Spring Fling

It's Spring!!! And Lotro is celebrating with the Spring Festival. A Casual Stroll To Mordor has an excellent guide to the festivities. I've been using it to make sure I don't miss out on any of the fun. If you have questions, or don't understand one of the events, be sure to check out the guide!!!

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It's my first Spring Festival and I have to say, I have never been more drunk or more rude in a game! The Inn League has me running around drinking beers in the Shire, puncturing holes in kegs and stealing ale recipes. I did the run through the shire the first night, and by the end of it, I was seeing triple on my screen. Thankfully, I could ride a horse between the quest points. Very very glad The Bounders aren't policing for being drunk and riding!!!

Don't miss the quests up by Thorin's Hall. Jonar is a little angry that some dwarves have joined The Inn League. The emotes you use to convince the dwarves to rescind their membership had me in stitches. I slapped one of the dwarf's around and made him cry. I almost fell out of my desk chair laughing.

Stomp a shrew. I was super looking forward to this event. I want a shrew statue for my front lawn. Unfortunately, I suck at it. The hubby tried it one night and did swimmingly. I, however, take several rounds to get all my shrews stomped. *sigh* It's a great way to get your Spring leaves if you have the skill. If you are like me, you are going to be hitting the Hedge Maze.

The Hedge Maze. There are 5 quests you can do in the Maze. I get lost in a circle, so the maze isn't a fun place for me. The hubby had it figured out in a matter of minutes. I spent my first hour becoming more and more frustrated! If you can't figure it out, I am posting a video below that shows a first person view of how to do the timed run through to the exit. Personally, I save that run until the hubby is home and follow him :D My favorite part of the Spring Festival has to have been the first time my hubby hit the sinister keg in the center of the maze. All I heard was, "OMG Where am I? All the mobs are purple! And where the heck are my pants?" *giggles*

You can also check out the drunken fence walking up at Brockenborings in the shire. The Bullroarer Challenge is hysterical to watch. You have to walk a fence carrying a tankard while a wee tad drunk. If you don't want to actually do the quest, fine, but you have to at least go out there and watch the drunks falling off the fence. It's entertaining!

Honestly, I loved the Winter Festival. The Spring Festival is simply fabulous. The drinking and carousing with friends can't be beat.

With my first stack of Spring leaves, I bought a Hobbit Hedge for my house. I couldn't resist it. By the end, I will have the cosmetic outfit, a spring horse and all the rest, but that hedge sitting in my garden makes me smile every night when I stagger home from a long night of drinking!

A note on the Spring Festival horse.  The vendor NPC is currently broken.  Sapience had the following to say on the issue.

Hey guys! The horse vendor will not be available until sometime near the planned end of the Spring Festival. Possibly later. The nature of this issue requires a client side patch to resolve.

Because we have a planned patch due around the end of Spring Festival, we intend to roll the fix for this issue into that patch. Because this will occur after the planned end of the Spring Festival, we will either extend the festival for an additional week or re-enable it once the patch is live to ensure everyone who has earned their Spring Festival mount can trade for it.

In the meantime, you'll still be able to acquire all your tokens and everything you need to obtain the horse, you just won't be able to trade them in until we have the fix in place.

We realize this is an inconvenience and appreciate your patience and understanding. We want everyone who has earned their mount to be able to enjoy it.

I'm a little bummed on the horse issue. I recently hit 35 on both my rune keeper and my minstrel and hadn't had the gold to buy my first horse. I figured with the Spring Festival, I could buy my first horse and it would be pretty. Guess I am going to be waiting a month. Oh well, gives me more time to make some more gold so I can afford to buy one for each of the girls.

I am off to do a couple of the horse races and get some extra spring leaves before the hubby comes home.  Shhh, don't tell!

Game on!!!

I'm a chicken...

I have done many many things in MMO's over the years. I thought I had seen all manner of time sinks, but this week my guild in LOTRO introduced me to the Chicken Runs. All I can say is "HOLY CRAP HOW DID I MISS THIS?"

It very simple really. Up at Sanderson's farm there is trouble with the chickens. Things have gotten a little out of hand. If you decide to jump in and help, you'll be forced to become a chicken and run through out middle earth looking for help.

It's seriously the most entertainment I have had in a game in a long long long time.

Now lest you think it's all fun and games, let me caution you. Life as a level one chicken is no easy feat. Monsters around you want to gobble you up. And they can all see you.So run fast little chicken and don't let the big bad wolf nip at your feathers.

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I was in stitches running the beginning quests. The hubby and I were turned into chicken and immediately I started giggling. I just couldn't help myself. I ran around digging for worms, avoiding wolves and bears and laughing at the hilarity that ensued as one of my guild mates was eaten on his way to a neighboring chicken coop.

My ultimate goal for chicken running is the following.

cloak of cluck description
cloak of cluck description
Cloak_of_the_Cluck
Cloak_of_the_Cluck

That's right people, if you manage to live through all the runs you are given the Cloak of the Cluck.

My guild leader has one of these and I made him click it a bunch of times in the guild meeting the other night.  Nothing like seeing a stalwart dwarf clucking like a hen and doing a dance as feathers rein from above.

The hubby and I died a few times during our chicken runs, but overall, we had a fabulous time.

It culminated when Steiner Davion logged on.

As a chicken you are not able to communicate with anyone.  No tells, guild chat and such.  At first this mystified me, but after some thought it makes sense.  I mean who speaks chicken?

I saw the pop up that Steinr was on and went to my friends list to see where he was.  The hubby and I ran around for a while trying to find him.  Finally after nearly half an hour we spotted him fending off bears in Binbole Woods.  We both jumped up and down around him giving him a good flocking.  I am not sure how long it took him to figure out what was going on, but after a while he hit up my Xfire.   My sides were splitting from laughing so hard.

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The guild is going to be doing a full chicken run this weekend.  I am very very excited and can't wait to report to you that I have earned my cloak and can dance like a chicken!!!

I have inserted a video below of a guild in LOTRO doing one of these chicken runs.  It's hysterical.  Watch and prepare to laugh a lot.

Game on!!!

Lotro gets Oath of the Rangers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GAME ON!!!

A few changes and one ugly ship

I was going to do a write up of Bioshock 2 tonight. I finally finished the game yesterday. Things change. I asked a friend of mine to work on a new logo for my site. He also figured out a way to make it a more pleasing pink color. I know some of you logged on and wondered why the code was a ll of a sudden completely wonky :)

I am decidedly untechy. While I love my gadgets, my understanding of their inner workings are superficial at best. It's why I have brilliant friends :D

There are still a few more changes coming, I hope, if my friends don't abandon me after I turned into a puddle of mush with today's changes. I am thrilled to have the site FINALLY showing off it's pink hotness. Looking forward to getting a few more of the kinks worked out in the coming weeks.

In other news, I caught an article on Massively yesterday about Star Trek Online.  It featured the new Destiny class ship.  The stats on it are fairly impressive.

Overview

With the resources needed to chart distant star systems, deep space science vessels such as the Destiny class will lead Starfleet into a new era of exploration.

Boasting all of the advanced technology with an advanced warp core and expanded engineering facilities, the Destiny is ideal for either long solo missions or fleet support.

Capabilities

Weaponry:

Fore weapon slots: 3 Aft weapon slots: 3

Bridge Officer Stations:

Tactical: Lieutenant (1) Engineering: Ensign (1), Lieutenant (1) Science: Lieutenant Commander (1), Commander (1) Total Available Powers: 12

Modification Slots:

Tactical: 2 Engineering: 3 Science: 4

Device Slots: 3

Crew Size: 500

Impulse Speed: 15

Turning Rate: 6

Quote taken from Zam.com

At first glance I am super excited about it. I then watched the video which I am inserting below. Watch and then let me know what the thing looks like. I'll give you a hint...I think of how to unwrinkle clothes when I look at this ship :)

I am off to finish a little crafting in LOTRO before I fall into bed. I won another lottery in LOTRO and discovered mail in my box when I logged in today. Now I feel like I need to make some money, and crafting seems to be the only way I make any these days.

More on my final thoughts of Bioshock 2 tomorrow.

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!

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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!!!

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!!!

Did you buy your tickets?

Yuppers, it's that time of year. GENCON 2010 tickets went on sale today at noon.

Have you bought yours yet?

If you haven't, please be aware that housing opens on Tuesday :)

I HAVE OUR TICKETS!!!

The hubby thinks he might actually be home. I have checked, and the tickets are refundable LOL, but my fingers are crossed. I have gone solo two years running. *prays to the gods* If he gets to go with me, I will consider it a belated honeymoon :)

*** Have you ever had one of those gaming moments where you just go DOH!!!

It was date night. Zeff and I logged into LOTRO for a romantic evening of monster slaying and loot whoring. What can I say? In this economy a date in an MMORPG is a nice way to spend time together doing something you both enjoy!

We've had this one quest for a while out in The Lonelands. Everyone tells me The Lonelands is not as bad as it used to be. I don't know what it was, but I know last night I almost crushed my mouse in a red haze of rage.

We had some quest to kill this guy out by the undead ruins. Yeah, those ruins. The one where the Master boss guy has an instant respawn which equals death.

It created a perfect storm of frustration in the both of us.

After death number 3, I asked if we could find something else to do. He agreed, which surprised me. He is a completionist. Leaving a quest behind simply isn't done in his world.

We decide we are going to go kill gloom waters.

We tried to run out to where they were shown on our map, but were quickly trounced by some elite novice mob jerk who dealt death number 4.

We decided maybe we should go back and kill that other guy just to get it over with.

With some false bravado, we valiantly fought our way back inside the seventh ring of undead Hell only to DIE again.

After death number 5, I maybe screamed loudly and slammed my mouse down rather hard. Saying "Screw it", I stormed off to make a smoothie.

A very wonderful guildie offered to come out and help us while I was downstairs cussing the uncooperative blender. Once he joined the party, he asked us over voice chat what we were trying to complete. We told him and he ran to meet us and join in on the death spree.

EXCEPT...

He ran in another direction than the one we had been in.

We pointed this out only to be told kindly that for 2 and half hours of deaths, we had been in the wrong place!!!

DOH

Since I had a smoothie, life had taken on a nice shade of delicious goodness and I could only laugh.

Quest was completed and we spent the next little while regaining silver to pay for our repair bill.

HA!

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!

Myddo.com ...

MYDDO.com beta launched.

I took some time after static group tonight to fiddle around with it. It's running on Wordpress. Easy functionality (hahahahaha...not), mostly drag and drop.

Over all the site was rather easy for me to set up the way I wanted. I didn't realize the unfunctionality of Wordpress until I started trying to add widgets in HTML code. Javascript is not supported in the build MyDDO is currently utilizing. I will have to find a work around for that when my eyes are a little less bleary.

My biggest and perhaps most ardent complaint? The character listing. ATM, I can't seem to turn any characters anonymous. Aggravating, since I have 25 or so characters, some of which I play in guild where I don't use voice and no one knows who I am. No, I am not spying. It's called hiding :) And yes, I sometimes use the information I glean either here on the blog or on my podcast, but overall, I just like to be able to play without people associating me with "that pink girl!"

There are some people who don't want things associated to them. Sometimes Guild Leaders have an alt they don't guild, so they can get some peace and quiet on occasion :) I play in hiding. I know others do as well. While I suppose there might be something nefarious about it for some, for a lot of us we just like some downtime every once in a while from guild drama, pressures and the friends list.

I also noticed that in the Character Listing, it uses your original server. In my case, I moved my main from the Ghallanda to the Argonessen server a couple of years ago. Rowanheal is still being listed on MyDDO as being on Ghallanda. I tried logging her in and out of the gaming server to see if that would update the information, but it hasn't.

The DDO.com forums already have some players screaming for the functionality of the Character Listing to get a review. Some complain more loudly than others with promises of canceled accounts while others simply are using this kind of technology for the first time and wondering if there is simply something they aren't doing correctly.

Overall, its not a bad start. If you choose, you can load your characters, and be able to see basic stats and gear on your MyDDO page. Of course, this means everyone else can see as well. You can blog, put in some basic pictures and profile information.

As a gaming site its ok. I personally use Xfire to connect all my games into one program, plus xfire lets me talk to my PC gaming friends no matter what game they are in, or in DDO's case which ever server they are on.

I am not sure how all of this will fair with the DnD crowd. I know Turbine Launched MyLOTRO first to seemingly great success. I can't help but keep wondering if Turbine simply feels the age bracket of paying customers they had for DDO was simply too "old" and they needed to connect into the "tween" market with "Social" mumbo jumbo, Free to Play Microtransactions and other such nonsense.

In a time where other markets have worked to garner the interest of the ever aging baby boomers and their children, other industries have simply never really gotten it. Well, ok. There is the Wii. I think even my mother is interested in getting one. I am still not sure if I consider it gaming LOL!

In all honesty, my first reaction to MyDDO was as follows: *sigh* Oh joy. Yet another site to build and make sure feeds my blog, twitter, xfire, pictures and so forth.

Do you ever feel like you have more Web 2.0 than you can handle? I am in Web overload.

Keeping up with the blog, Twitter, Myspace, Facebook, Netvibes, Yahoo, AIM, Gtalk, MSN, and so forth has aggregated my life into a real nice big stressball.

I try to get all the sites to update mostly on their own. I use Ping to update my twitter, facebook and myspace at one time whether hooked into my main computer or if I am out and about on my blackberry. I RSS my blog to facebook, and have a widget to RSS my blog into myspace. I use Meebo to collapse all my IM's into one page on my web broswer, and use Jivetalk on my blackberry to achieve the same IM all in one result when I am mobile.

All this "Social Networking" is becoming like a second job.

Where does MyDDO fit for you? Are you using something like this for the first time, or do you maintain facebook or myspace pages? Have you found it easy to use? Does the character listing bother you at all?

Anyways its late. I am off to dream.

Game On!!!