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Ok, I know I’ve been neglecting the blog for a good while now. But hopefully that is about to change.  I think I’m finally getting settled into my new home and job out in Las Vegas and things seem to be getting back to some modicum of normalcy.  Only time will tell.

I just updated my PC last weekend, so that was nice.  I did the upgrade because so many new games are going to be coming out soon for the PC.  I believe Skyrim will kick things off, followed by Guild Wars 2, SWTOR, and Diablo 3.

Currently, I’m still sub’d to Rift, EVE, and just this week I re-sub’d to LOTRO for a year in prep for Isengard which comes out later this month.  EVE and LOTRO are getting the lion’s share of play, Rift has gone to the back burner for a bit, but it’s still a great game.

I’ve been trying to jump-start my social life in my new surroundings by joining various “Meet-Up” groups, but that has been very spotty at best. And the gay bar scene in Vegas is surprisingly poor.  Salt Lake was WAY more fun to go to the bar than in Vegas.  Here it seems everyone is hunched over their electronic poker or 21 game instead of dancing or socializing. I’ve also heard that things really don’t start happening at the bars here until after midnight.  By that time I’m ready for bed, damn I’m gettin’ old.

Anyways, I hope to be writing with a bit more regularity now, and I hope all is finding you well! Enjoy!

Mostly I’ve been shopping and just generally trying to get ready for the holidays and all the other stuff that goes along with that, like preparing for a 450mi. drive up to my Mom’s house, making sure my laptop is all up-to-date with all of the latest MS patches and gaming patches, etc.  And I’m seriously considering updating the laptop’s dual hard drives from two 80gig drives to two 500gig drives, the 1G RAM to 4G, and the XP Pro to 7 Ultimate.  That will be a weekend project if I really decide to throw down for it – we’ll have to see what Mr. Wallet has to say about it.

If I do go that route, then of course I’ll even more stuff to do, like install all of the other software and do some fairly major patching… Hmmmm.  Oh, and I’ll be working all day Sunday so I can take off on the 23rd instead of the 24th on that long drive – yippee!  Seriously another of those too many thing to do in the allotted timeframe kind of deals. 

As for gaming, I’ve only just been peeking in on LOTRO and EVE to keep tabs on everything, and if I have any time to spend I’ve pretty much been chilling to holiday music and flying around in FSX/Tileproxy.  Last night I did an interesting flight over some of the most desolate land ever, from Green River, Utah to Grand Junction, Colorado.  Kind of interesting in its own way, but wow – not even any scrub grows on that ground – must be caleche or clay or something. 

I used to drive that route on I-70, but heading West instead of East from Green River over the mountain to Salina and Richfield, and I’ve always been amazed at the lack of any foliage of any kind around there – not even weeds or anything – just dirt that looks like mud, but isn’t wet.  Hard to describe if you’ve never been there.

I hope all of your holiday preparations are going well and that if you’re planning on travelling, you arrive and return home safe and happy!  Enjoy!

(it’s a bad Pearl Jam ref. for those not “in the know”)

Most of the weekend was spent flying around, if not in EVE then I could usually be found somewhere over the SW US in FSX/Tileproxy.  I did log in very briefly to LOTRO, but mainly just to unload my bags and do a bit of crafting here and there.

In EVE, I’m still mining away quite happily and making some good ISK, but the weekend crowds were kind of annoying.  So I took my miners out for a shopping spree and got each of the two of them shiny new Drakes for mission running with my “Main’s” Hurricane.  I love the amount of fire power battle cruisers have, and they’re not too shabby on passive tanking either.  Now I just need to convince myself to actually go run a bunch of missions.  In fact, I don’t even think I have enough standing in Amarr space to get into any missions that allow battle cruisers – I think the biggest ship I can get into them are regular cruisers, but I’ll have to test that out this evening to see if that’s really the case.  I can’t remember – I know my battleships won’t fit through the gates, ‘cuz I did try that once, <smirk>.

There’s also a few “ded-space” complexes I’ve found, but again I think they’re in such high-sec zones that I can only fit frigates and maybe cruisers through the gates…  I just don’t think a battle-cruiser counts as a cruiser since they have substantially more fire power – again I’ll just have to test it out and see what happens.

In other news, I finally got my Christmas shopping started.  Only a few more folks to shop for and I’ll be done, so that will be nice – but I probably won’t get any more shopping done until the weekend, unless I can find goodies online – Amazon is my friend here, and I can actually get things shipped directly to my mom’s house so I won’t have to haul it up there next week :D

I hope your week goes great – Enjoy!

I got LOTRO all patched up last night while EVE was going through patch-hell, and goofed around on my ‘lil Champion.  Dunno what it is about that class, but I love bashing stuff with my shield.  It has such a satisfying “thump” when you smack things with a big shield.  And I don’t feel like I’m gonna die if anything looks at me funny, which is so very unlike my “main” Loremaster. 

After I marched him through all the intro stuff and the first little town after, I checked back with EVE and she was finally ready to play. So I logged in there and mined out a belt before retiring for the evening.  All in all, a good evening gaming, if I do say so myself. 

I’m not sure which game is going to end up garnering most of my free time – unless I can find some folks to hang out with in LOTRO, it’ll probably be EVE since I can solo there quite effectively. But who knows, I’ve yet to get back in contact with my “old time” LOTRO buddy to see if he’s still in-game or not.  And that may have quite a bit of bearing on where I spend my time.  Dunno, just playing it by ear for now, we’ll see how it goes.  Enjoy!

Well, I guess that doesn’t really sound like the witch of the West or whatever… Oh well. I’ve decided to go ahead and re-up my LOTRO account, at least through the holidays since it’s one of the few games that I can actually play on my laptop while I’m visiting family.  EVE also works, but I hate playing it “single account” now that I’m so used to multi-boxing it.

Anyways, I think I’m going to buy into the whole Seige of Mirkwood expansion as well, even though I still haven’t even entered the Mines of Moria – OY!  But I do have a good friend that is already max’d in level and in crafting, so maybe I can get him to float me some awesome gear, and maybe even get me at least up to the “Friend” gates of Moria (if that’s even in the game?).

Otherwise, my EVE time is going quite well, and I’m making a killing in mining, two hours of steady mining (with two Hulks and an well equiped foreman in an Orca) is easily earning me between 35Mil-40Mil ISK.  That’s just from mining “junk belts” of Scordite, Veldspar, and the occasional Kernite.  Can’t complain there! 

Hope all your adventures are going well this week. Enjoy!

Over the weekend I resubscribed to my multiple EVE Online Accounts and eagerly waded back in to mining while I figure out what my next training conquest will be.  I think I’m going to try and tackle Manufacturing and Trading next.  I’ve already put together a preliminary route, but I need to do some more research to see if it will actually be tenable.  Round trip, it took me about 20mins to fly in a cruiser, so I’d guess it’ll take around 2-hours in a big industrial boat and actually stopping in and doing the trades at the stations.  In the mean time, I’m going to keep mining up some raw materials and investment ISK.

I also need to look into the various trade tools out there, but it appears that two of the main apps. have been abandoned by their developers, so that’s not so great.  I may end up having to code up my own custom app.  We’ll see how it goes with the old stuff I’ve found and if it actually works at all with the Dominion expansion. At any rate, I’ll try to remember to post any results back here.  I’m esp. curious to see if newb trading can even begin to approach the ISK I’m raking in as an experienced miner.

Hope your work week goes well, and take time to Enjoy!

As I (slowly) advance in DDO, currently Level 4, I’m still enjoying the game quite a bit.  I was a little worried the first time I went into a dungeon solo that didn’t allow “solo” as one of the difficulty settings, starting instead on the “normal” setting.  But my dual-wielding Ranger didn’t really have any issues other than running out of arrows once in a while.  I’m very much looking forward to when she’s levelled enough to be an “Arcane Archer” so I don’t have to keep loading up on arrows.  Either that, or getting “Returning Arrows,” which apparently return to your quiver after dealing their damage – I wonder if they’re clean upon return?

I’ve completed all of the quests in the “entry zone” of Storm Reach, including soloing the dreaded “Kobold Assault,” where you need to kill 200 kobolds that continually stream into your position.  And I’m working on the rare encounters out in the Cerulean Hills. After that, I’ll start moving through the rest of Stormreach’s quarters. 

In other gaming news, I’ve only been logging into EVE to keep my training up to date.  I’ll probably revisit the game once the honeymoon is over with DDO. I venture that to be sometime around the beginning of October, we’ll see.

And in totally un-gaming related news, I started attending a local Tarot workshop over the weekend, and it was pretty interesting.  I found the group through MeetUp.com and the organizer is a local reader and I believe she’s a social worker by profession - so it’s kind of mesh between the mystical and more Jungian archetypal views toward the cards.  Any ways, it was an interesting first meeting and I’m looking forward to future workshops where we’re planning on working our way through an excellent book on the subject: 78 Degrees of Wisdom.

I hope your week is shaping up well, Enjoy!

With the new “Free To Play” (F2P) release of Dungeons & Dragons Online (DDO) I thought I’d check it out last night, and actually it was a bit of fun.  It had been so long since I’d logged into the game though, that my old characters were gone.  Not that I ever played them for very long anyways, but it might’ve been nice not to have to trapse through the tutorials.  Although it was probably a good idea for me to go through them again to re-familiarize myself with the controls etc.  

 I’m just about to move out of the tutorial area and I’m enjoying the game so far, which isn’t really saying a lot, ‘cuz when I first played DDO, I enjoyed it until I got into the first “real” town/area of the game.  I’ll probably play through there and see how it goes – I also need to experiment with the hirelings, since that is a new mechanic since I was last in DDO.

In other news, I did get my new (and second) Hulk the other day and I’ve been taking it out with my original Hulk pilot and my Orca pilot.  I’m still working on training up to use Mining Laser Upgrade II’s, but I should have that by tomorrow.  Until then, I’m seeing some improvement to my mining speed, although it doesn’t seem to be as dramatic as I was expecting it to be. We’ll see. I’ve really only had time to mine through a couple of  full belts, so as I get used to the setup and a few more ‘roid belts under my belt, I’ll have a better idea of just how much better this configuration is from my old Hulk+Retriever+Orca setup.

I haven’t logged into Champions at all this week, and I don’t know that I will over the weekend, but maybe.  Another game out there in the back of my head is Warhammer.  I haven’t logged into WAR for quite a while either, so both WAR and CO may be up on the chopping block come the end of September.  We’ll see.   Especially if I decide I like the F2P version of DDO – then I’ll have two “free” diversions (including Guild Wars) to mess around in if I feel the need for “high fantasy” gaming.  

I hope your weekend is fun and a good time is had by all, Enjoy!

I had a nice gaming Labor Day.  I started the weekend out with some Champions Online, and I think I’ve scratched that itch as much as I care to for now.  Don’t get me wrong, it IS is good game, but I’ve never really glommed onto the super-hero meme.  I mean, my favorite super-hero when I was a kid was Dr. Strange, and he’s really more like a mage than a super-hero.  I’ll probably re-visit the game very irregularly, like I used to do with CoX, and I’ll probably drop CoX completely.

Saturday, a buddy of mine called up with a new Guild Wars build/mechanic for Ritualists, and that class being one of my favorites (just behind Necro), I had to go try it out.  First I had to go capture the elite skill that the build is based upon, and then we went on some map clearing crusades – so that was pretty fun.  Guild Wars is another one of those games that I revisit somewhat infrequently, about once a month or so.

The majority of the weekend was spent in EVE Online.  My second Hulk pilot is mere hours away (well, closer to a day away) from piloting a Hulk mining barge, so I went a bought his ship and outfitted it for him.  I also spent quite a bit of time trying to get sound working properly with EVE on one of my PC’s.  That took the better part of an afternoon deleting and installing various sound drivers/packages.  I finally found one that worked, and I’ll need to go find it again, since I don’t think I saved the installer file, just ran it immediately after the download.   I do know it was one of the older Sigma Tel drivers, I’ll try to find it later today and post a link if I actually find it.  And once I get the 2nd Hulk out for a spin, I’ll try to do an update about multibox mining…

Besides mining up a storm (at least 100Mil ISK worth), I goofed around with some frigate builds and started planning out some battle cruiser builds.  My frig fleet now consists of two Rifters and a Punisher, and they’re a blast to fly.  I think my battlecruiser fleet is going to end up being two Drakes and a Hurricane.  I thought of throwing a Harbinger into the mix, but that pilot is really better suited to a missile boat like the Drake.  We’ll see.

I hope y’all had a great weekend and that the coming week finds you successful! Enjoy!

I started this article as a response to a post over at We Fly Spitfires’  blog, where in the comments many folks were implying that one really needs to be in a Corp. to have fun, or fully appreciate the EVE Online experience.  Which, of course, I don’t fully agree. 

I guess it could be true if you’re really into constant PvP, watching your back, and political intrigue.  I love occasional PvP, or what I call PvP on MY terms, like DAoC and WAR RvR.  And to a certain extent, EVE’s  semi-open PvP with consequences, where firing on neutral targets in Empire space has definite worldly consequences – like Concord Aggression and faction standings.  You certainly do not need to be in a corp. if you’re looking to PvP once in awhile.  However, if you are in a low-sec/zero-zero corp. you will persistently be in PvP mode simply due to war declarations. Me? I don’t need that kind of stress.  I’ve got enough of that IRL.

I haven’t been in an active corp/alliance since Frege (2-3 years ago, about the same time StateCorp was in Frege). And when it fell apart, it basically cured me of any long term desires to be in a corp/alliance.   Plus all of the guys I played with basically “futility quit” after the dismemberment of Frege.

For me, it’s just too much like real-life work to participate/manage a corp. with my preferred “casual/care-bear” gaming mechanic.  Of which I can partake of aplenty in Concord Space, making tons of ISK and taking out the occasional “red flashy” guy with my tri-box posse. And the occasional foray out to low-sec just to blast someone on my grudge list, as long as they’re not too far out of the way.

If there were a way to do casual 0.0 (which there isn’t, honestly) I’d probably find myself back in a Corp.

But truly, you only need a corp. if you’re interested in continual PvP and politics, just two facets of an extraordinary game. You don’t need a corp to mine, play the market, craft, run missions, offer services (like hauling, protection, etc), occasionally PvP, etc. 

However, I’ve always approached the social side of MMO’s as optional, with a take it or leave it attitude – and usually it’s been a “leave it” choice for me.  But for others it’s an absolute “must have,” so if one finds that aspect important, then they’ll probably need to be in a corp. as well. Personally, as an INTP personality, I usually find other people to be more of a liability than an asset :D

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