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Back and grounded. January 19, 2010

Posted by castillion in Aion, eq 2, Second String.
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I’m not going to get all cocky and shout things like “I’m back bitches!” or anything because that really didn’t work out so well for me last time. I will say this, I miss blogging and I miss you guys. I just haven’t had it in me to write much lately. The break has been nice and hopefully has regenerated whatever area of my brain that spouts off nonsense on this page. I hope to be a little more regular with my postings again, so those of you who have actually been bugging me about picking this blog back up (yes, there’s actually been more than one!), you can all GET OFF MY ASS.

Ok, all better.

What have I been up to? The last you heard from me I was happily spending time with my Asian mistress, Aion. How is it now? Did I leave my long term relationship with SOE permanently and move in with the beautiful newcomer?

No, we broke up. January 13th was my last day in Aion. I came crawling back to EQ2 with my hat in my hand begging for forgiveness. What’s that? You want all the gory details? You want the blow-by-blow? The blood? The guts? The tears? Well, let’s pretend that you do for the purpose of this blog. Here’s the story of my love affair with Aion, and where it all went wrong.

First, let’s set the scene. The level cap in Aion is 50. My character was a level 49 Templar (tank) and a level 399 Armorsmith. I lead a legion there and, when everyone left to return to their previous ltr, Taylona, Sinnir and I joined an established legion in Aion. I finished all of the campaign quests and tanked every instance in the game except for the Dredgion and Dark Poeta, raided the forts and I had over 2000 pvp kills. I did not have the highest number of kills on the server, nor the best gear, nor raid all the time, but I think I had enough time and effort invested in the game to form a pretty solid opinion of it.

(I’d like to take an aside here to say thank you to the legion Adult Content on the Marchutan server. We really enjoyed our time with you guys. We had lots of fun and lots of laughs and we’ll definitely miss you guys. Anyone looking for a guild in Aion would be lucky to join up with that bunch.)

Aion:

levels 1 – 35

1 – 35 was fun for me. The game seemed pretty smooth. There was a good balance between questing and grinding mobs, with some group content thrown in there. There’s one instance at level 25, Nochsana Training grounds, that is probably one of the better instances in the game (not a huge feat since there are so few instances, more complaining about this later). I couldn’t bring myself to repeat it on an alt, but I had fun.

Levels 35 – 40

Again, I had fun at this level. We did a lot of grouping because you start your first gear “grind” at this level with the Krall Molar quests. Each toon needs 750 or so molars to get all the armor, one molar drops off each mob you kill. That means for a group of 6 you’d have to kill 4500 Kralls to get the whole group the armor. I probably killed more Kralls than that actually, as I tanked it for Priya, Sinnir and I, and we joined Adult Content and I tanked it for many of the guildies there. However, although it was somewhat of a grind, I really didn’t mind it and had a lot of good nights hanging down there mindlessly killing Krall Elites. The armor wasn’t THAT much of a grind and is definitely within reach for anyone in that level range.

Levels 40 – 45

These levels went fairly quickly for me, but the grind is definitely in full effect. Luckily the first of the three double XP holiday weekends caught me about about level 44 and this really helped me get through this level range. I had been through several instances by this point, and you hit the first of what I’d call “major” instances, Steel Rake. I’ll talk more about the instance later though.

Levels 45 – 49

Ugh. Grindfest. Again, luckily I had two double XP holiday weekends during this time which really helped me get through these levels. We did lots of Steel Rake, lots of campaign quests, and we ventured into one of the end level instances, Theobomos Laboratory, the rest was done grinding mobs in Indratu or soloing running the platinum coin repeatable quests.

That was enough for me, and I’ll talk about some of the good and bad now.

The Good:

PVP –  I liked Aion’s pvp for the most part. Fights generally felt balanced and fun. I did quite a bit of pvp in the Abyss, a few fort raids, and a lot of rifting, both in groups and solo. The Abyss (the massive FULL pvp zone in Aion) was pretty empty, although I hear that there was some good action in the core. I never made it to the core because I really was not geared well enough to be super competitive there. At least, I didn’t feel as if I was. Solo rifting (traveling to enemy faction lands to pvp) was probably where I had the most fun. I had a lot of good 1v1 and 1v3 or so fights there. Group Rifting was just a mass slaughterfest and the poor people who were questing really never stood a chance, don’t get me wrong, I had fun, but I don’t think they did.

The graphics –  I know it’s the most common thing said about this game, but I though the characters and character creation were just gorgeous. It probably kept me playing much longer than I would have otherwise. I wish that EQ2 had this type of character creator and this type of graphics. I’d never stray again.

The combat and combat animations –  I enjoyed the “chain skill” type of combat. It felt very interactive and I felt like I had meaningful choices during a fight. The combat animations are just freaking amazing and, even after 49 levels, I never got tired of watching my tank kick ass.

The Aion DEV/Community relations team –  These guys took/take a lot of shit and get beat up like I would if I were to go to a Hell’s Angels bar and give a rousing sermon on the benefits of the new Suzuki Boulevard M109R, but I really think they are trying to improve the game. That being said, there were a lot of issues with the game that probably should have been addressed before release and a lot of functionality that really should be standard in modern mmos (spam filtering, need before greed rolling, guild management tools, etc.)

The Bad:

Lack of High Level Content/The Grind. NCSOFT seemed to think that putting long tedious grinds in the game is equivalent to having lots of content since it will take you forever to get anything done. Here’s a heads up guys, grind =/= content. It just doesn’t.

Content:

Let’s take a look at what there is to do at level 50.

  • Theobomos Laboratory (instance) – We cleared this instance our first time into the zone at level 49. It took us over 5 hours. That’s right, it took us over 5 hours to clear the instance and you know what we got off the boss of the zone? Nothing. It didn’t drop anything besides a little coin. Talk about a kick to the nuts. Now, I am sure we could have shaved some time off of this instance if we were geared better and took more DPS along with us. However, even at 3 hours, it’s quite the committment.
  • Dark Poeta (instance) – Level 50 required so I never did run this. I heard good things about it though.
  • The Dredgion – Aion’s PVPVE instance. It takes about an hour. It’s fun.
  • Rifting – Wasn’t much fun at level 49+ because it’s basically going over to the opposing faction’s land and slaughtering bots or people who are questing until they get a group together to kill you. I rifted a lot, and I had fun, but it’s not enough by itself.
  • Abyss PVP – fun, for a while.
  • Solo grinding kinah/platinum abyss points – I don’t like solo grinding anything and this is ultimately why I left.

So, for upper level content, that’s what we have to choose from. 2 instances, 1 pvpve instance, and a bunch of solo stuff. Let’s leave off the fact that one of the instances, Theo Labs, is much too long to be a viable thing to do more than once on a weekend, or the fact that they both have lockouts, or the fact that the dredgion is only open once per day during my play time, and let’s say I had all of those options available to me all the time, how long do you guys think that amount of content kept me entertained? The answer is not very long. I know Aion is new, and I know it takes time to get the kind of high level content that a game like EQ2 has, I understand that. I am just not willing to keep paying while I’m waiting for it if I am not having fun with what is available to me.

Item Grind:

Remember how I mentioned earlier that you’d need to kill 750 mobs for your full suit of blue level 35 armor? Well, let’s talk about what it takes to get some gold level 45+ armor.

  • Platinum Coin armor – approximately 12,000 mobs for one piece of armor, and 24,000 mobs for weapon or shield. So, for a full set or armor you’re looking at 144,000 mobs approximately. Yeah…..no thank you.
  • Steel Rake Suit – each piece requires 30 trips into Steel Rake, and most of them can’t be done consecutively. That’s about 40 – 60 hours of instance running per piece. 200 – 300 hours spent in Steel Rake for the suit. Again, I’ll pass.
  • Abyss (pvp) Armor – probably the easiest to get really, but it’s a TON OF GRINDING Abyss points. People did it and I’m sure that if I had participated more in fort seiges I would have maybe even had a piece. Maybe.
  • Miragent’s Quest. – I can’t speak on this as this is post level 50. I saw a lot of people that had this armor, so I know it’s doable. It wouldn’t  have been doable for me immediately because of the cost involved with each piece and the fact that you needed to be 450 in a tradeskill and I was stuck at 399 due to Aion’s idiotic expert quest for Armorsmithing, but I digress.
  • Level 48 Gold Expert Crafted Armor – yeah good luck with that. I still think seeing a full suit of that, at this point in the game, would be miraculous.

Tradeskilling –  Now, I am no tradeskiller, I admit that. I DID however tradeskill in Aion! That’s a positive testament that at least tradeskilling is fun or mindless enough to be doable by the masses. It was also useful for a while as I actually wore/am wearing some of the armor I crafted. However, it soon got to the point where the scarcity of anything resembling loot in this game drove the price of armorsmithing beyond the reach of those of us not investing in outside sources of kinah or that don’t have a fairly large legion feeding us mats/money to level. The tradeskill quest to advance to expert armorsmithing was also ridiculously hard/expensive, at least until there are more high level people getting more high level drops so that we can actually afford to buy the materials for high level armor.

That’s it in a nutshell for me.

Also, notice I did not include flight in either of those lists? Yeah, your character has wings, and yeah your character can fly….in the Abyss. Oh there’s a point here or there in the game where you can fly as well, but really it just turned out to be a rarely used gimmick for Aion. It WAS cool, and gliding was even fun, but ultimately it wasn’t any different and didn’t give you any more freedom than having a mount does in most other games. I will say however, that flying out to kill a named or pvp in a huge group, seeing everyone’s wings outlined against the breathtaking scenery, ok THAT was awesome.

So, I ran back to the always willing arms of SOE. I logged Castillion back on and Sasspanz and Anep were back and we were all quickly causing havoc as Second String again. I got Castillion his last 3 AA, so he’s 80/200 now. Saw some of the new zones, some of the old zones, some of the new x2 content….all of which I will talk about later. I won’t be raiding much for the next few months most likely, so I’ll be talking more about the group stuff I do and less bitching about all the loot I lost. I hope I have some great stuff to say about the upcoming expansion as well.

See ya soon!

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A Wing and a Prayer October 9, 2009

Posted by castillion in Aion.
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I wonder how many flying/wing/angel puns I can make before I run out?

There was a lot more fun had last night in Aion. At least it seemed fun, I had a root canal earlier in the day so I may have still been high from the Novocaine.

Let me wrap up the last couple of days though.

on Wednesday night I crafted. I am halfway to Master Armorsmither now. I made a piece of armor that I am actually wearing. I’m perpetually poor. I say “I’m just going to do one more combine and save the rest of my money for skills” and then I spend all  my money on crafting and then wonder how the hell I am going to afford my skills. My actual skills I use to adventure….what the hell is wrong with me? I am spending hours just harvesting so I can maybe get a rare harvest to make one item. Instead of hoping for that rare weapon or rare piece of gear to drop, I find myself hoping a rare recipe will drop. I hold on to gear for way too long just because I made it and I charge way too much to actually sell it because I made it. Am I turning into a crafter?

I wish I had gotten more lucky with rare recipes. Right now I only have a recipe for one piece of armor I actually wear and I spent all my kinah leveling armorsmithing so I can’t afford any new recipes from the broker at the moment. Sigh.

Last night we were back in the saddle with grouping though. We started out with 5 of us.

Mcmad (me) – 29 Templar
Sinnir – 29 Cleric
Cadithial – 29 Ranger
Priya – 29 Sorcerer
Snappe – 27 Gladiator

The target? Kaidan Mines in Eltnen. Oh yeah. We all had a campaign quest to finish plus some other quests. They’re all elites, but how hard can it be, right? Well, it’s HARD. We died a few times, mainly because the place is crowded as hell right now and people train the shit out of you, or you pick up their mobs and wipe. We finally started going around the outer edge and avoided other people like the plague, that seemed to work better. We were able to finish the campaign quest, but Cadithial had to leave and 4 manning it really didn’t work out for us sooo, we’ll come back to those.

Priya, Snappe, Sinnir and I then decided to head to the Kyota Temple and try to get our keys for the next instance, Fire Temple. Sinnir and I were lucky on the drops and I leveled Mcmad to 30….new wings!!!! Thank god, they will almost double my flight time and they look cool as hell (pics to come soon).

While we were in Kyota a rift appeared, but it wasn’t a rift we could go into..oh no…it was a rift Asmodians came out of. There were about 30 Elyos there grinding though, so every time an Asmodian popped through the rift he was quickly turned into red mush. Occasionally, if there were enough Asmodians that came through, we would run up from our camp in the bottom of the temple and join in the Fray. We had a blast. Unfortunately, our last attempt at running out of the temple and surprising some unsuspecting Asmodians ended in our deaths as they got the better of us.

Tons of fun though.

This weekend I plan to work on my aether harvesting now that I have the extended flight time, craft myself a suit of armor, build up my kinah again, and maybe even level. See y’all there!

Too many irons in the fire, and loving it. October 6, 2009

Posted by castillion in Aion.
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Fun night. I started off the night swearing to concentrate on crafting. I did for a while. I managed to get my armorsmithing up to 120 and I’m close to being able to make gear I would actually wear. I’m hoping I can get there tonight.

I did have good intentions. I sat there by the forge, hammering away while I listened to Taylona, Snappe and Sinnir chatter away in vent about the FUCKING AWESOME OMG pvp they were doing. It didn’t take long before I felt like the kid being held after school, sitting in the classroom watching all my friends jump and play outside on the swingset. So, I hung my hammer up and ran over to the Abyss to kill some Asmodians.

My god was that fun. There was a huge extended battle that raged for hours between a large group of Asmodians and Elysians. I had so much fun and even came out ahead in Abyss points and garnered about 90 kills. PVP is addicting and it’s easy to lose track of the time. I spent two hours there before finally dragging myself away and back to the crafting station to finish up the night.

Tonight the plan is to get another 80 points of armorsmithing or so and maybe actually make myself some armor. Then I’m going to finish up level 29 to get my cool level 30 wings before I head back to the pvp grounds.

I’m telling you, for now pvp is so much fun it’s easy to forget there’s so much more to do with the game and get lost in it.

We have done more though. We’ve run quests, killed elites as a group, I’ve pugg’d the fist instance in the game Nochsana Training Grounds, as well as tanked it several times for guild groups before I outleveled it, harvested for Kinah, Rifted into Asmodian territory there’s just been so much to do so far. I finished a quest that granted my access to some new zone last night, and I’m wondering if it’s another instance you get at level 29 – 30.

So far been so much to do I’m not really keeping up on my quests very well. I need to concentrate on those too.

omg!

Let’s hope the game keeps pulling my several places for a while. That will certainly keep me interested.

More to come tomorrow!

My triumphant return! October 5, 2009

Posted by castillion in Aion, EQ2, Second String.
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I’m back! Did you miss me? Like I didn’t already know the answer to that question, hahaha! I love me.  I’m sorry I’ve been gone for so long, but my two weeks of vacation turned into a month off blogging while I recovered at work and dove headfirst into my gaming addiction.

There have been several developments in my Online Gaming Habits. First off, EQ2 is out. So, if you came here to read about my uber exploits in the World of Norrath and to learn about the latest things Second String is doing in EQ2, I’m sorry but we don’t talk about that anymore. In fact, for now, Sin and I have cancelled our EQ2 accounts. We may reactivate at some later date, but I haven’t missed it at all yet.

Yes I know, I need to update my banner and I will eventually. My graphic skills are really limited though, so it may take me some time to get a banner I like again.

We are still playing and still loving Aion. I won’t be a complete fanboi and say it doesn’t have its issues but man we are having a blast there. We started up a guild led by Stormraven and me on the Marchutan server, Paranoia(fear my uber web design). We are about 15 strong and are made up of some Second Stringers, some friends from EQ2, some friends from work, and some friends of friends. It’s going well for now and I think we are all having fun. We aren’t striving to be much more than a group of friends hanging out and progressing through the game at our own speed. For now, that’s exactly what I’m wanting and, once we stabilize, we can see where the guild goes.

Second String is still going strong in the new game, although we are definitely missing some of our friends. Right now the Second Stringers in Aion are me (Mcmad), Sinnir, Taylona (Priya) and Snappe. Yes, Snappe is back! Sinnir finally decided to stick to her healing roots, so she is playing a cleric, Taylona (Priya in Aion) has decided to roll a Sorcerer and Snappe has gone with a Gladiator. Yes, Snappe is back!!! Anep and Sasspanz will be coming over soon, but they are on a gaming hiatus at the moment.

What am I doing? Well, I am playing the templar (tank) class again. My first eq1 character, Mcmad has died and gone to heaven (omglolz). I am having a blast and I’ve definitely missed the tanking role. It’s good to have the old guy back and it’s good to slip back into my comfort zone of tanking and bossing around groups. I’m really enjoying the tanking role so far. It’s much more fun and involved than EQ2 was for me, and I’m loving the aggro mini-games. I leveled him to 29 last night, one more level until the new wings!

There’s so much to talk about with Aion, my tanking experiences, our instancing, pvp, …so much! I don’t want to blow my wordwad about Aion on my first post and I can already feel this could turn into a long one, so I will save some more for tomorrow.

I leave you with a picture of McMad reborn:

 

The big guy in all his glory.

The big guy in all his glory.

7th Inning Stretch September 9, 2009

Posted by castillion in Aion, eq 2.
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Whew I have been slllaaaaaacccking with my blog updates, haven’t I? Sorry, I’ve been running around slutting it up with my new asian “friend”, Aion. Aion and more Aion. In fact, I haven’t logged on to EQ2 since Open Beta started and I will touch on that a little later in the post. But first, my impressions:

It was a little bit of a rocky start for Open Beta. There were some lag issues,client issues, game guard issues, issues issues issues. People were upset. People were very upset. People were gnashing their teeth and posting angry rants on the forums and various blogs. It was ugly. My poor little Aion. What do I think about all of that? Welcome to beta people. This is the reason for beta. Shit is going to blow up and go wrong. It’s the point. They are stress testing. The fact that you’ve been able to play mostly unhindered by lag or any other issues is really amazing. I’ve played several betas where it took me a week to move my character 5 steps (and that’s not an exaggeration). All said, for me, Aion beta has been going pretty well. Which leads into….

I’m playing an Elyos Templar, which is the tank in Aion, don’t think I’ve turned fruity and started up a healer, we save those classes for the women here. (<– that was a joke by the way, for any new Aion readers. Click the link.) I’ve managed to level him to 18, and I am nowhere near the top percentage in levels on the server, if that speaks any more about the issues affecting play so far. I’m enjoying tanking and am just breaking into the group content. Tanking seems to be more difficult than EQ2, I would compare it to tanking in EQ1 but holy shit that was a long time ago. It’s definitely going to take a little more work and skill to manage more than one mob. I like that the difficulty is upped a bit and I have a little more control over outcomes as a tank. Although, Sin is my healer and we’ve been throwing stuff at each other as we learn the game. Not really sure how well that is working out for us ;)

We have probably 15+ people trying the beta out, so that’s exciting as well. Hopefully several of them will stick around after release. The plan currently is for Stormraven and I to co-lead an Aion guild. I’m fairly excited about it. We’ve got our vent set up and I had the guild page all done except I had it set up for an Asmodian faction and it looks like we will be changing to Elyos for live. Servers have been filling up with Asmodians already and we don’t want to end up in a situation where we can’t bring friends onboard in a couple of months because the servers are full of Asmodians. I wanted to play Elyos anyway, so this is not a huge issue for me personally although I know some of us were dismayed. I’ll talk more about that progress in later blogs.

I’m really not certain yet how well Aion will hold my interest in the long term. It doesn’t seem to offer as many entertainment options as EQ2 does. There’s not as many “mini-games” so the game may fade some after I’ve hit max level for a while. There’s no housing, there’s not many instances to grind, there’s not as many pieces of armor to chase after, etc. Sometimes it’s the mini-games that keep us hanging on after we’ve maxxed everything else out. I am going to give it a real go though. EQ2 is probably going to be on the back burner for me for a while, at least a month, while I explore Aion and make a decision about it.

The blog may be updated less frequently than usual this month. I am all wrapped up in leveling in Aion and haven’t had anything REALLY exciting to write about yet, plus it’s beta so I’m not sure what I am supposed to write about and what I am not supposed to write about ;). I also leave for vacation next week for a couple of weeks (Second String get-together, hell yeah!) so I won’t be online. Plus, it’s been almost a year of me blogging and I think it’s time to take a little breather and get my wind back. Hopefully when I’m back from vacation you’ll see a new banner and a refreshed outlook on a new game. I’ll post some brief updates this week and hopefully actually get some screenshots for ya from Aion.

Till then!

Castillion: New Contender for Most Deaths on the Server. September 4, 2009

Posted by castillion in Aion, eq 2, MMO, Second String.
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Well it’s been a fun relaxing couple of days in EQ2.

Wednesday night was raid night. We were understaffed terribly with under 3 groups. What to do? Get mythical updates of course! So, we grabbed up the new guys that needed some back updates and some alts and blew up Kor-Sha, Pawbuster, Protector’s Realm (yes we raided it), and Leviathan. We got a few updates and a few people closer to their mythical or alt mythical. It was relaxing and, well, boring as hell. Although, it will be nice for a couple of the guys who have switched to alts for raiding because we needed their class (Jeff’s brigand for example) to have their mythicals.

I wasn’t TOO bad I guess. I got to click the neccesary clickies on Overking and they let me go inside the Leviathan once again, which still entertains me. I am a sucker for making mini-games for myself (like how high can I parse) and seeing how many vials I can set off before the Leviathan pukes me out is fun for me.

Side questions for those raiders that read this blog. Do you use a guardian main tank? If so,does he have issues with aggro?

Last night I was being lazy and not logging in, but Taylona and Sinnir suckered me into it and we hit JW-EA. Taylona was tanking on his berserker and I took along Cilantro for a few. We had Aylyn (our fun mystic friend), Ethar (new fury to the guild), Sinnir on her Illy, and Nugsinoth. It went fairly smoothly. Taylona has no hope of keeping aggro off of any of our DPS classes at the moment. He has his mythical but I think he needs quite a bit of experience and some gears before he can reliably hold aggro off of any of us. So, we died a few times but made it to the last encounter.

I still find this encounter interesting and the 4 lizard bad asses still make me ooh and ahh when we walk in. The encounter didn’t go so well really. We wiped enough to need 2 bots. I swapped over to the chanter and Sinnir swapped over to her templar and some mezzing combined with timely fear prevention/curing from Sinnir finally won us the event.

Switching gears…

Aion Open Beta is due to release on Sunday. I’m really looking forward to it and to exploring more of what the game has to offer with a whole week available to us. Things are shaping up to be very interesting with Aion and I can’t wait to see how they pan out.

I will post some screenshots on Monday if I can figure out how to take them in Aion ;)

See ya then!

Is it? Is it really worth it? September 2, 2009

Posted by castillion in Aion, eq 2, Movies.
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Monday night I finally found time to attend a full raid. We started out with 3 groups….not typically a good thing. I don’t know where all our raiders were, but it’s been a low turnout lately. We started in Ykesha’s Inner Sanctum and I was really thinking we were going to be dying over and over, but boy was I wrong. 3 groups one pulled Strange Stalker and one pulled Kultak the Cruel…awesome!

By this time our raid had filled up to 4 groups and we trotted on over to Tomb of the Mad Crusader and wiped on Thet Em Aua with a full raid…not awesome at all. I swear it oftens feel like two steps forward, three steps back with our raid force. It changes so much.

Anyway, I guess that’s the hazards of raiding and I’m just going to leave it at that. I did sign up for tonight’s raid but it looks like another low turnout night for some reason. Where have all the raiders gone?

Sin and I didn’t log on last night, instead we took Shortpants for some checkups and wound up hitting an Irish Pub to eat afterwards. I had a burger filled with Jalapenos and Pepperjack and it was gooooooddd. I also had a beer or two to wash it down with. They were gooooddddd. You know, I am supposed to be on a diet. We went shopping for clothes this weekend and I was depressed. Then, I have 3 beers and a freaking awesome hamburger and start to wonder if it’s really worth being skinny again ;)

I suppose it is. I know. Get off my ass.

We followed the dinner up with a movie, The Other Boleyn Girl. It was interesting, kinda. The girls did well in their parts, but Eric Bana? Nooooooo…. It’s a good thing you were so awesome in Star Trek sir. A good thing.

The week is halfway over! It’s going nice and fast and I can’t wait for the three day weekend. (and Aion open beta!)

I miss my drinking buddies already. August 31, 2009

Posted by castillion in Aion, eq 2, Second String.
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and it sucks.

 Sasspanz and Anep are officially offline and out of EQ2 for a bit. Second String is kaput for now. The only regulars that are still logging on are me, Sinnir, Taylona and Elonias. We hardly ever hook up with Elonias though as he’s in a different guild and raids opposite nights of us. So, we’re down to half a group. We definitely miss Sassnep and hope they return soon.

In the meantime, I’ve been raiding and we’ve been grouping a lot with Stormraven on his alt and half his crew. It’s been a lot of fun, when I haven’t been swamped with work.

Friday I was able to catch the last hour or so of raid. It appeared we had a lot of new/casual raiders on the raid and they were really struggling with Thet-em-aua. I guess it happens and a lot of our core raiders were out. We did finally get him down though.

We grabbed Stormraven on his warlock after the raid and I tanked a few instances until we were all falling asleep at our desks. Saturday was more instance fun with Storm, Rhyanna and Enotirab along with SS.5. Taylona tanked and I brought along the chanter to help twink Storm’s warlock alt Ravenlaw.

I have a lot of fun with Storm and crew, but I do miss the drunken put downs that we participate in in Second String. SS, we like to see how mean we can be to each other and have a bunch of alcohol at the same time. It’s funner, and funnier, than it sounds. We’ll break the others in though ;)

Swapping to Aion…

Aion Open Beta is set to start Sunday. I’ve got my client downloaded and am ready to go! I definitely am itching to put in a little more beta time, but I think I will take it a little slower than Closed Beta so I don’t get Aion overload and burn myself out. I’ll probably play Elyos in the beta as I plan on playing Asmodian in live, so I want to save that half of the game.

I guess I am planning on playing Templar. Sin was originally planning on playing something other than a cleric, but she has (as I predicted :p) decided to return to her roots. That means I’ll probably play the tank as I usually do, for us to duo and for our static groups I hope. The concern I have is the same reason I am not playing a tank in EQ2. There’s just not room for tanks on raids in most EQ2 guilds. I am hoping that once we find a larger guild in Aion (as I am sure we will), that they have a spot for a Templar. I am fine with competing for that spot if need be, but often the tank roles are also some of the ranking guild members, so it’s hard to oust them, even if you might be better suited for the job. We’ll see how it goes. I expect a lot of people will burn out on tank well before they hit level cap. Tanking is not the easiest position, and it definitely will not be the most rewarding position in PvP. Being kited sucks :p

Anyway, hopefully my concerns will not be realized and we’ll find a nice home. It’s all conjecture at this point anyway really. We may have all of Second String or a more static crew than I anticipate us having and I’ll have to play some other class ;) We shall see.

Anyway, that’s all for today!

Why do I punish myself so? August 18, 2009

Posted by castillion in Aion, eq 2.
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I know, I know. I promised an update and I didn’t deliver.

The fact is, I didn’t play EQ2 again last night. I just extended my Aion vacation by a day. I don’t know what it is. I guess there’s a combination of a lot of things, some guild drama, general ennui about the game currently, a lot of Second String on hiatus…I just haven’t felt much like logging in.

You know when your friend lets you drive his shiny new Mercedes around the block, then you get back in your minivan to drive home and think “I wonder if I crashed into that tree and set my van on fire, if I could make it look enough like an accident to get the insurance money? I could totally get a Mercedes then.” Yeah, Eq2 is my minivan at the moment. Maybe it’s just me.

Don’t get me wrong. Aion is not all that but it’s different and it’s pretty and sometimes change for change’s sake is enough. I’m sure I’ll be crawling back to SOE like so many times before.

I am signed up for the raid tomorrow night, and if I can muster up enough gumption I’ll log in tonight and tomorrow and have some updates for all of you.

Until then, stay vigilant!

Aion Beta Weekend August 17, 2009

Posted by castillion in Aion, eq 2, Second String.
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/streeeetchhh

Lot of computer time this weekend. “Really?”, you ask. “Please tell us all about your adventures in Norrath.” Well, let’s start it this way. THERE WERE NONE O.M.G.

That’s right, it was Aion beta weekend and we played that from Friday night through Sunday morning (Sin and I didn’t play at all on Sunday proper). I’ll talk a little about the game as we’ve experienced it, but I can say, the more I play, the more I like it. I expect Sin and I will play it quite a bit at launch.

That being said, here’s what I did. I played all 4 classes (Mage, Scout, Warrior, Preist) up to level 10, and some beyond, although only slightly. I didn’t want to play too far beyond level 10 because I want to save the surprise for when the  game goes live. Level 10 is when you get your wings and I just had to have my wings on all my toons. I played 2 characters to level 10 on the Elyos (light) side and 2 characters to level 10 on the Asmodian (dark) side. I don’t say evil and good because it’s all a matter of perspective, isn’t it? ;) You guys that read the blog know I would prefer the Elyos side as they are more human or barbarian looking, but I got outvoted 500 to 1 and we’ll be starting Asmodian at live. That’s fine though, I created a look that I could bond with this weekend.

I’d like to heal in this game again. I’ve played the healer role in many of the games we’ve tried and I’ve got the itch to get back to that. I don’t know if I’m going to be able to though, as we may need a good tank and I fit the bill for that too. It definitely doesn’t look like we’ll be needing DPS.

Listen to me, talking like we have a large group coming over. We really don’t. Some of SS, a couple of friends from work, maybe some other friends from EQ2. I’d like to see several people come over that tested it this weekend, but I don’t know how likely that is to happen. We’ll also be balancing time between Aion and EQ2, so there’s that, at least, that’s the plan for now.

Aion is fun. It’s pretty. It’s different enough to be interesting and there’s going to be pvp. I have been missing pvp and pvp in EQ2 is lackluster at best. Then there’s that whole flying thing, which is just tons of fun. It looks promising so far, but I’ve been burned before, so staying wary ;)

That’s all I’m goign to say about that probably until it releases next month. Stay tuned for more Norrathian adventures in between!