My gaming regrets

Gadabout-Gamers-Link-Up

I recently discovered this new blog through Mama Needs Mana. It’s a blog called Gamerwife where Mariko writes about gaming, other geeky topics and anything else that interests her. She has a monthly link up on her blog called “Gadabout Gamers” where she choses a topic, writes about it, and then other bloggers can write a post about that topic. Last month’s topic was “Gaming regrets“.

There is only one big thing I regret when it comes to games. Something I did when I was 10-13 years old. I sold almost all of my Nintendo 64 games and my Playstation 1 with all the games. I think I sold the Playstation 1 first to buy games to my Nintendo 64. Then I sold Nintendo 64 games to save up money to buy the GameCube and games which was released in 2002 when I was 13 years old. I still got my Nintendo 64 console and my four favorite games The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time, The Legend of Zelda Majoras Mask, Banjo-Kazooie and Super Smash Bros. But I had so many other awesome games like the Mario Party games, Mario Kart, Super Mario 64, Diddy Kong Racing, Banjo-Tooie and more. I want to buy some of the games back some day, because I want to have them, play them again like I did when I was a kid, I got so many great memories from those games.
I might also buy a Playstation with all the old games I remember. Some of my favorite games were Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, Medievil, Pandemonium, Tekken, Tony Hawk’s Skateboarding and Gran Turismo.

I remember how much I regretted selling all those games when I got older, so I didn’t sell my GameCube, Wii or any of the games, I still got everything. I haven’t bought the Wii U yet as I couldn’t afford it when I was released. Actually I still haven’t been able to afford all the Wii games I wanted, or the time to play and finish the games I already have. I want to pick up console gaming soon. As soon as we get a new apartment and a new TV. I want to finish The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword and buy the Wii U before The Legend of Zelda Wii U is released some time next year.

What’s your biggest gaming regret?

WoD: How To Be A Good Beta Tester

howtobeagoodbetatesterwod2

The Warlords of Draenor beta is finally here! The first wave of invites went out yesterday (June 27th 2014) and more will be sent out as soon as they need more. Be on guard for potential scams. You can log into your Battle.net account and view your game licenses to check if you’ve been invited. If you’re interested in participating, opt in here.

A lot of people are talking about how excited they are about the Warlords of Draenor beta and what they are planning on doing if they get access. But some people are also questioning what’s expected of them as a beta tester and what they should do to become a good beta tester. First I think you should ask yourself these two questions: Why do you want to be a beta tester? What do you think makes you a good beta tester?

I participated in the Wrath of the Lich King beta, Cataclysm alpha+beta, Mists of Pandaria beta and Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls beta. At first I saw it as a chance to get a sneak peek and play the game before everyone else, but then I learned that there is so much more you should do and I felt important and happy to be one of those who got to test it and give feedback to polish and improve the game before it went live.

I’ve now read through some websites and forums, gathered and written down what I think are the most important things to keep in mind if you are going to participate in the beta test.

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What is a beta test

Game testing is a process for quality control of a software. The primary function of game testing is the discovery and reporting of software defects, also known as bugs. A beta test is usually the second test (after alpha) and the first test by the actual customers. Beta testers are needed because the designers are probably so used to their game that they’re very likely to overlook many things that fresh pair of eyes won’t.

Usually there is an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) you need to agree to in order to participate in testing, but not for Warlords of Draenor. This means you are free to talk about, write about, stream and share screenshots from the alpha/beta.

Who can be a beta tester

A veteran player isn’t necessary a better beta tester than a new player. Introducing previously uninvolved testers with fresh perspective may help identify new bugs. Blizzard wants a wide variety of testers: varied, locations, age, experience and game interest. You don’t need the newest computer, the best graphics card etc. Blizzard wants to make sure that the game works on everyone’s computer. They want a variety of testers with all kinds of different hardware, not just people with the latest stuff.

What to keep in mind

  • You shouldn’t sign up for the beta if you don’t plan on actually testing and giving feedback. Many people sign up for the beta not to test it but to play the game and see if it’s something they would like to buy.
  • The beta is not a demo to complete content before anyone else.
  • Nothing is final before it’s live.
  • Being a beta tester is more like a job than something you do just cause it’s fun.
  • The beta test is designed to find bugs, issues that have made it past internal testing.
  • You are responsible for checking that the game works, is easy to use, has actions that make sense, and contains fun gameplay.
  • If the game was perfect, they wouldn’t need people beta testing.
  • The more bugs that get reported in the beta, the less there will be when it goes live.
  • Visit and read the official beta forums, follow Blizzard’s updates on what they want you to focus testing on.
  • Test as many features as possible in as many ways as possible.
  • Consult with other testers for answers to potential problems you may be experiencing.
  • Support creative new approaches to abilities, spells and other changes to the game.
  • Instead of complaining out loud or in the chat, report your problem by using the feedback survey or the official beta testing forums, and be constructive.
  • You can still give feedback on the quests, zones, dungeons etc even if you don’t find any bugs.
  • Remember that all characters in Blizzard beta tests are wiped from the servers before the final game. Carrying characters over from the beta to the final game would give beta testers an unfair advantage and there are numerous technical issues as the beta client is not the same as the final game version.
  • What is your reward? A sense of accomplishment. You helped to polish a game you enjoy. And a sneak peek at the game is the reward for most. But previous beta invites and good feedback can increase your chances of getting picked again.

What to expect

There will be frequent disconnects, and the realm may be up for a few minutes at a time as new content is added. Do not expect the entire expansion to be available. Expect things to be broken, graphics to be missing or placeholders.

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Bugs

Testing requires creative gameplay to discover often subtle bugs. Some bugs are easy to document, but many require a detailed description so a developer can replicate or find the bug. Do stuff Blizzard never intended for players to do. Because a player will do so by accident and cause an issue. Players also have ways of doing stuff the developers never thought of doing. It is better that it happens in beta than on live.

Bugs can be…

  • art glitches
  • animation errors
  • logic errors
  • level bugs
  • quest items not working
  • random dismounts
  • falling through the world
  • getting stuck
  • damage and class/mob balance bugs
  • lore error
  • + much more

I remember I’ve been able to fly indoors, or dismounted from my flying mount in the air when flying above buildings. I’ve also fallen through worlds, got stuck in walls or behind invisible walls and stuck in cracks in the ground.  Been unable to complete quests, pick up items, missing NPCs and NPCs who yell over and over again so the whole zone gets a headache. I’ve also seen spelling mistakes in the quest info and NPC speech, and tons of graphic bugs.

How to report bugs

As a beta tester, you’re expected to report the bugs you encounter in the game. Blizzard has beta forums for feedback and bug reporting. Once you’ve found and identified a bug, you should write a brief report so Blizzard knows that there is a problem and can fix it before release. Good bug reports can be read quickly, easily understood and be recreated even by someone who is playing the beta for the first time. A good bug report makes it much easier to get the bugs fixed as fast as possible.

Make sure you can repeat the bug
What caused the bug? What where you doing? Write down what you did before you encountered the bug and try to make it happen again. Check the forums to see if the bug you found has already been reported. Sometimes there is a post or a list of known bugs, bugs they already know about and are working on. If you got more information to add about a bug someone else has already reported, just write a reply to their post.

Information to give
Make a note of the time and the place that the bug occurred and what you were doing when it happened. Sometimes it can also be important to write down which class, spec, level and race you are. The beta build you are using can also be of importance. It can be found in the lower left of the login screen. You want to include your computer’s information if you’re experiencing graphic issues, crashes etc. Write down exactly what the bug did. Did you get disconnected, a screen freeze, game crash or an error message? Did you character get stuck? Maybe you fell through the world? Or are you unable to pick up or use a certain item? The more detail the better. Go back and see if you can cause the bug to occur again.

How to recreate the bug
Write down the steps needed to recreate the bug so the developers can recreate it and see what happens. This can be which spell you used, where you walked, which item you used and where, which NPC you spoke to etc.

Writing a bug report post
If you find multiple bugs, make one post for each bug you find. Use a tag in the subject of your post to make it easier to know what kind of bug it is. Like [Quest bug], [Spell bug] etc.

If you can remember and do all or some of the points above, you’re on the right way to become a good beta tester! Good luck and enjoy!

Check out this funny video about beta testing, made for Cataclysm but it’s still useful.

Sources and useful links

This post was originally written for the Mists of Pandaria beta and posted March 21. 2012. It was rewritten for the Warlords of Draenor alpha/beta and reposted June 7. 2014.

Too fat for my new mount

The Depleted-Kyparium Rocket is finally mine! My boyfriend crafted us this mount today and it looks awesome!

mounty

I’m surprised my fat butt fits into it, actually I’m not sure if it does, because it kinda looks like I’m just sitting on top of it. I know most people use their hands to steer the mount, but not me, I fly around with my arms crossed!

toofatformymount

This is how it looks without moonkin form.

newmount

There are many mounts in-game which look like they weren’t made for moonkin, but I think most of them look funny with a moonkin on/in. So you’ll definitely see me racing around in this now!

My Blog as a Mix Tape

I first discovered this link-up on Nerdjoy but it was started by Joie Fatale of Confessions of a Book Pimp.

mixtape copy

What would your blog sound like if it was a Mix Tape? Five songs on side A, and Five on B?
Create a playlist, of 10 songs that describe your blog! Any genre! Any song!
Tweet your link with the hashtag: #MyBlogMixTape! And please, please, please! Leave me a comment with the link to your post! I want to hear all the music!!!

I love music, so this topic is perfect for me! But it’s not easy to pick 10 songs to describe my blog. My blog is first and foremost a World of Warcraft blog. But I’ve also written more personal posts and I would like to continue to write not only about World of Warcraft but about other games, other interests and maybe some personal stuff every now and then. I’ve been working on this playlist for some weeks now, not all the time of course but I’ve been listening to different music, reading lyrics and thinking.

The lyrics are very important to me, I always read through them when I hear a new song I like so I can learn what it’s about and understand it. I often find my own meaning with it because it reminds me of something. The songs I’ve chosen for my playlists are all songs I like a lot from my favorite band Machinae Supremacy, a song from Donkeyboy, my favorite song by Lindsey Stirling, one song by Porcupine Tree and the music from the faerie dragon event in the Whispering Forest.

I’ve added parts of the lyrics that appeal to me.

Donkeyboy – Crazy Something Normal

There’s a ripped off cord
To my TV screen
Because I will never
be afraid to dream

I’m a dreamer, sometimes I have to remind myself to live in the real world and not only in my dreams,

Machinae Supremacy – Republic of Gamers

We are all equals here
and we fight for dominion tonight
We don’t ask color, race or creed,
dedicated, free-for-all

Passed through my line of sight
You are the one that caught my eye
I’m coming for you right now
Yeah you can try to hide
How many levels can you up
before I track you down and make you die?

The first part reminds me of WoW and how you can be anyone you want, you don’t have to tell anyone who you are in real life. The second part makes me think of PvP in WoW, when you’re in a battleground and see one person and you decide you’re going to go get him/her.

Lindsey Stirling – Minimal Beat

This song is an instrumental and has no lyrics. But the song and the video makes me think of dreaming and traveling, and it gives me inspiration to do what I like and what I want.

Machinae Supremacy – Rise of a Digital Nation

Though far apart, united by heart

We’re all far apart, from different countries all around the world, but internet makes us connected and united.

Machinae Supremacy – A View From The End of the World

Friend me, follow, fan and like
Say, what’s on your mind tonight?

Just as well when the real world feels so small
We are gods here, and we can reach it all
I can hear the whole world call

We excel at passing time, and we share our hearts and our minds

The Greatest Show on Earth is right here on the net
And we are a part of it

Again internet brings us together. We friend each other, follow each other, fan and like. Share our thoughts and what we do with the whole world. We’re part of the greatest show on earth.

Porcupine Tree – Time Flies

But after a while
you realize time flies.
And the best thing that you can do
is take whatever comes to you.

She said nothing ever happens
if you don’t make it happen.

 

Time flies, it really does. We grow older every day. If you want something, you have to make it happen. Follow your dreams.

Machinae Supremacy – Force Feedback

Take a look across this vast uncharted battlefield
You still don’t know your enemy
A bunch of pissed off freaks with infinite mad skills
And a newfound taste for blood

I don’t think you understand
These are our shores and our land
You are a stranger here
And we won’t be idle as you interfere

This song also makes me think of WoW and a new expansion where we don’t know who the final boss will be. Or a battleground where the opposing team don’t know their enemy which is us, “a bunch of pissed off freaks with infinite mad skills and a newfound taste for blood”.

And the second part is also about an enemy who enters our territory and we want them gone.

Machinae Supremacy – Crouching Camper Hidden Sniper

Do you always play warfare just to lay around
With your ass in the grass and your chin to the ground
Again and again every round

Now your chicken shit outfit and need to survive
is just trying my patience and cramping my style
It deals a lethal blow to the thrill
playing punk-hide and seek to get kills

I’m gonna do you a favor
And not t-bag you for your behavior
But even so you and I are far from OK
Your lame bullshit slows down the game

I was all about action, I played every day
But the failed interaction with lamers dismayed
Eroded the appeal of the game

These days I play for one and one reason alone
I’m here to practice muh stabbin’ on pissants who prone
I always got the most knife kills
Check your killcam to review my skills

Are you afraid of a showdown
(Rather) shoot in the back than react face to face
It’s not our fault that you’re slow
now be a good bitch and die before you go

This song makes me think of Counter-Strike. But parts of it can also be about WoW and bad players who don’t do what they should.

Machinae Supremacy – Indiscriminate Murder is Counter-Productive

I know that I’m not meant to kill this indiscriminately,
but I get a bit bit carried away by the sounds of pain

What I may never know is the place of the maze
in which I would have erased some fucking fairies from space
I neglected to ask before I killed the last dairy farmer who knew

I wish I had waited for you
I wish I could invoke some better part of me

I know I’m supposed to be all “the one”
but I have too much fun killing everyone

I came here to play, now could you come out and stay
so I can kill and away you
to the gods you pray to and never look back.

I know that all these NPCs don’t pose a threat to me
But I gotta kill kill something right now and this’ll have to do

This is one of my favorite songs by Machinae Supremacy because it’s different and fun. It also reminds me of WoW.

Music from World of Warcraft – Song from the Faerie Dragon event in the Whispering Forest

This song has no lyrics. But it is so mysterious and beautiful. Makes me think of the event and the feeling of finding a new and secret place, the excitement of adventures in WoW.

So, what would your blog sound like if it was a mix tape? Let me know in the comments below which songs you would add or make your own playlist and post it on your blog. Remember to post a link to your post on Confessions of a Book Pimp :)

Roadtrip to our new home

I apologize for not posting more often these last weeks, I’ve just been so busy packing and fixing stuff. We moved this week, from the west coast of Sweden to the west coast of Norway. Back home to Bergen where I’m from. We rented a moving truck in Sweden and my boyfriend’s dad drove all the way up and then back the next day.

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It’s usually a 11 hour drive but we spent around 14 hours on the road because of different reasons. Like in Oslo we missed our exit because the GPS was slow and I was asleep so we drove right into the center of the city and a traffic jam due to road works, complete chaos! Think we spent an hour there, moving slower than a turtle before we finally found our way to the right road.

It also took longer than usual because we couldn’t drive top speed with that heavy moving load in the back and we took some breaks a long the way. Some of the most disgusting toilets I’ve ever seen can be found a long the way from Hønefoss to Gol, I’ll never forget the stench and the flies. But there are also some great views along the way.

We continued up through Hallingdal before we finally reached Geilo, which is located halfway between Oslo and Bergen and 800 meters above sea level. Geilo is a perfect spot to take a break and get something to eat. So we ate the best pizza in Norway at Peppes Pizza.

Then we continued through Hardangervidda where the highest point was almost 1300 meters above sea level. It was more snow there than I had imagined it would be in May. You don’t want to drive through Hardangervidda in winter because of the snow and the road might be closed. But the roads were free of snow now and the view was beautiful. By the way: the scenes from the ice planet Hoth in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1979) were filmed in Finse, not far from where we were. Imagine the AT-ATs walking around.

The way down was really steep and winding, but we got down in the end and saw some great views along the way. Like Vøringsfossen in Hardanger where you can stand on the edge of a cliff and look 200 meters down in the valley. It’s scary because it’s so far down and nothing between you and the edge. I didn’t go too far out so I didn’t get any photos to show you how far down it is.

After our break at Vøringsfossen we continued down through Måbødalen where the road looks like this:
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Photo from Wikipedia

Hardanger was really beautiful!

We crossed the Hardanger bridge which was new in 2013.

I bet there are a thousand tunnels here west in Norway. I know there are many between Voss and Bergen. What was really annoying was that when we got to Voss, there was a sign about a tunnel being closed and you could only pass every half hour. And we were starting to get really tired as we had already spend more time on the road than we thought we would. So we just wanted to get home fast. When we finally got to the closed tunnel it was 22:15 and there was a line in front of the tunnel. Some guy came over to us and told us that the tunnel was closed because of road works and that we had to wait until 23:00 to pass.

Luckily we had brought food and drinks to have a long the way, so we sat and waited until they opened. Then we drove for maybe another hour before we finally reached our destination! But we couldn’t go to bed until we had emptied the truck which took another half hour or so, then we got something to eat and went to bed.

It’s the longest drive I’ve ever been on. I know we could have chosen a shorter route but it was fun to drive the route we chose because there were so many great sights a long the way.

By the way: I’ve been thinking a bit about writing more personal posts, like this one, every once in a while. But I’ll still write about WoW and maybe Diablo III as well. Let me know what you think in the comments below. I’m also wondering: Have you ever been to Norway?