Category Archives: Geek

More on MMOs

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(OHAI GUYZ. I MADE A POST.)

So, as mentioned MUCH earlier (like… nearly a year ago-earlier) two of the big MMOs in our sights were GW2 and SWTOR.  Oh, I suppose to be more specific, the fact that GW2 and SWTOR had been in our sights, but GW2 was quickly falling off the radar, as far as personal preferences go.  GW2 was just sounding more and more like not the kind of game I wanted to play.  SWTOR won by default, with David’s devotion to everything Bioware and Star Wars (except the prequels… we don’t talk about those) overwhelming the more distant “that seems kinda interesting” feelings I had toward GW.  GW appearing to become more and more the type of game neither of us wanted to play was really the nail in the coffin.

SWTOR became our new hope.  (u c wut i did thar?)  Both Bioware and LucasArts were stingy with information, close mouthed and doling it out in minute drops.  We even ended up resubscribing to WoW, since we’d been goofing off on some other F2P games, but finding them less-fun than the Blizzard Behemoth. We even had high hopes for Cataclysm, dropping the money and getting about a months worth of playtime in it before (re-)discovering that WoW just doesn’t do it for us anymore.

As is also probably obvious from another recent post of mine, I discovered Rift. I didn’t go into it with any real expectations… Over the summer, David and I had gotten into the habit of signing up for any betas/F2Ps that looked even remotely interesting. And the soul system of Rift was definitely interesting enough to get a beta key and spend some quality time with the downloader. I certainly didn’t intend to enjoy it as much as I did. And suddenly, my Rift-raves started to sound a lot like David’s devotion to SWTOR.  There was once again two games on our potential horizon.

Granted, the likelihood of being able to start Rift much before SWTOR’s release (since they’re aiming for sometime this year) is a bit iffy due to a total MMO hiatus until end of summer due to baby.  It just puts them on more even footing. And while Rift appeals to me for the aspects of it, it also appeals because it’s a known quantity, which due to the secrecy surrounding SWTOR, you can’t say about the Other Game.

But I’ve still been keeping track. I watch MMO news/blog sites, and SWTOR is still in the running for Next Big Thing, with all the supposition and commentary you’d expect to find when people are left to their own devices to interpret vague developer comments.

Well, I’ve been watching those vague developer comments, and…  I’m not really liking where it SEEMS like it’s going.

First off, I may not share David’s love for them, but I have a lot of respect for Bioware. They make some great games. I also grew up on Star Wars, though my devotion to the franchise is… not terribly devoted.  David loves both, with a love matched only by his love of good chocolate and weird beers.

Just to get that out there before I start.  Ahem.

Okay, so.  Bioware has stated that they want to use SWTOR to put the RPG back in MMORPGs. But I’m worried that they’re going to make an awesome subscription-based RPG, that misses the whole MMO boat.  There’s not a lot of detail as to what they actually mean by their comment, beyond some mentions of the class quests. Well, this sets me to worrying… What is the primary function of the RPG? You, playing a pivotal character. A hero. When you think of RPGs, you think of heroes. MMOs lend themselves much more to adventurers than heroes. The bar is lower. The club is more open. It’s more “reasonable” to see multiple high-level characters running around.  To poke at the RPG aspect, it doesn’t ruin your immersion, which seeing a 100 other people who are heroes Just Like You would do in a traditional RPG. Playing a hero works in a single player game. You’re the only one awesome enough to be controlled by someone NOT the computer, after all.  MMOs require it to work in a setting surrounded by other people.

Also, Bioware wants to focus more on the class quest lines. Now, I have NO IDEA how important these will be, or how much time they’ll take up. But it’s pretty likely that all the real pivotal moments of gameplay for your character, the real character development, will come from these class quests. Well, guess what? Unless you want to create a party of all Jedi Knights, you’re going to be looking at a lot of time soloing, or potentially helping your buddy through run around and kill stuff quests that you can’t actually participate in yourself.  (Have I mentioned recently that I don’t solo? Cause I don’t.)

I’m also REALLY worried about the crews. I mean, think about it. You have minions. These minions do all your crafting/gathering/professioning, leaving you to be awesome. They also interact with you, have deep and meaningful quests and storylines, and can even be romanced.

Why would you want to play with other players? I mean really… You could have SnarkyRobotDPS backing you up and providing witty commentary tailored to your current progress on his storyline… or you could have IMAJEDILOL and his endless piles of leetspeek.

Is SWTOR a MMO? I’ve forgotten.

(Special thanks to Larry Everett at Massively, who made a post summing up/sharing all my concerns.  He probably does a MUCH better job putting them together than I do, and you all should read it.)

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So, Rift…

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Okay, I’ll fully admit I’m totally ready to eat my words. I’ve seen a lot of hype about Rift, enough to get myself into beta, but… I wasn’t sold on the prospect. I had tried a few characters in the last beta (screenshots at the bottom) and I was torn. The game itself ran well, was polished, and pretty fun… But I was having issues with the characters I made. Each I was dissatisfied with (for stupid Marianne-specific that-makes-no-sense reasons) so each one hit approximately level 7 before I decided it wasn’t for me and tried something else. That was how things stood two weeks ago in Beta 5.

The problems I mentioned above were stupid, I’ll admit. My first attempt at a character was a cleric (of course) in the Defiant faction, and I went for Druid/Shaman/Justicar. Essentially a melee-dps “I hit things with a giant hammer and they FEEL IT” ret pally playstyle with a little fairy to follow me around and play healbot to me and anyone else in my party. We’ve already established that Marianne doesn’t play games alone, and so shit DIED. Shit died so fast David and I didn’t even have time to blink. Listening to chat over the course of her 1-7 grind, I seemed to have stumbled upon the best cleric leveling build, one of the better leveling builds in the game as it stands, purely by accident.  I picked things that seemed to go together and, um, it totally went together.My hammer is hiding, but it will smash your face in.

So, yeah, I stopped playing a character because it was OP and I was bored. Go me.

Attempt number two went somewhat like the first. I made another character, this time a rogue and Guardian faction, because I wanted to try it (both class and other faction’s quests) out. Now, I’d done melee last time, so I decided I wanted to be ranged, and there is a bard soul for rogue as well, so I knew I had to pick that up. So I decided to go Ranger/Marksman/Bard. Ranger gave me a pet and some ranged shots, Marksman gives MOAR RANGED DAMAGE, and bard gives general group buffs, as well as the ability to channel music at enemies and smite them down with it.  Bard was pretty awesome, and it made me giggle. However, there was a slight problem: shit died. Shit died WAY TOO EASILY. Where was the challenge in this game? All I’d seen so far was stuff dies almost as soon as I look at it. Sure enough, I’ve picked the “best” solo rogue leveling build and one of the best in the game once again. Once again, I’m not leveling solo. Once again, I’m bored out of my mind. I want games that can actually be a challenge, damnit!WAR PIGGY

Fast forward to last Friday, the start of Beta 6. I’m somewhat hesitant to play, even though I’ve only tried half the classes, and a VERY SMALL FRACTION of the potential soul combinations. (thank you firefox, combinations IS a word. :P) There are also a couple things that I still really WANT to try, more than just “I should try this cause I haven’t.” I’ve also seen a lot of RAVE reviews, mostly from people and sources I trust, all saying the game is awesome and implying it takes a bit to get going. So I decide to go for it. So the plan was hatched: Find a character I want to play and get past level 7, aim for 10 or 15, and see when the game starts getting good and how good it is.

First step is resetting to my default. I look for characters and classes who are purely support and go from there. First try was a mage, specifically a Chloromancer/Dominator/Archon. I have buffs, I have CC, and I have healing debuffs. We’re back Defiant because mad science > religious zealotry. I’m trying Chloromancer because it’s a very interesting and different type of class from any I’ve seen before. I attack my target with debuffs which have a chance to cause healing to anyone hitting that target. Unfortunately, I’m somewhat flailing because my damage is shit, we totally don’t need CC, and the chance to heal is pretty low until you get a chunk of points invested in the class. I seem to have bypassed “support” and gone straight to “useless” so alas, she gets set aside as well.A fully-clothed mage? UNPOSSIBLE!

By now, I’m beginning to flail. Doing the dishes Friday night, I’m whining at David about the game, the fact it’s either too easy or too useless, that Trion needs to be able to sell a game in the first 5 levels, not wait until it gets fun at some unspecified “later” and generally being a ranty mess. David, since this beta and game was my idea anyway, reasonably suggests quitting if it’s not being fun.  I decide no, I’m gonna push forward a bit. There’s one more thing that’s on my list to try, and I want to try it before I was my hands of the game entirely.

You guessed it, I rolled another cleric. This one a Sentinel/Purifier/Cabalist, basically as close as Rift comes to WoW’s holy priest. Sentinel gives me a variety of heals, including smart-AOE, a Nature’s Swiftness equivalent , and a binding-heal clone at later levels. Purifier gives me some pally-like single-target nuke heals. Cabalist I took because I felt I needed to have SOME DPS ability, but I haven’t actually invested any points in it to speak of.  It just gives me a small boost to spell power and a single 3-target AOE damage spell.

Maybe it’s because we’d just done the Defiant noob zone 2 hours earlier, but we zoom through with nary a pause. I do fail!dps and healing as needed, David does most of the killing. It’s like Vanilla WoW all over again (back when my idea of MMOs was “follow David and heal him”) in some ways, because the DPS of the healbot in Rift is very much less the DPS of a healbot in Cata. But for the first time, we cracked the lv 7 barrier. At lv 8, we were in the first “main zone” of the game, outside of the safe noob areas, and experiencing what Rift was supposed to be about. We learned about questing and Rifts.

By the end of Friday night, Rift was in the category of “more fun” but I was still somewhat skeptical. Sure it’s pretty, sure the classes are *really* interesting, sure I’ve finally found something I’m having a blast with… But those rifts… I’m trying to quest, and I just want to turn this stupid quest in, and I can’t because there’s a rift with elite mobs pouring out of it and oh-god and they’ve killed the quest mob… damnit. We’d participated in a few Rift closings, and they were kinda fun… But when you’re trying to quest it’s kinda a hassle. Sure, it’s fun now, but how will it feel after the 100th? 200th?Tentacles are their own reward.

By Saturday, I realized I was looking at the game from the wrong perspective. Rift is about it’s name. It’s about closing rifts. THAT’S what you’re supposed to do. Questing is just something you do to kill time while you’re waiting for rifts to pop. The lightbulb went off and I dragged David back into the game with renewed fervor. We spent several hours questing as we went, but spending most of our focus running toward any rifts we happened to see falling out of the sky.  Major invasion? Oh, well we have a quest to turn in to the south, so let’s go for the more southerly rifts first. By the time it came to turn off the computers Sunday for D&D, we’d both reached lv 16, had cleared enough rifts (thanks to a major death invasion) to get the tokens for epic pants, and accumulated the money (after raiding the above-mentioned alts) to snag mounts.Vainyuu love. <3 my half-headed antelope.

And now, we wait. Beta 6 closes this morning, and there’s one more week-long beta planned for next week leading up to the game’s release. I know I’m going to be playing it. It’s the best thing since sliced bread, and the most fun I’ve had in a game since…  about forever. Therein lies our problem.

Our MMO funds are completely tied up in WoW at the moment. We don’t have the money to play two MMOs, with two monthly fees and two accounts. Right now is also REALLY not the time to purchase the start-up funds for two new MMOs either, not with the house set to close next month and the baby due in July. I’m also WAY more into Rift than David is. David is focused almost entirely on SWTOR, which he’s much more into than I am. About the only thing we do agree on right now is WoW isn’t really doing it for us. What WoW does have is our weekly game night with friends.

Currently the plan is to cancel our account to WoW in late-June/early-July, to end as close to just before the baby is due as possible (since we won’t be playing ANYTHING with a brand newborn), and then reassess or MMO time/desires in August/September, when we’re at the point where we can start thinking about doing things for ourselves again. Maybe then I’ll be able to play Rift. Maybe SWTOR will be released and David’ll snag us into that. Maybe WoW will be the shiznit and we’ll be back there. Or maybe we’ll decide that we don’t want to do any MMOs at all.

So yeah, Rift is awesome, I love it, and I’d totally rate it worth the price of admission. Also, sooper-seekrit message to past-self: When does Rift really get fun? The answer is lv 8-10, when you first get to the open world and can start participating in rift closures. And if any of you are also participating in the beta, feel free to friend Basmajini (me) or Thalis (David) on the Shardfallen server.

Earthdawn is Awesome

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So here is my complete and un-biased review of one of the lesser-known tabletop RP systems: Earthdawn.  I say it’s complete, though it only references the original FASA 1st ed and the LRG 2nd ed.  I know 3rd ed and the “redbox” also exist, but I’m a cheap gamer and suffer (willingly) from “this game works just fine the way it is, I don’t need a new version” syndrome.  Also, I say it’s unbiased because it’s me and my biases don’t count, do they?  Besides, they should be obvious from the title.

So, to reiterate for the masses….  I’m a tabletop gamer.  D&D, Vampire, you’ll-pry-my-dice-out-of-my-cold-dead-hands type.  I’m not the most knowledgeable gamer out there…  my “have played” pile is much shorter than my haven’t.  But the big ones, and a couple of the more minor ones, I’ve poked my way through well enough to figure out a character sheet.  All that being said, Earthdawn really is one of the best.

First off, it’s a Fantasy game.  If Scifi/Cyberpunk/wargames are your thing, you’re going to disagree with me.  That’s fine.  I’m just more unbiased than you.

Okay, as for how it’s awesome:

  1. Customization
  2. Party Balance
  3. XP Explained!
  4. You Don’t Suck
  5. Bucket of (Exploding) Dice

Okay, customization.  How is it NOT customizable?  First off, it uses a hybrid level/non-level system.  Which doesn’t make sense saying it like that, so lemme explain.  There are levels in Earthdawn.  They’re called circles, are tied to your class, and each circle gives you new class abilities to play with.  That being said, you don’t need to go up in circle EVER.  You get the option to go up in circle when you’ve accumulated enough XP to progress your class abilities to a certain set point.  You get the option.  So you can be the fighter who is 5th circle with a few points in a half-dozen different abilites to throw into a combat situation….  or you could be the fighter with the same XP total, 1st circle, and just a massive amount of melee weapon skill.  You’re just as effective, you’re just DIFFERENTLY effective.  1st circle Fighter is better at swords, maces, axes, etc. than 5th circle fighter, 5th circle just has more tricks (like “I go first” or “I take less damage”)

Secondly, you’ve a lot of freedom with the type of game you play with Earthdawn.  Sky Pirates?  Easy.  Survival Horror?  Built in.  Buckling swashes?  Done.  Good guys?  Of course.  Bad guys?  Simple.  Pick your class, pick your setting, pick your focus, you’ve got a game.

Related, party balance is a non-issue.  No, no, hear me out.  Everyone’s familiar with the holy trinity in gaming.  It applies to RPGs of both the tabletop and console/computer variety.  You’ve got the one who tanks it with face, the healer, and the one who does damage but is kinda squishy.  Earthdawn doesn’t have that.  There is no healing, or more specifically, everyone heals themselves.  If everyone in the party wants to play a fighter, or a spellcaster, or an archer…  you’re not screwed!

Most interestingly, is the legend system.  Most games don’t ever actually explain why killing a few dozen rats at lv 1 makes you better at…  picking locks.  You kill shit, get your XP, and level.  With Earthdawn, XP, Magic, and your character are all tied to one thing: word of mouth, aka Legend.  You’re not just some schmuck who killed some rats, you’re So-and-so The Rat Killer  The more you do, the more you’re talked about, the wider your fame grows.  The more you’re talked about, the more the fabric of the world takes notice, and the more important you get.  The more important you get to reality (the higher your XP total), the more powerful you become.  Want to level more quickly?  Get a Troubador into the party, or spend some of your loots on a freelancer to make certain a good tale is told.

Not that you’d expect to kill rats in Earthdawn…  Starting characters in Earthdawn are special, because they’re someone already a bit more closely tied to Legend…  a prodigy if you will.  You don’t face the D&D lv 1 wizard conundrum…  You know, “Why am I adventuring when I can cast 1 spell a day, and if an acorn falls on my head, it’ll kill me?”  You’re adventuring because you’re GOOD at something.  You’re the kid who can hit the target as often as people who’ve been using a bow for as long as you’ve been alive.  You’re quicker with a sword than people with double your experience.  You can do magic.  You’re a hero, and you’re off to save the world (or bend it to your will…)

Finally, dice.  Gamers love their dice, and Earthdawn uses all of them.  And they’re smart about it too, because every gamer loves the feeling of rolling more dice than they can comfortably  hold in their hand…  and rolling max means explosions…  Each gets to roll again.  D4s have a 25% chance to explode, which is why those little caltrops are known as the gift that keeps on giving.  You roll, count, reroll any die that’s on it’s max number, reroll again and again and again…  It appeals to the big numbers junkie we all have inside us.

 

If none of that is enough to tempt you, I can quickly mention that Earthdawn, being originally a FASA game, is a prehistory of Shadow Run, one of the big boys in the market.  Not that it really matters; very little was done to tie the two together, but you’ll find most of the races/racial bonuses familiar.  Earthdawn just has a few extra.  Also, armor makes sense… it reduces the amount of damage you take from being hit, it doesn’t make you harder to hit.  I dunno about you, bit it’s pretty easy to hit that guy wearing full plate, he moves slow!  But it’s hard to actually make him feel it.  Screw you, D&D.

Lissandra Millay D’Orien

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This is NOT good writing.  It’s kinda stream-of consiousnessy and bulletpointy in parts.  It also assumes a working knowledge of D&D’s Eberron campaign setting.  If you don’t have any of the above, feel free to skip (but check out David’s write-up, for his characters’ list of titles if nothing else— He cracks me up.)

Lissandra Millay D’Orien
Emeric Millay — Father = Member of House — Dragonmarked
Gisella Renard — Mother = Magesmith — not dragonmarked

Raised by Grandparents, member of the Patriarch’s Council — Transportation Guild
Bayard Millay– Grandfather — Dragonmark Heir.  Authoritarian type
Amelinna Millay — Grandmother.  current primary mother figure.

Trained by Wizard– Unmarked member of House.  Roland Millay — Trained all magic-using cousins

Cousin Rosamond — best friend

Helena — Rival.

——————–

Result of father’s sowing of “wild oats” – affair with a pretty magesmith who works the Lightning Rail in Passage.  He was ~17.  Acknowledged by fathers’ family, though not claimed until Dragonmark manifested.  Father has since married, she has several half-siblings.  Father spends most of his time away, remains a bit wild and chaotic; family thinks it best if he directs his excess energy to work and not at home causing trouble (like using his good looks to father more surprises).  Mother still works as a magesmith, stubbornly independent.

Dragonmark manifested 6-8ish.  Almost run over by a cart in the market.  Also about the time she started exhibiting magic.  Was brought quickly into the household and training in use of dragonmark, magic, and house business/etiquette/politics.  Raised by her grandparents (views Grandfather as a father-figure; whereas she views her father as more a distant uncle) amidst her cousins.  Has grown somewhat distant from her mother.

Did not react well to suddenly being moved to Grandfather’s house.  Transition smoothed by Rosamond, she was the same age as Liss and took it upon herself to comfort and help her.  Have remained very close since, exchanging frequent letters when apart, or spending quiet time together when both are home in Passage.

Liss doesn’t view her abilities with magic as anything particularly special.  In much the same way some people are left-handed, or short, or have brown eyes, magic is just something that happens.  She thinks she has magic ability due to blood, as her mother is a magesmith, and her father’s family is Dragonmarked, closely tied with the Council.  While she doesn’t find her abilities with magic particularly noteworthy, she feels magic in general is, and will often spend free time with her nose buried in a book on the nature of magic, or magical theory.

As for personality and beliefs, Liss considers herself to be religious (she follows the Sovereign Host — pantheon not specific) and has been trained by her grandfather to view her responsibilities to the House as the most important thing.  She is, at heart, a people pleaser, striving to actively do good and seek responsibilities, and one of the first things she learned living with her grandparents was the way to gain approval was to follow directions, and strive for excellence in anything which will bring honor/respect/profit to the house.  As such, it has never really occurred to her that she has any options other than hard work and following the rules.

Liss knows that politics are a fact of life, and as such, there are many (potential) rivals to her family’s purposes within the house.  She does not view any of them as being really personal with a single exception.  Helena was originally a rival purely on a familial basis.  Her uncle is also a member of the Patriarch’s Council and is often in disagreement with Liss’ grandfather.  However, years of (external) comparison between the two (both being of roughly the same age, rank, and both being magic users of equal power), as well as a general difference in personality, have led to both feeling a strong sense of personal dislike toward the other.

Lissandra is currently adventuring as a means of improving herself.  She has traveled to {wherever the game is starting} as part of a one-way caravan.  She has found she prefers this sort of travel as it allows her to gain a bit of distance from the largest portion of her grandfathers’ influence.  (She wants to be treated equally, with equal responsibility, which she always second guesses on jobs gained through her family’s influence.)

Appearance and details:
Liss is 17 years old, and just on the small side of average in size.  She shares her mothers’ general appearance: blue eyes, black hair, fair skin.  Her time with her grandparents has left her keenly aware of the importance of appearance, and as such she pays careful attention to her fashion and dress, appearing in whatever is most appropriate.  Left to her own devices, however, she prefers comfort and simplicity, gravitating to loose dresses and robes in neutral colors.
At present, she wears a set of excruciatingly well-made, though otherwise simple and unadorned, travelers gear.  She keeps her hair bound back, either in a low ponytail, or with several long hairsticks.
Liss’ dragonmark spreads across the back of her neck and shoulder, mostly hidden beneath her clothes and hair.

Alive

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But not much to say.  Reactivated the WoW subscription, but spending 99.999% of my time playing with long-forgotten lowbies (Oh baby shammy, how I love you) and being a hermit.

Which doesn’t leave much to write about.

So I’m not gonna write about that.  I’m gonna write about gaming.

As my longtime readers know, I’m what could probably be considered an active gamer.  Pen and paper, specifically.  Our weekend Planescape game is still going strong (one year, 17 levels, finally approaching The End Of The Story; the only question is will we finish before some of our group dings epic levels) and we have an additional Wednesday night game that works on a bit of a different basis.

See, Sunday is full of epic.  David is the GM, he’s all about the epic story arcs, filled with interesting characters and more plot hooks than you can shake a stick at.  He’s also very experienced, and prefers games in long formats.  Long-running, both in the “this game takes a year to tell the story” and in the “we sit down and play for 6-10 hours at a stretch.”  Needless to say, this also takes quite a bit of work and planning on his part, as well as effectively cutting him off from actually PLAYING in anything.  That’s why there’s Wednesday.

If Sunday is the epic movie trilogy (like LotR), Wednesday is Who’s Line is it Anyway.  It’s short (2 hours; 3 tops if we don’t do much chatting), experimental (try out new systems, new GMs, new characters), and small in scope  (games run 2-3 weeks on the short end, 6 on the long).  It’s a risk with all those factors, but it’s also a good exercise, at least for me.  I’m a creature of habit, I want to settle into a system, or a character, and explore the heck out of it over a long period of time.  Wednesday is way outside of my comfort zone.  For all that I whined about it (“But I was JUST GETTING INTO my last character!”) I’m looking forward to the game starting tonight.  I’ll probably follow this post up with backstory, just to fluff my post count.  >.>

Adventures in Amazon

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In celebration of our birthdays a couple weeks ago, David and I decided to do something we’d been talking about for a while:  We hit up Amazon.com and snagged a Wii.

Backstory–  I didn’t grow up with a console.  I played Super Mario Bros a few times (first stage, once you go underground through the first pipe, I totally lost it) at my neighbor’s house when I was little, but never used a console enough that the controls became intuitive.  And when I DID use a console, I was one of those people who’d lean to steer, or jump the console to try and make the character hop.  The fact that Wii is MADE FOR PEOPLE LIKE ME is awesome.  That, and it’s full of party games…  Games designed to be played by drunk people are about the most challenging kinds of games I can manage.

Things went pretty well, for the most part.  We ordered used, which we knew would be a risky endeavor.  And the Wii arrived in relatively good condition…  with all the parental controls still password protected, meaning we couldn’t connect to the internet or change most of the settings.  But a quick call to Nintendo set everything to rights (seriously, huge love to Nintendo tech support.  Two menu steps, and 10 seconds of Mario hold music after the robo voice told me my call may be monitored, and I’m talking to Shannon who has me totally set up in slightly under 2 minutes flat.)

So, we have Wii Sports (older model Wii = original Sports game, not Resort.  Resort remains on our list of things to get later, however.  I kick ass at Frisbee Golf), Okami, and we decide we MUST HAVE rock band.

So back to Amazon we go, and we find a pretty good deal on the Rock Band 2 + peripherals bundle.  We place our order.

Next day, we get an alert that the item had already been sold, and we hadn’t been charged.  Okay, these things happen, and there’s another on sale for $10 more.

A week later, a box arrives on our doorstep.  Inside, lovingly “packed” with paper towels, is a drumset (missing half a leg…  they’re telescoping, so the drums couldn’t go above 18 inches off the floor), a guitar, mic, and…  Rock Band 1.  We were NOT amused.

So after emailing the seller, waiting, waiting and finally hearing back…  The box (lovingly repacked with the paper towels they sent us) is on it’s way back to VT.  When it arrives, we’ve been promised a refund.  We’re just out the $20 shipping fee to send it back.

But we’re still on the lookout.  Win some, you lose some, eh?

The MMO of the Future

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As I mentioned in my previous post, when I MMO, I want to heal.  And after 5 years of healing in WoW, playing whack-a-mole with squishy tanks, suicidal DPS, and random puggers, I’ve noticed something on my end that I’m going to further to make a sweeping generalization cause Judy did it when healing as well.

I pound the keyboard.

I think other healers do it as well.  After all, when the shit hits the fan, or that stupid warlock pulls threat AGAIN and things are just not going quite right…  The sound of keys gets louder and louder and louder as frustration mounts.

I don’t think that the Guild Wars move away from healing is the answer to the “never enough healing” question.  I think the answer is much simpler.  MMOs in the future need to have special “Healers Key Pads” based off Rock Band drums.  Whack-a-mole in the literal.  The harder you hit, the bigger the heal.  Everyone will want to roll a healer.

I’m a genius, I tell ya.