Taking a Look Back at 2016

It has been over two months since I have had a chance to gather some time to draft and write up a blog post.  Needless to say, 2016 has been a rough year for me when it comes to keeping up with my extra DDO activities.  When I first started blogging back in 2013, I was able to somehow find the time to generate blogs nearly everyday while also maintaining the Crypt Crawler’s guild website, the Crypt Crawler’s newsletters, participating in the forums, reading and commenting on other blogger’s posts and articles, listening to the various DDO podcasts, watching the numerous DDO TwitchTV and YouTube channels, and sending in emails to those same groups of people to make comments and to submit words of encouragement.  I felt very connected to the wonderful DDO community, without even being logged into game world.

And then 2016 happened.  It didn’t take long into the 2016 year for things to start slipping away from me.  Most of this was centered around changes in my professional life.  I’m a marine fisheries biologist who works for the state of North Carolina and while I can say that I don’t make a large salary, the number of constant fisheries issues keeps all of us involved in this industry extremely busy and under a lot of pressure.  I can definitely say that I’m never bored at work but in 2016 this translated into a pretty stressful period.  I found myself with less and less free time to explore my other DDO hobbies such as writing and watching the various media channels during lunch hours and downtime.  Essentially my downtime just simply disappeared.  In years previous, I had taken advantage of that downtime to participate in these hobbies.

All throughout 2016, I told myself that I would be able to get back into the swing of things.  I tried numerous times to develop schedules and to stick to them but these things just never really happened for one reason or another.  I finally realized, I just simply can’t keep up with my pace that I set for myself years earlier.  I have now realized that I just simply can’t keep up the pace but I can still contribute.  I just need to take a step back and make a less aggressive goal and schedule for these activities.  I instead of blogging everyday, I’m going to focus on blogging twice or week or so, primarily on the weekends, and seeing how things go.  I also plan to work those other activities as well.  In this sense, I’m looking forward to 2017.

Although my extracurricular DDO activities suffered tremendously during 2016, my actual game time remained relatively the same.  I did rotate my gaming schedule slightly but I still maintain a slayer run, a mid afternoon quest run, and my daily night runs.  In 2016, I completed my first epic reincarnation with Erdrique, which actually took me much longer than I had originally anticipated.  I was also able to complete Erdrique’s rogue life and to start his bard life (which is the beginning of his 9th life on the way to completionist).  Erdrique currently sits at level 9, with level 10 banked.  During 2016, I also continued with my effort to keep on dual boxing with my VIP and Premium accounts.  Overall, this has worked out pretty well.  One thing I have  discovered is that running two characters through a quest does take a little longer but when things go south with the primary character the secondary character was able to pick up the slack.  So the number of quests I have completed in 2016 were relatively fewer but I was able to level up more than one character at one time.  I could probably speed things up by ignoring the loot for the secondary character but that is the whole point of questing right :).

While Erdrique made his way through his first epic reincarnation and started his bard life, Hamllin (my second most played character) is now in epic levels and is currently working on his first epic reincarnation.  My other characters have also been moving up, albeit rather slowly but still making progress.  I also added to my character list by creating a new Purple Dragon Knight, a Shadar-kai, and a gnome Artificer on my VIP account and a new rogue on my premium account.  Although the number of new quests released in 2016 was relatively light, I still haven’t made my way into most of them.  I was able to play heavily in the Anniversary Party, the new quests in the Night Revels (Getting Ahead in Lords March Palace, Hayweird Foundry), and the first quest in the Slave Lords (Slave Pits of the Undercity).  I will hit up the others sooner or later :).  One thing I can say about myself, I’m quite patient :P.

One thing I really looked forward to this past year was the revamp into Cannith Crafting.  With that  said, I haven’t really had a chance to participate in the new and improved version as of yet because I was waiting until Erdrique hit level 10 before I started to really play with it.  The second thing that caught me by surprise, as well as everybody else, is the move of the development teams of DDO and LOTRO out of  Turbine and into their own studio, Standing Stone Games.  I’m anxious to see what this will mean for the game as well as the developers.  I have a lot of high hopes here and I’ll be curious to see how things move forward in 2017.

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Erdrique closing out 2016 as a bard and looking forward to changes in 2017.

Overall, 2016 was a rough year for me.  Although I was able to keep up with my gaming time, the time I had for blogging and extra community activities just dried up.  I’m hoping I can change this in 2017.  I hope everybody else had a great year and I wish everybody a happy, safe, and adventurous New Year in DDO!!  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!