Monday, October 11, 2010

The Beginning is the End is the Beginning

So after that rousing guild gathering I was off to gain top level and play with the boys and girls. It didn’t take long throw a dash of insomnia and dab of being pretty antisocial. I recall evening after class I would get cafeteria “take-out” so that I could eat in my room while on a Darkness Falls raid or later on an Avalon raid. They were good times I was pretty avid about learning the ropes of the game. I would excitedly chat with other group members who sometimes were higher level and established myself as a rather curious sometimes annoying yet pretty competent player. I mean I know we aren’t talking using tons of neurons to play a mmo properly but it was always important to me that I was filling my specific role above average. Also after that little guild event I had taken to dueling on a daily basis. Which inadvertently prepared me for RVR or realm versus realm, pretty much the end game for a MMO like DAOC. Warhammer did a better job of incorporating the concept into the game from the beginning however I digress. I managed to make a name for myself in the dueling arena. You see there were daily statistics on Camelotherald of who gained the most RPs (realm points from RVR) who won the most duels etc. Which starting out I managed to stay pretty consecutively in the top 20 to 25 for dueling win loss ratio.

I finally hit 50 and completed all of the class epic quests to get my mercenary armor. At the time

I regarded as some really neat looking gear up until the expansion that I feel ultimately ruined the game I kept a piece or two of the armor because of the ascetics. I reached the top level well before a couple of my friends who had started at least a year or so before I had. I believe it took me a couple months to get there. Xandryll the ever ardent Paladin was the next to reach 50. We had talked here and there about Emerical’s weekly RVR group which as we saw was legendary. We both went on an outing with them, with my first showing far outshining my comrade. Our outings consisted of forming up at one of our border keeps then running about our lands and border lands finding other groups to engage. With our respective impressions, mine seemed to be the prevalent of the two. I killed some high ranking Lurikeen Ranger named Raad Maad. At the time I had no idea who the hell this guy was nor did I think it was anything of note. However I suppose Emerical’s team thought otherwise. I had impressed the right people and had earned a, for the most part, guaranteed spot as Laralyn’s Main assist. I would meet Raad later on and I suppose that first outing all of his tricks were not up because he proceeded to single me out and beat the crap out of me. I suppose I had made an impression on him as well, find that noob and kill him the next time you see him. I suppose my group had also done their homework on me because they knew I was pretty high on the weekly dueling charts and I had a bit of reverence with some of the members. I believe one conversation after I had already established myself as a reliable group member went along the lines of “It’s the mighty Shinobhi!” kind of strange at the time to have any sort of following or renown yet flattering none the less. I used to duel before we would go out roaming the borderlands and did fairly well. I would say dueling took up 40% of my time with 50% in RVR and the rest in Raiding (such an awful invention) and chatting with folks I dueled, each 5% respectively. This group became pretty important to me in terms of gameplay and the mmo social aspects. We chatted frequently between outings and it would turn out I had made a pretty good impression on a couple members while leveling. Yet I digress once again I mean to at least give a brief description of every member as I remember them. First off Laralyn she was the best armsman on the server and great at group tactics. I was her main assist and we took apart many groups together. Frescia was our main cleric she was a great healer and always by Laralyn’s side. Brudan was another armsman he was also quite good and did an awesome job of protecting our healers. His wife was Miranda was a Paladin she was one of the best I had seen and the melee in the group was always full on endurance when she was around. Nixana was one of our other clerics between her and Frescia we survived a lot of battles that most other groups would have died to. Bleyn, Nixana’s husband was a Cabalist he and his emerald simulacrum would terrorize the enemy with his assortment of dots. Neres was our Ministrel and provided the speed for our outings, he always had some off the wall hilarious comment to keep things lively. Blemsloggle was one of our scouts who was good at providing intel from stealth and launching some really good ambushes. His alternate, which it took me a while to realize they were the same person, was a mercenary and would come to be my competition for the most part. A really fun rivalry that made us both better. Aldaron another ranger who always kept things interesting with his military terms slung around regarding the amount of arrows he had left or the enemy. Mizerath was another one of our clerics and just like the other was damned good. Syenna was our Sorceress and was excellent and hitting groups with a mez that would allow us to cut off all their vital members before they could respond. Zernahk would later replace Neres. We would often duel when I switched to Paladin which prove long and drawn out. Warukah a fire Wizard who could nuke with the best of them. Pelinian which if memory recalls was Warukah's alt, a Friar who could lay down some impressive damage while also healing. Zernahk who would later replace Neres as our main Minstrel.And last but not least Emerical our resident Earth theurgist who provided us with PBT which basically amounted to giving us a nice shield against attacks. And also earth pet spamming extraordinaire.

I could go on and on about stories of RVR and Raiding, and of course dueling yet to spare a hodgepodge of seemingly boring accounts of my most memorable and exciting moments which I doubt would be as such to anyone actually reading this blog I’ll end the DAOC chapter with this; The game was great the mechanics were solid and to this day it was favorite mmo with my fondest memories. Yet it all went to complete and udder shite when through efforts to keep the game fun and fresh they decided to release more content in the form of Trials of Atlantis. Yeah it was neat and all the armor graphics were nice but it awarded such abilities that allowed for one particular class, runemasters, to solo entire groups. So like a decent amount of other I said screw this and went on to a new mmo, Star Wars Galaxies. The friends I made in the core RVR group would prove to be lifelong, for the most part; most of us have met in real life and stay in contact through forums. Forums I might add which we had some excellent RP stories on. I had a fairly decent stint into fan fiction dramatizing our RVR outings. There would be a Dark Prophecy(not sure if I ever said the name of our guild) reunion in World of Warcraft and a brief one in Warhammer Online yet RL the insatiable epic mob would consume us all leaving little time for gaming. I’ll end with a picture of some of the group just before Brudan and Miranda stopped playing to pursue Star Wars Galaxies on a more regular basis.

From left to right; Brudan, Miranda, Emerical, Bleyn, Laralyn, and Nixana.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Game On

Alright so I fell of the wagon there for a bit so to speak. After some self-loathing and general exhaustion from RL I’ve decided to continue my entries chronicling my dissent into madness… I mean MMOs. Is there a difference?

By late August of 2003 I was back on campus attending college which was really getting in the way of my new favorite pastime. During the week I would go to class and the evenings were consumed with trudging through the grind of DAOC, which I did fairly quick. I recall one particular evening where I skipped eating dinner in the cafeteria and quickly grabbed take-out before scampering back to my dorm room . My goal was to catch up with my friends and go RVRing ( Realm vs Realm combat) with Emerical. He had met a couple folks that ran a little group every Wednesday.

Though I did manage to retain some sliver of social behavior, I was in band so there was a fair amount of social interaction there. Though beneath it all the underlying sentiments were much akin to those goofy bumper stickers “I’d rather be fishing playing DAOC.” By this time we were all in a guild together, Emerald Myst a guild created by Emerical. Roughly around level 35 for my Mercenary there was a guild/alliance event which was near, interesting enough, an in game role playing wedding. -- Which I really enjoyed the enthusiasm people would put into staying in character while playing… something you rarely find these days with all the LFGs and WTBs…

The in game wedding provided a surreal environment considering….. event proceedings were intermingled with witty banter from the wedding party and official tone of the guild leaders. However I digress, the real excitement from that particular occasion would ignite a passion that would carry me through many an otherwise boring evening in game. The event I remember most lucidly was the dueling. They broke the proceedings into class ranges roughly 5 levels or so apart which was reasonably fair considering no one was really around the same level besides the guild leaders who were all top level respectively.

The first duel I remember was between Xandryll and Zernax, I remember the duel lasting an unreasonably long amount of time considering the level gap. Xandryll was roughly 45 at the time and Zernax around 38. At one point the duel spilled into the small church much to the displeasure of the ardent role players. Xandryll was ultimately the superior however it would foreshadow later events of his dueling prowess.

Our guild leader Emerical made comically short work of top level Mercenary named Eliath who I had an strange man-crush on thinking he was one of the best Mercenaries in the game, or something of the sort. I annoyed him with quite a few giddy pestering asking what specialization he used etc. etc. Also even more ironic would be his respect towards my prowess in the class. - - Which was another thing I enjoyed back then there was a comradely between people who played the same class, everyone was really friendly and a wealth of information.

However once again I digress, I was now up at bat so to speak… It was my turn and I was up against an armsman named Lendar, he had a couple levels on me, I was pretty sure my disadvantage would lead to a quick defeat. I treated him like any other mob I fought in the game. I used the tools at my disposal and came out triumphant.

I suppose it was familiarity I felt from playing fighting games, to this day I still get a bit of an adrenaline rush from the thrills of testing my skill against another combatant in the grand arena…. Ok so it wasn’t quite as grandiose as that yet it would be the closest I can imagine to being a character from movies like Gladiator or shows like Spartacus.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


1. Quick! Zombies are coming!! What do you do?

Grab my Ogio with laptop charger and various cables . Grab an semi-automatic pistol with low recoil and lots of ammo. Find a fortified position high off the ground if I have a weapon, depending on the amount of zombies and variety i.e. slow mover vs rage zombie( would hope for the classic variety) if the slow variety make my way to a fortified vehicle check said vehicle before driving away to a position far form military bases and dense populated areas. If no

2. Whew, that was a close one. …I think your phone is ringing. Oh, it’s your best friend! She thinks she’s been bitten by a zombie. What advice do you give her?

Cut communication, shes lost to the virus *sad face* also my phone would not ring it would be on vibrate loud noises attack the plague that is the undead

3. You realize it’s time to leave your current location because it’s clearly not safe anymore. Are you going to move at night or day? Defend your reasoning.

I will move during the day unless I can procure some night vision goggles (doubtful) daylight affords better visibility less surprises, if I can see it I can shoot it in the head

4. During your relocation, you come across a weapon superstore. My, that’s convenient. What kind of weaponry do you choose?

As detailed earlier some sort of semi automatic pistols. Kevlar reinforced clothing possibly a riot shield, swat gear if available gloves etc. Silencers (curious why they never used them in movies... the undead seem attracted to loud noises) A revolver or two would be quite nice, holsters, ammo belts and combat boots. Medkits super glue and ducktape.

5. As you leave, an old lady on the side of the street begs you to help her. Do you? Why or why not?

I walk away, shes a liability slow moving easily over taken by the undead. At best advise her to find shelter.

6. Good choice, you’re clearly a good person to have around in a zombie apocalypse. Oh hey, there’s a wifi signal here! You can’t stay long but this is your chance to gather some intel on the current situation. What’s the first website you check?

Seeing as civilization would be shambles at this point I doubt there would be any detailed intel on what is going on usually these things tend to take people unaware. if anything i would use this time to find out about my surroundings and the closest supply points, and ammo depots and fueling locations if I dont have a gps by this point I use google maps to plot my way to the coast(google maps is the best true that double true). I would also at this point be a walking wifi I doubt I would need to stop here I could tether my ipod to my smartphone if I needed to browse

7. SHH! What was that noise?!

Rustling in the basement, time to move.

8. I think it’s time to get out of here. I hope you have a plan. Where are you going now?

I head to the coast
9. Wait a minute, that looks like a bite mark on your arm… You may be infected too! Will you tell other people?

Doubtful if I've any sense at all Ive covered my body in Kevlar or gore tech material, a scratch maybe which would ripped the clothing which would also be wrapped in duck tape, bite mark no.

10. How does this story end?

I've become quite proficient with a firearm by this time if this were my literary happy ending I would have found Fuegita saved her from some zombie attack and we live out our lives remaining days in happiness on some island with self sufficient power means to create ammo and plenty of food. IF at all possible some person has figured out a cure and civilization is rebuilt

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Game off

Like an oncoming car game off for now IM going to side track from my mmo junky reminiscing for the moment.

Ten on Tuesday

Questions for Tuesday, March 2, 2010!

1. If you were given an hour to use a $200 Amazon gift card, what would you buy? Mixture of DVDs and Games most likely
2. Are there any fairly common foods that you’ve never had? Asparagus
3. What was your favorite way to use your imagination as a kid? Playing with my action figures... many many ninja turtles
4. What’s your favorite state? Why? California so far my favorite place to visit, decent weather and lots to see.
5. If it was our culture to have our parents choose our spouses, do you think yours would make a good choice? Mom maybe, Dad definitely not.
6. What’s your favorite herb? chives
7. If you could have dinner with one celebrity, who would you choose? Denzel Washington
8. What’s your favorite Disney movie? All Dogs go to Heaven
9. If you had to listen to the same song over and over for 24 hours, what song would you choose? Weezer, say it aint so
10. How do you order your steak? Medium

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Learning the Ropes

I would meet a wide variety of players in my time under the influence. It was quite the frustrating informative journey. Ive taken the opportunity to include some vocabulary I learned along the way.

Group composition - Your basic group consists of a healer(cleric, friar), tank(armsman), damage dealer(Wizard,Cabalast,friar can do this as well, mercenary, scout, theurgist, Necromancer, infiltrator) crowd control(Sorcerer), regen(paladin, minstrel)

The power gamer/ min maxer - This specimen is concerned with the most powerful un-nerfed* class of the day. Sometimes the flavor of the month seeker. These guys hop from class to class depending who is the most powerful at the time.

The noob - I fell into this category upon my start. Not really aware of game mechanics somewhat green to the whole game in general. Though this term had a heavy negative sometimes insulting connotation it aptly described one new to the game. Many groups tend to avoid these players like the plague as if their utter ineptness would rub off and slowly degrade the skill of those within proximity.

The cowardly Healer - Ok so I've played a healer in other games yet this generalization though somewhat unfair rings generally true. "OMG get this thing off me!" You'll hear this followed by running around in circles chased by what ever monster you were fighting closely followed by a bewildered tank hoping to salvage the group from a horrible death. Once again they aren't all like that but I encountered my fair share of them. The good ones will stand their ground use any detaunts available, and heal themselves until the tank reestablishes aggro.

The no off-switch DPS* sociopath - I am also guilty of the title... not quite to the severity of the extreme however digital bloodlust can and will happen. This player will refuse to tone down his level of damage output blaming any deaths on a incompetent tank. When asked to let the tank gain aggro* they often refuse.

The loot whore - the annoying specimen will grab every item they can even when it does not pertain to their class.

The "I'm allergic to well functioning group I must leave at the most inconvenient time thus killing the group" - I suppose this needs no explanation.

The non roleplayer - a decent amount of the appeal of daoc was feeling as if you were authentically escaping to another time... a time of clever word play and meaningful conversations. I happened to be on a role-playing server when some yahoo showed up spouting what is more commonly seen in games like World of Warcraft it was often looked down upon. These player also often had ridiculous names (yes even more so than a japanese highlander) like Papa Smurf for an Inconnu.

The AFKer - This guy manages to go away from keyboard everytime there is a battle. He often asks to auto-follow a group member and that he will be back soon. He is little more than leech riding the shirt tails of his group.

The competent gamer - These are a bona-fide rarity in the early game. These individuals completely understand the games mechanics of their class and the classes they have to cooperate with. From a leveling perspective these are the individuals you add to your friends list and seek to group with if you enjoy gaining quite a few levels in a short amount of time. It took some doing though I would attribute quite a bit of it to obsessive research on my class when not in game.

*Nerf - Really a mechanism in which game developers used to balance unfair advantages that arose during game play and to counter game breaking exploits. For instance a healing class that could output the same damage pure damage classes produce while maintaining full healing potential, point in case the smite-cleric. Though to those in game a nerf is more described as prying the the swords from your adept warriors hands and replacing them with foam nerf bats. Roughly the ultimate insult to your common player.

Grinding - Trudging through level after level in one set location with your group. This usually entails many hours in which one neglects all but the most urgent of bodily needs affectionately known as taking a bio* or bio break* however not before typing afk* to your group. However the other pesky things like eating or drinking are usually left to the wayside. Unless per chance you fall into the grazing prone practice of having some form of unhealthy snack by yout side.

*AFK - Away from keyboard

*Aggro - Refers to the amount of hate generate between each player and a mob*

*Mob - Monster, enemy npc*

*NPC - Non Player Character

*BIO - Bathroom break

*DPS - Damage per second

I suppose I may missed a few of the personalities I encountered however when they might come to mind I'll update this post.

And so it begins...

Alas my journey had begun. After reading up on the games' lore and watching one of my favorite genres fantasy/historical action to psych me up for the game-play. I decided I wanted an offensive character with two blades. Said class just happened to exist the Mercenary.

My friends had chose Avalon as their home realm. Which was in direct conflict with Hibernia(hibbys/tree-huggers/pole dancers(we'll get into that later...)) and Midgard(um overpowered bastards... strong in-game hate there). Character creation took a bit of time. There were a few races to pick from, Avalonians (tall elves, much to Emer's annoyance in PvP), Britons (said to have descended from King Arthur himself), Saracens (short desert folk), Inconnu (short weird-ass looking blue folk. Naturally a first choice for Zernax due to his penchant for strange races in mmos I would find), and Highlander (Braveheart comes to mind, that and Xandryll's fake Scottish accent).

I went with the Highlander... why I named a warrior of Scottish decent after a Japanese video-game ninja I will never know. However I would later come up with a decently, though once again origin inappropriate sir name of Matsufabusu.

Within my first evening of playing I had reached level 6. Only 44 levels to go... Along my trek I would grow from the ranks of noob to competent player (as if it took a ton of neurons to accomplish).

Welcome to the digital Parade

This is my first shot at blogging introduced to me by the one woman who I can truly call my soul mate. Alas before I wax poetic with the sappiness my private writings often ooze with from time to time to the purpose of these particular ramblings.

Well as the title suggest I am a recovering game-aholic. I suppose I should qualify that with specifically a recovering mmo-aholic due to the fact that from time to time I still indulge my carnal digital pleasure with a few mind numbing hours of game play, though not to the severity I let mmos consume me. Not to say the mmo bug doesn't manage to creep in and become my latest fantasy based escape, just not quite as severe as it used to be.

Through the course of this venture I plan to explore slash visit my experiences with mmos.