Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The YouTubes, You, and Me Too!

WOW! I've had a pretty active run on YouTube the past few days. It's like I've hit a creative spark over the holidays here.  I've been announcing these over Twitter for the most part, but lemme break it down for you (and catalog it for me) over here on my blog.


Wizard101 Let's Play!

I've started up a new walk through of Wizard101 with Morgrim from the Art of the Warlord. I'm playing as a Balance wizard named Tarlac and she's playing as an Ice wizard named Brecken, and together we are the champions of THE BEETLE!

If you don't have time for the full, unedited walkthrough (interruptions from dogs, children, and all), be sure to catch the highlights on The Art of Warlord's channel.

The hope is that we make it all the way through the game -- that's a lot of work -- wish us luck!


Top Ten Favorite Death Spells

I just wanted to do a fun YouTube in commentator style and talk about my favorite Death spells. :) Hope you enjoy it.



HAHA! I was over on Twitter and decided to take a song request.  Gracebear19 put it out there that I should do a Beiber song since the last "big hit" was about Selena.  After all the recording was done, Uber Wife said, you know you should have at least had one part where you showed the Selena statue with the words "Y U So Mean" over it.

DANG IT!!!  If I could rewind time, I'd do that for sure.

Here's the full lyrics

Why you so mean?
Ohh ohh
When you block friend requests
And say your friends list is full
Why you so mean?
Hey yeah
When you call us all noobs
And stitch that wig to your hat
Why you so mean?
Why you so mean?
You watch my sigil countdown
Why you so mean?
Ohh ohh ohh
Why you so mean?
30 seconds just to discard
Why you so mean?

You're so indecisive what I'm saying
Trying to find the feint, Reshuffle cards
Don't know if you're crappy or good player
Don't want the group to end
Where do I start
First you wanna go quest then train Sprite
Wanna Commons all day, have a Darkmoor night
First your up then you're down and doing Cyrus dry clean
Ohh I really want to know...

Why you so mean
Ohh ohh ohh
When you steal a wooden chest
Because my rental mount was slow
Why you so mean?
Hey yeah
When you want me to tank
But you catch the agro
Why you so mean?
Why you so mean?
Watch my sigil countdown
Why you so mean?
Ohh ohh ohh
Why you so mean?
30 seconds just to discard
Why you so mean?

I see you casting Satyr just as I’m fleeing
Trying to tower shield but I can't win
You wanna find a boy but you keep begging
You trade me treasure cards, but won't accept
First you wanna go quest then train Sprite
Wanna Commons all day, have a Darkmoor night
First your up then you're down and doing Cyrus dry clean
Ohh I really want to know...

Why you so mean?
Ohh ohh
When you block friend requests
And say your friends list is full
Why you so mean?
Hey yeah
When you don't want me to blade
But you break all of my traps
Why you so mean?
Why you so mean?
You watch my sigil countdown
Why you so mean?


If the creative spark continues, you should be seeing even more YouTube from me! Hit that subscribe button on my channel if you'd like to see more.

Thanks for your time!

Happy Dueling

Monday, December 21, 2015

Ding 110 - the rat is dead

Yup, that's one dead rat.

OVERKILL . . . and special thanks goes out to Vanessa Mythdust and Katherine Light of the Mercenaries for Hire for sticking it out, sharing the strat, and killing the rat.  At the end of the day it's a pretty simple strat, but also a pretty unforgiving one as well. Vanessa tells me she still needs to update the guide after the addition of the Spinysaur hits and the fact you CAN use a healing pet, but if you're looking for a guide, check it out.

And with that, Polaris is done for Thomas Lionblood. MAN, I REALLY LIKED POLARIS! It wasn't too difficult, had a really fun story, and was pretty, uh, chill. (Sorry for that pun.) I'm putting that as one of my favorite worlds of all time.

We met some solid new enemies like Rasputin and this guy . . . Pit Boss Minak, who you get to take down a couple times.

Beware anyone that offers you green crystal implants, Minak . . . it won't end well . . . even if they look amazing under black lights and everyone wants to dance next to you at the club.

I also took the time to grab my new Winged Sorrow Death spell while I was at it -- livestreamed it in fact! Here's the highlight if you'd like to check it out.

Watch live video from Stingite on Twitch

Not too difficult at all. :)

The new camera pans during dialog in Polaris?!  I rate them 10/10 amazing.

Now I need to go back and finish up all my side quests on Thomas and maybe grab a few extra pieces of gear from Darkmoor. THAT, sounds like good Twitch fodder for over the holidays.

Happy Dueling

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Tom and The Dings!

(Tom and the Dings should be my next band name . . .) You blink your eyes and a month has gone by since your last post. HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN?!

I just wanted to catch you up a bit on my gaming life here and let you know I'm all good . . . I didn't die in a turkey explosion over Thanksgiginv. :)

So, let's talk gaming shall we? We shall! First up . . . Star Wars The Old Republic.

Several weeks back someone from the Marketing team said, let's all play Star Wars together! And surprisingly five of us were like . . . I'm in! Well, it didn't work out so good.  Half of us subscribed and half of us didn't, and the disparity in levels caused most to fizzle out and stop playing after a couple of weeks.

I kept playing since I had never really given the game a fair handshake. I mean, I had tried the game, got a few quests into the tutorial, sent a child off to his death as a sith, and said . . . nope nope nope . . . I'm done. It disturbed me, and I didn't want anything to do with the game.

This time I played a good guy making good guy choices, and my experience was much different. This here is Pokétom the level 65 (max level) Smuggler (Scoundrel sub-class) and his wookie companion, Bowdaar. He's a rogue with a heart of gold ala Han Solo. ;)

Oh, he's a joy and a pleasure to look at, my friends. *whistles* Strangely enough he's not wearing his banana pants anymore. (Thank you to my friends who showed up to watch me play SWTOR a few weeks ago over Twitch. The joke is in the link. ;))

Now, as with most MMOs, the "real game" starts when you hit max level, but I'm not heavily invested enough and don't really have the time to build my gear profile and raid and all that, so . . . I'm officially unsubscribed.

I enjoyed my time playing Pokétom to max level, and it was an entertaining story. There were plenty of opportunities for me to make light and dark choices, but I'm definitely a light side of the force type of guy. Between my time in SWTOR and rewatching all the old Star Wars, I will be sufficiently hyped for December 18th when the force awakens and all that. YESH!


Next, I have to talk about Rise and Destroy! I beat level 60!

Wootah! I had so much fun playing Rise and Destroy. I'm still playing it to collect gold and power up my monsters. I was more than happy to provide a couple of play through videos for a couple of my Twitter followers. I don't think I'd spoil all the levels for everyone, and there's more than one way to finish a level, but in case you'd like to check the game out . . . here you go:

I pretty much have to play this game on Bluestacks unfortunately. A few people at my work tell me that's cheating, but listen . . . I can't even play the game on my iPhone 4S. This game is optimized for play on larger and more powerful devices, and I don't have one. I would prefer to play this game on a tablet, but Santa has a long wish list from me and I don't think an iPad is in my near future. ;)

As far as cheap tablet emulators go, I've been pretty happy with my Bluestacks experience.  Good stuff as far as I'm concerned.


Finally, let's talk Wizard101!

I'm late to the party here, but Polaris has released and that means Thomas Lionblood's progression to level 110 can begin again. Last night, Thomas Lionblood with the assistance of my Russian buddy, Boris the OP Storm wizard (and his Glowbugs), hit level 101 in Wizard101!

Per standard Wizard101 play, I'd blade up Boris, feint the boss a few times  . . and BOOM! Zdravstvuyte to the damage, and do svidaniya to the enemies.

I also got a chance to spend some time as our lady Morganthe.

I loved those fights in the Chamber of the Mind! Those were extremely fun, and I loved playing as Morganthe.  Gotta say, my ninja pig healing pet was a super star for me in that final fight. :) Go LADY DEXTER!

I'll be joining you all in Polaris as soon as I can. :)


Hope you're all doing well and having fun with what you're doing. Drop me a note in the comments below and let me know what you've been playing lately and how things are going for you.

Happy Dueling!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Favorite Monster in Rise and Destroy?

Hey all! I got a great question over Twitter yesterday from the one and only Paige Moonshade.

"Which is your favorite monster on Rise and Destroy?"

So, first . . . yes! Rise & Destroy is out there now available for download WORLDWIDE! Today is the official announcement day (as far as the press release is concerned). I'm super psyched for everyone to get to play this now. It's a tough game, but also a lot of fun. Have some patience and determination and I'm sure you'll make it to the end.

Most everyone else at work is farther along than me right now, so the answer is a bit more complicated . . . because out of the monsters that are currently in my inventory (which is only Trevor Wrecks, Frankie Forearms, and Manny Leggs), I would have to go with . . . TREVOR WRECKS!

I think there's a reason they put him as the first monster in the game . . . versatile, all around good T-Rex monster thing, right?! His roar and breath attack are a good combo that gives him some distance. I'm all about ranged attacks.  (You just have to do some extra clicking sometimes to turn off his breath attack sooner than it naturally expires.) Overall, Trevor Wrecks is my guy for wrecking the humans!

HOWEVER, being as I am also the dude responsible for creating all the vines of the Monsters you see on Rise and Destroy's Vine page (we have special commands for unlocking all the monsters and levels in a special version of the game), I have had a chance to play all of the monsters. Hmm, I think stylistically, I'm going to give all the awards to SHARBERUS!

A shark poodle that evolves into a three-headed shark poodle?  And that hair??! Guys . . . that's the definition of winning for me! I can't wait to get her in the live game.

Anyway, I hope you all have a chance to play Rise and Destroy this week and check it out. It's a great game that's completely different, yet still has that KingsIsle touch. :) Good times are ahead for KingsIsle's mobile team in 2015-2016.

Happy Dueling!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Realmsconite, Beachite, Twitchite, Stingite

Heya all!

I just wanted to check in and let you all know what's been going down with TFN. October has already started off super busy, and it doesn't look to be slowing down anytime soon. Who's excited for Halloween!? *raises hand*

Here's what's been going on the past week or two:


Those who were following along with my Twitter account were able to see a few fun things from the presentation that I tweeted out as it was happening. Of particular interest was this cool concept of Darkmoor weapons that MMO Team Lead Designer, Nathan Sumison, put up on the screen during his presentation about what all went into designing Darkmoor.

As soon as I put out that picture, I had a ton of tweets asking for the bow weapon. ;)  I went ahead and interrupted the presentation to let Nathan know . . . THE BOW IS AMAZING!

Jeff and Gary also gave great presentations! I said my two cents as well. ;)

As for Realmscon itself, it was every bit as cool as I remembered from a couple years ago. BobaTom was there. (That's when regular Tom sucks in his stomach and acts like a muscle kid next to Boba Fett.)

I was unable to attend last year, but Nathan did, and Realmscon is quickly becoming a yearly trek for our team. Where will we strike next? I was hearing rumors of Wizard World, but it might have just been the crazed ramblings of Jeff Toney. He does that.


We also took the opportunity to make the Realmscon trip a little family outing for us as well. Port Aransas is simply amazing. Anytime I can put my toes in the water and stare out into the rolling waves, I'm good.

The beaches are clean and the place we stayed at was stellar! (Except for the chilling pool water . . . it was much colder than the surf.)

More like SUNrise and destroy, AMIRITE?!


Well, we had some fun in September, didn't we?  I made a few highlights that are probably worth sharing:

Vanessa told me she's been playing another character on the side so we can stay on the same page in Pirate101. ;) Hopefully we can play some more Pirate101 this month. I'd also like to stream some Wizard101, DCUO, GW2, and Wildstar.


I think I found a MOBA I actually like!! I played a ton of this on our vacation. Call of Champions is by another Austin studio (A couple of original Pirate101 designers work there now btw) called Spacetime Studios.

Then again, I did just suffer a string of four defeats in a row this morning while I was typing this. LOL. At least matches only last five minutes, and I think that's what I like about this MOBA in particular. 

I've been playing a lot as the Avalanche character, but I may switch it up . . . that string of defeats is hurting!


And that's all the news that's fit to print for TFN at the moment. I'm super busy at work . . . so that's always a good sign, right? You know it is!

Happy dueling!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Of Twitch and Sunday Night Games

Hey all! I hope you had a fantastic weekend! I decided to really give *personal* Twitch streaming a go over the weekend (as opposed to the KI Live Twitch stream) and hosted a couple of play sessions on Friday and Saturday.

If you'd like to see the entire broadcasts, I've marked them both as highlights:

First Wildstar stream
First Pirate101 stream

Out of the two, the Pirate101 stream was probably the most fun and definitely the longest. We streamed on Saturday for about four hours. My boys were dancing around and having fun (and even I got into the dancing), and the people in the chat room really made it a great experience for them.


If you don't have four hours to watch the entire Pirate101 stream rebroadcast, I did snag a few highlights from the stream:

Monkey Trust Hugs
The Markiplier Story / Ron Perlman hype
Kyle Skystaff Takes Over the Stream

It was a lot of fun to play with everyone, and Vanessa showed the patience of a saint. ;)

It may not seem like much to the outside observer, but this was pretty huge for me. It took a lot of talking to myself to JUST DO IT! I guess I just finally accepted that my house is a recipe for a trainwreck Twitch Stream . . . and that's ok! Hopefully I'll get a chance to practice more and really get "my style" down.

It sounds like I need to get NightBot for my channel.



The crew decided to get back into DC Universe Online for a bit, so I resubbed for the month and got a few upgrades in the new content. A few things have changed with how loot is distributed, and it seems better--you get a choice between a couple of drops now after big bosses.

I thought about streaming the Sunday Night game and then I realized that my dear friends can sometimes have quite the mouth on them, and I want to keep my Twitch stream appropriate for younger audiences . . . so that's out!

Blighted Redeemer and myself decided to try one the easiest of the new duos, and then the rest of the group played a bit in a four person instance while I sat out. I took advantage of this time to clean out my inventory, try out the new daily solo content, and get reacquainted with the controls. (I also PvP'd Spode between their instances to the tune of 5-0 *flex* and took him down a notch despite my lack of CR. That's always a good time!)

Then I tried the new Zamaron duo because I had hit 113 CR. It was tough, but myself and a random 121 CR stranger managed to finish up the instance and take home the loot. I ended up CR 116 for the night, and just like the guys were saying: it looks like grinding that Zamaron Duo a few times is really the way to go if you want to bring your CR up.

So . . . Looks like we're back in DCUO for a bit on Sunday Nights!


Hope you all have a great week and thanks to those who came to my streams to cheer me on! We'll do it again some other time.

Happy Dueling

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Wildstar Weekend and a Final Fantasy 13 bug

So, as I predicted, once my kids saw me playing Wildstar, they'd be all over it.  The big surprise though?  My daughter REALLY digs it . . . the art style especially.  Here's her:

Combat is a little challenging in this game. It involves a lot of swirling around the target and keeping them in a telegraphed field from your character, which can be interesting also given mob density. It's a lot of button mashing, strafing, and dodging while keeping track of where everything else is around you. It's not the easiest system to master, but it can also be a lot of fun. :)

The hilarious moment from yesterday, was when my daughter was certain there was a giant boss mob she needed to defeat for a quest. I was watching her play while she struggled with the controls, and she finally managed to down it with the help of a higher level player (after being defeated several times--obviously tuned for a small group), but it still didn't complete the quest. I made her click on the quest, which brings up a quest arrow pointing you to the right location. She was determined that it was the right boss, but nope . . . wrong boss. LOL!

I'm just happy to see her enjoy playing a video game again.


So, as you can tell, I didn't get a lot of playtime on Wildstar because everyone in the family was taking turns, but I did manage to make it to level 14 and check out player housing. WOW! I really, really love some of the features of their player housing. It looks like a fun system to play with.  More on that some other day.


Side note, I managed to get to Chapter 7 in my new quest to finish Final Fantasy 13. Unfortunately my game started acting really buggy and would actually crash my PS3. Egads. I blew out the dust from the unit, did a system update, and said several nice words to it while petting it softly (I'm sure this helps), but the PS3 refused to cooperate.

I'm going to roll back a few save files and try it again. I don't know . . . part of me thinks maybe I have a corrupted save file, but I have no idea why that would make the game act the way it was acting.  Worth a shot I suppose. I did a search on the net, and apparently, this is a bug many people have run into. It's weird though since before I was all the way up to chapter 12/13 area. *shrug* I WILL FIND A WAY! EVEN IF IT REQUIRES BUYING THE PC VERSION!


I hope you all had a great Labor Day weekend! Let me know what's up in the comments below.

Happy Dueling!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Weekend Catching up with Friendly!

WHOA . . . weeks like this shouldn't even HAPPEN. I was busy from start to finish and I've still got a long laundry list of things to do, say, think about, and FIX!  My word where does that time go?

So let me catch you all up on all things Friendly Necromancer . . .


1- Blaugust Conqueror!

That's right, I came, I wrote, and I won (along with a lot of other great bloggers as you can see here in the Blaugust Results). Happy I could join in and rock it.

Also, to my surprise, I won a free game from Bel's collection . . . I opted for  . . . Terreria! I've now got that downloaded and on my list of games to play and write about in the future.


2- Wizard101 turned Seven. Wait a second . . . seven years? SEVEN!  Can't believe this game has been such a major part of my life for so long! Make sure you get your free gifts and take advantage of those amazing member benefits! My word the double seeds are coming out of my ears!

I also hope you all had a chance to join us on KI Live the other day. PARTY TIME! Believe it or not this was also our 1-year anniversary of the show.

. . . the things I do for you guys . . .


3- WILDSTAR!  Yes!  Wildstar!  So if you haven't heard, Wildstar is going free to play very soon, and you can pick up the boxed copies of Wildstar at select GameStops for $10.

But, Friendly, why would I pay for a boxed copy of Wildstar when it's going free to play?  Aha!  Because you get cool stuff from buying the boxed copy before and when it goes free to play.

. . . plus, I just have wanted to play this game forever and never had time.  I finally bit the bullet and jumped for the game, so I can get a jump start on the free-to-play madness that's already begun.

So you may hear me talk a bit more about this game in the future . . . for now . . . Robotom Digilover, the dominion aligned Settler Engineer Robot and his two mini-robot sidekicks are kicking butt and taking names in Ellevar.  Level 10 and growing.

I'm super psyched about it. I might even stream some play. :)


4- Final Fantasy 13.

OK, a few days ago I promised you all a story about why I was once again playing Final Fantasy 13.  Grab some popcorn.

At one time this was the new thing and my children were much younger and . . . more dangerously curious than they are now.  My son really wanted to play the game, but I felt he was too young to do so, and I was worried he'd save over my game.  I started putting away the CD and hiding it from him so he couldn't find it, and I played all the way up to what I thought was probably the very last fight or close to it. 

I kept dying and dying in this fight and decided that I probably just needed to go back through some old content or nearby mobs and level up a bit before trying it again.

That was my plan at least until my son, with a burning desire to play the game, went into the back end files of the PS3 and thought maybe he could directly play the game from messing around with these. Long story short, he somehow deleted my save files, and I was out. I was super irritated and obviously I explained to him that . . . made daddy less than happy.

So much so apparently he still remembers this encounter to this day. He's a super sweetheart of a kid with a really good soul (he's my high-functioning autistic super hero). Out of nowhere the other day he asked me to bring back this game and finish it . . . that he was still sorry he deleted the save files.

It's a huge time commitment, but I can't pass this one up to get it all straight and help him gain a new memory.

The only bummer is that I can't take screenshots from my PS3 of Final Fantasy 13, so . . . if I share pictures and things from this . . . egads . . . I might actually have to take pictures of the TV?

Ugh . . . if anyone has a good inexpensive suggestion for capturing PS3 screenshots, let me know.


5- I finished mowing my lawn today.


And there you go . . . A quick catch up on what i'm doing, and thank you for sticking with me.

Happy dueling!

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?



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
- 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



;)  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:


. . . 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.