I Love Video Game Farming

No, I don’t mean like farming worms in Angmar to get that extra point of Valour for your virtues or farming the Turtle raid to get that little pet turtle housing item. I mean like simulation farming – til the soil, plant seeds, wait for stuff to grow, harvest, rinse repeat. I don’t know why. I like gardening in real life as well, but I know logically video game farm simulation does not make a whole lot of sense. But I find it immensely pleasing.

When my college roommate got me to start playing Minecraft, setting up a little wheat farm was one of the first things I did. At the time it was very limited, but now you can breed and capture pigs, cows and chickens (and in the next update horses!) and you can maintain a farm of wheat, potatoes, carrots, pumpkins, melons and netherwart. It’s definitely much better than it was, but it’s not quite enough for me.

So today I was browsing through Steam Greenlight. For those who don’t know, it’s a system on Steam that allows budding game creators to post screenshots, videos and descriptions of the games they are making. Then Steam users get to vote on if they would buy the game or not. If a game gets enough votes of “Yes, I would buy this game!” it gets the Greenlight and gets published on Steam for people to buy and play and all that good stuff. And today I discovered a game there called Stardew Valley.

So far, this game has lots of elements that appeal to me:

  • Farming with a wide variety of plant types
  • Ability to shape and build your farm and farmland however you want
  • Customizable character creation
  • Multilayer opportunities
  • Seasons!
  • Retro-y graphics with a pleasing color scheme
  • Nice music!

There’s also the exploration and mining elements reminiscent of Minecraft. Also some of the underground dungeon exploration from the video reminds me a lot of Towns, which I posted about a while ago. And of course story elements as you interact with the NPCs in your town. Apparently there are also 10 NPCs in town that you can marry – regardless of your or the NPC’s gender, which is not something you see very often in games. The character creation seems quite robust – you choose gender, skin color, eye color, hair color, clothes, cat or dog preference, etc. Definitely something to play around with which is nice.

So basically, I am looking forward to this very much and hope it gets Greenlit. For any Steam members who are interested, here is Stardew Valley’s Greenlight page.

Rider’s Armour

I haven’t been playing much LOTRO the past week. Like I said in my last post, my old Minecraft had a grand re-opening and so I’ve been playing a lot of that lately. However today I have been spending quite a bit of time on LOTRO – enough to put together a new outfit! I decided to go through the Starry Mantle again to get some inspiration and came across the Sons of Elrond outfit. I liked the combination of the gloves and chest piece – when Cithryth was in her 40’s she used to wear that chest piece all the time and I loved it. The gloves of course are part of the set that goes with my favorite Rohan chest piece. I decided to make the outfit less Elvish and turn it into some light riding armour. Here is the result:

Thick Elven Steel Armour – olive

Tactical Eastemnet Assault Leggings – umber

Vigilant Eastemnet War Boots – rivendell green

Vigilant Eastemnet War Gauntlets

Shoulders of the Eorlingas

Mantle of Framness

To get these pieces I had to go make a trip to the Auction House. I spent quite a bit of gold, but also picked up a few other items that I may use for outfits on other characters. I got my hands on a Tattered Hat that I am definitely going to make use of on Sagewood. I’ll probably put together an outfit for her and post it tomorrow.

Otherwise in LOTRO I’ve pretty much just been doing my Hytbold dailies and trying to get the deeds of each town done. So far I’ve gotten Eaworth and Harwick’s deeds done. I’ve been lazy about remembering to get my fishing rod out of my vault and thus haven’t done any of the fishing quests in Snowbourn. But in general I quite like the dailies. Some of the instances and locations are actually quite beautiful.

Virtual Legos

I literally spent my entire day playing Minecraft. I did pause long enough to do my Hytbold dailies but that’s it. I only have one and a half weeks of actual classes to attend and then one week of finals (in which I only have one test). It is so incredibly hard to stay focused with that knowledge in mind. I needed a day to just totally 100% vege out.

It also didn’t help that my old Minecraft server was starting over. For those who don’t know, Minecraft is mostly single player, however thousands of people have set up private servers. Some servers you can log into without any extra effort. Some are called “whitelist” servers where you have to apply on the server’s website to be allowed to log in. There are also all sorts of mods and plugins people have made to make the game better/easier/more enjoyable in multiplayer (like the ability to lock chests and doors so people can’t steal your stuff!).

HH Minecraft was the first multiplayer server I ever joined. I’ve only seriously played on one other server but that was only for a few months. On HH I became a moderator (dispersing justice, adding people to the whitelist, banning people, etc) and eventually a sort of junior admin (helping make the server policies etc). After almost a year on the server I got burned out from dealing with little kids. Minecraft and LOTRO have very different user bases. A lot of people in LOTRO think their server’s GLFF channel is childish, immature, etc. But they have no idea. GLFF can be a paradigm of high thought compared to some Minecraft sessions. Because Minecraft is basically virtual legos, it attracts many children and younger teenagers. After awhile, the immaturity and childishness was running rampant on the server and I left for greener pastures. It wasn’t the owner’s fault though. It’s hard to make a balance of anything.

However recently he decided that he didn’t have enough time to run the server and gave it over to one of my former fellow moderators. He has seriously cracked down on the childishness, removed many of the extraneous useless mods and plugins and just generally done an awesome job. Part of the reconstruction was that the old server map was wiped and we started anew. So I, a long with many others who had left for similar reasons, have returned. I spent all day playing and it was awesome. Built a new house, built up my farms, built a vault, made plans to connect to the center of the map with a rail line. And it was awesome.


Tis the Season

… To want to do nothing but sit inside and read and play video games. But alas, I still have two papers to write, a video production to film and a French test to sit. Ah well. I thought now might be a good time to share the random things I’ve been doing across my games. Minecraft, LOTRO and Skyrim have all gotten some use recently.

Since this is a pretty image heavy post, I’m going to put most of this into the “Read more”, so read more!

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Texture Pack Review: LB Photo Realism

Just like with LOTRO and UI skins, I am loving Minecraft texture packs. There seems to be a pack for any kind of theme you could want. I have a variety currently installed so that I can use different packs for different worlds or projects. My newest project is a modernist style house, and so I really wanted a modern themed texture pack to match. I decided on the LB Photo Realism pack by scuttles. It’s an HD pack that is available in a couple of resolutions. I decided to go all the way and use the 256×256 version.

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Pictures of Brevity

I have been playing Minecraft for a week and two days, and I am in love. I had actually put off playing Minecraft for a long time because I dismissed it the way I think people usually do: “What’s the point? What’s the objective? There is none? Psh”. But now I see that that is the beauty of it. I can do whatever I want. So I have been for the past week and two days.

Here is the main world I’ve been working on lately. It’s not my first world. Like in MMOs, my first character/world is kind of my “OMG what is going on here” kind of character that I use to figure the game mechanics with. Brevity is my second world and I have been steadily working on it for a few days now. The only mod I’ve used with it thus far is WildGrass.

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