Lax

I have kind of gotten lax on this blog as of late and feel that I need to re-commit myself to it. I have still probably been getting my 600 words a day, however I do want to keep this blog more up to date.

A lot of things have been going on though. I am nearing the end of the semester and have a total of 16 pages in two classes due in 2 weeks, a quiz this week, an oral exam next week, and a final exam the week after that. Things have been busy to say the least in school.

In gaming… EQ2’s expansion keeps me busy as well. I have hit level 33 with my Fae Warlock. I have thoroughly explored Butcherblock, have been somewhat disappointed with its lack of quests and have spent much of my time in good ol thunderring steppes and nek forest to get good quests. I have recently vowed my allegiance to Solusek Ro and have begun doing the deity quests for him. I have also started going into Steamfont which so far has been a really cool zone. My favorite thing about it is they named the city in it “Gnomeland Security” which I just laughed so hard when I first saw it.

For the Wii, I’ve been kind of leaving Zelda alone largely due to the fact that I am too involved in MMOs right now to give it a real shot. My daughter played it this weekend and was having fun flying off cliffs with a chicken on her head. I have bought Ecco the Dolphin and Zelda for the NES from the VC but haven’t had chances to play those either. Really bought them to experience the VC and yes I can save the games to an SD card thankfully. I’ve been playing Wii Sports almost every day, but think I will take today off because my shoulders are quite sore. I got myself down to an age of 27 yesterday in it of which I was very proud!

I also recently have been in a beta test for a game which I can’t really talk about because I am under an NDA but suffice it to say with all these games I am quite busy. Well I should get back to schoolwork=/

How I got my Wii

Ok so last week I tried and failed to get my Wii because I didn’t anticipate the crowds quite well. Well last night I just happened upon the amazon.com website forums for the Wii and found a lot of people talking that Best Buy was supposed to have more units today. At the time it was pure speculation but there was enough people to confirm it (either through working there or by calling their Best Buy that I believed it). So I planned on getting up early this morning and going out to Best Buy to try to get a Wii.

Continue reading “How I got my Wii”

Butcherblock

Ok so I realize I’m talking about EQ2 way too much but I really am loving this expansion… I keep thinking this is how EQ2 shoulda been at launch and can’t believe that one expansion can really change my perspective on the whole game. I went from being ok with the game to really and trully loving it. I hope that this continues.

So yesterday I made a trip to Antonica because I was starting to run out of quests to do in Greater Faydark and I also wanted to try to figure out how to get the teleport spells (turns out you need to be level 25).  So this run includes a run through butcherblock in order to get to the boats which I can then use to get to go to the old world. I had gone to Butcherblock previously just quickly when I first got in the game to get a sense as to what each zone was like but that quick view didn’t do it justice.

The zone is again completely amazing. It is completely different from anything else in the game and it is huge. Again like Greater Faydark it is not onlyhorizontally large, it is vertically large. There is a dwarven NPC stronghold in the middle of the zone but you can also go up the mountain, in the mountain, over cliffs, etc… there is so much to explore. The mountains themselves are nothing short of awe inspiring… they felt grand… this is exactly what MMOs were made for.

I have hit level 20 since then and have returned to the new world and am now hunting in Butcherblock. The lowest thing in the zone is white to me but I have some quests here so this is where I am… The zone seems largely dominated by kobolds which I don’t think have been in the game before, though I could be wrong. I have never seen them before. I thought they always looked like goblins in most fiction, but in this game they look like strangely deformed gnolls… it is quite cool. I also saw on the way through that there were also gorillas in this zone! I don’t know why but that made me happy. I haven’t seen gorillas in an MMO since Ultima Online and for some reason that felt like such the coolest creature in that game (and walruses)… yet this is the first time since then and i am more than happy to see them again!

My happiness with the expansion continues.

Initial EoF impressions

Well so far I love EoF. Which is actually a bit of a surprise. I have had high hopes for this expansion and usually high hopes are a sure way of getting disappointed, but so far I haven’t been. Now granted I haven’t seen a lot when it comes to EoF, I still like what I see.

So far I am level 13 I think with my fae. I guess I should start at the beginning. Many people have been raving about the new character creation, but honestly I don’t think it is that big of a deal… I like that you get a far view and a head view now without having to zoom between them, but outside of that it doesn’t really matter. I do however love the new character selection screen. EQ2 tried to be too fancy with their selection screen and because of that it took a few minutes to go between characters (they had this whole swoop animation and a big loading time just to get to the screen)… now it is just one distant backdrop so it doesn’t take a lot of resources and when you change your character, it just changes… no fancy swoops… it is nice!

Second, the Newbie experience. I love this one so much more than the other one. For one, you can go back to the tutorial area, and it also is much less tutorialish. It feels more like your natural quests that are given instead of explaining how to do stuff, you are just doing it. At the same time the tooltips pop up to explain things and the beginning quest does go through a range of options including harvesting, exploring, and fighting in various ways. The area isn’t seperate from the rest of the game like in the normal game, so it is much more natural in the game. In fact it isn’t even a seperate zone from Greater Faydark!

Greater Faydark itself is amazing. If this isn’t the largest zone in the game, it has got to be close. On the ground layer there is lowbie monsters to fight and is probably about the size of Thunderring Steppes and Antonica combined. In fact, it  is geared from 1-20 levels of play and because of that there are 2 dffierent types of harvest to get in the same zone. This is the first time that this has happened! It was quite confusing for me when I went to harvest something only to get a notice that I didn’t have the skill to do it. I did say layer correct, above the forest floor is the city Kelethin. And even though the city has fewer buildings than Qeynos, it feels more like a city to me. Qeynos felt very artificial with about a dozen zones with none of them really going together… this one is all one zone, and all of it is in the same theme… in fact not only is Kelethin one zone, you can jump off the treetops of the city and glide down to the forest floor…. this makes Greater Faydark not only large horizontally, but it is large vertically too! I am starting to get the hang of where things are but it is very easy to get lost both on the ground and in the city. I will also note that Kelethin is far and away my favorite city in the game and I very well may move all my characters there in time… it is a great city, the devs should be proud.

I haven’t really had much opportunity to go in any other zone, maybe I will log on one of my biggins and look through them, but for now I am fine with my newb. I have popped into Loping Planes, ButcherBlock mountains and ummm lesser Faydark quickly… they all seem much higher level than me so I haven’t had the chance to explore them, but I will soon enough I am sure. One thing I gotta say about the general look is that this game is very directly addressing one of my biggest complaints in the game… everything in EQ2 looks the same to me, well this isn’t the case with EoF… every zone is very different from anything previously in EQ2 and I LOVE it!!! Desert of Flames to me was just a giant commonlands, though granted I never played much in it… and Kingdom of Sky was just small portions of Antonica on islands (the islands were cool but the environment themselves were no different).

As for monsters, most of what i have seen so far has been recycled. Alot of snakes wolves, orcs, and goblins… but they also use some of the creatures that haven’t seen much use in EQ2 previously like Bixies which is a nice change of pace. These are low levels again so I honestly am not expecting new monsters at this level. I think they want to hold off the new stuff for higher levels where people will be fighting them more which is a good design. I’ve already started one of the new heritage quests which start only level 10! (the previous low was at 20) And I also gotta say that the legend and lore books are much easier to get in this area… I’ve already found 3 in Greater Faydark, most of them are in central areas…. I didn’t even realize they were going to make new versions of the books here in EoF…it was a nice surprise.

I haven’t had much chance to look that the new class specicific AAs.. I have gotten to AA level 2 already thanks to the lower AA level… but have only gone up 1 in each. From looking at the new ones, all of them seem to just improve current skills and then therea re 4 or 5 new skills to use at the ends of the line. In a way I kind of like this because then you aren’t overburdened by new stuff that you may not like… also I like the orginazation better here too… for the final skill you only need to get 20 in its previous types, but you can get them any way you want really so you don’t have to go up 4 in something you don’t want I don’t think… I found one skill in the new tree for my warlock that looks really cool that I want to give a shot at so I’m going up that line.. for these I’ve decided to stay away from the forums… I kinda wanna see the skills for myself before I deem them worthless…

Ummm Let’s see… I haven’t played with adornments, or the new tradeskills so I can’t really make a judgement on those… to be honest right now I really don’t care about tradeskilling so it may take me awhile to check those out.

I will probably have some more impressions as I advance in the game more.

Waiting on Servers

Over the weekend I have been working fairly hard in order to truly catch up on my school work. Not only to catch up really but to get ahead. I’ve gone through all the homework that I had due tomorrow for my Spanish exam done on Sunday, even corrected. I read what I could for my detective lit class, and got all my divine comedy caught up. In addition to this, I also got a lot of errands done yesterday including getting the medicine that I usually get on Tuesdays and also doing my final test for my Geometry class that I’ve been taking through the mail. All this in a hope to play Echoes of Faydwer today uninterrupted.  I was even planning on skipping two classes this morning to get an advantage.

So it shouldn’t surprise you to hear that they aren’t even planning on having the servers up until 8pm my time, and that is if things go well. I wasn’t really expecting this. I had heard from previous expansions that they will generally take the servers down at midnight Pacific and then bring them up at noon pacific, yet they were actually brought down at 6am Pacific this time and are still scheduled to be down for 12  hours! This throws my entire day out of whack and my plan to  playing this game.

I have a test tomorrow morning in my Spanish class so I can’t stay up all night and definitely can’t skip in the morning. I am still going to skip Spanish today and use the time to keep caught up in that class so that come tomorrow I won’t have any work to do after class is done. And I may skip my other class tomorrow. I will go to my second class today as the servers will likely still be down and I really shouldn’t be skipping that class anyway.

So I am now planning on other things to get done in order to prepare for this expansion. I want to clean up my system to make it work in tip top shape so I am uninstalling unused programs, after that I will clean the disks, and fragment them. I want to maintain my caught up status in school so what I may do is read next week’s detective lit material and do the writing assignment early for that class. I also want to study my Spanish in this downtime so that I can get a good grade tomorrow on my quiz. (I earned a BC on my last test, this is my highest grade and I think it was largely due to my new study techniques!)

So my day is still busy and hopefully this won’t actually be too awful. I can always use tomorrow to play all day as I have fewer classes anyway and then I won’t have to worry about a test. I just can’t imagine what they were thinking bringing the servers up at 9pm EST… people are starting to go to sleep at this time… this is essentially DELAYING the game! They should schedule it so that the servers would be up as soon as the first game stores open on the east coast… so they SHOULD be up by 10am EST, instead anyone who buys the game in anticipation will have to come home and wait for 12 hours. That is rediculous.