Adventures in Teamspeak

As a woman in my 40’s, I’m an older gamer. Not as old my ojisan-gamer husband who’s in his 50’s, but I’m definitely not part of the generation that has grown up constantly connected to everything and everyone. I discovered video games in 1993 when I was pregnant with my son. Platform games and JRPG’s were my go-to genres at Blockbuster (remember them?), so gaming was very much a solo activity. I started playing games like Phantasy Star Online and Diablo II around 2000 and then dove into the world of EverQuest in 2001. I played almost exclusively with people I actually knew in real life. On the rare occasions that I played with strangers, I was shy and nervous. Even today, I still get sweaty palms and an increased heart rate when I group up with strangers. When I played World of Warcraft, I played almost completely solo. I would group up with my real life friends and my husband, but that was pretty much it. A friend invited me to a raid once and we had to go on voice chat. That was weird and terrifying. I knew most of the people there, but still… that was really really weird to me. Nowadays, I’m fairly used to using voice chat programs to communicate with group members. Voice chat makes coordinating a lot of different people a LOT easier. I wouldn’t say it’s required, but damn, does it make things a hell of a lot easier…

Still, for me, voice chat is more of a tool for group content than a social space, although that is slowly changing. In contrast, most of today’s (often younger) online gamers chat ALL THE FREAKING TIME. They won’t even be playing a game together and they’ll be hanging out in Teamspeak chat rooms, chatting about whatever. This is weird to me. So you can imagine my overwhelming confusion when I was invited into a TS chatroom with almost 20 people in it!

Most of us were playing FFXIV, but a few were playing other games. I remember one guy mentioning XCOM. I knew MAYBE a quarter of the people in the room. People said hi and all that. But after that I felt like I was floating around in ABSOLUTE CHAOS. These kids were all talking to each other, having individual conversations while contributing to OTHERS’ conversations, as well. I spent most of my time just listening. Contributing just seemed WAY too complicated. On top of all the confusion, the room was full of (mostly) people my son’s age. One guy mentioned that he was 18 and my niece (who was also chatting) is in her late 20’s, so I’m averaging. (My son is 22.) Everything was about sex or jokes about sex. If it wasn’t sex, it was some crazy drama thing about interpersonal relationships. “Omg, is there something going on between X and Y?” Or people getting all mad and just figuratively storming out of the room by abruptly disconnecting from the channel. And everything about sex made people howl with laughter… I remember being like that. 🙂 But damn, I haven’t been exposed to it in a long while. I spent most of my time just chuckling to myself and wondering if I sounded that silly when I was that age. The answer to that, of course, it ABSO-fucking-LUTELY. I contributed a little. “If you spank it, you tank it,” elicited some amusing remarks.

Hanging out in that chat room was fun, if overwhelming. I’ll absolutely go there again, though. It was an absolutely fascinating glimpse into some of the newer and younger modes of socializing today. Honestly, I felt lucky to be invited to the party. 🙂

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Good Intentions

After my lack of sleep on Tuesday night, I had EVERY INTENTION of going to bed at a decent hour. I was going to start my stream an hour early so I could end it an hour early and go to bed. Did that happen?

OF COURSE NOT.

Since I just had to spend a few Eorzean day cycles to cap my red gatherer’s scrips, I had EVERY INTENTION of capping and then logging off to play more of The Talos Principle. Did THAT happen?

HAHA. NO.

At a certain point in the evening, I realized that I wasn’t going to stream at all. 😦 So instead I decided that I would spend the majority of my evening playing Final Fantasy Explorers. How about that? Did THAT happen?

LOL NOPE.

Man, even when I end up changing my plans, I don’t follow through… Sheesh, I’ve got (first world) problems.

So what DID I do last night?

I had to work late, so I stopped and got a bento for dinner. I absolutely REFUSE to cook if I have to spend more than an extra half hour at the office. (I stayed for almost an hour and a half.) On the way to the mall, I saw a vanity license plate that amused me: H8MYEX.

When I got home, I opened up my box of FF Explorers and ate my dinner with a glass of wine, a nice Riesling called For A Song. At this point, I was feeling exhausted and I had a stomachache. (I ate way too fast.) However, I realized that I still needed to cap my red gatherer’s scrips in FFXIV, so I hopped on and started working on that. It was at this point that I decided not to stream. My stomach was really sore and the thought of smiling and talking to people just turned me off.

There was some guild/FC drama discussed in chat about why our static broke up. Honestly, I wasn’t feeling well and I really didn’t want to deal with it. Pretty sure I made some snarky remark to someone that I shouldn’t have, but hey, I’m human, too, dammit. The static thing is water under the bridge already anyway. I’m planning on making a new one.

So my niece’s friend invited all of us into his Teamspeak channel to hang out. I was still working on gathering when discussions began about doing Derp Ark (Void Ark). I finished capping and we did Void Ark. There were 14 of us, I think, so we split into 2 groups and queued at the same time. Sadly, we didn’t queue into the same instance. I got my upgrade item, upgraded my ring, and went back to the house to meld materia onto Mirra’s gear. We were overmelding, so a lot of materia was lost. So painful.

By the time I was done with all of that, it was 10:30 PM. So I left my computer, took my 3DS to bed with me, and played a little FF Explorers. I only got through the tutorial missions before I passed out. I was SO TIRED.

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Apparently, I was so tired that I forgot to log out of the game! My friends posted on FB that I was afk in front of our house and I was like, really? No wonder I didn’t remember saying goodnight to everyone when I left. I never logged out! LOL (I’m the giantess standing behind one of my FC mates in the pic above…)

Today’s Interesting (to me) Game News:

New jobs trailer for Bravely Second. I’m really amused by the Patissier and the Catmancer.

GOG.com has a new Games in Development thing that’s similar to Steam’s Greenlight. I generally don’t buy early access stuff, but this is still pretty cool.

Funcom is making an open world survival game in the Conan universe called Conan Exiles. I’m not a fan of survival games, but Conan is one of my favorite characters. I tend to enjoy playing characters like him. Big, strong, brutal… Very Hulk-Smash. Anyone who knows me can tell you, that’s my favorite style of gaming character to play: large, muscular men with very large swords and axes that just smash everything and everyone to bits. Anger issues? Maybe a little… 😉

Breath of Fire III and Final Fantasy Tactics Advance are coming to the modern consoles. BoF III has the best fishing mini game ever. That game is so good. FFTA… well, I hate tactics games, in general, and I didn’t like this one. But among people who enjoy the genre, this is considered a classic.

Other Nerdy Things:

DC Comics is doing some really weird shit to Scooby-Doo and the gang…

There’s a Game Developer Barbie. To me, this outfit and setup makes it look like game development is more of a hobby than a career, but that’s just me being nitpicky. Although I still hate Barbie (and probably always will), I have to appreciate Mattel’s attempts to join the 21st fucking century with regard to the representation of women.

Tonight on Twitch:

I have no idea. I’m still so tired that I kind of just want to go home after work and sleep. As I’m hurriedly typing this out on my lunch break, I’m thinking I should play Talos Principle. Or maybe I’ll just break down and buy The Witness already. But I’ve also got goals in FFXIV that I haven’t met yet. And I want to play more FF Explorers. Hopefully my husband has started so we can quest together…

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Final Fantasy Explorers Collector’s Edition…GET!

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Ever since I found out about this game, I’ve been really looking forward to it. As a hardcore fan of Phantasy Star Online, this just looked perfect. After all, I’m a HUGE Final Fantasy fangirl. So combine Final Fantasy with one of my favorite online gaming experiences of all time, and you get a VERY excited woman.

I was also excited because I’d be able to play this with my husband and my son. A family that plays together stays together and even though my baby is 5000 miles away at college, he still plays games and we can still play together.

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So of course, when they announced a collector’s edition on the Square Enix store, I had to preorder. I debated just getting a CE for myself and regular editions for my two favorite men, but whenever I do that (and it’s quite often), I kinda feel guilty about it. I always wonder if my son is thinking, “Man, why the hell does Mom always get all the cool shit?” (Honestly, I could answer that…hehehe…) So I splurged.

When people started playing this game on Tuesday, I was a little jealous, but I figured that waiting for the CE was a worthwhile price to pay. I’m actually surprised I got it on Wednesday. Because we live in Hawaii, I often get games WAY after release if I order them on the internet.

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So far, I’ve pretty much only just made my character and completed the (rather pathetic) tutorial missions. Aside from being COMPLETELY confused about Crystal Surges (even after reading the Help Menu stuff), I love how combat feels. (And yes, I understand Crystal Surges and Abilities now.) And not to complain too much, but my feminist self can’t help but ask… What’s with the skanky ho starting outfit? Once I get gear, I’ll get over it. (Really, I’m always torn between feeling offended by outfits like this and loving them because I used enjoy dressing rather provocatively when I was younger…) In any case, hopefully I get a chance to play more tonight.

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It even came with special weapons and quests, apparently. I didn’t know this before I opened the box. Not sure how I missed that bit of info, honestly…

  • h4tsum1

Weird Dreams

I have notoriously weird dreams. I know, I know. Everyone has weird dreams. But whenever I share mine, people always marvel at how weird mine really are:

I started out in a large house with a bunch of people. I couldn’t see their faces, so I’m not sure who I was with. There was a raging thunderstorm going on outside. It was the kind of storm that when it happens in a movie, you know things are going to be VERY VERY BAD. It seemed like there was no power, but we were all huddled around a television set, staring at an image of two people on a roof. They looked like silhouettes instead of actual people. Like two dimensional characters painted all in black. They were fighting something that I couldn’t make out and there was military all around them. Helicopters, men with guns, searchlights… I had no idea what was going on, but we all knew that if either of them fell off the roof, that spelled disaster. I had the impression that it would signal the end of the world, but I don’t know why. That’s why we were so intently watching. One of the two silhouettes fell down from the roof. Suddenly, I was also on the roof in the pouring rain and Doctor McCoy (from Star Trek – the DeForest Kelley one) was with me. He was wearing armor that was a very shiny cross between the Power Armor in Fallout 4 and the contraptions the Big Daddies from Bioshock are wearing. He was trying to get down to where the fallen silhouette was and the military was trying to stop him, telling him that it was too dangerous. We went down anyway. I had to guide him down a flight of stairs because the armor was so unwieldy. I was not in armor. Suddenly, I was in a room and an acquaintance of mine from college was on an examination table in front of me. I was using a defibrillator to try and revive him. I was briefly successful and he looked at me and smiled. Then he died and I started sobbing, saying that I would miss the weird shit he always posted on Facebook. (English isn’t his first language, so sometimes he posts stuff and I have no idea what he’s trying to say.)

At that point, I woke up.

Last Night’s Twitch Stream:

I had every intention of playing The Talos Principle, but I ended up spending all 3 hours in Final Fantasy XIV. Since weekly caps reset, I did Expert Roulette and Level 60 Roulette. I got the arboretum for Expert AGAIN. I end up shouting something along the lines of, “MOTHERFUCKER!” every time I get that dungeon now because I don’t EVEN REMEMBER the last time I got Pharos Sirius HM. For Level 60, we got Neverreap, which we always call AlwaysCreep. High level roulette in FFXIV is really pissing me off. We need more choices. Two dungeons each does NOT equate to a roulette. I’m getting really sick of them.

Happily, Rowena’s House of Splendors was finally accepting Noble Gold for red scrips, so I was able to turn those in. I was 6 scrips shy of capping, though, so I had to make 6 collectible Birch Syrups.

After that, my niece wanted to work on leveling her Dark Knight. She was 46, but hates Dzamael Darkhold and Aurum Vale. (Me, too!) So we FATE farmed in Northern Thanalan. I went on my Monk, but was considerably underleveled, so I spent most of my time chasing after mobs. Reminded me of how much I hate doing FATEs as a melee.

After my niece went to bed, I made a piece of crafting gear for a friend and melded some materia for her.

So exciting, I know. But I had fun talking to one of my viewers about the state of FFXIV. I am very laid back and very casual when it comes to MMO playing, so I’m totally happy with where the game is right now. There are still things I want to accomplish, so I’m not bored. Sure, there are things that piss me off. (See above re: roulette, for example.) Overall, however, I am enjoying myself. The game isn’t going anywhere and neither am I. People who are more hardcore are frustrated. I understand that. I really do. I just can’t relate. I come from a time when we used to have to wait for over a year for another game or new content for an existing one. We had to grind things for months and months and months to accomplish one small goal. We had to buy or print out graph paper and draw maps. Those were the days. They were great. 🙂

But would I want to go back to that? HELL, NO. I’m spoiled now with in game maps and not worrying about where I died. Anyone else remember frantically typing /loc when you knew you were going to die so you didn’t have to pay a Necromancer or Shadow Knight to find your corpse for you in EverQuest? XD I’m spoiled with new games coming out pretty much every week. But they’re just games and I play them because I enjoy them. When a game genuinely upsets me, that’s a sign that I shouldn’t be playing it. To each their own, though. My gaming personality is my own.

Things of note in video game news today:

Feminist Frequency released their 2015 annual report. I am a feminist and I love that there are organizations like this and others out there working to address issues. I may not agree with everything that everyone says. (I am absolutely NOT a yes-(wo)man.) However, I appreciate that people are pushing to have the discussion. One of my husband’s friends once said to me that women’s rights weren’t really an issue anymore. If we weren’t out to dinner celebrating another friend’s graduation, I’m pretty sure I’d have gone into great detail about what I thought about that statement. After all, I’ve had stuff like this happen in my Twitch chat:

As long as I still see shit like this, I’m going to stand firm in my belief that women’s rights are absolutely still an issue. Harassment is not okay. I don’t deserve to be treated this way. NO ONE does. Period. At the time, this REALLY unsettled me. I thought I had prepared myself for this kind of thing happening. The minute I created my Twitch channel, intellectually I KNEW that this could and WOULD happen. But the first time it did, my heart was pounding, my voice started shaking, and I wondered what I did to deserve it. That’s unacceptable.

But enough about that for now…

Playstation announced the free games for PS Plus subscribers in February:

  • Grid Autosport, PS3
  • Helldivers: Democracy Strikes Back , PS4, PS3, PS Vita
  • Lemmings Touch, PS Vita
  • Nom Nom Galaxy, PS4
  • Nova-111, PS Vita
  • Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, PS3

I’ve been wanting to try out Helldivers. Not sure if any of my friends still play it, though, and it seems like the kind of thing you need to play with friends.

The USPS tracking website now says that my Final Fantasy Explorers Collector’s Edition should be delivered today. I AM SO EXCITED. I’ll be making a separate post for that, though, and will likely unbox it while streaming on Twitch tonight.

Apparently, there’s going to be DLC maps for the new Fire Emblem game that’s coming out. I’m glad I don’t like Fire Emblem. My husband, on the other hand, will probably pick up every new map that comes out. Kinda like me and my Final Fantasy Theatrhythm songs…

Other nerdy things of note:

Apparently, there are 9000 obsolete cables attached to the CERN Hadron collider. In order to upgrade the machine, these need to be removed. It’s going to take 4 YEARS. Talk about a cable management NIGHTMARE.

Now, this doesn’t EXACTLY qualify as nerdy, but there are two movies that at one time or another I could quote word for word from start to finish. Both of them had Val Kilmer and they are Real Genius and Top Gun. I wanted to study lasers and be a fighter pilot because of these movies. While I still regret giving up studying STEM things, I think it’s probably a good thing that I never became a fighter pilot. I have a problem with authority. I don’t think the military and I would get along too well. (I don’t have perfect vision, anyway…) But there’s always talk about Top Gun 2. The latest involves a tweet from Jerry Bruckheimer meeting with Tom Cruise about it. Do I want this movie to happen? Honestly, I don’t know. If nothing else, I kinda want to watch Top Gun again. I haven’t watched it in a long time. I’ll skip the sex scene, though. To this day, I am STILL SICK OF THAT GOD DAMNED SONG. No song has ever been so overplayed! (I actually liked the song at the time and there’s a part of me that still does, but ugh…)

Tonight on Twitch:

My plan is to stream from about 9pm PST to midnight PST.

Final Fantasy XIV – I need to cap my red gathering scrips before 10pm my time since that’s when the crafting/gathering reset is. I think some FC members wanted to run Derp Ark, I mean Void Ark. I still need to upgrade a few pieces of Esoteric gear, so I still need the weekly reward from that.

After that, though… I might switch over to The Talos Principle. I want to finish that game so I can start playing The Witness without feeling guilty. 😀

  • h4tsum1

Drunk Dragoon

I had a rough day at work yesterday. By the end of the day, I was actually raising my voice. I don’t do that. So I did what most stupid people do and I had some alcohol. Before dinner.

#chocolatemint #stout I really needed this after the day I had today… YUM! 😍

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I started with a chocolate mint stout.

Tonight's #wine #cabernetsauvignon #hess

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Then had a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon. The bottle had been open for over a day already and needed to be finished. Oxidation makes wine lame.

I ended my little binge with a Guinness Nitro IPA. Keep in mind that I pretty much only ever drink one glass of wine in a sitting. On top of that, I’m short and only weigh about 115 pounds, so I’m a lightweight.

I was no longer in a bad mood after that, though. Instead, I was loopy and silly. I tried working on my red and blue scrip gathering in FFXIV, but repeatedly misclicked on things, making stupid errors. Then I tried messing around with a brand new alt on another server. Then I tried making another character on ANOTHER friend’s server, but it was full and didn’t want to open up. So I went back to my server and worked on gathering again. Finally, some people in my FC wanted to do Dusk Vigil for someone’s story, so I finally got to do something fun! Experience for my Failgoon! As a career Paladin, trying to grasp the intricacies of the Dragoon rotation is very difficult. I’m not the fastest when it comes to learning new things, but I get them eventually. But I was also drunk, so yeah… forget that. I managed to keep my Heavy Thrust buff up most of the time, switched between the two 1-2-3 combos, and remembered to apply Phlebotomize. I have no idea when and where I’m supposed to incorporate my OGCD abilities, so they went mostly unused. (I think I hit Jump a couple of times, though…) I found an excellent Dragoon post on the official forums, so I’m trying to use that, but my god, there is so much information. I get overwhelmed. I’m sorry, I’m slow. I’ll get it eventually. Practice, practice, practice. And NOT while drunk!

Interesting game things of note today:

The USPS says that my copies of Final Fantasy Explorers Collector’s Edition will arrive the day after tomorrow.

Playstation released their top classic games of 2015. This makes me happy. Suikoden II is one of the best.games.ever. Breath of Fire IV and the Final Fantasy games are also good.

We’re getting a report on Saturday with details about a report coming up in March to give us details and a release date of Final Fantasy XV. Am I the only one that hates getting sneak peeks of sneak peeks? I remember something about a teaser for a teaser trailer for a movie several months ago and I was like… omg already!

I am really excited for this game. It comes out a few days before my birthday! Woohoo! Already preordered the collector’s edition.

I’m not sure what I think of this. A lot of people are freaking out over his voice. That actually doesn’t really weird me out. I mean, he’s TALKING. Isn’t that weird enough? Anyway, when I posted this on Facebook, my husband commented, “He sounds kinda mean…” Yeah, I agree. I wonder if this will even come stateside…

I really want to play The Witness. I haven’t played Braid, so I’m not familiar with Jonathan Blow’s games. I’m currently playing and loving The Talos Principle, though, so I’ll finish that first.

Some NON-gaming, but equally geeky things of note today:

Star Trek is getting a brand new convention for its 50th anniversary in New York, NY. My sisters live there and I am JEALOUS. Sadly, they probably won’t go because, well… They don’t like Star Trek as much as I do. I would go if I wasn’t already going to New York for my son’s graduation in May. Sadly, I just can’t afford to make two trips to NYC in one year. 😦

This kid skated to “Tank!” from Cowboy Bebop. How cool is that? He placed 3rd.

Plans for Twitch tonight:

Well, weekly challenges and such reset in FFXIV, so I’ll probably just be doing boring stuff like Expert Roulette. If I get bored, I might switch to my PS4 and you can see how stupid I am while trying to play The Talos Principle. I am one of those smart/gifted people. (I hate that label, btw.) But this game makes me feel stupid as fuck. LOL I love it, though. It’s super fun. I wish I had someone to couch co-op, though. I was playing with my son before he went back to college for his last semester. My husband really isn’t into this kind of game, although I suppose I could try and force him, but I doubt that will work very well. Hahaha! My other friends who would probably enjoy this are not my friends anymore. /sigh

  • h4tsum1

It’s ALIVE! …maybe…

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New tattoo! 🙂 It’s from FFXIV and no one in real life has recognized it yet… Haha. XD

So I created a Twitch channel. I’m not really sure why, exactly. Maybe because I like talking about games and I don’t get to do that too much with people at work. I also wanted to come up with a way to hold myself accountable for actually playing and finishing games.

I am still primarily a Final Fantasy XIV MMO player, but I am trying to figure out a schedule for my offline games, as well. It’s usually Monday since we seem to have maintenance on Monday evenings. Unfortunately, I can’t stream from ALL my consoles or my handhelds, but that still leaves PS4, XBOX One, and PC, so there are a lot of options there.

I post pics of games, wine, and screenshots of FFXIV on Instagram and in addition to trying to figure out Twitter, I’m resurrecting this blog (and considering making a tumblr) to round out my online persona.

Although today is Monday, I will be playing FFXIV tonight because a friend is supposed to be transferring to my server and I will be inviting him to my guild and all that good stuff. If you feel so inclined, come by and say hi. I’m sure to have a glass of wine in one hand while grinding red scrips or something like that…

May you always walk in the light of the crystal…

  • h4tsum1