Life in Azeroth

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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.


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.

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:-

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:)

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.

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.


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).



Bravetank does … a Tournament!

Recently I’ve taken part in two Hearthstone tournaments. The first one was not great. Lost opening match 2-0 to someone who (a)successfully Golden Monkeyed me (not a euphemism) (b)completely bamboozled me with a Hunter secret I was not expecting (Dart Trap! – first time I’ve ever seen it played!). Last Wednesday though the story was slightly different – I made it to round 6. Amazing! It has to be said though that my journey would have ended at match 2 without the generosity of my second opponent. Basically I was losing & about to concede when they told me that they had to leave for football practice and so wanted to give me the wins so I had a chance to proceed to the next round. It was so nice of them. They also told me to remember Swipe as I’d played into it twice! So off I went into round 3 and amazingly I won that match and the following 2. Basically opponent 2’s generosity allowed me to experience more tournament play in one night than I could ever have imagined. And I was really glad I won the following 3 matches all fair and square since after beating my first opponent I got a rather mean DM from him saying I was a “luckster” and 100% guaranteed to lose the next match (which I would have done actually had my opponent not basically given it to me !) because I was so low on the ladder. And yes I am low- currently rank 14. But I still went on to win another three matches. There are of course many Legend players in these tournaments but not everyone is Legend (I played someone at rank 13) & the Legend players are not unbeatable (I beat two I think – I didn’t notice everyone’s rank). So just goes to show it’s not all about your position on the ladder.

In the tournament I used Mid-Range Paladin, Mid-Range Druid and Dragon Priest. The Druid match always seems to depend on how quick I could get the combo out (Force of Nature & Savage Roar) & I didn’t particularly enjoy playing it. The Paladin was fine – pretty solid and consistent, but a tad boring perhaps. I was too scared to go for my more interesting Freeze Mage and Reno Lock decks as I’m still making mistakes when I play them (just lost two on the trot with my Freeze Mage & had to endure a ridiculous amount of BM from my opponents – what is it with people these days, and why do they assume they are not squelched? And more to the point – why don’t I squelch?!!) My Dragon Priest remains my favourite to play.

The mechanics of the tournament scared me at first – you have to click a button to say you are ready within 10 mins of your opponent saying they are ready (otherwise they get a “defwin”), you have to pick your three classes & not change them mid match, you have to remember to change class if you win (it was Conquest mode) & to take screenshots in case of dispute. You also have to add your opponent to your friend list & send them a challenge. This is all straight forward stuff on paper but not when your hands are trembling with nerves. But I did it!

The entire thing took three hours! I honestly thought it would be another defeat in the first round. But I kept winning. At the end it was a Secret Paladin that proved my undoing. I still am not clear on what I need to do once Mysterious Challenger comes into play. I know the order the secrets pop but I still get my own order of attack all wrong.

I was worried about adding people to my friends list and the first message I received from the bitter defeated opponent did shake me up a little, but mostly people sent nice messages (before the match  it was “GL HF” – Good Luck Have Fun I assume), and one wished me good luck after I beat him/her too. And of course opponent 2 was really nice to let me have the wins & therefore give me the chance to proceed further. But will I do more of these tournaments? Well at potentially 3+ hours each tournament the answer has to be a no. I just can’t give up all that time to Hearthstone! But would I recommend anyone considering a tournament to try it out (even if like me they are most definitely not a Legend player) –  yes absolutely, give it a go. You might be surprised at how far you go. I was!

To Legend and Beyond?

Well I ended my November Hearthstone series at rank 13. At one point I hit rank 10 – I’m so disappointed to have slipped back to 13. My Dragon/Vol’Jin Priest deck let me down (how could you Vol’Jin after I disenchanted so many cards to craft you!) & I spent too much time doing daily quests with classes I’m not that keen on just to get enough gold to buy LoE wings. It’s a hard life isn’t it?! I think the LoE cards were worth it in the end though. Not so much Reno – I did try him (yes despite the fact I recently wrote about my Reno Jackson woes I did end up trying out a few Reno decks) but I did not have much success. I tried a Warlock Reno combo thinking I could life tap my way to Reno victory – I ended up life tapping my way to death;  I then tried a Mage one which I had one win without even drawing Reno and several losses where the Reno health gain proved totally irrelevant.

No the card I’m enjoying most is the Hunter Tomb Spider card. I’ve been playing quite a bit of this deck & doing quite well with it. This isn’t a Face Hunter deck – something I’m glad of as I hate playing Face Hunter (I always feel slightly ashamed as if I’m taking some low road to victory, even though I am really poor at playing Face Hunter and rarely achieve any victories!). Generally I’m a “control the board” gal & this new Hunter deck allows me to do this while making the most of all the lovely beast synergies the deck has on offer (& I have now randomly drawn King Krush so many times I can finally come to terms with disenchanting him so many moons ago).

I also now have the new Shaman one drop Tunnel Trogg so I thought about trying the Shaman deck everyone is excited about where the Tunnel Trogg allows you to turn the overload mechanic to your advantage. However, I disenchanted my only Doomhammer two weeks or so ago to craft Vol’jin for my Dragon Priest deck and … well you know where this is going.  So right now the Shaman deck is not for me.

Finally there’s also a new Pally card that seems quite good (Keeper of Uldaman) and I have added it to my Pally deck. However, I don’t have Justicar so I’m not that hopeful – this deck seems to be the standard. Nevertheless, I have played two games with it – one narrow victory over a Rogue (I had one health & Tirion on the board, he had  already played his two Saps so yay- cue Valeera huffily giving up); then a loss with a Warlock who outplayed me with a well timed Sylvanas (no yay – cue Uther standing shamefaced in the corner – bad old Uther – you should know how to handle Sylvanas by now).

So what am I playing today  – well actually I’m playing a new Dragon Priest deck! Yes life comes full circle and of course I’m Welsh so I find it hard to keep away from the dragons. So far one loss and one win. The story of my Hearthstone life it seems. At this rate I’ll end the month in exactly the same position as I’ve started it.

But no! That’s not good enough! I have a lot to do this month. I want to get further up the ladder than I’ve ever been before – in fact to Legend & beyond, because from this month on if you achieve Legend you get World Championship points. Yes WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP points! You all know I want to be the first ever middle aged female Welsh winner of Blizzcon. Unlikely – yes. A worthy dream – perhaps. So here goes- another month on my journey to Legend and beyond. This could be history in the making:)


Holding out for a Hero

I’ve temporarily (I think it’s temporary) put my WoW subscription on hold. I really thought I was back for good this time (apologies for the Take That reference – I thought I was better than that) but I’ve ended up taking on too much stuff. I’m enjoying this stuff and not complaining but I’m finding myself too busy to play. Plus I know I’ll be getting even busier in January when other parts of my life kick into action, and this means my play time will shrink even further. And I can’t – won’t – pay monthly for something I’m hardly playing. I feel guilty enough as it is – not long back I paid for a faction transfer for my mage and a realm transfer for my pally. Of course I was playing a lot then, enjoying the game & all rose tinted spectacles about my life as a WoW player. But things change so quickly (indeed for me they can change in a heartbeat) and now I’m regretting those purchases.  I think I should have known better.

I’m sure I’ll be back though. I will miss it and I’ll return. It always happens. But right now I’m looking for something to fill this WoW shaped hole – albeit a WoW shaped hole I wasn’t filling with WoW itself.  I don’t want to give up playing games altogether of course (perish the thought!). I am still playing Minecraft (for my fledgling YouTube channel) & Hearthstone (because I have dreams of one day being good) but the former can feel rather lonely and the latter gets me so frustrated and tense that I can only play in short sessions (plus all those Reno Jackson decks mean games are taking ages now). I want something else, something I can dip into, something free, something “MMOy”, something fun. I want to be able to play when I feel like it without feeling guilty about the times when I don’t. It could be The Secret World – I have a real hankering to play that game again. It won’t be Wildstar – I have decided I don’t like the “look at the ground & move” combat system. I thought about the Elder Scrolls – I enjoyed the game once, but now when I visualise it I just seem to see a lot of dull brown and yellow areas that all look alike and lack the colour and vibrancy of WoW.

And that’s the problem- when I think of other games I compare them to WoW and nothing seems to offer what WoW offers. There is such a variety of things to do in Azeroth, such a variety of experiences on offer. And over the years I have enjoyed so many of them. But if I don’t play the game enough all this is irrelevant.

I have also thought about forgetting the whole MMO thing & maybe just getting more into Heroes. I’m assuming that’s something I can just dip into when the fancy takes me. I’ve not played it much. I know it’s got lots of features I like (pretty colours, cool heroes, an AI to practice with, real people when I feel brave enough etc). Could be perfect for me. The more I think about it the more I think it might be time to transition from MMO to MOBA.

But then I think of WoW Pet Battles and I feel just a little bit sad.




A Juggling Act

I’m totally neglecting WoW at the moment. This is due to:-

  1. Hearthstone  – I’m rank 10. Yay! This is the highest I’ve been in months. While I don’t think I’m going to hit Legend any time soon I am aiming for single digits this month. Therefore I’m playing Hearthstone – a lot. I will be writing more about this over at Geeks and Geeklets.
  2. Speaking of Geeks and Geeklets, I’ve also been busy doing Roblox Tutorials there. Of course I use the word “tutorial” loosely. They are really videos of me figuring our Roblox so that I can at some point create a fun Roblox game for my daughter (“look what I made today dear – see mothers can be cool”) & help her create her own (she tried once, found it extremely hard & gave up). So I am basically learning Roblox as I record – this leads to some fun moments (including the building I made collapsing around my ears – a scene from a disaster movie – albeit one on a very tight budget.)
  3. I’m still working on my Unity/Fungus game – it’s a lot of fun and I’m learning a great deal, but it’s also a complete time sink.
  4. I am busy getting more videos up on my own YouTube Channel. I’ve been recording Minecraft videos for a few weeks now but there have been lots of issues. I have had video problems, audio problems, missing item bar problems & “I’m an idiot who left mute on” problems. But I finally seem to have cracked it  (I think). In celebration I have started a new Daily Vanilla Plus Minecraft series. Vanilla Plus is a Feed the Beast modpack for Minecraft. The original press release for this modpack called it an “attempt to make a mod pack that delivers some of the benefits of Modded Minecraft whilst maintaining the Vanilla feel …. providing a familiar yet enhanced playthrough.”  This is perfect for me. The Mage Quest series I was doing used the Mage Quest modpack (also Feed the Beast) which, although fun, turned out to be rather huge, very complicated and downright dangerous (eg I seemed to run into a zombie farm at every corner). Falling into lava and losing everything I’d died ten times over to get didn’t help much either.  And doing all this while trying to figure out the recording side of YouTube life … well not an easy task.  So I want to go back to the basics for a bit and enjoy Minecraft with just a few of the quality of life extras provided by the Vanilla Plus modpack. The fact is I like Minecraft as is. I enjoy mining, growing stuff and exploring. I’m already rather proud of my little farm and pretty pink house (eucalyptus wood – one of the Vanilla Plus extras) and there’s still lots more to do. If you’re interested please do pop over to the channel to see the new series. It’s going to be daily (a bit of a commitment I know but I’m going to  try and record in that magic hour when everyone is in bed – (2 days later edit: What was I thinking?? There’s no way this can be daily. There is no magic hour!!), the second  episode is uploading as I type, and it should be fun if you like that sort of thing.

So all this means I’m not playing much WoW at present. I logged in last week for an hour or two but so far I’ve not logged in at all this week , not even to get my WoW anniversary present (although husband has and he was underwhelmed). I get moments like this in WoW and I know they usually pass, but it also means I am a bit cross with myself  – I want to get my pally up to 100 & the anniversary experience boost would help no end, but I’m too busy doing other things. And in truth it feels like a grind. She’s in her late 80s & I’m fed up of Pandaria. It’s a juggling act & I’m dropping some balls – but I’m dropping the WoW ones on purpose. I’m sure it won’t last and I’ll pick them again – I just don’t know when.


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