Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Fun With Friends!

The last few days I have been spending quality time with people I love to play with.  I "saved" a friend from big mean Hordies, ran a heroic dungeon with another, and ran LFR with my guildies.

Even Redridge is more beautiful with friends.

Sunday, Adoree was leveling a panda in Redridge when a rogue at least 4 times her level decided to make her leveling not so fun.  She is more than capable of helping herself and already had a few friends out tracking the guy.  I stepped in to be bait, in my blues and greens.  Who knew the guy wasn't 90 yet?  I guess he got what he had coming.  After killing him about 3 times, he sapped me once more time and we didn't see him again, though we did manage to kill a shaman a couple of times.

Tuesday, when Delgada logged in, she was invited by Recksaw(of Shu'halo) to kill the Sha in a cross realm group. I cannot describe just how awful that fight *cough* ahem two fights were.  Still, she got her bag of gold. She then decided that that the Barrens weekly would be just what she needed to wash the bad taste from her mouth. After escorting a caravan, killing a lieutenant, and looking around for a harpy youngling, Recksaw begged Delgada to heal for a group that was killing the summoned elites on the Isle of Thunder.  Since the patch, I haven't updated my healing add on, so I was target healing, until I threw up my hands in frustration and finished out the fight atonement style.  I got a treasure key and a green and some coin, then had to make my way back to where I had been summoned from. In between caravan guarding and resource farming, I ran some of the lower tier raids in LFR with my guildies.  I don't think I mentioned the exodus from Void Where Prohibited that landed me in a new guild, Guardians of Cerberus.  Anyhow, Cleocatra, Byakkoshishi, and Chainlvabull hung out with Delgada in LFR, where she gained a few more sigils and a few sha crystals.

Not too long after Byakko and I returned to the Barrens, she stepped away to grab some food. A harpy finally spawned.  By then, I had left our guild Ventrilo to hang out with a friend from the meetup group, and it took so long to get her back from Orgrimmar to tame the silly thing.  There should be an emote that you can throw out in guild or over a whisper that beeps or toots loud enough to get someone's attention!  Back in my friend Justsuckit's ventrilo server, I had put Delgada back in her farm house and pulled out Halinka to try and get her some upgrades.  Sadly, our meetup group is very Alliance heavy, so if I want to do anything with them I really need to get Halinka geared up!  I ran a couple of heroics while they were in LFR, and then before I logged for the evening we ran one more heroic.  It was a lot of fun, and a lot of nothing dropped for my little draenei.  Still, there were points and reputation earned, so it wasn't a complete waste.  I am hoping to get the Barrens quest line started with her today and maybe even get a Sha kill for her, even though I'll be getting boots for both. Maybe she'll get lucky and be able to upgrade a piece with the mojo from her weekly quest!

Anyhow, that is what is going on here in the hot, dry desert.  School is almost done for the year, which means I should have more time to update this fusty old blog.  Slap on some sunscreen, and I'll see you in Azeroth, or on the 10th at 7 pm at Jose's in Redlands for the Inland Empire WoW players Meetup (hint hint).  Take care!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Wizard 101 Giveaway!

Getting rid of my ugly helm.

Mrs. Greyrose liked my last post so much she gave me two codes good for one extra castle space and a Red Barn Farm house.  If you love gardening or just really like life on the farm, this house is for you!  What I mean to say is, I'm not keeping the codes for myself, but giving them away.  Tell your friends, tell your family, tell your schoolmates, tell your coworkers, tell your garbage man, tell your plumber, tell everyone about this giveaway!  I'll be giving the codes away, one to a commenter on this post, and one to a follower of my Twitter feed (@shawndrakai) who sends a tweet my way.  Tell me, why do you want the house?  Or, how will you decorate it?  Even better yet, what plants will you plant on your farm?  I will post the winners to both Twitter and my blog on Saturday, May 25th.

Writing the housing post made me stick my nose back into Wizard 101, and there were some new things there!  I didn't show even half of them in this video, so I may make another with my husband's character so we can see what the boys have available, and to see what new pets and mounts can be had.  I am excited to finally finish Celestia with Rowan and see the other worlds that have been released.  I have many new pets and wizards to level, houses to buy and decorate, and gardens to tend. So much to do!  See you in The Spiral!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Housing My Way.

Lately, World of Warcraft has been adding creature comforts more frequently.  Being able to dress Delgada they way I want to and still give her the stats she needs is awesome.  Having a little shack next to the first thing and second thing I do when I log in is wonderful.  Being able to join the queue for random dungeons, scenarios, raids, even battlegrounds while I pull weeds and spin silk instead of travelling is such a time saver. Portals in the current hub that take me almost anywhere I have to go, and only a few seconds flight from my hovel on the farm is terrific.

But I want more!  I want to be able to stash extra crafting materials in a trunk in my shack.  I want to be able to display tchotchkes on every table and shelf, and add more shelves to load down with more gewgaws.  A closet with spaces for wardrobe sets would be handy. I want to be able to expand my cottage into a family sized home or a mansion, or be able to live in an apartment in the city, or have both.  I want to have a stool to sit on, a bed to lay in, maybe even a tub to bathe in (eek!).  I want to be able to change the wallpaper and flooring. I want to be able to decorate my humble (or fabulous) abode with pictures and trophies and fountains and whatever ridiculous thing I find when adventuring.  These are not horribly difficult requests to fill, are they?

Outside Rowan's castle.

Rowan's living room in her castle.
Wizard 101 has houses and mansions with bank access, that you can decorate, some so fabulous that they have dueling circles in the courtyard and access to a mini games through arcade game style furniture pieces.  Outside, you can garden for spell cards, resources, pets, pet food, money, experience, and for silliness.  Have you ever seen Elvis Parsley?  Evil snow peas are cool (ha!), too.  Some houses have secret areas.  I know the palace I got for Christmas has a dungeon under a waterfall that I use as a crafting shed, and a special island like the ones in the sky of Nagrand that I set up as a graveyard.  Inside and out, you can decorate with items you find in the world, buy with gold on the auction house or from a vendor, or even buy items with crowns.  There is a new item you can craft that allows you to display a complete outfit.  You can even leave unused pets and mounts out, giving the house a more lived in feel. Another thing Wizard 101 does is allow people who are on your friends list to visit you if you are in your house (or mansion, or amphitheater  pyramid, or dorm).  The players of this game regularly hold parties in their houses, hosting hundreds at a time. Yes, I am enamored of Wizard 101's housing.  I have played it casually, dropping for months at a time to pick it up and level furiously for a week or two then drop it again.  Without a guild mechanic and the amount of kids playing, it stays fun for only a while before I have to stop for a while.  I work with kids, and I am a mom of many, so spending my gaming time with pre-adolescent inventively foul mouthed brats wears on me.

Eromee, digging for materials with her house (the teeny one on the left) in the distance. 

Small Naboo House: Style 1 with some of the random items Jenmo has looted recently.
Star Wars Galaxies had a very intricate and fun housing decoration system where you could pretty much position an item wherever in the house you wanted, and put your house wherever you want, except in game created cities.  People used looted, crafted, and rewarded items to create the most fantastic things. This home was featured in a monthly showcase of homes. Some people at max level would devote all their in game time to finding the rarest items to decorate their houses with.  This site has albums of all sorts of different houses.  Curtains made of skirts, aquariums made with paintings and plants and weapons, pool tables made with goodness knows what!  The only limit was the item count limit for the house, which, if I remember right, could be augmented once by an item given to veteran players.  There were so many different house styles and sizes, that you could choose the one that held the most, like a guild hall or a cantina, and decorate for days!  I wish I still had pictures of my old place.  Not that I could compete with the likes of some of the sites I linked, but I had a neat fireplace and some of the rare crafted rugs.  It was never just a house there, it was a home.  

Inside my house.  Not as fabulous as most.

Outside my humble cot.  Piggies!
Glitch had a clever way of housing, where you could buy furnishings from players or from the store, and there was wallpaper and flooring. A player could build on to their house, making it longer or taller.  Players would make theme rooms with all raven items and red and black, rooms decorated like a zone they liked, rooms that were filled with piggies and baby chicks. Houses were built on a home street where players could have gardens and trees and piggies and chickens and butterflies, dirt piles and ore nodes, firefly hives and barnacles and peat bogs, etc. You could even build a tower on your home street where people could buy things or just look at the awesomeness you had put together.  

Maybe I have been spoiled by all the different types of player housing I have encountered.  Housing gives each player a place to make their own in a game where everyone is doing exactly the same thing.  In all three of the games I have used the housing feature in, no two houses I visited were exactly alike.  No two aquariums were identical.  No two starter houses were decorated the same.  Even houses used as storage sheds showed the personality of the person behind the character. 

So, I guess I want housing for more than just functional reasons.  I want housing so that I can put my own unique mark on the game world I love.  Thoughts?  Do you agree, disagree, or have things to add? Let's start a conversation!  Add a comment to this post.  I look forward to hearing from all of you. Until then, I'm off to go murder innocent Meatlump Buffoons in hopes of getting rug thread and sculpture pieces.  After that, some farming in Halfhill followed by grouping with other players Looking For Raid.  See you in Azeroth, or on Naboo, or where ever our vacations happen to coincide.