Sunday, October 31, 2021

Runes of Magic -- Cool people and uh, Ding 49?

So . . . team . . . it seems like there's actually a good number of people that play Runes of Magic. There were quite a few people talking in world chat, and the whole game seemed a bit more bumping with activity. It might have been that it was the weekend and the stars aligned but I had the most amazing thing happen to me, an actual interaction with a super nice person, who recruited me to their guild, gave me a million gold, and helped me quickly level my mage from 20 to 49 with what felt like a beautiful "unintended feature" of the game.

Lemme break it down for you. I'm sitting there in Silverspring doing all kinds of questing. I'm hunting bandits, mutant wolves, giant beetles, and a flock of ostriches, when all of a sudden I see a cry go out on the world channel of a friendly guild that's recruiting older players. So I message her and ask how I can start the application process.

She invites me to the guild and instructs me to do a couple of things:

  1. Collect my free daily login rewards.
  2. Head to the guild castle asap and grab the buffs there.

I had actually already discovered the free daily login rewards, so I didn't need to do that, but I can see why she wanted me to do that. Inside the free daily login rewards was a certificate to expand my backpack for free for a limited time.  Typically backpack expansion is done on a weekly or monthly basis with premium currency. this also showered me with a cool mount and a bunch of other items that were like, yes please, including a "port to guild castle" stone.

Magical Skurfboards are the best!

The guild castle was impressive. They had a bunch of amenities strewn about and it was large and spacious. The guild had seven buff towers that you click on to activate 2-hour-long buffs and a stable where you can purchase a speed buff to make your mount travel faster. In other words . . . heaven on Taborea.

Buff towers in the guild castle

After this we chatted it up for a bit. She was super cool: also plays Perfect World. WoW, and FFIV. We talked shop for a bit and then she realized I was very low level and super new to the game, so she said . . . I don't usually do this, but check your inbox since you're going to need some cash to buy those speed buffs and stuff. I didn't think twice. Inside my mailbox was a million gold pieces, which seems like a lot, but she assured me, it's not. 

After this I was doing amazing now that I had some buffs to make my attacks more powerful, and the levels started flying by on my Rogue. By the end of my first play session for the day, I was sitting as a 20 mage and 20 rogue, which was perfect for obtaining my true goal, that of learning my necromancer (um, vampire) elite skills!

I logged back on later in the day to grab those elite skills and discovered that there are item requirements and you have to purchase them. So I take my million gold to the auction house looking for zinc nuggets, weird lumber planks, etc, and I can't find them. I shout out to the guild that I have no idea how to obtain these items and my new friend is like, "Don't do that, do the bags quest. Have you been to Heffner?" I'm completely confused and new, and I'm like, "as in Hugh?"

My new friend then tells me to hang on, she'll help me, but as long as we're out and about, do I want to advance one of my classes to 49 instantly? I'm like, "Of course, I'd have to be dumb to not want that." So she tells me to meet her underneath the bridge to Veranas. I'm like . . . what is this seedy under the bridge interaction I've got goin on here alongside a mention of Hugh Hefner?

Next thing I know, I'm clicking on a portal underneath the bridge and told to not move an inch. I'm then told to click on a trap over and over until I find some ostrich meat. I do this, and then she whips out a magic carpet and flies me over to a town where a guy is standing and tells me to hand him the meat. The NPC is like . . . have fun with that, and then my new friend opens another portal to the town of Hefner, where I'm instructed to kill anything. I do that and Bam. I'm level 49, like magic. 

We used to have a few side quests like this in Wizard101 where they didn't have any other quest requirements. People used to be able to make huge jumps in exp by completing random side quests and basically break the game. I don't feel as bad about it since, I'm going to have to play through all the content again as a rogue. It's not like I'm going to miss any content. It's just that I don't have to play through it twice now.

Anyway, then my new friend takes me inside the town and introduces me to a guy who will teach me all my elite skills in exchange for bags from completing a quest, and folks, this quest to collect bags is super simple. You basically click on targets and use a special buff. After doing this, you open the bag and inside is a scroll that allows this NPC to teach you your elite skill.

Next thing you know, I've learned Cursed Fangs and Kiss of the Vampire . . . You're a necromancer, Harry! (Now, the fact that I can only use Kiss of the Vampire once every 60 seconds while playing as a mage is a topic for another blogpost)

Time to Kiss like a Vampire

So, definitely color me impressed with this interaction. I mean, this is what it should be like in an older MMO like Runes of Magic: Friendly folks that just love their game and want to help the newbies. I feel like I hit the jackpot in Runes of Magic and had a lot of fun talking with my newfound friend.

Now I just need to catch my Rogue up 29 more levels, and hopefully ride this wave of happiness all the way into end game. 

Happy Dueling

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Spreading Flowers Everywhere in Pikmin Bloom

A new Niantic game released just a few days ago and that good ol' feeling my family used to get from playing Pokemon Go . . . is back, baby! It's BACK!

That feeling I got was the same one from when everyone in my family downloaded Pokemon Go and got outdoors for a bit, playing the game together, and that's the feeling that came back yesterday when, again,  everyone in my family downloaded Pikmin Bloom and started walking around.

I'm on a walk with the fam?! What is this nonsense?

Now, I realize that some people never stopped playing Pokemon Go, but let's be honest, it's nowhere near what it was like back in 2016 when everybody was crowded around hotspots and restaurants at those hotspots were giving discounts to gamers. That was a crazy time that I'm not sure will ever be duplicated.

That said, if you've played Pokemon Go, Pikmin Bloom will feel very familiar, and for those that have actually played any of the Nintendo Pikmin games, you'll appreciate seeing your little buddies again.

Look familiar?

As the story goes, the world is full of tiny unsee-able creatures called Pikmin, but your phone does a bang up job of revealing them to the human eye. You plant your pikmin and harvest them by walking around the world. Once you've walked around a bit, you pick your pikmin out of their planting pots and bam, they're ready to harvest Nectar for you.

Man, I need to find some of those cooler looking Pikmin!

The more nectar you have, the more your pikmin will give you their petals. The more petals you have, the more you can spread flowers while you're out on your walks, beautifying the virtual world along your way. 

On yesterday's walk we headed toward our local neighborhood park because it was a node with a huge flower that was not yet bloomed.  

Feed me Seymour! Feed me!

Once we arrived we walked all around the edges of the park together until it magically bloomed and our neighborhood's flower was doing great.

Our neighborhood's flower in full bloom

Earlier in the day, I also took the opportunity to spread flowers all around the voting location since no one had . . . go out and vote, friends.  Cover those voting locations in flowers!

I hope someone saw that yesterday and appreciated it.

At the end of every day around 9pm, Pikmin Bloom takes a moment to review your day and tally up the number of steps you took. It even gives you a personal journal entry and snags one of your photos.

Pikmin Bloom also lets  you take pictures with AR so you can show off the Pikmin hanging out in your house.

The cat tower isn't just for cats. ;)

I hope you have a chance to spread some flowers and to stretch your legs with Pikmin Bloom. It was great to bring some of the magic back into taking a walk yesterday.

Happy Dueling!

Friday, October 29, 2021

Runes of Magic meets The Friendly Necromancer

 Around 12 years ago, a game called "Runes of Magic" launched . . . a solid 5 years after WoW when the WoW Clone era of MMORPGs was in full swing. As far as I can tell from my limited research, the game has always been free-to-play with a cash shop. At launch Frogster reported the game had 300,000 people signed up and ready to play.

I was way too deep in the Wizard101 community at the time to even think about adding another MMO to my repertoire, and I never thought twice about the game . . . until two days ago when MassivelyOP did an article on old games that are not gone, but forgotten. Frogster sold its game to Gameforge back in 2010, and there it is . . . not gone, and not forgotten!

I decided to take MOP's list as an invitation.  Before I knew it, I had downloaded Runes of Magic and set my sights on what the world of Taborea was all about.

Chuckling a fireball at a fungus . . . it's what's on Taborea's menu for the evening

I did a little reading to see what I could find would be the most "necromancer" like class in Runes of Magic and settled on a Mage/Rogue build. On paper the most interesting aspect of the game is that you can have a secondary class and this creates a unique blend. According to this fan wiki page, a Mage/Rogue combination is called a "Vampire." Being a Vampire gives you a unique set of skills and starting at level 20, I'll have access to a health drain spell . . . perfect. (all the class combos available can be found here.)

Green hair and looking ready for the wizard party, let's go!

As of this blog post I am now Level 16 on my Primary class of Mage and Level 1 on my secondary class of Rogue. I need to level both to 20 to get that health drain spell, and so now I have a new goal in life. This Vampire in the making has needs!

I've mostly been running around doing quests in the area known as The Howling Mountains and took a wander around the needlessly enormous city known as Varanas. It's huge and the class trainers were tucked away all the way back in the south western corner of the city. 

Map to the local Renfaire known as Varanas

So . . . my first impressions of the game are as follows: Imagine you only can only play three races from only the Alliance side of "a less charming" version of World of Warcraft, and the character models looked a bit . . . off and oddly proportioned, and there you go . . . you have Runes of Magic. Also, this version of WoW (heretoforeknownas Runes of Magic) had overblown VFX, a small player-base, and really limited free storage slots.

It looks like I'm opening a portal to hell rather than simply casting a level 5 fire spell.

Speaking of limited free storage slots, I can tell I'm already in trouble. I'm a natural pack rat and there's no way I can handle my current small storage space . . . especially when the game is throwing things like saxophones and pet eggs into my inventory left and right. I think it's their plan so I will purchase some extra storage space, which is probably my next stop to be honest.

After that . . . I'm gonna need a mount, folks.  My character is moving so slowly around the world that it's painful.

So there you have it. Thanks to this recent article in MassivelyOP, I'm starting a little journey in this forgotten MMO known as Runes of Magic. As always, thanks for reading along and . . .

Happy dueling!

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Going Old School with Diablo II Resurrected

I bought Diablo II Resurrected, along with the rest of Team Spode, when it released, and then we sat on it for a few weeks until our fearless leader Lord Spode could update his windows to Windows 10. I didn't even realize that was a requirement, but it was! 

I'd give a legit review of the game, but everything the honest game trailer says about the game says it already!

Lord Spode was eventually successful in his quest and we finally played good ol' Diablo II together, which was great! Just like old times, in fact I believe it was the original Diablo II that was the first game Lord Spode and I played together all those years ago. (Or maybe it was the original Diablo . . . it's been so many years I can't remember.)

Side note: It's kind of weird in that I'm starting to get to the point where I'm sitting on games until specific days of the week when I can play them like this. Diablo II on Sunday nights and Far Cry 6 on Wednesday nights (when Lessah Ismorah and I do I best to "Liberatardo" in our goofiest fashion). Playdates are the best.

BUT, playdates also lead to wanting to play said games MORE on the off days when I'm not playing with the group! To those ends, I rolled a new online character in Diablo II so I could scratch that itch on the off days.

On Sundays I play as The Friendly Necromancer, but yesterday I rolled up this guy: Stingite the Barbarian.

Gotta love that Jawbone Skullcap look.

I figure eventually Stingite the Barbarian will be my magic find Barbarian that specializes in squishing bodies to find extra loot, and if he finds any good magic items for the group, I can pass them along through the shared bank.

Stingite is currently level 13 and hanging out in the Inner Courtyard of Act I. Before you know it, I'll be out of Act I and pushing forward in Act II. YES!

Truth be known the hardest thing I fought yet to date has been the wait times to even log in to Battlenet. 

127th . . . ugh . . .

At least that's the longest fight I've had to overcome to date in Diablo II.

Happy Dueling!

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Spellbreak Week Day 7 -- I did my ok-est!

Well, y'all . . . I had a lot of fun writing about my Spellbreak adventures this past week, and I hope you enjoyed reading along. There were a lot of great matches! 

For the week I had an overall average of 12th place and my placements were trending in the right direction, which makes sense. I hadn't played a lot of Spellbreak, and so I naturally learned and got better as the week went on.

I did my ok-est

Unfortunately for Day 7 here I don't have any updates because Steam stopped me cold in my tracks and said NO! You will NOT be playing any Spellbreak tonight!

I retry and I retry and I retry

Apparently Spellbreak was working fine from the Epic store front, but Steam wasn't doing so hot. It happens.

I think I learned a lot more about the game and I'm happy with where I ended up. I definitely will be back to play more Spellbreak and to level up my Blightbringer outfit. From what I can tell the new "chapter" of the game is overdue and players of Spellbreak are anxious to see Chapter 4 happen.

So the question is . . . what's next?  Well, there are two other Battle Royales I'd love to dedicate a week to: specifically Realm Royale and Fall Guys. I'm anti-Fortnite since it's so Top 40, and I'm edgy like that. They've got billions of dollars of revenue from millions of players and that ship sailed years ago, so . . . no need for the Friendly Necromancer to add his 2 cents to the billions of dollars pile. 

If you have a suggestion for a game you think I'd enjoy, leave it in the comments.

Happy Dueling!

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Spellbreak Week Day 6 -- The Blightbringer

Team . . . they got me . . . I looked in the shop, and there were some solid picks today.

Hello Blightbringer skin . . .

I couldn't resist buying the Blightbringer skin. I was 100 percent done for when I saw it in the shop. Also, look at that Clockwork Machinist skin on the far right in the picture above!  If Morgrim (aka my buddy Mercedes) is reading, that's YOUR SKIN!  That's YOUR OC! Look at that!

As for the Blightbringer skin, it comes bundled with a quest to do toxicology damage to level up its look. My fingers are ready.

I can't believe I paused to take a screenshot instead of smashing the buy now

I wish I would have been recording video at the time of purchase because you get a really quick cutscene for the unlock of your new skin.

Friendly Necro attacking with the poison gas!

So now the quest to level this skin is a part of my regular line up. Speaking of quests, the quests for today were a weird smorgasbord: ice skate for 20 seconds (m'kay?). Finish in the Top 15 twice as a toxicologist, and deal 500 Conduit damage. 

  • Match 1 = 8th Place. This was a fun match, and I scored a couple of exiles . . . I did experience a lot of rubber banding, however, and that wasn't fun. In the end, I got bested by a Tempest mage. 

Blightbringer report: 282/7500 toxic damage . . . that's a solid 1/27th of the way there! We got this!

Whoops. They're about to get a point blank face full of toxin

  • Match 2 = 3rd Place. zero exiles . . . but I got some really good hits. I'm also proud of myself for taking the time to find a sneaky spot or two to do some really good healing. By the end I had dealt a surprising (for me) 967 damage. I might have done better but it was mayhem at the end, and I panic 'ported a bit too far into the storm by accident. After this match I had unlocked toxicologist rank 5, earned mage rank 12, unlocked wellspring, and finished my quest to finish in the top 15 twice. 

Blightbringer report: 588/7500 toxic damage. OK! 1/12 of the way there! That was a great round!

Tsk. Just a bit too far on that teleport. 

  • Match 3 = 6th Place. Gonna be honest team. I wasn't really even trying this round, but I did manage to still get an exile. I was more concentrated on skating, and in fact I completed my smooth skating quest for 10 gold from all the fleeing I did this round. :)

Why fight when you can just skate away?

And that was it for the night. At that point. it was time for bed, and I felt pretty good that 2 of my 3 quests were done for the day. I had purchased a super cool outfit that fit the Friendly Necromancer vibe. Yup, it was a short but sweet night in Spellbreak.

Happy Dueling!

Monday, October 18, 2021

Spellbreak Week Day 5 -- When Quests Collide!

Yesterday's quests had a TON of synergy to them: I really liked how these three lined up! Check it out:

Deal 500 fire power, Activate 5 mana vaults, and finish in the top 15 twice as a pyromancer.  

Now THAT is synergy!

I've never seen quests line up so perfectly. When you see something like this, it feels like you hit the jackpot because I could probably knock these three out in just a few matches if the stars align. Right? The game was like, just play as a Pyromancer and do the stuff you usually do, kid. You got this!

  • 1st match = 17th place. You know, I should have fled after another wizard came in and stole my kill, but my wife was standing behind me waiting impatiently for me to finish up, so . . . suicide attack it was!
Open 5 Mana Vaults?! Easy Stuff.

Intermission: The wife and I went out for a bit and I had a big break. We even ended up at the Austin Record Convention in downtown Austin, and I picked up the Early Demos record from Depeche Mode. (Side note: I love it. Minimal mixes of Depeche Mode before all the glam and lipstick of production were put on.)

crates and crates and crates of old records at the Austin Record Convention

  • 2nd match = 3rd place and 198 damage dealt. I had 0 exiles, but I completed opening 5 mana vaults and my first 1 of 2 top 15 finishes. Again, 3rd place . . . I really need to stop doing this thing where I don't heal up before the final fight. Maybe I'd actually have a shot at 1st place some day.

Exiled as I exile! But remember kids, when rebirth saves you, that's the time to run away . . .

  • 3rd match = 6th place with 614 damage dealt and 2 exiles. It was a great match, and there you go . . . I completed both my remaining quests and I was DONE with quests after 3 matches . . . what magic is this?

I was legitimately tempted by an outfit yesterday. The Farseer is so cool looking.

The Grim Farseer -- Oo! I like this one.

This soothsayer has a super cool looking feathered hat and features these "eye" decorations on head, chest, and belt and the bundle comes with a fortune teller's ball.  It's not "necromancer," but it is awesome.

I found out something yesterday . . . actually two somethings.

1- I google searched outfits and found out there *is* a necromancer skin in Spellbreak called the "baleful necromancer skin."

2- Your breaker's gender bends with the skin. Meaning, there's no male version of the baleful necromancer skin. So if you chose a male look at the beginning of the game and you want to switch, just purchase any skin that has a female base.

Good to know, good to know. 

I also found four other outfits I'd consider Necromancer worthy:

I'd totally wear any of those, but Death Incarnate and Prince of Pestilence are MWHHAA *chef's kiss*. The cool thing about the Prince of Pestilence and Venomous Corruption outfits is that they evolve as you play with them equipped.  As you deal more and more damage, these outfits get cooler looking. The catch is, it has to be toxic damage that you deal.

Happy Dueling!

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Spellbreak Week Day 4 -- You Exiled Yourself

Since I only finished one of my quests yesterday, the game simply added a new quest and kept my other two quests. "Triple Exile" was the new quest, which meant all I needed to do was Exile 3 people. Fair enough.

So, with it being Saturday, I logged on in hopes that the queue times would be lower than normal and that I could make some good progress. Here's how it rolled out.

  • Match 1 = 3rd place. 3rd place or 30th place seems to be where I'm ending up pretty consistently these days. It's a mood, but honestly I felt great about this match. I had 3 exiles and my frost arrow aim was on point. I just wish it would have been toxic damage, but that's fine since finishing that triple exile quest on the first match felt pretty good. . . I'll take it! This also allowed me to rank up to toxicologist rank 4. The damage I had dealt as a toxicologist wrapped over and all I needed was just 81 more points of toxicology damage, and that quest would be finished as well.
  • Match 2 = 7th place. I managed to get an exile, but at the end of the match I was surrounded by wizards with nowhere to hide. Thankfully I was able to FINALLY finish the toxic ruin quest and claim my 5 gold. After this it was time to switch to Conduit to start working on that last quest.

  • Match 3 = 16th place, but man was this a frustrating ending. I actually got stuck and couldn't get out of map view and the options UI. so I had to just sit there for a minute and die as a guy took me from full health to nothing . . . and I was just frozen in place. I was having such a great match to. Pressing escape brought me out of the map view into the options UI. Pressing escape from the options UI brought me to the Map view. I was stuck in a loop and there was no way to break free.

sigh . . . 

  • Match 4 = 31st place. Um, I jumped into a pit by accident and died . . . I'm an idiot.

"You exiled yourself"

  • Match 5 = 5th place . . . ok, this was a good match. I had lots of fun, did 508 damage, and reached conduit rank 4, which unlocked the Conduit card. My damage was evenly split between two elements, so just like that I was half way done with the 500 lightning damage quest. Obviously the dudes at the top of the leaderboard were there to play ball and were great at getting away from me, circling back, and then ultimately destroying me.

Intermission: It's was a Saturday, so I took a big break, ate, and went shopping with my wife. She also put me on a quest to clear her old iCloud account of pictures and save them to storage. Good times.

  • Match 6 = 5th place with 2 exiles, but eventually some wizzy in a really cool suit of armor got me. I reached mage rank 11 and got 50 gold and ended up with 405/500 conduit damage toward quest completion.

Chucking lightning is pretty fun

  • Match 7 = 36th place . . . yeah, I picked an early fight and didn't win. I literally got nothing out of this match. It happens.

  • Match 8 = 12th place with 279 damage dealt. I got in a couple good scraps, but didn't get any exiles. The main thing was that I completed my conduit damage quest and received 10 gold for my efforts on the battlefield. At this point there was another 15 minutes until the outfits in the shop cycled over, so I decided to switch to a class I hadn't played before: Tempest Wizard. 
  • Match 9 = 15th place with 330 damage. Not bad for my first foray as a Tempest Wizard. I didn't get an exile because right as I was about to exile a guy, another wizard swooped in and stole my kill . . . and then killed me.  That's battle royale for you! 

All in all, it was a good day of Spellbreak. The outfits in the shop rolled over while I was playing, and there was yet again a necromancer-esque outfit in the shop called "the Doom Prophet."

Doom Prophet is pretty close, but not really what I'm looking for.

. . . but just as the name implied, this was more "evil priest" than "necromancer," and since that leather strips over the hood look really isn't my jam, I took a hard pass.

Close, but it's not really hitting the right notes for me.

Happy Dueling!

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Spellbreak Week Day 3 -- Toxic Relationships

I only had time for four matches yesterday when playing Spellborn. I would have had more, but after dinner I watched Titans with my wife and my body was like, NOPE, you're going to sleep. So, there you go, I didn't complete my quests yesterday, but that's fine. It didn't look like I was going to complete my quests quickly anyway.

Yesterday the objectives were to open 10 chests as a Frostborn, deal 500 toxic damage, and deal 500 conduit damage. Here's how it played out:
  • 1st match = 3rd place. This was a fun game and had a great fight at the end where three of us were dancing around in tight circle trying to survive and destroy each other.  I should have found a way to heal up more often. The best part of this match was when I had two exiles back to back. I swooped in while two wizards were fighting it out and poison bolted one for the kill and poison bolted the other for the second kill quick in a row.  Yup, I was THAT guy finally instead of the one being THOSE guys. Ultimately I opened my 10 chests in one match, reached Frostborn Rank 5 and unlocked the "athletic" talent.
  • 2nd match = 14th place. This was my first game as a toxicologist, and it wasn't too bad! I ended up dealing a total of 232 damage, 145 of that was toxic damage. I ended up making rank 2 in toxicology and won two legitimate duels back to back. I should have been smart and used my invisibility to get away from the heat. Small thing I learned was that invisibility and toxicologist pair well together. on the back half of a match you can do extra poison damage when you attack from invisible.
Invisibility is nice. I like it.
  • 3rd match = 11th place. As I was playing I was really feeling the Adrenaline kicking in. I actually ended up dying in the storm while trying to flee a fight so I could heal up. I only did like 80 points of poison damage during the match. It seemed quite a bit harder to move the needle on completing this 500 damage dealt quest.
The math's not in my favor here -- maybe I should have used the minor health first
  • 4th match = 8th place. I did pretty good damage this fight (for me), but sadly most of that damage was fire based instead of poison based, so . . . again, not much movement on the quest needle. I did end up reaching Toxicologist rank 3 and unlocked the Dexterity talent.
A Toxic Exile!

. . . and that's it.  Unfortunately I only finished one of my quests for the day, but there's always tomorrow since it appears that if I didn't finish my quests, they just roll over to the next day. (I don't know if I like that -- well, at least I won't lose progress on my toxic quest.) 

Today's outfit choices in the shop are pretty good, and one that seems pretty close to a necromancer!

Oo . . . that Gaunt Slayer Bundle is the closest it's come to necromancer so far.

It even comes bundled with the "inky surge" trails, which are pretty awesome looking. Although, ultimately this outfit looks more like an emo pilgrim than a necromancer.

There's no disguising where you're dropping or floating with that inky trail

Again, I don't know if I'm ready to drop 25 bucks for the outfit and a couple trails. If the outfit had a bit more bone on it and read more necromancer than emo assassin, I'd probably grab it . . . that inky trail though . . . that's pretty awesome.

Happy Dueling!

Friday, October 15, 2021

Spellbreak Week Day 2 -- The Satisfactory Shock-o-mancer

Hello people! It's Day 2 of Spellbreak Week for me, and I once again stared down 3 quests . . . and decided to re-roll them since I didn't want to do 500 earth damage. However, my re-roll of 3 quests gave me an additional "500 damage" quest, so I kinda screwed myself there. No worries, I got this!

Whew . . . narrow escape

I mean, I did make my life a little more interesting because now I was playing an unfamiliar "main," since two of my quests involved playing as a storm wizard (aka a Conduit). Eventually I'm going to need to level all of these classes because it leads to unlocking your Mind, Body, and Spirit traits for your account.

What are those you ask?  Well I'm glad you asked. Your character gets to spec themselves down the Mind, Body, and Spirit trees with a total of 7 points. You can change these at any time, but you only unlock the depths of these trees by leveling in each available class. Clear as mud? It shouldn't be if you've spent any time in any RPG investing in a skill tree. What makes this different is that you can make changes to your skill tree on the fly outside of the game and it's not really a "tree" per se, it's just "ability possibilities" that you unlock and spend points in.

Anyway, as you're playing the game, you'll be finding scrolls of Mind, Body, and Spirit, and you basically level up your skills in the game as you collect these.  It gives you a bit of an advantage, which is nice. I'll take any kind of advantage I can get. I need 'em.

Reading a Scroll of the Body during gameplay -- more health please!

Here's how it all unfolded yesterday:

  • 1st match = 3rd place finish. This 3rd place finish was pure dumb luck. I was afk for most of the match. Don't ask me how I survived because I came out of AFK right as the storm was closing in and had sat in one place for like 10 minutes.
  • 2nd match = 7th place. Lots of people survived right up until the very end. It was a crowded, explosive mayhem match at the end, and I fell between two dueling wizards. Ouch.
  • 3rd match = 3rd place finish.  This was a very normal match that was actually very quiet at the beginning. I was all alone out there with no one to fight. After completing this match, I had completed my "deal 500 fire damage" quest. I also hit Mage rank 9 on my account and earned another 50 gold. Woot! Gimme that gold!
  • 4th match = ?? place finish. Um, I clicked too fast at the end, and I have no idea what place I ended up, but I know it wasn't high at all. Probably in the 30's somewhere. This was my first time playing as a Conduit wizard and . . . yeah, not good.
An electrifying experience in dueling
  • 5th match = 30th place finish. Even though I didn't do good, this was a fun match. I ended up racing another person to the lightning portal trying to get a good buff for the match. It was an epic fight that . . . ended in my loss. Afterwards though, I leveled up to rank 2 as a Conduit wizard. Awww, my first level as a Conduit. *cute face*
  • 6th match = 30th place finish. Really hard to get used to playing a conduit wizard. I got my butt handed to me. 
  • 7th match = 7th place finish. I got an exile as a Conduit wizard woot! I also, again, got caught between two duelers and paid the ultimate price. Finishing this match helped me complete a quest for opening 10 chests as a conduit wizard (I was really not doing well those past 3 matches -- typically it's pretty easy to open 10 chests in one match). I also ranked up to 3 as a conduit wizard. GO LITTLE WIZZY! GO!
Almost dying in an explosion of winning!
  • 8th match = 4th place finish. Man I was hungry this game.  I got a kill and did some really good damage, which helped me complete my 500 damage as a Conduit wizard quest.
So there you go. Slowly by slowly I'm learning more about Spellbreak and having fun playing the game. Today's shop offering didn't have a necromancer outfit, but it did have a pretty cool, pirate-y looking Illusionist outfit. Slightly tempted, but the outfit is like 25 bucks . . . no thanks.

It's all about that hat.
Happy Dueling!

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Spellbreak Week Day 1 -- I need a fresh look

 I decided that this is my week to (once again) really give Spellbreak a go.  I played it for Blaugust and quickly wrote about it, but now that I've kind of divorced myself from Champions Online, I'm really feeling the pull for some quick, competitive Battle Royale play.

Swooping in for the kill

Every day Spellbreak gives you three daily objectives, and I'm going to let that be my guide during play this coming week. For yesterday, that meant dealing 500 points of Frost damage, opening 10 chests as a frostborn, and opening 10 chests as a stoneshaper.  

Dropping in to grab the BIG chest -- bold move, sir

The hardest of these daily quests was dealing 500 points of Frost Damage because . . . gonna be honest here team, I'm not that great. THAT SAID! I did get a couple max damage shots here and there with the ice arrow, and that felt pretty great.

I never got a first place victory in my games yesterday, but I did get pretty close a handful of times. For a Battle Royale, most of the time you're NOT going to win . . . that's just how it goes. My placements yesterday were as follows:

  • 2nd
  • 8th
  • 10th
  • 36th <-- ooph
  • 22nd <-- ugh
  • 36th <--dang
  • 4th
  • 2nd

To be honest, those losses in the middle were more from me trying to complete the daily quest than anything else. Concentrating on dealing frost damage put me at more of a disadvantage than trying to tactically have a better placement on the leaderboard.

In exchange for completing my quests, I got a whopping 15 gold, which isn't much in the grand scheme of things. To buy anything really noteworthy in the shop, you're going to need at least 1000 gold and that would buy you something basic.

I do like the look of that Wayward Sorcerer

As you rank up, you get a lot more gold (I think 50 gold per rank), and that's probably where the majority of your earned income comes from in game. If I found a suitable "Friendly Necromancer" skin for my character, I'd probably dive into the cash shop so I could stop looking like a noob and get a skin I really want to wear.

That Arcane Trickster outfit though!

Spellbreak truly is the first Battle Royale that I've really wanted to get into, so I'm happy to finally be playing. 

Happy Dueling!

Monday, October 11, 2021

Ding 28 Champions Online -- Monster Island and Mega Bored

Today my FireTV suggested that I might like a campy B-film on Amazon Prime. It did this because it sensed I had watched a lot of campy B-films in the past and "The Velocipastor" might be right up my alley. I gave it 20 minutes and noped out and said, "Ok, I get it. I'm done." 

Having a Velocipastor experience of my own in Champions Online.

Today, I feel the exact same way about Champions Online. Here I am 12 levels from max, and I feel like "Ok, I get it. I'm done."

By all means, I should be happy. So far I've played this game entirely free up to this point and just barely opened up a brand new location called Monster Island, which indeed had a super campy opening cut scene.

Father Elk is my favorite Furry on Monster Island

I also just finished up a romp through Millennium City and partook in a weird quest where I helped escort Bigfoot's girlfriend back to him. Sounds amazing, right? But the truth is that, I'm just bored of it.

As far as escort quests go, this wasn't the worst. Kind of cute actually.

You know what I think it really is? I just don't have anyone playing this MMO with me, and as a solo player game, this experience is so so. Totally doable, but I'd rather grind these world quests at least with the hope that once or twice a week I'd have some friends logging on that I could play the big instances with -- at least I hope that would be the cure for the current boredom I'm feeling when I log on to Champions Online.

It's a Furry convention on Monster Island and Mr. Bear makes sure the party doesn't stop

So, Champions Online, I'm glad I gave you a go! I salute you, and thank you for letting me remake the Friendly Necromancer as a super hero. I was genuinely intrigued by you for the first 26-27 levels, but it's time for me to move on to other games.

For now, I bid you Adieu and as always . . . 

Happy Dueling!