Honoring the Craft

Wall before smoothing.

A lot has changed on my claim this week! During the work week I made slow progress. I went through the entire tower and smoothed the Plain Wood parts of the walls (for those who aren’t playing Landmark, that’s the open parts that sort of look like latticework). 

Smoothed wall.

After a couple days looking at the tower with smoothed walls, I wasn’t sure that I liked it. (more…)

Murren’s Mountain

Holy crap you guys!

When I posted about my Landmark build, I never expected that people would like it so much. I have had a few people stop by to take a look while I was playing (building), and yesterday Noobzilla posted a walk through of my claim on YouTube! Check it out!

I’m grateful for all of the positive feedback, and in shock a bit.

My silly Qho floor, before I placed it in the tower. (Click for full size)

I created a crappy mosaic for the floor on the first level of the tower in honor of everyone’s favorite EQ2 trade skill quest giver, Qho AugrenIt is actually fairly ugly, but it amuses me. I expect that I’ll replace the floor with prettier tiles in the long run.This past week was super busy, so I haven’t made as much progress as I would have liked, but here are some updates.

I also finished placing the latticework in the walls of the tower, and I love how it looks. The next step (which I will start on this afternoon) will be to do some smoothing on the latticework to open the sides up a bit more. I hope that it ends up letting in more light! Since the lamps were dimmed, it doesn’t get bright enough in the tower.  

I’m a little worried that I’ll end up disliking it when the lattices are smoothed. To be safe I’m taking screenshots of the different wall configurations to work from in case I need to redo anything (since my templates are too full to hold the walls). 

For now, I’ve called my claim “Murren’s Mountain” (because I’m no good at creative names). I’m trying to come up with a better name to use long-term, and leaning toward something like “Shin Tower” (since it is inspired by the Village of Shin in EQ2 and Shinto architecture).

Latticework walls are placed!

Latticework walls are placed! (Click for full size)

Show and Tell – Landmark

I’ve been playing a lot of EverQuest Next Landmark recently. Even though it is still early in alpha, the game is great. In fact, I have hardly played any Minecraft (my most recent gaming obsession) since Landmark alpha started.

Me, Hubby, and our long time Aussie friend, just hanging out.

Me, Hubby, and our long time Aussie friend, just hanging out.

Landmark has so much potential, and the entire process that they (SOE) are taking with the open communication, no NDA, pay-to-play Alpha is refreshing. And also super fascinating to the business systems analyst and project manager in me. I’ll probably share my thoughts on that later.

Landmark is a sandbox game that is heavily focused on exploration and building the world. The pieces that have been released to the alpha group so far consist almost entirely of resource gathering, crafting, and building tools. So in essence, you go into the world and a piece of land plant your flag in it (almost literally) and build. You gather the resources that you need to make and upgrade tools, and to build everything that you want to build on your land. And you explore what others have built. There are some very talented people playing this game.

But now to the point. Today I want to share what I have made so far. (Click to view full size!)

The view from the bottom of the path up the mountain.

The view from the bottom of the path up the mountain.

I don’t consider any of this done at this point.

I really wanted to build a traditional Shinto arch, but I need to practice with the tools more before I can make one that looks right.

View from above, with Hubby's place down in the valley.

View from above, with Hubby’s place down in the valley.

Neighbors dotting the mountain tops.

Other settlers dotting the mountain tops.

I have three other neighbors near by. One at the base of my hill (almost looks like part of my claim) and two out in the desert valley.

I have three other neighbors near by. One at the base of my hill (almost looks like part of my claim) and two out in the desert valley.

For the building, I am still working on the latticework in the walls, and haven’t done much work on the interior. I plan to use the smoothing tool on all of it (or at least parts) to make the edges softer, and maybe make the pillars round. The arch is pretty, but not what I wanted.


I love how it looks at night!

I love how it looks at night!

Another night view.

Another night view.

If the images don’t load properly here, you can also view them on imgur.

For those of you out there that are playing landmark, if you have questions about how I did anything, let me know! I’m happy to share. If you want to take a look in person, I’m on Liberation/Dell in the SW corner of the jungle (coordinates:  -1340.40, 1340.60, 1647.60).

#GamingIs where I want my career to lead.

There’s a movement on Twitter today to get #GamingIs trending. It seems to be started by @theKevinButler (and probably also Sony and PlayStation since he is their spokes person in the same way that Isaiah Mustafa is Old Spice’s spokes person). I hesitate to join in because it really is about a company trying to use social media to build a marketing campaign.

On the other hand (more…)

Preparing for PAX

I get to go to PAX this year! One month from now, the gamer masses will converge on Seattle for a three days of geekyness (as will music lovers for a different event, expect traffic). This will be my first PAX.

For the past week I haven’t been able to get PAX out of my head. Going to PAX is a big deal for me, both as a fangirl and as someone who wants to work in the video game industry. My inner project manager is planning what to bring and what to do, and making lists. A good plan starts with a list of things that need to happen right? (Well, after an objective, but that is already defined: PAX + Fun + Networking.) 


A glimpse into Sony Online Entertainment

Three weeks ago I made a spur of the moment decision to spend some time in San Diego during my vacation. After I booked my trip (Air miles + = about $300 for flight plus three nights at a four star hotel), I decided to try to make visiting Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) a reality and the next day I had an appointment to meet Ashlanne during my trip. I was so ecstatic that I did a little dance at my desk (my co-workers thought I had finally gone insane). 

SOE LobbyOne week later, I took a cab from my hotel in the Gaslamp Quarter to the SOE office. I was paranoid about being late and nervous as if I was going to an interview. I arrived half an hour early and fidgeted in the lobby while waiting. Ashlanne was ready for me a few minutes later. 

First we visited the Community Team’s area. I met several members of the community team (advance apologies if I get names mixed up!). Zatozia’s cube is decorated like a torture chamber. I’d seen at least one picture before but it didn’t do it justice (I regret not snapping a couple of my own). 


Reflecting on an Opportunity

I have always thought of the dream as something that might be attainable, but I did always question how realistic I was being with myself. Even though it is something I’ve been working toward for the past several years, it wasn’t until a very real opportunity presented itself that I really believed that it may happen.

A few months ago, sometime between when I discussed blogging about the dream with my boss and when I declared that everyone needs a dream, I was approached by someone with an amazing opportunity. This friend of a friend had heard about the dream and my professional reputation (which apparently is incredibly healthy), and thought I might be a good match for a position she was hiring for.

She and I had a call to discuss the position and get to know each other better. She didn’t want to subject me to her company’s rigorous interview process if she didn’t think we could work together. I just wanted to learn more. It wasn’t exactly the job I dream about, but it was closer than I thought I could realistically attain.


The winner is me!

Well, I’m one of them at least…

A couple weeks ago, EverQuestII announced that they would be selling a special Prowler Mount in their Marketplace.

Koshka roaring

Koshka roaring

Instead of purchasing it with game money, like most mounts in EQ2, you could purchase it with Station Cash. I was a little excited, and hoped they wouldn’t be pricing it like WoW’s $25 mount.

I love my MMOs, but not enough to spend twenty five dollars on top of my monthly subscription fee for a mount.

I loved the prowler mount when I saw it in the market place. I even picked which one I’d buy. If it was only cheaper.

Then last Wednesday, Stargrace posted to an invitation for EQ2 players to share what they would name their prowler mount, if they had one. She had five codes for free prowler mounts that she would be giving to her favorites.

My entry:

I’d name mine Koshka.

I typically come up with something descriptive of my character or pets and then translate it into another language so it doesn’t sound lame. Calling it Cat would be pretty boring. Calling it Koshka (Russian for cat) just sounds better. (I’ve used Koshka for characters and pets in several games including CoH and WoW, so I’m pretty fond of it).

Today, Stargrace announced the winners. YAY ME!

I really should have been using that vacation day last Wednesday for homework. Instead, I gave up on homework by noon and was running a noob through New Halas quests. I enjoyed my mid-week slacker day, and now I’m extra glad for it because my pretty blue kitty is great.

Thank you Stargrace!


Koshka on the docks on the Isle of Mara at sunrise.


Calming Koshka in New Halas

If only there were more time for games.

I get to play EQ2 tonight! I know it is a silly thing to be so excited about. Let me explain.

I work full time; Often forty hours per week, but just as often it is a bit more. I am also taking six credits per quarter at Capella University. It is all online, but it is just as time consuming as going to a brick and mortar school.

While school is in session, I usually have little time for a social life, or a gamer life.

On week days I get up at 6:30, wake the hubby, get ready for work, wake the hubby (yes, again!), then carpool to work with hubby. We work 8ish to 5ish, then go home. I go to the store if needed then cook dinner, and then finally start on homework (by this time it is normally at least 7:00).

The first half of the week is harder to manage than the second half. Since the initial discussion posting(s) of the school week are due on Wednesdays, most reading and research must be done by then as well. In the second half of the week I have to read all posts on the class discussion board, post a few responses, and write an essay or two. It’s a lot, but the second half of the week includes the weekend so it’s normally not a problem.

But, it does mean that I generally don’t have much of a social life and don’t get the time to play games the way I’d like to. Now that I think about it, it has been more than a month since I’ve done an actual quest. So sad.

On the bright side, crafting goes OK with reading and I have a friend who gives me materials, so my trade skill level in EQ2 is well above my actual level.

Added later: I started writing this post on my way to work today (on my phone via the handy little WordPress for Android app). This afternoon my hubby wasn’t feeling well and left early so I took the bus home, and I continued writing while on the bus. When I got home (slightly later than usual) I scrounged through the pantry and figured out what was for dinner and cooked. By the time I was done it was 7:00 and my friend that I quest with was due to be logging out in an hour.

So yet again, no questing. At least I got to finish the evil crafting quest in Sinking Sands. (If I’m ever so lucky to have Domino reading this, I do mean evil in a good way. It was quite enjoyable.)

When I grow up…

When you’re a kid, everyone asks what you want to be when you grow up. I was no exception.

I always had an answer. I wanted to be an elementary school teacher, an astronaut, a fire fighter (I was a kid …), a zoologist, a programmer, a professional artist, a zoologist, a high school teacher, an entomologist, a linguist, a professor, and a photographer. At one point I absolutely knew I would be the first person to teach at our moon colony.

I wanted to be everything. Like most people, my “When I grow up” list changed all the time, and very little on that list resembles in any way what I do now.

When I went to college (the first time) I made it to my junior year without declaring a major. I loved school. There was so much variety, and so much to learn and experience. I loved almost every class I took and every class gave me new ideas for what I wanted to be when I grew up.

I couldn’t decide though, and eventually my indecision met my inability to pay tuition and I decided it was time to drop out. It was a decision I regretted for years.

But then I happened to get into a job that I loved. (more…)