Rick Glos Life in Portland, Oregon.

Star Wars: The Old Republic - Week One Impressions

22. December 2011 11:43 by Rick Glos in

I got into the Star Wars beta weekend Nov 25th.  Then was able to play the early access on Dec 14th, 1 week before the official release.

In some aspects its a step forward, like sending your 'pet' off to do crafting or sell items while you continue to play. In others it's a step backwards, no zone-wide invasions or events like Rift/Tabula Rasa and no role switching ala-Rift. It's also... very solo at times, it's just so quest heavy. It is not like going into a corner and pulling mobs in the EQ days. This is not a sandbox and not like SWG at all.  It’s missing some things you come to expect from an MMO – there’s no LFG tool – everyone shouts in zone, etc.

It'll probably come down to folks own personal opinion and play-style. Past MMO experience (pre-WoW days) may skew your love of it but to each his own.  The big complaint amongst our set of gamers is that’s very solo play with grouping up as an afterthought.  You spend so much time in cut-scene animations, which may make if fun for you, but if someone is waiting on you to show up somewhere to do something, they have to wait while you watch those cut-scenes.  I’m currently at level 20, playing a Sith Juggernaught (the Tank class) and I’ve done some fun solo things – get my first light-saber, get my ship (at level 18).  But I have yet to do a group quest with any of my friends.

At this point I’d say it’s a good distraction while waiting for Diablo 3.  And I’m still playing World of Tanks as well.

Birthdays 2011

5. December 2011 17:23 by Rick Glos in

Forty and One.  Both are milestones.  Feels the same as 38 or 39 to me.  I stopped counting years ago and at times found myself asking, “How old am I again?”  I still feel the same feelings and think the same childish thoughts, I’m just better at managing it and acting like an adult, as I’m sure most everyone else.

This is also a big one for Max.  Well, not for him so much as everyone else.  He’s not going to remember any of it.  So really, it’s for the adults. 

November 2011 PDXLAN

My father flew out from Illinois for a week to celebrate the birthdays.  He had asked me what I wanted for my birthday.  At this point in my life, I really don’t need any more ‘stuff’.  The ‘stuff’ I really want now, is expensive – I’ll buy that for myself.  Thinking back, I can’t recall what I ‘received’ for my 35th birthday or for Christmas in 1989.  What I can remember though is the 3 summers we went to GenCon, or the trip I took to Mexico, etc.  So really I guess what I really want is memories.  Just come out here and hang with me.  And that’s what he did.

It just happened to coincide with the November 2011 PDXLAN which was taking place the weekend right after he flew in.  So after his flight arrived late Thursday night (12 midnight sheesh!), we hung out Friday until PDXLAN started that evening.

Here we are gaming at the LAN next to each other.

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Three days of adventure.  I feel pretty lucky to be able to do this with my pops.  I hope I am able to pass along and share this bond with my son.

Max turns one

Max had a blast devouring his carrot cakelet. 

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He also got this cool trike from grandma and grandpa.  With the wagon and walker wagon, he’s quite the Radio Flyer groupie.

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I was also impressed with the hand knit stacking blocks his great-grandmother made him.  Very cool.

Soaking in WW2 stuff

I mentioned my passion for WW2 things before.  It was great fun going to the Evergreen Aviation museum with my pops.  We had three generations of Glos boys posing in front of the ME 262 they have on display.

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They have a nice selection of tanks sitting out behind the museum.  They are unmarked.  There’s 2 T34’s, a T55, and a PT76.  We’ve been playing T59’s in a game called World of Tanks so it was great to see some of these tanks up close.

One of the T34’s, with the old man for size reference.

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The T55.

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Not bad for armor for an air and space museum.

The ME 262 was a surprise.

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The had quite a collection of WW2 aircraft which we both drooled over.

The classic P51 Mustang.

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The Hellcat.

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The Corsair.

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The Spitfire.

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The BF 109.

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The P 38 Lightning.

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The P-40 Warhawk.

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They also had a B-17 which we were able to take a tour inside.

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Amazing little factoid.  The safest place in the plane?  The belly ball turret (~5% casualty rate).  The least safe?  The waist gunners (~25% casualty rate).

Lots of other aircraft there as well.  Looking forward to going back with my son so I can play… I mean, he can play in the waterpark.

It was sad to see my old man fly back home but it was a good memory I can look back on.  We need to do this more often.

Finished - Posleen War Series

1. December 2011 08:28 by Rick Glos in

I finished the next 3 books just this weekend after the 1st one I mentioned a couple months ago.  Apparently it was supposed to be a 3 book series but turned into 4 as the author explains at the end of the 4th book.

I like to buy books ahead so that when I finish book x in a series I’m not waiting to start book x-next.  I was confused looking on Amazon seeing book 5 and then 6 and 7 etc.  Turns out these are all spin offs and some not thought of as being very good.  Luckily wikipedia to the rescue to define the order and what books are what.  This is apparently called the Legacy of the Aldenata.

I’m going to stop here.  The books were pretty good but not awesome. I liked the fact that the 3rd and 4th were pretty much action and fighting throughout.  It was sometimes a little hard to get through the 1st and 2nd.  Also, the author sometimes spent and entire chapter defining how a bullet was engineered or how a vehicle had some type of armor which I thought was way too much information and a simple paragraph would’ve sufficed.

So here’s the 4 books I read in order:

Since I thought they were pretty good, I’m going to skip the Cally’s War spinoff series and read the Posleen War side-stories next as they seem to be getting pretty solid reviews on Amazon: