Month: December 2013

No resolutions from me

“2011: For New Year’s Eve” by crybringer

This is it then, gals and guys: the end of another year. In just a few hours, we’ll be waving goodbye to that unlucky number and will realize that the invention of the hoverboard is only just a year away (at least according to Back to the Future 2). We will drink, eat and dance our way through the night, as fireworks light up the sky and optimistic resolutions leave our mouths.

It’s funny, isn’t it? We humans decided that a year is an amount of time worthy to be celebrated, and our ancestors were convinced that loud noises would drive away any bad spirits. Once we’ve counted to 365. we decide to get ourselves a nice hangover and start all over again. It’s like we have this need for a fresh once in a while, as millions of people set their goals for 2014.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for celebrating New Year’s, and it will be the exact thing I’ll do tonight. But before I’m off to get buzzed and filled with all kinds of unhealthy stuff, I just wanted to let you guys know I’m not a man of New Year’s resolutions. You won’t see me writing here about what I want to do in 2014, just because we changed a three into a four in our calendars. What I’m here for then, is to tell you that I’ll keep doing what I’m doing even next year, and I’m happy to have you there with me.

Expect new posts, expect gaming criticsm, expect opinions about nerdy things, expect articles about health for us geeks, expect randomness, expect my permanent ambition to improve, expect maybe a visual change or two…but most of all: expect the Chindividual in 2014. Trust me, I’ll expect each and everyone of you, too.

With that being said, be off and make the sky sparkle tonight!

Happy 2014!

My favorite songs of 2013

“Music” by an-izzle

You pretty guys and gals know about the things I love: pretending I’m a troll in a fictional world, pretending I’m a vampire in another fictional world and pretending I’m good at martial arts in the real world. What you might not know is that I also love music. Not making it, mind you, since I’m as rhythmic as a stiff corpse. Listening it, however, is one of the things I enjoy every day. When I’m on my bike on my way to work, my earbuds fill my mind with sounds. When I’m busy writing for this blog, music creates an inspiring backdrop. Also, I think there’s a song for every major event in my life. Needless to say, 2013 has brought me a truckload of new songs, and since Listmas has begun in my time zone, let me present you my five favorite songs of 2013 in no particular order.

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Checking in with the trolls

monk troll wow pandariaIt’s been a while since my last post about my trolls in World of Warcraft, so I figured it’s time for a quick update. Last time, I formulated some achievable goals, so let’s so how I’m doing there, yes?

On my way to the siege
By now, Umaru is level 90 and preparing to kick down the gates of Orgrimmar. He’s halfway through LFR Throne of Thunder, and with an item level of 486 not that far away anymore from the final raid of this expansion. I marathoned a big part of the LFR raids over the past weekend, and even though the encounters were horribly easy (probably also because my raids were packed with overgeared characters farming points), I have to admit that I liked the mechanics of many of them. It’s good to see that Blizzard keeps toying around with the possibilities, even though some bosses have some annoying tricks up their monstrous sleeves. Does Ji-Kun really have to try that hard to blow us off the platform?

Anyway, I’m taking it easy now, slowly plowing my way through the item levels. With a bit of luck, I’ll have Garrosh underneath my boots by the end of my Christmas break.

Raising a hunter
Another goal is to have at least one other max-level character before the expansion hits. For that goal, I’m busy leveling a troll hunter named Jubaru. Jubaru is decked out in heirlooms (all he needs is the bow, but I can’t be arsed to get him that) and pew-pewing his way through his twenties now. I always wanted to have a hunter, mostly because I remember how fond my brother was of the class back in TBC and Wrath. So far, I like having a pet (Jubaru won’t leave the house without Shuffles, his trusty turtle) and steamrolling everything that comes in my way. Pandaria, prepare yourself for another troll!

Serpents & skinning
My final two goals are about professions and a faction grind. Umaru is busy training Skinning and Leatherworking. The former has hit 150 today, while the latter is barely at 75. Professions have always been the most boring part of the game to me, and so I find it hard to level them. It’s really just clicking a button and waiting while your character rubs his hands together. Can’t Blizzard make crafting somewhat more exciting?

Talking about exciting, the reputation grind for one of those sweet serpents is also not that special. I’m halfway through Honored and already looking forward to the racing dailies unlocking at Revered. However, I must give some credit to Blizzard for at least giving us some variety when it comes to dailies. You’re not repeating the same set of quests every day, and the fact that one of your dailies is about interacting with your chosen serpent hatchling at least tries to give you a connection with your future mount.

All in all, WoW is really scratching a certain itch right now. That itch needs a game that feels familiar and where I can do some things that don’t require too much of my attention. When slaying low-level mobs to level my Skinning feels relaxing, I know that WoW is what I need right now.

Damn, that rhymed nicely.

The Chindividual celebrates…with presents!

"Baby Chin" by KrazeeLadee

“Baby Chin” by KrazeeLadee

Well, today’s the day: The Chindividual is officially one year young! I’ve looked back on the first 365 days of the blog’s existence in previous posts, so there’s not much left to say. However, I want to use the chance to thank each and everyone of you for visiting over and over again. I want to thank you for every tweet heading my way, for every comment left and for the simple fact that you deem this place worthy of your time. I hope that I can keep you interested in the coming years and that your numbers will grow and grow.

With that being said…I promised you a giveaway, didn’t I? Well, though people usually get presents on their birthdays, I decided to give you guys and gals the chance to win something! What is that something? Two freaking Steam keys for the awesome game Starbound! Two people can win each one of these keys, and here’s how:

  • Make sure to follow me on Twitter
  • Leave a comment below and tell me what you would like to see in the coming year on this blog. Be honest, and don’t forget to include your Twitter handle!
  • Pray and hope you win one of those keys.

The contest runs until Wednesday, 18 December 2013 23:00 GMT+1. I will announce the (randomly chosen) winners shortly after. If you want more information about Starbound, check out the official page and / or my short review of the game.

Again, thanks for making this an awesome first year. Grab some imaginary pie, enter the contest and make sure to come back. I really, really appreciate it!

Signed,

Chin

The Chindividual celebrates: my favorite posts of 2013

Tomorrow, this blog turns one. I’ve already started the celebrations for that in two previous posts, but before we kick off the festivities with a little giveaway come tomorrow, I’d like to take one last chance to look back on my favorite posts from the past year. Since the launch of this blog, I’ve publicized almost 200 posts of varying quality. Of course, I’m not the person to judge how good my own creations are, but I do have the right to have favorites. These favorites are the articles I’ve enjoyed writing because of their topic or content. I narrowed the list down to three, so here are my top three favorite posts of The Chindividual’s first year!

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The Chindividual celebrates: a few numbers

Gosh, it’s been a rough week at work so far, but one of the things that keeps me running is the fact that this blog will be one year old come Sunday! Since I can’t share cake, beer and pizza with you through the Internet, I’ll be sharing some cool prizes with you instead. What are those prizes? Well, I won’t tell you just yet, but you’ll be bound to enjoy them!

This post, however, will be about numbers. Ever since starting this blog, I’ve always asked myself how you can measure the success of your posts through numbers. Eventually, I learned that paying too much attention to those numbers only gets you worried about nothing. I’m not trying to feed me and my loved ones with this site, so why worry about how many people drop by? Still, I find the numbers interesting to look at, and I would like to share a few of them with you. Maybe you can compare them to your own, maybe you get scared by them because algebra traumatized you, or maybe you just see them as a veiled bragging attempt. You decide.

  • In the past year, The Chindividual has been viewed 9.101 times. That’s no unique hits. I know there are sites out there that get those views within hours, but I’m still proud to attract so many hits.
  • The vast majority of those hits come from the USA (4.232), followed by the United Kingdom (805), Canada (497) and my home country the Netherlands (462). Even combined, the hits from European countries can’t beat the Americans. Thanks for all the love, visitors from the other side of the Great Pond!
  • Most visitors dropped by in October (1.149), probably due to the awesome powers of the Newbie Blogger Initiative.
  • The most read posts of the first year are “How Jaime Lannister got on my good side” (763), “Why Dungeon World fascinates me” (267) and “Geek Jitsu – how I roll” (252). However, most hits still go to the homepage in general.
  • Finally, I was able to garner 168 followers on WordPress and 100 on Twitter.

These might be small numbers for some, but they are really big ones for me. Thanks for supporting me, and let’s hope these numbers are even bigger next year!

 

My therapists

I’m a mess of a person. Really, I am. I’m chaotic, unorganized, emotional, nervous, obsessive-compulsive, talk to myself, get headaches by thinking about the most idiotic things et cetera et cetera. Some of my even crazier friends ask me how I can handle putting up with them, but I guess that’s just because behind the wall of normality I’ve put up over the years, I’m just as insane and psychologically unstable as them. Trust me, it’s good that I got this wall of mine.

Luckily, I know when to get help. I don’t think that showing weakness is a sign of weakness, but rather one of responsibility. Considering that, I’ve made sure to put my mental health into the hands of not just one, but four very capable therapists. Alone, these experts are already formidable doctors, but combined, they create the foundation of my mental health. Seeing how it’s almost the first birthday of this blog, I think it’s time to introduce you to my four specialists.

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The Chindividual celebrates, and you are invited!

cake deviantart tribute27

“Cake” by tribute27

You know the old saying: time flies when you’re having fun? Well, it seems that time flies superfast when you’re having fun and blog about it. I just double-checked it, but coming Sunday, this blog will celebrate its very first birthday! Bring out the candles and cake, ’cause we’re gonna celebrate that!

On 15 December 2012, it all started with this post about The Secret World. Since then, I wrote about living healthy as a geek, bringing TSW to my favorite tabletop RPG, falling in and out of love with World of Warcraft and many, many other things. Along the ride, I’ve met a ton of amazing fellow bloggers, learned about perseverance by trying to keep the posts coming and evolved my writing style (at least I think I did). In other words: I’ve had a heck of a lot of fun so far.

In order to express my excitement about the upcoming birthday of this blog, I’m inviting you to come celebrate with me. If you’ve been visiting my blog regularly over the past year (or even just the past weeks or days), what has brought you to this part of the Internet? Which post made you think “wow, I should pay some attention to this dude”? What kind of stuff do you never ever want to see again on this blog, and what do you want me to write more about? I don’t expect any birthday cards and envelops with cash (though those are appreciated), but your honest feedback!

Of course, I’ll be putting up a post about my personal favorite posts of 2013 later this week, and you’ll also be able to win something on this blog’s birthday. What exactly? Well, I won’t tell, but it will surely be something that will keep you occupied during these cold winter nights.

Well, looking forward to all of you to join the festivities. Thanks for visiting!

First impressions from the Starbound beta

starbound screenshot mushroom house

Living in a mushroom: because why the hell not?

If you’re not like me, you actually pay attention to what fellow bloggers write. Not that I don’t read the posts of the people I follow, ’cause I do. I enjoy all the blogs I read, but sometimes, things slip past my radar. One of those things was the enthusiasm and anticipation about the beta of the indie title Starbound. Apparently, fellow blogs like Healing the masses, Murf vs. Internet and even Bio Break had been giving some spotlight to this gem, but being the absent-minded nerd that I am, that completely passed me. Fortunately I picked up on it a day before beta landed, fetched me some keys, and dived right into it. Am I glad that my fellow bloggers reminded me of it? Well, guys and gals…thank you.

Really, thank you.

Starbound is, even in this early beta, really enjoyable. If you’ve ever played Terraria, you will feel right at home. The cool thing is that in this game, you’re not stuck to a single biome. Instead, you can hop on your spaceship and cruise of to other planets, which will have different landscapes, villages and randomly generated monsters. Wait, did you just hear me say the word “spaceship”? Yep, ’cause in Starbound, every character has his own spaceship waiting to be used as a storage room and vehicle to discover new worlds. I figure that you’re also able to upgrade your ship, but I haven’t gotten to that point yet.

Anyhow, Starbound combines the digging-and-crafting aspects from Terraria with a futuristic touch, even allowing you to create your character from one of six races. Small touches like the genders of the races (the Glitch, a robotic people, can either be sockets or plugs) or funny posters hidden in randomly generated buildings give the game its own kind of humour.

Being just a few hours in and just messing around, I can’t find too many negative things about the game. True, some monsters can be really annoying and hard to kill, and especially the early part of the game can be frustrating until you have some tools and weapons, but all of that feels like it’s part of the game. I mean, you are exploring and colonizing a strange and dangerous planet. No one ever said that would be a walk in the park.

If you’re curious to check the game yourself, you can get a beta key on Steam. In my opinion, you could waste your money on a lot of worse things than Starbound, so if you can spare those fourteen Euros, hop into your spaceship and start digging!

Mistweaving: playing a monk and preparing for Draenor

As you might have figured, I’ve been infected once more with the WoW-Virus. It all started with that beta of that damned TCG, and it just got worse with the announcement of Warlords of Draenor. Now, I’m busy again leveling a slew of characters, lead by Umaru, my Troll Monk. But hey, I’m not complaining. Returning to WoW always feels like getting a frappucino at Starbucks with an ex-girlfriend you still get along with: you know there’s that wild past where your emotions were out of control, but now you’re both older and more capable of just enjoying the simple things in life.

And that’s just what I’ve been doing so far in WoW: enjoying the simple things. Leveling is such a relaxing activity, that I just like to log in for an hour or two to get my mind off of things: work, the dishes or the fact that I still have to write a blog post. Also, the familiarity of it all makes it even more comforting. Though the Cataclysm and Pandaria content are still fairly new to me, the rest of the world and the game feel like my childhood neighborhood: safe and recognisable.

Without knowing when the expansion will hit, I made a list of things I want to get done before we all take a leap through time and into the wilds of Draenor. Here it is:

  • Get Umaru at least through LFR Siege of Orgrimmar
  • Hit maximum level with at least one other character (bonus points if it’s a troll)
  • Get one of those suave flying serpents
  • Max at least two professions

It’s mostly catching up and not that ambitious, but I noticed that having a list like this helps me keeping focused on the game. Plus, checking things off feels good. I like things that feel good.

And right now, World of Warcraft just feels good.