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C. T. Murphy

Part-time writer, sometimes blogger.

Commonplace Blog

This post is part of a series of everyday posts for Blaugust. If you’d like to know more, click here.


I forget why I arrived at the Wikipedia entry for “Commonplace book”. I think it had something to do with a potential character name I was researching*. However it happened, I am glad I did because this is a new idea to me, despite having some very well-known authors listed. It also perfectly captures what this blog is slowly becoming throughout this year’s Blaugust event.

When I started blogging, my focus was on videogames and MMORPGs more specifically. Over time, I drifted away from that focus, but I still have this idea in my head that in order to capture a target audience I need to focus my content.

That’s probably true, but as I have said before, that’s not really why I am writing any of this.  And not that I needed the justification of a pre-established literary genre I had not heard of but I feel renewed and reinvigorated to share things with you in bits and pieces, as I go, and often as I think of them now that I know “this is a thing”.

Henceforth, this is now my “commonplace blog” with a little journaling mixed in as needed and reviews whenever I feel the need.

Let’s see how I write when I don’t limit myself to 800+ words at a time …


* I remembered at the very end of writing the above how I came to the idea of Commonplace books. I was researching French names for a Nightborne character in World of Warcraft and started reading about Montaigne, the Frenchman who popularized the essay.

World of Warcraft: I <3 Trolls, Mon

This post is part of a series of everyday posts for Blaugust. If you’d like to know more, click here.


I have been waiting to meet King Rastakhan for years. My first and second characters were trolls. I often have at least one troll character that I actively play. Troll lore is the only lore I care about. TROLLLLLLLS!

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Hero Worship

I have barely played more than the opening of Battle for Azeroth and I am starting to get hyped all over again after realizing just how pivotal/important trolls are to this expansion.

No spoilers, okay?

Leave a comment if you love trolls too!

World of Warcraft: WAR Again

This post is part of a series of everyday posts for Blaugust. If you’d like to know more, click here.


On a previous post this month, I mentioned being unsure what to play. I decided: Warrior again!

Here’s why:

  • I attempted to level the a Priest, but when it came to the two healing specs, I hated both of them.
  • Shadow Priest was fun but not “I could main this” fun.
  • Leveling a fourth Rogue got tired quick.
  • I decided to race change my Mage to something other than an Orc after briefly flirting with all three specs and not hating them.
  • Playing the Warrior – my main in Legion – was still fun, especially when I realized I’d rather have a tank for my group spec than be a healer.
  • Eventually switching my Warrior to a Z.Troll is REALLY appealing. I have always wanted a plate mail Troll that doesn’t look terrible.

My goal now is to level the Warrior and the Mage. After that, if I have any will or game time left, we’ll see. I could possibly do a Z.Troll Shaman when the time comes but outside of the class fantasy difference, I don’t see the point in Enhancement or Elemental when I have a Warrior and a Mage proper.

I also have a Dwarf Monk that I can level if I so choose. I may do that, though I wasn’t feeling the Monk as much as I had hoped.

I am still burnt out on Rogue and Druid.

That all assumes I play in the first place! I had forgotten the expansion was out altogether. Between two interviews at work, a number of special projects, and my regular duties, I have been far too busy to care.

Maybe this weekend!

Dumb Game Achievements

This post is part of a series of everyday posts for Blaugust. If you’d like to know more, click here.


It is rare I chase achievements. If I do, it is only as a way to show off my love and dedication to playing a game I already love and am dedicated to playing. It is never for their own sake, at least not initially. Some of you may recall how much I loved playing Slay the Spire and that hasn’t changed (especially with some great updates), but I am really happy to finally be done with this stupid achievement:

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The Transient is a rare(ish) spawn in the latter stages of the game. He has a ton of HP (999), does a ton of damage unless you hit him a few times, and disappears after around five turns. In other words, he is a late stag DPS race that you cannot exactly plan for.

It was fun chasing beating him at first, but I quickly realized I was going to need to get lucky and get a series of cards/items that would allow me to burst him down rather quickly. There was no poison stacking or defense stacking. Burst or fail only.

That kind of idea mostly works for this kind of game, but it was always going to be a letdown achievement for me. It requires no thought or strategy. Building toward taking out The Transient is no different from “building a deck that will beat the last boss”. The only difference is the degree to how quickly it beats the last boss or, in this case, a five turn race.

Other than the achievement, there wasn’t even a reward. I had hoped there would be a unique item or card to go along with it but no. You unlock the achievement outside the game and then you move on to steamrolling the true final boss.

And now I am done or done enough. I am 20 hours shy of 500 total logged for the game. I am sure I will poke my head in from time to time to see what any new updates bring. Hopefully they bring more and better achievements. Something that requires strategy or cunning or a different kind of luck.

When it comes to game achievements, I just want them to be a bit more or at least fun in their own right. That’s rarely the case though. If they are too easy, then they are meaningless. If they are too hard, then they are usually too focused on luck or grinding. Beyond that, they are rarely worth looking at unless the game itself is truly special. That’s probably for the best since I hate collect-a-thons and I hate dumb achievements.

I have no patience to play lesser games to trivial ends.

 

Phone Envy

This post is part of a series of everyday posts for Blaugust. If you’d like to know more, click here.


I enjoy having the latest and greatest technology. Despite that, I am only on my fourth smartphone ever. I started late with a Motorola Razr (the smartphone brand revival, though I also had the original flip phone). Later I moved onto an HTC phone and then a Nexus 6P and finally, my current phone, the Google Pixel XL.

It took a lot for me to hold off on upgrading the Pixel XL again after only one year. I love my phone but the urge is strong. That urge is even stronger now. The battery isn’t what it once was and it is starting to feel a little sluggish. Plus, its biggest selling point to me right now is that I love USB-C and everything else has that!

I was holding off for a Pixel 3. I love Google’s hardware, especially my Pixelbook Chromebook. And then the dreaded notch reared its ugly head.

I do not know where you come down on the “notch” debate in smartphones. Essentially, its a cutout at the top of the phone to hold necessary electronics, but since we want edge-to-edge displays, phones like the iPhone X are adopting notches that extend into the screen itself.

I was not firmly against at first. I don’t much mind the idea, especially since on Android I rarely use the very middle of the notification bar. The rumors that the Pixel 3 would have a notch did not deter my hype train, at least not until I saw it was so big that the notifications at the top of the phone actually have to be centered due to the added vertical space.

I could go with the smaller Pixel 3, but I value a larger display since I mostly use my phone for reading and I prefer the larger battery that often accompanies bigger phones.

Pixel 3 XL firmly out of the running, I am left with … not much else. I refuse to buy an iPhone and I am limited to Verizon, so something as romantic as a OnePlus isn’t in my reach. The Galaxy Note 9 looks very promising, but if I hold off until December like I should, I will only be a few months more away from the Galaxy 10 which should have some actual forward-thinking design.

I could also just not upgrade and get over my phone hype. That won’t happen, but I thought it prudent to admit that as an option. At this point, I am not sure what I will do! I hate phone envy and these incremental upgrades. I also hate that Google has squandered all of my interest in the Pixel line from day one when derivative design and no real intent to be anything beyond a marketing campaign.

I will probably buy a Note 9 as soon as I see a decent sell …

Overcooked 2: Session 1

This post is part of a series of everyday posts for Blaugust. If you’d like to know more, click here.


Overcooked was a huge hit in our household. When we finished our first D&D campaign, it became the de facto weekend time waster for our fearsome foursome. Over the course of several sessions, we managed to get all stars possible in the game and finish off all of the trophies on Playstation 4.

Now that Overcooked 2 is out and we’ve completed our first evening of frantically bumping into one another with raw food, what is the impression thus far?

 

Overall, after going through the first two worlds, Overcooked 2 is a blast. It seems easier than the first, but it also looks like they adjusted scoring and speed so it is a faster game overall.

The story this time involves the un-bread recently risen from the dead and their impending overrun of the Onion Kingdom. It is adorable, especially with Kevin, the king’s right-hand dog.

There are some concerns though. Given the increase in speed, most every level thus far has involved multiple steps. That’s a good thing but it can be a little maddening to understand the icons at time. When every single space has an item or a fellow player keeps throwing raw ingredients on the floor, Overcooked 2 quickly dips into visual overload.

Still, we had a blast in our first evening. Overcooked 2 is more of the same but more. That’s exactly what we wanted too! I look forward to playing more and writing a full review in the future.

“Use This List”

This post is part of a series of everyday posts for Blaugust. If you’d like to know more, click here.


The Ancient Gaming Noob has a post up today breaking down all things RSS. I agree with his opinions.

In particular, I agree with using something like Feedly. Ever since Feedly first hit the app store back before I was an Android fanboy and owned at least one Apple product, I have been obsessed with using it. Feedly is my daily driver for all things from my favorite sites.

I especially like Feedly (or some of the other options he outlines in his post) for keeping track of blogs. With so many great ones to read, it can be hard to keep track of when new content comes out. Sure, you can follow your favorite writers on Twitter (and you should), but Twitter never stops and unless you maintain your organization, you may miss some great content.

I recommend checking out The Ancient Gaming Noob’s post from today. It also points out his extensive lists of all the blogs our in our loose knit online community that are worth checking out!

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