Friday, October 29, 2010

Waiting isn't fun..

Just a quick blog today. Our new home still has not got an electricity supply and will probably not be connected until after the weekend now. I just love Spanish service providers, or should I say Spanish service withholders. So I won't be around on EQ2 and likely that I won't be blogging for a few days. I'll try to get back and keep you updated and I hope to be back soon.

Until then,
Be well.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Not been twiddling my thumbs..

Wow, I never realised how EQ2 addicted I was until it was taken away. Not that I have been getting withdrawal symptoms (I wonder what they are for MMO withdrawal?), but I have been frustrated that I can’t just pop on to do a bit of tinkering or decorating at my home when I feel like it. It’s also been weird not popping on to say ‘Hi’ and chat with my mates. There is only so much forum hopping you can do at work in your lunch hour to keep such needs sated.

So the missus and I watched a film last night, called ‘Dead Mans Shoes’ from local boy (to my old home) Shane Meadows. Starring Paddy Considine (also originally from my neck of the woods) and shot in Derbyshire it really had a local home feel for me. Not a bad movie at all. Nice and violent and a little bit of humour thrown in. The story follows the fate of a local drugs gang when Richard (Considine) an ex soldier returns to his sleepy Derbyshire home town to find that the old drugs gang are still in operation and running the place. He then plots revenge for the gangs treatment of his younger brother (who was mentally disabled).

Considine plays a very convincing ‘controlled psycho’ and I must admit I held my wifes view when not long after the film started and witnessing some of the things they did to his brother when she said “I can’t wait until they meet Richard”. Yup, I couldn’t either and man he didn’t disappoint. Anyhow, a low budget edgy and gritty revenge flick that’s worth a look if you get the opportunity.

Another thing I have been doing whilst ‘afk’ is plotting the design ideas I have for my home. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing as I may be tempted by the Mistmoore Crags Estate in two months time when I get my seven year veteran reward and may end up moving again. Having said that I’m really happy with my Gorowyn home and the amount of work I have done on it makes me kinda loathe to move on again.

So what have I been planning? Number one on my list is a huge galleon for my docs area and the other which I don’t think has been done before, is a full sized castle. Yup, I have decided to build a castle on the other side of Gorowyn Island. I already have some great ideas about what materials to use and how to construct it. I reckon it’s going to take me a long time but should be a lot of fun when I have finished it. One of the things I am struggling with on the design side is a moat, which I would ideally like to have. But I guess I’ll see if it’s possible.

I have also been constructive and have been developing my raid syndicates video which I am making using the Fraps program. Having already got some good footage and although I need more it has been good to not be distracted by the game and to be able to develop that project a little too, even without net connection. I’m hoping I should be finished with that in a week or so. Of course there will be a copy posted here when it’s done. There are a few technical issues I am struggling to overcome whilst using basic ‘free to download’ video editing software. I don’t really want to have to pay for a better editor or to unlock more stuff for the one I have, but I may have to to get the end result I would like. Anyway, currently the staff at ‘Bangers n Mash Productions’ are working night and day to get the project online. Ok, so that’s me alone, but I am working hard at getting it finished.

I have just heard there may be a possibility we can move today. If so, I’ll hopefully be online later.

Be well.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Departure from the norm..

Big post. Careful now...

Well, that’s it. I cannot get connected to the internet anymore and will have to wait until I move house in a few days time before I can get online again. Obviously I can at work, but strangely enough they don’t like it when you spend hours playing a game when you have work to do, so until then I’ll just be blogging during my lunch.

So, what am I going to be doing with myself during my time off? I have a sneaky suspicion it’s not going to be much of anything fun and most likely a lot of moving furniture around as we move house. The times when I usually play EQ2 are when my children are in bed, so it’s not as if I will get to do anything like hanging around with them with my enforced spare time, coz they’ll be in bed. I guess I will be relegated to watching Eastenders and Coronation Street with the wifey for a few days. I draw the line at The Vampire Diaries though. I won’t be watching that. Yes, I am more than aware why my wife is a huge fan, but strangely enough the ‘talent’ doesn’t have the same effect on me as they do on her.

I’m a bit of a loss what to write about since EQ2 is off bounds at the moment, so I’ll write about something I have never approached before with my bloggage. One of the reasons I’m doing this is because although this is a fun, blog about games and hobbies and such, it has never really attacked real life issues. I honestly believe what I am about to write about it a massive step forward (or back depending on your point of view) for our species. It is the very next big step in my opinion for Humans and could quite literally change the face of our planet. Weird thing is, I knew nothing about it until last night. Well, I actually did, but I didn’t realise it at the time. Before I get in to this, it’s important to know that despite some research I still have a lot of black holes in my knowledge about this subject I’m going to discuss. So, I may be wrong in my opinion, or may indeed change it. But for what I know now and unless further research proves that wrong, I’m pretty gobsmacked about all this. As your reading it, ask yourself like I did, “Why the hell isn’t this headline news? I mean way and above everything else?”. Hmm, mebbe there’s a message there in itself?

Ok, enough rambling, what the hell am I talking about? I’m talking about the Human Genome Project (“HGP”) and the various work scientists have done with it. I’m pretty sure most of you will have heard of the project, but have you heard what the scientists have been doing with the data it produced? Does anyone recall back in our Millennium year? Tony Blairs speech? I’ll refresh your memory.

“Let us be in no doubt about what we are witnessing today, a revolution in medical science whose implications far surpass even the discovery of antibiotics; the first great technological triumph of the 21st century”.

President Bill Clinton stated on the same subject:

“We are here to celebrate the completion of the first survey of the entire human genome. Without a doubt this is the most important, most wondrous map ever produced by humankind.”

Then, we heard nothing else about it. Well I didn’t. For ten years. Sounds pretty dramatic, so what is it?

Put basically it is a book that took ten years to research and collate, 100 volumes long that contains the very information that makes us Humans what we are. Full of pure data about genetics and the chemicals behind the genes it is a total breakdown of our physical being. So it’s out there. Now here’s the real interesting bit. What have scientists been doing with this data? The answer could very well be when we have the fuller picture that they have been working out a way to cure all illnesses and it pretty much looks like death aside from an accident or old age, may become a thing of the past. Sometime in the future and probably for our children.

I know it all sounds very farfetched and I am wondering how this has managed to stay out of the main stream press. I’m sure it’s hit the scientific press quite a bit but I’m no slouch when reading the broadsheets and I must admit I have never seen it mentioned there. Well not as major news anyhow. I guess I could have missed it as I'm no science or medicine buff.

Basically scientists have developed a way to determine exactly what is wrong with you personally, how to treat it, how fast it will spread and where. Yes, that includes Cancer. Now bear with me because the ‘science’ of this goes a bit above my head and I may have misunderstood. However, apparently each gene and the chemicals that make up each of our 25,000 genes are assigned a letter, so all they have to do is find out which of your genes holds the cancer gene and voila, they can make it disappear. I’m sure it’s a lot lot more complicated than that however. Massively so.

The documentary that made me aware of this showed some truly truly astounding results though. For example it showed how they tracked down Cancer cells then using healthy genes attacked the cell which in turn forced the nasty cell to reproduce, but as it reproduced it killed itself and ‘Hey Presto’, old Cancer cell is no more and has been replaced with healthy cells, all thanks to the HGP and its application. Apparently they can do this for a lot of other illnesses too and eventually you will be able to visit your Doc, get your genes tested and they will be able to send that off to the HGP consortium who will in turn develop a medicine of ‘fresh’ genes that will be personal to you and with one injection, you're fixed. Again, I am sure it is a lot more complicated than that, but the implications are hugely massive.

They also showed another Human experiment. This was where one of those poor folks who have absolutely no immune system and have to live in a bubble. The chances of survival are slim indeed. Using the HGP they designed a whole new immune system for the lad (think he was about 10 years old) and ‘Voila!’ he was fixed and is now a totally healthy young lad. He was after the treatment, as fit and healthy as a butchers dog. Crazy crazy stuff. Are we seeing the immortalisation of our race through total extermination of illness? Perhaps. We were told that our children, the very next generation will not have to worry about illnesses that in our time were and are killers. They will be annoying as a fly apparently and using HGP, they can be swatted just as easily.

So why is this not top news? Well, it could be that I haven’t seen or read something very important about the subject that means this is not a certainty. If that’s the case I could understand. But otherwise? Well, just think of the repercussions to society. This one revelation could change quite literally the way we live. It would have a pervasive knock on effect to almost every other part of our lives and society. What about the billions the pharmaceutical companies would lose? The problems with a hugely growing population for our already struggling planet, problems with who this science would be available to, private or public medicine, the implications such findings will have on religion and beliefs and Politics, well, let’s not go there. There are so so many knock on effects. Imagine what Insurance companies would do with this information if they got their hands on it. Can you think any of them would give someone life insurance who they know will be dead in five years time? Massive repercussions indeed.  The point is this really could be one of the most important discovery and piece of scientific research for a very long time. It really has the propensity to change us as a species and in my eyes (if my understanding is correct) could very well be the next evolutionary step for us.

I know I usually stick to EQ2, gaming and MotoGP for my blogging, but if this is the next big evolutionary step for us Humans, then I wanted to write about it. I wanted to document it.

I guess time will tell, but life as we know it Jim, very well may have been quietly changing forever.

Be well.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Le'Bard Connection: Extreme Makeover Edition.

Before I start, I just want to give a shout out to Mynna, a friend of mine on the AB server. On Saturday night she ran a roleplaying murder mystery event for her guild Tapiolan Sankarit. Sadly I couldn’t attend but even so I have been hearing some really great feedback about the evening. Apparently it was an extremely fun, well run and professional event. I may be wrong on this but I think even the GMs helped her out a little. I don’t know who these events are open too, but I will be sure to ask as I definitely wish to attend the next one. Great stuff Mynna, it’s really good to see we still have some folks fighting for the RP part of our server. OK, on to other business...

Monday again. I really do wish we could move to a three day working week a la 60’s, 70’s style. Of course I don’t really as things were terrible last time that happened, but sometimes the thought of four days off every week just appeals to me. But as it stands it’s Monday morning again and it’s time to look forward to the working week and forget about the great weekend I had. Shame, coz it really was fun.

First off, in real life we are moving house this weekend coming, so there was quite a bit of ferrying stuff back and forth (we are only moving to about 200 metres away) and all the boring stuff that goes with moving. I’m looking forward to it though. The new place is much better than where we are currently in both size and quality. I think my little tribe should be happy there. I always love spending time with my family no matter what we are doing so it was really nice to all be working together to get the move going all smooth like. We had quite a few laughs too.

Of course evenings have been spent on EQ2 and mainly with my Bro. Saturday night was particularly fun with Merecraft (me Bro), Udrath (Me), Brynnethe (My Bro’s wife) and Jisao (Jahf) when we did a little bit of questing in Greater Fay after Mere and Jahf had paid a visit to my home in Gorowyn.

During that visit, something interesting popped up whilst we were discussing house items and amongst other things how I got the whole of Gorowyn Island to myself and I asked Mere and Jahf if either of them knew of a boat house item. I know there is one available for use in guild halls, but I have no idea if there is one for normal homes. I doubt it as there really isn’t anywhere you could use one without going outside the clipping and using the rest of the outside zone like I do, so they probably don’t make one. Jahf suggested I check the forums out for some as he has seen that some have crafted one. I’m going to go have a look to see what materials they used and then I plan on building a HUGE galleon at my docks area. I’ll keep you posted on that. Ideally I would like to create one that you can board and walk around on deck but also below decks. We’ll see how I get on with that. Although, no matter what I create it won’t bob up and down on the water which would be really cool, oh well.

The house move is getting closer and closer (real life house move btw!) and it looks like I am going to be offline for a week or so whilst they swap the telephone line over. Yes yes, I know that only takes a few seconds but this is Spain don’t forget. It can take about 3 weeks for them to even start thinking about doing something. Quite a nice relaxed attitude really, until you are desperate to get something done quickly. I’ll still be able to have access to this blog, and I’ll keep you updated here. Hopefully we’ll make some good in roads in to moving stuff across to our new home, the internet will be fixed no problem and at the weekend we’ll back up and running. That’s the plan.

Oh, watched ‘The Hangover’ last night for the first time. It’s well worth a watch. It’s be a while since I have watched a comedy that has actually had me laughing out loud regularly and reaching for the rewind button, but this flick really hit the spot. Not a surprise though, Old School is by the same dude, Todd Phillips, and that is one of my fave fun movies too. The performances were perfectly executed so the comedic timing had the very best delivery. It just worked and as I say, it’s been a while since my reaction was more than a smile to some comedies recently and this movie most definitely left me rolling in the aisles. Apparently there is an Hangover 2 on the horizon. I’ll have to look into that. A quick shout out to Ed Helms too of The Office: An American Workplace fame who played one of the main roles in the movie. A fantastic performance and nothing short of the laughs this dude always seem to bring when playing Andy in The Office.

Right, I’ll see you soon bloggians. Time to move house.

Be well.

Friday, October 22, 2010

"Big mistake. Big. HUGE"

Some posts I make inform, some are interesting, some are a little boring, some are filled with pictures, some are filled with discussion. Well, this one is going to be full of, erm, my opinion and I am not going to hold back whilst expressing it. I will give one concession and not name names, coz you’ll know if this is about you. Why? Well, I have no problem if someone wishes not to not put in 100% commitment when playing their toon. I don’t all the time. I have no problem with someone who has real life issues and therefore attention and commitment wain during a raid, but I have no time for folks who do not even try. Not even a little bit. Especially and in this case, mainly when that fail makes me look bad too. Then I DO have a problem. You don’t want me to have a problem started by you. As Julia Roberts told that toffee nosed shop assistant in Pretty Woman, “Big mistake. Big. HUGE”.

Ok, let us start from right there, at the beginning. No, not THE beginning. I won’t be discussing Big Bang Theories, unless it’s about what I’d like to do to some folks computer so they do not have a chance to brush acquaintance with me again. Anyhow, the start. I play a class that is typically thought of in a negative manner. As such I already have an uphill battle to show to the rest of my raid colleagues that I am not a douche and do actually bring something to the raid force. In my case it’s usually the ‘oh shit’ moments like memwipes and grabbing the mob before he heads off to more squishier waters. It is concerning this role (one that I take very seriously I might add) that I wish to discuss today.

For me to do the job 100% effectively as an off tank, being already handicapped with Leather Armour (although I have bumped it up to the level of Chain effectiveness through AAs) I need some good support in my group. Typically that’s some good hate transfer, some juice vendor to make sure I don’t run out of the good blue stuff and a healer that is not asleep and knows where their cure buttons are. ALL of those are not essential though. Last night I had absolutely no hate transfer and no dirgey support. Yet I still managed to grab aggro pretty quickly during mob rampages. Now, this is where the problem begins. With me actually grabbing the mob off the main raid force.

“But, but...!” I hear you cry, “surely that is what is supposed to happen”, you may exclaim. And you’d be right. What is not supposed to happen though to your off tank (admittedly a leather wearer) is for them to die almost immediately. Especially when they had just under 30k avoidance (I’m not getting into the uncontested/contested issues here), about 27k Hit Points, a defensive stance that cancels out all strikethrough and not great, but decent resists well within the parameters of survival. It’s just not supposed to happen. Oh, if the healer is doing their job that is. And by doing their job I mean keeping me up and in good health, not painting nails, watching tv, plucking their eyebrows, reading Sports Weekly, or investigating the smell coming from the dog. No, by their job I mean keeping the off tank up, so they can keep the mobs off the raid. For me to do my job, you have to do yours. Ok? gottit.

It’s at this point I need to address some issues. Our other healers in the raid force, this is NOT addressed at you, most definitely not. You all have your own jobs and were very very busy with those. It should not be for the mage group healer or indeed some of the MTs healers to be watching my health and detrimentals. Strangely enough though, it is the job of the healers in my group. Oh yeah. You read that right. HealerS. Plural. Two. Dos. Zwei. Deux. Dva. Yes, two.

It all came to a head for me when I started taking serious note of what was happening and who was doing what in a bid to assess the issue. It was important to me to find out the issue so my raid colleagues did not think I was slacking or on a jolly. Well, the fight I started actively seeking reasons in, gave me the evidence I needed very quickly. For the whole duration of that fight, now bearing in mind we had two healers in group, the only time my detrimentals were cured, was when I used my cure potions. The only times, the WHOLE fight, against a named. The only time I was healed, was when I used my self heal or my duoheal / regen / immunity skill. Actually, I tell a lie. I noticed some heals popping in from three of our other raids healers (thanks guys!), who by the way had really important jobs of their own and should have been able to concentrate on those in the knowledge this little job would be taken care of. There was a knock on effect to this too.

This meant that because I was dying every time I grabbed aggro, when I was ressed (always by Star or Derr, or Ema or Arbor or Irja or Syn..strangely only once by one of the healers in my group..during the whole night) then I was way back at zero on the hate metre. Having to climb back up that meter against dps’ers who are doing 30 to 40k dps, each. Well it’s almost impossible. But sometimes I would manage it using all my skills available I can hop 4 hate positions up the list, then another 5, then another 6 and if I’m lucky, it will put me near enough the top to hope my dps pulls me the rest of the way. I don’t have that issue if I don’t die. My hate position always hovers around 70 to 85% when I manufacture it that way (and I live!), then I’m just below the level ready to grab aggro without doubt when I need. 70% to 100% is nowhere near as big a jump as having to clamber your way back up to 100% hate from zero. When I keep my hate in those parameters I will always grab hate when I use one of my snap tools.

OK, so we have had the evidence stage and now we have to move on to the reasoning. Now I may need some help here and Jahf will know what I mean because we have discussed this type of thing many times. I cannot find any reasons! I just cannot get my head round it. I cannot think what the reasons would be to subscribe to a game then just sit back and watch it. It’s interactive FFS. It is not Fox News. You don’t just sit there and soak up, spongelike the pretty colours on screen. You actually have to do something. If the Off tank of a raid starts monitoring what he is getting during a battle and the results state that the healers in that group, to the off tanks point of view, did nothing, then that's a message right there. Absolutely nothing that benefitted me that I could see or feel the benefit of. I have still to check ACT, but it does not bode well so far.

This brings me on to another question. Again, one I have discussed a few times with Jahfster. How on earth (or mebbe I should say, How on Norrath?) does someone level a toon through 90 levels and not know how to heal or cure at the right times? How does that happen? Ok, perhaps ‘not knowing’ is incorrect, but ‘not doing’ is spot on. How does that happen? I was under the impression most healers got their first heal spell by the time they are level 5, their cures very shortly after that. At the most that’s 80 levels of practice you should have had. It’s beggars belief. I simply cannot get my head round that. Now if ye wish to play like that, it’s not my concern. Fill ye boots, have fun. You pay your subscription and no one else should tell you how to play. Until it starts to effect other people that is.

Especially on a raid. There were 20 other people affected by this last night, not just me. Real people, with busy lives (some of them *grin*). It is not fair to think that that it is ok to not work at all at what you are doing when other peoples time is invested. That’s just selfish. But more importantly, it makes me look bad. I don’t like that. Not at all. I’m actually doing my regular raid colleagues a bit of a disservice there. They are intelligent and experienced and will probably have guessed what was happening.

If you were one of my healers and are reading this, I hope you take it as a reason to look further at your commitment to your toon and take it on the chin, no hard feelings. IF you wish to continue raiding that is. I say this because it is something that is required by a raider, with any raid force, not just ours. Effort and commitment. Effort to turn up on time, to turn the TV off, to tell the wife/husband/partner that snuggly cuddles will have to wait until later. I mean I have an extremely busy real life. If I couldn’t put in the time or commitment to raid, to learn my toon as best I can and to perform as best I can, I wouldn’t have signed up for that raid. Commitment to your fellow raiders and learning your toon and what is required in a raid force. Simply, the same that everyone else puts in. In addition, if you were not experienced to raiding and this is the cited reason, I refer you to the 9th paragraph. You have had about 80 levels to perfect healing and curing, two of your main roles and it does not take much effort to try and do that. Like I said, I have no issue with how you play. You pay the subs, so have at it, but when it affects me and my raid force and has the propensity to make me look bad, please try a little harder.

OK, /rant off. Normal niceties return and all is calm.

Oh, and I know I have said in the past that I dislike moaners. Well, I may preach but I’m not perfect by any means. Just ask the wife, she knows!

Be well.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Something new & something..Red

I hooked up with my Bro for a little while last night. Not for very long as we were both busy but even so it was really great to hang out with him. I think I’m going to resurrect Udrath, my Dwarvern Warrior from EQ and close friend of Merecrafts (in game). Like Mere said to me last night, it would be nice to see the old team back together. Initially I met up with him on voice chat and it really did hit me from his questions, how much has changed over the last three years. I guess it must be pretty daunting but at least he has me, Ema and Jahf to pester for help. Anyhow, I’ll leave that subject alone and as it is for now, as I am sure he will update us all fully on his EQ2 experience in his next instalment on ‘Far Beyond My Capacity’.

A quick holler for Valentino Rossi who has been give the ‘all clear’ by Yamaha bosses to start testing with his new team at Ducati for 2011 after the Valencian round (last in the season). Apparently they have agreed to release him early from his contract as a thank you for all the places he has taken Yamaha. I’m sorry Sir, but I call ‘Bullshit’. Rossi fell out pretty badly with the Yamaha bosses when they started treating Jorge as the number 1 rider on the team. That rift doesn’t just evaporate overnight. My personal opinion on what happened? Well, it only takes a slightly commercial mind to understand that Rossi ‘IS’ MotoGP for a huge amount of fans out there. He is a MASSIVE earner for the sport. A phenomenally huge earner for MotoGp. Can you imagine the backlash against Yamaha if they did not let the best motorcycle racer who has ever lived move to his new team?

Let’s look at what that would entail. It would mean Rossi would have to remain with Yamaha until his contract expires which is well in to the testing season. Yamaha would be well aware that he is moving to Ducati and Rossi as such would not be allowed anywhere near the MotoGP garages in case he reports back to his new team at Ducati what advancements Yamaha has made over the winter. So Rossi would have an extended holiday, Ducati would be missing a rider on test and the HOARDS of fans around the world would change their opinion ever so slightly about Yamaha. Would it affect bike sales? You bet it would. Big style. Now tell me again Yamaha have been gracious. Meh, the only thing they have to consider is profit and direct link to sales from its MototGP effort. They let Rossi go because it would have cost them too much in lost revenue NOT to have let him go. I’m just hoping now that he delivers for Ducati. Recall when he switched to Yamaha, dubbed ‘one of the worst bikes on the grid’? Over winter he and Jeremy Burgess developed that bike in to a rocket ship and on his very first race on a Yamaha, a bike that could ‘only run with the back markers’, won the race. Pretty amazing stuff. Let’s see a carbon copy of that in 2011 when the great minds and talent of the Red Duke and Rossi meet.

Back to EQ2 and my antics for tonight. Well, like I said I think I may spend a bit of time recreating my Dwarvern Warrior, Udrath Stormheart and catching him up to Merecrafts level so the old team can once more unite. It’ll be just like Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy. Too old codgers tottering around Norrath, hehe. If you get the reference, then let me know in comments! Of course since EQ there are no longer just Warriors. So, I think the closest to what I used to play and more importantly, how I used to play that old toon, I reckon Berserker would be most appropriate. So, a Dwarvern Zerker called Udrath. Yup, that’s the plan for tonight. Hey, I wonder if a level 1 instance of Hedge Hollow or the Haunted House/Mansion is possible? I see no reason why not, hehe. That would be a fun way to level up the first few levels. Anyhow, I’ll let you know how I get on.

Be well.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Boy is back in town..

Well, first things first last night I got a tell from a certain someone who was in game and setting up their UI and controls. Yes, Merecraft is back in EQ2! Funnily enough I was raiding with Mynna at the time who is an old time friend of Mere’s and halfway through the raid I get a tell from Mynna saying she had just seen an old name not seen for a while from her friends list pop up, hehe. Already back in game just 5 minutes and folks are talking about him. Welcome back mate, I hope you like the ‘new’ EQ2 (the last time he played was over three years ago). A lot has changed since then and Mere is going to have to do some catching up to get up to speed with things.

The good thing is, in the last three years most of the updates and tweaks have made sense. The changes have been to stuff that assist us to play the game more easily. Some of it good, and some bad in my eyes. For instance, as you all know I am not a big fan of ‘insta-travel’, although I do see the benefit and it has saved me when groups have been waiting for me. Although given the choice I would always hoof it on foot or griffon instead of using a dock port. Then there are the changes to the UI, single cures now, remodelling of alternative advancement skill points and an introduction of three expansions worth of new AA lines to follow. The changes to housing, the inflated prices, the gradual change of 1-9 chat from group hunting location to smack talking central, the fact you can wear appearance items from level nil now (as long as you have a toon above 20 I think). Then there is the loss of our old starting areas and the creation and changes since their creation of four new starting points. The changes have been many and it got me to thinking how I would cope if I had been away for the last three years. I’m sure it would be quite daunting, but definitely fun!! I honestly think the game flows a bit better nowadays. Yes it is a lot easier to level and although I’m not such a big fan of that, again though I can see the benefit with the level cap getting higher and higher.

But the game is still the same at its core and although progress is quicker, there are many tools to slow it down. Obviously the most important of which is the level lock or the slider for alternative advancement. I personally when starting a new toon like to slide the AA slider to 50% when I hit level 10 (although I think AA advancement may start at level 8 now..need to check that) and keep it that way until about level 16 to 18. Then I’ll boost it back to 100% exp and get to around 24th, then back down to 50% anywhere up to 100% depending on how the AA hunt is going. The progression can be slower, but I have never been a big believer of rushing and getting to 90th with 100 AA. Alternative Advancements are just too important nowadays at end game to not invest some time in them.

Anyhow, as I was saying, the content is pretty much the same. Want a bit of nostalgia, then head to any of the pre 50th level dungeons. They haven’t really changed all that much. OK, so where there used to be only ^^^ mobs, there are now single con mobs in some instances to allow for easier soloing, or they have simply changed the set up a bit, such as in DFC. Remember when Emperor Fyst was an epic x2? But essentially the enjoyment that was originally present in those zones and that content is still there, on the main it’s just some of the periphery stuff that has changed. I’m actually quite jealous my Brother is going to experience all of that kind of ‘a fresh’. Good luck to you mate, hope you have fun.

Other matters, raiding. Last night was a great night for me. I collected my tier 2 offensive shoulders from completing the Envoy Incursion questline (starts in Paineel, link to info is here) and then I won my Tier 2 offensive Helm slot item. Both are now wonderfully adorned and Voltaan is sitting in fully fabled raid gear with 4 Tier 1 pieces and two tier 2 pieces. I have only two Seals of Arad to gain now and then I can buy his sublime weapon too. It looks like the next thing to work on for Volt is AA. I am still terribly ashamed of the 196 points I have and need to get those a lot lot higher. Once I’m past 230 AA I’ll be happy.

Also last night after we had cleared Labs then Palace (2 Rune Theer ) we tried hard mode Toxx again. I must admit it was getting a bit late and I was getting tired after a crazy day at work and then raiding. As part of the hard mode fight when the Wyvern and Wyrm are down the brawler (me!) leaves the raid, runs up to Toxxulia, aggros her then feigns death. That way the encounter is broken and it gives the raid time to rest and gain power before the Toxxulia hard mode fight. Only this time, I typed /leave, hit enter, then ran across to aggro. Quite literally the same time as Toxx aggro’d I noticed in chat “LEAVE THE RAID”...whoops. Yes, everyone died. I scrolled further up only to see “You may not leave your group as you are engaged in an encounter”. Double whoops. It looks like I had hit /leave too early and it didn’t hold as the raid were still whacking the last 1% of the Wyrmlord. I think the rest of my raid force are going to have to start investing in some insurance for when the go to Toxx with me along. Last week it was two accidental pulls (whilst trying to find a good pull spot for Vuulan..oh, the irony) and this week the failing to leave the raid thing. Hopefully next week we will be heading there first thing and not late on when invariably my concentration starts to lapse. Or maybe I could just pay more attention! To any of my fellow raiders reading this, apologies for that. Also, sorry to you Jahf and thanks for your well wishes and congrats on winning my helm. I got a little busy again and didn't get round to replying. Like you said, I'm sure it was us bigging up the helm talk before hand. So thanks for that!

I was quite pleased last night with my snap aggro ability fun. Only once on Perah and once on the Crab was I completely out of all tools and unable to grab the aggro after the mobs ran riot. Admittedly on the Perah one I had just died and so was starting on the hate table from scratch and on the Crab one I had simply used all of my tools up. Whilst I had tools available though, all through Labs then Palace I managed to grab aggro then like a good delivery boy drop that mob off at the main tank so they could retake it. It all worked very well, aside from those two times. All in all a good night.

So what’s in store for me tonight? Well, the missus is going to be drooling all over the TV as the new series of The Vampire Diaries is on, so I am going to be online letting her get on with that. I may pop and see my Bro to see how he is getting along and then, well I guess I’ll just have to see.

Be well.

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Glimpse of MY Timorous Deep

Here's a few screenies of the work in progress..enjoy.

Spooky happens (NotD)

The ‘outside’ area in my Gorowyn home is coming along rather nicely thank you. I am finding it a bit of a problem that the area I have to decorate is now soooo huge that it may take me an eternity to complete to my satisfaction. Yes, I can be a bit of a perfectionist! So far I have ‘Easter Island’ statue type things, dotted around the extremities of the island keeping watch. I have placed my graveyard now on a hill overlooking the bay. Round the far back side of the island I have placed a forward camp/lookout spot and created a makeshift ring of sorts. I have started on the grotto area and have had some ideas what I want to do with the docks. I’ve also managed to plug most of the ‘holes’ in the scenery where entrances to other zones are supposed to be, such as the top entrance to Gorowyn which I blocked with a piece of hedge from the recent Nights of the Dead quests. I have the screenies of my decorating efforts, although the outside area is far from complete. I’ll pop those on here tonight before raiding if I get time.

On the subject of the Nights of the Dead (NotD) festival, I have been running through all of the quests on Voltaan. All of these quests scale to your level and they give pretty good AA but also they are a lot of fun. This year you get sent a strange coin in the post and if you examine it after retrieving it from your mail, you’ll get a quest to be a Devotee of the festival. Basically, every update you need for that quest is in a zone you will need to visit doing the other NotD instances and quests. If you are going to do them though it’s probably best to do them in order as there are some items that you can only get if you have completed the home city questline in the Haunted House (in Freeport it’s the dude in the bank to start) and then gone on to complete the other quests like the Haunted Mansion in Loping Plains and the ones in Nek forest and the Hollow Hedge. Make sure you do the two haunted places (House in home city then Mansion in Somborn) before doing the Hollow Hedge quests. Hollow Hedge is the same instance as Cauldron Hollow, but make sure you speak to Altius on the Docks first (to get the quest)and then the lass who is at the end of the beach (turn left off docks to far end of beach) before you can gain access to Hollow Hedge. Once inside Hollow Hedge you can either follow the quest guide or try and work it all out for yourself. I’d recommend the try it yourself attitude. It’s not that tough and is a lot of fun if you read through it all.

All I would say is on your second run through Hollow Hedge (yes it’s well worth doing twice as you get another new quest when you zone in when you are doing it the second time through, something about reliving the tale again..there’s no lockout by the way) make sure that when you kill the final mob in the zone, that you loot his body, not just his treasure chest. If you loot the lockpicks he drops on the second time through the zone, a ‘Gleaming Chest’ appears at a predetermined spot. Once you loot that chest you get a ‘Lost Necklace’. As a rather nifty trick if you have that ‘lost necklace’ in your inventory, then head to Somborn Village and go to Havras Skutter, there will be (on a 5 minute respawn timer) a small red cube just behind him on the floor. Click this and if you have that necklace in your inventory, you will get three free prizes for your home. A box that screams when you are in your house (I put this on the broker and not in my house, as Frank Martin said, “I like the quiet”). You also get a ‘Blanket of Fog’ which is exactly that and a machine to turn on or off fog effects in your house. The very cool thing is, that there is no limit to how many times you click on the red cube. It’s worth doing as the Blanket of Fog goes for 7platinum a piece on the broker and in half an hour you can stack up about 5 or 6 of them ready for sale. Of course, I didn’t sell mine, they were used in the building of my graveyard in my house, but if ye need plats, it’s quite a nice earner at the moment.

On to other news and it looks like we may be getting an old face back in EQ2 again soon who is from my tribe. I’ll say no more in case they play it for five minutes and dislike it, but I’m sure somewhere in blogdom you’ll be updated as to their progress soon :) Welcome back!

In MotoGP racing Rossi gained a third spot on the podium at the Australian Grand Prix after just about ousting Nicky Hayden who he fought alongside for the whole race, so congratulations to him. However, I must say I am starting to notice a rather worrying trend here with my all time racing hero. The last few races, his moves to overtake at critical junctures of the race seem to have been rather daring and just on the edge of racing etiquette. Now I know he has done nothing wrong, but on both recent ‘critical’ overtakes (one in Malasia on Lorenzo and the one on Nicky in Aus), he simply pushed the other racer out the way or parked his bike so they had nowhere to go but slow right down. Now I know that’s racing, but I’m used to seeing more clean passes from Rossi that display his skill and talent and not simply parking his bike so that if the other racer wants to push the overtake, they would crash. Perhaps it is a sign that the competition is finally catching up to his talent. If I was racing against Rossi I guess I’d be pleased he is having to resort to less gentlemanly tricks to win as it shows the start of a possible weakness and the fact he is now struggling to keep up with his natural talent alone as the rest of the field start to gain their confidence and the talent gap shrinks. He is still producing amazing results though, can’t fault him for that.

Be well.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Zurich wanderer returns..

That was an unexpected time away from Blog. Well, not totally unexpected. I did know I was heading to Switzerland on business but kinda forgot about it until the last minute and didn’t consider the time away from bloggage it would mean. Have I missed you guys? Erm, probably about as much as you have missed me, hehe.

Before I progress any further, I’d just like to wish my fellow Hometownian and Comedian, and TV star of ‘Genius’ fame, Dave Gorman and his new Bride many congratulations indeed on your marriage. If your marriage ends up anything like mine, then you’re doomed. Err, no, that’s not right..If your marriage ends up anything like mine you will be spending the rest of your life with your best mate and giggle partner. Things will be rosey in the garden of Gorman I am sure. Congratulations!!

Switzerland (Zurich) was fine. First time I had ever been there and I must say it’s a very nice city indeed, especially at night when everything is lit up. It’s one of those places that’s extremely orderly. I would imagine crime is very low also. Whilst I was there I noticed every single car was spotlessly clean. I didn’t see one dirty vehicle the whole three days is was there, not one. I asked a colleague who is based there why it is and he told me that if you don’t keep your car clean you become the villain of the neighbourhood. All very organised and orderly like I said. It kinda created a very community minded and safe atmosphere. Quite pleasant really. Anyhow, thanks to the staff at Hotel Glockenhof and the residents of Zurich, you have a lovely city.

Right-o, I’m back now, so what have I got to rattle on about today? First things first. Within a couple of minutes of clearing the new entrance to my brand new terrace in my Gorowyn six room house I was outside and decorating. I hadn’t hardly started really before I had to log off but before I did, I made a fun discovery. Yes, just like with Antonica or Greater Fay you can ‘slide’ a teleporter out off the terrace and once having teleported to it , pick it up, hop down the mountainside and before you know it, Bob’s ye Mothers brother, you have a teleporter on Gorowyn docks. I haven’t started exploring fully yet, but it looks like you get to head all over Timorous Deep. That’s on my ‘to do’ list tonight. It’s great finding stuff like that and establishing that I can walk on the surface and not fall through the world and indeed even place items there, but then there’s the realisation that if I really wish to enjoy those areas (like the docks) then I’ll have to decorate them. I know the house limit went up with the last expansion but I haven’t checked out how much stuff I can yet place. I guess I’ll find out tonight. The other thing is the cost. I need to tap in to some of the decorating resources we have in our guild I think so it doesn’t end up costing me too much.

One thing I thought of that would be fun, especially in the area ‘outside’ your home would be to let free a few pets that like to wander. Leave them for a few days, then try to track where they went. It is probably a fun game actually and could be done in guild too. I know in AoVs guild hall we have a port to the empty Antonica zone. I think I may run that as a guild event sometime, hunt the pig or summat. Hey, you know what they say, “Small things please small minds”, perhaps that’s why I get a kick out of that kinda stuff, who knows?

Had some raid fun last night on Voltaan. Nothing earth shattering as to content but it’s still nice to hang out with the crew and bash some raid mobs on the noggin. I know quite a few of our raid force are getting itchy feet where the type of content we are doing is concerned. I know for sure a few think we should be doing hard mode stuff a lot more often. I’m not saying they are wrong, or indeed right but I trust our raid leaders judgement and if he feels we need to do some more of the old stuff before we progress to that, then so be it. There are some raid mobs at hard I honestly think we could down. Toxxulia for example. We hit that Dragon a few weeks ago for a couple of raid nights and aside from the time it takes to learn a fight, things were going pretty swimmingly really. We were just missing a healer or two perhaps and Toxxulia would have been dead. It’s that rock and a hard place situation. Do we keep doing the old content to ensure everyone is as well kitted as they possibly can be with the additional possibility that we get a few more healers on board in the mean time? When the bad payoff is that constantly doing the old stuff seems to promote a bit of , well, shall we say less concentration/lethargy which can result in sloppy raiding. Against the argument that we simply do not have the right setup at the moment for hard mode stuff and what if we try and simply keep failing? Would that lower commitment levels of our raid force? Too many knockbacks and lack of progression also brings the occasional shedding of raiders who need raid sustenance quicker than that. I know it’s a fine line to walk and I do not envy our raid leader having to steer the raid in the right direction especially when there is so many differing views on the subject. My own personal opinion, I’m up for anything (within game and within reason ;) )so let’s give it a go. I actually enjoy the endless deaths that comes with learning a new raid mob from scratch. The satisfaction when working in concert, twenty four people achieve something special. It’s a good feeling. If we do hard mode stuff more regularly, I’m sure it will be Toxx that goes down first.

I’ll post some more piccies of my decorating ‘outside’ my Gorowyn home soon.

Be well.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

One sought after dude...

A certain friend of mine should get a kick from this. This is the top three most recent search terms typed in to any search engine that ended up redirecting those searching to my blog.

1. jahf eq2 (49 searches)

2. adurj le bard (7 searches)
3. jahf eq2 a bard (7 searches)

Now what I want to know is what sort of fans have you been rallying Jahf to get that much interest? Never mind that the blog operator is a shady 42 searches behind Jahf, but you’re in third spot too. My, we are a popular boy! I guess we shouldn’t tell Ema she is only ...

6. eq2 emarald (1 search)

We can’t take too much from that as most visitors to my blog are revisiting or are from referrals and only about 10% of the traffic comes from search engines. Interesting all the same.

On other matters, it seems the team at Trion have been busy beavers. The content on the RIFT website appears to be growing daily at the moment. It’s worth a look even if you only check out the screenies. Also for those who did not realise, Beta sign up is also available on the webby. There is a lot more about classes and races now and some of the lore makes a good read. Although, am I the only one who sees a resemblance between the idea of RIFT and the EQ2 expansion The Shadow Odyssey? There are certainly similarities.

MotoGP hits Sepang in Malaysia this weekend which I am very much looking forward to. Valentino Rossi has won here no less than five times. I’m predicting another last few laps battle between Rossi and Lorenzo. I wonder if Rossi will ride less aggressively now he’s been told off by Yamaha bosses about last weeks race? I would certainly hope not. That’s his riding style and there is nothing illegal about it where MotoGPs governing body is concerned, so I don’t see what they have to moan about. I know it happens in other sports, where one team mate will help the other to succeed, but there are two points to consider here. One, Lorenzo doesn’t need any help. He is aggressive enough himself and more than talented enough to fight those sort of battles and let’s face it, he’s going to be World Champion most likely anyhow, even if he fails to finish another race this year. Two, it’s always been part of the attraction of MotoGP that the teams do not impose anything resembling team orders, aside from historically, maybe Honda who are a little different in their ethos towards racing than the other teams.

I honestly think Yamaha are trying to cause Rossi problems. I know he fell out with Yamahas big boss and words were said, but if they get off their high corporate chairs just for a second to realise without Rossi (and his crew chief Jeremy Burgess) they would not be the powerhouse in MotoGp that they are today. Yamaha are in danger of becoming like the British Government in the way they treat their heroes and legend makers, and that’s not good in any ones book.

Ok, back to normal business. EQ2. Raid tonight. I’m not sure where we are going, but I hope we go and finish off our half done Palace instance. I am in desperate need to get my helm and one of the nameds drops the tier 2 version. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed because the red helm adornment is probably one of the best for a Bruiser. It’s mega helpful anyhow and gives quite a few bonuses to the three different stances they get. I guess we’ll just have to see what drops. I’d also like another go at Toxx hard mode. We really were working hard at that and it would be a shame to leave it too long before we try again. If we had tried with the raid force we had the other night then there would be no question at all, we would have got him down. I’m also feverishly hoping to get more raid seals. As you will know from yesterdays post, my hoard of Seals of Arad has been reduced rather dramatically since my red adorn buying frenzy and I still very much want to get my hands on my sublime weapon (costs 100 seals). Patience is required. Anyhow, I’ll let you know how I get on.

Until then,

Be well.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I'll never admit it..but..

Adornments. It’s a murky world. Full of profit centres, sweat houses with crafters feverishly creating these expensive items for sale to wealthy heroes, and harvesters and farmers working their fingers to the bone relentlessly to find manas and raw materials. It’s a multi thousand plat business that’s booming. But why?

Well last night I found out. Up until last night I had one adornment. Count them, one and that was a gift. That’s it, nothing extra, nothing more. I was quite happy with this arrangement. I had not planned on getting any more adorns until I had at least Tier2 raid armour. Why would that be? Well I’m not made of money and will probably only be able to afford the adorn bling once, maybe twice. Now if I have to replace items that I upgrade I want them to be of a high enough quality when I adorn them so I don’t have to fork out two lots of plat on them. In other words there is not much likelihood that I would replace that armour piece, so therefore I would then fork out on an adornment. This was my philosophy.

Now adornments can be bought with Seals of Arad also. For 5 seals and a few plat. For those who don’t know what they are, one, where have you been hiding and two, well, they are like the Marks but from raiding and raid bosses. I had 80 something seals from raiding and was really looking forward to getting those last few so I could invest in my Sublime Fabled weapon. Until I got home from work last night that was.

As usual I was in a pretty good mood when I returned home from work. For one, it was home time not work time and for two as ever I enjoyed the 25 mile ride home on my motorbike along the coast of the Mediterranean. I was nice and relaxed. It was, as ever great to see my family after a day at work. Emarald my lovely wifey had made me a cup of coffee and we sat down on the terrace to chat about our day. Except we didn’t.

Straight away Ema starts on about EQ2 and adorns. Now, we have quite a lot of EQ2 discussions obviously, we both play the game with some fervour, but I was suddenly bombarded with a tirade about adornments and how she doesn’t know how she ever played EQ2 without them. Not only this, but then comes the hard sell. I MUST adorn Voltaan and not buy my weapon apparently, “there’s no question about it”.

Now, being a man I dislike being told what to do. I may even see the merit in something, but if I have been told to do it, I generally don’t want to. It’s simple. The haze of my grumpiness descended and I managed to grunt a few acknowledging replies to Emas still ongoing promotion of adornments. The conversation pretty much ended up with me regressing to 8 years old to state “Fine, I’ll get some adornments. I guess I’ll just have to wait a few more weeks for my weapon that I’ve been SOOO looking forward to getting and I’ll be back on the breadline, they’re so damn expensive”...moan...moan..moan. Now when I get like that I always stop myself, remind myself that I am nearing 40 years of age and, more importantly that I dislike people who moan. So, I finished my coffee and despite me reminding myself of my seniority, I couldn’t help as I left to turn on my PC a small “S’pose I’ll go waste all my plat then!”.

So, with my wallet 200 plat lighter, my Seal of Arad pouch distinctly lighter, I surveyed Voltaans adornments , both white and red on pretty much 95% of his kit. I didn’t go 100% adorn as I still have a couple of legendary pieces to upgrade. I resisted the comment hovering on my lips to Ema of “Happy now?”..I’m nearly 40, I really should grow up.

Now comes the hard part. Admitting I was wrong. Another insurmountable wall for many males of the species to climb is that of “yes dear, you were right, I was wrong”. It is a rare phenomenon that probably only occurs once every waxing of Alpha Centuri, or something. So, to explain how I was proved to be wrong, I went to help out in an ERH group. Mainly guildies but a couple of pick ups too and my buddy Jahf came along. Sadly the group was plagued with LD issues (a lot of folks had LD issues after the update it seems) and no one available in channels or guilds to come heal when our healer lost his connection. BUT, what was important was the difference I noticed in my DPS. It had pretty much doubled. Yup, doubled. Now bearing in mind I had gone from being not adorned at all, to pretty much fully adorned with white and red adorns the difference was highly noticeable. If you have slowly built up your adorns you probably won’t notice such an immediate difference. But wow. Normally depending on group members and if it’s a solo, or group mob, I would normally have parsed from 6 to 12 k. With my new adorns on some of the larger AoE fights, I was parsing between 22k and 28k. Admittedly we did have a great Dirge along and I am sure that helped a huge amount. But the difference was palpable. I could almost taste it.

Next test is to see how they fare when raiding. Hopefully they will help a little with my hate gain but also with my dps when not tanking. Building up dps faster is important to me, because being a leather wearer, if I have to grab aggro quickly until the MT becomes unstunned, charmed or whatever, I only sometimes have time to swap out my off stance to my def stance, and yeah, sometimes I get killed pretty quick, but that’s usually enough time for the MT to grab aggro back so devastation to the raid squishies is not absolute. The problem is, when I am rezzed, I’m right back at the bottom of the hate meter and have to build the hate back up so I can grab again if need be. That is something I have been struggling with as our raidforce puts out so much dps, once I have been deaded climbing the hate meter is like climbing Everest. Maybe my extra dps and other fun adorn stuff will help with that. We’ll see I guess.

Oh, you’re probably wondering what Ema said when I admitted I was wrong. Hahah, sorry, I must have stepped off into a fantasy world there. Of course I didn’t admit I was wrong. At breakfast this morning Ema sneakily asked me through her grin how my adorns worked out for me last night (knowing full well already how they worked out). Being the honest, upstanding gentleman I am I graciously admitted defeat to the greater mind. No. I didn’t. Of course I didn’t. I changed the subject.

The message is clear to me. The eternal question, “To adorn or not to adorn” has firmly been answered, but shhhh, don't tell Ema she was right.

Be well.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

EQ2: 7 Year Veteran Reward

It looks like I may have moved house a little too soon and spent many many hours of decorating this last few weeks...for nothing! Because as soon as I get my 7 years Vet reward, I'm moving home! This is the free veteran award for accounts 7 years old. It is called Mistmoore Crag Estate and is based in Loping Plains. Not too near the local shop or pub, but hey, look at those views!

Be well.

Like a knife through butter..

That’s what last nights raid force was like. You know when you play any game, any sport, carry out any activity really and sometimes you get in the ‘zone’? Well last night there must have been 24 people in the ‘zone’ [Of course there were 24 people in the zone..muppet! – Ed] because we seemed to plough through the raid instances with ease. Not one mob failed to drop on first pull. We got the creepy Crab down in Labs which was pretty sweet and over all Voltaan seemed to clear up on accessories that dropped and then to top it all off he grabbed his tier 2 forearms.

Voltaan got to do a little bit of tanking also, although I am still learning the raid force from a tanks point of view. When you are a raid tank it seems takes a bit of time to learn the raid from a tanks perspective. If you can learn how your raidforce responds to certain fights, or how they monitor their aggro, how they administer their buffs so you can use yours to the best of benefit also, then you’re off to a good start. There were a fair few rippers last night when I was tanking but mostly I managed to grab aggro back within a few seconds, although sometimes when all my ‘snap’ tools were down it was painfully longer than that.

After about thirty minutes of tanking I was swapped out of the role for melee dps. I’m more than aware there are battles that require several tanky types or more than one tank but as a tank it’s always a bit disconcerting when you are swapped out of your role. You can’t help but think, ‘what did I do wrong?’. I’m more than aware I am still learning the zones from a tank point of view, which is a whole lot different from the just stand there and hit it philosophy, from positioning to mem wipes. But still it’s a bit of a pin in your ego. Hey, I’m not perfect! I know there are very valid reasons but I still can’t help wondering if I did anything wrong or what issues I have. For two reasons really. Firstly so I can improve. If I know what I am doing that is adversely affecting the other raid members and their ability to play their toons to their full ability then I can help to improve the raid performance by being better myself. If you have a tank that does their job properly it makes all the difference in allowing you to do yours as a, well, as whatever role you play. Secondly I HATE to let people down. If I am given a job to do, I will hammer that job out time and time again until I have it perfect. That takes a little bit of time though I guess.

Luckily a couple in my group were helpful and gave me some tips, such as on Haarkat I was pulling to two different pillars and was informed that maybe one pillar may make it easier for the healers. Of course that is totally correct and I’m glad peeps feel they can speak up to offer advice. It’s a good way to learn. I am more than aware that issue was actually a lack of common sense on my behalf, of course it would make it easier for the healers. That’s the other thing about tanking, like healing you have to think about what everyone else is doing and how you doing your job affects that. Anyhow, I hope I did an OK job and that I wasn’t switched out for bringing ‘teh suck’.

Although raiding was pretty amazing last night in the speed and efficiency with which we worked, it actually wasn’t the best bit of the night for me. As we were setting up for the raid, one of our Troubadours, Mynna sent me a /tell. It seems she had started to read my blog (that’s why I pop the link on my forum’s a lure..beware!) and was a little shocked when she saw the linked blog of my Bro’s and some of the discussion within the two blogs and the name of ‘Merecraft’. It seems Mynna’s first EQ2 guild was a certain guild on Runnyeye server called ‘The Watchers’. Yup, you guessed it Mynna, six years later we have been raiding alongside each other for months and we didn’t know we knew each other, let alone that she was a member of mine and me Bros guild way back when!!. Although to be fair I think she knew my Bro better (as Merecraft) as she moved to AB when he did from Runnyeye and joined the newly formed guild he and his compadres started. Small world indeed huh! So to one of the original Watchers, Mynna ‘Hi’ and thanks for stopping by for a read.

I have work to do, so I’ll wrap things up, but I can’t go without mentioning the Japanese MotoGP at Motegi. I’m not going to bore you with the specifics, but if you get the chance and can find somewhere to watch it ( charges for viewing :( ) then it’s a must. The rivalry and battle between Jorge and Rossi was quite simply stunning. The last lap was breathtaking. There were bashing of fairing, elbows, neck and neck, nail biting stuff. It was very interesting to see the comments after the race. Rossi got a telling off by Yamaha (his team) for racing so aggressively against his team mate and Jorge stated he thought it was too far past ‘the line’. Wherever that is. Now I have very much respect for Lorenzo, he’s a biking God and a great personality but of course my soft spot is for Rossi. With all the negative comments flying around about Rossi and the way he rode (which I think was awesome by the way) Rossis comments after the race were golden and got across the message the fans wanted to hear I think;

"What a great race!” said Rossi......... I wanted the podium so much. Jorge came back at me and we had a great battle, proper racing - I think everyone watching enjoyed it.”

Two very different opinions huh? Very different. I get the feeling Lorenzo was livid. Anyhow as I see it, Rossi is right. It was damn exciting to watch. Like I said, a breathtaking display of unparalleled talent, from both riders. Congratulations to both Vale and Lorenzo for such an amazing show.

Be well.