Spider Scurry, Spider Get Smashed

Blaugust Day 30

gw703

Yesterday I mentioned I attempted my first Guild Rush in Guild Wars 2 while trying to get to a vista. The Guild Rush I attempted is known as Spider Scurry, and as you might imagine you must traverse Dostoev Sky Peak as a spider.

As a spider you have the following abilities:

  1. Search: Search for area traps.
  2. Web Decoy: Create a clone of yourself at target position on traversable terrain. Can be used to distract foes.
  3. Leap: Fire a web to pull yourself to a target area on traversable terrain. Can be used to pull yourself onto raised platforms.

On my first attempt I ran in and didn’t look at the skill descriptions and quickly died. Turns out there are traps scattered throughout the course that are only visible when you activate your first ability. Besides traps there are also dredge and the occasional turret that will attack you. Who knew the dredge were so proficient at dispatching spiders? It didn’t take long to find out that as a spider you’re not very durable so it’s important to use skills 2 and 3. It also really helps if there are multiple people doing it at the same time and if you have escorts- I suppose that’s why it’s a Guild Rush.

I don’t know how many attempts it took to just reach the first platforms, but if I did know it would be more than I would care to admit. I feel sorry for the people that were helping me. For them it was a continual process of seeing me die and a combination of waiting for me to return or running back to the start to help me. I felt so incompetent, but even though the experience was a bit frustrating at times it was still fun, and I got the vista.

Blaugust Initiative Page

Blaugust Nook

Helping Hands at Dostoev Sky Peak

Blaugust Day 29

One of the items on my Gamer To-Do List was to complete Part V of my personal story in Guild Wars 2. I didn’t realize that I only had one more thing to do before Part V would be completed. So, when I logged into GW2 today I was expecting to spend most of my time working on the personal story, but it went really quick and I couldn’t continue on to Part VI because I am not level 60 yet. Instead most of my time was spent exploring Dredgehaunt Cliffs.

During my time exploring I came to a vista, and I couldn’t figure out how to get to it. I decided that instead of running around in circles for another 5 minutes I would ask someone, and I did. The person I asked was really helpful and informed me that I would have to do a Guild Rush or at least start it to get where I wanted. I’ve never done a Guild Rush, so this was a completely new experience for me, and I’ll probably go into more detail about this particular Guild Rush tomorrow. For now, I’ll just say there was a lot of failure and incompetence on my part. Luckily, the kind soul who helped me was there with their guild, and I ended up with multiple people from the guild helping me through the Guild Rush.

I didn’t reach the end of the Guild Rush mainly because I didn’t want to take up anymore of the guild’s time, but I did get the vista which was my main objective. I don’t know the guild’s name only that their tag was PT, but I am very grateful for their patience and willingness to help.

Blaugust Initiative Page

Blaugust Nook

I Need to Catch-Up on All the Things

Blaugust Day 28

hourglass-620397_1920

The release date for Heart of Thorns, the first expansion for Guild Wars 2, was announced today. While I’m excited, it reminded me how far behind I am on everything. Guild Wars 2 news, RuneScape news, podcasts, Blaugust posts, and the list goes on.

When I get behind on something and then finally get a chance to get caught up I want to pick up where I last left off and go through it in chronological order. And when you reach the point where you haven’t kept up with something for weeks or months getting caught-up seems quite daunting, so you put it off and starting becomes more and more difficult. This has also been a struggle I have had with Blaugust, I don’t want to read what you posted today until I have read what you wrote in your 27 previous posts. Why? I can’t quite put my finger on it, I guess it’s the same reason why I trudge through the archives of podcasts I enjoy or videos of youtubers I enjoy watching. I want to see the progress, the changes, and the overarching narrative. I don’t do this with everything but there is an awful lot of things where this applies.

I am going to have to come back to this topic in the future. I just needed to write something today. I am also going to try and forget that most people started blogging before Blaugust…think of all things I could read.

Blaugust Initiative Page

Blaugust Nook

The Great Blaugust Sea: Part III

Blaugust Day 27

[This is a short piece of fiction inspired by Blaugust, as well as the MMO blogosphere and accompanying podcasts. You can find the first part here and the second part here.]

footprints-768682_1920

The sky and sea were frantic. Every cannon on every ship was now propelling bottles through the air, and the sky and sea felt every blast and every projectile. On the shore the sand grated against Talan’s ankles as the combined force of the blasts shook the earth. Although the very first cannon blast sent him into a panic this barrage was so deafening the cannon blasts melted into the background, and all he could hear were the thunk, thunk, thunk of messages being received from all directions.

He reached down to scratch his ankles to relieve the irritation from the biting sand, and broke his gaze from the sky briefly to watch the sand dance across the ground. As he began to look back towards the sky he noticed a pair of depressions that resembled crude footprints. He took a few steps, knelt, and inspected the footprints. The footprints lead straight into the sea, but there were no indications that anyone was out in the water unless they were on-board one of the ships.

He had to get to one of the ships. He had to know what was going on. Maybe someone knew where the great library was. Someone had to know.

Placing his index finger at the toes of one of the footprints he dragged it through the sand leaving a small trough. Before the waves made their return he quickly pulled out his bota bag and filled the trough with fresh water. From the trough small vines began to sprout and radiate out over the footprints.

Once the vines completely covered the footprints one vine split-off, approached Talan’s feet, and interwove itself among his toes.

Blaugust Initiative Page

Blaugust Nook

The Great Blaugust Sea: Part II

Blaugust Day 26

[This is a short piece of fiction inspired by Blaugust, as well as the MMO blogosphere and accompanying podcasts. You can find the first part here.]

sunset-675847_1280

The ships varied widely in shape and size, and Talan quickly found himself lost in their mystique, but before his mind could wander too far a thundering blast assaulted his ears. He fumbled for his ears as he tried to cover them and determine where the blast had come from. Looking across the sea he thought he saw a wisp of smoke coming from a ship a short way north. Immediately he thought the ship had been hit by something and he would soon see the whole thing go up in flames, but as he made his way north and could see the ship better– there was no smoke.

Suddenly, a second blast to the south grabbed his attention and he spun around to find out what was going on. Scanning the sky something caught his eye- if he wasn’t mistaken it was a message in a bottle sailing just below the clouds. He followed it as it reflected the sun, and it made its descent toward one of the ships nearest to the shore. With a loud thunk the bottle was sucked into a tube standing a few feet off the ship. That’s when he noticed what looked to be a cannon near the bow of the ship. His observation was soon confirmed when the cannon sent a bottle flying south. Another thunk echoed off the ships and Talan knew the message had been received.

Then the sea shattered.

Blaugust Initiative Page

Blaugust Nook

Link Bubble and SWTOR

Blaugust Day 25

Today I just wanted to mention an app on Android that I enjoy using.

The app is Link Bubble Browser. Link Bubble loads webpages in the background so that you can continue browsing or looking at whatever else you were doing. I find this particulary useful when browsing Twitter. I’ll see a link to something that looks interesting and click on it, and instead of Chrome or your browser of choice opening, taking you out of Twitter, a small bubble pops up on the side of your screen and you can continue scrolling through Twitter while the webpage loads.When you’re ready to look at that link you tap the bubble and the webpage comes up on top of the app you were on- in this case Twitter. When you’re done looking at the webpage you can share it with another app, save it to a reading later app like Pocket, or close it.

Previously, the free version only allowed you to load one webpage at a time in the background, but recently all the premium features have been made free, so now you can have an infinite number of bubbles.

I should also mention that their is a similar app on the Play Store known as Flynx, that has near identical features. Although I haven’t used Flynx, if anyone has I’d be curious to know what you think of it.

Both Link Bubble and Flynx can be found for free on the Google Play Store.

I also wanted to say a few things about Star Wars: The Old Republic.

I was able to play some SWTOR today, and I am really enjoying it so far. I meant to play some RuneScape or Guild Wars 2, but decided to keep playing SWTOR. I’m not very far. I’m level 10 currently, and still on Hutta going by the name Red Blade as I try to deal with competing Hutts. I’ve decided to go light side with my Imperial Agent, whether I go 100% light side or not is still up for debate.

Blaugust Initiative Page

Blaugust Nook

The Final Week of Blaugust

Blaugust Day 24

wordpress-265132_1920

During this last week of Blaugust (yes, one week to go) I will be posting about how I plan to tackle fall term as it starts in about a month for me. I don’t know if this will be one post or multiple posts- we’ll see. I do plan on posting about more than studying. I’m hoping to get in some more about SWTOR, drawing (I haven’t had a post dedicated to my own drawings since August 8- yikes), and I need to get back to my story The Great Blaugust Sea before Blaugust is over. And, somehow I have managed to go all of Blaugust without talking about playing my main games RuneScape and Guild Wars 2, except for mentioning some goals I had for each during the month.

Anyway, prior to fall term and during fall term I want to make some posts that have a more academic focus, but I haven’t decided whether I want to post those here or over on Tumblr. At the moment my blog feels very much like a place to talk about my hobbies, and I really can’t decide if I want to inject academia into that or keep those two worlds separate. Part of me says yes, and part of me says no.

In the beginning the posts I plan on making will likely focus on the changes I am making to studying habits, and then will transition to a summary of what I have learned during that week of studying or classes. I know there are a lot of differing opinions on having two blogs vs one blog. There are good arguments for both sides, and I plan to be having many internal debates about the subject throughout this final week of Blaugust.

Blaugust Initiative Page

Blaugust Nook

My Favorite Game I’m Not Playing

Blaugust Day 23

This post is inspired by a writing prompt that Syl over at MMO Gypsy posted on Anook. Although instead of “My Favorite MMO I am Not Playing” I am changing it to “My Favorite Game I am Not Playing.”

IMG_20150823_234957_861That game would be Monster Hunter Tri for the Wii. One reason I am not playing it is because my Wii is on the fritz, but even before the Wii stopped reading disks I wasn’t playing the game.

Monster Hunter Tri quickly became the game where I read about the game and watched other people play it more than actually playing it myself.

If you’re not familiar with the Monster Hunter series here is a quick synopsis of Monster Hunter Tri:

Monster Hunter is set in a massive, sublime land where humans and monsters co-exist. You play the role of an up-and-coming hunter, who must accomplish various quests to achieve glory and help the residents of their village survive.

Hunters will track monsters, set traps, and either capture or slay a variety of majestic monsters. When a monster is slain, the hunter can carve off their horns, scales and bones, which can be used to create a huge variety of weapons and armor. These items can be bought or crafted by giving the village blacksmith materials and a fee.

Source: Monster Hunter Tri

I fell into one of those situations where you are constantly trying to learn everything about the thing you want to do without actually doing that thing.

One of things I like about Monster Hunter is that you really benefit from preparing in advance for the fights. Making sure you grab health potions, traps, bombs, whetstones, the appropriate armor and weapon sets, etc. You’re asking yourself whether you have hot drinks when you are entering cold environments or cool drinks when go into the desert or a volcanic area. The combat is slow (most of the time) and deliberate, and you’re also learning how each monster telegraphs their attacks. At the same time it is extremely rewarding.

IMG_20150823_235032_532

And as much as I love the preparation it was also a large factor in preventing me from just jumping in and playing. I always felt that by the time I got myself prepared, most of my time to play would be used up and what if I didn’t have time to defeat that particular monster- would I just be wasting time? So I would opt-out of playing, and then would occasionally find myself watching Youtube videos about the game. At that point I would think to myself “Why are you not playing?!” Also the game is on console- I think if it were on PC I would have and would be playing it a lot more.

All this talk about the game makes want to go play it. But I can’t. And when I can, I probably won’t.

Blaugust Initiative Page

Blaugust Nook

Some Quick Thoughts on Swtor

Blaugust Day 22

Screenshot_2015-08-22_20_36_12_797350

Last Saturday, I almost started playing Star Wars: The Old Republic (Swtor). Unfortunately, I never got past the first cinematic cutscene. Fast forward one week and this evening I was able to jump in for a little while and at least get my feet wet.

I’m going to keep this short and go through a few things I liked and a few things that were annoying. I hope get some more time in later this week, and then I’ll hopefully be able to talk more about it.

swtor 2015-08-22 21-29-14-419
Meet Tulan.

After I decided to play an Imperial Agent it was off to character customization. I wouldn’t call Swtor’s customization extensive but it provides a good amount of options. Even though there are not a lot of body types to choose from it seemed to me that they covered the spectrum well, although a slider would still be nice. I think what I was most disappointed in was the available hair options. I think there were 20+ but I didn’t feel like there were very many good ones. Overall, you can get a lot of variation in the character customization from scars to skin complexion. You can get someone that looks pristine or someone that looks like they are a little rough around the edges.

The hardest thing was picking a name. I didn’t realize at first that you could only only pick a first name. I then realized I need to expand my pool of names to choose from for new characters. Still not sure if I am happy with the name I chose.

So far the story has been pretty interesting, and if I had to go kill x of this or that the reasons seemed reasonable. I’ve also enjoyed the dialogue and voice acting so far. Currently I am trying to get into the inner circle of the local Hutt (Nemro) under the identity of Red Blade. Apparently the real Red Blade is off gallivanting far far away- so everything should be fine.

Blaugust Initiative Page

Blaugust Nook

I Need More Time to Write

Blaugust Day 21

letters-801755_1920

Yesterday Kateri Morton, a fellow Blaugust participant, said something that really stuck with me:

My struggle at the moment is not having nothing to write about, but not having long enough to do the posts I want to do properly.

This is exactly how I feel. I’ve been keeping a list of topics to write about, and I can always refer to the writing prompts over on Anook. But on days like today when I am not exactly sure what to write and I’ve given myself little time to write- I look at the things I want to write about and I feel like I won’t be able to do them justice. So far I’ve deliberately avoided topics that require anything more than a little research. It would probably help if I just picked a topic at the beginning of the day or night before and brainstormed ideas throughout the day until I was ready to write, but that hasn’t happened much.

Anything I have been writing outside of Blaugust has taken me a few days to collect my thoughts and write down. And, that is more of the norm when I write. Lots of thinking, lots of listing, more thinking, a bit of procrastination, and then write. With Blaugust it’s been different, and I’ve had to change my normal writing habits and fight those mental blocks (especially when it comes to starting) to make sure I am posting daily.

It all makes me a bit uncomfortable and insecure about my writing, but at the same time it is a much needed challenge. If I want to overcome years worth of built-up aversion to writing- I’m going to have to write.

Blaugust Initiative Page

Blaugust Nook