GW2 – BW2 (…plus some random thoughts)

So it’s been a week since Guild Wars 2’s second “Beta Weekend Event.”  I haven’t written about it because my observations didn’t really change much since the first BWE.  The only things I didn’t like were the changes to the trait system (where you used to be able to pick any trait you could afford, but now had to follow the oh so common & artificial tree structure).  And that my server became a heavily populated one, to the point that several of my friends could not join me on the “Crystal Desert.”

The only reason I picked that server to begin with was to help another friend of mine remember which server I picked because all of his GW1 characters have “desert” somewhere in their name.  AND I actually HATED the Crystal Desert region in GW1 and I didn’t think very many people would pick that server because it was such a crappy part of GW1.  Oh well, there goes reason screwing the pooch again, LOL.

So now me and some of my gaming friends are trying to decide if we’re going to drop Crystal Desert in favor of some other “low pop” server, or just stick it out hoping other people will drop instead.  The current trend is toward dropping CD and heading for greener pastures.  I hate doing it, but it seems I’ve always had to do this kind of “server tag” whenever a new game comes out – ever since the WoW days, when our DAoC guild moved over there. I think we changed servers at least three times, and the same can be said for nearly all of our experiences in other MMO’s – Notably in LOTRO, SWTOR, and Rift.

Anyways, GW2 still seems very polished to me.  I keep seeing trolls out there saying that they can’t imagine it’s even going to release this year – but frankly I’m just not seeing ANY of their issues.  I’d be happy with the game if it released this week.  It’s already more stable than LOTRO.

In other news, I dragged out my Alesis QS8.2 synthesizer for the first time in over five years(!).  I’m definitely going through some kind of “mid-life crisis” thing where I really want to be more creative.  First there was the Nikon D7000 camera to bring me back into my photography hobby and now pulling out the keyboard to reconnect with my music passion.  Actually, I guess when I bought those three(!) saxophones (Alto, Tenor, and C) earlier this year, I kicked off this whole creativity kick.

What I really brought out the old QS8 for was so that I could connect it to my “new” (used) Yamaha WX5 wind controller. I had to get the WX5 because practicing a real Sax in an apartment situation really pisses off the neighbors, and with the WX, I can hook it up to the QS via MIDI, throw on some headphones and practice in near silence.  The WX arrived yesterday afternoon, and after throwing some batteries in it and hooking everything up, so far, so good.  The only thing I don’t like about it are some of the same complaints that players have had with it ever since it came out.  Mainly the octave keys are way too easy to press accidentally or incorrectly, and same with the sustain button. But I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it eventually.

As for what music I will learn with, I’ve already got a bunch of “fake books” that I bought when I got my saxophones earlier this year, and I also downloaded some medieval and renaissance music (the Carmina Burana & Codex Verus + some others), because I’d like to learn some of In Extremo’s piping music to play on my Saxes/WX, and a lot of their music comes from those sources.

I hope things are going well for you, and have a Happy Father’s Day! Enjoy!

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