The Gamer To-Do List: Update #1

gamertodolist

Blaugust is finally here, and that means it’s time to start working on my personal Gamer To-Do list. I outlined the concept in my introductory post, but I will reiterate the guidelines I’m following:

Some Guidelines:

  • Don’t add new items to the list until a previous item is removed.
  • Try to write about something that gets checked off the list as soon as you complete it so details are fresh in your mind.
  • Make your to-do list a reasonable size. I found a list around ten items in length is a nice round number. It also keeps you focused on core games.
  • Keep your entries semi-specific. “Leveling to 80″ is a long term goal (unless you’re close). “Clearing this zone” is more reasonable, and completable within the month (though this concept can carry on beyond Blaugust).

Next, let’s see how the list has changed in the few days since I brought the idea up (emphasis on changes made):

  • Diablo III – check out new content when patch drops (on hold)
  • ESO – level my templar to 15 and try out pvp again (overall goal, determine main) (currently level 12. Enjoy Templar enough to take to cap, still need to play more PvP)
  • Hearthstone – maybe play again to open adventures and other cards to prepare for next expack UPDATE – Disenchated with the game. Removal from list
  • League of Legends – get Silver in ranked. MAYBE Finish Bilgewater activities (I find the mode unsatisfying)
  • EQ2 – work through expansion Chains of Eternity (immediate goal, long term is to see level cap + all current content) (nearly halfway through Eidolon Jungle)
  • GW2 – determine main, then level to 80. (sort of on the backburner again, as ESO and EQ2 have been enjoyable)
  • Skyforge – determine status (do I want to play it or not?) -UPDATE not interested enough to keep it around. Uninstalled.
  • Early Access – continue to watch and expriment with titles like H1Z1, Darkest Dungeon, Ark, Nuclear Throne, Basement, The Forest (work in progress)
  • Dirty Bomb/Counter Strike GO – continue to level accounts (with the caveat that I’m also playing CSGO on PS3 with Chris, trying to earn Platinum Trophy)
  • Zombies Monsters Robots – check out new content (checked out the new content, not overly impressed, lower population than when I used to play, removal from list)
  • Crusader Kings II – learn the game
  • Borderlands The Pre-Sequel – play this game already

When I wrote down my initial pre-Blaugust list it included some items that aren’t available to play just yet, or were games I just randomly decided to add. There is no reason a To-Do list needs to be set in stone though, as truth be told, if I put my entire backlog on my list, I’d never accomplish anything. The purpose here was to only pick a few short term goals so that you can make some headway into that MMO or beating those games or achieving your desired rank. With that said, I’m introducing the “Free Agents” section, which are some other short term goals that aren’t a part of your main list, but can be used in place of another item. Let me give you an example of how this would be used.

Here are some of my Free Agent listings:

Free Agents:
Project Gorgon – check it out
Give Card Hunter a go again

Play these games already!
Valkyria Chronicles
L.A. Noire
Alan Wake
Divinity Original Sin

So looking at how my list could change, I decided Diablo III doesn’t need to be there. I also cleared up my thoughts about whether or not I really wanted to invest time into games like Hearthstone and Skyforge. Given my options, and my current state of enjoyment, it is easier to remove games from the list especially if you know you aren’t going to enjoy yourself doing it! The rest of the changes to the list were more tweaks or updates to that current goal. Of course, some games may not come off of the list at all, and some items are going to be harder to check off of the list, which is why I want to stress the fact that this system is meant to be flexible. Don’t be too strict on yourself. Since I was able to do a process of elimination and removed some items from the list, I can now pick up a few of the free agents and make a new version. Sometimes you won’t get blog inspiration from some games, and that’s okay too. I know I’m not going to bother posting about any of the games I just mentioned removing from the list, but I have some material saved up to write about concerning some of the other titles.

I’m looking at adding a trial run of Project Gorgon (it’s installed as of last night) and Card Hunter (I played it when it was just a browser game, but it’s on Steam now). Aside from Borderlands The Pre-Sequel, the other four games above have been calling my name to finish them, so I’m probably going to bounce between them to see which one grabs me first. It’s been a little while since I completed a game, so I’d like to say I did over the course of August.

That’s it for my first update. Look forward to more in-depth posts of what I’ve been doing later in the week. Don’t forget, if you want to get signed up with this whole Blaugust thing, it’s not too late to get started. Click the image below for more information:

blaugust_2015_logo

#blaugust #blaugust2015 #gamertodolist

Couch Podtatoes Episode 56: Link Dead Radio

CP4

This week we went back to the community well in that we decided to dedicate a whole show to the concept of a link-love post. I drew inspiration from Eri’s series called “Link Dead Radio” and thought we could pull some community posts together to discuss. Turns out our community is ripe for the picking, so we go over quite a few different topics that lead into what I think was a great conversation. There’s some talk about Blaugust in there, various mechanics in games and we even talk a little about Daybreak Games. Some of the articles we talked about are down in the show notes if you’d like to read those as well. Pull up a couch, and enjoy!

 

Download this Episode Subscribe via RSS Download on iTunes Listen on Stitcher

Couch Podtatoes Epsiode 56: Link Dead Radio (runtime: 54:00)

What are we playing? (starts at 1:19)
Discussion: Community Posts (starts at 12:50)

Host Contact information:

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

Eri
Blog: Healing the Masses
Twitter: @ausj3w3l

Articles Referenced:

Announcement #Blaugust2015
http://aggronaut.com/2015/07/21/the-revenge-of-blaugust/

The Gamer To-Do List
https://gdub4.wordpress.com/2015/07/29/blaugust-the-gamer-to-do-list/

Looting types –
http://reportsfromthefield.com/2015/07/22/mmo-mechanics-loot/

Games that make you feel
https://mrluvvaluvva.wordpress.com/2015/07/25/games-which-draw-emotional-reactions/

Too much choice
http://thegrumpyelf.blogspot.com/2015/07/is-too-much-choice-bad-thing.html

Leveling
https://moonshinemansion.wordpress.com/2015/07/21/it-dont-mean-a-thing-if-it-aint-got-that-ding/

Music Credits:
“Level Up” by Cookie Monsta (from the Riot! EP)
“Holy War” by Thy Art is Murder (from the album Holy War)

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

Fantasy Thursdays: Final Recap

fantasylcsthursdays

The Summer Split of the North American LCS ended this past weekend. That means the fantasy league is done, for now. If I recall correctly, there might be opportunities to play again during the playoffs, or maybe during worlds. If not, I can wait til next season too. Disappointment was felt this past week, as I lost my match due to some unforseen circumstances, and as such ended in a three way tie for first, and lost due to the second tiebreaker. The tiebreaker was based on overall points, and I lost out to Judentus by 110 points. I would not have beaten him in that category had I won last week’s match either, but I would have had sole possession of first place so tiebreakers wouldn’t have mattered. Boo to that. And boo to the way I lost my match. This championship should belong to me!

finalresults

So remember when I said that I put Xiaoweixiao in at the last minute because he was projecting higher than Fenix? Well then he got busted for ELO boosting (which I’m not sure of the whole story, but apparently it’s considered unsportsmanlike) and wasn’t available for fantasy. I didn’t notice this til Saturday, as I usually have my teams locked in on Thursdays. So I was out two games worth of mid-laner points. Bullshit I say. If there was money riding on this I’d be really pissed.

week9results

To top it off, that epic Team Impulse versus Team Liquid game netted me ridiculous points, and if XWX would have been there, I would have definitely won. I only needed 19 points. Hell, I could have left Fenix there, and no problems. Worst possible timing for a pro player to get busted for something stupid. I now know to watch out for this if I play again in the future. Maybe Fantasy Football this year? However, I can’t put all of the blame on XWX. Gravity had a terrible showing all weekend, so the team and Hauntzer both could have made up the 20 points for me, and I would have won anyway. I actually was anticipating a win towards the end there, but fell just short. Story of my life.

Top players of the week and the whole summer, just because:

week9top summertopsplit

The entirety of TiP is on the top list for last week, minus XWX… like fuck what are the odds? Even looking at the top players of the whole split, I have 3 out of 5. I clearly knew what I was doing. In the top image, you’ll see where there was a feedback option. I wrote something along the lines of being able to swap a player like XWX who gets in trouble at the last minute, even if it’s for only sunday and not the whole weekend. I only needed 20 points to win my matchup, I’m pretty sure I could have gotten that in one day’s worth of play from a single player. It would have been a gamble but it would have felt more fair.

Either way, kudos to Judentus for doing winning the whole thing, and to Teamsoapymid for keeping up with us. Nertle, sorry bud but your team was a joke. That’s all I have for now. We’ll see when the next fantasy opportunity arises, and I’ll write about it then.

#NALCS #fantasythursdays #fantasyLCS #leagueoflegends

Blaugust: The Gamer To-Do List

blaugust_2015_logo

As a participant last year, I personally found out how challenging it can be to write each and every day during the Blaugust event. Belghast of Tales From the Aggronaut fame, started this event as a way to give people a taste of his madness, but to also just encourage our community of bloggers to keep doing what they love: writing. In his own words:

A few years ago I started down this path of madness that I have referred to as my Grand Experiment, where I started blogging every single day.  It has been a grueling experience at times, but also something I would not trade for the world.  I learned a lot of things about myself because when you are writing that many posts… something interesting happens.  At some point in the process you break down the walls you are holding up between you and your readers and start being completely and often brutally honest with them.  I sit down at the keyboard each morning and share a chunk of myself, and this bond I have developed with my readers is something pretty special.  Last year I wanted to channel just a little bit of this with the rest of the blogosphere and started the Blaugust challenge.  The idea is simple… during the month of August blog something every single day.  If you succeed in thirty one days of posts… you are a Blaugust winner.

I am a certified winner, you can check  my sidebar for the badge of honor (which will be updated after I win again ;) ) Here are the rules, in case you haven’t heard of the event, which returns in just a few days:

  • Write a new blog post of no less than ten sentences in length.  This is essentially two large paragraphs and is a good solid minimum size.  If you are doing a screenshot/photo blog just make sure your description explaining what the image is all about fits this constraint.
  • Include a link back to the 2015 Blaugust Initiative Page.  My hope is that this will allow other people to join in the challenge and play catch up.
  • Advertise the post on the Blaugust Nook.  When you join the nook I will be elevating everyone to “Blogger” access to do this.  This is extremely key this year, because this is going to be how I log all posts, and if you do not do this you are not going to get proper credit.
  • Either in the title of your post or the first heading inside of your actual post.. please denote which day this post is for.  Something like “Blaugust Day 21” just to make sure that I am giving everyone credit for the correct day, and this should help to stop the oddities of folks in vastly different time zones getting dumped into the wrong slot.
  • If you advertise the post on social media, please include the #Blaugust hashtag.  Again we are trying to help spread the word and get folks to join in process… and at very least get folks reading the posts.
  • Over the course of the month, write 31 posts.
  • ????
  • Profit!

For the full rules, head to the official announcement. Also, check out how Anook is participating this year.

Now, for my part in this madness. Last year during the event, I found that most people started out writing about whatever they were doing in games. Those who have more established writing habits and/or regular columns would utilize those posts to eliminate some of the work load of writing a post a day. Others would write a bunch of posts ahead of time. One theme emerged though: People were reading each other’s blogs and taking inspiration from others’ original ideas. Chain letters of sorts started up. It was a neat phenomena to watch.

So this year, I wanted to put out a writing prompt before the event even gets started. This is something that I came up with just to add a bit of organization to my thoughts; a way that playing can feed writing and writing can feed playing. I don’t remember who first said something along those lines, but I whole-heartedly agree. Games blogging can only exist if you play the games you write about, and vice versa. Not only can this help you to meet gaming goals, but it will also fuel your blog posts during the Blaugust event, and everyone can always use a little help when it comes to writing. When you boil it down, I came up with this plan to help myself write every day next month, but I thought I’d share the concept with you all as well:

gamertodolist

Introducing “The Gamer To-Do List.” Yeah, it’s not a fancy name, but it delivers the necessary meaning. We’ve all written a to-do list. Be it for chores, errands, or in-game goals. If you’re like me, the amount of information stored in your brain sometimes gets jumbled or lost altogether. It’s amazing the sheer volume of ideas and thoughts that are stored within our minds, but sometimes all of that information bouncing around leads to a lack of focus. Making your own personal gaming goal to-do list can help you to stay on track, clear your backlog, finally level that damn alt, or whatever else the case may be. The benefits are two-fold:

1. Get things done.

2. Have things to write about.

Blaugust seems like the perfect time to debut this concept, as each item on the list can become its own blog post, and you’ll feel better knowing you got something done, rather than aimlessly piddling around in the huge library of games you own. Or is that just me? Well, I did say I came up with the concept for myself. Your mileage may vary.

Some Guidelines:

  • Don’t add new items to the list until a previous item is removed.
  • Try to write about something that gets checked off the list as soon as you complete it so details are fresh in your mind.
  • Make your to-do list a reasonable size. I found a list around ten items in length is a nice round number. It also keeps you focused on core games.
  • Keep your entries semi-specific. “Leveling to 80″ is a long term goal (unless you’re close). “Clearing this zone” is more reasonable, and completable within the month (though this concept can carry on beyond Blaugust).

To give you guys an example of what my To-Do list looks like:

  • Diablo III – check out new content when patch drops – Preview
  • ESO – level my templar to 15 and try out pvp again (overall goal, determine main)
  • Hearthstone – maybe play again to open adventures and other cards to prepare for next expack
  • League of Legends – get Silver in ranked. Finish Bilgewater activities.
  • EQ2 – work through expansion Chains of Eternity (immediate goal, long term is to see level cap + all current content)
  • GW2 – determine main, then level to 80.
  • Skyforge – determine status (do I want to play it or not?)
  • Early Access – continue to watch and expriment with titles like H1Z1, Darkest Dungeon, Ark, Nuclear Throne, Basement, The Forest
  • Dirty Bomb/Counter Strike Source – continue to level account
  • Zombies Monsters Robots – check out new content – latest update
  • Crusader Kings II – learn the game
  • Borderlands The Pre-Sequel – play this game already

Some of this might get done during Blaugust. Some of it might not. Either way, from here on out my “Gamer To-Do List” series will have the above image header and will be tracked on the “ongoing series” page. Feel free to utilize the concept for your Blaugust Challenge entries.

#blaugust #blaugust2015 #writingprompt #writingtips

Introducing: The Digital Backwoods

eso1

Hey everyone, just a quick post today.

A random idea came to me recently, to put together a photoblog of awesome digital landscapes from games we all know and (maybe) love. As a bonus, I’ve dolled up the images and I think they will serve as great desktop wallpapers as well. I have thrown that together today, and though I may eventually make social media spots for it, or otherwise promote it, I wanted to let you all know about it now. I’m not sure how this will evolve, but it’s a project I feel passionate about. To quote my introduction from the site:

Having run a gaming blog for over ten years, I have accumulated a wealth of screen shots and I don’t feel that they always get the recognition they deserve. The art work in many of the games we play is completely ignored; players tend to focus on mechanics and lore, despite their beautiful surroundings. This is my attempt at being an explorer of worlds, one who stops to view the roses and breathe in the sights.

As a writer of an established wordy blog, this site is going to be dedicated to pictures, not words. The plan is to post a new screen shot each day. You will be able to click on the images for full-size viewing, and feel free to save these and use them as desktop wallpapers as well (provided 1920×1080 is big enough for you, sorry 4k people!). While I had thought about limiting myself to just ESO landscapes (they’re so pretty!) I decided to leave it open to landscapes from any game. I’m personally taking these screenshots, but feel free to submit new ones to me (just make sure they’re at least the above resolution).

To give credit where credit is due, this idea was partially inspired by both Murf Versus and The Ancient Gaming Noob. The former for his recent Screenshot Safari event, and the latter from his side-blog, Eve Online Pictures.

Henceforth, I’ll be remaining silent. No explanations needed.

You can find the site by clicking on the link at the top of this blog, or clicking here.

That’s all for now. I have a Blaugust related post coming soon.

#thedigitalbackwoods