…Aw fuck

I don't have any actual animosity towards this kid. I do think it's funny that so many people express such intense dislike for him. To me, he's a non-entity, and I probably wouldn't recognize him if I saw him on the street without a throng of weeping tween girls.

[Edit: WordPress gets wonky when adding pictures with captions. By wonky, I mean, it likes to chop out chunks of  an intro, like this introductory paragraph that Beiber gobbled up. If my post seemed like it was starting out in the middle of a conversation, that’s because it was. Sorry about the mix-up!]

I was happily going about my weekend, doing things that I do. I got my Shadowknight in EQ progression server to 18. Was happy about that. I should have just been content with that. I should have just kept on rolling with the leveling, and continued to enjoy the social atmosphere of playing a game that actually reinforces group cooperation. I should have, but I didn’t.

When I knew I only had a bit of time for short-term play, I was jumping into EQ2. I played around a bit on a new character, and then on a level 39 alt I had, and eventually on my old 80 Shadowknight – and I just wasn’t having fun. There’s too many abilities, my old standby UI (Profit) has gone out of date it seems, and I can’t even update collection quests with it. Mostly, my issue was just too many abilities. Three hot-bars of combat abilities, and at least one of buffs – it’s absurd how much there is. The only thing that keeps me coming back to EQ2 is the housing. What SOE did with housing in that game is amazing, and the level of integration with the rest of the game should be lauded. Beyond that, the ingenuity of players to craft amazing looking homes is some of the best emergant creativity I have seen in any game.

So, my eye kept straying to that Rift icon. After my post on Friday, I was kind of curious to get the first hand experience with the queue. I still had the headstart active from a pre-order I had put with the game a bit back as a “just-in-case” measure, and as a way to ensure a name-grab. All the tweets about the game weren’t exactly pushing me away from the game, and there is nothing like that new-launch smell…

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Trion play

Trion.

Try and…okay, bad ‘word joke’.

But really, why are people thrown off by these queues I’ve heard so much about. How did noone realize this was coming. If you’re a tripple A title using game shards, you have two choice – launch with a plethora of servers to avoid this, and then consolidate after, or launch with a more modest number and have queues – and the player frustration that comes with it. Until companies start finding a better server structure, or a way to handle that many players at once, this is the poison we have to deal with.

As an experience MMO player, you shouldn’t be surprised at this stage.

On a more upbeat note – congrats Trion on launching a game that apparently 100s of thousands of players want to get into. That’s what we call, “a good problem”.

That ol’ Norrathian bug

It bit me again. I played the free progression server weekend, which lead me to remembering my fond memories of EQ2 again, and the even more-so nostalgic days of EQ. This week saw me resubbing back to BOTH games for at least the next month. I’m going to hold off on buying the new expansions for either of them until I see if I want to stick with EQ2 for longer than a month, and until the progression server actually catches up to the newest release. That said, I officially knew I had been infected by the Norrathian flu in a bad way last night. The symptoms were strong and unavoidable, and the side-effects are being felt by me at this very moment.

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The labor of self-educating

The reality of being a PC gamer, is that, over time, you end up learning a lot about various aspects of computer care – frequently the hard way. Whether it’s learning that you absolutely should back up everything before tinkering with a registry, or maybe you shouldn’t listen to that tech service guy who tells you to remove the quarter-sized back-up battery to reset your bios, there are so many aspects that go into maintaining and keeping a computer running smooth and ensuring a quality persistent gaming rig, without having to replace it every two years. My goal, as it relates to PC gaming and spending, is to try to only replace a tower after it’s seen three years of use at the earliest. If I can push it to longer than that, then I feel like I did a good job.

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I don’t say goodbye

I’m not one for making “I quit” posts, or “goodbye to you all!” type stuff seeking validation in others by fishing for comments about how I’ll be missed. I like to just let things occur naturally over time, and whatever ends up being, well, is. As I mentioned in a post earlier, I haven’t played WAR in a while, and was surprised to find my sub had run out. I have chosen not to renew it. That’s not to say I never will again, or that I’m done with the game forever and all eternity, but for the time being – I’m done with the game.

Similar to my time in EQ2, I played for a long time, did a lot, and still go back time-to-time to poke about (as I’m doing today with the new expansion since I skipped the last one). I suspect that my relationship with WAR will probably go that way, or maybe it will grab me by the throat again at some point and I won’t be able to pull myself away. I’m sure EA – BioWare/Mythic would like that too, though I’m sure they are pretty content having a person who preorded the CE at launch, had probably close to 30 months of total month subs payed between two accounts, and two of the RvR pack bundles purchased for said accounts. I don’t say that to try to make myself come off as a superior customer, merely that I think that any company would have been glad to have that kind of customer, and I know I’m not the only one who falls into a similar profile.

I read somewhere that the decider of whether your time has been well spent is if when you look back, you can say to yourself, “I am content with my decision.”. As it comes to WAR, I can easily say that. In the fullness of everything that came about because of WAR, I’m content with my decisions, and look fondly at the last two years, without bitterness or resentment. So, I say, without guile or attempt at deception: those of you still playing – I hope you continue to enjoy the game, and those who have left – I hope you enjoy playing SOMETHING.

It should go without saying, that I’m not done blogging, and more specifically, I’m not done blogging here. This was, and still is, my place for me to talk about my thoughts on gaming, and to have a recorded transcript of my life as a gamer, and hopefully talk to other hobbyists. Nothing has changed in that department.

So long WAR, and thanks for all the fishes.

Remembering the Founders

It’s President’s Day today, and you likely have the day off. I, however, do not. That said, the timing coincides well with a topic that’s been on my mind since the end of last week. If you’re unaware, last week saw the opening of the Original Everquest’s “progression server” which is a new server, fresh and sparkly, with no expansions created. It is the “base” game. We also saw the start of the last of Rift’s open beta event. We had the old big daddy, the spiritual founder (okay – popularizer, but let’s not split hairs) of the MMO nation going old-school on us, and we have the new up-and comer making its self known to the world. Rift opened its doors for all to see their home, and all the slick, polished things he it can do. I had bronchitis which forced me to stay home Friday, and I happily spent my time playing Evercrack.

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1000 words

A few pictures can bring back nostalgia pretty strongly.

Screw Rift, and recreated shadow knights. I’m going old-school tonight!

Something there that wasn’t there before

I'm a dad, I play disney for my daughter in the car. She loves it. Get over it.

As I’m sure you’re all aware, last night was the opening of the open Beta for Rift. You may also recall my relatively luke-warm reception of the game. I’ve said it elsewhere, but I can’t recall if I explicitly stated it here, I had zero intention of playing the game at launch, or after launch. It was a good, clean, crisp, well polished rehashing of everything I’ve done in the past in every other themepark fantasy game. My excito-meter wasn’t exactly breaking the glass. In fact, I hadn’t even played any of the close beta’s beyond the third when I made my UI video, my disinterest was that low.

Last night, saw me in the game. A strange confluence of events left me with no other outlet of MMO-dom. Both EVE and CoH had patches to download that required a whole 10s of minutes, and I’m damned if I’m going to wait around that long to play a game. My wife was happily dominating time on our PS3, playing the copy of Katamari Forever I got for her birthday. WAR, I found out, my subscription had ended, and I didn’t feel a particular urge to re-up, as I hadn’t even played in a number of weeks, and couldn’t recall when my sub had actually expired (I’ll revisit this later).  So, I looked at my Rift icon, thought, what the heck, I’ll start the patcher and see which game wins in the patch-race.

Rift finished first.

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Mixed bags are fun bags

I’ve been having to approach the way that I play EVE of recent a lot differently. Previously, I came at the game, from a PvP standpoint, more like I did an FPS or WAR. I would go find someone, and if the coast seemed reasonably clear, I’d give the fight a go. Usually, I’d be flying in my PvP fit Rifter (a frigate), and frequently, I’d (unknowingly) be taking on a battlecruiser. The end result was commonly to my detriment. The outcome of all these bad decisions learning experiences is that, at 11.5 million skill points, I had, and I shit you not, a mere 600k isk. So, I reevaluated the way I was playing, and refocused on a money-making aspect I had let slide.

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BioWare & Friends

If you’re a reader of BioBreak, you’ve probably seen Syp’s latest update about some happenings between BioWare and its fansites. Obviously, as a blogger myself, and as a participating member of the new blog/media conundrum, I find it to be of interest how BioWare is handling this. From the revision that Syp provided after speaking with BioWare, it seems that the limitation won’t be so much in the form of interaction, but in official sponsoring. If you’re familiar with Warhammer, you’ll remember that every so often, Andy would do a blogger role-call, linking out people who wrote blogs primarily about WAR. It was a great honor to be chosen to be on those lists, and a great way for the game to show love to it’s blogging community (something Mythic always excelled at).  Those type of actions, or even participation in similar promotional events, will likely NOT be happening. No holocrons with symbols as part of a decipher puzzle will be included if you have adds on your blog.

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