All Things Fire

I purposefully skipped doing dailies in GW2 for three days.

Nor did I log in, for that matter.

No dramatic reason. I caught a cold over the weekend, felt sick and tired most of the time, got bored of the same old routine and made a purposeful decision to strike out all the daily chore items on the ol’ checklist and went and did something else.

Like sleep a lot, read, watch Netflix and play Path of Exile.


The latest build-copy experiment is a Firestorm witch elementalist.

I got bored playing Marauders, didn’t feel like a Ranger, and wanted a spellcaster. But since I am partial to all things fire, and have gotten the furthest on fiery Marauder types, I went looking for a build that was based around a fire spell.

PewPewPew’s cheap Firestorm build sounded perfect. (Especially since I play self found.)

So far it’s been working pretty darned well, up until level 69 or so, despite a gaping hole in cold resistance that I was too lazy to shore up (since that would involve pausing and thinking about gear.)

Getting one shot by map bosses that use cold attacks finally slowed my progress to a halt.

I was grumpily thinking that I might have to farm the next couple of days for appropriately acceptable gear, but a random belt dropped tonight with 35% cold resistance and a unique amulet with 30% hp and mana leech. I swapped both in for the hell of it, and it seems to have done the trick for the time being.

Not bad, considering I haven’t taken the time and effort to figure out how to craft / get my hands on ‘proper’ statted rares, nor have I even slotted all the skill gems the build tells me I’m supposed to yet.

The latest essence league has been a pretty big help on the novice but stubbornly selffound player front. Essences provide a way for quick rolling rares with one desirable stat.

Find a good white wand, look for the spell damage % essence, roll it, and if it’s better than what I have, put it on. Done.

Find armor, look for the +life essence, roll up a random rare with added life, hope for some good elemental resistance rolls, and swap it in if it’s better. Done.

A lot more painless than just randomly rolling rares with an alchemy orb or settling badly for a blue magic item.

I’m still really fond of Path of Exile. I play it infrequently and at a fairly casual level, yet it still manages to engage and entertain whenever I get the urge to dip in.

I guess part of why I consciously decided to ignore GW2 dailies is a kind of “See, I’m not addicted” declaration. It’s not an uncontrollable habit, in other words.

Not that I have to prove this to anyone, but now and then, I guess I just like to test it for myself.

People talk a lot about MMO or game “addiction,” and while I don’t deny that it can be a real problem for some people (eg. I know someone in real life right now that has an almost -obsessive- compulsion to play Pokemon Go), I guess I’m just curious why I haven’t felt this way for more than a decade now.

I’ll admit I was unhealthily obsessed with my very first MUD. Even while offline, I would be living, breathing, thinking about the next steps and goals. I probably would not have been able to take a conscious couple of days off then.

Somehow, after burning out from it, nothing has ever taken on that level of seeming importance or urgency since.


Not sure I have a point with this. It’s not like I -want- be addicted. Maybe it’s just that I can’t seem to share the capacity of others to -care- that deeply and I feel oddly different about it

On a lighter note, the fused skins are back temporarily in the Black Lion store, and I broke out 4 tickets that I’ve been hoarding from idly completing the cheaper collections with gold to pick up a Fused Greatsword.


Yep, so ready for Ember Bay and the next Living Story episode: Rising Flames.


Primordius minion camouflage suit activated.

Noun / Verb Identity

This is something that has been on my mind lately.

Ever since the stray thought popped into my head:


I raid, but I am not a raider.

Or at least, I don’t really consider myself part of that illustrious group.

Sometimes, I feel like an outside observer looking in, an immersion or gonzo journalist perhaps, or an anthropologist engaged in cultural immersion.

Sometimes, it’s the same sensation as an expatriate warmly welcomed by their host country and openminded enough to immerse. You go deep enough to be part of said country, a part of you will forever remember the good memories in that country and will probably miss it dearly if/when you leave, you might even be changed enough that reverse culture shock might be an issue…

…but no matter how long you stay, there is always a tiny niggling feeling that you’re an outsider, that you don’t quite -belong-.

This is not specific to raids, by the by. It just so happens it’s the thing I’ve been doing most lately, and the thought just hit me that way.

I WvW (from time to time), but I am not a WvWer either. (Or I don’t consider myself one.)

I PvP now and then too, but I would really hesitate before describing myself as a PvPer.


This is me, just a couple weeks ago, discovering that they’ve put in a match history at some point in the past, and admiring that my last played game was on the last day of 2015.


There have been some 8-10 more matches added since, sating the sudden desire to try out a warrior in PvP and attempting to cross over to the next tier out of Amber, but I dunno, I’ve got like 6 pips and there’s 9 pips to go and I don’t know if I’ll ever find the time or urge before October ends.

I play fractals and dungeons, as and when the whim takes me, but I am by no means a fractaler, or a dungeoneer.

I can roleplay, but I definitely don’t do it as a matter of course, and cannot be said to be a roleplayer either.

You could argue that some of this is semantics. If you do something (verb), by definition, you are a (noun form of that verb.)

But it seems to me that there is a small unspoken psychological or conceptual gap in there that is about identity.

(There is some research that seems to support this perception. Are you a “voter” or merely “voting” in this election? Are you a “chocolate-eater” or merely “eat chocolate a lot?”)

Then I start thinking about why I am willing to accept some things as part of myself and my self-identity, and why I’m not willing to accept other things.

I am quite happy to say that I am a GW2 player, for example. I think that obsession is kinda undeniable.

Call me a generalist, an explorer, a soloist, I’ll probably nod and agree, even if I don’t embody those things 100% of the time.

Things like AP hunter, or node miner, or collector, might get 50-75% agreement.

It’s not really primarily frequency – I raid twice a week, if not more when asked to.

Preference maybe plays a bit of a part, but not entirely? I’m not sure.

Some of it has to do with perceived community belonging, but not all.

(ie. Many people rejected the notion of being a “gamer” after Gamergate somewhat tainted the label. Me, I find I play and collect too many games to be anything but. So that label in my mind is still valid, even if I may not identify with the entire gamer community or a subset of the gamer community who feel like they speak for the entire.)

It’s a mildly interesting exercise in other aspects of one’s life too.

Am I a blogger? Yeah, I think I would claim that as part of my identity, even if my frequency sucks lately.

Am I a writer? Possibly.

Am I a Pokemon Go player? A Path of Exile player? (Pst, PoE had yet another crazy update lately. I -so- want to play but have no clue where I can find the time.) An Evolve player? A Minecraft player?

[Maybe. Want to be but probably am not. Not really. On occasion. In that order.]

No easy answers.

Just more “Who am I?” questions.