exploration

Return to Skyrim

One thing playing in the TESO beta made me want to do was fire up Skyrim (for reasons I shall elaborate on post NDA hopefully).  I have to say I’ve never stop being in awe of its game world or how beautiful it is.. especially my modded up version! (I highly recommend getting an ENB for the game.) Clicky all for full size.

 

 

I was soon reminded of the too-frequent dragon attacks though, which can be even more tiresome on a melee character as mine is.  I was trying to get to the top of a mountain to take a picture but was interrupted by a dumb dragon who got in the way of a nice sunset. 😛

I’d been meaning to post these next two screenshots for ages.  Paused game plus toggle free camera can capture some awesome moment whilst your character is in combat.  I present: The Dragonborn!

I never have finished the main storyline of the game.  I’ve always been so distracted with all the wonderful bits elsewhere in the game and have tried to space out the main story to make it all last longer.  I really ought to finish it one of these days.

Categories: exploration, fun, Skyrim | 5 Comments

oooOOOOoooooOOOooo

One thing I love about GW2 is the “hidden” gems one can find.  The developers reward people who pay attention to their surroundings or talk to NPCs, with enjoyable bits of conversation.

Whilst doing a jumping puzzle, I suddenly heard some humming.  My interest piqued, so I waited around and was serenaded by a cute quaggan. 🙂

After I finished the jp, I went down to her to see if she had any more songs to sing.

Luckily some other people found her too and did some recordings, so you too can bask in her cuteness! (I dunno why, but I found her so cute and entertaining. :P)

Apparently these are popular quaggan songs, as others around Tyria sing them as well.  They even sing in German for the German client! 😀

I love that I’m still finding stuff like this in game.  I’m very glad I didn’t rush world completion and instead have taken my time. 🙂

 

 

 

Categories: exploration, fun, Guild Wars 2 | Leave a comment

End of Beta Event, Picspam Part 2

After summiting Orthanc, I hopped back down the campfire stairs to the top of Orthanc to join the fighting:

During a lull in the attacks, I noticed some lurking creatures:

Gandalf stopped by to admire all the tables:

At 85 in all crafted gear, I found I was running out of power quite fast as a dps LM.  The crafted gear left me around 500 will short in comparison to what my lvl 75 LM has which meant a reduced power pool, but I’m also guessing the problem was compounded by increased power costs on skills.  At least the drain power skill works better now and I also noticed its looks have been updated.

Oh and there was a giant dwarf…. 😛

The fighting resumed with a GM dropping a level 120 Frodo Baggins with A LOT of morale.  I gotta say, GMs spawning whatever mob they wanted whereever, at the level they choose and are able to change the mob’s morale at a whim.. well, it really makes me wonder why they can’t reset a bugged Draigoch. 😛

I didn’t really want to fight Frodo, nor was it possible as all my skills were missing so I headed back to Bree for the final minutes.  I found my path blocked though:

Thorog was doing his best not to let anyone by!

I kept my distance and worked around him and got some good views.

It was cool to get a good look at him.. though one of my shots is forever spoiled by a shirtless dwarf carrying around some corn! 😛

I got past Thorog…. only to find several more in my way!

I tried to get around them.. but yeah, it didn’t go well.  You know what’s coming!

They had a pretty insane killing range.  So I worked my way back and suddenly, POOF! I was a miniature version of me! 😀

I think I confused a NPC as well. 😉

I worked my way through the back alleys of Bree in hopes that they might provide a safer route to the Prancing Pony.  Once there, it was so laggy as the GMs seemed to have started a Boss Battle Royale!  It meant it was mostly safe to get close as the bosses were fighting each other. There were a few Mistresses of Pestilence, lots of Giants, lots of Tyrants (that were quickly beaten), a few Sarumans, Durin’s Banes, and at least one Thorog all fighting by the Endless Campfire and Table Stair.

It was an epic end to a fun night.  I’m really glad I got to see one of these finally! 🙂

 

Categories: exploration, fun, lolz, Lord of the Rings | 6 Comments

End of Beta Event, Picspam part 1

I’ve only ever been in one Lotro beta in the past but I missed all the final, crazy festivities.  Luckily I was able to make it to the Rohan one.  Gotta say, the GMs sure do know how to throw a party!  It was worth getting in to Beta for this at least.  😀

Warning: picture heavy post ahead!  Seems I really liked my screenshot button that night. 😛

I started out in Snowbourn, a major town in Rohan, and a kind captain summoned me to the proper layer in order to see this:

Thaurlach and Durin’s Bane, just hanging out in a field.  The captain accidentally aggroed Durin’s Bane so we took him on!

 

Of course it’s weird enough that I’m fighting Durin’s Bane in Rohan… but it was even weirder to be fighting him from horseback.  The captain was able to keep aggro on it (plus another fellowship warband that decided to chase after him as well) whilst I did figure eights and slowly helped burn it down.

I have to say this was the most fun fight of the evening as it actually took some effort.  In the end we were successful and downed Durin’s Bane plus the warband!.. though this sorta shows you how easy the warbands are going to be. 😛  I mean.. two people.. one nemesis balrog plus a 6-man warband consisting of another elite master mounted orc, plus a few signature mounted goblins… no problem!!

I headed next to Bree as I kept hearing about some ‘endless stair’ in glff.  Well, I found it and it wasn’t at all what I expected.

A GM had made some “stairs” out of campfires and clover tables.  Naturally I had to climb it.

I had some scary moments when lag hit that made me think I was going to fall off, but I made it to the top!

I didn’t get to spend long at the top as I was promptly hit with a nerf bat. 😛 GMs had given people some.. plus another thing called ‘The One Jetpack’ but I never witnessed that phenomenon.  Anyway, off I went, flying over Bree.

I headed back into Bree and now a Saruman and Bukot were attacking people outside of the Prancing Pony:

Of course another Durin’s Bane had to show up with loads of bugans.

I headed towards the centre of Bree where I found Thaurlach bringing terror to the Bree Fountain:

Just a few tyrants showed up as well.

I continued on to the South Gate and was greeted by another Durin’s Bane.

I tried to go outside to get a better look, but that didn’t end up well. 😛

I rode around Bree so that I’d approach from the outside and quickly saw why I died.  There wasn’t just the one balrog hanging out there…

I read in chat that a GM was now building stairs outside of Orthanc.  Another GM was kindly porting people to Orthanc so I caught a port there.  It was an interesting sight seeing people hop their way up crafting tables to slowly scale Orthanc!

I saw some people falling off, but gave it a go!

It kept going..

and going…

and going….

aaaaaand going!!….

It was actually getting a bit scary as it was getting really high.  Any little bit of lag scared me as I did NOT want to fall and have to start over again! 😛  I was also afraid of a random player nerf batting me off.  The GMs had to tell off people for doing that.  At least the view was nice when you got pretty high up!

Getting near the top I could see there were more boss invasions on the top of Orthanc:

Nearly there!

And I made it!  I’m the king, erm queen of the world!!!… uh.. *cough* ..yeah..

I heard of some people getting a title.. Master of Stairs, I think, but I never noticed anything being given to my character.  I don’t think it would have mattered anyway as the Lothirieth you’re seeing in the pictures isn’t my real character as character copy wasn’t available to those on EU servers.

Continued in part 2!

 

Categories: exploration, fun, lolz, Lord of the Rings | 1 Comment

Sunset over Rohan

I was wandering around the start of the Rohan on the Bullroarer server, noticed the sky turning some lovely colours, so found myself a better viewpoint and enjoyed the show.

Categories: expansion, exploration, Lord of the Rings, Rohan | 2 Comments

Achievement unlocked!

…well, part of it anyway. 😛

One of the main parts of GW2 is exploration.  Each area has its own map with a certain amount of waypoints, vistas and points of interest to find as well as hearts (pseudo quest hubs) to complete.  Completing maps gives you rewards, but there’s an overarching achievement of getting 100% world exploration.  This is something I aim to do with one character.  There are people who have already finished this, but as you can see, I’m taking my sweet time!  I’m in no rush whatsoever to finish seeing this game any time soon. 🙂

The only part that had me wondering if I’d be able to complete this was the fact that you also have to explore the World vs World map completely.  The supply camps and skill points are no problem no matter who controls what, but the fact that you have to visit every tower and that there are vistas in some of those keeps as well had me frustrated given there’s no way a solo player could take a keep.  There are 3 borderlands that are exact copies and the eternal battleground. I’ve been grabbing some towers here and there when I notice our server controlling some bits of the map.  That’s become more frequent as I think matchups are becoming proper and also my server had some serious WvWers move to it.  During the beginning of the game, it was common to see my server being completely dominated by another.

The other night I happened to notice my server was doing well and controlled, well, everything, so exploring I went!  It was late at night so I rarely ran into any enemy.  Only once was I surprised by 3 enemies and wtfpwnd. It was at a really unfortunate time as well as I was doing the part of a map that was the farthest away from a waypoint.  I luckily picked the right order in which to explore before the enemy started retaking towers and actually finished the entire WvW map!  It feels good to have gotten that out of the way and I’m extremely grateful for the players who took control of the map! *bows*

I don’t completely agree with a PvP area being part of a nearly PvE achievement.  Apparently WvW only contributes 1% to world completion.  I’m not alone in thinking this as there have been threads started with titles such as “Why do I have to play this crap?” on GW forums.  Whilst I’d like to do more WvW, I think I’ll always like PvE more.  And the fact is, anyone going into WvW to explore is taking up a potential valuable spot in the world.  I don’t think this is a problem on a small server like mine, but it could well be on the larger servers that experience hours long queues.  Whilst I’ve just proved you don’t have to group up to get these areas done, I think I was incredibly lucky during a small amount of time that our server was dominating.  Otherwise people may have to rely on luck and grouping to finish this which I don’t agree with.  Also, I highly doubt serious WvWers appreciate people coming into just explore either.

In any case, I’m relieved to have that bit out of the way.  Now I can properly enjoy WvW instead of stressing over falling behind whilst getting a vista or wishing we’d gone to that other tower as I needed its point of interest!

Categories: exploration, Guild Wars 2, pvp, woot | 2 Comments

Mini stories

or aka Dynamic Events in GW2.  Now there are quite a few bloggers who have illustrated that the events really aren’t all that dynamic and I agree.  You see some of the same ones or could wait around for one.  The centaurs will always attack, sometimes players will repel them, sometimes not.  I’m still enjoying them.  What I most like about some of them is the mini stories, the bits of dialogue that go on with them.  Whilst Lotro has no events, I can think of a few places where there are nice little side conversations, such as the dwarves in the Walls of Moria instances or the hobbit who is having an adventure in Budgeford

I wish Lotro had more of these and less of the inane repeated chatter.  I like little conversations like these and I like how GW2 encourages me to pay attention to what the NPCs are saying around me.  It also encourages people to follow the NPCs after events are finished as you can be rewarded with a funny conversation or another event.  One great example is an event with a pirate (which is doubly awesome as it ties into another event!).  You’d never experience his performance unless you followed him back after the event was over:

It’s amazing someone spent time to write that song! 🙂

The other day, my Norn warrior bumped into a conversation some Norn kids were having.  It was a boy boasting about how tough he was.  I didn’t get there at the beginning but luckily my chat box picked it up as I was running in:

Off he went, actually did punch the grawl, but it didn’t go as intended:

Seems Slagvi got himself into some trouble:

Luckily for him, me and some other adults were around to save him.  That of course didn’t stop him from trying to spin the whole event in his favor!

I love the commentary from the adults once the fight was over! 😀

Categories: exploration, fun, Guild Wars 2, lolz, Lord of the Rings | Leave a comment

Vistas

I’m still having plenty of fun playing GW2.  It’s been a joy running through beautiful environments with a lovely soundtrack and fun combat.  I’m not sure if it’s going to stick, if I’m going to have that attachment I had to Lotro (which I think I’ll rename Lord of the Lags Online after tonight’s problems… ugh…)  Whilst I’m having fun, I think it’s the lack of any feel of progression and not really any unifying feel to all the zones that have me wondering what replayability is going to be like.  Perhaps more on that in another post.  But for now: Vistas!

I’ve been enjoying this part of the game.  Vistas are points on the map that you can discover.  Once you get to them you get to ‘view’ them which cuts to a cinematic of the area.  Getting off the beaten path is always fun to me.  Lotro only has one official puzzle which is in Mirkwood though there were and still are some special places you can get to on the map, though they’ve shut a lot of them down (I remember meaning to make a post about one of them, need to remember that :P).  I find that sort of thing quite sad so have welcomed this exploration in GW.  It’s rare to find an invisible wall.  I hope this is something other games might adapt as it provides a lot of fun!

Sometimes it’s obvious how to get to them and they may take little or no jumping:

Others take a bit more thought to get up and involve a more treacherous path:

Others take you through a far more dangerous area:

and are little mini puzzles to get through.  This one happened to also be the jumping puzzle for the area I believe.  You had to figure out how to climb the big tower to reach the vista up on the cliff in the back:

You’re usually rewarded with a really nice view and screenshot opportunities!

No matter how easy or hard they are, they always feel like an achievement when you get to them:

Categories: exploration, fun, Guild Wars 2, Lord of the Rings | 1 Comment

Bonnie and Clyde

The boyfriend (who I’ll call by his screen name, Spaix, from now on) and I have been having lots of fun since we got into Guild Wars on Saturday.  It’s not been without its hiccups:  log in problems,  guild problems,  and overflow problems.  But ArenaNet has done a good job keeping up communication with its customers so I can cut them some slack.  It’s been great being able to explore a new world and get lost in it (oh jumping puzzles, how I both loathe and love you!)  I’ve also been enjoying GW’s version of quest hubs, which are called hearts, as they all have varying things to do.  I’ve done things such as watering crops, feeding cows, cleaning up graffiti, taste testing ale collecting stolen goods, and your normal killing the bad guys to name a few.  I actually feel sad when I’ve missed out on proper heart completion whenever an event takes place and ends up completing the heart for me through the killing of the attacking mobs.  The only thing I’m lacking is an overarching story, something that connects all these different areas. Sure you have your personal story but as of right now it seems completely unconnected.

One particular heart had us training with weapons: gun, sword and shield.  Here are Spaix and I doing some target practice:

This screenshot made me think of Bonnie and Clyde :P:

I was a total fail at the shield training.  I just couldn’t get the timing right, never blocked and was constantly knocked down.  Spaix had a grand ol’ time laughing at me. *rolls eyes*

So far the outfits I’ve had in the game are pretty enough and I’m really enjoying the dye system.  Once you’ve unlocked a dye you have it forever.  You can continually dye your armour as much as you want for no cost.  I’ve changed colours several times already!  I crafted myself a set of gear which was pretty though as is so common with females in games, completely inappropriate for combat!

I dunno about the genie pants.. but hey, they’re pretty modest for GW’s standards. 😛

I’ve been going screenshot crazy in this game.  I’m already building up a backlog, just like Lotro. ^^

Categories: exploration, fashion, fun, Guild Wars 2 | 2 Comments

First Foray into Guild Wars 2

Soooo…. can it be August 25th already?  Because I’m so ready to play Guild Wars 2!  I preordered too late to take part in the first two betas then was on holiday during the third, so I figured I’d just wait for the game to launch.  But this past Thursday they had a stress test (and a bonus one late Friday night!) and I couldn’t resist.  I think I’ve fallen in love with this game.  I was oooohing and aaaahing the whole time and having loads of fun.  It’s screenshot heaven as well.  The game is BEAUTIFUL.  I had been worried I might not be able to get over the skimpy female outfits, the way they run and how you can see their backsides a lot.. but it wasn’t so bad.  It was a minor annoyance which was mostly forgotten about as I was blown away by the game world.  The attention to detail is incredible.

The game play is also extremely fun, but I’m going to have to get used to mobs actually being difficult.  No taking on mobs 2-3 levels higher than me like I would in Lotro, because that’s going to lead to death… very quickly! And no going back later to get things done when you’re a higher level as you’re downgraded to match the level of the area you’re in.  That could be troublesome for any challenging quests.  I really liked the way they handled quests of new ones popping up when you entered and area and your map keeping track of them, instead of you having to manage your quest log manually.  The random events were super fun.  I even managed to start off a few myself by paying attention to what the NPCs were saying around me.  One of the events had us catching rabbits before they ate a farmer’s watermelons.  So there is silly stuff and fighting.  It all felt a bit chaotic but I know I’ll settle in soon.

The combat is going to take getting used to.  Luckily I’m used to playing on the move, but I’m not used to dodging attacks.  I also chose to try out an elementalists which looks like it will take a little while to learn the skills.  As with all classes, equipping  a different weapon type will change your skills.  But on top of that the elementalist also has 4 attunements (fire, water, air, earth) which all have new skills.  Add combos on top of that… the amount is a bit mind boggling!  The sheer amount of crafting materials I was picking up was intimidating.  Basically there is going to be A LOT to learn.  Sure I could get by with basics, but I’m the type who likes to become good at the classes I play.

Anyway, I first wanted to try a Sylvari given that I was thinking I’d prefer a human for a main, so I’d save that for later.  The Sylvari are.. interesting looking. Definitely not your typical elves.  They’re pretty in their own way though.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unfortunately the starter area boss was bugged and no one could get past it.  Quite a few of us stood waiting around for a while:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wasn’t going to waste any more time (the stress test was only 4 hours long) so left that character and went ahead and created a human elementalist.  She’s quite pretty as well!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Immediately I went exploring as I was so taken with the world.  It was hard to not continually take screenshots. 😛  Though one annoying thing is GW doesn’t have a first person view which makes taking screenshots more difficult, especially when you want to take ones that look upward.  It was quite amazing seeing Divinity’s Reach in the background for the first time.  It’s one, proper huge city (I’ll save pictures of the interior for later):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I ran into a random, pretty graveyard in which you could read all of the graves.  I also ran into a mysterious person suggesting ghosts are there at night, so I must remember to go back one night!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whilst exploring I decided to go through a random Asura gate, I managed to get myself to some other city.  I don’t recall the name and I’m too lazy to look it up. 😛  I didn’t do much looking around it as it’s also huge and I had limited time.  I did run up to a view point nearby which had some goggles to put on.. which had the curious effect of changing my character into a bathing suit:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So I went for a swim.  Things are just as pretty underwater as they are above it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s enough screenshots for now.  Next up: inside Divinity’s Reach.

Categories: exploration, Firsts, fun, Guild Wars 2 | 2 Comments

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