With Any Luck…

…I’ll be back in Norrath tonight.

I started the process last night after I got home from work. I didn’t get off until 10, so it was a late start anyway, but I had hoped to get the game installed and let the patcher run overnight while I slept (I had to work early this morning).

I did get the game installed from the TSO DVDs, but then I made a boo boo. When attempting to re-subscribe to EQ2, I accidentally subscribed to EQ1. Oops. I ended up contacting customer service via email, but it was already after midnight so I called it.

When I got home from work this afternoon, I had a response. Apparently money cannot be transferred between games, so I ended up subbing to EQ2, and replying to the email for a refund on the accidental EQ1 subscription. Hopefully that extra $15 will be refunded promptly.

So, the tedious task of downloading all of the patches and game updates from the past near-year began a couple hours ago. According to the patcher, I still have 3 hours to go. So, I’ve been doing other things… reading the forums, doing some laundry, making phone calls. You know, important stuff. With any luck, the patcher is a filthy liar and I will be able to play for at least an hour or two before I have to crash out. I know from pouring over the forums I have a lot of stuff to go over, AA-wise, and just familiarizing myself with the new features in general. Even if I do manage to log on tonight, I probably won’t accomplish much.

I was supposed to be off tomorrow and Friday. But because of a fiasco at work, I now have to go in for a couple hours in the morning. We have an older employee at work, a woman in her mid-60s. She’s nice enough but when it comes to work performance and parts/sales knowledge she’s lacking. Honestly, if they were to fire her I think the store would benefit from it. My boss has been at wits end with her, mainly because she butts heads with him, but also because of her lack of motivation and/or knowledge. Basically, she’s a burden on our whole sales team.

She topped things off a couple days ago by setting a customer’s car on fire (or nearly, the story could be a little over-exaggerated). Apparently while the boss was distracted, she asked if he could install a battery. He said he would when he was done with what he was doing, but that wasn’t good enough. She took it upon herself to install the battery (which is odd considering I’ve never seen her do that, she usually puts any sort of manual labor off on the men in the store). From what he told me, when he went outside to take care of the battery himself, he just saw smoke rising from the engine compartment, and had to disconnect the battery. He said that she had connected the terminals backwards, which could have caused the battery to explode.

Did she get fired for this? Nope, a simple write up. She was at work today. How, I do not know. I assume that anyone else who had made the same mistake would have been terminated on the spot. If it was my store, I would have terminated her on the spot. Anyhow, because of her mistake, the company incurs the cost of repair. Where did the customer decide to take their vehicle for repair? One of competitors of course, Pep Boys. Because of this fact, he’s been having to go back and forth with our corporate office, district manager, Pep Boys, and the customer to resolve the issue. So, he asked if I could come in tomorrow in the morning to cover the store for a couple hours while he does a few things regarding the claim, and then I can go home.

Normally I avoid being called in to work. I don’t particularly like overtime even if it means a larger pay check, mainly because I don’t feel that I get enough free time as is. But lately I’ve needed more money because of bills and whatnot, so for once I agreed. As it is, tomorrow is pay day so I would have had to make the drive to get my check anyway, and I already had to get up early to give my mom a ride to work which I had agreed to previously.

So because of extraneous factors, I now have to try to make it to bed at a decent time, which most likely means no EQ2. Although a “decent” time for me is usually around midnight, opening the next day or not. So I might be in game for a few minutes at best.

The plan for tomorrow is now as follows: Take Mom to work, go to my work, stay til checks come in, come back to town and cash my check, pay bills, and then come home and veg out. At least until the evening when Hollee gets off, then I’ll probably be going to her house. On Friday we have another band practice, this time earlier in the afternoon so we should have a good one. Then I open Saturday and have Sunday off, which means football all day. Then I work Monday evening and have Tuesday off, so I should get some gaming in here and there over the next few days, after that, it’s up in the air.

My next post should be more EQ2 related, and less RL related. Pasta.

Biting the Bullet

So I’ve been playing DDO, and yes, it’s been fun. I enjoy the game well enough, but that sense of knowing the ins and outs of a game and the sense of community is lacking. Why? Probably because I don’t know a single person playing the game in real life, and I haven’t bothered to ask around for groups or anything. As I said before, I was treating it as a glorified Diablo, and for that purpose, it was well suited.

But, as with most single player games (although it is not a single player game I was just treating it as such), boredom comes quickly. It’s not to say that I’m utterly bored with it, but the lure of GU53 and commentary from blogs I frequent, EQ2 is calling me.

I was just browsing through the EQ2 Players website, and out of curiosity did a search on my two mains. Neither has been logged on since November of 2008, which is when The Shadow Odyssey was released. I admittedly purchased that expansion and only played for a couple weeks, and then hung up the game altogether.

My MMO gaming and my personal life have had a linked relationship. When my life is settled (i.e. steady job, steady girlfriend, steady living situation), I feel the urge to play games, particularly MMOs. When my life is chaotic (i.e. no girl, unemployed, uncertainty about living situation), which it has been for the past year, I don’t really feel the urge to play video games at all.

Because my life is settled right now, I’ve been working the same job since January (after my short unemployment spell), I’ve been dating the same girl since June (after a bit of playing the field), and I’ve been living in this new house since August (after having moved back in with the parents, and then back with the roomies, and then having to move unexpectedly). So overall, things are good in real life, so when I have down time from work, or from the girlfriend, or from social things in general, I really want to play video games.

I’m thinking it was a severe burnout. I played EQ2 nearly everyday for a few hours a day for about 2 years. It can (and has) happen to anyone. There was a rush of new MMOs that interested me, but in the end, nothing has compared to the fun and memories I’ve had playing EQ2. With that said, I’ve heard there’s a level cap increase again in February, along with some nifty features added in GU53 (the AA slider being the most notable addition). I’m definitely far behind, but compared to a brand new player I don’t have so much to pick up on. I do know that I experienced a large chunk of the solo questing from ROK, but I barely scratched the surface of grouping/raiding. And as far as TSO goes, I haven’t done much of anything. So I’m really thinking of resubscribing, at least for a month and see how it goes.

I’m not looking to jump back in full throttle though. I have made a mental commitment to not get addicted again. I don’t want to miss out on the wonderful things that real life can throw at me. But there are at least a couple days a week where I have a few hours to kill, and I would like to spend those hours back in a game world that I truly enjoyed. I know that my Paladin has a few levels to go before hitting cap, but I may end up utilizing that slider to get some additional AA before hitting the cap. My Brigand is at cap, so he’s assed out, but there’s a lot of content he has yet to see, so AA should come. I know I had a lower level alt as well that can really get some benefit from the slider. And then there’s always the lure of making an alt just for the sake of making one.

So count me back in, and I’ll be happy to share my new adventures in Norrath!

Blackout Thursday

I was off yesterday and today, so I had quite a bit of downtime. I ended up spending a few hours on the computer yesterday, part spent working on my now huge project of getting my iTunes library in order, and the rest of the time playing DDO. In the evening I got off the computer and headed to my girlfriend’s to hang out.

Today I awoke at her house, then came home, went to my Mom’s for lunch, then continued on with my music project. I’m nearing the end of the N’s now, but have gone through adding songs that weren’t there (either from cds or from Limewire), or cleaning out ones I don’t care too much for. #-M is complete, unless I make another pass and find other things that are missing. Of course, I’m always looking for new music to listen to, and some bands I enjoy have released new albums recently. I’ve also had a few songs from bands that I don’t really care for grow on me from listening to the radio at work, so I’ve added a few select songs. To my dismay, at about 4:15 the power went out, and for the next three hours I had nothing in particular to do. Me and Ted played some ping-pong, then we worked on a new song for the band. The power finally came back on and I was back to work. I’m currently working on the project as I write this, but I’m nearing my fill with the job. It’s time to play some DDO or see my lady, whichever comes first.

Speaking of DDO I’m still having a good time with the game. It’s been good to have a game to play that I’m actually enjoying… you can tell you enjoy a game when you get in that zone where the time actually flies, and you feel like you didn’t get enough done. I have yet to say a single word in general chat, or form a group. I have completely soloed my way through the beginner island and have almost finished all of Stormreach Harbor. It’s been very easy to solo my Cleric, and in this game it seems (so far at least) that you don’t ever need to group to do anything, nor depend on the other classes to get things done. I guess in essence any class could solo its way through the game, raids and high-end content being the exclusion, I’m assuming. The only part I’ve seen where you have to rely on other classes is in the dungeons, where sometimes you need a rogue to pick a lock, or a fighter to break through a door. But even still I’m assuming it’s just extra loot, nothing detrimental to quests. So thus far, it’s been easy and enjoyable, not something an EQ2 cleric could say.

I’m toying with making an alt and instead of choosing a path, playing with the customization option, but I still need to do research. I’ve been reading the forums a bit and have learned what I need to get by, but I think I still need to absorb more of the mechanics. With EQ2 I made multiple 30+ level characters and deleted them before settling on a main. By then I really had the gameplay mechanics down. So it’s no rush, especially since I’m not paying a monthly fee.

On another note, I sat and scoured my shitty memory, and I can’t recall for the life of me if I ever used my free month on LOTRO. I read old posts, and I did download the trial, and bought the full game before the trial finished, but I don’t think I actually installed/activated the full game. My posts after that lead away from MMOs for a while until I posted again about having purchased the Shadow Odyssey expansion for EQ2, and then nothing until the last few posts, having taken an extended break from computer gaming. So I’m thinking if I do have that subscription available I might give it a whirl again. That is, if I get bored with DDO. I know that if I get much farther I might be tempted to sub to DDO since a lot of content is free to paying members. $15 a month is always easy to come by, but for now free works.

R.I.P. Cambria

I was at work when I got the news.

My roommate called, someone was knocking on the door. There’s a church across the street. Apparently someone from the church witnessed my dog getting hit by a van, which then proceeded to drive away. They saw fit to alert my roommate. We don’t know how she got out, or why she was the only one to get out, but she’s gone now. Ted took her to a friend’s that has some property and she was buried. She wasn’t even a year old.

If you’re drinking tonight, pour out a little for Cambria.

It’s Casual Friday

I had the day off, so of course I could dress casually. That was also a loose reference to the degree at which I am gaming, but… I’m back into an MMO again. I haven’t played a whole hell of a lot since downloading DDO, but I’m enjoying the game enough to want to play it semi-regularly. I refuse to get sucked into it and become completely unproductive again, but I’m finding a couple hours here and there to be refreshing. It’s been nice to have a game to play again, and the fact I’m not paying for it is good because times are rough.

Some things I like about the game: The combat system is pretty sweet, being able to move around and swing your own weapons, rather than auto-attack. The graphics aren’t quite how I described them before; being a Turbine game of course they look much like LOTRO. Still, this is a great thing. Multi-classing. Awesome idea for great character customization. Wish something like that would have been present in EQ2. But, a D&D inspired idea, so I suppose that wouldn’t have been appropriate. The leveling actually takes a while, quests being the only source of experience, so there’s no boring mob grinding. And, you’re not max level after only a few hours, so you can really explore the game and feel out your character. Instanced zones and dungeons. I think this works great, because no one steals your quest mobs, and you get a private solo experience if that’s what you’re going for. I never particularly cared for soloing when I played other MMOs… nowadays I’m actually purposely soloing to avoid the MMO addiction.

What I don’t like about the game: A little bit of a learning curve, especially for someone not familiar with the paper and pen game. Slow XP. It’s a benefit and a curse, the only downside being that you can’t really see what your character can do until you get up to the higher levels. Makes definitive class choices difficult, particularly when you’re playing on a free account with only two character slots. Also makes it difficult to decide multi-class choices without doing a lot of research beforehand, as you really don’t know which classes will mix unless you’ve played them all to a high enough level. In short, the game has a couple flaws but over all is very playable and enjoyable.

At the moment I’m playing a Cleric, which is a class I’ve never really played before. I never really cared for healer classes in EQ2 save for the Shamans, but never did want a healer as a main. After having wasted a lot of time and energy leveling several different toons, I ended up quitting before I got any of them to the appropriate level to be beneficial to raid groups. In DDO, the cleric has a path to be a “battle cleric”, thusly his solo ability is good, and he will be desirable to raids and groups alike if I decide to get into the social part of this game. For now, I’m playing this as a glorified Diablo or Baldur’s Gate. In the future that may change.

I was pretty productive today, cashing my check and paying bills, picking up things needed from the store, paying more bills, doing the brakes on my car. Overall, everything that needed done is done, and I feel pretty good about it. The only snag of the day came when I was importing a cd into iTunes. I picked up a copy of the new Black Dahlia Murder cd, Deflorate, and wanted to get it onto my ipod. As I had mentioned previously, I had re-formatted my hard drive, and as a result had to download 3rd party software to get my music from my ipod back onto my computer. I had thought that the program I used had worked effectively, and that all my music was transferred. So when I unchecked the box “manually manage music” in iTunes, it asked if I wanted to re-sync my ipod with the new iTunes library (which I thought was complete) so I said yes. To my disbelief, about half of my library had not been copied, so I lost about 2,000 songs. Thankfully, after going through it, I had only lost only a couple songs, because most I had on cd, or could easily download from Limewire. A double edged sword, I lost some good stuff, but managed to go through and get rid of some music I don’t really care for (full albums downloaded that weren’t worth a shit save for a couple songs), and add some things I had missed in the past. I didn’t quite finish the task though, as it was taking a bit of time and I’m feeling the urge to veg out in DDO.

So with that, I’m off.