Enjoying Wildstar

AggroChat 55 – Calling All Bloggers

This week I start off the show, and even title it with a pretty massive plug for the Newbie Blogger Initiative. What is the NBI you ask? Well this is the time of the year when Veteran bloggers support new folks wanting to get started in this madness. This year we are making an extra special push to try and help new podcasters, youtubers, and streamers along with the bloggers. Additionally I myself am making a special push to try to rekindle the fire in some of our wayward bloggers who are no longer as regular as they used to be. The entire month of May is dedicated to helping folks get started and find their niche, and since most of the AggroChat crew have participated in the past, it is time to get the word out.

As far as the rest of the show we had myself, Tam, Ashgar, Kodra and Grace. As always we spent a good deal of time talking Final Fantasy XIV since we are all still heavily playing it. Right now Greysky Armada our Free Company is back holding the bronze medal again for being the third most active Free Company on our server Cactuar. This week also saw myself and Grace spending some more time playing some more Wildstar. The Black Dagger Society the guild I am connected to has been having a guild night on Fridays and as such I have started joining in the festivities. Additionally there was talk of Marvel Heroes, Diablo 3, Ashgar returning to his Gameboy Advance roots, Tam winning his first Infinity tournament since the move, and similarly Kodra beating VVVVVV for the first time in his new place. Since this month is devoted to Shadowrun for the Gameclub we are also starting to play some of this. It was a fun show in spite of being in that pre-E3 gaming doldrum.

Making Progress

Wow-64 2015-04-30 20-57-40-40 I’ve been down a bit on raiding lately in my posts so I wanted to take a moment to give a bit of an update of sorts.  The Tuesday before last was very seriously one of the worst nights of raiding I have had in a very long time.  It really made me question if I wanted to keep trying to raid in World of Warcraft, and I posted this long discussion about it.  It seems like I actually gave voice to some of the same feelings that many of our raid had been having, but for whatever reason had not actually talked about.  As a result a dialog has started among some of the members, and I have to say I think things are starting to improve.  Tuesday this week was still a pretty rough night, but it felt at least somewhat better.  Thursday however on the other hand felt really good.  We were a much trimmed down group due to some absences but I also felt like we were working better as a team.  We lowered the bar slightly and worked on normal content again, clearing everything we had ever cleared before in a single night and putting in some serious work on the forge encounter.

If we had another hour of attempts I feel like we probably could have downed the encounter.  Things were flowing so much better than they ever had before.  We were getting through to the second phase, and then approaching it with a sense of direction and purpose.  We were alternating between burning down the Elementalists and focusing down the waves of adds.  We managed to push through to the final phase, and if we were at our full numbers we might have been able to defeat it.  I think we learned a lot of good lessons that we can hopefully apply this Tuesday.  The thing is… I am feeling something that I have not felt in a very long time… the desire to get back in there and give it another shot.  I am actually looking forward to raiding in World of Warcraft this week, and that is a pretty awesome thing.  Maybe just maybe we can make the changes necessary in the raid to make it a better experience for all of us.  At this point I am glad I said something, and started the discussion.  I guess the truth is if you are not having a good time, chances are you aren’t the only one.

Enjoying Wildstar

WildStar64 2015-05-01 21-07-54-46 Similarly this week I have been enjoying quite a bit of Wildstar.  I am still taking it nice and slow, but at this point I am level 16 with just a short ways to go to 17.  I have officially finished the Algoroc zone and will be moving into the next area.  The Black Dagger Society has been awesome to me, and I am super thankful to Chestnut and Chaide for giving me a friendly home to hang my hat in.  It turns out that Friday nights are somewhat of a guild night for grouping, and they have been working on lower level content.  Currently I do not have any other commitments Friday nights, so I am going to try and make that my Wildstar day.  This week they ran me through the earliest Protostar dungeon, and it does a pretty great job of teaching you what you need to do to succeed in a Wildstar instance.  Honestly I wish that this would have been the first dungeon when we were playing at launch, because I feel like it would have cleared up a lot of the frustrations had by many players.

The group we went into Wildstar with was made up of some pretty disparate points of view and skill levels.  For some the extremely frenetic pace of the dungeons was a point of frustration especially as we were trying to learn “on the fly” all of the various things we were supposed to be doing.  This dungeon eases the player in teaching them the various mechanics and then building upon them as the phases go, finally culminating in a boss fight that is fairly representative of what I saw in the “real” dungeons.  While the dungeon is essentially a giant tutorial, it is still extremely fun and when a random stranger asked me if I wanted to join them… I happily ran it again.  The other big switch I have made is previously I was focusing entirely on tanking as the warrior and now  I am starting to build out my dps abilities as well.  In most games I level as tanky as much as anything else in an effort to be as survivable as I can be for fighting the named encounters.  In this game I feel almost more survivable playing DPS as I do as a tank.  Essentially the amount of damage I deal more than makes up for the extra damage I might be receiving.  I am still pleasantly surprised that I am enjoying Wildstar as much as I actually am.  Pretty happy I decided to give it another shot.

Inappropriate Bed Time

Lazy Sunday

Yesterday we pretty much had the textbook definition of a “Lazy Sunday”.  After getting almost 13,000 steps on Saturday, I only managed to hit 3,500 yesterday.  We had rain to deal with off and on all day, and pretty much opted to stay indoors and vegetate.  I think given how hard we have pushed we both could use a day off.  Also my wife has been out of school for a week but never really gotten a single day to just recuperate.  To make matters worse Tuesday she is flying out for the first of many conferences she will attend this summer.  As such it also begins the part of the summer that I hate the most…  trying to get used to being alone and then simultaneously get used to being not alone.

I am probably odd that it takes time for me to ease into any change in my environment.  I have always been someone who could adapt to rapid and momentary interruptions extremely well.  I remain calm under pressure, and get hyper focused on fixing whatever issue is at hand.  Ironically I am extremely horrible at dealing with sustained change.  When my world is thrown upside down but not immediately righted… I am not a happy camper.  I have these little rituals, like this morning blogging thing… that when I do not get to observe them… nothing else is really right the rest of the day.  So you can imagine how much turmoil the summer brings me since I tend to have a wife one week and then she is gone the next…  and this lasts for at least the month of June but often times some of other months as well.

Easily it takes me a good three days to adjust to any change, sometimes longer.  So if she is gone a week 3 days of that will be with me in personal turmoil as I adjust to her being gone.  Then when she comes back there will be another three days of me adjusting to the fact that it is no longer just me and the cats in the house.  I feel like I deal with all of this fairly well considering, but there are generally some severe low points while she is not around.  Thankfully this year she will be travelling back on my Birthday, because in past years she has been gone for it…  making it all that more of a depressing occasion.  The week days are pretty easy thankfully because the routine of work keeps me pretty busy, and then at night I end up gaming the night away.  The weekends on the other hand are pretty rough to be all by myself in the house.  Hopefully this year will be a bit easier since I will still need to maintain the routine of walking every night.

Inappropriate Bed Time

WildStar64 2014-06-09 06-07-43-280 Among my friends I have developed a reputation for having unnaturally good luck when it comes to drops and getting the random number generator to perform for me.  One of the nifty things that I added to my house is the Moonshiners Cabin.  Once every thirty minutes you can play a mini-game to brew a batch of moonshine.  So far this is one of my favorite housing mini-games because really… it takes zero skill, just the ability to do a few tasks quickly.  If you complete the game you get to roll for 150 reknown, a Neon Beer sign pictured above, one of 5 random dye colors, or the penultimate reward a purple quality “Granok Four Poster Bed”.  The bed is also pictured above, but given my odd lighting in the house I am not sure if you can really see it in all its glory.  It is a rather large bed decorated with so many odd things.  Let me run them down really quickly…  a pair of steer horns, a target riddled with bullet holes,  a pink heart pillow, a camo pillow, a tiger striped pillow, stage lighting, a camera pointing at the headboard, an LCD monitor showing the beds headboard, and a clothes line with a bra and a pair of tube socks.

WildStar64 2014-06-08 20-38-11-427 I am pretty sure the owner before me was rigging the bed to film porn, but I am not 100% sure.  Maybe they were just part of some elaborate sleep study.  In any fashion it totally fits the motif of my house which is “Intergalactic Airstream Trailer”.  Essentially I want to be that crazy Chua in a teardrop trailer lost somewhere deep in the woods.  Right now I am sharing my house with my pet carrots, and I intend to add as many adorable plushies as I happen to find to the house just to crank up the uneasiness factor.  I am decorating the house as a “Chua Unhinged”…. which in reality is pretty much every chua everywhere.  I was too cheap to buy a proper divider, so I am just using a forest of Elden Holograms to provide a visual divider between the living room and the bedroom.  In the bedroom you have the creepy bed, a Chua regeneration chamber, a Chua mechanical arm… that holds a really huge missile.  All things that any proper marginally insane Chua would need on a daily basis.

WildStar64 2014-06-09 06-44-43-639 The thing that still has me over the moon about the Wildstar housing system is that so much of it is “functional”.  I love Rift and EQ2 for having super detailed cosmetic housing systems… and to be honest in both cases the systems are generally more detailed in what you can do with them.  The trump card that Wildstar plays is that they have given you a reason other than for bragging rights to have a cool home.  So many of the things that you place in your home can be interacted with and used.  For example this is a shot of my friend Tam’s house and he has a crafting table, that works just as well as the crafting tables in any of the cities.  Since we are neighbors I can pop over and use it at any time, as well as mine his ore for him…  with him getting the lions share of the reward from doing so.  They have managed to create housing that not only is interesting and functional… but that also still has deep social ties.

Thirty Minutes Too Late

WildstarAdventure_Scopique Throughout most of the weekend my friends and I had been missing each other online for the purpose of running the first Adventure.  We often had four within the right level range but not quite five.  I am prone to fits of walking away from the screen without warning, and at one point last night I did just this to cook dinner.  When I got back in they were about halfway through running the adventure without me.  This is no biggy, because I am sure I will get in on another run… but the worst part is I think I am the only one of us who is actually building fully tanky.  I feel sorry for Rae because she got drafted into tanking as a Stalker with no tanking gear and no experience using any of the tanking abilities for her class.  I stole the above photo from Scopique… and I am assuming at some point today he will have a rundown on his blog.

It sounded like they had a fairly rough time, but everyone soldiered through…  no pun intended.  I am curious if the engineer tricks will make it easier or not.  One of the things I am really digging is that the engineer has a lot of active mitigation.  There is this death and decay like mechanic that I drop called Unsteady Miasma.  Firstly it deals AOE damage to the group in a 5 meter circle, but the important thing is it gives up to five mobs a debuff called blunder.  When that procs it causes their chance to be deflected to increase by 28% at the current tier.  As a result this causes me to deflect a not insignificant number of their attacks once you factor in my own deflection bonuses.  This is the sort of thing that you want to keep up all of the time, and when I started doing so I noticed my ability to solo 3 man bosses increased massively.

WildStar64 2014-06-08 14-50-43-346 At this point I figure I am about halfway through Auroria, and roughly halfway to level 21.  My intermediate goal for the weekend was to hit 20, and I did so just barely.  One of the cool things about adventures is that if you are over the suggested level it mentors the party down.  This means at least to some extent the content stays evergreen.  I am doing a really poor job of following the quest chains, and as a result I have stuff scattered all over the map that is incomplete.  Deredune was pretty straight forward, but I was subjected to more than a few “whats over here” moments… and when I got to Auroria the gloves came off completely.  I have followed so many wild goose chases in search of ore or an explorer quest item.  I feel like I am doing a really poor job of progressing considering I am already starting to lag behind some of the guild members.  That said…  as busy as I was last week I didn’t really feel like I got to play much.

Wildstar Adventures

Tonight is going to be a busy night to say the least.  We will have to do the traditional mad dash around the house to gather up items and pack my wife for her trip.  So I am really not sure how much time I will really get to play.  However if I do manage to get a solid block of time before or after my walk… I want to run the first Adventure.  So this is my goal, I just have no clue at all if I will accomplish it.

#Wildstar #Housing

Crystal Madness

Permanent Exhaustion

Back in March my wife and I each purchased a fitbit, and since then it has rewired quite a few things in our daily routine.  Over the first few month we mostly focused on changing the way we walked, and picking up steps in places we could during our normal routine.  So instead of taking the elevator in the parking garage, I started walking the stairs… and have now changed that up to walking the ramps down for maximum steps.  In many ways the fitbit changes exercise into a game, and with it comes a whole slew of “achievements” being tracked by the fitbit dashboard.  While what it does is rather stupid…  it is just an always on pedometer, the fact that it is there and constantly reminding me that I need to be walking is where the real benefit comes in.

Over the last month we have been walking on a nightly basis, and within the last week and a half this has morphed not only into walking to augment our total steps… but to trying every night to “ding”.  My wife is not a gamer really, but she has picked up my MMO analogy when it comes to the fitbit.  For us dinging is getting to our target steps of 10,000 per night, and this is fitting since the little band goes nuts when you reach your target goal.  While trying to hit 10,000 is cool…  my new goal is trying to hit 70,000 weekly steps and getting the achievement associated with it.  Why do I care?  Well it has been looming there for months… and it was a thing I never thought I would actually be able to hit.

More than anything this whole experience has been a lesson in proving me wrong.  I’m fat, and I will likely always be fat.  At 6’4” I carry my 350 lbs more better than some… but I am still very much a fat man, and I am mostly okay with that.  More than anything I want to be a more “fit” fat and have more stamina and endurance… and I have already come so damned far already.  Granted right now I am somewhat living in a state of permanent exhaustion as I try and do this exercise thing each night and also do my evening gaming.  Right now we are walking a little over 2 miles per night, and doing what we call our “triple loop” where we weave a course through our neighborhood and the next one over.  The course is designed so it never takes us past our house, that way we are not tempted to call it and stop.  Right now I need to have walked between 6500 and 7000 steps to be able to hit 10-11k during my evening walk.  With it being a rainy and otherwise sedentary weekend… we might have to start walking a “quint loop”, but by god I will hit my 70,000 steps this week.

Crystal Madness

WildStar64 2014-06-06 06-04-48-273 I had all intents of streaming last night, but for whatever reason it never quite happened.  I spent a good deal of the evening running down the last few things I needed to do to complete Deredune, and what I was doing… while enjoyable for me seemed like it would be extremely boring to watch.  As the evening wore on, more people joined me in the channel… and I simply never alt tabbed to fire up OBS.  Wildstar is latching onto me with a vengence, and in ways I am surprised.  You can go through my pre-launch posts… and I struggled hard to figure out a way to get into this game.  I wanted so bad to like it, because at face value it seemed like a game I would love… or at the very least the me from five years ago would have loved.  Overall it intrigued me enough to play it at launch, especially since I would be bringing with me a chunk of the Alliance of Awesome community.

Now that I have spent a good deal of time playing it… I am completely enthralled.  The thing is I am not sure exactly why.  Guild Wars 2 is one of those games that I have tried to dissect just why I don’t enjoy it, and no matter what I try and do there… the game felt largely pointless.  Wildstar feels like it took so many of the good elements of GW2 but presented them in a way that I actually care about them.  Problem is I am not sure if I can explain why.  For starters there is something psychologically enjoyable about challenges.  You can be wandering around and loot an item… and then all the sudden you on the clock and every fiber of your being is poured into completely whatever this task happens to be.  Sure you can ignore them, and start them manually from the challenges section of your quest log…  however there is something special about just stumbling onto one naturally.

The game has a depth that I have not seen since Everquest 2, and that really shocked me.  There are layers within layers within layers of nuance going on here.  Right now it seems to have every feature that I ever wanted in a game.  While it doesn’t have a “chronomage” style self mentoring system, you can apparently drop your level down to your party members at any time.  In fact so many of the things in the game seem to be there to help you group with your friends.  The only real thing that the game fails at is in still continuing to divide players into red and blue teams.  That said I can for the most part deal with this, since they have account based friends and I can at the very least talk to my friends on the other side of the faction wall.  I have reached a point where I am pretty sure already that this is my new “WoW”, and had I not already purchased Warlords of Draenor… I would seriously consider skipping this expansion.

The picture above is pretty cool because it is from my skyplot.  One of the nifty things is that while you are out in the world, you are constantly collecting things for your house.  A special kind of item that you can find is a “PreFab Kit” and these allow you to build new sections of your skyplot.  While wandering around I managed to find a green quality one that essentially added a crazy jumping puzzle to my house.  So the fact that it is a jumping puzzle in itself is cool… but it basically added a daily quest to my house.  If you can make it to the top of the puzzle in 1 minute 10 seconds you can get a prize, which is similar to the prizes you normally get from challenges.  I’ve managed to pick up a handful of housing items from doing this, including a really cool spiral tree.  If you are on Evindra/Dominion let me know and I will neighbor you so you can have access to do the puzzle.

League Beginner Night

League of Legends 2014-06-05 22-00-53-703 I feel like maybe this week the title of our weekly League of Legends night might be a bit of a misnomer.  We had several folks, but not quite enough to do two matches at the same time.  So as a result we alternated swapping folks in and doing 5 man vs Bots games to let folks get adjusted to new champions.  Oakstout joins us this week and it turns out that while he signed up for a beginner night… he owns a whole slew of champions and has like 130 wins under his belt or something like that.  So I would hardly call him a beginner, in fact I am far more beginnerly than he was.  That said it was still an awesomely fun time and we hung out and joked while playing the game.  I played a total of three games, the first of which I tried out the champion Gangplank that was free this week.  I have to say I dig him quite a bit, and if he goes on sale again soonish I might pick him up.

The second round I played Aatrox, which I still absolutely love for his pure survival.  During this battle Oak was playing one of my all time favorite champions WuKong… but the combination meant we got to bully our lane severely.  Our double jumps meant we could engage quickly and shred the enemy bots quickly before returning to farming or taking down turrets.  I have decided though that I really need to pick up the Justicar Skin since I don’t really care much for Aatrox’s default appearance.  Finally I closed out the night by playing a game as Woad King Darius… which we have all agreed is the “most belghast skin ever”.  It was a great time, and if you are looking to ease your way into League of Legends, then I highly suggest you participate next week.  At some point I figure we will even start to play real people.

#Wildstar #LeagueOfLegends #LoL