Bloggers Unite!

So I read Gestalt Mind on a near-daily basis.

I don’t personally know Rao, but he always seemed like a cool guy. Some of the posts on the EQ2 Players website, the Official Forums, along with his constant commentary about the game have reignited my interest.

I got to thinking the other day, about how whenever I happen to play EQ, no one that I personally know, nor many of my “internet-only” friends are ever on. So, along with my self-inflicted burnout, boredom struck from lacking people that I truly enjoyed playing the game with to hang around. My solution? Start a new toon on a new server.

Most of the blogs I read are gaming related. I started reading most of them, because the writers were players of EQ2, and I enjoyed seeing different perspectives of the game (granted, some of the blogs are dedicated to other MMOs, but I still enjoy the content). Unfortunately, a lot of the EQ2 bloggers have either let their blogs go dormant, or they’ve moved on to other games, much like I had in recent months. For most of this year, I’ve played PotBS, Hellgate London, Call of Duty 4, and other various single-player games. Many of the aforementioned people have done the same, or are looking ahead to the new MMOs on the horizon.

Because most of my fellow EQ2 bloggers had fallen out of the loop like I had, I only had one constant reminder of the game: Rao. Rao and I don’t have a personal relationship as I mentioned previously, but we had a common bond through the game, and have read and commented on each others’ blogs for quite some time. I gave it some thought, and decided that I would email him and see if he would be interested in getting together on his server to play the game. He accepted my proposal, and I created a new toon on the Unrest server where he plays.

Not knowing exactly what class to start out with, I scanned my memory of his recent game related posts, and remembered that he mentioned something about his guild being in need of a Guardian. Granted, I may never join his guild, I may not even see this new toon hit the level cap, and I just might want to join a different guild when the time comes. But the option of joining his guild is ever present, knowing that I’d have an “in” with him, so I decided to make a class that would be desirable. Plus, I’m a damn good tank.

Surprisingly, I’ve enjoyed the Guard thus far. He was created on Saturday night, and though I spent the first couple hours chatting it up with Rao, he managed to hit level 8 before I called it a night. On Sunday, he hit level 12, completed a large chunk of quests, earned his first 3 AA points, and almost finished the Bristlebane’s Day quest line (which isn’t bugged in Neriak, by the way). Rao was kind enough to jump on his Tailor and make some bags for my new lowbie. He then logged on his Carpenter to make some boxes, and then even sent me a plat in the mail. There was already talk of making some CA upgrades, and I’m sure armor will be in the works as well. We’ve pretty much decided that he will use his Brigand/Wizard dual-box combo to power level me, and then we’ll be a force to reckon with when we’re on par with each other. Throw in a healer and we’ll be set for trashing instances, even if the pace might be a little slower than a full group. But, a friend of his also dual-boxes, so we might just have a 5 man group very soon. I’m liking the idea so far.

If any of the other bloggers in the circle want to join us, feel free. It would be nice if we did something like what was done a while back with the worldwide blogger chat channel, but much more fulfilling having more players to group with. Just a thought. Anyway, this will most likely end my EQ2 hiatus, and hopefully I can come up with some more game-related posts for the site. Stay tuned.

March in Review

Jumping on the bandwagon isn’t normally my thing, but I’ve read quite a few blogs with monthly reviews, and not only is the info interesting, but it can also be quite humorous. So, without further adieu, here’s March in review:

Basic Statistics:
996 hits.
+117 over February (879 hits).
-2311 under best month ever (3,307 hits, August 07).

Top Referrer:
Gestalt Mind 
(Thanks Rao!)

New Linking Site:
Arcane Gamer 
(It’s been a while since I got a new linking site, but it is appreciated!)

Top Posts:
1. Neriak Newbie Guide
2. Race/Class Combinations
3. EQ2 Meme
4. Dual Boxing
5. Nine Inch Nails Ghosts
6. Neriak Crafter’s Guide (P.O.I.s)
7. What D&D Character Would You Be?
8. A Better Tank
9. The Norrathian Newbie 3 – Chests
10. The Norrathian Newbie – Control Effects

It seems that my old EQ2 posts still bring in the most traffic, but a couple of my newer posts from the last month managed to make the list. The 1st post on the list is my top post of all time as well, pulling in more hits than other posts pretty consistently. Apparently I’m the Neriak Newbie authority.

Search Engine Terms:

Top: “Lost Souls” (go figure on this one)
Best: “Suicidal Pussy” (I know how they found my site using the terms, that was an actual blog post title, about my roommates cat that almost leap to its death from our second story apartment. But what the person making the search was looking for, I have no idea)
Runner Up: “Drug Testing at Soboba” (Definitely not going to find help passing your upcoming drug test at this site, but funny that I work there and they ended up at my site looking for this kind of info)

A Year in the Past:
I was a bit unproductive during March of last year. I made a whopping 4 blog posts. Nothing like it’s been in recent months. I also didn’t have much of a social life, EQ2 and being a nerd in general took up my time. I was upset that it seemed my group of friends had grown apart, and that I was alone. I was spending my nights after work veggin’ out on the computer, and Gina was working graveyard at the casino. Occasionally I would go to my now room-mate John’s house, but otherwise I spent most of my time sitting in front of the computer screen. The guild that I helped create in EQ2 fell apart, and I started to feel a slight burn out with the game, so I turned to other games here and there.

The Present:
March of 2008 was a much better month than March of 2007. My social life is in full swing again. I got married early in the month, and the wife and I have never been better. John and I have spent time vegging out, and I’ve gone out to the movies, dinner, and the bar a few times. I started playing PotBS, and then left it behind. I started playing Hellgate London, and enjoy the game, and I’ve found new enjoyment in EQ2, which I hadn’t been playing for a few months (at least not regularly). Overall, life is good.

That’s about all I have to review. I may add new categories in future months when I think of them. I was trying not to blatantly cut and paste the review format used at The Ancient Gaming Noob, but it’s definitely similar, and I apologize in advance for any infringement. See you again next month.

A Worthy Expense

I played some more Hellgate London on Wednesday night after work. I managed to get to level 12 on my Engineer before deciding that I would play some CoD4. I ended up playing that until about 2 in the morning before calling it a night. As far as HG:L goes, I’m still having a lot of fun with the game, and I feel I have enough of a feel for it, so I’m going to write a review for it. Look for that shortly.

Thursday was a good and bad day rolled into one. I woke up in the afternoon and had some breakfast (biscuits and gravy are awesome!) and then I set about lounging. Gina got a call from her ex, and I ended up having to call him back to set a few things straight. Long story short, he got instantly combative so the phone call was cut short. I was a little heated after wards, so I took a few to calm down, and then I played some games. We had made plans previously to go to the bar with a few friends, so I killed enough time til it was time to go, and then we headed out. John (gasp!) actually came along this time, which is rare for him. We went to the Wheel House Bar, and thankfully there was a pool table left open, so I quickly snatched that up. We then got to drinking and playing some pool.

I played horribly all night, and for some reason, one of the worst pool players ever managed to win something like 8 in a row. He’s my friend, but I had to give him shit. Overall, a bunch of our friends showed up and we all had a great time. We were there from around 9 p.m. til almost 2 a.m., and all of us got pretty wasted. We headed home shortly thereafter, and almost everyone decided to come along. There was a little bit of drama at our house, and though I won’t name names, the story is humorous to me so I will give the broad details. Me and Gina got back to the house first, followed by the other few people who came, and we ended up drinking the leftover beer we had in the fridge. Someone came here with Del Taco, and we all asked where ours was, so those people decided to go out again, and it was making it pretty obviously that the guy and girl were into each other. At least, that’s the way everyone was taking it, and the guy’s girlfriend was sitting there with us, while he left with the other girl. So when they all got back, as soon as it was just Gina and the girl, she told the girl to leave. The conversation went something like this:

Gina: I think you should leave.
Girl: Uh, what?
Gina: You need to leave now.
Girl: Um, ok…
Gina: Get the fuck out of my house before you get your ass beat.
Girl: Uh, can you open the garage door?
Gina: You can fucking crawl.

The girl proceeded to crawl under the garage door, and as she did, Gina made sure to give her a swift kick in the ass. Unfortunately, when the guy came back out, he got angry and left as well. Things are kosher now, but I was a little worried he would be upset about it for a while. I’m sure there’s more to the story on everyone else’s part, but I just thought it was hilarious to watch the girl crawl under the garage door and get her ass kicked. Shortly thereafter the guy’s girlfriend left as well, and I crashed out.

Yesterday, as most hangover days go, I didn’t do much of anything. Gina went and got us some food and I got out of bed to eat it. Then we decided to watch some pay-per-view movies, and John joined us. We watched Good Luck Chuck first, and directly after that we watched Superbad. The former was a so-so movie, it had some good and some bad parts. The bad in particular was during the emo-tastic middle of the movie. Superbad was awesome from start to finish, and rather long for a comedy. I decided that I had to own that one, so later on in the day I set out to find it and a couple others online. I ended up ordering it, Poolhall Junkies and Bee Movie for the kids. Poolhall Junkies is one I had already seen, but is an awesome flick, and I couldn’t ever find it anywhere so it was a good buy at $10.

After that, we ended up going out to eat. Initially we headed to Chili’s, but the place was fuckin’ packed and I didn’t feel like waiting. So we headed to Polly’s, which is in the same parking lot. There was no wait, and I had eaten there before and it was pretty good so I gave it my recommendation. Apparently the last time I went though, it was when some decent waitresses were working, because our service sucked. We got sat down, given menus, and then were completely ignored for 20 minutes. So Gina and John were pissed and we walked out. We finally arrived at Steer n’ Stein, a place I hadn’t eaten at in years, and Gina had never been. We grubbed down and it was delicious, though a bit pricey. I rounded out my night play some vids before hitting the hay.

On a side note, apparently me and Gina and Chris are all cool now. He’s been at the bar the last few times we’ve gone, and there hasn’t been much tension, and I guess him and Gina talked the other night and went over everything. If she’s ok, then I guess I am too. He’s been cool, so there’s no reason for us to have any problems.

One last note. I sent Rao, from Gestalt Mind an email last night, trying to find out some info about him in EQ2-land. I got the information I needed in an email today, and I plan to roll a lowbie on his server to play with him. I read about his adventures almost daily, and it seems he plays the way I used to. And, his play time corresponds well with mine, so I think I’m going to try and spark up a duo, and hell, maybe even jump into his guild. Just trying to reignite my EQ2 love, as I’ve tried a lot of things and nothing has worked quite as well as I would have liked. Thankfully, Hellgate is free, so I don’t have to worry about wasted money if I don’t play it every day. EQ2 has been a waste of money for a while and I intend to rectify that.

That’s all for now. I have two other articles in the works so look for those later in the week. Until then…

Reason To Believe

I only have a few tidbits for today, just random updates like I always do.

I got sick. I called off work on Sunday intentionally, because I went to Ted’s kick ass party on Saturday night after work, and I knew I wouldn’t want to get up in the morning. Turns out it would be for more than one reason. I was hungover in the morning (or late afternoon I should say) when I got up, but later in the day my throat started to burn and I felt some chest congestion. This turned into a headache, and when we went to the bar for Megan’s 21st (as promised), it just got worse. I didn’t drink much, but I also though that I was just experiencing a pretty bad hangover, so I figured some hair o’ the dog would help. It did a little, but not enough. I felt pretty bad when I got home, and decided that I would go to the doctor on Monday, but that would mean I would have to call of again. I thought it wouldn’t matter though, because in going to the doctor I would be able to get a note, and that should excuse the absence. So this is what I did.

Unfortunately, I got up early on Monday and called the Doctor’s office, and they told me they would be unable to see me. So I called up Urgent Care to make an appointment, but they said they only take walk-ins. So I headed over there, and after a good long wait (they also had to call my Dr. to get a referral for my insurance) I was seen, just to be told that there was pretty much nothing they could do for me. I figured as much, but I was worried that what I had could be worse than it was, so in a way it was a relief. I got my doctor’s note and headed home, where some Day-quil awaited me.

Today I went back to work, and though I expected something bad to happen like a write up, nothing did. But, we were pretty short handed, so maybe they didn’t have time to get to it. I’m not sure. Regardless, I felt like shit and had a shitty schedule, so the day dragged on. I made one for sure decision today. I’m getting tired of working at the casino, and I have already applied for a few jobs. I’m not going to jinx myself though, so I’m not going to talk about them. All I know is that it will be nice to see where these applications go. The jobs I’ve applied for all pay more, and it would be nice to make more money.

I’ve also been toying with the idea of going back to school. But not a regular college… that was for the birds. I’m thinking of going to I.T.T.; anyone have any experience with a school like this? Would it be worth it? I’m not sure, and I really don’t want more debt from student loans, but I need to start working to make something of myself before it’s too late. I’m already 25. 35 will be here before I know it, and I don’t want to be making the measly $14/hr. I’m making now for the rest of my life. $20/hr. sounds good, but I’m sure I could make more if I went back to school. I hate school though, and it’s against everything I’ve stood for, but again, the money may make the difference.

In other news, today Pennywise released their new album, entitled “Reason To Believe”. It’s pretty good, and best of all you can get it for free. If you have a myspace, you need to go to Pennywise’s profile, find “textango” in their friends list, and add them as a friend. They will send you a message containing the download link, and you’ll get it for free. That’s how I did it. I don’t feel bad about it either, since Pennywise endorsed the whole thing, but also because I’ve bought all of their other albums, so they’ve gotten enough of my money.

Last but not least, I played quite a bit of Hellgate London over the past couple days. Being sick tends to give you more free time. My Engineer is now level 11, and has upgraded a lot of his gear. The game is getting really fun at this point. My drone is now equipped with a gun of his own, and my other bots are upgraded and doing their thing. I can’t wait to see what this toon can do when he’s a lot higher level. Here’s a couple screens taken yesterday, one of him blasting shit, and the other of some of his new gear. That’s about all for me for today. Pasta.

blastin.jpg

updated.jpg

Screens from London

I’ve been playing Hellgate London pretty regularly. The game has piqued my interest, and held it thus far. I’m hoping it lasts, unlike my experience with PotBS. I’ve made myself 3 characters online now, restarting my Engineer, along with making a Guardian and a Summoner. All three characters play differently, and they all have plenty to offer. The skill tress are interesting, and the gear in the game is freakin’ cool. So far my highest level is the Engineer, sitting at level 9. The Guard is level 4, and the Summoner is level 4 also. From what I’ve seen, the Engineer is still going to be my main, though sometimes it’s cool to mess around with magic or a sword instead of the guns.

engineer.jpg

Here’s my Engineer, just arriving in the 3rd station.

guardian.jpg

My Guardian, looking pretty spiffy with some plate armor and Glowy Sword/Board.

summoner.jpg

My Summoner, dual wielding a focus item and dart gun.

I have yet to play with my Dad, as we’ve just missed each other or he’s been playing EQ2 a lot. I’m still subscribed but haven’t played much. PotBS is expired and good riddance. Otherwise I play some CoD4 here and there, or go out with friends. Speaking of which, last night was Ted’s party. Him and a few of the other officers from work had birthdays this month, so they had a combined party to celebrate. There were two kegs, and plenty of other things to drink. Gonzalo, a tech at work, D.J.’ed and he did a great job. I played around with some of his stuff, scratching a bit along with singing along to Danzig’s “Mother”, on his mic. Was a blast, and afterwards we met Megan and Herbie at Little Louie’s where they were having another drink. Megan had just turned 21, so she finally could get into the bar, so we had to go see that. When the bar closed we went to their house for a little while, and got home late. Needless to say I didn’t go to work today.

In a little bit we’re supposed to go to the bar again. I unfortunately have to work tomorrow, so I won’t be staying late, nor will I be drinking. I’m just going to hang out while everyone celebrates Meg’s b-day. And… that’s about all.