Posted in ArcheAge, Gaming, MMORPGs

Open World PvP and the Psychology of a Carebear

 

uologo

Note:¬†This isn’t an article meant to argue there shouldn’t be open world PvP, or that PvPers are bad people. ūüėČ

ArcheAge has opened up a can in the MMO community, being the spark of many PvP/Anti-PvP conversations. This seems to be because there are a number of folks who want the kind of sandbox AA¬†is, but they don’t want the PvP that comes with the sand. I completely understand this, because I¬†am in the same camp. I don’t, however, let that sully my fun and prevent me from taking part¬†in the AA experience.

I¬†openly state that I’m an anti open world PvP player. I wear my carebear cloak without shame. I don’t live by the creed “Red is Dead,” and I’ve had plenty of opportunity to engage in battle with reds who creep into the East over the past week. But I won’t.

That’s always just the way it’s been for me. But I never really questioned why until I read the article at Gaming ConjectureWhat’s So Bad About Open World PvP?

I decided to write a bit about the experiences and psychology that go into creating a player who doesn’t enjoy open world PvP.

The Defense

This article states that there’s really no substantial loss to being killed in AA open world PVP. Well, nothing but your pride.

…Getting killed in a PvP encounter in Archeage offers no consequences for the loser unless they are on a trade run, in which case you lose your trade pack and the resources involved in obtaining that, and losing a boat to pirates whilst sailing effectively amounts to a repair bill.¬† This is in stark contrast to a game like Eve where every defeat means a lost ship and flying home in your pod.

The article¬†ArcheAge ‚Äď PvE After Level 30 on Endgame Viable¬†¬†echoes this sentiment.

Let me reiterate that unless you’re carrying a trade pack, there is absolutely no reason to fear death in ArcheAge. Particularly a PvP death, because you lose no experience or even health. All you have to do is run back to where you died. Or run somewhere else. Exactly the same as if a PvE mob killed you.

Now, neither of these statements make me want to rush out there and start spraying the blood of the  enemy faction all over the place. But they do speak the truth Рthe risk of loss when PKed in AA is low, especially compared to other PVP oriented games.

The Question

Gaming Conjecture takes it a step further and asks the question that nudged me to write this article.

So, what exactly are people worried about with regard to Archeage? Having to walk from the respawn point?

I sometimes feel that what’s partly at play here is a sense that the people who kill you are doing so to spite you in some way. That you are the butt of someone else’s joke. A figure of fun for them. I may be totally off the mark here, but I sense that some seem to think that PvPers who gank people are not nice people, that they are people who are looking to ruin your evening. I genuinely believe that’s very rarely the case.

This got me to thinking about myself and why I’m so anti-PvP. For years, I simply avoided it. Didn’t¬†go into structured PvP ¬†often.¬†Refused to play a game at the first hint of open-world-PVP being a feature. I won’t touch games like Rust and Day Z because… nope.

I stopped to ask myself… why? How did this negative response become a normal reflex?

Some History РUltima Online

I think it’s different for everyone. My aversion to PvP started very early on.

It was somewhere around 1999 Р2000. I was a college student who never knew much about the Internet until then (yes, there was a time without the Internet and MMOs for me!). My sister and I had one computer (which I bought for school purposes *wink* *wink*) and we were just learning about the world of online gaming.

We started with MUDs and then moved into games like Dark Ages and eventually Ultima Online: The Second Age. These were the days before the Renaissance expansion, and it was fully open world PvP. There was never a debate about it¬†— if you wanted to play UO, you dealt with the PvP. That’s just how it was.

Death in UO
Death in UO

PvP had consequences and major loss in UO. When someone killed you, they could rob your warm corpse for everything you had, kick your pet dog around, and use your horse for glue. All the while, you ran around as a frantic ghost looking for a wandering healer to bring you back into the world with only a death shroud to your name.

Yes. Those were the days you went naked into the mines so that if someone ganked you while you were gathering ore, all you’d lose¬†was the ore and a pack horse (if you had one). Yes. That was the game that taught me to fear every visible¬†player character when outside of town and run away from everyone at first sight.

This kept me out of harm’s way. But it also left an emotional mark on me in regards to MMOs. Because I avoided everyone, it¬†kept me from making friends and meaningful connections with other players. It essentially turned me into a solo player from the very beginning¬†of my MMO experience.¬†And being a naturally shy person, it was difficult for me to move beyond this mindset even as games began to evolve.

A little while after, UO split into two worlds – one with open world PvP, and one that protected you from open world PvP. I don’t know if there were already issues with this ruleset even back then to initiate this change. But suddenly, I had a choice! There was a world where gankers paid the price for trying to butt into my sheep sheering time!

That knowledge of choice was powerful. I was no longer forced into a ruleset to simply play the game I wanted to play. And from that day on, I only chose PvE servers or games that allowed you to decide whether someone can come along and beat you up for your lunch money.

Some Psychology

Looking back at the question, there has to be more than just that, I decided. Sure, I had some fearful PvP experiences with my first real MMO. But what else is there that really makes me reject PvP so violently?

Personality, perhaps? I am a slightly competitive person (deep down… shhh….), but at the same time,¬†I’m a perfectionist. I like to do things that I perform decently well at (PvE). Chances are, I wouldn’t be all that great at PVP. So, if¬†I’m going to suck at it and get stressed over it… I’m just not going to do it. It’s not fun for me. I play MMOs for relaxation and enjoyment, not to feel stressed.

Feels Like It...
Feels Like It…

Some people like PvP for the challenge, and that challenge is fun to them. I don’t get the same rush or excitement¬†from it.

In fact, I’d feel terrible¬†about PKing¬†someone in an open world environment if it wasn’t in self defense.

I game by a “Do Unto Others” sort of mentality. I try not to¬†treat folks in a way I wouldn’t want to be treated myself. I don’t want to be ganked while trying to achieve my PvE goals, so I’m not going to do that to someone else. That’s just how I roll.

For instance, in AA… This weekend, I¬†saw a¬†Red player who managed to make it all the way to the starting area in the East so he¬†could purchase a snowlion mount in his color¬†preference. He saw me and shrank back, since I could have attacked¬†him, though he could not strike at me first. I took a step back, letting him know I wasn’t going to ruin his day. All he wanted was a snowlion mount, and he wasn’t bothering anyone. Seeing I wasn’t going to hunt him down, he rushed in, bought his mount and scampered away.

No one needed to die there. What’s the point in that aside from being a griefer?

In Closing

So, that’s what makes a carebear like me tick. Personality and experience both played a part in developing my automatic negative reaction towards the idea of open world PVP.

But I do ask myself if my response is justified.

Do I have the idea¬†that PvPers are all bloodthirsty ganker-trolls that are out there just to get their kicks by victimizing my easy-going questing in danger zones? Yeah. I guess I really do see it that way. Sometimes that really does happen, and those people do exist, even on your own faction in AA. Looking at the overall feel of the¬†AA community, the same-faction killing, and attitudes on forums doesn’t bathe any of this in a more positive light.

Should I change the way I view this? Should I learn to have thicker skin, live with the potential of the risk, and not let it bother me if/when PKing happens? Maybe so.

So far, I’ve been quite content in playing AA the way I have. Sure, it’s inconvenient not to be able to quest in zones unless they are at peace.¬†But like mining naked in UO, it keeps me safe from the risk of being PKed… even if the risk is more perceived than actual loss.

I’d love to hear thoughts from PvPers… maybe even some psychology from your side of the spectrum!¬†

uodeath
*sigh* Time for a corpse run.
Posted in ArcheAge, Bragtoberfest, Gaming, MMORPGs

Bragtoberfest: ArcheAge Thatched Farmhouse Complete!

 

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This is a brag that I’ve had to be very patient to obtain, and is a real and true brag for me. I finished building my thatched farm house in ArcheAge last night!¬†

It took about two solid weeks of gathering and tree farming, including some nights where I broke down and bought the labor point potions. I gathered and processed all the materials for the packs by myself. At 10 stone, 5 iron and 5 lumber packs (about 3K raw stone, 1.5K iron and 1.5K wood logs), it consumed my gameplay and labor almost 100%.

I’m happy that it’s finally done, because that means I might be able to do other things in game now (like fishing).

About the House

The house is small, similar in size to the other small houses, but has a fairly good amount of land to farm around it. On the front is a water barrel that¬†allows you to draw water for your crops without having to run off to the well all the time. Inside, there’s a fireplace that you can interact with and light. When lit, I also had the ability to use Memory Ink to scribe my house’s location in my travel tome, allowing me to port back to my house whenever I need to.

I can open and shut the doors and two windows, which is pretty neat. And, of course, decorate inside.

Applying the last lumber pack to complete the farmhouse.
Applying the last lumber pack to complete the farmhouse.

The Farmer’s Workbench

Between the scarecrow farm and the farmhouse, I have plenty of farming land. I pulled up my small garden and used it to create the Farmer’s Workbench. This¬†isn’t actually a workbench — it reminds me more of the crafting mannequins in size — and must be placed outside the house.

I was pleased to see that the built-in shop allows me to purchase items with vocation badges that I usually find at the¬†Blue Salt vendors –¬†fishing supplies, farming supplies, pet potions, etc. This makes fishing much more convenient for me!

The bad side? My dreams of growing seed bundles for worms was quickly shattered. It seems these bundles require a much higher level of gathering than I have. So it’s going to take a long time before I’ll be seeing any of this.

Future Plans

Seeing that I’m almost broke now, the first thing I need to do is pad my pocket with a bit of gold again, just to feel more comfortable about where I’m sitting. That’s probably going to be through mining – I’m almost to the next proficiency level! Farming will be a thing, helping to work up the gathering skill. I’d like to work up my alchemy over time, too, which is directly tied to farming and mining. And, of course, fishing.

I’ve been neglecting my guilda stars quests, though I have enough for another farmhouse or boat if I want one. Seeing that I can do my sport fishing in freshwater lakes, I may not be in such a rush to secure the fishing boat. It’ll probably be just as difficult and expensive to make as the farmhouse was, to be honest.

Posted in ArcheAge, Bragtoberfest, Gaming, MMORPGs

Bragtoberfest: ArcheAge Executioner

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The Bounty Hunter cloak

I don’t know what it is about ArcheAge. I don’t find anything about the game to be absolutely amazing, yet, I log in each day, work towards my goals, stick around in world longer than I mean to, and usually have fun doing what I’m doing. That’s a good thing, right?

I’m pleased with my progress seeing that I’m playing fairly casual as far as leveling goes. I earned level 41 last night, and am already very close to level 42. Crafting does more than you think to boost experience!

Mining Win

ScreenShot0234I reached my previous goal of earning a rank up in mining. This wasn’t very hard to do as mining pretty much consumes most my time and labor in this game right now. I have two more stone packs to make to finish what I need stone-wise for my farmhouse, then I can move on to iron, which I have in spades.

This is the first skill I raised in proficiency, and I think it’s a pretty neat system. I need to research more on how it works, because I know you’re limited in the number of skills you take to certain levels.

Judge’s Gavel

I continue to serve on jury duty whenever I get the chance. The queues are getting longer and longer, which is a good sign of people slowly making their way into the level 30+ bracket and opening jury duty. After serving in the court 10¬†times, I found a neat little gavel item in my mail. It goes in the weapon slot, but is more cosmetic than anything else, naturally. Just thought it was funny and needed to post a screen of it. ūüôā

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Judge’s Gavel reward

Becoming an Executioner

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New Title!

After reaching level 40, I unlocked the quest for the bounty hunter’s cloak. This required me to hunt down two pirates, both whom put up a good, solid fight. A kind spectator assisted me on the first fight, while I died landing the fatal wound to the second pirate, earning my cloak and my first title.

I’ve been wanting a title in ArcheAge as they seem a bit more hard to come by (if you’re not a dungeon runner or founder). “Executioner” isn’t my first choice of titles, but it’ll do for now.

Level 40 Woes and Adventures

While questing and leveling isn’t my first choice in activities at this point, once the LPs run out, I have nothing else to do but quest. Due to mining and crafting, I’ve out-leveled the next questing area, Ynystere, by about 10-12 levels.

I only enter this area when there’s a peace time, as I have no interest in PVP. This does limit my questing time, and when I’m there, I blow through quests as fast as possible, not reading text like I normally would. Kinda sad that I do that, but it’s the cost of trying to play it super safe, I guess.

From time to time, I’d poke my head into Rookborne Basin. This area is on level for me, and seems to be at peace more often than Ynystere for whatever reason. The problem I have with that is that without questing in the lower level area, my gear is so far behind that I have trouble surviving a normal on-level enemy.

Last night, I was able to snag a level 40+ sword and bow, which gets me up to speed on my weapons. But armor was still an issue. When Ynystere turned peaceful¬†(right before bedtime¬†–ugh), I made a beeline there, searching for any quest that would offer me an upgrade to my armor.

Eventually, I had to turn to online guides, which informed me the quest that I wanted for half the armor was located all the way near the end of the zone. Good going.

So I scooped up that, then researched where to find the second half of the armor. I found out it was on the West continent, as it seems leveling in 30+ zones is split between the two continents – something I didn’t know! Thankfully, Halcyona was also in peace time (are the two zones linked, or was I just lucky?). So, I learned how to use the Worldgate, which deposits you on the other side of the world. I targeted the armor quest, got it done, and have a small upgrade, which I hope will be useful.

While armor isn’t a ¬†big deal to me, since I’m more here for the crafting and farming, I’d still like to have an up-to-level set for whatever I need to do.

This was also the first time I moved into areas that work through the tension system. When in peace phase, it’s interesting to run around questing next to reds of the enemy faction. No one can kill each other, so it works like a normal non-PVP zone for about two hours before PVP opens up again. I was a little nervous at first, sharing the same space with reds, but so far, I haven’t had any griefing or bad behavior from them. It seems like everyone is set on getting quests done during peace time.

Looking Forward

I’m getting closer and closer to completing my farmhouse. I’ll be so glad once I place these final two stone packs and I don’t have to use all my labor just to mine. I’ll probably still mine some because it’s good money, but I can turn towards other interests, such as fishing.

I learned that fishing doesn’t quite work the way I thought it did — apparently, the info I was reading was from early alpha, and things have changed since then. I have soooo many vocation badges after working to build this house… they’ll go to good use for buying chum and lures eventually!

My next big brag will be when the farmhouse is done. I’ll let you know about it when it happens!

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Posted in Bragtoberfest, Gaming, MMORPGs, The Secret World

Bragtoberfest: Progress in The Secret World

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Last week marked another accomplishment for me: After two years, I have finally finished the Egypt zones in The Secret World. 

What took me so long?

Well… I picked up TSW at launch (I’m a lifetimer), and really fell in love with everything it does well. This game, its world, its blend of real-world lore, its stories… these are things that have to be savored. Not something you can just rush through. It’s also something I have to be in the right mood to play. Fall, with Halloween on the way, tends to put me in that mood.

A little over a month after TSW launch, Guild Wars 2 released. I was sucked up into GW2 until about November/December that year, though I did visit in on TSW’s Halloween events because… well… the Cat King! I think I was finishing up Blue Mountain about that time, maaaybe just starting on the first Egypt area.

When the Buy 2 Play conversion happened later that year, I hooked my sister and Syn up with a copy of the game. We all started playing for a while, so naturally, I returned to replay all of Solomon’s Island with them as they worked through the story and missions. Somewhere during this time, I ended up maxing out my Templar status, even though I’d never seen the later reaches of the game. I still have a lot of work to do on filling out my skill wheel, but I’ve made good progress in playing the early stages all over again.

We put the game down for a while, and picked it up around Halloween last year. Did some leveling through golden weekend and such. All that time, my progress was still stalled in Egypt.

Finally, Syn caught up to me, and we started making progress through Egypt. Again, we put the game down for a while, and only returned to it recently. Last week, we finally finished up The City of the Sun God, officially passing me on to Transylvania for the first time!

I love the moral choices you're prodded to make in these between-the-zones scenarios.
I love the moral choices you’re prodded to make in these between-the-zones scenarios.

We’re continuing to have a good time watching the lore and story of this zone unfold, though it seems the challenge is ramping up for us. I really need to find a better build with my blades. Suggestions are welcome!

Can’t wait for Halloween in TSW! They always put on a good show.

aywren-2014-10-04-16-24-50
It’s that time of year again!
Posted in ArcheAge, Bragtoberfest, Gaming, MMORPGs

Bragtoberfest: ArcheAge – Hands Across the Water

 

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In my previous post for Bragtoberfest, I noted that this week’s ultimate goal was to earn the scarecrow farm in ArcheAge. This is a quest that requires you to create a trade pack in your home land and travel across the war-zone ocean into enemy territory to attempt to deliver it. Actually, to complete the quest, you only have to get within a certain radius of the trader NPC. Turning it in is actually a bonus.

Ambivalence

Do Want!
Do Want!

I’ve been putting off this quest for a long time. I don’t have a boat, aside from my personal rowboat, and I knew trying to make the trip on my own in this boat would be difficult at lower levels. I kept going back and forth on whether I wanted to complete this quest at all — once I had my thatched farmhouse built, I’d have farm land, afterall. But building it, especially the lumber packs, was slow going because all I have to farm with is my small garden and public tree farms, which allows only 5 trees at a time.

I am a part of a trade guild, so I mulled the idea of asking for help. But I’m new, and I haven’t provided much to them, so I felt bad to ask them for anything first.

Last night, I finally gathered all the materials I needed for the trade run previous to the scarecrow run, and was making that long, long trek across the East continent. Just as I was coming in for the turn-in, someone in my guild asks if anyone is doing the scarecrow farm turn-in. Much to my delight, a guildie was ready and willing with a clipper to set sail. I piped up and said that I needed the turn-in, too, though I needed time to finish the quest I was on, and craft my next pack.

First Clipper Ride

I have to give props to my guildies in <The Consoritium> (Lucius server). They were quick to group, patient to wait for my arrival to their ship, didn’t make fun of me when I didn’t know how to even board the ship (my first time interacting with one), and were pleasant and supportive the whole ride.

We didn’t encounter pirates or enemy faction in the waters, thankfully. The worst we had was some seabugs, which would have been a challenge for me to solo at my level, should I have decided to do this run by myself. On a clipper, the ride was shorter than I thought it would be. But soloing with a tradepack in a rowboat would have taken sooo long.¬†I was so glad I didn’t attempt it.

There were three of us turning in our packs on the enemy shore. We were nervous as we pulled in, despite having two higher level folks there to protect us. We made it within the radius of the turn-in for the quest completion, then decided to brave the reds for the full turn-in for Guilda Stars.

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I recognized the dock as we pulled up to it, seeing I started on the West side originally. I was about level 8-ish¬†when I reached that point in the West quests. So while we did encounter reds on the docks, most of them were so low leveled, they were probably more afraid of us! We weren’t there to make trouble, though. We got our turn-ins, they kept their distance, and we recalled home without any issues on either side.

Success!

Now, for the next challenge.

Finding a Place to Farm

I confirmed quickly that there was no room near my farmhouse to place my new farm. There were some areas where it was just on block too wide – so, so close to fitting. My next door neighbor’s taxes run out today, but I knew I’d have another week to wait, and no promise I’d be able to snag the lot. So, it was back to searching for a place to put my farm.

Even on the Lucius server, that was becoming a challenge.

On Saturday, when I was searching for a place to put my farmhouse, I ran across the Mahadevi Pumpkin Farm. The land indicated it was for Scarecrow Farms and Thatched Farmhouses, but a bug prevented me from placing my farmhouse. When I ran through it, it had a TON of open land.

Last night? Not so much.

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The pumpkin lights up!

As I ran through the fields, all claimed by farms, I sometimes chaffed at people who weren’t ¬†placing their farms in ways to conserve land and provide the most coverage for everyone. I was ready to give up when I saw it — the perfect spot on the edge of a cliff overlooking the ocean. And to my shock, it had just enough room for my farm!

I was stoked and surprised that such a prime spot was still open. It wasn’t super far from the crafting stations, either. Needless to say, I plunked my farm down there with glee. My goals for AA were slowly becoming a reality!

I had been gathering logs all week, with the idea to save up for the lumber packs I’d need for my farmhouse. I had enough to make the lumber pack for the farm, and decided I’d more than make that up once my farm was built. So I did it, and it’s done. Welcome to my farm plot “Awesomeview”. XD

I was amazed at how many trees I could fit on there. And in between, so many other little plants could thrive. In fact, I held back from farming it all because I need to save LP for mining.

Next goal of Bragtoberfest: Reach 10K mining skill in ArcheAge. I’m getting pretty close!

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Now THIS is what I call a farming location!

 

Posted in Gaming

Sims 4 – Turning It Around

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It’s been almost a month since Sims 4 released and I’m still cheerfully posting my Sim adventures on my¬†Simblr. You may have heard that there was a bit of grouch thrown at EA and Maxis, mostly due to the things the base game left out. Well, much to our surprise, it seems the team is working to turn that all around.

The Sims 4 community knew there was an announcement in the wings for today. We just didn’t know how big it was going to be.

Today marks the very first free content patch to Sims 4, including the previously missing Ghosts and new Star Wars costumes to get Sims in the spirit of Halloween! Along with that, we get a new Gnome and new eye colors.

Sweet!

If that’s not exciting enough, EA also announced that November would bring a free patch for the much-wanted pools.

December has a free patch for more careers (thank you – one of my complaints).

All of this is super exciting, especially seeing that the new framework that The Sims 4 is based on allows for this content to be directly streamed through updates, rather than something you have to go to a website and download.

I didn’t know how the team was going to handle all the backlash they got for the missing content in the base game. I had only hoped that it would be through free patches, and now, that’s come true. I’m genuinely stoked for this, and feeling pretty good about supporting this game in the future.

Keep the great surprises coming, Maxis! For more info on how ghosts work, check out this post at Kotaku.

 

 

Posted in Bragtoberfest, Gaming

Welcome Bragtoberfest 2014!

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October is one of my favorite times of year. I love fall. I love Halloween. So it’s a perfect time to join in a fall gaming fun festival with other bloggers, dubbed Bragtoberfest.

bragtoberfestIzlain of Me Vs Myself and I  describes this festival as:

We all know that the last few weeks have been a frustrating time to be a fan of video games. There are sections of the Internet and our society as a whole that don‚Äôt necessarily see things the way we do, and a huge push back against women, other minority groups, and the industry have stigmatized the word ‚Äúgamer.‚ÄĚ I want to take it back. I want us to remember why we started gaming in the first place. I want you to enjoy being a gamer, and to brag about your accomplishments in games, be it a high score shattered, a nice piece of loot earned, or your name at the top of a leaderboard. That bragging can take place however you see fit, be it via your blog, on a podcast, in a video, whatever you want. Let‚Äôs just get back to our roots as gamers.

I haven’t addressed this on¬†this blog because I feel that while it’s all important, social justice is better served by other writers. I try to stay away from these topics because that’s not why I created this blog. I have my own thoughts and opinions, but I prefer not to let these things muddy my reason for being here — writing about having fun as a gamer.

That being said, I’m 100% for this festival and think it’s a wonderful call to gamers, reminding us of why we are doing what we’re doing. When it stops being about fun, then I feel it’s defeated it’s purpose.

On Bragging

In general, I’m not a very competitive or braggy gamer. I’d rather co-op than compete. That’s why PvP and ganky survival games usually have nothing for me but frustration.

That being said, my idea of an accomplishment will probably be tame to other more experienced folks. So… no dissing my brags this month!¬†It’s the best I can do! Okay? XD

I’ll start with a brag that happened last week. I earned World Champion for a floor in the new Gauntlet… using THOR! Woot! I even beat cdrMShepard. ¬†ūüėČ

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I know my score has probably been beaten by now, but it was a good feeling at the time. ūüôā

Goal for this week: Earn my large scarecrow farm in ArcheAge (which means braving PvP-infested waters). Told you my brags would be lame. ūüėČ

If you’d like to get involved in Bragtoberfest, it’s not too late. Check out the Anook community here.¬†