Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Did You Ever See A Whale? - Riders of Icarus

Well... it turns out that extreme tiredness such as I was having actually isn't an expected effect of the treatment, particularly not when it occurs during the "rest week", when your energy levels are meant to return to something like normal. I went into hospital on Tuesday for the next three hour dripfeed that starts each cycle and after lengthy conversations with various nurses and doctors, culminating with a telephone coversation with my oncologist, they unplugged me and sent me home!

I get another rest week and then we try again. The result is that I now feel orders of magnitude better and for the time being, at least, something approximating normal service will resume. I couldn't really respond appropriately to all the lovely comments so I'd like to reiterate my appreciation now and also apologize to the couple of people who took the trouble to respond, who I know have similar issues of their own to worry about, and to whom I should have replied individually. My very best wishes for good outcomes to you both (I'm sure you know who you are and I don't want to out you at the top of a post!)

Anyway, that's quite enough of that. This isn't a medical blog and I don't plan on banging on about what is in the end an optional and precautionary process, other than as it affects my ability to blog. Back to gaming and about time.

Literally the only game-related thing  I managed last week was to log in to Riders of Icarus to spend my tokens from the July log-in campaign. I was being totally paranoid because the June vendor is still standing there as I type this, so it could easily have waited, but I'd determinedly made sure I hit the twenty-five (out of thirty-one possible) log-ins to claim the maximum four tickets and there was no way I wasn't going to spend them.

I made the effort because the prizes were so good. The rewards each day were excellent but the ticket items were superb. There were several Legendary mounts, some usually only available from cash-shop deals, some from various holiday events, some from in-game. There were a couple of Heroic combat pets and a whole lot of expensive high-end utility items that I'm sure max levels must love.

I spent a fair while deciding. Some of the Legendary mounts were two tickets apiece, meaning I could get a couple. There was some awkward three-ticketing but there were some decent things for one ticket to make that up.

Then there were two four-ticket mounts. I looked at both of them for a while but I always knew what I was going to buy: the Sky Whale.

That's not actually what it's called. It's official name is the Pink Plush Letonsia but I'm sticking with Sky Whale.

It is by some very considerable margin the most impressive mount I have ever owned in any MMORPG. It's about the length of a bus with an elaborate howdah on top that has three rows of seats. In the front is a single seat facing the controls, which is where my character sits. Behind her are two large bench seats. I have no idea if that means it can carry other passengers.

The whole whale is pink and white, although the upper part often looks purple in darker areas. The underside is striped and from it descend four undulating fronds, two tipped with blue jewels and two with yellow stars. It matches my fairy princess/rock chick Trickster character perfectly.

Stat-wise, it seems to be a tank. It has huge defensive bonuses. It also has a massive 1200m flight ceiling, like the inflatable dolphin. It seems to move quite slowly but that may be the familiar MMORPG effect of "big things seem to go slower, small things seem to go faster". I'll have to test it. It also makes whale noises as it moves.

In practical terms I imagine I'll carry on using my dolphin, which is nippy and maneuverable. The Sky Whale takes a bit of turning. For posing at the bank, though, it's going to be the whale every time.

I have to level it up, which is taking a while. I left the game on for the rest of the day after I bought it and for a lot of yesterday after I got home. So far it's only got to Level 15. Another ten to go.

No hurry, though. It's the first of August tomorrow and I'm guessing a new log in campaign will begin. I'll be logging in every day so the whale can sit about for as long as it takes.

Whatever else I might want to say about Riders of Icarus, it probably has the most generous give-aways for totally free players I have ever seen. I've had lots of cash shop currency which I've used to open inventory and taming slots, plenty of very useful boosters, some nice cosmetics and whole bunch of Heroic and Legendary familiars.

You could pretty much play RoI as an idle game, just logging in every day, claiming your free stuff and sitting in the central square. You'd be missing out on what is a very decent MMORPG but you'd still have fun.

EDIT: Aaand... literally the first thing I see after I hit Post and flip to Feedly is this at Massively:OP. Bloody typical. A new set of account details to go through. Can't say I'm sorry to see Nexon out of the picture. Going to have to do a bit of research on Valofe Global, of whom I have never heard. Anyway, a billion times better than a sunset announcement.


  1. I know it's not a medical blog but.. glad to hear you're feeling more yourself!!

  2. Also super glad to hear you're feeling better for the moment, hopefully the additional week of rest will help with going into the next round, too!

    As for the Sky Whale, my word. That is certainly quite the thing!

    Also, I wonder whether Valofe Global will spend the hour or so of dev resources it would take to implement an inverted mouse mode. Surely failure to do so is the main reason Nexon is out. ;)

    1. Thnaks for the good wishes - keeping my fingers crossed for your results. I do actually cross my fingers, not that I'm superstitious... As for mine... see the post I'm just about to write!

  3. I'm glad to hear that you feel better!

    That's an impressive mount indeed. Also, thanks for teaching me something new, I had literally never heard the word "howdah" before and needed to look it up. :-)

    Now that Naithin mentions it I remember that you'd talked about that inverted mouse thing a while ago. I didn't comment on it then (I think), but believe it or not, this would be a real dealbreaker for me, no matter how great the game.

    Possibly flight simulators are to blame for that, but wherever it came from, I can't play a game with mouse, joystick or thumbstick when steering upwards makes me look up. I just can't.

    1. I had to look up the spellong of "howdah". I have no idea where I first heard it but I'm pretty sure I was a child at the time so probably in some ancient children's story set in the days of the Raj.

      As for my health...see next post!


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