Star Trek Online Boldly Goes *thunk*

I've been watching Star Trek Online since Pertpetual had the game.  In other words, years.  I've belonged to forums, searched for clues to the gameplay, played demo's of Champions Online to get my hands on the engine used for Star Trek Online, and overall, have basically been a rabid fan waiting with drool on my chin for launch day. With a ton of anticipation, I stalked my local gamestop for my Pre-Order Beta key and ran home to download the game files.

It took me a whopping 60 days to cancel my account and put the Collector's Edition box on the shelf.

I love Star Trek.  I 've played most of the stand alone's, the good and bad ones alike, with zeal to be a part of the Star Trek world.  Carrying my phaser, wearing my uniform, being a part of the story is fabulous.

Once I heard the game had been rescued by Cryptic, I was overjoyed.  Finally one of my favorite game franchises was going to get the repect it deserved, and Trekkies the world over could get together and fight for the Federation.

So my disappointment at canceling my account hangs like a dark cloud over my gaming year.

Creating a character in Star Trek Online is one of its best features.  Cryptic excels at character skins.  In fact, you may find yourself spending more than an hour making your character.  You can pick from 9 Federation species including favorites like the Andorians, Betazoids, Humans, Trills and Vulcans.  From the outset, there are a ton of choices.  Faces, bodies, uniforms.  If you find yourself not liking any of the plethora of options available to you, make your own race!  It's perhaps the second best feature of the game, and one that Cryptic historically has excelled and revamped for each of their games.

There are three main class types.  Tactical officers are the "tanks" focusing on combat efficiency.  Engineering officers mainly focus on how to make your ship and crew function better.  Science officers are the healers and debuffers.

Once you have worked out all of the details and named your first ship, prepare to enjoy the eye candy.  The tutorial does an adequate job of teaching you the basics of both ground and space combat.

Don't get too excited just because you are seeing the inside of this initial ship.  It's never going to happen again.  Currently, you are able to visit the bridge of your own ship.  Cryptic has commented that they would like to make other parts of your ship available to you, but at this time you are stuck standing around your bridge with nothing to do but stare at the blank view screen.  It sucks.

You'll  get your first bridge officer in the tutorial.  You can grow your crew as you'd like, and the bridge officer's can be customized as well.  Feel free to change their appearance, upgrade them as you see fit, or fire one you don't like and get another.

The new opening movie is fantastic.  I have included it below for your viewing pleasure.  Hearing Leonard Nimoy's voice through my headset had me smiling and excited to enter the epic story venturing where no man has gone before as a new untried Captain earning her way.

By far the best feature in this game is Space combat.  It's stunning.  Your ship is completely customizable from its color right down to the components you choice to outfit her with.  Be sure to upgrade as you earn credits to trade.  You can have cannons, forward phasers, disruptors, etc.  There are a zillion ways you can make your ship all your own.    The space graphics left me breathless.  I found myself flying through missions looking everywhere at the detail.

Once you reach Lieutenant Commander you will be given a choice of three ships; escort, science and cruiser.  Pick carefully.  I stuck with a science ship for my science captain, but its totally up to you.  Escort ships are heavily armed and armored, but lack much medical capability.  Science ships lack the big guns and armor, but have fabulous buffs and debuffs.  Cruisers are huge and have their advantages in more weapons slots, large warp cores and huge crews.

space combat
space combat

Ground combat, on the other hand, is perhaps the clunkiest limp noodle I have ever seen in a finished game.  It's horrid.  From the first time you step onto a planet, you are going to wonder if they let a child paint the landscapes.  I couldn't even muster up a smile for the ugly flowers which are dotted around like globs of paint.  You will find your character moves oddly, the world around you is nothing special to look at, and you aren't even going to enjoy firing your phaser overly much.  It's been terrible since beta, and apparently wasn't high on Cryptic's list of fixes.  You are going to wish you were a red shirt and could either die quickly or be stuck on your ship.

ground combat
ground combat

Moving from mission to mission is made possible by the sector map.  It's pretty bad, but its what you're stuck with.  Learning the ins and outs of the mapping system is essential to not wanting to pull all your hair out.  Press "M" to open the map and sort it via the options.  If you are like me and can't seem to stop yourself from crashing into the myriad of ships on the map, double click the system of your choice and your ship will auto-fly.

Star-Trek-Online-Tutorial-27-Sector-Space
Star-Trek-Online-Tutorial-27-Sector-Space

Another hint I'll give you.  Turn off Auto grouping.  If you don't, every time you enter a mission you are going to be joined by people, some of which are total wankers.  There is no voice chat in the game, so unless you are really a fast typer, communicating with your party while in Space Combat is going to occur while your ship is taking damage or flying into a sun.  Besides, you really don't need these people stealing your anonymolous readings.

As I approached hour thirty of gameplay, I had figured out there were really only a handful of missions.  They are recycled ad nauseum.  Kill five enemy ships, scan something, maybe a token ground battle.   The lack of mission styles leaves you feeling the grind by level 8 or so.  I was begging for something new to do.  Even after transferring sector maps to see if there was a change, I found myself killing 5 enemy ships and scanning. *headbutts her desk*

Fleet mission's are a free for all.  I never truly understood these.  You zone in with a bunch of other ships, are overwhelmed by enemies and try and survive.  You are going to die, but no worries, you have maybe an 8 second time out before you are resurrected.  There is no down side to dying in the game, so I simply didn't worry about it.

PVP involves making a new character once you reach level 6.  You will be a part of the Klingon's force.  You will have the choice between Orion, Nausicaan, Lethean, Gorn and Klingon.  The content is limited.  In all honestly, you are kinda monster play cannon fodder for the federation.  I'd write more about it, but there truly isn't anything else that can be said.

Overall the game is shallow.  It lacks any real coherent story.  In short, the writing stinks.  Space combat is fun, but after the 40th time you've killed some ships, you're going to want some variety.  Ground combat is sucktastic.  I haven't even talked about the token "crafting" which is worse than DDO's, and that's saying something.

I wanted to love this game, and I stuck with it an extra month hoping something was going to pull me in.  I canceled with a heavy heart and hope I can revisit the game after a year or so and find it more finished.

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!!!

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!!!

Star Trek Online *facepalm*

After much groveling, I finally convinced my other half to sign onto Star Trek Online and spend a few hours killing Klingon's with me :) The Collector edition's had been sitting on our respective desks since Wednesday staring at us, begging to be used.

While I was messing around the forums and such, he went ahead and set up his account. Everything went smoothly. Oh, and for those wondering, yes they are offering a lifetime sub which has been raised $50.00 from the before launch price to top out at $299.99 bucks(for those wondering, that means if you paid 14.99 a month for 20.01267511 months you'd have spent $299.)

I'll get right on that >.< href="http://www.blogger.com/www.lotro.com">LOTRO to "check his mail" *coughs bull#&^%*, the game came back up.

He's already a little cranky about STO, but he agrees to log in. I started praying to every god I could think of things would go well.

We played an hour or so. He's made a character with huge breasts and subsequently changed his mind (could it have been the looks I was giving him from across the room?), customized his ship, explored and such. I begin to think he's maybe getting the bug.

Our second mission we're chasing down the evil guy who killed the Vulcan ambassador when we get disconnected from the server.

Trying not to panic, I tried to immediately sign back in. We both get back into the star map only to not be able to access any missions in our log, much less the one we had just been kicked from.

Frustrated beyond belief at this point, I logged back onto the forums and see the red dot telling me the server is down again.

That was an hour ago.

I couldn't think of anything else to say. He's back in LOTRO, I am considering playing some more Mass Effect 2.

I don't know when I will be able to convince him to go back *big sigh*

GAME ON!!!

Patch day woes and STO Launch

Update 3 hit DDO today and it's been nothing but buggy. Even Turbine has announced they will be doing a hot fix on Thursday to work it out. As I type this, my static group is stuck in one of the new quests that is bugged :( I officially took one of my DDO accounts free to play today. I was doing a game inventory and realized with STO I would have 3 MMO's I was trying to play and pay for. Which to my mind is simply ridiculous. I don't have that many hours in day.

So, I am going to take my static group account free to play and see how this works for me. Then the hubby will get an idea of costs per account to buy the adventure packs and we'll make a decision on the other 3 accounts we currently pay for.

I am sad to be making this choice, but it is what it is.

I participated in the anniversary ice skating event toni

ght in DDO. It's fun for about 5 minutes and then its bloody annoying. *shrugs* I am glad for fun things to pass the time with. Maybe I am simply snarky tonight.

They have done some aesthetic changes to some of the game elements. I caught sight of the bank in the marketplace and went huh? Whose idea was it to put ugly mosaic tile all over the outside of the thing? *ponders*

STO launched yesterday. I would love to tell you about it except I haven't played it at all. I went and picked up our Collector's edition boxes tonight. We ohhhed and awwwed, but otherwise we neither had the desire to immediately log in. In future, I think we will skip open beta's. They sour our perspective prematurely.

I am off to bed. A GM never responded to our ticket, so bleh. We'll just repeat the quest next week I guess.

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!!!

Armour Needed

There is a new patch available for Star Trek Online today. It's got a release note page a mile long. I am patching as I write this so I can check things out before dinner. Supposedly all the new UI changes are in game. I am not sure what I am expecting, but I am hoping SOMETHING pulls me in. In LOTRO, our characters hit 30, the magic number needed for skirmishes. The hubby and I tried them out last night and quickly discovered the ability to duo them is almost impossible, which makes me sad. They are fun, but built for 1,3,6 or 12 players.

If you've been a subscriber to LOTRO in the past, but haven't been there in a while, now is the time. They are offering a welcome back weekend and it starts now.

After visiting Star Trek tonight, I am hoping to get a little time in LOTRO. I have my solo character soooo close to 30 and I am hoping to see how the solo skirmishes work out. Plus, I need to make some coin so I can afford more bank space, so a-crafting I must go :)

***

In other news, I have been thinking about writing about military wifedom blog article for a while. Perhaps its my love for gaming, or maybe its just that I am an odd duck, but learning how to maneuver around the military lifestyle this last year has made me realize a few things.

So, I'll quickly diverge from gaming stuff and hit the highlights of what I'm learning.

Uniforms are a beast all unto themselves. Half of my shared closet has been taken over by the plethora of uniforms. Long sleeved, short sleeved, everyday, dress blues, dress whites and so on and so forth. Have I mentioned he owns more shoes than I do to go with the multitude of uniforms? Or all the are different socks? T-shirts? *shakes her head*

The New NWU's for the Navy have washing instructions telling me to turn them inside out. I have no idea why, but I follow the instructions as if afraid I will be fined by the Laundry MP's. The new very expensive Gortex jacket is not washable. I need to do something with it, but I am not sure how to clean it? Even a google search has failed me.

I do not sew his new patches to the uniforms. I am not a skilled sewer and knowing my own limitations. I am quite happy to support my local small business tailor ship and the talented ladies who are exceedingly capable of doing the job. I am also terrified of doing it wrong. Friends tell me I am throwing my money away. I feel it is simply prudent to know when to say no.

Planning activities of any kind leads to frustration. All tickets need to be refundable. He says he will be home and I hear in my head "I might be home!"

I am never sure when he leaves in the morning if he is actually going to come home. Since we are a one car family, it has led me to have an agreement with a girlfriend for emergency car retrieval.

Duty days are a thing to learn to enjoy. I treat them like a mini-wife vacation. I don't need to have dinner made when he walks in the door. I can talk on the phone to my girlfriends for hours without the guilt of missing time he is actually home. I can watch my chick flicks, eat ice cream in bed and game for a whole evening if I want to.

Some spouses treat duty days as something to be endured. I simply try and find the joy where I can.

Friendships are interesting. Some people come into your life for a season and then disappear. Some are simply not meant to last and burn themselves out quickly. Just because we have husbands in the same branch of the service doesn't mean we are going to automatically bond, begin having sleep overs, braid each others hair and paint our nails late at night.

One of my girlfriends equates military friendship's like dating. A first date lunch maybe awesome, and I may leave thinking you are a great person I can enjoy my free time with every once in a while. After two or three outings with you, I may think you are a complete tool.

I now categorize friends. Acquaintances I may only speak to online or on the phone for support or a vent fest. Friends are someone I may hang out with sometimes and spend time doing normal girl stiff. True friends are someone I can call in the middle of the night when he is deployed and they show up at my door in the wee hours to take me to the ER or will stay up late with me on the phone to make sure I take my meds after surgery even though they are hundreds of miles away.

It cycles. One of my closet friends and I will speak non stop for days, then not speak for a month, then jump back without either of us being offended. It all moves around when the boys are home. If they are, we understand the need to give space. When they are gone, we use up all the cell phone minutes we've been rolling over for months.

The commissary should pass out armour when you enter. I won't say my age, but suffice it to say I have been grocery shopping a while. My first trip to the commissary almost led to a fist fight. These people are in a class all to them selves.

I am not the only one who thinks this. We were running errands this last weekend and I asked the hubby to stop at the commissary. He looked at me like I had grown two-heads and was spitting acid from my forked tongue.

Rules I should have known about the commissary before my first trip include: the retiree may look old and sweet but they will mow you down in a new york minute, you park your cart at the end of an aisle and weave through the traffic to get the goods you need so as to not spend 10 minutes in a "buggy jam", never go to the commissary on pay day weekend as EVERYONE for miles around has decided to shop at once en mass, always have cash for the sackers as they work for tips, and don't forget your ID card in the visor of your car or people behind you get really cranky!

Tricare requires a degree to navigate. Never expect a same day appointment, bring a book for the waiting room and apparently 800 mg motrin is the "magic pill" that solves all ills.

I could write about Tricare and National healthcare for pages, but I won't. I appreciate having insurance and when I needed surgery this summer it was a god send, but if you just need a prescription its a nightmare.

FRG's are of the devil. I was on the board for one this past year. I felt I was revisiting my high school years. Gossip, back stabbing and who is wearing the best outfit. I was sure this was just my experience and so asked my girlfriends who were in different commands only to be told its pretty much a known rule that you only attend FRG meetings when the CO makes it requirement for information sharing unless you want to walk around with a knife in your back. Why didn't I know this?

I'll stop here for a rest. I'll save up for a later post.

Can I just say that the "Marrying into the Military Class" I took when I was engaged in no way prepared me for the host of pitfalls I've run across in the last year. >.<

Game on!!!

New Year New games

Last year was full of changes, both personal and gaming wise. I am trying to look at what I want out of this year and finding I'd like like some quiet.

I have commented ad nauseum about my inability to handle change well. This winter I simply "checked out" of all of the new things and tried to recenter myself. The game I loved felt clunky, the USN had my husband gone more than he was home, and I felt at odds with my own agenda.

I won't say I am back on the wagon, but I feel a little more optomistic about the coming year:)

Gaming wise, I downloaded the Star Trek Online open beta and so far have played about 12 to 14 hours and am level 6. I have had some people write and ask what I think.

*ponders*

Honestly, I have an odd reaction. I am a HUGE Trekkie. I have the toys, games, dvd collection and so forth. Heck, there is a Pez display on my desk of the original Star Trek characters.

So many Star Trek games have been ho hum. I have been reading about, dreaming and hoping an MMORPG with the Star Trek IP would be delicious.

I am not saying I hate it. I don't. It's simply different.

Open beta is limited game experience. I will say I love the space combat. Ground combat equals weaksauce. The sector map for transitioning between star systems is lame atm, but it is my understanding that there have been tweaks to improve no only its functionality but its look in preparation for launch.

My biggest gripe so far is story. I actually LIKE a story. I am not a grind hog and sometimes when stepping away from the computer I ask myself what I accomplished in STO and I shrug.

It feels fabulous to go on the bridge of my ship and look around. My bridge officers are there and so forth, but its just me looking. I can't actually DO anything from my bridge and there is no other part of my own ship to look at.

I've tried taking some screen shots to share, but I can't seem to find where they are being saved on my computer :(

I want to like the game. I just don't know yet. I have a pre order and will definitely play the first 30 days and re evaluate.

So to all of you asking. I don't know yet is my official answer.

I am still playing DDO once a week with my static group. It's nice to have the built in fun of 2 plus years of friendship to try and play the game with. It's had such a major upheaval in the last year and it no longer has the feeling of familiarity I once enjoyed.

Sadly, I am not the only one. My husband hasn't logged into his account in over a month. My Xfire friends list shows everyone playing other things, from Everquest 2, Runes of Magic, Lotro, STO, Dragonage. and so forth. I rarely see anyone in DDO anymore.

I read the latest release notes and went HUH? They are adding in a casual setting to the game. I am not sure why in the world it would be needed. Dungeon scaling has taken most of the challenge out of the game if you are short manning something. Now it will be so easy you can sleep walk through an adventure. Just sad!

For me atm, its a once a week visit.

If you are looking for me in a game, I am in Lotro. Vilya Server. The hubby and I enjoy duoing the game when he is home. Otherwise, I solo or play with my guild, work on crafting, or leveling or book quests.

The hubby learned to cook :) He even makes his own fires and such. Just had to get a shot of that.

He killed a bear and got a special skin to make a trophy. He just HAS to have it in his new house. Well at least he has a place to put his animal trophies besides my walls, right?

I am off to go gathering some crafting do dads in Lotro. So far I am enjoying my reaffirmed sense of self.

Here's to a new year full of new possibilities!

Game On!!!

Christmas

I have been gaming all over the map.

Mostly, I have been in Lotro. Alot of fun, soloable, but still an MMO. I bought a house in the game the other day. I painted the walls pink, bought music to play, a little furniture and the house came with an extra "bank" chest with a storage capacity of 30 slots. It's a heck of a fun game to get addicted to.

I logged on the other day and the guild was watching a Christmas concert up by Thorin's Hall. I cannot begin to describe the awesomeness of watching the 6 bard, who were in matching dyed costumes, play all manner of Christmas songs.

While standing there, my guild leader was explaining to me how to use the costume system. He passed me over a few item, then told me to go stand over by one of the bards. I'd entered the costume contest!!! After a few rounds of voting, I tied for first place LOL!!!

I got Borderlands as a late Christmas gift, and have discovered I still suck at FPS's :) The hubby watched me play for about an hour and managed to cover his laughter. I have leveled a character to 12. It's been brutal, but I am enjoying the frustration, I think!

I would be playing and finishing Dragonage, but the hubby stole the controller and the game from me. He is at the end fight as I type. I am hoping the controller survives this fight... from the cursing and fussing floating upstairs to me, it might be touch and go.

Star Trek Online comes out in about a month. I have already reserved Collector's Editions for both the hubby and myself. We'll get headstart access and I will have my phasers on stun so soon I can taste it. Can't wait to see if this game can in anyway live up to all the hype.

To prove to the world what a gigantic geek/nerd/gaming diva I am, the hubby cleaned Toys R Us out of the new line of Star Trek toys. I have an Enterprise, Bridge model and a transporter room all set up on my books shelf in my living room. The ship lights up and has some speech. I randomly push the button as I move between the kitchen and the living room. It drives the puppy nutty. What can I say, I love to be evil :D DDO still gets played at least once a week with my static group. I am still having fun and enjoying it. Mostly I am a wee tad bored, but I am hoping to be back in the saddle early in 2010.

It's been a fantastic Holiday season so far. The puppy didn't destroy the tree, I enjoyed time with family and friends, and I am gaming like a mad woman. Who could ask for more?

This has been a year of firsts. All this change has often left me feeling on woobly feet with shifting sands throwing off my balance. I've made it through and can't wait to see what will come of 2010.

The puppy had a blast with Christmas paper and bows. She had cart blanche to tear things up, which for her beagle mind probably means she thought she died and went to heaven!!!

Game on!!!

Burn out

It happens about this time every year. I get a wee tad over zealous about my goals.

Christmas trees go up and my mood sours. It has nothing to do with the trees specifically, it has to with my innate need for introspection.

Coupled with my odd Grinch like behavior as the year winds down, comes a serious case of burn out.

The two go hand in hand.

Let me explain.

I am a goal maker, scheduler, avid planner, organizer... well ok, some might characterize me as a little OCD in my need to try and make things happen. I have lists for lists :)

Christmas trees signal the end of another goal making period. While I don't generally make New Year's resolutions, I do make a master list of goals. Financial, personal, business, and so forth.

During the already hectic holiday madness, I slip into thinking about my master list. There are always missed opportunities, things I thought would happen, goals not even close to being met.

As I ponder morosely my inability to be Superwoman, I generally feel a sense of burn out with my gaming. If I gamed less, I would accomplish more, right?

It's an ugly cycle.

To combat my over reaching need to dissect my life, I hatched what I thought was a brilliant solution this year.

It began with an article on Massively. Stop playing your favorite game.

Could it be so easy?

Next, I looked at my overfull holiday schedule and blocked out gaming session's. That's right, I am making gaming an appointment in my planner. Make fun if you must, but I abhor missing a meeting, so this gets me to sit down at a keyboard :)

I'm trying. I am in a break mode from DDO, my current MMO of choice. I've been playing Dragonage, and Lotro. The hubby has been playing Dragonage and Fallout. Each of us trying something new as we wait for the yearning to log into DDO to fire back up.

And just in case I need a little inspiration for the New Year, I got this fabulous e-mail from cryptic this morning.

*drools* Guess what pre-order I am getting for Christmas?

So far, Operation Burnout is keeping me gaming, just not playing what I thought I would be. I don't think it has anything to do with DDO content, Free to Play changes or anything else. It's just a season and will pass and I will come back to DDO after a few weeks off.

In the meantime, I am looking forward to trying new things, being open minded, and hoping I can squeeze a few more completed goals into 2009!

GAME ON!