Escaping TinyKeep and ESO Progress

I generally don’t like games like TinyKeep, but there was something about the previews that made it seem like a whole lot of fun. I have not played it a whole lot yet because the first half hour was full of frustration (more on that in a minute) before I got it figured out, but when I actually got moving and working towards escaping the dungeon I quickly found enjoyment in what I was doing.

My frustration comes from the controls, keybindings, and lack of any sort of keymapping glossary or customization screen (at least that I could find.)

The game has little pop ups on screen telling you what button to press to do certain things, which would work well, except that they are not keyboard buttons, they are Microsoft Xbox Controller buttons. If you don’t have a controller on your PC, this does not translate to anything usable. I spent a good half hour trying different keys on the keyboard, in different situations trying to map out the controls for myself.

Spending 10 minutes trying to figure out how to “Press A” to open a door, sucked. A key did nothing. Then I realized it was the A button on a controller that it was referencing. No controller here.

Anyway, once I got it going I got a couple of good 10+ minute runs in the game before dying. If you didn’t know, it is a top-down, procedurally generated dungeon escape game with permadeath. When your character dies, you start from the beginning and try again, except the next time the map will be different!

It was fun, and using the environment to help hinder or kill the guards trying to kill you was pretty fun. I’ll probably talk more about this when I have some more time with it.  Hopefully the developer patches in some keyboard keymapping options or something to help out new players, soonish.

 

Finally, the Axe has come back to Tamriel 

After what was probably two months of jumping around between classes and builds, I got myself figured out and have a plan for my first Ebonheart Pact character to the Veteran Ranks. My Dragonknight, Sigvar the Axe has, has put away one of his axes in favor of a shield, and will be using it to break Daedric faces.

As of last night I finished and cleared all of Deshaan (save the group dungeon) and I had a blast playing the DK through that zone. It was also my first time playing through Deshaan and I loved the storyline there.

Right now my build is using One Hand and Shield on both bars, though I will be playing at Bow and possibly leveling up some Resto for utility.

Bar 1 contains all of my damage and most used abilities, while bar 2 holds my less frequently used buffs and other skills. Basically my rotation starts with Bar 2 buffs, then flip to Bar 1 and use Invasion to clobber some poor sap, then I start burning them alive with my fire skills all while smacking them with my shield and hitting them with a sharp axe.

Sometimes the Dragon wings pop out and I make Daedra cry. It’s all good fun.

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Sauron Went Down to Hobbiton

Sauron Went Down to Hobbiton
to the tune of “the Devil Went Down to Georgia” by the Charlie Daniels Band, inspired by @brrzap and @toarda

Sauron went down to Hobbiton,
He was looking for a soul to steal,
He was in a bind, he was way behind,
And was lookin’ to make a deal.
When he came across this young hobbit baking a pie and making it hot,
Sauron jumped up on a hickory stump and said “Lass let me tell you what!”

“I bet you didn’t know it, but I’m a pie maker too,
and if you care to take a dare, well I’ll make a bet with you.
Now you bake a pretty good Pie, lass, but give Ol’ Sauron his due.
I’ll bet an oven of gold, against your soul, ‘cause I think I am better than you.”

The hobbit said “My name’s Berry, and it might be a sin,
but I’ll take your bet, you’re gonna regret, ‘cause I’m the best there’s ever been.”

Whiteberry take out your dough and and roll it out real hard,
Cause hell’s broke loose in Hobbiton and Sauron deals the cards.
If you win you get this shiny oven made of gold,
but if you lose Ol’ Sauron gets your soul.

Sauron put on his apron and he said “I’ll start this show”
And fire rose up from his finger tips as he began to mix his dough.
He threw the dough in a pan and he made an evil hiss,
And a band of goblins gave him a hand and the pie began smelling like bliss.

When Sauron finished, Berry said, “well you’re pretty good ol’ Son,
but sit down in that chair right there and let me show you how it’s done!”

Fire in the oven, run boys, run
Sauron’s in the house, blotting out the sun
Chickens in the bread pan pickin’ out dough
Maggot do your dogs bite?
No, child, no.

Well Sauron bowed his head because he knew that he’d been beat,
and delivered that golden oven, right to Berry’s feet.
Berry said “Sauron just come on back if you ever wanna try again,
But I done told you once, you son of an orc, I’m the best there’s ever been!”

And he put fire in the oven, run boys, run
Sauron’s in the house, blotting out the sun
Chickens in the bread pan pickin’ out dough
Maggot do your dogs bite?
No, child, no.

How WoW Ruined MMO Gaming

A decade ago, Blizzard launched it’s now extremely well known and successful MMO: World of Warcraft. There is now doubt in my mind that the features found in this game helped boost MMORPG games to the mainstream. It helped shape and redefine the genre and make it accessible to gamers from all walks of life. It also ruined MMO gaming.

World of Warcraft can and should be held in high regard for its success. It found the perfect combination of features and presented them in a way that it could appeal to the masses, with so much staying power that it is still going strong after 10 years. It has done something no other MMO game has done before, and others only hope at ousting WoW from the throne.

Despite all this, it is these same changes that lead to the games success that also lead to the ruin of MMO gaming as we knew it.

Once upon a time in games like EverQuest, Asheron’s Call and Dark Age of Camelot, players had to be respectful of others in game, or they would find trouble progressing. Back then the questing systems and grouping was not like it is done now. Often times, for the best XP in games like this (that did not include getting buffed by a high level character and power leveled on golems) one had to find a group of people that were camping a spawn, and that group would grind out kills for hours on end.

Yes, I know: that sounds boring. But it had a very interesting and nice side effect. You made real friendships with people. In between pulls all you had to do was sit in the dungeon and chat. You got to know people. In addition to this your began to earn a reputation. If you acted like your average Barrens chat kiddie, you would not be invited back to the group and eventually word would get out about you and other group leaders would pick someone else over you as well.

There was a time in Dark Age of Camelot where on my server a very popular (good XP) yet small spawn of tree ents was constantly camped. Only a couple groups of people would fit and they were on a rotation with people lined up waiting for someone to drop so they could get an invite in. Most everyone got a chance, but there were a few rude/entitled types that were on the Do Not Invite list.

These days, entire regional chats full of hundreds of players would make these lists. Modern MMOs are much easier to level in, PVE quests are more often than not solo adventures, and where you do have to group, quick pick up groups can usually suffice. There is no need to maintain a ‘good rep’ in MMO games these days. The quick in and out and solo nature makes the requirement almost invalid. This leads to people exhibiting what is now normal “internet behavior” in game.

This also makes it much harder for people to create the same bonds with other players that was prevalent in older games. I don’t know how many times I’ve “grouped” with other players in modern games, where no one says anything, as we all know what needs done, and we get the quest done and the group is immediately disbanded. Outside of raiding, there is little need of teamwork in modern MMOs. Very little need to communicate with anyone and community only happens within guilds and where an outside force (social media, forums) can cultivate it.

 

When I read or hear someone complain of “single player in an MMO”, or talk about the trash community, or how easy they are these days, drama in the games, etc.; I can only look back to what caused the revolution in MMORPG gaming: WoW.

On ESO, Destiny, Minecraft

I had an interesting conversation with someone on Twitter this morning about Minecraft. She stated it would have sold for more money had the game ‘looked better’.

I completely understand the viewpoint, as I am the first person to admit that I will ignore a game because I don’t like the graphics or art style. I am willing to miss what might be great game play if I can’t stand looking at the game. However, in the case of Minecraft, I firmly believe that a good portion of the reason it did so well and gained so much mass market appeal is because of the graphics.

“Retro” is a big thing right now, and the simple visuals allow for the game to be played on just about any device or machine with very little problem regardless of how great the machine’s spec’s are. Everything being square makes building pretty easy to do and still allows for some great imagination and creativity to thrive. Compare this to the similar aspects of Landmark and it’s steep learning curve.

I guess it was my Destiny

I had heard a lot of hype surrounding Destiny and being a shooter (which I am not a huge fan of due to my generally not being good at the PVP portions) I had pretty much ignored it. Yeah, some of the features sounded cool and it seemed to have an interesting story but I just didn’t get excited about it. I can’t get it on my preferred platform, and I really didn’t want to have to buy a PS4 for it.

As I was mostly ignoring it I didn’t really know a whole lot about it, and it was not until the day after it released that I found out it was on PS3, so despite not getting to see the apparent amazing graphics the XB1 and PS4 were seeing, and because of what a few friends were saying about the game; I decided to take a leap and basically bought the game on impulse. Something I rarely do with brand new full priced games.

I am extremely glad I did. This has got to be the most fun in an FPS I have ever had.

More on ESO Struggles

I am still having a very hard time deciding what I want out of a main character in ESO. I am fine just hopping back and forth between alts for the most part, but I REALLY want to take a toon and focus on it, get it to VR and gear it up, so I can have fun with my guild mates.

Still torn on what I want…

Rough Times in the Stonefalls

I have been having a blast in ESO since my move to the Ebonheart Pact and joining up with an awesome guild there. My playtime has not been with out frustration though. I am having an in-game identity crisis. I am having trouble finding a character/build I want to stick with for the long haul.

So far I’ve played two characters through the first zones and into Deshaan. Shortly after finishing the first set of quests there I have gotten the urge to try a different character. I’ve also got a third character to level 10 and have parked it in Cyrodiil, but have not touched it since.

There are just so many options and viable build combinations in ESO that I don’t know what I want to devote a ton of time to. This is somewhat normal for me as I will usually bounce around various characters for the first 4-6 months in a new MMO before deciding which class gets the greenlight for consumption of my soul.

Next up is a Nightblade tank build I’ve been messing with on ESOHead, I just need to come up with a good solid name for him – I’ll need him to have one to aid in any character attachment that may happen.

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