Developer Appreciation Week – WildStar #WildStar

loppYou may not have heard of the Developer Appreciation Week that is going on right now, but here and there throughout the week you’ll see posts from bloggers talking about it.

Now, let me mention right here that I’m obviously biased but I’ve been a gamer for many many years now,  and while working for them I have developed an enormous amount of respect for what they do and how they handle things.

Our developer team includes such well-known forum goers as Tranagram, Meerkat, Timetravel, Caydiem, Moja, and a whole lot of others that I can’t even name. All of these people work together to create an entire living world that we lucky players get to participate in.

It’s not easy. If anything I’ve learned over the years that this fine balancing act of giving players what they want, what is best for the game, what can be done with the time and funds available, and every other factor that comes into it is probably one of the most difficult things to do. They need to be able to look at an issue from many different sides and then choose the best course of action.

If anything working so closely with these different teams has given me a better understanding of what it is they have to handle on a daily basis and for that I give them my DAW for the week.

Don’t forget to show a little developer love on your own blog this week. Lets face it, sometimes we can be pretty demanding. We should be able to take a little time aside to remind everyone that even when we’re screaming about the latest issue we’re having with our favourite games, we do still appreciate everyone who works on making them the best games they can be.

A Castle to Call my Own

2015-03-29_22.11.30I’ve never built an enormous castle in minecraft before, but yesterday I decided why not. The one pictured above took most of the day off and on to build, but I adore it. It’s enormous, 33×33 tiles, and probably more than 33 tiles high. It looks out over my property, and right now it’s completely empty but I hope to work on that slowly over time. Right now there’s no way to get to any of the higher floors, something else I’ll need to work on. I have absolutely no idea what to do with the space, but I’ll no doubt think of something.

A new machine has also made its way onto the property. It creates cobblestone, which is fantastic. Basically automating the action of lava and water combining (which creates cobblestone) the machine then harvests and stores it. Apparently this will be used to create some portal that requires a lot of cobblestone, and then a quarry can be set up in the realm that the portal opens to. I don’t remember all of the details, but the friend who is playing on server with me explained it yesterday. I’m personally looking forward to doing much less mining and much more exploring. Especially because this map is really annoying to navigate under ground. It seems like every step or two I’m faced with pools of lava and water, making mining precarious and not much fun. I’m constantly mining away from these enormous caverns filled with danger, but it makes for crooked hallways and I get lost easily.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve ever built in Minecraft before? How long did it take you to complete? Let me know in comments below!

Infinity on FeedTheBeast

2015-03-25_22.04.42I’ve swapped over to a new minecraft mod, this time it’s Infinity on feed the beast. This mod is a combination of everything I was already using on The Dark Trilogy, with some extras. A lot of extras. One of those mods is called ‘decocraft’ and it’s basically just a huge selection of decorations. They’re made out of special coloured clay, red, green, and blue. You arrange the clay in patterns and out pops awesome decorations. Things like Christmas trees, presents, stuffed animals, that barrel of carrots posted above, I have an entire playground created with the stuff. It’s really quite awesome.

The twilight portal has been set up but so far I haven’t ventured in to see where it takes me. I also haven’t created a portal over to the nether yet. There has been so much to do right here – including getting started with bees. That required me to construct a few apiary, and those are not an easy task for someone playing in survival mode! In fact almost nothing I’ve been crafting has been ‘easy’. I have no idea how people manage to play making use of these mods if they’re in survival mode.

I’m having an awesome time though, and that’s good. The mod leans towards long-term play, which is perfect for someone who wants to stick with just one mod for a while and try to experience everything they can.

I tried my hand at tree grafting, too, but so far I haven’t had any luck with it. I had bees trying to pollinate but none of the leaves were discoloured or mutated (that I could see at least). I’ve tried looking for some tutorials but most of them are .. well. Not enjoyable to watch. If anyone has seen a really good one out there, please let me know!

As always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself.

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Keeping Busy in Minecraft

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Progression through The Dark Trilogy is going well so far. A workshop has been set up and in my quieter times I work on my ‘home’ which is compromised of Crayfish house items, like a fridge, microwave, television, shower, and washing machine.

Meanwhile, we’re busy gathering supplies for a few things. We want a quarry so that we spend less time mining and more time adventuring. That requires.. a lot of stuff. So much stuff. I also want to create two magnum torches in order to reduce the mob spawns around the base, each torch works in a 64 tile radius. The recipe for that particular item has changed, and now it requires quadruple and triple compressed cobblestone. That’s a LOT of cobblestone. Each quadruple is over 6 thousand. I think the hardest part of the old model was obtaining the blaze rod. On that note, I’ve been spending a lot of time in the nether. Found a fortress, found a blaze spawner. Spent some time collecting rods because they’re needed for other things.

I noticed that animals were having a hard time climbing the mountain up to the base, so I created a few safari nets and brought some back home. Now I’m breeding horses, along with reindeer from the twilight forest. Also brought back some rams that are multiple colours since I don’t have the force mod that let me create shears that would provide multiple colours. These rams are my sheep, providing wool.

There’s some farming taking place lately. Cactus is rare, so we’re growing some of that along with wheat and barely to keep my animals happy. Then there’s an apiary going on because in order to create the quarry we need a lot of other things and apparently bees are just part of that giant ecosystem.

It’s interesting, and certainly works for long-term game play which is something that I’m quite pleased about.

I also took a walk to the twilight forest and found this beautiful castle.

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I think it belongs to the Lich, which is the boss of the twilight forest, but as I was exploring I happened to come across a second castle, exactly like this one. I have no idea if there are more than one, and I wasn’t really prepared to find out. The zone is beautiful, although skeletons and zombie have made their way over because they keep walking through my portals. I’ve since put a fence around both the Nether portal, and the Twilight portal. Nothing makes me jump out of my chair faster than porting over to the nether only to be swarmed by pigmen along with zombies and spiders.

As always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!

What am I playing? LOTS!

Screenshot_20150305_164319I’ve probably played more games in the last week than I did most of last year. Part of that is due to having a bit more time on my hands than normal (hopefully a temporary situation that will be resolved by the end of this month) and part of that is because there are just so many wonderful games out there.

EverQuest2: My defiler is still only level 95, but she did manage to reach level 100 in tailoring. Crafting is an odd duck with the latest expansion, Altar of Malice. Doing the crafting quests themselves won’t get you to level 100, and grinding out writs goes quite slow – however, doing the daily craft mission will easily net you 30% experience, and doing the weekly got me an entire level. Missions re-set on Wednesdays. You can find me in game on Antonia Bayle as Stargrace.

Cities: Skylines: This game just released, and it’s so much fun. In fact it’s everything that I wanted from SimCity, at half the price. There’s an enormous mod community and enough content to keep me satisfied for quite some time. Well worth the cost, and I highly recommend it if you’re into the city building games at all.

Elder Scrolls Online: I just started playing this. It apparently starts going free to play on Tuesday. I’ve had a subscription for quite some time because I did some alpha testing on their billing system, but I never actually played. It wasn’t because of any drastic reason, I simply didn’t have the time. The game is beautiful but I’m not far enough into it to make any other calls about the game quite yet.

EVE Online: Still training skills, still working on faction, PI, and all of that good stuff. EVE Online is still one of the best games I have to relax with. That’s right, even though the skies are filled with pirates and horrible people looking to scam and pod you, it’s still relaxing.

FFXIV: I’ve started a new character on Cactuar. I’m hoping to go white mage, but I’m taking my time and things are moving along slowly. I believe my character name is Velours Reveurs for those looking to add me to their friends list. This game is absolutely gorgeous, and I’m hoping to keep it on my rotation. We’ll have to see how things go though.

Minecraft: I’m running The Dark Trilogy as a server right now for some friends. I’ve created a portal to the Twilight Forest, as well as a portal to the Nether. There are some really awesome mods in this pack, and I’m having a blast. I’m hopping to get some nether quartz so I can make some furniture that comes in a specific pack. Furniture like refrigerators and televisions. Mods really do make this game.

Sims4: Still working on my legacy family. Tristan is going to be the next person to carry the legacy name, and so I’ve been preparing him for adulthood. Right now he’s best friends with a feisty redhead neighbour girl, and they’re promised to each other. Meanwhile Jessica will probably just move into the basement (that’s right, Sims 4 is patching in basements!) and Elizabeth will age gracefully, as she watches her children carry on.

Wizard101: My life wizard is level 27, and I’ve been questing in Marleybone. It’s the home of cats, dogs, rats, and proper manners. Based on 19th century London. It’s also my favourite zone to date. It has been some time since I’ve played and it’s interesting getting back into things, but this is still a fantastic game no matter your age.

WoW: This has been taking a back seat to other games, but I still log in to check my garrison resources and to trade and do the dailies. As others have mentioned, by the time you take care of all of the garrison chores, my game time is already spent for the day. On one hand it’s great to have a reason to log in every day but on the other hand it would be lovely to play the game instead of just playing the garrisons.

The Secret World: A handful of combat wombats have decided to start up in the Secret World. We’re playing the Dragon faction, and while the game has never been a genre that I’m completely comfortable with, it does have one of the best (IMO) quest systems and story lines that I’ve ever participated in. Playing with friends makes it seem a little less scary, and even though I’ve just started (again) I’m looking forward to playing.

Wurm Online: Now that my guard tower is completed, it’s time to work on the rest of my deed along with taking care of my horses. I’ve been trying to breed 5 speeds for a while now and to also breed out the grey colour. It’s coming along well, but it requires time. In between that I’m trying to decide which skill to work on next.

Those are the games that came to my immediate mind when listing what I’m currently actively playing. There’s others I’ve left off the list on purpose – like GW2. I want to get back into the game but I just can’t seem to find the motivation to keep playing. Since it’s a buy to play game, that’s alright. I’m also still playing WildStar, but again it’s very casually and sporadic, so I don’t feel comfortable putting it up there with my ‘most played’ games. What about everyone else? Where are you spending your time these days with so many options available? Let me know in comments!

A peek into my world of mmo gaming