Welcome to The Pix’led Life, my space for the three R’s of blogging – Realizations, Ruminations, and Ramblings. After a (very) long break from any kind of writing, I decided I needed somewhere to put my thoughts on MMOs (Massively Multiplayer Online games), general gaming (both computer and other), books, and any other such distractions in which I heartily partake. And with the wonders of the Internet, why not share all these thoughts with everyone?

That's me (for what it's worth...) That’s me – Drannos. I’m a pretty standard statistic for modern gaming; 30-something guy, wife, two kids, a career, etc. If asked, I’d describe myself as a “father/husband/brother/gamer/ programmer/writer”, in that order (maybe…). I’ve been playing with computers since the 80’s, when my parents brought home a Commodore 64 and sat me in front of it, saying, “You need to learn this. Go to it.” How could they have known then, the fate to which they doomed me? I graduated to full geekery when I obtained my first PC, a 90MHz Dell. Oh, the glory…

Since then it’s been a long journey through many worlds, online and off. Starting with the granddaddy of MMOs, Ultima Online, I began my adventures in virtual worlds, and now I live two lives – the real world, and these pixel worlds that fascinate me so. I’ve played many (if not most) MMOs, leading me to my current (and future) home, Lord of the Rings Online.

As a gamer, I’d have to say I lean towards the “committed” end of the spectrum (I dislike the term “hardcore”). I play as much as I am able, and I try to get around to any game in which I am interested, online or not. As an MMO gamer, I’m definitely an Explorer – I’m in it for the story, and I want to see it all. I don’t need the best gear, or to min/max my characters. I just want to participate in a story, see every arc to its conclusion, and experience all the sights and sounds a virtual space has to offer. But I’m also a Completionist (there really should be a Myers-Briggs scale for gamers…). Not an Achiever – I’m not in the game to show off to others. However, put a list of tasks in front of me and I will see it done. Damn you, Turbine, for the Deed Log!

In the Real World, I’m a photographer by training, and a “computer guy” by trade. Several years ago, oddly enough, I found myself getting into the field of Business Intelligence at work, and now my entire life pretty much revolves around playing with data. At work I deal with data and play with databases. At home, I play with some of the damned prettiest databases ever created (because, at its purest, an MMO is just a huge database with a bunch of pretty buttons on top of it). Outside of that, I do normal things – try to spend time with the wife and kids, read (sci fi and fantasy mostly), work on the house, study Kung Fu…all the stuff most people don’t want to hear about!

So it goes. What follows are the highlights of my MMO resume (because I guess I should…)

  • Lord of the Rings Online
  • World of Warcraft
  • Warhammer Online
  • Guild Wars
  • Dark Age of Camelot
  • Anarchy Online
  • City of Heroes/Villains
  • Everquest 2

And at significantly less depth:

  • Ultima Online
  • EVE Online
  • Dungeons & Dragons Online
  • The Matrix Online
  • Star Wars Galaxies
  • Vanguard: Saga of Heroes
  • Tabula Rasa
  • Aion
  • Champions Online
  • Ryzom
  • Neocron/Neocron 2
  • Earty and Beyond
  • Auto Assault