Dude, I’m getting a Dell

Coming to my own personal Azeroth soon.

Coming to my own personal Azeroth soon.

So I finally plunked down the cash after over a year of putting it off on buying a new Dell computer.

This will be my third Dell, as I purchased one for my father about 3 years ago, and my personal PC is now approaching six years old, if not actually older.  Overall, I’ve had good luck with Dell PC’s and I always stick with the minimum 1 yr warranty (I don’t undertsand paying so much for the 2 – 3 year extended warranties, since I’m not a PC novice anyway).

I’ve built my own computers before.  I’m even A+ certified, but really…I have no desire right now to buy things piece-meal anymore and configure and build and cross my fingers.  Sure for a few extra bucks, I’d like something to work right out the box anymore.

My current PC is a Dell 4550 Pentium 4, 1.9 GHz with 712MB Ram, and a 6GB (yes, six) hard drive.  I’ts been slowing down the last few years, despite how clean I try and make all my installs and what not.  I’m sure the registry has a lot of abandoned keys, and there are some start up programs I haven’t used in years.  I basically play WoW on it now and gave up play CoH strictly because of slow load times and disk caching.

I have some family pics, some business docs, personal papers, and mostly MP3’s.  So after 6 years, I’m not up to a full 6GB.  You can’t even buy a computer today with anything less than 250-300 GB hard drives today.

So my new rig is far from being top of the line.  I am on a somewhat of a budget, but at this stage of the game, anything today will blow my current system out of the water.  Since I plan on only playing games on it and never watching movies or hooking my TV up to it, I don’t want….or need…the ultimate entertainment machine.  Besides, I still have my 360 and Wii for gaming.

Here’s my new rig:  a red bezzeled XPS630, 750 watts, 320GB HD, Core 2 Q6600 (8MB L2 cache) , 2GB DDR2 SDRAM @800MHz, 2.4 GHz, 1066FSB and a nVidia 512 MB GeForce 8800, 7.1 surround sound.  And that is probably a minimum spec’d mid-range 630.

I’ll probably upgrade my monitor as well, but at a different time.  My current LG 15″ LCD is okay for now…but I’d like to get a 19-20″ in a few months.

The biggest task will be re-installing CoH & CoV, WoW and getting all the updates along with them.  Plus changing to my gaming keyboard and installing all my extras like my printer, but now that I plunked down the money, I’m totally psyched to get it in about two weeks.  There may be a day of hooky coming up soon as all this will take quite a bit off time to do.

Games I’m looking forward to: WoW Wrath of the Lich King, Spore, Diablo III for starters.

Games: Wifey plays & WoW Withdrawls

Not really the best of ways to start a new blog, but to go on vacation for almost a week a few days after the initial launch is kinda what the wife ordered.

In anticipation of being somewhat bored while the wife hangs at the pool or casino, I brought a Star Wars book (Exile) and my PSP.  I figured when I was at the pool, I could finish the book and when I was in the room waiting for her to get ready or do what ever she was going to do, I’d work on Patapon, Hot Shots Golf or even J’eanne D’Arc.

Well, I at least finished the book and started the next in ther series, Sacrifice, but alas never touched my PSP.

Once when we flipping channels at night in the hotel, we saw a commerical for Civilization Revolution for the 360 and I was pleasantly surprised that my wife said she’d like to play that.  I’m not sure if you can do a split screen screen or two player mode at home.  I know you can play multiplayer via Xbox Live, but I need to check out local modes.  I’m a bit skeptical to but it though, especially at the $59 price right now.  I love to play games with my wife, but she’s very simple when it comes to games.  She’s more of the UNO or Bejeweled variety than she is of mammoth conquest strategy games.  I can’t even get her to play Risk at home because she says she has to think to much.

So I just can’t see her playing CR.  I told her to play the demo first and see if she truly likes it.  If so, then I’ll buy it.  I may buy it anyway because I like strategy games of that sort.  My fear is I’ll crush my wife early on in the game, and once she realizes how complex it is, she’ll never want to play again.  I hate to admit this, but sometimes I purposely throw a game by making blatant stupid moves just so she has a fighting chance and I’ll even let her win on occasion.  Sometimes she does indeed win a game by blind luck, but when it comes to straegy genres, I’m pretty tough.

Speaking of bejeweled type games, when we got home from vacation yesterday I was more interested in doing a load of laundry, cleaning up a bit, and hitting the gym.  My wife instead grabbed her pink controller and played Puzzle Quest from about 5:30pm to midnight.  Yes, you heard me right.  She played about 6.5 hours of Puzzle Quest solo.  Her druid character is a few levels beyond mine and at about 8pm she hit level 31 (I think I’m about level 26), but I couldn’t watch her anylonger because the moves she was making were lazy and ill thought out.  That would doom our gaming career together if I pointed out her wrongs moves or tried to interject too much so that she felt I was actually player her game instead of her herself.

But it was driving me crazy.  There was clearly some moves should make that would speed her advancement or defeat the enemy quicker, but she didn’t catch many of those.  I wondered how long it was actually taking her to level up at this pace.  I feel that if we started at the same time and locked us in seperate rooms, I’d out level her much faster.  But since she plays the game more than me, I figure she’d be better with the practice.

It’d be interesting to see how her level 32+ charcter now would fare against my level 26.  I think it’d be close, but I’d give her a run for her money and possibly even defeat her even at my gimped level.

So what did I do while she was on her 6 hour solo streak?  Heck, I played Wow!  I figured with Lich King just a few months away, why not work on my lvl 65 Palladin?

I played almost two hours, and while I made some progress, the crawl/grind at higher levels can be excruciating for a casual player like myself.  I fully planned on hanging near Ironforge and working on my cooking and blacksmithing skills and then sending some of my lower level alts some gold and weapons they can use, but instead I stayed in Zangermarsh and Trekkor Forest most of the time and increased my XP by almost one-third towards 66.

To be honest, I’m not the best PvP’er out there.  I play too much solo-casual to be qucik on the trigger to react once the Horde decide to get me.  In all fairness, (and it wasn’t too fair to begin with), I got ganked pretty hard in a cave yesterday by a lvl 63 and lvl 70 when I was already in combat.  Once I was done for, they camped me for a while and I noticed their whole party was actually comprised of 4-5 players ranging from 62, 63, 65, 70 and 70.  No way I was gonna rez just be taken down again in 5 seconds.  I waited until they got slighty bored and high tailed it to Shatterath City.

Once in Shatterath I was able to score 2 enchantments to my gear.  A +15 strength to my bracers and a +15 power to my fist plate armor.  From there I made my way out into Trekkor and did some local quests, mined some Adamanite, and ended up in the Boneyard Wastlands for some good solo PvE.

What I find really weird is that in some areas, opposing players will do anything and wait forever to get in that gank on me, and places like Boneyard, all these 65’s-70’s just left me alone.  It’s like there was an unspoken understanding that “Hey, don’t mess with me….and I won’t mess with you”…and it seemed to work out pretty good.  I was just grinding my way through some local quests, and it appeared everyone else was as well.  I gained enough gold where if I log in tonight I’ll send my level 27 Dranei Shammy some love.

My shammy is in Astranaar right now, and talk about a grind.  I can’t raise enough money to buy stellar weapons or armor,and since I still get confused with all the totems, I end up dying a lot there.  Doesn’t help that Astranaar is like the western Tarren Mill/South Shore….local defense is interupted every 30 seconds with attack messages.  The place crawls with PvP, usually higher levels or groups ganking each other.  I hate the area, but it’s the only place I can grind right now, and grind I do.