*Brushes off the cobwebs*
I think I’ve officially scared off any readers that I once had. A four-month absence does tend to convince people that you’re gone .
I don’t have any good excuses, and any explanation would be long, rambling, and entirely devoid of interesting content. Let’s just skip to the TLDR: I was burnt out on WOW, video games in general, and feeling utterly uninspired.
I’m not going to make any promises this time about writing weekly or outputting loads of useful WOW guides. I’m just going to write when I feel like it, and about any topic that interests me. The span and scope of the content may vary. I am going to make an effort to filter less — to stop listening to the voice in my head that leads me to leave drafts sitting around for weeks or months because they “aren’t done yet”.
WOW State of Affairs
4.3 revived WOW for me quite a bit. The new heroics are interesting and a decent level of challenge, but most importantly they are short. I can complete one in less than an hour.
LFR has also been a consistent source of entertainment. It certainly doesn’t replace the social, collaborative guild raiding that I enjoy, but it is a nice supplement to my gear and end-game experience. It is definitely full of many scum-of-the-earth types, but I go in with the bar set exceptionally low and am often pleasantly surprised. My luck with gear drops is nearly non-existent, but the hope keeps me going. The quick pace, interesting content, and chaotic vibe of LFR keep me looking forward to each raid reset.
I’ve even dusted off my rogue and geared her up to LFR level. When my guild’s raid team arrived at Hagara, I found myself among the other alt rogues in line to pickpocket her for the first legendary quest item. The epic daggers were so spectacular that I was inspired to find more gear to match, and before I knew it I was playing her on a regular basis. I’m certainly not inclined to make her my main again, but there is something very pleasant about hearing the quick clack-clack of daggers again.
The new Darkmoon Fair was as I expected, something that sounded far better than it was. I do love the artifact piece of it — collecting random drops for turn-ins adds to the mystical vibe of the fair. The games were entertaining for a few days, but in the end the work-to-tickets ratio is just too high. It’s certainly an improvement from the previous incarnation, but I’m left feeling a bit disappointed that it took them this long to revamp it, and that ultimately there is so little content. I was also hoping for more hidden and mysterious secrets to uncover on the island (other than the cannibalistic undead woman selling the flesh of all races).
I was absolutely enraptured with Skyrim throughout the month of December. Despite a clunky UI, Skyrim is exactly what I was hoping for. It sparked a feeling of magic and wonder that I haven’t come across in a very long time. The world of Skyrim is vast in a way that an MMO can never be, with procedurally generated quests and dialog, and a sense of isolation. Truly being the hero (or the villain) instead of one among many is rather refreshing.
I play Skyrim as a rogue mage, using daggers and bows to swiftly silence unsuspecting victims, or brute-forcing a crowd with destruction magic. The flexibility to play however I want, with no “right” spec, gives me a sense of relief. I know there are certainly more optimal builds, but it doesn’t matter in a single player game. Ambling around the world from quest to quest, wandering through ruins and discovering secrets… it’s all part of an immersive experience that makes Skyrim a masterpiece.
The other game that everyone is raving about is of course SWTOR. I played a bit on one of the beta weekends, but that is the extent of my involvement. The temptation is great, especially when my guildmates discuss the game with such excitement in their voices. My main reason for abstaining is purely hardware related — we only have one Windows PC. Sure I could install Windows on my laptop, or create a character on my husband’s account, or other various options, but no option seems worth it. I’m left hoping that Bioware will realize the value in releasing a a Mac client (especially given that their main competitor, Blizzard, has had a Mac client from day one). Many of Bioware’s other games have a Mac version, so there is hope.
I completed my goal in 2011 of reading 50 novels. Check out my Goodreads profile to see what I’ve been reading.
The Kindle’s name is certainly apt – the dramatic increase in my reading is due to the ease that the e-book reader provided. My favorite books are 500+ page fantasy novels, and no longer needing to carry around brick-sized objects has been a huge boon. I’ve also begun replacing any paperbacks in our library with lovely hardcovers – real books are more of an art collection now than functional objects for me.