Category: Of Interest (Page 4 of 14)

It’s Never “Just A Game” #EQ2 #MMORPG

If you ever thought that video games were “just games” then you’ve never really been a part of a community like the ones I’ve been a part of over the last 10 years. A little while ago I heard about Ribbitribbitt – a 6 year old boy with cancer who was given 6-12 weeks to live. His mother put out a plea on the EQ2 forums to players, she wanted an amazing play ground that her little boy could run around in, since he was unable to do so in real life.

The players stepped forward with something that went well above and beyond what anyone could have predicted. The event was massive, and Zam.com has put together a wealth of videos, screen shots, and tributes.

It was with a heavy heart that we all learned that Ribbitribbitt passed away quietly in his sleep, May 20th. Players once more poured forth their condolences, although what the family is even going through I can’t begin to imagine, having never been there myself.

Video games are never ‘just’ games any more. As soon as you have interaction with another human being – even in a virtual world, you’re leaving some sort of foot print on their actual lives. Keep that in mind, next time you’re sitting down to play.

R.I.P. Ribbitribbitt. Thank you, for showing me what an amazing community of people is out there. I’m so sorry that it some times takes such a sad circumstance to shed so much light.

A Podcast Worth Listening To – The Three MMOsketeers

I’m not a podcast person. I’ve tried in the past, and I just can’t get into them. It’s partially due to the length that most are, and a mixture of other issues like topics and technicalities. However. There is an exception to every rule and I have found it in The Three MMOsketeers!

I will admit, I’m 100% biased, being quite partial to two of the podcasters, Arkenor and Petter. Teppo makes an appearance in there as well, and this podcast has so many good things going for it you should certainly give it a listen. It’s got accents! Loads of accents. Oh, and great information about MMOs, and other tid bits of greatness.

You can listen to the podcast in a bunch of different ways here. So be sure to check it out!

Thoughts on Staying Power #MMORPG #EQ2 #SWTOR #WoW

 

This post may come off a little negative, but that’s not how it’s intended. I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately to why SWTOR didn’t grab me, or rather, it did, but couldn’t keep me. One of the major issues I had wasn’t really an issue at all, but is just how gamers perceive things. There are a lot of ‘things’ that I’m used to having in games, thanks to those who have been around for 5+ years. I realize it’s incredibly unfair to judge a game that releases today against a game that has been around for many years because after all that game has had time to grow – but – as a gamer, we are not interested in how things were 5 years ago, or how they will be 5 years from now. What we are interested in (and I use the term ‘we’ loosely here before someone throws a fit) is what is available NOW. At this exact moment that we are playing. If I can play a game that offers me 5 things that I really want from my video game, as opposed to a game that offers me 9 things that I really want from my video game, which game do you think I’m going to play? It doesn’t matter how old or how new a game is – in order to KEEP me playing, it’s going to have to appeal to those things on my list, and lets face it, the older games have had more time to work out what those ‘things’ are and to add them.

I feel very strongly that in order to actually compete with games that are 5-10 years old, games that are being released today need to take that progress into account. Dusty made a very good point yesterday regarding SWTOR – if you are leveling alts you can’t simply say “well, I leveled in Balmorra last time, so this time I’ll go to planet X instead.” There’s no alternate rout for you to bring your characters, where as (as an example) in EQ2 if you leveled in Thundering steppes last time, you’re more than welcome to head to Nektulos Forest. Or Butcherblock Mountains. Or do dungeons. In WoW you also have the choice of where to spend your time. In Rift? Not so much. SWTOR? Also not so much. Again this is an unfair comparison and I know it is, because the two later games are much newer, and thus haven’t had the time to add new content – but that’s simply how it is. In order to compete with games that are 5-10 years old, you must think of yourself as one of those games. I realize that there’s only so much manpower a company can dedicate to a game, and I also realize that this is pretty much an impossible task – but for us selfish gamers, that’s how we’re thinking. We’re going to constantly compare any new game to those we have played previously. Those older games have already gotten their hands on us, we’ve already got ties to them – new games need a way to get those hands on us in a MUCH faster way, so that we’ll stay.

When it comes down to it, that’s why SWTOR didn’t have the staying power required for me to keep playing. Were the stories amazing? Sure they were, I loved them. I loved having choices for my characters to make. I experienced very few bugs (personally, I know others have a long list of bugs), and datacrons and exploration were fun. The problem is (aside from the story lines and character choices) I can get those things in any other game on my list, plus more sandbox features which is key to me sticking around in any game. I play alts, they need choices that will be different from my mains. Sure, I can choose a different *story* for them, but they’re basically doing the exact same things (as long as we’re the same factions) as my main, minus the class quests. They’re visiting the same zones, collecting the same datacrons, and when I dislike a zone like Balmorra (those lifts.. that map.. OUCH) I have no alternate rout. Now, maybe game companies have given up on trying to retain players and instead are working to build up their first-time sales, which is completely fine if that’s the way they’re trying to operate. Obviously that’s not how I’d prefer things done but hey I’m not a gaming company trying to make money, I’m just a player.

Anyhow, those were just some of my thoughts on player retention. As always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!

 

Inspirational Girl Gamer for January – Domino

I am so incredibly happy to announce this months ‘Inspirational Girl Gamer’ – Emily (aka Domino). You may not recognize her in her Dalek form pictured above, but Emily has played an important role over the years in the development of EverQuest II, especially concerning tradeskills. Not only that, but this girl gamer has inspired many with her fantastic minecraft creations, book suggestions, and is just a plain ‘ol wonderful person. Of course I’m slightly bias since she’s also Canadian and we have to stick together. *grins* A huge thank you to Emily for taking time out of her busy schedule to answer some questions for me, I hope everyone enjoys reading them as much as I did.  Without further wait here they are:

1. What was your first gaming experience, and how old were you?

I don’t even remember how old I was. I remember loading “Frogger” from a cassette tape at my aunt and uncle’s house; that’s got to be pretty long ago. But I’m not 100% sure if that was the earliest. I remember Pong, vaguely, but I don’t remember if it was the original arcade game or a later personal computer version. I do know I was absolutely fascinated by arcades when they appeared, and I’d spend hours (if allowed) just watching the bigger kids play things like Pac Man. The local laundromat had a game called Tutankhamun, and later Elevator Action, and I spent a LOT of quarters playing those.

2. How many hours did it take you to complete your Halloween costume for this year, and by the way, WOW what a costume
I didn’t keep track of the hours, but it was an ongoing project for several months. The most time-consuming part was spray-painting all the foam hemispheres and then gluing them on. I did save a lot of time by starting with a dress I found at the Salvation Army and converted into the skirt, rather than sewing one from scratch. The top was likewise a corset purchased on ebay which I just sewed some silver ribbon onto. The headpiece was a bit fiddly too, as I actually did some soldering to get the central blue light to work.

3. What are your favorite types of video games to play?

I tend to prefer strategy and sim type games, although I do play others. Currently I’m obsessed with Minecraft, I also got almost all the remaining achievements in “Plants vs. Zombies” over the holidays. Alpha Centauri is also one of my favorite games ever (and IMO the best in the Civ series) and of course I played lots of Sim City and Populous way back in the day. I don’t like feeling forced down a particular plot track or into a particular gameplay style, and I love to explore and find new ways to entertain myself, so sandbox type games appeal to me quite strongly, as well as MMOs of course, which is why EverQuest and EverQuest II have drawn me in for years. That said, I was one of the Tetris champs in my college dorm; I actually used to be able to play left-handed or even play with my feet and still beat my boyfriend of the time (this didn’t go over too well).

4. How do you find balance in your day between all of the activities that you do?

To be honest, I’m not sure I do. It’s an ongoing effort. I guess it’s a hazard of loving what you do for work; it’s difficult to remember not to work way too much, and take time to do other things. My friends help to remind me of this, and playing things like Minecraft rather than the game I work on helps also. (Although I do also play the game I work on, these days I find it’s almost impossible to relax while doing so, and I usually end up with an email full of notes on things to improve or fix at the end of a play session, unfortunately.)

5. What is one of the most emotional moments in gaming you’ve ever experienced?

This is more of a moment in game development than pure gaming itself, but as tradeskill developer during EQII’s Destiny of Velious expansion, I created a new present-day version of the Coldain Prayer Shawl quest for tradeskill players. The original quest was a huge mark of crafting accomplishment in the original EQ, and I wanted the EQII version to make the player feel epic, and as if they had really affected the world. I did a ton of research and the new quest was tied very closely into the lore behind the original quests; to make a long story short, in the original EQ, after the events of the original quest, the ring wars between the coldain dwarves and the giants drew to a close with the giants advancing on the dwarven city of Thurgadin. Defenses crumbling, the desperate dwarves had only one last option remaining to them, their absolute last-ditch plan of last resort: they set explosives beside the waterfall above Thurgadin, blowing away the top of the mountain and unleashing the icy waters onto the battlefield. The floods of frigid waters and their cryomancers’ spells froze the torrents solid, encasing both giants and dwarves below in an icy tomb. This ended the ring wars for good and saved Thurgadin from the giant invasion, but it also meant the death of all the brave coldain warriors who were fighting on the battlefield that day. For hundreds of years thereafter the coldain in Thurgadin have had to live with the knowledge that they knowingly murdered their most brave defenders to save themselves; and worse still, the spirits of the dwarves (and giants) killed in that final battle have been somehow trapped, re-enacting the final battle over and over again as ghosts instead of proceeding the afterlife of feasting halls and dwarven revelry which all dwarves look forward to. The coldain have spent the years in fear and guilt that their ancestors have been trapped in this endless undead hell because they were killed by the hand of their own kin, and the dwarven god Brell Serilis has therefore rejected them from proceeding to the afterlife. In the new coldain prayer shawl quest, the player gradually learns this history and learns of the horrific burden of guilt that the coldain are suffering, and struggles to make contact with the ghostly warriors and the god Brell Serilis to try and free the trapped spirits. Without going into all the details, suffice it to say that the player manages to gain the assurance from Brell that the warriors are serving an essential purpose and will indeed proceed to their just rewards when that is completed, and to take this news back to the coldain dwarves of Thurgadin to at last relieve them of their incredible burden of centuries-old guilt. It’s a pretty epic story and I really hope the players who complete it feel their actions have had a real and fundamental effect on all of Thurgadin. I confess to tearing up a little while writing some of the dialog for the guilt-wracked, and then unimaginably relieved, coldain dwarves and imagining what extreme depths of emotion they must be feeling.

6. What is your favorite book?

Oh, very tough question – so hard to pick just one! You could ask me this question every day for a week and I could probably give you a different answer each day depending on my mood, but today I think I’ll nominate the novella “True Names And Other Dangers” by Vernor Vinge. This was written in 1981, pre-world-wide-web, pre-virtual reality, before William Gibson’s “Burning Chrome” and before Neal Stephenson’s “Snow Crash”. It’s probably the first recognizable description of cyberspace written, and when I read it in the early 90s it just blew my mind. When you consider that the internet as we know it was still well over a decade away from existence it’s simply amazing that he wrote this in 1981. I recommend it to anybody interested in cyberspace, cyberpunk, and SF in general (it’s currently available in the collection of essays “True Names and the Opening of the Cyberspace Frontier”). Vinge’s later novel “Across Realtime” is also highly recommended! Other favorite authors include Pratchett, Bujold, Austen, Tepper, and Gaiman.

7. Any words of wisdom for people looking to get into the video game industry?

I joined the industry in a rather nonstandard way, so I don’t know if the specifics of my particular experience would be a lot of use to others. But in general I will say the following: learn Excel. Learn everything about it. Learn how to do vlookups and concatenations and substitution formulas and match formulas and nested if statements. Use it to write your Christmas cards and organize your book collection and calculate your D&D stats and anything else you can think of. Excel is a game designer’s best friend. Also, learn to write and communicate clearly and effectively. It doesn’t matter if you have the best ideas in the world if you can’t communicate them to other people (be they players or co-workers) both in words or in writing. And finally, be positive. Never criticize anything without also offering a solution to fix it; and preferably compliment a good point at the same time. This is true whether you’re a game player or a game designer; in fact it’s worth trying in all aspects of life both personal and professional, regardless of where you work or play.

8. What has been your geekiest moment to date?

Another question to which there are many, many possible answers! I could pick any number of occasions, but the first one that springs to mind this evening is spending Valentine’s day in 1996 sitting alone in the university computer lab learning how to make my first web page on the ancient unix-based mainframes. That was a pretty exciting evening, in terms of learning new stuff. But okay, maybe just a little bit geeky. In fact, one of the features of my brand new web page was a small stick figure comic called “geek girl”. I drew about 20 of them, I think, before retiring Geek Girl somewhere around 1997.

Holiday Events In Our Games of Choice #MMORPG #EQ2 #WoW #Rift #W101 #GW

Hard to believe that today is already December 15th – where does the time go! My apologies for those who may have been trying to access MmoQuests these past few days. My host was hacked and so the site has been less-than-stable while they resolved issues. It looks like everything is a-go now, so I should be able to get back to posting here on a regular basis, so long as something shiny doesn’t come along and distract me along the way.

There are numerous holiday festivals taking place in MMOs this time of year, and I love hearing about them all. A few of my favorites happen in Guild Wars, Wizard 101, EverQuest 2, Rift, and of course World of Warcraft. That by no means lists all of the events out there though, so make sure you take a peek into your GoC (game of choice) and take part in the yearly events (if there are any, not all games have these).

Dragon Flight (my Argent Dawn alliance based guild) managed to take down a few more encounters in some Outlands raids last week. This was quite a feat for us because we’re still only three people (actually, now we’re five, but two of them are too small to participate in these raids). We’ve been doing them for appearance gear and my shaman won herself a pair of neat shoulders that have a graphic of glowing broken up molten infused rocks.

Aside from that I’ve been working on leveling both a DeathKnight and a Druid. The druid managed to grasp on to level 62 tonight, and the DK is 61. I do have a recruit a friend account, so they’ve only got a few hours played if that. While getting to ‘end game’ is not everything, I’ve taken my time and enjoyed the ride on a handful of alts and this time I just wanted to get to Cataclysm content.

In true nomadic gamer style I haven’t really settled on a ‘main’ although I tend to play my shaman more than my other characters. I also spent some time playing Plants vs. Zombie, and Skyrim. The majority of my friends are all playing SWTOR – and it’s been really hard to hold out and not just pre-order the game for myself. In fact, there is a copy in the house, belongs to my other half. He’ll be playing and I can make a character on his account and play while he’s at work to see if the story actually does suck me in as everyone says it will. A few friends have pointed out that Star Wars has very little to do with ‘space’ and has far more to do with fantasy and magic, which is a big point in its favor (for me at least). I even sat down to try to watch the Star Wars movies today, so who knows, give it some time and perhaps that will be my GoC.

In sadder news, Beckett MOG shut its doors today. For those who don’t know I’ve been writing MMO related articles for them for a number of years now, as well as moderating their forums and writing news articles for the web site. They just weren’t pulling in enough money (or so I assume) and in this age of digital media, it’s not a big surprise. I hope that everyone who is now searching for new work (I’m looking at you, Jason) finds the job of their dreams, and I personally am incredibly thankful for the experience I’ve gained while working there.

As always, happy gaming no matter where you find yourself!

 

Santa Baby..

I know, I’m a little behind this year Santa so I’m sending this letter to your wife. She not-too-gently reminded me that Scarybooster posted his letter December 3rd and how DARE I wait three days before responding but I’m pretty confident you’ll forgive me, because after all I do run a ‘Secret Santa’ every year for gamers, in your name of course. Speaking of which, I still haven’t gotten my paypal payments. Oh, what’s that? You’re upset because even MmoGamerChick, Rivs, Rowan, and Scopique found the time to send off their lists? Well. That’s just how this year seems to be going. I’ll make up for it by being extra good next year. We both know the goodness meter was stuck at full for the past twelve months. I hope you can find time to give me the things on my wishlist, at first I didn’t think I was asking for too much but well, after reading some forums. I think this may be one of the hardest wish lists to fulfill yet.

1. If you could remind people that games are supposed to be FUN, that would be fantastic. I think there are a few sour grapes who have turned this hobby into something like work and they feel the need to shower down their negative thoughts and opinions on the rest of the happy gamers who are content with playing a 15 year old text based game and don’t see anything wrong with the fact that their UI is completely outdated (do they even HAVE a UI?! What IS that?!) and the controls are garbage. On that same note, remind people that it’s O.K. to be having fun in whatever your game of choice happens to be. That’s right, games are choices. What we play are also choices. That’s how hobbies work.

2. Make everyone do one random act of kindness in game. That’s right, I’m complaining about the lack of community and friendship we feel with anyone outside of our own personal little bubbles. I understand that these days there’s very little ‘community’ that we want to be a part of, and finding a place to belong is even more difficult – but doing just one simple little thing can brighten up someones day. I’m not saying you have to be best friends with the person or even talk to them ever again, but if you could remind people that not everyone is bad, that would be great.

3. I would LOVE to see more games like Glitch, A Tale in the Desert, and Wurm Online. I’m a bit tired of smacking things around all of the time, and I’d love to see one of those types of games become REALLY popular. Just to prove all the naysayers wrong.

4. On a more serious note, I just want people to be safe and healthy. Whether I know them or not. More happy days than sad days would be a nice plus, too.

 

Sure, my Christmas list is pretty selfish this year, but that’s what I want. I think I deserve at least a few things off of that list, hmm? I’ll even leave out a can of coke for you, the white cans. Because polar bears rock.

P.S. Don’t forget to collect a list from Tipa over at West Karana.

P.P.S. Please tell Alfie I want to sleep for more than 5 hours a night.

 

2011 Gamers Secret Santa Under Way!

This morning 65 eager emails were sent out with care, in hopes that secret santa, soon would be there. That’s right, I finally kicked off the 2011 Gamers Secret Santa and wow what a fantastic turn out! If you’ve signed up be sure to check your email to see who your recipient is, and if there’s any mistakes or issues or for some reason you are unable to participate this year, please don’t hesitate to contact me and let me know! After all, sending out so many emails means I’m bound to make a mistake here and there! If you’re having issues coming up with something to send to your gift-receiver, don’t forget that we’re all gamers at heart. We share a secret bond of game related history that few others ever comprehend.

I hope everyone enjoys this round (the third year running) as I have putting it together, and I’m already excited about next year! Thank you all for taking part, without you I quite literally would not be running this small event.

Feature: Inspirational Girl Gamer for November – Tipa

It’s time for a new monthly feature here on MmoQuests, one inspired by an email I had received talking about female gamers and asking  me some questions about my opinions on the matter. I know so many girl gamers who are not only gamers but also incredible people in all aspects of their life. What better way to recognize them then to post a monthly feature here on MmoQuests highlighting the individual person. This months feature is on Tipa – someone I’ve known for many years now. She is not only an incredible blogger, girl gamer, and coding guru but has taken it upon herself this past year or so to become more physically active in her day to day life, choosing to bike rather than take a car when she can, and sharing those adventures with us through her photography. As a gamer myself I find her an incredible inspiration, as being more active is something I think many gamers strive for but rarely succeed with on the levels that she has. Tipa was kind enough to answer a few questions for me to share with readers here on MmoQuests, I hope you all enjoy!

1. When and why did you start getting interested in video games?

Pinball games were everywhere when I grew up. I don’t remember the first video game I ever saw, but it was probably at the Ramada Inn. My cousin brought me there. I’d never seen anything like them. I know they had Pong there, and a shooting game called Boot Hill, and a little motorcycle jumping game, and a top-down racing game. Colors were just plastic overlays on the screen. From there it exploded, and the pinball games were replaced by video games.

I sucked at them all but I loved them to death.

I joined a gamer club in college. I wasn’t a gamer at the time, but I’d heard about D&D, had bought the basic set and tried to play with my little sister. It was mostly engineering students in the club, and military types who worked at Pease Air Force base in nearby Portsmouth. The two influences brought a huge variety of games to the club.

The engineering students all had access to the university’s timesharing system (and so did I, as an electrical engineering undergrad). Video games had been undergoing a quiet revolution in universities the world round. The very first video game ever made, Spacewar!, was used to demonstrate and sell the DEC PDP-1 in 1962. UNH had twin PDP-10s, named Scylla and Charybdis. We all learned how to write multiplayer video games on the DECs even as we played ADVENT (Colossal Cave Adventures), Rogue and DUNGEON (Zork), DECWAR, Walter Bright’s EMPIRE and so on.

2. What are your favorite types of games to play?

Definitely RPGs. Making a character and facing unknown dangers ties so perfectly into the fantasy novels I loved as a kid. I like best the kind of RPG that provides a canvas on which to write your own story, like the original EverQuest, but single player RPGs with a story are worth playing if the story they tell is a good one.

Single player RPGs are like books, but instead of turning a page, you’re hitting the keys the designer specifies to move the story along. I’m not looking for a challenge in story RPGs, just more narrative, because I’m just consuming, and I’m eager to finish the story and move on to the next one with a minimal of hassle.

I give more leeway to MMORPGs. They usually have less story and require more skill, and you have the fantastic benefit of playing with other people. It’s less like reading a book, more like going to an arena to watch a sports game, a game you yourself can step into and play.

3. If you could work any job in the gaming industry, what would you see yourself doing?

Programming. Working out graphics subroutines, making responsive UIs, bringing worlds to life — that’s what I would love to do. I’ve applied for dozens of gaming jobs, though, and only once got any sort of response. After awhile, I gave up and just settled for more mundane jobs.

I’m no game designer. I’ve written games in the past (and even sold two of them), but every single one of them was written to try out a new UI idea or a new graphics trick. The two games were both for the Sony Magic Link handheld computer. Reversi (Othello) I wrote to test out a new heuristic-based minmax algorithm for the moves, and was fairly challenging. Gammon was my integration of pre-rendered 3D graphics with gameplay, inspired by Rare’s Donkey Kong Country games. Both were part of the Sony Magic Bag game pack, and got decent reviews. It led into a freelance writing job with PDA Developer magazine for a few months.

4. What inspires and motivates you in your day-to-day activities?

For a few dark years, I was motivated entirely by my love for MMOs. My kids were teenagers at the time and mostly doing their own things, so I was free to lose myself in gaming. And I did — I lost myself. When I lost my job in the aftermath of the dotcom bust, I played EQ and any other MMO I could get my hands on. I lost my house, moved to San Diego and kept playing. Eventually I came to my senses, cleaned up, got a job, got my life back in order and vowed to never fall into the trap of “hardcore” gaming again. That stuff will eat your life.

I want my life to be a story where something fascinating is always on the next page. A story you don’t ever want to have end. I’ve learned to always have something to look forward to, to work to. This is how MMOs trapped me; I substituted real life goals for the goals of reaching a new level, mastering the next raid. I’ve since found that real life has just as much magic as any MMO.

Currently I am training for my first ever road race. This winter holds the adventure of finding a new place to live, a place of my own for the first time since I lost my house almost a decade ago.

5. How many computer languages do you know?

BASIC, FORTRAN, Pascal, COBOL, APL, Forth, Simula, ALGOL, LISP, C, C++, Java, JavaScript, Perl, Python, PL/SQL… 16?

6. What is your favorite book?

Jonathan Livingston Seagull, by Richard Bach. It changed my life when I read it as a kid. After that, probably Ubik by Philip K. Dick.

7. How do you find a balance in your day between all of the activities that you do?

I don’t really have that many activities. I tend to go to work and then come home. Whatever it is that interests me at the time, I do. It could be writing, or blogging, or playing a game, or reading a book, planning a weekend bike ride or working on a program.

I love writing programs to solve puzzles. I spent weeks writing a program to solve a puzzle in kids MMO Neopets, and fell into a community of other solvers which I did not even know existed (though I suspected). I solved the short-lived EQ2 tie-in game, Fantasy League, with a genetic algorithm-based solution that quickly brought me to the top of the scoring charts — even though I wasn’t paying much to play.

Life is a puzzle. It can be solved.

 

A huge congratulations and thank you to Tipa for sharing her answers here, if you know a girl gamer you would like to nominate for this monthly feature, please don’t hesitate to contact me: stargrace@mmoquests.com

 

2011 Gamers Secret Santa

In case you’re not familiar, last year I ran the 2010 Gamers Secret Santa, and the year before I ran the 2009 Gamers Secret Santa – and it was a huge success. I had over 100 people participate, and geeky gifts were sent out all over the world. This year I’ve decided to attempt to run another one. If you’d like to participate or are interested in what it’s all about please read further!

What it is: Those who want to participate, are more then welcome to. You can be a gamer, blogger, a member of the game industry, whatever. As long as games are some how a part of your life. I will take names / addresses, and assign everyone a ‘secret’ person to buy a small less then $20 gift for, as well as give them the address required. Send out your gift and wait for one to head your way, and that’s it. Ok, let me explain it a bit better.

What is “Secret Santa?” here’s the definition!

How:

1. Send your full name and mailing address to me at stargrace@mmoquests.com, make sure it comes from a valid email address. If you happen to run a fansite or a blog, please mention which blog you write for. If you’re just a gamer mention that too. It doesn’t matter who you are or how involved in the gaming community you are, anyone can participate.

2. On December 1st I will email you back with someone else’ address.

3. The price limit is $20, don’t spend any more then that. Be creative, make something, have it be unique to your culture or your life, if you need suggestions then please don’t hesitate to let me know. Try to keep in mind that we’re all gamers, no matter where we come from.

4. Keep your person a secret! Don’t tell anyone who else you have. If you DO happen to run a fansite or blog, then when you receive your gift write about it and let everyone know.

5. If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to let me know below in comments, or email me.

Details: I understand that you may not be comfortable with me or one other person having your mailing address, so if you’re not please don’t feel pressured to participate. The idea is to share with one another and realize what a fantastic community we have, not make you feel on edge that you’re going to potentially run into issues.

If you’d like to participate but simply can not afford to no matter what, send me an email and let me know, I will do my best to help you out. I want anyone who’s interested to be able to participate in this event. I think some times we forget that these people we all talk to online are not just random pixels, but are actual people on the other end of those computers.

Please keep in mind that only myself, and ONE other person will have your address. It won’t become a mailing list or anything like that. If you’re only comfortable with me having it and no one else then let me know, and I’ll have your gift sent to me and then I’ll send it out to you. Anything to make sure people are comfortable and still able to participate.

YOU HAVE UNTIL DECEMBER 1st TO EMAIL ME YOUR ADDRESS – please take your time to think about whether or not this is something you really want to do. If it is, get me your address by December 1st so that I can give people some time to get their shopping done. If it’s a little late (the gift, not the address) that’s alright.

If you don’t celebrate christmas but still want to participate that’s alright too! This isn’t a religious thing, I just want to try it out and see how it works this year. There are some amazing gamers I have met from all over the world, and I think that we have a lot to share with one another.

I think that’s about it. If you can think of something I’ve missed then please let me know and I’ll do my best to answer it. If this is a completely horrible idea don’t feel shy to let me know. I just wanted to share some of the christmas joy that’s going to be flying around before too long and figured this would be a fantastic idea for people to experience it with one another.

2,000th Post

Where does the time go – I started this blog back in 2006 and have been posting fairly frequently ever since. I’ve met some wonderful people and some not so wonderful people. I’ve shared my experiences with numerous games over that period and I’ve had fun writing ‘my way’ which is typically drama free (and results in less comments but is true to my nature). Back in 2006 EQ2 was my game of choice, and while my desire to play it has faded over time I always look at it with fond memories. These days I bounce between a handful of games, at the moment the list includes EQ1, Vanguard, League of Legends, World of Warcraft, Rift, and The Lord of the Rings Online, Sims 3, and whatever else happens to strike my fancy.

On the game ‘news’ front this week is pretty exciting. There were test patch notes released for 4.3 (World of Warcraft) and today 1.5 is going live in Rift which is bringing about all sorts of goodies. We’re counting down to the Sims 3 Pets release, and SW:TOR was also given a release date. I’m excited about Skyrim, which is supposed to release November 11th if all goes well. There’s a handful of other notable games releasing over the next few months that I’m sure have people pretty excited. It’s a great time to be a gamer (and a writer of said games).

I just want to thank everyone who continues to read this site, and any newcomers. While I write for myself (and always will) it’s incredibly heartwarming to know there are others out there reading about my adventures and sharing in my virtual travels. As always, happy gaming no matter where you find yourself. Hugs!

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