Change of Class – Wizards are cool!

I’ve been playing Black Desert Online now for about 2 weeks through trial and now a full paid player.  During my trial I chose the Sorceress and loved her… but I  found some of her skills not so “wow” and a little (to use my teen kids terms) Meh.  The opportunity arouse when I convinced my long term friend and gamer Faithless to try out BDO using my trial key gained from my purchase of the game.  To ensure we was on the same level and I could guide him a little into the BDO play style I create Elkaruk of the wizard class.


What drew me to try the wizard was the coolness of the spells, the magic style and beauty of seeing them in action, along with the wonderful DPS capabilities.  For me the most disappointing thing in MMOs has been the flat progression of magical spells as you level.  What I mean by this is using a fire ball at lvl 10 compared to lvl 20 is usually graphically represented with the exact same animation.  Lets be honest if you was a wizard of (or other magical spell casting class) of 50+ levels you would expected to be able to conjure some serious spells showing considerable graphical scale to compliment its deliver on an unsuspecting mob.  BDO has delivered this to me, finally an MMO where as you level the graphical representation of the spells scales as do the spells.  Most importantly, this increased graphical fidelity does not seem to be at any decrement to my fps (frames per second) smoothness of play.

The differentiation of the spells a wizard has also seem to compliment each other well (in my early trials of lvl 1-15).  One-on-one the chain lightning is great at pulling many mobs to you … then when close … evade back .. freeze them and finish with a nice fireball.  In group play with friends and other GGGs members the devastation you can cause is very satisfying.

Example of how cool it can be:

Something else I have noticed in review my screen grabs is my wizard, whether through gear change as I level or actually a feature of BDO, seems to be aging… or is it me (see 1st screen and one below facial age… is it different?).


Elkaruk is only a lvl 17 wizard at present, but I feel he is going to become my main and I focus my attention on learning his skills, play style and best spell combinations (well those I can do and not mess up which provide the best imho, dps).


Black Desert Online -Trial Day 5

Here we are 5 days into the trial and have to say the more I play the more I want to explore, see, learn, try everything.  So much to learn, to try, but the key I have found is learn new mechanics, like cooking when you need too.  Don’t try do it all at once, their is no rush, just enjoy the game.

Photographic Modes is something I promised to cover at a later date, so before I go into today’s exploits, let me explain some of what I mean by this mode. BDO has in built into the game two approaches to what I like to call photography concepts.

In the settings, the have implemented under the Graphics Settings see below showing the default of Vibrance filter and Sepia filter, of which there a further 12 settings.  Using this method will make the game play with the filter active all the time.



My preferred method is the Photographic (no UI) capability of the game by pressing Ctrl+U at any point in the game.  This allow me to have no user interface, character labels, just pure game graphics showing.  Like normal play I can adjust and tilt the camera angle and grab a screenshot with PrntScrn key. However, it has other benefits, like changing the Depth of Field (DoF) focus (the point at which the game graphics soft focus/blurr).  You can adjust the DoF, by pressing and holding Ctrl, then using the Up/Down arrow key, thus pushing the point of focus/blurr closer or further back.  In addition, while holding Ctrl, look to bottom right of the screen are the other keys for changing the filter and moving the camera.  Bring the UI back again and it will reset back to the the game setting default you have selected.


On to today’s adventures in the world of BDO, I worked way round Heidl talking to most npc’s earning new knowledge, watching in game cutscenes like in the pub with this large scottish speaking giant. Picking up as many quests I could including the latest of the main story from my friendly black ether.  The first few quests led to the beautiful farm, Alejandro Farm with some seriously pain in the ass bee swarms I had to combat in the first few quests.  Very difficult to see them until being stung good and proper… ouch… ouch…


All this combat and travelling on my little Jacko, I hadn’t noticed I had nearly reached lvl 17 and Jacko was well on his way to 9, boosting his travel speed to 109%. I really need to get myself a horse, but for now taming is off the table until I earn enough silver to buy the recommended first time trying of 10x ropes and 10x Lumps of Raw Sugar (est. 20,000 silver). Some more combat will help with this around the farm and I decided to pickup the farms node to allow me to gain a worker for farming of honey. Yes, you guessed it, those bees are now in hives and their honeycomb if being worked by some great looking npcs.


Marketplaces are tied to each area of the map such as Balenos where Olvia and Velia towns are homed, compared with Republic of Calpheon where Heidel and others towns/cities exist I have yet to explore and  gain knowledge on.  I found this out by surprise, when I went to collect my monies at Heidel marketplace, some items had a button stating “Balenos Territory Registered”.  This meant I had to return to Velia marketplace to pickup my cash for those items.  Which like the warehouses, makes perfect sense as its not just accessible anywhere like magic fairies bring your cash across the continents to the marketplace vendor you just happen to be at.  Its shared information but physical items are not (like cash at a vendor of your sales) therefore forcing the living world I am enjoying.  It also explains why the towns feel busy with npcs and players going about their daily business, instead of vacant like other MMOs because other players have out leveled the area.

So wheres does this leave me, wanting more and more, so it will come with no surprise I have taken the plunge and bought Black Desert Online!  😀

This for now will be the end of my daily blogs regarding the trial my friend provided me and turn more into blogs posts when I have some new and exciting to share about BDO.  It will also allow me to progress my other MMOs, GW2 and Elder Scrolls Online and provide some posts on them.



Black Desert Online -Trial Day 4

On Day 4 I decided to focusing how to progress to my first mount of a Donkey. As I mentioned in my day 2 post, mounts in BDO require training to gain speed, turn rate, braking speed and acceleration.

First mount required, so off I went to buy a donkey, which turns in to another lesson learnt (more on this later).  I headed to Olvia and the stablemaster there to purchase a nice little grey donkey for a mere 5000 silver.  On doing so, your prompted for his/her name,  Jacko is his name, short for JackAss 🙂  I then popped to the local warehouse and found I can use the donkeys own inventory to transport some of my goods, so I filled his bags ready for transport to Velia. Now let get this little chap moving and earning his levels of training.


As you can see BDO has more beautiful little nuances, such as because Jacko is carrying items the donkey now has bags and nice blanket on his rear. I just love siting back with a cuppa and putting the game in photo mode and watching its beauty as I travel, snapping photos (I guess they are VR selfies really).  My Journey to Velia was over and I had already nearly reach Jacko to lvl 2.  I noticed Jacko’s, yellow bar, his Stamina was now 20% depleted, so after a little reading up I needed to feed him to keep his stamina replenished else he wont be able to travel, similar to keeping workers stamina up with beer.  Carrots is what I needed (cheapest for now, but other options exist which I can also cook, when I work out how 🙂 )

More main quest mini bosses to destroy en-route, with my faithful friend Elda.  Which led us to decide we need to introduce the world of BDO the GGGs guild.  Thanks to Elda, she had it sorted and invite came through ready for our first GGGs exploit of beating down my next co-op quest Here Comes the Goblin Chief! mini-boss, gaining me some much needed inventory expansion.


House needed and workers need feeding, so next up was to check on my workers, one in Olvia gathering grapes and one in Velia gathering chicken meat plus bonus of eggs.  Clicking the pickaxe icon I am present with a list of their status, seems they are all worked out and how now stamina left. Looks like its time to make some beer via cooking, time for some googling and nice guide from Dulfy my faithful go to site for GW2.  Reading the guide, first need my first house of residence to allow me to then purchase and place my cooking station.  Then I need potatoes, water, sugar and leavening (yeast) to make my beer. So I purchase my first house for 1 contribution point and few thousand silver, next off to the chef in at the inn to purchase the cooking station and ingredients.


Now we have our house, cooking station and ingredients, we need to place the cooking station ready for use.


Station placed, time to get my chef on and make some beer for my tired old workers.  Pop the water, sugar, leavening and potatoes in the pot… click cook … viola .. we have beer.  Rinse and repeat until used the potatoes I have and we have 6 beers for my merry worker men.  Re-clicking the workers pickaxe icon, I just need to click  Recover on each worker and select how many beers to provide them.  Their we go, all refreshed and ready to work.  I leaving Olvia worker on grapes and re-assign Velia worker to farm potatoes making sure I have resources to make more beer later.

Time to move on to greener pastures as my last quest is leading me to new town of Heidl which is even busier and has a greater feel of life in a living breathing world. Welcome!


I slowly progress with my faithful Jacko increasing his training levels further and leading me to meeting the towns first npc, the stablemaster.  This is more of an interesting meet, as he has knowledge on horse taming, yes, the ability to capture and train your very own horses.  But… no time now as it 1:27am and time for bed… I leave exploration of Heidl until tomorrow, Day 5. Night all 🙂




Black Desert Online -Trial Day 3

Day 3 of my BDO trial didn’t quite turn out how I planned as in real life personal commitments happened, so my 3rd day of playing BDO was actually the 4th day of 7 day trial pass.  Due to these same restrictions I decided to trying out the AFK (Away From Keyboard) system which allows me to be more of consultant to my character on exploring and gathering (fishing).  I decided to first send my Sorcerer off to fish at the Velia ocean.


Fishing in BDO is quite different to other games I played, as when you equip your rod, you un-equip your weapon and enter a fishing mini-game.  This gives the option of selecting to throw away trash fished or keep it.  This is especially targeted at the AFK aspect of the game, allowing you to leave the character fishing and walk away do something in real life (like baking gooey choc chip cookies).  The only limit to this is the rods durability and your inventory space must have adequate space to allow to fish for the max durability time of the rod (usually a full row of space in your inventory – thanks Elda for the heads up).  If either the rods durability runs out or you inventory space is full, then auto-fishing will stop.  Its also good to note shortly after this you will be AFK from the game doing nothing and thus the game will log you out, otherwise if doing something it will keep you logged in (more in AFK capabilities in a later post).

Inventory and Warehouse space can be limited at first in BDO (especially when wanting to AFK fish a lot) but there is a good few options through questing and other means (housing) to increase your capacity.  The questing option will provide +1 or +2 additions to your inventory space post quest completions.  This led me to locate the excellent BDO info and guide site Black Desert Foundry with their Increase Inventory Space Guide listing all quests to complete.  Your inventory also has a weight capacity because everything in BDO has weight to it, including your potions and tools you carry to survive or gather.  This makes it more focused to not just carry everything, prepare for what you want to achieve today and then set out on that adventure.  To me this is another mechanic which makes the game feel more alive instead of just logging in and go do the same multiple things.


The Warehouse system is where you get to store your wares (pun intended), but is tied to each village, town or city you visit.  What this means is, if you farm potatoes in Velia using a worker, they will store the resulting crop in the Velia warehouse.  If you then travel to the city of Calpheon and enter its warehouse you will not see your potatoes.  Yes, they really are like real life in this game, a warehouse is town based.  The only way to move items from say, Velia to Calpheon is on your personal inventory space, donkey or horse, cart and transport them.  This is easier with workers as they can do the work for you, but more importantly if you do it with a backpack on you increase your strength. This is one reason the game feels alive and you will see many horse and carts, travelers (workers) and players on the roads, town and cities carrying or transporting.  This gives an incredible sense of realism to the world.  So, this is another AFK opportunity to increase your strength whilst doing real life (chores or chilling).  Why AFK, because with a heavy loaded inventory, you walk and run much slower.  Watching your character traverse at a snails pace while playing is … lets face it… boring. So set a Navigate To point and AFK auto-run (walk) there with your backpack on with good in to transport.


Exploring is something I just love to do in MMOs, but in most you cant really explore because of the general MMO mechanic around your level and the mobs in areas you have not levelled up to or higher than the mobs.  On travelling through these areas, usually you aggro (unintentionally making them aware of you low level and triggering the into attacking you just by passing within their unknown aggravation area) on your exploration.  In BDO this is not the general case (as I found it so far 3 days in), you can pretty much go anywhere as long as you stay on the roads.  My favorite way to do this is locate a place on the map I haven’t been, like a farm or location and set my Navigate To, auto-run there and then turn off the UI. Leaving me to run and sit back watching my exploration adventure in beautiful photograhic mode (well its that to me because that when I take a lot of in game photos).

I will finish this post with my top 3 photos of the day exploring and I will go into more on how this photographic mode in a later post as its in built into the game when no UI is present.





Black Desert Online -Trial Day 2

If you missed Day 1 of my trial head over to it here, where I left a lead into what I wanted to achieve in Day 2 of my trail in Black Desert Online.  The thing is it took me a good hour to get my head round my first topic, Nodes & NPC Hiring.  To be honest its quite logical, but the UI (user interface) suddenly loses you and you find yourself at a dead end of progressing what seemed a logical approach.  Luckily for me, my friend Elda came to my rescue and very patiently explained the steps (thanks Elda 🙂 appreciated you patience).


Contribution Points are required to hire workers and unlock nodes for use.  These are earned by doing quick quests in towns for various town folk .  They are reasonably easy to earn in the early levels so far, currently lvl 11 and before.

Energy Points are earned through gaining of knowledge by talking to people (npcs), chopping new woods, gathering new materials, killing new unknown mobs for the first time.  Generally exploring the world of BDO and learning all it has to offer to gain ore knowledge and thus earn more Energy.

Workers are npc’s you can hire in game using both Contribution and Energy points to select the type you want, of Orge, Human and Goblin.  Each has worker race has a slightly different stats and benefits, but for my first go I chose the little goblin dude, who cost me 1 contribution point to hire him.  Now onto finding a node to assign him too.

Nodes are points on the map which are either a locations in a city or town, or a junction on the road. Nodes allow you too connect a route for workers (npc’s you can hire) or a location to work or gather at (eg. farm for grapes).

Setting up my first node was done by selecting node on the map and spending the required contribution points to unlock it.  I then had to select the nodes resource icon (fern type icon) and spend another Contribution point to allow my workers assignment.  Now I can select my little goblin to farm grapes.  Elda reminded me to click Change to set him to repeat up to the maximum of his stamina (10 in this case).  I review my map to see him running across to the farm (node) I chose.  I followed my little goblin worker and found him busy farming grapes. So cool to see him there farming and easy to find as he has my family name I chose at character creation yesterday.

Mounts, donkey’s and horses… is easy to acquire, but like everything in BDO, its takes considerable time to master be able to breed and create your own horses.  I first set my Navigate To at the closest stable and click auto-run whilst made a nice cuppa.  Sitting here watching he world drink my cuppa is such a nice chill moment, and beautiful at that.  I ended passing a potions vendor, merrily singing and when I spoke she had this wonderful voice.  Yes a different voice seems to be the norm for every (unlikely but seems that way so far) vendor in the game.


I arrived at the stable and open up the shop to seem what I could afford with my current 2600 gold.  Sadly, nothing yet, the Donkey’s were 5000 and the cheapest horse was 15000 gold.  This lead me to readup more on horses in game and to my surprise, combat is possible while mounted.  Pretty cool I thought, but does that mean I can armour my horse…. oh yeh!  I was aware the game has an in game store, called the Pearl Store, which allows you to purchase costumes, armours, boats, pets (with benefits, but not like friends with benefits obviously), some of which you can check out below.




The next challenge is to try earn enough gold to gain my first mount of a Donkey 🙂 Hopefully working my way up to a horse and then maybe a 4 horses and a cart. My final part of the day was to watch a good few guide videos on crafting which was clear would turn into another day of learning’s once I had more contribution points to hire more workers and gain considerable more materials before venturing into the world of BDO Crafting, so for now I leave this for another day.

My last item of the day was to venture into a new town called Velia, where on my route I picked up quest to kill a mini boss.  Now I hadn’t realised at the time I had been provided a scroll in my bags at this point.  So like a noob, I headed to the beach area highlighting the quest point.  Once I reached the area nothing happen, no mobs, no-one around.  This is when I found the scroll and right-clicked to use it…. ohhh… bad move… the UI disappears, camera pulls back the ground in front of me started to opening a black mist ether, the mist began to swirl and swishing as something begins to rise form the ground.  Er… ok thats a big black demon, perhaps I should start killing it… like now!


Right, this guys going down, entering combat stance.  Kiting him around the beach, dodging his shockwaves of sand and serious damage swipes I manage to trigger some of my new combos of combat.  Is health bar is now orange (meaning mid way through his health).  Quick jump back, dodge roll, now to the side, not into him… ouch!  That hit hard, only 11% health, quick drink health pot, phew back to 63% health.  Right, claws combo, 1..2..3… now his red health bar… just bit further…big finisher move and down!  Breath and .. releax, damn that was an intense fight… but oh so enjoyable, I must find more of those types of quests and appropriately added to my list of to do in BDO.

Day 3 I hope to work on more exploring and hire more workers, plus finding more of those mini boss quests.


Black Desert Online -Trial Day 1

I have been reading up and following the story of a MMO called Black Desert Online (BDO) for a couple of years now.  Its finally launched in the EU on 3rd Mar 2016, so relatively new to the EU although the Korean version has been available to play for over 2 years.  BDO is a buy to play MMO, similar to Guild Wars 2, pay once play for ever.  However, its not like Guild Wars 2 its more akin to Elder Scrolls Online but has no PvE end game such as dungeons or raids.  Does this matter if you area  pure PvE player, well  yes and no, Black Desert Online is a living breathing world which has PvE content.

So lets start with your options to try it out before you buy one of the editions, Travelers for €29.99 (£23 GBP) or Explorers for €49.99 (£40 GBP).  This is to me its current issue as you need to find a friend or a site with a FREE 7 Day Trial key you can use if you don’t want to splash out money to find out its not like any other MMO you may have played and may not like.  Trial keys can be requested from players who have bought the game as they have 1x key for Travelers and 2x keys for Explorers edition.  I was lucky enough to have a good friend (Eldae) in the GGGs who provided one of there keys to try. This set of blog posts are about that trial journey into BDO and thoughts after each day.

Day 1 of my Trial

Class & Character creation starts with the most incredible character introduction screen I have ever seen for each class, this alone took me 10 minutes to review and watch in awe each classes intro animations, movement and high fidelity models, along with a sneak peek at in game video f their combat play styles (excellent idea!).  I decided our a pretty damn beautiful female Sorcerer class but then noticed I cannot change the gender of my class, they are fixed.  No big issue but interesting as never in an MMO have I not been able to change the genre of my character. I then proceed to play with the incredible detailed character creation modelling tool with simple click/change buttons or full advance mode.  Wait theirs a button to take a photo of my character… the UI just auto-hides and a camera shutter noise later, shot taken.

Before (left) and After Customization (right)

20160411.1233_Char_Before  20160411.1233_Char_After

Let the game begin… after a short wizard asking what graphics quality I wanted I thought what the hell lets see what my aging 2013  PC spec can do…. lets max this game out at my UHD resolution of 2560 x 1080p 🙂

I appear in a small village (no spoiler on the intro scene), its incredibly detailed, beautiful, and I seem to have a dark black essence talking to me (no spoiler), oh I have to take a screen grab. The camera and movement in this game is of the 3rd person variety, similar to ESO with WSAD keys. I move round this barn to find my first npc of the stables, the character model and subtle movement behaviors are like real people. She starts explaining to me how travel in the game is real, no way-point, magic portals here.  If I want to get around I need to work towards attaining a donkey, then a horse… but wait …  this isn’t just a a mount its a real horse I could leave in open land, run off exploring on foot to return to my horse and find it mauled by a monster.  As I ride my horse levels and becomes stronger, add a cart to it and travel trading (not like trading I seen before, see later), I can even breed horses in this game.


My little black ether re-appears and grants me my first quest to go try combat and kill some weak mobs.  Now.. this is where I began to hate the game only 10-15mins into it… why … because its not like any other game I have played (WoW, GW2, Skyforge, Aion, Wildstar, ESO, etc).  The combat only has 9 quick slots for my attacks and potions.  This game seems to be focusing me to really learn get into combat stance, controls mobs grouping ready for an attack, use correct attacks and most different is the use of combo of attacks to devastating affect.  This takes some getting use too… skipping to over 1 hours play of the game leading to my now level 6 and now I am starting to get it.  Combat guidance through more mini quests by my black ether helps train you in combat which is one way of earning XP.  Quest themselves are not here to earn you XP in the traditional sense.

You are in the world to explore, gain nodes (yet to full explore this mechanic) which allow you to setup NPCs to work for you, gather, craft and trade between cities, towns and villages.  You are encouraged to talk to every NPC to gain knowledge and contribution points (I think these relate to the nodes mechanic, Day 2 learning).  This exploring led me to open the map and play with the Navigate To and Auto-Run capability.  This is a great way to AFK get around, but also see places you wouldn’t normally by auto-running down the safe roads (safe for now from what I have experienced), sitting at your PC watching your character travel (albeit on foot for now) to your destination and taking in the beauty by sitting back drinking a cuppa, watching her run down the road.  On this auto run a storm started and it began to rain, harder and harder, the ground starting filling up with puddles, my skin was wet.  What am I witnessing, real weather, water in an MMO, yes I was, this is very cool to see and not just a trigger by entering an area.  I tested this by just stopping and waited for the rain to stop, the sun comes out and the ground and my skin began to dry.

It was just after this my friend who provided me the trial key came on Discord and offered to lead me to the main city Calpheon.  I set myself on follow and made myself lunch… this was a long auto-run with follow, but boy was it worth it.  Never have I seen a true busy bustling city in an MMO world.  So many different NPCs, shops, streets all working like a real medieval style city.  What stunned me was the detail and clarity in different sizes, races and voices for shop keepers as well as a new mechanic I never scene.  If you just stand still at a shop and in effect go AFK, the game auto pans camera angles around the you and the city whilst your character does auto emotes of movements.  Its just stunning to watch.


Now I was a mere level 11 and spent time just exploring the city, the scale of which is huge as is the continents to explore in the game world.  This is when I ran under an archway into a demonstration by a bunch of npcs getting rowdy, placards being pumped into the air, shouting abuse, damn this game has detail!  It was then I saw this building up higher in the city, could I get there, enter it and look at the city landscape.  So off I went with Eldae to see if we could reach it, took a while and saw some more amazing sights like the procession of guards in their fully armored horses ready for combat (yes this game has on mount combat system, yet to try).


We finally reached the court yard of the high rise building with a considerable training ground of female npcs combat training, where we just sat… and not by /sit but by backing up to the low stone and our characters auto sat.


Their is more mechanics for me to unravel in this game than any other I have come across to date with a true AFK system that allows you to remain logged in and minimise the game.  In this mode your hired NPCs continue to work at gathering, crafting, trading, fish or horses breed, cows can be milked plus who now what else.  I see a busy few days trying to read up and try it all (most I can) before my trial expires on Friday.

Day 2 list of things to discover have to be:

  • Nodes & NPC hiring
  • Crafting
  • Acquiring a donkey


MMOs, a journey to Guild Wars 2 and Elder Scrolls Online


I’ve been a long time MMOs player since a good friend Faithless got me into the beta of World of Warcraft back in 2004. I was hooked into a world of make believe, fantasy, magic and a new world of questing to improve my power.  Like most, for me its the fun of increasing your characters ability to survive and take down mobs with powerful spells of magic.  The unlocking of new spells, effects and graphical wonders to be awed at.  For me a good looking game makes it a more believable world, with graphical fidelity which takes on nuances of small details makes those worlds believable and absorbing into the lore. Minor details such as shadow, light, trees moving, affecting the light and shadows, spells impacting the landscape create a sense of realism.  As the years have moved on the graphical fidelity of all games including the vast worlds of MMOs has greatly increased.  For me I lost my Warcraft guild and fun after 6 years of playing, sadly it became a grind, no improvements to the graphics quality of the game, what was once a great, enjoyable game was lost.  So for me, my journey began to try find a new game and guild, which captured what I wanted…

I tried a number of of F2P (Free to Play) titles such as Aion, great graphics fidelity, lacking lore, some new ideas like gliding on thermals instead of mounts, but it lacked focus, lore depth and sadly no guild to enjoy with. I finally thought I found the game for me, Rift by Trion. I followed its development and managed to get myself on the alpha and the beta but on US servers only (no EU at that time).  I met like minded individuals through the alpha, beta together we began to feel like I found the game, the graphic fidelity, the lore, like minded people to be in a guild with, was his the moment I found my missing mojo in an MMO?  For approximately 9 months I played the game post launch with my new guild and even became one of the founding guild officers.  Sadly, playing on US time made arranging raids, runs, just general fun nights difficult for me.  Other UK based players decided to leave the guild and create a new on EU servers and the US members split and created new guilds.  This was the end of my new game and fun.  The search continued again…

Next up was Wildstar, followed the development blogs and podcasts, loved the more light hearted play style of humor elements (in fact some hilarious moments, like the voice over every time you level with funny quips) , graphically a beautiful game and some great new mechanics such as the attack telegraphs, dodge rolling.  Played the game with my buddy Faithless all the way to top level, but then… nothing there was nothing to do.  No exploring options, no puzzles, not even raids as we had to have at least 5 friend to do a raid and sadly we hadn’t met any Guild which we felt fitted us.  Another game fun ended only 2-3 months into…


So, I moved in to Xbox gaming until I could find something new… during this time I met up with long term (12yr plus) Xbox players I weekly played with and went to beers festivals (which was good social fun).  During this time frame, I met a new friend  IanJ, we talked an he mentioned he got into his first MMO, Guild Wars 2 and was playing with a great bunch of UK like minded, similar aged individuals called Good Guys Gaming or GGGs for short.

Part 2 will go into the outcome of finally finding what I was after and how this led me to another new title with the same great new friends of the GGGs…