• MMO/Gaming

    Rift: the Bermuda Triangle of Queues

    First: I had a wonderful weekend playing Rift. My cleric is 24, my rogue Ranger/MM is 15, and I reserved all my favourite names. Happeh bunneh time.

    Second: the only way that I was able to play this weekend was basically to not log out. Since I play with a G15 keyboard, it’s a simple matter to create a macro that jumps, waits several minutes, then presses the “s” key, then waits a while…well, you get it. Queues on Blightweald have been exceeding eight hours at peak time, and logging out means that you probably won’t be able to play that night.

    I might point out that it is now Monday, and my PC at home is shut down. I won’t be able to play those characters all week. I actually did consider leaving my character logged in…but decided that the risk of fire wasn’t worth it. The house was built in 1900, and still has the gaslight fixtures on the wall in the two computer rooms. God knows when the wiring was done. Fifties? Sixties? The fact that the cretin who wired the hallway ran a bunch of wires up the wall (without routing out a channel in the brick for them), culminating in a truly ugly knot of wiring at the ceiling, with the whole thing papered over as if no one will notice, doesn’t give me confidence in the safety of our electrical wiring. And so, with a heavy heart, I logged out last night knowing that it was for a week. Bugger.

    Trion is incurring so much ill will from the server queues, especially since they keep encouraging people to roll on the new servers that they are rolling out. Leave all the work that I’ve put in on the first characters, leave the guild and my friends? This is an option?

    I don’t understand why they don’t just offer free server transfers for the headstart, so the servers can sort themselves out a bit. Populations would equalise, and people would stop raging on the forums. Hell, I might vent a little nerdrage tonight, just to work off some steam. They deserve it. It’s not as though they don’t have the capability of transferring characters – pretty much every MMO offers this as a paid service at some point, so they had to have built in the capability of processing those changes. Why not do it now, and keep your fans, well, fans?

    I know that I’ll be jonesing like crazy tonight, so I am going to try to get in on Argent, which would have been my first choice for a server anyway. On the first day I reserved my name, and if the queue isn’t too bad there, I might start levelling her.

    Funny story that Phil is going to hate me for telling: at one point yesterday afternoon they made an announcement about a new English PvE server, and Phil hopped over to reserve a name…you know, just in case. And then he realised that he had just put himself in the queue for Blightweald…which was over three hours long. He finally made it back in, about two minutes before they brought all the EU servers down. HAHAHAHA…sorry babe, you knew I had to tell that one. :)

  • MMO/Gaming,  Personal

    Rift Plans

    We’re going to be rolling on Blightweald, since Icewatch has been taken over by Russian guilds. I’m going to roll a sneaky alt or two on Argent, because I love RP servers and their communities. And that is basically the plan. Really excited about this weekend…so nice to have something to anticipate again, without that “I’ve played this for five years” ennui.

    Personal note that won’t mean anything to anyone outside of family: I’m sending all positive wishes, best thoughts and love to my father today, who this morning starts his first round of chemo, the really nasty stuff. The first time will take eight hours. He is not only the backbone of ourĀ  whole family, he is my personal role model. When I think about being strong, independent, and honest I think of my father. If you could see his study you would understand: all of the photos, the framed newspaperarticles, his awards, his Thousand Points of Light plaque for his service to the community while he was with the sheriff’s department. I am honored to have known him, and very lucky to have had him as a father.

  • MMO/Gaming

    Great Weekend

    Really looking forward to this weekend…good friends to hang out with, lots of gaming and some nice food planned. Good times.

    Along with everyone else, I am totally geeking out over the Rift headstart. I refreshed the Rift facebook page …a few times waiting for the notice about the download client and the server list. And then I went to bed…I’m not THAT sad! The client downloaded today, food will be acquired today and tomorrow, and we’ll be ready.

    Houseparty at my house…and you’re invited. :)

  • MMO/Gaming

    Decisions, decisions…

    The Rift open beta is over, and head start is this week. Finally! The problem is that I can’t decide what role/class I’m going to play.

    The first character that I’d rolled was a Cleric. I stumbled into an initial Sentinel/Purifier build just because I wanted to heal and dps, and I basically suck at any kind of melee dps. This gave me a solid levelling build where I could cast offensive spells as well and heal and shield, without switching specs. Not the highest DPS by any means, and more of a single-target healer, but fun in Rifts and fine for five-man instances. Lots of survivability. I later addedn a second role using Warden as a main soul for healing, but I didn’t get a chance to try it on any runs.

    For the open beta, I tried a Ranger/Marksman/Blade Dancer build, and totally fell in love. Very close to a hunter in Warcraft, with some solid melee combat moves if the pet dies and I have to tank (I lovelovelove the Blade Dancer moves – it’s a very graceful slice-and-dice animation). Absolutely love her.

    I’ll probably go with Cleric, just so I can be more useful in groups. She won’t level as fast as the Rogue, but I’ll be able to go into instances as a healer rather than DPS. On the other hand, I had so damn much fun on the Rogue…whatever will I choose? Decisions, decisions…

  • MMO/Gaming

    Ennui, Shadow Slayer

    Leather-wearing classes in Rift have suffered from really poor armor designs, at lower levels consisting of the famous Brown Sack dress. But this…this looks like proper hunter/rogue gear. And dyed dark grey (SO worth the expense!) it almost looks black. That is what I’ve wanted for five years in Wow…for Kitsune to be dressed in tight black or brown leather. Not orange and purple spiky crap, not walking around with a murloc on my head. Proper sexy leather gear.

    Yum…give me hunter/dominatrix gear any day.

  • MMO/Gaming

    no longer jonesing

    …as I was able to get my gaming fix last night. :) Nerdrant /ragequit moment over. Blocking the 6000-range ports to force it to move to port 80 (via the Trend Micro firewall) did work. Just in time, too, as they supposedly patched it this morning. lol. Ah well – hopefully it will be fixed tonight for everyone. There were suggestions on the forums that this issue was due to their in-game Twitter integration – I really hope that was not the case. as it would be incredibly ill-considered to get so much bad press during the final Open Beta period because you want your players to more easily boost your company profile via social media.

    I’m having trouble deciding on what main class or role I want to play. I’d decided totally on Cleric, but every man and his dog are playing one. I do think they’re the most survivable, fun and flexible role in the game. Always a hunter fan, though, I did fall in love with my Ranger/MM. They do a lot of damage and they still have some good survivability, even though I do keep wanting to hit the “feign death” key. :D Last night I started an Elementalist/Pyromancer (Elementalist mainly just for the pet) and she was a blast…so I’m very conflicted.

    We’re still going back and forth about what to do about a guild. I’d signed up on the forums of one which sounded good, but they’re both very large, and have a large US contingent which makes it difficult to schedule guild activities. On the last beta they held a guild rift run and naked fountain-dancing silliness evening, which sounded great but it ended at 3:00 am UK time – too late for me. Should we start a guild? It’s a lot of scheduling, peacemaking and trouble. Advertise as a group for a guild? Possibly. The type-A player in me wants that decision made prior to launch, it eats at me. I know that’s silly, but I can’t help stressing about these things. The people that you play with are essential to the game experience, at least for me.

    So glad to be playing something that I enjoy once more…being burned out on pretty much everything that I used to play made me a sad gamer.

  • MMO/Gaming

    Bad Trion, Very Bad

    Still no resolution from Trion on the port range issue, and no sign of them backing down and just reversing the stupid decision to use this range. I suppose that, as an American company, they share the insularity with the rest of the US that everyone outside the States doesn’t really matter. I mean, we know people exist outside the US, in a very vague, theoretical way…kind of like you know there are native tribesmen out there because you saw them on the Discovery Channel once. But you wouldn’t take them into consideration when making business decisions.

    Although this specific issue is a Trion screwup, we have been dissatisfied with BT off and on for quite a while. The traffic shaping/port throttling issues are infuriating. I mean, to be completely honest we do do some downloading, and it irks to not be able to do it during the nights or weekends. And there is the issue of game patching quite often being seen as P2P activity (this has affected our ability to patch Warcraft over the years). So, I’m open to switching ISPs, but the week to two weeks that it would take is impossible. Phil freelances from home, for one thing, and I do web work. There is also the issue of being cut off from all gaming for a long period of time…hell, I start jonesing during visits home to my family, let alone when I am sitting at home with nothing to do! Seriously, how long does it take them to flip a switch and cancel your account?

    Fie on you. Pah and fie. A pox on your house, etc., etc.

    /grump

    EDIT:

    We’ve got a possible work-around that we’re going to try tonight. Since they are redirecting anyone who is blocked on the 6000 range ports to Port 80, which doesn’t fix the BT problem (you’re not blocked, it’s just throttled down to nothing)…theoretically if we blcok those ports ourselves on the software firewall, then it should go ahead and try Port 80, allowing us to play. Not sure if that will help anyone else stuck between Rift and a BT place, but I thought it was worth putting out there.

  • MMO/Gaming

    Tsk, tsk, Trion…

    Trion still haven’t reversed the port change that blocked out a lot of people in the UK, the EU, and at universities…and now they just took the forums down for “maintenance”. Tch, why is it so hard to just communicate with your customers? People tend to be relatively nice if you just talk to them.