WildStar – Headstart Screenshots

Just some random screenshots from the WildStar Headstart weekend.

I started out playing a Spellslinger, thinking I would play an easy-mode ranged DPS class to tour all the dungeons, but I realized at level 8 that I was bored and disgruntled. I switched to an Esper, and started to have a lot more fun. It also helped to choose the Everstar Grove zone which I had not seen in beta.

Overall I think it was a very smooth launch, except maybe for the first few hours, but I was asleep when all the connectivity problems happened. :) Personally I haven’t seen any queues.

Hulk smash!
In case you thought only the Dominion side got to torture and kill test subjects…
Gassing of infected Mordesh. Well, at least they asked to be put out of their misery.
This was an “Event” instance. Like a Dungeon, but not a Dungeon, or an Adventure. Totally different things!
Hero shot next to a satellite dish.
My First Adventure: The Hycrest Insurrection, in which I did terrible, and may never recover from the psychic trauma. The six-side die subtly indicates that there is loot that requires a need/greed roll.

Inadequate Naming

I need a new name.

I’ve been thinking about this for a while. I like the name of the blog, Endgame Viable. But I don’t like using UltrViolet as my personal identity.

It’s weird, because I am UltrViolet. Ever since I was in the Crayola Clan back in NetQuake days. Ah, good ol’ ]CC[-UltrViolet.

But in this age of cross-media brand recognition and whatnot, it's a terrible name. There's no 'a' in my UltrViolet, which is vitally important to the name. There's a reason there's no 'a' which goes all the way back to Quake in 1996. (Reason: "]CC[-UltraViolet" was one character too long to fit in the 15-character limit.)

But when I'm streaming, it's really awkward to say UltrViolet without an 'a' in it. I say "ULTER-violet" instead of "ULTRA-violet" to emphasize the difference. I'm quite sure nobody gets that, and people just think I have a weird accent or a speech impediment or possibly a brain defect.

The other major problem with UltrViolet is that someone already has @ultrviolet on Twitter. I mean, what the crap. Who else in the entire world would have any reason to spell "ultraviolet" without an 'a'? (That person on Twitter is not me, in case you're wondering.)

A third major problem with UltrViolet is that some years ago a major motion picture came out with a girl character named Ultraviolet. So now half the world probably thinks that UltrViolet is a girl's name, when in fact it's a crayon's name.

What to do. Before I was UltrViolet, I was Salamander, but I see a lot of Salamanders out there in the gaming world and it's just too common. And I don't even need to look on Twitter to know that someone already has @salamander. Pretty sure someone wrote a bot to claim every dictionary word on Twitter soon after it went public.

Why not just call myself "Endgame Viable?" Well, to me, it's a brand name, so to speak. It's not my name. It's the name of the web site. I feel pretty dumb using @endgameviable for "personal" stuff on Twitter. I feel like it should be reserved for announcements and information about the site itself.

Of course it's even more dumb to change my Twitter handle now that I've built up a handful of followers for @endgameviable. If I come up with a new one I'll be throwing away all of those followers.

On the other hand, there aren't that many followers so now would be the best time to change. Better than when I have a million followers, for example, because that's totally going to happen.

You might be wondering why I would care about separating my gamer identity from the brand name of the blog. Well, obviously I'm going to rocket to success and become super famous any day now. When that happens I will need to sell the blog to a major media company for millions of dollars. But I would want to retain my personal gamer identity so that I can use my star power on whatever my next project will be.

That sounds realistic, right?

Scheduling Posts

I saw this excellent post from Belghast a while back: Thumper Logic.

The first part of his post got me thinking about my own publishing schedule, and as it is NBI month I thought a meta-blogging post would be a good topic.

I too have tried to write one post a day–in the past. I applaud the effort, and anyone who can do it is far better at this than I am.

The problem I encountered when trying to write a new post every day was: Not everything I write is publishable. Sometimes I can write for hours and produce thousands of words of nonsensical dreck. In fact, that’s pretty common. (You could probably make the argument that what I publish isn’t publishable either.)

I completely agree with the philosophy that one should practice writing every day. That’s the only way to get better. But pushing myself to write something publishable every day is more than I can deliver without stressing myself out.

That’s why I try to maintain a “buffer” of posts by scheduling in advance. A lot of times I do write a post every day. And sometimes I write two or three posts a day. But sometimes I write two or three posts a day and throw them away, leaving nothing. Sometimes I don’t have time to write anything.

You might wonder why I would care about missing days. There’s a few reasons. First, I’m trying to practice being a writer who can deliver a reliable stream of content.

Another reason is that this is still a fledgling blog. If I were a famous blogger with thousands of devoted readers, it wouldn’t be a problem to miss days. Readers would probably still come back. But since I’m still a nobody, missing posts is more of a big deal. Nothing will drive away site traffic more than failing to post new content.

And while I’m not trying to create the blog of the century here, I am at least trying to create the opportunity for a successful blog. I’m not sure what “success” means quite yet, but at the moment it means publishing something at least moderately entertaining or informative every weekday at 11.

So keeping a buffer of scheduled posts is the best way for me to achieve that success, because it eliminates all of the pressure of writing “on demand.” If you’re curious, I try to stay three or four days ahead. Longer if possible. (That’s why my topics aren’t always “timely.”)

Writing ahead also gives me a second or third or fourth chance to re-read and re-edit my posts before they are published. I try not to do a lot of editing, because I’m also trying to train myself to write better on the first try, but sometimes it’s necessary. (Basically my editing involves removing unnecessary modifiers from my writing. Like that word “basically” back there. Actually, I’m really quite fond of “actually” and “really” too. And “quite,” apparently.)

Greens and Blues

Am I crazy or did GW2 make green items better than blue items, which is 100% the opposite of every other MMO in history? Did they just arbitrarily pick the colors or is there some logic to it? Somebody “on the Internet” said blue < green < yellow makes more sense because it follows the color wheel. But, like, green < blue < purple follows the color spectrum (ROYGBIV).

Pointers in Games

Guild Wars 2 is an awesome game. But there is one thing about it that drives me insane. In fact, I have the same problem with almost every game that has a pointer.

You can’t see the pointer!

This is a major problem in GW2 because many of your abilities are ground-targeted spells, so you need to be able to point to the spot where you want to cast it. (I use the option that automatically casts wherever you are pointing.) If you’re out soloing it’s not a problem, but many times you’re in an epic battle with fifty people pounding on a boss and there’s flashing and fireworks and dazzling spell effects going on all over the place. Picking out the pointer in those situations is near impossible for me. Even when I wave the mouse around like I do on the desktop, it can still take a long time to find the damn thing.

Now I’ll admit I’m an aging gamer, so I’m sure my eyes are part of the problem, but surely there must be some way to solve this problem. Like, for example, making the freakin’ pointer bigger when you’re in combat. Like, a LOT bigger. Like 10 times bigger. And put a shadow around it. And make it blink.