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9th June: Surviving A Blizzard

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6th May 2019

It's been a long while since the story section last had any attention. A while back, I gave up on the idea of ever finishing my Star Wars stories, so instead have typed out a rough outline as to what may have happened during the rest of the saga. I've also expanded the names & characters section with images where possible.

29th October 2017

Did some work behind the scenes of the game blog page so that the game filters now work much better.

30th June 2017

A couple of months back I found loads of old notes about all the old Epic Space Marine games we played, starting from back when I was in high school. I thought it would be a good idea to type them all up as best I could, and upload them all. While I was at it, I also converted the Epic-S and 40K battle reports from their PDF state to HTML, and they can be found on the Warhammer 40K page.

Computer Games Blog

This is where you can read any of my irregular wafflings about computer gaming. The whole point of this blog is to help motivate me to properly finish games, whether they be recent ones or older ones I played when I was younger that I never managed to beat.

9th June 2019 - Surviving A Blizzard

I don't think I booted a single computer game during March and April, with all my spare hobby time going into finishing my Warhammer 40K Tyranids. But in late May, I got hit by the same nostalgia wave that hit me around the same time last year.

Not only was it the anniversary of TB's passing, but the beta test for Classic WoW also started, and nearly every streamer I watch on Twitch dove into it. I don't know what came over me, as I never thought I'd play the game again, but I decided to re-install it. I couldn't help it. I just had to scratch that itch.

While all the streamers were going back and doing the same things they had done nearly 15 years ago, I went back into the game with a different objective: to do some things I'd never done.
See, while I've surprised myself by playing the game again, I still point blank refuse to pay any sub fees, as I just don't think the game is worth it. As the free account level caps your characters to 20, this left me with just one thing I could do, and that was to play through all the start zones that I had never played back in the day.

Up first was the Worgen start zone. Now I did make a Worgen at one point, named Kreethen, but I never finished the intro story and I think that character remains at level 7 on my original account. I made a new one named Kreethy, maybe a distant relative, and got cracking.
The story was alright I guess, though with some crowbar moments. The biggest problem I had with it was all the lag. At first I assumed the Classic beta had stirred up some new interest in the game, and a lot of people were jumping back in, like me. However, when I moved on to my next character all the lag was gone entirely, which was odd.
Kreethy ended his journey at level 15.

Kreethy singes some eyebrows off

Kreethy singes some eyebrows off

Catapulting myself onto a ship

Catapulting myself onto a ship

Secondly, I started a Gnome called Huejackman, named after my original character Huejun. Back in the day, the Gnomes shared a start zone with the Dwarves, and I had played those quests several times on my alts. But in Cata, the Gnomes were given their own little intro area that I had never done. While I liked using the little dude, I ended up getting spat back out into Dun Morogh at level 5. Frankly, I was expecting more. Oh well.

Huejackman gets smacked around

Huejackman gets smacked around

Up next was the turn of the Draenei, as I had never done their start zones either. My only Draenei before this was a Death Knight, as I had really liked using my main DK Undeadbarry, and I created the Draenei just to do their start quests again.
I chose to make this character a female named Kallisto, but only as it wouldn't let me use Xenia or Karynna which were my first picks. I did end up regretting this decision, as the female Draenei has very annoying battle yells, and I couldn't find a way to turn them off. What was worse, was that these start zones were the longest and most boring of this little return to the game. There was just so much running backwards and forwards through large areas, constantly being sent back to areas I'd already been to. Thankfully, this character reached level 20, though only 2 quests before the end. But that meant I could mount up for those 2 quests and boy did it feel good.
It was definitely obvious that these areas and quests were designed earlier in WoW's development. They certainly gave me more of a classic WoW experience than I had expected. There were so many kill quests and fetch quests with poor to moderate drop rates. It felt like 2005 all over again.
The only real interesting thing was that this character was a pally, and holy shit they play so different now from when I played as Jackgooty back in vanilla.

Blood Elf dies very dramatically

Blood Elf dies very dramatically

This guy's missing his log

This guy's missing his log

Can't come back to WoW without spanking some Murlocs

Can't come back to WoW without spanking some Murlocs

Crimson are the rivers, bleed our grief into the sea

Crimson are the rivers, bleed our grief into the sea

Not an area for arachnophobes

Not an area for arachnophobes

I have the power!

I have the power!

Up next was my first ever Pandaren, who I called Vizna. This was a breath of fresh air after the slog that was the Draenei zones. Though there were still a lot of the usual WoW kill and fetch quests, they all just flowed so much faster, and were situated much closer together. Like the Worgen quest line, there was a much better story that ran through the whole area.
My main issue was the fact that I'd chosen a hunter. I'd read that the hunters now get their pets from level 1, which I liked, but I didn't realise that you couldn't control it until level 10, which irritated me. But oh well.
Vizna ended her journey at level 14, after joining the Horde and travelling to Orgrimmar.

Training for the Karate Kid reboot

Training for the Karate Kid reboot

Vizna hitches a ride while her companions walk

Vizna hitches a ride while her companions walk

Well at least the virmen eats healthily

Well at least the virmen eats healthily

Runnin' and gunnin'

Runnin' and gunnin'

You gotta be kidding me

You gotta be kidding me

That's one big ass turtle

That's one big ass turtle

Last on the list was the Trolls, who like the Gnomes were given their own little start area back in Cataclysm. As I'd never played a monk class, I went ahead and created one called Kraputkin, who in my head canon is actually Kropotkin's drunk and bad tempered uncle.
Just like for the Gnomes, this little area only got me to level 5 before it spat me back out into the rest of Durotar, so that's where I called it. I didn't really get enough time with the monk to differentiate it much from other classes that use energy, but the start area was definitely fairly quick and snappy, unlike the Draenei zones.

Though many things are different with the game now compared to when I used to play it, it was still a huge nostalgia trip to spend these hours playing it again. And to be honest there was certainly a pull to subscribe just for one month so I could play my proper characters again. But when I take a step back and not let the nostalgia cloud my vision, it's just so obvious that the game is just too dull to be worthy of me putting any more money into it.

So while it's been pretty cool and relaxing to chill out in the game, the way I feel right now is that I'll never visit Azeroth ever again. However, it must be noted that two weeks ago I would have said the same thing. I've also recently bought the first two Warcraft games from GoG, which may trigger another urge to come and play this in the future.
So while it will take something special for me to play, especially subscribe, again, I guess I can never say never.

High kick somehow works on a crab

High kick somehow works on a crab

What's going on with Vol'jin's arm?

What's going on with Vol'jin's arm?

Kraputkin waves goodbye to WoW

Kraputkin waves goodbye to WoW

3rd November 2014 - Mount Up

A few days back I had an email from Blizzard giving me 7 days free in World Of Warcraft. Not that I really wanted to reinstall such a big game for a few measly days, but I thought it would give me the chance to do something I wished I'd done years ago.

Now, I have a bit of an unhealthy obsession with names and characters, so much so that when I used to play WoW I even named all my mounts, including ones I hadn't even collected yet. Yes, I'm a tit. But still, I figured logging into the game again would give me chance to screenshot all those mounts, which I had forgotten to do years ago.

Now I didn't want to download all 28GB of the game on my crappy internet, so I got a head start (so I thought) and dusted off my game discs all the way up to Cataclysm. After installing those, the game went to the net to update, and I found out the game now requires the Battle.net application which manages the updates. The problem is, Battle.net wanted to download the entire game, and would not continue the install I'd already done. It just kept saying no Blizzard games could be found, and when I pointed it to my WoW folder it just said the game was the wrong version and wouldn't update it. So I had to download the damn thing anyway. Stupid Blizzard.

But it eventually happened that I logged into the game for the first time in nearly 4 years, and I'm seriously glad I had no intention of playing, as I could not remember a single thing. Even Orgrimmar seemed unfamiliar as I had only played Cataclysm for a few weeks at most, and I never got used to its changes.
I didn't really investigate any of the big changes I saw, but pretty much the only change I liked was actually the reason I had logged in in the first place - the mounts. In the years since I last played, Blizzard have added something called collections, which are available to all characters on an account. And one of these collections is the mounts. Any of the mounts any of your characters have ever unlocked are now shared to all of your other characters for them to use, provided they have the riding skill, and the mounts are not locked to a specific faction or class. To me this sounds like a great change, but I bet there were some angry people out there who had been questing and grinding for hours on different characters to get them all the best mounts multiple times, and all for nothing.
Still, none of that matters to me, and I finally got to take all my mount pictures:

Arkhan, the Black Skeletal Horse

Arkhan, the Black Skeletal Horse

Asurmen, the Azure Netherwing Drake

Asurmen, the Azure Netherwing Drake

Blaze, Fingus's Felsteed

Blaze, Fingus's Felsteed

Corel, the Swift Olive Raptor

Corel, the Swift Olive Raptor

D'Argo, Ashaai's Thalassian Charger

D'Argo, Ashaai's Thalassian Charger

Gelnika, the Emerald Raptor

Gelnika, the Emerald Raptor

Helo, the Blue Wind Rider

Helo, the Blue Wind Rider

Husker, the Tawny Wind Rider

Husker, the Tawny Wind Rider

Kalm, the Violet Raptor

Kalm, the Violet Raptor

Kamino, the Blue Nether Ray

Kamino, the Blue Nether Ray

Karthus, Undeadbarry's Archerus Deathcharger

Karthus, Undeadbarry's Archerus Deathcharger

Keldor, the Blue Skeletal Horse

Keldor, the Blue Skeletal Horse

Kit, the Abyssal Seahorse

Kit, the Abyssal Seahorse

Korriban, the Red Nether Ray

Korriban, the Red Nether Ray

Nanaki, the Swift Orange Raptor

Nanaki, the Swift Orange Raptor

Overbite, the White Kodo

Overbite, the White Kodo

Plagueis, the Time-Lost Proto-Drake

Plagueis, the Time-Lost Proto-Drake

Ratchet, the Goblin Trike

Ratchet, the Goblin Trike

Reno, the Turquoise Raptor

Reno, the Turquoise Raptor

Rygel, Ashaai's Thalassian Warhorse

Rygel, Ashaai's Thalassian Warhorse

Scorpia, the Swift Red Wind Rider

Scorpia, the Swift Red Wind Rider

Scowl, the Grey Kodo

Scowl, the Grey Kodo

Skittle, the Blue Hawkstrider

Skittle, the Blue Hawkstrider

Slog, the Brown Kodo

Slog, the Brown Kodo

Snakebite, the Armoured Brown Bear

Snakebite, the Armoured Brown Bear

Sven, the Frostwolf Howler

Sven, the Frostwolf Howler

Tuesti, the Swift Blue Raptor

Tuesti, the Swift Blue Raptor

Vlad, the Red Skeletal Warhorse

Vlad, the Red Skeletal Warhorse

28 mounts is not a lot considering how many mounts are in the game, but I worked damn hard to get some of those back in the day, so I don't care.
Not that anyone's interested, but here's how I was choosing the names for all the different kinds of mounts:

Bears = names of Warhammer 40,000 Ork clans.
Drakes (normal and Proto) = names of Sith Lords from Star Wars.
Drakes (Netherwing) = names of Warhammer 40,000 Eldar Phoenix Lords.
Hawkstriders = names of confectionery.
Horses (living) = names and places from Farscape.
Horses (Undead and demonic) = names of any other skeletal and undead characters.
Kodos = names of combiner team Transformers.
Mechanical = names of tools.
Nether Rays = planets from Star Wars.
Raptors = names and places from Final Fantasy VII.
Wind Riders = names and planets from Battlestar Galactica.
Wolves = names from the Warhammer 40,000 Space Wolf novels.

There were some strange things I noticed though being back in the game. For a start, my Paladin Ashaai seemed to have had a strange hair mishap, as gone was his white hair to be replaced by black, for some reason. So a trip to the barber's was required to correct it.
Logging into my very first character, the poor old Ally Pally Jackgooty, revealed that somehow he has about 6 gryphon mounts available to him, despite me never unlocking any gryphon mounts at all. He doesn't even have enough skill to fly them. I can only assume, as Kropotkin had unlocked a bunch of the Wind Riders, it automatically unlocks the corresponing Alliance mounts.
Most strange though is the mystery surrounding one of my brother's old Alliance characters, a Night Elf hunter called Khi. Unsurprisingly, when looking down the roster of both our Horde and Alliance guilds, no character had been logged in for years. That is, with the exception of Khi, who was logged in 8 months ago. In addition, the poor hunter's name has been altered to Khixyz. I can only assume, around 8 months ago, another player wanted the name Khi, and my bro's character was changed to allow it. However, a search for a character called Khi on that server finds no results. It's a mystery.
For the hell of it I took Gooty for a spin and did a kill quest in Hellfire Peninsula. All kinds of memories came flooding back, but overall the game is still as boring as it ever was. If it was free to play I could imagine logging in occasionally with friends, but why millions of people still pay subscription fees to play it is beyond me.

Bleaching Ashaai's hair

Bleaching Ashaai's hair

Gooty stretches his legs

Gooty stretches his legs

6th April 2012 - A Look Back At World Of Warcraft

Arguably the game I've spent the most time on in my entire life is the MMORPG World Of Warcraft. I played on and off between November 2005 and January 2011, and I played pretty much exclusively with seven real life friends. While this was good in many respects, it was also very limiting, as we never really managed to all play together at a similar level range.
While I do have fond memories of the time I spent on this game, unfortunately I have become quite venomous in my feelings towards it. Yes, this is partly my own fault, as I don't think I ever got the absolute best out of the game. But overall I am glad I am now free of the endless grinding gameplay, servers almost full of complete arseholes and gold sellers, unbalanced classes and pvp, and of course those very painful monthy fees.

I've recently made a little narrative page looking back at my time playing the game, and if you want to check it out just click here