Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Cold, Blustery City

Just wanted to inform everyone that I had returned from the Big City. I'll post pictures and tell edited, PG rated stories of my adventures in New York later. Let me say that I walked more in New York than I have ever walked before, and I've drunk around the World at Epcot before. lol

I'm safely home now and just wanted to stop by and say hello.

To end this posting on a gaming note, Chrono Trigger for the DS is a pretty awesome game. I've had it for a month now with out playing, but since Final Fantasy III was getting pretty repetitive, I decided to try something different. So far, so great! It's everything a Final Fantasy game should be, but way better. You can actually avoid mobs on the screen rather than just running around waiting for them to pop up. This is very helpful when your trying to find a save spot for your game as your plane starts its boarding process.

As I adventure more into the game I'll give a better review, since I've only scratched the surface.

I'll post more later, I'm actually late for work now. lol

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Big Apple

It's 4am here in North Carolina and I'm off to the airport to catch my ride to New York. Yep, New York City. I'm hoping this is my last trip away for a while.

I'll update you guys when I get back.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Point

Was World of Warcraft a good thing for the MMO industry or a bad thing?

Sure, we can talk all day how it's been a great boon for Blizzard and the millions of people playing the game, but as a whole did having such a successful MMO create competition or did it create a game that all other MMO's are compared too?

Just thought I would ask.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Recently, I decided to broaden my podcast listening habits and decided to try out Limited Edition a member of the Virgin Worlds Podcast Collective. The front the description on Itunes the hosts, "Matt, John and Stephen, immerse themselves in everything comic-book releasted and generally indulge their inner geek". This is pretty evident by the most recent podcast where they are interviewing Kyle Higgins. Kyle recently put together a small student film, The League, which I must say is pretty fantastic and will wet anyones appetite for all things "The Watchmen". If only more comic book movies where this great.

Give it a Look:

The League from Kyle Higgins on Vimeo.

Whether your a serious comic book geek or just a novice like me, I would recommend listening to Limited Edition. I've only listened to the first show, but it had me hooked at the beginning and if they continue to have interesting guests like Kyle Higgins, then its a must listen.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Death Rattle!

So, Circuit City was unable to find a buyer and is now in the process of liquidating all of it's current stores inventory in the hopes that stock holders can recoup some of the lost revenue. All that is very very horrible, so I decided that while Circuit City was in the throws of it's final gasps of air, I would rape and pillage what I could, as all good gamers should do when a large electronic store goes under. (Notice I am not laughing.)

So, here is what I ended up getting on the last day of sale.

Vanguard:Saga of Heroes - $1.00
Team Fortress 2 - $1.00
Civ. Colonization - $1.00
Unreal Tournament 3 - $1.00
3 x Warhammer online Game card - $1.00 Each = $3.00

My total cost for all of it was just over $7.00. Did I get a good deal? I'm still not completely sure. lol They had a game card for AoC, but I figured, why install that dog for just a 60 days? Even at $1.00 the cost was still too high in my opinion.

The interesting thing is that when I arrived at the store all the computer software was listed as $3.00 each. So I figured, I'd grab a few items, and leave. Then the lady standing next to the rack of software proceeded to get on the intercom and announce that all computer software was 1 dollar. Well, I just couldn't leave until I had picked that rack over like a buzzard on road kill. So I grabbed up all the WAR game cards I could get, since I currently don't have a subscription I figured at least when they fixed all the bugs and added all the free content in the next few months, I can get back in for 180 days for just $3.00 and if it looks promising, I'll re-up after they expire.

I've always wanted to try Vanguard and at $1.00 for 30 days of free play, I figured what the hell. I already own the Orange box, but I figured I would pick up TF2 for my Dad, he likes the occasional shooter, and again, at these prices, why not?

So, if your near a Circuit City, I would hop on down as soon as you can, because you too, can pick up some great deals before they pull the plug.

This is just Wrong!

And that sums up the Wii.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Addiction is back!

Well, I've spent the last couple of days diving back into the addiction often referred to as WoW. As noted previously, I've been away from keyboard for a few weeks and I was finally able to make it to group night. Group night is a standing invitation with some old home town friends to get together, do some questing, gank some horde, hang out and relax.

Well, I was able to make it this past Wednesday, but sadly my poor Paladin, Oakley was a little under leveled. So we spent most of the evening trying to level him from 56 to 58 so I would be able to join the other group members in Outland's, where the xp and gear are vast improvements over what I've been working with. We managed to get me to 57 and a little bit into the level before everyone got tired, except for me. lol

I decided to keep on questing and managed to ding 58 before 1am. So now all I had to do was wait till next Wednesday, and I would be able to travel with the rest of the group to Outlands. Well, that wasn't enough, so Friday when I was back online, I managed to get my Pally leveled to 59 without ever making it to the Outlands. lol

I then made my way to the Blasted Lands then through the Portal and into the first expansion. The gear you get for questing is pretty outrageous stuff, and lucky for me, most of the plate armor is geared for Paladin's. I know this because when leveling up my warrior I had to turn away a lot of good gear because it was pally specific. I mean, what warrior would be caught with intellect gear. lol

The questing can be a bit hazardous especially on a PvP server, but I managed to get a lot done before a Death Knight decided I was too tasty to leave alone and kept trying to kill me. One thing I can say about Retribution Paladins, we can dish out some good damage and on a good day, we can hold our own against just about any class out there, except, sadly, the over powered Death Knights. So, I decided to pack it in for the night, that was Friday. I had made a good bit of progress, made the trek to Honor Hold and was happy.

Course, since I mention that my addiction is rearing its ugly head, I decided to put in a full night of questing Saturday. Course this was after exchanging Valentine's cards and seeing that wonderful Coraline movie with the sweetie. Long story short, I got my Pally to 60. WOOT Course some of that was due to help from my friend's who happen to be on trying to level up their Death knights. lol Anyway, Saturday's fun extended to an all day session on Sunday where I managed to get another level in, and started working on my own Death Knight, Paynel, which I leveled up to 58. I have to say the Death Knight's are very over powered. I'm taking ass and kicking names, or some semblance of that. I've managed to move him to the Outland's and I'm ready to start leveling him on up. Course, I'll be one of millions, but hey, he will be mine, oh yes, he will be. lol

Anyway, I'm back. I have really missed WoW. The game is a lot of fun. It's good to be back and questing with friends again.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Movie, Coraline

Last night, I asked my Sweetheart what she wanted to do for Valentine's day and to my surprise she suggested going to see "Coraline". I had heard about the movie, but hadn't invested a lot of my energy researching it, one, because it's an animated feature, which my wife never wants to go see unless its a Pixar movie, and two, it's in 3D.

Now, I know a lot of people will be surprised to hear this, especially those that know me because if I'm not playing video games, I'm either in front of the television or I'm out sitting in a movie theater, but I've never seen a movie in 3D before. Sure, I've seen stuff at Disney World or at Disneyland like "It's tough to be a Bug" or "Honey, I shrunk the audience" but no commercial 3D movies, until now.

Apparently, the story is based on a children's book of the same name written by Neil Gaiman, who by chance is one of my favorite authors. The movie is really good. The 3D was a nice touch, but the story and animation could have done well with out it, especially since wearing 3D glasses tends to make the movie look a lot darker than it is.

The movie is well worth the price of admission and would recommend it to anyone. It's rated PG, but I would discourage taking kids younger than 7 due to some pretty scary stuff near the end.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Telly

Normally, I would regale you all with some of my MMO or gaming exploits, but today, I decided to chat about what I've been watching instead. Not that I've not been playing anything, I have. I put in a good three hours of work last night on my Paladin, Oakley, and managed to get him to level 58 before logging off last night. I also picked up Motorstorm: Pacific Rift for my PS3, also, a fantastic game that should keep me well entertained till I get my Xbox back.

But instead, I'd like to talk about two of my favorite shows, LOST and Battlestar Galactica.

First, lets talk about Lost. I've been watching it religiously since the middle of season 2. I really had no interest in the show during the first season. I would catch a few shows here and there, but I really didn't become as they say, a Lostie, till the middle of season 2, partly because I finally set my Tivo to record it, and was able to watch a string of shows together in a row, which really helps with continuity issues. But, I'm only interested in discussing my theory about this season and what they have revealed so far. Basically, in last nights episode, it finally clicked and I've figured it out.


Basically, its about time travel. Why did the "others" infiltrate the survivors, take their names and then proceed to capture people, get them off the island and keep Jack and crew around? Because they already knew who the primary people that needed to stay were due to the island traveling up and down the time string this season. Sawyer and his people keep bouncing around, they will probably meet the "Others" and explain to them who they are and from that bit of information, they will know how to act in the future when the plane crash lands. Basically, they know what to do because the plane survivors from the future tell them what will have to transpire.

Crazy isn't it? It's kind of like the scene in the "Matrix" when the oracle tells Neo not to worry about the vase and then proceeds to break it. If she had said nothing, would he have even turned around? So far, Lost has meet and exceeded my expectations this year. There are still lots of things to be explained, like the Smoke Monster, Richard and the dead people that keep appearing. Still, I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, or at least I think I am. lol

Battlestar Galactic is another show that just keeps me glued every week and one that I have no theories or answers for. The show just keep surprising me with its honestly and brutality. I know that a lot of what we'll find out in the remaining episodes will lead us towards the next series, which will be a prequel, still I don't even care if they find a safe place to call home. It seems fitting that they remain constantly searching, but I'm sure fans would go nuts and start hunting down the shows writers.

I just wanted to shout my fandom for thses two shows and if your not watching them, your freaking NUTS!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Blame Game. A new MMO!

Mythic recently laid off some workers. The reasons for this are pretty simple, they hired extra people to anticipate an influx of paid subscribers and now that there doesn't seem to be quite as many as expected, they had to let these people go.

Some people in the blogging community have expressed that this might be the fault of Mythic for not following through on their promise to create a WoW killer in the first place. Basically, because Mark and his crew didn't do everything in their powers to capture a larger segment of the MMO community, they have not only failed the community, but now they have failed those they employed to assist during this influx of subscribers.

When you sign up to work for an MMO it's pretty much a given that things can change in an instant. If the Sigil fiasco didn't teach us anything, it should have taught us how volatile the industry is when it comes to employing people. If your still a subscriber of Warhammer, then you should be a bit upset, because it was your money that helped pay the salaries of those people, but if you had left the game and stopped subscribing, then there is no sense getting upset, because you basically threw in the towel on those people and consigned them to their fate.

The issue I have is people shouldn't be blaming Mark and his people, EA or Mythic for firing these people. They crafted a game that is enjoyable by many. If people are becoming disinterested then, is it really Mythic's fault? I mean, it has better numbers than most MMO's, so people must find it interesting and fun. If they hadn't hired all those people and then the game exploded in the WoW killer everyone thought it would be, then people would be blaming Mythic for not having enough customer support people. They thought they had it in the bag, so they hired people. The community didn't respond as expected so now, people have to lose their jobs and in this current economy, which, isn't EA or Mythic's fault either, layoffs are expected.

When people take a job for an MMO game then they have to expect when membership starts to wain, then so might their job.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The savory flavor of MMO's!

What is the most enjoyable part of an MMO? Is it in depth character creation, like in City of Heroes? Is it the detail to the stories lines that drive the game like those in World of Warcraft? Or could it be the complexity of a game like EvE online? How about the unique combat system in Age of Conan?

I ask this because most MMO's have basically the same core, which is to quest, level up and get loot, then repeat. Sure, there are lots of arguments that it's a little bit more complex than that, but if you boil it all down, its all the same. So what makes us pick up one MMO over another? Why are we so picky about the questing and looting in one over that of another MMO? I know that bugs and performance issue take some credit for steering people away from one to another, but let's say it's not an issue, what then makes us play one over the other?

I'm just curious....what is the spice that they add to the soup of your favorite mmo which causes you to play it over another?

The Seventh Veil

Well, I'm back. California was fun. Got a chance to see Disneyland, which was fun because it ended up being the only sunny day we had in California. We also did a lap or two around Hollywood and Vine as well as stopping off on Sunset strip to visit some "Girls, Girls, Girls" at the Seventh Veil, which wasn't my idea at all, it was a co workers. I wanted to go to a completely different strip club. lol

I'll post a link to some pics as soon as I remember my flicker account password. I'll just say this about L.A, it's a fun place to visit, as long as it's not raining like mad and only if your there for a few days. It's not the promise land as some in Hollywood would lead you to believe. I found it overcrowded and not very pretty to look at, not to mention the bad air because of all the smog. But at least I can say, I've been to L.A. I wanted to also add that it's the best place on the planet to be an alcoholic since they have liquor stores on every street corner and I'm not making that up.

Now, in gaming news, I received my white, Xbox 360 coffin while I was gone and managed to get it shipped back out this afternoon. The guy at the UPS store knew what I had the minute I walked in. He also mentioned that most of them had been sent off for RROD issues, which made me feel unique in a strange way since mine is going in to get the disc drive fixed. Still, Microsoft has a serious quality issues if a lot of boxes are getting sent in to be fixed. I've not heard one issue with the PS3 or Wii in regards to quality issues and having them sent in for repair. Still, I love my Xbox so I had to get it fixed.

I also managed some more time on the DS while out of town. I do love Final Fantasy 3. I got about 20 hours invested in that game currently and I'm still not scratching the surface of that game. The only problem I've seen so far is that if you miss a clue as to what to do next, your pretty screwed. I had to look at a walk through online this morning, so I'm back on track. In the old days, I'd use the Internet a lot to look up cheats and walk through's, but now, I'm really enjoying feeling of figuring it out on my own. Course, I did have to get over that one hump. lol

That is about it for now. I'll have to do some blog reading to catch up on all the gaming news since I've been away, and once that's done, I'll probably have something interesting to say about that.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Dwarf and the General

Ok..I hate people that name drop, but guess who the guy is behind the fat, bearded human looking dwarf?

Also, see if you can tell what the dwarf is playing?

Man, I love my

How high do you fly your Geek flag?

Do you have a favorite Gaming shirt? Maybe a World of Warcraft bumper sticker, Star War's hat or Everquest 2 key chain? Do you wear or display it proudly? Is it something you make sure to put on when your headed to the mall or out to eat with friends in the hope of finding other geeks that share your passion? Maybe to find them so you can show loyalty to that particular part of geek culture, to also converse with like minded individuals and trade stories so you won't feel so alone in the world?

I mean for what other purpose would you buy a "Horde" t-shirt? What is the reason behind getting a shirt that says "Green Linen Shirt: Armor class 3: Requires level 5" if your not trying to a) become a beacon for all other geeks to gather around or b) to fly your geek flag higher than others?

Do you even have a geek flag to fly? Is that something only Hardcore geeks do? Are casual geeks less likely to make it known they are geeks by not wearing geek centric items or placing geeky bumper stickers on their cars? Do other geeks scare or frighten you because they fly their flag so high?

Just wondering!

The Crash and Burn

I have to send off my Xbox 360 for repair. For some time now, my system had been giving me grief concerning the reading of certain DvDs and game discs. The DvD issue was solved when I purchased a PS3 in December, but apparently the game disc issue just wasn't going to fix itself.

After being away from my system for a month, it has decided that I didn't love it enough and has decided to not read any of my game discs. This is an issue because, I miss my L4D and Fall Out 3. So, I decided to contact Microsoft concerning their console system.

First I tried the website. I didn't have any problem registering my console for the repair, except I thought that Microsoft had extended it's original warranty from 1 year to 3. Course, later I found out that this was only when it came to the RROD (Red Ring of Death). If your system has other issues, your pretty much screwed. So, after getting the impression my system was no longer under warranty through their website, I decided to call them up and chat with a tech, play ignorant and hope they would repair my system under warranty. To Microsoft's credit, their tech support is open 9am - 1am EST every day of the week.

I got a really nice lady on the phone, who proceeded to help me run through a few diagnostic checks. One consisted of checking for bad files on the system, then once we found none, she had me remove the hard drive to make sure it wasn't a software issue. The bad news it was a hardware issue so I would have to send it in. Upon finding this out, she proceeded to check to see if my system was still under warranty, which it wasn't. It had expired last month on the 3rd, bummer. She was even nice enough to see if she could still file it under the warranty, because it had only been a month out, but when she came back, I already knew she wasn't going to get that done.

I then proceeded to confirm my address so she could send me the famous coffin most people speak about when they have to send off their defective Xbox's. After that she told me the repair would be a stock $110.00 including shipping and tax. I wasn't very happy about it, but since I have grown very fond of my 360 and I didn't want to spend &300.00 replacing it with a new one, I proceeded to give her my credit card information. Besides, once repaired, I would get a new 1 year warranty covering not just the repair, but the entire system, including controllers.

I then asked her jokingly if she could sign me up for a free magazine, since I was about to spend $110.00 on replacing a $20.00 disc drive. She laughed and said she would see what she could do. In the end, what I ended up with is a free month of Xbox live, which worked out pretty good since the repair will take about a month, with them shipping me the coffin and me shipping it back out to them. The repair will take about 2 - 3 business days, but getting it there and back will be the pisser.

So, I'll be out of commission for about a month. Hopefully, I'll get the shipping box or Coffin, next week and I'll send it out. I'm hoping that I won't miss it that much since I have found a new love, my Final Fantasy game on the DS and the fact that I will be mostly out of town for the entire month of Feb anyway.

Course, this means, I most definitely will be picking up the Left 4 Dead Pc version very soon. lol

All in all, I'll have to give Microsoft a good grade on handling my problem for right now. I'll give an update once I get the brick sent off and get my wonderful Xbox returned to me.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Label

A few of my favorite blogs, The Fickle Corebear and Stylish Corpse, have been discussing the meaning behind Hardcore and Casual. Their posts basically discuss, how hardcore people detest casual and how that all translates into different labels, for example casual is often thought of as stupid, lazy players, while Hardcore is often more learned and educated about a game because they play every aspect intended by the developers and in their minds, they are the superior player.

Labels are never a good thing, especially in an MMO atmosphere. It breeds pure stupidity, nothing more. What people don't understand is that no matter what kind of player you are, hardcore or casual, your a vital part of each others world. If all games did was attract one type of player, then we wouldn't have so many MMO games to choose from right now or game companies trying to craft new and interesting content. People wouldn't be trying to create the WoW killer or improve on what has come before. Someone got smart and said, "We need to design games for all kinds of players, because eventually, if we design for one type of player, they will eventually get bored with MMO's, because our ideas will become stagnant and then where will we be?"

We need each other because it makes a better game for everyone involved. It keeps the creative juices of the developers always looking for new stuf to add to the game so people won't get bored. It can also turn causal people into hardcore and hardcore into casual, but in the end if you adapt your game for both, you won't lose anyone to another game. I know this because a friend of mine was once a hardcore raider, but now, since the new expansion, he's decided to slow down and give life a try, but he's still playing WoW because it offers stuff for the casual as well as the hardcore. If WoW was just hardcore, then they would have lost a sub and losing money isn't something Blizzard had in mind when they developed WoW.

So, all I'm saying is why bitch about each other? There is no need to place labels. I mean, in the end we are all just gamers, hardcore or casual and our subs help keep the game running and forces the developers to come up with new creative content so everyone is happy.

Isn't that a good thing?