It was a good weekend, if not a very rainy one as a whole. This made for an extremely humid evening last night for fireworks and festivities. Our plans largely backfired because in the past we have been able to see the fireworks from the comfort of our back yard. This time around however they apparently switched locations, and the bulk of the fireworks were hidden behind a stand of trees. All of that aside however the highlight of my weekend was the little guy that I am feeding above. Now to clear up some confusion… we did not adopt him but did however drive like an hour and some change to go up and see him. My Mother-In-Law found this little guy abandoned, but I am a bit fuzzy on the details. All I know is zero sign of mother and probably about a week old when she found him. She has been nursing him with a bottle as pictured, and at this point we think he is somewhere between two and three weeks old. Completely sweetheart who seemed to really like my beard. He would curl up under it and start kneading the underside of my chin. My wife took lots of pictures of me feeding him… as to why it ended up with me feeding him that is anyones guess. He seemed to take the bottle better from me, and growing up we had barn kitties… who sometimes were not that keen on being a proper momma. So I remember occasionally having to nurse a litter by hand so I guess that muscle memory just kicked in. We have no plans to adopt this little guy because he seems to be in just fine hands already. Though I will admit… it was hard not to try and take him home with us.
I spent a good deal of my weekend playing ArcheAge and as of last night I am level forty five. This means that for the last two zones I have been leveling exclusively in the mixed faction regions that are more or less open PVP. This was a huge point of anxiety around launch that ultimately I could not hit the level cap without venturing out into zones where folks could gank me. As it turns out… everyone seems to have something better to do with their time. I’ve spent many an hour out in the mixed zones and while I have seen a ton of “red” players not a single one has bothered me. Granted that might be simply because I am higher level than they were, or it might also be that they are focused on more important things. So essentially I have leveled the same as I did before, and enjoyed questing… with just the slightest awareness in the back of my head that I am not entirely safe. Largely I just shifted to a point of view where if I am going to go afk… I go find a Nui shrine to do so near because of the peace aura surrounding them. As far as leveling goes… I am slightly ahead of the curve more than likely thanks to the Patron buffs. I am largely ignoring crafting and spending a meager pittance of labor points on opening lootbags and gear, which has kept me outfitted and is a shocking amount of experience. I tend to let the bags collect while I am working on a quest hub, and then before moving to the next open them all and stash the crafting materials in the warehouse before moving on. I had honestly wondered if I would hit a wall when I moved into the open pvp zones, but so far the game is just as fun as it was beforehand and I am moving along smoothly.
Another game that I have been poking around in is Riders of Icarus after talking about it over the week with the AggroChat crew. The character on the right is my Beserker, and the character on the left is Tamrielo’s rogue of some sort. It is shocking how when left to our own devices… we end up creating pretty similar looking characters. In both cases we even purposefully decided to go with a hairstyle that is unlike what we normally choose… yet we still seemed to have chosen the exact same alternate appearance. The game as a whole is doing some interesting things, with the central feature that makes it special being that you can go around taming mounts and combat pets. Unfortunately unlike ArcheAge you cannot have both a mount and a combat pet at the same time… or at least I couldn’t figure out how to make that work. There are certain aspects of the game that remind me of a whole slew of other games, but more than anything they seem to be focused on the player fantasy of mounted combat… namely mounted aerial combat with a crossbow or lance. This so far is the least enjoyable part of the game for me, because well… so far I suck horribly fighting in the air because it feels like I lose all situational awareness and often back into another mob while dancing around the one I am currently fighting.
Last night I managed to get to some sort of a proper dungeon and was pleased to see that you could complete it in a solo fashion, or with a full group. The feel of the zone is extremely similar to Ragefire Chasm in World of Warcraft, but nonetheless fun and interesting. I am wondering if on higher difficulties you have more than the single boss at the end of the cavern which is the golem pictured above. I’ve played this game quite a bit and I am still not sure if I like it or not. I think I might need to play the Guardian tank class a bit to see if that is maybe more my speed, because generally speaking I enjoy playing dps… but my heart is never really in it. The game can be set up to run in a traditional action bar combat method or through left/right mouse button action combat style. What I find personally works best is a bit of a hybrid between the two… namely setting the game into Action Mode but also using hotbar combat. The biggest challenge for me right now is the fact that all of my attacks are fairly slow… and animation locked so dodging and avoiding attacks becomes a challenge. I am enjoying the game enough to keep playing, but just not sure if it is different enough from the other games I am playing to keep my attention for the long haul. If you are out there playing Riders of Icarus feel free to throw Belghast a friend invite.
As for Rift I am stuck in a bit of a holding pattern for the moment. Each night I focus largely on completing all of the daily crafting quests for the various purple, blue and green currencies. However I guess I have reached a point where I should probably venture into the world for real. Over the weekend I managed to cap both the purple and blue currencies, and even though I spent them down a bit… that tells me that maybe I have focused too intently on this one aspect of the game. I’ve been making almost nightly trips out into Goboro Reef… that I found out from Captain Cursor I have been calling by the wrong name all of this time. The zone was one that I did not really like a first, but for Karthite and Sarleaf farming I find it extremely relaxing. At some point I need to just break the pattern and focus on pushing my way further into the Planetouched Wilds. Either that or start up with the running of experts again, because I am still far from ideally geared. However I am not sure if Experts or Intrepid Adventures are the better option at the moment. I am really looking forward to the change to the Warlord soul that is up on the PTS, because I have always enjoyed playing it… at least significantly more so than the Paragon soul that I am currently using. I always liked the rhythm of landing Piercing Thrust after a combo point dump attack. It feels good to see a single attack deal that sort of damage, and supposedly the PTS changes restore the soul to general viability, which I am absolutely looking forward to.