As some of you may have noticed, I’ve been a little absent this week. My mid-year break is coming to an early close (student teaching starts before the semester *grumble*) so I’ve felt more like gaming than writing about gaming. After all, the two will probably reverse once the semester starts.


So what have I done this past week? A lot actually.


On the fun side, I’ve leveled my made up to 78 and ran a couple of instances. Just last night I was able to run the Culling of Stratholme. I’ve always loved the Caverns of Time instances. Since I missed out on the RTS games, they offer me a little glimpse of some of the big lore events I missed. I also ran Halls of Lightning but my latency issues wound up making the run more annoying than anything else.


I also downloaded Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare from Steam. I’m not usually one for FPS games but Left 4 Dead inspired me to give this game a shot. I’m playing the single player campaign right now and have had a lot of fun with it. The first true mission has you invading an enemy ship on a stormy ocean. The rolling waves and pelting rain make this mission very atmospheric. I won’t spoil it for you, but bad things wind up happening and you’re forced to run for your life… and nearly lose it. I’m looking forward to the multi-player portion of the game but before I wet my feet, I’m going to kill the single player and build up my skills a little bit.


Speaking of Left 4 Dead, I tried versus mode quite a bit too. I like playing the survivors more than the infected but, if my inspiration to buy COD4 didn’t say it enough, I had a blast. It looks like we can expect downloadable content sometime soon too. Or so I’ve read on sites like Joystiq.


Oooh, and one more thing I suppose you could consider “fun”, it looks like Seriosity has updated their studies a little bit. On my guild forums, we’ve had a nice little chat about gaming and professionalism as a result. If you haven’t heard of Seriosity, it’s a study from IBM about the impact MMORPG gaming has on employees. Nick Yee,  notable MMORPG researcher, is also involved with the project.


On the not so fun side [TECHNICAL WARNING], I’ve had new issues with latency. This time, it’s only in instances. I spent a good portion of my computer time this week trying to update and configure my hardware and software to play nicely with WoW. FYI on that note, Blizzard avoided my thread like the plague and I have the sneaking suspicion it was because I’d already tried most of their solutions with no luck. I included the traceroute, pathping, all of the troubleshooting and problem isolation steps, tl;dr: the whole gamut. After 5 hours and several bumps, the only responses I got were from fellow players telling me I should contact my ISP or do more traces. I think I have it figured out though. I recently upgraded my router to third party firmware. I had opened up the hardware firewall as much as I could but, according to a past Blizzard rep, my issues sounded security related. I wound up totally disabling the router firewall and the problem seemed to go away. Then again, it was my first run of Old Stratholme that I tested it on, and I noticed I’m not routing through any AT&T nodes to the instance server, so the future will tell if the disable actually worked.


So, between three games and network problems I ate up most of my time on the interwebz this week. Oh, that and reviewing some of the new blogs as part of the Age of Blogging! I’ll have a weekly wrap-up online tomorrow to point you to the new members of the community. We have some talented writers joining our ranks, so a little over a week in and we’re off to a strong start!