Tulsa once again is buried under a thick coat of ice, with a dusting of snow on top. Luckily we were prepared for it, and I did the traditional grocery store run Friday afternoon before the madness really started. Saturday we got out early in the morning and ran the few errands we had to run, and made it in well before the crap started that evening. It was predicted that the ice would begin around 6pm but it started considerably later. Thankfully it was just sleet, and not freezing rain or we would have been in trouble. When we got up yesterday morning it really did not look like we had much accumulation, and as a result my wife was convinced that they would be having school today.
However over the course of the morning, it started in hard and heavy with the ice and didn’t let up until late last night. While we only got roughly 3 inches of accumulation, almost all of that was ice in one form or another. One of the more interesting things is we had what they call “Thunder Sleet” and “Thunder Snow”. Essentially it sounded like a rain storm with lightning and thunder, but as the precipitation fell it turns into sleet on the way down. After a day of this I texted my boss about 9pm saying that I was not even going to try getting out this morning. At that point I was apparently the third person to say the same thing, and he was not sure if he was going to try and make it or not.
I am really questioning if my wife will be having school tomorrow either. At some point today I need to go out and try and clear the vehicles, as I am sure tomorrow morning I will be driving into work. Honestly when a day like today happens work pretty much shuts completely down, and it is their own damned fault. Once upon a time we would work remotely during a snowstorm, and things would continue moving forward. However the current management made a point of stating that there was no official working from home policy, and as a result we all take vacation days and ignore email. I think they were far better off the other way around, because at this point… it damned well better be a crisis for me to deal with it when I have spent a vacation day.
The Anchors Fall
I spent I would say the majority of the weekend in Tamriel. Not that I really felt the rush to play, since I have been part of the private testing group for roughly a year now, but I did want to get to hang out with my friends as they played. By the end of the weekend I think we had 35 members or so in House Stalwart, and for the most part everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. There were a few people who simply could not get used to the “action mmo” perma-mouselook interface but overall I think we are going to have a large and bustling guild for launch. Really that is the most I could hope for. I entered the weekend with grand ideas of getting to the 15-18 range of Spindleclutch… the first dungeon in Daggerfall. However i didn’t even get close, ending the weekend around 9.5.
I am really bad at leveling in Elder Scrolls. There is always this cool thing over here to look at and explore, or this camp of baddies to clean out… or this bit of ore to mine. The Elder Scrolls Online is distraction city, and I am a willful participant. In World of Warcraft, I have learned to “quest grind” and push my way through content extremely quickly. However in the much more immersive world of ESO I tend to stop and smell the roses quite a bit. One of the interesting things about the game is that I actually somewhat pride myself on making my own gear. So the tail end of the night since I was roughly half a level from 10… I was in a mad rush to gather iron ore. Up to this point I have tried to have a full set of the next level of gear ready to go for when I ding.
I realize I don’t NEED to do this, as you can pretty much get by fine in several levels old gear. However I like the concept of making my own stuff. Firstly it levels blacksmithing, but more importantly I always know where my next upgrade is coming from. Granted it usually means I am well over level since wandering around mining ore, tends to mean you are also killing a ton of bad guys and soaking up extra experience. Right now I am just ready for this to launch. It feels like I have been waiting for this to happen for so long, and now we have a month left before go time. I am ready for my characters to finally be permanent and my choices to matter for longer than a weekend. Since I didn’t explain it… the above image is of a Dolmen moments before a Dark Anchor is about to fall. If you see this scene… go somewhere else… because if the anchor falls on you… you end up taking massive damage.
Not on Easy Mode
After my little Steampowered Sunday write up, my friend Ashgar informed me that even though it says “very easy” in the upper right corner… that is apparently a lie. He said he could tell from the things on screen that I was not in “easy” mode, and that I should try that setting. So sure enough I fired up the game a bit later in the day and noticed that I was not in fact on easy mode. In fact when I DID set it to easy, I managed to get through the first level just fine. Well “just fine” being relative, because the game is still maddening at times. However after a few deaths I managed to progress to stage two “Sky Meadow”.
There I proceeded to die rather spectacularly over and over. So while the game is a BIT less abusive on “easy”, it is still maddening. I am probably going to fire this up every now and then, just because at this point I really want to see more of it. I don’t know why I do… but I do. This is like a puzzle that I want to crack, and I don’t understand WHY I want to open it… but I really do. Ash says this is one of his more played steam games, and I can see why. There is just something about it that gets under your skin and makes you want to play more. It is so brutally unapologetic in the way it kills you, that you want to keep getting back up just to try and piss the game off.