Whoops

So apparently I haven’t posted in 2-3 weeks or so. It wasn’t intentional, I just wasn’t sure I had much to say in that time, and I was involved with actual GAME playing. Shocker isn’t it? And, of course, (American) Football season has started in earnest, so i’ve been kinda into that too. *insert a whole bunch of SPORTSBALL mental comments here…. and we’re back* After finishing my Mass Effect game (the first one) I started in on ME2, like I had planned, but then I got sidetracked…

I finally bought Dragon Age Inquisition.

I’ve been MEANING to do it for most of the year. It was supposed to be a Christmas gift from my wife last year, but I guessed it early and she felt compelled to get me something else (which neither one of us can even remember right offhand), and then the NEXT time she was going to get it for me Origin announced that they had been compromised, so I warned her away from doing it then because I didn’t want to go through yet another credit card replacement. (I was fortunate when it happened to mine, the bank caught the fishy stuff right away and put a hold on it, so there were no charges to actually fight, but I digress.) And then, well… It just kinda never happened, and yadda yadda yadda 6 months later, I still didn’t have the game, so my wife just said “You might as well go ahead and just buy it, you know you want to.” And I did, so I did. And let me tell you, the game is MAGNIFICENT thus far. I’m only level 15 so i’m not sure how far i’ve actually gone through it, but man. It’s just bloody wonderful. And it’s been quite a while since i’ve been able to enjoy a game that’s brand new to me again. Not that I don’t appreciate replays. Hell, replay value is one of the best things a game can have, as far as i’m concerned. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times i’ve played through various Final Fantasy games, Chrono Trigger, the prior Dragon Age games, or… well, if you’ve read this blog for any length of time then you already know about my Skyrim fixation. So replayability is huge for me, but there’s just something to be said for experiencing a game for the very first time, and learning the twists and turns and pitfalls for yourself. Especially when one is crafted as well, in story, as Inquisition is.

Aside from my time playing Inquisition, i’ve also been reading a lot, which is kind of my thing I do when i’m at work. But i’ve been re-reading the Wheel of Time books. Or, well, at least the last 3. I tried reading from the very beginning of the series again but man I just can’t do it. It was a fantastic series, don’t get me wrong, but they are REALLY slow going. And there is so much that happens and just… rargh. I loved the books, honestly I did, but going back and re-reading them is just painful. So instead I decided to go back and re-read the last 3 books. There’s a lot that happens in those last 3 so the downtime is kept to a minimum, the story keeps moving, and it’s not as much of an actual slog to get through.

So anyway, that’s what i’ve been doing the last few weeks. Football, Vidya games, and Reading. That’s a shocker, i’m sure. Anyway, i’ll try to post a bit more often now that i’ve remembered that this blog exists.

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Life Without WoW

After spending the better part of 2 weeks being entirely uncertain about what I wanted to play at any given point in time, yesterday I settled on a replay of the Mass Effect trilogy.

Everybody roll your eyes at the ending now cause I don’t want to hear it.

Anyway, it’s kind of a weird feeling spending so long not knowing what to play. Especially for me. I’ve basically been gaming non-stop since I was about 6… no, probably earlier even. I don’t remember when I started playing video games, but I legitimately don’t remember a time in my life without them. I think my brain has finally started trying to fill in the gap that WoW has left behind, even though it’s been almost 4 months or so since I decided to leave the game. After such a long time playing, and then a few months being away, finding myself without that crutch to fall back on has left me in an odd place mentally. I don’t mean like depressed or anything like that, I just mean i’m so used to it being there and now that it isn’t? It’s like I don’t know what to do sometimes.

And yet, in spite of all that, I don’t really miss the game. Being a month and change removed from the Gamescom announcement of Legion, I find myself nowhere near as hyped as I used to be. There are times in your lives where you have a weird kind of crystallizing moments of thought and clarity, and it’s possible that i’ve been going through one these last couple months, no matter how much I might’ve kicked and screamed against it. So for me, the last 4 months without WoW haven’t been overly dramatic or life-changing, but it has been… noticeable. I’m still the same person, still Chris or Achloryn, now i’m just Achloryn without WoW. And that’s alright. There’s a wonderful community of twitter people, my amazing friends from my old guild in WoW, and my lovely wife who helps me evolve a little bit every day. And that’s enough for me.

And now, to alleviate all the weird pontificating i’ve done, here’s Garrus dancing like an idiot:

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A Wild Campaign Appears

So my last post mentioned briefly that I had been preparing for a new D&D campaign with several of my friends. This will be my 3rd on-going D&D campaign, with the 2nd one taking a hiatus from DMing for a while so she can let her real life settle down. The thing is i’ve had a lot more time to prepare for this campaign, and a lot more experience to draw from, so I feel like going into THIS game is going to be a whole different experience. See the first campaign I started about… hmm maybe 4-5 years ago I guess? And it was my first time playing D&D *ever* so I really had no idea what to expect… I thought I might’ve, but I really didn’t. On top of that, since the players are scattered around the country this (and both of my other ones, honestly) are taking place exclusively online. With the first campaign we’ve used a few different tools to make it work, so there was a lot of adjustment with the various game platforms and how to make them do certain things, and so on and and so forth. So even with several other far more experienced D&D players in the group, this was a new experience to almost all of us in one way or another.

Fast forward to about a year ago (or something) with the 2nd campaign I joined. It was a spur of the moment decision and it was a campaign already in progress when my wife and I joined, so character backstory development was a little slim. Also I picked a class with almost no research into it, that I ended up not liking, or at least not being very good at (shaman). After talking a bit with the DM she was cool and let me switch roles and classes to a Barbarian, which I absolutely love, but his story is still… uncertain at best. It’s hard for me to play a character that I don’t actually know anything about sometimes, so while MECHANICALLY he’s a lot of fun to play, the roleplay aspect of him is lacking. It’s something i’d been working on, but being in the middle of a game tends to make creating a backstory even more difficult. I try not to inconvenience people with saying things like “Oh, I think I’m gonna retcon this and make this canon for how my character is” and so on and so on.

Fast forward to this campaign (our first meeting is next saturday). We’ve all known that this was definitively coming for maybe 2 months, so i’ve had time to plan out this character a lot more. I decided that I was going to be a defender (or a tank, for those less familiar with the term), which considerably narrowed down my class choices right off the bat. Fighter, Paladin, Warden, Swordmage, Battlemind, and, if built right, Barbarian (although they’re much more accepted as a striker). I’ve played in groups with a Fighter, Paladin, and Warden, and I had honestly forgotten that a Swordmage even existed… I didn’t feel like building a specific type of Barbarian, so I started looking at the Battlemind. I was already really interested in the psionic power source, so this was even more interesting to me. I spent a good bit of time looking over powers and getting ideas and planning things out and talking with the DM and I found myself writing a backstory that I *really* enjoy for this character as well. So, Battlemind it is. There’ve been several negative-type comments across the internet, but I think, overall, it’s a class i’m going to enjoy. I’ve voiced some of my concerns about it to the DM and he’s been pretty receptive and allowed me to work on things. I’m really looking forward to this. I keep asking my wife if it’s time to start the campaign yet, but she says no, it’s NEXT week.

Stupid time and stuff.

This Week in Boredom

One of the worst things about working overnights is that when you go on vacation to places or see people you have to readjust your sleep schedule to “real people” time. That part is easy enough, cause your body tends to want to fall into sleeping at night, but going BACK to the overnight shift is a real pain in the ass. Thusly, it’s 10am on my day off and i’m wide awake, cause I crawled into bed with my wife for a quick nap at 1:30 and the next thing I knew her alarm was going off at 7, and then i just rolled over. In hindsight, I probably should’ve tried to sleep on the couch.

Not for nothing, i’ve found myself at a loss of what I want to play lately. Don’t get me wrong, i’ve enjoyed blasting my way through  Torment X in Diablo 3, and even working my way up to GR50 (a personal best), but i’m at that odd point where I can’t really progress without replacing gear with Ancient gear, and sometimes that interests me, but sometimes it doesn’t. On top of that, i’ve also continued to try and find a way to make a Gargantuan build work with Helltooth, but it’s not easy.

Aside from D3, i’ve been spending a lot of time putting together my character for this new D&D campaign that’s starting in a couple weeks. Having known this was coming down the pipeline for quite a while now, i’ve been able to pick at my character ideas for a while, and I think i’ve come up with someone with a LOT more depth than either of my other two D&D characters. I might go into more detail about him at another time in another post. Suffice it to say though, i’m SUPER excited for this campaign to start. If you follow me on twitter, chances are you’ll be hearing more about it over the coming weeks.

There are still several games in my Steam library I haven’t touched yet, and i’m debating to myself what should be the next one I play. I’m leaning a bit towards Divinity: Original Sin, but there’s also Shadowrun Returns, and Tomb Raider… i’m a little embarrassed that I still haven’t touched that one yet. I bought the game well over a year ago, at the same time I bought Kingdoms of Amalur in the Steam Summer Sale. KoA was really an excellent game (even if you could very easily become absurdly OP about 2/3 of the way through) and I always meant to go play Tomb Raider, but I just never did for some reason. I’ll get around to it eventually. I also still need to get Dragon Age Inquisition. Seems to me that they’ve released at least 2 different DLCs for it in the year and change since it’s release, which is pretty amazing to me. I say amazing, because if 2 different DLCs come out that quickly after a game’s release, it tells me that at least one of those SHOULD have probably been shipped with the original game, but wasn’t for one reason or another. It might’ve been a money grab, or it might’ve just been a deadline decision, I don’t know. You’ll never convince me that at least one of them wasn’t intended to be part of the base game though.

I’ve also considered picking up Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas. They’re perpetually hovering around the $10 mark on Steam, and i’ve honestly never played them before, so with Fallout 4 just around the corner it might be interesting to see what i’ve been missing. Of course, I also may end up not liking it at all, but that’s generally the chance you take ANYTIME you buy a new game. But I have a certain amount of faith in Bethesda. At least enough so that $10 isn’t a huge waste of anything if I end up hating it altogether.

Y’know, it never fails to amaze me sometimes how I can sit down and talk about nothing, and still manage to churn out 600-700 words. It amazes me even more that people are actually interested in what I have to babble about. I’m not going to promise to try to be more interesting or anything like that… i’m just me. Either you enjoy what I have to say or you don’t. I may do another lore-character post next time though. We’ll see.

First Day Back Ramblings

So my break from this blog was a LITTLE bit longer than I expected, but i’ve also been fighting off the airport plague the last couple days. I have the worst luck with that shit, seriously. Two times travelling via airline this year, both times come home absurdly sick. (I’m feeling much better now)

One of the downsides of taking a vacation away from my house is that I didn’t get to do a lot of gaming. But there was a couple days in between the end of Blaugust and today where i’ve played some things and really enjoyed myself.  My current obsession is Diablo 3 (which, btw, my wife TOTALLY predicted would happen a few weeks ago. She knows me so well). I have always really enjoyed the Diablo universe, going back to the days of college where I would stay up *way* too late playing my necromancer in Lord of Destruction and just… just being a terrible college student as a whole lol. When Diablo 3 came out over 3 years ago (holy shit) I enjoyed it, for a very short time. It didn’t have the same replayability that D2 had, and it was EXCEEDINGLY hard in the upper difficulty levels. I would eventually come back a few times and poke at it, remember just how badly I would get my ass handed to me, then walk away again for months. The reminders never took long. Then Reaper of Souls came out and changed *everything*. My witch doctor is no longer sitting on a shelf and I really enjoy the game in spurts of maybe 2-3 months, then i get a little bored, move on to something else, then the season ends and I pick it up again and play with some of the new gear and stuff and love it all over again. It’s kind of a strange cycle, but this is how I play my games.

Now that I think about it, i’m pretty cyclical about a lot of things. I’ll go through a period where I want to read the Dresden Files books again, so I do, then 6 months to a year later, i’m reading them again. I’m rereading the Mistborn trilogy right now, and thoroughly enjoying it. After I re-read those, I’ll probably re-read the Stormlight Archive books again. I tried re-reading the Wheel of Time but man… it just got so BORING. I’ve read them once, and I think that might be it for a while because Robert Jordan really REALLY loved to ramble on. They’re great books, don’t get me wrong, but gahhhh. Anyway, i’m getting sidetracked. My point is, I do a lot of things in cycles. When I am sick of D3 I will probably play something else i’ve not played in a while. It might be Skyrim again or it might be something else I haven’t decided on just yet. I’ve tried playing Rift some, where a lot of my guildies are, and generally I enjoy the game but something about it is just not grabbing me like it used to. Which makes me sad, because as I mentioned, most of my old WoW guildies are playing it these days.

Anyway. So that’s a brief look into how I do… things, I guess lol. Kind of a rambling post, but it’s my first day of blogging back after Blaugust and vacation and such. Speaking of Blaugust, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention a huge thanks to Belghast for putting this event together. It really opened up my eyes, and my brain, to a whole lot of strangeness going on within myself, and let me be open in a way with a whole bunch of strangers that I never quite expected. I had forgotten how much fun blogging was, and while i’m certainly not going to be blogging every day now that it’s over, I do feel like I can keep up some kind of semi-regular schedule (barring any other major catastrophes). And a big congratulations to everyone else that participated as well. It was a lot of fun and by the time next August rolls around i’ll probably have forgotten just how difficult it was to come up with 31 days of posts, so I look forward into suckering myself into doing it again. And this badge? This is for me.

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The End of an Era… or something – AKA #Blaugust Day 31

As I sit here staring at my blank screen before writing my final Blaugust 2015 post, I find myself a bit at a loss. Yeah, that’s nothing new really. I find myself at a loss a LOT. Seriously, I don’t know how i’ve managed to churn out 31 of these things, i never know what to say. I don’t think you guys understand just how arbitrary it is.

Anyway. I had planned on doing something profound about why I decided to join Blaugust this year, and how it’s changed how I think about blogging, but I’m not even sure that’s entirely true. I’ve already mentioned that for the next week I most likely won’t be blogging because i’ll be out of state. Chances are, if I DO blog, it’ll be short and typo-laden because it’s going to be on my tablet. I think I made a post from my tablet a couple weeks ago, and i’m surprised that it came out as clearly as it did. I’m getting sidetracked though. The point is that while Blaugust has been a fun experiment, and I CERTAINLY don’t regret doing it at all, I’m not really sure it’s changed how I feel about blogging as a whole. That is to say, it didn’t change how I feel about it because before doing this I didn’t really HAVE any feelings about it. Blogging was just one of those things that I used to do, because it seemed like EVERYONE I knew was doing it (and man they totally were too), so I thought i’d get in on the action. I got in it for the wrong reasons, ended with the wrong mindset, and my old blog just faded away with a whimper because I didn’t like what it had really become.

This is a different case though. I may not always play World of Warcraft in the future, but I will ALWAYS play games, and my identity will constantly evolve, because I constantly evolve as a person. That’s kind of what made me decide to name this blog what I did. Who am I? What do I want the world to know about Achloryn? Well, I am a gamer. That’s been a big part of my identity for a long time now. I can mark a very real change in how I lived my life as a whole when I finally embraced that side of myself. Funnily enough, now it’s my “outside” life that I tend to keep closed off, but only from the internet. But of course, that’s just a safety measure. Not cause I think any of you readers are lunatics who would stop by my apartment and ruffle through my garbage or anything like that… (right?)

Anyway, with Blaugust now behind us I can settle into a blogging schedule (or lack thereof) that i’m more comfortable. I really strained myself at times to get 31 posts in 31 days up, but I am also glad I did it. If nothing else, participating in Blaugust has introduced me to a few interesting people, and that’s good enough for me. See you guys next week 😀

Dragons and More Dragons – AKA #Blaugust Day 30

This has the potential to be one of my more incoherent blog posts. Since i’m going on vacation next week I have to evolve into a “real person” schedule for a week, which means that today I get to start the fun process of migrating my sleep schedule from 9am-4pm to 11p-6a/12a-7a like normal people. I mean honestly, who DOES that?

So. If you read my rant yesterday, you may have missed the comment that  C.T. left on my blog. Basically, I had somehow MISSED the fucking release of FFT for mobile. I’m not a little bit angry that I never knew about this, but the anger is quickly chased away by thoughts of playing Tactics on my wonderful (if beaten up) tablet. I will definitely be getting this thing, and soon… And now I have ideas in my head for Skyrim character builds based on the Final Fantasy Tactics jobs. Dammit you guys, I swear.

/ahem.

Anyway. so as i’ve mentioned previously (at least I THINK I have anyway) i’m playing 2 (4th ed) D&D games concurrently. One of my DMs has informed us that her life has gone SUPER ABSURD CRAZY OMG so she’s going to have to take a break from our game for a while (or at least DMing it because that takes a hell of a lot of work). Which opened up the door for one of our other players to step up and be a DM for a campaign HE’S been talking about for a little while. So we got started a little bit last night. Basic concept of the world it’ll be set in (it’s also 4th ed), what class/role we might play, and so on and so forth, you get the idea. I have decided that this time I am going to play a defender (tank). I mean why not, i’ve been tanking in MMOs for the last 5 years, so it’s about time I took that to D&D right? (My other two campaigns i’m a controller and a striker, so I had to do something different. I was a healer VERY briefly before I rerolled to a barbarian, because it turned out I was effing terrible as a healer). I haven’t 100% decided yet, but I think I am going to make my defender a Battlemind. Mostly because the idea of psionic power and augment points are a FASCINATING mechanic to me, so I think i’m going to do that.

And then comes the part that I have never been great at… writing up a character story. I have to decide who my character is, and WHY my character is who he is. Blargh. Sometimes I can come up with a glimmer of a concept and then I can run with it, and that’s all fine and good. Meanwhile my wife over here has written half of the story of her character’s life up to this point somehow and i’m just staring at her with a look of both confusion and anger on my face. Not real anger of course. Just the anger that makes me want to choke her when she talks about how bad she is at roleplaying then comes up with this FUCKING AMAZING character idea and just. Yeah you get the drift.

Anyway, so that’s what my weekend has mostly consisted of. And now I get to watch some football, play some Skyrim, and try to remember how it is that normal people sleep. I probably won’t be blogging at all next week (after monday) because I will be out of town for family things. Good family things, don’t worry. 🙂