Legion Launch Love

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Unlike many unhappy people, my Amazon order of Legion arrived on time and I was able to play when I got home from work. It sounds like most of the issues were with the collector’s edition, and I only got the normal version, so that probably saved me. I booted up the game and spent about 20 minutes waffling about which character I wanted to level first. I logged in to every level 100 alt so they could start gaining rested XP at least. Then I finally decided on my mage. It is just too fun to pass up!

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I decided to go with fire mage even though I usually level as frost. This time around getting the artifact power as I leveled seemed like it would be worth it. I snagged my fancy artifact weapon and then spent a long time wandering around the mage class hall. It is so perfectly magey and I love it!

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I chose Azsuna as my first leveling zone and I was not disappointed. It has been a mix of enemies so far, legion and naga and others. I don’t want to spoil the story yet but it was interesting enough to keep me entertained. I was surprised that I completed the “main” story fairly quickly, since I still have a lot of the zone left to do, but I got the quest to do the Eye of Azshara dungeon. I dinged level 101 and popped back to Dalaran to check on crafting quests and my class hall. That’s when the DDoS attack struck. Since it was getting late anyway I decided to call it a night instead of getting increasingly annoyed at not being able to do anything. I can’t tell you how happy I am to not be in a hurry this expansion. Questing has been fun and pretty relaxed, and I don’t have to get enraged when normal launch day issues happen. I’m really looking forward to finishing Azsuna and seeing what the rest of the zone has to offer before I move on!

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Holding Pattern

Legion is launched! Unfortunately I purchased a physical copy and have to wait until this afternoon to play. But!! When preorders went live I bought a copy for my 2nd account, so I could get the level 100 boost right away. I can play Legion this morning, but only on my 2nd account where nothing really matters.DHflex

So I hopped on to my demon hunter, a class that is far down my leveling list on my main account. Hopefully I got enough out of my system to tide me over until I get home from work and school today and log in on my “real” account. I’ve been having fun, but I don’t want to dig too far into things and end up being annoyed at repetition on my main later. It feels a bit awkward, but it is still better than having to wait while everyone else can play this morning!

 

My Legion Launch Preparations

I haven’t made any. Jazz Hands.

Over the past couple weeks I’ve done what I felt like doing instead of making sure every character is prepared for Legion. That means I collected the invasion transmog and used invasions to level alts I’ll probably never play, instead of gearing up the characters who will be first out of the gate in the expansion. Heck, I still haven’t truly chosen a main for Legion yet. Mage is in the lead but I may still cave at the last second and play something that can heal. Who knows?! My alts are in disarray, I haven’t kept up with any gold making activities and I have remained relatively spoiler-free about the leveling content for the expansion. It may look like peak laziness but is in fact a carefully calculated gamble. I’m hoping that by going into the expansion completely unprepared and with no concrete plans, I might just be able to slow down, enjoy the leveling process, and avoid burnout. I don’t have any plans for raiding outside of LFR, but I do have at least 2 groups of folks making noises about mythic+ dungeons and that’s good enough for me. It is so much easier to wrangle 5 people on a regular basis than 10 or 20. Plus, the new Karazhan is set up for 5 people, and that’s the only must-see content I’ve seen announced so far!

I also haven’t done any IRL preparations for the launch of the expansion. No days taken off work, no meals prepped ahead of time, and no plans to stay up late. The last time I did a full-out MMO all night launch party was for WildStar. There’s no way I can muster that kind of enthusiasm for a new WoW expansion. Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited to see everything new, but I’m not in such a hurry to get leveled that I need to stay up all hours and waste precious leave time. It doesn’t help that this is the first week of classes, so there’s not much chance of me getting away for a few weeks anyway. But this weekend is a holiday in the States, and I am sure I’ll be getting a ton of WoW playing done then!

The sense I’ve been getting from my social circles is that people are becoming less likely to go through the full launch night nonsense as time goes on. Lots of folks are already making backup plans for the next few days in case of the ubiquitous server issues or DDoS attacks. Are any of you planning an all-nighter for Legion? or are you planning to face those demons only after a good night’s rest?

What I’m Playing: August 28, 2016

This week has been very strange due to my recent medical “stuff”. I had a bunch of down time, but wasn’t able to actually sit at a computer to play games. As a result my gaming activity for the week ended up being very different from what I had planned.

World of Warcraft: I had grand plans for WoW this week. With the Legion invasion event still going I was hoping to get at least one more character to 100. Since Tuesday I have barely touched the game sadly, so I think the event is effectively over for me. It was fun overall, and I got a lot of leveling done. Still, I’ll be glad for Legion’s launch this week and the copious amounts of new things to do. If this event is a good indication of how the expansion will feel, count me as excited.

Diablo 3: This is where I spent most of my computer time, which was still pretty small. I’ve been working toward upgrading my legendary gems to 65 for the conquest, and also slowly augmenting some of my ancient legendaries so I can tackle higher greater rifts. Rifting has been perfect since each one won’t last any longer than 15 minutes and I can get up from my desk afterward to take a break. It’s been just enough that it makes me want to grab the stash tab this season, but with Legion coming on Tuesday I doubt I’ll stay dedicated enough to finish the job.

Mobile Games: I don’t usually play a huge amount of mobile games but they got a lot more appealing to me this week. I still play Pokemon Go every day, but lately it consists of logging in, catching any pokemon nearby, and logging back out. Instead I’ve been relying on 3 old favorites to pass the time: Tiny Tower, Puzzle and Dragons, and Alphabear. They seem to have the right combination of mindless tapping and cute puzzles to keep me distracted, and I can rotate between the three as resources or my attention span become limiting. It’s not exactly a high caliber of gaming but it has been great to keep me occupied this week.

That’s pretty much it for me this week. Next week is going to be all about the Legion, assuming I can actually sit at a computer long enough to enjoy it. I hope your week was more productive than mine!

Complicated Past

On the Aggrochat podcast this week we all talked a bit about our various histories with World of Warcraft and why it sometimes sounds like it physically pains us to speak about that game today. One of the things I didn’t go into on the show was a huge part of my relationship with WoW. Not too long after I started playing I was struggling with medical issues and in particular chronic pain. WoW was a source of comfort and companionship no matter what weird hour of the night I found myself needing it. I even found folks who were going through the same thing as me, and had a bit of a support group of blood elves with medical problems. When I was stuck home on medical leave and recovering from surgery, WoW helped me feel like I was still connected with the outside world. To this day it is still a comfortable refuge when life is crappy, even though the game itself has changed dramatically, and even though I lost touch with most of the people I was friends with in that painful past. It also means I can’t think or talk critically about WoW and its history without remembering what I was going through back then, and all the friends I gained and lost.

Not Missing Much

Oh no! I’ve missed a couple of days worth of posts! Good thing this year is the super chill version of Blaugust, and there’s no repercussions of a few missed days. I’ve had some medical stuff come up (don’t worry, I’m fine!) that makes sitting at my desk for long stretches a problem. Thus I haven’t done much gaming to speak of the past few days and don’t have much to say here.

I have found that Diablo 3 is pretty great for squeezing a little gaming into small doses. I can pop in and run a rift in 15 minutes or so and then take a break. I’ve even managed to get myself through GR69 and do a T12 rift in under 6 minutes for the season journey, so I’m almost finished the Destroyer rank. D3 isn’t as fun solo, but playing solo means I can walk away and pause the game at any time so it has been working out for my needs this week. At this stage I believe the only things I have left to do for the stash tab are 2 conquests and a T13 rift in under 5 minutes. Maybe I will get it this season after all. It is definitely looking like there’s more D3 in my future than I had planned, anyway.

Book Challenge #100: C.S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy

So when I thought about doing this challenge, I got all excited about the long list of amazing books I was going to read. Then I looked at the list and saw that the first thing I’d be reading was C.S. Lewis and I almost decided to quit before I’d even started. To say I have a negative opinion of this author is a huge understatement. However, I hadn’t read this series in particular, and it did make the list so I figured I would give it a shot. I did resent shelling out four bucks for the privilege.

The Space Trilogy is Lewis’ attempt to reach adult audiences with his The first book of this series is Out of the Silent Planet, published in 1938.

This series’ inclusion on this list smacks of “well we can’t include Narnia since it is technically children’s fiction, but we have to throw some C.S.Lewis on there somehow.”

In this story, the protagonist, Professor Ransom, walks through the countryside until he is drugged, beaten, and abducted by a childhood acquaintance and a famous scientist. They steal him away to another planet where he’s meant to be given to the natives for presumably nefarious purposes. Instead, after they land Ransom escapes and runs off, eventually meeting the planet’s inhabitants and learning about their world. By the end he is reunited with his captors, and they discover the reason why the aliens wanted a human in the first place.

The first 2/3 of this book is boring but passable. It sets up the story and gets the protagonist from Earth to Mars. Addition of alien language comes across as grammar lesson instead of compelling part of the world. Portrayals and reactions to women, “simple” people, and “savages” are awful and incredibly off-putting.

The last 1/3 of this book was a condescending, thinly-veiled religious allegory. I have no problems with allegory in general, but here there’s no subtlety or novelty about it whatsoever. A book about ending up on an alien planet and uncovering their social structure and religion could be interesting. A book about going to Mars to hear a retelling of the bible is incredibly boring.

My copy came with a free preview chapter of the 2nd book of the series. I declined to read it.

TL;DR:

Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis

Rating: 1/5 stars

Verdict: Would not recommend, unless you are interested in being bludgeoned about the head with christian allegory.

What I’m Playing: August 21, 2016

Another week of nothing but Diablo 3 and World of Warcraft. It should be depressing that I haven’t played more games, but honestly I’ve been having tons of fun with these old comfortable titles.

WoW: I got my baby mage to 100 this week via the invasion roller coaster. I also got my legendary ring on my druid, so I can say I saw that story on at least one character this expansion. The story quest they added this week as part of the lead up to Legion was also really fun. It wasn’t as epic as the Broken Shore quest but it was nostalgic and entertaining. Now I’m just leveling various alts and enjoying myself in these last few days before the expansion. In addition to the baby mage I’ve gotten a warrior from 1 to 64 and a DK up to 79 with invasions. It will be interesting to see what the total level count from this event will be.

D3: There’s been slow but steady progress this week. I’ve gotten 3 legendary gems up to level 60, and managed to clear GR68 solo. The pants I screwed up a while back have been fixed, and 2 more pieces of ancient legendary gear have been augmented. I just wish I could find or craft an ancient bow, it is the one huge thing holding me back right now. I’m leaning more and more toward not bothering with the stash tab for this season, but I think I would at least like to finish the step of the journey that I’m on right now. I just need one conquest and a TXII speed rift to finish up.

 

Screenie Saturday: Wrapping up WoD

Minor spoilers for Legion intro quests.

This week has been all about wrapping things up in Draenor and getting ready for Legion.

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I finally got my legendary ring. With over a week to spare before the quests disappear!

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Legion seems to be the expansion of maximum nostalgia. This intro quest (after the broken shore) was no exception.

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I can not wait to come back here at 110 and see what happens to the place.

What I’m…Reading?

I am fortunate enough to have some extra down time in my days when I’m not working and playing games and making ends meet. I suppose I could use this time to be productive. I could wash the giant pile of laundry that’s waiting for me, or finish painting my office, but no. Why would I do those things when I can lose myself in a good book? I’ve been trying to step away from the computer each night early enough to read for at least a half hour before bed. This week I remembered that NPR’s Top 100 Science Fiction & Fantasy Books list exists, and that I keep meaning to work my way through it. I figure Blaugust is a perfect time to get started on it, to give me more blog fodder and to keep me honest and see if I’m still making progress.

I chose this list instead of any of the billion other lists of top sci-fi and fantasy because I generally trust NPR as a curator of interesting stories, because 60,000 people voted on it, and because it is easily accessible. I do acknowledge that it is 5 or so years old now, so it is probably missing a few amazing recent works.

The list cheats a bit, in that many of the items are series, not single books. If a single book of a series is listed alone, I’ll just read that one. For listed series, I’ll read the first book and leave the rest up to personal discretion. If I enjoyed the first one or if I feel like it is worthwhile to me culturally to keep reading I will. Even if I’m really loving a series I will probably stop after 3 and come back to it later because if I get myself bogged down in The Wheel of Time or some other long series I may never finish this list.

I also recognize that this is a very long term project. If I did no other reading it would still take ages to get through this entire list, so I’m only going to require that I finish one of these per month. That way I can alternate between these classics and whatever new shiny novel Seanan McGuire wrote this week or other thing that catches my fancy.

So here are my full ground rules for this challenge:

  1. Start at #100 and work up the list to #1
  2. Must attempt every book
  3. May skip books after reading at least 25% if they are just awful or upsetting
  4. May stop series after reading the first book
  5. Must track progress and rate each work
  6. Must complete one book each month

I did the math before writing this post, and I’ve read about half of this 100 already. Some of them recently, some of them decades ago. I’m curious to see if they hold up to my vague memories of them, or if age gives me a bit of perspective and makes them even more enjoyable.

Item #100 on the list, and hence my first for this challenge, is the Space Trilogy by C.S. Lewis. I’ve never read these, but I’m not a huge fan of C.S. Lewis’ other work. I don’t really know anything about this one at all, though, so I’m curious to see how it compares.

Interested in joining me on this challenge? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter!