Thursday, January 29, 2015

It's Just One Wafer Thin Mint

You'd think that January would be a prime MMO gaming time. After all, in the Northern Hemisphere it's Winter, and you're not exactly going to be doing a lot of outside work when it's below freezing. Additionally, the high school (American) football season is long over, so my oldest doesn't need to go to marching band practices multiple times per week.*

But. (You knew that was coming, right?)

I've just not found the time to go onto MMOs very much the past month or so. It's kind of strange, really, but when I've sat down to play a little on the computer I've been dialing up Civ IV instead of an MMO.

Part of this is practical: I can pause in Civ IV any time I want without impacting the game at all. (Yay for turn based games!) I used to be able to do that --to an extent-- in WoW by summoning a flying mount and shooting upward into the sky to park for a while, but leaving WoW meant leaving that behind.  (There's also the issue about no flying mounts in Draenor, but I digress.)

I have done some questing on SWTOR, but that's been often in the evening when prying eyes can watch what I'm up to. Typically it's not a big deal if I'm on an Imperial toon, but since the Mini-reds play SWTOR, I'm trying not to give away any class stories.** My youngest reminded me of that when I got to the part in Chapter One with Risha and Tatooine, and my youngest blurted out loud "She's betraying you!!!"  I looked sidelong at her and said "I know the story --or enough of it-- and you don't. Don't jump to conclusions when you haven't seen the lead-in to this part."

There have been other games I've been playing, such as GW2 and STO, but for some reason I can't play for more than 1/2 hour at a time, so any long stretches of exploring, questing, and doing other things simply have to wait.


It's a strange feeling, being in MMO limbo.

You read other blogs and you say to yourself "Yeah, I want to get back to playing again!" But then reality intervenes and you have to go take care of some laundry or dinner.*** I'd gotten used to that scenario when I played pencil and paper RPGs, which require some actual playtime of an hour or three at a time, but when my MMO reality is 1/2 hour at most....

I'd started Dragon Age: Origins, but that petered out when I realized I'd be spending long hours at a time in front of the computer screen. A well written computer game is akin to reading a novel, and I've been known to... have issues... putting down a novel at night. Several months ago I spent a little time on Saturday night tinkering with Star Trek Online. "No big deal," I thought. "I'll just play for a little while, do a little exploring one of the zones, and call it a night."

I finally called it a night at 4 AM.

Um, yeah. I don't have any problems stopping. No sir. And no, my name is not Mr. Creosote, either.****


Ironically enough, the mini-Reds have been busy on LOTRO, enjoying the fun that comes with group content in their own kinship. As a parent, it derives me no end of pleasure listening to them talk about their exploits in Middle-earth, and of the songs played at the latest concert in Bree. They've even started talking about adding to their kinship, but I've cautioned them about not recruiting people other than those friends they know from school who would be interested in this sort of thing. I'd rather not have them deal with guild drama if they can avoid it.

That said, it wouldn't necessarily shock me if they decided to start their own LOTRO band. I guess I'd have to help them with the technical end of things, but I'm sure it's a minor obstacle.

*I'm still surprised that the school never accepts band classes for the physical education requirement. Unlike some other schools, our high school requires all students taking either wind ensemble or symphonic band classes to march in the marching band. And as the marching band students will tell you, marching band is a very strenuous activity, far more so than the actual phys ed classes out there.

**They only play Republic toons, so I'm safe playing Imperial toons when they're around.

***Or sleep. I'm no longer a spring chicken --it's a saying, kids, go look it up if you don't believe me-- and I like to get as much sleep as I can. I'd get even more if I wasn't obligated to stay up while my oldest completes her homework.

****If you don't know where THAT name comes from, you might not want to know.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Is this necessarily a problem?

Polygon is reporting that selfie portraits have recently become available in the WoW PTR.

Oh, I get where this is interesting, but I'm wondering the why of it all. Outside of the occasional up close pic here and there, WoW is more about clothing, art, and other items than up close facial shots.

From Polygon. I find it... interesting... that Blizz
came up with this AFTER the Blood Elf rework.

But I can see where this becomes a target of the late night talk show circuit: "As if we aren't narcissistic enough as a society that we have to take selfies in our video games...."

Oh well.

Monday, January 26, 2015

So it's not MMO Related...

...but Bioware has the Dragon Age: Inquisition tavern songs available for a free download right now. Whether or not you played the game, it's still free.

The best part? Not just the music, but they have PDFs of the sheet music so you can sing along. The sheet music isn't for multiple instruments, but it's far better than nothing at all.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

We'll call it Overwa-- What do you mean that's taken?

Apparently Blizz might have to change the name of Overwatch to something else.

Innovis Labs submitted a US Patent and Trademark request for the name Overwatch 2 months prior to Blizzard submitting the same request, and you can probably guess the rest.

Here's a short blurb from The Escapist on this little mixup.