Since May up until now I’ve been pretty swamped in work. Which was pretty good for me, but it left other low priority commitments lacking any degree of attention. Minecraft skins, LEGO based creations, even fiction writing ended up taking a back seat to work. We’ve all done it before, sacrificing things we like in order to pay the bills and such.
I have my doubts on freelance after experiencing it first hand. It doesn’t fit me as I thought it might, but that’s alright. Live, learn and move on. Relief tutoring at Natcoll (yes, back to school again!) is keeping me occupied for when they call me, and I suspect that I will be taking over for my old Animation tutor later in the year.
Anyway, a recap of what I’ve been doing since my last post: Freelance work ended up taking up a good portion of my waking hours, mainly because I’m a perfectionist and won’t stop working until it looks just right. Kinda good work ethic, kinda bad for health. I got cranky and ditzy at certain times, which was just completely detrimental to my work. So I pulled back a bit and kept a balance on things. Worked a bit, and could focus a bit better.
Around the second week of June there was the second Guild Wars 2 Beta Weekend. I organised my time so that I could play. Didn’t work entirely as planned, however it posed an interesting test for one of my more lower end systems. Since my designated gaming computer was otherwise occupied with work rendering, I used one of the other computers to play GW2. Pulling all the settings down to minimum, it still wasn’t smooth, but it was manageable and playable. I had decided to continue on with my Norn Guardian and if I remember correctly I got her up to Lvl 18 before the weekend was over. I had planned to push forth more with the story, but it didn’t really happen that much (aside from this one ridiculously hard quest that I needed to be at least 4 levels above the minimum requirement in order to beat it). Although, I think the new dynamic level system brings my level down a bit to keep it challenging anyway, so it may have been down to skill as opposed to power level. There was a bit of random exploration which proved very interesting and fun around the Norn areas, which connect to the Charr controlled lands if you go far enough. But for the most part I was having heaps of fun on a single process: Crafting.
Now Crafting as I mentioned in an earlier blog post is a non combat skill profession in which you research recipes and gather resources via foraging, loot drops or salvaging. The most versatile combination I found was being an Armorsmith and a Jeweller, though I did swap out between Jeweller and Artificer to make complimentary magical weapons (and basically to use up all the wood that I’d chopped down). I’d given up on Chef, partly because it wasn’t particularly useful at such a low level, and I want to properly work on it when the game is released and savour the craft better due to having a character that has travelled more for places to acquire better ingredients.
Crafting to obtain better items is great early on, but with the abundance of weapons and armor that drop, it almost makes Weaponsmithing, Artificing and Armorsmithing redundant (with the exception of a few storage increasing items). Later on, I expect to have better materials to create better armour and equipment, but early on, crafting things for your character is pointless. That said, crafting things for other people would bring about an interesting business venture within the game.
I was worried that the event would be finishing sometime at 7am on Monday morning. If the weekend was a week earlier, I would have had the whole Queen’s Birthday weekend to play. But then I remembered that the last one finished in the evening, so after work I logged on and engaged in the awesome, awesome final event. Dozens of players fighting these big, crystal mobs that, upon closer inspection, had player names! Yes, If you got killed by an ‘infected’ player, there was a chance that you could become infected too! I kept with the group and pretty much chased around this giant Devourer (two tailed scorpion monster). Didn’t seem that it was dying, but the whole participation with other people felt pretty fun.
Recently I’ve been acquainted with a local author, Beaulah Pragg. One of my old story blurbs seemed to pique her interest and it did make me think of returning to it. She currently heads the Christchurch Writers’ Guild which I’m a part of. I intend to take a more active role again in a few of my hobbies, writing being one of them. The other is yet another creative outlet: LEGO.
About a month ago I met up with a couple of local LEGO enthusiasts, Paul Critcher and Christoph Bartneck. At Paul’s place out in Rangiora, he has a massive collection of LEGO, compared to my paltry collection. We all got to talking about various stuff in life and Christoph convinced me to display something at the upcoming LEGO Annual Brick Show (LABS), the first one to be held in Christchurch ever. Now I’ve already acquainted myself with a few Christchurch based LEGO fans on MOCPages, so I was quite interested in finally meeting with them face to face. The theme for the LABS this year is Rebuild, given the last years of earthquake ridden woes, it was an extremely good idea to have this going on during Kidsfest. Just under 25 days to get something built. Hope I have enough parts lol
The snow the other week was kinda fun, kinda crazy. Both days I ended up driving in to work, slid for a bit going around roundabouts.
Christchurch Armageddon is coming up soon, hopefully there will be more fun stuff there, as well as a bit more moving room. Last year was so crammed lol
Matt and I have our Annual Random Country Trip (ARCT! Another acronym!) being organised. Wouldn’t have guessed myself going on a tour from Beijing to Kathmandu (I have such a boring life :P).
The future seems to be a creative one for me. As much as I want to head up north to seek work, new (and tempting) opportunities seem to keep me firmly based in Christchurch, at least until the end of the year. I guess 2013 will have to be the new plan.
Also, I’ve recently had some 80’s songs bouncing around in my head, most notably Nik Kershaw’s The Riddle.
Stay classy, Internet.