Prepping for Blaugust
At this point we are getting super close to the launch of Blaugust, and the sign ups keep coming on the Nook. There is still time to sign up and be ready for the start of this exciting month. Also remember there is zero penalty this year for starting late and catching up. Last year my friend Tamrielo did something absolutely insane and wrote 31 really well formed posts in a 48 hour period. While I would never suggest anyone do something like that, it is absolutely possible to start a week late and make up the missed progress. Similarly I know folks will be attending Gamescom or Pax Prime during this month, so it is absolutely a good idea to stage the content ahead of time. For the WordPress users out there I highly suggest you check out their pretty excellent mobile app (iOS, Android) that gives you access to your blog on the go, and does a decent job of letting you compose a post on the go.
I tend to be a very pro WordPress person, but blogger is perfectly acceptible as well and while I have never used it there seems to be a mobile blogger client also (iOS, Android). The primary reason why I tend to suggest WordPress is just that there is a path between WordPress.com free hosted service, and moving to a WordPress.org installation on your own custom hosting. There are a number of guides out there to help this process along. What I like so much about this is the fact that it lets someone get their feet wet and decide if this blogging thing is for them… before plunking down the money it takes to rent space on a web host and purchase a domain. There are lots of people that never make the jump between COM to ORG, but it is nice that there is always that option if you want to do something with your blog that is not supported through the official channels. There are also guides for going from Blogger to WordPress, but they tend to be far less straight forward.
Anook Community Award
Last night something really cool happened, namely that Lonrem the tirelessly working community manager of Anook.com posted an excellent “best practices” document on the Blaugust Nook. If the document were not enough in helping people get the most out of their Anook experience… he also slipped a tidbit of information in down at the bottom. For a few weeks now we had been talking about Anook wanting to sponsor some sort of award. It was finally decided that the best way to have an Anook reward is to have the users of the website vote on their favorite posts. Here are the basics of this award posted straight from his document.
I’ll also announce here that Anook is going to support Blaugust with a special prize! I’m going to tally up the Hearts that each blog post gets for each blogger (Blaugger?) and award the top blog with a game code. I’m going to see if I can round up other prizes from some of our friends and partners as well, no promises there! This does give a bit of an incentive to post regularly, start on the first of August, but also to share the link to your blog on Anook! If you’ve got any questions, let me know!
This is really awesome to have our first “real” sponsor… because my pocket didn’t really count. Last year when I started this, I decided to host the challenge off of Anook because it is a network that I love. Lonrem singlehandedly won me over with his devotion, and the features basically keep me from ever having to build yet another custom SMF forum for anything. So I fly the Anook banner on my stream and mention it on every AggroChat just because I love the site. I am humbled that the site is returning some of that love and helping us get this challenge started in a bigger and better way this year. I’ve had an idea through this contest of creating a games of the week where I suggest a handful of free to play games that folks play, and then write about their experience to help get those creative juices flowing. While I might have been dreading the loss of my free time that Blaugust means… I am absolutely getting pumped about how much more “real” this whole thing feels for 2015.
It is not uncommon for me to log in to Final Fantasy XIV in the evening and hear the all too familiar chime of a group invite before the game has completely loaded. My guildies are used to ninjaing me into tanking all manner of things, and I assumed that it was yet another case of “daily expert”. So I accepted the invite without thinking much about it, and found myself shocked when I saw the Alexander loading screen. To make matters worse the ninja alex was turn 2, which is quite possibly the most frustrating thing for a tank to take on without having a second tank in there that they trust. The problem being that pugs like to stack all of the mobs together, which makes it impossible for the tanks to effectively hold aggro on them. What happens instead is that both tanks burn through all of their resources and the mobs spend the entire fight bouncing back and forth between them. This would be fine and good if it were safe for a single tank to take them on… problem being that in the later phases you have to try and carefully split the damage to even it out. All of the mobs on one tank is pretty much a certain wipe.
The positive of getting pulled into Alex like this however is that it took away my normal reluctance to such things, and as of last night I now have three of my four pieces of loot for the week. All that is left is Turn 1, and quite honestly it is the least stressful for me to pug. The tanks have clearly defined roles and for the most part they go fairly smoothly now that most people are pretty well geared. At this point for that final item I want either a chain which would instantly give me a belt, or a pedal… which would also instantly give me an item because I have a second one in my inventory. I have to say the way gearing works in Alex is a little maddening, but I feel that honestly it is their way of trying to delay people reaching level 190 geared. With Esoterics in place, I can’t really see going for say the Alexander chest piece since it takes getting a lucky roll four weeks in a row on Turn 4. My first Esoterics item of course will be the 200 weapon, because for a tank that is the single most useful upgrade. After that I will probably assess my weakest pieces and go after what I need the most… which is more than likely going to be my chest piece. Of course in the mean time Square could do what they seem to always do… and change up the game by taking away loot restrictions. That said I still think it is a little early in the patch for that to actually happen, and more than likely won’t be until 3.1.
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