Blaugust

Still motivated I guess

This week’s theme is “Staying Motivated Week” and that’s kinda bad for me, because I’m still 100% motivated, I’m just content-starved 😛
I know this blog is a mix of me journalling my exploits in games, sometimes bragging about my meager achievements, and some random rambling – but as you noticed this is hardly a blog about my life outside of gaming – I wrote such a blog for years, elsewhere. Maybe it’s refreshing to just being able to focus on one (very broad) topic, maybe it has to do with not posting with my real name. To be fair I’d say I’m still telling friends on IRC and Discord and Messengers enough of my daily life that I could as well be still blogging. That would at least provide ample material for a daily post, not just for a month, but longer. I really like what Belghast is doing – although it’s not daily daily anymore, to me that’s still one of the most high-frequency blogs I know, but I didn’t run the number, maybe Syp and Wilhelm are close or even ahead. I’m checking their feeds daily if I have time, and in the winter, when not commuting by bike, those 3 are probably my first blogs to check. For once the time zones are not all bad, because I can read their “yesterday” post on my morning commute. But just because I’ve read them for years that doesn’t mean they’re exclusive. This Blaugust I’ve noticed a few people I’ll definitely put on my daily list – and a ton of others that will move to my regular “Games” category. Also time and time again I find it fascinating that there are some people I can have awesome discussions on Discord but their writing style and/or topics just don’t fit me well, sorry folks – I’m nearly as finicky with blogs as I am with podcasts, so please don’t take it personally.
Anyway, Blaugust went very well and now it’s just the home stretch of four days. I’m not sure if it was mostly “I’m taking up this challenge and want to finish with the Rainbow Diamond Award” or, more likely, the Discord was awesome and everyone was chiming in, asking questions, answering questions, and talking about life, the universe, and everything (wow, that was an oxford comma’d oxford comma sentence, is this even legal?).
 
PS: Blaugust has started and this is my twenty-seventh post.

Mixing Up The Gaming Diet

I might have mentioned it once or twice, but I’m really bad at mixing up my gaming diet. If you didn’t just stumble over here, you’ll notice I’ve been posting about SW:TOR for weeks.
There’s stuff I really want to try, or get back to, though:

  • WoW’s Battle For Azeroth expansion. I’m curious, I want to see the new stuff. Downside: might be sucked into a hole again.
  • FFXIV: I’ve read SO many good things about it, one of them is that I can play a single character and don’t have to create an army of alts
  • GW2: I’m still logging in nearly every day for the free gift, but I want to play again
  • So much for the MMOs, I surely missed some, but there’s also Quake Champions which is really fun… but it’s not the space fantasy opera MMO that I need right now
  • Dead Cells is awesome, but I saw no progress, so I kinda stopped.
  • EVE Online is something that was really fun, but I kinda didn’t want to commit to hours at a time for an op or mission running…
  • Project Highrise

PS: Blaugust has started and this is my twenty-sixth post if scheduling still works.

Pen & Paper Games – The Alternative Future

Continuing from my last post where I wrote down what I played and what I read into, there’s more – the stuff I might play at some point in the future!
Sadly there are a lot of systems I never really got in contact with, and I would have loved to play them or just read more about them.
In no particular order:

If I didn’t have a huge backlog of books I might just scour ebay for the Earthdawn core book and maybe just buy some Pathfinder & Numenera books, those are the ones highest on my interest list for the last few years.
But there’s also stuff that’s well-known that never really sounded very interesting to me

  • MERP (MERS in German) back when it was new
  • Call of Cthulhu
  • HârnMaster – I read a scathing review many years ago that said you’d have to take like 5 skill dice rolls already just for getting out of bed and brushing your teeth 😀

So yeah, I’m basically interested in Pen & Paper game systems and I read many more source books than I used actively playing.
PS: Blaugust has started and this is my twenty-fifth post if scheduling still works.

Pen & Paper Games – The Past

I’ve played my first Pen & Paper role playing game in 1995 or 1996 – and as many Germans the system was “The Dark Eye” (Das Schwarze Auge), because D&D wasn’t so popular and well-known as in other countries. It’s heavily inspired by D&D of course and it’s been around since 1984 – but at least from the people where I learned about it.. there was no talk about D&D.
Later on I played some Shadowrun (and we have group going again after a few years’ pause) and Vampire: The Masquerade, Hunter: The Reckoning, Paranoia, Lord of the Rings (the new one, not MERP), Engel and some other stuff.
Then there’s a few systems where I have bought and/or read a few books, but never really played it (except maybe for a shirt one-shot at a con):

  • World of Warcraft – *cringe*, one of the worst source books I ever read, pure money-making and I fell for it
  • Star Wars – we nearly started an online group via IRC/Skype going…
  • Fading Suns – awesome world, I loved this core rule book
  • Kult – so refreshingly disturbing

PS: Blaugust has started and this is my twenty-fourth post if scheduling works 😉

What Class Do You Refuse To Play?

Ocean Mariee asked an interesting question, Endalia chimed in and this topic got me thinking.
In Ragnarok Online I started with a Hunter, I liked it, but my preferred character was a Rogue. I also liked the other Melee DPS and didn’t really enjoy the casters.
When I started WoW I first rolled a Warlock, but after a few hours went for a Rogue again – who turned out to be my main from 2006 until 2014 and I didn’t really abandon him, I just tried another faction in Legion at first (Demon Hunter). My “main alts” were a Protection/DPS Warrior and a Resto/DPS Shaman. So I raided 90% as a Melee DPS (over the years) but I did heal a few progression fights and tanked in our non-main raids for years. So there’s not much I refused to play – but I absolutely did not enjoy the Monk – and I don’t know why. It’s my least favourite WoW class by a large margin, followed by DK and then Holy Priest and Fire Mage I guess. I liked Frost Mages and Disc Priests.
In GW2 I didn’t really enjoy the Elementalist when I tried it (for a very short time) and I haven’t really warmed up to the Revenant. The Mesmer is ok, but also not my favourite.
Now in SWTOR I equally like my Bounty Hunter, Commando, Sage and Juggernaut – but I only healed back at launch when I was briefly raiding, everything else is DPS – but I did notice I like ranged DPS a lot more in this game than in WoW. Of course sometimes it’s just magnitudes easier to not stand in the bad etc.pp (Melee DPS raider speaking, feel free to ignore me ;))
So is there a role I refuse to play? I used to tank and heal *a lot* but at some point I guess I decided to not be in the mood for random people in dungeons to be cursing just because I pull too slow or can’t heal them when they pull a whole room – I’ve never been one for the gear grind, so my toons in dungeons are usually a little undergeared, as I’m only doing them for gear and not for some “NEED TO FARM BADGES FOR 0.5% IMPROVEMENT IN MY TRINKET SLOT”. Yeah, so the last few years I was one of the people just doing moderate DPS – always trying not to be the worst, but usually not carrying the group, sorry other players.
If I get back into WoW I’ll really try to have at least one tank or healer geared as well and not do only DPS. IIRC I actually did tank on my Demon Hunter, just not the harder Mythics – I stopped too early in the expansion for that. I’m not doing any random dungeons in SWTOR right now anyway.
Did I forget any MMOs? I guess not. So I definitely refuse to change my main just because the group needs it, the benefit of mostly soloing or duoing these days. I guess it depends a lot on the game, in WoW I prefer Melee DPS over casters, in SWTOR I prefer casters over Melee or close-range DPS. In GW2 Melee DPS is fine, but for some fights ranged is like literally half as challenging. *cough* Tequatl *cough*
Oh, and I managed to get 70 on my Operative by finishing Yavin 4, Ziost, doing the Ziost and CZ-198 dailies. Good riddance, you’re now rewarded of being my GTN mule for Weapons to sell, I don’t plan on playing you for a while.

Level 70 Imperial Agent

 
Stay sharp, Evil Elvis
Stay sharp, Evil Elvis

PS: Blaugust has started and this is my twenty-second post.

Never thought I’d do that

“Just booked a short holiday and the first thought was: argh, have to schedule 4 posts!” as I wrote on Discord last night – so while I (for the first time in my 18+ years of sporadic blogging) made a real effort to prepare posts during an absence from my computer… I didn’t prepare something for today.
Also kinda sucks if it’s your last day at work before a short 1 week holiday and you got so much to do you don’t get to play much. Or maybe because you pre-wrote 3 blog posts… I guess I even at one point posted Blaugust is a bad time for continuous blogging for me because I tend to leave the country for at least a week every year. Only a few days this time though, and it only came together early this week, no planning months before.
I’m playing my Operative (Imperial Agent) right now, trying to get him to 70 asap. I needed to finish Yavin 4 (having finished Rishi yesterday) but – and I might be wrong – you can only do certain Weekly quests once per account, at least I couldn’t do Yavin twice when I tried, a few weeks ago. So I first had to do this on my Bounty Hunter (need to use up those Command Level XP boosts, and really, really want to reach CL 300 this month). Also did Black Hole on her, as it counts towards the weekly Conquest and then threw in a quick 15mins of Ziost. Didn’t I just say I had no time to play? Well it’s past 1 am already. So my Operative s 68 now and ready to start either Oricon, Ziost, or KotFE – I guess I’ll do Ziost to unlock the dailies first (as usual) and I think I never did Oricon – but I’ll hopefully be Level 70 by the time I finish Ziost (for the 5th? time?) and then I’ll probably switch to another character again – I don’t really enjoy this class, although the class story from 1-50 was kinda neat.
I also started a Sith Marauder in the last few days, finished Dromund Kaas and sitting at Level 20. Part of my ongoing project to a) have one of every advanced class at 50 or more and b) experience the same story line with a character of the other gender. So far I had done a female Jedi Shadow (after a male Sage) and now a female Marauder (after a male Juggernaut). Still a lot to do.
PS: Blaugust has started and this is my twenty-second post. And I have no shame to backdate it 2h – this counts for yesterday because I’m still awake.

Developer Appreciation Week Part 2

The Blaugust weekly structured format post is “Developer Appreciation Week” and I already made a post about that topic and mentioned an upcoming rant.
A big problem in the game industry is working too much and not being paid enough (and gamers being idiots), so I’ve decided very early on that I don’t want to work in games. I wish the industry was better for the people working there and I’m not upset if a game comes a year late, I’d prefer that to the poor souls working 80h weeks. But sure, I could do more – and maybe buy more games full price at launch, but if you scroll past my posts over the last few years you will notice I’m not really playing many games. I’d go as far as to say that I’m not the target demographic. I play a few games heavily, I even did that before MMOs were a thing. I’m also happy to pay a monthly subscription – but that’s a bit winner-takes-it-all, I’m then not buying other games for a while.
So I’d really appreciate if if game companies of a certain size would pay their developers enough money and most importantly stop the soul crushing crunch time.
This customer who buys your games (sample size: 1) usually doesn’t mind if anything gets delayed, as long as you keep the status quo of the game running. And if it’s not coming out yet.. maybe you shouldn’t have announced it a year early? How about announcing it and then capturing the hype from announcement until launch a few months later. Why would I care how I felt about your game last year? For indies it’s a bit different. If they’re a single person or duo or three people who do kind of bootstrap a startup as equals (and not abuse their employees)… sure that’s hard, but they chose this. They have all my support to do what they love, they just don’t get to whine about the world being a tough place. Feel free to see me as not eligible to comment if I may bot buy your game – but if I like it, I may buy it, but I’m not a games hoarder, I don’t even buy all the games I’m instantly excited about.
PS: Blaugust has started and this is my twenty-first post.

You might have heard about Mastodon lately

You might have heard about Mastodon lately, often being called an alternative to Twitter. Wikipedia calls it a “distributed, federated social network” and “microblogging” – you can also just see it as a messenger or public discussion platform (or simply an alternative to Twitter, like many people do). Whereas Twitter is very centralized and run by a single company with questionable business practices, this is mostly community-run and you can either join some server or host your own. One key benefit is that because there are several instances (servers) your name isn’t taken for sure yet, you can finally be Thrall instead of Thrall301, just like with email. An even greater benefit is that you not only have the timeline of people you follow, but many instances aren’t just general interest, but dedicated to a topic, this could be a common hobby, pastime, or anything. And you get a local timeline as well, so you can easily discover the people who also joined THAT gaming instance that sounded interesting to you. Kinda like you could discover interesting content via hashtags in Twitter’s starting phase, before the spambots and angry masses that join every trending topic. See it more as “your chosen IRC server” or “a forum you frequent”, just that it’s tightly integrated into the rest of the world (you can @ mention people on your instance simply by using their handle, and you can @ mention people on other instance by using @ name @instance.tld) – but you can still stay in your corner if you like to.
It’s not a new thing per se, the underlying protocols and (palpable) ideas date back to 2008 – so if you ever stumble upon one of the terms identi.ca, ActivityPub, GNUSocial, StatusNet, pump.io, Friendica, pleroma – they’re either fully compatible or at least closely related. So people are using Mastodon like Kleenex already. Sure, it’s not wrong, but there’s more that serves the same purpose, but I have to admit Mastodon kinda looks and feels the nicest. The latest episode of AggroChat also talks about this for a while, and I mostly agree on everything they said.
Anyway, I’m @Nogamara@tabletop.social for now (but there’s no problem signing up on more instances than one). elekk.xyz is an instance dedicated to gaming, so you might want to check that one – or just have a look at instances.social and sift through a list. There’s also botsin.space as a dedicated space to host your useful and useless bots 🙂 I migrated my Discord TimeZoneBot already: @timezonebot@botsin.space  – it doesn’t do much, but you can send it a time with timezone and it will try to convert it to a few common ones. Try it out!
I also love the fact that a post is called a “toot” like they’re called “tweets” on Twitter. Also don’t be surprised when people use “birdsite” a lot, some of them escaped Twitter and don’t want to look back and not even call it by name.
PS: Blaugust has started and this is my twentieth post.

The Gearing Conundrum

SWTOR’s double XP event ran out this noon and of course I’m kinda sad but on the other hand I’m also kinda glad that I can finally do something other than chain-run Daily Zones with Weeklies because I might miss out on that sweet, sweet XP 😛
I think I made really good progress on a handful of characters.
But as focused as I was these two weeks now I’m thinking about gear again. There’s some vendor-bought Tier 2/3/4 gear that looks really nice stat-wise (I think it’s some of the highest-level available, but as  I don’t do Operations I don’t really bother looking that up in detail). The problem is that you need 2 currencies to buy it – Command Tokens (of those I have 2500 (3000 cap) now) and Unassembled Parts. To buy a Tier 4 Weapon you need (if I didn’t miscalculate) 450 + 675 + 810, but I only have just over 1600 after all these opened Command Chests. Maybe a Tier 3 one would suffice, but I kinda wanted a max item level Lightsaber. We’ll see, I guess I’m still saving up a bit further. Of my 6 max-level Characters 3 are now at Item Rating 230 (to be 100% accurate, it’s 230, 230, and 228, so 1 item missing) and one is at 237 (thanks to the Tier 3 Chests). The last one is at 196, because I didn’t even bother to give her full Outlander green/blue gear at 210/220.
As usual I’m unsure what to do, besides trying to get to 300 Command Level on my main now (focusing, because there’s a buff waiting that will speed up the others by 25% – also being more diligent at doing Ziost every week on every character, it’s just too quick XP to pass if you want to progress).
I also just started Rishi on my Imperial Agent, he’s already 62 now. Got those 8 max-level character achievements in sight, but not sure yet how much time I’ll have the next days. 🙂
PS: Blaugust has started and this is my nineteenth post.

The power of 2

I’m a bit shocked to be honest, just used a +100% 2h Command XP boost, server-wide it’s also still +100%, so I’m running at triple XP and we did the Republic dailies + weeklies as a duo. Despite some stuttering that cost us like 5 mins we managed to do Ziost, Black Hole, Section X, CZ-198, and Yavin 4 in 1h 40m. That’s 40 Command Levels in 100 minutes. That’s why my Scoundrel is CL 60 now, but sadly still feels a little week. The only max-level character where I think I really need to tune my spec. Also I should really get one companion to 50, that should help as well.
PS: Blaugust has started and this is my eighteenth post.