Guess who’s back?

From outerspace (okay, Wisconsin – semantics!).

The vacation was good. There was much drinking of beer, much eating of brats, and the lighting of fireworks, with the occasional dabble of family visitation, and a picture of my 93-year-old grandmother surrounded by her 9 great-grandkids. And the whole thing got capstoned by some terrible mucous plague that infected me about 5 minutes before the plan left the tarmac – a nice parting gift from the lovely midwest. While I was away, I stayed mostly out of the loop of the goings-on of the digital and gaming world, but I still tried to check my twitter feed once a day to see if anything amazing, fun, and cool happened.

There were a few things, but nothing monumental. The same-old drama of the interwebz.

Drama and Resolution.

Someone’s new job got me a Tee-shirt (in return for a Haiku)!

EA keeps gobbling up different territories of gaming.

Warhammer had another round of Bloggerinvasion (not enough words for links!).

SoE’s FanFaire landed with some insight at upcoming games (finally), and a new graphics engine called Forge Light.

Relatedly: Planetside 2 looks pretty darn spiffy.

I’m sure there was tons more than that I missed in my drunken revelry, but that should be enough to keep any sane person busy for at least 15 minutes, more if you link-dive like I do.

Crossing the line

My wife pounded three Pabst and said I had to use this one.

If you follow me on twitter, you may have already read snippets about what I’m going to say here. If not, a quick refresher: last Thursday I had my wisdom teeth taken out, and was given pain meds for afterwards. Because of this, I had Friday off from work, and have been more-or-less excused/denied from doing anything of real import around the house. Apparently, we don’t need a person hopped up on narcotics driving a vehicle, operating sharp yard tools, or given babies a bath. This meant that I basically had a weekend free to do whatever gaming I wanted. Happily, SOE released their much-enjoyed welcome-back campaign at roughly the same time, in response to the hack-hear-around-the-world.

I played Everquest 2 extensively in my past. It was probably the first MMO I put a huge chunk (over a year) of continuous time into. The welcome back campaign was a great way to entice me back to the game to see how things are going. I didn’t play my level 80 Shadowknight like I expected I would. For some reason, I jumped onto my (adventure/artisan) level 39/35 with low 30 AA’s, and started playing him. I played the crap out of him. All my vitality has been burned for a while, and I’m seeing the game in a whole new way – literally.

When I gave the game a good try, I didn’t have my current video card, and I don’t think I ever tuned my graphics to take advantage of the rig I had, so the world looked a bit like it did to me back in 2006. Now, the game is gorgeous, the textures and lighting that are still in this game continue to impress me, and I actually noticed backdrops and the far-off world around me. Lavastorm in particular has been amazing, in part because it received a bit of an overhaul to accommodate new expansions. Beyond the world itself though, is the character models. I was seeing amazing looking gear and items on players, stuff that made me instantly say to myself, “That’s freakin’ cool!”. There’s a “wow” factor that wasn’t quite there before.

And that’s where it hit me. I saw some gear on Kerra, and when I inspected him, it was all in his appearance slot, and the stats were junk. So in short order of hunting around, I found armor sets for sale on the market place. Oh, the dreaded market place of RMT – the cesspool of MMOs that I disagree with on a fundamental moral foundation. But damn that armor looked awesome…

So I crossed the line. I dropped $5 on a game, that I’m not even officially subscribed to, and bought a whole outfit for my Bard. I’m playing virtual dress-up in my MMOs now. But damnit, I don’t think I care.

Evidence of my betrayal after the jump.

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Nomnomnom

My actual teeth.

I’m getting the last 3 of my wisdom teeth yanked out today! It means a short sedation, and mushy soft foods for the next three days or so. I will also, most probably, be not partaking in any blogging-ish activities. However, I may get the loratab in me and just go nuts on here, you never know. I was REALLY hoping that with the removal of my wisdom teeth, Sony would have updated their PS Store in time for me to get my freebies and play them, but that doesn’t seem to be happening. Instead, I’ll be playing along on some other older games I need to finish from the comfort of bed. Or, if I can do it without the overly-protective wife finding out, I may just hop on to one of the many MMOs in SOE’s stable I can now play for free.

Have a good weekend!

1000 words

A few pictures can bring back nostalgia pretty strongly.

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