Posted by: brianc74 | October 18, 2011

Looking for Star Wars Guild

STATUS UPDATE: PLAYING RIFT

So I’ve been playing RIFT a lot lately. In fact, I have two level 50s already and two level 49s. I’m halfway to 50 on my mage and about a bar into 49 on my warrior. Obviously I haven’t done much in the way of endgame and to be honest I’m not sure how much I want to do.

I’m a little disappointed as I picked up this game to still hang out with friends who were anywhere from excited to gung-ho about it. I was always leaning on the meh fence. Now I find I rather enjoy the game, but that’s probably in large part due to me avoiding any kind of organized grouping. I tried one daily raid rift and it went OK, but I’m told those are really easy and designed for random pugs.

What I’m really looking forward to is Star Wars: The Old Republic! I’ve always loved Star Wars. I grew up on it! I was three years old when the first one came out. I can remember dropping my Milk Duds in the theater and having them roll down the aisle while watching Empire.

What’s unfortunate is that it doesn’t appear that many in my current guild will end up playing this game. Mach’s not really a Star Wars fan and intends to keep playing RIFT. Zeren is in the beta, and although he enjoys the gameplay he’s ticked off at the lore. Says it’s messed up or something. Not sure what he means when this game’s lore is building off a lot of past lore and takes place 3,000 years before Darth Vader so even history could have gotten things wrong in that time frame, but I think it has something to do with a change to SW:KotOR. I don’t know about Cinnia, but if Zeren plays I figure she will. Andy has already pre-ordered so he’s the only one confirmed other than myself. No one else has really said one way or the other.

In short, not much in the way of a potential Star Wars guild. So I’m out looking. I’m going to be picky too. Let’s just say that WoW really turned me off to a lot with regards to MMOs and the popularity of Star Wars is only increasing my concerns about the game. RIFT has been quite well behaved for an MMO and I attribute that to the lower subscription numbers. Granted I avoid endgame so my view is quite possibly skewed.

LOOKING FOR STAR WARS GUILD

Here’s a brief rundown of what I’m looking for followed by a lengthier explanation for anyone interested:

  • Faction: Sith
  • Class/Role: Unknown, leaning towards a DPS class
  • Guild Type: Casual
  • Server Type: Leaning towards PvE, but seriously considering PvP for Sith
  • Server Zone: Eastern
  • Goals: Leveling multiple toons, questing, some PvP, possibly raiding, and definitely figuring out how to make a lot of credits or whatever amounts to currency is in this game

What I Know About The Game

I know it’s supposed to be SW:KotOR 3 thru 9. I loved the first one and enjoyed the second! I’ve forgotten almost all of the story of those two games and would probably play them again, but my XBox can barely play games now.

I’ll be honest I have purposely avoided any and all information regarding this game for two reasons. First, until release date it’s all subject to immediate change. Second, I’m actually looking forward to not knowing!

The one disappointing thing looks to be no Yoda race. Seriously? Yoda’s evil twin?! Obviously there would be a shortage of those in game if available… Actually are there even race selections in this game? I have no idea. LOL!

Faction

Sith. I’ll probably play both, but I’ll focus on Sith first. Why? First, I’ve always played the “good guys” and want something different. Second, there’s a small part of me that believed in the “Blizzard loves the Horde more!” mentality. I can’t help but wonder if it’ll be same with BioWare and Sith. Finally, I just think there will be more jerks on the Sith side and I’d rather not be on the receiving end of the lightsaber. Granted this only really applies to a PvP server, which I can’t believe I’m actually considering.

Class/Role

No idea. I really enjoyed healing in WoW, but I eventually reached burn out when the content started to get boring and I “had” to go because there were no other healers to replace me. That kind of obligation took its toll rather quickly. So I am definitely leaning towards DPS. Tanks fall in the same category as healers and let’s face it DPS are a dime-a-dozen. I’ve always leaned towards ranged because I’ve had trouble with melee, but…lightsabers…close combat…aw crap!

Guild Type: Casual or Hardcore

Considering my last blog was Casual Hardcore this is a rather amusing topic for me. I will probably devote 3 hours/day and possibly more on the weekends to this game; at least at the beginning when everything is shiny and new. To some this is a lot and a drop in the bucket to others. And for some that’s a definition for the casual/hardcore debate. That’s why this topic cracks me up. It’s too subjective.

I want casual though. Casual casual probably. For me casual isn’t a definition of time. It’s a definition of play style. I posted a LFGuild post on the SW forums and got a lot of responses like “…we’re casual, but we take raiding seriously…” which made me nervous.

Why? Because I’m not going to spend hours memorizing spell names, cooldowns, hit caps, or how attribute A affects spell Q. If it means I’m not the best or that I don’t use the most widely accepted specs, then so be it. I will not spend hours trying to figure out how to eek out a few more points in dps. I honestly have better things to clutter my brain with like “Who would make a great Power Girl in a movie?”

Guild Atmosphere

I want a group of friends who are more interested in playing together than downing bosses, raiding, pvping, being the best, or “winning”. I want a guild that understands winning is simply to have fun. This is more easily accomplished in a small guild which I prefer.

I like guilds that hang out on Vent to talk about the game and even real life on occasion. I will not contribute a lot until I’m comfortable around people. But I will sit and absorb everything I hear making snap judgments about people living in their parents’ basement and unhealthy aversions to sunlight. 😛

As a…cough…thirty-something…hey I’m not 40…yet…I’d prefer a slightly older crowd or a family oriented one. I don’t mind kids in guild as long as they’re well behaved. When I talk kids I’m talking late teens and early college year kids. Apparently I’ve forgotten what it was like to be that age, because I don’t understand the absolute need to prove themselves to everyone; even strangers on the internet. A general observation and not always accurate as I’ve had bad experiences with 40 year old drama queens too.

I’m not opposed to profanity, as I have a rather unclean mouth myself when playing games like Call of Duty (which upsets my wife to no end and my kids tell me I’m grounded), but I would prefer a guild that controls themselves. I don’t like seeing the F-bomb every other line in guild chat. It’s one thing to say it when things go wrong in a fight or whatever. It’s another to say it every other word. If profanity is a frequent thing, then you’re not the guild for me. As an officer I got in a big old argument with a guy once to the point where I had to gkick him after several refusals to cut back. We had kids in the guild. His argument was that’s what the profanity filter was for. I said that’s what the guild rule was for.

I also don’t want racial slurs of any kind. I just don’t see the need for it. Yes, I’ve heard the arguments that blacks can use the N word, because they mean it differently than others, but bottom line is I don’t like it. My brother-in-law is black and so my 8 nieces and nephews are half-black, quarter-japanese, and quarter-white. I have cousins that married Hispanics. I have a very diverse family and I’ve never really thought about any of them in those terms until now.  As Depeche Mode said “People are people”.

And since people are people this would also apply to other items like political beliefs, sexual orientation, and religion. Hey, you’re a Democrat? That’s OK! We all make mistakes! 😛 But seriously, if you’re gay what real impact does that have on me? If you’re a Muslim, does that make me less of a Christian? Have you somehow made me less than what I am by your beliefs, lifestyle, or personality? No, so there’s no reason to look down on people that don’t think the way I do or aren’t like me. Leave the sensitive topics to private and limited chats, not guild chat.

Server: PvP vs. PvE vs. RP

I lean towards PvE only because when questing I like to be left alone. However, PvP has its perks. But I suck at PvP and always wanted to get better. Since I intend to play Sith, there is a role-play attraction to ganking Jedi on a PvP server. If I’m on a PvE server, I would like a guild that PvPs some. They don’t have to be good. They don’t have win. I’d just like a group that has fun with it. Winning and being good at it are bonuses. This goes for a PvP server guild too.

I’m not really into RP. I don’t have to speak in “thee’s” and “thou’s” to immerse myself into something. My toons are an extension of me and as such I’m automatically immersed. So it begs the question as to whether I really want to be a woman because I play a lot of female toons…

Endgame

Because of my past experience with raiding guilds I don’t know what I want from endgame. I know I’ll probably want to experience it to a degree. Right now I’m looking at one night a week for probably no more than 2-3 hours. Hey I have a life at home. This might go against what I said above about my play time, but that play time is often interspersed with random afk’s because of kids, wife, dinner, etc. Raiding isn’t conducive to random afk’ing. Setting aside one night is doable. Most likely after 8pm Eastern.

My In Game Goals

A list of goals in no particular order:

  • I want to level multiple toons. I’m told the stories vary to a certain degree based on classes and factions. I’ll probably experience them all eventually.
  • I want to do a little PvP and would love to have someone teach me some of the nuances. But you know what they say about teaching an old dog…
  • I want to try raiding and see what happens. Maybe I can up the raiding to two nights per week.
  • I want to work on random achievements. I like those. As stupid as it is I actually play a little game where I compete against others to see how many points I can get. It’s stupid, but it gives me something to do.
  • I want to get rich. I did it in WoW. I want to do it in SW. This is definitely a game I like playing! Currency = score.
  • Play the game with no commitments. There’s nothing like logging in and not feeling obligated to do anything in particular!

Anyway, this is the basics. Everything is subject to change as time goes on and the actual game experience is in front of me. But it would be great if I had a guild I thought fit at the start. If not, solo it is and I’m OK with that too.

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Posted by: brianc74 | June 20, 2011

Karthus Pentakill

*Screenshot courtesy of my friend Vizier Tempus (a.k.a. Zeren).

The crudely drawn arrows are to draw your attention to the pentakill* I squeaked out of this fight. My second one since the first one I got took us completely by surprise and we were unable to screenshot it in time. Obviously you don’t see the remnants of the fight as everyone started to flee near the end, but no one runs from Requiem**!!!

*Although pentakill is rather self-explanatory; for those who don’t play, the most played game is a 5v5 match making pentakills extremely difficult to pull off. First the kills have to happen within a certain time frame of each other and in order to get credit for the kill you have to actually get the killing blow. This generally requires luck more than anything else.

**Requiem is Karthus’ ultimate ability in which beams of light descend from the sky to rain destruction on all enemies regardless of location. I had died during the fight, but Karthus has a passive ability that allows him to remain at the spot of his death for 7 seconds and continue casting without moving. Requiem killed the remaining enemy players. 🙂

***An “ace” is awarded to the person who kills the final enemy player when all players are still dead.

Posted by: brianc74 | June 1, 2011

So apparently…

…the economy sucks. We’re in a depression. Jobs aren’t as easy to come by; let alone hold onto. Yearly raises are things our grandparents mention while talking about the good ol’ days. AND bonuses are buffs other players bring to a raid.

So explain to me how my apartment complex can justify charging me an extra $200/month IF I renew my lease by Friday. It’s more if I wait another week…

If we accept the 1/3rd of your monthly income rule for housing, then an increase of $200/month equates to $7200/year as the raise my company gave me this past year. Well, I can tell you I didn’t get anywhere close to that amount! How about you?

OK, I admit I’m venting. I know why they’re increasing it. There are no vacancies for my apartment size/style and those that filled in the past year are paying much higher than I am. It’s supply and demand. But OH MY LORD!!! They can still justify that?

I live in a 1300 SF 3-bedroom apartment. With three kids it’s small…SMAAAAAAALLLL!!! It’s always dirty. You can’t do enough dishes or laundry to keep up because kids have twice as much energy than you…and it’s mostly destructive!

It sucks because it’s not easy to go outside with the kids. There aren’t really good playgrounds nearby. You have to walk everyone about 15 minutes away to get to a park. And then one of the kids gets a little too tired and the fight between going and staying begins.

Then there’s the neighbors. Ever try to get a kid to not run, skip, or jump while walking from the living room to their bedroom? It would be easier to pass a kidney stone.

I’ll be damned if I’m going to take $2400 of the downpayment I’m trying to save for and giving it to my apartment complex! Especially considering my rent is now higher than the mortgage payments of a lot of my coworkers. I may not get exactly what I want this year, but I’ll get something better than what I have!

So apparently…I’m in the market for a new home. Now if I can just find out where I put that downpayment…

Posted by: brianc74 | May 5, 2011

One more day…

…and it all begins…

Yeah, I’m taking a vacation day just so I can go to a matinee of this tomorrow. Pulling my son out of school early too. The matinee should allow us to take the baby and not disturb a lot of people in case she starts fussing.

If this is wrong, I don’t wanna be right!

It’s going to be a great summer!

June 3rd, 2011

The first two movies were pretty good! The third one absolutely sucked and drained all hope that I had for FOX Studios to do this franchise right. This hopelessness was then reinforced by the Wolverine movie which took an extreme number of liberties all of which were livable until we got Barakapool*.

The first teasers and trailer did nothing to assuage my fears, but this second trailer does look better. Maybe even enough to look past how FOX screwed themselves with the first three movies so they can’t have the REAL First Class: Cyclops, Jean Grey, Angel, Iceman, and Beast (who is the only member to show up in this new movie)**.

June 17th, 2011

First trailer was unfortunately very scary. A CGI Green Lantern suit was an interesting approach. The “biosuit” look was also interesting, but livable. The “poorly photoshopped” mask screamed failure at the highest levels! However, they have improved the look with this new trailer and this movie just looks amazing!

The mask still looks wrong, but the rest of it looks so amazing that I think it won’t be noticed as much as long as they avoid closeups of it.

July 22nd, 2011

And the movie I’m looking forward to the most!!! CAPTAIN AMERICA!!!

The only way to make this movie better would be to release it July 4th weekend.

*A nickname fanboys have given the Deadpool character at the end of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. He’s a cross between the true Deadpool character and Baraka (a Mortal Kombat video game character).
**Yes, I’m a somewhat bitter fanboy myself given the horror that was X3.

Posted by: brianc74 | March 18, 2011

Star Wars…sorta

http://www.collegehumor.com/moogaloop/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=1949406&fullscreen=1

Posted by: brianc74 | January 28, 2011

The Glyph Market Doesn’t Make Sense…

Wrath was a pretty awesome time for the ambitious scribe! Herbs were cheap. Snowfall Inks generally sold for enough to pay for the entire stack of herbs making any glyphs crafted and sold pure profit! And if you weren’t selling the Snowfall Inks the cost of crafting a glyph averaged between 1-2g and sold for 20-80g!!!

Demand was high because some hardcore raiders would switch glyphs between boss fights and stock up on your goods. Others just couldn’t make up their minds. And Blizzard was nice enough to keep things changing often enough to get people to re-glyph on a regular basis!

But then patch 4.0.1 came out and I thought the good times were over. Scribes have had their day! But no…

Blizzard changed glyph making so that each glyph requires 3 inks to craft instead of 1. Result? Costs goes up. So profits should naturally come down, right? Well, prices have also gone up. Glyphs are going for as high as 300g on my server; although there are a lot in the 20-80g range as well. But that’s not the part that doesn’t make sense.

There are a finite number of people on the server. This translates to a finite number of toons on the server. Since glyphs are now “learned” instead of “inserted”, this means once I sell you a particular glyph you are no longer a potential customer for that glyph. So theoretically I should run out of customers. But I haven’t. This doesn’t mean I won’t, but for now I can’t figure it out. I still sell roughly the same number of glyphs per day that I did in Wrath. Granted with inflation I’m making more, but I shouldn’t be making 5x more per day than I did in Wrath, should I?

Anyway, I hit 100k yesterday with little effort. In about two weeks I went from 30k to 100k so I’m pretty proud of myself. Hey, you epeen with gear and I’ll epeen with gold! Get over it! 🙂

Now to hit 200k in two weeks…

Posted by: brianc74 | January 20, 2011

With Love

December 2000 – January 19, 2011

Thanks buddy! I’ll miss you…

Posted by: brianc74 | January 11, 2011

Gold Score > Gear Score

I’ve got a friend at work that’s in a pretty hardcore raiding guild, but during Wrath he got engaged and scaled back a lot…until his fiance started playing.

Now he’s back to playing, but on what his guild calls a casual basis (still more hardcore than I). In fact he has a guild within a guild. Apparently they are set up for 25 man raids, but have three 10 man groups as well. Each of those groups has a rank denoting which group they belong to. So he runs his little group and they have a different raid schedule from the rest of the members.

He’s been downing bosses and recently apparently is now 4/12 as of last weekend. So they are excited as they gain their loot, increase their item level (gear score*), and down bosses. This is what he loves to do in game.

I’m different. I probably haven’t run more than a half-dozen heroics. I just don’t have the drive to farm it, especially in pugs. So I’ve spent my time farming mats, leveling professions, doing dailies, pvp’ing (not entirely the ganking kind ;)), and leveling alts. In fact I now have four level 85 toons and will soon be working on 5 and 6 in order to max out the last of my professions. I have 5 of the primary and 2 of the secondary professions finished so I’m halfway.

In fact, I just recently spent over 12,000 gold to set up a little scheme my friend told me about that one of his friends has been running. It took nearly 6 hours to set up and at first provided no return as the items I was crafting did not sell. Then as I wondered if I was going to make my gold back any time soon, I started selling them and quickly made the gold back.

So the other day we were talking about WoW and he was all excited about his progression. He then asked me about whether or not my guild was going to get into raids soon. My response?

“Probably not, but I made 12k gold the past couple of days. How about you?”

“F$%^ you!”

Proof that Gold Score > Gear Score! 🙂

*I know Item Level is just another version of Gear Score and is still the same basic thing as it doesn’t tell you anything about a person’s skill, but is anyone else ecstatic that Gear Score chat has all but died? In fact, one guy announcing an 8k gear score yesterday got trolled in trade chat for even mentioning it. Awww… LMAO!

Posted by: brianc74 | January 6, 2011

Ganking’s More Fun When You’re Doing It

I got home late last night because I attended my first Cub Scout meeting.  I was asked to help out at my church and so I did.  Looking forward to it because I remember really enjoying Cub Scouts. Boy Scouts? Not so much…

Anyway as I got home and logged into vent, I hear everyone laughing about killing Horde. Turns out that a few of them were doing the Crucible quests in Twilight Highlands and a couple of Horde decided to have a little fun with them. Unfortunately it wasn’t working in their favor! XD

So I log into my shaman and head out there to assist and invite another guildie who wasn’t in the group doing the quests. We killed a rogue and death knight and harassed a couple of others who appeared to be considering joining the festivities. As they finished up their quests and leave their group, people start asking for invites into my group to kill Hordies. Next thing I know I’m in a raid of seven people flying around Twilight Highlands looking for Horde.

There were a lot of 84’s questing and we must have killed the same mage at least a dozen times in the space of 30 minutes. Each kill made us laugh and some kills made us laugh harder (read: Flame Shock dot killing fleeing Hordie as he tries to fly away)! But in all fairness there were a lot of 85’s as well doing dailies and farming that met their maker as well.

It did get pretty funny until I ran into a former guildie who had faction transferred. Although we did kill her a couple of times we did recall that she wasn’t one of what we would have classified as a “problem person”. At that point I had to convince a couple of them that we shouldn’t keep going at her and got them to back off, although I do think one of them got her a couple more times without telling us.  However her guildies that showed up were totally fair game!

I suppose the moral of the story is “ganking’s a lot more fun when you’re doing it” and not getting it done to you.

Posted by: brianc74 | January 5, 2011

Not Ready To Say Goodbye…

I wish I had a pic…

Simplicity

I’m a simple man. I have simple tastes, goals, wants, needs, and even emotions. I often joke to myself that I have two emotions: humor and anger. Unfortunately there’s another very simple emotion that I do everything I can to avoid. In fact I go to such great lengths to avoid it that I often find I’ve created walls around me to protect myself. But every once in a while those walls are breached and heartbreak sets in…

Heartbreak

More than disappointment. More than sadness and despair. Heartbreak is the emotion that makes your eyes well with tears, your throat clench as you try to speak, and as the name implies makes your heart feel as if it has shattered into a thousand pieces.

It’s the emotion I felt when my first girlfriend, Heather*, broke up with me. It’s the emotion I felt when my wife said no to my first marriage proposal. It’s what I felt when my grandfather died and again when my grandmother died. It’s what I felt last night…

Smokey and Peaches

Almost ten years ago I got two cats. Smokey and Peaches were two cats from a litter of four. They were the grandkitties of an orange tabby cat named Gizzy (Gizmo) that my wife grew up with. She loved that cat and we had recently bought a home and wanted a couple of those cats.

Peaches was my pick. She’s a yellowish-orange cat that was the most adventurous of the bunch. Nothing seemed to scare her and she was curious about everything. Ironically she also quickly became the most timid and refused to come out when we had guests over.

Smokey was my wife’s pick. He’s a grey cat that quickly became the dominant of the two and gained weight twice as fast as Peaches due to his muscling in on the cat dish.

Over the years I became the dominant care giver of our cats. I fed them. I cleaned up their litter. I brushed them. I played with them. And of course I cleaned up all the puke. Seriously, can you two stop hurling half your food? And chew it for the love of all that’s holy!

My wife has played with them less and less as she became annoyed with the constant cat hair on her clothes, the constant puking, the smell of the litter, and all the other things that come with owning a pet. That’s not to say that she doesn’t love them, but it goes without saying that of the two of us I’m the one that’s more attached.

The Signs

Looking back the signs slowly appeared, but at the time they were minor. A few months ago we noticed that Smokey was unable to jump up on the bed. He would attempt the jump, almost make it, and fall off. We would sit and laugh that he had gotten so fat he couldn’t make it anymore.

He used to track me down as soon as I got home, but recently he only finds me when I am in the kitchen. He knows full well that I’ll fill his dish for him if he does. Then about a month ago I noticed he started limping. I had recently tripped over him in the dark and was worried I had hurt him.

A few weeks ago my inlaws came to visit. The very night they got there, Smokey peed on one of the suitcases. I chalked it up to stress from strangers. But after they left he not only starting urinating on blankets, carpet, rugs, etc. he also started to defecate as well.

At first we thought he might be stressed from the holidays or the new baby, but his limp started to get worse and I wondered if they weren’t related. So I took him to the vet last night.

At The Vet

I had slowly prepared myself for the worst, but I wasn’t ready to put him down. He’s my cat! But I also don’t have a lot of money and taking care of a sick animal can be very expensive. So I dreaded the visit, but I needed to find out what was wrong.

A quick exam revealed nothing. No temperature, so obviously no infection. But it was obvious to the vet that Smokey was becoming lame in his hind legs and unable to control his urination and bowel movements. Although the vet recommended a blood test, he also admitted that he didn’t expect it to reveal anything. An X-ray could reveal an injury that might explain it, but the vet also suspected that it was probably a bad disc putting pressure on the spinal cord or spinal cancer, both of which wouldn’t show on an X-ray.

I don’t have money to pay for expensive treatments to get an MRI/catscan, chemotherapy, etc. So the practical side of me argued that paying for X-rays, blood tests, and other treatments only to have surgeries, medications, and other items I couldn’t afford would be a waste of money.

Another side of me was falling apart. I called my wife to let her know it would be $500 just to do X-rays and blood tests and that was without medications, surgeries, etc. But I could barely talk. Tears welled up in my eyes and I felt my heart break as I couldn’t deal with the idea that I might have to put my cat down. The guilt tore me apart.

Not Ready To Say Goodbye…

Smokey’s an older cat now. He doesn’t have many years left, but I want whatever is left. This whole thing snuck up on me. I wasn’t prepared for it. I wasn’t ready to deal with it. But at the same time I have a new baby and I can’t have a cat urinating and defecating all over the carpet where the baby is going to learn to crawl soon. Let alone the rest of us having to live in it.

So after an torturous hour of holding and petting my cat, I finally decided to pay for the X-rays at least. The 30 minutes of waiting was even worse as I prepared myself for the devasting news that would let me know that euthanizing my cat was the way to go.

I slowly prepared myself to make that decision.

But I wasn’t ready to say goodbye! So when the X-rays came back with nothing conclusive, I struggled with the decision and the guilt overcame what some would call the rational decision. Instead I chose the option to give him a cortizone shot would should hopefully alleviate any pressure on his spinal cord or even reduce the swelling of a lymphoma should it be spinal cancer. It is our hope that he will get control of his faculties again. But it isn’t a permanent solution as each shot will be less effective than the previous one.

But I have my cat for a while longer. And if he doesn’t get better at least now I have the time to say goodbye. I woke up twice during the night and heard him using the litter box both times, so my hope for his recovery is increasing. If not, I will find the time to enjoy what time he has left and make his life as comfortable as possible. But I’m not ready to say goodbye…

*Who to be honest I’ve never gotten over. I may not be in love with the woman she is now, but I’m still in love with the girl she was.

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