Players Handbook beats the Reaver!

Our static group ran through the last of the update 5 quests in DDO last night. The big top quest would have been a ton of fun.  Notice I say would have been...if we hadn't experienced mass kick outs.  I counted 12 boots while we were in that quest.  It got to the point where we actually considered just leaving. Such a pain to have the client fail over and over and over again.  I could find no rhyme or reason for it.  Some of us were running XP with Direct x9, some of us were running windows 7 with direct x10.  We are spread out across different states.  Our internet connections were not interrupted.  It just seemed to be something inside the quest.  Bleh.

I missed most of the quest waiting on loading screens, but I will say what I did see was beautiful.  I think the devs tweaked the music, and I would love to know who to thank for glorious tunes I heard in there.  The puzzles weren't too hard, and the traps and themed baddies made me giggle.

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Zeff pulled the Big top hat.  He raved about it.  I wish this was a cosmetic.  It's fabulous.  We did finally convince him to put his minos legens back on.  Something about a fighter running around without heavy fortification made our cleric rather cranky!

After our underwhelming Update 5 experience, we headed over to give the reaver another try.   Raids are always dicey for us.  Even though we are way above level now, we have sub par gear.  I think we have maybe 2 or 3 plus six items now.  We're moving up in the world!!!

It took us a few practice runs.  We got in the swing of things, and after a few tries figured out how to beat the puzzle.  I know most of you are going "ohhh" "aww" big deal, but when we are a solid 6 person group who don't use the auction house, use what gear we find in quests and pass around the hat for a wand fund, we are pretty dang proud of finally getting this bloody quest finished!!!

Hellmy the drunken dwarf did our flying and kept the big guy's agro while we waited for balls to light up, the sorcerer put down some dancing balls and firewalls in the entrance to compliment the cleric's blade barriers, our rogue super shot air elementals, our bard/pally helped heal and kill air baddies, and our fighter was our puzzler extraordinaire.

It truly was a group effort, and one I am super duper proud of.

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Players Handbook posing triumphantly around the loot.

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Screenshot or it didn't happen...

Over the weekend, I flagged Rowanchop for the titan with the DDOcast Build Guild crew and got an odd piece of loot.

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I am wondering why a warforged would need a docent with waterbreathing???  I keep thinking the devs are going to weed all of these anomalies out of the game.  LOL.  I know, I am a dreamer.

There is a new DDO ad circulating around.  I am not terribly thrilled with this one.  The graphics in this thing look awful.  What kind of machine were they playing on, an E machine with an integrated video card???  Anyways, I am happy we have ads, right?  Watch and see for yourself!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VA1KrsVWJzY&feature=player_embedded

In news from around the web, WTH?

"Recently, Blizzard Entertainment implemented a Real ID feature for some of its current games and all of its future Battle.net-based games. Today, Blizzard announced that it intends to require usage of the real names of Battle.net posters for its StarCraft II forums before release, and for its World of Warcraft forums shortly before the release of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. From the announcement: 'The first and most significant change is that in the near future, anyone posting or replying to a post on official Blizzard forums will be doing so using their Real ID — that is, their real-life first and last name — with the option to also display the name of their primary in-game character alongside it. These changes will go into effect on all StarCraft II forums with the launch of the new community site prior to the July 27 release of the game, with the World of Warcraft site and forums following suit near the launch of Cataclysm. Certain classic forums, including the classic Battle.net forums, will remain unchanged.'" via Slashdot

Ummm, does anyone else find this as terrifying as I do? I don't use my real name to game. I have used Rowanheal for over a decade. Do I really want some raging forumite to look for me on facebook? Or to look me up in my hometown? Privacy on the interwebs is already under attack, and this post has me worried as heck about what else is coming down the pike. I don't use the forums over there, but I had planned on it when Diablo III comes out. *shrugs* Guess I will be skipping that.

If you haven't already locked down your online information, let this be a warning shot over your brow!!!

Game on!!!

Summer Festival gone wild in LOTRO and Announced for DDO!

I have lost my mind over the summer festival in LOTRO.  I have spent a ton of hours since it's opening fishing, betting on hobbit eating contests, dwarven keg races, and running around and drinking with the Inn League. In the last 48 hours, I have ammassed an impressive stack of summer cosmetic items.  OMG where am I gonna store all of this stuff once the fall fesitval hits???  It's bound.  I am gonna have to empty out a bank or something.

Anyways, to say I am enjoying it, would be putting it lightly.  I am a total loser at betting on races.  I want the title, but seem to be especially bad at picking the random winners.  I think perhaps this is why I don't gamble in real life.  It's just not a lot of fun to lose all the time.

I am gonna be working overtime to try and get my Inn league Favor to Friend.  I am not sure it can be done during this festival, but I am commited to logging in everyday to run the daily quests.

Just to prove to you how obsessive I can be over cosmetics, each of the items I am about to show you in screenshots cost 12 tokens.  I started with zero and worked my rearend off getting all of these.

The picture at the top of this post is of my hunter laying in her front yard in the new hammock.  It was my first barter.  I had to have it for lazing in the sun.  Isn't it awesome?

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This is the short-sleeved summer dress dyed gold.  I have this one on my hunter.  Since they are bound, I am going to have to get both a dress and a cloak for all my girls.  Glad I like fishing.  At least I can dye them differently for each of the girls.

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This is the Golden Tree cloak.  Isn't it beautiful???  I left it the original color since I figured the gold matched my dress.  Yes, I think about these things.  Stop laughing!

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I had to have a new door mat to welcome guests with.

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And since I live in the shire, I figured it was only appropriate that I have a vegetable garden for snacking purposes.  Flowers are pretty, but I can't eat them.

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This is the wall paper I picked up in Celondim.  It's called the Festival of Enendhin.  Of course the paint color in my house is pink, so this is the pink version :D

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This is my new bedroom.  I picked up the summerfest bed, and the white wicker chair.  They match very well, plus they look very girly.

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This is the summerfest painting.  I love it and put it up in my living room.

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My keg/trophy room needed a new look as well, so I picked up the Summerfest wall paper out in Thorin's Hall.  I am actually considering doing the whole house in this paper.  It's just gorgeous.  And yes, even this room is pink :D

If you were counting, that's a total of 108 tokens so far.  WOW!!!

I haven't gotten all of the items yet, and I still need outfits for 2 of my girls, but its a work in progress.  If you want to see all the Decorations and Furniture being offered in the Summer Festival, Check out the excellent guide made by Kiarane over at A Casual Stroll to Mordor.

In DDO news, it appears that festival coins are dropping in chests.  Posts started popping up on my twitter and on the DDO forums.  It's just been confirmed!

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Fullscreen capture 712010 22611 PM
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Fullscreen capture 712010 24356 PM

So if you've been in DDO and have picked up some coins already, hang onto them for incoming Festival guy.  Wonder what he'll be wearing?  Swim trunks and a snorkel?

If you haven't been over to DDO Cocktail hour, I've posted  their video below.  OMG it's hysterically funny.  It's a spoof of "I'm on a boat" which makes it even funnier to me since I play that song every time I am pulling onto the pier.

GAME ON!!!

Players Handbook plays Update 5 and Summer Festival odds and ends

Our static group logged into DDO with great excitement tonight.  Dreams of airships and fun new quests had us all logging in as soon as we could to get the party started. The hotfix Turbine applied today seems to have gone off without a hitch.  With every launch there seems to be a fewer bugs, but this one had everyone in a lather thanks to Guild renown being down.  I kept my fingers crossed all day and thankfully, it was fixed.

We ran through 3 of the new quests.    I think Party crashers is probably a wee tad over the lvl it states,and omg is it long.  Kinda fun, except for all the dickering about in different zones.  The one in the bar was long as well and had a bunch of jumping over buildings and through tunnels.  I am not sure who thought it was a great idea to make quests longer by adding in mazeish dungeons, but gee thanks for making me want to bang my head on my desk... oh and for the large glass of wine I finally poured to put myself out of misery.   The one with brawnpits made me giggle.  The brothers Grimm were simply funny as heck.  Plus, who really wants to teach a guy in a loin cloth to be an actor???

We were all a little curious about the Guild renown.  We managed to make it to level 3 running the 3 quests we did under level.  It's a 6 person guild.  We are probably never going to see Guild Level 100, but it didn't stop the end rewards from offering us guild minimum level 70 gear.  I could rant on that for days.  I think its a silly thing to have added.  In general, I think the way guild housing has been handled is really disgusting.  It's already begun to polarize the community.  I have no idea what the landscape is going to look like once it's over, but I feel sorry for all of us small guilds.

I found the lag no better or worse than usual.  I was kicked out of game once and had dps lag in a quest.  I am hoping I am the only one.

They finally put mounts in the game...JUST KIDDING!!!  Hellmy, our drunken dwarf, did find a way to ride an animal ingame though.

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I made him stay there long enough for me to get a screenshot.

The summer festival started in LOTRO today.  I am still trying to figure it all out.  Seems there is alot of fishing in this one.  Guess I will be a master angler by the time the festival is over.

Before I forget, there is an excellent guide to the Summer Festival over at A Casual Stroll to Mordor.

On the bad side, the outfits are bind on acquire, which means I am going to have to grind them out on all of my characters.  I like wearing the outfits.  This has me pretty steamed.  In past festivals, the outfits were no bound per character.  Which meant I only had to earn them and store them on one toon.  Egads, I just don't know if this makes the festival fun anymore.

I am posting a video below someone put together ot show off the new festival mount.  OMG, isn't she pretty?  I must must must have one of my own...or 3 or 4.

Anyways, as I am typing this I am riding to my next fishing hole in Thorin's hall.  :D

Game on!!!

Preparation for guild madness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GAME ON!!!

Being invisible

I rounded out my gaming weekend with more LOTRO.  I only squeezed a few hours in on Sunday, but I still pounded through some of the book quests.  They are always very very fun, and I enjoy seeing the story play out on the screen with my character making decisions. My hobbit mini finally got another of her race deeds completed.  My mini earned the deed to feign death for thirty seconds.  Once I realized I had it, I ran back to a town to visit the bard and slot it.  I couldn't wait to try it out.

Zeff joined me on my book adventure yesterday.  Most of the time we have little issue with the book content.  Every once in a while though, a set of quests come up that are truly challenging.  We found ourselves sneaking into caves to fight elite trolls.  They were several levels above us, but we both had an inspiration buff that gave us heightened hit points and mana.  As long as we took them on one at a time, everything was fine.  I would stand back and heal him while he killed the mean trolls.

There is a problem with trolls though.  They like to kick, and I found myself launched in the air.  Unfortunately, one of these kicks landed me at the feet of two more trolls.  I ran back toward Zeff screaming my head off.  He didn't think he could handle all three trolls.  Especially if I had had the aggro of two of them.  I just didn't have the hit points to handle that even with the mega boost from the buff.  I hit the feign death button and fell over dead.  Cackling, I yelled at the hubby I was dead and wished him luck.  He said a few bad words, and went back to killing the trolls.  His guardian is a beast and managed to kill them off after a few tense minutes.

I can't wait to find more trouble to get into and fall over dead.  It's just fabulous fun :D

I have been using every opportunity possible to ride my new blue roan horse.  Unfortunately, my horse like to play tricks on me.  The picture at the beginning of this article shows horsie has a habit of going invisible.  I must look hysterical riding across Middle Earth my horse playing tricks on me.

Basically, I had a blissful weekend gaming.  I have a long week ahead, and I am glad I had a chance to be a slug and enjoy myself.

***

Odd and Ends

DDOcast episode 166 is out and ready for your listening pleasure.  Jerry highlighted an article from my site last week. Pretty Cool!!!

DDO Cocktail Hour Episode 12 is also out.  This has to be one of their best shows yet.  It's completely hysterical!

I've also inserted below the DDO commercial.  I'm late in doing this, but someone sent me an e-mail about it.  My opinion?  I am thrilled that the commercial is out on the TV waves.  While I find it a wee tad underwhelming, I am still really happy to see DDO advertising in a big way.

I'm going to go fall into bed.

GAME ON!!!

A quest gone wrong

Our static group met up tonight.  It took some work.  With my sailor often busy being Navyish, our bardish paladin always on the road and a case of being on death's door for our dwarf, it seemed like a miracle when we all managed to meet in the same time, same place for another round of DDO goodness. We decided to run one of the flagging quests out in the plane of yuck.  I say yuck because I truly never cottoned to any of the quests out there.  They always seemed to be a little resource heavy to me, but then I don't like when there are uber saves for insta-death spells.  Takes all the fun out of it for me LOL!

We took off and entered the Iron Maw.  Most of our party had never run the quest, or had only been inside once or twice, so it we all knew it was gonna be tough.  My sorc bought extra heal wands for our cleric, and we all made sure to have enough pots and bolts and arrows and such.

We started out ok.  We had the odd death here and there.  Nothing out of the ordinary for us.

About thirty minutes in, I began to notice a trend.  Our health bars were continually empty, and we didn't seem to be doing a whole heck of a lot of damage to the bad guys.

It got worse.

Our first party wipe wasn't all that surprising.  If often happens to us, and usually we slow down and tackle the content with a more tactical view towards completion.  Around party wipe three, and well into the second hour in the grips of a game of upstairs downstairs, we were feeling pretty frustrated.

Around hour three we just got the giggles.  It was a complete clusterf%$#.  We'd had more wipes than we could count and were beginning to notice our death counter was not all that far off from the monster's killed count.

Our sharp shooting rogue had a serious case of the laughter as we would complete one of the objectives just to be met with another.  It became ludicrous, and we all started cutting up and making jokes.  There are just some of the quests in DDO that seem to be predicated on the idea there is always a bigger carrot.  Open door A leads to finding monster B who needs killing before you can Find key C which opens another level and so on and so forth ad nauseum.  It's not that this was a bad quest, its just that it was a bad quest for us.

Around the 6th or 7th party wipe, almost all of us were naked.  We found a chest and praised the loot gods for giving us new clothes.  Our Fighter and ranger were trading out for different weapons, our cleric was running out of wands, and we weren't sure if we were any closer to getting to the end of the quest.

Around midnight we gave up.  The fun had very worn off as had every piece of gear we could scrounge up between us including our second set of clothes.  We got close to the end of the quest, but we simply too tired, and out of motivation to keep going.

It was a super night though.  We all had a chance to tackle the impossible, and while the devils won, we hope to go back and give them the smack down they deserve when we are better prepared.

We run into quests like this along the way.  One's that are just a little out of our reach.  We still aren't very well outfitted.  My sorc is wearing one plus  5 stat item and a handful of plus 4 stuff.  We don't have any greensteel as we haven't tried to six man a shroud.  Sometimes things aren't going to work out like they do on our main characters.  To be honest, that's half the adventure.  We have to out think things, try hilarious tactical solutions and sometimes we just don't make the grade.

I love it.

The first screen shot on this article is out kill count... I mean death count.  We tapped out at 104!!!  It kinda became a game in and of itself.  I have never been in a quest with a 100 plus deaths! LOL

The screenshot below is of my repair bill.  It was 42,000 gold.  ROFLMAO

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I can't wait to see what kind of trouble we can get into next week.  I think we will probably have to run something to make some cash.  We are all out of wands and health pots :)

GAME ON!!!

I rolled a one on Update 4

Update 4 came to DDO this week. My static group decided to try them out even though we were way above level. The story line is fabulous. It's pirate zombies. Absolutely cool.

If you want a more fullish look at Update 4, take a look at the video Jerry over at DDOcast made as a preview.

I am just going to hit the highlights.

This first picture is of a bug. A pirate hat that kept swinging in the wind of the underground tunnels long after the wearer of said hat had passed into the next life. I love these bugs. It isn't game breaking, and really just darn funny.

Over all, I will give this new set of adventures a big thumbs up. I enjoyed the flow of the storyline, the excellent graphics, and I have a thing pirates.

Let me also say, I am super thrilled that Turbine found a use for Searing Heights. I will also mention that I think the use of signs in an open area to post the way to a new quest is simply stupid. *rolls her eyes* It completely breaks with any kind of immersion as you are lead by the nose to the quest. Geez thanks for treating me like an idiot.

My eyes were stunned at the quality of the graphics in the new quests.

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Look at that beautiful pirate ship. You walk around a corner and there it is.

Across from the ship, as if as a warning to those who would trespass, is a nasty looking round metal cage.

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I remarked to our group that I would do whatever it takes to make sure I didn't end up a prisoner in that thing...including leaving them all to die and running for an exit :D

Up on top of the pirate ship I found a huge throne.

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After dispatching all of the bad zombie pirate men, I sat down with the pirate flag above my head contemplating changing careers. The pirates had a huge dragon like stash of gold. It obviously pays well to be a pirate. Plus, we'd taken over their ship. I look good on a throne darn it!!!

Perhaps the funniest moment in the new quests was when the general appeared. This screenshot isn't as good as I would like, but we killed him too quickly.

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That's right people. A kobold is riding a minotaur. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! We had a madmax/transformers kinda moment in Static Group and we were all cracking up. It's these fun moments that keep me coming back to the game. Turbine has plenty of fabulous surprises up their sleeve.

There is one quest I will never run again. EVER!!! It involved a series of jumps via levers you would use to aim steam jets so you could SOMEHOW accurately aim yourself at a little bitty pipe. If I want to feel frustrated, I can run the pit or coalescence chamber or fall down into the lava pit of pipes in the von 4 (which they nerfed the heck out of and put a bridge over... lamesauce).

My girlfriend, who is perhaps the most cheerful person I know, actually cussed... out loud... over her mike... In over three years of playing with her, I can say that it is practically unheard of. By the time this quest was over, I spent almost 20 minutes getting her over pipes so she could loot the last chest to see if she had a sigil in it. She didn't. Turbine can kiss my rear end on this one. Shove that pit "light" garbage where the sun doesn't shine baby.

With this one exception, I had a blast helping House Deneith out with their little pirate problem. There was some conversation about whether or not the houses were terribly trustworthy amongst our group. The source books note the underhandedness of each of the houses. Perhaps I should feel a little dirty.

Then again, they gave me a choice between some fabulous end rewards I can continue to upgrade as my sorcerer grows up. I don't think I completely trust them, but they give good loot.

In other news, I have been playing a ton of Final Fantasy 13. I have been playing it so much that when the hubby sent me a text today he suggested I should put the controller down and pause the game before I wrote him back. How did he know I was playing? *feels paranoid* I bet he has hidden cameras in the house.

Of course, it could simply be that I have been playing with every spare minute of my day. Every night he has been able to come home, he walks in to find me sitting on the couch with the game on. He kisses me hello and I say "Let me find a save crystal." He laughs and walks away shaking his head.

Hey, don't look at me like that. He knew I was a gamer when he married me :D

I upgraded lightning's weapon today. I am still wondering if I choose the right one to upgrade. I stuck with the Blazefire saber. I know the Axisblade is awesome and the Lionheart is fabulous. I am only sitting at a stage two of the upgrade. I think in the end probably the Axis blade will be what I use for my Omega Weapon.

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Have I mentioned I am addicted? I am so into this story I actually considered buying a Lightning figurine from square enix.

Ok, I'm off to play a few more hours before I pass out.

GAME ON!!!

Spring Sillyness and the DDO Quest list

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

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

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

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

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

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ROFLMAO!!!

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

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

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

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

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

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How pretty does she look?

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

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lightening

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

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

Game On!!!

State of a game

I've been avoiding posting a blog for a few days.  I think I needed to stew over the latest smattering of news from Turbine for a few before I felt qualified to speak to it. What news am I speaking about?  Turbines Fernando Paiz wrote a State of the Game address Tuesday.  You can read the article in it's entirety here.

Generally, I think its fantastic when a game developer speaks to his audience.  We love hearing what's going on with our addiction of choice.  We love feeling like we are part of the process.  We love hearing even the smallest details.

Since I have read the article, something has been churning in my gut.  It's not an unusual reaction.  I am often adverse to many of the changes made to my games by those who feel they know better.  Sometimes I am proved wrong.  Other times,  I plug a bullet right between the eyes of truth with alarming accuracy.

I won't rehash the majority of the article.  It's well written.  For those of you think I am incapable to paying someone a compliment, I will refer you to the aforementioned well written.

Within an hour of the article being up,  my twitter feed hummed with a opinion.  Mostly of it was wonderfully optimistic.  Among my gaming friends and blogging community, I am always the bad seed.  I reckon I can live with the mantle.

I remain after several days stew-age stuck with my immediate gut reaction.

They are going to LOTRO DDO.

Whether this is a good or bad thing has been up for debate.  I personally felt a let down after reading the development team's plans for the game.

Specifically, they are adding in costuming, and at long last, guild housing with some sort of rival earning system.

I am not saying I am against either of these additions.  I'm not.  I have long begged for player housing of some kind, and the ability distinguish my character's skinning from those around me.  Dragonscale armor has been the fad in DDO for many moons, and we have been running around looking like clones of each other.  Besides, if I have the ability to turn my character entirely pink, I am not going to argue.

Fernando also tells us about the new race pick.  Half Orcs.   I am slightly surprised this is the one they went with.  I had actually expected half elves.  Half Orcs get a +2 to strength, -2 Intelligence, and -2 charisma.  Basically they are a big dumb ugly whack-a-mobs.  I am interested in seeing how they skin these.  Half Orcs are generally 6 to 7 feet tall.  They are gonna start out taller than all those true rez people LOL.

Overall the article didn't mention anything earth shattering concerning future development.  In this one area, I found myself severely disappointed.  I had hoped to hear some imaginative thoughts laying out how they plan on getting around the natural level cap they have in the game.

Fernando talked at GDC detailing specific numbers concerning the store and sales.  We'd had the announcement in the past stating they had more than 1 million new users.  Both of which point to Turbine having a winner on their hands.

My lack of a warm fuzzy centers around how they are foreseeing the future as the new subscribers reach level 20.  At the moment, we have been given Epic content.  Basically, this boils down to a supped up quest you've already run before.  We also have the mini crafting available. And last, but not least, you can reincarnate.

What I wanted to was Turbine telling us they were going to have further character development available.  New gear is great, making a quest harder kinda lame and being stuck reincarnating aggravating.  I want to actually grow my character, not make her just taller with a few more starting stat points.

Epic level.  I wanted to hear them tell me they were going to make them.  They are not the same as an Epic choice in the adventure :(

Overall, I will say I appreciate Turbine making efforts to communicate.   New underwater combat options sound fun.  Update 4 being on Lammania is fabulous.  I am excited to see them working on the game.

They could try coming up with new ways to add fantastic features to the game.  Seriously, don't LOTRO DnD.  They are two different worlds.  It's like putting a light saber in the hands of a Star Trek Captain.  Just wrong.

###

In other news, my static group finally gathered up enough relics for us to run Gianthold Tor.  We are Reaver flagged!  While we stepped into the raid, we didn't complete it.  I hope in a few weeks to report we beat another raid.

GAME ON!!!

I used the DDO store...

DDO Store image

Rowan finally used the DDO Store today. I still feel a wee tad bad about it. Like it was cheating. I've been hearing how much fun the DDOcast Build Guild has been having in DDO on Sunday's. A few of the players bugged me here and there to participate. It's been in the back of my mind, but I finally decided to take the plunge.

They are playing on the Orien server. I didn't have an character's over there. I had yet to touch it as a server.

With the guild being way ahead of me level-wise, I figured this was a great chance to check out Veteran Status. I also wanted a 32 point monk.

It took me a few tries in the character creation screen to get the 32 point build thing figured out. I knew this was going to mean a trip to the DDO Store. It's been over a year and this is the first time I'm messing with it.

You would think logically if you didn't have a 32 point build character and you wanted to make one, it would be on the skills page as an option. It's not. I should have known better. Turbine doesn't always do things "intuitive." I mean I thought since I didn't have the favor for a Drow and they have a big fat "Buy me now" button (which btw is hideous) on the Character race selection screen, I could infer the upgrade I needed would be available when I got to the skills screen.

After hunting around for 5 or 10 minutes, I gave up on it and just hit the "buy an additional character slot" button. I found this a little funny and chuckled, since as I was pressing the button, I had no character on the server at all and 10 empty slots.

I purchased the 32 point build across all server's. It didn't feel awful. Because I haven't used the store at all it's not like I was going to run out of Turbine points and spend real cash. I have a few saved up *winks*

I hadn't read a thing about Veteran Status. I knew it existed, just wasn't quite sure how it worked.

I made my first monk and went over to Korthos Island. I talked to Jeets, who is quite cheeky these days, and went through the tutorial. As an aside, there is a way to skip the tutorial right? I haven't found it, but it's been so long since I've rolled a character *shrugs*

I kept thinking there was going to be an option to skip to level 4. After killing all those worthless sahaugin, I ran out through snowy Korthos to find the First Mate. I knew I could skip Korthos and be dropped back in the harbor. I assumed this was also where the option for Veteran Status existed.

It's not.

Frustrated, and having wasted 45 minutes figuring out how to build a 32 point monk, I logged out to check the compendium. Have I mentioned how useless I find this feature? If you really want information on the game, hit up the DDO wiki. It's beautiful, simple and so much easier to navigate.

After googling, I found a really well written Developer Diary explaining the ins and outs of utilizing Veteran's Status. Turns out you need to log into a Level 4 character who already exists in the harbor and *hear my screams*,if you want to have Veteran Status on a server where you do not have 1000 favor, you need to buy it from the store.

About this point it's getting close to lunch. I am beginning to feel the low hum of headache behind my eyes. I want to play, or at least, I want to support my friends and check out their new venture. Probably.

I went for another cup of coffee and decided to go for broke. I'd already used the store. I might as well continue my fall into the abyss.

I logged onto my static group character on Ghallanda and hit buy.

Blowing out a breath, I re-logged into the game on Orien. I deleted my monk and remade her. 32 points, Veteran's Status. After 2 hours, I'd accomplished my goal.

I entered the world, did my level up on the voyage and was plunked into the harbor with crap gear and dead broke. Welcome to the world of buy now.

I played about 4 or so hours today. Within the first hour I realized the biggest downfall to the "instant" button, you don't have a blessed clue what your build can do.

My new monk had 2 toolbars worth of "skills." I hadn't the foggiest what to do with them for this build. I hadn't a copper to my name to buy a repair pot, hat or even a hireling.

By the end of hour 4, my headache had grown to a monster. Learning to play a character, discovering the good and bad points of a build, and trying to accomplish experience doesn't mesh well. My monk had died more than any other newbie I've ever built. Her "specials" seem dismal. She's still using the starter handwraps she got in the harbor. Handwraps seem to be few and far between. Surprised me. Monks have been in the game 2 years now? What gives?

I won't be using this option again. Not to make a build I am unsure of. I will say it explains a lot of the issues I saw in the pugs I participated in this afternoon. If you haven't earned the xp, you don't know what you can and can't do. You die, make stupid agro assumptions, and are a drain on your party.

According to myddo, I have built 26 characters who still exist. 15 of them are approaching or are capped. It isn't my level of experience in character building, knowledge of the game, nor my ability to manipulate and mash the multitude of buttons required to be actively involved in a quest.

It's the instant button.

I feel dirty. I am going to go soak in a hot bath and consider my sins.

GAME ON!!!

Sore fingers

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

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

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

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

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

STO buddy keys
STO buddy keys

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

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

LOTRObook3
LOTRObook3

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

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

The Isengard Private Preview Program Needs YOU!

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

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

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

Requirements:

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

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

The Isengard Private Preview Program Team

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

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

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

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

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

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

GAME ON!!!

DDO's 4th anniversary

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

Celebrating 4 Years of DDO

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

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

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

    Blessing thingy
    Blessing thingy
    Easter Tokens
    Easter Tokens

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

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

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

    easter_egg_route
    easter_egg_route

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

    CocktailHour550x550
    CocktailHour550x550

    You can listen to the show HERE!

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

    GAME ON!!!

    I found the pink paint

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

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

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

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

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

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

    I found the pink paint!!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

    So many great games, so little time.

    GAME ON!!!

    Patch day woes and STO Launch

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

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

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

    I participated in the anniversary ice skating event toni

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

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

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

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

    GAME ON!!!

    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!!!

    TNT static group making 1750 favor

    TNT, my static group in DDO, is about to celebrate our 3 year anniversary. Holy Moly!

    For three years our group had been meeting once a week to play DDO for 2 to 3 hours. Hellmy, Key, Ostrich and Row have been the steady 4. Three years... in an MMORPG static group. It boogles my mind.

    We're all about lvl 17 now I think. To be honest, I can never remember. With our group the level hasn't actually been the goal.

    We beat the dragon as the six of us. My husband joined us a while back and Steiner brought his paladin along a year ago. Taking down Velah felt like a victory to us. It took careful planning and some luck, but we beat her in April of 2009.

    TNT after beating the Dragon.

    At the moment we're flagged for the Titan and the Demon Queen, and we almost have enough relics to flag for the Tor. We still haven't messed around much in Shavarath. Honestly, most of us as still wearing plus 5 stat items, and while we are flagged for the shroud, I am not sure yet how we are going to pull it off.

    This week, the Sorcerer I play got 1750 Favor. I was pretty darn proud of it. It's taken a long time to get here and there is still a ton to be done. I went and got my first tome and spent 10 minutes trying to decide which one to get. After deciding on Charisma, I ported out to my team so they could all watch me eat my tome!!! Nom Nom Nom

    Playing with our rules of no auction house, using what we find in chests or on a vendor, sharing coin amongst ourselves and never giving up has lead to a heck of a lot of fun and some great friendships I can't imagine not having in my life.

    We aren't using the DDO store, the sorcerer's haggle skill buys the cleric wands, UMD on the Sorc for heal wands is a must. We make decisions on spell slots as a group, and we go after all the chests in a dungeon no matter the danger!

    So here's to TNT (which depending on our mood still has different meanings... I still like Trashy Neekid Tramps best myself)!!!

    • Keylet the rogue fires off her repeater like a machine gun, trap diva and our Experience hog!
    • Hellmut the ranger who seems to keep out of trouble and be the last one alive jumping after our stones and who has a habit of dancing like a drunken dwarf all over Stormreach
    • Rowanslash the fighter who dies valiantly trying to take all the agro on his fighter and who knows how to solve mazes, memorizes open maps and can navigate us like a GPS.
    • Osthryth the cleric who has decided implosion is the best spell ever made and uses it to kill everything in our path.
    • Rhaid the paladin who can raise the dead, smite things and has managed to get us through some tough spots.
    • Borgii the sorcerer who UMD's heal wands, loves firewall and generally dies A LOT!!!

    Thank you guys for three years of fabulous fun! Here's to the next three :)

    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!

    What I've been up to...

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

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