RIFT Raider!

One of the things I love about being in a mega guild is that there’s always someone trying to form a raid group. So, for an average of 3 hours, these past 3 days, I’ve been doing nothing but closing raid, expert and crafting rifts. Not only it was enjoyable, but it was also very productive.

I earned a lot crafting materials, as well as crafter’s plaques, from those raids. In fact, I got a lot of materials that I put up 5 of my 16 Minor Catalyst to be bid on for only a silver at the auction house. I was drunk that night, and I almost had a stroke when I found out the next day. Luckily, a guildmate bid on it for 2 plats to raise the price, and it ended up selling for 3 plats. Not as much as I wanted, but it’s better than 1 silver. Lesson learned: never use the auction house when drunk.

The raid group that I’ve been running with these past few days also have plans to do Greenscale Blight soon. Some of them have already killed the green fat dragon and knows what to do. But I don’t think I will be able to join them since I don’t have T2 gear yet. I don’t see myself doing a T2 dungeon either. I don’t have time because, instead of raiding, I’ll be reading my eyes off this summer.

I guess it’s off to the Warfronts for me. I’ll just raise my Prestige Rank and earn PvP items, which isn’t bad anymore. This way, I can also keep on reading while waiting for the queue to pop.

Anyways, every Tuesday night, our guild invites the public to join us doing raid, expert and crafting rifts. So, if you want to join us, if you’re a Guardian on Faeblight, please send Foghladha (guild leader) or me (Skron) a tell in-game. I’ll see if we can accommodate you.

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SDCC vs. PAX vs. Lollapalooza

Going to the San Diego Comic-Con, Penny Arcade Expo and Lollapalooza have been on my bucket list for sometime now. So, I’ve been saving up some moolah since 2007, hoping that one day I could afford to attend any of them. Well, I’m happy to say that I will be able to go to one of these events this year.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t decide on which event I should go to. My original plan was to attend SDCC first, and then Lollapalooza and PAX in the years after. But special factors rose up that made the latter aforementioned events as desirable as the former, leaving me torn.

Anyways, I’ve listed down the pros & cons –which I’ve compiled from reading blogs and various sites– of each event. So, maybe, just maybe, reading them every day would help me narrow down my choices, which will eventually lead me to a conclusion.

SDCC
I’ve always wanted to go to SDCC, even before I got back into comics. It is, after all, the “Geek Mecca”. So, even though it’s a comics convention, it also has a lot of other things. Whether you’re into toys, anime or TV, as long as it’s geeky, SDCC will cater it.

But one of the main reasons why I really wanted to attend SDCC are the exclusive items, There are a lot of custom made toys on the convention that you won’t find anywhere else. Of course, you’ll also meet plenty of writers and artists from the comic book industry that’ll happily sign your books.

Unfortunately, since Comic-Con is so popular and offers different things, the crowd is enormous. Attendees, especially the new ones, seem to complain about the never ending lines and not seeing what they really want to see due to lack of time.

Personally, one of the chief reasons that I’m indifferent about going is the amount of money I’m going to shell out. It’ll probably cost me a total of $1,800 (airfare + 4-day weekend convention pass + hotel + food + merchandise that will be bought during the show), and that’s just for four days.

Pros:
Exclusive toys, lots of comic book writers and artists, celebrity appearances, cos-players, lots of free swag, panels, and tons of major comic book and film announcements.

Cons:
Too crowded, huge exhibit hall, lines are everywhere, and it’s very expensive (estimated cost: 1,800).

PAX
One thing I really like about PAX is that it only has one focus: Gaming. New games are usually announced in here. In addition, there are also gaming stations setup all over the convention floor where you can chill and play demos of upcoming games.

But the reason why I really want to attend this year’s PAX is because my guild, Gaiscioch, is having a meet-up in there for our 10th year anniversary. The convention will be held in Seattle too. So, I could also take this opportunity to visit the birthplace of grunge music.

Like with SDCC, it’s a bit expensive too. Although it’ll only cost me about $1,000 for everything (airfare + hotel + food). From what I’ve gathered, lining up to play a demo could also take up an hour or two.

Pros:
A chance to see and play upcoming games, and it’s in Seattle (always wanted to visit Seattle).

Cons:
Long lines to play games, and it’s a bit expensive (estimated cost: 1,000).

Lollapalooza
As a teenager, I never really cared about Lollapalooza (even though I also listened to alternative music). But when they resurrected the music festival here in Chicago, six years ago, I’ve since wanted to attend the fest and watch my favorite bands play live.

Honestly, however, I never planned to attend the show this year. But I had a change of heart when I saw Muse, A Perfect Circle and Deftones listed on this year’s line-up. Besides, the show is in my backyard. So, I only need to spend about $300 – $400 (3-day pass + food + drinks) for 3 days.   

Pros:
A lot of my favorite bands will be there (including Muse, APC and Deftones), it’s the cheapest event that I could afford, I don’t need to travel and there will be lots of sweaty girls on tank tops on the fest.

Cons:
The heat will be unbearable, it might rain, all my favorite bands might play at the same time on different stages, and there will be lots of sweaty, smelly dudes on the fest.

These are my “guidelines” of some sort to weigh all three events. I’m still on an impasse, however. So, if you’ve attended any of these events, please share some of you experiences in the comments section. Maybe it’ll help reach a decision before all the tickets on Craigslist are gone.

Two Years of Being in a Guild

I'm a proud member of Gaiscioch.

After reading Kill Ten Rat’s interview with our guild leader, I realized that, last April 30, I’ve been in the same guild (Gaiscioch) for two years now. How time flies.

Two years ago, if you told me that I would spend my time with an MMO for more than 4 months, I would’ve laughed. At that time, while I tried playing different MMOs, I never really cared about the genre. I was only playing them to find out why some people love them. As a gamer who grew up with single-player games, I’m used to playing by myself. Alone, I can stay immersed in a game for hours. But in MMOs, I just find it impossible to keep myself immersed. Why? Because there are other people. Yes, that bothered me before. I was a bit of a loner. So, back then, if you told me that I’d be in the same guild for years, I would’ve laughed too. The idea of me being guilded was very unlikely.

But to complete my MMO experience, I tried to join some guilds. In Lord of the Rings Online, I joined Sons of Rhudaur. They were a medium to heavy role-playing guild and a decent bunch. They even held an RP event to welcome me to the guild. But, soon after that, I went on my merry way to play the lone warrior and then quit the game. In World of Warcraft, I tried to join a couple of guilds too. But there were interviews and I didn’t make the cut. After playing WoW for 2 months, I decided to quit playing MMOs.

About a year after I quit WoW, I became enamored with the Warhammer Universe that I decided to try Warhammer Online. I actually fell in love with the game. So, I played it for months. That’s when I found Gaiscioch (pronounced as Gosh-Kia).

I believe it was on Tier 3 when I met the lot of them. The Order side was having a tough time against Destro that night. But, all of a sudden, Gaiscioch showed up with three warbands, a handful of strategies and then took everything back from Destro. We were, of course, absorbed into their warbands. So, I saw how organized and how friendly they were. You could say that I was really impressed with them. So, a day later, after checking out their awesome website, I asked if I could join their ranks and was invited in without any questions asked.

Two years later, I’m still running with Gaiscioch (and we’re now 500 members strong). The reasons why I’ve stayed with this guild for so long is because of the leadership, the level of organization, the tools in their website, and how they treat their members as family. If not for any of these, I don’t think I could’ve stayed long in the guild or in MMOs. The website, especially, is invaluable to me. The event scheduler allows me to schedule dungeon runs and other events, and find other players to join me with ease. Its marketplace has also provided me with the materials and gear that I need. The support from members, both in-game and even in real life, is also tremendous.

Joining Gaiscioch was a turning point for me as an MMO gamer. Gaming with these guys is a blast. They’ve pretty much dispelled my misconceptions about MMO gamers and guilds in general. But, more importantly, they’ve taught me to work with groups and turned me a bit into a social butterfly (at least in MMOs). I know this guild is not for everyone. But, to me, it will be my home for years to come.