Zombies Attack!

Well not really, but I just wanted everyone to know that I’m still alive and kicking. Things have been crazy hectic at work this week due to a Release (always seems to be the same excuse eh?) but things are progressing.

A quick recap of what I’ve been doing:

  • The War that Never Was: Turns out our recent WarDec was much ado about nothing. Lots of talk, little action…for better or worse
  • Finish training some Core skills (Navigation, Energy, etc.) and am onto a few quick Trade skills
  • A very friendly and helpful Corp mate has been slowly trying to teach me about the Trade side of EVE, so I’m currently cutting my teeth with that…though I’m wary I’ll just lose my hard earned ISK because I’m so bad at reading the market. Regardless it is another new facet to EVE for me and I want to experience it, so here goes nothing
  • Jump Clone! I finally got my Caldari Navy standing above 8.0 so I can use a Jump Clone. This was more of a priority earlier because of the WarDec, but it’s always good to have access to one
  • Plexing. I’ve been trying my hand and runing complexes in Hi-Sec. I haven’t found much recently, but there have been a number of Expedition extensions yielding a few faction mods, but nothing crazy. I’d like to find a few more lucrative plex’s, but those are just luck of the draw it seems. Does Lo/Null sec yield better results?
  • Invention & Research: I finally got a few skills to connect with Research Agents. I attempted a few simple invention runs, with no success. It’s difficult because I’m so close to the main trade Hub Jita that when I want to make BPC’s for the Invention run the wait is typically over a week…so I need to find a better way to handle those. Regardless it’s good to have a  Research Agent chugging away.

So that’s the quick update. I’d like to jump into some Gunnery training soon, but with all the trading, scanning, Science I’ve been doing that may get pushed off a bit. I’d also like to get into Caldari Cruiser V, Caldari Battleship V and Caldari Industrial V, but those are loooong skills, so we’ll see when they get into the queue.

Fly Safe!

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For Those About To Rock!

We Salute You!

AC/DC, some of the greatest rockers of all time!

Things have been going well of late. My learning skills training is nearly complete and I’ve been able to finally afford a set of +4 implants. I’m about to finish up Drones V and then move onto some more Core & Gunnery Skills.

However, last night turned out to be fairly exciting in our laid-back, easy-going Alliance. Turns out, we’d invited a new Corporation to join our ranks, yet in the process said Corp had some existing baggage, namely a war against another small Corp. Anyways, to make a long story short, this Corporation didn’t take too kindly to the fact that they were now in a war with a bigger opponent and promptly hired a band of experienced Mercenaries to counter.

Now again, our Alliance mainly spends its time scouting out Wormholes, doing Industrial stuff, and everything else Carebear-ish related. There are a few, dedicated die-hard PvPers in the bunch, but for the most part we’re not much for fighting.

Regardless of the fact that we’re probably out-gunned and out-manned, everyone is still abuzz over the potential opportunity to give it “the old college try!”, which is very encouraging. It seems everyone has a new purpose and are working together more and more because of it. Our leaders, who’ve managed these types of situations heavily in the past, have been doing a great job of getting everything lined up.

The coming week might see us lose our fair share of ships and assets, but at least we’re preparing and actually looking forward to a good fight!

Rambling Review and the Fail Cascade

I apologize for the lack of posting lately. December turned out to be a whirlwind in real life and some things just didn’t make the time cut. I need to be better about writing posts ahead of time and/or breaking up my long posts into smaller, more manageable chunks. There have been many good guides for fledgling bloggers such as myself, I just need to follow them better. Since it’s been over a month since my last post, I figured I’d do a quick round-up review of December and then touch on where I’m headed.

Much has happened since I eventually found my way out of W-space. Upon my not-so-graceful exit I found myself practically broke and thus resolved myself to the monotony of running missions. But as I was still wallowing in self pity, I received a very generous gift of ISK from a member of the group who “helped” me out of W-space earlier. Again I apologize that is has taken me so long to thank you for your help!! As I’ve said in the past, one of the things I find so amazing in EVE is that so many people are willing to help you, even after they hunt you down and kill you. It’s a very strange dynamic, but I think it speaks volumes about the people that play EVE as I’ve never found this in any other MMO.

I used the generous ISK gift to replace my modest implants and to purchase and refit a new Drake. I was feeling pretty good at this point and jumped back to my home Wormhole to take on some Sleepers and mingle with the Alliance. Little did I know that I was in for an even nastier surprise than I had in my previous stint lost in space.

I spent a few days running easy combat sites solo and doing some mining, I was amazed at the bounties of W-space. You can quickly generate income if you have the right sites and a good amount of time. I was beginning to understand how Wormspace can be so profitable.

On the start of the third day I did my usual routine of scanning down any new anomalies in the system. I found that our daily Class 4 connection had decayed so I quickly searched for the new wormhole. I scanned it down and jumped through, making sure to take all the necessary precautions that I learned in my extended stay in W-space. Upon arriving on the other side, I found the new system to be completely devoid of player occupation. It had an abundance of combat, mining & gas sites and only one other connecting wormhole. I decided, since our system was completely empty of such sites, that I would return in my Drake and battle some sleepers. The next 3 hours would turn into one of the largest fail cascades I’ve ever had. (Fail Cascade = mistake after mistake after mistake, etc.)

One of the cardinal rules for flying through W-space is to always have a Probe Launcher fitted to your ship, NO exceptions. You would think, that after just spending over a week lost in W-space that I would take my hard earned lessons to heart…oh how easily one forgets. It only takes an instant, one simpl mistake, and it’s all over. Wormspace is completely unforgiving.

The mistake that started my fail cascade began when I returned to grab my newly minted Drake. Upon arrival I realized that my Drake had a small tractor beam fitted instead of a probe launcher. Now, instead of simply following the basic rules of W-space survival and fitting a probe launcher, I had a thought. It’s funny how you can take such a bad idea and very quickly convince yourself that ‘Hey, this might actually work!’. It’s at this moment that I wish I had someone around to slap me, but alas there was no one to save me from myself.

I decided against fitting a probe launcher and to instead keep my tractor beam. The train-of-thought I used to convince myself this wasn’t such a bad idea was simple: 1) The wormhole system was unoccupied. 2) The system opening had just spawned. And finally 3) The tractor beam will help speed things up. So off I went.

My second mistake were the assumptions I made above. Just because the WH you’re in isn’t occupied doesn’t mean any connecting WH’s are not as well. If you are going to be conducting operations in an empty system, be sure and check any and all connecting systems to see if you might eventually have company.

My third mistake came from not being completely thorough in my scanning. As it turned out, I had made all the appropriate bookmarks, except for the one that truly mattered…the way back home.

As you can see, a series of simple, mental errors can lead up to a climactic fail of epic proportions.

Upon arriving in the unoccupied C4 system I quickly warped to the nearest and easiest combat site and began engaging the resident Sleepers. Roughly half way through the site I realized my fatal error of not bookmarking my way home. I figured it would be no big deal, someone is surely in our home system that can come save me. Again, another faulty assumption as our system was currently empty and the majority of my Alliance mates were not online. As the reality of what might happen began to sink in (i.e. – I’d be stuck in a wormhole again, except this time without a probe launcher to find my way out, leaving only self-destruction) I picked up a Tier II Covert-Ops ship on scan. One of the only things I had been doing right this whole time was checking my Directional scanner constantly (the other was making numerous safe-spot bookmarks throughout the system). The ship was only on scan for a couple seconds before he cloaked up. Turns out the only other connecting wormhole was indeed occupied. At this point I wasn’t sure if the player was hostile or not, but regardless I quickly warped to one of my safe spots.

About this time an Alliance mate had logged and was gracious enough to help me out…the only problem being that he was in empire over 25 jumps away from our WH entrance. He quickly began his journey to rescue me all the while instructing me to keep moving in the wormhole, never stand still. Roughly an hour had passed and my savior was just about to enter our wormhole when I picked up the Covert-Ops ship again on my D-scanner. I still had nothing to worry about, or so I thought, because last time he had only come and gone. This time, however, he quickly launched Combat Probes and began the process of scanning me down. My anxiety began to rise quite quickly. My Alliance mate still had to scan down the entrance to the system I was in before he could help me escape. That last part took nearly 45 minutes, all the while I was playing Cat & Mouse with my stalker.

When the entrance to my current system was finally found there was yet another mistake. As soon as my Alliance mate jumped through to the system, he instructed me to engage my warp drive and warp to him. In a situation like this, impulse reactions typically do not end well. The proper thing for us to do would have been to survey the entrance/exit WH and make sure no one was waiting on either side. In this case we were both so focused on escaped we missed this crucial step. As soon as my warp drive activated, he shouted out “Abort! Abort! Abort!” but it was too late. It turned out that while I had been attempting to avoid my stalker, he had been amassing a support fleet. When I finally landed on the WH exit, their trap was sprung. Waiting for me were a number of Battleships, Assault Ships and a Heavy Interdictor.

As I jumped through the WH to our home system I found myself in the HIC’s warp bubble. I began taking damage and thought I might be able to escape if I jumped back through to the neighboring system and warped to a safe spot. This almost worked, however my poor Drake is like driving a Lincoln Continental…big, fat & slow. As I jumped through I quickly attempted to engaged my warp drive, but the Covert-Ops pilot from earlier had followed me through and almost instantly had me locked and jammed. At this point the timer for my to return to my home system was over 3 minutes, so I knew I was done for. The attacking fleet jumped in system and finished me off, however the HIC pilot had stayed on the other side of the WH. I was able to get my pod out to a safe spot, but it really didn’t matter at this point considering I had no ship and no way of getting home. I figured I’d give it one last shot after waiting for about 15 minutes. I was hoping our attackers had left, but this wasn’t the case. As I warped back to the exit and jumped through again I was jammed in the warp interdiction sphere and was eventually popped. The only silver lining was that since our attackers were so focused on me and my Drake, that my Alliance mate was able to get safely out of trouble and back home…though just barely.

So here I was again in an Empire Clone Vat Bay, not 2 days since my last visit. My only saving grace was that I had spent those 2 days amassing some WH minerals and salvage that luckily covered my loss. However I was quite disheartened over the whole experience because it seems the only thing I’m good at in EVE is dying. At this point I almost felt like giving up and going back to playing Solitaire, but that wouldn’t make for an exciting Blog now would it. Ultimately experiences like this only tend to build character and make you that much more aware of your decisions and the consequences that may result.

One of the other points I tried to take away from this fiasco was simply a reiteration of something I’ve said before, that so much success in EVE comes from playing and interacting in a group. It’s no secret that EVE is a very difficult game to fly solo in and remain engaged with. Ultimately, as with anything, it’s up to you to make the choice and put forth the effort to engage with yours peers and find those group interactions. Up until that point I had taken the solo approach to EVE, as I typically do with any MMO, and found how difficult accomplishments come. Thus I’ve tried to make a much for conscientious and concerted effort to find and engage in group play. Damn, I’m starting to go off the deep end now, rambling on about the meaning of social interaction, please somebody stop me! In short, I died, it sucked, I don’t want it to happen again, the end.

This was all in the first two weeks of December. Since then I’ve been mission running en force in Empire. I ran my first Level 4 mission just before Christmas and was amazed at the rewards you can reap! I was also part of a successful Alliance POS bash against a small group of encroaching players in our wormhole system, getting in on my very first killmail! The whole experience completely reiterated the point I was attempting to make earlier. Finally, I finished training to fly an Orca and Caldari Battleships, the problem now is that I simply can’t afford either…so it’s back to running missions. (Tip: running Lvl4 missions in a Drake will literally take hours and hours to complete, persistence is a virtue)

As for where I’m headed, I’ve queued up some longer missile skills to compliment me flying a Battleship, after which I want to get into Gunnery and Amarr ships. So it’s quite the extended plan considering I have nearly 10 million skillpoints and they’re all effectively wrapped up in Science & Industry.

Again I apologize for the extended absence and appreciate the patience with my wall-of-text rambles. That’s just par for the course I guess. Fly safe and we’ll see you out there!

Home Sweet Home

Well, I’m happy to say I’m again flying in familiar space. No longer am I trapped within the confines of endless Wormholes having no way out. I’d like to say I found my own way out, that I scanned down an exit and flew home in victory, alas I cannot. Things ended about as quickly as they began. Thanks to fellow blogger Iambeastx I was sent packing to the clone vats in Jita. Here is his recount of my demise.

The day began just like the previous 4. I was in a Class 5 Wormhole with a single, static connection to another Class 5. I’ve been searching for days to find a connection close to home so that I could escape my prison of W-space. I found the newly spawned C5 connection and warped on through. I spent about 30 minutes scanning down sites in this new WH, finding two connections to Null space and another to a C5. I jumped into the C5 as I wanted to avoid Null space at all cost, plus both exits where 55+ jumps away from Jita. Upon landing in this new C5 I quickly found a new Class 6 connection and proceeded to jump.

As Iambeastx will attest, I am still pretty green to W-space as I failed to pick up his fleets’ Combat Probes. When this journey first began I would watch my Directional Scanner religiously, but as time wore on I began to lax more and more. I was now only checking it every 5 – 10 minutes, which is a big, big mistake. I was abruptly awakened by a familiar sound, though one I hadn’t heard in days. It was the sound of being targeted, I knew right away there was no way out. My Overview  immediately showed a fleet of pilots and I was quickly locked, jammed and obliterated.  I’m not sure I could have escaped even if I did detect my stalkers in time, but at least this should be another good lesson.

They say “That which doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger”, and also “Ignorance is Bliss”. Well EVE Online prescribes pretty heavily to the School of Hard Knocks and each lesson you learn in New Eden is usually a painful and costly one.

I’ve known all along that if I met a gruesome fate inside these wormholes that it would be a costly one. This didn’t really sink in until I was sitting in the Clone Bays in Jita. Now, I am a pretty meager Capsuleer, so my bank account is pretty small. I’ve also only ever been killed once before and never have I had my pod exploded. Here comes EVE’s ‘Tough Love’, I now remembered that when you’re pod goes pop, so do all your implants and skill points if you don’t have an adequate clone. Luckily for me my clone was properly up to date, however I barely had enough ISK to replace my trusty Drake and refit it with reasonable modules. They always say “Only fly what you can afford to replace” and I was able to, however I was not able to replace my implants. Luckily I had a few laying around from my earlier missions, but they are pretty basic. Granted the implants I did have were nothing special, but every little bit of attribute augmentation helps.

So there you have it. My Space Odyssey didn’t quite end as I had hoped, but it was still an invaluable experience that taught me plenty about how to survive in W-space. Now that I am back in Empire I will start the slow process of rebuilding my bank account and replacing my implants and picking up a few new skills. It looks like I will have to resort to mission running, but that’s okay, I’m just happy to finally be home!

And Beast, the bill’s in the mail!

Fly Safe!

Well it finally happened…

For the first time I’ve been killed by another player. Now, I knew this day was coming, I just wish I would have handled the experience better. On the other hand, it was a great way to learn and get accustomed to what lay ahead.

I’m sure many of you veteran players and pirates will laugh yourself silly at my mistake, but it is what it is.

I was happily jet can mining in a 1.0 sec system, a new player system at that, in a lonely belt with only a few asteroids left. I looked away for a second and a red Merlin pilot had appeared and was sitting right next to me. Sure enough, a large stack of Dense Veldspar disappeared and he started moving away, slowly.

Here is where I made my mistake. A stake of Dense Veldspar which I could replace in about 5 minutes, turned into catastrophe. I figured ‘Hey, he’s only in a Merlin, plus I’ve never actually engaged another player before, let’s see what happens.’ Wrong wrong wrong.

I sicked my drones on him and he happily warp scrambled and webbed me, then picked off my drones one by one. I knew I was done for. I was hoping he wouldn’t pop my pod, so I eventually ejected and warped off quickly. Bye bye trusty little mining Retriever.

So that’s no biggie, yes dumb, but nothing compared to what I did next. I had my salvaging destroyer parked at the station so I figured I’d return and see what kind of damage I could do. Why did I do this you ask? Again, I’m a true newb in every sense of the word. Anyhow, I returned and lasted even a shorter amount of time than I had originally.

I was checking out the Battle Clinic loadouts for PvP/Pirate Merlins and found that even though it’s a Frigate class ship, it can still be fit pretty well to handle things like Destroyers and even a few Cruisers.

So I’m happily out around 20 million ISK with all the T2 mining laser, T2 extenders, salvagers and tractor beams . *facepalm* A pretty expensive lesson I guess, but again I knew it was coming. It has to happen to everyone at some point and in the end I’m just glad for the experience.

MMO vs. mMO

There has been a lot of debate recently regarding Blizzard’s announcement to regulate participation in Wintergrasp. I can’t say I’m much of a PvP’er, per say, but it’s still noteworthy enough to chime in on the subject.

Massively Multiplayer Online

Obviously one of the main draws for any MMO is the ability to make its players feel a part of something larger than themselves. To live, breath and exist in a vibrant, dynamic (virtual) world has much appeal to it. Being able to adventure with your friends, wander through fully populated cities, and participate it epic battles knowing that every character you see is another human being who is reacting, just as you are to, the situation can be truly exhilarating. There have been countless studies and writings on the subject, so I won’t bore you (any more at least) with my pedestrian point of view on the matter, but it seems Blizzard has again evoked the heated debate on what actually defines massively in an MMO.

miniature Multiplayer Online

If I had to put a number on the total number of people I could interact with in a single online situation before dubbing it ‘massive’, I would probably say 1000 players. This is quite miniature compared to what some other people would define the number to be.

It has been interesting to read about requests for battles of 10,000 players or more, and that unless an MMO can deliver that, it only qualifies as an mMO.

Clearly a healthy player base is needed to sustain a truly dynamic environment, but what is the limit? I’ve always been drawn towards systems like EVE Online that have a single, seamless world server architecture, as compared to World of Warcraft’s ‘shard’ model. Yet considering the size of Azeroth it would be an understatement to say it would be a bit crowded if all 11 million subscribers co-existed in unison.

The Point

Forgive the rambling, I’ll get to it. In theory, being a part of single situation where 9,999+ other players are all interacting directly at once truly would be massive (and bring any current client/server architecture to its knees) yet I believe the player would get the same experience interacting with a much smaller number. After all, you can only fit so many orcs on a screen at once.

“But that’s not the point! An MMO should be designed and architected to handle as many people as humanly possible. And at the same time even!”

Let’s come back to Planet Earth for a second. Data, Bandwidth, Packets and Protocols aside, a fully extensible system with an infinite number of participants just isn’t possible with current technology or infrastructure. (for the next decade at least)

Now I know we’re only talking about 200 vs. 200 Wintergrasp Battles here (as opposed to what, 300 vs. 300 that was typical on a ‘heavy’ night?), and I may be over simplifying the issue, but I think ultimately Blizzard is doing the right thing. Sure people will say Blizzard is ‘giving up’, but I hardly believe they are just throwing up their arms. They tried something truly ‘massive’ (kudos to them) and ultimately had to decide between their users’ experiences and a mere numbers game. Clearly they choose correctly. The choice between a game that supports 200 vs. 200 “miniature” battles within an amazingly detailed and dynamic (destructive) environment and one that supports 10,000 vs. 10,000 “epic” wars of stick figures in a devoid box, is an easy one to make.

Rambling continued

I believe there is more to an MMO than the ego inflating spec of how many people are supported in a single encounter. I’ve been reading alot lately about EVE Online’s ‘Great War’. The magnitude of which has never been seen before in any MMO. The mere fact that such a great event existed, with all it’s twisting plots lines, politics and drama, oh and a few epic space battles here and there, should be a testament to how far our virtual worlds have come. So what if there were only 200 vs. 200 ships flying around at a single point in time and space? I bet if you ask some of the pilots involved in this ‘Great War’ that they’d tell you how exhilarating it was, in all respects.

Conclusion (optional)

So in closing I figured I pose a question. Now I know there are far more intelligent people at work in the industry (and at Blizzard) that have already tackled this problem in length than I, but what the heck. We have some pretty intelligent guys and gals here too that wouldn’t mind chiming in. What are some of the ways you would implement or architect a solution that would enable such truly massive encounters? I’ll start off…shoot holes where you see fit. Constructive criticism is always welcome let’s just keep our eyes on the end goal.

  • In structured encounters, where people don’t come and go freely, caching all user gear and appearance before hand would alleviate some packet data.
  • Using UDP (fire and forget) messaging to transmit non-critical data to clients (i.e. – movement, animation, etc.)
  • Distances between players dictates frequency of information. If player A is 500 yards away from player B, they don’t need to know much information about them other than they are moving in direction X and speed Y. Next update is in 5 seconds or when the distance between them is less than 250 yards, etc.
  • Distances are calculated based on a global player positioning system, not between players
  • Data type prioritization. As the packet size increases, information gets pushed off. Possibly queued up for later delivery or discarded completely.
  • Fast data encoding/decoding algorithms used to package data. More data stuffed in infrequent packets or smaller packets send faster and more frequently.
  • Queued engagement system. This one is a stretch, but something like a quasi-turn based system. Like a global, global cool down that affects all players. You’re able to queue up movement and abilities, of which the top 10 will execute every 5 seconds or so. Lots of server number crunching but possibly less ‘chatter’.

Those are just off the top of my head. Again, nothing great but at least a topic for discussion.

MMO Resume

I guess in starting I should map out the MMO landscape that I’ve touched over the years. Where I’ve been, where I haven’t. Where I am and where I’m going.

I can’t say I’m a MUD guy, that was slightly before my time. Though I do envy the veterans at times being a part of what would eventually become what we know and love today as MMO’s. No, my first foray into the genre wasn’t through through a MUD, but with UO…Ultima Online.

At the time I had just moved into my own apartment and was going to school. School was tough, but I had plenty of time to invest into my newly found addiction. UO was amazing. And so it began…

I’ve never been a “hardcore” gamer. Sure, I’ve invested countless hours into the craft, but I’ve just never managed to be a part of anything truly greater than myself. a.k.a. – The Solo’er.

Anyways, back on track. After a few years in UO I kind of went into MMO rehab. A couple years off to get started at college, yet I couldn’t stay away forever. I missed the whole Everquest and Acerson’s Call era, though my roommates definitely did not. That piqued my interest yet again, but I was, at the time, to heavily invested in the Blizzard Trinity: Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo, to really jump back on the MMO train. Once I heard of Acerson’s Call II however, I had to dive back in. I can’t say that game was a great success, but I was hooked for awhile at least.

I then spent some time in the beta test for a new twist on the genre, for me anyways. I was accepted to test Planetside and had a great time. The self-proclaimed “first first-person shooter MMO” it was very interesting. Lots of fast paced squad or solo action with a nifty character progression, skill-swapping mechanism. I played through the beta months but never did end up subscribing to the retail release.

I heard rumors of a Star Wars MMO in the works. This became the first MMO that I actually kept vigilant watch over its development. When the day finally came and my Star Wars Gallaxies Collector’s Edition arrived on my doorstep it was pretty hard to contain my excitement. SWG, again, wasn’t a raving success, but I played through it, though not accomplishing much. I loved the complexity of the crafting system and the theme. Unfortunately it just wasn’t polished enough for me and after about 9-12 months I was back on planet earth.

Then, as I was playing through Warcraft III, I learned about another MMO being developed, this time by Blizzard Entertainment. (Anyone still have your Blizzard notepads?) I’d always loved Blizzard games and hoped they would produce something amazing. We all know how that turned out, but anyways…

To bide my time while waiting for WOW, I turned to an older MMO that I’d always wanted to try, but was just to busy playing other games to get to. Dark Age of Camelot. Now that was a fun ride! I was a day late and a dollar short, but the time I had in DAoC was a grand one. Lots of amazing people, places and things to see. That experience brought me back to the glory days of UO and reminded me of how much I loved the genre.

Then WOW. Now I could go off here, but I’m sure many of you reading this (since it is an MMO blog) all have your own stories and experiences to match my own. So you get it. After countless hours, sleepless nights, endless weekends of playing on 2 accounts, all maxed with characters, for almost 5 years…yeah you get the picture. I fell pretty deep into that hole at times, but what a hole it was.

I tried out WAR. Bought a box and paid for 3 months. Played about 1. Just wasn’t there for me.

After weening myself from WOW I’ve moved onto EVE, though I still dabble in Azeroth at times. (I love all the MMO 2-3 letter acronyms. It should be a requirement from here on out. I could probably right a book entirely in acronyms…though the glossary would be longer than the material itself, it might be fun)

I have to say I am really enjoying my time in EVE so far. It’s been about a month and it’s just so different than WOW and nearly any other MMO I’ve played. It has so many things I enjoy and I’ll be expanding on that in a future post, but it’s definitely keeping me busy currently. What skill should I train next…hmm.

So there you have it. Again, I’m by no means a hardcore player and I haven’t experienced it all. I’d like to call myself a veteran, but I’ve missed some of the key building blocks of the genre to be able to say that. I tend to do more research and number crunching on games than actually playing them, but I get by.

So hopefully that is a broad enough overview of my history to get a feel of what I’ve accomplished. My goal of this blog, just like the countless other blogs out there, is simply to use it as an avenue to get my thoughts out there. I tend to ramble…alot, so please just interrupt me when it gets bad. I can’t say I’ll be adding anything truly meaningful to the cause, so please don’t expect any thought provoking pieces, I only wish I could contribute on that level. Alright, I hate walls of text, so let’s get onto more exciting posts (I hope) . Thanks for staying with me this far…