Category Archives: Rants

The Seven Gaming Sins – NBI 2015 Talkback Challenge #4

nbimediumThe 4th “Newbie Blogger Initiative” topic has been released this weekend: “The Seven Gaming Sins“. This one is not a single topic that you can write about, but seven questions instead. What they focus on is probably rather obvious… ;) So, here you go. My answers to Joseph Skyrim‘s seven gaming sin questions.

Lust – Do you enjoy games more if they have scantily clad and “interestingly proportioned” avatars? Do you like playing as one of these avatars? Why or why not?

My favourite races are dwarves, gnomes (in World of Warcraft) and asura. Does this answer the question already? :p I do like characters (I mainly play female ones, so I’ll concentrate on those now) that are aesthetically pleasing to me. But this is a very subjective term and far from the tiiiiny waist and huge breasts that game designers like to put on some of their characters. I do like my characters wearing clothes that show their body, but I can do without the skin. So, I would say I am in between. I like “sexy clothes” as long as they are not over the top or look silly on my character (like a dress showing off breasts that asura just don’t have).

Gluttony Do you have a game backlog of unfinished games but still buy new games regardless? Why or why not?

Oh dear yes. I recently told myself to at least try to play some more games and finish them and I have been kind of successful. Tropico 4, Torchlight I and Shadowrun Returns have been played through. I am currently giving Skyrim another try (no promises here) and have also picked up “The Book of Unwritten Tales”. I strongly predict I will finish the latter in a bit as it’s very entertaining to play. As I just said, I picked up the latter. I have not stopped buying new games, I just try to slow down and finish some I did buy some time ago. At the same time, especially with games like Civilization or Warlock 2: The Exiled, there is the open question: When is such a game finished? With those games, I instead look at how much time I have spent in the game and if it’s a couple of hours (depending on how much money I spent to buy the game), I am satisfied. I always like to compare it to the price/hour for a cinema ticket.

Do you enjoy hand outs in a game? Have you ever opted to NOT do an action / in game activity because the rewards were lacking? Why or why not?

I have refused to do something in game that was not fun and the rewards were lacking, yes. But as long as something is fun – or an activity leads to something that will be fun later on – then I’ll do it regardless of the rewards. Rewards are a nice bonus, though. :)

Sloth – Do you ever leech or AFK in a party? Do you discourage others from attempting things that you feel are difficult? Have you ever seen someone that needed help, but decided not to help them? Why or why not?

No, I don’t ever leech or go AFK unless there’s a need for a bio break – which I would inform people about in a dungeon run, for example, so they know I’ll be gone for a minute. I don’t discourage people from playing the game, no. I do discourage them from trying to make me come, too. ^^ In MMOs, when I see somebody needs help, then I usually do help. Unless it’s a person that passed me before without helping me. In this case, I deliberately choose not to help either (though this would not be “sloth” but “wrath”, I guess).

Wrath – Ever get angry at other players and yell (or TYPE IN CAPS) at them? Have you ever been so angry to stalk a person around in game and / or in the forums? Why or why not?

I have gotten angry with others countless times. Most of the time, those are random players who were rude, impolite or just generally offensive. I tend to rage and rant in front of my PC, but not in public chat and not in direct messages either. Blocking them is much easier and faster and more satisfying because they can’t talk back to you. ;)

Stalking people has never even occurred to me. I only remember one person that annoyed me very much – unfortunately even a fellow guild member until we finally decided to flee from that server – that popped up wherever I was. So, it was the other way around. But I don’t think he stalked me. He just happened to be a very active player (and yet, still a very bad one who insisted on knowing everything better…). That one player did get me close to yelling at him, but instead, I opted for laughing in front of my PC instead. Oh, the stories I could tell (well, if you’re a WoW player, at least…).

Envy – Ever felt jealous of players who seem to be able to complete content you can’t? Do you ever suspect they are hacking or otherwise cheating? Why or why not?

Of course! Who doesn’t know the feeling of trying over and over and over and over again just to see somebody pass by, hop around a bit and get to the end of that jumping puzzle to reach into the chest and pull out a precursor item? Grmpf. ;) I usually don’t think they are cheating. I just think they are there to make me feel especially incompetent. :p No, seriously, unless they appear and disappear randomly at various spots in the world (teleport hacks – I’ve seen them often enough in Warhammer Online), then I don’t think they are cheating.

Pride – Are you one of those people that demands grouping with other “elite” players? Do you kick players out of your team who you feel are under-performing? Why or why not?

I demand grouping with sensible people! People who know that others make mistakes, but who try their best to help each other and have fun. I admit, I get frustrated when there is another player who is severely underperforming even after telling them how to do something (e.g.: Do not stand in the red puddle on the ground. It’ll kill you instantly!). But I haven’t kicked them out yet or asked to have them removed from the raid, because this would also make me feel bad. I usually just hope that one day, they will finally understand what that red puddle looks like and get out of there quickly enough – or get a better PC or a faster internet connection which could also always be the reason for why they are performing the way they are.

One Day… I will play you…

I caught myself saying this very sentence several times in the last few days. I have also seen several people say that they won’t buy any more games on Steam unless they have at least played x other games that they bought in the past. How successful are we with that, eh? ;)

In my case, Trine 3 triggered that sentence, but it actually didn’t start nor stop there. The Trine series is a very odd one for me. I remember a guildie (Damagedself, actually) telling me about Trine 2 and that I should give it a try. I am not a fan of platformer games, though. Other than with the Gameboy, I never really played them. And even back then, I was more a fan of the setting, the world than the game itself. Anyway, I did give it Trine 2 a try and I clearly remember that after a few minutes, I was jumping up and down, squealing, telling bookahnerk how I needed to have that game because it’s awesome! I loved the music, I loved the art design, I loved creating boxes with the wizard, Amadeus. It was totally not the game I would usually play, but it was a game I had fallen in love with. I did buy the game not long after and even played it for a bit. I also own Trine 1. Still, up until this day, I did not play either of those games much.

The music and atmosphere in Trine 3 seem to be exactly the way it was in Trine 1 and 2. One Day, I will buy and play this game!

Torchlight I and II are also on my list of “One Day…”-games. I actually got into playing Torchlight I again recently and really enjoyed myself until that one evening last week where I bought weapons from the gambling vendor, got a really great rifle and… accidentally sold it again. I could not re-buy it anymore as the available stock had changed in the meantime. Now I’m broke and with my old crappy weapon still. But before I delve into Torchlight II together with bookahnerk, I am determined to finish Torchlight I. So… One Day…

Another recurring game on that list is “The Secret World”. I love almost everything about it. The only part I really do not like at all is the combat. Unfortunately, as with every other MMORPG out there, combat is an important part of the game (why is that, by the way? Do we really have to focus on combat so much?).TSW_scenery2

Defiance and Skyrim are on my list as well, but both are in the backseat for different reasons. I tried out Defiance, the game, before I had seen the first episode of the TV series. I did not like it too much, although I am always looking for a nice science fiction MMO to play. Then Netflix arrived here in Germany and I saw that they have the first season of Defiance available. I started watching it, more out of curiosity than anything else and I really enjoyed it and liked the world it is set in as well as some of the characters. So for this very reason, I would like to get into Defiance, the game. So far, no luck. Still, it is behind The Secret World for me. Skyrim is the game I want to love, but don’t. Mostly for technical reasons, actually. What annoys me most of all now is the clunky user interface and the lagging mouse for which I have not found a fix that works yet. I just always wonder: Is a game worth my time (especially with so many others on my list) that I cannot enjoy unless I dig through mods first? Still, One Day…

Skyrim_Gechi_2

I am not alone with such a list, right? I’m pretty sure every gamer out there has games that One Day, they will get to play… maybe…, but for one reason or another, that day just keeps getting rainchecks.

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).