Maid Mirawyn's Photos Maid Mirawyn's Photos

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Getting All Domestic

I love cooking. In particular, I love baking, casseroles, and desserts. I go through spurts where I do a lot of cooking; last night, I decided to make not one but two desserts.

The first thing I made was coconut cookie bars, out of 1001 Cookie Recipes. (I love that book! My copy was a gift from a former manager, who somehow ended up with two. He had baked rugelach from it, and since I loved it he gave me the spare.)

I enjoy the cookie bars, but I think they're a bit too yeasty. Next time, I think I'm going to use half shortening, half butter, instead of all shortening, but my husband loves them. Maybe I'll fix it the same way and eat it with a glass of milk; I liked it that way.

The rice pudding was adapted from In a Persian Kitchen by Maideh Mazda. It's my favorite Middle Eastern cookbook. I increased the sugar very slightly (by about half a tablespoon) and put three whole cardamom pods into the milk during the first fifteen minutes of cooking. I think I should have removed the cardamom earlier and increased the rose water, but it was still tasty. It's also very healthy for a dessert. Nice bonus.

Anyway, I hope to keep trying new recipes so we aren't so tempted to eat away from the home!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Customizing Clothing and Killing Sims

So I've been playing The Sims 3 for about a week now, and I love the customization features; it's almost like Second Life in that respect (except that you can't re-edit them constantly).

That you can't edit their basic physical attributes (their face, anyway) after creation does make sense. In-universe, you are one person per sim; each persona is a separate sim. In Second Life, your one avatar is many different personas, depending on your mood or the sim you're visiting. So the fixed facial features makes sense for The Sims.

Speaking of customization, I love the hair coloring! If you choose the advanced editing, you can edit hair color in four different areas: base, roots, highlights, and tips! So both natural and decidedly unnatural hair colors are easy to create on the fly! And you can assign different hairstyles for different categories. It's great that I don't have to change hairstyles manually every time my sim changes into her swimsuit (and back). Really, who wears the same hairstyle to swim and to go to the theater?

Okay, what woman?

I also love the editing features for clothes and objects. All the patterns divided into categories, and every single color editable through swatches, hex or RGB code, or a color picker? It's brilliant! And I can use any pattern for any item, regardless of what the original creators [i]thought[/i] it should be used for! But I wish they had made more styles; there really aren't that many available. (What is it, four or five beds?) It looks like they put all their effort into patterns. I'm really glad there are so many patterns; don't get me wrong. But I'd feel better if I didn't suspect part of it was so you'd buy items through the Sims store…

I also like "Lifetime Wishes" much better than the old "Wants and Fears". Being able to choose and save the four you want to promise–and still work on the ones in the current queue, at least until they disappear–is great!

When it comes to controlling a sim, I love the new moodlets! Everything that happens to affect your sim's mood results in a "moodlet". These little icons reflect how your sim is feeling. If somthing good happens (you fulfill a wish), it's positive (Fulfilled), and gives a buff to your mood; if it's bad (a dirty room), it's negative and you suffer a penalty. Each has a duration and a value. The better the event, the higher the mood boost and the longer it lasts. The same goes for bad stuff: if it's just a bit bad, it's a small penalty with a short duration. But if you don't eat, it's a -40 to your mood!

Speaking of being hungry… There are also neutral moodlets, like "Hungry", which clue you in that your sim will need something soon. (Very handy, if you ask me, since that means you If you give your sim what it needs before the time on the moodlet expires, you're fine. But if you don't, the resulting moodlet is usually pretty bad! Fortunately, the lead time is pretty long! Sims seem to eat and use the bathroom way less than in the previous games.

But killing sims seems harder. I think I'm going to have to talk to an undesirable townie, lure him or her to my home in Mosquito Cove, and wall them in. After a few days, that should do it. I'll just ignore that corner of my property until whoever it is dies. Maybe then I can start a little private graveyard!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Return to PvP 

So last night I did PvP with my Guild Wars guild for the first time in months.

We chose alliance battles because it's easier to put together four person groups, and AB is way more rewarding than Team Arenas or Random Arenas. (Plus, I hate them.) They're also much more newbie-friendly, and we're trying to recruit some new blood from our alliance.

Another bonus? Kurzick and Luxon faction are actually worth something! When you redeem it, it counts towards your Alliegance Rank title track (Kurzick or Luxon, depending upon your allegiance). You can cash it in for valuable crafting materials (amber chunks for Kurzick and jadeite shards for Luxon). If you're title-crazy, you can donate it to your guild and get double credit towards your title! Plus, it can be used to get PvE skills, which also counts double.

I had so much fun! Why have I been away? I love my guildees!