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MMO's & The Modern Man (err...Woman)

An honest, irreverant look at various MMO's from a typical player's point of view. OK, maybe not a typical player. Maybe a hardcore emo PVE but PVP lovin' chataholic with alt tendencies. What's that? A new beta!? BRB...

Author: Astrialla

I'm a Hobbit! I'm Blind! I'm a Hobbit I'm Blind! or What Happens When Festivals Hit

Posted by Astrialla Thursday December 29 2011 at 12:00PM
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Oh Gods of Gaming and Random Escapism, Hear My Plea....

I've got a problem in gaming.  No, I'm not talking about the hi my name is Astri and I'm an altaholic or the fact that the hour of twilight trailers keep catching my eye.  I'm talking about a real issue and one that those of us that are loyal and diligent in our gaming encounter around this time every year.

We're hooked on Festivals. You know you want them.. you know you check the festival vendor and see what the new cape/hat/housing item looks like then how much it is going for on the general auction house.  You know you're racing around to your faction npc's, finding your lil gathering/kill xx mobs quests and slamming them against your forehead with an empty can crunch and a howl.

OK so maybe that's just me.

Regardless, this year is an issue.  I thought for sure I'd be in great shape what with SWG biting the dust (RIP Life Day) and no need to run around putting up posters and blowing up piles of presents but no. Not the case at all.  This year there's SWTOR with it's Oh I'm So Cool I'm Releasing Mid Holiday atitude and the game has the affrontery to actual be fun and engaging and there's 3 other games that have festivals going on and what is a girl to do? 

Now contrary to popular believe I actually work for a living (don't judge me) and have to spend an outrageous amount of time at my place of employment.  No, I don't wear a lightsaber to work.  Anymore. When work is done there's family and friends and well the truth of the matter is that I only really get a few hours of playtime a day and that's only if I stick to my very strict no more than 4 hours of sleep a night rule.

So come the holiday season I'm ready like that speed filled lady on the Target commercials. I've got my lists of festival items, approximate time needed to quest for each item, and the possible worth of said items in both sentiment and resale.  This year I had a huge sharpie scribbled black wreath over the SWG section of the grid but other than that, things looked under control.  Even the insane time requirements needed to get all the baubles of EQII seemed doable this year, but then along came SWTOR.

Now I've rolled more than one character on SWTOR - I know - that's actually not like me to alt before leveling a character to cap.  But my healzor has a light saber (bzzzzzzrrrtttttt bzzzzzzrrrttt) and the smugglers got this very cool blaster (pew pew pew pew pew pew!) and then there was the whole I'm a blind Jedi thing too. No I'm not fruitlooping on you - there's a race called Miraluka that is completely blind and who doesn't want to run around like Helen Keller meets The Terminator?  So I've got 3 different toons to get at least leveled enough to get their ships and there's the whole new guild joined and make friends there thing (Yes! I joined a guild! I know! I don't join guilds!  I can't help it.. SWTOR has all my gaming rules smashing like pumpkins on November 1st) and my few hours of gametime each evening zips by in a flash. 

Before I know it it's time to head out of game and what have I done?  Have I gotten my winter cape with the holiday danglies on the hood? No. Have I secured the Wreath Of Joy & Peace for my front door house ingame? No.  Have I run the horserace over and over and finally prevailed by blind luck, allowing me to get yet another horse but this one with a different saddle?  No. 

All I've done is kill some black sun and curse at SWTOR for their feeble rail based space game.  OK so maybe I got my Miraluka to feel her way down a few ramps on her starter planet and kill insane fleshythings that aren't supposed to have blasters.  And ran a fun instance with my healer who now can actually heal (check the bottom tabs on your skill trainer people... there's more than one .. voice of experience here.... dies of embarassment.... ) But on the whole there's little to see for my efforts and the festivals are waning as I type! 

So last night I tried hopping game to game and doing a bit of everything. I ran my lil hobbity bundle of goodness to the party tree to collect apples, then off to my lil elf thing in EQII to collect any number of insane housing items, then back to SWTOR to see about some rakghoul thingies (i'm supposed to infect myself ON PURPOSE? Wha?), then back to LOTRO and yeah who am I kidding. 

I'm skipping the festivals this year.  Curse you SWTOR and your bzzrrrt pew pew blind soul!

The Waiting Room or Frikken Let Me Play SWTOR!

Posted by Astrialla Thursday December 22 2011 at 1:55PM
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So here we go! After saving a part of my gaming budget for what, the last year and a half? I finally have SWTOR in my hawt lil hands and am ready to play! 

I got into the very end of the Beta-ness and into Pre-Launch but now i'm locked out of the game.  That's right - locked out.  Can't play, can't post on the forums.  And NO I didn't get banned again for trying to tie holiday themed bows on the NPC's errrr.. ears.  This time I got banned for Not Reading Properly.

Now those of you who know me IRL know that's kinda funny given my propensity for reading.  But yes, when I saw all those "Make sure You put In your dang Tootin game Code or Come December 23rd You're gonna be in a World of Hurt" notices on the login screen I said to myself, "Hey - I did that already.  Put it in way back when I got my Pre-Launch invite - no biggie.".

Biggie. The notices meant SECOND game code.  One came for pre-launch, another apparently came for the actual launch.  World of Hurt. Went to login this morning, rubbing my hands with glee at visiting yet again my lovely Consular of Goodness and Healz and got "there is no active subscription on this account".

Seriously. Seriously? Went to the SWTOR site and got an image of the domed entry hall to some huge building and the words "WAITING ROOM.  With a lil blurb saying that there's so much traffic to the SWTOR site that they're controlling the traffic and having people wait to enter.

Have you ever stood around in a "get into your gaming site" waiting room before?  First of all there are no chairs anywhere.  Second of all even though you can't see them you can feel the presence of 154 thousand other intent on playing SWTOR nuts right there as they stare at their screen, willing it to change to the main page of the SWTOR site... 

Now truthfully I'm so Uber Free that this was actually the first time I ever had to que to get into a game site before as opposed to the actual game.  But I was patient (snerk) and after about 10 minutes voila - I was at the SWTOR main page.  Woot!  Logged into my account - tracked down my second code via the Origin site, went to enter my game code on the SWTOR site and could not enter it.  It kept flipping me to the main SWTOR page every time I hit enter after putting in my code - a trip back to my account showed that the code was still unentered.  Now I know there's this thing called Shedding Load where if servers get too overloaded they just reroute users back to a safe page but this was a bit much.  45 minutes later I finally got the code in.  Made sure my contact info was up to date.  Made sure my security questions were in place. 

And then I tried to play but was told that in order to play I needed a valid sub again.  Hmmm.  Went back to SWTOR, stood in the waiting room and met a kewl Ithorian named Binkles, got into the site, went to my account - and even though there's 30 days free game time with the purchase of SWTOR,  I signed up for a sub cause they won't let you play without doing so.  Selected my sub length, hit enter, and got routed back to the main SWTOR page.  Shedded. 

It's been 3 hours now.  The one time I got past the actual select your duration screen and to the select your payment screen I wound up with a screen saying "you have already purchased this product.  Please select another product."

@!#&*#

Can't play SWTOR.  Can't get my sub info in and apparently I'm one of thousands. Poor Ellanen, my lovely Consular at Large.  She's all alone on some swampy planet, with only her lizard companion to aide her and he's just got one eye.  *Wipes tear*.  I'm on my way Ellanen!  Don't worry!  Qyzen will take care of you till I get there... err... Qyzen?  Hey leave those bugs alone.. you don't know where they've been...

OMG Another SWG Post or You Can't Go Home Again

Posted by Astrialla Sunday December 4 2011 at 7:35PM
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Brace yourself.  It's another SWG is ending what will I do the sky is falling blog post.  Except this one is not about the game ending - it's about the people that played the game. The crazy, lovable, laughfilled, smexy, kind, infuriating people that made my first MMO so astounding that I'm still looking for another game that will give me the same experience.   And I'm not cursing SEO, or the game itself - rather I'm pissed as hades at the people that I played with. 

You know they (yeah.. they.. those folks over there lounging around and laughing at me) say that you can never recreate your first heroin high.  Or your first drug of choice high - you pick.  I think it's the same with MMO's - you truly can't go home again and the first MMO you play impacts every game after.   I started SWG and spent the first 3 months playing solo.  I had no idea what chat was let alone how to use it and I actually hid when I saw other players near a quest area I was working in.  Stop laughing.   When I did finally make it to Kashyyk and teamed up with a charming Jedi to rob some ruins, I was amazed at how much more fun it was. 

So I started grouping with people.  And joined a guild (RIP Ghost) and then created a guild and then joined alliances and then of all things got into massive RP scenarious where we were literally creating  week long Jedi trials for folks.  Crazy amounts of fun and endless escapades of groups and parties and player built festivals. I made friends, I made enemies, there was drama and reconciliation and through it all there were people that I considered great friends.

They're all gone now.   They shut down the server (RIP Tempest) but they were mostly gone long before that.  And in all this time since I've not found them in any other games. Nor have I found folks like them - it's as if they disappeared from this galaxy when that galaxy ended. 

Where did you go?  Out of the core 10 people that used to meet to mess with HK or save the Tat civilians from the Tuskens - I've kept in touch with one and though we both play LOTRO we've yet to meet ingame.  And why is it that I've yet to find their equal in any other game?  Surely there are other kind, nutty, people out there playing MMO's - why am I not finding them?

I'm forced to come to the conclusion that it's me.  I'm not the same traveler that left the station and whatever kind of player I am now is not a type that draws the good, charming, creative people that I loved playing with in SWG.  So I guess I should be pissed at myself rather than them.  I just wish I could /hug some of them again, /slap others fondly - erase the memories of some and spend time making new memories with others.  I miss them and as SWG ends there goes any chance I have of ever experiencing the joy and connection I had with them ever again.

I'm raising a glass to the Tempest server.  I'm screenshotting my houses, and bringing my toons to the Jedi Shrine that I used to visit with K.  On December 15th I'll log them out there and fondly wish everyone well that was such a part of my SWG experience.

And then I'll try and be a better person ingame.  I'll try and be kinder, laugh more, be more creative, be more courageous.  I'll do my best to be half the person that my friends on Tempest were.