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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?

— 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.

— 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

— 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.


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!



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


  • 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)


  • Reach level 32



  • Reach level 20 MIN
  • Reach 15 GLD Check!


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



  • 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.

Bleeder of the Pack

Bleeder of the Pack

This is post 15 of 31 for the Blaugust event. To check out more Blaugust posts and sign up to participate, visit the Blaugust Nook!
The Salt Strands in FFXIV over near Lamia.

I’ve been on kind of a screenshot kick, lately. This one I took while I was working on my Marauder quest, Bleeder of the Pack. I’ve been posting all these screenshots mainly because I’m trying to catch up on Blaugust posts (don’t judge!). But also because life has been so busy, as of late.

I haven’t been getting in as much gaming as I’ve wanted to, and it’s wearing on me. The last time I hopped into Final Fantasy was over on Lamia back at the end of July (before the move). And it wasn’t for very long. About a week before that was the last time I played on Cactuar. In fact, as of today, it’s been a month since I logged in on Cactuar.

But, I haven’t logged onto Cactuar because I’m feeling a tad stuck with real life. Plus, I really want to get to 30, and I can’t do that without Chaide because we play together on those classes. I suppose I could login and do some farming this weekend. Just some fishing while I work on chores, or watch some Netflix. Or put together my character sheet for our new D&D game that starts this weekend.

Or even putting together videos. Videos are something I’ve also wanted to do a lot of this month, but haven’t had the time to.

So, there we have it. I resolve to hop into Cactuar this weekend, even for an hour or two, just so I can work on some professions. If I recall, I think I even put Mining on my list of goals for August. So there! Motivation! And a goal! I’m feeling better and less stressed already!

TGTCML, Part 2

TGTCML, Part 2

This is post 13 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 two of this journey. You can view part one at your leisure.

Down the rabbit hole.

In 2007, I transferred from a State college to a Private college for various reasons. I’d been poked about playing World of Warcraft by some of my friends from the state college, but I never really felt any real connection with those friends. I guess you could call them just folks I sort of hung out with between classes rather than had any connection with and spoke with outside of school.

It wasn’t until I made some friends at my new college that I decided to bite the bullet. Just as I started that school year in 2007, I picked up World of Warcraft. I was watching one of my friends play out in Outlands, and decided it’d be fun to roll up a character and try. He gave me a free trial card, and the rest is kind of history, in a way, I guess.

I wrote a post a while ago detailing my first few days of WoW. I started on Detheroc (Horde), but then moved to Dalaran (Alliance) to play with the majority of my college friends. I had so much fun leveling and healing in Karazhan. It was a great way to get closer with my circle of friends in real life, and meet some new ones online. At one point, I decided to roll an alt (Horde) with an online friend over on Ravenholdt. I started raiding on both servers at the same time.

Just as I started grad school, I switched servers again (Llane, Horde) to be a “more laid back” player with some friends I kept in touch with from my undergrad that played but weren’t over with the folks I was raiding with. Things progressed there, but I think that’s another story for another time.

But, I can say, that during this time of my life I was going through a lot of changes. And WoW, as silly as it may sound, was a way to keep me sane, and help me through a lot of emotional distress I was experiencing. The friends I made through WoW at this point in my life helped to define my future self, and the choices I made. For instance, deciding to move to Georgia to attend graduate school.

The Game That Changed My Life (TGTCML)

The Game That Changed My Life (TGTCML)

This is post 6 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!

Contrary to how I view gaming now, gaming was not a big part of my life growing up–I classified myself more as a geek and nerd than anything (and I still do, don’t get me wrong). But it’s not like I didn’t game, either.

As I’ve mentioned before, it’s not like gaming wasn’t a part of my life growing up. I played Berenstain Bears on 8-inch floppy while in pre-school. I was one of the first kids with a computer in school. But while gaming was something I did, it wasn’t as big a defining part of my life.

I loved to game–I played Pokemon on my gameboy; I played Mario Kart on our N64; I purchased a PS2 to try out various games… but they weren’t the only thing I did.

What girl growing up being born in the 80s didn’t want to marry Jareth?

As a kid, I mostly read. And if I wasn’t reading, I was watching a fantasy or sci-fi movie (that wasn’t too scary). And when I wasn’t watching a movie, I was out in our back yard, pretending to be in the fantasy world–whether it be near the trees or in the pool. I mostly saved video games for when I was out with my parents and bored, or when we had friends over. Sometimes my brother and I were allowed to play the N64 together, but it wasn’t very often. Looking back on it, my parents were pretty strict with monitoring our play time as kids (not that it bothered us much as we had other outlets).

As a teen, while I played more games on the PS2, and kept playing on the N64/Gameboy video gaming was not a defining factor of my life. Again, I was a big reader. I was also very involved in my high school–I was in musicals, and plays, and band, and choir. I even wrote for the school newspaper for two years. I was in lots of clubs, and was involved in community theatre during the summer, as well as working various summer jobs.

My favorite Sailor Moon villain.

While I spent a lot of time online, it was mainly writing fan fiction (primarily song-fics), or working on a Sailor Moon Villains website (I was kind of obsessed–and I still am!), or creating dolls (you remember those–they were pixel models without hair or clothes or sometimes eyes, and you had to digitally add everything), or designing websites for fun, or lots and lots of chatroom RP.

It wasn’t until I hit college in 2005 that I really started to get into gaming. I joined some clubs and started using my PS2 more. I started playing more games with my (now) best friend, and we would have girl-nights where we’d play games, watch movies or anime, and binge on pizza. Despite this, no one game caught my interest as something that would keep me gaming consistently. When we gamed, it was mainly multi-player games, and if they weren’t multi-player, we’d take turns when one of us died. While I remember having fun with all of them, none of them quite left an impression on me.

When I transferred to a different college in 2007, I discovered World of Warcraft. And that is a story of it’s own. So look for Part 2 later!

First X-89

First X-89

This is post 4 of 31 for the Blaugust event. To check out more Blaugust posts and sign up to participate, visit the Blaugust Nook!

On Tuesday night, it was raid night! We usually do Tuesdays as a trash farm night to help folks newly attuned get in on some gear, and try out X-89 for the first time, as we usually don’t get him down. We went in and steamrolled the first two mini bosses. We were on fire! And then we wiped on a pack of corrupted Dawngrazers. It was actually kind of funny that we wiped on trash just before the last mini boss, rather than the mini bosses themselves.
We hit up Gravitron Operator, and got her after a few attempts, as we’d some new folks in the run. It was our second time getting her, and we completely forgot to get a screenshot the first time, so I made sure to take one this time!

Then we went on to X-89. We got him down after a few attempts!! It was my first X-89 kill, and the guild’s second kill. I do feel really bad, though, because I had terrible bomb placement as I wasn’t focused on my feet at one point, and I dropped a bomb in the middle dropping one of our healers. I feel really, really, bad about it. But she was avenged, because I got stuck in another bomb that someone dropped correctly.

I wasn’t really playing to my full potential on Tuesday. Part of it was I was distracted by the cats being dicks. The other bigger part is that I was tired and stressed, and my mind just wasn’t in it. Normally I can push those feelings aside and settle into raid mindset easily–and I just couldn’t on Tuesday. I’ve sort of been in a funk since, which has made it difficult to even write this post. But I have, and it came pretty easily once I got over the malaise of writing it.

I think that’s the hardest part for me as a blogger. I suffer from anxiety and depression, and I don’t like taking meds because I don’t like what they do to me. Most of the time, I do a pretty damn good job of staying positive, getting myself out of a funk, calming my axiety (it also helps I have a fabulous therapist who’s taught me a lot of tricks to help with all of these), etc. But every so often, I get in a funk. And it’s usually when life just smacks me in the face and I feel overwhelmed. And that’s when I really could care less about doing anything…

I’m going to get through this challenge, though! I’m going to get 31 posts in 31 days, even if some days end up with duplicates (because I need to catch up). And I can’t beat myself up for not keeping up with it, because then I won’t finish. I got this, hold my beer.