thistlechaser: (tree)
I wonder how many more future movies will get the Inside Out treatment? I hope the answer is: All of them!



I'll admit I was a tiny bit disappointed, I was hoping it would be the emotion characters inside the Star Wars characters' heads, not just Riley watching the trailer. Still, it's a fun watch even if it's just basically a commercial for Star Wars.

Edit: Hmmmmm. I hadn't seen the trailer before this video (I'm just not that much of a Star Wars fan), but it made me curious, so I've been googling. Interesting how the new SW movie and my MMO seem to be crossing paths. We have a major patch coming out soon, and the title of it is As Goes Light, So Goes Darkness.

Apparently Stephen Colbert is a very big SW fan, and he has guesses as to how this movie will end.

Not a spoiler, as it's just Colbert's guesses, but I know there's at least one person on my friends list who wants to know nothing about the new movie... )

I've been wanting to post how much I love the As Goes Light, So Goes Darkness title, but it seems like such a small thing, not worthy of posting about. Handy how it ties in with this trailer.

FFXIV/MMOs

Sep. 23rd, 2015 08:57 am
thistlechaser: (FFXI COR drawing 2 names)
Many, many years ago, I used to post about gaming more than anything else. As people left LJ and my friends list changed, I pretty much stopped posting about it, even though it's still a major part of my life. My friends list had been mostly gamers, and it became mostly not-gamers, so I figured I was probably boring everyone with my posts and switched to writing about non-gaming stuff.

I love it when [livejournal.com profile] tersa, [livejournal.com profile] fbhjr, and others post about their MMOs, so I think I'll start posting about mine now and then as well. I really need to make a FFXIV icon, it's kind of surprising I don't have one already...

Brief history: I played FFXI for more than five years, left for WoW where I played that nearly five years, and for the last year and a bit I've been on FFXIV. I love FFXIV in a way I haven't loved a game since FFXI (and one expansion in WoW: WotLK), and I don't see myself leaving anytime soon.

MMOs are a great value: I pay about $20/month and I get more play-value than I have hours in a day to take advantage of. I get home from work, log in, and stay logged in until I have to go to bed. On weekends I'm logged in all day. Sometimes I'm doing little but chatting, but even that is fun -- pretty game to look at while chatting! It's the best $20/month I could spend.

Despite the vast hours I spend in game, I'd be considered a "dirty casual" -- I have zero interest in raiding or endgame stuff. I don't even like the dungeons you run to level. So what do I do? I make money. In FFXIV, same as in FFXI and WoW, I'm very, very, very rich. In the previous two games, I was one of the richest people on my server, and though it's harder to tell in FFXIV, I believe I'm headed that way now as well. I enjoy "AH PVP" as I call it (auction house player-vs-player fighting).

My biggest goal in game right now is to buy a house. "But Thistle! If you're so rich, why can't you buy whatever house you want?" Two reasons: I'm on the most populated server, so there are zero houses available to buy. Also, I'm picky. I want a house in an area that housing doesn't exist yet, though will sometime in the future (a year from now!). So I'm waiting. Impatiently waiting.

I love the server I play on (FFXIV's unofficial RP server), but it being the most populated has big downsides for housing -- when new housing was last added, it was all bought up in hours; on other servers there are still plots for sale to this day. So when new housing is introduced, I'm going to need to take time off from work and not sleep, so I can be online the moment it's available. I do not like having to do that for a game, but I want a house, so...

While I do lots of different things in game (basically everything except endgame stuff, I do everything from leveling all the jobs to murderfacing in PVP), my favorite thing by far is RP (role-playing). I'm in a good position for that right now -- I'm in two different groups dedicated to it (usually I'm only ever in one). My life currently is jam-packed full of good RPers, which is so so so so rare. I hate to sound conceited, but its very rare for me to find people who are as good at RP as I am (I've been RPing longer than most current RPers have been alive, so that makes sense). I'm so happy right now, the only cloud is that I'm waiting for the shoe to drop and one or both groups to vanish. :P

FFXIV has an AMAZING dev team (developers, the people who created it and keep new content rolling out). I've never been on a MMO before where the devs actively care and respect their players so much. Not some of their players (looking at you, WoW and FFXI), but all of them. One of the things that always amuses new FFXIV players is that men end up in "plate bikinis" (skimpy, "sexy", unreasonable armor) just as often as women do! Yoshi-P (the game's producer) can and does interact frequently with the players, and he posts about why decisions were made, why something was handled X way, etc. The dev team is very fast to react, apologizing for and correcting issues when they come up, big ones or small. It's unlike any other game I ever played. I feel liked and respected, valued by FFXIV's devs. :)

I mean it quite literally: Other than the lack of housing, I couldn't be happier with a game than I am with FFXIV. :D
thistlechaser: (Moon)
I took a week and a day of vacation time off for FFXIV's new expansion pack (the MMO I play). This might sound pathetic, but this might have been the best vacation I had in my entire life. Vacations where I go somewhere or have company always have stressful and boring periods, but this vacation was fun and stress-free from the first moment I woke up until I went to bed.

The game had so much new content that, for seven days straight, I did nothing but play (and sleep, shower once a day, and eat now and then). I still have so so so much to do in game, but it was good to get a head start like that. It wasn't until Saturday (two days ago), that I was ready to do something even on the level of turning on the TV or reading.

Imagine, an expansion pack that costs $40 (and $12/month fee), giving me that much entertainment... plus I'll be playing it every day for the next many months. Now that's value for your dollar!

Coming back to work is SO HARD, I want to flee back home and never leave. At least being away from home means I can catch up on other online stuff, like friends list reading. *cough* It's been years since I've had this many posts to read! I've read 100, and still have 100 more to go. Oh, and catching up on actual work stuff, too. :P At least that's not as bad as it could be.

I'll get my new desk location on Thursday, yay! Something to look forward to!

I finished Sense8 over the weekend. I generally liked it a lot, though it wasn't 100% perfect. Minor spoilers. ) I actually almost stopped watching the series because of that, but I stuck with it and luckily it started to focus more on other things as the show went on.

One good thing about being back to work is that I should be able to eat better. I don't think I got a day's worth of protein in an entire week of eating...which might also be why I've lost a lot of hair lately, though I don't know if it could impact that so quickly -- maybe I'm just shedding since it's spring. :P I thought I had had enough food to cover me for my vacation, but apparently I was 100% wrong.

Back to friends list reading!
thistlechaser: (Evil Ken (Digimon))
I'm too old for this.

The MMO I play (FFXIV) has a new expansion coming out tonight. Current players get a couple days of early access. For most players, it starts at a reasonable 5 AM (east coast of the US), late morning/noon-ish for EU, and JP afternoonish.

For me, on the west coast of the US, it's 2 AM.

Of course everyone, me included, wants to log on as soon as possible to play with the new stuff. If I lived anywhere else but the west coast, I could get a whole night of sleep. But 2 AM? Blah. I did try to go to sleep early, but my neighbors ensured that I couldn't sleep. That and the fact it was still daylight out.

It's only 11 PM, an hour after my bedtime, and I already feel braindead. Times like this make me wish I drank coffee!

In other news:

- Work actually has good stuff happening. I'm getting a new desk! Recall that my current desk is next to the guy who literally narrates every moment of his day out loud. "Oh I just got a new email. I'm clicking it, I'm opening it. I'll read it now. Oh I know him! *leans over* Hey, [Thistle], I just got email from [person]! Okay, checking to see if I have a meeting now. Two meetings this afternoon, one at 2 and one at 4. Okay, now I'll look into that bug-- Oh I guess it's coffee time. [Thistle] I'll be back in a few minutes..." etc. And he doesn't talk to himself, he talks loud enough for people to hear rows away. And he endlessly treats me like his secretary/personal tech support/audience. I can get nothing done because of him. Also, my desk is in the worst position, as that anyone and everyone who enters our floor looks directly at my monitors. Ugh!

My new location is just the opposite: Perfectly private, and I even have half of a window! Natural light! Eeeee! It's going to be so wonderful!

- I haven't written about my bariatric surgery in a while. It's been nine months since then (wow, almost to the day: Nine months and three days), and I think I've settled into my new normal. I'm pretty okay with life/my new diet. I feel like I can eat just about everything I want (other than sugar, though I don't miss that), just in much smaller amounts. I tried fried pickles for the first time last week! (They were on my food bucket list -- I love pickles. Apparently I don't love them enough to like fried pickles though.) Usually, for "bad" foods, I eat just a couple (couple fries, couple fried pickle chips) and throw the rest out. And when I say a couple, I mean it: Like four or five fries, and I'm usually good. Food lasts a lot longer, which is nice (like two slices of pizza becomes four meals/my whole day of food).

The only thing I really miss is 'grazing'. Eating a whole pack of Oreos while on the computer in the evening, things like that. I don't miss the Oreos, just the 'eating as much as I want, nonstop' thing.

Not drinking until an hour after I'm done eating is a pain, but I'm pretty much getting used to it. I'm still hungry a lot of the time, but I can cope with that.

So: Good work stuff. New game stuff. Okay diet stuff. Week of vacation. Things are looking up! Yayzzzzzz
thistlechaser: (Sleeping Ellie)
A good weekend, just way too short. (Aren't weekends always too short?)

Good things, in a list:

- Watched the first seven episodes of Lost. Wow. I always forget how great the first season was. I've never gotten further than two or three seasons in, so I'm hoping to make it all the way this time. I know a few spoilers (including how the series ends/what the island was all about, if I'm correct about what I know), and the theme just works for me so very well. Do I need to put it behind a spoiler cut? When it's more than ten years old? Better safe than sorry, I suppose. If I remember correctly (don't correct me or confirm!), they did indeed end up having all died in the plane crash and the island was a purgatory sort of place. I love that idea so so so much!

These first episodes were genuinely creepy! The sound effects were so well done! When the monsters(?) shake the trees, there are odd metallic/industrial noises in the effects. It's just so jarring and odd and I love it to death.

- I'm afraid I have to just give up on Farscape for the near future. I tried watching it again this weekend, but it's just not a show you can multitask during. While that means it was a really good story, I cannot just sit there and stare at the screen and do nothing else. (Side note: I really want to see the new Jurassic Park movie in the theater when it comes out, but I don't know how I'll be able to sit there for two hours doing nothing else! Hopefully that I'll be in a theater will make a difference.)

- I got good RP, yay! More than that, I found a mature, experienced RPer, which is becoming more and more rare. RPers keep getting younger and less experienced (*cough* Really! It's not me getting older!), so it's getting harder and harder to find a good match for me to write with.

- The FFXIV benchmark came out this morning, and I was able to confirm that my new machine is indeed a monster. YAY! While there are a few people with a higher rating than mine, I'm perfectly fine with that. I'm usually in the "can barely run this" group of people, and now I'm near the top of the rankings. My new worry is that it will get stolen: I live on the ground floor, with a window RIGHT THERE next to my desk. Anyone could break in while I was away and steal it. :/ Unlikely, as my window faces our "quad" (grassy area where kids play and dogs crap), but it could still happen.

- I finally lost weight. After three weeks (gained a pound, stayed the same, gained pound) I lost five this week. That means in four weeks I lost five pounds. While isn't good (for me), it's better than the previous weeks had been. I'll take it. (I try not to worry how quickly the clock is running down. After surgery, you lose the most weight in the first six months, which are gone. Then the next six months it slows down but still happens. After a year, you're seriously going to be struggling to lose. I'm at 7.5 months, so my time is slipping quickly away.)

- I actually caught up on sleep this weekend, which was nice. Unfortunately my upstairs neighbors woke me at 4 AM this morning YET AGAIN, so I'm currently functioning on less than four hours sleep, which is not at all nice. Mumble grumble neighbors.

Edit: I feel like 2015 is my slowest year ever for reading. The book I'm reading now is really good, nearly perfect, yet... I lost my drive to read. Rarely in my life have I had a time where I just didn't feel like reading, so this is very strange. I've only finished eight books so far this year, so I'm pretty confident in saying that I won't be making my 50 book goal this year.
thistlechaser: (Angry wolf)
This has been a really rough week, and I've had quite enough of it. In handy bullet points:

* Two weeks ago, I gained a pound. My first weight gain since surgery. Last week I stayed exactly the same weight (to the tenth of a pound!), and my spot check this morning showed another pound gained (official weigh-in day is tomorrow). What the bloody fuck? How? Can't claim water weight gain three weeks in a row. I'm trying not to panic, but dammit. Not losing weight is bad enough, but gaining? NO.

For the first Easter in my entire life, I didn't have ONE SINGLE piece of candy or chocolate. Nothing. Not even a nibble. And THIS is how I'm rewarded? Grumble, mumble.

* Social things in FFXIV are annoying me muchly. A linkshell/LS (like a way more casual guild, but you can have many of them) I'm in made me a staff member a while ago. This made sense, as I was the one who was most actively a leader, helping people, dealing with membership crap, all that. Last night the LS leader threw a tantrum because some other staffer made a mistake (re-invited someone after the leader had kicked them from the LS for good reason but without telling any of us), demoted every single damned staff member for it! And then said he was going to close/destroy the LS. People talked him down, he made all of us staff members again... including the person he had rightfully kicked and had wrongfully been returned to the LS! Why make her staff? As "proof that he wasn't showing favorites". What the everliving fuck? Staff positions are (or should be) work, not a mark of who the leader likes best! I told him so, but got no reply.

I'm so done with that LS, but... I have a few friends left there (very few) and I have no where else to go, and I'm still without a FC (free company/a guild). It's so damned hard to find a good group in MMOs.

* I had (very mistakenly) thought my trip to the ER last week would be covered by my insurance. I had paid all of my deductibles already, so I thought it would 100% be covered. Nope. As of this point (bills are still coming in), I'm up to owing $800. This is on top of an unexpected owing $2,000 on my taxes (after LOSING getting a $1,000 refund). I bought my new computer ($1,800) based on my tax refund and having no other big bills coming in. Sigh.

Mumble, grumble, mumble. It's like every part of my life is stressful right now. Offline? Bills. Online? Social issues -- the whole reason I play is to have friends to chat with, RP with, and hang out with. Online and offline both? Better not eat, I'm gaining weight!

Blah.

And in lighter news, the Fandom Secrets site has a winner this morning:

Haha!
thistlechaser: (FFXI COR drawing 2 names)
When I'm in the car, I'm listening to NPR. There's always interesting stuff to learn through them.

While driving to lunch, one of their hour-long shows went off-topic to announce an exiting story: Hillary Declares 2016 Run, Files For Divorce. The story had really interesting info on how this would impact her campaign and such. (You can listen to it or read the transcript at the link.)

They ended the story with:

"Though the news is still being developed, one thing is certain: This is an April Fools' prank."

Seriously? I can put up with "jokes" from websites and random people, but a news show should not run fake news as a joke. Not only did it piss me off because I got all excited about it (her officially running, not the divorce), but what if someone turned off their radio mid-story and missed that it was a joke? You should be able to trust a news source when they run a news story.

I suppose that's better than the evening news yesterday. They ran a story about how McDonalds was now going to be serving breakfast all day in some areas.

In unrelated, yet good news: The MMO content I mentioned this morning that I spent five hours yesterday trying to beat? Beat it tonight, woot. Took three more hours and a bunch of tries (with a party of randoms, but a party who stuck together through it all so we learned to work together). That means I got to see all of the end of the storyline for this expansion.

One of the cutscenes? More than an hour long. And there were more than a dozen other cutscenes in a row, adding up to almost three hours of cutscenes and wonderful, shocking, great, amazing storyline. Three hours. That's a whole movie worth of cutscenes! FFXIV is an amazing game.

Now I just have to hold out two months and change for the new expansion and more storyline. Don't know how I'm going to do it. :)

Huh. I have a bunch of FFXI and WoW icons, but no FFXIV ones.
thistlechaser: (Zombies)
First off, I love the sound of this. Supposedly all those drummers are famous, and one person got them all together:



In other news, the MMO I play (FFXIV) had a fanfest this weekend, and kindly they had a livestream of most of the weekend. Talk about nonstop exciting! I'm kind of sorry I wasn't there in person, but there are a whole lot of benefits to attending from home, and it was just not practical for me to travel this year. (Plus tickets were nearly impossible to get, sold out in a couple minutes.)

In other other news, I hit the 12 day point of losing no weight. I eat about 600 calories a day (I used to eat more than that in a meal!), so not losing any weight for nearly two weeks was boggling. Was it a plateau? Maybe? So I googled how to break one. Unsurprisingly, the advice was all over the place: Eat more calories! Eat fewer! Exercise more! Exercise less! Eat only protein for 48 hours! Go back to a liquid diet for a week! I decided to try the easiest one, eating only protein for 48 hours. Just the way things worked, that also reduced my calorie intake to about 400/day. (Sometimes I feel like I have an eating disorder, eating like this...) I lost two pounds over the weekend, so maybe, if it was a plateau, I did break it. (Or maybe I'll gain the pounds back tomorrow, who knows.)

Between pre- and post-surgery, I've lost about 50 pounds now. (20 pre-surgery, 32 post.)

Things they don't tell you about this process (or maybe it's unique to me) : Your skin goes to hell. I slather myself with the strongest lotion I can find, twice a day, and I'm still nonstop flaking all over. I finally started putting olive oil on my skin instead, and that seems to be helping. Too bad I can't put it on my scalp, because that is flaking as badly as the rest of me. :/

But hey, at least I have two more months before I'll start losing my hair! :P (At the three month point you lose some to all of your hair. I really, really, really hope I'm on the low end of that hair loss scale.)
thistlechaser: (Moon)
Arg, being at work is hard today. This morning a new patch came out on FFXIV, and it's killing me to be stuck at work and unable to check the new stuff out.

RP (role-play) has eaten my brain. I started a new book which is supposed to be very good (The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive Book 1) by Brandon Sanderson), but I'm having a really hard time getting into it because my brain just keeps going back to RP RP RP RP. It does seem like a really well-written, interesting story, so I hope I can start focusing and get into it.

About four days now of not using the CPAP machine, and while my total hours of sleep are lower than they should be (about 6/night), I still feel like I'm sleeping better and I'm much better rested. Just wish I could sleep more, but my brain never wants to quiet down and let me drift off, plus it wakes me up an hour before my alarm goes off.

Friday is my "class" at the hospital for pre-surgery stuff. I have no idea why it's called a class. I'll be getting my blood drawn/EKG done, meeting with a finance person to make sure insurance stuff is in place, with a nutritionist, doing paperwork, and some other stuff. Tuesday next week is my final appointment with the surgeon.

Now, if only my insurance company would get off their asses and approve me, I could be at least a little less worried about all this. Less than a month to go, arg.
thistlechaser: (Moon)
1) This video is making its rounds both through my group at work and my LJ friends list. I think it's the first time that sort of overlap has happened! (We're tech writers, so it makes sense that my work group liked it.)



It's really catchy, and I love that LJ is used as the example of blog sites!

2) Today I finally get my hands on my copy of the FFXIV catalog! Straight from Japan, it'll be on my doorstep today, just two days after its release in Japan. It's in Japanese unfortunately, but it's packed full of pictures of every item in the game, so that'll be interesting to see.

I still have (and love) my Japanese books about FFXI, so I have high hopes for this one as well.

3) The book I'm currently reading, Quarantine, is better than I expected it to be. I thought I'd be knocking another bad self-published book out of my To Read pile, like I had with Ruin. Turns out it's neither self-published nor bad. In the first chapter or two, I thought Quarantine would be another fantastic read, but it's gone a little downhill. Still good, but not OH MY GOD good.

I think I might read that were-warthog romance one next...
thistlechaser: (Happy/sleepy/stretching cat in fez)
With a name like cookie butter, how could you not love it? If you hadn't heard of it before, it's like peanut butter made with cookies instead of peanuts. Delicious. A couple weeks ago I finally gave in and bought a jar of it to try. I intended to just taste it and toss it out, because with a name like cookie butter, how could it not have an awful amount of calories, fat, carbs, etc? But then I read the label. It has less calories, carbs, fat, and sodium than peanut butter. A whole lot less! But somehow it tastes a lot sweeter and a lot better. (A serving of cookie butter is half the serving size of peanut butter, but I did the math before comparing the two.)

It's some kind of black magic, I tell you. I ended up finishing the jar (using a little of it mixed in with peanut butter, because it's too sweet straight on its own -- how boggling is that, using peanut butter to make something less sweet?). I told myself I wouldn't buy more, but... why not? What I should do is stop using peanut butter and just use cookie butter, since cookie butter is too sweet to use much of yet I can glob on the peanut butter.

In other news:

My vacation day yesterday was wonderful, and I'm very happy I took it. Yeah, I spent the whole entire day playing a video game, but I had more fun and was happier than I've been in a while, so it was worth it.

The book I'm currently reading, Ice, is really, really good. I'm about a third of the way through it, and I'm so impressed by the author. She made a relationship (love) between a girl and a talking polar bear believable! Her characters are amazing, her writing is great -- if that book doesn't win awards, I'll be very surprised.

Tonight is the appointment with the surgeon to (I assume) get the date for my surgery. I'm getting more nervous every day now.
thistlechaser: (Book with cat 1)
Hello to all the new people on my friends list! I added a dozen or so new people though the latest friending meme (still going on here if you're interested), and I'm looking forward to seeing you all on my friends list from now on!

Do you own a Kindle? If so, did you know that in addition to borrowing ebooks from Amazon for free, you can get one to keep forever for free each month? You only get to pick from four of them, but hey, a free book is a free book, right? Details here, if you're interested.

This coming week is going to be busy, mostly because the sleep study people are just so endlessly incompetent. I had an appointment last Thursday afternoon to go pick up the machine. Got there on time, they sat me in a room... then forgot about me. After 15 minutes I stuck my head out one of them actually said "Oops! I forgot you were in there!". So then the tech came in and starts explaining things to me. I looked down at the paper and noticed it had another patient's name on it. She apologized and went to get my paperwork, but returned empty handed. Turned out my machine was on backorder, it had been due to arrive at 10 AM but never did. My appointment was at 4:30. They didn't bother calling me to cancel.

So, in addition to seeing the surgeon on Wednesday, I have to go back on Monday for another appointment. Assuming the machine even gets there. Assuming they remember to call me and tell me if it does.

I did take Tuesday as a vacation day at work, because FFXIV is getting a new patch overnight Monday and I wanted the time to play with it. I wouldn't usually take time off for a game (that's a road I do not need to travel down), but this one time is an exception. We're getting personal housing, and there's nothing I like more than playing house in a video game, so I want to be online ASAP to fool around with it.
thistlechaser: (Moon)
Following the "three things make a post" rule:

- I slept five hours last night. While that's just a drop in the bucket after not sleeping the previous two nights, at least I'm only tired today and not 'oh my god, kill me now' level exhausted. I still hate the machine, it makes me feel like I'm being smothered. Nothing like the feeling of being smothered to help you fall asleep, huh?

It's way too early to know if this is just chance or if it's a Thing, but usually I remember at least one dream a night, and I haven't the past three nights. The first two can be explained by the lack of sleep, but I wonder about last night. To remember a dream, you need to wake up within (some number of minutes, I forget how many) of having it. If the machine makes me sleep sounder/wake up less, I guess I'll stop remembering them. That would be a really big negative side effect; I love remembering my dreams, I often spend much time the next day thinking about them. I guess we'll see.

- Still loving FFXIV. A side effect of that is how much schadenfreude I get from reading WoW news. I had been unhappy there for so long, and I wasn't looking forward to anything about the coming expansion, and I hated the graphics and so much else about the game, now I can sit here and read the news and snicker to myself that I don't have to put up with it anymore. I sure do wish I had quit sooner!

I'm so happy to be getting so much RP on FFXIV. I'm still getting it almost daily (the days I don't RP it's by my choice, not for lack of options). A new fellow just joined our FC ("guild"), and he writes long posts, like me. It's so nice to be able to flex my writing muscles and not feel like I'm making people wait for me.

- It's such a wonderful thing to read a book by a great writer after such a string of bad books. I just started reading BZRK, by Michael Grant (the same fellow who wrote the Gone series that I loved, and wrote all the Animorph books with his wife, along with tons of other YA books from that time). It's not just that his stories are great (they are), or his characters are realistic (so realistic), or he has a GRRMesque willingness to kill off his characters (*cackle*), but his skills at crafting a sentence and describing the world just blow me out of the water. I had to go back and reread this section a number of times (then continued reading the book only to keep flipping back to it).

Even though he was just seventeen, he wasn't really for girls. He was for women.

Women would look at him and let their eyes slide over his face and those shoulders, because you know, women don't stare the way men do. They just need a glance. And then, having memorized him with a glance, they would...


It wasn't until I read that that I remembered there have been studies that confirm just that -- women decide in something like two? three? seconds if they're attracted to another person, much faster than men do. Something about their general body shape (silhouette), the width of their shoulders, that sort of thing.

Unfortunately I accepted a book for review (Salvation, by James Wymore) from a publisher. Bad timing, I'm going to have to read it next instead of continuing on with the BZRK series. Oh well, hopefully Salvation will be good. It has good reviews on Amazon, for what that's worth...

Wow, this turned out to be an actual post! I worried it wouldn't be more than three sentences long. Heh.

FFXIV

Jun. 5th, 2014 09:23 am
thistlechaser: (FFXI COR drawing 2 names)
This post is only about FFXIV. If you don't play or don't care about game stuff, feel free to skip. :)

Arg! Flail! Arg! New content was released hours ago and I can't check it all out because I'm stuck at work arg!

Which is a totally silly reaction, I know. Lots of people work during these hours and the new stuff will still be there later but OTHER PEOPLE ARE PLAYING WITH THE NEW STUFF AND I CAN'T BECAUSE I'M AT WORK ARG

Yesterday was a big high and low for me in game. I "finished" the storyline quest. Half-hour cutscene, credits on screen, "last" dungeon, YAY! I cheered on /fc about being done, and people said I wasn't. I was confused at that. Then I noticed the quest-giver had a storyline ! over her head. Buh?

Turns out I finished the storyline for the initially released content. There have been two patch updates with tons more content since then.

SOB.

If it were just quests, I could handle it. But the problem is, the FFXIV storyline sends you through each dungeon as well. I really, really, really hate dungeons. I mean like stress all week over doing it on the weekend level of hate.

That's really the only thing about FFXIV that I don't like, that it forces you to dungeon. Blah.

Other than that great disappointment, everything in-game is going really, really well. I'm so happy to have a game I love! I loved FFXI way back then, and while I enjoyed the RP in WoW, I never loved WoW for the game itself. (And the more that's now coming out from Blizzard about WoW, the even less I like it. "Story isn't important! Neither are anything but straight males!" They've all but outright said they don't want me around, so hey, I'll just happily stay on FFXIV.)

So all in all, everything's great in game. Even if I were to do nothing other than log in and stand around and chat, I love the beautiful settings and there are great people to talk to. :)

Now, if only I could go home and log in...

Edit: You know, I haven't gotten talking about it out of my system. Heh. I love that, like FFXI, FFXIV has such a strong, emotional storyline. The details of the plot blow me out of the water. The quality of the writing. Not to mention the voice acting and the HOURS of cutscenes! The music, of course. As a whole, the entire thing is just such an emotional blow to the chest. Again, like FFXI, it's the story that drives everything else.

And then there's the opening movie. I've watched this multiple times a day for weeks now, and I love it so much. On good (bad?) days, it makes me tear up. Everything in the plot ties into this, so many details from this video show up later (the broken staff! *sniffle*).

thistlechaser: (Catboy Takuto love! (FMwS))
It's only a three day weekend, so how I ruined my sleep schedule already is beyond me. It's an hour after bedtime, but since I'm wide awake, I might as well post.

1) My issues with the Kindle are definitely my eyes. Tonight I had my glasses on instead of my contacts. They're weaker, so a lot worse for distance stuff, but for reading? Wow! The text was so sharp and nice against the white background! The size that's too small for me in my contacts was fine for me in my glasses, so I had a nice amount of text per page and everything was perfect.

2) I actually enjoy the "ads" (offers) Amazon displays on the Kindle. One-day Amazon sales, book discounts, all sorts of things. Sometimes I close and open the cover again just so I can see a new one! (Disclaimer: I also let Amazon email me all sorts of sale/specials emails, so I already liked seeing the offers before getting the Kindle.)

3) I'm so very happy with online/FFXIV things right now! I've gotten more RP this weekend than I had in the last month, and there are great people to chat with, and we even do "silly RP" (semi-IC but not really) which had me laughing all night tonight. I sure did get lucky to find this group. :D

4) What in the world took me so long before I gave Community a try? I love the show so much! It's not just the funniest show I ever saw (I mean that literally! I get multiple honest, loud laughs each episode, and I don't usually find much on TV funny), I like the characters so much. Even the minor ones are great! Well, except one guest star -- there's only one episode I didn't like, the one with Jack Black. I don't know what it is about him, but I HATE that man. I hate how he looks, I hate how he acts, I hate the character he played, I hate the sound of his voice. I usually avoid spoilers, but I had to pause that ep to look it up and make sure he was just a guest star and not becoming a regular. I think the paintball ep was my favorite so far (I just finished season one tonight).

Tomorrow is a holiday here in the US. I'm not sure what I will do, though I should go grocery shopping. It'll likely be mobbed though, so we'll see.

I'm really behind on reading my current book. I expected to be done with it today or tomorrow, but with the Kindle/eye issues I haven't been reading much at all.

...Okay, apparently this wasn't too quick of a post.
thistlechaser: (Happier than...)
When I returned home from work, my new Kindle was waiting at my door. Same with the previous Kindle: They just left it at the door, in a public walkway, where anyone could have just walked off with it without notice. Luckily no one did.

In the first moments of using it, I was very unhappy: None of my books had cover images and it was slow as hell to use. Turned out the slow part was the cause of and because of the lack of covers, and soon both issues were fixed. (It had to download 100+ covers, and apparently downloading so much made everything slow.)

My first reaction was that it was cool that it was so small.
My second reaction was that it would be a problem that it's so small.

Unfortunately small ereader means a small screen (duh). I like to keep the text big in an effort to go easy on my eyes, but just using the second largest text size (which is smaller than what I use on my iPad), and I get very little text per page. The largest size is bigger than I need -- luckily, as then you get just a tiny bit of text per page. It's just too bad the second largest is too small.

The other issue is that, unfortunately but understandably, the Kindle feels really, really cheap compared to my iPad. However, as one was $700+ and the other about $150, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. The touch screen doesn't work nearly so well (with the iPad, it's like you're moving it with your brain because it's so responsive), plus even when not downloading something, the Kindle is noticeably slow. Not like AOL dial up slow, but things like my computer, phone, and iPad respond instantly to a tap or a command, there's a slight delay on the Kindle. The delay plus the less responsive touch screen makes it frustrating to use.

Another issue is that it's all black and white. I know it's not reasonable, but I wish sellers would list things an item doesn't have -- like I wouldn't have bought that first Kindle if I had known it didn't have a touchscreen. Color only comes into play when looking at the covers/picking a new book, but it's depressing to not have it.

However, this is only my first day using it. I'm going to finish at least my current book on it (probably the next one as well) to give me a chance to get used to it. Maybe I'll stop noticing the issues. (And speaking of not noticing things, the built-in ads only bugged me once today, with that was with lots of use and playing around with it. I'm pretty sure they won't be an issue.)

Positives to it? It's smaller and lighter, though when using it at home, the iPad's size and weight aren't an issue (away from home is a different story). I can't really think of any other positives other than "It's cool" (though a lot less cool than it would be if it had color...).

---

And on RP! Eeeee! I RPed all night and it was wonderful! I haven't RPed so long and with so many people since... I don't know, sometime back in WoW? Usually scenes with lots of people are rough, but mostly the group broke into smaller conversations with new people coming and going through the evening. I love playing a social butterfly character -- it makes it so easy to ICly meet new people and take part in scenes!

RP seems to go on all day and all night, so I think I'm going to be able to go back to playing daily. So happy! :D And oddly for a large group of RPers on a MMO, no one was bad! I think the worst RPer I encountered today was still at "pretty good" level.

---

I'm loving the current book I'm reading, and the Kindle tells me I'll finish it in about three hours of reading (okay, cool feature there!), so in the next day or two I'll post the review for it. If I don't get to it before Monday, have a good long weekend, all! (Unless you're not in America. In that case, have a good normal weekend, all!)
thistlechaser: (Zombies)
Remember that great trailer for the zombie game? Dead Island? It was really popular for a while:



Today I was linked to the greatest thing ever. The trailer for a goat simulator game that spoofs that great zombie trailer:



And in non-trailer game news: For the first time in forever, I've become an officer in a game again. After running the MUSH for so long, I was trying to just be a player (all the fun and none of the stress!), but my FC (guild) in FFXIV lost both of its officers, so someone else stepped up, and then hired a PvE and RP officer from within the player ranks. Out of all the people who didn't want the position, I didn't want it the least, so it ended up on my shoulders. I'm half-worried I'll stress myself out like I did with the MUSH, and I'm half-worried I'll just outright suck at it and ruin the RP (which is the main focus of the FC). Luckily all the players are great, and the other staff members are great, so hopefully it will work out.

Also: Got all crafts to 50 (except cooking, blech cooking), and all gathering jobs to 50. Bard is 43 and might actually hit 50 sooner rather than later. I'm rolling in game money, which hopefully will be useful when personal housing comes. Between my money and having all the crafts leveled, I should be able to have spiffy things.
thistlechaser: (FFXI COR drawing 2 names)
FFXIV as a whole is new to me, I've only been playing two or three weeks now, so even though the giant 2.2 patch is coming tomorrow, I didn't watch the trailer until today.

OMG. I should have watched sooner!

First off: Fishing! The fishing questline story wasn't a tall tale after all! Haha!

Second: Big fishing? (I sure did laugh at the guy being in one spot day and night over multiple days fishing!) Wonder what it is, but YAY REASON TO FISH AGAIN! Boy have I missed doing it.

Third: Gardening? EEE! Let me play farmer and I'll be happy!

Fourth: The music (the whole trailer) is done SO WELL.

I'm enjoying this game so much. I really should cancel my WoW subscription, but I'm having a hard time letting go (even though I don't want to play at all). I was a little worried I'd soon run out of things to do on FFXIV (I'm halfway done with all crafts, along with leather 41 and fishing 50), but looks like they'll be keeping entertaining new content coming.

Oh SE...

Mar. 21st, 2014 11:26 am
thistlechaser: (Dinosaur: green derp)
As a follow up to my post about all my trouble with giving my money to Square Enix:

After nine and a half hours and $65, I was finally able to renew for a month. A month of play costs under $20.

SE claimed my credit cards didn't work -- three of them, from two different banks, all which I use on a regular basis and pay off in full monthly.

Oh, and there are hundreds of other people with this same problem, too.

So I went to PayPal and used one of my "non-working" cards to buy SE's in-app form of money, and used that to pay for the month. My card worked quite well.

So now I have a gamecard that I have to figure out how to use ($20) as well as money in my Steam Wallet ($25). Did I mention SE charged 17 $1 test charges to one of my credit cards? (Those should be credited back to me eventually. Hopefully. If SE's system works-- wait, what am I saying?)

The fun part of this? Today SE sent me a customer satisfaction survey. Oh boy did I fill it out.

Further amusement when I submitted it:

Customer Survey Submitted

We have received your inquiry regarding Customer Survey.
Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention.

Unfortunately, we do not provide individual responses. Thank you for your understanding.


Yeah, um, what?
thistlechaser: (Angry scribble cat)
SE and Comcast: Two great companies so long as you never have to interact with them.

I decided I wanted to buy the FFXIV collector's edition -- basically $20 more for a special mount. Tried to enter my credit card. Error. Second card. Same error. Third card. Same error.

Please confirm the status of any relevant options and then try again.

How helpful is that? Went to the official forums. There is a 92 page thread of people with this issue, going back to 9/2013. Hundreds? Thousands? of people who want to give SE their money and who cannot.

Okay, forget about the CE, my account is expiring in three days, I'll just set up automatic monthly payment for that.

Same error.

SE's official solution to this? "Wait 24 hours and then try again."

I swear to god. How can a company let this issue go on for so long? It is preventing people from giving SE money. In this day and age, how can it take MONTHS for them to fix this issue? Multiple people posted about having this problem even today. I'm not alone in this.

I just don't get it. I really don't.

Edit: In the last SEVEN HOURS I've been trying to deal with this, I've:
Bought a $25 gamecard. SE errors out when it's used.
Put $20 into my Stream account. SE errors out.
Paid through PayPal ($20). SE is timing out.

Seven hours. $65. All in an effort to pay SE, which I still cannot do. Is there a worse company to deal with on the planet?

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