[GEN] Playing vs. Doing

This is something I was considering earlier today while watching some shows on Gamebreaker.tv (which I love for some odd reason).

I know, I should be working, right?

Well I am.

This is my last month working for the big corporation I work for and I’m mostly tasked with fixing some automation that wasn’t working; instead of fixing it, I decided I’d send them in a different (better) direction so I’ve written a number of automation scripts.

A majority of my morning entails answering questions for the people taking the job over … yes. The remainder of the day they don’t contact me since there is that much of a timezone difference which leaves me to fix the automation (or write new stuff). The area I’m automating is fairly simple, lots of data in, data out and the verifying.

A lot.

I left it to run over night and it took over 6 hours to run – but it ran, without a hitch.

I’m that good.

I digress in my digressing.

One of the hosts on one of the Gamebreaker.tv shows (hmm, it might have been Lore on TankSpot.com – I watch a lot of web shows or they run as background noise) mentioned something that got me thinking about why I left WoW. I realized that I was just ‘doing’ and not ‘playing’.

I wasn’t having any fun with it, there was no enjoyable variance in it which caused me to get bored and just keep ‘doing’ it because I liked the people I was playing with (mostly) – they were fun, but the game wasn’t fun for me anymore. It was becoming a habit I did because it’s what I did or a job where I felt I needed to show up for the other people.

That’s not ‘playing’.

I’m not going to ramble on about SWTOR and how I’m playing because I’m in there for myself, going at my own pace and not needing to rely on others at all – it’s enjoyable and fun.

I will give an example of where you can shift from ‘playing’ a game to just ‘doing’ a game (which doesn’t involve reproductive organs in any way – unfortunately).

Minecraft is a great example. It’s fun to start off on a new level and rush to get yourself set up for the first night. After that, there is a lot of exploring for resources and building up tools you need.

This is playing and it’s fun.

When you’re building a mine, burrowing down to the bedrock it becomes a little tedious and you end up ‘doing’ stuff instead of playing.

However, when you hit lava, water or a cavern the game shifts back to playing as you get to explore or set up defenses before continuing on.

Minecraft has a lot of back and forth so long as you’re not spawning stuff or playing in creative mode (unless you like to just build things). It’s a good game to play. (NOTE: I love using JohnSmith’s texture pack available here)

I believe that all the other games I’m “done” with are much the same – I “do” them, I don’t really play them. Sometimes it’s a matter of subconsciously realizing I’m repeating myself over and over without much in the way of interesting results.

An example of this is Torchlight where I played it for while but the game was just too repetitive with little feel of advancement for my character beyond a certain point. It was all about smashing stuff over and over through constant clicking, gobbling a potion and collecting loot. Yes some of the loot looked different and there was a story to follow but I didn’t get drawn in.

Much of what I said about Torchlight’s gameplay could be said about TES: Skyrim, however Skyrim gave you more options and drew you into the game more so you didn’t realize all you were doing was clicking to shoot, cast or chop at someone; it wasn’t the sole purpose of the game.

For a lot of people, WoW is a game you can easily “play” instead of “do” but for me, the gameplay I got involved with turned it into “doing” – I had a pretty long run with WoW, longer than any other MMO. It’s kind of amazing when you think about it (or sad if you consider how that time could have been used to do something more productive hehe).

Anyway, lunch time… I’m having Ship Daily Missions in SWTOR for lunch!

[MC] I LOLed When I Saw This

I popped over to Minecraft.net to see if they had any more news about the features and release which is supposed to be coming in around Minecon when I saw this and couldn’t help but laugh:

All I’m going to say is that I recognize one of the names and faces on there…

Sometimes It Isn’t Me, It’s You.

I’ve blown my bandwidth cap the last couple of months so I extended the amount I’m allowed per month (I get charged more up to a cap when I go over) and I couldn’t figure out why for the longest time. I had only once blown my bandwidth amount because I downloaded my Steam library down on to my new PC instead of pulling it over by share so I was pretty surprised to see it happen.

The main difference lately is that the kids are watching a lot of YouTube (Minecraft videos and stuff like that) and they’re both playing a lot of Minecraft (local server so no bandwidth cost – though sometimes short bouts on internet servers) or Roblox.

Originally I thought it was due to my running a MC server with ports open to the outside which the kids, the kid up the street and the kid up the street’s friend were using. Then I found out they advertised the server because they were upset that someone grief-ed them. I shut it down and closed the ports.

Next month same problem.

I increased the bandwidth figuring with the kids playing lots more and watching stuff I probably need more bandwidth.

I got a warning about a week ago saying we’d already hit 75% of our limit. Stunned I looked up on their site to see what the daily usage was. Here it is:

Daily Usage

Download Usage (MB)

Upload Usage (MB)

Daily Total (MB)

  August 21, 2011




  August 20, 2011




  August 19, 2011




  August 18, 2011




  August 17, 2011




  August 16, 2011




  August 15, 2011




  August 14, 2011




  August 13, 2011




  August 12, 2011




  August 11, 2011




  August 09, 2011




  August 08, 2011




  August 07, 2011




  August 06, 2011




  August 05, 2011




  August 04, 2011




  August 03, 2011




  August 02, 2011




  August 01, 1970




  July 16, 0007




  July 30, 2011




  July 29, 2011




  July 28, 2011




  July 27, 2011




  July 26, 2011




You’ll note some oddities namely that on some days the upload is higher than the download. In some cases it’s twice or almost three times as much.

The 16th is when I got the warning and I told the kids no more YouTube for awhile. The 17th they were home with their grandmother watching them and they got on to YouTube for a bit, but the owned up to it. You can see YouTube use really increases the download. Upload is about 1/10th of the bandwidth used – this is more normal.

So… what’s with all the upload data and why’d it disappear after the 15th? And the 2nd to the 4th of August? (I downloaded a large game on the 3rd – note the upload bandwidth is far lower than the download – makes sense). The 27th of July is another good day for no upload.

My second thought was that maybe someone was leeching bandwidth from my wireless (which is secured).  I hadn’t seen it was mostly upload data that was being bad which doesn’t make sense for someone leeching off my WI-FI. I ended up adjusting settings.

Still lots of bandwidth. What did those days have in common with our usual schedule?

The kid up the street.

The days we had lots of upload, he was at our house playing with the kids on HIS laptop. Well, it belongs to his mom but he uses it when she’s not using it for dating sites and what not. Each day that he was over playing with the kids (he is around a lot, even popping over in the evening to play for one hour or two) the upload is far higher than the down.

He’s been away for the last week (since part way through the 15th – and yes, he was at our house for half that day) and some of the days we have no bandwidth issues, he’s at his dad’s so not around to play.

I’m thinking he’s either running a bit torrent and doesn’t realize it’s sending everything on his system over to someone else, some malware or maybe some bizarre offline back up that he really doesn’t need.

I was so busy trying to figure out what was wrong with my systems that it never occurred to me that it was their computer.

Ugh. I should have known better.

EDIT: The 16th was a Tuesday and I raided that night for about 2.5 hours. The kids and I were doing some stuff on the computer prior to that which may have also used bandwidth so it’s a good measure of a more intensive night – still less than 1gb used.

Minecraft Night


I ended up logging into to WoW to switch my offspec (which was an AOE MM spec) to Beastmastery, pulled some exotic pets out (Devilsaur, Corehound and Spirit Beast bear) and the queued up for some Heroics.

I ran Deadmines then Halls of Origination. During the DM run I was adjusting my keybinds and locations of some abilities. I ended with about 16k DPS using mostly the Corehound. For the HoO run I pulled out the Spirit Beast bear and gave that a go. With the better keybinds and cooldown usage I averaged a bit higher – around 18k DPS. On some of the boss fights I pulled over 20-23k DPS. Admittedly in some good groups as MM I can peak at 26-28k DPS.

Okay on to the Minecraft. I ended up firing up a server with my son to play on, no spawning, which he wasn’t too keen on (I made an exception and let him spawn some bones to tame some wolves) but then we got down into a mine to explore and look for good stuff. When he found diamonds he was quite happy. I pointed out that if he was spawning stuff he wouldn’t be as excited about finding diamonds. Also his friend was really happy to finally actually find diamonds only the other day.

It’s better without spawning.

While he was going off to bed he asked if we could find a map seed that has lots of mountains and cliffs to build on so I went digging while he was in bed and found this pretty cool seed. I set up the server to generate a map using that seed and popped in to check it out.

At that point it was around 10pm.

Almost three hours later I was logging off having not left the valley I started in. Instead I had built a little house with a spiral stairs down which had small side rooms for me, the LBO and the LLO. I then proceeded to furnish them with chests, workbenches and furnaces. But I didn’t stop there, I decided I’d make them some stone tools to start with. Oh, then I found some iron so I made partial set of iron armor and an iron sword for each of them. And might as well give them some torches and other materials.

No sheep were spawning in my little valley so I had no bed to skip into the day (I always play with mobs on) so I’d extend the stairs down eventually finding a cave. I explored one direction and found some more stuff (iron and coal really). It was about day time so I went back up and created some shears then went sheep hunting.

The valley isn’t easy to climb out of. There isn’t any immediately visible area to jump up but there are two caves going in either direction. I could see sunlight from one so I went that way even though I could see some mobs hanging around in the darkness. I made a run for it, realizing I probably should have made myself some iron armor and an iron sword – oh well, too late now!

I made it to the light and found a way up top. I realized I was pretty far up there which means the valley isn’t as far down as I thought it was. Nearby was some desert and some grassy areas near a shoreline. I ventured around looking for sheep and eventually found some. Leaving naked (but satisfied) sheep behind me, I scurried home through the mob cave and down into my hovel. I gleefully created some beds and placed them in the rooms then crashed for the night (being sure to rest in my bed so I’ll spawn there if I die).

Time in the real world?



ZOMG Where R U?!/!!one!11?

Did you miss me?

What?! Didn’t know I was gone!?

I’ve been on vacation for the last week so I haven’t done much in the way of blogging.

Day one was Canada Day (Friday, July 1st), we had a street party then some fireworks at the nearby park. They were awesome. The host does a better job each year.

Weekend was pretty tame. Its too long ago for me to remember but I don’t remember it being painful so that’s good.

Monday was a stay at home day so we went to the local YMCA to use their pool, then played some computer with the kids then mowed the lawn. Yay. Oh, I fell down the stairs in the morning. Turned my ankle and had a less than graceful landing. The ‘hot tub’ area of the Y was nice on the leg.

Tuesday we went to a nearby waterpark (Mont Cascasdes) which was both inexpensive and filled with bikinis… even worn by people that probably shouldn’t have been wearing them (I’m talking to you 70 year old, fat, chain-smoking lady with no teeth). Kids had a ball, wife was pleased, I had some fun though by the end of the day my leg was a bit sore. Then I raided until midnight and we killed Beth’Tilac (Firelands raid content is available now).

We tried Shannox previously but it was much tougher than it sounded on the PTR because they made them all untauntable. You need to do threat control. I believe he’s our next target.

Wednesday we went to Watertown, New York to do some shopping. The in-laws on TheWife’s side made it sound like the next West Edmonton Mall but when we got there it wasn’t much more than a mall, smaller than the one we have locally. Prices were about the same if not a little more than what we have here (it was nice getting 100$ US for less than 100% CDN teehee) so it wasn’t really any savings. The only upside was some things were available in their stores that aren’t available in Canada. The kids came away with some Lego that wasn’t available yet but otherwise bought stuff that was available here. I walked away with some Nutter Butter… that was all. So sad.

We ended up having steak at a place there that the bro-in-law (TheWife’s side) was saying was the best steak place ever. It was good, but I couldn’t say the ‘best’. It helped that they bought the dinner (which is a rarity so it was appreciated).

Thursday was a catch up on daily chores day (the ones that had been put off for several days) so I downloaded some special map generators for Minecraft. LBO really wanted to try out the Planetoids maps and saw another one in Yogscast which was a desert adventure map generator. Both were pretty neat, though the adventure for the Primordial Desert Generator had a limited number of traps (dropping sand floor into the abyss, exploding floor and dropping ceiling) while the treasure was pretty limited. The cool thing with it was finding the oasis(es) and exploring some of the volcanos (some of the ruin entrances lead you into some of the volcanos and some of the get big caverns). When you step back and think about it, it’s really cool how it generates everything randomly. I suspect there are a bunch of presets for the caves, volcanos, oasis and ruins then the area is generated with sand around it.

Friday was a bit more of a home day. I managed to get on to play some WoW, read up on the guild forum – which I’d been lax about – and then .. wait, was that Thursday morning? I spent most of the afternoon watching movies with the boys then we scooted out for LBO’s soccer match. He discovered a certain girl in his class was also playing soccer under the same country colors as he was. They played a little at the park and he had her giggling lots. He’s such a charmer.

Today? I’m free most of the day. I think I’ll sneak out to the book store or electronics shop to see if there is anything worth buying (I was considering the extended Blu-ray version of the Lord of the Rings movies).

Oh, and I’ll play some WoW.

Not Much (But a Lot)

Not a whole lot going on which is why there aren’t many  updates or posts. Here’s a blurb of stuff, try to keep up, k?

My Pathfinder (RPG) group is on a break for a couple of weeks (we’ve had a few weeks break previously as well) as summer sets in and people are taking vacation.

That’s what we do in Canada – we wait for the nice weather, then take vacation. During the winter we huddle around the warm glow (a.k.a. radiation) of our computer monitors or big screen TVs (or we travel to warmer places if you want to pay inflated airfares).

Oddly enough, we’re facing a surge of players showing up for raids in World of Warcraft. At one point we had four people (the officers basically) show up and now we’ve got about 15-16 on. We put out a recruiting thread and noted we’d cleared all the normal raid content and were looking for some melee DPS. Sure enough, we’re full on melee DPS, a little overflowing actually. We’re eagerly awaiting Firelands and new content.

My family members are online playing a little more too and they’re starting to ask for help running dungeons which I don’t mind doing. My sister is hitting up Heroics (and dealing with some douchebaggery) where as my brother-in-law is not really that adventurous. Someone being an asshole really ruins things for him (he can be a little defensive, even when people are trying to help) so he doesn’t even bother with PUGs. That and he’s big-time casual so I don’t know that he’s got Paladin..ing down yet since the changes. I’ll run through some of the normal dungeons with them so they can see what the boss fights are like (that and the BIL isn’t geared enough for Heroics). This might take place of my Wednesday Night RPG while it’s cancelled.

Speaking of douchebags, I had someone actually call me a “hunter tard”. Why? The paladin tank was tagging stuff and using line-of-sight to get them into a clump while I simply Misdirected, Multishot and Silencing Shot targets to him. I simply responded with, “I’m using Misdirection.” As I was typing that, I realized the guy probably didn’t have a clue what that meant if he was using line-of-sight to pull trash around the first boss in Blackwing Cave.


He bailed after we killed the first boss. I didn’t steal agro despite the 22k DPS I dumped on the boss. Maybe it was that the other two DPS did about 13k… combined? Either way, I was glad to see him go. He was slow and clueless – “hunter tard”? Dipshit, it’s “HUNTARD!” If you’re going to use my official title then get it right. We ended up with a DK tank that was competent but seemed super squishy. I think I did somewhere between 40-50% of the overall damage for that instance… even kiting the adds on the last boss. (John/Sabist/Brosiah Jason/Carleys had the privilege of witnessing the “hunter tard” bit and healing the squishy DK hehe)

I saw that Champions Online was Free2Play on Steam so I nabbed it and made an account for the LBO too (LLO is playing off my account using my toon or my second character slot). LBO likes it and managed to get through the first part all on his own with only asking me for help picking rewards from quests. I’m already sort of losing interest in it.

I admit, I’m thrashing about a bit, sort of bored. I did go back and work on some of the TBC and Ironforge rep for Smaken. I still want some Timbermaw Hold rep and some other old world stuff. Ugh, and I maxed Archaeology on Kremus not Smaken so there is that. I might look at leveling my Priest, Mage and Paladin up to level 85 since they’re dwindling around. I may also putter around with my Druid. I do still have a Rogue and Warlock down in the teens – it might be nice to see some of the newer, revamped content.

About the only show on TV I’m watching right now is The Glades and last week’s was sadly predictable. For some reason my PVR didn’t pick it up so I had to watch it over the interwebs. I won’t say more than that because it’s still a good show and I don’t want to ruin it for others.

Speaking of interwebs, I discovered I was blowing my monthly 60gb bandwidth cap the last couple of months thanks to running some Minecraft servers and allowing people to connect externally. I had to dig around to see what it was because it made no sense. The kids weren’t watching any more online videos than before… the only difference was we were running Minecraft servers. I looked those up and was surprised to see how much bandwidth is used… per player.. per second. I’ve killed those. The kids can play on the LAN but no more external connections. I also changed my wireless key just to be sure…

I’m still poking around on a Minecraft server hosted by HellsGamers which is neat. It’s a more legit server without spawning or cheats, short of UFTimmy and other mods/admins resetting the time to day so they don’t have to put out torches to keep mobs at bay. 😛

I actually spend more time down in the mine than actually building anything. I’ve developed an obsession with turning lava into obsidian. Also I enjoy exploring and finding natural caves and various rare nodes. Yesterday I surfaced while the guild was raiding (I sat out for Cho’gall and ensuing fights) to work on my platform. It’s sort of a castle, platform, church (with a sign-placeholder for a picture of Tim’s mom behind the altar), tower hybrid mess of engineering experimentation without any real plan. It’s nestled in a  tree-filled (I cut most of the trees down and burned some others) valley with one town (I use for observation) sticking up. The next part of the platform will be a garden with some trees, maybe a fountain and paths. Like I said, it’s mostly unplanned.

I also nabbed Icewind Dale and Icewind Dale 2 from Good Old Games, I realize they weren’t on sale, but at 9.99$ it seemed okay. I never really played IWD2 and on looking at it, I realized it was a pseudo-3e game. There are a number of things missing from it but the system is definitely a step towards 3e. I was a little surprised at the 2e-ism of IWD – I forgot what it was like. I didn’t do much more than create characters and poke around a little in the starting area though.

I picked up Giants: Citizen Kabuto for 2.99$. I remembered playing a demo of it way back when but didn’t end up buying it for some reason. I poked around with that and found it mildly amusing. I think the boys will have some fun with it.

That’s my last few weeks in a nutshell.

Summer Boredom

Summer is around the corner and I’m already feeling a dwindling interest in MMORPGs. I’ve been feeling it for a while now but I do find the odd glimmer of amusement by still playing here and there. Admittedly, it’s more fun playing with someone else… so why is everything now available to solo players?

For WoW, I’ve been mainly raiding or running old heroic instances hoping for a rare mount/pet to drop. I did have some fun a few weeks back when I started a Warlock and was working my way through the revamped content. It seems I’ve done the Worgen and Goblin starter areas then motivation has died off. My motivation for the Warlock was catching up to the LBO who is into Westfall and really enjoying the storyline. Unfortunately, he’s put that aside for quite some time now with his focus mostly being on playing Minecraft with a kid from up the street.

I can’t bring myself to play a new character for a number of reasons. I’ve been through it, whether the content is new or not, I’ve killed enough murlocs, gnolls, pigmen and stuff in my time playing WoW. It doesn’t bring me any satisfaction or joy. I know the way there and I know I can do it but there is no motivation to do so. I think that’s a de-motivator – I know I can easily do it so I don’t feel a need to do so.

I haven’t played much of anything outside of WoW. A little bit of Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War 2 – Chaos Rising (yeah, that’s a mouthful) but I haven’t gotten too far into it yet. I think I’m about four or five missions in. I just unlocked my Terminator armor, which I love. I admit I like the single player of this game but don’t like the multiplayer or custom game options. I miss the base/unit building from the first DoW. I found it much more enjoyable. I especially enjoyed Conquest-type modes that showed up late in the DoW series.

I’ll end up playing some more of that single player.

I had Portal (the first one) gifted to me. I didn’t realize how short it was. Definitely fun, but short. I’m reluctant to pick up Portal 2 because it seems short as well, though not as short as the first one (which takes a couple of hours at worst).

I poked around Steam a little last night and downloaded the demo for Dungeons. It looked like a Dungeon Keeper type of game but it wasn’t quite as customizable as that. The dungeons appear to be predefined, though you can have minions make some changes for you. It didn’t do anything for me so I uninstalled.

I eyeballed Two Worlds 2 but without a demo I don’t know that I’ll try it.

I do still have several games to complete: Dragon Age 1, Divinity 2, Overlord 1 and Overlord 2. Maybe I’ll work on those some.

Still, none of those scratch the itch that is wanting a shared, challenging and memorable experience with friends.

RoT: Because You Wanted to Know

A bunch of random bits since I’ve been lax with the updates.

Salt and pepper, boxer-briefs.

I’m going for the Penguins in the East and the Canucks in the West.

WoW guild is 8/12 on regular mode bosses; Magmaw, Omintron, Maloriak, Atramedes, Chimaeron, Halfus,Valiona and Conclave of Winds all down. We’ve started to rotate extending lock outs. One week we extend BWD and reset BOT then the next week we extend BOT and reset BWD. Working on Council in BoT. Downed Halfus on his tougher combination – involved three tanks. Craziest raid involved PUGing six people – yes, I said ‘six’ (6). Only people present were the guild leader, two officers and an advisor – it went well, we downed 4-5 bosses.

The more and more I read about guilds having problems with Cata raids, the more I realize just how good we are and how good are raid leaders are at keeping things as simple as possible. Honestly, one of the most common thing we hear from PUGs who apply is that they like how our raids are run.

I ran a raid. Hated it. I like attention, but not authority. Don’t want it. Get enough of it at work.

Love for Mike and Dennis as raid leaders. Love for Mike and Jason in picking out PUGs. Love for Jason recruiting. But I’m going to keep heckling. I can’t help it.

I need to say ‘no’ more.


Yes. Err. No.


I set up a Minecraft server locally (as in my home LAN kind of local). The boys like playing it and love spawning stuff. Opened a port for the kid down the street to also play on it. I thought I’d work on an area away from where they were creating large holes in the world with TNT and spawning gaudy building materials so I created a house up on an earth/stone pillar – I was hollowing it out and creating some mob prevention). Was going good.

Then LBO blew it up with TNT while I was off doing something with TheWife (watching TV…).

I cried.

Not really.

But I was annoyed and saddened. I deop’ed them for a few hours as a punishment. LBO, having played on a server where he can’t spawn stuff or teleport around wasn’t too impacted by it, but you’d have thought I crippled the kid down the street. “Awww, but spawning is the fun part!”

Later they planted TNT in LLO’s house. He figured out what was being done so he didn’t set it off but before he could ask me to come sort it out, the kid down the street set it off.

LLO cried.


I wasn’t pleased. LBO didn’t do it and the kid down the street didn’t realize LLO would be so sensitive about it (LLO was tired) and apologized. I quickly rebuilt a house for LLO.

Achievements were added to Minecraft and weather too. Seems stuff also spawns in your house now if your bed is close enough to an external wall. I’m a little hazy on this. Weather was neat, though the rain continues underwater. And LBO already has all the achievements. I’m missing the one where you ride a pig off a cliff. The one for the mine cart riding took awhile to set up but it was a team effort between myself and LBO. That includes my only death during the construction of the 1km long railway; I stepped up near the lava and LBO bumped me in. Team effort.

Played some Super Mario Smash Bros Brawl (I think it’s called?) with LLO. That game makes little sense to me. Being the type that enjoys figuring out systems and mechanics for games on an intuitive level (I don’t need to bother with the precise mathematics of it.. but I can). I soon discovered the complex scoring system in that game consisted of: mash buttons – mindlessly seems to yield decent results.

I kid. Mostly. I’ll have to read the instructions for a better idea of what is what.

LBO caught the tail end of Oceans 11 and he liked it. I’m scared.


That’s the number of TNT blocks required to (effectively) lock up my Minecraft client and cause issues connecting to the server. 64 didn’t do it and neither did 128 so I tried 196 – that did it.

Oddly enough, my son was not too far away and he wasn’t impacted at all. I’m guessing he was in another chunk (section of the map) that wasn’t impacted by one of the 196 blown up areas.

I think next time I’ll create a longer fuse and not connect it to the leader TNT until I’m pretty sure the redstone dust is inactive.

I ended up doing away with that map and starting another one.