Saturday, August 29, 2015

Balancing My Lives

Blaugust Day 29
Blizzcon 2015

Something terrible and beautiful is about to happen.  I start school on Monday.

I have mixed feelings about this.  On the one hand, I enjoy having something to do that sort of stimulates my brain, and forces me to interact with others since I tend to be a homebody.  On the other, I have crippling social anxiety, car anxiety, and I don't do well under pressure, so... yay.  I need a therapist but it's hard to talk to people about my issues.

My academics suffered a lot last year.  I almost lost my financial aid because my grades weren't high enough.  This was a combination of performance anxiety, anxiety in general, skipping class a lot, and avoiding work to play video games.  It's going to be really important from here on in to do my school work before I play video games.

It's really hard for me to balance my life because of all my issues.  My mental state teeters from... semi-normal to completely unhinged.  I really do like school though.  I love making lists and goals and accomplishing things.  It's good for me to get out of the house and interact with people even though it makes me really nervous.

I've made the semester as easy on myself as I can.  I'm taking 4 classes.  I have Friday off, and I'll never be on campus more than a few hours the other days of the week.  Only 2 of my classes are on campus.  I love sitting in the library working on schoolwork, even though the library is loud.  It's a community college so the computer lab is like right in the middle of the library.  It drives me crazy.

Also the school has like... really fucking good food.  I'm not a picky eater at all so that helps.  AND I can get bottles of Mountain Dew at school for $1.50, while at a store they cost like 30 cents more.  What the fuck, consumer America?  What the fuck?  The school's chicken rice soup is the best soup you guys.  The best soup ever in the history of soup.  And the loaded potato.  Okay all the soup.

So I do have some things to be excited about.  I just have to be careful about balancing it all.  I'm sticking to a strict get all my work done before getting on the computer rule.  And no raiding Mondays or Wednesdays since I have an early class the day after.  I really want to succeed.  I think I'm the only one in my way.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Lethis - Path of Progress Review

Other Game Reviews:
Magical Diary
Call of Duty: Black Ops 3
Long Live the Queen
Fairy Bloom Freesia

Review Index Page

Blaugust Day 26
Blaugust 2015

A few weeks ago I picked up Lethis - The Path of Progress on Steam.  It's steampunk citybuilder, and it just sang to me.  I like steampunk.  I like citybuilders.  It was true love.  I have a lot of experience with citybuilders so I knew what to expect.  It's very similar to games like Pharaoh and Zeus.  It's a really good game and I enjoyed it very much, with a few caveats.

lethis path of progress game review city builder steampunk logo

1. The art

lethis path of progress game review city builder steampunk art

The visuals in this game are stunning.  The buildings themselves are pretty and they all have a unique feel to them.  It's easy to learn visually which building is which.  When you clock on the walkers, an anime-style drawing of the walker comes up, and those are very pretty.  The walkers themselves come in both genders, which I appreciated.You can zoom into the city and when you do nothing, becomes pixelated, just even clearer and more detailed.

2. The music

The music in this game is gorgeous.  It's like listening to a steampunk symphony, and I could listen to it all day. Unfortunately I can't because while the music is gorgeous, there's not much of it.  I'll get into that in the cons section.

lethis path of progress game review city builder steampunk

3. The maps

Every mission in this game had its own unique map.  I have to say the maps were all very well done and unique.  I loved starting a new mission and assessing the map.  They get really interesting toward the map, like the Devil's Paw map and the one where it's all large islands.  It really helps to plan out your city a little before you start.

4. The flavor text

This is a little thing, but I think it adds so much character.  When you click on a walker or a building or object a window comes up describing the object, and sometimes it's someone saying something clever.  Some of the flavor text is so cute, like when you click on the tax building it references the movie Taken.  It's fun to click on something new and see what the flavor text is.


1. Only a few songs**

While the music was gorgeous, there wasn't much of it.  If you play for an hour, you end up listening to the same three songs about 5 times.  I wish there had been more meat to the score because the music really was wonderful.

2. No trade in sandbox mode

This is weird for me.  It is very hard to generate an income without being able to export goods.  In sandbox mode, there is no trade.  It makes sandbox mode nearly impossible.  The devs have said that this is something they're working on.

3. No undo button

This is a weird little niggle, but there is no undo mode button.  It costs money to destroy a building or road, so the cost is double if you accidentally misplace a building.  You can't click undo and get your money back.  This really adds up, especially since there seems to be a bug where if you happen to have a road or building selected when you click on the world map, while you're clicking on the world map, that building will get placed in your city.  So when you leave the map, you have 5 breweries around your city that you didn't intend, and you have to pay to destroy them.  I think placing buildings should be disabled while in the map.

4. Shoddy translation

I think this game was originally in French, and it shows.  The translations are pretty awful in some parts, like they used Google translate instead of having a native speaker of English do the translation.  You get the gist of what they're saying, but it's very awkward wording.

5. Vague wording

In addition to the bad translating, the game can be a bit vague.  It tells you to do something but it won't say how.  A few times I had to consult Google for an answer to something and I don't think you have to do that for this type of game.  Also, a couple times I failed a mission and it didn't tell me why, which was very frustrating.

6. No combat

This isn't necessarily going to be a con for everyone, but it was for me.  What all the big citybuilders have is some sort of war and I missed the war.  I really just want to invade the other cities with my army of automatons and drop bombs from my hot air balloons.  I think they should include some sort of war or combat component, maybe in an expansion/DLC.  Steampunk war would be SO fun.

Overall I loved this game.  It was fun going through the missions and seeing what was going to happen next.  Unfortunately it has almost no replay value and I doubt I will play it much again since I've finished it unless they add trade to sandbox mode.  I do think that if you like steampunk, citybuilders, or both, definitely pick up this game.

This game get the faerie dragon seal of approval!

*images taken from Google because I was too wrapped up in the game to take screenies.

Edit 9/4/15
**  I was informed by the devs after I posted this review that the Lethis soundtrack does in fact contain 25 original songs.  I guess I didn't notice?   You can buy the soundtrack on iTunes and other places as well.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Gems of YouTube

Blaugust Day 25
Blaugust 2015

I am a big fan of YouTube.  I save up some videos in my watch later list and watch them on my PlayStation while I play games on my PC.  Here's a list of a few of my favorite YouTube channels.

1. SSSniperwolf
sssniperwolf lia alia shelesh youtube
I like this lady.  She's super funny, plays video games, AND she's smart.  I skip most of her videos because it's stuff I'm not all that interested in but every once in a while she posts a gem, and I like her Ask Wolf videos.

2. BellularGaming
bellular gaming youtube
This guy does a lot of videos on World of Warcraft.  They're a lot of theory videos and news videos.  I enjoy his commentary and he seems very intelligent.  And look, he's just adorable.

3. TradeChat
tradechat panser youtube danielle
Panser is like my girl crush.  She makes neat list videos, news videos, and she does videos with WoWhead.  She also has great hair.

4. Hazelnuttygames
hazelnuttygames youtube hazel
Hazel makes good pet battle videos and adorable vlogs.

5. Qelric
qelric youtube
I like watching Qelric's news, raid videos, and vlogs.  I just ignore the fact that she's a dirty Alliance.

6. Veroicone
veroicone youtube
Vero used to make WoW videos but not so much anymore.  Maybe when Legion comes out she'll pick it up again.  I like her other gaming videos, and her vlogs.

7. Melonie Mac
melonic mac youtube
Melonie has such a bubbly and effervescent personality that it's hard not to be happy when you watch her videos.  I enjoy her gaming videos, and her vlogs.  She doesn't make so many videos anymore because she has other projects going on, and I'm very happy for her that her channel has opened so many doors.

8. albinwonderland
albinwonderland youtube angelinalb
ALB makes a lot of cute videos.  I like her vlogs, and she makes videos that make you really think about things that are happening.  She's very thoughtful.

9. Aureylian
aureylian youtube erin twitch
Aurey makes good gameplay vids and cute vlogs.  She's very bubbly and watching her makes me happy.

10. ciaoobelllaxo
ciaoobellaxo youtube meg megleigh
This isn't a game channel.  This girl makes beauty videos.  I enjoy her video and her vlogs.  She has great style and I like seeing what she wears.

Obviously I prefer watching channels helmed by ladies.  Anyone recommend any good channels for me?

*All images lifted from Google. I don't own any of them.

Monday, August 24, 2015

A Raiding Primer

Blaugust Day 24
Blaugust 2015

With the advent of LFR and the group finder, it's easy to jump into a raid these days.  People who might not have otherwise seen that part of World of Warcraft's content now have the opportunity to experience what raiders experience.  But just because it's easier and more accessible, that doesn't mean anyone should jump into any raid unprepared or expect anyone to carry you.  Raiding, whether hardcore or LFR, is a team effort, and everyone needs to pull their weight.  I have some tips for raiders, whether beginning or into heroics (mythic raiders probably don't need my help XD).

1. Do your research.

Make sure you know what to expect in the fights you're about to do.  Watch a video, read the description, or for the love of Illidan, read the dungeon journal.  Preferably a combination of these three.  You don't want to be the one in the raid failing to mechanics.  There are plenty of guide videos for all difficulties on YouTube and some very good sites with detailed descriptions of boss fights.  Google is your friend.

2. Come prepared

One thing my guild frowns upon is expecting other people to provide your consumables for you.  They are not that expensive and it sucks to be called out by addon saying you don't have the best stat food.  Believe me.  I've been there.  Bring the correct potions, flasks, runes, and food for your class and spec.  They really do help.  Don't be THAT guy.

3. Have required addons

Some guild have required addons for raiding.  This usually requires a meter (like DBM or BigWigs), a meter (like Recount or Skada), and sometimes some sort of boss-specific addon like Iskar Assist.  If you're not sure what your guild requires, ask!  Also please at least make sure you have DBM if you're doing LFR.

4. Listen

If you're doing an LFR and someone types something out that is relevant to the fight, listen to them.  Don't ignore it because it's LFR.  Some people want to succeed.  If you're in a guild raid with a voice chat, listen to the raid leads and do what you're told.  If you have a new idea for a strategy, I'd whisper the leader about it or ask permission to suggest it, just to be polite.  Keep Vent clear for important callouts.  Don't be chattering about stupid things.  Keep typing chat to a minimum too so your guild knows you're serious.

5. Learn

It's important as a raider to be able to learn from your mistakes.  Use the recap button to learn how you died, and don't die from it again.  Learn how to upload and analyze logs.  Keep an eye on your meter of choice to see how you're standing in terms of numbers.  Numbers aren't everything, but they DO matter.

I hope that with the new accessibility of raiding, that we get fresh new blood into the raiding scene.  But don't jump into it willy nilly.  Make sure it's something you can commit to.  There's going to be other people counting on you.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Pet Addons

Blaugust Day 20

Blaugust 2015

Pet battling is one of my favorite things in World of Warcraft.  I have over 600 pets and it is one of my goals to get as many of them as I can to level 25 before Legion comes out.  Speaking of pre-Legion goals, I made progress on one of them.  I got my shaman to level 100 via dungeons, so next I will work either on my mistweaver or holy paladin.  I want to wait to do my warlock until flying comes out so travel is a bit faster.

Anyways, back to pet battling.  The default pet battling interface is not that good.  Therefore I use some addons to enhance it and make it more user-friendly.  The following are my favorite pet battling/collecting addons:

1. Daily Global Check - Pet Tamers

world of warcraft addon daily global check pet tamers

 Lists the pet tamers you haven't yet done in a handy way by listing them as complete or incomplete.

2. Pet Journal Enhanced

world of warcraft addon pet journal enhanced

This addon adds many features for sorting through the pets in the pet journal.  You can sort by rarity, level, attack type, pet type, wheteher it can or can't battle, etc etc.  I find this addon is great for developing strategies for defeating new pets.

3. PetMarket

world of warcraft addon petmarket

This addon makes it way easier to identify pets on the Auction House that you don't have.  It scans the AH and shows only the pets you don't already have.  If you have TradeskillMaster, make sure you disbale that before scanning because they don't work together very well.

4. PetTracker

world of warcraft addon pettracker

The holy grail of pet addons.  This adds SO much battling functionality.  It adds icon on the world map of all the pets in the zone, which can be narrowed down by what isn't rare or just what you don't have.  It also displays the enemy pet's abilities and cooldown when you're battling, which makes it so much easier to strategize.  It alerts to to upgrades when you're fighting wild pets, so you know which ones to tame.  Lastly, it displays a journal in the collections tab that shows every enemy tamer and their teams.

5. Rematch

world of warcraft addon rematch pet battle

One of my favorite addons.  This allows you to save a team for a particular tamer and their abilities so all you have to do is target the tamer and the pets will switch in.  You can also assign a slot just for leveling pets.

6. Pet Farm Helper

This addon helps if you have a smaller collection with some pets you need to farm.  My collection just has holiday pets and pets from achievements so I don't have to farm pets anymore, but this can come in really handy for someone who does so you can easily see which pets will be easiest to farm.

Those are my pet addons.  Do you have any pet-related addons you absolutely have to have?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Some Favorite Gaming Blogs

Blaugust Day 19

Blaugust 2015

I was a blog reader before I ever wrote a blog post of my own.  It's so interesting to get into someone's head and see how they perceive things.  Here's a list of some of my favorite gaming blogs.

1. Alternative Chat

This lady is a voice of reason in a sea of shit.  The World of Warcraft community can get very rowdy, where people are trying to shout over each other and put each other down.  I love how this blog puts it all into perspective with some tongue-in-cheek wisdom.  And awesome fucking pictures.

2. Blizzard Watch

Of course this is on the list.  Blizzard Watch is a blog/news site with many contributors.  I really enjoy reading all the different perspectives and seeing news.  Their podcast is also really good.

3. Cannot Be Tamed

This blog originally started as a World of Warcraft specific blog, precisely resto druids.  It's not a more general gaming feminist blog, but it's still JUST as good.  Also, the woman who writes it is practically Katniss.

4. Kamalia et alia

I just really love this chick's transmogs!  She is so creative and it's like she has every piece of gear filed in her brain and she automatically knows what will go with what?  IS SHE A TRANSMOG ROBOT?!  And I like her little updates that she does.  It's like catching up with a friend.

I love finding new blogs to read because I'm really picky about what I choose to read and watch, so when I find one I like it's like finding a unicorn.  If you write a blog or have any recommendations tell me so I can check it out.

Cross-Game Integration

Blaugust Day 18

Blaugust 2015

Blizzard has a shit ton of titles.  There's Diablo, Overwatch, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, Starcraft, and of course World of Warcraft.  It seems like, more and more, Blizzard are interconnecting these titles.  I'm not sure if that's really a good thing.

Of course, there ARE people who are more than happy to play these titles and like the integration between the games.  I'm just not one of them.  I don't like that, if I want a certain mount, I have to play Hearthstone.  I don't like that I have to buy a collector's edition of a game I don't even play and have no desire to play in order to get a pet.  It hurts me because I love mounts and pets, you guys.  Of course the obvious solution is to not play if I don't want to and don't buy it if I don't want to, and I'm not.  But that doesn't mean I can't complain about it a little!

I think there's also a bit of a gate to new players.  The only Blizzard title I play is World of Warcraft, so if I look at a Hearthstone card or see a WoW character in HotS, I'm going to know where it's from.  But what about people who are coming from no knowledge of Blizzard games? They won't get the references or know the significance of certain characters.  It's a LOT of lore to learn, and sometimes you feel like you have to in order to not sound stupid or to really understand the game.

I wish there was a way to obtain mounts and pets without doing things in other games, but shit I gotta give Blizzard credit where it's due.  Some people will pick up a game they weren't interested in, and maybe they'll like it. Who knows?  Their marketing team definitely deserves a gold star.

Legendary Quest Progress

Blaugust Day 17

Blaugust 2015

The Legendary Quest chain is a long and arduous process. I still like this one better though because I don't have to PVP.  I am NOT a PVPer.  I've decided that the best way to do it without losing my mind and burning out is to have my toons on one step at a time.

1. My main toon, as resto druid, is on the last part, the tomes.  She has her 715 and is very much looking forward to the next upgrade.  As of this writing, I have 8 tomes.  I'm a litttttle behind but not too bad.

2. My next highest toon is my mage, currently working on collecting the Elemental Tablets.

3. The hunter is currently collecting Alligator Stones from the ogres of Highmaul.

After the mage and hunter get on to the next phase, I'll get my second druid onto collecting Alligator Stones.  I think this is the best way for me to do it because I do not have the patience to run Highmaul 8 more times a week.  Keeping one character on each phase is a good way for me to do this without going crazy.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

My Favorite Pets for Battling

Blaugust Day 16

Blaugust 2015

Pet battling is one of my loves in WoW. I have in the realm of 680 pets and I love every one of them.  BUT some of them are my go-to powerhouses for battling.  I'll tell you which ones!  This roster makes a good group of pets for a beginner battler, because they are very versatile.

world of warcraft best battle pets lil' tarecgosa

I love Lil' Tarecgosa.  My first main was a mage so as a mage I love and identify with this pet.  It's sort of my mage's 'mascot', if you will.  She's also a great battler.  If you're leveling pets in Vale of Eternal Blossoms, this pet is part of the holy trinity, with Ashwing Moth and some sort of Strider.  They can take care of anything in the Vale together.

world of warcraft best battle pets sprite darter hatchling

Yeah, my Sprite Darter is only level 1. I've never battled with her.  But she's my holy grail pet that I love the most. She's my avatar icon!

world of warcraft best battle pets ashwing moth

My Ashwing Moth is very powerful and fast.  She has the handy Cocoon that you can use when you know the enemy is about to use a nuke, and has a nuke of its own in the form of Moth Dust.  Part of the Holy Leveling Trinity.

world of warcraft best battle pets anubisath idol

The Anubisath Idol is widely hailed as the best pet battling pet int he game, and it arguably is.  Sandstorm is a great ability when fighting difficult enemies.  It has a shield ability which mitigates damage, in addition to being a Humanoid and regaining health every turn.  You can dodge nukes with your shield.  It's very possibly to come out of a battle with more health than you went in with.

world of warcraft best battle pets fossilized hatchling

This guy is such a cutie, right? You have your AoE, Death and Decay, along with Bonestorm.  This pet is god if you're fighting Lorewalker Cho in the Celestial Tournament.  Plus it has a very handy heal, and you can always get off one more attack when you come back to life.

world of warcraft best battle pets infinite whelpling

Infinite Whelpling has good situational use.   The heal makes it a good pet for long-term fights, and Darkflame makes it harder for the opposition to heal itself.

world of warcraft best battle pets legs

Legs is cute, or as an alternative you could use the Coilfang Stalker.  They have the same ability set.  The combination of magic and water attacks comes in handy.  A Whirlpool and a good Pump will take out most enemies.

world of warcraft best battle pets lil' bad wolf

This guy comes in very handle.  Mangle is a good DoT, and Pounce is handy if you're quicker than the enemy.  Howl plus Claw is a super nuke, and you can dodge the nukes from your enemy.  Ocerall almost as useful as the Anubisath Idol.

world of warcraft best battle pets lil' bling

Lil' Bling is so useful that I keep two of them, which is why they have names, Ringaling and Dingaling.  Make It Rain plus Inflation is DEATH for beast pets.  Plus isn't SMACKTHAT.EXE the best attack ever?

world of warcraft best battle pets magical crawdad

You can also use maybe some sort of crab, though it'll be harder.  This guy is super handy for his shield and his heal.  You can use surge if you want to go first every time and your enemy is faster, but Snap does more damage.

world of warcraft best battle pets mechanical pandaren hatchling

This guy has some good situation use, like fighting the Pandaren Earth Spirit.  Breath is a dragonkin attack which is handy coming from a Mechanical type.  Bombing Run is a great nuke and Decoy is great, especially if your pet is faster.

world of warcraft best battle pets pandaren fire spirit

Awwww, isn't he cute?  You could also use a Cinder Kitten or Fel Flame.  Immolate plus Conflagrate is great for fighting mechanicals. Cauterize is a good heal but you sacrifice your nuke.

world of warcraft best battle pets skywisp moth

I chose this guy just for his Call Lightning.  It's great for adding damage, especially if you're fighting a beast.  It's great for the Celestial Tournament.  The Cocoon Strike is good for avoiding nukes if you time it right.

world of warcraft best battle pets widow spiderling

Any spider fits, really, especially if it's fast.  Brittle Webbing plus Leech Life is good for long-term survival and whittling down your enemies.  Bonus if you can fit in a Spiderling Swarm while Brittle Webbing is up.

world of warcraft best battle pets alpine hare

You could use just about any rabbit, they're all pretty fast.  Rabbit are great pets that don't get enough utilization.  Flurry is actually a decent attack.  You essentially have two dodges, one from Dodge and one from Burrow.  If you time it right you can go a whole fight without taking any damage.  A fast rabbit pet is essential for the Pandaren Earth Spirit.

What are your holy grail pets?

What I Had To Have

Blaugust Day 15

Blaugust 2015

Speaking of mounts, it got me thinking about when I started my World of Warcraft mount journey.  I was a wee little blood elf, doing wee little blood elf things, when I saw it.  I saw a dragonhawk.  With someone riding it.  My first thought was 'Holy shit that's beautiful'.  I knew then that I needed to have one.
world of warcraft sunreaver dragonhawk mount

However many months later, I got my wish.  I got the Sunreaver Dragonhawk from the Argent Tournament.  I rode that thing proudly for such a long time.

I've had a few things like that, where I saw it and it just spoke to me.  Most of them were mounts, with a couple pets.

I saw hunters running around with this cool purple spider, Deth'tilac.  That was the next thing I knew I had to have.  Purple is my favorite color and it was beautiful and fiery and purple.  When my hunter got to level to do the Molten Front area, I first hunted down this girl and tamed her.

world of warcraft deth'tilac hunter pet molten front

Speaking of purple, let's talk about the Corrupted Firehawk.  It's purple.  And on fire.  I saw it, and boom. It was saying, "You need me. You need me. Yes you do."  So I got it.

world of warcraft corrupted firehawk mount

Nuramoc is a really gorgeous hunter pet from Netherstorm.  I saw someone with it and knew that I wanted it.  I went around spamming my scan macro and eventually nabbed this guy before someone killed him.

world of warcraft nuramoc hunter pet

Blizzard leaked the Enchanted Fey Dragon mount wayyyy before it was released.  Or someone datamined it. Whichever.  I thought it was the most gorgeous thing.  It changes color and it has cool steampunk goggles.  It's a fairy.  It's a dragon.  It perfect.

world of warcraft enchanted fey dragon mount

My last item is a companion pet.  I saw these cute little fairies running around in places like Feralas while I was leveling as a baby belf.  I thought they were SO cute.  So I bought one.

world of warcraft sprite darter hatchling pet

Have you ever saw something you NEEDED to have?