Sunday, December 30, 2007

Happy Holidays!!

My son lives in New Hampshire. He was hired by a company that has a office located in Andover, MA. I spent the Christmas holiday with my son. It was exciting to get to see snow again. Living in Virginia, we do not see much of snow. When we arrived there was snow everywhere!! Unfortunately it looks like I also packed warmer weather along with my jammies!! The snow on the trees did not last long and by the time we left for home it was raining. Though I did hear that a snow storm was due to blow in this weekend!

My son is the other gamer in my family. I think between us we own pretty much every gaming console, sometimes 2 of each. We share games and fight over them!! When he moved he "accidentally" packed my 4 Wiimotes!! Ask me if I believe that! He just moved up there in September and he was getting his apartment set up. Of course what is an apartment without an Xbox 360 (I own the one in the family) so he purchased the Xbox 360 elite. He also purchased the new Guitar Hero and Rock Band. It was fun to watch him play. He has a bit of background in music so he is pretty good at it. I was much better with the drums then the guitar.

I took him my copy of Call of Duty 4 for the Xbox. I have a hard time using the controller playing a FPS. I did not even make it out of the tutorial. He had absolutely no problems with the game and was happy I did not want to torture myself with it any longer.

We joined some friends for dinner on Christmas Day dinner. I cooked and no, no one got sick!! After dinner we played some Wii Sports. My son can get a strike in bowling from the kitchen!! Even my husband got into the fun. He is not much of a gamer. We had a great time!

My son just purchased the first 3 seasons of Lost. He had never gotten into watching the series and to be honest neither did I. So he suggested that I watch the show while I was up there. I am hooked!! I was happy in my ignorant bliss of not knowing who Sawyer was, or who the Others were. And I thought that a hatch was just a door on a ship! Little did I know I would get all caught up in the lives of the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815. I do have to admit watching the show in marathon format was a nice way to get hooked. Now I just have to decide it I want to wait till season 4 comes out on DVD to watch it or start watching it episode by episode at the end of January!

Happy Holidays and may everyone have a bright and prosperous New Year!! See you all on the island!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

To Leather or not to Leather

I have to admit, I am not much of an "items" person. I do not usually troll the boards to find out exactly what piece of loot is going to make me be the best "Inquisitor" in the game. Recently I noticed that in the 2 zones that I have completed quests, I have picked up no new pieces of plate armor. I have several pieces of chain in my appearance slots because I like the way it looks, but I would not use it as armor. Last night we raided in the Protector's Realm and a nice set of leather boots dropped for priests. I was a little taken aback by the fact that they were leather and they were for all priests. So a discussion started about how there is mostly leather for priests to wear in RoK. I can barely survive soloing now in my fabled plate, and I am being told that the most readily available armor for me is leather?

I was not in the least happy about this. I decided that I would go search the forums to find out what was being discussed on this subject.

I found 2 threads:

and here

The first one started on Nov. 15 and the second one on Nov.26. So this is probably old news to some.

I read through the majority of the posts and was a bit interested in the Dev replies. These are all quoted from the threads and FyreFlyte is the poster.

"The reason you're seeing so much caster leather this expansion is because I felt it would be pointless to create every single piece of priest armor in triplicate (leather, chain, plate) when all 3 types could wear leather, and generally had little use for the extra mitigation of the higher armor types. Thus, the majority of the priest gear I created was leather so that all priests could make use of it."

Being a plate class healer I really do not think that my armor is pointless. Just to be able to solo in RoK I had to respec my Inquisitor AA line to Battle Cleric. Just to get the boost for my armor. I can handle one mob, but if I get 2 or more, I am dead.

"Believe it or not, not all of us red names know the intricacies of every single one of the 24 classes. Most players don't either. Some of the people who post here don't understand their own class terribly well. Are you attempting to tell me that mitigation matters to a group healer who never gets hit?"

Now that one sentence surprised me the most. I would have a big problem if my mechanic told me "I do not know the intricacies of car engines" or my childrens' math teacher told me "I do not know the intricacies of all the math formulas". Ok maybe he is correct. Maybe I should not expect him to know everything about my class and the 23 other classes, but I do expect him to at least know how things have been done before. I expect him to have a general knowledge of the mechanics of the game. I expect him to know that Templars and Inquisitors are plate clerics. That we need the mitigation to solo in a predominately solo expansion where the mobs are harder in general.

"Due to the way the tables turned out, you'll see a lot more caster plate and chain at the higher end of Kunark. That being said, there is a much larger selection of priest leather simply because there is a larger number of classes that can make use of it. There is plate and chain out there for healers, but not in as great an abundance as leather."

That entire paragraph got to me. I am lucky. I have some nice EoF fabled gear, but I am still having a time of it soloing. I have taken a fair amount of damage in groups and in raids too. I would love not to hold on till the high end to get better gear. I am not saying that I have not found some interesting items in the game. I have. I just wish I had more plate options available to me.

"However, my question was not "why do you want to wear armor with better mitigation". That would be a ridiculous question. What I asked was how much does it help you, and in which situations? It was an honest question. As a plate class, you have access to armor intended for almost every other class available, so you could use warrior plate if mitigation was your ultimate goal. In situations where mitigation is less important, many healers will use chain or leather."

Maybe these questions should have been asked before the armor was created not after. There is a great community of players out here. Most of us love this game. We would be happy to help at anytime. I usally do not go switching my armor out. I only do that on raids for resists or when I forgot to get a repair kit, and when I do I will put on more plate.

"There is chain and plate out there. People keep quoting a single paragraph I wrote and using it way out of context to make it sound like I said plate and chain priests should be happy wearing leather. This is not the case, and I did create an abundance of chain and plate caster gear. I'm not sure why players have failed to find it, but it's something I'm looking into. In the meantime, I'm rather incredulous (having played a healer in a number of different MMOs) that some players refuse to use the best statted armor based entirely off the premise that it was not "intended for them". I'm not forcing leather armor on you. It's just more abundant, as it proves useful to a larger number of players."

Have you played one in this MMO? This is not other MMO's, this is EverQuest II. This game was set up to have Templars and Inquisitors wear plate and Defilers and Mystics to wear chain and Furies and Wardens to wear leather, by design not because we think it looks good or it is something we want to do just for the hell of it.

"Given the lack of availability of certain armor types, and the ease of adding new pieces via faction vendors (quests are much much trickier to go back and itemize), I'm going to be filling some holes in a coming update. I want to stress that this is not a case of "the squeaky wheel gets the oil"; I'm not adding this armor simply to quiet down the (rather loud) complainers, but because I see a need for it, especially given the ramped up difficulty of soloing in RoK."

The above was posted on Nov. 27th. Though I am not sure that tossing some pieces on a vendor is the way to fix the issue. I look forward to seeing what I will be able to use my hard earned plat on. I understand that it would be hard to go back and retool the quest rewards, but maybe putting some drops on nameds throughout the zones or toss in more exquiste chest drops on mobs with new armor pieces in them would be a viable alternative to help alleviate the plate shortage, without causing the plate wearers to become financially damaged.

"These items are slated for GU 41, so hopefully they'll be in-game in time for the holidays =)" Dec. 6th.

All I wanted to do was to find out a bit more information on the amount of leather in the game for healers. I found more than I bargained for. I found that the differentiation that the team worked so hard to institute in the past was being wiped away but a Dev that felt it was "pointless" to create armor suitable for each healing class. I found a Dev that appears not to have done their homework before taking on the challenge to design new armor for an expansion. I found a Dev that seems to have a "if it works in other MMO's it should work in this one." attitude. I found a Dev that seems to not care about the people he is designing for. For the first time since August, 2004 I was disappointed.

Just My Opinion,

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Hardcore Gaming or Speed Gaming?

I have been putting off writing something about the Rise of Kunark expansion for Everquest II for a little while now. I was trying to find just the thing I wanted to write about. It was not an easy thing to do for me but here it goes.

RoK was released 3 weeks ago. There were level 80 players within days of release. I think this is wrong on so many levels. The content is really beautiful to look at. It is exciting to experience. My little ratonga has to hold on to a tree to keep from being swept up in the whirlwind of players racing to level 80. I was complaining about this to my son. His reply was “Welcome to hardcore gaming.” I think he should have said “Welcome to speed gaming.” I feel like I am watching a 5 minute gaming session in each zone I am in. Run through, level and move on.

I raid with an alliance of people on my server. It used to be that we did not rush to do things. We took our time, we enjoyed the experience of our zone and each others company. With this expansion came a push to level so we can hit the new raid zones. There are still 2 raid zones in the last expansions we barely tried. I hope we get back to try those zones before all the content is green or worse grey.

I remember hardcore gaming. I did that in Everquest. I raided 7 days a week. I remember it taking forever to get levels. I had a full time job back in those days. I would think that kept me from leveling as fast as others, but a lot of people I know at level 80 today have full time jobs. I am already level 74, just a breath away from level 75. I am trying hard not to rush. I am trying to do all the quests I can find and to savor the experience that the EQII artists created for me to see. The first time I saw the ghost of Jaled’Dar in Field of Bones, I was mesmerized. I just stopped what I was doing to watch the sequence. They are fighting a ghost battle that occurred eons ago.

RoK brings back a lot of memories from my Everquest, Ruins of Kunark days. I remember the first time I tried to run to Chardok. My group was already at the front door and I had never been into the Burning Woods zone. They were giving me directions and of course being a Ranger, I got lost!! I died in a very bad spot with a lot of mobs around. My poor group had to come get me. Luckily for me, it was a guild group.

Anyway, memories aside, take the time to enjoy everything Rise of Kunark has to offer. It really has some beautiful areas to see. There are fun quests to do and a Sokokar to help you get around the very massive zones. Enjoy your self and if you see a ratonga holding on to a tree for dear life as you race by, wave it might be me!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

To Beta or Not To Beta

I have had discussions with many game players about joining in a beta of the game they are playing or a new game they want to play. I find that the thoughts run about 50-50 for or against. I personally like being in a beta. I enjoy testing out game play and finding bugs so that when I start playing the live game it works. It also gives me a small sense of accomplishment in helping to get out something I really enjoy doing.

Other people do not want to spoil the excitement of seeing the game for the first time and still others like to get an early jump on strats to beat the mobs. I try hard not to see all of the game or areas being released so I still have some surprises left to explore. Still other people find it a waste of time and feel that the companies do not listen to suggestions. I find working with developers interesting and offering suggestions that may be implemented exciting.

If you have never tried a beta, I recommend trying one at least once. You may find you have a flare for games and who knows you might find a new career.

Happy Gaming!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Ruins of Kunark Box Art

The box art for the release of the Rise of Kunark expansion in Everquest II was released today.
You can see it here . I was very surprised with this choice. The last expansion Echoes of Faydwer, was also and all inclusive box and they used the EoF hook to get us all buying and new players interested. I think they should have stuck to the theme and used RoK artwork. A lot of us have fond memories of Kunark. I often soloed and grouped in those zones. I would have been very happy with a nice big Sarnak on the front of the box and may a nice shot of Karnors Castle.

To be honest, the picture made me think of my favorite dark elf, Drittz du'Urden, that led me to R. A. Salvatore and that thought led me to 38 Studios. I know the picture is not an exact copy but it is sure close enough for me. I hope this accomplishes what it was supposed to but no one I know at the moment seems to know what that is.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Halo 3

I own an Xbox 360. My son owns the Xbox. I was a good Mom and shared the 360 with my son and his friends. Till my son got a job out of state. He fought me for the 360 but I was victorious!

Many months ago, I ordered the Halo 3 Legendary Edition for my son. At the time neither one of us was planning on him moving so far from home. So I am going to be the proud owner of Halo 3. I have to tell you, I have never played a game like this before. I am your basic Fantasy RPG player. Give me a Half-Elf with a bow over a Human with a gun anytime! My Halo 3 should be arriving at the beginning of next week and off I go on a new gaming adventure.

Stay tuned, I will let you know how it goes!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


My favorite game is down. From what I can piece together,(I have beenbusy with real life and missed the messages) it has been down since late yesterday pacific time. I know that contrary to popular opinion the people responsible for keeping things running smoothly, did not decide to take the day to have a picnic at Balboa Park, (though the thought of Grimwell standing in the in the beer line cracks me up for some reason)!! They are working hard to get things up and running. Cause that is what they do and they are very good at it.

I am not a coder. Back in my early days of computing, I had to type code into a computer to get it to play a game or run an application. I am not talking massive code just a page or so and that made me crazy. One simple typo would take hours to find. I can hardly imagine what it must be like to work on code as massive as EQ2. My hat is off to everyone at SOE that works hard to keep me enjoying their game and for giving me time to play with my dogs and blog and catch up on the TV shows I have missed.

PS Grim have one for me!!!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


I am still on the fence about Legends of Norrath, the card games SOE has put into Everquest 2 and Everquest. I am still learning how to play. To be honest I find it confusing, but I am sure that is because I really do not understand it yet. I am hoping that changes soon. I did play with a guildie and she told me that I held my own but I really felt clueless. I was very excited about it when I heard about it at Fan Faire. Unfortunately, I was not able to attend the panel on the game so I know I missed a lot of good information.

The one reason I am really on the fence with it is because people I would be grouping with are now playing a card game!! It is hard enough sometimes to get a group going and now people are all lost in LoN. I do have to admit I like the loot cards that can be claimed as in game items. I have the cloak that shrinks me and as a ratonga I come up to the knee of a Kerran I know.

Once I understand the game better I will chat about it again.

Friday, September 7, 2007


I finally went out and got Boggie for the Wii. I am steeling up the courage to put in the disc and give it a go. I heard the music on the commercial, I liked it. Soooooo off I went to my nearest Game Stop and plopped down my card. Unfortunately, I have not had a minute to call my own since. Here is hoping I have some down time tomorrow to give it a try!!

Wish me luck!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Games I Have Played, Folks I Have Met

I play mostly SOE games. I am more comfortable there. I spend most of my time in Everquest II (there ya go Bruce!). I got involved with SOE back in 1999 when most of us did. I started out in Everquest and I had such a great time learning the MMO world. It was all so new to me. Being able to play a game, talking to people in different parts of the world, while I sat in my computer room, is just the most amazing experience. I am still not very clear if it is the games that bring me back or the wonderful people I get to spend time with!

I met people in my Everquest guild that ended up working for SOE. Those people moved to the Everquest II team. I got invited to Friends and Family beta and I never went back to Everquest. I loved everything about Everquest II, the gameplay, the quests, the graphics, interacting with the development team, the very experienced gamers I met. Everquest II has come a long way since those days. So have the people I met. Some still work on EQII, some still work at SOE but on different games or in different areas of SOE, some moved to other game studios. Some of the players I met are not playing games at all. Some are. Through those people I have grown and I thank them!! They have touched my life and I have learned so much.

The people I met dragged me off to other online games, Dark Age of Camelot, Guild Wars, Star Wars Galaxies, World of Warcraft, Diablo, Vanguard, RF Online, Asheron’s Call, Matrix Online and a few others that seem to have floated out of memory. We also talked about single player games and console games. I have played my fair share of both. I have to admit the RPG is my favorite genre. I so enjoy getting lost in a game and exploring every hill and dale, but I am expanding. With my journey into Matrix, I decided I like shooting things!! I look forward to the launch of The Agency. I may even branch out and try other first person shooters that I have been avoiding.

I do have to say, I am looking forward to any and all information that is going to dribble out of 38 Studios. I am familiar with the work of some of their starting development team and I am very anxious to see what they do!! Good luck guys and hurry I am not getting any younger!!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

About Me

Technically, I am not a grandmother. I could be if any of my adult children had children but they do not. I am an older gamer though, over half a century. I have been playing games since my son was in middle school. No wait, that is not entirely correct, I have been playing games since my youngest brother had a TRS-80 and he got me started playing Zork!! That goes back a long time.

Things have come a long way since those days. I do give credit for the rest of my gaming career to my son. He wanted a Nintendo for Christmas one year. I watched him play for a long time, never giving it a try. What mom played games? My husband was in the Navy and I found it hard to sleep the first couple of weeks he was out to sea, so I started playing games. I do not even remember the names, only that I had a lot of fun and my son's friends got a big kick out of telling others that I was level 99!! Then as the years progressed so did games and consoles and PC's. My son found online gaming in the form of The Realm, at the time Sierra published it.

Back then we only had one computer. Oh how we fought over whose turn it was to play. Needless to say it was not long before I bought a second computer. Then stories started circulating about a new game called Everquest and how it was going to be the mother of all MMO's. We all could not wait and when it was finally released, we were not disappointed. My son played on one server; I played on another. We had met new friends in Realm. We were still able to compare what we did and even had some competiton going. I am still playing SOE games all these years later. I am playing others too. Our house has come a long way from our first Nintendo. Now we have 3 desktops, 3 laptops, Wii, Xbox, Xbox360, PS2, PS3, DS, and PSP. They are all purchased by me, I am the avid gamer in the house. My husband rarely plays anything and he hates MMO's with a passion. Yes, I do know it is usually the reverse!! Even my daughters' friends think it is cool that I play games. I am their hero!!

Am I the greatest gamer in the world? Hardly. I just want to write about games that I play and why I enjoy them. I hope to get others my age at least interested in the possibility of gaming. It is a fun pastime and a great way to meet other people I would not normally have ever had the pleasure of meeting!!