Tag Archives: personal updates

First, my dad was discharged yesterday. Severely restricted diet, but otherwise, he’s out of danger for now. I’d like to thank everyone for being there for me when the chips were down, as it kept me going. :)

Second, I’m suffering from the same issue that kept me from progressing beyond level 38 back in the day. I keep getting invested in making alts because all the tradeskills are interesting. Previously on Landroval, I had a Level 22 Guardian Metalsmith and a 21 Hunter Cook. I’ve also got a 17 Runekeeper Scholar that I quite like, gameplay wise… even if leveling up scholar is a pain in the rear end.

I’ve decided to retire my loremaster Jeweller and transferred all the stuff I made on it previously onto a Champion, who will also be a Jeweller.

Lastly, I’m a dick for flowers. Basically, the new Spring Flower-picking activity is turning on my competitive streak, and I end up using my horse and the natural speedbuff my 43 Warden possesses to race other people who are closer to a patch of flowers, and then I pick it first. I have become obsessed with getting a 68% speed mount sooner rather than later, and that Jester’s Steed would be the fastest way to acquire one, if I get lucky. 40 flower boxes later… I am still not lucky, and I’m morally bankrupt as well.


Category: LOTRO, MMOs, Personal

Two milestones within the past 24 hours.

First, after owning an almost three year old account, I finally have one LOTRO character that’s above Level 40. It’s a warden (my favorite LOTRO class), and he’s basically the third warden I’ve ever created and played as a main.

More importantly, it’s 12:21am of May 23 in the Philippines. I am now 29.

Lastly, whether you pray or not, I’d appreciate any healing vibes, well-wishes, or prayers you can send over to my dad. My sister and I took him to the hospital around two hours ago as he was feeling light-headed. I’m home now, but my mom’s staying with him till we figure out what’s happening. Long story short, emergency room visit + various medical tests = sleepless, restless me at home.

Anwyay, that’s all.


Category: LOTRO, MMOs, Personal

Before I post any advice regarding writing and maintaing a blog, I thought it would be a good idea if I first discussed the reasons why you, dear reader, should blog.

Many people find reasons not to do something. A good number of people choose to do something because despite all those myriad reasons to not do a particular action, they find one redeeming reason to go ahead and try anyway.

Sometimes, you may feel scared that you’d get rejected by fellow bloggers or maybe even trolled by people. Other times, you may not like the lack of attention on your blog, or you may not be confident in your ability to write anything. Worse still, you might feel like your opinions shouldn’t matter, and so for any and all of the above reasons, you choose not to blog.

Well I’m here to tell you that there isn’t just one good reason to blog: there’s a couple of excellent reasons to go onto a blogging platform and write about your experiences playing games.

For one thing, there is scientific evidence that points to blogging being mentally healthy for people. It allows people to feel less isolated and more confident in the strength of their friendships when they’re able to blog.

Related to this, another good reason to blog is that it lets flex your mental (and possibly your emotional) muscles a bit. By writing things down, you’re learning to organize your thoughts, which in itself is an excellent exercise to keep your brain active. It also lets you improve your writing abilities. Best of all, you can also use blogging to destress from particular events, good or bad.

One of the other wonderful benefits behind blogging is the interactivity you get when blogging. If people read your work, they can comment on it and provide their own take on your writings, or offer advice and insight as needed. As mentioned earlier, blogging is as much as socializing force as it is an introspective output.

Perhaps my favorite reason for starting and continuing blogging is its worth in allowing for visible retrospection. Over a long period of blogging, I have amassed hundreds (probably more than a thousand) posts, be they personal, professional, or leisure-related. I sometimes keep copies of my favorite posts and look at them once in a while to see the way I used to think about things before, compared to how I think about them now. In a nutshell, blogging allows you to chart your growth as a person, and can even help you see warning signs if you’re starting to feel burnt out or depressed about certain things in your life.

All these being said, those are four pretty good reasons to blog. I encourage you to take up the mantle of a blogger (whether for games or personal blogging), join us at the Newbie Blogger Initiative forums, introduce yourself so we can help you along the path of writing.

Cheers!


 

I’ve been away from my regular computer for nearly a month now, so I haven’t had the chance to really write anything other than work posts as I’ve been spending time with family in San Francisco.

That said, I do have something important I’d like to share with the readers here.

Justin, otherwise known as Syp from Bio Break, contacted a lot of folks last month to prepare a concerted effort to get readers and interested parties to start and maintain a blog (about games, but heck, if you want to start a personal blog too, I think that’s excellent). It’s called the Newbie Blogger Initiative, and it aims to introduce folks to blogging by getting established bloggers to provide commentary, insights, and general help regarding the blogging process.

More than 70 bloggers have pledged their support to write posts for this month to help new or interested parties along in blogging. I will also be participating in this initiative, and I hope folks out there reading entries from myself or other participants will join the Newbie Blogger Initiative forums, sign up, and consider asking folks for help or advice in the appropriate places. :)

Cheers to all, and I’ll have another post up in a few hours when I have the chance. :)


The EVE Writer takes off!

Without meaning to, I found out that a term I made up happened to be a word that some people actually use for the exact purpose I made it out to be.

The term I coined in my head was “metamarket,” and it refers to the creation of a market related to an existing product that adds value to the already existing product by virtue of that additional market being established.

I’ve told a handful of people that I wanted to establish some kind of metamarket to make ISK in EVE Online. As far as I understand it, even when you’re not playing the game, the mechanics of the game allow for blogs and websites to get some kind of ISK funding if they have advertisements, such as Eve News 24 or the EVE Battleclinic.

For me, that means that EVE has a sense of forward progression whether you’re in-game or out of it. As your skills train, you progress forward and gain new skills to help you become a better pilot. At the same time, with an existing metamarket, you also get the benefit of in-game monetary gain if you play your cards right in the physical world.

That made me want to think outside the box and see what else could be tapped as a business venture for my personal enjoyment, allowing me to further appreciate this intriguing out-of-game mechanic that ties in well to the universe of New Eden and increase my in-game assets as well.

To that end, I looked at my strengths and realized that since I enjoy writing, I might as well tie it into the EVE infrastructure somehow. After some consideration and a few hours of free blog building on WordPress, I came up with The EVE Writer, a place where players who want to haveĀ  announcements and advertisements tailor-made for their needs can invest some ISK into getting quality write-ups.

Whether they want advertisements for their corp on the forums, an announcement of a new feature for their EVE-related tool, or an editor for their EVE RP piece, I aim to provide that service. Folks who prefer to focus on doing what they do best, whether it be industry, PVE, PVP, or app creation, can let me handle how to tell everyone about what they’re doing in a positive, well-written manner that makes everyone happy.

That said, I hope advertising this here and through various means can reel in some curious folk who’d like to try out the service. In the meantime, I shall focus on real-life stuff and not get overly excited about this metamarket idea, as it can always blow up in my face.

Cheers!


Category: EVE Online, MMOs

Between the two jobs I alternate between when it comes to writing and the games I tend to play and the other developments in my social life, I think I have it pretty good.

Thing is, for the past few years, I think I was in a bad place mentally and emotionally, without really fully understanding what was causing it. In one sense, I knew it was loneliness, because the loneliness crept in so bad sometimes that I played games less for enjoyment and more as some kind of numbing agent. I played games because it was part of my routine, and because it was a routine I controlled, I felt in control of something in my life when other stuff was out of my ability to control.

Gosh, that was a meandering sentence… anyway.

I think I’ve finally come to terms with the realization that where I am now started because of my first job, how it ended, and how I responded to it.

Way back in 2008, I was let go from a video game newswriting job that I really felt comfortable in. It was my first full-time job, and I think that in some respects, I was devastated by it. It was something I was good at, and I couldn’t control my keeping the job even if I was good at it.

After a short stint in a call center, I felt I needed time to figure out what I would do.At the time, silly me thought that it was a good time to go back to the only place I felt comfortable in and had some control over, which was in school. I wanted to learn how to teach.

I did well enough in my classes, but I knew there was something wrong. I kept thinking that I was here, doing this, simply because I was buying time for myself. At the same time, I didn’t feel like I was moving forward and I also didn’t feel like I was actually good at teaching.

So by late 2010, I had basically shut down on a few fronts. When the classes were over and the requirements needed to be passed at the end of the term in March, I procrastinated, I moved inch-by-inch, and eventually, even though I had all the data needed to pass the requirements, I didn’t complete it by March 2011. What did I do? I got a job and played RIFT’s beta, then when simply playing RIFT became too much of an emotional butcher’s knife to my conscience, I changed games.

In 2011, I switched jobs more than I ever had. I had a total of four jobs (five, if I take my two current writing jobs separately). I tried phone support and eventually left from anxiety issues. I wrote product specifications for stuff sold on a website. I traded that job to write stuff for a start-up website, and was let go six weeks later. Then I got a job writing Amazon related news and along with that came a shot at writing a column for MMORPG.com.

Through those two jobs and the friendship of Cassandra, whom I got to know through blogging, I was given a chance to get back on track. For once, I felt like it was okay to lose control, because somehow, if I worked hard enough at it and took an opportunity when it presented itself instead of being scared all the damned time, it would work out and right itself again.

This comes full circle now to today, because I just realized that I’m playing RIFT again, and it’s going to almost be a year since those requirements I needed to send in would force an auto-fail of my classes.

I talked to my advisor in one class, who is now the head of the Education department, and she’s willing to help me out in getting back on track to finish my Masters. I just need to grab the data and do the analyses and write-up for her class, and then find out how to resolve the issue with the other class. Something tells me I might fail that second class, because I have no idea how to get the requirements for that one resolved, but the one where my teacher’s supporting me?

I will get that done on time, and it’ll be good work. No amount of RIFT play or other games will stop me from finishing my Masters, even if I have to take a class again. I just need to work my butt off, and get in gear.

It’s time to take control of my life again, and to not let the failures dictate the majority of my life.


… and I’m feeling good.

—- The Rest of the Post —-

2012 is a new year, and if the naysayers in this world would have it, the last year for humans to exist on the planet.

I don’t want to believe that. I mean, there’s so much to be thankful for.

Like Free Speech, and its counterpart, Using Words Responsibly.

Like Being Happy, and its counterpart, Choosing to be Angry.

And GAMES! Oh so many games!

This year, I choose to speak my mind more about the things that interest me, even if it makes me uncomfortable to open up in that way.

I will play the games I want and I will enjoy (or not enjoy) them at my leisure.

I will respect the minds of others, even if I disagree with their ideas.

I will not limit myself to one avenue of thought, and I will open up to other ideas and not act in a passive-aggressive manner to people of perceived authority.

I will not let the negativity of others invalidate what I feel towards a game.

I will balance my gaming with healthier pursuits.

I will finish that first book that’s been in my head and evolved since I was a kid.

I will define who I am by what I do and think, and not by what people think of me.

I will play more Final Fantasy XIV and maybe even get Final Fantasy XIII-2 on the PS3.

I will experience games I never thought to try out. That may include superhero MMORPGs.

I will keep writing about games!

I will stay smiling and awesome, the way I envision myself as being for the rest of my life.


Happy New Year to all the folks out there online, especially those who follow the blog.

It’s been a weird year, but here’s to hoping 2012 is far less interesting but infinitely more fruitful in terms of happiness, games, and job security!

-Victor Stillwater


Category: Personal

Jorge Luis Borges is quoted as saying or writing the following: “A writer – and, I believe, generally all persons – must think that whatever happens to him or her is a resource. All things have been given to us for a purpose, and an artist must feel this more intensely. All that happens to us, including our humiliations, our misfortunes, our embarrassments, all is given to us as raw material, as clay, so that we may shape our art.”

I experienced something new recently that I sometimes find myself feeling at odds with. I’m currently waiting for the results of an email interview I sent to the folks at OffGamers regarding their practices and what they do – they’re a third party RMT and game service site – besides selling game codes, game time cards, and virtual services.

During the wait, I found out that EA had redzoned my country as well to an extent I didn’t expect. Our local game shop has connections to EA, and even they got redzoned and wouldn’t be getting copies of SWTOR.

I felt left out of the Twitter circle, and I missed playing SWTOR after the beta. I didn’t know what to do, and eventually, I ended up running to OffGamers and purchasing a game code. A day later, my account with them had the key from the game, and thirty minutes after getting the key from the game, I found myself purchasing and acquiring a 60-day time code because EA wouldn’t accept my credit card.

The feeling of doing something you never thought you’d do is kind of painful. For a person like myself, who doesn’t drink alcoholic beverages to avoid the possibility of getting drunk, it felt like I had taken that first step into dealing with illicit RMT. I felt that uneasiness, even if OffGamers has perfectly legitimate services and connections to various F2P game companies across Asia and offers users of the site a means to purchase a game company’s currency of choice for their extra services.

I find myself wondering if I did a bad thing or a value neutral thing. At the very least, I cannot think of an RMT user anymore in the old ways I used to. I invested money to acquire a return on time. Instead of illicit RMT where I purchase power-leveling or in-game currency, I paid money to get access to a game I would not see for months to come… and at the same time, I did it for the same reason some people would engage in illicit RMT to begin with: to have fun with friends at the same level and capabilities they have.

Honestly, I have to think about it more. There are so many facets to this idea I haven’t even considered, but I know I’m lucky to even be in a position to enjoy games, when other people are worse off. But I just needed to get it off my chest or I’d feel bad till the end of the year.


Those of you who know or follow me on Twitter or on this blog have some idea that I used to write for a little-known games website back in the day. Ever since that time, I’ve always wanted to get back into paid writing related to video games, and I finally have that opportunity.

Later, at 9 am EST, I’ll have my first official full-named byline under a video game column for MMORPG.com (It’s funny how I’ve never actually used my full name on an online article since I started writing). I’ll be taking over the writing of their Devil’s Advocate column from here on out, and I hope it’ll be a long-running column with them.

With the Devil’s Advocate column, I have an opportunity to expose people to unpopular or otherwise unrepresented points of view. The first column, which I wrote some three odd weeks ago, will talk about regional restrictions as it pertains to video games, specifically SWTOR, in the hopes that people can understand different sides of the discussion related to regional restrictions.

I’ll be monitoring comments for the first hour or so prior to my doing some work, so if you leave a comment during that time, I’ll do my best to get back to you.

Of course, I’ll still be writing here, but I do hope you’ll check out the MMORPG.com column as well.


Category: Personal

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