12.12.2005

Yet another WoW-related post

so i piqued hans' and ryan's curiosity enough that they picked up trial passes as well. i grabbed another trial to play along (cuz the full version won't arrive until 12/22 at the earliest). to play together as newbies, we started out in the dwarf/gnome area. we logged 4+ hours in a very chaotic round where ryan shot things with his gun, hans hung out while he and his minion got mauled by beasties more often than anything else, and i tried to figure out how a rogue worked (which basically involved running back and forth to get in range of the beastie that kept travelling between hans and ryan and not hitting it). i miss CoH's grouping option which let you see all the quests of all team members. in WoW, if you're near enough to your teammates, you can see how many have the same quests as you, but you can't see their quests. makes plotting a course difficult, even when you're all in the same room. anyway, even after hans took kristan home, ryan and i were still interested in playing, so we fired up a couple of human rogues (because by the end of the round, we were both curious about the class). psychiatrists would have much to say about the fact that our characters look like sisters and have almost the exact same name. playing with the two rogues was great fun, though. i'm not sure it would work as smoothly if we weren't in the same room, or had some sort of teamspeak ability to talk to each other. the next night, i decided that what our group of 3 really needed was a tank. someone to stand in front of the beastie and say "pay attention to me!!" so i built a warrior. a teeny little princess-leia bun wearing gnome girl warrior. she is cuter than cute, but it's hard to take her seriously, since she's a foot and a half tall: she will totally poke you in the calf with her sword, though!! adding to the funny is the warrior's use of "rage" as mana. basically, the more damage you do/have done to you, the madder you get, and you channel that anger into special attacks and abilities. my favorite (so far) is this giant thunder clap of a sound that freaks out all nearby enemies and weakens them. the animation of this teeny bit stomping a giant hole in the ground is tew funny. she has this very bubbly, polite powerpuff-girl sounding (not the mean, green one) voice. so when she tells me she doesn't have enough rage to complete my request, she's almost apologetic about it. unfortunately, user rage cannot translate to toon rage. i was still running back and forth between ryan and hans with the warrior, and since the beasties wouldn't pay attention to me, her rage wasn't building nearly as fast as mine :)

12.11.2005

seriously

i think scott adams has my office bugged, or maybe one of my cohorts in california. the first 1/2 of this comic has been my life over the past 3-4 weeks, only it ends with "yeah, well, suck it up." seriously, we're supposed to be done by now, and the client is insisting we meet a ludicrous deadline (basically the end of next week) while continuing to schedule "definition meetings" that are so fundamental we can't really begin until they're finished.

12.09.2005

look what i found!

i didn't think my screenshot attempts were working since nothing showed up in my non-existent screenshots folder, until i noticed a few random images on my desktop. this is a bit of one of them. it's my lvl 16 character taking a griffin ride from one town to another. i thought it was purty.

12.07.2005

so it would seem..

...that i logged 35 hours almost to the minute, before tonight. 3.5/day average, like i thought. i spent just over 24 hours on the one character. that was a little disturbing to see. 1/10 of my time over the last 10 days was spent with that one toon. also in answer to the "do they kick you out or wait for you to log out" question, the answer is yes....not what i expected either. i got some lovely little status and countdown messages, and then when the time came...nothing happened. i just kept playing and playing and playing. it's like that episode of friends where they got free porn and were afraid to change the channel or turn it off cuz it might go away. i built a little cow character (called mukka ;) with about 10 minutes to go just for kicks and i went for an extra 35 or so minutes before i just stopped. when i tried to log back in, i couldn't. so there you go.

trials and tribulations

i believe my trial ends tonight around 8:30. if i access the account at all today, it will be to see "what happens" at 8:30. will i get automatically booted, or will it just not let me log back in once i log out? my money's on the not-log, but we'll see. oh, i meant to check how much time i logged in-game over the past 10 days. so yeah, i'll be getting online just to figure that out. i'm thinking the number will average out to about 3.5 hours/day. i spent most of my evenings playing while watching tv, and had some marathon blitzes on the weekend...maybe that's a conservative estimate... we'll see. so...the verdict? me likey. i like it enough that it's worth the hit to my allowance to pay them for the right to play it when i want. it's that much more engaging than d2 (that'd be diablo 2, for those of you just joining) for me. while i did play it a lot...a lot a lot, it was more to maximize the value of the trial, and to check out multiple aspects of the game (character types, trade skills). this next part is only interesting if you play WoW, or enjoy mmorpgs: as of yesterday i had 3 characters all sitting around lvl 9ish (just enough to see what they can start to do, but getting to the point that soloing is slow) and one i brought all the way to lvl 16 (4 away from the trial-cap). yesterday i spent the time unearthing quest after quest that i could not do on my own, but paid attention to the chat channels enough to see that if i got into the game enough, finding a group to take care of them would not have been too difficult. i also managed to get a few skills to the journeyman status (second of four tiers), so i feel i got a good glimpse of how that all works. since the trial prevents you from participating fully in the server economy, i'll have to work out the lucrative business of selling off those precious looted items that propel low-level characters into cash-heaven. i'm only assuming that's the case, based on what i know of foraging classes in EQ. seems there were plenty of shoutouts for linen and leather, though. done with the uber-geekout the bloom fell off the rose (or i took off my rose colored glasses) sometime sunday when i hit that threshold of repetitive action and needing to group up to get things accomplished. this is the part that i hate about perpetually paying for these games, especially since i don't expect there to be a large group of RL friends in the game growing at the same time, like i had with city of heroes. i have a few "contacts" that have come out of the woodwork to say "pick my server and i'll hook you up with some stuff, show you around," which is great, but that's not the same thing. they're so far ahead that they speak a different language, and even when they "slum it" with an alt, they're not going to do it on your timetable. not that i blame them. so yeah, i took a long hard look at the game. when i get the itch, d2 works "fine enough" to fix it, but it doesn't last all that long, and it takes a while for it to kick in. what i crave with the rpg experience is new-ness, and there's enough randomization of objects/levels in d2 to keep that coming, but (obviously) WoW blows that right out of the water. more geeking: i was amazed at the level of detail this game gives you. almost every single item i equipped affected my character's appearance. that just...man. if you know me at all you know how cool i think that is. coming from a background of EQ where only a few items changed your clothes, and the first 2 or 3 sets of armor didn't change it all and you didn't get into the different looks until you were high level, and CoH which was highly customizable, but superheroes don't exactly change their costumes every time they loot a new pair of tights off an enemy, and d2 which is very old, but has about 6 looks per character that are largely dependent upon 2 of the 4 armor slots, this made me so happy i literally clapped my hands with glee when i upgraded from my ragged torn bracers to tattered leather bracers and the wrists actually changed. it blew my mind that the belt actually showed up and changed as much as it did. that, more than any other aspect of the game, shows how well-aligned the folks at blizzard are to my gaming needs. end geeking the $30-$50 startup cost grates even more than the $15/month, and might have been a dealbreaker ($20 offer cujofan pointed out notwithstanding). yesterday, however, i "tricked" my mother into buying the game for me for christmas. her: your status says "WoW trial." what does that mean? me: it's a game i'm trying out. you should buy it for me for christmas. her: okay. i don't feel that desperate pull to play like i did with EQ. i remember experiencing some of that with CoH, but considering that game lasted 7 months and i've never looked back, i'm not really sure that counts. i think i can handle it without being addicted/obsessed, but one thing is clear: WoW is the new D2.

12.03.2005

teamwork:

(a brief conversation had during a trivial pursuit game. the question in question was something like "name the Clinton cabinet member who something something'd...") "what was that scary looking woman's name?" "which woman?" "you know. the scary looking one." "...you mean the one that looked like a man?" "yes!" "um...janet reno." "yes! that one!" (and we were right)

12.01.2005

november: a month in review

well, nanowrimo was not the success i had wanted it to be. i realized early on that the level of commitment necessary to actually pull off 50k words in 30 days was not something i could deliver on. it means 2-3 hours per day of serious writing, with larger sessions on the weekends. everyone was more supportive of that than i was. i don't know why playing videogames or sitting in front of my computer for 2-3 hours every night (and generally wasting that time) makes me feel less guilty than spending that time writing, but it really does. maybe because when i write, it's my own little world and you're not invited and leave me alone, but when i'm playing games or watching tv, there's still a chance for socializing. we'd get invited to hang out with friends and i'd feel guilty even considering wanting to stay home and write, so i didn't. that having been said, even when i knew early on i wasn't going to make the goal, i kept going. i had a day where i trashed the whole thing (day 6ish, maybe) but then i picked it back up. i kept writing on the same story, forsaking all others, all month long. that is new for me. knowing i was going to "fail" but continuing to move forward is not something i do. this is the first year i've stuck with my nanowrimo story throughout all 30 days and i hit 12,686 words before it was all over. go me. also in november, i saw a few movies. pride and prejudice could have been better. harry potter and the goblet of fire could have been much, much better. walk the line was very long, but also very good. just friends (didn't see that one coming, didja?) was pretty much what you'd expect. if they swapped all the anna farris screen time with more ryan reynolds being ryan reynolds, it'd have been much better. thanksgiving break was both the high and low point of the month. we took our yearly trip to chicago/milwaukee to fest with ryan's side of the family. it's hard to put those 48 hours into succinct words without coming off as disrespectful or unemotional, however. ... i keep trying, but nothing comes out quite right. lots of bad things happened/continue to happen to that side of my family, but we still celebrate thanksgiving with gusto, and i'm not just talking about the obscene amounts of tasty food. there's just so much love there. every visit to chicago makes me feel less and less like "ryan's wife" and more just one of the bunch. yeah, can't really talk about friday. ryan's grandfather (other side of the family) died unexpectedly and his funeral was friday. it was so similar to events surrounding my own grandfather's death and funeral a few years ago that i pretty much stayed numb the entire day, cuz excessive feelings are bad. so um...moving away from that stuff... that's pretty much my month. i picked up that trial version of worlds of warcraft and as much as i've enjoyed playing it, i'm not sure what's gonna happen when my time is up. right now when i get that random rpg itch (maybe about 10 days/month in 2-3 day batches) i play dialbo 2. WoW is more enjoyable than d2, mostly because it's newer and prettier, but seriously, is it really worth it?