April 21, 2011

Holding on

If anyone reads this, well color me surprised.

Granted, I haven't been gone long, but it feels like it. Anyway, I have a new job and that's been pretty fun. Actually, it's awesome. I'm a lot busier than before but I am not complaining (shocking, I know.) Apart from work, there have been some family issues that I'm working to resolve. Life would be so much easier if I didn't have a family, but I know I would be miserable without them.

The most interesting reason I've been away is because of an accident. Well, the family is pretty damn serious, but that's not something I'm going to get into here. Anyway, about this accident.

You see car accidents relatively often, but do you ever stop and think about the moment when it happened? I can understand why people who get in accidents get nervous once they are behind the wheel again. If you're one of the lucky people who have never been in an accident, I do hope you stay that way.

I was on my way home from work. I had a great day in the office and had just got out of the gym. If you know anything about my life beyond Vana'diel, then you know exactly how good it feels to be able to type the previous two sentences. It had just started to rain before I headed out. As I was approaching an intersection, I decided to move into the far right lane so I could take my usual shortcut. Behind me, there was another car who was apparently thinking the same thing.

I'm all for fast driving, as I can't stand being on the road. However, I'm smart enough to know that driving fast on a wet road full of cars is pretty fucking stupid. The person behind me didn't get that memo, unfortunately. They were driving relatively fast and Mr. Jackass figured I wasn't going fast enough so they got in front of me. The bad part about that isn't the fact that I was cut off, but where I was cutoff. Literally, this idiot got in front of me just a few car lengths from the intersection. I unfortunately had a knee-jerk reaction and hit the brakes, which then caused me to start hydroplaning. I guess the person realized that he also wouldn't be able to slow down fast enough without going out of control and then jumped back into the lane on his left, continuing through the intersection. It was too late for me and I ended up totaling my car. From that description, it doesn't sound like much. Now let me tell you what I saw in that short moment.

People say that time slows down when you're in an intense situation. It's like Bullet Time, only not in a cool way. Once I was cutoff, it was just an "oh-shit" moment. Then when I realized I couldn't stop and I was going to run into something, that's when the bullet time came into play. Going to the left would've put me right into the main traffic, which obviously wouldn't be a good idea. Turning right would've place me into a ditch. Heading straight was putting me on a collision course with a vehicle waiting for the light to change. Naturally, turning right seemed like the sensible choice, so that's what I did. Or rather, that's what I tried to do. The fun part about hydroplaning is that it's basically a big "fuck-you" to your steering ability. I was heading straight, and my efforts to turn weren't working as quickly as I wanted.

Everything gets louder and quieter in the same moment. The sounds of screeching wheels, your own heartbeat, breathing, and a sudden silence as the moment of impact approaches. The worst part of it all was the car in front of me on the intersecting lane. I looked straight ahead and saw them, staring at me. They knew I was about to hit them, but what could they do? What I could do, for that matter. I'm not even seconds from hitting them...I'm less than that. I can't imagine what the people in that car were thinking, but I know what I would be thinking. How can I protect the people with me? What can I do?

Let me put it to you this way...I felt absolutely helpless. Thankfully, I didn't hit them. What I did do was end up running off the road and totalling my vehicle. While I'm pretty pissed behind that, I take comfort in knowing that the people I was heading towards were spared. I'm more pissed that the fucker who cut me off managed to just drive on his way and never look back.

Anyway, I'm alive and so are the others. That counts more than anything. I was bit banged up, but I'm fine now. I have no idea why I decided to share that with you all, but there it is.

Now on to Vana'diel. I reactivated my content ID yesterday and signed on. Surprisingly, I was almost immediately greeted with several "Yay! You're back!" tells. Quite honestly, I'm surprised people noticed. Not to say that it wasn't appreciated. It truly was; it was simply unexpected.

One thing I did notice when I signed on is that my head started hurting. Do we just get used to the lag and other shit that's present in this game? Christ, I couldn't bear to watch things for more than a few minutes. Maybe it's because I've been fiddling with Crysis 2 and I'm used to that. FFXI just seems horridly outdated. Well, I guess it is, but we love it anyway.

Whatever, I'll bitch about things later. I have a headache and I'm also at work. I should do my job, for at least a little while.

January 15, 2011

Wishing for simpler times

First thing's first. I apologize. I've been without a PC for awhile and it's been making me a little crazy. I've been very busy in the world of FFXI but haven't had a means to convey my actions to all of you. No promises of a long blog explaining what has happened since then, but there is one thing I'd like to mention.

See, I joined this small group of people a few weeks ago for Abyssea. Just a few people, and usually 3 or 4 during each event. Fights were exciting and since the group was small, people seemed to bond a bit faster. We were getting items and gear constantly, and it was just incredibly fun.

Then more people came.

I'm not sure how to explain my reaction. A bit of selfishness mixed with hesitation, but still optimistic. I don't know what the definition of "lowman" is, so I'm not sure if we are still a small group or not. Most of the new people are names that I didn't know, so that always makes things a little uncomfortable. Aside from the obvious part of gear acquisition slowing down, now events just take longer. Takes longer to start because we're waiting for so many more people. When everyone gathers, we have to wait while it's decided what we're going to do. More people = more decisions = more time spent planning.

Fights aren't as simple as they were before. I swear it takes longer to do the fights now than it did before. Maybe that's my mind playing tricks, but it sure seems like things went smoother and faster when we first started. Turul excluded, mind you. That thing's just a bastard. Now I see people getting frustrated, events lasting even longer than before, and it just doesn't seem as enjoyable anymore. Still, I can't help but think back to a few weeks ago when it was just a few people having a good time in Abyssea.

You'd think that me saying all this means that I don't like linkshells or large group events. Well, I do admit that lowmanning seems easier, but this is a large scale MMO. It makes sense to have events with a lot of people. In all honesty, I still like that. It's just that this group started out small and fun. As we expand, things just don't seem that way anymore.

I know my thoughts are selfish, and it's probably a bad thing to even admit them. These are all nice people. I feel pretty crappy for thinking this way. Still, a part of me really does wish that it would just go back to when it was all so simple.

It's late and I'm tired. Maybe my mind will be different in the morning. Happier rants await!