Friday, December 12, 2014

Airship Amenity Deed

No longer can I say, "I don't know anyone who has pulled one of the new, airship amenity deeds from a chest or end reward."  Because I did.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Deciphering (Some) DDO Sound Cues

Have you ever noticed, while you're running a quest, a 'roaring', 'breaking', or 'ka-thunk'-ing sound?  I hear them all the time.  I've asked my running buddies, but either they didn't know or they didn't hear them (or they just didn't want to tell me - I suppose that's always a possibility - hehehe).  Well, I finally figured it out the other day.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Winter Es-Q-Pades

Yes, I do know that it is technically still autumn.  But that fact doesn't stop STO from starting their winter event.  And just like their summer event, I will be spending much of my time at Q's Winter Wonderland.  Metaphorically speaking, that is.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Guild Milestone

Probably the first, real, guild milestone to reach is guild level 10.  Why?  Because this is when you can buy your first* airship - without using astral shards.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

40th Anniversary Cards Accepted Here

With Crunch Time upon us, and me still looking to fill-out my image galleries on several all servers, if any of you would like to "donate to the cause" (so to speak), here is which cards I am looking for, and to whom you can send them, via the in-game mail system.  {By golly, I do believe that sentence needs even more commas in it...}

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Crunch Time

If you, like me, have been saving your DDO's 8th/D&D's 40th Anniversary Card Collection cards, then you're now under a timer to crunch them or "forever" have them un-crunched.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Extremely Quick and Time-Limited Post

OK, so, that most dreaded of 4-letter words (W-O-R-K) has once again been keeping me rather busy.  I have a few posts in mind, brewing and simmering in my head, but this is not one of them.

No, this is just a very quick post to let anyone who cares (and reads my blog, of course) that is currently having their fall sales.  AND that right now, for the next 9 hours (approx.), one of them is their complete D&D bundle at 80% off (which is $21.10 US).

Time of this post:  20:26 PST (04:27 UTC), Nov. 12th, 2014 (Nov.13, 2014).


EDIT:  Too late for this sale, but there will be others...oh, yes - there will be others...

Friday, October 31, 2014

Anyone Can Play A Fighter

If you were going to suggest a class for a first-time player of DDO, which class would it be?

In my book, the best first-timer class is the fighter*.  Forget the various build possibilities (like Two-Handed Fighting [THF], Two Weapon Fighting [TWF], 'Sword & Board' [S&B], tank, etc.).  Forget all the extra feats.  Forget the limited number of skills.  Forget all of that.  At its core, the fighter is easy to play.  I mean, what's easier than jumping into the middle of a, um, mob of mobs and just swinging?

And when you're first learning the mechanics of any game, "easier is better".

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Fun and Potentially Annoying

Did you know that in LotRO Player-Characters (PCs) can play music?  In the game?  That can be heard by other PCs?  Yep.  All PCs can, by default, play lute and clarinet.  Minstrels can play all instruments and can also teach other instruments to non-minstrel PCs.  They can also make "manuals" that can be read by PCs to 'learn' other instruments, as well.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Not all AI is Created Equal

As a programmer*, I know how important it is to re-use working code.  Re-inventing the virtual wheel (so to speak) each time you need a wheel-like routine is silly.  So, one would think that all hirelings - of a given class, at least - would be using the same code and, therefore, would act "the same".

Except, they don't.

Monday, October 13, 2014

STO Dilemma

I finally made it to rank 4 of the "diplomatic" DOFF ("Duty Officer") missions, which means I can now get one (and only one?) Orion* (female) BOFF ("Bridge Officer").  But which?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Frustration, Guild Style

Loot or guild renown?  That decision is easy...when you aren't given a choice.

Geoff Hanna says he has the worst loot luck...but then he turns around and rolls (2) "jackpots" - in a row, mind you - with the daily dice.  Me?  I got nothin'...'specially on Argonnessen.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

LotRO: Turbine's Other* MMORPG

Did you know that DDO and LotRO are related?  And, no, I don't mean because they are both produced by Turbine.

Most of the original 'lore' of D&D can be directly traced back to the works by J.R.R. Tolkien and his stories of "Middle-Earth".  Elves, Dwarves, Halflings (Hobbits), Orcs, Goblins, Trolls, Mithril...the list goes on.  Notably, for whatever reason, "Ents" became "Treants" - I think I heard there was a threat of a lawsuit, which wouldn't surprise me, but that could just be rumor.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Supporting Turbine's Customer Support

It's easy to be negative.  And a lot of people are - just go check out pretty much ANY game fora (sorry, "forums") and you'll see quite a bit of negativity.  I, myself, have had some posts that many would consider 'negative'.  Even I have been known to vehemently disagree with certain game mechanics (I'm looking square at you "AP spent in tree"...).  But at the same time, though I disagree with some aspects and what, at times, feels like arbitrary decisions, I still roll with it (or at least I try to) - it is what it is.  If our complaining makes any difference, that's the exception and not the rule, so just be pleasantly surprised when it happens.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

To Err is Human really screw something up takes a computer.

Ah, technology.  Nothing is so wonderful, nor so frustrating, at times.  I don't remember where I first read the adage of my title/first line, but I have used it ever since, because it's true.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Better, Worse, or Just Different?

WARNING:  Lengthy post ahead...

{In my best "ring announcer" voice:} LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!  TONIGHT'S MATCH-UP:




*Cough* Excuse me.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Goodbye, Mabar - We Hardly Knew Ya

According to this post, Mabar is gone for good, never to return again - it is "being scrapped".

*Sigh*  Bummer.  I like Mabar.  Um..."liked".  Although, I must say that I preferred the original version to the latest incarnation.  The separate level-ranged instances were OK; it allowed my lower level toons to fight higher level mobs to see how well they fared rather than just vanquishing the "level appropriate"spawns.  But mostly I didn't like the addition of the Shadar-Kai.  I mean, we "just" 'discovered' them over in Wheloon, yet somehow they've managed to find a way to Eberron in time for Mabar?  I'm not one who (usually) cares about lore, but that just felt wrong, to me.

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Heart Rejoices; The Heart Grieves

From the Lamannia release notes:

"Crystal Cove:  Euphonia's Barter Box now has recipes to exchange one type of Doubloon for another. The exchange is SEVEN to one in any direction." (Emphasis added.)

The heart rejoices!  Granted, the exchange rate is more than 2x other, similar exchange rates are (look around - most exchange rates are 3:1), but finally!  We have a doubloon exchange system!  I have on more than one occasion stated that this is sorely needed.  Now, I can finally exchange my (up to this point) ever-increasing piles of gold doubloons.  Huzzah!


Saturday, August 30, 2014


So I was spending a lot of time today consolidating all my old hard drives* onto my new, portable 1 TB hard drive.  One of them happens to be my old Windows 98SE local gaming network** hard drives.  One of the games we like to play was "Warcraft" - specifically, it was "Warcraft II - BNE" (that's "Battle.Net Edition").

It had, what was at the time at least (so far as I know), a rather...unique utility.  It allowed you to substitute most (all?) of the pre-made sound files in the game with (just about) any WAV file you wanted.  There were specific triggers associated with the various sound files - spawning units, moving units, attacking units, and of course - dying units.  Each and every type of unit in the game had its own set of triggers/sound files, so you could select which unit/trigger you wanted to change.  I think we only changed one...

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Is There Anything Worse

...than unsorted lists.  Of course there are, but unsorted lists (including, if not especially, multi-column "lists", aka "tables") are one of my (many?) pet peeves (maybe it's the engineer in me [*burp* - 'scuse me...], but unsorted lists just grind my gears [pun intended].  And what does one feed a pet peeve anyway?  "Peeve Chow"?).  How hard is it to sort - or at least allow to be sorted - a list (in this post "list" also refers to "tables")?  And yet, it seems that unsorted lists are on the rise.  Are today's coders just lazy?  Did no one ever bother to teach them about sorting functions?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


{For clarification, it is not I who is backpedaling.}

So once again that most dreaded of all 4-letter words (W-O-R-K) has kept me else-wise busy and unable to post.  Well, OK, not entirely "unable", but it still has been keeping me quite busy.  Which is, of course, on the one hand, good - seeing as how I am not independently wealthy - but on the other hand...not so much as it interferes with my "free" time.  But I digress...

Friday, July 25, 2014

How to Succeed in the DDO AH (Without Really Trying)

Three words:  Don't Be Greedy.

It is pretty much that simple.  I would also suggest you remember who you're selling to; that is, if you're trying to sell lowbie stuff, then sell it at lowbie prices.

It is actually relatively easy to acquire plat in DDO.  You can, of course, just sell all the "vendor trash" to vendors at approx. 1/10 the Base Value (BV) price (assuming little to no haggle skills).  This has the advantage of being able to "buy back" items (for a limited time), if you made a mistake in selling them.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Clarification and Apology

I considered not actually posting my last post.  As I was re-reading it prior to publishing, I thought that it was possible that it could be taken the wrong way.  Turns out, I was right.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

What, Exactly, Did You Expect?

I am not the greatest gamer in the world.  Never claimed to be and frankly, I don't need to be.  PvP?  Fageddaboudit.  I have always preferred PvE; mainly because I know that I am not the greatest player and usually end up "dead" quite quickly (there are exceptions, of course, like when I used to play Delta Force 2 online and played sniper with the Barrett Light 50-cal rifle...).  However, I would like to think that I am at least competent, once I get the basic controls down.

Friday, July 11, 2014

SOG (Save Our Games)

I have been rummaging through my collection of old PC games over the past several months (or so).  I have quite a few; some that I've NEVER even installed, let alone played.  Ever.  But what if I want to?  You cannot (unfortunately) simply slap-in an old "Pre-Windows 2000" game and install it on a modern operating system (OS).  Go ahead - try.  Some "might" install, but most will not because you're version of Windows* is something completely different than what the game is expecting.  Oh sure, there are some work-a-rounds that might actually let you install some of the games, but then try and run them.  Not only are newer OSs an issue, but so are newer video cards and drivers.  Even though your latest and greatest video card is miles higher than the minimum requirements of the game, more often than not, it pukes.  Or at the very least, the game looks worse than it did running on your old PC.  Some of the older driver technology is simply no longer supported and few (if any) video card manufacturers bother to provide backwards compatible drivers for their newer hardware (which is a shame, really).

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Less Than One Year

Did you know that there are (currently) three, officially licensed, D&D multi-player online games?  All of them free-to-play.  The first, oldest, and best (IMO) is DDO.  The second is Neverwinter (NWO), and the third is one made as a phone app - Arena of War (AoW).

DDO is based on the 3.5 Edition rule set, NWO on the 4th Edition rule set, and AoW on...well, I have no idea.  Being a phone app they took D&D to a completely different style of play.  Basically, you selected one of several pre-made characters, tweaked the looks (albeit on a very limited basis), and then jump right in to fighting classic D&D monsters in, well, as you might have guessed, an "arena".

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Cove with Cordovan

This last week, our little Friday night guild run had a surprise visitor - Cordovan.  Seems that Evennote was talking with him earlier about setting up her "PvP with Cordovan" event and invited him out to run with us.  So he did.  And even though Cove is back and is running through July 6th (see what I did there?), the original plan was to run some e3BC.  But for some reason, Cordovan could not enter an epic instance, even though he was running on a L20 cleric.  Next, someone suggested Wheloon, but again, Cordovan could not enter an epic instance.  {And this is why people are asking that ALL epic content not have a minimum lower level requirement - other than "must be epic" (L20+), of course.}

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Who's Minding the Store?

Did Fernando curse DDO when he left?  Conspiracy theorists would probably say, "Yes."

For it appears that ever since he left as main producer, the new producers don't seem to last too long.  Rowan came on board, introduced himself, made some comments that seemed promising, and...shortly thereafter, disappeared.  Along comes Vyvyanne - introduces herself, makes a few comments (not quite as promising as Rowan, but still better than nothing), and...shortly thereafter, disappears.  {Now, in this case "disappears" may just mean 'went silent' - for all I know, she is still the lead producer; we just haven't heard anything from her is some time (or at least - I have not seen anything in the dev tracker from her, and I do check fairly regularly).}

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Stealth Changes Suck

*Sigh*  That most dreaded of all 4-letter words (W-O-R-K) has kept me busy with things other than the things I want to do.  Ah! If only I were independently wealthy...or had a nice patron (or even matron) to pay all my bills for me...

Any takers?  No?  I didn't think so.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

"Not Gandalf" is Coming

This coming Thursday, Neverwinter Online (NWO) will be celebrating it's one year anniversary.  And who did they invite to help celebrate?  Elminster (or as I call him, "Not Gandalf").  Great - we're all dead...

Monday, June 9, 2014

New (and Improved?) Commenting Tool

So.  There it is.  Right there.  At the bottom.  Right where the default commenting "widget" by Blogger was.  Only now it's...better?  You tell me.

Introducing the new and (hopefully) improved, 3rd party commenting tool ("You're a tool."  HA!  Beat y'all to it.) by Disqus.  I found out about Disqus via a Google search on the known Blogger commenting issues in, um, well, Blogger's default commenting system from here.

As with anything, there are pros and cons.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Risa Summer Event is Coming

No, that's not a typo in the title.  "Risia" is the Plain of Ice (don't ask me why it's the "plain" of ice instead of the "plane" of ice - I didn't have anything to do with the name) in Eberron lore, "Risa" is a...vacation/resort planet in Star Trek lore.  So if you read "Risia", you're in the wrong lore frame-of-mind (sorry, DDO-ers...or is that DDO-ites?  DDO-ians?  DDO-lings?  DDO-ceans?).

Monday, May 26, 2014

Why "Now"? Why "Blogger"?

I mentioned a few posts back that I had a 'rumbling' in my head of posting about why I have returned "now" (as opposed to 'before' or even 'later') to 'game' blogging.  I suppose this is as good a time as any to actually put something down "on paper" (so to speak).

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

To Troll, or Not to Troll? That is a Question

Little did I realize while reading Geoff Hanna's recent post about trolling, that I, too, would soon be posting about trolling.  Except mine is something completely different.

In my last post, I mentioned that I started a thread in the Lamannia fora (sorry, "forums") seeking clarification on one of the Official Lamannia Release Notes, um, notes.  Specifically, if the one about the runes in "The Pit" were referring to the 'solution placards' or something else.  (It took a few days and a nice little PM 'prompt/plead' from me, but Cordovan did provide that clarification.)

Friday, May 16, 2014

Who Says "Filing Bug Reports is a Waste of Time"?

Just a quick update, 'cuz I'm a little excited by what I read in the Lamannia Release notes, today:

  • The Pit:  Puzzle runes should now be easier to read (some of their glow has been reduced.)

Woot!  As I've stated before, I love "The Pit".  And while I do open an in-game browser window to get to the DDOWiki page to see the rune-wheel solutions, I actually FOUND all of the solution locations in the quest.  Trouble was, some of the solution placards are unreadable 'cuz of the "lights" surrounding them on the placards; the "glare" was just too bright and made many of them completely least, for me.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Call for Doubloon Exchange

The "Crystal Cove" (CC) event is in the middle of a brief appearance on DDO.  It is part of the "Boarding Party" campaign in honor of the anticipated U22, which includes an epicified version of "Three Barrel Cove".  From what little I've seen from Produktion Malphunktion and Doctor Octothorpe in the fora (sorry, "forums"), it looks pretty darn cool.

But back to CC:  if you've run it a few times, then you know that there is a "major problem" with the loot system - Golden Doubloons (GD).  GDs are the 'top end' of the three general 'currencies' (along with Silver Doubloons [SDs] and Copper Doubloons [CDs]) used to buy and upgrade loot.  I say "general currencies" as there are also 'specialized currencies' in the form of various "stolen gems" and the (in)famous "green dragonshards" that can only be acquired in the actual CC event itself.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

"The Pit" Revisited

Somewhere in my archived posts, there are a couple of "The Pit" posts.  I love "The Pit"; it is one of my favorites quests in DDO.  It is a level 7 quest and can be quite difficult run at level.  A lot of people don't like to run it, period.  Some insist on only running with a full party.  Me?  It doesn't matter if I have a full party, a partial party, or even no party.  That's right - I'll even run it solo.  Well, in this case "solo" means with a hire.  But only one hire.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

"End of the Week" is Back

There are a lot of things that have happened since my 'disappearance' and 're-appearance' in the (DDO-ish) blogging world.  It has, after all, been (more or less) a year.  I even have a rumbling in my head of "Why Now?" for my return.  I may actually post something on that - perhaps even next post (but maybe not) - but as I'm up late and looking over the DDO fora (sorry, "forums") I see that "The QA Guy Formerly Known as 'Major Malphunktion'" has put out a new "end of the week" post in his new incarnation as "Produktion Malphunktion" (being recently promoted to 'producer' status; granted, it may be an assistant producer, but a producer, nonetheless).

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Return of CR

After one year*, I am back.  I think.  This site is still under construction, so it will change from time-to-time whenever I get around to it.  The current Blogger Template used is kinda, sorta what I want, but not exactly; I know what I want (generally speaking), but while CSS styling is not too difficult to learn, it is involved.  And while there are some "auto HTML formatting" programs out there, most (if not all) of them really like to add in a bunch of unnecessary code (ever use one for some simple HTML coding?  I have - it is much messier than needed), so they are not the best things to use when trying to learn or edit existing HTML/CSS stuff.  And of course then there's the old "non-standard standard" implementation of HTML (I'm looking at YOU, Microsoft - if you had done things CORRECTLY in the first place, IE wouldn't need a "compatibility view" button) and CSS, which is why viewing things out in the web can be...all over the place, depending on which browser you are using.

But I digress...