State of My Game: November

I’ve been thin on content lately my friends – I had a large family wedding this weekend and this week a dear friend passed away, so I have been neck deep in friends and memorial arrangements.  Here’s where I’m at:

EVE Online 

I should be back in the fold as of tonight.  I have plans and alot of future posts planned about those plans, so stay tuned.  Mostly I’m excited to strap into that badass Command Cruiser and put it to good use in the coming PVE events in Incursions (when it finally drops I suppose).  Also on the docket – T2 missiles and projectile weapons.  Its time to diversify into the world of Minmatar.  Kudos to EVE Online’s re-sub discount, its one of the reasons I’m back.

Fallen Earth

I am back in here as well, working my way through some content to catch up with my brother.  Mostly I have my eyeballs on crafting though, as usual.  I have a severe case of motorcycle envy, and and even worse case of submachinegun/shotgun envy.  I’m trying hard not to blow all my points on Pistol to have one  *now*.  Kudos to Fallen Earth for their re-sub discounts.  Its one of the main reasons I’m back.  Seeing a  trend here?

Star Trek Online

I am around 700 skill points shy of my Nebula and Akira.  After that, I have no idea what, if anything, I will be doing in the game.  I continue to be intrigued by Diplomacy though.   Part of my slow progress in the game has been spending time (without spending Credits, because I know I will need them for the non-free Tier 3 ship) stringing together enough Diplo XP to open up more missions.  I’d really love to see them spend more time in that category.  I enjoy the space battles and land battles, but I need the exploration and conversational stuff thrown in to break up the monotony that can come from having an MMO where your skill bar has less than ten buttons on it instead of the normal thirty or so.  One other request Cryptic – and a small thing I never thought I would miss – color code the quests by level.  As it currently stands you have no way of seeing, until the quest is in your log, its difficulty relative to you.  Gimme that old “grey to red” colorscale to help me sort them all out, m’kay?

Rifts: Planes of Telara

There may or may not be an Alpha.  It may or may not have an NDA.  I may or may not be in it.

Everquest II

I haven’t been playing but I’m excited.  My wife and I’s ten year anniversary is upcoming.  She asked me last week what I wanted.  And I jokingly said “play some games with me.”  She pursed her lips and replied “one night?”  I said, “one for each year of marriage.”  She frowned.  “Okay,” I admitted, “I’m open to some negotiation here.”  If it happens, and it looks like it might, this would probably be where we would play.  No extra money, its pretty vanilla in terms of system, not alot of grieving going on, etc.

Pirates of the Burning Sea

Goes F2P this month, and it will be on like Donkey Kong.

The Reincarnation

I continue to urge you to this free warhorse of a game.  Its been going on for over a decade now, and is fantastic.  We are currently neck deep in a two front war, and about to open a third.  Its my third or fourth set leading our guild, and we have truly grown into a veteran war guild.  Despite the two front war, we have lost only one mage to each of those opponents, while slaying multiple foes on each front in response.  And another two will probably be dead before the day is out.  If you like strategic PvP, this is the place for you.  I imagined that would apply to alot of you EVE pilots out there…

So that’s it.  Add in my long reading list and my neglected novel for NaNoWriMo, and you’ve peeked inside my world this month.  Was it good for you?

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Game (and Health) Updates

Well, its been a pretty miserable week.  I have discovered that shingles carries with it a host of unknown reactions.  I’ve experienced pain, true, and not to the level that some have I know.  But I’ve also had odd things happen – random long term repeated muscle spasms, burning sensations in random places, sweating on the side with the rash but not on the side without, numbness, restlessness, and trouble concentrating.

So between trying to get  the bare minmum done to keep my job afloat, sleeping alot, and taking alot of meds, I haven’t had a whole lot of lucid, pain free time.  But I did manage to log a decent number of hours last week, mostly playing with my brother as he rediscovers the world of Fallen Earth.

Wolverines!

I managed to pack in five levels, along with my first real sword, first real gun, and first real horse, all crafted by yours truly.  All quite satisfying.  But Fallen Earth itself, while fun and at times quite beautiful, is basically in a state of permanent beta.  The first time I pulled the trigger on my shiny new revolver – nothing happened.  Sometimes my character randomly holsters his weapons and tries to go fisticuffs on a mob.  I activated a clone mutation buff and ended up trailing sparkles for the next half hour.  And the lack of information, while at times exciting, can also be frustrating.  I finally, after completing four of the sector one towns, broke down and bought the only weapon crafting book I was missing.  Only to get it in the next town.  So I sold it for a pittance with storage space at a premium.  Only to discover a short while later that you can turn in sets of books you are not using for XP.  Oi.

In between, I logged some time in the new Free to Play version of Everquest 2.   I am terribly excited about it and fully intend to ride that horse till its dead.  I will probably also pay for a silver membership at some point.  I have some station cash from buying the last EQ2 expansion, and I hadn’t really found anything to use it on, and it would be nice to lift some of those restrictions.  I have found the renewed starter areas to be well done – kudos especially on reducing the annoying factor in the Fey starting area from an 11 to about a 2.

And as for EVE?  Well my sub lapsed halfway through the week, and I haven’t renewed it yet because I knew I wouldn’t be logging on during the week.  But I do plan to set that puppy up again.  I had just finished PI training, so its time to move back to the corporate stomping grounds with a satchel full of Amarr Starship Datacores and start grinding missions again.

Meanwhile, I continue to be intrigued by all of your great posts.  I will in the next day or so try to add in a few more blog links – there are some of you that have been active here that I havent added yet, and I need to do so.   And my health continues to be day to day.  I woke up this morning in a hell of a lot of pain, took alot of ibuprofen and went back to sleep – only to wake up an hour later in more pain that I started with.

Rest assured I will be doing some limited posting this week, and hope to return full bore next week.  So many games, so little time…

So Where Have You Been Lately?

Me?  I’ve been away from MMO land, that virtual universe that we all know and love so much.  Not to worry, it was a temporary reprieve.  My trip out of town, my brother, both of these things took my time, and on top of that I’ve been battling illness.  I had a headache that lasted for 48 hours and wouldn’t let up no matter what dosage of Advil/Aleve/Tylenol I used.   I journeyed to the doc.  They ruled out all the big stuff (enclosed MRI’s suck btw)  but saw that I did have “a severe infection” in the sinus cavities that are hard to get to (the ones in the middle of your head).  Severe enough that if I get to the end of the antibiotics and there is no improvement  they will repeat the antibiotics, only this time through an IV drip as I relax in the unquestionable luxury of a hospital room.  I’m hoping to avoid that.  It has cut my playing time though as I get exhausted pretty easily and have had to take a few days off of work to literally do nothing.   I went to bed at 6 last night even – missed NBA finals, World Cup soccer, and MMO’s all three!

With the step back from online time, I let my EVE account lapse.   I would have done the same with the EQ2 one as well, just to save the money, but I didn’t get to it in time.  So at this point I’m not playing anything.   I did collect an APB key, but to be honest, shooters usually aren’t my thing so I don’t expect that to go very far.   I’ll probably diddle around with EQ2 a little more this week.  A big shout out to the lovely people over at The Halasian Empire, who have made my last couple of weeks in the game much more entertaining and welcoming.

I’ll probably also attempt to finish out my run through Tortage and the Age of Conan unlimited trial.  I really have enjoyed the game this time around, and found all the leveling bumps and annoyances from before to have been worked out a great deal.

EVE remains something of a dilemma for me.  I enjoy reading the blogs on the game, I enjoy playing with the fitter, but to be honest, its been nearly three months since I’ve taken a ship out of a hanger to do anything other than transfer some modules or scout war targets.  I’m just kinda waiting for some inspiration and motivation I guess.  I hate it that my character is not training, but in truth, part of letting my account lapse was to force me to deal with that.  I get nervous if something seems to have too great a hold on me, yaknow?

But with all that piddling, I don’t have a main game right now, and I am not really angling for one either.  I just seem to be content to float for an hour here or there as I have time and energy.   Speaking of, I’m about out right now as well.   So I’m going to go turn in.  May grand adventure and heroic stories await you in whatever realm you are journeying in as you read this.

The Gorowyn Myth Revisited

So I went back to Timorous Deep last night from Butcherblock to snoop around and see if I had missed anything.  Turns out I had.  I found a quest from a guy overlooking the backside of the beach and a quest on the docks to take me to Butcherblock.  Both were level 20 quests though.  So I kept digging.

I did find a little.  I hadn’t done any of the city bounty kill quests, and so I was able to earn some status for my guild finally.  And in doing so I stumbled across a well/underwater system that will, I think, yield additional pylons.  But first I’m gonna have to level my crafting and put together a few Totem’s of the Otter.  Useful item to have that thing is.  And while doing gorilla kills I got some panther skin thing that unlocked another quest line. 

So there probably is enough there to get you to level twenty, you just have to be a bit creative.  And that is another of my problems with Timorous Deep.  You have to get super creative with some of the quests.  Take the final Haoaera kill quest.  Just how exactly does one get up there to take him down?  He’s too far back on the cliff to get an angle for ranged weapons or spells.  There is no back route (I know, I wasted 15 minutes climbing mountains all of the island trying to find one).  You *can* get up there, but its takes a bit of platforming ability and good guesswork for find the clipping spots on the hills to duck, dodge, crawl, and jump from crevice to crevice to get up there.   And for me all that was happening after I’d told the supreme enchilada that I wouldn’t kill any more of them.  Honest.  (Okay, well, who are we kidding, I’m playing a Brigand and they paid me, so, whatever).

I need a Totem of the Super Jump

And so I’m sticking with my original assessment.  The bottom line is that I don’t find Timorous Deep to be any easier, smoother, or more rewarding than the original starter areas.  It is better than Kelethin, but anything is better than hearing that little girl and all those faeries whining.

I realize this may start a small blog war with Ysharros.  But its a risk I’m willing to take.  It’ll be like the nervousness of the July Crisis.  (-:  Besides, if the MMO gods didn’t want us all to have differing opinions, they wouldn’t have given us all our own blogs.

Trading Places

* Quick Note for my EVE readers:  I’m currently training Missile Launcher Operation 5, followed by an arc for T2 Transports.  While I wait for a two person corp with way to much money to decide to war dec elsewhere.

So I’ve been bouncing around  trying to find my footing in EQ2.  I’ve been playing on Lucan D’Lere with The Halasian Empire with a Wood Elf Guardian.  I’ve logged some time with my original Half-Elf Necromancer on Blackburrow with my old groupmate (I was suprised to learn he was still playing).  And last night I joined The Knights Who Say Ni on Antonica Bayle.   But I still don’t know what I’m playing there.  Most of the day was spend internally debating Warden vs. Fury.  I finally (I think) settled on the Fury, just because of the higher damage output, and thus faster leveling cycle.   Having said that, I also got intrigued by the Defiler again.  I want the class to work, I want it to be right for me, but I think ultimately what I want and what it will be will remain two different things.

::cue John Williams score::

I really want the class to be something like the Ritualist from Guild Wars.  While at first blush the Ritualist looks like a pet class, given that it summons spirits, in reality the spirits operate much like the buffs and wards in the Shaman archetype in EQ2.  But they are actually spirits – unlike the Defiler which still seems to be bound to spirits which are in fact animal totems – which should probably be more the realm of the Mystic, IMHO.

Anyway, the bottom line is that this time around, any DPS character – mage or rogue or whatever – will be my secondary instead of my main.  The one experience I’ve had playing a mainline healer was Vanguard, and it was a blast.  But I’ve always been worried that it was fun because of the class itself and not because of the role.  If I keep it up here, I may just have a chance to find out for sure.  Wouldn’t that be funny if I’ve been playing the wrong archetype all these years?  And by funny, I mean mind numbingly frustrating?

The super fun thing is that this is literally my first time through the Gorowyn starting area.  So far, outside of superior rewards, I don’t see that its all that different than the other ones.  I’m promised that it will take me to 20 though (instead of 10) so I’m happy about that prospect!

I think there’s a conspiracy here…

Me:  “Hey, look, here’s proof of a evil gnoll presence in the Forest Ruins!

Acting Lieutenant Germain: ::nudges partner:: Yeah, well, its just one arrow kid.

Me: “Seriously?  Dude there’s pirates and undead everywhere…is it really that hard to believe that some rogue gnolls are hiding out here?

AL Germain:  ::with a straight face::  Yeah, well we can’t call out the Qeynos guard that easily, rook, they are busy people.”

Me: “What about that guy over there?  He’s level 55, he could pretty much walk through those ruins and wipe out everything living and unliving and it would all be done with.  Then I could get back to harvesting goods here.”

AL Germain: ::glances at the guard:: “Who him?  Yeah he uh…can’t leave his post.  It’s um..his sacred duty or something.  Guess your gonna have to do it, rook.  ::his partner snickers::

Me:  “You want me to beat back a pirate invasion, root out a gnoll plot, and clear a castle of undead inhabitants?  At level 10?  Alone?”

AL Germain:  “Well, Qeynos always needs heroes rook.” ::partner is openly laughing now::

Me: “Fine…whatever.  How much are you paying.”

AL Germain:  ::fishes in his pocket::  Uh, we are authorized to pay you… ::pulls out his hand:: …like 2 silver and some copper.

Me: ::glaring::  “Are you #$%$ing me?  That’s not even enough to cover my rent for the week.”

AL Germain:  “Heroes do it for honor and glory rook.  What do you think this is, Freeport?”

Me:  “Right, sure they do.  Alright I’ll do it.”

AL Germain: “Great, great kid.  Now I’ll need some proof.  Lets say like, 10 globs of protoplasm from the undead.”  ::partner, howling, excuses himself::

Me: “How about , no.”

AL Germain: ::raises an eyebrow:: “Gee kid, I can’t, um, authorize payment unless I have proof that you completed the job.”

Me:  “Won’t dozens of dead bodies be proof enough?  You know what, nevermind, I know an easier way to get the money.”

AL Germain: “Oh really rook?”

Me: “Yep, watch this..” ::draws sword, runs Germain through, takes his money::

THE END.

State of My Game: April

After the last post, I realized that the last two months have been pretty lonely for me.

For a guy who’s gaming life is dedicated almost completely to MMO’s – I hadn’t played online with anyone.  For one thing, I just didn’t have time, but for another, I just didn’t have motivation.   I’ve pondered that for awhile, particularly since I still tend to enjoy EVE a great deal.

I finally realized that my plans in EVE revolved around – doing stuff by myself.  And they got that way because our planned corp activities – group mining ops basically – were only happening at a time when I couldn’t be there (a good chunk of our membership resides on the eastern side of the pond).  Not to mention that mining is not my favorite activity.  There’s always running missions – but in the pocket we’ve chosen, that’s not an option.  So you have to make a run through actively pirated/gate camped systems to swap back and forth between the two.  Well, I should clarify – running level fours with buds is not happening in pocket.  Solo 1’s – yes.  Group 4’s – no.

So I went on to single player games with a vengeance.  Mount and Blade definitely helped get me through the drought, as did my RTS itch that I finally was able to scratch through Supreme Commander (turns out, once you get it working, its pretty darn sweet).

But now that I have time again, I want to play with folks again.  I have the same bottleneck – actually worse – in EVE since we got War Decced the day I came back.  And we’re still under that war deck.   Missioning and Mining are severely curtailed.  And we can’t seem to engage the opposing corp in battle.  They keep running away, and we keep refusing to give them easy targets.  And in frustration, they keep renewing the War Dec.

So, while making a run to pick up a Wii Fit for my wife (that merits a whole post of its own btw) while she was at physical therapy, I remembered that I had a $40 gift card still from a returned double gift at Christmas.  And so I was scanning the game rack, wondering if there was anything that would recapture my passion and attention.  I went through all the single player games, and without really realizing it, ended up at the end of the row with the MMO’s.  And I saw the box for the Sentinal’s Fate expansion for Everquest II.   I’ve played EQ2 in two stints now, and I’m not shy about saying that I think that its the most complete and engaging fantasy MMO out there.  And so it shouldn’t surpise me I guess, but inside my head, a voice asked a single question:

Why do you keep leaving Everquest 2?

All the other games I’ve played, I left because the game frustrated me, or because I was ready for something new.  But with Everquest II, both times I left because someone else called me away.  Neither time was I dont playing, I just followed someone else who asked me and didn’t have the finances to juggle both.  Well, now I do.  I’m a few months ahead on EVE and Star Trek, while lying unplayed, has also been prepaid with Christmas money.  So I don’t have anything tapping my credit card on a monthly basis right now. 

So, long story short, I used my gift card (just the regular, not the overpriced collectors, thx) and put in for a month’s sub.  And I’ve been having a lot of fun again.  Hopefully this will get me through my current gaming hump and allow me some time to figure out what my next step in EVE is.  Until then, expect some fantasy style updates the likes of which this blog hasn’t seen since the opening days of WAR.