As promised, I ran to Fry’s today at lunch. I drove up, parked, walked in, went straight to the PC software aisle, and went straight to the spot where I expected EoF to land on the shelf. Not there. They had boxes of EverQuest II, boxes of Desert of Flames, boxes of Kingdom of the Sky, but no Faydwer anywhere. I went up and down the shelf. I looked at the end caps. I looked at today’s ad on the wall.
Then I did what I never do at Fry’s, I asked somebody.
Fry’s carries a lot of stuff. Nearly everything you would ever want for your high tech hobbies is available at a decent price. They also have music, books, DVDs, appliances, and so on. Call it Best Buy x 2, then add another 30% for the stuff that lines the check out lane.
So Fry’s is cool. But it is only really cool if you know what you want or you want to look at two things side by side. If you have to ask for help, you can find yourself wading into questionable water. Not all the time, there are some sharp people working there, but the median experience for me is throwing the person behind the counter for a loop because I am paying cash.
This time I got efficient help. The guy at the desk by the consol games said they did not have it yet.
Fry’s, you have failed me! I did not pre-order this on Amazon.com because I just knew Fry’s would have it, and that they would have it at a better price. (Tuesday at Fry’s, new DVD releases, they beat the Amazon.com price every time, even with sales tax.)
Now it is Tuesday at lunch and I really do not know where else to go. I have no plan B. Fry’s has been so good on this in the past.
So I get in the car and start driving. I put on Massively Online Gamer episode 39 and start rolling towards El Camino Real, the main drag through the north end of the county, one of those streets that has one of everything and two or three of most things.
I was seriously afraid I was going to have to go to the CompUSA up the street from my house on the way home. I have a grudge against them at the moment since I had a bad customer service experience with them back in February. Plus they are always a week late on PC game releases.
So I turn up Wolf towards El Camino.
I make it over there and head north and am almost immediately rewarded by a brand new Best Buy store where there used to be an auto dealership.
As I pull into the parking lot, Ryan and Gary are talking about Best Buy on the podcast. Specifically, they are talking about guys lining up in anticipation of getting a Sony Playstation 3. Sure enough, there in front of the store are some tents and about 10 young guys in three distinct groups camping out.
I walk into this Best Buy. It is new. It has new store smell. I head for the PC Games. I find the aisle, I find the shelf, I find the spot, I find nothing. It isn’t on the shelf. Well, I asked for help once already today, I might as well ask for help again. Soon I will be asking strangers for directions.
The guy near games sends me up to the customer service desk. I am there with two other guys also looking for Echoes of Faydwer. Yes! I am not soloing this quest at least! There is demand. The customer service rep say they have it in stock, but it is still boxed up in the back. She sends somebody to grab us copies.
We get to talking up while we wait. One guy is in the Vanguard beta and tells us a bit about that. His summary sounds a bit like others I have heard: Looks like EQ 2.5, lots of zones are still unavailable, and Sigil has a lot of work to do on quests between now and the release date. (Apparently you cannot report quest bugs until you complete the quest, but most bugs keep you from completing the quest….)
The other guy has been in WoW like me, but a bunch of his friends are going back for EoF, so he is coming along. I told him about my trips into EverQuest to check out old Faydwer and some of my impressions from The Serpent’s Spine. We both moaned about character slots in EQ2. We both have 6 characters already and are bummed we have to go Station Access to get more.
I was tempted, but I did not plug the blog. I did, however, mention the VirginWorlds podcast.
Then our copies of the game showed up and I got one more surprise. Best Buy has a promotion that gets you a $10 Best Buy gift card when you purchase Echoes of Faydwer. So I ended up paying $43 with tax, but I have a $10 card for my next purchase.
Now I am set. I wonder how long it will take to install and update tonight.