Back to Normal
This morning signals the return to my normal routine. Over the course of the math camp I have allowed myself to veer significantly from the path I normally take. This means a lot of things, including being far more sluggish about making my blog posts within a scheduled timeframe. Additionally my diet and walking regiment fell completely apart in the face of eating out so many times. That said it is time to buckle down and return the tray tables in their upright position and prepare for landing. It feels so weird to be going back to work today, and I am dreading being deluged by a weeks worth of stuff that set unsorted out.
I have only slightly followed my email while I was out, and dealt with a few fires… and postponed a few others for this week. I know I have an extremely full plate waiting on me, and hopefully my coworkers will be forgiving as it is going to take me a little bit to get back into the swing of things. Unfortunately based on everything I read in my inbox, I really need to hit the ground running today and knock out several things. I know of at least one project that needs to be out the door and ready to go by August 1st, and another that needs to follow closely on its heels. Then there is our project list, and juggling in a new person into the group. So it is going to be a stressful rest of the week to say the least.
This morning I logged into Hitbox.tv and completed a ritual I have done for the last several days… so many times I have quite literally lost count. I logged into my account, went into my pre-recorded video and attempted to push the videos to youtube. Like always it gave me the popup message signifying that my videos should show up on youtube shortly. As has been the case each and every morning, I am quite certain they will not actually show up there. Right now I have half a dozen videos that I have recorded playing various games that are in essentially limbo. While there are lots of awesome things about the service… right now you cannot download videos you have recorded, upload them to youtube or even embed them directly from the hitbox service. Which basically means the videos are not accessible anywhere other than through the hitbox interface.
There are so many things I like about hitbox, but presently it is relentlessly buggy. The streaming portion they have down pat, and I would say it is one of the best experiences since you can actually chat somewhat realtime with people watching your stream. It is all of the little things that I have come to take for granted with Twitch that simply do not work at all. Previously there was a really awesome twitter integration so you could have an automated message go out to your twitter feed when you were actually live and ready to go. In the last few days since I had last streamed, this apparently broke as well. Right now it feels like we have been sold a lemon, and while I am sure they are trying as hard as they can to straighten things out… they seriously need some better public relations.
The official pronouncement from hitbox support is that things should be fixed either today or tomorrow. The problem is that “today” and “tomorrow” were three weeks ago. Instead of following up with a legitimate estimate for when things will be fixed… they just keep giving out the same “today” and “tomorrow” statements. Now as my friend Ashgar pointed out, I can in fact record local and upload to YouTube as a separate process… which is fine for anything I do in the future. I however tend to stream sequentially, in a way that someone could go back and watch the progress I made along the way. This means a number of videos are now essentially stuck in hitbox jail and there is no way that I can get them to another service. I took for granted that the estimates of when things would be fixed were actually true, so I kept recording expecting that someday I would be able to upload them to YouTube without issue.
Right now I am in a holding pattern and still using hitbox, because really the streaming functionality is excellent. I just wish everything else about the service were up to the standards set by twitch. I don’t really want to go back to twitch if I can help it, because having to live in a minimum of 30 seconds of lag, is frustrating to me and frustrating to anyone who might be viewing what I was doing. I feel like my viewers are significantly different than the normal viewers that streamers get. When I get someone in my channel it is a friend of mine, and I feel like I should interact in as timely a manner as I can, because we have connections beyond that of viewer and streamer. Hopefully tomorrow will come, and they will fix their crap and let us start moving files again. At the very least I would be happy with either the ability to download what I have already recorded or at the very least embed it directly into my blog.
After dropping off our British friend at the airport, and one of our ferrets to the vet… we went home and pretty much vegetated. I had a rather glorious day playing some Final Fantasy XIV and even doing a little bit of streaming. For the most part the day was spent working on my Dragoon in an attempt to get him to level 45 and acquire the awesome dragon armor set that waits for me there. Right now my leveling method of choice is to run around a zone, this time Coerthas doing FATEs while waiting on the Duty Roulette to pop. For years I have been completely gunshy about doing random dungeons, thanks in part to just how horrible and toxic the community in World of Warcraft dungeon finder can be. That said I have to say that the community so far in Final Fantasy XIV has been an utter delight.
Sure I have run into a few players that are relatively horrible at playing their class or their chosen role, but I have yet to find a single player that I would consider rude or abusive. I can take playing with folks who struggle, but it was always the “internet tough guys” and general jerks that kept me away from the dungeon finder. The most interesting thing for me is that apparently I have made a positive impression on the groups I have been in. After I had left the first time, FFXIV introduced a system of positive reinforcement called “Player Commentations”. The idea is at the end of each dungeon run each player gets to commend a single player for their actions in the run. Generally speaking I assumed these would be limited to the tanks and healers, since they tend to run the show. That said I have managed to rack up ten of them so far through the course of my random dungeon runnings.
Granted I try to go out of my way to make the dungeon run smoother, interrupting all of the AOE effects that I can. In Stone Vigil last night I even managed to double interrupt a pack using Legsweep for one and Spineshatter Dive to interrupt a second one moments later. That said I expected this sort of thing to go unnoticed, or get attributed to the tank… since tanks also have stuns… but at least in PUGs seem to rarely use them. All of this said it feels like the community in FFXIV has reached a point where all of the negative forces have wandered off into other games, and what is left is a cohesive group of players who are bound together in their love of all things Final Fantasy. This might be a great oversimplification but so far I’ve greatly enjoyed all of the random dungeons and guildhest groups I have been a part of. People seem to be genuinely willing to talk through problems without resorting to name calling.
I closed off the night sitting at 43.5 and working on the final Dragoon hunt. Something awesome is that apparently when we were not looking they added in some extremely awesome rewards for completing the hunt logs. When you complete your class hunt log you get a ring that is honestly as good as Darklight if not slightly better. When you complete your grand company hunt log, you get a pet. You can collect your rewards by telling Jonathas in Old Gridania a “tale” of your deeds. I still think this is a pretty cool way of handling a epic turn in like this, that your character literally tells the NPC a story about how you succeeded in battle. This is going to give me the drive to finish up my Immortal Flames hunt log, so that I too can get a pet from it. So far I am really enjoying my time back in the game, and it is starting to stir the attention of some of my guildies. Here is hoping that at some point we can return to doing 8 man content. For now I will just settle with being able to do guild groups.