Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Summer Event

Of course, there's more to the STO Summer Event than Flying High to get your ship. There are also games to earn favors, which is the Event currency to buy costumes, kit modules, floaters and powerboards.

What are powerboards? They're like surfboards with an engine. You use them to race around a river course, and when you reach the end, you grab a flag. There are four flags-First gives you 12 monkey tags and 75 favors, Second gives you 6 tags and 50 favors, Third gives you 3 tags and 25 favors. Finish gives you 2 tags and 15 favors. If you weren't able to grab any of the place flags, then you get the Finish. So, everyone is guaranteed at least 2 tags, which are used to raise baby feather monkeys. The monkeys can be kept as vanity pets, or traded in for marks for the various reputation systems in the game. There are three monkeys-blue, green and red. You need six tags to start a monkey project and the color you get is random. If the monkey crits during any phase of raising it, it will then acquire a tiki mask. These tiki-masked monkeys get you more marks with a trade-in.

There is also a game called the Horga'hn hunt. If you watched TNG, then you know these are fertility statues. Every hour, for fifteen minutes, you fly around on your floaters and find ten to turn in. There are any number of favors 'inside' the statues, ranging from 2-5. You may also find an 'abandoned' bird egg. You can take this egg and hatch it and get one of six types of tropical birds to raise, also to trade in for marks. If the bird crits during raising, it will gain long feather tufts and be worth more marks. If you keep any of the tufted birds, only raise them to adult, as they become even more brighter-colored, usually much different from their original colors.

Then there is the Dance Party. Every hour you spend about ten minutes doing dances that the dance instructor calls out (which are found by pinning your chat emote list and scrolling to the dances). Once you have completed 38 dances, you earn 100 favors.

Many players put stacks (999) of favors on the exchange, which is the ingame market, which gets them ingame currency (energy credits). I prefer to earn mine, since it's part of playing the event. I farm them during the hunt, and doing other activities. All the activities get you favors. Just some people don't want to spend the time farming them, they want their shinies *now*.

Anyway, speaking of the Summer Event, it's time to get out there.

Star Trek Online

I think I've posted about this game once, at least, like Oblivion or Skyrim. Unlike Oblivion or Skyrim, Star Trek Online is...Online, of course. It's a MMORPG, or massively multiplayer online role playing game.

You play the part of a captain of a starship set in the Star Trek universe. Once you get past the tutorial, you can play the game as you see fit, that's the role-playing part. It's free to play, but you will need money anyway, to get their best stuff. You can play the game on the free stuff and free ships that are given away during 'Events'. The Summer Event is going on right now and the giveaway ship is a Vorgon heavy escort. It's a funny-looking ship, but it seems to be fit for tactical captains. The good new is, since last year, only one captain in your lineup has to play to get the ship, which is then unlocked in the reclaim store for any others. So my other captains can claim one and fly it to get its trait unlocked to use on the ship they prefer to fly.

I've picked up a number of these ships, ranging from T5-U to T6. The T6 is the top-tier ships for end game content. Many players, especially those who can afford to pay the fee to access more stuff, ridicule the ships, but play to get them anyway, also for their traits. Of course, many FTPers (free to play) also ridicule them. I don't. The devs went to the trouble of designing them and then give them away, so I appreciate any and all of them. I always pick up any free ships they give away, whether it's during a promotion or an Event.

The Summer Event is fun, you strap on a floater (similar to a jet pack), and pick up the mission Flying High from the Event Coordinator on Risa. Then you fly through three of four courses set up around the island in a set amount of time, which is very generous and more than enough for even someone with a slow floater to get through. You then earn 40 ship vouchers, which you must return to the coordinator to get. Then you slot the ship project and add the vouchers. You do this 25 times, every 20 hours (or daily about the same time each day). At the end of the 25 days, you will have earned 1000 vouchers and the ship. The event runs for about 40 days, so there's plenty of wiggle room to miss a few days, which I've done on my captain. Her mission got pushed to night time because I forgot to turn it in one day until later at night. So I got agitated one evening and signed off before doing it. No problem, it just means I get my ship a day later than most.

I've also downloaded and installed several other games on the Arc client, The Arc client is like Steam, if you know what I mean. You can use it to download and install Perfect World Entertainment games, just like you use Steam to download their games. However, Arc now has what's called Arc Quests. It's basically 'sign into Arc on X number of days' to earn experience points. Earn enough points and you earn zen, which is their in game currency you have to buy with real money, or trade dilithium for (and the dilithium exchange rates have become outrageous at around 415dil/1zen or more.). For every 1000 experience points, you get 500 zen, which usually costs about $5 of real money. So yeah, I'm doing these quests. You get three different ones, of which you can delete one of them every day. So, if you get one that says 'play X game for Y number of days', and you don't have that game, or it will cost you money to install it, you can click it off and hope you get one that you can use. I've installed a number of PWI games over the last week, all of them are FTP, or free to play. Therefore, if I get a quest to play one of those games, I can simply load their launcher and get the credit. I know, that's not exactly in the spirit of the quests, but I intend to eventually at least try them out through their tutorial phase, but I'm trying to earn zen for STO. I have 500 points so far, and when I fill up this next bar, that will be another 600 experience, so I will have earned my first 500 zen, if I choose to redeem the points. However, I'm going to try to earn more points first. I have several captains who need extra banking and inventory space, so I want to earn enough for that, plus maybe a stack of keys for the many, many lockboxes I've accumulated.

The games I've installed all sound like they might be interesting or fun to play, but I doubt I can earn zen enough to support all of them. So right now all my zen earnings will go to my favorite one, which is Star Trek Online. The other games are simply a means to earn that zen faster. If I play them at all, it will not be with zen, unless I have a way to earn it ingame that doesn't involve the zen market, unless the zen market in those games, if they have one, is more reasonably priced. What's a more reasonable price? Someone on the STO forums suggested about 250/1, which I think is actually reasonable.

I know the people who trade their zen on the game markets pay for their zen with real money and want to get the best value for the trade, but hell, can't we get a good value as well? We spend time ingame, farming the currency needed to trade for their zen. That time is worth something, right? It's like a real-life gold miner spending time mining gold from wherever so they can sell it for money. With the prices that are being asked, buying a lifetime subscription to the game is looking more and more appealing. At least then I'd get a stipend of 500 zen per month, which I can save up, if I'm patient enough, until it builds up to where I can get some of the more expensive packages from the zen store. Personally, I think a lot of LTS players are using that stipend to buy dilithium, so therefore they're pretty much getting free dilithium

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Tamriel

What/where is Tamriel? Tamriel is on a planet called Nirn. It is the world where The Elder Scrolls games take place. I've only played two of the five (six, counting the MMO) games. Oblivion and Skyrim.

In Oblivion, there's an unmarked campsite way, high up in the mountains called Dive Rock. It's one of the highest points you can get to in the game, and you get to fight a large, semi-invisible Frost Troll called the Uderfrykte Matron. I say it's a Frost Troll since you find her in the snow-covered mountains. But in Oblivion there are very few special trolls, they're all just called trolls.

Anyway, it's very hard to get to Dive Rock, and you find out about it from finding a dead person at the bottom of the mountain. The dead body is north of Aerin's Camp and Dive Rock is located northwest from the dead body. But it's very tricky to get to from there, even on a horse. But I found an easier way to find it.

If you have the Wizard's Tower plugin, then once you reach the wooden bridge leading you to the tower, just turn the other way and you can run along the mountaintops until you see the marker on your compass (it will be a landmark icon). Once you reach Dive Rock, you will find a tent, a fire and a sack with some stuff in it. You'll also find a diary telling you what the author was doing there. You can choose to go find the troll and kill it or just leave it. If you go kill it, you will find the Frostwyrm Bow inside it (along with Svejna). You'll also likely run across her dead husband in the same area, where you can loot him (except for the fur helmet on the ground)

Be aware though, this is a pretty tough troll at any level. Besides being semi-invisible and hard to see, she's also fast, though clumsy if she tries to run uphill. She's still weak to fire spells, and she can't climb very well, so your best bet is to use ranged fire magic on her from the side of the mountain. That should kill her before she can reach you. You can also peg her with fire arrows, if you have them, or a fire-enchanted bow if you have one. Just try not to let it get close, that's where it's dangerous, just like any other troll.

You can also walk towards the edge of the camp a certain way, until you get a message popped up on your screen. Then you'll have several new map markers of dungeons you can visit and loot. You can also fast travel to the camp after you find it and use it for yourself. You won't have to clear out any bandits here, none ever spawn there like at regular campsites.

Anyway, that was all I wanted to muse about. I was going to put this in my Wordpress Tamriel blog, but Wordpress is acting up and won't take me to the posting page.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Will-o-Wisp

So, what are they? In Oblivion, they're a floating ball of yellow glowy light. Kill them and they drop something called glow dust, which can be used in alchemy formulas. You also need glow dust during the main quest if you get your Daedric artifact from Azura. You have to approach her shrine either at six in the morning or six in the evening and offer her up some glow dust.

Wisps are classified as ethereal undead, so normal weapons won't even scratch them. Silver, Daedric or normal weapons with an enchantment will hurt them. Also the Ancient Akaviri katana or a permanent bound weapon will also hurt them. Normally, bound weapons are conjured with a spell and disappear after a fixed amount of time, but due to a game glitch, if you damage them, repair them and then drop them and wait for the timer to expire (or use a dispel spell), and you'll have a pretty powerful, weightless weapon. They look like Daedric weapons and are, in fact, slightly weaker versions of them, but they're still some of the strongest weapons in the game for low-level characters. And you can get one, along with a piece of bound armor, at one of three different rune stones. Now, whether you get a blade or a blunt weapon is totally up to whether you're more proficient in said blade or blunt skill and tie goes to the blunt.

Also, destruction spells such as fire, frost or lightning will hurt the wisps. I generally try to use touch spells, as I hit my target more often if they're in touch range. However, the wisp uses some pretty devastating touch spells of its own, which absorbs health from you and damages your intelligence and willpower.

So, some advice:

I play on a fairly low setting anyway. Why? Because I play a game for its story content, not to see how tough I can make it on myself. So, if you normally like to play on higher settings, try lowering it if the wisps are killing you. Then just crank it back up. I'd almost recommend the "Kill" command in the console if you play on a computer, but that's just not fair.

I generally like to play a sneak-thief type character who wears light armor. If you have a pair of light boots enchanted with water walking, use them to run out onto the water. Then you can see the ripples as the wisp chases you after it goes invisible. The Silt Runner's boots are good for this. They're a pair of Mithril boots enchanted with water walking. There's some heavy boots that do the same for heavy armor wearers, but I can't remember the name of them. Anyway, they're found in random loot or on bandit ringleaders. I got my latest pair from Kurdan gro Dragol, the usurer who tricks you into his 'hunting' game. You can also enchant your own if you have a water walking spell, a pair of boots and a filled soul gem. The size of the soul gem doesn't matter, as the enchantment is constant.

Next, obtain an enchanted sword of some kind. Something with fire, frost or lightning will work best. Or else use a mage staff. Or your own destruction magic. Or a combination of destruction magic/enchanted weapon. As with the boots, you can enchant your own weapon, to be sure you have the enchantment you want.

Now, as a sneak-type, when I reach lvl 10, when these nasties start showing up, I'll sneak through dungeons/caves/ruins where I'm sure I'll encounter them. I'll carry an enchanted (or bound) bow and enchanted arrows. If I can find an arrow with soul trap and some empty common soul gems, all the better. I can snipe-shoot them and use their souls to recharge the bow. Arrow of Voltage and Arrow of the Dynamo will both come with a five second soul trap on them IF you have Shivering Isles installed. Otherwise, if you want a weapon with soul trap and you haven't found one, then enchant it yourself. I'd recommend using a grand soul gem filled with a grand soul for enchanted weapons. Or else go on with the main quest and start closing Oblivion gates to get the sigil stones. If you're at level 17 or higher, you'll get the strongest enchantment from those.

The best way to get the enchantment you want is to save your game just before you grab it, and then check it when it's put in your inventory. If it's an enchantment you don't want, reload your save and try again. The stone is always random, so you might get a different one.

Or if you're on the computer, add in a mod that lets you choose which stone you want. It's called Sigil Stone Selector and it works on almost all of the gates, except the one at Kvatch, the one that you help Burd close at Bruma, the one you get at the Cheydinhal gate when you do The Wayward Knight and the Great Gate at Bruma. On all other gates, you can choose your sigil stone. It's made my game much easier, and if you want to call me a cheater, go ahead. It's much easier to choose my stone rather than to reload a save a dozen times before getting a stone I like. Personally, I like to enchant my weapons, armor, clothing and jewelry with sigil stones even though you only get one enchantment. It's still a very strong enchantment.

Okay, I got off the subject of the wisp, but that's okay. This strip is called Musings for a reason. I never just muse over one thing per post, I always muse over many things. The wisp is not invulnerable, but it is tough. Try using sneak-bow sniper attacks on it to get it in one shot. I've even done that out in the open world along the road, as long as you don't get too close (where it spots you) and you know your limits with the bow.

Yeah, I do play heavy armor-hitters and just carry some primrose leaves and alkanet flowers to munch once I'm done with the wisp. That will restore your willpower and intelligence each time. Still, backing away when you see it about to use its magic will help a lot (it changes color and you hear a gurgling sound when it's happening. Then rush in and whack away again before it can heal itself too much. Better yet, it'll chase you anyway, so just keep backing away and whack at it when it gets in range.

Personally, the unicorn in Harcane Grove is probably the toughest thing out there, if you decide to kill it for Hircine's quest. I personally like to catch it and ride it around sometimes. Anywho, I just felt like rambling about the wisps, cause I watched a video of one who was showing us how to kill them, and they were so dumb that they had no idea where the unmarked road was that would have led them straight to Azura's shrine. So they were trying to force Prior Maborel's paint horse to go up the side of the mountain when it clearly couldn't. Poor horse. Its owner was dead and its new owner was abusing it.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Random thoughts

We have them all the time. We'll just be sitting and doing our thing, which may be reading, blogging, surfing the inet, crafting, whatever. Then it hits you. Random thought which has nothing to do with what you're doing. I crochet all the time and think about things totally unrelated to crocheting. When is the husband going to get up? Is the cat hungry? Does the cat want out?

Of course, I also tend to think about the crochet at times too. "What else is this pattern good for? Can I make an afghan out of these squares? Can I make a potholder out of this stitch pattern? Of course then I have to try and see. I think I'm going to get a dish towel out of the double knit Hoover baby blanket. I cast on far fewer stitches than called for to practice the technique. It would make a good doll blanket as well, but I can use a dish towel/rag too. I'm also using acrylic, so it will do good for a scrubber.

While working on a diagonal potholder, the technique would also make a nice bag. Just put handles on it and make it taller. The squares I do would make good tote bags too, just sew them together and put in handles. Actually, the squares are small enough to make nearly anything out of. It's just sc around, make three in each corner, then cut and change color. Use two different colors. Kind of a sc Around the World. I think they're about four inches square, so pretty small. They may even make good slippers too. I'll have to make a dozen and put them together and see what they look like. It would be like the Granny Square Slippers that I've made plenty of. You just sew six squares together (or crochet them together). Put four together for the sole, one for the instep and one for the heel. Looks great and you can make them in any color combination. The problem with granny squares is the holes. So these sc squares might make an even more cozy slipper.

The thermal stitch would make a good thick sweater or wrap or even afghan. There's so much you can do with just one pattern that there is no way to make everything you think about. It's fun to think about it though. Of course, you would need much patience to make a thermal stitch blanket, unless you made it in squares. Row upon row, hundreds of thousands of nothing but sc. Hmmm, sounds like a chevron too.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Yummy and easy cookie dough

A very easy, plain cookie dough

2 sticks butter (and I mean butter, not margarine), softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2-3/4 cups self-rising flour
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In a large bowl, cream together butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add flour in about three batches, combining well after each. This can be stored in the refrigerator in a covered container and baked as needed.

To bake: Roll out small balls of chilled dough and flatten slightly. Place about two inches apart on baking sheet and bake in preheated 350F oven for about seven minutes or until edges are slightly browned.

You can also add a large bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips for chocolate chip cookies. Add after flour has been added.

You can also sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top of plain cookies for a cinnamon sugar cookie.

This is a plain cookie dough, use your imagination.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Not a good summer

So, it's Father's Day, and I go to town to look for some cat wormer. Sounds simple, right? Well, it is until I stumbled in a parking lot and went crashing down to the pavement.

My phone was dead, I was alone, people were in church and no one saw me fall. My left hand hit the ground. Hard. Then it went straight out in front of me as I fell, and my right knee hit the ground. Hard.

I heard something crack when I went down. I pulled myself up and had to support my left arm. It was broken, but not broken in two, I could tell that much. It was broken close to my shoulder. I finally pulled myself up and got in my Trailblazer and drove myself home. I'm in pain, but I've been in pain before.

I got home. Got myself out of the Trailblazer and into the house with the groceries I did get. Hollered for the husband since he was still asleep. Got the ice cream in the freezer with his help. Whimpered and told him I'd messed my arm up bad. I took an old scarf and made a makeshift sling. It helped. As long as I didn't move my arm, it didn't hurt

He took me to the After Hours clinic first. Should have just gone to the emergency room since that's where they sent us anyway after x-raying me. They did give me a proper sling at least, which helped.

Emergency room nurse was a sweetheart. She apologized when she had to scrub the palm of my left hand and my knee and the other assorted dings I got with povidine-iodine. I didn't feel it when she scrubbed my knee, but I sure did when she scrubbed my left palm. I think I tore the top layer of skin off of it. Had a huge strawberry on my right knee.

X-rays showed it was broken in a place where they couldn't put a cast. Near the ball in the big arm bone. So I was put in a shoulder immobilizer.

The sweet old nurse recommended sleeping in a recliner as she had experience from having shoulder surgery. I found out she was right. Couldn't lie in a bed in any position. Been sleeping in the recliner since. The husband, sweetheart that he is, has been sleeping on the sofa.

The arm is much better. I've switched back to the sling now, but I know it isn't healed yet. I can lift my arm more than I could right after it happened. I've been taking a bath about once a week to avoid stressing the injury. Husband had to help me a few times to put my shirt on. Forwent underclothes and wore elastic waist trousers, shorts or skirts. No bra.just a shirt and bottoms. Or a dress I could pull over my head.

I've been able to pull my own shirts on for the last couple of weeks, so that's a win. The arm aches a bit all day long and first thing on waking, but once I get sat up and moving around, that pain goes away. Only took the prescription pain pills at night since they made me sleepy (which helped me sleep at night). I take extra strength acetaminophen if the pain is too much.

I know the shoulder isn't the only thing messed up. My elbow hurts too, and my wrist. I know I messed them up too. Haven't been to the doctor since getting home from the emergency room. No insurance, very little money. But there's really nothing the doctor can do that hadn't already been done. He'd have prescribed PT, which I also can't afford. Will just have to live with any consequences. I've been really careful not to do anything to aggravate the injury. At least the bone has stopped shifting around. It did that for about three weeks while it healed up. Didn't hurt, just felt really funny.

Well, that's about it. Just whining in my own blog here, rather than whining for real about it. That won't make it heal any faster. I'll just keep muscle rub handy since that helps the soreness all up and down that arm. I think I messed my hand up too. My thumb and the outside of my hand under the pinky, most especially, are very sore and I had a black mark all up the outside of my thumb for awhile.

Ah well, maybe I'll whine some more later, I think I'm done for now.