Minifig Monday #2: Forest Maiden

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This morning we have the Forest Maiden from LEGO Minifigure Series 9. I love her face with that half smile, and her hair and outfit are pretty nice too. She comes with a lovely shield, and a bow – not a great fighting combination, so hopefully she’s got a sword hidden in her dress somewhere!

Minifig Monday is a weekly post in which I feature a random LEGO minifigure from my personal collection. I have a LOT of minifigures, so I hope to keep going for a while 🙂 Unless otherwise stated, all minifigs have been photographed by me. Occasionally I might replace a Minifig Monday with a look at a full LEGO set instead.

Keeping up with the Joneses #1

Welcome to the first chapter of my new Sims 4 legacy challenge. Last week I introduced Alexis Jones, the founder of the Jones legacy. As per the rules of the challenge, poor Alexis started off life in Willow Creek with a very small number of Simoleans, meaning her home was rather… modest.

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Alexis dreamed of having a big happy family, but that dream seemed very far off when all she could afford was a bed, a toilet and a fridge. She immediately sought work as a Tech Guru to help to pay the bills (and to keep her from going out of her mind with boredom!)

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Her lack of furniture at home meant Alexis spent most of her time (when she wasn’t working long hours at the call centre) around town, looking for entertainment and meeting as many people as possible, all the while looking for the perfect Mr Jones.

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Having a hot cooked meal was a delight after the many nights of cold cereal and orange juice.

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Alexis generally had a cheerful outlook on life, but the thought of returning home to her tiny hovel did not excite her. She hoped things would get better as she started climbing the corporate ladder, but it was hard to hone her programming skills without her own computer.

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This meant late nights at the public library making use of their computer facilities. Fortunately no one ever looked too closely as Alexis hacked her way into several local businesses…

The Return of Minifig Monday #1

It’s been a while, but Minifig Monday has returned to The Triangular Room at last! I’m going to kick things off with the genie minifigure from series 6. He’s among my favourite ‘supernatural’ minifigs, with his awesome turban and ‘tail’. I’m particularly looking forward to the release of the new female genie minifigure in series 12, which should be out next month.

001-GenieMinifig Monday will be a weekly post in which I feature a random LEGO minifigure from my personal collection. I have a LOT of minifigures, so I hope to keep going for a while 🙂 Unless otherwise stated, all minifigs have been photographed by me. Occasionally I might replace a Minifig Monday with a look at a full LEGO set instead.

Sims 4 Legacy Challenge: Keeping up with the Joneses

It’s been a little while since my last Sims-related post here, but I’ve been busy trying out The Sims 4. You can check out my full review over at SA Gamer, but the short version is that I’ve been having a blast. It’s been five years since the last base game, and after all my troubles with The Sims 3, I’m really glad to have something new at last.

It wasn’t long after release that the legacy challenge was updated for the new game, so I decided to start a new legacy for the new generation of The Sims franchise. I’ll try and keep you up to date with their adventures every Friday. So, without further ado, meet Alexis Jones, the founder of my Sims 4 ‘Keeping up with the Joneses’ legacy challenge.

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Alexis is family oriented, cheerful, and a genius. She aspires to have a big happy family. As required by the challenge rules, she moved into a freshly bulldozed 50×50 lot in Willow Creek with very little cash to her name.

For the succession laws of the legacy challenge, I decided to be a bit more flexible than I was in my Smith legacy. I chose equality for my gender law, meaning both boys and girls will be eligible to become heirs. I chose traditional for my bloodline law, so I’ll try and make sure my heir has at least one ‘naturally born’ child to be the heir. Finally, the first born will always become the next heir (unless things go horribly wrong!)

The rest of the rules are pretty much the same as before: no cheating, no bringing millions of Sims into the household as a way to make money, the family home must always stay on the same lot, and so on. Traits for children are chosen using this handy trait generator, as there is currently no randomisation option for traits in the game.

For my legacy, I’ve also decided to use a random alphabetical naming system for children. That is, when a child is born, I’ll use the in-game name generator to find a name, picking the first one that comes up that starts with the correct letter of the alphabet. Each generation will be named for the next letter of the alphabet, hence my founder is name Alexis, while her children will have names starting with B.

I’ll start next week with Alexis’ story!

The Invasion of Varisia II

MayorPrevious session: The Invasion of Varisia I

After securing the help of the Hellknights stationed in Varisia, the party decided they needed the aid of Magnimar’s army as well. Ciaran approached the lord-mayor, who was more than happy to help out the heroes who had saved his life from the cult of Norgorber (and protect Magnimar’s holdings, of course). Armed with a letter of recommendation from the lord-mayor, the heroes visited the towering building that housed Magnimar’s army. The General, who happened to have lost an eye to a giant some years ago, was eager to help defend the city and Varisia from the giant army.

A force of several hundred soldiers would make their way to Sandpoint within the next few days, as the heroes were convinced Sandpoint was the giant army’s ultimate goal. The army was able to supply a small force of 20 troops immediately. Ciaran used a number of teleport scrolls to transport the party and these soldiers to Ravenmoor, where the knights were preparing for the arrival of a large number of ogres who had been dispatched to take the small town. Most of the townsfolk had been evacuated and were fleeing south.

The knights reported that Mokmurian’s main force was large and powerful, so the heroes agreed that the best course of action would be to take out small groups like patrols, disrupt their supply lines, and so on, to improve their chances in the main battle which would likely take place near Sandpoint.

After observing the ogres who were approaching Ravenmoor, the heroes and the knights determined that there were two tribes working together, and devised a plan to pit the two tribes against each other. Late at night, Cecil and the shadowdancer Reda, a member of the knights, snuck into each tribe’s camp and killed a few ogres from each camp, before taking a body to the opposite camp, making sure the tribe markings were clear.

Once Reda and Cecil had escaped to safety, Nu, a few soldiers and a few knights approached one of the camps, disguised as ogres of the other tribe (enlarged to assist in the ruse), and attacked, which helped draw attention to the previously slain ogres. It didn’t take long for chaos to erupt in both camps, allowing Nu and his team to retreat safely while the ogres attacked each other.

The next morning, it took only a few well-aimed fireballs from Ciaran, and a few moments to finish off the surviving ogres. The knights were quite impressed with the efficiency and effectiveness of the heroes. Still, the ogres were but one small part of the giant army, and there was still much work to do.

Next chapter: The Invasion of Varisia III

Looking Back at Sims 3

The Sims 4 is just around the corner, so I thought I would have one last look back at The Sims 3 and what I’m going to miss (or not miss!) from the third installment in The Sims franchise.

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My favourite Sims 3 expansion pack: I think it’s a tie between Generations and Seasons. I loved that Generations added tons of new interactions and content for Sims of all ages (instead of just adult Sims!) that just slotted nicely into normal gameplay, without the need to go to other worlds and so on. The addition of weather in Seasons also just added to the ‘realism’ of the game.

My least favourite Sims 3 expansion pack: Probably Late Night. While it wasn’t a bad expansion pack, I disliked that the nightclub bit just didn’t fit into other worlds very easily – and there was never another world like Bridgeport.

My favourite Sims 3 stuff pack: I loved the ridiculous costumes in the Movie Stuff pack, though I think the Katy Perry Sweet Treats pack was the best value for money – assuming you really liked the whole candy mania thing.

My least favourite Sims 3 stuff pack: I can’t say I cared for the Diesel fashions much. It reminded me a lot of the Sims 2 H & M stuff pack, which I didn’t like very much either.

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My favourite Sims 3 Store items: I loved the items that made it easier to look after babies and toddlers, notably the Deluxe Baby Swing and the Head Start Playpen. I think the Last Venue of Amore is probably the most beautiful venue I’ve seen in the store, though it was released a bit close to The Sims 4 for me to buy it.

My favourite Sims 3 world: Appaloosa Plains from the Pets expansion was probably my favourite expansion pack world. From the worlds I bought from the Store, Monte Vista was my absolute favourite, though I also liked Lunar Lakes (reminded me of Strangetown from Sims 2) and Dragon Valley.

What I will miss the most when moving from Sims 3 with all packs to The Sims 4 base game: I think I will miss having weather and a huge selection of clothing, furniture, etc.

What I will miss the least when moving from Sims 3 with all packs to The Sims 4 base game: I will definitely not miss the super long load screens of Sims 3! At last count, it took over 8 minutes from me pressing the play button on the launcher to actually being able to play my save game. That is one positive thing of going from a game with tons of extra content to a base game.

I don’t think I’ll miss toddlers either. As mentioned above, I lovely the Store’s ‘premium content’ that reduced the effort of having Sim babies and toddlers. For me, toddlers were a tedious life stage that could only interact with a handful of specialised objects and had access to a very limited number of skills. Plus, I’m hoping that with one less life stage to worry about, the Sims 4 team will be able to focus on more content and clothing items for the other life stages – a lot of the stuff and expansion packs seemed very focused on adults (especially females), with a disappointingly small selection for males, teens and children.

I think that just about sums up my final thoughts on The Sims 3. I look forward to seeing what The Sims 4 has to offer!