Sunday, May 30, 2010

What I Am Up To : May Edition.

I have a bad case of the WoW blahs after some rather nasty guild drama.  Still, my guild managed to continue its push through ICC, downing Festergut and getting pretty close on Rotface.  This is due in part to our excellent group of raiding members, and in part to the buff that has been pushed to 20%.  Another reason is, since we lost two raiders in this messy dramatic break, we have been having some friends of the guild help out in a couple of places, some of which have already seen all of ICC, if not having already completed it on other characters.  They have been a big help explaining fights that some of us never took the time to study (hides behind her keyboard and whistles innocently). Oh, and did I mention Delgada got shelved? Turns out I know what I'm doing on Carlotta, and we don't need another healer.  Look up there, you'll see our raid group, about 50% Tauren, and made all that much sexier with Carlotta's ethnic color.

Since I have been fairly uninterested in doing anything in WoW, I have been playing a couple other games to pass the time.  The game that has taken the most of my time, up until our last ICC raid, was Perfect World, a free to play game with cash shop.  I am trying to play it without using the shop, but I think it's going to get difficult when I exhaust the quest means to expand my bank.  There are no quests to expand bag space, only a "quest" to turn in a bag expansion stone, which you have to purchase. Your bank,. however, can be added to by completing two gathering quests.  The first I was able to complete by level 20.  The turn in for this quest, however, is at the very top of the game map, far and away from a level 20 anything is questing. By this time, my cleric had maxed out her flying skill, so this was not too difficult to turn in.  But what a gigantic time dump!  I think all I did that day that I turned in that quest was turn it in and log off.  I am not looking forward to the second collection quest.  Let me not forget to mention that I joined a great faction there.  HVND has been around just as long as KNR, and been in many of the same games.  I remember frequenting their town on the Corbantis SWG server, paying my credits for their great doctor and dancer buffing house. The faction in Perfect World is just as friendly, and I'm looking forward to my next few stolen hours of playtime with them.

Another game that has taken some of my gaming time is Wizard 101.  Rowan Trollstalker is level 30, and I decided I would spend some time farming bosses for pets, since part of the new expansion for the game has been pushed live, with the introduction of pet leveling, breeding, and min games. Tonight, I spend a good part of my evening killing General Akilles in Cyclops Lane over and over again.  No pet yet ( I hear he drops a blue ghost), but I managed to snag a cyclops statue, a tonne of armor, a shelf, and a one day flying broom! After, Mister Winston and I fiddled around in the Pet Pavilion, playing in the maze game, the cannon game, and the dance game (we don't like the falling food game, no we don't!) Below is a picture of a practice derby Winston tried out yesterday.  As I play with crowns, I didn't run a rated match, but if this is any indication of how well he'll do, I may shell out a few crowns for some rated matches when he gets to ancient status. Right now, he and my dragon Madame Hannah are adults, and I could mate them to hatch another pet, but the price is outrageous!  Since we were lucky farming for pets (accidentally, mind you, what I really wanted was a flame cat statue!) the day before, I think we will stick with that for now.  If you want to try this out, level a character to 7 and talk to the Headmaster.  He'll send you on a delivery mission that will end in you getting a piggle of your very own to grow and love!

I would be a bad, bad game blogger if I didn't mention my other game addiction, We Rule. It's free to download and play, though if you wanted I suppose you could support them by buying mojo to speed up your farming and building, but you don't need to. Oh, and it would help if you had an iPod Touch, iPhone, or iPad to download it to, as I think that is the only platform they support.  Recent expansions have moved the level cap from 20 to 25, then to 30, and added such neat things to add to your kingdoms as stocks, jails, orange and ruby groves, and golden roads.You can farm, visit your friends villages and purchase their wares, and rearrange your town to your hearts content. Below, in no particular order, are hubby's homes and gardens, Michelle's(of VGO and WCO) kingdom, a picture of what the neighbors menu looks like, and a view of the loading screen and my kingdom.  These are all a little dated, because I had planned to post them earlier.

Other than those titles, the only thing that has been keeping me busy are the end of school rush for extra credit (or just regular credit), getting ready to close my work kitchen, and teenage drama.  I hope you are all in a better state than I am. 

That is all I have for now.  Stay tuned as summer hits, and my gaming adventures become less mundane.  I promise a summer vacation of free to play mmo's and free  iPod apps that will leave you feeling like you took a grand vacation!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

But Public Domain Sounds Boring!

I haven't had anything nice to say about my time in World of Warcraft this past couple of weeks.  Pardon me for being absent.  I tried posting, really I did, but all the posts ended up sounding like a whine fest,and not the kind that goes well with cheese, so they will sit, partially written my in folders, unused.  Guild drama is entertaining sometimes, but mostly, it's just sad, and so, that is all I will be saying about that .

I have been enjoying some really well read books on iTunes lately.  Well, one, I'm slow, but I am looking forward to enjoying at least 3 others I have loaded on my iPod Touch.  The one I am listening to now is A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs.  It's about a middle aged guy who was part of the confederate army, who struck out to prospect gold with a partner after the war.  They found a nice chunk, and the partner was sent to get better equipment.  He didn't make it, and after saving his body from Indians,  our hero holes up in a cave and his adventures begin.

The book I downloaded was in podcast form, with about every other chapter voiced by a different reader. Does anyone know how to make your iPod play things in reverse order? This is the part that is slowing me the most, as I have to quickly bring up the interface and click on the next chapter before it reads one I have already listened to.  Imagine trying to do that in the middle of assembling 96 turkey subs.  My poor screen was pretty gross looking, even after taking off the gloves, a mix of perspiration and glove powder smeared across the screen.

Librivox is the service that made this available through iTunes.  They, with the help of volunteers, record works in the public domain and make them available to the public for their consumption.  I just love it because, well, I love to read, but I don't have the time to sit down with a book all the time.  Their books read in podcast version are read by a variety of readers.  This doesn't bother me, it just adds more color to the reading.  One chapter I get English with a middle eastern accent, the next I get a lovely southern drawl. Aside from that,the only other distraction during the recording is the required "This is a Librivox Recording" at the start of every chapter, introducing the book, chapter, author, and reader.  I believe this a small price to pay for their product.

In comparison, I recently joined for their promise of keeping Stormrage for just trying them out.  Well, like most free trials, I always end up paying for another month, so I have credit there to spend.  Their book was good, but the reader annoyed me with their pronunciation of things like Sylvanas and Teldrassil.  You'd think they would ask how to pronounce something before committing it to a sound file and charging for it.

Aside from World of Warcraft books and free science fiction novels, I have been enjoying the series on the ship captain Honor Harrington by David Weber.  I spent my 1 credit from Audible this month on The Honor of the Queen.  I expect it to be a good listen, as I enjoy reading about Honor's adventures in her universe, and that should be enough.

Another series I would love to get into is the Dr. Who book series.  One I got my hands on was read by David Tennant, so it was almost like listening to the show while out of the room. I see that Audible has these available as well, though I am not sure who reads them.  So, I suppose I could recommend Audible if you have an extra 15 bucks a month.  It translates to one book a month, and if you don't use it, you can roll over up to 6 credits.  If you wanted to buy another in a month, you get up to 30% off. Not a bad deal, just not the best for me, when 15 means I feed my family for the day.

Check out Librivox or Audible.  Pick up some food for your imagination.