I didn't have interwebs for days after Hurricane Irene. Broken and twisted trees covered the city. Trucks swarmed in and for days I was serenaded by chainsaws and the pops of electric powerRead More
*waves* I have been enjoying learning to craft in DDO. Ok, you caught me. *blushes* I am not a good liar!
Our static group second generation character's are working towards level 5. As a group, they have been passing all ingredients to me. They have also been giving the odd weapon or armor to deconstruct.
Last night I had a full inventory, and went over to House K to crunch some stuff.Read More
I’ve pretty much stayed away from crafting in its current form in DDO. Mostly I am not playing enough to see the good out of the lack of investment I can offer this new grind. I have been curious about it, but not enough to give it the needed attention it deserves. When Player’s Handbook rerolled week before last, I thought I would give it a try. I wanted to see if I could make items that would benefit our non- twinking party as we leveled up. I am also curious as to whether or not it is so expensive as to be out of range for new or casual players.
The team is passing me as many items as they dare to. We’re broke again, so every copper counts. Letting go of some of the items to give me to deconstruct might prove our undoing as we get higher up in level.
I took a jog over to House K, and entered the crafting hall.
The Beta message cannot be ignored. It pops in the middle of your screen. You have been warned. Keep this image in your mind. You will be referring to it later :)
I’d poked around from time to time, and knew enough to surmise I would need to decon items before I could craft. I had also seen the crafting bound and unbound shard stations.
I plunked in every single item the group had passed my way. It equaled a whole lot of nothing once I was done pulling off essences. I was a little disappointed, but valiantly walked over to a bound shard station and cranked up the machine.
I made a total of 3 shards with the items I had pulled off our loot.
We just dinged level 3 on our new babies Wednesday night.
My crafting stats are 2/1/2. *rolls her eyes*
All I can say is this crap better get fabulous and fast! At the rate I am going, the party will be broke, I will have no return in craftable loot to offer my team for their sacrifice, and I will have carpal tunnel from cranking the dang machine.
I am not completely sold on this system. It’s laborious. Fact is, I need some help. I am overwhelmed by the process. I can figure out which shards I can make by placing the essence's in the book one at a time. It’s tedious to say the least.
What I feel I NEED is a good recipe book with the end item being the beginning and the ingredients underneath.
The DDO compendium is trying to accomplish this, but to be honest, it is falling short.
The recipe book is listed via nick names. I can’t tell what I am looking at until I go digging into the links. For instance, I was wondering if I could make some secret door clickies for our group, or maybe featherfalling items. I need to go through all the links to see what the recipes actually do?
Basically, crafting in DDO sort of stinks right now. They have been making some changes slowly. It is getting better, but boy it’s like watching molasses drip off a spoon.
I think it’s sort of ass backwards. In every other type of crafting I have ever undertaken, I have known what I was going to make, and I searched, farmed, or created the needed material/ingredient to make XYZ.
In DDO, I am making the material/ingredient then figuring out what I can do with it? Does this make sense to anyone else?
Why do I need to make a bazillion useless shards in order to level? Why am I sinking our hard earned plat into something I can’t get anything out of until I am broke, tired and frustrated?
Every crafting system has a grind. It is a component of the art. If you want to be good at something you have to practice. I am not calling that into question. What I have an issue with is making a bunch of BOUND shards I am not going to be able to do anything with!
And then there are the mistakes. In the current patch (10.1) that has gone up on Lammania, they made a ginormous “error.” They adjusted the higher level recipe’s to make them more challenging to generate the craftable top tier loot. From what I can gather, they added a bunch of raid loot as ingredients.
The forums are on fire discussing it. Madfloyd has already spoken on the forums addressing the issue.
I stopped reading the forums a year or so ago when I realized there was little constructive discussion going on over there, but I peeked over on the lammy thread today to see what the general consensus was. I discovered flame after flame, threats, angst, and nerd rage.
I felt a little ill after I left the thread.
If you are going to cancel your subscription to DDO over crafting, please do not let the door hit you where the good lord split you. In fact, here, let me throw down some grease to hasten your escape.
If you are angry, be angry. I can accept that, but I am not sure what there is to be angry about other than a mistake being made and then caught on the preview server.
* Will the patch go live? At this time, it will. Will it matter? I don’t think so. I think everyone has gotten their knickers in a twist over something trivial in a system that is in BETA.
Also, you are entitled to absolutely nothing. Turbine doesn’t owe you diddly. You rent time on their servers for your own enjoyment.
That said, I would also like to point out that Turbine does not wake up in the morning and ask themselves how they can piss off the entire community in one foul swoop!
My hope is that this will all blow over. The community roars from time to time, but it dies down. Crafting is here to stay. It is still in beta (remember when I told you to keep that screenie in your mind? This is your sign!), and I expect lots of roller coaster ups and downs as the system is refined. Everyone wants it to be successful, both Turbine and players alike.
If you have a link to a crafting resource guide, pop it into the comments below. I would love to highlight it here on the my corner of the interweb, and I'll let DDOcast know about it. I could really use the help as I slog through the current crafting mess.
If you have trolled over here to make much ado about nothing, please be aware I liberally apply the ban hammer to nonsensical bitter diatribes left on my site :)
* During the process of writing this post Madfloyd responded to the Community with a further update. The patch will not go live.
Player's Handbook has been playing the same character's for about 234 weeks. Here is an old screenshot I found of us from 4 and a half years ago (and about 4 rigs later!)
It has been one of the most fun gaming groups I have ever been a part of.
Since we capped a while ago, we've found ourselves trying to find new goal ingame. It's been hard. While there are still some things we have yet to accomplish, we've touched most everything. We are still having a good time, but we might have been a little bored.
We decided to do something kind of crazy tonight. On a whim, we made babies. We didn't just want to roll new characters. We wanted the new children to challenge us in new and interesting ways.
We rolled a 1d8 for a new race.
1 halfling 2 1/2 elf 3 human 4 1/2 orc 5 dwarf 6 elf 7 warforged 8 drow
We then rolled a 1d11 for our class.
1 - Fighter 2 - Ranger 3 - Paladin 4 - Wizard 5- Sorcerer 6 - Rogue 7 - Favored Soul 8 - Cleric 9 - Monk 10 - Bard 11 - Barbarian
Meet the children!
Goritrix, whose father was a dwarven arcane archer, looks more like his human mother. He's chosen to follow the Sorcerer path.
Wonall is a full elf. We are still trying to figure out how a human and an elf didn't make an half elf, but whatever the case, he's chosen to sing the exploits of his battle cleric father as a bard.
Omiena surprised us. The drow showed up at the exit of the grotto and told us she was the daughter of a once great rogue. I have sent a missive to the halfling Keylet Undoall for further clarification on her daughter's shocking turn to the healing arts.
Zeffley the Sorcerer looked a little out of place shifting back and forth on his feet outside the tavern. Rowanslash, his human mother, had disdained magic of any sort.
Rowanshadow, who's father Borgii never lost his crush on Rowanslash, came out of the shadow's of the cave's exit to try and pick Randall's pocket. A rogue down to her very human toes, she's learned to never let an opportunity slip away from her.
Rhasorca scared the small group on Korthos Island. A large Half-Orc carrying a flaming great axe, we thought him a barbarian come to aid us in our quest for coin. He quickly let us know he was a Sorcerer who couldn't get the need to pound on kobolds out of his system. We questioned him on his parentage, and with some trepidation he explained his Paladin father Rhaid had adopted him when he was a baby.
With introductions out of the way, the young ones marched off into a nearby crypt to clear it of evil. They finished their first quest without trouble, other than the rogue blowing her very first trap box o.O. The intrepid bunch made their way into the Village Storehouse. In a matter of minutes, the party split up and found themselves over matched by a Sahuagin foe.
After brushing off their foolish defeat, they regrouped and mastered the dungeon as a team.
Without a true meat shield, they carefully picked their way through the quests on Korthos Island. By the end of the evening, they gained a new level and took a break in the tavern to tell stories of their own bloodthirsty adventures and knock back an ale or three.
Now here's a final twist to keep the children on their toes. Every level they can roll the dice to see what the fate's offer them. Roll carefully children. It's a tangled web you weave, and the consequences cannot be undone. Should you reject the roll, you may continue on your current path to fame and glory!
Like their parents before them, the group thinks bubble heads are good luck :)
Between outright bursts of giggles and questions about builds, the night turned into a renewal of all the reasons we love DDO, and playing DDO together. I can't wait to find out what kind of trouble the group of us find as we work through the game's content again. Not to mention, I have no idea how an unbalanced group, half of which are sorc's, is going to tackle the upper end content! I almost can't wait to find out :)
It’s been a tough year of gaming at my house. The wonders and joys of Dragon age were pillaged by the limp Dragon age 2. Mediocre at best, this is one sequel that should have been left to bake a while longer. I salivated over Dragon age at Gencon the year before it launched. I played all the add-ons, beat Origins, and wished and wished for more. I should be careful what I wish for in future.
I’ve managed to battle my way to halfway through the game. I can say definitively, the lack of an overall story arc robbed Dragon Age 2 of the biggest thing Dragon Age was given raves for…A STORY!!! Without the necessary writing bits and bobs, you were left bereft of character motivation. To be honest, I just don’t care if I ever finish this one.
Even a facebook game couldn't save my inattention to Dragon age. I won't call it a waste of a tie in, but they could have just released Dragon Age Legends and made me happier. At least it has some bones to it.
I’ve been watching Dungeon Siege 3 for a while. It’s been on the radar. I still remember breaking a mouse in anger with a battle in Dungeon Siege 2. How could I resist a third installment?
I downloaded a demo to my xbox the other day. After 20 minutes, I quietly turned the machine off and wished I could erase the entire experience from my brain. It is a poorly executed mish mash of bad voice- overs, poor AI pathing and I won’t even discuss the story.
Mass Effect 3 looks flipping beautiful, but I can’t have it this year. *sniff sniff* I thought I was going to get it for Christmas. Here’s a tasty trailer to whet your appetite.
There has been no release date set for Star Wars: The Old Republic. I don’t think I am going to get this one this year either.
Ditto for Diablo 3.
I would still be playing Everquest 2, but between being hacked personally, and the entire company being hacked debacle, I simply haven’t the urge to turn it on.
Dungeon’s and Dragon’s Online is exploring crafting. Growing pains can be painful, and it’s my feeling this is still very much in an incubation stage. Epic’s haven’t become any more exciting. The level cap is still 20. I am still NOT going to reincarnate. There is just very little for me to do right now. Player’s Handbook still meets once a week to play, but even we are running out of juicy things to sink our teeth into. I am hopeful there will be SOMETHING to make me blissful for this MMO soon. Please?
( As an aside, if you are willing to do the input, you can participate in the new Cannith Crafting Cookbook. Please be aware the content appears to be edited by players, use at your own risk!)
I finished Fable 3. This has to have been my favorite out of the entire Fable series. I am sad it is over.
By the time I reached the month of June, I wondered if anything was going to get me hot for gaming.
I’d seen the advertisements for LA Noire. I knew there had been a lot of buzz about it. Rockstar is getting a reputation for taking the impossible and making a profit from it. Did anyone ever think a western video game would perform like Red Dead Redemption has?
I’d been amassing some Best Buy bucks, and realized I could almost get LA Noire for next to nothing. With trepidation, I put the disc in my Xbox.
I then played the game for almost 50 hours in a week’s time. It’s fun, distracting, interesting, full of the flavor’s you would expect from a Noire film live and in your face. I’m even finding some of the achievements interesting.
For example, you need to find 50 golden reel film canisters scattered throughout the world. I found this link to the list that included the actual movie DVD fronts. How cool is that?
I drove though through the city in a Chrysler Woody and instead of stopping off to investigate a murder; I sat in the car to listen to the radio. It was a Jack Benny piece, and I just wanted to hear the entire thing.
I am also back to playing Lord of the Ring’s Online. I have managed to make my way in Moria, and I haven’t had this much fun in an MMO in a while. I’ve been exploring the LUA plugins, listening to A Casual Stroll to Mordor, writing guide posts for my Kin and redecorating my house with every trophy I can win. In case you think I don’t love LOTRO enough, here is a pic of the framed map about in my study.
By the way, I completely missed the entire Digital River versus Turbine Rise of Isenguard pre-order mess. I think I want to buy the 50 buck package, but I am in a waiting pattern atm. If you are receiving those cancellation emails, don’t panic. I am sure Turbine will get it all sorted before launch in September.
I’d hoped for some really juicy stuff out of E3. I can say nothing piqued my interest. It seemed like a rehash. I don’t want to buy a new Wii right now. Xbox is taking the entire Kinect thing a little too far, and poor Sony could do nothing to erase the exceedingly bad luck they have had this year.
How is your gaming year looking? What’s got you excited? Please share it with me, and maybe you will help get me re energized for a game I didn’t know I would like!
Sometimes, despite our favorite game's best intentions, things go pear shaped. You get home at the end of the day, and switch on your computer and meet the ultimate cock block. DDO had some problems with their downtime yesterday. Patch 9.1 over worked the hamsters, and the game didn't come back online until almost 6pm est. To be perfectly honest, it wasn't until very late in the afternoon, I even noticed the servers were down. Absolutely no one on twitter had said a THING about it. It could be all the gamers I follow have jobs and real life stuff, but it might also be, we simply weren't paying attention.
We were the minority however. When DDO is down, the forums heat up. By the time I hit the downtime thread, it was past 3 in the afternoon. The thread had grown to over 600 replies ranging from OMG DOOOOOOM, to I want my money back. Devs did a pretty good job of keeping the community abreast of any information they had. It would have been nice if they utilized their facebook and twitter. I try and stay as far away from the forums as much as possible these days. I get my news via updates to my phone. If you aren't reaching me there, you don't exist.
I think I must be mellowing. I was completely unaffected by the downtime, and in fact, began laughing about the number of "my life in ruins" posts splattered over the boards.
DDO's downtime was a minor blip in my day.
Possibly because the entire SOE mess took downtime to a new event horizon! I still play EQ2 when I have time. When I heard about the hack to the Play station Network, I thought "How sad" and moved on with my life. It didn't affect me. No big deal.
It wasn't until I got a tweet the next day or so that I realized SOE had taken ALL of their games off line. They had no expectation of when they would be back. The ire of more than one gaming community quietly smoldered. I think some were convinced Sony was running their games on an ENIAC. Accusations abounded, blame mounted and people generally lost their minds as the downtime ticked into a week. SOE had been hacked, user information had been stored on a server that lacked adequate security. Besides being irked about the their favorite game being offline, customers were worried about what information had been accessed by the hacker and what to do about it.
(I will put a short note in here to remind my gamer friends. We live in an interconnected online world. If you are not taking steps to protect your personal information, you are playing with fire. Check your credit reports yourself every six months. Sign up for protection with one of the myriad of companies that offers it. Be in front of the accident, not watching it happen in slow motion while your hands are tied!!!)
Sony tried to stay in touch via facebook. With their network down, there were no forums for the horde of angry gamers to flock to. ZAM saw more traffic and commenting than it had seen in a coon's age. Facebook comments went into the thousands. It was just nasty. The entire gaming community watched the train wreck. I think you had to be living under a rock to miss this one. How was it going to affect Sony games? How many subscribers would they lose? What would they offer the players as a "feel good" to try and retain them?
By the time the second week rolled around, I was half convinced this whole thing had to be some sort of crazy dream I was stuck in. It was like ground hog day. I'd wake up, check my tweets, and see Sony had said "We regret we will not be able to get our games back online today..."
When the games finally came back online, things were kind of anti climatic. Jef Reahard over at Massively, asked if SOE owed compensation over the fiasco. I know as an EQ2 subscriber I received a free 30 days, plus a day for each 24 hours period the game was offline, for a total of 45 days free. I thought that was more than adequate. In game perks are going on now through May 22 which includes all City Festivals, Double XP, Loot bonuses, races and more. I don't feel they owe me much.
DDO certainly didn't owe me anything for a patch taking all day. While I might tease about sending them some Hamster food to keep the servers running, it is simply a fact of gaming. Sometimes, through no fault of my own, I am not going to be able to log into my MMO of choice due to technical difficulties. If you are finding the downtime's send you reeling, you might want to check yourself. Are you really missing an online game so much your life is negatively impacted? I will caution you that you may be giving a game more power in your life than it deserves.
Gaming is an escape. Like any other hobby, if it begins to intrude on your everyday life in an alarming way, you need to pull the plug for a few and step back. I get angry over changes to my games, I feel passionately about my characters, my game's storyline and the people I spend hours every week battling evil with. I hope I have come to a place where I can turn the power off and do something else for a few without feeling the shakes for my MMO of choice.
What do you find yourself doing downtimes? How attached do you feel to your MMO? Like Jef Reahard, I want to understand why you feel you need to be compensated for unexpected downtime. What's your beef?
The video below has been linked to on my twitter and facebook for weeks. I am linking it below for those of you who may have missed it. Plus, I just like the darn thing :)
I’ve never really thought a great deal about the people around me in an MMO. I tend to take things at face value. Present yourself as you want to be. It’s a fantasy world. Create your persona, and live it out in a pixilated Shangri La . With the advent of guild websites, facebook, twitter, email, cell phone texting and the seemingly endless ways we can all communicate with relative ease, I have begun to see my online friendships blossom into beautiful bonds I cherish. When I filled out a reference sheet for my resume recently, I realized almost everyone in my life I have met online in one way or another.
Sociologists are having a field day studying the data. Real life relationships are blending into the online world. People date each other, befriend each other, and some find the online world is easier to navigate than the real one leading them to be stronger in their communication than they would be sitting across a restaurant table from a real life person.
What is it about an MMO that lends itself to this strong bonding?
As humans we are subject to the same mammalian characteristics as our closest relatives in the animal kingdom, the gorillas and chimpanzees. We are social animals. Like our cousins, we “created complex social structures composed of many cooperating and competing groups.” (Wikipedia)
When I read the above, I realized I could insert any MMO’s tag line in there. Each MMO world is purposefully built to mimic the real one. Developers take pains to create more and more “life-like” avatars, create a stable economy, systems for competitive and cooperative play, and so forth.
When I am playing with my friends in an online world, I can tell a lot about who they really are simply by being around them. Some players are highly competitive, some are super helpful, some will set themselves up to be their guilds crafter for xyz, and others are quiet content to move around the periphery of the family/guild. There is an endless scope of personalities peppering the online worlds.
After spending between 20-40 plus hours per week with my online guildies, I can tell you who will be willing to help me go through a tough dungeon, who is going to be a prick about the loot, who is going to enjoy the run, and who is going to get mad and rage quit when things don’t go their way.
It isn’t a surprise to me when I find myself drawn to certain people. I met my husband in an online MMO while he was in another country serving in the military. My best friend I met on a website for Navy spouses. Several really important relationships in my life started with the DDOcast podcast 4 years ago. I have a girlfriend through my DDO static group who adds joy to my life on a daily basis through emails and facebook games.
I live more socially because of my online life, than I do in my real world. I am not terribly outgoing by nature. If I had my way, I would only leave my house when it was on fire. I don’t have dinner parties, or have friends over for gatherings. I am not an entertainer.
But through my MMO’s, and the friendships created within them, I have an outlet for keeping up with life’s celebrations. Births, deaths, birthdays, anniversaries, new jobs, bad hair days and crap relationships. It’s all played out in the guild chat daily.
How much do I share with people I meet in an online world is up to me! Many outside my guild in several of my MMO’s don’t know I am actually female. I generally don’t use voice chat unless I am comfortable with the players I am with. While I play female avatars almost exclusively, you can’t always assume the person behind the female avatar is actually a female.
I am happily married. I tend to talk about it a lot. In fact it has been pointed out to me that in my MMO worlds, I am generally a super happy, friendly, outgoing person. This could not be more counter to my actual personality. I generally don’t answer my phone. I am exceedingly private. I don’t share my day to day dealings with anyone really, excepting my partner.
So which one is the real Rowanheal?
Both. I am a complicated. I am human.
I had a friend come to me a week or so ago in the wee hours of the morning to talk. They had not realized how close a bond would be created when they started playing an MMO. They felt they had misrepresented themselves and needed to let me know who they really were. What they told me didn’t change how I thought of them. They were still the outgoing, funny, generous person I knew them to be. If anything it deepened my respect and awe at who they are.
That world blending I spoke about earlier has come home to roost. Not always in a good way.
The same social stuttering we suffer in our real world has grown in our online ones. The arguments over Race, Religion, and Sexual Orientation are discussed with little thought to who those words might be offensive or hurtful.
With the anonymity pervasive in online dealings, people can find themselves overwhelmed with a case of verbal diarrhea and vomit their beliefs all over those around them with little consequence to themselves.
I won’t say it doesn’t belong in an online world. We are human. Who we are is carried with us wherever we go. We are immensely honest really. If you are an ass, you are going to be an ass in an MMO. *shrugs* It’s just the way we are built. We have an inability to hide our core beliefs. They rise to the surface like oil floating on water.
I am just going to ask if you would let some of it go while you play.
I like what the Buddhists have to say on the subject. Be who you are authentically, but be careful not to let it hurt those around you. We are here to learn how to be better than what we were born as.
And let’s face it, based on the studies done by the The Genographic Project, we are ALL related by blood despite our Race, Religion or Sexual Orientation.
So who are you really? Is who you are in an MMO how you want to be seen? Are you making strong relationships with the people you play with every week?
I am interested in hearing what you are experiencing. So let me know!
I haven't been looking forward very much to Update 9. My guild on Argo has been wailing and gnashing their teeth for days over the changes coming. One of my favorite wizards TRed in to a Favored Soul over the balance pass to spell casters. Most of them have been hoarding items to use in crafting into overflowing back packs and banks. Once wind of the changes to power 5 weapons hit the forums, it became a blood bath. I've stayed away from almost all of it. Perhaps its that after 4 years, I have seen these cycles of nerf/balance come and go. It's always labeled as the Apocalypse. People scream in rage, cancel their subscriptions, and write a rant good bye post for the carrion of the forums to pick over.
Stormreach continues to thrive in spite of the wave upon wave of discontent.
I logged on Wednesday night wondering if the server's would stay stable and if the content was actually working correctly. Our Static group wanted a go at the new quest chain, and we were very close to getting our airship!
I had a few hiccups logging in, but after a restart found myself plopped into the marketplace. My group had already sniffed out the new quest giver in the Harbor, and we were off to play through the new quests.
What I saw of the new chain has me creeped out and giggling all at the same time. The new monsters are right out of a nightmare. The atmosphere of fog and the driving music makes your sword quiver in your hand as you look around a building and wonder what you will see next. I jumped a few times as a monster materialized out if a hedge.
There has to be a repressed mad scientist over at Turbine. The theme of this quest pack stunned me with its depth. The storyline is easily followed and the added newspaper stories strewn through out the quests add to the immersion and story telling.
The quests themselves are not very difficult. The casual player should have little issue enjoying this gem of craziness.
I played my sorcerer. I knew there had been some major changes to spells and specifically the sorcerer savants had been unleashed to the masses. I checked my enhancements straight away and realized I didn't have any of my old fire/ice line anymore. I didn't bother to figure out what I wanted to do with him. I will play with a few of the spells and see what is going to fit as a new skin.
Overall the word on sorcerer savants seems to be split 50% for and 50% against. As usual the DDO participants can't decide if they like it or hate it. I am reserving my opinion for now. I am not happy about being raped, but I am hopeful I will find a new place where I can happily scorch the baddies of Stormreach into oblivion.
One thing I did notice , and I really disliked it, was banishment. I have used this spell a lot on my sorc. I loved it. If a monster made the save it was no big deal, I would just try again. Last night when I hit banishment, if it failed it did damage. That isn't terrible, but I garnered more agro than I meant to before I realized what was happening. I also think the cool down timer for banishment seems to have increased in duration.
Firewall is completely pointless in it's current nerf state. Considering I have been playing a fire/ice specced sorc for 4 years, getting used to these changes might take me some time.
The power 5 weapons have all had a face lift. I find it kinda funny these changes have all come when crafting hits DDO for reals for the first time ever, but I am getting ahead of myself. Back to the weapons. Some people are considering it a nerf, while others are optimistically calling it an "interesting" challenge.
Disruption, Banishing, and Smiting weapons have had their hit die caps and saving throws removed. These weapons now do 4d6 damage on a hit, and kill an eligible target on a confirmed vorpal hit (natural 20) if the target is below 1,000 hit points. If the target has more than 1,000 hit points, they will take 100 damage.
I have not thrown away my weapons. I am holding on to them. I noticed with banishment it means I am doing more damage than I would have been before, but I am still not convinced this was right headed.
Crafting has arrived. Rejoice... oh wait, what in seven hells is this? Ohhhh right. It's crafting DDO style. *throws up a little in her mouth*
I don't know if you have tried crafting or not. If you haven't you aren't missing much. If you have, you may wish you could have the memory removed from your brain.
I have no idea how it was placed in the game in it's current form. It's beyond quirky. Items bound to character, the difficulty navigating the recipe book, and the multitude of crafting stations have left even the most hardy player shaking their heads.
I would like someone from Turbine to explain to me how you can have a simple system for leveling and creating items in LOTRO right down the hall from DDO developers and yet we got this ludicrous overly complicated crafting system?
No one in my static group wanted to play with crafting. I hadn't mentioned a peep about my own feelings on the subject, but asked if they wanted to see it and judged the reaction to be less than luke warm. We are all level 20. We are not going to spend our time nor our scroll money crafting.
I will say the place for the Crafting hall is simply beyond odd. It's sort of been plunked down in House K. I don't want to know what the bankers are thinking about the fact it's moved in. I am sure the dwarfs are talking amongst themselves and formulating how much rent they can charge.
The stylization of crafting is pleasing to the eye. Look, did you see? I said something positive about crafting. That's it, that's all I can do for the good.
I am in hopes crafting will see some major overhauls. When you enter the crafting hall, you are warned the system is currently in beta. I am praying to the gods it means the entire thing can be burned to smithereens by Velah and they can start over. *facepalm*
Turbine packed a ton of stuff into Update 9. I am sure I have missed some of it. I've hit most of what were highlights to me. Not everything was a home-run, but overall I think they did a smashing job.
And to solidify the celebration for update 9, our static group leveled to 20 and we bought our guild ship. I think we were beyond excited to have made this milestone. it took 6 people, once a week for 2 -3 hours, almost a solid year to earn level 20. For those who thought it was too high a benchmark, I have to say I was proud as heck when we stood on our ship for a group shot!!! What an accomplishment!!!
Let me know your thoughts, questions and criticisms of the new update.
I am off to make some sweets to eat while watching the Royal Wedding. I will then take a nap in preparation of watching the launch of Endeavor. It's a packed day with some LOTRO thrown in somewhere!
My guild wanted to run an off raid night Evon6 yesterday. I logged over to Rowanheal and ran up to talk to Barrow D'Kundarak about his dragon problems. The confused dwarf pointed to the green and gold check mark above his head.
*cue dramatic sigh*
I'd forgotten to get my end reward, AGAIN!
It's happened to me a few times over the last couple of weeks. I don't know what my issue is, but I can't seem to remember to click for my end reward before switching characters for the next raid on the list.
I used to use a web based online raid checker for DDO, but unfortunately it seems to have died. The web page will no longer load :(
So while the guild went off to face Velah, I started hunting around for a new solution. I went through a couple before I found one that works well for me.
The Automatic Raid Timer Spreadsheet feeds my need to be super OCD about my characters, while facilitating a reminder to pick up end rewards. I am staring at my copy now while waiting for this mornings maintenance to be over, and I am noticing I didn't take my end reward for my rogue's crafting run of the shroud yesterday!!! I know I didn't take it because the line for Thirteenth Eclispe is blank. *facepalm*
Below is a screenshot of what a blank spreadsheet looks like.
Things you need to know about the spreedsheet. You will need to have a google account. The template uses the google documents scripts, so set one up if you don't already have one. The data is pulled from Myddo. There is no need to enter any kind of passwords or anything, so you don't need to worry that someone is trying to get nefarious account information. If you use more than one account, you will end up with two spreadsheets (which is what I have done.) It will keep track of raid timers, number of completions, and epic timers.
And it's all in one handy dandy place that is self maintaining :D
The link I provided includes image instructions to set the spreadsheet up, how to publish it if you want the document to be web based, and instructions for contacting the author if you have problems with it.
How do you keep track of your raid timers?
In other news, lookie what I pulled on a run through Epic Von 3 yesterday!
I have a level 10ish Barbarian I am leveling up. Guess who is going to use this scroll? :D
I am off to do a few taps runs on my Sorcerer before I tackle real life.
It's the weekend of Pax East 2011, and I am stuck at home. Like most of you, I have been aggregating bits and bobs of news from the various gaming outlets. What follows is my attempt to pull together what I've found online into a cohesive article. I can't comment on the validity of all the news since I wasn't there to hear it myself. It's the interwebs, and the interwebs lie. So if I were you, I would take some of this with a grain of salt! Also, I am giving credit where credit is due! Check out the links and see where they lead you :)
The DDO news has been a little light this year, but there has been a few nuggets of DDO smexiness dropped at the con.
Check out DDOcast today for the "LATEST FROM PAX EAST! Live on Ustream - Ep 208 Sat, March 12th @ 3PM EST (650) 336-5424" via @DDOcast's tweet. Steiner Davion volunteered to cover as much of the con as he could in one day for DDOcast. He tweeted a lot of news, but I am sure he kept a few things back to share on the live show today.
Here is a short list of what Steiner teased his twitter followers with yesterday.
- New crafting System coming with regular item deconstruction
- Update 9 has a horror theme
- Update 9 in April
- A new House ward with favor coming later this year
- Crystal Cove event reappearing in March
- New challenge system coming this year , including a 3 minute Crystal Cove Challenge.
Steiner had the good fortune to win a Lifetime Membership to DDO via a contest Turbine ran at the con. Look at him preening in this photo he posted on his twitter!
Producer Glin and Lotro have both been tweeting about G4's Morgan and Adam being at the Turbine booth to record. I am not sure what show it will be on, but I already have X-play set to record on my DVR on Monday. Hoping someone will announce when it will air.
There was also a nice pic posted by @Lotro with Morgan and Adam at the WB/Turbine booth.
Producer Glin and Madfloyd interviewed with Ten Ton Hammer. The article is not going to be out until after Pax East 2011, but I am keeping my eyeballs peeled for more details about what's happening in DDO this year!
If you want LOTRO news, and I know @Zefflon has been glued to his twitter feed for Pax East 2011 LOTRO news, please check out A Casual Stroll to Mordor. They tweeted a live feed to Turbine's keynote this morning, and have been working hard at the con gathering all kinda of yummylicious gaming news. Oh, and @Zefflon is reminding to mention to all you LOTRO fiends out there that the Echoes of the Dead mod will be released on March 21st. So get ready for some new LOTRO goodness.
P.S. By the time this goes out, I should finally have added the Mod 8 to Rowanheal's Quest list. As usual all mistakes are @Zefflon's fault, and I will take credit for everything that is perfect :D
I thought about titling this article "How DDO bends you over, screws you hard, and you ask for more!" Too much?
I don't think so.
I've played 80 or so hours in the last week and a half. Yeah, I got a little too into DDO, but I was really trying to put a "pin" in what the heck is going on.
I logged off tonight frustrated. The game simply isn't what it used to be. Before you stop reading, I am not going off on some odd rant again.
Give me a few lines to explain myself.
Natural cap has been reached at level 20. To further progression in DDO, the game has added two things. Epic dungeons, and the ability for True Resurrection.
In 4 and half years of playing DDO, I never capped a character. I liked being in the sweet spot in the upper levels where I could play with people leveling up, or with people capped. Plus, when DDO went into a slump with mods, I kept the last level or so open in front of me as a carrot. I always had something to look forward to with my girls.
Last weekend I capped Rowanheal. Rowanshadow was capped a few weeks before. I now have 2 characters to experience the high end content with.
Before you all start clapping, I teared up when I capped Rowanheal. I am not going to be TRing her. I simply don't have the patience needed to mess around with replaying her story. Her last chapter now revolves around her loot table, regurgitated Epic Dungeons, and short raids.
And I am not the only one. It seems the "cap a toon" flu has been spread equally through out the population.
Not only are most players in a hurry to get to the Epic level, they are playing in ways I can't even enjoy.
My guild needed to pug out a couple of spots in a shroud run the other night. The party leader spent the better part of 10 minutes MYDDOing the applicants, making fun of builds and rejecting those who didn't live up to expectations.
It's not just happened once either.
I simply cannot fathom the schism shattering the player landscape.
Most of the players I've been around are members of some alliance channel. They use it rather than the LFM to fill groups, network and trade.
I had heard whispers players were using myddo to check players out, were abandoning the LFM panel, and were generally becoming insular within their own cliques.
To my own befuddlement, it's all true.
Hey, I am not a huge proponent of PUGing. It's not an aspect of the game I enjoy. I have to admit though, I felt for the people who were being summarily rejected by their build, lack of gear or guild affiliation. It stinks of a level of elitism even I can't embrace.
I've had a chance to play both my healer and my rogue in Epic Dungeons and raids. I remain unimpressed. Epic equals supersized. There is no real need to meet the content with any real surprise or joy. The reused dungeons with massively inflated monsters are simply boring as heck. It's like revisiting your least favorite relative over and over again and hoping they give you a present.
Epic dungeon's drop scrolls, shards and seals used to upgrade items in the game to Epic power. The best part of an Epic chest is the pink token inside. I love the glowing pink shafts of light streaking from inside the chest. It's about the only nice thing I have to say about Epics.
If I thought green steel had ruined the game, Epic loot has taken it one step further.
I had hoped Epic dungeons and loot would offer some kind of balance to an other wise bloated end game in DDO.
Instead I found monsters with insane hit points, blanket immunities and quite possibly the worst loot drop rate in the any game.
I have also been told you either TR, or you run for Epic's if you want to viable as a player.
So either I am going to spend hours rerunning content with a character to garner a few more stat points, or I am going to spend hours grinding for Epic drops.
Either way, the story has come to a grinding halt.
I ran 5 epic raids, and about 15 dungeons between both characters. I managed to get 1 scroll, 2 seals and a shard for an item I don't even have. I don't foresee being able to craft an epic item in the near future. Not unless I decide to play 40 or so hours a week and grind myself into oblivion.
It hasn't all been bad. I've pulled my first +3 tome on my rogue. She promptly ate it. So yummy!
I pulled my first set of spectral gloves. I was excited until I was told they really needed to be Epiced. *sigh*
I also got a flawless red dragon scale, Amara's ring from TOD, and enough plus one tomes to fill my shared bank.
I really want to enjoy DDO again. I want to play with friends and have a fun time battling in Stormreach. What am I missing?
I know I like to play DDO to be social, to play a good story line, to take my girls to the next level. Is the only thing left to me the Epic grind or the TR train?
Is it me? Is my attitude keeping me from finding pleasure in the game? Am I coming at this from the wrong angle?
I can log into EQ2 or LOTRO and solo through a beautiful story while chatting with friends. I can play WoW and grind end game gear in a month.
What is going on in DDO? Where is the story leading? Why the painful grind for end game gear? Why the boring raids that can be completed in an hour or less? Where is the EPIC adventure in all of this?
I have some wonderful guild mates. Several of them I truly enjoy and trust. They are joyful people who spend the time to give to those around them while maintaining an eyeball for their own game goals. I want to catch that disease. The one that keeps people logging in day after day and playing.
I have also been told, not to complain without having suggestions.
So, in that vein, I would like to see some changes to the landscape in DDO.
Epic simply needs to be revisited. It's lack of "Fun factor" cannot be overstressed. Giving a mob more hit points and spell points does not make them Epic, it makes them fatty. The Epic loot table needs to go on a diet as well. I visited the DDO wiki page to look over what's available. It's so huge it makes garnering an Epic item way more trouble than it needs to be. "Epic" levels need to be added to our characters. The PRE's are simply not enough to make up for natural progression.
Lastly, let's add some real raids. This is the only game I have ever played where a "raid" just means you have 12 people instead of six. There isn't any real flagging to a raid, there are no keys, shards, multiple raid groups or true adventure to any of them in the game atm. I've run raids with 40 or so people, taken more than one play session to beat the dungeon and worked really hard to make sure I was useful to the raid groups. We need something in DDO to make all this Epic, TR nonsense useful. Give me something with oomph!
Mostly though, the people in DDO need a reminder this is a game. Stop hating so much. Stop rejecting people. Stop making an ass out of yourself. You are not bad people. Some of you are just behaving badly!
Maya Angelou says "When you know better, you do better." So just do it already.
I am hoping some of you will comment with suggestions of what you would like to see in the game. with what you find enjoyable, and ideas for how I can beef up my game play. Tell me what you are doing and why you like it. We all play for different reason's, with different goals in mind, with different mindsets. Explain yours to me, and maybe I will light on fire for the way you play!
I realized last week while looking through my budget, I am currently subscribed to four MMO's. I started looking at my games and trying to make choices. Holding onto four games is a little ridiculous, besides being a drain on my pocketbook. At the moment, I am subscribed to DDO, LOTRO, EQ2, and WOW. That's a lot of games, and I can honestly say, I don't have that much time to play and give each game justice.
Since 2007, I've used Xfire to track my games, time played online, and to keep in touch with friends. I swung by their website to look up the data and see what I am actually playing.
In peeking over my profile, it appears I spend wayyyy too much time gaming. Xfire doesn't even keep track of my Wii, or Xbox. Kinda scary when I think about it. By the way, my total time online in computer games sits at 3,413 hours. O.M.G.
I've played DDO the most hours. 1,811. That's a ton of time to invest in a game. I've been visiting Stormreach since December of 2006. That's four years of making friends, moving servers, joining guilds, leaving guilds and all the assorted drama that comes with an MMO. What keeps dragging me back to DDO?
The biggest factor keeping me hooked into the game is my static group. Four of us have been together since the beginning 3 or so years ago when we were level one, didn't know each other and were playing character's in a whole new way. Now we exchange Christmas cards, babies are talking children, and our lives are intertwined by meeting once a week to blow off some steam and enjoy time together.
I have never left the game entirely, but I did stop playing actively on my home server for about a year. My friends are what drug me back into game.
Generally, I play DDO when I am feeling chatty and social. It's not a game I play solo. I play with my guild or with my friends. I don't PUG. Pretty much that is a hard and fast rule. I would rather short man a quest than run with people who may make the quest more work than fun.
DDO offers Free to play options, has maintained the game for their subscribers and has an E-store. It lacks Player housing, mounts and any kind of cross server chat amongst players. There is little avatar customization offered in game, and it's limited to items bought in the E-store. Crafting is bulky and exceedingly limited.
It is rich with a grouping style that has continued to morph in mostly positive directions as changes have affected the game. Recently added guild housing has ramped up this social aspect of the game, pretty much for the better. The game also boasts a strong storyline, an active combat style and the best character build customization I have experienced in any MMO.
DDO stays on the list of games I am going to play in 2011.
Next up is LOTRO coming in with 558 hours. I haven't actively played LOTRO since it went free to play in September of last year. I've logged in a few times. Mostly to pay for my beautiful deluxe hobbit hole house I lovingly decorated. I have a guild mate who bugs me on facebook to log in and play. I just haven't found a reason to stay more than moments online in ages. Zeff has been playing a lot of LOTRO. I have watched him and heard the music in the background as I am playing other things. It has tempted me, but I haven't fully commited to playing again.
LOTRO has a free to play option, solid subscriber options, and an E-store. It has guild housing, player housing, mounts, and good avatar customization. You can add limited mods to the game with LUA scripting. The game has a solid crafting system. You can easily solo through the game, but there are ways to group up and play with others. I generally play LOTRO solo or as a duo with the hubby, but have grouped up with guild mates to run the tough dungeons. Character builds are through a skill tree type set up, and therefore not terribly creative. The four festival's are one of my favorite pastimes in Middle-Earth, and I gather up all the cosmetic items and fun frothy beverages with zeal!
The best aspect of this game is the storyline. If you love Tolkien's world, please do yourself a favor and load this game. The graphics are stellar, the music gripping and the the quest lines easy to follow and enjoy. The combat style is a combined active and tiered gambit style.
If you have never played an MMO and are wondering where to start, I would really suggest this one. The playerbase is almost as rabidly protective of the game as DDO's, and I have generally found them helpful and encouraging.
Still, I think LOTRO will need to be parred back to a free to play game this year.
EQ2 ran third with 281 hours. I was amazed I had that many hours considering I only started playing last fall. I simply love the game. I love the varied storyline's, avatar customizations, mounts, guild housing, player housing, good versus evil alignments, festival's, different mods you can add and the overall varied and spicy flavors this game has to offer.
If I can think of it, I can do it EQ2.
My first MMO experience was in Everquest years ago. I have a lot of fond memories of that game, and I still have a friend or two hanging around I originally met in Norrath. Playing Everquest 2 is like coming home. While there are many new fangled things in EQ2, I can't help the feeling of familiarity with the lore of the game.
It offers free to play options on free to play servers, subscriber options on subscriber servers and a very limited E-store. The crafting is fully functional and delicious. Player housing is the most customized I have seen in any game to date. It can be soloed, but offers grouping options. The graphics are 7 years old, but continue to be updated. It's not as pretty as LOTRO or even DDO, but it's still pretty enough. There are many events in the game, covering all the holidays and then just some monthly city events and such dotting your time online.
I would not suggest this game to the first time MMO player. It has a major learning curve. The combat is a combo of gambits and action. The character builds are cookie cutter, but the avatar options are awesome.
EQ2 stays on my list for games to play in 2011.
Lastly Wow with 54 hours. I am really new to this game, and I am not sure I can give a full thumbs up or down. I will say if it offered a free to play options, I would use that method. It has a plethora of mounts, crafting, cosmetic pets and cross server chat. It does not offer guild or player housing. The grouping system for dungeon's is one of the smoothest I have ever seen. The graphics are cartoonish, but livable. It lacks any kind of character or avatar customization.
I have to be honest in saying I am only playing this game for a friend. It's probably not something I am going to stick with. It really doesn't offer me the things I have been looking for.
Maybe I simply haven't been playing it long enough to find the nuances.
It's staying on my play list for 2011 on a limited trial basis. I fully expect by summer to be out from under it.
In looking at my games, I can say I have a pretty strong idea of what I like and what I don't. I want to be able to customize my character whether it be in it's build or in it's overall appearance. I really like housing, both guild and player based. I like the fluffy festival's that add both some fun and a level of immersion to the reality of a MMO world moving in time and season. I don't like to be pigeon holed into a cookie cutter unless there are other outlets for my creativity.
Most of all I like story. This isn't a true surprise to me. I am a voracious reader. I like to follow characters to see where things will go, and one of my favorite play styles is a light role-play element in a game. All of my character's have a back story, and I am rather disillusioned when their builds or looks are messed about with by the developers of a game. Even in my MMO worlds, I am adverse to change.
I know there is a level of individualism even in our MMO worlds. So what is it you look for in a game? What keeps bringing you back hour after hour? What turns you off a game? Let me know!
I was running through Everquest 2 the other night with the hubby when I ran across Adam and Jamie. I laughed long and hard. They are mad scientist tinkers up in the Steamfront Mountains. I ended up making a few test dummies and helping destroy them. It was like being in a mini Mythbuster's episode. I loved it.
It got me to thinking though. How often am I picking up on Pop Culture reference's in my games?
Let's talk about DDO.
Apparently the Dev's have a thing for hiding references in quest name's. My favorite has always been Mentau the Fleshmaker. If you can't figure out what that references back to, watch the short video below.
The dev's also seem to have a penchant for rock songs. While researching references for this blog, I ran across post after post on the DDO forums talking about how the Vale quests were all Rock songs, the Depths quests use footballer's from Manchester United, and the text from Wiz King "I'm a god, why can't I live on" from the song Powerslave by Iron Maiden. I've noticed some of these references, but to be honest, they weren't in my face glaring.
One I have never run across and just learned about is that in Dirty Laundry an enemy recites the Black Knight's lines. I have to go run this one now and find it. I must. I can't wait to giggle over it. Just in case you are a n00b, there is a video below of the the Black Knight. If you didn't know this, you should turn in your geek card >.< Just saying!
I learned that the big giant banker in Meridia is named for Andre the giant.
How about this one?
I never caught it. I seriously snorted water when I learned about it this morning. I am gonna have to hire him tonight in my static group and see if anyone notices :D
I called a friend who plays WOW. He knew about Haris Pilton.
I think the end rewards for her speak for themselves ;)
An acquaintance pointed out Ricole Nichie to me.
I think there are probably gobs and gobs of pop culture reference's sneakily hidden around our favorite games. Some are more obvious than others. I blissfully seem to miss the majority of them, and it took some work to pull some of them up for this blog. Maybe I am so super immersed in what I am doing it doesn't register for me. Probably it's more likely I am simply not going to catch an Iron Maiden song line, or the soccer players :D
What have you noticed in your game? Are you running through a quest when you stop swinging to laugh at some obscure line of dialogue? Does it bother you to see them in your game?
They don't bother me. It doesn't pull me out of the game, nor does it in anyway get in the way of my enjoyment. In fact, it strongly adds to things as I pay a little more attention to what is going on around me.
DDO Cocktail hour episode 36 is out and ready for your listening pleasure.
It is somehow a week before Thanksgiving. ACK! I don't know how this happened. How is it almost time for me to put up a Christmas tree and get completely bloated in my yearly binge eating marathon?
I am off to try and right some wrongs in Fable 3. I am Queen, I roll like that :D "Off with her head"
I haven't had a ton of play time lately for the DDOcast build guild. This morning however, I made an exception. I saw on my twitter we had made level 20 and could go Guild ship shopping! The Fat Halfing has been built and flies in the sky above Stormreach. It was bitter sweet having the ship. I think we all wished Jerry could have been around to see it happen. :( It's secondary title is the Mockduck in his honor!
I haven't really messed around with the guild ships. I've been on one before as a guest, and my new guild on Argonessen has one, but pretty much I was a huge N00b.
The experience had a few icks.
Number one... there is purple paint, but no pink paint. What's with the Pink hate Turbine? Hmmm? Explain it to me. I am insulted, pissed off, otherwise super snarky about purple being on the list but not pink. Bite me!!!
Number two...When you put down an item it cannot be moved. I was super new to how the hooks worked. I bought the guild a mailbox on in the DDO store, and plunked it into a slot. I then realized it looked goofy and wasn't terribly accessible. I went to move it and couldn't. I am going to guess this has something to do with the timers on the items, but seriously, the decorator in me cringes when I look at the mailbox :(
Number three...Astral Diamonds. Really??? So they cost a butt ton of real cash in the store. I bought us a set of 100 to put towards a lvl 25 ship upgrade. 2500 points gone in one go. Seemed a little out of whack to me. Luckily, since I boycotted the store for a year, I had points banked, but I wasn't sure how more full time players were handling this issue. Are people really upgrading to the storm glory ships? I know since the changes to Update 7, Astral Diamonds are dropping in chest, but I have heard the drop rate isn't all that awe inspiring. *sigh*
Those are really the only complaints I have. The ship is simply fun. I would love to see some fluffy items besides just the paint. Maybe some paintings or something that depict DDO events that can be hung in the cabin, or some pots of flowers. I don't know, it needed a little oomph :)
If you haven't had a chance to delve into the guild airships, take a look at DDO wiki's write up. It's pretty accurate, although it needs to have the live prices adjusted.
We managed to get some decent itemson board. I am just smashing in some pictures below. Super excited to learn more about how all of this works. I am hoping there will be further improvements to the system.
In further celebration, I am re-embedding Wandering Monster's parody of "I'm on a boat!" Enjoy :)
DDOcast 193 is up. Give a listen as they discuss Update 8, the Mabar Ban hammer and Sig talking FOREVER in a crunchy language I don't understand!
DDOcocktail hour 35 is up as well. Be sure to pay attention to the Bonus Content for more Drama Llama action!
I am off to grab some dinner and maybe clear off my DVR. Who knows, maybe I will get some gaming time.
I haven't been playing DDO full time in many a moon. Most of you know this. Maybe some of you didn't. It's more than a choice about playstyle, business model's and reaching the level cap. I made a conscious choice this past year to simplify my social life. If you were a friend who sucked up extraordinary amounts of my time without giving anything back, you were slowly weaned out of my sphere. If you tagged me repeatedly on facebook with whiny notes about how you needed a new gun in some myspace or facebook game, I hid your status updates and then deleted you. If you were a whiny brat on a forum, blog, podcast or in my game, I squelched you.
I decided 2010 would become the year I played assassin in my own life. My kill count grows large as I rack up the sneak attacks on unsuspecting window lickers.
My new diet resulted in some unexpected casualties.
One of the greatest and dismal parts of an MMORPG remains the community. You can choose to participate as little or as much as you want.
Historically speaking, forums are the dredges of a community. Vocal proponents of one persuasion or another can wile away their hours trolling threads. Typically they pounce with claws extended into the fleshy meat of a good discussion to throw in their two cents. Often this results in derailing of the original topic, hurt feelings, and perhaps a locking down of an otherwise innocuous chat about builds, weapons, spells or how much a developer has ruined their good time with a new patch.
In years past, I spent part of most days reading, learning and laughing at the DDO forums. I enjoyed the byplay with people, keeping up with the news, and I will admit to making a bowl of popcorn to watch threads implode. I started finding myself getting overly upset with the negativity on the forums. With my new found rogue super power, I took dead aim and lopped the head off the beast. At first I found myself twitching for my fill of vitreous word play, but after a few weeks I recovered from the shakes.
Game wise, things had come to an impasse. I didn't enjoy playing anymore. It took me a while to identify what had pulled me out of my delicious love of Stormreach.
In other words, DRAMA!
It started slowly. A guild I belonged to had a set of players who seemed to insulate themselves from everyone else. They raided together, rolled new toons together, and seemed to synchronize their watches into a rhythm that left the other 97% of the guild scratching their heads.
Eventually, it lead to most of us spending a good portion of our game time listening to the yelling of a raid leader who reminded us how little we knew abut the game, our builds and how inferior our gear seemed to be. People I had enjoyed a few hours everyday with began to log on less and less. Some left, others simply quietly rerolled toons and placed them in other guilds or servers, and still others found the need to violently vent their ire within the guild itself.
While I never felt entirely left out because, let's face it, I am simply too loud to ignore, I would turn on my computer and hover over the launch game button. More often than not, I found something else to do. Thankfully in the past year or so a bunch or really fun games hit the shelves.
In the end, I didn't log onto any of my main toons on Argonessen for a year and a half. The world didn't come to an end. I didn't find myself nostalgic for much either. While I missed a couple of my characters, I discovered I could continue their stories in other ways. I'd spent upwards of forty hours a week with a group of people and could only find a soft spot for two or three I actually wanted to reconnect with.
I have never been good at accepting bullies. Our guild leader's rabid pack of fans had begun to leave players out of runs they felt they weren't skilled enough for. It irked me. I have a habit of championing the underdog whether they want it or not. One evening suffering from a bout of verbal diarrhea, I ticked off the pack.
I knew in my own gameplay, I had rearranged real life events to make a raid night or make sure a player got flagged for the content. If we were in the middle of a run and I needed to start dinner, I'd end up letting an hour go by and ordering pizza because I didn't want to be the piker who left the group needy.
Yeah, I obviously needed an ego check. In the year and a half since I have been gone, I haven't heard from any of the people from my old guild. No one seemed to wonder where I went. Well ok, maybe they were listening to the podcast or reading the blog, but that's really only my own ego trying to justify my past behavior.
One of my best girlfriends remained in the guild and funneled me information on what everyone was up to. Seemed to be the same story over and over again. After a while, I would nod and make appropriate noises, but I wasn't really paying attention anymore. She put up with the guild for six months after I left before finally getting a belly full herself. Unlike me, she didn't abandon the server, she took her toons out of the guild and joined another.
It created a wave of discontent. She felt her time had been wasted on people who didn't care about her. It took another six months before her new guild imploded and they split off into another.
Which lead me to reexamine my own feelings. Are we that sensitive to community around us? How much of who we are in real life is bundled up in how well we perform in a fantasy world of pixelated avatars? Why in heavens name do we care so much what another player we have never and probably will never meet thinks of how we play a game?
Apparently, we care a whole heck of a lot.
When DDO launched the store, a common group question for any spell caster became "Why are you out of mana when you can buy pots from the store?" In a bad run someone would buy a shrine or rez cake. People were now being judged on whether they paid to play or were running around free to play. Who you were in game seemed to be tied to your wallet. Just another way to segregate people into "haves" and "have nots." Really, all it equals is more drama.
It's not just happening in MMORPG's. I heard from an acquaintance not long ago her husband had spent $250.00 on a facebook game. Firstly, I was pretty much unaware you could spend real life money on a facebook game, but ok you can. Secondly, they now sell cards for aforementioned game in target, gamestop, bestbuy and some convenience stores allowing you to be reminded you haven't harassed your entire friends list with repeated spams about farmville in at least 2 hours. You now can have that extra special plot of land you've been coveting.
I'm shocked and pretty much unable to justify spending actual real dollars on a piece of gear, potions or a top hat. Maybe free to play bothers me more than just the underlying reasons I've mapped out in past posts. Maybe I don't like being judged on how much money I am willing to spend. I pay my subscription and work hard towards goals. I snipe people on the auction house buying low and selling high to make in-game cash. I learn the quests, the story, equipment and builds.
And I left it all behind because some jerks took away my feel good.
I am obviously really needed the time off. I feel like shallow hal discovering it's not what you look like, but who you are that matters. In leaving, I hit myself below the belt, and didn't even realize I'd completely underestimated myself.
First off, I encourage everyone to go on a rogue assassin campaign of your own. Can you really know the 1000 people you have friended on facebook? Are the forums of your game of choice adding to your life or taking you for a ride? How emotionally tied are you to who you are on the interwebz? Does it really matter if you have the newest and greatest item in your game of choice? Are you less of a person if you walk away from a quest because your spouse wants to watch some sappy show on tv?
Is the drama it all creates really worth it?
I am back on Argonessen. Slowly, I have added a couple of toons to a new guild. It'll have drama. They all do. Loyalties will be tested and there will some sort of popularity contest at some point.
And I'm gonna ignore it all. I want to play a game and wile away a few hours. If I don't like you, I will probably not say a thing. If you pick on someone, I am gonna find a way to drop your soul stone off into deep lava. If you create drama, I am gonna squelch you.
In the great social experiment of 2010, I've figured out gaming really is fun. I have less friends than I thought, but I can count on the ones I have. I am not near as angsty as I used to be. Life is too short. You just need to enjoy your life. As an added bonus, I actually like soloing. Plus, I am kinda good at it. Who knew?
So in short, leave the Drama Llama to look for greener alfalfa sprouts in someone elses barn. You're worth it.
DDOcast 2.0 launched with Annefried at the helm. I joined them for their first show, along with thebrute, and had a blast discussing everything from crunchy builds to my favorite fashion item. Give a listen and support them in their new venture.
I am still obsessed with Fable 3. I think I am giving myself some form of game controller carpal tunnel. I may need an intervention.
After six weeks of waiting, today is the day the EUbies (thanks TurbineTolero for putting this name in my head LOL) FINALLY arrive in mass with their old characters from Keeper and Devourer. *claps*
I am not going to wax poetic on the losses to their community as members who didn't want to recreate characters simply fell away from the game. What I am hoping will happen is a resurrgence of passion amongst their community as they see familiar names running through Stormreach. I am beyond excited this has born fruit worth eating.
The FAQ went up this morning over at DDO.com. I perused most of it and found it well thought out, answering most of what I personally wanted to know. I am hoping after feeling like the forgotten child in the corner, the European players read hope in the article. IF they can read it. I know most of the world can speak English, reading it can be an entirely different matter. Players within the community are translating the FAQ amongst themselves into their native language. The French version is already up.
Looks like most stuff IS going to transfer. The special items in your personal bank, equipped items and personal inventory look like they will transfer. If you had a founder's helm's and other items from limited edition boxed sets, they will be on the characters who already have them, but will not be available for newly created characters. I am beyond 100% sure there will be hiccups, but I am super bloody thankful this is happening at last.
Guilds, Friends lists, Ignore lists, Mail, Auctions, ETC. will not transfer. To be honest, that didn't surprise me. I am pleased as punch EUbies are getting as much as they are.
The one massive "eww" moment on the FAQ came with the favor issue. From what I am reading your total favor is transferring, however the rewards for said favor are not. So drow and favored soul status is going to irk some people. It is suggested in the FAQ you can re-earn favor on another character to pop drow/favored soul open on the server, buy it from the store, or maybe you have a character who had earned the favor, but never got the opportunity to speak with Nyx. Personally, I think buying these two from the DDO store will be less of a headache. This DDO store purchase is account wide and not simply server based.
I have really only hit the high points on the FAQ list. Please please read the faq. The transfer tool goes live around 6pm EST. That appears to be 23:00 Central Europe time. Super late, but I am sure some of you will be drinking coffee with your fingers hovering over the button. Of course after six weeks of waiting, what's one more night, right?
Odd and Ends
The hubby and I played some DDO on Argo last night. We checked out the Mabar event, and after 2 hours of waiting around, we were able to step into the spectral dragon instance. Reading about the event, I didn't think it would work well. Playing it, I realized DDO players can work through anything. Using general chat and party invites to coordinate, we seamlessly beat the encounter. Had a blast and crafted a Cloak of night to level 12 after hitting the auction house for some Motes of Night. I really hope we see more of these type of events.
DDOcast said goodbye to our Founder and leader this past Friday on Episode 191. If you haven't heard, Jerry Snook has been stolen by Turbine. We all tried to get some kind of shared custody agreement to no avail. He has garnered a dream job, and we all wish him well. I spent most the cast silently trying not to sob over the mic. I will miss him on the show and in my gaming world. He has been an amazing friend, has taught me to be a better balanced podcaster, writer and has introduced me to many games and fun times.
Clanky put together this fantastic graphic. I am using it as my wallpaper. It reminds me to never stop dreaming.
Anne and Sigfried Trent are taking over the reins of the show. I think Sylvurdragon is dubbing it DDOcast 2.0. I like it. One era is over and another starts. I am going to try and stay with the show. I have loved being a part of it, and learn so much from participating. I have no idea what the Trent's have planned, but I am hopeful they will make an announcement over the next few days alerting all of us to what the future holds.
I am going to have to boycott my local electronics store. They send out these $5.00 certificates whenever I spend enough money with them. I had a certificate that was going to expire and walked through the store trying to decide which of the bevy of goodies I would buy this time around. Fable 3 called out to me. Being me, I of course bout the Collector's edition. I loved the packaging this came in, and the free hunter's lodge zone is pretty awesome. I have been spending hour's playing through the storyline. If you have played any of the other two Fable's, you know the story always seemed light hearted. This third incarnation, has a really well thought out and decidedly darker, edgier plot. I've been buying real estate, doing all the sidequests, and enjoying the heck out of the game. If you need a certain Demon door opened and are looking for a friend, add me to your friends list. I don't mind making some extra cash while helping you out :D
I am off to box up the halloween decorations and shove something in the oven for dinner. Then I will have to choose what I play. Fable will probably win.
P.S. I have taken down the server status widgets for DDO and LOTRO. Neither seem to be working atm. I have added a search box for EQ2 at Zam. This is probably more for my use than yours, but it is my site :D
I love Twitter. I pretty much have an addiction to it. I spent 8 days at a girlfriend's this month. She had neither cable nor internet. It was like living in the dark ages! Ok, that's probably a little melodramatic, but can I say that based on the experience I may have noticed I twitched for my phone on a regular basis to check twitter, my email and facebook. This morning my twitter told me Champions Online announced they would be going Free to play early next year. ( Thank you Anne!) I wouldn't say I found the news unbelievable. It's becoming a popular refrain from the gaming companies.
I then found myself in a spirited conversation about Free to play. My feelings on it really couldn't be contained in 140 characters. Good thing I keep this blog around. :)
I don't hate Free to play for it's own sake. I should make that crystal clear. I have played Free to play games and even enjoyed a handful of them.
What I don't enjoy is when a pay to play game goes Free to play mid-stream.
Of course it has it's pros. People who have wanted to try the game have no barrier to entry. They can "try" the game for longer than a trial, and continue to play and perhaps pay according to their own terms.
From my own perspective, when a game I have been playing has switched it's business model, I've found it frustrating.
It goes beyond the forum cries of "children and posers." It's about the way the changes the store can bring to the way I approach a game.
I don't think I am entirely alone in this, but I am perhaps in a minority?
For instance, in DDO, I found the community changed. The player base before free to play had generally been tight knit, older, and well versed in Pnp rules of play. After free to play Turbine found they needed to add "signs" to the landscape to alert players to quest lines available to them. I found this disturbing. I'd played DDO and never found myself at a loss for where to go next, but the influx of new players seemed unable to follow the story lines from Korthos through the harbor into the Marketplace etc. I won't say the new people were dumb, but it was as if they were in such a hurry to blow through the content they couldn't or wouldn't read and enjoy the story.
The player base experienced a definite split. The has and has nots or rather I pay and you don't. People began putting up groups excluding free to play players. I didn't like it, but to be honest, some things took some getting used to. If you put up a LFM and weren't paying attention, you would find yourself running to an entrance and your group would thin out as players realized they didn't have the adventure pack. It made some guilds become terribly insular as they choose to simply skip PUGs all together and join alliances where they found other subscribers who knew the content and played with skill.
After reincarnations hit the game, and really I've ranted enough about Turbine's lame attempt to keep players interested in the game once they'd tapped their head on the 20th level cap, the Hearts of Wood hit the store. I didn't know these weren't lootable and it shocked me. When Turbine took the turn of only offering something in the store for real cash I didn't like it. ( as an aside according to Madfloyd's blog post on myddo.com in update 7 Hearts of wood should begin to drop in level appropriate chests!)
When guild housing FINALLY came to DDO, Astral Diamonds could only be found in the store.
LOTRO went Free to play a few months ago. I have to be honest here, I have only logged into it a few times. I paid the rent on the house I worked so hard to decorate and to check out a few things.
I still get the constant stream of "ad" emails from Turbine. The last one just kinda sent me over the edge. "Last chance to buy your Special Summer steed mount!"
One of my absolute favorite things about LOTRO was the festivals. I looked forward to them. I know when both the spring and summer festival's launched this last year I had my finger hovering over the "launch game" button. I worked my rear end off to earn tokens fishing, running races, and by gods I won't even tell you all the things I crafted and sold on the auction house to earn the gold for my spring and summer steeds.
Now you can buy all the housing items and steeds from the store. :(
Dyes. I made a bunch of money off of gathering the ingredients, farming and then using my scholar to make dyes in LOTRO. You can now buy dyes in the store.
The hubby used his cook to make food and sell it on the auction house. You can now buy it in the store.
I could go on, but it's simply disheartening.
It's not that I begrudge people the opportunity to play the game any way they choose to. It's that when I play a game and enjoy it, and then they rip the rug out from underneath me and tell me "Hey, don't work so hard, just use your credit card" I tend to get a little pissed off.
I LIKED playing LOTRO the way I was playing it. Sure I could still work my rearend off for things, but it stings a little when I see someone riding by on their summer steed and I wonder if they "earned" it or bought it. It DOES make a difference to me.
Maybe it shouldn't. Maybe I am being shallow and narrow minded. Maybe it's because when I started MMO gaming the idea of paying for your gear was repugnant and would get you banned, not only by the game, but by your gaming friends that I simply can't seem to pull the trigger and get with the times.
So yes, for now I am only playing DDO once a week with my static group. I haven't touched LOTRO. I am sticking with EQ2 because the way they chose to handle F2P suits me. The F2P servers are completely separate from the subscriber servers. People still have the chance to try EQ2 out and play and pay for it their way, but I can play it MY way and subscribe to it and not worry that I am going to work for 6 months on my Epic gear only to see it as an option in the store a year from now.
I think in future if a game launches Free to play I won't have any issue starting out just like everyone else. If a game launches with a subscription model, I won't be buying a lifetime subscription, and I think I'll wait and see if it goes Free to play. Why buy?
Perhaps I am an old fuddy duddy. That's ok. At least there are still options open to me. I suppose if all else fails there is always World of Warcraft! *throws up a little in her mouth*
We should all pay attention to the disclaimer that pops up on screen every time we log into a game.
Gameplay May Change During Online Play
I've had a busy summer. So many games, so little time. I can feel the fall nip in the air here at the beach at last. I am so grateful. As I type out this blog, I have all the windows in my house thrown open to welcome the breeze. Mostly what I've been up to is Everquest II while huddled under the fan blades escaping the sweltering heat. I'd been avoiding Everquest. I didn't want to jump back into that world. I lived it for 5 years in the original incarnation, lovingly referred to as Evercrack. The hubby had picked up the box a half dozen times in our trips to my favorite electronics store, and I finally just picked up a couple of boxes. I've spent 126 hours in the game so far, and I like it. There are many reason's.
The biggest one being the way Sony chose to handle Free to play. We'd signed up for the game on the subscription servers shortly after the announcement EQ2 would be free to play under the banner Everquest II Extended. I knew from having read articles, Sony was creating Free to Play servers. The subscription servers would be left mostly untouched. Free to Play would be relegated to a seperate realms, and the character transfers would not be available between the subcription and Free to play servers.
After being hooked on LOTRO for months, Turbine's decision to move towards the free to play model left me desolate. I began to notice I wasn't logging in as much, and my enjoyment seemed tarnished. When I worked on deeds or towards a crafting goal, I wondered whether I was wasting my time since in a few months I would just buy the horse, potion or decorative item through the LOTRO store.
LOTRO launched F2P this past Friday. I am sure it will bring a crop of new players to the beautiful Tolkien world. I still log into the game from time to time. Mostly, to pay the rent on my house I spent hours painstakingly decorating. I am in hopes I will find the drive to play again. The DDOcast build guild has been created on the Vilya Server. They revived my love for DDO, perhaps they will be the prescription I need to kindle new fire for LOTRO.
In the meantime, I am meandering Norrath. EQ2 takes place 500 years after Everquest. The geography is familiar, but not. Graphically, I like it. It doesn't have the same eye goggling landscapes of LOTRO or DDO, but it satisfies for now. It's a more complicated game, and I have sometimes logged off wondering if I need a degree to play it. I am having fun, and for now I feel safe knowing the game I am playing is not going to be changed significantly in the future.
I like that. I need that. I am grateful for that.
P.S. I hear from the EU DDO players they still don't have a date on when they will have their transfers to the newly named Global DDO. Opps I meant to say transfers to Ghallanda, since that is where they are being ported. Not much "Global" about it atm. This is one time when I wish I hadn't been right. I am saddened. It's been almost month since Codemaster's shut down the EU servers. I am desperately hoping something is done soon before they all find something else to do and abandon a game they have come to love. This strange silence must end.
Turbine and Codemaster's made the long awaited announcement concerning the future of DDO Europe this week. To read the announcement from Codemaster's go here. To read the FAQ up over at Turbine go here.
I am beyond upset about how all of this was handled. We've all been trying to figure out what the hold up was over there in Europe. It appears Codemaster's either couldn't or wouldn't negotiate a new deal to handle the DDO Eberron content.
What does this mean for players from Europe who hadn't already made the move to our servers? They will no longer be able to log into the European servers as of August 20th. Supposedly, a free transfer service will be offered to them at some point as well as a token of good faith, 5000 Turbine points. I sure hope Turbine gets the server transfers going before the 20th.
The following question on the FAQ shows how little Turbine seemed prepared for this move.
If our characters are transferred to the global service, will it just be the characters or all of their items and equipment as well?
We will provide more information at a later date on www.ddo.com regarding the details of the transfer of character data.
EKKKKKKKK!!! I don't know about you, but if I had 4 years worth of gear and banks, I would be cringing at this answer. I know Codemasters offered some unique items that were not part of the database here stateside, but I sure am praying they can work out the kinks and move everything they can over for the everyone.
Turbine mentions the phrase "Global Service" several times. I am not sure how they are defining "Global." I am assuming they are perhaps going to have servers in Europe? Atm, I don't know of any over there. I do know they mentioned in the announcement that French and German languages would be in beta by the end of the year. If they are using my calendar, that's 5 months...>.<
I am pretty heartsick over this. I think the paying customers of DDO Europe got bent over and screwed. I found the whole announcement skimpy on details and overall it gave little to the players other than a ton of frustrated stress over what was happening with their accounts. Maybe this speaks to Turbine getting caught with their pants down, but if they were given advance notice on this, EPIC FAIL!!!
If this was happening to me after the back and forth of the past year, I would be beyond ticked off.
It's not new in the world of gaming. Take overs, server merges, and game shut downs have been happening more and more. I am just sorry that Turbine's name happened to be all over this one. While I have not always agreed with their style of communication, I haven't ever seen them act this bad since the entire Free to Play fiasco that ended up being painfully dragged out for a year.
Shame on you...just shame, shame, shame. :(
I am interested in hearing any opinions from the European players and from anyone else. So let me know what you think, here or on twitter.
In other news, I finally finished Dragonage: Awakenings tonight. I am terribly behind the times, but I am slowly finishing off my mammoth library of games. I will try and write more of my impression's on it later.
The website upgrades are finished. I hired someone to help me this time, and saved myself a lot of headaches. It's very very pink, no? I love it, and am hopeful it is easier to read, navigate and enjoy! We are only a couple of weeks from Gencon. My schedule is full, I have a new backpack to bring, and all my tickets are bought. I am soooo excited I can hardly stand it. If you have never been and are looking for information about the con, give a listen to DDO Cocktail Hour Episode 21. It's almost here :D
Rowanheal's Comprehensive Quest list has been updated again. It's current through update 5.
The hubby has been busy working on his Ale Association favor during the LOTRO Summer Festival. He got a new title and I had to get a pic of it.
I've been hitting and miss on gaming. I bought The Witcher when steam had it on sale and am about half way through it I think. Since I didn't have enough games to finish, I also picked up Red Dead Redemption, a western styled rpg shooter. Both of these games I can pick up and play and not realize hours have gone by.
Player's Handbook, my static group in DDO, made Guild Level 5. It's slow going when we only play a couple of hours one day a week, but I am hopeful the small guild bonus will move from testing to live soon.
Basically, I am have been running around in life as I have in my gaming realms, like a chicken with my head cut off. There is so much to get done, and so much to see. I would love to slow time a little, so I could sit back and enjoy some of it and not feel like it is just rushing by.
Lastly, Zeff re-enlisted in the United States Navy last week.
*sigh* I will admit, he looked rather handsome swearing to uphold all manner of things, most of which amounted to me realizing we were committing to spending even more time apart.
Since he's a Sailor, he decided nothing would be more fitting than a celebration meal at Hooters!!! *giggles*
I am hoping to get some real MMORPG time in this week. Things have been so nutty, I need a little down time. Wish me luck :)