Dead Hills Adventures

I know these heroic adventures used to be quite popular, but there was no one around last night when I attempted to run a few in Dead Hills – still, I had fun earning experience and currency to gear up my little team. The shaman (who I’m quite proud of) reached level 97, tied with my ranger. The shadowknight and enchanter each inched their way through part of 105, at least enough so that they won’t lose their levels any more if they should die.

There’s a bunch of changes to crafting I’d like to look into, as well as leveling my crafting trophies, and all that good stuff, so I might dive into that next. I have absolutely no idea where to start, but I bet I can figure it out.


Another Year, Another Blaugust

Every year for the past.. I’m not even sure how long, I’ve signed up to do Blaugust. Hosted by Belghast, with a number of participants and mentors, this event helps encourage people to blog throughout the month of August, be you a veteran or a newcomer. I love the community it fosters, and it’s always a great way for me to go around collecting awesome sites to read.

2021 has been a great year as far as blogging goes, for me personally. I’ve written every single day since January, and it’s something that I’ve wanted to keep up with for the entire year. I’ve branched off a bit from gaming and included knitting and art along with my adventures, but the basics remain the same. As always, I’m looking forward to this event and I can’t wait to see the new baby blogs that crop up. Maybe some of them will enjoy it so much they’ll stick around, and if not, that’s OK too. I can’t say I’ll have a lot of advice to give, but I am signed up as a mentor, and I’ll do my best to pass on some tips and tricks to blogging. The least I can do after all of the lovely things that the community has done for me.

Happy writing!


My Invisible Line

TW for sexual harrassment talk.

Yesterday a bunch of news dropped about a lawsuit being taken against Activision / Blizzard for their ‘frat boy’ culture. I doubt very much that it came as a surprise to anyone, but I went and read through the legal papers for it and the details were disgusting.

What was even more disgusting was the response from a spokesperson of Activision that said that the statements presented in the court document were “distorted and in many cases false” and this is where Activision crossed over an invisible line I have as far as supporting their games go.

We all have those invisible lines. Something that tells us “you know what, I just don’t want to support them any more”. Mine, I will admit, is pretty broad. I like video games, I enjoy supporting developers, and it’s ingrained into my entire life. I’ve played World of Warcraft since the start. I’ve weathered some pretty nasty storms with them – this time, I just can’t.

As a woman, my entire life I’ve been told that if I speak up about sexual harassment I was doing it for the attention. On two distinctive occasions I did the right thing and I talked to the right people and no one believed me. They told me I was trying to get attention. So on the third (and arguably biggest) occasion when I was raped in a washroom after work in a shopping mall I told no one except my boyfriend at the time. I did nothing. I never went to the police, what would be the point. I quietly quit my job, and never went back to that mall again.

It’s an enormous deal to me that so many women are standing up and being strong enough to share what has been going on or what has gone on in the past, and they are being told that their statements are distorted and false. There is nothing as heartbreaking for a victim than to be told that they are lying – when they are not. It is one of many reasons that women just don’t feel comfortable to speak up and talk about this sort of thing to begin with. There is almost always some sort of punishment. Whether it’s burning bridges, missed job opportunities, or something else. There is zero incentive for victims to come forward, and so much to lose.

So yes, Activision has crossed a line. I’m not willing to continue to support a company that can’t support female co-workers, or even ex co-workers. I’ve cancelled my account, and I can only hope that the victims are able to get some sort of closure from all of this.


Heroic Adventures? I can Do Those! (Barely)

When I stopped playing EverQuest last time, I had reached level 100 with my enchanter, 97 with my bard, and the shadowknight had also reached 100. I was playing with a good friend who has since moved to another server so they could participate in raids – but that’s OK, there’s still lots of folks around. I don’t think heroic adventures were a thing, but they are now, and they’re a neat way of getting experience and obtaining some gear / items if you’re not exactly geared to handle the awesome current content (which of course I am no where near).

Anyway, there’s an NPC in PoK who will send you off to work on some heroic adventures, or you can just bypass that and go read up on one of the guides out there like this one from Almar. You can start heroic adventures at 75 (they scale) but it’s recommended that you hold off for a bit. I’ve only done a handful so far, but they’ve been pretty fun and offer up some good experience and an alternative way of leveling if you’re bored of open world zone grinding. Most of the quests I’ve found tend to be ‘save my village, collect these items’ type, but there’s also the chance for a rare spawn to show up and provide some extra loot (so long as you can kill them).

Hopefully completing these will give some gear alongside the experience so my characters are not so poorly equipped. Next I need to look into upgrading their spells.


Finally Back Home

A fast moving fire had us evacuated on July 10th – and we were finally allowed back home, so in true Stargrace fashion I am going to back date a bunch of posts, because even though I wasn’t writing at the time, I did get some gaming (and knitting!) done. Honestly, I’m just glad that our house is still standing, that we had a place to go, and most of all, that we’re back home.

The kids handled things brilliantly, as kids do, but because our son has autism it was quite stressful to try to make things as ‘routine’ as possible for him in a situation where absolutely nothing was routine. He has some pretty exact food requirements and staying at your bosses’ house is stressful enough without everything extra going on. We were able to get away to the city for a few days, but hotels quickly filled up with other evacuees, so we stayed at a nearby town which is still quite isolated. It was odd to come home and see giant holes of space where forest used to stand. A big thank you to everyone who helped keep our home safe.


Silver Bell Sweater – Completed!

It took a REALLY long time, and multiple time-outs, but I FINALLY completed my Silver Bell Sweater. I started this project back in December of 2020 but was constantly fighting with the needles as I knit it, making it a bundle of not-fun. I ended up having to frog most of the body due to some awkward dropped stitches along the neck line, then frogging most of the body a second time due to some dropped stitches in the back. I ordered a set of ChiaoGoo needles (best needles I’ve ever owned, incase you’re wondering) and got back to it this year. Then I messed up a sleeve, and had to frog that and start over. Finally, we were evacuated when I had just 10 stitches left and I didn’t bring any spare needles with me since I wasn’t expecting to be gone that long, and I couldn’t finish it until we arrived back home yesterday.

This sweater is so incredibly comfortable, and I’m very happy with it. It’s huge and oversized, perfect for wearing over a tank top. I expect I’ll get a lot of use from it in the fall and winter months. PLUS I knocked a large project off of the to-do list, and I’m glad for that.

Next? Finishing off the second heel on my socks so that I can hopefully fly through the legs.


Ding, 105

Well for once I don’t have a screen shot to show off, but that’s because I’ve been gaming on my laptop, and it’s always awkward to shuffle pictures around. I’ve been meandering through some zones with my team of three (shadowknight, enchanter, shaman) and three mercs – and having an absolute blast. The game is still filled with people playing (even if a lot of them are multiboxing these days) and current-day zones are always full of groups. The shaman has leveled up from their boosted level of 85 to almost 97, and the other two characters are sitting at a respectable 105 – that’s 5 whole levels since I returned. I’m quite pleased! Picking up spells and figuring out where I go next has been a bit difficult as I’m not overly familiar with progression in the older expansions, but there are still guides out there and I’m able to fumble my way around. I’m hoping to catch the shaman up and then maybe gear everyone out a bit more. I’m not sure I’ll be able to take the team all the way to 115 but that is the (eventual) end goal. We’ll just have to see.

Happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!


Health Goals – Progress

As a quick recap – April 15th (one day after my 40th birthday) I decided it was time for a healthier me. I wanted to help limit some of the issues I have with MS, and I was hoping that losing weight would give me some quality of life changes by putting less overall pressure on my body. I started at 250lbs, and today I’m at 213lbs.

I’ve lost 37lbs – but I don’t actually see it when I look in the mirror, and I don’t actually feel like I’ve lost that much. I think I’m probably just always going to see myself as a bigger girl for a long time, the mental battle that comes with weight loss is just as difficult as the physical one. I’ve been doing a mixture of keto and just eating less food, I ended up losing quite a bit while we were evacuated just due to stress which is NOT something I suggest to anyone. Each month I give myself a budget of $100 for keto friendly foods that I can find, and this month that meant some amazing tortilla wraps, some bbq sauce, ketchup, some chocolate milk shake mix, and some konjac noodle rice stuff that I’m hoping to use to make keto friendly sushi. Turns out seaweed is perfectly good to eat on a low carb diet.

Long term my first major goal is getting below 200lbs. Once there, I plan on dropping keto and working on portion sizes and learning sustainability when it comes to proper meals, even in my unique location where pretty much the only grocery options are frozen carbs. I also plan on incorporating exercise into the equation once I’m below 200lbs. Due to my MS, I have to be careful about how I go about this. Some days I can’t walk or make use of my hands, and I don’t want to injure myself. I’m not exactly proud of the progress I’ve made, but I’m glad I’m getting somewhere. It’s a mixed bag, honestly. I’m also not seeing any changes in my MS symptoms yet, but I’m sure my body is thankful not to have so much weight to carry around, even if I can’t feel any difference.


Inside

Created with procreate on an iPad with an Apple Pencil, I called this one ‘inside’ because even though I feel small, inside I’m all roar.


Buffalo River

Another procreate practice piece.


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