What now?

Blaugust ended yesterday, and it seems that the majority of blogs that I read have taken a deep breath, and are taking a break. I was among those that felt I wouldn’t write anything today. But here I am anyway.

It’s funny, I never thought that I’d see the day that I wrote a post every day for such a long time, but as this measurement was quantifiable (we knew there was a start date, and and end date) it wasn’t too hard to visualize posting for a month straight. Now that it’s over, I find myself still thinking about “what to write today?”

There were days during Blaugust that I didn’t feel like I had anything to write about, but then I’d crank something out anyway. Normally when I don’t feel the desire to post, I don’t. That has had the positive effect of keeping me away from filler or fluff posts. The negative effect can been seen in my archive, where sometimes I’d let that way of thinking get the best of me for long periods of time.

There have been over 700 posts for Blaugust, and I’d say that’s a success by any measurement. If you missed out or were not a participant, there’s a lot to read, and you can find it all on the Blaugust Nook.

Today, Belghast, the creator of the event has done a wrap up post, where you can see who signed up, completed the challenge, and those who won the prizes for the event. He also created some badges for us, and you can see mine displayed on the sidebar (scroll down a little), beside my award from the NBI.

Many others did a Blaugust wrap up within the last day, my personal favorite being The Mystical Mesmer’s, where he gave out some of his own awards. I was mentioned among his list:

  • The award for Most Prolific Content Generator goes to Izlain of Me Vs. Myself and I. He does so with the modesty and practiced good humor of a traveling air conditioner salesman in central Alaska.

You there, with the white gloves? Can I interest you in a Ketchup Popsicle?

At this point I’m tempted to keep with the blogging every day, but at the same time I know that there will be days I won’t feel like it. I am however, interested in creating another community event in the coming months. I would like to see something that draws the community together every other month or so, that way we aren’t just doing our own things in our own corners of the world, waiting for the next NBI event (or going stagnant). We know that the NBI is scheduled for May, and now we have Blaugust. I’m thinking either October or November is another good month for something new, and Murf has already mentioned Listmas again for December (I didn’t know about it last year, so looking forward to that). Then we just need something for the spring, and we’ll have come full circle back to the next NBI. I’ll keep working on ideas, and maybe we’ll have something new to do in the next couple of months.

#nbi #blaugust #listmas #somethingnew

State of the Game: Blaugust Finale

August ends today. That means Blaugust ends today as well. It’s been a trip. I know that some days were harder than others to find something to post, but overall, it ended up getting done, and that’s that. I think it was just what the blogging community needed, to get those who had become stagnant back into writing, and to keep the rest of us motivated to keep going. Someone will have to come up with something new in a couple of months to keep this community feeling alive. Novembering? You ‘member. Hell, I don’t know.

So what have I been playing? A mix of this and that, as usual. There were some new content drops on some of my favorites, along with a free weekend deal on Steam, and I got sucked back into another MMO that I hadn’t touched in a very long time. Where to start? How about Diablo?

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Patch 2.1 came out on Friday. With it, came different types of Rifts for adventure mode, the introduction of Seasons, and a bunch of other stuff. You should read the patch notes if you haven’t already. I haven’t yet checked out the new rifts or cesspools (an extension of the rifts) because instead I started up a new character for Season 1 with Eri. Of course that means we rolled Hardcore characters, and despite starting the game on hard, we still managed to blow through all of Act I in a single sitting. By the end of that, my freshly created Crusader was looking pretty schweet:

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It seems like the legendary drop rate was increased, because in one session I got four of em. That axe, crown, and a couple of pieces of jewelry. Granted, low level legendaries aren’t all that great, but still they made for a nice boost in damage and survivability. This is the furthest along I had gotten with a Crusader thus far, and I have to say that their kit is like 50/50 good/bad to me. Parts I really like, and other parts just seem so stupid. I can see why they made the choices to add to the different build types, but who wants a plate wearing tank that stands back and just throws stuff? I have a mage for that, thank you.

Awesomenauts also got a patch this week, with 2.6 seeing release. There’s a bunch that was included here as well, but there’s only one major point I want to touch on, so you can view the full notes over here. The biggest change that I saw was the removal of the loadout. Each ‘Naut had 4 rows of abilities, 3 could be chosen in each row prior to a match. Once in the game, you couldn’t change these options. Two of the rows would correspond to the Naut’s abilities, another to their basic attack, and the last was utilites that all Nauts shared (for the most part). There were many choices that could be made, but you would get stuck with whatever you had opened due to rank, and then limited to 3 choices. Upon removal of the loadout, you still are limited to 3 choices per row, but now the entire row is available in a match, so you can pick and choose on the fly, allowing for situational picks dependent on what’s going on in the game.

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The locked ones are abilities I haven’t yet opened (I recently prestiged again), but you have all of the options available. Once you pick three, the rest are locked up for the remainder of that game. Still, it’s nice because you never know who you’re going to face, and sometimes the other options would be more viable. I usually have a best case scenario build that covers most options, but this way I can change things on the fly, and that’s a good idea. There were loads of other minor changes, but this was a big deal.

This weekend on Steam, like most weekends, there were games to be played for free. Often times I’m not interested in what is offered, but this time around a game I had thought about buying on several occasions popped up: Contagion. It a remake of the Zombie Panic mod for Half-Life. It’s a co-op and pvp zombie themed FPS game. When you start a new round, depending on the game mode, you’re either co-op with other humans trying to complete objectives and kill zombies, or it’s full pvp but also with zombies. In either case, when you die, you become a zombie. Playing as a zombie isn’t necessarily new, but it’s the first time I had done it, and it was rather fun.

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With “Zombie Vision” you can see footsteps of humans that will lead you in the general direction, you can roar to attract others zombies and have them follow you, and also give them commands. It was fun to run about and kill other players, especially when done just right to where they think you’re an AI until it’s too late. Playing as a human is the same old thing, though you at least have weapons. Ammo and supplies are sparce though, and the zombies seem endless. On the objective based maps you also have a cell phone that tells you what to do, but I didn’t really “get it.” I had more fun in the PvP modes.

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Overall it’s a pretty cool game and would probably be worth the sale price right now, but I don’t know anyone with it, and games like these are always more fun with friends rather than real people. I think I’m going to skip it for the time being.

Lastly, I was asked to join in a Saturday night group in WoW. Yeah, it’s been since the WotLK days since I played, so there’s two expansions worth of content there I haven’t touched, along with the new one coming in November. Yeah, it’s a themepark and I’ve already stated my opinion on all of that. I would rather have an awesome new sandbox-y game to play, but that’s not out yet. Yeah, I’ve been interested in ArcheAge for some time and I realize it’s coming out soon. Being free to play, I don’t really have to worry about that one. I’ve been in Blizzard mode for a while now with D3 and Hearthstone (still need to get around to playing through Starcraft II), so jumping into WoW was pretty easy (not that it was ever difficult). The accessibility and polish of the game are still top notch, and it goes back to feeling like the good ol days in no time.

The weekend group consists of my Dad and some of his multi-game guildies. Apparently one of them had an established guild on the Alliance side, Eonar server. They decided to roll a bunch of Draenei (not my first pick — but whatever) so I decided to join them. I picked up the base game and Mists of Pandaria, and away we went. We only made it to level 8 before people started logging out, mainly because some of them are east coast, but it was still pretty fun. My Draenei ended up being a Priest because we didn’t have a healer yet, and I’ve don’t usually play the role, so it was something new.

Later, I took to Twitter to look for a Horde side guild that I could participate with fellow bloggers in. @Scarybooster was the first to respond, telling me that he and @Oakstout play in a guild with @girl_vs_mmo on the Earthen Ring server, doing something similar, but with Undead. My old Warlock was Undead, so I was looking forward to checking that starter zone out again. Turns out this Undead group also needed a healer, and the only option for Undead is Priest. So I rolled two Priests in the same day. So far I do enjoy the class though, so no big deal. I have to level this Priest up to 21-ish to get caught up with their group, but I hit level 9 in one sitting, so it shouldn’t take long.

I’m not sure what I’m going to play otherwise. I wouldn’t mind making another Warlock, but I’m also interested in Hunter, Druid, Shaman, Rogue and Paladin. Since the Draenei will only be played Saturdays that’s done for this week. Once I get to the early 20’s with the other Priest he’ll be parked and used for that other group, so at that point I can do whatever. Also, if you play WoW and want some company, leave your battle.net name and your server in the comments, and maybe I’ll come to your home as well.

That’s all for this week’s edition.

#stateofthegame #blaugust

What’s In A Name?

The other day Rowan made a post about why he chose his blog’s name, and challenged us Blaugust-ers to do the same. We’re coming to the end of the month, meaning the end of this event, and some of the posts have made their way through the ranks. This is one of them, with at least one other blogger taking part (apologies if I missed your post). I do have a brief history of this site that you can find at the top of the page, but it doesn’t go into the reasons behind my naming conventions, so I’ll take care of that here.

Me vs. Myself and I isn’t my first blog name, or first blog for that matter. I had various names throughout the years, but it started off as more of a personal journal, that I doubt many people read. I remember using the name Strife and having a blog called Strife’s Homeworld, that was all about Starcraft. There was a personal blog called Jorge’s Pad, when I thought having a pseudonym was stupid (my name is George, if you didn’t know, so using the Spanish variant was easy). I had a collaborative blog with my best friend when we were just out of high school called White Boyz. Then there was another collaboration with multiple authors called Oblivion. After some stagnation and time away from the Internet, I came back with my own blog again, this time called The Lost Souls. It was supposed to be a collaboration as well, with a former Oblivion co-author, but that bit fell through. I didn’t ever drop the pluralization for whatever reason (probably laziness). That was the beginning of this iteration of this blog you’re reading now.

The Lost Souls is a song by the then-punk or post-punk band (depending on your definition) AFI. This was one of my favorite songs of theirs, a sort of love song to an old girlfriend. I also have part of the lyrics tattooed on me, so it was meaningful at the time. I also related to the title, being a younger 20-something and feeling lost in the grand scope of things. Being a personal journal style blog, it all seemed to fit and make sense in the scope of my life at the time. It wasn’t until 2010, after 5 years with that title that I decided it was time for a change. By then I had already gone through a change (mostly) to blogging about MMOs and other games I was playing, but there was still bits of my personal life sprinkled in (moreso than these days).

Me vs. Myself and I was born. I don’t have any exact reasoning behind it, but here’s a quote from the time period: “It is, after all, a blog about me, my sad little nerdy life and my consistent conflict with life and myself.” I must have been feeling angsty. The best way I can describe it these days is to equate it to the constant change that is a part of all of our lives. We are always changing in opinions and attitudes, and I can honestly go back and read things I’ve written and disagree with them now. So I’m always fighting with myself. These days, it’s more about what game to play, whether or not I really want what I say I want, and then doubling back on myself. It’s a moniker that reflects the solo nature of the blog, where it’s not me vs. you, or me vs. them, but rather me vs. myself and I. It’s also got that play on words feel in respect to the phrase Me, Myself and I.

At this point I’ve spread the brand recognition to social media and the podcast so it’s sticking and I don’t forsee another name change ever. That is unless I was to close this blog altogether and start something new, or retire from blogging. I don’t see the latter happening though, as I’ve been doing this for more than half of my life. It’s had its rough patches, but I’ve never let it die completely.

So there you have it. Have you answered the challenge yet?

#blaugust #ihavetouchedthesky #mevsmyselfandi

Couch Podtatoes Episode 11: Game Updates

Here we are again at episode number 11! Welcome back. I have to give a warning first and foremost, J3w3l’s computer is a POS so for whatever reason her mic was super static-y and some of that comes through more than usual. She has reported ordering new computer parts in this episode, so hopefully by next week the kinks will be worked out. So bear with us. Listening to it, it’s not too horrible but is rather annoying on headphones. Sorry. Hopefully we won’t have any more of these types of issues in the future!

Anyway, we discussed Game Updates this time around, and the way they have changed over the years with expansions, DLC and even free updates. Our idiots this week were rather well publicized, with DDoS attacks crippling many popular networks. Lastly we looked at a community post talking about the Survival Horror genre, and whether or not it can find mainstream success again. So take a listen, and make sure to subscribe via your preferred method!

I should also mention the newly minted Anook and Twitter feeds for Couch Podtatoes. Follow us there as well!

Download

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Listen to Stitcher

Couch Podtatoes Epsiode 11: Game Updates (runtime: 1:10:32)

Breaking the Ice: what are we playing? (starts at 1:17)
Discussion: Game Updates: (starts at 19:56)
Idiots on the Internet: DDoS Attacks (starts at 55:45)
Community Talk: Mr. Luvva Luvva (starts at 1:02:17)

Host Contact information:

Izlain
Blog: Me vs. Myself and I
Twitter:@mevsmyselfandi

J3w3l
Blog: Healing The Masses
Twitter: @ausj3w3l

Idiots on the Internet article:

http://www.gameinformer.com/b/news/archive/2014/08/25/report-psn-down-due-to-ddos-attack.aspx

What is a DDoS attack?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denial-of-service_attack

Reasons behind attack

http://www.gamepur.com/news/15954-psn-hackers-unveils-reason-behind-recent-ddos-attack-sony-should-have-ddos.html

here’s an article that ties a lot of it together:

http://badassdigest.com/2014/08/26/video-games-misogyny-and-terrorism-a-guide-to-assholes/

Community Spotlight:
Mr. Luvva Luvva
the article

Music Credits:
“Level Up” by Cookie Monsta (from the Riot! EP)
“Ginger Pubes” by Cookie Monsta (from the album “Blurgh!”)
“Traitors” by Misery Index (from the album “Traitors”)
“Reptilia” by The Strokes (from the album “Room on Fire”)
“Enchanted Rose” by Bury Your Dead (from the album Beauty and the Breakdown)

Couch Podtatoes is a podcast about gaming, though we might stray into other forms of media. Sometimes we use strong language, but we try to keep that to a minimum. All opinions expressed by us or our guests are our own and are in no way to be interpreted as official commentary from any companies we discuss. You can visit our official podcast page at http://couchpodtatoes.libsyn.com/. Be sure to follow us on iTunes, and/or Stitcher Radio.

Questions, comments and feedback are welcomed and encouraged!

#couchpodtatoes #podcast #gamesdiscussion #gaming

September ’14 IGC

Another month has rolled by already, and we’re ready for another Playstation Plus preview for September. This month will mark my 2 year anniversary with the service, though I had bought 3 month subscriptions a time or two before that. For the money spent, I’ve not seen a better value for the budget gamer. The only draw back being that if you let your subscription lapse you lose access to the games acquired via the service. But at $50 a year, it’s not too hard to come up with to ensure you don’t miss out on new free games, or the games previously added to the list. Anyway, let’s get on with the show.

PS4 users will be treated to a new day 1 game in Velocity 2x, which is the sequel to Velocity Ultra. I got the latter game in a Humble Bundle, and it was a pretty fun shmup; the sequel looks to improve on the graphics and the formula. The interesting bit here is the ability to warp and speed up the scrolling of the landscape which can add to the challenge besides just shooting stuff and avoiding enemy fire. Another new feature is the ability to leave your ship and run around through some platforming levels that look pretty cool.

Also on PS4 but cross-play for PS3 is a bundle of sport-like games called Sportsfriends. I wouldn’t really call the games sports per se, but it is designed for couch co-op/competition.

On PS3, the big title this month is Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale, which is basically a Super Smash Bros variant, starring Playstation exclusive characters over the years. I’ve already played this game and had considered the purchase on multiple occasions, but just never got around to it. I liked the game, it was fun for a time, but I didn’t play anything except for the multiplayer, and didn’t really know what I was doing. I think given the time to really practice and get good at it, it would be even more enjoyable. I already know a couple people with the title, so multiplayer matches won’t be hard to find.

The other PS3 title is Hoard, which is an indie title that released a while ago. I’ve looked at it multiple times and thought about picking it up, but never did. It’s described as an arcade action-strategy game, and you play as a dragon, amassing gold for your hoard. It looks interesting enough and I’m looking forward to trying it.

Lastly on PSVita, a new Joe Danger port and TxK, which is a remake of the old Atari classic Tempest. Joe Danger was free for PS3 via Plus some time ago, and it has its moments but wouldn’t be for everyone. TxK should be pretty fun, as Tempest was a great game in its day.

Overall it’s a pretty decent month. I’ll get back with more on this when I get around to playing these titles.

#playstationplus #instantgamecollection #blaugust