Tag Archive for WoW

Too Many Games!

Or not enough time?

Long time no write!  I hadn’t had anything really to sort out or talk about that couldn’t be summed up in one or two 140-character posts, and this takes more time than tweeting all the things… though if I’d realized I’d probably have written something last month.

Anyways, I was going to tweet this too, then realized I wouldn’t be able to get all my thoughts out easily on the tweetscape, and the blog was a better location.  Then I saw how long it had been since I wrote something and figured now is as good a time as any!  But on to the actual topic…

This morning I found out that WoW patch 6.2 is due out on Tuesday.  My first thought, unlike patches past, wasn’t “Finally!” but “Wait, now?  But I don’t feel ready for it.”  Where I looked forward to other patches with anticipation, this time I just felt trepidation and disintrest.

The past couple months, despite my original plans to log in once a week for the garrison, I actually haven’t touched WoW at all.  I’m still having fun in Star Trek, though I admit I’m settling into a grind a bit or alt-itis, which I think may have been part of my problem with WoW in the end.  I finally got to experience the full hardcore, er, experience in WoW and it was killing my enjoyment of the game trying to keep up with all the alts and garrisons and everything, on top of Mythic raiding. (As a side note, I was surprised to find the guild I had been running with is still 8/10M… I thought they would have cleared Blackrock by now.) On top of that, I’d been playing WoW for 6-7 years straight, and not touched other games much during that apart from my last break during 5.4’s year-long content drought.

My plan had been to go back to WoW on 6.2, but a bit more casually, but now that it’s here, I kind of don’t want to.  At the same time, I kind of do just so I don’t fall too far behind.  I also don’t know who I’ll want to run with – I’m not interested in Mythic this time around really, but I’m already kitted out pretty much at Normal level.  I know my previous raid team is probably going to hit Heroic, plow through that, and start Mythic, while from what I see the other guild I was running with hasn’t made much progress on Heroic Blackrock, so they’ll probably be running Normals.  There’s folks I like running with on both teams, but one is more hardcore than I’d like(and I’m bound to be rusty anyways after a couple months off) and the other doesn’t seem like it’d be too worthwhile if they haven’t made that much progress by now.

Basically, I get enough stress already from work and life in general, and adding the Mythic Server First lifestyle just kills my enjoyment.  It’s not the competition, so much as progressing my character and running with folks that I like.  Given that, Clearing Heroic is about the right speed I think for me, and any Mythic fights after that are just bonus. the problem is one guild is higher than that, and the other is lower, and there’s folks I like in both, and no other guilds really out there.  I do like the two day a week raid schedule for the weaker of the two though.

There is another guild or two I could probably run with, but I only know a couple people in them, and I don’t know their schedules.  They’re on other servers too, so Mythic would be out of the question without forking over cash for transfers.

I’ve got a lot I want to do still in Star Trek though!  I have some tweaks to do to my main’s build, and I got a lot of stuff to do to get my Gorn’s carrier built out.  I’ve also got a planned build for my Romulan Dinaes HDD, but I kind of want to do that on a different toon I just created recently.  On top of those, I just made a Talaxian pirate queen that I want to level up, and the summer event is still going on.  Besides gathering resources for all those, I’m also trying to save up so I can get an upcoming ship 3-pack that was leaked, as well as a pilot ship for my Romulan character that’s currently flying the HDD.

Adding to that, there’s folks I basically only see once a week now in Second Life, and land that I used to share that I’ve barely been able to fund in-game.  I’ve barely touched it as I haven’t been spending time there like I used to, and have been thinking of letting it go.  Would be nice to poke on there a bit more, but first WoW, and then Star Trek has eaten my time for that.

To add another activity to the pile, I just found out there was another official campaign released for Shadowrun Returns, and I still haven’t played through the second one yet!  I still need to do that at some point.

I also meant to play Civilization: Beyond Earth at some point because of fond memories of Alpha Centauri, but have yet to buy it.

Add all this on top of work and my weekly gaming group, and there ain’t enough hours in the day!

I think my main issue at this point is how I’m going to break down time between Star Trek and WoW mostly, since the rest is all stuff that is already in limbo pretty much.  Going more casual with WoW will help with that, and to that end I’m probably going to have to neglect most of my alts, and set limited goals for WoW to keep it contained. Basically focus on things like unlocking flying and checking out the new Garrison Campaign and Tanaan Jungle. See if that rekindles my enjoyment of WoW while I zoom around the galaxy.

There’s only one problem then.  How, with all of this, am I going to find the time to do any writing on the stories I have bouncing around in my head?

All we need is time, time, time…. time is all we need

So I’ve been trying to get this written for the past several days, but kept pushing it back since I didn’t have enough time with all the other things going on.  It seems to be something you can only ever have too little of or too much of; and once it’s spent, it’s gone.  All sales are final, no refunds or exchanges allowed.  As we only have a finite amount of time in this existence, that’s why we have to decide on what we actually want to spend it on.  Thus, the concept of opportunity cost and so on.

While I didn’t plan this to be my original topic, I actually think this might be worth further expounding on a bit, as it leads into what I was originally wanting to talk about.

Basically, opportunity cost is something people will tend to ignore quite a bit, especially in MMO games, and almost certainly in F2P/microtransaction-based ones.  Heck, I’ve done it myself in WoW.

The Auction House in WoW is a living example of this.  I used to play the auction house for a while, and I know when I crafted something and tried to sell it I usually compared it to the cost of the mats when pricing things.  If it went below the cost of the mats, I sold the mats instead.  There are enough people out there that do not do this however that sellers have complained for ages.

You see, for some people, they might spend 5 hours mining(this is all pre-WoD) and gather a bunch of stuff, craft it, then throw it up.  They get undercut, so they super-undercut to try and sell their stuff first, with the end result of the market for that item “crashing” to the point the major sellers either leave it alone, or buy up all the cheap items to reset the value and resell them.  The original seller though?  He didn’t care, because he considers all the materials he mined “free” since he didn’t spend gold on it, so any gold is profit.  What he neglects to account for is the 5 hours he spent gathering it, when he could have been doing something else like running dungeons or old raids.  heck, beyond a certain point he might have made more gold just doing that instead of mining and crafting.

Until recently, this was less obvious as gold in WoW did not have a (legal) fixed value in real money.  With the time tokens available now however, that gold can be quantified against the money you actually make working.

Now working is something we have to do whether we want to or not, at least in the US.  We give up some of our limited time in exchange for the resources to do all the other things we actually want to do.  Still, say you make $15/hour working a specific job.  That means you can quantify an hour of your time as $15, just for arguments sake.

Now a month of sub time for WoW is $15.  Last I heard, a sub token costs around 22k gold, so there’s a rough equivalency there.  So, if you were doing it purely for gold gain and had other things you would have preferred to do with that time, paying real money for X that was around 22k might be a better deal than trying to farm and craft it yourself.  Of course, this also doesn’t factor in that there’s other competition for your work money, and that there’s still a limited amount of time spent working, compared to time spent doing something else.  If you work your MMO gaming like a job though(and not enjoying it) and aren’t making the equivalent of your work salary?  Well, you’re just plain doing it wrong, by the numbers.

Note also that you can’t get the money back out of the game(unless you’re looking at Second Life) – once it’s sunk into the game, it’s gone, period, and you’re left with whatever you got back from it e.g. gear, enjoyment, etc.

Now WoW has added the follower mini-game in WoD, which allows for offline progression.  For example you might spend 5 minutes logging in and setting up missions, and then spend 5 minutes later that day collecting 500 gold(or more, depending on follower traits).  There usually tends ot be little bits of dead time here and there in people’s schedules(such as eating breakfast before work) so you can take advantage of things like this without much of an opportunity cost.

Now WoW is sub-based, in that you need to pay every so often to keep access to the game, so if you’re not having fun, most folks would cancel their subscription or just stop playing. F2P games on the other hand don’t have that barrier.

Instead they have Microtransactions.  Little things here and there that can add up to the cost of a sub or (much!) more. Say there’s a “Gotta-have” item in the cash store.  Someone might look at it and go “$10?  Pff, this is a free game, I’m not paying that!” and then spend 10 hours grinding some currency to use instead for the same thing.  Without that initial barrier, many people won’t even look at how long something might take, but instead just grind it in an effort to keep it “free” while spending way too much time on it.  On top of that, some games(especially Korean-originated ones) turn that grind up to 11 to try to entice these people into paying instead without (quite) driving them off.

In other words, take a good long look at how long it might take you to get something in-game, and if you really want it, before trying to grind it out when playing F2Ps.  It might be a much better use of your limited time, if you can afford it, to reward the developers with a bit of cash, as long as you don’t go overboard and turn into a whale throwing their entire bank account at a game that could potentially disappear within a few years.

That said, it brings me back to the more personal part of what I was wanting to talk about, Star Trek Online.  F2P, and I started playing it a bit a month or two ago during some WoW downtime, as I believe I mentioned before.  Well I’m enjoying it enough and WoW little enough that my limited non-work time has gotten totally flipped around!

Before, I was spending most of my idle time in WoW trying to find things to do and doing my few-times-per-day/week “chores” for more resources.  A few weeks ago now I actually totally stopped logging into WoW except for raid nights, and the last couple I’ve actually not even done that – I just logged into the battle.net client to see if they needed me to fill out the 20 spots.

It’s kinda funny.  Raiding with Prestige was fun, but as we got deeper into Mythic, the pressure and stress just kept building to keep performing at peak constantly.  It was still a good rush to get a new boss down ahead of everyone, and even bigger to get a Server First on a Mythic end boss, but the push and pressure to try and get it down ahead of everyone were making me start to dread raid nights.  I could see that performance-wise, while I was never top material, I was getting towards the bottom compared to the excellent players already on the raid team.  While I’m fairly sure we’d still get them down with me there, there was an impression, whether mine or among certain people, that I might be holding them back from staying on top.

My mindset in raiding has always been to push progression, but at the same time to focus on our own and ignore what everyone else’s progression is.  Compete only with ourselves.  While when I started running with them that may or may not have been the main mindset, with how long we stayed on top of the listings it seems to have taken over in large part, especially among leadership.  That’s not what I’m playing for(though it is an ego boost) and I just plain wasn’t having fun with it anymore. Still, I was showing up because I knew we were short on players and I had implicitly agreed to be there.  Recruiting has been working out better recently however, which has allowed me to start stepping away from the game finally, especially since I have other things I can do now(like STO).

The main downside has been getting people I know to play!  With WoW, there’s multiple people there I know, but STO was a blank slate in that regard.  A large part of the game there for me is the story missions which are easily single player, but when I went in to try and pug for the first time I found myself missing having guildmates or othersuch on vent to coordinate with and learn all these instances.  I was able to stick with the easiest one since I was just farming it for marks, but eventually I’ll want to see the others.

At least there’s maybe 3 people I know RL I’ve gotten to give it a look, so if they like it and stick around that would be a start.

Either way, with STO it’s all still fairly fresh, and I’m mostly enjoying even the grinds still.  When it started to feel a bit annoying to do one(such as when I was grinding Tholian marks on Nukara) it’s easy enough to just hop over to do something else for a bit.  Since it’s almost all time-gated, once you get a certain amount of buffer you can just keep it to a minimum, or grind it out in one big go(like I mostly did with Nukara).

To bring my earlier points into this though, STO actually has a very leniant implementation of F2P.  Paying for just a race unlock(for cosmetic reasons – busty feline captain ahoy!) and using just the free stuff I was able to hit level cap and play though most of the content.  I could have kept on going, but I’ve taken a “time-out” from following the story to beef up my main’s ship and gear.

Needing pay content and wanting pay content, however, are two very different things, as shown by my race unlock.  Looking around, it’s easy to see how you can spend a lot of money in that game, even if none of it is required.  Cosmetic options, “gambling” for gear via the lockbox-key system, and the highest end ships are all behind the paywall, as well as unlocking additional slots for inventory, bridge officers, followers, and so on.  Skill respecs are even nominally behind it.

At first glance, it looks like a lot.  However, there’s a time-gated in-game currency that’s tradeable for the cash shop currency in much the same way as WoW’s time tokens – one person buys the cash shop currency, then trades it for the time-limited currency to speed things up(since it’s tied to a lot).  Most of the prices are low enough that you can get what you want after a couple weeks of just playing normally.You see, this currency may be time-gated in how fast you get it, but you get it from doing almost anything in the game, and you can buffer it up!  Right now I have enough that if I did nothing but log in for 5 seconds to refine it, I wouldn’t have to do anything else for 2 weeks to use up my stockpile.  On top of that, the limit is per-character, so the more alts you play, the faster you can get the currency and the less time it takes – although to be fair, at that point it might turn into more grind than fun beyond a certain point.

Pretty much the only thing that takes a huge amount of time is new ships.  Given this is Star trek, the makers know that’s the high demand item, and it’s priced appropriately – $20-$30 for a high end ship.  Using the exchange I was talking about? 3-4 months with only a single character’s limit. Obviously that scales down with multiple alts, but as I’m new and don’t have the “alt support structure” I have on WoW, that’s outside the scope of what I was looking at for myself.

They also have regular sales of 15-20% off, which helps as well.  So this past weekend I took advantage of that to dump around $60 into the game, since my “entertainment” budget for this month had barely been scratched.  In fact, the only other expense on it was paying for one month sub for STO, as it unlocks a LOT more stuff that you normally have to pay a lot more for separately. Even better, you get to keep almost all of it when you go back F2P, and if I resub later, the character-based benefits will also apply retroactively.

Basically STO, while it may have its own issues with power creep and has a lot of monetization, is also extremely fair to the casual player and nowhere near “pay-to-win” in my books.  I chose to give them some cash, as I was enjoying the game and helps make sure the game continues – and I shouldn’t need to spend any more in the near future as I get more established and better able to take advantage of things like the cash shop exchange.

As to what I’m going to be using the money I put in for?  I’ve got my eye on a couple ships, and last year around this time they had a 15-20% off ship sale…

Star Trekkin’

So there hasn’t been any posts in a while.  It hasn’t been because I forgot about it, but I haven’t had anything lengthy to pontificate on recently.  Twitter is actually covering a lot of my “Here’s this cool thing!” and “Random thought about X” and if you want, you can follow that at https://twitter.com/LlewelynDekafox/ . But what’s been going on since my last post?

Well, I hate to say it but WoW has finally fallen into “chore” mode for me due to a couple things.  One of those reasons is actually a lack of things to do, which is what a lot of people are complaining about.

First a little history.  From when I started playing near end of BC, I had an obvious main and maybe one or two alts.  Near the end of Cata however, there wasn’t a lot and it was so easy to catch up that the number of alts I had exploded!  basically, I finished everything on my main for the most part, so I was just doing achievements and alts.

In MoP I had to abandon a lot of my alts because with all the dailies it was very alt-unfriendly at the start, and that set the tone for me for the rest of the xpac.  The only alts that leveled up were my profession mules.

With WoD, I initially did the same, but I “finished” most everything I cared about by 6.1.  All 6.1 added for me were the new missions and some pets, and I had my followers set up and got all the pets on the first week.  We were working on BRF still, but there wasn’t as much to do outside raids.  With the heirloom changes, I figured I’d level up an alt or two, and kit them out for gold making.  With the new gold-making trait on followers, with enough you can make quite a bit that way.

Right now, I have 8 100s, 2 more in their 90s, and a level 30 paladin.

Playing in “alt mode” wasn’t something that was a thing for me until end of Cata, but I’m already there now.  Everything is done on my main except Mythic boss kills and I’m starting to get tired of that.. not to mention that we’re starting to hit bosses that may be beyond my skill level.  I’m doing fine with mechanics but I’m not hitting the DPS numbers of some of the other folk in the raid.

And speaking of that gold making?  I’m basically logging in 3-4 times a day just to do missions and keep my buildings stocked, on every one of those 100s.

I didn’t mind the garrison and alt stuff quite as much until I hit the second factor making me want to take a break: Star Trek Online.

About a month ago, right before 6.1 launch I checked again and found it worked under WINE finally, so I loaded up their version of Steam and installed the thing.  I started a Romulan and played part of the tutorial over the weekend, but dind’t complete it before Tuesday and patch day rolled around for WoW.  After that I was busy like I mentioned above up until this weekend.  I wasn’t feeling like playing alts on Saturday, so I started it up to let it patch and found out there was a deal going on for cash-store races and services.

Now part of what made me look at it to begin with was the Caitian race being playable.  The first time I found it was a pay-to-unlock race, and I wasn’t sure it’d run under WINE so I gave it a pass.  When I tried it that first weekend and enjoyed what I did of the Romulan, I tried to buy the cash shop currency and couldn’t.  Turned out you had to complete the tutorial first before you could.

Personally, I think that’s a very good thing, as it avoids issues with brand new players throwing a bunch of money, then bitching and leaving when it turns out completely different from what they expected.  Still, the promotion was to end Monday, so I had to finish the tutorial by the end of the weekend.

I picked it back up pretty quick and got through it, and found I liked it.  Some of it felt like Star Trek episodes, and others felt like Star Fleet Command aka Star Fleet Battles. So I threw the minimum amount of zeny on there and unlocked the Caitian race.

First thing though was I found myself disappointed in the lack of “hair” styles.  You either go pure fuzz, or tied back in one of three different ways, so I went with the one that was most hair-like as a “close-enough”  I then spent a little while crafting a uniform and look for her that I found I liked immensely.

Though Tactical was the best fit, I dithered a bit on making her because my Romie was already Tactical, and I wanted one of each.  I’d found as a pleasent surprise that Gorn were playable, though with the Klingons instead of on their own or with the Feddies, so a Gorn science captain was a no-brainer for me.  It took some tweaking through to get a uniform and build I was satisfied with.

Then I noticed I’d have one more character slot available, so I made another Romulan as a Engy captain, so I could make M’Rel as a tactical branch captain, like I intended since she was acting as a stand-in for my chakat character.

I only got a little ways into the Fed tutorial, but I’m finding myself excited to play STO and wanting to continue playing through all the story content.  I’m really liking M’Rel as a character(and may swap her in somewhere on the Chakatverse stories, if I can just get them written) and there’s still the Gorn character too… and playing the new Romie with the new Delta event stuff active.

And then I look at WoW and I’ve got alts that I don’t care for(since I’m scraping the bottom of the alt barrel) and the daily garrison chore, which actually feels like a chore now since I’d rather be cruising the galaxy with my busty catgirl captain.  Even my rogue alt, which I had been enjoying solo stuff with, I’m finding myself not wanting to go do anything with.

And then there’s the whole raid issue.

At the same time though, we’re still low on people on our Mythic team currently so I need to be there to hole-fill or else they may not be able to fill to make the attempts on the Mythic bosses we’re working on.  I also want to keep building gold for upcoming content, so I can’t totally abandon my garrisons.  Doing a mission check also makes a nice time-filler for the times when I’ve got like an hour to kill, since STO stuff is supposed to take 45 minutes to an hour(emulating Star Trek episodes) which would be cutting it too close on those time gaps.

End result is I want to play STO, but I don’t want to abandon WoW which means I gotta get the “chores” done.  I’ve already pushed back some farming that I needed to do to fill buildings since it takes an hour per character to get enough for 2 weeks, and I’d rather be star trekkin across the universe.

I also don’t see myself going full hardcore on STO like I have been in WoW.  With the F2P/microtransaction structure, it’s either heavy grind for certain things like some ships, or you pull out the credit card.  I unlocked the one race I was willing to pay for(though the Lyran knock-offs on the Klingon side were tempting) and I may buy a single ship or two at some point in the future, but to really min-max and compete you either gotta no-life-grind currently, or gotta go full whale, neither of which interests me.  Still, with the age of the game there should be plenty of story for me to see without doing that.

If WoW was considered my wife, STO would be the secret mistress in the condo that I sneak off to and try to break bedsprings with.

On top of that, there’s still Second Life sitting around too.  Unlike the last time I kinda left it, I’m still logging in weekly for the fishing and to pay rent on my(and formerly Kaitlyn’s) parcel.  I’m not really doing much with it currently, but between work, WoW, and STO, I’m having trouble finding time and interest to get to it.  I’ve got enough Lindens to keep it around a while still, even if fishing doesn’t happen to refill my wallet, and I get to see the folks again, but if my L keeps dropping I may need to find someone else to share land with.  I want to keep the kitties out, since Kaitlyn loved the little things, but there needs to be space for them to be out for that.

So that’s my gaming dilemma; keeping all these balls up in the air.  Once I get far enough in STO though, I may post a pic of M’Rel and her current command at that point. We’ll see.

My pen and paper group is getting close to wrapping up one of the campaigns we’ve been doing.  I actually got art of my character from that one a little while back, as I’ve used her in a couple Pathfinder campaigns now.

A kitsune gypsy, who uses the powers of the Great Old Ones against evil.

A kitsune gypsy, who uses the powers of the Great Old Ones against evil.

I would like to play her in Pathfinder Society someday, but the con we’ve gone to that runs it we missed this year, and the place here that runs it locally does so on a raid night.

I think that’s it for now.  Can’t think of anything else that I’d like to write about the moment, so signing off!

Late-night rambling returns!

I’ve actually had a couple posts I’ve wanted to do in the pipeline, but various things have conspired to prevent me from following through on them.  Various things in large part being WoW. <..<

Anyways, there’ll still be a year -in-review post at some point, and I also have a Transformer-like race to use in Pathfinder to post, but this isn’t either of those.  This is a catch-up, and maybe some rambling on random topics, for the first time in a while!

If you don’t care about WoW, feel free to skip a few paragraphs. XP

First, the WoW situation has kind of sorted itself out.  The two guilds de-merged, and Chocolate Disco went back to a lot more casual schedule.  I’ve ended up on the regular Mythic team, but not quite made Core, which I’m fine with.  I know there’s better players than me – only reason to wish I was Core is so I would have a higher cap on guild repairs for progression nights!

Especially after I went and made myself broke.  I’ve basically completed the follower minigame on my main until 6.1, and there’s nto much to do towards raiding outside raids at the moment.  So, I finally went back to see what I missed in minipets, since I had that mostly done before my break, and was surprised that they hadn’t added that much.  I saw some TCG pets I was missing up for relatively cheap, and there was now ay I was going to go through Molten Core any more times to try for that pet, so I went and bought myself into brokeness.  Worse, I haven’t been able to engage the revenue stream I had been using as I needed to make some upgrades for myself for crafted pieces for my monk alt and for a piece where RNG turned out to hate me on my main.  End result though is that I just need to get about 8 more pets and I’ll have every pet I can get that’s not a CE pet, Blizzcon pet, or a pet only available in another country.  At least until 6.1!

As for why I -need- to gear my alt, originally I was planning on raiding with both guilds, with all the time sinks that entails.  There’s folks I like in both guilds and I wanted to keep running with both(not to mention it’s a bit of a rush to realize that I’m in the raid team of the top guild on the server!) so I was going to use my alt to run Disco raids.  Then it turned out they kind of raid on the same days.

I say kind-of because the second Disco night is the same night as what is supposed to be an alt run, but I’ve had a couple gear holes that have forced me to run my main in said alt runs for more gear.  That’s solved now though until Blackrock releases, so I’ll be able to roll with them for at least a couple weeks finally.

Aside from WoW, I’m moving into a different position that’s more internal facing and engineering oriented at work.  I’m still having to deal with some stuff here and there that isn’t, but that’s the life of a sysadmin, and my boss has a very healthy philosophy on outside-normal-hours work: keep it to a minimum.  It’s a philosophy I’m in heavy agreement with, as after some of my contracting I make it a point to grab on tight to my free time, including lunch breaks and only work on either if there is no other way.  I have pushed back on scheduling before because of workload, but that’s less of an issue in my new position.

My muse has finally spoken up again though, and revived one of my former identities as a separate character: Chakat Swiftwind lives again(sorta).  Where my dragon is me though, Swiftie is a separate character, more along the lines of my various RPG characters.  There may not be much distinction between the two for a lot of furries, but there is for me and that’s the important part.  Part of that is I finally have an idea of who shi is: a hotshot pilot, whether it be starship or starfighter… though given the chakat universe doesn’t have a lot of interstellar conflict, shi’s pretty much a starship jock at the moment in my mind.

I tried using Traveller to put together a background history for hir, but it left a bit to be desired, as there are some differences naturally between the two universes.  I also was a bit confused about the difference between StarFleet and Star Corps in that universe, so I had to do a quick rewrite to fit with my mental idea of where shi is in the “present” which unfortunately has left some parts of hir past vague now for the moment.

As to what prompted me, I had a strong mental image of hir in a cockpit, hands on controls and handpaws on even more controls.  Granted, as a ship’s helmsman on a long-range exploration ship shi may not get to do that, but there’s pinnances and such shi may have to fly for some reason; not to mention shi may be able to make that ship do tricks its builders hadn’t even thought of.

Part of that also gave me the idea and framework for a story, and it even fits well to the typical framework of a Star Trek episode!  After I fleshed out some identities of other folks shi’d be interacting with regularly though, I found myself without the time to actually start writing it.  There’s also a couple things i’m not sure about now because I want to stick to that “Star Trek episode” feeling, but I want it to be hir story, not a story about the bridge crew of the ship shi’s on.

Another thing is that my original idea necessitates some ship-to-ship combat, which is where I run into another issue.  In Star Trek’s universe, there’s other star empires to be handy antagonists.  The chakat universe’s Steller Federation on the other hand has no real enemies, just some pirates pretty much and everyone else in their stellar neighborhood is buddy-buddy with them.  On top of that, StarFleet ships in the chakatverse have people trained for First Contact and this is a Big Thing, as opposed to Star Trek where they meet half the new civilizations over laser fire, and the other half they try not to even make contact with because of the Prime Directive.

The fact that First Contact is huge, and that I’m technically playing in someone else’s playground, makes me leery of introducing a new alien race of any sort to be antagonists. Pretty much the only way to make it work would be for the alien race to be truly alien(which is hard) as most of the Federation races have been of similar mindsets, make the new race be scream-and-leap like the Kzinti, or have what attacks them be automated.  None of those are truly ideal, and with how big First Contact is, a botched one, even if nothing could be done, would be a huge black mark I would imagine.  So I’m stuck on that plot point and it’s a major one for the original story idea I had.

Back on the topic of mental images though, there were a couple others that came to mind that I wanted to see made real, so I’ve started getting art again.  I had a ton of Transformers come in recently, but thankfully it was end of December so technically it was part of last year’s budget.  I’ve already blown past my tentative marker for January’s non-essentials budget though with the two pieces I have coming, even with that.

I’d actually wanted to get art of Swiftwind last year, but I never really got around to finding taur artists besides Kacey and trying to get it done.  This time, I actually found a few artists, but was surprised how few good taur artists I was able to find, though I did stumble on another recently thanks to Twitter(and which prompted the second art piece I have inbound eventually).  Right now I just have nothing I really want drawn of -me- except maybe a new icon.  Problem there is I don’t have a theme in mind or a specific artist to do a dragicon, so that’s on hold at the moment.

I actually have a third piece in mind too, and the artist I’d like to do it is opening for commissions soon, so I’m waiting to see if I can snag a slot there.  As long as I’m getting pics done of my (other) characters, I figured I’d get a pic of a major Pathfinder character I’ve been trying to be able to play – my Dark Tapestry Oracle, who happens to be a black-furred kitsune with a gypsy theme.

I’ve actually gotten the chance to game again, which allowed me to bring her up again and play her, though this is one of those campaigns where the DM looked at the (non-MMO)Elder Scrolls games’ laughable attempts at balance and thought it was way too restrictive in power level.  On one hand, it’s letting me pull out the stops, but on the other it’s feeling more like a power fantasy than RP and I feel like I’m not actually really playing so much as waiting to see what the next huge power boost is.  On the other hand, they were already high level when I joined, but that doesn’t help when advancement is still this rapid.  I can always use her again in a different campaign I suppose that’s a bit more sane.

The other campaign this group is running though definitely isn’t it.  While they’re playing through an adventure path, the characters are more like a Marvel What If? comic instead.  Since restraint on concept was already thrown to the wind, I sat down with the Advanced Race Guide and figured out how to build a Transformer, and got the GM to approve it!  I’ll be posting it at some point, but I still need to make the actual character.  I’m thinking bomb alchemist may be fitting.

I sort of wish there was a Traveller campaign going, so I could see if I could slip in my conversion of the chakat race too and make Swiftie in that.  Of course, then I’d probably have to answer some questions about where hir race comes from.  I usually don’t flaunt furry stuff outside of the areas of the internets where its common or such, but the group I’m playing with again in RL would probably have no problem with it, considering what some of them are into.  Wouldn’t help though with other groups…

When I thought about getting the art of Swiftwind though, I realized I didn’t have any real good referances.  The only color drawn pic didn’t give hir a large enough bust(and yeah, my motives for hir having a large rack probably are less than pure if I actually sat and thought about it) and the rest were just sketches. I did have the Second Life pics form the last revamp I did to my SL av of hir, but hir upper body was out of proportion in that.  So, now that mesh bodies are a thing, I went looking to see if I could find a larger base body to use for the upper torso.

I didn’t find any that were just larger, but I found some that looked more natural and/or more shapely, and when I tried a demo I found to my delight that it worked just fine with my taur anims.  The first one though was no-mod and you ahd to apply to be able to make skin appliers for it so I had to look elsewhere.  I foudn another one that was almost as good, AND a lot cheaper, and was mod-friendly!  As a bonus, it also gave hir breasts a more natural shape and increased the amount hey could scale.  Of course, the slider setting I had needed to use before with the default SL body resulted in nuclear torpedo warheads with this body, so I was actually able to scale it down to get hir chest to be the right size I envisioned.

Since I was stuck in terms of upper-to-lower-body ratio though, I decided to try scaling the lower body down a bit.  I’d originally had the height set to max for scale purposes in SL, but proportions were more important now and scale is jacked in SL anyways.  It actually wasn’t too difficult to finally get hir body properly proportioned in general once I tried.  Then it was snapshot time!

While I was starting to put it together, I had the bright idea to go with a LCARS theme, and I ended up blowing an entire Saturday with putting together the template, coloring it, and retaking shots I found out were at bad angles, but it gave me a good ref sheet finally for hir, and it’s already getting used for the two new pieces I have coming.

Iv’e been tempted a time or two to take hir out for a whirl on SL, but I don’t know what I’d do with hir.  WoW and work keep me busy enough that I wouldn’t want to commit to a regular RP, and for my regular hanging out I’d rather be my dragon self.  I could go hunt up furry sex clubs, but that lost its appeal a long while ago.  If I just want word porn I can write it myself(and probably do a better job!) and for anything beyond that, well, that’s one thing relationships can bring to the table – and there it’s sex because of the love, not love for the sex.

Also looking back other than the sidegrade into a RP character, Swiftwind really doesn’t fit as an identity so much as a fantasy.  Whether or not I used to be more cuddly, I’ve found that I don’t really care as much for random hugs and snugglings and such anymore from strangers, and that sort of closeness is a natural thing for chakats.  Since they’re natural empaths they’re very informal and very sensual, for reasons which make a lot of sense when you look at it.

That also leads into the whole chakat style of mating and courtships.  While I like the idea of the different levels(Companion/Denmate/Lifemate) and think that could work well, chakats tend to have multiple mates and love everyone, and I’m serially monogamous.  Once I give my heart and loyalty, that’s it.  Maybe I’m jsut old-fashioned.  I could maybe see a threesome working if the other two were both female and some circumstances worked out, but in general I have one mate and that’s that.

Being a hermaphrodite also is integral to the even general idea of chakats, but not something I could see myself as anymore.  The idea may be fun to play with, in that you could RP either a male or female role with the same character, depending on mood and partner, but I am definitely not bi, which is almost a requirement for that to be part of your identity.  If nothing else, my (lack of) reaction to all the penis pics that showed up on my Twitter AD account’s timeline proved that to myself – and that’s ignoring the time I did try to use a chakat as my identity.

I supose, going back to what I said earlier about my reasons for hir chest size, that it’s in part a fusion of myself with one of the representations of my potential ideal mate.  Self and fantasy in one, so that either you can be the one doing, or you can mentally put yourself in the other person’s shoes while playing the female role when it comes to the more adult activities; and all without changing characters.

While I’m mentioning AD and dick pics, that’s something I’ve noticed a lot of.  People taking pictures of just their bits, which frankly gets pretty boring.  You’ve seen one, you’ve seen most of them, girls included.  Most of the actually hot pictures include more of the body, body language, expression and so on.

Then again, maybe it’s just because I’m older and have my sexual urges more under control, since most of said folks are several years younger.  I’ll admit I can think with the wrong head at times, but it seems like (effectively) going into rut isn’t that often an occurrance for me.  Heck, just look at when I’ve posted adult stories fairly close together, and you can get an idea.

I’m actually feeling tired now, and this is one of the longest entries I’ve written in a while so I guess I’ll leave you with the art piece I got most recently, from right around the new year.  Enjoy!

Lookin' Cute, Feelin' Cute

Thoughts on Raiding, Communication, and What It Means to Be a Team

Warning: WoW bitching ahead!

So last week we blew through 6/7 Heroic on the Highmaul raid.  Everyone was kinda pumped cause we were leading the server rankings by a lot.  Cue last night.

Our raid leader had made no secret about his wanting to jump straight into Mythic as soon as it opened since even before the expansion release.  Before the first night I recall him talking about how he was happy with the comp he’d put together for Mythic, since it’s limited to 20 people, but I never saw any word about who was on it, and at the time I didn’t know how many we’d have (once raids opened) beyond the 20.

Once raiding started it turned out we weren’t that far over 20 – we started at around 24 all three main raid nights.  The actual roster for Mythic never actually came up at all that week though, though there was a small group for an extra run on Friday to push progression a bit further, which I did get invited to since he needed more casters, and that group topped out around 15 I believe.

Coming into raid time last night, no one other than our raid leader apparently knew what the plans were, so I was there 15 minutes early outside the raid instance, waiting for invite assuming we were going to do Heroic.You see, I’d been following the early top guilds and found out they were all around 665 or so already in item level, while our raid was down around 650 or so – thus I assumed we’d clear Heroic this week and try our first push at Mythic next week like reasonable raiders, maybe with one or two shots to see what kargath was like on Heroic.

Then on Vent I hear “we’re doing Mythic?” from the main tank, and our GL confirmed it, saying we were gonna give it some tries see if we get stomped or not.  I start checking the raid roster trying to tell if all the invites were out or not to see if I was in or not, since he can be slow about invites, and we still hadn’t gotten an official list of the main Mythic raid roster.  Finally, they start, and I’m able to count 20 folks already in, and felt my mood dropping faster than Kargath did on Heroic last Tuesday.

AT NO POINT did he ever state invites were going out or finished, and he NEVER officially stated who was on the roster.  I freely admit the other S Priest in our guild is probably better, but he could have at least had the decency to let the rest of us know who was or wasn’t going to be on the Mythic roster rather than letting us figure it out after they’re in there poking the beast.  It killed my sense of being a team, at least as how I felt that night to be left out completely in the cold like that rather than at least be informed about what the plans are.  While I might now have been happy to find out in advance I wasn’t on the main roster, I at least would have known and had time to get used to it, or at least felt like I was enough a part of the team to be told about things like that.

It also meant I wasted time sitting outside the instance that I could have spent doing other things, and once he sent out the general invites to work on heroic instead that night, it felt like I was just going through the motions… and I’m still not happy about it either today, even after sleeping on it.

I’m also guessing that for now, loot is going to be funneled to the main Mythic raiders, so I’m probably not going to see any upgrades outside of bonus rolls or stuff form outside raids for a bit.  There’s been no official word, but considering the previous lack of communication, and that we run under a “loot council” of 1(said raid leader) there probably won’t be any communication on it whether that is the case or not.  It’s understandable, and would make the most sense for progression, but dammit, if we’re all a part of the same team(even benched) it would be nice to actually KNOW!

I’m also left wondering what’s going to happen when Blackrock releases.  Mythic Highmaul will still be going on, so what will happen with heroic runs?  Will he just jump straight into Mythic Blackrock and ignore heroic?  Will there still be Heroic runs on main raid nights in a few weeks?  How is he going to work bench players in, as if he just pushes and pushes, then when one of us comes in, we won’t be familiar with the fights or as geared, and that may cause progress to backslide a bit, and from what I’ve seen I believe that means he’d be even more likely to leave benched players benched then, so that we just end up twiddling our thumbs doing nothing the entire tier.

I’ll probably be discussing this with one of my friends(and one of the main healers) to see if he can put a bug in the RL’s ear to start thinking about letting the rest of us “mere mortals” know his plans and think ahead about some of these things and let us know – that way I can make plans appropriately, whether that means looking to raid heroic on different nights(if necessary with a different guild) once Mythic is in full swing.  As long as I don’t touch Mythic with another guild, I’ll still be able to come in if needed, as bench players are needed for when people can’t make it.

BUT DAMMIT, IF WE’RE PART OF THE TEAM TOO THEN LET US FRIGGING KNOW WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON!

</rant>

As far as classifying myself, I’d say I’m probably Mythic borderline skillwise.  I still make small mistakes occasionally, but if I start screwing up regularly on a mechanic I do my best to find a way to succeed at it.  Mythic is usually fairly unforgiving, and the only time I’ve done full Mythic(old heroic) clears was post-nerfs typically.  Even in SOO with Chocolate Disco, we only got 4 or 5 bosses down before the 6-month break I took.

On the other hand Heroic(old Normal) is going to be too easy eventually.  I was 6/7 last week, and was around middle of the pack on the DPS charts, so I wasn’t getting carried either on these fights.  Even this week, on Butcher(basically a Patchwerk fight) me and the other Shadow Priest were neck and neck in damage.  I look at Tectus, and he outDPSed me by 4k there, but I had to run for the debuff 5 times and he never got a single Crystalline Barrage.

Thus, borderline, as I fall into the grey area between obvious Heroic hero and natural Mythic player.

And hopefully, our guild master will start communicating better and I won’t get left behind completely, lost in the void between what he dreams of and the reality of what we have.

Plotting Garrison Plots

I guess I’ll start off with the shocker.  Turns out that the reason I hadn’t been getting responses to those text messages is that my gf passed away a couple days after she had let me know she was going in.  Apparently they found her after the fact so she never even made it into the hospital.  We had our own online ceremony for everyone who knew her in SL back on Saturday, and we hit 73 folks in attendance at once point.  It was a wonderful ceremony that blew me over in how powerful it felt.  There was a video taken too, but I don’t know if it made it online or not yet, and I plan to find out when I’m a bit less busy.

Anyways…

I’ve had some interesting thoughts about Garrisons.  Originally, I was considering trying for an all-furry (or all non-human at least) garrison crew, and even picked up the 5000 apexis crystal Arrakoa follower(the most expensive escort ever, according to WoWhead!) but there’s not enough pre-gen furry types to pull it off.  At this point I’ve basically settled for as close as possible and speadsheeted out my followers to min-max the best team from who I have.

You see, it’s going to be a while before I can build an inn, where the other 200 possible random followers come from.  The first plot needs to stay a Trading post for now to fund everything, and once I cap out my resources my lumber mill will need to be replaced with a barn for savage bloods for gear, which doesn’t leave an open slot.  My alts however are a bit more free in that regard.

So I got to thinking.

My feral druid alt is a worgan.  There seems to be quite a few worgen in the follower list, and once you get level 3 barracks you can switch in racial guards… and I’m pretty sure she’s exalted with Gilneas.  So I’m thinking with her I’m going to try to build an all-worgen garrison, with the occasional furry-style filler that is too useful to deactivate, or if I can’t quite get enough Worgen.  Since I don’t need to maximize power, I can maximize for fun instead!

My red panda ninja gal on the other hand, I don’t have any theme ideas for yet.  I’m sure something will come to me eventually though.

Overall, I have to give props to Blizzard.  I was looking somewhat forward to this as a slice of Warcraft in Warcraft, and I’m enjoying it in its own right, at least so far.  A couple months down the road I’ll probably be less interested, as managing all the daily cooldowns will be more of a pain, but for now, I can’t wait to get home to check my missions and see if I nabbed any follower upgrades!

Yes, Burd is the word

Specifically tweeting birds.. a twitter, you could say.

I’ve had a gmail since the invite days, but in the past few years as google has consolidated some of its domains, I’ve had several different people think my e-mail is theirs.  There’s a guy in South Africa, a guy in the UK, and a few others I have yet to identify.  Remember folks, count your Ls and make sure if you are using a county code(.co.za) use that and NOT .com!

Anyways, due to this I’ve occasionally been signed up for things against my will.  Most of these I’ve just canceled the subscription if it was a mailing list, or just removed my e-mail if not.  A couple times I’ve had to reset the password first to get in.

This sort of thing though left me with a Facebook account, and more recently a Twitter account.  The Facebook one I threw a few pics up on and a statement to whomever tried to open it that I’m not that guy and to stop trying to sign up things with my e-mail.  I’m not overly fond of Facebook’s data collection practices, so I’ve got little interest in making use of it, other than making sure that I don’t get spammed from it.  The twitter though I’ve been thinking about actually using.

The first thing though, is what would I use it for?  While this time I didn’t feel like totally abandoning it, I was torn on how to use it.  One thing that seemed obvious is mirroring my posts here to it(and which you should see as this is the first post since activating the integration).  That led to the thought of using it like a short version of this blog.  In other words, use it when I want to just shout something out to the wilds of the internet, or have something I feel like sharing in general but not specifically with anyone.

Which brought to mind another quandry – what about mature topics and such?  My galleries all require membership in whatever site they’re on to see the adult content.  Unfortunately, Twitter is all-or-nothing on protecting your tweets.  Either every tweet is protected, or none of them.

While finding that out, I read a little something on the philosophy why: Facebook is for the friends you have already, while Twitter is for people who could be friends but may not already be yet.  Regardless of if you agree or not, that does seem to be the thought process behind not having a granular system for protecting tweets.

The solution I’d seen to this was most folks have an AD or After Dark account which is for the fun adult stuff, while their main account is strictly for SFW content.  After a bit of thought, I’ve gone ahead to do the same.  It unfortunately doesn’t let me use the same exact e-mail, but using the googlemail version goes to the same place and prevents someone else from signing up with my info again by accident

Now I ran into another issue – I can’t sign into both at once in the same browser, so I wouldn’t be able to just track it all in Chrome like I had been thinking. I hadn’t used workspace 3 in a while of my 4 workspaces(1 is main, 2 is what I use for work-related stuff, and 4 is e-mail), so at first I thought of using that with a Firefox browser on one monitor and Chrome on the other.  I started to set that up then realized this seemed kind of silly and there might already be some separate program for the PC to use.  Looking into that, I tracked down Tweetdeck and got it set up to see both at once in a single Chrome window.

Funnily enough, I recognized the interface from a co-worker who must have been running it – I’d seen it several times before but never knew what it was.

With that out of the way, the last thing was who to follow.  I’ve never been big on social networking, and I mostly keep my work and online lives separate, as most folks here wouldn’t get the whole furry/otherkin thing.  While I’m still toying with this, at the moment I’m looking at following twitters of (mostly toku) fansub groups to catch new releases without having to check their blog semi-frequently, maybe a few furry artists, and I’m not sure beyond that.  I’ll just have to wait and see what the future brings.

In other news, delayed art post is still delayed.  I’m waiting on the final piece back from an artist, and so far it looks like by the time that’ll happen I might actually have 3 things to post!  Wait… no, 2 things still, but mention of a third possibly.

Unsubbed from WoW again until the patch, since I’ve got my cloak on my kitty.  Once we get to patch day for 6.0.2, I’ll resub, but right now I got nothing to do there and I don’t need to spend money to not play it.  I’ve not been back in Diablo 3 either recently, or Shadowrun Returns.  The start of Dragonfall isn’t grabbing me as much as Dead Man’s Switch did – either that or it’s the change in characters.

Also spent a bit more money than I planned to this month thanks to the TFCC(Transformers Collector’s Club).  When I saw the TFSS(Transformers Subscription Service) set for this year, I’d thought they were neat, but I didn’t like the idea of using repaints for MTMTE Chromedome or Rewind, and Thrustinator was a cute idea but not one I wanted to spend on.  Well, once Chromedome started arriving and I saw some non-stock pics, it struck me just how well the Prime Wheeljack mold worked for him with that color layout.  There was plenty of personality there and it looked like a valid modern update for him – not to mention that if he was a candidate for TFCC it meant Hasbro had no near-future plans for him, so I ended up giving in and ordering him.

Having received it, I can say it lived up to the pictures.  I still don’t care for the TFSS Rewind though, so I got a G1 Rewind so CD-RW would be complete.  I couldn’t leave this version of Chromedome alone, especially since he just got Rewind back in the comics. Between him, Nightbeat, and the Legends figures, it seems I’ve got a small Lost Light detachment now sitting on my work desk.

Speaking of which, I’m still torn on what toy to use to represent MTMTE Rodimus.  The Cloud Rodimus is too big and expensive for my taste.  Animated Rodimus looks like it might be a nice match, but I’d have to get one off eBay.  Energon Rodimus doesn’t look a lot like his MTMTE counterpart, but I do already own him, and it would let me leave my Classics Rodimus with the ’86 Movie crew.

I also need a Ratchet for the Lost Light display, but looking through the possibilities I don’t see any that looks close to his counterpart, apart from the meh-ish Universe mold.  Same reason I’m tempted to get a second Cyclonus, but I don’t know if I want to spend the money just so I can have one in the ’86 movie crew and in the Lost Light crew.  I’ve also eyed RTS Perceptor, though I have yet to pick him up.  Most of the other big names, I already have, though I’m not sure what to do about Magnus.

I think I’ll leave it at that for now.  Until next time!

Patience

Patience is hard.  In a world where everything is “faster faster, nownownow” we aren’t exactly encouraged to look at anything long term anymore.  Corporations look at the next quarter instead of 5 years ahead, everyone shopped with credit to get their gadgets right away, not to mention you can buy almost anything with the click of the mouse.  That blockbuster movie?  Don’t wait for it to come out on DVD and download a camrip instead.  And god forbid you have to do any real work to beat the boss and get your shinies!

In this internet-powered world of instant gratification, waiting is ever more difficult as you get used to the breakneck pace and instant availability of everything.  When that starts to get annoying, then it’s time to take a deep breath and remember what it takes to get some of these things.

One big example was Blizzard’s April Fool’s Day patch notes for WoD.  I kept cracking up as I read most of these… classic Blizzard humor(Chakra, when the walls fell!) with those couple of ideas that might actually be cool someday.  And then when I go to check the comments on MMO-C to see who else got some of those, what do I find but people bitching that they wasted time on what probably wasn’t more than an hour’s worth of work that could easily have been done during breaks.  Not only that, but it was probably their web team, which has no effect on the speed that WoD is coming out.

Apparently people couldn’t put aside their- yeah I’m gonna sue the word, because if the shoe fits- entitlement to laugh and enjoy some jokes, they’re taking a game way too seriously.  Yeah, Fall is a long time.  I might unsub myself for a few months depending on if we keep raiding or not.  A couple WoWless months isn’t the end of the world!

For my part, I’ve also got a couple pieces of art that I’ve been waiting for also.  One isn’t going to be posted here because reasons, and the other is one I been waiting on a while, but I knew that artist had a huge backlog that she’s still working through.  I’m actually finding it harder to wait for the one I’ve been waiting a shorter time on, but there’s two factors there:  I actually had a specific image in mind from the start, and with that artist he doesn’t have a publicly available waiting list.

Even if you’re near the bottom of the list, it’s still somehow easier when you can see just how far down you are on the list.  It’s like a visual reminder that yes, it is coming.

I’m also waiting on another artist to re-open commissions, and again the same factor here helps with the waiting.  They have a public list of the commissions on their list and how far they are, so it helps with the waiting… but also makes it a bit more intense as it gets close to time.

Either way it’s time to- as they say- hurry up and wait!

Looking forward

So yesterday I found out I actually got a raise last year, just no one ever told me about it!  Guess that shows how much attention I pay to my paystubs, huh?  Anyways, I was waiting for my financial situation to solidify to seriously house-hunt, so I’d be able to budget properly, and now that I know I already got a bump and when my next one is coming, I can actually start to look and plan on where I want to move.  Which brings up another question:

Rent or Buy?

Renting has a few advantages.  For one, you don’t need to worry about maintenance of the place, as that is the landlord’s responsibility.  You also don’t need to go into debt for it(unless you’re in a really crappy financial position) and you’re not tied down.  There’s no property to sell, you just up and go when it’s time to move.

The lack of ties however is a double-edged sword.  As the landlord still owns the property, if they get into financial trouble you could lose your place due to no actions of your own.   If you run into financial troubles yourself, there’s a lot less barriers to losing the place and ending up on the street, and while there is no debt, you’re also essentially throwing the money away too, as rent paid is money you’ll never get back.   Basically, pretty much all the main downsides of renting are financial in nature.  The only one that I can think of that isn’t is that you are limited in what changes you can make to the place yourself.

Buying a place basically reverses all these issues.  You have to fully maintain it yourself(barring a townhome or condo), but you can make whatever changes you want without consulting anyone else.  You go into debt(unless you can save up several years worth of salary) but you eventually get your money back when you sell it, inflation-adjusted as the house prices follow inflation.  You have to sell it when you move, but there’s less of a chance to immediately end up on the street if your finances go south.  About the only unique aspect to buying is paying property taxes, as there is no equivalent when renting.

At this point in my life, a 2+ bedroom townhome is what I’m looking for as I can turn the extra bedroom into a study/library/mancave, and I don’t need to worry about yardwork.  I’ve only glanced over the for sale listings a few months ago and checked out one townhome complex that has them up for rent, so I don’t have a large sample at the moment.

My initial inclination was towards renting, for the lack of debt/ties and maintenance, but the cost to rent the townhome I looked at was about on par with the monthly payments of some mortgages.  It was a fairly nice place apart from that, which is the main reason I haven’t fully written it off yet.  What I really do now though is look through the listings of local townhomes that may be for sale and see what’s out there currently.

One factor that inclines me towards renting is that the person I’m interested in is several states away.  If anything ever comes of it, that’ll have to change eventually, but as the saying goes, eventually can be a very long time.  As such, I’m trying to exclude those thoughts when examining my options.

Basically, at this point the main factors inclining me against buying are going back into debt, and having to sell before/when I move.  I know someone at my workplace that has been having a lot of trouble trying to sell his house, so that’s not as easy as it sounds, while with the way the US is heading the less debt, the better.

At this point, I’m basically going to have to do some research, both in mortgages and in what’s available, to decide for sure whether I want to rent or buy a townhome.  Or if I want to stick it out at my current place a while longer to keep saving up.

In other news, my WoW guild is 4/14H now, as we got Galakras heroic down last night.  We even had a heroic warforged staff drop, but I’d already used my priority roll on a heroic tier token earlier this week, so I had to pass. Either way, we’re still progressing.  I’ve got until mid-May to decide if I want to drop my sub temporarily or not, so still some time to see what we do.

Finally, in art news, still got a couple pics in the works, but no word yet on where they are.  Also waiting on stream sketch commissions to happen again as well, as I want to get a pic for someone, and a stream sketch would be perfect for that.  We’ll see!

In this Serenity… and Pride

1395159812.adalfyre_dekafoxSo since I don’t know how long it’ll be until I have another picture to post, I figured I might as well post this one now… but I also had another reason to bring it up.

Adalfyre had some bills come up earlier than expected, and had to open emergency commissions, so I hopped on that to help and snag another picture in the process.  At the time, I didn’t have anything in specific in mind apart from the general pose, and she produced the above very nice pic.

Since then however, the more I’ve looked at it, the more I’ve got feelings of serenity and passing on from it.  The best way I can describe the imagery it’s evoking now is it’s like a spirit form of myself is  pausing in the fields of green to take one last look back at life/mortality, before moving onto whatever awaits me next.  There’s no one thing I can point to, but it’s some combination of all the individual elements that combine to give this impression of an aged (fox)dragon passing into the Light.

It’s all completely unintentional, but it works so perfectly that it may as well have been planned that way.

When my life does eventually end, this is how I hope it goes.  A peaceful passing, pausing one last time to look back at all I have done and seen; one last view of the mortal world as my spirit and soul takes its true shape and reunites in Heaven with my friends and loved ones that had gone before me.

Yes, I said Heaven.  What’s wrong with believing in the trinity and believing in my own draconity at the same time?  There’s nothing that contradicts the two, as far as I’m concerned.  If God wished to put the soul of a dragon in the body of a human, I’m sure He has his reasons, even if we are unable to comprehend them ourselves at this time.

Before anyone start throwing Bible quotes around, let me remind them that the current English versions of the Bible are a translation of a translation, with potentially even more changes on top of that.  Take an English text, translate it through German and Japanese and then back to English, and see how accurate it is.  In fact, there’s even one obvious example:  “Thou shalt not kill.”  The word that “kill” was translated from apparently, if properly translated according to our current understanding, is actually “murder.”

There’s also all the people who mouth Jesus’s commandment to “love one another as yourselves” and all the times he preached similar messages, then turn around and use his name to preach hate against others.

Should I add that a lot of the current imagery of Heaven actually comes from Dante’s Inferno and similar works, and never actually from any version of the Bible?

But that’s all a topic for another time.  The other thing I was wanting to cover is something completely different, and it’s not a man with three buttocks.

Last night, my raid group and I finally got our next Heroic boss down in SOO in WoW!  We’d finally gotten to work on it in earnest this week and last, and we ended up switching to a single-heals strategy which was what netted us the kill.  Tuesday, we were getting him to 10% before the wipe.  Last night, we got him to 1% and 3%, then finally got the kill.

I have to tell you, after working on that boss a while, there was definitely an adrenaline rush when we got him close, hoping and praying internally for the kill.  That’s part of what raiding is all about –  those edge kills in progression, busting your butt to clean up the strategy and play and push those last few centimeters for that first kill.

When we were getting close, I starting to feel a bit worn, so I decided to throw on a little music to help, and funnily enough, the two songs worked out almost perfectly in theme and fight length.  Just Live More, the op to Kamen Rider Gaim, and Eternal Saint from Saint Seiya Omega.

If I start the first song during the pull countdown, the main music kicks in a few seconds into the pull.  The time when stuff just starts getting busy coincides with the lyric “It’s survival, you got to move” which describes that fight to a T.  Then that wraps up and segues into Eternal Saint when things are starting to get heavy.  That one is all instrumental, so there’s no lyrics to potentially distract you, while it swells up all orchestral and inspirational, and it was fairly close to wrapping up at the moment of the kill.  It just felt like a perfect match.

As for the loot?  Nothing dropped for priests and my coin roll was gold.  But like another raid member said, “I ain’t even mad.”  If we did it once, we’ll do it again, and there’s plenty more bosses waiting to have their faces melted.