Easter gaming holidays!

I am looking at five days without work. Surprisingly, other than an afternoon spent with my family, there are no plans at all – that I am aware of right now, at least. Which means that I will try not to act like an adult with lots of responsibilities and things that “should be done” and will try to get lots of gaming done!

The biggest question is: What do I want to play then? There are – as always – too many choices.

Throughout a usual work week, I always get the feeling that I want to play something in the evening once work is done, dinner is cooked and eaten – and then I realize just how tired I am and I end up choosing something that doesn’t require a lot of concentration. So when I now do get some time to play while my brain is working at “full speed”, I think I will rather play a game that I usually neglect. Or parts of a game that I usually don’t play.

This leaves out Cities: Skylines, Prison Architect and Mad Games Tycoon. It also means that while I’ve recently started to love working on my housing projects both in Rift and Wildstar again, I will not do too much of this either. It would seem like wasted time. It’s such a fascinating game and even though I am not sure how I feel about the “forced” open world “everybody can kill everybody” feature, I also know that there is so much to do in the game that I probably won’t even notice. ;) Let’s see if I’ll get a good enough look at Black Desert Online to post my impressions about the game here in the coming weeks.

Black Desert Online Velia

What I will definitely be playing is more Guild Wars 2 again, though. Even though I previously said that I would put aside my warrior and play my engineer instead, she recently snuck back into the picture. I just feel that the engineer would require too much of my time right now to even get anywhere near as far as my warrior. On top of that, I tried out the berserker with my warrior and I really love that specialization. To be honest, I never really played it until last week. I had just looked at the skills and figured it’s too boring. She also still needs a few more hero points to fully unlock the elite specialization and she is also very close to world completion. So maybe I will be working on that a bit more in the coming days.

It’s just nice and feels like a complete luxury to think about which games I want to play instead of worrying how much work I have left to do – yes, I have, and I don’t know how much overtime I will have to be doing once semester starts again, but for now, I will relax and enjoy Easter.

GW2 Warrior Berserker

Blogging 101: Do something new!

I am going to summarize the last few days in one blog post since they were more “behind the scenes” tasks. The second task asked us to change the title of the blog and the tagline. I am more than happy with the current title (simply “Nerdy Bookahs”), so I didn’t change that one. The tagline needed an update, though. I think it still said “A blog about Guild Wars 2 and Rift”. I changed it to “Guild Wars 2, Wildstar… and other games!”. This was a nice and short task to do.

The third task asked us to use the WordPress Reader and subscribe to 5 new tags there as well as to follow new blogs on there. I haven’t done the latter yet, but since I didn’t even use the Reader before, I will have a look at it more often and then add/follow blogs that I find interesting.

And then there was the fourth task. It sounded really tricky at first: Write for your ideal reader and add something new to your post. I have always said that I will try to write mostly for myself and see who else likes it because for me, that’s the only way it will work. Otherwise, I’d worry too much about whether my writing is any good, whether the content is interesting enough etc. But the “something new” is intriguing. I was just lacking an idea. They suggested adding a song (possible copyright issues – no thank you ^^), adding a picture from Pinterest or embed a video. I regularly embed videos already and while I do have Pinterest, I prefer uploading images to this WordPress account here.

But then I thought about the third day’s task: Following new tags. I haven’t told you which ones I added, right? I chose “Wildstar”, “Guild Wars 2”, “Trove” and “Steam Early Access”. And then I added something non gaming-related: “Pencil Drawing”.

I used to draw regularly. Almost exclusively with pencils unless a school project forced me to use something else. Before you get excited: It has always been a hobby for me or school tasks, nothing more. Back when I was a child, I sometimes got the urge to “do” something, to create something! I got restless and could not sit still until I had found a way to get rid of that urge. Sometimes it was drawing, later on it was also writing (I obviously first had to learn how to write… :p). In the last… oh… 10 years or so, I haven’t had that urge or the time (I would say I didn’t have the Muße – which Wikipedia translates with Otium. Never heard that word, but it sounds fitting, so I’ll include it here).

Oddly enough, whenever I tried to draw without that feeling, the drawings turned out rather bad. Or maybe I just thought they were really bad, who knows. Either way, I don’t think I’m really great at drawing. I just like doing it and have recently bought lots of new pencils and want to use drawing as a relaxation method to get away from stress and I figured it’d be a perfect timing for the “do something new” task. I am letting you in on something about myself that has nothing to do with gaming and I’m going to show you some of my old drawings as well as the recent practice sketches. Again, I don’t say I’m good – but I don’t think I’m really bad either. Publishing my old drawings here, however, still makes me a bit nervous as you always open yourself up to criticism with something like that and I never made them to show them publicly anyway. But getting out of your comfort zone once in a while is a good thing. So here we go. :)

Blogging 101 and me: Day One

Despite having been active here for a few years already, I signed up for Blogging 101 on WordPress. I like finding new inspiration and since this is not related to gaming, I figured it’d be interesting to see if I can still use the daily tasks for this blog. At least, when the task is to write something. Other tasks will be about changing something in your layout, adding a widget etc. And hey, it may be a bit early for Spring cleaning, but why not? :p

As always, if you are thinking about starting a blog, my advice is: Go for it. Give it a try! The next round of Blogging 101 will start in February, by the way, and you can sign up for it here (it’s free, by the way!).

Day One: Introduce Yourself to the World

Since I’m not just starting out, most of you already know who I am. Bogging 101 has a suggestion for people like me, though: To look back at how I introduced myself here, how I started blogging, what has changed in the meantime and my goals for the next six months. The latter is quite easy: I want to keep writing about gaming. Back in March 2011, we started the blog and the first three posts were all about Rift. The bugs mentioned have been fixed so far, by the way! ;)

Over the years, I left Rift, waited for Guild Wars 2, decided to give up on Lord of the Rings Online, returned to the f2p version of Rift, tried several other MMOs, fell in love with Wildstar but did not buy it because of its sub, picked it up again just recently because they announced free to play, started playing Trove and here we are today. For a while, I was trying to balance my free gaming time between offline/single player games, Rift, Guild Wars 2, Trove and Wildstar. As you can guess, this simply doesn’t work. Not with a full-time job, at least. When staying with bookahnerk’s family over New Year’s, I noticed that I was not missing my MMOs at all. So, I decided to cut down on them and focus on a single one: Wildstar! Guild Wars 2 will stay on the back-burner as I frequently leave it for a while only to return and play through the whole weekend again. Trove is still a great game, but it’s just not something I want to play right now. And then… there is Rift. Poor Rift.

Just as a disclaimer, as the timing fits: Me deciding to leave Rift has nothing to do with that top raiding guild and their (in my opinion horrendous) video (even if it probably does include some truths in it). I just prefer a more modern combat system by now and Wildstar gives me both, great housing and great modern combat, coupled with a funny satiric world!

Now, as you can see, not much has changed when it comes to this blog. I still play MMOs regularly, but only Wildstar and Guild Wars 2 from now on. I will, however, still check out new MMOs, because I just love doing so. And my goal for this blog (well, a more specific one than “I want to keep writing about gaming”) is that I want to write more often and also include more single player games in here. Nerdy Bookahs used to be called “Nerdy Bookahs and their travel guide” for a reason. I love to check out different games and I want to write about them more often than I did in the past.

Yes, I am well aware that all the writing could have been summarized to: Same writer, same blog, probably different games. :p


NaBloPoMo 2014

NaBloPoMo_NovemberJust as I did last year, I have joined November’s National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) again. Just as last year, I would not have the time for National Novel Writing Month, so I’m going to substitute it again with this initiative.

I had wanted to make this “announcement post” yesterday, but then the Trove developers published their unlimited access key and I figured that it was more important to spread the word than to tell my readers about NaBloPoMo. I find it quite funny that last year, I did the same. I had published a different post on November 1 and only talked about NaBloPoMo on November 2. ;) I sense a pattern there! You may also go back to November 2013 and see what the last post was… you may or may not expect something similar for the end of November this year, depending on how busy we’ll be by then in real life.

I still remember how last year, I didn’t think I could make a blog post every day without using some lame short posts with no real content, but in the end, everything had turned out fine.

Of course, November is also going to be the busiest month at work with several projects and a research meeting that I am organizing with colleagues. All exciting stuff that, unfortunately, keeps me from gaming and blogging sometimes. ;) We will see how it’s going to turn out.

You can expect me to write about the usual stuff. I have been playing Rift and Trove a lot more than Guild Wars 2 recently which is why the focus has turned towards those two games here in the blog as well. However, I haven’t left Guild Wars 2 and I don’t intend to do so! I am also looking forward to the return of the living story and while I do know that the game will very likely not get the features that I want in an MMO (like housing – I’ve got Rift and Trove for that urge now :p), I am expecting some cool fights because for me, the combat system is still where Guild Wars 2 shines the most. Being able to move while fighting, having to use dodge and all that. I also miss fights like the marionette one (yes, despite its flaws it was by far my favourite… especially when the people on the lanes did manage to fight together and coordinate).


Rebuilding Lion’s Arch…?

GW2 Lion's Arch rebuilt crafting stationsWhen the latest patch got released, I headed over to the forum to read the patch notes as I always do, but when I read the part about Lion’s Arch, I logged into the game to see it with my own eyes. I can’t tell you how disappointed I was – and yes, I may have ranted and raged a bit here in front of my PC. But let me explain what happened.

When, before the patch, I had read that the Zepyhrites would be offering their help to rebuild Lion’s Arch, I had imagined that we, as players, would be helping as well. I thought that this meant that with the next few patches, this would be part of the living story content. Imagine this: helping the citizens of Lion’s Arch out and with the next Living Story release, the bank would be back in place. After that, the lion statue, then the Trading Post. Up until in the very end, the portals would finally be back and fully working!

Or why not let us all collaborate? Make it a race between the regions: EU and US servers – which region gets Lion’s Arch back on its feet first? Different challenges, activities, etc. drop and award different special materials that are needed for the rebuilding process. Make it a game, give us a mini lion’s statue that is placed in our home instance as a reward. Make it fun!

GW2 Lion's Arch rebuilt mapInstead, after logging into the game, I found that everything we need is already back. Yes, Lion’s Arch itself is still in ruins! But it’s fully functional again. 3 crafting areas, 4 banks, 4 trading posts, the portals, mystic forge, etc. One could say that it’s better than before – or more convenient, as you can choose which area of Lion’s Arch you want to spend your time at while putting items into the bank. This isn’t “helping rebuild”. In fact, I fail to see why they would need any help from the Zephyrites or anybody else. The amount of vendors, banks, trading posts (just think of all the trading post fees we’re paying!) should be more than enough to pay for the rebuilding of the rest of the city.

This was a swoosh with a wand and some fairies granted us a wish and made it flawlessly perfect. But at the same time, at least for me, utterly boring. I had been looking forward to getting the rebuilding process as content, to tell all the future newcomers: “I was there. I saw this city before it was attacked, I saw it and defended it while it was attacked, I saw it when it was in ruins and I was here helping rebuild it! This is partly my doing!” Instead, I was handed everything on a silver platter within a few minutes.

We can maybe help make the city look pretty again, but for me, there’s no sense of urgency to it. And yeah, while it may be good to give citizens back their homes, I have to admit that as long as I don’t get my own house, I don’t care where the NPCs are living either. ;) At the same time, I do hope that we will be asked to help out in some way in a future patch and get to rebuild something. Maybe not a trading post or the portals, but at this point, anything would be nice.

And this is probably also why I shouldn’t assume and imagine things. Expectations can lead to great disappointment…