It’s been some time since my last post and I’ve been busy in and out of gaming. What have I been up to?
First, I installed Bioshock Infinite (Christmas sale purchase) and was blown away. I played straight through and finished the game in about a week. Gameplay and story kept me going. I’m not a huge fan of fps but I enjoyed the combat options which let me explore different styles with the vigor system. I absolutely loved the ephemera in the game and and world building. Lots of wow moments. Towards the end, I sorta started putting things together but the big reveal did indeed surprise me. Wow was the term I kept saying to myself. Probably one of my best purchases of the year!
After I finished Bioshock, I was hungry again for some MMOs. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised but I found my mmo time equally split between Rift and LOTRO.
It’s was strickly PVE activities in Rift. I made an effort to complete some artifact sets in Gloamwood that contribute towards zone achievements with hit and miss success. The problem I have with artifacts is two fold; On one hand, I enjoy finding shiny’s when I’m just out and about in the world, but on the other hand, when I need a specific shiny that may spawn in x number of places, it requires x to the nth degree of patience that I rarely have in my well. Auction house is a route that I’ve used just to get that one artifact to fill in the collection but again, I can get priced out of the market b/c I have this line in the sand that I won’t cross for a shiny that adds nothing but an achievement point. My other feats in Rift is discovering that I have exactly zero Character achievements for the Saga quests. This category is the essentially the EPIC story in Rift and I totally bypassed almost all of them. I looked in the quest log and couldn’t find anything that would direct me to a starting point. I thought about looking through my completed quests but there’s no such function in Rift so that was a dead end. I turned to the internets and found a page full of hyperlinked quests and npc information but again, I had no way of knowing how much I had progressed down the chain. I finally put in a ticket to the GM and received a response the next day that guided me to where I needed to go and what I needed to do! Yeah! So, for the time being, I’ll be working on getting these Sage story’s done .
In LOTRO, I played my Reaver and War Leader and dabbled in PvP. The action of late has been increasingly spotty not very thrilling. I did some reflection on my time on this server, Riddermark. All of my most active creep tribes have ceased to exist. I’ve gone through 3 tribes (their all inactive), and that brings me to my current tribe, which is now active on a different server, Landroval. That makes just about everyone I knew when I rolled this reaver in 2011, gone . Despite all that, it still took me a week or two to mull this over but I made a decision and it’s done, I’m transfering to Landroval. On Riddermark, I still have a half a raid worth of alts and mains between lvls 60 and 95 that I would play if given some content to work with ….and a R6 know-nothing warg zerglet. So, inevitably, I’ll revisit the server after my transfer to smell the roses again.
I can’t recall a gaming week filled with greater MMO diversity. Short, goal driven gaming sessions were the order of the day.
SWTOR: Mainly focused on 3 characters there, all reaching for the mythical lvl 55 cap.
- 1. Beausoleil: Smuggler/Scoundrel, lvl 53ish, ~lvl 68 valor.
- 2. Bois’sec: Smuggler/Scoundrel, lvl 51ish, lvl 59 valor.
- 3. Jolieblon: Jedi Knight/Sentinel, lvl 54ish, lvl 59 valor.
Don’t mistake the pvp focus on valor ranking as an indication of my competitiveness. My SWTOR pvp is very casual, I cue up for warzones solo and switch characters when my daily is complete. I’m not very concerned about wins/losses, I’m more concerned on how i’m playing and whether or not i’m hitting all the right buttons.
WOW: yep, i’m still slugging away in Northrend on my Warrior. I did ride the wave of momentum following Blizzcon by shooting my way from lvl 75 to 80. I have 1-2 more zones in Northrend to explore then it’s off to Cataclysm land.
Rift: mostly logging in to collect my daily patron gift and remind myself what my quickslot bar looks like. I’m aware there a new expansion that’s hot off the presses and I went thru the initial quest but gave up until I was better antiquated with my cleric.
AOC: yet another surprise, I finally hit lvl 30 and I seem to understand the Conqueror class better now. I am enjoying the combat. However, AOC is a beginning to take on the look of the game that I’d like to continue but the game itself is getting in the way. I finally finished up the solo content of in the Cimmerian village and Conagal Valley(sic) and I just made lvl 30. What I found frustrating was that quest givers kept sending me back through areas I had cleared before. Hunting for quests was not something I have enjoyed in this zone.
LOTRO: actually been kinda quiet in lotro. My freep characters are parked and ready for the HD launch. I mostly played my creep Reaver and had some fun in the moors. I also worked on my film project and I’m near the half way point in terms of filming. Lots more editing work ahead.
Heartstone (beta): I’m giving this a try as time permits.
Waiting Game (album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As I ponder my mmo future, I’m easing off the gas and coasting. According to Raptr, I gamed half the time I did the previous week, which confirms I’m slowing down. I predict that will repeat itself until the FFXIV launch at the end of August.
I did manage to play lots of Rift with the time I had and reached several Notoriety milestones with Eternal City Survivorers and Torvan Hunters, all glorified. I used my currency bank of 200k Planarite and 85K stones to barter for some needed essence upgrades. That quickly used up all my Planarite while only using half my stones. My tank build now has~ 400 hit/toughness and my dps/heal builds have 450+ hit so I’m in a good spot with my gear.
So, while I haven’t been gaming that much I have been reading lots and lots. Reading books and comics (Ready Player One) and information on EQNext and FFXIV. I love the goodreads widget as I’ve always struggled sticking to keeping a reading record. On EQNext, I’ll keep one eye open for news but with launch so far away, it will be easy to “let it go” for now. On FFXIV, I have not been able to make up my mind what class to play first. I have only a cursory knowledge of the game and I’m hoping to learn more as I go. Lucky for me and all the other noobs out there, the FFXIV community is really thriving so I’m sure there will be no shortage of information as the game prepares for launch and after.
While Rift is still warm on my gaming plate, I might as well address what souls I’m using and why. Upfront let me say that I’m no theorist or min/maxer or raider for that matter. Everything that I know on this post, I picked up from the forums or from fan sites. These builds may not be the best in terms of what I claim they do or use them but I have fun playing them and for me, that’s what counts. I’ve used 3 Shaman based builds, 1 Justicar build and 1 Sentinel build….these cover DPS, Tanking, and Healing. Some are better solo builds, while others obviously lend themselves to groups. Healing and DPS is easier to build together as they share the same stats, Tanking stats are quite different so you should choose gear appropriately.
*to learn more about the build and how to use it effectively, click on the links.
Shaman DPS (Riftscene) – Pros: Excellent single target damage skills, high end DPS for all content; Cons: lacking effective defensive abilities. Great for groups and watching BIG Numbers fly above mobs with this build. Uses standard 2 button Shaman macro for alternating physical damage skills and magical damage skills that reduce CD of Massive Blow.
Holy fire shaman (silentstorm) Pros/cons: less DPS than Shaman DPS build but with more effective defensive abilities. Great for solo farming and not much, if any, downtime between pulls. Standard 2 button Shaman macro.
Undying (mmo-troll) – Pros:Very good defensive abilities; Cons: lower end DPS. I got the most mileage out of this build just after I returned to Rift and needed some time to learn how things worked again. Nice safe build.
Justicar Tank (riftjunkies) Pros/Cons: can’t say much as I haven’t tanked any dungeons with this build. I only sporadically tanked some Zone events but not much else. Hey, sometimes I just wanna go mace and board and smash some faces. DPS is really low so its painful to test it out on solo pve content but that is probably true of any tanking build.
Sentinel (riftjunkies) Pros/Cons: again, can’t say much as I haven’t healed dungeons since last November. I’ve healed some zone events and strongholds. You never know when healing is needed so it’s always nice to have a goto build. It does seem like a solid raid heal spec.
In the past few weeks, I hit 2 big milestones in Rift with my Cleric. I capped my notoriety with the Necropolis Caretakers faction and reached Honored level with the Empyreal Alliance faction. What does this mean? For starters, I can stop doing dailies in the Steppes of Infinity and I can now slot the +35 Primary Stat/+19 Endurance rune for my belt (thank you Necropolis Caretakers). Honored with the Empyryeal Alliance allows me to slot a lvl 60 Trinket to replace my old lvl 40 one. Playing casually, it’s definitely a climb to reach these levels, even with the patron boost. I still have Torvan hunters and several other factions to grind out… if i want too. Rift certainly has it’s fair share of endgame factions and reputation grinds that gate BIS accessories. Now these grinds are really only a requirement if you want to get into Raiding. Myself, I have no desire to do so but I still want a carrot to chase, and a faction grind is just ONE carrot on my list. In fact, just thinking about this I suddenly feel a bit tired and I foresee some diversions in the near future. Summer fest is just around the corner, yahoo!
If you’re reading this and want to know more about notoriety and factions at the endgame, I suggest you seek out the forums, reddit, and other fan sites such as Rift guru.