Not Gaming Over Health Reasons
I haven’t blogged in a while because I haven’t been gaming. Over the past several weeks I’ve had health concerns that were leaning toward a very scary place – again. Thankfully, after weeks of tests it doesn’t appear to be cancer. An outpatient biopsy this Friday will hopefully confirm that it’s just an unusually large hemangioma on my liver. They’re not a health risk and normally go undetected. Mine just happened to form in a spot and develop to a size where I was experiencing pain, discomfort and a persistent state of nausea - not fun.
I'm still dealing with the symptoms but the overwhelming panic and depression over it are gone. I feel much more in the “clear”. Even knowing it will have to be treated, it’s several orders of magnitude away from liver cancer. For people who spoke to me here and there, in game or email, sorry. It was just easier to say I was busy with work and stuff than explain when there was still so much uncertainty. Crossing my fingers for the biopsy results. The doctors feel confident so I do too!
Update 7/1: Biospy went fine. Had a decent 4th. Have consult for results on Friday 8th.
Update 7/8: BENIGN!!!!!! Dodged a bullet.
Hit Level 50 in Rift
I returned to actively playing Rift again last weekend. In two days I hit level 50 – FINALLY! I’m such a scrub. Most of the Casualties of War guild members have multiple 50s at this point. They’re such a great bunch. The night I hit level 50, they organized back-to-back Tier 1 dungeon runs to help me upgrade my gear. My accessories, staff and shoulders were all replaced. I cringe at using LFG tool to do some runs but I might have to in order to catch up. My one good experience was quickly followed by a bad one.
There is SO MUCH TO DO at level 50. To be honest, it feels a bit daunting. The quests for the various reputation/fame/faction/etc. are all over the place. While I appreciate spreading out the content will keep more hubs active when players hit max level, it makes is much harder for a new 50 or casual player to know where to go for what. I’d pay for an Azeroth Advisor add-on for Telera right about now.
Plus there's a World Event going on. There are new map features to help you see where things are happening but it's still too... what, not why. Sure I could just click every quest icon willy-nillly but that doesn't work for me. I'd prefer a way to figure out what's available en masse and identify what I would LIKE to do. Does that sound like an unusual request in a game? Probably, except that Rift end game is like a smorgasbord without a menu or common buffet area. Guess I'll have to spend some personal time with Google to figure out what's what.
I re-subscribe to EVE Online at least once a year to see what’s new and progress my skill training. However, I find that my stays are shorter each time. Incarna is what I’ve told myself I’m waiting for to get into it more and stay longer. I REALLY need an avatar with things to do outside of my ship. I’ve been hording certain types of items for years, just waiting to open a shop in a station or join forces with a small corporation. Before my last subscription lapsed I purchased and outfitted a Viator to do some courier work and the dream of some day couriering merchandise to the station where my shop is located.
Incarna appears to have arrived – well a part of the vision has arrived. I was thinking about re-subbing to check it out until I read about the actual features and all the hoopla that’s going on between CCP and the player-base over the direction of the game and the new cash shop. Leave it to EVE. When you build a real sandbox, the players can and will if incited, rightfully so or not, disrupt the game.
I Personally Care about the Cost of MT
Who cares what people pay for vanity items? Except that I’m not sure I like what it says about CCP selling items for that amount. Business - get it. There to make profit - understood. Regardless, I have my personal line at which I think the price of a virtual item is "fair" and too far above that line I've drawn feels like "ripping people off". That line will be different for everyone. For some players, it's anything greater than 0. Given that there is no true "too much" players will still react based on their value systems, some of whom may decide to pass on the game altogether as I did with Allods.
I can accept the $25 sparkle pony range. I didn’t buy one one in WOW but I did purchase two mounts and vanity items from EQ2X while on a gold subscription plan. The boxed set with different armor choices was around $30. The special backpack, which was also functional cost ~$20.
EXQ2 wasn't the first place I'd done MT. ROM got cash out of me to cover up the metal thong armor designers love to have females wear. I enjoyed the seasonal pets and gear in W101, all under $30. The most I've spent was a whooping $70 in ROM but that was the total cost of creating a COMPLETE crafting workshop. Every single workstation, in an environment that could be shared by our whole guild.
Clearly, I’m not opposed to MT. Gouging on the other hand bothers me, whatever the reason. I opted out of Allods over the $20 for a single additional slot in a bag!! I never looked back and won’t. I didn’t like what it said about the companies involved. Even if I don’t have to buy it, I can choose to opt out of the environment altogether. I love to play dress up. I’ll pay to play dress up. The line between pricey and gouging is very subjective and slippery. I hope for the EVE’s sake that CCP doesn’t lean too heavily on the side where many players will feel it's gouging. If added to the other growing list of complaints, it may be the tipping point for some of their loyal customers.
I think I’ll pass the drama by. I’ve have more than I can figure out what to do and where to do it in Rift. I want walking in stations anyway. Yeah, I get that it’s a spaceship game. I’ve gotten that on and off since it was released but I still need stuff to do with a body that’s more than the STO captain’s ship quarters. No doubt doing it is hard or we’d have had it by now. Unfortunately, that’s probably the only thing that will get me to re-sub and invest more time in EVE.
P.S. - added 6/30/11 4/16 PM EST
This situation reminds me of "new coke" fiasco. At the time, I was working for one of the PR firms that managed that brand. Shortly after new formula started hitting the streets, it was like hell boiled over twice! We kept wondering which heads would roll, where and when. I thought the lead PR liason was going to have a coronary. This was NO MARKETING PLOY. I was there - fresh out of college but there working for a VP. In the end, the Coke brand was salvaged and went on to greater heights. It's not too late for CCP to do the same.