Wow.  Been a bit busy of late, so nothing much to write about.

Eve Endures

I continue to make progress in Eve, though I knew I’d be hitting a busy spot IRL, so I have queued a bunch of longer skills just in case I wasn’t able to pay as much attention to Eve as I should.

After reading the comments to the Zero Punctuation, uh, review of Eve (thanks Wilhelm for linking it or I wouldn’t have seen it), regarding needing to have a goal in Eve (specifically, your own goal as the game wont really provide you with one), it it occurred to me that I was in that slightly flat spot in Eve where you are not exactly without a goal, but rather in pursuit of a goal that will take some time and is, as ZP would say, “boring, boring, boring, boring.”  I don’t necessarily agree, and quite frankly, I’m glad the Eve will reward me (or at least not penalize me) for not playing it.

Design flaw or product feature (as the old joke goes)?  For an old man with a real life, I say product feature.

I’m currently in pursuit of two related goals– getting my miner Hulk qualified and getting my mission runner/hauler Itty V skilled.  Both of which will take some time (around 30 days) to complete the level V skill training necessary.  Astrogeology V and Mining Barge V for the miner and Gallente Industrial V for the hauler.  So I’m about a month off for both of those to complete.

The Hulk is the gateway to all good things that require massive amounts of ISK, including a battleship, etc. so the immediate task is get skilled for the Hulk and knock down enough ISK in the intervening period to afford it and the required fittings.  Sticking with Eve requires a certain amount of discipline because time is just not negotiable.

So, eager as I am to progress, I wait.  With anticipation.

WoW Wasteland

Our WoW group, on the other hand, still has any number of instances left to do since we have all hit 70.  Life at 70, however, is less than fulfilling.  Try as I may to be enthused about the “opportunity” to do dailies or BGs or whatever, I just can’t do it.

I logged on this weekend after our Saturday group session and it was all I could do to not pull my own head off when confronted with grinding dailies and other rep grinds.  The magic is gone gone gone.

On the WAR Path

Until now, I’ve managed to stay on the sidelines of the Warhammer discussion for a couple of good reasons– first, I didn’t get into the beta (not that I would necessarily have anything to say that hasn’t been said about a thousand times), and second, I’m not genetically coded to view it as the Next Big Thing ™.

Not that I’m not intrigued, I am, but I just haven’t been swept away by the hype machine which, next to Conan, has been the most offputting PR campaign I’ve experienced in a while.  To be fair, SINCE Conan has come out (and it was revealed to have feet of clay), the EA/Mythic hype machine seems to have become more tempered, more realistic and maybe attempting to bring expectations in for a soft landing.

Marc Jacobs comments regarding the problems with the preview weekend gained him some substantial credibility points in my book.  Now that the shouting has stopped, I’m able to actually listen.  Amazing how that happens.

So, with the pre-order enabled Open Beta for WAR just a few days away, I find myself in the unenviable position of not having a pre-order box in hand.  Mrs. P and I found ourselves at Fry’s this last weekend and alas, no pre-order boxes left!

That bodes well for launch I suspect, but I’m still left without an Open Beta option.  I suppose I could go digital download, but they always seem to fuck things up somehow.  I’m open to recommendations.  I’ve had bad experiences with Amazon in the past and have little faith in others, but what the hey.

Ultimately, I find myself actually looking forward to yet another launch of another virtual world that offers the potential of something a little bit different.  As many have said, you play the game your friends play, so I’m hoping that after nearly four years in WoW with a great group of friends that WAR might offer a sufficiently compelling and different experience to get our group sucked in.

Absent WAR, there is nothing on the horizon (*cough*Lich King*cough*) that I’m waiting for.  Without building expectations too much, WAR, please bring back the magic at least for a while.

If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say…

Boy oh boy do the summer doldrums continue.  Unbearably hot weather and the all consuming fires of hell devouring our fair state of California puts the kaibosh on most fun outdoor activities.  Almost a recipe for an extensive gaming jag– not unlike those short day, long stormy nights of winter that almost force you to game to excess.

Sad to say, I haven’t had that itch much.  More acccurately, I’ve had the itch, just found nothing much to scratch it of late.  When I start digging through the old game box, you know its bad.

I got into the beta of Wizard101 which many have mentioned of late.  I’ve explored a bit, but am loath to say more without having explored more.  Suffice it to say the turn based card combat is interesting and a new twist.

To show you how bad it is, Mrs. P and I picked up a couple of shooters for the CONSOLE and we are anything but console players.  We do enjoy a good run around and shoot em up from time to time, but its like eating popcorn– great as a snack, but unless you’re still in college, hardly a meal.

Summer vacation schedules has kept the WoW group on informal status of late.  With our self imposed level cap removed, the horses, now unleashed, largely remain at the gate.  I’ve mentioned it before, but doing anything outside of an instance in WoW as a group is almost shooting yourself in the foot, groin and then head.  Diligent progress can be made as a group, but it pales in comparison to any focused solo effort.

As I managed to ding 69 and get a good way into the level, I did start to get that horse-to-stable itch.  One. More. Level.  20 chiclets… Its pretty tempting and watching the bar slowly progress from left to right on its (for now) last march has got me in that “lets just get it over” mood though I’ll see if it lasts.

Oh, I guess I should say something about Warhammer and the recent hoo dee doo.  I told you so.  Actually I didn’t, but lacking sufficient insight as to whether the sky has fallen with the announcement that 4 classes are getting cut and 4 out of 6 capital cities wont be in at launch, all I can really comment on is the fact that EA Mythic-no-just-call-me-Mythic has even less cred now.  Assuming launch is actually coming, seems like a crappy interview is probably the last place to Make a Major Announcement.  But then again, they’ve been blathering incessant jibberish for three hype-filled years, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised when they developers run out of unobtainium to finish all the features marketing sold to the public over the last few years.  Of course how could the hype about the hype ever live up to the reality about the hype?

Another week or two like this and I think it might be about time to reload Age of Kings.

A Peep at Warhammer Online

Props to Fred at MMO Explorer (at least thats where I found it) for unearthing this look at Warhammer Online.   While it looks like this will definitely be one of the new “polished” generation of MMOs to arrive on the scene, I still am struck by how amazingly familiar it all looks.

Of course, making entertaining and engaging games is like comedy, its a game of millimeters.  Small adjustments can make the difference between tedium and rabid game addition.  From what I can see, it certainly looks like Warhammer will continue the trend of improving the genre without redefining it.

Take a look and see what you think so far.