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Tamriel unhindered.

It’s been a while since I picked up the proverbial pen and wrote something about the games I’m playing. Well, it’s not that I haven’t been playing, on the contrary, I’ve been playing quite a few. Switching between single player RPGs to MMOs. I have played and still have to finish The Wither 3 and Fallout 4, the ongoing saga of Star Wars: The Old Republic and now back to the Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited. What can I say, I love them all. I want to play them all. The only one I have managed to complete is Dragon Age: Inquisition – but I’m not complaining….it’s like having books, the more I have the happier I feel. Weird!

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I jumped back into ESOTU because a friend and fellow blogger, De la Burro mentioned it in one of his posts. I had previously been a beta play and at the time I had come from playing Skyrim – and it was a bad move. Skyrim was still chugging along through my system and it just clashed with ESOTU. I found it frustrating and I couldn’t immerse myself in the world of Tamriel with so many players running around. They were invading my world of intense dungeon crawling, not to mention the hidden chests that I couldn’t open. My lockpicks kept on breaking, time was running out! That’s it! Enough! I threw down the gauntlet!

Well, a couple of weeks ago I went back and it felt so different – no comparing with Skyrim any more and those players running around in my Tamriel – no problem! I am loving it. For some unaccountable reason I can pick locks now without breaking a pick. How did that happen! My character feels so much better second time around, even the crafting feels different and am earning quite a bit of shinies doing crafting writs. I don’t know if it’s down to the changes to the game or me and the way I’m playing it. Whatever the reason, it’s working.

It is such a beautiful game and I love the day/night cycle and the dynamic weather. Exploring and coming upon a unmarked quest or hidden treasure is the ultimate for me and now with The Thieves Guild DLC I’m becoming quite rich! Suddenly my Bosmer (wood elf) is quite the thief! Combat is fun, switching from bow to dual daggers on the fly comes in very handy when those pesky bandits get too close. Though I do have to remember to dodge and roll AND I finally got my sweet ride – a cute piebald destrier. There is nothing like it! Cantering through the spectacular landscape of Tamriel – let’s go for the full immersion!

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Trusty friend.

…..and I have to admit searching for crafting nodes is alot of fun (can’t believe I’m actually writing that), picking flowers and looking for mushrooms is the bomb – then running off to create my alchemical concoctions is quite exciting. Now with the Dark Brotherhood DLC coming out May 31st I’ll be able to create posions. So now my Bosmer will not only be a thief, but how about dual wielding assassin! Yep, we’re going to rock this!

I have no idea how all this happened. I never thought I’d be back in Tamriel, but once you’re hooked to the elder scrolls lore, you’ll always be hooked and you’ll always end up reading every book you find……now all I need now is a library to put them in!

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Back into the Fray!

Eventually it had to happen, though sooner than I thought. Tyria hasn’t changed, but the game machines – it’s almost like playing a new game and that in itself was way beyond fun! Wanting to relive that first moment is always a gamers dream and playing GW2 after such a long hiatus (I’m sure it’s been over a year now) was just that – I was playing a new game.

All it takes is some flowers!

All it takes is some flowers!

So many features have changed. Not only have the skills and traits been reorganized, but the Hero panel has been reshuffled with costumes, dyes, and miniature added to the mix. The bank has an extra icon, one that looks like a wardrobe containing all the armour/weapon skins you’ve unlocked and, you know what, I quite like them. The process of hitting a new level has also changed. When you level up you receive rewards, but you are also told what rewards to expect from future levels and that, I think is quite neat – knowing what to expect. Heart quests are completed out in the field which I think is good, less running back and forth to return the quests which means more time spent exploring. New icons have been added to the mini-map. You see a little flashing icon if you’re close to an undiscovered area, namely those that don’t show up on the map and icons of chests when you’re close to hidden treasure, like the chest at the end of a jumping puzzle. Jumping puzzles!! Well, those have remained the same – frustrating as ever. I always stop breathing when I do those, letting out a little yelp after having made a precariously terrifying leap to a ledge which seems miles away. Talk about stress levels reaching a high! I noticed there was also another icon depicting a little man doing a roll. You go to the spot and you learn how to dodge. I guess that’s probably something you’ll only find in a starting area and I’m still in Caledon Forest. I created a Sylvari Ranger. Eventually I’ll go back to my main, Selir (Norn Ranger) and get her all sorted, but for now I’m hitting a new learning curve and I quite like it.

The Grand Plaza

The Grand Plaza

Tyria is still as beautiful as ever and since I’ve upgraded from a series 9 graphics card to a GTX 770 and a new 27” HD monitor the world is a tremendously colourful place and I love having beautiful graphics. Lion’s Arch is way beyond amazing! I ran around like a girl in a gadget store wanting to buy every technological marvel. The beautiful city is the same size as it was, but it feels so huge. I lost my way quite a few times. The Grand Plaza is crazy-huge and the Mystic Forge – magical. I jumped in and changed into a sparkly alien-like creature. Now that would be a neat costume to wear!

Magical sparkly alien

Magical sparkly alien

So many beautiful buildings and remnants of the battle Lion’s Arch went through. So much history. So much lore. I guess that’s why I loved GW in the first place. I was worried that the majestic lion had disappeared. I mean you can’t have Lion’s Arch without a lion, but I found him, still majestic but not as golden, standing guard over the Fractals gateway and all the other gateways. I was happy.

New Lion!

New Lion!

……and GW2 hasn’t backed down on the unexpected either. So there I was with my pet Tigger, wondering the streets of Lion’s Arch and I come across a Norn and a dog called Tommy’s Dog. I walked up close and the “Charm” indicator comes up on my UI and I say “Oooh a new pet” and I charm him……and the Norn begins to cry…..and I realize what I did and I feel so bad. I unintentionally took his pet and I really felt bad. I mean how often do you get that in a game? – you end up feeling bad for an NPC. So, anyway, as you do in GW2 you wait around to see what’s going to happen next. Sure enough another dog comes along, falls in love with Tommy and becomes his pet and Tommy laughs about it, happy that he’s not alone any more. GW2 never disappoints!

Don't cry Tommy, doggy's back!

Don’t cry Tommy, doggy’s back!

…..and as GW2 never disappoints neither do the players who run around in Tyria. Thanks to an amazing blogger and friend, HeadBurro Antfarm, I joined his guild and met some really nice players…..and he was right! When you adventure in Tyria with a group of people it is a whole new experience and a fun one at that – jumping puzzles especially! I think I’m going to be spending more time than I had anticipated. Tyria is feeling like home again.

……and I might finally get to kill Zhaitan!

The adventure begins!

The adventure begins!

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The Single-Player Bandwagon

Logging in after such a long period is quite refreshing. It’s taken me quite a while to pick up the pen (metaphorically) and begin writing again. Though, come to think of it “picking up the pen” is not really a metaphor to me as that is what I actually do – first pen and paper, then keyboard. I’m quite a traditionalist in today’s age of tablets and smartphones. There’s something about picking up a pen and jotting down stuff that seems to stimulate those grey cells and what are those grey cells thinking of at the moment – the games I played since I last blogged anything down.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t really want to play MMOs any more with the exception of Star Wars: The Old Republic. In actual fact, I’ve always been a solo player. Throughout my MMO gaming life-span I’ve never really played with anybody. I guess I’m not much of a talker when I’m playing games. I’m not really interested in talking in games at all. I just want to lose myself in the world I’m in, be concerned with the fate of the characters. I don’t want to grind and read endless chat of things going up for sale (a common issue with Elder Scrolls Online). Some may say, “but you can immerse yourself in MMOs”, may be……sometimes…….well not really with people running in the same space as you are. I tried doing that in Elder Scrolls Online, but it just didn’t work, which is a shame considering the lore. However, the MMO I will always keep returning to – my go-to MMO as it where – is SWTOR. I just love that universe. I love lightsabers……and the force…..and who wouldn’t want to be a lightning-storm-wielding Sith Lord.

Lord Vel'era.

Lord Vel’era. “Peace is a lie, there is only passion”

There are many gamers who say the game is a flop, but I honestly don’t care. I don’t care about endgame, I don’t care about PvP (payer vs player). I care about the story and the characters. I suppose this is one factor that drove me away from MMOs into the loving arms of single player RPGs (role playing games).

So what have I been playing? Well, my first rule of thumb, if it has dragons then it’s awesome! That’s why I found myself playing Skyrim. I got into it in 2013, 2 years after its first release. I had forgotten all about it’s amazing launch trailer and the stunning soundtrack, but luckily it came up in my YouTube list of things to watch, coupled that with YouTuber Gopher’s Let’s Plays and I was well and truly hooked. I got the MMO feel without having to play an MMO. Character creation, open world, crafting, story, combat, no grind and no chat, plus my own housing and horse which didn’t cost an arm and a leg. As I bought the Legendary edition of the game I got all the DLCs (downloadable content), and transforming into a werewolf or vampire and being a Dragonborn was just the bomb. Obviously I ended up buying the enormous game guide, so I was set……534 hours into the game and I haven’t finished it yet!

Then one day my brother sends me a text message that there was a game up for sale on Steam that I might actually enjoy. I laughed when he texted me the name, Dragon Age: Origins. No way! Come on! I fell in love! I fell in love with the story, the characters……..I fell in love with Alistair!

Alistair, just being a Grey Warden

Alistair, just being a Grey Warden

Though my character hasn’t romanced him yet. I guess I’ll have to go back and play again! Naturally, I read up on it as I did with the Elder Scrolls and obviously I had to get the second installment and Dragon Age: Inquisiton was a no brainer. My word, what a game and playing it on a new machine running a GTX 770 was spectacular. Keep in mind so far I had been playing all games on a GT 9600 so you can picture the scene as I dived into Inquisition. So beautiful! So beyond anything I had seen before. Metal objects shone in the sunlight, Godrays filtered through the trees and the story…….OMG.

Look up. Perfect!

Look up. Perfect!

There was one particular scene (the characters’ journey to Skyhold)  which just blew me out of the water and had me shed a tear or two. It was like being in a movie and I got so involved with what was going on, not to mention the characters …….oh Cullen, my love!

A hero in arms!

A hero in arms!

I’m on my 2nd playthrough. I still have to play The Jaws of Hakkon, the first DLC. I’m a slow player and anyway in the meantime I jumped into Mass Effect. I came late to the franchise.

Oh my! So many games to catch up with; Fallout: New Vegas, The Witcher franchise, Dishonored. I have quite the list. I’m not going to run out of games to play anytime soon!

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Stress on the Dance floor!

The stress test (21/08/2010) is over and I thought I’d be very organized, go in and prepare my character for Saturday’s launch. Yeah! Right! Well, that didn’t happen.

On first logging in I met my guildies beneath the Golden Lion in Lion’s Arch, standing on the world……and what did we check out?! Oh Yeah! The one emote that I have been waiting for……/dance! I mean, oh, what utter fun. I mean really! Just stupid, silly fun! It’s amazing how such a tiny thing could have us giggling like little kids, especially when watching those – in my opinion – adorable asura doing their thing! This is one emote that I’m going to be using on a regular basis. One of our guild leaders managed to record the event. That is one item to slip into the guild journal!

Then it was kick butt in WvWvW!…….and I was supposed to be creating my new persona, but can you honestly refuse such an enticing and fun-packed outing? Not when you’re going to be running around with the Knights of the Isle!…..and by the end of it I was exhausted. It’s a tiring job conquering the world!

Knights of the Isle Rock n’ Roll!

This time around the stress test wasn’t so stressful. It didn’t take me forever to log in, though I did crash once or twice and logging into areas such as Lion’s Arch did take a bit longer than usual. The Black Lion Trading Post wasn’t working for me, but I did receive my Hero’s Band. Other than that it was four hours of fun. Oh wow, do I like that word! It rolls on my tongue like chocolate fudge! F – U – N!

Supreme actors on the ‘guilded’ stage!

……and we wait! Just two more days! TWO MORE DAYS and I think I’m going to be moving to Tyria permanently!

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Greetings!

Greetings everybody and welcome to my new blog. I’m still trying to figure out WordPress so mind the cobwebs and dust as you walk in.

Basically the writings posted here are going to be centred around GW2, where I’ve been what I’ve done. I also hope to write stories pertaining to my characters and some of them might probably be in the form of a journal. Though I’m still trying to figure out whether to write in 1st person or 3rd person. I know 3rd person is easier, but then 1st person might draw you deeper into the psyche of the character.  We shall see.

Anyway do stick around. I see loads of things twinkling on the horizon……..great things are going to happen! 🙂

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