Posted in Writing

Opting Out of Camp NaNoWriMo

camp-nanowrimoI’ve never backed out of a NaNoWriMo I had previously signed up for, but I have today. The next Camp NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow, and I’m, to put it gently, really just not ready for it.

I feel like I need to sit down and work through a stronger outline and formalize plot points, especially after I struggled so hard to write back in April. I took one look at what I jotted down in my notebook, and felt just as lost as I did earlier in the year. While I have a lot of strong over-arching plot ideas, there’s so many holes that I think it will be more of a struggle to attempt writing at this point.

I always knew the nature and content of Runne would be a much harder story to write than Dreigiau was. It has to do with a story that touches on so many characters and covers such an expansive time line. Writing in Segments helps alleviate that somewhat, but I still need a basic structure to the story. Right now, I just don’t have that and don’t feel up to the challenge of figuring it all out.

There are a lot of very important events about to take place in Runne, and I know that they must all make sense for the story to work. Some things you just don’t rush, even if you do tend to write on-the-fly.

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV Heavensward: A Pictorial Journey to the Churning Mists


Spoilers and such! I’m going to try not to give too much away, but screenshots will be posted!

I really meant to blog about our progression in Heavensward last Friday. But I got lazy and didn’t get around to it, sadly. So that means I have twice as much to blog about now, and moreso. And man, what a ride it’s been!

When I left off at the last blog post, we had yet to defeat Ravana at level 53. We have since beat him and moved ever deeper into the winding Heavensward story. I remain totally impressed by the complexity of the story as well as the gradual and sometimes moving development of NPCs around me.

Here’s a secret: I didn’t start out liking a number of NPCs when they joined my story. As a dragoon main class, two of them had acted as either a rival or an outright enemy to me… both for complex reasons of their own. I love how Heavensward reaches back to characters from 2.0 and starts to show you how much more there is underneath what you thought you knew.

Syn commented on the darkness of the story. It is dark, and sometimes it feels like the dangers we face are too big to overcome. But I responded that I feel the little victories as I watch our NPC companions change. Like good writing, it’s often small things that they do and what they come to realize. When they start to grow as characters, I feel it’s a positive and important step forward for everyone.

I love how the characters I doubted and viewed with mistrust or apathy… turned to groan-worthy… then to characters I start to admit that I’m beginning to like… to me finally saying, “If they do something bad to this character, I’m going to be sad!”

This is the first time FFXIV has provided a long-standing party of characters who journey with you at this length. And I think that it worked very well.

Syn and I are currently level 56 and have left off in the story at that point. Seeing that she’s out of town for at least a week, I don’t know how much progression I’ll make on Tai. But I do expect to work on leveling up Zuri in her absence!

So, to start with, we beat Ravana and befriended dragons.

Once that was done, we were granted access to Sohm Al, where we fought many dragons and crystals did funky things.


After passing through that trial, we came out into the vast, beautiful Churning Mists. Here, we met with moogles. Lots of moogles. And some very awesome sky weather.





Moogle quests award some… interesting looking armor. I think moogles were secretly laughing at us when we weren’t looking. Thankfully, we outgrew the armor quickly.


Our party rests under the stars as we draw nearer to the object of our journey. We reflect upon the trials of the past and consider what is yet to come.

I think I’ll leave off here as the rest of the story in this zone is much more spoiler-filled.

I really enjoy the Churning Mists (despite the fact I was under leveled and had to take on millions of moogle quests). It’s nice that the zone gets you flying pretty early on in, which makes access to just about everything much, much better.

Looking forward to where this story is going to take us!

Posted in Gaming, Guild Wars 2, MMORPGs

GW2: Welcome Back Lion’s Arch

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I can never tell what is a social experiment in GW2 and what isn’t. The team has often admitted that things in the Living Story, in particular, were a process of experimentation. Apparently, that experiment didn’t go quite as they thought because now there’s going to be an expansion that we were told years ago would never happen. Ah, well.

When they razed Lion’s Arch over a year ago, I kinda felt like that was yet another experiment to see how the population would deal with not having a central gathering hub. The destruction of Lion’s Arch, followed by mega servers, did change things from a social perspective. Folks who used to park their characters or meet up in LA now went to other towns. Divinity’s Reach became a substitute social hub, especially for RPers, from what I understand.

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Farewell to the Lion Fountain 😦

In the end, a large group of players are going to gather in one social spot, and I don’t think there’s a lot anyone can do about that. I wonder what Anet’s experiment told them… because now, they’ve finally decided to bring back Lion’s Arch. And they didn’t just build it back the way it was before, but they’ve rebuilt it to be completely different from the ranshackle boat-city that was frustrating to navigate, but we’d grown to love.

When I first saw the concept art for this, I felt pretty uncertain.

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Concept Art

It was… interesting… but didn’t give off a traditional Lion’s Arch vibe to me at all. So I was a bit concerned about how this was shaping up. Not to mention that the team kinda suddenly sprung the fact on us that they were bringing Lion’s Arch back after having left it sit in rubble for so long.

I guess I was a little disappointed we didn’t get to see more of a gradual step-by-step rebuilding of the city. But seeing how intricate the outcome was, I understand why they probably couldn’t have done it. Because it looks nothing like it used to.

When I logged in on Tuesday to check it out – and I still haven’t seen all of it – I did so with hesitation. I was pleasantly surprised by what I found.

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Remade Lion’s Arch

It’s a little sad that the boat-houses and basic pirate structures were scrapped. However, the stone structures and wide open spaces that were put in its place were much more reminiscent of the old Lion’s Arch in GW1.

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LA of GW1

Of course, they’ve fancied things up with neat sea-themed decorations everywhere. And they now seem to have beefed up defenses with cannons and ships (smart move).

Overall, while I am still a little bummed out that they wiped our main social hub back then, I will admit that I like the feeling of the new Lion’s Arch. It is much easier to navigate, and was built with the idea of hosting events and gatherings that may bring a large number of players to one spot. I have yet to fully explore the city, but I’m content to make it my new log-in and log-out spot as I pop in to get my daily chests. XD

I’m totally lost with what they’ve done to our skill tree, though. Don’t even ask me what my builds are anymore, either. But at least the city is pretty again. That counts for something in my book.