Sword Coast Chronicles

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Do you know how hard it is for me to say Neverwinter… and not follow it up with Nights?  Like that is hands down the hardest thing about playing the Cryptic made MMO…  is just stopping with the first word.  Like part of me feels like it would have simply felt better to call it Neverwinter Nights Online, but I am guessing that Bioware probably still has the licensing rights to “Neverwinter Nights”.  Regardless of this personal struggle I find myself suddenly unable to stop playing this game.  I am not really sure what is going on there but I am having a lot of fun and the content just seems to be flowing smoothly in a way it never did the few other times I tried to play it.  Everquest II had this concept of the golden path where a sparkly line of particle effects would attempt to lead you from objective to objective.  The problem is it never really worked right and was prone to completely abandon you if the effects clipped through the terrain, or simply route you in a truly bizarre manner.  As a result I think when I first saw that Neverwinter had a similar construct… I largely tried to ignore it after all of the bad experience attempting to make it work in EQ2.  The main difference is that here it actually works remarkably well, and while it might not be the most optimal path for questing purposes…  it does end up giving you a nice path to follow that eventually ends in you getting all of the objectives you need to knock out those quests.

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I had so many quests that were either partially completed or not even started scattered throughout a bunch of zones.  I am guessing I mostly ran around and killed stuff without really focusing on completing anything.  The problem with returning to a game after a significant amount of content has been added is you are never quite certain if something was in the game when you last played… or if you had just been completely oblivious to it.  One of these for me is  the introduction of the Sword Coast Chronicles tab which shows your general progress through the game, or at least what you should be working on content wise at a given level.  The only problem with this is that I am progressing way faster level wise than the content would in theory suggest.  I’ve been working on Neverdeath Cemetery still within the confines of Neverwinter proper.  If I had to guess I am now entering the second half of the content in that zone and should begin to start ticking off some of the boxes needed for the completion rewards.  So far the thing that is making this game stand out for me is just how interesting the locations are and how relatively densely packed they are with interesting vistas.  The one gotcha here is that the zones are not really as open as they might seem at first glance but instead in truth are more corridors to move through in a similar fashion to the zone design in something like Destiny 2.  So long as you treat the zone as a conduit to do the quests it feels really good…  when you start trying to break out off the beaten path and just traverse the zone without a purpose however it begins to feel frustrating and confining.

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Another thing I remember about this game is that it seemed really scarce with loot drops and at some point they went in completely the opposite direction.  I am getting more than enough gear from just running about to stay constantly upgraded and in the short time I have played I have gotten three different mounts as world drops and two companions.  There are entire subsections of this game that I have no clue what is even going on… like I vaguely remember there being some sort of web based component to this game.  I keep getting crafters and such from quests but I have no clue how to access it.  I attempted to do a little research yesterday but was constantly confronted with several year old information, so I am guessing the game just does not have much of a informational community presence.  Reading back through my original reviews of the game…  I seem to have thought it was an enjoyable experience each time I have attempted to play it.  The problem is I never really stick to it for one reason or another.  It already feels like I have gained way more traction in the game than any of my other efforts given that I logged in at level 16 Monday and now am just shy of level 30.  There are still a lot of ways that I feel like I don’t really know what the hell is going on, but I am slowly getting acclimatized to the game and feeling like I at least know my way round a bit.  The Dungeons I have run have been a mess… but the sort of mess where one person who is grossly overpowered just speed burns through the content and we sorta follow along haplessly looting shit.  At some point I want to check out the user created content that I know at some point went into the game.  I know my friend Tipa was super into that for awhile, so I am interested to see what playing that is like.  All in all I am still having a lot of fun, and probably just as shocked as you are to be seeing more Neverwinter posts.

On The Mend

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I am mostly among the living.  Yesterday was a federal holiday here in the United States and with me being off work… it also mean’t that I largely treated it as part of the weekend for blogging purposes.  I am still fighting the same crud that I had last week, but it feels like at some point on Monday I turned the corner.  While I still have the vestiges of whatever bronchial mess has inflicted me, I am starting to feel better and less like an appendage of the couch and or bed depending upon the time table.  it truly was a miserable weekend and while I attempted to game I was not terribly successful at anything until yesterday.  I spent most of the break working on the Tauren Hunter who has now finished the Outland and is knee deep in Northrend just starting the Grizzly Hills area.  My hope is that when I ding 74 the bear spirit beast will be up and I can collect it for my pet.  Up until this point I am mostly running a Fel Corehound that I got from the Blasted Lands.  I took the Beast Mastery talent that allows your pets to shadow step… so it is entertaining watching him leap up on targets rapidly.  At this point however I can kill most mobs well before my beast even has time to interact with it…  which is the life of running full heirlooms.

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Sunday I indulged a really weird whim and decided to reinstall the Arc client and give Neverwinter a spin.  I’m on the PR feed still from Perfect Worlds and they are constantly putting out press releases about content releases to this game.  It got me wondering what the current state of matters is when I have literally not heard anyone talk about it in almost two years.  It turns out the game is in pretty great shape as far as actually logging in and playing it.  As far as doing its best to feel insidious from a loot box standpoint…  it is also working on winning some awards.  I don’t remember much about the game if I am being very serious, but you know that thing that we chastised Call of Duty WW2 for doing at the beginning of the year?  Where if you get a drop the game announces to the rest of the world what you just got?  That apparently happens in Neverwinter as most of my time spent in the central hub area was a constant stream of people getting loot drop rewards.  In the very short time I played yesterday I got somewhere around 25 loot crate drops from random stuff while doing quests.  Each one of these crates would require a key which runs roughly $1.25 each without any of the “buying in bulk” discounts applied.  Through the quests I wound up getting three free keys to open three sample crates and if the ones that drop in the wild are at all similar to what they gave us as “examples” for why we should buy into this system…  they were full of utter garbage.  If you can however do what I started doing and just vendoring the damn crates for a few copper each time you saw one drop…  and loot past the money grubbing nature of the game…  the core feedback loop is actually rather enjoyable.  I think when I logged in last night I was around 16 left over from my initial push around launch and I believe I logged out for the evening around 25/26ish.  During all of that time I enjoyed the core game quite a bit so long as I completely ignored the multiple currency cash shop nonsense.  If you can do the same then you too will probably enjoy yourself.

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Last completely random thing I did last night…  is patch up and log into Elder Scrolls Online.  This game is in fact the same as I remember it and still rather enjoyable.  The biggest problem I will have is trying to sort out exactly what I was doing when I was last playing.  I am still being insanely stubborn and wanting to finish all of the original three story arcs before doing any of the newer content.  As a result I believe I am somewhere in the middle of Malabal Tor during my Aldmerri Dominion play through.  From there I will at some point venture forth into Ebonheart where maybe just maybe I can play long enough to see the character that was inspired by me and some of the folks we play with.  I think the fact that I jumped around so much last night… but still managed to get a bunch of play in with each jump…  is probably proof that I am on the mend.  In truth a good chunk of this weekend was spend with me just staring blankly at things without really doing a lot of interaction.  There were several times that I would start up a YouTube video that would then cycle through a whole bunch of things before I even realized I was still watching something.  Now however I need to go warm up the car and prep myself to venture forth into the frozen tundra (for Oklahoma at least).  Tonight will likely either be more Neverwinter or ESO because I had a lot of fun playing both.

 

Rough Night

I don’t have a whole lot to talk about this morning.  I am still struggling with whatever illness I started fighting at the beginning of the week.  As the morning went on yesterday my lungs started going to crap and last night I spent the majority of the evening chilling/unable to get warm.  When it came to actually getting a nights rest I failed in that department as well.  I went to bed around 9 pm ish and went straight to sleep…  only to wake up around 12:30 and be unable to get back to sleep.  I tossed and turned throughout the night while dealing with coughing spells all adding up to a very fragmented sleep cycle.  On top of that the last few evenings I have been struggling with connection speeds to my network at home.  I should in theory be seeing 300 Mbps and I’m only seeing something in the 10-15 Mbps range.  After spending an hour with chat services they are sending someone out to check into things…  and their only available slot was this afternoon.  So at the very least…  I only have to make it through half a day today as I took the afternoon off to go meet the cable troubleshooter.  As a result…  I just don’t have much to discuss this morning.  I made it to just short of level 60 on my Tauren Hunter, and in theory I will pick that process up tonight and enter the Burning Crusade content.  I am legitimately considering trying to eek out as much as I can from Blasted Lands to make the Burning Crusade journey a little shorter.  As it stands right now the worst part of leveling is BC/Wrath era and I sorta want to get those over as soon as humanly possible.  I am hoping that soon I will get back into the swing of things and be able to do normal posts rather than struggling with existence in the mornings.

Types of Players

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The photo of Belgrazer has absolutely nothing to do with this post…  I just felt like I needed some image to break up what would otherwise be a wall of text post.  Yesterday I made a post about the emotional labor it takes to be an organizer in a guild.  Then Scop and I went back and forth with a series of comments.  Firstly I don’t want it to come off like I was specifically making a post about him, or specifically directing my commentary at him.  He got to be the guinea pig because he happened to be the person responding.  The thing is…  I do get his down in the weeds point of view as a member wanting other members to respond.  It has just been in my personal experience that this doesn’t really happen unless someone is out there prodding folks into action.  One of the weird offshoots of this conversation happened in the private slack that the AggroChat podcast crew discuss things on.  Tamrielo a long time friend and similarly long in the tooth leader and organizer and I started talking about the various personalities we encountered.  I made the flippant comment that if I was pressed to do so… I could create a list of pretty much every personality I had encountered through leading guilds and raids…  and then walked away from the conversation to enter a meeting filled afternoon.  When I got out of said meetings he had done just that.  We went back and forth on a few of the points and there were a few cases I felt he had missed, but all in all he was pretty damned spot on. You can now find a revised list over on his blog that I feel is pretty close to whatever I would have cobbled together myself.  I don’t want to copy large sections of his post, but I do want to share the general bullet point list of types of folks we encountered.

  • The Socialite
  • The Drill Sergeant
  • Chill AF
  • Things Explainer
  • The Ninja
  • Side Projects
  • The Collector
  • The Griefer
  • The Devotee
  • What’s Going On Lately
  • I Got Mine
  • You Need Yours
  • My Dude
  • The Hiker and The Backpack
  • I’m Here, Now What?
  • Ready To Go
  • The Downer
  • The Positivity Cannon
  • Silent But Competent
  • Respect My _____

The thing is…  if I were pushed to do so I could probably rattle off names of players I have played with over the last two decades and tell you which of these traits they were focused on.  Most people are to some extent a “multi-class” of a bunch of these traits.  Similarly every single one of these has a positive version and a not so positive version.  “The Griefer” for example…  can be beneficial to a group by goading other people into reforming their habits or getting better at dealing with things at hand…  or they can just be a merciless asshole that only exists to sow the seeds of drama.  Similarly the “Things Explainer” walks a thin line between being overtly helpful when asked for assistance… and being a know-it-all that everyone wants to avoid catching the attention of.  The term “emotional labor” is a weird one but very apt and is often times brought up in terms of dealing with the emotional maintenance needed to keep a team going.  It is draining knowing that you need to treat each one of these people a specific way to get the results you actually want from them, and know that you are always walking a fine line between getting the positive version and the negative version.

The truth is over the years I have probably been at least part of each of these traits, and at this very moment in my life I have zero clue which one I actually embody anymore.  In most games I am very much “What’s Going On Lately” aka the “Content Locust”…  the person who swoops in and consumes the new content and then bounces pretty soon after that.  I think I have almost always been at least heavily multi-classes into “The Socialite” and “Chill AF” which is an odd blend but I definitely go through phases where I embody one over the other.  I am very much not a good “Things Explainer” because there are so many things I can do easily but could not necessarily tell you how to do them.  I feel like all of the traits that specifically focused on “competence” are not necessarily for me either because I mostly am just winging it the entire time I play a game.  I have “Collector” and “Side Projects” streaks but usually only after I have gobbled up all of the surface level content and am desperately trying to stay rooted in a game because my friends are playing it still.  Ultimately what I am trying to get at is that each of us have multiples of these traits blended together into the player profile that we ultimately are.  However your leaders…  the people who are out there watching for these things probably already have you pegged.  I am absolutely certain however that each person I talk to would probably slot me slightly different.  Regardless I highly suggest checking out Tams post because it contains a lot of good description of each of these types.

Bad Concierge

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Yesterday I failed miserably at making any sort of a post.  In truth by the time I had realized I had not logged in and created a blog post it was mid afternoon…  and figured I might as well just call it a day off.  First off this morning I feel like I probably need to update considering my Monday post.  I saw a Doctor Monday afternoon but good or bad the pain had subsided by that point.  The pain in whole lasted roughly 3 1/2 to 4 hours and without it being “acute” the only way they really had to diagnose things was some scans.  Their advice to me is that if the pain comes back at all…  go to the Emergency Room immediately.  Based on my description they thought it might have been either a kidney stone or my appendix…  since I still have one of those so in both cases something dangerous if I allow it to go unchecked.  While I was there however they also told me I had a pretty significant sinus infection and prescribed a round of antibiotics to help clear that up.  I had been coughing up a storm the last few weeks and apparently I actually had an infection to back that up.  The doctor suggested that I not return to work until Wednesday, to keep down the odds of me infecting someone else…  which I guess makes sense given this is a sort of work based free clinic thing that I went to.  So for the bulk of yesterday I chilled out while something cooked in the crockpot and piddled around in World of Warcraft while consuming Netflix/Amazon shows.

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One of my favorite things about ElvUi is the AFK screen thing.  Not sure why it makes me happy to see it pop up and I have a directory littered with screenshots of my character sitting down while dancing on the side.  At this point I am level 52 on my newish Tauren Hunter and spending time in the greater Gadgetzan area.  In truth last night before logging for the evening I got the precursor quest to take me to Ungoro crater, so I will likely be heading there shortly.  Being fully decked out in Heirlooms makes the leveling experience really odd given that things rarely last long enough for my pet to even reach the target, let alone need any form of “tanking”.  This means that I am largely running a pet for the flavor of it rather than for the functionality.  Traditionally when I need a pet to be a barrier between me and the target I tend to favor bears…  however for the moment I am running around with a golden brown Owl I picked up somewhere in Feralas that I named Bubo.  The hunter is ridiculously relaxing which has been exactly the sort of thing I have been looking for lately.  One of the things I enjoy about hanging out in Facepull on the Horde side is that I can be a fly on the wall mostly, that interacts every so often but also has the room to simply not interact at all if the spirit doesn’t move me to communication.

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I ended up going off on a twitter tear yesterday talking about guild leadership and being the person in the background that makes sure things are happening.  When I first started leading guilds…  I was very young and lacked any sort of responsibility apart from just showing up at work and making sure I was getting my tasks accomplished.  In fact when House Stalwart hit its stride about a year into the release of the game…  I was in quite possibly the worst job I have ever been in.  I had a horrible boss and felt like I had no control over my work environment, and as a result having a smooth running community to come home to and spend my evenings with was almost refreshing.  During this time my home life was in a bit of a disarray due to the large number of deaths that were occurring in the family, and Stalwart wound up being my stability that I so desperately needed.  As we entered Wrath of the Lich King I changed jobs and wound up in a much better place where I had a support structure and actually started taking on more responsibilities.  As such I found myself starting to back away from the same sort of things that I did during Vanilla and Burning Crusade and begin placing myself in more of a distant advisory role.  By the time Cataclysm launched I had moved up to being a Team Lead, and was responsible with juggling planning and task assignment, and similarly I found myself completely checking out of the guild leadership role and even going so far as to quit World of Warcraft when Rift released.  During that time I have shifted from Team Lead, to assumed supervisor, to actual supervisor… to now interim manager of three groups.  While I have kept trying to be the social glue for guilds…  by the time I get home I just have no social capital left to make things happen.

The truth is that every guild you have ever been in that felt active…  had one or more people behind the scenes making sure that things were going smoothly.  I used to have a motto among our officers that I wanted our actions felt but not necessarily seen, and so long as I had the focus it worked smoothly.  From Cataclysm on Stalwart has changed hands numerous times and as a result has kept going forward without me.  While now it takes a more raiding focus, it is still functional and still doing things.  However if you take away the people who are actively moving the ball forward… you end up with 30 people sitting in guild chat and nothing happening.  That has been the problem with so many of these guilds that I have formed as new games come out..  I don’t have the drive to be the cruise director anymore…  and while I gather up the people I don’t have the strength to actually do things with other people.  This was extremely noticed in the recent foray into Destiny 2 where I spent 99.9% of my time soloing, all the while people around me were trying to make things happen.  Guilds work when they have a concierge making sure needs are being met and I just cannot fill that position anymore.  I have transitioned to being one of the players that just wants to log in and have a good evening escaping whatever stresses piled up during the day.  The key difference for me at least is that I do most of this through solo play and am completely happy to piddle along with alts.  There are times that I miss big group activities…  like I wish we had beat Calus in Destiny 2, or I wish we had made a bigger push into Final Fantasy XIV Stormblood.  Then I sit back and think about the frustrations of having to remember to log in on time with all of the materials needed for raiding on a specific night of the week… and I question if I could ever go back to that.  So yes…  I play tons of MMOs as single player games and am mostly okay with that, and yes I realize I am doing it wrong.  I do like knowing people are out there in spite of me not being capable of actually interacting some evenings, so I will always seek out potential communities because someday…  maybe…  I might shift back out of whatever turtle mode I have been in for the last year.

Still Mostly Alive

Apologies for the super late post this morning, but it’s been an ordeal to get to this point.  I woke up about 3:30 last night with the most excruciating pain I think I have ever experienced.  It was this pain that was super hard to place because it seemed to be everywhere.  It sort of radiated from just below my bellybutton, around the right side of me and also had this sorta lower back pain thing going on.  I spent a good deal of the early morning hours trying to find a way to lay that was less painful than the others without much luck.  Finally after getting up and showering the pain started to lesson enough that I could crash and attempt to get some rest.  At this moment there are occasional twinges of pain but nothing like it was this morning.  I went back and forth about going to the emergency room, because I hate dealing with that nonsense.  Instead I took the day off work and have a doctors appointment at 2:10 that will hopefully get me to the bottom of whatever is going on.  Anyways as a result you are getting a very late and very non-gaming post.  This is in part because really it was a pretty gaming light weekend.

On Saturday I went up to my home town and helped my parents move a bunch of stuff and hang a television on the wall.  I think when I first started to notice the abdominal pain I thought maybe I had just pulled something moving in directions my body is not used to moving in.  Saturday night I felt completely out of it, like I was a little guy in my brain piloting my body badly sort of out of it.  Sunday we had to get up and around and go to a family thing…  that turned out to be its own nightmare.  There are three people on my wife’s side of the family that I really do not like being around and all three of them were at this party.  By the time I got home I was once again out of it and spent the evening watching black mirror.  I remember some minor abdominal discomfort when I first went to bed but I guess as the night went on it just kept getting worse until it finally woke me up.  Here is hoping that the doctor might have some ideas for what is going on.  I’m in this state where I am almost afraid to eat or drink anything because I have no clue what might make it worse…  and the last thing I ever want to feel again is that pain.

I mostly wanted to make a post because I didn’t want folks to be concerned about me…  even though I guess in theory there was reason to be concerned.  I hope the start of your week is going better than the start of mine.

Poorly Dressed Hunter

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Last night on a whim after running my Emmisary quests on Horde side I decided to start playing something else.  For a long time I have had a level 20 Forsaken Hunter, but I have this major problem playing anything with the “horde hunch”.  While I realize that is eventually going to be optionally not a thing…  there is also the major problem I have with the Forsaken in that they cannot wear anything but trashed out armor.  If I could be an upright walking normal armor wearing Forsaken…  that would probably cause me to re-evaluate a lot of my choices in life.  However I can’t and I doubt they will ever taken away the iconic exposed bone thing from them so…  until that date that is likely never going to happen I am probably going to bounce the fuck off playing one.  I wound up deleting my old hunter and re-rolling as a Tauren, which coincidentally was my very first World of Warcraft character back in beta.  I got into closed beta shortly after the Tauren starting zone opened and primarily played a Warrior and a Hunter for most of my testing time.  That combined with the fact that Mulgore looks not dissimilar from the corner of Oklahoma I live in…  has always sorta made that experience feel homey.

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The only problem is…  first I forgot that my mail armor was a mishmash of nonsense that I got through the Wintergrasp PVP heirloom vendor…  combined with the shaman shoulders because apparently at some point I bought those?  As a result I am the most disturbing ahn’qiraj era fury warrior looking character to exist.  The problem there is that I forgot that I could not ride a mount until 20…  which means I won’t have access to my Yak and a transmog vendor to remedy this until then.  For now…  I just look like a mess roaming around with an awesome purple birb.  There is something extremely relaxing about the leveling process and if I actually want to do that in earnest I am left with two options:  Roll Horde or Roll Alliance on server other than Argent Dawn.  If you notice in the above image… every single Alliance character I have is over level 100, which means I would ultimately have to grind nothing but Legion content and quite frankly that doesn’t sound that fun or relaxing in the least.

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Horde side however I have lots and lots of room for expansion and as a result I am experiencing a bit of a renaissance of “monstrous humanoids”.  I am however catching shit now from my Alliance guild as every so often tells show up in my timeline saying things like “we miss you”.  While I seem to have switched relgion for the moment I am sure at some point in the near future I will play alliance again.  I am neither red nor blue but have always been purple, because purple is a great color and also blends the fact that since day one…  I have played a little bit on both sides of the fence.  The fact that there still is a fence at all infuriates me, which is why I am not nearly as amped as I probably should be about this upcoming expansion.  I have different pools of friends that prefer to play one side or the other and as a result I will always be split between the two.  It is my hope that I can get a few more characters up before the expansion hits so I have a pretty even stable of characters on either side of the fence.  Similarly I will probably start pushing up some of  my Alliance characters as well…  but there is only so much Legion grinding that one can take.  Side note…  I have the best Tauren Hunter Bel-Themed name ever…  Belgrazer.

Squandered Post

Pay no attention to the lack of a proper blog post this morning.  I’ve squandered what is normally my writing time watching a video of Adam Savage recreate the futuristic binoculars from Blade Runner 2049.  I don’t have a ton to talk about this morning because in truth I didn’t do much in the way of gaming.  I logged into both the Warrior and Demon Hunter horde side and did some emissary work and then logged into Destiny 2 only to log right back out.  Since I got only a couple of hours of good sleep last night I was ending up crashing pretty hard starting around 7:30-8 ish last night.  My focus for the night however was to attempt to get some sleep rather than do a lot of epic gaming.  My hope for tonight is to get in and do some Destiny 2 and at a very least knock out some of my weekly milestones.  I also still have a bunch of work to do on the Demon Hunter in trying to finish its class hall.  Additionally I only actually have one mount from the whole order hall madness thing.  I should in theory do some more.  Right now as it stands I have Warrior, Death Knight and Paladin to 110 on Alliance side and Warrior, Demon Hunter and Death Knight to 110 Horde side.  I would really like to get the 3 other mounts that I have easily available between the two sides.  I also at some point think I am going to push up my Warlock because it is something I enjoy but have no real clue how to actually play.

I am still very much getting used to the new routine that comes with managing three groups of people, and expect me to have a lot of adjustment time and probably low quality posts in the meantime.  I love you all and I hope you will bear with me through this madness.

Double Agent

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I’ve reached this sorta happy place with World of Warcraft where I find myself alternating back and forth between it and Destiny 2 for how I spend most of my evenings.  Over the last month or so I had spent most of my pushing up my Orc Warrioress, and have now reached the point where I can no longer easily push her power level up by just doing World Quests.  As a result this caused a bit of an identity crisis over the Christmas break and lead me to pick another of my various horde characters to start working on.  Having not actually pushed up a Demon Hunter… and Legion being the expansion all about Illidari…  I figured it was high time to actually do this thing.  I started out leveling as Havoc like I had before on the Alliance side but promptly swapped over to Vengeance when I started missing tank survival.  It turns out that I really like Vengeance as a spec and you get to do a bunch of fun things…  sadly at the cost of your charge around the map ability.  The way shorter cooldown version of Heroic Leap in the form of Infernal Strike however makes up for the lack of the less predictable movement ability.  If nothing else the build allows me to do most of the World Questing with impunity and at some point I will actually try some dungeon tanking.

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For the moment however when it comes to LFR, Heroics or Timewalking…  I have been swapping back to Havoc and just noobing it up.  This is the point where I have to step back from some of the commentary I made while leveling the warrior.  I was shocked and amazed at how chill the horde side of the house had been during my experiences…  but once I donned the mantle of the demon hunter…  and potentially as a side effect of the long holiday break…  all of the asshats seemed to come out of the woodwork.  Monday night I chain ran my five timewalking dungeons in a row… and all of the cool demeanor that I had originally attributed to the horde side melted away.  It became a night of gripes and wipes as I limped through my five instances and then walked away praising some dark god that my sanity was still intact.  I am still not entirely certain why my recent change in religion of sorts and swap to the horde, but I would have to think a lot of it has to do with simply wanting to hang out with my friends in Facepull.  As a result it has been this super chill place to hang out and have occasional comments about the game and life in general.  On a day by day basis I am feeling way less of a double agent and more leaning towards the Horde.  For years I never could seem to get into characters on that side of the fence and the only reason why I had a max level character during Warlords was because I boosted, this time around however I have the same number of Alliance characters as I do Horde and I am already plotting the next thing to level.  Side note…  Blood Elf demon hunters look way cooler than the damned floppy eared Night Elf equivalent.

Resolutions

The last few days have sorta whirred past as we did not do much of anything.  The cold temperatures and the desire to eat up some of the many things we have in our cabinets and freezer meant that we largely just stayed inside.  This mean’t fuzzy blankets and pants and sheets and cats…  while chilling out and playing lots and lots of World of Warcraft and Destiny 2.  I mostly made it to midnight on New Years Eve but crashed shortly thereafter.  In the grand scheme of things 2017 was not a bad calendar year for me personally…  but for the world as a whole it had a rather soul draining visage.  It is my hope that 2018 will bring forth new and interesting things for us…  while neglecting from finding ways to crush our spirits.  On a personal level I want 2018 to the unbridled goodness that seemed to be 2013-2015.  What I mean by that is 2013 was a year in which I did a ton of interesting things…  not the least of which was beginning the whole blog post a day madness.  In 2014 I founded AggroChat podcast and with it a bunch of interesting discussions have been had.  In 2015 I started going to Pax South and also writing some for MMOGames.com.  Not saying I really want to return to writing for other people because I frankly don’t have the time on my hands for that…  but just saying those three years were pretty great for various reasons.  I am not normally the resolution making type, but I figured I would do it just this once.

Sort out my Blog Feed

One of the casualties of trying to write on someone elses dime was my blog reading habits.  Prior to that I had been a rabid consumer of so many home grown gaming blogs, and while I never commented as often as I should have…  I mercilessly lurked in the background.  It was part of my daily routine to sift through the latest posts and they often times served as fertile ground to come up with something that I wanted to say in response.  During the brief time where I attempted to write a column on the blogging community… I felt like I had to expand my horizons by a large bit and with it my blogroll ballooned up into the 600-700 blog range and became unmanageable.  One of the side projects for this year is to sort all of this out and begin reading on a daily basis again.

Organize my Magic the Gathering Cards

Towards the tail end of 2017 I purchased a bunch of stuff from BCW card supplies with the intent of organizing my Magic the Gathering collection.  This has yet to happen in part because the upstairs is sweltering at the moment due to the cold snap.  That said I want to make sure this actually happens.  I have been playing since 1994 and I have a mishmash of cards spanning through the decades as I picked up a pack here or there for nostalgia purposes.  I want to organize all of these and get these sorted not only by set, but also by card color and rarity.  I got dividers to denote sets and colors, but this is going to be a long process given just how damned many cards I have.  I also have some hard cases for the cards that are more valuable and really should be better protected than a sleeve.

Sort out my Humble Bundle

I have a bad habit of snapping up Humble Bundles when they come out and often times not doing much with them.  One of the goals for the new year is to sort this shit out… consume the keys for the games I do not currently have in steam and try and find homes for the games that are duplicates.  I know there are gamers out there that would love to be playing these games…  I just need to find them a new home.  I did this once upon a time…  and need to spend some time getting my lists up to date.  In theory there might be giveaways or something…  or me just going through steam and looking to see if certain games are owned by my friends.  Whatever the case this is on the list.

Get Back on the Wagon

During 2013 and 2014 I lost a lot of weight and during 2015 it started sneaking its way back on.  Now at this point I have gained back every last bit of it and probably then some.  In truth I have never quite made it back up to my highest weight, but I am up there.  Essentially I need to do something about it for quality of life reasons as much as anything else.  I’m an aging fat man and I need to at least fix some of the things that I can.   I know this involves doing regular exercise and also is going to involve monitoring what I am actually eating as well.  I had a lot of luck with the Lose It app in the past and I will likely return to using it religiously again.  Probably also going to go back to having oatmeal for breakfast…  though I failed completely at that one this morning.  Basically the reality is that I need to do something because I am tired of being as big as I am.  I will never be a small person, nor do I really want to be…  but I want to be a smaller person.  I am not going to set parameters here because I am not even sure what the reality of it is going to look like yet, but I do want to make some changes because I am tired of feeling tired and sore all the time.