Hmm… three posts to cover 2011? This blog has not turned into what I originally intended. I was thinking a post a month at the very least would be good. Oh well… it is what it is, I guess.
I had a fantastic time camping with my friends back in June. It’s been a while since I had gone camping. We stayed at the Wakins Glen campground Friday night through Sunday morning.
Friday night after everyone had finished setting up, we spent hanging around the camp site – drinking, talking, & playing card games.
We spent a chunk of Saturday walking the gorge. Of course I took my camera; my friends got a little annoyed with how long I was taking… but being a photographer, I couldn’t help but stop to take pictures. I was taking a lot of long shutter speed pictures and multiple exposures for HDR images. After walking around the gorge for a while we went back to camp; we made some new friends that were there camping across the way from us.
After that a group of us went out on wine tasting. I didn’t do any tastings, because I decided to drive. When we got back from the tasting tour, we went back to our new friends’ camp site and spent the evening partying.
When I had finished post-processing my photos and posted them, most of the people that had complained about me taking so long responded with something like, “I see what took so long, good thing you didn’t rush. These are some gorgeous shots!”
I spent the fourth of July with a bunch of friends; there was a BBQ at Katie’s house. That night we drove to the city to watch the fireworks. I made my first attempt at taking photos of fireworks and think I did rather well. After watching the fireworks we made our way back to Katie’s.
Most of the group was ready to head to bed, so they left. Katie and I decided we wanted to watch Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along-Blog.
After that night, Katie and I started hanging out on a daily basis, up from our once every month or so. We started geocaching & going on all sorts of adventures together.
Katie and I went on our first date on July 19th; we took a day trip to Niagara Falls. She likes to think that she asked me out… in all honesty, she kind-of did, but I like to think of it as a joint effort [haha]: I mentioned that I still needed to get up to Niagara Falls so I could take pictures; she said that she wanted to go up there again soon, and said we should go together. One of us [I don’t remember who] made the semi-joking comment, “It’s a date.” Well, that semi-joking comment made us think, is it really a date-date or was it just a date we had set to go?
On the 19th, I drove out to Katie’s and we packed up lunch and snacks for a picnic, then left for Niagara Falls. After walking around for a while [and me stopping repeatedly for photos], Katie poked fun at me & told me that she was going to make me an “I break for photos” patch for my camera bag [which I’m still waiting for, lol]. After we had been there a while we began talking about what there was between us… were we just awesome friends, or was there more? Shortly after that, we made our relationship official.
In August, I had my first legit paid photography gig – a wedding vow renewal. It was a bit nerve-racking, but it was my first paid gig, and it was a wedding. At least it wasn’t their first wedding [not to make it sound that the renewal wasn’t important], so it wasn’t as stressful as if I was in charge of getting all the pictures perfect or suffer the wrath of the family. They also understood that I was new to the events/portrait photography. It was a great experience and even though it was stressful, it was a lot of fun. I think I still prefer landscape/nature photography though.
Katie and my next great adventure together was the Sterling Renaissance Festival, we went with our friends Kat and Shannon. They managed to get me in a kilt. Not that it was very hard, I think it went something like: Katie- “I want to see you in a kilt before we leave.” Kat & Shannon- “Yes!” Me- “I was thinking about checking them out anyways, but ok… if you insist.”
My 10-year high school reunion was in August of 2011. I had some car problems and almost couldn’t go due to repair costs, but then I suggested being an unpaid photographer in exchange for free admission & got in to the reunion that way. It was cool seeing everyone again, even though I didn’t talk to most of them back in high school.
Katie and I attended Uproar Festival 2011 with a bunch of friends… that was a great day. All day at the Darien Lakes Performing Arts Center listening to a bunch of great bands while hanging out with some awesome people. Katie and I ended up taking almost the same picture, just a slightly different angle, and I edited mine a little.
Last year was the first time I’ve dressed up for Halloween in a few years. Katie and I dressed up as Desmond Miles and Lucy Stillman from Assassin’s Creed.
We started off by doing a bunch of the traditional shots, where Katie was helping with getting Tommy into the positions that they wanted for indoor & outdoor shots. After we had finished with the traditional sets, Tommy and I screwed around and got a few fun pictures of him with his dirt bike.
One of my instructors at school invited me to pick up my third paid photo job. There was an event at the Phelps Art Center where Stan Munro, the creator of Toothpick City was at the center giving a demo for some kids & there was a reception after.
It was a lot of fun & great getting to meet Stan. I had been to the Phelps Art Center a few times before to look at & take pictures of the display. It’s amazing what he’s done with just toothpicks & Elmer’s Glue.
I honestly haven’t played a ton of Assassin’s Creed. Between Katie, school, & Battlefield 3 – I didn’t have enough time to invest and get caught up in the story. Maybe I’ll hit it up some more later this week.
Battlefield 3, ah… Battlefield. I have heard friends say both good and bad things about BF3. All-in-all, it’s pretty much the same game as Bad Company 2. Sure, they’ve made it much prettier, added a few things here and there, and added a new physics engine… but it’s essentially the same game as every other FPS out there. Even so, I still enjoy the game immensely. It’s not a game I can spend days playing though, it gets too repetitive.
I was debating getting Skyrim, I’ve messed with most of the past Elder Scrolls games, but I never got very involved with them, I just got bored. Ever since I snagged Skyrim, most of my gaming-time is spent there. To say the game is amazing would be an understatement. The world is massive, there are tons of quests and things to be done. I have a level 37 Orc warrior that focuses on bows & two-handed weapons. I started a mage & thief characters around the same time as my warrior, but the warrior was the only one that has really kept my interest.
Red Dead Redemption is another game I wasn’t sure if I wanted. It was neat and all, but I had played a bit at a friend’s and wasn’t very impressed. The lack of excitement probably stemmed from a few weeks after it was released, when a friend tossed me the controller to a game that he was half way through and didn’t give me much of the back-story or any real instruction about what I was supposed to do. Katie got it for me as a Christmas gift and my interest in the game perked up again. It’s a pretty good game, kind of like a GTA of the wild west.
Skyrim is still consuming most of my gaming time, which is hindering progress in the other three games… but they are coming along, slowly.
This past semester at school went really well too. I took my first Photography class; it was all black & white film, and I loved it. As much as I enjoy digital, it’s a blast developing and printing photos. I also took Computer Imaging, which was loads of fun… even though a good chunk of it was review. I finished up the Design & Foundation Drawing class chain taking the second part of each. The last class I took the past semester was Ceramics I, I decided to take this so that I could make things that I can actually use in every-day-life now that the classes are done.
The other day I received a letter in the mail from school, I was worried that it might be an issue with billing or something. Luckily, it was to tell me that I was added to the Dean’s List this semester because my GPA was above 3.5!
All that being said, I leave you with an inspirational video for the start of the year. ❤
The words in this video are from Dr. Seuss’s “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.
You’ll look up and down streets. Look’em over with care. About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.” With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, you’re too smart to go down a not-so-good street.
And you may not find any you’ll want to go down. In that case, of course, you’ll head straight out of town. It’s opener there in the wide open air.
Out there things can happen and frequently do to people as brainy and footsy as you.
And when things start to happen, don’t worry. Don’t stew. Just go right along. You’ll start happening too.
Oh! The Places You’ll Go!
You’ll be on your way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.
You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed. You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead. Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.
Except when you don’t.
Because, sometimes, you won’t.
I’m sorry to say so but, sadly, it’s true that Bang-ups and Hang-ups can happen to you.
You can get all hung up in a prickle-ly perch. And your gang will fly on. You’ll be left in a Lurch.
You’ll come down from the Lurch with an unpleasant bump. And the chances are, then, that you’ll be in a Slump.
And when you’re in a Slump, you’re not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.
You will come to a place where the streets are not marked. Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked. A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin! Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in? How much can you lose? How much can you win?
And if you go in, should you turn left or right…or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite? Or go around back and sneak in from behind? Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find, for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.
You can get so confused that you’ll start in to race down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space, headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or No or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting.
Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite or waiting around for Friday night or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil, or a Better Break or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants or a wig with curls, or Another Chance. Everyone is just waiting.
No! That’s not for you!
Somehow you’ll escape all that waiting and staying. You’ll find the bright places where Boom Bands are playing. With banner flip-flapping, once more you’ll ride high! Ready for anything under the sky. Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!
Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won. And the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winning-est winner of all. Fame! You’ll be famous as famous can be, with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.
Except when they don’t. Because, sometimes, they won’t.
I’m afraid that some times you’ll play lonely games too. Games you can’t win ‘cause you’ll play against you.
Whether you like it or not, Alone will be something you’ll be quite a lot.
And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants. There are some, down the road between hither and yon, that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.
But on you will go though the weather be foul. On you will go though your enemies prowl. On you will go though the Hakken-Kraks howl. Onward up many a frightening creek, though your arms may get sore and your sneakers may leak. On and on you will hike. And I know you’ll hike far and face up to your problems whatever they are.
You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.
And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)
Kid, you’ll move mountains!
So…be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ale Van Allen O’Shea, you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!
It’s been a while since I’ve posted. I got caught up between school, gaming, and nurturing a new passion. What’s gone on the past two months you ask? I’ll tell you!
Since we last parted, I have made a little progression with Deathengine. He now has the Fiery Warhorse, as well as the Kingslayer title. I’m still running Zul’Gurub [still trying for the mounts] before Cataclysm is released… but I’m not getting my hopes up. I’m also in the process of farming gold & Emblems of Frost so I can continue on the Shadowmourne quest chain. I’m still on the first step [The Sacred and Corrupt], I need to get another 16 Primordial Saronite. At the very least, I want to complete this section of the chain so that I can get my hands on Shadow’s Edge.
I picked up Battlefiled: Bad Company 2 for the Xbox 360. I’ve unlocked almost everything; all I have left to unlock is the last weapon in the Assault class. I enjoy the Recon class the most… give me a sniper rifle and I’ll go to town.
I also picked up Halo: Reach. I finished Legendary in co-op mode, & I have one mission left to complete in solo campaign. A few of my friends and I are really enjoying Firefight lately, we will set up a game that lasts hours. The last game we set up was 10 sets, I don’t remember what difficulty we played on… but it took almost 2 hours! [click here for my Reach stats]
I have continued with the photography, although I’ve taken a few breaks due to school & games. One of my best friends moved back from Florida a month or so ago. We haven’t gotten to hang out too much, but the last time we hung out; she brought her puppy over and I ended up taking quite a few photos of her.
Indiana is a beautiful dog. She has gorgeous eyes and no problem whoring herself to the camera! I’m sure I’ll get plenty more opportunities to take photos of her.
I went to Watkins Glen over the weekend for a hike. We hiked from the top of the gorge to the bottom and stopped for lunch. After lunch we went back up to the top and made one last trip back down to the bottom. We did about five miles total during the hike.
I want to get a better camera now, I would like a Digital SLR. I was looking at a few online… I found two that I want [one or the other], the Canon EOS 5D Mark II or the Canon EOS 60D. I just have to figure out where I’m going to get the extra $2500+ for the 5D Mark II or $1000 for the 60D. I’ll probably go for something more like the 60D for now… just have to find an “affordable” one!
Don’t get me wrong, I love my camera [Nikon Coolpix L18, for those of you that are wondering]. For being a basic point & click machine, it does a very good job. I just want to be able to mess with all the settings, not just the preset ones that came with mine. I can’t change the shutter speed on my camera… also, there is no manual focus, this makes me sad.
So far all I’ve done nature photography and some sets of domestic animals. I would like to do a bit of photography with people as well, nothing major… unless I’m mysteriously amazing at it. I’m not sure how I would go about photographing a person, model specifically. I prefer to capture the moment and not script something [IE – set up a photo-shoot with wardrobe/theme].
I was thinking about it last night [technically Wednesday morning, about 4am while lying in bed awake… again]. I got thinking about different friends that I think could model & one person jumped out to me.
So Wednesday morning after I woke up [around 11am] & mulled things over a bit, I sent her a message on Facebook running the idea by of her doing a photo-shoot with me. I know it wouldn’t be anything professional [obviously], but I let her know what I had thought about.
I can’t say I was really expecting her to jump at the idea, seeing as we haven’t really talked in about four years and it was out-of-the-blue. I was surprised by a very enthusiastic response!
She asked me why had thought of her before anyone else. Honestly, that’s a good question, I’m not even sure why. She just popped into my mind when I started thinking about who would be a good person to do a photo-shoot with, who I felt would be an ideal match for the step into the world of photographing models.
Anyways, we are now in the process of trying to decide more of the specifics of what kind of photo-shoot we want to do. In a way, I wish I had some sort of studio so I could practice the indoor “staged” shots. But at the same time I’m glad I don’t have a studio, I’d rather avoid the prefabricated look. We will probably end up doing our photo-shoot outside. It’s a great time of year to do an outdoor set, with the leaves changing and all… even though its freaking cold out.
As soon as we have everything decided and we have free time, we’ll do a set and see how things go. If we think there’s possibility there, we’ll probably set up future shoots to do. With the way things have gone lately, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if we did multiple sets.
I should ask around if any of my other friends wants to do a photo-shoot. Although, I’m not sure who I would ask. The biggest reason I mentioned it to my one friend is because of how she just popped into my head when I started thinking about it. If I do end up talking to more friends about doing a photo shoot… worst case scenario, we’ll end up with stupid pictures to post on Facebook. Who knows, maybe someone will even end up with a new profile picture!
I stopped in at school today to see an adviser about possibly changing my major. Because I went in without an appointment, I was only able to speak with one of the lowbie-advisers, oh well. Information Technology is seeming less and less desirable of a job lately. As much as I enjoy computers & technology, I don’t know if I want a career that’s focused on that. I’ve hated not knowing what I want to do for a career. Even when I finally chose IT, I wasn’t entirely thrilled about it. Yeah, it’s interesting… but all I’m interested in is stuff I’m planning on doing to my computer[s] & network[s]…
I have a meeting with the head career-adviser at school on Thursday. I’m thinking about switching my major over to something a bit more photography-oriented, possibly photo-journalism.
The more pictures I take [especially of nature], the more I think about photography as being a career… like working for National Geographic! That would rock!
I haven’t done much in the way of gaming the past few weeks with everything going on before school starts.
I still haven’t started Assassin’s Creed 2, the little time I’ve spent gaming has been Modern Warfare 2. Finished up Spec Ops on Veteran with my brother, every single mission. Sadly, I think the last two missions were easier than a few of the others. I hope there’s a bit more time after school starts!
Random thought… I wonder how long it will last. I’m gonna start tagging each post with the musical artist[s] that play when I post.
I haven’t really been doing a ton of gaming the past few weeks, with being sick & the holidays. I still haven’t even gotten to start Assassin’s Creed 2.
l’ve thought about re-upping my WoW account, I’m not sure though. I’m going back to school, so I don’t want to pay for an account I might not even use [or slack off in my classes because I’m distracted by WoW]. Some of my co-workers are starting to play, which i kinda pushing me more toward re-upping…
Did some interesting Sudoku puzzles at work.
We’ll see I guess. I’ve gotten really good at keeping on task when I could be gaming, so I might give it a shot.
My other brother and nephew are now both playing Modern Warfare 2 as well. I know a lot of time is gonna be burned in MW2 for a while.
And Mass Effect 2 comes out later this month, I want to play that too.
Too many games, to little time!
I decided to take a step back to a few games I still need to finish playing through today… Assassin’s Creed & Batman: Arkham Asylum.
Apparently in Assassin’s Creed, I only had three more people to assassinate, now I’m down to one. I can only deal with the repetitive quests so many times before I get annoyed.
I do enjoy the freedom to do the quests in whatever order I feel like. I’m not a huge fan of each city being sectioned off and being locked out until very late in the game… it’s not like an RPG where mobs in restricted areas are a higher levels, it’s the same guys you see everywhere else.
I wasn’t nearly as far in Batman as I thought I was, when I started today, I had only made it about 45% of the way through the main story. Apparently I spent a lot more time exploring & looking for all the hidden things than I had originally believed.
The combat system in Batman, is pretty damn good… I’d say near flawless. There are times that you can issue a command [for example: counter] and Batman will either stop mid-movement and [sort of] transport to the enemy that was attacking, even if they’re a few feet behind him… or he’ll stand there like a statue and get hit. Now, the lack of response might just be today because of the low battery in my 360 controller.
There are minor problems within the game that I’ve noticed, but nothing that reduces the enjoyment of gameplay. I think other super-hero games [Spider-Man, Superman, etc.] need to take a lesson from Batman: Arkham Asylum.
Tonight my brother and I finished the Delta section of Spec Ops in Modern Warfare 2 on Veteran. We now have only the Echo section remaining… which is going to be a pretty good challenge [not that the rest of Spec Ops wasn’t]. I’m kinda worried about doing Echo… in Alpha, Beta, Charlie, and Delta, the “Resistance” rating has varied from “Light” to “Medium” to “Heavy”… all three of the Echo Ops have a “Resistance” rating of “Massive.”
I saw a new trailer for Mass Effect 2 today… I can’t wait. 😀
Well, it figures I would forget something in my last post. That’s what I get for posting when sleep deprived… overtime and a lack of sleep will do that to a person.
I picked up Dragon Age: Origins for the 360. It’s a fairly simple game to get a hang of, that is, after you go through the process of customizing the look of your character… which could take a long while if you have OCD, like me. I figured I needed to be a little less OCD about the way my character looked after I took a good half hour making my character look just right, then deciding I didn’t like the way he looked any more about ten minutes into the game, deleted him, and remade him… with the almost the same results.
I have not played all of the origin stories, but of the ones I have played I only found 2-3 that actually peeked my interest. The Human Noble and both Dwarf Noble and Dwarf Commoner. I’ve mostly played my Dwarf Noble, but it seems I’m making better progress with my Human Noble because I have more of an understanding of the talent system and game-play.
It probably didn’t help my Dwarf Noble, who is a warrior, because I was using the Auto-Assign skills to all the party members [except my main character, who I was setting up to be the tank]. So, Alistair was being auto-setup to be the tank, just like I was specifically setting my Warrior. For a while I had to keep Alistair in my group because I didn’t have enough party members, there wasn’t enough DPS to kill things quickly. Things have picked up since I got other characters to replace Alistair.
My Human Noble on the other hand, who is also a warrior, is built more for the brute damage of a two-handed weapon. I’m also assigning the points for each party member instead of using the auto-assign. I let Alistair keep his tanking role, I wanted to try something a little more DPS oriented this time around.
My Dwarf Commoner on the other hand, is a Rogue. Naturally, Alistair has to keep the tanking role. I haven’t gone nearly as far with this character as I did with the my other two characters. I just finished the origin and “starting area” with this character.
My brother and I have done quite a bit of the Spec Ops in Modern Warfare 2 over the weekend, yesterday, and today. We’re going through the whole thing on Veteran. So far, we’ve completed all of Alpha and Bravo, every mission except the last in Charlie, and the first 3 in Delta. I’ll just say, they’re lots of fun, and they can be challenging… especially those Juggernauts. Oooh, those Juggernauts… *shudder* they’re insane on Veteran. I haven’t played Spec Ops on any easier modes, but I’d imagine they’re a bit easier to kill. I’m almost dreading the last two Ops in the Echo section. That just seems like a suicide mission to me.
We need to take a break from the Spec Ops though. We’re missing the multiplayer versus [we haven’t touched versus since we started playing the Spec Ops]. Our favorite versus modes are mainly Team Deathmatch and Ground War.
Hmm, I think I finished Fable II… I can’t quite recall at the moment now. Of course, if not, the reason being… better games. Also, Batman: Arkham Asylum is still sitting in the que to be finished, I’m picking at it on occasion. There are just so many games that catch my attention. I really need to work on completing a game before I start another.
I have spent a lot of time playing Borderlands, although, I stopped playing Mordecai [the “Hunter”]. I started playing Lilith [the “Siren”]. When I started Lilith, I started playing online. I thought it was good before, it’s even better online, especially with friends! I don’t know why I even thought about playing that game solo. The only downside to playing online is people talk & it gets hard to hear what NPCs are saying in game.. you miss a bit of the story.
From what I’ve heard, there is another downside for playing online… but I have yet to experience it. The loot drops on the ground, anyone can grab it and leave the game for no reason. I’ve only ever played with friends, so I have yet to see that. My friends and I chose the drops based on what character we are playing and who it would benefit most.
When you distribute skill points properly, Lilith becomes vicious. I managed to get her to level 50 on her before I got Mordacai past 25. She becomes even more dangerous once you get her some nice weapons. I managed to get some pretty beastly weapons for her. She rips almost anything apart, even in 4 player games. There are a few areas that I need to find a weapon specific to the mobs in those areas.
I know I complained a little about the inventory system in my last post. It was annoying at first, but now that I’ve expanded it to 45 slots, it’s not as bad. And there’s a chance that it can expand even further, I just have to do all the quests in the second play-through: on the second play though, there’s only a chance you’ll get extra inventory space, so far out of 4 quests I’ve received 1 upgrade.
Alas… Borderlands has been pushed to the back burner a bit. Modern Warfare 2 came out. *glee* I have been waiting for this game since the first Modern Warfare came out [not really, but you get the idea]. I borrowed my friend’s MW2 for Xbox 360 for a few days while he was at work, & I waited for it to be released on PC. For some reason, Steam didn’t release it for a few days after it was sold in stores. I played through the campaign on the 360 on Normal, and did a little bit of the Spec Ops missions, but I only did a few, and solo.
I’ve since installed MW2 on my PC and played through the campaign [yes, again] on Hardened. My brother and I are playing Multiplayer pretty much any time we are both on the PCs. We have yet to hit up any Spec Ops, probably sometime this weekend.
One thing that is slightly disappointing is how quickly people are hacking & cheating in the MW2 multiplayer. I’ve run into a few different forms of cheating that’s quite annoying. One of which any time I looked at an enemy [they were near the middle of my sight] my view would spaz out like I was having a seizure just in my arm and swinging the mouse all over [character would look around very fast in random directions until I was killed].
Then on top of that, there’s lag. Now, I know there’s bound to be issues with this due to playing online. But it pisses me off when I’m behind someone and toss a grenade at their feet, then unload a full clip into them because they didn’t die [grenade and every shot registers as a hit], only to have them turn around, sprint tot me, and knife me dead. Then when I watch the kill cam, from their view, stand there like a complete idiot staring at them. That’s just stupid.
One thing I’ve determined… I need to get a new mouse. My gaming mouse broke about a month ago, I’ve been using some shitty Microsoft mouse for the past while. I also need to find some sort of desk-like surface for my keyboard & mouse. My PC is hooked up to my TV, I don’t have a monitor, I sit on my futon when playing games, it’s quite a hassle when trying to play fast paced games, such as MW2. Sitting with the keyboard on my lap & mouse on the futon next to me sucks. Haha, my own fault I guess. I decided to ditch the monitor & desk for the TV setup.
I let my World of Warcraft account expire again. I’ll return eventually.. I’m sure. I just don’t see the point in paying for WoW when I’m not really playing it. I logged for a few hours a day or two before it expired and managed to get Deathengine to level 71. I’d like to be able to hit up some gaming with my other brother, but with the lack of desire to play WoW it kinda makes that difficult… he’s not going to be getting MW2 until sometime after the holidays.
The past month or two my computer has been out of commission. Rather than fixing my PC right away, I decided I needed to take a small step a way from games (mainly World of Warcraft) and get out with my friends more. It’s difficult since I work in the morning/early-afternoon and most of them work in the mid-afternoon/evening, but it’s a lot easier since I stopped working overnights. Even with staying up “late” to hang with friends, I’ve been getting more sleep then when I was on overnights.
I dusted off my 360 to play some games that I left untouched, since I have some free time when everyone else is working. It’s a lot easier to pull away from games that don’t require more time (WoW- raids, endless grinding to level, etc).
Finally finished up Mass Effect [the last 2-3 hours I skipped out on *sigh*], I think it had great story & excellent game play. My only concerns are the load screens/time, and some bump-mapping issues. Quite often it takes a second or more for the textures to load during scene changes [conversation sequences, doors opening, amongst others], and right after load screens. The inventory system could have use a bit of work as well… it felt a bit jumbled at times. Despite all the load screens & bump-mapping issues, Mass Effect is worth it. I plan on picking up the sequels.
I’m still not too impressed with Fable II. I don’t find the story line very interesting, there are many load screens, & if you get a lot of NPCs in one area the game bogs down and gets jumpy, there are also bump-mapping issues at times as well. What really kept me playing the game was the achievements that would add points to my gamer-score, and the fact that I could just go around murdering whole villages or saving the entire countryside on a whim. I’m not sure if I’m gonna pick up Fable 3, we’ll see though… I’m hoping for improvements.
I’m a big Batman fan, so Batman : Arkham Asylum was a natural choice. It’s pretty good, I still need to play more of the story, I got distracted doing the challenges (specifically the Scarecrow one that was downloadable). The story, graphics, and game play are all excellent from what I’ve seen. There are Challenges given by the Riddler throughout the game that you can solve for extra achievements & game completion if you enjoy that kind of thing, I know I do. That’s probably a big reason I haven’t beaten the game yet, I spend a lot of time “treasure” hunting.
I’ve beaten Halo 3: ODST, the story line was interesting with the way they hopped between each of the squad’s stories. I was slightly disappointed in the difficulty of the Legendary mode, it seemed a lot easier than Halo 3. Since you’re not playing as Master Chief, I would think it should be more difficult without the over-shield and not being genetically enhanced.
Firefight is amazing. Although it has no random grouping functionality (like Halo 3 matchmaking). There have only been a few times I’ve actually had enough friends on at the same time to play and it be worth-while (and even then it’s only been 2… maybe 3 out of the [almost necessary] 4 possible). I would love to play it more, but in order to get far enough to make it worth while, my friends and I are going to have to make some sort of schedule for it.
Borderlands… ah, Borderlands. Probably the best description I’ve heard about it is, “it’s like the Diablo games and the FPS had a baby.” I chose to start with Mordecai, the sniper. I’ve reached level 19 on him, it’s a lot of fun. Now my newest sniper rifle has enough power to completely blow enemies heads off, and lower level mobs can be blown to pieces with said rifle. One thing that gets me is the fact that some non-sniper weapons have a zoom scope almost as good as my sniper scope, I don’t think I need that good of a scope (or any) on a shotgun, but some I’ve seen do have absurd scopes on them.
The inventory system is alright, only 12 slots to place things when you first start, but it’s expandable… right now I’m sitting at 18 slots. The lack of space can get annoying at times, since any extra guns, shields, or first aid kits all take up space. If you want to carry a first aid kit or two to be safe, be ready to give up precious inventory space. If you get hurt bad enough, you can chose to fight for your life or respawn back at the last save spot you walked by in what is essentially a clone body… this costs money though (currently $600-ish per spawn). I should probably start carrying a first aid kit, just in case I need it, but I would rather be able to carry that one extra gun that will add to my arsenal, or my wallet if I sell it. You also start with the ability to carry a main weapon and secondary weapon, as you progress you unlock the ability to hold up to 4 weapons, all choseable by cycling through them or hitting a hotkey.
I still have a few other games to work on that didn’t impress me too much for one reason or another: Blue Dragon (RPG, might just need to get further into the story), Assassin’s Creed (while pretty, it is very repetitive), & Grand Theft Auto IV (I’ve always taken my time with the GTAs, so this one will take a while) just to name a few.
Obviously I’ve since fixed my computer. And yes, I’ve started playing World of Warcraft again, but nowhere near as much. I still enjoy the game, but I know I need a break from playing it as much as I used to, so I’ve been limiting myself. When I do play, I’m hopping between my Death Knight [Deathengine] on a server with my brothers and my Mage [Stasís] on a server with some friends. I hit 70 on my DK today, and did a few of the Headless Horseman quests for the Hallow’s End event. I’m debating if I want to power level to 75 so I can complete the quest to kill Headless Horseman, the event ends next Saturday.