Posted in World of Warcraft

More World Less Tusks

Despite Warcraft opening in the UK over a week ago, yesterday was my first chance to see the film. I had read some reviews but I still went with an open mind – in fact with a fair  degree of excitement. I really wanted to see Azeroth on the big screen.

And…

Well I liked it a great deal but some of that was out of loyalty to/love for the world, and I do understand where some of the reviews were coming from. I’m not sure what I would have thought if I hadn’t been a WoW player.

Observations:-

  1. It doesn’t over explain anything – it assumes the viewer either knows this world or can catch on quick. Everything romps along at a pelt and it all ends rather abruptly.  I quite liked the fact it doesn’t pander – nothing annoys me more than overdone exposition. But I can see how it could have confused someone with no Warcraft/WoW experience.
  2. There was a lot to cover (& I know there could have been a lot more given the richness of the story and lore). However, I think things could have been slowed down a notch. There was a lot I would have liked more time to enjoy. This includes the world itself. I wanted to see Azeroth on screen – slowly, with nice lingering shots. But no shot lingered and everything moved along at a clip. Apart from tusk shots that is  – clearly they were the money shot. I saw so many I started channelling my inner dentist and fantasising about giving them a good ol’  scrape and polish, fixing the broken one with a nice gold cap and extracting Garona’s (well they clearly served no purpose).
  3. What I did see of the world looked amazing though. And character-wise I really liked Garona, warmed to Khadgar as the film progressed & liked the chemistry between him & Lothar. I did not like the performance of the actor playing the King though – he seemed pretty weak and clueless to me.
  4. I definitely don’t agree that there was no emotion in the film nor that it took itself too seriously (whatever that means). I was tearful several times while watching it (admittedly I am a tad emotional these days). I also laughed a few times too (and not just at the tusks).

On the whole  then I was very happy seeing at least some of the world I love brought to life. It’s made me want to find out a bit more about each of the characters and it’s also made me log on & play WoW yesterday afternoon and today – which is more than I’ve done in months. So for me anyway I’d say it was a qualified success  but it just didn’t show enough of the world. Thankfully though we have the game for that.

 

Posted in World of Warcraft

2016 Creative Blogger post

Only just saw on Lair of the Wolf Dragon that I have been nominated by Faeldray for a 2016 Creative Blogger Award post.

Thank you Faeldray for the nomination – these days I don’t blog as much as I should so it’s nice to see my name pop up somewhere:)

I have to:
1. Thank the person that nominated you and share a link back to their blog – Complete:)

2.  Post 5 facts about yourself – See below

3. Nominate 15-20 people for this award

Hmm – I don’t think I know 15-20 people who would do it, have a blog & haven’t already been nominated so I nominate anyone who (a)reads this post (b)has a blog (c)wants to do it (d)leaves a link to their post in the comments below.

4. Let the people you nominated know that you have nominated them – As above

5. Post the rules so everyone will understand what to do – Complete

Ok so the 5 facts-

Fact 1:-

This past year has been life changing for me and my husband. Last year we adopted – we have a beautiful wonderful daughter. She is absolutely amazing & the funniest person I know. I can’t write anything more because it is just so huge that I would never stop writing if I started. We are blessed.

Fact 2:-

I write a lot of poetry on my Sullencraft and Sea Town blog. During the past year it’s definitely been an outlet for me when I’ve not played enough WoW to have anything to blog about but still needed to write.

Fact 3:-

I suffer with absolutely terrible Restless Legs Syndrome – every night without fail. I cannot sleep at all once it starts. So I’m now on strong tablets but also on a constant search for a more natural solution. Tried everything under the sun including Magnesium, Iron, Vit D, Tonic Water, Bananas, heavy blankets, even sleeping with a bar of Imperial Leather soap tucked into my sock (awkward). Currently going milk free as there is some research to suggest it could be linked to lactose intolerance. Managed to sleep on just 1 tablet last night – legs didn’t start until 4am. Maybe there is hope.

Fact 4:-

I regret not doing Computer Science in school and as a degree (I did Theology which I loved so it’s not that I want to undo that but I do wish I could have had two lives in parallel!) I love learning programming & thought I wanted to make games but over the last few months I’ve come to realise that what I love is software and web application development (with some data analytics too) so I’m now doing a lot of Coursera courses & toying with the idea of doing an OU Computer Science degree. But time is an issue. I am a parent now (see Fact 1). I work full time. I have a tendency to take on too much etc. So I’m in two minds about it all.

Fact 5:-

I used to run a bit – longest distance just a half marathon but it was a big achievement for me. I then switched to rowing & rowed a marathon on a stationary rower. Since then – nothing much in the way of exercise apart from swimming with daughter which is not really swimming & more anxiously bobbing around & making sure she’s ok. I need to do more but I just don’t know where the time will come from. I do sort of miss the days of the gym, plugging in my iPod & losing myself for an hour to a world of podcasts and music & feeling physically stronger as a result. I need to find a way to get that back into my life.

 

That’s it. 5 facts. Thanks again Faeldray for the nomination. It was a good prompt to get back on here and do some writing:)

Posted in Rocksmith

Bravesmith?

Despite in the last post bemoaning my lack of free time I am now spending around 30 minutes a day learning to play guitar using Rocksmith! Who needs sleep, food and trips to the toilet (…who am I kidding – I’ll always make time for food).

Today is day 5. I am a complete beginner – although I’ve had an electric guitar for ages (it’s been enjoying some quiet time in the attic). After starting everything up I spent some time tuning the guitar (Rocksmith senses whether the strings need tightening or loosening) then threw myself right into the thick of it by trying to learn a song. It took me until day 3 to think about sorting the songs in order of  difficulty (I am so not ready for The Who’s My Generation) and day 4 to even consider looking at one of the lessons. The latter cover all the basics  & it turned out I very much needed this (who knew I was holding the pick all wrong – it should not have been clenched in my teeth).

However, to a certain extent my reckless “have a go hero” approach has worked. I can now confidently pluck the the 1st and 2nd strings, pressing down in turn on frets 2, 3 and 5 (and then back again to 2 – although had to practice that several times using the Riff Repeater). However, once Rocksmith throws fret 9 into the mix I completely go to pieces, drop my guitar and miss a ton of notes as I fumble my way back to the safety of fret 5. The songs get harder every time I make a bit of progress (one crazy play through tried to take me down to fret 14 – my fingers resolutely refused to move), then the difficulty slips back a notch once Rocksmith realises I wasn’t kidding when I said I was a beginner.

It’s great fun. I’ve always loved Guitar Hero and Rockband but doing it for real on a real guitar is even better. Is it possible one day I’ll be able to play? Of course it’s still early days but I’m going to keep practising and see how I get on. Rocksmith has a 60 day challenge which I’m trying to stick to. This means at around the start of July I should be able to play at least a few songs. Right now that seems an incredible thought but I’ll keep going. Who knows – maybe there’s a ton of songs out there that only require expertise in the top two strings and first five frets.

Posted in World of Warcraft

Where is the time?

I’ve resubbed to WoW after a few months off. As usual coming back to Azeroth feels like meeting up again with a very long lost but beloved friend. Walking/flying around the old familiar places & trying out my various characters is strangely comforting. Dealing with out of date addons somewhat less so.

But while I’m back I’m hardly playing. Unlike previously when I had the time but not the inclination, now it’s the former that’s running short. What with work, family & ongoing study (I’m still trying to learn programming & game development) I find there’s little time left for WoW. As it is I get up at crazy o’clock to try to fit in the studying before I go off to work. The knock on to this is that by the time daughter is in bed I’m pretty much exhausted and ready to go to sleep too. I hardly watch TV and I can’t remember the last time I read a fiction book. I’ve had to stop pretty much everything I was doing for Geeks & Geeklets, I’m not playing Hearthstone any more and this blog …well you can see how often this is being updated.

Despite how this reads I’m not complaining. It’s my choice to want to learn programming & game development and I could stop at any time. But surely learning how to make games involves playing some games (or at least one very specific game …yes I’m trying to justify giving at least some weekend time to WoW!) All I know is that now I finally have the urge to play WoW and write about it again I want to find the time to do it. Life seems a little empty without it.

Posted in Hearthstone

Let’s Bake a Deck

The recent Hearthstone patch brought with it the new Deck Recipes. Basically 3 recipes per class to get you quickly underway with a particular deck type. I’ve been trying it out this morning (so excited in fact I got up at 5am – is this uber geekness or uber sadness?). I started with a Shaman Murloc deck which was a disaster as I forgot it was an aggressive deck & started playing it control style. On top of that I was also against a Murloc Paladin deck & so had to hold back from using all my murloc buffs. When it was obvious I was going to lose I politely conceded and had another go only to meet yet another Paladin Murloc deck. This time I tried to play more aggressively but it was hard when I still had to clear the little murlocs out of the way first. I lost again. In a huff I decided to give up on Shaman Murloc & instead  try a Pally deck. The options were Classic Pally, Dragon Pally and of course Murloc Pally. Seems the latter is the deck of choice for everyone playing at rank of 18 (yes I’m not doing very well this month). Never one to follow the crowd (unless they’re heading towards a chocolate fountain) I opted for Dragon Pally instead. The deck was automatically populated with all the cards I needed but I was missing one card – Chillmaw – so it offered me two replacements and I chose good old Tirion.

As soon as the match started I discovered I was against a Dragon priest (opening card a buffed Twilight Whelp) – hmm a Dragon Pally against a Dragon Priest. What’s going on? Actually it seems everyone (like me) is currently trying out Deck Recipes so we’re inevitably seeing the same decks. I’m sure it will calm down. Anyway this match had a happier outcome for me as I won. Yay.

I then tried out the Mage Deck Recipe. Three choices – Classic, Spells & Dragon. Once again the Welsh in me would not be denied and I opted for the Dragon one. Again another win. Maybe the heady heights of 17 are not too far away.

What I like about the recipes is that it makes doing your dailies much easier. You can quickly check what your quests are and pull a suitable deck together from the recipes. Even if you don’t have all the cards it offers replacement choices. This seems easier and quicker than netdecking from sites like Hearthpwn or Icy Veins. Not sure how the recipes will fare further up the ranks but right now it’s fine for me and it at least means I will now try to do some quests that involve classes I don’t usually play eg Warrior and Rogue. But NOT Murloc Shaman. No never again. I should have remembered from my WoW days – murlocs have never been nor ever will ever be my friends. Mgrlllmgrlrrr.

 

Posted in Minecraft

Cleaning up in the Apocalypse

I love mining in Minecraft. As soon as I start a new world my first priority is getting the tools to mine and then disappearing underground. So I quickly punch down some trees (Minecraft has rightly been applauded for its realism), make a crafting table, make a few sticks, then a wooden pickaxe and then dig down to get cobblestone to make myself a cobblestone pickaxe. And then I go hunting for some coal. If this looks to be a struggle I change tack and get more cobblestone, build a furnace and burn wood to get charcoal. Then I make some torches and I’m away to go.

Then the mining starts. I dig three blocks down and two across and I dig until I reach either:-

-level 11-14 on the Y axis (press F3);

-an interesting lava pool (I love digging around the outside of a lava pool to see how wide it goes – I am less fond of discovering how deep it goes mibd you, but that does happen occasionally;

-a mineshaft (jackpot – I love exploring mineshafts – the dark tunnels, the chests, the sparkly spawners (RUN!!), the chance to get very very lost and the chance to get very very dead.

I think what attracts me to mining is that it’s like a massive clean up exercise. I spot coal and iron and I dig them out. Lovely. I then fill up the holes with cobblestone to create a lovely smooth surface. If I’m in a mineshaft I chop down all the wood and dig up all the railway tracks so it’s left clean and tidy. I can then look back with pleasure at the long corridors behind me, all even and smooth, and I feel like I’ve achieved something. Even better I know all the treasures I’ve discovered are tucked up warm and safe in my inventory. But then of course I turn around and find myself nose to nose with a creeper – hello my little friend.

Now I think some of this says something about my personality. Consider the fact my second favourite thing to do in Minecraft is to tidy chests. If husband and daughter are playing together their chests fast become a nightmare – everything goes everywhere. But once I join up I will spend hours tidying up after them, moving things from chest to chest so it all nice and ordered, so it all makes sense. When I’ve finished I will knock up a few signs so everyone knows what goes where. Then they both get a lecture about keeping things tidy.

And the third thing I enjoy … a vegetable garden arranged in neat little rows.

Yes I think you get the point. I use Minecraft to indulge my love of tidiness, orderliness and control. Now the interesting thing is I have a house in which I could try to do all those things but I’d rather do them in Minecraft. I think it’s because you can actually reach an end point in Minecraft when everything is neat and tidy – your smooth tunnel remains smooth (unless you let a creeper in); you can protect your vegetable garden with fences and mob traps and ensure everyone replants what they take; you can reinforce your chest rules with strongly worded signs. Then it’s done. Yes occasionally there’ll be a slip up (“Why is this sapling in the pickaxe chest?”) but generally a nice ordered Minecraft world makes life easier for everyone so everyone sort of falls in line. But in real life – hmm – the advantages of being tidy and organised seem not so easily understood. Personally I think it’s the lack of zombies – I think I need a horde of zombies to help reinforce my point about putting your shoes away and emptying the dishwasher. Knowing this makes me feel slightly better when I think about the chance that our world one day becomes the world of Walking Dead – maybe then I’ll get the ordered household I want. And I’m sure this will be a huge comfort to me as someone gnaws away at my arm.

Posted in Hearthstone

Where Art Thou?

For too long now I’ve been netdecking from Hearthpwn. Sometimes I have success with a deck taken from there, sometimes I have epic failures, never do I get to Legend. So this month I’ve decided to go it alone with my own Mage Reno deck.  See here:-

http://www.hearthpwn.com/decks/433182-where-art-thou

Feel free to netdeck if you like to play something slow & inconsistent:)

Currently I’m rank 14 which is pretty bad given we are nearly at the end of the month! But I refuse to give up. I am going to stick with this deck & keep iterating & improving. It’s already changed quite a bit from when it started out – it had an Effigy & a Molten Giant but I did not get particularly good value from either (the Molten Giant was usually unplayable because I was in such good health – excellent constitution me – and I usually mistimed my Effigy).  I also had Chromaggus but again struggled to get value from it – too often my opponent destroyed it right after I played it. So I waved goodbye to the dragon & brought in the good old Archmage instead.

Explanation of choices:-

Mana Wyrm – my preferred 1 drop over Zombie Chow. I have enough spells to make it work and while I did try the Zombie I too often found myself hanging onto it late game because, like a wayward doctor, I didn’t want to give the opponent any health.

Flamecannon, Frostbolt, Fireball, Forgotten Torch   – standard Mage spells & all begin with F for those of you who like the odd alphabetical synergy in your deck.

Unstable Portal – sometimes I’m lucky enough to coin this out & get a good minion for 0 mana. It’s this sort of skill that will help me reach Legend – I just know it.

Mad Scientist – standard two drop

Harrison, Snowchugger & Water Elemental – all been useful against weapon classes. Snowchugger once did a sterling job keeping a warrior frozen for much of the game. Bless the little chugga.

Polymorph & Big Game Hunter – basic removals.

Refreshment Vendor, Antique Healbot, Ice Block, Ice Barrier – all there to keep me alive until  I’ve Reno’d. Possibly too many. Sometimes I have two heals & a Reno in hand and 30 health – too much of a good thing. On those occasions I fireball my face for the fun of it (just kidding – I’m not that cool)

Blizzard & Flamestrike – basic board clears

Deathlord & Sludge Belcher  – basic taunts

Ethereal Conjurer-  I like to have a surprise spell mid game

Azure Drake – my only real card draw. Yes I live on the edge.

Antonidas, Boom & Ysera – my three biggies. I’ve played around quite a bit with these – was running Kelthuzad for a while but found I never got round to playing him.

Spellbreaker – because sometimes you need a silence & this is stickier than the owl

Elise – because sometimes you just want a hand & deck full of legendaries for some extra fun:)

Loatheb & Thaurissian – just two good minions that can frustrate the opponent

Reno – the blessed heart of the deck. After posting a few weeks ago about how much I hate him I have now decided I badly misjudged the old guy. He’s my new BFF and we’re in it together.

 

So this is the deck. It’s the first one I’ve ever posted on Hearthpwn. I’m that committed to the deck I’ve gone public. Wish us well:)

Posted in Hearthstone

You are Squelched

I’ve had a fairly good start to Hearthstone this month – well fairly good for me anyway (the Legend rank remains a mythical promised land).  I’m rank 12 (with 2 stars – let’s not forget those 2 stars). It got there using a quickish Pally deck found on Hearthpwn. It worked well from 17 to 12 but yesterday afternoon it started to fail me – or I failed it (yes I admit it’s probably the latter). I just could not budge from 12 to 11 & in fact I started to move the wrong way (yes 13 beckoned). Plus my nerves were quite shredded playing the deck. It isn’t 100% face – sometimes the better play is to clear the board. But when playing it I never knew when to make that better play! In fact I was pretty much uncertain every step of the way & clearly at rank 12 my decisions were wrong. I think the truth is I’m a midrange/tempo girl at heart. It feels quite simple. You keep clearing minions until you have a clear board & then you go face. The simplicity suits me (although given my non Legend status maybe I’m underestimating the complexity here too?)

So currently I’m trying out (again) a Tempo Mage. So far I’ve stabilised at 12 (& 2 stars!!) but whether this is a type of deck that can bring me more success remains to be seen. There are still decisions to be made here too and there’s a 50% chance I will make the wrong ones.  For fun I’ve also just played two games with an “almost OTK” Warrior deck. It uses Djinni to copy the charge/buff you’ve given one of your other minions – with the right buffs it can do 20+ attack on one turn. But I’m also finding this deck quite stressful to play (maybe I should just give up & go do some yoga or something?) I’ve won one game and lost the other but even the one I won didn’t quite pull off the combo as planned. You need to quickly calculate the damage you can do via your minions & buffs and work out (a)whether it’s lethal (& if so yay); (b)  not quite lethal but still worth doing (mini yay); or (c) no way lethal & for goodness sake just do something before the rope burns and …oh no too late and ooh look your opponent is sarcastically emoting like there’s no tomorrow. Great.

And this brings me to emotes and the Squelch button. All hail the blessed Squelch. I love it so much I’m making it the first thing I press at the start of every game.  I just can’t stand all the sarcastic emotes I’m seeing these days (is it just me or has there been an increase in what people are calling Hearthstone player “saltiness” recently?). It usually goes like this: (1)Your opponent destroys your well planned board & immediately follows up with a “Sorry that happened” (Are you, really?). Or (2) Your opponent has made a really great play and confounded all your plans. As you pause a moment to restrategise out comes his/her “Greetings” (What is the point of this ?). Or (3)Your Knife Juggler gets in a lucky  hit. We all know it’s lucky & that there’s a lot of RNG in this game but of course your opponent has to respond with a “Well Played” (I suspect this is the Hearthstone equivalent of a toddler tantrum).

What are these emotes all about? I get the frustration behind the last example but what about the others? They seem motivated more by boredom and the urge to troll. Do these players find the game so easy, simple and tedious to play that they have to entertain themselves with pointless emotes?  I don’t understand it. If they’re that great why are they playing at rank 12? Why aren’t they out BMing in the Legend ranks (is there a lot of BM at Legend?). It’s become so bad that I’ve even become suspicious of a “Greetings” at the start of a game. I’m pretty certain some players are doing this just to test if you can see the emotes (I find if you reply there tends to be  a lot of BM later in the game). Now I know some people will say it’s all just a bit of fun and it’s just a game & I’m overreacting and blah blah blah. And yes when I’ve seen the Pros do it in tournaments the casters seem to love it. But I don’t like it.  I don’t see the need for it and I don’t do it myself. So I’m proactively squelching now. Right at the start of the game everyone gets squelched. And I’m enjoying my games far more. But I do feel bad about all the nice players out there who are genuinely saying “Greetings” at the start of the game. I don’t mean to be ignorant honest. But I’m trying to cut back on my salt.

Posted in Uncategorized

Personal: Snowballing Mothballs

It’s funny the urge to confess on here.  A few weeks ago I posted that I was doing a course on Unity because I’d always had a hankering to create my own game (& something more than the little things I’ve created in Scratch). I was full fuss I really wanted to commit to this and create something – even if it took years. But where am I now? Well I got rather carried away using something called Fungus in Unity. I have so many stories in my head and I thought I would use Fungus to make some interactive adventure/visual novel type games. But weeks later I have just deleted one would be children’s game (about an orphaned chick on a farm trying to make friends with the other animals!), finally given up for good a murder mystery/thriller  that I have been striving to create in various formats for years & completely lost the will to live in regard to a school mystery adventure where you have to figure out out which of the teachers is an alien! I did create a tiny little game in Corona using Lua which basically gives points for shooting cookies before they reach a big red mouth in the middle of the screen (I thought it might be an interesting diversion for people on a diet- in fact the game is tedious beyond belief). So I’m starting to think I was mistaken. Maybe actual game development isn’t for me. I’m overwhelmed by the work involved in all the visual novel adventure games. I find myself fiddling  for hours on end with the graphics, camera views and music and getting nowhere with the actual story, characters and player choices . And when I do start on them I realise the amount of work it will all take and I visibly wilt.

It’s my fault I know. Whatever I’m doing seems to start small and then snowball. And while I know mobile phone/app type games could be done as smaller projects, in truth these are not the sort of games I like playing – so why then would I create them? I’m also coming to realise that what I actually like doing is learning the computer language/game development software (reading the tutorials, trying it all out, seeing it work etc.) but I don’t like working on anything generated in my own head! So for example I’m enjoying the Roblox videos I’m making for Geeks & Geeklets where I’m basically following the Roblox Wiki tutorials to learn more about Roblox but I’m less interested in pulling it all together to make an actual game (although I will do this at the end of the Roblox series as that’s the goal of the series).

But all these mothballed projects make me feel so guilty. And it’s even worse when I think about my writing. Sometime ago I wrote a scifi/parallel universes book (it was originally a NaNoWriMo project). For awhile I made it available on Amazon (together with Book One of a would be fantasy trilogy, a compilation of some WoW writings I pulled into a book and a non fiction humorous (well I thought so anyway!) book on improving your brain. I pulled them all off Amazon ages ago. I just did not like seeing these supposedly finished projects up there when I knew there was still so much more I could do with them if only I had the energy to do it. And I simply didn’t have that energy. So I have an 80% finished Part 2 of the trilogy sitting untouched in Scrivener while Part 3 exists only in outline. It all torments me when I let myself think about it. So I try not to most days.

So all this stuff is mothballed and it looks like the games I have part created will be mothballed too.  In truth in terms of creativity the only thing that seems to endure is my poetry on my Sullen Craft and Seatown site and my posts on this blog. I’m also writing more for Geeks & Geeklets (see here – I’m very much enjoying being a part of that site and community).  Maybe it’s a small doses thing. I can keep doing some stuff as long as it’s short and sweet. But if it snowballs it ends up being mothballed –  sad but true.

 

Posted in Guild Wars, Hearthstone

It’s a Love Hate thing

Well New Year, new game, but before I launch into all that I mustn’t forget my manners … Happy New Year to everyone still reading this oh so sporadic blog. Hope it’s a fantastic 2016 for you all. As some of you know I had a fairly life changing 2015 and I’m just about getting my head around it all. I’m hoping for a 2016 that’s somewhat less life changing & more “Lets all settle down now and enjoy the little life we are creating.” Fingers crossed.

But what about the new game? I decided to buy Guild Wars 2 Heart of Thorns yesterday out of my Xmas money (I feel like a teenager saying this – my parents still give me money for Xmas & it seems I’m still too much of a child at heart to spend it on sensible things).  I’ve only played about two hours  so far but I think I like it. I have a Human Elementalist called Iris Seachild. I’m mainly fireballing things at present & now and again setting the ground on fire (then panicking and running out of it like a deranged Sim). Good points – I enjoyed the character customisation bit & the options to create a basic backstory. I hope the latter comes into play as her personal story unfolds (she’s only level 6 at present so that bit hasn’t started yet). I enjoyed changing the colour of my armour – yes who knew I could be into such frivolities? Gameplay-wise I like the fact you only have to speak to one person to be told about a number of different quests in the area rather than having to pick up several quests from different people (returning to each one for reward etc.). The GW2 way feels more natural (if anything in an MMO can ever be “natural”) – the relevant quest just pops up at the top right of your screen when you’re in the right area – there are no exclamation marks or question marks dotted around the landscape (although there are gold hearts!). I very much like the event system – I’ve got sidetracked several times already helping other players complete an event – the unpredictability is fun. Bad points – nothing major really but I don’t like the way you loot bodies – sometimes my click just doesn’t seem to work – might be my mouse, my lax positioning or my feeble fingers. Also the event system means I’m forever wandering off the beaten track & having to teleport back to a waypoint to get my bearings again. The crafting system looks a little overwhelming right now – a massive list of things I don’t have the ingredients to create. I’ve picked tailoring & artificer(…ing?) – I’ve no idea whether they are good ones or not. So far I’ve just made some jute bolts & lining for some jute breeches. I don’t know where to begin as an artificer so I’m ignoring it for the moment.

In summary – Guild Wars 2 Heart of Thorns – so far so good but early days yet. Unfortunately I have a dreadful cold at the moment so don’t really have the energy to get stuck into it. But I will – once my fingers are less feeble.

In other gaming news – I officially hate the aggressive Mill Rogue decks I’m encountering in Hearthstone Casual mode. I go Casual to escape the stress of the ladder not to end playing interminably long and frustrating games against some opponent having way too much fun milling my deck with Grimscale Oracles and healing himself to timbuctoo with multiple Antique Healbots (thanks to Gang Up). All’s fair in love, war & Hearthstone I know but it is such an irritating deck to play against & you feel quite ashamed when you lose against what feels like a gimmicky one trick pony deck (although it’s probably really hard to play well – if I did it I’d probably over mill my own deck while somehow ensuring my opponent had a perfect hand). Yes I lost against it & I didn’t like it. I’m now playing my own “opponent joy sucker” – a Reno Priest deck. Played 6 and won 4. Could almost taste my opponent’s tears  when I won. They tasted quite like my own against the Mill Rogue deck – salty with a hint of anger and a light seasoning of bitter revenge. Oh Hearthstone – you give me such highs and lows. Every day I both hate and love you. While I might end up enjoying Guild Wars 2 I don’t think it will ever quite inspire the emotions I can feel in a Hearthstone game nor topple it from my personal gaming league.  But then again it’s early days – the story of Iris Seaschild may yet draw me in provided she learns to stop running away from her own circles of fire and figures out how to tailor herself a nice dress (one that covers a bit more of her cleavage than her current attire – she’s not a girl that dresses for the weather it seems).