Music: The Mercy Seat, Nick Cave.
Game: World of Warcraft, CoD2, EVE Online
Book: The Hacker Crackdown, Bruce Sterling.
OK…yesterday was what I’d call a bad gaming day.
Now, let me caveat this by saying that even a bad day of gaming is better than a great day at work…just to put it all in perspective…and it’s not as if I played games all day. I did spend the better part of my day at work, the old 9-6 thing…but I had been looking forward to get all up in some gaming goodness last night, and so I did.
My gaming day started about 7:30pm and I hopped on EVE. EVE Online is basically a very beautiful space commerce simulator, with all the implications of that: Mining, Manufacturing, Corporations, Taxes, and of course, Illegal commerce and Pirates. It’s definitely not for a beginning gamer. The learning curve isn’t so much steep as perpendicular to the ground. You aren’t about to jump in and start killing things and making loads of cash the way you do in World of Warcraft. In short, if you aren’t willing to put in the time to learn the basics, the game will make you pay for it. Forget the subtleties involved in all of it…I’m talking just being able to get your ship from place to place.
Anyway, I got online, met up with Andy and Jeho, and got into my destroyer…the one I’d just purchased to replace the one that managed to get destroyed when I wasn’t paying attention. (I’m not sure what possessed me to go fix lunch while I was mining ore, but I did, and came back to a happy little egg floating where my ship used to be. So consider that a million credit lesson. Which just about wiped out whatever little profit I’d been able to scrape up over the last week or so.
So I got into my destroyer, and escorted Andy in his Industrial Barge thing to our new home…a particularly nasty, dangerous zone chock full of pirates and tasty ore. I didn’t have much time, as I was supposed to be meeting up with the gang of five to run Scholomance. So Andy and I decided to kit out with weaponry and go out and sample the local pirate populace. We hop into an asteroid belt, he engages, having the better ship and weaponry. The five pirates there basically pounce on Andy, forcing him to withdraw…but one pirate was badly wounded, and I was already engaged. So I switched power to my shields, and kept blasting…my shields weakening, I figured I actually had a few seconds…and the wounded pirate was far worse off than I was. And then my shields gave way…my armor taking a beating, but it was holding….barely.
Then, from nowhere, two missiles come from the pirates, blasting my armor to metal vapor, and exposing the hull in a bad way. I set up the warp to get out of there as Andy had just seconds before, but a second before I was able to engage (freakin’ SLOW warp engine I have…) another missile rapped my hull, and I’m staring at a small floating egg again. Ship’s freakiin a DAY old, and I’ve already vaporized it. Damn.
Andy’s asking how bad the damage was, and I’m just too stunned/pissed to say anything…looking at my game mail from my insurance company notifying me on how sorry they are to hear of the destruction to my ship.
He said “How badly are you damaged?” I reply “All the way…like gone.” We laugh.
I’ve managed to lose two destroyers in as many days. These are not cheap ships…and we ARE trying to save up to start a corp, and get Andy and myself and the rest of the guys decent ships and armament, and really get me started manufacturing.
I’ve already purchased the chassis I need for my THIRD fricken destroyer…fortunately, the insurance covered the cost of THAT, but cargo holds? Weaponry? Shields? Nope. But that’s really OK, you see, because I’ve learned my lesson this time. I am leaving the fighting to Andy, who is far, far more suited to such things, and I will stick to manufacturing and mining…the things I really enjoy doing. And hopefully, I won’t lose any more ships due to my inability to properly judge combat conditions.
So…having purchased the chassis, I left EVE to go play World of Warcraft.
Now, Thorn has been trying for MONTHS to complete this Shaman quest. It gets him a pretty tasty piece of headgear…even if it makes him look like Batman. So we’re running Scholomance 5-man. If you’re a WoW geek, you know that Scholomance, while easier than it was about 6 months ago, isn’t exactly a cakewalk. It’s pretty unforgiving. Screw up, and you’re pushing up the daisies. But this particular quest/event is a cast-iron, no kidding, no nonsense, zero fault tolerance bitch.
We flew through the opening, crushed opposition, moved pretty well, although we had a bizarre wipe when Jeho’s pet decided to attack something through a floor, and killed us all. After recovering from that, we made pretty short work of Rattlegore and his merry band of really tough skeletons with huge sweeping blades on their arms. Then came time for the event.
Due to space constraints, Jeho was somewhat limited in his ability to do damage. It wasn’t his fault…the tactics we employed required us to stay tight against a wall, and not move too much…which, as a hunter, is pretty much telling you stand there and get beaten on. In any case, we got through several waves of floating glowing thingies…but in the end, they simply overwhelmed us, and we got crushed. We went back in to see if we could get something else accomplished, but the respawns started happening. So I suggested we do it again. Jeho couldn’t stay, so he took off, and Doc joined us.
Again, we did the SAME EXACT content again (almost humorously getting the same exact drops…), and fought our way down through Rattlegore, things going pretty well…although it was getting way late, and we were rushing a bit due to impatience with the content.
We fly past the part at which we wiped last time. We get to a pull where both Thorn and I die…both our rezzers. You can’t run back, as the gates lock once the event starts, and so Thorn trips his reincarnate (him being a shaman), and raises me. A wander gets too close to us as we’re mana and healing up, and even before I can throw a shield or something, I’m dead. Primary healer dead, jumped by critters, the party puts up a good fight, but ends up wiping. Thorn, having lost his reincarnate, pretty much ends the event.
So I suggest we go back in, maybe kill another boss, walk out of the night with a nice piece of loot for someone. Folks agree, we head back in, the instance is quirked…I can’t drink or eat…says I’m in combat. Well, I know what combat is, and I’m not in it. Don’t give it much thought, we head down to where we were, just ahead of the respawns. We see a Crypt Keeper, we kill it, and just as it falls, the monsters who wiped the party, including the boss Thorn needs for his quest, show up and start pounding on us, killing us in seconds. We were completely flatfooted…and shocked. We could kill him still, maybe pull victory from this thing.
We run back from the graveyard, same problem with drinking, now we know why…the boss still has us on his aggro list! The entry starts spawning, we start killing with serious speed. We’re fighting against the respawn…trying to get in front of the wave. We break through the spawn wall, get to where we were, boss is nowhere to be seen. We start killing other things, and sure enough, the boss charges in, and kills us all again.
We run back, but the entrance has repopped. We kill something, the boss charges through the room ahead, and brings EVERYTHING that’s repopped ahead of us. There had to have been 30 things there…more. We run, just about everyone except me dies…Thorn dying to get a picture of the madness.
Since it was about 2am at that point, we called it.
So, on the night, more death than I care to admit, no loot to speak of, and we failed in our attempt this time.
We’ll get ’em another night, no doubt.
But last night? Eesh.
There’s always tonight, right?