All posts by Pike

Twas The Night Before Flying And All Through the Server…

…Pike was running around in maximum fervor
Because suddenly she remembered she wanted to fly
So best run around now so she can take to the sky

I’ve got another forty-ish treasures to nab and I’ve got to hit Revered with my last faction, which is Order of the Awakened.  That should happen either today or tomorrow, so I’m not terribly stressed about that bit.  But this treasure hunt, sheesh.  Don’t you think all this busywork was a bit much, Blizzard?

Are YOU ready for flying tomorrow?

[FFXIV] I got some sort of Kill Shot move and it’s awesome

I’m a huge sucker for execute-style moves in games.  You know, like Kill Shot, and whatever the Paladin one is called.  So anyways in FFXIV I definitely have one now and it is fan-friggin-tastic.

Two things I like about this game so far;

  • You can get food that will get you an EXP bonus as part of your well-fed bonus.  WTB this in World of Warcraft.
  • There are things called FATEs, which are basically outdoor activities that you can jump in and out of and that get you tons of bonus experience for killing things nonstop.  Actually, the fact that I can kill things nonstop is one of the things I like a lot about this game.  I’m just running around shooting things.

I only played a short session today because I got to the point where for the life of me I can’t figure out where some of the quests want me to go.  So after Running Around Shooting Things™ for quite some time, I decided to log out for the day.  I am a level eight archer on Day Two of my little excursion, so I think that’s pretty good.  I mean, I assume so.  I wouldn’t know, I guess!

So I Tried Out This Newfangled FFXIV Thing

My character has been REBORN!  (Ahaha.  Do you see what I did there?)

ffxiv_08272015_155311 (2)I have no real idea what I’m doing.  The first thing I really liked was character customization, which allowed me to make a deliciously handsome elven young man, and then I made him an archer because duh.

This is really huntery and I like it a lot.
This is really huntery and I like it a lot.

There was a lot of running around, a lot of “wow this is a huge world”, a lot of throwbacks and references that my inner child who has been playing Final Fantasy for two decades appreciated, and finally I got to kill some things when I was level 4 or 5 or so.  I think the game auto-loots things for you?  That’s pretty neat.

Eventually I got an eyepatch, so alt-universe Althalor can channel his inner Lor’themar.

ffxiv_08282015_123014 (2)I’m still not entirely 100% sure what I’m doing.  I got some sort of Serpent Sting type move (remember when Serpent Sting was a thing?) and I’m doing a lot of kiting.  It’s kind of fun.  You have a sprint button and that saves a lot of time.

Before you ask, I am playing on the “Coerul” server.  I had a LOT of different people from various places begging and wheedling me to play on their server, and because I felt bad turning anyone down in specific in favor of another group of friends, I finally opted to go the neutral route and turn EVERYONE down and roll on some server where I know no one!  Whoo!  I mean, I can always make alts on other servers later, right?

Okay, okay, I did it.

After getting a great deal of encouragement from both Twitter and commenters, and getting a final extra push from the fiance who finally bought me the dang thing:

rocket launcherFinal Fantasy XIV, the new MMO hotness.  It’s downloaded and installed.  I’ve yet to play it, so I don’t have any first impressions yet.  Look for those tomorrow, probably!

To those of you who have played it: what do you think?  Any tips for a newbie?

What’s Your Leveling Strategy?

Recently I’ve been rotating between playing three alts: a feral druid, a fire mage, and a ret pally.  They’re all pretty close in level, and two of the three are in Outland.  I’m kind of excited to be able to see all this content again that I haven’t seen since… uh… probably since I leveled my resto druid back in Wrath of the Lich King.

My leveling tactic with them is to alternate days, so that I play one of them every three days.  This lets them build up lots of rested time inbetween playtime, and that plus heirlooms is keeping things pretty quick.  Still, Hellfire Peninsula is just as much of a slog as I remember.  I’m looking forward to being able to split my three little lowbies across the various Outland zones (and Northrend zones) with as little overlap as possible, but unfortunately you gotta do the Hellfire slog on pretty much everyone.

How do you guys level?  Do you just burst through LFG or do you actually quest?  Or is it a mix?

Top Ten Reasons Why Lady Liadrin is My Favorite Woman in Warcraft

When people talk about the women of Warcraft, they tend to go with old standbys like Jaina or Sylvanas, or new favorites like Yrel.  But I rarely see Liadrin getting much attention from either Blizzard or the fanbase.  And that, my friends, is a crying shame, because she is freaking amazing.

Here’s why Lady Liadrin is my #1 fave:

(WARNING: Contains serious spoilers from the novella “Blood of the Highborne.”  If you haven’t read that yet, and want to be surprised when reading it, then hold off on reading this article!)

The Lady herself!

1. She survived the Scourge invasion of Quel’Thalas.

Reminder that 90% of the elven population died during this thing.  Not Liadrin, a priestess at the time, who spent her time valiantly working to keep her injured allies alive even as they all fell around her.  She did this almost right up until the very end, when some old friends teleported her to safety (against her will, I might add.)

2. She decided to get revenge.

Because if there’s anyone who doesn’t sit around, it’s Liadrin.  Concluding pretty much immediately that it was time to take action that was more decisive than just healing (she was angry at the Light for failing her people, anyway), she strolled on up to Lor’themar about five seconds after returning to Silvermoon, grabbed a nearby club, and said “I am sure one of your men can show me how to use this.”  Then she went directly to Quel’Danas to decapitate trolls and undead, without stopping to pass Go or collect $200.

3. If her people are at stake, then she wants results.  Now.  No matter what.

One day, Grand Magister Rommath and Magister Astalor Bloodsworn came up with a great idea: what if you could channel the Light through a weapon like paladins did, but by force?  They had a pet Naaru (gifted by Kael) to practice on, so they asked Liadrin if she wanted to try it out.

She said yes pretty much immediately.  Why?  Because the Ghostlands was under constant siege from the remnants of the Scourge, which were still running amok due to the meddling of one Dar’khan Drathir.  If channeling the Light through a Naaru was going to be their ticket to the safety of Quel’Thalas, you’d better believe Liadrin wasn’t going to turn it down.

4. She founded the Blood Knight Order and trained new Blood Knights just because she could.

Liadrin wanted the Blood Knights to be the best damn fighting force on Azeroth and, welp, if you want something done, you’d better do it yourself.

I don't actually know if this is Liadrin but it looks like her, so it works.
I don’t actually know if this is Liadrin but it looks like her, so it works.

5. All the Blood Knights looked up to her and respected her immensely…

…including Mehlar Dawnblade, who had previously been a paladin (of the Silver Hand) and had trained under Uther the Lightbringer him-fecking-self.  And he still answered to Liadrin because, like, you don’t NOT answer to Liadrin.  She is that good at what she does, and has that forceful of a personality.

6. She will never turn her back on a friend.

Unless that friend happens to be Dar’khan, in which case screw him for being the biggest traitor in the elves’ long and storied history.

…but that aside, one of Liadrin’s longtime friends was a fellow priest named Galell.  After the fall of the Sunwell his condition quickly deteriorated and before long he was giving in to his addictions and eventually became Wretched.  But Liadrin never gave up on trying to save him and was even there in his few last moments, right up until she was forced to kill him in self-defense.  After that she held his lifeless body and cried for hours, because she had failed him.

True.  Friendship.

Clockwise from top: Dar’khan (disgusting traitor!), Galell, Liadrin, and Lor’themar

7. She will change her opinion based on facts, without hesitation

One of my very favorite things about Liadrin is that if someone, or something, successfully changes her mind on something she doesn’t let pride get in the way of her opinion – she immediately adapts her position.

She turned away from the Light with no qualms when she felt it had failed her home.

She turned away from Kael’thas with no qualms when she realized what he was really doing.

She joined the Shattered Sun Offensive after talking to A’dal for like thirty seconds, and she even changes her tabard, in an in-game event, to reflect this.

Liadrin_OfficialAnd once the Sunwell was restored, she wholeheartedly opted to embrace the Light again.

Wishy washy?  Heck no, just damn intelligent.  Intelligent enough to know that sometimes things change, and you just gotta go with it.  As she has said frequently: “Times change.  People change.”

8. Basically if she decides she doesn’t like you, it’s game over for you

Liadrin has a really strong sense of justice.  You know why she’s in Warlords of Draenor?  Because “Liadrin is sickened by the depravity of the Iron Horde and aims to wipe them off the face of Draenor.”  Like, that’s her reason.  The Iron Horde is terrible and once Liadrin got wind of this she marched off to a distant world to feckin’ dispose of them herself.  This is what I love about Liadrin.  No nonsense, no messing around.

9. She wields Quel’Delar

Check it out:

Liadrin_ShattQuel’Delar, for the record, was the sword used by Thalorien Dawnseeker to make a last stand against Arthas on Quel’Danas.  Liadrin’s got it now because come on, is anyone else going to make better use of it?  (The answer is no.)

10. Liadrin and Yrel are totally girlfriends.

…okay, maybe not.  (But they so are.)

Guess where THYE'RE goin'?
Guess where THEY’RE goin’?

So yeah.  Long story short Liadrin is 100000% my favorite Warcraft lady.  She’s smart, she’s strong, she takes no BS from anyone or anything, and I’m REALLY EXCITED THAT SHE’S GOING TO BE IN THE PALADIN HALL IN LEGION, I’M SO GLAD THAT I’M LEVELING A PALADIN SDK578A;LFGKHAS;DG

Lady Liadrin! <3


(For more of Pike fangirling about elves, be sure to read Top Ten Reasons Why Lor’themar Theron is the Best Leader and Let’s Talk About Felo’melorn For Two Minutes.)

Good Games That Are Good: Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri

This is it.  This is my favorite game of all time.  And I say this when games like Morrowind exist.

Alpha_Centauri_coverSMAC does a lot of things right.  The hard science fiction setting, for example, which contains some of the richest concepts and most masterful writing since Asimov first graced us with his presence.  SMAC is also an updated version of Civilization II, which is already one of the greatest 4X games of all time, so throwing in a rich, unforgettable science fiction setting really just catapulted an already great game even higher on the list of great games.

But here’s how I fell in love with SMAC.

I fell in love with SMAC because one day I built something called a Planet Buster.  I had no idea what it did.  Some kind of nuke, it looked like.  So I shrugged and tossed it on the faction I was currently fighting.  I figured it would set her back a bit.

(It was Miriam, which should surprise exactly no one who has played this game before.)
(It was Miriam, which should surprise exactly no one who has played this game before.)

The next thing I knew the majority of her extensive base was gone.  Replaced by water.

Planet Busters, it turns out, are aptly named, because they destroy the planet.

Planet Busters are also a Big Deal and people get mad at you if you use them.

The Planet is not happy, either, for more than one reason.  Firstly because Planet Busters also cause global warming.  And secondly because Planet is sentient (Uh oh.)

So suddenly, just because of some off-handed decision, I was fighting off multiple factions, fighting off the the native life of the planet itself, desperately trying to keep my base afloat as the ocean slowly continued to rise, and ever reaching towards my end goal, which was to merge with Planet itself and become an immortal transhuman god.

All this, and brilliant technology quotes, too!

That’s when I realized that this was it. I was playing the greatest game that had ever been made, simply because I didn’t see how any other game could replicate what I was feeling. I was experiencing the greatest gaming experience I’d ever be able to have. It was perfection.

To this day I’ve yet to experience something in games that felt like that. No other game has been so tense, has wrapped me up in its story (an honest to god story in a 4X!) so tightly, as Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri. Maybe someday I’ll run across a game that can pull it off, and you know, that would be awesome.  But until then, it’s okay, because every time I play SMAC it enthralls me yet again.

And that’s true video game magic right there.

I94hB(You can, and should, buy SMAC on GOG.)

I think it might be about time to cruise control through WoW for a while

Well, Warlords of Draenor certainly kept my attention longer than any expansion has since Wrath of the Lich King, but because I’m not really raiding (due to my work schedule) and because I’ve almost gotten everything I want out of Tanaan dailies, it might be about time to scale back on this game for a bit.

I won’t be quitting – not yet, at least.  I mean, I have WoW tokens lasting at least through the next three months.  But I don’t really see myself doing anything particularly new and exciting in the near future.  That may change, of course.  But for now, I’m content with laying low until Legion comes out.

Meanwhile, there are other video games to play!  I’m considering looking into FFXIV.  Or I can just jump right back into my Steam backlog.  Since I’ve still got, you know, like 300 more games to go.