About this blog

Blaugust – Keep up with the news via RSS

People are different, so of course browsing habits are different as well, some preferably use their smart phones (I don’t), some use laptops or desktop machines. I suppose people playing video games are still mostly in the last camp although I’ve seen some impressive gaming laptops recently. But I digress, some people have a list of links to blogs they click through daily or weekly, some just type in the URLs, but many people use so-called RSS-Feeds to keep up with new posts on various websites, very often blogs.
To quote Wikipedia:

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.

There are several RSS readers for desktop and mobile use, and a lot of websites that do this, for example Feedbin or Feedly or many others. I use Tiny Tiny RSS that I host on my own server.
Anyway, should you be interested in following all the participants of Blaugust Reborn this year, I created an OPML file (explanation) that you should be able to import into your feed-reader of choice. I will try to update it every few days at least, so you might want to add the latest participants manually. There’s also a plain TXT with the feeds.
If this doesn’t make sense at all, feel free to hit me up on Discord or comment for further explanation and how I can persuade you to love RSS 🙂

Blaugust Prep Week

Maybe you shouldn’t take advice from someone with an average of two page views per post, but then again this is not a highly promoted blog.
I also don’t have a lot of advice, that others didn’t put more eloquently, but there’s a few things I want to mention.
 

The name your website/blog versus your domain name

See, this blog is hosted at armagon.wordpress.com – but nowadays I’m mostly going by Nogamara, except my twitter handle is still @Armagon – it’s not hard to google where the name came from, it’s also kinda an obscure reference, and I still have a toon in most MMOs by that name, but as it wasn’t original enough, I chose to mostly go by Nogamara (I also have that twitter handle) – but I won’t change the blog name. This might be a bad idea, but I don’t care. So my advice: Unless you plan to stick to your nick/handle for ages (and I do mean ages, I’ve used one nick at age 15-17, one from 17 until 27 and another one since then, and this is all just outside of gaming circles…) circumstances might change and either you want to be well-known and findable on the interwebs or you want to hide your juvenile mistakes by changing nicks at some point 🙂
Anyway. In ancient (for the internet) times Tim Berners-Lee (yes, that Tim Berners-Lee) wrote “Cool URIs don’t change” and because I’m an old fart I’m still sticking to that. So I’d rather change not change my domain name. If you want to, that’s your choice of course. Remember that it’s your website, your blog, your content. Unless someone’s paying you, do what you want unless you’re in other people’s faces. I’m just trying to encourage you to leave your old website (especially if it’s still relevant content like game reviews, guides, etc.) online (that’s where a free web host comes in handy) and not delete it. Yes, do as I say, not do as I do. I now (nearly 9 years later) wish I had come up with a cooler name. My original WoW Rogue blog was called “Vanish!” – also very narrow, but not totally off. Not a great name for a general blog either.

Interaction with other people

This is not my first blog and probably won’t be me last. On this one I’ve only had like 99% positive interactions with people, so apparently I was either flying under the radar, not posting very opinionated content, or something else. Keep in mind you might at some point write something controversial and then it gets linked on Twitter or Reddit and some Trolls are coming your way. Don’t let them drag you down. Don’t hesitate to moderate and block them or at least ignore them. Feel free to discuss but don’t take any attacks personal.

Commitments

If you want to blog a lot, go ahead! Blaugust is cool because you have other people around and it can be encouraging to read more posts, participate in discussions that take place in long form content instead of comments, and get to interact with other bloggers. If you don’t feel like posting, don’t despair though. If you signed up ready to try to get 31 posts going in August and feel you can’t make it – it’s fine. The Gold(25), Silver (15), Bronze(5) and Newbie (just starting a blog) Awards are fine, too. Do it for fun! Sure, you can take some of the bloggers who are writing daily or every week day as an example, but it takes practice for some people. It’s absolutely not the norm to be able to come up with a post every day. I certainly can’t sustain this for very long, I just have a chatty phase the last 2 weeks. I can absolutely not predict how long it will last, so my goal is Bronze and I’m overjoyed if I reach Silver. Sure, I could’ve just saved some of my last 10 posts for August, but this is my blog and if I write for 11 days until the 31st and then stop I’m a good target for ridicule – but I’ve been writing these last 2 weeks because I wanted to.

Blaugust Reborn 2018

As I wrote last week Blaugust is happening again and now I gave in and finally joined – 5 minutes ago. This is the ninth post in a row (one daily) without really trying very hard. You may judge for yourself if a 5min description of me playing for a few hours is worth your time, but this was never a blog to try to get famous or woo the masses 😛
TAGN has a nice post with a list of the first 55 participants, although it should be around 70 already.
If everything works out as it usually does, this will absolutely be my last post for half a year and I won’t even begin with Blaugust. Morale ist still high though and I even have a single draft ready, although I tend to just forget those.

2017 in review

The year is nearing its end and so it’s time for a new round of “what happened?”.
What I played a lot:

  • WoW: Legion
  • SW:TOR
  • Guild Wars 2
  • Marvel Heroes
  • Ragnarok Restart
  • InfiniPicross, Picross Touch & Picross Luna

Completed:

  • Mass Effect 3
  • Fallout Shelter (146h, 34/35 achievements)
  • InfiniPicross (it’s infinite, but 27h and 100% achievements have to count)
  • Picross Touch (“completed”, 60h, 13/18 achievements, 550+ games played)

Played a bit:

  • Party Hard
  • Project Highrise
  • Crypt of the Necrodancer
  • Rise to Ruins
  • Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
  • WildStar
  • EVE Online
  • TESO (The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited)

Gaming expenses in 2017:

  • SW:TOR: 3x 11 EUR
  • WoW: 4x 13 EUR
  • Diablo 3: 15 EUR for Rise of the Necromancer
  • WildStar: no idea, website says zero
  • Xbox 360: 0 EUR
  • GameBoy Advance: bought some used cartrdiges at a retro fair, 20 EUR iirc
  • Games on Steam: ~36 EUR – Templar Battleforce, InfiniPicross, Party Hard, Submerged, Cities: Skylines, TESO, Rise to Ruins
  • Games on GOG: ~14 EUR – Rollercoaster Tycoon 2, Crypt of the Necrodancer, Project Highrise, Pinata(Deadlight, meh)
  • Games on Bundlestars/Fanatical: 1 EUR
  • Hardware: 17 EUR for a SteamLink + Game bundle
  • Marvel Heroes: 30 EUR for ingame currency, via Steam
  • Guild Wars 2: 80 EUR for the expansion

This means: 298 EUR in 2017, at ~25 EUR per month. (I actually needed to doublecheck this, it seemed awfully low before I added GW2).

  • Amount of MMO subscription months paid for: 7
  • Bought stuff in the shop: Marvel Heroes
  • Full price games: 1 (GW2: Path of Fire) (and a D3 expansion, which was not full price…)

This blog is now 8 years old

As I wrote somewhere, this wasn’t my first gaming blog, but it’s the one I kept.
This is the first post, made on Oct 18, 2009. It started as a WoW blog because I really only played WoW at that time. This wouldn’t really change for a few years – at least not in the sense that I played a game enough that I would write about it.
This should be post #138.
I’m still mostly playing MMOs, but I’m not raiding and hardly grouping outside of RL friends, so I guess that makes me the prototype casual pretend-single-player MMO player. And I’m having a blast. At least when I’m not on a month long gaming break, which is also fine.
Actually there were quite a few MMOs/notable expansions I only started (or were released) after this blog was created:

  • SW:TOR launched on December 20, 2011 – played at launch
  • Marvel Heroes launched on June 4, 2013 – I started in December 2014
  • TESO launched on April 4, 2014, I started in 2017
  • WildStar launched on June 3, 2014 – played at launch
  • Guild Wars 2 launched on August 28, 2012, but I only started in spring 2015
  • WoW: Cataclysm – December 7, 2010 – played at launch
  • WoW: Mists of Pandaria – September 25, 2012 – played at launch, stopped in April 2014 iirc
  • WoW: Warlords of Draenor – November 13, 2014 – started in December, stopped in January
  • WoW: Legion – August 30, 2016 – resubscribed a month before launch, stayed for a while

But here’s the oldtimers, being released more than 8 years ago:

  • EVE Online launched on May 23, 2003, but I started in 2014 iirc
  • Ragnarok Online launched in the EU on April 15, 2004, but I started in December 2003
  • The Lord of the Rings Online – April 24, 2007
  • WoW launched on February 11, 2005 – but I started in May 2006 iirc
  • WoW: The Burning Crusade – January 16, 2007 – played at launch
  • WoW: Wrath of the Lich King – November 13, 2008 – played at launch

Not even trying something similar for non-MMOs because I don’t even remember when I bought a game at launch day. But I’ve also not just waited for a sale. I tend to not be overexcited and just at some point happen to pick them up if they sound interesting. One exception is Diablo 3, incl expansions.
Let’s see, I’m really bad with predictions (but I don’t do them in my year-end post anyway) so here’s a list with the “moderately interesting” label for the next time:

  • Albion Online
  • Crowfall
  • Destiny 2, the beta really hooked me.. but now.. MMOs, not shooters
  • Wild West Online

And yes, this is a scheduled post because I would’ve surely forgotten to publish it on the correct day 😛

The 2016 review

It’s Christmas eve around noon and this year I’m early with preparing my review post instead of playing games. I think that says enough.
Again I didn’t really go out of my way to buy stuff in sales, but it happened. Again I don’t really buy new stuff. Again there’s MMO subscriptions. Again I’m pretty happy with my spending.

  • Played a lot:
    • WoW: Legion (6 toons at 110)
    • EVE (hard to measure)
    • Marvel Heroes
    • Diablo 3 (S6: Crusader/Slayer, S7: Wizard/Chapter 4, S8: Barbarian/Chapter 4)
  • Completed:
  • Played a bit:
    • WoW: WoD (1 month just before Legion launch)
    • Faeria
    • Mass Effect 3
    • Dishonored
    • Guild Wars 2 (quite a bit at the start of the year)
    • Broken Sword
    • The Witcher
    • FarCry3: Blood Dragon
    • AC: Brotherhood (finally abandoned, Black Flag next)
  • Basically only logged in once or twice:
    • WildStar
    • SW:TOR

Gaming expenses in 2016:

  • WoW: 117 EUR – 45 EUR (Legion), 52 EUR (subscription), 20 EUR (character transfer)
  • EVE: 144 EUR – 2x 6month subscription (until April ’17)
  • Marvel Heroes: 80 EUR for the Advance Pack 3
  • Games on Steam: 33 EUR – Broken Sword 1-5 (15 EUR), KotOR2 (3 EUR), Faeria (6 EUR), Dishonored (3 EUR), Pony Island (2 EUR), Out There Somewhere + Dungeon Hearts (1 EUR)
  • Xbox 360: 0 EUR

This means: 374 EUR in 2016, so ~31 EUR per month, slightly up from last year’s 355 EUR, but with a 4 month subscription credit into 2017.

  • Amount of MMO subscription months paid for
    • with money: 12
    • with ingame currency: 1
  • Bought stuff in the shop: Marvel Heroes
  • Logged in to but didn’t spend money: GW2, WildStar, SW:TOR
  • Full price games: 1 (WoW: Legion)

Gaming-free February

Back from a lengthy and much-needed vacation and it’s already March. The only gaming relating thing I did in the last 3 weeks was 10 minutes of a match-three on Android and approximately 5 more minutes of some puzzle game. I didn’t miss anything, but have already started my daily login to Marvel Heroes and Guild Wars 2 for the login bonuses. Haven’t played anything since returning though, but started reading my gaming-related RSS feeds on the subway again already.
I also didn’t miss gaming. At all. Before I left I had started playing The Witcher, might continue there. And then there’s still Mass Effect 3.

Testing the wordpress.com desktop client

I’m testing the Windows version.
Help -> About WordPress.com: Version 1.2.3 release

  • Contra: The installer doesn’t ask me where it should install to
  • Contra: 153 MB is a bit much for this, really.
  • Meh: I think it’s a bad idea to call your client “website.tld”
  • Pro: Login is easy and smooth
  • Pro: The admin view looks better than the website
  • Bug: When the About window is open, I can type, but the cursor is gone
  • Pro: Autosaving works
  • Contra: It shows me 2 drafts with “Untitled” – that’s a bit vague
  • Pro: Getting to the drafts is one click less I think
  • Pro: The “posts” view is kind of nice and shows an image plus text
  • Pro: The Categories & Tags seem to be easily accessible
  • Bug: Lost my cursor again, this time I just opened and closed the preferences, switching to “HTML” and back to “Visual” fixes it
  • Contra: When resizing the whole window, this input field stays in a fixed width column, like a web page. (This editor seems to be based on either node-webkit or Electron, so probably it is just a web page. Maybe even the new editor that I didn’t like last I tried it.)
  • Pro:  The “Preview” view is a lot better than on the website and displays fine, but the embedding seems a bit buggy. (Window too high, scrollbars weird, but the content is fine)

 
Summary: Looks good so far. Now I’m gonna hit “Publish” and hope for the best.

Quick 2015 review

Even though this blog doesn’t have many posts and also not many readers, I like doing review posts of my stuff. Caught a cold these days and didn’t get to play a lot on New Year’s Day.
Some people did cool charts on what they played in 2015, I can skip that fancy stuff and do a short list, especially as I can’t tell what I played in which month, as I wasn’t paying many subscriptions and am generally not good enough at tracking these things.

  • Significant amount of time spent:
    • Marvel Heroes
    • Guild Wars 2
    • WildStar
    • Ragnarok Online
    • EVE Online (only January+February)
    • Trine 2 (via AggroChat Game Club 2)
    • Shadowrun: Dragonfall
    • Shadowrun Returns
    • Lost Lands
    • Xbox 360: Rock Band, Rock Band 2, LEGO Rock Band
  • Insignificant amount of time spent:
    • Mass Effect
    • Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
    • Borderlands 2
    • Age of Wonders III
    • Diablo III
    • Heroes of Might and Magic V
    • SW: TOR
    • Android: Fallout Shelter
  • Log in, play less than an hour, log out:
    • WoW
    • Age of Wonders – Shadow Magic

Gaming expenses in 2015:

Damn, this is a lot harder than last year.

  • WildStar: ~40 EUR for sub in Jan-Mar iirc
  • GW2: 110 EUR: box for 10 EUR, Heart of Thorns Ultimate Edition for 99 EUR
  • Marvel Heroes: ~120 EUR -Magik Hero Pack (16 EUR), ingame currency (~105 EUR)
  • Games on Steam: ~66 EUR – AoW3 (15 EUR), SR: Dragonfall (4,50 EUR), SR: Hong Kong (19 EUR), The Witcher 2 (3 EUR), Borderlands 2 (10 EUR), ME 1+2 + AC4 (14 EUR), Hero Siege (1 EUR)
  • Games on GoG: 3 EUR – Robin Hood (2 EUR), The Witcher (1 EUR)
  • Games on HumbleBundle: 16 EUR – GameMaker (12 EUR), Trine (1 EUR), Talisman (3 EUR)
  • Xbox 360: 0 EUR, unless I forgot a random used game for 5 bucks
  • EVE: 0 EUR (paid in Nov ’14)
  • WoW: 0 EUR
  • Ragnarok: 0 EUR
  • SW:TOR : 0 EUR

To sum it up: 355 EUR in 2015, which boils down to ~30 EUR per month for gaming. (2014: ~450/year or 37.50/month)

  • Amount of MMOs months I paid subs: 5
  • Amount of MMOs I logged into and played truly “F2P” without purchases: 3 (Ragnarok, SW:TOR, WoW)
  • Full price games/expansions I bought: 2 (Heart of Thorns and SR: Hong Kong)
  • Amount of games I feel I supported enough/voted with my wallet according to the amount of time I spent there: 2 of 2
    • preordered the HoT Ultimate Edition because I felt bad for enjoying GW2 so much on a 10 EUR one-time purchase
    • spent about exactly 10 EUR per month for stuff in Marvel Heroes – like a sub, but 100% optional. I never felt pressured to buy something. I <3 you, Gazillion.

Blaugust, but not for me

This is kind of about Blaugust. I’d already read a lot of stuff during last year’s month-long blogging event and I think it’s a cool idea, so check it out if you read this but haven’t heard of it, which I find unlikely anyway.
Sadly it is not for me, for several reasons. I already wrote that I put gaming (and some other things) on the backburner at the moment for lack of enjoyment and an urge to spend more time outside in the sun. Also I usually am doing my biggest holiday trip of the year in August, also this year. Incidentally I am mostly writing this post because I am sitting in a lobby, drinking coffee and waiting for something in preparation of said trip. Then I am really bad at forcing myself to blog. I’ve been blogging on and off for around 15 years I think, so I’d say I know what works and what doesn’t. And finally, I plan to write about my trip extensively, but not here. Unlike a lot of people who either blog under their real name or add personal stuff, I put that elsewhere and that’s why most posts here are just summaries of what I did. But don’t worry, you’re not missing out on my “exciting” life 😛