Dirge's Irae -- Whysprr's Adventure Blog

Discussion in 'Dirge' started by ARCHIVED-Whysprr_Wyrd, Oct 30, 2006.

  1. ARCHIVED-JerronBlacksilver Guest

    There's a reason I avoid PUGs like the plague. My Guild raids 3 nights a week, and usually we finish up early enough to do a quick run through OOB and then CoV, primarily to pick up gear for alts. Both instances, travel time included, take a bit less than an hour combined. On off nights, we'll do Unrest, OOB and CoV, which turns it into about a 2.5-3 hour affair. Once I made the mistake of joining a pug for OOB, I don't remember the specific group composition, but I remember we had 3 (count 'em, 3) plate tanks: SK, Berserker and Pally. I smelled trouble when I saw the berserker dual wielding. Suspicions heightened at the 2-hander wielding pally. I thought to myself "Cripes, are we gonna have a SK tanking for us?" (Disclaimer here: I am of the opinion that SK's are excellent at solo play, acceptable group tanks if played properly, and worthless raid tanks.) We did indeed have a SK tanking for us. My suspicion turned to near despair when I inspected the SK and saw he had worse avoidance than I do, and only 1% more mitigation (~44%). An hour and a half (and several wipes) later, we had finally cleared the zone. The terrible part is; for a lot of people 90 minutes is pretty standard, so that experience actually qualifies as a pretty successful run. But personally, I'd rather run with guildies.
  2. ARCHIVED-Whysprr_Wyrd Guest

    [p]President Kennedy at Rice University, September 12, 1962: [/p][p]We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too. [/p][p]Emphasis mine. [/p][p]Whysp[/p]
  3. ARCHIVED-duuf Guest

    Good for you Whsyp. I can still remember my 1st trip thru CoV with someone who knew what to do, it was a blast. A good challenge is almost always more fun than a lets see how fast we can do it this time farm run. However, if it was me, I would tell the group "I have some repair kits for 10g which is my cost, would you like one?" Oh and by the way if you ever dream of moving to Everfrost there already a Palladin in love with your prose, no heart pin needed.
  4. ARCHIVED-LiquidFlex Guest

    PUGs are awesome. You get to meet people you wouldn't normally meet, and alot of times find new regulars to group with or just call 'friend'. ( no I don't have friends I'm a Necro... but you get the idea ) You get to see other 'play styles' and learn how other classes really work not only with your current toon/class but with others as well... well those of us who are perceptive do. You get to have the challenge of figuring out how to do old stuff with new people and new ways of doing it. You get to add new stories (funny,sad,disturbing,frustrating) to your already existing journal of experiences. You get to have the delight of getting close to a sultry witty Dirge... err... was that out loud? Anyway, I didn't want to derail your stuff here Whysp. Just my 2c worth. I still PUG alot especially with alts. Granted they all can't be perfect, but then why would you want them to be? L8rz
  5. ARCHIVED-EQFinn Guest

    Isn't it about time for a new update to this Wysp? I have been thouroughly enjoying your journal so far.
  6. ARCHIVED-Whysprr_Wyrd Guest

    Felspar@Lucan DLere wrote:
    Oh, all right.
    Entry the Nineteenth - Fixing a Pickup Group
    For some reason I've gotten fixated on the problem of messy pickup groups. A night or two ago I was transmuting junk off the broker in my continuing quest to avoid saving any money for a rainy day, and wondering what I could accomplish in the 45 minutes before my brain was due to freeze up, when a guildie, a young dirge I hadn't met before, complained about the hopeless group she was running around with.
    Well, that sort of talk doesn't go around me, so I reminded her of the Dirge Motto: ‘Hey, I can fix that!' She reminded me, gently, that she didn't have all the tools an older dirge has (she was around 35 or so), so I didn't say anything in reply. But, I got to thinking about what to do when you join a group and suddenly you wipe for the fourth time and you're only halfway through - the easy half - and you're doing the math and thinking, yep, gonna be naked again just as the Evil Big Thingie of Dirge-Pummeling arrives, and you turn off the mental pictures there because you're sure the coercer can read your mind and is getting ideas that'll find you on Monday morning wondering how you'll ever face your mother again.
    Here's my step-by-step guide to handling that situation.
    1. Give the coercer a smack. Just because. He's probably thinking it.
    2. Mentally, take charge of the group. If you've wiped a few times already, you're unlikely to get much resistance on that. Don't say anything yet, though, you've got some thinking to do before you open your mouth. Your first suggestion - it's really an order but maintain the illusions of courtesy, that's what manners are for - needs to be spot-on or it's just more flailing around.
    3. Decide whether the problem is simply that you're over your heads, or poor tactics. If the former, speak up and tell folks its time to bale and do something easier.
    4. If it's a tactical problem, figure out what it is. Does the tank know how to pull cleanly? Is the healer healing well enough to succeed but gradually enough not to cause aggro problems? Is some maniacal warlock grabbing aggro, dying, and then the healer rezzing and putting the group in an aggro/health hole?
    5. Gently, but firmly, take charge. Saying stuff like ‘Gowd, noob, try pulling one at a time' may feel good, but it's just astonishingly ineffective, you can hear the sharp metallic click of minds snapping shut. People who know what they're doing don't have to cut down others to show it. Just say ‘OK, this is a tricky bit, Heroicguy, you'll need to body-pull one and a time so we can handle ‘em.' No ego, no glory, just getting the job done. Remind dpsers to wait for the tank to hold aggro. Remind the cleric to stay on-task. Cajole, wheedle, support the uncertain, encourage the skilled, teach the ignorant. Quietly ask the healer to let the warlock rot until the end of the battle, or take the rez duty yourself if you're of a level to do so. Work around problems that can't be eliminated.
    6. You probably need to go into damage-attenuation mode yourself. When things get hairy, I start every battle with Cheap Shot. It's not glamorous, it's not flashy, but two seconds may be just what the tank needs to wake up and taunt, or that the healer needs to take that bite of candy bar before she starts the ol' heal-over-times. Then Stab, Lanet's, Daro's, Discante, Tarven's before you even touch your damage-output stuff. Maybe you need to turn off Tomb's for Hyran's if there's an aggro issue. Maybe the tank's missing a lot and it's time for Boon. Even Hymn of Horror / Wail of Whatever can be useful to slow down sudden adds.
    7. Watch group morale. If it's a group that's capable of handling the zone, but just needs to get their act together, well, Failure Is Not An Option should be your attitude. Often it's the better players who sabotage the group's chances, because the experience of limping through, instead of roaring through, is so foreign to their experience. Enlist them, compliment them on their studly uberness, whatever it takes, it's not about justice and right it's about getting the job done.
    8. When you finish, make sure to let out a whoop of triumph, or a ‘gotcha', or whatever you do for that situation. Smack the coercer again, unless he's really cute and the ideas he's getting are ones you think might make an otherwise wasted weekend one of those memories you'll treasure in the nursing home.
    No, I don't want to hear the details.
  7. ARCHIVED-EQFinn Guest

    WHOOP! Ask and ye shall recieve! Thank you Whysprr!
  8. ARCHIVED-Whysprr_Wyrd Guest

    Entry the Twentieth - Random Reflections After a Day in RoK
    It's been a good long time on the blog, I burnt out a bit on EQ while I was leveling up transmuting during the summer, and I was busy. I started two installments that might eventually get posted, neither is quite ready for prime-time.
    But anyhow, here are my thoughts so far on RoK, if anyone cares.
    • The last thing I did before I set out for Kylon Plains was to scribe a Percussion of Stone Master. It's weird, someone's had three of ‘em on the broker for 140p each for months, so the night before I did a last check in case he'd come to his senses. All those were gone but there was one for sale in Freeport for 55p. I fidgeted a bit about blowing a third of the cash I'd saved for building T8 mastercrafted inventory on a single spell, consulted the Dirge channel (thanks, friends!), and pulled the trigger. I mailed 55p to my obnoxious little sister, Nyghtwynd, and bit my nails ‘till it arrived, she ran, bought it, and mailed it back to me. I think I got lucky, it wouldn't have surprised me a bit if she'd just blown it on T4 Necro spells. So when I logged on last night there it was, and I scribed it before running out to RoK so I wouldn't be tempted to list it at 150 plat for a few weeks just to see what'd happen.
    • All level 68 solo mobs are not created equal. In Bonemire I used to pound on abominable behemoths or whatever you call ‘em and flick the dust off the irreproachable lace of my cuffs after I finished one. Two might scratch me. Three, I'd have to dust off CoB. Four might make me nervous. With the spidery things in RoK, I'm going yellow in every battle, and if a hunter adds on me when I'm fighting one of the bloody enchanters it'll be curtains for ol' Whysp. This felt a lot more serious than anything I've done recently; I've run with a hot red dress in the Appearance slot for the last month, I took it out last night because it felt wrong.
    • Fighting enchanter-mobs is a royal pain. It's not that dangerous, saving adds, but it's a pain.
    • Lag is bad. My normal solo procedure has been Jaels-root, Daro's-Clara's-Discante'-Banshee, and then it's on me, so Infected Blade and Lanet's and onward. I can't get through that routine with the current lag, so I've dropped Daro's and Discante and substituted Magical Rebuff. I'm getting lots of resists and critters ripping my elbows off before I even get through the debuffs.
    • Those are big honkin' zones. My J-boots are so old and manky that I've seen carrion flies actually shrivel and die when they approach, drawn by the stench. I am NOT throwing them out. Hello, SOE, new quest for new speedy boots? Or one of these days I'll dump ‘em on your doorstep and you'll be filling out EPA forms for the next century. Consider yourselves warned.
    • It's awfully nice to have solo quests to work on. Haven't really had ‘em since a month or so after the last expansion.
    • After a bit of hunting, I respecced my KoS Achievements. Heretical though it is, I took the STA AA line in place of Agility; I had to turn my cloak back on, that shield on the back is so hideous. I'd just gotten up to 92 AAs, so I could do a whole second line in KoS. So far, I don't really notice a difference soloing with sword and board versus dual-wield. Part of the problem is that solo, I used Dark Linger adorned with a vampiric handle (lifetap) in my off-hand, so I got a lot of self-healing in addition to my dirge lifetaps. I'll probably readorn Vyemm's Fang, my primary weapon, with a vampiric handle in place of the phantom (powertap). Since the STA AA line gives 10% double-attack to groupmates, I'll probably stick with it for now.
    • I got the Nightchord breatpiece a month or so ago, and was so darned proud of it that I've worn it since. But I think the Breastplate of Shadowed Songs with its serious proc-on-damage is still the best solo item, and I'm going to put it back on tonight.
    • I've gotten three treasured necklaces from solo quests and each of them is a serious competitor with my Mark of Awakened Instinct necklace. The itemization of the new areas is interesting, and my notion of wearing my T7 legendary-fabled stuff until I hit 80 and then re-equip with high-end T8 may go the way of all flesh.
    Hope you're having as much fun as I so far. I'd hoped having a new expansion where nobody's heard of me would improve my romantic prospects, but so far no dates.
  9. ARCHIVED-Whysprr_Wyrd Guest

    Entry the Twenty-first -Transmuting, Ironing, or Television, A Comparative Analysis
    A few months ago I got tired of selling all the treasured items and adept 1 junk to the vendors. I didn't have any extra selling slots in my broker boxes, what with the jewelcrafting business, and I was raised in a small farming village after the Shattering, so for me, waste is a slightly worse sin than, say, axe-murdering children, though if they're particularly promising children the waste of talent might notch that one up. Whatever, it doesn't pay to be too fussy about that sort of rating.
    So I decided to take up transmuting. I can't say it was the best decision of my life. Transmuting kills brain cells faster than almost anything I've ever done, in addition to the outflow of money, which itself is not too different from a ruptured aortic aneurysm. In fact, I've just now recovered from the grind sufficiently to write again, though I still drool, they tell me that should slow down within a year or so.
    I can only think of two things that cause as much neurological damage as transmuting, well, except gunshots to the head and decapitation and strokes, but I'm talking about ordinary stuff people do more-or-less voluntarily. Those two things are ironing and television. I thought I'd perform a community service by comparing the neuron-destroying properties of each activity, so you can decide what your preferred method of achieving blissful stupidity is. Heavy drinking works, too, I'm told, but you need your liver, so don't use that one.
    Pros: Sharp creases. Warm shirts. A feeling of virtuous accomplishment. Audiobooks.
    Cons: Mind-killing boredom, but you can't watch TV because you'll end up with blackened pants. A feeling of having spent an hour on something you'll never, ever consider worth the lifespan. Burns. Family thinking they're entitled to ironed shirts which, with the behavior around this place, they're not.
    Pros: Eye candy for your gender of choice. Cheap thrills.
    Cons: Commercials for products you wouldn't buy on a bet but suddenly have to have (the people who do that are good). Plots so stupid you can hear your neurons scream*. Themes so self-indulgently destructive you can actually see the social fabric dissolving before your eyes. Outrageously pretty people (even the men) with dialogue written by professionals, so your family and friends seem dull afterward. The living nightmare of seeing a product you like advertised and realizing you're paying for this horror.
    Pros: Stuff doesn't go to waste after you've attuned it. Potential for outrageous profits, once you've paid off the ludicrous costs of leveling, though there are plenty of transmuters and it's a pretty competitive market overall, so I doubt I've broken even yet.
    Cons: Astonishing tedium. The horrible feeling that you're paying for this. Repetitive motion injury. Repetitive motion injury. Repetitive motion injury. Sorry, I got a bit dazed there. No events to counter, yet you can't watch TV, it just goes on and on and on. Actually, it's good you can't watch TV; I think watching TV while transmuting might be fatal. Another horrible money-sink. Piles of adornments that nobody wants, so it's wasteful as all get-out anyway.
    So, there you have it. Pick your poison. And if you decide not to go into transmuting, well, less competition in the market for me, so it's all good.
    *House, M.D. is a flaming moron who'd be thrown off the medical staff of any academic medical center in the developed world in three-fifths of a second. And they woudn't hire him in Bandudu, either, not even with one doctor per 67,000 population. Maybe it's a comedy, but I thought comedies were supposed to be funny.
  10. ARCHIVED-Priestbane Guest

    It's a drama with comedic moments. Like all fiction involving a specialty that is not the author's, the target audience is not those of the specialty, who will then proceed to ouch all the way through any technobabble that literally makes no sense, but the unwashed masses, who enjoy seeing that someone ELSE thinks that doctors are arrogant jerks, too, despite him saving some lives here and there.

    I pride myself on the amount of commas used making that horrific sentence.

    As for transmuting... yeah. I keep thinking I shoulda been a tinker, because, darnit, some of those things are COOL. But I don't want to waste what I already HAVE invested in the transmuting. Like when I started with weaponsmithing, it looks like lack of research shoots me down again!
  11. ARCHIVED-Anvilhead Guest

    I picked up Tynkering and Alchemy. I really embraced the "Jack of all trades" notion.

    Tinkering is almost as boring as transmuting, but at least when things start going haywire on the raid I've got FD.

    Oh things like "snot flingers" and "turkey shooters" are just fun to see in the recipe book.
  12. ARCHIVED-Whysprr_Wyrd Guest

    Sorschae@Najena wrote:
  13. ARCHIVED-Whysprr_Wyrd Guest

    Entry the Twenty-third: A Frostfell Gift
    So, Frostfell's coming like a semi down an icy road that empties out onto Main Street just as school lets out, and I don't have a single present for you.
    So I'm just going to have to improvise. You can't send stuff from server to server anyway, and how I'm going to get rid of all those Frostfell cards I made I'm not sure, but I'll dump them on some poor unsuspecting slobs no doubt. They'll cherish them.
    For the rest of you, you just have to accept a wish and recommendation. I know, you'd rather have plat or Fabled bracelets, but give me a break here. I must have in the high single digits of loyal readers, and am I going to send all of you Fabled bracelets when I don't even have one myself yet? Not a chance.
    So here's my Frostfell wish for you. Frostfell has multiple roots, but they all draw on the same source; we come to the dark time of the year, when nothing grows, and we hope to come through it and eat again. And, there's little enough we can do to make it happen; the Earth's orbit has yet to yield to our best efforts, and thank goodness for that, or we'd probably be hurtling past Pluto right now because Congress couldn't agree on funding the upgrade from the thirty-five year old propulsors because someone attached a rider banning the forwarding of e-mails containing pictures of cute kittens to it and the pro- and anti-kitten forces are locked in an ideological death match.
    Hmm. Where was I? Right, the dark time.
    Well, we all have our dark times, don't we? We all do dumb stuff or mean stuff from time to time. So, my Frostfell wish for you is that you come out of that dark time, and things start to grow again. I wish for you to get a free pass on a dumb decision, or to be forgiven by someone you've insulted or offended at some point.
    The problem is, of course, that we live in a world where nothing comes entirely free. It's a royal pain, but what can you do? So this coming-out-of-darkness stuff - call it grace, for historical purposes, it's as good a word as any, doesn't just slosh around out there. We kind of have to make it ourselves, with some help around the edges, perhaps. And since it wouldn't be responsible of me to wish for you to suck up a bunch of grace without putting some back in the pool, I'll also wish that you make some, and put it back in.
    So, I wish that you let someone make a mistake and let it pass; take an insult and let it slide; resist the temptation to smack some troll who desperately needs it. And thereby put back what you use, and perhaps be blessed as a side-benefit.
    So, that's one gift - possibly it's like that purple-and-green scarf your aunt made that's buried as deep as you can get it in some drawer somewhere. She knows it, I know it - so just smile and say thank you. You don't have to wear it.
    My second gift, if the first one isn't too much already, is a recommendation, with a free sample. Hunt down and read Hogfather, by Terry Pratchett, before Frostfell; or before February, at the latest; I normally read it this time of year but I got sidetracked by some dense history and I'm way behind. The free sample is below.
    Best wishes to you and those dear to you - and the rest of ‘em, too.
    Whysprr Wyrdwynd
    "All right", said Susan. "I'm not stupid. You're saying humans need...fantasies to make life bearable?"
    "Tooth fairies? Hogfathers? Little-"
    "So we can believe the big ones?"
    "They're not the same at all!"
    "Yes, but people have got to believe that, or what's the point-"
    She tried to assemble her thought.
    "Yes, but people don't think about that," said Susan. "Somewhere there was a bed..."
    "You make us sound mad," said Susan. A nice warm bed...
    From Hogfather, by Terry Pratchett, copyright 1996
  14. ARCHIVED-Whysprr_Wyrd Guest

    Entry the Twenty-Fourth - There is Too Risk in Tradeskills!
    Occasionally we merchant-tradeskillers get on a whining rant about how the gear we make isn't good enough to compete with easily-attained drops, and what's the point of being a crafter anyhow. And the wrangling inevitably pulls in some adventurer who's got his nose out of joint about crafters expecting to be rewarded for their work because ‘there's no risk in crafting.'
    I don't have any desire to speak to the larger issue of where crafted stuff fits in the overall game. I don't really have the perspective, I can't think of a way to make it funny, and a close examination of my personal finances might reveal some facts I'd rather not have widely publicized. I'll just let that sleeping dog lie and leave those battles to those with better qualifications and fewer embarrassing secrets.
    But, I'd like to squash that pernicious little notion that there's no risk in crafting.
    From a strictly role-playing point of view, I suppose there isn't; the forge doesn't kill people any more. But let's face facts, death isn't all it's cracked up to be; gone are the days when shard runs were a heart-pounding joy. I died twice last night in Kunzar Jungle (to single adds by the way, and I'd just like to reiterate my desire for a more-usefully-configured fear spell) and I was back in the hunt within a few minutes each time, with nothing but inconsiderable experience debt and a small mender bill to show for it - and the mender's kids are nice, they deserve to be sent to the Caribbean for spring break, though I think the private jet is pushing it.
    Let's contrast that to the tradeskill hit I took last week. To do that, I'll have to give you my Introduction To Tradeskill Economics 101.
    I've always enjoyed the merchanting / crafting part of EQ2. I'm a jeweler / transmuter. I've never quite gotten the hang of transmuting, from a business point of view, and we'll ignore it for the time being; I maintain a modest inventory of adornments but it's a sideline for me, I'm sure I haven't made back my startup costs yet. I've got a couple of low-level alts, but except for Nyghtwynd, who just maintains a vendor presence for me in Freeport, they're inconsiderable from the business point of view except as money-sinks when they write me whiny letters asking for money. So for all practical purposes I run a one-woman jewelcrafting business.
    But within that realm, I run a pretty fierce operation. I don't maintain much inventory of rings and bracelets and such, that market is too competitive for me. It's easy to get into; you don't have to do any research, and the rares are cheap, and there's a lot of demand, but every jeweler on the server makes that stuff. I do, too, as much for advertising as anything. But the core of my business, and my profit, comes from scout runes.
    Scout runes are anything but easy to get into. The rares are expensive; loams typically run 2-4 times the price of the metals and gemstones used for mastercrafted jewelry. And, the demand for any given rune is probably somewhere between 1 and 10% the demand for, say, imbued rings; because only one class can use them, and not every character upgrades everything to Adept 3, whereas mastercrafted rings are basic, visible upgrades people do all the time. So, the rune market requires research to pick items that'll sell well, and you have to maintain a large inventory to make it a business.
    I maintain a large inventory. As of the morning I wrote this, I had seventy-eight T7 and T8 adept 3s in my broker box, along with another dozen in Freeport. I use a paper-and-pencil record system to track inventory because it's easier than using a spreadsheet while playing. I really need to implement some other business practices like periodic inventories and such; when I finally did an inventory pre-ROK I discovered a dozen runes I thought I had but which had apparently sold without my noticing it. And yes, for the small businessmen in the crowd I recognize that running a crafting shop in EQ2 resembles a real small business the way the Eveready Bunny resembles Calvin Coolidge.
    I came into RoK with just over 100 pp saved up. I worked my way to level 80 as a jeweler as rapidly as vitality would allow, it took about 3 weeks. And, I started building T8 inventory very early; I made my first Ad3s as soon as I hit level 71. By the beginning of last week I had 46, count em', 46 T8 scout adept 3s in stock, and was trying to decide whether I had the time to support more.
    But, this has been time-consuming. The market for silicate loams has been tight and tricky, as you'd expect from a new expansion, so I've spent a fair amount of time hunting cheap loams. The price had been steadily declining, until I was finding a few loams between 3p50g and 4p. But, I got tired of coming back to town so much and decided to concentrate on adventuring for a few days.
    And that, dear readers, is when the price of silicate loams spiked. I left town on Sunday night and didn't check back in until Wednesday morning - when the price of loams had risen to 5p25 or more, mostly more. My canny buyers, no fools them, had bought out 26 of my runes, which I'd dropped to 5p each. You do the math.
    I've spent a lot more time recovering from this debacle; repricing runes (to 5p50g, where a bunch more sold as silicate prices rose again, to 7, and back to 6), sneaking into Freeport to buy loams from shady dealers, and so on; than I've spent after any adventuring catastrophe, even my guild's recent Freethinker's run where Zylphax the Shredder shredded us thoroughly and I used a repair kit and still ended up at 10%. So next time you hear someone talking rot about how risk-free crafting is, give ‘em a smack for me.
    I guess we've settled that.
  15. ARCHIVED-BrokenAria Guest

    I love your posts.

    I have to admit I fall into the realms of the lazy dirges. I prefer to sit around the docks and play my lute all day while singing songs about how life really sucks... or trying to sell my services to go on the next raid. However, I can not for the life of me get into crafting. It's tedious... a money sink and blergh! I just don't like it.

    So, kudos to you and everyone else who have the perseverance, patience, time and funds to get through all the things I hate about crafting. If it weren't for you- I would adventure in rags, with sticks for swords, chanting with little oomph as I smack my drum.
  16. ARCHIVED-Whysprr_Wyrd Guest

    Entry the Twenty-Fourth - R.I.P., Mr. Gygax
    You'd probably never guess it from these boards, but I'm unusually quiet in person. One of my Basic Rules of Life is that if I don't have anything new to say, why say it, and since we're several thousand years into recorded history, never mind the oral tradition, well, you do the math. As an aside for the young and impressionable out there, I should warn you this is a really stupid rule to incorporate into your set of life-algorithms, I'd recommend something like The Squeaky Wheel Gets the Grease, if grease is what you want.
    Where was I? Right -- I'm absolutely going to break my own rule, though. In gamer-geekdom, tributes to Gary Gygax are already knee-deep and rising fast. I've read enough of them to know I'm not going to add anything new. I don't care, rules were meant to be broken for important stuff, and this is one.
    Some inventions have a certain historical inevitability. Somebody was going to invent a practical airplane before 1910, but the Wright Brothers got that little distinction. It's not so clear that role-playing games were inevitable. They grew out of miniatures wargames, around as recreational military simulations since the early 1900s, and fantasy literature, around since forever but greatly popularized by Tolkein and others from the 1960s and onward. Tolkein, by the way, wasn't the primary inspiration for the D&D system, that honor goes to Jack Vance and his wonderful series of stories collected as The Dying Earth.
    Other precedents include military re-enactments and improvisational theater, but Gygax and Co. didn't, as far as I know, have any background in either. It's quite a leap from Napoleonic miniatures wargaming and reading Tolkein and Vance to D&D, and I'm not sure when it would've happened without Gygax & Co.
    I started playing D&D in 1977. I've still got the original 5.5 x 8.5" books (that's one 8.5x11 sheet folded over, to tell you what sort of a budget they were done on) in a box somewhere. I played face-to-face D&D an average of once a week from then until the early 1990s, when the combined logistics of parenthood and D&D got to be too much and MMOs became available. I'm pretty sure I'd still prefer a weekly face-to-face D&D game with a good group of players to Everquest, as long as I didn't have to organize it.
    The people I played with - still among the smartest, most interesting people I know - griped endlessly about the rules, their glitches and inconsistencies and ambiguities and arbitrariness. My opinion has changed a lot since then; now I consider glitches and arbitrariness key features of a realistic picture of the world. And in any case, those rules were accessible and practical and allowed one to tell the most marvelous stories.
    Simply put, I've gotten a lot out of gaming. Most of my important friendships, for a start. I started writing seriously putting together tournament dungeons. I'm an award-winning medical school teacher, and it's largely because of gaming; small group teaching in medical school uses exactly the same skill-set as dungeon-mastering, just with a different knowledge base and rules.
    Since I'm a microbiologist, I thought you'd like to know that Gygax had his own bacterium named after him, Arthronema gygaxiana. Unfortunately, this isn't a flesh-eating horror, which would be a fitting tribute to the Dungeon Master, but an annoyingly harmless environmental bacterium from ponds in Ontario, and where's the justice in that? I mean, it's probably a flesh-eating horror to some other bacterium, but bugger that. If I thought we had a chance, I'd push to rename Bacillus anthracis or Yersinia pestis.
    But it says something about the man's influence among the nerds of the world. Here's a quote from the original paper describing the species:
    Etymology: Named in honor of Gary Gygax, whose creative contributions enriched the lives of both authors of this species. From: Dale A. Casamatta, Jeffrey R. Johansen, Morgan L. Vis, Sharon T. Broadwater (2005) Molecular And Morphological Characterization Of Ten Polar And Near-Polar Strains Within The Oscillatoriales (Cyanobacteria). Journal of Phycology 41 (2) , 421-438
    It's certainly an odd tribute to the man. A giant statue of him, mounted on a griffin and wielding broadsword and staff, perhaps, in the town square in Lake Geneva, or just a dozen orc's heads on poles at the city limits seems more fitting. But of course, in reality, he wasn't a warrior, he was an inventor, a creator, and such people have quieter memorials; a bacterial species, a billion-dollar industry, and skills and relationships built in the lives of hundreds of thousands of people who are all a bit better for his work.
    I got the idea to close this (I've elaborated the details) from one of the commentators on Coyotee's blog (here: http://coyote.blogs.tentonhammer.com/?p=492). I'm not Gygax, I steal a lot more than I invent. But I only steal the good stuff.
    You are standing in a very bright place. Puffy clouds underfoot - hey! - seem to be supporting you, but it looks a bit creepy anyhow. Before you is a man is a very clean white robe with a serious white beard and a big Book of Life on the table in front of him.
    What do you do?
  17. ARCHIVED-BrokenAria Guest

    I'm suffering a lack of Whysp's Words of Wisdom... or whatever you like to call it.
  18. ARCHIVED-Whysprr_Wyrd Guest

    Entry the Twenty-fifth - Why Craft When There's Nothing to Buy? A Whine.
    OK, so I definitely fall into the category of ‘money-grubbing'merchant.' As I've said before, I run a jewelcrafting business, which takes time, effort, and a certain low cunning to operate, and I make some solid plat off of it. Right now my bank account's running roughly 350 p, not that I'm bragging, it's not that impressive an amount these days, but it's none too shabby for someone who plays maybe 1-2 hours a day on average, and less recently.
    The problem is, there's nothing to buy with all that ill-gotten gain. As of last night on Kithicor, there were exactly three Dirge Fabled pieces level 71-80 for sale, all Master spells; 2 copies of the Fear spell that won't even be useful until the level cap increases, since the T7 version covers everything you'd want to fear so far, 25 plat a pop, and Gravitas for a solid 125. As if, people. It's been like that for months.
    How come everything desirable is no-trade? Yes, I do get that the uber-raiders believe you shouldn't have uber-raid loot without uber-raiding. Ignoring the fact that they're maybe 5% of the player base and they're constitutionally incapable of being satisfied anyhow, so trying to shut up the whining from that quarter is like trying to clear Maiden's with a well-equipped party of 30th-levels, fine. Leave the top-end raid loot no-trade. Even if one does hear on guk.dirges with some frequency ‘Oh, the Fabled Bracelet of Whysprr-Drooling is so lame, we just ‘mute it every time it drops.' Doesn't that sort of waste make anyone else's teeth grind they way it does mine? I guess not.
    But why can't we lowly working stiffs get a break somewhere? Perhaps it's been tried, but couldn't, say, 20% of the raid-drops not be no-trade? If not, why not? Sure, they'd sell for the earth, but it'd be nice to at least have something to drool over when I trigger my saved search, instead of the usual ho-hum.
    I mean, even the extremely lame Legendary scout-set is what, two-thirds no-drop? And since there's no compelling argument for upgrading T7 masters to T8 adept 3's, I end up sitting on my money rather than spending it, which is just completely against all my instincts. Shopping is part of the MMO experience, for Pete's sake.
    Maybe we're trying to keep the plat-sellers from ruining the game, but making money useless might not be the best approach to that.
  19. ARCHIVED-BrokenAria Guest

    Moral of the story. I need to transfer to the Guk realm and have Whysp be my Sugar Momma. My problem is that I can only play 1-2 hours every couple of days- with no time to craft and barely any time to level... let alone even harvest to craft for relatively cheap... it bites.
    You're either an uber raider these days with the world at your feet and still complaining... maybe, you're like Whysp-- rich as all get out off your business with nothing substantial to buy... or piss poor like me. It's a sad economic world in EQ somedays... at least a lot of harvest items are only 2cp off the broker these days.
  20. ARCHIVED-BrokenAria Guest

    BTW - Thank you for updating. It was a well needed fix. For me at least.

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