Monday, October 19, 2020

A luck-filled and grindy week in DCUO -- CR 299

I went a bit crazy last week, team. Crazy. 

It all kind of started back on 11 October when:

  1. I started thinking about DCUO when I read an old article on MassivelyOP about spiritual successor games, which got me thinking about DCUO (and why it wasn't mentioned somewhere in the more "super hero'y" sections of the article
  2. I dropped in on Discord and asked old Team Spode how long it would take to catch up.  My old gaming buddy Tony was like, "pretty easy tbh," 
. . . and that's how it began. 

I've only mentioned my DCUO days in passing on this blog, but crazy enough, I have a whole OTHER blog where I've talked a ton about my experiences leveling through the ranks. All of my previous efforts at DCUO left me at a-one-time-impressive combat rating (CR) of around 180. 

One of my favorite "old" screenshots of my DCUO hero.

A needed sidebar here: once you hit level 30 in this game, all your "leveling" is then done through increasing your combat rating, which is a statistic found on player gear.  As you equip more and more pieces of gear with higher and higher combat ratings, you likewise get a Combat Rating score for your character.  End of sidebar thought.

To put things in perspective, my buddies were all sitting around the CR 315-320 range. From CR 180, that gap seems like it's gonna take forever, but I'm happy to announce that by Sunday night game time on the 18th, I had managed to raise my CR to 299. 

Whew.  

What's so important about 299?  Well CR 299 is the perfect number needed for the most recent DCUO expansion, which is all about the "Wonderverse." That's a magical place where a "sourcewall" has cracked and created a point where all the earths have combined, and you get to chill with a multiverse full of Wonder Women . . . and fight against the gods and a pretty magnificent looking hydra.

~~

Here's how it happened:

1- My timely return to the game was timely, and as it turned out, DCUO was giving away a free bump to CR 255 thanks to Fallfest.  BAM!  I mean, come on, what stars aligned to make that happen?

The Hallowings are pretty great btw.

~~

2- I began grinding up the Wonderverse Single Player adventure . . . over and over and over and . . . y'all . . . I played that instance about 35-40 times. It takes about 10 minutes per run, which means I spent about 6-7 hours grinding this same instance over the course of a week. Each run would consistently net me 1 to 2 upgrades. Easy.  To do this, I had to use a lot of replay badges, but I actually had a glut of them from when I was playing DCUO all the time.

Me and the wonderwomans in an explosion of color!

~~

3- Welcome to the magic of the Metalverse! Back in September of 2019, DCUO released an expansion that began a two part series of a "metalverse," where people start to turn into Metal versions of themselves and a crazy Flash / Batman hybrid from the multivese starts tearing up Gotham.  

All my grinding in the Wonderverse unlocked this zone for me and BAM! I discovered a vendor there that sold gear upgrades for sourcemarks.  That's a currency you can earn in DCUO to buy legacy gear. Once again, I had a glut of sourcemarks from my old days of playing DCUO and what is "legacy" to modern DCUO players is all brand new to me. 

Long story short, I bought a complete set of gear from this equipment vendor and BAM! I was CR 282.

~~

4- The next few days I was able to log in and complete dailies in both the Wonderverse expansion and Thanagar because of my new CR 282 rating. Thanagar was introduced back in December 2019 and was the second part of the metalverse story. 

Sportin that fresh I'm-an-edgey-hero look in Thanagar

Hehe, you better believe I looked for another sourcemark "legacy" vendor in Thanagar, but it's considered current content and because of that, no dice.

~~

5- New solo encounters opened up as I was grinding up these levels and those also offered new opportunities to grind content, but I gotta tell ya . . . those solos are TOUGH.  In the grand scheme of efficiency vs. upgrades, it was well worth my time to hit the wonderverse single player event over and over instead of running those encounters and dying and dying and dying time and time again.

Red Death is terrifying

I mean, I won eventually, but not after repairing my gear a few times.

~~

6- One hour before the scheduled start time of the Sunday night game, I had resubscribed to DCUO and had 500 premium station cash to burn and about 40 lockboxes in my inventory. I'd need 3,600 station cash to open ALL the lockboxes, but I had enough to buy 5 lockboxes, which contained just enough gear inside of them to push me up over the edge and get to 299 just in time.

299!!

~~

So there I was, game ready and ready to go one week later. It felt pretty awesome, and Team Spode didn't fail to provide a fun night as we instantly started the raid circuit in the Wonderverse expansion. It's pretty smartly done and definitely deserves a blog post of its own to explain how it works. I had enough upgrades by the end of the night that I was CR 302 and feeling a lot tougher than I was a week ago.

Happy Dueling!

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

of Love and Wardens In Project Gorgon -- When Pigs Fly

 The past week in Project Gorgon I decided to finally take a look at the animal only sub-class in the game that was added about . . . when was that? a year ago? Anyway . . .

THE WARDEN!

Wardens are like animal cops and being an animal cop is a legit gig: you get your own warden-specific quests, your own special currency, you have access to a special wardens-only area of the game with a special wardens-only vendor that has warden-only food . . . you get the power of flight and electricity . . .

Off we go! Into the wild grey yonder! Off we go! Above Kur Mountains!

You heard me right, you get to fly! At level 40 there's a skill you can unlock that gives you 12 seconds of flight every two minutes. It's just enough time to get you to troublesome Z-axis locations you wouldn't have access to otherwise.  I dig it. Not to mention the big electricity thorns damage and the cool fire chain pulling trick. (I love the cool fire chain pulling trick! It yoinks mobs right to you!)

Even better, you start the class at level 30. I guess they did that since you went to all the trouble of leveling an animal class and doing the lengthy prequest?  I'm not sure actually.  

DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! (You get the idea)

About that prequest . . . they really have you running everywhere for this thing. You see, it all starts with a suspicious cow. Literally that's the name of the NPC, and it's an NPC that will only talk to you if you're in animal form.

The cow sends you off to talk to a spooky door in Kur. 

Creepy Door is Creepy!

I've passed this creepy door several times in the past and thought to myself, hmm, "future content thing?" And merrily skipped along my way. Now I know better.  That's the door way to the Sacred Grotto of the Warrens.

When you get there, someone behind the doorway asks you for the secret phrase "Horse-Rabbit-Maelstrom" and then . . . doesn't let you in. Apparently they're short staffed and the best they can do is give you the name of the "External Resource Coordinator," which happens to be a pig named Norbert in Animal Town in Sun Vale.

"A little sullen, for a pig."

Ol' Norbs tells you that the External Resource Coordinator title was just an inside joke title that Pickles the Panther gave him. Then he realizes they must be in really dire straights and does his best to make up a "ritual" to get you in. It involves collecting 10 bananas and killing some ranalon (frog peoples). After this, you take vows to protect intelligent animals, defend nature, and always side with intelligent animals.  After that, Norbert sniffs you and you pass the nose check. You now smell like an animal cop, gratz!

This time when you go back to the spooky door in Kur, they literally smell you coming and let you on in. Milton, the head sheep around the place finishes the process of becoming a warden and you're given a handful of delivery quests that will earn you the precious Warden currency that allows you to purchase things from the shop and train your spells.

The whole thing is quite charming, and I have to say I love getting the new Warden-only quest every day. They seem to typically just be a kill quest, but still, it's kind of fun, and after doing today's daily Warden quest, profitable as well!  Trekker laid down two Vervadium for me as a quest reward.

VERV YEAH!

I think what I'll do with this class is kind of level it on the side after the big exp buffs you get at the Saturday Poetry Jams. I don't think I have the fortitude just yet to grind up a new class beyond that. Those poetry jam buffs is how I raised the class up to 41 and unlocked flight.

. . . of course Project Gorgon has flying animals . . . of course . . .

Happy Dueling!

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Mystery Blogger Award!

 I, and several others, were tagged for the illustrious . . .

MYSTERY!

When this happens, several things are required. 

1- Thank the blogger and link to them:

Thank you Magi at Indicator!!

2- Display the award logo on your blog

Done!

3- Mention the creator of the award + link

Check out the award details at Okoto's Enigma's Blog for all the deets.

4- List the rules

Doin' that as I type.

5- Tell your readers three things about yourself

I am a Game Designer at KingsIsle Entertainment. I have 3 kids, a cat, and a beautiful uber wife. I started this blog because of Wizard101, but really I had been blogging for a long time before that on a blog that's now been shut down.

6- Answer five questions from the nominator

- You have to ban one game for eternity. This game shall never be played or watched again and nobody is allowed to talk about it. Which game do you pick?

You know, countless games fall under the axe everyday that you don't even know about. Games that no one outside of a test market will ever play. This is incredibly evident to me now that I've been working in the games industry. It's such an oversaturated sea of games out there and each one was built by someone with dreams, hopes, and families to feed.  Cutting one is harsh, but let's kill World of Warcraft.

Wow . . . saying that was surprisingly easy. I agree with everything Tipa said on the subject.

. . . and then after we kill WoW, let's take out Monopoly, because why not?

- How was your day? What have you been up to? Hope you’re well. 🙂

Thanks, yo! My day is pretty good so far. It's only 8:00am, and I've done my morning exercises, collected all my fishing traps and set new ones in Project Gorgon, read some Twitter, took a shower, ate avacado-filled breakfast tacos, and started typing this blog post.  Gotta get to work now! 

- If you could take any vehicle/plane/etc. from any game/show/book/whatever to use in our world, what would you pick and where would you go?

I miss you, sweet unicorn ride.

I would take my Free Realms unicorn mount with it's undulating rainbow mane, sparkling hooves, and glowing unicorn horn into every MMO ever and say "behold my greatness" as I rode past every player, and they would say, who was that motorcycle helmeted fairy on the most amazing unicorn ever? And I would become the myth of Thomas Lionbolt, unicorn rider!

- This one’s weird! It’s not a question… it’s an answer! “No, but the raisings certainly belong to this office.” – Find the question that this answer answers!

lul whut?

- What’s your favourite Indie title that you personally love that nobody seems to know?

I mean, I'm over here trying to do my best to raise awareness of Project Gorgon. I do what I can. Outside of that though, let's say Gems of War.

7- Ask your nominees any five questions of your choice, including one weird or funny question

Oh, I'm not gonna do all the nominee stuff . . . but anyone that responds to this blog in the comments can answer these questions:

  • Combine one super hero with one pop culture icon and one insect . . . describe why what you have created is the most amazing thing ever.
  • Choose one of these: spiked club with force powers, flame thrower with infinite fuel, or blowgun with self-loading heat-seeking darts. Explain why it's so important to your character.
  • Have you ever played D&D and if you have, what was your favorite moment in any adventure.
  • Favorite band/artist and why.
  • If you could only eat one type of cereal for the rest of your life, but it was absolutely free to do so, what would it be?
8- Nominate 10 to 20 bloggers

. . .man that's a lot of bloggers.

9- Notify the bloggers by leaving a comment on their blog (though, I’d just message them where possible)

N/A, but I love you all!

10- Share the link to your best post

Well, apparently my most popular post is this one about where to find the Grizzleheim books in Wizard101. I still get hits on it all the time.

. . . any my most popular YouTube video, coming in at 139,000 views is my Day Without 101 parody song.  Enjoy!


Thanks again for the nomination, Magi! It certainly has been nice getting to know you through the Blaughust Blogger crew.

Happy Dueling!

Monday, September 28, 2020

Weekend Update . . . and then the Worgen Struck!

This past weekend was pretty good at the Friendly Necromancer household! I mean . . . "quarantine good," but still it was a good weekend! I mean, it wasn't like we went to Six Flags and had an epic day of swimming at the beach. But a day spent binge watching great anime and playing MMOs is what it's all about!

Let's jam about it!

~~

1- My son and I started watching The Dragon Prince last week. It's surprisingly good! If you liked Avatar the last Airbender's style of storytelling, you'll probably like this adventure as well. It's meant for kids, but totally enjoyable for adults as well. 


On Saturday we had an epic watching party for the two of us, complete with jelly-filled powdered sugar cookies and golden kiwis, which I highly recommend. Have you guys tasted a gold kiwi? It's like a kiwi and a pear had a delicious fruit baby.

You gotta get your hands on one of these. So good!

I can't wait to see Season 4 of The Dragon Prince now, which is supposed to be hitting Netflix sometime late 2020.

~~

2- Project Gorgon held their epic Crafting Caravan event that only happens once or twice a year, and let me tell you, there is nothing more amazing than gaining 5 levels of Cooking experience at the back end of the game. I was kind of blown away that I could move the needle from level 52-ish to level 58-ish over the weekend.

Like, you guys know I hate cooking, right? I despise it because of all the inventory problems it naturally creates because . . . it's not simple. Yes, yes, I know nothing is simple about Project Gorgon, but having 50 to, I don't know, 100-some-odd ingredients for making food gets super messy in your inventory. I've got milk bottles and fish fillets tucked away in every refrigerated and non-refrigerated corner of that game.

The "surprise" moment of the event happened for me when I was talking to the cooking NPC at the very start. Get this. Kinira told a grand tale of being trapped in a Gazluk snow storm with her band of crafters and drawing straws to see which member of the crafting caravan would be cannibalized. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it), one of the apprentices named Etana got the axe and Kinira admitted to really liking the . . . uh . . . meat.  I think the words she used was, "Etana was freaking delicious!" AND THEN, she hands me a bowl of "apprentice surprise." Sure, why not?! I appreciated the free gourmand experience I got from eating a bit of one of the caravan members.

Um, Yum?

But again, the real surprise was the experience. HOLY APPRENTICE SURPRISE, BAT FOX!

I agree Pandakiller . . . <3 crafting caravan experience indeed!

~~

3- You ain't gonna believe this, but, I actually played World of Warcraft, y'all. 

I've missed so much in this game, and I never really gave it a good play past Vanilla WoW as some of you know. I've talked at length a few times before about my WoW days, or as I used to call WoW: "The game which shall not be named."

As a reminder to those that don't know, you get to play the first 20 levels of any new character for absolutely free in WoW, so I thought I'd re-experience the game with new aged eyes and try the Worgen race since I hadn't done that before.

After spending a while with the character creator, my new level 1 Worgen Hunter was ready to go. I was quite surprised when I logged in to my character the first time and he looked like a super normal human. WHAT?

Normalizing being the most normal normal human ever.

I couldn't even imagine how many service tickets those poor Blizzard customer support people must have fielded. I can see the responses now, "Yes. Yes. Not to worry, keep playing and you'll soon see the real Worgen inside you."  It did take about 10 missions or so before I was finally bitten and awoke a couple quests later, firmly in the stocks.

Here's to hoping they never find a cure for the werewolf virus!

Gotta say with the new Shadowlands release for World of Warcraft being only 28-days-and-some-change away from launch, buying it and getting a level 110 character boost is kind of attractive. How hard can it be? Just follow a guide or two on building up your character and then just click the buttons, right? 

JUST CLICK THE BUTTONS, DUDE!

Anyway, to cut a story of long quest lines short, I had a lot of fun, and especially a lot of fun with my cute Overwatch baby Winston pet that I have no idea how I earned. What an awesome surprise!

And I even got to catapult myself on to a spooky pirate ship! Winning!

So that was me this weekend . . . hope you had a fun gamer'y weekend as well!

Happy Dueling!

Sunday, September 20, 2020

A Tale of Two Tails: Stingite and the Friendly Ratsomancer

Here it is! I'm so happy to show you my commissioned piece of fan art for my Project Gorgon Spirit Fox character and his Necro Rat sidekick! 

The Friendly Ratsomancer, Stingite, and his illusion

I commissioned the ever-amazing and talented Mia Smith to create this piece of art to commemorate my time in Project Gorgon as a Spirit Fox, and I absolutely love it! It even has me mid-ghost mode and with a Spirit Fox illusion in the background.

It all started back in July when the new Spirit Fox animal class was introduced to the world by P:G. Since I donned the skin, I haven't removed it once. By the end of July, I had hit level 60 in the skill and found my new Necro Rat sidekick. Finally, by the end of August, I had max-leveled my fox and did a fair amount of leveling for The Friendly Ratsomancer as well.

It's been a really fun class to play, and I hope to see it continue to grow and develop as a class as time goes on.

What's been happening now a month later? Honestly, I've just been making a lot of money in game by selling mostly Superb Metal bars to players trying to level their Jewelry Crafting and also farming ingredients for my lifeblood drug of choice since becoming a spirit fox: Bounceweed.  

Dirt, Fish Scales, and Grass . . . this is the way!

. . . and I quote, "You've completed this recipe 600 times"

At some point in the future I may switch back to my old Raksasha self, but for now I couldn't be happier running around Alharth as a Spirit Fox with a Necro Rat side kick.

Happy Dueling!

Monday, September 14, 2020

Entering The Wintertide

Yesterday I met up with a guildmate of mine named Darklorde, and we determined that, no matter if we endlessly died over and over, we were going to visit the new Level 80 dungeon in the Fae Realm. (And endlessly die we did, but let's not talk about that . . .)

Overlooking the new Portal to Wintertide

Of course, the first hurdle to getting inside the dungeon is knowing how because I ran on up to the portal, clicked on it, and got a straight-up talk-to-the-hand message that it's not going to be that easy. So I asked in general chat how to get into the new dungeon and SassySusie (If you play Gorgon for any length of time, you should know that name, she's leet) gave me a tell that all I needed to do was get a key off of the trolls near the entrance.

I hope this doesn't damage me when it self-destructs. I guess we'll see!

They're pretty much similar to a Winter War-Troll Elite mob in difficulty, but Dark and I had no trouble downing a few, and before you knew it we had our key and waltzed in to the dungeon.

Holy crap, this place is freaking epic looking! I honestly felt like I was in DCUO instead of Project Gorgon.

Hello? Is this the space refridgerator? I'm looking for my leftovers?

The excitement from Dark and I linking to loot we were finding inside the dungeon was enough to draw in our guild leader, Prolak, and the guild's longtime honorary member Hot Felicity. After about four hours of grinding the first and second floor, I had to call it quits, but I hear tell that they were able to eventually gather a full group and a half and make it through the entire dungeon . . . save for a boss named something like the Dalvos Astral Spirit? He left the group cursed with -20% to darkness and psychic damage debuff (that also buffs your own darkness damage by 8% . . . I may actually want that curse permanently).

So, yes, the Winter Fae have themselves an honest to goodness space craft as a part of their world domination plans, and we get to journey through it. Mind you, the entire time you're inside this dungeon it's doing cold damage to you. You're in the void of space. You won't take falling damage, but you will get frost bite if you're not prepared. enjoy it.

~~

Floor 1: here our spaceship features . . . trolls . . . lots of them. They're all about the same difficulty as the trolls that you got the keys from, so unless you pull 3 or 4 of them at a time, there really shouldn't be much of a problem.  

Also on floor one, the disco room. 

I'm ready to dance! LET ME DANCE!!

These D12's full of light dance around and literally provide the best place to dance in all of gorgon. I'm telling you, there needs to be a fairy here that teaches you a new dance move just for this awesome room. In the Disco room you can find a door button that will hold open a door near the beginning of the dungeon. Inside that door is a cowardly fairy with a full complete quest line that guides you through the dungeon and even provides you with some unique skills that . . . probably help you get through the rest of the dungeon? (I didn't make it that far yesterday)

Another feature of floor one is the anti-gravity shaft that leads to Floor 2. It's awesome. You jump up it and it raises you right up to the top floor. Be sure to get a running jump, because you won't be able to just move left or right if you only press space bar to jump up.  You gotta get a running jump at it and then scrape your face along the wall as you float up.

Anti-gravity shaft going up!

~~

Floor 2: Here our spaceship features lots of evil dark Ensign fairies, elementals, hippogriffs, and space chickens. We cut paths through several of the hallways here, but while I was in the group, we never made it to one of the bosses. 

A glimpse of Floor Two

~~

I'm glad my guildmates went on to discover more of its furthest reaches, because that means they'll know more about which way to go for the next time through. ;) TAKE ME TO THE LOOTS!

Speaking of loots. I filled my bag with level 80 gear and even picked up a nice weapon and shield upgrade in the process. Also, I got an interesting pair of gloves.

What the heck is direct demonic damage???

I really like the darkness damage here, but I really hate the lack of class-specific mods that go along with that for being a purple drop.

Anyway, I'm sure I'll post more about Wintertide when I finally get to explore its heights to the fullest and not just peek through geometry to get a look at what's to come.

Looking through the ceiling in floor two showed a red area of the dungeon!

Happy Dueling!

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

The Canvas is the Brush -- The Landscape is the Canvas

Hear me out . . . I really want to have a Burning Man event in Project Gorgon out in the desert of Ilmari.

Recently I've been making these kind of temporary "art installations" out of in-game "art." It's very meta, but there's not a lot you can be creative with in Project Gorgon outside of  laying down items in patterns. The best of these items are by far the over-sized paintings you find adorning the walls of the Serbule Crypts and the Eltibule Goblin Dungeon.

Most people are so starved of money that doing stupid stuff like this is . . . well . . . stupid. But for me, it's my current "fun" in game. :) 

Ribbons of pictures laid out in the desert

That's about 70+ pictures worth a few thousand councils. Once you peel a portrait off the walls of the dungeon, you then identify it to level your Art History. By doing so, you gain synergy levels in Artistry and Lore.  

I'm not just confined to the desert, either mind you.


A swooping arch of art in a cold empty trail of Kur Mountains

That swath of pictures happens right along a well-traveled path between Eltibule and Ilmari -- sure to catch the eye of a few level 50 players. ;)

So there you have it! The canvas is the brush and the landscape is the canvas in Project Gorgon.  Of course, you're limited by your inventory, and I found out last night that as you lay new pictures down in an area where you previously had put pictures down, it starts to find the oldest ground spawn of the same type and removes it. So it's really best to do something like this in one shot. Just gather all the paintings your backpacks can hold and make your brush strokes by pointing your body and dropping the picture -- strafe a bit, then repeat!

Ground spawns seem to last a couple hours if left undisturbed, and seeing something strange in a path well traveled will definitely stop someone in their tracks for a moment.

What does this all have to do with a Burning Man event in Project Gorgon? IDK other than I think it could be really cool if a few people came out to the desert and started painting with their paintings while people played music and danced, and a couple Kegs were placed out for people to enjoy.  Lighting off fireworks and chilling would be a must. . . even better if it could catch the eye of an admin and they spawn a couple bosses for players to fight.

Maybe some day . . .

In the meantime, I'll be leveling up my Art History and making a few more surprise brush strokes across the landscape of Project Gorgon.

. . . Now if only the fine people at Project Gorgon would make some kind of snappable building blocks with placement nodes on all sides for us to play with . . .

Happy Dueling!

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Project Gorgon Daily Calendar

I made this calendar for events in Project Gorgon. Enjoy!

Project Gorgon: Feeling Directionless and Finding Direction

So here we are!  I'm max level in Spirit Fox and Animal Handling, and I'm as happy as can be! But . . . um . . . what do I do next? And what could I possibly write about that you could possibly find interesting? I don't know, and that's kind of a problem.

Lemme just ramble a bit . . .


I can't do it again. Not yet.
I don't really have the drive to level another battle skill to 80 . . . at least not yet. ProfessorCat (one of the best Project Gorgon players out there) doesn't have a problem with this like I do.  I respect the guy a ton.  He loves to level all the combat skills and it's helped him become extremely knowledgeable about the game. I saw on the forums that he had a pretty sexy combination for Necromancy and Animal Handling, and it made me kind of want to try and level necromancy a bit.

I tried. Honestly. I equipped the skill and started grinding the same mobs I'd been grinding to get spirit fox to 80, and . . . I just started to fall asleep at the wheel! 

I guess just fresh off of a grind to 80 I found the whole experience to be a little boring. It's going to take a while for me to forget the pains so I can attempt this again.


I'm afraid things are going to change? Maybe that's good?
The Spirit Fox is in its "alpha" phase so-to-speak. The developers said that things will be changing on the class in the near future, and there are some oversights: there's currently no "beast speech" for the class, there's no alchemy damage boost potion, there's no synergy levels, higher qualities of Bounceweed don't have movement benefits, some of the skills behave a little strangely . . . I'm sure things will change. 

The question is, will they change for the worse and make me want to level a different skill? Idk. There's nothing like a good round of nerfs to make you want to jump ship to something else.

NAH . . . I love my float-y spirit fox too much.

I have secretly commissioned an artist for some project gorgon inspired fan art that I can't wait to show everyone in the near future. *squeals with joy* 


What to do . . . What to do . . .
Unfortunately I have to keep a very good beat of Ice Fishing going thanks to my Bounceweed addiction. I never thought I'd need this many fishscales, dirt, and grass. I've been farming it like crazy trying to stay ahead of the Bounceweed addiction curve. only the lowest level of Bounceweed is currently giving the correct movement speed benefits (I mean, it may be this way for all animal classes, but this is my first I've actually leveled), so it's the one I have to concentrate on, that means farming lower level undead for dirt, ice fishing twice a day for fish scales, and grabbing haystacks or killing rhinos in FR for grass.  Bounceweed . . . I can't live without it.

What is this crazy design on the Ice fishing traps anyway? Looks bounceweed inspired . . .

I've taken to doing the Lakrea quests as a side activity.  Lakrea is an NPC in Rahu that gives some seriously crazy quests like . . . go stand in a sandstorm, make some yarn balls, bury canines, drink 20 bottles of water, etc, but those quests give these really great potions that give you exp in random skills. You can only take one of her "holistic wellness" quests once every hour, so . . . log on, quest, log off.

Whether to drink or to sell . . . that is the question!

Also, once every 24 hours, I can also farm those stupid glowy crystals I talked about before and then every few days, turn all my semi-real Hassium into superb ore. It brings in a nice flow of cash.  Farming . . . it's the lifeblood of the MMO player.

Then there's just regular, old NPC favor quests. I've got a ton in my backlog. last weekend I cleared out a whole set of old quests in Kur . . . only to discover more quests waiting for me.  It's something to do! not a bad thing at all.

Cavefish in trade for flowers?  I'll take it!

Unfortunately this is all kind of headed to the way of running a schedule in game, which I fear may lead to more . . .  dun dun dun . . . boredom. 


Hit the dungeons!
Weekends are a great time to hit the dungeons in P:G. Lots of people are on in the guild, lots of random people are running things like GK for money.  You load up on gear, sell it to all the random vendors, and start all over again.

7,615 + 474 + 7082 + 467 = 15,638 damage in my pocket gear . . . I CAN DO BETTER!

I did find that I can solo the entrance to the Labyrinth quite well . . . so there is that, but even Lab entrance tends to get busy.

Hopefully by the end of the month we'll have a brand new level 80 dungeon to explore! Then things will REALLY get crowded and interesting.


Drop the fox, hit the crafts?
I really don't want to drop my fox curse. I wouldn't mind being a fox forever in Project Gorgon!  The only bad thing?  No hands = no crafting. I mean, I can mine and garden and cook, but I can't harvest wood or make chairs or even sit in them.

I did really enjoyed giving one of our new guildies some pancakes the other day.  How often is it that a fox makes you pancakes?  

Thanks for that image, nutella!


In summary?
I really am feeling a bit directionless currently. I'm still playing, and I'm still happy with the game . . . just feeling a little bit like a leaf in the wind? Hopefully I can get my footing back soon. Any suggestions? Leave 'em in the comments.

Happy Dueling!

Monday, August 10, 2020

Promptapalooza: A Blue-Haired Fox Necromancer Mascot? Yes please!

I'm a bit behind on topics for Promptapalooza, but a great one happened the other day on Beyond Tannhauser Gate. "If you had a mascot to represent you, what would it be?" 

This topic is perfect, especially since my daughter has been playing a game with the family of "guess that product" based on the Japanese mascot.

Ready to play? Ok! 

After guessing what the picture is below, highlight the block of text underneath the picture to see how close you were. All of the following pictures were originally posted on the Mondo Mascots Twitter Account.

If you can read this, then you're doing it right.

1- Guess this!


Answer: Unofficial mascot of the Fukuoka Prefecture. It's a giant fish egg ghost.

2- Guess this!



Answer: Mascot for the historical theme park nikko edo wonderland.  It's a Nyan-mage with a samurai top knot.

3- Guess this!


Answer: This is the mascot for the Honshu-Shikoku Bridge. It's a bridge with a car driving on top of it.

How'd you do?  Three out of three? You at least got the last one, right?

~~

As for me . . . I guess my mascot right now would be a blue-haired fox dressed up as a Wizard101 necromancer with two pets. One pet would be Lady Dexter the ninja-pig and the other would be a Necro rat pet! ;) And Lady Dexter would be holding a toy Reinhardt action figure in one of his hands. hehe.

If I could draw that for you, I would. (Kind of impressive how many "fox necromancer" or "kitsune necromancer" pictures you can find on a google search, btw.) You'll have to use your imagination.

Happy Dueling!

Max Fox -- Man, It Rocks!

Let me start by just saying I spent an unhealthy amount of time playing Project Gorgon yesterday. When I first started the level grind from 70 to 80, I was thinking I wouldn't get done until sometime later this week, but . . . you know how it is when you get a video game goal in your mind and then you just keep going for it and kind of go crazy?  No?  Good for you.

I managed to hit 80 Spirit Fox around 2 pm or so in the afternoon and then summoned my guild leader to come craft some max enchanted evasion leather for me. (Side note: I also managed to level The Friendly Ratsomancer, my necro rat, up to 80 shortly after hitting the 80 mark myself. Woot! 3rd pet up to 80!) 

Still needs a few more bond levels . . . but level 80 rat hype is real!

So I handed good ol' Prolak (he's my guild leader) stacks and stacks of astounding, amazing, and great leather, a good amount of vervadium, hours of harvested glowy yellow gems from Gaz, some spiderweb, some leather strips, a stack of Spirit Fox inscribed lapis gems, and finally a stack of fluorite for the Animal Handling secondary. It was everything I needed to have him craft me the uber gears. Well, minus cheesecloth . . . that was an oversight on my part, but Prolak is a pro and had some for me. 

Slowly but surely he made a purple quality of each helm, chest, legs, gloves, and boots. We also had enough materials left over to shoot for a yellow quality chest, so we went for it, but to no avail. But the thing about max-enchanted quality purples is that they are pretty much equal to a yellow-quality regular items, so I wasn't disappointed. Max-enchanted yellow-quality gear will come in time. 

I quickly ran out of dust trying to switch mods around, but managed to make a few adjustments to get closer to the gear that I'm hunting for. 

Just need to switch around maybe one skill here, and this'll be perfect.

I had the beginnings of my gear, I had my levels, and it was time to put that new damage output to the test. 

WHAT DID THE FOX SAY! TCHOFF-TCHOFF-TCHOFFO-TCHOFFO-TCHOFF! ahem, excuse me. Sorry about that.


I ran back to the Fae Realm and attacked the same panthers that I had been farming all day, and it felt really good. I was melting them and steadily hitting in the 1-2k mark with each spirit fox darkness spell and crit-ing in the 3-4k mark.

Gering-ding-ding-ding-dingeringding! 

Next I went over to Gazluk Keep and tried soloing the entrance mobs, which I did, but only when I could pull them one at a time. That also felt really good. Unfortunately I couldn't mess around much because I was down two pets with no first aid kits to bring them back to life.

Orcs must die! Hatee-Hatee-Hatee-Ho!

If you're wondering "is Fox any good?", here's my thoughts . . . So, playing Spirit Fox at max level with good gear didn't feel overpowered (like I wasn't hitting for 10-12k or anything crazy like some of these builds I've heard about), but it did feel "good." You know?  Is it good enough that you'd give up the use of your hands (I can't even milk cows in game for crying out loud)? I guess that's up to you to decide. As for me, I'll be staying Fox for a little while longer. Stay tuned. More thoughts to come!

So, there you have it.  I still have some modifications to make to my gear, but all in all, I'm happy with the damage I'm putting out! Even better, it's sounding like it's just in time for a new level 80 dungeon!

'atta boy Project Gorgon!

Happy Dueling!

Friday, August 7, 2020

Promptapalooza: Toxic Fandoms -- A Snow Plow of a Quote

Things are rolling along quite nicely for Promptapalooza. I'm going to skip back a couple of days and talk about a prompt that The Ancient Gaming Noob handled for the group. 

"What is a favorite Quote/s, and tell us why"

Lately I have Twitter set to open, not on the home screen, but on one particular message that went a bit viral back in 2019 and continues to circulate and resurface.

Up until this point I didn't know who Al Snow was.  You may not know either. Basically he's a professional wrestler that had a lot of 90's and early 2000's WWF fame and creator of the "snow plow" wrestling move.


Gotta respect a guy who can toss someone on their head and not severely injure them. Then again, he's also the guy that wrestled a mannequin head.


At the end of the day . . . Al Snow is a professional entertainer. He's had a lot of air time on TV and understands "fandoms" probably more than most. 

This particular quote from Al Snow explains toxic fandoms perfectly.  


". . . you have a bunch of people, fans, that now have access and are privy to information but have no actual experience. And since they have the information, they think they now have knowledge and an understanding of a business that they've never been in . . . what's the problem with that? It leads to assumptions, and it leads to conjecture, and it also leads to contempt . . ."

Al's pretty wise for a guy who's wrestled a mannequin head. 

I can't tell you how much assumption, conjecture, and contempt I've seen thrown at entertainment companies.  It's unfortunate, because those doing it are "fans" -- albeit loud and falsely opinionated fans.  It's also unfortunate when those in the "entertainment company bubble" cater to a contemptuous vocal minority at the cost of the majority, who just want to be entertained. 

Happy Dueling!

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Promptapalooza: What skill do you want to improve the most?

Hello dear readers!
1- I'm so grateful to Wilhelm Arcturus from The Ancient Gaming Noob blog for his post yesterday and link to my blog.
2- If you aren't familiar with the Promptapalooza going on this month, please head over to Belghast's blog The Aggronaut and catch up on the latest. 
~~

Today's topic is all about "What skill do you want to improve on the most?" Hoooo boy!  I have a lot of things I want (and even need to improve on).

As an MMO and video game player, I literally have actual "skills" that I want to improve on, like the Spirit Fox skill in Project Gorgon. Also, you'd think that as a kid who pretty much started out with a pong game unit as a babysitter that my hand eye coordination would be more impressive than what it is, but since playing Overwatch every Tuesday and Wednesday for the past few years . . . I've been severely humbled.
There's a reason why I don't play hitscan heroes

As far as real world skills, two years ago I made the transition from Video Game Marketing to Video Game Design at KingsIsle. Since that time I've learned a lot about working in Unity. It's our bread and butter in the KingsIsle mobile development section, but I still feel like I've only scratched the surface of what I can learn and more importantly what I can create.

But since this is a blog, and we are in the throws of Promptapalooza, I have to say that what I really need to improve on is being a better host.  My blogroll used to be a hub of its own during the highlight of 2010 blogging. There were at one time about 50 or so blogs about Wizard101, and I hosted them all right here under the umbrella of The Friendly Necromancer.

Check out that header find from the wayback machine!

That list has dwindled down to about seven Wizard101 blogs, and to be honest, that's probably because of a few reasons. 1- Blogging isn't "it" anymore: Now it's more about YouTube channels and Twitch streams. 2- My blog has changed. I'm no longer as laser focused on Wizard101 and Pirate101. 3- Let's be honest, I kind of disappeared for a while.

It's not that I've lost interest in Wizard101 or Pirate101 . . . Part of that lack of focus is that I work at the company that makes those games now. I know what's coming up. I know why things happen at the pace they happen. In essence, I know too much! You can't theory craft when the writers are just down the hall to the right.

Long story short, to be a better host with my new blog focus, I'm updating the list of blogs that I link to in my blogroll. In fact, I've gone ahead and added every blog that's participating in this Promptapalooza, with an apology. I'm sorry it's taken so long for me to do this. Being a better host and a better part of the MMO blogosphere is definitely a skill I need to improve on.

If for some reason I've left your blog off the list, let me know in the comments, and I'll get you on there. Here's to a new day at The Friendly Necromancer! Also, if you also happen to blog on this topic today or on another day of Promptapalooza, please feel free to include a link to your blog post in the comments below.

Tomorrow's prompt will be handled by The Rambling Redshirt over on his blog Beyond Tannhauser Gate.

Happy Dueling!

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Promptapalooza: Out with the Mizithra

Today's Promptapalooza was sponsored by the letter E, also Everwake from Everwake's Internet Adventures. Today's specific prompt is "Everyone has specific rituals that they follow, tell us about one of yours"

I'm really loving reading Everwake's posts that have been happening for Promptapalooza. They've all been high quality, honest, and hilarious. Case in point:
My favorite ritual is staying up late on an autumnal night, collecting bits of salt, spice, and incense in a purpose-made basket, and walking a lush, green, forested path to an ancient monument that overlooks the neighboring valley. From there, I sacrifice a virgin and say a few words to satiate the RNG Gods so that we might have yet another bountiful raid for our tanks, who are squishier than a bag of bread.
Everwake goes on to make comparisons between Rituals and Routines and their influence on not only gaming, but life in general.  It's a great read, you best go check it out for yourself.

As for me, it's actually my birthday today, which kind of plays into this topic quite well.

For the past 20 years or so, every birthday we all go see an IMAX film and then go out to eat Italian.  It used to be that it wasn't just any Italian . . . it was always The Old Spaghetti Factory.

Unfortunately, ever since moving to Texas we've discovered that the closest Old Spaghetti Factory is in Kansas, so we had to make the ritual a bit more generic, and that sucks to be honest because that Mizithra cheese pasta at the Old Spaghetti Factory is the best ever comfort food for me.

That is a beautiful bowl of heaven right there...

We've tried other Italian restaurants here . . . everything from Bucci de Beppos to Macaroni Grill and back again. It's like I've been on a gondola ride of failure and nothing quite captures the ritual as well as ye' ol' Spaghetti Factory.

This year was even more generic thanks to the pandemic going on.  We watched a National Geographic Documentary on King Cobras in place of seeing an IMAX film and had Olive Garden to go.  It's fine though . . . better safe than sorry.

HA! I really hope this doesn't sound like I'm complaining. It was a perfectly fine birthday, and I even got Dreams for the PS4 from the family as a gift.  Oh man . . . it looks SO COOL! I can't wait to explore it's creativity.


I guess what I'm getting at more is "the ritual" since that's the topic at hand. Ever since moving here that essential piece of the ritual has been missing and every year that Italian dinner feels a bit disappointing in retrospect. I don't even know why this became such a "thing" for me to do on my birthday, but it is. It's not like I believe that I will have a magically perfect year once the ritual is complete or anything. It's just become my thing, which is weird.

Next year will be my 50th birthday.  Yes, I'm that old. Perhaps that year is the perfect year to start a new ritual, something entirely Austin, Texas and Gamer dad at the same time.  BBQ and Dungeons and Dragons?  Chi'lantro and Gloomhaven?

Those Kimchi Fries are pretty much the most amazing thing ever to be honest . . .

I've got a year to figure it out and really should have changed the ritual a long time ago.

Happy Dueling!

Monday, August 3, 2020

Ding 70 Spirit Fox: This is not a fake fur emergency!

Yes. This happened over the weekend. I hit the magical number of 70 Spirit Fox in Project Gorgon and stared down at the price tag of unlocking levels 70-80.

This is now the fourth time I've hit 70 in a combat skill in Project Gorgon. It's really a do or die time for a combat skill. Do I love it enough to keep going, or am I jumping ship for something else?  The price tag shock never gets any easier for me. Three Hundred and . . . Forty-Eight . . . THOUSAND councils?

YOINK!

It's a true moment of panic where you look at what you got and then make the decision to:

  1. Hold a clearance sale of all the junk you've been holding on to for a rainy day.
  2. Complete all the Fae Realm elite quests you possibly can
  3. Complete every daily there is
  4. Max out all the vendors in every zone
  5. Resist the urge to spend your money on any other skill, potion, or nice to have item.
With a small yet noticeable bead of sweat coming down my face on late Saturday night, I paid the bill to the big green fae panther NPC in the Fae Realm and unlocked levels 71-80. whew.

The gathering of money was probably the most notable thing that happened while leveling 60-70.  Other than that, it was leveling as usual.  I was leveling in the Wolf Caves, in the Fae Realm, and in Gazluk and Illmari per standard.

Oh! I was also simultaneously leveling that new necro rat pet of mine.  We were both a little gimpy at this point to be honest (and believe me, it was tempting not to break out my max-bonded and max-leveled fire rat pet), but we made it work . . . together.

He's now right there with me at level 70 and ready to make the ride to 80 as well.

Love you little necro rat buddy! Now hi ho Necro Rat, AWAY!

Now if I could only teach him tricks!


This time while leveling up to 80, I'll also be collecting all the ingredients I need to craft the perfect set of leather gear. With any luck, my Guild Master will soon have a perfect set of uber armor for me, and I can really see if the necro rat AH / Spirt Fox dark damage build is as fun as I'm hoping it will be.

I'll see you at level 80 and hopefully have a full report on all the ins and outs. Wish me luck, I'll need it for that max enchanted leather gear.

Happy Dueling!