Tidying up Ye Olde Glyph Shop

Screenshot 2018-07-07 10.55.21.png

Five weeks from now, the new expansion will drop, and that means that somewhere in between now and then, we will be getting the “pre-patch”, which will introduce the new expansion and stuff. More importantly, it will introduce the new game systems to all and sundry, whether you buy the expansion or not.

During Legion, I’ve been keeping afloat partially on sales of glyphs, but also some other stuff.  This expansion hasn’t been great for Scribes, so I’ve supplemented with enchantments as well, but the upshot is that on the strength of glyphs alone I can play the game entirely on in-game currency.  With additions, I can buy other things in the Blizz shop such as time for my sweetie if she’s in the mood to play. But it hasn’t been raining cash.  You gotta hustle.

  • Legion glyphs are the main money makers, to a limited extent.
  • Older glyphs sell fine, but don’t bring in much cash compared to the cost to make them.
  • Vantus runes and other sops that Blizz tossed to Scribes were worthless.  I fire-sale’d all but Antorus a while back and it looks like I’m going to eat them anyway.
  • One herb was by far the best for this business model – Dreamleaf, which also generated Nightmare Pods, which yielded great quantities of Sallow pigment.  The Argus herb, on the other hand, was worthless for Scribes.

Overall, fairly lackluster.  I think that applies to most professions, though.

On to new things.

New expansion, new inks

  • Crimson Pigment –> Crimson Ink
  • Ultramarine Pigment –> Ultramarine Ink
  • Viridescent Pigment –> Viridescent Ink – returning once again to a “rare” ink for certain items, such as Darkmoon cards, codices, Vantus runes, off-hands, etc.
  • All inks now require the use of Distilled Water.  All BfA inks thus have an additional 2s 50c tax.
  • Viridescent Ink also requires Acacia powder, an additional 2s 50c tax on that ink.

Yields, what herb gives what, and in what quantities, is not yet known.

New expansion, new herbs

  • Akunda’s Bite (Vol’dun)
  • Anchor Weed – appears to pop in all zones
  • Riverbud (Drustvar, Zuldazar, Tiragarde Sound) – found along rivers
  • Sea Stalk (Tiragarde Sound) – found along coastlines
  • Siren’s Pollen – found in trees in swampy areas.  In a way similar to Foxflower, picking one can create a swarm of them to pick up.
  • Star Blossom – found on the sides of buildings in Kul’Tiras and Zandalar.
  • Winter’s Kiss – found in snowy areas (Drustvar)

It should be noted that the locational information is far from accurate at this time.  Also, there are three levels for each herb for gathering, so similar to Legion in how it works this time.

There will also be three tiers to milling, and mass milling will become available for all herbs.

New Glyphs

Very few new glyphs have been added. In many ways this seems a lot like Cataclysm where we got one whole new glyph to use the pigments on – essentially, any pigments you grind will probably be exchanged for older inks or pigments at the ink trader, so find out who that is and go there.

The exceptions are, of course, the ones listed here.  These are all Druid glyphs.

  • The Dolphin – requires Revered with Tortollan Seekers
  • The Humble Flyer  – appears to be a discovery from Grumpy Grimble in Tiragarde Sound.  That doesn’t make a lot of sense, but it’s what I got.
  • The Tideskipper – drop from Corrupted Tideskipper in Stormsong Valley

There don’t appear to be any research-oriented tasks associated with this expansion.

Removed Glyphs

A few glyphs have also been dropped, no doubt due to class changes.  In total, we end up with fewer glyphs than we had in Legion.

  • The Blood Wraith (DK)
  • The Bullseye (Hunter)
  • The Skullseye (Hunter)
  • The Unholy Wraith (DK)
  • The Wraith Walker (DK)

My advice on these is to hang on to them until after the pre-patch.

In my experience, dead glyphs are transformed into something like Charred Glyphs which are usually worth 50s.  Dump them now, and get 1s. It’s worth waiting to see.  Of course, if you can dump them for more than 50s now, go for it.

Vantus Runes

I’ve seen one – Uldir – and that’s it.  I’m not sure if we’re going to see more or not, but right now it looks like they’re attuned per-raid, not per-boss.  If the latter, I don’t think it’s worth the bother. If the former, it MIGHT be.  Start slow.

Other Wealth-Enhancing Features

Inscription has picked up a plethora of things that may or may not be of value in the days to come.  Test each carefully.

  • Codices – As before, we can make a Codex of the Clear Mind kind of thing that will allow you to change your talents outside of rest areas. This does require the rare ink.
  • Contracts – A contract is with a specific faction, and while it is in effect you gain reputation with that faction, similar to how tabards worked in Burning Crusade.  I do like this mechanic, and also suspect this will be a small but steady income stream. I assume only one can be in effect at a time.
  • Scrolls – Scrolls are back as “War Scrolls” that can buff an individual or group. The odd thing is the wording of the description indicates that, say, an Intellect scroll affects all team members, not just the int-using ones. I suspect only one can be in effect. So this is very confusing.   They’re not too costly to make, but they may have a limiting factor that makes them unpopular.
  • Ink Wells – This allows your champions to bring back ink from missions.  This isn’t really a money maker unless you sell it on the AH to other Scribes – which might be the case because the darned thing requires some mats that drop from mythic bosses only.  The mats are BoP, but the Ink Well is not.

Conclusions, such as they are

We may see 8.0.x this Tuesday, or three weeks from now (I can’t believe they’d cut it any closer). Now is the time to prepare, because once the patch drops, in my experience, you run out of options to keep things operating.  For example, the ink trader usually stops accepting the previous expansion’s inks or pigments (i.e. Roseate and Sallow) and instead requires the new expansion’s stuff (Crimson and Ultramarine Inks or Pigments). At which point you will have to go flower picking all over the place to keep making glyphs.

The good news is that glyphs that sell now will probably continue to sell.  The bad news is that the ones that aren’t selling will still probably not sell.

Hope you did well this time around, it looks like more of the same, alas.

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Geography is weird

Every notice how close together Karazhan and Zul’Gurub actually are?  It isn’t obvious from the ground, but when flying in over the mountains from the Blasted Lands it sure is!

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New Associate Races!

Allied_races

Oh hai! The good news is that I’m still around. That is also the bad news. I just haven’t had a lot to talk about since the BfA announcement – that goes a while back, I know, but there ya have it. What was that, BlizzCon?

I’ve started a number of posts, but ran out of gas before I got them up to our usual low standards of publishability. I haz opinions, but really haven’t felt like any of them were worth your time.

I’ve even gotten in on the Alpha – hard to say who hasn’t – though I haven’t actually done anything with it.  Matters of theorycrafting and so forth seem to be beyond my grasp – I’ve barely figured out how to properly use the Best in Bags tool at AMR.   That’s assuming I am, of course. AMR agrees with my own calculations enough to earn extra side-eye.

So anyway, watching all the news about BfA and our new Associated Allied races has me wondering about future installments on this already popular feature.  We all know about the Zandalari Trolls, some sort of Orcs from Outland (?), Dark Iron Dwards, and Big Chin Humans from Jaina’s Home Island.  What else might they be cooking up? Here are some ideas!

Leper Gnomes

I think that we’ve all seen this one coming from a mile away. The only thing holding them back has been the rather insensitive-to-lepers name, but now that we’re in the second year of the Trump administration, sensitivity is for the birds!  Bring on the possibly radioactive Gnomes!

Probably still won’t end up in the next cinematic, though.

Vrykool

Similar to the Big Chin Humans, but these folk trace their roots back to when the Curse of Flesh was first weakening the races of Northrend.  Smart folks, these relatives of the Vrykul got out of there before it got too bad, and also stayed hidden for thousands of years before revealing themselves. They’re cool like that.

Racial Bonus: they use regular sized humans for shoulder gear.  Cool.

Crimbo Elves

Somewhat related to the Really High Elves, these folks only appear in Winter, spending the rest of the year in communes in Northern Kalimdor.

Obviously if seasonal Associated Races don’t work out, this will be the only ones we ever see.

Nasty Orcses

Nocturnal by nature, Nasty Orcses have a racial bonus when fighting stupid hobbitses. Precious.

Limited to Warriors and Paladins. Obviously.

Mostly Dead

A somewhat embarrassing chapter in The Lich King’s campaign in Lorderon; these are the people who’s relatives gave up on them before they were actually dead.  Arthas took them into the Scourge and never heard the end of it.

Made for some awkward war councils, too.

“I remember you. You told them I was dead!”

“Didn’t turn out so well, for me, either.”

“If you think that makes it okay, let me tell you …”

“People, can we focus on the counterattack from Alterac?”

Gitauren

An offshoot of the Highmountain Tauren, these folks really rock.

Probably hinting at the eventual introduction of the Bard class. You know how Blizz is.

Panteran

I’m guessing this offshoot of the Pandaran race will line up directly opposed to the Gitauren.  This might even be the basis for the conflict in the expansion that introduces the Bard class. I’m calling it now – “World of Warcraft: Battle of the Bands”.

Furbolgs

There’s no sound reason, lore-wise, for this to ever happen. Therefore it will happen.

You get a Furbolg, and you get a Furbolg …

Gobwins

The perfect cross-over from Erfworld, these highly avaricious and clever subterranean creatures will replace the mobile auction house.  Their native resource, Juice, will replace Mana / Energy / Rage / etc for all supported classes.

It’s the Sixth Annual Finding Jaina Day

Six years ago today we found a little ball of fur wandering across the parking lot of our apartment complex. We took her in, and she took over.

Jaina 2011-12-27

A couple of weeks after we found her

We call her The Cat that Lived because the vet we took her to diagnosed her with FIP, which is fatal and untreatable.  We promised her all the scritches she could want and as happy a life as we could give her in her final weeks.  And then she went and kept on living.  Six years later, she’s still going strong, sassy as they come and full of opinions. We named her Jaina because she was a survivor (this was just after Tides of War came out).  It appears we chose wisely.

pogo 2014-06-22A few things have changed in the last year.  We lost one of her compatriots, an old Maine Coon Cat named Pogo, who passed in her sleep not too long ago.   She was especially dear to Mrs Grimm, who took it hard, as can be expected. Floof Kitty was a real sweetie.  She never bothered the other kitties, just asked for laps about eight times a day, and we gave them whenever she asked (‘asked’).

 

Morgan, aka ‘Tater’, has grown in to a very substantial kitty, and not much of it is flab. Her probable dad was a big feller, and she appears to be taking after him. She’s probably twice Jaina’s size now, which makes for an amusing sight when Jaina goes after her and she goes running for her life.

jaina & tater 2016-10-20

I sense a disturbance …

Sometimes she’s looking for payback.

Zoe 2014-10-18 (Soon)

Zoey, the sixteen pound black cat (aka ‘Cannonball’), has started realizing that she’s the biggest cat in the house aside from Petey (a very large floof cat of some sort), and has started going after Jaina from time to time. Sometimes she gets a snoot full of Jaina claws, and sometimes Jaina goes running (and hissing, and growling).  Still, Jaina’s holding her own, even if she is the smallest cat in the house.

jaina & zoe 2015-06-23

Buddies … for now

It’s pretty odd considering that the two used to be the best of pals.

Jaina has developed a taste for laps. Not from me, but from mommy. She will get comfy and just vegetate for hours. It’s very sweet.

jaina 2017-06-29

Naptime on Mommy’s lap

She still has the shape and demeanor of a little bear, but I’ve also noticed something about here that I wasn’t able to put my finger on. She always seemed, well, kind of pensive and downcast. Eventually I realized that she has especially bushy eyebrows, and that makes her eyes appear to be looking down unless you are looking at her straight on.

She still has her favorite toy or teddy bear, whatever you call it – a shoestring. When she wants someone to come admire her, she’ll grab the string and drag it around while singing.  Scritch her on top of the head and she’s happy as can be.

Jaina

This is my string. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

She has also taken to herding me off to bed. She’ll jump up on the desk next to my mouse pad.  Eventually she’ll edge close enough to where she’s sitting ON the mouse. If I try to move it then, I lose an appendage.  As soon as I get up, she jumps into my chair and settles in for a nap.  No, we’re not pwned or anything. Smile

Moving forward, we hope to see more antics and amusements from this little kitty.  Maybe this year she’ll start asking for cuddles from me. One can hope! Smile

jaina 2013-02-15

They suspect NOTHING.

Battle for Azeroth

Jaina (TCG)

(Image from the WoW Trading Card Game, whose body is buried in Hearthstone’s back yard)

It’s a bit more than a week since the big reveal at Blizzcon – Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth will be a thing.  The theme to this expansion will be that of faction warfare between the Horde and Alliance.  I, on the other hand, just call it The Jaina Expansion.

Jaina (BlizzCon 2017 Key Art).png

(Image from Blizzcon 2017 key art. Cosplay by Taylor Swift)

The theme of this one is that for some reason, the Horde has decided, after working with us for some time to save Azeroth from countless nasty things, that the time has come to wipe  us out.  Word has it that Sylvanas has a thing for Stormwind, which is why she turns around and burns down Teldrassil.  You’d expect Silvermoon’s finest Ranger to have better aim than that, but there ya go.

(By the way, it’s been officially confirmed that Sylvanas shot first.)

As a result, the Alliance strikes back at Lorderon.  I won’t spoil it for you, but who won this one has also been officially confirmed.

(I’m not a member of the undead night elf fetish club, but the way, but the vice actor for Sylvanas has one of the most interesting voices in the genre.  I could listen to her read the phone book.)

Aw, hell, I can’t get away from giving it away a little … the upshot is that Alliance ends up with exactly one base in Kalimdor – the Exodar – and Horde with one in the Eastern Kingdoms – Silvermoon. Sorry, haters, but it’s kinda fundamental to discussing what we know, ya know?

Jaina (WotLK Ulduar)

(Image from Ulduar announcement cinematic. I always liked big-nose Jaina the best.)

First things first. We don’t know yet how much this affects contended areas like Gadgetstan or Booty Bay, but I seriously doubt it will affect them at all. They were contested before, they still are now. Fine.  That also means that I suspect that little outposts, such as what’s left of Theramore and Revantusk Village, will remain largely unchanged, though security might get beefed up.  I doubt there’s a good lore-related reason for this, but in terms of game mechanics, I imagine it would be a lot more work than they have time for, unless release date is sometime in 2020.

They already have enough to do.  The losses of two major capital cities is going to likely re-arrange the political geography of much of the two continents.

Teldrassil’s loss will likely lead to the loss of Darkshore and Ashenvale.   Which is a shame since it seems that all that Horde does with woods  is cut them down. Don’t get me started.

Lorderon’s loss will likely lead to re-integration of the two Plaguelands (already partially integrated, but maybe they’ll remain contested), Hillsbrad, Alterac, Silverpine, and Tirisfal. It is also likely that Gilneas will be fully restored, and I suspect that this will become the new capital city of the Worgen and Night Elves, since the Night Elves hosted the Worgen up to now. I have no idea where the Forsaken will end up hosting, but I suspect they might be pushed into the Ghostlands (somewhat appropriate), thought that might involve Blizz having to rework a BC zone, which they seem very reluctant to do (which is probably also why the Exodar and Silvermoon are left alone in this expansion).

Jaina (BfA Reveal Vid)

(Image from BfA announcement cinematic. Is it just me or has she been working out?)

As always with these expansions, there must be land to … expand into. This time around, it’s Kul Tiras – Jaina’s homeland – and Zandilar – home to nasty trollses. As you can imagine, the former has me more interested than the latter, but there are a few things that the announcement cinematic revealed about both.

We know a few things with regards to Kul Tiras. (1) It’s Jaina’s homeland. (2) It’s nautical. (3) Jaina’s dad is dead (Jaina sorta let that happen). (4) Jaina’s mom is still alive, and they have probably had “one of those talks”.  (“Jaina, have we learned not to let ravening Orcs have their way with our parents now?” “:: sigh :: Yes, mother.”)  I really hope they don’t go for the all too predictable trope of “Jaina’s mom is mad with loss and will be a raid boss” or something like that.

Speaking of expanding, Stromgarde Keep is coming back, being rebuild, just in time to be repeatedly attacked by the Horde. This seems odd since I could swear we were kicking the bums outta our turf, but maybe Hillsbrad turns into a pocket of resistance or something?  Hard to say, but the fact remains that without a foothold, it makes zero sense to see Horde attacking someplace that is so far within the heartland. I mean, sure, there’s a pirate cove nearby (not gonna be touched, I can pretty much guarantee), so Southshore is the next closest point of entry.  (I wonder if there is a corresponding Alliance stronghold in the middle of Kalimdor?)

And this brings up the main gist of this expansion – the two factions fighting.  There will be a lot of focus on PvP-like activities, but there’s good news for us care bears.   All the PvP-like activity is against (apparently) NPCs. So they might be flying the flag of the enemy, but they’re really just innocent bots that take pleasure in being slaughtered by the thousands by us god-like players.

Jaina (Blizz Website)

(Image from Blizz’s old fan art site, no attribution provide by them, sadly.)

And that brings me to what I don’t like about all this.  We’ve spent a couple of expansions now being told that we are the greatest thing since sliced bread by every friendly NPC that we meet. In Draenor we were elevated to military commanders, up to Admiral / General in the end.  In Legion we were given command of our entire order.  Set aside for the moment the massive danger there is in granting one supreme authority in both the military and religious spheres (that’s as close as I can come to describe what we are to our orders). The real issue here is that we keep getting more and more preposterously powerful amongst our peers.

And now – we’re foot soldiers in a number of PvP skirmishes?  What a downer.

The whole theme of this thing, really, comes across as some seriously weak tea. Even the reason is weak. Why would Sylvanas suddenly want to go after Stormwind? And why would she then go after Teldrassil instead? Seems kind of random. The Alliance’s motivations seem more obvious – looks like they’re retaliating for this random violence on their shores. But Sylvanas has never, even once, come across as being a randomly violent entity?  Did we get it wrong all along?  Is Sylvanas the Dreadlord instead of Jaina?

The more I look at the set up – and I concede that “set up” may be entirely too accurate – the less engaged I feel.  Many on the interwebz have called this a “filler” expansion done by “the B team”, and there are times when I have no ammunition with which to refute that. This seems to be rather drab and uninspired (even the logo is washed out).

I dunno, what do you think?

Jaina (nap time)

(Image from naptime (sometime in 2012))

Yeah, I’ll probably play, and hopefully rejoice in the restoration of our lands after all this time.  On the other hand, visiting Kalimdor is likely to be heartbreaking.

Feature Fashion Victim

So, there was a lot going on at BlizzCon 2017.  I wasn’t one of them, but that’s probably for the best. I’ll have more to say on other topics from that event, but if you’re impatient there are, well, about a zillion other actual blogs (and falling), and an exponentially increasing number of Twitch streams, you tube channels, and vlogs that will be more than happy to blurt out their thoughts, as well.

But one thing that jumped out me was at one of last night’s Q&As. Someone asked the very reasonable question, would Blizz be considering options for clothies other than robes going forward? The answer was something that sat me back on my haunches – “Whenever we find a way for clothies to look awesome wearing pants, we’ll do it.” Or words to that effect.

Well, okay, I’ll admit that they nailed it for healing cloth in Legion.

Jas Casting

But there’s nothing wrong with a good pair of sturdy jeans, and warlocks can pull it off without even trying very hard.

flora casting

As can fire mages.

Illume Casting

One assumes that Arcane and Frost can pull it off as well.

Just because I haven’t found an outfit that screams “Disco” and isn’t robe-based yet doesn’t mean it isn’t possible. And I hate to say it, but what I heard in that pull quote from the Q&A was “We haven’t figured out how to make that happen”.  Here’s a hint – try to move away from the clown suit esthetic.  Imagine your wife / girlfriend / sister wearing it.

Which rules the Mageweave stripper pants out, and I’m good with that.

My Buddy, Where I Go, He Go

The quest line Visage of the First Wakener takes you on an adventure that eventually gets you a new appearance for Skull of the Man’ariThal’kiel’s Visage.  He’s a chatty fellow, but also, with his new fleshly accoutrements, He’s quite the expressive fellow.

There’s the yawn.

Screenshot 2017-10-28 08.52.46.png

There’s the slack-jawed yokel.

e

There’s the yawn.

Screenshot 2017-10-28 08.52.56.png

Okay, you know what? He’s actually kinda rubbish. All that’s missing is a string of drool hanging off his chintacles.  Let’s “face” it – he’s ugly with a capital UG.

Ephemerality

Aggramar Attacks!

There’s a questline in Krokuun where you take down the big bad in Nath’raxas Hold, and right after you do that, there’s an awesome cut scene.

After that, there’s this awesome cut scene. I’ll put in a break to keep from spoiling it for anyone.
Read the rest of this entry

Irmagerd – gaming in the wake of a hurricane

irma

Casa de Grimmtooth exists in the path that Hurricane Irma took, and as a result we lost internet connectivity for over a week.  Fortunately, I have plenty of games loaded up on my PC that have received little love while I was playing WoW, and do not require The Internets.

This window of time gave me ample opportunity to fully evaluate and compare some games that had especially languished while I went and did other thingys.

Here, then, are some mini reviews and in some cases, final reviews.

civ6

Civilization 6

Of all the games I’ve recently purchased, this is the one I was most eager to get.  I’ve been playing it on and off since before Blizzcon 2016, and yet I have not finished a single game.

Once we got power back after Irma, this was the first one I fired up, and played it for three days solid (in between things such as cleaning up and stuff).  Finally, I’ve had time to come to the realization that Civ 6 is no where near the game that Civ 4 was.  Civ 5 also suffered from that, but it grew up to be a much better game with a few DLCs. Civ 6 isn’t even as fun as Civ 5, though.

The problems with Civ 6’s core mechanics, however, will never allow for basic improvement unless some core mechanics changes come with any future DLC. It’s a lovely game, with some interesting takes on the original, but in the long run it just isn’t Civilization. It’s a game that looks like Civilization but isn’t Civilization, made by some company in China looking to rope in a few rubes.

The next time I get some time for extended play, I’ll go back to Civ 5, to see if I’m just growing disenchanted with the series and misremember my experience with Civ 5, or if Civ 6 truly took a wrong turn.

Sorry, Sid.  But this wouldn’t be your first miscue.

rrt3

Railroad Tycoon 3

My existing copy of RRT3 is only on CD, along with the Coast to Coast patch. It was the final game I picked up during the outage. Even with its terrible graphics, I feel it holds up over time. I really wish I had bought it via some service like GoG, but I hadn’t.  (Of course, if there are no improvements with the GoG version, why bother, amirite?  Weeellllll … I had to go dig out the “play” CD just to run it, so maybe it is. Hm. /ponder)

I mentioned Sid Meier’s previous miscue earlier, and here it is. The successor to this game was a game called “Railroad!”, which was so horrible that it took very little time to kick it to the curb. Even the master can mis-read the curve.

It was so bad, I didn’t even keep the discs. And I never throw anything away. Just ask Mrs Grimm.

sins

Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion

Here’s an oldie but a goodie that got acquired by Stardock, which also makes a rival game (Galactic Civilizations). Hopefully that does not bode ill for SoaSE, because I’ve tried both but only bought one of them.  And it wasn’t GalCiv.

This game is often described as a cross between the 4X genre and RTS genre.  I’m not sure how that’s really applicable – once you hit RTS territory, you’re an RTS.  Any 4X elements are secondary at that point. Besides, every RTS I’ve ever played generally has elements of the other three X’s in it, so it’s not really a distinction I care to make.

Having said that, here’s the prognosis. Whether or not it’s a true 4X game, I really do like playing it, and it has enough challenge to it without ROFLstomping your ass at ever turn, but you don’t get a free pass, either.  It’s balanced, and fun, and that says a lot for any game.

Which brings me to the final one.

stellaris

Stellaris

I had really high hopes for this one, but never really spent enough time with it to get a handle on it.  This down period gave me ample opportunity to give it a thorough examination.  And in the end, I was really, really disappoint.

I never really got out of the opening game. Ever.  I’m usually pretty good at this stuff, but the tech tree was so opaque, the diplomacy so ragged around the edges, and the gradients between “best friend” and “deadly enemy” so steep that there was never a point where I found myself in a position to be able to survive in the galaxy even as an inoffensive empire. I could spend every spare credit on improving my space fleet, upping the warmonger ante as much as possible, and every. single. time. I would be ambushed by a far superior fleet of ships, far advanced to mine and far superior in numbers.

There wasn’t a single game in which I didn’t find myself hopelessly mismatched somewhere in between when destroyer and cruiser tech were discovered.  I’d meet two or three alien races, we’d say “hi” and form cordial and friendly relations between us, and then the next one would come along and rattle its sabre, at which point any of the three possible responses (“hi”, “don’t hurt me”, and “die, alien scum”) resulted in almost instant attack and the enemy entering my homeworld’s space without any sign of scouting – an impossibility for myself since in order to attack something, I have to know where it is. In other words, it really looks like the AI is cheating.

This happened every time. Without fail.

I reiterate, I don’t suck at this genre.  I’ve played 4X games enthusiastically since they first appeared on 8-bit platforms (Reach for the Stars, anyone?), and I am here to tell you that this game lacks some serious balance.  A good 4X game will challenge you enough at low levels so that you feel like you’re encountering some resistance, and yet give you at least a random chance to win every now and then.

Sure, I’ve had opening scenarios that landed me on worthless starting planets and poor luck in exploring, but never so consistently.

At the end, it was a completely unfun game and I’m pretty much on the edge of uninstalling it for good.

Don’t be that game.

Aftermath

At the end of the day, the most fun had was with Railroad Tycoon and Sins of a Solar Empire.  Both are strong entries in their genres, and present challenges no matter your skill level, with the means to adjust as you get better at it.  I am especially fond of SotSE’s depiction of space battles, which feel epic and meaningful and urgent all at the same time. In many ways, it reminds me of Gratuitous Space Battles, only with depth and situational awareness.

The real funny part of the Internet Crisis of 2017 is that once service was restored to our area, we were still out of service. It turns out that we had an amp hooked up to an external power socket that had a GFI breaker in it, and when the power did its final flicker, it popped that breaker. Here I am, the mighty Electronics Tech of days past, and I didn’t even think to look at that. Yeah yeah, I wasn’t actually aware it was there, but point is I didn’t even look. What eggs that didn’t get pitched, were on my face 🙂

The internets and WoW have been embraced within our loving arms, and we’re back to letting our souls drain down a coax cable. So life is back to what passes for normal around here. I’m just glad to have alternatives.

For the next go-round, I plan on getting the GoG edition of RRT3 and downloading some mods for SotSE (Star Trek, Star Wars, and Babylon 5), and maybe getting up to speed with The Settlers on Steam.  That was always one of my favorites.

Right now I’m looking at Hurricane Maria, as it grinds on the edges of the Dominican Republic. Puerto Rico has been clobbered, may not even have electricity for three to six months.  So I’m not winge-ing over a week without internets. In the long run, we were supremely lucky.  If you pray, pray for Puerto Rico and all points in the path of Maria.  This is a gaming blog, about gaming shit, but real life Doth Intrude from time to time.

Xe’ra should learn the meaning of "consent"

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Why so Handsy?

You may have seen the  cinematic that deals with “The Fate of Xe’ra”.  Here’s a link if you want to watch. Note it contains spoilers for the Argus campaign, which you may wish to experience in pristine purity of the pure. In which case, close this article now and come back when you have been pristinely enlightened purely.

We’ll wait until you leave …

Okay, here we go.

 

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