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Heavensward: Smooth Sailing

June 23rd, 2015 by

FFXIV Ravana

I really have to hand it to Squenix, they pulled off an extremely smooth headstart with Heavensward. There have been some of the usually weird lobby errors, but overall this headstard has been as problem-free as possible. I’m currently almost 56 on my Summoner (waylaid a bit because I’ve been watching every cut scene and doing every side quest before I move on). I’ve really, truly been enjoying the new content.

Juvenile moment during one of the early fates: butt

Okaaay…

I am currently the proud owner of a gorgeous new flying machine which I shall post pictures of as soon as I go back to one of the earlier areas where I can actually fly. The area that I’m currently in (Dravanian Forelands, I think?) is so infuriating to try to navigate. I spent an hour running all over the map trying to find objectives, being thwarted over and over again by areas that I seemingly couldn’t reach. I was in quite a frosty mood by the time I logged off. :)

Instances so far have been fun and relatively straight forward so far. I ran Aery last night, and we had a wipe at the end. The only person who had done it before, the DRK tank, had a hissy fit over it: “I’m doing this as a low-level roulette (really?) for some quick XP and you people are ruining it for me!” This is the type of thing that I’d hoped to avoid by pushing through the content as fast as possible: all the entitled jerks in Duty Finder who have no patience for people who haven’t seen the encounter before. Most of these don’t have guides yet, although they’re starting to pop up here and there. We haven’t even seen actual launch yet, and he’s speed-running instances? I’d like to introduce you to the aforementioned Alaimbert’s butt.

So, a very enjoyable few days so far, and here’s hoping that there isn’t too much of an influx when the servers go up today for actual launch!

Waiting On Heavensward

June 18th, 2015 by

FFXIV

 

Although I didn’t achieve everything that I wanted to in FFXIV: ARR, I’m still ready for Heavensward. My bags are clean (which took a relentless slash-and-burn on crafting materials) and I have a set of armor waiting for my Astrologian. The servers are now down and I’m hoping that we can download the patch for the new client soon.

Part of the preparation involved an upgrade on my aging graphics card to a new Nvidia GTX 970 card which brought my benchmark score from 7584 to 14,117. With everything maxed the benchmark client looks incredible.

One of the things I wasn’t able to do was to find a really good guild. The one that Phil and I are in has a small core of people who work their asses off to be welcoming and helpful (which is absolutely wonderful), a large group of people who play completely silently and have very little to do with the rest (not so wonderful) and no use of forums, no planning of events (which is horrible). I always find it really weird and uncomfortable when  guild doesn’t use forums, as it is then almost impossible to plan anything and it feels much more difficult to get to know people. It’s nice to check in on the forums during the middle of a work day and banter a bit. So, still looking for a good guild. I would love to find a good EU-based guild that spans multiple games and has a large, active player base.

I’m still rethinking which job I’m going to want to level. I’d originally planned to switch to Astrologian, but the RNG element to healing makes me nervous. I may just level either Summoner or Bard and treat the new healer spec as an alt class until I decide. Either way, I am really looking forward to a proper gaming marathon again. Bring it on!

Predesigned Book Covers…A Start

June 16th, 2015 by

I’ve started working on a few predesigned book covers, which I hope to add a lot more to as I get back on my feet and feel better. I have a few series covers planned, but don’t have any of those ready to go yet. Check back soon for more!

 

pre designed book cover art Pre designed book cover art Pre designed book cover art

 

Good News

June 16th, 2015 by

woot

I think I probably came close to having a nervous breakdown over these past two weeks or so. Along with all the other health problems, I found one of those things that every woman dreads: a very scary lump. A huge one, not one of those things where you’re hoping that it’s just your imagination. No, this was one of the ones that stand up and proclaim “YOU’RE GONNA DIE. YUP, NO DOUBT ABOUT IT. HASTA LA VISTA, BABY.” Or perhaps that’s just me. In any event, I was terrified and called the hospital to schedule a mammogram (my first one ever). I was lucky, and got right in.

And then I waited for results. For two and a half fucking weeks. Now, I’m not saying that I totally lost it, but there was a point where I was planning funeral music. (For your information, I was totally going to go with Dancing In The Graveyards, but then settled for Fields of Gold.)

I finally got in for the scan/biopsy appointment and they decided it was a cyst…everything was ok. It was drained (which was TOTALLY disgusting and just as unfun as one would assume) and I went home feeling light enough to pass out.

One more biopsy at the end of the month, and then (fingers crossed) I’ll be able to put all of this behind me and let everything get back to normal. Hurrah! :D

Pre Designed Custom(ish) Book Covers

June 1st, 2015 by

As some of you know, I’m taking a bit of time off for personal reasons and decided to not schedule any new covers for awhile. I have a very long lead time and I didn’t want people to wait for two, three months and then be told that I wouldn’t be able to do their cover, so it was best just to finish the current cover schedule and then have some downtime.

It’s not all going to be sloth and reruns of Grey’s Anatomy, though. :) I want to focus on doing as many predesigned cover designs as I can and work on building a more cohesive style. I mean, I enjoy doing covers in different styles for different genres, but I think it’s time to find out what I’m really good at doing, rather than being a somewhat competent jack-of-all-trades designer. It will probably focus on the genres that I enjoy reading, as they will be the ones that I understand the best: urban fantasy, dark fantasy, science fiction, horror, and so on. I would like to go back to learning 3D graphics as well, but pain and worry have made it really difficult to concentrate on anything, so we will see.

I would like to ask: what do you look for in a predesigned cover? Have you purchased one, and why? How do you balance having something which is specific enough for your project with having the cost and time savings of a more instant design?

What I’m thinking about is doing proper cover art with all of the time and detail that it involves and offering it semi-customisable in that I can switch out colour on hair and clothing, change fonts and so on. This would be at half my normal rate for that level of artwork, but I would skip the stress of piecing together exact clothing, precise background detail, etc. This will also allow me to have more freedom with style and detail.

What are you looking for? General ideas? Wishlist (in a very general sense, of course)? What types of images have you just not been able to find on other predesigned sites? Let me know.

Thanks. <3

EDIT:
The wonderful Alex Gregg responded on Twitter with a very good suggestion: premade covers for series, carrying the same models and look/feel across multiple books. Awesome idea, and this was the type of feedback that I was hoping to get.

FFXIV: Ready for Heavensward

May 19th, 2015 by

Just a side note: I finally completed the storyline in FFXIV in preparation for Heavensward! Thank goodness for the nerfing of Steps of Faith, which was an incredibly stupid cockblock to place in a main storyline, preventing anyone who hasn’t completed it from playing the expansion content. I don’t believe in nerfing endgame content, but main storyline stuff really needs to be accessible for all players: casual players, non-raiders, crafters, people who just like to dink around doing quests and exploring rather than doing instances. So stupid.

But anyway, I finally did it. I also levelled Bard on my main character and yesterday hit 50, which is my fifth level 50 and my second Bard. Yep, did it on another character not realising what a huge PITA it was going to be to go through all of the instances and so on at the end, so I did it all over again on my WHM/Summoner/Scholar. /sigh

I’m totally addicted to the game at the moment, although I don’t get a chance to play as much as I would like. I don’t think I’ve been as addicted to an MMO since my Warcraft days. Really looking forward to Machinist. Or Astrologian. Probably not an Au Ra, as below – I like my sassy girl too much.

 

ffxiv_au_ra

 

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