Keeping my blogroll up-to-date – Blaugust Day 23

I know I often neglect my blogroll, but it became quite clear when Blaugust started and I saw the amount of familiar names… only to realize that while I do know them and more or less regularly read their blogs (whenever my time allows, at least), I never added them to our blogroll. This is quite embarrassing, to be honest, and I hope nobody felt ignored because of that. It’s just that I always forget that blogroll even exists.

I also wish that WordPress had a more functional “blogroll” as it’s currently basically a list of links I added to the sidebar which I try to keep updated. Every now and then, I go through the links to see if the blogs are still updated. And every now and then I find a new blog that I know I haven’t added yet. But more often than not, it happens that I realize I never added somebody. The next step will of course be to go through my list of blogs I read and check whether I have also added them to the blogroll.

Also, if you have a blog, post about games (it should have something in common with our blog, right? ^^), write mostly in English (or German) and feel you should be on our blogroll, contact me and I will add you! This goes especially to my fellow Blaugustians… Blaugusters? But of course, it’s not only limited to you. As I said, I just often forget the blogroll exists, but it was never my intention to keep anybody off the list. I also quite like expanding the list and giving our readers suggestions on who else to check out! Which brings me to the one “caveat”: Of course, we will reserve the right not to add somebody to the blogroll. But this is usually limited to blogs or websites advertising for “gold sellers”. This is a big and definite “no!” for us.

This post is part of Blaugust 2015.

Guild Wars 2 Community Event – Blaugust Day 9

GW2 Community Event 2015As you may already know, on Thursday, we went to gamescom and then went to the Wildstar Community Event in the evening. I already told you about the Wildstar event. My write-up of our visit to gamescom is taking a bit more time to get finished, though. So I figured I could show you the pictures I took at the Guild Wars 2 community event. Keep in mind that I am not a professional photographer and I only had my mobile phone to take pictures. I actually like the quality of the pictures the phone produces. Hey, I’m a kid of the 80s/90s, I have seen SO much worse quality in pictures. You young ones out there have no idea what a luxury it is to produce this amount of pictures with such a good quality at no cost! Ahem, I digress, don’t I? And I made myself feel old. Well done… What I want to say is that the restaurant we were at was apparently too dark for my camera. But the light wasn’t an issue for me throughout the event. What was really bad was that the whole room was packed (although, apparently, we were not as many people as we were at the Wildstar event) and it felt crowded and there was only one fan at the ceiling and no air conditioning. But outside, it had been really hot, too, so there was no cool wind coming in.

We had not been back at gamescom on Friday. Thursday was enough for us. Cologne is about a 1,5 hours drive from where we live, so we drove there again on Friday afternoon for the Guild Wars 2 community event. For the last three years, it has now taken place at the same location. Thankfully, this year we had a bit more variety with food. I certainly don’t want to complain about free food! However, the food they serve there is that typical German kind of food. Lots of meat, actually, meat everywhere even in your baked potatoes and your sauerkraut (yes, there has to be sauerkraut – typical German food, remember?) and greasy fatty meat. But this year, we also had some salad consisting of lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes as well as some vegetarian dish. I am not sure what exactly it was. It looked a bit like pieces of a wrap with a vegetable filling. It was super tasty! After we had all finished our dinner, ArenaNet handed the teams that competed in the World Tournament Series their jerseys and used this opportunity to introduce the players to us. Afterwards, the famous “raffle” began. Everybody present had gotten a raffle ticket and they gave several prizes away. We did not win anything, but that’s not too bad considering everybody who came to the event got a little goodie bag. Let me show you one thing from this bag.

GW2_Rytlock shirt

It’s pretty, isn’t it? It shows a huge Rytlock and the Heart of Thorns logo. The back of the t-shirt is plain black. And yes, I just like bragging that I have something that you cannot have! Or… actually no. You probably know me better by now, right? :) I am only showing you this little gem because we will soon(ish) have another giveaway and this t-shirt (size “L” – the one shown in the picture is size “S”, but that one is actually mine :p) will be one of the prizes you can win! I wish we had many many more of those for you guys. The colours are so fantastic! If you look closely, or not so closely even, you may see the green colours on the left and the right of the picture. That’s our living-room sofa. I am a great fan of light green. :)

The giveaway is still some time away, though. I just thought I would put a little teaser in here.

But even though we got free food, free drinks and a loot bag, we would have also gone there if it had only been to meet everybody. Not even necessarily the guys from ArenaNet and NCsoft. Don’t get me wrong, they’re great! But it’s always a great opportunity to meet others from the community and talk about games – or even about what you’re up to in your offline life. So there is actually not that much I can tell you about. Just as with Wildstar, we were also not told anything exclusive here either. No, still no release date for Heart of Thorns. :p But we could meet the famous Gaile Gray – and she is as awesome and friendly as I thought she was! And with this, I will leave you to have a look at the picture gallery below. Now there is only one more gamescom-related post coming and that one, yes, will actually be about gamescom! ;)

This post is part of Blaugust 2015.

Trove Pirate Class Giveaway by Kiwi and EnemyEX

Trove_Pirate CaptainThis is what I love about online games: The community around them. In this case, Kiwi and EnemyEX are having a “launch party” for tomorrow’s “Fish’n’Ships” update in Trove.

Read the post by Kiwi in the Rift forums where she posted an explanation on what is given away and how it’ll work.

The short of it:

  • From now until the servers go live with the update, you can follow @kiwidream101 and retweet her tweet for a chance to win the new Pirate class
  • She is going to level the new Pirate Class to level 20 and you can join her doing so.
  • On the way to level 20, there will be more giveaway
  • You can watch EnemyEX’s stream as they will play Trove together tomorrow (and where you can win robo raptors)

There is more to win. If you want to know what and how, go read Kiwi’s post! :) Also, if you want to level a character as well, don’t forget that you can join them! Having a level 20 character in Trove also means that you will get a pretty black budgie in Rift. So here is your chance to tag along and have fun!

Foostival 2015 in Germany

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FoostivalSome of you may remember that I was not able to attend last year’s Foostival. I still helped out a bit with the organization, but not nearly as much as I would have liked to do. This year, bookahnerk and I did not only go there, I also helped organize a lot more.

But before I give you my written impressions of this year’s Foostival, let me reiterate what Foostival exactly is first. Foostival, as I wrote in the above linked entry last year, is a Guild Wars 2 focused event made by fans for the fans! Most of us are part of at least one fan site (in my case even two).

This year, the Foostival happened in four countries simultaneously (France, Belgium, Germany and the UK). In every country, it is organized solely by fans of the game. We were lucky that the European community managers joined us, but they did so not in an organizational position, but instead as our guests.

The purpose of the Foostival is to get to know each other. One the one hand, for us fansite writers to get to know the people who hang out on our fansites or community sites, and for our readers to get to know us, but most importantly: For players to get to know and meet other players. 

Since I was one of the organizers, I could not spend that much time talking to all those who attended the Foostival. But I still had a lot of fun. I got to meet the great guys from GuildNews again, I could watch the gw2community team organize a Tequatl run and I could see a lot of people enjoy themselves and smile – especially when it was time for our giveaways. :p

Unfortunately, this year the planned jumping puzzle that should have taken place in France and Germany simultaneously could not happen, because the French guys had problems with their PCs. By the time we decided that us Germans should do the jumping puzzle on our own, the time slot for the Tequatl run was almost there, so we switched to that one instead. I would say that this “dry spell” in between was rather unfortunate and especially disappointing for those who would have loved to do the jumping puzzle.

Altogether, I would say that this Foostival was a lot of fun and I’ve seen a lot of smiling people. In fact, even though I’d probably spent a lot of time checking my Skype messages that day, I did get to talk to a few participants and I hope to be able to do so much more at the next Foostival. I’ll just have to multitask a bit more. ;)

But you may wonder: What led to this day? What did we have to do before we even got here? Relatively easy answer: A lot of voice chat and Skype text message sessions, several emails, a lot of brainstorming and about a zillion Google Drive documents. :p

I really enjoy working together with others on a common goal, though. And while I generally prefer having this blog for myself where I can do whatever I want whenever I want without having to deal with deadlines or coordinating with others, doing exactly that for something like the Foostival is a lot of fun and a great opportunity to get to know others. I guess I can say I’ve also been lucky because the guys from GuildNews are not only down-to-earth but also easy to work with. We did not really have to tell each other to get any work done or force tasks on somebody because nobody did them otherwise. It just so happened that the work that had to be done got done by one person or another. At some point, I did what I do best and took over some of the organizational stuff in the background. The official website, the Facebook site and the Twitter account had to be fed with information for the German Foostival (in German, of course) and we had to make sure that everybody who applied for a spot at the Foostival got added to a list and, of course, some participants also had questions and I was happy to assist them and answer as well as I could. You can hardly find me in the front row holding a speech unless I absolutely have to. But I really enjoy keeping lists and sending emails to people. ;)

What’s difficult with something like the Foostival organization is that there is not one single person who is in charge and has “the last say”. I tried to do as much as possible without seeming like I wanted to be “the boss”, you know? But organizing this together also means that there shouldn’t be a boss who decides everything while everybody else follows. The point of the Foostival, and the reason why I really love this initiative is that all fansites work together to put something fun for everybody. It’s not about getting the most hits or views or followers for our own fansite. It’s all about the community. And I think I can say that we have been successful with our second Foostival and I can’t wait for the third to arrive. :D

Edited to add: If you want to organize Foostival in your own country, get in touch with us!

The following pictures were taken by Lord Walek, but he gave me permission to use them in our blog. :) If you want to see all pictures that were taken at the Foostival, go to the official gallery (which I will work on after publishing this very blog post here… so the link does not show pictures as of yet).

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Ein Hinweis: Im englischen Text findet ihr zwei Bildergallerien. Die wiederhole ich hier nicht noch einmal, sonst muss man zu viel scrollen. :)

Einige von euch erinnern sich vielleicht daran, dass wir letztes Jahr nicht beim Foostival dabei sein konnten. Immerhin konnte ich dennoch ein wenig bei der Organisation helfen, aber nicht annähernd so viel, wie ich gerne getan hätte. Dieses Jahr dagegen hatte ich mehr Zeit, konnt somit mehr mithelfen und bookahnerk und ich waren auch endlich vor Ort dabei!

Bevor ich jetzt aber über meine Eindrücke vom diesjährigen Foostival schreibe, möchte ich kurz noch für diejenigen, die das Foostival vielleicht nicht kennen, erklären, was das überhaupt ist. Im oben verlinkten Artikel vom letzten Jahr habe ich das ganze schon ausführlicher (allerdings nur auf Englisch) beschrieben. Daher jetzt kurz die längere Version auf Deutsch. Das Foostival wurde 2013 zum ersten Mal veranstaltet und zwar in Frankreich. Dort hatten sich Leute von den französischen Fanseiten zusammengetan, weil sie gemeinsam etwas organisieren wollten. “Von den Fans für die Fans” lautet das Motto des Foostivals. Im Jahr danach fragten die Franzosen in der Community herum, ob andere Länder sich nicht auch beteiligen möchten. Das Ganze war erstmal auf Europa beschränkt (keine Ahnung, ob Absicht oder Zufall). Ab 2014 waren wir in Deutschland dann also dabei! Dieses Jahr wurde es dann schon auf Belgien und Großbritannien erweitert (und somit fand das Foostival schon in 4 Ländern statt). Die größten Probleme gibt es tatsächlich meist, weil es sehr schwierig ist, eine Location zu finden, die bezahlbar ist und gleichzeitig PCs mit Internetverbindung zur Verfügung stellt, damit man auch spielen kann. In Großbritannien wurde das Foostival deshalb nur “offline” abgehalten ohne PCs. Fast alle Organisatoren gehören mindestens einer Fanseite an. In meinem Fall sind es ja sogar zwei.

Wie oben bereits geschrieben, wird das Foostival in jedem Land von den Fans selbst organisiert. Allerdings hatten wir glücklicherweise die europäischen Community Manager vor Ort. Ausnahmsweise aber mal als Gäste und nicht als Organisatoren.

Beim Foostival geht es vor allem darum, sich kennenzulernen. Auf der einen Seite ist das für diejenigen hinter den Fanseiten mal schön, die Leute zu treffen, die uns lesen, bei uns kommentieren bzw. sich in den jeweiligen Foren miteinander unterhalten.  Auf der anderen Seite ist es vielleicht für die Leser auch mal ganz schön, zu wissen, wer eigentlich hinter den Fanseiten steckt. Das Wichtigste ist aber immer, dass wir als Spieler andere Spieler treffen können.

Da ich bei der Organisation dabei war, hatte ich leider nicht so viel Zeit, mich mit den übrigen Teilnehmern zu unterhalten, wie ich es gerne getan hätte. Trotzdem hatte auch ich viel Spaß (und ich denke, dem Rest des Orga-Teams geht es da genauso). Ich konnte endlich mal wieder die großartigen Jungs von GuildNews sehen und ich konnte zusehen, wie das gw2community-Team den Tequatl-Kampf organisierte. Wo immer ich hinblickte, sah ich lächelnde Teilnehmer – vor allem bei der Verlosung des Loots. :p

Leider hat das “internationale” Jumping Puzzle dieses Jahr nicht geklappt. Im letzten Jahr konnten die Teilnehmer in Frankreich, in Deutschland und Rumänien (die sich allerdings nur für in-game Aktivitäten im Spiel getroffen hatten und sich nicht offline getroffen hatten). Jedenfalls gab es dieses Jahr Probleme bei den Franzosen, die mit ihren PCs nicht alle ins Spiel kamen. Irgendwann hatten wir uns dann entschieden, das Jumping Puzzle alleine zu machen. Leider war es dann aber auch schon Zeit für den Kampf gegen Tequatl, so dass wir das JP ausfallen ließen. Die Warterei war meiner Meinung nach schon sehr öde und dass wir es dann ausfallen ließen, war für einige bestimmt auch enttäuschend.

Insgesamt gesehen war das Foostival aber sehr schön und wir hatten trotzdem viel Spaß. Auch wenn ich an dem Tag wahrscheinlich viel zu viel Zeit damit verbracht habe, auf meinem Handy nach neuen Nachrichten von den Franzosen zu suchen, konnte ich mich trotzdem auch mit einigen Leuten unterhalten. Hoffentlich wird das nächstes Mal noch besser. Ich muss nur meine Multitasking-Fähigkeit stärker trainieren. ;)

Vielleicht fragt sich jetzt der ein oder andere aber auch: Was führte denn genau zu diesem Tag? Was muss eigentlich für so ein Foostival organisiert werden? Die relativ einfache Antwort ist: Es braucht sehr viele Voice Chats, Skype Nachrichten, E-Mails, viel Brainstorming und zig Google Drive-Dokumente. :p

An sich bevorzuge ich es, hier in meinem Blog alleine schalten und walten zu können, wie ich es mag, ohne irgendwelche Deadlines oder Leute, die mir sagen, worüber ich schreiben soll. Ich muss hier mit keinem koordinieren. Ab und zu “arbeite” ich aber auch sehr gerne mit anderen Leuten in der Community an einer gemeinsamen Sache (z.B. auch für “Pink Day in LA”). Man lernt einfach viele neue Menschen kennen und hat am Ende ein fertiges “Produkt” bzw. Event. Ich habe natürlich auch Glück, dass man z.B. mit GuildNews gut zusammenarbeiten kann. Es ist eben so, dass es beim Foostival nicht die eine Person gibt, die über allen anderen steht und sagt, was gemacht wird oder wer für welche Aufgaben verantwortlich ist. Wir organisieren alles gemeinsam und jeder sucht sich quasi selbst seine Aufgaben heraus. Man stimmt höchstens mal ab, ob man x oder y übernehmen kann oder soll. So bin ich auch nicht die Person, die vorne steht, sondern eher die, die im Hintergrund arbeitet. Ich habe mich vor allem um die offizielle Webseite gekümmert, um den Twitter-Account und Facebook, um die Anmeldungen, die reinkamen, die E-Mail-Kommunikation mit den Teilnehmern und dann auch die Anmeldung vor Ort. Ich führe gerne Listen, daher passte das auch ganz gut so. ;)

Wie gesagt, es gibt nicht den einen Boss. Das Foostival ist ein Gemeinschaftsprodukt und ich denke, darauf können wir dann auch stolz sein. Das Wichtige beim Foostival ist ja gerade, dass mehrere Seiten zusammenarbeiten und gerade deswegen mag ich diese Initiative auch so sehr. Alle Fanseiten arbeiten zusammen und am Ende haben wir alle Spaß. Ich denke, wir hatten auch mit dem zweiten Foostival wieder Erfolg und ich freue mich jetzt schon auf das dritte Foostival nächstes Jahr. :D

Die zweite Bildergallerie oben ist übrigens von Lord Walek, der mir erlaubt hat, seine Bilder hier im Blog zu verwenden. Wenn ihr alle Fotos sehen möchtet, die wir beim Foostival gemacht haben, besucht die Gallerie auf der offiziellen Webseite.

The winners of our anniversary giveaway

I’m not going to keep you waiting and will not bother you with a long blog post. Instead, I will get right to announcing who has won! We had 109 participants altogether. Congratulations to the lucky winners! Expect an email soonish. I may not get around to doing it tonight, but I’ll try to send out the codes etc. as fast as possible. The in-game GW2 package will be sent right to the player.

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Ich lasse euch nicht lange warten und werde auch kein ewig langes Blog-Posting voranstellen. Wir hatten insgesamt 109 Teilnehmer. An dieser Stelle also Gratulation an alle Gewinner! Ich werde versuchen, die E-Mails mit den Codes so schnell wie möglich rauszuschicken. Das werde ich wahrscheinlich nicht direkt heute schaffen. Das In-Game Päckchen in GW2 werde ich aber direkt an den Gewinner schicken.

The winners / Die Gewinner

Rift

  • Hellbug Mount: David
  • Storm Legion Imperial Editions: Caelis, Chris & Allen
  • Demon Helm: Jaedia, Bood, Tyrel Memmott, Elendil & NordKnight

GW2

  • Mini llama: Ravious, myrsine42, Melora, Joao Paulo & abandoned
  • GW2 t-shirt size L: Billiam & tryma
  • GW2 t-shirt size XL: Bradley
  • In-game items (in case you’re curious: 1 Mini Steam Hulk, 1 Aureus Dye, 1 Crimson Lion Sword Skin & 1 Phoenix Greatsword Skin): regiwolfe
  • Plush Charrlie: Tim Thorwarth

Trove

  • Costume mystery box: Jeremiah