I called in sick today. I was not (and am not) all that sick. I was extraordinarily tired when I woke up this morning, despite getting a usual amount of sleep, and my stomach hurt. (It had been bothering me more yesterday; no idea what it was. Possibly the reheated pizza I had for breakfast Sunday.) I've gone to work feeling much worse.
But I mentally reviewed what I had to do today, and realized there was nothing important on the list that other people could not do equally well. For the first time in years, I feel eminently dispensable at work. I'm not sure if I should work on doing something about that or not.
I've spent most of my "sick day" sleeping. Given that I did need another four hours of sleep, and was somewhat groggy most of the time I was awake, it's probably just as well that I didn't go in.
A little over a week ago, I'd gotten my City of Heroes character on the Virtue server up to 8th level. Then I stopped playing CoH for a week, mostly from lack of interest. I played with some new character designs, 'cause, you know, that's the most fun part. (Lt.Warhound: "And that's why there won't be an offline costume generator!" because then you wouldn't have to pay the susbscription fee to be able to generate costumes whenever you wanted). I played with a few of them solo, to get a better feel for how the game worked. Tagging along behind Lut like a kite's tail can be fun, but it means I wind up feeling lost and disoriented rather quickly.
Lut has a partner he's fond of working with on his super group's server, Pinnacle. Lut plays a blaster there and his friend is a scrapper, and they have few problems working as a two-man team. But Lut thought that a healer/controller would cover their few weaknesses as a team nicely. So I designed a tabby-cat costume for Pinnacle, wearing thigh-high boots. At first, I was going to name her Puss 'n Boots, but I decided that was too long to type. (You need to type names a lot to send tells to others, so a short, easy-to-spell name is a kindness to your friends.) She's Tabitha instead. (Tabby was taken).
I played her for a bit by myself, getting her up to 7th. Then Lut took Tabitha and his friend out to do a difficult mission that neither one of them was sure they'd succeed at -- even if they'd had a healer/controller of their own level. They were both 20th at the time.
His friend took Tabitha on as a "sidekick", which meant that, while she was within range of him, she fought as if she had were 19th. This affected her ability to hit targets, deliver damage, avoid damage, and heal targets. It did not give her the additional powers she would have gotten if she'd actually been 19th, or some of the other (more complicated to explain) benefits of having your level be higher. I hadn't heard of anyone using sidekick to substantially increase the level of another player, and I wasn't sure how well it would work.
As it turned out, it worked fine. We had a rough time with the end boss, but managed to squeak out a victory. It was so much fun that we decided to reset the mission rather than completing it, so we could do it again. (Whee!) By then, I'd made 8th level. I picked up another healing power with my new level, and this made the second fight with the boss much easier.
All of this makes me a lot happier with the game. There are still some decided disadvantages to being a lot lower level than my friends. (For example, the area we needed to get to for the mission was dangerous for my friends, and much too dangerous for Tabitha to run through on foot. Lut had to bring on his teleporter to port her in.)
But it means that it's quite feasible for me to hop on now and again and play with friends who play a lot more often than I do.
Ironically, this makes me a lot more inclined to level up my current characters. :)
But for right now, I think I'll got do some writing on Prophecy.