Brackish Waters

how my gaming and life coalesce.

Keep the ball rolling

I’m going to show a bit of the marshmallow filling here. This is my sticky and spongy centerLess_QQ that doesn’t show unless ripped out or bit into.   Maybe its because its raining.  Maybe its because PvtHudson hit a nerve in me and forced me to watch Beaches last night.  Alone.  With 15 ice-cream snickers bars.

I think I am just coming down from the sugar.

I want to talk a bit about the good times.  No matter what type of gamer you are, you have them. Good times with groups of people that you have never met before and in some cases, never see again. All it takes is the right amalgamation of player styles to bring a group together and make what would be an uneventful quest, worthy of memory. Everything just clicks.

These happen to me a lot because I do in fact respond to people calling for help on quests. I don’t mean the spammers or the overly excessive acronymic calls for more. If I hear that one person is doing a quest and I happen to be in the area and not needed elsewhere, I join up. Sometimes I end up kicking myself for doing it, but more often than not, the group either does well, or does really well.

The hard part here is repeating that event.

Some people give their thanks and walk away, usually to just become an acquaintance or nameplate at the auction hall. Some drop group and disappear as if you were nothing but a NPC, there for the one time use buff and now a hassle to deal with. There are a few though who take the time to show their thanks and want to do more. They are psyched because they are having such a great time and just want to keep it going. At the end of those groups, its hard to remain modest for your contribution. Its as if you had a strong hand in giving that player their best moment in the game thus far. You simultaneously enter each other in the friends list, but as the days pass and you fail to meet up again, they too will blend in as a recognizable name, but a connection lost.

What makes it harder still is when you do meet someone who is a perfect fit to your group and it turns out they are in another guild. I have always played with the understanding: You do not recruit guilded players unless they originate the interest themselves. Its a known taboo and can quickly lead to bad situations.

All I am suggesting is that if you find you are having a really good time, not just with the content but the player you are with, do everything you can to stay in touch with that person. Make an effort to contact them again because there is nothing wrong with having a great group every night you play.


September 11, 2007 Posted by | Rants | 1 Comment

Everquest 2 – Ding 18!

I’ve been adventuring in the Greater Fayedark since I started my character and I amEQ- Ding 18 happy to say that the content has subsisted through every level. At no point have I felt overwhelmed with the amount of things I needed to accomplish or disappointed by the lack of goals. This is one of the areas that EQ2 has definitely managed to get its hooks in me.

I am still kind of aggravated by the interface’s lack of ability to allow me to track more than one quest at a time. I’m sure there is a UI mod out there for this, but I just haven’t managed to go out there and look for it. I’d really rather not “change” the game as much as experience it in the way it is being presented. Some of the lore and collection goals have been with me for 15 levels or more and its a nice bonus when I find the last item to complete those sets. So, in this aspect, maybe SOE has it right by encouraging me to stay focused on one objective at a time and to let the rest come as they may.

My initial goal of learning the lore of EQ2 has been moving along at a steady pace. One of the strangest things I ran into the other day was the /time command. The date, month, and year came back as nothing I had ever seen before. The year itself is numbered somewhere in the three-thousandths and the name of the month (if thats what it is) has no resemblance to that of any I have learned. I wish I had wrote down the information, as I would have liked to cross-check this against this excellent article over at The Athenaeum. I have a feeling this site will be very handy in the days ahead.

The Crushbone Orcs have been a focal point for a majority of the lore so far. This is understandable as they have a major presence in the valley and seem to be the source of a lot of the area’s strife.  I am slowly being funneled through a large cave in the back of one of their forward camps and into a more hostile encounter.  I did see a keep or garrison at the end but I didn’t have the time to investigate more.

The only other lore I have been able to find has been at the start of a chain of quests that began with a Dwarf near the broker in Kelethin. It looks to be an interesting line and I hope to detail my thoughts on it later as I progress further along the chain.

I’m coming pretty close to the end of my trial and I can honestly say that SOE has done a good job with creating a game that can appeal to the adventuring and exploration aspirations of a traditional player. I am not quite sure how much it will cost me to continue playing as there is no way I will continue unless I have the EoF content. It is in these areas alone that I have found the best level of immersion and integration into the world for a new player such as myself.

September 10, 2007 Posted by | Adventure Journal, EQ2 | 2 Comments

Well its about time

What a pleasant surprise to log-in to my Google Reader account and see some very good and much needed changes. The full article can be found over at the Google Reader blog.  Two of the biggest changes are a search function and an unread article count that goes higher than 100.

[borat voice] Verrry Nice.

The lack of the search function was one of my major pet peeves with reader and I was dumbfounded as to why it was not something that was an innate part of the program. I mean this is Google we are talking about here.  What makes this function great though, is it has the ability to not only search through what you have read and tagged, but also the archives of the sites you have subscribed too.

The updated post count just made me realize that today is official house cleaning day. I think this should help keep me more in tune to what I want to read and what I can read.

Also, I’m going to throw in a tip for everyone else who happens to use Google Reader.  Are you having trouble remembering what site you posted that comment on last week?  If you areReader Tag like me, you probably make a variety of posts throughout the day but forget to follow-up on the topic the following day.

One way I have found to remind myself to look back is before I leave Google Reader to make a comment, I append an additional tag on the article I am going to post on.  This places that article in an additional folder for you to scroll through!  Its like a repository of every article you have made a comment on.

Hope that helps!

September 6, 2007 Posted by | Brainstorms, Reviews | 1 Comment

She could steal your heart

I love Labor Day.  I ate way more than I should have, drank a bit more than usual, and played some great games of Seafarers of Catan. Then, somehow in all the debauchery, I managed to get my Burglar in Lord of the Rings to level 47.  I have been waiting for this level for a long time.

This, by far, has been the most grueling level to gain.  This had nothing to do with the game play itself, it still has produced plenty of quests to do solo and the option to grind out mobs in Angmar is all the more appealing.  No, this was because of the loot I had waiting in my bank since I was level 44.  Hawt Burglar

The leggings and the chest piece were sitting in my vault for more than a level, taunting me with their red outline, barring me from use. (Thanks Celemdir!) The swords I managed to pickup last week for a measly 500 silver a piece add a nice damage specialization that should help with the wraiths in Haudh Iarchith.  Overall, I am one hawt Burglar right now.

You may have wondered before why I said that grinding out mobs was somewhat appealing to me.  Without getting into the grinding debate, I will say that LotRO does offer the ability to level up at a decent rate, solely by grinding out mobs.  Let me give an example.

At level 45, all classes gain access to a series of quests that allow them to get some great armor and weapons.  These are one of the few class quests you get in LotRO and by far the most time intensive.  If I can recommend any one thing to +40 level players, its to hold on to every purple colored item you get.  Place them in the bank or send them to an alt, or better yet, check on a good site to see if you may need this for these coming quests.

These quests (as a burglar, you begin with two at a time) compel you to gather largeRam Duath numbers of rare and unique items from level +45 areas.  At level 46, I was soloing white(equal level) and yellow (+1 level) mobs for anywhere between 300 and 400 experience per kill.  Considering that the quests I currently had were only netting around 3,000 exp on average, I found it much more worthwhile not only to camp the mobs I needed for my class quest, but also to grind out the remaining experience for level 47.  On top of getting the items and great experience, I also filled out two deeds for a nice trait.

I should explain that the experience above includes the rest experience modifier.  I can’t remember how much that is at the moment, but if you find you have run out of rest experience, you can purchase more by using your destiny points.  There is a small symbol on the top right of the mini-map that allows you to toggle the destiny point display.  Click this and then press the “Spend Destiny” button.  In here you can find a variety of short term buffs, none of which I have found more worthwhile than the rest experience.

I usually play with a small group of friends and find it better to do quests rather than camping an area because it keepsDrink to 47 us going.  If we had no goal in mind, I’m afraid we would sit around a NPC village talking all night in chat.  As it was, I was forced to celebrate alone with the Butterbur in Bree.  Thanks for the drinks Barlimur.   Hopefully tonight we can meet up and head back into Haudh Iarchith and find out what lies beyond those wraiths at the end.

September 4, 2007 Posted by | Adventure Journal, LOTRO, RL | 1 Comment