today! Safe adventures!

Second Life And Destinations

A few days ago Killington asked for some good locations in Second Life. I've been a little under the weather the last couple of days but I still wanted to get this out there. It can be a bit daunting to start in SL and have no idea where to go. I had no idea about what was what, when I started. There are tons of sims to visit but knowing how to access them can be a bit confusing. My avatar was ugly, I didn't know where to find any good places and I was feeling a bit meh. That was over a year ago and I've made my way to better looking places with a better looking avatar (it never looks the same these days)!

There is a search function within the game, even if you use another viewer- other than the one from Linden Labs. I mainly use Firestorm, it seems to run smoother and really well, especially lately. Other than that there is the destination guide, that is a wonderful tool for travel and exploration. You can keep tabs on what events are up and running as well.

The destination guide offers all kinds of choices to look through. There are clubs, role playing sims, castles, games, events, and the list goes on. You really can spend a lot of time in some of these sims just exploring around. I really like to check out the events, some have treasure type hunts, zombie killing sprees, fairs, pet conventions, fashion conventions. Tons of stuff! So, if you're wondering where some good places to check out can be found, the destination guide is your best bet to finding something that might interest you! I'm always on the look out for freebies and fun things, this can be a great tool for that. Simply click on the location in the browser [travel now] and it will pop up a window in game to travel to the chosen destination!

Now that you have how to travel under your belt, I'll share a few locations I really like, ones that are newer to me. The location pictured at the top was one that closed in March of this year, it was so gorgeous. I will always treasure those pictures, it was so beautiful there and it had so much fun stuff! Locations (can) come and go as they are designed and rented/payed for by players.

Wonderlands A gorgeous sim to explore around and get lost in the loveliness!

Pandoria Lots of different places to port around to, underwater, space, travel among the stars. Gorgeous sim to explore and great for taking pictures.

Dogone Zombie Combat (You will need to use/wear the free hud given in this sim to participate in this hunt)

Tunaverse (This one has specific showtimes, amazing sim and a great place to meet some cool players) When not a crazy, gorgeous colorful, dance floor this place is a shop for some wonderful, wacky clothing! TP to the store and join the group for more info on showtimes.

LEA11 Region I don't recall the exact name for this one but I found it while exploring the Wonderlands. It has lots of treasure to find! Go underwater, in the castles, shops, collect pirate booty, and perhaps find some voodoo charms. Excellent place for those who love to explore!

Linden Realms This sim is actually made by Linden Labs. It is a fun place to gain $L within the game. It does take awhile but you can either do the quests here or just run around grabbing shards for monies! Keep away from the monsters, while you can't attack you can 'die', you just respawn at a spawner within the zone. Okay maybe you can't die either, lol. I had a lot of fun with this place when I first found it. At the end you'll cash out and see if you have enough shards to convert into $L. A great map can be found here with wiki help.

Just browsing through the Destination Guide looking for sims I've previously visited and I've found many more that I just have to go see. Tons of great sims! These are all created by players, except the Linden Realms. Lovely use of imagination in many of these wonderful places within SL. That's the beauty of Second Life, that and it is quite a gorgeous game because of it's amazing community!

Second Life Freebies?
On a side note if you're looking for the best places to get things for your avatar, iheartsl is a great feed on sales, new releases and lots of group gifts. I also like the blog: Virtual Vagabond. Always cool freebies there too! You can check the Xstreet SL page for lots of things and also a fantastic feed @ scoop it.