GW: griffon quest underway

We completed the Path of Fire storyline on our Asura duo last weekend. Other than zone completion, we still have the a bunch of points of interest to find and the odd mastery point to unlock, the main thing we still want to achieve is unlocking the griffon mount.

This mount is so very gorgeous to look at. Getting started on it gave us an ever so tantalising taste of the mount – like all the others there are temporary mounts in certain places that you can use but only until you are dismounted, fight something or need to use a different mount.

This mount unlock is pretty involved, we have a list of nine items per zone for all five zones. We’ve been working on gathering the easy and exploration-oriented stuff first, so grabbing the items you have to jump or glide to get.

A second category of achievements to unlock are the events or boss fights in each zones that you can only get meta-credit for once you have started the whole griffon achievement.  At least one of the big boss battles we’d completed before while playing through the zones following the main story but that didn’t count for this meta-achievement.

The third major category is one of spending 25g on each of 10 items spread across the five zones. That’s something we’ve been ignoring, we came into the expansion with a brief partial jaunt to Maguuma, and no regular playtime since the early days of Living Story 2. I think my character had gained about 15-18g playing through the main storyline, hard to say as I hadn’t paid any attention to it until we started looking at the griffon unlock. In any case this isn’t looking so insurmountable anymore thanks to a hot tip from Aywren on her blog. My character has gone from barely having a fifth of the money needed to having about 65% of the total in one quick trip to the Amnoon trading post.

We’re combining the griffon hunt with zone completion so I doubt we’ll be done that quickly, but it’s fun to have a goal while still mainly exploring about and poking our Asuran noses into all kinds of dangerous places…

Posted in Gaming, Guild Wars | 5 Comments

Useful items in MMORPGs #IntPiPoMo2017

Here’s my fifth post in the IntPiPoMo series for November. This one showcases some memorable and, in particular, useful items that you’ll find in one or more MMORPGs.

1. Ring of Featherfall in Dungeons & Dragons Online

Movement items can be a great boon to gameplay, allowing you move around the landscape faster or more safely. The chosen example, archetypal to this sort of item is the Ring of Featherfall in DDO. Other similar items are too numerous to iterate, recent expansions in World of Warcraft introduced gliders as clickable items for instance.

Nothing quite beats the sheer joy of a featherfall clicky…

2. The Horn of Dwarrowdelf, Lord of the Rings Online

Reusable buff items are a favourite of mine, a good example of this being the Horn of the Dwarrowdelf in LOTRO. Often the benefits they give become less relevant over time, but they can be a real boon to new characters especially.

3. Hearthstones in World of Warcraft

Items that offer a return or instant teleport ability can be incredibly useful in open world MMORPGs. Often characters have abilities to move around the world, but items offer extra or backup options. The Hearthstone item in WoW is pretty iconic for me as an  example of this type of item.

Syncronised Hearthstoning is a thing

4. Belial’s Portal Stone, Neverwinter

Combat clickies are less common I feel, items that are useful in combat to damage enemies are usually a bit underpowered even when they exist. Neverwinter’s artifacts offer some varied and lore-themed items that have combat utility. The Portal Stone pictured below can taunt enemies near my Ranger and if they fail to quickly destroy it, it will explode for heavy damage.

5. Potions, various

I love the alchemy profession in most MMORPGs. Having health potions or similar items gives you a measure of self-sufficiency and emergency resources in a dire situation.

Potions to restore health, lost ability points, all the things!

Healthstones are rather iconic, albeit temporary potions

What other items do you find useful and memorable in MMORPGs?

#IntPiPoMo2017 count 48/50

Posted in DDO, Gaming, LotRO, Neverwinter, WoW | Leave a comment

NW: Healing indirectly

I’m a big fan of healing classes in MMORPGs, indeed playing a healer is my preferred role in group content. For general gameplay and soloing I always prefer to be playing a class that has a good measure of self-healing, as well.

Over the weekend I played a session of Neverwinter with my husband for the first time in months, and I got to play Devout Cleric again. I was reminded that it’s one of the most fun healing classes I’ve played in any MMORPG. You have a healing component (or other support buff element) to most of your spells, plus a channeled, targeted heal or damage ability for emergencies. A basic aspect of the class, though, is the Astral Seal spell that you can cast with no cooldown.

Astral Seals triggering with attacks

This core spell marks a target hostile so that any ally hitting it receives healing based on the damage they deal. It’s an interesting “hands-off” example of healing. I can help to keep everyone in my group’s health up by marking targets with this Seal and there’s no limit on the number of targets beyond my time and ability to target different enemies in a given melee.

Holy chains, attack!

As with all the classes, the Devout Cleric has impressive graphics for its holy-themed encounter and daily abilities. I tend to favour the Divine Armor daily power: it give allies a damage shield, so it works well in concert with the Astral Seal mechanic as it gives them a breathing space to self-heal through damaging opponents.

Shields up!

The closest class gameplay-style wise I can think of is the Chloromancer in Rift, which is the oldest example of a ‘healing through damage’ mechanic I’ve encountered in online gaming. I’m rather partial to Neverwinter’s take on this playstyle, however, and I do so love the graphical effects of this take on the D&D Cleric.

Posted in Gaming, Neverwinter | 4 Comments

Dungeon delvings #IntPiPoMo2017

This is my fourth post in the IntPiPoMo series for November. Here I showcase dungeon delving as a common activity in MMORPGs.

1. World of Warcraft

We’ve run the Legion expansion dungeons a lot this year!

2. Star Wars the Old Republic

Athiss, one of my favourite levelling flashpoints in SWTOR

3. Everquest 2

Solo-grinding a dungeon in EQ2 to level a character.

4. Dungeons & Dragons Online

DDO has some really interesting mechanics in its dungeons.

5.  Rift

We had a lot of fun in Rift’s dungeons early this year.

6. Neverwinter

Memories of healing in Neverwinter dungeons

7. Secret World Legends

Our first dungeon foray in the revamped Secret World Legends

8. Elder Scrolls Online

An early dungeon experience in ESO

9. Lord of the Rings Online

Trying out some healing in the Great Barrow in LOTRO

10. Guild Wars 2

A memory of running a dungeon in Guild Wars 2 with friends and family

#IntPiPoMo2017 count 38/50

Posted in DDO, EQ2, ESO, Gaming, Guild Wars, LotRO, Neverwinter, Rift, SWTOR, TSW, WoW | 1 Comment

MMORPGs going mobile?

A recent Massively OP article covers the latest quarterly reports of NC Soft, the South Korean MMORPG publishing giant. At first glance the message of these seems very stark – NC Soft has had a huge profits leap since launching Lineage M, a mobile version of its venerable oldest MMORPG Lineage 1. That game, until recently, was generally the top earner for the studio, despite its age. None of the studios other, much newer, MMORPGs (Lineage 2, Aion, Blade & Soul, Wildstar) could touch its quarterly sales figures. If you look at the slides linked to the article, number 2 in particular, you can see the ~700% increase for this quarter mostly because of the new mobile game. Slide 3 shows the split by IP and the Lineage Revolution mobile game’s ‘Pokemon Go’ style leap into big bucks.

Time will tell whether this phenomenon is, like with Pokemon Go, a bit of a ‘flash in the pan’ or whether sales and profit numbers can be maintained. Lineage 1 has been the most popular game by far in their stable of MMOs, and the new Revolution is based on this same game so it has a ready-made audience. There’s no guarantee that this success would translate outside of its native South Korean market, but I’ll be very interested in seeing how this develops. Turbine as a US-based development studio has banked on this being a wider trend in the industry as they announced in 2016 a new focus on mobile gaming ahead of their divestment of Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons and Dragons Online (now run by Standing Stones Games). MMORPGs on mobile aren’t a new phenomenon by any means, Order & Chaos as one example was launched in 2013. However, Lineage brings a major existing MMORPG brand to the mobile platform. A quick search shows that there are others on their way, ones that, maybe, are more relevant to a Western audience; games like Albion Online and Blade & Soul Mobile. But this January list of planned or in development mobile games is still mostly dominated by Asian MMORPGs, I wonder when we’ll get a mobile port or spin-off of a major Western MMO?

Posted in Gaming | 1 Comment

GW: finding my own vistas #IntPiPoMo2017

For this third post in the IntPiPoMo series for November, I’m including some Guild Wars 2 screenshots that I’ve taken that could easily have been marked as vistas but weren’t. vistas are a great motivator for exploring (often by climbing) in Guild Wars 2, we always make a direct line to one when we uncover a new one. However, there are so many beautiful views in this stunning game that there could easily be more vistas than there are.

1. Vista from the bridge

2. Meta

3. Memories of the Bazaar of the Four Winds

4. Logging back on to this view…

5. Vista above…

I probably take more screenshots in GW2 than any other MMORPG, I’ve taken just over a thousand since starting Path of Fire. It is certain that in this game I look around my character a lot as we meander through the zones.

IntPiPoMo2017 counter 28/50

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Most played characters #IntPiPoMo2017

For my second International Picture Posting Month photo selection, I’m going to illustrate some of the characters in MMORPG I’ve played the most. I highlight here that favourite is not always the same as most played – I do try to play as much in group as possible with various friends and guilds; so while I may have certain favourite characters from an asthetic or mechanical perspective, I do also play other characters and classes to fit dungeon or other needs.

1) Cerian the Druid, World of Warcraft

My WoW main of old, dormant during two previous expansions, but back with a vengeance for Legion.

2) Ebrayn the Paladin, World of Warcraft

My healer character for dungeon runs in the Legion expansion and second most progressed/geared character in game.

3) Revenus the Templar, Elder Scrolls Online

My Templar tank that I played as part of a levelling trio over the summer. As a side-note to this logging in to ESO for this post, I noticed that there’s a free steam-driven brassilisk non-combat pet currently in the Crown store!

4) Eskarr the Dragonknight, Elder Scrolls Online

My original solo character in ESO that I shelved to play the above character. I still played him a bit on the side, mostly to craft some nice food and potions for the new trio.

5) Arviyal the Mesmer, Guild Wars 2

My main character in GW2, currently actively played in the Path of Fire expansion.

6) Ebrayn the Guardian, Guild Wars 2

A solo character that I played earlier in the year to level a second character (finally) to the level cap.

7) Targash the Hunter Ranger, Neverwinter

My chosen solo character for my return to Neverwinter earlier this year, my first character levelled to the new cap.

8) Ebrayn the Devout Cleric, Neverwinter

My duo/dungeon character for Neverwinter, a really fun cleric to play!

9) Gudrenn the Artificer, Dungeons & Dragons Online

My current solo character newly created on the Orien server.

10) Alnarion the Artificer, Dungeons & Dragons Online

A leveling trio character from the last time we played DDO, another Artificer, I do really enjoy this class but he’s on a different server.

These characters illustrate most of the games I’ve played and characters that I’ve played so far this year. I’ve spent time in other games as well, including Lord of the Rings Online and Star Wars the Old Republic, but for the purpose of this post if I only played the one character then there’s no story to tell with the theme of favourite vs most played.

IntPiPoMo2017 counter 23/50


Posted in DDO, EQ2, ESO, Gaming, Guild Wars, Neverwinter, WoW | 1 Comment