Two Crashes in Two Weeks; The End of Dragon Age and Vanguard; The (re)Beginning of Darkfall

I’ve had the worst luck with hard drives these past two weeks. First, I had one die on me right after recording Episode 22 of The Multiverse. I went out, caught a couple of 500GB drives on sale at Best Buy, put them in, and was happy with my new terrabyte. Yesterday morning, however, I woke up to a computer that wouldn’t boot windows. I wound up having to do a full format to get things going again and pushed my secondary up into the main drive slot. Fun stuff.

As far as gaming goes, it was a sad event. I didn’t consider the impact on my gaming until I went to boot up Dragon Age and realized it wasn’t there. Neither was Mass Effect 2, Team Fortress 2, Call of Duty 4, or any of the other games I play regularly. Dragon Age hit home the most, though. I was finally getting into some new content beyond my 20 hours on the Xbox version. I don’t think I have the heart to play through all of that starter content again :-/

But, all hope isn’t lost. I was able to get WoW fully installed and patched in just a few hours through Battle.net. LotRO is back and ready to go too. Those are the big ones and, I have to say, I’m very impressed at how Blizzard has worked out their download system. I expected to have to leave it all night, but because the game installs AS it’s downloading – patches and all – it was substantially quicker than using the game discs.

I decided to look at this as a new opportunity, too. Riknas has been after me to join him in Darkfall, so I decided to let Vanguard drop from my plate and take that up instead. I like Vanguard, really I do, but it just takes SO damn long to re-install. Since Darkfall is torrent-based, I had it downloaded within a couple hours of deciding.

I’m impressed too. The newbie experience is way, way better than it used to be. There are lots of quests in the starter towns and they do a good job of giving you lots of gold and gear. The goblins seem to drop extra loot too. Within an hour of playing, I had over 300g and several sets of cloth armor in my bank (thank you to Riknas for one of those). Darkfall today is head and shoulders above the Darkfall of last year. Big congrats should go to Aventurine for that one.

One big thing that I never thought I’d care about: you gather consistently until the node is empty now. None of this “click every five seconds” stuff. In Darkfall, you’ll mine for a good twenty minutes that way and, because you had to pay attention, the boredom factor of it skyrocketed. Now, you can window the game and surf the web. I might actually take up crafting now when I don’t have time to devote myself to a full play session.

Anyhow, I’m working on a little video to showcase the game and some of the better changes I’ve come across. Stay tuned for the update!

Happy Monday, Everyone.

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