Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hats the way to do it

Hooloh’s Hat quest, ‘The Blood of the Brood’ was the order of the night last night in EQ2 with my Bro. I love that quest. It’s always been one of my favourites. Having done it so many times on all the toons I have over 62nd level, in total I think about 13 or 14 over the years, I can recall every aspect of it.

Over the last couple of years there’s been a few changes to the quest that in my opinion make it a little easier, but perhaps not so much fun. I know it sounds silly, but one of the main things that I don’t like with the change is the fact Hooloh is now situated on the ground on Strifewind Isle, pretty much directly below the chain he once stood on. I loved the fact it was a right Royal pain to get to Hooloh every time you needed to speak to him. I have no idea why, but I kinda liked that. There are some things they haven’t changed that I appreciate and was surprised are still the same. For instance, the Scroll Bearer mob you have to kill is still a ^^^ encounter and still has a huge amount of hit points compared to like levelled cons. SoE seem to have dumbed down a lot of the earlier content and have changed a lot of mobs from ^^^ to a simple ^ or an even con.

We managed to get the update from The Nest of the Great Egg after leading Hooloh to the egg to commune with it, the weird owl. A quick run in to The Palace of the Awakened got Mere his Dreadknight blood update and then we headed over to the Halls of Fate in The Bonemire to try and get the hardest updates for the quest. This was another area they seemed not to have changed. The drop rate for the quest updates has always been a bit woolly with them being rare or uncommon drops and last night was no exception. As usual when running the quest most updates were obtained through a bit of tenacity and in some circumstances Mere was lucky with an update after the first couple of kills. The one that caused us issue last night was the Formless Abominations deep down in the Halls and with it being an instance and a ring encounter, I’m pretty sure they don’t re-spawn. So, when no updates were forthcoming Mere had to accept a return journey would be necessary at some point. We headed on to kill Sothis without any trouble at all and in fact he was dead before he even got a chance to summon his Skarize(?) Mummies to help him. We’ll head back at some point soon (after lockout expires) to get that one update that’s outstanding. Hopefully then Mere can go grab his lovely ring of flowers for his Warden as a reward.

On RIFT I have not progressed much further only having a few hours play time since we last spoke. I have got myself a mount now that increases my speed to 60% which is much better for getting around and I’m nearly level 14. Thanks to Kaelkardan (buddy and Guild Leader) who lent me the money for the horsey. I’ll pay you back soon. Promise. Honest. I have just reached the stage where you arrive at The Sanctum which is quite an impressive place to look at and there is plenty of back story to be found from talking to the locals.

One thing that is remaining constant with RIFT is my ability to totally forget how mashed up my toon got when he last tried to take on an invasion through a RIFT on his ownsome lonesome. I don’t know why I keep doing it. I know there is no one else around to help and I know that once all of the mobs become interested in me which invariably happens when you are alone, I will last about 10 seconds before impending doom. I honestly don’t know why I do it. I know what the result is going to be, yet I still shout my battle cry and just launch myself at them. Maybe I should have started a Warrior class instead of a Rogue. I have fun doing it anyway.

It’s interesting swapping from one MMO to another. Especially when like I have you do it in quick succession. For example, the night before last I logged in to play RIFT for 30 minutes, then hopped over to EQ2 to group and quest with me Bro, then when we logged from EQ2 I moved straight back to playing RIFT. I really notice the difference in graphics of course as RIFT seems a little more ‘fairy tale’ than EQ2. The toons are still realistic looking enough, it’s just something about the atmosphere they seem to create in RIFT, well the areas I have been so far in Silverwood anyhow. Aside from that though, the differences are surprisingly few. Yes, the mechanics side of things is slightly different, but the feeling and general game play is very similar indeed, obviously aside from RIFTs popping up everywhere. Perhaps more so in line with how EQ1 felt than EQ2, but it’s still very much in the same league. It goes to show you what I mean when I say the biggest thing I am struggling to get used to when I swap between the two games like that is the fact that in RIFT you have to right click everything.

I have a long weekend coming up and plan to make the most of it with RL fun and gaming too, but one must not forget the reason why I have an extra day off this weekend and that is the marriage of our Royal Prince William to his missus Kate Middleton tomorrow. I wish them the very best for the day and their future together. However, I absolutely and sincerely hope I am very wrong, but I do think the Royal Wedding will be a target of terrorism of some sort. I just hope my old colleagues are up to the job in trying to stop it. I am sure they will have done everything they possibly can to prevent such a problem but as we know in matters such as terrorism, the perp usually holds all the aces. Like I say, I really really do hope I am wrong but I just have this feeling that I am not. Let’s pray I am an idiot and have no idea what I am talking about.

I won’t be watching the wedding myself. I’m not a Royalist, even though I do respect the work they do and the culture and cash they bring to our great nation. I don’t see the point in watching the wedding when I shall likely see all the important bits repeated on the news ad infinitum over the coming weeks. I think I’ll take the kids down the beach for the day instead. Sun, sand, sea, lot’s of ice lollies, sand castles and maybe, just maybe a cold beer or two. Have a great weekend.

Be well.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


My fingers feel a little sluggish after such a long hiatus. I feel it’s going to take a few paragraphs to get back in to the flow. So, let’s get cracking!
Before I delve in to my EQ2 and other adventures, I think it’s time for a real life update. Work recently (and still is) has been a nightmare. At a time of year when I have many reports to complete that have to be submitted in time as stated in various bits of legislation, the folks I need to supply information for those reports all seem to have an incredibly laissez-faire attitude to it and don’t seem to realise that if you fail to submit these reports we break the law and all could go to jail. Add in an incredibly useless filing system that has already lost a couple of files that I desperately need to supply information on with the files still outstanding, my stress levels are pretty high. I guess having been the only one out of this bunch who has actually seen the inside of a jail cell (from the correct side you will note!), I have a reason to do my job properly. They quite obviously don’t give two hoots. Problem is, I would let them get on with it and just go to jail, but seeing as I am the one who has by law the responsibility to gather and submit this information, if I did that, I could end up going to court for their ‘couldn’t give a flying ****’ attitude and ultimately for their laziness, go to jail.

It’s so so weird. I get really mega stressed by all this ‘deadline’ office work. Like not being able to sleep, being quiet at home with the family, you know the many knock on effects of stress. But when I was in law enforcement nothing got me stressed. Nothing. Multiple car pile up, bodies everywhere, no stresses for me, get the job done. Extreme violence directed towards me, not an issue, tussle then get ‘em down the pokey, change your blood stained ripped shirt, back out on patrol, not a worry. When I was a marksman, that guys got a gun, mentally unstable? Any stress? Nope, just tactics and a job to be done. But office work? Wow, I have never felt so stressed in my life. I hate it. I guess in all those other circumstances I was in control and able to manage the incidents to successful resolution. In the office environment, I am reliant on so many other muppets who really do not understand the gravity of this stuff. I’m a bit of an perfectionist and I just cannot stand others who don’t seem to care about their liberty. Oh well.

I had a long conversation this morning with one of these ‘executive officers’ of our company who, used to living the finer lifestyle was telling me about how they spent several evenings dining out over the Easter holiday at ‘wonderful’ restaurants. I showed interest in their conversation to pass the time of day, but couldn’t resist a “That’s fantastic [insert name-yes I don’t wish to lose my job]. Glad you had a nice holiday weekend. Glad that you made the most of it because if you don’t get me that file I am after, your next holiday weekend will be fuelled by bread and water”. Perhaps a little snide, but the answer shocked me more “Oh, that. I’ll look at it next week”. The deadline is this week. He’s been told like 30 times. So, work stress and a large workload still exists with little chance of dissipating before deadlines hit. On a brighter real life note, this coming weekend sees the next MotoGP at Portugal. C’mon Rossi! (although I have a sneaking suspicion that Jorge will run away with it again).

OK, now the RL rant is over, on to much more fun stuff. This weekend and passing week has seen quite a bit happen for me gaming wise. I happened to log in to Steam the other day to activate a gift from my Bro of Portal [Thanks Bro!] and my buddy Konador shot me a message. It was great to chat to him. He’s one of my very best RL mates and I hadn’t spoken to him since Christmas. After waxing lyrical about the benefits of Test Drive 2 over its first incarnation, we got to talking about the rest of the gang. It turns out they have all been playing RIFT. I had no idea. Ema still had a RIFT account live after she dabbled following her leaving EQ2. She doesn’t use the account anymore so I thought I would give it a go. Regulars here will know that I Beta tested the game and ‘kinda’ liked it, but didn’t love it, so I thought it would be interesting to hook up with the old crew and to see what it is like post release.

To be honest the game hasn’t changed that much at all from Beta as Beta was very polished indeed. But as it stands I have created a Rogue based toon on the Tehkhat server [think that’s spelled correctly] and he currently sits at level 13. I’m planning on eventually turning him to a Marksman. I’m quite enjoying it, but I’m not sure if that’s the fact I am amongst old friends or if the game is OK. I certainly know that I died a lot and the game can be quite challenging at times for a noob, which is actually fun. Because it’s an all new world to me I have a feeling this is where the excitement lies. The gameplay is quite like EQ1 but a lot less waiting around. I guess if you broke it down there wouldn’t be too many similarities, but it just ‘feels’ like that kind of game. I’m not so sure what will happen later on when I’m more used to the game. I have a sneaky suspicion that I’ll get bored quickly. That probably won’t happen too soon though as RIFT is most definitely my ‘secondary’ game at the moment with me spending time in EQ2 with my Bro, as he mentioned here in his latest blog post. I have no intention of making RIFT another MMO that I dedicate my life to. It’s going to be a ‘dabbler’. Summer is coming and that means long very hot evenings by the pool and BBQ with friends and family, which of course means less face to monitor time. All of that means RIFT will remain a small part of my gaming life and I suspect, more of a way to keep in touch with my ole RL buds back in the UK. I guess my gaming hours on the game to date only add up to about 4 or 5.

EQ2. I must say I have been having a bit of a hiatus from this too. I really am only interested nowadays in loggin’ on to complete the older content with me Bro, or alternatively completing long lost smelly old quest lines from my journal. The new expansion holds nothing for me now. I am not interested in doing the instances, gathering the shards, getting the armour and kit. Nope, does not interest me one bit for some reason this expansion. I guess I should call it my nostalgic game now. Only older tiers for me at the moment.

So, what have we been doing? The last week or so we haven’t been playing too much as my Bro has been playing Portal 2. A right rip-snorter of a game I’m told. But what time we have had has been primarily been spent on the Claymore questline, with my Bro now level locked at 70. We have also been dabbling in the strat of the Swords of Destiny line [SoD], which is great because me and another friend Drow have already started that but I had hit a bit of a brick wall when it came to gathering all the little statues. Hopefully we’ll get to that point soon then Drow and I can resume from where we left off too.

I never actually realised how much content there was around level 70 that ‘needs’ to be completed if you want to truly make sure the main questlines are complete. There’s loads. From Hoolohs to SoD, from Claymore to The Tower of Four Winds, it’s all great fun in that tier. Mere and I haven’t even touched upon the Mark of the Awakened questline in Bonemire yet. Thinking of the Claymore quests it’s amazing how little I recall, but also how I have remembered some of the finer details. When we were in Sanctum, there is a part where you have to go round collecting staves from pretty much each room. I didn’t recall that part of the quest at all when I re-did it. Even to the point that earlier I had asked Mere if he knew what the staves in each room were for. Weird how some things stick in your mind and others dribble out your ears.
All in all I am really enjoying running through it all again and especially mentoring down to 70 meaning that the ‘quick run back to the bottom of Sanctum for a quick update’ really is that and not an hours long slog just to get there as it was in the old days. I recall that part of the Claymore questline. The slog in just getting from one update to the next in dungeons that are large and take a long time to get to the end (when you were level appropriate with kit that wasn’t several tiers above!) was a big part of this questline. I remember sometimes just getting one quest update a night. That’s not completing the quest, just one step of the quest. Wow, the Claymore line took AGES.

With all the business with the major questlines we have yet to complete, I think I may need to break the news to my Bro gently that there is the whole Loping Plains Freethinkers stuff too to do that we are missing at the moment, and on top of all that the level specific armour that is to be gained from the instances (Obelisk of Blight, Valdoonicans, Unrest, Mistmoore Catacombs etc). There is surely a whole lot to do.

Oh, before I go..I’m loving Game of Thrones!

Be well.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Update: There's a reason for lack of posts!

Apologies all. I am in the busiest few months of my yearly work cycle and on top of that have been very ill and missing work for the last week. So I have a HUGE amount to catch up on. I'll be returning to post as soon as I can, but work and home life catch up comes first!!

I'll be back as soon as I can get back on top of things. Miss you guys.

Be well.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Curriculum Vitae: Gaming

With me just pretty much killing time on EQ2 in that I no longer have a desire to progress, just to hang with my Bro and my guildies, I have decided to take a look at my gaming history, the time I like to spend gaming and the games I have enjoyed indulging in past and present.

When I very first started gaming my interests lay in ‘the game of the moment’. There simply wasn’t enough choice back then to become involved in a huge amount of variation. Of course, I spent a huge amount of time playing ZXSpectrum games, of which Gargoyle Games, Tir Na Nog and BugBytes/Software Projects Manic Miner and Jet Set Willy were my absolute faves. Man, remember those cassettes that the games were stored on? Oh, yeah, I also spent a load of time on Skool Daze, Back 2 Skool and Monty Mole games. Auf Wiedersehen, Monty! was my fave. Damn I loved the ZXSpectrum. I moved on to a mega drive at some point and Sonic the Hedgehog was my choice of game for the most part and also spent a huge amount of time on my first proper gaming RPG, Shining in the Darkness (if I had owned a snes I am sure it would have been Mario instead). Anyhow, you can play all your old ZX Spectrum games here for free online.

As my brother became more and more involved with PC ownership and I was (as most younger brothers are) a parasite to his time and pretty much hung around whilst he played on his antique PC, the next interest I had was perfect for a young adolescent looking for gaming and horniness. Yes, the original Tomb Raider game was a revelation to me. I thought it was so realistic and the way you could move Lara Croft was unprecedented in game play for me. That and you could adjust the camera angle to get a great look at her polygonal arse. I was 12 or 13 FFS, don’t be so judgemental! Hehe.

Of course, the very next ‘hook’ for me in PC gaming was Doom. By this time PCs were a little more easily available and most of my friends had one. Of course I did not and still had to pester my Bro when I wanted to play. But, Doom was the flavour of the moment and it was played to death by all gamers I know. We all loved it. Doom 2 was again a revelation and in particular this time round we all got hooked on a particular aspect of this which was the LAN game play. We had never really experienced LAN before, my Bro had been to a few LAN parties, but I hadn’t and playing Doom 2 on LAN was simply gaming bliss back then. Yeah, we also dabbled in some mods for Doom.

After the Doom franchise got a little boring, thankfully we were then treated to the amazing world of Quake and in my case more importantly when Quake II came on the scene, an amazing mod, Action Quake. This mod of the game became the mainstay of our online game play for quite some time. My Bro started a ‘clan’ for Action Quake called Funk Soul Brothers and we gathered our team from our mates who we already played the game with on LAN. There was my Bro, Daddy Cool, Me as Fat Toni, My buddies were Superfly, Errol Brown, and Huggy Bear initially. We had some late comers to the clan, but essentially those were the founding members. Before we knew it we had been entered in to a European league for the game and twice weekly we bashed it out with other teams in a bid to become AQ top dogs. We didn’t do too badly really. We got to the top of the second division at the end of the first season. Then were promoted to the first for the second season we completed.

The second time round we didn’t do so well in the first division. The quality of opponent was much higher and we stayed right at the bottom of the league I think. By the time we had all got bored with Action Quake I had bought myself a PS2 and the order of the day is now one of my most loved gaming genres, which is racing games. I started with Colin McRae rallying and never really left that game and it’s successors until I stopped using the PS2 console. The original Gran Tourismo is one game that holds a huge amount of nostalgia for me. I recall living in my first house that I owned, with my two lodgers who just happened to be my best buds (Superfly and Errol Brown as mentioned above) and spending huge huge amounts of time progressing through those racing games together, taking it in turns to race. From what I recall standards usually dropped in the late evening as the alcohol used to set in!

Eventually Action Quake fell by the way side and for me, the next few years were spent indulging in various Grand Theft Auto games on the PS2. GTA is one of my very favourite franchises and I genuinely get excited when I know a new edition is to be released. GTA V is one of my most anticipated titles. I have spent hours on those games. From hard core play to simply popping on the game to beat up a few prostitutes and steal their money. What? That’s a perfectly acceptable past-time! Yup I have spent so very long on that series of games, I can still picture every job, mission, location, event. I guess I like being a criminal if it means I only hurt pixels.

I also carried on my love for driving games and those (aside from GTA titles) pretty much became the only things I used my console for. Need For Speed, Burnout, CMcRaeRally, Gran Turismo, Carmageddon and many many more. That genre has always stuck with me since I discovered it. I'm not sure but my love for driving fast cars at ridiculous speeds without the worry of total death is probably to blame.

The next game I became immersed in was Everquest on my brother’s recommendation. It was my first brush with an MMO and to be honest when I started playing, I didn’t really understand what that meant. I’ve been trying to recall my very first experience of the game. I can’t even recall where I purchased it from. I do know that without my Bro having started a week or so before me, I would have been totally lost. It was hard enough to get to grips with all of the mechanics and actions with some help, so those pioneers like my Bro must have had a real arduous time learning everything about the game. One thing I did learn though was it’s easy to run up a massive telephone bill when you play an MMO on the old pay per minute setup. Think about it. We all use the internet mostly on broadband nowadays, and that monthly cost gets us access to the internet whenever we choose. So we have say a £20 charge per month for full access to the web, then pay about £10 for our monthly subs on our MMO of choice. Back then, EQ was costing me my subs of about £10 per month plus my £300 phone bill, £50 of which was probably normal use. So my love for EQ had me paying in total, about £260 a month. I have never thought about it like that before. That’s almost more expensive than Golf for a hobby!

I guess it was worth it though. I adored EQ. It was a frustrating game all told with lots of restrictions to my generation’s attitude of ‘I want it and I want it now’. I had to change my philosophy to ‘I want it now but am willing to camp this mobs spawn spot for three days only to have it stolen from me whilst I’m making a cup of tea’. It taught me a bit of patience and extra frustration all in one. But the thing that really hit home about this game and genre? I could all of a sudden BE the Dwarven Warrior I had played in tabletop D&D for an eternity. I could play his life and become so immersed it almost was like a second life (would be a great name for an MMO). EQ was hard. It was a time sink at a time when internet connection cost a lot, when I was very busy with a developing career path and needed time to study for my vocational exams. But did this stop me from playing? NO, of course not. Because Udrath Stormheart the Dwarf from Kaladim did not have to worry about those other wordly things. It was the great escape (would be a good name for a movie). It was the way I vented from having to deal with all those pressures of real life. EQ brought a huge amount to my gaming and real life, some negative, mostly good I would say.

Everquest 2 followed on from EQ, but not without a three year break between the two from playing any MMO or indeed any computer games at all really. At that point I did focus on my RL and am still feeling the benefits of that hard work today, so it was well worth it. But EQ2 was the perfect swansong for me after a few years of intense career focus. The perfect way to unwind and enjoy some ‘play’ time once again. I have yet to ask myself if I still get so much out of it. I do know I feel I miss my friends online if I don’t log in for a few days so at least I know I am getting some decent interaction with my friends and indeed my brother because of it. As for the content? Well, suffice to say I am enjoying spending time with my brother back in tier 7 much more than I am exploring Velious.

So, there it is. My gaming life pretty much in full. Right. I’m off to play Elite on the Spectrum emulator.

Be well.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Day at the Races - Photos

Here are some piccies of the action this Sunday in Jerez. Thanks to

Simoncelli (Ita) begins his flight

Simoncelli left to sort himself out by marshalls

Rossi (Ita) loses front and scoops up Stoner (Aus)

Stoner congratulates Rossi for his move
(Rossi managed to get started again..Stoner did not)

First Corner, Circuito Velocidad de Jerez

John 'Hopper' Hopkins (U.S) on the blue Rizla Suzuki had a
strong showing after two years away from the series

Valentino Rossi
Third spot on the podium went to Nicky Hayden (U.S) on his Ducati

Second spot on the podium went to local boy Dani Pedrosa (Esp)

Race Winner, current World Champion, #1, Jorge Lorenzo

Be well.

Monday, April 4, 2011

A Day at the Races

Yesterday saw a day out at the races for me. Not to watch the gee-gees, the mounts I saw being raced had a lot more horsepower. Yes, along with a few mates, we all set off nice and early (wow, Sundays at 0800 is so quiet on the roads here) and rode on our bikes from the Costa, up the Autovia de Jerez a Algeciras (A381) to Circuito Velocidad de Jerez to watch the Spanish MotoGP. What a day!

The weather wasn’t too bad to start and in dull sunshine we set off on nearly empty roads. I had never ridden the A381 and it is a fantastic road. Through beautiful scenery, mountains, lakes, bridges. Lovely. About half way there we stopped at the service area at the Alcala de los Gazules exit and whilst we were standing around our bikes having a coffee and a chat it started to spit with rain. That set the tone for the day and from then on it pretty much got worse and worse, turning a nice ride through stunning Spanish scenery to a ride through grey mist and intermittent heavy rain. It didn’t dampen our spirits though and we pushed on until we arrived at the circuit. It’s not too far at all from where I live, probably took about two hours including the fuel/coffee stop.

The motorbike park at Jerez circuit is huge. There must have been about 50,000 bikes there. I took special note of the surrounding area to make sure I would find my way back to my bike when we were heading home later and then it was down to the track. We headed initially to the collection point as our tickets were supposed to be waiting for us. After a short panic where they couldn’t find them, all was OK as they looked in the first envelope they had previously checked and is by magic they had appeared. After trolling the stalls for about an hour and a stopping to eat a burger we headed in to the circuit to get settled for the first race. Yes I know it was a bit early for a burger, but hey I was hardly likely to find somewhere at a race track that would sell granola and yoghurt for breakfast now was I?

The weather was pretty changeable all day, from high winds to heavy rain, to drizzle, to grey skies but dry. That made the racing extremely exciting as the track surface was very changeable and not predictable in anyway. So many riders were caught out this weekend and binned their rides into the gravel. Three crashes at the end of the first straightaway (where I was sitting) were particularly memorable. First in the Moto2 race, Spains hero Marc Marquez was smashed in to from behind by Jules Cluzel and both crashed out unable to retrieve their bikes. The atmosphere in the stands took a turn for the worse as the Spanish adore motorcycle racing and their ‘Moto heroes’ are almost Godly in status here. There was much grumbling and shouting at Jules Cluzel, who to be fair made a mistake and was gracious to Marquez in apologising. Marquez dealt with the situation in a very grown up manner for an 18 year old.

The second crash of note that occurred right in front of me was when the race leader of the MotoGP race went down, annoyingly with no one behind or pushing him and with a 4 second lead. Yup, Marco Simoncelli, the Italian with the crazy hair was having a barnstormer of a race when he binned it in the unpredictable conditions. The bad thing about this? Well for Simoncelli it was the way the race marshalls dealt with his situation. Not only did they only give a half-hearted attempt at helping him, but they nearly pushed him in to a line of still racing motorcycles, then abandoned him to try and push start his bike..uphill. When he finally got their attention they went to help him out and nearly dropped his bike.

The third and most controversial crash of the day was when Rossi went for a very ambitious move up the inside of Stoner and lost the front end, crashing and sadly taking Casey Stoners bike out from underneath him (again happened right in front of fact if you pause the action on TV you can see me holding my head in my hands in disbelief in the crowd). In the end it was a racing incident and these things happen. A big shame though and to be honest the media circus after this incident was way over the top. Again for this incident the marshalls actions were questionable when they pretty much ignored Casey in favour of helping Rossi when they were both on the floor.

Anyhow, all in all a fantastic day, even the ride home in the wet did not dampen the mood. Oh, and in case you were wondering, my super navigation skills found me my bike straight away.

Be well.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Afraid 2 play? Posh ploy?

OK, so last night I log in to EQ2 and things are pretty normal for the first 30 minutes or so. I knock out a quick Public Quest almost as soon as I log in but gained nothing new from the dropped treasure hoard. I spent a little bit of time doing an old HQ for the AA (Trail to the Past). Normal run of the mill stuff. I was chatting to my guild about inane stuff when I got a tell from a toon I have never spoken to or seen before, Lode. I don’t have the text log until I get home later, but the conversation went something like this:

Lode: Hello, how have you been?

Voltaan: Hi, sorry, do I know you?

Lode: of course! It’s me.

Voltaan: LoL, OK, who is ‘me’?

Lode: you’re kidding right?

Voltaan: LMAO! No! I’m not kidding, I have never spoken to you before. Like ever..

Now, this is where things start to get a little bit freaky...

Lode: yes, you have. Although the last time we spoke was in person.

WTF? Who was this?

Voltaan: I’m sorry, even that isn’t helping. So who are you in RL life then?

Lode: Come on! Surely you remember?

I was starting to get a little irate now, and a quick search of EQ2 players didn’t help as the damn error messages kept coming up.

Voltaan: I don’t remember. I don’t know who you are and unless you stop farting around I’m just gonna put you on ignore ...

Lode: LoL, that won’t help you

‘That won’t help me’? What the hell was going on!! I must say I was rather angry, confused and wondering if I was having a trick played on me.

Lode: So, you don’t remember me?

Voltaan: NO! Who the F*** are you?

Lode: You don’t remember me? Really? I was there after you crashed your motorbike.

Now this was WAY outta left field. The only person who I know who was with me when that happened was my best mate who still lives back in England. He did used to play the game but quit pretty soon after RoK was released and he gave me his account. I had changed the password at some point over the last couple of years and there was no way he could have known it. So, I got my thinking cap on. Pretty much all of my mates know I had a bike crash in Wales and wrote off my Moto. So it could be any one of them, but the only one who still has an account live is my real life brother and I know he wouldn’t mess like this. Then I got to thinking, I guess it doesn’t matter if they had an account or indeed if they did if it was live or not, as the free 14 day trial could have been activated and it could be any one of my friends back in the UK playing with me.

Voltaan: Rich? That you ?

Lode: Nope :)

Voltaan: Who then? Davey? Jimbo? Chris?

Lode: OMG, you still don’t get it do you? Think back to your accident...

Voltaan: What the hell. You’re frickin’ annoying me now bud. I don’t recall much from that day. If you were there you will remember I was unconscious for a time then very disorientated.

Lode: Yes, I know. In the ambulance. Do you remember?

Holy fukkin’ crap, I was starting get a little uneasy now. ‘In the ambulance’!! I was open mouthed and wondering where the hell all this had come from. I was thinking ten to the dozen and of course remembering being in the ambulance. Had I spoken to the paramedics much when I was off my face on morphine? I did a /who lode all, and saw he was not anon and was tagged as being a 38 brigand in The Enchanted Lands. I started to head there to see this crazy dude face to face. Lo and behold, there he was standing on the dock near the hut there. I didn’t recognise anything at all about the toon. Not the looks, name (full name was Lode Yofou), nothing, but that meant nothing really. It only takes a very short time to level a toon to 38, so I guess I couldn’t take much from that.

Lode: I see you!

Voltaan: Yes, I came to see what the hell is going on

Lode: You know what is going on. You just don’t know you know

If the dude was in front of me in RL, I would have punched him by now.

Voltaan: Enough with the that you Matt? (I thought of another friend it could be)

Lode: Like I said, think back to being in the ambulance.

Voltaan: You one of the paramedics that treated me? I don’t really remember much about that journey to hospital.

Now even if this was one of the paramedics, how the hell did he know Voltaan was me? Did I have a freaky stalker?

Lode: No, I’m not a paramedic.

Voltaan: You know, you could have finished that sentence off, like ‘but I’m....’

Lode: I cannot tell you, you must pass this test alone

Motherf***er! WTH!!! Test? Man, /ignore was looming and I was thinking of /report too.

Voltaan: Look, I’m not gonna take your ‘test’ I have no idea what you are talking about and you are starting to piss me off

Lode: Think back to the ambulance. You were lying down, and there was no pain. You had lots of morphine in you. You were staring at the ceiling watching the fan go round and round (I have only told this to my mates. It has to be them). And you were feeling light headed. Then you saw it. You saw me.

Voltaan: All I saw was a ceiling fan and paramedics pal. Look, this is getting very close to being a criminal offence here which happens to be right up my street and well into my forte. If this is a joke you need to be careful. You’re stepping well over the line.

Lode: I’m not talking to you to annoy you or to make you scared (SCARED!! Grrr)

Voltaan: So why the hell are you talking to me then?

Lode: To see if you are ready. You refused my hand that day and went back to your life but time is drawing near and I need to know that you are ready. From our conversation I can see that you are not. Bye! See you soon!

And that was it! He logged out. Didn’t camp properly, just disappeared. Luckily I had hit /report just after I had told him he was stepping over the line. I don’t know if anything will ever come of it as a previous /report I did about 6 months ago went by not being dealt with by SoE at all, so I don’t know what will happen. I do know it was hands down the freakiest conversation I have ever had in game though.

I’ll keep you updated what the GMs say.

Be well.