Author: stargrace (Page 9 of 321)

The Couple That Games Together

My husband and I used to game together, but over the years he decided that he didn’t want to play MMOs because they used up an enormous amount of his free time, and he focused on his steam library (over 500 games) while I continued to play. We’ve played most MMOs together in one form or another, briefly. It made me sad when our duo was suddenly a solo but of course I supported his decision.

I started talking about WoW a few days ago with him, trying to decide what I wanted to do in game, what character I wanted to play, and he said out of no where that he missed playing MMOs with me and that when he gets back from depot in 3 months he would like it if we played WoW together.

I was stunned! He was incredibly excited about it and started talking about his old character and how he’d like to faction transfer from Alliance back to Horde. It was such a great discussion, one I have really missed. Even though actually playing together is some time off, we’re both looking forward to a few hours here and there in Azeroth together.

For most people this wouldn’t be such a big deal, but gaming is how we met each other. We don’t always share the same tastes, but thanks to him I’ve tried branching out and playing games I wouldn’t normally find interesting, and vice versa. I love that I have a partner who games, and I think it would be very difficult to be in a relationship with someone who didn’t share that passion of mine. Some things I know we don’t need to share, my husband is no knitter and doesn’t share my love of fiber, just like I am not a huge fan of some of his passions – but we support each other and we inspire and motivate each other. Having him express that he missed us gaming together and that he wanted to pick it up again when he comes home was like a big warm hug wrapping itself around me.

I’m so excited!

Decisions Decisions!

At a year old, my kid still doesn’t sleep through the night very well if he’s left on his own. He wakes up frequently and cries. Dealing with a cranky kid is no fun, especially when you’re parenting solo, and so I’ve taken to hanging out in the room with him (his crib is in my room anyway) while he’s sleeping. That means for 2 hours a night (before I go to bed, basically) I have “free time” – but limited time because I don’t want to wake him up.

Thankfully I came up with a temporary solution that seems to work. I have a rocking chair, his change table (a wooden table basically with shelves) and my laptop set up. A lamp nearby with a light blocker so that the light shines for me but doesn’t interrupt him. I’ve tried many other things to get him to sleep better, less blankets, more blankets, white noise, a routine, the only thing I haven’t tried is letting him cry it out, and I’m not comfortable with that. Anyway. That’s not the point of this post. The point is that I finally have a little niche for me, so I can spend two hours a night feeling a little more like a human being, and a little less like a walking milk bag (remember, milk comes in bags here).

With that extra time (that’s not extra, but lets just dream here) I’ve picked up WoW, knitting, blog posts, some anime, and doing my Inktober entries. It is absolutely amazing how good I feel after a little bit of a baby break. I love my son with all of my heart, but you start to wonder whether or not you’re actually a person after spending 24/7 attached to them for so long. Once our family is settled again (three months down three to go) I like to imagine that we’ll move on to the next round of challenges but at least I won’t be solo parenting them all.

With my decision to return to WoW came the decision on what the heck I should do in game. I’ve returned and I have no clue what’s going on. I did pick up the new quest I was presented with but the zone it sent me to seems woefully overpowered for my character. I’m sitting at a lowly 871 ilevel, and mobs are just busting me into the ground. With glee.

I created that warrior I wanted to, a happy gnome named Petites. She’s sitting at level 3. Do I continue with the gnome? I have two level 110 characters, both on different servers. I have a handful of other level 100 characters that I’ve never gotten to 110, do I work on that? Perhaps some old achievements? Pet battles? Collecting mounts? Titles? Farm coin? Work on crafting?

You see the issue? Returning to the game is all fine and dandy, but feeling like I have no idea what’s going on (because I don’t, even though I’ve only been gone for three months) is annoying. So if you have a good resource for me to read on what I’ve missed and what’s going on with the story (and have it match up with what the heck my character is doing) I would greatly appreciate it!

Hmm. Just realized I also have a 100 druid I’ve always wanted to get to 110.. and a shaman.. and a pa– OK OK there’s never a lack of things for me to do in game, but I am so indecisive.  Someone help me out here.

As always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!

It’s That time of Year

It never fails. Right around the beginning of fall, nostalgia rears its ugly head. BlizzCon is just around the corner, hype is starting to build up from those of my friends who are attending, and those who are not attending. The virtual ticket goes on sale and everyone is talking about their awesome goodies and inside I’m thinking I really want to be a part of all of that too.

There’s nothing wrong with that. I think the hype and excitement is good. The only ‘wrong’ part is that of course I found myself debating whether or not I should also subscribe to World of Warcraft, whether or not I could justify the cost, if I could find the time to play.

Does any of that really matter if deep down inside I WANT to play? Not really because I’ll make any line of reasoning work. For example, I have 2 hours every night of freedom between when my kid goes to sleep and I go to sleep. Sometimes that’s even 3 hours depending on how tired I am. Two hours should be enough to get a few things done IF I were going to subscribe.

Then there’s that gnome warrior I’ve always wanted to make but (so far) have not. Low level tanking could be pretty fun and the levels might not be too painful. I could learn to play a class I’ve never played before and learn to let the comments from other people roll off my shoulders (hey, this is my fantasy, let me live it).

The hype, friends playing, a class I’d like to try (even though it’s one of the original classes – oh and have I mentioned I’ve never even created a demon hunter before?) and not currently being subscribed to a game all weighed on my soul as I stared at the ‘renew subscription’ button.

Of course I subscribed.

I want some of that happy feel good energy. My husband is still gone, my days are long, and I grasp for those moments, they are what keep me going. So if it costs $20 a month (approx, remember I’m Canadian) for a little bit of that joy, why not. I see so many people beating themselves up for enjoying the small things. If you’re a hard worker, have a roof over your head, food on the table, take care of yourself and your family, why shouldn’t you be allowed to have a few small pleasures? It’s really time we stop making ourselves feel guilty every time we want to buy a new game or spend a little time in front of the TV. Of course all this is based on us being logical and working on moderation, but seriously, it’s OK to get excited.

Bring on BlizzCon… (I still don’t own a virtual ticket, but this is a start)

Why I’m Doing Inktober

This month was the first time I had heard about “Inktober” an event that runs for all of October and was apparently started by a Jake Parker to help develop good drawing habits and then just sort of went viral from there. Back when I was much younger (17 years ago at least) I used to do quite a bit of drawing, but since then I’ve fallen out of the habit and it’s something I’ve always regretted. You can see some of my older stuff on an inactive DeviantART account I have.

Even though I haven’t done any drawing for many years I decided why not take part, especially after I saw friends showing off their awesome pieces. There is a drawing prompt for the month but you don’t have to use it. I’ve been following it because it makes things easier for me, especially after being so rusty. I just ordered myself a set of micron pens which should get here on Tuesday, and I’m excited to try them out because my current pen is.. well, it’s drying out and just not good.

Speaking of not good – I know my stuff isn’t good. It’s pretty horrible, actually. That’s not me being harsh on myself, that’s 17 years of not using my skills. My hope is that after Inktober is done I’ll continue drawing, and then over the next year I’ll be able to see some improvement. I love drawing (well, I love many artistic endevours, but drawing in specific) and I want to be able to get better at it. It’s one of those skills you have to practice every day though and lets face it 17 years is a long time.

The point of this post is to say it doesn’t matter how good you are or how long it has been. If you enjoy doing something or have regrets about not doing something – change it. Within reason and logic of course, but don’t let time passing be one of the things that holds you back.

A Bunch of Industry Stuff

Monday is a holiday here in Canada, it’s Thanksgiving. Our holiday isn’t centered around Pilgrims or Natives, but instead is based on the seasons and harvest. Our harvest is coming to a close for the year, and so we look back at all the things we’re thankful for. While I know I have lots to be thankful for, this year, I’m just not feeling it at all. I feel like this year has been rather difficult as was last year and I feel sort of like I haven’t been able to get a break. As I write this my 1 year old is on the floor screaming his head off beside me because he threw a toy out of his reach (of course I got it for him I’m not a monster). Anyway. Since my husband is still gone for another few months I’ve decided this year I’m making ribs and salad for dinner, pizza for lunch, and I’m not doing Thanksgiving.

I did get some time to play EVE. I flew home from Jita, went to my Industry outpost, picked up a bunch of T1 and T2 blueprints I had been working on along with some PI components and re-filled all the manufacturing jobs I had let lapse. I’ll make another run to Jita in a few weeks to sell off the products, hopefully netting a tidy little sum. I’m also planning on doing some quiet mining, but I haven’t decided what I want to mine yet, and whether or not I’ll use my second account for hauling which is of course a decision I battle with every time I start playing EVE again. I’m also thinking of switching up where I call home, and moving all my assets someplace new, but we’ll have to see what, if anything, comes from that.

The Tengu is still treating me very well, but new ship itch is out in full force and it’s time to work towards something new.

MMO Regrets (Inspired by BioBreak)

Syp had a great post over on BioBreak today (yes, I still read Feedly and keep up to date with posts) about MMO regrets – and this is what inspired me to make my own post. He’s right, we all have a few regrets, so what are yours? Mine are the following:

  1. Creating so many alts. I started making alts back in EQ2. Before then I never had alts and I was able to focus on a main character. Since that time I’ve never felt like I had a ‘main’ and I never felt like I actually completed all that much on a single character. Instead my characters were spread around with a little bit completed there, a little bit completed here.
  2. Buying in to so many early access / Newly released MMOs. Yes, I regret this. I know it’s great to support developers, but I’ve paid so much money for games I rarely ever played and never stuck with. Just to name a few off of the top of my head there was the almost $200 for Landmark (we all know how that one turned out), the collectors edition of BDO that I don’t play (I made it to level 15), and the top tier of ArcheAge (I think I played that one for a month or two, I at least made it to level 50). Then there’s Ark, which may not be classified under the MMO genre, but why not. I think I played that one for an hour. I stuck with Rift for quite a while before giving that one up so I don’t include it in the list but the ones listed above I don’t feel like I ever got my value out of what I paid.
  3. Being a nomadic gamer. I wish I could settle down in just one game for at least a year long stretch. It never happens. It used to happen, but now I change games more than some people change underwear. I envy people who settle down in their game of choice with a main character and are able to actually stick with it.
  4. Not playing Vanguard more before it shut down. I LOVED that game. It is my all time favourite MMO even to this day, and when they announced it was closing I was absolutely defeated. I was actually playing it at the time and gave up because I didn’t like the idea of playing a game that was just going to shut down in the near future. That game had everything for me. A vast open world, the awesome diplomacy system, complex and rewarding crafting, just to name a few. I wish I made more videos of the game and I wish I had of dedicated myself to just playing that one and writing about it.
  5. Not playing MMOs sooner (or video games in general). I didn’t start back in the ‘olden’ days. I started MMO gaming around 2003 / 2004 and so when people talk about the start of the rise of MMOs with the olden golden olden days I regret that I didn’t get to experience that, especially because I was such a fan of EverQuest. I had been playing EverQuest for a year when EQ2 released, and I eventually (I had some reluctance) switched over.
  6. Keeping in better touch with my past MMO friends. I’m pretty good about this now, I have an established group I can virtually hang out with and I like to think we’re pretty good friends. If one were to go missing I like to think I’d notice and we’d band together and track them down. This wasn’t always the case, and I’ve lost touch with a lot of really awesome people over the years. I have multi-game guilds (now), and a good group of friends on twitter. I often wonder what happened to the people I started gaming with back in 2003. As I drifted from game to game I was often kicked out of guilds for not being active enough and of course people I had been ‘close’ to in a particular game would drift out of touch. This isn’t an MMO regret per say, but it’s still something that I think about and is pretty firmly based around MMOs.

That’s my list! Thanks again to Syp for providing the inspiration for this post. What about everyone else out there, what MMO regrets do you have? Why not share them!

Unboxing Specially Marked Snacks

Every so often I’ll get an email from a company or a game representative asking me if I’d be interested in trying something out. I typically say yes, because why not, they’re usually a lot of fun. This time I was approached by a kind representative from Mrs. Freshley’s asking if I’d be interested in sharing some information about specially marked (FFXIV Stormblood) snacks, and they offered to send me a few products to try. As far as I’m aware we don’t have Mrs. Freshley’s up here in Canada, but I’ve never been one to turn down free snacks (cough) so I accepted and they arrived this week! I actually decided to make an unboxing video, my first and quite possibly my last because I had so many technical issues. Still, I put it up on YouTube for everyone to watch. These baked goods were held up at the boarder for a day due to customs (we’re really cracking down on imported snack goods eh..) but they were still delicious if you like cupcakes and cinnamon buns with a ton of icing.

I downloaded Blippar to try to scan the packages and get the code that you can then use in game – but no matter how I tried to scan or which product I couldn’t get it to work. I’m not sure if I was doing something wrong or it was my location or some other issue, but I’ll keep trying so that I can hand those codes out to readers / viewers. I’m also handing the sweet treats out to a few locals who have expressed interest. I wasn’t an enormous fan of the cinnamon rolls (personally) but the chocolate cupcakes were delicious (I basically devoured two of those off screen later). You can find out more about Mrs Freshley’s products here, and you can read about the awesome contest they’ve been holding for the past few months here. If you’ve got any tips or tricks on how I can make Blippar work properly don’t hesitate to let me know in comments!

As always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself.

Adventures in RimWorld

RimWorld is one of those games that I never get bored of and if I do, I just go download some new mods from the steam workshop and it’s like a completely different game. I’ve been playing RimWorld as my weekly stream game because it’s something that I’m pretty familiar with and it’s easy to step away from the game if I need to here and there. Things are automated, and I find it relaxing. Your millage may vary of course. Especially depending on your difficulty level.

I have been playing on the extreme setting (the highest one) with the randy random scenario, which means all events are random. In my last adventure my colonists only died because of my neglect. I was playing on tribal which is something I rarely do because I really dislike not starting with power. You spend so much time researching I feel like you can’t actually get anywhere. Anyway. I had forgotten which buildings were marked as Ancient Dangers. Maybe there’s a mod that will remind me and cause me to step away from those places. I remembered two, but ended up opening the third one – HUGE mistake.

My colonists who were of course tribal and didn’t even have power had absolutely no means to combat the mechanoids that popped out. By sheer luck we had a single gun (equipped by Scopique) and he was able to take out one of the scythes, but we still had a second one along with a centipede. To say everyone died a fiery death would be an understatement. It was carnage. There was absolutely no way to escape.

So I’ve started the colony over. This time with three crash landed survivors, which means they have power. Welshtroll is also proficient in the Force, so once he works the skill up he’ll be able to choose the light or the dark and use his powers. I’m hoping that this colony survives a bit longer so that I can show off some of the neat stuff you can do – and so I’ve bumped DOWN the difficulty level of the game in order to do that. I’ll still have some awesome events, but maybe every stream won’t end in slaughter.

I won’t be streaming today (Tuesday, October 3rd) as my little guy has immunizations, but I’ll be back at it this Thursday, October 5th, 2:30pm PDT. Catch me over on twitch, and don’t forget to give a follow so you get notifications of when I’m going live.

As always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!

Dusting Tom Thumb

Not too long I bought my first spinning wheel. I didn’t know enough about buying them at the time, but I was impatient and bought it anyway. It was a used wheel called a “Tom Thumb” which is from around 1980, made in New Zealand. It’s missing a few parts, most notably four knobs that match the two I have. One goes to the orifice hook, one goes to the second lazy kate, and the third goes to.. I can’t remember what. The maiden head was cracked and my husband managed to sand and repair it last year. We had intended on refinishing the entire piece and getting it running properly, but then kiddo made his early appearance and it got put aside.

I took it out today to give it a bit of love, shine it up and make sure she still runs (which she does). I have it set for double tension right now, but I need a piece to hold the footman to the wheel, I’m using a paperclip right now and lets just say it’s awkward. Ideally I’d like some sort of nut or bolt along with some felt so that the footman doesn’t rub and make a lot of noise (like it does now). I also bought a new orifice hook for it, it won’t match exactly, but that’s alright. In the meantime I set out to see if I could find a woodworker who could make matching knobs for me. I’d like to restore this wheel to her former glory, it’s an incredibly solid wheel that I’m sure has seen some good years.

Ideally, in the (far) future, I’d like to purchase a new wheel. Maybe an Ashcroft Traveller. I also own a few drop spindles (one wooden and two 3D printed) that are a lot of fun to use. In order to get better at spinning you need to practice practice practice practice – and I just haven’t had the time on top of everything else. If it’s a hobby you enjoy though, to make the time and find it some where. So that’s what I’ll do. You can see the yarn I’ve spun so far over on my Ravelry page – some people have amazing yarn. That’s the level I want to get to, and I will, with practice.

Knitting Hats for Winter

It’s getting pretty close to winter here in British Columbia, Canada and my kid has out grown all of the cute little newborn hats that he got last year when he was born. I made him a handful, a little pumpkin and some plain ones. He was so small that in the NICU his hat could have been worn as clothes.

Instead of buying him a new hat that he would just outgrow in another year I decided to knit him one. Hats are fast knits and it’s rewarding to see something you’ve made being worn. He’s too young to appreciate anything fancy, so I picked a simple pattern by Tin Can Knits called Barley.

There’s an issue with the pattern before the decreases. You end on a knit row and continue with another knit row to establish the decreases when you should end on a purl row. That’s the weird wonky line at the top before the hat starts to curve. It doesn’t affect the warmth of the item at all and it’s something my kid certainly won’t care about so I decided to just leave it be and finish knitting it. It’s made from an extra soft acrylic yarn from KnitPicks called Might Stitch. The hat is (of course) too big for him but I figure he’ll grow into it. Hopefully not too quickly.

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