A Battle.net Queue??

“It’s a busy day for Battle.net! To help everyone log in, you’ve been placed in a queue.”

What in blazes is a queue?

I haven’t seen one of those in many, many years!

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Wasn’t even trying (too hard).

A while back the wife and I had an Undead couple.  She was a Shadow Priest, me a Mage.  We were both level 27.  We ran into a monster in Hillsbrad called Yetimus the Yetilord.  We didn’t stand a chance.  I figured we needed a tank.  So my Mage was deleted and replaced with a Warlock.  My wife’s Shadow Priest was sidelined a spell.

I’d been playing this Warlock off and on around his rested xp status.  He’s got heirloom chest, shoulders, trinkets, and staff.  Our two-person guild is Level 9 and we get some xp boost there too.  (He shares the heirlooms with an Alliance mage I created.)

Yesterday afternoon I started him out in the Sepulcher, he was level 16 or 17, and rested.  All the quests he was doing were green to him, but I kept at them following the story through the zone.  Before dinner I’d managed to get all the storyline complete, including the death, and resurrection, of Sylvanus, and quests were yellow again.

After Junior was put in bed it was off to Hillsbrad.  The wife joined me.  And as any of her spells were winding up, it turned out I’d already killed the mob.  She managed to help in 1 in 10 since I was killing stuff so fast.  Going at a burning pace, before long, *I* dinged level 27 (again) and we set out to find Yetimus and put an end to his reign of obstinance.

Between the mile high boots, the 50% health hits, we didn’t last long (again).

Droonda came out and helped him, and Cenotaph came out and helped her, and voila, quest completed.

Kind of wierd, spending an afternoon getting 10 levels, and then unable to complete an at-level quest.

Fun times.

(And you can’t believe all the rares I run into nowadays in these less populated zones.)

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Why all the One-Monthers? (And where’s the next Ten-Yearer?)

The last post was based on something I saw over on The Ancient Gaming Noob asking (ALT:ernative survey request) about our (almost!) first ten years in World of Warcraft.

Before I headed overseas a couple of times I’d been playing Neverwinter Nights on AOL with their GEOS (GeoWorks) DOS interface.  Overseas I kissed online gaming goodbye.  When I got back the new generation of games were out.  EQI was available, but seemed “old school” at the time.  I really wanted to play Star Wars Galaxies, but it wouldn’t play on my laptop.  I picked up Lineage II when it released.  That got me back into an online MMORPG.  And later that fall, when EQII came out, I was seriously considering jumping to that ship.  And then World of Warcraft appeared.  With my experience in Warcraft (Humans and Orcs, etc.) it was a great match, and so WoW it was.

Now, nearly ten years later, and 10+ for Lineage II and EQ I, those two, as well as EQII *and* World of Warcraft, are still “going strong.”

Since picking up World of Warcraft in December 2004, I have also played EQII (dabbled on a character in my wife’s account), Lord of the Rings Online (made it to Rohan), Warhammer Online (Collector’s Edition feeling a little like a mistake even as I left the store with it, me being unfaithful to World of Warcraft and all), Rift , Guild Wars 2, (the wife spent some time in GW1), Neverwinter (I got out of the city), Elder Scrolls Online, and most recently Wildstar.

The wife’s been with me in each one.  Sometimes I take a lead in getting us into the game (WoW, Warhammer, Rift, Wildstar), or she does (LotRO, GW2, TESO, Neverwinter).

None of them were bad games.  Each offered something that got me willing to suscribe (WoW, LotRO, Warhammer, Rift, Wildstar) or to otherwise invest a bit of time(Neverwinter).  Graphics mostly.  But setting too.  And gameplay mechanics.

Lord of the Rings Online was a soft start for me.  The wife stuck with it and got me back into it as well.  The “free-to-play” model is bogus, because subbing is really the only way to access areas in which to quest.  We took our couple all the way to Rohan.  Riding mounts, nice costume pieces, etc..  Beautiful scenery, and okay graphics, didn’t manage to keep us for ten years.  A good number though, as we subbed, unsubbed, resubbed, and now unsubbed.

Rift grabbed me with the incredible graphics.  Gameplay seemed standard enough.  The storylines between the two factions oddly asymmetrical.  The “Rockridge” desert graphics are my favorite in any game so far.  We actually unsubbed from WoW for a bit while we played this.  We got to nearly max level, and pre-expansion, got to the final zone.  We toured it, revealing the map, and then logged off for the last time.  That last zone, with the mobs standing around … dang if it didn’t feel like I suddenly realized the emperor wasn’t wearing any clothes!

TESO had nice graphics, but finally I wearied of the dark undertones.  And the bots were crazy.  Even grouping was fubared, to put it kindly.  We even tried the PvP, the main selling point, and she and I could not link up in the same instance.  The game refused to allow us to play together.  We agreed to unsub after a month.  She’s talking about resubbing, but not yet.

Wildstar has great graphics, a fun setting, interesting mechanics, but my wife didn’t like the graphics as much, thinking WoW’s were crisper.  And while I was fine with the jumping around fighting style, my wife wasn’t moving as fast.  In a game requiring you to get out of the fire on every fight, and only getting more and more challenging, crispy bits were on the horizon.  She wasn’t enthralled, so we’re unsubbing after getting our first mounts.  (As apparently most the rest of the blogoshpere is too).

The time factor has a lot to do with it.  We didn’t have a child to look after when we started all this ten years ago.  Now we do.  We’ve got 2 hours, tops, a night, to play.  That doesn’t allow a lot of different titles, not really.  So the game needs to be fun, deliver that fun in bite size pieces, and if it’s an old friend we know, even better.

Our one sub right now is our Ten-Yearer, World of Warcraft.

On the side, she’s seeing the new content in Neverwinter, and I’m messing around with voxels in Landmark.

Maybe we need a new Ten-Yearer when the current Ten-Yearer goes away.  (A sentiment I undoubtedly share with anyone whose been in Lineage II, EQII, etc., for ten or more years.)  But until it does, I’ll keep looking, wanting the “next big thing” but fine with the current “big thing.”  (And it doesn’t hurt that my current “big thing” is huge.)

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World of Warcraft, 10 YEARS :: 10 QUESTIONS

1. Why did you start playing Warcraft?

Neverwinter Nights on the AOL got me started with online gaming. Warcraft on the LAN got me interested in the Warcraft universe. When EQII and World of Warcraft came out at about the same time I picked WoW because I was familiar with Warcraft. I tried EQII and the graphics didn’t appeal to me. I’d been WoWicized.


2. What was the first ever character you rolled?

I’m sure I rolled a couple. My first character that became anything of note was a Night Elf Hunter I’d named Kinless. A couple server transfers later he became Arcarius. He leveled up to level 80, , and I deleted him to make way for some Worgen and Goblins.

Arcarius dings 80

3. Which factors determined your faction choice in game?

I still haven’t picked a faction of choice. I’ve got high and low level characters in both factions. My Molten Core raider was horde. A group of Alliance friends decided to reroll Horde on a new PvP server. We started from scratch and got into 40-man raiding for a while.

4. What has been your most memorable moment in Warcraft and why?

Downing Ragnaros was a big deal. We’d been working at that for a long, long, time, and there was a bunch of us involved. 40 people in voice chat overjoyed. We’d made it.

5. What is your favorite aspect of the game and has this always been the case?

Ease of play. The wife enjoys the game, and has accompanied me to 90, and with all our little couples too.

new threads

6. Do you have an area in game that you always return to?

It’s ever a journey. Recently we got to quest in Teldrassil again and we thought the trees there looked great.

7. How long have you /played and has that been continuous?

I’ve been playing since December 2004. I did try to take a break at one point, that lasted a few months. Another break found me deployed to Afghanistan. And here we are, still questing towards 90, still rolling new characters, waiting for the next expansion to start.

8. Admit it: do you read quest text or not?

I want to.

9. Are there any regrets from your time in game?

I wish I was a better player. You know: Staying out of the fire. Getting my stats right to maximize DPS. I enjoyed raiding in Molten Core, but the game pulled ahead of me. I’m glad there’s plenty else to do, and pvp, ironically, is pretty forgiving.

10. What effect has Warcraft had on your life outside gaming?

Heh. I’ve had a little bit less of it, for sure. :)

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Covering All Bases

So many games, so little time.

We play Wildstar for the sci-fi scenario and the popping graphics.  (The wife thinks World of Warcraft’s are crisper?)  I’m not so sure about that.  The green vegetation is awesome.  And the game mechanics are very unlike World of Warcraft, requiring a lot of user movement to project and avoid “telegraph” abilities.

But, I must admit, going back to World of Warcraft too, for the “fantasy” fix, is a guilty pleasure.  And 9 1/2 years on, it’s a pleasure I’m still happy to endulge in.  (Three 90s, two 88’s, not even playing all that often, more long-term characters moving slowly towards Outlands, Northrend, Twilight Highlands, and Pandaria, more deleted levels than I care to admit, and my new characters, with partners supplied from the wife’s stable of characters, are testament to that.)  I ground out some more argent tournament tokens and supplied my second monk with his own dual heirloom weapons.  My two monks have dual maces and dual swords respectively, and a warrior has dual arcanite reapers.  And I’ve got the cloth, leather, mail, and plate armor sets as well.  (Two piece, alas.  We’re, the wife and I, a small guild, and the perks we get are little bonuses, not gear.)

The wife and I also both build places in Landmark.  It’s amusing to build things, and mess around with building tweaks, and gives us an idea of what Everquest:Next might look like should that ever materialize.  (Answer: Not bad at all.)

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What I’d like my office view to be

Landmark Portal View 2My latest creation in Landmark.

Somebody let their claim expire, right next to the portal, and who was walking past?  I was.


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Wildstar Character Selfies

Worthy.140616.233818Worthy, Dominion Cassian Spellslinger. Cloth wearing gunslinger.  He’s currently questing in a savannah environment.

Virillustris.140616.233328Virillustris (in full Eldar costume), Exile Mordesh Stalker.  I picked the green coloration before I got the Eldar getup.  I also like how the disease has so wasted him away that sections of him are contained in glass.  Like his abdomen, shoulders, one leg, and you can see his internal workings.  He’s currently questing in a forest environment.

BillyBeau.140616.234020BillyBeau, Exile Human Esper.  They protray the Human Exiles as kind of hillbillies.  So, here’s Billy Beau with a good double name.  (My son, born in Georgia, resembles that remark!  :) )  He’s currently questing in a frozen environment.

Adze.140616.231932Adze, Exile Granok Warrior.  See, he’s got a blade mohawk for a head.  He’s currently questing in a rocky area.

All of these are about the same level (5-10) so you can see the variation available in beginning areas.

Not shown: Analyst, Dominion Mechari Engineer and Monomachos, Dominion Draken Warrior.

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