Games and Razers and Ipads – Oh My!

First, lets tune my brain back to August and do a recap of what has happened! I signed up for Raptr for their Rift promotions, so that’s a good place to refresh my memory! Played Rift for a bit more but, as usual, I got burned out and stopped playing around the end of September. They got a nice chunk of cash from my son and I for being a free to play game and we had fun, but it was time to move on.

Then came the purchase of Borderlands 2! While I really didn’t like the first Borderlands, I needed something mindless to play. Borderlands 2 fit in perfect. Fun, Funny, Not hard to handle. Booted up a Siren and had a blast. Bought a copy for my son (he made a Mechromancer) and we duo-ed that first lap through and did some of the DLC content. Tina Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep was awesome. I’m not a huge fan of FPS, but enjoyed this one. (106 hours of fun)

Here is a great set of diary-like recordings from the in-game mechromancer

Played a bit of Skyrim, some League of Legends (see link below on their new character), logged into Everquest 2 and got my level 85 instant upgrade to any character….but didn’t stay to play it. Then I grabbed an Early Access to a game called Gnomoria. A new version of an old game called Dwarves. You control a bunch of gnomes assigning them skills so they can perform tasks: Mining, farming, woodcutting, crafting, fighting. They don’t always listen to what you want, you more suggest what you want them to do, and they will eventually do it. So if they get hungry on their way down deep into your mine while on an assignment to set up a torch…they will drop it and run all the way back up for some nom noms. It’s complicated and difficult at first, and you will fail 1 or 2, or 3 times until you learn from a few mistakes you make (like not training a handful of defenders/fighters from almost the start of the game) Another way to think of it would be – you are in control of a Minecraft server but you dont play the game, you just watch everyone play it and influence what they do. Have played that for a little over 40 hours. Not mind blowing, but entertaining.

This is League of Legends new character Jinx. Awesome Song and video. They do updates with style!

One thing that I did grab that was surprisingly fun was The Stanley Parable. I would suggest NOT looking it up anywhere because that will spoil it…but do grab the free demo to check it out. The demo had me wanting to buy it just to enjoy the commentary. I got it through Steam and I think that is the only way to get it. Getting Steam is not a bad thing at all. Click here for a link.

At the present time, I am enjoying a trip back into The Secret World. Still love this game world. No other game I have played has made learning history such fun by making you look things up to solve clues. I did all the new Halloween content (except for killing Jack). Changed from Blades and Blood to Elemental and Pistols, then to Elemental and Blood and am currently still that. I have 73% of the skill wheel complete! Bought the new DLC packs, Last Train to Cairo and A Dream to Kill. Both are well done but a bit small on content. Would have liked a few more hours out of them. The smaller quests just seem like filler (kill 1 rat type) which TSW seemed to not be that full of before. Ran into a few bugs that I had previously reported as bugs and re-reported them. Auction House really needs fixing and better filters. I am used to Funcom not fixing bugs though from inside experience.

Mirinesse TSW

I also treated myself to some new toys. Toy number 1 – A Razer Blade laptop. A few years ago I bought an Apple Macbook laptop. I loved the size but I didn’t love that I couldn’t play most MMOs on it. I tried the Windows partition and just seemed like so much work and sometimes it didnt work, and I didn’t have my Excel spreadsheets…. I eventually gave up and just sold it. So a few years later – I thought it was time for a new one. I wanted something small but able to handle anything. It eventually came down to two choices. One from Origin PC or one from Razer. The 14″ Razer Blade won. It is so compact, thin, light, and reminded me of what I liked about the Macbook. It is thinner then half of my son’s laptop. If you haven’t ever taken a peek at one, check it out here. Great speed, nice screen (not visible at all angles though), decent battery life even when turned onto ultra. But it does get HOT. You cant put this baby on your carpet or bed…it will cook itself if you block the vents. The part above the keyboard below the screen gets hot enough that you can’t hold your finger on it for more than 3 or 4 seconds. That is about the only drawback, but understandable for how small and powerful this thing is. Also handy to watch my iTunes movies on my TV. It has a HDMI output.

Next purchase I made last night was a new iPad Air. I have the original iPad that came out years ago and have used it a lot. Definitely worth the money…it got its use. But now new apps no longer work with the old one…it loves to crash whenever I try to shop on iTunes and listen to sample tracks. So I told myself when a new one comes out, I would get it. I like it….Siri still sounds like a robot though. My iPhone did that when I upgraded to 7.0.1 for about 12 hours then she improved. Only thing that I dont feel really improved is the speakers. They still don’t get real loud and its not real high quality sound coming out.

Here is a request – If you read this blog when it comes out – like on your RSS feed or popping in from twitter, let me know. Hard to tell the real readers from the bots and spammers. Hit the comment button and say I DO!

Azz OUT!

What I’ve been doing! Besides not blogging

Been a while – and I have thought about posting but that’s as far as I got but have done so much! So it is time for a quick Catch-Up.

In the time between December and Now I’ve done quite a bit. After slowly getting away from The Secret World I ventured back into TERA when they went Free to Play and bought my son with me. Started fresh with a level 6 Lancer and fell in love! Lancer has to be the most fun tanking experience of any MMO I have played. Totally dependent on timing and movement and not having to use 30+ hotbar abilities.

Tera Lancer

I also returned to Everquest 2 for two months just in time for Valentines Day events like I seem to do each year. Got up to top level again and collected more glowies, got my alchemy up to max, ran with the “Always-On-Daily” guildleaders, Eggrolls and Dreamura and did a few instances, but mostly chrono’d each day trying to complete achievements.

Miri and Kangamoo

Another MMO I tried out for 2 or 3 weeks was Scarlet Blade. There was so much commotion on Massively about the outfits I HAD to try it. While the outfits were indeed a bit overly revealing, the game wasn’t bad. It didn’t hold my attention too long but I didn’t regret trying it. Also, whips! How many MMOs use a bladed whip as a main weapon! I did use them in EQ2 for a bit, then I switched to my rolling pin! (see above picture of the dreaded rolling pin of doom)


I played Diablo 3 for two or three weeks, finished inferno mode and got to paragon 18 I believe and bought a few new pieces of armor and weapons for my Demon Hunter. Changed my spec to a Strafe/Flame Trail build to handle higher monster levels in inferno.

Got into Skyrim again adding to my hours and hours of gameplay. (think I am up to almost 400 hours on one character!) Built 2 houses, did some of the new DLC, and just had fun exploring.

Skyrim new mount

In other single player game news, I grabbed the Mass Effect series and played thru all 3. I liked it a lot. Doesn’t have the replayability that Skyrim has…but I did restart ME2…and gave up and then started from the middle of ME2 and bought the DLC. I just couldn’t go thru all the planet exploration again! Also bought Bioshock Infinite…really liked that.

My son and I made a Minecraft Server for just us and added a bunch of mods that added things like a twilight world and portal/gravity guns. Even though we played it tons over the years, it still has the magic of sucking you back in…starting fresh in a new world. We probably messed around on that for 3 or 4 weeks.

And now…I am back to Rift. Since it went free to play, I had to come and check it out. First day back – I peeked at my reset soul tree and then logged out. I couldn’t remember a thing from back in March 2011. Then a few days later tried again…they added preset builds so I used one of those…killed a few things in Freemarch and then logged out. A week later I pulled my son into Star Wars:TOR and we started characters there. We got to maybe level 12 and with all the Free to play restrictions and the boring mobs that just stand there…and the way mobs agro you the split second you hit any aggressive button on your hotbar…it was just too much. So I said…lets try Rift.

Cynders Fishing in Pelladane

While I thought TERA had an awesome Free to Play transition…didn’t take things away, but their CHANCE to get things you pay real money for is just not my type of thing…RIFT absolutely wins. Nothing taken away at all, great stuff in the cash shop, very generous to existing players. Sony and Bioware really need to learn to control their greed. Since joining Rift as Free to Play, I have tossed them well over $100, I have subscribed for added bonuses, my son subscribed and has bought some things in the cash shop. The prices for things is very reasonable and you get what you want…not a chest with a chance at getting what you want. I have not regretted anything I have purchased because the prices are low.

I am having tons of fun in Rift. Just hit level 60 on Cynders, my cleric I started back in February 2011. I have so many more zones to quest in I could hit 70 if they increased the cap. I’m addicted to finding artifacts/shinies to add to my collections (and selling them). I have maxed out Fishing, Survival, Apothecary, Mining, Butchering, Foraging, and Runecrafting. Bought a dimension (house) and have been decorating it…OMG they are HUGE areas! My son now has 3 level 50+ character in just 3 or 4 weeks! I think he likes it but is still unsure what he wants to be when he grows up. Another great thing they have is Mentoring – You can lower your level to match your friends or the zone, and still get XP, AND you get your actual level rewards for it. So you can go do events in the level 15 zones and get loot that you would have gotten if you were doing stuff your level.

I invite you to come try out Rift! It really is a great game. Click here to give me credit for getting you to try it! 🙂

MMO Review – The Secret World

Better late than never! I have played TSW for about 2-3 months and have about 97% of the quests complete….SO I guess its fair to say I have a good feel for the game. If you look back a blog post or two – you will see me say this: “Also I have 2 games I am in closed beta testing for…One will be good….one I fear will fall on its face and not be what most were hoping for.” The game I feared wouldn’t fair well was The Secret World. I’m happy to say – I was WRONG.

Read the rest of this entry »

Adventures Back into Second Life

I popped back into SL about 5 weeks ago after being gone for years. Not sure what got me to log in – but I did. Bought a new skin that I had a demo of sitting in my inventory from a year ago, and enticed Jokay to pop in with me and grab a new look for herself too. While we were there, I saw an unusually tall girl walk by and I, being my shy, anti-social self, sent her message saying that she looked rather good for her height, as many avatars I have seen in the past just looked so wrong. We chatted a bit and have kept in contact ever since. Her name is Sera and she is a fashion model in SL and doing quite well. Read the rest of this entry »

Game Review – Diablo 3

Diablo 3 came out! I will skip the messy connection issues that everyone got to experience in their basically single player game. D3 is fun! Decent graphics, great voice acting (Love the Demon Hunter Female’s voice), storyline is consistent and entertaining. Going through the acts multiple times it is a bit repetitive but still bearable with how the game generates content.

I played a Demon Hunter right from the start. I knew that’s what I wanted. I always gravitate towards the bow wielder, ranged, stealthy characters. I was not disappointed. Demon Hunter is a blast to play, I haven’t felt weak at all. I am now on Inferno Mode Act 2. Also have a Monk at level 51 (Hell mode Act 1), Witchdoctor level 35, Wizard 18, Barbarian 16. ALTS!!! YAY!!

Going through the game the first time didn’t feel overly easy. It wasn’t hard though. Each time around through the 4 different difficulty levels, (Normal, Nightmare, Hell, Inferno) Act 2 gives you a bit of a gear check and a wake-up call to make you pay attention a bit more now that you cleared act 1. Inferno mode though turns from Fun to Stressful. You now walk slow…place traps way ahead of time, shoot off the edge of the screen to see if you poke something ahead of time…. and then in comes an elite group that is Mortar, Extra Health, Teleport, Reflect Damage…or how about Walling, Desecrating, Fast, Invulnerable Minion… Might as well just stand there and die! And if that isn’t stressful enough, how about the normal mobs that can one shot you also. I wind up playing one part of a quest and then I go farm on an easier mode to relax.

Farming! I have my Magic Find suit…I got good enough items that I can survive farming even in Hell Mode. I do not find very good stuff though even running around with 5 neph buff and having close to 300% MF. I have no clue how people are getting some of their items. I might get one good item out of 30 or 40. Not a great one though. I sell my good items on the auction house for a REASONABLE price. Not sure why people are pricing things so freakin high. They really think there are people out there with 300 million the first week? If I try and I mean really try and farm items to vendor and plop a 20k item on the AH…I might be able to make 100k an hour. There are people putting up legendary items for 15 million while there are 25 pages of that same item for sale and 98% of them are cheaper and most priced around 50K… do they lack that much common sense? And NO, the 15 million gold item does not have better stats than the one priced at 40k. I just don’t understand humans.

The best thing they did in D3 was how you can pop into a friends game anytime. I log in, see a friend playing…click their name to quick join, and I appear in their game, it gives me the quest they are on, and I click their banner and teleport right to them. No travel time, no running….so simple! Compare that to say, a level 10 friend in Fallen Earth in Sector 1 asking you to come help them while you are on the far east side of sector 3. YEAHHH see you in 45 minutes! (at least when I played Fallen Earth) Then I need to drive 45 minutes back!

Second best thing…excellent voice acting! They got some good voice actors in here. Not monotone, or emotionless reading off a page acting. Good Stuff. By far the best of the female VA is the Anna Graves as the Demon Hunter.

Then there are achievements, randomized dungeons, randomized placement of instances, companions that change what they say as you change difficulty levels…they did a good job trying to make repeating the acts feel fresh each time around.

If you play through from the start with a new class, the game seems extra easy, I assume because you are use to the game now and how everything works. Playing with a friend or two seems to make it even easier even though the difficulty to kill mobs gets harder as more people join.

I am up to about 190 hours in Diablo…So I guess it was worth the $60 – I have my solo and farming Demon Hunter, my Monk which I play with only my son…and the Witchdoctor I play with some friends. Now that some are reaching Inferno level, I’m sure I will default to my Demon Hunter to make my way to the very end.