Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ahhh, The Power of DDO!

The following is a blog post I originally wrote on March 15th, 2006 while working at an MMORPG game development company. I thought you might enjoy the story behind how Pinkeytoes became a PC gaming goddess. (Please excuse the amateur writing/formatting/typos. I'd like to think my writing has improved over the years.)

How did the dread of returning a $50 game turn into the building of a $800 gaming rig for my wife?

Read on to find out.

So I got all excited wanting to play Dungeons & Dragons Online with some of the other employees here. I went online and pre-ordered it so that I could play with them during the head start period. The funny part about that night was by the time i was up and running to play everyone else had gome home.  One reason for the pre-order other than getting to play 5 days earlier than others was to get the “Necklace of Natural Armor”. Eventually my head-start ran out and I still hadn’t received my game in the mail. I was dying. I needed to play. Then I heard the special edition of the game gave you “Boots of Running”! Well I called around and drove 1/2 hour to Fry’s to get my special edition. “I’ll just send the EB Games one back.” I thought and proceeded to play (with my boots of running which by the way combined with my elf barbarian’s 10% class speed boost and with her barbarian speed feat, well, she runs freaking fast!). A few days went by. The thought of sending the unopened package and figuring out how the refund will work was nagging in the back of my mind. I even made a half-hearted attempt to look up the return policy on their site. I was not too jazzed about actually having to deal with it, (I’ve got a rough life don’t I!). Well on the way home from work the thought occured to me, “Why send it back when instead I could help my wife build her own gaming PC and we could play DDO together?” Selfish? Maybe just a bit, but she loves games as much as I do.

When presented with the idea my wife was more than happy to oblige seeings as how we had been having minor squabbles over whether she could play her Sims 2: Open for Business or I could play DDO. (This is why we have two XBOXen, two Gamecubes, two Nintendo DS’, two Gameboy Advances and were considering buying a second XBOX 360).The idea of having her own gaming PC to play her Sims 2, Rollercoaster Tycoon 3, The Movies, and now DDO convinced her. Now we just had to make a mad dash to Fry’s and get the stuff for her to build her own PC.

I just want to take a moment to say that Fry’s, although scary at times, (I mean, have YOU ever seen a Fry’s employee by themselves? They remind me of MOBs in WoW protecting their yellowing relic computers that look like they were found in a dumpster or bought from a bank when they upgraded to 486s), does have it’s shining moments. Us being able to walk in at 8:10PM and walk out at 8:45PM with everything we would need for a gaming rig was quite a feat indeed.

So we get the parts home and she builds her own PC. By 2AM she’s conked out on the couch while I put the finishing touches and software on it. Tomorrow we would game.

And we have. We have gamed a lot. You know something is powerful when you start rearranging furniture in your living room to make way for the two computer desks. Although, my coffee table was a casualty of the switch, (sniffle). So we played last night from 8PM to 4AM. I’m sure if your reading this, this is nothing new to you but you were once where she is now.

So, the moral of the story? It was easier in my mind to spend $800 to build a whole new PC for my wife than it was to figure out how to get a refund from This is a testament to either the power MMOs can have on one or my complete aversion to complicated return policies.


PS, Yesterday my wife beat me to level 2. I think I may have created a monster!

It is amazing to look back and see how simply it all started. At this point Pinkeytoes has multiple level 85s and is an very accomplished MMO player. Amazing what can happen over 6 years.

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