Mass Monday

Today I’m  kicking off the first of my IntPiPoMo 2015 posts, beginning with pictures 1-4.

After some consideration, I decided to begin with some screens from Mass Effect – the series that really made me learn to love my screenshot hotkey.  That’s not an exaggeration.  I installed Fraps for the first time ever because of ME2.  During my playthroughs I started taking more and more screenshots, and now I can’t seem to stop.  So it feels right to start with a few simple shots from each game of my first and favorite Shepard, Morgan.  And some Joker.  I like Joker.

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Bonus ME2 cap.
Bonus ME2 cap.  Because of reasons.

The Mass Effect universe has a tremendous cast of awesome characters, and it’s definitely one of my favorite series.  I’ll be coming back with more caps and to talk about to the games (and other Bioware worlds) during the challenge this month!

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Getting started (over).

So, after attempting to possibly maybe try and pretend to sort of kind of start this blog, I’ve learned a few things.

Words are daunting.  Actually, I already knew that.

But to be fair, art is, too.

I quickly found out that writing posts of words was even more difficult when I was already drawing every day (including posting something to a daily art blog), and working through a queue of badges and at times, other commissions.

Realizing that I had less time for this than I thought, I considered a few options, like.. basically just making a screenshot blog, because I like talking about pictures and game stories.  Or discussing random thoughts behind some of my pictures because Tumblr isn’t always a great platform for that and my deviantArt account is currently a frustrating mess.  But the weeks drew on, stuff happened, etc etc.  I pushed away the blog, telling myself that I had nothing of interest to say anyway, and my attempt at blogging was shoved into the junk drawer of ideas to stay.  Until a week ago, when this post from Chestnut at Gamer Girl Confessions popped up on my Twitter feed.

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Now we’re talkin’.

Now this, I can do.  This could also help me re-tackle my blog challenge in a different way, and at a better time for me to work on it.  I already take lots of screenshots, and I also enjoy editing some of them into wallpaper for my pc. I’m pretty excited for this challenge and I really have no set plans about what all I’m going to post – and I’m okay with that.  This is a thing that I’m going to do, and I’m going to enjoy seeing what other participants post as well.

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Screenshots? Sure, how many would you like?

Since the introductory post, Chestnut’s also added a faq.  Basically the main challenge is to post 50 pictures (screenshots, photos, whichever) in November.  It’s open to any blogging or micro-blogging platform, and it should be great fun for anyone to join in!  She even has a few prizes for the snagging, but that’s just icing on a pretty, picture-perfect cake.

Time to dig through the screenshot folders!

The One.

Silmeria was not my first Warcraft character that I created.  She was actually my third.  She was my first to 50 before I even understood what “alts” and having a “main” meant.

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Baby photos: first week of Dire Maul edition.

My very first character was actually a warrior, because when I tried the Warcraft beta, I had no clear idea of what was going on or what class did what.  I had only dabbled in Dark Age of Camelot (my very first MMO!) for a few months due to a coworker introducing me to it, and he was moving on to this shiny new MMO.  Warrior was the first character to pop up on my screen and it had a sword so I said yes and continued on to customizing.

I love alts.  Like, a lot.  It’s something I miss in FFXIV, but the job switching almost makes up for it.  I like trying out multiple races and their various animations.  I enjoy running around on different characters, and experiencing a game’s world “through their eyes”.  I do generally play on RP servers, but I’m not necessarily an RPer… it’s more of a mindset thing, or my brain kind of imagining little stories that come and go while I’m travelling from one zone to the next or killing 15 boars for their gallbladders or what have you.

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The Three Sisters.

Going back to my initial taste of WoW… the warrior was fun, and I was highly amused by the ability to turn into a bear with the druid, which was the second class I tried.  But when I first saw someone outside of Stormwind with a goofy little imp I thought it looked kind of awesome, and I wanted one.  I went and made a warlock that I named Silmeria, and at the end of my few days in beta I knew I was going to start out with those three classes to try first.  But even with this early rotating roster, Sil started to pull ahead.

There was something about the class that really just clicked with me.  None of my other friends were playing one back then, so I kind of felt unique.  I did make a few warlock friends along the way, one that even helped me months later complete the classic Felsteed quest.  Other friends helped me learn to be a better player, and how to utilize my class in both larger group situations and soloing.  A few months after launch I hit 50 and I started doing some endgame stuff with her, but eventually I went back to level other characters.  As expansions came out, I realized that I enjoyed starting the new content with Sil – the only exception being Burning Crusade, where I spent equal time leveling my druid as resto for dungeon running and raiding with guildies… until we had more healers and I started taking Sil.  Not only did I simply enjoy playing the warlock class, but she was like an old friend that was always around when you needed them.

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This was a joyous day.

Through the years ‘locks got upgraded, nerfed, adjusted and so on, but that never really phased me for very long.  Silmeria was there for the opening of AQ, she became my Inscription master when that came out, she got max Archaeology first, spent the most time on faction grinds, etc.  Heck, I can’t even change her hairstyle for more than a few days before I have to change it back because it just doesn’t look right.  This has been a lot of gushing about one character but don’t get me wrong, I love the rest of my Warcraft gang, too.  However she’s definitely my “main” and then some.  Basically Silmeria is now synonymous with World of Warcraft to me; the digital embodiment of ten or so years of DoTting, dragon slaying, failing, adventuring,  and other random acts of fun and/or stupid.  I can’t imagine the game without her, and trying to recreate her in other MMOs just seems impossible.  That’s okay though, I’ve got alts for that.

Routine.

When I worked my old full-time job, I had a pretty standard daily routine.  Roll out of bed at a horribly early hour, stumble to my computer, log into (usually) WoW and knock out a few daily quests or manage auctions.  Then I was off to work, and afterwards home in time to unwind by logging in for an hour or two unless there were errands to run.  This was followed shortly by cleaning and dinner, and finally drawing the rest of the night.  Days off followed a mostly similar schedule.  Roll out of bed at a less horrible but still pretty early hour, stumble to the computer and log in, except now I could go on a longer gathering run and take alts out questing.

Not much has changed now that I’m self employed. Wake up. Log in. I limit my time in game and keep productive with my art, mindful of keeping a schedule of sorts. Gaming in the morning and drawing in the day or evening is what I grown used to, and that’s what I generally stick to.  Not that I plan on stopping either of those things or changing up that routine, it’s a system that’s worked out pretty well for me.  But I think I might try to add something more,  expanding on something similar that I already do.

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I made a blog-thing.

Over on my Tumblr, I post daily doodles.  It’s something I’ve done to keep me drawing every day – even back when I was tired and stressed out from my job.  I had a good three+ year streak of posting something every single day, until I finally had to stop for a while due to problems with my hands and other work-related stress.  I began this year by taking up the challenge once again.  Currently with my busier badge art workload I’ve mostly posted random “warm-up” doodles, but it feels good.  It’s like a visual art diary of whatever’s on my mind about whatever game I’ve been playing or comic that I’m reading.  However, I don’t really talk much about.. well, anything.  I’ve felt that I don’t really need to write, I do pictures.

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The two most used tags* on my Tumblr.

I’m not sure if it’s the awesome people I follow on social media, or being in a Free Company that seems to be 90% bloggers, or just all the tweets about the Newbie Blogger Initiative a few months ago or the Blaugust challenge now, but I feel somewhat inspired to give it a go.  I’m not quite ready to join the actual #Blaugust movement and be an active participant, but it seems like a good time to kick things off with an actual Blog of Words.  It could be a nice outlet beyond just pictures, because try as I might there are times I can’t match my art to my thoughts (though to be fair, I have a hard time putting my thoughts into words, so there’s that challenge too).  So I think I’ll start this out slow, maybe around a post a week to toughen myself up.  It’ll mostly be game chat, but I think I’d like to discuss drawing as well.  I guess we’ll find out!

*Tag counts for my Tumblr posts generated on 08/01/15 using this tool.