Okay, so it’s been a week…

(Looks like the Firefox incompatibility has been dealt with – Yay!)

And I could have done without it and been just as happy, I think.

Here are Matthew McAndrews’ Modem Problems strips for the week:

Matthew McAndrews’ Modem Problems #386 – 09-11-21 – September 11th, 2007

Matthew McAndrews’ Modem Problems #387 – Reading Is Fundamental – September 13th, 2007

So, on with the week…

Personal Health:
It was a week. I didn’t feel very good on Monday, but made it through. Then Tuesday rolled around and I called a ‘time out’ and called in sick to work. The day mostly in bed and not doing much of anything seems to have done the trick. Wednesday was slow to start, but like with Monday, I made it through. And the rest of the week has been fine other than back pains that likely have more to do with my fall the other week than anything else. Dr. James will see to that this coming Sunday, so I should be fine.

MMO Stuff

Everquest 2:
I hopped on the game for a little last weekend. Mostly it was so that my friend Ron B. could show me the quality of the graphics on his high-end machine with it’s card that is one step above mine. Looked good. We showed off each other’s homes and the like. Made me sort of want to go back to playing it again. If I could play it with friends again. Ray P., Eric Z, Chad and Ron all play it to one degree or another, over on a server different from the one I played on. Maybe Whyaylooh and I will do a character transfer of our characters over there to be with friends again. We’ll see. I have chosen to pay for another month of Station Access while we try to decide.

Lord of the Rings Online:
I’ve been playing this on and off. I’m sort of liking it. I think I want to play it some more. Still need to try out the game from some different perspectives and see if I like the game any better or worse from other modes of play. I know that to some degree I have found that the other players are often quite rude. There are mobs in the game, just like there are in other MMOs, that can not be Solo’d even if you are 3 levels above them. These require at least a group, or more like 4-6 levels above the mob, to defeat them. There’s one of these, a Warg I can’t spell the name of, that has taken me out three times so far. So it is time to gain another level before trying him again.

The other aspect of the game I have encountered is the ‘more quests than you could ever do before they grow stale’ effect. There are so many quests I can accept at my current level of 13 in the Shire/Bree/Stadle area of the game, that most of them turn Green long before I can get to them all. I’m not sure whether to feel like this is good design or not. It -does- keep me from worrying about my actual levelling… except for the quests marked as Fellowship quests, like that Warg I mentioned. Those are meant to be taken by a group. But I am playing on here without any friends to play with, so any Fellowships are ‘pick up groups’ where all the members are sort of forced to work together because alone none of us can take the mob(s). Again… good design? Likely. But for someone like myself who sometimes prefers to solo, not so good. Of course, it’s an MMO, what am I doing solo’ing it?

Eve Online:
All I did here, this week, was sign in long enough to change skills. I really wanted to do other things with my time than waste it here. LOTRO is new, and COH/V always calls to me.

City of Heroes/Villains:
As always, things are fun here. Showed off the Dark-Star base to Ron B, as he hadn’t gotten on since I worked it over. Then Monday was another session of Heroes with Professor Thrill and his ‘students/companions’. This time there were five of us: Omega Thrill (RP), Jandre (Mhari), Pale Phoenix (Zafel), Asii (Nightwind), and Professor Thrill (me). Scrapper, Controller, Peacebringer, Scrapper and Warshade, respectively. It was rather fun, though we had a LOT of mobs on the mission with 5 people. Made me discuss doing Task Forces, but getting this team together enough to do that sort of thing might be difficult.

Typical Tuesday. villain side time. Mostly Black Maria (Mhari), FullDark (Zefel) and Commander Kitty (me) doing things. We didn’t manage to team up with Broulin (Whyaylooh) that I remember. And I might have played Purple Moose for some of that. I really am not clear. I was ill and only sort of kinda there.
An invasion day. So while we did get ‘Knight and the Angels’ together, we did a bit more Invasion fighting than missions. Gathered were Knight of Power (me), Katiri (Mhari), Kattrianna (Nightwind), Snowslide (Zefel) and Omega Thrill (RP). Omega Thrill gained two levels that night, and got his invasion accolade. It was fun.
Hero time again. Professor Thrill, Jandre and Omega Thrill went out and beat on Council, Crey and Vazolok. Lots of Quantum equipped folk in the missions. More than a single Keldian really is normal for. And more than one Void in the night. But it was, once again, quite fun. Whyaylooh attempted to join us, but was having connection troubles trying to get to the Guardian server.

I expect tonight to be our usual villain night. And I believe at least one of the days of the weekend is an Invasion Encore day.

I’ve been doing some thinking about all that CoX play. It’s feeling often like people are waiting on me before they will get together and go do something on the game. Especially for this new Mon/Thur play. Yeah, I’m the instigator of doing our play on CoX on those evenings, now that we are not getting together for EQOA. But my INTENT for the time is to make it less structured than seems to be expected. I don’t want people waiting for me before they can go have fun. My intent with these sessions is that they be LOW stress and LOW obligation. No one is to be REQUIRED to play. Not even me.

Part of what was draging the EQOA sessions down was the fact that circumstances could often cause the group not to all be on the game in time to play. And due to that, the others would stand around doing nothing while waiting for the missing player. The nature of EQOA made it that if we were missing someone, we either wouldn’t be ABLE to move on to the next quest (especially if it was the healer or the tank) or didn’t want to get too far ahead of the other player in XP and out level them. Having a group of mixed level in EQOA could sometimes cause real issues when trying to do quests. There were ways around the issues, but they were a little annoying to have to do. Hense the issue of standing around waiting.

When I formed up our new CoX group, my goal was to avoid that. CoX has a well designed system that doesn’t require that you have a specific character type to complete missions. Or even a specific number of players (except for the rare mission, or the task/strike forces, which do require a specific number). Yes, it can be harder to do with fewer, sometimes. Or without a healing powered character. But it is not impossible. And when there are fewer players, the missions adjust to adapt to roughly the same challenge level.

So, all that being said, there should NEVER be a need to stand around and wait for a specific player to get their character on. And the out leveling issue is taken care of by the Side kicking system and the Exemplar system. The first allows a lower level character to be mentored up to a level below a higher-level character. And the other allows a higher level character to reduce their effective level down to that of a lower level character. This balances things well. So… again, no need to stand around and wait! But they are. For me. Grrrrr!

But enough of my angst.

That’s all for this week. Work is work. Life is life. Sinkholes are sinkholes that cut off water to your work building and cause you to go home early. It all works out and life continues. The Sinkhole was yesterday. Today is Friday. I called in and it says that the water is back on and to come in to work. So off I go. Have a great weekend folks! I will post again in a week.

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