Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

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News from the grave

11.07.2011

Well. This was unexpected.

I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth, nor have I quit WoW – it’s just that I’ve been pretty occupied lately. However, in order to not abandon this blog, here’s a quick roundup of what I’m playing at the moment.

 

L.A. Noire

Started. I like it a lot, sadly, I can’t find enough uninterrupted time to seriously advance in the story.

 

Dragon Age Saga

Bought all expansions to the original as well as Dragon Age II. Can’t find enough uninterrupted time to seriously continue.

 

World of Warcraft

Tried to level my Paladin out of Outland. Good times, but unfortunately, I currently can’t find enough uninterrupted time to… recognise a pattern yet?

 

Terraria

Bought it, love it. Don’t need much uninterrupted time, so that’s probably my most played game at the moment.

 

TES: Oblivion

Yep, good ol’ Oblivion. Purchased the German GotY version for my girlfriend, then felt the itch myself, re-purchased the English Deluxe GotY version for myself. Spent lots of uninterrupted time-slots on getting a good combination of mods to work with the Steam install, testing a new kind of modloader for a friend.

 

I’ll probably get back more into WoW once my girlfriend buys another gametime (or maybe I should gift her one) – but currently it’s a bit of a hiatus. What free time I have I tend to spend outside on my bike – still far behind my season schedule, or going out.

Since I’d rather post something instead of nothing for another two months, this blog might get slightly off-topic WoW, but still focus on casual gaming. After all, one of the hallmarks of a casual gamer is not being restricted on a single game.

There’ll probably be a few posts coming up about my observation of casual game styles, as for the first time I have another person beside me playing the same games. It’s quite fascinating and actually explains a lot about a few aspects in WoW (and other games) that completely baffled me before.

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What did I miss

06.04.2011

I sure did drop off the face of Azeroth there for a while, didn’t I? No fatigue, no burnout, no expansion blues, just plain old real life getting in the way, although on a quite happy note.

Enough excuses – not playing WoW for the last few weeks (except for an evening with my Priest in Southern Barrens), what did I miss? What didn’t I miss?

First off, I think this shows one of the advantages of not being in a proper guild: No pressure to come playing when you don’t really have the time or motivation. Sure, my leveling slowed down, but with no running auctions there is no reason to force myself to play. No guild runs, no raids, no events. So my handling of my character may even be a bit rusty, or at least not improved, but really, soloing quests when most of them are already below my level isn’t that hard, ever. I might need some warm-up before tackling instances again, but that’s it.

 

That said, there still are a few things I miss.

I miss WoW. There a certain comforting routine to it, that helps me settling down after a day in the office.

I miss the hunt for rare spawns and new companions. I’m a collector, even if the collection isn’t that impressive.

I miss the story. Finding out what happened since the Cataclysm, exploring the changed zones or venturing into the complete unknown (for me). The Cataclysm quests are all very well done, so I really want to see how things turn out.

 

So, yeah, I miss WoW. And I’ll be back to Azeroth as soon as I can.

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World of Blogs

04.03.2011

Just another short post, but a rather interesting one.

Saga posted a report about a project over at the MMOMeltingPot. Basically, get every MMO Blogger on a Google map and look at the result. I know that I am always fascinated by my Google statistics where my visitors come from (both referral site and RL location), so I’m going to participate.

 

Spread the word, let’s fill this map!

 

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Breakfast topic: Gaming with muggles

28.01.2011

Not exactly a Shared Topic, but WoWInsider recently brought up an interesting Breakfast Topic. How do you deal with people who don’t get our gaming hobby? There are quite a few comments on that one, and I’d like to take this post to share my own family experiences in that regard. Lots of the comments were about parents, somehow especially mothers, so here is my tale, and it’s a very positive one!

There is a trip down memory lane straight to nostalgia valley ahead, so feel free to skip this post in case that isn’t your thing. Also, pointless rambling.

 

My first contact with the world of computers was an ancient (then brand new) Schneider CPC that my dad brought home from the office. He used it mainly to write scientific papers, but naturally a few games found their way on floppy discs. (Years later, there’d be an expensive hard drive with, I think, two whole MB storage!) He even wrote simple games for me himself, mostly math games, or mastermind clones.

The first real gaming PC was an intel, again, brought home from the office for work reasons. And as long as he didn’t need the PC, I could play – games he brought home. He even joined in on occasion, mostly for the old MS flight simulators. My mother, though, didn’t understand computers (back then, mind you, now she’s really computer-savvy!). That didn’t keep her from sharing the experience, watching us play and generally accepting it as a ‘toy’ for me. Of course, that was when the internet was still a myth, so the WoW typical problem of “can’t you just pause the game?” never came up.

A few games though, both really got into: The old Hero’s Quest (re-named to Quest For Glory later) and Space Quest sagas by Sierra. We spent literally whole nights together in front of the computer, fighting goblins, solving puzzles and finishing the story. Also, that meant by the time English was introduced as a foreign language at school, I already spoke quite a bit. Well, read a bit of it. With much guessing. But boy, was it an incentive to really learn the language!

Treasured moment of the era: Visiting my grandparents (some 800 kilometres up north), returning home after a few weeks and finding… a hand drawn map of the whole game-world of Quest For Glory, painstakingly explored by my dad and mapped out with little graphics and notes by my mom. I used that for each and every re-play of the game until it, sadly, fell apart.

Internet gaming really came into my life almost a decade later with the advent of Counterstrike. In the meantime, though, friends would often visit, bringing their PCs with them and connecting first via serial cable and later via hub and switches. So again, the concept of “pixels on-screen can be people in a different room” came quite naturally. My dad’s office at the university was already fully connected, so no problem there.

Enter the internet age. Granted, it was a very, very difficult time to get a modem running. Or later the switch to ISDN. However by the time DSL came around, she welcomed it, because that would mean more than two concurrent lines available. Enter the Counterstrike Mania. Both my parents took the time to learn about the basic goals and gameplay, and as my best friend and neighbour was the one I spent most time online with, leading our clan, they soon also saw the team-play / sports-like aspects of it.

That was also the time where a few school killings happened in Germany, which were (of course, and please don’t get me started on that topic) linked to Counterstrike. Yes, my parents talked about that, but we all agreed that I was mentally stable and mature enough, and besides, by that time, it was also more of a competitive sport for me.

I think that this mindset, ‘it’s more of a sport, really’, clicked – after a few short explanations, both would wait for the current round to be finished when asking me to do something. And the reasoning ‘I’m in the middle of a league match’ even meant two uninterrupted hours, except for emergencies.

Big moment of the era: Going out for dinner, then a walk with the dog, having a great time. And then my mother says: “We should hurry, didn’t you have a league match in half an hour?”. And she was right and I’d have completely forgotten.

Funny moment: Getting a call from a co-leader, when I wasn’t home. My mom answered, so of course he told her his proper name. Later she would ask me, who this guy was. I shrugged and said “Redwolf from our clan”. Her reaction? “Oh, he could’ve just said that, that would’ve been less confusing.”

 

Which brings me to my parents and World of Warcraft. Again, the groundwork was laid back when I played Ultima Online. But I think they both ‘get’ it. My mom even reads this blog from time to time and asks if I’ve taken any more pictures of that world or what the game is like or if I already got the new expansion.

 

So, the point of this pointless and rambling post?

Mom, dad, you’re the best parents a boy growing up into the computer and internet age could have wished for.

Also, look, a picture! I just love the new Stormwind park area.

 

click for full size

 

 

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A casual 2010 in Azeroth

04.01.2011

Each year (apparently, as I can’t tell you much about previous years), WordPress.com sends out a report on how your blog did. Everybody around seems to be posting some sort of yearly recap, so I figured, why not, let’s try this.

 

Blog Health

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

 

Truth be told, I have no clue what they’re measuring. Consistent posting and visitors, presumably. From what my stats tell me, there indeed seem to be regulars, feedreaders and a surprising amount of linkage coming to this little blog, so while ‘Wow’ may be exaggerated, I’m pleasantly surprised.

 

I’d like to thank all of my readers at this point, as well as my favourite commenter, Saga – it’s been a pleasure so far and I’m hoping all of you will stick around a while longer.

More stats and a quick review of my year in Azeroth after the break.

Read the rest of this entry ?

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The obligatory christmas message

24.12.2010

From the freshly snowed-in city of Ulm, I wish the world of Azeroth a merry christmas!

I realise only now how much a Goblin would look like a typical Santa-Elf. Lets all hope that the presents are a little less explosive than the usual stuff we get from the little greenskins.

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Now with 100% less advertising!

08.10.2010

WordPress.com is an interesting thing. As long as you view blogs while logged in to a WordPress account, you don’t see ads. Yesterday, I tried for the first time accessing the blog from my iPod, to see how the mobile theme works. Good news: It works perfectly. Bad news: Not logged in, I get ads.

Now, I have nothing against google adsense in general. However, seeing ads for WoW goldselling services on my blog was harsh. At first I even thought the account had been compromised somehow. After a bit of reading, though, I found the above fact – I usually post and proof my posts while logged in.

So I bit the bullet and bought the no-ads upgrade. 25 € for peace of mind. But I hope this will improve the experience for my readers, if only by reducing load-times alone.

If anyone still sees ads, please give me a shout.