Cat Context 55: Finally, Casual vs. Hardcore! Steam Summer Sale Purchases!
Jul16

Cat Context 55: Finally, Casual vs. Hardcore! Steam Summer Sale Purchases!

cat context vertical Cat Context 55: Finally, Casual vs. Hardcore! Steam Summer Sale Purchases!

Ellyndrial is back home, and together with Liore and Arolaide we all sat down to talk about the last couple of weeks in gaming news.

Last week a LotRO Community manager declared that raiders are one of the smallest segments of MMO players but also one of the most vocal. We start out discussing if raiders get more than their fair share of developer attention, and eventually get into that eternal debate: casual vs. hardcore!

Liore’s hardcore sympathies are quickly exposed when she argues that “casuals” the true elitists. At least we can all agree (I think?) that the biggest insulters in MMOs are people who take a game too seriously but are still bad at it. Does the casual/hardcore debate really just boil down to the degree of challenge? Also thanks to a question from Telwyn all three hosts talk about how their approach to MMOs has changed over time, mostly becoming more relaxed in our approach and more appreciative of diversity in games.

Also: We bought things in the Steam Summer Sale! Liore is level 42 in WildStar, while Elly wonders if it’s possible to just fall out of the MMO habit. Meanwhile Arolaide moved a bunch of boxes, animals, and children to a new home in the past few weeks and would like to be very clear that she is not chopped liver.

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* Massively on the LotRO statements.
* The Ancient Gaming Noob feels a moment of smugness relative to raiders.
* Free Music Archive page for our theme, in THE crowd by The Years

Things to do when it’s hot and you’re too busy to play games

Work, what are you doin’? Work. Staaaaahp.

It has been crunch time at the old Liore office for three or four weeks now, combined with a pretty strong heatwave in Vancouver, so when I get home from work I just want to lie on the floor and do the opposite of thinking.

Sitting in front of the computer is way too warm right now. My work project involves dealing with a very unpleasant client, so by evening frankly I’m sort of over interacting with humans in general. So what am I gonna do?

1) Quiz Up. I was fairly into this a few months ago when the app first hit Android phones, but I got kind of overwhelmed with friend challenges (my friends are too smart, dammit) and stopped playing as much. But a game only takes 3 minutes or so, which is just about perfect for waiting for the bus or hiding in the bathroom at work praying for the madness to e– I mean while in line at the grocery store. Also they added a World of Warcraft category at some point. Take that, academic types!

2) Netflix Sitcom Binges. Work is stupid and I hate everyone (grumble grumble) so I’ve had a weird desire to watch sitcoms lately for a happy fix. First up was all of the first season of Brooklyn 99, which was recommended by Arolaide. I thought the first couple of episodes were uneven, but it has a crackerjack cast and really seemed to find its beat in later episodes.

I’ve also consumed 1.5 seasons of The Mindy Project. It’s.. okay? Kind of mediocre. I’m not sure I’d recommend it except for the fact that Mindy Kaling is talented and adorable and did I mention it’s been really hot here you guys.

Neither Brooklyn 99 nor The Mindy Project really stood out honestly, and I’d probably rather rewatch the first season of Better Off Ted or NewsRadio again. If you have a recommendation for a sitcom to watch, I’d like to hear it!

3) Frozen Juice Boxes. I’m a grown up, ostensibly. I can’t eat ice cream EVERY day. So an old lady shoutout to freezing kid-sized tetra packs of apple juice and eating them with a spoon for a cold snack.

Ummmmm, so, yeah. That’s a good summary of my last few weeks. Phone games, network sitcoms, and juice. I should probably just get back to work now…

My Biggest Enemy of Appointment Gaming is… Dinner

Back in my bad old raiding days we would start runs at 6pm Pacific, which meant as guild leader I would really need to be online and ready to rumble by at least 5:45. Raids went for 3 hours, and usually had a hour afterward of decompression, chatting, helping folks with the guild bank, doing daily quests, and so on. The result was that 2 to 3 nights a week I was in front of my computer with very little opportunity for a break from about 6-10pm.

These are also prime dinner hours. At the time I couldn’t cook (and wasn’t interested in learning how) and it’s not like I had a lot of time for cooking anyway. Dinner was usually picked up on the way home in the form of fast food and gulped down while inviting people to the raid, or something I could throw into the microwave over the mid-raid break. (Yes, some nights I was the typical gamer who ate pizza pockets.)

Right after I quit raiding and quit WoW for a while, I suddenly had all this free time in the evening. I started teaching myself how to cook. Cooking quickly became my relaxation activity — throw on a movie, pour a glass of wine, and knead dough, or chop onions, or stir risotto. Along with a love of cooking came a greater awareness of what I was eating, and while there is certainly still cruddy food in my life I put a lot of value on cooking my own delicious, healthy(-ish!) stuff.

Fast forward a few years to today. I am still diggin’ the heck out of WildStar, and the group content is so much fun. We have a bunch of folks who live in an EST zone and have to be in bed at a reasonable time on weeknights, some of whom have become part of my regular dungeon/adventure group. Not only that, but also I’m levelling as part of a duo, so I can’t really get away with my usual odd hours of play.

The result is a conflict between dinner and gaming. Prime WildStar time is between 7 and 9. If I wait until after playing with my friends it’s usually too late to do any proper cooking and I’m already starving anyway. If I eat before playing with my friends I’m basically coming in the door from work and heading right to the stove.

It’s clear that if I’m going to keep this whole appointment gaming thing up on a regular basis I’m going to have to actually start planning my meals with speed and flexibility in mind.

Anyway, here is a recipe for a quick and healthy dinner that you can eat while running a dungeon with about 10 minutes of prep:

Yummy Dungeon Night Peanut Butter Dip

1/4 cup of peanut butter
fresh minced garlic to taste (I use like 3 cloves because I love garlic)
a tablespoon or two of fresh minced ginger
the juice from half a lime
3-ish tablespoons of rice vinegar (white vinegar works okay too)
a pinch of sugar
salt
crushed red pepper flakes if you like spicy

Throw everything together in a little dipping bowl and mix thoroughly. Add vinegar or water until you get a good consistency and flavor. Let it sit in the fridge for 10-15 minutes, or even covered overnight. Grab bowl of dip, grab a bag of pre-cut mixed broccoli and cauliflower crowns (you could cut your own too, but I’m lazy). Eat everything! You get protein, fat, and fibre. Yum.

WildStar: a PSA About Harvesting Your Neighbor’s Garden
Jul08

WildStar: a PSA About Harvesting Your Neighbor’s Garden

Work is still owning my brain and will continue to do so for the rest of the week, so just a short post today. But first, look at my Aurin! Isn’t she adorable? … that’s pretty much all I wanted to say about that.

2014 07 07 22 34 55 WildStar 6760 214x500 WildStar: a PSA About Harvesting Your Neighbors Garden

So let’s talk about gardens in WildStar. Specifically, your neighbors’ gardens.

WildStar has the totally amazing option of setting your plot to share harvested goods between the plot owner and the harvester. In my guild we generally set everything to 50/50, although some kind folks give as much as 75% of the haul to the harvester. The share ratio setting affects every plug on a plot, and there’s no way to specify just one.

This works out really well for mining and survivalist (logging, essentially) plugs. Guildies have steady access to raw materials, avoid harvesting bots in the open world, and when I log on at the end of the day I usually have a mailbox full of materials that would otherwise not be used. Harvesting nodes refresh in about 30 minutes for standard plugs, so even if someone just logged your last tree as you logged on you won’t have long to wait for a fresh crop. Everyone is happy!

(It’s also a great way to encourage people to visit each other’s housing plots and be social, but that’s a topic for another post.)

Gardens, however, are a totally different beast. A harvested plot will not respawn without seeds. The majority of seeds come from… harvesting plots. If a harvester does not resow garden plots after harvesting, the garden owner is very much getting the raw end of the deal because a) they only get 50% (or whatever the setting is) of the seeds b) the empty plots aren’t generating any more plants.

Even if a harvester does resow, it doesn’t always compensate the garden owner. Some seeds and their resulting plants are much more valuable than others. If I fill up my garden with logicleaf and grimgourds, both quite expensive right now on Evindra, and you replace it with the much cheaper and more available spirovine… well, I might make a face when I log on and notice.

So a Public Service Announcement: harvesting your neighbor’s mines and survivalist plugs is rad! But please don’t harvest their garden unless you have a previous agreement, and if you do then please resow with the same seeds.

Thank you.

Cat Context 54: Clip Show!
Jul02

Cat Context 54: Clip Show!

cat context vertical Cat Context 54: Clip Show!

There is something worse, and it really does blow. When a long-running series… does a cheesy clip show!

- The Simpsons

Liore, Arolaide, and Ellyndrial were all swamped by real life this week, so we’ve put together a selection of some of our favorite moments from the last two years.

This episode includes selections from:

Cat Context 1: Enter the SWTOR Bikini Warrior
Cat Context 5: “Skynet is lying in wait in a slave Leia costume!”
Cat Context 8: Bears Are the Enemy of All Men. . and Orcs
Cat Context 14: Yes, but how does this all relate to Mass Effect?
Cat Context 28: E3 Postmortem, Console Premortem, and Free-to-Play with Syl
Cat Context 35: Steam Machines, FF14, Bad Raider Memories
Cat Context 41: Game Trivia Showdown 2013!
Cat Context 46: Warlords of Draenor – Insta-90s, Proving Grounds, the Ability Pruning
Cat Context 49: Ready Player One review, WildStar patches, ArcheAge alpha
Cat Context 50: Our Second Birthday! Ask Us Anything!

If you enjoyed this podcast, please “Like” or “Favorite” it in your media consumption method of choice! It makes us feel nice.

* Free Music Archive page for our theme, in THE crowd by The Years

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