War of the Guilds Part Deux



ArenaNet finally announced the launch date for Guild Wars 2!  August 28th is the big day… and I am quite excited to play for real.  I have dabbled with the Beta a little bit, but I find it hard to invest much time on characters that are just going to be wiped.   Teaser trailer is below… quite excited about the running/jumping part of the video.  Not sure if that’s the jumping dungeon I’ve heard about or not, but it looks interesting.

Also of note is that there will be one last Beta Weekend Event running from July 20th-22nd.  I’m debating about taking that Monday off of work.  I have missed all of the cool BWE end events since I am the Eastern Timezone and it is hard to stay up until 3AM when I have to work in the morning.  Ok, let’s be honest… I’m starting to get old and it’s hard to stay up that late anyways.

Nerd Time Addendum

I managed to get a couple hours of game time in last night and finished up Mass Effect 2 again.  Now I just need to do the Shadow Broker and Arrival DLC’s.  I hear the Shadow Broker is excellent and I’m excited for Arrival to lead me in to Mass Effect 3.  I’m taking a few days off work next week to get projects done and just relax, so maybe I’ll find time to finish up Guild Wars HoM and get rocking on ME3!  Oh, and of course get my projects done… of course.



Nerd Time (or lack thereof)

So the past few weeks have been quite busy for me.  June is always a busy busy month that is better off forgotten, but oh well.  Between my “little” brother’s high school graduation party, wedding I was in, work trip, accelerated  programming class for my degree and trying to get a house ready to sell, yeah… not nearly as much nerd time as I would prefer.  So what gaming have I gotten done you ask?  Uhm… yeah… not that much to be honest, but here we go.

Guild Wars

Still 24/30 on my Hall of Monuments.  Been playing my Monk to get him past a few more Factions missions so I can buy him the Kurzick armor.  Beyond that, I really just need cash and a little Asuran faction on my Dervish and I’m done.  Here’s the last few things on my to-do list:

  • Get 2 more common minis.  Will wait for another month or so until three of my characters get their 2nd year birthday gifts.  Hoping I get a couple I don’t already have.  Or I’ll buy them.  Either way… 25/30
  • Get 9k more Asuran Rep to hit Rank 5 and purchase Asuran Dervish Armor for 3 Armor Statues… 26/30
  • Few more missions in Factions for the Monk and then purchase Kurzick Armor… 27/30
  • Craft Primeval Armor (don’t want to grind any more faction and it’s not too pricey) now 5 Armors…  29/30
  • Craft a Destroyer Weapon – dun dun dun… 30/30!
Mass Effect 2
I picked up Mass Effect 3 but haven’t played it yet.  I went back and purchased a couple pieces of DLC I didn’t have for Mass Effect 2 so I’ve played a mission here or there to finish ME2, but not in a real big rush here.

Krogan – The race of cranky old men… sooo good.

Diablo 3
Then the only other thing I’ve really done much of is playing Diablo 3 with a buddy.  We just hit 50 and started Hell earlier this week.  My Barbarian is 51 and we’re having a really good time with it.  Diablo 3 is very much a boring game for me to play solo, but with a buddy… tons of fun.  Especially when I die horribly and respawn right in the middle of awful things and by the end of the battle I end up naked.  He laughed.  I laughed…. and then paid my repair bill and moved on with life.

This Barbarian is far more awesome than my current build but approximately the same level of broken-armored-ness

Star Trek Online
0 play time.  Well, I take that back… I logged in and promptly fell asleep at my keyboard a couple night ago… does that count?  I really don’t know what I’m going to do when Star Trek Online pushes out the Season 6 update which will include fleet bases.  Just not enough time in the day it seems…
Hopefully I can finish off 30/30 HoM in Guild Wars before then… would help free up gaming time but going to require a lot more Guild Wars gold than I currently have.  I also need to find a fleet to STO with… current fleet was fun when I played, but they are very much based in the UK and I missed most of the fun events due to my work schedule/sleep schedule.
I have heard that there are new Duty Officer reinforcement packs for sale in STO that have the chance to drop all kinds of random stuff, even including a transport!  Sounds very cool, and a really nice homage to Heretic who will be greatly missed.  I haven’t purchased a single lockbox key yet, but I will be picking up a few of these whether I get the ship or not.  I think this is a really great way to give the lockbox cash that Cryptic and PWE so love to see, but also gives us players something of value at the same time.  Now I just wish they’d finally get around to making a Duty Officer app.  Everyone wants one.  I know even Cryptic wants to do it.  What would it take?  Sell the app?  Done.  Here’s my money and thank you very much.
Anyways, on a personal note, does anyone know of a fun fleet in STO that doesn’t mind a guy that plays passionately for weeks on end, and then goes on hiatus and plays something else but eventually always comes home?  Really want to try to find somewhere to land so I can have some Starbase fun in the near future!

Things to Do When the Video Card Dies

No, my video card is just fine.  If it wasn’t you’d be able to hear my wails of pain from halfway around the world (which a couple of you are it seems!)  This little corner of my blog will be a semi-maybe-once-in-awhile-reoccurring topic where I review things outside the world of video games.  Well, some of them will be video game related, but it’s not actually playing the game so give me a break.  So without further rambling I present “Things to do when you can’t actually game whether it be from video card deaths, or even just the dreaded 8-5.”  **[See, my first title was much shorter!]**

I’m a bit of a podcast junkie and listen to roughly a dozen podcasts regularly with a few others that I’ll catch an episode or two here and there.  Like everything else in my life it seems I have a rolling backlog but I try to keep up… honest.  The podcast that I’ll discuss/review/heavily criticize this week will be further shameless self-promoting… but if you’re reading this, I don’t know how I’d be promoting my own blog by talking about my own blog in an article about a podcast.  (If that made your brain hurt than good.  Writing it made my brain not so happy either and I’m okay with making others share my pain)

Anyways, back on topic.  This week’s podcast that I listen to in the car or at work when I’m able to do mindless enough things that I can actually pay attention IS…. Too Long; Didn’t Listen!

The podcast is hosted by Dodge and Syp (Justin) who do a really good job discussing two topics per show pertaining to the MMO industry in general.  I listen to a couple other podcasts that Dodge is part of and also read Syp’s columns on Massively and his blog BioBreak.  It’s always interesting to read other people’s thoughts and also listen to discussions they have with their co-hosts.  These two definitely don’t disappoint and are one of the few podcasts not based on a specific game that I always make sure to catch.

Since I have a large amount of podcasts that I listen to regularly, the fact that their shows are only around 40 minutes is generally a good length for a podcast.  Short enough to not take forever to listen to, while being long enough for them to cover topics in a fairly thorough manner.

They are always asking for their listeners to send in topics, so I sent them a link to my article a couple weeks ago about the FrankenMMO challenge just to see what they thought.  I’m pleased to say that they didn’t utterly hate my idea and featured it as one of the questions in yesterday’s show.  Needless to say, I was slightly nerdcited to listen to their thoughts and maybe even a little bit of praise for this here blog writer (woot!)

Anyways, check it out.  It’s always a fun listen and they are two fairly goofy guys so it doesn’t seem to ever turn in to a rant-fest like some podcasts sometimes do.

If you are looking for something slightly more Rant filled… or even just a little on the sarcastic side check out Riknas Rants.  This is a fairly new blog but I’ve laughed more than a few times reading the most recent few posts that he has.  Also the blog seems to be less about a specific game and more about the MMO industry in general.  Translation:  Not just another blog gushing about GW2!

Wait a second… I’ve gushed about GW2 a few times… great… now I’m just attacking myself.  Fantastic.  Well, time to go and see if I can make some progress towards the last few Hall of Monuments points I need… the last few are by far the most painful and definitely EXPENSIVE!

Oh great… no pressure now!

I was just catching up on all of the blogs I follow and have been ignoring for the past week or so.  Imagine my surprise when I visit BioBreak and Syp’s most recent post was the results of the Newbie Initiative Poll… and somehow I managed to win!


I really didn’t think I had a chance at all and I’m extremely grateful to all those who voted for this blog and I guess more people get my brand of humor than I thought!  To all of the other nominated blogs… you got robbed…. plain and simple.  Of course I checked out the other nominees and I had it narrowed down to two of your in my mind… and I was a distant 7th place as far as I was concerned.

I feel slightly bad for my wife.  When she heard me yell from the other room, she came to see what was going on.  I haven’t exactly gone out of my way to show her any of my posts (actually, she stumbled upon it due to one of my Twitter posts… oops).  I think she only read a few posts and she of course said that they were very good (of course, I ignore any compliments of that nature from her… she is contractually obligated to inflate my ego when necessary).  I did catch a quick look on her face that I can only translate as “Great… now he really thinks he’s funny… now I’ll never get him to shut up!”  All true, I’m afraid.

In summary, thank you all, and thanks again Sir Syp!  Hopefully I’ll be able to keep amusing a few of you… although this has been the hardest post I’ve ever written… normally, I don’t really edit myself so much… more words pooped on a page.  Now I’m having to re-read and re-write to make sure I can live up to the Humerous title… no pressure, really.


Why I don’t play Foundry missions nearly enough

So for those of you who have no idea what the Foundry is, here is a quick primer.  Star Trek Online has a toolset to let you create your own missions.  Want to fight an oncoming wave of borg?  Bam, create it.  Want to recreate an epic space battle from DS9?  Bam, create it.  Want to import a bunch of X-Wings and Imperial Star Destroyers and have an epic glorious battle to find out which franchise would actually win in a space battle?  Bam, yeah… no way in hell.  

There are tons of really cool things that people have created in the Foundry.  Myself, I’ve dabbled a bit here and there but never really spent enough time to figure out what is going on.  I love reading fan fiction and the Foundry should be a no-brainer for me to love and enjoy, right?  Yeah, not so much.

So why don’t I play them do you ask?  It’s simple.  I’m a spoiler little prick.  Every time I sit down and start playing a Foundry mission I ask myself the question “What’s in it for me?”  And the answer is… just about nothing.  There’s a wrapper mission out there that lets you play 3 Foundry missions for a small reward.  I understand that they can’t make the rewards better for the wrapper mission due to all of the people who made “console clicker” missions that only take five seconds to complete.

I don’t have a ton of gaming time.  When I do sit down to game, I want to make some progress.  Whether that be leveling a character, getting a few quests done towards some goal, or running an instance with a group.  If I spend an hour running a Foundry mission, while I may get a fantastic story (notice I said “may”) I also might just waste a precious hour of my gaming time on a meh mission with next to no rewards.

I’m not going to pretend like I have some glorious plan to fix it either.  That’s why Cryptic is the developer and I’m just the stupid gamer that they keep trying to nickle and dime to death.  Oops.. there’s that Lock Box irritating I’ve been missing for a couple weeks.  

Yeah, still a little cranky about the old boxes that lock.  Still haven’t bought any keys for ANY of the lockboxes and I have a lifetime sub so I could even spend my “free” C-Store point on them if I wanted to.  Would I like to fly around in the Ferengi ship?  Oh hell yeah!  But I’m not going to monetarily support the lock box ripoff just to get the new shiny.  If only more people wouldn’t whine about the lock boxes at the same time they are swiping their credit cards… Cryptic or more likely Perfect World would have gotten the message and stuck with selling us things on the C-Store directly.

Anyways, to sub it all up:  I wish there was a way to get rewarded for the time I want to spend in the Foundry… and lock boxes are the devil!



Thanks to the Sypster

It has been a busy busy weekend for me.  I was blessed to be invited to be part of the wedding party for one of my oldest friends.  Let me rephrase that…  he’s not an old guy or anything like that.  We have managed to be friends for roughly 28 years and we are both 32.  So he’s put up with my shennanigans for a very long time.  So I came home and decided to catch up on my Google Reader feed… until I realized that I have added a bunch of NBI blogs over the past month and ya’ll went post crazy so I quickly scrapped that idea.

So sitting here, slightlyish hung over and very tired from the long day yesterday I toyed with the idea of posting an article and quickly scraped that idea as well… that is until I saw a comment elsewhere that made me realize that Mr Syp (hehe) had nominated this blog as most humerous blog as part of his NBI Awards!

Holy crap that’s cool.  Now I know my readership isn’t super high yet, especially since I took a slackhiatus from posting for a week in the middle of NBI so I have no illusions about actually winning.  And to be quite honest, I think that all of the other nominated blogs are far more amusing than my own.  I was just honored to be nominated and very grateful for the nod at all.

I wanted to thank Syp publicly for all he has done (well, as publicly as my little blog is at the moment).  I was first exposed to Syp when he was a guest on Casual Stroll to Mordor and continued to listen to him when he joined forces with Dodge to make the Too Long Didn’t Listen Podcast.  They are both some of the most entertaining podcasters that I regularly listen to and if you haven’t listened to the podcast, I HIGHLY recommend you give it a listen.

When Syp posted the original NBI recruitment post, I thought it would be fun, but I also wasn’t sure if  I wanted to put myself out there.  I have wanted to start a blog on several occasions, mostly to help hone my writing skills.  I’m a bit of a loner when it comes to MMO’s and while I might visit sites on a regular basis I rarely comment or make my presence known.  I have been trying to break myself of this even before I started blogging but I thought that starting a blog might be the way to force me outside of my protective bubble just a little bit.

If Syp hadn’t spearheaded this Initiative I don’t think I would have ever started on my own.  Having established blogs and other fellow bloggers to spread traffic around has been a fantastic thing.  The first few posts were so difficult to get out since I would look at my stats and see readers in the single digits.  But once the ball got rolling, I would post and hit double digits within minutes.  It is a great feeling and I’m hoping that I am able to stick with it.  Regardless of whether I manage to hang or not, I think that there are many more fabulous blogs now going and the little community we have started growing is amazing.  I can’t wait to see what else everyone posts and am looking forward to getting to know some of you better.

Once again Syp, Thank you very much for leading the charge and helping to organize this Initiative.  It has been a wonderful thing for myself and the entire gaming blogger community.

My FrankenMMO

Wow… the idea seemed so easy when I first thought about it but it quickly went all over the place. I guess this MMO creating business isn’t quite as easy as I thought!  Ok, so here’s what I have been able to throw together so far.

Setting: I would probably have my FrankenMMO be in a Scifi Western setting similar to Firefly. Yeah I know, I’m cheating since there’s no Firefly MMO (yet, or maybe ever) but this is my idea so I can break rules as I see fit. I would love to take the basic story of Rift and adapt it to Scifi. Some giant planet of ancient evil attacks and conquers your world. After mining your planet to the point were massive earthquakes are literally tearing your planet apart, they leave to find another planet to ravage. Just before the world ends, you get sent back 5 years in the past before the evil Unicronians attacked (name subject to change).

Your mission will be to use the time you have to make allies, discover technology, build ships, etc to defend your world before the attack comes.

Races: I’ve never been a big fan of racial abilities in games. I want to play a race because of their background or the way they look, not because using them as a tank will give me an extra 1% chance to block or some other minor stat. While this is a very minor boost, many people assume that if you do not play the “optimal” character with the “optimal” spec that you suck. So to combat that, all races would be equal. Except for elves… they would start with -5 to all stats. I would have to include the Charr from GW2 since they look so different than what I’ve seen elsewhere. And I would also create an undead race that would actually be an undead version of each of the available races for variety (similar to what WoW almost did very early in development).

Space Combat: The space combat would be like Star Trek Onlines, but would allow for more of a Z-Axis for Death from Above type maneuvers. Ship Loadout would be closer to an Eve Online setup though. I have always felt like STO’s ship loadout felt very high level and some of the equipment types are difficult to sort through (I’m looking at you deflector dishes!) Weapons throughout the ship could be configured like turrets or minions to follow orders you set. Fire at will would allow them to target anything around no matter what.

Cloaking devices? Yes please. And while cloaking would break target locks, manually firing weapons would still hit a cloaked ship and do massive damage.

Ground Combat: Semi First Person shooter similar to Star Trek Online but with the Dynamic Event system that GW2 is using. Many planets in the galaxy to explore with a different story on each planet. Explore planets, asteroids, space stations, etc. Maybe even some mech combat for fun. Combat would be vertical up to a point. One of the most fun I’ve had in any MMO was playing a guy that had a power that did a little damage and knocked people back with a gust of wind. I would run up and punch some baddie in the face and then run or super jump up to the top of a building. When the baddie and his friends got up there, I’d blast them with my wind blast and knock them off the building… and they’d take severe damage from the fall. MUST INCLUDE THIS!

Systems to “borrow: Skirmish system from Lord of the Rings Online – fun instanced missions and instead of building of a skirmish soldier, you would be building up your fleet of allies.

Companion system from Star War: The Old Republic could mix in to the skirmish system as well to allow the same companions and their ships to accompany you on other missions. Missions would scale depending on the number of allies you bring.

Lottery System: From Lotro and Dungeons and Dragons online, consider it stolen.

Duty Officer System from STO: However, I would include an app for Android, IPhone, and maybe even a plain webpage interface for accessing parts of the game from work! 🙂

Housing similar to Everquest 2’s housing.  I have found it to be the most flexible and well rounded housing system I have seen so far.

Legendary Weapons: Sort of like Lotro… but far less grindy.

Crafting: Crafting is difficult because I’ve rarely seen it done well. Normally by the time you can actually afford to craft something, you are 5-10 levels past it. May instead of swapping gear, all gear will be roughly equal and just look cosmetically different (similar to Guild Wars) but then you craft or obtain gems to add +52 to pointy ear hatred.

Foundry: Player created missions… yes please. Would develop a way to reward people for playing missions better than currently available in STO. I want to play more Foundry missions but it’s hard to take the time when there is no gains for time spent short of a cool story.