Rants tag

Rants, ruminations, and rambling remarks from my mad, muddled, meandering mind.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Day 2 - In Which I Discuss Why I Decided to Start a Blog

I have written various blog posts through the years. Really more like online diaries or journals about my thoughts on a given subject. I wrote a bunch of stuff my freshman year in college, what started out to be letters to my girlfriend at the time. When we broke up, I continued to write. Unfortunately, those early journal entries have been lost to changing technology and storage media. They probably aren't that important anyway.

I had a MySpace account for a few years that I used as a blog of sorts, talking about various personal things; some fun, some more serious. I also have a few notes on Facebook. I started a blog called "Rowanblaze Saves Azeroth" to showcase stories and characterizations I had written about some of my WoW toons. Most of them have personalities that are basically facets of my own, or idealizations of me in some way. Obviously, the avatars themselves normally bear little resemblence to me.

Less than two months after starting the WoW blog, I had started playing STO and stumbled across MMO Gamer Chick's blog, about her experiences in STO, and especially her character profiles. I decided to start a STO blog of my own, calling it "I Have Touched the Sky." I soon found that there were lots of people writing stories and character backgrounds based on their game-play. I became more involved in the Twitter community and joined the Federation News Network, a STO fleet (guild) comprised almost entirely of bloggers and twitterers (no G+ at the time). After less than a month of two-blogging, I decided to merge them and discontinue the WoW-specific blog.

I haven't been doing as much creative writing as I would like to on this blog of late. It seems much of my recent posting is my opinion about various aspects of gameplay, along with some "politics." I enjoy that and it gets some interaction. But I need to buckle down and get some more short stories and character profiles written.

I like blogging because of the interaction I have with others who share my interests, in a long-form venue that Twitter doesn't enable. I might spend more time on G+, but as I've said before, much of my time on the interwebs is from an office network that limits what sites I can navigate to. G+ is not one of them for some reason, even though Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube are. Which reminds me, I should probably check FB, as I haven't in at least a month. Who knows what my family is doing.

QotD: Factions and PvE

World of Warcraft has single-handedly made me hate the idea of factions in MMORPGS.
I was reading this post on Corgi Island about the idea of cross-faction raiding in WoW, using RealID. (Fun new WoW blog, BTW, if you're interested.) I posted a comment which I am re-posting here with some elaboration.

Gloria mentioned in her post how silly it is that she can't muster all of her Real Life friends together to run a raid, especially given declining populations in WoW, added to the fact that the "War" in Warcraft has been largely absent for the past couple expansions anyway. World PvP is dead, partly because of the population and partly because of changes made by the development team. *cough* Southshore/Hillsbrad *cough*

I've heard The Secret World has (will have) inter-faction PvE. With three factions, supposedly PvP can be more easily balanced because the weaker sides and always gang up on the strongest sides. (Can we call that the DAoC Doctrine?) But then, when the shit hits the fan in the PvE story (Lovecraftian horrors consuming the world?), players of different factions can put aside their differences and work together for the greater good. This is something I've always felt was missing in WoW; and it was worse in Rift, where I always felt the two factions had no business fighting each other when their world was facing an existential threat.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Day 1 - In Which I (Re)Introduce Myself

So I decided to do 20 Days of MMO Blogging beginning with an introduction. I feel just a little silly, since I've been at this blogging thing for a couple years now, and much of what I can say by way of self-introduction is visible on this page or within one click of it.

Hi I'm Rowan, at least that is my nom-de-blog. It's based on my main character in World of Warcraft, a female priest named Rowanblaze. When I was involved in raiding, my guild called me Rowan in Ventrilo (the voice over IP program we used, if you need to know). When I started this blog (actually, my initial blog was called "Rowanblaze Saves Azeroth"), it made sense that I continue using my in-game identity, even if she is female. I think the moniker Rowanblaze is more associated with me as a male blogger than the character by a much wider audience anyway, thanks to this blog, my comments on other blogs, and Twitter (and also G+).

I've been playing MMOs for almost six years, starting with WoW, and including Star Trek Online, Lord of the Rings Online, Age of Conan, Rift, and Star Wars: The Old Republic. I am very much in favor of story-driven content; and game mechanics—while important—are secondary to narrative. I have many posts related to that preference, plus a couple I have yet to publish.

When I am not gaming, I love spending time with my new bride and our lovely teenage daughters, and my grown stepsons, when they are around. My lovely bride, known as Sctrz on Twitter, plays MMOs as well, when she is not busy with RL obligations I don't have. That is, I can play much more than she can. But I love playing together. I am a computer software instructor and curriculum developer by day, ruthless Sith Assassin by night. My occasional business travels have given me the opportunity to visit some pretty fantastic places and also meet fabulous people that I had only known online. I look forward to continuing that trend of meeting fellow gamers and bloggers.

I have come to realize I have an overdeveloped sense of justice, like Batman. Unfortunately, I do not also have a cape or utility belt, so I am limited to online rants, and occasional meetings with the idiots running the schools around here. If you have read this blog for long, you have seen me in action; though I do try to temper my words here on the blog. I can only hope I produce coherent thoughts. You Dear Reader, can be the judge.

If you have any questions that aren't too personal (I do value my privacy), feel free to post them in the comments. I'll try to answer, as I love interacting with my readers.

Monday, February 27, 2012

20 Days of Blogging

TheRivs, over at A High Latency Life, posted Spellbound's 20 Days of WoW Blogging Challenge. He adapted them slightly, and I assume there is a reasonable lag as this percolates through the blogosphere. Morrigu of Arsenic and Old Mooncloth is also doing it; as are others, I am sure. Looking at it, some of the topics are ones I've covered already and some are still visible on the main page, or no more than one click but I'll re-explain them anyway, when the time comes. I need a good re-kickstart, for this things and essay prompts are as good as any. I need time to think about it before I post, so the first one may come later today, or more likely tomorrow.
Day 01 – Introduce yourself
Day 02 – Why you decided to start a blog
Day 03 – Your first day playing WoW/MMO
Day 04 – Your best gaming memories
Day 05 – Favourite item(s) in game
Day 06 – Your workplace/desk (photo and/or description)
Day 07 – The reason behind your blog’s name
Day 08 – 10 things we don’t know about you
Day 09 – Your first blog post
Day 10 – Blog/Website favourites
Day 11 – Bad habits and flaws
Day 12 – A usual day in your life/online time
Day 13 – People (players/bloggers) that you admire
Day 14 – This upsets you
Day 15 – Your desktop background (on your computer) and why you chose it
Day 16 – Things you miss about certain games from your past?
Day 17 – Your favourite spot (in game or outside it)?
Day 18 – Your favourite outfit?
Day 19 – In your bags/bank?
Day 20 – If this was your last day gaming, what would you do?

Friday, February 24, 2012

How I Got Rich in SWTOR Through Pew Pew Pew

OK, maybe not rich, but very, very comfortable. "How did you accomplish this, Rowan?" you say. Through space missions!

I can hear the weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth now. NOT THOSE CRAPPY SPACE MISSIONS!!! I dunno I think they're pretty easy and relaxing (Casual Gamer) And I feel like I make a decent amount of credits for the time I put into them. (The XP doesn't hurt either, not that I need it.)  In an effort to earn some cash for his level 25 speeder, River was told to take up slicing, which is apparently very lucrative at certain levels. I had plenty of money for my level 25 speeder, and by the time I was 27, a day or two later, I had fully recouped the cost and given a few thousand credits to my alt and Sctrz for their speeder training.

Just another suggestion for making a little extra cash in SWTOR.

EDIT: I failed to mention that I totally want the Social 3 Imperial Pilot outfit for Tollkisrche, my badass Flyboy Assassin. Need to run some Flashpoints.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I'm Not Signing Up For the Guild Wars 2 Beta

Even though I indicate above that this blog includes posts from Tyria, I have actually posted very little about Guild Wars 2. I follow Hunters Insight and get news about the game from various sources. But the last two betas I was involved in spoiled the opening of the game for me to point that I am not very interested in doing it again. I didn't play the original Guild Wars, and don't intend to change that anytime before the sequel comes out. I hope to catch maybe a novel or some other background on the game. But I hoping to recapture a little of the wonder I experienced those first few months I played WoW. Involvement in the beta will only dilute that experience, at best. So while I eagerly look forward to the release of GW2, I will not be in the beta.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Twilight Saga: Romance, Dysfunction, or Abuse??

This post is not about games. Feel free to skip it if that's all you want to read about. However, it was something that I felt I needed to discuss, because it has come up several times on Twitter, and I find myself on the opposite side of the debate from many of the people I regularly interact with. I am sure I will not convince anyone with this post.

I do want to say that abuse in any form is completely unacceptable in any relationship. This is not about condoning domestic abuse.

A rare jump break:

Sunday, February 12, 2012

SWTOR: The Sunsage Legacy

Torn apart by the atrocities of war. Those who kept the faith and those whose faith was shattered. Opposite sides of a gulf too wide to cross. But they are connected nonetheless, linked by ties stronger than creeds, stronger than blood. . .


Just a warning: this is not a story post. I have something percolating here, but it's not ready. Did you ever sit down to write one thing and end up with something totally different? Happens to me all the time. Read on. . .

So I got my my Legacy Name: I chose "Sunsage," which is my ID on the SWTOR forums, and also my @handle in STO. Interestingly, back in August 2010, my nom-de-blog, Rowanblaze, was not as solid as it is now, a year and a half later. My handle on Twitter was @Poppyshock, for example (still is on YouTube). Sunsage was the name of a Blood Elf priest I created and got to about 60 in WoW during the Burning Crusade era. It was one of my more favorite names, and fits a wider range of genres than Rowanblaze, IMHO. At least two of my characters will have Sunsage as surname, the rest will have "The Sunsage Legacy" instead. So if you happen to see one of my characters on Sanctum of the Exalted, be sure to say hello.

There was a lot of action at the end of Tollkirsche's first Chapter in Star Wars: The Old Republic. I didn't think about it 'til this morning, but the finale owes a lot to J.K. Rowling's  "Harry Potter."

Zash essentially wants to live forever and has decided that Tollkirsche is the perfect vessel for her horcux new body. (I am sure this makes more sense if the Player Character is female.) The Dashade, Khem Val, jumps into the middle of the spell ritual, interrupting Zash and inadvertently becoming her Force-resistant prison. Yes, Zash's essence is trapped in Khem Val's body. Needless to say she's not happy and attempts attack Tollkirsche, which doesn't work because of the Bond between Khem Val and his Master. Oh, the scene also reminds me of Stardust, when Yvaine, the fallen star, can't attack Ditch-water Sal, because of a curse forbidding Sal from perceiving Yvaine in any way.

I like how the finale ends, with Zash's other apprentices (cult?) honoring Tollkirsche, because of a "prophecy" Zash had made, that her greatest apprentice would defeat her, and proceed to even greater glory. In a sense, she was right; but I'm sure her intent was to masquerade as the apprentice after she had taken his body.

I had to beef up Khem Val to make it through the finale, and spent over ten large at the Galactic Trade Network upgrading his gear. Did I mention Tollkirsche is Dark II, almost Dark III? I can't decide whether to keep the Dark Side effects or not. I personally think the idea of them is a bit absurd. Of the four onscreen examples we have of Sith Lords, only two are disfigured, and both are the victims of some pretty horrendous injuries. I doubt the Sith would really be so blind to the things the Dark Side of the Force is doing to them that more than a few would not abandon the philosophy completely.
While not abandoning Tollkirsche completely, my goal has always been to get one character to the end of Chapter 1, secure my legacy name, then play more alts. So you won't see as much of him around. Versteckt is really my main, in that he is who I play when with my lovely bride, Sctrz. I am really interested in returning to the the Republic side. Since none of the Light/Dark gear is really that appealing, I will not be so worried about those decisions, other than on Tollkirsche. I would really like to get him to Social III, though, so I can get the Imperial pilot uniform. But that is a whole 'nother post.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Two Years Out of Spacedock

STO, Old Friend, only a little younger than my blogging career. You opened up a wider community to me, people I still count as friends. You've changed, matured. You have a new sugar daddy. I hope this one treats you better the last one did.

To all those who have played and play now, congratulations on being part of something wonderful. To the team at Cryptic, thank you. Thank you for working so hard to keep this great game afloat.

I jumped in today to grab a screenshot or two for this post, and it was like slipping on a favorite pair jeans. I caught the old bug, went on a mission to get the new Odyssey class ship for Locke. Good times. :D I look forward to new adventures.