Tuesday, October 6, 2020

I've Made My Plans

It's either feast or famine, apparently. A couple of weeks back I was struggling to find anything to write about. That's going to happen when just about all you do every day is dailies in the same three or four games. 

I wasn't even discovering any new music I could leech off for fast, flip posts because most of the time I used to use putting random search terms into YouTube has been eaten by the two streaming platforms I find myself subbing, Amazon Prime and Netflix. I'd really love to post about the shows I'm watching there as I rediscover and re-evaluate my own viewing history and unearth the gems I missed from the televisual renaissance that happened while I was playing MMORPGs all those years, except, it takes a long time to watch six, eight, ten seasons of anything, even a sitcom, and in the end they're shows everyone stopped talking about long ago so who cares what I think about them now?

Yeah, like I'd let that stop me. But still, there's the time factor. Can't get past that. And unless you're live-blogging your reactions as you watch each episode (hmm...) it's a really bad idea to draw conclusions before you've seen the whole thing. I mean, I really, really (I really say "really" too much, don't I?) want to post stuff about Bojack Horseman but it would be self-destructive in the extreme (ironically) to pick the narrative apart before it's over. Only six more episodes to go...


So, there I was, in some kind of late summer longueur. Or do I mean langour? I guess both. I wanted to keep up the frequency because it's kind of nice being someone who posts most days. It's a good self-image. In 2017 my productivity here fell to an all-time low with just a hundred and sixty two posts but I've been clawing back ground ever since, what with the help of a life-threatening illness and a global pandemic. It'd be nice to think I could have done it without that kind of intervention but I doubt it.

Now I'm in the swing of it, though, I'd like to keep, um, swinging, I guess? This being supposedly a blog about MMORPGs, what I need is a new one of those. Or, failing that, some other new game with claws. And legs. Those free games from Prime do a job. Trüberbrook was fun to play and write about. The Inner World was decent. Not finished that one yet. I was hoping for something good in the October round but bleh. Absolutely nothing I would even save for later let alone play now.

And then, out of nowhere, along comes Genshen Impact. One day, never heard of it; next day seventeen million downloads. Ok, four days. Same difference. 


That's on mobile, of course. No-one's saying how many PC gamers are playing but I am and so is Belghast. And I could get a post a day out of it, easy, too. There are all the screenshots I've taken, some of which are stunning. There's the writing, quotable and analysable. (That a word? Should be). There are the design choices, some awesome, some incomprehensible. The systems; so confusing. And my adventures. Genshen Impact is a great game for having those. They make stories I could tell.

And I want to tell them. Only now I have that thing where the time it takes to write about the game comes out of the time it takes to play the game and it's not like I write short, pithy posts that take a few minutes. I wish!

So there's that, but of course there has to be more, because that's how things go, isn't it? Life stretches out, flat as a rug, then you trip over it and it rucks up, in folds. I mean, it's been eight years and I never felt the need to finish the Personal Story in Guild Wars 2 and then I started that. Why? I think, because I was short of things to post about and I thought, well, that'll be something. But then it was easy and not not fun and it took three or four sessions and I took a lot of pictures and I found I had a lot to say about it that I could easily have stretched to fill two or three long posts and it wouldn't have been much of a stretch at that but when I'd finished I found I didn't want to spend the time.


So that was one post I got done. And then I played Genshin Impact the rest of the day and while I was playing I was thinking "I can post about this" and "I can post about that" and I took the screenshots and made mental notes, not that I wrote anything down, because usually I don't, don't need to, only when you're deep into a game and playing it a lot, by the time you get to the point where you'd write about it you've already gone past that point and the new stuff pushes out the old so maybe then you do need to make some actual notes. Yeah, but the pictures are the notes, if you take the right pictures, so there's that.

There's the plan, anyway. Only I'm still doing all those other dailies in the regular games because they give my days a structure, my weeks even, and it's a structure that's been useful in these last couple of years of work not being structured so much. Six months of this year I've just been home and even now it's just the two days a week and as yet never the same two days. 

About which I'm not complaining, not at all. I've spent my life trying to take my retirement in stages, kind of like Travis McGee, only without the boat or the objectionable worldview. The less I work the better, provided I get paid enough to live. So, I can't pretend I don't have the time for all of this because what else am I going to do, especially now the weather's broken and all I see out my window is rain?


Where was I? Oh, yeah, dailies. So, I've been keeping up with my dailies and this is the time of year - well, one of the times of the year - when game devs pump out stuff to keep us busy or at least logging in, so there's plenty to do. In EverQuest II I have to do my Overseer dailies (well, I don't have to because I already have almost everything you can get from those except there's this one adornment recipe I really need that just won't drop...) and also the weekly that feeds the one Ethereal quest I can do and now there's the panda quest too, also only once a week but they all add up. 

And then there's EverQuest. Where I've been doing the Overseer quests twice a day for almost the whole year. At the start I figured if I kept it up I could hit max level around my birthday in November but I never really believed I would. Keep it up, that is. Or hit max level. Ever.

And then I was almost there and it was obviously only a matter of time and not much time at that. And then, because this is the time of year for it, Daybreak announced yet another bonus xp scheme, one and a half times regular xp from today until October 19. 

I logged into EQ and collected my overnight Overseer rewards and with the bonus xp my magician was two per cent away from the cap. 

I was expecting to ding tonight or tomorrow. I'm working tomorrow so I won't be posting then. I was planning on posting about Genshin Impact today. I was looking forward to it. I had Thursday pegged for the post about reaching max level in EQ for the first time since Omens of War sixteen years ago. I thought about it and then I thought what the hell, and I set some new quests then paid the pittance in Daybreak Cash to finish a couple of them off the bat and DING!


Level 115 Magician in EverQuest. I buried that lede deep, didn't I?

So this is the post about that except it's not really because I have a whole lot more to say about the Overseer system in general and how it impacts on the leveling experience and therefore the heart and soul of the game and where it leaves me, emotionally and practically, now I finally have a character that can't just chip away at that cliff face any more, at least until the next expansion that raises the cap, which won't be this year, for sure...

When I'm going to write that post, I don't know. I have so many other posts in mind and I'm going to be struggling to get those done. So this might have to be it for this particular topic. World of Warcraft pre-patch drops in one week. I have three long posts half-written in my head, trying to get out, and stuff will happen that needs a response because it always does.

Dog days are over. Time to wake up.


  1. I used to rely on memory for blogging ideas, but that became fatiguing because far too often I'd have a post lurking just out of reach of recall. For years now I've had a scratchpad in the 'Cloud', Google Drive or OneDrive that I use to keep a list of post ideas, rarely with an outline of key points too. It's proven to be most useful. I even went through a phase of just putting draft posts into WordPress directly to keep them 'close to home'. But then I find it easier to make a quick note on Google Docs on my phone than to mess around with the mobile WordPress App.

    Genshin Impact looks beautiful from the screenshots I've seen here and elsewhere. The game style (coop rpg?) doesn't attract me as much at the moment, not least because I have Baldur's Gate 3 looming large as the obvious coop rpg to be playing with friends. Also my MMO plate is so full at the moment I can't say I want a new all-consuming game at such a rich gaming season. When we get into the New Year and things are suddenly quiet, perhaps then I'll finally give it a whirl...

    1. Genshin Impact is one of those games that looks better in-game than the screenshots suggest, so as you can imagine it's very pretty indeed. So far it is 100% a solo affair for me - I think you need to be Adventure Rank 16 for co-op but I'm not sure. I did consider trying to get Mrs Bhagpuss to play, because there are aspects I think she'd love, but the unchanging look of your character(s) wouldn't be much of a selling point and I can't imagine she'd like the combat so I imagine i'll be playing the whole game solo, unless I end up doing any PUG domains (the GI term for dungeons).


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