Wednesday, April 2, 2014

We've been Liebstered!

I thought I'd avoided the recent blogging meme to sweep the MMO blogs --the Liebster Awards-- but it seems PC was nominated just before April Fool's Day.

For the curious, the original rules can be found at Just so you know, the blog is in Spanish.*

The basic concept is to follow a set of rules, like so:

  1. Acknowledge the blog that nominated you and display the award badge
  2. Answer the eleven questions given to you by the blogger who nominated you
  3. Provide eleven miscellaneous facts about yourself
  4. Nominate eleven blogs of relatively small readership that you think deserve to be better-known
  5. Notify the bloggers that you’ve nominated them
  6. Compile eleven questions for your nominees to answer
(Shamelessly stolen from the blogger who nominated me.)

Okay, here we go...

1. Kamalia of Kamalia et alia nominated PC for this award. Thanks, Kamalia!


2. And now to answer the eleven questions posed by Kamalia.....

a) Tell me about a game or games — video or table or both! — that you are really enjoying right now.


I'm going to break these down into three categories:  MMO games, non-MMO video games, and tabletop games.

MMO games: WoW, SWTOR, Age of Conan, Star Trek Online.
Non-MMO video games: Civ IV and Rome: Total War. (Yeah, I know I should get Civ V but I still like IV a lot).
Tabletop Games: Fluxx (various incarnations, but Star Fluxx and Monty Python Fluxx are great), Settlers of Catan (an oldie but goodie), D&D 3.0, Zombie Dice, TransAmerica, Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures, Savage Worlds. Really, there are too many good games out there to limit yourself, but I had to try.

b) What classes, races, or roles do you find yourself most drawn to in RPGs, whether in D&D, a single-player video game, or an MMO?

For video games, I don't really have much of a preference. In the Baldur's Gate games, I played Fighters, but in MMOs I've been all over the place. I'll play just about any race, class, or sex, depending on what I find interesting.

In non-video games, I tend to play Clerics. I kind of got roped into playing one on my first college D&D campaign, and I've been playing one ever since. The current campaign I'm on --the D&D 3.0 campaign that's been ongoing since 2001-- I play a Human Cleric.

c) When you make your first character in a new game, do you try to make a character that is in some way an avatar of your RL self, or do you make someone entirely different?

Um, yeah, I do. Of course, finding a Blood Elf with a beard was a bit of an issue, but it is there. Barely.

Once I get that out of my system, I tend to veer off into other toons that look nothing like me.

d) Describe a typical session of playing your current favorite video/computer game.

Depends on the game, really. If I'm not at max level, I log in and do a bit of questing, and maybe get in an instance (with allowances made for time). If I'm at max level --like Azshandra is in WoW-- I'll queue for a battleground. Either way, my play time is fairly limited due to family/work/whatever, so I try to get the biggest bang for the buck.

e) What was the very first computer/video game you ever played? How old were you?

Hoo boy. I guess this dates myself, but I remember playing the Sears version of Pong back in the mid-70s as a little kid.

But the first adventure game (not Atari's Adventure, but a "real" one) I played was Colossal Cave circa 1980, on a friend's brother-in-law's** work network, that you had to pay on a per hour basis to access. We didn't even have a computer monitor to look at, the "computer" was a terminal with a scrolling paper printout, so you'd type in a command, hit RETURN, and wait for the teletype machine to spew out the results on the roll of paper. We got in BIG trouble playing the game one afternoon, as we were told we could play one hour and played for four.

f) Do you have more than one blog? If so, what is/are your other blog(s) about? (Blog names/links not necessary, and you don’t have to include personal/family/work-related blogs unless you really want to.)

I've got an LJ account that I rarely post to, but aside from PC that's about it.

g) Name three non-WoW/game-related websites that you visit frequently.

Non-WoW or game related?  Okay...

  • The Register -- It keeps me grounded in the IT world, and it's not afraid to tweak the big IT companies.
  • The Mary Sue -- A geeky website that also presents things from a feminist slant, which given that I have daughters, is a good thing.
  • The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County -- Just because. And that the local library system is really awesome. You really should check it out, even if you're not local to the area, because you just might find interesting things like this.

h) What was/is your favorite animal to see at the zoo?

The white bengal tigers. When the new habitat opened at the Cincinnati Zoo back in the late 70s, that was THE major attraction. Of course, the tigers kind of loafed around most of the day, but the concept of white tigers was awesome.

i) Cake or Pie? What is your favorite flavor of your preferred dessert?

Pie. If you'd have asked me about 30 years ago, I'd have said cake, but I love a good slice of apple pie.

j) What toppings do you like on a pizza? on an ice-cream sundae?

Pizza:  Pepperoni and pineapple. I only rarely get it because I get outvoted when we order pizza. You'd think that pineapple was anchovies or something...
Ice-cream sundae:  Good ol' chocolate.

k) What is your favorite writing instrument?

The computer. A long time ago I used to be able to write cursive, but after years of typing (and writing code) I've lost the ability to use cursive. Considering I was never that fast or that good on penmanship anyway, it's not that big of a loss.

Until I started using Wordstar and Wordperfect in college, I used to compose at the typewriter. It's not the fastest method of composition, but when I was finished I didn't have to revise. But nowadays, I'm grateful for the built-in editing capability of word processors.


3) Eleven miscellaneous facts about yourself? Well, in no particular order...

  • Unlike Westley or Inigo Montoya, I am left handed.
  • I once got the Evil Eye from legendary Temple University basketball coach, John Chaney. How he found me in the sea of 13000+ people when I was hollering at him "Siddown, Chaney!" after he protested a call by the refs, I'll never know. But he looked right at me with that look, the 'I'm gonna find you and make you wish you were never born' look.  "Oh my God," I breathed to my wife, "I'm SO dead."  (Thankfully, nothing happened, but that was only a few years removed from Chaney threatening to kill another coach during a press conference. He was, um, a bit of a hothead.)
  • Due to my tendency to be a font of weird facts, one of my high school nicknames was 'Cliff' after Cliff Claven from the television show Cheers.
  • I ran track in high school. You'd never guess at it now, given that my build resembles the Pillsbury Doughboy, but that's life.
  • I'm an introvert. (Okay, stop laughing.) No, seriously. I still remember the first time I went into Orgrimmar, following Soul as he was giving me the tour, but I was stunned by the crowd of players. I kept telling myself that nobody cares, nobody is looking at the noob, but it still was a shock. And, naturally, I was found by the guy looking for people to sign his guild charter, which didn't help my sense of feeling exposed. I eventually got over that, but when I'm out in the wild and I stumble on someone after having not seen anybody for a long time, I still feel the urge to port out and get away. And I still rarely talk online, even to the people I've friended on MMOs, because I'm sure they're busy and I'd be taking them away from that, yadda yadda yadda...
  • I have a dead-on impression of Kermit the Frog, but it hurts my throat to do it for any length of time.
  • I once organized a water gun fight in the Chemistry/Geology building at my university. My co-conspirator and I called it Urban Warfare in Wohlleben Hall, and it was back in the pre-9/11 environment when you could pull this sort of thing off without having Campus Security descend on you. My team won, mainly because one team member hid so well that nobody on the other team could find him. He then ambushed them when their guard was down, "killing" them via super soaker in one fell swoop.
  • I had a ringside seat at the "Satanic Panic" surrounding D&D and other RPGs back in the 80s. My own collection of D&D material was thrown out because it was considered to be Satanic, and I was ostracized by my fellow middle school gamers who feared that their parents would jump on the "D&D is Eeeevil" bandwagon just by associating with me. Needless to say, I have a pretty dim view of the people who promoted this sort of thing.
  • I've worn a beard since my senior year of college, when my girlfriend back then suggested that I would look good in one. It must have worked, because she married me a few years later.
  • It's been a decade since I last did it, but I've puttered around with homebrewing and home winemaking. My favorite beer I made was a Scotch Ale (partial mash, for those who know homebrewing), and my favorite wine was a Pinot Noir made from a kit.
  • I once had a DJ shift during college. While I'd like to say that I had a hand in programming my shift, I'd be lying. Still, it was fun to work the board, punch up the music via tape and vinyl (!), and chat over the air. The bonus was that almost nobody listened to us, so I didn't have any fear of performing.

4) Well, thankfully the blogs I can nominate range from five through twelve, so I'm going to try to hit that sweet spot.

The devil is in the details, naturally. You're supposed to nominate people who have a small following, such as 200 followers or less. I know that PC here fits this to a 't', but the first blog I thought of nominating --a certain blog by Rades-- obviously blows past the 200 follower limit.

Therefore, without much fanfare, here's my list of nominated blogs:

Hmm. Looks like there were more out there than I thought....


5) Let the bloggers all know that I nominated them, eh? Well, I'll ping those that don't comment in the next few days.


6) And drumroll please, these are the eleven questions the bloggers who take up this challenge need to answer:

  1. When did you first get into gaming? (It doesn't have to be computer gaming that you started with.)
  2. What MMO toon is your favorite of all time? Right now?
  3. What was the funniest thing that ever happened to you in an MMO?
  4. Just how many toons do you have, anyway?
  5. Raiding, questing, PvP, or RP: which do you like the most and why? The least?
  6. When you put the keyboard and/or gamepad down, what do you do for fun?
  7. What drove you to write a gaming blog?
  8. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter: which season do you like the best?
  9. What music do you listen to?
  10. What is the best dish/dessert you cook?
  11. What's the worst earworm you've ever had?

*Google Translate is my friend!

**The friend's sister was much older than us --I think about 12-14 years older-- and he was visiting her for the summer. I'm not as old as Ancient, but I'm definitely on the older side of the average MMO player.


  1. Thanks for playing along! I loved reading your answers, miscellaneous facts, and new questions!

    I do hope that Njessi takes the baton from you -- I considered nominating her myself.

    1. I hope Njessi does too! I guess I shouldn't be surprised you follow her with her posts on SWTOR fashion faux pas!

    2. Now that I think about it, I should probably have added Navimie to the blog list. I was so sure she had over 200 followers, but now I'm guessing I should have tried anyway.

  2. Oh! That's me too! I imagine the people on my friend's list are all having 6 simultaneous conversations so I never want to "bother" anyone so you have to speak to me first.

    Oh dammit, how did I give away my age, is it because I'm always humming One Toke Over the Line?

    1. "...Sweet Jesus, one toke over the line..."

      I still laugh at the Lawrence Welk clip, not just because it was so unintentionally funny, but that my grandparents would watch that show every... Sunday... night... That and The Waltons.

      But given that I'm the oldest active person in my WoW guild by about 6-8 years, yeah, I can figure out your age when you say you're seriously outside of the WoW demographic.

  3. Thanks for the nomination. :) I'm not making any promises though, as I'm not very good at these question meme things...

    1. Don't think. Feel.

      Oh wait. You play a Commando.... ;-)

    2. Ok, so I worked on this for several days but kept drawing a blank when it came to pretty much anything after point two. I'm just not good at coming up with random things, and since I found trying more frustrating than anything else after a while, I eventually decided to let it be. These things are supposed to be fun after all.

      I will however post my answers to your questions in a comment here, since I can do that. :P

      When did you first get into gaming? (It doesn't have to be computer gaming that you started with.)

      When I was very young, my family got not one, but two Commodore 64 home computers. One was mostly used by my father (presumably to do work of some sort), but the other one was given to my brother. He had literally hundreds of games for it, which had all been pirated from... somewhere. I have no idea how game developers made any money back then, because I didn't even know any shops where games were actually sold for money.

      Watching my brother play those games was highly fascinating to me, and after much begging I was allowed to give some of them a try too. Years later, when my brother got his first proper PC, I even "inherited" his C64... but of course by then the PC was the new shiny, and I begged to be allowed to play on that instead.

      What MMO toon is your favorite of all time? Right now?

      Probably Shíntar the Commando, my main in SWTOR. A lot of love was poured into Tiranea, my night elf priest, and Shintar the troll priest back in WoW, but after all the changes that game has gone through over the years I feel completely alienated from them, and thinking about them just makes me sad.

      What was the funniest thing that ever happened to you in an MMO?

      Hmm, hard to say. Funniest as in "strangest" was probably the time a (loose) friend in WoW randomly approached me on a lowbie alt I didn't know about at the time and pretended to be a girl looking for, um, questionable entertainment. As for "ha-ha" funny, many times when I unexpectedly fell to my death in a game made me laugh. I remember falling through the gap between the entrance and Soa's platform in Eternity Vault and literally laughing myself to tears.

      Just how many toons do you have, anyway?

      Currently sitting on 17 toons on The Red Eclipse, plus two or three that I rolled up on a US server but never got out of the starting zone. Back in WoW I must have had between 30 and 40 characters spread out across various servers.

    3. Raiding, questing, PvP, or RP: which do you like the most and why? The least?

      That's a tough one for me to answer, as I'm the kind of player who likes to do (almost) a little bit of everything. Questing and raiding together make up the bread and butter of my MMO experience I think, with neither being quite the same without the other. I also like a bit of PvP every now and then, though I've never considered myself a "PvPer". I suppose RP is the thing I like the least on that list, though I don't dislike it. I did some in the past but it just didn't stick.

      When you put the keyboard and/or gamepad down, what do you do for fun?

      Um, you can have fun without a keyboard? Just kidding... but the thing I probably spend the most time on after gaming is reading and writing about it online, which does still involve a keyboard. Other than that I like to read fiction (though very, very slowly compared to when I was younger) and take pictures of my environment with my camera.

      What drove you to write a gaming blog?

      I think I was only seven or eight when I made my first attempt at a diary, and I kept coming back to the idea on and off. In 2004 I started a personal blog online which I still update (sporadically) to this day. When I got into online gaming and started to worry about boring my friends who followed the blog but weren't necessarily into gaming with too much WoW talk, I made a separate blog for that.

      Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter: which season do you like the best?

      Spring, because I'm very sensitive to temperatures. Summer tends to get too hot, and winter is too cold. Autumn can be okay temperature-wise, but the weather tends to be more dreary in general. I like the sunshine and blossoming flowers of spring.

      What music do you listen to?

      Not a lot, actually! I like to buy film soundtracks, and when listening to the radio I tend to go for the rock/pop stations.

      What is the best dish/dessert you cook?

      Uh, I don't cook, not very well in any case. I made some vanilla biscuits a couple of times that I'm told were popular with people.

      What's the worst earworm you've ever had?

      No idea about the worst ever, but the most recent one was when I found myself repeatedly humming the tune that plays in the Pandaria inns in WoW, even though I hated it!

  4. Oh hey, look at that! Thanks for the om-nom. Does it count if Netta and I split the questions?

    1. Fine with me! For the life of me, I couldn't find your e-mail, so your dropping by worked out great.