Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Wishes

Well it's Christmas Day and I have managed to comandeer my fathers computer to make sure I wish all my friends a very Happy Christmas! [you mean you have had a chance to escape the chaos!-Ed]

Just a short one really, I wanted all my friends out there who know me and some who don't that I am thinking of you and wish you all the very best for the Holiday season and hope you are having as fantastic a time as I am.

So, here we go...[apologies if you are missed off the list, Adurj has already quaffed a glass or two of bubbly-Ed]

Jahfster (Nolorin), Sjlverwolf, Euls!, Valentino Rossi, The Armagh family, Trubow, Soyia, Aikanaro, Yocal/s, Haedyn, Tuna, Dawnya, Dang, all at my wonderful guild Tapiolan Sankarit (you know who you are, Hare, Earl, Ratty, Hagras et al), all at Clan Werre, and a huge hug to my long term EQ2 home Acolytes of Valor.

I wish you all the very best!  Currently I am away from home at my parents [like they would need a degree to work that one out!-Ed] and will be spending a fair quantity of time down the pub with all of my old buddies..but will be back home on the 30th December hopefully. I guess I will see you all then!

Be well all, Seasons Greetings.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

You talking to me?

I have recently been experiencing more than usual, a phenomenon in EQ2 that I really don’t like [naked Gnomes? – Ed]. I do not know why I have come across it more than I usually do. I know what I am talking about is always there and happens pretty consistently if you have the right chat channels open, but I don’t and I like to avoid this particular type of incident if I can. [WTH are you talking about? – Ed]
What I am talking about [there you go! :) - Ed] is the inability for a human being to be civil to another. Now I am more than aware that this happens every second of every minute in every part of the world in some form or other, but it does not change the fact that I cannot abide it. Rudeness and lack of manners stimulates the most base form of interaction and simply brings out the worst in the perpetrator and the receiver.  One of my heroes, Winston Churchill believed in the same thing, to the extent of his famous quote “When you have to kill a man, it costs nothing to be polite”.  The thing about EQ2 and indeed any other form of MMORPG or online game is that it genuinely seems worse than in ‘real life’.  If you went out for a drink at night with your friends  [but you never invite me! – Ed], you  would not expect to overhear so much abuse or general rudeness in say 30 minutes of bar propping time as you would in 30 minutes of channel 1-9 time.
So why is this? What makes people who are sitting behind a computer screen allow their inner demons and awful personality to come through more than in real life? Are there really so many bitter people out there waiting for the nastiness to come out?
I live by a few rules and morals that are unwavering and I feel quite central to my personality. Now I am more than aware that I perhaps go a little bit the other way and I would never try to force my personal life strategy on another. But I at least expect a few manners when people converse with me.
This particular incident is a simple case of how someone converses with a group of other people. I won’t put in too many specifics as I do have manners and would not wish to name anyone without knowing them fully.  That would be unfair. But this particular person seems to have the ability to be uncivil to almost everyone I have witnessed them speaking to.  It may take an extra few seconds to add a few extra words to a sentence to make it seem less harsh, confrontational and quite honestly downright rude. But this is obviously not time well spent to this person.  The problem is, and this is a basic concept of interaction, that 'behaviour, breeds behaviour'. So, when I have witnessed this person attempting to converse with others, it is interesting to note the replies. They get more and more short in nature and eventually begin to mimic that persons behaviour.

I know that that there is a possibility that the stress and abusive behaviour is probably a symptom of their inability to deal with stressful situations and it is easy to revert back to the behaviour of a child, tantrums and so on. Especially when there is no barrier to act that way. What I mean by that is the person you are 'speaking' to, is not standing in front of you. Which is usually what may restrain someone from acting like a spoilt child. But when you are in the comfort of your own home with no consequences to your actions as you are effectively speaking (in their mind) to a non existant entity but just a computer screen, all of a sudden the behaviour must seem justifiable to them.
I am not saying to be a sheep and be nice to everyone you meet. As that can lead to a passionless existence, or indeed to you coming across as a walk over. But don't be nasty or rude just because it is easier and you cannot be bothered to show another human being the correct respect.
I guess I have ranted on too long about this. I would say this one last thing though. If you are speaking to another person in an MMO of any kind, remember that it is a person on the other end of the screen. Not a toy for your gaming. A person. Show that person the proper respect and manners. Surprisingly, you may find that attitude reciprocated. Until next time..
Be well...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Bangers n Mash

Before I begin today, please welcome back the famed [Ed] from my old Revenants blog. As an entity he is something akin to ‘the Stig’ from Top Gear, but without the large helmet [Oi!! – Ed]. No one knows if he is really real or who it is [apart from you and I of course-Ed], but he does like to comment on my comments and sometimes embarrass me. Good to have you back on board matey, now please be nice [cash works, and btw..wth is the picture all about?-Ed].

So, I’ve been trying to think about what I want Adurj to achieve in game before the expansion comes along in Feb 2010. The list I originally drew up became ridiculous in the end. Partially because I started to ask my mates what they feel I should achieve before the update. I must have forgot to mention that I meant ‘in-game’, and following the last few replies on messenger of “You should at least learn how to dress properly” and “You need to learn and understand the difference between exacerbate and exasperate” oh, and my particular favourite “ You should develop your bathing skills. You smell”.

I actually came up with a short list that may be workable. Strangely enough, without the assistance of my caring compadres.

• Reach 200aa

• Save up at least 50 collection quests for hand in on expansion release

• Save up at least 25 normal quest hand ins for release

• Get up to 400 on Harvesting/Mining/Foraging etc

I’m not 100% sure it is workable, especially with my play time available. But it’s nice to have a goal. Getting up to 400 on my harvesting type skills is very important, and very easy to do. One thing that will be hurting a few, as it always does when a new expansion is released is the lack of rares available. So, to make money and to ensure I have enough rares for my expert skill ups, I will definitely be doing that. I have also been toying with the idea of putting aside a specific time each week to grab AAs, sorry...alternative advancement points (they will always be AA to me). I do it with raids so why shouldn’t I specifically concentrate on old quests, HQs and named mob slaughtering at least for one play session a week? It’s very easy for me to forget I need to do this, as typically when I log on I could get a group straight away. Either in guild or any number of my good friends who I have on AB server. So setting aside some special AA time seems like a workable idea.

On that note a quick shout out to Nolorin, an excellent friend indeed of mine and the missus and one of my readers (I have another, whoop whoop! ) [That makes 3 in total – Ed] and an all round jolly good egg! I titled the post just for you mate ;) I was going to call it ‘being barred from the Police Station’ but Ema might get upset. Why am I chatting about Nolorin? Apart from the fact he’s a great mate? Well he kindly offered to help grind out some AA with me. An offer I will definitely be chasing up this weekend. Keep an eye on your ‘inbox’ matey and we’ll hash out a time to go pick on some nameds etc. Oh, check your emails too bro ;)

The saving up of collections and quests is quite a common phenomenon I have found out in players who are a little forward thinking. There is nothing like on expansion day hammering those in and pop, “ooohhh, I’m 81st level and looky look at me AA”, sorry ‘alternative advancement’ points! So far I have 18 collections saved up. Pretty pathetic really, so I will have to go shiny hunting a bit too. I’m a scrooge or I would just buy them :)

Out of game I had an ok weekend. It was one of those times when everyone seems to want a piece of you. That can sometimes be good if at that particular time you are in a Lap Dancing Club. But I wasn’t and it was people wanting money. The mechanic, the hospital and of course the children. Even my cat wanted new cat food. The cheek of it! He can hunt very effectively, so why he wants me to feed him I don’t know ;) Aside from that it was not too bad really. Got a few Christmassy things sorted, but not a great deal. I am one of those people who like to leave things to the last minute. Not because I am lazy [although you are lazy –Ed] but because I am scrooge and things are generally cheaper on Christmas Eve. Of course you definitely run the risk of having the cool stuff sell out, but that matters not when I am buying new socks and underwear for all this year. I mean who can tell the difference between last and this seasons Y-Fronts? [too in a barrel-Ed].

On the Christmas note, don’t forget during the pushing and shoving and crowds in the towns and cities this year of what Christmas is all about, and show some good cheer to all. Remember your pleases and thank yous, try not to get too stressed, smile at a stranger, buy a coffee for that homeless guy [not a whisky-Ed], and oh..yeah, watch your wallet and purse. Pickpockets and thieves are rife this time of year. Until next time,

Be Well.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Weird and Wonderful

A quick bloggy this time round. I know I haven’t posted for a couple of days but RL is busy and so is work! Christmas brings out the best and worst in folks it seems 

Since my computer blew up back in September and I replaced it with an ok one, but with one really crappy downfall. An integrated ATI card. Now that’s not good from the off as those two words are like swear words to me, ‘integrated’ and ‘ATI’. I usually run an Nvidia, but cash was a pretty big factor. I will be replacing the dodgy card soon, but in the mean time I thought I would share with you some of the playing conditions it creates for me. Imagine grouping or raiding with the below happening. Frustrating, but sometimes fun. Some weird and wonderful effects! Anyhow, hopefully RL will calm down soon...

13 days until Christmas by the way 

Be well.

Ok this last one is as it should look, but I like it!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

The weekend that was..

What an eventful weekend! This may be a long post....

Friday night it was time for some more mentoring fun and along with the wife on her alt we headed to Deathfyst Citadel (DFC) for a quick run through for her ‘Training is a Shield’ HQ and the ‘Rescue of the Greenhoods’ HQ. I took along Voltaan for tanky and dps fun and boxed Adurj as a buffbot. This time I used the Chronomancer in east Freeport to mentor both Voltaan and Adurj down to level 45. I knew with going to DFC that the nameds are level 40 ^^^ and 42^^^, and mentoring to my wifes alts level which was 37 at the time would probably not have cut it. We may have been ok but I wanted a quick fun run without death being a problem. My wife asked me if she could tank the zone to get some more practice (she doesn’t really need it in my probs with her tanky spanky), so I took a back seat where that was concerned.

So our first stop once through the gates and having been mobbed by countless over enthusiastic orcs, we headed straight for Infiltrator Strijin ( Is that the right name?) in the south west tower to get the ball rolling with that HQ. All we had to do for the ‘Training...’ HQ was to kill Emperor Fyst so we just concentrated on killing all the nameds for alternative achievements and hunting down the three lasses who needed freeing from the citadel. Two down stairs in the jail area and one in the citadels south east tower (part of the citadel itself, not the tower on the outer wall). Before long we were heading to the arena in DFC to bait Fyst a little bit and smush his champions. Now it has been a long long time since I have been there and I hadn’t yet done the version where all you fight is his one champion and then head upstairs to his throne area to kill him.

I recall the tough but fun event where you had to slaughter a few waves of lesser champs then the champ himself then finally an epicx2 Fyst. I kind of enjoyed that setup. I know it was a lot harder and gathering a small raid for just one mob in an instance was a bit of a crazy idea, but it worked and I think I preferred the older way. Like so much else in EQ2 now, it was just a little bit too easy. Now I know I was using two mentored down 80s so it of course was going to be easy but I got the distinct impression that even with a relevant level group the current set up for the end of the DFC instance would be a walk in the park for all but the most fail of groups.

In short order Fyst was pushing up the daisies and the wife after heading to hand in the Training HQ (the ‘Greenhoods’ one updates as soon as you kill Fyst) made over all from simply handing two heritage quests in, got 2 AA for the ‘Greenhoods’ one, and 3 AA for the ‘Training’ one. That’s not taking in to account all of the AA she gained in DFC itself. Not bad for a couple of old HQs. Oh, she had the slider set all the way to AA btw.

After this Emarald was required in some group or other, so I decided to log off and try a bit more of Requiem: Memento Mori. Some good news here! No, I haven’t managed to bottom out the crashing problem, but I actually think now it is when I tab out of FS that causes it. No, the good news is that me old mucker from back home is starting to try it out too. Good old Daltieri from EQ2 (you can check him out on this link to my old blog here), one of my longest standing RL buddies. So that was nice. We got to catch up for a while and chatted about the game. He joined me online on the Valdes server and we managed to have a duel, then I got booted and couldn’t get back on. It’s a real shame I am having this issue. The game itself seems certainly good enough to explore it some. I just wish I had the chance.

My wife took the kids out all day on Saturday and I got some well deserved chill out time on the PC. One sentence, but it equalled serenity and bliss. I love spending time with my kids so much, but it’s very easy to forget the last time you got to spend on your own that wasn’t in the bathroom! So, what did I do with my hallowed time? Did I spend every second online enjoying the game..well some but not a huge amount. I logged in did a quick instance run then did some questing that I have been meaning to get done for an age, like the ‘Speak as a Dragon’ language quest, a good proportion of the lore and legends and a few other little odds and ends doing some journal clearing. I also watched about 5 episodes of The Office: An American Workplace and I err, fell asleep. The rest of the time I spent missing the kids and wishing they were home. Even so though, all in all it was a pretty good day. During the evening I helped on a few updates for some Epic weapons and later waved goodbye to wifey from Tapiolan Sankarit as she heads for new pastures with Vindicators guild to feed her inner raider. I hope the raid times don’t prove too much for us as a family. Monday and Friday raids will mean her being available at 3 am our time. That’s gonna be one tired mommy!

Sunday was another great day. The weather here is so good for this time of year I was able to take advantage of the good stuff and take the kids out for a while, but as usual that ended up costing me money and it was time to return home before they broke the bank. The evening was fun too, again just some easy instance runs to assist with epic weapons and two of our guildies got their final updates and new shiny weapons. Congratulations to Coonac and Rhuaha (think that’s how it’s spelt!). I must say now that I have full T3 on Adurj and a piece of T4, the rush to farm shards is no longer there and I am enjoying just messing around helping and doing some of the older content. In fact if I take apart my whole weekend the most fun I had was on older content. Maybe I’m not an end gamer? Perhaps I’m what I call a nostalgic gamer? I think the reality is that I am a bit of both. I just love older content, especially stuff I haven’t seen before. I do however love the raid content at end game T8. I just don’t get to do it enough but hopefully that will change. I’m not sure how at the moment though. I would love to raid with Tap San, but there seems to be dirges coming out of the woodwork so the chance of getting a spot may be a little difficult. I suppose I could raid on an alt, but Adurj is my main and he’s my raider, simple as that. Think I’ll speak to someone in guild about that this week. See if I can’t get a spot if one of the other dirges doesn’t sign up. We’ll see how that goes.

Tonight (tomorrow morning) is the first 3 am raid for my wife. Good luck hunny, keep the keyboard tapping down quiet please..shhhh ;)

Oh, and one last thing. A shout out to one of my confirmed readers from my guild, "Hello Hiiri !!"

Be well.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

VR46: Congratulazioni !! Again...

Vale in his Ford Focus Rally Car

Congratulations once more to Valentino Rossi for his second place in the Rally de Monza. I just hope one day Rossi meets John Surtees record made in 1964 to win world championships on both two and four wheels.  I personally think he has the skill and talent to do it, but does he have the time?!?

Be well.

Nostalgia saved the EQ2 star??

Last night for the first time in an age I mentored down and grouped with my wife to do some mid thirties Heritage Quests. It was an absolute blast and got me to thinking of times I had previously spent doing the same quests on different toons.

To put you a little more in to the picture, I’ll set a bit of background. A couple of nights ago my wife asked me if I would help her do some questing on her (secret) toon. She needs a secret toon. The amount of hassle and tells she gets when playing Emarald Green is phenomenal. I often wonder if the people she is chatting to realise why the delay in replying takes so long. It’s not because of the adventuring she is doing, auto follow only takes so much effort (:P). It’s because of the amount of people she chats to at once. Its loads of people! She’s very popular indeed. Anyhow, she has a secret toon and needed some help as she hardly ever quests. So we set out to Antonica and picked her up the ‘The journey is half the fun..’ heritage quest from the dude standing on the North Qeynos gate bridge. This is an amazing power levelling quest. Actually quite good fun too if you have a bit of an explorers soul. I usually complete this around level 30 even though it is classed as a level 50 HQ.

So, that night we managed to put in some real cracking times on the first few races because I was mentoring down with Adurj and he has an 85% run speed. By the time we had done, Antonica, Commonlands, Thunderring Steppes, Nektulos Forest, and Zek we decided to call it a night and my wife went off to do some healing on her main. So last night, for the third night running I spent the majority of my time just standing around the guild hall (not such a bad thing, all guildies I have met seem really nice and so far I'm very happy with Tap San). Until wifey decided to play her secret toon and quest. In very short order we had completed the last two races in Enchanted Lands and the Feerrott and a shiny new pair of booties awaited her as a reward. At level 36 and the slider set all the way to 100% AA until the last race where she swapped it to 50/50, Ema made 4 AAs and gained one adventure level. Not bad for one HQ. That’s why I love that quest!

It kind of fuelled her lust for more, so I switched to Voltaan my bruiser and off to Zek we headed! The targets were the ‘Training is a Shield’ and ‘Rescue of the Greenhoods’. Training as a Shield went very smoothly and was finished up to the point where a trip in to Deathfyst Citadel (DFC – similar to KFC but without the 12 secret flavourings) is required in only about 15 minutes. We had another join us as a pick up as they were standing around outside the zone in, struggling to complete the group trials. Following this it was time to speak to Shadow on Zek docks and help the Greenhoods for a little while running around Zek completing a few minor tasks and slaughters for the Greenhoods and the Glademaster. Once the Glademaster seemed happy enough with our progress we could talk to Sasha outside his barn and lo and behold, another HQ to complete. This didn’t take us too long and luckily Sentry Goorlux was up as soon as we checked and went down with no problems.

So now she is all set with two HQs ready for the final updates in DFC and I must say I am quite looking forward to heading in there for the first time in quite a few years. I hear that the place is no longer epic for some mobs, so that should make things a bit easier but even so I am looking forward to adventuring there again. It certainly beats sitting round the guild hall doing nothing apart from thinking about whether or not to cancel my subscriptions. I think I’ll have to spend a bit more time doing fun stuff like that as I’m seriously jaded now with the content in T8. Heading back for a bit of nostalgia may save the game for me, especially with all the turmoil in past guilds/raiding I have experienced recently. Who knows? Guess we’ll have to see.

Be well.

Monday, November 30, 2009

All change and something new.

Yes, I know. I have changed guilds, again. But the reasoning is good, you see? Well, I was going to stay in Clan Werre as the people there are really really nice. But now, most of the euro players have left and the decision has been made by the leaders to raid four hours later, so I wouldn’t have been able to attend any raids.

Now raiding is what I enjoy, but I am not obsessed with it. I would however like the opportunity to raid occasionally when I want to, but with the raid times as they are now in CW that is an impossibility. So a move was required with no hope of raiding in guild and the fact most peeps were not about or online when I was. A shame, but it happens. Thank you Clan Werre for your hospitality! If you are a US time zone player and enjoy a family guild with a bit of raiding, then CW would be a nice home. Great bunch.

So. Where to? Well, I decided I would try to join Tapiolan Sankarit. My wife has her toons there and always seems to have a blast and a good laugh with her guildies. She always speaks highly of them. I had met a few of TS guildies briefly in groups, never to talk to in depth but just as passing acquaintances for an hour or so and they were always super nice/helpful folks. So I thought I would chuck me eggs in to that basket with my wife. I have only been in a day or so with just Adurj at the moment, but as I thought, everyone has been more than welcoming. The guild is predominantly Euro time based also which is exactly what I need so there seems to be loads of peeps online when I log in. All in all, very happy with my decision so far and looking forward to lots of guildy groups / fun.

Requiem: Momento Mori

This weekend I did something that I have not done for a very very long time. I got my hands on a new MMO. Req uiem: Momento Mori is an adult themed Horror MMO and is free to play! The graphics look like a cross between Guild Wars and Hellraiser and all in all are pretty sweet (Gore central & scantily clad ladies and men). The game play that I have experienced so far seems ok too. The movement/interaction keys are mapped the same as I have my EQ2 key setup, so I found that strangely comforting and very easy. I am quite excited about starting playing in earnest. However, I have hit a problem. I play the game for about 3 to 5 minutes and it just stops. I get a windows error message that tells me absolutely nothing and the application just shuts. I have no idea what is going on with it, but I am keen to sort out the problem as the game seems certainly good enough to want to explore some more.

As soon as I have got Requiem: Momento Mori to work and I get a better look at the game, I’ll let you know what it’s like. Until then,

Be well.

Friday, November 27, 2009

A workable raid force..?

With the recent troubles our guild has been experiencing in attaining a good raid attendance and the amount of top end raiders that have gone /afk until the expansion release in February or sought more consistent raiding climes, I have been thinking about how I am going to feed my inner raider.

Having researched my options I am now down to three.

• Move servers to Splitpaw or Runnyeye and join a raid guild on euro time server

• Stay at Clan Werre and hope that the raid attendance picks up

• Stay at Clan Werre and formulate a raiding alliance (of sorts)

What I mean by the last point (which is currently most favourable to me), is not just forming a simple raid alliance with another guild, but to specifically advertise for any players of a certain standard that play mainly on AB server during Euro play times. Kind of what Leonardo is doing with the ‘For the People’ raids, but with a dedicated raid force each time and not pick ups.

If I could get enough interest from people willing to attend three raids a week at euro times, regardless of what guilds they are in and without a requirement for them to leave their guild, I feel it could be a fairly successful venture.

The logistics would be easy. To create a guildportal website for the raid force and simply direct those who wish to join to sign up on their for the raid force and raid events. They wouldn’t have to leave their current guild but would be able to view the calendar on the raid force website and sign up. The raids would only be viewable by those in the force. The difference being from the PuRs that Leo and others run is that the force would be a set dedicated one. If formed properly we wouldn’t have to advertise for pick ups as our chosen members of the raid would be attending all or most of the raids.

So where would I advertise such a thing? Well, EQ2 flames would be a good start and obviously in channels with a link to the guildportal website ( I hate spammage so that should be kept to a minimum). Aside from that word of mouth I guess.

I’m still mulling it over, but I must say I really am quite keen on the idea. Just need to make sure I feel committed enough to the hard work it would entail. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes. think of a name..

Be well.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

AA, the Power Levellers PITA

I am starting to rue the day when I decided to be impatient and power level Adurj. I knew it would happen, yet I still in my eagerness and knowledge that with my limited play time it would take an eternity to reach top tier, I went ahead and sped him up from mid 40’s (where he had sat for a long time) to level 80. I was extremely pleased at the time. The timing was perfect, Clan Werre were just starting raiding WoE 3 times a week and obtaining myth updates also. So within 3 weeks I was fully T3 and had my myth. Well. I had all of my T3 pieces. I just had to get the shards.

But now I have done all that I am finding myself on an uphill battle to gain AA for the beloved Battle Cry. With the new expansion looming in February, I really need to make sure I hit 200 AA by then, or all of the collection quests I am storing up will not be serving their purpose in giving me a good start in to T9.

So, at the moment I am questing like crazy, trying to hit new zones I haven’t been in with Adurj before and jumping on any lower level group whenever I can. I have also been making good use of the Chronomancer fella and doing some named runs through low level instances. Still a long way to go as Adurj is sitting at 159 AA now. Whenever I get time I am also hitting all of the zones trying to farm shineys for expansion go live.

Having said all that, it does get kinda boring quick. Unless the quest is a particularly juicy one with a good story, I’m finding it monotonous. Which is why last night when my old buddy Sjlverwolf asked me to join a Secret Keepers WoE raid, I jumped at the chance. Not because I really need anything from WoE (although I am still after 4 pieces of my alternate dps set from there), but because I knew the break and dose of fun would brighten up the dredge. I was right! Not a bad run at all. Was a much slower pace than what I am used to, the dps was way short of the Clan Werre raids there, and we didn’t get Aiden down. However, that was to be expected because mixed with the experienced SK members there seemed to be a fair amount of first time WoE’ers there. In fact probably about half. So not too bad an achievement at all and to top it off I had a really great time. Thanks to Secret Keepers for having me along. I think we are heading back to bash Aiden about tonight, so that should be fun again.

Aside from that my evening will hold questing and hopefully the completion of my deity quests for Anashti Sul. To give you some idea how much I have been bored and messing about while doing my AA catch up quest sessions, prior to joining the WoE raid last night I made a pact with myself to not use any form of transport assistance aside from what I had myself if I could help it at all (so no druid/wiz portals, no bells or carpets etc) Obviously a couple of times I had to use the SS carpet, as there is no other way of getting there (I don't have Call of Ro). But I was pretty strict with my pact. I even refused to use horses and griffons. I actually really enjoyed it. With my graphics set up high it was a great pleasure running all the way from EFP to Antonica and the many other trips I made last night all over Norrath. It was a nice break and a fantastic way to enjoy the beautiful scenery the devs have created for us.

Having said all that, it did kind of take me a couple of hours to finish just one of my deity quests that sent me quite literally everywhere...well it seemed like it  All in all, great fun.

Be well

Monday, November 23, 2009

“Philosophers are only men in [T3] armour after all.”

Adurj is now the proud owner of a full set of T3 armour. Having picked up the last few shards I needed (I have had the patterns for a while), I finally got my last piece on Sunday night. He won’t be wearing the full set of T3 though (despite the base damage buff), as he has T4 bracers. I have definitely noticed the difference already. Not so much to Adurjs parse, which has got slightly better but to his survivability, especially in TSO. All that critical mitigation must be working wonders!

So, what’s next then? I will obviously trying to raid some to get more pieces of T4, but in the interim I think it’s going to be catching up on the other important stuff that kinda took a back seat in the rush for myth and T3. Most importantly is Adurjs AA. Currently sitting at 157 is nowhere near good enough, and I need to be up in the late 170’s with AAs to get what I need. Yes of course, Battle Cry.

I guess it’s time to go back through my journal and make use of the Chronomancer to get as much AA as I possibly can. I also need to hit all the old dungeons to make sure I have all the nameds and disco AA. Other quests I can continue with to help are HQs and my lore and legends. I have a huge amount outstanding ever since they changed it so you don’t have to use the LnL books but can get the quest from the items dropped by that particular creature type itself. So there are those to consider. I have always been one of those people in EQ2 who never seems to empty their journal. I only have room for 3 more quests currently. So clearing up all that old trash will be a welcome subtraction also. I have a few collection quests ready for hand in also, but I am waiting for the next expansion to complete those.

I said before power levelling a toon is not always the answer, and I must admit even though Adurj (alongside Velnaar [coercer]) is my best equipped toon, but he is lacking in so many other areas. There are standard what I call ‘run of the mill staple quests’, such as [To Speak as a Dragon] or the Claymore timeline, that I feel most toons should have completed. Yet Adurj has hardly done any of them. He needs to do deity quests also [Anashti Sul] and at some point I would like to get his tinkering levelled. He also needs to start the TSO timeline!

A huge amount to do now I no longer have to concentrate on shards and WoE! I’m actually quite looking forward to it though. I love exploring old content again and the nostalgic feeling as I complete a quest line that I last completed years ago. It will also be interesting to see what has changed back in the lower levels, if anything. It should be fun.

So, what did the weekend bring for Adurj Le`Bard? Over the weekend I joined a fair amount of shard runs so I could get my last few pieces of T3. I mainly hit PuGs as there didn’t seem to be a huge amount of guildies online when I was, although I did manage a guild DF run. On Saturday night we hit WoE with a WoEfully undermanned force, yet still managed to get down the first 3 nameds with ease. We stopped at Digg as we simply didn’t have the dps to carry us through the fight. On Sunday I did a few more shard runs and we were supposed to have a guild raid to Kor’sha, but as has been the case recently, sadly not enough turned up. Everyone was gracious about it, but I kinda wish it wasn’t like that. With the raid leader putting in as much work as they do, and in this case about five guild members needing Myth updates from there, I would have thought many would be lining up to help. Especially those who had help getting their updates from the same people. But alas, no. One must never forget RL commitments and the fact this is only a game. Even so, it’s nice to help out your friends and guildies.

Oh, and for those who recognise the post title but can't place it, it is a Charles Dickens quote [obviously minus the T3 bit :P].

Be well.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Kawasaki Connection.

So here she is! This is my baby. Kawasaki ZX9R.

Poor thing is needing a bit of love and attention at the moment though. I travel about 50 miles on her a day, to and from work. It’s a tough life, perfect black top, flowing bends along the coast road with stunning scenery looking out over the med. Unfortunately though, as much fun as that is, I have put 25,000 miles on her in the last two years and she’s getting a bit tired. Needing new tyres, new bearings for rear wheel and steering head, service of the back brake, new pads in the front, new fluid in the forks, a major service of the engine and few other niggly little things. Damn costly if I am to take it to a garage. But, think I am going to spend the time on her myself apart from the tyres. It will cost a lot less and I’m sure I’ll get quite a bit more satisfaction out of working on her.

Now I just have to convince the wife that shopping this weekend will not include me as I’m going to be playing with my toy.

Be well.

MMO Melancholy

I seem to be going through one of those stages where I have a loss of direction in game. I think it’s a culmination of various different things. The obvious one is the recent upheaval moving away from Acolytes of Valor, a guild I had been in for many years and was also a co-leader for just under 2 years. Leaving all those friends behind was a tough call, especially when despite my best efforts, play time and other commitments meant I was unable to group with them as much as I would have liked. The inevitable lack of communication has ensued and I have pretty much now lost contact with most of them, even though it’s only been a couple of months since I left. This was originally tempered by the fact that I was now in an active guild and it seemed most nights we were doing some raid or other and as such, I never got the chance to get bored.

Now Clan Werres raid force has dissipated for various reasons (all of them valid and pretty much unavoidable), there is again a hole. The last few days I have logged in, all the guild members have been as friendly as ever and left me wanting for nothing..but for some reason I have been. With the raid plan we had, I felt I was still progressing in game and not stagnating. I felt I was getting somewhere and had a goal when I logged in. Now, although all my guild are so very very nice, I don’t know them all that well and this has meant I naturally haven’t got involved with the things they are up to. Although I do get on with them, it doesn’t change the fact that they have been there for years and all have their groups they hang around in regularly. Nothing wrong with that at all, in my eyes that’s the way it should be. Find a group you hang around with a lot and have some fun!

Problem for me is that I am not part of any group that I can get together with regularly, especially since all my RL mates who used to play (apart from the wifey) have now quit. My wife is enormously popular on the server (coz she’s lovely and a complete flirt! Boy players seem to lap that up for some reason, lol) and is never wanting for any groups or anything to do having a huge friend base. I hardly get to play with her due to the demand on her iccul healer, and the fact she deems me as not l33t enough to join her gang of hardcore players. So, I am kinda feeling out in the cold at the moment in game.

When I log in I don’t get any tells and any content I want to see I have to PuG it instead of getting together with me mates for the fun. Don’t get me wrong. I have been in as many fun PuGs as I have been in crappy PuGs, so it’s not all too bad there. But it’s not the same... It’s strange. I have made a huge amount of friends over the years in EQ2, but strangely apart from a couple that I know are busy all the time, there is none I would regularly pester to let me tag along.

So. What to do? Well, I’m not going to quit the game because I enjoy playing too much to do that. So what options do I have?

• Move server – If I want to raid regular, it’s either PuRs or move server to Euro time.

• Forge a new group of friends –good idea, but most players already have their cliques.

• Force my friends to start playing again-just too complicated with their wife aggro etc to manage.

• Try to find a guild that still raids regularly Euro Time on AB. Pretty much the JET alliance and not sure I wanna. Tap San would be cool, but my wife is there and I don’t wanna cramp her style.

• Head back to AoV-not too bad an idea, but I hate the feeling of going backwards not forwards.

• Stay at Clan Werre-see if I can get involved some more.

• Concentrate on my own guild again-Revenants are only level 23 and I could just head there to cultivate my own guilds level instead of it being a holding cell for my alts.

• Start my own regular PuRs and get known on the server for EuroTime PuR raids.

• Just chillax and see what happens, wait for the new expansion.

Not sure which one I am going to follow yet. Although, knowing what I am like and how lazy I can be in game, I probably will do the last one.

I still enjoy the game and look forward to logging in, but not with the same excitement since my loss of direction. I guess I’ll just wait and see for the time being, weigh up my options and follow me heart. Hmmm

Be well.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Nothing lasts forever...

Wow. What developments in my guild recently! You may recall in a previous post I mentioned that our guild was hitting a bit of raid fatigue. Things have progressed a somewhat since then...we no longer have a raid force. Sadly, several of the core raid force who were initially involved in forming it (one of whom kinda helped me decide to join the guild when I bumped into him in Sanctum of Scaleborn..lovely chap) had given themselves a time limit on getting a full and dedicated raid force together. That time ran out, and our raid force was sporadic at best. I must say I actually agree with their decision. For months now several of my guild have been struggling tirelessly to organise and motivate members to attend raids. Things went quite well for a while, until everyone got in to T3 armour and their myths. Strangely enough, raid attendance then started to dry up. Apart from mine that is! Yes, I am a good boy and attended every single raid, not missing one since I joined the guild.

But that’s how it went. Our raid force went from two / three solid groups to about four members who always attended. The raid leaders and main raid members who were all intrinsically involved in the running of our setup have been through the ringer. I know how much hard work and effort they all put in, trying to please everyone, researching in their spare time and having been part of no less than three raid setups in the process of trying to get one to work (Pheonix Unity>then started Vindheir> then merged with Clan Werre), one can totally understand how it can get a little demoralising that just when you think things are going well, members stop turning up and you have to start gathering more in to the fold.

It’s not the first time I have seen this happen in EQ2. In fact I have seen it happen to every raid or casual raid guild I have been in, eventually. Things may go well for a while (especially in the totally dedicated raid guilds), but eventually, someone key always drops out and if that person is followed by a few more..well, it’s inevitable is what I am getting at.

Both our previous raid leaders did a fantastic job in my eyes. Under difficult circumstances they never stopped trying to gain enthusiasm for the raids and guild and always seemed to make the night fun. Personally that’s one of the reasons that although I understand why people stopped turning up (even though I don’t agree with it), that I am more than a little confused. OK, so you have full T3 and your myth, but there is much more lootz to obtain, many more mobs to get down as a team, feeling part of something that achieves and most importantly, the fun. We always had fun. I personally can’t understand why it stopped being fun for some just because they had obtained their kit. For me it was about getting together with new friends and enjoying each others company and also the occasional crushing of a tough mob. I’m gonna miss it, but more importantly, I’m gonna miss the people.

I have only been in the guild for about 2 months and I was just getting to know some of those people behind the characters well, and I really liked them. But now, some of them are gone and I guess I kinda regret not having got to know them better. I know mostly their alts are staying in guild, but I also know what that’s like. Most of my alts are still in Acolytes of Valor, but I rarely play them as TSO (I feel) kind of forces those with limited play time to concentrate on just a couple of toons max if you want to achieve anything. So although I still have ties in AoV, I very sadly rarely visit as I just don’t have the time. I hope it doesn’t happen like that for those new friends who have moved on, but I am kinda guessin’ it will be. Circumstances seem to make it happen that way.

Things move on. It is the way of things. That’s one of the big problems with MMOs though. Your closest allies, you will probably stay in touch with for a long time. But, those who you like but didn’t really get to know too well, will probably fade in to the distance and that’s that. I often think about the many players I have got to know over my time in MMOs and I still wonder what happened to them and how they are getting on. Strange thing is, in ‘RL’, if I met someone I got along with that well, we would remain in touch. But with MMOs, it doesn’t seem to happen that way. Kinda sad really.

So, to those raid leaders who have had a tough time out there, thanks for all your hard work and dedication you put into your play time to make other peoples play time more enjoyable. A seriously selfless act, respect to you guys. To those friends I started to get to know and really liked, I wish you well on lifes path, I’ll miss not having the opportunity to get to know you better. To those who will surely follow now our raid force has gone, stay in touch! If you need Adurjy goodness, you know where to find me.

A toast to lost friendships and dedicated hard workers.


Be Well.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Out with the new, and in with the old...

Had fun this weekend, both in and out of game. It’s nice on the weekends being able to spend time with my daughters and wife instead of working all the time! Usually in the week, by the time I get in the house my one year old is asleep in bed, the wife is already logged on to EQ2 and my seven year old won’t speak to me because my name is not Hannah Montana. Nice to know where their priorities lie *grin*.

In between family and gaming this weekend, I have been catching up with The Office: An American Workplace series three. I just love this comedy. Probably one of my strong faves. I’ve seen quite a few from most of the series (apart from the current series 6), but decided a couple of weeks back to run through them one by one. Fantastically funny. Although I absolutely loved the English Office and am a huge fan of the Gervais, I honestly think the US version is better. The comedy sits better with me. The UK one although very very very funny, seems starker than the US one. Mebbe that’s because I have actually been to Slough. Not hard to understand the depression! Whatever the reason, on the whole the US version makes me laugh more and cringe about the same amount at Michaels inability to interact with other humans in a suitable manner.

Gaming wise I have been catching up on a bit of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, for a bit of nostalgia. I just love that game so much. It was my first introduction to the GTA series. Of course I had heard of the series before and even seen them being played, but Vice City was the first one I actually tried on the PS2. Being an 80’s child, there is nothing I like better than jacking up the tunes in my Ferrari Testerossa (white of course!!), popping on my electric blue suit with rolled up sleeves and before I know it I’m Miami Vice. Yes. I know. I am 37 years old. Go away :P.

GTA: Vice City

My buddies have been trying to convince me to buy Call of Duty: Modern Warfare this week. I was chatting to them on STEAM the other day and not a bad word was said about the game. I reckon I might give it a go, but my problem is play time. I play GTA: Vice City because it’s a game I can pick up and put back down in under 15 minutes. I just know if I bought CoD:MW I would spend a huge amount of time on it and my EQ2 time would suffer terribly. And we can’t have that! So, mebbe. I might. Who knows, Chrimbo is getting close and someone may deem it a must buy for me.

EQ2 was a lot of fun too this weekend. Started off on Friday night with a bit of assisting guildies with their epic updates in Chelsith / JW-Skyfire and ended up in the daily double grabbing a few more shards. Saturday was WoE night and I got my last pattern I need for full T3. Now I just need the shards so I can get them all kitted. My wife thinks I am mad. I am currently wearing T2 at the moment, with T4 bracers. I have decided to not upgrade my armour to T3 until I have all the shards to fully equip all of my T3 in one go. That way, I should notice a real difference in how Adurj plays. I need 48 shards for my full T3 and I currently have 26. Won’t take me long at all to get the remaining 22 I need, so personally I don’t see the problem with waiting. Think I’ll get a lot more pleasure doing it that way.

The other thing Adurj needs desperately is AA. Currently sitting on 154, it’s just not good enough for the level he is at and the content he is getting involved in. My problem stems around two things. One, the fact that Adurj was power levelled on and off up to about 40th, then in a huge rush from 45 to 80. So AAs suffered there. And thank goodness they upped the rate with which your skills update, or I think I still would be on 250 slashing ;) Secondly, my play time. Because I don’t get much time online and when I do I am usually busy grafting for shards (not long now!), I just don’t have the time to mentor down and go grab some AA. I will when I have my full T3 armour later this week. But until then, it’s shards all the way.

Mayong has stolen me Dads slippers!

Last night saw us head to various raid zones for Myth updates for guildies. MMiS was first and I have mentioned this in a previous blog (on Revenants site) but every time I go there I cannot get over the fact that his boots look like my Dads slippers. I mean an exact replica. The gold piping, the medium blue colour, the pattern. I know it’s sad. I know I perhaps should be concentrating on debuffs, songs, dps. But I can’t help myself. For me, the Mistmoore fight is all about the slippers! We then headed to Thugga and had a very silly wipe almost immediately. Seems we had a few who forgot to walk and crouch and obviously when fighting the skellies they feared and ran into other mobs. In fact I think they must have had a tourist map and gone visiting all the areas of special ‘pull’ interest coz the amount of mobs that came along to visit was crazy. All good fun though. I love a good wipe story.

After Thugga it was a very quick run through PR for the guild coffers. Having recently moved to a T3 guildhouse, Clan Werre needs more cash! So we have decided to run PR once a week for funds. Last night I think we made 117pp from dropped cash.

Next raid is on Wednesday night so I will be spending the next few nights shard hunting like a madman possessed. Not sure I’ll make all 22 in two nights, but I reckon I can get about sixteen quite easily. We’ll see. I’m in no rush. Wonder if this week will be less nostalgic? Had just over the weekend, old raid instances, old GTA, and old Office episodes. Mayhap I’ll actually try something new soon.

Be well.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Raid Fatigue?

Our raid force has taken a bit of a beating recently. Not by nasty Gynok or any other horrid T8 raid mob, but by real life and game fatigue. With the expansion usually due around the 15th November the ‘game fatigue’ period usually isn’t as bad as this year because players are out exploring new content. But with the next expansion not due until February, there are a few months where boredom may well be settling in for quite a few people. That’s what has happened with us and attendance to raid has dropped quite dramatically.

There is also the line of thinking we have encountered that has a disinterest in hitting T8 content, knowing that it will be obsolete in 3/4 months time. It has been said to me “Why spend hours sloggin through mobs when all the stuff you get will be useless soon?” Might seem like a fair point. IF...all you want from raiding is phat lootz.

For me it is not that though. Personally I have recently got back into raiding and I am enjoying the aspect of conquering content whilst having a laugh with 23 other people. The loot is nice, don’t get me wrong. But it is certainly not the main reason I raid.

I guess we’ll either see more or less turning up over the next 3 months. There is not much we can do about that and we will have to weather the storm. Come March/April next year none of that will matter as we will more than likely see a lot more guildies online and the frenzy for level 90 and updated kit will be rife.

Aside from that, I was rather pleased the other day when Adurj collected his Mythical Lamentation of the Intrepid after our raid killed Xygoz. I know it is old content and not particularly difficult, and I have 2 other toons with their myths, but this was a special deal for me as Adurj is my nominated main toon. With TSO making so difficult to keep more than one toon fully kitted if your time online is limited, I felt deciding to keep one toon as my main instead of my normal army of alts was a tough one, but ultimately needed. My time is just too little online to grab all the kit for my other toons. Heirloom doesn’t help me too much either on that score as my main played toons are all on different accounts so I could originally box. So, Adurj my main now has his myth. I love the Dirge myth as it makes one of our most useful skills no longer just for group, but for the whole raid. Cacophony of Blades raidwide is so so useful. With another dirge in our raids we now have about 40 seconds of Chimes and the change to our melee dps’ers has definitely been noticed.

I don’t have a lot planned for this weekend on EQ. We’ll quickly run through Ward of Elements, and I know we have a VP run for those without myths on Sunday, so that will be fun. Aside from that it is shards all the way as I now have all my T3 patterns, but only 12 shards left. I plan on not using any of my T3 stuff until I have enough shards to upgrade all of my armour at once. Hopefully that way I will notice more of a difference.

Aside from that it’s family time and I am sure a few walks along the beach, a few visits to the park and very possibly a visit to Toys R Us will be the order of play for the weekend. As long as I get to spend time with the wifey and my kids, I’m happy.

Be Well.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


This is my current read. McMafia by Misha Glenny. An intrepid look at the dark underbelly of organised crime. I have only just started reading this last night but so far so good. I like the honesty of the book so far. The style Glenny uses makes the stories intimately interesting, yet never letting you forget that the information has been obtained through careful journalism and research. I like that balance. Some of the fantastical things in the book could be a Hollywood story but as the reader you are never allowed to wander off on to that path, with Glenny reminding you of the interesting yet stark reality of it all.

So far, so good. I’ll let you know what I think when I have had a chance to read more but it’s shaping up quite nicely. Those who know me will be aware that the content this book is directly linked to my work so the chances of me finding it uninteresting are slim, but I’ll let you know..

Be Well.

A little history..

I have been playing MMOs for the last 10 years. First up was Everquest and at the time as a tabletop role-player this game was like mana from heaven. Being able to actually carry out tasks and play my toon in a virtual world seemed so much better than having to describe to the GM what you were doing. I quit Everquest shortly after the Velious expansion release for various reasons, but mainly because my friends had also fallen by the wayside. So a couple of years gap, where I tired DAoC, AC, and WoW but none of those seemed to tickle my fancy like EQ had.

So along comes EQ2 and in late 2004 I really didn’t realise what I was getting myself into! When I played EQ, I played conservatively. I would only spend a certain amount of my spare time on the game. But with EQ2, what started off as a light indulgence became a full on hobby that saps most of my spare time. Having children changed that quite a bit, but even so any spare time when the kids had been put to bed is dedicated to EQ2.

So that’s where I’m at. A player of EQ2 since launch, recovering alt-a-holic and trying to concentrate on just two (ok maybe three) toons from my four accounts. My main is an 80 Dirge, my secondary toons are an 80 Bruiser and 80 Coercer, all on the Antonia Bayle server. But at the moment I am trying to concentrate 80 % of my online time to my Dirge. Especially since TSO, it seems so much easier progressing mainly one toon instead of 7 level 80s. For some reason the TSO expansion with all the shard nonsense seems to make it more difficult to keep several level 80s at top tier. So, it’s Adurj Le’Bard all the way!

My time online at the moment is mainly spent getting to know the members of the guild I have recently joined on Antonia Bayle server, ‘Clan Werre’. Everyone there seems very nice and as of yet I have encountered no unpleasantness at all, which can only be a good sign. I recently moved guilds, having previously been a leader for two years of the huge guild Acolytes of Valor. It was a tough decision to leave there. I had and still have so many excellent friends from AoV and I knew when I left I would have less time to play with friends that I have been playing online with for some time. But it was a necessary move. Unfortunately I hit a wall where I was starting to have the unthinkable happen. I was getting bored with game content. It’s happened a few times before but then another expansion comes out and all is hunky dory. However, this next expansion isn’t until Feb 2010 and I just knew if I didn’t find any other interest in the game I would be quitting. Hence the move. I decided to try something fresh away from the strain of co-leading a large guild and decided I would try to get back into a bit of role-playing.

I had heard some good things about Clan Werre and knew that they have a fair few active role-players and most importantly, they are predominately a Euro time guild. So I took the plunge and left to try and regain an interest in the game. Things didn’t quite seem to turn out how I had planned. Once the move had gone ahead and I was settling in it became apparent that although there are roleplayers in CW, they are not as active as I had first thought. However, one part of the guild was very active and that was the raid party. Now raiding is something I have done before. Having been in a raid guild in tier 7 I hadn’t raided seriously since that time. Seeing as I was looking to renew my interest in EQ2, I decided to try my hand at raiding again in the absence of a lot of role-play. What a great decision! I am having so much fun being part of a raid force again. I had forgotten how it feels to be part of a force working as a team to achieve some truly difficult goals. I must say, I am totally enjoying myself.

My one regret is not having enough time though to spend as much of it with my old guild mates and my good friend and previous co-leader Sjlverwolf, as I would like to. I have to console myself though that I still get to occasionally chat with him and my other old friends in game. Obviously it is nowhere near as much as I used to though. Part of the problem is that in having a family, my time online is limited, so when I log in (especially on my Dirge or Coercer) I am usually swamped with messages to group or indeed, I have logged in specifically to raid. So my time to be free online to spend with me old mates is virtually nonexistent. It is a huge shame. But I have to remind myself that if I had not made the change, I probably wouldn’t be playing EQ2 at all now and I would have most likely quit. I plan on making an effort to stay in touch with my friends. I’m usually pretty slack at that kind of thing, but it’s about time I stopped being lazy and made the effort.

So, that’s where I am at with Everquest2. New guild, one main toon and full time raider again. It’s all a bit of a departure from my normal play style, but I’m having fun and can’t wait to join 23 of my fellow guildies to spank some tough content.

Be Well.

Monday, November 9, 2009

VR46: 9 times World Champion.

Well deserved congratulations to Valentino Rossi #46 for winning the 2009 MotoGP World Championship. Bringing his total World Championship tally over all categories to a very impressive nine titles. With unrivalled statistics through his astonishing career, Vale has shown yet again he is quite simply the best road racer we have ever seen.

VR46: Congratulazioni !!

Who's afraid of the big bad Blog?

I guess this is an introductory thing. Where you get to know me and hopefully if you leave a comment, I get to know you just a lil' bit.

So. I have decided to start chronicling few bits from my life, mainly concentrating on gaming, my love of motorbikes, MotoGP and a smidgen of real life stuff.

I am not a first time blogger! I do have another blog 'Revenants' on wordpress, but it was so long ago that I maintained the content on there, that I decided it was time to start a fresh.

Gaming wise, I am on STEAM as part of the [FSB] clan (Funk Soul Brothers), as FatToni. Mainly taking part in Left 4 Dead fun..and yes, L4D2 is high on my priority list.
My 'main' gaming commitment lies with Everquest2, where amongst others I play my main toon, Adurj Le'Bard (80 Dirge).

So, here we go. I hope you enjoy me bloggin'.