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World of Warplanes

Managed quite a bit of gaming over the last week, despite various health troubles. Getting some sense of how playing both World of Tanks and EVE is going to work.

World of Tanks

There is a chance this month to get the Tier II premium T2 LT tank for completing a series of missions. I am going to try to do this, and it appears to be achievable. It does require playing rather more SPGs and light tanks than I have been doing recently, but this is not perhaps a bad thing. It has meant some frustrating, and some enjoyable games so far on my GW Panther. Also some more practice with scouting.

Otherwise I have now had my first game on the Panther II. That was a disappointing loss. I have also managed a few more games on the IS-4. I am still getting used to the higher level of competition there. I really am going to try to play at least one game in it a day, however, as I figure playing Tier X is just a good way to improve overall. I am also have good success in training up a crew on the VK3601H for the VK4502 Ausf. A. My ordinary grinds though have already been somewhat disrupted by trying to fulfil the missions for the T2 LT, and this is likely to continue throughout the month.

World of Warplanes

Played some with my friend on Monday. On the whole not the most successful evening. Mostly I am just credit-grinding for the last piece of equipment for the Bristol 146 – and in the process also researching the Spitfire Mk I.

Kerbal Space Program

Well, the Asteroid Redirect Mission update has been launched. Certainly something to consider doing in the future. However, one of the great things about this update is that it is now possible to speed up time whilst in the Space Centre, and also in the Tracking Centre. A very great quality of life improvement.

I got Keldos back to Kerbin safely from the top of Minmus. Actually I happened to land him safely on the southern ice-cap, which was quite fun. I also made a simple design change to my current rocket series (by adding a probe control module on top of an empty command module) and rescued Jebidiah from where he had been stranded on the Mün. I put the launcher down just 2.6km away, which meant a relatively easy ride using the jetpack. This was, however, the second attempt. The first attempt … well, I forgot to extend solar panels so the batteries powering the probe module went dead. The inert probe is now leaving Kerbin orbit to spend a long time floating in an orbit somewhere between Kerbin and Eve.

I am undecided whether to next attempt to get an asteroid, or whether to do an interplanetary probe. I am leaning towards the latter. Or maybe even do something like purposefully strand Jebidiah on the surface of Laythe or something.

EVE Online

Still very much in re-orientation mode. I have spent some time mining, some more time missioning, but mostly just travelling around picking up bits and pieces. I wish to get back into T1 industrial activity, but I am unsure of where I want to setup my market. For certainty not one of the big market hubs, but somewhere a little quieter.

Another aspect of this is going to have to be re-organising my production spreadsheet. The “Spreadsheets in Space” meme does have a certain truth to it. Having cast around some of the other resources, I still think my old spreadsheet generally fits my purposes best, but it does require updating. In particular ship BPOs have a set of extra mineral requirements. While this may seem like “work”, it is in fact going to be a good way to get a better handle on what things are and are not profitable right now. Also of course there are some more modules in the game, and a handful of new destroyers and a new frigate. I have picked up some BPOs for those, and I will need to see if there are any others I require.

I also am going to go around and try and pick up some of the random stuff I have lurking around so many places. There is quite a bit of isk tied up in some stations that I might as well realise.

Crusader Kings II

With both Sons of Abraham and Rajas of India acquired and installed, it was time to start up a game. I have started up a game in 1066, William the Conqueror start, as the ruler of Dublin. A nice place to try and get a handle on this marvellously complex game. So far I have inherited Leinster from my father, claimed and conquered a third, and have just laid claim to a fourth. Along the way I am now on my second ruler.

This is very much a training game, as I am not sure yet who I want to try on to first try and play through to the end.

 

Two momentous events in my gaming life this week: Tier X and EVE. Gaming overall feels very exciting right now. Lots of possibilities stretching out ahead of me.

World of Tanks

The big news of course is that I have acquired my first Tier X, and I have now also played my first game  – a victory at that. The credit grind continues however, as I have a number of purchases coming up. The first of these is simple enough: moving the crew of my Panther onto the Panther II and commencing playing on that tank. I also now have a number of Tier V tanks I wish to get: The Type T-34, Bishop, AT 2, ELC AMX and Pz Sfl IVc. I also wish to get the Tiger II, the M36 Jackson will very soon be researched (I have about 5k exp to go to elite the M4A3E8 Sherman) and I am chugging away quite merrily towards the T32.

All in all this reflects what is going to be my biggest restraint moving forward: credits. I imagine this is going to see me playing my premiums a little more often – which is not a hardship.

Talking of premiums I have had a great deal of fun recently in the T14. It is currently one of my favourite premium tanks. While it suffers a little in firepower, it has a very bouncy front and a generous health pool, which allows it to be very effective in Tier V and Tier VI matches (it has preferential matchmaking so no Tier VIIs).

I have also continued to have some good success in the M5A1 Stuart. Not consistently, but far more regularly than ever was the case. Indeed just last night I had a wonderful Tier VIII match which saw me to over 2k spotting damage and kill a Tier VII arty, and be alive at the end of the match.

World of Warplanes

I played around on Monday for a time – but it was not a terribly successful session. I cannot really claim to have achieved very much, in particular I only modestly increased my credits.

Kerbal Space Program

The Mun and Minmus are being plundered for all the science that they are worth. Indeed, I am quite confident I could complete all the available research from just using my current basic rocket design.

This means I have slowly leaving behind the realm of game-given objectives (get Science) to more personal, sandbox play again. Top item on this list is to rescue Jebidiah Kerman, still stuck on the Mün. Second item is probably something like getting a Kerbonaut safely to and from another planet – probably Duna.

EVE Online

Oh much has changed, and much has stayed the same. Currently I am really just mucking around. Hacking mechanics have changed since I last played, so I spent an evening running around trying to find Data and Relic sites. I have some idea how this works now. Various ships have changed, and I am still getting a handle on that. Some new ships and modules have been introduced as well. At some point I will need to go through my BPO collection and find out where the gaps are.

The real question is what do I want to do in EVE? Well, I think it will take a little while to answer that. I will probably mostly be hi-sec based, though if other elements align I would like to do some poking around low-sec now and then. I do want to get some small-scale industrial stuff sorted out, hopefully setup in a way that will allow it to build up. I need to decide on a system for that. All in all I am intending to take things slow for a further while, and see where the journey takes me.

 

 

I am very pleased to report that matters on the health front are much improved. Two weeks of rest (mandated by the doctor) plus a course of antibiotics appear to have gotten rid of the chest infection I was suffering from. I still tire easier than normal, but even that is improving as well.

I have managed to get a reasonable amount of gaming in, mostly as a result of resting so much – though I did overdo things one day this week and barely managed three games of World of Tanks before giving in and retiring to bed. Next week I will be back at work, and I am semi-expecting to require a lot more rest than usual once I get back home to begin with, as I get back into the swing of things. Hopefully however I will manage to start posting more regularly here as well.

World of Tanks

I have made a real effort to concentrate on three Tier IV grinds this week – the M5A1 Stuart, the Valentine, and the AMX 40. Three very different tanks. In all three I expect to elite the tanks over the course of the weekend, or early in the week. I have had some reasonable success with the AMX 40, but there is no doubt it is a tricky vehicle to play and sometimes simply too slow to get much action. The Valentine also suffers from slowness, but has much better firepower. I am proudest though of my successes in the M5A1. This is a scout tank, and I finally feel I have managed to have a run of games where I have done some reasonable scout-play, including spotting, countering enemy lights, and arty-hunting.

I finally have the top gun of the Ferdinand, and it certainly makes the tank a lot more fun to play. It packs quite a punch! Along with the IS-3, T29, and GW Panther I now have several longer grinds ahead of me to unlock the next vehicles on those respective trees. I am also slowly ticking over on the M4A3E8 Sherman, but it feels a bit like I am struggling there.

I have also played a reasonable amount on my premiums, including my first game on the Excelsior, and quite a few games on the T14. I am very much liking the T14. The front is fairly bouncy, and if the gun is underpowered usually I am able to apply damage. The grind for the IS-4 crew continues as well – they are now well in the 70% range for the second crew skill.

Speaking of which, the IS-4 is going to be the Top of the Tree discount for the second half of March. Hurray! No longer will I require six million credits, but four million. Yippee! However, there is something else to consider. The special this weekend has all Tier VIII vehicles on a 15% discount, and the Tiger II is on my shopping list. I currently have just over 2.5 million credits, having purchased the Panther II on the previous Top of the Tree sale. So, do I get the Tiger II now, and then hope I can make the required credits over the course of the next fortnight, or do I play it safe and put off the Tiger II. If I get the game time in getting the credits is certainly possible – my ST-I and KV-4 will benefit from a 30% earnings bonus and there are some credit-earning missions available. I will probably see how things are going by the end of the current special.

World of Warplanes

Not much in all truth, just a handful of games keeping things ticking over. The Bristol 146 is now fully upgraded, so starting the first grind of any length to research the first Spitfire. I did get two pieces of equipment on last weekend’s special offer. I just now have to decide as to the third. Essentially I am credit-grinding at the moment, saving up for that third piece of equipment, and another Tier II and another Tier III.

Skyrim

The Pale has been restored to the Empire. Next up The Rift. I have also plundered the High Gate Ruins, and picked up another Word of Power.

I am feeling I might be putting Skyrim on the backburner again soon however. I suspect depending on when the next instalment of Crusader Kings II is released.

Age of Empires II

Acquired cheaply on the Steam Sale in a fit of nostalgia. Played through the tutorial campaign and just a random battle. Good fun from days gone by.

Kerbal Space Program

I tinkered a bit more with my rocket design, and ended up stranding Jebidiah K on the Mün on purpose. Then I decided to send a probe lander on a one-way trip, just to gather some science, using a completely different rocket design. Only, I realised that the vehicle I used, after landing on the Mün had enough fuel left to get back to Kerbin. I redesigned the lander section slightly to include a Kerbal and some parachutes, and made a successful return trip.

My design is, if anything, more crude than what I was trying to do. Rather than have a separate orbiting craft and lander, which subsequently redocks to the orbiter, I did away with the orbiter. I used the remainder of my final stage to descent onto the Münar surface, meaning that the lander ends up on the surface with nearly its entire fuel – more than enough to get back.

I am intending now to do several missions to both the Mün and Minmus, doing investigations in various biomes, which should allow me to get enough researched to allow me to build better interplanetary rockets.

I am glad to say that matters are looking better on the health front. It turns out I probably have been suffering from some sort of chest infection, rather than a common cold, which certainly explains generally how poorly I have been feeling. The antibiotics appear to be doing their work, but the cough is lingering somewhat (not entirely unexpectedly). It does mean however that I have slowly gotten to a situation where I have been able to do some gaming again.

World of Tanks

The first couple of days I played World of Tanks I basically stuck to the low tiers, where there is generally not quite as much pressure, though I have now also managed to progress on some of my higher tiers too. In particular the T29 is now fully upgraded. I have also managed to have a good few games (and one heartbreaking loss) on the Ferdinand, which ,means I only have something like 10k experience to go to unlock the top gun. That will be most welcome.

On the low-tier front I managed to get an Ace Tanker medal on the Ha-Go, and have also fully upgraded the M5A1 Stuart.

I have concentrated quite a bit of premiums, with some success in that I now have almost 3 million credits. Not quite half-way. However, it has occurred to me it might be best to take advantage of the Top of the Tree offer and acquire the Panther II at a discount. After all it is the tank I was intending to get immediately after the IS-4, and it seems silly to ignore the potential saving. If I do get it now I will not be equipping it right away, however, as priority of course goes back immediately to the IS-4 credit grind.

That grind should be helped somewhat this weekend. I won’t aim to get the three days premium – that is basically out of reach – but I hope to be able to complete the second stage for most of the missions so that should boost my credits quite nicely. The triples should also allow me to hopefully break the back of my M5A1 Stuart and Valentine grinds.

World of Warplanes

Played around a little. The Skua is now fully upgraded, and one more decent battle will also see the Bristol 146 fully upgraded. Again, I am in full credit grind mode to get the Bristol 146 equipped. This is proving quite fun however, and it is quite relaxing. My German Tier II crew is now back at 99% as well. I will probably get an American Tier II next, but I have not yet decided which one.

Skyrim

Played around on this as well, completing another side-quest for the Minstrel’s guild whilst doing the preliminaries of retaking the Pale for the Imperium. The next stage is to assault a major fort in the Hold.

Kerbal Space Program

I fired this up to tinker around with a new rocket design to take a Kerbal to land on the Mun, but I have discovered a severe structural failing, so it looks like it is going to be a total redesign of the launch vehicle.

Did rather less gaming than expected as got hit by another cough/cold that has impacted my game time somewhat. On the plus side the weather has been somewhat better this week.

World of Tanks

I have had some good times in World of Tanks this week, but also two abominable losing streaks where seemingly everything I touched turned to dust. Despite that my win rate has reached a new high (though as a result of last night’s loss streak it is now lower) and I have passed 8000 games.

As far as my big grinds are concerned I am one decent battle away from eliting the Panther. I haven’t really done much on any of the others, so their slow grinds continue. What I have done this week is play a bunch of lower-tier matches.

A few more games in the M5A1 (which were, alas, mostly terrible) and starting up in the Valentine, Alecto, and AMX 40. My experience of the AXM 40 so far is not too bad, but I can see it will get frustrating relatively quickly with its slow speed. My one game in the Alecto was rather nice, if nothing special. I have played a few more in the Valetine and had a really good game where I got the Ace Tanker award. A very powerful little tank – a small Matilda.

I have managed to spend pretty much all of my credits on odds and ends – at one point I was down to less than 100k. I would like to get the Crusader this weekend now that it will be on offer, which will clean me out again. I am hesitant otherwise to say too much about what I might manage to achieve in the week ahead, as I think it quite possible my gaming will once again be reduced.

World of Warplanes

Played considerably less than I would have liked, really only a handful of games just ticking along. Saving up credits to get equipment for the Bristol 146.

Skyrim

I did achieve quite a bit when I played this on Tuesday, even if it was not the most interesting. I went back to Whiterun where I keep most of alchemical ingredients and just sat down and burned my way to Alchemy 100. I also had a pre-crafted set of Daedric armour there, which I now Enchanted each piece with two enchantments. Whether my “build” is as good as it could be I have no idea, but I rather like what I have.

Otherwise I have just arrived at the Imperial military camp in The Pale, and am ready to start plotting the takeover of the hold, possibly with a sidequest or two thrown in along the way.

Hearthstone

Played a little more on the Hunter, but actually played more games back on the Mage deck. I have now managed to unlock the Priest and Warlock, leaving me with just Shaman and Paladin to go.

Long Live the Queen

I got this off Steam for 50% discount at the weekend, having read about it on Mrrx’s blog. I must say I am rather taken with it. Simple, but not simplistic. I have managed to survive once so far, and died several more times.

I have to say I have never really understood the modern incarnation of Valentine’s Day. As a child/youth at school I never understood it, and just tried best to ignore any cards that I was sent (and never sent any myself). I am therefore most fortunate that my wife holds the commercial creation with same disregard. Besides, given there is a gale blowing outside it is hardly the day for dining out – and usually it would be a rip-off now anyway. So, following Matt Yglesias’ advice (if not his practice) the money saved tonight can be made to go further on other occasions 🙂

Well, that aside out of the way, my gaming this week was interrupted by all of us falling down with the cold mid-week. That said I did manage to get a reasonable amount done. I have also decided that Tuesdays nights are going to be my Tank-free night. This is something I was thinking about back in the autumn, and I am finally putting it into practice.

World of Tanks

I played considerably less tanks this week than I originally thought I would. Partly this is because I played nothing on Tuesday, but then on Wednesday I played no games at all. Despite this I managed to continue my progress on various tanks.

My crew on the ST-I is now just over 50% on the fourth crew skill. Just for fun that means it will take about 1.5 million xp until the fourth crew skill is maxed. On the T29 I have researched the mid-engine, which has improved the mobility a bit though I am looking forward to the top engine. I am about 13k away from eliting the Panther, and the Sherman Jumbo is elited. Also I have just about 20k to go to unlock the top gun on the Ferdinand, which will also be very welcome.

My crew on the KV-1 is now in the mid-40s on the second crew skill, which is enough to re-train and keep the first skill at 100%. However, I will put off doing so until I can actually purchase the IS-4. I will be taking advantage of the equipment discount this weekend to buy what I want for the IS-4. The discount is only 25%, but I would rather take it now than wait for a 50% that might not come. It will also mean that I just have the plain cost for the tank to gain.

Also this week I bought and equipped the Loyd Gun Carriage. So far only had a single game, but it was a lot of fun.

Looking forward to the week I am intending to acquire the Valentine on the offer. I will probably also get the Matilda Black Prince. It has the reputation of being a fairly underwhelming premium, but on the other hand I will be getting it at 75% discount. The next Tier VI I am going to work on is going to be the M4A3E8, the crew of which will eventually end up in the T20. The crew I have in the Sherman Jumbo I will keep there for the moment, with the aim of retraining it into a later tank in due course.

World of Warplanes

I have gotten though some games now on the Bristol 146, though I still have a way to research. I almost have finished upgrading the Skua as well – just one battle to finish researching the top bomb. In the coming week I hope to get a few games in to keep things ticking over.

Skyrim

Made the decision to return to Solitude and kick of the Re-Unification of Skyrim. Along the way I got my Enchanting up to 100. I now have to return to Whiterun where I have a set of Daedric Armour waiting for me to enchant. Also Whiterun is where most of my alchemy ingredients are stashed. I think it is time to burn through a lot of them to boost my alchemy score as much as possible.

I never swift-travel in Skyrim, so it takes me time to travel. While this no doubt slows down my progress it does have advantages. I ended up having two quite enjoyable fights with Ancient Dragons on my meanderings on Tuesday.

Hearthstone

Now that my initial Mage Pack has all the main cards researched I am trying to do the same for the other packs I have so far unlocked. My next first option was the Warrior, and this turned into a long hard slog. After much tinkering I have a build that is not terrible, but just doesn’t feel very good either. I have, however managed to get out a few victories along the way to unlocking all those cards. I am now starting on the Hunter, and whilst my first game was a wipeout with me on the losing side, my second was a slaugher with the sides reversed.

I have the Cleric, Paladin, Shaman, and Warlock left to unlock.

All in all I have had quite a reasonable week’s gaming, though I have had to keep one eye on the various floods in Somerset happening just down the road. While not on the Levels themselves, the local rivers and streams were just on the verge of overflowing when we had a break in the weather allowing them to subside slightly. At times as well surface water flooding has threatened to stop us moving around, flooding in various dips and hollows. So far, however, all remains accessible.

World of Tanks

On one level World of Tanks has been quite kind to me this week – on the other I have had one particular run of very bad luck earlier in the week, and last night finished with some crackingly good games that ended in losses. The best (or worst, depending on point of view) of these was in my Dicker Max, where I did 3400 damage and 6 kills, earning my Ace Tanker badge, but the team could not bring it home at the end. Though the game just before, when in the Marder 38T I 1300 damage and 3 kills in a Tier V match – but no fewer than nine of my teammates did absolutely zero damage.

In terms of my grinds it was quite a successful week. I have now elited the ST-I. Unfortunately I do not yet quite have the credits to acquire the IS-4 – being a small matter of 4.6 million credits short! Credit-grinding is in my future. 🙂 The crew for the IS-4 is progressing very nicely, getting to 100% on that first crew skill now, which means it should be in a good place when it comes to retraining. On the IS-3 I have unlocked the turret, meaning I have just the tracks before starting the grind to the IS-8. On the Panther I have just under 30k to go, whereas on the T29 I have now unlocked the turret and have started to work on the engines, and on the Ferdinand I am just over half-way to the top gun. I also have just about 3k to go before eliting the Sherman Jumbo. Finally the Crusader is also now unlocked.

Yesterday I took a good look at my progress in the monthly missions, and I have decided that I am just not going to be able to manage to do the 375 battles (always finishing in the top 10 on the team). Well, I might if I super-prioritised my time, but realistically that feels a little too much like work. The 500 kills I might do, but probably will not for the same reason. On the other hand I am well on the way to getting the 150 victories, and that will just have to content me.

World of Warplanes

I have done less WoWP than I wanted to, out of an initial desire to try for those battles. I have, however, purchased the Bristol 146 (on 50% discount last weekend). Now just putting together the credits to retrain and the equipment. I hope to manage this in time to have it ready for when I next play with my friend in the coming week.

Heathstone

I downloaded this as the weekend, after seeing it on Quickybaby’s stream. I have not played it very intensively – something like 12-15 matches total in both Practice and Play mode. So far I am finding it a fun occasional diversion. I was never a big Magic fan back in the day, though I dabbled in it and some of the other various CCGs that were on the market when I was at university.

There is therefore a certain nostalgic quality of playing Hearthstone, that I am sure is part of its appeal to others and not just me. I really doubt I will ever play more than a handful of games here or there.