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Category: Life

It’s Chestnut!

It’s Chestnut!

I’ve been going through a tough time in real life due to some things. It’s been affecting everything—my gaming, my blogging, my ability to adult. It’s why even though I have all these draft posts I’ve only barely made it through posting gaming goals, recently.

I finally word vomited about it to some folks because I just couldn’t hold it in anymore, and one of those folks made me a pic of my WildStar character just because.

Artwork by Deep Triviality (Patreon Page)

Doesn’t it look just like my main?

And she does have green eyes, I just don’t have a screenshot of that surprisingly.

I’ve always been a proponent of the fact that online friends are just as real, if not more so, than those you know locally. And the way folks have offered ears and shoulders and messages and distractions has been overwhelming and has helped to cheer me up and to keep me sane, and reinforce the view that online friends are just as real.

I’m still having a tough time, and there’s some things I need to work through, and things I need to do for myself, but having such an amazing support group of folks has helped so much.

Thank you again, Triviality, for the absolutely amazing artwork. I cherish it. I’ve already decided I’m going to get it printed and framed and put somewhere on the wall near my computer because I love it so very much, and it means so much to me.

Creative Blogger Award

Creative Blogger Award

Way back in February, the amazing Pizza Maid nominated me for the Creative Blogger Award. I had a draft post half written once I noticed it in early March (d’oh! I’m so bad at my feed reader sometimes!), but then forgot about it when work ramped up, and here we are!

Pizza is someone that I happened to meet thanks to the ever-present #BelEffect, and we kind of hit it off with our shared love of Sailor Moon. She has since introduced me to the rabbit hole that is the world of Otome, and here we are, chatting daily on Twitter about whatever floats our boat. She’s a wonderful person, and if you enjoy RP, anime, otome, and Final Fantasy XIV, she’s a great blogger to follow!!

So, what are the rules? I mean, all of these awards have rules, no?

  • Thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog. 
  • Share 5 facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 15 – 20 bloggers and add their links.
  • Notify the bloggers you included. 
  • Keep the rules in your post to make it easy for everyone to know what to do!
I dislike the “nominate double-digit people” thing, so I’m just going to casually nominate five folks at the end of this so this is more of a slow trickle effect rather than a waterfall. I really liked how Pizza answered the facts portion, and I hope to do some of the same, rather than just some random bullet points and calling it a day.

Fact 1: Repeat Recipient

I apparently got the creative blogger award last year, in April. At that time I was nominated by Murf. I find it extremely interesting how things find their way around the internet, and come full circle. I wonder if this nomination is still a go-around of the one I received last year, or when it first started, or if folks have just re-started it up because they could. Regardless, being nominated for these things is fun, and it helps to build community, and I love it.

Fact 2: Blog Move Imminent

So, surprise! This past February, marked six years of intermittent blogging. At some point, I dropped the blog for about a year or two (I can’t find the list of posts per month since starting that I had made…), but picked it up back in earnest in February of 2015 thanks to the ever-present #BelEffect (no, seriously). I had planned to move the blog to a self-hosted WordPress back in February, but finances didn’t quite line up the way I had intended. I was going to use it as a way to clean up my labels and categories and the like. I still plan on doing this, hopefully sometime next month when finances settle a little bit for a few months.

Fact 3: I Hate Moving

I do. Chaide got a new job at a better school, which is awesome, but means we’ll have to move again this summer. I’m so over moving. I hate moving. Not only because of all the packing and unpacking (which sucks) but because it also triggers my anxiety a bunch–all those things that have to be done, and the timelines that need to be followed… Which normally I’m fine with, but the fact that I have to settle into a new place… again… never feels good. It takes me months to feel “at home” after moving, and I was just starting to adjust to the apartment we moved into last summer. Ah well. At least wherever we move to next will be home for at least two years so we can save for a house…

Fact 4: I Really Love Visual Novels and Otome

I’d always been intrigued by Visual Novels, especially after a friend gifted Chaide Analogue: A Hate Story a few years ago. But I’d always heard that they were “casual” and “not actually games” and the like. So I held off from them. It wasn’t until I met Pizza and her friend Sushi, and played Hatoful Boyfriend thanks to Grace that I really decided it was a genre I wanted to explore more in-depth, and that the negative connotations associated with it were a load of crap. Granted, there are eroge and bishojo games that are still something I’m not too keen on pursuing–mainly because they usually lack story and are just fanservice. Maybe one day I’ll explore them a bit more… but I’ll need to get through a large backlog of VNs first!

Fact 5: The #BelEffect Helped Change My Life

Image from Tales of the Aggronaut

No, seriously. I’m not being facetious, or silly, or anything of the like. Things were going really crappily in WildStar at the time. I was the most depressed I had been in my life, and my anxiety was just as bad. I’d started therapy about six months prior, and it was starting to help, but shit hit the fan in my gaming world–which I was using as an escape from the shit going on in my real life. And I just couldn’t handle it anymore. I was contemplating leaving a hobby that I greatly enjoyed, and friends that I cherished because I didn’t know how to reconcile the two to relieve my anxiety and depression.

So I put out a call on Twitter, saying I needed a new home in FFXIV while I figured things out in WildStar. Bel answered that call, inviting me over to play on Cactuar with all of his friends, and I found myself in a circle of amazing people that he’s befriended, and some that Chaide and I have had the pleasure of befriending and hanging out with while we casually game our way through life. Having them as a sounding board and support system has been amazing, and I appreciate them so very much

The Nominations

Folks don’t need to feel pressured into doing this, but it’s something fun to do if they like!

Sunday Scale and Star Wars

Sunday Scale and Star Wars

Sunday Scale

Sandrian over at Aeternus Gaming is doing this personal challenge that she’s labeled Sunday Scale. What she’s doing is something I am also doing—weighing in on the first Sunday of every month and rewarding myself accordingly for hitting a goal. I found that weekly just doesn’t work for me and stresses me out and defeats the purpose of losing weight, so I was going to go down to once-a-month anyway. But, I felt that we could at least support each other, and hopefully make it a little bit easier!

I’m going to be super candid with you guys about this. First, this is a really tough topic to handle. I am overweight. I know I am. It’s something I struggle with thanks to various heath conditions. But there are so many reasons that I want to lose it, and I’m going to make myself do it. My current weight isn’t a pretty number.

I’ve tried various fad diets and programs and have done pretty much everything that “the experts” tell you to do. But it doesn’t always work for everybody. And for now, I’m going with what I can do both realistically and emotionally.

My goal is to lose 4 pounds a month. That averages a pound a week if I do it right. That’s a pretty healthy and steady weight loss that any doctor would be happy about. Something that Chaide has been trying to get me to do is to get clothes that flatter me better and make me feel better about myself (in hopes of boosting my self-confidence and therefore my moods, which will in turn make it a little easier to lose more weight). So, I’m going to do it. Monthly, I will buy an item I want from my wishlist over at ModCloth. If I meet my goal, I will allow myself to get a second item of clothing (or an accessory, pair of shoes, etc.).

The stipulation to this is that I need to clean out my current clothes collection (no more keeping three boxes of “it might fit someday!” clothes). I’m allowed to keep certain things—costumes, items that are a family heirloom, very-well made/name brand clothes I picked up (like two name-brand dresses I picked up at Goodwill for a great price). Same goes for jewelry, handbags, shoes, etc. If I want to buy that second item as not a piece of clothing, then I need to be sure that everything else is purged.

I think it’s a fair compromise and reward system, no? I’m still rewarding myself for doing my best (and filling out my professional wardrobe which is severely lacking), and if I hit my goal, I get something extra.

Star Wars: The Podcast Awakens

I told you guys I’d keep you in the loop when the next episodes of Wildcast come out. Well, the next episode is out! And it has absolutely nothing to do with WildStar at all!

Avid put this image together. Isn’t it awesome?!

Avid has a friend in the 501st Legion who joined us for this episode, and Behalter put together the awesome intro. We talk spoilers galore, so you’ve been warned. And I delve into my theory on Phasma, which I hope is true to a degree (at least!)! Like so many others, I am so pumped for the next installment, and I want to go see it again. I’m also super excited for Rogue One. I just hope that the momentum generated within this story can keep itself going with the director changes, but I have high hopes for Episode 8.

Other Bits

I’ve also picked up some writing over at MMOGames.com, so that is part of the silence over here. I’m also still writing for QueueTimes (you can actually expect some of my Let’s Play videos of Shadowrun Returns later this week over there!), and catching up with Blogs of Nexus over at WildStar Datacube, now that I have finally conquered my sinus infection!

Work has been seriously busy as well, and with the changes to where cubes are now located and the new open floor plan (bleh), it has become much less efficient to blog during my lunch hour, so I’ll need to figure something out. Possibly writing in a Google Doc? Come February it will be a little bit easier. Chaide and I had a deal that if I could keep blogging semi-regularly for a year I could purchase a domain and some space and get a self-hosted WordPress. So there will be that come February where there will be a blogging lull to get everything off of Blogger and onto WP, etc.

I also ordered a Plum Paper Planner (I’ll probably be that weird person and write a first impressions post!) that I’m expecting at the end of the month to help me schedule my time a little bit better with all of these obligations, plus trying to fit in a bit of exercise every day. The good thing about moving offices is that where I’m at now has an easy way to walk around the building to track exactly a mile, so I can do a quick half mile in the morning, and a half mile before I leave sort of thing. Small doses, y’know?

It really does feel good to blog, so I’m hoping to keep up with it a little bit more now that I’ve gotten over the “I should write something…” mood.

Friendships in Gaming

Friendships in Gaming

In Remembrance

The past three years, December 5th has been a bit of a tough day. One of the people I hold in the highest esteem from my days in EVE Online passed away due to cancer, and his birthday is always a tough day (granted, it doesn’t help when Facebook goes “HEY! Wish your friend a Happy Birthday!”). We knew he was sick, and going in for surgery for unrelated issues, and we knew he had cancer, but it grabbed him hard and fast without much time for treatment.

Thulle was one of those guys who is gruff and off-putting at first encounter. An asshole, if you will. But that was a mask hiding the great big ol’ Teddy Bear he didn’t want you to see underneath–at least for the people he made a connection with. Chaide and I were lucky enough to be folks that he did make a connection with.

We’d spend hours in EVE not doing much outside of chatting in TeamSpeak and waiting to do whatever it was we were going to do for the time we were online. And you really get to know someone when you spend that much time with them. I won’t inundate you with stories, but I have a lot of them of how he helped me better understand combat. How he would skirmish with me to help me get a better grasp of things. How he would take the time to help me put together ships based on load outs that wouldn’t cost me my firstborn child. Lots of stories, and lots of laughter. And I miss him on a daily basis.

We had invited him to our wedding in July 2013, but he was going in for some surgery at that point, and wouldn’t be able to make it to the shindig. Little did we know it was one of the last times we’d get to chat with him.

“Yes, but he was an internet “friend”!” you exclaim. Yes, he was. But that doesn’t mean that the friendship we’d forged is any less than someone I would see on a daily basis.

Friendship is Friendship

Gamers, particularly MMO Gamers, spend hours upon hours daily, weekly, and monthly with the same group of people. Day in and day out. These are the people you tell about your work days, the big milestones in your life, and more.

These are the people you invite to your wedding because you’ve spent so much time with them. To hell if you’ve never met them “in real life”! They’ve been there for you for so long that they’re family.

The relationships you make online, and the friendships that come from these are things to be cherished. And they are just as real as the friendships you have offline–if, arguably, not more so.

So to Thulle–thank you for showing me that the friendships we forge online reach beyond that. And fly safe, dude. Drink a beer up there for us. o7

New GPU Meets Garuda

New GPU Meets Garuda

This post is a part of #IntPiPoMo! You can find out more, and sign up at this link.

New Graphics Card

Here’s the stats. What is priority upgrades? We can’t do everything at once. Thoughts, IT folks? pic.twitter.com/7EDJkOpn7F

— Chestnut’s Roasting (@ggchestnut) November 19, 2015

#IntPiPoMo 33/50 (Hey, I took the screenshot! :P)

Chaide and I have been searching as to how to beef up our computers. Not too long ago, I posted on Twitter asking for advice, as well as within a group of friends whose opinions I regard highly. We ended up deciding to get the NVIDIA GTX 960 for each of us, and the boxes themselves looked super sexy.

#IntPiPoMo 34/50

Chaide wanted to use my computer as the “dummy” computer to try putting it together first, so I unplugged it all, and he started working on installing the new card. I had to make a run to the store to obtain some compressed air. The insides weren’t too groady, but since we had them open, we figured it was best to blow them out.

Oh man, when we opened the cards up we were kind of awestruck, and we both commented on “how huge” the graphics card itself was. Now, for those with newer cards, you’re shaking your head and going, “Of course it’s that big. How could you think otherwise?” Well, we were replacing cards we’d gotten at least three years ago.

Old card on the bottom. New card on the top. Troll cat for scale. pic.twitter.com/mORnyZNLFX

— Chestnut’s Roasting (@ggchestnut) November 28, 2015

#IntPiPoMo 35/50
So yeah, there’s that. But I’m excited at how awesome everything looks on the new cards!

Kaijo Diablo

So every time we get an NVIDIA card, there’s always some sort of deal going on. I mean, we don’t get the cards for the deals, so they’re a nice bonus. This time, the deal was a Kaijo Diablo bundle–we get both the Hero and the skin with the card.

#IntPiPoMo 36-37/50

Which makes us obviously download and want to play the game. So we’re going to give it a try, and have someone willing to help us get a Cho’gall each to play with, which is also super cool. The only problem?

@NVIDIAGeForce @nvidia Bought two GTX960 and trying to redeem second UNCLAIMED code, and getting this error message pic.twitter.com/mpNZDenfrB

— Chestnut’s Roasting (@ggchestnut) November 28, 2015

#IntPiPoMo 38/50

Uh huh. Sooooo I’m waiting impatiently to hear back from NVIDIA on what the fuck is going on.

Garuda

But after installing the cards, we hopped into various games, and spent a large chunk of time leveling and working through the MSQ in XIV. I have a lot of posts half-written about the story that I’ll get to posting at some point, but I really wanted to share the new and pretty screenshots we got last night of everything!

THERE ARE SPOILERS, so b’ware if you’re not into the level 42-ish MSQ yet!!

These pictures are #IntPiPoMo 39-81/50.

… Really?! … C’moooooon.

Wait, what? He’s a Garlean? And I didn’t know every Garlean had a third eye… though that explains some design choices, now.

Flashback time!

Oh shit. So his Dad is the one that caused the Reckoning or whatever it’s called? OHSHIT. And I need to know more about this Gaius and why he decided to take Cid under his wing…
They’re baaaaaaaack!

Hold the phone. Is there something I’m missing here? How did I give him the goggles? Am I a time-traveler? Did the Echo use my likeness so he would be more willing to help me later on? What’s going on here…

This fight was ridiculously fun!! We died a few times until we figured out spells and such (like that cast she does without a telegraph? That threw me off…). But I really loved how much more difficult it was. Though now that we know what to do, I’m sure we’d smash her to pieces in one go.

Talk about a literal “death glare”! Time to pull your soul out of your chest, lady!

OHSHITOHSHITOHSHITNOWAIOHSHITOHSHIT!

WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATTTTTTTTTT? oshitoshitoshit!

AHHHHH! I need more story! GIMME GIMME!

Tonight’s plans, assuming I don’t fill a missing spot in raid in WildStar, is to work on our hunting logs and try to unlock Dzemael Darkhold. We just need to bump our rep up two more notches in the Grand Company, so we’re going to work on our logs a bit. That way we can run the dungeon to bump up our EXP fast so that we can continue with the story. Ohhh man, it got good again!! I pretty much sat there slack-jawed as I watched and listened. I’m so excited to get to 50 and work my way through the patch stories!

WildStar Casual Friday with Steven Engle for PVP

WildStar Casual Friday with Steven Engle for PVP

A Forward

So I wrote most of this last Friday (the 16th) but never finished it, as I started feeling under the weather. It was originally going to be posted over at QueueTimes, but I don’t feel it’s timely, now, especially since Notes from Nexus also put out a summary of the stream with Meerkat, and there was a second stream Monday with Caydiem on Shade’s Eve (which I slept through because I’ve been fighting an evil cold). And today there was a new Casual Friday stream.

However, since it was mostly written, I wanted to post it. So I’m posting it here. Hopefully folks’ll get some use out of it. And if not, eh. It’s my blog, and I want to post it. So there. Silly illnesses interfering with hobbies.

The Article

“I love scumbagging people.” – Steven “Meerkat” Engle, October 16, 2015 

The focus of Friday’s show, according to DD, was to get “Steven killed in PVP repeatedly”. Steve had a lower level character he wanted to level some through PVP, so logged into a level seven spellslinger that he hadn’t played since the F2P launch, and commented that he was “really going to get pummelled”.

DD and Steven briefly reminded Twitch viewers that it was a double Prestige weekend from the 15th to the 18th of October, and that is why they were doing PVP on the stream. In Steve’s first match, he got the first death, which was a suicide. He exclaimed, “I prevented them from having the satisfaction of killing me!”

The questions started rolling in, and included the following:

Q: How balanced do you feel PVP is right now?
A: Steve thinks that they’ve struck up a good balance in PVP. There’s still a few classes that could use a little bit of work because they may be a bit too bursty, and there’s thoughts that healing is still a little on the odd side because players run out of focus so quickly before they get geared. However, after getting gear, players think that healers may be a little bit too OP.

Q: Are there any plans on an account-wide option for cash shop purchases?
A: It was discussed that there are plans, but they’re unsure when it will happen. The team is currently assessing how things are moving in regards to the cash shop, and then they will address that feedback as they move further into F2P.

Q: Steven, what’s your favorite class to play in PVP and why?
A: Steven immediately answered Engineer, because “I worked on it!”. He said it was the most fun for him because he liked the mechanics behind it. He likes the 30-70 In the Zone idea, dodge rolling, and he mentioned he kind of needs to constantly being able to do stuff and that the Engineer plays well with this mentality. He commented that, “constant jumping around and doing stuff is my thing.”

Q: How much PVP gear does a Stalker tank need before they feel like a tank?
A: Steven explained it was a combination of appropriate iLvl gear and then on top of the gear you want to build defensive stats as well via your LAS and AMPs (which we learned stands for Advanced Modification Protocols). He also suggested checking out the forums because there are some, “awesome community members” to help players overcome adversity in certain circumstances.

Q: How easy is to start obtaining Season 2 gear?
A: All a player needs is Prestige, so you can run battlegrounds (and do contracts) to get Prestige. The Reward Bags are full of things that will help out towards getting that, and it’s “pretty quick”. Steven continued that most of the Season 2 gear was roughly in the 2k Prestige range for purchasing, so it was pretty easy to get into. The big parts of PVP gear and improvements are filling it up with runes. He also added that class rune sets are available out of PVP bags.

Q: Can one level though PVP?
A: Steven said that you can level exclusively through PVP to level 50. His team is very interested in PVP, and while they do enjoy the PVE content, they enjoy “just melting face” and have leveled almost exclusively that way.

Q: When you get a higher rating in arena, will there be rewards other than just the hoverboard?
A: Steven mentioned that he and TT (Time Travel) have been discussing what they are going to do for Season 2 and 3 in regards to what’s going to happen, and the reward structure. Season 2 rating allows access to costumes you can purchase. Gear progression has been replaced with the costumes because developers felt that, “just because you’re better at the game shouldn’t make you better again,” and that your “skill should speak for itself”.

Q: Will there be smaller group battlegrounds?
A: Steven commented that it isn’t int he plan right now, as there are 5v5 arenas that fit into that niche, but if it makes sense later on, they may look into it.

Q: Are there plans for any Warplot special rewards?
A: It was mentioned that Time Travel is the one that owns Warplots, so he’d be the one to ask. Steven knows that TT wants to do things with Warplots, but he himself doesn’t know when any of TT’s changes may come.

Q: Why the PVP? Why can’t we all just get along?
A: DD exclaimed,  “We can’t get along!” Both DD and Steven came up with an analogy, describe it as being like a gladiator: you have to have that release! You have to hit someone with a sword, or shoot them with a gun.

Q: What is stronger–higher tier PVP gear or the highest tier crafted gear?
A: Steven mentioned that it depends on the situation. PVP gear is by far the best in instanced PVP, however, in open world PVP it’ll be much closer and you might do some mixing and matching depending on where you are.

Q: Does the Halloween event have any PVP aspects to it?
A: DD chimed in that she doesn’t believe there are any PVP aspects tot he event, but that you can look cool in PVP from the stuff you can get from the event.

Q: Are there going to be more cosmetic rewards? It’s easy to get Season 2 PVP gear and only have to spend Prestige on Rune crafting stuff.
A: There will be rating gated cosmetics coming, “I believe Soon™”. These items haven’t been put up yet because Season 2 hasn’t started.

Q: Why are armor and stats shared despite gear being light, medium, or heavy?
A: Steven said that armor is proportional to armor-type, but it was intentionally done to keep people on even ground so developers know where base power and surviabilty is at and to put how you (the player) play(s) in a more important role, such as runing or your LAS.

Q: Does PVP really seem balanced? Some classes seem more OP!
A: It was mentioned that it is always an ongoing process, but generally, if there is something that seems really strong, there is usually a counter out there that someone has figured out. Sometimes that counter isn’t always the most fun to play at the time. Steven elaborated that nobody wants to dig their heels in and stick it out with those counter plays, but sometimes it’s the only way at the time. The developers will, however, address things if they become an issue.

Q: Can we obtain PVP trophies in the form of decor?
A: Steven said that the developers have talked about that, and might have been a Hildogen idea, so he might be able to talk about it, but there were definitely ideas around it just nothing definitive.

Q: Are there plans to adjust matchmaking so low-rated/ new players aren’t going against veterans?
A: Matchmaking will be receiving a couple of fixes, but generally in rated the system tries to match on personal rating which isn’t really seen (it’s something on the back end). The system tries to match based on that, however there were some bugs found that they’re trying to address so matchmaking should get better soon.

Q: Is there a World PVP Zone/Map in the works?
A: There is not currently a world pvp zone in the works. The developers are concentrating on getting instanced PVP in a really good state first and foremost, and after that there are people that want to work on world objectives. It just happens to be on the backburner right now. There are things like Warplots that the developers want to get to a better spot, first.

Q: Will premades get their own queues so they don’t smash PUGs?
A: Steven provided an “unpopular answer”–not right now. It would be splitting up the population, making it “un-fun” for one group or the other.

Q: What is the biggest challenge you see with PVP?
A: Steven shared that it is generally trying to keep everything in line with the vision of the classes and how they perform in PVE, while still keeping a relative balance in PVP. Classes like Spellslingers and Stalkers, for example, are complained about for burstiness in PVP which is a pain, and on the flipside, it works well in PVE content.

Q: Which PVP game do you want to see in WildStar?
A: Steven really wants to see a death match! “Last man (or woman) standing!”

Q: Will we get flying mounts?
A: DD let us know it was a thing a long time ago and it got axed, because we have teleporters and quick travel methods.

Q: Will we get space battles between Exiles and Dominion for PVP?
A: Steven said it was kind of a Pappy question, because he himself was unsure if there were space battles in the lore. He commented that if the developers ever do implement something like that, it’s going to be Him versus Pappy in a Space Battle and he (Steven) will crush Pappy.

Q: Are there any plans for more quests for PVP at Elder Game for rewards?
A: DD and Steven commented that it is probably something they will look into it for leveling up, because it’s something that’s currently lacking in the area as-is. The developers as a whole are trying to tweak numbers on experience to make PVP feel better for leveling and that might help.

DD asked Steven for any last thoughts he wanted to leave us with, or fun things he’s working on that he can talk about. Steven replied that he’s excited for the updates to stalker tank, and is excited about getting them in better spot for PVE. He’s also excited about the future of arenas and creating an award system which he “can’t quite talk about yet”.

Gaming Goals Review: September

Gaming Goals Review: September

I started this back in June 2015, and have been keeping up with it this past month. I reduced my goals the past few months due to real life, and I think I started getting things to a reasonable goal list. But, we’ll see in a moment.

WildStar Goals

Chestnut

  • Do some more contracts in general (PvP and/or PvE) Check!
  • Reach max reputation in either Crimson Badlands or Northern Wastes
  • Work on completing my AMP (55) and AP (48) points
  • Record and put up at least one Yardcore Nexus
  • Down Phagemaw (GA)
  • Complete all achievements in either Celestion or Algoroc
  • Obtain two new mini-pets! Pet 1/Pet 2
  • Check to see what my plushie collection looks like (Make a list of what I’m missing)

Bauxyte

  • Reach level 32

FFXIV Goals

Cactuar

  • Reach level 20 MIN
  • Reach 15 GLD Check!

Lamia

  • Reach level 15 ARC
  • Run a dungeon with Chaide and Tal

SWTOR Goals

TSW

  • Finish Blue Mountains
  • Run Hell (dungeon)
  • Put up first LP video!
So, okay. I feel overall that I did pretty damned awesome considering how much playtime (or lack thereof) I had during September. Also how much I finished despite the fact that I had some serious Guild Master-ing to do in WildStar. 
But let’s take a look one by one. WildStar goals were definitely a little more than I could handle. I have been making a conscious effort to check the Contracts board and do them as I go around doing other things in the game–especially dailies. Speaking of dailies, I’m only one more day of dailies away from completing Northern Wastes, so I’m counting it as completed. So ha! 
I haven’t picked up anymore AMP/AP yet, but I do have enough Elder Gems to at least pick up one, and close to a second. Apparently, the Elder Gem cap got upped, which will help a lot! But, it’ll cut into my gold funds. I recorded one last Yardcore before F2P dropped, and am in the process of editing it. These are going to have to take a hiatus, not for lack of my wanting to create them, but for all the folks I’d have toured with redoing their plots with them becoming larger by default.
I also completed my Algoroc achievements, and obtained some new mini-pets. And after F2P, I’m rolling in even more, but more on that later. I never got around to my plushies list as it wasn’t a high priority, so it’ll probably go off the list for a while until I feel like I’ve a little more free time.
I reached 22 Gladiator this past weekend in FFXIV, so I’m counting that I hit 15 as a part of my FFXIV goals, even if it might have been Oct 1st rather than the 30th. I haven’t logged into Lamia in a long time, mainly due to the lack of game time, and wanting to play with the large number of folk that have rolled up on Cactuar to play with us.
I did pretty well in SWTOR, and am hoping to get Jadz’iaa up this month. As for TSW, we got to play some, but technical issues and lack of free time has prevented a lot of the goals I’ve had for there. That list will probably stay, however.
Check back tomorrow when I decide what the heck I want to work on for the month of October, especially since we’ll have D&D, a Vampire LARP, two concerts (Meg Myers and Rasputina) and other various sundry real life obligations.
I Regret Nothing

I Regret Nothing

This is post 31 of 31 for the Blaugust event. To check out more Blaugust posts and see all the fabulous people that participated this year, visit the Blaugust Nook!
Today is the last day of Blaugust. What does this mean? That myself and a bunch of other folks have put in a lot of time and effort into trying to blog daily (or at least post 31 times during the month if we couldn’t make it daily)!
Going into Blaugust, I thought I’d have a fairly easy time since I was blogging three to four times a week to begin with. What’s adding on a few more days that only need to be 250 words at least, right? Well, I learned very quickly that I don’t work very well like that. Due to real world (and some digital) obligations, posts had to sit by the wayside.
A move and bad luck hit me at the beginning of the month, followed by about two solid weeks of “overtime” (it’s not overtime when you’re salaried…), and hitting real-life burnout to the point of physical and emotional health issues surfacing. But I was able to rearrange time, and even carve some out when I didn’t think I’d have any.
I learned a lot from this endeavor. First and foremost that a daily format is not something that I can guarantee as a commitment. It’s something I’d like to aim to try to do my best at, but it’s not feasible to say it will happen with all of my prior obligations. And honestly, sometimes I really don’t have anything to write about other than, “I worked today, and then we cleared bosses in raid we’ve cleared before. The End.”.
I did learn how to utilize my draft posts, and how to keep them better organized. I’m a person that writes bits of ideas and such in my draft posts area so that they’re all together, but they’re usually untitled and just a jumble of ideas and words. I learned very quickly to pre-label and upload pictures ahead of time, even if I wasn’t going to use them all, to make it easier to create a final post from the jumble of a draft that I had going.
I also came to accept that bouncing off of ideas posted by the blogging community is not bad, even if it’s not much original thought from my end. It can be just as great to acknowledge the person(s) involved in the topic-at-hand, thank them for their time and thoughts, and then throw one or two in. It keeps the writing flowing, and it’s a great way to show link-love rather than just saying, “Here, go check them out. The End.”. It also helps foster a community of bloggers.
And last, but certainly not least, I reinforced how much time and effort go into endeavors like this on the creator’s end. I’m no stranger to running community events. If you’re in WildStar, you know this to be true. But I’ve always seen those as easier to manage, or whatever, than something on this scale. The events I run are one-shots, mainly. This is an effort that took an entire month on Bel‘s end–and he’s super amazing for doing it. 
So thanks, Bel, for encouraging all of us to participate in this craziness with you. I’m sure you’re glad it’s The End.
TGTCML, Part 3

TGTCML, Part 3

This is post 25 of 31 for the Blaugust event. To check out more Blaugust posts and sign up to participate, visit the Blaugust Nook!

Aywren, one of the Blaugust participants, posed an impromptu writing prompt on her blog asking:

Do you have a game you feel changed your life? Blaugust about it!

This post is part three of this journey. You can view part one and part two at your leisure.

In the last post, I talked about WoW, and how I discovered it. The last part I detailed was moving over to Llane to play with some friends from college who were more laid-back and not raid-focused.

I had recently moved to Georgia for graduate school, which was a result of various circumstances both in real life and in my game life. Some of the friends I had made, that I was close to at the time, over on Ravenholdt lived in Georgia, so I felt that I had a bit of a support network available through them if I got into the graduate school I wanted.

Things worked out a little differently than I wanted. I got into grad school, but I ended up drifting away from those friends for various and sundry reasons. Sometimes friends aren’t meant to stay in your life forever, as much as you would like certain ones to. I was also at a fluid time in my life, being out on my own for the first time, and needing to explore myself and all that jazz. I kind of hit that spot in my life a little later than most people who start hitting it as soon as they start their undergraduate degrees (or earlier).

So, because things ended up differently, I started up a character on Llane to play with my friends. Soon after, however, I ended up meeting Chaide online. I don’t know if I’ve ever talked about how we met. It was on a dating site. We’d chatted for a few weeks online, when we decided that it would be neat to meet up at a restaurant for some coffee.

At the time, things weren’t very good–my depression and anxiety were off the charts, I was away from my family whom I missed dearly, and had never been so far away from before, I had no support system in the area, and no friends to speak of despite trying to join various groups to hang out with. I even had half of my stuff packed up, thinking I would quit graduate school and move home with my parents.

I didn’t do any of that, though. I found Chaide. We were both into gaming, and he had just started up his WoW account again. We talked for hours about gaming and various geeky things. And we hit it off. Some of our first dates were leveling our druids together. In fact, we both remember one of our first dates being sitting at a coffee shop together with our laptops out, and running around Mulgore for the Easter event.

I don’t think I’d have met Chaide without WoW, quite honestly, Despite all the crap I was going through during my time playing the game, it was worth it because I had the courage to go to graduate school away from my family.

So, yeah. WoW changed my life. I met my amazing husband because of it. And even if we don’t play anymore, we still have a lot of great memories that go with it.

Burnout, Real Life Edition

Burnout, Real Life Edition

This is post 17 of 31 for the Blaugust event. To check out more Blaugust posts and sign up to participate, visit the Blaugust Nook!

We’ve all experienced burnout before in games. We play it so much that we just get drained and are over the game, so we move onto something else. And I’m sure folks have experienced this to a degree in real life–work gets overwhelming, or you’re just extremely busy with other obligations and you get tired and drained.

But did you know it can actually cause harm to you physically and emotionally? Burnout isn’t just something that we think of as “overworked”. Burnout is considered a psychological disorder as a part of the DSM-5, and is, according to various recent research, probably a form of depression.

(Granted, I feel there’s some over-diagnoses going on in mental health as a whole (EVERYTHING IS A DISORDER! WHEEEE!), but that is neither here nor there, and I do recognize that there are some disorders and diagnoses that are tried-and-true, as it were, as I do suffer from some of my own mental health problems.)

How does this relate to depression and burnout and gaming? Well, let me tell you.

If you didn’t know, I suffer from depression/anxiety issues, and as of late, I’ve felt completely overwhelmed in my personal and work life. And not just “oh man, work was busy” (thought it has been). I’m completely and utterly drained. I’ve been on “Energizer Bunny” setting since we moved at the end of July. Considering it is the end of August, that’s a whole month.

And it is definitely something that’s been affecting me in many ways. Not only has my depression and anxiety gotten worse, but my value systems have changed (prioritizing everything else above my own needs is a big one), I’ve been neglecting myself (not just hobbies and the like, but emotional and physical health and well-being), I’ve withdrawn, felt like a shell of myself, and just generally experienced extreme symptoms of depression like being constantly tired, overeating, etc. It’s gotten to the point where it’s extremely difficult to concentrate on anything, including gaming and blogging.

I’m sure most of my friends didn’t notice. Aside from maybe being sparser than usual, and not spending a lot of time in TeamSpeak or multi-player games overall.

For those who have never suffered depression, consider yourself lucky. Trying to dig yourself out of a hole like that is extremely difficult. At least, it usually is. The hard part for me was talking about it, and addressing it. But once I told Chaide about how I was feeling, I started to feel a little bit better. I could see the sun’s rays through the clouds, so to speak. What’s helped me the most, though, was getting permission to turn off Energizer mode. Once I had that permission, it was like I was able to move past a lot of my stress and start taking care of me.

As of today I’m feeling a whole lot better. I’m still trying to take care of me, but I feel like I can better balance my obligations and the like. It helps a little to talk about it, too. Burnout is real. And not just “I’m tired of games” burnout. Real-life burnout is vicious. But it’s not something one has to struggle with.

Mental Health Awareness Month was back in May, but it is always relevant to say that if you ever feel unlike yourself for whatever reason, know that there are others in the same position, and that it is not a sign of weakness (or whatever negative attribute that has been attached to it) to search for help, or even just to talk to another person about it.