About this blog

Meh

Work has been crazy the last two weeks, I’m not sleeping well and that’s probably the main reason why I didn’t post.

Been logging in to WoW for only 5 mins most days, collecting and starting Legion Champion missions. So close to 500 on my Rogue, but I might just end up having to grab new resources at like 497.

Been progressing slowly and steadily in SWTOR (9 75s, one at 73). I’m in a bit of a rut now though, I am not happy with the way gear works. Maybe I’m not playing enough (getting the conquest on 2 toons per night usually) but my Renown ranks are not progressing very fast and I’m just barely at 276 iLevel on my best set of gear. As the gear you get is based on what you’re wearing (as I understood it) I’ve been shifting a single set of gear from toon to toon, which gets old really fast. Just an hour ago I deconstructed a ton of 270 gear, keeping only 8 sets of 272-276 gear and one set of 268 that can be worn at Level 71 already. Actually not sure if I’ll continue after this month, but maybe my overall mood will improve next week.

Also not been playing a ton of EVE, the war is boring me already after a week. I wasn’t happy to put my death clone to our war staging as I usually hate traveling just for the sake of it anyway, but at least I’ve been roaming a bit on my alt, doing a bit of PI. Haven’t joined any fleets in a few days though. Maybe all the people who had been playing for months or years were indeed bored and eager for the war, but I’ve only returned 3-4 months ago and was just on a fun ride and experiencing NullSec properly. Then the war came and everything is hectic and different and it held me up by making the things that I was just (re-)learning different.

MMOs and being involved

I just watched a few videos about a casual (one night per week) approach to MMOs and was reminded about Kanter’s recent posts (I think Syp would also fall into that category for the sake of my argument, playing so many different games).

This has made me realize that I can’t remember ever approaching an MMO like this. Neither having a dedicated day of the week for this, or being so strapped for time for a prolonged period that I could only make room for one sitting of 2-3h per week for an MMO. Maybe I should consider myself lucky here, but with no kids and a job that’s usually not too demanding in terms of overtime, I’d say it’s not too unique, as we’re not the types to spend several nights out, every week.

So either I’m in the mood for an MMO, then I go full blast (and often enough I have 2 MMO subs running, so I can either split my evenings with gaming time or take turns) or I am not at all in the mood for MMOs or games in general, then I don’t play at all, but not one evening.

Not a really substantial thought, but nevertheless it got me thinking. Apparently I can only take shooters in moderation, but not MMOs.

It’s Blapril and this is post number 18.

Favorite Game Series

It’s rare that a topic that’s making the rounds in our Blaugust-centric gaming blog circle applies to this blog, most often I’m an interested bystander who can’t really take part. The “Five Favorite Game Series” (started by Krikket) might be just another one of those.

My first thought was “Favorite Game Series? That’s hard.” Then it was “Five of them? Even harder.” So let’s have a look at some of the commonly nominated ones, the default picks for many people maybe.

  • The Elder Scrolls – TESO was cool, but the other one I played I didn’t like. Can never remember if it was Morrowind or Oblivion.
  • Civilization – nope, not my cup of tea
  • StarCraft – only loved #1, didn’t play #2
  • WarCraft – Oh yeah, this might fly. I loved 2, I liked 1+3, I play WoW
  • The Witcher – started with 2, it was ok.
  • Age of Empires – 1 was fun, didn’t play 2
  • Torchlight – 1 was fun, 2 was meh
  • Final Fantasy – I only played XIV. It’s good!
  • Zelda – the SNES one was ok, not great. That’s when I lost interest
  • Pokémon – the one I tried (Red? Ruby? on GBA) was ok, but a little boring
  • Guild Wars – I didn’t like 1 at all, 2 was fun
  • The Settlers – 2 was awesome, then.. mhm

See how hard this is? Even when I liked or loved it, maybe part 2 took so long to come out that I had lost interest already, but thinking very hard there’s really a few series I actually liked.

  • Anno – I played 1602 a lot, 1503 a bit, I recently bought 1404 – yeah.
  • Assassin’s Creed – I think I overdid it at some point, but I’m generally a fan
  • Quake – I played 1 and 2 for many years and 3 for years, so I guess: yes.
  • Super Mario Land (GB) + Bros (NES) + World (SNES) – I actually played 5 of these, yay

So in the loosest of definitions where I could say “I liked at least half of the titles, up to, or from a certain point”, then I can name these 4. Plus WarCraft.

Intermission, one day later:

Awesome, that’s what happens when your brain doesn’t work for a day. I originally wanted to write this post because of the Mass Effect trilogy, because it absolutely needs to be in the top five, although I didn’t play the fourth game, Andromeda. Also I totally forgot Diablo, where I actually played 1, 2, and 3. Also maybe Super Mario should be discounted because I ignored the last 25 years. And finally another series I forgot, was “The Dark Eye Trilogy”, Blade of Destiny, Star Trail, and Shadows over Riva, (Realms of Arkania in English) which came out in 1992, 1994, and 1997 (originally in German). The Dark Eye is the German D&D, there’s no way around it. No idea how the pen & paper landscape looks today, but from the late 80s to at least the 00s, German roleplayers were more likely to play this system over D&D. The games were good and if you liked the world, that’s how you could dive in. So yeah, I blame it on my headache that I kinda forget not one but three of my favorite series. Sometimes you should sleep instead of blog.

Old post resumes here:

And still this kind of misses the point. There are only 5 series I played as a series. And if I didn’t like a game as much, why would I continue to play the series? And is Mario even a series? I know, I’m overcomplicating it, but if you don’t go out to buy games left and right this is really hard.

Finally, the interesting question that came up on Discord is whether 2 games can be a series of there need to be 3 of them 🙂

It’s Blapril and this is post number 16.

What’s up for 2020?

Posts about the future are rare on this blog, but there are actually a few things I am looking forward to this year, not necessarily releases:

  • WoW Shadowlands
    • I’ve been playing a lot of WoW recently and while I’m happy to take advantage of the XP (and rep) buff to reach my goals, I’m looking forward to a new expansion.
  • Horizon: Zero Dawn on PC
    • When I bought my new PC last year I stuck with my 2016 RX470 and told myself I’d upgrade it when HZD came out. I was really looking forward to it. Now I’m already a bit meh again, I really hate stuff being announced more than half a year in advance, I can never keep momentum. But we’ll see, maybe I am lucky and not totally busy with other things. I WANT to play it.
  • more of EVE Online
    • Not looking forward to a specific release, but I’m in full swing right now and having a blast.
  • Final Fantasy XIV – Shadowlands
    • The grind of the MSQ got to me and I never reached it. Good job, SE, someone gets converted from a “ah let’s try” to buying all 3 expansions, but then burning out 4 levels shy of the last expansion…
  • Cyberpunk 2077
    • Not sure I’ll play it, but I love the fact that it exists and maybe reading and seeing more will tempt me.

Of course there’s also a list of unrealistic expectations:

  • Guild Wars 2 – finish Heart of Thorns and Path of Fire
  • have a look at TESO again, maybe properly this time

And finally a single player TODO list:

  • Finish Forgotten Anne, it’s awesome and should only be a few hours
  • Get to Level 50 in Borderlands 3

It’s Blapril and this is post number 14.

Blapril Topic Brainstorming Week

I’m not exactly active in taking part in the theme weeks of Blaugust/Blapril, but for this week I actually have an opinion. You could call it an advice, if you like.

Not everyone writes a blog for the same reason. Sure, you seem to be keen on publishing something, otherwise you wouldn’t have started one or thought about starting one. Naturally if you did, you want to put something there, that’s the whole point, right? I’m not sure. In the early days blogs were ridiculed a bit for being “just a diary, but online”. I’ve never written a diary in the classical text form, and still most of my blog posts are just diary entries of what happened. Sorry, dear reader, I’m not actually writing this for you. I’m mostly writing this down because I have a bad memory when it comes to remembering specifics, but I’ve had enough positive comments to encourage me to make it available publicly. The upside of this is that I don’t have to post with a certain frequency, I post when I want something written down or when a milestone is reached, or sometimes just to let off steam because something didn’t work out.

You don’t need to brainstorm topics if you don’t feel the need to publish regularly, or often. Just write what you want to write, whenever you want to write. It’s your blog.

Obviously this doesn’t help you if you do want to publish regularly and attract a big readership, but then you shouldn’t be taking advice from me anyway 🙂

It’s Blapril and this is post number 8. And of course Blapril is motivating me to post more, but I’m not actively brainstorming, just reading other blogs and sometimes it’s better to create a blog post than a very long comment.

Blapril 2020 – Keep up with the news via RSS

Back in 2018 when I participated, I created an OPML file (here’s the post) and because the topic came up on Discord, here’s the 2020 edition.

So if you have an RSS reader, this is for you. If you don’t, my recommendation is to at least check out what that is and why you might like it, if you read blogs, which you obviously do.

RSS (Rich Site Summary; originally RDF Site Summary; often called Really Simple Syndication) is a type of web feed which allows users to access updates to online content in a standardized, computer-readable format.

Please note that these are not final and might (probably will) be updated and/or fixed if needed.

This is Blapril and I got a free post number 2 out of this 😉

Bla Bla Blapril

There’s a thing going on and because I had a lot of with Blaugust in 2018 and been following this for a week in the Blaugust Discord I decided to join, on the last day of course 😛

I plan to not follow the schedule again, only count the posts made in April, and I plan to do more than 5 posts, 15 is a stretch goal.

Oh, and we’re Blaprilists now, not Blaugustans.

2019 in review

The year is ending and so it’s time for a review post. 2019 was an odd year.

What I played a lot:

  • World of Warcraft – Retail
  • Final Fantasy XIV
  • World of Warcraft – Classic

Where I spent a decent amount of time:

  • SW:TOR
  • EVE Online
  • Borderlands 3

Played a bit:

  • Shadowrun Returns
  • several Picross titles on mobile, but not really worth mentioning

Gaming expenses in 2019:

  • SW:TOR: 3×13 EUR = 39 EUR for subscriptions
  • WoW:
    • 7×13 EUR + 6×12 EUR = 163 EUR for subscriptions
    • 3x 17.50 EUR = 52.50 EUR for discounted server transfers
  • FFXIV:
    • 9x 11 EUR for subscriptions = 99 EUR
    • 5x 1.40 EUR for retainers = 7 EUR
    • 20+35 EUR for expansions = 55 EUR
  • EVE Online: 1×11 + 3x 13 EUR = 50 EUR for subscriptions
  • GOG: 0 EUR
  • Humble: 0 EUR
  • Steam: 2,50 EUR for Islanders, it’s really cool
  • Epic: 0 EUR
  • Got Borderlands 3 for free for buying an AMD Ryzen CPU.

In total that’s 467 EUR in 2019, at 39.66 EUR per month – I think that’s a record expense for me, because I was indeed subscribed to 3 MMOs except in the summer, but the server transfers made up for that. So again sorry to all game creators who don’t happen to be making MMOs 🙁
It seems like a lot, comparing it to the last years, even exceeding 2014’s 450 EUR by a bit, but overall I think it’s still a really good figure for your main hobby, if you exclude upgrading your gaming PC – but I don’t do that very often (this year I did).
Also I could subtract ~26 EUR for prepaying EVE and WoW into January, but I paid this year, so I’ll keep it in.

  • Amount of MMO subscription months paid: 29
  • Amount of games purchased: 0
  • Amount of expansions bought: 2 for FFXIV: ShB + SB (actually, 3, but SB included HW)
  • Amount of money for ingame/services stuff: 60 EUR
  • Amount of games I got for free and played a lot: 1 (Borderlands 3)
  • Amount of games I got for free and didn’t play at all: ~10? (mostly Epic Store)

Yeah, this was an odd year I guess.

A final look at my wishlist/winter sales didn’t bring any surprises. There are a few games I might like, but right now I can’t think of anything that gets me really excited, except the new SW:TOR expansion, which I haven’t checked out yet. So I don’t think I will buy anything, as I don’t see myself playing anything in the near future.

Too busy to play games

No post for nearly 4 weeks. I did continue playing Borderlands 3, but got stuck on one boss soon after the last post and then I kinda didn’t play anything for the last 3 weeks, but at least I managed to log in to grab my daily rewards in EVE most of the days.
Christmas stuff happened, was meeting friends and former coworkers over mulled wine, and in general was busy with other things. I just prepared my “Year in review” post and scheduled it for the 31st. Let’s see if I will have time to play anything in the remaining days of the year.

Theme changed for layout tweaks

When I moved this blog off wordpress.com 8 months ago I was only 90% happy with my new theme, trying very hard to preserve the old basic look I’ve had since 2009. My CSS skills are a bit rusty and I really wasn’t in the mood to fiddle with everything endlessly, but I was getting less and less happy with something I couldn’t express 100%.

Something annoys me here

Inspired by Rakuno’s post I instantly noticed what was bugging me most, the author blurb/posted on/meta part.

The meta information about the post is in one line

So as I had a little time I went digging for a theme where I could do this better after spending half an hour fiddling with the CSS on the old theme and overwriting 20 rules. It was close, but not perfect and then I noticed 2-3 other things..

Yes, much better.

Long story short, now I have a new theme, Astra, and I only had to override one thing with CSS and the rest can be configured. Awesome. Let’s see if I stay happy with this evolution of the basic look.

Before
After
  • Kinda missing the dark border
  • not yet 100% sure how to align the site title
  • Maybe get rid of that space before the first post

But overall I think I’m happier.