My Experience is Probably Not Yours

ScreenShot0025Headstart for ArcheAge began a few days ago, letting me finally make use of the $150 Archeum pack I purchased months ago. Sort of. As with any head start or game release these days, Trion was plagued with DDoS attempts, server queues, and unstable authentication problems. None of these were new to me, in fact we went through pretty much the exact same thing when WildStar launched a few months back. Ah, memories.

Despite all of the issues that plagued servers and players, I did manage to create two characters on the Naima server. I first created East, because that’s what I had played in my very limited alpha / beta experience. I reached level 15, purchased an 8×8 farm plot along with a 16×16 house plot, and all was well. I didn’t realize at the time just how difficult it would be to obtain land just a few hours later.

After playing for a few hours I also realized that a number of my friends were playing West, and so I decided to create a tank class (my first character being healer-esc). I absolutely fell in love with everything. The world, the quests, the character.. it is completely different than my experience playing East. The only downside is that this character is now 17 and I haven’t been able to find a spot of land anywhere. It’s not a huge deal because (for now at least) I have been able to plant things on my old character and ship them off to my alt. I’m thinking that 16×16 housing plot will actually become my larger farm plot, so I will have to do the secondary quest that rewards me with the larger scarecrow. Eventually.

I’m having a LOT of fun. A lot more than I thought I would. I have been trying to meet up with a guild and get involved in some of the more social aspects of the game, but so far that hasn’t been working out too well for me. I suppose it’s due to the time that I’m online, or the fact that pretty much everyone requires you to use TS or ventrillo, and honestly I’m just not THAT social. I’m hoping I find my own little niche to call home soon, and I can certainly see me sticking around ArcheAge for quite some time to come.

I know my experience probably doesn’t match that of the majority out there, at least not if you go by the attitude on social media. I’ve heard many people upset about the lack of land and the connection troubles they have been facing. I can’t say I blame them, but I do think that if I am patient, I’ll find my “dream home” eventually.

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

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Upcoming Events – Extra-Life

extralife2012

Last year was my first attempt at extra-life – and it was a lot of fun but also very hard. I debated whether or not I was going to do it again this year, especially since almost all of my friends are also doing it, and that makes getting donations hard. I don’t want to harass people into donating because that defeats the purpose.

After a lot of thought, I decided that the cause really is just too wonderful not to support. So I set up my twitch channel for the upcoming event, signed on with a new team, and got the donation page all set up. My goal is pretty low, I’m only looking to raise $100, last year I managed to raise almost $300 for CHEO (the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario) and as most people know, every little bit helps.

As for what games I’ll play, I haven’t decided! I figure I’ll do a mixture of indie titles and other more well-known titles over the hours. Expect some sort of make-shift schedule to be put up in the upcoming weeks, and unlike last year I think I’ll be voicing for most of the stream this year, so that should give some hilarious moments especially as sleep deprivation sets in.

A huge hug to all of my fellow gamers who are undertaking this task. Sure, gaming is fun, but it’s really nice to see everyone coming together for a common goal, and towards such an amazing charity.

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I’m Loving Sims 4, Here’s Why

09-06-14_3-01 AMThere has been a lot of discussion lately on what Sims 4 is missing. Things that were in previous versions of the games, beyond toddlers and swimming pools, that you won’t find in Sims 4 (yet). Many people comment about how the game is sure to be a cash grab offering players extra features in DLC. It has stirred up quite a lot of controversy, and many of the discussions include reference to people returning to Sims 3 which has an incredibly robust world and is full of features. Of course that happens after so many expansions are released.

For myself, I am completely smitten by The Sims 4, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Are there things missing? Sure. Does it take some getting used to (especially the loading screens) yes, yes it does. Is the game fun? Incredibly.

I love that they have opened up things with the gallery features. Being able to create, save, and upload entire families, houses, or rooms, (as well as download others creations) is fantastic. There are some days I don’t really want to build an entire home, or I need some inspiration. The gallery feature makes this incredibly easy to do within game, and you don’t have to download items from an awkward UI before you load in (or from a web site, as example).

The worlds do initially feel smaller because there are loading screens between almost every location you travel to including your neighbours but now that I have played a few hours it’s starting to fade a bit more into the background and it’s by no means a game breaker for me. The locations you do travel to feel like they have a higher population of people wandering through and there’s loads of interactions to do. Plus there are collectibles in every corner of the map, fishing, dig sites, and frogs. I started breeding them and now my house is overrun. There’s a TON of interaction, and I can’t help but think that now that the major things are taken care of the dev team can focus on adding those little things that we all feel are missing from the game.

I have ran into one major issue, and that’s with the screen going black any time I build / purchase an item from the build screen. It has to do with dual monitors, and there is a work around that includes alt-tabbing and changing the resolution of the game a few times, then swapping it back to the normal resolution. I’m able to continue to play the game normally after this, and it doesn’t prevent me from playing (though I do need to ‘fix’ the game every time I play). Aside from that, I haven’t encountered anything major.

TL;DR? I’m loving the game. It’s fun, intuitive, and I’m willing to overlook the small things that annoy me. I wouldn’t go recommending the game to others quite yet, because I do think a majority of people may feel the game is too lacking, but I think that the game will be even more amazing in a few months time.

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What Happened Next?!

09-04-14_12-24 PMI made it to August 31st and posted every single day – and then something happened, and I stopped. Since I moved to BC my PC has been giving me issues. Nothing big, just the odd program not working here and there (microsoft outlook, for one). Problem was that the program that wasn’t working ended up being The Sims 4. One of my most anticipated games for the year. I was pretty heart broken. I got the game to run just fine on my laptop and another computer in the house, but no matter what I tried, it simply wouldn’t run on my main desktop. I tried pretty much everything. I re-installed windows (three times), re-installed Origin, The Sims 4, disabled all firewalls and anti-virus programs. I swapped out the ram, I swapped out my video card, you name it and I tried it.

After attempting almost every possible solution I could, and even talking to an actual person at EA (I know, they exist!) I decided that the last thing it could possibly maybe be, was an issue with my aged first generation i7. In other words it was time to replace my motherboard and processor. There hasn’t been a BIOS update available since 2010, and lets face it, it was time.

So I ordered the components from Newegg.ca, they arrived the next day (I love their prices and prompt service) and after a few stressful hours (I have a watercooler that needed installing too) I was faced with a new PC. It was time for the moment of truth. After ALL of this, would The Sims 4 finally run? One thing that I really liked was that I didn’t need to re-install windows when I added the new components. I had to activate it again, but aside from installing new motherboard drivers, it ran perfectly fine.

I swear I held my breath while I loaded the game.

IT WORKED! Finally, days after launch, I was able to get in-game. Everything runs like a dream. I wouldn’t suggest if a game doesn’t work that people should run out and purchase upgrades but in my case it worked. I honestly did attempt every possible solution first (did clean boot, couldn’t launch it in safe mode, attempted cleaning my registry, etc etc, you name it, I did it). Now my computer is MUCH happier, which of course in turn makes ME much happier. So. Expect LOADS of Sims 4 stuff over the next little while. I know, the game is lacking some features, but I have been having a lot of fun playing with it so far, and I know it will only get better and gain more features as time goes on. Maybe I’m just using rose coloured glasses, but oh well.

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MStar Online

ScreenShots_ 2014-08-31 17-55-42-797One of my latest game fascinations is a game called ‘Mstar Online‘ – it’s basically Dance Dance Revolution for your keyboard. It’s a free to play game from Garena, and it’s all sorts of fun. Basically you have to download their chat client from the link above, switch the client to Singapore, and then you should be able to play (after a lengthy download, some patching, and dancing on one foot). The music is catchy, and dancing isn’t all you can do.

There’s player housing, gardening, outfits to plan, daily quests, and a bunch of things that I haven’t even figured out yet, something about couples. There are multiple types of dance rooms that you can queue for, and ranks of skill. I have been playing in the beginner rooms but I can go up to the second rank and at least know I’ll be able to hit a few of the right keys. The third rank (advanced) is so far beyond me it’s not even funny. I have no idea how anyone manages to play on that rank because the steps you have to follow along with are just a blur of images to me.

You can play by yourself but you’ll earn less points that way and after your beginner buff falls off you won’t earn any points at all but you’ll be in ‘training mode’. The idea is to play against (or with) other players, and earn points that way. Of course the less mistakes you make, the better.

Why am I so taken with this game? I’m honestly not sure, but it is incredibly fun and of course that means I had to share.

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