non-DDO related update: Crap week at January continues…

It has been a while since I tweeted about a crap week at work.
Today I can finally give an update: Crap turns into Shit.

The merge of companies I talked about back then is still not final, but the building we are located at has been rent out to another company, meaning we have to leave this building mid next week.

2 weeks ago we were informed about this sudden change and I was told to continue my job (24hrs per week) at the new location, 100km travel distance from my home. 4 days a week I would need to travel 200km per day, with an average travel time of 2,5 hours per day. Without traffic jam delays which would happen most certainly because I have to cross the heart of highways to get to the new location.
I immediately informed my supervisor I was unhappy about this and couldn’t see a way to make it happen. Too much time (I have 2 kids to take care off as well), too much car cost (I haven’t won the lottery yet) with too little gain. I could get a small financial compensation, but that was just enough for the first year, all the years after that I would fall short financially.

My supervisor discussed my problems with the director, hoping to find a more suiting solution for me. Something along the lines of 2 day travel to the new office, 2 days working at another nearby location. But with the merge still in the works the director wouldn’t give in and kept to his demand.
I again appealed against it, but with the risk of having no job and no income at all, I told them I would never quit myself but would be very unhappy if I had to stay.

2 nerve wrecking, dramaticly emotional weeks have passed; yesterday I signed an agreement to end the job contract after 18 years of loyalty.
Needless to say I’m heartbroken to be forced to do this, but I can’t see a future for me at my current job under the current conditions.

Because I have a history of 18 years for the same employer my processing time is 4 months.
For 2 months I need to keep working, the last 2 months I’m granted to stay at home with income.
And from October 1st: ……………. It’s still a blanc page………..
But I know the toughest part will be saying goodbye to all my colleagues when my time is done in July.

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Back in the day when…

Sometimes you hear someone say: “Back in the day when…” followed by something he/she remembers. And you try to think back when that was, if you remember it aswell. Or you frown because it was something before your time.

I got inspired for this post by a tweet Micky send out yesterday. She wrote: I have been playing since a little while before U11. What about u? #ddo To which i replied: 19 september 2009, at least that’s the date i joined the forums, but i usualy do all at once so must be my 1st day playing #DDO

I can refer back in dates, but i’m terrible when it comes to Updates. Like Micky said she started playing just before U11. U11…….when was that again and what was the update about? I can’t remember. If someone would say he/she started beginning 2011 i can compare it to my own date and have a clue.
Or if someone would say “when Gianthold got released”, or “when airships made it into DDO”. When was that? I don’t know.
I know if i was playing DDO allready or not, but i can’t put a date to it. Not even in years.

So that made me look up all the release notes on Modules* and Updates i could find on the DDO website. I’ve listed everything in a sheet** with dates and noticable changes so i have an easy reference to the changes to the game and the dates. To me it’s fun reading back on changes that happened, that i went through, that the game has undergone. Some changes long forgotten allready because the change was GOOD (looking at you leveling sigils***). Some changes so common now you can’t imagen there was a time it wasn’t in the game (looking at you Guild Renown and Airships).

* When DDO first got released in 2006 they named updates to the game Modules. After the F2P release in 2009 they changed that into Updates.
** Have you forgotten i am a sheet person? I love putting stuff in sheets to organize chaos 😉
*** In the beginning in DDO you needed leveling sigils to be able to advance  beyond hard set levels. If i remember correctly i only needed 1 bronze sigil before Turbine removed them from the game.

Below i’ll put up the list so you can track back updates and changes and see if you remember them aswell.
I would love to hear what you all think about being good and not so good (putting it mildly) changes done to the game.

And to restate Micki’s question: When did you start playing DDO?

Ofcourse i won’t forgot the treats, it’s my 4th anniversary in DDO after all! Cheers 🙂
4 jaar cookies

module/update date noticable changes
M0 P1 14-3-2006 Founders Helm
M0 P2 22-3-2006
M0 P3 30-3-2006
M1 VON; weapon set shortcuts
M1 P2 12-4-2006
M1 P3 19-4-2006
M1 P4 10-5-2006
M1 P5 14-6-2006 solo content
M2 12-7-2006 The Twilight Forge (Restless Isles); Drow; Mail; Patron Favor
Stormreach under Seige 18-9-2006 Cult of Madness in WW
M2 P1 23-10-2006
M3 25-10-2006 Demon Sands; level cap 12; PVP; AH; Feat Respec
M3 P0 15-11-2006
M3 P1 13-12-2006 Festival Jester; several Delera’s Graveyard Quests
M3 P2 23-1-2007 Litany ot Dead part 2: shadow tombs +crypt
M4 12-4-2007 Reaver’s Bane (Gianthold); level cap 14; SRE all wildernesses; Risia Preview Server
M5 27-9-2007 Accursed Ascension (Black Abbot)
M6 The Thirtheenth Eclipse; level cap 16
M7 3-6-2008 Market Place Tent destroyed; 2 raids Suulo and Xizzy; Monk
M7 P1 2-7-2008
M7 P2 20-8-2008
M8 29-10-2008 Korthos Island; Siber Attol
M8 P1 11-11-2008
M8 P2 10-12-2008
M8 P3 20-1-2009
U0 31-8-2009 F2P; DDO Store; level cap 20; FvS; Devils of Shavarat; Sharn Syndicate; Cerulean Hills; Difficulty Scaling; Mantel ot Worldshaper
U0 P1 17-9-2009
U0 P2 1-10-2009
U1 28-10-2009 Path of Inspiration; 32 point builds; Epic Dungeons; Veteran Status
U1 P1 16-11-2009 TR; Hireling Folders;
U2 16-12-2009 Dreaming Dark
U3 No level sigils required; 4 new quests The Twelve; Casual Difficulty; Epic VON; LR/GR
U3 P1 17-2-2010 4th Bday
U4 5-4-2010 Sentinels
U5 28-6-2010 Guild Renown-airship; Phiarlan Carnival
U5 P1 21-7-2010
U6 17-8-2010 Red Fens
U7 20-10-2010 Horc/Helf; Deception in Stormreach (Lordsmarch Plaza); Chronoscope Raid; Mabar
U7 P1 10-11-2010
U8 13-12-2010 Risia Ice Games; Attack on Stormreach; Cookie Jar
5th Bday Crystal Cove
U8 P2 14-3-2011 Localization: French en German
U8 P3 30-3-2011
U9 P1 16-5-2011 Cannith Crafting; Harbinger of Madness
U10 20-6-2011 Reign of Madness
U10 P1 11-7-2011
U10 P2 25-7-2011
U11 P1 12-10-2011 Artificer; House Cannith
U12 9-11-2011 Challenges; Shared Plat Bank
U12 P1 7-12-2011
U12 P2 14-12-2011
U12 P3 25-1-2012
U13 27-2-2012 Web of Chaos; 6th Bday; Vet status 7
U13 P1 2-4-2012
U13 P2 2-5-2012
U14 25-6-2012 Menace of the Underdark; Level cap 25; Epic Destinies; Druid
U14 P1 11-7-2012 Caught in the Web raid
U14 P2 26-7-2012
U15 20-8-2012 Song of Druid’s Deep; Monster Manual
U15 P1 12-9-2012
U15 P2 10-10-2012
U16 12-11-2012 Netherese Legacy/High road of Shadows; Orbs
U16 P1 14-12-2012
U17 19-2-2013 Epic GH; MM II; Augments
U17 P1 18-3-2013 Shard Exchange; Daily Dice; VIP XP Bonus
U18 22-5-2013 Disciples of Shadow (2 Wheloon quests); Iconic Heroes; Skill Tomes
U18 P1 30-5-2013
U18 P2 24-6-2013 VIP weekly gold roll
U18 P3
U19 19-8-2013 Shadowfell Conspiracy/ Wheloon City + Storm Horns; Enhencement Revamp; Sagas; Hall of Heroes; Level cap 28; Chest Reroll
U19 P1 29-8-2013

Notes to the above list:

  • M0 P1 stands for Module 0 Patch 1
  • U11 stands for Update 11
  • Some release notes didn’t have a date on them
  • Most patches didn’t have any new changes, just patches to the latest updates and/or hotfixes and/or bugfixes

Did i just make twins???

twin clerics

 

Left:    Maridei: lvl 15 cleric, she was a clonk before U19 and i LRed her the other week. Had to do char creation all over again, including face, hair, details.

Right: Marimei: lvl 19 cleric, not changed at all, not played since U19 or even the last month or so before

I guess i have an image in my head of how a cleric should look like to me 😉

Ponderings about myself and my chars Post U19

Since the beginning of 2013 i’ve had a rather huge DDO dip. Those of you who follow me on twitter may have seen some whining from me there.
For some months i didn’t log on as often as before, and i kept pondering what it was that took away most of the fun that kept me from playing/logging in.
It was also the time that the release of Neverwinter was announced and had my attention from the start.
But i couldn’t nail the lack of interest in DDO down to one thing. I think it was a combination of several:

* I need refreshment (as in something new/changed) pretty regulary to keep my attention going. I’m eager, i want to learn, explore, develop. Once something reaches the endstation it starts to get boring. And for me, i had reached endstation in DDO. I didn’t have anything new to learn, had seen most (if not all) quests, had a char at lvl 25 and several other chars to poke around with. I’m not fanatic to want to become better in gear, soloing epics (i hate soloing!) or defeating EE content. I can do with whatever is available and be satified with that.

* Because our guild in DDO (The Thieves Guild on Argo = Best guild i’ve ever been in!) isn’t that huge, the loss of some regular members was felt immediately. Usualy we had like 6-10 players on most evenings, it dropped down to about 2-4 at the lowest point. But we did manage to keep the quality up, very good, friendly, amazing guildies who sticked around. Even when i hadn’t logged in for a month *shame* they were still there.

*i’m a very casual player. I don’t want to be the best, the first, with the best uberloot. I just want to have fun with whatever is being done at the moment. Lowbie, epics, raids, i have nothing planned and just go with the flow. I tried to make plans for my chars, TR and get it back up, leveling some other chars. But my playtime is limited compared to the most average player. So i would be left behind pretty soon if i went into a TR cycle with guildies.
But some guildies do have plans, zerging the TR train over and over. And i don’t blame them for that, it’s just something i can’t keep up with. It’s not my style. And before the summerholidays they were in a TR high-speed train…

*Neverwinter got released. I was very eager to get into that, learn new things, see new stuff, get a brand new game into my system. And i enjoyed it very much. Neverwinter is very newb friendly so i was pretty easily picking up the game. I started with several guildies and found some new friends there too. But as the game progressed, more and more friends dropped. Now it’s down to just me and a new play-friend i’ve met in Neverwinter.
With my casual playstyle it took me some weeks to cap my first char there (yes, progressing is much faster in Neverwinter as in DDO). And within a few months i had seen most every quest and area, learned most i needed to know about my chars, and didn’t have many friends to have fun with ingame. A few weeks back i’d reached the point to only log in to do a “Bonnie” and maybe some PvP if i had enough time. Now i haven’t even logged on there for a week or so. My friend over there got called away to her family so i  don’t feel ‘obligated’ to log in. Nor do i feel the need…

Because:

U19 got released to DDO!

When U19 was still in development (talking enhencement pass here) and on Lamm, i hadn’t bothered with it much. I’d read some forum posts every now and then but didn’t dig into it. It would fall upon me when it would be opened to live.

Slowly i felt my DDO fire lighting up again. There was something new to learn (enhencement pass), new to discover (Wheloon and Storm Horns) and the guildies slowed down the TR progress. They got fedd up with the ‘need’ to get so and so xp per day, repeating the high xp quests x many times to get the most buck out of it.

And so the first time i logged into DDO after i downloaded U19, i had this list of chars that needed rebuilding. Some more desperate then others. I gave myself the time to scan the forums carefully about everyones ideas about what to pick and what not. Looking for new builds i could work with.
At first i felt overwhelmed. So much to do, to think about, i didn’t know where to start.
So i started with adding the enhencements to my lvl 25 FvS by guts feeling just so i could explore the Storm Horns (after i bought the Xpack for TP ofcourse). And darn….that was an amazing area, wonderfull details, i had awwwws and chills again, camera around my pixel-neck to get screenshots.

I had fun again, twas a while ago (Rift between Worlds and first weeks of Eveningstar) since i last had that feeling.

And so i took my time to read and think about my chars, writing stuff down to get all this info a bit sorted.
Result: 1 char +20LRed and rebuilt, 2 chars quickly enhenced, 6 to go to carefully rebuild.

I am a systematic person, i love lists and sheets to have a quick overlook about stuff i’m working on.
So i have made a sheet with my chars with their details: previous class, desired new class, specifics and opinions.
It is mostly for my own reference to keep myself sane and organized, but if you have any comments that can help me decide i’d love to hear them!

Char – name – race – summits previous build – lvl  desired build specifics opinion
 Ekei – Elf
Pastlife cleric
 wiz-rog 16-2  wiz-rog 16-2 AM – conjuration school bc of cleric pastlife, evasion, reflexes and skills/gear for traps  love arcane casting, and even get to do traps! Never played a full wiz so i can’t compare them but i’m liking this one. New top-end traps seem to be harder so not sure if it’s still viable for new endgame
 Marei – Halfling
currently bankmule bc 1st char i ever rolled hence utterly gimped 
 rogue 15  rogue 15 or ??  dex based assassin  not sure if i want to have 2 rogues, i would build them both dex/int assassin.
Maybe bard or monk??
 Maridei – Human   clc-mnk 12-2  cleric 14 necro casting healer  didn’t like the clonk (wan’t hitting hard enough, couldn’t offensive cast enough), this one is rebuilt and regeared as best as i could
 Marikei – Human  FvS 25  FvS 25 Love it – keep it  need to check enhencements for this one, maybe even +20LR to rebuild for better stats (bit more STR to hit better?)
 Marilei – Drow  rogue 17  rogue 17 or ??  dex based assassin  with 2 current rogues i don’t think i want to keep 2 rogues, but i don’t have a clue what else to build. Have a build ready in Ron’s tho so i can start this one
 Marimei  -Human  cleric 19  cleric 19  RS – light based one can’t have enough divines, gonna try different tree as my other, not sure if RS or Protector
 Twinkei  -Human
pastlife Barb 
 druid 9  druid 9  caster specced  i just like the druid but she doesn’t get enough playtime. just need buildcheck and enhencements

Some things that i learned from the past:
I don’t like plain melee (barb, fighter) Tried it, hated it. So those aren’t an option for me.
I love casters, divine, arcane, just love em.
I’m hesitant to multi-class, tried twice, failed once.
Thinking about monk or bard. Monk i tried with my clonk, could be fun but in the clonk it wasn’t cutting it for me.
Bard seems fun but i’m dreading it a little. All they do is sing songs when zoning in, then off melee-ing. So if i would go bard it must be different then that.
I don’t have artificer, it does seem to be a fun class. But no option for now.
Sorcerer seems nice, but i don’t have warforged
Paladin. meh. Somehow i’m not attracted to it. Too much melee i guess/think
I don’t have helf and horc, or iconics (except for the PDK fighter that came with the Xpack).

Well, i think this is enough for now. So much to do, so little time……i’ll leave you with some screenshots i took in Storm Horns 🙂

ScreenShot00759 ScreenShot00748 ScreenShot00743 ScreenShot00739 ScreenShot00737

DDO – MTO

DDO – MTO

When I logged into DDO the other week I found 3 guildies getting ready for A Relic Of A Sovereign Past on their lvl 14 TR’s (a bard, a monk and a wiz). Luckily I got asked to join them on my gimpy 1st life clonk. They put up an LFM for the last 2 spots and we got joined by 2 arties. Perfect!

Getting myself buffed up on the ship and heading out to the Anvil Forest in House K it suddenly strikes me: Anvil Forest, my ultimate favorite quest is there! I have to ask this group if they wanna join me in that quest. It’s such an awesome quest but hardly get’s any playtime because it’s a very slow quest. More about that later on but first lemme finish about the Relic quest.

It went very smooth, we had fun, chitchatted while fighting and running and before we know we’re at the end boss. We try to diplo him but fail, no worries, we just kill him then. 12k xp in the pocket, time to ask THE question.

“Guys, Made To Order is here as well and around the same lvl, would you mind giving that one a try with me?”  “Oh sure, we can do that, we’re only a little over level but that’s no problem.”

 *HappyDance*

One of the arties has to leave, so we have room for another guildie. 5 of us and a pugger who seems to be enjoying the casual style we’re putting forth.

I haven’t ran MTO for a long while, mostly because it’s such a specific quest where you need a trapper and people who are willing to listen and DON’T ZERG.

MTO is the ultimate NO ZERG quest, it’s awesome. If you haven’t run that quest yet: I’ll try not to spoil too much, and you should give that quest a try!
Minor spoiler: This quest is planted with traps, think Undermine but differently.

At the entrance I try to warn the party. DON’T ZERG, keep with the group. Let the arti go first to detect, locate and disable the traps, when he says clear you can go. Don’t go with the arti. Stay back. Wait h…..

*ding*
*ding*
*ding*
*ding*

“Okay, whomever that was, that’s not how we’re supposed to do it. We’re just at the beginning so let’s recall, rebuff and restart.”

Take 2: At the entrance I try to warn the party. DON’T ZERG, keep with the group. Let the arti go first to detect, locate and disable the traps, when he says clear you can go. Don’t go with the arti. Stay back. Wait h…..

*ding*
*ding*
*ding*
*ding*

Ok, I exaggerated that a bit, but I think the trapper died about 10 times and I had 4 deaths, the others had deaths as well but I stopped counting. Only one or two tunnels in.  After death number toomany I released. “Did you just recall Ekei?”  “Why yes I did. This is awful guys. I have too many death penalties, no buffs and no sp.” “ Oh……ok, let’s all recall, rebuff and restart then.” I think they got the clue now: DON’T ZERG!
Stay behind the trapper, let him do his job and when clear you can go kill.

And low and behold, it seems to be working now. Surely the trapper still dies a few times. Being an arti it’s rough dancing between the traps trying to disarm them. But the group knows the drill now and we slowly work our way up to Arnold’s chamber. I love how the devs named the boss ARN-01D. After Arnold Schwarzenegger. Too funny.
In my younger days I used the tactic of pulling Arnold back to the rails instead of fighting him in his room. So I ask this group where to fight him. No discussion from my guildies: in his room! He’ll be dead before he even blinks. Lol. And so it happens, very easy end fight. Not like in my early DDO career when this could be a killer after struggling through all those trapped tunnels for hours.

We go through the 10 sealed doors to reach Haywire. The chicken hiding there in his room. We’ve gone through all this so give us your loot and xp! That’s another 9k xp and my ultimate favorite quest finished. Woot!

MTO: Made To Order. Or Might Trap Others, as my guildies tried to get each other killed in the traps. It was fun and I hope they didn’t mind me being bossy. I wanted that quest done properly!

DDO and Neverwinter

DDO and Neverwinter

I’ve been playing DDO since September 2009 (yes, I’m one of those “Free? I’m in!” cheapers) and love it deeply. DDO is the first MMO for me, so I had to learn everything about playing an MMO from scratch. But that was okay, if something hold’s my interest I want to learn all ins and outs, back and forth. So I’ve read many a forum thread, compendium page and other guides, educating myself.

And up to today I’m still learning because every once in a while the DDO dev team change something or add new stuff. But I don’t mind, I love learning and playing it all!

*******************************************************************************

A few months back I saw an ad for a new D&D game being released “soonish” , Neverwinter. And it was going for the F2P style. Me: “Free? I’m in!”

It had the “D&D” and “F2P” in it and so immediately grabbed my attention. I did a little exploring on the world-wide-webs but there wasn’t much to get excited about yet. “Soonish” wasn’t yet nearby so I didn’t need to learn all ins and outs immediately.

A while after that first spot, one of my guildies (I’ll call him Jayzee to keep him safe from flames and spears XD) mentioned Neverwinter while we were doing something in DDO. I said I’d seen the ad as well and also had some interest. We chatted about it some and about how he was very interested in trying out Neverwinter when it would be released.

(Jayzee is getting a bit tired of DDO. He has a huge D&D history and so learned DDO much faster than me. He’s hungry. He needs new food to keep his brain tickled.) ((<- That’s just my thought I’m sharing here, I’ve been playing with Jayzee for almost 3 years now and I think I have a little feeling of knowing him when it comes to DDO))

So hearing Jayzee has a big interest in Neverwinter my own feelings we’re again enlightend. I like to quest with Jayzee (and my other guildies of course) and knowing he would be playing Neverwinter made me feel at ease.

********************************************************************************

I’m a social gamer. I don’t like soloing, and I’ve sticked to DDO for over 3 years because I have a great group of guildies around me who always take me along on their ride if they have room for more. We have fun while questing, make jokes at each other because we know we can.

Knowing other guildies were interested in Neverwinter as well made me at ease because I knew I’d have company in there and didn’t need to solo it to learn the game. Or even had to go out again to find a guild in there that would fit me. I’ve had done that already after a few months of DDO when the original group I started with stopped playing and I went on a solo quest to find a nice home of friendly people. The thought of doing that again in Neverwinter had me scared a bit already.

********************************************************************************

It was halfway March already and I had kept a close eye on the Neverwinter progression. It was still in Closed Beta but a release date was getting closer, so I could tell between the lines. The Closed Beta was only accessible for players who bought a starter pack. Something like the DDO expansion pack you could buy for early access and exclusive extras.

But I didn’t want to invest in the game yet because I like to first see if I like the game enough to be worth spending money on, hence my love for F2P.
And there it was: a Closed Beta weekend for everyone who was able to grab a Beta Key. And grabbing hold of a Beta key wasn’t that hard, many gaming sites were giving keys away like candy. I knew Jayzee got a key and soon I had a key as well. Neverwinter was soon to be explored!

March the 22nd Friday evening it began, my first loggin at Neverwinter. Of course I had created my account before the official opening and had done a fair bit of reading on the forums. Learning new stuff again: Brain Tickle! I even downloaded the client before the opening so I wouldn’t lose time on that when they opened the World of Neverwinter 😉

I started off solo because I didn’t know Jayzee’s account/char name but I didn’t mind it that much. It was nice to just explore the world (waking up on a beach being thrown there by some Dragon who attacked something I was in/on and threatened the city. Anyone else get the reference??) by myself.

I followed the main story line and ran quest after quest with my Devoted Cleric (yes, I love divines, have several in DDO and so started off with one in Neverwinter). So much to see, so much to do. Everything was new and around every corner was more new! Learning char progression, how to set up the Hud, how to chat, how to fight. I was learning from scratch again and loved it. I think it was close to 2am when I logged off for the night. Where usually I try to log off between midnight and 1 am to get at least some decent sleep. Not this time.

Saturday afternoon I logged in again to continue the exploring. Already reached lvl 13 (wow, those levels go fast!!) and had heard from Jayzee and his char so I could contact him. Soon I found him ingame as well together with a rl friend of his and we grouped up to explore more together (we actually were very close in lvl range, think they reached 15 or so). We discussed many features and bugs we came across (Twas a Beta Weekend after all, had to give some feedback) ((although I left the giving of feedback to Jayzee because he is perfect with words, knows how to describe things well enough so everyone understands what it’s about. Not me, my English is just mediocre and enough to make myself understood but I don’t think I’m that good to write feedback myself)).
Alas, we played more Neverwinter that entire weekend and had a blast (well, I had a blast, but I think Jayzee had a blast too. His brain had fresh food to nom-nom).

The wait for official release began after that weekend without a date having called out for yet. The stress! We Want More!

*********************************************************************************

When we returned our usual gaming to DDO we informed our guildies about our adventures and how Neverwinter would be a nice game to play besides DDO. Specifically with them if they had interest. And they had. Our stories made them curious as well and since Neverwinter will be F2P it’s not hard to just download the client and try it. Don’t like it: delete the game and continue where you left off. Some guildies were very scared of the D&D 4e style, but Jayzee managed to explain what Neverwinter had created and how it wasn’t as bad as some would think it would be.
And it isn’t I think. I don’t have a rich D&D history so I can only compare with the D&D 3.5 we have in DDO. Of course it’s different, Neverwinter has not that many options when it comes to character building, the main lines are set out and to be followed as set. But there is still enough room to flex a char as you would like it to be. And it’s still in Beta, nothing is set hard in stone and everything can be changed if the devs see fit.
Back in 2006 when DDO started, the game was much different from what it is today (so I heard and read from founders). A lot has changed and so I don’t stress myself over Neverwinter not being perfect yet. The game needs time to develop as time goes and players giving good feedback to the devs to work on.

******************************************************************************

Back in DDO it was back to playing the same stuff again. Questing for the levelling chars, raiding (FoT was still a work in progress for our guildies) for the endgame chars.
But we need new and shiny stuff in DDO to keep us going. We know the devs are working on it with a new expansion on the horizon for this summer. But sometimes you can’t ignore that nagging feeling of same old, been there done that, le sigh. At least I can’t. If there’s not much going on in the guild my interest starts to drop. I need fresh food too!

Low and behold,  at the beginning of April Neverwinter announced another Closed Beta weekend and an official Open Beta date!

The good part: Closed Beta weekend would be from April 22nd until April 24th and Open Beta would start at April 30th! (That day is easy to remember for me. For over 25 years we celebrate Queens-day on April 30th and this year our queen will give her crown to her oldest son Willem-Alexander. We will be celebrating Crowning-day this year at April 30th).

The sad part: Closed Beta weekend was just for founders who had bought a pack. A sort of Thank you to them for jumping in on the game-developing ride. Hardly any free keys were given out this time. I tried my best to get hold of one to have another Beta Weekend before Open Beta but I wasn’t lucky.

Until someone in my DDO Twitter feed saw my spamming of Neverwinter and said she had bought a founder pack but hadn’t been out testing Neverwinter yet.
 Oh, I forgot to mention, if you’d bought a founder pack you were given a friend-key as well. With this key you could bring along a friend into the Closed Beta’s to try out the game together.
She still had a friend-key and offered to give it to me. Me! I was so happy to get another chance to play Neverwinter before the Open Beta so I gladly accepted the gift!

I kept trying to get my hand on another key so I could give it to one of my guildies but still no luck.  But Bonnie was there so I wouldn’t be all alone. Even though I don’t know Bonnie that well (we only meet on twitter occasionally) I wouldn’t be alone and that set me at ease again.

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I’m a social gamer. I need people to hang out with, talk to and quest with together to make a game utterly enjoyable for me. So Friday night I logged into Neverwinter again and soon got ingame contact with Bonnie. I decided to create a new character (you get 2 char slots to start with) so I could run together with Bonnie. I went for the Control Wizard this time while Bonnie took the Halfling Trickster Rogue route. I enjoyed being back into Neverwinter again. But while this was Bonnie’s first look inside the game, I already felt a bit “been there done that”. And that felt strange to me. Where in DDO, being my first MMO, I never had that feeling even after a year, I had it now only on the 2nd day.

Maybe my MMO knowledge and skills had grown with my +3 years of DDO history. I had fun, don’t get me wrong, but I wanted to speed up more than I had thought I would. I felt like zerging where in my DDO guild I’m known as the flower sniffer and local photographer.

Next Saturday afternoon I logged into Neverwinter again to progress my wizard some more, soloing a lot of the quests while Bonnie tried out other classes to get a feeling of them all. Sunday I logged back to my cleric to progress her some more and see some new content.

But I was alone, and I didn’t feel like questing so much. I just ran around taking screenshots, watching chat and explore the game on itself (I created a channel to see how it worked, it worked!).

I also followed the German devs, they were streaming live gameplay and it was very fun to watch them play and answering all sorts of questions on the stream-chat. That’s how I learned about a get-together for the German players Sunday evening at 7pm. I decided to go check it out for the fun. But the devs didn’t come so it was just a bit of fooling and dancing from the German players and me watching them.

Following ingame chat again I saw another gathering, this time for a founders photo moment from the last Closed Beta players. Again I headed out to where the party was and just stood there and watched everyone going about and standing on the steps for the perfect picture to be taken. It was fun but it wasn’t as much fun without my friend-guildies around.

So around 10pm, after the picture gathering I decided to log off and log into DDO again to see what my guildies were up to. They had room for more on their lowbie TR train so I jumped in and enjoyed the company before heading to bed.

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And now the waiting begins. April 30 will be the next milestone in my gaming experience. I can’t wait to start a new journey in Neverwinter, for reals this time. All previously created characters in Neverwinter will be deleted before the Open Beta, starting from scratch again but now for realz.

Hopefully with a nice chunk of guildies to enhance my joy, I need them around because I am a social gamer. And because I love them.  Yup.

But as I said before, Neverwinter won’t replace DDO, I think the 2 will go together very well. At first Neverwinter might have the overhand because it’s all new and shiny but in time it’ll settle down and hopefully become a static part of my gaming evenings as is DDO currently and will be.