Thursday, September 17, 2015

Character Update

                I like doing these updates. But as I progress, I see it has become more me just speaking about what I did with the characters and less about the characters themselves. And, it lacks in character to me too. So I am changing the format in which I write these updates. I am going to write them from the perspective of the character itself. So I will start doing that from this one on. Please bear with me as I figure this out and find the voice of each character. Thank you for your time.

                The format will be as a report to some authoritative figure of some kind. Hopefully this will make sense as time goes on.


Airholen the Explorer (WoW)


Prophet Velen,

                May the light be with you. As you know I have taken command of the human-built garrison in this alternate Draenor. I must admit that it was very strange watching you sacrifice yourself to heal a Naaru. And your chosen replacement, Yrell, was a good choice. She initially very unsure and timid, but as time has passed and things been done, she has grown in confidence and wisdom.

                My duties related to the garrison has kept me a little busy. The new shipyard has been working working overtime replacing the three ships I had lost recently. Once they were complete then a fourth ship was sunk by Gul’dan’s fleet. So that transport is even now under construction. My other ships are still operational. The composition of the fleet is being maintained as 2 Battleships, 2 Carriers, 2 Destroyers, 2 Transports and 2 Submarines.

                The Battleship “The Flame of Hope” is crewed by our people, the Draenai. She is fresh from construction docks. The crew is still being sent out on simpler engagements. My flagship is “Airholen’s Arrow” and crewed by the Night Elves. She has survived many naval engagements with the Fel Orc fleet.

                My Carriers are the pandaran manned “Danielle’s Vengeance” and the draenic “Light of Elune”. They both are experienced crews with many missions completed between them.

                The Destroyers are the worgan crewed “Emma’s Fury” and the gnomish “Tyr’s Hand”. Both have been solid additions to our naval operations.

                The Transports have had some the issues. The dwarven “Kobald’s Candle” has been lost at sea. While the human vessel “Booty Bay’s Bounty” has been on only a couple of sorties. The Fel Orcish force has been targeting these vessels of recent. I need to see about how to protect them better.

                The Submarines “Deep Sea Nine” crewed by gnomes and the “Eye of Kilrogg” crewed by the humans have been good but are replacements for recent losses.

                I have a bodyguard, a dwarven Death Knight named Delvar Ironfist. He has been traveling with me as I travel about Tanaan Jungle trying to counter Gul’dan’s plans. There are Draenai that have left the light and have joined forces with the Legion. Archendoun has been under constant threat. And they have suffered an internal betrayal that we never did. I feel quite sad about our brethren that have turned to Legion. And if not for my companion, Panterra, I would surely have fallen into depression. But my spirit beast knows how to keep me connected to what is my true purpose here.

                Khadgar has promised to empower a ring for me if I can just collect enough tomes out of the Hellfire Citadel. So I make regular forays into that fortress trying to collect the things he needs.

                As I bring this letter to a close, I am informed by aides that “Emma’s Fury” has been sunk. So I will have to commission a new destroyer to replace it.


My peace be with you





Warchief Vol’jin,

                I have headed into Silithus from the Ungoro Crater. I am working with the local commander in weeding out the vermin that live about the encampment. My pet, Rommel, and I work well together and make quick work of these oversized insects of the region.

                I hate writing, and I have nothing more to say.




Fleet Admiral Zombee Scorpio Danus


Stardate: 93311.62

TO: Admiral Quinn, ESD

Subject: Status of USS STRONGBOW, NCC-92959


Hello Admiral Quinn,

                The defense of Qo’nos continues to occupy most of my time. The Iconian Heralds constantly assault the Klingon home world. The battle in space on the ground is very fierce and draining. I have had to travel back to ESD on many occasions to affect major repairs and then return to once again this particular battlefront. On the trips to and from ESD is when the crew and my senior staff relax and unwind. Well, except for Memak’kiclan, who uses that time to review all battle data looking for weaknesses in the ships and tactics. He has not been very successful in their ship designs, though we have seen some measure of success using certain counter-tactics. He continues scare the new recruits assigned to our ships to replaces losses. Personally, I think he actually enjoys that. He has a very weird sense of humor.

                Commander Syoet, Commander Nhey’silia and Commander Scot have been working with the Okampa Dhalar and Specialist She’zag Alletyv in upgrading the onboard weaponry. These changes have increased the power output ratio and increased the damaged. Also some improvements to the targeting array and software are being made to get the predictive algorithms to be better against the Iconian threat.

                Captain Kagran has been keeping me in the loop on the progress of the Krenim temporal weapon platform. I question the logic of using it but I understand the necessity of pursuing the technology. Captain Nog and Captain Paris both have voiced their concerns with me too. I hope that the Allied Command is truly thinking this through before deploying this weapon.

                Well, the Doctor Syler wants to take a look at some of my battle wounds from the last ground engagement I was involved in.


Signing off…

                Fleet Admiral Zombee

                Captain of the USS Strongbow

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Legion of the New Dawn

                Hello everyone! I know it’s been sometime since I have posted here. I have been very busy with my new job and looking into all the things that has been going in my games. In fact, now that I have had time to cogitate on these announcements, I have decided to talk about the new expansion announcements for STO and WoW. I will catch up with what my characters have been doing in another post later on. SO on now with my thoughts.


Star Trek Online: New Dawn

                So STO has announced Season 11.  New Dawn is supposed to be the start of the new story arc dealing with what we do in the aftermath of the Iconian War. The story is supposed to focus on rebuilding and hope. We supposed to discover a new unknown civilization. Meet a strange traveler from another time. Go up against Mirror Leeta as she leads the Imperial Terran forces invasion of the Badlands. A new system, the Admiralty system, is going to be added. The Admiralty systems states “Take command of your inactive starships to complete dangerous assignments and gather exciting rewards, while advancing your influence in the Admiralty campaigns.”  All of this is important for you to understand my thoughts.

                I watched the announcement trailer for the new expansion. One of the highlights, for me, is that the Tholians will have a more important role in the coming story.  DS9 is going to get figured more prominently, but the Cardassians were not shown at all in the trailer. Which I thought was very curious.

                Given all of that I have several things to say. The Iconian War is probably the lowest key war I have ever participated in, without knowing I was. The war stories and FE’s state how dire the situation is, but that information does not translate at all into the gameplay.  The Vaudwaar had a larger presence and more stressful to me than the Iconians have been. So an “Epic end to the Iconian War” falls flat in generating any emotional response about the war coming to the end. In fact, the announcement that the war is ending is quite anti-climactic. And I think this is because they didn’t tell the war story well with this. The FE’s were nice, but the queue could have been better utilized to tell the losing aspect of the war. Maybe they could have had more planetary defenses and protecting escaping civilian craft, and seeing the destruction of planets and civilian ships. They should have put in a battle ground area, space and ground, which could have been waved timed assaults of forces against a fixed location…like Qo’nos. It’s a formula that they used in the past with the Voth and the Vaudwaar conflicts that was effective in relaying that conflict as actual conflicts. They could have added even patrols or red alerts too to help heighten the feeling that we are at a war. But it was missed, and this is going to be hard for them to really make us feel like we fought a superior foe and won.

                The one mechanic that they have announced is the Admiralty system. At first, I thought that I finally will get to my other ships with me into battle. Alas, reality was far less than the original hype. The Admiralty system is a variation of the current duty officer system, but using ships. The ships will be only ships that we have unlocked. And we can send them on mission with a “campaign” for rewards. Details on the rewards and the campaigns are still forth coming. But based on its initial announcement, the details that have come since announcement has caused some disillusionment amongst the player base, based on what I have seen in the forums. Looking at the Admiralty system as it is being presented now, it’s an interesting game mechanic in theory. You send ships out. When they return, they will need some repair time based on how good they did in the mission. Once repaired, you can send them out once again. These ships are “cards” or basically a template representative of the ships you have in your ships list. These representative ships are generic I their capabilities and cannot be altered by anything you do to them in your list. These ships are not unique in any way. So if you match it up with what they advertised it falls way short, but as a mechanic on its own, it seems to be a decent idea. But I want to know more. So I will keep looking into this. No more real details have been released so I will keep an eye out for it and write more on this later.


World of Warcraft: Legion

                So Blizzard announced this expansion and Gamescon. And there are a lot of details they put out. I will try to cover all of the most important parts, in my opinion.

                The story is that Gul’dan found and used Illidan to reopen the gateway for the Burning Legion to invade Azeroth at the Tomb of Sargeras. And this is the Gul’dan from the Alternate Draenor of Warlords. Our timeline Gul’dan is dead. So the people of Azeroth will try once again to repel the Burning Legion.  And once again the Horde and Alliance can’t seem to work together well enough to unite.  Because of politics, the various classes decide to band together, cross factional, and work to stop the invasion.

                Legion will introduce a new class, Demon Hunter or Illidari. You get to make a follower of Illidan that has been freed from the prison that Maiev Shadowsong put them in. All Demon Hunters are elves.  They come in two specs, Havoc and Vengeance. Vengeance is a tank and Havoc is a DPS. They also get to transform into a Demon and they wear leather. They also get the Glaives as their weapon. This will be very cool to make. I will be making one of the super agile guys. They also are a Hero class, which means they start around 90 to 95 and have a start area of their own.

                 Every Class and Spec will get its own legendary weapon. This weapon will be possible to alter the appearance. It also has its own development path on each weapon. SO as you do content, you empower your weapon. And the order in which you get the power is purely based on your own choice. If you are dual spec, you will have to get the weapon for each spec, but the empowering process will be sped up on the second weapon so that you can keep them nearly same. But this empowering will not be account wide. Some of the most Iconic weapons from across Azeroth will be what you wield. So that will be 36 personalizable legendary weapons. Cool idea, but I wonder if they will try to keep the weapon relevant in each expansion after this.

                There is a new continent on Azeroth. Or really just a large Island chain, the Shattered Isles. This is where the Burning Legion has established a beachhead on Azeroth, and where the Elves and Vrykul originally came from. Dalaran will also have relocated itself to here. Dalaran will now be run by Khadgar and remains neutral territory. No information on what happened to Jaina was released.

                The classes have come together and formed Order Halls. Locations dedicated to a specific class. And from them you will take command and send champions out to gather intel and scout out regions for you to counter the Burning legion. The Orders are also where you upgrade your Artifact weapon. It is also a shared space among players of class, Horde and Alliance. Basically they will go find stuff for you to go do.

                So classes are getting some changes done to them. The ones that impact me the most are the changes to Hunter and Rogues. Beast Mastery will be ranged with Pet, Survival will be melee with a pet, and Marksmen will be ranged without a pet. I get to be melee again! This will be great, I hope. I miss being a melee hunter.  Rogues will be based on a flavor, Assassin will be about poisons, Subtlety will be ninjas and Combat will be a swashbuckler. So my mug wielding combat rogue will have a more a pirate or three musketeer feel to it. Not sure how I feel about this yet.

                Other system things are that we are getting a 12th character slot per server. Level cap is raised to 110 and can boost to 100. There will be Demons in various locations across Azeroth to fight.

                PVP is getting reworked. Gear will not be important anymore. PVP gear will be gone.  There will be a ranking system in its place that you have to use to unlock prestige items, mostly transmogs, pets and mounts. PVP will also have its own talent tree, which will have additional options unlocked by the ranking system.

                Transmoging will now have a system more like Diablo, where you can unlock the look and then you can sell of the piece that got you that look, thereby freeing up lots of bag space. This is such a huge thing for me. I have so many old sets that I keep just in case I want to use that look. The bag space this will free will be awesome!

                Professions are going to be focused on too, with each profession getting its own quest line. Other changes will happen but they have not released what those things are yet.

                Flying will be a thing you will work towards from Launch. And will be modeled in some respects like Draenor Pathfinder. I just hpe that rep grinds will not be part of this. But little else is known about this at this time.

                So there it is, the two expansions in a nutshell, with a little input of my opinion with it. Let me know what you guys think! And enjoy!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Character Update

                Hello all! I know that it’s been a long time since I last wrote. And I am truly sorry about it. But my life has had a lot of upheaval. And a lot of that upheaval is directly related to changes in my personal life. They are changes that I am not comfortable with talking about yet. Suffice it to say, life has been quite mean to me lately and until all of this gets worked out, I don’t feel that talking about it will be helpful to me and this also means that I will not be regularly, or even consistently, posting here. With that said, I still have intentions of posting here when time permits. I still play, and I still review all of the game patch notes. And I still have opinions over it all. So I will do my best to remain timely and appropriate in my posts.
                So given that, I will be giving an update on my STO and WOW characters. Starting with STO and moving on to WOW.

                Fleet Admiral Zombee has been busy. His profile has been updated so you can take a look there for the stat changes and skill progressions so far. Zombee is currently hanging out on Risa doing the Summer Event working on getting the Ferengi Nandi Warship. I am currently about 48% done. Cryptic also announced the release of the Manticore Class Heavy Destroyer, a Tier 6 upgrade of the Chimera Class. This ship is a 1000 day Veteran ship reward. It is a Tactical focus ship, as I look at ships, and so he will be getting this vessel. The Iconian War is progressing it’s storyline with the new expansion and Featured episodes. Of which, Zombee has completed them all.  Zombee is also Tier V in the new Iconian Resistance reputation. Once the Nandi has been acquired, Zombee will outfit it with the Iconian Reputation gear.

                Admiral Bel is a new character. He was created for the Delta Recruit event. He is an Avalonian working for the Romulan Republic and allied with the Klingon Empire. I stopped leveling him once I completed all of the Delta Recruit storyline. I will pick him back up sometime in the near future. He is an engineering officer like Grell. I also created a Delta Recruit for the Fed and Klingons to complete the Delta Recruit for those sides and pick up all of the rewards. I am currently working on Lieutenant Commander Boher, a Saurian Starfleet Engineering officer. Boher will be deleted once all of the Fed rewards are unlocked.

                The rest of the guys have been in a holding pattern while I do this. I plan to leveling and outfitting their best ship on each guy. Once every Character is at max level, completed all the storyline missions, and have decked out their best ship, I will then work on each guy getting their second ship to be decked on and so forth, until every ship is completely decked out.

                In WOW, Explorer Airholen has entered Draenor and leveled to 100. Currently working on maxing out his Garrison buildings and then moving on to completeling all of the stuff needed to get flying. After that I will work towards getting the best gear I can get for him and then move on to my Horde gal, Grodah. Once I get her to 60, I will boost her to 90. Or at least that is my plan.

                So that is it for now on an update. I need to consider how I am going to update these characters.  Until the next time, Enjoy!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Character Update (Torc Edition)

        So here is another mini update on just one character. Since today is the release of the Delta Recruit system, I will probably being doing very little with my mains.
         Torc though has been working on getting himself set up. He is not nearly as developed as Zombee or Grell and still needs to complete the Delta Rising story line. He is up to the ground battle portion on Kobali Prime. But his two Tactical officer are just not cutting it on the survival side of things, I will have to re-look at the away team and make some choices as to who will continue the story with him.
         Torc is going for the true Klingon setup of things, with disruptors being the focus on his ship. Eventually, I will get the ship decked out in Counter-Command gear and all upgraded. But that really does take time. Torc I have been able to control the BOff bloat pretty good. But the other characters after him will have even better control, based on what I have learned from him. I have updated his Character Page just so you can look at where he is now in skills and gear.
         After today, I shall be going back to my regular character updates covering all of my characters in the same post. Though, I suspect, that I will be covering my Delta Recruit more than my other three faction mains. The new one I make today will be the fourth 'faction main'. Fleet Admiral Zombee is my Fed main. Dahar Master Torc is my KDF main. Fleet Admiral Grell is my Romulan-Fed Aligned main. The new one will be a Romulan-KDF aligned character.
         All of my Mains are Avalonians. It's part of the mythos I am building for my gaming experience and the stories I write connected to them. Some day, I will get the alignment corrected on the webpage so that I can make those Character Pages look correct and then tie the stories post to them. But I don't know enough about HTML yet to do that. Nor have I had time to figure it out.

        Well, that's it for now. Delta Recruiting has called me up and I plan to sally forth and conquer it. Good luck to me and everyone Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Character Update (Grell Edition)

     I have update Fleet Admiral Grell's character page. He has done quite a lot since the last time I did an update on him.The new page show's where he currently is at in gear and weapons for both himself and his ship.
     As for updates to STO in general, the Crystalline Catastrophe is over. Grell, Zombee and Torc all got the Crystalline Torpedo. They are also currently testing out on the live servers some adjustments to the Azure Nebula Advanced STF mission to make it possible for pugs to complete it. So far it is a good change except for one issue. The optionals are really random on your ability to complete. You have to "rescue" a certain point value of ships, in this case 10, with in a 4 minute (I think) time frame. The problem is that there are only four spawn points to rescue ship from. And if they don't spawn a total of 10 points amongst those points on the initial start of the optional, you will never be able to make those 10 points. Ships don't respawn fast enough to get a second set and get them rescued within the time frame. This means that the majority of the time, the optionals are not possible to be completed. The scenario doesn't provide the ship points to complete it. But, unlike before, if you fail the optional you do not fail the mission. You just don't get bonus marks. This change alone is great. If they can make it so that enough ship points are guaranteed to be present when the optionals start then I think they have a model that can be applied to all the other Advanced STF queues.
      Grell has completed all of the story line including the Delta Rising portion. Grell is far behind in gear quality and and rarity when compared to Zombee. SO most of my efforts are focused on getting his gear all upgraded to the right level. This means I have to do certain STF's at advance to get the crafting materials to make the upgrades. It's slow going, but I will get there.
      Couple things to note...STO released a new story episode with weekly rewards. The rewards are to get a a three piece Imperial Romulan Navy ground set. Grell will be using this as his primary armor. The other thing of note is that on April 2nd will the new Delta Recruit event. This requires that you make a new character and take it through the leveling process. But there are some modifications to the normal experience and apparently there is an Temporal Agent that will be helping you prepare for the fight against the Iconians as you level. This will also unlock special rewards for your already created characters too. I will be creating at least one Delta Recruit because that is what they say is all that I need to unlock things for my account across all factions. So expect to see coming character updates for this new character. I am planing on making him a Rom-KDF Engineer Alien (Avalonian). Haven't settled on a name yet.

       Well, I hope you enjoyed this update and I will see you later!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Character Update (Zombee Edition)

                So I updated Fleet Admiral Zombee’s Character page. It shows what changes I have made in gear, skills, reputation, commendations, research, traits and specializations I have acquired. But I wanted to detail it a little more here just so that everyone will know why some of the changes have occurred.
                First off, we should cover what has changed in STO overall, so that you can get a sense of why some things are there and what is new to the game.  With the end of the Winter Event came a little breather before the next event, the 5th Anniversary of STO. In this Event you ran a new story mission that covered some details about the Kobali. At the end of the first run through you can get the Vaudwaar Uniform. Also you get a significant number of Qmendations that is used to get the Kobali Samsar Command Cruiser, a Tier 6 ship. The Anniversary also brought us a new specialization called Command.  Once one character got the Cruiser, and then all remaining characters on that account can get the same ship at a significant reduction in cost. Within the new Story Mission there was the option to find and accept a Kobali BOff that would be an Engineering Command Officer. Also reruns of the Story Mission will get additional pieces to the Kobali Space Set. I picked up a couple of the pieces but haven’t put in the time to what pieces I am missing for this guy.
                After the 5th Anniversary came the Crystalline Catastrophe event. In it you need to collect 14 crystal shards. Which you can get once per 20 hours, and turn them in to get a torpedo that acts like a Anti-Proton Beam. It gets affected by some beam powers and by some torpedo powers, and deals out Anti-proton damage instead of kinetic damage. I am in progress on this and have collected 10 fragments so far. You also will get a big drop of unrefined dilithium ore, fleet marks, and marks of reputation choice. Also, as each mission is run you get to select a choice of marks and dilithium payout.
                I was also able to complete the Delta Rising story line. I had discovered that I was playing the missions on the hardest setting. The fact that I got as far as I did on a suboptimal setup made me feel good about my piloting skill and gear choices. I have since tuned the setup to up my DPS. In fact, the game has made a decided switch in its mission structure to actually support DPS’ing over any other play style, they added timers that if you don’t complete fails the entire mission. Most of these timers involving killing a certain number of things in a specified period of time, so high DPS will always get the team through on these missions.
                As for the upgrading of gear, most everything but the shields and deflectors are Mark XIV and at least Very Rare.  I just recently was able to build an Omnidirectional Phaser Beam Array. It’s Mark XII and Ultra-Rare quality. Replaced the Omnidirectional Kinetic beam with this unit and will now upgrade it to Mark XIV, The Shields and Deflectors are Mark XII and Very Rare so they will be upgrade to Mark XIV. If the shields or deflectors gain any more quality along the way then good for me, but otherwise I am not going to worry about it. Very Rare Quality is good enough for me right now.

                SO that’s what Zombee has been up to date. I am going to try and catch up with all of my guys and then get back to a regular schedule again. Until then, Enjoy!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Character (and Life) Update

                Hello again everyone. Long time since I last wrote to this blog. And I am sorry that it has been so long. My personal life has had a bunch of turmoil recently. I found myself without a job do to another person’s shenanigans. With this sudden shift in employment came a desperate search for a new job. During this search, I took ill. While generally a very healthy person, this was quite an issue to deal with when you have no health insurance. As I recovered from that, I did find work at lower pay and responsibilities than I once had. I happily worked there till a better offer came along three weeks later. When I tendered my two weeks’ notice, they just told me to go home.  So I spent another week unemployed, getting sick again, and trying to do things around the house.
                While all of this was going on, my relationship with my wife became strained do to these stresses we both are under. Between her school work, job, kids, my sickness and lack of income she was not handling the pressure well. And my own sickness and, admittedly, depression over my job loss did not help to alleviate these issues. We argued, loudly and frequently. Our children, while not involved directly, heard us nonetheless and were upset themselves. Suffice it to say it’s been a bad couple of months.
                But, I do have a new job. Which has eased some of the tension between my wife and I. And I have been feeling better and healthier these days. So I am clearly making a recovery on all my Real Life fronts.
                As for gaming, while all of this has been going on, I still played STO and other games to help me deal with stress, take my mind of bad things for a bit, and for something to do when I couldn’t sleep. So I am glad to say that I do have some progress to announce about each of my characters. But I will hold on to that for a different blog for right now. There is a lot to go over in regards to the characters.
                What I really want to write about now is the passing of the amazing Leonard Nimoy. The character of Mr. Spock is so iconic that there is no equal to it. Spock was first character that, as a kid, I actually connected with and felt kinship with. Even to this day people will call me Spock just because of my ability to spout out details on the discussion topic at hand. When I first learned I could play in Star Trek Online, I made a Vulcan modeled a bit after me in looks.  Admiral Danic still is part of my stable of federation characters and is most obviously a science officer.
                In Star Trek Online, they have honored the memory of Spock, Leonard Nimoy, and other Star Trek connected people with putting in two statues and three plaques. The Statues are of Spock doing the Vulcan salute. One is placed on the planet Vulcan and the other is on the planet of New Romulus. They are very large and very well done. And is a very good resemblance of Spock as an Ambassador. The Plaques are placed in at the command centers for The Federation, Klingon Empire and Romulan Republic. The plaque lists the name of all of The Original Series important people that have passed away. Among them being Leonard Nimoy, Gene Roddenberry, James Doohan, DeForrest Kelly and Majel Barrett. Once you have clicked on the plaque, there is a continue button which takes you to another screen listing a bunch of important contributors to Star Trek that have passed away. My understanding is that the members of The Original Series will be placed on that front panel and the rest of the major contributors from all the TV series and movies will be placed on the second panel. There by immortalizing all who had and major contribution to the Star Trek Franchise after they have passed away.
                I think it is great that they are doing this and recognizing everyone of importance connected to Star Trek. At some point I will get every one of my characters to get a picture in front of the plaques and statues that they can go to, so that I can always retain that memory for me.

                In the near future, hopefully over this next week, I will get my notes all updated and then do an actual Character Update. Until then, Enjoy!