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Tastes Gamey

This blog is about stuff. Sometimes that stuff has to do with MMORPGs.

Author: neschria

Excruciatingly Boring Pre-Levtober Plotting

Posted by neschria Sunday September 30 2007 at 7:17PM
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My in-laws dropped in today. We moved 300 miles away, and yet they still managed to come by on short notice for a visit. Where's my eye-rolling emoticon when I need it?!

So, I just posted a request for server reviews in the "Beginner's Corner" section of the EverQuest forums here. I'm almost willing to put money on the table that someone is going to come by and recommend a certain emulated server that has been getting heavy promotion (and deletion) in the "Hogcaller Inn (General)" section. That's not the information I am looking for, though. I drop by the official forums fairly often, and "Returning player -- what server should I play on?" appears to be a very common topic in the newbie forum there, so I hope that my thread gets some serious answers and turns out to be useful to someone else at this site too.

I am planning on doing my 31 days of levelling without twinkage or powerleveling, so I am going to avoid Xegony. The urge to take advantage of my existing characters' funds and spare equipment would probably overcome me at about day 5. (That's about how long I can stay on a diet too. Better to just keep temptation for instant gratification away! I've been losing weight steadily without officially dieting since we don't have a microwave anymore.)

I had been planning to play a drakkin wizard, but I've been considering a necromancer or a mage, for the sake of soloability. I'd hate to get stuck LFG when I've challenged myself to just level a character up. But it is more complicated than that, at least in my mind. Am I going to just put my head down and grind the dickens out of this character single-mindedly for the purpose of the challenge, or will it be a "real" character that I might still want to play on November 1? Should I be thinking about what would be best for the long term? Should looking for a guild, either during the month or after, factor in to my choice? There's a fair chance that I'll remember why I quit last time and hit the cancel button after the first week to call it quits on the 31st, but what if I don't?

To be honest with you and with myself, I am looking at this as a sort of up-front investment in a character that I may be playing more fully later. The obvious and best answer then would be for me to play the class that I will enjoy the most. That's turning out to be a point that I am not so sure on. I'll make my final determination in the morning, but right now, the race for Levtober Class of the Month looks like this:

  1. Wizard (Ahead by a nose)
  2. Necro (Coming up hard on Wizard)
  3. Mage (Running solidly beside Necro)
  4. Monk (Coming up on the outside)
  5. Druid (Casting SoW on itself even as we speak)
  6. Zerker (Don't laugh! It may be an underdog, but it has heart!)
  7. SK (An old favorite, but maybe a little too old for this race)
  8. Everything else (Beastlord, Rogue, Ranger, and Shaman are falling behind.  Warrior, Paladin, Cleric, Bard, and Enchanter haven't even gotten out of the gate.)   

There's no betting on this race. It's a good thing, too, since even I don't know how it will turn out. We'll see what happens in the morning. Whatever I pick, I am going to stick with it for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, for at least 31 days.

I had been thinking about getting the Anniversary Pack (or a key for one from D2D, actually, since I have the game installed through DoDH from disks already) and using it to upgrade one of my long-abandoned accounts-- the ones my sons used to use, or another that hasn't gotten any new expansions added since Luclin. Those have very few characters on them, and few existing resources that I could exploit, but my main account already has all expansions through The Serpent's Spine, so I could just resubscribe without buying an upgrade. In the end, the uncertainty about what happens on November 1 turned me off of making the extra purchase.

 

 

It's Friday! Picture Day!

Posted by neschria Friday September 28 2007 at 9:30AM
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It's picture day!

1. Just click your heels together three times...

2. Don't stand so close to me! (There's something inappropriate about the way that critter is looking at me too. Is it about to hug my thigh or what?!)

3. The vet put this thing on my neck. I hate him. 

4. You'd be this happy too, if you had poison breath and little horns growing out of your face. Or maybe it is having a dragon looking over her shoulder that's got her so uptight.  I can't decide if she looks like she's about to cry, laugh, or kick someone's ass.

5. This is a date that just isn't going to end well:

6. And one from the real world... Here's my pet dinosaur, wanting to go for a ride. And on the left side, you can see the volume knob on a speaker I duct taped to my desk. Duct tape holds my world together.

 

(CAST: Mipsy (Archlord, Brumhart), Cazea (L2, formerly of Hindemith), Mopsy (AL, Brumhart), Lisabet (EQ, formerly of Xegony), Mirinda and... friend (Sody?) (VCO, Magellan), and Travelosaurus Rex (Rubber Dinosaur Extraordinaire))

Where does a sense of accomplishment come from?

Posted by neschria Thursday September 27 2007 at 12:56PM
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Badgerbadger left me a comment on my last entry and I responded with a long comment back that got me off on a tangent that was about to get even further off there, so I decided I'd write another entry about it.

As you've probably gathered from my blogging and my forum posting, I've played a lot of EQ1, so I am going to take the AA system from that game as an example and generalize from there. In EQ1, starting at level 51, you can choose to give a portion of your experience as you play to earn Alternate Advancement  points. AA points are used to buy upgrades to your stats and new abilities. You can increase your base stats, get abilities specific to your class-- paladins and shadow knights get a fast horse (mount) that they can summon, for instance-- and improve things like your mana regeneration and run speed.  In the. end, there's nothing really "alternate" about this kind of advancement. People have expectations of what kind of AAs a character will have at any given level, and you really need those abilities to be a viable character...

Many people seem very happy about the number of AAs they gather. They announce every new ability they get to the guild. They mention what they are saving up and how many more points they need. Hitting 500 or 1000 points might be a really big deal for them. And it truly is an accomplishment-- it's a goal that they've set and met.

But it isn't like that for me. I get no sense of accomplishment from grinding out AAs. To me, it's a dreadful chore. Buying a new ability with my AAs is just something that must be done. It's not something that I enjoy. I've really tried looking at it in different ways. I've tried to play little games with myself to make it more interesting. It's just... blah. I'm always aware of how many more I need to get the things I want, but it's like buying socks-- you earn the money, you buy the socks... who cares?

It's clear that different people are looking for different things out of the same games.

I do like hearing level dings. I just do. It's a sense of accomplishment I don't get from AAs, even if the amount of grinding I did was the same. I like collecting keys, even to places that I hardly ever (or never) go. I am sure this is baffling to other people, but every key I get is an accomplishment to me. It's a moment of "I was here and I did this thing!" I like playing unusual race/class combinations, knowing that as I level up, there will be fewer and fewer people playing that combination. (Odd combinations started as alts often don't make it past a certain point.) Some accomplishments, in terms of numbers, do count for me, but mainly as a measure of breaking a personal best or in terms of what content I can do. When I play a tank, I might do a lot of weird things, but I never turn down HP or AC (or whatever stats are relevant in a particular game to being able to soak up more damage)-- knowing that I am up to whatever tasks people want to do is an accomplishment to me.

I know a lot of people are strictly about leveling up and getting gear. I have been a little shocked on the forums to see people actually saying that those things are the primary functions of a guild. To me a guild is about making friends, hanging out, and doing stuff together. It's a social club. Helping guildies meet their goals give me a sense of accomplishment because we worked together to do it. Working together gives me a sense of accomplishment in the social sphere more than in terms of exactly what gear was gotten or how hard it was.

Accomplishment is in the eye of the player. Or in the mind of the player, anyway. It can be anything at all.


Levtober! (A Just-For-Fun Challenge)

Posted by neschria Thursday September 27 2007 at 9:38AM
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I had considered calling this NaLevUpMo, but I figured that would annoy the NaNoWriMo people if they found out about it, and it sounded stupid anyway. Not that Levtober sounds any less stupid. I'll have to work on it. But enough on what to call it and onto what it is!

The idea is to start a new character in the game of your choice on October 1 and see how far you can get in 31 days in terms of pure achievement as measured by level (or maxed out skills or AAs or HP/AC or however you measure your achievement in whatever game.)  And by "you", I mean me. I am in a mood to challenge myself, so I'll do it whether anyone else plays along or not.

I know, it's all about the journey, not the destination, and I should stop to smell the virtual roses. That's pretty much how I normally play. I am ultra-casual. And I like to roleplay at least some of the time. Worst of all, I further waste time doing things like fishing and raising my Alcohol Tolerance skill. (Hey! That wine won't drink itself, you know!) Just for once, I want to do things differently, just for a change of pace.

Unlike that other month-long challenge I mentioned, I am not putting a specific end goal on this because different games work differently, and different people want different things out of the same game. Maybe one person wants to get to the level cap in a month. Maybe another will finish that in the first two weeks, and what she really wants is a certain set of armor at the end of a month. Perhaps there's a third person who just wants to get to a certain level that will allow him to use a cool ability. Or there could be a more commerce-minded person who is aiming to be an in-game millionaire by Halloween.  I won't set the end goal. I'll just throw out the starting rules: New character. 31 days.

So... My plan, as of today, is to play EQ1. My thought is that I will play a Drakkin wizard. That is subject to change over the few days remaining in September, though. I am tempted, but I won't cheat and start early. I set the rules for the challenge, the least I can do is follow them.

There are going to be some things I'll have to work around-- my mom and my kids are going to be visiting, and then there is Halloween at the end of the month. Otherwise, it's not too bad. It's certainly easier to work around than Thanksgiving and the start of all the holiday nonsense in November, when I'll be writing my 50k word story.

I'll be blogging my progress, of course. You can blog yours, if you want, or leave comments with your progress notes. Or you can keep it all to yourself. Whatever you want to do. It's all good.

Ready... Set...

Wait! Not yet!

(No reason for that little thing there ^^ except that I haven't posted any silly images in a while.)

 

A quick line or two and then I promise I will go away for a couple of days. (Spore related)

Posted by neschria Tuesday September 25 2007 at 7:21PM
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I previously posted a link to a hands-on preview of Spore on 1up. Here's another preview of a hands-on experience from IGN.

It sounds fun to me. Spore is still at the top of my "Most Wanted" list for games in development.

Playing As a Couple. Further Thoughts On Being Baggage.

Posted by neschria Tuesday September 25 2007 at 1:16PM
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There are frequent posts on the forums here about playing as a couple. People ask for games that are good to play as a couple, or about good duo combinations in the game they are playing as a couple, or one half of a couple comes along and posts for advice on getting the other half interested in playing. And often there are replies along the lines of "I wish my [wife/girlfriend/hamster] would play!" Well, for those who are wishing, I have to tell you, it's not always as green on the "playing together" side of the fence as you might think.

I know that some guys (and gals, to be fair) get nagged for "playing that stupid game all the time," even if they are making a true effort to live a full, balanced, well-rounded life. For instance, perhaps one person likes to watch TV in the evenings after and the other would rather log in to their MMORPG. Even if they spend the rest of their time together and go out and do things, there may come a time when the TV-watcher wants company on the couch.  But don't think that there's no nagging that goes on between the folks who are both logging in! Instead of "Come watch TV with me!", there's "Come PL my new twink!" or "Let's do this tedious instance AGAIN!"

Then there are other situations that arise. There's, "I can't believe you rolled against me!" That's a tricky situation to navigate. Or, "You outleveled me again. Now we can't play together!" Or, "OMG, you ditched me to join a raiding guild? You suck!"

Playing together can be a fun and enjoyable hobby, as long as you have compatible playstyles and time constraints.  That's pretty much the bottom line.

I am guilty of a lot of the nagging and complaining in our gaming relationship. I am trying to be better about it. We're both making an effort to not get on each other's nerves. (For the record, guys, gear upgrades are the apology flowers of the MMORPG universe.)

Now, regarding being "baggage"... It seems that one half of a couple sometimes gets taken more seriously if both people have joined the same guild. This really sucks if you are the other half of the couple. Nothing is more irritating than having people send tells to your significant other asking questions about you, for instance. It's annoying when people talk to you as if you were an appendage or alt of the other person. It stinks to always be known as "the wife of..." rather than being known for yourself, particularly when you've played long and hard to get where you are.

I really was in a guild once where I was one of the few really active female players, and it was common for guys to refer to their girlfriends and wives as "baggage" and for the guild to conspire to avoid bringing "baggage" to raids and the like. Ok, you're a guy, you're with other guys, and dragging along someone who isn't really into it isn't all that fun. It's especially not fun if they don't really know what their doing. I get that. Here's a hint, though: if your wife or girlfriend finds out you call her "baggage" behind her back, she's going to be pissed.

The Perpetual Question of Sex. Also, Voice Chat

Posted by neschria Tuesday September 25 2007 at 10:01AM
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There's a post on the main forums about a Chinese game banning males from being females. I am not quite sure why that's so controversial. It's not the first game with restrictions like that. IIRC, if you play Scions of Fate, you're stuck playing whichever gender you declared for yourself when you signed up. This was upsetting to my 10-year-old son who wanted to play on my account. He is among those who objects to people playing a different sex from their RL biological one. He's asked me numerous times why his dad plays girl characters. I always tell him that it is just pretend, and people are nicer to girls. He's clearly not convinced by that argument.

Then again, he's 10. Girls are still icky and dumb.

In my husband's defense, it isn't so much that people are nicer to him as the difference in reactions to the things he says. He's got a weird sense of humor that could be misunderstood as being obnoxious if you took him seriously. When he plays male characters, people think he's being serious and get mad at him. They think he's just being an ass. When he plays female characters, people take his offhand remarks more lightly and laugh. He's well-liked as a female. I created his first female character for him while he was at work and started leveling it. When he took her out and saw how differently people reacted to him, he was hooked. Now he's all girls, all the time.

What's really odd to me is that people who have been told multiple times that he's the same person playing his old male characters and his newer female characters still treat him differently in game, depending on which character he has logged in. It would be nice to say that the graphic you see representing the person doesn't matter, but apparently it does. I can't say for sure, but it seems like people take me more seriously when I play a dark elf compared to when I was playing a gnome of the same class and sex. Maybe there's something to that-- I'd love to hear other people's experiences with the reactions they get depending on the race they are playing in a game. I am hardly a representative sample all by myself.

In the meantime, I really am female and play female characters, but I just don't get hit on or get the preferential treatment that so many other people describe. In fact, more often that not (as I haved frequently lamented on the forums), people assume I am male. Even when I correct people, they keep referring to me as "he" and "him".  Grah! I have to admit that every, "OMG! You're really a girl!" that I get after making an appearance in voice chat tickles me pink. The one guy who took an interest in me in EverQuest only started hitting on me after he saw a picture of me on our alliance message boards.

The people that know I am female from the start are those to whom I have been introduced as "the wife" by my husband. That probably discourages the flirt-factor as well. It's a double curse, since being "the wife" means that you're often treated like "baggage".  (That's the term I actually saw used in guild chat once-upon-a-time to refer to wives and girlfriends attending raids.) You have to show up all the time and always be on your game to climb out of the "baggage" category. It doesn't feel good to feel like or to be treated like you're just a tag-along.

The coming of voice chat has not only made it easier for people to accept that I am, in fact, female. It's also made things easier on my husband, with his off-beat humor. There are tones of voice that don't come across in text and that can make all the difference between, "Ha ha ha! You're goofy!" and "Shut up, jerk!"

Also, it is just much faster to talk than to type. It takes me a while to formulate thoughts into words, and then I am not a very quick typist, so conversations in text chat tend to get away from me. Add to that the complication that I am often the puller (i.e. I go out and fetch monsters to bring back to the group, for those of you who haven't played a game that allows for "pulling") and there's really not much of a chance for me to say much of anything if I have to type it.

Even in voice chat, I don't talk much. I usually only voice chat when I am at an event or raid or taking part in a complicated group encounter. Voice chat interferes with listening to music, and I like listening to my music while I play, as mentioned in a previous entry. I have tried to stay out of voice chat for the sorts of situations I have mentioned, but if everyone else is using Ventrilo or TeamSpeak, you get left out and don't know what's going on. That's not a good thing.

There are pros and cons to voice chat. I can really understand people not wanting to use it. On the other hand, sometimes you just have to go with the flow.

Randomosity. With Links!

Posted by neschria Tuesday September 25 2007 at 8:41AM
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I have been thinking that I need a bumper sticker for my van that says "WARNING: Driver's Alignment Is Chaotic Evil".... Or maybe Chaotic Neutral. I suppose the difference would be whether I flagrantly disregard the law and WANT to cause mayhem, or if mayhem is just a by-product of me doing my thing.

Anyway, I have a CafePress store, so now all I need is to smack a friend or relative with photoshop to put together a nice design along those lines, and then I can have that bumpersticker. I need to change and update my stupid little shop soon anyway. It was always just for fun. I've sold a few of each of the two t-shirts there, but not enough for them to send me a check. I want to make some alterations to those designs, while I am changing and updating... but I'm not doing any of that today.

Can't do it. Too lazy.

Anyway, that bumper sticker idea came to mind recently after our 300 mile move, which I had to drive twice-- once to bring my van out, and once driving the car while my husband drove the U-haul truck. I hate driving and I am bad at it. The original idea was "Chaotic Neutral", but I thought perhaps "Chaotic Evil" was funnier... Thinking about it now, I am not so sure.

Seventh Sanctum has a "Realistic Alignment Generator" that suggests "character alignments you'd really expect to see." For instance, when I loaded it to get the URL to link it, it generated "Lawful Moronic". It's one of the humorous random generators at Seventh Sanctum. I love random generators of all sorts, so I adore that site.

If you're looking to randomly generate a name for a character, let me suggest Seredipity as well. There are a lot of sites with random fantasy name generators, but they don't all generate pronounceable results.

Monday Morning.

Posted by neschria Monday September 24 2007 at 11:24AM
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My plans to post screenshots on Friday was scuttled by frantic preparation for guests. My mom and stepdad brought my son out here for a visit over the weekend. It was good seeing the kid. It was even a mostly ok visit with my parents, too. It could have been better, except that my husband is an idiot when it comes to the weird dynamics in my family, so he said the wrong thing and last night my mom called me from home STILL freaking out. Anyway, it's Monday, and I am still tired from the whole experience.

I need coffee. And loud, upbeat music.

...AFK...

Coffee and music accomplished. I am starting to feel almost human. Now I can blog properly.

I replaced Granado Espada with Archlord on this computer. Don't take that as a recommendation, though. GE is arguably the better game and more fun. It is certainly a lot prettier to look at. I may end up going with The Sword of the New World version of GE as my side game, but for now, I am content to grind short sessions in Archlord. My character is only level 11 now, so I have plenty of grinding to do. (It must be the "A" in my Bartle type getting the better of me. )

I still haven't tried Rappelz or Last Chaos. So many games to play and then complain about, so little time. (*smirk*)

I would like to play a major title for a while, too, but I am waiting to see if my husband has a preference for one game over another. I don't know why I am waiting on him. He's happily playing VCO. In fact, that's exactly what he's doing right now. I'm vaguely irritated that he's found a game that he's content to play while I am still restless and hunting for a place to land for a while. I know that's irrational. Being rational isn't my forte.

 I need to get my act together and buy myself a new rig so that I can play newer games that are coming out. I know this one will run LoTRO adequately, but I don't make minimum specs for a lot of other games recently released or coming soon. I could put together something mid-grade but upgradeable pretty cheaply. I know I've written about this before. I just need to stop buying purely decorative junk for the house and put the money aside for the sake of getting out of the stone age.

It's nearly October. I will likely spend most of October pre-writing for NaNoWriMo in November. This will be my third attempt at finishing 50,000 words in a month. I think my life will be slightly less chaotic now that we're moved, so I may actually SUCCEED this year. On the other hand, both EQ1 and EQ2 get new expansions in November. EQ2 gets playable Sarnaks! What are the chances I am going to write instead of playing?

Well, I am doing just that right now. Maybe there's hope for me after all. 

Have you hugged a newbie today?

Posted by neschria Friday September 21 2007 at 11:40AM
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My last entry ended rather abruptly when my husband announced he was taking us out to dinner. When he decides to do something, there's nothing to do but run to keep up. :)

That's ok. I was nearly at the end of my thoughts regarding game music anyway. In a lot of games, it isn't worth leaving on. It's bearable in some games, and really lovely in a very few. I think EQ2 music wasn't too bad, and as I previously mentioned, Lineage 2 and Horizons have music that's actually pretty good.

After I wrote that, I was thinking about FFXI, trying to remember the sound of that game. All I can remember is that it took me a few days to get used to the interface, but after that it was kind of fun. I spent several days trying to find my way around and figure out how to play, but then I met someone nice who helped me out.

Those nice people can really make a difference in how I perceive a game as a newbie. If a game has a high population but I feel like I am lost and alone on a busy city street or a low population where the few people I see don't respond to me at all, as if I were invisible, that's going to reflect badly on the whole game. If it is a so-so game, but people are friendly and helpful, that makes the game seem better than it really is. Those early interactions can be crucial. I wonder how many people log off and uninstall a game after they ask an honest question and get made fun of in a general channel.

Granted, it is annoying to see the same questions over and over again. I am one of those players that is willing to answer random question tells from newbies, but answering "what weapon should I be using?" and "where should I go at this level?" does start to get old after a while, particularly when the question arrives out of the blue while I am busy doing something else. I always try to be friendly and polite, but sometimes I just give a quick, canned answer. I am always aware that if I got snide or snippy, it could ruin someone's day or turn them off from the game completely.

Ah, the husband is ready to leave again. I guess I'm done with this entry. I may dig up some screenshots to post later. It is Friday after all. I've only done it once before, but I would like to have at least one regular feature to this blog, so I will try to get to that this evening. ;)

Return of the desktop. Horizons, briefly.

Posted by neschria Wednesday September 19 2007 at 6:40PM
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I am writing this entry from my desktop computer. After months in storage, it is back in action. There's nothing that will make you appreciate your old, crappy desktop computer like a few months using an even crappier laptop.I've still got plans for a new computer, but in the meantime, I am glad to have this one back.

I left Horizons patching on the laptop last night. This morning, it had checked out my system and told me I didn't meet the specs, but it let me run it anyway. With some patience, I got through character creation and took my little saris out for a spin on the tutorial island. It ran ok, despite the shortcomings of the laptop. I will have to install it up here and give it a fair shake. Previously, I've not hated it, but it has never been something to draw me away from whatever other game I am playing. Since I am not playing anything else... who knows?

I like the music in Horizons so far. That's pretty unusual for me. I am usually one to immediately hunt down the option to turn music OFF. I like to listen to my own music while I play. Probably my favorite feature of EQ that came down the pike over the years was the in-game MP3 player. But a few games have had music that I actually liked enough to leave on. Lineage 2 was another of those games.

 

 

 

 

Neschria's Curse of the Wandering Mind

Posted by neschria Tuesday September 18 2007 at 7:45PM
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Tomorrow is Talk Like a Pirate Day. I don't plan on talking like a pirate, but I may drink some rum in honor of the occasion. The story on the front page here about the PotBS meet-up jogged my memory.

I really can't believe September is more than half over already. We've been busy for more than a month with moving related activities.

I've steadily been downloading things to try out but I haven't had any time to get them installed. I've got Horizons to take out for a test drive (again) as well as Last Chaos and Rappelz.  I don't expect  much from the last two, but I haven't played them before. I rather expect Horizons to be... Horizons. At least I'll have something MMO-related to post in the near future.

I also got the client for Legends of Norrath. I don't know how I feel about the whole virtual card game thing, but I thought I'd give it a try. I think it would be more interesting to me in conjunction with an active EQ or EQ2 subscription, which I don't currently have.  

We'll see.

How does one pronounce 'Rappelz' anyway? Does it rhyme with "apples" or does it sound a bit like "repels"? Hmmm... If it isn't much of anything to speak of, "repels" may come back into play in the review...

Ok, enough with the wandering mind!

I've already run into a bit of a snag with Horizons. I came up with a missing .dll. Googling the file name brought up a forum post with a link to the missing file. All's well that ends well. Or it would be if I could actually play. The servers are down right now.

Like a bad penny...

Posted by neschria Thursday September 13 2007 at 9:41PM
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I'm back!

The big move is complete and I just got reconnected to the Internet today. I am so glad to be online again. Being without the Net was like having part of my brain out-of-order-- the fun part where I store random information, news, and games. Now I have a lot of email and forums to catch up on. I've got a lot of blog reading to do here while I am at it. I don't read every entry by everyone, but I do read a lot of them.

In a previous episode, I had mentioned downloading the UO trial. I never actually installed it because I knew I was going to be busy and that I was going to be without Net for a while. Unless I am doing this wrong, it appears that they want a credit card for this trial. I used to go along with that without question, but I've gotten spoiled by trials and games that don't require a CC. Now I am not sure I want to bother. I mean, I'd have to walk all the way into the other room to get my purse...

Maybe tomorrow.

My husband is back into Voyage Century already. I had told him about Bounty Bay, but he was of the mind that it just isn't the sort of game that he'd pay a subscription for. (For those who haven't read anything on either of these games... they are the same game in different releases.)  I understand that they are planning on making changes to the game for the Euro/subscription release. You can read about that here: http://mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm/gameId/295/setView/features/loadFeature/1402 . In that article, there's this little bit:

Fun Items:

BBO: There are no "Fun-Items" in BBO. Items such as giant rubber hammers and water guns are simply out of place and do not belong in a game that is set in a historical background.

VCO: You can buy those items for real money in the VCO Item Mall.

Give me huge mallets or give me death!

Ok, maybe not, but it did sound a little snide. I see their point, I guess. Maybe BBO is a pay-to-play alternative for the more serious 15th century nautical roleplayer. We'll see how that goes. Anyone care to place any wagers on the success of a pay game that has a free version available? It didn't work out so well for Archlord or Sword of the New World, did it? Maybe the French and German servers will carry through to success.

On a completely silly note, isn't BBO an awful abbreviation? Like BBQ that lost its bar. Or like it should stand for Battle of Body Odor.

Moving on to other things, my kids like to hang out on GAIA Online, and it seems that they are working on something that they are calling a MMO. I doubt it will be anything that I will care for, since it will likely be swarming with... well, the kind of people who hang out on GAIA to start with. No offense intended-- it's just not my crowd. I have an account there, but I am not really into socializing there, and the forums  there make the forums here look like a gathering of brilliant minds.

Of course, we are all brilliant here, aren't we?

 

Notes from the real world

Posted by neschria Saturday September 1 2007 at 10:50PM
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Tonight my husband and I got a babysitter and went out for a couple of hours. We just had dinner and then went to Best Buy, where we purchased 2-way radios. Our excuse is that we've got an impending long-distance move in two vehicles. That's a little thin, as excuses go, since we both have cell phones too. The real reason is that they are walkie-talkies. How much fun is that? We're going to be using these long after we've settled in. No more screaming down the stairs or chewing up cell phone minutes calling the basement. 

My inner gadget geek is giddy over this purchase. 

I had a brief, torrid love affair with a "True HD"  flat panel TV while we were there too. I was caught in the act and told that I couldn't run away to live in sin with an inanimate object. Not the Sony, and not the Samsung either.  Alas. I had to come home to our old, crappy TVs. One of them is so old that my grandmother used to watch Dallas on it. And not in reruns.

I don't watch that much TV anyway. It wouldn't really be a worthwhile investment at this point. It was just my inner gadget geek, again. Apparently it wanted out to play tonight.

While we were there, we wandered down the software aisles and my husband said he wouldn't buy any MMORPGs right now. He wants to wait til we are settled in at the new place and can agree on a game that we can both enjoy and play together. That may be a tall order.

I recently got a comment that reminded me that I wanted to write about niche games vs. mass market games. I don't really want to write a compare-and-contrast piece, though. I have a couple of ideas floating around in my head. I have this vague idea that there are niches that might be filled by devs who know their target audience and who can tailor their game accordingly, perhaps aiming lower than the mass-market and trying to keep costs low enough to cover them with their likely subscriber base by keeping the initial game relatively small. The whole idea raises a lot of questions in my mind, though, and I am not sure I can find the evidence to support the idea. (Mainly, I am not sure because I haven't thought it out that well or looked around. I have played some off-the-beaten path games, though, so that's somewhere to start.)

I might also speculate about kinds of niche markets might be out there. It should be relatively easy to come up with those ideas. There's always someone on the forums supporting permadeath, after all.

I'll be contemplating what I want to say on that topic. (Ok, probably not, but you'd like to think that I actually put some thought into it before I start typing, wouldn't you?) We hit the road on Tuesday and we won't have Net at our new home til the 14th, so I will have plenty of time to think.

Maybe I'll just solicit suggestions on what game is least likely to cause marital misery instead. Or perhaps I'll see if I can get people to suggest a name for my next character in whatever game we end up in. I wish I could add a poll to a blog entry. I may have to slide by the suggestion forum here sometime when I am not about to fall asleep on my keyboard. Time for bed before I wake up with waffle face again.

Good night. Sleep tight. Don't let the kobolds bite.