2017 Bucket List Update 1

This weekend I worked on cleaning out my second account so I can cancel the subscription before the monthly payment is due. I’m deleting all the characters so I am not tempted to resubscribe. This includes the only level 110 on all my accounts; a demon hunter.

The hard part right now is “use what I have” as my characters are all over the place and some I no longer connect with. I had to remind myself of the bucket list I created last month because I started considering spending real money on character transfers and appearance/name changes on my main account. I will add a rule to not transfer or change any characters until after they have their first artifact.

I think, more than anything, this bucket list will serve as a focused guide so I don’t go off the rails and make things messier than they are.

Before I created the bucket list, one character on my main account had an artifact and now four have one.

Remaining characters are below, and for some reason the Armory isn’t displaying Kaeleigh’s or Nahualli’s transmog. I don’t have a Monk or Warrior. I planned to create them on Alliance, but I may create them on Horde. I really want an Orc Warrior!

I have spent more time playing ESO than WoW this past month. I’m enjoying the recent homestead release and am very excited about the upcoming Morrowind expansion. Zahra my “celestial druid” is level 30 now, but I’m also leveling a master crafter at the same time. Grusha gra-Tukmek is her name and she’s a level 23 Wood Orc Nightblade. Say hello!

I found that creating a back story for Zahra makes me feel more connected to her. She recently experienced an unfortunate incident where she was caught stealing and couldn’t flee from her attacker. Well, to be fair, an NPC defending their property. I panicked and made Zahra kill them. She got an achievement for being a murderer! I felt horrible and wished I could go back to a save to prevent this experience from becoming part of her history. I should have let them kill Zahra. It would have been more true to her character and personality; the one I created! Now she’s a murderer.

Maybe she should leave thieving to Grusha.

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2017 Bucket List

Z and Cinder’s blog challenge this week – my first one! – is your 2017 bucket list of things you want to accomplish in the game(s) you play. I didn’t make much progress in the games I play during 2016. I think my bucket list for 2017 is simple enough to be achievable.

2017 in ESO

In Elder Scrolls Online (ESO), Zahra the “celestial” druid is level 27 right now; she was level 12 in September 2015.

  • I simply want to level one character to 50 in this game!

2017 in WoW

In World of Warcraft (WoW), I currently have two active accounts and a single level 110 between them. That level 110 is a Demon Hunter; she’s not on my main account and not one of my pre-Legion characters! Between not being able to decide which account to play and a very busy work schedule leaving me with little free time for gaming, or feeling so exhausted I couldn’t muster the brain power to make virtual decisions about what to do in a virtual world, getting any character to 110 in 2016 was an accomplishment.

I’d like to revisit some long-held, unaccomplished goals. Choosing one account will help, and that will be my main account. These goals help facilitate something of an account cleanup.

  • Level one of each class to get their first artifact.
    • My main account has three 100s, three in the 90s, two in the 80s, and one 60. It does not have a demon hunter, monk, or warrior.
    • I have my work cut out for me.
  • Use what I have.
    • What gets me in trouble is after declaring to level one of each class,  I then add “one of each race” too. Oh, and then each server needs to have characters with all professions, and they all need to have freckles and red hair! In 2017, the madness ends!
  • Learn as many recipes on characters who craft gear, and focus on one character for each profession regardless faction or server.
    • Professions on my main account are all over the place. I have several dual crafters and it has never worked out for me. I want each crafter to have the complementary gathering profession, so this means dropping a few advanced professions and leveling a gathering profession.
    • One thing I will never change: my main character, THE Mama Druid, will never drop enchanting. I didn’t know what I was doing in Vanilla and for some reason I dropped her leatherworking for enchanting. It was the biggest pain to level back then. She definitely has a few enchantments earned from rep grinds and some that may be hard to get or are no longer available. Her other profession is herbalism, which I love as a druid.
    • I’ll need to figure out who should be my leatherworker as two of them might have patterns that are no longer available. One might have to hang on to it for just that reason.

I think the first thing to do is sort out professions as my characters can benefit from leveling them in their garrisons while I work on other things.

Lower priority goals that may not be achievable:

  • Get flying in Legion.
  • Get the “Insane in the Membrane” title (need Ravenholdt and Goblin rep).
  • Get “the Beloved” title (48/60).
  • Get all Tournament mounts and pets.

The last three I’ve started and stopped over the years. It would be nice to put the nail in all their coffins. I hate grinding rep.

Wish me luck!

Update: Warcraft, ESO, and Me

I have a habit of posting declarations I fully mean to commit to but never do. And then I put off posting because I’m no longer doing the thing I declared in a recent post.

I’m not meeting the expectations I have of myself as a wannabe blogger. It’s probably time to stop making those declarations, drop those expectations, and just post stuff. There’s so many things I could post! But all the ideas get clogged up in my “thoughtstream,” which becomes a soupy lake and the wonderful ideas get all murky and stuck and don’t go anywhere.

So, I’ll just let it be and post stuff.

Warcraft Update

I resubbed to WoW after a 7-month break. I have been enjoying myself playing the Mama Druid. I’m not sure how I leveled her to 100 as there is so much incomplete content to do. All zones except for Shadowmoon Valley are incomplete. I think I just focused on garrison building with a little questing on the side.

So now I’m using the Draenor Pathfinder as my activity guide. While I understand it’s a way for the devs to ensure all players experience the leveling content, it’s super annoying. It’d be nice if there were perks for accounts that have been playing since Vanilla. We’ve been through so much, just give us permanent flying dagnabbit! Newer players would understand, right?

Most days I only have time to maintain my garrison and do the daily assault, and maybe one of the Tanaan daily assaults. It will be some time before Mama can stretch her feathers and let the Draenor winds guide her above the treetops. Hopefully before the next expansion.

The other day I followed my Tiny Snowman in my garrison. I was surprised to see him out and about (isn’t he afraid of melting?) and was even more surprised by his behavior. At each stop he made, he would pause and then quickly tip his hat. What a fun surprise! I’m curious to see if any other pets do anything interesting while exploring the garrison.

WoWScrnShot_110815_221456

ESO Update

I haven’t played ESO for more than a month now. I love that game, but really have a hard time focusing on one character. I’m getting to the point of letting go of my character ideas and just leveling my highest level (an Imperial Templar in her early 40s) simply to finish experiencing the story part of the game.

Personal Update

Empty Nest

By Virginia State Parks staff (WE Empty Nest Uploaded by AlbertHerring) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

 

This year has been interesting for me with a definite theme of self discovery/understanding. I think I put myself on hold while working and raising our kids. Now that they are out of the house I guess my focus and energy is now available for myself. It’s really weird and feels very awkward.

For me, the empty nest syndrome is not one of feeling sad because my children are gone. I am so very happy for them and have really enjoyed getting to know them as adults. Neither of us were saddened by the inevitable. After all, the whole point of raising a child is to prepare them for leaving and beginning their own lives. For me, the empty nest syndrome is one of “well, what now?” While preparing my kids to start their own lives, I had forgotten to prepare myself for what I would do once they left. Maybe there’s a different “syndrome” for this, but it took me by surprise and I suppose I’m now beginning to recover (my youngest is a junior in college) and attempting to refocus.

I have been putting more energy into work, making it matter more than ever before. But I’m not sure that’s the solution. I think I’ll just continue down this path of discovering my empty nester self and see where it takes me.

Settling in for the long haul…

Introducing Zahra al-Nayyir, Redguard “Celestial” Druid

Zahra al-Nayyir, Redguard healer

Meet Zahra. She’s a Redguard healing Templar in the Ebonheart Pact. I have always enjoyed playing nature-type characters, usually druids, but there isn’t a playable class like this in the Elder Scrolls Online (ESO). There are NPCs—The Wyresses—who seem to be nature-type characters, but the abilities they display aren’t available to players. So I’m creating my own, using the skills available to me. Interestingly, there are skills similar to a balance druid in World of Warcraft; celestial type skills from the sun and stars.

Using character sheets from The ESO Roleplay Community, I came up with some basic information about Zahra. This is the first time I have developed an online character in this way and I’m really quite excited about it. While I don’t plan to openly roleplay (RP), thinking about and developing WHO my character is has added depth and meaning. This is certainly nothing new to experienced RPers. For me, choosing to focus on one character brought out the desire to make playing the character more meaningful.

Physical Appearance

Zahra is tall and thin. Her dark reddish-skin easily identifies her as a Redguard. Her broad shoulders and the black body paint on her neck creates the illusion of enhanced height and portrays a quiet strength. Her long limbs are often dusty and dirt can usually be seen under her fingernails.

Having spent some time with the Nords, she incorporated their way of dress (fur-lined clothing for warmth). I like to think of her gear looking something like this:

Her kind eyes are bright and smile at others on their own. Set against her dark skin, they can sometimes look like twin setting suns. Zahra’s dark reddish brown hair is shaved on each side to lighten the load of bearing heavy long dreads that are gathered down the middle of her head and upper back. Beads and leather ties are scattered down the length of each dread to help keep them in place.

Zahra wears loose-fitting clothing for ease of movement as she spends most of her time outside. Comfort and functionality is of the utmost importance and she can often appear a little messy. Visible to onlookers are several pouches in which she carries gathered plants. A small fox is seen trailing behind her.

Visual References

A collection of images I put together on Pinterest when thinking about what Zahra might look like. Some of the images represent how her younger self, varied methods of dress, and even her older self might look.

Personality

While appearing quiet, or even shy to some, Zahra’s mind is constantly at work observing and perceiving her surroundings and those around her. She listens, and learns more about others than they may know of themselves.

Zahra relishes being alone, especially in the wilderness amongst the varied natural settings of Tamriel. She doesn’t go out of her way to avoid being around others as it’s required to learn and do the things she wants. In fact, she offers help and support to those in need, whether it’s the sick and dying or a group of adventurers on a mission. She simply requires time alone to recharge after expending her mental, and magical, energies in the company of others.

She manages close relationships with a handful of people, wherever she happens to be when she’s staying somewhere for a long period of time. She doesn’t care to be known and purposely maintains a low profile wherever she goes… as best she can, that is. Zahra can’t help but stand out in some places, attracting the curiosity of locals. She does her best to minimize her presence when visiting new places.

Background

Zahra’s father died in Wayrest when she was young. Her mother returned Zahra and her twin sister, Zoraya, to Hammerfell. Her mother used her knowledge of plants to make a living travelling the desert in search of water bearing plants or potential oases and returning/reporting her finds to interested parties in the cities. The three would often travel alone or join up with other nomadic families and groups.

Their mother shared with them the basics of knowing what plants to look for, how to read the shifting sandy landscape, and the secrets different plant formations told the trained eye. Zahra loved bringing the plants she collected to the mages and tailors when they’d stop and stay at the cities. While her mother taught her the basics of identifying plants, the mages taught her a few of their magical properties and how they could be combined to create powerful potions.

Desert life was rough, although Zahra didn’t appreciate this as a child. It was always a special treat when they encountered Dwemer ruins—all those strange gears and little pots containing surprises for the twin girls! The sand was mesmerizing, shifting in whichever direction the wind blew. The stars at night were beautiful and served as a source of many bedtime stories. Fascinated by the many different types of people they’d come across, Zahra developed a deep respect for their different ways of living. Especially those suffering from hardship; she became drawn to them.

In their late teens, Zoraya fell ill (affected by the Knahaten Flu, but they didn’t know at the time) and as they were heading to a city to find a healer they were caught in a sandstorm. The minor healing potions Zahra had made did not help and her twin sister died. Zahra chose to believe that if she had known healing magic she could have saved Zoraya. She vowed to learn from the mage’s in the cities.

Zahra continued travelling the desert with her mother and when in the cities she spent time training with the mages, learning the schools of restoration and illusion, and practicing by mending and healing the sick in the infirmaries and temples. Illusion was practiced in the city streets, usually to hide and be unseen… and pick the occasional pocket.

During her mage guild visits, Zahra would sometimes overhear discussions about relics and tomes scattered throughout the land. Sometimes she’d witness guild expeditions being sent off to find one. She was most interested in learning more about Dwemer ruins and surmised that Morrowind had a good amount of them and determined that when her mother passed she would make her way there.

Currently

Zahra is now in Morrowind, having spent some time with the Nords in Bleakrock. She loved the snow as it reminded her of the sands back home. Eventually, she’d like to settle down in a Nord village. Until then, the mushrooms of Morrowind call, the fascinating cultures and stories of the Ebonheart Pact beckon, and the Dwemer ruins await her discovery.

General Information

Nickname: She uses her deceased twin sister’s nickname—Aya, modified from Zoraya—in impermanent situations where she doesn’t want to reveal her own name, but perceives others require an assurance of familiarity.
Age: Unknown. Judging by the few wrinkles on her face, she’s in her late 30s or early 40s.
Birthsign: Unknown.
Profession: Alchemist, Enchanter, Cook

Key Sources

Zahra al-Nayyir, Redguard Druid

Time, the Cure for Altitis

For too long I have wanted to do all the things in whichever game I play. A big part of what appeals to me about MMOs is the ability to try so many different things.

Take WoW for example, I had lists of things I wanted to try:

  • one character of each race
  • one character of each class
  • one hunter of each race
  • one character of each class spec
  • one character for each letter of the alphabet (serious and sad)

I managed a few spreadsheets to plan and map it all out. It never happened. In 10 years of WoW, I completed zero of these lists.

Time happened.

Yet, when I started playing SWTOR, I did the same thing; mapped out characters and specs and professions and, oh my!

Time still happened.

And yet again, when I started playing Elder Scrolls Online (ESO) the spreadsheets came out and all the planning and mapping happened.

Ok time, I get it. I don’t have enough of you. Geez!

So this time—hur hur—I am scrapping my altoholic compulsions and trying my hardest to focus on one character in each game (WoW, SWTOR, and ESO), but…

…time is still happening.

So one character in one game and that game—for now, because I might be wishy washy and fear this may not stick—that game is ESO. That one character will be a druid because I love them so much.

What’s that you say? There aren’t druids in ESO? Well, that’s the beauty of ESO. You can pretty much build whatever character you want using one of four base classes. Also stealing. It’s beautiful.

Thank you time. Thank you for the limitations your limited supply put on me. I thrashed about not wanting to accept it far too long. I can’t do all the things. I just can’t.

That’s all the time (stahp!) I have for a post. Here’s a preview of Zahra al-Nayyir, my Redguard “Celestial” Druid.*

Zahra al-Nayyir, Redguard Druid

* WIP, utilizing celestial type spells in ESO inspired by the Warcraft’s balance druid (but not a moonkin). She even has a story for RP-in-my-mind stuff!

Wandering Isle Ocean View

Musings of an Unsubbed Barely Gamer

The last of my monthly subscriptions ended last week. I didn’t initiate it, but I didn’t correct it. The credit card I setup for monthly Elder Scrolls Online payments was discontinued by the bank and the charge didn’t go through. I didn’t set it up on the new card. And with that, I am completely free to play. I haven’t touched Star Wars: The Old Republic in months; I logged in maybe twice in the past year and didn’t stay long. I cancelled WoW in March 2015. Since then, I have logged in a few times to play the trial version.

I enjoy playing each of these games. The benefits a subscription provides with each either no longer appeals to me or does not apply to me now. WoW is the only one that appeals to me as it’s the only way you can play a character beyond level 20. The other two, ESO and SWTOR – well, I have played each since they launched and have yet to play a character to the max level. That says much more for SWTOR because it’s been around longer than ESO. I’m not sure what it says about ESO.

Thinking about why this has happened, I’m not sure there’s a singular reason. In all three games, I no longer have friends or family that play. There never were many friends or family anyhow, and I used to happily play alone. Perhaps the excitement of exploring a new world has worn off? The same gaming elements persist in all three:

  • level by questing, different story/same methods
    • go get x of y, kill x of y, talk to him/her, sabotage this/that… it has to be done, how else would you level, how else can game designers tell the stories?
  • all the grinding, for crafting/profession materials, for reputation to get things or access to things
    • and apparently in WoW, to receive the hard-earned and high cost previously paid for flying – WTF? Did they forget what vanilla players had to go through, especially druids for flight form? Aren’t there flying creatures in Draenor? How does Pepe get around in the garrison?
  • game designers setting things up to force you to do things they want you to (e.g., state of flying in WoW)
  • play a dps spec to level and then learn how to heal at max level – why is this still a thing?
    • to be fair, I think WoW may be the worst culprit – both SWTOR & ESO provide dps options while leveling in a healer spec

From game to game, and after so many years, it blurs together and the excitement of a new world begins to wear off sooner than before. It’s all a game of carrot and stick masked in pretty pixels.

Playing video games has increasingly become a smaller part of my life. Maybe I’ve finally become too old for it, or the adventure of real life has won me over.

I’m not sure it’s important that there is a reason. It just is what it is. I don’t play as much. I don’t see a reason to subscribe, at this time. I am currently playing a free WoW account with the thought that I may upgrade it and subscribe. I do like to experience the expansions. But I might experience the next one on a new account. Afterall, WoW is not the same game I started playing nearly 11 years ago. I’m not the same person. My old account is bloated and the way I played it is no longer compatible with who I am now.

Now, I am slowing down, as the Pandaren say, and enjoying the views.

Wandering Isle Ocean View

Wandering Isle Ocean View

And having some fun playing a new class: Monk.

Playing with the ancient water spirit, Shu.

Playing with the ancient water spirit, Shu.

We’ll see where this goes.

Ladies of Elder Scrolls Online

Introducing my (current) Ladies of Elders Scrolls Online.

Click the image for a larger view.

Ladies of Elder Scrolls

Clockwise, starting with the largest, they are as follows:

  1. Glenice, Imperial Templar
  2. Lavaeda the Beloved, Redguard Templar
  3. Ilaliya Aiuru, Dunmer Dragonknight
  4. Lybbestre, Altmer Sorcerer
  5. Onibla Blind Eye, Argonian Nightblade
  6. Goodis of Aroodis, Nord Sorcerer
  7. Luwana Brixton, Imperial Banker
  8. Kuemi, Khajiit Nightblade

I have been quite pleased with the character creation process. In fact, having played most days since pre-launch, which is about two months now, I’d have to say creating characters has turned out to be my favorite part of the game so far. Certainly, playing the game has been fun, but I haven’t played a game with this kind of flexibility when creating a character. I’m not saying this is the best character creation system out there as my experience prior to ESO has been limited. It’s just captured my fancy – a little too much, if you ask me!

The ladies you see before you will not all make the cut. I can already tell that I need to tweak my Dunmer a bit more. Glenice, featured in the largest square, is my highest level at a whopping 23. I’m still not sure she’s the one I’ll level through to the end as I actually get quite stuck trying to decide who to level. I have considered deleting most of them and starting over as if I had just got the game. But that’s just under consideration now. We’ll see.

TTFN!