Sarnaks: A Difficult Race to Understand

by Victor Stillwater

I was going to put off writing this, but since the downtime appears to have been extended for some reason, I decided to just let my thoughts out now.

You see, I’m trying to figure out whether or not the Sarnak that I know of are a truly evil, despicable race or simply a morally gray sort of race in the greater scheme of things. As it stands, I’m leaning towards the idea that a variety of circumstances have made the Sarnak of Timorous Deep both savage and honorable in varying percentages.

From what I understand of the Timorous Deep storyline so far (including what quests they added as a result of patches or Sentinel’s Fate… not entirely sure which), their race has only been what it is currently for the last 100 years or so, making them fairly new denizens to the world of Norrath. In addition, they’ve had a long-standing war with the Haoaeran Aviaks, which grows deadlier with each passing day.

Your character is there to destabilize the Haoaeran war effort by culling their forces of manpower and resources. You’re also there to participate in missions that may have ensured the death of both the Aviaks on Timorous Deep and the Mountain Throms, and were it not for the wisdom of a few individuals, that would have pushed through entirely.

You see, even among the Sarnak are those who would desire some semblance of peace. One faction of people in the city of Gorowyn want to stop the war by forging a truce or a peace treaty with the aviaks, which is actually somewhat lopsided, as they wish to subjugate the Aviaks instead of driving the birdmen into extinction. The other faction? Well… they just want to kill anything with wings at this point.

I was a part of both the war effort as well as the peace effort, as I killed a few hundred aviaks myself, but also acted as a messenger between the subjugation faction of Sarnaks and the peaceful faction of Haoaerans. Alas, the representatives who made up the majority of the Haoaeran body wanted to continue the fighting because they would not allow themselves to be subjugated by the Sarnaks of Gorowyn.

After trying to establish peace, I also managed to taint their food supply, corrupt their unborn who exist as eggs, and essentially ALMOST effected the mass slaughter of the Haoaeran people. (As a subset of this plan, I was asked by Mountain Throms to steal Haoaeran food and eggs so they’d have food, which meant potentially poisoning them as well).

The only thing that kept the plan from continuing was a higher-up’s orders to cease the activation of the magical poison.

I’m about to find out why I’m supposed to stop, and I hope the reasoning behind it is somewhat moral, where by moral, I mean, “”The Extermination of an Entire Race is Bad.”

I guess I’ll find out when the servers come back up.

Some Changes Incoming

by Victor Stillwater

Hi folks,

Since Elandarex has posted his first write-up on the site, I thought to make an official announcement of my own.

Elandarex is going to be a part of Games and Geekery from here on out. You may know him from the Deeply Delving Dungeons blog, and due to his closing down his old haunt, I asked him if he’d like to keep on writing entries elsewhere, specifically over here. He accepted, and so I’ve been making little tweaks to the site for his arrival.

If you’ll check the sidebar, you’ll notice that I’ve changed some things. First off, the About Page now has information on both of us, in our own particular styles of making ourselves known. Second, Contact information for myself and Elandarex has been placed on the Contact Us! page. Third, I’ve also shortened my twitter feed to allow for some space to let Elandarex’s twitter feed go up as well.

Most importantly, we now have an issue regarding authorship. I’m currently looking for some way to announce which blogger is writing which specific article, but since I can’t find the WordPress option for that just yet (I’m a newb, yes), we’ll be putting Authorship bylines either before the start of the text, or at the end of the article. We’re still deciding what though, so please be patient.

In any event, that should allow Games and Geekery to get more excellent viewpoints, and I look forward to seeing what Elandarex has in store for all of us, myself included. Cheers!

A New Challenger Has Appeared

by Elandarex

Greetings and salutations stalwart saviours of imperiled kingdoms great and small. It is truly an honour to be able to announce that this blog of Games and Geekery is set to grow just a little larger on this most momentous of days. Having been cast out in shame from my own blog by the uncaring whims of the Not-Having-Any-Money Fairy, Sir Stillwater was gracious enough to offer me a place in his tidy little empire that we may one day overthrow such malevolent forces in our quest to uncover the hidden mysteries of the legendary Grind! Conquering the world will come about as a matter of course.


Okay then, enough with the nonsensical drivel. My given name (that being the name I gave to myself before I gave myself the name I used on my old blog) is Elandarex, though some of you may know of me as Alcasm, the one in charge of the now-deceased blog Deeply Delving Dungeons. It should go without saying that I am enamoured of games and gaming and that geeking out is perhaps my most favoured of pastimes. As if it weren’t also obvious enough thanks to the monicker attributed to my erstwhile soapbox, I am also chiefly taken in by the temptation of the epic RPG, whether they be played on tabletop, by one’s lonesome, or online with thousands of my fellow adventurers.

I do enjoy more than playing Roleplaying Games however, as I tend towards games of all genres (well, almost all genres, I never could get into sports games). Couple that with my background as a budding game designer and programmer and I have all manner of conceited opinions I assume that people want to hear. Of course, I say they’re opinions when really they tend to devolve into mindless ranting, but at least it is informed ranting! At the very least, regardless of whether you agree with my thoughts or not, I do hope that my musings inspire some musing of your own because that’s what this is all really about.

Gaming has had to (and still does) face a great deal of scrutiny and contempt from society at large and in a world where being geek has become chic it can honestly feel as though we’ve lost a lot of the magic that got us all into this hobby in the first place. But what is ultimately of importance is that we all enjoy ourselves and have fun. So whether I’m glowing with praise for some recent addition to the annals of gaming, ranting and raving with wild abandon, or just amusing myself with a pleasant diversion know that I do it all because I love it. I can only hope that in time to come you will come to enjoy it as much as I do.

So thanks again to Victor for giving me a place on his blog; I could have simply resurrected my own site in the free space but I know that working alongside such an excellent writer as Victor isn’t an opportunity to pass up.

Here’s to Gaming and Geekery!

From a Small Dwarf Wacko to a Giant Halfling Weirdo

What did I tell you? GIANT Halfling Weirdo

I met a giant halfling weirdo today.

At first, he was playing the part of a  wacky old dwarf looking for a tin hat to keep away mind probes, but in devolved into a rather convoluted fetch quest around Gorowyn’s Interior and the exterior beach.

First I had to find a guy to get a the tin helm.

The guy with the helm asked me to get him a deck of trick playing cards before he would give me the helm.

The girl with the trick playing cards wanted something else, and so on, and so forth…

At the end of it, I had to kill a ratonga pirate.

I was thinking the whole time, “Why couldn’t I just kill the guy with the helmet?”” He was unarmed, wimpy looking, and not a Sarnak. It would have been easy, though somewhat messy,  to just gore him with my horns.

Of course, I went the long way, and luckily, not trying to kill him was the smart move. The Giant Halfling Weirdo was a planar manifestation of a god, it seems (not mine, obviously) and that god was  playing every one of those weird fellows in some sort of twisted mind game.

I guess you can’t trust anyone during this blasted season. I’m amazed I even go out killing things still, as I may be banging my sword against a god. Ah well…

Ogre Tutus Make Me Horny (or Bristlebane Day Comes to Norrath)

I was killing gorillas in Timorous Deep a few hours ago when I came across something that was out of place in my normal routine of shiny gathering. I noticed purple shinies on the ground instead of the usual yellow ones, and upon inspecting the shiny, I found myself picking up Iksar Wings, Froglok Fins, and Ratonga Hooves. Now, these were blatantly impossible, as Iksar do not have wings, Frogloks aren’t scaly, and Ratongas do not have horsefeet.

I also found a large number of Jester’s Gardens which dropped Ogre Tutus en masse, and that mental image made me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

Out of curiosity, I decided to log out and check the official website, and found out that there was actually a new festival in-game, called Bristlebane Day. From the looks of things, Bristlebane was one of those pranksters who wanted to make life interesting for people… without killing them.

Right now, information is scarce, and no one has consolidated information on the actual events and weirdness for this year. Hopefully, EQ2 players out there who are reading this might point me to forum links and whatnot so I can understand what prizes are available for the taking during this event, as well as put down all the information here for reference.

Anyway, just remember: don’t be an (APRIL) Fool.

Sarnakalackalacka, Shadowknightalightaloom

Taking flight again

The Shadowknight has been rerolled using the name Stillwater on Lucan D’Lere, and it’s been fun so far. Killing things, harvesting stuff… the usual. I’m about to go back into the furniture business, and make myself some boxes so I can store stuff in the bank and maybe sell stuff on the broker.

My issue right now is with the Shadowknight, as I’ve heard that there have been changes to the class since January as a result of the expansion and all that. According to what I’ve found out, Strength now effects the power of their magic rather than intelligence, so it kind of makes creating an INT reaver somewhat strange now. Moreover, I’ve read on the (not so busy) forums that the Shadowknight has grown to become highly dependent on a large amount of Alternate Advancement Points.

I obviously have no clue if that’s true or not, so I want to ask folks here if they have info on what’s changed. I’m not too sure where in the forums to find it. More importantly, I don’t know how to proceed with leveling.


There’s a certain satisfaction in attaining new levels, but if I don’t keep my AA point totals relatively good for my level, I may find myself on the sharp end of an enemy blade.  Until now, I still don’t know where to take my character or whether to focus on following the Golden Path, or to veer off it.

I suppose I’ll find out more as I go along, but knowledge is power, and I’d like more knowledge, if that’s available.

Shadowknighting Myself Once Again

No screenshots for this one, but rather just an update.

After some thought as to where I wanted to go, I decided to start from scratch and go back into Everquest 2. My 14-day trial was a great experience and soothed my carebear nerves well enough to know that I could probably thrive, even as a supposedly Evil Sarnak Shadowknight.

To that end, I’ll be going back on Lucan D’Lere, deleting an old toon to use its name, and replaying the starter experience to see if I can’t do something about those pesky birdmen.


I’m Afraid to Play Darkfall

I’m afraid to play Darkfall.

Basically, after that run from Mahirim lands to the guild city, it was fun and nerve-wracking and scary. It was a good experience, but it was also a bad experience.

I realized that, certain games I play make me literally afraid to play them. I dawdle on the computer trying to find things to read or stuff to do, but essentially, I know deep in my heart of hearts that I’m just trying to pass the time away from playing a game.

Darkfall made me realize that to a great degree, as even though I missed the game, I hated being in it as much as I liked being in it. As much as I want to have new experiences, I generally dislike experiencing new things and adjusting to the changes.

While I adjusted to the changes that Darkfall brought on a gameplay level, it was the psychological aspect of playing Darkfall that really got to me, and with that in mind, I realized I didn’t want to play a game that was messing with my mind so much.

While I still have around 70 days or so of time remaining, I’ll probably come back a couple of times just to roam the world, but I think I’ve had my fill of Darkfall.

After this post, I will log in to the account management system, take myself off recurring subscriptions, and remove my credit card information from their system. Then I will delete Darkfall from my hard drive.

At the same time, I will cry a little, because it was a good world, and an interesting game.

I just did not have the mental fortitude to play it.

Getting Back to Blogging

My apologies for leaving the blog so abruptly and without even putting up a note of absence to the people reading.

School took over my life, as well as some personal issues, and I decided to use the time off from blogging to take care of the things that needed to be addressed.  That included finishing papers, getting more sleep, and figuring out where I wanted this blog, and my life, to go.

I basically want this blog to be a safe place for myself to write about games, and I think I’ve been so busy managing the appearance of being fair and even-handed that I lost sight of things that I wanted to say but threw out of some entries so as to make them more easily read. It’ll be a challenge for me to be more open with what I feel, because having a strong opinion on the internet means meeting opposition, and I tend to be averse to that sort of thing, but I will try, at least, to get my words out in the way I want them to be read.

That said, expect an update of my gaming habits soon.

Basic Fighting and Resting: A Darkfall Primer

Jomu, of Just One More Unlock, requested for a bit of an explanation regarding how fighting and crafting works in this game. As I didn’t have internet access recently, I was unable to take screenshots for this particular purpose, so I’ll just use a screenshot of a bruised and bleeding Victor Stillwater from prior to my newbie protection running out (see the halo above my head).

Combat in Darkfall is comprised of two main viewpoints spanning three different types of combat, as well as general interaction mode. There is the first-person viewpoint not shown above, which is present during archery, magic casting, and general use. There is also third-person combat, which happens whenever a sword is unsheathed, as can be seen above.

In order to actually fight something, you have to remember to equip that weapon, unsheathe it, use a specific hotkey related to that weapon’s use to prime a skill, and then click the left mouse button to have the action load up.

“Priming” is what I call the act of using a hotkey to load up a skill for use. Priming doesn’t activate the skill but prepares for it to be used by the appropriate implement, such as a magic staff.

Let’s see how priming works by taking a look at the hotbar.

The Darkfall Hotbar

Alright, so above is the Darkfall Hotbar. This hotbar is currently set to Column 0, which can be accessed by pressing SHIFT+0 on the keyboard by default. Other hotbars 1-9 can be accessed the same way.The square directly above the circular space is what I call the priming square, and it shows you if a skill is primed for use. The Circle with the green coloring is what I call the Equip Circle, which shows if you have a weapon or tool equipped. Green Circle means something is equipped and unsheathed. No color means equipped but sheathed.

In the case above, just by seeing the hotbar and not knowing what the rest of the picture is, I know that I have an unsheathed sword and should be in third-person mode at the moment. Furthemore, the default attack skill for swords is ready for use.

Let’s say you want to use the bindstone recall skill, which allows you to travel directly to the last chaos stone you bound yourself to. The Bindstone Recall skill is number 6 on this hotbar column, so to prime it sheathe your weapon (Default should be R), and then hit 6 on your number bar on the keyboard. This should prime the skill for use. To actually use it, you have to left click the screen while in action mode (In other words, not perusing a menu screen), and that should let the Bindstone Recall Skill work its magic. Just don’t move or the skill will be wasted.

Now, let me give three battle “examples” based on the three different types of combat:

Example 1: You’re engaging someone at a distance with archery. To use your bow in battle, you must press the key associated with equipping your bow for use, then unsheathe your bow by pressing another button, then left click and hold the mouse to draw the bowstring (there is a loading bar that shows up) and aim. Releasing the mouse button fires the arrow. This can be done while moving, but is difficult to do.

Example 2: You’re engaging in distance combat using magic. You must perform similar actions fro equipping and unsheathing your magic staff, then you must prime a magic skill for use by pressing the spell’s hotkeyed button, then left-click and hold to load the spell (a loading bar comes up in this case too) and aim. Release the left mouse button to cast your spell.

Example 3: You’re engaging in close combat with a greatsword. To engage in melee, you have to, again, equip the bow and unsheathe it using appropriate hotkeys, then aim your sword using the targeting reticule and click the left mouse button to hack away. Weapons also have skills that can be primed and used like spells, minus the loading.

After battle, you will probably lose some HP and Stamina at the very least. To regain them, you have to rest.

Here’s how you do that. You have to find the rest skill in your Skills List, drag that to a hotkey, sheathe your weapon, prime the rest skill, and then left click to actually rest. You will go into third-person mode and your character will sit down.

If it sounds complicated at first, it is. As you engage in more fights and learn about keybindings though, it’ll become second nature to you, however.

Anyway, I hope this has been enlightening to those of you who are playing the game or thinking about how stuff works here. Feel free to ask more questions, and I’ll try to answer them as best I can. Cheers.