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Blaugust Reborn (& Mini-Cast!)

Blaugust Reborn (& Mini-Cast!)

It’s Here!

Blaugust is back! I participated back in 2015 (my first year), and then again in 2016. I had a lot of fun both times I participated, and I’m glad that Bel brought it back after a hiatus last year. This time, Blaugust is a combination of the heart of Blaugust as a whole, as well as the former Newbie Blogger Initiative. All bloggers of all sorts (gaming, fashion, tech, food) are welcome to participate! If you’re interested, be sure to check out Bel’s post and sign up with the links he’s provided!

I signed up to participate again, this year—as a mentor. So what does that mean? Well, I’m still a full-fledged participant, but as Bel describes it, those that are mentors are more of the “camp counselors” that help to keep things running, answer questions, provide ideas, etc. I think it’s going to be a great turn out, this year. I’m also looking forward to the more structured format, which gave me an idea to try out something new…

Blaugust Reborn Mini-Cast

I want to try to put together a mini-podcast for the month (and a half) Blaugust is running. I’d like to get participants to send me short audio files answering some of the questions below. They can be expanded upon in a blog post, or not. But I wanted others to give advice, introduce themselves, etc. in a simple and digestible format. So, here’s what I was thinking! Folks that want to participate in the Mini-cast should:

  • Create a 10-20 minute audio clip answering a smattering of the below questions
  • Load the audio clip into a file-sharing location (Dropbox, Drive, etc.)
  • DM me in Discord (from the Blaugust discord) with the link to your audio file

I’ll announce here when I’ve the podcast set up, and will announce when the episodes go live in the Blaugust Reborn Discord. I still haven’t completely decided where I’m going to host it because I only need it for a month-ish, but at this point based on the limit most options offer, it will be either Spreaker or YouTube. Participating in this is completely optional, though I’d love it if participants would like to join in!

The Questions

All Participants

Please include in your audio file:

  • The pseudonym you go by
  • Your blog title
  • Why did you decide to get into blogging? What’s your “origin story”? (It can be as simple as, “a friend was doing it”, or “it sounded fun!”)
  • How long you’ve been blogging
  • Whether you’re a mentor-participant or general participant

Mentors

Please include in your audio file:

  • Why did you sign up as a mentor for Blaugust?
  • What do you hope to get out of Blaugust?
  • What is one (1) piece of advice you’d give to others for blogging? (It could be for completely new bloggers, folks returning to blogging, or veteran bloggers.)

General Participants

Please include in your audio file:

  • What do you hope to get out of Blaugust?
  • What are you looking forward to the most?
  • What are you looking forward to the least?
NBI 2015 Safari: Wrap-Up

NBI 2015 Safari: Wrap-Up

For those that didn’t know, Murf ran a month-long contest called the NBI 2015 Safari to help get us newbie bloggers some prompts and ideas to spring board. In his most recent post, he announces the winners of the Safari!

All in all, all of the entries were magnificent, so be sure to check them all out, and not just the Winners. 🙂 Who knows, you may find another blog for your blog roll or feedreader!

As a writing prompt, Murf suggested we revisit our posts:

If you won, please consider reposting your screenshot with a link back this this post. It’ll be an awesome way to show off and an opportunity to get one last boost in seeing everyone else’s entries or a list of all of those who participated. Similarly, if you didn’t win, reposting all of your submission in one place as one big round-up wouldn’t be a bad idea either. You could also link back here and help those who did win get a little more coverage, while putting a big, fat blogroll in front of everyone else.

I loved the idea of the single screenshots posts. Some people left it at a few sentences, but I found myself writing a few paragraphs (what can I say, even my short posts are kind of long…). This is also a writing style/prompt you may see around the blog more often. I’m aiming to try to start writing in my blog every day because I feel better emotionally when I do (even if it’s just happy stuff, happy can get overwhelming!), and sometimes bloggers-block can happen. And that’s more than likely when you’ll see my screenshots with some flavor text (okay okay, flavor paragraphs!).

But anyways, here’s a recap of the screenshots and posts I entered for the Screenshot Safari this year!

Stop! Selfie Time!

The original post

In my Selfie post I talk a bit about why I liked the shot, and also discuss a bit about how I see Chestnut as an RP character, and how I view myself in Chestnut (whether she be an Aurin or a Tauren Bear Tank).

Epic Achievement

The original post

In my achievement post, I discuss why a simple world boss kill after Contracts came out is still an achievement to me. Also, doesn’t the WildStar combat just look cool?

What Makes a Villain?

The original post

My villain post was a shot from a FFXIV cutscene. But the topic itself really got me thinking–what does make a villain? How does one truly define this in MMOs, especially those with dual-factions? My thoughts and other questions are posed in this particular post.

An Aurin Forest

The original post

I decided to go with the landscape theme for my final submission to the Safari (because I never read the updated rules… shame on me!). The really cool thing about WildStar is that you’re not limited to the landscapes that the Developers provide in the various zones–you also have a plethora of player-created landscapes that you could spend weeks going through, only to find someone re-did their plot, and you have even more to go through.

Me the Gamer, and Gamer Sins

Me the Gamer, and Gamer Sins

So, I haven’t been very good at keeping up with the NBI Writing Prompts that have gone down. I caught the first and second prompts but didn’t really have much to say on them. For the first one, I really didn’t want to get into GamerGate, so promptly avoided the prompt (sorry, Izlain!), and the Kickstarter one was a great topic… except I’ve only ever backed one Kickstarter in my whole life, and it was just recently for some dice.

But I do want to try to cover the other two topics (timeliness… I know. I’m hoping Blaugust will help with that!), because they’re pretty awesome, so here goes!

What Made Me a Gamer

Jaedia posed this topic for the third week of the Talkback Challenge.

I remember playing the Berenstain Bears when I was about five on the computer (back when the 8-inch floppy was a thing). I remember being one of the only kids in school having a computer, because my Dad needed one for work. I played the crap out of that game. Any time my parents would let me on the computer.

We didn’t have a gaming system, though. At least not until my grandmother (to the annoyance of my parents) bought my brother and I an N64 (which my brother has claimed…damn!)  for Christmas one year. I had, before then, played on a friend’s PlayStation (some Monster Rancher and Rhapsody, mainly), and watched my cousins play various Disney-related games on some sort of system. I don’t remember which one at this point in time (all I remember is that I always kicked their asses).

Soon after that, my parents accepted the fact that it was something my brother and I enjoyed doing–playing video games. So they started letting us purchase a game here or there from the store for the N64. I also remember my father purchasing my younger brother Lego Island to play on the computer. I think I totally played it more than him, though. He just really liked the cars and race track. I remember “rage-quitting” the game because I couldn’t ever chase down the Brickster. I just kind of cried and sulked and didn’t play it again.

I also remember the hours I spent watching my father play Myst. I couldn’t ever really solve the puzzles myself, but I thought the scenery was the most amazing thing ever.

From there, I kind of jumped into gaming and geekery head-long. My brother and I got Game Boy colors for Christmas from our parents one year, and played them for the longest time, until we sold them to get the Game Boy Advance (which I’m sad at myself for doing). And then I sold my Game Boy Advance to get the original DS (which I still have).

My parents have always been geeks/nerds–we were raised on Star Trek, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings. I feel like gaming was just a natural extension to this because of the stories some games told (I’m still miffed I got rid of my Golden Sun games!).

I also remember being grumpy about the fact that as a girl into gaming, there weren’t many games for me. I mean, there was the Tamagotchi game for GBA I played the crap out of, but I was considered “weird” because I bought things like, well, Golden Sun, or Donkey Kong. But that’s a completely different topic.

Seven Gaming Sins

Joseph Skyrim posed this interesting topic for the fourth week of the Talkback Challenge.

Lust – Do you enjoy games more if they have scantily clad and “interestingly proportioned” avatars? Do you like playing as one of these avatars? Why or why not?
I think there’s a difference between “sexist” and “sexy” characters. As a curvier woman, I want my lady avatars to have curves! But I want them to be semi-realistic. Not K-size breasts, a stick waist, and a butt worthy of Apple Bottoms. Sure, keep the K-breasts, and Apple Bottoms, but add a little more proportion to the middle. Same goes for the outfits. Unless it’s going to be equal opportunity booty shorts (let’s go, WildStar! I want my male booty shorts! I will roll a Granok Male just for this!).

Gluttony – Do you have a game backlog of unfinished games but still buy new games regardless? Why or why not?

BAHAHAHA. >.> Me? Backlog of games? NEVER! <.<
Yes, I have a backlog of games. It’s the fault of Humble Bundle, really. Do I still buy new games? Well, I’ve become a bit more selective in my choice of Humble Bundle deals. If there’s not more than two games that really catch me, I’m going to pass it up. I’ve started adding more to my Steam list, though, in comparison to when I just willy-nilly bought Humble Bundle deals.

Greed – Do you enjoy hand outs in a game? Have you ever opted to NOT do an action / in game activity because the rewards were lacking? Why or why not?

Define handouts, first and foremost. I think everyone sees different things as handouts. Yeah, there are activities in games I do or don’t do, but it’s more the intrinsic motivation, rather than extrinsic (though, sometimes, it really is for the bragging rights, or that badass mini-pet).

Sloth – Do you ever leech or AFK in a party? Do you discourage others from attempting things that you feel are difficult? Have you ever seen someone that needed help, but decided not to help them? Why or why not?

Absolutely not. We have kicked folks from the WildStar guild from doing such things (AFK/leeching). And in WoW, I never liked getting “run-through” because it felt cheapened. I also didn’t really like doing it for other folks, either. I don’t discourage folks from attempting things that I feel are difficult–it just might mean that I don’t participate in that particular thing. Like raiding in WildStar, for instance. I want to become attuned because it’s a neat (and tedious–and I love tedious, for some reason), but I don’t think I’ll ever raid current content. FFXIV, however, maybe I’ll get to raid some at level 60.
As for helping folks, yeah, there have been times I haven’t helped. I generally do, but sometimes I either don’t have enough time, I need some time where I’m not being social, etc. Most of the time, a “I’m sorry, I’m working on some other things at the moment, maybe later.” suffices.

Wrath – Ever get angry at other players and yell (or TYPE IN CAPS) at them? Have you ever been so angry to stalk a person around in game and / or in the forums? Why or why not?

I’m a Mama Bear. Of course I get angry at other players, especially when they diss my guildies or are asshats. Do I type in all caps? Occassionally, and most of the time it’s a joke thing. Do I stalk? Never.

Envy – Ever felt jealous of players who seem to be able to complete content you can’t? Do you ever suspect they are hacking or otherwise cheating? Why or why not?

Yeah, sometimes, but then I remind myself that it’s not something that interests me, and unless I want to put in all that time and effort for something that doesn’t interest me, then it’s not something I really should be jealous about. Y’know? As for hacking/cheating… unless there’s something that clearly defines it as such, no, I don’t suspect that.

Pride – Are you one of those people that demands grouping with other “elite” players? Do you kick players out of your team who you feel are under-performing? Why or why not?

I sometimes see myself as a prideful person. However, elitist behaviors are not prideful behaviors. Am I “an elitist”? I damn well try not to be. And no, I don’t kick under-performing folks. Everyone has to learn at some point. In WoW, we would run with a Boomkin who wasn’t the best at mechanics, and sometimes brought the group down, but he was the sweetest guy, and appreciated the help we gave him. And you know what? Despite him not being the best at first, we still got some server-first kills in 10-man runs. And no, I don’t feel like we carried him. Because he was always alive on the first down.
NBI: Thank Yous

NBI: Thank Yous

So, as an official participant of the Newbie Blogger Initiative this year, I thought it would only be proper to extend thank yous to all of the folks behind the scenes–whether they developed weekly prompts, helped to coordinate the whole thing, or were just veteran bloggers lending a helping hand through warm welcomes and advice, everyone has had an impact on us, the “Class of 2015”.

Having been a part of the coordinating team for both server events (in-game) and conventions (out of game), I know it’s a lot of work to put something together for one, and to make it run smoothly, for another. So even if I happen to miss someone in this post, I’m so sorry. But do know that:

Now, I didn’t get through as many prompts as I liked due to some real-life stresses, and I may tackle one or two of them later since they are interesting topics (and are half-written…), but I want to first thank Izlain, Jaedia, Joseph Skyrim, and the NBI Committee-at-large for coming up with the NBI Talkback Topics/prompts. They’re some pretty great topics, and I’m bummed that I’m not more timely in my writing. But it’s something I know I need to work on, now, thanks to NBI! Carving the time in each day.

A special thank you goes out to all the folks behind the scenes and on the NBI Committee who may or may not have blogged much because they were so focused on helping us Newbie folks find our footing, voices, styles, etc. etc. and making the event the best it can be. You guys are the unsung heroes in these shenanigans.

To all of the veteran bloggers that were there to answer questions, link back to other newbie bloggers, provide advice, and even write blog posts on tips and tricks for the participants this year: Thank you so much! All of you are the reason I want to stay a part of the community instead of slowly leaving the internet, again. You’ve helped me overcome a bunch of my social anxiety online, and it has transferred over into real life. Truly, you’ve all changed my life, and I’m very thankful to be able to call you guys friends.

To the Class of 2015–it was wonderful to meet you all, and I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts! We had an awesome bunch of bloggers this year, and I’m looking forward to keeping the community going with all of these other wonderful folks.

Source

And last, but certainly not least, I really want to thank Chaide for being supportive of me blogging/YouTubing. He’s a different type of community person than I am (he’s more IRL community, which comes with the territory of being a teacher), but he’s gone out of his way to support me, and read some of my blog posts. I mean, I got hella lucky finding him as a husband to begin with by how supportive he is of me in our day-to-day life, but that his support extends into my hobbies that he doesn’t share means all the more. I don’t get sappy a lot on the blog, but thank you, for making me feel that what I’m doing isn’t “weird” (one of the reasons I’ve stopped blogging before) and is truly just another hobby. I loves you, Chaide.

An Aurin Forest

An Aurin Forest

One of the most robust features in WildStar is housing. There are so many things you can do with it (which is why I love doing Yardcore videos!). As such, there are some beautiful landscapes that folks have designed that just take your breath away.

This landscape happens to be on a housing plot. The plot belongs to a former guild member, and I took it at the time because there was a glitch with one of the harvesting plugs. A survivalist gathering node had appeared inside the Hot Springs FABKit (pre-made plugs you can put on your plot), and we thought it hilarious and totally worth a screenshot.

As I was going through my screenshot folders to find a good one for my last NBI Safari post, I stumbled upon this shot and thought it worked. The water FABKits are some of my favorite, and here’s to hoping that one day we’ll have water effects/blocks to use in housing!

What Makes a Villain?

What Makes a Villain?

If you didn’t know by now, Murf is hosting a Screenshot Safari competition during the Newbie Blogger Initiative.

I’m behind on entries, so there will be two this week, I’m sure. This one is based on the topic: Heroes or Villains.

It was kind of a tough topic for me to come up with, quite honestly. In WildStar, who are the real villains? The big bad? The factions we fight against? It didn’t feel quite so clear-cut. Because the premise of the game is that we are discovering what the Eldan have left on Nexus. So does that make the Eldan the big bads, or their creation(s)? Lots of questions to mull over, for sure, and not so cut-and-dry that I felt confident taking some shots in WildStar, because, honestly, I couldn’t answer any of those questions.

So I thought about Star Wars, because we just picked it back up to play with some WildStar guildies in their off-time. Again, there’s no real clear-cut definition of who is bad, and who is not. Granted, I’m not very far in (I just passed the starter zone), but based on what everyone knows of the movies, the Republic are the “heroes” and the Empire are the “villains”. Again, this is a little more like real-life where things aren’t so cut-and-dry and we’re all sort of doing bad and good things. Especially with the Light and Dark points in play, you can have a Light-leaning Sith and a Dark-leaning Jedi. It’s all convoluted.

Obviously the next thought was FFXIV. And I had a winner. Based upon where I am in the storyline (level 29), there is a clear-cut bad guy that is doing bad things that the entirety of Eorzea is currently trying to combat together. There is no question whatsoever on whom is the bad guy. None. The man in the black mask is bad. Convincing people to do bad things. Doing bad things to others. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are other bad-folks. But at this point in time, it seems they are working… not in conjunction, per se, but seem to be following the path that the Masked Man has laid out, whether they are cognizant of such or not.

So without further ado, I present to you my Villain picture of the Masked Man’s first cronie.

NBI Think
A topic for folks that may be interested: How does one define who is a hero or villan in a game? Is it story-based? Is it personal preference? What about MMOs versus single-player games?

NBI Safari – Epic Achievement

NBI Safari – Epic Achievement

If you didn’t already know, this month is the Newbie Blogger Initiative, and Murf over at Murf Vs. has posed a challenge to bloggers called the NBI Safari. What’s the Safari? Murf provided a few different topics, and wants to see screenshots from these topics (you can only choose four, mind) and why you think they embody the particular topics you choose.

Last week, I didn’t do any blogging, and was pretty much offline because my mother was in town (expect a long post on last week’s shenanigans sometime today), so I’m playing a bit of catchup with the Safari this week.

So, my first submission for the Safari this week is a screenshot that embodies the Epic Achievement topic. Granted, the screenshot above is just of a world boss kill. And it’s not my greatest screenshot because even when you hide UI, text still pops up on your screen, which I was a little sad about.

But anyway. How does a world boss kill count as an epic achievement, especially when you need fourteen world bosses anways to get Attuned for raiding, and they spawn on a four hour timer (approximately, assuming they’re not events like the Hellrose Bowl)?

Well, it was my first ever kill on that particular boss–Scorchwing. I know, I know, he’s been around since like, Drop 3 (back in early November 2014), and we’re on Drop 5. How the hell have I not done Scorchwing?

I’m one of those people that doesn’t get lucky with meeting spawn timers. Not only that, if timers are up, I’m usually in the middle of something else. That kind of falls in the territory of being a guild leader and having a focus that isn’t particularly progression-minded. There’s also just so damn much to do in WildStar.

Some people berate the game (WildStar) for having a “lack of content” and I would whole-heartedly have to disagree. I still don’t have my “main” professions maxed out (well, the gathering ones are, but they’re the only ones). I still haven’t finished Wilderrun, Blighthaven, or Defile. Then there’s achievements to do, Contracts to complete, PvP to die in, Companions to collect…

Yeah, there’s a lot to do. So, this is an epic achievement for me, because it’s my first time on Scorchwing. It’s an epic achievement for me because I was able to make the time to do it. It’s an epic achievement for me because I had fun, and I was excited to complete it. And after all, isn’t that what makes something an achievement? Not that other people deem it as such, but that you have a personal sense of fulfillment after completing it.

Besides, who can say no to a title and another in-game achievement complete in my log?

Stop! Selfie Time!

Stop! Selfie Time!

Murf over at Murf Versus has posed a challenge as a part of the Newbie Blogger Initiative this year, called the Screenshot Safari:

For my part in the NBI2015, I want to see your screenshots. Each week in May, I am challenging everyone to publish a post featuring a favorite screenshot and why that screenshot best fits a particular theme. You can choose freely from the list of themes, but please only submit one post per theme. Considering this is a weekly event, that means only four overall submissions are allowed, so make them count!

One of the themes is “Selfie”. As many folks have already posted, I’m also going to submit a selfie. I’m not sure how the weeks are getting paced out (some folks are going by every 7 days, whereas I feel a week starts on Sundays, so my “second week” will start, well, Sunday).

My selfie is of my new version of Chestnut. Chestnut originally started off as a Female Tauren Druid. When I started WildStar, Chestnut became a Female Aurin Stalker. Honestly, Aurin are not my favorite race. But I felt based upon how Chestnut is RPed, and the fact that she was a Druid in WoW, Aurin felt like the best fit (even if her personality is more of a Mordesh with a dash of Aurin thrown in).

This is a shot folks will probably recognize. I use it a bunch for my social media outlets, especially the kissy face (Twitter, Anook, and Steam for instance). For those that don’t know, that’s part of the Fem Aurin /taunt. Which is one of my favorite Aurin emotes ever. The /flex is great, too. (Though the Fem Granok /flex is way better!)

When Murf posed the challenge and listed “Selfie” as one of the categories, I knew it had to be this shot. I don’t know why, but it sort of gives off part of my own personality–cheeky Ginger. Don’t take no shit from nobody. Which Chestnut totally doesn’t. She’s very “Mama Bear”, which I suppose I am as well. Nobody screws with my friends (or my guild).

B’ware the claws of Bears and Stalkers.

Meeting with the Resistance

Meeting with the Resistance

Newbie Blogger Initiative

Yesterday marked the first day of May, and therefore, the first day of the Newbie Blogger Initiative for 2015. What is NBI? Well, Belghast did a really great write-up of what it is and why you should participate in it over at MMOGames, so check that out!

What does it mean for the blog? Well, it means that I’ll hopefully be posting a bit more. Especially since Murf at Murf Versus has come up with a, well, challenge, essentially, called the #NBI2015Safari that I’m looking forward to participating in.

I do have to say that completing NBI may be a bit of a challenge for me this month, because I have so many IRL obligations. But I’m looking forward to the challenge of working in the time, possibly pre-writing posts to put up (I hate scheduling them, because then I forget to post them via social media, and I like doing that), and finding other times to write them. Like maybe trying to write them on lunch again (if work slows down a bit, that is).

Meeting with the Resistance

On Monday, Chaide and I spent a few hours putzing about in Final Fantasy. We started off continuing our progress on the main storyline. So, we were set out to try to become friendly with Ala Mhiga.

Which led us to Meffrid, whose clanmate was dying, but the townsfolk couldn’t do anything for him. How tragic. I suppose I could do something for him. Here’s his medi–he ran away? Okay, I’ll go find him.

We then returned to Little Ala Mhiga with tidings from Meffrid which got us the in we needed. Gundobald told us of a Masked Man who’s been seen near Little Ala Mhigo and asked us to investigate. So we did as commanded. One of the people we chatted with was Wilred. Chaide and I looked at each other after investigating him and said, “He’s the one, and he’s going to realize he did wrong, and regret it, and make it up to his people.”

And then Wilred immediately tried to attack us. We reported back to Gundobald, who sent us after the lot of younguns who were making trouble and probably going to get themselves killed.

Bertliana

What really got to me was a short dialogue between Bertliana and Gundobald.

It alludes to the fact that Bertliana has been raped (possibly even gang-raped), but Gundobald really doesn’t have any emotional dialogue about it. In fact, after you go around investigating what the young folks are up to, only one character has any outrage at the fact aside from Wilred. And that’s another un-named female. Not to get on a tangent about anything, but that just really left a terrible taste in my mouth.

If you’re going to put something like that in there, have appropriate responses, or leave it out altogether, Developers.

Fighting the Amalj’aa

So, anyway, now it’s time to go catch up with Wilred and see what trouble he’s gotten into.

Uh-huh. Of course you are. Every one just like you is.

Infant Imp

We made our way over to Ul’dah to utilize Chocobos to get back to Minfilia, and as we entered town, a random person (Quinn Faberry was their name) randomly opened trade with Chaide and gave him an Infant Imp for no reason. Just to be exceptionally nice, it seems. Which is amazing! I don’t think any other game we’ve been in has someone randomly done something like that.

So, thank you, Ms. Faberry, for continuing to make our Final Fantasy experience a pleasant one!
After turning in at Minfilia, I was really just tired of running around constantly for the main story, as it was starting to feel a bit… stagnant. It’s the same thing every time. So please, somebody tell me it gets better and a little less repetitive? I still wanted to play a bit, though, so Chaide suggested we do Toto-Rak again, and we did, with a very nice DPS and Healer. We’re both level 28, so it isn’t long now, until we can pick up a second class… finally!
I’m looking forward to what our Monday night FFXIV shenanigans bring this week.