Eeek.. Time Flies

Holy Heck it’s been way too long since I’ve updated. So my plans of weekly blog posts went out the window around the middle of March.. right about the time my real life hit some massive changes.  The boyfriend and I, after a turbulent 3 years which included a couple of nasty breakups and reconciliations, decided that we just weren’t going to work out and I moved out.It sounds so civilised now but it’s been a pretty bad couple of months. But time heals or blunts a lot of things and with the love of some amazing friends (you know who you are!) I have to say I’m in a way happier place both mentally and physically. I love my new house! I can decorate it how I want, and enjoy Z time without walking on eggshells and life is really good right now.. (Crosses fingers  and hope that I’m not tempting fate by that comment).

Gaming wise.. I’m still not over my Skyrim obsession. The news of Legion’s release date actually made me think more about what I wanted to finish in Skyrim before I throw myself back into Azeroth. Guess the Skyrim bug is still hitting hard.

I had to change companion because I lost Illia  when a quest made her stay behind and she just never turned up again. I checked all the places I thought she could be… where I found her, my different houses but she just didn’t show up again. The only frustrating part was her inventory was rather full of gear she was storing for me. I ended up grabbing another mage companion from the Mage’s College and he seems really strong, I much prefer playing with another mage companion than any other of the followers.

I’m sitting at level 42 and trying to get as many achievements done as I level. Level cap is 81 but the levelling has seriously slowed down after 40, so I have no idea how long it will take to get to 81.  I managed to hear about Platinum which is a trophy (achievement) you get for getting all 50 trophies  in the game and my completionist side kicked in but so has my ambitious side and now i want to get that in 1 play through. There’s a couple of quests you can mess up and make it impossible to get all the trophies on one character if you chose the wrong options, so I’m being a bit careful and checking guides every now and again.

The game still doesn’t fail to amaze me visually.

amazing sky Blackreach Lakeview Manor

I’ve just started the DLC content which is adding tons of new scenery to the game. I didn’t want to go into new areas before i finished the main dragonborn quest line. I have to make the choice atm between becoming a vampire and killing the vampires. So I’m umming and ahhing over the pros and cons there.

On top of all that.. I also re-discovered my love of Terraria and have been happily digging and building in that game for something different when I feel like I’ve looked at enough Skryim for a while.

In Terraria when you build a house with rooms and fulfil certain conditions like killing bosses or exploring things you get a NPC that comes and lives with you. Most are vendors though the nurse has healing abilities. My character is the little one the ground on the left in the dress. Many bosses drop vanity items you can equip, my favorite is the pharaohs robes which I coloured with multi-coloured dye. I’m playing multiplayer with a friend in this game at moment. His toon is the one shooting out green lasers.. right at me :p

Terraria Small House

The same house after a few hours of game play and building. I had a paint and wallpaper vendor turn up after a while which meant I now have a pretty colourful house. The decorations are souvenirs I’ve collected out and about on exploration to different biomes.. each area is themed so there are many different styles of decorations you can loot.

Terraria House

This is a map of my small world.. The black is places I’ve not yet explored. It’s mostly underground places where you can only get through digging. I’d like to have the full map dug out one day… completionist tendencies coming out again.

Terraria Map

 

Well that’s my last month and a half wrapped up. With all the big news of a release date for Legion  and lots of Skyrim time, there shouldnt be any shortage of blogging. I’ll try to get back to a regular posting schedule.

 

 

Staying Horde?

We take a break from the multiple Skyrim posts to bring back a wow related post. I haven’t logged into WoW in a while but Cinder‘s most recent post has made me start thinking about it.

Basically Cinder has decided she doesn’t like PvP realms and she’d like to be alliance again and she’d like to be in a mythic raiding guild again and will be moving on from Deadline, our guild and Barthilas server. I’ve known Cinder a really long time raiding with her in 3 guilds across 2 factions over 2 different realms and consider her one of my longest and closest wow friends. And I have to agree that I cannot stand PvP realms and while I don’t mind horde that much, I don’t mind alliance either. I don’t want to mythic raid though, in fact somedays I question if   I even want to raid or play come Legion.

For me, raiding comes as a double-edged sword, it’s something I used to love doing but it’s also something that I used to do to the extent of neglecting my real life. Obviously not everyone takes wow playing to that extreme but I did and quite frankly I’m a little scared to log back in because while WoW holds some good friends  and amazing memories it holds some really dark ones too.  So in light of Cinder’s post and sign off to the guild we both love I’m actually wondering if a change is what I need to be able to play the game again. Or maybe that’s a bridge you can’t cross twice.

 

Heart string tugging quests in Skyrim

Skyrim is still going strong. Through a mixture of questing and levelling skills such as smithing and enchanting I’ve hit level 27.

I’ve come across a few really memorable quests, like the one where you reunite a pair of centuries-old ghost lovers separated by war.

Ghost quest.jpg

Neither party actually realise they are ghosts and you have to go between the two of them to work out their story: the wife Ruki is out searching for her husband as she heard there was a hard fought battle where his military unit was meant to be. The husband, Fenrig,  however believes the battle will be tomorrow and he hasn’t actually got to it yet. You eventually lead the husband to the wife where they are reunited and finally together again they pass on together.  It was a seriously lovely quest and completely unexpected to stumble across.

I managed to find myself another follower, Illia who is a destruction mage like my toon but she uses primarily frost spells and now that I’ve equipped her with a few different staffs she swaps between them so her spells are a mixture of frost, conjuring animals to fight alongside us and lightning and sparks.

Illia.jpg

Being two ranged is really fun though she has the same voice acting as Lydia so still the “oh” wherever we go.

Oh.jpg

I came across a wild horse at one of the military camps and found I could ride it. Now whenever I fast travel somewhere the horse turns up and I can mount it but if I don’t get on straight away it will just wander away to who knows where. I followed it for a while just to see where it goes and it seems to meander wherever it likes. It always turns back up when I travel though which has been nice so far.

Wild horse

The game just keeps rolling out absolutely beautiful scenes so my screenshot folder is quickly filling up.

Giants caveStatueBroken Tower Redoubt

So currently 100 hours in and I’m starting to get an idea of what I want to do in the game, I’ll post about that next time.

Guest podcasting

Some of my lovely guildies and raiding buddies started a podcast called battletagged. It’s a mostly World of Warcraft blog though there is chatter about the various other games from the Blizzard universe.

Cinder, Neuro and Klor, all of whom I’ve mentioned at times, started it last year and have recorded a few episodes. The episodes are great and it feels just like overhearing guild chatter when I listen to them.

I was super thrilled and excited when they asked me to come on as a guest for their podcast about healing. We had a great time talking together and seeing we’ve all been guildies for a couple of years it was comfortable and fun and felt just like our chats over mumble.

If you want to have a listen to their podcast (and I recommend it) you can find them at battletagged.com.

battletagged.jpg

Image borrowed from Battletagged.com

 

 

 

 

Skyrim rambling chatter

Leveling in Skyrim seems to be rocketing ahead, before I even knew it I bumped up to level 21 last night.

Each time you level you get to increase your health, magica or Stamina (so far the only use for Stamina I’ve found is it lets me sprint until it runs out). My health doesn’t seems too bad, I rarely die so I haven’t been increasing that much at all from the beginning level. Magica though…. In a long fight I’m always Magica starved as my spells just seem to drain it too fast so I’ve been increasing that with pretty much every skill up I get.

Along with each time you level you get a point to put into your skill tree. So far I’ve got 5 points un-allocated as I just can’t decide where to put them. My offensive spells seem strong enough for now, there’s very little I can’t burn though.. as long my magica holds out. I’m thinking I might drop a few of the 5 points into enchanting which will have the benefit of making any enchantments stronger and then I’ll put all magica regen or booster enchants on my gear which should help with the feeling magica starved.

It’s tricky because there are some very useful perks I want to put my points in but they are gated by certain levels which I’m not at yet, so I don’t know if I should just horde my points until I reach the level or just use them up now.

I’ve been wearing heavy armor (plate, steel, iron) which is giving me skill ups in the heavy armor skill tree but the weight of it is pretty hefty which means I can’t carry as much gear before I get overburdened and have to find a vendor to offload some stuff. There is a perk where you can make your armor weigh nothing but it’s very high up the heavy armor skill tree. There’s a corresponding perk for light armor (fur, hide, cloth) but it’s much lower down the light armor tree which I’ve been eyeing off but I’m not actually sure I can change my armor type at this stage of the game. My heavy armor has leveled up to around 40 but my light armor skill is still way back down at lower than 20.

It’s always tricky with a new game that you don’t have the in-depth knowledge that comes with playing that one game for years.

I’ve decided it’s time to find a new companion. Lydia is annoying me by constantly blocking the mobs and ending up with a fireball to the back of her head, injuring her and wasting my magica at all once. And Lydia tends to say “oh” a lot with no rhyme or reason.. we zone through a door  and she shouts “oh”, we walk down a slope and off she goes – “oh”.. I cannot figure out what she is finding to exclaim about.

I think I’ll go hunting for another ranged companion that should avoid the fireball to the head issue I’m having. I did have an archer that I recruited way way back at the first town I came across but he got unceremoniously booted out of my group when a quest foisted an npc on me who took his place for a quest. I think he might have gone to wait in  to the town I originally  found him in but as Lydia was waiting at my house, I found it easier just to recruit her than go hunting for a lost companion. I haven’t decided yet if I’ll go look for him or find a new questing companion to have tag along. I think another mage might be fun for a bit if I can find one.

I’ve been given another house servant as a reward for helping out the Jarl of Winterhold with some issues he was having, but from what I can see, she’s melee as well so she can just stay in Winterhold, no point changing melee for melee.

I’m really looking forward to getting back home (I’m thinking and posting about Skryim in my lunch break at work) and looking for a new companion and maybe seeing if I become really squishy if I change armor types this far into the game.

Questing in Skryim

I mentioned to one of my twitter friends that I’d do a quick blog post on my evenings playing in Skyrim to show them what the game looks like. This post is all about how I spent an evening questing and playing in Skryrim.

I continued  from my last save  in my house in Whiterun. As a reward for doing enough quests for the local Whiterun Jarl (like a lord), he trusted me enough to allow me to buy a house in town which came complete with a servant, Lydia, who I enlisted as a companion. There are a number of npcs you can recruit but I’m happy to keep Lydia even if she’s not… I’m ranged and she’s melee so there have been a few times she’s got in the way of my spells and ends up getting a little burnt, she generally complains about that when it happens.

The house comes as an empty shell but you are able to buy furnishings for each  room to make it feel cosy. The house also has the benefit of coming with bookcases and cupboards so I can store extra items that don’t fit in my inventory.

 

Before I can head off questing I need to sell all the bits and pieces I picked up on my travels to clear out my bags.

Some vendors are specialists and will only accept certain items but there’s usually a  general vendor in most towns who will buy anything I care to sell. In Whiterun, I go visit Belethor.

Belethor

 The downside is he only has 750g at one time so I have two options in trying to offload all my goods. 1. Sell to him until he’s bought 750g worth of stuff from me then travel to another town and use a different vendor until his gold resets.. or 2. Sell to him until his gold is used up then I can quicksave my game and kill him. Once I reload my saved game his inventory and gold stores will have reset. Just a word of caution with this route, you need to reload after you kill him as  once killed he won’t come back to life and killing a peaceful npc puts a bounty on your head so the guards will arrest you and put you in jail. Don’t be like me who accidently hit save instead of reload one time after killing him and had to load an older autosave to get back to a point where he was still alive.

After a few saves and reloads, I have mostly clear bags so I pop up the hill to Dragonreach which is home to the Court Mage and his enchanting table. At the enchanting table I can disenchant any gear that has magical properties so I learn them and can place enchants onto gear if I have the mats.

Now all the basic housekeeping have been done I’m ready to head off and adventure.

I have a quest in my log to go see the Jarl of Windhelm. There’s a battle happening between the imperials and the Stormcloaks headed by the Jarl. I chose to join the side of the Stormcloaks and they want me to join them on a mission to find a crown which had been lost and which, if found, would help the leader of the stormcloaks assert his right to rule.

I hadn’t discovered Korvanjund, the quest location so Lydia and I set off to walk there.

Once at Korvanjund, we set to exploring old ruins looking for the Crown. My favourite quests are ones where i get to poke around in old ruins or tombs and this one didn’t disappoint. The group of soldiers sent to help me retrieve the crown kindly waited as I poked around looting the odd burial urn and worked my through the various traps and puzzles the ruins had in place.

I’m playing as a destruction mage, specialising in fire spells but I also have at my disposal spells from the other schools of magic that help make my life a little easier. I’ve levelled up a couple of healing spells from the restoration tree and a few handy utility spells from Alteration like Candlelight which gives a  ball of light to follow me around and light up the dark corners.

candlelight spell

Once the crown was recovered it was back to Jarl Ulfric who immediately sent me off on another quest to go sound out the loyalty of the local Jarl in Whiterun.

Ulfric didn’t even have the decency to offer me a meal before heading off again. I eyed off the desert on the table but the bounty to pay the guards if I was to steal the sweet treat just wasn’t worth it so I left it alone.

dessert.jpg

Luckily I had already discovered Whiterun in my travellings so I could take the easy way and fast travel there. Once there the news wasn’t good and rather than joining with Ulfic, Whiterun decided to stand with the Imperials. Back to Ulfric I went to pass on the bad news. War was coming and it looks like I was involved.

Back at Windhelm, but before I could pass on the bad news to Ulfric, there was  a random dragon attack. As the game progresses, these attacks are getting more frequent.

Dragon.jpg

Killing a dragon gives me the ability to absorb a dragon’s soul which then means I can use certain extra spells that are unlocked via dragon souls. The spell I use the most is Whirlwind Sprint, a dragon shout which propels me forward at great speed for a few metres. Seeing I do my exploring on foot (I had a horse but he was killed and I’ve never got around to buying another), this helps cover ground a little faster. There are also offensive and defensive options but I tend to leave the shout set to the utility one.

 Ulfic was a bit annoyed at the lack of support and decided the best way to move forward would be to declare war on Windrun.. and guess who he wanted to give a hand.

Off to battle.jpg

Once I got back to Whiterun I was a bit worried to see the flaming balls being hurtled towards the city.. my house is in there! We rushed the city walls and after checking my house was ok, we headed up to see the Jarl. The battle of Whiterun ended with him surrendering.

The next stage was to get more orders and continue harrasing the Imperials but I decided that was enough of that quest line for the evening and headed of to bit a questing from elsewhere in my quest log.

quest log.jpg

In addition to questing, Skyrim has quite a developed crafting system, where you can make your own armor, weapons and potions. I haven’t really played with the crafting system that much but I generally collect all the mats I come across and store them away for when I do want to have a go. You use herbs and flowers for making potions through Alchemy. The details on the flowers below is just stunning.

Herbing

Even though it’s been out for quite a while, it’s a really well designed game to play and one I’m really enjoying.

Lost in Tamriel

Skyrim might be a 5 year old game but for me it’s brand new. I’ve been immersed in the world for 17 levels or 60 hours according to my steam record and there’s much more ahead of me.

Visually it’s a really beautiful game and I spend a lot of time just walking around the world exploring. There’s very few places I can’t scramble up or over so I do a great deal of climbing over mountains.. just to see what’s on the other side.

ScreenShot22

ScreenShot12ScreenShot13ScreenShot19

 

ScreenShot20

 

My npc companion suddenly found himself in a bit of a predicament when we were exploring some ruins and he got himself stuck in a broken urn. He followed me around like that until I zoned out.ScreenShot4

A Moose for a Druid

 

Hmm  well so much for my plan to blog weekly… moving on

So this a bit of a tardy post as I actually got my Moose a few weeks ago, I just haven’t posted.

My guild did their final kill of Heroic Archimonde for this expansion when I was off exploring overseas in November and as  I’m not really into the idea of pugging and  the idea of finding a regular raid team just wasn’t grabbing me as much as it should in order to actually commit to a team,  I figured I probably wouldn’t get the chance to get the Moose Mount.  So I was utterly thrilled and super surprised  when I got a text from Cinder a few weeks ago  letting me know one of our guildies Neuro, who not only raids with us but also with an  American raiding guild,  was about to run through Archimonde and wanted to know if I was around and if I wanted to log on and they’d take my druid through as well.

Did I ever want to log on! I jumped on and was so nervous and excited about getting to go with them that I stuffed up their vent details 3 times and was sure I’d never get on in time but I did and they breezed through heroic Manneroth and then onto Archimonde as if it was no big deal. They are Mythic raiders so it probably was no big deal to them but I was over the moon excited that they were taking me along. Once Archi died, I grabbed the quest from his body and turned down their nice offer of the leather gear that had dropped.. I really just wanted the Moose quest.. and druid teleported over to Moonglade to have a chat with Malfurion and.. yay a flying moose for Z.

 

A massive thanks to Neuro and his guild for letting me tag along for the Moose. He is a seriously pretty mount and super special because I was so sure I wouldn’t see him in my stable.

The best toy

I was listening to an episode of Battletagged this morning on my run (I do all my podcast listening while running, makes the run go much faster as I get wrapped up in listening) and Cinder made mention that she thinks the best toy is the Blazing Wings you can get from doing the game down at Darkmoon Faire.

This immediately started me off thinking what I feel is the best toy in the game and for me the Soul Inhaler is far and away the best toy.

It has an awesome effect that when you use it on a corpse you can suck the soul out of them and they shrink. You also get cool purple warlock wings and a void shadow over your toon.

Soul Sucking Toy Hipthrust

It is a seriously awesome toy. What other toy lets you casually take advantage of a guildies death to be a demon kitty?

I have to say a  massive thank you to Klor who willingly came along and committed toonicide when I said I wanted some photos of the shrinking in action. Soul toy 1  Soul toy 2 Soul toy 3

This toy is dropped by Tor’goroth <The Soul-Gorger>  who lives on a small island in the far north of Frostfire Ridge.

What’s your best/favourite toy?