Garrisons and all their Goodies

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Alright. I know there are going to be a lot of WoW posts from various sites over the next little while, so for those who are not interested in WoW, I apologize. It is one of the (many) games I tend to play, so you’ll have to handle a few posts here and there! Warlords released, and while there have been issues (server issues, bug issues, etc) for me personally things have been relatively smooth – minus the server issues which were of course expected and I don’t mind them.

When I first heard about garrisons I got all excited thinking these were player housing. They’re not. They’re instances where you get to plop down buildings and sure you get to choose what buildings you plop down, and yes they are incredibly useful – but this is not player housing as I have come to know it. There’s no decorating, no creativity. You’re not naming any of your followers, or doing anything to the zone aside from choosing what building is going where. That being said, it IS highly addictive.

If you’re familiar with the Rift minion system then you already know what to expect from followers in garrisons. You earn NPC through PvE quests and through garrison quests (there are other ways but these are the beginning methods) and they’ll randomly take on a quality. The  beginning NPC will start at level 90, you get to level them to 100 through garrison quests. You’ll spend a lot of time at the Mission Specialist in the garrison, choosing which follower is going on which mission for the best odds. Unlike Rift where you’re not given a percentage of success right there on the mission, WoW takes all the guess work out of the equation for you.

You send your little minions followers out, and they come back after a pre-determined length of time. Some times they come back with experience, garrison resources (used for upgrades), a fancy item for you, some gold, etc. You get the picture. They level up, and you work on your garrison. You start with an Inn, Barracks, and if you have a crafting specialty chances are you’ll run into a quest that will reward you with plans for your craft (in my case this was engineering). You’ll play some more and wonder how the heck you get to earn more buildings, and how to upgrade the current ones you have.

Thankfully there are loads of guides on this part of the game. One in particular that I have been using is on Icy-Veins, and it explains that in order to upgrade your town hall to T2 you’ll need to complete the quest Bigger is Better. In order to get that quest, you need to complete a majority of the quests in Twilight Glade (Alliance at least). You’ll also need 200 resources and some gold, so keep that in mind. I’m not quite at the point where I’m ready to upgrade to T2 yet, but I’m slowly getting there and I’m quite excited about it. My warlock just reached level 92, and I’m enjoying the ride more than I’m trying to rush.

I have to admit, it’s also very nice to see so many of my friends playing – I know it probably won’t last, but I’m still very happy.

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6th Annual Gamers Secret Santa

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It’s that time of year again! Time for the 6th annual gamers secret santa! Have no idea what that is? Well. I’ve been running it for a while now. There was one I ran last year in 2013the 2012 one, 2011, 2010, and 2009. It has grown each year, and while it’s not the largest celebration out there, it is one I really take a lot of pleasure from. Geeky gifts are sent out all over the world, and if you would like to participate or are interested in what it is all about please read further!

What it is: Those who want to participate are more than welcome to. You can be a gamer, blogger, a member of the game industry, whatever. As long as games are some how a part of your life. I will take names / addresses, and assign everyone a ‘secret’ person to buy a small less than $20 gift for, as well as give them the address required. Send out your gift and wait for one to head your way, and that’s it. Ok, let me explain it a bit better.

What is “Secret Santa?” here’s the definition!

How:

1. Send your full name and mailing address to me at stargrace@mmoquests.com, make sure it comes from a valid email address. If you happen to run a fansite or a blog, please mention which blog you write for (if you want, you don’t have to). It doesn’t matter who you are or how involved in the gaming community you are, anyone can participate. If you’re worried that I have not gotten your email, please contact me on twitter: @stargrace. I will email you back, so make sure to check your trash folders.

2. On December 2nd I will email you back with someone else’ address.

3. The price limit is $20, don’t spend any more than that. Be creative, make something, have it be unique to your culture or your life, if you need suggestions then please don’t hesitate to let me know. Try to keep in mind that we’re all gamers, no matter where we come from.

4. Keep your person a secret! Don’t tell anyone who else you have. If you DO happen to run a fansite or blog, then when you receive your gift write about it and let everyone know.

5. If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to let me know below in comments, or email me.

ALTERNATE METHOD: 

If you live in a location where mail is not very practical and you’re worried about it getting lost, I WILL offer a digital gift exchange method for those who request it. If you choose to participate this way here is what I need from you:

Send your full name and the following: The email associated with your steam account, your steam handle, your raptr handle, the email you would like any digital gift sent to.

More Details: I understand that you may not be comfortable with me or one other person having your mailing address, so if you’re not please don’t feel pressured to participate. The idea is to share with one another and realize what a fantastic community we have, not make you feel on edge that you’re going to potentially run into issues.

If you’d like to participate but simply can not afford to no matter what, send me an email and let me know, I will do my best to help you out. I want anyone who’s interested to be able to participate in this event. I think sometimes we forget that these people we all talk to online are not just random pixels, but are actual people on the other end of those computers.

Please keep in mind that only myself, and ONE other person will have your address. It won’t become a mailing list or anything like that. If you’re only comfortable with me having it and no one else then let me know, and I’ll have your gift sent to me and then I’ll send it out to you. Anything to make sure people are comfortable and still able to participate.

YOU HAVE UNTIL DECEMBER 1st TO EMAIL ME YOUR ADDRESS – please take your time to think about whether or not this is something you really want to do. If it is, get me your address by December 2nd so that I can give people some time to get their shopping done. If it’s a little late (the gift, not the address) that’s alright.

If you don’t celebrate Christmas but still want to participate that’s alright too! This isn’t a religious thing. There are some amazing gamers I have met from all over the world, and I think that we have a lot to share with one another.

I think that’s about it. If you can think of something I’ve missed then please let me know and I’ll do my best to answer it. I just wanted to share some of the Christmas joy that’s going to be flying around before too long and figured this would be a fantastic idea for people to experience it with one another.

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Lets go Swimming!

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Yesterday it was announced that pools were finally making it into game, a long awaited feature that most expected would go live when Sims 4 released. Unfortunately time doesn’t always work  on our side, and the ability to swim or create pools had to be left out. I understand that time is a precious thing, and even though it’s easy to say “well, if all the features are not ready, postpone the release date!” the video game industry doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes you need to release your product no matter what you have ready to go.

Others made comments of disbelief that this was a free update. EA is well known for their nickel and dime routines, especially when it comes to the Sims franchise. I wasn’t surprised that this was a free DLC, after all it is a basic function that should have been released with the base game. Now EA comes off as “the good guys” when they finally release their content. I have no doubt that once the basics get implemented they’ll go back to releasing paid for content.

That being said – I am very happy that pools were added. Of course that means there’s a new way to kill your sims.

There were other bug fixes that were added with this patch, unfortunately the one that turns my screen completely black when I make any purchases in build mode until I change the resolution of the game and then change it back, is not fixed. I’m glad that this glitch has a temporary fix (that I have to do every time I play) because I’m sure there are other glitches out there that are not solved so easily, which may account for why it hasn’t been addressed yet.

Have you created a pool yet? Are your sims now living the high life? Let me know what you think in comments!

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Simple Weekends

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Clocks went back an hour on Sunday morning, and while I had planned on taking advantage of the extra hour to do some gaming, after a very long week all I wanted to do was sleep, and so that’s exactly what I did. 10 hours worth, all be told. It was glorious. Once my day got started, I decided to spend it relaxing and with as little stress as possible. Of course that included a lot of gaming.

While I had killed Garrosh in LFG numerous times, I had never attempted any of the more difficult runs. I queued up for a FLEX raid over the weekend and defeated the normal mode version, which granted me my first heirloom staff, a 556 ilevel beauty that was a significant upgrade over the 510 mace I had been using previously. I also won another weapon, a warforged mace that goes perfect with my healing spec. The raid itself was pretty smooth. As a healer your job is simple, keep people alive and stay out of the purple. With the removal of our instant cast heals, keeping people alive got a LOT  harder. Once I had defeated Garrosh on normal I decided it might be neat to try heroic. I queued up once again and was invited before too long. We managed to get him down to 25% but we kept wiping on the final phase when there is mind control going on. Still, it was a good learning experience for me. Dying costs a lot of out of pocket coin, so instead of spending more on wipes I decided to go run older raids with a friend to earn that pocket change back and prepare for WoD.

It was SO MUCH fun. We ran 25 man Ulduar which I had never been to before, along with pretty much all of the raid zones from the Lich King expansion. I earned so many achievements it made my head swim, and I also won two new mounts. I made a fair amount of coin back and I expect that in WoD the amount raid mobs drop may be reduced slightly. It seems like since the stat compression everyone and their dog is running older raids and stockpiling for WoD, which is now only days away.

I’m so excited!

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My Introduction to Craft the World

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One thing ExtraLife did was allow me to spend more time with my steam library, and with that I noticed “hey, I have a TON of games I have barely even played.”

One of those games is called Craft the World. When a game has mostly positive reviews, I tend to take notice. Especially when there are over 1,000 of those reviews, and the top reviewers have over 100 hours played. I’ve owned this game for quite some time now, and it is still in early access, but for whatever reason I just hadn’t played.

The game looks a lot like terraria. It’s a side scrolling game where you take control of dwarves, and have to ensure that they survive attacks from bad guys. You craft them a home, armor, food, remove resources from the world, and decorate to your hearts content (if that’s your thing). The game is a lot of ‘busy work’ especially during the first part of the game. You’re limited in how many dwarves you have, and each action you perform will net you some experience that will eventually allow you to level up and obtain another dwarf. The more dwarves you have, the more stuff gets done. You don’t technically control the individual party members, but rather you push out generic tasks (ie: chop down this tree) by clicking on it, and your minions will set off to do just that.

How you play the game is completely up to you, hence the sandbox portion. There are places to explore, but you may want to just sit tight at home, which is were all your “stuff” is (and that stuff can’t be moved, which is a bit of a shame). Of course since it’s early access there are glitches, but as time goes on more and more of the reviews posted have been positive. I did watch a few ‘lets play’ videos on youtube to see what thers were up to, mostly because for some reason the game didn’t want to recognize my structure as a structure. I’m still not sure what I did wrong, but I’m thinking the next session I play I’ll run through the campaign instead of sandbox mode (where you’re just sort of tossed into things).

All in all? A great casual way to spend some time, and it appeals to me because hey, sandbox.

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