Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tools for the Busy

My little project to finish up Mirkwood has slowed down a lot in the past weeks. I just started a job after some months at home, and time has become short for both hobbies and house work.

But then I came upon this awesome jewel to help me in Lotro: a Crafting Calculator. It shows all items needed for those more complex recipes that use more then one crafting skill to be finished, not to mention that it will be easier to search for which materials are needed to have something made by a kin member. Personally, I love to have a single screen to view all the stuff needed to cook the complicated Cook's guild repasts, instead of having to open all the little lists in the crafting list.

Hopefully soon I can report on my Mirkwood adventures. If you are playing Lotro also, don't forget to visit the Lottery (you have to log into your acc, so remember to do this from a computer you trust) for chances on free stuff, like tokens, potions, cosmetics, or whatever they feel like giving away. Some prize drawings can be surprisingly good.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Sunglasses recommended: out of Moria and into Lothlórien

My plans for Moria were simple: to clear as much content as possible. Well, I ended up slacking. Being too curious to visit the Golden Wood, I decided to clear as much of the solo quests plus the epic quests, instead of the whole thing, as I had planned. Maybe on a trip back at some point!

The first adventure to see Lothlórien happened many months before, and it was not a successful mission. Even though I used my super slow, not that great elven invisibility skill to cross Moria at level 50 to see the other side, and even survived such adventure, I was greeted by arrows on my face. The tragic part of it all is that my character was actually from Lórien, you know, that little option you make during character creation. Still, the guards just told me they didn’t like my hair and shot me, and I had to run not to die. 

In short, the elves are a bunch of elitist jerks, who care more about rep then anything.

So I decided to go on with my Moria plan, finished as much as I felt like it, and was then ready to start my adventure to please these elitist jerks. 

There are some quests that will prompt you to leave Moria and explore the immediate outside area, the Nanduhirion. It is still not as eye stingy, super bright as the Golden Wood just yet, but definitely a good break from the darkness of Moria. I waited until my epic quest took me there, and then started doing the quests in that area.

Many of them become repeatable quests, to gain reputation with the Galadhrim, who hate you. The area before you reach the Golden Wood is filled with orcs and many wood nodes. I am not sure if the ore nodes are as generous, but I had no problems at all to finish my woodworking levels while simply picking up the nodes around me.

When you finally get to be tolerated enough with the Galadhrim, they let you into their blinding woods. It is BRIGHT, and GOLD, and very pretty. I felt silly of the huge quantity of screenshots that I took. It also very easy to travel around, with most creatures not attacking you at first sight. At night everything is still very pretty, even with the lights dimmed. There is at least one quest you can do only at night time, by the vineyards.  

I did think that I could finally meet Caras Galadhon. Nah. You need even more rep to get into the “Golden Wood Capital”. 

I must say that the Lothlórien quests met me in a perfect time though. It was during two very busy weeks where I had to pack my entire house to move, and would just sit at the computer for short breaks, which were perfect to make the repeatable quests and build up my reputation. Also, the fact that there are many safe spots to go afk or log out helped a lot. Now if you going into Lothlórien with a lot of time, I imagine it muse be a little frustrating to build up that reputation, given that some quests take 12h to be given again.

All these quests will be also giving you tokens, from the nasty kind that won’t fit into your barter wallet, cluttering your niventory. The lists of things to get with these two kinds of tokens, Silver Branches and Golden Leaves, is huge: crafting recipes, a few cosmetics, consumables, jewelry, and much more. My plan so far is to keep mine stored to maybe get some crafting recipes that might be of use for some alt, far into the future. The jewelry pieces would be a nice upgrade for me, but I do not wish to farm further tokens for them. I might also just get the cosmetics if I find good pieces to go with them, specially the robe and the quiver.

The Epic quest line continues nicely here too, though it made me dislike the “elven attitude”. As i have commented to my husband: “I miss the dwarves already!”. If you are into the books, you’ll also find some quests that are not connected to the epic storyline, but who will show you a bit about Aragorn and Arwen. 

Other then the light and darkness shock when compared to Moria, Lothlórien also clashes a lot when compared due to the “danger” around you: there is very little. I felt safe most of the time, and there were a lot of what I call “hobbit quests” where I had to pick food, or carry stacks, or help this clumsy elf to pick up some lost pages. It is a nice break from Moria, where everything wants to kill you.

The mood is also very different. While you are helping defend the Golden Wood, there are a lot of quests to help local elves with very sad stories. The whole beauty and emptiness of the forest was a bit sad for me, when combined with the immortality drama of the elves.

Overall, I am very happy with the whole Lothlórien experience. It was a nice break between the intense corridors of Moria and the not friendly at all Mirkwood, which is where I am starting right now. Yes, Mirkwood kicked my elven bottom pretty bad in the first days, for I was not used to being THAT ready anymore. I’ll tell more about it when I am done there!

Going into Lothlórien? These links could help:
Guide from MMOrsel
List of items to exchange for Silver Branches
List of items to exchange for Golden Leaves

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

TS3's Creative Corner

Yesterday I decided to join in with all the TS3 Community at their forums. I had been shy about it so far, just reading some entries and contests. Also, since MMO Forums are not a very friendly place, I did take a while to venture into TS3's forums.

It is NOT like most MMO forums. Or even some other game forums. Things are mostly friendly and on a very sharing mood. People will come drop some words about your work, share theirs, leave tips and make contests about building. I did not go to read the other parts of the forums, keeping to the "Creative Corner", but so far I am glad to say that it is a very positive community.

I'll slowly post my houses over there to help share them, and I'll edit the house posts here to leave a link that goes over there, in case anyone is interested. The house I posted, Sunflower, even had a person sharing a link to a sunflower themed park, which will go perfect nearby the house once I use it on a Sim family. So I'll try and keep all links together so whoever checks here can see those other people's awesome creations also!

The Sims 3 Community: Creative Corner

Monday, September 26, 2011

Franchises and MMOs

I need to start this little entry saying that I am not a big fan of any franchise. I do like the Star Wars movies and the Lord of the Rings books and movies, and I even play LotRO, but I am not the kind of person who’ll buy T-shirts and themed mugs. Still, franchises made it to annoy me this past week when I decided to think about it a bit, and how it is present in a game that I like very much, and how it basically creates other games where the game company won’t hold all the power over its tittle, and it could just vanish if contracts are not renewed. The good part of franchises is that it allows us to live a world that became limited by the lack of new books and movies about such fantasy worlds. It is much easier to imagine further adventures in such worlds by playing a game then by making fanfics, comics and pieces of art, since those require some skills that not all of us have. Playing MMOs is simple enough and a good medium to experience these worlds again. All of this also made me wonder how many MMO players out there actually hold no interest at all about Lord of the Rings and Star Wars, and how they might experience the games from these franchises. I thought often about this when I played World of Warcraft. I had played the strategy games and was quite happy to find all the lore spread around a seamless world full of quests and story. And then I’d find players who never played the strategy games and would simply shrug that they had just been in a very important place within the story of Azeroth. I see myself doing that about SWTOR, though I have not played it yet. All I’ve ever seem about the old republic lore is what they’ve shown in the movies, and yet, their website is full of lore to read that I can’t get myself to go and experience. So now it is me shrugging about the story elements that are not appealing to me right now, and given what I’ve read on the game system so far, I am just plain not interested in SWTOR at the moment. My point here is: how many franchise based games end up out of a gamer’s list because of the franchise part of it? Or even the opposite, how many games out there get players because of the franchise, even if the gameplay part of it is not the one the player really enjoys? I have been playing LotRO a lot lately, and I recognize a game system that is not different at all. It is repetitive, with a lot of grindy quests and repeatable actions in order to gain reputation. The very same things I complained about WoW when I left it. But I read the quests and follow the story, and that franchise part of it is keeping me hooked, it seems. I know it might be very difficult to find such person, but I like to wonder how LotRO feels to a person who never read the books or seen the movies. Is the game world enough? Are the movies and books required to make everything bind together? I recall back in WoW visiting Stratholme with a kid who had made up a story of the place. It was very cute, he was a young teen who said that it was a monster city and it was our mission to clear the place. I knew the lore of the place and so I told it to him, but recalling that event makes me wonder if some franchise based games might be leaving a lot of gaps that only those who follow the franchises are able to fill in. Or even if the worlds are more interesting to those who don’t know exactly why a burning city filled with undead is there in the first place. What about you guys? How is your relationship with franchise based MMOs? I am still confused, seeing myself liking a game for the story, even though I am not a big franchise fan.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


A small family house, with fenced vegetable garden and surrounded by sunflowers. Warm colors. 2 bed, 1 bath. Originally built at 2450 Pinocle Point (30x20) Sunset Valley. 

The concept was at first to create a very small home, possibly a starter home. But then as I started to pick colors I decided to make it about sunflowers, and use its colors all around the small house.

Sim concepts could be of someone who enjoys gardening, but I didn't think of any other specifics beyond that.

Download this House (The Sims 3 Exchange)
Detailed Pictures Album
Shared at the Creative Corner (Sims 3 Official Community)

Sun Haven

This mansion sized home is full of warm colors. Connects with a path that leads to a nearby beach (another lot) if built on original address at 500 Sunnyside Blvd, Sunset Valley. 2 bedrooms, 2 1/2 bath, library, pool.

The concept here was to create a mansion with an awesome view of the sea, and with warm colors. Also, I wanted to use the path that connects the house to a nearby beach lot, and left space there for that (500 Sunnyside Blvd is the original lot I've built it in). Some of the pictures I took from this house were taken from that beach, which could edited to be a more attractive public space if desired.

There is a lot of space in this house, but I didn't have any Sim concepts this time, just a house big enough for a family and guests,

Download this House (The Sims 3 Exchange)
Detailed Pictures Album
Shared at the Creative Corner (Sims 3 Official Community)

Soft Pink Starter Home

Priced for a starter home (15.147), this home has very soft tones of pink. Originally built at 55 Water Lily Lane (20x30), Sunset Valley - 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom. 

This is the first starter home I've updated to the Exchange. It is a fun kind of project, and I'll try to make more of them pretty soon, on a different theme and color set. For this one, I wanted something soft and delicate, that could look pretty without being pricey.

Download this House (The Sims 3 Exchange)
Detailed Pictures Album
Shared at the Creative Corner (Sims 3 Official Community)

Gourmet's Summer Home

2 bedrooms (3 if you remake the office), 3 bathrooms. Outside cookout area and vegetable garden. Only cheat used was the one to add the vegetable plants. 

The concept while making this house was to create a place for an already successful and rich cook, by the sea and with plenty of space for parties. It was one of my first "big houses", back when I just hated to create a second floor. The reason? I don't like stairs in my houses, I like to see the whole house and what the Sims are doing at a glance. That changed though, and I've been making some beautiful buildings with stairs and cellars now, which will be uploaded in time. 

The Sim I had in mind for this place would be a natural cook, with a lot of social skills and possibly a family. It would also be a Sim that travels a lot, which is why I placed some stands and an office, to organize all that involves travelling. It is a darker place from what I usually decorate my places, and I like the contrast present in the outside area, which is very bright.

Download this House (The Sims 3 Exchange)
Detailed Pictures Album

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Nectar Maker's Retreat

A gloomy decorated house, without technology and ready for a nectar maker. Nectar maker machine and plants added with cheats, but you can delete them if you don't want to use them -- Originally built on 365 Oak Grove Road (30x30) Sunset Valley. 1 bedroom, 1.5 bathroom. Cellar. 

I made this house with a Sim concept in mind: a technophobe with a love for making nectar, with commitment issues, but yet sociable and who adores having people over to compliment his nectar making skills.

There is more then enough space for growing your own grapes, and the cellar is in the smaller house in the back, with space to invite people over. I've already placed the nectar making machine down there with codes, but if you want to do it without codes at all, you just need to delete it.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sea Sprite

A modern house by the sea, with beautiful view from the main area and outside deck. Gardening space by the side. Just a few paces from the sea. --- Originally built in 477 Sunnysude Blvd (30x30), Sunset Valley. 2 bedrooms, 3 bath.

"Modern" looking houses are a bit mode difficult for me to make, I am not sure why. I wanted to make a house close to the sea, and the original lot of this one makes it so that a Sim can walk out of its backyard and already be by the sea. If not interested in the space for the vegetable garden, it can be 
easily converted into a playground area.

Download this House (Sims 3 Exchange)
Detailed Pictures Album

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The end of Moria, for now...

After many months without sunlight and fresh air, my elf hunter finally emerged from the depths of Moria. Since I did write about my first impressions, I’d like to share my “middle” impressions, since I did not go too much into grouped content and dungeons to call it a full review.

Exploring remained as the top most fun activity within Moria. Yes, there is a map, but some places are so tight and complicated that the map is simply a joke. You actually have to memorize your way into certain areas, and clear your way in between such areas, not to mention that the cliffs and falls are not decoration, so you can die of “misadventure” quite often while running in the dark holding scissors. While exploring, you’ll be rewarded with exploration deeds and a few side quests that won’t really start anywhere but by interacting with an object in the scenario, or some quests where there are no pointers, just clues. There are at least two riddle quests you have to think for yourself, and while they are not too complicated, it is refreshing to think instead of following arrows for a change. Just once I had to actually google one of the exploration deeds, as I could not find a certain place to complete it. Even with directions it was quite a bit of exploring.

Killing your way to different places is also a good way to complete slayer deeds, collect extra reputation items and legendary weapon drops. I started Moria with the store “unhealthy” goat, which means it is not a very good mount to just run through the mob and reach the other side without getting dismounted. Since I’d only play the game when I had plenty of time and patience to actually shoot my way through, that wasn’t a problem, and actually a good way to gather reputation items.
The two reputations of Moria grow slowly through quests, the epic quest, and by exchanging rep items. The Miners will give you traveling advantages, and the Guards combat advantages, which translates into one giving you a return to Moria spell and mount, and the other a class skill, among other gear that you can purchase. By the time I left Moria, with a lot of group quest not completed yet, I am done with the Guard’s reptutation and half way through Ally with the Miners, so I don’t need much to reach maximum level with them. I never bought reputation items, so I believe that overall the speed was good, though it must suck if you’d like to get Moria’s goat to actually use it inside Moria, given you take a long time to gather enough reputation to buy it. What my husband, who is almost 50 and ready to get into Moria did, was to grind some Thorin’s Hall reputation and get their goat, which has decent health and doesn’t cost Turbine Points.
While you’ve already learned by now that you’ll always have orcs to kill anywhere in Middle-Earth, Moria takes it much more seriously. They are everywhere, in different colors and “classes”, with irritating self healing spells at certain points, and completing the deed to kill hundreds of them will simply happen without you even thinking about it. It is that many! I particularly prefer goblins, which are present too, since they make funny combat sounds. The quests are mostly interesting, showing stories you could only imagine after the little details about Moria present in the trilogy books. I haven’t read books other then the trilogy and “The Hobbit”, so I am not sure how much details the others give on Moria. The whole place is designed to make some sense into it being a giant mining city, with water systems, a complex mirror based light system and areas you can see that were made to live in, rather then to mine. I also love all the “useless” corridors and details, they are a reward for a person that likes to explore beyond the quest requests, and make the word feel much more unique. The epic quest takes you through all of Moria, and I can confirm that the tip to follow it in order to know which areas to quest first within Moria is a good one. Just like Volume I, Volume II is better done in parts and different days, taking breaks to complete the other quests in the area. The story is also good, and while you’ll travel a lot within Moria, it won’t be as far and weird like you had to do back in Volume I. Also, by doing the epic quests you’ll unlock 3 skirmishes, which is a very nice addition if you are not VIP. Two of the epic quests will also have puzzles, which were entertaining and again, a good break from mindless arrow following. 

What I left behind were group quests and many of the dungeons. While I completed some with my guild, I didn’t feel like looking for a random group, and saving the group quests to do once my husband reaches them also. We’ve been doing that with Angmar, and it is funny how even 10 levels above the mobs, we still have a difficult time on some quests. Overall Moria was a very fun adventure. It felt dangerous but not impossible, and the whole unique environment was like nothing I had ever seen in a game yet.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Blue and Brown

A perfect house for two people with very different personalities. Modern objects meet country style, blue meets brown. Originally made for a challenge from the community, but never submited. --- Originally built on 99 Landgraab Ave (30x30), Sunset Valley. 2 bedrooms, 2 bath.

Yet another small house! This one I would never have come up with the colors myself, but I actually enjoy the final composition. It is based on a challenge by the The Sims 3 Community. I never had time to finish it in time for the challenge, but I decided to go ahead and finish it anyway. 

The challenge asked for a house fit for two friends who had different tastes: a guy who enjoyed country style things and the color brown, and a woman who enjoyed blue and a more rock and roll style. I might one day make those Sims and see how the story goes.

Download this House (Sims 3 Exchange)
Detailed Pictures Album

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Red Bricks Home

A simple 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom home. Warm colors and lots of red. Some outside area unused to expand the garden. Originally built at 2350 Pinochle Point, Sunset Valley, 30x30.

Another small house project. This time I wanted to make something with bricks, and warm, flashy colors. I also wanted it to look family friendly, so there are lots of empty space around the house for kid's toys and running around, or to build a little vegetable garden.

Download this House (Sims 3 Exchange)
Detailed Pictures Album

Sims 3 Studio: Little Pink Palace

This small house is full of elegance. Rich in pink and details, it is the perfect setting for a Sim who appreciates the looks of luxury, or just your plain spoiled princess daughter Sim needing a "starter" house up to her standards. --- Originally build at 18 Maywood Lane (20x30) at Sunset Valley , 2 bedrooms, 1.5 bath (1 bath, the second has laundry space), 1 office.

My favorite kind of project in The Sims 3 is to make small houses. I guess the limitation of space inspires my creativity more then to have a huge canvas. With this little house, I wanted to make something as fancy as a mansion or palace, but within a small house. I really like the result, and it is the house with the most downloads so far.

I imagined this place could fit well for creative Sims, art lovers and architects. The second bedroom could fit a roommate with the same tastes, a child's bedroom, or a big studio. The pool area with enough space to throw parties made me imagine the house as a good "starter house" for a rich Sim girl, living away from her parents for the first time. Let me know which kinds of stories you came up with :) 

Download this House (Sims 3 Exchange)
Detailed Pictures Album

The Sims 3 Houses Reorganized

I'll be making a blog post about each of the houses, so that in case someone wishes to leave a comment, there will be space for it. I'll leave a link to each post at the Sims 3 Studio page also, along with the links for the albums with extra pictures.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hey MMORPGs, let me not be racist

This is a little bit of a rant some might not understand, because it is difficult to rant in a second language. So be patient, I had to use LOTS of words to try and make myself understandable. Anyway...

I started playing RPGs with “dice and books” games, such as Dungeons and Dragons and the White Wolf series of vampires, werewolves and mages. Today I don’t have a group to play with anymore, so all I got are my MMORPGs, where I don’t really RP. But still, I like to have some freedom to imagine my character’s background stories, and try to make up reasons why I am doing certain quests instead of just being a crafter or a rock star in town. With that said, I’d like to share how tired I am with the limitations I’ve been finding regarding factions in games and the races being locked.

While I understand races being limited to certain factions are very normal and accepted in MMORPGs, it is something that is wearing out for me. It feels artificial and kills a lot of the RPG potential. I call it artificial because my characters had simply no choice in the matter, and won’t have any in the future either. They are what they are and are not allowed to change, or have different opinions, and I am tired of that. 

Part of this feeling comes from the fact that I love stories where the characters are allowed to change sides when survival, interests and beliefs lead to it. I guess a good example of this would be pirate stories where, while you know a certain character tends to be good, you never know if that one will be the key of a conspiracy to steal the cargo.

Also, I think there is enough racism and hate in our real world to just keep copying it inside our games. I’d like to help a character with a different belief then mine to reach a common goal we might have. I won’t be so willing if said character believes my village needs to be burned to the ground, and just then PvP makes some sense. But I’d like said character to be able to change its beliefs if events start going in a way they don’t appreciate or believe anymore.

I am not a Roleplayer in MMOs, but I do imagine a little story for my characters, and a natural hate of characters of another faction or race never feel quite right, or fit at all. Being eternally unable to understand them is another oddity. 

In Rift, you are either a faith driven character who must restore the world with the help of the gods or a believer in the power of technology to restore that same matter with the world, because you believe the gods have abandoned you. And then the faith based folks blame your technology in the matters of the world. Of course this is a very limited and simplified explanation, but my point is: we should be able to have different races on different sides, and more importantly, beliefs and faith should be more malleable and tend to change, instead of being so radically tied to races. Just look at us, humans, and how we all have different beliefs that sometimes change during life. Tying a race to a belief seems very artificial to me, and I don’t see the point of it for an MMORPG other then to make lore and pvp easier.

Same can be found in WoW, where only NPC characters have the freedom of mind to be neutral. This irritates me, because now you can see an orc giving you quests since said orc is from a neutral faction. Well, why can’t I be neutral also? I don’t hate tauren, I’d even like to visit Thunderbluff and learn their side of the druidic teachings. With the rumors of Pandaria, I hope that maybe a neutral option is coming, if even for a starting character. It is what I imagined would happen to goblins, given their mercenary background, that you’d start neutral and pick a side later on. So maybe if Pandarens come, that option will exist?

Classes being limited to factions make more sense, though, since they do grow in a certain culture and need it to improve training and so on. Also, classes determine powers that are tied to beliefs that would only match into certain factions, such as the Sith belonging to the Empire and not the Republic. But a dark elf can become a rogue and move to the outside world, and a gnome can be twisted to evil, as we’ve seen in NPC stories across games and books.

So far the best example that meets what I find more close to RPG options within MMORPGs is what is found in Everquest 2. Races do start aligned to certain good, neutral or evil cities, but you can change (with a lot of work), and you can group with different alignments, and join guilds, and learn each others languages. The only thing that will change once you betray your current alignment and citizen cities are the class you belong if it brings conflict, such as a shadowknight requiring to be evil and a paladin to be good, and the NPC relationships, since some cities are exclusive for either good or evil characters.

Again, I do understand that factions are part of the worlds in these MMOs, but my problem is in the fact of how you can’t get to pick one. You can have the illusion that you do, but with the races locked to certain sides, you don’t actually have an option. Explanations to that could be that the very visual aspects of different races make it so that people wouldn’t tolerate a less usual race within cities, and so on. Like a human inside an orc capital. But my point is that players should be able to be tolerant if they wish to, and even work together if they want. It is an option that I want, at least. NPCs can still hate me and throw tomatoes at me if I go into an “opposite” town, that’s fine, that’s the game world and the lore, but I am tired of being forced into either hate or love as the player character.

I hate to rant without suggestions, so this is what I’d like to see in these games:

WoW: Alliance and Horde are strongly tied into war and pvp, but I’d like to see an option where you could actually tackle down dungeons with horde players. We see NPCs working together on such places, and I think it would be rich to see players doing the same, where world villains become more important then the eternal Horde and Alliance battle. Would also possibly help queue times. Also, within neutral cities and “Sanctuaries” you could be allowed to even do dailies together, since the spirit of most of such places is that there is a common problem much greater and we shouldn’t waste time killing each other, at least in there. While I understand this is made just so people don’t troll each other while browsing a bank, I don’t see why not take a step further.

Rift: I’d like to see race freedom, where you could change factions inside the game, converting to faith or revoking it. It happened once at some point within the game’s story, so I think it would be fair to let it happen to the player characters.

SWTOR: While I agree that a Sith would never help a Jedi, I think a bounty hunter would not be as tied between good and evil, but more focused on rewards. I think that RPG wise, SWTOR could use a neutral faction, instead of grouping together with the Sith and Jedi and making it just two very clear sides. I am not in the beta, or deep into the lore, but I believe that this game could at some point fit a “betrayal” system much like in EQ2, since actions could lead someone to the opposite side of the force.

I am talking about MMORPGs here, and I understand some games draw the clear line because they are more about the massive gaming, and not much about the RPG aspects, and thus making clear enemy sides is just an easy way to set up PVP. Personally, if a game wants to call itself an “RPG”, I think the characters should have more options regarding in which side they wish to battle and live within the game’s world. While the game worlds already out there probably won't change this faction and race hate tied up together, I hope future made ones will.

What about you guys? Do you enjoy the faction limitations to races and lore designed for it? Do you think it should be about clearly drawn sides or do you wish to see more grey zones for the player characters? 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

New The Sims 3 Houses at the Exchange

Uploaded Nectar Maker's Retreat, and added an album for Red Bricks Home and Gourmet's Summer Home.

You can find all links, both to the albums and The Exchange HERE.

In the next couple days I'll be adding a starter house, a warehouse themed home, a big farm house and a very warm colored mansion by the sea.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Revisiting City of Heroes before the Freedom storm

With the new sale on game keys before the conversion to Free to Play, I decided to purchase one and finally activate my game account, and use the free 1 month that comes with it to test things before possible character locks and power limitations happen.

It was good to see the character I’ve created 2 years ago again. I played all days of the trial back then, and she even has these cute crafted little wings. Most of the time I played with my husband, and it was always good to have the game very friendly to group up, with missions scaling to meet our levels. Games that don’t do that can become a boring thing to play as duo, like in some areas of WoW: you simply don’t have time to cast a spell if your buddy is a melee fury. So a big thumbs up for that feature in City of Heroes.

Since I never went past level 12, it is hard to tell what has changed. The character creator has an option that is new to me: you can pick the colors for some of the power sets. That is awesome for me, a person a bit obsessed with colors, and I’ll have to see if I can alter my current character’s power set colors somewhere. 

The thing I love the most about City of Heroes is how I don’t need to worry about gear. Yes, I hate gear, it interrupts my game, it makes me having to pick between numbers, and stats, and things that are not my favorite feature in MMOs. Instead, you pick between Enhancements that will boost certain aspects of your powers. As an example, I can place a training enhancement to improve the damage of a fireball, or add speed to its cooldown.

Crafting is based on recipes that you’ll find while saving/ruining the world, and they’ll use salvaged material. My character’s little bat wings were made that way, with some financial help and Auction House search, I was able to sell some parts I didn’t need, while being able to put together mine.

Now I need to check out power sets I haven’t seen yet. So far, it happens that the Villain combinations are more appeasing to me, while I am not much of a “dark side” kind of player. I need to search and see how to go to the other side with the Going Rogue expansion, though that would probably cost me... so maybe it is time for me to try and be a villain! 

Freedom, hopefully a good kind of storm

Once Freedom hits, I’ll play the game as a Premium, since I purchased the $1,99 key, but don’t plan on going VIP. The bigger downside to that, for me, is that I won’t be able to craft anymore, since this feature is locked only for the VIP players. You can see the table comparing the 3 options here.

I am glad the game is converting to F2P though, since I had a difficult time with Champions Online art style. It simply is weird to my eyes, and I am more happy with the older looking City of Heroes models. I expect it will be another good casual option to play.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Sims 3 Exchange: My Houses!

I added a page to the blog where I'll keep links for my houses in the Exchange, and also Picasa albums with extra detailed pictures of each. Whenever I have a new one, I'll post on top.

You can find the link in the right corner of the screen as "My Sims 3 Houses"

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Catching up?

This morning during my readings around the internet, I was greeted with this good piece: cosmetic gear options are coming to World of Warcraft.

It sure took them a sweet long time, but I am glad they are catching up with something people had been wanting and begging. The Transmogrifier system will allow people to alter the looks of pieces, while maintaining the same gear type, so that plate will only be altered to look like another piece of plate, an so on. It is a limitation that gives much more options to cloth wearers, unfortunetelly.

Also, there will be a bank for all those old pieces of gear, the Void Storage. That is another very welcome feature, since I am one who saves up the cute pieces for maybe later use.

Both these features will be very welcome, and would make a come back to WoW, whenever it happens, much more fun to me. It always bothered me how WoW simply wouldn’t catch up on this feature, and how they’d practically laugh at it whenever a fan would ask about it. Hopefully they’ll catch up on player housing at home point too? While their favorite excuse is that cities would feel empty with the housing system, all  have to say is that last time I’ve played, there were so many players in the main cities that I’d actually avoid it.

While I’ve already read this news in two different sources, WoW Insider made a little note and question as to how much this would cost. Lots of gold? Real money? If it is real money, I’ll be passing it though, since there are good F2P games that simply give this option for free.

...oh and Deathwing raid is coming too.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Dahliara’s Adventure Outfit

I generally save the cutest dresses for my hobbit, but I feel quite silly slaying giant spiders on them. So I created an adventure outfit to put on whenever she is tasked with a lot of slaying and exploring. 

Dahliara is wearing:
Head: Traveller’s Hood - Store - Washed (default color)
Shoulders: none.
Back: Day Pack - Outfitter NPCs - Umber
Chest: Long Sleeved Summer Tunic - Summer Festival - Olive
Hands: none.
Legs: none.
Feet: none.

Age of Wonders III

This month I decided to play through the Age of Wonders campaigns again while waiting on Sim City. Progress was going well and I was having ...