Posted in Gaming

FFXIV: Haurchefant & Aymeric Buttons

2015-08-12 17.15.05 HDR

I saw folks around Tumblr who picked up these adorable FFXIV buttons created by Blancmange. I couldn’t resist the Haurchefant and Aymeric, though there are buttons for Scions as well!

I put them on the corners of my monitor, so Haurchefant will always be protecting my PC with a smile. 🙂

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Posted in Blogging

My Blog Museum

tl;dr: I launched a page where I’ve archived old blog posts that I imported from my old WordPress blog.

museum_symbolReading a number of gaming bloggers I’ve noticed one thing. The blog that many people are currently blogging on right now is not necessarily the one they first started blogging on. Many have changed platforms, designs, branding and domain names… which makes me feel better about my own sporadic blogging habits.

I don’t know how many blogs I’ve launched over the past 10 years. I know there was one about webcomics. One about learning to play guitar. A few random-ish blogs. A couple attempts at fiction-based writing blogs. As a matter of fact, just a few weeks before I reinstalled WordPress on this domain (for the second… third time), I had purchased a new domain and launched yet another writing blog.

I ended up dumping that blog, though, once I saw just how very many fiction writing blogs are out there. The ones that were there seemed to have it covered and I really couldn’t think of what I could do to expand on what they were already saying. So, I scrapped it and launched this blog instead, which was a really good move.

I know you probably are thinking “but there’s already so many gaming blogs out there, how is this different from the fiction writing blog scene?” I dunno. I just feel like there’s more room in the gaming blogosphere, but I can’t tell you why. Also, you can be a gamer and have a valued opinion without having to prove your “authority” by selling a ton of ebooks on Amazon or sign a publishing contract or something. XD

Anyhow, the point of this post is… 

statsYesterday, I saw Jeromai post about WordPress stats, so I got curious and went to look at my own. They seemed pretty good to me overall, except I noticed a strange blip during 2012 and 2013. I mean, I launched this blog in 2014, right? So what’s all that?

Clicking through, I noticed the titles of some of the old blog posts I wrote many years ago, back on a previous WordPress install on this domain. I got curious, and hunted down my WordPress .xml file export where I found a lot of this old content still stored away. This was back when I was trying to write primarily about fiction writing and creativity… topics that are dear to me, but I struggled to find consistent things to write about. The blog eventually fizzled out, but there were comments and discussions and me trying so hard to be a blogger back when blogging was the hot thing to do.

I thought it was kinda sad to let all that work just vanish like that, but the posts don’t really fit in with a lot of the newest content I write now. So, I decided to create a Museum section of this blog, instead, and imported the old posts in, complete with old dates and all the original comments! I did have to fix the broken images – I also had those saved – but everything should be there in working order, just like it was when I wrote them… some of them being 6-7 years ago!

Don’t laugh too hard, please! 🙂

Do you have some old blog posts stashed away somewhere? Or do you just wipe old blogs clean and forget they even existed?

Posted in Blaugust, Gaming

MMO Memory Box: Horizons: Empire of Istaria ~ #Blaugust Day 12

This is part of the Blaugust series!

Horizons is now better known as Istaria. It’s a game I’ve actually returned to over the past decade, and in 2009-2010, I even wrote several articles about it for MMORPG.com.

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Istaria is a game that is dear to me, even though I don’t play it anymore.

It was an amazing game at launch because it was the first to offer a true playable dragon race! Dragons start out as a hatchling, and through a rite of passage, become adult and eventually ancient. They can fly, have their own skills, have their own type of crafting, and build dragon lairs to live in. I loved my time playing as a dragon, and still miss my dragon character so much.

Istaria also has amazing crafting, including the ability to buy your own plot of land out in the world and build anything you can fit on there. Guilds often bought entire towns, which consist of several plots that guild members can purchase individually and help build a guild city. The community there was small, but usually welcoming and very helpful.

In the early days, the game was one of the first (that I knew of) to attempt dynamic events, where blight anchors would drop in the world and infest the area until players came to clean it. The blight could even come and claim player-owned cities, making housing impossible to reach until enemies were dispatched. This was the fun of it, though I was never high enough leveled to take part in these events back when they ran.

Sadly, Istaria ran upon hard times and changed ownership over and over. The first time the game was sold off, it was a big hit to player morale. I remember being afraid that all the time, money and effort I was putting into the game was going to be wiped away. That was the point when I decided to leave the game, even though I really loved the world and wanted to see my dragon fly.

The folks at Virtrium, who have owned Istaria since 2007, have done a lot to stabilize and improve the game over the years. I did return back in 2009, and found the population was rather small. So, I decided to help the game out by writing articles, which surprisingly MMORPG.com picked up quite generously. The Istaria team was very helpful and encouraging, and really embraced the articles I wrote. I often got feedback that they saw new people joining the game due to my articles, which was the highest complement I could get!

I eventually left Istaria again, mostly due to personal stuff. I just got caught up in too much freelance work, and since freelancing paid the bills, I had to cut back on gaming and writing for outside sources at that point in my life. Though I haven’t played the game again – there is a F2P option, but not for dragons – it’s one I still remember with fondness. I check in on the forums from time to time and still read the newsletter updates. 🙂

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