Crafting makes me want to throw something!

Crafting makes me want to throw something!

*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.

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Who are you really in an online world?

female-male-symbol
social-media-and-gagets-2
social-media-and-gagets-2

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?

chimpanzee-cute
chimpanzee-cute

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.

sticks and stones
sticks and stones

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!

Game on!!!

Gleanings from Pax East 2011

paxeast2011

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!

Steiner wins again!
Steiner wins again!

Jerry Snook tweeted a link about Lorehound having a video interview with Fernando Paiz!  You have to see this!

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.

turbine booth at pax east 2011
turbine booth at pax east 2011

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

Game on!!!

DDOcast build guild gets an Airship!!!

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.

GAME ON!

Drama Llama's

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.

Forum_Troll-thumb-312x445-68506
Forum_Troll-thumb-312x445-68506

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.

People.

Expectations.

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.

Game on!!!

Summer's ending with Free to play

sentinels_fate_boxart
sentinels_fate_boxart

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.

GAME ON!!!

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.

Preparation for guild madness

Update 5 is coming to DDO this week.  I am excited to see how Guild Housing is going to affect the population. My static group had to make a decision.  Our guild leader had been gone for 3 plus years, and there was never a successor.  I wrote to Turbine to see if there was anything they could do.  There isn't at this time. :(

None of us were sure how things are going to work for guilds, but we were all fairly certain we would need a guild leader.  It meant leaving behind the guild name we had worn for almost 4 years.  TNT has been retired.

We then spent an hour or so trying to figure out a new guild name.  I won't bore you with the hilariousness that ensued, but we finally settled on Players Handbook.  It has so many meanings, and we just couldn't resist.

We are all pretty pumped up about earning a guild ship, but we understand since we are a 6 person static group that is might be a long slog.  I know  Turbine has insisted there are balances in place for small guilds, but I have to say, I am fairly positive small guilds are getting the shaft.

I am also not thrilled with the guild "level" being visible to everyone. I'd like a way to turn that off.

I am also deadly sure that guilds are about to do a big clean out.  Since Guild Renown will degrade once level 26 is reached  +1 per account, I foresee most guilds culling their member lists to getting rid of those that haven't logged on in a while.  Zeff and I haven't logged onto our main server in 7 months, I am sure we are gonna be guildless if we ever chose to play on there again.  I am sad about that, but it's a good business move.

I am not entirely happy with the way this is being rolled out, but I am glad that some kind of housing is coming to DDO.  I am hoping most of the kinks have been worked out and it will be smooth going.

In other news, my sorcerer has been after the Phoenix Robes for months.  We have run it 9 or 10  times trying to get them to pop.  FINALLY, on Tuesday they dropped for out drunken dwarf ranger who took pity on me and let me loot them.  Now I get to drive them nuts upgrading them LOL!

ScreenShot00002
ScreenShot00002

I am including below the video Jerry over at DDOcast made as a preview of Update 5.  I refuse to go over to Lammania anymore.  It spoils the new content for me, but I appreciate those who will go see what's coming and help to make sure it's as bug free as possible.  Enjoy!

GAME ON!!!

Lotro goes F2P...&^%^%#

My phone woke me up on Friday.  It takes a lot for my phone to wake my up since I have it on vibrate.  Irritated, I rolled over and grabbed the thing, briefly considered hurling it against a wall, and noticed I have a gazillion missed phone calls, texts, IM's and Tweets. I kinda stared at it and wondered if the interwebz had imploded overnight or something.  I mean why else would everyone be in such a state of emergency?

One scroll through my IM's explained.

Warner Brother's Announces LOTRO going Free to Play.

My immediate reaction was a sense of deja vu.  This simply couldn't be happening again.  I mean, seriously?

I spent the morning quietly smoldering.  I had to turn everything off and just let the thought percolate in my little grey cells.

What will follow below is an off the cuff almost stream of consciousness opinion piece on F2P in Middle-Earth.  I have thoughts.  Many of them are too slanted to share, but I have done my best to cull out the bad ones and try and make sense of what has essentially ruined my own personal gaming experience.

The announcement DDO was going Free to Play brought me to my gaming knees.  I spent the first few months tolerating it.  The next few  deciding if DDO was still a game I could enjoy.  By December 2009, I had quit playing my main characters.  I just didn't turn on the game except for Static group night.

By March of 2010, DDOcast had set up a static group type guild on Orien.  With some trepidation, I joined the guild and used the DDO store for the first time.  It was a terrible experience and unfortunately cemented the ire I had been living with for some time.

Free to play changed things.  I got a giggle when I read in the press release that things would essentially not change for VIP members of LOTRO.  I am not sure what crack Turbine is smoking, but once they cut through the haze of smoke, they have to admit,  the model changed things significantly.

The caliber of players changed.  I am keenly aware of it on Orien.  While I admit I have met several players who have benefited from the free to play model, most have gone VIP.  Being Free to play is simply a lot of work.  And yeah, as I predicted there is the class problem.  Most players just don't want to play with free to play people.  It a stigma that's grown like a cancer in the community.

The store has continued to grow in its role as the big fat easy button.

Things that drive me nuts in DDO's F2p?

Share the quest...I haven't bought that pack. Can someone get me a pass?...I didn't know this was a pay to play sorry...Oh we need a rez? I'll just buy a cake from the store!...Oh I ran out of mana, let me buy some pots from the store...I bought 32 point build but I don't understand what its for...I thought if I bought the pack I was flagged for the raid...Man this game is so easy to level in.  I've made it to 14 in 10 hours with xp pots, but the game has no story...I'm 12 my mom says I have to clean my room now...I need my moms credit card to get more points from the store...

I could probably go on forever.

I had someone tell me they were under the impression I hated free to play players.  I don't think I do.  I think I hate the way some Free to Play players treat DDO like a " you can win if you throw enough money at it" kinda game.  I don't like that the knowledge level of the players has decreased significantly. Not to mention Turbine has been on a "how can we make this easy" kick with DDO!  It's like they are playing to the lowest common denominator of Free to play players who can't read.

And yeah, it ruined DDO for me personally.

LOTRO will be different.   For one, I don't think the any one item in the store can be game breaking the way rez cakes, rest shrines, xp pots and mana pots have been for DDO.  The game has settings inside of it already that will stop most of that.  I foresee the store being able to sell a bunch of cosmetic items, something I would love to see in DDO.

Biggest issue I see coming is that LOTRO is not an instanced game.  While a select set of quests are instanced, it is generally a wide open world.  I can't wait for the servers to open up so a bunch of idiots can run rampant being loot whoring, kill stealing, camping morons.

Since the quests follow story lines, as the new population levels, they are going to be following each other around in waves trying to out kill steal another player to complete quests.

It's a disaster in the making.

I am  hoping Turbine will not be selling crafting items in the store.  So far, the LOTRO economy is pretty healthy.  Amassing any gold of significant quantities takes a bit of work.  Most of that work comes from crafting.

LOTRO offered life time subscriptions until recently (which should have been a signal more people picked up on).  I feel horrible for those who spent good money on a lifetime subscription to a game that will now attract the dredges of the gaming community at large.

Knowledge level is not going to be a super big deal.  LOTRO has cookie cutter builds a 5 year old could navigate.  It is however a big world.  I foresee a bunch of those ugly "signs" like they put in DDO helping players who can't figure it out. *rolls her eyes*

Most of us play LOTRO solo, we aren't gonna have to group with knuckle heads who can't find their ass from a hole in the ground.  I think  though we will see the same type of cancer in LOTRO suffered currently in DDO.  Free to play players will play amongst themselves.  There are fellowship quests, but the "looking for group" mechanic in LOTRO sucks monkey balls.  I think we will stick within our guilds for fellowships.

Things are gonna change.  The first six months of F2p in DDO were horrific.  I am girding my loins for the influx in Lotro this fall.

In general, I think we are going to see this model popping up more and more.  I live in fear of having to quit PC gaming entirely in favor of my console.  Turbine has been very open with how much money they are making from the model, and I expect a few more games here in the future to begin emulating what's already been highly successful overseas in the Asian market.

Used to be, you picked an MMO, paid your money and spent a few years in your fantasy world of choice.  You were spending your money, and with it, came a sense of commitment to a game world. With the advent of Free to play in the mainstream, younger players have learned to jump games when they like with no guilt and little thought.

I swear we are raising a generation of people with the attention spans of gnats.

It's almost enough to make me want to play WOW.  Almost...

GAME ON!!!

Pantless...

I've completed most of my tasks for the week.  It's been a weird one.  The schedule here at home is on the fritz, and will remain so for the foreseeable future.  I am annoyed, but military life is attempting to teaching me patience.  A year or so ago my head would have spun off.  I figure since my head's still  attached, and I haven't screamed at anyone, I must be patient! Feeling rather proud of my apparent ability to be task oriented and outwardly calm, I am rewarding myself with a weekend of gaming.  I can think of no better way to spend my time at the moment.  Ok, there are possibly productive things I could be doing, but who wants to be all productive all the time?  It's exhausting.

I'd squirreled away the horse race token and 12 leaves for my festival horse.  I have been salivating over the blue roan for a month.  Thankfully the barter vendor appeared back in the game, and I ran my little hobbit out there as soon as I logged into LOTRO today.  The picture at the top of this article is my new blue roan horse.  Sexy, yes?  LOVE HER!!!

On my run out to  Hengstacer's Farm to procure my new mount, I found my eye's bulging at the graphics.  I played on my new laptop today.  It's really the first long play session where I have experienced the Direct 10X graphics.  I might have needed a napkin to wipe up the drool.  Simply stunning.  I am almost kicking myself for not having given in to Windows 7 before now.  If you have been sitting on the fence about the upgrade, do yourself a favor.  Just do it.

I managed to level my little mini to 37.  *smiles*  She remains my favorite girl.  It could be because she was my first real LOTRO character.  Maybe it's just that she is a mini.  Probably it's all of those things plus the fact she's a hobbit.  She's just cute as a bug.

It took hours to level today.  I spent some of them thinking about my never ending trips to the skinner box.  LOTRO does a super job  making me press the lever.  As an example;  the quest called for me to get medallions from hillmen outside of Estedlin.  No problem.  I ran out there.  I killed hillmen.  A mediallion dropped every 5 or 8 kills.  I needed 12 medallions.  I ended up spending 45 minutes grinding through the random drop rate until I accomplished my task.  Yup, I truly do live in the skinner box.  *sigh*

I took a break from the grind when I heard some friends might be playing LOTRO.  One of them is rather new to the game, so I made a new girl and leveled her to 9 to help show him around.  I am a sucky tour guide, but its fun to see a game through someone else's unvarnished eyes.

ScreenShot00002
ScreenShot00002

Everything went swimmingly.  We made a few levels.  I explained some of the tricks and ins and outs I've learned.  We decided to take a tour of a house, so I could show him how housing works.  After the purchase of a deluxe house, I am proud to let people in the door :)   One room has an Inn league keg as the centerpiece.  It's kind of the alarm system.  I figure someone wanders inside and sees the ale, they are gonna take a swig.  Especially dwarves and hobbits.  They can't resist!!!  Before I could get the words "Don't drink" out of my mouth, he'd swallowed a flagon of ale.  Within 15 seconds he hit the floor, ported and ended up pantless in Bree.  :D  I personally found it rather hysterical, although I worried he would be a wee tad upset.  It certainly added a whole new flavor to the tour.

I had a blast and hope he visits again soon.

I logged back on to by hobbit and found a quest which seemed relatively simply.  Collect a giant skull and return it to camp.  No big deal.

skull heavy
skull heavy

Do you see that thing?  Now someone explain to me how exactly my hobbit carried this monstrosity across a zone without falling over from the weight?

*shakes her head*

Every once in a while the dev's need a swift kick in their rear ends for coming up with this kind of stuff...and then for leaving it in the game.  It certainly doesn't lend itself to immersion.  I will admit though, I laughed all the way  back to the camp.  I couldn't help myself.  I couldn't see my feet around that thing.  All I could do was run and pray nothing aggroed on me while I sprinted to the NPC!!!

I am off to do a little inventory maintenance before I pass out.  As usual, I am taking full advantage of my day of gaming.  It's 2:30 in the morning.  Yup, silly skinner box.  I need more food pellets!!!

GAME ON!!!

Spring Sillyness and the DDO Quest list

I've been enjoying the Spring Festival in LOTRO.   I have FINALLY gotten proficient enough at Stomp a Shrew to not be the last person in the garden :) Overall, I'm having a blast with it. I am including a video below of Stomping Shrews. You wouldn't think it was hard, but I sure have a tough time of it. I've been entering the lotteries and have won a fair number of the fireworks. In fact, I have enough to have one heck of a July Fourth Party! I have still been unable to win a Spring Steed. Zeff won one, blast his eyes. I am still a little upset at him over it. He likes to ride by on his horse and SHOW me. *growls*

Enurnawor continues (Rowanrune backwards, I've decided to stick with the backwards thing in LOTRO!) working on Inn League Favor. Maybe a little too much. I was walking by the beer aisle in my local grocery store the other day and had a hankering for ale. There is currently a six pack residing in my mini-fridge LOL. I couldn't help myself. The hobbit's are a bad influence on me :)

This what my screen looks like by the end of one of the Inn League runs.

ScreenShot00024
ScreenShot00024

I am glad the count down timer is a little longer towards the end of this quest line. The ale begins to move across my screen and I have a hard time catching them :)

Perhaps my favorite Inn League quest is still the one to convince the Dwarve's to abandon the league. Zeff caught a screen shot of me making fun of one of them.

ScreenShot00006-1
ScreenShot00006-1

ROFLMAO!!!

An anonymous friend sent me the Rabbit Mask in the mail. I can't resist wearing it. It's too much fun.

Both the hubby and I picked up a sinister keg as an end reward. Perhaps one of my favorite moments this past week occurred when he was redecorating his house. I heard "Oh CRAP!" And look over asking "What happened?" He said "I was putting the keg in my house and clicked on it!" He ended up across the map. Cracked me up. Too funny. So I guess those things should come with a buyer beware warning. Don't click too many times when decorating with them :D

In other news, we made another update to the DDO Quest list. It contains everything through Update 3. I have still not figured out how I want to represent Casual and Epic on the quest list. Maybe I will work on that this summer when I have time. Otherwise, I am going to just leave it as is. It still has a few nit picky corrections that need to made, but for now, its functional!

We'll be doing another live call in show for DDOcast tomorrow. Episode 162 LIVE SHOW set: Saturday, April 3rd from 3-5p Eastern on Ustream.tv/channel/ddocast. Calls (507) 295-1847. So call in with your DDO questions or comments. We run a live chat as well on the Ustream link, so even if you don't call in, you can participate. Can't wait to hear from you.

I've been playing more DDO lately. The DDOcast Build Guild has been a lot of fun, and I look forward to every Sunday at noon EST. My monk has made level 7, but I am waiting a rank or two to click for it.Many of the people in the guild are between 3-5 and I don't want to get too far out of level range. Two of my static group friends are in the guild and one of them put aside a Pink docent for my girl.

ScreenShot00100
ScreenShot00100

How pretty does she look?

I finished up Dragonage...FINALLY!!! I downloaded Awakenings and am having a lot of fun with it. I also picked up Final Fantasy 13. I had to. The main character, Lightening, has pink hair! How was I going to resist that?

lightening
lightening

Ohhh, before I forget... I am a guest on DDO Cocktail Hour this week with Lessah and Samius!!! I am sooo darn excited. *ponders* Maybe that's why I bought the beer? Maybe its not the hobbit's fault?

Alright, its Friday afternoon and I have nothing pressing. I am off to play some FF13.

Game On!!!

Lotro gets Oath of the Rangers

It's been a long week. The hubby had a pesky cold. I thought he should keep it to himself, but as usual he decided to share. Thursday morning I felt the first itch in my nose. By Friday morning, I was begging for Nyquil and my warm bed. I love him most of the time, but he needs to wear a hazmat suit when he comes in the house diseased!!! Why is it we can cure most diseases, but the common cold remains so virulent? Bleh!!!

I finally dragged myself off the couch long enough today to actually game. My mailboxes in LOTRO needed emptying, I had a toon to level, and I wanted to craft some things to make some money on the auction house.

I looked up after a little while in game and realized 2 hours had passed. I had spent the entire 120 minutes crafting in the craft hall! I could blame it on the Nyquil, but probably its just the fact that I refuse to pass up any kind of mat I can pick up. Hence my need to upgrade my bank space whenever possible.

I made 34 on my rune-keeper, managed to kill the Troll-Keeper in the longest cave I have ever entered, and I now have a ton of auctions up for sale. If you are in LOTRO and have money to burn, please go shopping. I have picked out a deluxe house on a quiet street in the shire and mama needs bank :)

As an aside, I ran into a den of trolls tonight while adventuring in the North Downs. While I expect trolls to be revolting, I can say the team at Turbine has done an outstanding job making me want to hurl whenever I run across one of these stingy, kicking, club wielding jerks. They really need to put more clothes on. The belly flab and sweaty, hairy nipple action makes me green around the gills!

Tomorrow we will finally get Oath of the Rangers, Volume III, book 1.

The LOTRO Game Servers will be brought down on Monday, March 1,2010 from 6:00AM – 10:00AM Eastern (-5 GMT) to launch the latest free content update, Volume III: Allies of The King, Book 1: Oath of the Rangers. (Click here) for the release notes. Thanks for your patience, and we'll see you back in the game soon!

I can't wait to find some time tomorrow night to check out the new Duo option on skirmishes. I still can't believe they didn't have this option to begin with, but I am super excited to have a chance to really use the skirmishes on the pair of toon's the hubby and I are leveling together.

In other news, I was checking out the schedule of events for Pax East. A couple of the guys from DDOcast are going to attend, and I figured I could ask them to check things out  if there was anything super interesting to me. I found a session I am wishing I could be a fly on the wall for.

Girls and Games: The Growing Role of Women in the Game Industry Manticore Theatre Friday, 8:00pm According to the ESA, more than 43% of video gamers are female, making women the single largest untapped market segment in the gaming industry. Look at the milestones crossed and the hurdles to come as developers and publishers reach out to this previously overlooked demographic. Are current strategies effective? What does this mean for the game industry as a whole? Panelists Include: Brittany Vincent [Editor-in-Chief, Spawn Kill], Julie Furman [Founder, SFX360], Jeff Kalles [Penny Arcade], Alexis Hebert [Community Relations Manager, Terminal Reality]

Imagine my head spinning around like the exorcist. It's one of my pet peeves in gaming. Yes, there are two genders. Yes, one is probably from Mars and maybe the other is from Venus. I don't however understand how we can be an overlooked nor an under tapped demographic when we appear to the Entertainment Software Association to be half of the gaming population buying and beating the games put out by the gaming industry.

What are they going to talk about, putting more half-dressed men in games, how to advertise with more feminine colors and paint everything pink? Not that I want to besmirch the color pink, I mean its my personal fav, but I don't want to watch an ad for Dragon Age with pink everywhere for goodness sakes. We already have Hello Kitty Online... how much further past the line of ridiculous do we need to go?

There are a ton of women game developers at the major houses, girl blogger, and girl podcasters. We field teams for competition and generally kick rear.

I am dying of curiosity to hear what people say in this session because if it's more dribble about how to reach out to a population who is already playing by offering crap fluff games I'm gonna puke.

Ok, I am getting off my soapbox, so I can slip into another Nyquil haze.

Before I forget, DDOcast episode 157 is out.  They covered the weeks news, have a few interviews and segments.  Check it out.

Also, take a gander at the video below. Someone over in the LOTRO community put together their take on the The Guild's "Do you want to date my avatar!" It's simply hysterical.

GAME ON!!!

Sore fingers

I didn't get a chance to game this weekend. Rarely happens in my world, but occasionally real life rears its ugly head. Unfortunately I rolled a 1 on my 20 sided pink dice this weekend and ended up nursing myself and my family. I just loved all the bonding time *rolls her eyes* While I lay wishing for death on my couch this weekend watching season's of Numbers and Bones on DVD, the gaming world had a few interesting tidbits of news I thought I'd pass along.

Bioware emailed me about Dragonage Awakenings. I am inserting a video below on the new expansion for this fabulous RPG . It looks like its a fully fleshed out expansion. I have a few friends who are rabidly awaiting this release. Included in the e-mail was a link to Hot Topic who is offering a couple of different Dragonage T-shirts.  I think I may have to have one of these :)

Star Trek Online has been busy pushing out patches as fast as they can to correct the various bug reports and issues the game has been experiencing in it's first few weeks.  I have to hand it to Cryptic, they have been awesome about talking to their community about the various problems the games has been experiencing and have put in patch after patch.  I haven't been playing it much.  The game just hasn't completely captured my attention, but its not a bad game.

There has been a lot of talk about the skill system in the game.  Lead Designer Al Rivera talked about the ins and outs of the system in a fairly detailed article.  Most important thing I took away from the piece was this quote.   "Finally, a note about Respecs... Simply put, they are coming soon. We are currently working on this feature right now. The details are not final, however."  I am relieved to hear it.  Most of us have made mistakes we would like to correct as we have learned the system.  It's nice to know we may be able to fix things in the future.

I got an e-mail from Cryptic over the weekend letting me know the buddy key's are now live.

STO buddy keys
STO buddy keys

So if you have a friend who has been wanting to check out the game, pass them a buddy key and show them how to save the Universe from the evil Klingons :)

LOTRO sent me a newsletter detailing their new update, coming soon!

LOTRObook3
LOTRObook3

The thing I am the most excited about is that the hubby and I will be able to take advantage of the new DUO option on skirmishes. We haven't really been doing them as we have a set of characters we play as a team and neither of us wants to play them solo and get to ahead of each other on xp.

In other LOTRO news, looks like they are looking for some new testers for their preview server.

The Isengard Private Preview Program Needs YOU!

* Do you gain a sense of pride when you file bugs, knowing that you’ve helped us improve the game by doing so? * Do you have a few hours of free time a week that you would like devote to helping us test LOTRO? * Do you enjoy seeing things in an unfinished state and watching them develop? * Do you like the idea of having an influence on how those same things turn out in the end? * Can you keep a secret? No matter how many bribes of you may get?

If you answered ‘YES’ to all the above questions, then Isengard may be the place for you!

The Isengard Private Preview Program is taking applications for new members. We would love to have you on board, getting your virtual hands dirty with our new and upcoming content, and telling us what you think!

Requirements:

1. Must be at least 18 years of age 2. Must have a current, valid Turbine* subscription to The Lord of the Rings Online: Siege of Mirkwood registered under your name 3. Must have a clean forum and game history 4. Must be able to interact with the community in a mature and constructive manner 5. Must be able to communicate well through forum posts and bug reports 6. You must accept the terms of the Private Preview Program Non-Disclosure Agreement, the full contents of which will be provided during the registration process should you be accepted to the program

If you think Isengard is right for you, we encourage you to apply! See the next post for the 'How Tos'. We look forward to hearing from you, and good luck!

The Isengard Private Preview Program Team

That's the second announcement for a Turbine game I have seen in the last few weeks.  DDO had a cattle call for their preview server last week. I am glad to see them opening up the flood gates. If you think you would want to participate, be sure to apply!

Speaking of DDO, Episode 156 of DDOcast went up last night.  It covers the weeks news as well as a few segments.

I am a little late in mentioning it, but Fernando Paiz spoke to the DDO community on Thursday about the game's 4th Anniversary. There was nothing earth shattering in his post.  Mostly it was a regurgitation of the events already announced, but he did hint  in the coming weeks we should be on the look out for a State of The Game Address from him.

In a major announcement Turbine has stated "As the final stage of our datacenter move, all Turbine games will be offline on Tuesday February 23, from 4:00AM - 4:00PM Eastern Time (-5 GMT)."

I am excited and hoping this will take care of some of the rubberbanding I have been seeing in both DDO and LOTRO!  *fingers crossed*

I am off to play some Bioshock 2.  I want to finish the game this week, and barring any more family emergencies, I may just get it done! Looking forward to some sore fingers from all the gaming I am hoping to get done this week!

GAME ON!!!

DDO's 4th anniversary

A patch to update 1 went live today.  It had quite a few changes which you can see a complete list of on DDOcast.com. Our static group had to switch nights this week due to unforeseen circumstances, so it gave us a chance to check out the new 4th Anniversary game.

Celebrating 4 Years of DDO

We're kicking off the festivities for DDO's 4th Birthday, starting with a special scavenger hunt event! By finding hidden decorative eggs in the Marketplace, you can get a prize, and the more eggs you find, the better the prize! To learn more about the event, click here! Additionally, check out the following special activities related to the Scavenger Hunt for DDO's 4th Birthday!

  • All characters created prior to February 18th, 2010 will receive Tokens of the Traveler that can be used to participate in the Traveler's Scavenger Hunt.
    • Free player characters will receive 5 tokens
    • Premium player characters will receive 10 tokens
    • VIP characters will receive 15 tokens
    • Additional tokens can be purchased in the DDO Store!
    • All characters created prior to February 18th, 2010 - regardless of account type - will receive a Blessing of the Traveler. This special item can be redeemed after a successful run of the scavenger hunt for rare prizes! Speak with the NPC Taj in the Marketplace after completing your egg hunt to redeem your Blessing. If you miss the event or do not wish to play the scavenger hunt, Taj will also offer you a somewhat less exciting prize in exchange for your Blessing at any time.
      • Additional Blessings of the Traveler can be purchased in the DDO Store!
  • In honor of DDO's 4th Birthday, redeeming a Blessing of the Traveler with Taj after an egg hunt gives a chance to receive Hearts of Wood!
  • I logged on and the gang told me how to get started.

    I met them in the market place and looked in my inventory and saw two new items.

    Blessing thingy
    Blessing thingy
    Easter Tokens
    Easter Tokens

    I found the NPC Taj and started on my search for Different colored Easter eggs in the Marketplace.  Taj gives you special vision which makes the Eggs visible to you.  I tried it a couple of times and went to get my prize.  I got a shield and a Robe.  Nothing earthshattering, but it was fun to have something new to try out.

    It's not the best Anniversary event we've ever had, but its not the worst.  I don't see me logging on just to play the game, but its a time sink to use in between quests and groups to make a little coin.

    A player on the forums has put together a map of the best route as well as a youtube video.  FOr those interested, the map is below and I have embedded the vido at the bottom of this post.

    easter_egg_route
    easter_egg_route

    In other news, Lessah and Samius have started a spin off podcast.

    CocktailHour550x550
    CocktailHour550x550

    You can listen to the show HERE!

    I'm super excited about the spin off.  Can't wait to see where they take this!

    GAME ON!!!

    I found the pink paint

    After all the trouble logging in Friday night, the hubby and I were able to get into STO with out any trouble both Saturday and Sunday. We logged quite a few hours and we got our guys to level 8. I am beginning to really enjoy the game. Parts of the story are beginning to make sense and feel fully formed. Combat on the ground is still not as slick as I would like, but its still fun. Space combat has gotten easier for me, although I still think I need to go back to the Starfleet Academy for some basic flying lessons!

    I am working on the first level of crafting. It's laborious and I am not sure how much fun it truly is, but at first glance it maybe worth it to be able to upgrade some items.

    Tribbles. Ohhhhh they are simply wonderful. In beta I wasn't really sure what they were for. I went looking for a forum post on it tonight when I heard some of the chat from my guildies. Seems you can upgrade your tribble?

    I hadn't found one yet. I kept killing Klingon's on ground missions looking for one. Seems the Klingon's love their tribbles and are hoarding them. The hubby finally got one and stuck it in his inventory to look at later. By the time we had gotten out of the mission, he had two tribbles!!!

    Yup, they breed in your inventory. If you have food in your cargo hold, they nibble it up and reproduce :) That's just fun.

    I finally amassed a few credits this weekend and starting looking around to try and figure out how to upgrade my ship.

    I found the pink paint!!!

    I know I know... no self respecting Starfleet ship should be pink... but I couldn't help myself :)

    I also figured out how to rename my collector's edition ship as well as the registry number.

    I am going to have "r" to the end of every new ship I get since I can only have a ship's name once LOL.

    In other news, I took part in a group discussion of DDOcast this weekend. The episode had been out 24 hours when there was already a complaint about my "whining and complaining!" *shakes her head* I love DDO, I just sometimes don't love all of it. I suppose I should be greatful to have a reaction at all, but it reminds me why I haven't been doing regular segments for a while. *shrugs*

    Tomorrow is LOTRO day for me. Our guild is having our monthly meeting in our kinhouse and I am going to spend all day crafting to make something for the exchange we normally have. I've been slacking lately. Hope I have enough time to make things.

    I am off to bed. Bioshock 2 party at my local gamestop tomorrow at midnight. The hubby has duty. I don't think I going to wander around the city that late by myself, so he will just have to bring it home to me on Tuesday. Plus, I have a new power supply coming tomorrow or the next day. Additionally, I still haven't finished Mass Effect 2.

    So many great games, so little time.

    GAME ON!!!

    Snow day

    It's gorgeously white outside. Hey, I know a few of you you have this kind of wintery stuff all the time. I live on a beach. It's not normal :)

    Like a kid, I shrugged into enough snow-like gear to rival the Michelin Man for girth. Camera in hand, I spent an hour wandering through the State Park behind my house and just enjoying the enthusiasm of the kids hoots and hollers, the crying of the babies who were wayyy too cold and the strange sight of people on ski's in a town known for surf boards!

    DSC00515
    DSC00515

    Want to know the awesome thing about a snow day? I don't have to go anywhere and I can game as much as I want :)

    Yesterday marked the opening of Star Trek Online's Headstart game launch. I really didn't WANT to patch my game and log on, but I figured I should. With some trepidation and whining over how I wanted to play Mass Effect 2, I got to it.

    I made a Science officer. From the first screen I could tell the game has gotten a layer of gloss. It looks better, feels better, and the explanations of things are right where they should be.

    I made Rowan who is the captain of the USS Sea Tiger (anyone know where that is from?) and logged in only to hear the Voice of Spock, the real one Leonard Nimoy, in my headset. :D

    They have added a cool cinematic explaining where the universe is now and how star fleet fits in, why the klingons are at war with everyone and a jumping off place in the time line for how you are going to save the universe.

    My biggest complaint when I was in open beta was the lack of continuity. I want story. It looks like Cryptic has added it and I am looking forward to going where no man has to gone before with my phasers on stun in the next 30 or so days to see if they succeed where many have failed before.

    I didn't play very long. I had to get back to Mass Effect 2. I am totally hooked and I am hoping to get in many many hours of play this weekend.

    Plus Bioshock 2 comes out on the 8th and I have it pre ordered, so well, there are only so many hours I can game. LOL

    Jerry over at DDOcast put together this short Video from Mass Effect 2. I laughed and laughed. I find this hilarious :)

    I am off to Mass Effect 2.

    Game on!!!

    Lottery winner W00t!!!

    Before you all start thinking I am buying luxury cars and a new house, I won a LOTRO lottery :) And yes, its exciting.

    How do they work?

    Well, as part of the Mylotro community pages, you can enter your characters for lotteries during the week. It's incentive to check back on mylotro, I think.

    I found out about the lottery right after recording a DDOCast. We'd been discussing ways to get people to use Myddo. I don't know how it could work for DDO, but I am hoping there is someone over at Turbine whose job it is to figure it out :)

    Yesterday, I got a notice I had sold an auction. Since I am poor, I mapped home to Bree to check my mailbox and see my cash.

    Surprise!!! I see 5 letters with the word "Lottery Winner" *faints*

    This can't be right, I never win anything.

    I received the following.

    As well as 200 silver :D Whoo hoo.

    Nothing like celebrating the wonderfulness of pie :)

    In other news, looks like update 3 is coming to DDO February 3rd. If you'd like to look at the release notes for the test server to see what's coming, click here. Casual setting makes me want to puke, notice boards are for n00bs and generally I am disgusted, but that's just me being ranty. I am glad we are seeing so many updates.

    DDO's 4th anniversary is being acknowledged this year with a party of sorts. It doesn't look in anyway like the Marketplace event.

    Which by the way, I am finding a fabulous foreshadowing of the game itself. They blew the gaming marketplace on their butts with this little experiment of theirs. Plus, in my own personal opinion, they blew the actual game into smithereens, but I am off topic.

    Look I said something positive. I am shutting up now.

    Star Trek Online has extended their open beta by one day.

    Headstart starts on the January 29th. I guess I need to call gamestop and see if I need to pick up the box early or if they are giving out a code for that. I will play the game for at least the free 30 days, after that we will see. I am still not sure if it's fun or not even after all the time I have spent in open beta.

    Speaking of gamestop... I will be there at midnight tonight, waiting in line for my copy of Mass Effect 2, the collector's edition. Can't wait to see what kind of trouble Commander Shepard gets into this time. The hubby thinks I am insane. HA!

    :D

    GAME ON!!!

    What I've been up to...

    I don't have a whole lot to talk about. Life has been ticking a long at a pretty fast clip lately. How in blue blazes is it already mid-November?

    One thing I love about this season, well besides the deliciously cool weather, is the proliferation of pumpkin objects. I love pumpkin candles, sprays and plug in, so I had to give myself a budget. Otherwise my cleaning closet would be overflowing and I would be broke LOL!
    Game wise I have been busy in Dragon age. I know I know... stop staring at me. DDO is still fabulous and I love it and play at least once a week, but Dragon age is simple yumminess and I am, for the moment, completely hooked :)
    I do have something to say though, I am not in love with the way every game seems to have some sort of "social" site. Just how connected am I supposed to be exactly?
    I use myddo because I am at heart a DDO fanatic. I can't resist keeping in touch with all my gaming friends. I don't use it for Lotro, I play too sproadically and its simply not worth the headache. Now Bioware has a whole social site set up for Dragon age?
    I have been looking at how connected I am lately and bemoaning the amount of work it takes to keep everyone in the "social loop."
    I want one program that does it all, and for now I am trying out Digsby. It connects your social networks, IM's and various e-mail accounts in one smooth application. It takes some work to input everything, but after you are done, its all rather seamless.
    Just to highlight the issues I speak of, when I am finished writing this blog, I am going to have to copy and past it into the blogging software over on MYDDO. If there is a way to get the MYDDO system to automatically bring this information in, without the need for my intervention, I have yet to find it. So it's another step I try to remember when I post blogs these days.
    Here's a link to my Dragon Age info. That is supposed to work, but I hear it sometimes requires you to be logged in to see the info... kind of pointless really except I can use the site to look at my character when I am not in game. What in the world is it useful for except bragging rights?
    Look, I'm not saying its a horrible thing, I am just asking how interconnected do I actually need to be?
    Gaming wise, I utilize Xfire to keep up with my shennaigans, and on the Xbox I use their little program (which I have a link to on my blog.)
    So someone explain to me why I need all this stuff? *bangs head on her desk*
    And Xbox is adding in twitter and facebook functionality. WHY???
    I'll stop complaining now LOL.
    There is something to be said for simply unplugging, yes?
    Mmmm... And don't forget to head over to DDOcast to hear this weeks episode :)
    Ohhhh and while I am thinking about it, I am awfully glad I didn't log into DDO today. Maintenance seems to have been a wee tad wonky and everyone on Thelanis lost their guild? ROFLMAO... I shouldn't laugh, its had everyone in an uproar, but can I just say as oppsie's go this one was Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious :)
    Game on!!!

    DDO in Print, and a whole lot about PINK!!!

    Just a short snippet here. I am super busy with life at the moment, but wanted to at least make an attempt to blog.

    For those of you who listen to DDOcast, I have been either doing a segment, participating in a live show, or being a guest voice in a commercial over the last month. Have fun picking out whose voice is whose on there :)

    Thats the back cover of PC Gamer's December 2009 issue. Don't faint, but DDO has ACTUAL print advertising :) Who knew?

    In other news, I tried to attend the air show here a couple of weekends ago, but the absolutely cruddy weather kept me from seeing anything fly.

    I did however have time to ask the hubby to shoot pics of the pink things :)

    Ok seriously, I don't know why we need a pink construction truck, but I thought it deserved a nod. The pink Delta airplane. If I were rich and famous, I would totally have to have one of these.

    I know I am late in saying this, but October is Breast Cancer awareness month in case you were living under a boulder and completely missed it :)

    I used to almost ignore Breath Cancer Awareness. While I knew it was important to my health and to my gender, I was younger, much less evolved, and generally thought there was no need to think about cancer.

    Reality crashed around me when my mother was diagnosed several years ago. I became intimately aware of risk factors, ports, drug therapies, Chemo, Radiation and how to tie a scarf properly.

    She is a survivor and I type that with a great deal of emotion. Nothing has ever rocked our family like cancer has.

    Never take your world for granted.

    So do yourself a favor, do a breast examine routinely, get a baseline mammogram, and remind your girlfriends to touch, check and keep track of changes in their breasts.

    I love the color pink for many reasons, October reminds me its more than a fashion choice. It's about stamping out Breast Cancer, treating out bodies with respect, and being an advocate for our own health.

    Click on this link to find out the new recommended way to do a Breast Self Exam.

    I am off to do some work. Tonight is Static group night in DDO, and I am looking forward to finding new ways to kill some monsters.

    Game On!!!

    Quest List Updates

    Rowanheal's Quest List has been updated AGAIN. The newly updated list has some major changes.

    All quests through what we formally knew as Module 9, now Eberron Unlimited, have been added. I am missing favor for some of the high level stuff and will add it in as I run the content. As always, rss feed the list to keep updated.

    I had major help from the hubby this time around again. He helped color code the quest list so we could differentiate between Free to play quests and Premium content.

    You will notice we have color coded and grouped the Premium quests and then added a tab to the far right with the Adventure Pack you will need to buy in order to run the content.

    From working on the list, it looks like there are 80 or so free quests out of 220 plus quests in the game. For those of you wanting numbers, that means, roughly 37% of the content in the game is Free! Kinda eye opening.

    I would like to give a shout out to Rowbie on the forums for his help in aggregating all of this information. He and I chatted a bit in PM's and he helped me get things sorted on the Free to Play versus Premium quests.

    I am hoping this is going to prove useful to everyone and that you will let me know if you find any glaringly obvious mistakes and so forth.

    In other news, I don't want anyone to forget about the big DDOcast Radio show tomorrow.

    DDOcast Live Show on Friday at FPS-Radio.com!!!

    Yup. DJDenial over at FPS-Radio.com is a DDO player who has a four hour DDOstravaganza set for Friday, September 18th from 7pm until 11pm Eastern time. FPS-Radio is a streaming radio station that is adding all sorts of talk shows and the like in the coming months.

    Friday's show so far will include me, DJDenial, Ustice, Parvo and Lessah. We'll be talking DDO and taking your calls! Yeah, that's the really exciting part. We'd love to hear from you!

    Here's the details:

    I am DJDenial, owner and main net-host for FPS-Radio.com . We are going to be showcasing this new incarnation of Dungeons and Dragons Online in a feature show we call FPS-RADIO PRESENTS. What we will be discussing is anything and everything dealing with DDO and Turbine, from the downfalls of the old version, the additions to this new version, the pending litigation between Turbine and Atari. What we are looking for is a few individuals that have played the previous version and are playing the current. We are looking for both experienced DnD players in both the MMORPG and the pen and paper. If you are interested in doing this, please post here with some area of contact, or send me an email at admin@fps-radio.com , or at our sitehttp://www.fps-radio.com/ . We have the show planned for September 18th, 2009 starting at 7:00pm EST and running to 11:00pm EST. The only thing that we do ask is that if you are going to participate in the live show, you must be at least 18 years of age.

    For those of you that want to tune in and listen or show support, we will be hosting a channel on the QuakeNet IRC Network at #fps-radio . We would love for anyone to participate.

    Okay, a bit more info. You can stream FPS Radio from their web site or from any web player like iTunes, Windows Media Player, Real Player, etc.

    To call the show live on Friday, use Skype at Rocky.Battan or call FPS-Radio at 248-461-3159.

    Now, it should be noted that Friday's get-together will NOT be the regular weekly DDOcast, which will still go out on Saturday. At this point this is just a one-off to have lots of fun on a Friday night, do some streaming Internet radio and finally have that live call-in show that's been requested for years. I'm really looking forward to it. I'm not sure also if this will be recorded for future benefit, so if you can, make sure you check it out!

    This could be the start of something awesome.

    Quoted from DDOcast.com

    Be sure to call and say hi and discuss our favorite game with Jerry and friends.

    GAME ON!!!

    Its a new day in DDO

    Woke up this morning in a fairly grumpy mood. I had Occupational Therapy for this injury of mine and then it was home for me to try and see what had happened in DDO. It's official launch day of DDO Unlimited and I held my breath waiting for the ruckus to begin.

    DDO.com has a new look and even a new video. I will warn you now. The video is complete cheese. Funny to those of who have been playing long term. I am not sure how the humor is being understood by the novice. Go on over to DDO.com to view it. Chicken sounds, a new slogan *barfs*, but some great cinematics.

    I'd love to tell you it's all been smooth, but this is a Turbine Game. You know I shouldn't pick on them nearly as much as I do. Every game developer has its issues. It's just launch days for mods and now a re-release have been rife with fits and stutters.

    Today the forums have been up and down like a yo-yo. This apparently has also affected new downloads and accounts. While there hasn't been a HUGE push for DDO Unlimited since the last delay was announced, there has been a smattering of news coverage. Not to mention the little banner ads many sites have been adding lately. Heck I saw a DDO Unlimited blurb on my gmail the other morning :)

    I will say Massively.com has a great round up on their site. As does Jerry over on DDOcast. Check both of them out for great links, screenshots and vids.

    I logged into my server briefly this evening to take a look around. The Harbor was filled with newbies. Some of them old players returning since the game is now free, others are part of the flock of new players expected to flood the game servers in the next few months.

    One thing DDO has never really had; a general world chat. I should amend that and say while general chat has been available, it is not used by those of us who have been playing for the last 3 plus years unless we were in the rare live event.

    Imagine my shock when I couldn't read guild chatter for all the general chat busy scrolling through my screen. *sigh* I can say most of it consisted of new players looking for advice on how to access spells, build a character and so forth. There were a few immature comments, but they were few and far between.

    Overall, I am going to give launch day a B+. Ok, so some people are probably pretty frustrated that they couldn't get logged in. I don't have any concept of what the download times may have been like today, but with the new Turbine Download Manager in place, it should have been minimal. The game loads in pieces as you play through the tutorial and Harbor and so on.

    I am hoping there are a lot of people out there enjoying Stormreach and seeing the fantastic graphics, action based combat and powerful grouping system. I know there will be complaints, and I may yet find some reason to make some of my own.

    I am still not ready for all of this, but it's here.

    *raises her glass to DDO Unlimited*

    Here's to the new game.

    Game On!!!