Month: December 2013

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.

What happened to Digital Dragonslayers?

“Zinda the Dragonslayer” by eisu

On 1 November 2013, I started writing Digital Dragonslayers. As planned, I wanted to devote the month to writing a non-fictional piece about my life as a MMORPG gamer: how I started, why the genre plays an important role in my life and how it influences others. Within the first days, I was able to amass quite the word count. Without much ado, the lines and formulations just came to me, manifesting on the digital paper of my Google Drive. Then, however, something happened. Around the 15.000 words mark, I noticed something.

I was done.

At least, it felt like I had encapsulated everything I wanted to say about the life of a MMO gamer. I re-read my script, but in a way, I had covered everything I had set out to cover. Sure, I could have started cleaning it all up, adding a description here and there, but that would have never taken me to that 50k cap of NaNoWriMo. I was simply done…and that frustrated me so much I canned the thing.

Yesterday, I skimmed through it again, and noticed that I had given up too early. Sure, I had already covered a lot of what I wanted to say in those 15.000 words, but I’m not done yet. Re-reading what I wrote has given me ample ideas of what to do with what I already have, and how I’ll expand on it. Sure, I might have “lost” NaNoWriMo, got I won a treasure trove of blogging topics.

So yeah, I didn’t slay the dragon that is NaNoWriMo, but you will certainly hear of Digital Dragonslayers in the future…in one way or the other!

Weekly Wrap-Up: it’s the season!

christmas french

“Christmas” by elgunto

November came and went, along with Movember, NaNoWriMo (which we will discuss in a future post) and many other things. Now, December will reign, and you all know what that means: effing Christmas time! But before we dive head first into my favorite season, let’s re-cap the last week in this short Weekly Wrap-Up!

  • I had a blast in Riga with my friends, drinking and sight-seeing through a great experience. If you want to see lesser known part of Europe, make sure to visit this Baltic capital!
  • Gaming-wise, my Troll monk Umaru has made it to Pandaria. With four levels left to the level cap, I’m starting to formulate my goals until Warlords of Draenor hits, while also thinking about sharing my opinions about the current expansion.
  • Furthermore, one of my friends has been pushing me to give Awesomenauts a try. The game has been sitting on a my harddrive for a while now, and I’ve been trying it cautiously. It’s MOBA nature is not appealing to me, but the 2D graphics look attractive. Only one way to find out if it’s my cup of tea, right?
  • The Steam Autumn Sale is still on, but there hasn’t been anything attractive for me on sale yet. However, I’m keeping an eye on The Wolf Among Us, and that Legendary edition of Skyrim is still on my mind. Valve, why do you want to rob me of my money so much?
  • Finally, the Playstation 4 has made it to Europe last Friday. Of course, I wrote about it.

Well, that’s this week for me. I’m tired and Monday is on the horizon. Let’s dive into another week full of potential, shall we?