Blaugust: Experiment Terminated

Until this month, I had never tried writing as a hobby. I do a lot of writing for work, and it comes easily to me. Most of my Blaugust posts only took 30-45 minutes to write and sometimes another hour for an interview or illustrations. That’s free time I had available, so the time commitment hasn’t been an issue. But it’s already clear that writing on a personal blog has had an undesirable effect on my personality. Continue reading

Clearly, it's just not optimized yet. CC BY-SA Patrick Mannion on Flickr

“It’s not optimized yet.”

This post is my day 14 contribution to the 2015 Blaugust Initiative.


Every time I come across this phrase, my jaw starts to clench up, my knuckles turn white, and I start to hear my heart beating in my ears. I’m normally a very soft-spoken hobbit, but when someone uses “It’s not optimized yet” as an excuse for poor game performance after months or years of testing, I begin to feel a little swear-y. Continue reading

Arondumir enjoys a peaceful night in Duillond. This area is a busy quest hub for new players on other servers.

Voices of LOTRO: Arondumir of Imladris

This post is my day 13 contribution to the 2015 Blaugust Initiative.


Imladris is one of LOTRO’s newer servers. It opened in Sepetember 2010 with the advent of free-to-play, but was available three days prior to that for existing subscribers to create new characters as a head-start. As such, Imladris is a server founded by immigrants, whose players will be faced with another migration when it closes at the end of 2015. I chatted for a while today with Arondumir, who is a bit of a wanderer himself. Continue reading

If infinite worlds collide, but no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

Infinite Crisis Concluded

This post is my day 12 contribution to the 2015 Blaugust Initiative.


Have you heard of Infinite Crisis? It’s a superhero MOBA developed by Turbine, set in the collision between worlds that inspired the eponymous DC Comics series. And it’s shutting down forever Friday. Before it’s gone, I want to share a few of the experiences I had with the game. I’ve gone back through my testing journal and picked out some highlights. Continue reading

The "Mayor of Elendilmir" gives a /swordsalute outside the town hall in Bree.

Voices of LOTRO: Sigewolf of Elendilmir

This post is my day 11 contribution to the 2015 Blaugust Initiative.


Elendilmir is one of LOTRO’s original North American servers, and its unofficial Oceanic server. Known to many as “the big E,” it was among the top three worlds in terms of player activity for many years. It was a bit of a shock when Turbine announced that it, along with 18 other servers, would be closing at the end of 2015. Tonight I chatted with Sigewolf, whom another player described as “the glue that keeps Elendilmir together. (Made from the hooves of the finest ponies.)” Continue reading

Skamvetnir relaxes in the shade in Celondim, LOTRO's elf starting area

Voices of LOTRO: Skamvetnir of Gilrain

This post is my day 10 contribution to the 2015 Blaugust Initiative.


With 19 of LOTRO’s servers closing at the end of 2015, I thought it would be nice to meet a few of their residents before the big move. Gilrain is LOTRO’s least busy server, but certainly not its least spirited! Today I spoke with the dwarf Skamvetnir, Middle-earth’s self-proclaimed “leading Elvis(h) impersonator.” Continue reading

Queues and restrictions on character creation plagued ArcheAge's launch.

Why I don’t play ArcheAge

This post is my day 9 contribution to the 2015 Blaugust Initiative.


On the surface, ArcheAge has many features that should appeal to me. It’s a beautiful Korean import, like my very first MMO, and retains just enough of that flavor to make it feel exotic. There’s truly epic guild vs. guild siege warfare, riveting naval battles, and exciting opportunities for economic domination. And most importantly, it’s localized and operated by a company I trust, with a community team that demonstrates extraordinary commitment to its customers. But just below the surface, a few major factors have kept me away from the game. Continue reading

A defendant stands trial before a jury of his peers.

Five Favorite Features: ArcheAge #5 – Criminal Justice

This post is my day 8 contribution to the 2015 Blaugust Initiative.


ArcheAge has an unmistakable focus on PvP; this conflict is an integral part of many of the game’s activities. Despite this, PvP remains mostly consensual, taking place in contested or hostile areas of the map. But when it’s not consensual and happens in a safe zone, it’s a crime with serious consequences. Continue reading

Crests displayed on the sails of several ships.

Five Favorite Features: ArcheAge #4 – Custom Crests

This post is my day 7 contribution to the 2015 Blaugust Initiative.


In most MMOs, the only true user-generated content you’ll ever see is words in the chat window. We’ve all heard the adage, “A picture is worth a thousands words.” If that’s true, then an offensive picture is probably worth at least a million! ArcheAge boldly takes that risk, and lets you upload images to customize lots of your stuff. Continue reading

Airships arrive and depart from docks in the early morning hours.