Monday, May 31, 2010

Up and running!

So, after much annoyance, experimentation and a bit of good luck I have my PC back up and running. I'll pop a new post up tomorrow, but until then, here are the screenies from Halas I promised you. Well, the first one is from a quick instance run I did with some buddies and the second handing in a quest on Kerra Isle, Sundered Frontier. Apologies for the lack of specific location on the Halas screenies. I'd anticipated posting them straight away but my computer died before I had chance, so I've forgotten whereabouts in Halas I took them..whoops. A big thanks to Jahf for showing me round.

 Firemyst Gully: A Foul Wind

Kerra Isle, 2 boxing Adurj & Voltaan.

Halas, arrival.

Welcome to Halas


Adurj & Saafir (Jahf), Halas

Adurj & Saafir on Hut, Halas (Not sure why..)

Halas [What's up with Adurj's head ? - Ed]

Adurj & Saafir run, Halas

 Saafir outside 6 roomed house, Halas

6 roomed house, Halas (interior)

6 roomed house, Halas (interior - weird icicle conflict thingy)

 Newbie area, Halas

Newbie area, Halas

Newbie area, Halas

  Newbie area, Halas

 Newbie area & a Coldain Dorf, Halas

Until next time, 

Be well.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Techie woes..

Computers are fun huh? When they work. Last night when I was playing and exploring EQ2s new addition, Halas, my computer just shut down. No pops, bangs or other warnings, just a shut down. Now when I start my computer there is nothing, just dead. The power light flashes orange on and off. This probably means it’s a hardware problem and more than likely it’s the PSU.

It may be a coincidence but this happened about 10 minutes after I turned on EQ2s new 3.0 shader in game. The graphics were great. A little jerky even at lower settings, but I thought I’d persevere with it whilst I explored Halas with my buddy Jahf taking screenies for my blog. Sadly, all those screenies are on my frazzled computer and I can’t get access to them to post them. As soon as I do get it up and running again, I’ll pop some piccies up of the new starter area, Halas. Anyhow, back on subject. I’m not sure if turning on the shader 3.0 did do anything to overcook my computer but I doubt it. Probably just a powerpack issue.

The problem I have now is that Dell PCs need very specific parts and as such I need to get the full details of my PSU to ensure I replace it with the exact same voltage and wattage. I don’t think it’s likely that I will get this fixed soon. It’s probably going to take more than a week to get my hands on the right pack.

Another thing I have been considering is the fact that the computer came from the UK but I plug it in to Spains very dodgy electricity. It may be I need some form of power regulator just to ensure the flow in to the system is constant. Who knows? Guess I’ll see.

One thing that is concerning me is that even if I get a new powerpack is there something else that is helping to fry it? Was the fan working? Without powering up there is no way I can tell if the internal fans are working either. I guess I’ll find out what lasting damage there is or what caused it when I can actually get some power back in to my system.

Anyhow, I’ll keep you posted, but in the mean time keep those fingers crossed for me. You know how chaotic things get when I try to get technical. We’ll see what happens.

Until next time,

Be well.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Mon Dieu! Stoner crashes at Le Mans

Le Mans. What an eventful day. I think possibly the news of the day has to be Stoner crashing out of another MotoGP. It seems the poor Aussie lad is having some serious issues at the moment. Stoner reported that the bike felt strong before he slid off and slated ongoing front end grip problems for the incident. I’m not so sure myself. I saw the crash, watched it on slow-mo and it seems to me that both front and rear started to go at the same time, almost as if the bike had been ridden off the edge of the tyres. There was no highside, the front definitely didn’t wash out first. It was kind of a gentle letting go of both front and back at the same time.

Lorenzo, Rossi & Pedrosa. Le Mans 2010 (

Whatever the causes it leaves Ducati on Stoners side of the garage way out of the runnings (currently 13th in the Championship) which is nowhere near good enough, especially as he should be in the top four. It must be soul breaking for Stoner to see Nicky Hayden do so well too. Another 4th spot finish for the American this weekend. An awesome ride that puts him in 5th spot for the Championship. Congratulations to Nicky.

The top two was as expected. Although I would have liked to see Rossi in the number 1 spot, nothing should be taken away from Lorenzos win. An amazing and mature ride from the Spaniard saw him bide his time until the perfect opportunity arose and he slid past Rossi with aplomb and started to gap the rest of the field immediately. Finishing around 6 seconds ahead of Rossi was a fine finish and a well deserved win.

Third spot on the podium went to Dovizioso who rode a blinder, passing Pedrosa around half way to take the third spot and stay there for the rest of the race. His first podium of the season and a good ride.

Results. Le Man MotoGP 2010 (Timing by Tissot)

In the press conferences following the race there was some pretty astounding revelations as Pedrosa was being grilled (and I felt he was, felt a little sorry for the chap) and it came to light that Honda were talking to Casey Stoner about a possible future away from Ducati. Why was this being posed to pedrosa? Well, it seems that if discussions go well, Honda would replace Pedrosa with Stoner. The bad thing about all of this? Pedrosa knew nothing about it until he was told at the press conference. Some pretty dirty low down tactics I felt. I’m not Pedrosas biggest fan, you know that, but I am a fan of treating human beings with respect. What they did to Dani at that press conference was downright rude and a pretty low act.

One thing that astounds me is that we have only had two races and already they are starting to talk about contracts for next year. It’s too damn early. The pressure those discussions puts on the riders and teams is immense. It has the capacity to ruin this years season. Yes, I know that all 4 big hitters have their contracts run out at the end of this season and yes of course the teams will be clamouring to get their pawprints on a contract and to seal the deal early. I just hope they do get this stuff sorted early, so we can concentrate on the rest of the season. Next race is on the 6th June at Mugello in Italy. Rossi’s home race and a track where all the top riders run well. Should be a blast. Let’s hope politics and ash clouds don’t get in the way.

Be well.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Lotro, raiding and Chardok fun

Still trying to catch up on my blogs. So much to cover and so little time. I’ll start with a bit of Lotro. First of all I had a notification that my subs had run out the other day. I don’t use a credit card when paying for MMOs, I generally get game cards and use those. It’s not a personal choice but more of a security issue for my card issuer. For some reason because my card was issued in the UK but the I.P address I use is Spanish, most online stores won’t take or accept my card for ‘security reasons’. Not that I am bothered by that. The more security for my money the better, so I kind of respect the bank for that stance.

But, where Lotro is concerned I kind of wish I was allowed to use my card. The reason being that if I could, then I could purchase the one off sub to Lotro (think there is an offer at £75 for life subs) and that means I wouldn’t have to eventually end up paying more because I use game cards. Oh well, guess there is no help for that.

With my adventuring in EQ2 at the moment and trying to catch up in SF, I haven’t had as much time on Lotro as I had hoped in the last week or so. Hopefully that will change this week as I seem to miss Middle Earth when I’m not there much. Hopefully I’ll be able to get some time to head in there again soon. Maybe tonight I’ll be able to finish off the Trestlebridge quests and continue the main plotline.

So what has old Caedluuf been up to? Well, I have recently been trying to clear up a few quest lines in different areas from my normal quest progression path and have moved my location from the Lone Lands and pushing out there, back to the other side of Bree to the North, where I have been questing in Trestlebridge. There are a couple of reasons for doing this. Firstly I don’t want to out level too much content and I would like to experience as much early content as I can before progressing too fast. Secondly, the quests in the Lone Lands have been completed up to that point with my bro’s alts. I know he wouldn’t mind me levelling ahead and completing those quests and if need be, later on I can do that. But whilst there is still level relevant content elsewhere I might as well get that completed and keep those quests I have with my brother free until I have no other content to complete before moving on to those.

I finally figured out why the horse race wasn’t working for me at the Spring Fair. It turns out the reward is the ability to purchase an event specific mount, and you need to be level 35 to ride or obtain it. In fact you may have to trade in your current level 35 mount to get it. So I guess I am too low level for that at the moment which is probably why it wouldn’t let me pick up the quest.

Trestlebridge is going well. The quests are what you would expect. Finding a lost someone or thing, collecting supplies, fighting off Orcs attacking the bridge. Standard stuff but still pretty interesting storylines along the way. Talking of story lines, I haven’t been completing the main line quests recently. For no other reason that I was not completing quests in the area that I need to visit. Of ocurse I will progress with the main questline when I’m back in the relevant area, but also I’d like to wait until I can carry it on with my Bro if possible.

EQ2 wise this weekend it was a pretty lean time. I wasn’t feeling too good on sat night so didn’t run the WoE raid as planned, but we did head in there last night. Not a bad run with most nameds dropping first time. When we raid next Saturday it’s going to be finishing WoE (I had to run before we could do Aiden) and then we are going to collect another group and head in to Tomb of the Mad Crusader for the first time (as a guild, I have done that zone a load personally). It should be a load of fun.

Friday night was great fun also on EQ2. Nothing too dramatic, just a quick run in to Chardok to help a guildy with their epic update. It was cool for me because me ole mucker Jahf joined us. It was quite a humorous run really. Deaths where we weren’t expecting them, a tank who had never tanked Chardok before and Sj as our healer, telling us to be careful, then pulling half the adds himself. I must say it was a bit of a relaxed giggle. I had a great time and it was great to hook up with Jahf as always.

Until next time,

Be well.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Fate only takes you so far..

I’ve been dabbling in Sentinel’s Fate for a while now. The expansion has been out for three months or so and it’s about time I told you what I think. First impressions were as always good. Exploring a new area is one of my favourite past-times so it is pretty much a done deal that the first few sessions of any new expansion I will enjoy, simply because it’s somewhere new to explore. Having only been to Paineel, Toxx, Stonebrunt, Kerra Isle & The Hole so far I guess I haven’t done too much exploring, but at the moment I am going where the quest lines lead me and trying not to get out of my depth.

There really does seem to be a lot of running around doing the solo questlines. Not so bad when you have evac and track but still a bit of a pain. At least I am getting to know the zone well, bit by bit. One of the problems I am having is my lack of time online. Levelling seems to be taking an age. Now I like it slow and steady but the levelling speed is really getting me down. I know I need to spend more time on the game to gain a better momentum on questing and grinding, but as it stands I think I’ll make 90th in about 6 months. Shameful.

One of the ways I have decided I can help speed this up is by two boxing. Adurj had already completed all of the solo line quests up until Kerra Isle, so I decided to bring Voltaan up to the same spot them carry them both on from there. This should help a fair amount. Hopefully this way I will have two toons hit 90 at around the same time, giving me a bit more scope of what 90 I want to play.

Another thing I need to do, seeing as the solo timeline really does seem a bit slow on the exp stakes, is get in some pick up groups and just start grinding The Hole [That’s what she said. – Ed]. I was hoping grinding would not be necessary this expansion, but I guess I’ll just have to put up with it and get a crack on. There’s no other thing for it if I want to raid T9 and progress. I normally enjoy the journey more than the race, but in this instance I am getting left behind and not experiencing content with my normal group of friends as I am simply not high enough.

I think overall my opinion of Sentinel’s fate is that it is better so far than TSO, but not as good as RoK. Time definitely has a big impact on my enjoyment levels it seems. Back when RoK was released I was playing every night and most days during the weekend. Now I am only getting online for about 2 – 4 hours during the week and possibly about 6 hours total in the evenings at weekends. This means perhaps that I am not enjoying the expansions so much as I simply do not have the time to master the huge amount of content.

Taking in to consideration of everything I need to do to get up to speed it is quite obvious why I feel a little daunted with such little time online. I need to, on both Voltaan and Adurj..

• Level to 90

• Harvest enough T9 rares to obtain Adept3s (yes I’m old school)

• Complete the solo questlines for AA

• Get Tinkering up as I level and Jeweller on Voltaan

• Bring AA up to speed as both toons are woefully low

• Make enough money to buy the top tier adornments when I’m raiding again

There’s plenty more I’m sure, but I’m sure you can imagine the amount of time required to do the above is quite large and taking in to account the 10 hours a week I get to play, it’s not really achievable soon. Patience is the order of the day. No worries.

Until next time,

Be well.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


One of the things I love about EQ2 is the huge amount of personalisation one can carry out on your toon. Making it quite unique and different from the other hundreds of characters wondering around. It’s one of the aspects of EQ2 that (in my eyes) makes it stand out from the crowd. For example, Lotro is not so great at this but it definitely tries. My Ranger is still sporting his rather nifty eye patch that my brother sent me. The problem is, and I’ve laboured this point previously, Lotros toon graphics just aren’t as good as EQ2s. The scenery in Lotro far outstrips any MMO I’ve played, but the toons...nice try, but no cigar. It doesn’t matter what you dress them up in, they look good, but not as good.

EQ2 however has so many different tweaks you can use to make your character truly unique. It starts from character creation. You just have to look at the huge amount of options you get for personalising your toon and the different aspects of it. One of the things that’s a nice touch is the way that you can alter race specific attributes, like Fae and Arasai wings, Troll face adornments, Barbarian tattoos. Once your toon is created the personalisation can continue. At level 20 you get use of your ‘appearance slots’ so you can choose what clothing / armour your toon is to wear for looks, but still wear your main attribute armour. To be fair quite a few MMOs do this. Also one little things I enjoy about EQ2 is the ability to set your toons ‘mood’, and they actually take on that demeanour. Good stuff.

Then there are the many many titles you can obtain to further add to your creation. Titles can either be a prefix title (before your name), or a suffix title (after your name) [Do you think we’re idiots? We know what prefix and suffix mean. /sigh. – Ed]. There are many ways to get one. You can get them from quests, achievements, Legends of Norrath, GM events, Tradeskilling, to name but a few. Check out the chart ‘here’ to see what titles are available in EQ2 and ‘here’ for Lotro.

One title I have on Adurj was great fun to get. A GM was running an event in Butcherblock Mountains that I stumbled across. After roleplaying with the GM a bit I got given a quest by him whereby I had to run all over the place for this annoying Dorf collecting axes. When I had finished I got a small reward of a nice axe recipe for some great appearance slot axes and an in game title of ‘the Axe Master’. Now I am not sure if the GM gave that to everyone, but I have not seen it before and certainly others who did the quest (but didn’t really roleplay or interact with the GM aside from picking up the quest) did not have it displayed by their name after. Anyhow, like I say I haven’t seen it before and have never seen the title attached to any toon but my own, Adurj. It has to be pretty rare because nearly every group Adurj gets, at least one person will mention it. Strange also that every ‘Zerker I have grouped with seems quite jealous of it, hehe.

The title system is used of course in other MMOs. Lotro does it quite nicely and with aplomb too. The titles you get there are good fun. One of my favourites ‘Pie-Runner’, is one won in the Shire for completing a quest line. Lotro I think has more titles than EQ2 (I haven't actually counted them), but as far as I am aware are not so personal as in EQ2. For example, I don’t think you can get class specific titles. Not 100% sure though.

I guess at the end of the day you make your toon as personal as you like if you are into that kind of stuff (and I am). It’s an important thing for me in an MMO. Who would want to be a clone of all the other folks running around? I’m sure it wouldn’t bother some, but I know for sure everyone I play with would not enjoy that aspect of the game so much if it wasn’t as customisable as it is. For me, it’s one of those things that can stop you playing an MMO. As an example, that’s why I don’t play WAR anymore and only dabbled at the start. The toons just looked all too samey. Don’t know if they have changed that now, but back when it first came out it is what made me stop playing after a week. Yup, for me character customisation is an MMO essential.

Until next time,

Be well.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Website apathy

So, how do I get people to check the guild website to keep up to date with guild activities, current game issues etc? It’s a genuine question. If anyone has any ideas, I’d be glad to hear them. I have tried a great number of things from making sure it is in the guild message of the day, having officers announce it once every play session, not advertising events elsewhere (so they have to visit the webby if they wish to participate in guild events), and reminding members at the end of a raid over voice chat of the importance in checking the webby. It is probably worth mentioning at this point that registering on the guild website is a requirement of being in AoV.

Part of the problem is that Acolytes of Valor is a casual guild. So aside from common decency rules, there are no requirements required of the guildies. Apart from registering on the guild website. Yes it is a requirement, and no it is not enforceable in anyway. So we end up with a lot of members (AoV was established on Nov 10th 2004) but a membership that even though they want to achieve stuff for their toons rarely make the effort to check the website or to post their requirements. There are of course a few select members (usually the main ones I see attending raids regularly) that do check the website and sign up for events, but aside from that the webby hardly ever gets used. It’s such a shame. You should see the wealth of information I have posted there over the years. From hints n tips, to events organised, suggestions to assist and specific posts asking guild members what updates they require. That’s just a small sample.

There’s the other side to it. Our guild website has available the full set of ‘in guild’ rules. Now I would have thought if you are interested in a guild and being a member you would at the very least read the rules you are supposed to abide by. They have been put in place for very specific reasons and it is almost impossible to chastise an errant guildy when they didn’t know they were acting incorrectly, because they haven’t read the guild rules. How can they be disciplined or dealt with if we haven’t enforced our other rules?

What frustrates me is the time and effort that I put in to make these things available, then no one bothers to do a little bit of ‘work’ to register and keep an eye on things. Not that I am one of those people who ‘expect’ that because I am doing something to try and help that they ‘must’ do likewise. Nah. That’s not what it’s about. I just get frustrated for them. Not with them. For them. It’s like someone saying to you, “Right. I know you have to drive all the way to Scotland. So I have taken the liberty to provide you with a Sat Nav system and have pre-programmed the route in for you” and them replying “Thanks, but I’d rather just take my chances and botch it”. The information to help and running of events to get updates are all there in the offerings, but don’t ever seem to be taken advantage of. Again, no great worries, it’s just I can’t understand it. Are they too proud to ask for help? To lazy to check the webby and sign up? To scared of using technology they are not used to? [WTF? To scared to use technology? Website = top of the range tech nowadays huh? It’s not exactly rocket science Adurj – Ed]. I guess I don’t know the answer. I just want to help. I see some of our members (especially some of our younger in game experience members) who are struggling to get some content sorted for important updates and they never seem to be able to achieve it. If only they popped their needs on the webby and we could help plan something out.

Aww. I really don’t know why they don’t check the webby. It’s simple and informative.

I guess I may have to come to the realisation that the guild webby provides a service no one wants or really needs. That’s the only sensible solution I can come up with. Strange.

I will hopefully be catching up on some of my posts this week (when my Mother goes home from visiting). I have fun in Lotro to cover, titles in EQ2, the general election (just kidding), collections, old style gaming, current reads and reviews and plenty of bike racing...quite a lot to do!

Anyhow, until next time.

Be well.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

2 raids & a missing blog

Ok, so I’m a little peeved. I wrote a blindin’ blog yesterday but was too busy to post it (I write my blogs in Word at my leisure then cut and paste). So I saved it in my personal folders but overnight the company servers crashed and my bloggio is now awol. Guess I’m going to have to start over again!

EQ2 this weekend saw some good ole fashioned fun fun fun. Firstly on Friday night Ema and I played our secret toons for a few hours. They are now sitting at 21st level and have begun the Butcherblock timeline. We have started to hit a bit of a problem though. Because we have been grouped through all of the solo timeline, and on top of that we have both had our adventure exp turned down to transfer half of it to Alternative Advancement points, we really have been struggling to stay at the same level as the questlines we are doing. It came to a head about half way through Friday nights session when we realised we were struggling to complete orange quests, as we were completing the quest lines, but not levelling fast enough to keep up.

We had a few of solutions. One was to mash exp for a while, perhaps 2-box one of my top tier tanks to power level a bit to the right level. Another was to travel to say Antonica or Commons and do quests there more appropriate to our level. The final one and the one we went for was a kind of mixture of the above. I transferred a 24 SK I had on Kithicor server over to Antonia Bayle server. That way I can 2-box my SK and Wiz and have a bit of extra ‘oomph’ to grab the mobs attention and hopefully stop the mobs beating on Ema or my squishies. At the same time it would not be like power levelling as being only 3 levels higher the SK is in the same ball park as our secret toons. But it meant the quests were still too high for us to complete without plenty of dying. So we decided to take the new trio and do a bit of grinding to get us up just an extra level each to help with the orange con mobs. So far it seems to be working.

Tonight is another session and we will be starting the quests given at the top of the ramp in Butcherblock Mountains, having completed all of the quests down on the docks. I’ll let you know how we get on.

Other EQ2 fun saw me lead two raids this weekend. The first was in Ward of Elements on Saturday night and the second was an AA run through The Laboratory of Lord Vyemm in The Bonemire. Both nights were really good fun. Unfortunately we didn’t get very far in Woe for some reason. Before we started I tried encourage a faster run through but due to real life afk reasons this became too difficult and we only completed up until the fire guy. The following night saw us head to Labs. This was a great opportunity for some lower level guildies to experience raiding for the first time and I think fun was had by all including quite a few ‘dings’ with AA. Sadly the end of this zone did not end up as expected either due to a bugged zone. The problem was that Vyemm would not break encounter despite suicides staying out of aggro range. This made it impossible for us to complete. Even so I think all had a good time.

 Adurj and Acolytes of Valor raid WoE

MotoGP was great this weekend. I didn’t get to Jerez as I had hoped with it being a Public Holiday weekend and family comes first. I did however get to watch the race in full alongside the Moto2 race on the TV. The final standings were Lorenzo, Pedrosa, Rossi for the podium. A fantastic showing from the Spaniards on home turf so congratulations to you guys. Not a bad showing at all from Rossi either who had a nasty shoulder injury and problems with his bike. Sad news for ‘Team Texas’ though with Spies having to retire due to front end stability issues early in the race and Colin struggling with what appeared to be similar issues and finishing back in 12th, which is unusually bad. Let’s hope things improve for the team and that they can show their true potential in Le Mans in France in about 2 weeks time.

One of the best parts of the race for me was the fact that Nicky Hayden seems to be back on form finishing 4th and in front of his team mate Casey Stoner. It’s been a while since we have Nicky at the sharp end and I must say it’s a very welcome sight. Good luck to all the riders in Le Mans.

Until next time,

Be well.