Showing posts with label Blogging. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Blogging. Show all posts

Sunday, November 12, 2023

If Heartless was an advertisement!

 A little fun from Tipa over on where she uses some AI to generate fake advertisements for a few of the bloggers out there.  Thanks Tipa (check her blog out at Chasing Dings)!


Friday, September 01, 2023

Blaugust 2023 Blaugchievements

Blaugust 2023 has come and gone.  It is time to check my blaugchievements!


Reading the Manual – By the time you have arrived at this page, you have probably already completed this blaugchievement. Essentially this is here to instill the importance of actually reading the introduction to Blaugust post.

- Complete!

Joining the Cause – This one is gained by filling out the sign-up form and choosing to participate in this year’s Blaugust event. If for some reason you cannot fill out the form, please contact me and I will collect your information to register you directly.

- Complete!

Recruit a Friend – Convince another blogger to participate in this year’s Blaugust event. This could be a brand new blogger but also could just be convincing another blogger out there to participate. Again much of the focus on Blaugust is to stir up activity in the community and get bloggers active again.

- Failed.  I have no friends.

Spreading the Madness – This one is gained by promoting the Blaugust event either on your own blog or through any of your favorite social media channels. Again we are trying to get more bloggers active to revive this art form.

- Complete!  All of my blog posts tagged for Blaugust 2023 and you can check my Mastodon, Twitter, and Threads for Blaugust mentions.

Friend of Wumpus
– This one is gained by signing up for the official Blaugust Discord. While this Discord was created for this event, it stays surprisingly active all year round and becomes a locus of our community.

- Complete!

Sharing is Caring – This one is gained through posting your content in the “Share-Your-Content” channel on the Blaugust Discord. It is good to get in the habit of doing this because often times topics posted end up spurring additional discussion.

- Complete!

Forum of Friends – This one is gained through participating in a discussion in the “Post-Discussion” channel on the Blaugust Discord. Often times this is where active discussion happens about posts and serves as a real-time extended comments section.

- Complete

The Pet Tax – This one is gained through posting a picture of an animal friend in the “Stuff-and-Things” channel on the Blaugust Discord or by creating a content post devoted to that animal. This is preferably your pet, but if you do not have any pets then posting any cute animals will suffice. This is quite possibly the most important achievement.

- Does it count if I did it today (9/1)? Complete!

Friend Like Me – This one is gained through answering a question or helping out another blogger on the Blaugust Discord. We have a number of channels like “Blogging-Help” or “Writing-Prompts” designed to help folks out. Any sort of helpful interaction is appreciated and rewarded with a toast.

- Complete!  I suggested writing prompts such as the #MondayBlogs hashtag, my Steam backlog posts, and GamesMadeMe posts.

Shared Thoughts – This one is gained by leaving a comment on another participating Blaugust blog. While a lot of focus is made on Discord, it is always a good idea to leave a comment directly on a blog since there will be folks who are not already active in this community.

- Complete! I visited several blogs this past month and left comments. I even keep going back to a few!  Some folks even commented on my blog!

Federation of Bloggers – Create a social media account on any of the Fediverse platforms (Mastodon, Pleroma, Calckey, Misskey, etc) and follow the official Blaugust Mastodon account. This account lives on Gamepad.Club which coincidentally is a lovely Mastodon Server if you don’t have one already in mind. During the event, the Blaugust account will be boosting posts made with the #Blaugust2023 hashtag.

- Complete!  I moved over to's Mastodon.

Getting Inspired – Often times reading a blog post will inspire us to create our own post connected to the same concept. There are times that I have things to say that are far too long to cram into a comments section. This blaugchievement is gained by writing a blog post that has been inspired by another blog post from a Blaugust participant.

- Complete!  I visited multiple bloggers in the first week and featured their content and my thoughts about it on this blog. 

Pickup Group – This one is gained by playing a game or joining in an external event with other Blaugust participants. We have the “Gaming-Together” channel and sometimes groups come out of that, and there was some discussion about someone hosting a one-shot pen and paper game. The whole goal here is to get you mingling with other members and building permanent bonds.

- Failed! I don't have friends.  I didn't play with others.

Hot Topics – Write at least one blog post based on the Blaugust Prompt List. Some years ago we had this whole “topic web ring” sort of thing that was a giant mess. However it did produce a pretty solid list of topical prompts, and my hope is that someone participating in this event will find them useful.

- Complete! I hit multiple prompts such as revisiting my origin story for blogging.

Welcome Wagon – This one is gained by writing a blog post based on the first week’s theme of welcoming folks to Blaugust. Hint, this may also count as the “Spreading the Madness” achievement. The idea is to get some activity in those early days of Blaugust to potentially expand our members and have folks join mid-event.

- Complete! On the first day of blogger... new bloggers!

Introduce Yourself – This one is gained by writing a blog post based on the second week’s theme of introducing yourself to the community. If you are a veteran, chances are you have already written more than one introductory post, so this can also be focused on just telling people about something in your life or some accomplishment. The exchange of information is key to creating those strong long-term bonds, and as such this serves its purpose.

- Complete! This was a fun one: first I revisited my first blog post ever and second I wrote one of my longest posts ever about games that made me the gamer I am today.

Creative Appreciation – This one is gained by writing a blog post based on the third week’s theme of creative appreciation. This has morphed over the year and began its life as a completely different initiate called “Developer Appreciation Week”. Now the goal is to focus more generically on those who create things that you appreciate. It could be an artist, writer, game developer, streamer, YouTuber, podcaster, or another blogger. The goal is to share something you love and talk about what makes you love it… and maybe introduce new people to this thing you care about.

- Complete! I featured my favorite New World creators , some MMO creators, and thanked NEFFEX for their copyright free music. 

Staying Motivated – This one is gained by writing a blog post based on the fourth week’s theme of staying motivated. The goal here is to share your own experiences in how you have managed to stay motivated during this challenge. The struggle with blogging is doing so in a consistent manner because it is all too easy to fall off the face of the earth never to be heard from again.

- Complete! My favorite post was how I deal with temptations to want to play too many games!

Lessons Learned – This one is gained by writing a blog post based on the fifth week’s theme of lessons learned. Often times when you go through an event like Blaugust, you learn something about yourself in the process. The goal here is to share that information with others so that our experiences that benefit those who come after us.

- Complete! Multiple posts but my favorite was about my Steam backlog.  

Going Platinum – What would a series of achievements be if there was not a “Platinum Trophy”. This one is gained by completing all of the achievements above during Blaugust.

/cry... so close

Monday, August 28, 2023

Lessons Learned: Steam Backlog Is What It Is

 This post is part of my running series: My Steam Backlog (see all MySteamBacklog tagged posts).  This post is ALSO a part of Blaugust 2023's lessons learned week. Why? Because my Steam backlog is what it is.

 I had set the year off to tackle as much of my Steam backlog as I could.  It was part reflecting on games that I played in the past and part playing games I never played (or didn't play enough to form an opinion).  The reflecting has been easier than the playing so I thought for Blaugust's "stay motivated" week I'd hit some of the "need to play" list.

 I stuck to my alphabetical approach and I'm still in the Bs which meant I hit some doozies.  First was The Binding of Isaac which just killed my momentum as I didn't really want to play it and just kept putting it off.  I should have skipped it but felt I needed to be fair to the objective of hitting the full backlog.  Putting this one off meant I put the rest off and thus didn't get anywhere and thus had to shift gears for "staying motivated" week for Blaugust.

 Lesson Learned: If a game in my Steam backlog is not interesting then don't play it.  Life is short; don't play crappy games.

 Going forward I will be more strategic in the games I play from the backlog. This doesn't mean I won't touch on all games, but some will just be commentary like I've done for games like the Bioshock series.

 I also picked up on a tool called Steam Completionist from a post on Aywren's blog so I am going to check that out to see how it can help me better track my backlog.



Tuesday, August 08, 2023

GamesMadeMe: Blogging About Games

 GamesMadeMe is a series of posts that cover gaming-related topics that have shaped who I am as a gamer today.  I've covered IDOCs in Ultima Online, THAC0 from D&D, and InQuest Gamer Magazine.  It feels like something obvious is missing though.  In the spirit of "Introduce Yourself Week" for Blaugust 2023 it only makes sense to close the gap on the obvious: blogging about games!

 In my "So it begins... again!" post yesterday I went back to where blogging started for me 18+ years ago, but I didn't actually talk about what inspired me to start.  First you have to understand where my gamer tag, heartlessgamer, originates from.  I am sure I've posted other recallings of this so bear with me if details have varied.

 My gamer tag comes from the game Kingdom Hearts and the "heartless" enemy featured in the game (little shadow dudes).  Playing Kingdom Hearts happened to coincide with some other key events that resulted in me needing to pick a new online handle.  Prior to these events I was using handles related to character names I had come up with for Star Wars role playing (Hehl Omni and Torno Shren).

 I was a frequent poster on the Vault network forums (think they are owned by IGN now) back in the day and for some reason the forums were changing and we all had to pick new names to go by.  I ended up going with "heartless_" because I was really digging Kingdom Hearts at that moment and time.  The underscore was required and then it was natural to just bridge that to "heartless_gamer".  Eventually that just became heartlessgamer after I nabbed the domain name.

 It is also those very forums that drove me to blogging.  I forget exactly what was transpiring at the time with the forums but there were forums shutting down and posts were going to be taken down forever.  It occurred to me: I don't have any control over this enormous amount of content I am creating on these forums... I should probably start a blog!  That'll show em!

 Eighteen years later and here we still are (I say we as though anyone actually comments on posts anymore).  There were several lean years in my blogging history as I became a father and realized there is more to life than punching the post button (and I needed spare time to play games of course; not worry about blog posts).

 The draught of blog posts ended in Sept 2022 when I said Let's do this - post a day! when I returned to daily blogging.  To be truthful while I had a gap in blogging I didn't slow down on finding platforms like Reddit to continue giving away my thoughts and ideas for free.  If you cant tell; I have deep desire to TALK ABOUT GAMES!

 Talking about games is directly tied to my enjoyment of games. My current jam is New World and I have tons of posts about the game here, on Reddit, in the old New World forums, in Discord, and other places.  Regardless of the scatter shot of places I put stuff I always come back to this blog.  Blogging is like breathing at this point and is as much a part of my gaming experience as anything else.

 In summary: I was writing a lot of posts about games on forums, the forums were going to go away, so I decided why not take control of my own thoughts and put them all on a blog. I have to talk about games. Blogging about games made me the gamer I am today!


Monday, August 07, 2023

So it begins... again!

 It's the second week of Blaugust 2023 so we are moving onto "Introduce Yourself Week".  To kick things off let's take a look back at my first post on this blog: So it begins...

The date: Sunday, May 29, 2005 (18 years ago!)
The topic: MMORPGs

 The opening paragraph sticks with me to this day and I consider it some of the best text I've ever assembled.

 This blog has officially started. It has been a process of thought pulling at my mind for a while. I play these games we call MMORPGs, but I don't even know if "play" is the correct word to describe it anymore. I live and breath these games. They are more than an escape from my mediocre life. Fun is no longer the driving factor. Social interaction with like minded nerds and geeks; people whom live through their in game characters as though it was version 2.0 of themselves.

 The words are as true today as they were back then.  The major change for me, to be honest, is that I've grown up in the 18 years since I started this blog.  I was single with way more time than I knew what to do with back then.  Now I have a family (my oldest is starting high school this week!!!!).  Then or now though I love my MMORPGs!

 I've also chilled out a bit from those early days.  As noted in my first blog post there was a lot of energy devoted to "the game of choice! Room for debate among the flooded market of MMORPGs and the denizens that inhabit them. From baseless flame fests on the far reaches of the most bizarre gaming message boards; to developer's beloved Customer Feedback Forms." While I still feel passionately for or against certain games the idea of a "flame fest" is no longer appealing.  I am much more likely these days to just "let it go" or be positive in support of games others enjoy that I do not (gasp!).

 Ironically I am just not as heartless as I once was.  Double irony that my name was never really meant to be about being heartless; I was really just into Kingdom Hearts at the time I had to change from my old nickname.  In Kingdom Hearts the bad guys are referred to as "heartless" and they looked cool so I went with it.

 And so it begins... again... and now you know a little more about who I was and who I am now :)

Thursday, August 03, 2023

Perilous MMO Tropes

contains moderate peril
 Roger Edwards (aka Mr Peril) of Contains Moderate Peril has been posting about MMO tropes.  For the third day of Blaugust I sat down and read a few of these trope posts and I have some thoughts.

The posts:

 First; these are all great bathroom reads. Second; Roger is an amazing blogger.  Platitudes out of the way let's get to the tropes.

“The MMO genre is rife with its own set of tropes; recurring themes and motifs that have become established and ubiquitous. All of which are ideal material for a hastily produced, lazily conceived, recurring blog post”.


  If there is an MMO trope that encapsulates the history of MMOs it is certainly death mechanics.  In Roger's post he covers the history of death in MMORPGs: from the "corpse runs" of early games like Everquest to the modern "Death is now treated as a minor penalty that temporarily inconveniences you." as Roger puts it.

 In my older age (40+) I tend to lean towards the modern inconvenience approach and I think it is appropriate for today's market.  Every year it seems like a new MMO project gets started talking about the "good ole' days" of corpse runs and death penalties.  None of those MMOs end up going anywhere.

 Death, as outlined by Roger, is a "means by which to teach the player that they’re doing something wrong and that they need to rethink their strategy."  Slapping a penalty on top of that creates friction and friction is what frustrates players.  Frustrated players don't stick around to play a game because there is a dozen other games on the market that will better respect their time. 

 Losing is enough of a penalty for most players.  Games would be wise to let us take our lump and get on playing again.

Running All the Way

 Running is an MMO trope and like Death it has a history with MMOs.  Large worlds and long travel times were a feature in the early days.  Now long travel times are just an inconvenience.  Roger makes a solid point when looking at single player games.

 "Single player games seem to handle travel differently and certainly have some advantages. I envy the fact that a game like Grand Theft Auto V or Red Dead Redemption 2 provide the players with access to public transport."

 The answer for MMOs doesn't always have to be to add mounts and "public transport" is a great concept.  Some games do it; there were flight paths in World of Warcraft that are the equivalent of Roger's Red Dead Redemption 2 reference "riding the train between towns in RDR2 as it is very restful and highlights for a few minutes the detail of the open world."

  Public transport or player-controlled mounts (which are really just faster travel) the key is the same as death: don't add friction. Friction will piss gamers off and they will walk (ha!) from the game.  There are too many great games on the market to be bored to death traveling in a game. 

"Kill Ten Rats" and Fetch Quests

 I almost spit out my coffee when I read this:

"The MMORPG genre is a curious subset of video games. Not only is it predicated on violence against the individual, institutions and “others”, as so many video games are but also species-specific genocide and general mass extinction of fauna and flora."

 There is no truer statement to encapsulate what modern MMORPGs expect of their players.  Most games are designed around the concept of wiping out entire generations of enemies and then doing it all over again.  And again. And again. And again.  And again. And... you get the idea: grind!

 Some may not know this but Ultima Online launched originally with a model where "mobs" were limited and once killed they didn't just respawn.  If a deer was killed and harvest that was it.  In addition there was a predator/prey system; kill a rabbit and a wolf goes hungry.  Kill the wolf and rabbits could take over the world.

 As you may expect it didn't last long.  Player's killed everything in sight and the system fell apart to be replaced by the never-ending respawn system that is the norm.

 In regards to "kill ten rats" I do have a personal preference.  I would like to see game focus more on smaller but more difficult encounters.  Leave the "kill waves of enemies in a single blow" to the Path of Exile's of the world.  Move away from grinding endless respawns of the same creature.  Instead make me work to defeat one enemy and figure out a way to still reward me for trying even if I die.

Tuesday, August 01, 2023

On the first day of Blaugust... new bloggers!

 On the first day of Blaugust my true love gave to me... a brand new blogger!  Part of Blaugust is to encourage other's to get into blogging.  So today I rolled the dice and scrolled down the Blaugust "newbie" list to find a participant just getting their feet wet.

 That brought me to BogusMeatFactory and their blog The Video Game Obscura. You can read their introduction blog post here.  And what do we have here...

So what does an overly optimistic enthusiast that still plays video games breaching forty years old care about?

 Yes! Another 40 something game blogger!  Welcome to the freaking club BogusMeatFactory.

Monday, July 31, 2023

Updated Banner



Dropped Call of the Wild:the Angler and added Way of the Hunter to reflect current play habits.

Join me for Blaugust (please?)!

recruit a friend

 I am a completionist.  I must. get. all. the. things.  This includes Blaugust achievements and I can get all of them done except I need another blogger to join me in this journey!  Drop a comment if you've signed up (sign up here) because of my begging post.

Recruit a Friend – Convince another blogger to participate in this year’s Blaugust event. This could be a brand new blogger but also could just be convincing another blogger out there to participate. Again much of the focus on Blaugust is to stir up activity in the community and get bloggers active again.

Sunday, July 30, 2023

My Blaugust 2023 plan


blaugust schedule
 As I mentioned yesterday Blaugust is almost here!  The schedule is posted in the image above and here is what I am looking to feature each week (you can read more on the intention of the categories here).

Welcome to Blaugust Week (August 1st – August 5th)

  • I will do some rounds on other bloggers participating and kicking off the event so expect some linking out to other blogs and some heartless commentary to go with them

Introduce Yourself Week (August 6th – August 12th)

  • We'll revisit my first blog post ever
  • Expect some more "Games Made Me" posts

Creator Appreciation Week (August 13th – August 19th)

  • I am going to dip into some adjacent-to-gaming creator spaces to inspire some posts this week
  • I will probably feature some New World content creators

Staying Motivated Week (August 20th – August 26th)

Lessons Learned Week (August 27th – August 31st)

  • A chance to reflect on Blaugust 2023

Saturday, July 29, 2023

Blaugust 2023 is almost here!

 Excited to announce I'll be participating in Blaugust 2023!  I am looking forward to some outside driven topics to blog about!

What is Blaugust?

Blaugust is a month-long event that takes place in August each year that focused on blogging and other serialized content. The goal is to stoke the fires of creativity and allow bloggers and other content creators to mingle in a shared community while pushing each other to post more regularly. For years blogging has been dwindling, and in part, Blaugust was my attempt and reversing that course by compiling a bunch of veteran bloggers in one place and making it super easy to ask questions and get answers. The idea is that this festival of blogging can help reignite dwindling fires for the next year and give folks a sense of kinship as a result. Each year has taken slightly different forms and shifted to include more than just blogs, but the core mission is always the same. In this year of corporate internet staples seeming a little less sturdy, it is all the more important that each of us carve our own homes that we can call our own… that gives us a sense of permanence. No matter what happens on whatever platforms I am on… my blog remains.

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Saturday Blogging Thoughts

 Ever since I returned to daily blogging; especially when I changed the blog template and removed DISQUS for comments the traffic to this site has tanked.  On top of that Google Search Console is barfing all over the site's pages and no longer indexing them.  I don't run this site for the page views, the SEO, or to monetize (at most I do Amazon referral links so I can get more crap on Amazon I don't really need).

 That had me looking at what Blogger offers these days... and... that is nothing.  Seems like Google is just letting Blogger coast.  So off to Reddit's blogging subreddit to ask if I am crazy and to see what else is out there.

 That resulted in some suggestions I'll be evaluating

  • Substack
  • Publii (static site)
  • Wordpress
  • and some more in the thread

If you have a thought toss it in the comments. 

Reddit thread embedded below:

Friday, February 17, 2023

ChatGPT writes a post about MMORPGs

 ChatGPT is neat.  There is a lot of interest in artificial intelligence (AI) and with ChatGPT giving an approachable interface to some remarkable AI ChatGPT has the world buzzing with the possibilities.  For most of us ChatGPT is either the next big thing or a neat toy.  I tend to fall more into "toy" category myself; reminded of the quote along the lines of "We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run."  That is to say I think ChatGPT is over-hyped currently but under-hyped in what it will mean in the history books of the future.

 With that said I wanted to see what ChatGPT would write on my behalf for the blog.  Here's the outcome:

Title: Exploring the World of MMORPGs: A Guide for Newcomers

Are you looking for a new online gaming experience? Perhaps you've heard about MMORPGs and want to know what all the fuss is about. MMORPGs, or massively multiplayer online role-playing games, are games that allow players to interact with each other in a virtual world. In this post, we'll explore the world of MMORPGs and provide a guide for newcomers.

Choose Your Game Wisely

There are many MMORPGs available, so it's important to choose a game that fits your interests and playstyle. Some popular MMORPGs include World of Warcraft, Final Fantasy XIV, and Guild Wars 2. Each game has its own lore, world-building, and mechanics, so do your research before choosing.

Learn the Basics

MMORPGs can be overwhelming for newcomers, so take the time to learn the basics of the game. This may include learning how to create a character, navigate the world, complete quests, and interact with other players. Most MMORPGs have tutorials or starting zones that teach you the basics, so don't be afraid to take your time.

Join a Guild or Group

Playing an MMORPG is more fun when you're playing with others. Joining a guild or group can help you find other players to quest with, get advice on the game, and participate in group activities like raids. Many MMORPGs have tools for finding and joining guilds, so take advantage of these resources.

Understand the Time Commitment

MMORPGs are designed to be played over a long period of time, so be prepared to invest a lot of time in the game. This may mean logging in regularly to complete quests, participating in group activities, and keeping up with game updates. If you have limited time to play, consider choosing a game with more casual play options.

Watch Your Spending

Some MMORPGs are free-to-play, while others require a subscription or in-game purchases. Before you start playing, understand the game's payment model and set a budget for yourself. In-game purchases can be tempting, but it's important to balance your spending with your other financial priorities.

In Conclusion

MMORPGs can be a fun and immersive way to connect with other players and explore a virtual world. As a newcomer, it's important to choose a game that fits your interests, learn the basics, join a guild or group, understand the time commitment, and watch your spending. With these tips, you'll be well on your way to becoming a seasoned MMORPG player.

Thursday, January 19, 2023


 Doozy of a stomach bug rampaging the house.  Blogging will return afterwards!

Friday, January 06, 2023

2023 Blogging Stuff

 I wanted to avoid doing the cliche "what are my 2023 goals" or "2023 predictions" posts, but wanted to share some of my blogging plans.  I want to adjust the rate at which I blog and have a slightly different look to the content.

 In 2022 I got the bug to get back into blogging.  I set a goal to post once a day, every day.  I pretty much did it including weekends and holidays.  Most posts were made the day of but I had a few queued up to schedule on days I knew I'd be busy.

 For 2023 I want to adjust my goal for posting: 5 posts a week (basically give myself the weekend off).  Yes this will include posts from simple "hey look at the Packers score" to more in depth gaming discussion.

 There are a couple posts I look fondly at from 2022.  The best representation of these "fond" posts is where I shared screenshots from my adventures in New World.  I realized after stumbling back accross that post that I don't share that type of content often.  

 For 2023 I want to get more into sharing the memories of my gaming sessions instead of just dropping opinions or sharing something I found.  More screenshots are really the key here.  Not sure if y'all will find it interesting but this blog has always been sort of for me so I'll enjoy it and maybe one of you out there will as well.

 And lastly for 2023 I want to get into some video content.  No guarantees on this but I enjoy editing video for work and for other personal use.  I did videos back before YouTube was a thing (sadly did not save all my Google Videos content... need to scan the old hard drives at some point), but haven't done anything since.


Thursday, January 05, 2023

Why are my posts with no content the most visited?

 Just an inside-blogging question that boggles me.  Since returning to blogging daily I've noticed that the posts I put the most effort into get the least traffic and those that I put no effort in get the most.

 For example; yesterday's post just to have a post has already seen twice the traffic than any of my recent posts with actual content.  Going back further my "Cold. No Power." post with nothing in it is the highest trafficed post from December.

 Why?  I don't know but I needed a post for today and I had nothing else on hand so here it is.  What do you think?

Wednesday, January 04, 2023

Post a day!

 This counts right?  Sorry, first day back to work after a long holiday break and I am pooped.

Friday, December 09, 2022

I was surprised by my Reddit Recap for 2022!

 Reddit has posted it's 2022 Recap for users and I wanted to share some of my cards.  It's funny and a bit freaky how much a site like Reddit gets to know about you simply be keeping track of what you do.

 The neatest part is the card they put together for you.  I cracked up at mine and my special +0 power.  Also surprised by my karma performance this year.  I had not realized I had gained so much! 

 So to recap:

  • In Top 1% of karma farmers earners
  • I live in the New World sub reddit
  • I like my memes (of course the entire Green Bay Packers season is a meme!)
  • Also 2022 a year for politics and world events

Go me!
And I was entertained!

tuck frump and puck futin