Happy Christmas Nerdy Bookahs From Your Secret Blogger Santa

The ‘Secret Blogger Santa Community Event’ is an entire batch of mince pies fresh from the oven brought to you by Livid Lightning & Later Levels!

… and well a ho-ho-ho Happy Christmasness to all of you out there! I think this is the first time that I’ve published something on Dectember 25th itself. This post comes as part of a superb community event organised by those aforementioned blogger-nandos over at Livid Lightning and Later Levels (or Quadruple-L as I like to call them) in the guise of that richest of office traditions: The Secret Santa. Each blogger is assigned a counterpart to which they have to gift a virtual gaming item, all wrapped up in the form of a blog post.

The recipient of my own blogging gift if non-other than Nerdy Bookahs; those masters of all things MMO and indie related.      

… of course it didn’t help that at the time of receiving my nomination I didn’t follow Nerdy Bookahs. Unlike a real office secret santa however, drawing a name out of the hat that you don’t recognise is actually a chance to get to know them through their work, so I scuttled off to find out a bit more about this blogging powerhouse. Almost immediately I discovered that their blogging exploits largely revolve around MMO’s “Oh no!” I thought to myself (I’m not sure why this has turned in to a narritive tale, bear with me, I may be going somewhere with this) I don’t know anything abut MMO’s, how am I supposed to come up with a suitable gift??

Not to shy away from the challenge I started clicking on a few of their articles, the first was this: Gaming nostalgia: What about Guild Wars? The article left me with a few overwhelming feelings. Firstly I have no idea what a ‘Guild War’ is, or what events transpired to ensure that a second one was necessary, and secondly that despite not knowing anything about the game I related strongly to the theme of the piece. As gamers we’re undoubtedly a nostalgic bunch, yet the current trends for ongoing content and tweaks to ingame mechanics & visuals often manage to dilute the experience from what it was when it first hit the scene. NB manages to covey all this thorough their revisiting of the original Guild Wars (What’s a dervish?) but also highlighting a trend that long running MMO’s often have vanilla servers to meet this desire of players to experience the original unedited experience.

With a renewed sense of gaming camaraderie between my own non-MMO-playing-self an those pinball wizards of the genre… or whatever the MMO equivalent of a pinball wizard is… which I guess is just a wizard … over at NB I hit up another post titled Female Dwarf in Lotro only to be slightly disappointed along with NB to find that despite the option being included to change dwarven gender from male to female, there aren’t any model differences. Regular readers here will know that quietly I’m a big fan of character customisation so more options in this department are always better, especially in this case where you’re literally crafting a persona through which to experience the game.

Finally I’m going to mention (but it was be no means the last article that I have or will read over on NB) Five games for a year which gave me an insight in to the type of gamer Paeroka is from a rundown of 5 games that they would choose to play for an entire year. Unsurprisingly the MMO ESO makes the top of the list, followed by ARPG, Grim Dawn, builders Tropico 6 and the dinosaurtastic Parkasaurus before Torchlight Frontier (a game I didn’t even know was in development, but I’ll need to keep an eye on because I seem to recall enjoying no 2, so thanks for the heads up!).

From all of this reading I established a few things. Firstly, they’re fans of MMO’s over at Nerdy Bookahs, and despite not knowing much at all about the genre, I really enjoyed reading their articles as they were packed full of enthusiasm for their chosen niche delivered in a friendly and charming tone. If you don’t already follow them, then you really should. Secondly an idea was starting to form on the gift I should bestow this Decembermas-day!

The Gift

Having gleaned some insight into the MMO world, I felt as though my gift to Nerdy Bookahs should be something that manages to both be suitable to their interests, but also repay the favour a little by being relevant to my own gaming sphere. With this in mind I began to think about MMO’s and that quite often in them the player needs to carry… stuff… oh, so much stuff, weapons, lotions, potions, amulets, gems, gold, armour, maybe even a cursed set of gauntlets or two. Any readers familiar with my own tastes will know that I have a passing interest in Resident Evil 2 and I have decided to gift Nerdy Bookahs the one Resident Evil 2 ingame item that really helps with carrying stuff:


Here’s where you find it in game… alongside the machine gun… and some hangers… and a box… 

The side pack is the absolute must have gift for the MMO player/zombie hunter who doesn’t have time to backtrack or spend wasted seconds deciding what to pick up and what to leave behind. The side pack gives you two… YES TWO extras inventory slots allowing you to carry up to an extra 500 grenade rounds, or equivalent items.. like… two green herbs… wait, what? hang on, let’s see what other things I can fit in here. Erm.. it could carry a key and a roll of film for a camera… or *reshuffles items* a grenade launcher and crossbow?… maybe this whole inconsistent loading limits will work for you in a more RPG setting. After all, many games implement a weight system which just doesn’t seem to be a thing here; if it takes up to two slots then you can shove it in there and carry it fine. Also it’s super stylish and clips right there to your belt…

Claire modelling the Side Pack, see, it’s right there on her left hip… carrying a rocket launcher… 

 …see? No matter how big the thing is that you’re carrying, the sidepack is unobtrusive and won’t ruin the line of your Lycra shorts & pink denim cutoff ensemble.

So Happy Christmas! I hope you enjoy your new zombie-hunting accessory, in whichever MMO setting you decide to use it*.

…and have a very Happy Christmas whoever you are, however you’re celebrating, and even if you’re not celebrating I wish you a super-happy-Wednesday! 

*Note: ingame items sadly not transferable between games

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