Two beta keys for Trove – Giveaway!

UPDATE: The Giveaway is now closed. Winners will be chosen and contacted in a bit!
Congratulations, The Mystical Mesmer and Donald McLeod Jr!

I don’t even remember how many alpha and beta keys I have managed to get for Trove so far. In some cases, I did not even want to get one but did so anyway. Of course, I always shared them with friends and family. But now has come the time where I’ve run out of friends and family who still want a beta key. Or at least, nobody reacted when I had asked on Twitter. So I decided to come here to my blog and ask: Would you like a beta key?

Trove

I currently have TWO keys to give away. The procedure is pretty simple. Leave a comment here saying that you would want that beta key. Leave a valid email address, so I can send it to you (as always, enter said email address into the “email” field, do not add it to the comment field as that one is public!).

This giveaway will stay open for 24 hours. If more than two people have replied saying they want a beta key, we will roll for the winners. If there is less than that – well, congrats to you then. ;) If nobody (or only one person) wants a beta key after 24 hours, I’ll probably try reddit or some other public space and dump them there. :p

And in case you don’t want to wait for 24 hours or don’t mind spending money, especially for charity, there is currently a Humble Flash Bundle that lets you pay what you want and will give you, among other stuff, a Trove beta key!

Also, Trove will be free to play! So once you are in the beta, you are in the game and playing it as if it was released already. There will not be another wipe. Everything is here to stay.

Trove: Second Impressions Review

Back in alpha, I already wrote about my first impressions. Now that Trove is in beta, I figured I should do another impressions piece. As always, I rather call it “impressions review” than “alpha review” or “beta review”, because it is subjective and may not cover the whole game (see shadow arenas below, for example).

First things first, in case you are interested and would like to play the game yourself: It is in closed beta now, meaning you can’t just sign up and play. It will, however, be free to play when it releases. At the moment, you need a key. Trion Worlds, the game’s developer, has given away quite a few keys during their Trove livestreams (usually on Friday evenings, Europe time). You can also keep an eye on the Trove subreddit where you can find people linking to key giveaways. Or if you don’t mind spending money, you can buy anything (even the $5 pack of credits) to get beta access (see the last paragraph in this news piece).

The lava fields biome with the neon city biome in the background

The lava fields biome with the neon city biome in the background

A few things have been changed since alpha (and the time I made my first post). For one, there are no more home worlds. A home world was your personal instanced area where you could build in peace. Instead, clubs have a club world now where members can build (if the club’s leader gives you the proper rank with the permissions to build). You still have your cornerstone which is a piece of land in the open world which basically travels with you. Whenever you’re out adventuring and see a sign with a question mark on it, you can click it and your cornerstone appears. Whatever you build on this cornerstone will be saved and appear whenever you place your cornerstone again. However, building on it is not a peaceful activity. You are in the open world and hostile mobs will come in (or sometimes even spawn next to you) and attack you. The cornerstone is also rather small. You can build high and dig low on it, but you can’t make it any wider.

The cellar I digged below my cornerstone (the checkered place is the ground floor of my cornerstone).

The cellar I digged below my cornerstone (the checkered place is the ground floor of my cornerstone).

The club worlds also start small but you can expand them. Of course, with a lot of members, you will also need all this space if everybody is to have a small piece of land for themselves. You can join up to five clubs (and represent one of them at any given time, just like you do in Guild Wars 2), so there is nothing stopping you from creating a club for yourself which will give you so much space, you probably won’t even notice the lack of a home world. ;)

Bookahnerk and I have a club that we share with his cousin (the infamous cousin by now… ^^) and another friend. We have put everything in there that we need, so that we hardly ever use the main hub of the game anymore. But more about our club world later – there is an unpleasant experience here waiting to be told.

Robots can no longer be found in the ice areas. They have instead gotten their own biome. I love the look of that one and think it was a great decision to take them out and give them their own place! As soon as those are available for the club world, I want one of them. Sadly, not every biome can be built in club worlds yet.

But enough about the things that have changed. Because maybe, just maybe, you are here to hear my opinion about the game. In short: I love it! Simple as that. I find myself playing the game even though I’m tired from work. There’s so many things I can do. They have added gardening and a lot of people think it’s dull to go into the adventuring world, find the peaceful biomes where the sunflowers grow, jump around on those sunflowers and gather the lightbulbs you need in order to grow stuff in your own garden. I, on the other hand, really enjoy doing that. True, it doesn’t need much brain or concentration to do so, but that’s perfect after work. I usually am too tired to do things where I need to concentrate and make sure my character doesn’t die (like in Guild Wars 2’s combat – or Trove’s, for that matter…). Doing something peaceful is what I enjoy most and since I can also grow plants and (decorative) flowers in our club world then, it’s also something useful. It is a bit like fishing in Rift where I may not be able to do anything useful with that skill itself, but I do fish up dimension items once in a while that I can then place in my dimensions (or sell for gold to buy other items).

A small corner of my garden in our club world.

A small corner of my garden in our club world.

In case you are wondering what you can do in Trove other than gardening: Killing things, collecting items for stats or looks, gathering items (for building and crafting) and building things.

You can go adventuring, killing mobs in the open world, but there are also “dungeons” which are places in that world where harder mobs spawn. And then there are shadow arenas which I haven’t been at yet. They are like dungeons, but with harder mobs and better loot. ;) You can go hunt items and forge them in the hope of getting better or more useful stats. At the same time, Trove has a feature that lets you choose a skin for the look while equipping another item for its stats. That feature is free of charge, by the way! So, collecting skins is also part of the game. You can choose one of the available classes: knight and gunslinger are free. You need to buy the neon ninja, fae trickster and dracolyte with in-game currency or real money, depending on your preference (candy barbarian will be the next class, but hasn’t been released yet). You can level a class to level 20. If you want a change, though, you can just click on the class changer and switch. One character, every class. As easy as that. And if you want to change the look of your character, there’s a feature for that as well. You can change the hair style, hair and eye colour, gender (which is basically just different hair styles, I think) for no cost at all.

A dungeon in the Neon City biome.

A dungeon in the Neon City biome.

Then there’s the collecting part of the game: Collect building blocks and items that you need in order to change the look of the building blocks you have collected. For example, when you collect any yellowish building blocks in the open world, you get “Primal Yellow” blocks. If you want a “Yellow Glass” block, you first need to find the recipe and when you have that and have the yellow glass blocks unlocked, you need three primal yellow and one formicite ore (also found in the open world) to create three yellow glass blocks. You can also build different items to place in your club world or cornerstone like a chair, a table or an arctic commando gnome.

If you have been reading my blog posts for some time, you probably know that I am hardly a person who only sees the white or the black side of things. There are too many shades and colours for that. In Trove’s case, as much fun as the game is, there are also negative things and there is a lot of work left to do for the developers! The game is in beta, so I am quite lenient when it comes to bugs and missing features, but I still don’t think that they shouldn’t be mentioned, because they are currently part of the game and who knows if they can get rid of them all (I hope so, but I’ve seen too many games who nourished their bugs for too long… (*coughwarhammeronlinecough*)

It is actually kind of funny. The alpha was really stable, I did not notice any glaring bugs most of the time. The beta is the opposite at times. I’ve seen and experienced so many crashes, unsynching with the world (thankfully, a restart fixes that and restarting the client and logging back in only takes a few seconds), invisible mobs hitting you. Characters were rolled back, too. All of that started with the beta. The crashing has constantly decreased over the last few weeks and I think they fixed the rollbacks now. But it was a bit disappointing to experience these issues when none of them were present in that extent during alpha. I don’t know why that is… maybe they just let in too many players and it was stressing the servers too much. Either way, I still have confidence that they can fix all those bugs and make the game as enjoyable as it was in alpha. I guess there is a reason they squished in the beta before releasing, right? ;)

Another issue is a lot more annoying! Our club world had been carefully planned and designed – well, one of the biomes, at least – by bookahnerk and he had built an awesome castle in there. Within the safe walls of one of its towers, we had placed all our crafting stations. Then we decided to expand the club world and added a few more biomes. What we did not know: Everything built within 40 to 50 blocks from the border of where the new biome will be placed will get destroyed. The tower got hit and disappeared and with it all the items we had placed there. When something like this happens, the items don’t get put anywhere, they are just gone. So, we had to go and farm all the materials to get back those items which cost me the play time of two days (not a lot for “hardcore gamers” but it was for me).

However, as said above, it’s the beta. I put in my feedback and now have to hope that they will at least warn players that this is happening before they try to add a new biome. We are warned and will not build anything close to the borders that we may want to expand at some point in the future anymore.

Other than that, there are a few more things that I wish they would add, change or make more comfortable. The chat, for example. You only get one chat window for all channels. No resizing or moving the window anywhere. What I do love, though, is that you can read – and write in – all club chats that you are a member of at the same time and not just the one you are currently representing. Why doesn’t Guild Wars 2 have something like this?

While I don’t need a mini map to travel through the world, I would love to have a compass. I find myself losing any sense of direction quite often and then need to open the map to see where I am and where I wanted to head. Having a compass would make this much easier. Of course, having a sense of orientation would be helpful, too. :p

Those are just two rather small things. Apart from fixing the bugs and performance issues, I’m quite certain there is a lot more that others would say have to be added to the game. However, altogether, the game is playable (especially now that there are no rollbacks anymore) and if you can get a beta key for free, that’s a whole lot of fun that you’re not paying for. ;)

Nightmare Tide CE’s dimension items and Bloop

With the expansion being postponed, my plans to play said expansion during my vacation (it was a coincidence that my 5 day vacation was exactly when the expansion should have been released. I thankfully did not take days off to play that one! ^^) were almost cancelled. That is, until I realized that the expansion is available on the Public Test Server and there is nothing stopping me from checking it out already! I don’t think I’ll play it much, but I do want to have a closer look at what’s to come.

So this morning, I logged on to prepare my warrior. Her macros got deleted when I tried the instant level 60 buff that comes with buying one of the two higher priced collector’s editions. I also had a look at the mailbox and my CE items were waiting for me. To be honest, I had totally forgotten that my CE edition comes with dimension items. As a note, in case you haven’t bought any of the Collector’s Editions yet, those items are not available with the cheapest version, the Typhoon Edition. You need to get either the Infusion Edition (44,99 €) or the Ultimate Nightmare Edition (134,99 €) in order to receive the companion pet and the dimension items.

First of all, there is the companion Bloop. It’s a purplish jellyfish. It has the same animations on land and under water.

To be honest, I’m not fond of anything that lives underwater. I don’t think I’ll have Bloop out very often if at all. Especially not since I’ve gotten my duck, the Ducklar.

But on to the dimension items. I took screenshots of the items in their “natural size” which they have when you first place them. Some of those items are huge!

Let’s start with what you are getting: One Rusted Metal Ship, 5 Draumkent Plaza Lamps, 1 Glass-bellied Mermaid Statue, 2 Massive Petaled Corals, 2 Jellyfish Tanks and one Snowy Whale Skull. All items are soulbound, so unless you pay money for the collector’s edition, you cannot get them.

The Rusted Metal Ship is rather cool if you ask me! The default size was a bit too large, even for my big dimension. But after scaling it a bit down, I really like the look. Too bad the doors don’t open and you can’t get into the interior of the ship.

The next item is the Draumkent Plaza Lamp. I really love its look. I’m not sure the lamps go with the one dimension I’m currently building in, Faen’s Retreat. I’m trying to build a cozy little oasis there. However, I still really love the design of the lamps.

The glass-bellied mermaid statue is tricky. I don’t really know why I would want a pregnant mermaid’s statue in any of my dimensions. Of course, that could be because I do not have any dimensions that are water-themed and I highly doubt I ever will have one. I’m also wondering if it shows a specific mermaid that we’ll maybe meet in the expansion or if it’s just a random one.

Rift_Nightmare Tide Glass-bellied mermaid statue

The Jellyfish Tanks are two more items that I doubt I’ll ever use. As I already said up there, I’m not a fan of any creatures living underwater and jellyfish are definitely not an exception. I put the tank up outside of the water, but I can also imagine it looking nice underwater. The default size is quite large. I almost missed that the tank has a lower half as that was below the ground when I first placed the item.

Now the ship and the tanks have already been rather big. But the next item even has “massive” in its name: The Massive Petaled Coral. You’ll get two of those. Good luck finding enough space for them. ;)

I actually like the look, but again, I’m not sure I’d use them. I’m not even sure they fit into the small puddle of water that Faen’s Retreat has. Other than that, I think it’s pretty. Maybe you can even build one or two houses to live on there. When a ship fits, I’m quite certain a small house fits, too. ;)

The last item is the Snowy Whale Skull. Just a whale. Nothing dramatic, right? If this is the skull, however, I’m dreading to see that animal in its living version…

Altogether, I do not think I would have bought the Collector’s Edition only to get those dimension items, but I also do not regret paying for it and getting those items. It’s not that they are ugly per se, it’s just that I prefer a different look for my dimensions. I do like the ship, though, and will definitely put that one into my Three Springs dimension (that is the one these screenshots were taken in). And maybe I’ll find a use for the lamps.

Rift: Ducklar Companion

Last week, I won a Ducklar companion during Rift’s livestream. Funnily enough, right after I had won that companion, they gave away the Ultimate Nightmare Edition of the upcoming expansion (which costs 134,99€!). We were joking how great it would be if bookahnerk won that one (I already bought the cheaper one – Infusion Edition – in order to get my cleric pushed to level 60 once the expansion hits) – and then he actually did win it! Lucky guy, seriously. Although I shouldn’t be jealous, right? ;)

Anyway, this post is to show off the ducklar. They added a “Ducklar the Sploiter” some time ago (as you can read here), but I’m not sure it’s exactly the same one. Either way, they have given away several ducklars to a couple of viewers the last few times. So, if you want to try your luck, get yourself a twitch account, follow Trion Worlds and watch their Rift livestreams. They give away stuff regularly (mounts, patron time, companions etc.). So, even without the ducklars, it’s worth a try. ;)

Now about that duck… I was first a bit disappointed how common the duck looks. Just like any regular duck you can see around here. On the other hand, I then thought about how most of the Rift companions look, and I gotta say: Thankfully, this one just looks like a duck. Your average common duck. And then… it started making its idle animation. It looks like it’s dancing! Too cute! So, this has already become one of my favourite companions in Rift.

But see for yourself:

Then & Now: Reliving the newbie experience (1-5)

With the recent feature patch, ArenaNet released the new player experience. There has been quite a lot of controversy around the related changes. For example, your skills unlock one by one when you level up. The last one, your elite skill, is not available until you hit level 40 (it was at level 30 before). Some of the changes annoy some veteran players because when we create the 10th alt, we obviously do not need the handholding anymore. However, not all systems should be hidden and/or disabled for veteran players who already levelled a character. As usual with patches, there are bugs (I wish there weren’t, but we all know how it is… :p).

Anyway, as they said, these changes are to make it easier for new players, to keep them playing the game instead of running away screaming and to give a nicer feeling of progression as they get rewards with every level.

GW2_asura creation

My initial reaction was a very negative one. Those changes sounded bad! Very very bad! And yes, while I agree that ArenaNet throws a lot at the players at once, I always thought a better tutorial would help, but not stretching everything mercilessly without giving you a choice. You know, an actual tutorial before you start the actual game. Not this very short story introduction. However, I assume making a tutorial is very costly (and time-intensive). So here we are.

And instead of ranting and raging about the changes, I decided to “recreate” my first steps in Tyria as much as I can! Keep in mind that I have been blogging about Guild Wars 2 since before its launch. So, I was in no way new to the game even when headstart happened. I also have experience with a lot of different MMOs. Both do not make me the “problem child” of ArenaNet (as in: the one that needs more hand-holding). However, my goal was to remember what it felt like being new in Tyria (and I, too, was confused about some things!) and compare my reactions to the gameplay now with the reactions I had back when my first asura stepped into the world for the first time.

GW2_the original Flummi

The original Flummi

My first asura was no other than Flummi, a mesmer. In hindsight, while I really loved that profession, I also had a few issues with the mesmer. It took a while, but I figured out how to survive even difficult skill challenges (judging by how often I ran past them later on and found players in the downed state :p). When compared to levelling the warrior afterwards, the mesmer still was much harder to play. So she seems to be the perfect choice to test the new player experience. Luckily, I did take screenshots of the settings in the character creation screen, so I could literally create a clone of her: Flummi Two.

I also do not play on my main account, because that one comes with lots of XP bonus thanks to achievement points. My second account isn’t often played and has 0 extra XP, and 1 % karma and gold gain. I figured the last two won’t be that much anyway. I sent all my gold (4. In letters: Four… -.-) to my main account and wrote down how much karma I had in the beginning: 255.125. So, while adventuring through Tyria with “Flummi Two”, I will not spend more karma than she has earned herself and I will not use my other characters to help her out. I want the real newbie experience again! :p I will write about my experiences here in our blog. Very likely not level by level, because that would be boring. Today’s part will be about my first impression and the first five levels.

Back at headstart, I remember that with the first “boss” mob that appears at the end of the tutorial zone, I got downed for no apparent reason. “Fight for your life” – yes, but… why? I was perfectly healthy in one second and downed in the next. Does this happen all the time? What can I do to be sure to predict when something like this happens? What is even causing it? This annoyed me to no end. If ArenaNet wanted to show us that they have a downed state, they should do it differently, not in the middle of a big fight and certainly not without indicating why you got damage. But maybe it was also just a bug. I never figured that one out. However, Flummi Two now had no such issues. In fact, if I understood correctly, she cannot get downed (and thus, die) until level 5. I had no problems surviving with her, though, so I did not experience this.

The collections which were also newly introduced with the feature pack, popped up at the right of my screen when I collected an item that belongs to a collection. I feel that with the whole revamping and making it easier to understand, they could have also thrown a tooltip with an explanation towards that notification window.

GW2_NPE_level 2

Level 2 gives you your second weapon skill slot.

Flummi Two started with a scepter and only the first weapon skill slot. This wasn’t bad, actually: I quite enjoyed the slow unlocking of weapon skills per level as it meant that I had time to learn and try one skill before the next one appeared. With the previous system, we also had that, but it happened faster. After killing a mob with a weapon, that weapon’s next skill got unlocked a bit further. After killing a certain amount of mobs, the skill got fully unlocked and you could use it. This had to be done with every single weapon the character could use. When you were higher in level, this could get a bit annoying. Say you found a staff for the first time, you equipped it and only had one single skill to use. But it still meant you could slowly get used to the weapon skills. The system now works great for a new player who hasn’t played the game before, but only until all 5 weapon skill slots are unlocked. When the player then equips a new weapon, all weapon skills are immediately available. If this truly was about “slow pacing” and not overburdening a player new to the profession, then the new system would fail. On the other hand, I guess this is more part of the “levelling should feel rewarding” as getting a new weapon skill slot is not dependant on X killed mobs anymore (especially annoying when you levelled by doing peaceful things instead). At the same time, more experienced players do not need to unlock a new weapon’s skills one by one, but can access all of them immediately.

GW2_NPE_no water bucket

I remember there being useable water buckets for extinguishing the fire instead of just running through them now…

Anyway, it didn’t take me long to experience my first disappointment: The golem game in Soren Draa was taken out. Well, the little golems are still there, but you cannot interact with them anymore. In fact, you cannot use any items anymore. At least not in the low-level area (like picking up a bucket of water and throwing the water at flames to extinguish them). Back at release, I did play a few games with the mini golems. It has no real purpose. It’s just there to fill the bar and get you closer to the heart reward. I lost the game, repeatedly, because I had trouble with the control skills. Yes, I was a newb. ;) But I still had fun and loved seeing this little touch from ArenaNet! It just showed how detailed the world and the game was that they cared enough to add something like this. It’s also so very cute! I want one for myself.

GW2_NPE_level 5

Level 5 rewards: My beloved F-skill and the downed state

What I really did miss was the F skill. With the mesmer, the first F skill lets you destroy your illusions for some nice damage on the enemy. When I first started playing the game, I created several professions to see what their F skill was, as I felt that this was what’s making the professions feel distinctive and special. Even if both the mesmer and the elementalist are using a staff and cast spells, the F skills are what makes them very different from each other. Having to wait until you finally unlock those skills is a bad decision if you ask me. Or, maybe not having to wait per se. But it should be a level 2 unlock. Level 2 happens so fast, after all. And it just lets a new player see what’s special about their profession almost immediately after starting playing them.

GW2_NPE_dodge tutorial

This is a great addition! A dodge tutorial was certainly needed to introduce the mechanic to new players.

There was also a dodge tutorial in the open world and this one is definitely needed! I would have loved to get this when I started playing. Even though I had read about dodging, I still felt a bit overwhelmed when I first had to do it.

However, not everything is nice and good about this system. There is also the “navigator” (not sure what it’s officially called). That navi shows you an arrow of where to go next. It mainly led me from heart to heart and to the dodge tutorial. This resulted in me looking at the upper right corner of my screen instead of looking at the world. It made me follow the arrow, because… this is what you do, right? Other MMOs work like that as well in a way. You get a quest, which leads to another quest, which leads to another… And here in Guild Wars 2, it’s hearts and little tutorials. You follow the navigator. But this isn’t what us veterans learned about Guild Wars 2 when we started playing! We may have been overwhelmed sometimes and I know there were a lot of players asking: “Where should I go now?” but this was what set Guild Wars 2 apart. The answer usually was: Follow your nose. Go, explore the world! Well, try not to run into mobs a lot higher in level than you. But other than that, take a stroll, sniff on the flowers and you may run into an event that you can participate in.

GW2_NPE_navigator

The navigator (upper right corner) tells you what to do and where to go next. No need to think for yourself here.

Flummi Two is now level 5. All in all, it took me one hour and 8 minutes to get there. This is long, in case you’re wondering! I took my time, looked around, read every tooltip, etc. As I said, I wanted to recreate the original experience. I imagined being new in the game again. I don’t think a new player who needs guidance will play much faster, if at all.

My impression of the new player experience, so far, is a positive one. I did not expect that, to be honest. ;) The slower unlocking of things isn’t as bad as I thought and just as ArenaNet said, getting rewards for level ups is neat. At no point did I get too many things thrown at me. Everything was nicely paced and levelling feels very rewarding. This part I like and I’m sure it’s great for new players. On the other hand, the heart of Guild Wars 2 seems to be missing. There is no sense of wanting to go and explore the world. Not as long as the navigator tells me where to go. But maybe this will change. Flummi Two is only at level 5, after all. There are many more levels waiting for the two of us now and I’ll be sure to report about my progress here.

World of Warcraft: 10 years – 10 questions

wow_healerI stumbled upon a post by the ALT:ernative chat blog asking former and current World of Warcraft players 10 questions. This post is from August, so I was worried I’d be much too late, but in another post, the deadline is stated as… tomorrow. Perfect timing here. :p

As you, my readers, may know, I do not play World of Warcraft currently. But it is the very first MMO that I’ve ever played, so there’s a big chunk of nostalgia connected to it! World of Warcraft is having its 10 year anniversary and I’ve got to say that it aged very well. Anyway, on with the questions.

1. Why did you start playing Warcraft?

Because of my boyfriend. What a stereotypical boring answer, right? ;) But there it is. We had been together close to a year when he’d let me test the game on his account. He had offered before, but I had always declined, because despite liking computer games, I thought that an MMO was too big of a time investment. Well, I tested on Sunday evening. Monday afternoon, he called to tell me my account key. And the rest… is history. ;) We spent a few years playing that game, left for Warhammer Online, came back afterwards, left again, came back, and today, we only play on the free starter editions when we get the urge to have a look at the game again.

2. What was the first ever character you rolled?

zwerge_wowI actually don’t remember. I tried out all the classes that were available for gnomes. I wondered if priest was a class I would enjoy, but gnomes couldn’t be priests back then. So, my dwarf priest, Grifola (see on the left), was born. The anecdote I always give about that character is how in Westfall (low level area, I hadn’t been playing for long), I got a random message from a random stranger asking me to please reroll the character because “female dwarves are ugly and fat and I don’t want to see them in the game”. -.-

3. Which factors determined your faction choice in game?

World of Warcraft UndeadsI got the game in December 2005. It had released here in Europe in February 2005. So, at that point, my boyfriend, his sister, his cousin and a friend had settled down on a German PvP server, Alliance faction. I did not want to play alone, so I joined them. They also had Horde alts on a different German PvP server where I had created my undead warlock (seen in the picture) to play with them. But the main faction was Alliance and it stayed that way for our most active gaming time, even though I always liked Horde more. The people I wanted to play with just always ended up playing Alliance instead.

4. What has been your most memorable moment in Warcraft and why?

There are a lot. For one, the above mentioned anecdote of a player asking me to reroll my female dwarf because he thought they’re fat and ugly. Thankfully, healers were in high demand and I had decided to not level as shadow (no dual-specs at that point), so I could jump into dungeons as a healer whenever a group needed one which meant that I met a lot of friendly and nice players who were just too happy to see my little healing dwarf. ;)

WoW_Undead Poets Society 2Another one was the weekend we spent at bookahnerk’s cousin’s place where we played our Horde characters. We basically did 4 man runs through all of Scarlet Crusade until everybody had all the good items that dropped from there. Thankfully, the dungeon had four wings. But it still got a tiny bit repetitive after a while. Still, with all four of us being in the same room, we had a lot of fun!

Last but not least (and there are definitely more memorable moments!), that one time in Serpentshrine Caverns where we killed Morogrim Tidewalker on our first try: I had been part of a raid that raided once a week. Most of the others did that raid with their alts and I was one of the few ones doing the raids with their main (draenei frost mage at that point). It was past the usual raid time, so quite a lot had had to leave and our raid leaders decided we should give that boss a try. We got a few others in, so there were several people there that had never done that boss before. Me included. We were usually a chaotic bunch of people, mostly because those who were there with their alts thought they didn’t need to pay attention that much during the encounters and concentration was always an issue. The raid leaders had told us: Yeah, we’re going to wipe here. But let’s just give it a try, okay? – That one single try ended with us killing the boss and 0 wipes, as nobody had made a mistake throughout the entire boss fight. I had never heard Teamspeak being this quiet. Until that moment when the boss died, of course!

5. What is your favourite aspect of the game and has this always been the case?

Fishing chair - perfect for every kind of weather

Fishing chair – perfect for every kind of weather

I can’t say what my favourite aspect is. When I first got into the game, I loved the soundtrack and how big the world seemed to be. I loved fishing and crafting and earning gold without doing any combat. How many addons and mods the game has and how much you actually can mod (mostly speaking about the UI here, not so much about damage meters and the like). There are so many things I still love and miss. Archaeology became one of my favourite things to do. I also greatly enjoyed the pet battles when I had briefly returned a few months ago (right before Rift went free to play and lured me back in). So, I would say archaeology and no, it hasn’t always been the case as that was added later on.

6. Do you have an area in game that you always return to?

An area as in a certain place in the world? Ironforge. With the music turned on. I often turn off the soundtrack, because it’s distracting or I’m watching a stream while playing. But entering Ironforge without having the music turned on just doesn’t feel right. This place is also connected to the “most nostalgia” seeing how the first city I ever entered was Ironforge with my dwarf.

7. How long have you /played and has that been continuous?

charactercreation_wowI cannot check that because I’m not currently subscribed to the game. I did start in December 2005. As mentioned above, I left when Warhammer Online was released, but returned two or three more times following that initial departure. My /played time in all MMOs is always very high, though. I tend to be online in MMOs while doing other stuff (right now, my cleric in Rift is idling next to the mailbox, for example).

8. Admit it: do you read quest text or not?

Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. It depends on where I am in the game, what I’m doing next to gaming (e.g. watching a stream or talking to bookahnerk) and of course, the kind of quest. I am not interested in reading a vague and boring explanation on why I need to kill 10 murlocs. If the quest is related to a bigger storyline, for example, I usually read the quest texts.

9. Are there any regrets from your time in game?

Not quitting the Karazhan raid with my healing druid earlier when the raid leader had started to be rude. (Hey look! I am capable of writing short answers… ^^)

10. What effect has Warcraft had on your life outside gaming?

WoW dragon smileNot all that many, actually. The effects to life outside of gaming came afterwards, especially with Guild Wars 2 where I went and met people outside of the game. On the other hand, I did meet other WoW players in gaming communities and friendships were formed. It was my first MMO, though, and the happenings in my life and new friends I have found were because I have this very blog here and I wouldn’t have started this blog without Warhammer Online and I probably wouldn’t have played that game if I hadn’t played WoW first. ;) Oh, one thing, though: My name! I did not go by “Paeroka” before World of Warcraft. That name is a name I had used in a (still unfinished) story I had started writing and when I started World of Warcraft, I needed names for my characters. I had given the name “Paeroka” to my undead warlock and later started using her name for myself (technically, that is “outside gaming”, because I use it on Twitter, etc. where I don’t only talk about games ^^).

Guild Wars 1 on Steam’s sale

Guild Wars background imageI haven’t seen Guild Wars on sale for quite a long time. Today, however, it is on sale on Steam. All versions are 50 % off for the next 48 hours: Prophecies, Factions, Nightfall, the expansion Eye of the North and the trilogy (containing the campaigns Prophecies, Factions and Nightfall).

A little information in case you don’t know much about Guild Wars 1: The campaigns are standalone, meaning you can buy either of those and play the game. Each campaign takes place in a different part of the world (called Tyria). The expansion “Eye of the North” requires any of the three campaigns. So, you do not have to buy all three campaigns. You can just buy one or two if you want. However, if you do want to get two, you may as well just buy the trilogy as the price is the same. ;)

GW2 Hall of Monuments TitlesIf you are also a Guild Wars 2 player, link your Guild Wars 1 account to your Guild Wars 2 account or you will not receive those Hall of Monuments points.  I wrote about it before and linked to several guides (I can recommend the one done by Dragon Season! :p) on how to get the points in Guild Wars 1 that are required for the various rewards, namely armor skins, ranger pets and miniatures. You can see the list of rewards with the demo mode of the Hall of Monuments rewards calculator showing 3 points already – read on to know why: What you do need in order to get those Hall of Monuments points is the expansion “Eye of the North” + one of the campaigns. However, you will automatically receive 1 point for each of the three campaigns. So, if you buy all three campaigns and the expansion (and play a character to level 10, so they can enter the Hall of Monuments), you will receive your first three Hall of Monuments points.

Guild Wars_Dancing Derwish

Dervishes dancing

Is this game worth buying, especially since it’s several years old already? Yes, yes it is! I have had a lot of fun with it, I enjoyed the storylines, I loved the world and the way it looks. One caveat: You cannot jump in this game. ;)

Necromancer Elite Sunspear Armor

Necromancer Elite Sunspear Armor

And if you are worried about not finding any players to play with: 1) There are no dedicated servers, but districts that you can freely choose. 2) Guild Wars has NPCs that you can take with you. The game is not an open world game, but you enter instanced areas where a premade group of varying size (4 to 8) can enter together. If you can’t find or don’t want to find others to group with, you can just take NPCs. The Nightfall campaign also added heroes which are customizable NPCs. You can choose builds and armor stats for your heroes which makes playing even easier. But even with the NPCs, I did not have any trouble playing the campaigns and I really enjoyed the game.