*blows the dust off the blog*
but why? Why is this an actual word?
First some background, I’m a very mixed race person with roots starting in the Caribbean. After that, they go all over the place covering a spot in Western Africa and various Asian and European countries. I was a nerd before it was even cool to be one, messing around at the age of 7 on an IBM PS/1 and surfing the web on a 1400 baud modem. (I miss that sound it would make. That’s the sound of stuff happening.)
Nerds as a community and culture has always been very inclusive. Most of the people I became friends with online had no idea what I was for a very long time and I had no idea what they were either. We were good at playing whatever game it was and that’s all that mattered. When we finally shared pics of ourselves, it was like “ok, cool.” and we went back to our fun.
I saw this word pop up in the last year or two and I face-palmed. Anyone can be a nerd. Weird Al Yankovic’s song was titled “White and Nerdy” not “Wherdy”. What is so special about being a black nerd? I ask this because I see people writing complaints online about casual racism in the nerd community. By highlighting yourself as some kind of special nerd, you’re basically segregating yourself and inviting people to be racist. You yourself are also being racist by not hanging around other nerds because they’re not white or otherwise not black.
I can’t say much for those who happen to be nerds and racist. That’s just how things are. It’s not a problem in nerd culture. It’s just a problem in our culture in general. So, to all the blerds out there, stop complaining and just hang out with people of similar interests and enjoy their company already. And please for the love of all that is good and nerdy, drop that awful divisive word.
I’ve been accused of a great many things on the EQ2 forums, including being a shill for SOE, but this takes the cake. I was apparently once in cahoots with SOE in order to get the server discovery on a recipe book in the game, while hindering all crafters and preventing them from getting it for 2 whole weeks. Here is said post and my response. I just had to frame that shit.
Edit: Good thing I did. An overzealous mod modded me for political discussion in the forums! 😀
I wasn’t sure what to expect this year for EQ2’s latest expansion. Our major story arc for Age’s End finally ended in a recent update. SOE Live had its keynotes yesterday, revealing the plans for the coming year. What’s coming next has me interested and excited. While I’m looking forward to the journey to 100 and new abilities and stuff, it’s the zones that really have my attention and bring up a lot of nostalgia from EQ1. For the 10th anniversary, we’re taking a journey through multiple expansions from the EQ1 universe, including Luclin (Ssra temple) and Ykesha (pirates, ahoy). The overland zones for this expansion are essentially making up the Ocean of Tears, which is especially memorable in my past life, as it were. More on that in a sec. I also find it cool that we’re returning to where everything used to start for us on the Isle of Refuge.
In my early days, I had many exciting adventures as I entered new zones. My first journey through the aptly-named Ocean of Tears was no exception. I had just leveled high enough to venture from Neriak to Freeport with no problems. I witnessed my friends take down Sir Lucan D’Lere for the paladin epic. I got a few nice pieces of gear from them after the battle was done and I was directed to the docks, where I would make my first journey from Antonica to Faydwer. The boat stopped at an island populated by wood elves. I knew they were supposed to be hostile, but from the boat, they conned dark red, but indifferent. I thought, “okay, I’ll just hop off and see what’s up here.” This is where I found out about one of those little glitches in the game, as the wood elves were actually scowling and one of them started wailing on me. In a panic, I ran back on the boat, somehow expecting to get away. I ended up dead on the boat. That was the last I saw of that body and all that was on it. I did try to swim back to the spot where it should have dropped off the boat at the zone line, but I ended up not finding it and zoning myself into Butcherblock mountains, where I then found dwarf guards, who gave chase and eventually caught up with me. Needless to say, I was pretty devastated over having lost all the cool stuff I was given, but it wasn’t long before I was laughing and joking about it, as I would with many other comedic deaths that would ensue.
I can’t believe it’s now been 13 years since that happened. I’m getting old. :p
A few people that know me through gaming know what this is. It’s been my retired status with SOE games. It started with me deleting my epic 1.0 magician back when I first left EQ1. This character would be lost forever in the first server merge that occurred over my first break. Eventually, I returned and had some wonderful friends catch me up again. Since then, I would adopt the policy of never deleting anything or giving away too many possessions. At this point, you can tell where I’m going with this. It’s different this time, though there are some familiar elements to it. My poor old system can’t really run the new game I thought I would play (Landmark).
As is usually the case when I leave one place or another, I occasionally get struck with a bit of curiosity with what’s going on after some time has passed. Around the 28th of March, I decided to peek at the EQ2 forums. Lo and behold, I have two messages in my inbox from a SOE employee. On February 28th, barely a few days after I left and before I made my last post, I started getting invites to SOE’s Community Council. I had a good laugh over this and eventually accepted their invite. It’s something I’ve been interested in doing (though I didn’t know it even existed) and I guess I’ve put together enough reasonably expressed ideas and opinions to be considered. So, here I am again, slowly getting back into the same routine with alt hopping for tradeskill goodies and working on one toon or another. They even put in a patch that makes my summoners’ lives easier with improved taunt/detaunt abilities for everyone (including pets).
So, here’s the latest:
I’ve pretty much lost any remaining interest in EQ2. EQN Landmark being on the horizon is one reason. As it was, I pretty much played on my own. With the thought of better building tools in my future, I lost any motivation to try and finish a building project I started in August. It was basically going to be a giant tinkered dragon, similar to one found in EQ1. The timing of the project was perfect, as there was this big storyline going on with dragons invading Norrath. I got as far as the main body and wings, but something wasn’t quite right about it. My free time has been split up among a few things, including other games like DOTA 2 and activities like getting myself in shape.
DOTA’s had its ups and downs. I was having a lot of fun with that until about 2 weeks ago. Just as I was really starting to improve my gameplay and rack up some nice wins, I started getting this terrible lag problem which essentially makes the game unplayable and a challenge to win if you’re on the same side as me. I got yelled at a few times for being “AFK” or otherwise standing around in the middle of fights. So, with no solution in sight, I’ve given that up indefinitely.
I made my way back to the racing world, getting back on Motorstorm Apocalypse and picking up Need For Speed: Most Wanted. PSN has it (and other NFS titles) on sale now. I never had much interest in the series, but this caught my attention since Criterion developed it and I had a blast on Burnout Paradise.
Finally, a friend told me about a new FPS game that will be completely free. Renegade-X is a reboot of the 2002 classic, Command & Conquer Renegade. EA gave the rights to Totem Arts on the condition that they would make no money from it, so free actually means free this time. 😉 It looks to be a good deal of fun.
I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday season and wish all a happy new year. This time of year gets to be a bit busy for me. I don’t often have much time for gaming, unless I get sick (as I recently did :p). What time I do have, I tend to spend in EQ2 with their Frostfelll activities going on for most of December and a week into January.
I actually found the time to assemble something of a project. On the forums, people were posting pics of their Frostfell trees. One particular post wasn’t of a tree, but more of a pyramid shaped decoration. This inspired me to take things in a different direction and create something in the style of a tree made with my favorite Tinkerfest materials. The end result was something of a tower with some actual trees on it.
My fascination with all things mechanical didn’t end there. In the offline realm, I scored a cool gift from Santa that should come as no surprise to anyone that’s read this blog or is the least bit aware of my gaming habits and design tendencies.
It’s a Life -Phorm by Lethal Protection. Sometimes a tripod can be too cumbersome to carry around or three legs just aren’t enough. I’ve been in a number of situations where tripods aren’t even allowed, but I might get away with something like this.
My computer is in no shape to handle the game yet, but I finally managed to actually load up Star Citizen to have a brief look at my Freelancer ship in my Business Hangar. It runs at a whopping 6 FPS, but I have plenty of time before the final release happens in 2015.
If you’re curious about what it looks like in more detail, here’s a good video tour.
EQ2’s Free-to-play system went live about 2 years ago. It’s undergone a few changes here and there, but has generally been one of the most lenient systems around with one exception. The biggest complaints people have made about getting back to EQ2 was the fact that any old gear would have to be unlocked for a fee of 40SC per piece or they were essentially naked. With a potential of 22 slots to unlock, this meant it cost up to 8.80 to resume play. That’s already half the cost of subscribing for a month. This cost multiplied substantially when you factor in any alts people might want to play and any fashionistas that had several appearance outfits that might need to be unlocked. (I sorta had this problem with my main. Thankfully, he mainly wears robes and cloaks, so unlocking those wasn’t as big a deal.) This is all before you decided whether or not you were going to get caught up on the expansions.
As of October 1st, that restriction is gone. Hopefully, it’s not too little too late for getting people back into the game. Of course, the question for a lot of people now is “why subscribe?”, as that was a key difference between the two main levels of subscription. There are still plenty of other reasons, but perhaps they need to look at adding some more perks to the gold level subscription. They’re adding a 15% bonus to dropped coin and 10% to ground mount speed. I think they should consider adding an xp bonus along with that.
EQ2 Producer Holly Longdale recently released some interesting news about the heroic characters, slated for release in the very near future. They will essentially start out as or get upgraded to a fully geared character at level 85 that you can play for free until level 86. After that point, it costs 3500 SC to unlock that character and continue on your way to level cap (currently 95) or you can try another until you find one you like. Before anyone gets sticker shock, it’s important to note that existing accounts will get to make or upgrade one character in this manner for free between October 1st and 15th. A more detailed FAQ is also available.
At the moment, I have no plans of creating any new characters, so I think I’ll just upgrade a character that can be tough to solo up, like my coercer.
A few days ago, I finished the storyline in Saints Row IV. As I write this I still have a few more activities to complete to get 100% before I move on to hardcore difficulty. The game is crazier than I expected and definitely more fun than the last. The new and varied activities provide a nice fun challenge, where past activities were more of an annoyance (see: Escort). I like how the more you progress through the game, the easier they get. The story was like one big nostalgic journey with all the movie and video game references they packed in.
Having the story take place in a Matrix-like simulation presented a nice bit of freedom and convenience. You’re given super powers like sprinting and jumping which can make travel very easy. If you prefer driving, any car you want is easily stored in a phone menu after you jack it. The one drawback to this is everything is under the same listing in the order you obtain it. Some better sorting would have been nice. My only other minor gripe is the fact that you can’t turn off abilities like super sprint and jump. It may sound silly, but it would be nice to have that challenge. These abilities do get disabled in various parts of the storyline, but it’s never something you can do outside of missions. My favorite feature to come from this story setting is the radio not being bound to vehicles. You can listen to your favorite station just about anywhere, even in some of the activities.
It was nice to see a change to the way health and damage were handled. You can’t just sit behind cover and recover health. You have to get actual health pickups from kills to restore health. In the last game, you had upgrades available which essentially made you invincible, unless you were in a vehicle as it blew up. Things became a little boring when you reached that point. That’s mostly gone except for there being no fall damage. Explosions eventually won’t ragdoll you and fire damage can be turned off.
The super powers are a lot of fun and not terribly complicated. You have a few basic abilities to mix in with your gun play, including an elemental blast, a super stomp, telekinesis and an aura effect. It was definitely the most enjoyable experience I’ve had with that kind of action. Of course, a lot of that action has been in MMO form, which has been overly complicated and rigid.
It’s a shame this is the last game of the series, but they’ve certainly gone out with a bang. I’m looking forward to the DLC missions, especially Enter the Dominatrix, which is what this whole game was spawned from.