Friday, March 30, 2007

Been a while ...

Okay, it's been some time since I wrote in here. I don't know why, but maybe it's because nothing all that interesting has happened since then.

But a few things popped up in the last couple days, so I figured an update was due.


First off, I'm going to go on a non-video game related tangent here.

I know! Me talk about something not about games? Who'd have thunk it?

Anyways, my tabletop group and I have been playing a GURPS campaign for the last while, and it's been good, at least IMO. My friend Inferno is GMing, and it's set in a low-fantasy gameworld, in a Vikings flavoured area of the world. Inferno has been running it more towards the realistic side of things, and I like that. GURPS is inherently realistic in game terms, so it fits.

Anyways, we've been playing at my place of all places. Mostly cause it's near where Inferno works and he had to go to work after games each night. He has been on night shifts, like me, for a while now. So, we've been playing here. Which is nice cause I don't have to go anywhere, I have food I can eat readily available (I have allergies), and I like having people over. I've been getting into my character, things have been funny, and at numerous times, life threatening for the entire party. Overall, it's been a blast.

But the recent problem is that we've gone back to playing DnD 3.5 for a while. Inferno's live-in girlfriend broke up with him, and is just now moving out. So he's been in a bad head space, and hasn't been that able to keep focused on GMing. I don't blame him either. He's had to live with her for over 5 weeks! Like me and his old roomie said, she should have been kicked out a long time ago. It's been really bad for his recovery. So, on we've gone to DnD again.

And the short of it all: I fucking hate it.

I just can't stand DnD. It's not really the fantasy gameworld (we're using Greyhawk), nor the high magic genre. It's simply the ruleset. I hate classes and levels, and so forth. I also /really dislike/ my rogue character.

Basically, I feel DnD (at least 3.5 edition, as I'm not familiar with 2nd or earlier) is like a video game. And that's not inherently bad. But it's not something I want to play when I do tabletop. I get enough of the classes, levels and item based gameplay when I play video games. Why do I want that when I play tabletop?

Also, like I said, I /really dislike/ my rogue. He's so fucking useless in everything aside from picking locks, disarming traps and finding treasure/traps/secret doors (search rolls) that it hurts. He's completely ineffective in combat, even though he has higher strength than most rogues. He's got shit for Armour Class. No real effective items, except some goggles that make his Search rolls +5 higher and a robe that helps him Hide (+10). And his Charisma is low (7), so he's not good at any social skills or getting information.

Basically, he's an utter one trick pony. And all those things he can do well, only require me to roll 1 die (d20). Woohoo ....

It's like,
Guys: "Oh, the door is locked. Send in the thief!"
Me: "I check it for traps." *roll*, (if I find any) "I disarm them." *roll*, and "I unlock it." *roll*

Wow. Fun.

I've truly considered telling my friends to simply run him as an NPC, and just make the necessary die rolls when they need to. It's not like he matters in combat, so when that happens, just keep him in the back and out of trouble. When the rest of the party is interacting with NPCs in town, he never does anything, so it doesn't matter that way either.

In fact, upon typing all this, I think I will simply type up my character sheet for them, and let them run him as an NPC. Perhaps when we go back to playing GURPS, I'll play again. But I think the rest of the guys will be out of town for most of the summer months, so games probably won't last too many more weeks anyways.

Gah ... I so hate DnD. Fucking levels/classes/items.

Maybe I can convince the guys to let me run my Aliens game instead. At least I can GM it, and it's a setting I /actually like/. Go Post-Apocalyptic/Horror!


In other news, I might be switched over to day shifts at work soon. We've lost a couple guys due to transfers/quitting, so they need a person in the mornings. And I guess I'm it. It's going to definitely be weird though, as I've been on night shifts for like 2 years now.

I even got my haircut today, and it's a lot shorter than it was before. Normally I grow my hair out in the winter months, for extra warmth, and so I don't need gel/wax/whatever in my hair getting on my toque. Plus, I like just combing my hair and going. Styling it has never been high on my list of fun things to do.

But, it is kind of nice now though. It sure does take less time to wash, and I can actually see my ears again.

But it does seem a tad colder now, and I find myself a bit chilly, even in my place. Maybe it's cause I'm tired, I dunno.


In game news, Battlefield 2142 is boring now. I haven't really played it with Kofi for a couple weeks now, as his computer crapped out on him. But we weren't playing it all that much anyways. I've logged like 50+ hours into it already, and I'm bored. Kofi has 73 hours or something like that. Some of the high up people on the leaderboards have like 6000 hrs. It's fucking insane. It must be all that they do, or at least it must occupy /all/ of their free time.

Need for Speed Most Wanted is okay every once and a while. But I've got near the end of the challenges, and they are getting stupid hard now. On the time trials if you fuck up, even the slightest, you're done. It's highly annoying. And the campaign is boring as heck, mostly cause I've driven the better cars in the challenges, and my campaign car doesn't even come close.

I uninstalled Oblivion the other day, as I added all those mods, and the one that changed the levelling made the enemies /ridiculously hard/. I can't even kill a regular bandit with 2 sneak attack arrows. Hell, I couldn't kill one with my fucking sword. I had to use spells and a copious amount of potions to keep me alive while doing so. It was stupid.

I've also changed my mind about getting Jade Empire. I read a couple of reviews of it, and they didn't seem all that enthusiastic. One said the campaign is far shorter than a regular Bioware RPG. Another said the character progression isn't all that varied, as well as saying that the combat isn't as engaging as it seems. I watched the one video from the Bioware newsletter, and it's true. The combat doesn't seem that engaging. It's mostly MMO style. Lock target, and click special moves. Bah ....

And I was soooo looking forward to another good RPG to play.


Smallville was new for the last couple weeks and I've been entertained by the episodes. Some big time stuff has happened, so it's upped the capital D, "Drama!" aspect of the show. I think it's gone into another break for a while now, so it's not back until Heroes is.

Bah ... fucking bastards. I want my comic bookiness!


In MMO-land, I've been fiddling with /numerous/ characters in CoX again, trying to figure out what I'd like to play. I even had a couple ATs/powerset combos I liked, but the characters I had designed them around seemed better in other ATs/Powersets, so I re-rolled them. But it wasn't a big loss, as they were like level 6 or something.

I haven't tried the Villains side at all since I came back, as the only AT I really liked was Brutes, and I hated how I needed to keep up the pace to keep my Rage bar full. It was like you couldn't really take a break until the mission was over, otherwise it takes you a while to get the bar full again. Plus, the Brute is just like a Scrapper, except the Scrapper /always/ has their improved critical ability, /and/ the Heroes side missions aren't anywhere near as annoying as the Villains. I especially /hate/ the Arachnos bases, with the constant annoying humming sound and the mesh walls that drive my framerate into the ground.

I've actually thought about trying to alter my CoX files so that those sounds are gone. As well as deleting the Heroes side ones with placeable music in missions. It sucks cause I listen to MP3s and I can't turn off the fucking in-game mission music. It's not controlled by the music slider, it's simply a sound in one place of the map. Move far enough away, and it fades. I don't know why they even decided to put them in the game, especially without the ability to adjust their volume.

So, after fiddling with a bunch of characters, I /think/ I've got one that I actually want to play. I had a couple that were lots of fun, for a while. But they soon became very one dimensional, and I'm much more of a hybrid/multipurpose/jack of all trades type of player. The Claws/Regen scrapper was cool, as he always had an attack at the ready. But all he does is damage. No knockdowns. No -Accuracy, no Hold/Immobilizes/etc. At least until level 26 or something. It was kind of hard to play. I'm used to the utility of Dark Melee, and it's -ACC debuff on the attacks, it's dual nature damage (Neg Energy/Smashing), it's Fear debuff, Healing, End drain, etc. You have a plethora of options, not just "more damage". And the Claws do Lethal damage, so their mostly even or resisted. Not many mobs have weaknesses to Lethal damage, unlike Negative Energy.

The other character was a Ice/Energy Melee Blaster. He's still fun, as the knockback from Energy is /highly entertaining/, especially with the ragdoll physics. And I like Ice as there's more of a utility for the set, in that you get 2 Holds, and 2 AoE DoTs. The AoEs aren't until later, but the huge single target damage of Ice more than makes up for it. I've had fun with the set, but the /big problem/ I've found is that I'm almost always out of Endurance. My attacks are all very END draining, so it doesn't take long before I can't do anything. And as a Blaster, that usually spells death.

I dunno, I might keep up with that character, as I really like the RP aspects of the character I designed, but I don't think I can make him my main. The END issues are huge, and grinding to 20 for Stamina will be a fucking chore. I could group up with END regen buffing teammates, but the vast majority of MMO players I've grouped with, aside from guildmates, have been complete and utter tools. I can't count how many times I've just made up some excuse to get the hell out of the group, before they wiped us all out. On the flip side, all the grouping I've done with my guildmates, aside from a couple times with my Rad/Rad Corruptor, has been utterly painless. Perhaps because most of the times, we have all been /very adept/ soloers, so we know how to play our classes effectively. Thus, no one does something stupid, like make a Tanker and not take their Mez protection power.

Like Inferno, the one time I got him to trial CoX. He made a Tanker, and skipped Unyielding. Just cause he said it sounded like it sucked. *facepalm*

Sooo ... I've come up with a character that I think I can play. The only thing about it: It's a Dark Melee scrapper.

Yeah, I've played one before, I know. But his secondary is Dark Armour, and it plays /completely different/ than Regen. I've got to be a lot more watchful of my END bar, but it's kind of cool in a way. My very first major character in CoH back in the day was a female Dark/Dark scrapper. I even got her to lvl 15 before I re-rolled. That's amazing, especially since CoH was my 2nd MMO and I had almost /no idea/ how the game worked.

So my new char is a Dark/Dark scrapper, and he's both different and similar to Dex, my long time Dark/Regen scrapper. He's tied to the same storyline as Dex (but all of my characters are in some way), and is related to death in a way too. But he's very different personality wise, and powers wise. Dex was a Mutant like Rogue from the X-Men. He could steal people's powers, etc. This new guy just has them from Magic, and no one knows why. And the coolest thing? He's a corpse. Literally.

I've decided that he's a zombie like dude, who's actually dead in a way. His body is animated, but he's not alive. He doesn't eat, sleep, drink, breathe. All like regular Undead. He's mindless in a way, so psychics won't be able to read his mind, which also helps integrate him easily into my old SG, as their currently being plagued by an old psychic villain. My guy is also very different than Dex in personality. I haven't permanently set his personality in stone, but I'm thinking about playing him very cold, and unemotional. Like a zombie.

There's been a couple details I've been waffling on though. I was thinking about having him have no eyes or tongue. He sees through some kind of magic, and he speaks through it as well. But I think I might have him just have white eyes, with black pupils and pale veiny skin. Simply because none of the CoX faces have those missing features, and I might want to have him be able to more easily interact with people later on. Not having eyes or a tongue does make things a bit difficult. Plus, if I decide to change his personality to make him more human like in attitudes, having inhuman features is kind of a big social stigma.

So, yeah. I've got this character, and I've been enjoying him. Also because after playing the other scrapper sets, and comparing them to each other, I can see why I like Dark Melee. The other sets all have long animations, slow recharges, or higher endurance costs vs. the damage dealt. I actually calculated the damage per second (DPS) and damage per endurance (DPE) for some of the sets, and after looking at those, the recharge times, and figuring out attack chains, I can see why Dark Melee comes out on top. At least IMO. Most of the other sets are weak DMG wise, are either Lethal or Smashing damage (the 2 most resisted types), and have a lot of waiting for powers to recharge, at least at the lower levels (I /hate/ waiting to attack). Plus, they seem to lack the "oomph" in sound I'm looking for. When I hit a mob, I want to hear a decent sound. The other sets don't really accomplish that, except for maybe Spines. And for soloing, Dark Melee has almost all single target damage powers. Only one is melee cone. And that one is almost the same as the other powers for DPE even when you only hit one mob. Most of the other powersets need to be hitting at least 3 mobs to make their attacks worth the time (DPS) or Endurance (DPE).


Blah ... I've rambled on a lot here. Sorry about that.

Till next time.
The Rev.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Okay ...

Surprised doesn't quite describe it. It's not luck, nor fate or anything of the sort.
Maybe it's simply a "realization"?

I dunno. But whatever it is, I like it.


What I'm talking about, of course, is playing CoX again. And the feeling it's given me.

I'm actually having FUN.
Imagine that.

Especially with my past complaints about the game. Not that they're all gone, or whatever. Some of them are there. Sure the combat can get repetitive. Sure there are a lot of reused maps. Sure, there's not really anything to do outside of combat, except RP.

But there are a few things that I like now.
One, there are the police band missions for CoH. And the Safeguard mishs that accompany them. Police band mishs are great considering that they seem to only give you ones in that particular zone. So, no running across multiple zones just to do a mish.

I tried my first Safeguard mish today, and it was a lot of fun. It would've been a lot easier had I known that the Vandals marker was on the map. But hey, live and learn. I still managed to beat it handily. And, the bonus temp power of a 2 hr duration jetpack was /very nice/. I can't describe how much I hated the pre-travel power part of the game. At least Heroes side. The Villains stick to one zone for each level range, so they have it easy. Now Heroes can do the same, albeit they have to miss out on storyarc missions if they ignore their contacts. And the resulting Enhancement stores. But they've been fairly unneeded ever since the shops got all the enhancements when people complained.

So, now I have a Jet pack and I can actually get around half decent. Awesome.

As for the other factors I used to dislike, the lag seems much better. I only had 1 episode that lasted a few seconds in the span of a few hours. Much better than before.

There are still glitches they haven't fixed. Like the mobs leaning against walls that don't fight back. Exploiters heaven or what? You'd think the Devs would make that a top priority or something. I still can't run the game fullscreen and Alt-Tab out of the game. Otherwise the graphics go all screwy on me. But that's some deal with ATI cards, and I've come to the realization that ATI drivers are the /worst ever/. Hell, I figured that out when I uninstalled their Catalyst Control Panel and installed a 3rd party one. Not only does the 3rd party one use less resources (like 1/10th the RAM), it has more features and is easier to use. Plus I could never get my s-Video to TV plug to work with the ATI ones. With the 3rd party ones, it's a snap.

And there's always been stuff about CoX that I love: The comic book setting, the fast paced combat, the soloability, it's casual friendly nature.

And most of all, the people. You guys know who you are.


So, overall, the game isn't that different, but for some reason it's got me hooked again. I'm not quite sure why, but I'm betting it's cause I tried a couple other MMOs and have been away for a while now. Last time I /really/ played CoX (other than the 2 different week long "returns" I had) was in June or July. That's like 7 months ago! Talk about a long time.

No wonder everyone was like "Holy crap!" when I popped into the game. Heh. I even got a bit of a ribbing from the one guy. He was all like, "So how long are you back for this time? ". I can understand it too. I was seesawing back and forth so much before I left it was ridiculous. Even I would have given me the gears over it.


So, CoX has me entertained for the time being (hopefully for good, or at least a long while), and EVE has become the "log in, set skill training, log out" game now. Actually, it was like that long before I wanted to go back to CoX.

Hell, now that I think of it ... it's almost /always/ been like that. How is that good? There's no way you would ever impress someone with that and make them want to play.

"Hey, how long have you been playing EVE?"
"Oh, about 8 months or so."
"Wow! It must be really cool then, eh? What do you usually do?"
"I log in, set my skill training, and then logoff."
"That's it? You don't do anything else?"
"Not really, no."
"Umm ... okay."

Yeah, you get my drift.


In other news, BF2142 is pissing me and Kofi off immensely. We've tried playing a couple times but it seems like all the servers are lagged to hell, or we keep loosing our connections to the EA Master server. It's fucking brutal. And when I try and log back in, it takes /forever/ or just ends up hanging on me. Great .....

EA has got to have the /worst matchmaking service EVER/. All Kofi and I want to do is play the damn game. But sometimes we just can't. And the stupid part is we usually play at weird hours. So there shouldn't be a ton of lag or any problems like that.

Kofi was seriously pissed last night, moreso than me. He had been /trying/ to play for a couple hours before I logged on. I don't think we even got more than 1 round in before the connection screwups made it impossible to play. We actually ended up playing FEAR, which we /never/ do anymore. Kofi doesn't like it as much as you usually end up getting killed from the side, and never seeing your attacker. I guess I don't mind it as I do it for pure fun. It's not a contest, an e-peen show or anything like that. I don't smacktalk or anything. I'm just there to be a little bit silly and get in some frags. It's a prefect stress reliever actually. I'd highly recommend it.

At least to those people who aren't mentally unstable. I don't want to be responsible for any school/post office shootings or anything.


Also, I reinstalled Oblivion the other day. I'm not sure why, but I had the itching to play it.

This time though, I'm going to /completely ignore/ the main quest, and simply go exploring and doing what side missions I feel like. Plus, I downloaded a hell of a lot of mods for it, so it should be a lot different. One of the big mods (~450 Mb) removes the levelled creatures in the game and makes them all static. So the caves with rats and skeletons won't have Demi-liches and shit later on. That's the upside. The downside is that I might end up in one of those demi-lich infested caves by accident. I'm sure it'll make the game much more tense, and make me play a bit more carefully.

Some of the other mods are simple graphic enhancements, texture changes, one that slows the in-game time by half, and another that slows the levelling by 1/2 too. I'm sure there's more, but they don't make any major modifications. Just nice little tweaks to make the game better. At least IMO.


Other random stuff:

- Vanguard is still funny to follow. Two double XP weekends already and the game's only a month old. Massive nerfs, etc. have been in all the last few patches too. Bad press and word of mouth won't ruin the game. It seems Sigil will be able to kill the game all on their own.
- LotR Online sounds like it'll be a decent game at release. At least a very polished game. I've heard enough conflicting rumours though that I won't be trying it without at least a trial or open beta first. But a fantasy MMO is sooooo played to death, IMO. I doubt I could ever get far with it.
- I still haven't got Jade Empire yet. On my list of things to do/buy.
- Also on the list is seeing 300. My friends all saw it in the IMAX on the night I had to work. Freaking bastards.
- Heroes and Smallville seem to be in mid-season hiatus or something, so I'm going a little stir crazy. Especially since Smallville has been repeats for what seems like /forever/.


That's it, I'm done. I swear.
Laters! o/
The Rev.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

I'm kind of at a crossroads in EVE again. It seems to happen every time I play the game for any length of time. I get to this point where I wonder,

"What exactly am I trying to accomplish?"

You see, EVE is a sandbox, so it doesn't have any kind of progression for you to follow. At all. It simply plops you down in the EVE galaxy, starts you on a long and arduous tutorial, which teaches you the basic mechanics of the game, and that's it. Once the tutorial is done, you're "free" to do whatever you want.

So, the player is forced to make themselves some goals of their own. thusly, I have to ask myself the question above a lot. Except now, I've got to the point where I can't easily answer it anymore. Sometimes, I have no idea what the answer is. And usually at that point I go play something else to get my mind off of it.


So ...

Now that you know the reasoning behind the question, I can delve into the meat of the problem. You see, when I started EVE, there were sooooo many possibilities, it was overwhelming. I had countless opportunities, and only needed to pick one of them at a time. Life was good.

Flash forward to the present, where I've put 8 months at least into the game, broken up into mostly 1-2 month "chunks". My character's skill points have reached near 10 million. I've got 60 million credits in my wallet. I have a bunch of ships to my name, and some other goodies.

Now, I've been trying to figure out what the next step is. Not exactly what the next step is, but /why/ I should go that route. The problem is most distressing.

I could try mining for a while. But that's mindlessly boring. Click, activate mining laser, wait till hold is full. Go sell minerals, repeat. You could watch TV or read a book while doing it, but what's the point? All it gets you is some minerals to either sell, or make stuff with.

If you want to make stuff, you take the blueprint (BP), the minerals and put them into a manufacturing slot at the station. Come back later after the specified time is over, and collect your BP and finished product. Not too much interaction there at all. And all that gives you is stuff to use, or sell.

Most of the PvE stuff in the game is mindlessly easy, once you know how to set up your ship. I barely have to think about it, other than picking a target to kill first. Looting the wreckages afterwards is actually more complicated than the combat itself. And the rewards is mostly credits again.

The PvP is fun, for the little I've done, but I don't have the time or the patience for most of it. Alliance warfare sounds cool, but it requires commitment and time. Both of which I don't have. RL > MMO.

*insert other stuff I'm too lazy to type*


Basically, the entire game boils down to grinding some activity to generate money. And then the game's main focus is for you to use that money to fund your PvP activities. But, if you're like me, and don't have the time for PvP, you're stuck doing the grinding part.

Grinding money wouldn't be so bad, /if/ you could get something with it. Compare it to RL. People get money to buy /luxury/. They get fancy cars, houses, food, clothing, etc. Things that don't really exist in EVE. All you can buy in EVE is more ships, modules for the ships, or materials to make the modules and ships. It seems like a very limited, looping style of play.

Credits -> ships -> PvP -> ship loss -> earn back credits lost -> ships -> repeat

I really don't put much worth on money in RL, so I have almost no care about virtual money. If someone tells me that they have 100 billion in some MMO, well good for them. It doesn't really mean much, other than they can buy whatever they want.

I dunno. I think I'm rambling, missing the point of it all. Basically, I can't see what the point is of "grinding" to get virtual money, regardless of the context. Grinding to level up? I understand. You get a concrete thing out of it. Your character is better. In EVE you can be a brand new character with 100 trillion credits and it won't do you a thing. It still takes real time to advance your character, so you'll be sitting around waiting to find something to do with all that money.


Whatever. I know I'm ranting here, but I just can't seem to get past this one facet of EVE. It's so unlike other MMOs. It /completely/ takes away the Achievement part of an MMO from me, the player. Exploration isn't really functional, nor Fun apparently, so that is gone from the 4 groups as well. I've never been much of a Social MMO player, so that's not a big priority. All that leaves is Killing. Even though it's my 2nd highest playstyle, the lack of the other 3 groups makes it not as attractive as something like Battlefield 2142. At least with BF2142, the Achievement part is firmly under my control. The better I play, the faster I can unlock stuff. Achievement at it's finest. EVE is simply a forced time sink to get anywhere.

I think the biggest kick in the pants though is that fact that I just reactivated my EVE account the other day, after choosing to cancel because of the case of Dev cheating just last month. Had I stuck to my guns, I could have kept my 15 bucks. It's not the money, just the principle of the thing.

I guess I can use the month to play as much (or as little) as I want, and maybe train some skills. Perhaps I can go get Jade Empire or something.

Heck ... I've pondered reactivating my old CoX account, simply because I enjoyed the casual nature of it all, and Heroes and Smallville have got me hankering for some comic bookiness.

We'll see about CoX though. I'm forcing myself to wait and give it a couple days first. If the feeling is still there, I'll go back. I don't want to make snap judgements. It /always/ gets me in trouble.

Till the next time, my pretties. *cackle*
The Rev.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Hey again. *wave*

No ... it's just me.

Yeah I know, it sucks.

What am I talking about?

Fuck if I know.


You might ask yourself why the fuck I just typed that. If you did, that's probably because you don't know me all that well. People who know me, know that I'm a tad, shall we say ...


Anyway, I guess I just typed that because it's been a confusing few days, to say the least. My weekly tabletop session was thrown for a loop when my friend Inferno phoned to say he wasn't showing up. He was the GM, so we had to find something else to do. I ended up running an old GURPS 3rd Edition game I used to GM instead. So me and the rest of the guys had to remember where we left the group, and how some of the old rules worked. As well as learn all the firearm combat rules again (we've only played 4th Edition in a fantasy setting so far).

It was weird being the GM after not doing it for a least a year or so. It was quite fun, and I had no problem coming up with something for the PCs to do. Perhaps because for a game that I have run the most, I have a surprisingly small amount of information for. Something like 4-5 sheets, of single sided lined paper worth of background info. Along with some scattered scrap paper, mostly for hit points and initiative. And a couple maps of the areas the PCs were in at the time (drawn on the spot, no less).

Me and the guys had lots of fun playing, even though we only got in 2-3 hours tops. Including eating some dinner.

So that was the first thing that was weird. Inferno was missing, not a big deal, right?



He phoned me shortly before the game was over, and told me he was coming over to hang out. Which was extra weird because I /knew/ he had to work that night at 10pm-ish. Then he told me he had phoned in sick.

Okay .... something was up.

Cue Inferno walking in the door as the rest of the group is about to die to some 4 armed zombie like humans, and an undead like animated face hugging hand (I'm really proud of that one. Freaked the shit outta them. ) He goes to the kitchen and comes back ... with a drink. And not a Coke or something.


Clue #1.

He took over his character for the last few bits, and the guys get ready to head off. Then he comes out and tells us the reason he wasn't over earlier. His live-in girlfriend just broke up with him.

Argh. I /knew/ I was in for one hell of a night of being the good friend, trying to keep up his spirits. This break up wasn't going to be one of the easy ones where you just get your buddy loaded and go to the strippers or something. He really cared for her, and they had been living together. First time for him, though he has had some very serious relationships in the past.

So, the other guys get all awkward (as they don't know Inferno as well as me) and they leave. At this point I have had hardly any sleep, not much to eat, and I really wanted to have a nap. But I had to stay up and talk to Inferno about the whole incident. So, cue "good friend Rev who listens and helps without thinking of himself".

It was one hell of a night, let me tell you. I'm not a good guy for feelings, etc., so I'm kinda clueless when it comes to comforting a guy. With women it's not all that hard. With guys I'm used to the whole "don't show your true feelings, just bury them and deal with them on your own" type of thing. For the most part Inferno was like that, but a couple times I could sense he was near breaking down. That kind of thing has only happened to me once, with an old roommate. He was drunk and pissed off about his parents, and for some reason he started crying. I had /no fucking clue/ what to do. I just kind of sat there, quietly. Dumbfounded.

Anyway, back to Inferno. I tried my best to keep his mind off of things, and I even let him use my computer as the second one is toast. I dragged out the /really old/ one the other day to try and swap power supplies, but it's so old almost nothing runs on it. So Inferno played my computer for a while, and after I tried to nap on the couch and couldn't, we played some Bloodbowl.

For those of you unfamiliar with it, Bloodbowl is a miniatures game made by Games Workshop, the same guys who make Warhammer and such. It's quite popular with the geeks and stuff. In Bloodbowl you play an American football type of game, except it's supposed to be a bloodsport. Players can die, get hurt, etc. It's fantasy themed so all the teams are like Humans, Orcs, Undead, Elves, etc. Your players can earn points and get better over time. It's like an RPG in a sense, except instead of one character, you have a team of them.

So, we're playing Bloodbowl. I'm tired and he's preoccupied of course, so the turns are taking /forever/. I wasn't playing to lose, but I didn't care if I lost either. Most of the time I just did the first thing I could think of, as I had a hard time concentrating. What happens?

I end up hurting /three/ of his 11 players. And 2 of them end up /dead/. It's something that's rarely happened in our previous games. Now Inferno has /really/ gotten into Bloodbowl for some reason, and he takes it pretty personally when he loses a game, or players. So this made me feel worse.

The guy's in the dumps and I end up making it worse. I blame the dice. They're cursed I tell you.

So Inferno finally left in the morning, as that's when his girlfriend was off to work. I managed to stay awake for a little bit, so I could at least eat something. Then I went to sleep and woke up ....

13 hours later. Fuck was I tired.

I did see Inferno a day or so later, and he seemed a bit better, but he was working a double shift, so I think work was helping keep his mind off of things.


Okay, that was weird. It wasn't something that I've had to really deal with before. At least not on the same level.

Now onto the latest thing.

I went to work last night and one of my co-workers asked me if I remember a girl we worked with a few years ago. I did, actually. But that's because she and I were friends, and were kind of dating before she quit, and things didn't really pan out. It just didn't feel right. Don't ask. Hard to explain.

Apparently, she was at work yesterday, wanting to know my address (I've moved a couple times since then). I asked why, and my co-worker said cause she's getting married. I'm assuming she wants to send me an invitation.


I'm happy for her and everything, but what the hell is it and people I know getting married all of a sudden? I've had /at least one/ marriage to go to each year for the last few years. And my one tabletop friend is having a kid soon. In the span of one year, I'm going to have had 3 cousins get married, one friend have a kid and an ex-girlfriend (sorta) get married. What? Is there like a deadline or something? Like tax time, but for marriages?

I dunno. Maybe it's just coincidence.

Or maybe it just /feels like/ it's all happening at the same time. I mean, my memory is getting a little bad. Things that happened a year ago feel like yesterday. Time is like, faster, or something. Maybe that guy Hiro from the show Heroes has something to do with it. Space-time continuum fuck up or something.

I guess it just weirds me out, and kinda bums me out at the same time. I've probably had the shittiest luck when it comes to relationships, and the last few years have just /flown/ by, it's scary. Before I know it I'm gonna be like 60 or something.

I guess I'm lucky that I'm an empathetic kind of person. If people around me are happy, I'm usually happy. If they're down, it brings me down. At least people are going to be happier. At least I hope.


But enough of the personal shit. I'm sorry to have burdened you all with it. I assure you I'm not going all "emo" on you. It's just some stuff I needed to share (or type), as I've been feeling a tad "off" as it were.

Maybe it's cause I've actually been outside and seen the sun a couple times this last week. Most winters up here I rarely see the sun due to the night shift and my sleeping patterns. It's not good for the body, I'm sure. But hey ... you can bet I'm not going to get skin cancer anytime soon.


Let's see .... what else is there to tell you?

Vanguard is pretty funny to watch declining already. The forums are /ablaze/ with trolling, flaming and fanboy praising of late. The increase to the SOE All Access Station Pass as well as the Double XP weekend have caused quite a stir. The former has people guessing that players from other SOE games will drop Vanguard with the price increase. The latter has people wondering if it's just a ploy to keep people subscribed, as a lot of players aren't resubbing after the free month. Most are leaving either permanently, or for a few months to see how the game progresses after the bugs have been ironed out (hopefully).

I think Vanguard is headed for life support. And I'm actually kind of happy it is. I know that it's not a nice thing to think, but the attitude of the fanboys ("vanbois") is /really irritating/. For whatever reason, they think that every other game is for fucking children and Vanguard is for grown-ups. They think because they game is "hardcore", that it gives them the right to talk down to anyone else. They just don't get it that they are simply shooting themselves in the foot, and their elitist attitude is only going to drive other players from the game, eventually killing it.

As my one co-worker always says, "Fuck 'em." They can have the pile of crap all to themselves. Once Age of Conan, Warhammer and Lord of the Rings Online come out, Vanguard will die. And they will finally see what they did wrong. Then they'll probably go do it all again.


I'm probably going to get the new PC version of Jade Empire soon. I've thought about it for a while, and since Bioware tends to make top quality games, and they're from here (woot!), I should support them. Plus it doesn't hurt, since I've always wanted to work there. Who would you hire? The guy who's played all your games? Or the guy who hasn't even heard of them? Not a difficult decision.

In EVE news my co-worker Satan has moved on to level 4 missions. They are a /very big step up/ from the level 3s myself and my other co-worker Kofi are running, so Satan is using both his accounts to fly two ships at once. His main account is flying a battleship (semi-tanking and DPSing) equipped with guns and missiles, while the other character flies a battleship equipped with shield transporters (shield healing in a sense), energy draining weapons (to power the transporters), and heavy missiles (cause they use no energy). And he's having one hell of a time.

Making credits, that is. Fucker said he made 50 million in a couple /days/. And that's only playing a few hours. Just for comparison, I've got 50 million in my character's wallet, and that's after a month or so. But, the one equalizer is that he's had to save and work hard to earn the credits to buy the two battleships he's got. Plus, if he runs into a very hairy situation, or lags to hell, he can be out a couple hundred million credits worth of ships. I'm sure he's insured them, but the insurance doesn't cover the modules or cargo. And it's usually 1/3rd the cost of the ship, for 12 weeks (or until it's blown up).


In BF2142, Kofi and I have been kicking some fucking ass.

In one battle I got a shitload of medals, pins and badges, and wound up getting promoted /twice/. I think I earned something like 1200 points or more. It was awesome.

But the bastard Kofi has been playing without me, so he's now a rank above me, and quite a few points ahead. He even got the knife badge (8 kills in a round), the dogtag pin (7 unique knife kills in a round, must be different people's tags) and the pistol badge (5 kills in a round). Now I have to get them too. I ended up playing a lot later than I should the other day, trying to get the knife badge. It was awesome. I had some great moments where I snuck up and knifed some unsuspecting enemy. Had a couple of bunny-hopping knife fights too. But they all ended up in us pulling weapons, and me getting shot. The sniper rifle ain't all that good at close range, I'll tell ya.


I can't really think of anything else.
I'm betting that you're glad. I've gone on long enough now, haven't I?

Catch you all on the flip side.