Friday, January 9, 2015

Normal Service Will Be Resumed When I Get Around To It : GW2, EQ2, Istaria

It's been a quiet week around these parts at least as far as blogging goes and it looks like might stay that way over the weekend. It's not due to any lack of ideas or enthusiasm - just time.

What time I have been able to find has gone straight to playing, which I guess is a good thing. In GW2 there's been one heck of a tussle going on in The Mists all week. T2 has turned into a right old grudge match and it's been hard not to spend every available minute manning the cannons or walking the yaks. Anything less feels like slacking.

Then there's the interminable Wintersday. If only I'd missed a round right at the start but no, I had to get into a perfect run of dailies every day (yes, even Christmas Day) on both accounts. Now I'm stuck on some kind of self-inflicted "I've started so I'll finish" treadmill. So unlike me. Well, I have been ill.

Thank the gods the Charr don't believe in that I never got going on Frostfell this year. As Wilhelm observed, Frostfell is still going, too. What is it with MMO holidays? Why do they always have to limp on and on? Especially the midwinter ones. Oh well, only another few days.

Speaking of EQ2, the other factor mitigating against blogging this weekend is the 150% bonus xp bonanza for subscribers members that just began. It's too tempting to ignore and I really should try and hit 100.

Istaria has cat-people? When did that happen?

For some reason I derailed myself a while back by maxing Weaponsmith and I've barely logged in since. I think somehow it flipped some kind of "I've finished" switch in the same way filling my free player Labor Points bar did in ArcheAge (which I also would like to get back to playing, some time).

There's nothing remotely rational about such reactions. They aren't choices or decisions. They just occur. It's disturbing how frequently an apparently innocuous, often quite positive event in an MMO, particularly the completion of a personal goal, leads to my interest in playing that game dissipating. I bet that's something developers don't allow for in their retention plans - or maybe they do and I just set unexpectedly achievable goals. 

I hardly help the situation by diversifying yet further into more MMOs but I'm doing that too, of course. The time that I could and otherwise probably would have spent playing EQ2 this month has mostly gone to Istaria. Yes, that old thing.

The reason that came about was serendipitous. Or is that fortuitous? Co-incidental? Whatever, I didn't plan on doing it, that's for sure. I bought Horizons on release and although I never played it to any meaningful degree it looks as though I must have used my regular email address to sign up (something I absolutely never do - or haven't for a decade and more. Shows how long ago it must have been) because since the game, renamed Istaria, came under its current management some years back, I get a kind of Annual Report every December that outlines what has been added to the game during the year.

The bells! The bells!

It's always impressive. This year it was impressive enough that I was goaded into downloading it for, what, the fourth time? Every other attempt at playing Istaria lasted just a session or two but this time round I seem to be making some progress. Level 9 in my main combat skill at least! I may just stick at it a while. It would be nice to see something past the first zone.

So, just a set of excuses for why I haven't written much lately. Next week Mordremoth returns in the latest Living Story hiccup and towards the end of January there's the heavily-trailed Future of GW2 reveal at Pax South. That should generate plenty of commentary, complaint and speculation even if I am futzing around in a couple of decade-old has-beens and never-weres instead.

Plus there's an Istaria report to put together. I think I need to get a little further for that, though. Meanwhile, those damned handbells won't ring themselves...


  1. That's O.K., you've got a month until Erollsi. ;)

    -- 7rlsy

    1. Oh don't! This time of year is demented in Norrath, what with Frostfell, Errolisi, Brewday and Bristlebane one after another. Back when we were on Test they also used to overlap them so we had two running at once!

  2. I remember beta testing Horizons. Grand plans, for sure. I didn't even realize it still existed in any form, although I heard whispers.

    1. I think it's changed hands at least twice but it's managed to keep going. We betaed it with a friend from EQ and largely because he decided he'd buy it we bought it too, even though the beta was barely playable. It was even less playable after launch and we didn't even last the free month but our friend stayed and we never saw him again.

  3. Always good to see someone writing about Istaria. It's been a few years since I've gone back there, but I also get the yearly newsletter. I have a level 100 adult dragon there, but I know my guild fell apart a while back, and find it hard to return there with that thought. Still, flying and playing a dragon was a wonderful time!

    1. I was surprised at how many dragons there are flying about even in the starting areas. Some very big ones, too, which I am assuming means high level. The population looks pretty healthy for a supposedly long-forgotten MMO. I'm enjoying it more this time than any of my previous visits. I don't imagine there's any chance I'll stay long but I would like to see a few sights.


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