Tag Archives: WoW

Why do you blog? No, really!

Apologies for the ‘me,me’ tone of this post but I feel I have to expose something of myself before I can ask you to comment with honesty.  So here goes.

I started blogging because I felt I had to. Pure and simple. Every marketing how-to I read said that creating a blog was the first step in developing an online presence that would help sell the book I had yet to finish.  So I signed up with WordPress, chose a theme that looked ok and then I sat there, staring at a blank ‘Add New Post’ screen. I knew how to write a post but I had no idea what to write about.

The idea of just posting whatever I was passionate about evolved out of my certainty that no-one would ever read what I wrote. However as people started to find me [in dribs and drabs] my motivation began to change. I started looking forward to logging in each morning – just in case someone out there had stumbled onto my blog while I was sleeping. Like someone addicted to gambling, every time someone did view my blog the addiction was reinforced and the days on which no-one came did not deter me. I continued telling the world what was on my mind because each post was a way of saying ‘Hey! I’m someone and I’m here’.

You all know the feeling, that buzz you get when you check your stats or notice that you have comments. But what is that good feeling?

I know that for me that good feeling is part ego-stroking and part joy at not being alone. I’ve always been a fairly self-sufficient person. I have a small circle of very close friends and family. They have been with me since forever and they are as important to me as breathing but I’m also quite comfortable just being on my own, which is probably a good thing as writing fiction is a pretty solitary occupation. Nonetheless even hermits need human contact sometimes.

Before I stopped thinking of my writing as some kind of  ‘hobby’ that no-one else would ever be interested in I used to get my social contact hit from the people I met while playing mmo’s [online games]. In fact I still chat to a few gamers I met while playing World of Warcraft but after I left WoW I found new online friends much harder to find and my social contacts dwindled to a few stalwart friends.

And then the blogging miracle happened. I met people, nice people, funny people, kind people, people who cared about many of the same things that I cared about. I met kindred spirits and suddenly blogging was no longer just about ‘marketing’  or having my ego stroked, it was and is, about connecting with people. In short, it’s about making friends.

I’m still passionate about writing and bushfire survival and climate change and good food and wonderful music and politics and…  Ahem, you get the picture. I’m still passionate about all the old things that define who I am and I still get an ego buzz when my stats spike for some unaccountable reason but now I also have something more, I have friends.

So now I would love to know if I’m alone in this or if other people feel the same way that I do. Have I finally ‘got’ what social media is all about? I know that every blogger is different and unique and writes for different reasons but do we all have common themes that are somehow universal?

If you feel like sharing then I’d love to hear from you. 🙂

-hugs to all-

Meeks


SWTOR – my companion just made a pass at me!

As many of you may know I play Star Wars: The Old Republic [hereinafter called SWTOR] and I am enjoying it. Well, last night I was in my ship, chatting with my male companion Corso and doing a bit of ‘flirting’…

[Hmmm…-thinks- I may have to backtrack here a little otherwise they are going to think I’m really strange]

Ok, in SWTOR your character inherits a companion npc* quite early on in the game. This companion fights with you and is a little like a Hunter’s ‘pet’ in WoW* except that it gains affection towards you instead of ‘loyalty’.  Most of this affection is linked to the choices you make while you are questing – do or say ‘good’ things and it grows, do ‘bad’ things and it diminishes. The more affection your companion feels for you the more effective it is as a companion. I’m a female Gunslinger [don’t ask] and my companion is a human male who acts as my tank* so logically the more it ‘likes’ me the better it will be as a tank.

Now I had read that  it was possible to have a ‘romance’ with your companion so I was a tad curious to see how this would play out. My first clue happened a few levels* back when I’d ‘flirted’ with another npc during a quest. I suddenly noticed that Corso’s affection went backwards [as evidenced by the red light and minus number that flashed up on the screen]. Was my companion… jealous? How interesting…

Clue no.2 happened last night. As I said, Corso and I were in the ship and the question icon was floating above Corso’s head so I clicked it only to discover that my sweet, country-boy companion was drunk! Not rolling on the floor and being obnoxious drunk, just drunk enough to make a pass at me! Being a responsible woman of mature years I did not lead the poor lad on for long but, I cannot tell a lie, some primal part of my sub-brain was a little chuffed. Yes, I know, how can a grown woman flirt with a digital picture and enjoy it?

Sadly, my strangeness does not stop there. A few minutes after all this drunken flirting, and after being told that ‘You are the strongest woman I’ve ever met Captain’ [how can you not love a ‘man’ who says things like this?], Corso and I were down on the planet trying to finish off a quest when the truly odd thing happened. This particular quest was one of the ones with ‘stages’. You complete one part and at the end of it you get a message flashing up on screen basically saying that you have unlocked the next stage. I generally just grit my teeth and keep going because the rewards for completing all stages are better, however last night I was tired so when I realised that another stage was about to be unlocked I took the ‘bad’ choice on offer. In this case I had been sent to find a serum that was needed to save the good guys from a plague I can’t spell. To get the serum I had had to fight my way through umpteen corridors and chambers full of evil pirates and I was tired. I wanted to finish and go to bed.

So what was this bad choice that I made? Well, I could force the pirate medic to give me the serum or I could let it keep the serum for all the ‘sick pirates who would die without it’ while I went off somewhere else to find another batch of serum to take back to the ‘good guys’. Like I said, I was tired. I wanted to go to bed and these were just digital people. Right? So I chose to let all those poor bad guys die. AND THE RED LIGHT AND MINUS NUMBERS flashed up on screen from Corso!!!!!!

I had blotted my moral copy book and my companion was displeased with me 😦

Did I laugh it off as just a few numbers that I could make up the next day? Did I log off and go to bed with a clear conscience? Like hell I did 😦 My heart sank and I think I may have blushed. I know I wished that I’d given in and done the rest of the stupid quest. And I know I felt ashamed of myself – both for betraying my principles AND for being such an idiot about a damn game.

Unfortunately, like so many of our real life decisions, once made they cannot be withdrawn so now I know two things –

1. I can’t roleplay for nuts and,

2. Even imaginary moral decisions are important to me.

Is this a hangover from my Catholic upbringing? Or is it more about who I am and how I see myself? Whatever my personal answer may be I know I won’t be taking the easy option again. I also know that I won’t be playing my Sith character anymore unless the storyline allows for some kind of ‘conversion to the light’ when a Sith accumulates too many ‘light’ points. It might be interesting to see how a ‘good’ Sith storyline plays out but my nerves are still a bit too jangled to find out. If anyone has played a good Sith and can give me some pointers I’ll be eternally grateful.

cheers

Meeks

npc* – non-player character, in other words a character controlled by the game AI.

WoW* – World of Warcraft online

tank* – a class that defends other players by drawing enemy fire onto themselves

levels* – a form of in-game progression based on the accumulation of XP [experience points]


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