Lack of recent updates = increased activity away from game. Sorry about that. Basically as every issue of E-ON draws nearer to deadline, my spare time for writing blogs and, often, playing EQII tends to dwindle – and that’s precisely what’s happening here just now.

That said, I have been able to spend some time in Norrath, deliberately so since joining the guild as I didn’t want to seem uninterested. Far from it, although there hasn’t been much in the way of guild ‘activity’ per se, just being part of a social group while playing, joining in on the random guild chat (and enjoying the bizarre twilight zone-style life of listening to conversations via the voice channels and responding solely with type due to my not having a mic set up) and even adding a few status points by exploring writs – both combat and tradeskill, although the Rush Orders are a bitch given that you have no idea what sort of components you’ll need ahead of time. I had tried some forward planning and used the guild bank to gather some harder harvests prior to commencing one that I’d failed previously, and was making damn fine progress until with just one item left to go and about 55 seconds left on the clock, I discovered I’d miscounted the components by one solitary ingredient and was therefore doomed to failure.

Still, it’s been quite the eye-opener being part of a guild and, in keeping with the general nature of the EQII community as a whole, the folks in No Charge For Awesome have been nothing less than convivial, helpful, well-meaning and just plain fun to hang with.

Hasn’t changed much on the grouping front though. I’m still mostly playing solo and I think the reason is simply my erratic playing times. I think I refrain from answering the LFG/LFM calls on /chat simply because I never know if I’m going to be on long enough to justify joining others. (Also my home Vista machine has a habit of randomly resetting itself while playing EQII, nothing else, just EQII – anyone else experiencing this?). I really need to get over myself. 🙂

Otherwise it’s all going along steadily. I’m actively seeking out Legend & Lore quests to boost my Master’s Strike ability (working through gnolls at the moment) and combined with other attacks I can hold my own pretty well for a Templar – as long as there are no more than three mobs and they’re all non-heroic and undead, and don’t root me and…

I’ve also taken a few steps in EverQuest 1 recently, mainly because a magazine wants me to step in for a feature, and the difference is quite striking. I can understand why people who have always played the original don’t want to leave, but I honestly can’t see a reason for newcomers to choose it over the sequel. Clunky interface, unituitive design and game mechanics, and a really odd feeling to movement that isn’t solely down to my PC as it was the same on the work machine. You more glide on ice than just walk. I will be experiencing a group dynamic though for the article so it may well still be a lot of fun regardless. But I can’t see myself sticking with it in the long term. I’ve been spoilt I’m afraid. 🙂

I’ve also dabbled with some free-to-play Asian titles, Shot Online – a Korean online golfing RPG that has potential to be a laugh, and Bounty Bay Online as I reviewed it for a magazine ages ago, have been messing with Pirates Of The Burning Sea, and remember BBO having a better general ‘exploration’ aspect. So I wanted to try it again. Neither are going to be serious time-sinks, but you can’t beat the price for some occasional frivolity. Now if there was a Golf mini-game added to EQII…

Anyway, that’s all. No real reason for the post other than to blow away some cobwebs, keep it ticking over until something more substantial pops into my head and to let you all know I’m not dead. 🙂