Nintendo 3ds xl rocks my socks off

Alienware sent my laptop back.  It’s still not working correctly.  Since we had a blizzard over the weekend, I had plenty of chances to test it out.  I am bummed and waiting on a phone call from a case person.  He’s an hour late for our appointment.  This does not bode well…

In the meantime, it’s given me plenty of time to play with the Nintendo 3ds XL Zefflon got me for Christmas.  I am late to the party with this machine.  Really, I avoided it because it seemed like a thing for kids.  We’ve been looking at different options for gaming on days when my body just won’t cooperate, and this is a small machine, light, and it’s just a heck of a lot of fun.

At first, I enjoyed the 3d stuff.  Games render pretty well, and the added perspective is helpful in some games featuring flat landscapes and dungeons.  After about 15 minutes, my eyes can’t take it anymore.  Thankfully, there is a switch on the side to turn everything back to 2d.  I use it.  My eyeballs don’t like 3d land.

The blasted thing is pretty addictive.  I find myself picking it up at the oddest times for a quick run at a something.  We bought 4 games for it.  Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Bravely Default, PersonaQ, and Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. 

I’m in love with Animal Crossing for short bursts of gaming.  Maybe 15 minutes or so at a time.  It’s not an in depth game requiring a ton of thought, but it’s enough to let me lose myself in something else when pain is making me nuts, or I am waiting on a phone call and such.

Bravely Default rocks.  Beautiful.  It’s a JRPG, and plays like one.  Nice story, good gameplay, interesting items and magic.  Battles can be hard enough to make me rethink tactics and back out and try again.  It got great reviews, and I can say they were all right. 

I haven’t really played much of the other two.  I want to finish Bravely Default.  I am hooked on finding out what happens.  Plus, I am restoring a village, and I like sitting around building it.  I have no idea why I find this entertaining, but there you go.

I know I should be carrying my 3ds with me everywhere.  I can get ingame items and help for other games from people I pass who have “StreetPass” turned on.  I’ve made Zefflon take me to Best Buy for no other reason than I can pick up at least 3 or 4 people in there.  I even switched out purses to make sure I had room enough to take it anytime we left the house.  Since we have all the snow outside, I can’t really get out in the chair.  He needs to run to the store today.  I think I will make him carry it in his pocket and see if I can con him into going to Best Buy J

There are several mobile style games.  I am doing Pokémon Shuffle at the moment.  It has micro transactions, but I haven’t bought anything.  I am just patient, and play it 5 or ten minutes at a sitting a couple of times a day.

I can’t recommend it enough.  I wish I had bought one many moons ago, and will pay more attention next time.  This will teach me to relegate something to the kiddie category.

Game On!!!

 

Fav game of 2015 and What to look forward to in 2016?

2015 didn’t have a ton of games I was chomping at the bit to play.  Some things sounded intriguing, but I felt going into the year like there wasn’t one big game I really wanted to plunk down money for and pre-order.

This hasn’t happened to me in probably 10 years.  There has almost always been something I went and bought early on.  A game I wanted the extra’s for.  I don’t even care if they are all digital or physical anymore.  I am just as happy to spend money on something I want to succeed. 

In 2015, I didn’t put down a single buck before a game released.  I am not sure if Zeff is happy or sad.  I know our budget loved my new found inability to find something to play.

I almost bought Witcher 3, but I didn’t really like 2 very much.  No sale.  I don’t want to play with other people in the shooter games, so all the Call of Duty type stuff was out for me.  The single player campaign might take two hours if I take my time.  I just can’t justify $60 on a couple of hours. 

Ah, but the end of the year made a little dent in our bank account, and made my heart sing.

I don’t normally need to make much of a choice on favorite games.  I can name most of them in quick succession, but the end of the year has me flummoxed.

I love Fallout 4.  I love Pillars of Eternity.  I love them both so much, I can’t choose between them. 

Fallout 4 brings a ton of fun to the franchise.  I still use way too many bullets, I never seem to have leftover stims, and my settlements are a wreck, but it’s the kind of game I lose myself in.  What more can you ask of a game?

The Pillars of Eternity story blows pretty much any RPG I have player since the original Bioshock, right out of the park.  Stellar.  Magnificent.  Fabulous.  I find some of the controls a little difficult, but that’s always been a problem for me when I have multiple party members to control.  It’s also not a walk in the park either.  I am really not good at using the priest, and I get my party wiped out often.  It’s not super frustrating yet.  I still want to beat the encounter.  I keep trying until I get a set up that gets me the win. 

2016 isn’t looking much better than 2015.  You will notice there wasn’t an MMORPG I hankered for.  There isn’t a single one for 2016 on my radar either.  There are bunches of reiterations of old games, further sequels in other franchises, but not much rings my bell yet. 

Being a Mass Effect fan, I want to believe Andromeda is going to be out in 2016, but I am not buying it.  All the footage I have managed to find looks like crap.  The video for Mass Effect day was a joke.  December 2016 is a shot in the dark. 

Persona 5 would be great, but I would have to buy a Playstation 4.  I still regret buying the Xbone.  It sits unused in my house gathering dust.  Sigh.  I don’t think I can buy another console just for one game.  Even though, I REALLY love Persona.

It’s feast of famine on the gaming landscape.  I am hoping for another Pillars of Eternity on the horizon.  Man, for a kickstarter game, I am just blown away.  Another fun Fallout 4 type game wouldn’t be rejected.  What I really want though, is a super fun MMORPG my friends and I can sink our teeth into. 

What were your favorite games of 2015?  What’s on your game buying schedule for 2016?

GAME ON!

Gaming for the disabled

Gaming as a female has sometimes been a challenge.  I have at alternating times in my gaming career found being anonymous far more interesting and relaxing than being myself. 

For almost 4 years, about the time DDOcast 2.0 started, I stopped talking in any games. I asked Zeff to stop referring to me as his wife in games.  I stopped interacting on most of my social channels, and those I kept were culled to people I had either met in real life or known a long time.   

There wasn’t one huge event leading up to my burying myself.  I just felt a generalized anxiety when playing with people I didn’t know.  Crass comments, or an over showering of in game items can happen from time to time, but I found once I stopped being “female,” I could just get on with enjoying whatever game I wanted to play.

I also found much of the advice stopped.  I didn’t have to argue about my builds, my weapon choices, or why I was the melee dps character in the group. 

My playing improved as did my confidence as I stopped feeling like I need to be better than everyone in a group in order to prove myself.  I am not sure that is something all female gamers feel, but I do know after experiencing marathon “build” sessions where I was told why what I wanted wouldn’t work at length, I stopped thinking for myself.

When I got sick in 2014, I had no idea some of the old insecurities would crop up.  As my muscles and some of my nerves began to fail, I found conventional gaming very difficult.  My arms get too tired on a conventional keyboard, so I use a laptop on a bed tray and lay a body pillow across my body to hold my arms up.  It helps for a little while, but the days of monster gaming sessions are very much over.

My mouse hand cramps up tons.  It means I can’t be as fast at responding as others.  I feel the difference.  It’s frustrating, and I don’t group with people I don’t know anymore.  I can’t take the chance someone is going to pitch a fit about my less than stellar healing or something.

I have some trouble hearing now, so I tend to put on headphones and keep the voice chat on them.  My ingame sound comes out of speakers on my alienware.  It’s an ok set-up, and it means I use visual cues much more often than others.

Keyboard shortcuts are a huge pain in the tush.  If one hand is tired, I can use the other in a pinch, but when a game wants me to use both hands and then manipulate the mouse, I find myself frustrated. 

I don’t play a lot of fast paced games anymore.  Fall out 4 works for me on good days because I can pause it almost instantly when muscles cramp or simply refuse to work.  MMORPG’s only work if I am playing with friends. They are pretty forgiving if I have to bow out, or miss a movement.  Pugs are just brutal.  Things I can play solo are best because I can do as I need to do. 

I’ve been poking about looking to see what’s out there for disabled gamers.  The answer is not much.  Depressing, but I am sure there is a limited pool of people gaming with disabilities maybe?  More likely, there are many gamers who become chronically ill or disabled and just stop playing.  The world isn’t very forgiving of those who are different, and gamers can be wonderful people, but they have very high standards. 

I don’t know what my future holds right now.  I do know I have tons of downtime, and I want to be able to game until my arms fall off.  I used to sit in my office at my 9-5 job thinking about all the things I wanted to be at home to do.  As my body has begun to fail me, I can’t do most of them without help, but with the level of technology available, gamers of all kinds should be able to fall into their virtual worlds with ease.

I have many things on my plate.  I don’t think I am going to be able to solve this one myself, but I’d like to highlight the issue from time to time to remind people not everyone comes to their gaming worlds from the same angle. 

GAME ON!

Server merges are the pits!

Vilya server, in Lotro, got the go ahead to merge.  Our guild leader sent out frantic Facebook messages explaining the process to everyone, did everything right, and still the merge has made a heck of a mess.

Let me just say the architecture required to have one shard should be mandatory for a game.  Older games still advocating separate servers are outdated and way behind the times.  Sometimes though, a game just can't see a way to do the impossible.

Server merges mean so many things.  Server's tend to have personalities.  People become attached.  Prices on the auction houses and general sales in chat can vary widely server to server.  There has to be careful thought given to how to balance populations.

Forced transfers as one server merges and another accepts the refugees means people are moving around, but it can lead to a bunch of work for everyone involved.  The first thing to go was the Vilya Alliance.  A band of guilds around for years, we found everyone wanted to go to a different place and there was simply no consensus.  Bye bye to friends made over seven year of gaming.  See you around.

Character name changes.  Our guild went back and forth.  A particular person who had a voting block didn't want to risk a forced name change, so they refused to go to the server old members wanted because their name was taken there.  With the votes in their pocket, they forced a move to an unpopular server choice.  Other members have had to change their names, and I almost left a guild I've been with since 2009 over this crap.  I've known a particular player for 5 years, now her name is so different I keep forgetting who she is.  Driving me bat shit.

Housing changes have driven us to the edge of sanity.  Over the years, our guild had bought up all the property in our neighborhood.  It took us a long time.  Now with the move, there has been a bunch of jockeying trying to make everyone happy.  It isn't working very well.  People are trying to trade houses, but they aren't being released, others want us to move to a more open neighborhood, and people who haven't been around as long as others have been asked to give up their housing to make room. 

I shopped different neighborhoods until I could find one with my particular housing location available.  That was important to me.  It's my house.  It remains a central location where I decorate for the different seasons and lay my hobbit head at night.  So, while I want to sympathize, I don't really.  I have rarely been angry with our people, but this shenanigans has blown my rage meter over the top. 

I have never seen the officers of the guild so busy conferencing with each other.  We are generally pretty drama-free.  There has been the odd hiccup over the years.  I have a general dislike for a couple of people, but I can play with them.  Not everyone is going to like everyone else.  I am also VERY protective of the guild.  We've been around FOREVER.  A rare thing in Lotro.  I don't like people messing about with the guild.  Our officer's are overloaded trying to figure things out.  They've made a bad call or two.  It might take a while to heal up some of the fractures.

This merge has caused more hurt feelings and drama in our little group than I have seen in the seven years I've been around.  It's really amazing how names, housing locations and lack of knowledge of the new player base can create havoc in a relatively placid company.

I'm going to make a character and NOT put it in the guild so I can cool off.  I like dogs so much better than people...

Game On!!!

 

Getting Lost in Fallout 4

I wasn't going to buy Fallout 4.  I didn't want it.  I certainly never planned on actually liking it, but after the ten or so hours of play I have gotten in since NaNoWriMo ended, I find myself lost in the world.

I've been trying to pin point exactly what turns me on about it.  I like shooting things.  I like I can play a female character and do a little customization.  I like I can have a dog.  None of these things are very deep or super immersive in nature, so imagine my surprise when two or three hours go by.

I'll set a goal to go do one of the faction quests.  Nothing over the top hard at my minuscule level, but still, I might get to snipe some people from a hill.  I take along dogmeat and run out along the road.  I stop for everything. There are flowers to be picked, I keep my eyes peeled for veggies and fruit, ammo, and stuff because I am a bullet whore.  I am a lousy shot up close and tend to empty my guns with rather consistent regularity.  I'll see a building off in the distance and next thing I know, I am off the road and on way towards it.  It's a small town, and there are some buildings I can get into.  I start searching, shooting feral ghouls or raiders I find and stripping gear off them.  Now an hour or so has gone by and I am long ways off in the wrong direction from my focus.  Sigh.  I start trudging up the road again and see a hut along side the freeway.  Next thing I know I am overrun with molerats trying to eat my face off.  I take out my shotgun and start shooting.  

This can go on for hours as I get lost in the landscape.  I always start with a goal.  I mean to get there, but I seem to get distracted by all the other things to do.

There has really been only one big con in the game for me.  The training or help ingame is abysmal.  I am still one of those nutters who buy the strategy guide, but even with the hard cover Collector's Vault Dweller's Survival Guide, I find myself pulling out my tablet and googling for an answer to something.  Drives me batshit.  Thankfully smarter and more dedicated people than me have put together some really great sites on the game, and I can usually find what I am looking for without having to go to far afield.

The building mode still has me flummoxed.  I love to build things.  Cities:Skylines is a favorite of mine, and I play SimCity Buildit on my phone.  I get how this works, except, I don't get it in Fallout 4.  I can't tell you how many switches I made before I realized I needed some other power component for my generator to make my house run.  I still haven't found the crystals I need to put in the radio tower so I can attract more dwellers.  How do I figure out what angles raiders are going to attack my city from?  How do I set up supply lines?

I think the game is pretty dense.  I am just scratching the surface of it.  I was worried I was going to be wasting my money on a game I would play intermittently, but I find myself sitting in the doctor's office wondering if I should wear my power armor to go attack the power station where some raiders are holed up.

That's what a game is supposed to make you feel.  Plus, I'll say it again, I really enjoy shooting things.

If you've got some links to great Fallout 4 guides, send them my way.  I could use all the help I can get.  

Game On!

What makes you spend money in a game?

I love money.  Most of you will say you love money, but what you really mean is you are a slave to it.  Money ranks high in causing violent emotions responsible for most of our crime.  Money has been called the root of all evil.  Many of you won't admit you are actually afraid of money. 

Virtual economies are the most misunderstood beast in gaming.  Just like we do in real life, we treat our games as a place to buy and sell things.  We want to be the best, have the best, be a hero.  Similar to real life crime, ingame money issues have created an entire industry hellbent on making real life money on ingame crime.  I am still mad hackers stole the shoes off my feet in Everquest 2.   I mean, come on?  My shoes?

Our jaded connection to money drove the changes to online gaming we are trying to survive.  The entire landscape has changed.  I can't think of a AAA game that doesn't have an ingame store?  It's too much of a cash cow.  People will spend real life money on ingame items.  Gamers buy whole characters with epic raid gear on Ebay. They buy ingame currency with real life money from gold farmers.  Oh look, another opportunity to share one of my favorite videos of all time.  8 years, and I still giggle.

My mind has been percolating for the last few months trying to figure out what it is gaming needs.  We've seen a huge change in the business.  Free to Play, or Play to Win depending on your take, made major houses fall to their knees and weep under the whip of gamers who refuse to pay a subscription.  I am not sure a game could launch without a Free to Play option and survive. 

Free to Play hasn't created any great gaming innovations.   If anything, I have watched good games dumb themselves down to the lowest common denominator.  Wildstar  launched promising players hard instances reminiscent of WoW's good ole days.  What players got was a toxic environment where even the best players would rage quit an instance when a lesser player made a mistake the group couldn't recover from.  Less than a year after launch, the game looked like a dusty ghost town.  People don't want to pay to feel inadequate.  Dollars talk, and the slew of subscription cancellations shouted pretty damn loud.  The game relaunched as a Free to Play game a month ago, and was said to have re-balanced dungeon's and raids.  Read "made easier."

What are we willing to pay for?  Looking at what is offered in many ingame stores, I see the same "type" of items over and over again.  I figure they are there for a reason.  People pay for them. Game houses are going to put development dollars to work where they will get more bang for their buck. 

Skill accelerators, mounts, pets, housing items, penalty removers, seasonal/holiday items, bank/bag/storage items.  There are other things in games depending on their genre, but that list covers most of the good stuff.  This is what we will pay for.  Some of the items are there because we want to skip the gates.  I don't want to get a bazillion favor with XXX in order to have more slots in my bank.  I'll just buy them and get it over with.

The bank example points out one of the most important parts of Free to Play.  Long term players are not where the money is made.  The most bang for the buck happens when a new player hits the server and wants to play with the big boys.  They spend the most money in a short burst because they are in a hurry to experience the best part of any game.  The end game. Touted as where all the fun happens.  Most guild's have a heavy concentration on end game, and new players are in a hurry to get there and be included.

This Pandora's box of bad seeds has been a self perpetuated prophecy.  Gaming developers did this to themselves.  Most games get through launch and concentrate almost exclusively on end game.  They want to keep the players they already have spending money on their game, so they cater the content to them.  New gamers want to get to the good stuff as fast as possible.  Rinse.  Repeat.

Some games have even taken this too far.  Star War's Online recently launched their new expansion Knights of the Fallen Empire.  They are offering a new character to players who is automatically level 60.  I cancelled my Swtor subscription.  I worked quite hard to get my character to the max level.  Handing them out to newbies who don't even have the game mechanics figured out yet was too much for me to take.  Does it make sense in a way? It could.  Having a character who can automatically join higher level groups helps immerse a player in the game and keep coming back.  Helps them spend money on items you want them to buy.  I just don't think it's going to make for better players.  One step too far in the Pay to Win column for my liking.

Free to Play hasn't solved the gold farmer issue.  They are still there.  I see bots ingame from time to time.  They wouldn't be working if no one was buying. 

Two factor authentication hasn't solved the hacking issue.  If anything it's made my life miserable every time I get a new phone and forget to switch accounts.  Being locked out of a game when it's your fault is a little humiliating.  I am taking so many precautions I've locked myself out of my own stuff.  I don't think the hackers are having this issue.

Money might be the root of all evil.  Even in our virtual lives we've managed to screw up.  We've made our avatars about stuff.  We need more stuff in order to be better players.  Attaining stuff is why we run around killing squirrels and collecting herbs.  We can't seem to think past consumerism even when we go into a made up world. 

So where do we go from here?

Game On!

Where have all the good games gone?

I'm in a gaming slump.  They happen,  but normally they haven't lasted this long. 

Where have all the good games gone? 

I've just finished looking at the games coming out before the end of the year.  They read like a bad writer pitching a crap story to a hollywood power player.  It's all about the sequels.

Fallout 4

Assassin's Creed Syndicate

Halo 5

Call of Duty: Black Ops III

None of these are bad games.  I am not on some kind of random boycott.  I just don't feel terribly excited over any of them.  I've played in all the above worlds.  AC is more fun for me to watch someone else play.  I hate all the heights!   Fallout is always a nice diversion, but am I really up for 4?  Call of Duty only has a 2 hour or so PVE campaign.  Halo I enjoy, but I haven't ever finished 4, so I don't see me buying 5.

 Star Wars Battlefront looks like so much fun, but I don't enjoy PvP in any of it's varied forms. It's timed pretty tight with the upcoming Star Wars movie release.  I might be taking a pass on the new Star Wars.  I don't think I can take a Disney Star Wars with JJ Abrams at the helm.  Of course, Zeff might have something to say about that.  He finds my inability to see and enjoy popular movies pretty annoying.  We don't even bring up the blue people movie anymore since my head will spin around and steam come out of my ears.

Not all sequels or reboots suck.  I actually really really enjoyed Jurassic World.  The movie was a heck of a fun ride, and I made sure to buy a copy for our future viewing pleasure.

The Bioshock franchise is one of the few I can point to and say they haven't made a lousy game yet.  PC Gamer did a poll back in August for ranking the three games in the series so far. Bioshock 2 wasn't a bad game, but when you compare it to 1 and 3, it isn't a favorite.  

I can't think of a AAA MMORPG in production right now.  I am not sure if it's simply the mind boggling failures of the last few... Star Wars, Wildstar and ESO have all rebooted with Free to Play models.  I've tried all three, and still dabble in Swtor or ESO on occasion.  None of them have hooked me really. 

Most of the games coming out, whether single title or MMO, seem to have a very large focus on PvP.  All have some nod to PVE, but the expansions, mods, episodes, etc. all seem to cater to players attacking each other.  The developers are going to work on content that pays the bills.  I just happen to have a really unpopular gaming style.

So I am lost in a sea of dismal prospects.  There isn't a game on the Christmas list this year.  Not unless someone can sell me on a game I don't know about, or convince me a game I've written off has redeeming qualities.

Gaming might be in a transition phase.  I am not sure what I want to see come out of it, but something exciting would be quite welcome.

So what are you playing?

Game On! 

 

Mad, sad…trying to find glad

hindsight
dragon age 2 pic
dragon age 2 pic

It’s been a tough year of gaming at my house. The wonders and joys of Dragon age were pillaged by the limp Dragon age 2. Mediocre at best, this is one sequel that should have been left to bake a while longer.  I salivated over Dragon age at Gencon the year before it launched.  I played all the add-ons, beat Origins, and wished and wished for more.   I should be careful what I wish for in future.

I’ve managed to battle my way to halfway through the game.  I can say definitively, the lack of an overall story arc robbed Dragon Age 2 of the biggest thing Dragon Age was given raves for…A  STORY!!!  Without the necessary writing bits and bobs, you were left bereft of character motivation.  To be honest, I just don’t care if I ever finish this one.

Even a facebook game couldn't save my inattention to Dragon age.  I won't call it a waste of a tie in, but they could have just released Dragon Age Legends and made me happier. At least it has some bones to it.

Dungeon-Siege-3-box-art
Dungeon-Siege-3-box-art

I’ve been watching Dungeon Siege 3 for a while.  It’s been on the radar.  I still remember breaking a mouse in anger with a battle in Dungeon Siege 2.  How could I resist a third installment?

I downloaded a demo to my xbox the other day.  After 20 minutes, I quietly turned the machine off and wished I could erase the entire experience from my brain.  It is a poorly executed mish mash of bad voice- overs, poor AI pathing and I won’t even discuss the story.

Mass Effect 3 looks flipping beautiful, but I can’t have it this year. *sniff sniff*  I thought I was going to get it for Christmas.   Here’s a tasty trailer to whet your appetite.

There has been no release date set for Star Wars: The Old Republic.  I don’t think I am going to get this one this year either.

Ditto for Diablo 3.

I would still be playing Everquest 2, but between being hacked personally, and the entire company being hacked debacle, I simply haven’t the urge to turn it on.

Dungeon’s and Dragon’s Online is exploring crafting.  Growing pains can be painful, and it’s my feeling this is still very much in an incubation stage.  Epic’s haven’t become any more exciting.  The level cap is still 20. I am still NOT going to reincarnate. There is just very little for me to do right now.  Player’s Handbook still meets once a week to play, but even we are running out of juicy things to sink our teeth into.  I am hopeful there will be SOMETHING to make me blissful for this MMO soon. Please?

( As an aside, if you are willing to do the input, you can participate in the new Cannith Crafting Cookbook.  Please be aware the content appears to be edited by players, use at your own risk!)

I finished Fable 3. This has to have been my favorite out of the entire Fable series. I am sad it is over.

By the time I reached the month of June, I wondered if anything was going to get me hot for gaming.

la noire box
la noire box

I’d seen the advertisements for LA Noire.  I knew there had been a lot of buzz about it.  Rockstar is getting a reputation for taking the impossible and making a profit from it.  Did anyone ever think a western video game would perform like Red Dead Redemption has?

I’d been amassing some Best Buy bucks, and realized I could almost get LA Noire for next to nothing.  With trepidation, I put the disc in my Xbox.

I then played the game for almost 50 hours in a week’s time.  It’s fun, distracting, interesting, full of the flavor’s you would expect from a Noire film live and in your face.  I’m even finding some of the achievements interesting.

For example, you need to find 50 golden reel film canisters scattered throughout the world.  I found this link to the list that included the actual movie DVD fronts.  How cool is that?

I drove though through the city in a Chrysler Woody and instead of stopping off to investigate a murder; I sat in the car to listen to the radio.   It was a Jack Benny piece, and I just wanted to hear the entire thing.

I am also back to playing Lord of the Ring’s Online.  I have managed to make my way in Moria, and I haven’t had this much fun in an MMO in a while.  I’ve been exploring the LUA plugins, listening to A Casual Stroll to Mordor, writing guide posts for my Kin and redecorating my house with every trophy I can win.  In case you think I don’t love LOTRO enough, here is a pic of the framed map about in my study.

DSC00879
DSC00879

By the way, I completely missed the entire Digital River versus Turbine Rise of Isenguard pre-order mess.  I think I want to buy the 50 buck package, but I am in a waiting pattern atm.  If you are receiving those cancellation emails, don’t panic. I am sure Turbine will get it all sorted before launch in September.

I’d hoped for some really juicy stuff out of E3.  I can say nothing piqued my interest.  It seemed like a rehash.  I don’t want to buy a new Wii right now.  Xbox is taking the entire Kinect thing a little too far, and poor Sony could do nothing to erase the exceedingly bad luck they have had this year.

How is your gaming year looking?  What’s got you excited?  Please share it with me, and maybe you will help get me re energized for a game I didn’t know I would like!

Game on!!!

When your game goes offline...

image_mini
cock block
cock block

Sometimes, despite our favorite game's best intentions, things go pear shaped. You get home at the end of the day, and switch on your computer and meet the ultimate cock block. DDO had some problems with their downtime yesterday.  Patch 9.1 over worked the hamsters, and the game didn't come back online until almost 6pm est. To be perfectly honest, it wasn't until very late in the afternoon, I even noticed the servers were down.  Absolutely no one on twitter had said a THING about it.  It could be all the gamers I follow have jobs and real life stuff, but it might also be, we simply weren't paying attention.

We were the minority however.  When DDO is down, the forums heat up.  By the time I hit the downtime thread, it was past 3 in the afternoon.  The thread had grown to over 600 replies ranging from OMG DOOOOOOM, to I want my money back. Devs did a pretty good job of keeping the community abreast of any information they had.  It would have been nice if they utilized their facebook and twitter.  I try and stay as far away from the forums as much as possible these days.  I get my news via updates to my phone.  If you aren't reaching me there, you don't exist.

I think I must be mellowing.  I was completely unaffected by the downtime, and in fact, began laughing about the number of "my life in ruins" posts splattered over the boards.

DDO's downtime was a minor blip in my day.

Possibly because the entire SOE mess took downtime to a new event horizon! I still play EQ2 when I have time.   When I heard about the hack to the Play station Network, I thought "How sad" and moved on with my life.  It didn't affect me.  No big deal.

server
server

It wasn't until I got a tweet the next day or so that I realized SOE had taken ALL of their games off line.  They had no expectation of when they would be back. The ire of more than one gaming community quietly smoldered.  I think some were convinced Sony was running their games on an ENIAC. Accusations abounded, blame mounted and people generally lost their minds as the downtime ticked into a week.  SOE had been hacked, user information had been stored on a server that lacked adequate security.  Besides being irked about the their favorite game being offline, customers were worried about what information had been accessed by the hacker and what to do about it.

(I will put a short note in here to remind my gamer friends.  We live in an interconnected online world.  If you are not taking steps to protect your personal information, you are playing with fire.  Check your credit reports yourself every six months. Sign up for protection with one of the myriad of companies that offers it. Be in front of the accident, not watching it happen in slow motion while your hands are tied!!!)

images
images

Sony tried to stay in touch via facebook.  With their network down, there were no forums for the horde of angry gamers to flock to.  ZAM saw more traffic and commenting than it had seen in a coon's age.  Facebook comments went into the thousands.  It was just nasty. The entire gaming community watched the train wreck.  I think you had to be living under a rock to miss this one.  How was it going to affect Sony games?  How many subscribers would they lose? What would they offer the players as a "feel good" to try and retain them?

By the time the second week rolled around, I was half convinced this whole thing had to be some sort of crazy dream I was stuck in.  It was like ground hog day.   I'd wake up, check my tweets, and see Sony had said "We regret we will not be able to get our games back online today..."

When the games finally came back online, things were kind of anti climatic.   Jef Reahard over at Massively, asked if SOE owed compensation over the fiasco.  I know as an EQ2 subscriber I received a free 30 days, plus a day for each 24 hours period the game was offline, for a total of 45 days free.  I thought that was more than adequate.  In game perks are going on now through May 22 which includes all City Festivals, Double XP, Loot bonuses, races and more. I don't feel they owe me much.

hamster_powered_computer_xsmall
hamster_powered_computer_xsmall

DDO certainly didn't owe me anything for a patch taking all day.  While I might tease about sending them some Hamster food to keep the servers running, it is simply a fact of gaming.  Sometimes, through no fault of my own, I am not going to be able to log into my MMO of choice due to technical difficulties. If you are finding the downtime's send you reeling, you might want to check yourself.  Are you really missing an online game so much your life is negatively impacted?  I will caution you that you may be giving a game more power in your life than it deserves.

Gaming is an escape.  Like any other hobby, if it begins to intrude on your everyday life in an alarming way, you need to pull the plug for a few and step back. I get angry over changes to my games, I feel passionately about my characters, my game's storyline and the people I spend hours every week battling evil with.  I hope I have come to a place where I can turn the power off and do something else for a few without feeling the shakes for my MMO of choice.

What do you find yourself doing downtimes?  How attached do you feel to your MMO? Like Jef Reahard, I want to understand why you feel you need to be compensated for unexpected downtime.  What's your beef?

The video below has been linked to on my twitter and facebook for weeks.  I am linking it below for those of you who may have missed it.  Plus, I just like the darn thing :)  

What gaming site's do you use?

Windows 7 updated with Window's live mail this week.  I dislike using Windows stuff, but to be honest, I was looking for a way to put all my feeds and email accounts in one place.  I am not going to install Outlook as I refuse to pay for something I used to get for free :) So, while I was waiting on all the accounts to download into the program, I started going through the websites I read on a regular basis.  When I worked out of the house, I used Netvibe's religiously.  Since I've been home, I really don't use it.  I am not sure why my user habit's have changed, but they have.

oh, I do know.  I bought a blackberry!  I do things like read feeds, email, twitter, facebook and so forth on my fabulous little machine.  I am one of those people who is walking around looking at a screen LOL!

Back on topic, so I was going through a list of feed's I had in netvibes.  Several are no longer relevant, several no longer update, and I found by the time I whittled down the list, it looked a little puny.

Massively

DDOcast

A Casual Stroll to Mordor

Zam

DDO daily

Keen and Graev's Gaming blog

That's all I have right now.  I know I sometimes click through to another gaming site, but there has to be some awesome things out there  simply not on my radar.

So I am asking ya'll.  You guys always know more than I do.  What do you read?  Where are you getting your gaming news?  Are there any gaming blogs you really like?

*** Odds~n~Ends***

I have my DDO static group tonight.  We are trying to get everyone flagged for an Stealer of Souls run in the Refuge.  I think we have 2 or 3 members that have never seen it.  I should have bought a case of beer!  I figure I am going to spend a lot of time biting my tongue so I don't spoil the surprise's for them :D

As an aside, the small guild bonus's seem to working right.  Playing once a week, we have gotten to around level 13 or 14, guild-wise.  I have no idea how long it will take us to get to a level where we can buy a guild ship, but it's the current carrot out in front of us.  We have almost all capped our toons.  We need something to work towards, and for now the guild ship is it :)  We've considered Reincarnating and using a dice roller to see who ends up as what character and race wise.  Could make for an interesting group LOL!!!

There have been a few hiccups with the EUibes transfers, but for the most part it seems to be working.  IMPORTANT: If you are receiving an error , please remove the dashes (-) from your Transfer key when entering it into the tool. (via DDO.com)

My static group plays on Ghallanda.  I am not sure how this is going to affect our log on times and lag, but I am hopeful tonight I will see a bunch of peeps I don't recognize!

I am off to finish dinner and then I am gonna spend a few hours in Stormreach!  Please leave me a comment here, or tweet me with some websites to check out!

Game on!!!

Europe FINALLY gets to transfer...and odds and ends :)

After six weeks of waiting, today is the day the EUbies (thanks TurbineTolero for putting this name in my head LOL) FINALLY arrive in mass with their old characters from Keeper and Devourer. *claps*

I am not going to wax poetic on the losses to their community as members who didn't want to recreate characters simply fell away from the game.  What I am hoping will happen is a resurrgence of passion amongst their community as they see familiar names running through Stormreach.  I am beyond excited this has born fruit worth eating.

The FAQ went up this morning over at DDO.com.  I perused most of it and found it well thought out, answering most of what I personally wanted to know.  I am hoping after feeling like the forgotten child in the corner, the European players read hope in the article.  IF they can read it.  I know most of the world can speak English, reading it can be an entirely different matter.  Players within the community are translating the FAQ amongst themselves into their native language.  The French version is already up.

Looks like most stuff IS going to transfer.  The special items in your personal bank, equipped items and personal inventory look like they will transfer.  If you had a founder's helm's and other items from limited edition boxed sets, they will be on the characters who already have them, but will not be available for newly created characters.  I am beyond 100% sure there will be hiccups, but I am super bloody thankful this is happening at last.

Guilds, Friends lists, Ignore lists, Mail, Auctions, ETC. will not transfer.  To be honest, that didn't surprise me.  I am pleased as punch EUbies are getting as much as they are.

The one massive "eww" moment on the FAQ came with the favor issue.  From what I am reading your total favor is transferring, however the rewards for said favor are not.  So drow and favored soul status is going to irk some people.  It is suggested in the FAQ you can re-earn favor on another character to pop drow/favored soul open on the server, buy it from the store, or maybe you have a character who had earned the favor, but never got the opportunity to speak with Nyx.  Personally, I think buying these two from the DDO store will be less of a headache.  This DDO store purchase is account wide and not simply server based.

I have really only hit the high points on the FAQ list.  Please please read the faq.  The transfer tool goes live around 6pm EST.  That appears to be 23:00 Central Europe time.  Super late, but I am sure some of you will be drinking coffee with your fingers hovering over the button.  Of course after six weeks of waiting, what's one more night, right?

***

Odd and Ends

The hubby and I played some DDO on Argo last night.  We checked out the Mabar event, and after 2 hours of waiting around, we were able to step into the spectral dragon instance.  Reading about the event, I didn't think it would work well.  Playing it, I realized DDO players can work through anything.  Using general chat and party invites to coordinate, we seamlessly beat the encounter.  Had a blast and crafted a Cloak of night to level 12 after hitting the auction house for some Motes of Night.  I really hope we see more of these type of events.

DDOcast said goodbye to our Founder and leader this past Friday on Episode 191.  If you haven't heard, Jerry Snook has been stolen by Turbine.  We all tried to get some kind of shared custody agreement to no avail.  He has garnered a dream job, and we all wish him well.  I spent most the cast silently trying not to sob over the mic.  I will miss him on the show and in my gaming world.  He has been an amazing friend, has taught me to be a better balanced podcaster, writer and has introduced me to many games and fun times.

Clanky put together this fantastic graphic.  I am using it as my wallpaper.  It reminds me to never stop dreaming.

JerrySnookWallpaper1280x1024
JerrySnookWallpaper1280x1024

Anne and Sigfried Trent are taking over the reins of the show.  I think Sylvurdragon is dubbing it DDOcast 2.0.  I like it.  One era is over and another starts.  I am going to try and stay with the show.  I have loved being a part of it, and learn so much from participating.  I have no idea what the Trent's have planned, but I am hopeful they will make an announcement over the next few days alerting all of us to what the future holds.

Fullscreen capture 1112010 50116 PM
Fullscreen capture 1112010 50116 PM

I am going to have to boycott my local electronics store.  They send out these $5.00 certificates whenever I spend enough money with them.  I had a certificate that was going to expire and walked through the store trying to decide which of the bevy of goodies I would buy this time around.  Fable 3 called out to me.  Being me, I of course bout the Collector's edition. I loved the packaging this came in, and the free hunter's lodge zone is pretty awesome.  I have been spending hour's playing through the storyline.  If you have played any of the other two Fable's, you know the story always seemed light hearted.  This third incarnation, has a really well thought out and decidedly darker, edgier plot.  I've been buying real estate, doing all the sidequests, and enjoying the heck out of the game.  If  you need a certain Demon door opened and are looking for a friend, add me to your friends list.  I don't mind making some extra cash while helping you out :D

I am off to box up the halloween decorations and shove something in the oven for dinner.  Then I will have to choose what I play.  Fable will probably win.

GAME ON!!!

P.S.  I have taken down the server status widgets for DDO and LOTRO.  Neither seem to be working atm.  I have added a search box for EQ2 at Zam.  This is probably more for my use than yours, but it is my site :D

Exploring more on Free to play

I love Twitter. I pretty much have an addiction to it. I spent 8 days at a girlfriend's this month. She had neither cable nor internet. It was like living in the dark ages! Ok, that's probably a little melodramatic, but can I say that based on the experience I may have noticed I twitched for my phone on a regular basis to check twitter, my email and facebook. This morning my twitter told me Champions Online announced they would be going Free to play early next year. ( Thank you Anne!) I wouldn't say I found the news unbelievable. It's becoming a popular refrain from the gaming companies.

I then found myself in a spirited conversation about Free to play. My feelings on it really couldn't be contained in 140 characters. Good thing I keep this blog around. :)

I don't hate Free to play for it's own sake. I should make that crystal clear. I have played Free to play games and even enjoyed a handful of them.

What I don't enjoy is when a pay to play game goes Free to play mid-stream.

Of course it has it's pros. People who have wanted to try the game have no barrier to entry. They can "try" the game for longer than a trial, and continue to play and perhaps pay according to their own terms.

From my own perspective, when a game I have been playing has switched it's business model, I've found it frustrating.

It goes beyond the forum cries of "children and posers." It's about the way the changes the store can bring to the way I approach a game.

I don't think I am entirely alone in this, but I am perhaps in a minority?

For instance, in DDO, I found the community changed. The player base before free to play had generally been tight knit, older, and well versed in Pnp rules of play. After free to play Turbine found they needed to add "signs" to the landscape to alert players to quest lines available to them. I found this disturbing. I'd played DDO and never found myself at a loss for where to go next, but the influx of new players seemed unable to follow the story lines from Korthos through the harbor into the Marketplace etc. I won't say the new people were dumb, but it was as if they were in such a hurry to blow through the content they couldn't or wouldn't read and enjoy the story.

The player base experienced a definite split. The has and has nots or rather I pay and you don't. People began putting up groups excluding free to play players. I didn't like it, but to be honest, some things took some getting used to. If you put up a LFM and weren't paying attention, you would find yourself running to an entrance and your group would thin out as players realized they didn't have the adventure pack. It made some guilds become terribly insular as they choose to simply skip PUGs all together and join alliances where they found other subscribers who knew the content and played with skill.

After reincarnations hit the game, and really I've ranted enough about Turbine's lame attempt to keep players interested in the game once they'd tapped their head on the 20th level cap, the Hearts of Wood hit the store. I didn't know these weren't lootable and it shocked me. When Turbine took the turn of only offering something in the store for real cash I didn't like it. ( as an aside according to Madfloyd's blog post on myddo.com in update 7 Hearts of wood should begin to drop in level appropriate chests!)

When guild housing FINALLY came to DDO, Astral Diamonds could only be found in the store.

LOTRO went Free to play a few months ago. I have to be honest here, I have only logged into it a few times. I paid the rent on the house I worked so hard to decorate and to check out a few things.

I still get the constant stream of "ad" emails from Turbine. The last one just kinda sent me over the edge. "Last chance to buy your Special Summer steed mount!"

One of my absolute favorite things about LOTRO was the festivals. I looked forward to them. I know when both the spring and summer festival's launched this last year I had my finger hovering over the "launch game" button. I worked my rear end off to earn tokens fishing, running races, and by gods I won't even tell you all the things I crafted and sold on the auction house to earn the gold for my spring and summer steeds.

Now you can buy all the housing items and steeds from the store. :(

Dyes. I made a bunch of money off of gathering the ingredients, farming and then using my scholar to make dyes in LOTRO. You can now buy dyes in the store.

The hubby used his cook to make food and sell it on the auction house. You can now buy it in the store.

I could go on, but it's simply disheartening.

It's not that I begrudge people the opportunity to play the game any way they choose to. It's that when I play a game and enjoy it, and then they rip the rug out from underneath me and tell me "Hey, don't work so hard, just use your credit card" I tend to get a little pissed off.

I LIKED playing LOTRO the way I was playing it. Sure I could still work my rearend off for things, but it stings a little when I see someone riding by on their summer steed and I wonder if they "earned" it or bought it. It DOES make a difference to me.

Maybe it shouldn't. Maybe I am being shallow and narrow minded. Maybe it's because when I started MMO gaming the idea of paying for your gear was repugnant and would get you banned, not only by the game, but by your gaming friends that I simply can't seem to pull the trigger and get with the times.

So yes, for now I am only playing DDO once a week with my static group. I haven't touched LOTRO. I am sticking with EQ2 because the way they chose to handle F2P suits me. The F2P servers are completely separate from the subscriber servers. People still have the chance to try EQ2 out and play and pay for it their way, but I can play it MY way and subscribe to it and not worry that I am going to work for 6 months on my Epic gear only to see it as an option in the store a year from now.

I think in future if a game launches Free to play I won't have any issue starting out just like everyone else. If a game launches with a subscription model, I won't be buying a lifetime subscription, and I think I'll wait and see if it goes Free to play. Why buy?

Perhaps I am an old fuddy duddy. That's ok. At least there are still options open to me. I suppose if all else fails there is always World of Warcraft! *throws up a little in her mouth*

We should all pay attention to the disclaimer that pops up on screen every time we log into a game.

Gameplay May Change During Online Play

Game on!!!

Crysis...on a laptop?

I got a new laptop.  At last.  I have been keeping my eye on one for the longest time.  Months.  It had gotten to the point that the hubby was tired of my hemming and hawing.  So, since I had diligently saved the dough, I went for it. I read review after review.   I am linking the one I bought here. I am quite excited.  I loaded LOTRO onto it last night and it runs beautifully.  I was actually shocked by how well it ran on my wireless network!!!

It feels like the little machine that could.

I decided to give it a true work out.  I went over and picked up Crysis.  I knew on high settings the thing was a graphic's card and processor hog.  Plus, I have been wanting to see if I could actually survive the game.  It's only supposed to be 10 hours long, but I figure with my inept n00bness it will take me 40 to actually see the ending :D

I just spent 4 hours playing Crysis on my laptop.  Seriously, it runs like a dream.  No hitching, framerate is decent, cinematic's are fine...now if only I could be a better shot?

The game is ancient.  It several years old.  I am way way way behind on this one.  Quite frankly, I can't believe I bought it.  I am not sure I am getting better at shooters.  In my first few hours of Crysis, I found myself hiding behind a lot of trees and bushes and make mad dashes for check points :D  Hey, its not how you play the game, it whether or not you win, right?

I have to say though, I am wondering what all the bragging was about in Crysis.  It's not...all that???  I mean I had just as much fun and frustration with Borderlands.  Ok, so the environment seems to be completely interactive.  I can shot, punch, blow up any number of items surronding me.  I am not sure why I want to, but it probably really cool that I can.  The AI is a wee tad not so smart.  It's not horrible, but it certainly not the best I've seen.  The story is ok.

So yes, I am having a good time with it, but I remain befuddled by what all the hype was about?  What am I missing?

*shrugs*  I am sure I will be bedazzled once I get to some of the more meaty content.  I say I played 4 hours.  It doesn't mean it was 4 hours of story continuation.  I might have maybe sorta died a whole heck of a lot and found my self re-spawning a whole bunch :D

I am thinking that since I have the ability to distract myself while anywhere in my house now, I should load up DDO on this thing.  Maybe I will be convinced to actually give the ice games another go.  Or maybe I will simply take a few hours to sort through the huge collectible bag I haven't touched for 9 lvls :)  All that running around could take an entire afternoon.

Anyways, I am off to watch TV on my laptop.  I can hulu to my heart's content while laying in bed recovering from my shooting frenzy.

GAME ON!!!

DDO quest list updated... and DRAGONAGE ORIGINS

A quick drive by blog... Zeff worked on the quest list, and it should be current as of 11/1/2009. A reminder, if you have it as an RSS feed, you should have seen an update this morning :) If you have never taken a look at the list, you can do so by clicking on this following link. Rowanheal's Quest List

Look like DDO is getting a new server :) I saw the update on my twitter yesterday. Awesome news. I especially like that it is being open only to new players. It means for those of you who like to play untwinked, you can go over there and enjoy the challenge. I have no idea if I will venture over there or not. I dislike pugging...

And now onto my favorite news.

DRAGON AGE ORIGINS is finally here.

If you were unaware of the game, its the spiritual successor to Baldur's Gate 2 and playable on the PC, XBOX 360 and PS3.

I personally ran my happy butt down an picked up my collectors edition yesterday. I will also admit to playing until my eyes were squinty and dry at about 1 am, and to waking up this morning to the mess of paper plates, water spills and two full ashtrays and going "Oh yeah, this is when I know I like a game!"

Good character development, excellent RPG elements, fully immersive storyline and overall I am simply loving it.

I'm putting in a video for it below. Watch it just for pleasure, or let it hook you in :D

One word of warning, DragonAge Origins is rated M for MATURE... please be aware when watching this video!

GAME ON!!!

A new to me game...

I have been trying to let my anger over DDO's decision to go free to play rest a while. I haven't been up to playing much lately. When I am in game, all I seem to think about is how it is going to be different soon.

So I had to find something new to do.

I also wanted to understand more about the Free to Play concept.

I bought Guild Wars.

I've been playing around with it for about 10 days now.

I have found myself actually having a good time with a game I would never have thought of picking up.

First, let me be clear. It's not a straight MMO in my mind. It's more of a cooperative play experience. You can definitely solo your way through most of the missions, but you're going to have more fun if you're in a guild.

I've managed to see past the lack of action based combat and find other joys. The leveling system is based more on skills, and that is where you can have the fun building your character. You can mix and match to your hearts content and make as unique a build as you would like.

There is a lot of content. The world is simply huge. There are short little missions, or larger more involved missions. You have pets, who you can rename, henchmen you can hire to help you on a mission, or you can get hero's who level up with you.

The guild housing is spectacular. The party screen easy to read, banking is readily available, inventory space can be upgraded, you have guild cloaks you can wear around with pride and you can dye your armor.

All of this in a game with no subscription fee.

There are some things available in the store, like a makeover for your character, buying additional character slots, or more bank space, but there isn't the nickel and dime micro transactions. There are no buy a mission, buy points, buy this and that every time I turn around.

The loading is seamless.

From the time I put the disc into the computer to the time I logged into game was 7 minutes. It was a shock to be in that fast. I figured I would be all day downloading 4 years worth of content, but the game works with a some kind of mini file system that loads as you, so there is no big download to preclude you from jumping right in.

Overall I am having a blast learning something new.

In other news, my puppy is growing like a weed, the Navy is still confusing to learn and I have caught the blasted summer cold that has been going around here.

Nothing overly exciting.

Oh except someone ran over my mailboxes.

I have no idea what hit them, but it had to be a tank LOL

I am still trying to figure out where my mail is going. *sigh* Good thing I pay all of my bills online these days because I am quite sure some of my mail has gone missing.

I am off to take some more medicine and maybe try and get in some game time if I feel up to it. GAME ON!!!

Xbox 360

I have gone over to the dark side.

I bought an Xbox 360. *sigh*

I can't help it. There were some games I wanted that just weren't available on the PC, so I had to do it. I know I am cheating on my computer. I will buy it a new keyboard or something to make it feel better.

First can I just say that the bloody console sounds like it is going to take off in flight the second you turn it on? Are they supposed to sound like that?

And why do I need to buy gold? Is this a micro transaction thing?

Why do I need an xbox live gold membership? Is this Microsoft's way of bleeding me for more money?

And why in blue blazes is a new Xbox 360 game 60 bucks brand new?

I have a lot of questions and not a whole lot of answers right now.

I got involved with this mess because I wanted play Star Ocean. Its one of those Japanese games, but I can't help myself. I wanted it bad. If you have never tried it, give it a whirl. The battle system is FABULOUS and real time. I had the money put aside, so I went for it with the hubsters blessing.

And yes, I checked with him first because I was going to have to talk him into hooking the blasted contraption up when I got home. :D

I haven't had a whole lot of time to play with it this week. I have figured out my gamertag stuff ( I have added my gamertag to my blog. Yes you may add me as a friend. If you send me weird mail or date me messages you are going to be ignored :D) and I now have an actual Xbox live account.

I don't know. Why is it I feel I am being sucked into some Microsoft black hole from which I will never return?

I already received an Ipod as a gift this year and I was staunchly against Apple for the longest.

With every new contraption comes a new set of accessories. A 100 bucks for the wireless internet for the Xbox 360. 80 bucks for a hard drive for the Xbox 360. Apparently I now need a headset for it and there are special ones that cost more than the pricey one I have for my computer.

Basically, its all a way for them to make more money off of me.

Bleh.

I am almost disgusted with myself for buying it *stares at her controller*

Ummm ok, not that sick about it. I am off to game :D

GAME ON!!!

Another Game done

Happy Mother's Day to all the mom's out there. It's a special day for all of you and I hope you've all been pampered accordingly. :) I had a delicious 3 day weekend. I know its coming to an end as the sun goes down here, but I relish the peace of just being quiet for a few days.

I had hoped to game all weekend. Mass Effect has been my recent obsession. I have spent 40 plus hours scouring plants, killing Geth and chasing down Saren. Fabulous fun game.

And I bloody well finished it Friday night about midnight.

*sniff sniff*

I really have to stop finishing games. It depresses me.

If you haven't had a chance to pick this one up, I encourage you to give it a try. It's similar to Knights of the Old Republic, and those of you that played Kotor will enjoy the feeling of familiarity.

The game has the same good/evil chart that can be found in many games. I always get a giggle out of the fact I seem to light up the good portion fully before the game is finished. I was a paragon. LOL. I had a few points in renegade. I earned these mainly when I was reveling in the snarky conversation options. :) Hey, I can't resist telling someone off every once in a while.

I still haven't finished Fallout 3. I pick it back up every once in a while, but I don't seem to stick with it long.

After I put the manual and disk back in the Mass Effect box and put it on the shelf, I ran a finger over all the other games I have.

Nothing appealed to me. I was just sad. I always am after I get heavily involved in a story and then it is over. It's like saying goodbye to friends and putting them away, never to explore any of the nuances of the friendship again.

I turned on Halo on the Xbox. I don't remember ever having playing through the original. Now I remember why. Halo frustrates me. Lack of bullets, there is no map and the story is there,but its so light I don't feel motivated to go further. I don't care what happens to the Master Chief. I am not even sure what it is he is up to besides killing Covenant creatures.

I suppose this is why I gravitate toward Role Playing Games. I love story. I love getting know the whys, and hows and being a part of the action as the main character.

Mindless shooting is just boring.

Anyways, I am off to watch a Star Trek marathon. I got to see the new Motion Picture on Thursday at one of the local IMAX theaters. Whether you are a trekkie or not, the movie is worth the price of admission.

Nothing else exciting going on here. I gave the puppy a bath. She looked pathetic by the time I was finished. Made me giggle.

GAME ON!!!