And you may ask yourself, “Well, how did I get here?”

I am unaccustomed to working a 40 hour week.  As a college drop out, job opportunities don’t just pop up, and when they do, rarely are they full time.  Means they can try and avoid providing benefits.

What I’m saying is, this blog may most likely become a weekly thing, as I am still trying to make time to play games for a few hours each night, watch some shows with the wife, and communicate with the kiddos.

I currently find myself in a bit of quandary.  I am quite bored of WoW.  I have a character that I play with my wife, when she’s in the mood, and that I enjoy.  I have 4 100s, 2 on each side.  I have no interest in LFR, so I won’t be finishing the legendary ring quest. As I don’t raid, this doesn’t bother me.  I could probably grind rep, but honestly, what’s the point beyond a few mounts.  The 7.0 patch hit the PTR, which means it will go live next month.  I’ll probably start playing heavily again then, if only to participate in the pre-Legion event, but until then, I suppose I shall have to find something new to play.

I wouldn’t mind giving FFXIV another go, but I don’t feel like dropping money on the expansion.  Same with Guild Wars 2.  SWTOR has an interesting promotion going on starting Tuesday that is intriguing to me, so I will most likely jump into that then.  I’m not interested in subbing to the game until all the chapters are out for the current expansion though.  I feel like SWTOR nickels and dimes enough, and the sub doesn’t really have any value beyond being able to access the chapters.

Right now I have STO updating, although I may even dip my toes in Rift, see how the optimization is.  The Wildstar icon keeps drawing my eye, but I really want controller support without having to do it myself through some third party software.  Spending hours getting it just right is, well, frankly, I ain’t got time for that shit.

I am open to suggestions.  Oh, and feel free to give feedback, it seems I’m getting more exposure then I anticipated, thanks to the New Blogger Initiative.  Syp even mentioned me on his blog, and I’ve been reading his stuff for years, so that’s awesome.

I’m a man of wealth and taste

Sorry for the delay this week.  I started a new job on Monday and most of my week has been spent getting immersed into the culture of the company, which has been a little draining.

So, it seems I have been nominated for a creative blogger award by Rav of Ravalation.  She had some very kind things to say about my blog attempts thus far, and it seems rude to ignore such a prompt so early in my return.  So, without further ado, 5 facts about me.

  1. I have four children who are the light of my world.  My son, who’s 14, is passionate about Pokémon, comics, and is slowly discovering the world of MMOs.  My 11 year old daughter is a delight who enjoys cinema, and loves to watch both Jeopardy and WWE with her old man.  I have identical twin girls who are 9.  They are my little geek girls.  One is obsessed with all things Star Wars, and the other has discovered comics and Minecraft.  My favorite thing about them is that when I ask them “What have we learned today if nothing else children?”, they respond, in unison “Homey don’t play dat!”
  2. I live in central Maine.  What that means is that I live in a state where the population is under a million and a half, so we are talking mostly rural.  In fact, where I live, the best internet speed I can get is 3 Mb line.  I could get faster if I got satellite internet, but the data caps would kill me.  Yes, I have seen moose.
  3. On the central Maine subject, I have met Stephen King.  In fact, I drive by his home in Bangor on a semi-regular basis.  I never got an autograph from him though, as when I met him, he was eating with his family at a restaurant I worked at, and it seemed rude to bother him.  He tips well though.
  4. I am a cinephile.  I love movies and the movie-making progress.  I don’t have favorite actors, I have favorite directors.  I’m the guy in the room who is more likely to comment on how the shot was done rather then what happened in the shot.  Wes Anderson is probably my current fav director.
  5. I am a music lover.  If that wasn’t obvious from how I title my blog posts.  At one point in my life, I actually got accepted into a media school to become a radio personality, but decided against it as the corporate buyouts of local radio stations had started, and the end product of that is that most stations, especially in smaller markets like mine, are pretty much computer programmed with very little in the way of actual disc jockeys.  The exception here being Stephen King’s stations that he owns.  But still, I can spout random facts about most musicians/bands.  Sadly, this doesn’t have much real world value.

So, there you have it.  5 facts about me that you probably didn’t need to know.  Thanks again to Rav for nominating me, and look for a new entry tomorrow.  I am not going to nominate anyone else, simply because I’m still learning who the fellow members of my community are.

What do you mean I’m not kind? Not your kind maybe . . .

One of the reasons why I tend to game hop is that I find it difficult to find a guild where I don’t feel like another solo player who barely speaks to the other members.  I’ve made friends in some guilds, I’ve even run a guild or two.    Maybe it’s just that I have unrealistic expectations? 

The first guild where I really felt at home was in LOTRO.  Guitars for Middle Earth.  Name didn’t make much sense, but I was recently returned to MMO’s after a 8 year break, and I basically got lucky that the first invite I got happened to be in a guild where I made friends.  We ran dungeons together, helped each other out with crafting, and overall, we were a small, but tight-knit group.  Then the GM decided that he wanted us to be a raiding guild.  There was a bit of a revolution, and a group of us split off, under my unexpected leadership to form another guild that maintained what we had become accustomed to.  This lasted for a while, until Mines of Moria happened.  I didn’t enjoy the game anymore.  The Legendary Item system was a terrible grind.  Prior to Moria, high tier crafted gear was equal to max level raid/dungeon and PvP gear.  In fact, the optimum gear setup included pieces of each.  That was no longer the case as of Moria, with the introduction of Radiance.  I could go on, but the point is, I wasn’t having fun, and it was time to try something new. 

I had been a longtime Blizzard fan boy.  I had played the Diablo series, all the Warcraft and even Starcraft.  So it was only logical that I would give WoW a try.  Now, LOTRO was full of players who had an irrational hatred of WoW.  The ones that always confused me the most were those who would crap all over the game, but when questioned, had never played the game.  Unfortunately, my guild was made up of a number of those.  So, I walked away from LOTRO, and took no friends with me.

I started WoW around the time Wrath of the Lich King launched.  I saw a guild advert that caught my eye, and I joined them.  Trilogy, Steamwheedle Cartel server.  They were on a first name basis with each other, which was unusual to me.  I was uncomfortable at first, but slowly came to enjoy it.  They bore with me as I learned that I was no good as a disc priest, and learned that shadow was my bread and butter.  But then the guild leader decided that it was time for a change, and most everyone went Alliance.  I had zero desire to do so, and went my own way.

After that, I’ve hopped from guild to guild, never feeling completely at home.  I’ve made friends here and there, but I’ve yet to find a guild where I feel at home.  I went Alliance during Cataclysm, as I could not stand being a part of Garrosh’s Horde (yes, lore matters to me a great deal).  I’ve been part of fan guilds for WoW Insider, and currently in an Alliance guild for fans of Blizzard Watch, but the sheer volume of members make it hard to feel at home, especially when, inevitably, a clique of raiders become the core of the guild. 

I make no secret of my dislike of raiding.  I don’t think I’ve ever been clear on why I dislike it though.  The time commitment is a big issue.  What with my addiction issues, I try not to block out that much time for gaming.  Also, the nights that most guilds do raid nights are never convenient for me.  I don’t blame them for this, it is what it is.  LFR is toxic.  I have Trade turned off because, frankly, the loudest members of the WoW community are horrid people, and I don’t want to expose myself to that, as it detracts from my enjoyment.  Sadly, by doing LFR, I am no longer able to avoid that element.  I do the occasional LFR when I’m bored, mostly because I feel like I have to, what with the Legendary ring quests.  But even then, I do it maybe once a month.  I also don’t like my fun to be dependent on others to that level.  The sheer numbers involved with raiding means that sometimes, I’m sitting there for 20 minutes or so, doing nothing.  If I wanted to do nothing, then I wouldn’t be in game.

Now small group content, I love it.  Cataclysm was my favorite expansion for this.  5 man dungeons are the perfect challenge for me.  Small time commitment, reliance on only a handful of others, and if the dungeon is designed properly, a suitable amount of challenge where I feel satisfied upon completion.  Timewalking has been glorious for me, albeit frustrating when players who are used to the faceroll dungeons of Warlord’s dungeons can’t be bothered to learn the mechanics.

Anyways, just wanted to get this off my chest.  If anyone knows of a Horde guild that is small, tight knit and looking for a friendly player, and is preferably EST, by all means drop me a line.

Take these broken wings, and learn to fly again

This a post for this week’s NBI writing prompt.

Gaming has always been something I’ve been around.  My parents had an Intellivision, and an Atari 2600.  I remember being fascinated by the artwork in some of the manuals, but disappointed with the game’s depictions.  I remember my parents buying an NES, and it was always around.  My dad liked to putter about on it, and I would occasionally get to play, but inevitably I would somehow get recruited to try and explain to him how to play a game to the best of his ability.  He seemed to want to enjoy the games, but somehow, couldn’t quite figure them out himself.  I remember when he discovered Final Fantasy, and my mom getting upset because he racked up a huge rental fee for it.  It was neat to watch, but as I was never given a chance to play, it was a distant love.

It was after my brother passed in ’89 that I discovered that gaming could be an escape.  Oh, and what a glorious escape it was for a nine year old boy.  I spent hours playing Legend of Zelda 2, among other games.  Then I got a Game Boy.  Suddenly, I could play games whenever I wanted, no constraints beyond the batteries.  The Game Boy, and games like  Final Fantasy Legend allowed me to escape all the troubles around me, like my parent’s constant fighting, and our seemingly never-ending poverty.   It still holds a special place in my heart, and I have owned every handheld Nintendo since. 

I was never allowed to do extra-curricular activities.  Heaven forbid I infringe on my parent’s time and cigarette/beer money.  So books and gaming were what I had.  Later I would discover a knack for art, but it was always gaming and books that I fell back on to soothe the pains in my life, and ignore reality.  I discovered computer gaming pretty quickly when my mother got a 386 running Windows 3.1 .  The bundle they got came with some games, which included King’s Quest 6, and other games that I don’t remember as I spent every minute playing KQ6.  Not long after I discovered the mythical Gold Box SSI D&D games.  Meanwhile, I also discovered the joys of tabletop RPG’s.  Werewolf: the Apocalypse was and still is my favorite, as I could empathize so much with creatures trying hard to control their rage at the world.

It should come as no surprise, with my ever increasing reliance on gaming to escape my problems (like not getting into college, or not even being able to afford it if I could get in), that when I discovered Everquest, I developed am addiction.  Here was the escape I craved, one not even LARPing could recreate.  Cost me a job and girlfriend before I walked away.  Wasn’t the only costly gaming addiction I developed.  Magic the Gathering and Decipher’s Star Wars CCG’s  ate up a lot of my money from the part time job I worked in high school.  I think my parents would rather I found drugs.

A breakdown was inevitable.  Everquest was a catalyst, but not the cause.  I gave up the game, and stepped away from computer gaming for a while.  Was easy enough, I didn’t live with my parents, so couldn’t afford internet.  Then the group I LARPed with imploded, in no small part because a lot of us had sort of lost touch with reality.  I played a villain, and they couldn’t see the real me through my character.  So I walked away from that.  It would be the better part of ten years before I returned to MMO’s, and I don’t think I’ll ever LARP again.

This has gone on longer then I intended, but it was incredibly cathartic.  I still struggle from time to time with gaming vs. doing more important things, like spending time with my wonderful children and wife, or doing household chores and necessary repairs.

As a final note, I hope it is clear that I am in no way blaming games for my problems.  As with anyone who suffers from OCD, it is incredibly easy to fixate on something and obsess over it, and one of my fixations happens to be games.  It is not the only one I have, but it is the one most relevant to the blog and the prompt.

Here we are now, entertain us

I won’t lie, I’ve tried blogging before.  Think the most I managed was about 6 months maybe, before I let life get in the way of it.  But a blogger I follow pretty regularly recently posted about Newbie Blogger Initiative.  I like this blogger, and find his ability to post on an almost daily basis impressive.  I think part of the reason I have failed in the past was unrealistic expectations.  So, I’m not promising that you’ll hear from me daily, but I expect to be able manage thrice a week.

So, with that out of the way, I’m Dave, but I usually go by Zeo, Zeolas or Zeowyrm in the various games I play.  I do mean various.  I’ve been an avid MMO player since about 1999.  Ultima Online taught me at an early stage in the genre that open world PvP was not something I would ever enjoy.  Everquest taught me some lessons on the evils of MMO addiction, something I’ve struggled with from time to time.  Such is the peril of being OCD.  Currently, I do have to put effort into finding time to play, what with 4 kids, a wife and work.  So, I’ll end with a list of the games I currently make time for, and a why I play them.

World of Warcraft:  There’s a lot of hate for this game, but I’ve been playing since the launch of Wrath of the Lich King. I strongly dislike the current expansion content, but I am looking forward to Legion.  After I go see the movie this weekend, I’m hoping to have my interest reinvigorated (and maybe finally convince the wife to give it a proper go).  Otherwise, I log in every couple of days to do garrisons.  It’s dull, but it pays my subscription.

Star Trek Online:  Recently restarted a Tactical Federation character, to play around with the new systems.  Being able to customize my ship certainly makes me feel more connected to the game.  Might even finally get a character to max level, something I’ve never done, although I bought the game right after it was released.  Last time I tried was during the Delta Recruit promotion last year, but a gamebreaking bug in an early quest drove me off in frustration.

Tree of Savior:  I’ve only dabbled a few hours here and there with this game, but I love the visual design of it so much.  Reminds me of old school SNES games, like Secret of Mana, but even prettier.  Once I realized that it could be played with a controller, I was golden.  I really feel like I should spend more time with it, but I suspect it does eventually turn into a major grindfest, as a lot of Asian games do.  Doesn’t mean it’s not worth an hour or two from time to time.

Thanks for sticking around this long, and next time I’ll most likely wax poetic about the tablet games that I spend time with.

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