Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Quest For Fun

Greetings Evil Doers or Loyal readers. I know it's been few days since I posted anything, but I have a very good reason, honest.

This weekend I've made the trek to Atlanta to play PC games with friends over a lan network. Sure, we could have all played online and saved a bunch of gas and money, but I prefer doing it old skool sometimes. I mean, hearing my friends over Teamspeak or Ventrilo isn't as much fun as seeing the looks of surprise and shame on their faces as I trash them from across the table in CTF match after CTF match. (Did I not mention this is a fantasy piece I'm working on for a magazine!)

Course at this point, since my arrival Thursday at midnight, sitting in a car for 5 hours, it would at least have been nice to have killed someone in a CTF match instead of watching one of my friend use his Jedi mind powers to trick all our non MMO friends into playing WoW. I can't really fault him, not with the RAF being what it is and our Wednesday static group can always use new blood. The guild has now gone from 7 players to 10, which will be nice once we teach all the noobs how to do instances and get them geared for Kara, but that's way down the road.

We actually have a name for our get togethers, GameFest. I know, it's cheesy, but it beats what we've called other get together's, like Hardware Fest, or what friday ended up being, Install and Patch everything Fest. When you don't keep your games updated, it makes it very hard to play with others who have spent the time to do so. We also found out that installing most Steam products tends to make people edgy a bit more than they should be and that not all games like being run on lans or dedicated servers. When I first started setting up, I thought I was at Hardware Fest because my machine refused to start, but eventually with some TLC it did.

We did manage to play a little bit of WoW, of course. You can't indoctrinate new disciples without at least showing them how good the water feels, especially when the baptism is going to cost them $15.00 a month. However, I don't have any more character slots, (Note to Blizzard, need to add one new slot per expansion, please.) so I just gave them encouragement and advise on the sidelines while I leveled up my 19th level Rogue. I did manage to play a few solo skirmishes in Red Alert 3 after I had gotten it installed and the mega patch downloaded. I'm looking forward to playing that this weekend with the rest of da crew.

To top off the first night of fun, a few of us did manage to get in a little Company of Heroes co-op. The first map we played was a good refresher course for me, seeing as how I've not played the game for 2 years and this map came with the game. The second map was a custom, downloaded map which I have entitled, "We hate you and want yo to play all night map". It started off as 4 humans verses 2 Hard and 2 Expert computer players, but about 10 minutes into the map, the only guy that knew the map well, got disconnected from the game and was replaced by a computer player. After that, the rest of us, struggled for 2 hours trying to capture more ground, but the game wasn't having any of it and when 2:30am arrived I was ready to call it a draw. Course, the sad thing is, it's 8am the next morning and here I am blogging. I'm a very sad geeky person, if truth be told.

After writing about the pitfalls of the first day, I almost reconsidered titling the blog entry, The Life Support, Part 3, but decided that even though PC gaming is a pain in the ass at times, with the set up, the patching, the drivers and so forth, the truth is that it's a fun adventure, especially if you do it with friends you haven't seen in a few years. In future postings, I'll try not to cast a dreary shadow over PC gaming as a whole and just hope that it remains, so I can have more weekends like this in the future.


  1. I love Lan'ing. There's something about getting together in person that cant be replicated otherwise

  2. Here's a patching tip, at least for WoW and LOTRO (I've done this with both)...
    Using an external hard drive and one computer that has all the patches up to date, then just copy the whole game's folder onto the drive, then just copy that to another computer. The only thing you have to be careful of is to make a copy of the 2nd pc's screenshot folder. But it sure takes a lot less time to copy a 12 GB file than to sit and install the game from scratch on a 2nd pc, and it's usually faster than adding a few patches.

  3. True, but for some reason that still caused some issue with one of my friend's systems. Not sure why. I think he had the trial installed then tried to install the game from discs, then tried to copy someones WoW directory over and it all seemed to screw things up. The good news, in the end, we got him up and running with his new hunter and he's finally happy. The consensus was that we wouldn't be able to even get him to try out the 10 day trial, but once he found out that hunters could use shotguns, we had him. Sure, we could tell him that, but sometimes people just have to try it out for themselves before they can be true believers.

    So, we scored 3 new people for our friends guild on Darkspear, which makes for a very successful weekend. lol

  4. Until now, I didn't know you played WoW. I bet you play a dwarf, huh? But either way, you must tell me your character name on Darkspear so I can come crash your party sometime. I have characters on Blade's Edge, Duskwood, and Spirestone. Aleeda (Human Paladin Alliance lvl 77), Alida (Night Elf Druid Alliance lvl 15), and Ikkimon (Troll Priest Horde lvl 6), respectively.

  5. Of Course, I'm a dwarf. Currently, I'm playing Oakley my paladin. Course, my warrior is Oakstout and my mage is Gwion.

    I also play Lotro now, but I've yet to reveal that to readers yet, ooops!