Well, it happened. There was no Blaugust post yesterday but I did move the site to a new and faster server, so I have no regrets!
My guild is running a Hearthstone tournament and last week we all played our first round. The rules are simple: no legendary cards, no epic cards, and no zoo decks. I won my first matchup (*wave* Jhun) with an aggro pally deck and a kind of failed ramp druid deck. In other Hearthstone news while I’ve paid for all the wings so far with gold I think I may have to pay cash for Tuesday’s Quarter — I’ve spent my Hearthstone time tweaking decks for the tournament and not doing quests. Plus I’m realizing just how many cards I don’t have, so I’d rather put my gold into Arenas for cards and dust.
(Videos of most of the games so far, including mine, are here.)
I gained an entire level through PvP in WildStar on Friday and I won ONE game in all that time. The 30-49 bracket is a hole where Exiles go to die. C’moooon, 50!
One of the blogs I’ve discovered through Blaugust is Aggro Range and it’s both interesting and well written. Go check it out!
Meanwhile in non-game writing, Wired has an article titled How to Use Your Cat to Hack Your Neighbor’s Wi-Fi. It’s not groundbreaking or anything, but an amusing concept.
Also of note is this truly beautiful essay on The Power of Female Friendship.
I made these Sriracha chicken wings on Friday and they were sooooooooo good. I followed the recipe almost exactly but if (when!) I make it again I would do the wings for 15 minutes on both sides and put a smaller amount of ketchup in. Oh and more cumin, because cumin is amazing.
I am starting up a collaborative food blog for MMO bloggers! Right now myself, Murf and Syl are participating and I would love to add more folks. Let me know if you would like to post recipes, photos of food, discussions about food, or whatever. I will probably soft-launch the site next week, and you’re welcome to post as much or as little as you like.
I ended up watching a lot more Fringe yesterday while doing housework and without giving any spoilers away the whole show is pretty much worth it just for the word “Walternate”. I’m near the end of season 3 now, which means about halfway through the series. It’s kind of silly, but in a good way. (Oh and it was filmed in Vancouver so I really enjoy the “New York” or “Boston” street scenes which often take place in my neighborhood.)
A movie trailer! V/H/S 1 and 2 are recent horror anthologies featuring some pretty awesome modern indie directors that take on the theme of found footage. While some of the bits aren’t that great, others are so good that they more than make up for it. Anyway, V/H/S 3 is being made! Yessss.
Black Mirror is a UK program that’s kind of like The Twilight Zone but with an eye on technology. My favorite episode, “15 Million Merits” is on YouTube, which is important because Black Mirror is otherwise not available in North America. (If you’re in Europe, please legally obtain this show!) Warning: this is bleak stuff and understandably not suitable for sensitive folks. But it’s also really really really good sci-fi.
This week on Herding Cats I talked about four games I’m gonna play this weekend and how WoW’s retro 10th anniversary plans aren’t tempting this veteran. I also complained that Esper healing in WildStar is no fun. Plus, my top 3 favorite seasons of TV and a bunch of screenshots!
Comment highlight of the week goes to Wilhelm, who knows how to fix WoW’s 10th anniversary plans:
“Like Murph, I’d like to see them play with some sort of vanilla server, no transfers to it, no cross-realm mail from your alts, and everybody swamping the starter zones. Only there was Cataclysm, so going back to REAL vanilla is a chore, one unlikely to be take on by Blizz.”
… I would play that.
On Tumblr, this image of Orphan Black’s Tatiana Maslany as Shawn of the Dead is like two of my favorite things together in one!
Meanwhile on Twitter I just told it like it is about new upstart channel Fish Plays Pokemon
Look I don't want to be confrontational but I'm just gonna say what we're all thinking: that betta fish is bad at pokemon. #sorrynotsorry
— Jessica Cook (@Liores) August 7, 2014
Hello and welcome to day 8 of Blaugust. And I’m still standing! Or writing. Whatever, CONTENT SUCKAS.
Um, sorry about that. I have a bit of the Friday sillies, and part of the reason I am feeling so fine is that I have a delightfully lazy weekend in front of me. I mean, lazy for me includes another trip to the farmer’s market for another round of pickled beets and peach jam. And doing both podcasts on Sunday. And tidying my home between heat waves. But still, so much game time while wearing comfy pants!
I am going to play all the things. Or, well, these things in particular:
1) WildStar! I’m still level 48 and oh my god I’m so bored of levelling so I need to just get to 50 before I think about it too much. WildStar’s levelling is pretty good, honestly, but I just dislike the concept in general. It’s time to get to 50 so I can focus on grown-up character things.
2) Hearthstone! Last week I won my game in the first round of our guild Hearthstone tournament, which means next week I have to face down frequent streamer Corr. I need to rejigger my current decks and maybe come up with another one I can rotate in depending on what he is playing. (No details because I know he reads this blog. *wave*)
3) Saints Row 4! I really enjoyed this game but due to multiplayer shenanigans I only played through the first third of it or so at launch. Fortunately the most recent episode of the Crate and Crowbar podcast talked about SR4 and how awesome it is for some reason, and I’m a sucker for hype. Time to knock this off my half-played list.
4) Cook, Serve, Delicious! I got to the 2-star restaurant level in this game and then took a little break. It’s very fun and much deeper than I expected, but it also requires concentration and a high level of attention, and I’ve just been too tired and frazzled lately. This will be a great game to play on Sunday morning after a nice long night of sleep.
5) Look, four games is probably plenty for one weekend.
So what are you playing this weekend?
I’m sick today and don’t feel up to writing much, so let’s just look at some screenshots from my 2014 folder, okay?
This happened last night while playing around with my Druid ramp deck. Note that it’s turn 2. Listen, Hearthstone, when I say I want a deck with big creatures I kind of mean LATER in the game okay.
My WildStar character in her scientist costume, relaxing during a taxi ride. The game has so many amazing hats and masks, and I want to try them all on.
Lopps are one of the best things about the world of WildStar. They’re homicidal bunny-like creatures who love treasure, and call death “The Big Hug”. In this case, two Lopps were giving me quests and said I could find them in their top secret hiding spot. Note that the Lopp on the right is wearing a fez.
The water effects in ArcheAge are so beautiful. This screenshot doesn’t really do it justice — once the game launches, log on once and run to the ocean. Seriously.
Playing with the built-in bokeh effect in ArcheAge. That’s my catlady archer from Alpha, standing in her first garden.
I think this is from the Warlords of Draenor alpha? That’s my Goblin Liore, but I don’t recognize the outfit. She’s lookin’ pretty tough, though.
Note: Herding Cats will be going through some downtime this week while we move to a new and improved server. If you get a 404 at some point do not fret — we will be back shortly.
Oh WoW, you tricky beast, you almost got me again.
This little bit of news just came out:
My first reaction was excitement! Look, Tarren Mill vs. Southshore like the old days! And 40 man, max level Molten Core! And a fire corgi. Oh my god I should resubscribe like right now!
But hang on a second, let’s think about this. 40-man Molten Core was amazing back in the day, and killing Ragnaros the first time remains one of my favorite moments in the game. But since then I’ve soloed him in Molten Core and killed him again a few times in Firelands. I’ve already spent a lot of time with Mr. Rags.
And honestly LFR for a 40-man raid sounds like a nightmare. I’m not sure how Blizzard will tune the bosses, but I’m betting the fights will be easier (at best) or even tweaked and changed to make them manageable for an army of strangers.
And really, you can’t go home again as they say. Remember the time that druid got Geddon’s bomb and ran right at the guild leader? Remember ice block competitions on Garr, fighting to see who could block the highest in the air? Remember when you told that hair-trigger warrior to look through the hole in the rock to see Ragnaros and he was soooo mad as you cackled?
Man, those were good times. But I sure am not going to have similar times rolling over comparatively easy content with 39 strangers.
I loved playing in Tarren Mill vs. South Shore battles back in the day! I did it a ton as a level 30-ish priestie, before raid frames even existed. You would just randomly click on people in the mob and slam your heal buttons hoping to do some good somewhere.
But honestly, WoW just doesn’t do mob PvP very well. It’s fun for short periods of time, but part of the fun back in the day was that it was all new. I had never even seen a shaman in action before!
As for the corgi pet.. well, it’s totally adorable, but if I’m not playing the game then I don’t really need a pet, right?
And that, friends, is how I talked myself through of a bout of WoW madness. Good on those folks who like the game and are excited for the anniversary events — I hope you have a great time. But I’ve already done those things once before and although they were wonderful, going back now just wouldn’t be the same at all.
PS: Is it just me, or does this look bad for a WoD release date? If Molten Core is “max level” then it seems unlikely WoD would drop before the anniversary. American Thanksgiving looks more likely all the time!
Ugh why did I decide to try blogging every day in the month of August?! It’s only the 5th and I’m already running out of steam.
For lots to read and even some inspiration for posts, I recommend checking out the Blaugust hashtag on Twitter.
Anyway, I’m finally pushing to hit level 50 this week in WildStar (more on that later) which for me means grinding Battlegrounds in between running instances.
Although MMO PvP has kind of a chequered history, I’ve always really enjoyed it, particularly as a healer. I healed in the glory days of Terren Mill / South Shore battles, I’ve healed through hundreds of instances of every battleground in WoW, and I levelled two characters to 50 in RIFT entirely through instanced PvP healing.
So naturally when I started doing PvP in WildStar I joined as a healer and.. I hate it. Switching to DPS increased my enjoyment exponentially.
The first problem might be my class. Esper is a really strong healer but can be pretty stationery. We don’t have a ton of options for AOE healing (Reverie being the obvious spell) and while I have Soothe on my bars for healing on the go in BGs I still haven’t quite got the hang of using it.
I also find that my heals are pretty unimpressive overall in PvP. Even when I stop and spend the full 1.5 seconds to cast Mind Over Body (a big single target heal) on someone the results are underwhelming. I suspect this is because even though I’m wearing my Support Power gear I have no PvP Power stats, but honestly it’s kind of lame to need a lot of specialized PvP gear at level 47. Healing so far has just not been very satisfying.
It may also just be the way WildStar PvP works. The “action combat” system means that people are running around a lot more, which makes heals with a small area of effect more difficult to aim. And while the new Sabotage BG has players clumping up, the more frequently-played Walatiki Temple usually sees players spread all over the darn place.
Also, Exiles never win. Okay, okay, I know that people said for years that Alliance never wins in WoW and we all know that was mostly confirmation bias but this time it’s real, everyone! In like 25 games I have won… exactly one.
Okay, that might be a small sample size, but it’s still a bummer.
I loved, loved, loved PvP healing in RIFT in particular, and hopefully I have more fun in the WildStar BGs once I get 50 and/or get more PvP gear.