Weekend gaming

22nd September 2008 – 8.32 am

After the hectic week at work it was nice and relaxing to have little to do over the weekend. I passed the time with a fair bit of gaming whilst also taking advantage of the wonderful weather by going out for a few walks. With my small but friendly World of Warcraft guild suggesting a possible trip to the Sunken Temple instance, with my warrior Sapphire as the tank, it became a World of Warcraft weekend for me.

I wanted to get Sapphire ready for the Sunken Temple, which primarily meant picking up the warrior class quest for the instance. This meant first getting Sapphire to 50th level, which seemed to take longer than it ought. Once I got the class quest I then had two pre-requisite quests to complete before getting the quest in the instance itself, and because of the situation this got my tanking glands engorged. It was something of a shame then that I ended up taking Knifey with the guild to Hellfire Citadel Ramparts, as people are getting keen to reach 70th level with a character for the November release of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. Running the Ramparts instance was good fun, though, and Knifey got a new belt, his first piece of socketed equipment too.

Sapphire even got her run in to the Sunken Temple, being randomly asked to join a group heading there the next day. Even though I wasn't asked along to tank I ended up doing so anyway and had a complete blast in the process. I had forgotten just how much fun tanking can be! Part of the fun came back because of the new levels I've attained and the abilities that the extra talent points buy, and part of it is in just relaxing and enjoying the game for what it is.

Having completed the pre-requisite quests for the Sunken Temple warrior class quest, then fighting through the Sunken Temple itself, I found that Sapphire's experience bar shot up considerably. Having been fighting to reach 50th level at the start of the weekend I ended up being half-way through 51st level to 52. It's interesting how focussing on the experience bar speeds up quest progression at the expense of slowing down XP gain, and ignoring the experience bar almost grants you with surprise levels because of the speed it advances. My progession and excitement at tanking has again made me consider whether I should focus more on Sapphire than Knifey.

I also found a neat consequence of playing on the US servers. Short John Mithril, the goblin pirate, places a treasure chest in the middle of Gurubashi Arena every eight hours, free for anyone who takes it. The only drawback is that the arena is a free-for-all PvP zone, which includes same-faction PvP. However, when he drops the chest at 3 am in the morning, server time, this is 11 am local time for me. I coincidentally heard him yell his challenge when in the area and wondered how easy it would be to get the chest. There were only a handful of other players in the same region, all lower level than me, so I headed to the arena. I opened the chest and plucked its contents from it as soon as it appeared without any challenge. Sapphire got a nice new sword to play with and an arena master trinket, which gives a nice +5 stamina boost. If I manage to sneak this eleven more times I can apparently become an arena grandmaster, although I have no idea if this would be worth my effort.

All this time in World of Warcraft, as well as spending too much time at work, has meant I have not been a space cadet in EVE Online for a while. I really must get back in to the pod and blow up some more rats that involve big explosions. Even though I haven't been a space cadet in person the skill training on Penny Ibramovic is continuing apace. With some long skills in training I have been safe leaving her hitting the books for days at a time. Although it is good to know that my character is progressing even if I am not playing it is important to note that the skills a character learns are meaningless if the player doesn't know how to use them. EVE Online may let your character learn whilst you are not logged in, but it is still vital to hone your skills personally.

And despite managing other household chores I still didn't get around to the vacuuming.

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