Holiday Tunnel Vision and 2015 Plans for the Blog

Holiday Tunnel Vision is a weird thing.  Christmas is one of my favorite holidays of the year and it’s also heavy birthday season in my household as well, so things are really busy.  This year on top of everything else that was going on, my video game playing-preferences shifted weirdly.  Instead of trying out the latest changes in EQ Landmark or going over games in my Steam list, I played Mass Effect 3 multi-player, to the exclusion of everything else.  This is frustrating in hindsight now, as there were several things I wanted to try, but my all-consuming need to destroy the Reapers really just took over.  If you were hoping to get together with me during the holiday season, either online or in person this year, then I apologize.

But the past is the past, and now it’s time to get back on track and get some forward momentum going.  Mass Effect 3 multi-player was a good time.  The difficulty curve was tough but got better as i got further into it, with both gear and experience.  The thrill of playing lasted all the way up to the moment I realized I had all the rare drops and was now on the long haul drag for ultra-rares.  Sadly, I just don’t have the patience for that kind of grind in that kind of game.  But like I said, fun while it lasted, and if anyone ever wants to fire it up and give it a try with me they can let me know.

One thing I was reminded of by ME 3 is that in multi-player there is no pause button, and also no partial credit either.  You finish the mission or you get nothing.  This meant that daytime sessions were extremely fraught with emergency shut downs and failures to complete, due to various interruptions.  But more on that, another time.

This year, it is time to go through my criminally neglected Steam library.  One new game every month is the goal (also to try and keep my bandwidth costs to a reasonable rate).  January is another attempt at Divinity: Original Sin.  The game fell flat when I first tried it, but it was on enough people’s game of the year list I figured I should give it a second look.  I’ve made it through the tutorial with a pair of custom built characters, eschewing the normal class templates they recommend and going my own way completely.  It’s something I should be more thankful for given the lack of agency with character creation that almost EVERY OTHER GAME has.  Of course learning how to build my own characters was a chore thanks to the obtuse labeling system the game had for magic.  Aerotheurge sounds and looks like air magic after I say it out loud, but when first encountering it, mot so much.  At the end of the month I’ll use the experience to write up a piece about either the game, or the genre, or whatever comes to mind after I finish playing it.

My planned games to either go back to and try again or play for the first time are (in no particular order):

Assasin’s Creed IV Black Flag
DCUO Online
Endless Space
Fallout: New Vegas
Shadow Warrior
Transformers: War for Cybertron

Since new year’s is a time for reflection, I’ve been reflecting on my work on this blog.  I’m unhappy with my output in the second half of 2014.  Too many instances of begging to wait one more week while the piece in question gets worked on some more.  There are not enough links to other content I think are worth reading.  And my own essays felt rushed or incomplete even after I did get them out.  So for 2015, better planning obviously.  Also less of a drive to feel like I need a 1000 word essay up here every week.  That’s a surprisingly punishing schedule to try and accomplish for unpaid work.  And I’d like to focus more on my actual fiction work as well.  (I’m a writer, of COURSE, I have my own fiction work).  Will this work ever be viewable publicly?  Unlikely, at least for now.

Other things I’ll be working on in the near future include an update to the blog’s about page, as well as expanding on ways to contact me.  I’ll also be providing Urbanite updates on a more regular basis, as well as trying to do better reporting on the various successor projects to City of Heroes. I’ve also got a few other essays in store and March may turn into MMO month and alternative systems designs that are worth reading and discussing.  After that we’ll have our 2 year anniversary and and who knows what we’ll do from there.  Thanks for sticking around and we’ll see if we can make 2015 a year to remember.

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