Podcast I Like: Strange Tales From Outer Space

Although I vastly prefer to consume info in written form, it appears that more and more blogs are giving way to podcasts.  OK, fine, I grudgingly subscribed to a few podcasts.  A few turned into more than a few.  At least I’m never bored in the car.

It’s my goal to (eventually) tell you all about every podcast I like, and I’m starting with Strange Tales From Outer Space.  These guys have a lot going for them, except they are on a PvP server so, alas, I can’t go apply to their guild or even stalk from afar on the server… in a totally normal and not-creepy way.

The strange tales crew is a bunch of normal players who have the same time constraints as most of the rest of us – although between them, they have enough expertise to handle explaining any patch notes that come up.  Hardcore players aren’t bad, but I find that I just can’t relate to their problems of getting their BIS gear when I haven’t set foot in a veteran dungeon yet.

The strange tales boys are also hilarious.  They’re in the same guild and the razzing each other comes pretty naturally.  And – this is really important to me – their humor doesn’t make me uncomfortable.  In my eyes, they know where the line is and respect it.  The “oh god, that sounded so wrong when I said it that way” moments are hilarious, because I know they won’t devolve into something totally offensive.

They swear the perfect amount (I like swearing).  Look, shut up, this is important.  A podcast that devolves into f-bombs every other word is lame and ineffective at getting the message across.  At the same time, restraining oneself from using natural language can sound really forced.  So yay for swearing the same way I do!

They are happy.  Seriously.  No QQQ the game is dying, or wahhh I’m bored.  Sure, they do criticize aspects of the game, but it doesn’t take the tone of hate that many do.

They mentioned skimpy female armor in a disparaging way.  Major brownie points there. This is why they are getting profiled first.  Also DOMINION 4 LYFE!

You should listen!  My feeling on podcasts/blogs is “what have you done for me lately.”  It doesn’t matter that a podcast is relatively new, it only matters that it’s enthusiastic now, post-launch, in the so-called 3 month “slump” and shows no sign of flagging.

    Upcoming Housing Changes

    I don’t really have time (cough job cough) to watch the livestream as it happens – or really the time to watch it on youtube after the fact.  But people who did see the livestream wrote it all down!  Yay for them.

    What we’re getting in drop 3:

    Increased decor limits

    • Total crate limit is now 2000 (up from 800).
    • Indoor limit is 1000 (up from 800, but that would be with placing nothing outdoors).
    • Outdoor limit is 1000 (up from 300)

    Pardon me while I wipe away the drool.

    My problem was not so much that I need 800+ items in my house, but rather that I’d have to start destroying unplaced items in my crate (that I paid for) because I’m at my limit. Right now I have about 150 unplaced items in my crate, primarily wall segments and other building blocks which I can see myself using in the future if I want to restructure at all.  In a perfect world, I’d have a 2500 limit for the crate to give 500 item overage for pieces that I’m not currently using but might use later.

    Now I can put the detail into my house that I want and not cut corners (these cabinets don’t need handles to open… that looks enough like a washer/dryer…)

    Increased Lighting Limit

    40 inside, 40 outside, up from 20 total.  I like it.

    Separate Permissions for Gardens

    No more seed bandits!  Set your garden to 100% YOU and keep your minerals at 50/50.

    Blank Housing Plug

    So you can build a custom house with your newfound item budget and not worry about covering over the gross construction site.

    In the Future (not drop 3)

    Blank Housing Plug Gets A Hatch

    Honestly, I have no idea how this will work.  Do you get to access your interior item limit by using the hatch to go “inside” your custom house?

    Terrain Customization

    I’m so ready for this.  The bald spots on my lawn are gross and I can’t match the grass well enough to cover them over.

    Also, you will be able to control the terrain “clutter.” That means you can get rid of the grass entirely to avoid clipping.

    “Owner Only” Setting for Nodes

    This, I just don’t get.  If you’re getting 100% of the proceeds, who CARES if someone else is the one holding the pick?  I’m sure there’s a good reason people want this – I just have no earthly clue what it is.

    Visitor / Guest Books

    I love this idea.  I feel weird sending someone an in-game mail telling them that their house is cool, but I would totally sign a guest book.

    Are you peeing in your pants yet, cupcakes?

      Conversations With My Geist

      Me: So… we need to talk about your job responsibilities.

      Geist: Sure thing, boss.

      Me: What do you think you are supposed to be doing when I summon you?

      Geist: Watch yer six, boss.  If something behind you is lookin at you funny, I am on it!

      Me:  Yeah, that’s the problem.  I kind of need you to be watching my twelve, so to speak.  Like the thing in front of me that I’m attacking.

      Geist: But the guy behind you is about to attack!

      Me: Nope he really isn’t.

      Geist: He said something about your momma?

      Me: Since Chua don’t know which parent is their momma, I highly doubt it.  But as I was saying, if you could limit yourself to the mobs in my frontal area, that would be… goddammit did you just despawn?  And on cooldown? 5. 4. 3. 2. 1. Resummon.

      Geist: Hey boss!

      Me: What the fuck is up with that shit?  We were having a conversation.

      Geist: Sorry, boss, union rules.

      Me: A union?  Oh really?

      Geist: Yeah, Union President Bruiserbot will have my head if I’m not sticking to our break schedule.  It’s in the contract.

      Me: So we were talking about you mistakenly guarding my six…

      Geist: Pick up six mobs.  Got it!

      Me:  No! Do not pick up any extra mobs! Just the ones in front of me that are directly attacking me… did you just lick your eyeball?  That is foul.

      Geist: It itched.

      Me: OK, let’s try this again.  I summon you, and you hit the mob in front of me.

      Geist: Got it.  On your twelve, boss.  Twelve mobs in front of you!

      Me: How can anything be this dumb? No,  don’t – oh goddammit he despawned again.  5. 4. 3. 2. 1.  Resummon.

      Geist: Hi, Boss!

      Me: For the last time, what are you supposed to be doing when I summon you?

      Geist: I forgot while I was on break.

        I Hit 50. Now What?

        In an anticlimactic turn of events, thehusband and I hit 50 whilst questing.  And then we said… “yay we did it, let’s go watch John Oliver from Sunday.”  We’ve been so close to 50 for weeks it was about time we just damn well finished up.  However, now that we’re finished up, we’re sort of left scratching our asses.

        First, in order to start attunements and crap, we need a new guild.  Currently, we are in a guild of lovely people – but the vast majority of them have decided that Wildstar is just not for them (and if we end up in another game, we will totally hang with them.)  I guess we could guild search, then head to that guild’s server, and THEN get dumped onto a megaserver, but that seems like a lot of steps when we could just wait for the merge. So we’re in a holding pattern until those dumb megaservers launch.  (If your guild is looking for experienced-casual healer and tank combo, holler.)

        Second, I’m not exactly sold on my main.  I think I’d be more willing to take the raiding plunge with that toon and then see how things shake out if the attunement weren’t so damn long and grindy.  But I want to be completely sure before I start the attunement.  The time and effort required for getting to 50 is a drop in the bucket compared to attunement.  Next on my agenda is to play Esper until a high enough level where I can evaluate the healing spells.  I took the BIRD off my bars.  I’ve had just about enough squawking.

        During this holding pattern, oh noes, I guess I’ll do some more house decorating.  Mine is about 75% done, but I’m searching for those “perfect” pieces (many from rep vendors) and replacing the “placeholder” items that I am currently using.  I just replaced my bulky outdoor television screens with sleek Eldan displays.  I’m waiting to decide on many seating options until this next patch where we’ll supposedly be able to sit in chairs.

        Thehusband has a spacious Cassian House, on which I am a roommate.  And he gave me some cash to go decor-wild with.  Oh dear for him.  I’m more into “building” than “decorating” and he’s having me help him with the nuts and bolts of building lofts, railing stairs, etc.  I mean, the tiles HAVE to line up, right?  Constructing in a square house after fighting with the Spacious Chua house feels like I’m doing this on EZ mode.  I’m also shamelessly scouring the housing forums and other sites for designs I can copy or modify.

        And that’s what is going on in the world of me.  What are you doing whilst waiting for the megaservers?

          The Secret Mineral Cave

          I have seen the secret mineral cave, which I previously thought was an urban legend, like the Diablo “cow level”.

          You know how sometimes nodes attack you?  I read somewhere that when you killed it, there was a small chance that you’d get teleported to resource world, like when Mario gets into that coin cloud world.1  Yeah, right, I thought.

          Yesterday I was out and about on my Esper2 and I mined a Titanium node.  A Titanium Worm jumped out (eek) and I killed it.  That was incidentally my first mining node to ever attack me.  I’d had run-ins with relic nodes but never a mining node.

          While I was pondering the novelty of the Titanium Worm, the corpse of the worm despawned and there was a clickable fissure on the ground where the worm was.  I forget what it was called – maybe something about a worm lair?  Needless to say, I clicked on it.3

          I went down the worm hole and it was a cave full of iron and titanium nodes.  No mobs to speak of.  I gaped for a good 15 seconds before I realized there was a timer running and I’d better get on this.  I mined my little butt off during the 2 minutes I had, and then I was teleported out.4  The fissure had since despawned.

          A few things I don’t know:

          • How big is this cave? Is it even possible to mine ALL the nodes?
          • If you are questing with someone, and this thing opens, can you BOTH hop down the worm lair and mine (presuming your buddy also has mining.)
          • If you are NOT grouped with someone, but they uncover a worm lair and hop down it, can you hop down it too?
          • If only one person can hop down the worm lair, can you ninja someone’s uncovered worm lair?
          • And, if you are able to enter the worm lair behind someone else, do you share the same timer, or do you get a 2 minute timer starting when YOU hit the floor?

          I already had plenty of iron and titanium anyway, but at higher levels, I think I might pee my pants if I saw a fully stocked worm cave.  It is sure incentive to harvest every resource because that one resource you pass by might be the portal into the coin cave – and for the love of pete, make sure you wait until the dead resource mob despawns because there might be tasty treats on the ground underneath.

          1. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, please ask your parents, kthx.
          2. Moving Telekinetic Strike is the WIN
          3. I tend to click on everything that is clickable without really thinking about the consequences.  One time in SWTOR, clicking on a dead body on the ground summoned a world boss who summarily chomped my face.
          4.  There was also an exit clicky in case I wanted to exit.  HA HA.

            Megaservers Coming. Mostly, I Like It.

            So I’m still putzing around in my house, DESPITE getting my new dual fan crazy video card because… reasons.

            • I got a fancy treadmill and body scanner for the “medical practice” part of my house, and the lab and employee break room had to move upstairs to make room for the new patient areas.  The new space for employees upstairs is significantly bigger than their previous location.  The surly protostar employees are getting a really fancy locker room with a decontamination shower adjoining the lab.  I might even have space for a server room.  (Five levels, guys.)
            • I also ended up redoing my stairwell MANY times because of, sigh, item budget.  Back to non-spiral boring stairs.
            • I learned to make sinks and toilets.  I have a lot of them now.  A medical practice uses a lot of sinks – one in each exam room, one in the employee “kitchenette” area, one in the lab, and obviously in each kitchen and bathroom (hint, 4 bathrooms).  The employee bathroom will get TWO sinks and TWO toilets and the aforementioned decontamination shower!  You’re jealous, right?  You want to come work for me, I can tell.

            Back to the point of me telling you about this.  I am spending my in-game time lately obsessively positioning walls and whatnot and not really paying attention to population.  Lack of server population is not affecting me at all.  When I do level, I level with thehusband, and we’re in no rush to 50.  In fact, the plan is to get a SECOND toon to 50 before doing attunement.

            • Reason 1:  Attunement is really time-consuming and expensive so you’d better be fucking sure that you’re not going to change mains.
            • Reason 2: With any luck, Carbine will finally realize that they do need to put things in the game for casuals and get on that.

            So let’s talk about megaservers.

            1.  We are all getting moved to megaservers.

            Well, that’s nice, when?  Apparently, 3-6 weeks.  That is not nearly as long as I thought.

            2. In the meantime, we can transfer for free.

            I’m thinking why bother if it’s only 6 weeks max, but other people are probably foaming at the mouth to transfer.

            3. Naming Clashes.

            So how are they dealing with naming issues?

            A.  We are all getting Surnames.

            Bleh.  I get why they have to do it, because otherwise lots of QQ from people losing their names.  But… I want my secret alts to be secret, dammit.  It’s basically a forced account ID linking your toons.  Sigh.  At least I might be able to ignore people by surname and never ever hear from them again, not even on an alt.  ohpleaseplease.

            EDIT 9/4: It has been brought to my attention that you don’t need to have an account-wide surname.  Each toon gets an individual surname.  Fun times!

            B. And we get to change our first names.

            We can now obviously have a non-unique first name due to the special snowflake surname.  BUT – everyone gets free first name changes when this goes into effect.  When you login to the megaserver for the first time, you designate your surname AND can optionally change your first name.

            EDIT 9/4: Since surnames are per character, each character will simply be flagged for a rename and you can designate first and last names for that toon the first time you log in to the megaserver with that toon.

            C. Guilds

            There will be some complex way to decide which guild gets “their” name and which does not once the merger happens.  I really don’t care about guild names, but it’s a thing that will cause QQ.   Apparently before the merger, with optional transfers, there is no support for guild moving, so don’t do it! Keep the lights on with an alt if you have to.

            4. More character slots.

            Sort of.  12 on the megaserver (currently 6 per server), but no option to roll alts elsewhere.  I can’t imagine having that many toons already but I guess it’s possible.

            5. Back to Housing

            OMG guys, do you realize that with a megaserver you will have so many public houses to visit!  And if you have one lvl 14 toon on each faction you can tour them ALL.  The housing contests will be insane.

            How do you feel about megaservers?

              Oh Noes! My In Game Time Is Limited To Decorating And Crafting!

              So my video card was dead dead dead and, the horror, I had to buy a new one.  It is shipping now.  With the aforementioned new case that I got earlier this week, I am now able to buy the kind with the double jet engines and that serves frappuccino.  Or not.  A girl can dream.

              In the meantime, my PC is stuttering along with my pre-wildstar video card, that I replaced specifically because it could not keep up with Wildstar.  Yes, I kept it.  Nerdy, right?

              So I’m mostly back in game.  I cranked down my video settings to subzero.  This is kind of weird because sometimes housing objects that are pretty damn close just VANISH, and don’t reappear until I get closer.  I don’t trust the card, even with ultra-low settings to survive combat or, god forbid, multiple players on screen.

              However, I certainly have the computing power to decorate my house and craft things.  I mean, um, noooo don’t make me spend all my time decorating and crafting (I weakly protest).  I now have FOUR (count em) spiral staircases, taking up 124 units (31 each because railing spacing reasons), no railings yet, and one more staircase to build.  There are 5 levels in the main area and a small balcony in one of the gerbil balls.  I have over 500 decor in crate (but not that many placed – I suspect I will have to destroy some later).  And, haha, I haven’t placed furniture in levels three through five or started on the outside.

              I also need to finish up architect and have been working on that.  More often than running out of mats, I run out of money because I forget to send myself money for those stupid reagents that really add up.  I must get to expert because toilets.  The number of bathrooms (3 or 4, tbd) will actually make sense in a 5 level house.  Plus extra sinks.  I have 4 which is not enough.  Each bathroom needs a sink.  The master bathroom may need a sink-as-bathtub. The kitchen needs a sink. Each patient exam room has a sink because hygiene, yo.  The lab needs a decontamination sink, maybe 2, (and possibly a decontamination shower).  And the employee break room also needs a sink for the depressing office kitchenette.  I have two surly protostars as employees, they are terrible.

              Pictures will be coming once I finish but right now it’s not much to look at.  I have ONE of five levels with furniture placed, one level with some half-assery and the rest is just bare-bones structure (floors, walls, stairs).  It’s depressing.

              Take yer time, new video card.  I’m kinda too busy to level.

                Almost Back In Game

                I got home from vacation after the plane flight that involved me having some sort of cold (awesome for ears), sitting on the runway for 2 hours, and a lot of vomit-inducing turbulence.  After all that, I just wanted to mess about with my Wildstar house.

                My computer wouldn’t start up.  HA FUCKING HA.

                It is now many hours later and the computer has been fixed with a new case (the power button switch went out, of all things) and copious swearing.  However, my video card is being an uncooperative asshole, despite being only 3 months old.  I hope it will resolve its differences after I download 12 – yes 12! – windows updates.  12 updates for being gone for 2 weeks?  How is that even fucking possible?

                  Neighbor Addons

                  More addons that I like!  Then I’m going on vacation at the end of this week, so I’ll see you on the other side.

                  Again, pictures from Curse.

                  WillYouBeMyNeighbor

                  This is actually an older version of the interface.  The new one allows one-click guild member invites in addition to circle invites.

                  This is actually an older version of the interface. The new one allows one-click guild member invites in addition to circle invites.

                  I have a love-hate relationship with this mod.  On the one hand, it allows me to easily navigate between houses and back to my own without opening up the neighbors frame.  I can also send neighbor invites to every online guild member or circle member with one click, so I don’t have to check “oh hey, am I so-and-so’s neighbor?”  I can also visit someone’s house by right clicking on their name (in guild chat, for example) and using the “visit neighbor” option.  If I hit the visit option and that person is not already my neighbor, an invite will be sent.

                  The downside is that this addon was meant to help people connect with resource gathering circles and it doesn’t exactly know the meaning of privacy.  No matter how many times I tell the thing not to list my property, I always seem to get invites from random people.  Uninstalling it for a while gave me some peace and quiet, but at the expense of convenient travel and convenient invites.

                  Neighbor Notes

                  neighbornotes

                  Obviously, this addon allows you to make notes about your neighbor. But the best part is that the addon makes notes FOR you.  Once you visit someplace with this addon active, it notes any features on the property, including resources, challenges, mailboxes, and banks. It will show all neighbors across all toons (if you want it to, and presumably limited to server/faction), with an indicator for which person is a neighbor of one of your other toons.  I sure as shit can’t remember who has what and who neighbored whom, so this is an enormous help.

                    Some Addons I Like (HUD)

                    The best laid plans would have me giving you a complete list and pictures of my UI.  But I’ve been wrestling with my house’s curved walls (also not pictured) so we’ll just have to settle for UI tidbits.  Besides, I use a lot of addons.  You’d probably fall asleep through the entire list.

                    Today we’ll be focusing on addons that are front-and-center to keep important information in your eyeline while you’re dodging telegraphs.

                    All pictures are shamelessly stolen from the addon pages on curse.

                    GotHud

                    gothud

                    I found myself croaking because I was looking at telegraphs more than my own unit frame and then, surprise, I was dead.  GotHud keeps important information in the middle of the screen without blocking or interfering with my view of the evil telegraphs.  On my right, I have the shield and health bars, which hide when full.  On the left, I have sprint and dash meters which, again, hide when full.  The default options above are what I’m using, but mirrored (I need my health on my right, it’s an old wow habit.)  You can customize the look of the bars, where they appear, and what they track – including class resources, boss health, etc.  If you’re not happy with the default colors, be sure to download color picker as well.

                    Group Radar

                    groupradar

                    All you cassians look alike.  This saves me the embarrassment of wandering off following a cassian whom I believe is my husband.  Also when he’s out of range, I can see how far away he is along with an arrow to his location.  I can see turning this off in a raiding situation because TOO MANY NAMES, but it’s useful in 5-person groups.

                    Nprime Nameplates

                    nprimenameplates_1.3.3

                    Bijiplates are the industry standard, and I used those for a while, but I like Nprime better.  I think the plates look better and the little dashes are useful for judging just how much health is left.  I found the customization options intuitive and was able to show as much or as little information as I wanted in and out of combat.  The best part is the recently-added feature to lower nameplates from above the head of the mob into your field of view for those unfortunately large mobs where you’re just staring at crotch or ass.