Saturday, December 3, 2016

Humbug

A Christmas Carol (the George C. Scott version) is currently streaming on Amazon Prime, so the title is appropriate, although I don't feel particularly crass or grumpty.  It's cold outside, but I have a healthy glass of 2008 Port from Cass Winery, a screaming fire in the fireplace, and a full belly.

Life doesn't suck.

But this blog has been in desperate need of updating for a long time.  And for that I apologize.

Reality is:  I've not been playing EVE much.  And by "not much" you should interpret that as I may very well have a pair of accounts with empty skill queues and I kind of don't care.  Maybe the min/max nerd in me should, but that's the truth of the situation.

I've been busy.  Very busy.  I could type a lot about work being hectic, or family being demanding, or a half dozen other "real life" excuses, and all would be true stories.  But those are cliched excuses for not writing, and you deserve better.

But for the sake of completeness, let's get the obvious out of the way:  work has been mega-busy.  My boss, the guy that sought out and hired me a little over a year ago, transferred up and out of our area back in May, and in his absence myself and 2 others have been backfilling him.  His replacement was only named in October, and in the nigh-6month interim I was taking on tasks 2 pay grades above me.  Great exposure, great experience, but no additional pay.   But it was a peek behind the iron curtain between "executive" and mortal, and these are dividends I'll reap later. Count on it.

On the PC, I've been playing WoW.  Yes, the evil Warcraft.  The latest expansion (Legion) struck a chord with me, and for the most part it's been the best gaming experience since Wrath launched.  I picked up my old main (a Warrior that I ran from 2005 through mid-Cataclysm) and have him sitting on a pretty good set of gear and have been abusing the raidfinder and world quest system.  It's not EVE-level of complexity, but it's accessible in the time that I have available each night.

I gave up Overwatch.  It was fun, but gave me headaches.  I'm happier for dropping it.  I likewise don't play Hearthstone any more.

I'd like to revisit Guild Wars 2, but haven't made the attempt yet.  I bought the expansion but actually never played it.

And EVE.  I followed the EVE Vegas updates and try to keep up on news.  To be honest, I'm disappointed that the Drifter storyline hasn't advanced.  So much momentum was initiated with Caroline's Star, and Burners, and the promise of advanced AI making its way to the average mission runner.  So much opportunity squandered.  I'm not bitter, but to be blunt, I've consumed the available content and need a refresh before I can think about venturing back.  Nostalgia may drive me to fire up the Golem and go bash some lvl4s, but feelings of nostalgia are sated quickly.  I have little interest in Alpha accounts, revamped NPE, and such.  But that's where CCP is deciding they need to invest.

And that's fine. The game needs customers to continue.  I'm not challenging the decision, but I am perhaps a casualty of their approach (although technically I'm still a paying customer, so maybe the joke's on me).

I'll sign off with a happier note - tabletop games and miniatures.  I meant to post a GenCon update and never got around to it.  We attended for our 3rd year this past August and had a blast. I spent a LOT of money at the Flying Frog booth.  In spare moments, I've been painting Shadows of Brimstone miniatures and we've been playing through the content as I've had it painted up.  I still have a lot of painting to go.

I'm a dude in his early 40s that enjoys table top games. Oh no, I must be a nerd.

Meanwhile, Flying Frog did another Kickstarter for their 3rd core set.  I went all in and spent more nerd money; I have an absurd amount of miniatures and expansion packs inbound whenever the guys at FF can deliver.

And a few minutes ago, I chose to support Kingdom Death's 1.5 Kickstarter.  This was a game I fell in love with at this year's GenCon.  The KS is currently at $6.6M and climbing - a runaway success.  The miniatures are insane and the game looks challenging and fun.  Back in August at GenCon, I kept steering Mrs. Durden back to their booth even though the core game was sold out.  I just wanted to look at the miniatures and lurk while the demo games played.  It's got some adult themes (i.e. "boobies") but the entire game is simply saturated with the same grittiness and darkness that draws me back to EVE year after year.

Thanks to the port wine I'm drinking, I also spent too much money on the KS than I should, but I can always amend the pledge level once I sober up.  I'm going to have to figure out a better storage/display option for this stuff.

Enjoy Christmas.  Enjoy the winter chills and the icicles and snowball fights and snow days.  Fall and Winter is the absolute best time of year. Enjoy it.

And in the immortal words of Bill and Ted, be Excellent to one another.

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