A Belated Anniversary

I’ve been so caught up in all that’s going on in my life I completely forgot about the seventh anniversary of this blog. Usually I like to do a reflection post the day of, but I guess this year it’s going to have to be a few days late.

When in doubt, post a TSW screenshot.Since this kind of snuck up on me, I haven’t had the chance to think much about what to say.

I suppose the biggest change to come out of the last year — at least as far as topics relevant to this blog go — is the fact that I’ve returned to writing fiction regularly with the goal of finally finishing the Soulcleaver books.

That has been, perhaps unsurprisingly, a bit of a rocky road. Things have not progressed as quickly as I might have liked. But they are progressing at least.

As of this month, I’ve finally finished my first draft of book three, currently titled The Bloodforged Host. This was probably the most difficult book I’ve ever written, and I’m very glad to finally be moving past it.

Of course now there’s book four to deal with (and eventually book five), but I’m hoping that will be a bit easier. Those later books will have more action. And Dragons.

I do think I might take a short break before starting on book four — I need time to collect my thoughts anyway — but I’m going to try not to waste too much time. I really want to see this series finished.

Seesha Avallen, Elven RunnerAnother noteworthy change over the past twelve months is that I’ve been spending less time on video games and more on offline gaming, like Dungeons and Dragons.

Unfortunately the campaign I blogged about a few weeks back has fallen through due to our DM being too busy, but one of the players from that campaign has now stepped in as dungeon master for a new campaign.

In the new campaign, I’m playing as a Tiefling monk who is also taking the occasional level in bard. I was inspired by the Brazilian martial art of capoeira, which was created by slaves and disguised as a dance. Being Tieflings are something of an underclass in D&D lore, it made sense to me that they might develop a similar fighting style so they could learn to protect themselves without arousing suspicion.

I’m enjoying the character so far, but I will admit I miss my Elven paladin. That was pretty much my perfect RPG character. Angsty Elf girl with a bow and support magic. All of the yes.

I don’t ever want to reach the point where I give up on video games — I’m loving Vampyr at the moment — but I do think it’s been good to get out more and spend less time staring at screens.

Embracing a citizen in Dontnod's dark fantasy RPG VampyrThat’s also part of why I’ve spent less time blogging. I want to spend more time out in the world and less in cyberspace.

And that’s about the limit of my sleep-deprived brain can come up with as far as reflections on the past year, I’m afraid. I want to once again thank my readers for their support. May there be many more years of bloggery ahead of us.

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New Articles: Essential and Outdated Features, and Appealing Leveling

Time for another round-up of my latest articles published at MMO Bro.

My Void Elf hunter in World of WarcraftFirst, I take a look at the six features no MMO should launch without, then go on to examine the other end of the spectrum: design choices that need to be retired outright.

Finally, I run down the ways MMOs can make leveling more appealing, so it doesn’t end up feeling like a chore before the “real” game.