My Adventures on Monster Hunter

Normally today I would do a recap of Overwatch League or discuss something Overwatch League related. Today, a non-Blizzard game related topic seemed like something new to address. I’m not a big console person. I enjoy playing some games on the Switch, love playing the classic SNES, and definitely loved playing my DS. In fact, the only console games I really enjoy are Nintendo games. Primarily, I’m a PC gamer. Anything Sims related (Sims 4 was such a let down but the new mobile app is pretty entertaining), TF2, most Blizzard games, things like that.

My husband is primarily a PC gamer as well, but sometimes gets spurts where he is obsessed over certain PS4 games. Our oldest started playing Monster Hunter: World, a game he had wanted to play. So he naturally bought it for his PS4 pro. He has played this thing pretty religiously since, constantly saying the phrase “You really need to try this, I think you’ll love it”. Finally, he came out with “Monster Hunter: World was ranked the best game for couples to play.”

Finally the other day, I gave in. I was avoiding Overwatch Competitive because I was feeling insecure about my skill after a bad match where my D.Va was blamed for the loss of the match though looking back it wasn’t the case at all. I didn’t really feel like leveling today. I just finished working out and showering and wanted to relax on the couch before the kids came home. There was nothing on TV and the only things on the DVR were shows I needed to save for the husband to watch with me. I decided, “why not?” though I dreaded if I actually enjoyed the game I would have to listen to “told you! What do you think? Tell me everything!”

A good portion of my first day of playing consisted of creating my character and her Palico. At first I’m already annoyed that there is no dog option for those of us who may not be big fans of cats. Still, I style the Palico after our own Lady Sylvanas (my oldest son’s beloved cat who thinks she’s a dog) because why not? Then I get into the game. Graphics are nice and the game has a good aesthetic appeal to it. I get to choose my weapon and as a person who has problems with melee, I started off with a bow. I got a few quests in before I didn’t get a chance to get back to it.

Early observations? I hate having to move the camera around in this game. I always lost track of what I was attacking and it was generally annoying because I was dying as a result. Console games suck. I never have this problem on my PC. The game would be infinitely more entertaining if this wasn’t an issue anymore. I also don’t like feeling like I’m forced into doing quests with randos on the internet. It’s one thing when playing a team FPS but not when you are playing an RPG. I’ll still play it and maybe there will be some nice changes when the update hits in a few days. Otherwise, I may not fully enjoy the game until the PC release which is not really expected until fall.

I can be okay with that. Until then, I’ll try to get further in the game on the console and continue to wait patiently until Frostpunk gets its release. I have only been dying for that game since I first saw it. As a fan of the Victorian era, I have a soft spot for steampunk and I already professed my love of Sims. I will certainly talk about it when I get it.

Until then, this week the final week of Stage 2 of the Overwatch League. Uprising has been doing very well and I hope they keep it up. They may not be able to make the finals in this stage, but the overall playoffs are still obtainable for them especially with their amazing play against the Valiant. Keep up the good work guys and it was so good to have Gamsu back.


Allied Races and You

World of Warcraft’s latest expansion is out for pre-order, but much like every other time there are excellent incentives to ordering it before its release. In this case, you get access to 4 of the 6 allied races: the Void Elves, Highmountain Tauren, the Lightforged Draenei, and the Nightborne. The last two allied races, the Dark Iron Dwarves and the Zandalari Trolls, have yet to be released but it will be interesting to see how these former foes in the story’s lore decide to join the Alliance and Horde.

I was most excited that once again, Blizzard listened to my hopes and dreams despite everyone telling me it was never going to happen. In Burning Crusade, I wanted to be a demon hunter. For ages prior to Mists of Pandaria, I wanted to play a Pandaren. These were my goals and dreams. When Pandarens were announced, I squealed with excitement and immediately rubbed it in everyone’s faces. When demon hunters were finally released, I did the same. I have no grace. I like to be right. I like to get what I want. And I did. The Pandarens were pretty disappointing though, but the demon hunters were everything that I dreamed they would be.

The minute I got to Suramar and saw the Nightfallen, I wanted to be one. I would do anything to play that race. They were awesome. I kept telling everyone that they should be a playable race. Now they are. But, instead of waiting for the expac to be released and disappointed, I can indulge my wishes now. The minute that I could afford to purchase it, I did. Then I started the time sink to create these characters. Here is my takeaway from it.

The story for the Lightforged Draenei was neat. I enjoyed that questline to unlock them. The Void Elf story was interesting, a little longer than the Lightforged in my opinion, but it was still decent. One of my favorite quests was the Nightborne one, not just because it was quick and simple but because it was pretty interesting as well. The Highmountain Tauren quest to unlock the race was much like the quests in Highmountain: long, time-consuming, and really not worth the reward at the end of everything. It made me remember why with every other alt, I never went to that zone to level up.


Blueleigh, the Void Elf Priest

My first choice to level was ultimately my Void Elf. I am leveling as a shadow priest, my 3rd shadow priest. I thought a priest was the best fit for her and thought her shadowform would be even cooler. I was right. I may even main swap her, giving up my main that I have had since the beginning. The leveling is a slow grind, but I enjoy the menial work. What I like so far is how OP Void Eruption is at a low level. You could pull as many mobs as you can and it will instakill any that you have dotted up. It’s insane. I love it. Her racials seem so/so. The Spacial Rift ability reminds me of Moira’s Fade ability. Preternatural Calm is also quite nice, since is prevents the casting delay when getting attacked. Entropic Embrace (bonus to shadow damage and healing) also seems pretty powerful at lower levels as well. However, I have no real use for more void storage, so getting a discount on this doesn’t really impact my life. After my void elf, I will move onto my Nightborne which I am really excited about trying out.

Once you unlock these characters (which requires some achievements in addition to the questline), as long as you have a level 110 on the server you can create your new character. They start off as a level 20, but leveling these days is quick enough. It is still tedious until you get flying, which they should give us veterans the ability to do imo. You probably have plenty of time to get these characters leveled and geared up by the time the game is actually released, so happy hunting!


Overwatch League- Stage 1 Week 4

First of all, can I say “holy cow, the Uprising is in a Wildcard Position”? From a scrappy team that no one expected much of, they are doing far better than people predicted. This adds an extra level of excitement for me as a fan of the team.

Before the recap, I would like to mention that if all goes well, I will be posting to the gaming part of this blog twice a week starting this week. On Friday, I will be pre-ordering the new WoW expansion and I can’t wait to start talking about that as well (and any other game worth mentioning.) Here’s to hoping things go as planned.

Unlike last week, there weren’t too many surprises that fans witnessed as the games were played. For the most part, things went as I had expected. London Spitfire took down Seoul Dynasty, but it was still a really exciting match to watch especially since I was rooting for the Spitfire to win. It was odd to not have Ryujehong in the game, which some could argue is what made the difference in the game. Spitfire is a strong team, so I’m sure it may have been closer with Ryu in the game, but I just think that Spitfire may arguably be the stronger team. There’s still time for me to be wrong on that, but I stand by that statement. Fleta was still unstoppable this week and it was awesome to watch him and Jake face off in the next night of matches. Outlaws put up a strong fight against Dynasty, but ended up losing in the tiebreaker map.

Uprising is proving themselves to be quite the team to go against. They took down both of the “home teams”, the Los Angeles Gladiators and the Los Angeles Valiant. While they expected the Gladiators to go down to Boston, the casters seemed to think that Boston didn’t stand a chance. In true Boston fashion, they went on to sweep the Valiant to the shock of the commentators. They went 4-0 in both matches, something they really needed to find themselves in the wildcard. From underdogs to real contenders, next week is the last chance for them to climb up or stay strong in their spot for the playoffs.

The final week of Stage 1 is going to be an exciting one. I say this also as a Patriots fan, who would love to see the Uprising avenge the Pats by beating Philadelphia Fusion next week. Their games this week are going to be hard as Outlaws are a strong team and Fusion seems to have some power to them when they click. Crossing my fingers for you, Uprising.

Overwatch League, Stage 1- Week 3

This was an incredible week for the Overwatch League. There were still undefeated teams this week that never seemed to have any issues with opponents. It seemed a bit boring to have these teams not have any challengers. That was until this week. Here is a look at what happened this week in the Overwatch League.

The first upset on an undefeated team was During the Boston Uprising and London Spitfire game. Both of these teams are my top to watch in the league, but Boston being the home team I was rooting for them this time around. I went in with little expectation except that my scrappy Boston team would put up a fight but ultimately fall flat in the last seconds as they had in the past. That was exactly how the game started out on the first map in Numbani. Control points, as I discussed last week, was a weakness that they needed to really work on. I wrote them off on the control maps for this game. Except, they won. They conquered their weakness. They forced a tie out, going into the tiebreaker map. They unexpectedly came out on top and dethroned an undefeated team.

The next match on this same day would see New York Excelsior fall to the Philadelphia Fusion, which also went into the tiebreaker map. Seoul Dynasty became the only undefeated team at this point. That was until Friday’s match-up against New York Excelsior. Much like every other upset and fall of the undefeated team, this also led to the tiebreaker map.

This week made for a really exciting one. Some stars this week? Striker, especially for that pulse bomb attack on the Temple of Anubis map. Dreamkazper, for always being an amazing player. Carpe is still a strong player and Fury is one of the best D.Vas out there. Jake is also just fascinating to watch. As the first stage winds down, there seems to be no guarantees anymore. It is going to be even more exiting to see which teams ultimately make the cut and win the prize pot.


Overwatch- Stage 1, Week 2

The Overwatch League has closed out its second week, with a great deal of excitement. There were certainly some very strong performances, some heartbreak, and a very notable suspension. With a strong showing of fans, this new eSports venture is only getting better every week. So let’s dive into the takeaways from Week 2 of the Overwatch League.

The first thing that needs to be discussed is the suspension of xQc. Felix “xQc” Lengyel was suspended and fined by the Overwatch League for homophobic insults towards Austin “Muma” Wilmont, who plays for the Houston Outlaws, after the Dallas Fuel/Houston Outlaws match-up. Lengyel is no stranger to controversy. The Twitch streamer/pro-gamer had previously been banned from the Overwatch for 7 days for throwing matches. This time, xQc was fined $2,000 and forced to sit out for 4 matches for violating the Code of Conduct. Jeff Kaplan has consistently expressed his desire to do whatever he could to create a less toxic environment for players so that they can have more fun while enjoying Overwatch. His push for kindness has definitely had a more positive effect on the game, including the way they turn phrases like “ez” into something more positive (or in some case, a mocking commentary to the person trying to be a jerk). This made it no surprise that when xQc said what he said about Muma, he was going to get punished by the Overwatch team. However, the fact that Dallas Fuel took it a step further to suspend him for the remainder of Stage 1 shows the true spirit of what Kaplan aspires Overwatch to be. It’s a bit depressing that this news has overtaken the conversation on the Overwatch League this week but it shows the high level of character that they hold their players to. (For more on this story, this is a great place to read the details.)

Boston Uprising continues to struggle this week. They were utterly demolished by Seoul Dynasty on Friday, which is to be expected considering the fact they are the best in the league, losing all 4 matches. On Saturday, they played against the San Fransisco Shock. This was a closer back and forth battle that was awesome to watch. The problem with this team still seems to be their inability to conquer these control points. They do not have a strong showing here and this is something that they should be focusing their efforts on. Their next match on Thursday, January 25 is against the London Spitfire (my second favorite team). Spitfire is a very strong team that is going to be incredibly difficult for Boston to overcome. Stage 1 just started, so there is plenty of time for them to turn this around.

It was an exciting week for Overwatch League fans and I hope this momentum keeps up. It should also be mentioned that Pine is more than just a McCree, as his Widow was also very deadly. He is one of the most dangerous players on New York. Jake had another strong showing, especially on his Junkrat, which he seemed unstoppable on this week. Birdring was another amazing player to watch this week. There are so many amazing players in this league that they all really have something to offer viewers at this point. It is going to be an incredible rush to the finish and I can’t wait to see how it ends up.


The Return of Vanilla WoW

It is very likely that sometime this year, WoW fans will get to achieve their long-awaited dream: going back to the beginning. For a long while, a lot of fans that got into the game later on wanted to have that Vanilla experience that they missed when they were making fun of their friends for playing the game. There was still plenty of content by then for people to enjoy. I enjoyed my time in MC and Naxx, though the AQs were more difficult to get into as everyone had played them out so much by the time I got into the game. I didn’t get to experience the opening of the Gates, an event that I’m told was equal parts frustrating and exciting. (It was certainly more exciting for those who weren’t booted from the servers so that they could experience the moment.)

Nostalgia really is often times more amazing than the experience itself was. People can get clouded by remembering something was greater than it was. How many times did people lag out because of bugs in the game during important fights? Or remember when you finally killed Rag but you were Alliance and all shaman loot dropped? Sure, your guild bank got enchanting materials but you want something for your time. These bugs did give the game character, but it was more frustrating than it was worth sometimes.

The thing is, while the content was amazing and fresh in Vanilla, that wasn’t what I missed most about it. I liked how hard it was. There were only a few add-ons that you needed, but you could’ve gotten by successfully without them. You just managed to do your job. But there was a unique social aspect to it that really drew people in. You needed to be in a guild to see content. You couldn’t just LFR it like you can now. Sure, I like that I no longer have to dedicate so much of my time for raiding. But I miss the friendships that you could make with people across not just the country, but sometimes the globe. One of our tanks was this hilarious guy from Egypt. There was this shadow priest from Australia. You could connect with people while working together to complete these pixelated goals that meant so much to people.

With the newer expansions, the emphasis grew to making the game better for casuals who didn’t have the time to raid but still wanted that experience. But in the process, the game lost something that made it so special to begin with. You really cannot form these kinds of friendships and bonds with people anymore. I still talk to people, albeit sparingly, that I played with nearly a decade ago. (Probably a decade ago now) We mourned when a friend of ours died. We mourned a person that we had never met in person but yet had such a profound impact on (at least in my case) our lives. The Vanilla server could be a good thing if it was able to bring back that same level of comradery that drew so many people into the game to begin with.