Played Torchlight II Beta

Hello world, yes I am a geek (and I can’t even blame my husband because I was one before I met him).

As I kid I was largely a console gamer with my experience being in Nintendo 64 (best console ever!!), and Playstation 2 (gotta love me some cute purple dragon…and the versions of that game after Playstation made the whole series crash and burn).

Husband has an affinity for PC games instead of consoles, and really there is a ton of logic to this, after all the computer you can continue to upgrade. Meanwhile the console you just have to constantly buy the more advanced system. When we got married I quickly realized to the truth, that “if you can’t beat them, you should join them.” He spent a lot of time with PC games, so I figured “hey, maybe this is a way to get some relationship quality time in?” Torchlight was released the month that we got married and became one of those games that I was eager to try due to the amount of time my husband was absorbed in it.

I like games, a lot, but I can not say that I am great in them. I’m often handicapped by my inexperience for the controls (especially some first person shooters like Halo–pretty sure I died on the training mission because I had issues not staring at my feet!) So, I was hesitant to try the game, but try I did! I enjoyed the original Torchlight immensely! I even ended up beating the game before my husband. Of course the main thing that was lacking was coop. Then, in August 2010 they announce they’d be making the sequel.

Due to my novice in computer game world, I did not know that release dates could be continuously delayed. With regard to movies and books the release dates are stuck permanently upon announcement, and change rarely (and if then only once for six months later!). I’ve felt tortured and tortured, constantly annoying my husband with, “Is there an update for the Torchlight II release?” (believing that he’d have better connections/websites to find this information than I). To which he’d roll his eyes and tell me to google it.

But finally, after all of my waiting…I began to see twitter updates indicating that people were playing Torchlight II. It was in beta! Then, I saw it was a closed beta = sad face.

Commence my stalking of how to get a beta key. Then, it was announced, the beta stress test weekend! Happiness ensued, including the fact that at this point I’d be on my beach vacation and have time to play! (The only difficultly of that became the fact that the only computer we have with a windows distro (and even then only a dual boot- go Linux!) is husband’s work laptop. Given the fact that Diablo 3 was released previous to said beach trip…I’ve only been able to play twice. Here is my opinion in my short game play.
It rocks! I’d almost say that it was worth the wait ;0) (but seriously Runic Games…don’t make me wait so much next time…!) Improved functionality includes: there are 4 classes, and each of these can be either male/female, coop via LAN or internet, many more pets, pets can now buy a few requested items, and the environment is overwhelmingly more engaging.
I’ve been playing as an Outlander (as I played Vanquisher in the original game). There are also skill points (not just stat points) to divide between three different skill trees per class. I kept forgetting about my magical glaive attack throughout most of the game. Don’t do this! This attack is awesome. Once enacted the glaive will act like a boomerang bouncing between the enemies. This the probably the Outlander’s best way to defeat large waves of enemies. (And be helpful for even low level masses to defeat the groups quicker).
The aspect of the game that I’ve been impacted the most by so far is the enhancement to the overall game product. There are more places involved this time (you venture outside of the main town), and in each of these areas can be different types of weather, and different types of environments. However, the environments are interactive not simply static background. These include: moving mists, tiny spiders that are not enemies, rocks and boards that can be checked for loot, broken detonators that will be fixed upon discovering a plunger, and fuses that you can ignite to explode crates and set houses on fire.
I could not be happier with the game play that I’ve experienced so far! It has met all of my expectations and above. Throughout all types of game play this weekend, members in the beach house teased the group about all of the “clicking” due to the playing of dungeon crawler based games. One such person was gifted the original Torchlight through my husband’s steam account. This guy started playing in and continued to play it for a few hours. He said that he liked the steam punk style of graphics and game play. Win :0)
I hope to play one last time before the beta stress test weekend is officially over at 7pm my time. Then, I’ll be eagerly awaiting the full release…which with my luck will occur when I’m out of the country in July. I’m excited that husband and I will actually be able to quest together.
*looks forward to spending quality time together* :0)

Attended the Verbolten VIP Launch Party

The invitation read May 17th 5:30-9:30 pm, so we headed down to Williamsburg for the weekend, before continuing on to NC for our Outer banks beach vacation!

About half an hour before the event we were dressed and ready, just waiting to leave. I felt very nervous having no idea what to expect. While driving in through the employee entrance it was exciting to see all of the “VIP check-in” signs; I’d never been to this type of event before.

We we trammed through the “behind the scenes” areas outside of the park, to the VIP entrance. Everyone began to snap pictures. It is awesome being invited based on the use of social media, because it isn’t weird to take excessive amounts of pictures, it is actually expected!

While checking into the park, we were given free game play cards, and told “there would be less than 1,000 people in the park tonight,” so to enjoy ourselves in this intimate atmosphere.

I rushed into the park focused on one objective. Whenever I came to the park previously the goal was always to rush to our favorite “big rides” to see if the lines were worth waiting in, therefore this was still my M/O. I had this mindset for the first hour and a half before I realized that the purpose of this party was simply to relax.

We quickly jumped on the ride, and the attendant was kind enough to snap a picture of us. We unwisely left our glasses on, and realized the error of this as we were launched into the Black Forest. I was surprised to find out that most of the ride occurs in the “event building” with the Forest lit in green neon lights that you catch a glimpse of as you whip around it. Each time you enter into the building you can get 1/3 different themes. On our first ride we appropriately we awarded with howling and the haunting of red eyes following us. Throughout the ride I kept waiting for the vertical drop that I’d been reading about. I kept expecting it to occur sooner. You hear the clicking of the tracks letting go and readjusting before it happens, but the sensation still caused me to let out a quick shriek. Then, we were launched out of the Black Forest, to finish the ride in the flashback of my first ever roller coaster drop over the Rhine river.

Afterwards husband was feeling slightly dizzy (warning for those of you who are more sensitive to some of the motions you will likely experience similar effects) so we decided to wait a few more minutes. In the meantime we listed to a speech from Carl the park president, and the visiting Senator Normant. Once the ride reopened we found ourselves in the front seat again, with the Senator a couple of rows back. By this point I had regressed to the roller coaster riding ways of high school, where my friends and I would shout obnoxiously on the Loch Ness Monster while entering the tunnel, “oh my gosh we are going to die!”

Unfortunately, our pictures glitched from that ride and were unavailable. I was disappointed because we were allowed one free picture each, and our previous ones were goofy holding onto our glasses. However, there was no way that husband was going to be able to ride again, and would even need time to recuperate to enjoy any other aspects of the evening.

While he was resting his head, I chose this time to take advantage of the live music, animated costumed cast members, and great food! There were so many awesome delectable choices: ribs, bacon wrapped scallops, various meat cuts, chicken Parmesan, pasta, fresh fruits and vegetables, pretzel snacks, and rich desserts. I tried a little bit of everything!

Once husband started feeling better we started to use our game cards, which were good for 3 games each. We tried the water shooting game, and soccer game several times. I played the soccer game and actually managed to keep my flats on my feet. Upon winning a plush safety cone hat, I realized this is the way that I always wanted to enjoy the park. I’d always envied those people who had tons of things they’d won, but I’d never wanted to invest the money to do it. He won me a few more prizes from the water shooting game. The second time he won, he simply picked out tiger pillow pal without asking (and this is the one I’d decided on in my head just in that moment). I asked him, “How’d you know I’d pick that one?” He replied, “Because I know you.” To me this felt as epic as Katniss’ and Peeta’s “Real or not real?” and Snape’s “Always” :0)

While night was falling we began to mingle a little more. These are the times that I appreciate my husband sooo much because he’s not afraid of people. Meanwhile, I’m always afraid to bug people, too shy to think of small talk topics. However, because of his outgoing personality we strolled up to the president and shared about how much I loved the park, and had basically lived there in high school. Later, during my third ride into the Black Forest he made friends with a contracted marketing photographer who explained some behind the scenes aspects of the ride and how the wifi network was set up for nights like tonight. Including the fact that they’d set up a webcam of the Verbolten ride!

Around 9pm we decided that we’d done everything that we wanted to do, and headed out of the park. At the time we’d already thought that we’d made out like bandits with all of our loot from the games we’d won. We were shocked to be awarded with a Verbolten themed gift bag and a t-shirt as well!

All in all, such a great night! I rode the new coaster front row three times without a single wait. I was lucky enough to be able to sample each theme. My favorite is easily the storm. There is just more than can accompany it: the lighting flashes, thunder, rain and wind sounds, this makes it less noticeable when the ride is preparing to drop you. I would highly recommend the new ride!

Been Invited to the VIP Verbolten Launch Party

My newfangled smart phone has officially paid for itself!

Due to the use of my smart phone, I have decided to actually use my twitter account. I feel like to take full use of that social media outlet, you need to have an Internet enabled device at all times to post your random thoughts/life events, etc. (And now I do!)

In order to stalk more information about my favorite theme park Busch Gardens, Williamsburg, and learn more about their new coaster, I decided to follow them.

 Then, I heard about this contest that they were running, 25 winners each with a guest would be invited to attend the launch party before the ride officially opens the next day! To enter the competition you needed to photo-shop your faces into this cartoon picture of Verbolten, and develop a clever catch phrase that you’d be screaming while careening to your death. Once the photo was created, we were instructed to write 200-300 words explaining why we should be invited to the party. After reviewing the requirements I decided it would be worth my time to try. Many times if there are competitions that require you to earn a certain amount of votes by other people, I don’t even try because I do not want to be that annoying person asking for votes. However, I felt like I had a decent shot at this contest, so I entered. (I got the husband to do the more difficult photo-shopping part, while I waxed nostalgic of my love of the park—it basically was my home when I was a teen).

A few days later I saw that they’d announced the winners, and I actually saw my name listed. The next day around noon we received the official email asking us to RSVP (umm cha??) and providing more details about the event. It sounds pretty fancy! I am sooo excited! I haven’t even been to the park since maybe 2007 or 2008?

The husband and I will likely be tweeting about it all day Thursday evening, so you’ll want to stay posted for those pictures and updates! Afterwards (probably a day or so) I’ll post my full review of the VIP event and the ride itself.

Watched My Husband Graduate/Completed My Final Class!

May 12, 2012 was a momentous day in the lives of my husband and myself.

First and foremost we watched my husband walk across a stage to receive his diploma. This is something that was like 8 years in the making. He began when he was 16, a few years later earned his Associates at a local college, and then decided to attend the University where we met in 2006. I graduated in May of 2009, and he decided to take a break for while we were getting married.
 This break of his enrollment led to problems getting re-enrolled, and his Degree Completion Plan for Computer Management Information Systems was changed to include several high level business classes that my husband did not feel confident to undertake. When he began pursing completing his degree he realized that it would be simplest to transfer all of his credits to the Online Program and earn an Interdisciplinary Studies degree, so he could just be done with it.

Saturday we decided to skip the Commencement Ceremony because we were not fans of Mitt Romney, as well as we wanted to avoid as much of the crowds as possible. We got to sleep in, and later while we were waiting for the mini departmental ceremonies I listened to Mitt Romney’s speech, just to be aware of what was said. Many people liked the speech, however, I was not a fan. He said, “marriage is defined as one man and one woman” and that felt like pandering during the recent news and the conservative group that he was speaking too. He concerned me because he continued to say the words “our faith, our believes” etc, and that is a slippery slope. We do NOT have the same beliefs.

I was very entertained by the fact that during the Ceremony there was a small plane flying around with the message, “GOP = Higher School Debt. 

The mini ceremony progressed surprisingly fast! I believe this is due to the fact that there is less nostalgia than there is in other departments, and this is a smaller student population.

We were lucky to quickly leave the building to return to our car. On the way out we were even able to catch a ride across the street on a golf cart! (I’m not gonna lie, I wanted to ride one of the golf carts ever since I saw the tweet from the University saying that they were having IT and other staff driving them for people on campus).

Secondly, I was able to turn in my final assignment for my current online class. Due to various events about a week or two ago I learned that I misunderstood how the Dependent Grant In Aid that I use to take classes (since husband works here at the school) worked. I found out that I had reached my maximum limit, and have 3 credit hours left, needed to take my Internship. I was going to take an extra 4-5 classes in order to receive a certificate in trauma counseling, but learned this was not going to be a possibility. Once I realized this, I discovered that it was a relief to basically be finished.

Now, all I need to do is find a location to earn 600 hours with of counseling internship hours! I am excited and have faith that God will bring this to me in His perfect timing (since I’ve been waiting over a year).

It is funny to this that my husband and I are officially (basically) no longer “college students.”  I will have so much more time if I no longer need to do text book reading, discussion board posts, spending weekends writing research papers. The internship includes an online class for which there will be some tedious assignments. But, I am basically done, free at last!

I can’t wait to see what I will fill my time with. So far, here are some of my goals:

* organize the apartment
*cook on a more regular basis
*organize photos
*find cool ways to do things with pictures: print them, make memory books
*organize my mission trip items, other memory items
*read more fun books!
*learn new skills: photo taking, playing the guitar, practicing Italian/Sign Language
*try all of the fun things I’ve found on Pinterest
*blog more!

So, be looking for more exciting updates from me :0)

Competed In An IDPA Match

This weekend I had the opportunity to shoot in an IDPA match, the event that I previously shot in was a classifier event. I was pretty nervous because I didn’t really get to prepare or practice as much as I had wanted to, but this was going to be my last chance to shoot in IDPA until August due to summer plans. I was also having a very busy weekend with assignments due et cetera, so I kind of hoped that the event would get canceled due to the threat of rain, however the rain just sprinkled during registration and was done before we ever started shooting!
The first stage that I shot was Stage #5, I got 67.32 seconds and down 20. Due to a 4 hour safety class the evening before I had a lot of the fundamentals freshly drilled into my brain. I was nervous, but I seemed to remember to have a good shooting stance and form. Later, the husband remarked, “It was like you were a completely different person, you were shooting head shots at 15 yards!” 
Stage #1 was easily my most difficult stage, it took me just 40 seconds or so to figure out how to get situated! I got 95.23 seconds and 23 down. Obviously, I need to practice this.
Stage #2 was probably my favorite, I got 48.48 with 14 down. It was in the Postal Match, so I’ll be able to compare my scores to others. The scenario was that you were an air Marshall when a threat occurs on the plane. This was the only stage for the day with a non threat target. I did end up hitting it, but I struck between the fingers which was neat. 
Stage #3, I earned 27.83 seconds with 7 down.
Stage #4, I earned 47.29 with 12 down.
Overall, I was very proud with my performance. I returned home feeling very competent with my firearms abilities. One of my favorite things about IDPA is that it helps me to train defensive skills that I may actually need one day to defend my life or the lives of my loved ones. I scored 286.15 which was the best in my category, which I was the only one to compete in for that day. I was also the only female. My goal was to improve was accomplished, and I just need to continue to improve!