Archive for category Gaming: MMO

The Casual Gamer

Going to start a section of the blog called ‘The Casual Gamer’.

I have been mulling over the idea of writing about the games(video mostly, but interested in some tabletop and card games) I play. I see a casual gamer as the person who plays when they can, as a stress relief or to burn small amounts of free time. There will be the occasional bender as real life allows, yet the casual gamer is far from the stereotype. This is not the child yelling for chocolate milk or the man living in his parent’s basement, covered in Cheetos dust and playing non-stop.

I’ve talked about gaming here before, but it has always been spotty and at times incoherent. There are the posts about what I was playing at the time, half-hearted attempts at reviews, and one or two rants thrown in there.

My hope here is that this new type of post will be different. That is the hope, anyway. The reality of it all is much different, as seen in past grandiose ideas. But what is life without grandiose schemes and ideas that end up falling on their face? Successful….oh yeah….that’s what life is without the falling down part…… <.<   >.>

There are also ulterior motives baked into this half-baked idea (it can be called pudding if you want!). If I can stick to it, my writing and communication skills will improve. That is the major benefit I see coming from it. A secondary, and quite possibly awesome outcome, is that a small time gaming site will like ‘the cut of my jib’ and let me do some freelance reviews along the same casual gamer line.

So, the tl;dr version is that I am going to play more games and write about them, land a posh gig writing about them and then build a giant vault in the middle of town which will allow me to swim around in all the monies I will be raking in.

DuckTails WOHOO!!

In all likelihood though, this won’t go anywhere. And I’m okay with that.

On a final note…it is not a coincidence that this endeavor falls upon November 1st….the same day that NaBloPoMo kicks off. And yes, I am taking another crack at it. My money says I’ll fail by the 8th
this year!

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It has been a long while since I mentioned anything about gaming (or anything at all to be quite honest).

Been stepping away from WoW recently, as it has gone back into the ‘not enjoying the monotany of the game’ portion of the pendullem. I don’t know if it will swing back to full enjoyment again, and I am not pushing it.

Several of the other folks I play with are in the same boat, so we have decided to try and re-kindle game night while playing some other games.

First up is League of Legends. This is a free to play game that is based of the Heroes of Norath Mod of the popular Warcraft 3 RTS. It has heroes, and purchaseable items and leveling, all while trying to destroy the base of your opponent. It can handle up to 5 players per team and it can realistically be played in 30-45 minutes. There is a decent amount of strategy involved, and the multiple (76) heroes all have unique abilities, strengths and weaknesses. A highly entertaining game, with low overhead.

OUr other choice for group gaming required a permit, as we had to rev up the ‘Way Back Machine’. Diablo 2 was our game of choice. We decided to play this decade old game as a way prep for the eventual release of Diablo 3 and also for the sake of nostalgia. Surprisingly, even though the graphics and gameplay are heavily dated, the game itself still runs well…even on the new piece of hardware I procured for myself.

And that leads me to a quick description of my new toy. I posted some pictures on the Twitter, the Tumblr, and the FB. About 2 weeks ago, I became the proud owner of a Dell Studio XPS 9100. A new desktop that has an Intel i7 2.8GHz processor, 9GB DDR 3 RAM, ATI Radeon 6670 1GB Video Card, and a 2TB 7200 RPM hard drive. It is a sweet machine. And WoW looks gorgeous running on it, which is a shame that I am not playing it as much now.

Fear not that I might have begun to forsake the video game, as there are bright spots on the horizon! The aforementioned Diablo 3 looks to be going into Beta in the coming weeks (press tours have begun) and there is also the second stroyline of the recently release Starcrat 2 coming in early 2012. There has been talk of some Halo Reach on the Xbox 360 for some FPS action as well. Although the Xbox thing might not work out for my upcoming work schedule. Something I’ll probably talk about in an upcoming post.

And one final note, the current proxy server I am stuck behind blocks 99% of gaming related websites, so I cannot add links to the post currently. I will try to add them at a later date.

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What We Do

We march for the kingdom under the mountain
Whose king has returned to stone
And is now ruled by three

We march for the slave who saved his people
Bringing honor and strength
Were once was only corruption

We march for the boy who would be king
And his father, now returned
But still broken in two

We march for the lady of the night
Who met death defending life
And spends death plotting vengeance

We march for the lady of the moon
And the father of the trees
Who saved us from the brink
Thru love eternal

We march for the bulls of the plains
Led to peace by the father, thus slain
And led by the son, determined to save the future

We march for the prophet
Whose people have fought the evil since time began
And no longer have a home of their own

We march for the fair skinned
Whom fell to their darkest desires
And have returned to their glory

We march for the tinkerers
Whose stature is small
But whose bravery stretch to the heavens

We march for the tusked outcasts
Who found a home with the gladiator slave
And stand by his side unquestionably

We march for the cursed
Who paid the price for their hubris
And now humbly work to redeem themselves

We march for the entrepenuers
For whom neutrality
No longer made business sense

This is what we do….

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PAX East 2011

The Flickr stream is up.

I would have posted sooner, but work is taking up most of my free time, and once again I am not sleeping well.

The whole ‘post every day’ thing fell flat on it’s face again, although I had a decent start. I just have to keep trying is all! 😉

Full write up of PAX 2011 is coming, I promise. There was just so much that I am still decompressing from it all.

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PAX East 2011 Bound – Boston, MA

Bag: Packed
Flight: Checked In
Boarding Pass: Printed
Phone: Charged
Camera: Ready

I am heading to Boston again this year for the Penny Arcade Expo East 2011.

Once again staying with the illustrious, criminally handsome, dangerously intelligent, and all around good sport, Jeff (from Conversations with Jeff Fame).

This year the roster has expanded to include 3 newcomers, and the extended stay of one that was with us last year.

I am planning to post pictures and stories here, on Twitter (@RnR77), Facebook (if we’re friends, you’ll see them) and on my Flickr page. We’ll see how that goes.

More to come!!

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I have done it for each of the previous ones 😉

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The Paths of The Past

It has been years since I stepped foot in these plagued lands. Years spent in regions of the hellish nether and the even more hellish cold. Years spent seeing true, unbridled horror at every turn.

Being here again brings back the memories of what could now be seen as a simpler time.

Yes, this land is not without it’s own horrors. And yes, when I first gazed upon it all I thought I saw was how the world would end and what the darkness held. But time brings with it experience and clarity. Along with aches, pains, and far too many scars of the body and spirit.

As I fought what I saw then as an un-winnable battle, I see now that the mere act of standing against the darkness is exactly what the land, and the people who once called it home, needed. It was exactly what they needed to see; that all hope was not lost and that even one person willing to give everything for a better future was one less person dying for nothing.

I can laugh inwardly at that thought now as well. Spending time around Fordring and his followers seems to have rubbed off on me more than I thought. I might use the light differently, but I fight with it, and for it, just the same.


On A Lighter Note

I apologize if the last post was a bit heavy, but it was just one of those things that I needed to get off my chest. I promise that this one will be more frivolous and have everybody clicking onto another page quickly.

Halo: The Cole Protocol and Halo: Contact Harvest
I have taken a break from reading about Tao, although I am planning on reading more. I switched gears a bit back to the comforting realm od Science Fiction/Fantasy for a while. The aforementioned books are part of the Halo universe and take place in the years leading upto the action in the first Xbox video game. Both are well written and focus on many of the secondary characters. Read in conjunction with the other Halo novels, they paint a vivid mural of the fictional universe. At the same time I feel it takes a more practical look at the scope of technology 500 years in the future. In terms of technology, it is more Starship Troopers than Star Trek. If you’re a fan of Sci-Fi/military books, this will most likely entertain you. Next is Ghosts of Onyx, a story more focused on the SPARTAN super soldiers.

Last night I had the opportunity to run a few dungeons with a new guy (friend of a friend) and made out like a bandit in terms of Loot. I picked up the following items:

Head Piece: Gaze of the Unknown
Chest Piece: Embrace of Madness
Back: Kurisu’s Indecision

We also assisted our tank, Luinil, in getting his Epic Flying Mount; The Reins of the Bronze Drake
There shall be more of us on this evening, so we are planning on chain running heroics for badges to get better loot. It’s all about the rewards people.

Arcade Fire – Funeral
I recently picked up this album, mostly on the merits of the song Wake Up, which was featured in the trailer for Where the Wild Things Are. I have to say, the music as a whole flows very well, and is suprisingly upbeat. So much so that I found myself smiling and feeling in high spirits while listening to it. I highly recommend this album.

Windows 7 people. Trust me on this one. If you don’t have the hipster cred or the disposable income for a Mac, this truly is the next best thing. Beginning deployment at work this week.

That’s it for now, mayhaps a retelling of tonights dungeon runs tomorrow? 😉


Reaching through the screen to punch someone

(Warning: This is Warcraft post. You have been warned.)

I play a priest. As the name suggests, it is known primarily as a healing class in the game. The class is capable of some serious damage, thanks to changes to the damage spec after the release of the first expansion to the game, but for the most part priest = healer.

I hate healing. Absolutely despise it. The only reason I play this class is because my friends told me when I started that the class was in ‘high demand’. To that I say ‘BULLSHIT’. It was only in demand at the level cap (60 at the time) and it took FOREVER to get to the level cap, due to the fact that I could only wear cloth armor and was no good against multiple enemy targets. By that time I did reach the level cap, most of them had moved onto another guild, and were so far ahead of me content wise that I had no hope of catching up.

So I joined a series of ‘second string’ guilds. Basically those guilds that were one or two progression steps behind the cutting edge guilds on the server. And I got pigeon-holed as a healer. But I wasn’t alone, misery LOVES company and I suffered through it with others. This due to the fact that the old style 40 man raids required multiple healers, sometimes as many as 6-8 of them. So I was part of a mixed team of healers that assisted the entire raid. And it was fun. I got some gear, I stayed up late, I saw the content.

By the time the first expansion hit (The Burning Crusade), I had stumbled onto another server and started playing with colleagues from my job at that time. There I was still a priest, but a damage dealing priest….a Shadow Priest! (spooooky!) I HAD A BLAST!! Aside from the occasional ‘we need help healing, don’t do damage’, I got to kill things. Oh how glorious it was! I had two things to worry about; myself and the target. No one blaming me for wiping the group, no one complaining that I did not heal enough, just me and the target. I continued that course all the way through the beginning content of that expansion and into the content of the newest expansion (Wrath of the Lich King). More fun was had, more late nights (by this point I was playing on a server based in the Mountain Time Zone), more gear won, more content seen.

That brings us to now. I have a decently geared priest. My priest has the ability, thanks to an in game mechanic, to quickly change between damage and healing specs. I also have the gear that benefits both specs, so that I can be geared correctly for each. Thus making me more versatile, and truly in demand. Unless of course one hates healing, which I do.

Last evening, while online with a friend, we got pulled into a 10 man raid. If you look at it this way, a 10 man raid is essentially a tier 2 raid (out of 3). So it is middle of the road, hard enough that you cannot sleep through it, but not so hard that you spend six hours banging your head against the keyboard fighting one guy.

We had some hiccups, we died a few times. And of course, I and the one other healer get the blame. Not the tank that couldn’t keep the target focused on him, not the DPS (straight damage folks) that couldn’t pump out enough damage to kill the guy quickly. Nope, the healers…one charged with keeping the tank alive, and the other (me) charged with keeping the OTHER 9 players alive. The only reason I didn’t tell the douche bag that was leading the group and calling me out for not healing enough to go have intercourse with the closest four legged creature was my friend telling me to just stick it out.

The little shit also had the nerve to post Over-healing numbers to try and prove his point. Basically, over-healing is just that, healing targets that don’t need it, thus wasting resources. So the LESS the you over-heal, the MORE EFFICIENT you actually heal. This jackass had it backwards and was praising the guy healing just the main tank and blaming me, the guy who was in charge of everyone else, for all of us dying. I’d also like to mention that even AFTER the main tank died, I continued to heal the next target in line to try and take the guy down…while this little shit ran for the door.

We did eventually pull through, only AFTER a new tank that actually KNEW how to tank came on board.

This isn’t unheard of in the game, and this is one of the reasons why there is such a high demand for priests…no one wants to play them because it is ALWAYS their fault if the shit hits the fan. No one enjoys being the whipping boy.

I am not saying that I am the best healer, I know that there are better ones out there. Situations like this don’t make me WANT to become better at it though. Why waste my time, if no matter what, I will either always be at fault or never even acknowledged. Rarely if ever do you hear “hey so and so, great healing there!”. Nope, you get reamed if everyone dies or ignored if everything goes well. All this does is make me not want to do it at all and tell folks that ask if I heal that I only DPS (deal damage).

You may ask why I am even bitching about this. It’s a game. It’s little pixels transferred over the internet. The fact of the matter is that I do this to relax and for my enjoyment, and to have some random shit break my balls using incorrect data and no understanding of what my class does pisses me off. So I needed to rant and get it off my chest.

It’s also part of my writing plan, and I warned you didn’t I. 😉