Category Archives: All the things

#Listmas: Holiday Gaming Plans!

I am going through a bad spell of pre-holiday work malaise at the moment. To take my mind off things, I decided to start planning my upcoming gaming binge over the XMAS holidays which is a local tradition. Q3-Q4 has been bewildering for games and I don’t like not finishing anything ever, so I better get this sorted out!

1) Witcher 3
My game of the year without a shadow of a doubt, I am far from done with the Witcher 3 and all its side-quests and secrets and buried treasure. As if that wasn’t bottomless enough, CD Projekt Red have already released more content while I was idling in Novigrad and there’s only just been word out about La Belle Toussaint which is of course insanely looking. Seriously, if you haven’t played Witcher 3 this year, I can’t help you!

2) Fallout 4
I got Fallout 4 from my better half and knew from the moment I installed it, that it was gonna be a tough order. Games like this are epic timesinks and once I saw the whole housing feature in action, I got a little scared at what it might do to me. So, I’ve not touched the game since playing through the intro scenario but I will…..that’s the thing with steam gifts, you feel doubly obliged to play and finish them, ack!

Impress the Gods - or die!

Impress the Gods – or die!

3) Jotun
Jotun is one of those titles I wanted to play the moment I first saw them and then – nothing! I blame lacklustre keyboard controls but it’s not like I don’t own an Xbox controller, so all I really need to do at this point is set it all up and get comfy in my big gaming chair with a mug of hot chocolate. I have a thing for Norse mythology and this is the perfectly sized title to play through over XMAS break!

4) Undertale
Undertale continues being weird and awesome at the same time, I’ve already talked about it before and fully intend to see it through. This game is too quirky to pass me by in 2015.

5) Don’t Starve: Shipwrecked!
Klei are a bunch of wonderful, wonderful people and every time they release a DS update, I am majorly excited to go back and plunge down that spooky rabbit hole. One of my personal best value games ever, I am bound to play DS forever; whatever whimsical expansion the devs come up with next, count me in! Shipwrecked has just seen early access launch on steam and unlike for many other titles, I have never once regretted buying early into DS. Maybe you can tell where I am going with this: whether it’s usually your genre or not, Don’t Starve is basically a must must and highly addictive!


The Don’t Starve ARK experience – only better!

6) Sword Coast Legends
I blame this one on an old WoW buddy who is a longtime mate and totally instigated my SCL purchase (I can’t say no to people, dammit!). Tactical cRPGs and isometry are really not my thang but apparently it’s fun to play in DM-mode or something and really conserves some of that olde D&D spirit. Naturally, we haven’t played a single minute in coop to this day but here’s to hoping that will change soon!

7) A Bird Story
A title that was gifted to me by a fellow blogger, I’ve always wanted to play this unofficial sequel to “To the Moon” and feel way overdue with my feedback. RPG Maker games or not, the first title was stunning from a narrative and musical point of view and from what I could tell 30 minutes into A Bird Story, this is a most worthy next chapter.

8) Life is Strange
Another gift and newest addition to my unkempt steam library, I have heard so many good things about Life is Strange that it’s only logical I should play it. Soon! Very soon!

Then there’s FFXIV of course, of which I can never seem to get enough and once upon a time I was contemplating going back to GW2 checking out that HoT expansion. Ha-ha. Maybe someone knows a way to split myself into ten copies that can go off and play alllll the games until next year!! *firstworldproblems*

What are your personal gaming plans for this XMAS break?

Favorite MMO things: Races


Bleu from Breath of Fire I

Not too long ago I talked about my favorite mounts in MMOs, so today we’re off to the races! Most MMOs have them and make full use of the fascination that is learning about different cultures and exploring different playable species. Unlike in the real world where there are no different races among people, no matter the American English use of the word which is alienating to me personally, MMOs can conjure up genetically different humanoids or even more alien, yet sentient beings for us to play and get involved in.

I’m a fan of racial diversity in MMOs, despite often having opted to play humans in the past, often for reasons of size, armor design and frankly identification. Fantasy MMOs have a wonderful opportunity to create content beyond all rules, so thanks to all of you who don’t follow my example and make more daring race choices instead! I love Tera’s Popori, the Asura and Charr in GW2 or Wildstar’s crazy Chua that defy at least some of the tiresome “shorties cliché” that’s so widespread in this genre. Things get especially interesting when MMOs dare venture into dragon territory, designing playable races that leave little room for anthropomorphization.

That said, I am still that boring conservative that won’t alt and prefers horses as mounts in MMOs, simply because I can’t shed my formative D&D years and that classic interpretation of high fantasy. I also find it takes time to get into ingame personas, so over the years I have only ever grown attached to very few of my characters. In chronological order:

  • Syl, Human in WoW
  • Syl, Arisen in Allods (yeah I don’t change nicks either, sue me)
  • Syl, Norn in GW2
  • Syl, Cassian in Wildstar
  • Syl, Au Ra in FFXIV

I have also had some brief flirts with Asura, Gibberlings and Lalafell but sooner or later, I end up playing characters that are tall. Of the four mains, Arisen and Au Ra are by far my favourite MMO races. No other race design has ever come close to the eerie grace of Allod’s undead cyborgs – if you dig cyberpunk and Egyptian mummies, the Arisen are for you (they disappear into a sarcophagus when going /sleep)! As for my current love that is FFXIV, the Au Ra may or may not be related to dragons but at the very least, their race design clearly toys with a human-dragon/lizard hybrid concept. Given that my longterm online name is based on a wild-elf/dragon character from the Dragonlance novels, there couldn’t be a more fitting race for me to play in MMOs.


At this point, I ask myself what races I’d like to see in MMOs that we haven’t seen yet? Considering some past JRPG favorites, I am leaning towards frogs (Glenn from Chrono Trigger) and naga (Bleu from Breath of Fire). I believe there were frog people in Everquest which has completely passed me by. Furthermore I would really like to see another serious attempt at darkelf/drow design sometime. Drow never seem nearly as badass in MMOs as I always imagined them reading the Forgotten Realms. Black skin, white hair, red eyes – what’s not to love?

Favorite MMO things: Mounts

I was never a big mount collector in MMOs, the way I am/was for gear or companion pets in the past. There was a time in WoW when I belonged to the top pet collectors on my realm, long before Pokémon became a thing in WoW. I remember when Blizzard started adding more and more of everything, halfway through TBC everyone was farming Stratholme, Zul’Gurub and Kharazan for mounts and then the whole protodrake-this and that trend kicked off, the rest is history. Today, players own literally hundreds of mounts and pets in WoW.

Me and my bud in LOTRO

Me and my bud in LOTRO

Very early into the mount mania, I was put off by the sheer amount of often sameish or else ludicrous mount design that bugged me for its silliness. Giant chicken and fetish polar bears are funny for a split second before they become eyesores. I realize, I am a conservative when it comes to picking my own transport companions though; I like horses, adored my horse in LOTRO for its realistic riding feel and sound effects. When it’s not a horse, I’ll most likely choose something that feels either natural to theme and setting or at least part of an established race (or else device) from fantasy fiction. So my favourite mounts are generally –

  • Horses
  • Dragons
  • Wildcats / Lions
  • Gryphons / Eagles
  • Magic/Mechanical devices

Oh and I don’t enjoy switching mounts frequently, either. You know those randomization macros for mounts and pets in MMOs? Yeah, don’t like them! Makes me feel as if I was a zoo-keeper rather than adventurer. Where am I keeping all those animals, Hermione’s bottomless handbag?

That’s not to say I don’t understand the collector’s drive, I do! I’ll check out whatever mounts come my way, sometimes I’ll even get a goofy one (usually for seasonal events) as long as it’s either free/cheap or easy to acquire. I won’t spend any cash on all the mounts however and I certainly wouldn’t grind any, unless the game forced me to. Still, no matter how many I own, I end up using the same one or two most of the time. I like thinking of my mount as companion, the way they are named in FFXIV. When MMOs give you a naming option for your mounts or pets, that’s a big plus in my book. Oh and taming your own mount, what ever happened to that feature?

Speaking of which, I currently own about 15 mounts in FFXIV, most of which were given to me as quest rewards or else as subscription deals. FFXIV doesn’t come with an awful lot of serious horse options, so I actually acquired Odin’s steed via the cash shop, which was money well spent. I also like my Chocobo because it belongs to Final Fantasy the same way mogs do. They are treated respectably in FFXIV with tons of cosmetic options similar to LOTRO’s horses. And the dragon mounts from the current expansion are just fantastic, I’d happily trade 20 different WoW protodrakes for my Midgardsormr and Twintania!


My favorite FFXIV companions

There are plenty of ludicrous, huge and nasty looking mounts in FFXIV too, in case you were wondering. Some of them are mind-bogglingly large and one or two, like the Bomb Palanquin, make me laugh whenever I see them. Yet somehow they still feel more natural within the Final Fantasy setting, maybe because this franchise has always had its frivolous, bizarre moments. Either way, I’m sticking to my horses and dragons – I am boring that way.