Merry Christmas to all of you who celebrate it. On my end, it was just another yet that passed by uneventfully. Logged into EQ2 and the guild was pretty deserted as I expected it to; most have family commitments and such for the holiday.
Vanguard was done patching finally but I didn’t get a chance to explore much as I was called to play my new lowbie fury alt with a friend who had the day off from the Army. We headed to Stormhold for a few levels before deciding that our little troubadour and fury duo wasn’t the most effective due to the lack of DPS. It would probably be much better when I get lv 23 for my primary nuke, but for now it’s just slow.
I love the amendments they’ve made to the new mastercrafted armor sets for the lower tiers. They’re a huge boost from their miserable stats previously. The t2 cloth pieces that my fury’s currently wearing (I went with cloth for now since I couldn’t find any leather that gives INT) sport 10 WIS and 10 INT per piece. However, I think more balancing of armor needs to take place because from what I’ve seen, the rewards given in Gorowyn are still better those offered one tier higher at Butcherblock. The old zones such as Antonica and Commonlands definitely also need a revamp of their quest rewards.
So Christmas came and past just like any other day. Truth be told, Frostfell was definitely much more joyous and festive-like than Christmas itself. Sometimes, I just wish that I could live the fantasy life instead.
I decided to give Amazon’s MP3 download a spin today, and this what I end up with, including several attempts to baffle the system (entering a US billing address/VPN in through a computer located in the US) which I could assume works by the location where the credit card was registered.
We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.
That’s one more to the list of services that block purchases outside of the US. Recently Direct2Drive started restricting majority of its catalog for sale only to US addresses. Maybe those CEOs in their big suits should question themselves as to why certain regions, like Southeast Asia, is rampant with piracy. How do you expect us to be good customers when we’re being denied to purchase something legitimately in the first place? Torrentfreak has a good article about this.
When it comes to file transfers across the internet, I often feel that I’m geographically disadvantaged. I’ve been attempting to download Pirates of the Burning Sea beta since it was opened to the public, but Fileplanet and I hardly get along at all. I’ve managed only an average of 20kb/s, and anytime it got somewhere nearly to 50% completion, the connection timeouts. Furthermore, Fileplanet doesn’t support resuming unless you’re a subscriber. So after two days of downloading, I’ve essentially made zero progress.
It irritates me a lot that these days, most companies can’t be bothered to host their own game clients and patches, but outsource it another company such as Fileplanet and 3Dgamers. The problem with these 3rd party distribution service is that you’re often encouraged to register and pay a subscription fee, or else you join street long queues that rival those queuing for bread during the Great Depression. If you’re the parent developing company, at least have the decency to host and distribute your own product.
I understand the reasons behind this move is to cut bandwidth costs, but the cuts can be achieved without outsourcing file distribution. We already have a viable solution to this problem for years: the BitTorrent protocol. Open source operating systems and softwares uses it as a distribution method, Blizzard uses it for World of Warcraft updates, why can’t more company adopt the same method of distribution?
Anyway, things are getting rather boring as of late in EQ2. All raids are on hold until the 29th because of insufficient sign ups due to the holiday season. I always find this aspect in EQ2 rather amusing, since in L2 the reverse always happens – raids and PvP pick up in intensity tremendously as holiday seasons approaches. I guess this could be due to the different demographics of players in each game, but I’ve no clue really.
I spent the majority of today running around the Frostfell Wanderland Village, grabbing up ‘presents’ here and there, and tossing snowballs at poor unsuspecting people. I love the newly added recipes, even though most aren’t very much of a change compared to before, just shrunken versions of gift boxes and snowmen. Even so, it’s surprising how such a small change can be really effective in evoking new feelings about the same items. For example, Mr and Mrs Snow couple placed on the bedside table together with a gift and candycane behind them looks really adorable and gives a rather romantic feeling to the atmosphere.
Also, the fireplaces have a new effect added, ‘romantic flames’, which has little red hearts swirling up from the flames.
Among all the new crafts, the greeting cards are my absolute favorite. They’re akin to the format of other ingame books, except that they open up to 2 pages, with a picture on the left and some, rather humorous text on the right, much like a card does in real life.
I haven’t done the new quest yet, just the one for the cloak and tree so far. For the 2nd year in a row, I fail at the maze, and had to resort to looking up a video on YouTube, just like I did for the previous. If you’re as hopeless with mazes just like, the video can be found here.
Finally, there’s some food on the table.
Frostfell (EQ2′s version of Christmas) is finally here, when the servers go up that is. I’m really excited since this would be the first Frostfell season I’ll celebrate here on the AB server, and I can’t wait to get a hold of all the fancy clothing and house items – both old ones from Frostfell 2006 and the newly introduced ones this year. Finally, I’ll have something in EQ2 to do again. Oh, the best thing about GU41 – there’s going to be tableware furniture items! Dishes and cups!
Lineage 2′s expansion, The 1st Throne, goes live today. One thing I love about L2 is that expansions are absolutely free. I’m not sure if my account is active, I’ll have to check it later. I’m excited too, but between this and Frostfell, I’ll have to say I’m more enthusiastic about Frostfell sadly. I really don’t see myself playing L2 full time again. I really do want to be on the moment it goes up however, as there’s almost guarantees that fights will occur the new err… whatever, clan hall or fortress I think it was, haven’t quite been following the patch notes.
But oh, before I get myself even more hyped up, remember my post about having to miss the MMIS raid due to midterms? Probabilty couldn’t be more against me than to place both the MMIS raid and L2′s expansion launch on the same day where I can’t attend either. I’m pretty upset over it.
Anyway, Office 2007 SP1 is being released also, so grab it here if you’re running Office 2007. I really should be studying, but I can hardly concentrate at all. I love my course, I love what I’m studying, but studying for a test, which is based on nothing but pure memory work really kills any enjoyment I would otherwise have.
Term test week for me. This strip from my favorite comic, Calvin and Hobbes, perfectly summarizes up the state of state of our education system. Oh, not to mention the multiple choice questions that have all its 4 possible answers differ from each other by just having minor spelling differences.
Almost an entire month after RoK gets released, and the server issues are still persistent. Logged in this morning and couldn’t quite decide on what to do, so I went on to good ole Nek Castle to finish up some quests that’ve been in my journal for, oh, since about level 30. At least now I can officially announce that I’ve completed every single quest offered inside that zone.
Next destination on the travel plan, Enchanted Lands to finish up ‘The Patchwork Tapestry’ (can you believe I’ve not got my Faefolk language yet?). Nope, the zone servers didn’t quite like me and threw me back to character select, which must have existed on a parallel universe, because in the one I was thrown to, the server was listed as being down, which wasn’t on all the other universes. Looks like its back to playing the Neverwinter Nights 2 expansion for me.
Also, my guild has MMIS scheduled for next week. Normally, this would be something I’ll be jumping up in glee and excitement over, but alas, I’ve got a test on the same day. The raid’s scheduled for 0900h local time, and the test at 1230h, which means I’d have to leave an hour earlier, or maybe half an hour if I decided to fork out cash for a cab. This would seem fine, given how a bunch of people lvl 75 or higher shouldn’t take anymore than 3 hours (at most) to blast through MMIS. However, guild raids almost never start on time. The past 2 or 3 raids I’ve been on started over an hour late. It looks like I’m going to give this a skip and hope we hit up that zone again sometime in the upcoming weeks; I get 2 weeks of holidays after the next.
After much procrastinating, I took my first steps into learning PHP over the weekends. I’ve been previously building web applications on ASP.NET for about bit over a year. One thing that always struck me about picking up another programming language is the difficulty in locating just the right book which starts off and maintains an appropriate difficulty curve. A significant number of books and online tutorials tend to start at the very elementary level and come to a screeching halt before they get very far. I’ve a programming background so I don’t need all that introductory stuff to the addition of variables, why use a function and when to use a loop. If someone could point me to a good resource, that’ll be great.
At the same time, I also want to throw a question out to some of you that have extensive programming backgrounds. How do you go about picking up another language? Do you roughly scan through some tutorials, and then attempt to take a written program apart and understand it through tinkering with it (what I’m doing at the moment)? Or do you follow through a tutorial or book entirely, through the usual hello world and all that?
After 3 weeks into the new EQ2 expansion, Rise of Kunark, I’ve reached that same point of being capped at max (adventure) level until hopefully, the next expansion. I can’t help but think that there’s just something wrong with that.
Yes, I know there’s a ton of content out there that I’ve yet to explore; quests that I’ve not done, instances that I’ve not explored, geared that I have not even begun to dream of owning, and much more, but I’m rather lazy to get them done. No matter how much parallelism there is to advancement in an MMO, I still prefer the linear system whereby a character’s level is the prime indicator. Leveling has always been my greatest source of motivation.
I’ve often asked myself why this is so. Why would anyone submit themselves to become willing slaves of a grinding treadmill? Well, the reason is a simple. Earning exp and continuously leveling is a visible form of progression in character development. I don’t want to be questing for the sake of questing when I’m already capped. I want to quest and watch my exp bar go up, so at the end of the day when I log off, I can visually acknowledge all that I’ve accomplished.
At this point, I really wished that EQ2′s leveling is a slow grind. EQ2 is level centric in its nature. Whether a mob cons white or yellow to you can make quite a difference when fighting it, and levels also make a significant difference in PvP. However, when a level is easily acquired, it defeats the whole purpose of that level-centric system.
1% per every 3 hours in Lineage 2 at level 79 might be a bit pushing it, but having people hit level cap by the end of the first week of an expansion launching shouldn’t be the case either.