Website

Finding a new home…

Finding a new home…

Sar Crux is no more, either as a twitter handle or a domain name…

Yes the domain, sarcrux.com will still point here, but that will eventually expire, so try to update your bookmarks before that! 🙂

Why the reason for the change? Continue reading →

Posted by Sar in Gaming, News, Opinion, Personal, Website, World of Warcraft, 0 comments
New Website Theme

New Website Theme

So I made a change to the theme for the website, and this one’s a hell of a lot better for those of you reading on a mobile browser.

However, the site itself should work fine and dandy, and look a bit better even on a desktop browser.

There’s still a few wee niggles to sort out:

  • I want randomised headers, but the theme doesn’t support them natively, requiring a cludged code fix (TBA).
  • There are some minor CSS issues with posts on the front page vs single post pages (next few days).
  • I want to create some more headers, but need time to do that (within the next week).

So that will all be sorted over the next few days, but hopefully you’ll find it a bit of a better reading experience, regardless of which type of device you’re reading this on!

Posted by Sar in News, Opinion, Website, 2 comments
Why I love… Blogging (vs Vlogging)

Why I love… Blogging (vs Vlogging)

Apologies for the WIL… delay this week, Blizzcon articles, gnomes and work got slightly in the way a bit 


I’m a fairly old school kind of person in some regards. I’ve always been someone who has preferred writing over talking, blogging over vlogging, considering my words carefully before committing them to “paper” so to speak.

I’ve been blogging for nearly 20 years now, starting in 1997 on various temporary websites for 4 years before deciding to purchase my first domain name, www.the-yarn.net, to host my wafflings online.

I’ve been blogging in one form or another on and off all those years, and since then, obviously vlogging (the video version of blogging in case you were wondering) came along and has somewhat supplanted it’s parent form of personal thought divestment.

Yes, sure, I have a YouTube channel, but you’ve more than likely noticed that I’m way more likely to sit down and write a blog post on a subject rather than create a video.

Not only is this for the reasons highlighted above, that I’m a bit old school in that regard, but also because production of a video on the matter I want to talk about is a long-winded and time consuming process to get a video to the level of quality that I’m happy putting out there.

This involves recording of the audio, getting enough relevant video material to cover the subject at hand, and compositing all this material together in Adobe’s Premiere Pro CC.

That can, and does in fact, take hours to put together even a 10 minute video, and leaves me precious little time to do much else on a day I decide to put a video together.

The other option is of course lowering the quality of the videos to a point where the audio’s not edited and the video is hastily put together. I um and ahh quite a lot whilst gathering my thoughts on a subject when doing a voice-over, which is why I massively prefer writing to sitting in front of a mic and umming my way through a topic.

This has as much to do with my personality type as anything. Whilst I’m not by any means a shy person, I am definitely introverted, and other aspects of my personality in conjunction with that lead me to be the sort of person that prefers the written word over the oral.

I’m an IT educator and analyst by profession, and I have no problem standing in front of a bunch of people showing them how to do a certain thing, be it use a computer, programs like Word & Excel etc, so shyness is definitely not a thing I’m prone to these days, although I used to be when I was younger.

So that’s why I prefer blogging over the more modern version. I may still do the odd video here and there, but looking at the average number of views my videos get I sometimes wonder if it’s worth my while in all honesty.

Oddly enough, it’s my guide videos that tend to get thousands of views, which lends more weight to the fact that me ending up educating people may in fact be the right job for me. With an increasing and developing interest in Psychology, it may not end up being IT related 100%, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

Anyhoo, I just felt like writing something this morning, and this has been knocking around in my head for a while as something to say.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled programming 😉

Posted by Sar in Gaming, News, Personal, Website, Why I love..., 0 comments
On design and updates…

On design and updates…

I’ve been working on a new design for headers etc over on Twitter over the past few weeks, and I think I’ve hit upon a design idea that I’m happy to run with for the foreseeable future!

Making it more generalised in step with the broadening of the theme of my writing, so it’s reflective of more than just gaming.

Started using Adobe Illustrator for the headers rather than my old favourite, Photoshop. It works quite differently, and there’s going to be a learning curve, but I really like the clean results vector artwork gives.

It certainly makes logo design a lot cleaner, but it’s definitely not as intuitive as Photoshop, but then again I’ve been using that particular application for over 15 years, closer to 20 actually!

I’ll be rolling out the new design to my very underutilised YouTube channel within the next week or so!

Posted by Sar in News, Personal, Website, Youtube, 0 comments
Why I love… Stuff

Why I love… Stuff

I love stuff. In fact I love a lot of stuff that ain’t even games! Shocker, I know.

With that in mind I’m going to be writing a regular series of articles where I’ll be gushing over various things, such as:

  • TV Shows
  • Music
  • Games
  • Retro Games
  • Movies
  • Tech
  • Science
  • Psychology
  • Philosophy
  • Design
  • Diet & Exercise (noooo, don’t make me!)
  • And much more…

Essentially all the subjects I’d be covering in general on Crux, but this series of articles will be focusing on specific examples of the above list.

I’ll be working out a full posting schedule, for these and other articles, but at the moment I’m thinking this series of articles will be going out each Wednesday.

This is one of the reasons for the change from sargaming.net to sarcrux.com, so I could talk about all these sorts of things, both here and on Twitter freely without it looking or feeling odd, being on what was a gaming site in name at least.

Or indeed making me feel like I was mis-selling what this site and Twitter account were about.

I love loads of different TV shows, movies, bands, genres, etc, and I’m excited to start writing about them all!

If you guys have any ideas for subjects you’d like mentioned let me know in the comments below!

Posted by Sar in News, Personal, Website, Why I love..., 1 comment
Lifting the veil of Sar Crux…

Lifting the veil of Sar Crux…

Yep, I’ve changed locations as well as names. For clarity, the following has changed:

Why the change?

Well, over the past 6 months or more, I’ve become a lot more vocal about other things outside of gaming, such as politics, atheism, and so on, alongside the things I’ve always loved like gaming, books, movies etc etc.

I’ve been discussing a lot of these on Twitter, and it didn’t feel quite right talking about the intricacies of socialism vs capitalism with a gaming related twitter handle.

Similarly I follow quite a lot of atheism related folk on twitter, as well as contacting a lot of companies via twitter, and the gaming part of the handle didn’t really sit right.

It’s fine when talking about WoW and gaming related matters of course, but when you’re tweeting Jeremy Corbyn about his policy choices, or insulting David Cameron for his alleged pig fancying, it’s not quite as “grown up” as it could be.

So I sat for hours and hours whilst on holiday in Spain over the past fortnight, and got back yesterday and gave it a lot more thought between then and today, and went through literally dozens of different permutations and combinations of various words that seemed to fit.

The other thing I had to keep in mind was being able to get the name on both Twitter and as a .com domain name. This is the first .com I’ve ever owned, usually opting for .net domain names, but I thought I’d give it a go after reading a few books on blogging and improving my writing whilst on hols.

So I obviously wanted to expand my horizons a bit further, and increase the range of my subject matter beyond merely gaming, and WoW in particular.

So what now?

Needless to say that WoW and games will still form the vast majority of the subject matter on this site and my twitter feed as we go forwards, but the change to sarcrux.com/@sarcrux at least lifts the shackles of gaming from my hands and gives me the purview to speak on a wider range of topics without it feeling incongruous or ill-fitting.

So I settled on the word Crux, because it seemed a good word to use for the way I want to use this site and twitter feed from now on. I like writing (dur), and I, as best I can, always try to get to the crux of the matter being discussed.

CRUX: noun, plural cruxes, cruces [kroo-seez]
1. a vital, basic, decisive, or pivotal point:
The crux of the trial was his whereabouts at the time of the murder.
2. a cross.
3. something that torments by its puzzling nature; a perplexing difficulty.

This site and my twitter feed will also form the crux of my presence on-line. I will still be making videos, but I’ve never really had the time or energy to pump them out like some YouTube producers can. It’s frequently weeks or even months between videos, and I do feel bad for seemingly abandoning my subscribers there when it gets to be a while since the last video.

I’m getting a new video card this week (The Geforce 970 GTX), so maybe the increased frame-rates and fidelity will inspire me to make videos more often, but I make no promises!

Comments enabled!

To celebrate this mini re-launch, as a test, I’ve enabled comments.

I’ve had these disabled for the past year because of spam, and bots attacking the site when they were enabled last, meaning about a year ago I was plagued with downtime and hacks by Croation/Russian botfarms.

If the same thing happens again, I’ll be immediately disabling all comments once more, so fingers crossed…

Wrapping up….

However what I will be actively trying to do is improve my writing. As I said earlier, I’ve been reading a few books on writing, specifically blogging, and will be trying out some of the tips I’ve garnered from those sources.

Anyhoo, that’s it for this one, I hope you like the new name, it’s subject neutral so I don’t imagine I’ll be changing it again any time soon, which is a relief as it now allows me to spread my author’s wings!

Posted by Sar in News, Personal, Website, Youtube, 1 comment
Windows 10 gave me ideas…

Windows 10 gave me ideas…

Ok, so having had Windows 10 installed over the past 24 hours, I’ve pretty much fallen in love with it. Even though it’s sometimes buggy and the Start Menu had managed to crash on me completely yesterday necessitating a fix (see my twitter feed), it’s a really lovely OS.

The mix of the Start menus from Win 7 & 8.1 is something I’m really digging, and the aesthetic is really very lovely to look at. In fact it reminds me a hell of a lot of the Gnome interface in Linux, which I also love.

So with that inspiration in mind, I decided to tart up the front end of the website a bit. This is the default WP theme from 2014, albeit with a fair bit of customisation on top. Still want to sort out a proper background image, but I’ll sort that out later today.

Quite pleased with how it turned out all in all, and at least it looks different now from the Thunder website 😀

Posted by Sar in News, Personal, Website
#NoFlyNoSub #BringBackFlying

#NoFlyNoSub #BringBackFlying

The 2 tags that defined my weekend 😛

And Wow. The last few days have been a flurry of activity on the website, all over the no-flying announcement by Watcher.

Not least there was a real spike in site traffic over the weekend and the first half of this week, which saw traffic into the thousands and 160 times the normal daily reader count 🙂

Looking at the traffic referral links, the last blog post about flight has been linked and re-tweeted all over the place, from the official US forums to MMO-Champion, from Twitch TV channels even so far as a knitting website (hello ladies! 😉 ), right through to even being used as a reference in one guy’s sub cancellation request!

The vast majority, and I do mean VAST majority of comments relating to the blog post were in strong agreement, and the feedback I received on it were 98% FOR wanting flight returned.

There were 2 (count em, TWO) negative comments in reply, one calling me a Blizzard fanboi (lol), the other a whiner 🙂

I’ve often found when the majority of ppl disagree with certain people’s world view it’s “a lot of noise by a bunch of whiners”. Oddly though when they agree on something with that same person they suddenly transform into ” the voice of the players”.

/pinchofsalt

Heh.

Anyway, there is a live streamed Q&A with Watcher to be held over a week from now.

June 6th.

Seriously, leaving the community hanging for 2 whole weeks from the no flight announcement to the Q&A reeks of cowardice. Hoping that the furore caused by the interview in Polygon will die down, so they can run through a bunch of softball pre-approved questions where they’ll essentially re-iterate what they’ve already decided.

I doubt that they will either address or acknowledge the massive numbers who I’ve seen unsubbing over the past 6 days, and it’s A LOT. In as many places as I saw the blog post linked I saw the same reaction time and time again.

People were pissed over several things, but stayed subbed on the same assumption that lead them to buy the expansion, that flight would be coming in soon.

However as soon as Watcher dropped the bomb on Friday past, people have been cancelling their accounts left right and center, and posting proof in forums, on Twitter and YouTube. So it’s not just people paying lip service to the idea. They, like me, have actually followed through and really cancelled their subscription.

I totted up after cancelling how much I’d spent with Blizzard over the past 7+ years, and it’s demonstrably over ÂŁ2000, more than a quarter of which was in the past 15 months alone.

If even committed, big spending players like me are quitting over this, then Blizzard look like they are in fact, whilst not commuting suicide, certainly biting off the hand that literally feeds them.

MMO-C have had a poll running for 6 days about this, and for 6 days, regardless of the number of votes, the percentages have remained the same:

64% want flight.

36% don’t want it.

That’s a pretty risky gamble to take with your livelihood, when you’re pissing off two-thirds of your potential revenue stream.

All for what? Potential production cost savings down the line? At what point would you be saving more in production costs vs the lost revenue from sub losses from those that quit over this?

From a business standpoint it’s daft beyond belief. They have a bigger team now, so surely they should be INCREASING production costs? Especially after WoD has been, and looking at 6.2 will continue to be, the poorest expansion yet.

Not just in content, but in terms of quality, customer satisfaction, fun, and good creative ideas.

I said onTwitter at the weekend that Warlords is so bad, it’s actually improved my estimation of Cataclysm.

IT’S ACTUALLY IMPROVED A 4 YEAR OLD EXPANSION.

Sheesh, that’s taken some doing, but it managed it nonetheless.

Anyway, I’ve put a transcription of the last blog post up as a video, and I’ll be putting another video up tomorrow night, so keep an eye out for that 😉

Posted by Sar in News, Website, World of Warcraft

WoW Needs New Content ASAP! (YouTube Video)

And this should be a very nice 60fps for Chrome Users, more noticeable once you get into the D3 footage!

Plus, new Intro to go with the tweaked branding!

Posted by Sar in Gaming, RPGs, Website, World of Warcraft, Youtube

Pillars of Eternally writing Sheet Music

I’m really enjoying Pillars of Eternity so far. The storyline appears very interesting, pretty Planescape-ish in tone, and the classes seem good and varied.

As per the video, the class I chose for my first game was a female Moon Godlike Priest, and whilst she’s not a straight up healer archetype, she can throw out the occasional heal here and there, as well as dish out the damage 

The game by all accounts racks up at about 40+ hours of gameplay, so a real epic along the lines of the Baldur’s Gate series, which should keep me occupied for a good while


I’m going to try and tie down a specific day of the week for new videos, be they WoW-related, gameplay of other games or whatever, but I want to try and get regular content up on YouTube. First up though I want to try and get a new intro together.

Believe it or not this involves the use of sheet music and me writing the music for the intro!

This also involves me re-learning musical notation (I used to play multiple instruments as a child/teenager) and composing 8 bars of music.

All this just for the 6 seconds of an intro length. Yeah, I might be a little bit nuts, but #YOLO! *cough*

Posted by Sar in Gaming, News, Personal, RPGs, Website, Youtube