To Boldly Nerd…

Video games, pen&paper RPGs and other nerdery

2014 – A retrospective

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Another year has come and gone, and once again I didn’t blog as much as I would have loved to. I think about blogging a lot, mostly while commuting to and from work. Then I get home, plonk down in front of my computer, and start gaming or prepping Pathfinder.

Still, let’s look what happened for me in 2014:

Gaming:
In February, I had my WoW-catharsis. After very intensive play-time throughout MoP, Siege of Orgrimmar managed to break me. I stopped logging in and in February, after 1.5 months of not playing, I finally admitted that I was done with WoW. I was fully convinced that that was it for me after 9 years of playing, because I just had no more interest in it. All the news coming out in regards to WoD and its bros, plus the chopper nonsense, it really killed it for me. I still feel bad for the people who stayed without a break, that long time doing SoO over and over, that seriously can’t have been fun.

In March, I hopped on the Wildstar train. I don’t know why I can be such an MMO migrant at times. Wildstar had me more excited than any other MMO since WoW and I was fully convinced that I would be writing a Wildstar blog. I got linked on Reddit, and the high view numbers inspired quite the fervor in me. From March to June I blogged a lot about Wildstar, about closed, open beta and release. I still think it was a fantastic release, and it’s a great MMO with very interesting, challenging combat, a colorful world and lore, and fantastic housing. But it’s not a casual player’s game, and not even a casual hardcore player’s game. It’s a huge time-sink, and when I couldn’t commit to the time, I felt deflated and stopped logging in as well.

The summer and fall were spent going through my Steam pile. I played AC Liberation (hate it), Black Flag (LOVE IT!), Bastion, The Wolf Among Us, Remember Me (underrated gem) and Arkham Asylum (unfinished playthrough, but excellent).

In November I crawled back to WoW like the good sheep I am. The LFG documentary hit all my feels and like many others, I went back to WoW with a full blast of nostalgia on. I have been playing since then, have three max-level characters by now, and until a couple days ago I was still fairly adrift because I couldn’t figure out what character I want to main through raids. WoW is casual enough that I will be able to raid once or twice a week with far less commitment than Wildstar would have required. On top of that, that’s where all my social connections are. I have moments of frustration with WoD and the whole garrison approach, but mostly, I have fun. I know I will probably disappoint some old readers who were excited I went back to warrior at the start of the expansion, but I decided that my main will be my Tauren paladin, healing it up for this expansion.

I am also working my way through Dragon Age: Inquisition, but extremely slowly. Everyone who’s read this blog since its inception knows that I fiercely loved Dragon Age 2. I still do! Screw repeated maps and the lesser scope. I loved Hawke and her companions, in all their gloriously flawed brilliance. I wish I could say the same about DA:I so far. The main character is fairly Mary Sue so far. Why can’t I be sarcastic, like Sarcastic Hawke? The companions leave me equally unconvinced. I am aghast because the options you have as gay lady when it comes to romance are quite disappointing. No Cassandra? Irritating Serah? I guess it’s got to be Josephine the dull bureaucrat. Bah. I should note I am only like 12 hours in, but I keep waiting for story to actually kick in.

Books:
I read a lot in 2014. I broke my own reading record and read 53 books and graphic novels. I probably cheated a bit by including Pathfinder rulebooks into the mix, but hey, that’s books too! My standouts were Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson (my overall favorite), Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch, The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells, and The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin. Bonus shoutout to Fables, the comic that The Wolf Among Us is based on. Biggest disappointment of the year: Touchstone by Melanie Rawn. All the tears, it makes me so sad that it was so terrible.

RPG:
I am still all about Pathfinder, huzzah. The campaign I play in is converting from D&D 3e to Pathfinder, and I am hoping that will make my rogue a lot more fun. She will be more powerful, as the general power level is quite a lot higher in Pathfinder, IMHO. I shouldn’t complain though, our group is currently investigating an old temple, full of traps and such, which has given me a lot of opportunities to be all super-rogue. Schmitt is getting a bit frustrated, because her asocial ranger doesn’t really get to shine in such a dungeon crawl.

The group I GM will have its 4th session next weekend. The way we’re playing, we’ll finish Rise of the Runelords in approximately 5 years, playing once a month. I wrote about my worries in session 2, but session 3 was a sweeping success. Everyone was role-playing their hearts out, and the group dynamic felt tons better. I struggled slightly, but I don’t think anyone noticed, because it turns out that our party barbarian is a sexist pig of the kind that thinks no means yes. He wanted to force his way into Shalelu’s room at the inn. Awkward as lady GM. I think I managed to sort that out. It led to an interesting conversation with the GM of my other group who mentioned he once had a creepy player who was very into rape ICly, and got kicked out of the group for that. Yuck.

Anyway, both groups are going strong, though I am having far more fun with my own campaign. I feel more involved, naturally. For 2015, I want to be much better at writing session reports, and more reviews of tools and RPG books. I am considering buying a more modern tablet, because reading PDFs on our 2012 Nexus is a bit torture. It’s so damn slow.

Other stuff:
My beloved kitty Jenny passed away in June, and I still mourn her every day. We got two kittens, one in July, one in September, and you can see them everyday in my SO’s photoblog. They are delightful and make us very happy.

I got a promotion at work and am pleasantly challenged every day. I love (most of) my co-workers, I totally lucked out by running into a bunch of fellow nerds. I love it.

I traveled to London in spring, and the US in fall. I saw Sophie Ellis-Bextor, my imaginary wife, play live in a church, and it was beautiful. I met Spinks and her husband again, this time in London, and they’re great people.

I am confident that for 2015 I will be able to blog more than in the past. But I say that every year. On to another year of cool computer games, great books, and tabletop gaming with friends.

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