We Kill Routers

Running About in OKC

randompenandpaper My wife and I first got hooked on Half Priced Books during a random trip to Dallas Texas.  I had heard of the chain before, but had never been to one.  At that point we had a Garmin GPS and we punched “book” into the POI search and happened to find one nearby.  From that point onwards when we went to a new area we immediately searched to see if they had any of the stores.  During a trip to Madison Wisconsin we managed to hit three different stores up there, and on our last trip to Dallas I think we hit around fifteen of them.  Tulsa unfortunately does not have any yet, but an hour and a half from Tulsa in Oklahoma City they have three of them in the metro area.  So every now and then we make a trip down there just for the purpose of hitting all three of them.

I was trying to explain to my coworkers what makes them special, and if you have never been… and especially if you not a bibliophile it just would never make any sense.  One of the most magic things about the store is they have a rather large used role-playing games section.  On past trips I have found all sorts of wonders, but just the simple fact that a store exists in Oklahoma with this sort of stuff makes me happy.  This trip I honestly didn’t walk away with much from HBP.  I picked up a Minecraft book by scholastic, that is obviously targeting children but manages to explain Redstone wiring in a simple enough manner that I think I can “grok” it.  Additionally I picked up the second book in the Odd Thomas series, and the Silent Hill Collection for the PS3 since I have never actually played 2 or 3 in that series but loved the hell out of the first one.

Carpet Jesus

carpetjesus Another thing we did yesterday was run around to a series of pawn shops in my search for “cheap” Xbox 360 and PS3 games.  I managed to stumble onto a cache of $5 a piece PS3 games here in Tulsa at a Cash America pawn shop, and I knew that in OKC they had at least 11 of them.  We tried to hit as many of them as we could while weaving across town to hit all three of the HBP stores.  The lesson of the day seemed to be that OKC wanted more for their stuff than I was willing to pay for it.  Locally the most you will ever pay for a game in a pawn shop is $15, and while wandering across OKC I routinely saw them for as much as $30 in the same pawn shop chains we have here in town.  I even managed to hit a Game XChange which is a chain that used to be really big around here… and there they were selling PS4 games that you can buy brand new at Target for $39.95 for $54.

whatadeal When I see a price like that, maybe it is horrible of me… but the first thing that goes through my head is “that’s adorable”.  I feel like maybe Oklahoma City in general just doesn’t know how to price things.  During our travels we stumbled across a fairly nice looking thrift store and the carpet jesus picture above hails from it.  Among the various baubles is a brand new sealed box for an Intel EtherExpress LAN Adapter.  The one pictured above is an ISA card… designed to go in an IBM 286/386 machine and Novell Netware that is advertised on the back side.  This is pretty much the best technology Intel had to offer in 1992, and seems to be pulled off the shelf of someone’s closet and donated to charity.  The pricetag is not a mistake… they apparently do want $59 for this mint in box artifact of the pre-internet age.  Oklahoma City apparently lives in a bubble where they don’t have a clue what anything is actually worth.

We Kill Routers

This morning I woke to the fun surprise of having no internet in our house.  Apparently between the time that I recorded our podcast and edited it last night, and this morning our Asus router died.  The thing is we are exceptionally hard on routers it seems, because it seems that at least once a year I end up replacing one.  I have to think it is because we have so many internet connected devices.  We have 5 laptops, 3 desktops, 2 phones, 2 tablets, 3 chromecasts, and 5 gaming consoles connected to our wireless router pretty much all of the time.  That is a lot of strain on any device and they seem to just explode after awhile.  So this morning I connected the internet directly into my main desktop and got on long enough to do some research and write this blog post.

I found a device at our local Best Buy that looks like it might do the job.  It is supposedly designed to handle multiple devices at the same time, so we will see if we end up killing this one as well.  The last one only manages to survive 6 months… and honestly it might still be under warranty and I will try and dig that information up and try and replace it.  It would make a nice little router for the lake to be honest.  I did the in store pickup option on the new one, so right now I am just waiting on the email to let me know it is ready to go.  I had heard really good things about the Netgear Nighthawk, so we will see if it lives up to the marketing hype.

Exclusionary Subcultures

Last night we managed to get the entire AggroChat podcast crew together once again for another broadcast.  Tonight we talk at length about the various things we have been doing including Minecraft, VVVVVV, Adventure Time Battle Party, and a few other things.  The bulk of the show however is a discussion about various subcultures.  Gaming and geekdom in general can be a very exclusionary place.  Not that we solve any of the worlds problems, but we at least have a discussion about them.  We ran a bit longer than normal this time, but we had a lot of stuff to talk about.

Tunnel Works

Hurry Up and Blog

This mornings blog post is likely going to be a quick and abbreviated one as we need to get on the road soon.  The wife and I are going off to Oklahoma City today in search of the illusive Half Priced Books store and my mission for the day… lots and lots of Cash America pawn shops.  Last weekend I managed to pick up some amazing deals on used PS3 games at that chain, and there are far more of them in OKC than here in Tulsa.  Basically I am cheap, and I would love to pick up more PS3 and Xbox 360 games… but I only really want to pay $5-$10 for them.  I had a blast playing Fallout 3 on the PS3 even though I had played it countless times on the PC, so I would be interested in visiting lots of titles I had played on the PC as well.

In part because playing on a console is so easy… you pop the disc in and go.  The negative however is that you can never really improve the experience.  Example here is a modded up version of Fallout 3 that greatly improves the look and feel.  Seeing this yesterday pretty much guarantees that I will play through the game at least one more time on the PC as well.  Another prime example of better living through software is the whole Skywind project, where they are completely redoing  Morrowind using the Skyrim engine.  These things will never be able to function on a console, but I have to admit there is something nice about the simplicity of just pressing play.  My only complaint right now is that I wish the modern generation of consoles would allow me to install the disc to the hard drive and then not have to worry about having the disc any longer.  That is the thing I like the most about my PlayStation Plus titles, the ability to have lots of them “on tap”.

Tunnel Works

2014-07-12_07.52.34 Most of last night was spent working on my extensive tunnel network…  or what will soon BE an extensive tunnel network.  Across a bridge from my main building is the first area I started out that I am using as some what of a stone quarry.  At base floor I started a tunnel to see just what I might intercept digging in a straight line.  Generally speaking I dig 3×3 tunnels because they feel about right, not too closed in and not too open.  After quite a ways of torching every 7 blocks I came out on the other side in what appears to be a riverside valley.  There is a cobblestone wall there so I am not sure who has been building in the area.  Hopefully I am not impeding on someone else’s land too badly, but I like as many entrances and exits from my area as possible.

2014-07-12_07.54.35 I built up a really simple fenced in area so that hopefully I won’t end up with too many creepers lurking there.  One of the interesting things about the lockette mod we are using is that supposedly if you lock a wooden door it makes it so that zombies cannot beat it down.  Traditionally I have used fence gates to bar entrance into my areas, because villagers cannot open them and zombies cannot break them.  However I have started trying out the whole locked door thing to see if it works.  I am not purposefully really trying to keep people out of my stuff, but more that I don’t want to come home and find everything full of mob spawns.

Cactus Shield

2014-07-12_07.55.51 The other thing that I worked on last night was redoing the approach to my house.  I ended up extending the path to make it far less likely for me to kill myself trying to leave it by hitting lots of cactus.  This almost happened a few times as I seem to be unable to walk a straight line.  Essentially I started the dual tier row of cactus a block further out so I have a 3 block walkway to get in and out of my area.  I might add a third row of cactus because I actually managed to have a creeper make it through earlier.  Granted the creeper only took a single hit to kill after being chewed up pretty badly by the cactus to get to me…  but this in part was because some of the cactus has not fully grown to 3 block height yet.  The creeper was able to hop up onto a single block height one and use it to make his way in.

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Now that I feel like my base is fairly defensible, it is just about time for me to start back working on the “mine to bedrock” project.  Essentially in every build I have done in Minecraft I eventually create a tunnel network that goes all the way to bedrock and start branch mining for diamonds.  It is my hope that I picked a decent spot to mine, because so often you get down to bedrock and struggle with lava.  Right now the project has been derailed in that I hit a fully enclosed cave system, but I need to build my way through it and continue digging.  So far I am finding playing on the Alliance of Awesome server to be fun and refreshing, since more or less I am having to play legitimately again.  If you are interested ping Zelibeli and she can get you white listed… but of note this is open to existing members of the AofA community and its requisite groups.

Base Building and Wormholes

Zombie Shamble

This morning I am shambling around the house in a zombie like state.  For whatever reason I seem to have not slept well last night.  I remember waking up at many moments to either kick the covers off or freezing and cover back up.  My wife has wondered if she is coming down with something, and I am honestly starting to wonder if this is something more than just allergies.  All I know for certain is that I could not seem to regulate my body temperature last night, and the constant pile of cats didn’t really help with the ability to get comfortable.  I generally had one pinning my legs down and another stopping me from rolling over, while a third fought for control of my pillow.

I enjoy the hell out of my wife.  She can fall asleep without any preparation and tends to sleep all the night through.  She can fall asleep at like 8 pm and then transfer to the bed and continue sleeping the rest of the night through.  I wish I could do that, but if I take a nap it completely destroys my ability to sleep that night entirely.  Additionally I never can seem to functionally get more than four to six hours of sleep in any given night.  The result of too much sleep is pretty much the same as not enough sleep for me, resulting in a morning much like this one where I have trouble stringing contiguous thoughts together in my head.

Base Building and Wormholes

2014-07-10_22.11.32 Last night I spent most of the evening plugging away on building my base on the Alliance of Awesome server while watching season four of Farscape.  I had a simple mission last night, to figure out a way to protect my base from invaders that all too easily could drop down from the cliff above or jump across from the trees nearby.  As a result I harvested copious amounts of wood surrounding the cliff to remove the ability for them to perch on top of the trees and drop down from above.  The main mission of the night was to find some cactus.  The area the spawn is near is a mixture of heavy forestation and to a lesser extent swamp land.  While we have an ample supply of cows and horses there was no readily available desert biome.

As a result I started going on these daytrips out as far away from my base as I could before eventually teleporting back using the /home command at the last possible moment before nightfall.  While the majority of these were mostly futile it did allow me to stockpile the various things you can get from killing animals and I have a 50 stack of steaks that should hold me for some time as well as a lot of chicken and ham.  In fact I brought home so much of it that I had to break down and build several more furnaces so that I could cook each meat at the same time.  During my evenings in game I would work on harvesting out the hillside quarry that links up to my fort out on the water.

Cactus Finally

2014-07-10_20.59.04 On the four trip out I was getting to the point where I thought maybe just maybe there was not a convenient desert adjoining the biomes in any direction.  I had crossed every other imaginable biome, except maybe deep jungle when I started to stumble into what looked like a savannah.  Then on the far side of that I started to see some sand dunes.  I was starting to get a little edgy however as the sun was extremely low in the sky, which mean I did not have very long at all to harvest any cactus I happened to find.  So as night fell I wandered around the desert gathering up whatever I could get.  A warning for anyone who heads to that desert… it seems to almost entirely be spawned with endermen.

I gathered up around 30 blocks of cactus and ported out of there with the /home command.  I wish I had taken more screenshots but I was in a rush to get the resources I needed and get out of there.  In the Savannah region there was what looked like an abandoned safari hut.  I would think it was a player creation, but there were absolutely no torches anywhere and it was completely open up on one end.  I am wondering if this is a new type of prefab since I last played the game.  There were no resources in it other than a crafting table that had been embedded into the floor.  That is one of the things that I find most interesting is that since I have not played much minecraft in a long time, there will likely be a ton of things that are new to me.

Defensive Position

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As you can see in the above photo I installed a row of cactus as a defensive barrier to stop things from either being able to scale the sides of my base or drop down from the cliff above.  It doesn’t stop the spiders from trying, because every night there is at least one that suicides down on the cactus dying well before they make it into the base.  Right now I have a pier or sorts that connects the door into my base to the landmass and I am thinking about putting a line of cactus there as well.  It does an amazing job of blocking bad stuff from getting to your base.  Right now I am also trying to tunnel towards the spawn so that I can hopefully have a route to get back there if needed.

2014-07-10_22.28.19 I’ve started my mine down to try and harvest some diamonds, but that plan fell apart completely when I broke into a rather shallow cave complex.  There is still a ton of iron and coal that I need to harvest out of that at some point and sure up the stairs so I can continue to go down past it.  Like any Minecraft session I have more projects that I have focus to complete them.  At some point I want to expand the main tower structure to go up into a lighthouse of sorts.  In order to carry that off I am going to need either some lightstone or some netherrack…  which both mean a trip into the nether.  Which also means that I need to find plenty of diamond, and use it to harvest obsidian.  There is quite a large amount of surface spawn lava nearby so that shouldn’t be a huge ordeal to safely harvest obsidian.  In any case…  I seem to be obsessing about Minecraft again.

#Minecraft

Fires of Kel Vorath

The Vanishing

There are things that happened yesterday, that I feel like I want to talk about…  but at the same time I probably shouldn’t.  Suffice to say a good friend of mine pulled the ripcord yesterday and jettisoned out of the internet briefly.  I kept trying to figure out if it was something I did or said, but it seems like there were just larger things happening that I will never fully understand.  While it was happening though I was supremely confused and depressed to be watching it going on… and felt rather helpless to stop it.  I have a bad habit of trying to internalize these things, and trying to figure out how exactly I had failed the person.  Luckily for us at least, the person seems to be reversing course a bit… and since friends are friends I am ready to welcome them back with open arms regardless.

image A few weeks ago I was moved to send out a blanket tweet and I honestly don’t even remember why at the moment.  While I don’t remember what started it, the sentiment is very heart felt.  Each and every one of you makes my life better in some way.  We might grouse and bicker and have bad days, but at the end of the day I am better off because each of you exists out there and has touched me in some way.  We use the word “community” a lot, but in many ways it doesn’t really sum it up.  You guys are my family, and not the uncle that you never see and always thought was kind of weird…  but the ones you wish you saw more often.  As an adult, your friends are the family you choose to associate with.  I don’t draw lines between real life and online…  because the effect is real either way.  So I just wanted to start my blog post this morning in trying to remind you all what you mean to me.

Fires of Kel Vorath

Belghast.140616.235401 The better part of last night I spent trying to finish out the Auroria zone in Wildstar.  The further into that zone you get, the more intense the questing becomes.  The other night I ran the Ruins of Kel Vorath dungeon with some guildies, and last night I finally reached that area in zone.  It is absolutely massive and everything seems to exist on this grand epic scale.  The only thing I can really equate it to is doing the quests outside of Dire Maul in World of Warcraft, but imagine that Dire Maul was maybe four to five times bigger.  Almost an hour of that time was spent doing a single zone event quest as I helped the dominion retake Kel Vorath.  The rewards were minimal but the experience gain was phenominal.  At the beginning of the night I was level 22 and now I am level 24 and about halfway into it.

I came into Wildstar expecting fun mechanics and a really enjoyable world to wander around in and explore.  I had zero expectations of epic story so I am really pleasantly surprised to find it.  I have no clue how much of the zone I have left.  Right now I am hung up on a main story quest because I cannot for the life of me find the mob I am supposed to be killing.  The indicator is on my map, and I have wandered around the entire area without finding any place that lets me go underground where the indicator seems to point me.  Unfortunately the game is just new enough that there really are not many guides out there that I can even lean on as a crutch.  So if I ever manage to find Kaarg the Divine…  then I imagine I will be wrapping up the zone in rapid succession.  I have the quest leading me out of Auroria to speak to someone at Palerock Post, so I think I am as “done” as it comes other than this one straggler.

PVPness

WildStar64 2014-06-18 07-21-53-292 I don’t have any proper screenshots from last night, so instead here is a shot of me standing on this giant gun.  Zelibeli decided to schedule a PVP night last night, and in an attempt to spur it on I showed up and participated.  Several of my friends had a pen and paper game going on, so I knew attendance would be at least somewhat limited.  I am supposed to be participating in the game, but for one reason or another I have not actually made it to a single meeting.  So I figured it was just fine if I didn’t make this one either.  We actually had five people ready to go for PVP, the only problem was that we were not complimentary levels.  This might be an oversight on their part, but for whatever reason it does not seem like you can mentor down to the lowest player and queue together for PVP.  Maybe this is their way of trying to prevent “smurfing”, but in any case it also meant that we all needed to swap to alts to make this work.

WildStar64 2014-06-18 07-37-25-650I grabbed my level eight warrior, because quite literally… that is the only character I have other than my engineer that has finished the “ship” starter area.  First thing I have to say is that I suck horribly at pvp, and as a result I tend to actively avoid it.  That said PVP in this game is much like PVP was in Warhammer Online… as in it is a phenominal way to level a character.  I went into the night about halfway through level either, and exited the night almost level eleven.  We ran maybe five matches, towards the end we were starting to get the swing of things.  We were playing Walatiki Temple, which in many ways is like a remix of Warsong Gultch.  Instead of being a pure capture the flag scenario, it is a “collect the things” one.  In that you capture these Moodie Masks that spawn in the center of the zone and take them back to your base.

The catch is that you can also capture masks from your base.  So in theory you have to guard the middle objective and your own base to be able to win it.  We were doing a fair job of limiting the hemorrhaging towards the end of the night until someone started shooting off his mouth about how dumb we were for guarding the masks at home… causing the entire team to get distracted and fumble.  People really are the worst part of PVP, and I wish in many ways there was NO chat in the battleground.  If they simply had a smart ping system like league of legends has, I think most of the chat could simply disappear.  The challenge we had last night is that ultimately we ended up against other premades, and quite simply we were not exactly “premade” quality.

In World of Warcraft, if you queued as a five man you got matched against other groups that queued as a five man.  From the way that we got trounced I am guessing that the Exile players were a combination of two five man premades.  They each worked flawlessly to whittle down our defenses and at the same time keep pushing forwards and taking masks.  All of this said… I really was surprised just how much I enjoyed myself, and bolstered by just how little the rest of the AofA folks cared about winning.  We were there to play the game and play it as well as we could while we could.  With that sort of attitude I can totally see this becoming a regular thing.  I like playing anything… and so long as folks keep a good attitude about it I can deal with losing all night long if we do.  The big positive is that win or lose you still get a ton of experience and a satchel of goods, so I came out way ahead at the end of the night.

#Wildstar #WalatikiTemple #Auroria #FiresOfKelVorath

Alliance of Awesome

Multigaming Community

allianceofawesome On January 31st a few interesting things happened.  Firstly Sony Online Entertainment released the alpha for Everquest Next Landmark…  now just known as Landmark.  More importantly this set a chain of events into motion.  For some time there has been a group of loosely affiliated guilds and gaming  communities tugging on essentially the same pool of players.  So we might end up getting this mix of players for a specific title and then having a similar mix of players for another title down the road from this huge twitter/g+ gaming community pool.  With Landmark this reached a bit of a head and someone was brave enough to stand up and say it was silly.  In the opening days of Landmark, since there were no guilds (and still arent for that matter) each of these communities opted to start a chat channel.  The problem is this left some people joining as many as six different channels at a time.

Scarybooster proposed a simple idea, that we all agree to use one common chat channel, and with that the Alliance of Awesome was born.  It started simple in scope, but from there Zelibeli and I kinda ran with it and over the last four months we’ve built a rather large loosely connected gaming alliance.  Currently we have five different groups in the AofA community: House Stalwart, Multiplaying.net, Combat Wombat, Mercy Gaming, and Dark Religion.  Lately I have been talks with Liore about maybe having the already awesome Machiavelli’s Cats community join the fold as well.  I have to say so far that over the last four months things have indeed been awesome.  For the most part everyone has seemed to get along swimmingly and I’ve watched this group of disconnected pieces merge into a community in every sense of the word.

A Simple Idea

One of the big problems with being habitual multigamers is the fact that guilds are often transistory and it is hard to constantly muster a new batch of people to play whatever game is coming down the pipe.  Additionally since not every game will end up being ideal for everyone, this means you have massive amounts of fragmentation as folks leave a given game for something new.  The idea was that each individual guild would take responsibility for the reigns of the games that they were most into, and then that way as gamers we would have access to a good and familiar guild regardless of the game we choose to play.  Over the coming months I would like to see this formalized into a sort of Rosetta stone for who has which guilds where and just how active each of them are.

The problem is that since we each have our own guild identities, it felt odd to constantly ask players to register an account on a new forum for each group.  As a result we tried a few different things to have a shared neutral ground between the communities.  The first of these efforts was the Alliance of Awesome reddit… and while it worked well enough, it caused as much frustration as it solved.  Then I stumbled onto Anook and it seemed almost perfectly suited for us.  It offered public and private forums, an events calendar and was more gamer social network than private site allowing folks to link everything up to the games they are streaming into the shared hub… or in the verbiage of that network a “nook”.  This also lets the bloggers in our midst share our posts easily on the nooks blog, and so far that seems to also be working well.

A Unified Approach

Over the last few months we have been melding significantly.  Elder Scrolls Online launch for example was the first real “Alliance of Awesome” foray, and while we still kept to the branding of House Stalwart… it was very much a shared occasion.  With the launch of Wildstar, we had no real forerunner guild wise that looked to be taking up the reigns.  Instead we opted to drop any specific guild branding and simply go with the “Alliance of Awesome” for our guild name.  Honestly I have to say it feels very natural and I can see eventually we may drop the individual guild monikers and just do things from that standpoint.

The biggest problem I forsee moving forward is the fact that right now we are still very much utilizing two completely separate voice servers.  A good chunk of the House Stalwart guild is still very happily playing World of Warcraft and doesn’t really care about any other game on the market.  The rest of us are pretty nomadic, but we still are far more used to and comfortable with mumble as a communication platform.  Multiplaying, Dark Religion, and Mercy Gaming have all standardized on a Teamspeak 3 server run for free by the ever amazing Saia.  So I would really like to make a move to trying to use that as well and simply dropping the mumble.  That said this feels like a landmine because I have no clue how to convince the WoW-only contingency to abandon mumble and make the shift over to Teamspeak 3.  Also I hate to abandon Mumble myself until they have done this, because while I am not playing World of Warcraft on a nightly basis I still hold the guildmaster position and get called on to resolve issues.  I want to make sure I am reachable by folks even when I am not in the same game.

Shared Ethics

The other rough spot is that we need to come up with a shared set of rules and codes of conduct.  For years House Stalwart has followed a simple “three tenets” approach, and relied on guild leader and officer judgment to fill in the gaps.  Zeli tends to favor spelling things out, and considering the large volume of people she has dealt with not completely organically connected… I can totally see why this would be a good thing.  After years of trying to “keep things simple” but then having to deal with explaining nuance… I am starting to favor Zeli’s approach to be honest.  I hate writing rules, and as such that’s why I came up with the somewhat ambiguous three that we use.  I figured that using common sense folks would realize what they meant… problem is not everyone “common” is the same.  The further away from the same core of friends you get, the more confusing the interpretation becomes.

Going forward I think we are going to have to just agree upon a shared set of rules, and I think so far the batch Zeli came up with for the Alliance of Awesome guild seems like a great place to begin.  The biggest thing I hope out of this is that we are a living community.  That we will continue to grow as we adopt other awesome people from twitter, anook, g+, or that we happen to stumble across in game.  Also I hope that we do in fact get the Machiavelli’s Cats community to join the fold, and keep finding other like minded groups to rally to the cause.  I would really like Alliance of Awesome to not only have an ostentatious name, but also have awesome actions to back it up.  I want us to be part of the solution in the games we play, and not part of the problem.  I would love to see us better each of the gaming communities we are in.

Giving Back

File:Child's Play Logo updated.pngOne of the things that Zeli and I have been talking about lately is that we would really like to enter Alliance of Awesome in this years Child’s Play marathon.  Far as I can tell this will take place on October 25th, and the idea is to have 25 hours of live streaming for charity.  I have wanted to participate in this for years, but I thought it would be more interesting if we signed up a whole bunch of streamers from the Alliance of Awesome community and have one shared channel for the purpose of the event.  We have quite a number of people who stream already, and it would be awesome to give each of us like a 4-5 hour block of time to play whatever the hell we want to.

Also lately we have been holding a lot of events in various games.  Right now Wednesday nights are “Faff About in Cyrodil” night, and those are pretty much only to anyone in the Alliance of Awesome community.  Additionally we have been holding a Thursday night “League Beginner Night” to let folks ease into the League of Legends game.  So far both events have been a blast and I would love to see them grow beyond the small number of people that we have.  I am sure we will be doing something similar for Wildstar, especially with the focus on grouping in that game.  I can only see the community as a whole getting better.  So here comes the thing I am sure you have all been waiting for.  If you are not already a member of the Alliance of Awesome community… head over to the website and join our nook.  We don’t have any real requirements for membership other than wanting to be around a bunch of awesome people, and striving to be the “white hats” in gaming.  If you have a large community, track down myself or Zelibeli and we can see if the entire group would be a good fit for us as well.  Growing up as an only child, I always wanted to be surrounded by friends… and on the internet I try my damnedest to surround myself with as many awesome people as I can.  So far I think things are going pretty well.

Elder Scrolls Online Headstart

Prelaunch Countdown

At the point I am writing this blog post we are roughly 24 hours from the launch of Elder Scrolls Online.  If you are really curious about the exact time… someone has created a page dedicated to that… with Europe Final Countdown playing embedded of course.  Last night I made it to bed at a normal hour… or at least normal for me, but this morning my body conspired against me and decided that 4 am was time to wake up.  While I had not planned this, it is actually going to feed into my idea of being up for the launch the moment the servers open.  So tonight I will be heading to bed early, and trying to wake up in time for the launch in the morning.  I normally get up at 5:30 in the morning during the work week, so really this will be good in the long run since Monday will not be quite so hellacious.

I have to say at this point I am completely amped, but also nervous.  One of my favorite and least favorite things about a new game is pulling together the guild.  It is always a struggle to make sure everyone is rolling in the right place, with the right faction.  There are always opening day adjustments as you shift this thing or that, and trying to deploy the logistics to be able to get everyone moving in the right direction.  This is by no means my first launch pulling together a guild, and likely it will not be the last either.  No matter how much experience I have in making things work…  I still get the jitters hoping it all goes off without a hitch.  SWTOR was without a doubt the smoothest, since we were able to create the guild before launch through their web based tools, but even then there was plenty of confusion among the folks that were too lazy to sign up before the guild placement happened.

Elder Scrolls Online Headstart

eso 2014-02-15 11-38-45-72 I thought I would devote this mornings post to getting everyone ready for the big event.  There are several things about this launch that should make things significantly easier.  Firstly there are no servers to worry with, there is the North American mega server and the European mega server.  I do not however know if characters cross over between the two.  We will be focusing on the North American mega server for this, and I am hoping that our European friends will have decent lag there or even be able to roll there at all.  Have I mentioned how much I hate regions in video games?  House Stalwart will be aligning ourselves with the Daggerfall Covenant, as was decided in a poll that ran some time ago.  This means that in order to play with the guild and group easily, you also need to roll Daggerfall Covenant.  Guilds span factions, but it is logistically impossible to group together at low levels if you are of two different factions.

Thanks to the preorder bonuses however you will be able to roll any race in any faction.  If you did not preorder, then grats… if you want to play with the bulk of the guild you have to play either a Redguard, Breton or Orsimer.  Really if you were interesting in this game at all, you should have preordered to long before this point to make sure you could have that very important preorder perk.  Those who did preorder… I am sure we will see plenty of elves in our guild as a side effect.  Most of the people I know going cross faction classes are doing so in order to play a Bosmer, Dunmer or Altmer.  I personally will be rolling an Imperial because it is the race that best fits the character of “Belghast”.

Getting Invited to the Guild

As I said earlier, my goal is to be up at the time the servers go live and get the guild created asap.  One of the cool things about Elder Scrolls Online is the fact that you can friend people at an account level.  The easiest way to get invited to the guild is to friend @Belghast, as the game uses a system similar to twitter.  My goal is to get several people who can do invites in the interim and then deal with creating a formal “officer” structure later.  Additionally I will be using the Alliance of Awesome Reddit thread to organize invites for the “new to Stalwart” crowd.  For those who have access currently to our mumble server, I will be streaming the launch tomorrow in the “Bel is Streaming” channel.  So that is a really quick way to get invited is just to pop into the channel and ask for one.

The only other real decision looming on the horizon is what campaign we want to choose for Cyrodil.  There is a thread up on the Elder Scrolls website listing the various campaign names.  At this point they are all named after the iconic weapons that you get in the Elder Scrolls series by doing quests for the various Daedra.  As a result some of them are going to be far more popular than others.  I would imagine that Wabbajack would fill up before any of the others, thanks to the fond memories of Sheogorath.  Other names will appeal to the “sounds cool” crowd, and Auriel’s Bow will be full for the “I pick whatever the first name is in a list” crowd.  Right now I am thinking either Volendrung or Dawnbreaker might be good options.  Both are iconic weapons, but also not as iconic as say the Wabbajack.  However this is something we can decide later.

Big Easy Summary

Where?
  • Daggerfall Covenant Faction
  • North American Mega Server
How?
When?

If you have any questions feel free to post them here, or over on the Reddit Thread, or via Twitter, or ask them the day of via Mumble.  It is my goal to make this as clean and orderly a process as possible.  There are always some issues with any game launch, but hopefully thanks to the copious amounts of stress testing we have done to this game… it will go nice and smooth.