Saturday, January 31, 2015

Certified Organic Locally Grown Caturday

Today I'm heading to the grocery store on the first day of genuine attempt to stop eating fast food to save money and (hopefully) lose weight.

ugh get out of the cart, mittens

I mean, I've been to a grocery store before, but I've been shopping like a confused teenager for awhile. In less than a month I'll be closer to 30 years old than 20, so McDonalds should probably stop being considered a reasonable place to eat more than once a day. While being healthy and saving money can get pretty tricky, nothing else is quite as simultaneously expensive and horrible for you as fast food on a regular basis.

for real though don't give your cat cheeseburgers

So, in our weekly celebration of Caturday, I'll be hosting a segment of cats with food. Bon app├ętit!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Idle Gaming - When You're Too Lazy to Actually Game

unrealistic number of cookies
Ah, idle games. The very phrase elicits feelings of... staring vacantly at numbers. Endlessly clicking on things to earn resources to build and buy more things to get more resources to build or buy other things that give you more or maybe different resources to use to buy and build... other things and, sometimes, you... don't really know why you're playing.

Currently, the most famous of these games is probably cookie clicker. It's probably also the best example of one of the addictive power of these games. If you've ever been sucked in by an idle game, then you already know what I mean. The thing about most games like these is there really isn't... a point.

The goal feels like it's to accumulate more resources and build all the things to completion, but some games have no end. Some games add incentives to restart your game, putting you spiraling into an infinite loop of cookies or cabbages or what have you. Some of them do end, but to be honest, the end is always disappointing.

Idle games have been around for quite a long time - I remember playing one when I was still in middle school, in the early 2000s, before the term "idle game" was even coined. Now, there are a ton of them, sometimes their addictive powers being used for evil, exploiting the 'idle' aspect of them to riddle the games with microtransactions...



...while some people genuinely make great idle games for entertainment.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Why Gamers Hate Being Sick

Being sick sucks, but it has its benefits. You get to call out of work or not go to school, stay home and - if you're really lucky - get taken care of by someone really awesome. The thing is, depending on what kind of sick you are, sometimes you can't do the one thing you'd really like to do.

When you're any kind of sick that affects your eyes, head, inner ear, etc., playing video games is painful. Sitting up to be at your computer makes you dizzy, looking at the bright screens makes your head throb. Then you try to play handhelds and realize it still sucks just as much, especially with that screen up in your face. You can try to play for a bit, but your instincts will start to kick in and yell at you for being an idiot.

instincts: go to bed dummy

So, thanks to a sudden, painful, and thankfully pretty shortlived sickness, I slept for about 2/3rds of the entirety of yesterday, missed my first raid this week, ate half a bag of sliced sandwich bread, and didn't wake up until noon today. It's also why you're getting this cop-out post, because I still feel kind of crappy.

Now, I'm gonna lie back down.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Graphics and You

Giving a game a bad review or saying that a game is bad because of its graphics is an easy way to get laughed at by a lot of gamers.

the enlightened opinions of random internet users

Graphics matter - but not the way some people tend to think. It's not important how stellar the graphics are, it's not important if the graphics look "real", but rather the way the graphics fit into the atmosphere and the environment matters.

Minecraft has made hundreds of million of dollars with very low quality graphics, and no one has stopped playing the classics due to the higher quality graphics available in more recent games. Don't get me wrong, you can judge graphics all you'd like, and stellar graphics really do enhance a game's experience, but here's the thing:

Gameplay and graphics are mutually exclusive.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Caturday! - Business Cat

Today for Caturday, I will share with you one of my favorite webcomics, Happy Jar. Happy Jar is currently not updating, but if you've never read it before, there are already plenty of comics to read.

Happy Jar once upon a time made a comic about "Business Cat," which is rather well known, but I feel like not everyone who's seen business cat has actually read Happy Jar's comics. Business Cat is a man with a cat's head - and probably brain - who is somehow the CEO of a business.

Today we'll take a look at some business oriented cats in celebration of Business Cat.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Tips and Tricks of Successful DPS Pt. 1 - Uptime

goals
It always feels weird to me to talk about how I perform well. Maybe I feel like I'll jinx myself, or maybe it's my low self esteem or just a desire to present myself with some level of humility. Well, I'm throwing all that out of the window because I'll be writing a few posts with some detailed tips on how to DPS like you know what you're doing.

I primarily play ranged, though I have had experience as melee DPS. If you're already a superstar, or a hunter, you probably won't need any of this advice, but in the wake of my recent guild merger, I feel like I've been asked "How did you pull off that much damage?" more often than usual lately.

I've written a guide before, it was actually my first, on how to learn how to learn how to play. If you aren't already doing well, you should start there. This is less 'how to play' and more advanced tactics on upping your game. 

If you don't already know your class' rotation, you might not get as much out of these as you could. I really can't go through and tell you on a class to class basis which abilities you should be using to accomplish these goals. You have to already know that. I've been a balance druid for six years - if, like most people, you are literally any of the other twenty two damage dealing specs, I won't have much detailed advice about your class to give you.

First, the most important secret to successful DPS:

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Trial of the Guild Merger

1/7M!
This post is a day late because, well, I couldn't think of what to write about. This last week or so, I had been talking about a possible guild merger with another guild on our server. I had a busy past weekend, but after the work I did, the other officers and GM finalized things for us and we collaborated to practice for the merger by raiding together this week.

We cleared 6 bosses on heroic in quick time and practiced on Imperator, downing him our second raid night after three attempts. We had met after the raid yesterday to compose a mythic team, which we took with us to M Kargath, which we also downed last night.

The other guild was happy with us and our progress so we voted on a new guild name and we merged last night. It's pretty exciting, but there is a lot of work to do replacing the old name, getting us all in one place, organizing our roles and responsibilities, and just settling down together under one tag.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Qualifications: World of Warcraft Player

Video games are pretty often considered to be a "waste of time." Yes, excessive video game playing isn't the best, but overdoing anything isn't usually a fantastic idea. Fruit is great for you, but if you eat too much, you can get stomach ulcers because of the acidity.

but pineapple kicks ass

It's pretty undeniable that video games have distinct, quantifiable benefits. Of course, the benefits depends on what kind of game you're talking about. Simulation builder and construction games can teach you about resource management, risk vs. reward, and the value of preparation and planning. Even simple puzzle games have shown to greatly offset, or even prevent, the development and onset of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. There are war games purposefully and specifically used to help train soldiers in a safe, simulated enviornment. And, well, World of Warcraft can actually teach you a ton about the real world...

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Caturday The Sequel

It's one cool cat, it's the cat's meow, it's Caturday! Not to mention cheesy, but regardless...

zzzz

Oh. Well, Fishcake is bored with me already, so on with the post!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Grandpa Multi-User Dungeon

Before there were MMOs, there were MUDs. An older guildmate of mine actually told me that MMOs were originally referred to as "graphical MUDs". . .

Now I don't know how true that is, but MUDs are text based games where you explore vast and mysterious worlds, but just, like, with words.

they're very intense

There are a lot of them, but I've been playing one in particular that's very well made and maintained, Cleft of Dimensions.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Dungeons and Dragons and RNG

We played our second campaign of D&D yesterday. After having already played once, we had a good grasp of our characters, and so were able to roleplay better with more cohesion.

I am Galstaff, Sorcerer of Light!

The experience of adapting to your character and others' is interesting. You already have relationships with your friends where you understand each other's behavior, but when you create characters you have to learn how they will behave, unique to the game. But, simultaneously, you're still figuring out how you will behave, while you get used to your character. Even if you plan out your character entirely - I had four pages in my notebook detailing my character - things pop up that you didn't think about or suddenly something just works.

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Rebuilding Phase

So far, so good - almost a week later and we haven't lost anymore members, got a few applicants, and even have a potential guild merger on the table.

what!?

Guild mergers are scary. Recruiting people is one thing. Starting a new guild is one thing. But taking two full guilds - two websites, two GMs, two entire officer teams, four tanks, too many healers - and smushing them together is an entirely different thing. However, we are one boss away from hitting mythic and, being behind the general populace of mythic raiders, recruitment might end up being tough. Merging might be a necessity rather than an option.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Druids and Dragons

For Christmas we got a board game called Mice and Mystics. It's a game where the players work cooperatively to win against the story and plot laid out in basically a guide book of instructions.

We called it D&D Lite - it comes complete with game pieces, map tiles, playable characters and 'character sheets', and instructions on what to fight and how the dungeon is supposed to be played out.

After completing the first chapter of Mice and Mystics, some of my friends wanted to play Dungeons and Dragons. We had an experienced DM, but the rest of us had never played. Aside from me, none of them had even really been exposed to it before. Over the last week or so, we made up characters, our DM created a campaign and we played for the first time a few days ago.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Light at The End of The Tunnel

went 5/7H, clearing three new bosses as a guild
We made good progression last night. We had barely raided at all the last few weeks due to the holidays, and the tension has been rife in the air the entire time.

As I've mentioned, my guild's been struggling a bit. It's never a comfortable feeling, and having gone through many similar situations before - two of which caused the ends of my previous guilds - a familiar sense of dread creeps into the picture. We have stabilized since the catalyst implosion and things are looking on the bright side for now. Unfortunately, I've experienced this situation before, too, and it didn't end well last time.

Monday, January 5, 2015

The PUG Stigma

Up until around the middle of Cataclysm, I was always in really good guilds. I had only been in two ever, but they were full of good people who played well. The prospect of a guild group was always better than considering the idea of bringing random strangers. Picking up a pug seemed like a worse option than not even going to the dungeon.


you probably boosted that character

Then, my second ever raiding guild declared that they were no longer raiding and I took a break from the game. The third "guild" I had ever been in came into the picture soon after I returned, and it was the first time that I found myself in a place where a guild group was not guaranteed to be good. The crazy thing was, those players - players I found myself actively avoiding grouping with in favor of pugs - still considered pugs to be poison.

vile creature

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Oh Glorious Caturday

Hail, and happy caturday! I've been uploading pictures of my babies on instagram, like millions of other people, so if you want some regular updates on how cute Fishcake and Toonafish are, check them out here.

This post is short, late, and not well constructed! See you Monday!

I'm not sure this even counts as a Caturday post

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Professions IRL

Crafting is a pivotal part of any good RPG, MMO or otherwise. Now, that might be open to opinion, but crafting is an incredibly common feature of games, and it's one of my favorite things to do in them. Games that center around crafting and creation are some of my favorites.

this one also has dragons

I enjoyed crafting so much that I started practicing crafts. This started a few years ago, though I've only really started creating worthwhile things recently. I started with bracelets at first, then a year and a half ago I started building models. I got into painting miniatures, I've started to get the hang of leatherworking recently, and I've been dabbling in chainmaille.