Category Archives: Rants

4 years of Nerdy Bookahs!

On March 12, 2011, we started this very blog here. I did not think that we would still be around 4 years later. I also did not think that the content of the blog would stay this close to its original roots. :p

4 years ago, we started as “Nerdy Bookahs and their travel guide”. We knew we wanted to focus on Guild Wars 2, but that game had not been released yet. “and their travel guide” fit at that time because we were looking for a new MMO home, so to speak, and tried out various MMOs. Rift had just released back in March 2011 and I had bought it for myself as a motivator for studying for my exams. This worked very well, by the way. :)

March 12, 2011 in Rift

March 12, 2011 in Rift

My main motivation to start writing a blog about gaming had been simple: I wanted to practice my English. Living in Germany, this is not exactly easy to do as German is such a strong language that in everyday life, you do not meet a lot of English. Films and TV series are completely dubbed, by the way. Over the years, my motivation has changed. I play in international guilds, so practicing my English skills isn’t such a big issue anymore. But I love being part of gaming communities. I enjoy communicating with others, sharing such a geeky hobby and making new friends (Greece… it will happen… soon!). The only thing I would wish for was an automatic – and good! – translation of all my English blog posts, so we could more easily have them in German as well. ;)

Let’s look at a few statistics: Throughout the past 4 years, we have published 385 posts (386 with this one). We used 576 different tags for our posts. The tags used most often are: Guild Wars 2, Giveaway, Screenshots, Rift, ArenaNet and Bookahneer’s Geekwatch.

The 5 most often viewed posts of all time are

  1. Guild Wars 2: Region by level
  2. How to switch between the starter areas in Guild Wars 2
  3. Guild Wars 2: A FAQ for new players
  4. Rift vs. LotRO vs. World of Warcraft – a closer look at all three MMOs (all entries in one) (possibly also the longest post with 11668 words)
  5. Rift vs. LotRO vs. World of Warcraft – a closer look at all three MMOs (Part 3)
March 8, 2012 in Rift

March 8, 2012 in Rift

The top 6 most often used search terms that led people to our blog are

  1. eligium
  2. lotro vs wow
  3. guild wars 2 map
  4. anno online
  5. guild wars 2 races
  6. guild wars 2 asura

As you can clearly see from these lists: Guild Wars 2 is not the only topic we write about in this blog. But some of those are actually quite surprising, even to me. As I said, I tried out a lot of different MMOs – some of those because of “Project 10/10“, but also because I just enjoy trying out new games. I actually had no idea I had ever used “eligium” in my posts, but I did find one where I wrote about that game: Bookahneer’s Geekwatch (February 18, 2012): Hype, where art thou? – Scroll past my whining about Warhammer Online and WvW in Guild Wars 2 and you will find the small part about Eligium. Quite obviously, I didn’t like that game. Anno Online is quite fascinating as well. I’ve written exactly one post about this game sharing my first impressions.

March 7, 2013 in Guild Wars 2

March 7, 2013 in Guild Wars 2

I am also surprised how many players are still interested in the question “Lotro or WoW?”. Oddly enough, I had seen this search term leading to our blog before I had written the blog posts comparing all the existing and/or missing features of Lotro, Rift and World of Warcraft. It was this search term that gave me the idea to write those posts in the first place. The rest is obvious, I think. And of course, I had to include the asura in the list… they aren’t really a focus of our blog other than them being part of Guild Wars 2, but apparently, we still mention them quite often. For good reasons, naturally. They are superior to all the others, after all.

Of course, Guild Wars 2 has always been the major focus of this blog. There’s no doubt about that when looking at the statistics above. At some point, we also removed the “and their travel guide” part from our blog’s name, because we declared Guild Wars 2 our new MMO home and had no need to travel anymore. After Guild Wars 2 had released, I wasn’t even sure if it was still appropriate to write about other games. But I decided that since we had started this way, we will stay the way we are. Guild Wars 2 is a major focus, but it’s not the only game we write about.

And with this, other MMOs came, were tried out and were left by us again. With one exception, other than Guild Wars 2: Rift. I had quit it while it had the sub fee and only returned once or twice, but jumped back in the minute it went free to play. I have been enjoying my time in the game ever since (while also giving them money. Don’t you worry! I love the game enough to want to support them, after all). The newest addition to our regular “setup” is Trove. These three games couldn’t be any more different from each other if you ask me. Rift being the “classical MMO” with the trinity and an extensive housing feature, Guild Wars 2 with its focus on living story and action-oriented combat (but lacking when it comes to housing, for example) and Trove the voxel sandbox game with blocky graphics. Altogether, a perfect mix for me as one of those three games always offers me something I want from gaming at any given time. ;) So here is to many more years of blogging… hopefully!

***

And In case you’re wondering why I’m publishing this post several days early: Real life. I will very likely be very busy next week and figured I’d rather write and publish this post now rather than later. At the same time, I can already give you a little “spoiler” of what’s going to be posted on March 12. If you’ve been here longer for a year already, you may remember that on our anniversary, we tend to start a giveaway. This year will be a little different. We will have two giveaways! One for Guild Wars 2 and one for Rift. Both ArenaNet and TrionWorlds were kind enough to give us some codes to give away (how about mini llamas or a hellbug mount or demon helms? Does that sound good to you?). So, make sure to come back here on March 12 if you want to win something! :)

March 7, 2015 in The Repopulation

…and their travel guide… – March 7, 2015 in The Repopulation

A new Gechi!

With the recent news that “The Elder Scrolls Online” will switch to a buy-to-play model on March 17, bookahnerk and I decided that we do want to explore that world. I had tried the game in beta and while I loved the world design, I wasn’t sold on the game itself, especially with a monthly subscription fee.

I am quite glad that they decided for the buy-to-play model as opposed to free-to-play. You buy the game and you get everything you need in order to enjoy the game immediately. In our case, we even got two copies that still included codes from the pre-order edition (“explorer packs”, I think) which allow you to play every race in every alliance. Originally, one faction has three specific races. But I wanted to play an Argonian and I wanted to play on the starter island of Daggerfall Covenant. I know it probably won’t matter in the long run, but still, I was very happy that I had that freedom now. Otherwise, I would have made an orc for the time being.

SWG Gechi Trandoshan

But back in Star Wars Galaxies, I fell in love with playable reptile species. No, I never “really” played SWG. I just played their free 2 week trial. And I was very close to buying the game and subscribing, but then decided against it, because it was a rather old game, I only had limited time and did not want to pay for yet another monthly subscription fee. Anyway, the game’s random name generator (or just a general one? I don’t remember if the game had one… ^^) had suggested “Gechi Rosix” and I really liked it.

Skyrim_Gechi

I also had an Argonian in Skyrim, but I did not play that game too much. I just really loved having another reptile as a playable character. Why aren’t there more games offering a race like that? We got tons of furry species (cows, wolves, cats, …), after all.

Anyway, when Elder Scrolls Online was announced, the first thing I did was check whether Argonians were playable. But as I said, I did not buy the game – until two days ago. Media Markt had the game for 15 €, so I immediately ordered two copies and we went to pick them up yesterday. I just checked their website again and they are out of that version. But guess what? You can preorder the “Tamriel Edition” for the super sweet deal of 49,99 €. I actually expected them to sell that “Tamriel Edition” for more than you can probably get the game before the switch, but I did not expect such a high price. If you’re German and want to buy a copy for the cheaper price, it seems that Saturn still has a few copies left!

But back to my Gechi, the argonian templar.

TESO Gechi Argonian I do feel nostalgic, even though the Elder Scrolls universe and the Star Wars one couldn’t be more different. But the character still feels the same!

So, here we go. On to new adventures – for 29 days, at least. After that, there’ll be a 3 week break before Zenimax switches to the no-subscription fee model. :p

GOG Fall Sale and guilty pleasure games

I have just made some wintery cookies (with chocolate and hazelnuts) that taste a bit like (German) Lebkuchen. This hasn’t been my intention, by the way. It does make me wonder how Lebkuchen is made… I’ll have to look for a recipe.

Anyway, this isn’t why you come here, right? My gaming rant of the day… Okay, no rant, but news that gog.com has started its fall sale and you can currently get “Mount & Blade” for free. Just have a look at their main website (gog.com in case you were wondering) and scroll down a bit until you see “Free game: A special gift for everyone“. This offer lasts for 44 more hours.

Gog.com is a bit like a guilty pleasure for me. I’ve been buying games on there simply for nostalgic reasons. Let’s have a look at them: The Cultures games (part 1 and part 2), for example. I would love to see some similar game nowadays. Maybe a bit faster as it was a bit slow. And having women for more than baby-producing would also be nice. But in general, I really loved those games. They’re similar to the Settlers, but you each of your villagers can be named, can be given a profession and so on. It’s just more micro-managing. At the same time, combat was very boring. At least in the first game. They redid the system later and it worked much better.

Oh… I just wanted to write about my second guilty pleasure, Summoner. I bought it on gog.com despite knowing I’d never play it. But it was my first RPG with such graphics (and not text-based, for example ^^). I bought it on gog even though I did feel guilty spending money for it. However, I am rather glad now that I did so. Back in August, the publisher has taken the game off gog.

One of my favourite games when I want to kill some time is Triple Town, though. It’s not one of the old classics like the ones above. Triple Town got released at the end of 2012. It’s basically a “match 3″ game, but the graphics are cute and it’s got a nice puzzle aspect to it. If you want a more complicated puzzle game, try Reus. With the latter, also make sure to listen to the soundtrack. It’s amazing!

Are you concerned about getting spoilers?

Heads-Up: I’m trying to be as vague as possible when I touch the area of the story and will not talk about the actual content!

When the latest piece of the Living Story was released last Tuesday, I knew I would not have the time and patience to go through it in one go. On Wednesday, I usually listen to the GuildNews podcast, and I really appreciated them warning their listeners/viewers about spoilers when they started talking about the living story. One day after release, I assume there were still quite a few who hadn’t played through it yet. I quit the podcast at that point, because I did not want to know what would happen.

The funny thing is: I did get spoiled about the ending right before the patch got released. I just didn’t know that this piece was the important new story bit until I reached it myself in the story.

GW2_combat_silverwastes

So, did I get annoyed? No. Surprisingly not. I hadn’t known about it until the end, after all. ;)

I think I just watched too many episodes of Columbo as a kid. I remember a friend who made fun of me liking Columbo. He said: How can you like watching that show when you already know who the murderer is within the first minute? I replied: The point is not finding out who the murderer is. The point is finding out how Columbo finds out!

In games – or MMOs rather -, it’s a bit different, of course. Especially in Guild Wars 2, I am not sitting there watching how anybody finds out something. My own character is in the middle of the storyline. It’s not made to be like Columbo. On the other hand, games aren’t like watching TV either. You’re not passive – which may make you get bored when you already know what’s going to happen next. You are actively playing. The fights against the NPCs can still be challenging. There may even be a few good loot drops (spoiler: No, there most likely aren’t. Unless you’re very lucky with the RNG :p). And, of course, there are friends to play with. The latter is probably true for movies as well. I may even have had the most fun watching really bad things on TV with friends, because we would just laugh about it and make jokes. But I digress. The point is that while I’d appreciate not knowing what’s going to happen in advance, it doesn’t bother me much in MMOs. The story and its plot has never been the reason why I’m playing an MMO, after all.

GW2_combat_silverwastes

Having said all that, I still very much appreciate all those who start their blog posts with spoiler warnings or say loudly that they will be talking about the story in a bit in their podcast, so you can turn it off in time in case you do not want to get spoiled!

NaBloPoMo 2014

NaBloPoMo_NovemberJust as I did last year, I have joined November’s National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) again. Just as last year, I would not have the time for National Novel Writing Month, so I’m going to substitute it again with this initiative.

I had wanted to make this “announcement post” yesterday, but then the Trove developers published their unlimited access key and I figured that it was more important to spread the word than to tell my readers about NaBloPoMo. I find it quite funny that last year, I did the same. I had published a different post on November 1 and only talked about NaBloPoMo on November 2. ;) I sense a pattern there! You may also go back to November 2013 and see what the last post was… you may or may not expect something similar for the end of November this year, depending on how busy we’ll be by then in real life.

I still remember how last year, I didn’t think I could make a blog post every day without using some lame short posts with no real content, but in the end, everything had turned out fine.

Of course, November is also going to be the busiest month at work with several projects and a research meeting that I am organizing with colleagues. All exciting stuff that, unfortunately, keeps me from gaming and blogging sometimes. ;) We will see how it’s going to turn out.

You can expect me to write about the usual stuff. I have been playing Rift and Trove a lot more than Guild Wars 2 recently which is why the focus has turned towards those two games here in the blog as well. However, I haven’t left Guild Wars 2 and I don’t intend to do so! I am also looking forward to the return of the living story and while I do know that the game will very likely not get the features that I want in an MMO (like housing – I’ve got Rift and Trove for that urge now :p), I am expecting some cool fights because for me, the combat system is still where Guild Wars 2 shines the most. Being able to move while fighting, having to use dodge and all that. I also miss fights like the marionette one (yes, despite its flaws it was by far my favourite… especially when the people on the lanes did manage to fight together and coordinate).

 

Summer break for Nerdy Bookahs

GW2 Skkia in Divinity's Reach

Skkia, my thief and 4th asura who made it to level 80.

The days are getting warmer and warmer and summer is fast approaching. But unfortunately, this is not the reason for this post’s title. For the next month or two, both bookahnerk and I will be very busy in that thing called “real life”. Additionally, we are going to move to a new flat which also needs some renovating first. We decided it’s finally time to switch our basement flat to one with more sun coming in! :D

I just thought our regular readers should get a heads-up on why it’s going to be really quiet here for a while. We’re still here, we’re still invested in Guild Wars 2 and we’ll continue blogging once we have finished moving. But for the time being, we decided that the little free time we’ll get, we will use for gaming instead of blogging. ;) I’m not saying we won’t post anything at all in the next weeks, but it won’t be much. So, don’t worry, we’re fine and we will be back in a bit more than a month (if all goes well… especially with the internet provider!).

Rebuilding Lion’s Arch…?

GW2 Lion's Arch rebuilt crafting stationsWhen the latest patch got released, I headed over to the forum to read the patch notes as I always do, but when I read the part about Lion’s Arch, I logged into the game to see it with my own eyes. I can’t tell you how disappointed I was – and yes, I may have ranted and raged a bit here in front of my PC. But let me explain what happened.

When, before the patch, I had read that the Zepyhrites would be offering their help to rebuild Lion’s Arch, I had imagined that we, as players, would be helping as well. I thought that this meant that with the next few patches, this would be part of the living story content. Imagine this: helping the citizens of Lion’s Arch out and with the next Living Story release, the bank would be back in place. After that, the lion statue, then the Trading Post. Up until in the very end, the portals would finally be back and fully working!

Or why not let us all collaborate? Make it a race between the regions: EU and US servers – which region gets Lion’s Arch back on its feet first? Different challenges, activities, etc. drop and award different special materials that are needed for the rebuilding process. Make it a game, give us a mini lion’s statue that is placed in our home instance as a reward. Make it fun!

GW2 Lion's Arch rebuilt mapInstead, after logging into the game, I found that everything we need is already back. Yes, Lion’s Arch itself is still in ruins! But it’s fully functional again. 3 crafting areas, 4 banks, 4 trading posts, the portals, mystic forge, etc. One could say that it’s better than before – or more convenient, as you can choose which area of Lion’s Arch you want to spend your time at while putting items into the bank. This isn’t “helping rebuild”. In fact, I fail to see why they would need any help from the Zephyrites or anybody else. The amount of vendors, banks, trading posts (just think of all the trading post fees we’re paying!) should be more than enough to pay for the rebuilding of the rest of the city.

This was a swoosh with a wand and some fairies granted us a wish and made it flawlessly perfect. But at the same time, at least for me, utterly boring. I had been looking forward to getting the rebuilding process as content, to tell all the future newcomers: “I was there. I saw this city before it was attacked, I saw it and defended it while it was attacked, I saw it when it was in ruins and I was here helping rebuild it! This is partly my doing!” Instead, I was handed everything on a silver platter within a few minutes.

We can maybe help make the city look pretty again, but for me, there’s no sense of urgency to it. And yeah, while it may be good to give citizens back their homes, I have to admit that as long as I don’t get my own house, I don’t care where the NPCs are living either. ;) At the same time, I do hope that we will be asked to help out in some way in a future patch and get to rebuild something. Maybe not a trading post or the portals, but at this point, anything would be nice.

And this is probably also why I shouldn’t assume and imagine things. Expectations can lead to great disappointment…