That’s a Wrap!

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Well, my friends, we’ve made it to the end of Blaugust. Today, this post right here marks the completion of 31 posts in 31 days. I actually can’t believe I’m writing that. If you asked me in the beginning if we’d be here right now I would have said: “maybe but probably not”. I’m going to be honest here, I’m proud of myself.

My goal this month for the event was to post more than last year which was 17 posts. I checked that off the list and kept on going hitting my ideal goal of all 31 days. I also wanted to comment on more blogs. I’ve also done that this month setting aside time to engage with other bloggers.

Here are some of my noteworthy stats for Blaugust. Currently, there are 163, including this one, posts on my blog over a 4 year period. This month accounts for 19% of my lifetime posts. 65% of my posts this year were published this month. August accounts for 50% of my views this year as well.

But you know what I got most out of Blaugust? Is that I have time to blog. One of my many hurdles with this blog over the years is that I’ve felt like I had too much going on to write. It turns out, if I actually make time to write, I can come up with something to post.

This month a majority of my writing has taken place an hour before bed or the hour before I have to leave for work. There have been days where I’ve spent two or three hours writing multiple posts because I had to get all of my ideas out. Other days I’ve cobbled a post together in 20 minutes before heading out the door. I can feel writing becoming a habit. I feel that tug to write around 10pm before bed and I feel a little guilty, not in a bad way if I put it off. I feel like I’ve become a better writer just in these 31 days.

Moving forward, I don’t see the need to stop posting everyday. I acknowledge that this might not last forever, it might be a Blaugust high, but right now I’m feeling good about writing. I may need to scale back as time goes on, and that’s ok.

I want to thank Belghast for putting this event together again this year. I’ve had a lot of fun challenging myself and seeing all of this activity in the community. I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s blog posts this month and it’s been great seeing some new writers joining our ranks. I hope all you newbies keep writing well after the event ends.

It’s been one hell of a month!

 

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A Little Advice From a Lazy Blogger

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Me heading towards the end of Blaugust.

This week’s topic is staying motivated. Seeing as we are nearing the end of the week I figured I’d write something on the subject. First of all, I have a confession, I am a lazy blogger. I’m the prime example of what happens when you only write when you’re motivated to do so. If you look through my archives on the sidebar over there you’ll see I’ve been posting since 2016. You’ll also see that for a while there was at least one post a month until February 2017. Then there’s a gap, a few more months in a row, and another large gap, and so on and so forth. So my first bit of advice, which I have been trying to follow myself this month, is to write even when you’re not motivated.

Motivation is fleeting, and it’s easy to rely on because it requires no concentrated effort to get. Motivation comes to you, you don’t even have to chase after it.

Discipline is reliable; motivation is momentary. The real question isn’t how to keep yourself motivated, it’s how to train yourself to work without it.

This quote gets to the heart of the problem I’ve had for years when it comes to blogging. Now you might ask if you’re not motivated to blog most of the time, Kluwes, then why do you keep blogging? And my answer to that is because it’s fun and I  enjoy it. I have found if I don’t put in the effort and only write when it’s easy that I don’t end up writing anywhere near as often as I’d like.  if you’re having trouble writing sometimes you just have to bite the bullet, sit down, and write something anyway. Yes, blogging is a hobby for a lot of us and not a job, but at least for myself, I’ve found that a little concentrated effort goes a long way in achieving my personal blogging goals.

My other bit of advice is about blogging after Blaugust. These events are great because it brings the community together and talking. Ideas get bounced around, there are too many posts to keep up with, and there are so many new voices out there to read. After the event, things start to go back to normal. All of a sudden there isn’t all this hype around blogging anymore and things go back to business as usual. That can be a real drain on your motivation to blog. But I encourage you to keep reading, commenting, and writing even after Blaugust is over.

Trove Team Letter 2019

 

Trove press.jpgTrove, as of the time of this writing, has been down for 50 hours. On August 27th, the team announced there would be a 12-hour downtime as they moved the server to a new location. They must have dropped it somewhere along the line, maybe down a flight of very large stairs. As usual, players are calling for fair compensation for not being able to play for 2 days. I’m more than content to play something else, maybe a certain MMO with a new classic server.

But there is good news on the Trove front. Out of the downtime came a Team Letter about the future of the game. They’ve now moved beyond what the team at Trion had planned when they released Gardening 2.0. Now it’s time to see what Gamigo has in store.

Moving forward, the plan is to release two major updates, two minor updates, two quality of life each year while continuing the hotfixes every other Tuesday. Consoles will also get these but rolled into 2 ultimate updates a year. There will continue to be 2-week events throughout the year, the team says they’re trying to get these events out at least every 2 months.

Four types of content updates for new gameplay, features, and bug fixing:

  • Major Content Update – Focused around a major feature like Crystal Combat or Gardening
  • Minor Content Update – A gameplay enhancement, like Bomber Royale Season 2
  • Quality of Life Update – Improvements to the gameplay experience, focusing on bug fixes.
  • Hotfixes – Small updates, as required, targeting new or critical issues.

So it looks like there are plans to keep producing content for Trove. Which is a relief, I was a bit worried after Gamigo bought Trion that the game would slowly fall into maintenance mode. There is an upcoming patch titled ” From the Deep!” that will focus on fixing the Club leveling system as well as add big, bad, bosses to the Geode Topside Worlds. These new types of bosses will have a higher rate of dropping crystal level 3 gear as well as some unique rewards. More new things to kill is technically new content.

There are some patch notes for From the Deep! currently on the PTS. This patch goes into a little more detail about the new Leviathan  World Bosses. They live underneath the surface of Geode Topside and will despawn if not defeated within 15 minutes of spawning. They’ll drop an ego potion for those who defeat them which makes your head bigger, this is something I very much want. They’ll also drop Torches which are temporary equipment that adds light. Presumably, to make it easier to get into higher-level Geode Topside Worlds.

At least there’s a bit of a plan laid out going forward. After the gardening update, it felt like there wasn’t much discussion on what comes next. I will definitely take a few new world bosses over no content at all. And with the Club leveling balances, maybe my small little Club could actually get some guild buffs. Now they just have to put that pesky server back together.

The latest update, at 2: 43 am EST, stated they’re looking to finish the server move today. No ETA on when the game will be back online.

 

 

Trove: Buisness as Usual

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It’s hard to tell but there’s like 6 of us in here

I still look forward to Monday night Shadow Towers with Jay every week. Once again we were able to complete the whole Shadow Tower on Ultra getting the max rewards for the week. We’ve started to develop a small group from players we meet on Twitch. We’ve been trying to help out newer players with getting over the Stellar gear wall when we can and have been giving advice when asked. It’s great to be able to give back to the game’s community.

This week I got the 3 star, stellar, empowered, water gem I needed after 2 months. It even had the correct stats and everything. Currently, I’m pumping gem dust into it until it’s maxed level to swap out with my 2 star stellar. Once that’s been socketed, all I need to do is augment the gems and continue to ook for a crystal level 3 face. Waiting for the right empowered gem to drop was such a slog, at least these next steps I can actively work on without praying for good RNG. I may be able to boost my Power Rank to 30k which is the next milestone. He’s sitting at 29701 right now.

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What Trove looks like 90% of the time.

I was also able to replace one of my gem’s first hit stat with a % max health. This boosted my Dracolyte from 500k to 700kish health, and man does it make a difference. I’ve noticed my survivability in higher-level shadow towers was a lot better. Also, I’ve had to refill potions way less in U-10 Geode Topside. The less time I can spend refilling the more time I can spend looting.

 

 

 

A Brief Moment with WoW Classic

 

WoWScrnShot_082619_181511.jpgWhile waiting for Jay to log into Trove, I wanted to see if I could get into WoW Classic. I’d been reading queue times were horrendus so I didn’t have much hope at 6:30pm EST, a half hour after launch. The queue for my server, Myzrael, was 2 minutes. Much, much, MUCH, shorter than I was anticipating.

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When I got in I was greeted by dozens of dwarves. Dwarves and gnomes everywhere. Around the first quest giver, around the first spawn point, and there were plenty bludgeoning wolves just down the hill.

I don’t know what I was expecting but it certainly wasn’t to burst our laughing. There was something just so funny about the sheer amount of characters running around. I joined the crowds for wolf slaying. Fighting for each spawn to collect a meager 8 meat. After 20 minutes I returned with my hard-won prize and settled in to do some more. Except that’s exactly when I was called away.

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I tried to get back in and play a bit more before bed. I wasn’t sure if this was going to be possible. I was greeted with a 76 minute wait.

Ah, that’s more like it.

 

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What game could you play for a year?

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I do not remember taking this screenshot but it’s fantastic

I’ve seen this question floating around a few blogs as of late or variations of it. I believe the original question was what game could you play for the rest of this year. That’s for about 4 months. But I think the harder question would be what game could I commit to and play for a year.

I haven’t played a game for more than a couple months in a very long time. The last time I was heavily invested in a game was Guild Wars in 2007 and before that, it was Runescape in 2005. Since then I’ve flitted between games trying to find the next one that I could latch on too.

I think I’ve been playing Trove for around 4 months straight now. Which if you told me that I would be doing that last year I would not have believed it. But even now, my interest in Trove has been waining the only reason I continue to play it on my own is to listen to podcasts.

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So what game could I play for a year if I had to pick one today?  I just can’t imagine playing the same story-based, single-player, game over and over for a year. Unless it was a very large one with a lot of content or replay value like a Bethesda Game. So I would need to play something with an online component or something that gets new content over the course of the year. Of course, nowadays this isn’t limited to online games as single-player games do often get content drops after launch too.  The other option is a game with endless progression a la Diablo 3. Maybe something procedurally generated or a PVP centric game where other players are your new content.

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But if you told me right now to pick a game that I would play for the rest of 2020 today I’d pick Elite Dangerous. Elite is a game that I’ve been away from for a while but each time I go back I find myself getting lost in it. You could say Elite is an inch deep and a mile wide but the systems and activities that are there I find very enjoyable. The game is always improving, adding and refining systems, it’s almost like a new game after every major update.

Every now and then this seems like it would be a great project to write about. Only playing one game for an entire year. But then the rational side of me kicks in and I realize there’s no way that would be fun for me or that I would have the discipline to actually do it.

Podcast Sunday: Still Not Sleeping and Breaking Stories

 

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I’m switching up the title of this feature today because this past week I listened to very few audio dramas. I’ve been meaning to listen to the new episode of Vast Horizon as well as continue listening to Calling Darkness but I’ve been on a No Sleep kick this week.

The No Sleep Podcast

I go through listening phases with No Sleep. Sometimes I’ll go weeks without listening to a single episode and sometimes it’s all I listen too. For quite a while now No Sleep has been my go-to Trove podcast. Most listening occurs during my gaming time, it’s getting bad some dungeons and areas remind me of certain stories I was listening to at the time of completing them. But No Sleep hasn’t made it into my car in a long time. This week it’s all I wanted to listen to. I’ve gone through another 3 episodes in season 4 this week.

My favorite story this week was The Lucienne Twins written by Leonard Petracci. The story is about a Kindergarten teacher who has a strange encounter with a set of twins. After one of the twins dies in a tragic accident the surviving twin exhibits strange behavior.  The link is to the original Reddit post and this story is part of the full episode of S4S10.

By the way, this is the first time I’ve been to The No Sleep Podcasts website to look for episodes. I didn’t realize a majority of the episodes have illustrations from Lukasz Godlewski. Which is worth a look if you’re into horror illustrations.

Story Break

This is the other podcast I’ve been listening to this week. I heard about it from an ad at the end of the Mission to Zyxx Season finale. Story break is another Maximum Fun podcast that features Freddie Wong, Matt Arnold, and Will Campos writing a movie based off ridiculous ideas in an hour each week. It seems that in Season 2 the show changed formats a little bit and they are now writing a whole movie scene by scene each week. I’ve listened to the first 2 episodes of season 1. The first episode they attempted to come up with an idea for a Legend of Zelda adaptation. The second episode was a full feature Star Wars film for Jar Jar Binks.

What I like about this show is the incite they give into creating a story. From the beginning, there is just an idea and by the end of the episode, there’s a whole movie taking shape. This has been one of the shows I’ve been listening to on my commute. It’s different than what I’ve been listening to for the last few months but sometimes a change is nice.