Jumping on the WoW Classic Train

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I didn’t grow up with World of Warcraft. I wasn’t allowed to have an account in 2004 and my parents didn’t see the value in having a subscription for a video game. I don’t have any pining nostalgia for it. I don’t have a long personal history with it where friendships were forged and memories were made. But, nevertheless, I am interested in Classic. I’m interested to see how well it does, how well it’s received, and if it’s everything everyone wanted. I decided today that I will be exploring it when it launches next week.

WoW has always been this big, intimidating, game to me. It’s a 15-year-old game and there’s a lot of content and history with it. I’ve given it a go a few times and have found my time with it enjoyable but it’s never stuck. Classic feels like one of the big moments in gaming and I don’t want to miss out this time.

I’m interested to see where it all began. I know from my experience on EQ2 progression servers that this won’t be kin to launch. People already have the knowledge they need, they have the internet for the knowledge they don’t have, and there will be plenty of people rushing to the end. But I think it will still be a lot of fun to be a part of.

I’ve reserved names on a Fairbanks PVP server and Myzrael Normal server. I’m interested to experience what a PVP server is like but I want that back up option with my preferred name if I don’t end up liking it.

I want to see how this all plays out. People have been wanting this for years and now it’s finally here. I think it’ll do well for the first few months. I do wonder what the drop off will be after people have their fill of nostalgia. A part of me knows that forums and Reddit will be full of people complaining, but that’s par for the course.

And now we wait!

Trove: Even More Dragon Taming

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My last long term goal in Trove was to get all of the Primordial Dragos. Since I completed that I’ve been looking into what’s next. I’m at a point where I’m working on maxing out 2 classes and don’t have the interest to put time into more right now. My shadow hunter still needs to max out his gems. My dracolyte needs a 3 star empowered water gem with the right stats. Both of them need a full set of crystal level 3 gear. All of these are hard to get excited about and work towards. There’s not much I can do for these except play the waiting game and hope for good luck with drops.

So I’ve been looking at what I can work towards as a medium-term goal. One of the things I’ve been meaning to do for a while is to start crafting dragons that need dragon eggs. I have 6 sitting in my storage taking up valuable slots. I’ve put them on the back burner because the Primordial Dragons required all of my dragon coins for so long. There are 31 Dragons I still need to collect. These are the dragons I’m looking at crafting in the future. I’ve chosen them because I have the eggs and because they have the permanent stat boosts I want.

  • Inora, Flame of Enlightenment: 10% Max Health, 3% Attack Speed, 500 physical damage, 50 Magic Find
  • Yorin, the Dusk Shadow: 1000 Max Health, 10% Critical Damage, 50 Magic Find
  • Flakbeard, The Relentless: 10% Critical Damage, 1000 Max health, 50 Magic Find
  • Selene the Celestial Storm: 1000 Max Health, 1% Critical Hit, 50 Magic Find
  • Aurym, Keeper of Histories: 7% Attack Speed, 1000 Max Health, 50 Magic Find
  • Erel, The Ironbolt: 1000 Max Health, 1750 Health Regeneration, 50 Magic Find
  • Draccolatl, The Mellower: 5% Health Regeneration, 1000 Max Health, 50 Magic Find

Each of these cost 300 dragon coins and some crafting materials. If I log in every day and complete my daily star bars and 1 hourly challenge I can get up to 168 dragon coins a week plus some extra from weekly tomes. That’s about one new dragon every two weeks. That should keep logging in for a good long while.

Downtime Compensation

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When I started up Trove yesterday I was asked to log in to my Glyph account. Since I play through Steam, this isn’t something I’ve had to do in a very long time. So I went through the process of changing my password and logged back in. I was asked if I wanted to link the account to steam, this was odd, the account had been linked to steam for years. When I clicked yes I got an error that it couldn’t be linked at this time. So I logged in again and skipped the linking and hoped I was logging in to the right account.

When I got into the game the general chat was full of people complaining about downtime. Apparently, the server had been down for the better part of a day. This is a very common occurrence in Trove. The server performance and uptime have long been a meme among the player base. If you’re not rubber banding, getting kicked out of the client, or crashing, you’re not getting the full Trove experience.

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The one thing Trove has always been good about is providing compensation for when the game is offline or generally bugged. A few months ago the leaderboards were broken for weeks and there was a decent compensation for it. Trove seems to have server outages every few months always with compensation to be doled out. Yesterday, we were given a 1-day patron pass, a Streamer Dream box(special ally/mounts), and 6 lustrous gem boxes (upgrade materials).

Players aren’t always happy with the rewards. Some argue that a few loot boxes and a bit of patron aren’t worth missing a day in the game. Other’s want more, usually in the form of a golden dragon effigy (a free dragon). While I think it’s nice that we’ve come to expect something when the servers go down, I’d much rather have more stable servers.

I don’t think I’ve played other games that handed out items for downtime. I remember playing a few games that had entire server role backs and just continued on as normal. Are there other games that give out compensation for downtime? Maybe other games just don’t go down enough to actually notice it.

Running the Whole Shadow Tower

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Monday night was the usual Trove affair. Mondays are the best days to complete shadow towers because of the bonuses for drops. The plan was to run through our usual Shadow Towers with the 2 of us and then spend the rest of the night farming for Binding Darkness.

Binding Darkness is a crafting material used to make gem augments to reroll of boost stats on gems. It’s an important material once you have all of your gems leveled up as it further increases your power rank. Binding Darkness has a chance to drop from all Shadow Tower monsters and will rarely drop from normal world bosses.

The idea is to find a floor of the Shadow Tower that has at least 2 dungeon phases. A floor can consist of dungeon phases or wave clear phases and ends with floor boss. The wave clears offer fewer monsters overall and aren’t ideal. The dungeons contain a higher concentration of enemies and also have world bosses so running these have a higher chance of dropping bindings

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Ultra Daughter of the Moon

Jay is under the impression that the higher the shadow tower difficulty is the more chance binding has to drop. I’m not sure how true this is but we ended up running Ultra Weeping Prophet multiple times this week. This was a good mix of difficulty for the two of us and had 2 dungeon phases. I ended up with 10 binding darkness in about a half-hour which was enough to craft a few gem augments I needed. We didn’t end up farming for long because we had some more people interested in doing more shadow towers.

We’ve been dipping our toes back into streaming the last few weeks and have made some friends through our Twitch chat. We ended up running Ultra Darknik Dreadnaught and Ultra Daughter of the Moon with 2 other people. Our times weren’t fantastic but that was the first time we’ve been able to run the whole Shadow Tower in a very long time. The increased rewards were nice but it was awesome getting to run these with other people for a change.

Quick Impressions: Valkyria Chronicles

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One of my goals this month was to beat another game from my backlog. At the beginning of the month, I was debating on whether to play Argarest Generations or Valkyria Chronicles. I had already put some time into Argarest before the month started but I have been wanting to play Valkyria Chronicles since I owned a PS3.  Realizing it was halfway through the month already, I had to make a decision, and quick. So I settled on Valkyria Chronicles this weekend.

I didn’t have a ton of time for gaming over this weekend. Saturday was one of my good friend’s wedding and Sunday we had some family obligations. I got in just enough playtime to sink my teeth into the game.

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Valkyria Chronicles is a game about war and the people it affects. The Second Europan War has begun as Imperial forces invade Federation land for the precious resource Ragnite. Caught in the middle is the neutral nation of Gallia where we meet our main characters Alicia, leader of the town militia, and Welkin, a scientist returning home to take his sister to the capital.

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This isn’t the game I thought it would be. I’ll admit I did very little research before buying it because JRPG World War 2 sounded like such an interesting concept. I was under the impression that this would something of a third-person shooter with some strategy elements. This was not the case. The gameplay is more akin to XCOM where you move units, give orders, and watch the action play out. Despite being a completely different game than what I thought, I quite enjoyed my time with it.

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I’m looking forward to playing more of this in the coming weeks. I’m not sure if I’ll finish it by the end of the month but it’s been a while since a single-player game has caught my attention.

The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot

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Sometimes I get this thought in my head that I’d really like to play a mobile game. This is usually followed by an hour of scrolling through the Google Play store, downloading things, trying them out, and remembering why I don’t play mobile games.

This weekend, as I was scrolling through the Play store I saw a familiar name. The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot. I clicked on it to see who the developer was and sure enough, it was Ubisoft. You see, the Mighty Quest for Epic Loot, MQFEL from here on out, wasn’t always a mobile game. I believe it was even brought up in the Blaugust discord not too long ago.

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MQFEL Then

It was an ARPG with a unique twist. The castles and dungeons you raided were built by other players. You had your own castle and you set traps and monsters for others to fight to protect your own loot. It was a cool concept and I bought into it as soon as I heard about it. I believe this was the 3rd game I ever bought in Early Access. On February 5th, 2015,MQFEL was a free-to-play game with plenty of microtransactions. It was still an enjoyable experience though I really enjoyed the self-awareness of the dialog. Unfortunately, a little over a year later the Ubisoft ended all service for the game October 25th, 2016. I see this title in my Steam library every once and a while and reminisce about it. I’m sure there were problems with it but I honestly don’t remember what they might have been.

MQFEL Now:

It’s a fairly new mobile game released last month. It has all of the mobile game trappings: energy, chests you open with keys, autorun missions, even a battle pass type system. At its core, MQFEL a simple ARPG. You’re given 3 skills with various cooldowns and you tap to attack. Each castle has 2 stages, one where you run through a dungeon opening chests and fighting enemies, and one where you fight a large group of enemies or a boss all at once. There’s enough active gameplay there to make it feel like you’re playing a game which, in my experience, is not something I can say for a lot of mobile games I’ve tried. In fact, using the autorun feature will cause you to miss some chests in the first stage dungeons.Sadly, the castle building and rading feature is not in the mobile game as far as I can tell.

For a game called The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot, there is surprisingly little loot. I’m getting maybe one or 2 pieces of gear from each castle. All of my upgrades thus far have come from the chests in the cash shop that requires keys. I guess the Mighty Quest for Chest Keys doesn’t have the same ring to it. There are other game modes, trials, that allow you to get materials to upgrade your gear after it reaches the max level. There’s a power rank that seems to be the determining factor for difficulty. As long as you’re above the rank the dungeon is easy.. It can still be done if you’re slightly below but you need to do a lot of dodging.

Right now it’s held my attention over the weekend. A lot of that was probably due to nostalgia for the old IP. But who knows, I’m enjoying my short time with it, I may keep it on my phone a little longer.

Audio Drama Sunday: Mission To Zyxx Season 3

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It’s developer appreciation week during Blaugust. I’ve taken this to include all kinds of content creators and not just video game developers. So I would like to start this post by talking about how much I appreciate the Crew at Mission to Zyxx.

It’s hard to describe what this show has meant to me over the years. I first discovered it late one night while playing Elite Dangerous. I was bored of listening to whatever I was listening to and went hunting around for a sci-fi show. I knew nothing about it when I clicked on the podcast, but the idea of an improvised sitcom piqued my interest. That night I must have listened to half of season 1 before realizing how late it was. The next day I told my friends about it. From then on, we haven’t stopped quoting the show and discussing it every week after a new episode drops.

These guys are incredibly talented and funny. The production that goes into each episode is something I haven’t come across in another show. They’ve created a universe which I love to visit every week and characters that I want to spend time with. I look forward to every new episode when the show’s in season and I miss it terribly when it’s in the offseason. It’s a show I’ll listen to over and over and never get bored of. And it’s a show I’ll always recommend to anyone looking for a new podcast.

This week was the final episode od Mission to Zyxx’s Season 3 run. This has been my favorite season so far. Season 1 will always hold a special place in my heart but I felt this season the show really hit its stride. The orchestral scores played by FAME’s Macedonian Symphony Orchestra have added a lot to the production value. The music was always good but with the full orchestra, it sounds even better.

This season has featured some of my favorite episodes in the series.

This season added a new character AJ2884 a C.L.I.N.T, think stormtrooper, who joins the crew to become a Zeema Knight with Pleck. As much as I liked Beano from season 2, AJ is such a better character. By the end of the season, I can’t imagine another episode without him, he’s become an integral part of the crew. I like him so much I even bought the shirt!

After a slight delay in the release of the finale, I can say that it was well worth the wait. The episode was over an hour long. It was action-packed, funny, and wrapped up the season very well. I enjoyed the return of Beano and a few other characters from previous episodes and seasons. Plus, I enjoyed all the callbacks to earlier episodes as well.

So thank you guys for all of the hard work and time you put into the show. I’m eagerly awaiting season 4!