Sunday, December 12, 2010

Musings of Death, the World, and the Purpose of Life

Note: This is not Wizard101 related and deals with death. 

Well the past few days have been quite sudden and startling. Sometimes, one jolt can shake your view of life, death, and everything else. 

My friend's uncle passed away early this morning, having battled cancer for awhile. Myself, having experienced a similar happening, understood exactly how she felt. 

My own relative did die but it was a while ago and the wound has since then healed.  

It's really gotten me thinking. 

One thing I've noticed is that unless you have gone through something like this firsthand, it's hard to offer comfort and sympathy to someone else who is. 

Who really knows what lies behind the curtain? A burning hell or an eternal heaven? Or do you simply hang in limbo, strolling aimlessly forever? 

And by nature, we fear the unknown. We fear the dark because our sight is useless. We fear change-there are many examples of that in our society-a new technology, a new treatment. We fear death because there is simply no way to ready yourself for such a vast, mysterious experience.

Also, I've been thinking about this: what are we living for? Our lives are but a swift flash in the progression of time. We spend nearly a century achieving our goals, hopes, and dreams just to lose them to death. What's the point of even existing?

Sure, some people have made brilliant discoveries that have revolutionalized the world, but what does that matter? Within a few (ten or hundred) thousand years, humans will be gone and their footprints and achievements will be washed away by time. 

Now I realize this sounds like I'm trying to convince peope life isn't worth living for. I'm not. My point is that we choose what we want to do in the 80-odd years we live, but in the vast landscape of the universe, how does it matter?

No, this does not mean I'm going to run off and commit suicide. 

On a less morbid note: Death has always been the biggest cliffhanger in any tale. "And then he died." But what happens next? 

The concept of it is faraway. You can shove it in the closet and ignore the fact. But once it strikes so close to home (as was the case with myself and my friend), the giant unknown presence of it seems all the more real. You realize: you can't hide it in the closet and hope it doesn't get out because sooner or later, it will. And when the greatest mystery of life comes within arm's length of you, it makes you open your eyes and take a step back. 

There's hardly a better wake-up call than it. And though tragic, it really sparks a lot of new ideas too.

Okay. Done with the depressing stuff. Sorry if that was tedious or downright nonsense, I just felt like I needed to get my thoughts into writing. 

I also said I wasn't posting again until January but when life throws you a curveball, adapt right?

Happy almost holidays (just to end this on a happier note)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Identity Crisis and an Announcement

Well I decided to dust off my Grandmaster Balance and take her through Celestia. 

As I PvPed with her, and did some questing, I came to a startling realization: I enjoyed playing my Sorcerer more than I did my Theurgist. 

I LIKED not being a healing machine who kept everyone alive. I LIKED helping out others but still having attack power of my own. I didn't want to be the weak one who everyone depended on, but rather someone who could match you in attacks and still be helpful. 

And PvP was *so* much more fun! When I was Life, I was the instant target from the start. Pelted with spells from start to finish and healing like a psycho. I didn't have fun with this tiring cycle. 

However, a Balance person in PvP is usually ignored; the common perception is that our power only lies in Judgement. I liked having free will to do my own thing for a while. I could help any teammate I was paired with. I could launch a surprise attack of my own, if needed. But most of all, I wasn't the bloody-red bull's eye for the entire match! It felt so amazing to have a change from that.

Another 'big relief' was that if we were to lose a fight, it couldn't be blamed on me, well at least not entirely. As Life, it is your job to keep everyone in as long as possible. A lost match could always be pinned on "You didn't heal soon enough" or "Why didn't you have the right heals in your hand?" and so on. 

But being Balance, you don't have to be the one being squished by all the pressure coming from your own side and the opponents. 

So I guess I'm in the middle of an identity crisis: am I really JessTheTheurge anymore? Or Jessica GreenRiver? Or am I now JessicaDreamriver?

Who am I? 

And now, onto the announcement: I probably won't be ITS or on Twitter or posting on this blog. At least, not until after New Years. I'm going to be out of the country during then. So for now, have a happy holidays everyone, and see you soon!

Bye for now,

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Meaning of Life...And a Whole Lot of Gushing

The Meaning of Life...
Haha, sorry if the title was misleading. And sorry, I have *not* yet found the meaning of life.  

But I reached 100 followers on Twitter and it's got me thinking: I've managed to make an impression on a HUNDRED people's lives with 140-character updates. It blows my mind that so many people would *care* what I'm tweeting about. 

It's been quite an eye-opening realization.

Of course, compared to, say, the Friendly Necromancer or Diary of a Wizard, it's nothing but a drop in the river. Still, it makes me happy to know that that many people *don't* think I'm spouting nonsense on a daily basis. Thank you everyone :)

****I'm sorry if this came off as gloating. I really meant it to be anything but. 

Everyone I've met in the W101 community have been nothing short of wonderful. And I think it's awesome how easily a newcomer (like me) could become a part of it so fast. 

To date, this has got to be the friendliest, most splendiferous  gaming community I've seen. So, a big chunk o' chocolate to everyone who makes the W101 community so darn cool :)

Whew, now wasn't that just all mushy n' gushy?

Happy Monday,

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Spirit of the Arena

The Spirit of the Arena
Whew, I haven't updated my blog in forever, it seems! I guess that mountain of ever-increasing schoolwork is really boggin' me down. Plus, I've been in kind of a 'blog-writin'-block.'

'Kay, time to de-dust this blog :D 

The other day, I started PvPing on my level 13 Fire wizard. 

In one match, I was against a Journeyman Necro. He started off with a Power Pip and a regular.

At first, I was thinking: this should be easy. He wasn't shielding at all and up went a Deathblade, a treasure Spirit Blade. And up went my Death shield. He, using a Storm wand, took off the Storm shield I had on. Well I figured that was okay. I was at full health and a Kraken wouldn't kill me. He completely caught me off guard with his next move: a Triton. I'm guessing it was an enchanted one, traded before that update. It hit me for 800+ (must have been Monstrous-enchanted). I was left with little more than 100 health. Then he used a 0-pip stun (another TC). 2 turns later, he used a Wild Bolt, which hit 1000 (TC #3). And that was that.

I had the Firezilla in my hand the whole duel. Why didn't I used it, easily killing him? For the same reason I don't go around killing Lost Souls: it's not *fun*.
The main point of PvP is not to WIN, it's the fun of pitting yourself against others, testing your skills, the thrill of a successful hit, or a well-placed shield. It's the thrill of the chase, the kill. It's the lessons you'll learn, the great times you'll have, and the amazing people you'll meet that makes PvP so fun.

However, such things are easier said than done. Especially when our egos are involved. The draw of feeling superior and powerful drive people to do negative things. Cursing. Taunting. Using unfair advantages to ensure a win.

Now, all of this has been said before. But ask yourself: if the purpose of the Arena is to have fun and learn new things, what am I learning just by cheap one-hit-KOs? Or by degrading someone with rude words?


In the long term, this would actually be adverse for your PvPing career. Because you WILL meet people who shield intelligently. People who can counter your OHKO strategy. Lessons you should've been learning when you started PvPing.   

Just like a Sorcerer who only knows Judgement, you'll be getting a heck of a wake-up call in high-ranked PvP.

And it's not just aspects of the Arena itself. You could miss out on so many other things. Friendships you could've made. Good times you could've had.

So have fun; accept your failures as the world's greatest lessons and embrace them; offer a smile to your opponent. For that is the true spirit of the Arena.

Happy (early) Holidays, everyone.