Spending Time with Carby

Sleep Hates Me

I am getting a fairly late start this morning because insomnia is a pain in the ass.  Last night we recorded an episode of AggroChat like normal, and ran around two hours in total recording time.  By the time I did my initial edit pass and exported the show to MP3, it was already midnight.  I decided to save my progress and finish things up this morning instead, and my hope beyond hope was that I would get a good nights sleep.  The problem being that the moment my head hit the pillow I was awake.  I kept thinking that if I laid there long enough I would eventually drift off to sleep, but as 2 am came and passed I was really wishing I had just stayed up long enough to publish the post last night.  This is the worst part about insomnia is not necessarily the inability to get back to sleep, but the feeling that you are wasting your time by TRYING to sleep.  Had I gotten up I could have done any number of things until sleep finally claimed me…  but the harder you attempt to sleep the harder it seems to be to finally have it happen.

I’ve struggled with bouts of insomnia most of my life, and figuring out how to function on a couple of hours of sleep is an unfortunate survival skill I have had to learn along the way.  Thankfully this happened on a Saturday night… and not a Sunday night…  because I have done the sleep walking my way through work because I couldn’t sleep thing and it sucks.  The key fault yesterday was that I ended up taking a nap thinking that it would help me stay up and edit the podcast.  My system is wired in such a way that if I get any additional sleep I am screwed.  I can take a thirty minute cat nap, and it will completely upset the balance of things can cause my body to think it got a full nights sleep.  Granted a “full night” for me is between five and six hours of sleep… and realistically anything more than that causes me to get groggy.  Essentially I live my life in a permanent state of sleep deprivation, but unfortunately that seems to simply be the way I am wired to function.  All of this aside the show was an extremely enjoyable one to record and we talked about a big umbrella of titles from Final Fantasy XIV, to Wildstar, to Sword Art Online…  to the elephant in the room… the World of Warcraft Legion expansion announcement.

AggroChat 69 – Ahk Mourn and Key Limes

Content Density

WildStar64 2015-08-08 14-09-08-18

I have this strong desire to level to the current cap in Wildstar, but the problem I ultimately have is this is an exceptionally content dense game.  Normally speaking this is a good quality, but the problem is that I struggle to keep up with the quests before out leveling them entirely.  In a game like Final Fantasy XIV it makes sense… so that you can save quests for other jobs, however in a game like Wildstar it just feels daunting when you realize that you are completing less than optimal quests just to dig down to the ones that matter again.  I spent a good chunk of time yesterday playing around on my Human Warrior on Evinda yesterday, poking my way through the quests.  Right now I am mostly focused on working through my path quests, but unfortunately I have only actually done about half of the ones available for the Galeras zone, and I am already feeling overwhelmed.  I have to say this is not really my favorite area of the game, and I am more than ready to push past it… even though I know Whitevale is waiting on me.  Whitevale more or less was the zone that killed my progress on my Chua Engineer, because the content was just so tightly packed.. and simply moving around became tedious.

As of yesterday I am sitting at level twenty, and I am considering just pushing through some dungeon runs rather than spending a bunch of more time questing.  I had this overwhelming feeling yesterday that I spent a lot of time doing something…  but whatever it was didn’t really accomplish much in the grand scheme of things.  I did however set up a new outfit which I am pretty happy with.  At some point I need to spend time searching the auctioneer for interesting appearances.  Right now I don’t have any hats that I really like, so I am going with the cybernetic monocle as the best of the worst.  This game so far is reminding me a little too much of Warcraft in the hat department, because I can’t really find any that I like.  In World of Warcraft I habitually hit every single hat offering because they all looked stupid, and I am afraid that might also be my fate here.  This is so strange since in Final Fantasy XIV I have dozens of hats that I love wearing…  including the very awesome Bunny Samurai hat that I have been wearing most recently.  Maybe I just have yet to find my way to the really cool threads yet.  Right now I plan on leveling some more today and seeing if I can get a group going for a dungeon.

 

Spending Time with Carby

ffxiv_dx11 2015-08-08 23-56-26-09

Arcanist has been the class that has eluded me the most in Final Fantasy XIV.  I want to like it, because I adore running around with a giant sparkly carbuncle pet.  The problem being it is a “finger wiggler” and quite possibly the “most” finger wiggly of all classes.  I however thanks to the help of my AggroChat crew at least “get” how to play one.  It is essentially put up dots on all of the things and check to see if it is dead yet.  Generally speaking I pick something to play during our podcast and this week that honor fell to playing the Arcanist.  I keep telling myself that if I can ever manage to get it to 30, then I will become a Scholar and life will be golden.  I get to queue as a healer and see how the other side feels when it comes to dungeon healing, after playing a fair amount of White Mage.  As of last night I am sitting at 26, and man does it feel like a really long ways to 30.  The problem with dungeoning as an Arcanist is that it just feels so damned awkward.  You have this strange mixed bag of tools, but only really end up using your dots and ruin as a spell of last resort.  Occasionally I throw a heal if the tank is getting exceptionally low or if I am, but otherwise cycle through the adds… dotting each of them.. then returning to the first one and starting the process all over again (which is rarely needed because they are usually dead by then).

Essentially going forward it is my plan to run a low level roulette each day on  the Arcanist because yesterday I managed to get a full level and a half out of it.  Doing this should get me to thirty in good pace, and then I can figure out how to scholar heal!  If nothing else now that I have gotten in my Carby plushes I have a minion Carby to follow me around.  I have to admit that is part of my reluctance to level is the fact that I know going Summoner causes me to loose my Carbuncles.  The  Egis have grown on me, but they are in no way as cool as the Carbuncle.  I can’t believe I am saying this… but I am actually jealous of Alphinaud and his Ruby, Onyx and Obsidian Carbuncles.  Part of me hopes that they introduce a quest line that gives you these three Carbys as optional replacements for Garuda, Titan and Ifrit Egis.  If they did that… I would absolutely have renewed vigor in my desire to become a summoner.  As it stands now I feel like this is a class that has beaten me, and I want to push past any frustration and not let it win.  If nothing else I do think the book casting animation looks pretty sweet…  you know for a finger wiggler.  Yeah…  i’m going to go stab something with a sword or hit something with an axe now.

 

Games I’m Not Playing

Too Many Games

Skyforge 2015-07-17 06-26-06-26 Right now I am suffering from a problem, in that there are just too many games that I want to be playing and simply not enough time in any combination of lifetimes to actually play them.  Last night I downloaded and installed Skyforge, and gave it a quick spin this morning… and as interesting as it seems I just don’t know when exactly I am going to fit it in.  For the first time in years I have been relatively monogamistic in my gaming, and with the dropping of World of Warcraft I pretty much have all of my focus on Final Fantasy XIV.  Last night I ran dungeons with the guild and after doing my hunts managed to push my Dragoon to 56.  As a result the desire to get that job to 60 is real, because I desperately want to be able to fill more than one roll when it comes to grouping.

By the same token I really would like to give some time to Skyforge so that I can give it a shot for free, before plunking down any money on it.  I watched a bit of the MMO Show stream the other day as Jabberant played the game and I have to admit it peaked my interests.  Playing this morning it feels like a better version of Neverwinter, because the janky control scheme of that game was always a major detractor.  So now I get to juggle competing desires and figure out how to spend my weekend.  So this morning I thought I would write about the games that I am wanting to play but just can’t seem to find adequate time to devote to them.

Star Wars the Old Republic

swtor 2013-08-13 23-38-38-65 I have this strong desire to go back and experience the storyline that I have not yet.  Essentially I have not really played my main in this game, a Jedi Guardian… since launch.  Each time I go back I always end up playing alts because I am finding it really hard to get back into the swing of playing a level 50 character.  I know there have been numerous expansions since launch, each with their own storyline content… and I am struggling to get back into the swing of doing it.  Instead I mostly spend time playing my Light Side Sith Warrior, who has been stuck in the hell hole of Balmorra for at least two years.  So one of my gaming regrets is that I have not figured out how to make progress on my main and see the Makeb and beyond storyline.  Additionally I have this nasty habit of paying for a month, and then playing one day and never returning to it.  I’ve gone through this sequence at least a half dozen times since we left this game.  The draw of Final Fantasy XIV is always too strong to keep me playing there for long.

Wildstar

WildStar64 2015-06-06 17-47-43-40 On my second attempt at playing this game I reached a point where I really was enjoying what I was doing.  In fact there was a stretch prior to the launch of Heavensward where I was playing this one more than just about any other game.  I have an awesome group of friends in this game and I love the Black Dagger Society guild that I am in.  I had a blast roaming around the zones and taking down world bosses with them on a few occasions.  For whatever reason however I am just not logging in right now.  Once again the draw of Final Fantasy XIV is too strong, and maybe I just love our guild there too much.  This is on the list of games I absolutely want to keep returning to, but I doubt I will until a bit more of the shiny has warn off from Heavensward.  Right now I am in this push to reach a point where I have multiple useful jobs to help people with, and I think until I get there I won’t be happy playing much else.

The Secret World

TheSecretWorld 2012-08-07 20-41-26-17 I am woefully behind in my Secret World content, because the last update I think I played was the whole “Last Train to Cairo” sequence.  I know there have been multiple updates since then but I am just not logging in and playing them.  There are problems I have with this game that preclude me from really digging into the end game content.  However I have loved all of the story mission content that I have played and I keep meaning to poke my head in and do them.  I’m a life time subscriber, and I should have tons of goodies waiting on me… but generally speaking what happens is I log in and buy a nifty new outfit… then log right back out.  Of all of my gaming regrets this is one of the strongest because I really would like to find a way to play this game in addition to whatever game I am “maining”.

ArcheAge

ARCHEAGE 2015-06-14 14-36-32-10 Just prior to the launch of Heavensward there were several of us on the AggroChat cast that had a brief love affair with this game.  I want to find a way to return to playing this game on a regular basis because I don’t feel like I have consumed all of the good that I can get from it.  This is the game that I was told once I reached level 30 I would be in forced pvp areas.  While we are playing on Tahyang the supposed roleplaying server, I am 38 and have yet to encounter even another enemy player.  There is a lot of great PVE content in this game, and we found the dungeons to be among some of the rougher we had experienced since say Dark Age of Camelot.  I’ve logged in a few times since the launch of Heavensward, but never for terribly long because I keep feeling like I really should be in FFXIV gearing or helping other people gear.  I still have things I want to do here, so I need to figure out a way to play it as well.

Skyforge

Skyforge 2015-07-17 06-07-54-37 I talked about this as the start of the blog post, but I really do want to spend some time getting to know this game.  At face value it didn’t seem like it was going to be anything I would be interested in.  However after playing a brief few minutes this morning I think I might dig it.  It is action combat that still feels like an MMO.  Honestly I put Neverwinter in that same category, however there the combat just felt forced and janky.  The proof will be in the pudding as to how the Paladin feels once I progress it a bit further.  I admit the whole “switch roles at any time” thing is a huge draw for me, after getting used to that in Final Fantasy XIV.  I doubt this would ever be a primary MMO for me, but it might be a fun weekend diversion.  Ultimately I keep looking for a solid secondary game to have the duality that I did with Final  Fantasy XIV and World of Warcraft.  I have yet to find the game that seems like the perfect match, but who knows this might be it.

Elder Scrolls Online

eso 2015-03-16 23-59-44-25 The game that I least understand why I am not playing it… is The Elder Scrolls Online.  Everything about this game should be squarely in my wheelhouse considering the number of hours that I have spent playing games in the Elder Scrolls universe.  I have access to it both on PC and on PS4, and I had this idea that the console client would somehow revitalize my interest in the game.  The problem is… it hasn’t at all.  I feel like the problem I have with this game is that even though I have people moving around me… I feel like I am ultimately alone.  The other players are just a backdrop in part because I never see their names.  I think in part I am experiencing Beta regret, because after testing this game for a year there are previous incarnations of the game UI that I just enjoyed more.  If I could go back and play THOSE incarnations… I would probably be enjoying myself still.  When names over the top of mobs went away…  the world felt like it shrunk for me, and the game became more or less a single player experience.  I still would love to find a way to make this game that at one point I was so devoted to still feel enjoyable, but I just have not found it.

Good Game in Disguise

Boating to Freedom

ARCHEAGE 2015-06-07 15-55-10-51 Over the last few days I have been all over the place as far as my game playing has gone.  Saturday night while recording the podcast I worked on my Rogue in Final Fantasy XIV, and Sunday morning I spent a good deal of time playing Wildstar.  However after talking about ArcheAge at length during the podcast I spent Sunday afternoon and evening working on leveling a brand new character on the server the rest of the AggroChat folks have been playing on.  Our show ended up unintentionally talking about how games change and giving them a second chance.  If you have been reading my blog for very long you will know I did not exactly give ArcheAge a glowing review at launch.  In truth the game was rather good, but the community that had arrayed around it was among the most toxic I had experienced.

The moment that sticks out the most in my memory is still crystal clear.  There is a moment in the early human storyline where you are asked to cross a bay in a rowboat.  Now around the time the game launched high level players were hanging out in the middle of this area with their huge boats, trying to capsize and subsequently drown anyone trying to cross this bay.  It took every bit of maneuvering to make it across the bay, as I watched many other players sent to the bottom.  Up returning and starting my level process again I have to say I was pleasantly surprised at just how chill the community has become.  For all I know they might be off in some far corner of the world being assholes to each other, but at the very least no one seems to be getting their jollies out of griefing new players.

Good Game in Disguise

ARCHEAGE 2015-06-07 16-31-08-95 In all the time I spent watching chat this weekend, I have to say that similarly the general banter has improved as well.  The awesome about about this is that I can finally focus on the fact that the game underlying all of those layers of frustration is actually rather good.  We talk about this at length on the podcast, but in many ways this is the game Rift should have been, or at least by that I mean that the skill trees seem to work so much better.  The key problem with Rift skill trees is that there are a lot of different flavors of the same ability, that can then be arrayed in a macro to simply push one after another.  The skill trees in ArcheAge have very little if any duplication between them.  In Rift the warrior tree for example have essentially the same basic attack, and same combo point dump.  This is required since any tree could be used as the starting point for a given spec.

In ArcheAge however there are trees that have basic attacks, and those are the only ones that the game will let you start with.  From there however the sky is the limit and it will allow you to mix in any combination of three trees.  The coolest part to me is that each combination has a fixed class name.  In the past I had tried Doomlord and Paladin, but this time while leveling I decided to go with Auramancy for my third tree.  The end result is this awesome mix of debuffing and magical shielding that I think will end up in being an extremely strong tank.  Right now I seem to be having an extremely easy time taking tearing through the content and just managed to ding fifteen.  Now this is in theory my third time leveling through the content so I am sure part of the ease comes from remembering what I need to do in various situations, but overall it does feel like maybe I am taking less damage at least in part due to the debuff I can throw out during every combat encounter.

Waiting for Heavensward

ffxiv 2015-06-06 19-37-35-68 The main question is how long we will stay, and if we will manage to make it into the open pvp areas.  Who knows, I do know that in a week and a half we will have Heavensward to pull us away.  In the meantime it seems like most people are at least taking a minor break from Final Fantasy XIV right before the big launch.  I have the days surrounding the launch off work, so I am more than likely going to be pushing it pretty hard.  Right now it is my intent to level my Warrior first, and then after getting it to 60 switch focus to playing Dark Knight.  I really do love my Warrior and the more I have played it recently, the more I realize just how happy I am with that class.  Everything about its tanking style “feels” right to me, and as exciting as the new and shiny Dark Knight might be, I have a feeling that I am always going to be a Warrior tank.  Who knows, it might launch and I might think it is the most amazing thing I have ever seen.  But in reality I keep expecting to keep swinging the big axe.

In the meantime however I am having a blast piddling around in both Wildstar and ArcheAge and exploring these two games that I am giving a second chance.  There is a significant problem however with my ArcheAge account so I am hoping the good support folks at Trion can get that taken care of shortly.  I have two characters on my account, but I am supposed to be able to create up to six.  All of the character slots are grayed out, and I cannot even connect to servers other than the two that I am already on.  So in theory something must be jacked up with my account.  Now considering my account is extremely old, and I have been playing for a very long time… it makes me wonder if something is related to the age of the account dating back to alpha.  Makes me wonder if it is somehow counting characters I made on test servers?  I spoke with a nice GM yesterday and he escalated it, so hopefully it will get addressed soon.  Right now we are largely torn between which faction to level on… but at the moment I am limited to only the one since I cannot roll any new characters.  So I am curious, what are you doing to ease the tension while waiting on Heavensward?

World Boss Train

Wandering around Wildstar

WildStar64 2015-06-06 10-49-11-09 Yesterday I had every intent to work on either leveling my Rogue or to work on getting poetics in Final Fantasy XIV.  However recently I have had a resurgence of friends checking out Wildstar again so I opted to boot that up after finishing yesterdays blog post.  To set the stage some of my friends from the FFXIV Free Company also lead quite possibly the largest guild on the Entity server.  To call this guild “active”, is like calling the national debt “a large number.”  This is a double edges sword because so often I feel like I am struggling to keep up with the activity going on in game.  Wildstar is already an extremely busy game for me, and to have guild chat scrolling by like mad, as well as the assorted circles I am in is a bit of a sensory overload.  So it is sheer luck that I happened to be paying attention to guild chat at just the right time yesterday.

WildStar64 2015-06-06 10-44-07-79One of my guildies was gathering up a group to take down Grendelus the Guardian, the world boss of Celestion.  Now at this point I had not actually been to Celestion but they were awesome and willing to wait for me to find my way out there.  Thankfully I was right next to the gates to Thayd and could hop across the city and get into Celestion in nothing flat.  Firstly I want to say that when I saw Grendelus was only level 11 I was thinking this was going to be more of a token fight than a serious one.  Those assumptions were completely wrong, because even at level 18 Grendelus was serious business.  In fact we had a few level 50s with us in our group taking him down and it still took roughly fifteen minutes from the time we pulled to the moment we managed to down him.  I remember world bosses existing and that folks banded together to fight them at launch, but I never actually managed to participate in one.  I do however remember trying to take on King Honeygrave with a group of friends not really understanding that he was designed as a raid encounter.

World Boss Train

WildStar64 2015-06-06 17-47-43-40 As it turns out that these world bosses are needed as part of the super complex raid attunement system in Wildstar.  It also turns out that apparently even though I am level 18, when I participate in one of them I am getting credit that will eventually work in my favor when it finally comes time to do the attunements proper.  I guess when you hit maximum level you get retroactive credit for all of the world bosses you have killed, or at least that is what my guild seemed to insinuate.  Firstly I have to say how impressed I am with the way that the Black Dagger Society rolls into zones.  Last night I managed to hook up with what was essentially a guild World Boss train, and they openly offer anyone in zone that wants to tag along a spot in the raid group.  In fact they were more than willing to wait for people running in from Thayd to get there before starting.  There is this infectious spirit about them that is really enjoyable to be around.

WildStar64 2015-06-06 17-52-06-81 So while I didn’t get much actual leveling done yesterday, I did manage to knock four raid bosses off the list.  I had been kind of shy about offering my help when things were going on in guild, but as I am starting to get to know the members better I am feeling more open about stepping up to the challenge.  I’ve had moments of people jokingly asking if I was “THE Belghast”, and more people seem to know me than I know them…  but overall I am slowly working my way into meeting all of the folks in the guild.  It seems like a really great place to hang my hat, and had I NOT joined I have a feeling that Chestnut would have been a really sad panda.  I am hoping with me dialing back World of Warcraft, that I can actually participate in more events that are going on there.  The guild has a whole has these big events on a somewhat regular basis, so my hope is that I can get in on some of them in the coming weeks.

AggroChat 60 – Second Chances

Tonight on AggroChat we have Belghast, Tamrielo, Thalen and Grace. This week Kodra is off playing a rather convincing Fred from Scrooby Doo at Origins, and Ashgar disappeared mysteriously moments before the recording… and we are hoping everything is okay. The rest of us talked about some recent experiences giving games a second glance. The first game on that list is Wildstar and both Belghast and Grace have spent a significant amount of time back in the game. It has been amazing just what an embattled and often times struggling team has managed to accomplish. Similarly Tamrielo and Thalen have been checking out ArcheAge to find that community is much improved. Tam talks at length about what he likes about the design of the game, and how it manages to do a better job at being Rift.

Since Ashgar was missing we felt the need to give a huge plug to the Four Job Fiesta program and talk at length about how exactly it works. For Ashgar the “fiesta” is like a religion, and each June we know that sooner or later we are going to be hit up to join it again. This year he has pledged $10 for each AggroChat host that manages to beat the game and $5 for each AggroChat listener that beats the game and includes @AggroChat twitter handle on their victory shot. We talk about a number of other games including Lego Worlds, World of Warcraft, Shadowrun Returns and of course our getting prepared for the launch of the Heavensward expansion in Final Fantasy XIV. It is a big show chock full of lots of interesting discussions that we hope you will enjoy. “Please look forward to it.”

Storm Surge

Wall Jumping

Wow-64 2015-06-04 19-41-58-49 World of Warcraft feels really damned weird when you have not logged in for over a week.  What I mean by this is that some is strange with the perspective of that game as compared to most other games.  I have noticed this a few times when swapping between the various games I have been playing, but never quite so strongly as last night.  I have no clue what it is, or how to describe it better but something is just “different” with the way the world spreads out around me.  It always takes me a few minutes to get adjusted to the perspective as my eyes freak out a little bit.  I am really hoping someone out there understands what I am talking about… because otherwise I just sound like a mad man.  Life had conspired against me, and for various sundry reasons I missed the last two raid sessions, and even more troubling was that it had been two weeks since I had actually taken a shot at Blackhand.  I would really love to be able to close the Blackrock Foundry chapter of my raiding life with a a kill, and last night we got close.

The biggest adjustment for me is the fact that we were really short on melee dps… which is an odd problem for our group to have.  This meant I got to be on the wall group during phase two.  Every so often Blackhand smashes the current tank, and the wall jumpers need to get behind the tank… but also in the circle of impact so they get knocked up in the same direction the tank is going.  This works similar to the Bladefist crowd group, and the end result being kill as many things as you can and then jump down when your health gets low or you have cleared the entire group.  In the grand scheme of things I guess I am a decent choice for the job because of my self regen and tanky cooldowns.  We have phases one and two down solidly, and right now it is just phase three where everything is falling apart.  On our best attempt we managed to get him to 11% so I am thinking next week given another full night of attempts we might kill us a Blackhand, and there will be much rejoicing.

Storm Surge

HeroesOfTheStorm_x64 2015-06-04 19-14-22-89 Since it had been over a week since I had actually logged into WoW last night, I had to go through the song and dance of making sure I had consuming and collect my “disappointment tokens” to allow me to re-roll on the loot that will never actually drop.  After doing all of that I parked my butt at the entrance to the raid and took up the offer of Damai and Mor to join them in some Heroes of the Storm fun.  Last night my quest was to play two matches as a Starcraft Hero, and at that point I realized… that quite honestly I don’t play a lot of Starcraft heroes in this game.  Probably my favorite of all of the Starcraft Heroes is Sergeant Hammer, but unfortunately I do not “own” her yet because she is a truly silly amount of gold.  Instead I have Raynor, a Hero that I played quite a bit in early alpha so I opted to use him.  The problem being he no longer plays quite like I remember him playing.  Just like my disconnect I had with Muradin, they have changed the way he feels and made him significantly less sturdy.  The end result was me taking a lot of deaths and doing a generally piss poor job playing the game.

Part of the disconnect also was that last night we were playing with actual human beings, and the night before we were playing bots.  Essentially one of our trio had been playing quite a bit that day and managed to cap out on the amount of gold you can earn from bot games, thus pushing him into the solo queue to keep slowly earning gold.  Our first match we managed to win, and then in our second match… we ended up with a team that actually knew how to play together.  This is probably a side effect of the fact that three of us queued together.  Even though we were on voice, this really didn’t make much of a difference in the outcome because we are all not exactly amazing players yet.  I took a screenshot of my defeat screen because it was my very first so far in post release play.  Unfortunately before I had a chance to switch back to my beloved Sonya…  it was time to log out for the raid.  Even though we made a lot of progress on Blackhand I have to admit I probably would have rather been playing Heroes of the Storm.

Who Needs Sleep

WildStar64 2015-05-01 23-46-03-53 Shockingly last night I did not log into Final Fantasy XIV at all, in part because of the other things I had going on like the WoW raid.  Lately I have had two real world friends of mine start playing Wildstar again, and this has caused me to want to try and sort out exactly where I was in questing.  It had been several weeks since I had logged in and I could not remember the level or even what zone I was in, so I wanted to know at least that so I could adequately communicate it.  I am apparently seventeen and in Galeras, in fact as of last nights play session I have just made the transition to the second area of the zone and have picked up that taxi point.  I want to play this game some more, and I am thinking next week while my wife is travelling I might stream it off and on throughout the week.  Last night unfortunately I managed to get sucked into questing and once again did not end up heading to bed until midnight.  I had not played the game much since the last drop, and I think a few of my addons might have broken because I was suffering from all manner of UI issues last night.

All of this aside I had quite a bit of fun running around and causing mayhem on my warrior.  There is part of me that wonders about going over and completing Celeston instead of digging too far into Galeras, but I am managing to stay a few levels ahead of my quest mobs right now so there isn’t much of a problem yet.  I kinda feel bad for joining the Black Dagger Society and then simply not being terribly active.  They seem like a really great guild lead by a great group of people.  This is the problem when you are pulled in so many different directions, and with playing a game that is ultimately not your “main game”.  Right now Final Fantasy XIV is the game I care the most about, and I am absolutely in love with the guild we have there.  They keep me logging in on an almost daily basis if for no reason other than to see them.  Wildstar I feel could be a similar environment, but with the sensory overload that is the world and the user interface… I find it exceptionally hard to follow the chat window.  There is just so much stuff going competing for my attention that I have not figured out how to dial things down enough to where I can actually watch chat.  I hope to get to know more of my guildies however because they really do seem like awesome people.

Last Best Hope

Bel Folks Stuff #7 – Late Night with Jaedia

Rift_FOXFOXFOXFOX I have been pretty horrible about keeping any semblance of a schedule with the Bel Folks Stuff podcast.  Some months I release early in the month, and others I barely squeak out an episode before the month finishes.  This month is definitely the later as with other events going on I struggled to find a good time for me to record this bonus podcast.  I am extremely thankful that when I found a time my good friend Jaedia was gracious enough to make it work.  What makes it even more special is the fact that Jae is recording rather late in the evening.  It seems she doesn’t actually sleep, and might be some kind of new fangled android or something?  Joking aside we had a lovely conversation about all sorts of random things.

Since both of us have suffered with depression and anxiety for years, we touch a bit on that.  We also of course talk about gaming and what we have been up to lately.  We also get into the rules of how long you have to live in Wales before you have to start calling yourself “Welsh”.  Jae is recently married so we talk a bit about the transition from living together to being “married” that we both went through.  Jae at one point had five different blogs so we talk about the depths of her insanity and ability to compartmentalize.  We also talk about the happy medium we have found with being a general interest blogger.  It was a fun show to record and I hope a fun show to listen to as a result.

[Download Episode Here]

Last Best Hope

WildStar64 2014-05-14 17-53-01-005 Almost since launch folks have been foretelling the Doom of Wildstar, and not for lack of good reason.  The game had extremely anemic launch numbers, and as was announced during the latest NC Soft earnings report its box sales had trickled to a slow drip.  The current rumor mill of Wildstar going free to play was really spurred on by the announcement of their Mystery Box promotion.  So yesterday when they announced that the game would be shifting to a free to play model, this should have surprised no one… not even the most die hard of pro-subscription Wildstar fans.  While some Wildstar players are tending to wallow in the doom and gloom that comes with these sort of statements, I tend to view this as a potential new lease on life.  For whatever reason gamers appetite for a monthly subscription is next to non-existent.  Even World of Warcraft recently introduced the Token system allowing players to convert in game gold for subscription time much in a similar way to Eve Online does.  This leaves the last pure bastion of the subscription game being Final Fantasy XIV… and I would not be shocked if we see them implementing some sort of gil to token system eventually.

I am not saying the age of the subscription is over, but I think the age of subscription being the only option just might be.  I personally prefer to pay a single monthly fee for “all you can eat” buffet access to the game.  Some players prefer to try and play the game for free regardless of the restrictions.  Others prefer to purchase features “À la carte” and quite frankly I think in the current gaming economy a game needs to support all three models in order for it to gain permanent traction.  Wildstar I feel suffered from the same issues that Elder Scrolls Online did… namely that it launched during an exceptionally tight window of viability.  Too many things were being released during too short of a window and it caused the players to flit gleefully between everything that was coming out.  I know I personally left Elder Scrolls Online to play Wildstar and left Wildstar to play Warlords of Draenor.  Sure I set down permanent roots in Final Fantasy XIV during that time as well…  but most players do not do a great job of juggling more than one game at a time.

Free to Play is Not Doom

WildStar64 2015-04-17 20-28-57-98

More games have converted to the Free to Play model than I care to keep track of, and in no case has it really signaled a lasting doom for the community.  If anything the opposite is true as a flood of new players come rushing into the community over a few months.  When a game releases as free to play it becomes the shiny new thing in the view finder of the player base, and for a period of time everything old is new again.  This is likely the phase of doom that most players are dreading, because it means that there will be more than a few “how I mine for fish” folks flooding into your gated community.  The thing is… this too shall pass.  Not all of these new people will stick around and find footing in the game, and often times the most heinous of players tend to be the most fickle as well.  Within six months you will have a more stable population filled with the people who really do intend to set down roots in your community and stick around awhile.  Many of those players will probably even convert to subscriptions, but simply didn’t want feeling like that was their only option.

The free to play model is ultimately a good thing for many games because if nothing else it lowers the barrier of entry for new players.  This makes it that much easier for you to be able to recruit people into the game to join you.  I know with Final Fantasy XIV once they opened the fourteen day trial accounts, it became all that much easier to get my friends to give the game a “second glance”.  This also means that probably every player that played at launch is going to fire the game back up and revisit their characters.  I personally found the game greatly improved when coming back recently and rerolling as an Exile.  I don’t regret my decision to come back, nor do I regret snapping up cheap boxed copies of the game for months of gametime and bonus items.  The game is really rather good, and my hope is that with me stepping out of World of Warcraft for awhile I can devote more time to playing it.  If you find yourself in a situation where you are surrounded by “doom and gloom” folks, my suggestion is that maybe you find a more friendly place to hang out.  Over the long haul this will be a good thing for a game  that was so desperately trying to avoid falling into a death spiral.

Enjoying Wildstar

AggroChat 55 – Calling All Bloggers

This week I start off the show, and even title it with a pretty massive plug for the Newbie Blogger Initiative. What is the NBI you ask? Well this is the time of the year when Veteran bloggers support new folks wanting to get started in this madness. This year we are making an extra special push to try and help new podcasters, youtubers, and streamers along with the bloggers. Additionally I myself am making a special push to try to rekindle the fire in some of our wayward bloggers who are no longer as regular as they used to be. The entire month of May is dedicated to helping folks get started and find their niche, and since most of the AggroChat crew have participated in the past, it is time to get the word out.

As far as the rest of the show we had myself, Tam, Ashgar, Kodra and Grace. As always we spent a good deal of time talking Final Fantasy XIV since we are all still heavily playing it. Right now Greysky Armada our Free Company is back holding the bronze medal again for being the third most active Free Company on our server Cactuar. This week also saw myself and Grace spending some more time playing some more Wildstar. The Black Dagger Society the guild I am connected to has been having a guild night on Fridays and as such I have started joining in the festivities. Additionally there was talk of Marvel Heroes, Diablo 3, Ashgar returning to his Gameboy Advance roots, Tam winning his first Infinity tournament since the move, and similarly Kodra beating VVVVVV for the first time in his new place. Since this month is devoted to Shadowrun for the Gameclub we are also starting to play some of this. It was a fun show in spite of being in that pre-E3 gaming doldrum.

Making Progress

Wow-64 2015-04-30 20-57-40-40 I’ve been down a bit on raiding lately in my posts so I wanted to take a moment to give a bit of an update of sorts.  The Tuesday before last was very seriously one of the worst nights of raiding I have had in a very long time.  It really made me question if I wanted to keep trying to raid in World of Warcraft, and I posted this long discussion about it.  It seems like I actually gave voice to some of the same feelings that many of our raid had been having, but for whatever reason had not actually talked about.  As a result a dialog has started among some of the members, and I have to say I think things are starting to improve.  Tuesday this week was still a pretty rough night, but it felt at least somewhat better.  Thursday however on the other hand felt really good.  We were a much trimmed down group due to some absences but I also felt like we were working better as a team.  We lowered the bar slightly and worked on normal content again, clearing everything we had ever cleared before in a single night and putting in some serious work on the forge encounter.

If we had another hour of attempts I feel like we probably could have downed the encounter.  Things were flowing so much better than they ever had before.  We were getting through to the second phase, and then approaching it with a sense of direction and purpose.  We were alternating between burning down the Elementalists and focusing down the waves of adds.  We managed to push through to the final phase, and if we were at our full numbers we might have been able to defeat it.  I think we learned a lot of good lessons that we can hopefully apply this Tuesday.  The thing is… I am feeling something that I have not felt in a very long time… the desire to get back in there and give it another shot.  I am actually looking forward to raiding in World of Warcraft this week, and that is a pretty awesome thing.  Maybe just maybe we can make the changes necessary in the raid to make it a better experience for all of us.  At this point I am glad I said something, and started the discussion.  I guess the truth is if you are not having a good time, chances are you aren’t the only one.

Enjoying Wildstar

WildStar64 2015-05-01 21-07-54-46 Similarly this week I have been enjoying quite a bit of Wildstar.  I am still taking it nice and slow, but at this point I am level 16 with just a short ways to go to 17.  I have officially finished the Algoroc zone and will be moving into the next area.  The Black Dagger Society has been awesome to me, and I am super thankful to Chestnut and Chaide for giving me a friendly home to hang my hat in.  It turns out that Friday nights are somewhat of a guild night for grouping, and they have been working on lower level content.  Currently I do not have any other commitments Friday nights, so I am going to try and make that my Wildstar day.  This week they ran me through the earliest Protostar dungeon, and it does a pretty great job of teaching you what you need to do to succeed in a Wildstar instance.  Honestly I wish that this would have been the first dungeon when we were playing at launch, because I feel like it would have cleared up a lot of the frustrations had by many players.

The group we went into Wildstar with was made up of some pretty disparate points of view and skill levels.  For some the extremely frenetic pace of the dungeons was a point of frustration especially as we were trying to learn “on the fly” all of the various things we were supposed to be doing.  This dungeon eases the player in teaching them the various mechanics and then building upon them as the phases go, finally culminating in a boss fight that is fairly representative of what I saw in the “real” dungeons.  While the dungeon is essentially a giant tutorial, it is still extremely fun and when a random stranger asked me if I wanted to join them… I happily ran it again.  The other big switch I have made is previously I was focusing entirely on tanking as the warrior and now  I am starting to build out my dps abilities as well.  In most games I level as tanky as much as anything else in an effort to be as survivable as I can be for fighting the named encounters.  In this game I feel almost more survivable playing DPS as I do as a tank.  Essentially the amount of damage I deal more than makes up for the extra damage I might be receiving.  I am still pleasantly surprised that I am enjoying Wildstar as much as I actually am.  Pretty happy I decided to give it another shot.

Wrong About Wildstar

More Initiates

ffxiv 2015-04-13 21-12-58-11 For as frustrated as yesterdays post was, today’s is all the more hopeful.  Lately on Wednesday nights I have been assisting a fledgling second static group in our free company out.  While it still struggles to get a full eight people, we are making some progress.  As more people level to the cap, more people will be available to join in the raiding fun and hopefully this will smooth the process out significantly.  For the last few weeks we have been working on Turn 5 of the Binding Coil of Bahamut, aka the first major hurdle and the gateway to the second coil.  Last week we made decent progress but were still struggling to get through the dive bomb phase.  That phase seems to be the biggest frustration with the fight, and once you figure out the timing the rest goes smoothly.  While I barded it up last week, this week I tanked it because that was the role that was needed.  Since my health was significantly higher than Damai we swapped roles and I took the Twintania role and he adjusted quickly to dealing with the adds.

Now our first group of the night was less than successful because we ended up having to pug in half of the players.  The positive was that we noticed that the people screwing up were not our own people.  As the evening went on more people got in game and we were able to fill out the rest of the slots with some other seasoned veterans.  From here I think it took four attempts before we downed the 5th turn and keyed a whole new group of players for the second coil.  This is awesome for a bunch of reasons… because firstly it means that second team is progressing nicely apart from issues getting people online at the right time.  Secondly however it also means we can start drawing on the pool of players available for Monday night turn 9 attempts as well.  I know Grace is itching to see t9, so hopefully this will smooth out some of our own attendance irregularities.  It is almost summer after all and with summer comes folks going off and doing summer things.

Wrong about Wildstar

WildStar64 2015-04-22 22-58-27-92 This morning I am questioning if I have been wrong about Wildstar thus far in feeling that the game was just not for me.  Granted we gave it a good shot and played this game at launch but it felt like something was off.  Now coming back and playing it again I am really enjoying myself, but there are a large number of details that are significantly different that I think are effecting my enjoyment.  When the initial video was released talking about the Exiles and Dominion, I naturally felt an immediate affinity with the Exiles…  the problem being most of my friends had that same immediate attraction to the Dominion.  I struggled with this choice until I found the Chua and for the most part enjoyed my time playing an Engineer.  The problem being…  I just did not enjoy that style of tanking.  What I should have played was a Warrior, like I did every time I actually enjoyed myself during the beta.  So this time around I am playing a Human Warrior and enjoying smashing faces and jumping around like mad.  The Exile side has this whole “Firefly” vibe that works for me, whereas the Dominion feel more like playing the Empire from Star Wars.  Both are interesting but at this point in my life… I feel more kinship with the rebels.

The other thing that is helping significantly is due to the whole promotion I have a hover board starting at level 1, which makes roaming around the zones so much more enjoyable.  Additionally thanks to the promotion I have some spending money from selling extra items on the open market.  Knowing my character is set for awhile on upgrades and spending money makes all the difference in the world.  Finally the pace I am playing with makes a huge difference.  Wildstar is the sort of game where piddling around feels more enjoyable than focused leveling.  I am stopping to smell the roses, and boulders, and landmines… well you get the idea.  Additionally I went the Soldier path, meaning I get to smash more things in the face and while I enjoyed Explorer…  smashing things in the face is just more my style.  At launch I had this overwhelming feeling of a need to keep up with everyone else, so that I would be viable for dungeon running.  This time since I am playing all by myself for the most part…  I am taking my time and poking through the content at my own speed.  All of which adds up to a completely different experience for me.  All of this proves that the circumstances you go into a game greatly colors your end experience.  So far I am enjoying playing this game as a secondary “cooling down” from the action type game.

Wrong about Marvel Heroes

MarvelHeroes2015 2015-04-20 21-57-03-00 Another game that I have recently picked up that I am more than willing to admit I was wrong about is Marvel Heroes.  I have avoided this game like the plague because of a whole slew of reasons.  Firstly at its core it is a Diablo clone and while there is nothing wrong with that…  click to move and attack games and I generally do not get along that well.  Thanks to League of Legends and Heroes of the Storm I have learned to tolerate them… but my preferred means of control will always be WASD.  Secondly everything surrounding this game gave the impression that it was a free to play money grab of the worst type.  I played a tiny bit of this game in beta and was not terribly excited about any of the heroes I was able to play, so I filed this away in the “not for me” bin as well.  The thing is over time I have continued to watch people I know and love and respect playing this game as seriously as they have played any traditional MMO.  When I see something like this I start to wonder, what are they seeing it in that I am not.  I’ve had these same feelings surrounding games that I just did not previously understand like Guild Wars 2, and after finally hitting my stride in that game I figured I might as well give Heroes a shot too.

Sunday I ended up playing this game for awhile, and wound up playing it for I think five hours without really meaning to.  I feel like the piece of the equation that I was missing to really enjoy it, comes from the fact that I did not even realize I was in need of that Super Hero MMO fix.  I happily played City of Heroes for about six months before moving on to World of Warcraft.  When Champions Online launched I was extremely excited about that game…  until the first patch wound up killing the combination of abilities I wanted to play with.  With the launch of DC Universe Online that was yet another game I really enjoyed, but struggled to get traction in for reason I still don’t know to this day.  Marvel Super Heroes seems to be just a bout the right amount of depth for me to consume as far as super hero content goes, and the ability to swap between heroes freely helps significantly.  Right now I am focusing on Captain America but by the same token I have gotten rather fond of Gambit and Deadpool.  All of which I really want to play more of, and ultimately this seems like the perfect sort of game to play downstairs on my laptop while watching television and movies.  In fact I am hoping to do just that this weekend, and see what mischief I can get into with my shield bashing self.

Juggling Games

Naeling It

ffxiv 2015-04-21 06-18-03-34 The Monday night raid group has had quite the sequence of strange weeks since patch 2.55 went into the game.  Either we were lacking the right people, or enough people at all to do turn 9.  As a result after what seems like a month we did our first night of second coil attempts.  We were all exceptionally rusty going in, but the spirits were extremely high.  At times I would say our spirits were too high, because holy shit were we slap happy.  I was one of the worse so it is not like I can really complain much.  The positive take away is that we managed to get further than we had ever gotten before last night, and were starting to work on the fire/lightning phase of the fight.  On our best attempt we got Nael to 30% which feels like progress.  Essentially once we learn the phase four dance, we just have to keep that up until the boss is dead.

The only regret I have right now is choosing to get my 1300 poetics weapon on my warrior.  I was torn, he is absolutely my main and I intend not tanking as often as I can.  The problem is on Nael the fight we are struggling with I am having to dragoon it up.  That dps boost would really help, but what is done is done…  just kinda kicking myself for not picking a dragoon weapon first.  That said since 126 is more than geared enough for anything we are doing…  I am considering focusing on getting a 1300 weapon for the dragoon now before I pick up any more poetics gear for the warrior.  He still needs a chest piece and a belt, which I was going to start building towards the chest next.  However since that is still going to take a significant amount of time… I might work on getting that weapon instead.  I really wish that today’s 2.56 patch would have uncapped poetics…  because man do I need a lot of them.

Cap and Storm

MarvelHeroes2015 2015-04-20 22-24-50-34 Last night after the raiding shenanigans Thalen mentioned that at one point he had created a House Stalwart super group in Marvel Heroes as a way of stopping the random guild invites.  So I popped over into game and got invites.  From this point we grouped up for a bit until he needed to head to bed.  I have to say that I thought Captain America’s charge in and shield whirl thing was good AOE… until I ran around a bit with Storm.  While I got to tank bosses, pretty much all of the trash in the entire zone died horribly to a cloud of whirling winds.  That said I am really enjoying the fact that I can tank almost any world boss without much issue by keeping my my defensive buffs.  I noticed last night that there was a difficulty slider so at some point I want to play with that.  There are times this feels a lot like diablo on “normal” and I am wondering if there is a “hard” setting that I really should be playing.

Quite honestly I have not been even vaguely close to death other than last night when I was tanking Gorgon.  There I simply used the occasional med pack and made it through that fight without much issue.  The only reason  why it was dicey at all was because I was essentially soloing him, which is probably something I should not be  able to do at this point.  As of last night I am sitting at level 15 and still really enjoying the game.  I think this is going to be my go to for mindless fun, and I swear there are so many times the zone layout reminds me of City of Heroes.  I guess that might be because when I played that game I kept my camera zoomed out as far as it would go, which made it feel a bit like an over the top game.  The competition for spawns is a bit annoying near the entrance of a zone… but if you wander off by yourself you pretty much get the place to yourself.  When I hit the island of Madripoor it felt like the pack thinned out significantly, so I am guessing most people don’t make it out of the level 10 range before moving on.

Juggling Games

WildStar64 2015-04-17 19-23-24-41 The problem with juggling multiple games is that one of them always ends up falling through the cracks.  Right now I wish I had the time to devote to working on my character in Wildstar and trying to hit 65 in Rift.  Instead I am logging in a few times a day in Rift to run minions… and just not logging in at all in Wildstar.  Honestly my playtime is really spastic right now, because I have a bunch of things that I am trying to do each day.  In Final Fantasy XIV I am playing the mini cactpot each day and trying to stockpile as much MGP as I can.  Then while in game I run at least one daily expert so that I can cap my poetics each week.  I am also logging into World of Warcraft in the morning and at night to run my Garrison missions in the hopes of getting those ever illusive raid gear crates.  I am not 100% sure how they work, other than the fact that they show up every two weeks, so I keep clearing out other missions in hopes of making room for them when they show up.

Something new added to the rotation is logging into Marvel Heroes to get my log in reward.  Similarly I am logging into Final Fantasy Record Keeper for the same reason, and to get my daily item chest.  Record Keeper is one of those games I mostly play while my wife is shopping or I am out eating, waiting on food to arrive at the table.  It is a moment of boredom game more than anything else, but that said I am really enjoying it.  It is scratching an itch that I had not quite found from a mobile game.  Realistically I should be trying to log into Wildstar each day so that I can do a boom box, but I have been failing miserably at that one.  The funny thing is that I am spending a lot of time in a lot of different games but not really playing any of them.  Finally after doing my routine I figure out which game I am actually going to play and run off playing that one.  Most of the time that is Final Fantasy XIV but over the last few nights I have been playing a significant amount of Marvel Heroes.  Basically…  right now I am all over the place.

Six Years of Aggronaut

AggroChat #53 – Get Hyped

This week we are without Tamrielo and Rae for various reasons, but joining us once again are the ever amazing Grace and Thalen.  For awhile I thought we would be missing Kodra, but he shows amazing determination and podcasted anyways.  This is the week that he moved across country from Atlanta area to Seattle, and thanks to the magic of living in the same apartment complex as Tam, was able to “borrow a cup of internet” and a chair and pretty much everything else needed to make the podcast function.  This weeks episode is called “Get Hyped” because we spend a lot of time getting hyped about various things we are excited about.

During the course of the episode we talk about so many board games in the wake of International Tabletop Day.  This discussion managed to make a very sleeply Kodra awake enough to continue podcasting.  We also talk about how amazing the new Netflix Original Daredevil series is.  We talk about the Star Wars The Force Awakens trailer that was released, and cannot get through a single podcast without talking about the new tidbits of information floating about regarding the Heavensward expansion that is looming ever closer.  I talk about the new Wildstar promotion asking players to buy up “dead stock” and get rewarded heavily for it.  Some see it as an act of desperation but personally I see it as an act of sheer genius.  I also go on at length about how great the new Wardrobe system is in Rift.  It was a super fun podcast to record, and as such we ran fairly late.

Six Years of Aggronaut

SixYearsOfAggronaut

This week a fairly important anniversary slipped by without me realizing it.  The funny thing is that I even went so far as to make a Google reminder on my phone…  but then Friday ended up being an exceptionally busy day and I just plain “forgot”.  Friday April 17th was the sixth anniversary of my blog.  On April 17th of 2009 I made my first post on this blog, and it was a rather simple “Hello World”, but still it was the beginning of something that would ultimately be my obsession for a large chunk of these six years.  Now a much more important anniversary is coming up at the end of the month, when I mark two years of daily posting.  Tales of the Aggronaut was not by any means my first blog, but it was the one that I stuck with.  It began its life as a World of Warcraft blog, and ultimately turned into a Rift blog… and then when I realized I could not sustain it as a single game blog became what you know and hopefully love today.  Throughout all of it however it has more than anything been a blog about me, and surprisingly does an excellent job of tracking what I happen to be thinking and feeling at a given time through my reaction to things happening in the games I love.

According to Google Analytics I have had almost 100,000 readers during the time I have been writing this blog.  This is the more important stat for me, because it means I have reached almost 100,000 people in one way or another.  Granted these statistics don’t reflect the folks who choose to read my blog over RSS, but more than anything I wanted to come clean about my numbers for various reasons.  We are heading towards the Newbie Blogger Initiative and I always get the impression that people seem to think I have this wildly popular blog.  I have had some insane bumps like the one from WoW Insider that skews all of my statistics.  On that day I had over 6000 readers in a single day, but that was during a different time in MMO gaming.  On a good day once you combine both RSS and traditional analytics I maybe have 500 readers.  So while I will never be the media celebrity that some of my friends seem to think I am…  I am thankful for each and every person who feels connected enough to me to read me on a regular basis.  Sure I write this blog as a form of self therapy at times… but in truth it is my amazing readers that keep me going on mornings that I simply do not feel like writing anything.  Thank you all for your attention, and I hope I can still live up to whatever expectations you might have of me for the next six years.

Piddling in Wildstar

WildStar64 2015-04-18 17-48-26-74 I admit I have allowed myself to get pulled in by the latest Wildstar promotion.  It all started as a way of doing some research for a story I was writing for MMOGames.  However in the rush to find copies of Wildstar to see how many were actually out there in the wild…  I ended up picking a few up myself.  Now above you can see me proudly sporting the Marauder outfit and riding my Glitterkitty hoverboard.  While I loved playing Chua I never really felt all that at home with the Dominion.  I remember watching the original trailer to Wildstar and felt an immediate kinship to the Exiles.  However most of my friends at launch wanted to play Dominion so I went along with it.  That said by the time I left after my initial months I was too annoyed with the game to make a faction swap feasible.  There was just something I didn’t really like about Wildstar and I never really could put my finger on it.

Coming back I am actually enjoying myself quite a bit, but I have not hit the Whitevale wall yet that I did previously.  Also I feel like as much as I enjoyed having two robot buddies following me around at all times… the Engineer was really just not my type of character.  This time around I am focusing on a tanky warrior, and having a significant bit more fun doing it.  I can’t say I will play for a super long time but I have hooked up with Chestnut and Chaide and am hanging my hat with the Black Dagger Society.  There is rarely a time when I am just playing one game, so I feel like this might be enjoyable to revisit every now and then.  For me I generally have a base of operations in one game… and that game is Final Fantasy XIV and then I venture out into other titles as well.  Since World of Warcraft is no longer holding my attention I have been spending more time in Wildstar and Rift for those “off nights”.