Author Archive

Recuperating in Stardew

Posted in Stardew Valley, Uncategorized with tags , on April 19, 2018 by Bravetank

So it’s been a long time since I last posted. In that time I’ve had 3 lots of chemotherapy, lost all my hair, been measured up for radiotherapy (have three tiny tattoos so they know where to point the beam) and finally seen the first signs of regrowth on the top of my head (yay!). During that time I have done little to no gaming –  not even Hearthstone which is a bit of a shocker given how much I was playing in the last post  (I’ve not even seen the trailer for Witchwood!)

However, I have discovered a game I can play and enjoy right now  – Stardew Valley. Now I know this is not a new game and I know many of you will have already been, seen and conquered it, but it is new to me. The other day I stumbled across a review of the game saying how chilling and relaxing it was and how it was helping people de-stress at the end of a long day and it sounded absolutely perfect for me right now as I recover from chemo and wait for radiotherapy to start. So I started playing it and I have to say I love it. It is everything the review I read said it was.

Indeed I love it so much that today I started a new YouTube Channel to record my gameplay.  I think the channel might motivate me not just to play Stardew Valley but actually to go ahead and try  some other games that I’ve never played before. I’ve been so into WoW, Hearthstone & Minecraft in the past that I’ve really narrowed my gaming horizons – time to expand them. Anyway the first episode is up, it’s a bit rough but it’s here if anyone wants to take a look. Don’t worry – I don’t mention the big C and I’m not using a web camera until I have more hair (the wigs I tried did me no favours and my current scarf wear just screams chemotherapy). I’m hoping recording videos for the new channel will help me rediscover my love of gaming and, through living in Stardew Valley, the  joys of nature (albeit the pixellated version!).


All Praise Hearthstone

Posted in Hearthstone with tags on February 2, 2018 by Bravetank

It’s been awhile I know. WoW has gone from my life yet again. I wasn’t up to it after my operation and certainly not up to it during the last chemo. Daughter logged onto her starter account yesterday though and created a blue haired goblin warrior and it was lovely just seeing WoW stuff on the screen for a bit. But it’s not for me right now.

However, there is still gaming, specifically Hearthstone. Hearthstone is perfect for me right now. I can log on and play just one game (all I’m up to at the moment), log back out, rest, code, sleep, whatever, and then when I feel up to it log back on and play another game. I’m not going to storm up the ranks this way but it is still nice to be playing. Actually I’ve been playing more Arena than ranked lately which is very unlike me. Currently I’m in the middle of a Rogue run – wins seven, losses two, so it’s all in the balance. Very exciting! In ranked play in December I reached the dizzy heights of 12 playing mostly Highlander Priest. I struggled in January – I was a bit fed up with Priest so switched to a budget Secrets Mage. However, I kept struggling against CubeLock unless I was very lucky with my card draw. However, towards the end of January I acquired a golden hunter legendary  which I disenchanted for  Aluneth and now my budget Secret Mage deck is budget no more! Hoping it can help me climb the ladder this February (if I manage to break away from Arena that is).

There was news today about the Year of the Mammoth celebration – each quest you complete between 1 Feb and 14 Feb enters you into a prize draw (max 14 entries). The prize is 1000s of card packs. Would be truly awesome to win! The prize draw should at least keep me motivated to complete my daily quests over the next fortnight. That said I have chemo next week so who knows? My last chemo  ended up with me in hospital. Hope this one is a little easier so I am up to recuperating with a bit of Hearthstone. Winning the prize draw would be the icing on the cake of course. Fingers crossed for a good month.

Guilty Your Honour

Posted in World of Warcraft with tags on December 3, 2017 by Bravetank

So I wasn’t able to play for a bit as I had an operation. I was in more pain after the op than I thought I would be (still in quite a bit of pain to be honest but the pain killers are helping). But yesterday and today I’ve been back on and I’m almost, almost, 109. This is the slowest journey to 110 ever. I’m being my usual inept self – I’m meant to be in Highmountain but keep getting lost and ending up in Stormheim and  I’ve thrown myself off more cliffs than I care to remember. More positively I’ve rediscovered an interest in pet battles and put a ton of stuff for sale on the auction house – 9 levels worth of mining & skinning. I might actually be a millionaire if I sell everything (or I might not be – I’m really bad at maths). It’s been lovely coming back to Azeroth. It’s been very peaceful- the guild I’m in is not one of those “in your face” guilds. I always think of it as like Cheers. It’s a place where you feel at home and always welcome but are left alone unless you don’t want to be. I love the guild and I’m very grateful for the fact they let me stay even when I’m unsubbed.

Not much else to say. I keep feeling guilty about killing & skinning animals in WoW but this is ridiculous given yesterday in real life I ate a turkey and stuffing roll (it was disgusting though and I threw half of it away). I’ve also been feeling guilty about neglecting my blog. And while I play WoW I feel guilty for not focusing on my studies. Yes guilt is still an ever present thread in my life. I’m now going to make myself some breakfast even though I was going to try a fast today. So I will feel guilty about that too. I thought battling cancer would free my mind from petty concerns but actually my mind is tied up in the worse knots ever. But that’s not really WoW related so I’ll stop there. It’s hard unravelling my head but I will try my best to at least keep my WoW & personal blogs separate. This blog is for Azeroth only. Suffice to say I just want to enjoy my time in Azeroth guilt free and that’s something I am still struggling with.

It takes a Paladin

Posted in World of Warcraft with tags on November 12, 2017 by Bravetank

So the other day I wrote that I did not currently have much  energy for WoW. However, I seem to have discovered a way to play for slightly longer stretches, and more importantly a way to enjoy the time I play (not sit behind the keyboard feeling overwhelmed and drained before I even start) and the answer seems to be playing my paladin Terema.

Terema was my first ever WoW character so holds a special place in my heart. But somewhere around Wrath time I dropped her for a mage main, Seashell. For awhile I just had it in my head I couldn’t play melee. Actually that’s true when it comes to dungeons and raids – in the heat of battle everything is a blur and I have no idea what to target. That said  I do like Paladin healing (the little I’ve tried) and  in the past have been the healer in some lower level dungeons. Of course Bravetank the character originated as an attempt to crack the tanking nut ( his blog was meant to chart my progress). I failed to crack it (mostly because I cannot find my way around any dungeon) and poor Bravetank the pally has been abandoned in Shattrath City of all places.

Anyway Terema is currently my highest character (107 as  of today – yes I’ve not even maxed any character in Legion yet). Clearly I’d had a bit of a questing spree with her when I was last subbed. Seashell in contrast is a ghost in Stormwind. I have no idea how that happened or why I left her as a ghost but I don’t have the oomph to sort her out so there she stays. I like to think she’s haunting Innkeeper Alison and slowly driving her out of her mind.

Anyway as Terema is the highest character I thought it might be worth having a go playing her (the 110 goal being the much nearer I thought I’d feel less overwhelmed).  I’ve also realised part of my weariness when playing is to do with the fact I’m not enjoying my Shadow Priest. I just feel so bored by her. So I thought changing to Terema might help.

And so far so good. I was able to level her yesterday and complete the Val’Sharah storyline (yes I’m that far behind ). And more importantly I had moments when playing when I finally had that lovely WoW feeling I’ve been looking for – I was on my own clearing mobs, enjoying the scenery, the atmosphere, the music and basically the whole process of questing and levelling and feeling like you are actually getting somewhere. I had that moment yesterday and I remembered why I love the game and keep coming back to it. So thank you Terema. As a reward I’m going to get you to 110 and let you be my main in the  Battle for Azeroth – I think you’ve earned it.

Just sit awhile

Posted in Hearthstone, World of Warcraft with tags , on November 7, 2017 by Bravetank

I am doing shockingly bad in terms of playing WoW right now. Just don’t feel well enough. I wanted WoW to be an escape from all the health related stuff I’m dealing with but I’m struggling. I am just so tired.  I log on, do one or two things and then log off again, exhausted. Crazy. You’d swear I was physically running around Dalaran. It seems however excited I feel about all the Blizzcon stuff I’m going to need to get a whole lot better before I’m up to it.

At least there’s Hearthstone. Or there was. To begin with it felt like  Hearthstone was something I could manage. I could log in, play a game, log out, then later if I felt up to it go back in and play some more. But now I’m not sure.  When I play I’m switching between a mid range control Hunter, this Warlock deck (minus the Lich King which I don’t have) and a Highlander Priest deck. However, I lose far more than I win. Now of course this could just be my skills (lack of) but I think it’s more than that.  I find myself mentally and physically flagging mid game, feeling overwhelmed by it all and basically just wanting to concede. Not going to hit Legend that way.

But it’s the WoW thing that has me feeling really sad. I’m just not up to proper gaming right now and it’s a shame because I really miss Azeroth. I might just have to content myself with logging in, flying somewhere beautiful and just sitting awhile, enjoying the scenery. There are worse things.


A Vanilla Moment

Posted in World of Warcraft with tags on November 4, 2017 by Bravetank

Well Blizzcon has got me all fired up again. In a good way. Actually Blizzcon always gets me fired up in a good way. I’ve never been one to rant and rave about why they did this/that and not that/this. I don’t have that type of obsession with the game that would make my soul burn at every perceived wrong turn. Sometimes my soul might twitch. On occasion it might tickle. But never burn.

Yes today I’m fired up in a good way. The main cause of this is the Vanilla server announcement. That got me really excited. The video they showed of everything rolling back in time was amazing. I’ll need to rewatch it so I catch everything. All I could think throughout was Menethil Harbor and the Wetlands. I’ll see them again just like they used to be.

Menethil Harbor and the Wetlands are my goto thoughts whenever I get all nostalgic about everything WoW used to mean to me. I loved the area so much. I remember spending a lazy Saturday morning questing there and one moment noticing the way the light hit the ground and just how beautiful it was. We live near some wetlands and when I go there I’m always transported back to that moment in WoW. I love it when real places do this to me. In fact I often find myself deciding whether I like a real place/landscape by how much it reminds me of WoW and how well it evokes my WoW feelings.

But  Cataclysm came and flooded the harbor and the whole area never looked the same. I know you can still go there but it’s changed, things feel different (for one thing I keep tripping over all the sandbags) and I don’t like it.  But now there’s hope. On a Vanilla Server I could go back and see it all again just as it was and maybe, just maybe, recapture that moment when all seemed right with the world.

I’m less excited about the Horde v Alliance Battle for Azeroth – haven’t we been there like a thousand times before? The change to PvP/PvE servers sounds ok and I really like the idea of the return of 3 man scenario type things – I used to love scenarios, they were a way to get that group feel without having to go full hog and endure a 5 man pug. I’m also excited about the new playable races.

But all this yesterday gave me a conundrum. You see the other day, although I’d resubbed to WoW, I  had to delete it from my laptop because I’d run out of space. I had decided I would play on my daughter’s computer as and when I had time. This was a solution but not a great one because in reality it would take a lot to get me off my own laptop. I am always busy doing this/that and if WoW isn’t just a simple click away I won’t play it (I mean the thought I might actually have to put my computer down and walk over to another one is unthinkable – yes an unthinkable thought – how Zen is that?).  So I started questioning the logic of resubbing.

But yesterday’s Blizzcon got me all fired up to to get back into WoW properly before all this new stuff happens (I need to clear the old new stuff before I can enjoy the new new stuff if you follow). So here I am at crazy o’clock ruthlessly deleting things my computer probably needs to survive just so I can free some space for WoW so that I can pay again.

On that basis I’d say Day 1 of Blizzcon was a success,

Out and About

Posted in World of Warcraft with tags on October 22, 2017 by Bravetank

So I’m not one to rest on my laurels. After writing yesterday about wanting to return to Azeroth I went ahead and resubbed. It was a nightmare reinstalling WoW as my computer seems to be eating its own memory (Gbs have been disappearing by the second). But I seem to have sorted that out now and WoW is installed and I’ve been back on. I firstly went to a brand new realm and started a human warlock but that was a mistake. I don’t want to go back to the beginning. I need to stop doing that. So this morning I went on Darllen (Welsh for “reading”, which seemed funny at the time but now annoys me). She is a priest who has spent the last few months stuck in the Priest class hall doing absolutely nothing. Turns out some troops have completed a mission I’ve long forgotten about and she has a mission from Khadgar to go to Suramar and find out what fell from the sky and “cut a swath” through the felstorm. So far so good. I took a flight from Krasus Landing to Suramar and proceeded to swim my way out to the circle on my map. And then I swam underwater to look for the thing I was meant to find. And I looked. And looked. And I still haven’t found it. I’ve had a few underwater tussles, I’ve nearly drowned several times (I probably should have got a potion), I’ve rued the day I never got a sea horse from Vashj’ir, I’ve gone in a cave and fought something I shouldn’t have fought yet, and still apparently I’ve not adequately searched the crash site. In the end I went to Wowhead and discovered I need to find a black swirly area. Can’t recall running into one. I would have thought I’d have noticed that. Hey ho. Currently logged out (my battery on the laptop was nearly dead). Darllen has been left treading water in the middle of the sea. I suspect she’s happy enough.  It makes a nice change from Netherlight Temple.

Needing Azeroth

Posted in World of Warcraft with tags on October 21, 2017 by Bravetank

I made this blog private for awhile as I wasn’t playing much and didn’t have anything games related to say. And then something happened which you can read about in my personal blog here if you’re interested (it’s to do with cancer though so be warned). And now – because of this other stuff – I want to come back and restart the blog.  But what to write about? I’m playing some Hearthstone right now but not doing anything amazing (I ping pong between 20 and 18 – neither are numbers of which to be proud!).  I do have Guild Wars but can’t get into it. I miss…well you know what I miss … I miss the game and the world I turn to when things get tough. Yes, I want to return to Azeroth right now. I think I need to return to Azeroth right now.  I want to be Bravetank again.

Magical Times

Posted in Minecraft with tags on May 6, 2017 by Bravetank

I’m not sure I’m going to like streaming after all. It seems so intrusive. People saying hello in chat and the realisation dawning on me that I’m not alone in my Minecraft world, that people are seeing what I’m up to and that I need to narrate my experiences and explain my choices. Doesn’t feel comfortable. I think I’m happier narrating my experiences and explaining my choices on here, after the fact,

I am still enjoying Minecraft though. Ended up focusing on Simply Magic, a magic focused modpack for the PC. It has all sorts of different magical paths and I’m focusing on Witchery to start. Already have a very pretty witchery garden, growing lots of different trees (you need the saplings for your fumes), as well as belladonna, mandrake (which you can only harvest at night otherwise you get into a devilish tustle with the creature), wolfsbane etc. I have a cauldron, an oven and altar (the latter adorned with a zombie head to give it power … yes magic works in mysterious ways). I’m following the sometimes helpful questbook and certainly it’s got me this far, although now things are ramping up in difficulty. I have to get spectral dust by killing a spectral creature that I can call through a Rite of Summoning that looks far too complex for this stage of my  journey. The same goes for the magical mirror I am meant to be crafting. The only thing that looks vaguely achievable is the Distillery, but what I then do with that is again too complex for words. It’s the sort of modpack where I need to have a notepad beside me to keep track of what I need to collect. And it’s the sort of modpack where google is your friend. But it’s really interesting and fun, albeit hard work, and I’m  enjoying losing myself in Minecraft again.  And amazingly for a 40 something year old I am stillon edge  when exploring an underground cave and I still scream my head off when a zombie groans behind me.  Good times.

Streaming Minecraft

Posted in Uncategorized on April 30, 2017 by Bravetank

So despite everything I said I’ve had no time nor inclination to play WoW over the past few weeks. So ended up only resubbing  for a month and now it’s all over. Not sure what that says about me and WoW going forward. Maybe whatever we had is really lost? Can’t go back, must go forward I guess.

So…going forward … last week I used my few couple of hours free to stream Minecraft on the  PS4 to my You Tube channel. I was missing Minecraft & had a hankering to give streaming a go. But the stream cut off halfway through and I didn’t realise and … well it was all rather disappointing (viewers – all 0 of them – missed some awesome mining). The other problem with PS4 Minecraft is it’s Vanilla & I like  modpacks.

So today I set up Minecraft on the computer again, downloaded FTB Feed the Beast mod pack & OBS for streaming and linked everything to Twitch and spent over an hour streaming. Had one viewer for about 5 minutes. They said one or two things in chat which was nice. But viewers or no viewers  I had a lot of fun. The realisation is slowly dawning that these days I prefer Minecraft to WoW and I enjoy streaming (although all I do is talk to myself the entire time). I think I’m going to do more of it and hopefully get better of it.

My stream is here if anyone is interested. Today’s stream got off to a shaky start – I was fiddling with my settings and forget to speak for awhile! Gets better as it goes on – although I should apologise for the scream when a creeper pays me a visit!