A New Home

August 20, 2013 by

Hey folks,

I doubt too many people actually check this site anymore, but if I can still catch a couple people that have me in a feed reader (doubtful since google reader died) I wanted to let you know that I am starting a new blog. I am joining forces with Maric from over at Pagan Rites to start a multigaming blog called Random Encounters. Feel free to stop on by and see what we are blogging about.



Star Citizen Refer a Friend

November 9, 2012 by

Heya folks,
Not sure if any of you are into the crowd funding craze these days, but if you are you should really check out Star Citizen from Chris Roberts the maker of Wing Commander, Freelancer, and others. If you happen to want to pledge, consider helping me out by using this link which will enter me in drawings for gaming hardware and related stuff.
Yup this post is just me trying to whore out my website for swag.


[SWTOR] Lagacy of the Empire

November 1, 2012 by

Cool title no?

I have been meaning to post this for a little bit. Sorry to any twitter folks that have to see this image for a second time. I was really anxious to get it out there at first.

Anyway, I have finally made it to Legacy level 50 in SWTOR!

I am pretty proud of this achievement considering I rarely have capped a character in a game, but I have managed to level cap 5 characters in SWTOR altogether. Now I don’t have any really cool bragging rights like saying that I have participated in beating Explosive Conflict in Hard Mode or that I am a stud PvPer, but I at least have this accomplishment that I know few of the people that run in my circle have completed.

What have I learned in my time to Legacy 50?

  • I have become terribly efficient at running Ilum and the Black Hole Dailies (I never even do the Belsavis ones anymore.)
  • I have noticed that will all the bonuses that I have gotten to the “presence” stat, that leveling has become a lot easier.
  • I have just about worn out the space bar on my keyboard from skipping all the dialog from the repeated quest content.
  • I have no idea why they gave us 50 Legacy levels when they don’t require hardly anything into the double digits for Legacy perks.
  • I am perpetually broke because leveling a character from 1-50 is expensive and I tend to buy the Legacy leveling perks.

Anyway, I have 1 character done on the republic side, and 3 more to go. I really don’t enjoy the pub side that much, so I imagine it will take me some time to get that one done. In the meantime, some friends are starting to play the game again so I am hoping to get back into some of that raid content that I enjoyed so much.



[EVE] A Hint of Fear Makes Mundane Fun

October 17, 2012 by

Recently Amazon had a sale on EVE Online:Inferno so I snagged a copy for $5. It is a game that always intrigued me and a friend was playing it casually on the side so I figured “what the hell.”

So I plunged into space and started my career in EVE. I am playing the game in small doses and joined a fledgeling corp. The CEO seems nice enough and he is taking the time to show us noobs the ropes.

I am starting to learn that this game is a marathon and not a sprint. All of the skill progression takes place in real time, so you just have to wait it out for certain aspects of the game. This is kind of nice since I am playing this game on the side.

I have managed to get a few ships and am stockpiling some ore for my ultimate goal which is to be a ship builder. I know I have a long way to go before I am churning out capital ships, but I have a goal in mind and I really can’t speed up the progress by playing more.

Notably though, as I alluded in the title, I am finding the mundane task of mining to be more fun than it should be because at any given time I could get attacked! I don’t like to leave the computer too long or even Alt-Tab out too much for fear that some schmo is going to swoop in and blow my butt from here-to-eternity when I am not looking. There is a small chance of that since I am currently in 0.7 space, but you never know. Also I have to keep a constant eye out in case NPC pirates swoop in and kill all my drones.

All in all I can see this as being an enjoyable experience as a side game. I’m not quite sure if I have a “main” game these days, but if I did, EVE would be competing with it for some of my time for sure. Why didn’t anyone tell me about this sooner!


Blog Day!

October 9, 2012 by

Silly enough today is my blog’s birthday. Happy 3rd birthday to the slowest content release on the web! TMS!


What Kind of Gamer are You Thing 1 or Thing 2?

September 27, 2012 by

SynCaine has a pretty interesting article up at his site today that talks about two types of MMO gamers. He lumps them into groups 1 and 2. I won’t just repost what he wrote, you can go over there and read it, but the gist of what he was saying is that MMO companies want the type of gamer that is group 1. Group 1 being the kind of gamer that wants to be totally absorbed by a game and spend years playing it. What they are actually doing though is making games for the Group 2 gamer which just wants something different for a few months.

Everyone knows that the Group 1 crowd is small in comparison to Group 2 and I won’t go into detail again why that small group is even smaller due to dilution within all the games on the market, but I am curious how many people fall into the category that I think I am in. We’ll call it Group 1.5. The category I think I fall in is a gamer who wants everything in Group 1, but life demands that they sit in Group 2. I think SynCaine alludes to this in his article a bit, so it’s not as if this is an epiphany or anything.

It may not be a flux capacitor moment, but it did make me stop and ponder what I do in my own gaming life. I want to find that game that makes me want to log in and play it all the time, kind of like EQ did back in the day, but I don’t have the time (be it duration or time of day) to make it happen. I would totally camp a rare spawn again for a week so that it could help me on raid day if I had the time to do it or didn’t have to work at night.

Clearly I need to make some friends that game during 1st shift hours. When they are heading to bed I’ll be heading to work! Just need to learn Chinese or Indian I suppose.


I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends (Pt. 3)

September 20, 2012 by

In our last episode, our fearless adventurers were facing the dreaded Soa!

This is the final installment of my thank you series to the Mercy Gaming Community. This one may be a little schizophrenic, but I want to get it all in.

I used to be a very solo oriented gamer. I never really wanted to put myself out there and get to know people. The odd thing is, I always used to complain to my wife that there just weren’t too many people I knew that were interested in the same things as me. I guess I just got turned off by the couple of times I tried to go out on a limb and find some like minded people. I met up with some people to play pen-and-paper Dungeons and Dragons one time. I found them on a D&D forum. That ended badly. I tried to go to a local collectible gaming store to play Warhammer miniatures. That also ended poorly. I guess I just assumed there were no “normal” people out there that were into the same things that I was. In truth, I just didn’t look hard enough.

Like any other gathering of people the folks who make up Mercy Gaming come from all walks of life. We have people with white collar jobs and people who are in college. We represent both genders and a number of different races, creeds, ages and even countries (looking at you Ms. T.). What makes this community work? In a word … Respect. The people who log into the games, forums and vent channels all have a mutual respect for each other. Many of us know each other on a first name basis and have each other’s personal email addresses and even phone numbers. We are accountable to each other and therefore show each other respect. Does that mean we don’t aggravate each other from time to time? Not at all. But it means that instead of calling each other names and screaming at each other before logging out of a game or vent, we simply go our separate ways and give each other a break. It works!

As most people know, Star Wars: The Old Republic has seen its struggles. Unfortunately, our IMC/RMC guild was not immune to this. Gamers left to go play other games, folks left to join other guilds, and a war of attrition was fought and ultimately lost. To log into SWTOR at any given moment as an IMC or an RMC guildee you will most often find yourself alone. Did this game deserve the fate it has? Who knows, but it saddens me to see our guild so empty.

But as most things that fight to survive, the IMC/RMC SWTOR guild adapted and became the Mercy Gaming community. What do we play? To put it plainly, whatever we want! We have people like @Doubleunder who helped found the guild and is avidly playing GW2. Raeban even stops by now and again to play with him. We have people like @Tarantella who had her fill with SWTOR very early, but loves The Secret World and WoW (and rumor has it Pandas!). We have Maric & @MMOGC who play everything it seems! We have @JVC920 who is the worlds wealthiest man measured in digital currency and who is always chatting it up in vent. Musei, Mr MMOGC, @RyanHVND, Trent, Chris “Mr. Sparkle Powder” Zypher, Pat and so many more. These are my friends. They make any game fun just by simply playing it together. The IMC/RMC may be shadows of their former selves, but the spirit of what was formed back then lives on.

Some days I don’t log into vent at night. But this is the exception to the norm. I have a group of kindred spirits that I know and care about. I might not know them if I saw them on the street, but as soon as they say hello in vent my face lights up because I know I am with friends.

Thank you Mercy Gaming for giving me a home, for giving me a place to belong and be around people who have the same interests as me. We might not all be playing the same game anymore, but our relationships transcend SWTOR and become more about each other and less about the games.

This is the conclusion of my story, yet it really is not.

Have fun in your games, and find friends to share it with!


I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends (Pt. 2)

September 19, 2012 by

If you haven’t read part one of my ode to my MMORPG friends, please start over here.

My first experience raiding in an MMO was a mix of pure thrill and abject horror. I might be exaggerating a little bit, but not by too much. My first scare of the night was when the raid leader asked “Is there anyone who has never raided before in an MMO?” There was absolute silence except for one lone voice. Mr. Pid. I immediately thought the world was going to end. I had run some dungeons in WoW and a bunch of flashpoints in SWTOR, but no raids here. Ruh-roh, Reorge.

We jumped into the Instance. @RyanHVND was there, and I think @Tarante11a was there too. We had some trouble with the first boss, but by and large we managed to get through that and all the way to Soa, the final boss of the operation. This is where things started to go bad. The person who was in charge of leading the raid was extremely knowledgeable, but was a little condescending. By about the 10th try to kill the boss the raid leader was downright mean at times. I don’t think we ended up beating him that night, and I was pretty sure I would never raid again.

Silly me being a glutton for punishment, when they scheduled the follow-up, I said sure. I was certain the raid would end in tears and I would end up getting kicked out of the guild for losing my temper, but in their infinite wisdom the guild leaders asked Raeban to lead the second foray instead of the former raid leader. This is the part where I say thank you to Raeban for showing me just how fun raiding in MMO’s could be. We don’t play much together anymore as we are in different games these days, but through the subsequent operations I ran with the Imperial Mercenary Corps, Raeban made them fun.

Rae did a number of things right that I would encourage every raid leader to do. 1) He never yelled at anyone. He encouraged everyone to do better and pointed out areas that needed improvement. He also was quick to give out credit to people that deserved it. 2) He had fun. It wasn’t all business with him. He didn’t encourage all out silliness, but he would interject little jokes and whatnot from time to time. 3) He was fair. He tried to make sure everyone got a fair shake at loot whether you were a noob or a veteran raider. 4) He was really good at playing his characters. Remember the two people that capped their characters right at launch day? Yeah, Raeban was one of them. He is good…scary good.

For better or for worse, the way that guilds go, the IMC had a bit of a shake up that led to Raeban heading off with some other folks to a hard-core raiding guild. The drama of that event left some lasting wounds for a lot of people (me included), but at the end of the day I had an experience that I will always think fondly of and cherish.

Thank you Raeban for showing me what fun raiding can be.

To be concluded

I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends (Pt. 1)

September 18, 2012 by

I apologize for anyone who found this post by accident when they were looking for song lyrics. This is not the site you are looking for.
This post IS about a MMORPG game and the people who have reshaped the way that I approach them. I noticed it was getting very long so I decided I had better break it up. So without further ado, here is Part 1.

A long time ago, in blog not too far away I read a post by MMOGC that was calling for gamers to join a guild she was helping to form for what was one of the most anticipated games in a very long time. I didn’t know Ms. MMOGC from Eve back then but I ultimately have to thank her for putting out that advertisement because it was that post that got me involved with what is now the Mercy Gaming community.

We were all waiting for SWTOR to drop and the people who started the sister guilds Republic Mercy Corps and Imperial Mercenary Corps were beginning to organize. They got forums up and running and organized a ventrilo server. Maric and @RyanHVND were the people who ran the show back then. Ms. MMOGC was taking a sabbatical for some odd reason! I started getting to know them via the forums and some random games of Team Fortress 2. They were just names on a page back then, but I know they were doing a tremendous amount of work trying to get not one but two guilds off the ground for SWTOR’s imminent launch.

For reasons I still cannot understand to this day, @RyanHVND asked me if I would be a Lieutenant in the IMC at guild launch. They were very organized and were prepared for the influx of people who would need guild invites in the early days of launch. I said sure expecting to be a Lt. for about as long as it took for them to realize their mistake. I still remember the excitement/disappointment of waiting for the email that said I was eligible to log into the game for the first time.

Finally, the game launched and I think I invited all of 3 people into the guild those first few weeks. I played the snot out of the game early on. I remember there were two people in our guild that capped their characters right on launch day. One managed to get it even before they took the servers down before launch day. I was pretty green in the game while any number of people were beta vets, but I managed to clip along at a good pace even though I made the mistake of making a tank my first character.

I had been in guilds in other games before, but I never did too much as far as group content was concerned. In the beginning I was doing more or less the same in SWTOR. I logged into vent here and there but not very often. When I did I often found myself chatting with @RyanHVND who was online at many of the same times I was. He is a very charismatic person and he was always trying to help people out in the guild, to the point that he was always very far behind in leveling. Eventually, enough of us made it to level 50 and got some gear so we could attempt our first Operation (aka raid).

Thank you MMOGC for inviting me to the guild and thank you Maric and @RyanHVND for all the hard work you did getting the guild together.

To be continued




Always Be Prepared to Back Up a Statement

September 11, 2012 by

I was talking to a couple of guildies last night (MMOGC and Pagan) and I mentioned that I really didn’t care that much for GW2 and one of them asked me why. Simple enough question right? Well to be honest I really hadn’t stopped to think about it. So I paused a second and hemmed and hawed for a few more while trying to formulate a response.

Now I know that I really don’t enjoy my play time in the game, so it’s not like I am just trying to be contrary or anything. It seems from what I have read and what I have heard, that the majority of people playing the game find it enjoyable. I just don’t when I play it. So why is that?

Well, what I managed to formulate in that brief few seconds of stammering and pontificating is that I really like the progression in games like EQ or WoW or SWTOR. This game just really doesn’t have that same feeling. I need a carrot to keep me interested. I couldn’t care less about getting pets or mounts or completing every achievement or, in this case, filling in all the hearts on a map. I have to feel like I am making progress in my character in order to keep me logging in. I’m weird what can I say. In GW2 I just feel like the progression is too “amoeboid” for lack of a better term.

Oddly, when I started playing The Secret World I felt kind of the same way at first. It took me a couple of hours to fill in all my action bar. Now what? Once I started pursuing my Exorcist deck, I had a quantifiable goal that I could see results in. I could replace some of the lesser skills with better ones as I unlocked them on the wheel. Once I figured that out, I was good to play.

The other thing that I have realized is that I really like having a specific role to play. I like being the healer or tank or CC guy. DPS really isn’t my thing. I’m not saying I am an awesome tank, just ask MMOGC, I am saying that I like to know what my role is and not have it be so nebulous. Everyone run in and we’ll just rez the people that die…blech!

Anyway, I’m not bagging on the game or saying that it isn’t good. It is … just not for me. I know I probably haven’t played it enough to have a true perspective, but there are so many games, why should I play one that I am not having fun with? I hope everyone else has fun playing it though!