Well, 2008 had its ups and downs. I started off the year jonezing to try Tabula Rasa, but as luck would have it, I missed the sale at Amazon.com by a week. At least the year started off on a good note.
I purchased my first next gen console with some left over xmas money. The Xbox 360 has been tons of fun this year. System worked like a champ for a couple of months, then I started having problems with the disc player. Course, I only had the problem with DvD movies, not games, so it must be a flaw in the laser, but I over came that obstacle in December, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
Took my first plane flight in over 30 yrs. Definitely not one of my favorite things to do, but I over came my fear so I could visit the Big Apple. It also wasn't the last time I would be on a plane in 2008. Let me say, if you ever get to see New York city, go, don't wait to be asked again. Sure, Times Square is a bit scary if your not use to crowds, but man, it's still very exciting. I get to go again in Feb of 2009, so I'll take more pictures.
World of Warcraft still was my MMO of choice. I managed to level up my mage to 70 and started working on getting my epic flyer and into a decent, end game progressing guild, which apparently was an issue that lasted for several months.
March, April, May
I started to get the itch to try something else. With the persuasion of my friend Scott, over at Pumping Irony, I decided to give LOTRO another shot, but in the three months I played, I never really got as much enjoyment out of it as I did with WoW. I'm not a social butterfly when it comes to joining a new MMO, which meant I ended up soloing a good bit in LOTRO, which wasn't as easy or as much fun as in WoW. LOTRO also had some graphical glitches in its texture rendering that just drove me completely nuts. Not to mention it would crash every now and then for some unknown reason.
April would be a very bad month for me. I lost a wonderful friend and colleague, Larry Payne. I've not mentioned it on my blog, because I hate thinking and talking about sad things and this is a gaming blog, which is no place for it.
Larry, a person I am proud to name as a great friend and a soul that made the earth a better place to live in, was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in January of 2008. At first he didn't tell anyone about it, hiding the pain and holding out hope that it wasn't anything serious. Eventually, he revealed the truth with the hope that treatment would be able to stave off the disease a bit longer, but by then, the diagnosis wasn't good. He had already reached stage 3 of the disease by the time the doctors had figured out what it really was, and as his body had already started to deteriorated the ability to treat him for the disease started to fade. He lost his fight in April. He will be missed by many.
Also in April, I apparently f#cked up my shoulder. I didn't figure out the seriousness of it till my arm just stopped working one day while I was reach for something up on a high shelf. I saw a quack, sorry, Heath Professional, who suggested physical therapy, which I did for 3 months, only to find out the pain wasn't going away. Eventually, I would get an MRI, be told that surgery was next on the list. By then, I'd lost my faith in my current quack, I mean doctor, and decided to seek out another healer, who, worked with the training team for the Atlanta Olympics. I'm happy to say, he did a fantastic job and I'm recovering well.
The month of May saw the release of a much awaited Indiana Jones installment that resulted in the raping of a good character and franchise. I'm just glad I didn't have to pay to see it otherwise I would have had to kill someone. Sometimes, its good that movie characters don't get a revival treatment. Let dead dogs lie. lol
May also so the release of a much hyped game, Age of Conan. I was once again, seduced into playing it by a friend, who, forgot to mention he was only planning try it for the first 30 days then disappear, sorry DS, I had to call you out on that my friend. lol That little bit of info might have prevented me from getting the game and a new game controller so I could combo like a pro, but alas, I can only blame myself for anything I get myself into. Besides, I also sucked a few friends into getting the game, sorry Steelrat, so I'm just as guilty, since I also left after 3o days. The game was fun, but plagued with bugs to the point that I would have enjoyed a root canal more. Being able to run around naked does not make a great MMO, nor does creating over hyped and yet difficult to accomplish attack combos. The game had no depth to it, and so I retreated back to my stand by, WoW.
June, July, August
Due to my problems with Wordpress, I moved my sight over to blogspot. Not my first choice, but I didnt' want to pay for my own address and I'm not a web designer or programmer so it's easier for me to find a sight that has all the tools in place for me to post my badly grammered blog. lol
In June, I purchased a Wacom drawing tablet, with the intention of doing my own web comic. If I ever did, I'd have call it procrastination master, because I get involved in things like that, but quickly let it fall to the way side. I also gave Spore's creature creator demo a test drive. Lots of potential, but when the game finally got released, it wasn't as fulfilling as the creature creator, sad to say. Blizzard also announced Diablo 3 to the public, finally. No release date was announced, just sometime in the future. The publicly released game play looked fantastic, so I'm hoping to get a crack at it in 2009.
July is the month where I extended my next gen console acquisitions and captured the much evasive Wii. Picked up a few games for the wife and myself, like Super Mario Galaxy and Dr Mario. That kept us entertained for a while, but eventually, like all things, it just started to collect dust. I also expanded my gaming by purchasing a Nintendo DS lite. Something for those out of town jobs. Course, I don't play it as much as I should, but I do tend to give it a work out from time to time.
July and August brought with it the WAR and all it's hype. I would spend several blogs railing against the hype only to be seduced by it. Sadly, due to it's lack of PvE I saw myself logging in less and less. But on the good side, it helped me discover a great bunch of people and bloggers. Because of WAR, Casualties of WAR or CoW was formed. This worked great and even migrated over to WoW, when WAR started to lose its luster with some and WoW started to force its dominance back onto the MMO world with the release of Wrath of the Lich king.
The old 26" monitor in my man cave finally died, or at least appeared to die. I was able to talk my lovely wife into letting me purchase a 32" Samsung HD LCD monitor. I don't have HD programming yet, other than thru the Radio Shack antenni I have hooked up to it. I just had to watch the Panther's play in HD and it looks awesome.
The Rest of the Year
I ended up working a lot and prepared a bit for my December surgery. Picked up a few Xbox games, Fable 2, Gears of War and Fallout 3, which are fantastic and tended to take me away from the burn out of MMO's. All three are excellent games that I would recommend to anyone. Fable 2 does have some control issues, but nothing that should prevent anyone from having tons of fun.
November saw me returning to WoW with the creation of the CoW guild on Rexxar. I turned my back on my two level 70's on Darkspear due to my lack of interest in End game, and started over with a dwarf warrior. So far, it's been a blast.
The guild is very social and is interested in helping others rather than advancing to end game, which is a change. Everyone in my old guild on Darkspear was leveling like mad and I just couldn't get into that frame of mind anymore. The chase for the purple wasn't my end all goal anymore, I wanted a slower approach to WoW. I needed to experience the game in a different light so I could regain my interest in it again. My little dwarven warrior is 33 and I'm almost to exalted with Darnassus, which will net me the ability to purchase a cat mount. I can't wait for my dwarf to be riding around on a night elf mount. I think next I will tackle getting a elephant mount or a mechanical chicken like the gnomes ride around on.
I've also decided to give EQ2 another try. Picked up the new expansion, but have yet to give the game any of my holiday time, but I hope to remedy that once the year gets going.e
My last big purchase of the year was a PS3. Having gotten the chance to play Little Big Planet over at a friend's house, I just had to have it. Besides, it doesn't hurt to have a blu ray player for that nice 32" monitor. lol I managed to also pick up Assassin's Creed and Hot Shots: Out of Bounds for the PS3. So far, Hot Shot's is a very fun game, except that you'll spend 2 hours down loading all the online updates.
Also managed to get Gears of War 2 and Left 4 Dead for the Xbox 360. Have yet to try either, but they got high marks from other bloggers and online mag reviews.
That's about it for a year in review.
I hope to continue my fun in WoW till the next WoW killer comes along. If it doesn't, I've still got three next gen consoles to keep me busy. lol