Mabinogi: First Impressions

I've been playing Mabinogi recently, since I was looking for something new to do.  If I care enough I might even write a review for it (care enough about doing it, not about the game).

The game started out with an awful lot to read and pay attention to; I tried getting started with a friend and she jumped out on me because there was too much reading and she couldn't get into the way combat works (which I'm still working on figuring out).  Fighting is kinda blah, and at the start it seems like letting the auto-combat play for you works so very much better than trying to control it manually.  This is very disappointing, but I expect I'll be able to pick up the combat eventually. 
So far, the main selling point for me is the non-combat opportunities.  I've enjoyed reaping wheat and harvesting wool and so forth, but the failures in manufacturing products from them is frustrating, and I fear they will get quite repetitive.  With the auto-combat issues I ran into earlier, this makes it seem like there won't be many opportunities to break up the monotony, which doesn't make me excited about the long-term viability of this game in my repitoire. 
Still, I've been having fun, and the game hasn't been bad, just carries a handful of traits that make me worry.  I haven't yet gotten into the magic available, which is what I usually enjoy most, and the item production system might be good too. 
IRL, I've been eating blueberries from the bush I recently discovered in the yard (it's a blueberry bush).  Also, sent off my requests for letters of recommendation; I emailed five professors, all from whom I think I could get a good letter of reference, if they respond.


Real Life and Gaming

Spent some time today doing useful stuff, like requesting letters of recommendation for my grad school application.  Also discovered we had a blueberry bush that was covered with blueberries today; I picked quite a few, and will go back tomorrow with a step stool to get the ones I couldn't reach.

In gaming, I played Mass Effect a little bit again.  I finished it once, and decided to start a new character.  Then I got dreadfully bored with everything I usually do and really wanted something new, so I checked out a number of demos on Steam.  I really like the free demo stuff on Steam, and find myself unexpectedly pleased (and buying) games that I just downloaded because they were free.  Osmos was one game that this happened with, and if Eufloria ever goes on sale (or I get a job) then I might buy it too.

I've not been up to much else lately.  Got a check deposited to my account.  AT&T gave me a refund because I had overpaid (or something like that).  Anyway, it was unexpected money, which is always nice.  The service with AT&T was always pretty good, so unless something changes I will probably get my service with them again the next time I buy phone service.

I've had friends on my mind a bit lately too.  I'm out in the middle of nowhere, and miss having social opportunities.  Eating every day is nice, as well as not living in a cardboard box (which is what happens when you don't find work and can't pay bills).


Keeping a little busy

I'm planning to take a keyboarding test later today, to help with my job hunt.  I'm going mostly because my younger brother needs it for his job searching (he's applied to be some kind of librarian, and needs to know his words-per-minute).  I'm going because it's free, and it's just easier to go ahead and take the test, whether I need it or not, than it is to drag myself all the way out there again.  Besides, being able to compare with him is bound to be fun. 
Last night, I woke up around midnight, so I only got like 10 hours of sleep.  I ate, then I logged onto Guild Wars and played some in the Random arenas.  I did alright there; I won a few gladiator points, which isn't bad since I was mostly messing with semi-new builds and skills I don't often use.  I realized Migraine is a lot better than it used to be, so I tried it and a number of other things.  Then I played some on my other characters;  I played my warrior, whom I almost never use.  I got her just a little closer to her Silver Eagle armor set; she needs to finish the Eye of the North campaign to get it (technically she doesn't need the last mission, but since it takes less than 10 minutes it's hard to justify going so far and not finishing the game). 
Then I logged onto DDO as my wizard and bought some spell scrolls.  I made level 5 not too long ago, and rather than pick spells I really wanted, I picked from among the spells that you can't buy in stores (it was a much shorter list - I picked two of the three).  The effect of this was that I really needed to actually buy scrolls once I figured out what I wanted.  I did like one of the spells I got (it's like a mass of Magic Missiles that hits one target for small damage, then splits up into 5 missiles that hit other nearby targets).  Anyway, I wanted more spells.  I've been using the summon spell quite a bit (it helps when soloing a lot), so I upgraded from Summon Monster II to III.  I bought a handful of other random spells that either looked fun, or seemed like staples (people like to make those good). 

Now I'm randomly chatting and waiting for my family to get ready to go take the test.  I trimmed my nails for it; super-long nails get in the way when typing.  There's nothing quite like losing 10 wpm just because your damned nails keep hitting the wrong keys.


Giving Up

I'm about ready to give up on finding work right now and go back to grad school.  I think I was misled about the state of my particular industry (I was told it was uniquely a good time for Aerospace because so many people were retiring soon).

I'll keep looking a little bit, but if sure work doesn't materialize soon I'm just going back for more engineering school, probably back at NC State where I did my undergraduate work.


Finishing up the E3 Quests

I'm finishing up the E3 quests.  I got them all except Gettysburg Address, and will finish it tomorrow.
Figured out what was wrong with my E3 listing; I had to actually click on a button, and then click on "Add to my E3 most anticipated list".  I couldn't just make a list titled "E3 Most Anticipated List".  Once I figured that out, everything worked great.  I expect it'll be used for marketing or something, but I actually kinda like seeing advertisements I care about.  No, I do not want larger breasts, I'm trying to keep my chest from having man-boobs.



Today, I checked out the site, wrote a little bit on Ascendancy, played a little on Ascendancy (when you write about a game it makes you want to play it!), and then watched some few videos on Giant Bomb.  

Checked my email a little bit, did some job hunting stuff.  Got email from the career center at my school; they recommended a few places to look for work, but I don't know how it'll pan out yet.  

I was mildly surprised at the reaction to wanting to work at NASA, so I think I'll go into greater depth.  My two primary interests are in propulsion (where I have some talent) and navigation and control (where I have interest), but my interests are broad and I'm flexible, and I'm not 100% sure exactly what I want to do.  My psychology interests are mainly in human factors and Industrial/Organizational Psychology -- the two branches of psychology most related to engineering.  

Human Factors focuses on making things easy and intuitive to use, the most familiar example being natural mapping.  It's the best thing since sliced bread, and about as exciting.  Most stoves have the dials across the front or the rear, in some arbitrary order.  Stovetops that use natural mapping have the dials arranged in the same pattern as the burners; this eliminates rare but unpleasant experiences like turning on the front burner when you meant to turn off the back burner.  Human factors fits in well with an Aerospace degree because planes are large and complicated vehicles that can be difficult to control, especially in a crisis.

IO Psychology focuses on workplace effectiveness, and the associated mental health of employees, to enhance worker productivity. Things like providing proper lighting for work are in the realm of IO psychology; I recall a story about some false-white lights that were more energy efficient being installed in an office.  When they asked the engineers there how the lighting worked, they opened a drawer and pulled out the resistors; all the bands were black because the false-white lighting didn't provide all the colors in the spectrum.

Trivia aside, my day was pretty dull.  My family went out of town, which was nice.  I feel like Pliny the younger, who often wrote about how he liked public activities that made other people go away, but I really like it when I get time to myself.  Been trying to pick out a good background for my profile page.


When I have nothing to do ...

One of the best things about blogs is that they let you fill the empty days with even more nothingness.  If I have a life going on, I don't write in blogs.  That said, here's where I am:

I am a recently graduated double major in Aerospace Engineering and Psychology.  I'm currently looking for work in "the space industry", wherever and however you do that (I'm working on it).  I have an amateur interest in game design and development, the shining pinacle of this being my participation in the Great Designer Search at Wizards a few years ago (I placed about 15th of a little over 1,000).  My brother is a freaking obsessed fan of this website and the guys who run it, so I've been on here some lately.

For "fun", I've been doing a little gaming.  I've played a lot of Guild Wars (a bit over 5,000 hours), although I'm more interested in playing all the different classes and builds than I am in maxing out any one character.  I do some of the light PvP that doesn't require extreme organization or commitment, because until now college demanded my full attention.  I tend to prefer strategy games; I play a little Go once in a while (Chess tends to have only extremely good or extremely bad players; Go isn't that different, but I'm extremely bad at it - estimated 15 Kyu).  I play Civilization 4 some, although I tend to get bored and quit rather than stick to the end.

I picked up Dungeons and Dragons Online recently, because it's cheap (free to play).  My ex-gf, whom I play with in GW sometimes, refuses to play because she says the user agreement is unreasonable and the game uses invasive programming.  

My brother convinced me to try Final Fantasy 12, so I started a game of that recently.  I hit up some Stella Deus recently too.  I've been thinking about trying out some RPG maker, although I honestly expect I'll just fiddle with it a little bit and give up.  If I get a single working dungeon I'll consider it a success.

I'm bored of writing this now.


Blog #1

My brother is really into this site, so I thought I'd look at it.  I figured, why not?    I'll probably, if anything, write a game review once in a long while.

For now, I'm busy with classes and exams are coming up, so I don't expect to be super active.