It’s APRIL. ALREADY.

2019 seems to be in a real hurry. We’re in the fourth month as of today. It is my youngest grandchild’s birthday, so happy birthday to The Grub! (Even her parents call her that. For real.)

For the record, I don’t do April Fools’ nonsense. I hate practical jokes. I hate how gullible I am even more.

March was a relatively light gaming month. I spent more of my evenings with my kids and husband, and I spend most of my days at the day job.  I’ve also been struggling with some depression. (Note to self, write about gaming and mental health at some point.) My most played MMO games were Riders of Icarus, Project Gorgon, and Black Desert Online. I played a lot of the single-player Dawn of Man as well.

My plans for April include playing a lot more Elder Scrolls Online. I have been thinking about buying Elsweyr, so I should probably actually play the game.  I will also explore Shroud of the Avatar over the next couple of weeks. And I will probably play some more Dawn of Man, just because I want to see how my current village turns out.

Oh, and Steam just now popped up a notification that it is done downloading TERA. So there’s that.

 

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The Great (Re)installation

Since the laptop surgery, I have been adding games back onto my computer– games I was playing, games I haven’t played in a long time, and even a few that are completely new to me. It is very heavy on the MMORPGs, and some of them have been installed specifically so that I can explore and  then write about how that went.

This is what I have in my desktop folder for game shortcuts:

112233fun

(Yes, I organize my shortcuts and frequently used files into folders on my desktop because I don’t like too many icons on my desktop, but I do use them to launch programs.)

As I type this, I am patching Blade & Soul (not in the image above) because I want to collect my Hong Moon Ascension pack that I got for registering prior to the release of the new expansion. As I have previously revealed, I love the digital doodads. This one has some nice stuff in it:

hongmoon

In other news, I have been playing some Project: Gorgon. I will reveal a little more about that later. In the meantime, I am not sure it has actually been saving the screenshots it said it was saving, since I can’t seem to find them anywhere on my PC. I did a Google search, and it seems like this problem might be an actual thing, so that’s something I need to work out in the next couple of days.

And, on the topic of Project: Gorgon, I see that they’ve added a free demo (details here) and they have a store in which they are selling packages that include things that aren’t currently in the game yet, like horse riding and breeding.

I would like to support the game, but the packages are $50, $75, and $500. That seems a little steep for things that haven’t been implemented yet. And while I really enjoy the game, it is an early access game that I paid $39.99 for already.

Maybe they could sell some t-shirts. I have paid out some foolish amounts of money on t-shirts for podcasts that I love. I like to wear my fandoms.

That’s the news around here. Blade & Soul is still downloading stuff. I think I am going to wrap things up around here and then crawl into bed. The day job is expecting to see me in the morning.

 

 

Wailing and the Gnashing of Teeth

Sometime between when I played Riders of Icarus last night and when I got up this morning, my data drive, on which all my games were installed, bit the big one. Looking at the BIOS, I am not sure it is even finding that SATA port anymore. I have people who can look at it to possibly diagnose and fix the problem, but for now, The Gnarly Gaming Laptop is now just The Laptop.

I do have some room on my solid state (system) drive where I could install some things, but not with the wild abandon with which I installed things on the 1TB hard drive. I don’t have the room for that. This means that I will actually have to make choices about what games I install, and not just install everything with the intention to play at some point in the future that may or may not come.

So, I need to decide what is worth the space. I’ve been playing a lot of Riders of Icarus lately, and I may have found a guild to join there, so that might be one thing. I don’t feel like I can justify both Bless Online and Black Desert Online. I’ve been playing those both a lot less lately. I am possibly playing Bless more than BDO lately, just because there’s still more novelty there. I still have some time on my free month of FFXIV, and I also bought that game at one point; I have enjoyed it more recently that I remember enjoying it in the past. Which brings me to GW2– I was just talking about subscribing and/or buying expansions for that. It’s also still fun and novel to me. And, lastly, I was planning to get back into ESO, and was planning pre-order the upcoming expansion while this Khajiit still has some coin on hand.

On the non-MMORPG front, Stardew Valley might be good, but I have also been thinking really hard about buying Rimworld or Dawn of Man (the latter of which is on sale on Steam and also on Humble, where my son gets an affiliate cut of the sale). Civ V? Cities: Skylines? Dragon Age: Origins?

I just don’t have room for all those things. I must make decisions.

I know I don’t have that many readers, but maybe you guys could suggest what you might like to see me tackle and write about. It doesn’t have to be any of the things above, just any MMORPG you think would be fun or funny for me to write about. Meanwhile, I will think about it while I clean the kitchen.

 

Riders of Icarus: Generous & Greedy

I logged in last night to collect my last free log-in gift for the month, a writ that I could spend at the February writ vendor. I collected all 4 over the course of the month, which allowed me to purchase a dragon mount (Radiant Kerav) for my secondary character. My main character had already collected a phantom wolf mount and a pet (Lovely Daveen– it feels weird calling what appears to be a little girl “a pet”).  Riders of Icarus is very generous with their login rewards.

ScreenShot 2019-02-27 (21-09-13)ScreenShot 2019-02-27 (21-14-52)

On the other hand, they just ran event based on how much NX  [Nexon premium currency] you spent, and the starting point for participation was 90,000 NX ($90). (See http://icarus.nexon.net/en/news/article/43457/crokhoon-s-treasure-trove-february-2019, opens in new window). The cash shop has plenty of loot boxes for sale as well, and we all know how those work– they are a money sink.

Some of their premium items can be bought with Ellun, a currency that can be earned in game, which is to their credit, but they are happy to sell you the Ellun for NX as a shortcut. That feels a little pay-to-win-ish to me.

It just strikes me as funny that a game can both be very generous to its players, while simultaneously trying to get into the wallets of those same players. It’s certainly less funny when a game just does the latter.

 

 

 

BDO Central Market

BDO now has a central market. It is pretty simple to use. The “Marketplace” button in your storage at the storage keeper now opens the warehouse window, or you can use the “Central Market” button at your local market NPC.   Items to sell are listed from your warehouse, and you have to put money in your warehouse to buy things.

If you had stuff listed on the old system, you can still retrieve those listed items and/or cash from sales at the market NPC.

I grabbed a few screenshots of the interface while I was checking it out at the market NPC.
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Gaming To Maintain Sanity

My brother was murdered a week ago tonight.  Without getting too much into any of the details of that or of the trials my family has been going through in the last week, it has been a damned hard time for all of us. Each of us has a different way of dealing with our grief. I came home from Delaware last night after a being there since Monday night, being as strong as I could for my family. It was good to sleep in my own bed, but I woke up this morning to realize that reality still is what it is, and it still hurts me in my heart and soul.

At the end of each day this past week, just before bed, I sat down at my computer for a very short time– generally 15-30 minutes– and played some of my games, just to shut out reality for a few minutes, just to get a taste of “normal” for me. It has been a release valve and a way for me to back away from this horrible situation to get a little bit of relief. It doesn’t change reality, and I am not hiding in my virtual worlds from the real world. I am just dipping in to stay sane.

It seems that some people in politics, the media, and the general public are quick to condemn games as not only a waste of time, but as something detrimental to the people who play them. They say these things without entering into the communities we build. They never stop to consider what purpose games might serve for people. They never look at their own time-wasting hobbies or the media they consume to consider whether the same criticisms might apply.

But none of that really matters right now. I am just grateful I have this corner of my life that I can go to when I need to come down when I am spun up, or when I need to concentrate on something other than bad events that have happened, or even just to relieve the stress of the day-to-day grind. That’s not a waste of time. That’s a blessing.

[There’s a GoFundMe to get my nieces and their mother back to the US and get them set up with the necessities of starting over. If you can help, it would be appreciated. The campaign is going well. A lot of people loved my brother. I can only wish to be as well-loved.]