Once upon a time, I started a little gaming blog.  I stuck with that for quite a while – basically until I fell out of love with the game I was playing, and started to run out of things to say.

However, I didn’t fall out of love with blogging.  So, I started a general blog about my life, and issues that I thought were important.  Unfortunately, I didn’t really do well with the whole unfocused thing, and so that didn’t work out so well either.

So, finally, I decided I had to start another blog.  One which let me put my life as a mother front and centre.  One which allowed my other blogs to become more focused again, hopefully allowing me to write more productively on all of them.  People can pick and choose what version/s of me they are interested in – the geeky me, the political, social issues focused me, or the mother.  I can (hopefully!) write more easily, and get back into the habit of writing what I like best.

So…

If you want to read my rantings about… well, anything at this point, try Snarks and Ladders

If you are interested in reading about my adventures in parenting (so far, breastfeeding, not sleeping, cloth nappies, etc) then try Poop and Goop

If you do want to read about my geeky adventures, stick around here.

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The other day, I renewed my subscription.  I’ve been pondering it for a while – I really do miss playing, and I think that I could really embrace the casual lifestyle now that I have a baby (hell, I might even manage to level to the cap before the next expansion if I start playing now…).  So, I patched the game, I updated my mods, I logged in, figured out where I was and what I was up to, and walked out of the inn, and…

my computer crashed.

I had totally forgotten that my laptop is on its way out, and can no longer handle playing most any game.  My desktop is perfectly functional, but in an inconvenient room for spawn mindage. So, I am stuck… for now.  I will find a way!

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I finally hit 86 last night.  Hot damn, I’m a speed demon at this levelling stuff.

Reflections:

– There is such a thing as too much cut scene, damn it. 

– I have difficulty figuring out why the hell I should care about any of this crap.  OK, so academically, I get the story line.  Emotionally, I am not engaged at all.  And all the cut scenes in the world won’t fix that problem.  Make me give a shit about these quests, damn it!  And stop making me run errands for panda children!

– I might have lied a little.  I was a little interested in finding Anduin.  I was a little invested in that (although he’s not a little boy!  When the hell did we decide to change him from a child to a young man?  Where the hell is my in between?  Now that would have been a cut scene worth watching.  Anduin’s first day at high school… or however the hell they get educated.  Anduin awkwardly hitting on someone inappropriate like Jaina.  Anduin popping his cherry (the non graphic porno version, because that would be kinds creepy).  Anduin having to wear braces… I don’t know, where were the awkward teenage years?  The years I am sure most geeks can sympathise with?)  Of course, all the in between may have happened in that cursed expansion that I avoided like the plague.  Urgh.

– Pandas are getting old already.  Especially the way they speak.  I’m bored with Pandas, Blizzard.  At level 86.  This is not promising.

– I kinda regret not being able to level at the same time as everyone else.  That may have actually motivated me.

– The way the quests are staggered around the zone is annoying as well, and seems to have no actual flow.  I like my story to be linear if it isn’t going to be interesting.

 

Oh well, onward and upward to 87!  Which will be even slower, by the way things appear.  Oh well.

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And, of course, got immediately caught up in the wonderful world of pet battles.  As in, I spent 2 hours doing pet battles, and 1 hour actually levelling.  Or something like that.

Admittedly, progress was slow… either the map has been rearranged dramatically (doubtful) or I have just forgotten where everything is.

I also got distracted by the horseman… which we failed, because most of the people gathered there thought it would be more fun to carry on like idiots and swear at each other instead of doing the actual event.

I had some trouble getting into the quests, which has made levelling look really unappealing.  It feels like there is far too much ‘Kill Ten Rats’ going on, and not enough meaningful story development.  Although that could just be me.  I was also rather frustrated at how clunky my Warlock felt to play.  I’m hoping I get over that in time, once I get myself used to a new rotation (yes, it takes me a while… I know, I know).  Things were dying easily enough, and I only died to my own stupidity (sure Sar, you can definitely pull 20 mobs and live… that’s plausible!)  But it just felt… slow.  And clunky.  And yuck.

I forgot how much it sucks being so far behind everyone else in the guild as well.  I really haven’t had time to play lately, and I can’t help the fact that I am busy, but it is so frustrating.  Levelling is, of course, the only solution to this problem… it’s just the getting in and doing it.  I really hate levelling.  So much. 

Although, if I could level through my pets, I’d be pretty happy.

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1.  I’m in the middle of renovating a house.  That alone is pretty full on.

2.  I’m working a lot of overtime with this new job.  Which is fine, but time consuming and stressful.

3.  If I play the way I used to play, it probably wouldn’t be very fair to the boy.  5 hour sessions probably aren’t the healthiest thing in the world, but it seems to be the only way I know how to play.

4.  I’m back at uni.  That’s all that damned reading and working on top of work and the house.

5.  I just plain suck at it now.  I’ve forgotten how to play, and it just isn’t coming back to me at all.  I don’t like being so crap at it!

Nevertheless…

install

Of course, how long will it last this time? (best estimate – I’ll play twice)

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I’ve been dedicating the very little gaming time I have lately to Diablo 3 (how little?  Well, I’ve played a grand sum of 1 hour 50 minutes since it was released…).  Despite the fact that I have barely played, I am absolutely loving it.

I’m usually pretty bad at sticking to single player games.  However, somehow I’m still excited about Diablo 3, and I don’t even really mind if I don’t get to play online for a while.  Nor do I mind that most everyone has raced ahead of me levelling, and people are already hitting 60 while I’m on a measly level 8.  I’m enjoying exploring the story, having a look around, and toying with my play style.

I decided to have a go at the Demon Hunter (which apparently isn’t surprising to anyone – I thought people would have pegged me as a Witch Doctor, but eh).  I am really enjoying the snares, and kiting things around.   I never really got to kite stuff properly on my Hunter in WoW, so I guess this is the next closest thing I’ll ever do?

I’m only playing on Normal mode at the moment… while it seemed a little easy at the start (stuff just fell over as soon as I looked at it!), it’s already getting a little more challenging.  Blizzard did well to keep it very easy for the first few levels – I only felt a slight moment of ‘I’m getting bored now’ before I miscalculated something and came rather close to dying.  Of course, since I suck at gaming in general, I guess most people found it easy for a little longer than I did.

My only quibble is that the server always seems to be down when I actually have time to play.  Which is why you guys are getting a blog post for the first time in… well… a long arse time.  But really, it would be nice to have a little more play time!!

How are you guys finding D3 so far?  Love it?  Hate it?  Would marry it if they would make marrying your game characters legal? (Which, if they ever do, could prove to be interesting.  Fortunately (?) gay marriage is not legal in Australia at the moment, so I wouldn’t be put in the horrible position of choosing which character I would like to have a life long commitment to…  Although, I do wish I could freeze my real life relationships the same way I can freeze my account every so often!)

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I hit 85.

That’s right.

I finally got there.

I made it.

I actually got to the end of the levelling experience!

Of course, I immediately felt that horrible sense of ‘… and now?’  That feeling of not having any of the right gear, of being out of practise, of not knowing whether you had the right spec, the right rotation, the right anything.

And, of course, it turns out I was pretty much on the money with the spec and the rotation anyway.  I have one talent point that I mysteriously put in the total wrong spot while levelling (no biggie, really), and while my levelling rotation was terribad (I’m lazy, and Corruption takes effort when I’m questing.  As little buttons as possible when brainlessly killing crap, kkthx), I knew almost instinctively what to press and when to press it when I was attacking  the target dummy.  At least my Warlock sense is still kinda existent!

I probably won’t right too much about what buttons to press and when to press them – I think most people would be past that point in the game now, and don’t really need that.  So, instead, you will probably get more sporadic babble about my adventures.

I got my first (85) epic as well! Although it was kinda cheating – I noticed I had a heap of honor points left over from whenever it was that I used to PvP, and figured I may as well replace one of my lame ass rings with a some what better one.  So, it’s a craptastic epic, but hey, it’s purple, right?  I’m a little spoilt, and I’m kinda used to being in epics.  Although I think everyone is, with how the game works now!

Now I’m probably going to keep doing random dungeons and PvP, and work on my Hunter and Druid for a bit – I got another heirloom for the Hunter to move her along a little faster, and my Druid… well, it’s only 5 levels.  How bad can it be?

(Answer: Very bad.  Definitely not doing Uldum again.  Not a fan.  Too many cutscenes, damn it!)

So. 85 attained.  Next up – time to find my old snarky attitude.

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It’s been a while since I have had the time to play WoW.  Mainly because the boy keeps stealing my computer every time I have nothing better to do!  In fact , the only reason I am able to write this post is because he is too busy watching the cricket to use the damn thing.

From what I can tell, the vast majority of my guild is defecting to SW:ToR.  So, I think things will be pretty quiet on the WoW social scene for me.  However, I’ll still plod along, maybe just PuG this that and the other if I ever hit 85, and muck around with alts.  Who knows?

It’s funny, because the thought of playing WoW is a lot more entertaining than actually playing WoW.  I don’t know whether it’s because things are so quiet in the game or what… I usually don’t cope well without a bunch of people to chat to.  So, to that end… if you want to add me on Real ID, let me know.  I’m always after more people to chat to!

Here’s hoping I can actually get in the game and get somewhat interested again!

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Well, so far so good.  I’m almost at the end of the wonderful level 83, without even stepping foot in an instance (which is the total opposite to my usual method of levelling).  I’ve knocked over Hyjal and Deepholm, and foresee myself finishing out my levelling on Sar in Uldum (which, so far, I am not enjoying… but then, I hated Deepholm for the first 30 quests or so.  I think I just have to get used to it).

I’m feeling a little sad that I couldn’t keep Pebble as a pet. Apparently, I have to do a damn daily ten times to be able to keep him or some such nonsense.  Damn it, I hate dailies.  This is probably reflected in my Smurfs game, which positively reeks of the whole concept of ‘daily quests’.  I probably have the most wasteful farm in the history of Smurfdom. I like to blame my failure at the Smurf game on my feminist objections to the franchise (can we refer to Smurfs as a franchise now?  Or just a really annoying phenomenon?  One that actually made me dislike something with Neil Patrick Harris in it even?), but really, I think it’s more that I fail at the concept of dailies and doing the same damned thing every damned day. Blah.

This might also be why I fail at many aspects of that thing known as Real Life.  After all, what is a job but a fricking lame daily quest?

Aaaaaanyway, back to the point.

So, a bunch of glorified rocks now think I’m pretty awesome.  I think that’s all I got out of my time in Deepholm.  Which could be better than my time in Hyjal, which can be summed up as “I’d rather be eating these baby animals than saving them, but what the hell ever, you damn elf hippies”.  It has been interesting levelling on my own, without interacting with anyone, anywhere, at any time.  It’s also been rather quick (rested XP is the shiznit), which means I am not totally dreading it on my Druid.  I’m not much looking forward to dragging my Hunter through another 25 levels though. I might be forced to disembowel myself with a rusty spoon before hand (I like rusty spoons…)

Anyway, it kinda sucks that I haven’t found anything too major to snark about.  The quests have been, for the most part, engaging.  Even the ‘Kill ten rats’ style quests are grouped together in such a manner that they don’t feel too craptastic.  At least I get most of them knocked over together.  Escort quests are still annoying as all get out, but that’s ok… there were only a couple!  And I even managed to get Friendly with my guild, which is nice I guess… it allowed me to waste some money on a tabard to make them like me even more… which, I think, lets me buy another tabard that will make them like me even more again.  It’s a never ending cycle of tabards!

Anyway, Helen Mirren is on TV, which of course means that I can not write anything else.  I may have a slight crush on her.  Even though she has said a couple of not so good things in the past.  She has also said some awesome things, and hey, no one is perfect.  Anyway, Helen Mirren /swoon.

So.  Almost 84.  Yay?

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So, the new talent system for Mists of Pandaria has been announced, and I, as always, am considerably underwhelmed.

One of the things I liked about WoW talent trees is the sheer amount of stuff that was in there.  Other games have always left me feeling a little let down at the lack of options I have for specialising my character.  I like to be able to play with talents, to see what different things I can make my character do through making different choices.  I want to be able to make my character that little bit different from everyone else… if I’m not really keen on the whole cookie cutter idea.

The argument for the new system is that it will give us more choice.  We apparently will have a wider range of options, and there won’t be a ‘cookie cutter spec’ any more.  Honestly, I find that very difficult to believe.  We all know balance is almost impossible to achieve – the likelihood of every talent on each tier being perfectly equal and balanced is almost non-existent.  We will still have cookie cutter specs – they’ll just be a damn sight easier to remember.

If anything, this seems to be another move towards (you all know I’m going to say it, so head off now if you don’t want to hear it!) dumbing down the game.  Let’s all make it easier by giving people less options!  People won’t be so intimidated if we don’t have big talent trees!  I think that ultimately, it will back fire.  Having less choice means the ones you do have to make are all the more important.  Not to mention easier to laugh at and ridicule. 

I think it will also be interesting to see what effect this has on specialisations, particularly for DPS classes.  Will it dilute the differences between specialisations, or will it make them more prominent?  For this to work, I think Blizzard really have to aim for the latter.  It could just be me, but I feel that there is a lack of class identity, and a lack of specialisation identity.  I know a lot of this happened for ‘good reason’ – I find it difficult to argue with the ‘bring the player, not the class’ philosophy.  However, it definitely came at a cost of identity.

Each tier has three talents, and each of these talents are apparently going to be similar in their focus.  While this will make balance easier, I think it will make the system bloody boring.  Which DPS increase talent is going to be marginally better than the other two?  Oh yay, that’ll be so exciting for us to figure out!  Which is better suited to this fight?  Awesome, that’s going to be massive amounts of fun in raids – “Now for the five minute interval before each boss where everyone changes their talents –again”  Respeccing, re-glyphing… it’s going to be the biggest time waste since some guy got paid to work on Mage design. 

Mists of Pandaria is the first expansion where I have been left totally unexcited.  Not a single thing has appealed to me at this point. Pandaren do seem kinda silly to me, but perhaps that’s just me being a fantasy snob.  I can’t really see the need for another class – Blizzard appear to have enough difficulty balancing the ones they already have.  The changes to talents have ruined one of my favourite things about WoW, and that is really disappointing for me personally.  MoP (is this the worst acronym ever?) feels like a massive amount of filler, and I am just not keen on the whole idea.  Will it cause me to leave the game (again) come expansion time?  Probably.  If I can get my way with other things outside the game in my life, most definitely.  Is it annoying enough for me to have a huge hissy fit right now?  Nope.  I’ll have this minor one, and that’ll be that.

So, really… Dude, Where’s My Talents?

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