Archive for January, 2009|Monthly archive page

Change of Plans

After my last post, I was quite happy playing both Atlantica Online and LotRO, but all that has changed.  I haven’t logged into either of those games in about a week.  Care to know why?  It’s because of WoW.  I was checking VirginWorlds first thing in the morning to see that free transfers are up once again.  Argent Dawn, my former server, had been up the previous offer so I didn’t think we would be on twice in a row.  I was wrong, though, and it was.  After debating with my wife for most of the day, we decided to take the transfer along with another guildie (It also didn’t help that 10 of the members left the same night due to a big explosion in the guild.)  So Garrosh bound we were.

This is what I’d really been wanting for a long time.  A new server with all new max-level players.  What better situation could there be for… starting my own guild!  That’s right, I’m a GM now.  The got a bunch of bank alts to sign the charter, and away I was.  The first night was pretty uneventful without too many joining, though there were few players to be found yet.  That all changed the next day, and I think we ended up with 12-15 players.  “Great!” I thought.  We will have enough to do 10-man Naxx.  Apparently that wasn’t going to be enough, though.  Our growth over the past week has provided us with between 45-50 accounts with at least one level 80 toon that is ready to raid Naxx.

Now, it’s one thing to cram a guild full of mediocre, ungeared players who want to be part of a raiding guild, but that clearly isn’t the case here.  Saturday we took out Sartharion on heroic and 10-man, and Sunday we took out the spider wing on heroic.  Many of our players have been in raiding guilds (some as raid leaders) who really know the game.  Last night, one of our naxx teams cleared everything up to sapphiron on their second night, and our second team cleared spider, plague, and military quarters on their first night.  All I have to say is that I’m excited to really push these players because I know they are up to the challenge.

As for the ride, it’s been amazing.  With the help of my wife (co-gm) and a couple officers, it’s been both challenging and fun.  Everyone has been extremely helpful, courteous, and active both in terms of running heroics and raids as well as filling out the guild bank and providing us with a vent server.  I feel closer to some of my guildmates after only a week and a half than many guildmates I was with for nearly a year.  We’ve only had to remove two players from the guild (one was a bit ugly) so I’ve already had to deal with that.  We are still trying to figure out a loot system that will end up working best for all of us, which is far more challenging than I thought it was going to be!  We’ve also had to struggle with finding the right number of raiders/classes.  We don’t have an attendance policy, so we can’t require people to be at the raids, but we need to make sure there are enough people to fill the raid, without having too many extras that they are going to be upset.  This is particularly true with tanks.  We have five tanks in the guild, but last night, we only had two that were on with one saved to the other team’s 10-man run.  Two of the tanks that had actually signed up for our run had trouble making it on, so we ended up having to pug an OT (who actually turned out to be a great help to us!)  So I’m thinking we’ll have to have a few extra tanks just to make sure that we won’t have to go outside the guild in the future.

I know things won’t always be easy, but for now I’m very happy with the way things are going.  I had always wondered what it would be like to be a GM, and now I know.  I’ll say this, though… without officers, it would be far too much for one person to handle!

~Kanthalos

LotRO and Atlantica Online

For the past few days, I’ve been playing a lot of these two games.  Syncaine and Grimwell convinced me through their recent posts that Atlantica Online was worth a shot, and I have to agree with them.  I’ve only just gotten my main to 15, but I’m really enjoying myself thus far.  I rarely play turn-based games, but I’m finding this to be rather fun.  I’m not sure how good I’ll be at later levels when a lot more strategy is involved, but I’m curious to see.  There are lots of quests to keep you busy, so it doesn’t feel as grindy as most f2p games.  I do have lots of questions that I can hopefully get answered soon by finding a guild to join.  I think I’m on Mycenae server, so if any of you are on that, let me know.  If  you are interested in having  me in your guild on another server, I’ll consider starting over as it’s only taken about 6-8 hours to get to where I am.  But yeah, it’s the best free to play MMO I’ve tried so far, with Silkroad Online second.

As for LotRO, I decided that I wanted to give this another go.  I must say I was curious to try it with DirectX 10 with everything on max settings, too.  It’s truly beautiful, though I wouldn’t play it just for the graphics.  My champ was stuck at 36 when I logged back in, and I needed a place to start.  I managed to find a new quest hub in Evendim and that took me a little ways into 37 when I ran out of quests there, and I headed to North Downs to give Fornost another go.  Little did I know that it takes 4-6 hours to run the whole instance.  It ended up taking us closer to six because we had to switch toons out several times, but I did get all the way through to level 38.  I then found another chain in Rivendell involving a series of riddles that’s gotten me about 1/3 of the way through the level.  I really just want to start fresh on a new zone/set  of zones, which I’m truly hoping will revive my passion for the game.  I think I’m ready to head to Misty Mountains now, and soon after that Agmar, followed by Forochel.  In any case, I’ll keep you informed on this process.

On the horizon:

Darkfall — I’m curious see how this progresses over the next few weeks and months.  I’m not sure I’ll play Darkfall soon after release, but I really do hope it suceeds and provides hardcore PvP’ers a home, as well as an eye-opening experience to developers about new possiblities for the genre. 

Spellborn — As for Spellborn, I was deeply invested in this game before I got into beta, but my curiousity is coming back.  I might have to give this one a shot again.  The lore and combat have me once again intrigued, but I have too much on my plate right now to play.

Earthrise — I applied for this beta, and I truly hope I get in.  After getting a taste of Fallout 3, my love of post-apocalyptic worlds has been awakened.  Some great plans are in the works for this game.

Jumpgate Evolution — After failing miserably to enjoy EvE, I’m hoping this will be the solution.  I think it will be different enough that it could suck up a lot of my time in the future.  Another beta I’m hoping to get into.

~Kanthalos

So… A New Year :)

So, it’s been well over a month since I’ve posted and all I can say is that I’m ready for a fresh start… in a couple ways.  This will recap is short segments what’s been going on for me lately.

First, I’m sorry that I’ve been so absent lately.  I think it’s the fact that my motivation for creating and maintaning this blog were skewed from the beginning and I really needed to take a break and re-evaluate my reasons for doing this.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy it, but now it’s solely for me, it’s not to impress anyone or to use to better my resume in any way.  I’m going to blog because I really enjoy this community and I think that on occasion I have something worthwhile to say that you all might enjoy reading.  With that change in motivation, that could turn out to be 3-5 blog posts a week, or it could be 1-2, but I do know that I will be more dedicated than I have been in the last few months.

Second, I’ve had a pretty shitty year in terms of employment.  I graduated in December of 2007, and since then have had three jobs, two of which I left on my own accord and one of which I did not.  I am currently umemployed and looking for a job, but as you all know, it’s not exactly the greatest time for that.  It’s a new year, however, and I’m trying to be as optimistic as possible. 

Now, I’m going to crawl out of hiding to announce that I, like so many others, crawled back into WoW’s lap.  I know I railed on Blizzard and WoW pretty hard, but the truth is, they make a wicked game.  I’ve really enjoyed my time so far since coming back.  In some respects, I thought my journey from 70 to 80 with my druid was far too fast, and in some respects, it seemed fairly slow (8-12 hours per level) but it was a blast.  I ran my fair share of instances on the way up and a hell of a lot of heroics and now he’s pretty geared up, already with 3 pieces of Naxx gear.  I’ve gone into Naxx (10 man) three times now and have killed all the bosses in the spider wing, Noth, Patchwerk, and Heigan, with attempts on Loatheb, Grobbulus, and Instructor Razuvious.  So far the fights have been pretty fun, some have been too easy (Noth is a complete joke.)  The instances were a blast the first few times, but lose there appeal after the first 5-6 runs. 

With all that good stuff said about WoW, I can’t help but notice that lingering feeling in the back of my mind that says I won’t be happy in the next few months.  In fact, my time spent in WoW is pretty much limited to raiding at this point, and I’m not sure if that will change.  I have no desire to level my warlock currently (even though I just switched to demo, and it’s a lot of fun!)  and even raiding doesn’t seem to hold the same appeal for me that it once did.  Should I quit in the next month or two, I will still be very pleased with the recent time spent in Northrend, and it was well worth the price of the expansion and sub.

I tried Wizard 101, and while I liked it, I went back to WoW and found it to be much more satisfying for the time spent.  I might give Wizard 101 another try sometime down the road when I feel like I don’t have anything to play.

I played WAR for two months.  I greatly enjoyed the PvP, but felt that my character (marauder) wasn’t really all that interesting to me, and I didn’t feel like leveling up another toon.  Public Quests weren’t public, questing seemed entirely too forced and drawn out, and PvP didn’t offer the leveling curve that I feel it should have.  I think I got to 32 or 33 before I finally decided to drop my sub (for a while anyway.)

I’ve gotten a new computer!  It was pretty strong before I got a new graphics card for Christmas that my bro spent way too much on for me (THANKS!)  Here are the specs:
Intel Core 2 Quad 8200 3.2 GHz
6 GB RAM
ATI Radeon HD 4870 512MB
24″ 1080p monitor

Needless to say, I went back and updated my dxdiag file for a few beta’s I’ve signed up for 😛  Fallout 3 on extreme quality is freakin’ sweet.  Too bad I don’t really feel the desire to play AoC, EQ2, or Vanguard right now.  LotRO, I’ll get to later.

Been reading a lot lately.  Currently reading A Game of Thrones (George R. R. Martin,) The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Junot Diaz,) The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (Michael Chabon,) and Good Omens (Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.)  All are excellent reads, but I can’t seem to stick with one all the way through for some reason.  I’m also looking for inspiration to begin fiction writing again.  I feel like all I need is a strong idea before I can really get to work towards beginning a novel, something that terrifies, yet excites me greatly.  I’ve also been helping the wife get her idea off the ground, which I think is brilliant, and am excited to be a part of in some way.

Getting towards the end of Stargate SG:1.  I just watched the fifth and sixth episodes of season 10.  I must say that I’m enjoying them much more than I did season 9.  Perhaps it’s because I wasn’t giving season 9 my full attention when I was watching them.  I’ll have to go back and give them another shot soon.  In the vein of television shows, I also watched the second season of Dexter, which I highly recommend if the premise of the show at all interests you.  Pretty much anything on Showtime is great as well.  I’ve also been enjoying Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, Sanctuary, and Legend of the Seeker (the last two I’ve been watching through Hulu, a great website for shows and clips.)

Games that I’m thinking about playing include LotRO, World of Goo, Braid, and Chronicles of Spellborn.  I really enjoyed the story and the atmosphere of LotRO when I last played it, but got stuck (I can’t even remember what level exactly, but I’d just ventured into the Trollshaws) and had a hard time pushing through it.  I particularly want to try it with the new gaming rig, but I’m not sure I want to shell out $40+15 to get it back up and running again. I’m not really interested in starting a new class right now, so are there any benefits to getting the expansion that I would see as a mid-level character?  If not, then it might be worth 15 to give it another shot.  I really, really would like to like EQ2, but I’ve tried too many times, and I just don’t think it’s going to happen.  As for World of Goo, this game really appeals to me.  It looks incredibly addictive and a blast, but I’m not sure if it’s worth $20 or not.  Braid looks like it has an interesting story with some fun puzzles, but again, not sure I’d enjoy it as much as I feel I should for the price tag.  The last game I bought because of it’s critical acclaim was Portal, which I found to be fiun and novel, but didn’t really have the draw I was hoping for.  As for Chronicles of Spellborn, this is kind of interesting.  I was in the beta for quite a long time, and I’ll say that I was very unhappy with it.  I won’t get into it other than to say that I felt like they tried to convince themselves it was ready far sooner than they should have.  The more recent beta patches greatly improved the game, but by then I was frustrated and never gave them a fair chance.  I know Tipa and Beau are playing on an international server, if either of them could let me know a) how to do this and b) whether it’s worth it, please let me know.  If anyone has any helpful advice, suggestions, or opinions about any of this, I’d love to know what you think.

Currently playing:  WoW: WotLK, Fallout 3 (though the wife plays more than I 🙂 ,) Unreal Tournament 3, Tiger Woods PGA Tour ’09.

That’s about it for now.  Be back soon!

~Kanthalos