Post 100, and That’s The Ballgame!

The ballgame for daily posts on this blog…No, I’m not abandoning or shutting down this most entertaining blog.  I write it for me, my spouse and my three very loyal readers.   I now internally think of them as The Big Three.  If you watch This Is Us, you know how special that is.  Hugs!

My goal for blog posts for each year now is 100 posts.  Thanks to early ramping up for Blaugust in July, Blaugust itself, and continuing a post a day into September, we’ve reached the big time.  Side note, I actually deleted 5 Blaugust posts for reasons, as they say, so my actual count for Blaugust was a respectable 42 posts.  I learned quite a bit with all of this.

I’m now playing Star Wars Galaxies, World of Warcraft,  Lord of the Rings Online, Elder Scrolls Online and Everquest 2 regularly.  They are all so rich in story and world and game play.  I’m having a great time.  I’m in the glorious position of playing the five best MMOs ever made.  I’d like to sneak Rift and Secret World time in too, then it would be the seven best!   Life is good. Play is good.

See you in the funny papers!

My Blaugust Story

(Title stolen from Survivor’s “My Ponderosa Story”).   The blogosphere has really come alive in preparation for Blaugust, and I’m enjoying people’s “Why I blog” stories.   Here’s mine.

I’m pretty sure this will be my first Blaugust.  We’re always off on ten day vacations in August in places with spotty Internet, so it hasn’t worked out.  We finally decided it is way too hot everywhere in August, and my husband super can’t take the heat, so we’re traveling at other times.

This may be the fifth or sixth incarnation of my games blogs.  For some reason, I periodically just pop em’, and poof they’re gone.   Soon enough I start a new one.  I have three other blogs and the content I write here just doesn’t fit in any of them.  For me, don’t cross the streams, I say.

That doesn’t mean what you think it means.  My blog won’t rule Blaugust, hehe.

I have a post goal of 100 posts for the year, and in November/December I’m always trying to squeeze in a ton of posts to reach the goal.  Blaugust should put me on Easy Street for this blog.  This post puts me at 31 for the year!  Whoo hoo!  I got this.

I’ll be using my weaselly November/December crunch time techniques to make sure I get the 31 August posts.   Look away now.

June’s Newbie Blogger Initiative

Welcome to the game blogging community.  This is a vibrant and welcoming community, so enjoy.

This year the effort to encourage new bloggers is being spearheaded by Doone of XP Chronicles

The Official Site for NBI is

There is a Twitter Account      if you prefer to interact in 140 words or less (I personally am too verbose to use it well).

You can chat live or talk to your fellow bloggers on Discord.  This rather wonderful idea comes from Jaedia of Dragons & Whimsy.

My General Blogging Advice

Write For Yourself

I’ve been blogging since 2008 so I have a few opinions on happily blogging over time.   First: write for yourself.  Write about the game, or the game news that you find interesting.   You’ll find an audience over time, but initially you won’t know who reads your posts, so write for your built in fan.

What To Write

If you love only one game, write about that.  Game specific blogs are beloved by other fans of the game, and often you’ll spark interest in your game from readers who don’t know it or hadn’t considered playing, but you make it sound good.  If you play a little of everything, write a little of everything, no matter what it is.  Gamers just like to play, and often can’t get enough of reading about other people’s experiences with games.

How Often to Write 

Just starting out, you’ll probably want to write at least once a week.  You certainly can write more if ideas tumble into your head.  Your blog is your own little corner of the universe and you get to make all rules.

There are other community blogging opportunities: one in August called Blaugust run by Belghast of Tales of the Aggronaut.   In Blaugust game bloggers everywhere try to post every single day of the month.   Another great writing opportunity is IntPiPoMo in November hosted by Chestnut of Gamer Girl Confessions.   IntPiPoMo has you posting screenshots every day, something I actually managed to do last year!

How To Get Readers

Read other game blogs and comment where you have something to say.  Reading what others have to say can also spark lots of ideas for your own blog.

Allow comments on your blog, and if you do get comments, always respond to them in some way to acknowledge that one your readers has stopped by and liked what you had to say.  Don’t let the conversation end in dead air.  Don’t delete someone’s comment because you disagree with them, go ahead and talk to them, isn’t talking to others who love games part of why you’re here, sharing your adventures?

There are game sites such MassivelyOP and and BlizzardWatch where you can read about games and make comments, go ahead and put a link to your blog in your signature if you have one.

If you’re a commenter on the official forums of a particular game, add the link to your blog there too.

You can also add it when you comment on many blogs.

Get your name out there while you’re doing what you already love, talking about games.

Blogger vs. Wordpress

I have Blogger Blogs and a WordPress Blog.  They’re free, you can have as many blogs as you’d like!

A Blogger Blog can be as simple or complex as you’d like.  It was always just meant to be a personal blogging platform.  You can have a blogroll of up to 144 blogs–which sounds like a lot, but if you add them to your bar you can run into the upper limit.  If you’re me, you get around it by just having different blog categories.  Blogger allows quite a bit of customization, and it lets you post videos, whereas WordPress requires their Premium version to add them.  If you want to add game trailers or other video, Blogger is the way.

WordPress, even the freebie version, is meant as a platform for small businesses who want their own sites.  If you have some coding skills, you can customize WordPress quite a bit.   I find their interface for adding things to the sidebar to be clunky.  WordPress has quite a variety of templates, many are free, some run in the $60 range.  WordPress does do an awesome job of providing site statistics, which makes sense because they are trying to help you sell your product.  Prepare for lots of spam telling you how to increase your SEO.   WordPress does have a sort of built in community where you can “like” blog posts of other WordPress bloggers, and sign up to get emails when others comment on your post of interest.

If you’re in World of Warcraft or Lord of the Rings Online, note the characters on my sidebar who I have volunteered to be contacts in those games if you have any questions or have characters in those games who need help of any sort.  Just in game email them if you don’t see them around.

Happy Gaming, Happy Blogging!

Liebstered: I Wouldn’t Read This If I Were You

I’ve seen the Liebster’s making the blog rounds and thought I was safe here in my corner of the virtual universe.  Time and tide wait for no bozo.

The wondrous Ravalation is passing the baton, so who am I to be an ungracious rotter, we ask?

11 Random Things About Me You Wish You Didn’t Know!

I’m the only green eyed child in a family of eight otherwise blue eyed children.

I can’t type, which makes every post I write take forever.  To make things worse, my mind speeds ahead of my fingers and if you see my posts with sentences that don’t quite add up, it is because I didn’t see the problem right off, but I always go back and edit.

I’ve become addicted to Bubblegum.  So odd.

I enjoy creating things even though I have zero artistic talent. 

I love digging in the dirt though I’m horrified by bugs.  I have been known to toss large beetles over the fence into my neighbor’s yard. Bad dog.

For a long time I liked dogs better than cats. Now I love them equally.

I read science fiction, fantasy, horror, mysteries.

After many years of wanting to learn how to play Dungeons and Dragons, I got a chance at it and oops, it was too mathematical for me.

I have the best gaming PC in the house. Ha ha.

Someday I would like to go to either Gencon or Pax Prime.

I was always disappointed that Lord of the Rings Online didn’t have their own mini-convention somewhere.
Ravalation’s Pointy Questions and My Pointy Answers


·         What made you decide to start blogging?  I think I hoped to have virtual conversations with other people who liked games, since in real life, I didn’t know a soul who played.
·         How did your blogging pseudonym come into being?  If I may use the word, it is a bastardization of the real character name I wanted to use and didn’t get on Blackwater Raiders.
·         What makes you feel happy about a blog post you’ve written?  I’m happy if I like the way it is written, and if I think it is funny, better yet.
·         What skills do you admire in other bloggers that you wish you had yourself?  I think that those who can be more precise in their writing than I am, are most admirable.
·         What is the strangest thing that ever happened to you in an MMO? And what moment will you never forget?  Perhaps becoming a mayor of a city in Star Wars Galaxies and having people I had never heard of before calling on me and sort of feeling out where I fit into the power structure of the server.  Wut? Power? Is that why we’re here?  Sillies.  On the plus side, our town architect made statues of myself and some other “prominent” citizens and it was fun to put those up.
·         On a scale from 1 to 10, how do you rate Mountain Dew?  Zero. Way gross.
·         Have you ever felt being treated differently in-game because of your gender?  When I play people assume I’m a guy.  However, in Lord of the Rings Online and Warhammer, there was Voice and Ventrilo and there would be dead silence for a moment as they realized I was not a guy.  Then it’s all ohh ahh, such a different tone.  Awkward.
·         Did you ever delete a character? And if so: is it tough for you to do so?   I do delete characters, and I should do it more.  I often see my as yet unplayed characters as “waiting in the wings” for their chance to show what they can do.
·         Do you identify as a gamer? And if you do: when did you start doing so? Did any game or games have a particularly big influence on that?   I am a gamer if anyone ever was J  Board games, card games, tic tac toe, online games, single player, you name it, I love to play.
·         What’s the greatest TV series of all time and why is it Firefly?   Sorry, I’ve seen the Firefly Movie but not the series.  I could not get Nathan Fillion’s nasty preacher character from Buffy out of my head for a very long time.  Creepy.  At this time The Walking Dead is on top of my list.
·         And last but not least: Aragorn or Legolas?   Aragorn!  I have a life sized Standee of him.

11 Nosy Gamer Questions For You To Ponder
Should a game let you have a character slot for every class in the game?
If you purchase items from in game stores, what sorts of things do you buy?
Do you prefer ranged or melee combat?
In a Dungeon Pick Up Group, what does it take to make you leave the group?  Do you say anything before you go or just drop out?
How do you feel about quest lines that are solable till the end of the chain, then you must group for the last part?
If you play World of Warcraft and PvP, why do you think the Horde wins the day most frequently?  Or do you find the Alliance prevails?
Have you been a guild leader in an MMO? If so, what was the single biggest challenge?
Do you prefer that a game come right out and says of their factions that one is Evil and one is Good or do you prefer to decide that for yourself?
If you have played a class in a game that has a pet that fights with you/for you, which pet has been your favorite?
Suggest a Science Fictional universe from books or film that would be a great MMO setting.
If you have used game editing toolkits for games such as those that came with Morrowind or even something like Landmark, does getting down to the very pixelated basics of creating a world change how you see the world ever after? 

I think from my blogroll everyone in the bloggerverse has been given the award and even now they sit polishing it, cherishing it.   Let’s reach for the sky and not look back!  My heroes 🙂

Blogging Anniversary Coming Up

The fifth anniversary of my “real” blog is almost here.  Although it has gone through a few changes in focus, and I broke off a gardening blog from it at one time, it has remained me and I’ve posted pretty consistently on it.

My game blogs have a much stranger history.  I’ve started them, enjoyed them, then have taken them down.  One of the incarnations was actually quite successful as far as readership and posting whatever was in my head.  I honestly can’t recall what made me yank it down.

I may have had six different versions of this blog.  My guess is that my game persona at any given time might change.  Maybe I get tired of not being me.  It’s all well and good to play and take on characters, but hmmpf. 

Interestingly this version may get the least readers, and it is most like me.  Best not to ponder that too long.

Here are a few quotes from my very first game blog, which I saved to some extent for some reason in my tricksy copy/paste way.   I think my writing hasn’t changed much.

Bioware and a Star Wars MMO

Bioware continues to not say yes or no on a Star Wars MMO and LA announced a Star Wars game but gave no details, so yes yes I hope they make a Star Wars MMORPG, and even if it is space only, as long as they let me land and get on the ground sometimes I will be right there when it becomes available. Just don’t co-publish with the evil ones.

Small SWG Rant

I have been so disgusted with the SWG development and community relations staff, I had to not write anything here. Their treatment of crafters has been burning my biscuits since the NGE, but as I see people running out of resources to craft their goods with no hope in sight, and continued non-response from SOE staff….grrrr.

Their excuse of course is that they need to put their time in the professions that the most people play. They create a self-fulfilling prophecy by making any profession but Jedi (as everyone points out absent from this time period except for Darth, Luke and Yoda) absolutely useless. They force people to take the Legacy quest series because there is no other way to advance in the game, but this set of quests notoriously doesn’t update for many people or give them xp.

I have been reading old interviews and forums in other venues to try to see how they came to this point of utter hideous crap in what was a rich and deep game. What I am seeing is, they actually have always ignored all but the Jedi professions, claiming that they have had soooo many requests for Jedi gameplay.

I had one of those glimmers of hope again last week because LucasArts is doing a focus group in the LA area for veteran and new players. WOW, I thought. They want to talk to people face to face and ask some deep questions about where the game has been and where it should go. Then, I found a thread on from people who had been called to take part in the survey. It seems they only want to talk to people who have began playing in the last three months and either stayed or left. Well, well. Would this be people who have only tried out the game in the NGE time period? /bonks self on head for having any hope.

Elder Scrolls Morrowind

Another try is Elder Scrolls: Morrowind. Now that game has lots of potential. Freedom of movement, the ability to explore and examine the environment. There are plenty of people to talk to, but even those who haven’t much to say seem to enrich the story and the setting.

Elder Scrolls: Oblivion

I love this game. It has come at just the right time as I rummaged through my games looking for something that grabbed me story wise and gameplay wise. I have been having trouble getting my character the way I want, so I find myself back in the sewer tweaking her. I started out with a kajiit, and really liked my cat, but it seems the female kajiit is fatally flawed except as a mage type character. Explorer and adventurer that I am, I want to slay anything in my path with ease. So back to the sewers for a Redguard. She has done much better right off, so I guess no lovely kitty tail unless I want to play again later when I know the world better as a sorcerer type.

The character creation is really difficult. Slider bars are used which on my pc means the mouse pointer sort of floats over the slider at times. This gives either too much or too little tweaking of coloring and facial shape. The eyes…Very creepy looking on this screen. The eyes peer out like the moving eyes behind a portrait in a ghost story. Also, there are only three eye colors, and the blue is washed out, the green is an ucky flat shade that doesn’t look green and the brown looks warm but I want blue or green eyes 😦 Lets talk about the lips. You can’t really resize the lips, but you do things with the chin and cheek sliders that make your lips very very odd. The nose also cannot be made long or short or narrow or wide. You can change the nostrils. Eeeww. All of this is sort of why I made the kitty in the first place. She had lovely red gold fur, with sort of jeweled hair.

I’ve mostly run into animals and the Undead. I did stop in an inn that had an interesting mix of characters. All acknowledged my character as she came in. One referred to my character as “fur licker”.

After coming out of the sewers you are able to instant travel to your quest location, or travel overland. Luckily there is no timer on getting to the quest. So overland I go. I am finding the leveling system interesting as an idea, but it seems to me that any caves and creatures in the immediate area around the initial area should have low level stuff. I was getting whomped by the magical types with my non-magical characters.

Another try at Dark Age of Camelot

Well, since I decided to drop SWG (though I haven’t hit the button yet), I am finding to my amazement I don’t really want to play at all. I guess my methods of assuring few withdrawl symptoms are working. Hehe.

So…I thought I would give DAOC another try. In my first attempt, being a SWG-er firmly believing in the earlier version as best, I had chosen the “classic” server. Some post on made me think maybe I would see a more up to date version of the game on a “normal” server. Not the case but… Maybe I am paying more attention this time around, or maybe the “normal” gives a more helpful interface, but I was able to give a start and kill a few beasties (the go here talk to that npc task makes me nuts pretty fast). I was pleased to kill a skeleton and some little scrubby humanoid. I couldn’t figure out how to pick up the booty once I slew them 😦

I can’t help but compare any game to SWG, though so I noted that I couldn’t quite tell an NPC from a player, very potentially embarrassing. I recalled I couldn’t tell for a bit in SWG either. I found an armorsmiths store in the village, all manned by npcs and thought sadly of the fate of AS in SWG and how they are no doubt slotted to be replaced by npcs as well. The sad thought “What a dead world” came to mind, and I logged out. Still, even the command line stuff and the way the npcs talk to you about the world (the bad bad phrase “too much reading” sprang to mind) remind me of the old days.

Gabriel Knight

Ah, Gabriel! Determined to become the gamer I once was, I fired this up again and made progress! I figured out the arrow keys allow you to rotate the field of view so you can point the little arrow and make Gabriel walk to the next appointed spot. I recall back in the days when Myst was new, and games were touted for having 360 degree…can’t recall what they called it. The point being, you could see but not interact with, everything in a wondrous 360 degree environment. No more looking at the predetermined pixels!

There is this little timer and “counter” in the game that clocks how you’re doing (apparently you need to accomplish certain tasks within a certain in game time frame) and a counter for how many tasks you have accomplished. You have this running score that lets you know if you’ve found the clues, talked to the right people, hit those markers. It provides a sort of encouragement to move along through the story, which is interesting. I do like the way single player games tell a story with a beginning, a middle and an end.