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Mordor Second

15 Feb

Never political me…

Love it!

TSU minus LOTRO = unhappy TSU

29 Dec

I can’t remember the last time I played LOTRO…

I think we had just repaired my wife’s PC and I spent over a day to get it reinstalled, I had been busy over the anniversary event (Update: Gaming draggin! – 1st Jun) festival and thought life was going to be rosy but my disillusion with LOTRO quickly reappeared, I think I basically have lost my way and don’t know where I want to take my lv65RK.. I had taken him out of Rohan where to be honest he was enjoying himself (except for the ‘my-little-war-pony’ bits) for the anniversary event, after which in LOTRO: Gettin INTO LOTRO again… 26th APR I decided to go to Great River where the game quickly got boring again…

On the 29th of July (GAMING: Pokémon GOne?) I again tried to play LOTRO due to my nr1 son wanting to play… I even created an account for him but he is too young and even with my coaching and help he quickly lost interest… and that was that…half a year later I have not played again, not helped that for 5 month’s my wife’s computer has been out of action I blame the installation of MINECRAFT for the kids which I reckon has permanently damaged something in the motherboard as now every couple of weeks it just crashes again… and MINECRAFT itself is unplayable!

The MINECRAFT adventure was amazing though, I am a late comer to it, and the kids both got hooked straight away, I liked the more lethargic survival approach but found it got too easy too quickly with nothing to really keep me pushing forward… My nr2 son turns out to have the ability to create huge and complex houses… not bad for a 4 year-old! Nr1 son used it mainly to create ingenious machines he had seen on YT and indeed we have had to curtail their YT watching habits away from the same old MC videos… especially one episode of Lucky Blocks pistols…  which has 3.3+million views… which my wife and I felt were mainly from our 2 kids…

As the PC (when working) cannot run it anymore we installed it on the ipad and nr2 again started doing remarkable things, nr1 was quickly found to be sneaking back to YT all the time! Presently they are both fighting over the new Mario Run app (which is having problems with a lack of free content I gather…)… when not being banned from any access due to bad behavior…

So back to MY gaming… and my thoughts of coming back to LOTRO, somehow the news (I popped back to LOTROPLAYERS to check if true… LOTRO Players News Episode 182: What What Whaaaaat??) that LOTRO n DDO will be spinning off from TURBINE awoke this desire to play again…

I then stumbled on Malaysian Gamer’s YT video ’10 Reasons to play LOTRO’… and oh boy was desperate for my wife’s computer to be fixed… it has been and I am still itching to install LOTRO yet again… it will probably take a day… so maybe over the new year holiday (we got the 2nd of JAN free from work for some weird corporate reason!) …I just wonder how long it lives this time… surely 2017 must bring a new PC into the household?

Oh another nice YT video byThomas Huayra: ’10 lifehacks for LOTRO’, some stuff to try out here:) Also great to see Nakt is still LOTROing and blogging, and he mentioned our old clan leader Taltoz is still also in game 🙂

Undoubtedly if I start playing again I will probably start blogging again, you have been warned… TSU’s mad ramblings could be coming back soon… unsubscribe now… ur last chance to preserve your sanity.

So sans LOTRO what the hell have I been doing?

Now having moved back into Buenos Aires (6 blocks from Congress no less, sounds good it’s actually not that nice an area…) I have been swimming more than I did when I actually had my own pool, but am still not in body-surfing form… I ripped a calf muscle playing Frisbee with myself 😦 that didn’t help but hope to get back into chucking plastic again this summer, I walk to work most days now – 15 blocks so a little more activity and a HUGE saving in time. (I saw a BMX for sale yesterday…so tempted!) Work has been a huge focus for 2016 which contributed heavily to my blog’s demise, simply no time to spend at work in blogland! But 2017 looks very quiet, to the extent that my job (the whole department’s in fact) looks in danger which could  impact quite negatively on future gaming plans… touching wood it works out, although being made redundant in Argentina is quite a generous process and would easily fund my family’s return to Europe. But being jobless anywhere is not good at this time and OMG 2016 has been bad for politics and world travelers such as myself, especially as I am married to a non EU citizen 😦

Wife n aforementioned kids of course eat up lots n lots of my time, I have really enjoyed Stranger Things, Happy Valley, The Night Of, Game of Thrones, WESTWORLD, Daredevil, Luke Cage, Preacher and Star Wars Clone Wars (all episodes seen for first time :)) . I survived a plethora of others, notable mentions to How to get Away with Murder, Gotham, and Night Manager!  Started and gave up on quite a few too, the biggest disappointment being 2nd season of Mr. Robot.

I half-heartedly started a TSUISM project for blasts of creative madness, incorporating some of the LEAN culture work is attempting to instigate (I won’t go there…):

tsuism-lean-donut-philotsuphy

So no gaming then?

Computer basically out of action (so no EVE online either!) or in use by others so I continued my casual gaming on my phone(s*) in the shape of CoC, CR and MCOC. All of which I am submerged in to differing degrees.

*Why phonesI was always suspicious of geezers with more than 1 mobile, now I pack 2 myself (and I am not counting the ipad which is best for MCOC!) Now I have 1 phone for CoC, CR and phone calls and my wife’s old phone which runs MCOC, mine did not, it’s kinda laggy, a little too small and has a tendency for the screen to come off but it’s my fall back for when nothing else to do or I need to play MCOC and family ipad is in use.

CoC – CLASH OF CLANS

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th9… just before…

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th 10 🙂

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Backdoor is painful!

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cmon get it front door!

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2016 Xmas tree on my border 🙂

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oh events 🙂

I left my dead Philippine clan and joined a British Clan. It’s super-active nowadays but unorganized and unsettled. The leader is permaAFK! So we have a constant stream of new recruits and we are struggling to maintain a core of good players; we had a huge fall out and lost 2 good factions – one of which is continually inviting me to follow. Funnily one of the newer members is also one of my best friends from GB who reached out over FB as a fellow CoC player and he decided to join the same clan :). Notice I start by talking about the alliance and other players, in the end the longevity of this (all?) casual game is about the people u play with not really the game itself…

I recently reached th10, always fun starting a new level, I should have kept levelling my walls n heroes but to be Frank (who I am not!) it was SIMPLY BORING! So th10 antics ahead… its early days as u can tell by the pics… not even done a new base design and my bastardized WAR base which was a Clash Tutor th9 thumper design is a truly weird beast. I am now nr1 base in WAR which is quite a daunting role as to be honest I am too casual a player to hold that position… but I suppose I am the most consistent donator so I get away with it 🙂

CR – CLASH ROYALE

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I have come so close to stopping playing this game… I got invited to Supreme Cream’s CR group and it made a huge difference initially with the then ‘NEW’ tournaments (which turned out to be crock!) and the constant donations of cards which still help a lot 🙂 But recently actually playing the game became a bore, there was simply no necessity to play… as a f2p player gold costs are too high to contemplate nothing less than monthly goals! Then during the last update SUPERCELL introduced the Clan Chest and suddenly the game came alive. There is a 2 week on off cycle but I missed the thrill of piling up crowns after only a day of rest… I even started to mess around with Mortars just cos I wanted to. I have used a cheap deck since day 1 and only really changed it recently with the addition of the Black Knight (Monty Python sketch)

So it goes, soon I will reach lv10, so tougher castles… maybe by end of 2017 I will have all my cards that I use raised to level 12… I doubt it but I suspect I may still be playing.

MCOC – MARVEL CONTEST OF CHAMPIONS

And last but not least the game that has consumed my idle moments to the ire of my wife! Our alliance has grown to full size and it’s become more stable but it’s such a DEMANDING MONSTER! It’s a casual game that sucks up your life… and of late for pitiful rewards… as the core mechanism for progress is the chance opening of hero crystals for better n better heroes (or using to improve those you already have) and in which I have had the longest streak of crap… so why is it such a TIMESINK…again it’s the people! Yes being in contact with 30 other players 24hrs a day in game and also via FB and now LINE, who are constantly pushing u to log in, do something, reach yet another target for another reward which may help gain another crystal… Can you tell I am close to my limit? It was fun and when I was busy at work it was actually useful, I was applying and practicing team building ideas which I could replicate as best I could in my workplace (My department works in 2 sites, one in Buenos Aires another in Manila, and the company is Global. The alliance has members in Europe, US and me in Argentina!)

But I do love beat em ups and I grew up on MARVEL so this game hits those buttons hard 🙂 When you do have a row of good fights (when the special button on teeny tiny touchscreen works!) the adrenalin kicks in and the RW simply vanishes – all focus is in the game, those are the sublime moments when you realize that you LOVE this game.

There is always something to do in game as well, it may be tedious and repetitive (aren’t all Beat Em Ups?) but each fight is practice and can lead to improvement, I have found that I can even win some fights without being able to see the screen… they recently introduced an AI mode for the most basic quest fights which does an OK job of removing some of the tedium. The main alliance focus is the Alliance Quests and Alliance Wars which have the biggest rewards (much of which is hidden behind shitty RNG) but working as a team is essential to attempt the harder maps(AQ) or beat the harder opponents (Wars). And the whole alliance is needed, all 30 players, to really make it work which is why it can get quite stress inducing 😦 Arguments flare up, no shows and wrong paths end in dissension, its all quite dramatic at times. Maybe too much so, and I am seriously questioning how much longer I can soldier on, I helped start the group up and the leader understands I have a wife n kids and a busy work life too so I do get by.

I reckon after the new year I may get some luck that should drive me onwards, if not a break could be coming… maybe a LOTRO break (not away from but BACK to!)

So TSU is back maybe for just this quiet end of year day at the office… I wish you all well in your lives be they real or virtual.

GAME ON

GAMING: Pokémon GOne?

29 Jul
185tgq

‘I just don’t see the appeal, is it some kinda mass hypnosis?’

Not even having arrived yet in Argentina and already some reports are stating the NEW GAMING CRAZE that is Pokémon GO! may already be on the decline… cor arn’t we a difficult crowd to please, us modern gamers? Fickle we is…

I have to be honest with you all I am desperate to have a go, and will rush out to play (if my phone can handle it) as soon as it does officially arrive. BUT I do hope (eventually) there is some implementation of the original Pokémon gaming that I so loved the first time around. Although even then I was on the mature end of the Pokemon gamer and missed out on the social side then!

Until then I will keep trying to get back into LOTRO – kids permitting – they are even asking to play themselves (more on this strange development in an upcoming post)…

I will keep hammering away at MCOC, now developed mastery skills in evade and parry and finally the actual fighting game is more fun as well! My Alliance is getting more and more serious in being competitive and that’s going to take quite a bit of energy.

COC is slowly going nowhere fast, but I still am attached to my TH and want to see it prosper…

And finally CR has picked up slightly in my GameDAR as I was accepted into my fellow bloggers clan: Supreme Cream and life in a busy clan is so much different to a dead one…more on this as well in coming weeks 🙂

Have a great WEEKEND all 🙂

 

 

 

 

LOTRO: Gently Holistically Improving Community

27 Jul
CORDOwitq

3rd version due to spelling mistakes…oops!

A reworking on the comment I made on the LOTRO PLAYERS Article, which I found linked on the LOTRO FB page – go and like it 🙂

Turbine Reaches Out to the LOTRO Community 

Cordovan, the new LOTRO Community Manager (Looks like Frelorn went during the last TURBINE cuts :()has been posting on the  LOTROCommunity forums, an alternative forum to the official LOTRO forums. WOW this is a great step forward.

I arrived relatively late to the LOTRO party and I think the LOTRO community shine had started to wane. Don’t get me wrong it was then shining brightly, it is still, now 4 years later, an inspirational force to be reckoned with but it is far from the multi-faceted and connected happy family it had once been 🙂

Any attempt at stimulating interaction between the many diverse LOTRO community groupings can only be praised 🙂

Because of its ‘mature’ nature (age not content!) of LOTRO it has led to the creation of many diverse groups with varying opinions and points of view upon almost all aspects of the game… finding a common thread and unifying them all maybe impossible but at least approaching them and starting the conversation is amazingly positive 🙂

There are PVP’ers, RPG’ers, solo’ers, PVE’ers, cosmeticers(?), film makers, musicians, hardcore and casual gamers, bloggers, podcasters and twitchers, youtubers and every spin-off and combination, among others we cannot even imagine (I did once imagine of an in game LOTRO Acting Troupe – Commedia dell’arte!) And they all have vested interest in LOTRO, they all have strong opinions and nowadays they all voice them separately.

There are so many creative LOTRO blogs, websites, resources out there, some may have gone to sleep and some (like my own) ticks along slowly but they are still useful and incredible informative. Having others to share creative gaming ideas, not always LOTRO ones, I found so inspiring and many a time it incentivated me back into LOTRO to try something new or different.

Their creativity, leads to our creativity which can be feedback into our LOTRO gaming 🙂

It’s a positive vicious circle, or a virtuous circle even!

Cordovan’s post:

“Hello! I wanted to create an account here just to introduce myself, and see what’s going on. I know there’s been some animosity between the community folks and this forum in the past, but AFAIK it didn’t involve me (much?), so I figure this new era of sorts is a good time to say hello. I’m the current Community Manager for LOTRO and DDO (and to the extent AC is still supported, Asheron’s Call.) I’m an old-school gamer and pen and paper nerd. Ask me about my THACO!

There’s a lot of work to do in the LOTRO community in the coming weeks, and I plan to do it. If you have a short bullet-list of what you feel is most important for the community (not development, that’s a different thing), lemme know.” – Cordovan

And leading on from that, as it does so many times with Tsu’s LOTRO blogging, I found something that sparked a memory; the use of holistic by Cordoven led me to instantly remember Douglas Adams’ – ‘Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency’. What an awesome book, please read if it passed you by, if you laughed out loud to Hitchhikers, like myself, you will love it!

Holistic: characterized by the belief that the parts of something are intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole.’

Well I can get behind that and I hope it is possible to apply to the LOTRO community 🙂

And as I digress down Tsu’s rabbit hole of a blog post I found another quote from the same book:

“Sir Isaac Newton, renowned inventor of the milled-edge coin and the catflap!”
“The what?” said Richard.
“The catflap! A device of the utmost cunning, perspicuity and invention. It is a door within a door, you see, a …”
“Yes,” said Richard, “there was also the small matter of gravity.”
“Gravity,” said Dirk with a slightly dismissed shrug, “yes, there was that as well, I suppose. Though that, of course, was merely a discovery. It was there to be discovered.” … “You see?” he said dropping his cigarette butt, “They even keep it on at weekends. Someone was bound to notice sooner or later. But the catflap … ah, there is a very different matter. Invention, pure creative invention. It is a door within a door, you see.”
Douglas Adams, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency

I just had to investigate further: to find out if Newton really did invent the catflap?

But as always Wikipedia provided the answer: ‘In an apparent early modern example of urban legend, the invention of the pet door was attributed to Isaac Newton (1642–1727) in a story (authored anonymously and published in a column of anecdotes in 1893) to the effect that Newton foolishly made a large hole for his adult cat and a small one for her kittens, not realizing the kittens would follow the mother through the large one.[6] Two Newton biographers cite passages saying that Newton kept “neither cat nor dog in his chamber”.[7][8] Yet over 60 years earlier, a member of Newton’s social circles at Trinity, one J. M. F. Wright, reported this same story (from an unknown source) in his 1827 memoir, adding: “Whether this account be true or false, indisputably true is it that there are in the door to this day two plugged holes of the proper dimensions for the respective egresses of cat and kitten’ – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pet_door

An old girlfriend of mine used to crack up telling a story of how a friend used to keep her keys in her cat flaps… I suppose you had to be there!

So Cordovan has flung open the door (and maybe the catflaps!) to the community and I hope it grasps his outstretching hand to work together and put the communal house in order. LOTRO community was the GREATEST, is GREAT and can be the GREATEST again.

“Let’s think the unthinkable, let’s do the undoable. Let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all.” 
― Douglas Adams, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency

TURBINE, Cordovan and LOTRO Community please don’t eff it up again!

LOTRO:More Doors Opening…

25 Jul

moredoors2

Good news from TURBINE (not as oxymoronic as I thought!): Its official LOTRO is going to MORDOR, the land of shadow!

NAKT was the first to bring it to my attention 🙂 : https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/5185802/posts/1095437140

SO I jumped over to LOTRO PLAYERS to confirm: http://lotroplayers.com/2016/07/22/turbine-planning-something-big-for-mordor/

AWESOME 🙂

Good news wakes me from my LOTRO snooze…

I dug up my old Mordor Brewery idea and decided that they would would like to celebrate by whipping the slaves of Núrn into overproduction of the finest special edition beer ever fermented in a MMO – I do wish they would do more brewing in LOTRO! So here it is:

SORT PORT (Danish translates to Black Gate)

The Darkest Stoutest pint ever conceived of, so dark that it glows blackly in the shadows.

Ingredients: Mount Doom roasted barley and volcanic rock flaked barley, and so pale a malt, it’s almost ghostly, complete the mash. Common yeast and the most pungent hops round off the brew. Additionally some of the unfermented wort is soured in the sulfurous doomy airs to be forced back into the beer just before bottling, carbonation was found not to be needed, it has a peculiar chemical perculation or its own!

This really is a pint where we can say it is, ‘Warts and All!’

Something BIG is coming …Hurray for LOTRO and oh my I must get busy…my highest leveled Char is Tsukuld my lv85 RK!

 

 

 

LOTRO: TURBINE BLOWS AGAIN!

19 Jul

mobile turbine!

I was shocked into blogging again after discovering the horrible news from WB about TURBINE, further layoffs and yes they will be affecting LOTRO!

COMPANY STATEMENT: “Turbine is transitioning into a free-to-play, mobile development studio, and as a result we are eliminating some positions. The Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons & Dragons Online games will continue to operate as they do now. Re-focusing and reducing the studio size was a difficult decision for the company, and we are grateful to all of the Turbine staff for their considerable contributions.”

LOTRO: ‘…will continue to operate as they do now.’ – But that is in the sense that it will continue as before which is pretty neglected and on the slow descending spiral to closure… if lucky the game will be able to eventually stay alive in maintenance mode but with it’s expensive IP that probably would not be permanent…

If I could I would advise them to stop jumping onto boats after they have sailed and just milk the old MMO market, they could even get lucky and find there is a resurgence in interest in oldschool grindy MMORPG’s at some point…

I may be inspired to pop back into LOTRO sooner rather than later, but my sons have reached an age where me playing games without them has become almost impossible, and me playing LOTRO with them fighting over the controls equally frustrating!

I wish all affected the best in the future and lets keep our fingers crossed that LOTRO limps on for many years to come!

free to blow

After the world wide success of ‘Pokémon Go!’  TURBINE will be jumping on the bandwagon with ‘Blow Blow Go!’

…And if successful I can even imagine the sequel already, ‘Suck Suck Come!’

LOTRO: WOW

12 May

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Casual Stroll through MMO’s FB page linked me to the following:

World Of Warcraft Designer Gets Real About Complaint That Blizzard Doesn’t Listen

In which as has been stated so often, John Lydgate:

“You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time”

I do wish big games would stop pretending to cater to EVERYONE! TURBINE u listening?

The comment section discussion descends into the murky waters of ‘how WOW is such a failure nowadays’…

I agree stongly with those in the ‘no it is not’ camp. MMO’s have changed, online gaming has changed…GAMING has changed since 12 years ago!

Having so many players (around 5 million guesstimate and that’s with a subscription system) in this day and age demonstrates that it successful in so many ways.

Blizzard has been keeping lots n lots of minorities happy! The smallest minority being the one… letting those players group with like minded gamers to play the game they want to play within WOW is the key to its ongoing success.

WOW is a game in which I have never partook, although I have craved to join in many times.

If WOW was to fall I would imagine MMO’s across all spectrums would detect the oncoming death of a genre.

 

LOTRO: This corrosion…

4 May

“This Corrosion”
SISTERS OF MERCY

‘Gimme the ring, kissed and told
Gimme something that I missed (Gimme the ring)
A hand to hold, wild and what it seems(Gimme the ring)
Kill the king with love is the law
And the wheel turn round… (Gimme the ring)
Gimme dream child
And do you hear me call? (Gimme the ring)
On the loan and on the level
…Still on the floor (Gimme the ring)
Sing dream child
And do you hear at all?

(Sing)
(Sing)
Hey now, hey now now, sing This Corrosion to me
Hey now, hey now now, sing This Corrosion to me
Hey now, hey now now, sing This Corrosion to me
Hey now, hey now now, sing…’

Ended up listening to this old fav this afternoon at work and wow this could really be LOTR inspired, the corruption is the evil intent that the ring imbues upon the wearer and that desire for the ring….
Well all I can say is LAMBCHOP:
but the original also imparts quite a kick…
Now only days to go of the 9th anniversary festival and the associated firey worky grinding and then back to GREAT RIVER or ROHAN? Only time will tell…
Hey now, hey now now, sing This Corrosion to me…

LOTRO: Gettin INTO LOTRO again…

26 Apr

Exploring a new area with my RK GREAT RIVER has not turned out to be such a good idea, yes I do suffer from bouts of completionitis so now that I have begun I will continue… well until the grey mobs and lack of challenge, same same same rotations ad infinitum and, generic questing make me look elsewhere or yet again take another LOTRO break!

I enjoyed a couple of the quests, there are always some gem lines and moments that entertain. But they are few and far between. Instead of immersive play the questing reinforces your rail-like progression, the lack of choice and minimal impact you have. The lack of choice is simply shocking and I had not really given it much thought of late. There are no instances where making a decision will branch the story in any shape or form. The eventual outcome is always the same. The order of events can sometimes be altered but again it all comes together in a planned denouement that is inevitable.

NPC cannot be interacted with unless as part of the design, there is no idle conversation, no snippets of irrelevant gossip, no red herrings. Questing can be a brain dead exercise in ring chasing, NPC conversation can be glanced over and frequently completely ignored. The quest chains are generally linear in nature, minor branches add fluff but lead nowhere.

Orc camps are orc camps they have orcs in to be killed, they react as all NPC’s have reacted since Bree. Oh look a cave, I bet I go there and do something and upon completion I will be sent back in to do something else!

I cannot toast the obvious traitor the first time I meet him and save a 2 hour detour, making a mistake and toasting an obvious traitor that turns out to be innocent does not lead to being chased out of town and having to earn forgiveness to enter, whereas not toasting would have been quicker you miss out on some quests. There are not multiple ways to follow a quest line with multiple endings depending on your choices.

There are no real surprises and the hand holding of the quest narratives can be quite demeaning!

I don’t want to pick any more flowers on the hills, I want to be able to bake the NPC a cake or donate a weapon instead, and depending on how much the NPC appreciates my gift I can expect differing quests with differing rewards.

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It all simply drives me to despair… Tsukuld ends up harvesting grass… now where is his pipe!

LOTRO: back again…

18 Apr

I actually got online in LOTRO this weekend.

Woot!

…for about 20 mins before my kids came and kicked me off the computer.

…oot!

I was itching to get back into LOTRO the whole weekend… was this due to a desire to get back into the newly updated LOTRO? Or due to my growing malaise with casual gaming?

I have been playing:

CoC for must be nearly a year and I can imagine I will keep playing but it is not exactly immersive, long army build times and even longer building upgrade and research times keep this interesting but not exactly relaxing or even a place to spend time having GAMING FUN.

Clash Royale, the new ‘card battler’ game has its moments but they are getting further and further between… and I find myself thinking of developing a good team in maybe 5 years time by simply collecting the free chests; which if you think about it is not exactly gameplay! Its advancement simply for the sake of advancements sake! I had a rare match which was actually fun the other day, where both players were attacking and counter attacking and I lost with his King’s castle on the brink of falling too!

And my main time sink and what has eaten up my morning gaming sessions has been MARVEL Contest of Champions; a basic beat-em-up with collecting mechanics mixed with social grouping and peer pressure and almost constant new rewards to work for individually and very cleverly collectively! I find there is always some kind of incentivation to grind out a new quest, level a hero or beat up the silly computer controlled opponent in yet another ‘versus’ match! And that’s not including the month long story quests for newer heroes and the daily contests needed to unlock upgrade items for your favourite heroes!  The graphics are great, the game runs very smoothly on the family ipad, the sound effects are even pretty atmospheric. Wanting to level Dr. Strange my favourite 4star hero is my main goal but getting Black Widow 4 silver stars and by far my heaviest hitter and Groot my first ever 4 star and others to their max, and being able to take on the game on heroic for even better prizes and maybe even one day getting a 5 star hero… oh dear can you see the addiction….

Oh and I love superheroes and have done so from when I was a kid, and my sons love the game too, my youngest even to the point of claiming to have HULK inside him! Which we constantly remind him he does NOT! My eldest loves to irritate me by using up hard earned in game gold or credits!

But… But… But… its getting tedious and I am starting to realise that it is just a pointless exercise in grinding up levels to get the same heroes (for the most part) stronger and stronger, whereas the core game of beat-em-up is pretty basic and the ‘vs’ mode is quite obviously an AI played version of player selected hero line up! Even this basic beat-em-up would be awesome if head to head with other players. Then no ‘got-to-get-em-all’ gimmick would be needed. Mind you then why am I not just playing Street Fighter?  Oh how I would love to have an arcade SF machine in the living room, exercise n gameplay every morning!

Oh how I digress…

Instead of the latter I am tempted to get back into the lukewarm water of LOTRO MMO gameplay! It has stories, the ME world, the long term grind, mediocre graphics (well on my wife’s non gaming PC I push it to high quality graphics for stationary screenshots!) old school MMO questing, old school MMO advancement…but it offers constant gaming FUN. ‘Offers’, you have to find it but when you find it is even sometimes fantastically immersive and surprisingly GREAT FUN!

I was really enjoying the Bingo weekly adventure, and have my one legged hobbit Opopa fan-fiction project to continue…

Tsukuld was levelling nicely in ROHAN, solo mounted combat crapness ignored, it was enjoyable.

Diverse alts dot the spectrum of levels  and character types throughout LOTRO for diversions sake.

The server consolidation and lag issues arrived and my interest waned markedly… my RW existence has become more time consuming, work is busy (too busy!), kids getting older and more demanding, wife, well is WIFE! Less weekend time to play, fewer long immersive sessions which drove the smaller weekday pre work sessions… I have long battled for an early evening gaming slot where I can log in the same time as my mainly European kin mates… rather than catching them mostly ‘out to lunch’/’working’ during my Argentinian early morning sessions.

I have always loved LOTRO, but I grew tired of the repetition, grew tired of the samey gameplay, grew tired of my RK’s combat rotations, and I found I was not finding FUN often enough,  I am back but I don’t know for how long I will last before I grow tired again!

I hope I find lots of FUN in LOTRO 18.1!