A New Year’s Revolution

Time is hardly on anyone’s side. As 2014 arrives, I have many things to prepare, both as a player, a man approaching (gasp!) 50, and as a father.

I’m not posting about any New Year’s resolutions as I think they generate an artificial intention in yourself. If you can commit yourself to completing anything important in your life, why wait until the turn of the year?

That said, here’s some things you can look forward to seeing in the Monk guide and this blog in the coming year.

Video Illustration

Thanks to a recommendation from Micki, I’m going to try out Bandicam for recording video shorts for the Monk guide to help people with the basics of building and training their characters. In advanced chapters, I’m hoping to create quest examples where certain abilities, such as stealth, can make a quest easier as only a Monk can do.

Since WordPress and Google Sites (where this blog and the guide are hosted, respectively) support YouTube embedding, this should be an easy matter to complete.

I won’t have quite the lovely voice that Micki or BonnieBew (who seems to have lost or deleted her page…sad) has provided us in their video captures, but hopefully I’ll make up for my baritone with useful information.

A Little More Flavor

I’ve fought with getting my special Monk flavored characters working over the year. Part of the problem is getting distracted with shinier known-quality or new class trees, like the Mystic and definitely the Shuricannon.

I’ve been wanting to make a Kensei Monk and complete my Elven Arcane Archer; the Kensei has been sitting on the bench for far too long. Expect to see more of her in the near future.

Also, with the failure to launch my Rogue Assassin Monk due to spreading out action points and skill points too thinly, I may send Cassietetica to the heavens and reroll a new character with lesser Monk emphasis and more Rogue power. I really like to add more of the Ninja skills but a Rogue should be good at finding  and disabling traps and picking locks. That’s the class role.

I’m also hoping to improve and expand on the Epic Monk’s abilities. Can a pure Monk solo an Epic Elite? Through video and preparation and guile, I’m going to take the primary Monk types and show how it’s done.

A Little Less of Me, Figuratively and Literally

I’ve been playing far too much of the game. I want to lose up to 50 pounds and maintain a good physical routine. So, my “50 by 50” campaign begins this week to lose up to 50 pounds before I reach 50 in June. For some of you, your youth protects you a bit, but that won’t last. For more on this depressing topic, take a look at this 2009 GameSpot article.

For the official record, and for others to chide and cheer and bully me into my habit, I stand at 233 pounds. By June, let’s see if that number reaches under 200. Studies and personal experience show that less weight does help, not only against larger health problems such as cholesterol (mine’s a bit higher than it should) but depression and creativity. The last three years have had many ups and downs, from my wedding to my mother’s passing two weeks prior, and several legal fights to keep my son’s rights protected.

A game is just that. While I enjoy it and the friends I’ve come to know through it, I can’t use it or any other device to hide from or delay things that need attention. This isn’t news to any of you, of course. We all have to think like this. Perhaps I’m just reminding you to do the same while I remind myself.

I look at my friends in the SF community. As a whole, we don’t look good at all for our ages. Geeks of all kinds, from science fiction to gaming to technology geeks are too sedentary and fall into bad habits, often justifying our appearance under the false guise of being “diverse” and “individualistic.”

Think of the “new” names for illnesses like fibromyalgia and then add in old standards like diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. I’d guess that the average geek is heavier and less healthy than the average person that doesn’t participate in those activities.

I just know, for sure, that my chair shouldn’t creak when I sit in it.

So, that means I’ll be curtailing gameplay quite a bit to meet that goal. I’ll still look forward to weekend play, but weekday play, Lord willing, will drop quite a bit as I not only keep fit at the gym after work but also take care of important matters for my son’s upcoming high school graduation and entry into college.

All in all, it may mean that I post something here on the blog only once a week, but no less than that. So if you have me in your weekly reading, I hope I don’t disappoint. It’s not like I haven’t many things to talk about; my drafts folder fills with several unfinished posts that I work on and publish when ready.

Happy New Year!

I wanted to thank everyone that pops in to read my thoughts on the game and experiences. I’m just a typical player as most of you are and don’t pretend to have any special knowledge or skills in the game except to compile existing information into something more digestible and immediately helpful. I hope I’ve helped. I also give a hearty thank you to everyone in the DDO community that’s supported the Monk guide and read this blog, correcting and criticizing as necessary to ensure that what’s found here is accurate.

DDO is a community, and this blog or the guide wouldn’t be here were it not for your help. See you next year.