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.