Failed the challenge

I missed three days of updates but I do have an excuse. Monday I had a family crisis, Tuesday looked at a house and yesterday bought a house, it’s been a hell of a week.

However, small retrospective on what I learned in the last two weeks of attempting the challenge.
1) It is really hard to think of enough topics that are interesting enough to cover as blog posts. I like to say something and not just ramble, I probably did just ramble on occasion anyway but never mind.
2) It is possible barring crazy life altering days, case in point, to find time to write everyday. If I had been a little more diligent and prepared then I would have had time to write even then. I spent the vast majority of yesterday pacing up and down so much I got blisters – literally. Waiting to hear if the offer was accepted was incredibly nerve-wracking. My phone was out of battery, I didn’t have my laptop with me, I obviously wasn’t home. Concentrating would have been hard but it might have made the time go faster.
3) Miniposts or short posts are nothing to be ashamed about, so long as obviously they aren’t the only posts that ever get written. Sometimes there’s not enough time to write a full in-depth post, sometimes the brain won’t cooperate and think of a topic for a long post, sometimes that’s all I can do and that is enough. I wrote that day, it wasn’t much but I sat down and tried. Other days the posts will be on the long side of regular, so it evens out. Far better to write a small amount than nothing at all.

Looking at what I learned I don’t think the challenge was a failure, sure I failed to complete it but much like NaNo, I took something else from trying, it was a success in another way.

In other news I got a library card as intended on Tuesday, ready for my book challenge in January. Although my friend told me to sign up to GoodReads, I discovered then that I have 9 unread books on my shelves, exactly how that happened I don’t know. I should probably start with those books before I check random books out of the library. Maybe I should do a challenge warm-up, going from no reading to a book a week might be tough. Perhaps I should start reading now, and just say find time for a chapter a day. Even though my focus is going to be as much on writing as possible, that should be pretty easy, knock it out in a few minutes before I go to sleep, it’s definitely worth considering.

Another friend of mine teases me often about Warcraft. To be honest a lot of his objections in regards to how much it costs, the subscription, the long content droughts etc. I share and have ranted about on this blog more than once. It’s probably a bit like doughnuts or another sugary item, it’s bad for you but that doesn’t stop you from liking it, you may also hate yourself slightly for succumbing but do it anyway, just the way it is. Anyway, the Warlords pre-patch dropped yesterday and there’s some new things to do and explore. I decided, back when I decided I would resub and try Warlords out, that I wouldn’t do so until a week before release so I wouldn’t waste any sub time. I am tempted to resub now, I’m a very impatient person, but for a change my resolve is staying firm. I have a lot of other stuff to do, the pre-launch stuff won’t take long and plus waiting means all the bugs will be fixed, and a big patch like this brings a lot of bugs.

Agents of Shield 2.03 will now be available for me to watch, so there may be a post about that later when I get a chance to watch it. I love that show but if I get more free time later, and my brains still working, I have NaNo Prep to do.

End note – how can it only be Thursday? It feels like a month since last Friday, that’s just crazy but then it has been one hell of a week.

Statement of Intention

This is my third attempt at writing a blog post today. I’ve found it really hard to a) think of a good topic and then b) write enough or write something decent on that topic. All I keep coming back to is no particular topic, just things in general. Time management, routine, priorities, to do list, all those things that I worry and think about and shouldn’t blog about.

There are only so many hours in the day and in all honesty I waste most of my time. It disappears somehow, slips away and I have no idea what I spent the day doing. That isn’t good, though I do wonder if people were honest with themselves, how many would recognise something in that admission. It’s so easy to browse a few forums, play a facebook game, watch some YouTube videos and lose a chunk of time. Easy and decidedly non productive, it’s not even all that enjoyable.

There is a ‘to do list’ page on this blog. It’s entirely Warcraft related and therefore hasn’t been looked at, or attempted in over six months. When I resub I will have new priorities in game and so the old list is redundant in every which way.

It’s time for a new list.

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The importance of secondary characters

I finally got the DVD set for Stargate: Atlantis. I posted about it on twitter and listed some of the characters that made Atlantis great. I then looked back at my tweet and realised something. Only one of the characters mentioned had ever been in the credits, the rest were just recurring guest stars.

There’s this TV show Alias. I’ve mentioned it a few times I think as it proved inspiring for this novel I’ve been attempting to write for years. However, one of the points about Alias that I always laugh about is that it’s a hard show to actually watch. The headcanon I have for Alias works much better than the actual show. Why? Because I loathe the main characters. I can not stand Sydney or Vaughn.

Obviously I like the main characters in Atlantis but that doesn’t stop me from sometimes wishing that the secondary characters got more screentime, and a little more respect. There’s a running gag in Atlantis that no-one likes Zelenka and I don’t understand why. He’s a genuinely nice guy, a good scientist, a loyal friend, has none of Rodney’s arrogance. He gets the job done but no-one likes him or trusts him. It’s because he’s a secondary character, they can make fun of him and we’re not supposed to care – but I do care.

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Rewrite and Rebrand: A Random Lockbox of Words

aka I wasn’t sure what to call it. You know those lockboxes, those bags of potential you get in games? Well, you don’t know what’s inside and it’s a mixed bag, a little like this post.

I started writing this post weeks ago, some posts are like that. I write them, then rewrite them, then add things and rewrite some more etc. I know I write in quite a conversational style, but I don’t just type continuously from beginning to end and hit post, I do go back and read what I have written. With some posts, I realise that what I’ve said is just a variation on a theme, it’s something I’ve posted before. Then I realise that my mood, or current events, are perhaps overly influencing the direction of the post. Then there’s the question, what is the point of the post? I like to, usually, try and at least say something in a post, start with a theory, talk around the subject, and then write a conclusion. After all that I wind up either rewriting or just scrapping the whole thing.

This post started off life with the title ‘Journey vs Destination’ which is something I have written about before. How the way a player approaches a game, and their expectations of it, have an affect on the way that they play and their enjoyment. It’s no secret that I’m less than thrilled with Warcraft right now, either how it is currently or the direction that it seems blizz is taking it in. So that first draft went over old ground, all things that I had said before, about how raiding had changed, about how the way that I raided had changed. There was nothing new and the whole post came across very miserable. It was basically asking the question should I quit? It seemed like the obvious answer was yes. However, I’m not ready to quit, and I’m not going to lose everything I have until I’m sure, no matter how unhappy I am with the game right now.

So what is this post about then? It’s about a lot of things, it’s one of those mixed bag posts where I have a bunch of things I want to say, and I just combine them all into a post. I’m going to talk about Marvel Heroes, Amazon Prime Instant Video with a side order of Hulu, a little bit of general TV, some Stargate SG-1 and of course Camp NaNoWriMo. I’ve been itching to tweet about these things but 140 characters is not enough, that was the impetus for starting this blog in the first place.

I know this is supposed to be a Warcraft blog. However, everything I write about that is just so negative right now. I think it would be better to wait for more concrete information, after all beta has to be soon right? I can scarcely believe that it’s not been announced yet, it’s March already. Besides I’m thinking of changing the definition of the blog, it started off as Warcraft, then went to Warcraft and Swtor, before back to just Warcraft. Considering I am writing about more things these days, and more often rather than just occasionally, especially Marvel Heroes, it is probably overdue.

Right, on to the post.

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Shift and Control

I really did not know what to call this post but I wanted to write it anyway. November last year I wrote a review of my new mouse, the Razor Naga 2012. Well, I just took delivery of a new keyboard, a Steelseries Cataclysm bundle. It came with a standard keyset and the Cataclysm keyset specifically coded with Warcraft in mind.

I’d wanted a new keyboard for ages but I only have a small desk, most keyboards don’t fit on it very comfortably. In all honesty neither does this one, but it’s smaller than most of the others I looked at, so on balance it’s fine. Plus my previous keyboard was wireless, part of a keyboard/mouse set that came with the computer. It had an annoying habit of running out of battery during boss pulls, so it was time to upgrade.

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The 100th Edition

This isn’t my first attempt at keeping a blog. I have tried a few times before this and I just never kept it up. After I’d abandoned it for a few months I removed it in embarrassment. None of these attempts reached more than a dozen posts, mostly a lot less than that. So to some bloggers the milestone of 100 is nothing, easily and quickly passed, to me it means a lot more than that. I debated what my 100th post should be about. Should it just be a normal post, or should it be something?

When I started this blog I called it a “Warcraft and Swtor blog”, when I stopped playing Swtor I changed it to just a “Warcraft blog” which is what it remains as. I’m increasingly blogging about other things than Warcraft but it remains at it’s core a Warcraft blog. I think I hold that responsible for the success of this blogging attempt. In the past it was just a blog, not about anything and consequently it didn’t have any posts. I’ve tried not to get too personal with the posts as well, and do more opinion or discussion pieces. Sometimes I’ve failed with that, but I don’t talk about life here, which means I don’t regret what I post, there is nothing to worry about.

So this post is going to be a bit of a mixed bag, just something to mark the milestone of 100 posts, then I can get on with writing the next 100.

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Emergency Update

I haven’t blogged yet this month. I haven’t blogged in two weeks. That’s seriously not cool, and it’s not like I ran out of stuff to write about, that’s kinda impossible. Anyway I need to update but none of my “need to think about this” posts are done and so yay for random ramblings?

The Grumpy Elf, who is my favourite Warcraft blogger hence why I mention him a lot, does a post called Monday Random Thoughts. This has all his random thoughts in, sometimes it winds up making a post of it’s own, sometimes it doesn’t. It’s always interesting to read though, it’s a stream of conscious, like a window into someone’s mind. So what are my random thoughts?

Well, not Warcraft related but I finally saw the Iron Man 3 trailer today. You say it’s been out since October. Well who knew? I’ve been in novel land. I am seriously excited for this movie, little bit scared that Pepper Potts is in danger, but yay more Stark. He is my favourite Avenger, I have a spot soft for Black Widow but Tony Stark is in a league of his own.

Back to Warcraft. Raiding is not going as well as I’d hoped. Due to the month of December being one of social obligations, work/school deadlines and demanding families, we’re struggling to make a raid team. By struggling I mean it’s not happening at all. I’m worried that if it keeps not happening that the new recruits, the people I don’t know so well and who aren’t as invested in the guild/people here, will leave. I don’t want this guild to implode and I’ve seen it happen when raids don’t go as planned even for a week or two. I’m trying to keep people included in the guild by running other activities but I don’t know if it’ll be enough. I’m also trying to recruit more people and just generally do something to make it better. Fact is there’s no easy solution and it’ll likely be January before things pick up again. I’m trying not to worry about it, easier said than done for me, but I’m trying nevertheless.

Aside from raiding, and my weekly Ulduar runs, I haven’t really done much in game for a while. I used to play a lot, likely a lot more than I should have, but I cut down last month for novel writing. I don’t really want to go back to playing all the time. Actually that’s a lie, I sort of do. I look at my list of everything I want to do in game (it’s massive!) and it’s like I never make a dent in it at all. So what I really should do is write a ‘to do’ list, and then cross stuff off when it’s done. If I prioritise the list then I should be able to chip away at the massive pile of content.

The only problem is there’s almost too much stuff to do. That’s a stupid thing to say right? Yeah I know I told everyone that there’s no such thing as too much content, as you can always do it later. That’s sort of the problem though. When there’s so much stuff, it feels like you don’t make an impact, like it’s a giant that can never be slain, so doing any is less appealing. I visited my friend last week who I haven’t seen in over a year though we talk online. He introduced me to new games and so I’ve got hooked on Warcraft 3 Gem Tower Defense. I also got Terraria and Deus Ex: Human Revolution. So many games, so little time, especially when I’m trying to cut down on gaming so much.

Oh I finally broke and installed the Curse Client to update my addons. My friend who introduced me to the game told me not to get it, said it was insecure, but that was several years/versions ago. Anyway, no problems yet and quite frankly it’s one less thing I have to worry about.

So, I’ve decided I’m going to create a ‘to do’ list page. Seems strange that I need a to do list for a game. However, given how nuts I am about achievements/completing stuff, it sort of makes sense. I guess that’s just how I roll. Anyway /end rambling I promise to update with a proper post soon. This was just a “I’m not dead/this blogs not dead” post.

Control, the hardware side

Mists hadn’t been out a week and I was frustrated. I was having trouble keeping my Sacred Shield active as I was something of a clicker for cooldowns. I’ve got small hands so the number of keys I can comfortably reach is limited. I’d never been happy with clicking for cooldowns but with a long cd I didn’t have to do it often. Sacred Shield is only a 30 second buff though. I just wasn’t happy with my performance so I decided to get a mouse with extra buttons.

The decision of what one to get wasn’t easy. I considered Steelseries, different versions of Naga, a couple of other makes too. As I have small hands I worried that I wouldn’t be able to reach the extra buttons, I worried that the mouse would be too big. I wanted to go to a store to test hold it but the nearest one was over an hour away. So I bit the bullet and ordered online, from a company that said I could return it no questions asked. I went for the Razer Naga 2012 and I couldn’t be more pleased with it.

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