Saturday, May 9, 2015

A poem, because my brain is trying to kill me again.

I got nothing. Massive depression hit, then after I started to dig out of that, I learned that a) I have major anxiety, and b) anxiety attacks make me suicidal in a "FUCK MUST ESCAPE" sort of way. Oh joy.

I was at least smart enough to get help before I did something stupid this time, so the suicide attempt counter stays at 7ish! Go me! But there has been no gaming, almost no knitting, mostly reading, and no real desire to talk about anything.

But I want to do my best as far as writing for this blog, even if I feel like screaming every time I think of it lately. So, here, I stole a poem and slightly rewrote the first stanza for you guys!

Hormones! Oh hormones! 
I hate you! You stink!
I wish I could wash you 
away in the sink, 
if only a bomb 
would explode you to bits.
Hormones! Oh hormones!
You're giving me fits!
- with apologies to Shell Silverstein!

Original Source (second poem down)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Costuming (because I haven't been gaming)

So, not much gaming lately. Between physical pain (best guess is severe internal scarring on my intestines caused by my uterine lining growing on it for 15 years and man I wish I was kidding about that 15 years bit) and mental suck (clinical depression, how I hate thee), there's been loads of knitting and no gaming. Figured you wouldn't be interested about the knitting (ooh, socks!), but I went to 221B this past weekend (local Sherlock Holmes con) and I figured I could talk about costuming! Or rather I could talk about what I end up doing costuming-wise and how I go about it.

So, here's me on Friday and then on Sat. I basically was trying for a Steampunky/Victorian sort of look, more trying to get the spirit then being historically accurate (plus I think full Victorian might make me fall over cause like 20 pounds of clothes).

First off, yes, that is the same corset both days (and if I had a full body pic you'd see the light blue skirt again on Sat with a different overskirt). A well-fitted corset should be comfortable, NOT PAINFUL. Seriously. Basic corset tips...1) you get what you pay for. That corset was around 200 bucks, but comfortable enough for me to wander around in two days straight. Also, looks cool.  2) Measurements are really important, especially if you're buying online. Make sure you know yours & pay attention to what the website says about sizing, Different makers do things different ways. 3) The corset will conform to your body over time. The one I was wearing in the pics is now curved to my body shape which makes it way more comfy (and that's one of the reasons to go for a more expensive corset if possible, the cheap ones have boning that a) tend to break and b) won't adjust over time to your body). 4) They're like bras and necklines, different types work best for different body types.

Second, you can make awesome costumes out of separates. Let's go back to Friday.... Tank top's a cheap one from Walmart that I thought looked vaguely Victorian. Shawl over my shoulders was bought at Target because I liked the color and it had hidden skulls. Light blue skirt is going to be part of a DragonCon costume. The dark blue skirt (which is actually two skirts, I put the other skirt in between them) came second-hand from a friend. Necklace is inherited costume jewelry, as are the earrings. On Saturday, that tank top (which I own in 4 different colors because I like the style) is, again, Target. The necklace is one I wear all the time (am wearing now, in fact), and the flowers in my hair were gathered from the garden before I left. Baby Groot in my cleavage (yes, that's a Baby Groot) was bought at the con because he made me happy and stuck in my cleavage because it was a safe place to put him.

I go for separates most of the time because it allows me more flexibility. I can do much more with two tops and two skirts than I can with two dresses. The tops get thrown into my normal clothing rotation and the skirts might (depends on their length and style, I wear my Renn Faire skirts quite a bit but the Rev War one really only comes out for costuming). And here's some more examples....
DragonCon a couple years back. Rev War skirt, same corset, shirt I've had for years, cloak I've had for years (and is a surprisingly practical garment for GA).

Halloween a couple years back. Renn Faire skirt (I own two and wear them frequently), Renn Faire shirt (used to wear lots, doesn't work well anymore since I lost weight), same corset and stole I designed and knit. Oh, and shoes I still live in.

Halloween 2014. Shirt from Walmart, corset's a Renn Faire one, and I have no idea what skirt I was wearing, I can't remember. This green corset actually gets more costuming wear than the brown, but I have less pictures of it for some reason (possibly because I stink at remembering to get pics of myself in costume).

All of these outfits were more or less thrown together by my looking in my closet and going "hmm, I think this might work." It helps that my style tends towards the Victorian and Renn Faire and I costume to that. I don't really do 20th century because I don't own much that works for those styles.

I guess the take-away from this rambling should probably be along the lines of the following...
1) It's way easier to come up with a con costume if you're flexible and creative. Sure, you're much more likely to get oohs and ahs with a perfect Thorin, but we're going for easy.
2) Separates are more flexible and a better bang for your costuming buck

Sorry guys, suppose this wasn't very useful for you. Um, you can do an amazing variety of costumes with one good black suit. That's all I got for you.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Getting Started in ESO (or WTF is the minimap?)

Alrighty, so you bought the ESO box, you've installed, downloaded the 25gb or so of patches, made a toon, did the tutorial and now you're out and about and hitting m every 5 seconds because you don't have a minimap! Also, you might have some guards after you because you mis-clicked and stole something. Well, I'm here to help!

No, there is no way to enable a mini-map, you need an addon for that. But, the addon system is very user-friendly, and heck, there's even a program like curse for wow to keep track of 'em and install them for you. It's called Minion and you can find it here. It's pretty self-explanatory, go to find more to find addons, installed is the addons you already have, ect.

If you don't want an addon-manager, you can download addons from such sites as esoui (I've gotten a couple from there, no horrible doom thus far). Download 'em, unzip into Documents/Elder Scrolls Online/live (or liveeu)/AddOns  (path is for Win 8.1 and default install, your path may vary), and load up the game.

Once you've got the game going, just go to the addons option in the main menu. From there you can enable and disable individual addons, enable out-of-date ones, all the normal things. If you want to change the settings of a particular addon, you want to check in settings, not addons (that threw me a bit at first).

Now, the most important part, what addons do you want? Well, I can't read your mind, but I can tell you what I'm using, starting with the two that solve the no mini-map and stealing issues.

First off, we have No Accidental Stealing, which does what it says on the tin. Or, to be more specific, you can't steal unless you're already sneaking (and you probably always want to be sneaking and hidden when stealing unless you like running from the guards).

Second, MiniMap by Fyrakin. Yes, now you have a minimap! And you can even mess around with transparency and make it look all pretty.

Beyond that, there's a ton more. I have Foundry Tactical Combat, Esohead, Lorebooks, SkyShards, Wykkyd's Quest Tracker (love this one!), Inventory Grid View (another highly recommended one because the default inventory is not so good), AI Research Grid, and a bunch of others. See...

As you go along, you'll likely find things you think could be made easier to manage, and hey, there's probably an addon for that, just like in WoW! (And I have no economy addons because I have no reason to, not because they don't exist).

So go forth and play! After all, if you don't like the addon, you can always uninstall it, no harm no foul.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Trying ESO (again)

So, with ESO now buy-to-play, I jumped in again to try it. I had played for a while over the summer, but it didn't really grab me. There were some awesome bits (exploration, gather ALL THE THINGS), some eh bits (so many choices with skill points, so many crafting things) and some bad bits (combat at which I suck, bag issues, lack of an AH, horrible endgame (so I heard, my highest character was 10)).

But with not having to pay, I figured it was worth another try, if for no other reason that the awesome bits were really fun. And so far, so good.

I rolled a new toon to go through the tutorial again, and they've improved it vastly. The plot makes more sense and is tighter, and the combat feels much better (I will have to jump on my sorcerer once I figure out a build for her and try her, since she's the one I had the most issues with). The exploration is still great, and best of all, I can steal stuff! I had way too much fun sneaking around stealing from containers and then selling it all to the fence for a decent profit (200 gold!). You can also pickpocket and kill people, but I haven't tried those yet (I generally don't pickpocket in games and I have more sense than to try to kill anyone when I'm level 3).

So I'm having fun and would recommend it. The other people running around can get annoying on occasion, especially if you're all after the same thing, but that happens in any crowded MMO (and since this one is a megaserver one, it always feels a bit crowded to me). You can customize the interface with addons (a necessity I think, since the default interface is a bit sparse and less than useful), and it's a beautiful game with loads to do.

Sadly my old screenshots have vanished (unless they're backed up somewhere, which is possible), but here's a few I took with the new toon. This one's from the tutorial (and the minimap is an addon and I've already forgotten how I lived without it).

Here we're out and about in a starting zone (and I think I capped this because of the how to steal box, I do that so I can go back and look at stuff if needed).

And here we have the new toon crafting.

So, my thoughts thus far (summed up)...
character creator still awesome, with loads of choices (almost overwhelming, but still awesome, and realistic body types, yay)
combat feels better (and I know that's incredibly vague, sorry, but I never did nail down why it felt so awkward before other than me being not good at that sort of combar)
bag space still an issue, but that's what alts are for
there seems to be more gold rewards than I remember, which is great as both bag space and mounts are really expensive
the shop is unobtrusive and nothing in it is in any way buy to win (imho, of course).
environment is still gorgeous and exploration is still way too much fun, as is gathering

I won't be subbing at the moment. I'm already subbed to lotro, and the 10% XP bonus you get for subbing in ESO is not really worth it to me. I'm in no hurry to level up, I'd rather run around the world and explore and gather and steal stuff.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Plans going forward

I am still playing games, mostly LotRO. I'm looking forward to ESO going buy to play since I already own it and tried it last summer. I hear the Secret World has made some big changes, so that's downloading on Steam as we speak.

I've just gotten out of the habit of talking about gaming, or really much of anything that isn't me whining on Facebook about how my RL sucks (which it kinda does, I'm disabled atm and still trying to come to terms with that and figure out what, if anything, medical science can do).

So, here's the plan. At least one blog post a week. If I haven't played a game that week (which does happen), I will find something else to talk about and will do my level best to make sure it's gaming-related. I do reserve the right to talk about knitting or post pictures once in a while, since that and reading are my other two hobbies.

Now, what I've been up to in LotRO....
I'm switching mains from the hunter Nathyrra to the minstrel Aerthiel. As part of that I've been trying to get zone deeds done. I've checked off North Downs and Forochel, and the pic below is of the most painful deed I've come across yet. Not hard, just boring as heck. These ice cloud guys have 2 fixed spawn points in the entire zone, one with 3 and one with 3 and the occasional 4th wanders by. They respawn roughly every 3 minutes. I had to kill 300 or so in total and they die in 10 seconds. Not a fun challenge.
I've started on Angmar with her, I've rolled a Beorning (the new class/race), and I'm generally just puttering along. My runemaster's in Moria at the moment, Nathyrra's stuck at the last battle to unlock Mirkwood (which is a blog post in itself), and most of my other toons are growing crops for gold.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

RIP Sir Terry Pratchett

It may be bad form to resurrect a blog for this, but I don't care.

Sir Terry Pratchett, the noted author, died today. I've been reading his books for over half my life, and I wanted to say, well, thanks.

Thank you for teaching me how to laugh even in the depths of depression when I was sure everyone in the world would be better off if I was dead.

Thank you for making me a better writer.

Thank you for helping to shape my sense of humor.

Thank you for showing me the ridiculousness inherent in Life.

Thank you for giving me amazing female role models of all kinds, remarkable not because they were female, but because they were human.

Thank you for the Discworld.

I could go on and on about how your writing shaped mine, how your work made my life so much better in many little ways, and how much I owe to you, but I fear if I make this much longer I won't be able to see the screen through my tears, so....


For those wondering where to start with Sir Pratchett, I'd suggest Small Gods if you're okay with a (mostly) gentle mocking of organized religion and philosophy.  There are starter novels to the various "series", which I don't really recommend as a first Pratchett novel simply because they were almost all written early in his career while he was still honing his craft. I'd also suggest The Truth, or Monstrous Regiment. This article from io9 has a nice chart, and if you're curious, I started with Mort when I was 13 or so.