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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Naxxramas Haxxramas . . . Gimme a K, Gimme a T

Last night my wife turned to me and just said . . . "Yay, Blaugust is over." ;) (Did I drive her crazy with my obsessive compulsive need to post and think about blogging?) Strangely, I still feel the need to post something. Oh habits!

Just wanted to do a quick catch up on Hearthstone.

I finished Naxxramas!


And that means I now have a few more beautiful cards in my inventory.  Check 'em out:


I gotz me a lich and a couple o' zombies! Oh, it was a hard fought battle, but . . . with patience . . . I finally got that K to the T.



I still have the class challenges to finish (and of course the heroic mode *shudder*), but I've already begun using my "Friendly Necromancer" build in hearthstone.  Um, it needs work.  The problem with thematic decks is that they usually lack a few basic cards that really rock. It's more "fun" than it is "functional." eh?  Although it did net me a number of wins in the tail end of the season so I could hit rank 20 for my card back in ranked play.

I'll post more about my build in the next few days as I firm up my deck.

Happy Dueling!

Monday, August 31, 2015

#Blaugust Day 31 -- Blaugust wrap up and thoughts

Well well well . . . looks like it's the 31st of Blaugust and I survived! Hurray!



I'm going to use this opportunity to take a look back at the month and reflect a bit while predicting the future.  Here's a quick summation of what happened on the Friendly Necromancer during Blaugust:

  • Changed the focus of my blog and removed myself from the list of official Wizard101 fansites.
  • Modified my blog look (which is still a work in progress)
  • Made actual progression on Angus, who was blocked forever in Celestia.
  • Talked about and played Hearthstone, Guildwars 2, Wizard101, Pirate101, Lord of the Rings Online, Badland, Little Big Planet, Heroes of the Storm, DC Universe Online, Dungeons and Dragons Online, Everquest, and World of Warcraft.
  • Talked about a couple of ideas like daily quests and gear swapping
  • Made a couple of discussion point posts

Hopefully it's been a lot of fun to read along and catch up with me. Personally I had a lot of fun in Blaugust discovering other blogs who were also participating.

~~

Shoutout to Mama Needs Mana, who came here and posted a couple of times. I really like her writing style and it's good to know there's someone just as awful at MOBAs as me.

Shoutout to Jaedia from Dragons & Whimsy, who also stopped by to say hello on Day 1.

Shoutout to Jaromai from Why I game, who dropped by to talk a bit about Gear Swapping in GW2. Good luck with the raids in GW2!

Shoutout to Maeka Gaming, who mentioned me a couple of times in her awesome online paper.

As always, shoutout to the awesome Wizard101 and Pirate101 communities that offer their support each and every day: Adventures of the Spiral, Mercs, Petnome, Edward Lifegem, Chrissy, Central, flash33, Paige, Ditto, Stars of the Spiral, Leala . . . all y'all that I failed to mention . . . thank you for the retweets, comments and general support. It's hugely appreciated.

Shoutout to Team Spode!

Shoutout to all those who make these games! Good times are had every single day thanks to the hardwork and magic you pull out of your dev hats everyday.  Thank you.

. . . and last but not least, thank you to Belghast from Tales of the Aggronaut who hosted the event. The list of bloggers participating was astounding and herding those cats is a lot of work. Thanks so much!

(Shoutout to any I might have missed LOL -- feel free to berate me in the comments)

~~

So, what this exercise has taught me is that August is a strange month. It starts out with oodles of time and then whittles away to nothing toward the end, which makes it harder and harder to complete this goal successful. I could keep a daily blog again, but to do so it has to become a higher priority in my life and something I think about every day. Will I keep a daily blog now?  Um, most likely I will *NOT* be posting everyday, but I think I will be posting with increased frequency now. (especially when compared to very dry years like 2013 and 2014.)

Hopefully I can continue to grow and change this blog and gain a few new readers along the way and make a few new friends while keeping my old friends informed of the goings on of The Friendly Necromancer.

I've got a few loose ends to tie up from this month of blogging like . . . will I build a viable Friendly Necromancer deck in Hearthstone? Will I ever actually play Heroes of the Storm? Can I make more top memorable locations posts for the Original Guild Wars, LOTRO, etc.?

Looks like I can't stop posting just yet! ;) (Besides, I haven't even told you guys about me playing Final Fantasy 13 again -- it's a good story.)

Thanks for reading.

Happy Dueling!

~~

This post is part of the Blaughust challenge -- Thanks to Belghast from Tales of the Aggronaut for hosting. 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

#Blaugust Day 30 -- My Top Memorable Locations in #P101

It's the weekend, and I found some time to journey a bit in a game that is near and dear to my heart, Pirate101. I had a blast doing it too, and it made me want to get back in and level up my third pirate to 65! (Definitely a goal!)  The new fast combat changes are great, and it's a great game no matter how you slice it.

Again, these are memorable locations that first came to my mind when I sat down and typed out which zones game to mind. I only ran into one snag, and that was I wrote down "the spider fight in Cool Ranch" when I was making my list. I was referring to the Spider portion of Dusty Arroyo Cave, which . . . well . . . that difficult fight has been removed. All that's left now are rumors. ;) I realize a lot of people were defeated on that particular fight, but I liked the challenge.  It's still a great instance that looks very cool, but I went ahead and chose an alternate.

With that said, here we go!

~~

The beach on Skull Island proper.


I've always liked this spot. It's a nice non-combat zone that's big and empty and peaceful. It's a great place to gather big groups, it's picturesque and reminds me of a spot I'd like to visit in the real world. 

(Hidden secret: there once was a developer-only version of this zone that had every vendor from the Spiral plunked down around in it for testing purposes.  It's a perfect spot for this because it's so big and wide-open.)

I'm glad they put the transportaler across the beach here. It's a pleasure to run through every time you're on your way to somewhere. I couldn't think of a nicer entry / exit point.

 ~~

The Tower of Moo Manchu in The Paths of Penance


There's only one word for this place when looking at it from outside, running around in Paths of Penance: Ominous.


There's only one word from running around on the inside of this place: Ouchy. You're pretty much guaranteed a few knocked out companions, and it's sent me packing a number of times. (Side note, I still need to get my glowy eyes from here)

What is there to say about the Tower of Moo Manchu, it's the most epic dungeon in Pirate101 currently, and something you won't forget quickly.

~~

Stupendor-X in the Valley of the Titans.


I don't think I even need to bring up the old "un-nerfed" state of this fight for it to be a legendary occurrence in Pirate101.  It's possibly the coolest thing in the game.


I actually have some original concept art of this fella hanging above my computer at work. I'm sure I'd be able to meet a Pirate101 player 20 years from now, and we'd still have a great back and forth about this fight.

~~

The Traveling Medicine Show in Cool Ranch.


It's a small little island that has an allure all its own, and of course it is the stage for the boxing match of the century!


Ahh Tyson, don't you know you shouldn't bring boxing gloves to a voodoo fight? (It's all about the details here too *waves* to Boochbeard and Gandry in the crowd.)

We had a housing item scavenger hunt in Pirate101, and this place suddenly became the most popular stop in Cool Ranch for farming. ;)

~~

Valley (and temple) of the Gold Monkey.

Deep in the heart of the jungle, Gortez rules his mighty domain!


The famous conquistador for Monquista, turned native! Why? Because the throwing of the banana was unseemly?


YES, the Mighty Gortez! Here we have another fight that had its difficulty toned down a bit. That said . . . it's still a solid fight when you're level appropriate, and a lot of fun to revisit. Farming for his hat and to unlock him in the Crown Shop is reason enough to visit this instance at least 25 times. (I'm still pretty far away from unlocking him)

~~

Sacrifice Cave in the Dark Jungle.

There's something about the way this place glows with luminescent light that I just love.


The fight inside is an interesting one as well! Put out the fires to save the cooking conquistador and then take out the high chief, but when he gets low on life he sacrifices his minions to heal himself . . . it's pretty fun. Not terribly difficult, but still interesting.


I looked at my badge list last night when I visited here to see how close I was to unlocking Eep from the Crown Shop.  Unlike Gortez . . . I was close on this one!  18 of 25 battles!  So I decided to go all the way on this one, farmed him the remaining seven times and bought him up in the Crown Shop.  Tada! You're coming to work for me, Eep!


(I also had a nice conversation with Virtuous Anne Radcliff from the Pirate101 Messageboards while I was at it! Bonus!)

~~

Airedale Pier in Marleybone.

It's a pretty disturbing spot actually . . .


Not so much for the grand Ferris wheel and the Popcicle shop, but for the war torn town that was directly a part of our actions.  There's some great writing by Blind Mew and the team here -- really good stuff.


~~

Khotan, home to General Tso . . . and his chicken.


This to me is one of the last great fights of Pirate101's vanilla game that hasn't been altered too much. It's still incredibly difficult, and one that players will probably bang their heads on quite often. In fact, it got a mention on the 50 million player graphic as being the toughest fight boss in the game.


Definitely beautiful though despite it being so deadly.

~~

Off of the Port Regal Skyway in Skull Island . . . the fortress known as Fort Elena!


There's nothing quite like a prison break!


. . . and the characters you meet inside the prison are pretty awesome too! Napoleguin, Count Brastillo de Brass, Mustang Sally, Phule . . . I also just love fighting Corporal Klegg. It's a longer dungeon that's a lot of fun.

~~

The Old Chum

"The Old Chum?" you ask?  But of course!!!


Surely you remember this from your past?! You venture here for a short stop while doing Bonnie Anne's first promotion quest, but that's not why I remember it.

hehe. I spent a lot of time videoing it for a Marketing project that never surfaced. ;) I'll just leave it at that.

~~

And there you have it!  My top (er, first) ten memorable locations of Pirate101.

Got a different first ten?  Scribble them down and post them in the comments! I'd love to hear from you, and hope you've got some fun zones for me.

Happy Dueling!

~~

This post is part of the Blaughust challenge -- Thanks to Belghast from Tales of the Aggronaut for hosting. 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

#Blaugust Day 29 -- Discussion Point: Why do we play the games we play?

I had a thought cross my head the other day about why I play certain games, and why I don't play others. Why I'm totally willing to watch a streamer play a type of game I typically won't play? I don't know. It's a little strange. 

In general I avoid FPS games because I'm like Jim from the Office when it comes to them.


So why do we play the games we play?

Hmm

WHO'S READY TO PLAY FRIENDLY FEUD!?


Friendly's Top 22 Answers are on the board:

- Duh, it looks like fun
- Graphics look amazing 
- I heard it's super challenging!
- Bro, all my friends / office mates are playing that game.
- Bro, EVERYBODY is playing that game right now.
- No school like the old school / Nostalgia
- I'm broke and this game is the best for the money
- I just want to be a SUPER SAIYAN / Wish fulfillment
- I'm looking for new people to chill with / Community or Social needs
- I'm searching for something deeper *cue gong*
- Read a good review about it
- Saw an advertisement
- ADRENALINE!
- Recommended by a friend
- Totally random purchase -- cover art looked good.
- It was a present
- I played the Arcade version
- It came with the Console / Device
- I love the company that makes it
- I'm fascinated with all things in the fantasy / horror / whatever genre
- Watched a YouTuber / Streamer play it
- I played the 10 prequels to the series

THANKS FOR PLAYING FRIENDLY FEUD!

~~

;)  I'm just brainstorming things up there really . . . and I guess there are reasons you START playing a game, but those aren't the same reasons that KEEP you playing a game. i.e., I may start playing a game because I saw an advertisement for it, but what kept me playing the game was that I found something deeper there.

In general, I don't think I hunt out games to play because I'm looking for a new experience, but sometimes a game looks so compelling to me that I just have to play it, like Journey.

I also don't know if anyone ever blatantly thinks "I want to fly, so I'm going to play a superhero game." So I'm sure a few of those items on that list are debatable.

So what do you think. Do you have any other ideas about what gets you playing a game and keeps you playing? Tell me why you play the games you do: what brought you to your game and what keeps you there for just a little bit longer than you anticipated?

Happy Dueling!

~~

This post is part of the Blaughust challenge -- Thanks to Belghast from Tales of the Aggronaut for hosting. 

Friday, August 28, 2015

#Blaugust Day 28 -- Discussion Point: Goals in Online Games

After finishing up Zojja's Razor the other night, I started thinking about how I arrived there. It wasn't like I had a guild directing me to craft the Razor so I could begin raiding with them or anything like that. (*cue raid guild requirements discussion somewhere in the distance) No, this was of my own volition and a goal I had set myself.  When I look at my own play of MMOs, it's really easy for me to see how setting a goal is what sets me on fire, and meeting those goals is something I like to advertise. hehe. Because it's fun!

If I don't really have a goal in a game when the run of the level cap has already been obtained, then I find a different game, or pursue after another goal. You know, like real life goals . . . like, uh, clean up the house or um, pay the bills.

Anyway, so my current game goals seem to be this:

- Fully finish the Khrysalis 2 story line in Wizard101. When I hit level 100 in Wizard101 and finished up Darkmoor, that felt like I had met my goal . . . but I really would like to see the rest of the story.

- Finish Pirate101 with my third pirate.(I've been sitting on this for far too long)

- Build my Friendly Necromancer deck in Hearthstone. (This one is hot on my agenda)

- I don't know if I'm fully ready to commit to getting that epic weapon in Guild Wars 2 or not . . . probably not . . . more thoughts on that later.

- Download and play Wildstar when it goes free to play. (Because it always looked fun to me.)

- Download and play Skyforge. (Because I have a couple friends playing it.)

- Make it through the tutorial for Heroes of the Storm. (Done!)


Woot!  Goal achieved! Oh, I can feel the greatness already pouring through me like little back up guys heading to their ultimate destruction in a pathway of death. (It's a very specific feeling)

Anyway, Goals . . . GOALS . . . are a funny thing. I talked about company directed "daily" goals a bit back, but I didn't focus much on the goal part of it . . . I was focusing more on the good vs. evil part of it.

In the comments to that post, Raltsmster made a very interesting statement, "If I got 100 Crowns a day for logging in and hunting 200 Fire Elves, I'd play more." I think what he speaks to there is the idea of "reward." I think my earlier statement, "meeting those goals is something I like to advertise" also speaks of "reward" because as a natural braggart (lol -- I mean STORYTELLER, yeah, STORYTELLER not braggart) I value the story behind the achievement!

I'll never forget when I was young, my mother used to tell me to find a way to reward myself after I made a personal goal. Whether it was a bowl of ice cream after a grueling session of studying for a test, or some TV time . . . or whatever. If I kept whatever small motivation I had in the back of my mind, then reaching the goal and feeling even better about it would help.

I also remember learning somewhere (can't remember this exactly and don't have time to look it up or research it right now *hugs blaugust*) that the most successful people in the world took on several challenges that had several medium to hard difficulties but not one giant challenge with an extreme difficulty. (*cue Epic Weapon in GW2 discussion somewhere in the distance: it's not the difficult, just buy it with real world money -- LOL RIGHT! LIKE I'M STUPID! WHAT A WASTE OF REAL MONEY! I HAVE BILLS TO PAY, PEOPLE!)

I know there are studies done on Goal Setting, but applying them to MMO objectives in this blog post seems silly. Really the end goal should be to have more fun and the last thing I really want to do is apply Edwin Locke's scientific papers to anything having to do with having fun in MMOs. Cripes.

Anyway . . . what was this blog post about?  How about: How to find success with fulfilling moderately difficult goals in MMOs through Goal Setting. Sounds legit to me!

Have at it people . . .in the comments:

1- What's a recent goal you completed in an MMO?
2- Did it feel awesome?
3- Did you reward yourself?
4- What's your current goal and why is it important to you?

Happy Dueling!

~~

This post is part of the Blaughust challenge -- Thanks to Belghast from Tales of the Aggronaut for hosting. 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

#Blaugust Day 27 -- FINALLY crafted Zojja's Razor

Last night I finished up a goal for myself in Guild Wars 2. For months I've been toting around a Moonshank dagger, which ain't shabby, but I always wanted to replace it with something a bit meatier.


Crafting this is no harder than crafting any other ascended weapon, but it is an endeavor that takes a lot of patience and money.  This is the basic recipe:


Pretty clean, right? four ingredients and BAM, right? WRONG! Each of those four items go deeper. You can tell by that little magnifying glass to the right. When you click that it shows you what else is needed.  So let's click each of those and show you what goes into those four items.

Zojja's Berserker Insription  

Deldrimor Steel Dagger Blade

Deldrimore Steel Dagger Hilt

Vision Crystal

See those little spyglass inspection symbols on those four above . . . now I think you're getting the gist of this. I'll spare you the screenshots of going deeper into this recipe, but I will try to explain it a bit.

Globs of Darkmatter -- these can only be obtained from salvaging level 80 epic items. Cheaper epic items cost about 75 silver in the Black Lion Auction House. Or you could just salvage ones you find while out questing for a while.

Deldrimor Steel Plated Dowel -- that's 3 spirit planks and 3 spirit ingots. The planks and ingots can only be crafted once every 24 hours.  You can buy the ingots outright for about 4 gold each and the planks for about 3. These items are the real money drain in the whole process.  Either you're playing all day long to get the raw materials to make the planks and ingots, or you're going to buy the raw materials, or you're going to buy the planks and ingots outright. (Or you can simply buy a Deldrimor Steel Plated Dowel -- current price 26 gold and change.)

Personally I bought the components and then crafted them.  My daily buy list was like this:
  • 90 Iron Ore
  • 40 Platinum Ore
  • 100 Mithril Ore
  • 80 Soft Wood
  • 30 Seasoned
  • 60 Hard Wood
  • 150 Elder Wood
(Those quantities changed based on how much I had actually been out and about questing)

Beserker's Orichalcum Inscription -- Again craftable, but goes for about 8 gold in the black lion.

Crystalline Dust -- The easiest way to obtain this is by salvaging ectoplasm, which is obtained from salvaging rare items.  This is the least of your worries.

Thermocatalytic Reagents -- this is a minor gold sink for Guild Wars 2 plain and simple. It's a vendor sold item . . . you'll spend about 1.4 gold getting these just for the main recipes.  (also required when you craft the planks and ingots)

Dragonite, Empyral, and Bloodstone -- . . . also plain and simple, you get these from actually playing the game.  If you're out there hitting Silverwastes, you'll have all you need -- unless you're using items like Princess to nibble away at your excess supply.

Augur's Stone -- This is a straight trade of 20 levels (or spirit shards) as you were.  You get 3 spirit shards every day you complete the dailies, so as long as you're out there playing the game, you'll have plenty of these to spare. Go see the Mystic Forge attendant to pick one up.

~~

And with all that behind me, I'm happy to say I'M DONE!  I now have an ascended piece of gear in every slot, and now both weapons.  The only thing I'm missing now is an epic weapon.

If you thought the above recipe sounded exhausting, it's nothing . . . NOTHING compared to an epic weapon.  Then again, you could just straight up buy an epic weapon.  The one I have my eye on currently costs 3,500+ gold. *cough* Bifrost *cough*

Yeah . . . it's probably not going to happen any time soon. HOWEVER, I do hear it will be a bit easier to obtain when Heart of Thorns comes out. So there's that at least . . .

Happy Dueling!

~~

This post is part of the Blaugust challenge -- Thanks to Belghast from Tales of the Aggronaut for hosting. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

#Blaugust Day 26 -- Naxxramas Update (THE PUNS)

Hey all!  Just wanted to give you a quick update on Hearthstone today. I'm continuing my quest for more cards to build my Friendly Necromancer deck in Hearthstone. As you know, I laid down some money the other day to buy the Curse of Naxxramas adventure.  I've had a lot of fun playing it an hour here and an hour there, and I've managed to complete three of the wings so far. Looks like good ol' Patchwerk is up to bat next.


It feels like using a facehunter-esque build (I don't have the cards to build a true facehunter) or a ramp druid build have actually been working very well for me. I switched to Mage a few times here and there as well when the druid just wasn't cutting it.

I haven't been reading guides to be honest.  That's kind of how I like to play anyway . . . if I can avoid looking at a guide I will, but when it gets too punishing, I crumble. ;)

Speaking of crumbling. Mexina crumbled to me and coughed up this bad boy card!


Now that's what I'm talking about! There's a card with some bite! ahHA! ahHAHAHAHA! Ok, my jokes aren't nearly as funny as Naxx's jokes. I try to screenshot them every time I win. Like this:


'NOTH' HIS DAY! THE PUNS!!


. . . and why when I die, don't I come back as Super Saiyan Stingite!


It's gotta be tough being Naxx. ;)

Also of important note . . . that whole Grand Tournament thing happened this week.  Sigh.  Can I just say I'm not happy about the Joust mechanic?  Not that it's horribly broken or anything (although I've got a friend who just refuses to use it), it's just . . . seriously, I lose like every joust, which makes this card a little less attractive to me for my Friendly Necromancer deck:


Although, just the *chance* at better card drawn when you're card starved is worth it.

Wish me luck on those last two wings of normal difficulty of Naxxramas!

Happy Dueling!

~~

This post is part of the Blaugust challenge -- Thanks to Belghast from Tales of the Aggronaut for hosting.