It was a fairly humdrum weekend in the Melmoth household with respect to gaming. I continued to level my ‘Thief of’ characters in City of ComicbookclichĂ©s, but singularly failed to meet any of the fellows of our super-group over the weekend; there is an indicator in the super-group window of when people had last played their character, and it seems that we’ve all been active at one time or another in the same day but never at the same time. Perhaps we need to implement a Justice Calendar which, when attached to the Freedom Fridge with the Magnet of Emancipation, would schedule crime fighting in a single badly scrawled entry.

“Batman, remember we’re fighting the Joker tonight at 7pm. Love and kisses, Robin.”

“Appointment with Dr Doom at 4.30pm. Remember to take stool sample. To fling at him. Johnny.”

“HULK SMASH PUNY VILLAINS. SOME TIME BETWEEN 11AM AND NOON. STAY OUT OF HULK’S WAY OR ME SMISH YOU TOO. NOTE TO SELF: NEED TO DO TAX RETURNS BY THURSDAY.”

Soloing in CoH is manageable, but the real fun comes from teaming with others. Extra bonus fun points if those people are competent folk whom you know, rather than pick-up group nutters.

In a fit of desperately wanting to play a bearded dwarf with a big axe and adventure in strange forested lands where orcs roam, I once again subscribed to Lord of the Rings Online for a month to see if I could get back into that. After a installing the game from the disks and then downloading and patching several gargantuan updates, my kilt-wearing dwarf was once more smoking a pipe in the Prancing Pony and enjoying the role-playing atmosphere:

“And he said. And then she said. And then he said that she said.”

“Hello! U looks nice, wanna come back to my room??????/”

“Lord Darkbrooding looks brooding. And dark. In a cool dark and brooding way.”

“And I said to them ‘you’re not in our special club of very excellent people’ and then I stabbed them.”

“Arrgghh! I’m covered in bees!”

That last one was me after five minutes of listening to ‘deep’ and ‘meaningful’ discussions: always be sure to throw in random Eddie Izzard quotes to liven the incredibly oppressive atmosphere of role-playing environs. It’s the law.

I picked-up play with my dwarf guardian who is in his late twenties, and made my way to the North Downs since I had a few solo quests there; I had considered diving straight into a pick-up group in one of the instances available to my character at that level, but thought that perhaps spending a few minutes learning what all those buttons on the screen were for was perhaps the more sensible course of action. After many, many minutes of meanderings, like some sort of peripatetic loot basket, I finally reached the fields of Fornost where I had been charged with the task of killing bears. Oh well, I guess it’s fractionally better than boars; I recalled shortly thereafter that I killed boars in the previous quest. Sigh. Four minutes of running around like a loon trying to find bears found my character stuck on a seemingly moderate slope in the landscape; a known bug, that one would think would have been fixed by now. The only way to escape the jaws of the adventurer-grasping landscape is to use the /stuck command which returns you to your last bound point, in my case the Prancing Pony where I started off some thirty minutes of faffing around ago. There was nothing to do but to type /stuck and wait to warp all the way back to where I started. Whilst I waited for the unstuckness to occur (for which there was no countdown timer to be seen) a mob decided to spawn nearby; a ranged mob, who immediately decided that I looked like fair game, and started plinking away at my health bar. I could do nothing in the meantime, other than spin on the spot in a manner which I hoped conveyed my extreme anger and annoyance at this cowardly attack, in some fanciful effort to convince the mob that attacking me was going to lead to its painful demise just as soon as I’d taken the ten minutes to run back to where it was. It was now a race, with the stuck command ticking away in the background, would it trigger before the mob finished me off? Was the stuck command even working? Maybe I’d mistyped it, and I wasn’t in fact about to escape at all. I went to type the command again to make sure, but was then struck by the thought that this might reset the timer, if it was indeed counting down, and thus leaving me with longer to wait before death or unstuckness took hold. It was while I was in the grip of the complex moral decision of whether to type the stuck command again or just bugger it all and go and get a packet of crisps, that I warped back to the Prancing Pony with a modest fraction of health left. Faced with the run all the way back to the fields of Fornost or logging off and eating crisps until everything started to take on the semblance of potato, I took the salty baked saturated fat option.

Suffice it to say that the above experience didn’t sate my need to get all medieval dwarf on some critters’ arses, so I popped my head back into World of Warcraft, rolled a dwarf alt and burned through the first ten levels of content there. Ahhhhhh. Those first ten levels in World of Warcraft are the salty baked saturated fat taste sensation of the MMO levelling world, high in monosodium glutamate and everything.

Other than that, the weekend was predominantly taken up with doing Other Things. Reading, catching up on various TV series that I have on DVD, and generally not sitting at my computer for four or five hours straight. I hope a decent MMO hits the stores soon, because otherwise I might get used to this variety which is spicing up the grand MMO of Life and find it more addictive than playing any virtual grind. Heck, next weekend I plan on taking a look at this thing that you Earth people call ‘outside’.

Posted by Melmoth at 9:21 am