TIL – Chrome, LoL, and Baby Dovahkiin

What have I learned so far today?

  1. Chrome has passed up Firefox for the first time in terms of worldwide market share (source).
  2. League of Legends now has more active players than World of Warcraft (source).
  3. A couple is going to receive free games for life from Bethesda because they named their son (born on Skyrim’s release date, 11/11/11) Dovahkiin, which means “dragonborn” in Skyrim’s Dragon Language (source).

Skyrim: Faendal and Frost

Faendal

In my last Skyrim post, Faendal (my companion/follower) had unexpectedly disappeared. I searched high and low for him. I tried fast travelling to see if he would catch up to me. I went back to the last place I could remember being with him. Nothing. No sign of poor Faendal. In Skyrim, companions are immortal… unless you kill your companion (accidental or not) yourself. So, I sadly concluded that Faendal must have stepped in front of one of my firebolts without me noticing. He does that a lot. :-/ Thankfully, I still had an old save I was able to revert back to. I had to redo a bunch of things I lost from reverting, but at least I still had Faendal. 😛

Most people who play Skyrim prefer to have Lydia as their companion… probably because she’s the first companion most people get. Because I like fooling around and talking to the people of Skyrim, I got Faendal as a companion  before Lydia (Faendal was involved in a love triangle and felt indebted to me after I exposed the other guy as a scoundrel). One of the great things about Faendal is how helpful and cheerful he is. When you start a trade with Faendal (to give him better gear or have him carry things for you), he politely asks, “What do you want me to carry?” Ask to trade with Lydia, however, and she sighs, rolls her eyes, and grumbles, “I am sworn to carry your burdens…” Regardless, people love Lydia. Someone has even taken the time to drag Lydia’s corpse up to an open casket at the top of a mountain (not an easy task!) after she died.

Frost

I have another new friend in Skyrim – a horse I acquired in the southeastern parts of Skyrim. Like companions, horses don’t seem to be that helpful and just end up getting in the way… but one still grows fond of them. Horses can run faster than the player, but it’s not that much of a speed increase, especially because followers can’t join you in riding on the horse, so they quickly fall behind. Another issue is that horses apparently think they’re invulnerable. They have no problem running up to baddies (even dragons) and attempting to stomp them to death. Frost once went into the water, pulled out a fish, brought it onto the land, and stomped on it until it died. Thanks for protecting me from that fish, Frost. 😛

Lydia and Faendal in my house
Lydia and Faendal in my house
Riding Frost
Riding Frost

Skyrim: College of Winterhold

I started my day today by slaying two dragons. I also got into a fight with a giant and a mammoth (at the same time – not easy!!) and survived due to lots of kiting. 😛

I spent most of my time in Skyrim today doing a bunch of silliness and exploring, but I did make it to the College of Winterhold, where I impressed the mages with my arcane knowledge. 😉 At the end of the day, I upgraded my house and it looks much better now. I seem to have lost my faithful companion, Faendel, though. Not sure where he disappeared to and I’m hoping he’ll show up tomorrow.

Today in pictures:

Slain Dragon
I slayed two dragons this morning!
Skinny dippers
Found some people skinny dipping 😉
College of Winterhold
I made it to the College of Winterhold
Cave exploration
Exploring a cave with my buddy, Faendel
Night sky
Pretty night sky
Breezhome
My redecorated home
Oh, and I also had to switch strafing from buttons Q and E back to Skyrim’s default A and D. I found that I couldn’t loot books without remapping my keys (ick), so I gave up and went back to default. 😛

Also also, when I was fighting my first dragon today, I actually killed it twice. Skyrim crashed on me as I killed the dragon the first time, so I had to kill it again. 🙁 It’s the first (and only) time Skyrim has crashed on me, but it’s crashed a few times already for Nick.

Skyrim: Slain dragon and new home

I killed my first dragon and then found out I am a Dragonborn (which means I am super special and can use dragon shouts). 😮 Then, I squandered all of my gold on a house in Whiterun, leaving me with only 69 gold. My house is pretty shabby and sad, but I’ll be able to upgrade it once I have more gold.

Slain dragon
I slayed a dragon!
Breezehome
Breezehome, my first house

Well, I think that’s enough adventuring for today. I will travel to the College of Winterhold tomorrow to get some mage training and join the mage guild.

Skyrim: Fun with baskets

Yesterday, on 11/11/11, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was released. Nick and I bought the PC version and he spent most of the day playing. I wasn’t feeling well, so I opted for cocooning myself in a blanket on the couch and reading The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore. I’m feeling better today, though, so I adventured into the world of Skyrim. Inspired by the following video, one of the first things I was determined to do was put a basket on someone’s head.

Skyrim Basket
Success! I put a basket on someone's head. 🙂

My biggest complaint so far is (of course) that there isn’t a way to play multiplayer, even on LAN. My second biggest complaint is that there isn’t a way to run Skyrim well in windowed mode. Very annoying. Also, the left/right equipping thing is counter-intuitive. When you equip something in your left hand, you use your right mouse button (mouse button 2) to use it and you use your left mouse button (mouse button 1) to use something in your right hand. Thankfully, you can remap the keys. 😛 Unfortunately, the tooltips don’t always change when you remap keys. Silly Bethesda developers.

I haven’t played enough yet to really review the game yet, but it seems enjoyable so far. I’ve spent most of my time goofing off and chatting with the townsfolk… and getting used to the controls.

Now, back to the game! I must venture to the city of Whiterun!

From WoW to Rift

WoW - Eris and Lich King
Me and the Lich King (WoW)

After over 2.5 years of playing World of Warcraft, Nick and I finally called it quits in early February. In that time, I played all 10 classes (every class except for two (rogue and hunter) up to level 80+). We had fun questing, raiding, and PvPing together, with friends, and from people we met from all over the world… but eventually we grew a bit tired of it. And the task of leveling my eight level 80’s to level 85 with the new expansion, Cataclysm, was daunting… having to repeat the same quest chains over and over again did not sound fun. 🙁

We had (or, are having?) a heck of a time finding a good replacement, though. We played Little Big Planet 2 for a while. Then, we started playing old favorites like Age of Empires 2 (best game ever?), Warcraft 3, and Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.

Nick and me (Rift)

A month ago, we started playing Rift with some of our friends from work and personal life. It feels a lot like WoW. It has a couple of nice features, like rifts and invasions, that keep the game interesting. It also handles groups well. In Rift, you are able to easily join public groups and merge groups to form larger groups. This comes in handy, especially during a zone invasion, when everyone in the zone is working together to extinguish the rifts and invasions. When it’s over, hitting “unmerge groups” removes your original group from the larger group. Very cool. Nick and I are still learning a lot about Rift (so we haven’t made our minds up about it yet), but for now, it’s a fun outlet… even though there aren’t any gnomes. 🙁

We’re also looking forward to playing Diablo 3, Torchlight 2, and Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. 🙂