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Return to Azeroth

August 3rd, 2016

So, those of you who follow my facebook page might know that Jen and I have returned to World of Warcraft (WoW) for the 50th time after a few months’ hiatus.

I vividly remember the first time I heard about this game from a friend. I poo-poo’d it at the time, having played a few fantasy MMOs in the dawn of (digital) time, but Jen was intrigued. So she bought a copy, installed it on her computer, and entered a world unlike anything we had ever seen before. She was hooked in the first minute. Watching over her shoulder while she played, it took me two minutes. So I grabbed my keys and ran out to the local box stores to get a copy. (It took me 2 days to get it, because the stores were all sold out.)(Yes, this is before digital download copies were available.)(Yes, I am old.)

We lost ourselves in the vivid world of Azeroth, with Jen playing a healer druid and me a bow-wielding hunter. We adventured from one end of the digital world to the other, slaying monsters and taking their loot. Along the way we met great people who were also sharing this experience, and some of them became real-life friends of the highest caliber. Friends we still treasure today, 12 years later.

About to Battle Ragnaros

Over the years, Jen and I would occasionally take a break from the game. Like anything else, a game can get repetitive. When we get bored, we cancel our subscriptions. But, invariably, a new expansion will come out, and we will get sucked back into WoW again. Like we just did a couple weeks ago.

I still have that hunter character, and Jen still has her druid (although we transferred them from the Alliance to the Horde side years ago.) But now I mainly play a priest who heals, and Jen’s been experimenting with the warlock class. Variety is the spice of life, eh? And now we’re focused much more on the player-versus-player combat than adventuring and raiding. But there’s still magic in this experience. We’ve tried tons of other online games, but we always return to WoW. It’s familiar, but it always manages to show us something new.

And there is no doubt in my mind that part of our love affair with this game involves each other. I couldn’t stick with a game for this long on my own. But having my love and best friend there with me is pure gold. It’s quality time we spend together, whether we’re assassinating elves or plunging into dark dungeons. We’re together, and that makes all the difference.

So, when our schedules permits, you can sometimes find us on Llane server, melting faces and having a blast together.






Final Fantasy 14

October 6th, 2013

As some of you may know, my wife and I enjoy playing massive multiplayer online roleplaying games (MMORPGs). We played World of Warcraft for the better part of eight years, dabbled in Warhammer Online, Aion, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and Guild Wars 2. Well, recently we started Final Fantasy 14.

Now, disclaimer time: I never played any of the previous Final Fantasy games, online or otherwise. But some friends of ours wanted to try it, so we were willing to learn.

The game definitely has some good features. The graphics are very nice, with both the landscape and the characters looking polished. The game employs the “trinity” character system (tank, healer, damage dealer) which both Jen and I enjoy. Also, your character can switch between all the classes, which is an interesting twist.

Still, I’m not completely sold on the game. One of my biggest complaints is that I don’t like the manga/anime-inspired setting. Some of the creatures are just ridiculous and silly, and they make me feel like I’ve wandered into the subconscious of a nine-year-old. I prefer to face off against axe-wielding orcs (or even wild boars) rather than ladybugs and animated mushroom people.

Also, the combat system is meh. It’s slow and not very exciting, and every combat maneuver — even a basic sword slash — is rendered with a sparkly animation right out of an episode of Pokemon.

Jen and I will continue to play FF14, at least until our subscription runs out. But I’m already eyeing a new game — Elder Scrolls Online — coming out next year.


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